Sweet tooth Tuesday?!

As some of you may remember, I wrote up a blog post about some treats I found on Pinterest that I was debating making for Thanksgiving. Well, this newest blog post is to reveal which recipe I picked, lay it out for you, and let you hear about the results!

With an over-abundance of pies and cookies, I decided on making the Fall Oreo Acorn Balls. Easy enough for someone like me who has slim-to-no talent in the kitchen, cute and festive enough for the holiday, and tasty enough for anyone of any age to enjoy. So, once I narrowed my choice down, I headed on over to the supermarket, picked up my ingredients, and headed straight to the kitchen to start “baking.”

The process at times seemed extremely tedious, as my OCD wanted every “acorn” to look as identical as possible, and be covered in the same amount of chocolate and sprinkles, etc. However, the turn out was amazing! They looked adorable, tasted great, and seemed to be a huge hit!

If you’re interested in trying this recipe, today is your lucky day, because you will find the recipe below! Everything that I did differently from the original recipe is highlighted with italics text.

Fall Oreo Acorn Balls 

Yield: 30-40 balls

Total Time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of peanut butter Oreos (15.25oz), pulsed in a food processor
  • 1 package of regular cream cheese (8oz), softened
  • Nestle milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. Crisco vegetable shortening
  • Brown sprinkles
  • Pretzel sticks, broken into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature.
  2. Put half of the Oreos in the food processor and pulse until you have Oreo crumbs. Add the other half of the Oreos into the food processor and pulse again, until all the Oreos are fine crumbs.
  3. Once the cream cheese is soft, mix the Oreos and cream cheese together, making sure the mixture is very well blended.
  4. Use a tablespoon to measure the Oreo mixture and form it into acorn shapes. I used a bit more than 1 tbsp. for each acorn – to make an acorn, I formed the mixture into an elongated oval, pinching one end to make it slightly tapered and flattening the other.
  5. Place the acorns on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and place them in the freezer for 1 hour. I left mine overnight. 
  6. After the acorns are hard, begin to melt the Nestle chocolate chips with the Crisco in a double broiler. You will need a double broiler to keep the chocolate warm while dipping all of the acorns.
  7. Once pencil sticks are broken into small pieces, push/twist into the hardened Oreo ball. You will then be able to dip the Oreo ball into the chocolate while holding onto the pretzel stick “stem.”
  8. To dip, place 1 acorn in the saucepan with melted chocolate. Use a spoon to spoon chocolate on top of the acorn, if needed. To remove the acorn use a fork to lift it out of the chocolate. Move the acorn to another baking sheet lined with wax paper.
  9. Cover the top portion of the acorn with sprinkles.
  10. Continue this process until all of the acorns are dipped. Allow them to harden at room temperature.
  11. After they set, serve and enjoy!
  12. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

What were some of your favorite Thanksgiving desserts? xoxo.

What I’m thankful for | Family +friends

I have been blessed with the largest, loudest, craziest, kindest, perfect family.

I am thankful for the fact that my family is so close; that it is not out of the ordinary to “pop in” to an uncle’s house or my grandparent’s house on any given day at any given time. I am thankful that I live exactly 3 minutes away from both sets of grandparents. I am thankful that my family has my back through everything.

I am thankful for my parents, who raised me to be a strong, independent, take-no-shit kinda girl. I am thankful for my brother, who inspires me every single day to be a better person. I am thankful for my grandparents, for loving me unconditionally and supporting everything I do. I am thankful for my aunts, uncles, cousins, and beyond, without whom, my family would not be loud, or crazy, or large. I am thankful for my boyfriend’s family, who has welcomed me into their [even larger] family with open arms and a loving heart.

I am thankful for the friends that have turned into family. The best friend that I cannot live without. A boyfriend who brings out the best in me and supports every single [insane] thing I do. I am thankful for new friends, who are becoming my ride or dies, my go-to’s.

I am thankful for every single person in my life that has come and gone. If you’re still here, thank you for still being here. If you’re not, thank you for helping me to learn important life lessons and figure out what I deserve.

Spend time with the ones you love this holiday season. And be forever grateful. xoxo.

What I’m thankful for | Education

While this is often the source of most of my complaints, it is one thing that I am the most thankful for: education.

It has taken me 24 years, 10 months, and 19 days to figure out that education is the most important and most valuable thing you can have in your life. Money, houses, cars, they don’t mean a single thing. It is the knowledge, character, and success that comes from education. It has taken me this long to also appreciate the success and preparedness that goes along with receiving a quality education.

A little fun fact that you might not know about me, is that I am a Catholic school girl. Pre-K through 12th grade, I donned a uniform every single day of my life. During these years, mostly high school, I didn’t know how to appreciate how much of a blessing Catholic schooling was. I was extremely well-prepared for college. I [would like to think I] am a well-rounded individual. I was challenged academically and pushed forward to success, even at an early age. I didn’t really realize the toll that this expense took on my family and that sending my brother and I to Catholic school for all those years was actually a huge deal. A deal now that I wonder about for my future children.. *How will I be able to afford this? Can I support this? Is this even possible? Why am I thinking about kids? I’m only 24 jeez slow down.*

Again in these 24 years, 10 months, and 19 days, I have learned about the importance of not only furthering your education but furthering your education in the right institutions. There is an extreme difference between a low quality and high quality institution, both support-wise and emotional-stability-wise.  Another little fun fact? I have gone to three colleges. I graduated with my Bachelor’s from one. Tried grad school at the other. And am about to graduate with a Master’s from the next.

That school in the middle? Hated it. I felt extremely uncomfortable being there. I didn’t feel supported. I didn’t feel as if I was learning adequate information, let alone adequate information that would actually pertain to my future. I felt lost, uninspired, and unmotivated. But what was even scarier? Coming to terms and accepting the fact that I needed to move on.. an opportunity that, again, I am thankful to have had. If I had never chosen to better myself and better my education and better my future, where would I be today?

I am thankful to have been raised going to Catholic school, an opportunity many do not have. I am thankful to be able to go to college, a blessing that some people unfortunately do not have. I am thankful that I have had these opportunities, and I wish that everyone else could say the same.

Education is something that I will fight for every day of my life. I believe that quality education paves the way for our future leaders, doctors, lawyers, teachers, you name it. Every kid deserves a shot at high quality education. Every kid deserves a shot at graduation. Every kid deserves a shot at success.

Education.. I thank you. xoxo.

Thankful | Holiday 2017

For the next few days leading up to Thanksgiving, my blog posts will revolve around things that I am thankful for.

I hope that by doing this, you will reflect on all that you are thankful for, as well. It could be something as large as the love of your life, or as small as your new candle from Bath and Body Works [totally guilty for this one!].

In return for you listening to me sharing my blessings and thanks, I’d love to hear from you and I’d love to know what you are thankful for this holiday season. xoxo.

7 more days | Holiday 2017

Guys, we are one week away from Thanksgiving. One week. 

Does anybody love over-stuffing themselves on Thanksgiving as much as I do? Honestly, probably not.

This is one of the meals that I spend 365 days preparing myself for. Mostly, because “Thanksgiving food” is not really eaten in our house except for on Thanksgiving. Also because sitting down to enjoy a nice Thanksgiving meal gets me so stoked for Christmas – I know once this meal is over, Christmas is just around the corner.

One thing that I am the most excited about for this upcoming week is the fact that I do not work retail anymore. This will be my first real Thanksgiving in six years, six. I have never, not worked on Thursday night [aka Thanksgiving] for six years. I have always had to rush through my meal, try to cram in a little nap and go off to work an overnight shift in a way-too-busy mall. This year, I will get to sit down, take my time, and cherish it with those that I love and adore the most. I have been excited about this since way back in March when I started at my new job, and there is not one person who will bring me down from this high.

Another thing I am excited for? Black Friday shopping! As previously stated, for the past six years I have always been working, and before that I was always “too young,” so I have never been Black Friday shopping.. ever. I was either still working or too exhausted from the endless hours of work put behind me to be out in the crowd for the entirety of Friday, but this is another Thanksgiving luxury I will be taking advantage of this year. Will I be going Thanksgiving night like all those people I used to curse under my breath? No, absolutely not. I will absolutely save my energy and shop-until-I-drop stamina for Friday. [If you see me out at midnight, that is technically no longer Thanksgiving.. for all those wondering].

One thing I will say, though, is that if you are one of the many that venture out on Thanksgiving night, please, please be kind and courteous to your sales associates. They have to sacrifice their time and their energy on a day in which they should be enjoying time with their loved ones and those they are the most thankful for. Black Friday [aka Thanksgiving night until Saturday morning] is one of the hardest shifts these employees will have to work all year – your two seconds of kindness could make a magnificent difference. This is one thing that always used to drive me absolute bonkers. While it didn’t necessarily bother me that people were out shopping, it did bother me when they did not treat me with respect or even give me the smallest holiday greeting.

I don’t really know where I was going with this post, just mainly going through all the thoughts that have been spiraling in my head for the last chunk of time. Mostly of Thanksgiving, definitely of mashed potatoes.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? xoxo.

 

Sweet tooth | Thanksgiving edition

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, my mind is already reeling over things to make and things to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

Would it be any surprise to any of you if I said I have turned to Pinterest for a little help? No? I didn’t think so.

Since I am not the world’s greatest cook [the first step is admitting it], my mind is leaning toward baking some fall desserts. When I think Thanksgiving desserts, naturally, the first thing I think of is pie; pumpkin pie, apple pie, cherry pie, you name it. With that being said, I am thinking of stepping outside of the traditional Thanksgiving cookie cutter dessert and diving into something more non-traditional, but still very fall and still very good [hopefully].

Because Pinterest is really a world that seems larger than the one we live on, I had to stop myself somewhere, take a step back, and analyze everything I had found [which was a lot]. Attached are my top five potential dessert ideas that are festive, easy and look a heck of a lot of good.

What are some Thanksgiving desserts you just can’t live without? xoxo.