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+ belle
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Butternut Squash, Wheat Berry, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Butternut Squash, Wheat Berry, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Salad (Trader Joe's copycat)

It’s rare that I leave Trader Joe’s without at least one of their Butternut Squash & Wheat Berry salads (in the prepared foods section). It’s my favorite salad there, hands down. Unfortunately for me, the nearest Trader Joe’s is about 25 minutes away, so I don’t get out there as much as I’d like to. Fortunately, the ingredients for this salad are easily found at our local grocery store, less than five minutes down the road. This salad is hearty and healthy and will probably go into our weekly rotation come fall, since all the ingredients will be in season! Read More

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

These Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are sooo yummy and perfect for a hot summer day. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is sandwiched between fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies, then rolled in mini chocolate chips. Tastes like cookies & milk. Say no more.

If you like to bake, you probably have a go-to Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. The beauty of these is that the combinations are endless. This recipe is tried and delicious and highly recommended. But I wouldn’t be offended if you used your own chocolate chip cookie recipe – once you’ve found a good one, it’s hard to stray!

If you have an ice cream maker, you can make your own ice cream (which I’m sure would make these guys even better!); however, I don’t have one so I settled for some store-bought, but good quality ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Makes approx. 10 Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 c. Unsalted Butter, softened

1 c. packed Brown Sugar

1 c. White Sugar

2 Large Eggs

2 tsp. Vanilla

3 c. Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 1/2 c. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and both sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat into butter and sugar mixture until combined. Add chocolate chips.

On an ungreased pan, drop consistently sized spoonfuls of dough. (Recipe will make 20-24 cookies depending on the size of the drops).

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Once the cookies have cooled, scoop approx. 1/4 of ice cream onto half of the cookies. Sandwich the top with another cookie. Pour the mini chocolate chips onto a plate or bowl. Roll the edges of the ice cream into the chocolate chips. *Note* you may need to work in batches – make a couple and then put into the freezer – to prevent the cream from melting while you assemble all of the sandwiches.

The sandwiches can be eaten immediately (recommended) or wrapped in wax paper and store in plastic freezer bags.

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Peach Streusel Muffins

fresh peach streusel muffins

I’m not sure what it is about back-to-school season that turns me into some kind of Betty Crocker / Martha Stewart home-making type. But it’s undeniable. I’m cleaning, organizing, and baking like a maniac. Maybe it’s the promise of the routine that back-to-school brings, but I’m a nesting machine these days. Other perks of back-to-school? Less Kidz Bop on the radio, a playroom that’s not perpetually bombed out, and the end of  the frustration-inducing moans of “I’m bored”.

I’ve talked before about how great the peaches are where we live, in York County, SC. I couldn’t let the season pass without posting at least one recipe, so today I bring you these peach streusel muffins. Read More

DIY Fabric Covered Lamp Shade

 

DIY Fabric Lamp Shade

I’ve had two shade-less lamps sitting on a console table by the back door for a good 6 months. They combined two trends … geometric style and a gold finish. In someone else’s house, they would have looked great as they were. But in my house? Not so much. So, after staring at them for half a year, inspiration finally struck and I decided to spray them a fun color. Read More

XOXO Distressed Wooden Art with Galvanized Metal

XOXO Distressed Wooden Art with Galvanized Metal

Ashleigh and I’s first project we did together was a Palette-Inspired Wooden Sign. It was a fairly simple project that I repurposed into a similar, but new, project. Our original project can be found here: http://beckhamandbelle.com/2015/02/dii-wall-art.html .

Here’s how we cut and put together the wood…

We started with three 3ft 1×8 pine boards. Ashleigh ripped (translation: cut) these boards in half, giving us six 3ft 1x4s.
I aligned the edges of the boards as shown below, leaving the slightest space in between each to add a little depth to the finished project and to give it that refurbished palette feel. Ashleigh then cut two 3ft 1″ x 2″ inch pieces to act as our base.
*In short, if you are having your local hardware store cut wood for you, you need six 3ft 1″x4″ boards and two 3ft 1″ x 2″ boards.
After setting the planks in position, we positioned the 2″cuttings on either side, perpendicular to the planks. There’s no real measurement needed here as long as they are equal distance to either edge.
Using a nail gun, we nailed the 2″ pieces down to the planks, 2 nails for each plank to ensure stability.
Ashleigh’s so elegantly holding up the finished product (unpainted, of course). You can see how we chose to feature some of the natural knots and nature of the raw wood. I personally love the depth this adds to any wood project, but you can play and position as you see best fit.
Using a Gray Minwax Stain, we covered the wood’s face side, using a cloth to wipe down excess stain, to help give that weathered appearance.
Below photo shows the stain after being wiped down with a dry cloth.

Once dry, I sanded down so some of the grey stain was still there, but in a distressed manner. The key is to let some of the natural wood show through to achieve the end result of weathered-looking wood.

XOXO Distressed Wooden Art with Galvanized Metal

Next, I stained overtop of the grey stain with Dark Walnut Minwax Stain.

XOXO Distressed Wooden Art with Galvanized Metal

Once dried, I attached my metal letters. I found galvanized “xoxo” letters from Hobby Lobby or you can customize your own word with similar, custom letters here.

I hammered a few small nails so the “xoxo” could hook onto the nails at the bottom right of the wood.

XOXO Distressed Wooden Art with Galvanized Metal

To hang the sign, I attached a D-ring to both of the back sides. You’ll want to use drywall anchors to hang if you’re not able to hang through wall studs.

XOXO Distressed Wooden Art with Galvanized Metal

XOXO Distressed Wooden Art with Galvanized Metal