Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thanks, Cupid!

Sorry folks! You have all been so patient even though I had promised to post a winner yesterday! I sincerely apologize for the wait. So.... who won?

(patiently taps fingers)

Ah ha! There we go. The lucky winner for this giveaway is Jasanna Czellar!!! CONGRATULATIONS! You are one lucky girly. These items are pretty dang great.

Well, due to some personal stuff, I am going to take a short break from giveaways. But don't go away forever! I promise that once I can't think clearly everything will be fun and exciting again! I have some pretty big plans for you so make sure you check in.

Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A little something for Cupid....

Hello, my lovely lovely readers! After taking a little break, I have decided a new giveaway is in order. And since Valentine's Day is coming up, why not offer a little romance?

Lets just get right to it, shall we?

One lucky winner will be winning two fabulous items! I could not be more thrilled about the prizes that have been offered. And whether your married, dating, or just having a good time, these are perfect additions to your plans. There are lots of ways to enter, and they are all super simple. So enter enter enter!

So, what are these infamous items we keep referring to?

Donated by Anurain Cosmetics, this is an edible lip & body balm made with real chocolate! It sounds tasty, smells tasty, 
and your significant other will love it! ;)

These glasses are beautiful.  One of each color will be 
donated by Melissa Asbury Designs. They have the perfect 
amount of elegance for your Valentine evening!

1- You must leave a comment for each individual task.
2- Contest runs from 1/22/12 - 1/31/12, winner chosen 2/1/12.

Ways To Enter:
1- Either subscribe by email or follow via GFC (that little members box on the right)
*Leave a comment to let me know you do, even if you already did (still counts)

2 - Leave a comment on THIS BLOG POST to tell me why you want to win.

3- Share this giveaway on ANY of your social networking sites. (facebook, twitter..etc)
*Leave a comment to let me and leave a link to the post for verification.

4- Like my Page by clicking HERE!
*Leave a comment telling me your username, even if you already "like" because it still counts!

5- Follow @sweetsbyleece on Twitter
*Leave a comment telling me who to look for on twitter.

6- Blog about this giveaway!
*Leave a comment linking your blog post

7- Click on Feedback/Buttons at the top and take one of my buttons
*Leave a comment with a link to where I can see it.

8- Like Anurain Cosmetics on Facebook HERE and leave a comment on her page.
*Leave a comment to let me know you did with username.

9 - Follow @anuraincosmetics via Twitter HERE and tweet to her that you did.
*Leave a comment to let me know you did with username.

10 -  Like Melissa Asbury Designs on Facebook HERE and leave a comment on her page.
*Leave a comment to let me know you did with username.

11 - Take either or both of the contributors buttons and post them on your site!
*Leave a comment (two if you took both) and a link to where we can see them posted!

BONUS - Make a purchase in either shop and earn 10 additional entries!
Anurain Cosmetics - ETSY SHOP
Melissa Asbury Designs - ETSY SHOP
*Leave a comment with what you bought and from which shop!

Contributor Buttons:

So what are you waiting for? Enter! Share! Win! Woot!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Contributor of the Week!

Here, kitty kitty kitty kitty!

I started doing a contributor of the week, and then just had several issues that prevented me from continuing. So let's pick up where we left off!

Kittie's Cakes! This shop contributed a prize to our 5th giveaway. A sampler that looked absolutely delicious. I received feedback from one winner who validated this. She says the treats she got were so tasty she didnt even share with her family! With 80 sales so far and 100% positive feedback, I'm guessing ordering from her is totally worth it.

Want to learn more about her?  Keep reading!

Note from Kathleen with Kittie's Cakes -

"I am a third plus generation scratch baker who uses only natural, organic and local (whenever possible) ingredients to make artisan baked goods that are pure and delicious. No preservatives, no artificial coloring, no stabilizers etc. in ANY of my products. I'm always working on new spins I can put on old favorites. For example, my cabernet brownie is actually made with cabernet "flour" (made from the skins of cabernet grapes), Callebault chocolate, cherries marinated in creme de cassis and roasted hazelnuts. My commitment is to excellence in baking and creativity in products."

Thanks Kathleen!

If you want to see how wonderful her treats look, head over to her Etsy shop and start drooling!

New Year, new fun!

Well Happy New Year folks! The first thing I really want to mention is how wonderful you have all been over the last few months in closing 2011. I have gained several new followers/subscribers and more traffic than I could have possibly imagined, being that I have only had this going for a few months. So thank you all so much for being a part of my little adventure!

Secondly, I really want to let you all know about this new site... It's brand new, just starting to get up and running. The idea behind it is really neat! It's similar to facebook in terms of what you can do with it so far... with the exception of being less heard of, of course. What makes this unique is that you actually earn money. It's an MLM Social Networking Site. As more people join, you earn more money. Here is mine so far. I just broke $1! And I'm thrilled! hahaha

Anyways.... that's what it looks like. And eventually I'll be making bank ;) Start now and you can be making bank too. So if you are interested, click on that little green button at to the right that says "Treehouse Social" and start referring away. 

Now,  moving on... I'm sure you all have New Years Resolutions. One of the most common is to lose a few pounds. We start out ambitious.. we say "I want to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year". Then once January ends and we move on to February, it's no longer considered the new year and we forget all about our resolutions. It's a human thing to do. And it's why we kind of suck, right?

Well I work for a company called Yoli. We are the Better Body Company. Everyone I work with is so fantastic and chipper and my day is almost always great. The CEO walks around greeting and chatting up everyone, every single day.  Which I think really helps improve employee morale. Anyways, I bring it up because we see this thing called a Transformation Kit. It includes a pH Balancing supplement, a digestive formula, an energy drink, and a protein drink. Together, they really help with the weight loss. I lost 14.5 pounds in my first 30 days which was between November and December so included a lot of cheating.... and I still lost weight! So I am starting my next 30 days today and with the exception of celebrating birthdays (one fun day for mine, my husbands, my moms and my dads birthdays) I will not be cheating or giving my self a free day. So if you are interested in that, head over to for more details. 

And finally, one last thing... I have plans for more giveaways coming up. Hopefully I can get something going for the last two weeks of the month, but if not, for sure something for Valentine's Day! If you have any suggestions on the types or prizes you would like to see, or themes of giveaways... or anything at all....just let me know! I love suggestions!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

At last the two best holidays ever are here! Thanksgiving and Christmas are the absolute best. Christmas means fun gifts and happy family times, but Thanksgiving means lots and lots of wonderfully delicious pies! In honor of this fabulous holiday, I have decided to share a few recipes with you. Below is a recipe for Blueberry, Apple, and Pumpkin pies, using only fresh fruit. Not that canned stuff. Blah! I make these pies every year, and every year they gone within moments of deciding its time for dessert. I don't like the taste of pumkin pie too well, but I can eat this one myself. Fresh pumpkin just tastes so much better than canned. Anyways, I hope you all enjoy these recipes!

Very Blueberry Pie - click here to print


Filling -

¾ C Sugar
2 Tbs Cornstarch
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ C Water
6-7 C Fresh Blueberries - please don't use canned. It's insulting. :)
1 Tbs Instant Tapioca
1 Tbs Unsalted Butter
1 ½ - 2 tsp Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 375*

Whisk together sugar, starch, and cinnamon in a large skillet. Stir in water. Add blueberries. Gently stir. Bring to slow boil. Cook over low heat, 5 minutes, of just until mix thickens.

Dont smash the blueberries.
Dont overcook the blueberries.

Using a slotted spoon, empty blueberries into a large shallow container, about ⅓ at a time. Sprinkle each layer with Tapioca. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Reserve the syrup for the blueberry sauce to use on pancakes, ice cream, or over this pie.

Empty the filling into the pie dish. Dot with butter and sprinkle with lemon juice.

Crumb Topping -

1 C Sifted Flour
¼ C Finely Chopped Walnuts
¼ C and 1 Tbs Sugar
¼ C and 1 Tbs Lightly Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Baking Powder
⅛ tsp Salt
⅓ C Unsalted Butter - melted and cooled to tepid.

Combine flour, walnuts, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add cool melted butter and toss with fork to make crumbs. Take a mound, form into a large clump, then crumble over filling. Repeat to use all crumbs.

Make foil edging to keep edges from burning. Use drip pan. Cover pie loosely with foil to bake.

Bake 40 minutes. Remove all foil and bake 10-15 minutes or until brown. Cool 4 hours before serving.

Blueberry Syrup -

Juice from Filling
½ C. Water
1-2 Tbs Crem de Cassis or Kirschwasser
1 tsp Lemon Juice

Bring juice and water to slow boil. Keep stirring. Remove from heat. Add liquor. Return to boil for 30 seconds. If too thick, add more water.

Add lemon juice. Drizzle over pie.

This can be made in advance and stored for up to 2 days. It can be frozen.

Freshly Carved Pumpkin Pie - Click here to print!


2 C pumpkin pulp puree from a sugar pumpkin (the cute mini ones!)
1 ½ C Heavy Cream
½ C Packed Dark Brown Sugar
⅓ C Sugar
½ tsp Salt
2 Eggs + the yolk of a third egg
3 tsp Cinnamon
1 ½ tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Ground Nutmeg
½ tsp Ground Cloves
½ tsp Ground Cardamon - I consider this to be optional because I don’t really like it. :)
½ tsp Lemon Zest

Pie Crust - personally I think graham cracker crust tastes better with this than the normal white pie crust.

Retrieving the Pumpkin Pulp

This part is really fun, a little messy, and pretty fast. Kind of.

Preheat your oven to 375*

Cut out the top of the pumpkin like you would for a Jack-O-Lantern. Then with the pumpkin upright, cut it in half. Dig out all of the goop, trying to get as much of the stringy stuff as possible.

(save the seeds for a yummy and nutritious snack!)

Line your cookie sheet with foil. If your cookie sheet does not have raised edges, remember to “make” raised edges with the foil. This will prevent any juices that leak from the pumpkin, from spilling out into your oven.

Loosely cover the pumpkin with more foil. Pop in the oven and bake for about an hour, checking it about every 20 minutes. Once the pumpkin is soft, it’s ready to take out.

Let cool completely. Once it cooled, just peel off the skin and scrape the pumpkin into your food processor to puree it.

Instead of baking, the pumpkin could be steamed as well, but it takes longer & more work :)
Making the Pie

Change oven to 425*

Mix sugars, salt, spices and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the blend. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Mix well. Add the heavy cream.. Whisk all together until well incorporated.

Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350*. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. When done, sprinkle again lightly with cinnamon. Let cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.

Once you taste this recipe, you will never want to go back to using canned pumpkin again. I promise. :)

Best ever Apple Pie. Ever.  - Click here to print!

In this recipe, I use a store bought crust. But I’m not very great at making that part myself. So you can do whatever you want!


⅔ C Sugar
3 Tbs Flour
¼ tsp Ground Allspice
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
¾ tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract - Not that imitation stuff
2-3 lbs Apples - I like to use a little more than half red apples (I like Braeburn) and the rest green (Granny Smith) apples.
2 store bought pie crusts.

1 ½ tsp Brandy - This is completely optional but really compliments the flavor. And don’t worry, the alcohol is baked right out. :)

Combine sugar, flour and spices in large bowl. Use your hands and mix in the apples so they are well coated, then add brandy and vanilla extract.

Let crusts sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Spoon in apple filling into one crust, making a nice high mound in the center.  You may not be able to fit all of the apples, but I like to fit in as many as possible. To me, the higher the better. And then additionally, I like to sprinkle even more cinnamon over the mound.

scatter a few really tiny butter cups (cut up) here and there over the filling.

Gently take the second pie crust out of the pan it was purchased in. Cut some slits through it and then gently place it over the mound of filling, sealing the edges.

Egg Wash:

1 large Egg Yolk
1 Tbs Heavy Cream

Blend the egg yolk and cream together until well blended. With a pastry brush, brush generously over the top of the crust, making sure to get all the crust covered.

Bake pie until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F. Tent the rims with aluminum foil or a pie protector if the edges are browning too quickly. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, anywhere from an additional 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of apples you are using. Transfer to rack; let stand 1 hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature.

Now... go ahead and try these and tell me how fantastic they are!


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