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  1. Recipe, Mini Chocolate Chess Pies


    December 29, 2012 by Emily

    Mini Chocolate Chess Pies

    Who loves mini food? ME.

    There’s something about a regular recipe turned mini that makes me squeal with delight. It’s fancy, and you can pretend you’re a giant eating normal sized food… just me? Fine, the cheese stands alone.

    But regardless of why mini food makes us happy, there’s something universally great about bringing a platter of mini desserts to a holiday party. They’re pre-portioned and no cutting or serving is required, just pick one up and pop it in your mouth.

    I started making chocolate chess pies a few years ago when my then boyfriend was feeling homesick and wanted some south in his mouth, his words not mine.

    But I fell in love, with the pies (not the ex, he’s long gone haha), theyr’e chocolatey , chewy, gooey and all around sweet tooth satisfying. Not to mention you can make them in a very short amount of time and with ingredients you probably have in your pantry already.

    Makes 24 mini pies

    What you’ll need:

    -Pie Crust Dough (You can grab pre-made pie crust from the grocery store, but my Gma would come after me if she knew I promoted that tom-foolery on the internet, so I’ll share my recipe at the bottom)

    1 stick butter, melted
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    3/4 cup chopped pecans
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Cupcake tins
    Cupcake liners
    Circle cookie cutter (or mason jar lid)

    Pre heat pven to 350

    -Mix all filling ingredients together until incorporated into a glossy chocolate mix, set aside.
    -Roll out pie dough and cut into circles.
    -Press into the bottom of the lined cup cake tins, the dough should come about halfway up the liner.
    -Place a spoonful of filling mixture into each of the pie crusts.
    -Place in oven for 25 minutes
    -Allow to cool completely before digging in (it will be difficult, but if you don’t wait you’ll burn the roof of your mouth on molten chocolatey goodness… trust me, this just happened to me)


    Pie crust

    What you’ll need:

    2 1/2 cups flour
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 teaspoon table salt
    2 stick unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
    1cup ice water


    -Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
    -Add butter to flour and beging working them together with your fingertips, the flour/butter mixture should turn into a pea sized/”gravel” consistency.
    -slowly add water until dough pulls together into a ball.
    -Wrap in cling film and refrigerate at least an hour.

  2. DIY Hair Accesories


    December 27, 2012 by Emily

    Tis the season to dress festive! With holiday parties of all kinds happeneing every weekend I need to look fancy!  While my wardrobe can work it, my go-to ponytail doesn’t make the “fancy” cut.

    Being the rough and tumble tomboy most of my life I’ve had chopped pixie hair cuts for most of my life, so it’s no surprise that I’m pretty terrible at styling my now shoulder length hair. What’s a girl to do when they have no idea how to do anything beyond a ho-hum pony tail? Dress that pony tail up!


    Just like when I had short hair, I ususally dress up my normal hair style with a glitzy hair accessory! Headbands are your friend…especially when they’ve gotten a facelift.

    Here’s how to jazz up a regular headband with a few dollars worth of supplies from the craft store:

    Option 1, ORNAMENT headbands:

    Xmas Ornament Headband
    Here’s a quick, cheap and easy option. I took a quick look in my local craft stores clearance section the day after xmas, and what did I find? These glittery golden snowflakes and ribbon wracking up a grand total of $1.50! I wrapped a headband I already owned with the ribbon, being careful to hot glue the ends down, then I glued the two snowflakes slightly off centered on the headband. A total of 5 minutes of work for a super cute and festive hair piece! 
    Take a look around you the next time you’re out scouting for supplies you may find your crafting inspiration in surprising places!
    Option 2,  Rocking some Rhinestones:
    headband2This one takes a little more time, but it’s just as easy!
    What you’ll need:
    Large “Rhinestones” (I found these in the jewelry section for $2)
    1 piece of felt in the same, or similar, color as the stones
    Hot Glue Gun
    1-Cut the felt into the size and shape you would like your adornment to be, I like the way the football shape tapers on both ends and made it about 6 inches wide.
    2- Arrange your stones on top of the felt, allowing a little bit of space around each stone to allow it to bend over the headband. Once you’re happy with the arrangement hot glue them securely to the felt.
    3- carefully trim the excess felt from around the stones, I got fairly close (1/8in) to the stones.
    4-Glue to the headband.
    Now I have a pretty, sparkly accessory to wear to my parties without having to stress over how to style my hair. I can swoop my hair into an easy bun or ponytail, add my headband and run out the door!

  3. Style: 3 Ways to Wear It


    December 23, 2012 by Jenn

    We all have that one item of clothing that we wear the same way. It’s not a fashion rut, just stalled for new styling ideas. Instead of wearing the same thing the same way, why not switch it up? Push how far you can stretch your closets contents by seeing your wardrobe with fresh eyes.


    keep reading

  4. Vegan Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Icing


    December 19, 2012 by Jenn

    Holiday baking time is the best! What about our non-dairy friends? They should be able to have baking fun too. This recipe is an adaptation of a Martha Stewart recipe from like 4 years ago, but it still tastes awesome and is great for parties.

    Yields: 1 2-layer round cake*
    Oven: 350
    Time needed: 1 hour, 15 min


    5 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tbsp, 1 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp nutmeg
    1/2 tsp all-spice
    2 tbsp cinnamon
    1 tsp salt
    1 cup soy-milk
    1 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
    2 cups maple syrup
    2 cups vegetable oil
    1/2 cup soy yogurt
    4 tbsp finely chopped crystalized ginger
    3 tbsp finely grates lemon zest


    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cake pans with vegan butter (I use Earth Balance) and sprinkle some flour inside. Be sure to tap the pans well so there’s no excess flour. Set Aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk your flour, soda, powder, spices, and salt. Set Aside.
    3. In a large bowl or mixer, combine the remaining ingredients, stir well. Slowly add in the dry mixture until well incorporated.
    4. Distribute batter evenly between the two cake pans. Pop em in the oven!
    5. Bake for 30 minutes then rotate the pans. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. With Vegan desserts, the toothpick test doesn’t always work. I bake my cakes until the top bounces back when you tap on it and the edges pull away from the pan a bit. Let cool completely. Time to Ice!

    Vegan Lemon Icing:

    1 cup Vegetable Shortening
    1 cup Earth Balance
    7 cups powdered sugar (sifted well)
    1 cup lemon juice
    1 cup soy milk
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 tbsp lemon zest

    Combine Shortening and vegan butter in a mixer, whip on high until light and fluffy but be careful not to over mix. Set mixer on low setting and slowly alternate between adding sugar/zest and adding wet ingredients. Honestly, I’ve been making this icing for so long that I no longer measure the wet ingredients. I always put in 7 cups of confectioners sugar and add milk/juice equally until the icing is a perfect consistency.

    *I obviously made tiny star cakes out of mine. WHAT? CRAZY! I know. To do this, I poured my batter in a 9×13 cake pan and filled it up only about an inch high. I baked it for about 35 minutes, waited for the cake to cool COMPLETELY, then entry tapped the cake out onto parchment paper. I used a star cookie cutter to make the shapes, then iced them. If you choose to make a 2-layer cake, there will be plenty of icing to cover the entire cake. WIth my stars, I had some left over icing (never ever a bad thing).

    Happy Baking!

We are a collective based out of Baltimore, MD dedicated to showing you how to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. We believe in the power of creativity and fun. We believe that anything is possible and we would like to inspire you to do the same. Thanks for stopping by!

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