Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Important Food Rule

If your food can go bad, it's good for you. If it can't go bad, it's bad for you!

I just read an article by David Zinczenko titled "The Truth About Your Weight Gain." He writes the Eat This, Not That series for Yahoo Health. You can read the article here.

Most of this information is not new to me. I have a very health conscious mother who keeps my family very informed about what we're putting into our bodies!!

I promise, after reading this article, you will think twice about eating that burger at your favorite fast-food restaurant again!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Just thought I'd share a few of the many dozen cookies I've made this week!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Poinsettia Cupcakes

Can you tell I'm completely obsessed with poinsettias? First, hundreds of poinsettia cookies, now poinsettia cupcakes!

I've had this idea ever since I made the hydrangea cupcakes for Thanksgiving. I made my favorite chocolate cake recipe, then flavored the frosting with peppermint extract.

I really needed a larger tip, a #366, but since I couldn't seem to find one other than ordering it, I made do with a #352.

I started at the edges, going around the cupcake, then worked my way in, making the ones closer to the center stand up more than the others.

I then used a #283 for the green center and a #3 for the yellow dots.

These were so much fun to make! I'm definitely going to be making some for our Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beautiful Snowflake Ornaments!

I realize these aren't a cake or cookies, but they are beautiful!!

This is the craft that we did at our Ladies Christmas Party, mentioned in my Poinsettia & Snowflake Cookies post. I just thought I'd share it here as well.

Have fun!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beautiful Star Ornaments

I love reading blogs. I love the ideas that are shared. I especially love simple crafty things. Like these beautiful ornament stars I found at House Revivals. They are absolutely gorgeous!

I've made several of these. I even showed around ninety women from our church at our annual Christmas party how to make them. Talk about a challenge!

I took the idea from House Revivals and changed things up a bit. Instead of pages out of a book, I used card stock and scrapbook paper, which I then spray painted.

Here are the steps I followed, which are the same as House Revival's, but with a few more pictures for us extreme visual learners, and using card stock instead of book pages.

Cut strips of paper 1/4 " by 8" long. These were left over from the Christmas party.

For the simple star, use 12 strips, plus 1 for the hanger
For the more complex star, use 20 strips, plus 1 for the hanger

Take 2 strips and fold them in half. This gives you the center point to begin building your star.

Glue them together, using just a dot of white glue. Here's what I used.

You can just hold it together using your finger for a few seconds. Make sure the two strips are exactly perpendicular. I forgot to take a picture of this step! But here's a picture showing them glued together, with two dots of glue for the next two strips.

Next, start weaving the remaining strips. 6 strips for the simple star, 10 for the more complex star.

I used a toothpick to dab a little glue at each intersection. Press down for a few seconds.

You will make two of these.

This is what the construction of the larger star will look like. Everything is done in the exact same way, only you weave together 5 strips each way. You will make two of these.

The next step, for the simple star, is to take two of the corner strips, gently twist them so that the bottom sides are up, then glue them together. Make sure you don't bend or crease the paper.

Do the same thing for the larger star, only glue one set back together first, as shown below. Remember, you're twisting them so that the bottoms are facing up. Make sure they come to a point before the glue sets.

Work you way around the star. They will look like this when you are finished:

Next, place the two pieces on top of each other, tops together. Weave the straight strips through the loops. It should look like this

Glue the straight strip to the points, working alternating sides of the star (opposite sides).

Make sure the ends of the straight strip don't extend past the point. Again, only a dot of glue is necessary.

For the larger star, glue the outer loop first, then the inside loop, leaving a space about the width of your strip of paper.

For some reason, my smaller star always looks like this when I get to this stage!

So I simply put a dot of glue in the very center and gently pushed the layers together.

Here is one of my mistakes! I put the bottoms together, instead of the faces, and created this 3D star! I used it for the top of the tree.

Here's how to make the hanger.

And then attach it. After I painted the star, I cut about and inch and a half off of a tinsel garland, glued the ends together, then attached it where I had added the hanger. I used hot glue for this step.

For this star, I used a textured scrapbook paper. I like the way it turned out.

If you want to change it up a bit, used colored paper, then lightly spray paint it so that the color still shows.

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I have! I've been adding them to gifts instead of bows and the recipients are loving them!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Poinsettia & Snowflake Cookies

The ladies from our church had our annual Christmas Party last week. Here are some pictures of the cookies we made for it.

Since I was in charge of the cookie making, I decided we needed to stick with two designs. Last year we had seven or eight different shapes going on, then we needed icing in every color of the rainbow! We barely finished the cookies in time for the party!

Having only two designs did help, but we almost doubled the amount of cookies we made, so it was still quite a project.

One evening, I made up the dough and put it in the freezer. Then two nights before the party, my sister and I met at the church cafeteria and baked the cookies. The huge cookie sheets and convection oven made short work of it! The next evening we glazed them. Then, the day of the party, a friend and I did the detail work.

It was a lot of work, but it was the fun kind! We even did a few without the glaze for those who prefer less icing.

And here's a picture of most of the 225 cookies!

I thought I had figured the dough for close to 300 cookies, but we only came up with 225. When we were almost done decorating, one of the cafeteria cooks called and asked if we needed the cookie dough that was in the freezer! My sister had put it in the freezer because she was afraid it was going to thaw too much, then we completely forgot about it. By that time, I was very glad we had forgot about it!

Thank you, Becca, Dawn and Heather, for all your help!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hydrangea Cupcakes

This is my first attempt at making the hydrangea cupcakes that I found on this blog.

I love her work!! They look much better than mine, but I learned a lot about what not to do on these!! I will definitely be trying them again in the near future.

And, yes, I realize that hydrangeas don't come in these colors! But I was inspired by this large pot of fall colored velvet-silk hydrangeas that are sitting on my dining table. A terrible picture, but you get the idea.

My first mistake was trying a new frosting recipe. I loved the frosting, but it didn't do the flower thing very well!

But, everyone at our Thanksgiving dinner who didn't know any better thought they looked great!

And I tried out a new chocolate cake recipe that was absolutely delicious!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cute Bow Dress

I've been having fun making these cute little bow dresses!

My daughters and daughter-in-law have tons of bows for their girls. This is the cutest way I've seen so far to hang them.

My daughter had me make this one for a friend. The color theme was yellow, brown and red to match her daughter's room.