Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Vintage Thrift Store Snowman-Philadelphia Eagles Crafting

Well, it happened folks, and just when our season was going so well... They broke my quarterback. Yep, one of the league's leading candidates for MVP is done for the year. While the Philly Faithful are trying to be strong and think positively (which really isn't a Philly sports thing in case you don't know:@), we're crushed. But I do still have a fun little something to share:

The latest member of my little Snowman Eagles Army is this cute vintage snowman I found at the thrift store for 50¢. He was missing the broom that originally came with him, but I didn't mind, I had another idea in mind for the hole in his hand:@)

The snowman I brought home:

Here is a quick updated pic of  the smaller snowmen in my Eagles Army:@)
The two larger ones are on the other side of the table.

Keep smiling *sniffle~lip tremble* and have a happy day:@)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Peppermint Spritz Santa Cookies with Colorful Candy Melt Bottoms

These Peppermint Spritz Cookies with Candy Melt Bottoms were a fun little experiment. The idea was to add some vibrant color and a tasty candy element to the cookies, while keeping Santa looking crisp and clean. I was happy with the way they turned out:@) And this idea would make some very nice sandwich cookies too, just remember to take the disc out of your press and turn it to the other side half way through your dough so you can match up the shape of the cookies.

If the candy begins to harden back up in the icing bag, simply pop it back into the microwave for a few seconds.
The candy melts are so much less fussy easier to use than chocolate.

The Santa disc I used is from Oxo's Holiday Set. 

Peppermint Spritz Cookies-adapted from Mirro
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C shortening
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 1/4 C A/P flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt-I just used a little pinch
1/8 tsp baking powder
Candy melts in color of choice
Disposable icing bag
  1. Cream butter, shortening and sugar.
  2. Mix in egg and extracts.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Fill press and form cookies onto cool, non-greased baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees 10-12 minutes or until cookies just begin to lightly brown at edges.
  6. Heat candy melts in disposable icing bag in microwave for approximately 30 second intervals until you can smoosh the candy in the bag with your fingers and it's fully melted.
  7. Cut tip off of bag, draw circle/oval on silicone or parchment and place cooled cookie on top of candy, press down until you see the candy around the perimeter of the cookie.
  8. Let candy harden back up.
Enjoy a cookie and have a happy day:@)

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Cold Oven (or not) Sour Cream Pound Cake -Bundt or Loaf Pan Recipe

I'm a big fan of Cold Oven Pound Cakes. Yep, you put the pan into a cold oven and then set the temperature. Don't know if I believe it gives the batter a little more time to relax and melt into the design of the pan, but the gentler baking does make a nice cake. Another thing I wanted to share is a reminder that you can cut recipes in half and make a loaf cake instead of a big bundt cake. Sometimes we just don't need a big cake and sometimes... Well, sometimes Santa just needs to take center stage:@)

Another great thing about a cold oven cake is, the outside doesn't get too dark.

This is one very nice recipe folks, we really enjoyed every-single-bite!

My fun Twas the Night Before Christmas pan from Williams-Sonoma.
More tips:
  • Try to not over beat the eggs when they are added, we don't want to add too much air to the batter. 
  • I'm going to try coating the pan with butter and flour the next time. We'll see if that helps the design bake more solidly. It has been suggested that the little pock marks may be from the baking spray pooling in the pan. It's worth trying!
  • Don't hesitate to mix things up a bit and add a little more seasonal flare by subbing orange extract for the vanilla in the glaze. I did not use the glaze this time.
  • I did cut the recipe in half for my 6 C loaf pan.
  • The measurements below are for a loaf cake, you can double the recipe or stop by Bloggy Buddy Liz's for the full bundt pan size recipe. Also, Liz baked her cake in a traditionally pre-heated 325 degree oven.
Sour Cream Pound Cake-Loaf Pan Size Recipe-adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar-I used 1 C
1/2 C sour cream
1 1/2 C A/P flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

Glaze-optional:
3/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp vanilla
hot water

  1. Grease and flour loaf size 9x5 pan (or use Baker's Joy), set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the sour cream. 
  3. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add the sifted flour to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating in each egg one at a time. 
  4. Mix in the vanilla and almond and pour mixture into prepared pan. 
  5. Place in cold oven, set temperature for 325 degrees. Bake for approximately 1 hour 10 minutes (for loaf pan) or until toothpick comes out clean. 
  6. Let cool 10 minutes on rack, then invert and release from pan.
  7. If you'd like to add the glaze (I did not this time), make while cake is cooling in pan. Add water to powdered sugar and vanilla until it's thin enough to brush on and soak into cake a bit. Brush on warm cake.
Remember, Christmas calories don't count and...
Have a happy day:@)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Went Junkin' -Amazing Finds! Vintage Christmas Tablecloth and Large Snowman Blowmold

I don't usually get this lucky but, I found a spectacular vintage tablecloth at the thrift store for, are you ready? $3.99 -ACK!!! Vibrant colors, no stains and I honestly think it wasn't use before. I love that it has both cherry and a darker red and it looks great with my Corelle Winter Holly dishes too. Couldn't get this little beauty home fast enough:@)

 Gorgeous design, the striped ribbon borders the whole cloth.  
It's very cheerful, I love it and will truly treasure this find:@)

Then the following week this 41" Frosty was begging to come home with me... $5!!! 
His electrical was broken but I already had and extension cord and light fixture.
What I love is, he's not just for Christmas, I can leave him out in January after everything else is put away.
It's the little things that make me smile:@)

I hope the thrift stores are treating you well too!
Have a happy day:@)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Stained Glass Jello Christmas Tree

A few years ago I found two holiday cake tins for 68¢ at Goodwill and the other day I thought I'd use one to make a fun Stained Glass Jello Christmas Tree Treat. I cut the recipe in half and two boxes of Jello (I got creative and used red and green:@) were enough to generously fill one pan. I will say as a point of reference, I ~loaded~ the pan with red and green, so I only used about half of the condensed milk mixture.

 Here's a pic of what the cut Jello looks like, very festive!
 And kids do really get a kick out of this Jello Jiggler ~eat it with your fingers~ type of dessert! 
Of course you can make this in a square or rectangular pan and simply cut it into bite size pieces. Kraft suggests four boxes of Jello for a 9x13 pan. The link I've provided to Kraft has a nice step-by-step video.

Stained Glass Jello Bars-from Kraft
5 1/2 C boiling water, divided
4 packages of 4 serving size Jello, assorted colors/flavors
2 envelopes unflavored Knox gelatin
1/2 C cold water
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  1. Mix 1 C boiling water into each color of Jello (separately). Spray containers/dishes with flat bottoms with food spray. Pour Jello into individual containers/dishes. Chill for 2 hours or until set.
  2. Sprinkle unflavored gelatine over 1/2 C cold water, let stand 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 C boiling water, stir. Add condensed milk, mix well. Cool slightly.
  3. Cut flavored Jello into cubes and randomly place into 9x13 dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  4. Pour milk mixture over Jello, evenly distribute Jello cubes. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm before cutting into bars. *They don't mention it, but I did put the bottom of my pan in hot water for a couple seconds to help unmold the tree onto a serving dish.
Make some holiday memories and have a happy day:@)

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas Bows -Red and Green Dyed Pasta

These Red and Green Dyed Pasta Christmas Bows would be a fun holiday addition to pasta salads. Super easy, simply add drops of food coloring to the boiling water and the key to ensuring that the colors don't bleed is to rinse the pasta under cold water until the water runs clear. This is a fun idea for parties and great conversation starter, not to mention kids really get a kick out of the colors:@)
Yep, it's great with elbow macaroni too.

Directions:
  1. For the most vibrant color, add 20 drops of food coloring to each cup of cooking water.
  2. Cook pasta per directions on the package or until desired doneness, drain and run under cold water until the water runs clear.
  3. Add to your favorite pasta recipe and enjoy!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Maraschino Cherry Cream Cheese Ball or Logs

Oh these Cherry Cheese Ball Logs are fun folks! I don't know if this should be labeled an appy or a dessert but... I say just serve it and let everyone enjoy it:@) Cream cheese, maraschino cherries and pecans mixed with a few other ingredients, and I do suggest a good name brand graham cracker for serving. My boys thought the graham crackers with cinnamon would work well too. Don't hesitate to add this nice treat to your party menu this holiday season, I think you'll be pleased.

The original recipe is for a huge party, I made 1/3 for my Sunday dinner crew.
I cut my cherries into fourths, you may want them smaller.
As with most cream cheese based dips/cheese balls, leftovers are really, ~really~ nice schmeared on a bagel:@)

Maraschino Cherry Cream Cheese Logs-from Taste of Home
3 (8oz) bricks of cream cheese, softened
2 Tblsp sugar
1 Tblsp orange juice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
10 oz maraschino cherries, chopped and drained well pressed between paper towels
1 C chopped pecans, toasted
graham crackers for serving
  1. With mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, OJ and ginger until smooth.
  2. With spatula, fold in cherries.
  3. Refrigerate, covered, at least one hour (longer is better).
  4. Place pecans in shallow bowl, Shape mixture into two 7" logs. Roll in pecans, coat evenly.
  5. Wrap each log in plastic, refrigerate at least one hour. 
  6. Serve with graham crackers.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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