Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weekend Kitchen: Candy Corn Fudge

It's the last week of October.  Can you believe it?  I can't!  I feel like it should be the last week of August!  I was going through my blog archives this weekend and came across this recipe (originally posted here in October 2011).  I thought I'd re-post it because it seems like the perfect treat to make this week for Halloween. I just love how festive it looks and it's delicious too.

I found this recipe while browsing through Woman's Day Magazine.  Click here for the original recipe.
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups white chocolate chips (about 18 oz)
- 2 cups mini pretzels or broken pretzel pieces
- 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1 cup candy corn
1.  Line an 8- or 9-in. square pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides.
2.  Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes; beat in the vanilla.
3.  Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave according to package directions.
4.  Add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in the pretzels and cherries (or cranberries). Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and top with the candy corn.   To make the fudge look a little prettier, I also added more cranberries and pretzels to the top.  Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
5.  Using the overhangs, transfer the fudge to a cutting board and cut into 1-in. pieces. Serve in mini cupcake liners, if desired.  Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weekend Kitchen: Beef, Bacon & Mushroom Ragu

Now that fall is upon us and the weather has turned chilly (at least here in Michigan), I have been craving hearty, comfort foods.  This ragu made for a perfect Sunday dinner on a chilly day.  Recipe adapted from the September 2014 issue of Rachel Ray Magazine.

2 tablespoons EVOO                        
1/4 pound lean bacon or pancetta, chopped                        
1/4 pound cremini or portabella mushrooms, chopped                        
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme                        
1 bay leaf
1 pound ground beef                        
1 medium onion, minced                        
2 - 3 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 pound pasta (I used orecchiette)                      
2 tablespoons butter
Freshly grated Parmesan

I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven for the first time to make this dish - I loved cooking with it!

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2.  In a deep skillet or large saucepan, heat the EVOO over medium-high. Add the bacon and cook until the fat melts, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf. Cook until the mushrooms brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
3.  Partially cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, then reduce the heat to low and let the ragu simmer while the pasta cooks.
4.  Salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and the cooking water back to the hot pot. Toss with half the ragu and the butter; season. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Try this dish for dinner on a chilly fall day - You'll love it!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Minted Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and entered the giveaway.  I used random.org to select a winner.  Comment #11 is the lucky winner of the $150 credit to Minted!
Congrats AshleyI hope you have fun deciding how to use your $150!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Latte: Homemade & All Natural

It's Fall y'all.  That means it time to start enjoying all things pumpkin, right?  I really enjoy pumpkin spice lattes but have never been a huge fan of the Starbucks version { Especially after this article came out.  Yuck! }.  So, I was happy to see this recipe in the October 2014 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine.  This recipe is simple, delicious, and best of all, you know exactly what is going into it!

- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- coffee
- organic milk, warmed
- whipped cream, if desired
- cinnamon, if desired

1.  In a sauce pan, combine sugar, water, pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.  Stir until ingredients are combined.  Simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes.

2.  Remove from heat.  Strain twice.  Syrup may be kept for up to a month in the refrigerator.

3.  Add desired amount of milk to coffee cup, add 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin syrup, add coffee and stir.  If desired, top with whipped cream and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.  Enjoy!



I've linked this post to DIY by Design:
- Fall into Fall Party
- A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

$150 Minted Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday, friends.  I'm excited to offer this giveaway to you today.  Minted is generously offering one 33 Shades of Green reader a $150 credit! 

I was really excited when I was contacted by Minted, wondering if I would like to review one of their gorgeous Limited Edition Art Prints.  They offer so many beautiful prints!  I've always known Minted for their cards ,and wasn't even aware of the large selection of art prints. Wow, did I ever have a hard time deciding!  There are literally hundreds of options.

I finally settled on this beautiful print from Emily Jeffords.  I have been a fan of hers since coming across her work on Instagram last year.  Her work is stunning! 

I selected the size I wanted along with the type of frame (the prints are available framed or unframed).  A few days later, my package arrived from Minted.  I liked that the print was framed, and all ready to go!

I am displaying the print on built in bookshelves located in our second story hallway.  I think it's right at home here next to two vases of driftwood.  Have I mentioned that I have become a bit of a driftwood collector since moving to the beach?  I can't seem to take a walk on the beach without coming home with handfuls of driftwood!

Even though the print is not of the beach, it somehow reminds me of all the beautiful clouds and storms we see here rolling in over the water.

Driftwood love :)

$150 Minted Credit Giveaway:
To enter:  Leave a comment on this post.  If you do not have an account, please select the 'Anonymous' option.  Please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so that I will be able to contact you if you are the winner.  One person will receive a $150 credit to Minted.  A winner will be selected by random on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

In the meantime, visit Minted and check out their beautiful cards and art prints for yourself!

* Minted provided this print to me in exchange for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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