A Creative Fruit Basket

Well hello there My Crafting Attic, I have missed you! The past two months have been a whirlwind. I spent three weeks in NJ with my parents while Rob was away training for his upcoming deployment. While there, I flew to Chicago for BlogHer’13. Then we got to spend an amazing week in LBI for a family reunion. 
We ate a ton of yummy food and I have some great recipes to share with you all. My favorite project we did while there was this awesome fruit basket made from a watermelon. My mom decided we should get crazy with it after finding a ton of inspiration on, you guessed it, Pinterest. 

We used permanent marker to draw a rough sketch of where we should cut. 

The first cut was to make the bottom of the basket level for easier cutting and so it was nice and strudy on display. 

It took a little time to make the cuts but it was important to make sure the handle of the basket was made with enough of the rind that it would be nice and strong. 
 

My mom found some adorable cookie cutters that were perfect to fill the basket up with. 

We used watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe for the sea animals and blueberries for the eyes and even a black pearl in the oyster! 

As a final touch, my sister carved HUG (initials of the three families at the reunion) into the watermelon. 

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3 Ingredient Chocolate Goodness

Today I have the perfect recipe for those who are a little shy of the kitchen. I don’t know about you but every once in awhile this chocolate craving comes out of nowhere and I have to satisfy it. I don’t always have the right ingredients for cookies or a box of brownie mix. I do however, usually have Nutella, flour and eggs. 
Well guess what, I just gave you the entire recipe to make Nutella Brownies. Yep, I am totally serious! 

Fill cupcake sleeves about 1/2 way, which makes about 9 total. Bake on 350 for about 25-30 minutes depending on your oven.

Yep, that’s it. No seriously, that is it. I know, I know. Too good to be true right? Not in this case my friends. It was the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day too! 
This recipe was adapted from Savory Sweet Life who read the recipe in Abby Dodge’s book, Desserts 4 Today: Flavorful Desserts with Just Four Ingrediants

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Tomato Basil Crock Pot Soup

I was hosting a Mommies group this afternoon and wanted something simple but delicious for lunch. I have been loving our Crock Pot so I decided to search around Pinterest for something yummy. I found a recipe pinned many times that lead me to Your Homebased Mom

You can check out the recipe and directions here
I love having my iPad Mini to look over recipes in the kitchen without taking up much room! I didn’t read the directions carefully though and around 10 PM last night realized the first step was letting a majority of the ingredients cook for 5-7 hours. Yikes! I decided to get up at 7 AM (luckily P only woke up twice and went right back down after his 5 AM snack). This actually worked out perfect because I got the dishwasher going and a load of laundry done before P even woke up.
Overall, this is a really easy recipe to follow. Most of the ingredients go into the Crock Pot and cooks for 5-7 hours. After you let it cook for 5-7 hours, you make and add the roux and continue cooking for about 30 minutes. I don’t know why but just saying that makes me feel like a professional chef. Just like saying you made an arugula salad. Thanks Chopped! 🙂 Then just garnish and serve! I decided to make grilled cheese with ours for a real comfort meal. Overall, it was a hit! 
I don’t really have step by step pictures of this because I was already entertaining my Mommies but just hop on over to Leigh Ann’s blog where you can add this recipe to your Ziplist or print! 

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Brownie S’mores

I am linking up this week (and the next 51 weeks) with my good friend Jen over at All Four Love, for her 52 recipe challenge! I am super excited about this challenge because deep down, I like to cook and bake. I just never seem to have the motivation.

I wanted to start off strong and come up with something original, in the sense that I didn’t find it on Pinterest. Since we are cutting corners this year with our budget, using what was in the pantry and low cost ingredients was key. We had a left over package of graham crackers that I had no other use for and the first thing that came to mind was S’mores. While doing our weekly grocery shopping yesterday, we picked up a box of brownie mix and a bag of marshmallows.

Out of the pantry, I grabbed vegetable oil and eggs for the brownie mix. I also ended up using a little bit of whipping cream to help melt the marshmallows.

First step was making the brownies. I spooned them into a cupcake tin filling them about halfway. When I make these again, I will probably fill it 1/4 of the way, layer a few marshmallows and then another layer of brownie. I only ended up using about 3/4 of the brownie mix and may or may not have enjoyed the rest via a spoon 😉 I was really unsure of the baking time but ended up putting them on 350 for about 22 minutes. I would recommend setting the timer at about 15 minutes and then keep checking them until the insides are done.

While they were baking, I took the graham crackers and broke away 12 quarters. The rest of ground up for the final touch. Once they were cool, took them brownies out of the pan and placed them on a cookie sheet.

The next step was making a marshmallow sauce. I made my own double boiler using a regular sauce pan and metal bowl. Just make sure that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl, the steam will heat it up enough. I totally guessed here and used a little whipping cream, maybe about 2 tablespoons, to help melt the marshmallows and get a nice consistency. Worked like a charm and they only took about 5 minutes to melt.

I tried spooning the marshmallow sauce onto the brownies for the first few then decided to try and dip them. Dipping them is MUCH better and gives the top a full coat.

I placed a piece of the graham cracker on top and then added a dollop of marshmallow sauce and for the final touch sprinkled some of the graham cracker on top.

I already tried one and boy was it good! Not the exact taste of a S’more but pretty darn close 🙂 I am really happy with the results and can’t wait for Rob to get home and try it.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake ~ A Christmas Day Tradition

Back on the 11th, I talked about some of our favorite food traditions during the holidays. As you can see from the wear and tear of this recipe, this tradition has been around for a very long time. We always go to someones house on Christmas Day so the morning is usually pretty busy opening gifts and getting ready. We never have time to have a sit down breakfast so this has always been our special break in the middle of opening gifts. 
First…
… mix the sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs into your Kitchen Aid or bowl. Stir for 2 minutes or 300 vigorous strokes by hand.  
Once mixed, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Once that is mixed in, add the sour cream. 
For the filling and topping, mix the brown sugar, chopped walnuts and cinnamon together. 
Using Crisco, coat the pan so that the cake does not stick. 
Pour about 1/3 of the batter into the pan and spread it evenly around. 
Then add the brown sugar, cinnamon and walnut filling. Add another layer of batter and filling and then one final layer of batter. 
Top it off with a final layer of filling. 
Bake at 350 for about 60 minutes. Make sure that the cake has fully cooled before taking it out of the pan.