kitchen dreaming

We had such a fun girls-day Sunday.  My mom, Aunt Sherie, Jenna, and I took off to Pittsburgh to hit up IKEA.  Have you all been to an IKEA?  We don’t have one anywhere near Denver and I’ve only been to one, once.  It’s such a fun experience, unlike any other store I’ve been to!

First, we tried out different kitchens.  Jenna + I wanted to make cookies, but the cupboards were bare. 

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We tried out kitchen tables…

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I swooned over this butcher block island…

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..and gagged at all this tile!!!  Helllloooo migraine!

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And caressed this farmhouse sink, that I want so badly, when I own a house!!

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Then we stopped for some snacks.  I piled up a veg-friendly plate + went to town. 

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Then, Abby + her super sweet husband Dave met up with us!!  Abby drooled over the dark purple dinnerware…

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Then Mrs. How Sweet, Jessica, showed up!!!  These girls are amazing.  It’s my third get together with Abby and second with Jessica.  They’re friends, not “blends,” and I love them.  It’s really difficult to have so many good friends spread out all around the country.  Although, at the same time, it’s nice having a friend almost everywhere you go!  Today went too fast.  We managed to catch up with each other as much as possible and then hugged goodbye.  So nice while it lasted!! <3

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Now…for a little treat I made the day before I left for Ohio.

A new graham cracker flavor!  So far I have created a spiced graham cracker [molasses/cinnamon/maple] and chocolate grahams.  I’m not sure which I like more.  The chocolate grahams literally taste like chocolate teddy grahams, but better. ;)  They will make your house smell lovely!

I cut this batch really small, to fit into a 32oz jar.  They were about 1.5” x 1.5” in size.  Bite-size + perfect!

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These were just as delicious as the original + the cocoa, but in a honey-cinnamon sort of way!

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I tried something new with this batch.  I used graham flour, which is a blend of the different parts of the wheat kernel.  The Bob’s Red Mill version uses dark northern spring wheat.  It definitely gave more of the graham cracker taste, although store bought graham crackers do not use graham flour.  However, it make the crackers insanely crunchy.  Too crunchy actually!  The dough was a bit harder to work with too.  It was softer and didn’t hold together as well.  I think the best idea would be to blend this 50:50 with all-purpose flour.  They’re definitely still edible, but won’t make them again with 100% graham flour.

The good news is I can still give you the recipe with the original whole wheat pastry flour in place of this. 

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Glass jars are so versatile.  From storing dry bulk goods, to spices, to gifts, etc, I just love them! 

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I cut out some circles too, for variation.

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Honey Cinnamon Graham Crackers

  • 1.5c + 1T whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2T sucanat
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2t salt
  • 3T safflower oil [or other tasteless oil]
  • 1T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1T maple syrup
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 3T almond milk [or other milk]
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. In a large bowl whisk all dry ingredients together.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add oil, applesauce, honey, vanilla, and maple syrup. [not milk]
  4. Stir together [will be very thick].
  5. Add milk + mix dough with hands.
  6. Knead in the bowl until a smooth ball forms.  Should take about 1min of kneading.  If the dough isn’t coming together and feels very wet, add 1T extra flour and go from there.  If it’s extremely dry, add 1/2T more milk. 
  7. Secure parchment paper to counter with tape or use a wood board. 
  8. Dust surface + top of dough lightly with flour.
  9. Divide dough into 2, so it’s easier to work with.
  10. Form dough into a rectangle with hands and press rolling pin into dough to flatten. 
  11. Roll dough out into a large rectangle.  Edges will be jagged and probably cracked.  If you keep rolling the surface will smooth.  Make sure the dough is not sticking to the surface you’re rolling it on.
  12. Roll out to about 1/16 – 1/8” thick.
  13. Cut into squares, or whatever shapes + sizes you want.
  14. Transfer grahams with a flat metal spatula to a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 1/2” space in between them.
  15. Poke holes in grahams with fork. 
  16. Sprinkle with sugar.
  17. Bake for 13-15min, until lightly browned.  They will seem soft when you take them out, however once you transfer them to a cooling rack, they will harden once fully cooled.

*You want them rolled out as thinly as possible, to achieve a crunchy graham once cooled.  They’re not nearly as good if still soft.  It’s the only cookie that is worse, if it’s soft. ;)

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I just wanted to show a super cute photo that a reader, Ana, sent in recently.  The other day she made my chocolate graham crackers with her 8yr old son, for his classmates.  She said they went over really well and look at how cute they made them!! 

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Now to the highly anticipated DIY project!!  I can’t take the credit for this but I can tell you how amazingly awesome it was.  And easy…anyone can do this!!

First, pick out some old t-shirts that you don’t wear anymore.  You know you have some!!

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Then decide on a few colors.  I picked three.  This gift was for my cousin Jenna, so I had my aunt grab some old shirts from her room while she wasn’t around.  Sneaky! muahaha

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I got right to work…it doesn’t have to be perfect!!

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Then I made about 8 self-timer photo fails…this being one of them.

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Here is the only one that worked!

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Strips were cut + stretched…what could I be making??  A gift for Jenna and three new belly shirts? ;) haha

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Coils were wound…

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And in a few more steps, a scarf was made!!

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A super soft, fun, cute scarf…did I mention this cost $ZERO and took less than 2 hours to make???

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You can check out the exact instructions on the fabulous blog of Kevin and Amanda.  So super creative.  I just can’t get over it!

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Time to get cutting!

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Then you can use the old shirts to wrap up with gift. :)  Jenna was thouroughly confused when opening the gift and first seeing her old shirts, cut in half.  It was hilarious and she loved the scarf!  Yay DIY!  This reminded me a lot of Ashley’s DIY garland, also using old t-shirts.  Very clever!

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Such a fun day + completely exhausting.  I’m going to do a crash landing into bed!

Hope you all had a great weekend. :) 

<3 Ashley