The Best Sugar Cookies

I've always loved baking cutout sugar cookies. I love rolling out the dough and piping on the icing.  And while I've mastered the actual cookie part, I had yet to figure out the perfect consistency for the icing. I had never been able to get it perfectly smooth and they never would dry properly. But this weekend, it happened. I figured it out thanks to Sally's Baking Addiction.

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She had a very helpful video listed in her recipe that helped me to see the consistency that the royal icing needed to be and that was the gamechanger for me. The best part is that with this recipe, you don't have to make two versions of icing - a thick one for outlining and a thinner one for filling in. This is the perfect texture for outlining and filling in. 

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Her recipe doesn't call for it, but I added a dash of clear almond extract because I'm obsessed with almond extract and it's also in the cookie itself. The cookie recipe that I absolutely love is from Bake at 350. And don't forget about the Fancy Sprinkles. They're v important.

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Now that I've got the icing figured out, I have decided to dedicate my life to proper piping technique and making pretty cookies all of the time. Because I've got plenty of time for that, right? 

XOXO,

Di

My latest obsession, burrata toast

In August, my best friend Danielle and I went to the beach to celebrate her birthday and I'm still sad it's over. Our favorite 30A restaurant is Caliza, so that's where we went for her birthday dinner. It's the most incredible poolside restaurant and every single detail is absolutely gorgeous. I wish you could tell from this adorable selfie of Danielle and I, but you can't. 

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Anyway, while we were there, we ordered the burrata toast with tomato jam and from that moment on, it was love. What is burrata you ask? It's a soft, fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It has a texture like ricotta and it tastes like heaven. So when I got home, I tried to recreate it. And while I don't have an amazing poolside table to sit at with incredible chandeliers and a waitress with the most beautiful European accent, I did find some burrata cheese at Costco and I have a pretty cute dining room with a handsome husband to pour my Pellegrino. And I must say, my homemade version was pretty darn good.

 Brittany Wood Photography

Brittany Wood Photography

It's just three ingredients, burrata cheese, tomato pesto and a delicious crusty bread of your choice. I lightly toast the bread, spread on a thin coat of tomato pesto and then add as much burrata as you like on top. I also like to sprinkle on some fresh ground pepper. It's simple as that!

 Brittany Wood Photography

Brittany Wood Photography

So next time you're having your girlfriends over, whip this up in just a few minutes and be prepared to wow them. 

Happy Monday!

XO, 

Di

How I Got Longer Nails, Healthier Hair and More Energy

Coffee. It's everything to me. It's my morning ritual and mid-day necessity. To say that I am addicted is an understatement. I get a headache if I haven't had any by 9 AM. It sounds serious because it is. I have tried to kick the habit but I'm not crazy. So I decided, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So today, I am showing you the life-changing, daily coffee routine that I learned from Living With Landyn, who learned it from Virginia of Your Life Edit. I gotta give credit where credit is due, y'all.

My coffee isn't just for a jolt of energy in the morning anymore. It has made my hair and nails longer and healthier, gives me even more energy - not the jittery kind - and has become a way for me to get some healthy fat for breakfast.

Here's what you'll need:

-Your favorite coffee brew

-2 scoops of Collagen Peptides - this is what is helping my hair skin and nails. I get the Vital Proteins brand from Amazon and love it.

-1 tablespoon MCT Oil - derived from coconuts, MCT oil gives me energy! I just had some and that's why I'm using exclamation points!! I got this kind on Amazon too.

-Cream of some sort - if you need it - I do half and half.

Combine all ingredients, I use an immersion blender and it makes me feel fancy.

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Look how long my nails are!! And honestly, it took me a few weeks to see a difference in taking the collagen. I was thinking about how I hadn't noticed anything and then I saw a photo of Tim and I at the beach and I was like "wow! my hair looks so healthy and long and awesome." And then I realized that my nails have never been this long. So yea, it works. And apparently its good for joint and bone health too but whatevs.

And that's it! Also, how adorable is the coffee bar that my husband built for me? He knows how important coffee is in my life.

Let me know if you try these supplements! You won't be disappointed.

XOXO,

Di

RECIPE - Pumpkin Spice Creamer

If you're looking for the perfect treat this weekend, skip the starbucks line, stay in your jammies and mix up some of this delicious creamer! My friend Jules Cripps has graciously shared her recipe for Pumpkin Spice creamer. She is #goals and this recipe is delicious. I'll stop talking now so you can get to the good stuff...

Nothing welcomes in the cooler weather better than a warm Pumpkin Spice Latte. Last fall—in an effort to stop myself from hitting up Starbucks every morning—I bought and tried almost every brand of seasonal creamer that the grocery store offers, but none of them tasted like the real deal. I've been on the hunt for an at-home version ever since!

I had myself convinced (thanks to Pinterest) that the winning recipe would have to be sweetened with either brown sugar or maple syrup. I tested almost every variation I could find or think of, but nothing perfectly replicated the famous PSL taste I was looking for.

One lazy Saturday morning as I was combing through my pantry, I stumbled across a can of sweetened condensed milk and decided to try it in the creamer. Instantly I knew it was the winner! It adds the perfect amount of thickness and compliments the pumpkin flavor perfectly. So here it is, enjoy!

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Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer:

2 Heaping Tablespoons (about 1/4 cup) of pure pumpkin puree 

1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk

1 cup of your favorite milk or cream*

*half and half is my favorite, but you can use your favorite milk or milk alternative 

A few pinches of pumpkin pie spice 

Put everything in a blender and blend away! Store in your refrigerator and it will keep for as long as the milk or cream you used would. 

Enjoy!

Southern Fried Chicken

A couple of weekends ago, my only goal was to make fried chicken. Since I'm a southern woman in my thirties, it just seemed like learning this important life skill was the the next step for me. I did my research, devised a plan, went to the grocery store and invited my sister over for dinner. Also, I should add that I'm absolutely terrible at taking recipe photos so I apologize if any of my photography offends you.

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Here are the ingredients:

Buttermilk (enough to cover a dish of chicken)

Crisco or whatever oil you prefer

2 cups flour

Tablespoon baking powder

Tablespoon salt

Teaspoon black pepper

Teaspoon white pepper

Teaspoon paprika

Tabelspoon garlic powder

Tablespoon onion powder


Cover chicken in two cups of buttermilk

Cover and marinate in the fridge for an hour. After marinating, remove chicken from the dish and put it on a plate. Set aside.

Add two eggs to the buttermilk and scramble with a fork.

Dump flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, white pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder into another dish that's perfect for dredging chicken. Stir it all together.

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Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat. You'll want to have enough oil to be an 1.5 inch deep in the pot.

Dredge the buttermilk soaked chicken in the flour mixture. Then dip it back into the egg-buttermilk mixture and then dredge again in flour mixture. Yea that's right baby, we're double coating these bad boys.

Carefully put chicken into pot and fry for 10 minutes, flip and fry for another 10-15 minutes. Side-note: I accidentally typed 'cry' instead of 'fry' in that last step, which is also true because it's completely normal to cry tears of joy when your kitchen smells like fried chicken heaven.

Make sure you thoroughly cook each piece! Since a huge phobia of mine is serving loved ones under-cooked chicken, I cut into almost every piece to make sure it was cooked through. Which was sad for the presentation but good for my anxiety.

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And what you have now, my friends, is beautiful, crispy, delicious, southern happiness. I served it alongside a Gillean family favorite, the Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes and my mama's canned green beans.

Needless to say, that was a Saturday well spent. I can't wait to make this again for all my friends! Let me know if you try this recipe!

XOXO,

Di