Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Decor - Black and White

I was digging through my Halloween decorations and putting out the usual decor (jack o lantern candle holders, handmade banner, etc.) when I realized I didn't want the same old look. I really love the black and white look - it's cleaner and some how more spooky, isn't it?

And it goes so well with my train sign I bought months ago...

I placed a few antique white candles, an apothecary jar of white balls with black letters, a black crow, a black pedestal bowl (with candy corn, of course), and I used one of the frames I use in my shop to make a simple image of a phrenology chart in it on one side of the fireplace...oh and don't forget the vintage black cat head (I think that was a dollar store find, but I can't remember)

And on the other side is the handmade Haunted House I made years ago (Edgar Allan Poe picture is inside on black and white wallpaper) along with a very cool Victorian style birdhouse I bought at Big Lots a decade or so ago, a tree, a white pumpkin, another crow. And of course on each side are spider candle holders.

Very cute, no? I love my simple, but beautiful mantle this year. No need for orange. ;)

How are you decorating this year? Comment/post a link to your own pics, I'd love to see them. One more week to Halloween, Ghouls and Gals...

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bigger Better Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Now don't get me wrong - I love Tollhouse cookies - they taste great. But the cookies always come out thin and a bit crunchy whereas I like a chewy moist chocolate chip cookie. So I've been looking for a new recipe or ideas to make my chocolate chip cookies a bit better and finally found a great recipe in a free cookbook pamphlet my local grocery store hands out. It's a large recipe and I was a little worried at first, but they made some of the plumpest, moist cookies ever and I loved them!!

Here's the picture to illustrate the difference in Tollhouse looking cookies to new cookies:
They really deliver...

I've altered the recipe just a smidge.

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies:

4 1/2 cups Flour
1 t Baking Powder
1 t Baking Soda
1 1/2 t Salt
1 3/4 cups Brown Sugar (firmly packed)
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Veg. Shortening
1/2 cup Butter (one stick)
3 Large Eggs
3 t Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 pkgs. (12 oz. size) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (more or less, depends on personal taste)
1 cup Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

Prepare as you do in usual chocolate chip cookie recipes like Tollhouse. Mix Dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ones in mixer bowl, combine slowly.

Bake at 375 degrees.

The results are fantastic - this is about half the cookies...

I'm sure they will go fast!

And Smokey wanted me to remind you that it is getting colder! And he let me know that if I get out of bed for something I can't expect to have my place when I come back.

Have a Great Weekend!
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