Baked Pumpkin Seeds

While we all want to munch on all the Halloween candy we can get our hands on, you will most likely feel guilty afterwards. Like most things, candy in moderation is okay, but for those who do not have a sweet tooth or want to serve up something healthier put your Pumpkin Seeds to good use and whip up some Baked Pumpkin Seeds! With just a few easy steps, you can pop these seeds guilt-free. Happy Halloween!
baked pumpkin seeds, vintage glass, pink, recipes-Darcy Oliver Design

DIRECTIONS:

  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. strain all of the pumpkin guts off of the pumpkin seeds & rinse thoroughly
  3. prepare a baking sheet with foil or use my favorite, a Silpat
  4. in a mixing bowl, add a teaspoon of EVOO and stir
  5. now add your favorite ingredients to the mix!
  6. I add sea salt & garlic powder to taste, and a dash of onion powder – mix well
  7. pour the pumpkin seeds on the sheet and spread out
  8. add more salt and garlic powder to the pumpkin seeds (lightly)
  9. bake for 20-30 minutes, watch your seeds so they don’t burn!
  10. use a spatula and spoon into a bowl, enjoy!

pumpkin seed steps, recipe, strain, bake-Darcy Oliver Design

jack o lanterns, halloween, pumpkins-Darcy Oliver Design

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Merridee’s Bread Basket :: Famous Chicken Salad

After our Anniversary Vacation back to Nashville, TN., I could not wait to get home and try out Recipes from Merridee’s Bread Basket in downtown Franklin, TN. I picked up their Cookbook only to discover that their famous Chicken Salad Recipe was no where to be found! Luckily my Mother-in-law had their old cookbook which had this delicious and easy recipe…phew!

I am not sure if I just missed Merridee’s so much, or if it was a major pregnancy craving, but we had a Chicken Salad Sandwich for lunch 4 days out of the 9 that we were there…it’s that good y’all. Not only is the Chicken Salad just like Grandma used to make, their Oatmeal Bread is probably the most delicious home baked bread I’ve ever had (sorry Grandma). Stay tuned for that Recipe, I plan to make that next!
merridee's chicken salad, recipes, franklin, tn.-Darcy Oliver Design

FAMOUS CHICKEN SALAD

  • 1 lb of chicken tenders
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS

  1. place chicken tenders in a 9×9 glass pyrex dish.
  2. sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. pour 1 cup of buttermilk on top of chicken.
  4. bake until tender and no pink shows inside at 400 degrees, approximately 20-30 minutes.
  5. let cool and chop into cubes.
  6. add 1/3 cup chopped celery.
  7. add 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used light hellman’s mayo…do not use miracle whip!!!)
  8. mix well and served chilled on a bed of lettuce or on sandwich bread.
  9. enjoy!

 

 

Heirloom Tomato Rustic Italian Pasta Salad

Summer is the season for cold salads, vino in my glass, and outdoor picnics. This Heirloom Tomato Rustic Italian Pasta Salad is perfect for BBQs, picnics, or outdoor meals. Farmer’s Markets are loaded with fresh produce right now, and heirloom tomatoes are my absolute favorite! With just a few simple ingredients, you can prep and have this Salad made in under 30 minutes.
Rustic Italian Pasta Salad
Ingredients for Pasta Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag or box of farfalle pasta
  • 1 carton of mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced in halves or quarters
  • 3/4 of celery heart stalk, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 can of sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 red oninon, sliced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bottle of tuscan italian dressing from trader joe’s
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. boil pasta until al dente.
  2. while pasta is cooking, chop and slice washed vegetables and place in large mixing bowl.
  3. drain olives and add to the mix.
  4. drain pasta thoroughly, and keep in strainer.
  5. drizzle 1tsp of extra virgin olive oil, and stir pasta in strainer.
  6. add 3/4 of the cheese to the vegetable mix.
  7. add pasta and stir into mixture.
  8. add dressing and stir.
  9. add remaining parmesan cheese and mix together thoroughly.
  10. let cool down in fridge for at least an hour before serving.
  11. enjoy with a glass of vino!

 

Woodland Animal Themed Baby Shower

Whether one of your girlfriend’s or sister is having a boy or girl, this adorable Woodland Animal Themed Baby Shower is a perfect way to shower the mama-to-be in your life! From a previous post, this DIY Twine Letter & Branch Sign was made for my girlfriend’s nursery, and we decided it would act as the inspiration for the Baby Shower.

Going along with the rustic and whimsical approach, we added white Manzanita Trees donned with little Birds, and added Moss & Forest Animals to dress up the tablescape. The Bunting on top of the tiered cake was made with real twigs, and reflected the same colors and design on the invitation. We served up S’More Pops, Tea Sandwiches, and healthy snacks too! From the Sign In table to wishing the mama-to-be well with words of advice on vintage tags, we made sure to pay attention to the little details to make it extra special and memorable.

We played Guess the Baby Bump Size, and the all time favortie…Poopy Diaper Game! Everyone was a great sport, and we all got a few laughs out of it. For the Winners, we offered a Mustache Cup filled with a Starbuck’s Gift Card instead of something silly that your guests will never use such as a baby bottle…do we look like toddlers? I recommend giving your guests something they can use!

The Sugar Scrub Favors for the guests were also made with love consisting of a few simple ingredients, and I will post on how we DIY’d it later! Wishing my sweet friend and her husband love and well wishes as they welcome their baby boy soon!

Woodland Themed Baby Shower-Darcy Oliver Design

Woodland Themed Baby Shower

Baby Shower Cake & Bunting-Darcy Oliver Design

Baby Shower Cake & Bunting

S'More Pops & Snacks

S’More Pops & Snacks

Rustic Cake & Decor-Darcy Oliver Design

Rustic Cake & Decor

Vintage Wishing Tree & Tags-Darcy Oliver Design

Vintage Wishing Tree & Tags

Rustic Baby Shower-Darcy Oliver Design

Sugar Scrub Favors-Darcy Oliver Design

Sugar Scrub Favors

Sign In Table, Hydrangeas-Darcy Oliver Design

Baby Shower Games

Baby Shower Games

Baby Shower Gifts-Darcy Oliver Design

Baby Shower Gifts, Baby Photos-Darcy Oliver Design

Baby Shower Gifts

Party S’More Pops!

You will want to party s’more after you try these pops! So easy to make, S’more Pops are perfect for Birthdays, Baby Showers, and even little get together’s or a sweet little treat for the kids. Not only can you keep the traditional campfire taste alive without all the mess, you can even melt White Chocolate and dye it to suit the holiday!

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, you can add a few drops of green food dye to your white chocolate and dip in Graham Cracker Crumbs or colored sprinkles! S’more Pops have all the sugary cuteness that Cake Pops offer, but are so much easier to make.

smore pops, dessert, candy, chocolate-Darcy Oliver Design

What You Will Need:

  • 1 Bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Ghiradelli is preferred)
  • 1 Bag of Med/Large Marshmallows
  • 1 Box of Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1 Small Bag of Lolly Sticks

**Side Note: You can put Graham Crackers in a Food Processor until finely ground.

Directions:

  1. Line a Cookie Sheet with Wax Paper.
  2. Twist your Lolly Sticks into all of your Marshmallows.  Do not puncture through the entire Marshmallow, but nearly to the other end of the Marshmallow.
  3. Pour your Graham Cracker Crumbs into a small bowl.
  4. Dump your Chocolate Chips in a Microwave Safe Bowl.
  5. Microwave your Chocolate in 20 Second intervals, and stir until completely melted.
  6. Carefully & quickly dip and spin your Marshmallow Lolly in the chocolate, and then dip into the Graham Cracker Crumbs.
  7. Place Graham Cracker side down on your Cookie Sheet.
  8. Place in fridge when complete to harden, and then serve. Enjoy!

Neiman Marcus Popovers

If you have ever lunched at Neiman Marcus, you understand the importance of ordering their Popovers with Strawberry Butter. A Popover is the American version of English Yorkshire Pudding, and they literally “pop over” the muffin-like pan. You will need to purchase a Popover Pan to make these beauts, as a Muffin Pan is too shallow.

Serve your Popovers as a Valentine’s Day Breakfast treat with jam, or eat as a roll with dinner! Their egg batter consistency makes them dense and hollow, melt in your mouth treats. If you have never had the pleasure of tasting a Popover, this easy Recipe will kick your taste buds into gear!
Neiman Marcus Popover-Darcy Oliver Design

Recipe from Neiman Marcus Cookbook:

Makes 12

  • 3 1/2 C. milk
  • 4 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature

Pre-heat the oven to 450°F

Place the milk in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until warm to the touch. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.

Crack the eggs into the work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until foamy and pale in color. Turn down the mixer to low and add the warm milk. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Turn the machine off and let the batter rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Spray a popover tin generously with nonstick spray. Fill the popover cups almost to the top with the batter and place the popover tin on a cookie sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, until the popovers are a deep golden brown on the outside and airy on the inside.

Turn out the popovers and serve hot with strawberry butter or strawberry jam.

Note: The key to making great popovers is having the eggs and milk warm before mixing. It is also important to let the batter sit for an hour before baking it. Popovers do not freeze well, and pre-made batter has a tendency not to work properly the next day.
Popover Recipe-Darcy Oliver Design

Spicy Date Night Hand Pies

Many of us know that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so do your man a favor and make him these Spicy Date Night Hand Pies! Pack up your picnic basket with these flavorful pies, a side salad, and a nice Pinot Noir or Malbec (or both), and plan out a nice little spot to take your date. Last night I picked up my husband from work and took him to Fiesta Island for a sunset picnic, and he gave these little hand pies two thumbs up!

handpies2

hp3

Ingredients

For the Puff Pastry: Do yourself a favor and pick up two to three boxes of Pepperridge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets in the Frozen Foods Section.  You could make your own, but ain’t nobody got time for that! Before making the meaty filling, unwrap the puff pastry and place the frozen and folded (do not unfold until they are thawed out) on the counter to thaw.

For the Meaty Filling:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 cups chunky salsa (I used one glass jar of chunky salsa from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 tbsp of chopped black olives
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cholula hot sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. In a pan, brown chicken until cooked, about 5 minutes
3. Pour in black olives, mix and then add the salsa, stir, cook about 5 minutes more
4. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste, set aside
5. Unfold the thawed pastry dough on parchment paper
6. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out rounds (I got four rounds out of one sheet)
7. Place a pinchful of shredded cheese on the round, and  a heaping tablespoon in the center of each round
8. Fold dough over filling to make a half circle
9. Crimp ends with a fork or hands
10. Place pies on a greased baking sheet, or ungreased Silpat
11. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water
12. Brush each pie with egg wash
13. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden
14. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack
15. Enjoy!

handpies

Guilty Pleasure Sunday: Herbed Feta Buttermilk Biscuits

Oh Pinterest, how I cannot forsake your delicious recipe finds.  These Herbed Feta Buttermilk Biscuits may not be diet worthy, but they are oh so delish, and perfect for the upcoming Holidays!

biscuits

INGREDIENTS

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
1-1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
7 ounces feta, crumbled
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and herbes de Provence in a large mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter, and cut in with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse cornmeal, and there are no pieces of butter larger than a pea.
  3. Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl, and pour over the butter-flour mixture. Gently fold in until just absorbed; fold in the feta until it resembles a shaggy dough.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 6-8 times, or just until cohesive. Pat out into a rough rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 8 equal rectangles for large biscuits, or 16 triangles for smaller ones.
  5. Brush with egg wash (the water-egg mixture), and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden.
  6. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack.

Makes 8 large or 16 medium biscuits.

Notes:

  • Melted butter will likely pool around the biscuits when baking. Be sure to remove the biscuits to a wire cooling rack immediately after taking them out of the oven, so that they don’t absorb it and get soggy.
  • For the freshest biscuits, only bake off those that you’ll eat within 24 hours; the rest can be frozen raw (stop just before adding the egg wash) and baked off from frozen at a later time. Simply cook for 2-3 minutes longer.

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