Sunday, December 30, 2012

Confetti Cake Brownies

My husband's favorite cake is "Funfetti" and he also happens to have a love for brownies, so when I found this recipe for Cake Batter Blondies, I knew I had to try it.


You can find the original recipe at the link, but my slightly modified version is below.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of "Funfetti" cake mix, or a yellow cake mix with sprinkles added
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 egg (I ran out of eggs, so I used 1 small cup of applesauce as a substitute (about 1/4 cup) which worked)
  • 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips (original recipe called for white chocolate chips, but I'm not a fan, so I used butterscotch as a delicious alternative)


To make, mix all of the ingredients together and bake in a 9x9 inch pan for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

Optionally, you can frost them, but honestly, these are dense bars of funfetti cake mix, so they are very sweet on their own. I left the frosting out of the recipe, and they were delicious!




Friday, December 28, 2012

DIY Centerpiece Vases Without Flowers!

Budget a was a big concern when planning our wedding, so we immediately crossed flowers off of the list for centerpiece ideas. While they can be lovely, bouquets can also be expensive. Plus, I wanted something "sparkly" and a bouquet of flowers in a vase just wasn't going to cut it.

We/I spent a long time discussing/researching the different possibilities. We eventually found a set of plain glass cylindrical vases which we could buy in bulk, and that came in assorted sizes. We also ordered enough floating votive candles to float in each one, and estimated how many tiny acrylic gems to buy to sit at the bottom of the vases.

Originally, the idea was to buy flowers in bulk, and submerge them in the vases. The trouble came when I started researching types of flowers, and learned of the risks of certain flowers fading, wilting, or breaking apart. Unfortunately, the flowers that were most suited for this type of display were either expensive or unappealing to me. 

Source: google.com via Samantha on Pinterest


To my surprise, I was unable to find many suggestions to use as alternatives to flowers. I did not want a tall clear vase with nothing inside of it, but I also didn't want to risk my centerpieces becoming a faded, jumbled mess. Gel instead of water was an option for suspending gems, but a bit of a hassle for a set up a full 24 hours before the wedding (and possibly an even greater hassle to disassemble).

Then, it hit me! I didn't necessarily need anything inside of the vase, I just wanted something to fill the large visual space. Instead of having floating crystals, gems, or other objects they could be wrapped around the outside!

So I calculated the amount of crystal garland I would need, and I started my search. Note: if you are looking for cheap craft items while DIY-ing a wedding, always check the shipping charges. Every "cheap" craft site I found added an astronomical charge for shipping and handling.

Ultimately, after debating the important factors such as price, and assembly, and risk of looking tacky or gaudy,  I came up with the idea to forgo the crystals, and use ribbon instead. We ordered way too much
navy blue, satin ribbon (one of our wedding colors), and tied bows around the middle of each vase. The extra ribbon turned out to be great for creating the table numbers, and for averting a floral disaster 20 minutes before the ceremony (story to be told on a later date)!



We tied the ribbons around the vases well in advance of the wedding, and stored the vases in the boxes they were delivered in. We also filled the smallest vase of each set with enough gems for all 3 vases per table, for easy set up. The only change I would have made would have been to use a dab of glue or even tape to attach the bow to the vase, because they may fall. In every photo of the sweetheart table, the ribbon is at the bottom of the vase. I would also move the "WedPics" cards out of the photo...

Welcome to "Coles in the Kitchen"!

It's amazing what you discover when you have your own place, and one of those amazing things is how much easier it is to cook and bake when the kitchen is "yours". Add in the explosion of Pinterest, and trying new recipes has become sort of a hobby for me.

As I've collected my own "pinspiration" on my own Pinterest boards, I've come across plenty of cooking blogs, DIY blogs, and more. So I figured that I would add my own contribution to the pool of information. Who knows, maybe you'll be pinning my projects before you know it!

Name of the blog aside (though that is subject to change, anyway), I'll be covering more than just recipes, and including various projects around the house and beyond. I spent 11 months of the last year planning my wedding (so plan on seeing a lot of photos and DIY ideas related to the reception), and decorating the apartment I share with my husband (the original Cole, and one half of the Coles in said kitchen... I cook, he mostly tastes tests and reaches the things that I can't).