Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Santa's Favorite Cookies (AKA Pudding Cookies)

I made some special treats for my coworkers. These Santa's Favorite Cookies I found on Crazy for Crust were the perfect cookie's! I made a few batches and the kids and I each had a few (yes so off the diet wagon) and I must say they are super yummy. NOW you can replace the Christmas Color M&M's and sprinkles to whatever color you want or holiday theme! This is a must recipe!


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box (3.4 ounces) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix (not sugar free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup red and green sprinkles (or any colors)
  • 3/4 cup Christmas M&Ms (or any color of M&M)

  • DIRECTIONS:

    1. Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also use a hand mixer.) Mix in egg and vanilla until smooth. Add pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined. Mix in flour, then stir in sprinkles and M&Ms.
    2. Scoop 2 tablespoon balls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment or a silpat baking mat. There’s no need to space them out, you’re going to chill them. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
    3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat baking mats. Place chilled cookie dough balls 2” apart on cookie sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to one month.
ALEXIS NOTES: I found that mine needed to back for almost 15 minutes, I waited for them to crack (almost like snickerdoodles) and they were ready to come out. 

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

Monday, December 28, 2015

Homemade Silly Putty

I've done gak before and silly putty once before but I'm bringing it out again as a gift this year. My boss has a radio show every Saturday, while I work on Saturday's I listen to the show to see what is going on. A few weeks back they were talking about their son loving silly putty. I thought that would be the perfect gift for him, and not the store bought kind the homemade kind!  PBS Kids had the most popular link for the recipe so I'll give them credit. I wish I had some newspaper on hand to show it better but I was out and had to ship this out before the next batch of mail came in. I made 3 colors and didn't get good pictures of making the blue so you see below the making of the pink and the blue final (just having a little fun with you .. lol).


Materials Needed:

  • 1 Cup Elmer's Glue-All multipurpose glue
  • Food coloring
  • 1 Cup Sta-Flo concentrated liquid starch

  • Directions:
    Mix the glue with the food coloring until the color is even throughout.

    Pour the liquid starch into the colored glue mixture.
    Stir and let it sit for five minutes.
    Pull the putty out of the mixing bowl and set it on a paper towel. Knead the putty in your hands for five to ten minutes.

    ALEXIS NOTES: I ended up using regular's Glue (which I've read on several blogs you shouldn't, it worked but I think the All Multipurpose is probably better). I had the Sta-Flo on hand from another project, I've also read you must use this brand.


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

    Sunday, December 27, 2015

    Snowman Gingerbread Men

    Next on the list to do was a Christmas gift for my best friend. I did the upside down Gingerbread Men as Reindeer's so why not make them into Snowmen! I wanted to do some fun snowman cookies and came across Snowman Gingerbread Men on Created by Diane. NOW technically these are just shaped like gingerbread men, I used a sugar cookie base that is my besties favorite. I took her idea and went with it! I'm still working on my royal icing skills and my black that I used at first for the eyes and mouth was not thick enough and ran all together. Let's just say I had to wipe it off and re-pipe on the white and then do the eyes and mouth all over again!


    What you Need:
    Gingerbread baked Sugar Cookies
    Royal Icing - White
    Royal Icing - Black
    Royal Icing - Orange
    Royal Icing - Red

    I wanted to do the gingerbread shape instead of the traditional snowman shape. After my gingerbread man have cooled. I started on the Royal Icing. I've been using Julia M. Usher's Recipe for royal icing, she has the best video's also to help you! I've included the recipe at the bottom of this post also. I color mine with Gel Food Coloring.

    I first outlined the gingerbread men in white royal icing (not adding any color), I then flooding technique to fill in the snowman. Let the white dry and harden before doing the rest of the decorating. I found that when I was doing the eyes and mouth my royal icing was too thin and then it all merged together. You need it to be the consistency of the top coat. Do the eyes and mouth and let it set to harden. Then add a dot or if you can make a triangle for the nose in orange royal icing. I then added a little red scarf to make him look complete (and to help hide the line I had after I had to re-ice the heads). 



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

    For Royal Icing:

    Royal Icing what you need:
    2 lbs Powdered Sugar
    1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
    5 Large Egg Whites (or equivalent) 
    Flavor to Taste
    Gel Icing Color

    Mix powder sugar and cream of tartar in your mixer, just to make sure it is incorporated in. Slowly add egg whites, then whip start of slow then go to very high speed. She says around 2 minutes, my friend had an older mixer so it took almost 10 minutes. You want stiff peaks that hold on and won't fall off the spoon. Add in your flavor, I would suggest you use a clear flavoring.  This would be the glue texture great for ginger bread houses etc.

    Take 1 cup of royal icing in a smaller bowl then add your coloring, lightly mix so you don't get air into the the icing. I'm like her and like the gel coloring. 

    For Top Coating - Add 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp Water (This is if you don't want to outline and flood)
    For Outlining - Add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp Water
    For Flooding  - Add 2 to 3 tsp Water

    WATCH her video on How to Top-Coat, Outline, and Flood Cookies. YES it is around 7 minutes BUT if you have never done this technique it's a MUST she explains it perfectly.

    Monday, December 21, 2015

    Sock Cupcake Gift Idea

    I wanted to make a fun gift and found this on my google search. I found these Sock Cupcakes on a Mother's Day Pin it was just a photo so no one to link to and thank for the idea. This is simple gift but so cute!


    What you need:
    Fuzzy Sock (Currently Old Navy has them 60% off!)
    Nail Polish (I love OPI)
    Cupcake wrapper (I used Wilton fancy, that is thicker)

    Take your fuzzy sock (one), fold in half. Put your polish at one end and then roll. You should have the first part start a little high and then rolling evenly at the end. You want it to look like frosting peaking above a cake (see picture below). Place into a wrapper, I found using normal cupcake wrappers don't work. I find using the Wilton fancy ones are best, these ones had a extra layer so they were thicker.  And you're done, you can put into a clear bag and tie with a ribbon if you would like!


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

    Sunday, December 20, 2015

    Peppermint Body Scrub .. Gift Idea

    I wanted to make something nice for the girls that work our front desk, they help me out a lot since I work virtual. I love body scrubs, they are easy to make and people can put in their showers and use. I found several ideas for Peppermint Body Scrub all the same recipe but I'll list the on I found first on Nurse Loves Farmer.


    Ingredients
    4 cups white sugar
    1 cup coconut oil, melted
    Red food coloring
    Peppermint essential oil or peppermint extract
    3 glass jars (330 ml)
    Instructions
    Pour sugar into medium sized bowl.
    Melt coconut oil in microwave if yours is not liquefied and mix with sugar (you can use more or less depending on consistency you want).
    Add a few drops of your peppermint oil or 1 tbsp peppermint extract, depending on how strong you want it to smell.
    Divide your sugar mixture into two equal sized portions.
    Mix in a few drops of red food coloring to one portion and leave the other white.
    Add your sugars to the jar in layers.
    Using the heel of your hand on the bottom of the jar, you can compact each layer down so it can fit more of the scrub in.
    Alternate between your pink and white layers.

    Alexis Notes:  I try not to use food coloring in things that go on the body so I skipped that part. Also Coconut oil would be the best since it become a clear liquid when heated. I ONLY had Olive Oil on hand (which is great for skin) so I used that instead. The only bad part is it tints the sugar green due to olives are green .. lol. Mine didn't have the layers since it was one color. I used a pure cane sugar since it has a grainy texture that is perfect for scrubs. I also bought a 3 pack of jars at Target for $3, they were red and perfect.

    For the print out from In between Laundry for Merry-Mint printable. I use a word doc to print the words Peppermint Body Scrub onto the back of my printable so they could know what they received.



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

    Thursday, December 17, 2015

    Reindeer Cookies (Upside Down Gingerbread Men)

    Next on the classroom gifts is Reindeer Cookies that I made for Caden and then Cole asked if I would make for his advisory class (In my day we called it home room). I found several ideas to do this but I'll give credit to the one I printed and used as my template on Simplee Thrifty


    What you need:
    Baked Cookies (I used Sugar since Ginger sometimes is a required taste)
    Light Brown Royal Icing (I use Food Gel to color)
    Dark Brown Royal Icing (I use Food Gel to color)
    Black Royal Icing (I use Food Gel to color)
    Red Hots (Red Candy or Red Royal Icing) 
    Pipping Bags

    Bake your gingerbread shaped men, I used a sugar cookie since when I did gingerbread this last time I noticed a lot of the kids didn't like the taste. I used my favorite Sugar Cookie recipe that I've been using for a few years now.

    After my gingerbread man have cooled. I started on the Royal Icing. I've been using Julia M. Usher's Recipe for royal icing, she has the best video's also to help you! I've included the recipe at the bottom of this post also. I color mine with Gel Food Coloring. I used a dark brown but only used a few drops to make the light brown. Usually I would have 2 gels I use but I forgot to run to the store so I made do. I broke my icing into 3 balls, one large for the light brown (face), one medium for dark bark (antlers) and one small for the black (eyes and mouth). 

    I started with the face. Turn your gingerbread upside down (head on the bottom). Out line with royal icing what will be the ears, head and mouth. Flood with icing to fill in, almost like a triangle with rounded edges. Before this dries add your red hot for the nose, I put mine a little low.  Let dry and come back with the dark Brown draw on your antlers (on gingerbread man's legs). Also add a little dark brown for the inside of the ears. Then take your black to make eyes and a mouth (this is were I found my nose was a little low). Let them sit overnight and your read to pass them out. 


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

    For Royal Icing:

    Royal Icing what you need:
    2 lbs Powdered Sugar
    1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
    5 Large Egg Whites (or equivalent) 
    Flavor to Taste
    Gel Icing Color

    Mix powder sugar and cream of tartar in your mixer, just to make sure it is incorporated in. Slowly add egg whites, then whip start of slow then go to very high speed. She says around 2 minutes, my friend had an older mixer so it took almost 10 minutes. You want stiff peaks that hold on and won't fall off the spoon. Add in your flavor, I would suggest you use a clear flavoring.  This would be the glue texture great for ginger bread houses etc.

    Take 1 cup of royal icing in a smaller bowl then add your coloring, lightly mix so you don't get air into the the icing. I'm like her and like the gel coloring. 

    For Top Coating - Add 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp Water (This is if you don't want to outline and flood)
    For Outlining - Add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp Water
    For Flooding  - Add 2 to 3 tsp Water

    WATCH her video on How to Top-Coat, Outline, and Flood Cookies. YES it is around 7 minutes BUT if you have never done this technique it's a MUST she explains it perfectly.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2015

    Holiday Popcorn aka Christmas Crack (And Teacher Gift)

    It's that time of the year and it's time for teacher gifts. I wanted to make a nice teacher gift for Caden's teacher. I love making popcorn gifts they are easy to make and to put holiday cups and of course add a gift card for coffee!


    I made this Holiday Popcorn (aka Christmas Crack) that I found on Mommy of a Monster that worked perfect for what I wanted to do. I packed into some Santa bags I picked up at Walmart and then put into a Santa holiday mug I found at the Dollar Tree. I added a gift card for Starbucks and tied it on with a ribbon. Tada easy and awesome Christmas Git for a Teacher, friend or neighbor.


    Here is the full gift I made. I also handed out bags of the holiday popcorn to all of Cole's 6 teachers. And a special mug with a bag of popcorn for Cole's teacher from last year, we miss her so much!!


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

    Sunday, December 13, 2015

    Santa Cake Balls

    One more recipe for Christmas that I made last year but didn't get to post before the end of the season. So I saved it and now the time has come around again and I can post.


    I made Santa Cake balls with an oreo cookie ball recipe base (I found several recipes for this, I'll link the one I found on All Recipes.

    Ingredients

    • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    • 36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed
     

    Directions

    1. Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended.
    2. Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan.
    3. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

    What you Need:
    Red Melts (I used Red Velvet Flavor)
    White Melts
    Shredded Coconut
    Cake Balls (I used Oreo & Cream Cheese)

    Melted in microwave usually takes 1 min 30 sec depending on your microwave. Mine for a whole bag takes about 2 min. Dip half the cookie ball in red melts, let dry on parchment paper. If you get creative when you drip do a swirl to make a tip of a hat. After the chocolate hardens dip the bottom half of the Oreo ball into the white melts (melted as listed above), put aside 1/3 of the white for decorations.  Before the white is set dip into coconut (to make your beard). Let the white/coconut dry, while that is happening take the 1/3 of white melts you put aside into a pipping bag (I love to use Wilton disposable bags), snip a small tip. Pipe on the trim of your Santa hat also to add a dot of white at the tip of the red hat to be the pompom.


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

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    Santa Claus Nutter Butter Cookies

    Another fun gift I made last year for the kids class was Santa Claus made from Nutter Butter Cookies. I found SEVERAL ideas to do this, I will give credit to Taste of Home. But like normal I tweaked them just a little to be my creation.



    Ingredients

    • Unsweetened Coconut
    • 1 package (1 pound) Nutter Butter sandwich cookies
    • Red Candy Melts
    • vanilla or white chips (I used White Candy Melts)
    • Miniature semisweet chocolate chips
    • 32 red-hot candies

    Directions

    • 1. In a microwave, melt white chocolate at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.  Place on wire racks.
    • 2.  Dip other end of each cookie into melted chocolate for beard, leaving around half the cookie uncovered. Before it dries, dip into coconut. Place on wire racks.
    • 3. In a microwave, melt red melts at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.  For Santa's hat, dip into red melts on top part of cookie. Press one vanilla chip off-center on hat for pompom, OR with pipping bag put a little white chocolate dot; let stand until set. Leave the center of the cookie uncovered to make the face. With a dab of melted chocolate, attach semisweet chips for eyes and a red-hot for nose. Place on waxed paper until set. 
    Have a GREAT Weekend!!

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015

    Homemade Tree Ornaments Revisited

    Timehop reminded me of some fun tree ornaments I've made in the past and had to repost and share with any who didn't see them before.  The previous post is HERE.


    Candy Cane Reindeer

    What you Need:
    Candy Cane
    Brown Pipe Cleaner
    Small Google Eyes
    Red Pom Pom
    Hot Glue Gun

    Twist a pipe cleaner around the loop of the cane and form like antlers. Using a hot glue gun attach the eye balls and nose. They hang nicely on the tree.


    Cinnamon Applesauce Holiday Ornament Ingredients:
    • 1 container ground cinnamon, 4.12 ounce
    • 3/4 Cup unsweetened applesauce

    Directions:
    1. Combine cinnamon and applesauce in a bowl, knead into a dough.
    2. Roll dough out to desired thickness (if you have problems with dough sticking, you can 'flour' the surface and rolling pin with more ground cinnamon). Cut shapes with a knife or cookie cutters. Use a straw to make string hole.
    3. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 - 4 hours, turning each hour. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Alternatively, you can air dry for 2 - 4 days, turning each half day.
    4. Decorate and hang!


    Snowmen Handprint Ornament

    Take an ordinary ornament of any color.
    1. Slather the kid's hand with white paint.
    2. Make a hand print on the ball, fingers pointing towards the top (where the hook is). This may be obvious, but I have to mention that it is important that they do not move their fingers once they are on the ornament. If they do, you will be on your own as to how to make those smudges into cute little snowmen keepsakes.
    3. When the paint dries, begin adding details to turn the fingers into snowmen. There will be 5, in case you were wondering.
    4. Make eyes, buttons, and scarves...whatever you like.
    5. I added little asterisks snowflakes for kicks.

    Happy Thursday!

    Tuesday, December 8, 2015

    Fun Family Christmas Card Idea's Done

    A few weeks back I posted some fun Christmas Card Ideas that I found on Pinterest and Google. I printed off the doable ones and my amazing friend at Johansen's Photography made them happen! I even got Rick talked into doing the Christmas Story themed one for next year (more motivation to get myself in shape to wear a house dress). Hope you find an idea to do with your family!

    This was the best one!
    Jennifer stood behind Cole and photo-shopped her head out.


    LOL a few of the texting family.
    I love my youngest taking Selfies!
    My oldest really played hill climb the whole time ... lol.

    This was my fav with my face and my husb looking like he did that on purpose.

    Had to add the dog in also!
    So many ppl around the dog was in overdrive and not looking forward.

    We tried the Heart with our Hands

    I saw many that said Merry but with 4 of us we do Ho Ho

    Signs saying Parents for Sale (next time BLACK marker)
    Good Cook (arrow to me)
    Pretty Handy (arrow to husb)

    Someone already had this on the barn wall

    Superman pose!

    Nice family shot in front of barn.

    There you have it some fun Family Photo ideas!

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

    Monday, December 7, 2015

    Candy Cane Dreams Gift Idea (Teacher, Neighbor's and Friends)

    I made this last year for the boys teachers but then forgot to post it, so here we are a year later and I finally can post since we are in December!  I like finding fun unique gifts to give to people. I saw several ideas on pinterest and just kind of came up with my own.


    What you need:
    Candy Candy Hershey's Bar
    Candy Candy Marshmallows (put in a fun Christmas bag)
    Starbucks Via Latte Peppermint Mocha
    Candy Canes
    Lindor Chocolate (Peppermint if you can find them)
    Santa Cup (Dollar Tree)
    Starbucks Gift Card (because everyone wants a free cup of coffee / tea)

    Put as much as you can in the cup, the rest I gathered up and put in a clear bag and tied with a ribbon and handed them out to the teachers. Easy gift but a yummy one!

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

    Sunday, December 6, 2015

    TMNT Cupcake Toppers (Modeling Chocolate)

    I've made a few different versions of TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), I like to make different versions when I make them. I signed up for another Birthday Dreams cake delivery for a sweet little homeless boy. Please look up this charity with the holiday's coming less people donate and they could use any donations you can give.


    What you need:
    Modeling Chocolate (Green, Red, Orange, Purple and Blue) - see recipe below
    Circle cookie cutter
    TMNT Cookie Cutter (Bought on Ebay)

    Roll out your green modeling chocolate, I like mine to be on the thick side. I then cut out circle's for the face's (I made 24 total). I set these aside on some parchment paper and got to work on the mask. I made all 4 characters so I needed 6 mask total of each color. I rolled out each color and used the cookie cutter using only the mask cutter. I then dabbed a little water to the back of mask and attached to the green circle. I then used mouth cutter to make the smirk. NOW you can do this with a tooth pick also. I didn't like the rest of the cutter when I used it before so I use parts of it that I like.

    I let them sit out a while to harden up then attach to the top of my cupcakes! And your done!

    For those who haven't seen my post about Modeling Chocolate:

    Modeling Chocolate
    12oz Candy Melts
    1/4 Cup light corn Syrup

    Melt your Candy Melts in microwave (mine takes about 2 minutes). Stir them to become smooth and add the corn syrup.  It will become thick and form a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit out and dry.  Takes a few hours or over night is best. (Alexis note: I found to roll this out use a little powder sugar (like you would do with flour), also you have to kneed it a little like you would dough to make it easy to roll out).



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

    For a fun exta I also tried the rice in the cupcake pan for baking!
    I must say this trick worked great (I've done it several times since), the rice soaks up any grease the you get when you use from scratch cupcake recipe!


    Saturday, December 5, 2015

    WHERE did I go?

    Sorry after the holiday I disappeared for over a week. In my head I had timed out perfect I would have post pre-typed up and scheduled for each day. WELL Thanksgiving happened and so did black Friday. Friday I flew out for my office's annual holiday event. I then stayed for a whole week (Friday to Friday). I just flew back in last night and bam a whole week of post well never made it to the drawing board.

    I leave you with some fun photos of our Holiday Event!

    Our whole staff for the Christmas Card

    And a Silly one!

    And one with Santa!

    Have a GREAT weekend!

    Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

    Thank You to My Wonderful Sponsors!!!

    1800flowers
    Baby Pop
    BzzAgent
    cafe Press
    CSN
    Easy Lunch Boxes
    Faith Words
    Glasses USA
    Great Wolf Lodge
    Hachette
    Jump Start
    My Baby Clothes Boutique
    My Blog Spark
    Ouchies
    Pleasures.com
    red envelope
    She Speaks

    tote bags
    Strap Doctor
    You Can Make This

    Total Pageviews

    Awards I've been Given! You Really Love Me!! (Yes my best Oscar Speech)

    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    Photobucket
    friendhip2 from Anissa
    passoinate-blogger-award (Heidi @ Tried & True Cooking)
    You're a Superstar Blogger
    you-dont-say-post - Kristie Notes
    Annisa (Over the top)
    Jessica Mommy Needs Coffee (Lovely)
    Annissa (Queen Award)
    Your Blog is Fabulous
    Best Comedic Performance
    Splash Award
    Best Blog Award
    Dragon's Loyalty Award
    Photobucket
    The Heartfelt Award
    Daffy Commenter Award
     
    Pin It button on image hover