9.21.2012

Cookies! Cookies! Cookies!

The temperature has been dropping rapidly here in Chicago, with lows in the 40s already! Though the start of fall usually has me conflicted, it also means I should always have something baking, naturally. This week I resurrected one of the most delicious cookie recipes I've ever used: Fran├žois Payard’s Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies. It's been years since I last made them and I don't know why!


The recipe calls for unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, so I opt for Hersey's Special Dark. The darker, the better (and bittererer). It leads to the most awesome mud-like batter ever.


I was thrilled to finally break out my cookie scoop again, it's so cute and I love the perfect little mounds it creates!


These cookies are really easy to make. They're great for when you're feeling lazy but require dessert immediately, like me and Andrew most nights... They're even easier to eat with their shiny, crunchy shell and gooey brownie-like center. Letting them cool is actually the hardest part. Try them yourself!

P.S. Yes, there are three bikes surrounding my teeny tiny island (ikea shelf). They're almost always there, too.

9.02.2012

NOTW: Birthday Nails + DIY Nail Decals

After our trip to Cedar Point, my naked nails were dying for some love and affection. I decided to try something new this time. Homemade nail decals!


Whenever I do my nails, I reuse the same few pieces of plastic as makeshift paint palettes to dip my brushes and sponges. Over time the small pools of polish pop off with such ease, I knew I could totally make use of it.


After some googling, it seems I'm not the only one who knows about this great trick. Everyone's directions vary a bit, most paint large areas and use scrapbook punches, but I found that painting the designs directly onto a sandwich bag was exactly what I was going for and the most fun. I went to town!


Let the artwork dry overnight, otherwise there will be no give when trying to peel the designs off. Make sure you fold the sandwich bag, starting closest to the edge of design and slowly roll the bag back between your fingers. It works like a charm.


I painted my base coat and background design and let them dry fully. Using a tooth pick dipped in a tiny bit of clear polish, I added as many burgers, french fries and eyeballs as I could fit onto each nail. A couple of top coats later and...


My thumb and pinky are my favorite. Fries, eyes and polka dots, all day, every day!


The colors used for the background are ORLY in Naked Ivory and China Glaze in Rose Among Thorns (Neon). I recommend you give this a go, it's super fun and helps rid you of you your non-dominant hand's shameful work! Well, at least it did for me!