Fall Inspiration


The leaves have changed colors and most have fallen to the ground. Temps are cooler and a sweater or jacket has become a must. Here are a few fall items that have me inspired for the season. What has you inspired for the fall?  

No Bake Caramel Crunch Bars

October brings the influx of sugary treats, and while I have had my fair share of candy this month, nothing beats homemade goodies – especially when no baking is required. Caramel crunch bars offer the perfect combination of salty from the Club crackers combined with the sweetness of chocolate and butterscotch for an out of this world taste.
No Bake Caramel Crunch Bars
Makes one 9x13-inch pan of bars
Ingredients
80 club crackers
1 cup butter
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup semisweet chocolate morsels
½ cup butterscotch morsels

Directions
1. Line an ungreased 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an extension of foil on either end. Line the foil with 1 layer of club crackers.
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium head. Add graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, milk and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. (Begin timing 5 minutes from when you see the first bubbles.) Remove from heat and spread half of butter mixture evenly over crackers. Place another single layer of crackers evenly over butter mixture. Spread remaining butter mixture evenly over crackers. Top evenly with remaining crackers.
3. In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, chocolate morsels and butterscotch morsels. Melt over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly. Spread evenly over top of crackers. Cover, and chill for at least 2 hours (I let it chill overnight).  Cut into bars and enjoy.

Bat Bite Cupcakes

Halloween is quickly approaching, and for a day that I really don’t get into I have made monogrammed pumpkins, spider web cupcakes and even shared my Halloween signature cocktail. The fun doesn’t stop there; tonight a few girlfriends and I are getting together for a craft night. While we’ll be creating things more Thanksgiving and Christmas oriented the invite said to bring a spooky treat. I decided to make bat bite cupcakes. They’re chocolate cupcakes with homemade vanilla buttercream that has been colored purple, featuring a “bloody” raspberry infused center. Finished with purple sanding sugar, fudge stripe cookie bat wings, chocolate covered sunflower seed ears, sprinkle eyebrows, sprinkles in the shape of hearts for fangs and candy eyes. 
 {use a paring knife to scallop the edges}
 {place the wings on the cupcake and frost over the end of the wings}
 {add purple sanding sugar}
 {create your bats face}

Snapshots

 {carved my bow pumpkin last night}
My week was filled with tons of mini Halloween and fall get-togethers. My weekend will be filled with watching the Tigers and Giants game, mani/pedi girls day and venturing out around Pittsburgh. What are your weekend plans?
 {candy from last nights scary movie get-together}
 {current gilded nails}
 {loving fall}
{we're in the world series}

Halloween Signature Cocktail

Having a signature cocktail makes the cocktail aspect of your party effortless and cheaper. I love picking a drink that ties into the theme of the party. To jazz the glasses up I melted pink colored chocolate and dripped it around the rim of each glass as well as added a small amount of Disco Dust creating a sparkly and spooky look. The perfect part of this cocktail, you can skip the alcohol and it still will look the same.
Halloween Signature Cocktail
4 parts Sprite (or any other lemon-lime pop)
.5 parts Grenadine
1.5 parts Cherry flavored Vodka (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher and keep chilled. Place a cherry in every glass and let your guests pour their own drinks when they arrive and refill as desired.

Spider Web Cupcakes

The Thirteen Nights of Halloween is in full swing on ABC Family. In anticipation of Halloween I invited a couple girlfriends over on Saturday to watch Hocus Pocus. I wanted to make a treat that would be thematic, but not too cheesy. I settled on cupcakes, but with a twist. They’re chocolate cupcakes with homemade chocolate buttercream, topped with a white chocolate spider web, a “bloody” cherry infused center and finished with a plastic spider on top.

Apple Crunch

Ever since I went apple picking a few weeks back, I haven’t really made any recipes that feature apples besides apple fritters and gourmet caramel apples. However, the temperature dipped into the 30’s over the weekend making it the perfect opportunity to turn on the oven. I decided on apple crunch; a sweet and gooey inside like an apple pie with a crunchy cake-like topping, a scoop of vanilla ice cream from Sarris paired with pumpkin carving made for the quintessential fall evening. 

Apple Crunch
Ingredients
4 to 6 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup sugar + 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon; combined
1 tablespoon butter, cut in small pieces

Topping
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg

Directions
1. Mix apples and cinnamon sugar mixture together. Place in a greased 8 inch glass baking dish and add at butters pieces.
2. Combine topping ingredeients, stir until blended and spread over apples.
3. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until topping has cooked. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

How To: Create a Rope Braid

Michigan’s weather is always unpredictable. With fall comes countless days of windblown hair. Braids are the perfect way to counterbalance a windy day. A rope or unicorn braid is my recent favorite; it takes only minutes to make, and still looks adorable after a breezy day.
1. begin with semi straightened hair (mine was very wind blown) and grab two small sections at your crown.
 2. place the right piece of hair over the left and repeat again.
 3. add some hair to the right and left section section, and then place the right section over the left.
4. continue adding hair to each side and crossing the right section over the left. add a hair tie when finished. 

Snapshots


{World Series Bound}
There is no better way to end a week than with the Tigers sweeping the Yankees, and putting us into the World Series. My voice is completely shot now, and will probably continue especially after the Michigan/Michigan State game on Saturday. What are your weekend plans?
 {cider & donuts at Yates Cider Mill}
 {cutest Jack-O-Lantern candle from Stephens' Candlery}
 {stomping through the leaves}
{Zoya Ornate + nail art designs}

Autumn Leaf Sugar Cookies

When fall arrives, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is my favorite place to be for a picturesque color display. After a recent tunnel of trees color tour I became inspired to incorporate the colors I had seen, and decided to create some leaves of my own in the form of sugar cookies.  Make up a batch of your favorite sugar cookies, frost them, and allow the cookies to harden over night. Using edible color markers draw veins onto the leaves; allow 30 minutes to dry. Spray leaves with Wilton Color Mist -yellow followed by orange and lastly red.(I bought the edible markers and color mist at Michaels)
{this is what they will look like while they are wet}