Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cinnamon Buttermilk Coffee Cake

Happy Easters peeps! {Get it - peeps, because today is Easter?} I hope it's been a great one for you so far! I don't know about you, but sometimes - I'm not a very good planner. Meaning, I leave everything that there is to do until the very last second. That's why when I saw this coffee cake recipe, I knew it needed to be a part of my recipe repertoire. For two reasons actually: 1 - It sounded delicious. 2 - It's one of those recipes where you're most likely to already have everything for it in your house. {Which, I did.} Score!


I thought this would be a perfect recipe for all of you Easter brunch goers. It takes less than an hour to whip up and it's definitely one of those foods that everyone will love!

Ingredients:
  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 & 1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk {Sour milk can be by placing 4 tsp. lemon juice in a 2-cup measuring cup and adding enough milk to make 1 & 1/3 cups total. Let sit for 5 minutes before using.}
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. milk

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F if using a nonstick pan or 325°F if using a glass dish.
  2. Grease a bundt cake or 9x13 inch pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and salt.
  4. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. {Or, if you're like me and don't have a pastry blender - stick it all in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk away.} Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture.
  5. Stir baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining crumb mixture.
  6. In a medium bowl combine eggs and buttermilk.
  7. Add egg mixture all at once to cinnamon mixture, stirring just until moistened.
  8. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan or dish.
  9. If using a 9x13 inch pan, sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup crumb mixture over the batter.
  10. Bake for 32-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  11. If you used a bundt cake pan, sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup crumb mixture over warm cake.
  12. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
  13. Spoon evenly over your coffee cake.
  14. Serve warm with fruit and/or scrambled eggs.

Be sure to try and save some for everyone else. ;) Again, Happy Easter and may we all remember the reason for this truly glorious day.

-Sarah

Linking up here.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hop Into Spring: 15 Great Spring and Easter Ideas

Hop Into Spring: 15 Great Spring and Easter Ideas

I've teamed up with some of my favorite bloggers to share a round up of some great Spring and Easter crafts, DIYs and recipes! Just what you need to find all kinds of amazing inspiration just in time for Easter! Make sure you take a second and stop by to visit these amazing bloggers and check out their great ideas! **Note: When pinning, pretty please pin directly from the original blog. Just click on the links or image and pin away!!**

DIY Easter Coloring Pack

Rainbow Fruit Salad with Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip

No Sew Easter Baskets

Kentucky Derby Wreath

Adorable Easter Cupcakes

Spring Pinwheel Wreath

Easter Hors D'oeuvres Party

White Chocolate M&M's Pudding Cookies

Glitter Bunny Easter Jar DIY

Chocolate Easter Bunny Cards


Robin's Egg Nests

Berry Gift Basket

Lemon-Chess-Bread-Pudding

Free Easter Printable Pack
Free Easter Printable Pack at Kiki & Company

Enjoy! And happy Easter/Spring!!

-Sarah

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Work It Wednesday {#21}

Welcome back to Work It Wednesday! I made a goal this morning that I'm not going to eat any candy today and it's pretty much killing me right about now. Does anybody else find that they have way more naughty cravings in the evening than they do at any other time of day? I think that's all I've eaten for the past four nights for dinner is candy. Which then gives me heartburn. And makes me feel like poop squish. And then I dislike being pregnant. And I don't want to dislike being pregnant! 

I really can't complain about my pregnancy thus far. It's been fabulous! And I know what you're all thinking - "Just wait until your back starts aching and your feet swell and you can't sleep at night and...blah blah blah...". I know that things aren't as bad as they're going to get. After all, I'm only at 23 weeks! But to those people I say - let me enjoy being pregnant and don't force me to focus on the negative aspects of it. In between all that complaining, you may have forgotten that you're growing a human being!! Sheesh!

Anyway, enough of my rants and raves! Let's get this party started, shall we? Last week's most clicked link was:

Loaded Chicken and Bacon Tater Tot Casserole from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

I about died when I saw that this was tater tot casserole. My mom would make it for us all the time growing up and when I would try to explain it to my friends, they looked at me like I had rocks for brains. Apparently, the whole world doesn't know what tater tot casserole is, but I do and I love it! This spin off looks amazing too!

My favorite features for the week are:

Lemon Sticky Rolls from Dessert Now, Dinner Later

Healthy Blended Banana Ice Cream from Cook and Craft Me Crazy

Carrot Cake Muddy Buddies from Whats's Cooking, Love?

Bored Bottle from Hemming the Edges

Knit Headbands from Forever Faith and Food

Easter Grass and Burlap Wreath from Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Easy Guacamole from Lemondrops and Cupcakes

Thank you everyone for participating in Work It Wednesday! You're all so talented! If you were featured, be sure to grab yourself a featured button here! Now...let's get down to the nitty gritty. All I ask is that you remember 3 simple rules:

#1 - Link up anything and everything {recipes, crafts, projects, tutorials, etc.} that has been made by you. I don't care what it is as long as it isn't a shop, giveaway, advertisement, link party or something of the like.

#2 - Please link back to us in some way, shape, or form. I understand how annoying this can be sometimes, so I've made a lovely super ugly button {I know, I'm working on it. Give me some time.} for you to put on your blog. You can also put a text link at the end of your post or even put our link in your party page. Just please give credit where credit is deserved!

High Heels and Grills


#3 - Please please PLEASE don't link and run. The whole point of a link party is to make connections and friends with people. Put a stop to selfish blogging right now and make someone's day by commenting on at least two blogs! 

If after doing these 3 things, you decide you want to subscribe to us via E-mail, like us on Facebook, or follow us on PinterestTwitter, or Instagram, I definitely would not object! Thank you all. With that being said, work it friends and show me what you've got!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Beef Stroganoff

Welcome to Man Monday.

Did you know that Food Network dubbed Stroganoff as the ultimate comfort food? Well, I happen to agree with them. Nothing says "home" quite like a warm plate of this stuff. In fact, this was my most requested mom-created meal growing up.

Usually when I want to create a meal, I'll find a recipe that I like and have at it. I might even change a couple of ingredients just to tweak it to my liking. Not this time. This time I went out on a limb and decided to make the entire thing from scratch, out of my own brain muscles. You know, brain muscles... The muscles in your brain that make creation possible? No? Whatev. They are real.


My brain muscles came up with this wonderful recipe, and it's AWESOME. I really am so proud. Not very often have I just thought up a recipe and ended up licking the plate after eating it. No joke.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 lb beef (steak) chunks
  • 1 tablespoon onion salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 cup chopped or diced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • a dash of nutmeg (I say 1/4 teaspoon, but the Mrs. claims that's too much...)
  • Whatever you want to serve it on - pasta, rice, your palm, whatever.

Directions:
  1. Heat up your olive oil in a skillet (a big enough skillet to fit all the meat, onion, and mushrooms). Add your onion and garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic for about a minute.
  2. Season your beef chunks with the onion salt, salt, and pepper. It may seem like a lot of seasoning, but believe me, the beef will need it. Add the seasoned beef to the onions and garlic. 
  3. When the beef is browned, add the mushrooms and continue to cook on medium for about 2-3 minutes. Set this mixture aside.
  4. In a separate pan, melt the butter. Add your flour and bring to a light bubble (very technical term). Then whisk in your milk. Let this mixture reduce/thicken on medium heat just a little. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the sour cream and nutmeg. Add the meat concoction to the sauce and mix well.
  5. Add salt to taste. It will probably need it if you didn't season stuff throughout.

Serve on a starch of your choice. Then lick the plate afterwards. I'm dead serious.

-Zach

Linking up here.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Adorable Easter Cupcakes

I don't know about you, but I've been loving the cute Easter ideas that are all over Pinterest right now. There are some really creative people out there! Since Zachary had to work all day and all night yesterday, I decided I wanted to play along with this theme and make some adorable Easter cupcakes of my own! I know that a lot of people like a good made-from-scratch cupcake recipe, but I cheated for this idea and just used a box mix. I know - total cop out - but with all the other accessories that go along with this, I decided I just didn't want to be in the kitchen all day ya know? I hope you don't judge me and just roll with the punches.


I saw this idea on my aunt's blog a few years ago and fell in love with it! I couldn't get over how adorable those carrots are. I attempted once before to make these to take to fellow neighbors and it was a holy disaster. I was so frustrated that I ended up throwing all the cupcakes away before even trying them. Apparently, I've learned a lot in two years, because I thought they didn't turn out half bad this year!

Ingredients:
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix {don't forget to include all the required ingredients on the back of the box!}
  • 1 {8 oz} block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup {1 stick} butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • green food coloring
  • About 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 24-36 orange starbursts {Depending on how many carrots you want in each cupcake}
  • 1 rope of Green Apple Twizzlers Pull N' Peel

Directions:
  1. Make cupcakes according to package directions and let cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Add butter and mix well.
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides periodically.
  6. Add about 10 drops green food coloring or until desired color; set aside.
  7. In a small bowl mix coconut flakes and water.
  8. Add enough green food coloring until coconut is completely coated; set aside.
  9. Unwrap starbursts and cut all of them in half. 
  10. Place startbursts on a plate and heat for 15 seconds.
  11. Roll each starburst half into the shape of a carrot. {You may need to reheat them for about ten seconds if they get too hard again to work with.}
  12. With a steak knife or a BBQ skewer, make a hole in the top of each carrot.
  13. Cut your Twizzlers into 1/4 inch pieces and pull apart.
  14. Place a couple Twizzlers pieces in the hole of your carrot and form the startburst around them to seal it.
  15. With a knife, slightly cut a few indents into each carrot to add a little texture.
  16. Now for the assembly - frost each cupcake with your green frosting.
  17. Spring the desired amount of coconut on top.
  18. Place 2-3 carrots into the cupcake to resemble carrots growing in the grass and dirt.

I hope you enjoy this cute little Easter creation!

-Sarah

Linking up here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Skinny Banana Pancakes

If you haven't heard Jack Johnson's song "Banana Pancakes" then you need to go listen to it. Right here. Right now. This song inspired some awesome times in my college life. Ya see - my junior year, I lived with some of my very best friends. We loved hanging out so much that we even decided to move all of our beds into one room, so we could have a sleepover every night:


Best. Decision. Ever. Those really were some of my favorite memories. Anyway, back to Jack Johnson - I'm really not a huge JJ fan, but I do love the song "Banana Pancakes". So much that my roommates and I made it a weekly tradition to have a banana pancakes night with our apartment complex. We even wrote on the sidewalks with chalk to advertise it. While these pancakes are a much healthier version of the pancakes we would make, they still taste just as great! {With half the amount of calories too!}


Adapted from Food.com
Ingredients:
  • 1 & 1/2 bananas
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 cup instant oatmeal, uncooked
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 dash cinnamon {optional}

Directions:
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender on high for about 30 seconds.
  2. Spray a griddle or skillet with non-stick spray.
  3. Place about 1/4 cup of batter on griddle over medium-low heat.
  4. Cook until bubbles begin to form and then flip.
  5. Cook other side for about a minute or until it begins to brown.
  6. Serve with bananas, syrup, whipped cream, or other favorite pancake toppings.

This recipe will make about 6-8 pancakes with each pancake being around 100 calories. Not bad if I do say so myself!

-Sarah

Linking up here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Work It Wednesday {#20}

Hey world wide web peeps! Welcome back to another week of Work It Wednesday! Did y'all have a fun St. Patty's Day? I've never gotten into this holiday much besides the whole wearing green thing. But this year? Things were different. Zachary and I have made it a tradition that every St. Patrick's Day, we'll get 50 bucks to spend on some new shoes. I had no idea how far $50 could go until I checked out Shoe Carnival and got two pairs of boots and a pair of flats all for only 39 dollars!! I about died. There's just something about finding good deals that makes my heart so happy.

Then I couldn't pass up the chance to make my Sunday School kids some cute St. Patty's Day cupcakes!

{Follow me on Instagram! @Sarah_Highheelsandgrills}

They all loved them and I didn't think they turned out half bad! What would we do without all these fun holidays that give us a reason to do things a little out of the ordinary?

So last week's most viewed link is probably one that will help all of us that are trying not to eat out very much. How about a few copycat recipes??

30 Favorite Copycat Recipes from Semi Homemade Mom

I'm definitely going to try my hand at some of these. Zachary and I love eating out but 1 - we hate how much it costs and 2 - we hate feeling like little piggies afterwards. I can't wait to try these!

As for my favorite links, here they are {in no particular order}:

Simple Star Wars T-shirt Tutorial from Just Another Day in Paradise

Mini Almost Tarts from Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl

Easy Mini Grasshopper Pies from Butter, With a Side of Bread

Reclaimed Furniture Tutorial from The Vintage Barn

Painted Vase Gift Idea from Thrifty Homemaking

Guilt-Free Hazelnut Spread from Sweet C's Designs

These all look amazing, friends! I am super impressed by your skills! If you were featured, be sure to grab yourself a featured button here! Now...let's get down to the nitty gritty. All I ask is that you remember 3 simple rules:

#1 - Link up anything and everything {recipes, crafts, projects, tutorials, etc.} that has been made by you. I don't care what it is as long as it isn't a shop, giveaway, advertisement, link party or something of the like.

#2 - Please link back to us in some way, shape, or form. I understand how annoying this can be sometimes, so I've made a lovely super ugly button {I know, I'm working on it. Give me some time.} for you to put on your blog. You can also put a text link at the end of your post or even put our link in your party page. Just please give credit where credit is deserved!

High Heels and Grills


#3 - Please please PLEASE don't link and run. The whole point of a link party is to make connections and friends with people. Put a stop to selfish blogging right now and make someone's day by commenting on at least two blogs! 

If after doing these 3 things, you decide you want to subscribe to us via E-mail,  follow us on Pinterest, like us on Facebook, or follow us onTwitter, I definitely would not object! Thank you all. With that being said, work it friends and show me what you've got!!

Caramel Popcorn

Looking back, I don't know how my mom survived sometimes. My dad had various duties in our church growing up, making it impossible to always sit with us on Sundays. So, that left my mom trying to take six kids {all within eight years of each other} to church on her own - which I'm sure was more of a chore than most people can handle. If one kid wasn't pulling another one's hair because he stole their crayons, then she had three kids begging and whining and pleading for her to tickle their backs - that was tough to do with only two hands. I can't help but laugh out of pure shame for what we put her through at times. My parents are smart though. They had some tricks of their own. Cue "the reverence award". That sounds pretty self-explanatory right? If we were reverent during church, we got an award. Simple enough. It was always a sad day when we weren't reverent though and we were banned from the goodies that would be enjoyed by the rest of the family that night. We had all kinds of stuff - Dad's famous strawberry shortcake, ice cream sundaes, apple crisp, white chocolate chip cookies, but my most favorite of all was caramel popcorn.


The best part about helping to make this delicious treat was getting to lick the spatula after using it to pour in the sweetened condensed milk. We would fight over that thing like cats and dogs. Then, after all was said and done, we would about die in anticipation, when having to wait for it all to cool, so we didn't burn our tongues. You have got to make this pronto!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup karo syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 extra strong prayer for continued health after eating this {added by the mister}

Directions:
  • Pop popcorn in an air popper; divide into two large bowl and set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and syrup. Stir until sugar is dissolved and let boil one minute.
  • Add butter. Once butter is completely melted, let boil for one minute again.
  • Add sweetened condensed milk and stir well. Bring to boil and let boil for one minute.
  • Divide and pour caramel evenly between the two bowls of popcorn and stir well to lightly coat each kernel.
  • Enjoy your yummy, delicious treat!

I'm a little ashamed to admit this, but in college, my best friend {Kaitlyn from mister b. and me} and I would have sleepovers and we would make an entire bowl of caramel popcorn for each of us, eat it until we wanted to throw up, and then wake up the next morning and finish it off. Oh to live like a hooligan again. ;) I hope you fall in love with this just as much as we did. Maybe if you're lucky, it will become a family favorite of your own!

-Sarah

Linking up here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Homemade Marinara Sauce

Welcome to Man Monday!

If you haven't figured it out by now, I love making my own stuff. It's a challenge! I think to myself, "I bet I could make that, and it would taste awesome." Then I go prove/disprove it to myself. This recipe I PROVED.



This recipe makes about 2 cups-ish of sauce (enough for two pizzas).

Ingredients
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes (I like my sauce chunky... if you don't, blend/chop them up more)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh oregano, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a pot and mix. Bring sauce to a boil while stirring frequently, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. The funny thing about this easy recipe is there IS NO SECOND STEP! It's that easy.

We used this recipe to make a pizza (stay tuned for that recipe!) and we used it as a dip for breadsticks. For both experiences, it was a screamin' success. Next time, I'll try it on spaghetti!

-Zach

Linking up here.