Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sugar Cookies

I have a *NEW* favorite sugar cookie recipe!
I found this over on my favorite recipe site,
It's called Delilah's Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, and they are YUMMY. You do need to chill the dough so that you can roll it out and get your cut outs, and don't bake them any longer than 7 minutes because these are a soft cookie. Did you know cookies still bake on the pan even after you take them out? Learned that from back in the day working at the good ole' IGA bakery. Even the frosting is yummy and you can STACK these cookies! Finally, a good cookie AND frosting recipe!! It's a keeper!
{Did you notice Brock eating the frosting like ice cream up there... it's that good...}

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookie Exchange & Hot Chocolate Cupcakes News Segment

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with lovely runny, melted candy canes.

Holly Jolly Red Velvet Cupcakes - RECIPE

This past week I had the pleasure of going on the news again to show off my cookie exchange party tablescape and to demo how to make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes. I got my cupcakes made in the morning, topped them with the chopped up candy canes, stuck the candy cane "handle" in the cupcake, and put them in my handy dandy cupcake container and on the kitchen table to "rest" until showtime. So, when we get to the news station and I open my handy dandy cupcake container to find melted, runny candy canes I was very disappointed. *Strike One* Then here I am to display how to host a cookie exchange, and I forgot my three-tiered stand at home, which was going to display the cookies for said cookie exchange. *Strike Two* Then the usual anchors whom I have built a relationship with and some rapport with both had the night off, so I had two new anchors to work with. *Strike Three* (Not that they were bad to work with, but at the time when everything else was seeming to go in a downward spiral, I just felt like, good gravy, not ONE more thing!!!! My nerves can't take anymore!!! But, they were VERY nice and sweet!) So, anyways, everything went smoothly and it was a lot of fun. THANKS to my sweet mama and little sister for coming and helping me set up and calm my frazzled nerves. Hopefully they'll ask me back and I can do something fabulous for Valentine's Day!
Here's the clip of the news segment in case you missed it...
{Oh, and did I mention that it was SNOWING that night when I had to drive to the news station, and me, my tahoe, snow, and slick roads are not BFF's?} ----> *Strike Four

{My super sweet sis, Ashley}

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Brock's Monster Truck 4th Birthday Party

My sweet little guy, Brock, turned 4 years old on Friday! He has been fascinated with Monster Jam for such a LONGGGG time that I thought for sure it would have worn off by now, but no. So, I shouldn't have been surprised when he told me he wanted a Monster Truck birthday party. And ya know, there isn't a whole lot out there online for Monster Truck parties. So, I first had to pick which monster truck we'd go with, and being that I like green and purple, we went with Grave Digger. I made two different types of cupcakes. Brock said he wanted chocolate so I made a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting and for the other one I went with my stand-by, brown sugar cupcake, cookie dough filling, with a cookie dough buttercream frosting. Then I had my friend, Brittany of Fairytale Sweets, make the Grave Digger cookies. They turned out BEAUTIFUL and tasted so stinkin' yummy!!! You should totally go check her out! I got each of Brock's little friends their own monster truck to take home and attached a tag with a cute bow saying, "Thank You! Love, Brock." For our "older" friends, I bought pre-packaged donuts and attached a tag saying, "I'm so excited you came, I'm doing 'donuts!'" (Ya know, since monster trucks do donuts... get it?) *hee hee
Everything turned out so stinkin' cute, and made all that rushing around minutes before the party all worth while. {Bless my sweet husband's heart for putting up with me!}

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookie Exchange 2010

We had two cute party crashers.

Last year, right before Christmas, I got a wild hair up my rear that I needed to host a cookie exchange. So, super fast I threw a party together and me and about a handful of ladies from church got together and swapped some yummy goodies. But, I KNEW I wanted to do it again this year, but with a little more time to prepare. So, after finding some sweet pink and blue ornaments at Hobby Lobby, I had my color scheme. Next up, I needed my invitation. So, my friend, Jess, over at Party Box Design, created me a custom cookie exchange invitation. So stinkin' cute! And the best part about her invites are that you can either go green and e-mail them, or print them off at your local Sam's or Walgreens, and send them off!

For my cookie exchange I went with a Girly Winter Wonderland Theme. I made feather boa Christmas trees using foam cones, my BFF, the hot glue gun, and a few boas. SUPER EASY. Wrap and glue. I found the little gingerbread house at TJMAXX and the ornaments came from Hobby Lobby and Target. After talking to Nancy over at A to Zebra Celebrations, I decided to make my banner using the word, Believe. It was either that or got cookies? I think I made the right choice! Everyone brought such yummy treats to share! We had oreo truffles, fudge, buckeyes, mint chocolate chip cookies, almond sugar cookies, and many more! But, of course, it wouldn't be one of my parties without a cupcake or two. I was really wanting to stick with my light pink and blue color scheme, so I thought I'd be miss fancy pants and make Martha's red velvet cupcakes... but blue. Not one of my better ideas. They weren't the pretty blue I had envisioned in my head. Oh, well.... At least they tasted good. I think everyone had a fun time. I served a few appetizers before we packaged up our goodies and also made some yummy Candy Cane Cocoa, which you can get the recipe HERE, and had a little hot chocolate bar with peppermint sticks, whip cream, and PINK marshmallows. Everything turned out GREAT and everyone got to go home with lots of yummy cookies. I thought I'd be using mine to share, yea, that has yet to happen... and at the rate they're disappearing, I'm not sure I see that happening!

Yummy Teacher Gift

Still looking for an EASY, CUTE, & YUMMY teacher gift??
I saw this online somewhere, but I must have forgotten to bookmark it, so I take no credit for this idea. (If it's your idea, please tell me and I'd be happy to give you credit!) But you just go out to my favorite one-stop shop, Wally-World, (or your local grocer) and get you some Betty Crocker Warm Delights. They have a variety of yummies to pick from but I went with the Hot Fudge Brownie and Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookie. Then I made up a little card saying, "May your Christmas Season be "warm & delightful!" Tied a cute bow, and WAH-LAH! How cute and easy?? And who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies or brownies???

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Hand Sanitizer

So, I totally borrowed this idea from Sisters' Stuff's blog and made these for the kids' Bible class teachers. Super easy. Found the adorable stickers at Target and removed the labels from some hand sanitizer using some Goo off stuff. May have been a little harsh on the plastic bottle as it looked a little scratched...oops. But I think they turned out CUTE.

Happy Birthday, TJ!!!

My sweet husband turned the BIG 3-3 this weekend!
I asked him which cupcakes he wanted me to make for him and he never replied, so he got Martha's Jumbo Cream Filled Cupcakes.

They were alright. He liked them, so I guess that's what matters.

I used my cupcake plunger to scoop out the bottom and then piped in the marshmallow cream filling. A little disappointed in the cream filling since it only consisted of two ingredients, butter and marshmallow cream. I think next time, I'll try Bridget from Bake at 350*'s recipe. Her's look de-lish! Check them out HERE.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tooth Fairy Pillow Winner

Congrats to BECKY QUINLAN, the winner of CalcoCreations tooth fairy pillow giveaway!
Thanks to everyone who entered!!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chocolate + Peanut Butter = ♥

{Reese's Pieces Chocolate Cupcake}

So, after our New Orleans trip, I've been dying to make this Reese's Pieces cupcake that I had at the Kupcake Factory. It's sooooooooooooo good! It's a chocolate cupcake topped with a peanut butter buttercream frosting, and rolled in crushed Reese's Pieces. Oh.My.Goodness. YuM! I just used Martha's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe and topped it with peanut butter frosting, which is basically vanilla buttercream, minus the vanilla, add 3/4 C. - 1 C. of creamy peanut butter and mix it up. So good! I tried Martha's peanut butter frosting first, which had cream cheese in it..... NOT a hit. Quite disappointing actually, a tad salty for my taste. {I like my frosting SWEET!} Then you just grind up some Reese's Pieces and you have a very dangerous cupcake on your hands.

{Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcake}

I'm pretty sure these are at the top of TJ's favorite cupcake list. And they couldn't be easier to make! So simple. I got the recipe here. All it takes is a Reese's peanut butter cup and a bag mix of peanut butter cookies. Drop a Reese's PB cup in the cupcake liner, top with about 2 Tbsp. of cookie dough mix, bake at 325* for 15-20 minutes and wah-lah. Then I topped it with a white chocolate buttercream and it is DE-LISH.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Treats News Segment

{Oreo Turkeys}
I first started making Oreo Turkeys when I taught 2nd grade at South Euless Elementary School down in Texas, so I know they are kid friendly. My BFF, Jennifer, taught me how to make them. These are modified just a little bit from my teaching days, but they are pretty easy to whip up. They do take a little bit of time because you have to let the oreos set up so they won't topple over, but if you go here, they'll give you a tutorial on how to make ones very similar to these ones. A BIG thank you to my sweet friend, Kristen, for making these for me during our bake fest trying to get all of these goodies together for the segment!!! She did an AWESOME job!

{ Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Pie}

I got these adorable printable cupcake toppers from Amanda Parker over at Shindig Parties. I got them for being a Facebook fan. Go check out her blog, her stuff is AMAZING and UBBER CUTE!!!

These Fudge Stripe Cookies topped with a chocolate dipped marshmallow are also from the same site as the Oreo Turkeys. SUPER EASY!

And here are my Martha Stewart Turkey cupcakes I demonstrated on the news. SO cute. I used Martha's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes and they turned out VERY YUMMY! To make the turkeys, here's a link to Martha's recipe HERE. Some advice... the recipe says to cut a gummy fish in half and insert it into the marshmallow for the beak. What they don't tell you is that you can't just "stick" a fish into a marshmallow and expect it to stick. I used my kitchen scissors and made a little snip and then inserted the gummy fish. Well, then they started falling out after a few minutes, so I stuck a toothpick up and through it to hold it in place and that worked much better. You need to do the same thing running a toothpick up and through the fish for the feathers or else they'll fall out, too, and completely ruin one side of your cupcake breaking apart your cupcake. So, toothpicks will save the day on these cupcakes! (Just make sure to warn your guests!) Toasting the coconut was really easy, too. Just bake at 350* for about 1o minutes, and it's brown and toasty. These will make a cute addition to all of your Thanksgiving goodies this week!
***For those of you not in my viewing area, here's the link to my news segment I did tonight!***