I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys! Why? Because it is my all time favourite. This is my ex mother-in-law’s recipe and is a family favorite. I’ve been making it forever. The crust for these tarts is the key. It’s light and fluffy and delicious. Without a great crust the tart is, well… not worth making. And this crust is da bomb! You are going to love them. They are the ultimate holiday treat.
Natasha was playing around with the camera and ended up filming me while baking the pecan tarts last night..
Here’s a little behind the scenes of what went down; Check it out!
Natasha and I are crazy for all things paper… pretty little gift tags, cute notepads, adorable journals, wrapping paper, gift bags, cards, ribbons. Love it all! Can never have too much! We love it so much that we hope to create our own line someday. That’ll be way too much fun!
In our family, wrapping a gift has become sort of like an art of it’s own. A very important detail in the whole gift giving process. My dad (Natasha’s Grandpa) is the one who originally set the standard very high when it comes to wrapping gifts. He’s been that way since I was a little girl.
You wouldn’t believe it! He puts so much love into every detail. It has to be the perfect paper, the good quality kind and not that cheap stuff that tears when you fold the edges. He chooses the most beautiful matching bows, bundles the gift precisely with fabulous ribbon and finishes it all off with the most thoughtful card. Like really? Impressive. Very impressive.
We have quite a collection of pretty paper and trimmin’s already. Mostly from some years ago when I was on a huge ‘scrapbooking‘ frenzy and ordered a heap load of a gold mine of goods from the Shopping Channel. I think it was some amazing package deal of a zillion pieces of paper, stickers, tags, ribbons, sparkles and enough bedazzles to last like, forever.
But, of course, we’re girls and obviously it’s never enough.
So… it’s off to the market we go.
Well, more specifically, the $1 bargain bins at Target and Michael’s. Omg. Have you guys been? Just try and drag us away from those bins! Once we’re in, there’s no getting us out until we’ve covered every single inch of all the goods and not miss a single item.
So here’s the thing about buying gift cards and gift bags… it can get so expensive! Right? That’s why we were beyond excited when we discovered all of the cheap inexpensive treasures at these fabulous stores. You don’t need to spend a fortune (unless one wants to) on wrapping and cards.
Tip: Reuse your preloved greeting cards & wrapping paper to save on expenses and create new fabulous tags and goodies.
I have a box full of greeting cards I’ve received throughout the years. Old Birthday, Easter, Valentine’s and Christmas cards galore. I always display any cards I receive for like, way too long, on my hutch. Then they would go from the hutch into a drawer. And that was that. I mean, what are you supposed to do with all of these beautiful cards? It’s really a shame that they’re never to be seen again and stuck in a drawer. Then a few years ago I decided to haul them out and love them again in different ways! By making new cards, gift tags and pretty things from them. Recycling the love people.
We used a couple different old greeting cards for this DIY Gift Bag project. The strawberry bag (emhmm, my personal favourite.).. and the shiny silver and pink heart bag, also beautiful. (both pictured in above group photo)
To make adorable gift tags from old cards just cut out the beautiful embellishment on the old card in your desired shape, glue coloured paper to the back of that cutout (optional), hole punch in the corner, thread a pretty ribbon through the hole and voila, a beautiful new ‘original’ gift tag. Boom!
During one of our Target $1 bargain bins treasure shopping excursions we discovered these cute little brown bags. $1 y’all! (We also purchased white ones we’ll use later!)
We thought it would be fun to make little gift bags that are cost efficient and easy to make. You know, for those times when you want to give someone a gift card from their favourite store. Or some wrapped chocolates or candies just because. Or any kind of small, little gift. Wouldn’t it be so sweet presenting it to them in a cute l’il gift bag you made with love? I know right?!
We were in paper crafting heaven let me tell you! We pulled out all of our crafting boxes along with all of our new $1 bargain finds and sat down for an afternoon of fun-ness. In all honesty it took us a little longer then 1 afternoon, it actually turned out to be numerous crafting sessions. But we eventually got the job done!
We let our imaginations run wild and created some really cute gift bags.
Of course we had friendly debates on which bags were our favourites, which bag was most creative and which bag we thought others would choose! We even considered having our family members rate their favourites but in the end we were very diplomatic about it and determined they all were so darn cute.
But I just have to say, isn’t that ‘strawberry’ one the cutest thing ever?
For Mother’s Day I gave my sister and my mom each a bag. I put little gifts of lipgloss, handcreams and eye mask packettes into each of their bags and I have to say I think they liked the bags more then what was actually inside! They loved them and wouldn’t stop commenting on how adorable they were! Definitely a hit!
Okay, we just have to know… what bags do you guys prefer?
No hard feelings. Really.
I’m excited to share this recipe with you guys today because not only is it the simplest cookie recipe that we’ve posted, it also requires minimal ingredients! You will most likely already have all the ingredients on hand which makes these cookies even better.
I wanted to make some classic chocolate cookies but didn’t have certain ingredients on hand and of course it was too late at night to run to the store, so I scoured the cupboard and made these delish simple, soft chocolate cookies using the ingredients that I had on hand.
This is an extremely simple recipe which doesn’t require any crazy ingredients. It’s the perfect cookie recipe if you are in a rush and want to whip up some cookies for kids, or to satisfy your sweet-tooth cookie craving in a snap! (Sometimes you just need a cookie ASAP.) 😉 These cookies bake up nice and soft, and are a perfect mix of fudgy chocolate with a hint of peanut butter.
I used Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips, but feel free to use the chocolate chips of your choice! For an extra fudgy, doubley chocolate dose – try using semisweet or dark chocolate chips.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
Simple & classic chocolate chip cookies made with minimal ingredients.
Guess who’s back? Back again. Pumpkin’s back. Tell a friend. (Yes, I just used Eminem’s song lyrics & put the word pumpkin in it 😉 )
I just couldn’t stay away from baking with pumpkin for very long… After contemplating for a good 20 minutes on what to bake today, I decided to bake some Light Pumpkin Spice Cake Bars!
I wanted to make something a little healthier than I normally bake and thought bars are always easy, but tasty!
To skinny-tize these Pumpkin Bars, I used a half cup all-purpose flour, and a half cup of whole wheat flour. The whole wheat adds nutrients & goodness, and the all-purpose gives the bars a nice light texture. Whereas when we just use whole wheat flour in recipes, the baked goods tend to be pretty heavy & thick.
I think the combo of the two flours make it the perfect consistency.
We also reduce the amount of butter & eggs in this recipe which makes the bars healthier.
These pumpkin bars are super moist, and have a cake-like consistency.
Although these bars are delicious on their own, feel free to add some walnuts, white, milk or dark chocolate chips, or even some whipped cream to the top! NUM!
(makes 9 bars)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch – 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/4 cup milk (plain, fat-free, soy, or almond)
1/4 cup butter (melted in the microwave)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients until evenly combined. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar & pumpkin until combined. Add in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract and stir until just combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients & mix until evenly combined. Do not over mix. 3. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely, than cut into 9 squares.
Notes: Bars stay fresh for up to one week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.