Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cinnamon Play dough Ornaments

So you don’t exactly get to eat the recipe in this post. (well you can if you want but I don’t know how good it will taste.)
I made cinnamon play dough with the girls the other day and then we made Christmas ornaments out of them. I have had a lot of people asking for the recipe so I decided to blog about it so that it was in one place easy to share.
The recipe is easy.

[Printable Recipe]
1 c. applesauce
1.c cinnamon. (I think it could have used more cinnamon, our dough was sticky!)
Mix together and rollout.
 DSC_0534 DSC_0536 DSC_0542 DSC_0550
Cut out shapes.
Use a straw to make a hole for the ribbon
Let dry either for a few days or in 200 degree oven. Turning after the top gets pretty dry.
Add ribbon
The girls had fun doing this and the house smelled amazing while they were drying out.
This takes a lot of cinnamon so use cheap cinnamon. I got 2 jars of it at walmart for $1.

Great holiday craft!! Also good grandparent gifts!! :-D

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Hanukkah and Yummy Latkes

Well, I started this post on Thursday night and then somehow this post disappeared.

Anyway. Here I go, round 2.

We made latkes for dinner (and chicken too) and then called Matt’s parents and sister to light the candles together. Even though Heather was in Atlanta and  his Mom and Dad are in Miami it was nice to all speak and do this together.


I briefly touched on making these latkes last year but this year when we made them I took pictures of the steps for you!!

[Printable Recipe]


1 Simply Potatoes package
2 eggs
2t tbsp. flour or matzo meal (we always use flour for these)
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 small onion, grated
1/2 tsp. baking powder


Take 1 package of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns


Grate onion using the smallest side of the grate box. (Forgot a pic of this – DOH!)


Combine ingredients


Mix well


Spoon into hot oil (we used canola)

IMG_5066  IMG_5068

When edges turn golden brown flip

IMG_5069 IMG_5070

Fry until both sides are golden brown


Serve with sour cream (or applesauce)


These were the best yet. Seriously super yummy.


Tonight was the 6th night of Hanukkah.


This was from last night.

Tonight I also put up my pink Christmas tree. :-D



I love getting to celebrate both holidays!

Hope your Holiday season is wonderful!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Tip

This year when you make dozens and dozens of cookies remember this little tip.

To keep your cookies soft (or to make cookies that are a little too crispy softer) store them in an airtight container with a piece of bread.

The cookies will absorb the moisture from the bread. Change the bread every few days when it drys out.

I did this the other day when I over cooked my cookies by about a min or two. I really like soft cookies, and by the next day they were perfect.

Try it. Promise it will work. Your cookies will be soft and yummy for all of the holiday season.

Linking up with We Are That Family

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rice Krispy Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are able to spend time with friends and family and reflect on everything you have to be thankful for this year.

I saw these cuties floating around the blog world and decided I wanted to take them to Thanksgiving!! I followed the recipe that Give Me Some Oven and adapted my decorations from her. Her's were MUCH better decorated - but I did the best with what I had. I wasn't making a trip to the store, too tired for that - and I am terrified of what I might find the day before Thanksgiving!

They are really simple to make.

Make rice krispies, mold them into balls, then decorate.

I used candy corn for the feathers, whoppers for the head and colored candy melts for eyes and beak.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Matt had a Thanksgiving potluck at work today - he signed up to bring cupcakes.  So we decided I would make the recipe from Carol and Tim's wedding cake.

I made one batch of the cake batter recipe and ended up with 35 large cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes!! I guess I could have halved the recipe!

I made a double batch of the filling recipe and had only a little bit  left over, which is perfect because I will be making a half batch of cupcakes to take to my grandparents on Thursday.

The cupcakes only took about 12 mins to cook (about 9 for the minis.)

I just piped the icing on in a swirl. I should have let the icing chill in the fridge for a few mins, but I didn't so the swirl sort of blended together. But they still tasted yummy!

This recipe has become a favorite of mine. :-D

(sorry no pics - I left the camera in the car for this one and didn't want to get my cell phone all messy- See cake post for pics :-D)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter Butterbeer

Remember on my birthday I made a list of recipes I wanted to try? No, ok check it out here.
One of those things was Harry Potter Butterbeer.
I am a big HP fan, and typically see the new movies on opening weekend (even a couple midnight showings.) When I heard that they were opening a whole area of Universal Island of Adventure that would be devoted to HP, I couldn’t wait to get to FL (still waiting- but hopefully soon.)
This drink is very popular in the park, makes sense since it is one of the drinks the wizards drink at the 3 broomsticks pub.
This was very good, sweet with a sort of butterscotch taste to it.
I found the recipe from Noble Pig. I pretty much followed her recipe exactly.
[Printable Recipe]
For butterbeer:
1c. packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. water
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
4 12 oz. bottle root beer
For whipped cream:
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
Combine brown sugar and water and bring to a boil.
Cook until reaches 240 degrees.
Add butter, salt, vinegar and cream.
Stir until combined and butter is melted.
Let cool to room temp.
With mixer, whip cream and brown sugar for about 3 minutes until thick.
IMG_5040  IMG_5042
To assemble:
Put sauce in bottom of the glass (I put a little less than 1/4 c.- next time I might use more because Matt said the root beer flavor was pretty strong)
Add 1/4c. root beer and stir to combine. The sauce is thick so stir well.
Then fill glass with remaining root beer.
Spoon a bit of whipped topping on it and serve.

This was really good. I liked it a lot. Saving the extra syrup so I can make more later this week. I think that adding a little rum to this would be good too. After all in the movie those who drink butterbeer get a little tipsy! :-D

And now I am ready to go see Harry Potter 7!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Dip

I made this recipe to take to a Halloween party. I figured I could call it lizard eyes or something.

Final pic

I adapted this from The Sweets Life

[Printable Recipe]


8 oz. cream cheese – softened

1/2 c. butter – softened

3/4 c. powdered sugar

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp. vanilla

3/4 c. mini chocolate chips


Beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. IMG_4913

Add powdered sugar and brown sugar

Add vanilla


Stir in Chocolate chips


Cover and refrigerate for about an hour

Place on piece of plastic wrap and shape into a ball. IMG_4919

(you can’t tell, but this is on plastic wrap)

Refrigerate for another hour.

Serve with Graham crackers and vanilla wafers.

Final pic

My skills at shaping this into a ball were lacking. It might have been because I didn’t let it set up in the fridge long enough, but it was basically just a blob of yummy goodness. We served it with a spoon to dip it out. So good! So good with the vanilla wafers.


This is a new must make for a party.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to make cake flour

I typically have a box of cake flour in my pantry, but when I started making the wedding cakes I realized I didn’t have enough and I didn’t feel like going out to get more. I knew it was possible to make your own, and just days before Joy the Baker posted how to do it! So after a little google reader searching I found it!

I think this is a great recipe to have just in case you find yourself needed cake flour.

It is simple.

You need  3 things -

1- Flour

2- Corn Starch

3- Sifter


Measure out your flour

For every cup of all purpose flour you have , remove 2 Tbsp flour.

Then add 2 Tbsp corn starch

Then sift – a lot – like 2 or 3 times, then sift it again with all the ingredients.


And that is how you make cake flour from regular flour.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recipes for Carol and Tim’s Cake

The cake was Pumpkin Spice cake – recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
The filling was Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing – recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven
The Icing was Buttercream icing – Recipe adapted from Wilton. ( taken from the book from my cake decorating class)
final cake 3
Cake recipe
[Printable Recipe]
4 c. cake flour ( I made my own – I will explain in another post – but you can use store store bought too)
1 tsp baking soda
1Tbsp + 1tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (my teaspoons were not level – but not exactly heaping – I just was generous with the cinnamon)
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg (I didn’t use fresh grated- I used from the jar)
1/4 tsp cloves
2 sticks butter – room temp
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 c. buttermilk
1 and 1/2 c. canned pumpkin puree (generous with this measurement too)
Preheat oven to 350.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices – I sifted twice.
In mixer on med- cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
Add in eggs one at a time making sure each are incorporated and scrape sides in between each one.
Reduce to low (make sure you do this – oops)
Add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk. (Three batches of flour and two of milk – start and end with flour mixture)
Beat until combined.
Add pumpkin and beat until combined.
Pour into a cake pan (I used wilton’s cake release, but you could just butter and flour your pan)
Bake for 25-35 mins.
(a 10” cake took about 32 mins , 8” – 30mins, 6” –27 mins and the 11x14 sheet cake was 34 mins)
Let cool on rack completely before icing and filling.
Filling Recipe
[Printable Recipe]
**I made this recipe as the icing for the cake when I made the tester cupcakes**
8oz cream cheese – room temp
4 Tbsp butter – room temp
1 lb powdered sugar (more to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (generous tsp)

In mixer mix together cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
Slowly add powdered sugar until all incorporated.
Add cinnamon.
Add more powdered sugar if needed (I prefer it more sweet- I put a few Tbsp extra in)
Refrigerate until ready to use. Let come back to room temp before using.
Buttercream Recipe
[Printable Recipe]
1 c. white vegetable shortening (crisco)
1/4 tsp vanilla flavor (use clear vanilla extract if want white icing)
1/2 tsp butter flavor
2 Tbsp water
1 lb powdered sugar – sifted
1 Tbsp –Wilton Meringue Powder
pinch of salt
In mixer cream shortening, flavors and water. Sift sugar and meringue powder together. Slowly add to the mixture. Add water until you get desired consistency.

The cake and cream cheese icing make really yummy cupcakes – just throwing that out there!!