Delicate Deliciousness

You want one?
choc cups 1

Let's make some!
It's the perfect thing to make for a party. I know a lot of you are planning graduations,
weddings, end-of-the-year parties and... well, we don't actually need a reason.

The only real reason to make these is because they are seriously tasty!

You will need some chocolate.
I usually use the flat melties, but a higher quality chocolate is always welcome.
You will also need some empty baking cups. These are the same size as reese's peanut butter cups.
Whatever size, shallow is better.
choc cups 2

Melt the chocolate (stove top, double boiler, microwave... any way you like it).
Then you need to create a thin layer of chocolate on the paper.
I used a squeezie bottle, but if you are careful, you can use a knife to spread a thin layer.
Try not to let it puddle at the bottom. Make the sides and bottom have the same thickness.
Then let it set in the fridge for 5 minutes.
choc cups 3

It will look like this (left).
If the sides look too thin, do another layer of chocolate.
It doesn't have to look perfect on the inside, it won't really be seen.
The outside will look great when you take the wrapper off.
shell

Preparing the chocolate shells takes a little time, but it is all in the name of beauty.

Now you will make the cream cheese mixture.

Whip with a hand mixer or stand mixer:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
12 ounces cool whip

Then you can put this in a pastry bag or this wilton thing-a-ma-jig that I used.
choc cups 4

Fill the cups and imagine you work at frozen yogurt. Go for the perfect swirl.
choc cups 5

Now top with the fruit of your choice.
choc cups 6

You may have your own fruit dip you prefer to fill it with.
You may have your own fruit preferences.
Maybe you want to stick with the simplicity and beauty of strawberries.
choc cups 7

I have imagined all sorts of possibilities and combinations.

These are the perfect thing to grab off a dessert table.
Small, sweet and yet refreshing too.
I love fruit desserts in the summer!

Who am I kidding, I brought these to a Halloween party. They are all good any time of the year!

Go make them, and have fun at your party!


I'm sharing these at:
The Girl Creative
A Soft Place to Land
Today's Creative Blog

Cooking Party

I wanted to share this party I gave a while ago for my daughter, the wannabe chef.

She is instinctively interested in everything I do in the kitchen. She has always loved to be a part of it.
She loves all cooking shows and often asks to watch Martha. (I always have one or two on my DVR).
She was thrilled with the idea of having a cooking birthday party.

cooking party 1

I made these aprons for each girl. Don't worry, the party was small.
I didn't have a pattern, just made my own. I love the ruffle and ric rac that was at the bottom.
cooking party 3

I didn't know what I could cook with a whole group of 5 year olds, but I thought pizza would be fun.
We made sauce and each girl got to throw in a dash of this or that.
Then they got to roll out the dough and add toppings.
cooking party 2

As they cooked, we played a couple of games.
We played "hot potato" with different kitchen utensils and learned the names.
cooking party 4

We also played a "grocery list" game.
I set up the play kitchen chuck full of play food.
They were divided into two teams, each with a grocery cart.
Then on go, a person from each team would have to go find an ingredient.
First team back got a point and then we rotated.
It was fun to throw them for a loop and ask them to get an eggplant or mango.
cooking party 6

Then we ate our pizzas and made/decorated cupcakes instead of cake.
My strategy in these situations is usually to give each child their own knife and
small amount of frosting because spoon licking is almost inevitable.
cooking party 5

Then for favors, they took home the aprons and I put treats in a plastic measuring cup with a cheesy saying like,
"Thanks for cooking up some fun with Jenna on her birthday!"
cooking party 7

It was perfect for her. She asked for a cooking party again the next year, but then we decided to do Fancy Nancy.
I hope she asks for a cooking party again when she's about 12 or 13 and the kids would be old enough to
really get into it. I would even trust them enough to crack some eggs or use the stove!

Actually, now that I think about it... I think I want a cooking party for my next birthday.
It would be so fun and my friends could teach me how to make all of their signature dishes!
I'll start planning my party now.

Make New Friends Friday

So, I just survived a field trip to a cheese factory with 120 first graders.

I was trying to be all educational until I had to say "teat" and then it got awkward.

But, I made a new friend at the field trip between spurts of yelling "Walk, don't run." and thinking "I hope none of that kid's mucous gets on me."

Now it's time to make some new blogland friends.

A few weeks ago, our new friend, Kalleen from At Second Street made us her new friend on her very sweet blog post here She is fabulously crafty and I wish our kids were friends so we could attend all of her parties. She was participating in an invitation from Jami at Ain't She Crazy another super fun blog so here we go.
blog button



Now it's our turn to introduce to to a new friend who is my friend in real life and blogland. I met Rebecca when she was about to pop with her first baby. Now all 5 of her kids are in school (which fact she likes to rub in) so it's been awhile. We haven't lived in the same state for years so I look at her blog if I need ideas, feel like picking up a hammer, or need a good laugh.

She's got teachers gift ideas
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She frames out everything in the cutest way, doorways, mirrors, and utensils for giants.

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And if you want to feel really inferior, check out the soffit she built. (I just now learned what a soffit was)

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She is a woman of wonder and here are some things she has taught me.

1. Invitations don't have to be the kind you fill in the blank.
2. Picture frames don't have to be (and really shouldn't be) made of Oak.
3. You can paint a whole room with a tiny paint roller that way you don't have to tape anything off or lay down a tarp.
4. With a little creativity you can make almost anything from the dollar store look like it came from Tiffanys
5. Paint can do almost anything because it's awesome (and cheap)
6. You can (I mean she can) put up beadboard along a whole hallway with 3 toddlers hanging off each limb. I testify under penalty of perjery, I saw it, it's true.
7. Favors should be fabulous. The woman gave out favors at the hospital to friends who visited after she had her third baby. They said thanks for helping us welcome our Third Musketeer with the candy bar attached. Even though she felt like she just sat on a bomb, she was crafting and thinking of others.
8. Room re-dos don't require lots of money or your hubby's help although either is greatly appreciated.
9. You can get a new house every two years and during that time demolish, paint, and change everything so it is amazingly unrecognizable.
10. Craig (slist) is like a brother. Always there when you need him.

I am a sucker for family picture montages so I knew when I saw this on her blog I had to copy it.

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Now lower your expectations, because here is mine. But Rebecca would be proud because I did that whole project for free.

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Go enjoy some of Rebecca's self proclaimed foolishness at Older and Wisor. And then come thank me.

Warming Up....

Of all the craftiness I try, if I had to pick one area to identify with, I'd probably say scrapbooking.
Kathryn and I have been cutting and pasting since 1995. We love it!

But where are all the scrapbook pages on this blog?
Well, I've been a little off my game. Slacking. Unorganized. Pictures not printed.....
Plus, last year we did project 365 so that was a little different than our normal scrap habits.

So in an effort to get in the grove and try to remember how to scrapbook,
I decided to do a warm up and make some cards.
I printed out some phrases and digital elements, lots of them from house of 3.
I gave one copy to my sis in case she was in the mood for a warm up too.
We only used scraps that we had leftover from previous projects.

So we both made a set of cards on our own.
It was fun to compare and have people guess which ones were mine and which ones were hers.
(Kathryn is more creative and more of an "out of the box thinker," I am only trying to keep up).
Do you know who's cards are on the left and who's are on the right?

I think it's appropriate to start with the bee themed card!
card 1

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card 3

card 4

caed 5

card 6

card 7

So now that our scraps are all cleaned out and we've remembered how to crop and embellish,
we are warmed up and ready for our upcoming scrapbook weekend with our good friends.

Can't wait.

p.s. My cards are on the left, Kathryn's are on the right.


I'm sharing at Today's Creative Blog. :)

Teacher Cupcakes

I heard that my daughter's teacher's birthday was coming up.
I don't always do this, because I don't always know, but this time, I did!
And I can't resist an opportunity to make a teacher feel appreciated.
This one is extra special to me and I've known her for a long time.

So I sent a secret note home to tell the kids that her birthday was coming and we were having a surprise party.
I mentioned that they could write a letter/card for her as a gift.
Then we surprised her by bringing in a treat for everyone and singing to her.
flowers

I've seen these "cupcake toppers" on at least 100,000 blogs and I know why.
They are so cute and fun to make.
cupcakes

I made a personalized apple with photoshop and some digital elements.
I got the "hello teacher" kit from house of 3.

It's as easy as printing and punching.
These huge punches are so handy. I use them for so many different things.
punches

So thank-you 100,000 people who gave me this idea.
I don't know who to link to, because I don't know who thought of this, but thank-you!
You are a genius.

IKEA Shout Out

I've been working (at a slugs pace) on my teenager's bedroom redo.

I've been "sewing", decopaging, stapling, drilling, and giving my online shopping muscles a workout to find all things zebra. But not too many things, lest it look like a wildlife preserve.

In my quest to not give my debit card quite so hard of a workout, I've been feeling the IKEA love and wanted to give a shout out.

These mirrors are just one of the many inexpensive items ($2.99 each) that can help those of us decoratingly challenged.

They start out looking like this.

Naked. We can't have that.

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For this room we decided to decopage.

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I found some zebra scrapbook paper which I cut to the same size as the mirrored frame.

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I had very few unzebrafied spots left in her room so these went up here.

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I need to give a shout out to my genius friend, Rebecca (Older and Wisor), for making sure IKEA was even in my vocabulary and my friend Tisha who first inspired me with these little mirrors by transforming a gazillion of them with paint into a thing of wonder in her entry way.

I bow to you. And IKEA.

Sandwich Love

sandwich love

This is what I had for lunch today.
And because I love you, I'm sharing the sandwich love.
You only have to promise to keep a couple of rules.

First rule: You must grill your chicken on the BBQ.
You can prepare it with a simple drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.
Then you must grill it perfectly.
If your husband is the only one who can achieve moist, cooked chicken
(because of your pink chicken paranoia),
then accept it and move on. Pay someone if you have to.
Do not eat dry chicken, I say!

chicken

Now add some vegetables. I'm not going to be strict about this.
Throw on whatever fits your fancy, but you can never go wrong with butter lettuce, tomato and avocado.

veggies

Now, here is rule #2: You must dress this sandwich with our special basil mayo.
Dave threw this together about a year ago and that's when the love started.
It makes the sandwich, so flavorful and herb-alicious.

1/2 c mayo
a handful of basil leaves (15-20)
1 Tbsp. pine nuts
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Sorry for the estimated amounts. It is all I can get out of husband/culinary mastermind.

Whip this up in your mini food processor.
Otherwise chop it all up (excluding mayo) with a sharp knife until it is very fine, then whip in your mayo.
Spread this on your bread.

sandwich

Now, I'm not going to be strict about the bread.
This was on a yummy parmesan herb bread from my grocery store.
I've had it on a roll, some hearty wheat bread or whatever is on hand.
And I have loved it all the same on every kind of bread.

I hope someone else enjoys this.
If you keep the rules, you will love it.
If you break the rules, then you're on your own... just kidding!

Easy Hot Breakfast

Doesn't this sound good tomorrow morning?
scones

Well, this isn't really a recipe,
just a reminder that a hot breakfast for the family is just a frying pan away...

My mom called these scones, growing up.
But they aren't true scones. They are closer to donuts.
Really, it's just fried bread.
Whatever I call it though, people are always impressed when I make these.
And really, there is no making involved. I cheat with frozen dough!

Just set out a loaf of frozen bread dough the night before... tonight would be good.
I like bridgeford and rhodes brand.
Cover it with a clean dish towel and go to bed.

Wake up to a puffy ball of dough.
Split it in 2 and roll it out with flour.
Slice it up with a pizza cutter.
Let these little pieces rise for another half hour to an hour.
scones-dough

While they are set aside for a few minutes, make some honey butter.
Just whip up some room temp butter and honey!
A word of warning though, I have permanent scars on my arms from putting honey in the microwave.
I was brainless that day, but aren't you glad you can learn from my mistakes?
honey butter

Now heat your oil. Don't let it deter you if you don't have a deep fryer.
Just fill your pan with about 1 1/2 inches of oil.
If it is the right temp, your dough will sizzle when you drop the bread in,
but not spit grease and go crazy.
They will puff up and get golden brown. Then flip em!
scones-fry

My hubby likes to dip em in hot maple syrup.
My kids like to sprinkle on powdered sugar.
I like boysenberry jam or honey butter.

This really is a fast breakfast if you subtract the rising time! :)
Perfect for a Sunday morning.

Cute Bunnies

I hope you had a great Easter!

I enjoyed time with my family...
-egg dying
-egg hunting
-and bunny making!

easter 2010 copy

Gotta love sugar cookies.

I'm sharing these at A Soft Place to Land, Today's Creative Blog and Bake at 350.

Quilt + Minky = Heaven

I finished the quilt I was working on for Lindsey.
Lindsey

She is really attached to the baby blanket my mom made for her when she was born.
It will be treasured forever, but is starting to show some real wear and tear.
Since my mom isn't here to ever replace it, we talked about putting it away
before it is totally ruined, and she can keep it in her treasure box.

Well, a quilt this cute can ease the pain, right?
Plus, it is more of a big girl, lap quilt, to snuggle on the couch with.

I got my fabric from this fabulous selection.
I started with a pattern from Moda Bake Shop.
However, I used a more uniform fabric selection, changed the size of the blocks and added more rows.
So, the pattern was a starting point, but it is not exactly the same. Please don't look close.
quilt

I was very excited to sew with minky for the first time.
Instead of the quilting suggested in the pattern, I used my mother-in-law's long arm quilter.
I wasn't sure how the minky would do, but it turned out great!
long arm quilter

I love the "freehand" swirls and how they look on a quilt.
long arm

I even attempted to stitch her full name in on one edge.
She was so excited about that. She loved having her claim on this blanket "stitched in stone."
name

Let me tell ya, this girl loves this thing!
And so does the whole family.
As soon as she walks away from it, someone is quick to steal/use it.
she loves it

I think this might be followed by many minky backed quilts.
A little more expensive, but sooooooo worth it.

I'm liking this to Today's Creative Blog, and A Soft Place to Land.
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