Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Brown Butter Parmesan Chicken Linguine

This pasta dirties A LOT of dishes. And despite that horrifying image, I would make it again. 'Cause I liked it...I liked it A LOT. Unfortunately, Ryan was sick, all stuffed up, and couldn't taste anything, so he obviously didn't appreciate this pasta as much as I did. You best believe I had no problem finishing the leftovers all by myself. good.

Sweet caramelized onions, decadently rich brown butter, wine-soaked mushrooms, topped off with salty Parmesan = one kick-ass pasta! It's mighty delicious and definitely an indulgence. I tried to tell myself "well at least the pasta is whole-wheat."  It's that kind of thinking that led to these little love handles of mine. Oh well...I indulge, then I Zumba!

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Bling Box" for Little Ladies

Our friends' little girl turned 3 a few days ago and I wanted to make her something special for her birthday. The challenge was my limited budget and last-minute time crunch (my creative genius always likes to make its appearance at the last minute). I knew that she loved to play dress-up with her cousins. So I came up with the idea for a "bling box." 

This bling box has everything a little lady needs to accessorize her outfit - necklaces, bracelets, rings, sunglasses, and girly headbands. And it's made mostly from stuff I had around the house and items from the dollar store.

I used a hatbox, that I already had laying around the house, and personalized it with her name.
I used my Cricut to cut out the letters, then decoupaged them, as well as a blue strip on the side, onto the box using Mod Podge.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pink Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Our friend's little girl, Donna, turned three-years-old yesterday. I wanted to bring something fun, for her birthday dinner. So I glanced through my kitchen cabinets and came up with these little cuties. They incorporate 3 things, that I know, little girls love: sprinkles, chocolate, and pink!

You'll notice the recipe doesn't follow the traditional one on the Rice Krispies box. I've learned from Ryan's mom that one should always add more marshmallows and more butter. It's a little indulgent, I know. But, unless you're planning on eating the entire batch, it's not going to make that much of a difference in calories. At least that's what I tell myself.

They're cute, they're gooey and they were a hit even with the adults (including those who claim to "not be a sweets person"). The white chocolate adds a nice touch and you can change the color depending on the occasion (for example: green for St. Patty's Day that's coming up).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Red Velvet Rice Krispie Treats

I'm not a traditional sap when it comes to Valentine's Day. I'm not a red rose kind-of-gal, I don't understand adults receiving stuffed animals as gifts, and I can never seem to get past the first bite in a box of chocolates. Please don't think I'm a Valentine's Scrooge. I'm not...I promise. Hey, I was beyond giddy last year, when Ryan surprised me with a five-course meal at a French restaurant. At the same time, I'm not a gal that's incredibly disappointed just relaxing at home on Valentine's Day (screw the pressure to have some big extravagant plans). But I still like to do something small for my man: a homemade card, something chocolaty, just a little something to make him feel extra special. 

Unfortunately this year, some little microbes decided to invade my body on cupid's day and foil my plans. I was sick as a dog all day long. I had planned to make some "oh so romantic" rice krispie treats (Ryan's favorite) for my Valentine, but that didn't happen. Instead he came home to me, curled up in a ball on the couch, in a very pathetic state.

The next day, looking like the walking dead, but feeling much better, I was determined to make at least one batch. Ryan loves rice krispie treats. And by love, I mean, he would eat his weight in rice krispies. If it came down to me, or a lifetime supply of rice krispie treats, he would hesitate. 

As delicious as they are on their own, I wanted to avoid the traditional recipe for rice krispie treats and try something new. I narrowed it down to Red Velvet Rice Krispie Treats and Bourbon Caramel Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate. Red Velvet being the easier recipe, and I being in the aforementioned   weakened state, the red-tinted treats were up first. I will be trying the Bourbon Krispies soon enough. Dessert with booze...yes, please!

It all starts with some melted butter. 
Into the pot goes marshmallows, vanilla, and red velvet cake mix.

The red velvet cake mix creates a beautiful color. Love it!

Cocoa Krispies join the party and the incredibly sticky mess begins. 

Once cooled, cut those bad boys up. 
I tried a heart shape, but ended up sticking with squares.

Now for the melted white chocolate drizzle. Create a double boiler. 
Place a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water.

Add the chips.

They melt, you drizzle. The treats are complete!

Red Velvet Rice Krispie Treats

Adapted from Pass the Sushi

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) bag mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup red velvet cake mix
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 drops red food coloring (optional, just gives red an extra color boost)

Prepare a 9x13 inch glass pan by spraying with cooking spray or lining with parchment paper, then set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows, cake mix, and vanilla. Stir frequently, until the marshmallows have completely melted. Add the cocoa krispies; stir until incorporated.

It won't be easy, but transfer the cocoa krispie mixture into the coated 9x13 pan. It's going to be very sticky. To press the treats down evenly into the pan, spray a spatula with cooking spray then pat down until flat and even. Allow to cool.

To melt the white chocolate, create a double boiler by balancing a glass bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. Add the chocolate chips to the bowl, stirring frequently as they melt. Pour melted chocolate into a ziplock bag. Squeeze chocolate to one corner and cut of the tip the bag. Drizzle onto rice krispie squares.

Hope you all had a better Valentine's Day than I did!
Anyone do anything special?

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Linking up with Kojo Designs, Happy Go Lucky, and Be Different Act Normal. There's lots of inspiration over there. Go check 'em out!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Butte 52: Week 4 - Stubby-Legged Furry Friends

One of my favorite things about living in this area: the wide variety of animals I come across. For Week Four of Project Butte 52, I want to share a couple of photos that I think will brighten your day (or at least make you giggle).

I just can't get enough of these miniature donkeys. They happen to live on the same street as some friends of ours. They make me giggle every time I pass by. I don't know what it is, but I just love animals with stubby legs.

I call her Bangs.

I'm going to take a wild guess that Bangs is the gal and big ears is the fella. Do miniature donkeys mate for life? If they had babies, I would totally want one! Then my mini doxie would have a mini donkey to play with. 

This stubby little guy lives on our friend Ryann's pony ranch.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Butte 52: Week 3 - Caper Acres

Caper Acres is the sort of park that kids love and makes adults wish they were still kids.
It sits in lower Bidwell Park, in Chico. The entrance to the park is a castle drawbridge. Pretty cool, huh? But watch your head, aimed towards kids, the entrance has a clearance of only 5'8". 


My friend Karla brought her outrageously adorable little ones: Donna and Jake. If Karla had a super power, it would be making gorgeous babies. I feel a little cuter just holding one of 'em.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Not Yo Mamma's Meatloaf Muffins

For some people, the word meatloaf conjures up unappetizing memories. I must say I ate my fair share of nasty meatloaf as a kid. Despite the name of the post, my mom made a pretty good meatloaf, but somehow I was forced to eat greasier versions at other houses with unidentified crunchy chunks.

Now that I have you reliving all of those terrible meatloaf experiences, I wanna introduce this recipe. My mom found this recipe in Cooking Light magazine and I fell in love. It's delicious! The perfect amount of moisture without grease. A delicious flavor from sauteed onions and garlic. And best of all, they're already in individual portions! So whether you've had an aversion to meatloaf in the past or you love meatloaf, you've got to try this recipe. 

The recipe calls for lean ground beef. However, since I'm humbly inching towards my "bikini by summer" goal, I decided to try the recipe with ground turkey instead. I've gotta wasn't bad. But if I'm being honest, I prefer the beef. Turkey is just so much leaner (hence it being better in the attack against my love handles), which means that it's not as juicy as the ground beef.

I made some mashed potatoes. I know, not the healthiest side on the planet. I used a pastry bag to pipe a little bit of mashed spuds on each meatloaf. Wouldn't this be great for kids? How fun for a kid to have a "cupcake" for dinner.

Diner Meatloaf Muffins

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm not moving the blog...sorry

After much back and forth, I've decided to move my blog. I basically just changed the name. I transferred all of the old posts and I'll be sharing the same types of crafty and tasty goodness in my future posts.
I appreciate everyone who reads and comments on my blog. I hope that you will all follow me over to Frenchie Hearts Freckles.

I did a trial run with the new blog title. Turns out those around me prefer From Dahlias to Doxies. Since I love it so much I'm just gonna stay put at From Dahlias to Doxies. The only reason I wanted to change the name was that people were having a hard time spelling it. But you know what...they'll figure it out.

So disregard the moving blog nonsense. Sorry about the confusion everyone.

{Free} Mustache Bookmark Printables

I recently got Photoshop and I've been trying to learn how to work its magic. Inspired by these Valentines from Plum Adorable, I decided to make mustache bookmarks for my little sister's birthday. I started with photos of my baby nephew in Photoshop and then ran with it. It was worth it for the sheer amusement; I laughed out loud so many times (Ryan gave me the "you're weird" eyebrow lift). My nephew is just too cute, especially with a Mario Brothers' mustache.

I made the bookmarks to accompany the first two books of The Hunger Games trilogy in her birthday package. If you haven't yet, you should must read these books! They're pretty addicting.

To start, I used my sister's instagram photos of the baby, but any photo cropped down to a square will work. Then I googled "free mustache clip art." Here's a 'stache that I used. I used Photoshop to add the mustaches to the photos. If you don't have Photoshop, I'm pretty sure you can do the same thing with Pixlr for free!

I then came up with mustache-related sayings. Only one is actually related to reading...oh well! After printing the bookmarks off, I cut 'em out and glued 'em to cardstock in a contrasting color.


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