Friday, March 29, 2013

Peanut butter and marshmallow chocolate eggs

This is another of those "I'd better package these up so I don't eat them all in a feeding frenzy" recipes.
Think fluffernutter meets nutella,

and this is their love child.

Peanut butter and marshmallow eggs

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
12 oz. marshmallow fluff
3 cups powdered sugar
1 package chocolate melting discs

Mix the first four ingredients together until well blended.
Refrigerate till firm (It should have the consistency of playdough).
Form into egg shapes and rechill.  
Melt chocolate discs.  I read a great way to do this to keep the chocolate the perfect temperature for dipping.  I placed the discs in a heatproof bowl and then placed it in my crock pot which was set on high.  I poured hot water half way up the outside of the bowl, and in 30 minutes the chocolate was melted (I was mucking around with the egg forming during this time).  When the chocolate was melted, I turned the crock pot to low and kept the bowl in there as I did my dipping.  A note here:  do NOT put the lid on the crock pot as it will cause condensation that will drip into the chocolate.
That would be tragic.  
After I dipped my eggs, I put them back in the fridge to firm up.  

I put royal icing flowers on top for show.
After I took their picture, I bagged these bad boys up so I wouldn't get into them.  

Happy Easter!

Sharing with

The Charm of Home Feathered Nest Friday

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring owl cookies

Owls aren't only for autumn decorating. 
No indeedy.  

How about some bright pastels to spring-ify them up?
The one in the top row center is even ready for her red hat society meeting (BTW, her name is Edna).  

Silvia, Edna, Bernice, Madge, Beula, and Opal

Just a little bit of spring nonsense going on here.
I'm very into the polka dot wings.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marshmallow "cake" cupcake decoration

Today is my daughter's 15th birthday!  
Her request for chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting met with approval from the enchanted menfolk around here.  
The best recipe I have ever found for chocolate PB is The Barefoot Contessa's which you can find here.  It is deeeeelicous!  The only adjustment I made was to add an additional cup of powdered sugar to the frosting so it would be a bit stiffer for piping.

I hurt my brain trying to come up with how to decorate these cupcakes.  I didn't want to make them Easter themed - this is HER big day, and brownish peanut butter frosting isn't exactly a looker on it's own.  
Isabelle has always LOVED marshmallows, so I wanted to somehow incorporate them into a decoration.  
And then it hit me - my poor aching brain had a good idea!  

Decorate a marshmallow to look like a tiny birthday cake and put it on top of the cupcake.

Here is how you do it.
Poke a toothpick midway through a marshmallow.  Decorate the sides like you would a cake.

The toothpick allows you to turn the marshmallow while decorating and also serves as a "pick".  I had a block of floral foam sitting around, so I used it to hold the marshmallows while they dried.
Next, I broke a toothpick in two and pushed it into the top of the "cake".

Taking white icing, I covered the bottom part of the toothpick to make it look like a candle.

Then I used yellow icing on the tip to simulate a flame.

Cute, cheap, fast, and very easy to do!  The designs on the sides of the marshmallows can be as simple as you want - squiggles, stripes, polkadots, or whatever floats your boat.

Once they dried, I just stuck them into the frosting on the cupcakes.

All I had to then, was add one birthday girl!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Yarn for the birds

In case there are any birds in my yard that are into interior design, I leave them some colorful yarn to feather their nests.

In a few weeks the yarn will be gone and their will be some brightly colored nests in my trees.  
I was hoping my container of yarn pieces wasn't going to be lying in snow.  Seriously Mother Nature, enough already!

In other news, I got two incredible pendants from sweet Joane at 
Ivory Pumpkin!  I absolutely love them - thank you so much Joane!  
A fellow Halloween head and a talented artist to boot.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Jesus praying in the garden stained glass cookie

Yes, this took me a while to do.

I wanted to do something special for holy week - 
no bunnies or chicks or eggs in this post.
Just a quiet reminder of what Easter means.

I have been wanting to make a stained glass cookie for a while now.
It was a pretty intense process - I sketched the design with a food marker, did an outline in black, flooded in all my colors, re outlined all the black "lead" lines, and then went back in with a tiny paintbrush and added some food coloring in places to give it more variation in the "glass".  
This is not the type of cookie I would like to make by the dozens!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter brunch cookie favor

I love soft pastel colors, but lately BRIGHT pastels have been catching my eye.  Evidence as follows.

Who doesn't want a bright blue sky, a pink Easter basket full of blooms, and a yellow duck for good measure?

These colors are just plain happy!  

And isn't that what spring is all about?

I am going to be making more cookie favors to have at our Easter brunch.  It looks like the Philadelphia duo (Drew and Genevieve) will be coming down now, so we will have a full house!  
I'm thinking these

will need to be making an appearance as well!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pastel Easter popcorn

It is a busy couple of weeks for me with two birthdays, Easter, a party, and weekend guests on the docket.
I have the birthdays organized, the Easter baskets purchased, and this great Easter popcorn made.

I threw this recipe together on the fly after purchasing white chocolate disks and a bag of candy chocolate eggs at the store.  
The first thing to do is pop up some corn.  Hear me now people, DO NOT use microwave popcorn.  Go old school and pop it in a large pan using vegetable oil.  That way there will be no artificial  flavors competing with the white chocolate.  
That is an order.
Another note about the popcorn - add salt!  It gives that great sweet salty combination that is AMAZING!
Once your popcorn is popped and placed in a large bowl, prepare your chocolate disks.  I always melt them in the microwave - I found that 45 seconds, a stir, and then another 35 seconds was perfect.  Every microwave is different so err on the side of caution - if you overdo it, the chocolate will seize up and there is no fixing it.
I used pink, blue, green, and white colored disks and one by one poured them on the popcorn in sections.  While the chocolate was still wet I added in some colored sprinkles.  

Once the chocolate cooled and hardened up, I added in the small chocolate eggs.  I wouldn't be a good mom unless I tasted it to be sure it was good enough for the enchanted children :)

I bagged it up to keep it fresh and keep me from eating it, and tied the bags with pretty ribbon.

This is dangerously yummy - I'm telling you, the salt takes it to another level.  The kiddos had better guard this with their lives when the ribbons come off!  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The TMI bathroom art post

I may have mentioned that I have five children, four of whom are boys.  Because of this, I have spent many an hour obsessing over bathroom cleanliness.  

I'm telling you now that the words bathroom, cleanliness and BOYS 
don't play very nicely together.  

Oh, I tried teaching them proper form.  
I did the old aim for the cheerio in the toilet "game".
I used positive reinforcement out the wazoo.
I finally resorted to unscrewing the toilet seat from the toilet, scrubbing the living daylights out of the toilet and soaking the hinges  and screws in bleach several times a week.  
I might add, that I am in no way a clean freak - it was THAT bad.

Naturally all four boys denied any culpability.
It. Drove. Me. Crazy.

I wanted to know who the culprit(s) were, and even thought about utilizing a nanny cam, but that was creepy and  I didn't want to get reported to social services.  
I just kept plugging along with my screwdriver and bleach as my older boys one by one left the nest.
Now, I only have one boy at home and the bathroom horror isn't what it used to be.  

Unfortunately, I have a new bathroom problem on my hands.
Certain people don't replace the toilet paper when it is empty.  In fact, they will leave the tiniest little scrap of paper on the roll so they can "legitimately" claim to have not used the last of it. 

And then I saw it (somewhere on Pintrest).  
A message that summed up what was churning inside me.

I downloaded some vintage paper and typed up my message. 
I put it in a lovely frame and it is now hanging over the toilet.
Oh yeah.
Just a  little love note from yours truly.

Linking with
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesdays

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Easter message cookies

I went to Hobby Lobby the other day and bought some alphabet cookie cutters.  Oh my, they are fun.

Gotta love those 40 percent off coupons.
I can think of so many occasions to use these cutters - brain in cookie overdrive!

I put these all together in one bag, and took them with me to D.C.  to give my son Ted.  I told him to put the letters together to spell out a secret message (tee hee).  He always did love to figure out a puzzle!

My only issue with these cutters is that it is murder to get the dough out in one piece.  I ended up having to use a toothpick to pry them out, and then camo the toothpick dents with icing.  Definitely not a quick cut out process, but worth it!

How are your Easter plans coming along?
Ted and his girlfriend Katherine will be here, so I am busy prepping Easter baskets, buying egg dye, making schemes for fun, and planning the food.  
And it would be super great if it wasn't SNOWING.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Poodle skirt cookies

My daughter Isabelle was in the high school spring musical Grease.  
I wanted to make her (and her posse of peeps) poodle skirt cookies to celebrate months of hard work in rehearsals.

The musical was amazing - unbelievable what this little high school was able to pull off!

I was smiling from start to finish!
Here is my girl in her poodle skirt with good friend Marley.

It was a full day on Saturday.
We also drove into Washington D.C. to watch Ted run his first marathon!  
It was a bit of a logistical nightmare getting into the city with so many roads closed, and trying to figure out where we could spot him.  There were 30,000 runners AND there was a shamrock fest going on at RFK stadium where the finish line was - it was a mad house!  

The weather was supposed to be very cold and rainy so we wore layers of clothing and warm coats plus a backpack loaded with umbrellas, ponchos, and warm clothing for Ted's girlfriend Katherine after she finished her half marathon.
We were really loaded down, so of course it was sunny and 60.
I felt like I ran a mini marathon from all the walking!

A full day and great memories!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The three steps of sugar cookie decorating video tutorial

I am a visual learner.  For those of you who are also visual (and toying with the idea of making cookies decorated with royal icing), I have a brief video tutorial that shows me outlining, flooding, and adding details to some little bunny cookies.  

There is no editing here, just me unclogging tips, popping air bubbles, and getting icing on my fingers.  The real deal friends.  

As well as being visual, I am also going to be a complainer.

Can I vent?

One pan full of burned cookies, designs that are turning out lame, and I am still fuming over the USPS losing (stealing) two boxes of cookies - one for my son in D.C. and one for my son stationed over seas in the military.  The third box which was sent to my mom/little nieces was emptied of half of it's contents and the remaining things were covered in grease.  
And the cost of stamps keeps going up???

Oh, and have I told you about the BAD CAT?

The one that found a tray of cookies left in the kitchen five minutes unattended.  The BAD CAT that opened two layers of cling wrap and 
LICKED AND BIT every cookie.  
Five hours of work - gone in five minutes.  

The BAD CAT.  His name is YaYa AKA Sugar Lips.

There.  I got it all off my chest and I feel better.

Sort of.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Calico Easter egg cookies

I am my own worst critic. 
It isn't too often that I am completely pleased with things I make.  
After I decorate my cookies I hide them away for a few hours and then go back and look at them, hoping that my opinion has changed for the better.  
With that being said, I think these cookies are the prettiest I have ever made.  
That was humble, wasn't it?

They may not be technically perfect, but I adore the colors and old fashioned feeling they have.

They remind me of vintage wallpaper or fabric.

And do you want to know the really crazy part?
I had absolutely no idea where I was going with these.  
I just mixed up some pretty colors and let loose.

I had originally thought I might paint on them with food coloring, but SOMETHING held me back from the paint brushes.
Thank you SOMETHING.

Inspiration is such a funny thing.  
You can't force it - or at least I can't.
It comes to me at unexpected times almost like it has a life of it's own.  
And I am very happy and grateful when it does  :)

I mailed these darlings off to my eldest son Drew, and his wife Genevieve. Drew is in med school and Genevieve is getting her masters/Phd in psychology.  They have been studying their brains out so I thought they could use a sweet treat.  
Drew's birthday is coming up, and I asked him what he wanted as a gift.  I did a double take when I read his email requesting a knot/suture tying practice kit - I had no idea they even made such a thing.  
Shhhhhhh, don't tell him I ordered it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Potting bench from salvaged door

So Mr. Enchanted and I were scrounging through an abandoned barn one day this winter (um, don't ask), and I spied an old door.
 I knew IMMEDIATELY what we could turn it into.

By WE I mean Mr. E.  
He is the one with the power tools.

He added a shelf made from scratch lumber, hooks to hang tools and such from, 

a mail box to hold my gardening gloves.

I LOVE it!  

And if this isn't great enough, I saw my first little sproutlings in the mini greenhouse!

So there you have it - an old door, a couple of hooks, a mailbox, and old lumber into a shabby fab potting bench.
Thank you Mr. E!

Oh, I almost forgot - I made what have turned into my ALL TIME FAVORITE cookies this week, and I can't wait to show them to you!