Not a traditional thanksgiving

{the gift that I made for the hostesses}
This year wasn't a traditional Thanksgiving. I went to a friends house where he made an injected deep fried turkey, and she made a couple of side dishes. It wasn't the usual Thanksgiving that I am use to, but it was a lot of fun.
{into the deep fryer}

{New Orleans style injected turkey}
{the spread}
{the pumpkin roll i made}
{their gorgeous tree}

{i love the bow}

Have yourself a chic christmas

{Jingle Bells headband from Kate Spade}

The holiday season is creeping up on us quickly. I have found some of the cutest headbands and necklaces for the holiday season. Here are some of my favorite fun and festive items that are sure to brighten your day.

{Rhinestone Bow Headband from Arden B}

{Snowflake Necklace from Ann Taylor}

{Holiday bib tassle charm necklace from Coach}

{Rhinestone and faux pearl cluster necklace from Forever 21}

{Ice Queen Bib necklace Kate Spade}

Did you go "black friday" shopping

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy your day with family & friends

Pumpkin Roll

A lot of you made comments about the fact that the Pumpkin Roll looked to challenging to make. Well it's actually really easy. I tried to take pictures for you, but you have to work kind of quickly at times so some pictures aren't so great. Sorry!

Pumpkin Roll

cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
cup all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground cloves
teaspoon salt
large eggs
cup granulated sugar
cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin

Preheat Oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with parchment paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a flour sack towel with powdered sugar.

Combine Flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

The Filling
pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
cup powdered sugar, sifted
tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for decoration

Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Fashionable Ways to Avoid Kitchen Mishaps

'Tis the season for kitchen mishaps. There is nothing worse then working on preparing a gorgeous meal for the holidays while looking fabulous and then cutting yourself. Blood is not fabulous so this holiday season be sure you are prepared for anything. Get yourself some cute Band-Aids that's right I said CUTE band aids! Forget the boring plain ones. Band-Aid brand has a ton of cute band-aids out there. Anything from Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty to...
designer Cynthia Rowley Dress Up Band-Aids and Transformers.

{apron from The Hip Hostess}

'Tis the holiday season for spills. This year don't ruin your clothing. Make sure you are prepared with a chic apron. I love The Hip Hostess aprons for multiple reasons. One they are beyond adorable and two they are made in Michigan. I actually bought one a few years back at a craft show in Michigan at a local high school. Who would have thought that they would go from being in a craft show to having an extremely popular website.

{cutesy pot-holders}
Use pot-holders(oven-mitts), not a dish towel when removing pots from the stove or oven. Dish towels can catch fire easily and they do not adequately protect your hands. Like dish towels pot-holders come in fabulous varieties so they'll always leave you and your kitchen looking fabulous.

Best Wishes in the Kitchen this Holiday season!


'Tis the season to eat at Panera Bread

So guess who has a new celebration going on? Yes, it's definitely Panera Bread and the items are out of this world, and perfect for any chilly day.

{French Toast Bagel Breakfast Sandwich}
This sandwich even has delicious Vermont white cheddar cheese and natural sausage that has been grilled on Panera's signature maple-laced French Toast Bagel. The sandwich is amazing... it's sweet, it's savory and it's all sorts of deliciousness. Definitely a breakfast sandwich you want to try for yourself.

{All-Natural Steak Chili with Cornbread}
This is a new product that Panera Bread has out for the winter season. It contains a blend of slow-cooked tender brisket slices and ground beef with vegetables and kidney beans in a rich tomato based broth. This chili has a bit of a kick to it, but paired with the sweet cornbread it's packed with some great flavor. I definitely am thinking the cornbread crumbles are the star of this dish!

{Creamy Tomato with Asiago Cheese Croutons}
Most of us can't make it through the winter without having a bowl of some delicious tomato soup. This soup is vegetarian and paired with the Asiago Cheese croutons it's the perfect soup to warm you up from the brisk winter weather.

'Tis the season for curling up near a fire or bundled in a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate, but why settle for an ordinary hot chocolate drink, when you can have a Mint hot Cocoa or Mint Mocha.

{Mint Mocha}

{Mint Hot Cocoa}

15 gift baskets perfect for the holidays

{Hello Kitty themed gift basket Christmas 2009}

The holidays are still more than a month away, but I am not all about waiting in long lines and letting the holiday season slip by because of stress. While people are frantically shopping I will be sipping on hot cocoa while I admire Christmas decorations. My family loves theme baskets, and I think they are a lot of fun to make and receive. So here are 15 ideas for gift baskets this holiday season. I hope this helps make your shopping easier.

{Michigan themed basket Christmas 2009}
Movie Night Basket: a DVD, movie theater candy (gummy bears or Junior Mints, anyone?) placed in a popcorn bucket. (My mum makes these for my dad, brother and I every year)

Book Lover Basket: books or magazines related to the book lover's interest, large coffee mug, decorative bookmark, bubble bath and candles.

Breakfast Basket: Make your favorite quick bread (on my list is cinnamon spice bread), wrap it in cellophane and tie it with a pretty ribbon. Include a jar of your favorite jam with a mini spoon and knife. (Great for grandparents)

Kids Basket: crayons, coloring books, markers, stickers, play-doh

Sugar Cookie Basket: Make your own vanilla sugar with a vanilla bean and granulated sugar. Place in a pretty jar and include your favorite sugar cookie recipe, as well as a couple of cookie cutters and some decorating supplies such as sprinkles and colored sugars.

Pampered Basket: include some body scrub, body wash, bath bombs and a beauty mask.

Coffee Enthusiast Basket: gourmet coffee, mugs and some flavored syrups.

Wine & Cheese Basket: a bottle of wine, a block of cheese, crackers and some wine glasses
The Wine-o Basket: two bottles of wine, wine glasses and wine glasses markers.
Candle Basket: a variety of candles in different scents including votive and tea lights with holders. (a great hostess basket)

Tea Basket: a variety of teas (bags or loose), infuser, oversized mug, teabag holder and tins to hold tea.
Winter Basket: lip exfoliater, face masque, lotion, WoodWick Candle and hot chocolate. (awesome gift for the college girl in your life)

Cook Basket Chili Theme: fill a pot with assorted cans of beans (kidney, navy, pinto..etc), chili powder, your favorite chili recipe, a ladle and oven mitts.

Chocoholic Basket: hot chocolate mix, chocolate cookies, chocolate ice cream topping, chocolate candies.

Ice Cream Sundae Basket: ice cream scoop, jars of pineapple, butterscotch and strawberry topping, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, maraschino cherries, nuts, ice cream cones and sundae dishes. (my mum gave me this basket one year while I was in college it was a SERIOUS hit!)

{Winter Wonders Theme Basket 2010}

xo I hope this helped you!

Coat Check

{DKNY Belted Wool Blend Trench Coat $178.00}

You can never have too many jackets for fall and winter. With this brisk weather here are some of the jackets that I am absolutely adoring.

{Betsey Johnson Flounce Hem Three Quarter $140.00}

{Burberry Taffeta Down Puffer Coat $895.00}

{Diane von Furstenberg Simyonette $675.00}

{Miss Sixty $148.00}
{NorthFace denali $180}

Any special jacket you are loving currently?


Almond Bear Paws

While some people are hooked on William Sonoma ,I am hooked on Sur La Table for those of you who live in the metro Detroit area check Sur La Table out at The Creek... the store is amazing! Like William Sonoma, Sur La Table sells celebrity chef cookbooks as well as has their own cookbooks. I absolutely love baking so it's not a surprise that one of my favorite books they make is called The Art and Soul of Baking. This book has taught me so many new baking skills. Including how to make that AMAZING almond filling that you find in bear claws.... HEAVEN! I decided to make some almond bear paws.

Almond Bear Paws
For this recipe I made my own croissants however Pillsbury Crescent Rolls will work fabulously for those who are not as adventurous.

Pre-made croissants or Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Almond Filling
1 cup raw sliced almonds

Almond Filling
(from The Art and Soul of Baking)
4 ounces almond paste
2 tablespoons sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoon all purpose flour.

Break or cut the almond paste into 12 pieces and put them into a food processor. Add the sugar and process until the almond paste is cut into tiny pieces. Add the butter and process until well blended. Scrape down the food processor bowl and place the contents into a mixing bowl. Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add the flour and mix until combined.

Cut your Croissants into triangles. If using crescent rolls lay out your triangles. Spread the Almond Filling onto the triangles and roll like you would to make crescent dinner rolls. Brush your Bear Paws with an egg wash sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.