The Project Board – A Look Back

Today marks 6 years since I started my blog. I’ve found it very helpful to keep track of how I’ve done things throughout the years like how I made curtains or a certain recipe. I don’t otherwise mark a lot of this down and it’s been helpful to be able to come back and follow a recipe that I liked a few years ago. I hope you’ve also found it helpful to read some of my blog posts and be able to come back to things you liked.

My most popular posts are:

Slide1Bathroom Before and After posted on October 14, 2012 has 7,420 views, most of which come from Pinterest.  The bathroom looks exactly the same now as it did then, except it now has a shower curtain instead of glass doors. We’re talking about replacing the baseboard next year but otherwise have no plans for changes.

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DIY Curtains posted on December 12, 2012 with 4,369 views. I made the curtains to go in our bedroom as pictured right but they have since moved to our home office. I replaced them with black-out curtains because we got tired of our neighbor’s flood lights keeping us up at night. Our bedroom is currently going through some renovations and I will post pictures of that by the end of the year.  My 3rd most popular post has been the Bedroom Makeover Pictures that go along with the DIY curtains.


My personal favorites are:

Buffet1_wordsRefinished Buffet posted on July 14, 2015.  I still can’t quite believe my luck at finding this on the side of the road out with the trash. I worked really hard on this and it was worth it. People compliment it when they come over and are often surprised to hear that we didn’t buy it new. Actually, the only furniture in our house that we bought new is the couch, coffee table, and end tables in our living room. Everything else was either given, bought at Goodwill, or found on the side of the street like the buffet. I am getting to the point, though, that I’m willing to spend some money on new furniture, especially because I think new furniture would look great with the renovations we’ve made on the house recently.  There are two things I’d really like to have soon and that is a new dining room table and a big, comfy chair for our entry way.

Here is what our buffet looks like now –
Buffet_UpdateI made the tray at Board and Brush.  If you haven’t checked them out, you should.  They have locations all over the U.S.

Floors
DIY – Installing Hardwood Floors, posted on March 18, 2018.  As you can tell from the picture on the right (and from the post), we installed hardwood floors throughout our house and also replaced all of the trim and baseboards. The two of us (my husband and I) did all of the work. In the “after” picture, we still need to do some touch-ups on the bay window and put the shelves back on the bookcase behind the couch. But we think it looks a lot better than the early 1990s carpet we had before (no offense to 1990s carpet).

 

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My Starter Story, posted on January 18, 2015.  I like this post because it bring back memories and reminds me how much progress we’ve made on the house.  After we are finished with installing the hardware floors, new baseboard, and trim, it will be fun to look at before and after pictures again.  Soon the bedrooms will have new trim, new closet doors, new interior doors, and new carpet so I’m looking forward to before and after pictures of those changes.  It’s also interesting to look back and see some of the decorative decisions we’ve made and how things have changed even since 2015.  The picture to the right is a reminder that one should always, ALWAYS spend the $3 to get a sample before deciding on a paint color.

 

IMG_1691Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, posted on December 2, 2012.  One of my co-workers gave me this recipe and it is one of my favorites.  It makes a few dozen so it’s easy to give them to family and friends, especially around the holidays.
Thank you to all who follow my blog!  I really appreciate it.

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

It may be a tad early for pumpkin-flavored things but the colder-than-average temperatures have put me in the mood to bake fall favorites.

I found a recipe for pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies online and, after reading some of the comments, decided to make some changes to the recipe.  My cookies turned out less chewy than regular snickerdoodle cookies and more soft and pillowy.  I took some to work and I received a lot of compliments and requests for the recipe.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (not packed)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (this helps make the cookies soft. I use them in chocolate chip cookies, too)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For rolling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Instructions

Combine flour, cornstarch, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.  Set aside.

Cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until just combined.  Mix in egg yolk, then pumpkin and vanilla extract.  Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for 45-60 minutes. Without this step, the dough is too sticky to roll.

Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit during last 10 minutes of chilling  In small box, mix 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon.  Scoop dough out in 1 or 1.5 rounded tablespoons and roll dough in cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated then transfer to baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.  Bake in preheated oven 12-14 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter

We’re going to a New Year’s Eve party tonight, so I thought I’d make some cookies to bring.  I decided to try the peanut butter cookies that my mom made for Christmas and I also used my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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For the chocolate chip cookies, I used a recipe I found on Marsha’s Baking Addition.  I img_2907_croppedfound this recipe about two years ago and it’s the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve used since.  I like it because it makes 15-18 cookies and therefore I can whip up a batch real quickly.  They also have a secret ingredient (corn starch) that makes the cookies soft in the middle.  Everyone who tries them asks for the recipe.

I have to keep my cookies in the oven for the full 13 minutes and I also don’t bother with refrigerating them before baking.  I find that they’re plenty thick without it.

 

 

For the peanut butter cookies, I used a recipe from Rachel Schultz.  I don’t usually make img_2908_croppedpeanut butter cookies, but I really liked the ones my mom made so I wanted to make them too.  I like that they have a bit of a grainy quality to them. I’m not sure how they get like that – I think maybe this recipe calls for a bit more peanut butter than others.  I followed the recipe as written on her website except I have to keep my cookies in the oven for 11 minutes.  For the peanut butter, I used the Bee’s Knees which is a flavor made by the Peanut Butter & Co.  It’s organic (which I’ve heard isn’t ideal for making cookies), but they still turned out great.

I hope you enjoy whatever you have planned for tonight. Happy New Year!

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Christmas Delights

I hope the holidays are going well for you so far.  For Christmas, I made a few items I thought I’d share with you.

The first is pillow cheesecake that was inspired by this one from Tartelette. img_2898-copyInstead of their chocolate shortbread crust, I made a traditional crust (2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 5 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, mix and press to the bottom of a 10 inch spring form and bake for 8-10 minute at 350F).  I also did not use the caramel sauce.  I have used it previously, but I just didn’t want to mess with it this time.  I followed the directions for the cheesecake batter as written on the Tartelette blog except I think I cooked it an hour and a half at 350F instead of 325F.  I added chocolate and raspberries on top of a few slices, but the cheesecake is amazing served plain as well.  In fact, I think that’s how I prefer it.  If you like cheesecake, I recommend giving this recipe a try.

img_2837_copyThe next thing I made are these ranch oyster crackers which are a holiday tradition.  They’re super easy to make and most people to enjoy them.  I used this recipe posted on All Recipes website.  I did not use the lemon pepper or garlic powder which are optional ingredients. I put the crackers in a large mason jar and  I added a Christmas tag and twine to make it look more festive.

img_2842-copyNext, I made two loaves of zucchini bread following this recipe I posted on my blog last year.  After they cooled, I wrapped each loaf in plastic wrap and tied twine and a Christmas tag around them.

My mom made peanut butter cookies for my family’s Christmas but she had to make a second batch because she and my dad ate the original before everyone came over.  My mother-in-law made some really amazing spinach dip that had bacon in it.

Which holiday recipe does your family enjoy the most?

 

 

Zucchini Bread Recipe

I didn’t wait long after the start of fall to make some zucchini bread.  This recipe is a combination of recipes I’ve seen online and one that my mother-in-law gave to me a few weeks ago.

IMG_0181Ingredients
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1.75 cups of sugar (most recipes call for 2 cups, so you can add more if you’d like)
– 1 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. cinnamon (sometimes I add 3 tsp if I want more of a cinnamon taste)
– 1 tsp. baking soda
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1 cup of oil (I used 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce to reduce calories)
– 3 eggs
– 2 tsp. vanilla
– 2 cups of grated zucchini

Directions
Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Mix together dry ingredients and add oil, eggs, vanilla, and grated zucchini and stir until combined.  Pour batter (about  2.5 cups each) in to two greased bread pans and bake for 55-70 minutes.  Bread is done when toothpick comes out clean.  I leave mine in for 70 minutes.

Then, share with friends
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Or keep them for yourself.  Enjoy!
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3 Year Blogiversary!

I created the project board exactly 3 years ago today.  I’d like to highlight some of my favorite posts from the past year.

Click on the picture to be taken to that post.

  1. Autumn Leaves – October 3, 2014
    October2. 2015 Calendar – December 10, 2014January
    3. Coffee Chocolate Cake – January 11, 2015

    Coffee_Cake4. My Starter Story – January 18, 2015
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    5. I Made Bread! – January 19, 2015
    IMG_633426.  Foggy Day – March 10, 2015
    IMG_64217. Refinished Buffet – July 14, 2015
    Buffet1_words8. Moths and Butterflies – July 25, 2015

    moth9. Morning Light – August 28, 2015
    IMG_976010. I Opened an Etsy Shop! – August 30, 2015
    CongratsDots1You can see the highlights from my first and second year of blogging are also available.

    Thanks to everyone who has followed me over the past three years!

I Made Bread!

I made a loaf of bread today using yeast and everything!

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That might sound trivial to many of you, but this is the first time I’ve ever used yeast.  In fact, when I was in Home Economics in the 8th grade, we learned about yeast and had to make pizza crust. But guess who forgot to add the yeast to her crust?  So, I’ve literally never used it until today.

Anyhow, I found the recipe on the blog Oddles of Glitter and it looked so delicious I gave it a try right away.

First, I mixed together 2 teaspoons yeast, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon oil and let the ingredients sit for about 10 minutes until it looked foamy.
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Then I added in 3 cups of flour and kneaded the bread for a couple of minutes.  I honestly had no idea what I was doing.

I guessed that this looked okay

I guessed that this looked okay

I put the dough in a bowl and let it rise for about an hour.  After that, I kneaded it more, shaped it, and laid it in a greased bread pan.

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I was a tad worried because I wasn’t sure if it had risen enough.

I then heated the oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and baked it for 30 minutes.

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Hey, it worked!

I waited about 40 minutes for it to cool down before cutting in to it.  It was delicious!  Oh, don’t forget to add some salt before you bake the dough.  I sprinkled some, but it could have used a bit more.