Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas M&M Poem

 I made this handout for my lesson today in Young Women's.
 Thank you U Create for the idea and the free printable.  Download yours here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

I'm Melting...

Ethan and I made these for his class Christmas party.
Last year when Jill and I made these we used frosting for the scarfs but I decided to try the licorice pulls instead. It was easier but I wish they had blue licorice.
Head:cookie balls-crushed Oreos with cream cheese (Nutter Butters and peanut butter are yummy too) I just add cream cheese until it's at a good consistency to roll into a ball.
Place on wax paper and cover with white chocolate. I maybe should have done 2 coats but I am still getting used to the altitude change here and the chocolate wasn't drizzling as good for me here. 
Hat:mini Reese's Peanut butter cup and mini Oreo cookie glued together with chocolate.
Scarf:red licorice pull aparts
Face:orange and black frosting

Ethan also wanted to bring these :)  We used Oreo cookie balls dipped in chocolate.
He said the boys went crazy over these. I wasn't surprised!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Popcorn & Movie fun!

We put these together for Ethan and Wyatt's teachers.
Popcorn, M&M's, and movie tickets.
White Chocolate Popcorn: 2 bags microwave popcorn & 2 or 3 squares of melted white Almond Bark. Mix together and spread on cookie sheet to dry.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn from Our Best Bites:
2 bags of Simply Salted (or similar) popcorn (or about 20 cups of popped popcorn)
2 c. honey roasted peanuts
3 c. peanut butter chips (I used 2 1/2 cups pb chips and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips)
2/3 c. chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet)
1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or oil
Reese's Pieces (optional)
Place the peanuts, popped popcorn in a very large bowl. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter chips and vegetable oil or shortening and heat for 2-2 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle the melted peanut butter chips over the popcorn and peanuts and toss to combine.
Spread the popcorn onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet. In a Ziploc bag, heat the semi-sweet chocolate chips until just melted and smooth (about 1-1 1/2 minutes, mashing the bag every 20-30 seconds). Cut a small corner in the Ziploc bag and drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn. Add Reese's Pieces. Allow to stand long enough to become solid (you can transfer the pan to the fridge or freezer to hurry this step along). When done, break the popcorn into small pieces and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Nutty" Christmas gift

 I wanted to make something simple for neighbor/friend gifts this Christmas and I found the perfect thing. Cinnamon Almonds! Thank you Cory for introducing us and for showing us how to make them! You have to try these.  They are so easy to make and so yummy!
Cinnamon Almonds:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsp water and 1/8 tsp salt in small frying pan. Turn heat on high. Stir in 1 1/2 cups *roasted but not salted almonds. Stir them for about 5 minutes or until sugar turns clumpy. Spread on wax paper lined cookie sheet to cool.  Be careful they are highly addictive. **You can double this recipe using a large frying pan.
*To roast almonds spread raw almonds on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 8 minutes turning them half way. 
 Michele gave me these cute containers (she knows I love stuff like this) to put a fun treat in.  I think these were perfect for this! But these almonds are perfect in anything!  Patti used fortune cookie boxes that had a see-through window in them.  They were super cute!
I also used some plastic boxes I ordered from Pick Your Plum. They fit about 1 1/4 cups almonds in them.

I also bought this twine from Pick Your Plum.  I am loving how simple it is to use and want some in every color.  
I had to include this pic of Lucy. She insisted on being outside with me while I took pictures in the cold.  She snuggled herself up and had fun telling me how to do my job. Love this sassy girl!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Random Christmas treats

 These probably don't deserve a blog post but it was a fun memory. I made these for the youth at church for our annual Christmas caroling activity.
I had so much fun walking around with these amazing kids and hearing them sing Christmas music.
I made these for a scout activity. I love Liz's macaroons:
4 egg whites
1 tsp. almond extract
14 oz. sweetened coconut
6 Tbsp. flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Mix dry ingredients first with a fork. Then stir in the wet. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Place almond in center. Bake 350 for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Once cooled dip half of the cookie or just the bottom in melted chocolate. Place on wax paper to dry.
*I think they taste better half dipped in milk chocolate and then drizzled(a little thicker than I did)  but I didn't have time to do that this time. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Cupcakes

 Anna and I made these for our Christmas party at church.
 We had so much fun doing these together.
 Reindeer: pretzel antlers, Nilla wafer face, M&M nose and edible goggly eyes.
 Santa: all frosting. I copied this from a picture online. I used a small star tip 35 for the white frosting and a round tip 16 for the red hat. I tinted some frosting light pink with a little cocoa for his face but you can't really tell.
I made these again! We used red and green chocolate to make the H's and peppermints for the O's. To get this swirled look I used a disposable bag with a 1M tip, painted gel colors up the side of the bag and added frosting carefully so you don't mess it up to much. Squeeze until you start to see color.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Polar Express Party #2

 My sweet friend Tacie let me help with her Polar Express party. And by help I mean make cupcakes. I wish I could take credit for all this other fun stuff. Check out her cute BELIEVE banner.
 I love how she used the pine trees and silver bells everywhere.
 North Pole Cupcakes

 I love the dipped marshmallows for the hot cocoa.
More fun stuff for the cocoa: peppermint bark, chocolate chips and candy canes.
This was super fun! I think this will be our new tradition every Christmas! It's a perfect reason to overdose on hot cocoa and cupcakes.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Personal Progress handout

 Here is another Personal Progress incentive I did for our Young Women at church.  To find out more about the Program click here.
To print this handout click here to download.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Come One Come All!

Amanda's Circus baby shower.
 Sephonnie helped me make the circus tent. We used a hula hoop and taped streamers from it. We hung it from the ceiling with a 3M hook and pinned it open with bobby pins.

To make the swirled frosting fill a bag with 3 different colors trying to keep them as separate as possible as you fill it.  You will have to squeeze some frosting out before they start to mix.

Clown #1: Trix for hair and sour cherry candy for nose.
Clown #2: cut waffle cone for hat and M&M for nose.
I can't decide if their cute or scary.  I might have nightmares trying to decide!
Can't have a circus party without popcorn.  Cut the top half of a mini marshmallow in an x shape using scissors. I grease my scissors first with Pam or butter. Once you have the mallows on the cupcake use a paint brush to brush yellow food coloring on.

Friday, December 6, 2013

I love cookie exchanges!

 I made these Ritz peanut butter cookies for a Christmas cookie exchange. They are super simple but took some time: Take 2 Ritz crackers, spread peanut butter on one side and marshmallow cream on the other.  Make a sandwich then dip.  I learned a trick from a friend I wish I would have know before this.  Freeze the cookie for a few minutes then dip one half of the cookie, freeze again then dip the other half.  I know they are random designs but I don't like to do the same thing over and over.
 Red and green chocolate drizzle.
 Snowflakes:I bought the snowflake shaped Ritz which seemed like a great idea but it was impossible to get the 2 crackers to line up.  Oh well!
 Once the white chocolate dried I used blue chocolate to make the snowflake designs.
Snowmen: mini M&M's for eyes, mini chocolate chips for mouth and I used some carrot and pea candies I found at the dollar store for the nose.