Fall Tablescape

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Meet my new Fall table.  I think I will leave it just like this until November 30th!


DSC_0478My favorite thing about this tablescape is that I used dishes I already owned, bought all the pumpkins and gourds at the market, and I made that table runner out of flour sack kitchen towels!



I have been looking for a white table runner for quite a while now and couldn’t find anything I liked and also didn’t see anything for less than $50.  I even perused the fabric store but I was so unmotivated.  I love the flour sack look and I only paid a whopping $8 for a pack of 4 towels and only used 3 towels for this project.  You do the math.  I. hate. math. but I know that’s a good deal, my friends!  Anyway, I’ll post a little more information on that table runner project later.


This table makes me want to sit down and eat some turkey.  The funny thing is that nobody will actually eat Thanksgiving dinner at this table.  Every year, we spend Thanksgiving weekend at my In-laws house.  It’s quite a crew… about 30 of us, usually.  About 20 of us stay there, under the same roof.  I failed to mention that there are about 6 teenage girls (my daughters included) and the bathroom space gets tighter every year.  All we do is eat and watch football and eat and have a great time!  Did I mention lots of eating?

I guess I need to have a little dinner party with a Thanksgiving theme, just to show off use my new table centerpiece.  The wheels are turning.  Fall small plate dishes, appetizers, pumpkin dessert, hmmmm…


Thank you for letting me share my newest.


Happy Fall, Ya’ll!

Tomato Basil Pasta Soup

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This Tomato Basil Pasta Soup is so amazing!  It’s hearty and has so many layers of flavor.  It is my new favorite fall soup recipe.



1 Tbsp EVOO

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

2 peeled carrots, sliced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

26 oz marinara sauce

32 oz chicken broth

2.5 c. short, fat pasta – mezzi rigatoni (see photo below – what I used)

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1.5 c. fat free half-and-half

1 cup arugula, torn into pieces

1 tsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp chopped basil

Begin by cooking onion in EVOO in stock pot over medium heat.  Add minced garlic, carrots, salt and pepper.  Allow to cook 3-4 minutes.  Add beans, marinara and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and then add pasta.  Cook for 10 minutes and then add remainder of ingredients.  Stir and simmer 10 additional minutes.

These are the noodles I used, FYI…


Oh, this soup is so good!!!


Happy Soup Season!

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

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These Pumpkin Banana Muffins are a “FALL TAKE” on my classic muffin recipe.  They are super easy and will make your whole house smell like pumpkin pie and fall.  I highly recommend serving these with butter or a cinnamon brown sugar butter mixture.

1 mashed banana

2 eggs

1 cup of milk

1 cup of sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. all spice

2/3 cup of oil

2/3 cup of pumpkin puree

2 cups of self-rising flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease 12 cup (large) muffin pan.  I use my Pampered Chef Muffin Stone. Whisk eggs and then add all remaining wet ingredients.  Sift in flour and stir until just combined.  Fill each muffin cup to about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 minutes.


KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment Tutorial

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My husband surprised me with this KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment last week.  I was so excited.  I have been wanting one of these for quite a while.  When I opened it up and started trying to read the instruction manual, I felt really stupid.  It was so hard to understand and read.  When I finally figured it out, I decided I would post a tutorial to help others with this super cool machine.  In all honesty, it’s a great resource for me too, as I will probably forget how to do it by the time I make ice cream again. It’s actually very easy, once you figure out how to put it together.

First thing, take the freezer bowl and wash it, by hand.  Then dry it completely and place it in your freezer.  It will need to stay in your freezer overnight.

Next step, mix up your ice cream mixture and place it in the fridge.  It can also stay in the refrigerator overnight.  Notice, I did not say freezer.  Put it in the fridge!  I have included the best vanilla bean ice cream recipe, at the end of this post but for now, let’s get started on putting together and using the ice cream attachment.

First, unplug your KitchenAid mixer.


Next, place the spring attachment on the existing spring thingy (don’t you love my technical terms?) as shown in the photos below.

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Now, place your very ice cold freezer bowl on the stand and turn to lock into place.



Set the paddle attachment in the bowl, it will not be attached to anything, just floating there.


When you lower the tilt head on your stand, the top attachment will connect with the paddle, as shown below.


Now, plug in your machine.


Turn it to “STIR” and let it begin running, empty.



Slowly, slowly, slowly add in your ice cream mixture. See recipe below.



Set the timer for 20 minutes.  Let it run.  Walk away.



It will start freezing up, as shown above.


When it has been 20 minutes, you will need to remove it from the freezer bowl.  Be sure to use a plastic utensil to scrape it out, it will be the consistency of soft serve ice cream.  Do not leave the ice cream in the freezer bowl.  Wash the freezer bowl, by hand, and place it back in your freezer so it’s ready for next time! I placed my ice cream in two different air-tight freezer containers.


After you allow it to freeze overnight, it will harden up like regular store bought ice cream but it will taste oh, so much better!

Now, for the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream RECIPE…  I adapted this from The Pioneer Woman’s original recipe.  Her recipes are always amazing.  Here is a link to her recipe.  I was trying to cut back a little bit on the fat.  As you can see, it’s no wonder it tastes so amazing, it’s full of cream and sugar :)


1 whole vanilla bean, scraped

2 cups half and half

2 cups fat free half and half

3 cups heavy cream

2 cups sugar

8 eggs

Heat 4 cups of half and half along with sugar over low heat.


Split open the vanilla bean and scrape out the inside, add to the sugar mixture then, throw in the entire bean to give it added flavor (you’ll remove it later).


In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks of 8 eggs (only the yolks!).


Slowly, temper the egg yolks to blend them completely with the sugar mixture.


Increase the heat on stove to medium and stir constantly until the mixture thickens.  Drain the custard over a fine mesh strainer and then pour into a bowl with the whipping cream.  Pour into a bowl with sealed lid and refrigerate overnight.  Add to ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes.  Place back into freezer for at least 8 hours.


It’s so good with some blackberry cobbler.  Click photo for recipe link.


Blackberry Cobbler Skillet

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Blackberry Cobbler Skillet



2 tbsp. butter

2 c. fresh blackberries

1 c. sugar

1 c. self-rising flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

6 tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt 2 tbsp. butter in cast iron skillet.


Arrange blackberries in bottom of skillet, on top of melted butter.  Set aside skillet.


In a separate mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar and salt.  Add eggs to the dry ingredients and toss until crumbly.  Sprinkle the crumbly mix over the blackberries.  Drizzle with the melted butter.


Bake for 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.



I will be posting the recipe for this amazing homemade vanilla ice cream tomorrow.  Here’s the link.






White Monogrammed Pumpkin Tutorial

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You know how I always find my BEST stuff at Hobby Lobby?  Well, it didn’t work that way this time.  I have been wanting and coveting white pumpkins but they were EXPENSIVE, especially at HL.  Apparently someone caught on to the trend and decided we (Crafters and Decorators) would pay a little more for these beauties.  When I went shopping, Michael’s beat all other store’s prices.  I looked everywhere… JoAnn’s, HL, Walmart…. I liked the quality and price at Michael’s, so there!  No compensation, just letting you know.  I’m going to walk you through, step by step, how to make this adorable pumpkin.  Let’s get started.

The Font I used is called “Monogram KK”.  I love this font and I use it often for monogram stuff.


Using your vinyl cutter, create your monogram letter.  Mine measures 7 inches by 4 inches.

Isn’t this gold vinyl amazing?  I buy all my gold vinyl from Happy Crafters (Affiliate).


After it’s cut, peel away the negative space, as seen, above and below.



Cut a piece of transfer paper that equals the measurement of your letter.


Peel away the sticky part from it’s backing.


Now, add the sticky paper to the top of the letter, keeping your grid lines straight.


Use your scraper tool thingy (that’s the technical name) and apply pressure while you scrape over the design.


Now, peel away the gold and sticky part from the backing.


This is what it looks like on the transfer paper, ready to apply.


It’s time to figure out where you want to place it.  Use the clear space around the “E”, to attach it to the pumpkin, just “to see” where you like it.


Now, here’s the thing about applying on this pumpkin surface.  As you can see, it has ridges which makes it a little tricky but here’s the deal… just take your time, let the transfer paper and everything follow right into the ridges, don’t try to stretch and keep it over the surface.  It needs to be “ridge-y” (another Nicole word!)


After you have scraped it with MUCH pressure using your “scraper tool thingy”, peel away your transfer paper.


And this is what you’re left with!


I really love the way it turned out.


I absolutely love Happy Crafters vinyl. They are an Affiliate but I LOVED their vinyl and even wrote about it way before I ever did any business with them. You can read my full DISCLOSURE here. I did not receive any free vinyl for this post but I am an Affiliate, meaning I will be compensated for anything you buy from my website link.

Welcome Vinyl

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I love this welcome vinyl decal!  I have been seeing these on Pinterest for the past couple of years and finally got around to adding one to my newly painted door.  It’s the easiest, fastest project if you have a Silhouette Cameo or other vinyl cutting machine.  I’m going to walk you through with step by step, photo instructions in this tutorial.  Let’s get started…


First of all, I used KG Eyes Wide Open for my font.   This measures 2 inches by 8 inches.  I used white vinyl and set my machine to cut, without a mat.  After the word was cut on my machine, I peeled away the negative space (as shown above).


This is what it looked like after I had peeled away the negative space. This vinyl is from Happy Crafters (Affiliate – See my disclosure) and it is amazing stuff. I love the grid lines on the back – which keeps everything straight and even. This makes placing vinyl so much easier!


Next, I cut a piece of transfer paper to fit my word.  I peeled the plastic from the wax backing.


This is what it looks like without the backing.  Now, I will need to carefully place it on top of the word.  I was careful to line up the bottom of the letters with the grid lines.  It will make it easier to keep it straight later when I apply it to my door.


Using my silhouette scraper tool thingy (that’s the nicole word for it), I scraped over the word using pretty decent pressure.



Then it was time to peel it away from the backing.


Next, I “tried it out” in a couple of spots to see where I wanted it.


I even tried it on the glass window but I didn’t like it there.  Hehehe, see my little Cocoa watching me from inside.  She’s always keeping an eye on me, that dog.  Love.


After I settled on a final position, I used my scraper tool thingy (again) to apply it to the door.


I went over it several times and I pushed hard!


I peeled away the transfer paper and was left with this beautiful lettering.


After I added my “E” to the door and put out some mums, it’s very WELCOMING, don’t you think?


I get no kickbacks from telling you this but I got the “E” from Amazon, here.  I spray painted it white and by “I”, I mean Steve painted it when I fluttered my eyelashes and said, “please paint this for me”.  lol


I absolutely love Happy Crafters vinyl. They are an Affiliate but I LOVED their vinyl and even wrote about it way before I ever did any business with them. You can read my full DISCLOSURE here. I did not receive any free vinyl for this post but I am an Affiliate, meaning I will be compensated for anything you buy from my website link.

Prosciutto Fig Pizza

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This Prosciutto Fig Pizza is sure to impress.  The crust is so easy because you don’t have to wait for it to rise.  The layers of flavor in this pizza are incredible too.  Nothing goes with fig or prosciutto quite like goat cheese.  Topping this whole thing off with arugula gives it an added texture, plus it makes the whole thing seem a little healthier!

To make the pizza crust:

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Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in food processor.

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Mix in oil and warm water.  Allow to process until it pulls away from sides.  Spread onto a round pizza pan. Set aside.

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Begin by chopping off the ends of the figs and then thinly slice them.


Finely dice the shallots.


Begin browning the prosciutto in olive oil.


Add the shallots.


Then add the sun dried tomatoes and figs.

Lightly brush olive oil onto the crust.

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Next, layer the fig prosciutto mixture on top of crust.

Top that with goat cheese.

Stick it in a preheated, 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with arugula and parmesan.

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Drizzle with Balsamic Glaze.


Here’s the complete recipe with ingredient list:


3 c. All-Purpose Flour

1 package of Active Dry Yeast

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil (extra virgin, extra light)

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 c. warm water

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

4 oz. Prosciutto, cubed

2 Shallots, finely diced


Ground Pepper

8 Figs, thinly sliced

1/4 c. Sun Dried Tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

3 oz. Goat Cheese, crumbled

1 Bunch of Arugula

1/4 c. Shaved Parmesan

Glaze with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in food processor.  Slowly add in oil and warm water.  Process until dough forms a ball.  Remove from food processor.  Spread out on a pizza pan.  Set aside.

Heat Olive Oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add prosciutto and stir for about one minute.  Add shallots and cook until they are starting to brown.  Add salt, pepper, sun dried tomatoes and figs.  Cook for another 1-2 minutes or until onions are nicely caramelized.   Brush olive oil onto pizza crust.  Next, spread the fig mixture on top of the crust.  Sprinkle with goat cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with arugula and parmesan.    Then drizzle balsamic glaze over the top, topped with additional salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serves 4-6.


Newly Painted, Happy Door!

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Meet my newly painted, happy door!


As you can see from this BEFORE photo, my door needed some serious rehab.  Just look at how sad and unfortunate it was!  The saddest part is that this is the entrance used most by people visiting my home.  Something had to be done!

As I researched door paints, I quickly discovered that Modern Masters Paint (see disclosure) was the one I wanted to use.  It doesn’t fade, it’s water based so it dries quickly and most of the time, no priming is needed over existing paint.  I contacted them and they sent me a free quart of paint to try!  I just needed to decide on a color and this is where it gets really cool…

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They offer 24 colors to choose from.  They also have an app that allows you to photograph your door and then see what the color will look like after it’s painted.


I picked “Tranquil” #296681 for my door.  It’s a bright, happy blue color.  You can find a link to the app HERE.  It’s so much fun to play around with!

When the paint arrived, I got busy.  I began by testing the old paint using a rag and rubbing alcohol.  Modern Masters walks you through this process in a complete detailed tutorial HERE. I simply wiped the door with rubbing alcohol to find out if my paint was latex or oil.  If it was latex, I wouldn’t need to prime first.  My paint was latex because rubbing alcohol made the paint color come off onto the rag.  Whew! (Though priming isn’t really that big of a deal!)

I steered clear of rainy days for my painting.  The door needs to stay open for about 2.5 hours to dry completely.  If you know anything about paint, this is fairly quick!  That’s because this paint is water based.


This was such an easy project and I’m so happy with how it turned out!  I applied 2 coats of paint, allowing about an hour, to dry, between coats.  I started painting that morning and by noon my door was dry and ready to close!


I am proud of my entry way now!  It’s so bright and happy.  I’ll be sharing a post on the door decor tomorrow with a link to the wooden “E” and a tutorial on the “welcome” vinyl.

To make it easy for you, I’ve included a link (below) to all the resources from Modern Masters…

Color Palette


Step by Step Instructions

How To Paint Your Front Door Video

Modern Masters Pinterest Board


Happy Painting!

Friday Favorite #6

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It’s time for Friday Favorite #6 and I want to talk about my very favorite thing in my kitchen… My KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

This is the color of my mixer and I LOVE THIS COLOR.

This is my favorite attachment.  It’s a glass bowl that attaches to the stand just like the regular metal bowl.  The cool thing about this bowl is that it’s microwaveable, which means I can melt butter or soften cheese right in the bowl.  It also has this air tight lid so you can mix up batter and store it in the fridge without worrying about it absorbing other fridge smells.

My newest accessory is the Ice Cream Maker Attachment.  I cannot wait to see how this works.  I have mixed up the first batch of ice cream and will be churning it tomorrow.  I will report back to you on this one!  From what I hear, it’s going to be very awesome!

Happy Friday, Y’all!

Oh and remember, I get nothing for this post.  It’s not a paid advertisement in any way, shape or form.  That’s the cool thing about Friday Favorites.  They’re just simply my favorite things.