October 30, 2011

[After] Mini Pumpkin Pies


My camera died in the middle of making this recipe. I should have probably checked that before I started, but that's the story of my life.

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to attempt these Mini Pumpkin Pies to take for a food day at work tomorrow. Here are the two before pictures I managed to snap before becoming camera-less.

(Woo, what a great photo log of my process! Ugh.)

So basically, make your pumpkin pie filling.

Then cut out your little pie crusts and line your muffin pan with them.

Pour the pumpkin pie filling in each and bake.

The original recipe has the instructions and they were super easy to follow and resulted in yummy mini pumpkin pies!

Next time I need to coat the pan with more cooking spray because as you can tell in some of the pies, the crust is flaking off. The rest of it is still firmly attached to the inside of the pan. Rats!

Oh well, I think they turned out super cute and I'm really proud of them. I'll garnish with some whipped cream tomorrow before serving them at work. Yay!

I love when things work out, even though my camera was dead. ;)

October 29, 2011

[Before] Mini Pumpkin Pies

Autumn is my favorite time of year.

I know that I've said that recently and I even made a list about it. But it's definitely worth repeating.

Autumn is really the best season, for real, especially in St. Louis. We can have 80 degree weather one day, and 40 degrees the next. I may complain about it sometimes because my allergies go absolutely nuts, but I love the unexpectedness of it all. I dread, dread, dread the winter months though. We get some of the craziest, coldest weather here in the winter and I don't like it! You think after 24 years of living in the same city, I'd be used to it. But no. I like the first snow of the season because it's fresh and new and exciting. And no matter when it happens, it reminds me of Christmas. But once the first BIG snow happens and we have mounds of black snow on every parking lot and street corner that doesn't melt until March, that is when I can't wait until summer. Then, it will be summer and the first day it's 90 degrees,  I'm cursing and say I can't wait until winter.

The moral of the story is that I am extremely unhappy, always.

But what I was getting at really, is that autumn foods are the best. Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday because of the abundance of comfort food, both sweet and savory, and it never disappoints. I was allergic to dairy for 10 years growing up, so a lot of these foods I am recently tasting for the first time in a LONG time. It is so much fun to be able to eat pumpkin pie again! My mom also made the best stuffing ever and my sister-in-law has perfected it.... it actually rivals it, to be honest. I tend to overindulge on the stuffing. (and my overindulge I mean I try and eat all of it before anyone realizes it was ever on the table.) But really, can you eat too much of the very dish that defined your Thanksgiving's growing up? I don't think so.

Dang, I got off topic - AGAIN! Man. We are having a food day at work on Monday and I am going to try making these Mini Pumpkin Pies.

All I need for the recipe is pumpkin pie filling, refrigerated premade pie dough, a muffin tin and whipped cream. Sounds easy enough!

Also, I know that I just made meatloaf in muffin tins, but really, making things in mini is SO addicting! 

I'm going to get the ingredients tonight and make them tomorrow afternoon, so I will take pictures as I go. I am so excited to see how they turn out!

October 28, 2011

World Series Champs

source: stlcardinals.com
St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series in Game 7!

I may be married to a rabid Mets fan, I may have been rooting for the Rangers to keep the peace in my tiny apartment, but the native St. Louisan in me is feeling pretty proud of the win.

Now, everyone get off my back. Sorry dear.

However, the Rally Squirrel can DIE.

October 27, 2011

Meatloaf Miniatures

Meatloaf dinners will always be fond memories I have of growing up. My mom made the best meatloaf of anyone I know... and I mean that, literally. I know some people say their mom is the best cook ever, but I'm not saying that. My mom didn't always make the best of the best things, but she did a couple things totally right. Her meatloaf was one of those things. Her BBQ chicken was another (yum!).

Unfortunately, I never got the chance to learn from my mom, and she was not one to use a recipe. Or if she did use one, she would alter it and then never write it down. In fact, it's kind of surprising that I have a "favorite" of anything my mom made, because each time it was guaranteed to be just a little bit different.

Regardless, back when she would make meatloaf for dinner, I had no need to watch her make it - I mean come on, I was 14 and knew everything, and besides, my mom would be around forever.

10 years later, I would give anything to know how she made her meatloaf so incredibly addicting. I would also give anything to hear her scold me for not asking her for the recipe or how I should have watched her cook those many, many times. But that would just lead to me crying, so let's not discuss this anymore. ha!


I found a recipe on Taste of Home that I thought looked fun... mostly because I am a sucker for anything made in a muffin pan! I love that they cook for a LOT less, and while overindulging is definitely a risk, you just can't help but smile at their miniature size!

I definitely am going to keep this recipe and do it again. The only thing I need to work on it smashing the meat more into each cup because they kind of just fell apart. I literally got the best picture (which is quite frankly sad) of the only 2 that came out into perfect "muffin" form.

Click here for the link to the recipe!

I also found this cute little idea on Pinterest and decided that since I had all of the ingredients, I would make them! I just used melting chocolates, marshmallows and crescent rolls.

Deeeeeeeee-licious! :) The crescent roll was buttery, and added to the sticky marshmallows and sweet chocolates... it was the perfect after-dinner snack. Even Joey ate one! Which is great, but at least I only made 2. ;)

October 23, 2011


Joey and I went to the wineries yesterday with some of my cousins and my brother and sister-in-law. It was an absolutely gorgeous day... especially for October! It was in the low 70's, there was a slight breeze and almost no clouds in the sky.


We spent the afternoon at two different wineries. It was my first time at a winery, but it was super peaceful and I loved all of the sprawling hills and vineyards.


October 21, 2011

Matt Nathanson - 10.18.11

I really don't even know how to begin this blog. In fact, I've actually been putting this off for a couple of days.I just don't think what I am going to say will accurately portray the emotions I felt at this concert. Or actually any feelings that I get upon hearing anything related to Matt Nathanson.

I've been a fan of this man since, oh I'd say probably 2001. That was my freshman year of high school. I was 14 years old. I was a huge nerd. I also loved Good Charlotte. I'm now 24 years old. I'm a married woman. A college graduate. I have learned that Good Charlotte is (and was) terrible. (I am probably still a huge nerd.)

The only similarity is that my love for Matt Nathanson has stayed strong. Beneath These Fireworks has remained my favorite album, although his most recent Modern Love is a strong contender. Some Mad Hope was phenomenal, but in my opinion, Beneath These Fireworks is the best thing out there.

This would only be my second time seeing him in concert.

He came to town for a special show at a local University (with another one of my long-time favorites- Jack's Mannequin) in 2009 and a friend got me and Joey into the show at the student price. Honestly, that was the best show of my life. It was a more intimate setting because it was only really accessible to students and faculty and it had limited public knowledge. The set was shorter, obviously, but seeing those two in concert together was really a life-changing experience.

This show was up there in terms of mind-blowing. Seeing him in his element, singing the songs I know every word to and have felt every emotion for... this is what music is all about. This is what is supposed to happen when a musician or artist is your "favorite"- an absolute connection to the person on that stage. I even felt a connection with his band. They were making these songs come alive. They were all my best friends that night, even if they didn't know I was in the crowd.

I am so grateful I was able to go to this show, and at my favorite venue in the city. It was a truly magical night and I hope that you get the chance to see your favorite artist/band/musician at some point in your life. It really is the most incredible experience.

I saw a photo of the set list on Twitter*, so I am posting a copy here.
*This is not my picture.

Honestly, go check his stuff out. You won't be disappointed. If you are disappointed, then I'm sorry you feel that way.... but I hope you can at least agree that seeing music come alive is one of the best things out there in this sad, sad world. And to that, I drink.

Who is your favorite band or artist? Have you seen them in concert? Was it the best thing....ever? Leave me a comment below! 

October 16, 2011

New Autumn Clothes!

1. Scoopneck Sweater/Target  2. Belted Dress/Target  3. Rocket Dog Silk Flats/Famous Footwear  4. LS Shirt Aqua Plaid/Target  
5. Shawl Collar Cardigan/Old Navy  6. Cognac Midcalf Boots/Kohls  7. Columbia Fleece Jacket/Kohls

It's about to get all kinds of materialistic up in here.

1. This sweater is SO soft.. seriously, it's like butter. It comes in a lot of different colors, but I was really drawn to the white and black striped one. I know horizontal stripes aren't the best idea for those of us with... curves... but I just don't care! It's so beautifully soft. I kind of want to put it on my pillow and cuddle with it.

2. I fell in love with this dress due to it being knit and the perfect knee length. I have a really tall torso and really short legs, so I always have a hard time with dresses that are structured like this one. But this dress just.... fits. The belt is fantastic because it helps me cinch my waist, giving me definition.. which is GREAT! And I can use the belt for other dresses since it's not attached. Bonus!

3. I found out that my trusty black flats had holes in the soles when I wore them to work during a torrential downpour. Pair nasty wet flats with tights and you have a disaster on your hands. Welcome to my Wednesday. So I was in need (NEED) of new flats and these totally deliver. They don't have a wicked arch, they are super soft, and were relatively cheap for Famous Footwear. Love!

4. This shirt hasn't completely won me over yet, but so far I think we can be friends. It has a nice shape, but the hem rests at my hips, versus below my hips.. due to that whole long torso thing. It makes me a little uncomfortable because I'm used to buying things that fit longer, but I think if I use it as an undershirt for a sweater (or give up my insecurities) I will love it. Plus, it's aqua. No further explanation is needed.

5. I haven't worn this sweater yet, since it's still like 80 degrees here. Come on! But it's really soft, the red is more coral than a deep red, and the 3/4 length sleeve just makes me excited. I can't wait to pair it with a long sleeve white shirt, or wear it in the office for a punch of the holidays. It just is so precious.

6. These are my first pair of boots....ever! I have been looking all over for the perfect boots, but I've run into some serious problems. First, my calves are big. Second, my legs are SHORT. Third, boots are expensive as hell! I didn't want boots with heels, suede slouchy boots, or booties. It was really difficult. Just ask Joey... we spent easy 30 minutes in the shoe department as I made lazy circles and formulated a boot pro/con list in my head. Finally I found these babies, and I love them. The heel isn't that bad, the material feels decent and not that cheap, and the height being mid-calf is PERFECT. Hello, fall, I'm reeeeeady!!

7. Ahhhhh. My Columbia jacket. I have a gray one from last season, but the zipper broke in one of my lesser-proud moments of complete blind rage. I don't have these moments often..... that you need to know about, at least. Now I have a black one and my life is complete. COMPLETE. Seriously, if you don't have a Columbia jacket: get one. Thank me later!

October 12, 2011

Deck of Cards -- For Joey

My husband is a poker aficionado.
No... let me explain: Joey does not just love poker. He knows poker.


He knows the statistics. He can tell you what cards have already been played and what you have in your hand just by looking at you. He recognizes that there is luck involved, but will emphasize that a good poker player has also an inherent skill that makes him successful. Any jerk can play the game of poker, but those who win will have known how to truly play the game.

Or, that person will get beat by that (lucky) jerk and then come home with less money in his bankroll and murder in his eyes.
Not that I've seen that.
(Because, if you ask my husband, he always wins.)
(also, yes, that is our wedding day.)

So, knowing all of this, knowing the look in my husband's eye when he comes across a stray poker chip in a drawer or a full deck of cards, I decided to make him a truly unique gift for his birthday

I first saw the idea on (what else!) Pinterest. I thought it looked so cute, so personal... and best of all, so cheap!

I went out and got 2 decks of cards from the Dollar Tree for $1. I bought some red binder rings at Office Max for less than $5 and then used a hole-punch, some scrapbook supplies and a glue stick to do the rest.

And my thinking cap. Definitely my thinking cap.
Coming up with 50 things I love about him was hard.

That sounds mean, but it really isn't. I love Joey. I've been with him for 6 years.
But putting me on the spot and telling me, "Think of 50 different things... or else!", I was so intimidated. The craft actually calls for 52 things. But I just had to finish the thing before I pulled my hair out. Sorry, babe!

Here is my favorite one:

All together now: "Awwwwwwwww!"
I know you were thinking it.
Stop it, you're making me blush. ;)

October 10, 2011

Felt Flower Wreath

This is an old project, but I still smile every time I see it on my door. Since I made it when I had a food blog, I figured I would share it now, here, on my pretty new blog!

I got the idea for my wreath from browsing on Pinterest. I am officially ob-sessed with that site.
You can see my boards and pins at the link on the left.

Let me know if you want an invitation, I will gladly be your enabler. ;)

Anyway, here is the original wreath and a link to the pin as well as the original blog it came from.
I'm all about giving credit where credit is due.

Pinterest: click // Blog: click
Mine is a little different in that I made different sized flowers and used two different colors: orange and maroon. This is mostly because my Hobby Lobby only had these in relation to Autumnal colors, but I like how it turned out.

Here is my finished product!

I also painted a wooden letter 'B' and affixed it to the wreath with matching orange satin ribbon. I love the end result and only wish my front door had a hook. :(

But it looks great on my bedroom door and makes me smile whenever I pass by!

And that's all you need in life, right? :)

October 7, 2011

10 Things I Love.... about Autumn

So I guess it's officially October, but seriously, wasn't it just September yesterday? How is October already a week gone? I swear, time flies when you don't have time to breathe.

I think I am also having a hard time with the idea of it being Autumn, because we've been having 80+ degree weather here in St. Louis. We've had perfectly blue skies, which is great, but I don't want to have to peel off my sweater when I get in my car after work. I want to wish I had more layers on!


I decided to get in the mood for Autumn by sharing my top 10 things I love about this wonderful season. Now, if only it would GET HERE ALREADY! :)

October 4, 2011

DIY Magazine Tree

Hi lovlies! Today I am going to share with you a very easy DIY decoration for Christmas, or in my case, any time of the year. I love it!

I studied Marketing in college and have a complete love and adoration for magazines and print media. I know that it's a dying art, but something about seeing a stack of magazines in a store, or you know, on my bookshelf because I have no willpower, makes me so happy. But once I own all of the magazines my little heart desires, ultimately they just collect dust and I end up throwing them out after tearing out my favorite ads and articles.

Here is a fun way to recycle them (which you should do anyway, if you are getting rid of them... *steps off my green podium*) and make a fun, colorful Christmas decoration that lasts all year long!

Materials Needed:
- A magazine.
That's it. Maybe a paperclip.

1. First, find an old magazine you have lying around. I recommend using a magazine on the thicker side that has a lot of colorful ads/images because you are only going to see the edges, for the most part. A magazine that is all print will be pretty boring.... unless you are going for a white tree, which is actually a cute idea.... anyway. Tear off the front and back covers and break the spine.

 2. I'm showing you these perfume ads, mostly because they are gorgeous (and I love my Daisy perfume... and secretly covet the Michael Kors one..), but also because they don't tear out that easily. See the edges? They kind of were bothersome when making this tree, so I recommend finding a magazine that doesn't have perfume ads to avoid that unnecessary trip-up.

3. Lay the magazine flat and open the first page. **DISCLAIMER: I did this instead of starting with the first page because of my OCD... don't ask. I did the rest of the below steps on the 2nd page (the contents page in the above picture) and then flipped the 1st page back over and did it next. 
Feel free to NOT be crazy, and just start on the first page, step 4 below.

 4. Take the top right corner of the page and fold it down, creasing it firmly against the spine of the book. Crease the fold so that it lays flat.

 5. Take the angled side (the hypotenuse, anyone?) and fold it over down to the left, flush with the spine of the book. Firmly crease so that it lays flat. You'll have a triangle on the bottom, and it kind of looks like a paper airplane.

 6. Fold up that little triangle so that it lays evenly with the bottom of the magazine. This will be the bottom of your tree, so you want it to be straight across. 

Turn the page and crease the edge of the spine.

Now's the fun part. 
Do that on EVERY PAGE until you're done.
I would watch a movie while doing this, or listen to music. Maybe some wine?

7. Here is about halfway through the magazine. See the tree taking shape? Just doing the 3 folds above turn your magazine into a pretty fir tree! 

 And voila!, after you fold and fold (and fold and fold!) you have this pretty little tree. If you have a paperclip, it helps to paperclip the first and last pages together, to make the tree keep its shape. It's not necessary, but I used one and liked how it looked better than not.

Tthe picture at the very top is a tree I made last year for Christmas. I keep it out always because I love how it looks, and how it complements the colors in the accessories I paired with it.

I love color!!

October 2, 2011

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos

My slow cooker is my best friend. It provides endless delicious recipes for me to make that don't involve me cooking for hours over a hot stove.

It is such a nice friend.

Yesterday I made pulled pork tacos. The recipe is so unbelievably easy, it literally only requires one thing you probably don't keep on hand in your kitchen: the pork tenderloin. Otherwise it calls for salsa, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, brown sugar and minced garlic. Throw it all in your crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.

And then, done! The pork was spicy and tender and then I paired with shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese and pico de gallo. It was so good and the fact that I had basically everything on hand was another plus.

SO GOOD! And my Spice candle makes me happy. I love fall!

October 1, 2011

Red Beans and Rice with Roasted Broccoli

I've been putting off blogging about the past few dinners Joey and I have made. I think that's when I knew a new blog was in order. I just wasn't as interested in talking about it anymore.

We made Red Beans and Rice, and I loved it! We have made it before but this time I added more Creole seasoning and used whole-grain spaghetti instead of rice. Yum!

I also roasted some broccoli after sprinkling it with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and some EVOO. It was delicious and the perfect compliment to the spicy sausage and beans!

New Blog!

So, I've been thinking about this for a while.
Newlywed Cooks was too much work... and besides, it's almost been 2 years since Joey and I got married.
Am I really a newlywed anymore?

(I don't think so.)

I wanted to create a new place for myself, where I can post the pretty things I've created, food I've cooked and ideas I've... thought (?).

I chose Quiet & Colorful because I feel like it represents my personality.
I am naturally a very quiet person, who becomes colorful when I am surrounded by good friends and family.

(I also just really love colors... I am a scarily obsessed color-enthusiast.)

I think this will be SUPER fun for me and a total change of pace from the rigid structure I created for myself on Newlywed Cooks. I will miss it, but I am looking so forward to this blog!

I hope you enjoy my new adventure and stick with me!

Love <3