No Bake Cake Batter Truffles

no bake cake batter truffles

Happy Friday! What better way to celebrate than with cake batter truffles! And sprinkles!

There are lots of variations of these truffles across the internet but this is my version. I was looking for something easy and fun to bake for a girls weekend. Truffles pack the equal amount of yummyness and classiness. (yes, I just called truffles classy).

I know that I usually post semi healthy options when it comes to recipes. Please note that these are not healthy in the least,  but at least these bite size treats are so sweet and rich that it is easy enough to have one and walk away.

My cake batter truffles were a big hit with my girlfriends and also make great gifts/treats to wrap up in cute boxes to give to people or to serve at your Oscar Party. Let’s get started!

Ingredients

For the truffles:
    • 1 ½ cups flour
    • 1 cup yellow cake mix (I used extra moist)
    • 3/8 cup unsalted butter
    • ½ cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 61/4 cup of skim milk
    • 2 Tablespoons sprinkles
Truffle Coating:
  • 16 ounces of white chocolate
  • 5 Tablespoons yellow cake mix
  • sprinkles or other chocolate for decorating

Directions:

  1. Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix together.. Add milk to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand.
  2. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls freezer for about 30 minutes.
  3. While dough balls are chilling in the freezer, melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Once melted, stir in cake mix instantly until incorporated completely.You have to stir in the cake mix very quickly.
  4. Dip each truffles into the melted chocolate and shake off excess. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles instantly (the chocolate dries very quickly.)
  5. Chill truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 32-36 truffles.
These are easy due to the fact that there is absolutely no baking involved, but I still have problems with dipping the truffles in the chocolate and creating a perfectly coated ball. As you can see, mine look a little messy. Thank goodness for sprinkles! Also, taste buds are blind. Enjoy!
P.S. – Time for some shameless self promotion: Will you vote for me? 
I made it into the top 3 of “Most Inspirational Post” for my Stop Apologizing article in My So-Called Chaos Best of Awards. This news warms my heart because posts self growth and acceptance and finding a place to shine in the world are my favorite pieces to write. Please help me out and go vote for me and I’ll love you forever.
best of blogging final three

2014 Oscar Party Bingo, Trivia, and Ballot Printables

2014 oscar party games

If you know anything about me, you know that I love any reason to throw a theme party and celebrate! The Academy Awards, broadcasting live this Sunday, are no exception.

I adore award ceremonies. I love judging and ogling the gowns on the red carpet, hearing award speeches, tearing up at montage series, and rooting for my favorite stars and films – all while toasting with some champagne.

For the past few years a group of my friends has gathered for a Oscar Party complete with themed food, drinks, trivia, and prizes.

This year I decided to add Red Carpet Bingo!

abla red carpet oscar bingo

It works like this:

Gather your friends around the TV to view the fun of the Red Carpet prior to the awards ceremony.

Each participant gets their own board (I’ve created 8, download and print your them below!).

Every time something occurs on the red carpet that coordinates with a spot on their card they get to put an X through that spot.

First person to get 5 spots in a row wins!

If you have a smaller group you can keep playing, just hand out new cards.

Next up, Trivia!

The trivia game is a fun way to test your knowledge on the history of the Oscars. Since I’m such a huge nerd, I love researching these questions. How much do YOU know about the history of the Academy Awards?

Here are some sample questions off of my 2014 Trivia Quiz (download it below!)

What year were the Academy Awards first televised?

Today the Oscar statue is made of britannium. The outside is gold-plated. But, during the war yeas, what was the Oscar made of? Wood, Tin, Brass, or Plaster?

When Vivien Leigh made “Gone With the Wind” she was paid $15,000. In 1993, her Oscar for Best Actress was auctioned off for how much? $150,000, $275,000, $400,000 or $500,000?

It’s a fun way to learn some fun new facts and have a little competition!

Finally, it’s time to vote!!

2014 Academy Awards Oscars best picture

2014 abla oscar ballot

Prior to the start of the ceremony, give everyone a 2014 Oscar Ballot and have them vote for who they believe is going to win for each of the major categories.

At then end of the night, tally up how many correct wins each person had. The one with the most correct wins receives the biggest prize of the evening! (acceptance speech not required).

Will you join in on the fun?

I’ve included links below for you to download my 2014 Oscar red carpet bingo, trivia questions (and answers), and 2014 Oscar Ballot.

What stars and movies are you going to be rooting for?

 

Downloads:

Click to open a PDF versions of my bingo cards, trivia questions and answers, and ballot. (links will lead you to a new window in which you will be able to click and download the PDF)

2014 Oscar Bingo card 1 and 2

2014 Oscar Bingo card 3 and 4

2014 Oscar Bingo card 5 and 6

2014 Oscar Bingo card 7 and 8   

2014 Oscar Ballot

2014 Oscar Trivia Questions

2014 Oscar Trivia Answers

xoxo Katie

This Is Old Age

this is old age abla

Yesterday I was looking forward all day to getting together with a local friend that I haven’t seen since early December. We were going to enjoy some food, wine, and craft together. I was excited! (this is old age)

Before I could enjoy a relaxing night with her, I had to get through my hectic day. Work was crazed and I had to rush straight to a salon appointment to fix my heinous roots. I then popped into the liquor store to pick up some wine and sped home to tidy up. For some reason, my day had exhausted me but I was ready to pull it together and have a fun night. (this is old age)

I had 20 minutes to clean up the kitchen, set the table, make some appetizers, take Maggie out, and put on some music. Phew! With a little sweat, I was able to get everything ready. My craft date friend was due to arrive in about 4 minutes, so I sat down and texted my other friend, informing her that I would  not be watching Pretty Little Liars live so to not text me about it. We take this very seriously. (this is old age)

Those four minutes passed. And then another 10. I sat and twiddled my thumbs. I hate when people are late. I just sit there thinking of all the things I COULD be doing. Pretty soon she was 30 minutes late. I was annoyed. (this is old age)

30 minutes is my usual “Ok, I’ve waited long enough I better call and see if she’s okay”. But something stopped me. My gut told me to check my email first.

That’s when I found out that she was due to come over TOMORROW, not tonight. My mind is officially lost.

Yep, this is old age! Folks, it’s all down hill from here!

At least I can watch Pretty Little Liars and live text to my BFF about it. Oh, and there’s wine. Here’s to turning 31 in one month!

this is old age abla

xoxo Katie

 

 

What Are Friends For?

friendship quote shakespeare

Good friends are hard to come by.
Old friends are the best friends.
Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the others old.

There are a reason why clichés become clichés, because they are universally true. I’ve always chosen to have a small tight group of girlfriends that know me in and out over a large array of friends. I feel fortunate to have 4 life long best friends, 2 from high school, Kay and Ashley, and two from college, Laura and Jeanette.

This weekend I hosted a sleepover for three of them. Weekends with girlfriends always make me feel rejuvenated, happy, and young at heart. I absolutely believe those studies that show that people live healthier lives and overcome illnesses quicker when they have strong friendships throughout life.

winery

Only one lives in the same city as me. The others are in Philly and DC and we all take turns visiting each others cities. Although we’ve all changed and in some ways grown apart, we all have the common base of our friendship to hold us together. If we met in present day, we probably wouldn’t choose each other to be friends. But really, how many people meet friends in their adulthood that compare to the friends they meet or harvest in their college years?

Like any relationship, friendships take effort – especially when we all live so far apart. (Do you know how hard it is to pick a weekend that suits four busy young women?) But, old friends are the ones to invest in because no one can replace the lifetime of shared experiences.

old friends quote ralph waldo emerson

 We met in high school and college, an intense time where we have the freedom to experiment with our identity. A carefree time that leaves room for spontaneity, creativity, and simple fun. There wasn’t the harsh competition or comparison that we may do with friends that we meet in our adulthood. Studies shows that you are happiest when reminiscing over old memories – and that’s one of the things old friends do best – retelling the same funny stories, bringing up inside jokes, and remembering the “good old days”.

When I’m with my friends it’s always a judgement free zone. We love one another like family, accepting us, flaws and all, and validating us as a person that matters. Friendships play a vital role in our lives. They fulfill our need to connect, to bond, to belong.

Although we’ve all grown up and changed, we still compliment each other so well. We can go weeks with out communicating but when we’re together it’s like no time has passed and we quickly revert back to our college years with big belly laughs, silly stories, and boy talk. But the best part is that we also accept one another as the women that we have grown into and eagerly celebrate our lives with each other.

xoxo Katie

 

Maggie Takes Over the Blog

maggie shih tzu poodle winery

Hello readers of my mom’s blog, I’m Maggie! Well actually, my real name is Maggie May. I’m named after the Rod Stewart song. Do you know it? I love it and I make my mommy dance with me while she screams sing it. Her singing is atorcious and she looks ridicolous dancing, but I love her because she’s my mommy. So you better be nice to her.

You may recognize me from all of the silly and embarrassing pictures my mom posts of me on this blog.

maggie sleepingI mean really Mom, would you like me to snap pictures of you sleeping and post them for all of the internet to see?

My mommy was a little busy this week so I decided to jump on board here and do a guest post for her. I’ve been wanted to do this for like 45 billion years, mainly because my favorite TV show is Dog With a Blog. I have no idea why she hasn’t let me do this before. I AM the main reason for her to be alive so I don’t know why I”m not the main focus of this blog. I think it should be named “A Beautiful Little Maggie” – my mom and dad are both telling me how pretty I am hundreds of times a day.
maggie poodle at christmas timeAnyways, I lead a very important life, so I thought I’d walk you through a morning in Maggie’s world.

I know it must be a weekday when my mommy wakes up at 7:14 (on weekends me, mom, and dad all snuggle in bed and play peekaboo and other fun dog games) and gets ready for work. I try my best to ignore her and stay curled up in my warm spot on the bed. She keeps telling me that it’s time to get up, that we have to go, but I don’t really believe her. (Maybe this is another game?).

maggie shih tzu poodle cuddles By 8 she is downstairs clicking my leash and using her stern voice. Still, I refuse to leave my perfect spot in bed until I hear her utter the words “Time to go to Grandma’s!”. Once I hear those words I fly down the stairs as quick as possible. (We go to Grandma’s every weekday but every morning I forget, it’s kind of embarrassing and I’d rather not talk about it.) Going to Grandma’s is the best thing you can imagine. You wouldn’t understand unless you met my Grandma.

grandma of dogsShe is my FAVORITE person (outside of my mom and dad of course). Her house is perfect, her couches are perfect, her food is perfect, her lap is perfect, and she spoils me rotten. Also, my bff Bonnie lives at Grandmas. Bonnie is the only other dog that has my heart. She just gets me is all.

poodle and westie  I tell her everything and we take care of one another. I can be a big scaredey cat some days – I can’t seem to forget these awful people who use to own me and did awful things to me before my Mommy came along and adopted me. Now, I really only trust a few people. Most of my heart belongs to Bonnie though. She made me realize that life is supposed to be fun and full of balls, and barking, and running.two dogs running and playing

So we hop in my mommy’s car which I HATE. I don’t know WHO invented these things but they are the WORST! I’m eight years old and have ridden in the car every weekday for the past 2 years and I’m still terrified of riding in the car. Can someone please tell me why my mom who treats me like a baby everywhere else refuses to let me sit in her lap in the car? So rude!

She tries to soothe me by talking to me in her favorite baby voice (I keep telling her I’m no longer a baby but she doesn’t listen) but it doesn’t work. She keeps repeating “We’re going to see Bonnie! We’re going to see Grandma!” but I don’t believe her. Why can’t we just walk there? I love walking! I never understood why Grandma, Grandpa, and Bonnie have to live in a different house? Seems like such a simple idea to me. I wish it was summer time again because then my mommy magically makes the window go down and I can stick my head out and get distracted by all the smells of this big world we are flying through.

to and from Grandma's everyday The drive lasts about 8 hours (even though mom says it’s only 12 minutes). I shake and tremble the whole time. You better listen to my advice – never ride in a car while it is raining. It is seriously the worst thing. It sounds like the world is crashing down all around you. When it’s raining I take back everything about baby talk. Mommy, please talk to me in your highest pitch baby talk ever. Also sing. I love that. Especially Taylor Swift.

After a few hours, we pull into Grandma’s neighborhood. I’m super smart so I know what it looks like. I bark and bark and wag my tail so Mommy knows that we are close too (she must be terrified of the car too, right?!). Once we get to Grandmas I can barely wait to get inside to greet Bonnie. All memories of the car vanish and I go nose to nose with my best friend. I lift my leg and let her smell me and then I do the same with her. We have to make sure everything is a okay! (I told you we are besties) We then run around a bit. We have so much to catch up on since it’s been a whole 15 hours since we’ve seen each other!

poodle and westie looking out of the door Grandma makes a huge fuss over me. I let out cries of happiness and nearly scratch her to death by jumping up on her. That’s the best way to show that you love someone.

In the background I hear Mommy saying goodbye, but I could care less, I’m at Grandma’s! Plus, I’m kind of mad that she leaves me all day to go to something called “work”. Doesn’t she understand how much fun she is missing out at Grandma’s? Or how much more fun we could have had if we stayed at home and cuddled and went for long walks, and she threw my ball for me for hours?

If someone would just listen to me, the world could be a much better place.

winery maggie Well the couch is calling my name. Time to nap and dream of chasing bunnies and balls edamame (I love that stuff!). If you love me, maybe my mom will let me come back and blog another day?

Puppy kisses,

Maggie May

 

Spring Clothing Wish List

spring wish list abla

Today I woke to the sound of snow melting off my roof and birds chirping outside my window. Yes, birds chirping! A sign of life! A sign of Spring! I’ve never been more ready to throw my winter boots into the back of my closet and say goodbye to bulky sweaters. I want to care about how I look again.

Yes, you heard that right. This winter I kind of let things go. Why bother when you’re buried under layers? Shaved legs? Done up hair? An outfit that could be considered an “ensemble?” Ha!  Somedays it felt like the only thing that mattered was “which scarf to where?” as that was the only thing people saw.

I’m ready to do my hair, experiment with new make up and wear girly dresses.  Are you with me?

I’m a shopaholic. I buy things when I’m stressed or sad or need a pick me up. In order to avoid us going to bankruptcy I like to “imaginary” shop online. I pick one store at a time and I give myself a hypothetical budget and then see how many things I can put into my online shopping cart. You may call this “online window shopping”. It relieves the some of my shopaholic needs and gets me excited to break out my spring clothes.

Here are my top picks for Spring!

spring fashion clothing wish list abla

1. Wide Striped Pleated Dress (Loft)     |      2. Suede open flats (Old Navy)

 3. Floral Sequin Peplum Top (Banana Republic)     |      4. Embroidered silk top (Anthropologie)

5. Black and white with pink piping flare dress (Banana Republic)     |      6. Polka Dot Ankle Jeans (Express)

7. Laser cut lace dress (Antrhopologie)     |      8. Pleated Chiffon Maxi Dress (Nordstrom)

Loving soft, romantic, and whimsical looks like that Antrhopologie dress and shirt. Why is Anthroplogies always outside of my budget? Aren’t those red suede shoes adorable? I’m surprised they are from Old Navy- they’d look darling with the white and blue striped Loft dress.  Also blue everything!

What clothing items are you eyeing up for Spring?

xoxo Katie

 

Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Pecan Glaze

roasted butternut squash with maple pecan glaze

 Ah, the perfect side dish for a cold winter night. Let’s not forget all of the benefits that Butternut Squash, a “power food”  provides.

Benefits of Butternut Squash:

  • 1/2 of your daily amount of vitamin C
  • LOW in fat and HIGH in dietary fiber
  • High in potassium for bone health
  • High in Vitamin B6, important for the nervous and immune systems
  • Full of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids that protects your heart against heart disease
  • High levels of beta-carotene, which helps prevent  breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns.

Now that we can all see how amazing this squash is for you, let’s get on to the dish! This recipe makes me feel all warm and cozy inside, blame it on the maple syrup! I think it would also be a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving of Christmas, too!

butternut squash with maple syrup and pecans

Ingredients:

One whole butternut Squash
2/3 cup Maple Syrup
1 cup chopped Pecans
1 Tbsp butter, margarine
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Peel, seed, and dice the butternut squash. Place the diced squash in a greased baking dish. Toss with 2 tbsp of maple syrup.

3. Roast the squash for 40-45 minutes

4. While the squash is roasting, prepare the glaze. Melt 1 tbsp of butter on a small pan. Add in the syrup. Whisk until the two bubble. Now add in the cinnamon.

butternut squash maple pecan topping on stovetop

5. Continue to whisk as you add in the chopped pecans. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is very “gooey”

6. Remove the topping from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

7. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and top with the maple pecan glaze. Serve warm.

roasted butternut squash with maple and pecan topping

 Ta da! Yummy warm gooenyness. This is a new comfort food dish! What are some of your favorite butternut squash recipes?

On a different side note – I have a little exciting news! I was nominated for “Most Inspiring Blog Post” over at My So-Called Chaos best in blogging awards!!!

My So-Called Chaos Best of Blog Awards

 I was so shocked/happy to be nominated for my post “Stop Apologizing”. If you would like to support A Beautiful Little Adventure and love inspiriational posts help a girl out and go over and vote for me! (I’m featured in the “Most Inspirational Post” section about 3/4 down in the voting poll)

You don’t know how happy this made me, writing those types of posts are my favorite and make my heart sing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

xoxo Katie