joyeux cuisine

a blog about good food, family, friends, and life.

two bite cookie dough pretzels.

Well. Hello there. It’s been awhile huh. Allow me to re-introduce myself.
My name is Joy. I like food and music and knitting and cats. And I used to write on this blog. And now I’m back! With exciting news and a recipe. Because I owe you that much.

Let’s start with what has happened since the last post in July. (Again…sorry it’s been so long.)
I spent a lot of the last couple months working my two jobs. One at the grocery store and one with the marching band at my alma mater. They both took up quite a bit of time, but they are both great. I love that I have a both of them.
I GOT ENGAGED! Pretty exciting stuff. My fiance, Zack, is really awesome. He’s in medical school right now so we’re doing the long distance thing. I thought a long distance relationship was hard but long distance wedding planning is even worse. We’re getting married on June 7 so I’ll try to keep you updated with everything that happens.

One of our wonderful engagement pictures.

One of our wonderful engagement pictures.

Well. That’s really all the exciting things that happened. I’ve been pretty boring recently, but also trying not to spend a lot of money so recipe making isn’t going so well. But I am going to do my best to blog more. Because I miss all of you. So here we go!

Last night I decided I was going to make something. So of course I went to Pinterest and picked one of the things on my food board to make, bought the ingredients after work, and created these. Chocolate chip cookie dough bites sandwiched between two pretzels and dipped in chocolate. A pretty spectacular salty and sweet combination.

I’ve been wanting to make these for awhile. I love cookie dough (obviously) and salty and sweet is one of my favorite combinations. The cookie dough is egg-less so it’s safe to eat, but when did that stop us really? These are really simple to make and were pretty stinking delicious. I enjoyed these in the company of one of my good friends while playing Mario Kart on the N64. It’s not required, but it’s suggested.

It’s been really cold here recently. You know it’s cold when 20 degrees feels like a heat wave. So while being stuck inside for the last couple weeks I’ve been brainstorming about new recipes to make. So stay tuned. I’ll also give you some news about my wedding, whenever I get around to planning everything. (It’s pretty overwhelming, guys.)

Make some cookie dough. Call your best friends. Make someone smile.

Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites
recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
makes about 20 bites

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 and 1/4 cups flour
dash of salt
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
40-50 pretzels
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate for melting

Line a small cookie sheet with a layer of wax paper. Beat the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer. When the butter and sugars are light and creamy add the milk and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix until just combined. The dough will be similar to wet sand and slightly clumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Form dough into balls, a little less than 2 Tablespoons per ball. I used my cookie scoop and just rounded them out from there. Sandwich balls between two pretzels being careful not to squish the pretzels and smash them. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a small bowl according to the directions on the package. If you desire you can add a teaspoon of shortening to the chocolate to thin it out a little bit.
When the chocolate is melted dip the bites halfway into the chocolate and place back on the cookie sheet. Refrigerate until set. Eat joyfully.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

(engagement pictures taken by my good friend Cymone of Simon and Moose Creative)

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double cookie dough ice cream.

I’ve made homemade ice cream exactly one time. And it wasn’t great. It was pretty mediocre, so I haven’t been super excited about making ice cream again. It’s also kinda stressful and time consuming, so it’s not always on the top of my list of things to do. This place is often reserved for things like showering, eating food, or something that should just be automatic for normal people. But I found this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago and decided that I would treat myself to making it. Also, my boyfriend was visiting and he loves ice cream with cookie dough in it. So I figured why not.

The thing about this ice cream is that it isn’t just vanilla ice cream with cookie dough chunks in it. It’s freaking cookie dough flavored ice cream with cookie dough chunks in it. MIND. BLOWN. I didn’t quite believe that it was possible until I tested it while it was churning. Guys. It’s possible. It’s even delicious without the cookie dough chunks. (At this point I’m seeing how many times I can use ‘chunk’ in one paragraph.)

I also listened to Alton Brown’s podcast this morning (find it on iTunes because it’s awesome) and being almost a week behind it was all about ice cream which was fantastic. Alton Brown is one of my favorite food personalities, so his podcast is one of my favorites right now. So much food nerdy-ness. So awesome.

The really important thing in this recipe is the browned butter which adds the nutty cookie dough flavor to the ice cream. There’s also two kinds of milk fats which makes the ice cream ice cream. And there’s egg yolks which makes this ice cream almost like a custard. In my opinion, that’s better than just milk based ice cream. The thing with egg yolks is making sure you don’t actually cook them. When it’s time to add the hot butter and cream to the egg yolks and brown sugar you have to temper it. That means adding a little bit at a time to gradually bring the egg yolks up to temperature. That will ensure that the egg yolks won’t cook. It’s easy, don’t worry.

Make some ice cream. Share with dear friends. Be a nerd. Enjoy your summer.

Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream
recipe from beantownbaker
makes about 1 quart

for the cookie dough:
5 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine the melted butter, salt, and brown sugar in a bowl with a spatula until creamy. Stir in the flour until a dough forms. Add vanilla. Add chocolate chips and combine. Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a rectangle. Store in the refrigerator.

for the ice cream:
3 Tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk

In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. After the butter melts it will begin to bubble and crack. The butter will start to brown and begin smelling nutty. Keep an eye on it because it can burn really quickly. When the butter is browned add the cream and whisk well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
In a medium sized bowl combine the brown sugar, egg yolks, and salt. Whisk together to combine. When the cream and butter mixture is at a simmer, add a couple tablespoons to the egg mixture and whisk constantly. Keep whisking and slowly add more cream to the egg mixture. Eventually you’ll add a little under half the cream. Add the egg mixture back into the saucepan and put over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until it thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. This took me about 10-15 minutes. Be patient.
Strain the mixture into a heat-proof bowl and stir in the whole milk and vanilla. Place in the fridge until chilled (for best results chill overnight).
Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Chop the cookie dough into small pieces. Transfer chilled ice cream into air-tight container for freezer storage and mix in cookie dough pieces. Freeze until firm.
Ice cream will keep in the freezer for 1-2 months.

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an update. finally.

Okay everyone. I’m still here. It’s been quite a long time since I posted last, so I figured I would give you a little update about what’s been happening over the last couple months since obviously, I haven’t been keeping up well with this whole blogging thing.  My bad.

May was full of excitement about finally graduating and starting life in the real world. It was really exciting because I got an apartment with my friend and I’d been working on organizing and job hunting and everything like that. May very quickly turned into June which was no good because I still didn’t have a job at all and had no prospects. Of all the job applications I turned in, exactly none of them contacted me at all about interviews or anything. Very discouraging. I did get to spend a lot of weekends traveling to Michigan to see my boyfriend, which was awesome because long distance relationships suck.

In June I finally heard from one of the job applications I turned in and got an interview and subsequent job at a grocery store in town in the bake shop. Pretty exciting because I kinda like baking and all that stuff. So I started my new job about halfway through June and it’s been a really interesting experience. Everyone has been very encouraging and helpful but I always feel like I’m bothering everyone with all my questions about where things are and if we have specific things and all that stuff. I am very thankful for this job, even though it is very tiring sometimes. I do really like it.

June also very quickly turned into July and with that came rent payments and I finally broke down one day and realized that I couldn’t pay my rent. (Guys. Real life is fricken’ hard.) So I called my loving mother and told her that I needed help. She graciously lent me money so I could actually pay my rent and everything was okay again. I also haven’t had any money to buy ingredients to bake with and often just eat pasta or other boring things for meals and you don’t want to read a blog about that. Hence the no blogging thing. I now also have a second job with my alma mater working with the marching band, which is very exciting. I am really excited to still have that family of crazy marching band people around me. I’m doing purely administrative work and it will be very fun.

There have been many weeks where I feel like I’m failing adulthood and that I don’t have a purpose here and all those things. But as those around me say it’s a lot harder than it looks. Life doesn’t fall right into place like you want it to. You have to work at it and no, you cannot just sit in your room and watch Netflix all day. (Unless it’s your day off. Then I say go for it.) I’m still learning how this living thing actually works. Taking care of yourself is hard work, but I’m assuming it’s worth it in the end. I hope you stick with me to hear about all the adventures I’m having and about the new lessons life is teaching me. There will be cookies. And a pretty good soundtrack.

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things I learned in college.

Well, friends. It’s the end. My college career is over. Saturday was graduation. It’s crazy. I think I’m still in shock.
(that was a lot of little sentences that could have been covered in one. sorry English majors.)

IMG_1079This is me with a couple of my dear friends. Josh, on the end, graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance and Composition. I graduated with a BA in Music. Katelyn graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work. And Stephanie graduated with a BA in Social Science.

IMG_1101This is my boyfriend (!!!!!) Zack and I. He graduated with a BA in Psychology and is going to medical school in the fall. (there’ll be more about him later.)

So for the past 3 years at the end of the school year I’ve written a Facebook note about things that I learned that year. It’s always been in list form and it usually includes serious things and funny things. And they all pertain to something that’s happened that year.
So I bring you:
Things I Learned In College (Year 4):
-Sometimes life just sucks
-Even when it’s hard you have to trust that it’ll get better
-IT GETS BETTER. IT GETS BETTER.
-Your core group of friends are the ones that will keep you sane and keep you accountable. Love them and appreciate them
-Always be open to new friendships
-Spontaneous trips to Chicago are some of the greatest
-Don’t let people get away from you if you don’t want them to
-Awkward things sometimes lead to great things
-There are some things you can’t control. Get over it
-Sometimes roommates turn out to be just the people you need in your life
-Jazz Theory isn’t as scary as it sounds
-It’s okay to be broken because everyone else is too
-Learning to trust God is a lifelong process
-Senior recitals aren’t so terrifying after all
-You still need to practice after your recital is over
-Sometimes plans change because of one thing in your life
-Listen to someone when they compliment you
-Real life might not be so scary
-It’s okay to ask for help
-Sometimes your professors give you the best opportunities
-Don’t put off homework (yes, I still need this reminder)
-The best relationships come out of nowhere and change your life for the better
-Sometimes you don’t get what you want, but you still need to try your best
-When you get disappointed, you can cry for awhile, but then you have to keep going
-You accumulate a lot of stuff. And you have to move it all. Keep that in mind

So that’s just a little bit of my senior year of college. I’m still working on getting all moved in to my new apartment, but I’m excited about what’s going to happen over the next year. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all posted.

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chocolate chip pecan pie.

Happy Easter! He is risen indeed!

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I know you’re all probably still full from your delicious meals that happened this afternoon (I know I am!) but I have to share this pie with you. Have to. It’s delicious and easy. Literally dump, stir, bake. So dang good.

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This recipe comes from my dear Aunt Karen. I love her. She’s my dad’s sister and she’s one of the strongest women I know. She’s a crafty person like I am, quilts like a boss, and also loves her cats. Love her.

I’ve been meaning to make this pie for awhile, and I finally got a reason: Easter dinner with some dear friends that haven’t been together in a long time! Em, Ang, B, RaeMa, and I got to spend a weekend together and it was glorious. Ang flew in from North Carolina, RaeMa took a bus from Kansas City, and Em drove from Chi-town. The only one of us missing was Muff-Muff. We hung out at B’s apartment for the weekend an ate food, knitted, watched movies, and swapped stories. (Sidenote: these aren’t their real names, just nice ones we have for ourselves.)

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(Ang, Em, RaeMa, Joy, and B)
I love these women. They are encouraging and real. They build me up and make me a better person. We laugh together and cry together. I hope everyone has friends like these.

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(Em and I rocking our Easter dresses)
Make some pie, watch Pitch Perfect too many times, hug your friends. Be happy.

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Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
makes 1 9-inch pie
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, melted and cooled
1-6 ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup shredded or flaked coconut
1-9 inch frozen pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Spoon into unbanked pie shell. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center of the pie is set. Cool slightly and serve warm with ice cream.
You can also make this a day ahead an warm up in the oven at a low temperature for a few minutes before serving.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

(P.S. I wrote this blog post on my phone. So that happened.)

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still hanging on.

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I’m here! I promise I’m still alive! It’s been a crazy few months in my life recently and I haven’t found any time for recipe making or baking of anything. I’ll just catch you up on everything pretty quickly:

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First major thing of the semester was my senior recital. But before that I had to do a pre-recital hearing to make sure that I could actually do my recital. I was more terrified for that than anything else about my recital. And, in my opinion, it did not go well. Granted, I am my worst critic and I always make everything worse than it is, but it was not good. Thanks to a generous panel and a very encouraging accompanist I passed my hearing (PRAISE GOD) and went on to do my recital. My accompanist, Dr. Anderson, was the best. He’s one of our piano faculty and I did not deserve him. He played the Strauss better than I could have ever imagined, and he kept me sane through the whole thing.

734892_10151320352141839_2022480007_nMy dad’s parents came down from Michigan (aren’t they adorable?!),my mom’s parents came over with my parents, and a bunch of my aunts and uncles came so it was a big party. When I figure out how to edit things, I’ll post some audio and give you the opportunity to hear some of the more stellar parts of the recital. I’m so relieved it’s over and I had so much fun. I’m so blessed with great faculty that came and cheered and prayed for me. So blessed by them.

The other big thing that happened already this semester was a thing called Band Winter Showcase that the marching band puts on every year. My friend Zach and I were pretty much in charge of the whole thing, making sure people showed up, writing music (which Zach pretty much did by himself), organizing, getting everything ready, etc. But the show went spectacularly! It was a blast. Feel free to watch here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJYXeOUzwMo (Part 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pA_n8taLWk0 (Part 2)

793898_10151487727908561_1049568112_oThis picture is from the large group act affectionately called “The Dragon”. I got to conduct this piece and it was so much fun. I loved it. (Picture courtesy of my friend Cymone who is spectacular at art and stuff. Check out her fliker here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pretzelday/ )

So that’s pretty much what my life has been for the last couple months. One thing right after the other. Right now I’m in the process of getting back to normal and catching up on all the homework I didn’t do…you know. Just college.

I did make an apple crisp for the first time last weekend. It was surprisingly delicious. And it helped me think of an idea to bake this weekend. I may have been writing ingredient lists in my night class the other day. I feel no shame. Hopefully I can share my idea with you this weekend, but right now I gotta go work on Jazz Theory homework (did I tell you I got the highest grade in that class last semester!? I still don’t believe it…). Extended dominants, here I come!

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things to be thankful for.

I hope you are having a wonderful day today. Enjoy your family. Eat too much food (pie).

I made a list. I love lists.

Things I’m thankful for:
Family
Faith
Friends
Home
My cat
My dog
Food
Talents
Music
Yarn
Cookies
Professors
School
Chocolate
Clean laundry
Comfy recliners
Love

[Pictures: Top – Em, Me, B. Arkansas 2011. Right – Martha, Me, B, Em. Chicago this fall. Best friends. Love them.]

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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martha’s snickerdoodles.

This, my friends, has been a long time coming. Remember last week when I said I was making snickerdoodles that night and then totally didn’t? Yeah that happened. Life got super stressful, I was letting myself believe I wasn’t good enough for anything, and things were going poorly. But! This week is better. I’ve had different thoughts about how things should go in my life, I had a really good oboe lesson yesterday, and I made these awesome cookies. Life is looking up.

Snickerdoodles are (to me) the essential fall cookie. They’re so fall-sish with the cinnamon sugar coating. Love it. The best thing about these cookies right now is that I’m taking them with me to visit an awesome family this weekend. My friends Katina and Bethany and I are roadtripping over to our friend/old boss Amanda over at Inside the PH (adorable baby pictures here!!). Her husband, Matt of Modern Day Matthew, told me when they moved that I couldn’t visit unless I brought cookies. So here we are. Cookies.

These are some of the best snickerdoodles I’ve eaten. Probably right after Grandma’s because no one beats her cookies. They’re Grandpa’s favorite. This is Martha Stewart’s recipe because I needed one that didn’t call for cream of tarter. It’s not a bad thing, I just don’t have any. My bad. These bake up really nicely. They were perfectly crunchy from the slightly caramelized sugar and cinnamon on the bottom yet still soft in the middle. That’s pretty near perfect.

Bake some cookies. Visit old friends. Think before you speak. Let yourself relax.

Martha’s Snickerdoodles

makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 and 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

cinnamon sugar: 2 Tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set the flour mixture aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture and combine well. Slowly add the flour mixture, about a cup at a time. Mix on slow or by hand until all of the flour is mixed very well into the dough. Repeat until the entire flour mixture has been used. Use a cookie scoop, or by measure by eye, to make even sized balls of dough. Roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 6 minutes then rotate the pan in the oven and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes. The cookies are done when they edges barely turn golden brown and the middle is just set. Remove pan from oven and cool cookies on pan for 2-3 minutes and then move to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Store extra cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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cake batter truffles.

Sometimes I make up conversations with people in my head. These usually involve me yelling at them or telling them how I really actually feel about them as a person or about what they’re doing. Or how I think that person should feel about something. Do you ever have moments like that? Probably not, huh? Sometimes those imaginary arguments discussions get pretty heated. This might be bad. But sometimes I just have to think about what I want to say so badly just so I don’t say it out loud accidentally. Sometimes that happens. That’s bad news. It usually gets me in trouble…so instead of talking, I’ll bake.

I found you another cake batter recipe! This one is crazy. So rich, so good. (sorry..) Cake batter truffles. Amazing. I found these on The Girl Who Eats Everything and it is awesome. And pretty easy to whip up too. Bonus!

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This recipe doesn’t use a whole cake mix so you’ll have some leftover. It’s okay, just make some fudge. Or more truffles. Either way we’ll get along.

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You know what cake pops are? The cake and frosting all mixed together? Yeah, these aren’t those. Those are dang good though. These are actual truffles coated in cake batter almond bark. My friend said they tasted like zebra cakes. Shoot man, I’ll take it. They’re super good.

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Make some truffles, jam out with your roommates, wish one of your best friends happy birthday, and practice the Strauss oboe concerto for an hour. Then eat more truffles.

P.S. Don’t feel bad if you are bad at dipping things in chocolate. I’m terrible. If they’re delicious, no one will notice. Promise.

Cake Batter Truffles
recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

makes about 30 truffles

for the truffles:

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 cup yellow cake mix

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

3-5 Tablespoons milk

2 Tablespoons sprinkles

for the coating:

16 oz almond bark or vanilla flavored melting chocolate

4 Tablespoons yellow cake mix

sprinkles for topping

To make the truffles: Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add in the vanilla, salt, flour, and cake mix. Mix together with a spatula or the electric mixer on low. This will look really not mixed. Add in the milk a couple tablespoons at a time and continue to mix until everything gets incorporated. The mixture should be dense and stick together really well. If you add to much milk it gets sticky, so be careful. When your desired consistency is reached mix in the sprinkles by hand. Roll the truffles into 1 inch to 1 and 1/2 inch balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Continue doing this until all the dough is used. Chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes or until firm. When firm dip in the topping.
To make the topping: melt the almond bark according to the directions. Usually 30 seconds in the microwave (in a microwave safe bowl!) at a time, stirring in between each time interval. When the chocolate is completely melted quickly mix in the cake mix. Dip each truffle in the chocolate with a fork and tap on the side of the bowl to remove the excess. Place the truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. Repeat for all the truffles.

Store these in the fridge on the cookie sheet until they’re all set and then store in an airtight container or plastic sandwich bag for 2-3 days.

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cake batter blondies.

You know how when moms visit their daughters at college they bring stuff like money or furniture? My mom is cooler than that. She brings me cake mixes. And not just any cake mix, she brings me funfetti cake mix. It’s pretty awesome. However, now I have 4 cake mixes in my pantry and no desire to make 96 cupcakes. So I’m going to share some recipes I’ve found that use cake mix that aren’t actually cake (remember birthday cake fudge?)! Some from Pinterest, some from other food blogs. (I’ll just apologize in advance for some of these…please forgive me for their richness)

We’re going to start with cake batter blondies. Cake batter and white chocolate. You can’t go wrong. You all know how I feel about funfetti. It is the king of cake mixes.

Another awesome thing about this recipe is that it is a one-bowl-wonder. All you need is large bowl, a wooden spoon, and an 8×8 pan. Simple and delicious. Those are two of my favorite words.

This is the conversation you and I are going to have when you cut into these:
“Joy, there is no way these are done baking. Obviously you are a crazy person.”
“You are correct about my craziness. However, the slightly undercooked middle is the best part. Trust me.”
You take a bite…”Oh my. I should have trusted you. These ARE amazing!”
“I’m so glad we’re on the same page. Please eat seven more. There’s no judgement here.”
The end.

Make some blondies, spend some quality with your best friend, stop worrying about recital dresses, and eat some blondies.

Cake Batter Blondies

recipe from girl meets life

makes one 8×8 pan

1 box of Funfetti cake mix

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1/3 cup of milk

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick spray. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, oil, and egg with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the milk and stir until everything is mixed. The batter will be really thick and dense. Add the white chocolate chips and mix well. Dump into the prepared pan and spread to the edges. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Let set for 15-20 minutes so the middle can firm up a little bit. Cut and serve warm or at room temperature.

These blondies will last for 3-4 days stored in an airtight container. Or just share them will all your friends and you won’t have to worry about it.

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With All My Affection

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