Wednesday, March 11, 2015

No blarney...but a pot of St. Patty's gold!

When I think of St. Patrick's day, it reminds me of my childhood.  Searching through my wardrobe high and low for just the perfect green ensemble. one, wanted that fate of being pinched until they
  turned green!
There weren't too many St. Patty treats that caught my attention in my youth except for... gold foiled chocolate coins and those cute muslin bags of gold nugget bubble gum.  

They're the inspiration for my pots of gold.  

Here's what you'll need~
Dark Chocolate Candy Bar or Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Chocolate Gold Foiled Coins 
Black or Grape Licorice
Caramels or Tootsie Rolls 
 Smarties or Sweet Tarts  (candies) 
 Duff's gold spray food coloring
(for tinting Smarties &Sweet Tarts)

Cookie sticks (optional)
 Green Straws
 (to cover sticks optional)

Take 4 caramels per apple and microwave for approximately 4-5 seconds or until slightly soften.
Roll and shape the caramel into a rope.  
Melt dark chocolate with 1-2 T. of shortening.
You want the chocolate to have a thin
 (almost liquid) consistency.
 Dip just the top of your apple into the chocolate, place the caramel rope directly on top forming a ring.  This will adhere the two together.  Forming your pot rim.
Set in fridge to firm up.
If you're adding a stick dip it into the chocolate before poking it into the apple,  it will act as the glue. 
Dip the whole apple into the chocolate allowing  the excess to drip off.
Place on a parchment sheet and put back into the fridge to set up again.

A licorice rope  can be used as a handle on your pot of gold. 
 (adhere with toothpicks).

Take a pastry brush and coat the top of the pot with chocolate and drop your gold foiled coins, (yellow) Choco Rocks, bubble gum gold nuggets.
I added a lil' tag suggesting my friends to  remove the bubble gum nuggets and foiled chocolate coins before they indulged.

It only took one brand new computer

 one brand new camera!!!
But, I'm back!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fall leaves and acorns for dessert.

As long as I can remember...I've had a love for the autumnal colors of fall.  Burgundy's and gold's blended together producing jewel toned leaves, no two alike.  My favorite pastime is gathering bouquets of  fall leaves.  I spritz them with cinnamon oil and set them out in various places in my home. 
What better way to celebrate the autumnal colors of Thanksgiving than by creating a fall cookie dessert for my family and  friends.

Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake Cookies
and Caramel Kiss Acorns.

Along with my staple......Trader Joes
 (frozen) ready made pie crust.

Before rolling the pie crust,  I brushed dots of food coloring concentrate directly onto the pie crust dough. Various fall colors of yellow, green, orange, and red.  Then I gathered up the dough gently kneading and mixing the colors just until it produced a marbled effect.

 Rolling the dough thin for a crisp cookie shell.

After cutting out the various leaf shapes, I popped them in the oven.  While the leaves were baking I mixed the pumpkin butter, cream cheese, filling together for the cookies.

These measurements are an approximation. 
The cream cheese to pumpkin butter ratio  are to each individuals taste of sweetness.

1 jar of (Trader Joes) pumpkin butter. 
(any pumpkin butter will work)
1-11.5oz. whipped cream cheese.
Gently whisk together a few tablespoons at a time of each ingredient until you reach the desired  amount and sweetness.

Spread a teaspoon of filling on each (baked) leaf, adding a sprinkling of
 Craisins and pecans.
Sandwich the matching leaf to form the cookie.
For a few of the cookies I mixed a smidgen of the cranberry sauce to the Craisins.
I  thought it would provide a nice touch to include a few acorns with the Fall leaf cookies.

 Soften 3-4 caramel  squares by hand or in the microwave 10- 20 seconds. 
Don't over melt, they just need to be pliable.
Flatten the caramel with a rolling pin. 
 Cut with a small round fluted  cookie cutter to form the acorn top.
Wrap the acorn tops around a chocolate Kiss.
I used a mini chocolate morsel for the stem.

For the tag I personalized  a fall leaf I gathered from my walk.
Tied it all together with a glittered dot ribbon.

If you're really feeling ambitious you can tackle this Thanksgiving turkey cake 
from Hungry Happenings!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Carving time!

  Halloween is upon us. Which means it's time to release our creativity at carving and or decorating pumpkins.
  I searched high and low to find inspiration from all resources.  Starting with a scenic afternoon drive through our neighborhoods,where we discovered a pumpkin patch  with some extraordinarily large pumpkins!!  You can see them peeking through their leaves.  One pumpkin actually had it's own protective shelter.  From the size of  the tent, it looked to be the largest!

 Now that we've got those creative juices flowing here are a few more inspirational ideas for you to choose from.

( Source Pinterest)
Cookie Monster doubles as a cookie jar.  
Win, win!

(source Pinterest)
Those of you who have followed my blog, know my affection for kitties!!  
This was my pick for most adorable!

(source Four Generations One Roof)
Witches brew.
This is such a clever idea executed with just a few supplies found around the house.

 These definitely bump pumpkin carving up to a whole new level!!

I'm always left in awww when I see actual carvings that are truly works of art.  If only there was a way to preserve these to have out year after year.

Marilyn Monroe's Hollywood glam.
Her beauty would definitely light up any starry night.

The Great Pumpkin.
A Halloween classic loved by all!

Cinderellas carriage.
Remember it turns at midnight.

 Fresh floral decor.
Here's a design that can be a centerpiece for both a Halloween or Thanksgiving dinning table.

Vintage fabric pumpkins.
  Embellished with detailed beading and antique jewelry touches.

(source Pinterest)
Shabby chic Papier-mâché.
Text papers with rubber stamping and a crystal accent is the piece de resistance.
This whole vignette is  made complete on the antique silver tray.

If your preference for pumpkin carving is one of a more simplistic approach like mine.
A carved  pumpkin punch bowl filled with a Fall punch may be more to your liking.

 Apple Orchard Punch

1 (32 fluid ounce) bottle apple juice, chilled
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
 1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 liters ginger ale
In a large punch bowl, combine apple juice, cranberry juice concentrate and orange juice. Stir until dissolved, then slowly pour in the ginger ale.
  1. Thinly slice the apple vertically, forming whole apple slices. Float apple slices on top of punch.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Schools back in session

With the hustle and bustle of school activities there's always a need for a few DIY's to make it a little more convenient and fun.