Hot Chocolate Spoons

Hot Chocolate Spoons are perfect for stirring up a mug of hot chocolate or coffee! Try making them with any variety of chocolate and candy. My favorite is definitely the salted caramel! Create these spoons for a hot chocolate bar, give them as favors at your next Christmas party, use them as stocking stuffers, or enjoy them yourself! Try serving them with my homemade Malted Hot Chocolate Mix! I used these wooden spoons for this DIY, and created these flavor combinations: Salted Caramel // melted caramel squares topped with coarse sea salt Dark Chocolate Toffee // melted semi-sweet chocolate chips topped with toffee bits … Continue reading Hot Chocolate Spoons

Peppermint White Chocolate Pretzels

I love peppermint everything at this time of the year! My husband and I had a Chick-fil-a date on Monday to celebrate the return of their Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake… Starbucks’ Peppermint White Chocolate Mochas are the best… and these Peppermint White Chocolate Pretzels are one of my favorite holiday treats! I love their simple salty-sweetness, with a hint of mint. They’re also the simplest Christmas treat to make. Peppermint White Chocolate Pretzels pretzels white chocolate chips peppermints Unwrap peppermint candies and place them into a ziplock bag. Use a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat tenderizer to crush … Continue reading Peppermint White Chocolate Pretzels

Cherry Turnover Pastries

These Cherry Turnovers have a flaky pastry outside with a warm cherry pie filling (and a sweet glaze!). They are a festive treat for the holidays… these turnovers are just as quick as opening a tube of cinnamon rolls, making them perfect for breakfast or dessert! This is one of those recipes that is so simple that you almost don’t need a recipe. I got my inspiration for these from the Pillsbury’s cherry turnover kits that I loved when I was growing up. I haven’t been able to find them anymore so I decided to make my own simple version. Try … Continue reading Cherry Turnover Pastries

Spicy Southwest Cornbread Dressing

As un-American as this sounds, I’m really not a fan of traditional Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing. I’ve always liked the idea but I just can’t get into the taste. Last year, at my husband’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner, we enjoyed dressing that was flavored with cilantro. It’s something that I never would have thought of, but the flavors really go so well together. As much as I love Southwestern food, I had to try making it myself, so I came up with this similar, spicy, version! Note that this makes a pretty large batch, perfect for serving up at the holidays! … Continue reading Spicy Southwest Cornbread Dressing

Thanksgiving Tablescape

Today I’m so excited to feature a guest post from my friend, Dominique, of Gusto & Grace! I absolutely love Dominique’s creativity and style, her recipes and home decor are always so perfect. Go follow the Gusto & Grace blog and like the Gusto & Grace Facebook page! Thanksgiving Tablescape This is my first Thanksgiving as a married woman. My husband and I will be hosting both sides of our family this year. I am excited to spend this holiday in my new home and am thrilled to entertain. When thinking about how I would set the Thanksgiving table I … Continue reading Thanksgiving Tablescape

Cranberry Toffee Muffins with Crumble Topping

Baking is one of my favorite things to do during the holiday season. I love the delicious scents that fill the house and the warmth of the oven on cold days. This muffin recipe is perfect for the holidays, with the flavor of tart cranberries and salty sweet toffee! You could also make these Cranberry Toffee Muffins in the form of a sweet bread. I actually used this recipe to make one dozen muffins and one mini loaf! Cranberry Toffee Muffins                                      18 … Continue reading Cranberry Toffee Muffins with Crumble Topping

Parmesan Crusted Baked Potatoes

I’ve just found my new favorite potato recipe! I’m honestly not much of a potato fan, but I do try to make them frequently for my husband. I came across this recipe (here) and had to give it a try. We both loved it! When they come out of the oven, these potatoes are soft and buttery, topped with a deliciously crispy parmesan crust. Serve these Parmesan Crusted Potatoes as a side dish or an appetizer! Parmesan Crusted Baked Potatoes 6 small potatoes 1/4 cup butter grated parmesan cheese garlic salt freshly ground pepper Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub potatoes … Continue reading Parmesan Crusted Baked Potatoes

Simple Holiday Centerpiece Ideas

Today I have a few simple holiday table centerpiece ideas for you. You can create a great centerpiece without setting up an elaborate tablescape! Have a small space? Make a centerpiece on your coffee table if you don’t have a large dining table. Use things that you already have to a create unique and beautiful centerpiece that will pop! A cake stand makes a perfect base for a centerpiece! It’s a great way to decorate without sacrificing a lot of table space. I used tall vases, filled with natural cotton, to give the centerpiece even more height. Grab a pretty tray, plate, … Continue reading Simple Holiday Centerpiece Ideas

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

It’s National Pasta Day and, while this was not planned in coordination with the holiday, I do have the perfect pasta sauce for you! This was actually my first attempt at making Alfredo sauce. While it did take more time than popping open a jar of sauce, it was easy and worth the extra time. This sauce tastes even better than restaurant Alfredo sauce! When searching for the perfect Alfredo sauce recipe to try, I found that many recipes are fairly similar. I gathered up a variety of ingredients and decided to create my own version. Try this rich and creamy … Continue reading Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Gourmet Caramel Apples

Gourmet caramel apples are one of my favorite holiday treats. Just the fact that there’s a piece of fruit inside makes me feel okay about eating layers and layers of candy! I chose three different apples for this recipe and went with three different flavor combinations on top of the caramel: mini dark chocolate chips, drizzled dark chocolate and white chocolate, and (my favorite) melted dark chocolate dipped in toffee bits… I loved the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate, mixed with the saltiness of the toffee and the tartness of the green apple! It’s so easy to make fancy … Continue reading Gourmet Caramel Apples

Pumpkin Spice French Toast

It’s that time of the year, pumpkin spice everywhere! I love french toast and I really wanted to try a pumpkin version for Fall. This was my first attempt and I love how it turned out. So simple and perfect for cool mornings! This french toast is a perfect way to get your pumpkin spice fix without baking all afternoon or making a trip to Starbucks. If you’re a fan of french toast (and all things pumpkin) then this is the recipe for you! Pumpkin Spice French Toast 4 slices of bread 1 egg 1/8 cup milk 1/8 cup canned pumpkin … Continue reading Pumpkin Spice French Toast

Modern Paint Dipped Pumpkins

Silver mercury glass pumpkins and natural white pumpkins are my favorites! I decided to do something of a combination of the two when I painted this pumpkin. You can use this easy method, in whatever color scheme you like, to add some modern flair to your Fall decor. Fall and DIY projects, what could be better? Start by choosing a pumpkin! I knew that I wanted to use my pumpkin for a painting project, so it didn’t have to be anything special, I picked this one up at Walmart for $5. I would suggest buying a plastic pumpkin for this … Continue reading Modern Paint Dipped Pumpkins

Orange Clove Pomanders

I love natural decor for Fall! This year I’m decorating with a collection of pumpkins, natural cotton, and orange clove pomanders. These pomanders are both natural and fragrant, with a spicy citrus scent! I love making them at least once during this time of the year (it’s also a fun project that you can create with kids!). These pomanders are the perfect decoration for Fall, Thanksgiving, or Christmas! Wrap twine or ribbon around pomanders to make them into hanging holiday ornaments. Orange Clove Pomanders oranges whole cloves a toothpick Using a toothpick, make a small hole in the skin of … Continue reading Orange Clove Pomanders

Natural Cotton Wreath

I have a pretty unique name. It isn’t very common, and the spelling of my name makes it super unique (I know, you’re wondering how this could possibly tie in to this wreath project? but just wait!). Several years ago I connected, via Facebook, with someone else named Shae. The really crazy thing? Our maiden names were exactly the same as well! This obviously doesn’t happen very often. Okay, so, this has never ever happened before. Even better, we have similar characteristics and similar tastes! Recently Shae and I were talking about Fall decor and our search for natural cotton or … Continue reading Natural Cotton Wreath

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread

Fall is coming! I am absolutely in love with this season! I’ve already been overwhelming my husband with Autumn candle scents, and talk of pumpkins and Fall decor. I can hardly wait for cooler and cozy weather after the nearly unbearable Texas summer heat. In fact, the first couple of days of September were some of our hottest yet this year. In spite of the 105º+ temperatures, I turned on the oven and heated up the house in order to make this Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make. Enjoy this quick sweet bread … Continue reading Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread

Garlic Asparagus

Lately I’ve really been attempting to make healthier, less processed, food for us. I’m not going to lie, my favorite meals are the unhealthy ones… dishes that are loaded with pasta and cheese… cheeseburgers have really been my thing recently… and, of course, pizza is always acceptable. I’m not completely cutting out these foods, but I’m trying to get as many vegetables into our diet as possible. Garlic salt makes amazing garlic bread (another unhealthy favorite), so I decided to try it on baked asparagus. We loved it! This way of cooking vegetables is definitely a keeper (try this flavoring method … Continue reading Garlic Asparagus

Mexican Street Corn

This recipe is so quick and easy… do I always say that?? Well, this recipe really is almost effortless (adapted from here). I’ve really been wanting to try Mexican Street Style Corn and I finally found some really good-looking corn last week. This recipe was such a hit! It has so many layers of flavor with the sweetness of the corn, the salty spiciness of the mayo, and the tartness of the lime. I love this spicy mayo, it’s such an excellent compliment to sweet and juicy corn (it would be great over grilled corn)! Mexican Street Corn 4 ears sweet corn olive oil … Continue reading Mexican Street Corn

Mocha Sugar Scrub

I love sugar scrubs, and they’re really so easy to make at home (like my Cookie Dough Sugar Scrub)! This Mocha Scrub is one that I’ve been wanting to make for quite some time. I saved the coffee grounds from my morning coffee to use in this sweet smelling scrub! Do a quick online search for the skin benefits of coffee grounds and you’ll find claims that it helps to minimize everything from cellulite to stretch marks. I can’t guarantee that this coffee scrub will change your life, but you really can’t go wrong with a skin care product that smells … Continue reading Mocha Sugar Scrub

Broccoli Cheese Jalapeño Soup

I first tasted this spicy broccoli cheese soup at Hoffbrau, a local Texas steak house. I’m not really a steak fan, but I love going there for their Broccoli Cheese Jalapeño Soup. It is so deliciously cheesy with the perfect amount of spiciness! I was searching for a copycat recipe and was pretty excited when I found that the actual recipe for this soup is on the Hoffrbrau website! I didn’t change the recipe but I did attempt to simplify it and I converted measurements to cups. If you want to take a look at the original recipe, you can find … Continue reading Broccoli Cheese Jalapeño Soup

Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Today I’m in the kitchen, whipping up some Pesto from my basil plant (which is growing out of control!) and working on some recipes that will be on the blog soon. But I’m taking a break to share another easy recipe for smoothies with you! This Blueberry Mango Smoothie totally reminds me of a blueberry muffin! Blueberries, along with the sweetness of mango and the richness of almond milk, make up this satisfying and healthy treat. Blueberry Mango Smoothie                                 1 serving 1/2 mango 1/2 cup blueberries 1 … Continue reading Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Tex-Mex Roasted Stuffed Peppers

I can’t get enough of roasted peppers! I love how roasted peppers are crispy charred, and yet soft and juicy. I used to be under the assumption that I couldn’t get a good charred pepper without a gas stove or grill, but I’ve discovered that an oven broiler is a great way to cook peppers! Roasted bell peppers are a tasty and healthier alternative to tortillas for Mexican dishes (or try a sandwich bread or bun swap with my Roast Beef Stuffed Peppers!). These Tex-Mex Roasted Stuffed Peppers are a great way for turning leftovers into a fresh new dish! Use … Continue reading Tex-Mex Roasted Stuffed Peppers

Pineapple Mango Smoothie

I love smoothies! You can toss just about any combination of fruit into a blender and turn it into a refreshing treat. Smoothies are a quick breakfast option or a delicious morning or afternoon snack. I love the tropical sweetness from the pineapple and mangos in this smoothie, it’s easy to forget that this drink is actually healthy! I used frozen pineapple chunks for this recipe to get the icy coldness of a smoothie without adding ice. I’m a little addicted to vanilla almond milk, but you could use the unsweetened kind or regular milk instead! Pineapple Mango Smoothie 1 … Continue reading Pineapple Mango Smoothie

Chloe + Isabel Necklace Giveaway :: CLOSED

Random.org chose Chelsea’s comment as the winner! Thanks to everyone who participated, look for more giveaways in the future! I’m so excited about this necklace giveaway! It’s brought to you by Katie at Chloe + Isabel! I love their bold and unique jewelry collections! One winner will receive this perfect Petite Pear Crystal Collar Necklace! Girls, you’ll love this boutique! Guys, enter to win this necklace for your girlfriend or wife! How to enter to win: Visit the Chloe + Isabel boutique. Post your favorite item in the comment section below. Winner will selected at random and notified by email. One … Continue reading Chloe + Isabel Necklace Giveaway :: CLOSED

Bacon Wrapped Sausages

This appetizer brings back so many memories! As I was growing up, we had these bacon wrapped sausages at almost every family celebration that I can remember. We still make these sausages every Christmas, along with all of our other favorite finger foods. Everyone loves them, they’re just so addicting! The brown sugar caramelizes over the bacon, creating an amazing sweet and savory treat! These Bacon Wrapped Sausages are such an easy party food and they’ll be a hit at your next gathering! Bacon Wrapped Sausages 6-8 servings beef little smokies sausages (1 package) bacon (1 package) 2 cups brown sugar … Continue reading Bacon Wrapped Sausages

Fresh Tomato Sauce

I wasn’t a big fan of tomato soup until I tasted fresh tomato soup (served at a local restaurant) and fell in love. It was so rich and creamy, I was surprised and even skeptical when I was told that there wasn’t actually any cream in the soup at all. It’s true, this recipe isn’t actually for tomato soup, but this sauce features that same unbelievably rich creaminess (even without adding any dairy!). I love this sauce because it can be served on several different levels, from hearty and rustic to smooth and velvety (my favorite)! Fresh Tomato Sauce 2 … Continue reading Fresh Tomato Sauce

Salsa Verde Casserole

It’s been a busy few weeks since opening my Etsy shop (if you haven’t already checked it out, you can find the Hello Homebody Etsy shop here). I’ve been attempting to fill orders, create new items for the shop, and keep up with recipe planning and blogging. My goal is to create a good schedule so that I’m not jumping from project to project all day long, but I haven’t found that happy balance of organization quite yet. In the middle of my scattered-ness, I’ve been falling back on our favorite dishes for dinner, simple recipes that I know by … Continue reading Salsa Verde Casserole

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Pasta is my favorite comfort food… macaroni and cheese… fettuccine alfredo… lasagna! What I really love is a good sauce. Honestly, pasta is just plain boring without it! This Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is rich, creamy, and cheesy, balanced with the flavors of fresh basil and red peppers. Roasting peppers couldn’t be simpler but it adds great flavor to sauces (and dips, like my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus). If you’ve never roasted peppers (or if it’s your favorite thing ever) you should give this recipe a try! Roasted Red Pepper Sauce 4 servings 2 large red bell peppers 2 large … Continue reading Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

Do you ever have a craving for something sweet but you just don’t have the time or the energy to bake a dessert? This simple and sweet treat is perfect for moments like that. These cinnamon sugar chips puff up slightly, leaving a a soft and warm side and a crisp, caramelized sugar side! They taste similar to churros, one of my favorites! If you’re like me you probably have all of the ingredients for this sweet snack in your kitchen right now. What are you waiting for? Go try this recipe! Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips flour tortillas butter brown … Continue reading Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

Peanut Butter Bars (Reese’s copycat)

That’s right, today’s recipe is all about making homemade candy bars! Looking for a quick no-bake dessert? Look no further, these peanut butter bars are just the thing to satisfy your sweet tooth! I made these PB bars with my husband in mind… but I have to be honest, I’ve definitely eaten my fair share! Drew did love these. After his first taste, he even told me that “these are the single best thing you’ve ever made in your entire life”. If you love Reese’s, you should try these addicting bars for yourself! My recipe was slightly altered from here. Peanut … Continue reading Peanut Butter Bars (Reese’s copycat)

Chile Rellenos Casserole

This just might be the very first “new” recipe that I tried out right after Drew and I were married. I’d loved to cook for years before that, but cooking for my new husband was just so much fun! Casseroles. I love them for so many reason: they’re so tasty (I really don’t know if I’ve ever met a casserole that I didn’t like), they’re great leftover, and one-dish dinners make clean-up easy! But so many of the casseroles that I make are loaded with pasta or tortillas. This dish is light on carbs but still filling and easy! Green … Continue reading Chile Rellenos Casserole

Hello Homebody // on facebook & etsy!

It’s been just four months since I created the Hello Homebody blog… I’m amazed by the response that it’s received, and so thankful for the blogger friends that I’ve made! I truly appreciate all of you (from 95 different countries!) who have taken the time to stop by and check out my recipes and projects! Recipe posts have by far been the most popular (who doesn’t like food, right?). In case you were wondering, my four most visited posts are// Brisket Barbecue (with over 15k pins to Pinterest!!) Avocado Hummus Chicken Avocado Lime Soup Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Hello Homebody … Continue reading Hello Homebody // on facebook & etsy!

Texturing Clay // Wind Chime Project

I’ve been wanting to hang wind chimes for a while but we’d been waiting to find a set that had a good sound, nothing that would be too high pitch and annoying for windy Texas days. Drew found some hefty old chimes in my grandma’s storage barn, but they were missing the wind catcher and the bead that hits the chimes. In search of something that would work as a wind catcher, I was digging through my craft supplies stash when I came across my polymer clay. I’ve been wanting to use this method of texturing clay so I decided to see if … Continue reading Texturing Clay // Wind Chime Project

Crockpot Tex-Mex Black Beans

You’ve probably heard about the pros of cooking dry beans: it’s cheaper than buying canned beans and they’re healthier (because you can decide what goes into them!). But cooking dry beans is also so easy! Cooking beans in chicken broth really gives them an extra meaty flavor (but you could use water or vegetable stock instead). The chicken broth thickens with the spices to make a rich and flavorful chili sauce! Serve these tasty beans as a side dish, in burritos, or on top of nachos! Crockpot Tex-Mex Black Beans                        … Continue reading Crockpot Tex-Mex Black Beans

Sugar Scrub // Cookie Dough

Today’s project isn’t for eating, even though it smells exactly like cookie dough!!! Coconut oil is a beauty “secret” that’s all over the place right now, so I decided to give it a try in this sugar body scrub. It feels exactly like olive oil, so you can use that if you don’t have coconut oil (though olive oil will give this scrub a slightly different scent). The shredded coconut adds extra texture to this scrub but I was a little bit disappointed that the coconut didn’t add much of a scent (and coconut oil doesn’t really have a scent to … Continue reading Sugar Scrub // Cookie Dough

Birdseed Bird Feeder Ornaments

I’ve been wanting to make birdseed ornaments for a while but I just couldn’t bring myself to search for suet (a must-have ingredient in most birdseed ornaments). This recipe doesn’t call for suet or gelatin, and it doesn’t involve messy peanut butter! These ornaments will be great for the winter, when birds really are in search of food, but I didn’t want to wait until then to make them! I’ve hung these birdseed ornaments on a tree just below our balcony where I can watch birds munch away. You can make your own bird feeders with this simple recipe! Birdseed … Continue reading Birdseed Bird Feeder Ornaments

Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

This summer I’ve been trying to lighten up on the ice cream and milkshakes while still finding frozen and sweet treats to enjoy. This smoothie is just the thing to satisfy your sweet tooth! It’s completely dairy-free and sweetened with natural ingredients! Leave out the coconut (if you’re not a fan) for a simple and delicious pineapple shake! Pineapple Coconut Smoothie 1  1/2 cups pineapple 1/4 cup shredded coconut  1/2 cup almond milk (or half-and-half) 1-2 tsp honey (optional) Cut pineapple into chunks and then pop them in the freezer overnight. When you’re ready to make your smoothie, pull pineapple … Continue reading Pineapple Coconut Smoothie

Smoked Chipotle Ketchup

Ketchup is the condiment of Summer! We use it to top hamburgers and hot dogs, french fries and corn dogs. I’d never even thought about making ketchup from scratch before but, after trying a smoky chipotle ketchup at Twisted Root, I became inspired to try it! I loved the thought of playing with flavors to make my own ketchup. When I started researching ketchup-making recipes I discovered that there are lots of different methods, ranging from recipes that start with fresh tomatoes, to recipes that require no cooking at all. I settled for an in-between method that’s quick and simple, … Continue reading Smoked Chipotle Ketchup

Sun Jar :: Solar Powered Lamp

During the summer, I like looking for new ideas for our outdoor space and projects that I can do outside! These sun jars are a simple and inexpensive way to create a warm glow at night. Use them for outdoor parties, camping, patios, gardens, or a windowsill. I love the way my sun jars brighten up our balcony at night! What you’ll need: Glass Jar (with translucent lid)  Solar Garden Light Frosted Glass Spray Heavy Duty Glue Start by frosting the inside of your jar. Spray a light coat and let dry (it only takes several minutes). Apply as many coats as you need … Continue reading Sun Jar :: Solar Powered Lamp

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I’ve been on a little hummus kick recently. Roasted red pepper hummus was the first hummus flavor that I ever tried. It was the single-serving kind that came with pita chips in the same package. In case you haven’t already guessed, homemade is way better! I love the flavor that fresh roasted peppers add to this hummus. Try it as a simple and healthy snack the next time you’re craving something salty! Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 2 red bell peppers  1  16oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 1/4 cup lime (or lemon) juice  2 tbsp olive oil 1/4 tsp garlic powder … Continue reading Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Chicken Avocado Lime Soup // Crockpot Recipe

These past few weeks I’ve been loving the fresh avocados! I bought several during early Spring and was really disappointed, I almost thought that I’d lost my love of avocados. I’m glad that wasn’t the case! I can’t get enough of them right now and I’ve been adding them to everything. With all of that said, if you don’t prefer avocados (like my husband), this soup is good even if you don’t top it with avocado!  I know it’s the beginning of summer, we’re in Texas and it just keeps getting hotter, but I couldn’t wait to make this soup! … Continue reading Chicken Avocado Lime Soup // Crockpot Recipe

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

One of my all-time favorite desserts to order at restaurants is the skillet cookie :: a warm and gooey, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream and hot fudge, brought to your table in a cast iron skillet, straight from the oven. Love! There’s just something about the cookie baking in that cast iron skillet, it’s so, so good! You can get that same treat at home, all you need is a small cast iron skillet like this. Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie makes 3-4 skillet cookies (2 servings each) 1 1/8 cups flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 … Continue reading Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie