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Treasure Island Trip!

 

Last weekend, the boyfriend and I ventured to the west side of the Sunshine state with his parents. We were only going for a few days, due to Isaac heading to the Gulf. Just wanted to share some of the beautiful sights we saw while wandering around Treasure Island!

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We stayed at Sunset Vistas, which was right on the beach. Made for some awesome pictures off of the balcony.

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While the island was beautiful, there wasn’t a whole lot there to do. The closest restaurant that wasn’t a seafood place (we are slightly picky about food) was at least 30 minutes away. There were also way to many middle-aged men in speedos for my taste. No pictures to share of those – I spared you those nightmares. ;) The coolest part about the trip was finally seeing a legitimate sunset. It was on our bucket list for 2012. Here are a few of my favorite shots…

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There are tons more – mainly because I’m shutter happy. :) It was a great, relaxing weekend. I was more than ready to come home to our little Schnauzer, but I’m sort of sad that summer is almost over. The only up side is it’s almost boot weather!

Tune in later this week – I’m sharing a new casserole recipe!

- taryn leazah

Deep Fried Twinkies!

It’s Deep Fry-day!! For the month of May, I dragged out the trusty old Fry Daddy and tortured some Twinkies. Prior to this, I had never tasted a Twinkie. Hard to believe coming from a junk food kid, but it’s true. According to some good friends of ours Deep Fried Twinkies are extremely popular, so here we go!
All in all, it’s pretty simple:
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Start with mixing your pancake batter to the instructions on the box. I used the measurements using 1 cup of pancake batter, which was more than enough for the 4 Twinkies we did. Coat a Twinkie with the pancake batter on all sides. They’re spongy (go figure), so they’re kind of hard to work with if you let them sit in the bowl for too long.
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Drop the Twinkie in the hot grease. This is the easy part – let it brown on both sides and put it on a few paper towels to drain some of the grease. There is a lot!
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And there you have it!

Need some inspiration for next month! Any ideas??

--- taryn leazah

Cuppy-Uppy-Up-Cake!

We just celebrated the bestie’s birthday this past week. Due to the fact that she wouldn’t tell me what she wanted, I decided to make her cupcakes. I LOVE CUPCAKES! They are the next best thing to a good paper sale! I think they’re more fun that just your standard cake… and so much easier to give as a gift! I did cupcakes for my mom’s 50th birthday instead of a cake, and I was trying to find the perfect cupcake topper. I didn’t want to buy a bunch of random “50"s (not to mention that of all the cupcakes we did, she probably would have killed us all if she saw all those reminders.) Love you mom! haha. 

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Anyway – while I was searching, I found this tutorial for making white chocolate letters, and it was SOO easy! I can’t remember where I found it. I just tried, so I can’t credit the source. All I can say is these people are pure genius!
Shopping list:
Wax paper
Printed letters
Candy melts
Icing bag with a fine tip
Here we go… It’s really simple. Print out your letters on a standard piece of printer paper. This way, you get the font you want. I used ‘smiley monster’, one of my favorites right now. Lay a piece of wax paper over the paper. Seeing the breeziness of this so far?
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Melt your candies. I love the Wilton’s Candy Melts – they melt really easily and they’re so easy to work with! My microwave is a little funky, so it took a few times to get this fluid enough to use. Put the candies in an icing bag, and put that on a microwave safe plate. This prevents the chocolate from melting all over the microwave – a mess you do not want! (Note: I always use two icing bags. It may be a waste, but when that chocolate comes out of the microwave, it’s a little warm. This shields your hands a little, while also making it easy to attach the icing tip.)
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Now comes the really easy part! Trace the letters on the wax paper.
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Simple, right? The best part is that if your hands get a little shaky (like mine always do), you can redo the letter as many times as you have space for! Once you’re satisfied with your letters, slide the sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet and set it in the fridge. This lets the chocolate get nice and solid so it’s easier to place them on the cupcakes! 

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Now I was faced with the dilemma of keeping the cupcakes in one spot in the box. I didn’t want to have icing all over the inside of the box, so I had to come up with something. I measured the box I got from Michael’s, and figured I needed a base that was 12x12. I had a piece of foam board I used for an earlier project, so I used that and my little brain to come up with this idea:
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Not the prettiest thing, but once you put the cupcakes in the box, you can’t really see it. I laid out an empty  cupcake wrapper on the board and traced out my circles. I’m really particular about placement of things, so I made sure they were as even as possible. Traced the lines with an x-acto knife, and voila! Cupcake base!
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After decorating the outside of the ugly white box, I put all the cupcakes inside and here we go. Awesome birthday present for an awesome friend! The foam board kept all the cupcakes in one spot, and they survived the car trip with my crazy driving. Enough for me!

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I’m also going to sneak a picture of her card in here, since you all know this is my passion. I just recently got into using baker’s twine – I’m a little behind the ball, but I love this stuff! It completed this card!
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So to you bestie, happy, happy birthday!
 
-taryn leazah

Happy Hop Hop Day!

Hey guys – stopping in to wish you all a Happy Easter!

Just wanted to share the latest torture photo session with the little furry child.

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Enjoy your day with family! I’m headed to do some flea market shopping & have an afternoon barbecue with friends and family!

Taryn Leazah

Deep Fried Oreos!

You know the saying “they’ll fry anything in the South”? I always laughed at people when they said it to me; just another stereotype of being born and raised in a place where it doesn’t snow.
In the area of Florida I’m in, the biggest hoorah of the year is the 4th of July celebration. Everyone loads up their cars with beach gear and heads to the beach for the day. There are all sorts of vendors set up around the center of Flagler Beach, selling just about anything you can imagine. I came across one a few years ago that was selling Fried Oreos, and I fell in love! A cookie monsters dream? I think so!
Upon doing a little research I figured out that if you whip up some pancake batter, you can fry pretty much anything. Being the fat kid that I am, I decided to test the “fry anything theory”.
Thus, “Deep Fry-day” was born. Once a month, I will put the deep fryer to the test and see how much better I can make something by frying it.
Starting with the Deep Fried Oreos! It’s fairly simple.
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(we will get to the Peeps later…)
You will need:
  • - pancake mix (whatever brand you like – this was just a freebie)
  • - Oreos
  • - Chocolate Syrup
  • - Powdered Sugar
From my experience, these are SUPER RICH. I can only eat one or two, so I didn’t bother making a whole bunch. They’re kind of a make and snack type of treat – not something you can save for later!
1 – I started by mixing a cup of pancake mix with 3/4 cup water (directions on the box).
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2 – Drop the Oreo in the bowl, and coat the entire cookie with pancake batter.
3 – Drop the Oreo in the (warmed up) deep fryer.
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4 – This literally doesn’t even take more than about a minute to finish. Turn them over once you notice the edges turning brown. The cookie will turn a nice, golden brown color on both sides, and it’s done!
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5 – Once the cookie is drained of all the extra grease, cover it with chocolate syrup and powdered sugar and enjoy!
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These survived long enough to take pictures. Haha. An awesome treat, but trust me: they’re good in small doses!
Now on to the Peeps. While talking to a few friends, one of them had the idea of attempting to deep fry the classic Easter treat.
EPIC FAIL.
The sugary coating on the Peep won’t actually allow the batter to stick to them. Knowing this, I dropped it in the deep fryer anyway. It took all of about 3 seconds before the batter disappeared and the marshmallow was following suit.
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Moral of the story is – marshmallows aren’t something that should be fried.
Any ideas for next month’s “Deep Fry-day?” I’d love to hear them!




Til next month ---
Taryn Leazah

Not-So-Little Sister!

Fair Warning: I’m going to get emotional on you. My little sister turns 18 today. The one that’s six years younger and a thousand times tougher. The one that once was an innocent, adorable child that annoyed me whenever she could.
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The kid who did whatever she could to hang out with her cool older sister, until she grew up and became cool all on her own.
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The one who’s been kicking my butt since she learned how to walk. The tough little cookie… who called our dad a “rat bastard” at the age of two on Easter Sunday.
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Little sister, I hope you know how proud I am of you. How much I miss the old days of dancing around to the Spice Girls and driving Mom and Dad crazy. The days of being completely random together.
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Now matter how old and beautiful you get…
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This is how I’ll always see you. I love you little sister. Happy 18th Birthday!
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--- Taryn Leazah