Zesty Lemon Pie

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This recipe is a spin-off of my previous recipe post Lemon Bars. I love to make it this way because when you add fresh fruit on top of this pie it looks like an upscale dessert that you spent hours on instead of minutes.

First gather all of your ingredients:

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1 extra large graham cracker crust – Feel free to make your own, I took the easy way out with a store bought crust.

2 1/4 cups sugar

6 eggs

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 T. freshly grated lemon rind

1/2 +1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup all purpose flour

Powdered sugar

Fresh berries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is pre-heating combine all ingredients except the powdered sugar and berries in a mixing bowl. Mix for about 1 minute at low speed until all ingredients are combined.

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Next place your graham cracker crust on a baking sheet. Then pour the lemon mixture into the pie shell. Place the baking sheet with the pie on it in the oven for an hour or until the pie no longer jiggles.

Once the pie is completely cooled sprinkle the top with powered sugar and top with the fresh berries. This is a great pie to bring to a summer BBQ.

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Flourless Chocolate Cake

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This is such a decadent chocolate cake. I have been making this cake for over a decade. It is always a huge hit with gluten lovers and haters. Most people don’t even know that it is gluten free.

Ingredients:

5 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 T. cocoa powder

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 cup chocolate chips

1 cup unsalted butter

The higher quality of chocolate and butter you use in this recipe the better the cake will taste. I prefer Ghirardelli semi- sweet chocolate and Challenge or Land O’ Lakes butter.

After you gather all of your ingredients pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees.

First lightly grease a 10 inch springform pan (cheesecake pan). Next cut parchment paper the size of your pan and then lay the parchment on the bottom. Spray the pan with grease again. Then wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil. This will prevent the batter from leaking out all over your oven while cooking. It only took one messy oven for me to learn this valuable lesson.

Now you are going to put the chocolate chips and butter into a microwave safe bowl. Melt for 30 second intervals, stirring in-between. Once completely melted and combined set aside. Then beat all of the remaining ingredients together for 1 1/2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in your melted chocolate while you continue to mix at medium speed.

Once you have everything mixed together pour into your springform pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet and put both in your pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.  Don’t freak out when you return to check on your cake. The cake will decrease in size by about half. Remove the foil and the ring around the pan. When the cake is completely cooled invert it on to a cake plate removing the remaining part of the springform pan and parchment paper. Lightly dust with cocoa powder and add a cluster of fresh raspberries to the top. Voila! Now you have a decadent gluten free dessert to please the masses.

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Still a Little Chilly in Colorado

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This high end thrifty find cost less then you can imagine. Here is the breakdown.

Versatile denim dress $5.99

La Donna Italian made brown leather boots $12.99

Hat $1.99

Burberry light-weight khaki jacket $7.99

Grand Total: 28.96

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I get to wear authentic Burberry for the price of a few cocktails! Hope this inspires you to dress thrifty. I would love to see your thrifty fashions. Be sure to tag me on Instagram with your thrift store outfits @upcycled_goddess.

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My Favorite Shortbread Cookies

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These cookies are to die for. Melt in your mouth and have you begging for more type of cookies. The cookies I made today are lightly sprinkled with colored sugar but these cookies are extremely sturdy and perfect for frosting.

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Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 pounds of unsalted butter, softened (the higher quality of butter the better the cookie, I use Challenge butter)

2 Cups powdered sugar

2 pounds and 4 ounces all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla or almond flavoring

In a mixer blend the butter and powdered sugar together. Add the salt and vanilla then gradually add in the flour. Mix only till combined. Do not over mix. Divide the dough in 2 equal parts and wrap in saran wrap. Let rest for about an hour.

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This dough is so wonderful to work with. I lightly flour my counter top and just use my hand to press the dough out to 1/4 of an inch thickness. Use your desired cookie cutters and then place on an ungreased baking sheet. For the above cookies I used and egg wash (1 egg white mixed with 2 T. of water). After I brushed the egg wash on the cookies I then sprinkled the tops of the cookies with colored sugar. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Once they have cooled for at least 2 minutes the cookies can be removed from the pan.

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Hope this recipe will become a family favorite.

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Happiness is not Expensive

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I bought this t-shirt on a whim, not giving much thought to the words. I just needed a shirt for layering underneath my new denim button-up. I was shocked at the response I received when I wore this. I found myself wearing it often and crafting my own social experiment of sorts.

What I thought people would say when they saw this shirt was “oh, darling I love your shirt. I couldn’t agree more. My family and faith are everything to me”. That is NOT what happened. In all the times I went out in this shirt not one single woman young or old made a comment.

Men flocked to me when I was wearing this shirt. You would think I was wearing some cleavage revealing tank top and mini skirt with fishnet stockings the way men came up to me. I was a bit taken aback and felt uncomfortable with the attention. This certainly was not my intent.

The words that came out of these men’s mouths floored me. Every gentleman that approached me made the same comment “tell my wife that”. These men were inevitably trailing their wives as they shopped around the store. It was obvious they were just along to swipe their credit card. As the comments multiplied every time I went out, I started to reflect on what these men had spontaneously spoken to me.

Is this what husbands near and far think of their wives? Does my husband think of me that way? I know my husband admires my frugal, coupon cutting thrift store shopping ways. I try very hard not to talk about new things I want in the hopes that he would surprise me with them. He kind of stinks at the whole buying gifts thing anyways.

I have struggled within my marriage that my husband rarely surprises me with flowers or buys me a cute piece of jewelry on a whim. We all want that fairytale romance out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. I don’t have that. I have something far better. I have a husband who will get up at 4 in the morning to shovel  3 feet of snow off the driveway. He brings me coffee in bed, warms up my car and takes the kids out to play when he knows my patience has run thin. This is love.

I challenge you to look at everything your husband does for you in a different light. When the snow is swept off your car imagine a dozen roses laying on your windshield. When he gets the kids out of the house early on a Saturday morning so you can sleep in, imagine a bouquet of Gerber daisies sitting on your nightstand. Make a conscience shift in your thinking and eventually it will become habit. He loves you and I am sure he shows it in many ways. Be attentive and look for the romance that may lie hidden within the everyday moments of your life, because happiness is not expensive, but love is priceless.

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Model I’m NOT

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I tried my best to model this thrift store outfit but balancing in heels with 30mph winds is not my strong suit. I have don’t have any desire to make a career out of modeling. Now onto the price breakdown of this casual thrift store style.

Gray V-neck t-shirt – $0.99

The comfiest and softest sweater I’ve ever owned – $5.99

Seven for all Mankind jeans – $9.99 (more then I usually spend on jeans but they make my bootie look great).

Franco Sarto black and silver studded heels $3.99

Grand Total: $20.96

Hope this inspires your thrift store style.

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Upcycling a Woodshop Reject

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I found unfinished what I can only assume is some sort of tool toting box.I imagine that a young middle school boy made this in the hopes of suprising his dad for Father’s Day. Fortunetly I was able to find this gem at my local thrift store for $1.99.

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The first thing I did was to stain the entire box. I just needed a small amont of stain for this project. Buy the smallest container of stain at your local hardware store. Trust me a little goes along way. I just used paper towels and smeared the stain all over the wood. I made sure to rub the stain on going with the natural grain of the wood. Make sure to wipe off any excess stain and then let dry for 1-2 hours.

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After the stain has dried I painted the outside of this box. I chose a neutral flat color. I actually got this paint for free by entering a Behr’s online contest. I left the inside unpainted for contrast. After the paint is completelty dry (about 1 hour) I roughed up the edges with sandpaper so the stain would show through, giving this piece a shabby chic look.

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I then used a soft cloth and rubbed Feed-N-Wax on the inside and out. I let this sit for about 20 minutes then buffed it out with my rag.

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This is the finished project. You could use this as a planter or portable silverware holder. Now I know that you probablly wont find this exact item at your thrift store but keep your eyes open for small wood items that you could use this technique on.

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