Friday, November 29, 2013

Let the Shopping Begin!!!

Yes I'm one of the crazy people who will be out on Thanksgiving night shopping and into the wee hours of Friday.  It's the only way I can get the Christmas presents for the boys.  This year I'll be cutting it a little tight.  I fly out to Boston Friday afternoon so I'm actually thankful most can be done Thursday night.  And I know some of you are against this.  Having worked retail for many years and working Thanksgiving, Christmas ... I know it sucks but I also know I needed the money and the time and a half was always nice.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and you that brave the stores be-careful and remember to be kind to those around you.

A funny I had to share:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to you all

One of my favorite things about holidays (heck back in the day the funnies in Sunday paper too) while growing up was Peanuts.  I just love those guys, I wish my kids would get into them.  I saw this and it just brought me back to being a kid!

Hope you all have a wonderful day, with laughter and lot's of love!  Remember if you can those who don't have as much.  Give to your shelters and churches if you can.  You never know what a simple little thing can do for someone!

God Bless!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turkey Parade ... Turkey Rice Krispie Treats & Turkey Cookies

Next on our list was some turkey's for the boys class rooms.  I of course couldn't make the same treat for both classroom.  I found two really cute turkey's I wanted to try out.

First one I did was actually very simple.  Caden helped decorate these for his classroom.  I found these Turkey Rice Krispie Treats on Shugary Sweets.  You start with a basic rice krispie treat, with a circle cookie cutter and some candy you have the perfect turkey!

Ingredients
    For the krispie treats:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 10oz bag marshmallows
  • 5 cup Rice Krispies Cereal
  • For the turkeys:
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted 
  • 12 chocolate wafers or Hershey Kisses
  • candy corn
  • candy eyes (Wilton - Walmart, Target or Michael's sales them)
  • orange m&m's
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add marshmallows and stir continuously until melted. Remove from heat and quickly fold in the cereal, until completely coated.
  2. Press lightly into a buttered 13x9 baking sheet. Allow to set, about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (or whatever desired size), cut circles into the krispie treat. Eat discards immediately.
  4. Using the melted semi-sweet chocolate, attach about 5 candy corn for feathers, one wafer for the face, two eyes and half of an orange m&m for the beak. Feel free to add a red candy (or pipe on red candy melts) for the waddle.
Alexis Notes: I used frosting as my glue instead of melted chocolate.  Instead of hersey kisses I used mini Reese's Cups.  I pick up my Candy Eye's at Walmart.  Instead of Orange M&M's I used Reese's Pieces that I cut in half. 



And the Second one I did was simple also.  I did cheat and use chocolate covered Oreo's and already chocolate covered pretzels.  I found this idea for Turkey Cookies on A Thrifty Mom.  I took her idea and tweaked it a little bit.

Ingredients:
Oreo Cookies
Mini Pretzels
Red Gummy Worm
Candy Corn
Frosting
Chocolate Candy Coating
Wax Paper

I used chocolate dipped Oreo Cookies and Pretzels.  This way I could avoid the melting of Chocolate Candy Coating and hand dipping.  If you want to do or can't find these melt your chocolate Candy Coating, dip your Mini Pretzels and set them aside.  When dry dip your oreo and place on 4 mini chocolate covered pretzels.  I fanned them out to look like the feathers.  If doing this method add your candy eyes, nose and waddle to the wet oreo cookie.  Since I used chocolate covered oreo's, I melted a little chocolate to glue the oreo to the pretzels.  I used frosting to add the eyes, nose and waddle. I wanted the waddle to look like a waddle so I used a red candy worm.  For the nose I used a candy corn.  A Thrifty mom used Red and Yellow Fruit foll ups.  My way gave it more of a 3D look, it's your call.





Hope you are all have an amazing Thanksgiving & Black Friday!

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE

Any Thanksgiving Plans?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Popcorn

Next on my pumpkin list is Pumpkin Pie Popcorn, I found several recipes but went with the one I found on Family Bites.  It was a simple recipe, the only hard part is the putting in the oven and checking and stirring every 20 minutes.

OK this is what I learned READ the recipe I accidentally went with 350°F instead of 250°F on my first batch.  I also found a tin disposable pan was easier to do the stirring instead of cookie sheet.  My first batch was a little darker then I would like.  It was still tasty but not perfect!


LOL I just noticed the glow from y computer fan made this looks crazy :).

Pumpkin Pie Popcorn (adapted from Orangette)
  • 10 cups air popped popcorn, salted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syurp
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and dump the popcorn into the bowl, taking care to pick out and discard any unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water.
Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, whisking often, and bring to a boil.  Allow the mixture to boil for about 2 minutes, whisking occasionally. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.
Quickly pour the hot caramel over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn, taking care to distribute it as evenly as you can. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring and turning the popcorn with a spatula every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn, and serve.

I made extra so I could take some to Boston for my co workers and bosses.  One of my co-worker has been asking for treats so I thought I'd bring some when I go this week. Let's hope they travel well.

Hope you are all have an amazing week!

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE

Any Thanksgiving Plans?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Peekaboo Pumpkin Pound Cake with Brown Butter Pecan Icing

I saw the most amazing Peekaboo pumpkin pound cake with brown butter pecan icing on Sheknows.com.  I just had to try it out, I did learn it was a lot of work.  BUT it did turn out very cool.  I used a plastic pumpkin cookie cuter, NEXT time I will use a nice metal one with a longer stem.  My stem was a little small so when I put the pound cake mix on the top of the cooked pumpkin shapes it didn't make the pumpkin pop like it should.

This really is a time consuming recipe but when they cut into the bread and see the pumpkin shape it will blow anyone away.  It so was worth all the time!  This recipe is really like making 3 breads and merging them together.

Ingredients:

For the pound cake
  • 1 (14-ounce) box pumpkin bread mix (I made homemade version)
  • 1 (16-ounce) box pound cake mix (I made homemade version)
  • Orange food coloring
For the icing
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Prepare Pumpkin Bread
Mix up pumpkin bread ingredients according to the directions on the box. Add orange food coloring to make it more "pumpkin-y" looking (less brown).  I made a homemade pumpkin bread instead of using a box mix.  

pumpkin bread INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée*
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped walnuts
* To make pumpkin purée, cut a pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use. Or, if you are working with pumpkin pieces, roast or boil them until tender, then remove and discard the skin.

METHOD

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.
3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.

Remove from oven before completely done, about 8-10 minutes less than instructed. Let cool, remove from pan and refrigerate for up to four hours. Cut cold pumpkin bread into large slices. Cut pumpkin shapes from slices. Align them down the center of a lightly greased and floured 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.  

Make Pound Cake
Mix up your pound cake batter according to the directions on the box. Pour over your pumpkin bread cutouts in the pan, making sure to cover the tops of the pumpkins. You may have more pound cake batter than you need. Try not to overfill the pan. Bake according to the directions on the box. Let cool when done.  (I made my pound cake from scratch - SEE recipe below).

Pound Cake Ingredients
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, plus more for pan
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With a mixer, cream butter and shortening together. Add sugar, a little at a time. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer alternately with milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Mix in vanilla. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Prepare the Icing

Put powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. In a saucepan, melt butter and boil, stirring until it starts to brown and form dark flecks on the sides and bottom. Remove from heat. Pour the melted brown butter and flecks over the powdered sugar. Add the evaporated milk and vanilla. Stir until combined and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if it appears too runny or more evaporated milk if it seems too stiff.


Icing Cake
Remove baked and cooled pound cake from pan and top with brown butter icing. Add chopped pecans, if desired. Cut into slices and delight your guests with the pumpkin-shaped surprise that peeks out from inside!

Step by Step how to make:

Small Pumpkin Cookie Cutter used:

Large Pumpkin Cookie Cutter Used


Left Over Pound Cake Mix
So I made a bunt cake for the Tutor.

Hope you give this one a shot!

Thanks for Stopping by!
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Things that make you laugh ....

So I went to the doctor since I'm not loosing any weight and have gained some since I have reintroduced carbs and sugar.  Eating a normal but smaller portions, trying to stick to a Weight Watcher system.  I just have been feeling a little blah lately even with my working out, so I went to see the doctor and of course all my test comes back normal.  Ugh so I will just keep plugging forward.  Today I need a laugh it's been a rough week so I thought I would share a funny with you!!


Hope you all laugh and have a great day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Themed Gift Idea ... Dragons Oh my (Once Upon A Time Gift Bag)

Yesterday I showed the gift for Stacy @ Stacy Uncorked and her family, today I show the gift I did for her daughter Princess Nagger.  Stacy let me know PN loves Dragon's, so I thought why not make a fun Dragon / Fairy Tale gift.  I couldn't find all things dragon so I ran with a Fairy Tale as the Dragon as my focal point. 


I hit up Michael's Craft store for a few items and then Target to complete my items.

What I used:
Canvas Bag
Iron On Letters
Wood Castle (I found a pre-painted one at Michael's)
Stuffed Dragon
Foam Castle Craft
Zany Tales (Like a Mad Lib but Fairy Tale Version)
Princess Bracelet (Since they call her Princess Nagger)
Hot Tamales (Wrapped up saying Dragon's Breath)
- Hot Glue Gun & Sticks
- Hot Iron



I first started out with a canvas bag, I then took these fun iron letters that reminded me of the font on fairy tale books.  I first put them on the bag and figured how I wanted them on the bag.  I then took my hot iron and set the letters on how it like them.  I took my trusty hot glue gun and glued the castle down in the middle.  I wanted to keep with the dragon theme.  So I took some Hot Tamales and went to my computer took a flame and added the Words Dragon's Breath.  I wrapped this around the box and done!  I took Pink Tissue paper to match the bag and put it all in. 
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Monday, November 18, 2013

Themed Gift Idea ... Welcome Home Basket (Dinner and A Movie Night)

Next on our themed gift basket idea is a Dinner and a Movie Night.  My amazing Bloggy friend Stacy from Stacy Uncorked moved back to town.  I wanted to make her and her family a Welcome Home Gift. I've made a version of this as a wedding gift before and it was such a hit that I thought I'd do a smaller version.


What you Need:
Bowl or Colander
Spaghetti Noodles
Spaghetti Sauce
Popcorn
Candy
Movie
Tissue paper as s filler

I put tissue paper at the bottom to help put all the items in the bowl.  I was going to add a thing of french bread but I wasn't sure when they would eat and didn't want to buy something that goes bad.  I also was going to put in a bottle of Wine but she makes the best wine and thought it would be a little silly giving her wine. 



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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Themed Gift Idea ... Craft Birthday Gift Bag

We attended a birthday party a few weeks back and I wanted to do something fun for the little one.  I thought what better then a craft bag of fun things to make and do with mom and dad.  The party was at a pumpkin patch, so I went with a Halloween themed bag but this can  be done with any theme or just a fun bunch of different crafts.


What you Need:

Bag - I used Frank 'n Stein
Any Crafts 
(I used)
- a mini pumpkin
- pumpkin design kit
- build a cat
- build a spider
 - glow stick

It turned out so cute!  And little kids love to build things and be crafty.  My boys were trying to take over the bag before it left the house :).

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Re-Make for Business Trip

I'm going to Boston again at the end of the month, yup I leave on Black Friday.  Those who know me are shocked.  BUT since I can do most my shopping Thursday night and early Friday AM and then hop on a plane for Boston.  I'll arrive late night Friday and then I will be there for the event early Saturday am. 

SOOOO that leaves me with roots ... yup you read that correct!  I was scheduled for a hair appointment last month.  BUT I knew I would be leaving at the end of this month and wanted fresh hair.  SOOO ... I went around looking like a hot mess for a month so I could get my hair done closer to me leaving.


It's amazing how I was a toe head for birth until my twenties.  Then the older I get the darker my hair has gotten ... man does aging suck or what.  We are all sick here at the house so a quick post about a refreshed me.  Hope you all have a great weekend.

I'm growing my hair out.
It's getting cold and my ears need to stay warm ... lol
Got my Fall Colors on

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We all need something sweet .... Peek-a-boo Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookies

I saw on a blog or Pinterest a while back these really cool cookies that had a heart with in a heart (a big hear with a smaller heart a different color).  It got me thinking why not make these for Halloween   WELL that was my plan to do a pumpkin with a black bat in the middle.  WELL Halloween came and went so I had to go to a back up plan.  I still wanted to try it and make some cookies for the tutor.  So why not a pumpkin with in a pumpkin?  So I hit up my box of 101 cookie cutters and found a large pumpkin and then I have a Martha Stewart small cookie cutter set and found a small pumpkin cutter.


I found Michelle's Soft Sugar Cookies on AllRecipes.com, they were very soft and fluffy. And tasted pretty darn good, not too sweet!

I had extra white left over so I made a few snowflakes.
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS:
1.Cream the margarine and add the sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition.
2.Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt gradually to the creamed mixture, stirring in by hand. Cover and chill dough overnight.
3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
4.Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut into your favorite shapes. Place cookies onto the prepared baking sheets.
5.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 6 to 8 minutes or until cookie has a golden appearance.

Now onto the Pumpkins:

First I started with the sugar cookie recipe.  I took about 1/3 of the dough and set it aside since I was going to keep it white.  Then I took the 2/3 left and kneaded in some Orange Wilton Icing Color.  I find this is the best way to color anything from fondant to dough.  Once I got the orange I wanted I rolled out the dough.  I took my large pumpkin and cut out the cookies.  I then took my smaller pumpkin and cut out the middle of my cookie.  I set these aside and then took the white dough (now if I was doing the black bats I would be dying the dough black).  I rolled the white dough out and took the small pumpkin to cut out small pumpkins to go inside the big pumpkin (see picture below).  I then put the small pumpkin in the big pumpkin (almost like a puzzle piece) and lightly made the two edges stick together.  Bake like normal and rest on a cooling rack or eat right away :).

 Here's a Step by Step to help show my rambling above:

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Monday, November 11, 2013

We all need something sweet ... OreoFrog's

A while back I saw these super cute Oreo Frogs on Made to Be Momma.  I thought why not I had to make them!  They went perfect with a frog themed bento I made (that will be coming soon).  Plus I had extra to take over to my friend house.  Her's were a little cuter but I think over all mine were pretty darn cute! Thank you Katie for this super fun and cute recipe!


Ingredients:
Wilton Candy Eye Balls
Wilton Green Candy Melts (I used a darker green then her)
Oreo Cookies
Pretzels
Red Candy for your tongue (I used rips and cut into a tongue)
Green Sprinkles
 
Melt your chocolate following the directions of the bag (I put mine in the microwave for 30 second intervals) .  Cover your pretzels and Oreo's in the chocolate.  Place pretzels together (bottoms side by side) Place Oreo cookie on top of pretzels.  Place you tongue, eyes and sprinkles on the cookie.


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Sunday, November 10, 2013

We all need something sweet ... Fair Scones

As I mentioned in my Welcome Home Basket post I made some yummy treats that are found in this area.  We have a Washington State Fair here in the next town, there you can get these yummy scones.  They are my favorite thing!  So I had to make them for my Seattle themed basket and I doubled the batch so I could have extra's to give to the tutor and to the friend that helps me with the boys to get on or off the bus.

I found this yummy recipe for Puyallup Fair Scones on food.com they were easy to make and tasted like the real thing ... ok well it was very close!


Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 6 tablespoons shortening
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup raisins ( if omitting raisins, add another 2 Tbs of milk)

Directions

  1. Sift and measure the flour.
  2. Re-sift with other dry ingredients.
  3. Work shortening into dry ingredients with the fingers.
  4. Add rasinins to flour-fat mixture and mix thoroughly (you may omit raisins).
  5. Add milk to mixture. (If you are omitting the raisins, add another 2 Tablespoons of milk).
  6. Turn out on to a floured board and divide into two equal pieces.
  7. Roll or pat each into a round and to the thickness of biscuits (3/4 inch to a full inch).
  8. Cut into wedge shaped pieces like a pie and bake about 15 minutes at 450 degrees on an ungreased baking sheet.
    ALEXIS NOTES:  I used my cornbread silicone mold to make the scone shape :). I didn't use the raisins. I have not mastered jelly or jam making so I used a local farm brand we love to fill them.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Entering the World of ADHD

As some of you know Cole my oldest had a VERY hard time focusing and just getting his hyperness to a easy level.  We have tried the herbal way, the diet way the just let life be way.  We've been trying and trying and nothing has been a permanent solution.   Now I know this is a controversial topic.  I have had so many comments made to me by parents or people who don't have kids but still have an opinion also.  Let me say you have no idea until you walk a mile in a parents shoes who is dealing with a child that just doesn't fit in.

Cole recently came home in tears because his best friend told him he can no longer hang out with him because his parents say Cole is a bad kid because he gets in trouble in school.  He's not a bad kid he just doesn't always make the right decision or think before he speaks (THIS is a big one).  He tells me mom my head hurt it feels like so many things are going on at once and I don't know what to do.    

Life has been hard I have tried to avoid the whole medication route thinking it would just be drugging my kid.  Finally in a new school and the behavior increasing we went to see a doctor to see what they think.  They had his teacher take a test and Cole scored very high in the ADHD category.  She also said he has a kind heart, does apologize, does not steal or hurt people but he does have a hard time telling the truth and concentrating.

We started medicine on Wednesday.  I got a great report the first night from the teacher she saw night and day in his behavior.  Sadly the medicine wore off early which did give the tutor a run for her money.  She really is a treasure, and she handles him better then I ever can when he get's sassy.  Thursday was a rougher day but the teacher said it is at least better behavior then usual.  So we are moving forward.  

I must say that this has been a long hard decision to come to.  We didn't just say oh our kid is a problem let's drug him up.  This has been a year of asking for help, with the housework, to the tutor to this behavior.  

As a mother I can't stand to see my son hurt or not able to do things like other kids because he can't control himself to be allowed into these places.  We are taking one step at a time and all I can say is we are doing what we think is the best move for him.  I asked him how he feels after a few days.  He said his brain didn't hurt the last two days!

When Cole told me he felt like his brain was moving this
cartoon made me think of what he must feel like.
My heart went out to him.

Please be nice no mean comments, I had to think hard to share this but I hope that maybe I can touch someone else who may be going through this hard decision also.

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