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Gingersnap Cookies

Gingersnap Cookies

Let's be honest, I don't know what's better - the smell of your house while these are baking or the way they taste once they are finished!  I could literally eat an entire plate in one sitting.  The key ingredient here is Molasses which makes these chewy instead of hard.  

They are the perfect cookie for the Holiday season to take as a guest, a cookie exchange or to serve your company when they come over.

Enjoy!

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 Cups of Flour

1 TBSP ground Ginger

2 TSP Baking Soda

1 TSP Cinnamon

1/4 TSP Salt

3/4 cup Butter

1 Cup Light Brown Sugar

1 Egg

1/2 Cup Molasses

WHAT YOU DO:

Mix together Butter, Egg and Molasses with electric mixer 

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until creamy

Refrigerate dough for 2 hours

Let dough stand at room temperature for 10 - 15 minutes (to soften)

Take a spoonful of dough and roll into a small ball

Roll ball in a bowl of white sugar

Place on greased Baking sheet and press gently with the base of a fork (you want to just press enough so you see the 3 fork lines in the dough)

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 min 

Eat!

 

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The best ever apple pie

The best ever apple pie

It's almost like I make my way through the meal just to get to this dessert!  It's that amazing!  It was always on every Holiday table we had and the recipe has been passed down to me and now I pass it on to you!  

WHAT YOU DO:

Spray pie dish with cooking spray to prevent sticking

Add 1 bottom pie shell (I like Pillsbury roll out ones from the refrigerator section)

FILLING: (mix together in one large bowl and spread out evenly in pie shell)

2/3 Cup of Brown Sugar

1/4 Tsp each of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Salt

1 Tbsp of Cornstarch

5 Cups of Peeled, Sliced GRANNY SMITH apples (about 6 or 7)

Once the above ingredients have been mixed together and put into pie shell...

Cover the top with 1 cup of Sour Cream, try to spread out evenly

CRUMB TOPPING: - use fingers to crumble together

In medium bowl combine

1 Cup of Flour

6 Tbsp of White Sugar

6 Tbsp of Brown Sugar

1 Tsp of Salt

1/2 Cup (1 stick) of Soft Butter (not melted! - you need it to hold a form)

Using your hand, mix the above ingredients together until it forms "crumbles"

Sprinkle on top of filling, evenly covering the top of the pie - this replaces the need for a top pie crust

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, cover crust with foil or pie shields to prevent burning, reduce heat to 350 and continue to cook until apples start to bubble.  Let stand at least 20-30 minutes.  

What's a pie guard?  You can buy disposable ones at places like Walmart or you can buy re-usable ones at kitchen stores or walmart.

 Disposable - Found at Walmart

 Reusable - Found on Amazon

Or you can trace the circle of your pie dish on tin foil before you start and cut out your own!

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Split pea and smoked ham soup

Split pea and smoked ham soup

It's finally Fall weather around these parts which in our home means SOUP, SOUP and MORE SOUP!  

There are lots of variations of traditional pea soup - I like using a smoke ham because it adds an extra touch of flavor.  

Please PLEASE don't add salt until after you have tasted the finished product.  Usually your ham will already have enough salt that you won't need any extra!  I only add fresh ground pepper to mine at the end.

Also, sift through the split peas you buy and look for tiny rocks (that can often be found) and remove before adding to the soup.

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 tbsp unsalted butter 

1/2 white onion, diced

2 celery ribs, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 pound of smoked ham, diced

1 bay leaf

1 pound dried split peas

1 quart chicken broth

2 & 1/2 cups water (you can always add more at the end if it seems to thick)

WHAT YOU DO:

Using a large soup pot, melt the butter

Add onion, celery and garlic and stir until onions are translucent, about 5 min

Add ham, bay leaf and split peas

Add chicken broth and water

Stir all together and let simmer 1 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until peas have split open and become mushy.

REMOVE bay leaf!!!

Top with fresh ground pepper

Enjoy!

XoXo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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butternut squash soup

butternut squash soup

This is a little twist on a tried and true recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.  Adding a touch of curry powder gives it a little kick without being over powering.  If you don't want to use the curry powder you can always leave it out but I think you will love it if you give it a try!  

A touch of honey makes it a little sweet without having to add sugar and the half & half gives it a thick texture. You can always substitute that with milk, heavy cream or even almond milk if that's your preference.

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 Tbsp unsalted Butter

1 medium White Onion, finely chopped

4 cloves minced Garlic

4 Cups Chicken Broth

1 Butternut Squash - peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tsp Curry Powder

1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Half & Half (or milk or heavy cream)

1 & 1/2 Tbsp Honey

Possible Garnishes: Sour Cream, Green onion, Pomegranate Seeds

 

peel and seed a butternut squash, once it's peeled its very easy to cut

still LOVING my custom spiced jars! Organizing them alphabetically makes finding them so much quicker

WHAT YOU DO:

In a large soup pot melt butter over low heat

Add onion and garlic and stir until softened

Add chicken broth, squash cubes, curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt and stir

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until squash is tender - about 20 min

Remove from heat

Add half & half and honey

If you have a hand mixer you can just blend right in the pot until smooth

If using a blender, transfer half the mix into the blender and stir until smooth, empty and transfer second half.

This soup tastes great on its own but if you want to be fancy add a dollop of sour cream or pomegranate seeds for color!

Enjoy!

XoXo

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my favorite makeup

my favorite makeup

I've broken down all my favorites to spruce up my face!  Under each image, if you click on the "Click HERE" icon it will take you directly to a page to give you more info, pricing and ordering options for each one.

FACE:

Daytime

I don't usually wear foundation in the day.  Just some concealer and loose powder as a base.  Minimal shadow, eyeliner on my water line (the inside of your lower eye) and some bronzing powder and lipstick.  Since I have eyelash extensions I don't need to wear mascara or liner on my upper lid:

CONCEALER 

I had my make up done years ago and the make up artist used this one from Laura Mercier and I have never looked back!  I love the brush that goes with it too.  Usually I'll dampen the brush just a bit and mix the two colors together on it.  I use it under my eyes and blend it into the inner eye next to my nose.  I will also put it on the creases of my nose or anywhere else that seems red.

Click HERE 

Click HERE

LOOSE POWDER:

I don't remember ever using another loose powder.  I have probably had this in my makeup bag for 15 years (not the same one of course).  It comes in an array of color to match your skin tone, they have all the samples in store. After I have applied my concealer I use a kabuki brush (see below) and swirl it in the powder and then then onto my face.

MAC NC 40

Click HERE

POWDER BRUSH

I absolutely LOVE this Bare Minerals brush to apply powder!

Click HERE

BLUSH:

I will either do a blush OR a bronzer in the day - not both.

This blush is a long time favorite of mine!  The photo makes it look more bright pink than it is.  It truly goes with everything!

LORAC Baked Matte Satin Blush in Velvet Rope

Click HERE

POWDER BRONZER:

I've been a fan of this one since it came out from Bare Minerals!  Apply it with their bronzing brush for a perfect application.  When applying, I do my face in 2 halves.  I start at the top of my forehead and make a brush stroke like a number 3 from forehead, to nose, to chin.

Click HERE

BRONZING POWDER BRUSH:



Click HERE

HIGHLIGHTER

You know this is my current favorite!

Laura Geller Liquid Gelato Pillowtop Highlighter

Click HERE

Night time: (or special event)

BEFORE you even think about adding foundation to your face, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE use a primer!  It will create a thin base on your skin so your foundation goes on smooth, lasts longer and doesn't sit in your fine lines.  Some people love their primer so much they just use that on their skin and nothing else.  There are lots of great ones out there, some more oily than others so you may need to sample a few before finding the one that works best for you.  This is my current favorite from LANCOME:

Primer:

Click HERE

Foundation:

Do yourself a favor and stop using your fingers to apply foundation!  The Beauty Blender will change the battle you find yourself in with blending your makeup into your skin flawlessly!  Make sure you damped the sponge well before applying and rinse well after!

Click HERE

You already know this is my favorite foundation - it Cosmetics - but here are another few I love as well!

it Cosmetics CC foundation

Click HERE

it Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye

Click HERE

Makeup Forever HD foundation

Click HERE

Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundations

Click HERE

Night time Bronzer:

My absolute favorite from CHANEL!  You have to use something a bit damp to apply this product (in my opinion). I use my beauty blender and swirl the tip of it around in the product and then blend it into the edges of my forehead and down into my lower cheek bones.  With this bronzer I would also add a blush.

Click HERE 

Setting Powder:

Make up artists swear that you need to put a setting powder on top of your foundation in order to get the longest lasting result!  I don't always remember to do it but when i do I definitely notice a difference.  This one I love from NARS!

Click HERE 

Setting Spray:

Once you've actually gone to the effort of getting your "face on" the surest way to make it last is with a setting spray.  A few sprays on top of your makeup will ensure no smearing or running or fading through the day.  My Current favorite is from Urban Decay

Click HERE

EYES

So first!  I started getting eyelash extensions about a year ago and that has eliminated the need for mascara or eyeliner on my upper lid.  I did however have a favorite from when I used to use them.

My favorite EYE LINER!

This has been my tried and true, no others have ever compared - for years!  It does not run when you sweat and it stays put throughout the day.  It comes off easily with makeup remover.  I use it on my water line, the inside part of your lower eye.

Click HERE

Now that I have eyelash extensions, if I do want more makeup for night or an event I don't like to use a pencil because I worry it will pull the lashes off.  Instead, I take a brush made for eyeliner and wet it a bit and dab it in this powder and then press the powder on in a line across the top of my lashes.  This one is my fav!  MAC Carbon Matte powder.

Click HERE

Eyeshadow

Usually, I stick with a neutral palette.  Light color on the base and up to my eyebrow.  Medium color on my lid. For night I will add a darker color to the crease.  This palette from TOO FACED has you covered in every shade of neutral.  It takes the guess work out of what colors work together on your eye for the perfect shade combination.

Click HERE

Mascara

This one from LANCOME has been a favorite in my makeup bag forever!  Probably because it DOES NOT RUN, nor smear under your eyes! 

Click HERE

Lips

This is a hard one because lipstick looks different on everyone depending on your natural lip color, your skin tone and hair color - it truly is a personal preference!  I tend to go with rosie pinks, not bright - med to dark.  I don't love gloss because I can't stand my hair sticking to it!  My 2 favorites for the past couple of years have been REBEL ROSE from BUXOM and TWIG from MAC.

Click HERE for REBEL ROSE

Click HERE for TWIG

XoXO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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