DIY Modern Mini Christmas Tree

November 28, 2015  /   /   //  1 Comment

DIY_balsa_wood_Tree I’ve had this idea for a little modern Christmas tree in my head for a long time now. I really love those little bottle brush Christmas trees because they are the perfect Christmas décor without being overly Christmas, and this is my modern take on those cute little trees. This is what I will be displaying on my mantle as a set of three this year. This may seem a little overwhelming, but it’s actually very simple and easy to put together. The most annoying part being using a drill, which isn’t really that annoying.
♥ Teri

Balsa_Wood_Circle_Cutter cement paint_pen placement_marks DIY_mini_christmas_Tree balsa_wood_christmas_tree

DIY Modern Mini Christmas Tree 

– Balsa wood sheets. You can get these at most art stores, or Orchard Supply has them as well. You can also get them on Amazon.
– Circle cutter. I tried maybe 4 or 5 circle cutters for this project, and this one I think is the best.
– Small wood dowel
– Quick dry cement, I used this one.
– Little plastic cups for bottom. I really like these, and they are cheap and have a nice simple shape.
– Tape. Washi, scotch, whatever is ok.
– Drill with drill bit the size of the dowel
– Fine sand paper
– A tool to cut the wood dowel, I used this handy miter box.
Paint pen in green! (or whatever color you want)
– Gorilla wood glue
– Gorilla glue

1. Cut a small piece of the dowel off about 3 inches. Mix a small amount of cement, enough to fill the little container you have chosen. Pour cement mixture into the mold and then place the little piece of the wood dowel into the mixture and secure straight with a piece of tape. Let dry according to the manufactures directions. *( It was very easy for me to retrieve the cement out of the plastic mold I choose, if you feel like this might be an issue for you, you can spray the inside of your mold with some cooking spray).
2. Cut the balsa wood sheets using the wood cutter. I cut mine in half in increments starting at 4.5 inches and ending with 1 inch. That gives you 8 rounds.
3. Once you have the rounds make a mark to designate the middle of the rounds.
4. Using your drill and the drill bit you have chosen that matches the diameter of the dowel you’re going to use, drill holes in the middle of the wood rounds. Make sure to do this very safely.
5. Use the paint pen to color the edges of the wood rounds.
6. Measure the dowel to allow a half of an inch in between each wood round and allowing about 4 inches for the trunk. Use a writing utensil to mark these measurements on the dowel.
7. Slide on the smallest wood round into its place. Dab a small amount of the glue on the bottom where the wood round meets the dowel and spin the dowel to smear the glue all the way around. Wipe off any excess. Repeat this step with the rest of the wood rounds. Let dry according to the directions on the glue you used.
8. Once your cement is dry gently lift out the dried cement using the dowel. Twist the dowel to remove it.
9. Using your fine sand paper, sand off the rough edges of your cement piece.
10. Using the regular gorilla glue, squeeze some into the hole of the cement mold and place the tree into it. Wipe off any excess that might appear and let dry.
11. Done! Enjoy your super cute modern mini tree!


Apple Cranberry Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream

November 27, 2015  /   /   //  5 Comments

Noosa_Apple_Cranberry_Cake Did everyone have a good thanksgiving?! This is such a fun time of year because the holidays really seem to bring people together and thanksgiving is great at kicking the festivities off! I’m sure everyone is overly stuffed from last night’s feast and just barely ready to dive into leftovers, but we’re already thinking about December and all the fun that comes with it! So today we have a not so little dessert that’s perfect for any upcoming get togethers or celebrations. Plus the cake itself is huge and really great for a crowd.

We’ve incorporated noosa’s honey flavored yoghurt into our batter today because it makes our cake super moist and adds a nice texture to the cake. Plus, because it’s already sweetened, we can cut back on some of the sugar we use in the batter. noosa yoghurt is one of my favorites; it’s so smooth and creamy, with a good amount of thickness to it. The amount of flavor they put into each container is also perfect, the perfect blend of sweet and tart. They’re perfect for incorporating into recipes and dishes, but also make the perfect snack on its own. I’ve recently been crushing on noosa pumpkin yoghurt…so good!

Anyway, back to cake!! I finished this beauty with fresh sage leaves and fresh cranberries, normally I’m not into garnishes that you can’t/shouldn’t eat, but the combination just seemed so seasonally appropriate that I couldn’t resist. We hope this cake serves as some good old holiday food inspiration! Enjoy!!
Noosa_Honey_yoghurt Noosa_Cake_Process Apple_Cranberry_Cake_Decortations Apple_Cranberry_Cake_Slice


Apple Cranberry Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream
Makes 1 (9”) cake

apple-cranberry cake:
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups superfine sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 (8 ounce) container of noosa honey yoghurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 small apple peeled, cored and diced
1 cup fresh cranberries
brown sugar buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh sage leaves
fresh cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. For cake: Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl.
3. Place sugar, butter and eggs into another mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and whisk together until very thick and combined.
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients , except the apple and cranberries, until fully incorporated and the batter is smooth.
5. Gently fold in the apple and cranberries until evenly distributed.
6. Pour the batter into four prepared cake pans (bottoms lined with parchment and lightly greased) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.
7. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 15 to 20 minutes before removing from pans and allowing cakes to cool completely.
8. For buttercream: Place butter into a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and whip until light and fluffy. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the remaining ingredients, scrap down the sides of the bowl, and continue to whip until smooth (the frosting should be on the runny side…not firm enough to pipe, but not so runny that it can’t sit, spread atop a cake).
9. To assemble: Place a thin layer of buttercream over the top of one of the cakes and top with the other cake, inverted (so both cake circle tops are touching one another). Repeat with remaining cake layers, so all four are stacked atop one another.
10. Gently frost the four tiered cake with a thin layer of frosting (the crumb coat). Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
11. Coat the cake in another layer of frosting and smooth the frosting on the top of the cake. Top the cake with a border of fresh sage leaves and cranberries to look like a wreath. Slice and serve.

**This post is sponsored by noosa. Thank you for supporting our sponsors. It helps keep us going! **


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2015  /   /   //  0 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving friends!!! ♥ ♥ ♥


Cauliflower, Parsnip and Roasted Garlic Mash

November 24, 2015  /   /   //  5 Comments

Cauliflower_parsnip_mash Thanksgiving is literally around the corner, but we’re leaving you with this last recipe for cauliflower, parsnip and roasted garlic mash! Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite thanksgiving side dishes, but this year we’re switching things up just a tad by replacing our mashed potatoes for this slightly healthier version! It’s only slightly healthier because we swap out the potato for cauliflower and parsnips, but we’re still using plenty of butter and cream to make sure this dish is still extra rich and creamy!

The roasted garlic creates a nice balance against the sweetness from the parsnips and this dish is my favorite go to “mashed potatoes” substitute! If you’re still looking to squeeze one more dish onto your loaded holiday table, I highly recommend throwing these guys into the mix! Enjoy! xx, Jenny

Cauliflower, Parsnip and Roasted Garlic Mash
Serves 6 to 8

4 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 heads cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 head roasted garlic
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons minced thyme, optional
salt and pepper to taste

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
2. Add parsnips and boil for about 6 minutes. Add cauliflower and boil for an additional 10 to 12 minutes or until parsnip and cauliflower are fork tender.
3. Drain completely. Add roasted garlic and begin to mash mixture. Add remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper and continue to mash until mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. Adjust seasonings and serve.

To roast garlic: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Slice off the top 1/2 inch of a head of garlic. Place garlic head on the center of a small piece of foil. Drizzle the garlic with a small amount of oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Wrap foil around garlic and place directly onto the center rack. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until garlic is fork tender and caramelized. Allow garlic to cool for about 10 minutes, uncovered. Remove cloves, discard the peel and set aside until ready to use.