Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Santa's Beard Countdown to Christmas

I Love this!!!!
Today I got a nice comment from and she liked the Good Deed Jar Idea.
I went to her blog (which is great) and I saw this adorable, clever Santa Beard Countdown Calendar!
There are no instructions, the blog is in Italian, but it looks easy to replicate.
Thank you for this fun idea.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Easy Christmas Countdown Calendar

This is a super easy Christmas Countdown Calendar

You just need a clipboard,(this is a small 8 x 6 clipboard) 1 sheet scrapbook paper and glue!
If you want to get real fancy, a matching ribbon!

1. Glue the background paper to your clipboard and then trim around the edges.

2. Click here for  number cards or make your own using Photoshop, stickers, or scrapbook letters. These were created by using Photoshop, a large font, and a free Christmas background to fill in the letters.

3. Cut out the cards, glue a "Days until Christmas" title at the bottom, and tie on a cute piece of ribbon.

This easy and cute calendar is created
(I can't wait to make one!)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Penguin Cupcakes!

I LOVE these and couldn't wait to share!

Penguin Cupcakes
MAKES: a dozen penguins

12 cupcakes
1 cup marshmallow crème
12 Oreo cookies
Candy eyeballs (preferably Wilton)
Large round orange sprinkles, for the beak 
¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut 
Small white sprinkles, for decoration (optional)

1. Frost each cupcake with 1 tablespoon marshmallow crème.
2. For each penguin: Separate 1 Oreo cookie; the half with the cream filling with be the head, cut the half without the cream in half to make 2 wings using a sharp knife (it's okay if the edges crumble, you can hide it with coconut). 
3. Make the head: Spread about 1 teaspoon marshmallow crème over the cream filling of the Oreo. Gently press 2 eyeballs into the crème, then use orange sprinkles to make a beak. 
4. Assemble the penguin: Press the head into the marshmallow crème near the top of the cupcake, then press the wings into the cake until they're secure. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut and white sprinkles, if desired. 


Pumpkin Streusel Bread and Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

I thought I was finished posting Thanksgiving but I spent my Thanksgiving  morning baking and I wanted to share these delicious recipes....

Pumpkin Streusel Bread

Ingredients for Streusel:
2 1/2 Tbs. light brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tbs. cold unsalted butter

Ingredients for Bread:
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Position Rack in lower 1/3 of oven. Preheat 350.
Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Make streusel:
In medium bowl whisk sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 forks until mixture resembles coarse meal. Reserve until later.

In large bowl whisk pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. In medium bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, baking powder. fold in pumpkin mixture with flour. Pour into greased pan. Sprinkle with Streusel.

Bake until pick inserted in center comes out clean and top is browned. 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
cool completely.

(this recipe is from Paula Deen in Woman's World Magazine)

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 
1/4 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten 
3/4 cup canola oil 
3/4 cup applesauce 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (about 1 1/2 lb.) 
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
1/4 cup butter 
3 tablespoons milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
4. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).
5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake.

Robert Kindred, Seagoville, Texas, Southern Living 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so Thankful for all my readers, followers and friends...

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Sincere Gratitude!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DIY Thanksgiving Vases

This is an easy craft tutorial for making colorful "THANKS" Dollar Store Vases!
I bought  6 Vases for $6.00 and 6 acrylic paints from JoAnn's ($0.59 each!), then I cut out letters using my Cricut. You could easily just use vinyl letters from the Dollar Store.

Pour the acrylic paint into the vase or bottles then swirl around to cover completely, turn  the vase to drip the remaining paint out. Turn back over to dry completely.

 Affix the letters....hmmm...I see many possibilities..."NOEL", "LOVE".....
Have Fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pilgrim Hats Marshmallow Pops

These cute Marshmallow pops are cute. easy and yummy!

Large marshmallows
Famous Chocolate Wafers (or something similar)
Lollipop sticks
Melted dark chocolate (about 1 pound for 24 marshmallows)
Melted chocolate of a contrasting color 
Marker with edible ink 

Dip the tip of the lollipop stick in melted dark chocolate … then poke it in the marshmallow … set it aside to firm up.  This will help prevent the marshmallow from slipping around on the stick and create a clean line of chocolate on the stick …

Dip the marshmallow in the chocolate … tap off excess chocolate and place in styrofoam or similar holder.  Then pop them in the fridge or freeze for a few minutes to firm up …
Lay out some chocolate cookie wafers on a cookie sheet (break off any uneven pieces) … dip 1/4 to 1/3 of the chocolate marshmallow in a contrasting color … then place it on top of a cookie …
Use the marker (edible of course) to draw a buckle …

Super Cute and Easy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Thanksgiving Printables

 These are Toothpick Flags!
Just Print, cut, fold in half and attach to Skewers or Toothpicks.
You can use these for cupcakes, desserts, appetizers...
Click here to go to Somewhat Simple and download the free printables!
I love this saying.
This is a great gift for a hostess, teacher, friend, or just use this for part of your thanksgiving table.
Click here to get free printable from Somewhat Simple.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Donuts

I am in the mood for some comfort food!
These will do the trick!!!
I also have a new "want" either the mini Donut Maker or a mini donut pan...

Petite Pumpkin Spice Donuts
Makes 24 mini donuts

For Donuts:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

For Coating:
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon (more if you're a cinnamon lover)

Preheat oven 350 F.  Butter a mini donut pan and set aside.

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices together and set aside.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) whisk together oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture and stir until just combined, careful not to over mix.

Using a pastry bag or a steady hand and a spoon, fill each donut cup with the batter.  The donut cups should be fairly full, but not overflowing. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed (if you're using a larger donut pan, allow them to bake for 12-15 minutes).  Turn donuts out onto a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes.

While the donuts are cooling, melt butter in one bowl and combine the sugar and cinnamon in another.  When donuts are still hot (but not too hot to touch), quickly dip each donut in melted butter, then coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Serve immediately.

*Note: If you're not going to serve the donuts immediately, you can bake them up to a day in advance and store them in an airtight container.  Do not coat them in the butter/cinnamon-sugar mixture until just before serving or they may get soggy.

You can also adapt this recipe for mini muffins.  Just bake muffins for 10-12 minutes then follow the same procedure for coating.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Pie or Cake Topper

This beautiful  Pie or Cake topper is from Oh Happy Day.
Here are instructions to make a heartfelt Thanksgiving pie topper.

Materials: 4 x 8 inch piece of heavyweight dark gray paper, 2 x 8 inch piece of heavyweight light gray paper, sage green and gray ribbon, 2 wooden skewers, pencil, ruler, white glue, scissors, Alphabet Pasta, print-outs or color copies of bird illustrations (with 1 x 2 inch birds), mini-clamps.
Step 1. Begin with your gray paper – draw an upside-down rainbow shape, starting from the top left hand corner, to the center of the bottom side (marked with a ruler), back up to the top right hand side of the rectangle. Do this on both the dark gray and the light gray paper. You will have one deep rainbow and one shallow rainbow. Cut out a 1 inch strip following your pencil line, with both colored papers.

Step 2. Spill out a pile of alphabet pasta into a saucer or tray. Search for your letters and set them aside to glue. (You can write anything you want! I love what she wrote here!)  Place little dots of white glue on the paper and carefully put your letters into place. You may have to use a pencil tip to nudge them into the right position. Let dry.

Step 3. Cut out two bird illustrations. Make sure they are facing each other.  She used an old bird guide book , but Vintage Printable has a great selection of birds. You may have to re size your images to get the right sized birds.

Step 4.  Cut two 8-inch lengths of each ribbon, so you have four pieces of ribbon total. Cut your skewers to be roughly 8 inches also.

Step 5. Layer your bird, letter swags, folded ribbons and skewer, in that order. Place glue in between every layer, and clip them together to dry. Be sure to angle your skewers slightly inwards.

Step 6. Bake, or buy, a pie! Insert your topper into your pie and enjoy!

With some leftover alphabet pasta, She made some quick place cards for the table. I see lots of potential with these pasta letters, and there are a about a million in each little box. 
"With a Grateful Heart
Be Conscious of Your Treasures"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Easy M&M Candy Turkey Treats

How cute! M&M Turkey Treats
I found this cute tutorial here at The Party Animal Blog
M&Ms of course –  Fall Color Mix of regular and added in a small amount of Peanut M&Ms in too.
Brown Netting (Tulle)
Pipe Cleaners – Fall Colors – Brown, Orange, Red & Yellow
Goggle Eyes
Glue Dots
Small Rubber Bands

The first step is creating your Turkey Head. For this you will need a Brown, Orange & Red Pipe Cleaner. I love playing with Pipe Cleaners they are so easy to work with and if you make a mistake you just bend it back. So starting with the Brown – Cut it in 1/2.  Roll the top edge down a bit for the head. Then take your Orange and feed through the head and bend and cut off excess. Fold up and form your Beak. Then taking the red do the same above the beak, but leave a piece sticking down for the Snood and Cut. That is it.

Then take your Brown Pipe Cleaner Body and fold up on more time so it is double and give it a twist. Now take your Glue Dots and add on your Google Eyes. Set aside. Next it is time to create Turkey Feet. Take a Yellow Pipe Cleaner and start by folding up some Toes – make 3 of them. You can some of the excess Leg off the top so you have maybe 3 inches left. Set aside.
Now cut some 12″ x 12″ Squares from your Netting(tulle). Measure out about 1/2 Cup of your M&Ms for the middle. Place in and close with your Rubber Band.
Assemble Time !!! Cut off the excess Netting leaving enough to resemble your Turkey Tail Feathers. Then just stick your Turkey Body into the netting on the front. No Glue Needed – it will stay there. Then stick in your Turkey Feet the same way and you are done !!! How Simple is that?