Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Question, Broken Camera, and Almond Roca Cookie Bars

I have a quick question.  Whenever I check my blog, 99.9% of the time I am on my laptop and the blog layout looks fine to me but last week I was on someone else's computer checking my blog and the layout was all over the place.  Everything on my sidebar was at the bottom of the page.  Is that how it looks to you?  If  so what web browser do you use?  I use Mozilla and I noticed the two other computers I was on use Internet Explorer.  I'm just curious if the type of web browser had anything to do with it.

 Another thing...I kind of feel like throwing a fit (is that allowed at 25?).  McKinley broke my camera!  I just bought it this summer.  It was my own fault for letting her play with it.  It was just a point and shoot camera, but it was a relatively nice point and shoot. Oh well, what's done is done.  I just don't feel like buying a third camera this year!

Onto the good stuff (with the terrible cell phone picture)....Almond Roca Cookie Bars!

My mom would make these around Christmas time and they were my favorite holiday treat.  The best part is they are easy to make!  I hope you like them.
Almond Roca Cookie Bars

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 beaten egg yolk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
chocolate chips
crushed almonds or walnuts

Cream together butter and sugars, mix everything else in but chocolate chips and nuts.  Press onto a greased cookie sheet (it will be a very thin layer and the dough consistency will be similar to play dough).  Bake at 350 degrees for 14-18 minutes or until golden.  Pull out of the oven and while it's still semi hot sprinkle on chocolate chips, it doesn't take that much (maybe 1/2 a bag).  As the chips melt spread them with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle on nuts.  Let cool and cut into bars.  Enjoy!

Since I am busy and camera-less I think I am going to have to say Merry Christmas already!  I hope it's a good one for you.  See you after the holiday!  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Braided Rosette Tutorial

 I actually made this a few months ago but I decided it screamed Christmas to me and so I saved it for now.  So in case you were wondering...no, I didn't make McKinley sit outside in capris and a t-shirt in the middle of December! ;0)

Supplies:
-knit fabric
-felt scraps
-3/8" ribbon
-alligator clip
-pearls or other embellishments (optional)
-hot glue gun

 1-Take 3 strips of knit fabric about 1/2" wide and however long you'd like the longer it is the bigger the rosette (I guess that's obvious).  For my fabric I used an XXXL shirt I got at Walmart on clearance for $1.00....score!  It's a great way to get fabric for cheap!
2-Stretch the fabric so the ends curl up.  Tie it in a knot at the end.
3-Braid it together and tie a knot on the end.
4-Cut off the unbraided ends close to the knot.  Take a small square of felt put a large dot of hot glue.  Quickly, coil up the braid and stick it right onto the hot glue.
 5-Keep winding the fabric around, gluing as you go.
6-When you near the end of your braid, trim the felt to right up against the rosette.
7-Hot glue the last bit of braid.
8-Glue the end to the back of your rosette.
 9-This pictures just shows that I obviously just took to many unessecary pictures for such a simple project!
10-If you want a "leaf" glue together the ends of a small piece of ribbon.
11-Glue to the back of your rosette.  Glue a small circle of felt on top of that to cover up your mess.
12-Attach to to a covered alligator clip (see my other tutorial HERE for tips) and you can be done if you'd like or...
 add some pearls!
Now all you need to do is attach it to a cute little lady!

If you want one but don't want to make one yourself, you can purchase one in my shop, just look to your right. I will be linking to a few of these places.  Check them out for more fun ideas.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Did you notice?

Did you notice to my right?  I finally did it.  I finally opened a shop!  I need to support my crazy crafting habit somehow.  I thought I better hurry up and do it because I made Christmas pajamas to sell and I don't think anyone will want them if I had waited until after Christmas to do it! ;o)

So as a big thank you to everyone who visits my silly blog and leaves nice comments and everything I wanted to offer you a 15% discount on anything in the shop until December 15th, just enter the promo code POSIES.  Here's some of the things you will find...


and there will be lots more of these little things as well...
some candy cane striped ones...
and of course lots of flat out girly ones...
they're not your average pants...they have ruffles!  Everything is better with ruffles!


I have a lot more to add to the shop that is already made but I still need to take pictures and upload them.  I decided all those Etsy sellers earn every penny they get.  By the time you go pick out fabric, make the thing, take pictures, load it to Etsy and once it sells box it up and mail it off, I think I will have made more money per hour back in my babysitting days! Ha ha!  Just kidding...kind of. :o)  Even with all that said I am super excited!

Thanks for all your support!

Don't forget your 15% off code.  Go take a peek at the shop HERE.
Ok, it's wayyyyy past my bedtime!  Until next time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Homemade Doughnuts

 I got this recipe from our family cookbook from my Aunt Carol.  It's their family tradition to make doughnuts on the first snowfall every year.  I have been wanting to create some family traditions of my own, so I thought I would adopt theirs and try it out. My sister tried them and loved them and I am so glad I did too, because they are delicious! 

These have a wonderful texture and I am guessing it comes from the potato flakes they have in them.  I know... potato flakes in doughnuts?  Strange, but good. 

Homemade Doughnuts

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup instant potato flakes
2/3 cup instant powdered milk
2 1/2 cups hot water
1 Tbsp. Yeast
2 eggs, beaten
5 1/2-6 cups flour
cooking oil
In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar, salt, potato flakes and powdered milk.  Pour in hot water.  Sprinkle in yeast over top and allow to get foamy.  Mix in beaten eggs.  Mix in flour (just enough to make a stiff dough).  Cover bowl with clean towel and let rise until doubled in size.  When it's double in size punch it down.  Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Roll out dough onto a well floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out with doughnut cutter or do like I did and find things to use as a doughnut cutter like these....

  an ice cream sundae cup and a baby bottle for the hole!  It worked perfect!
 Let dough rise again uncovered.
Heat cooking oil to about 375 degrees.  I happen to have an electric deep skillet and it tells me exactly what temperature it is, but you can just use a pan on the stove.  You can test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a small amount of dough.  It should float if it's ready and should brown in about 60 seconds. 
Only fry 2 doughnuts at a time.  Fry in hot oil until golden on both sides, turning once.  

I would suggest doing a test run with your first doughnut to make sure you are cooking them how you like them.  I didn't really do this at first and so the first few doughnuts weren't cooked to my liking as you can see below some of them were kind of burned!  If the oil is too hot they will be doughy on the inside, if the oil temperature is too low than they can be really greasy.

When the doughnut is golden on both sides, take it out with some tongs and allow the excess oil to drain back into the skillet.  Place on a plate with several layers of paper towels underneath to help soak up the extra oil. 
 Now for the fun part...icing the doughnuts.  You can frost them however you would like. We made a vanilla glaze, chocolate frosting, and also added some toasted coconut on some and sprinkles on the others...yummy!  The vanilla glaze recipe came from my Aunt and the chocolate frosting I think I found from allrecipes.com.  Both recipes couldn't be more simple.

Chocolate Satin Frosting

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
6 tbsp. buttter
1/2 tsp. vanilla.

I just put everything in a pyrex bowl (big enough to dunk the doughnuts in) and microwaved it in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until it was smooth...easy, easy, easy!

Vanilla Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and pour over doughnuts.  Easy, easy, easy!

I'm all about making food look pretty if I can.  I know, I'm crazy and if you are crazy like me then make sure you just dunk your doughnuts into the chocolate frosting rather than using a knife to spread it on so you have that pretty smooth finish!  :)
 Once the chocolate cooled a bit I then dunked them into a pile of toasted coconut.  If you want sprinkles then add it while it's still warm so they'll stick.
 ooooh doughnuts....
 The vanilla glaze I just poured over top.  I am usually a chocolate girl but I think these were actually my favorite!  So simple but so good!
Aren't they pretty?  These would be fun to make them for the neighbors and take them over while they're still warm.  It's a good thing the first snowfall only happens once a year otherwise these things could be lethal.  I believe in all things in moderation....including doughnuts!

I'll be linking to some of these places.  Check them out for more fun ideas.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wordle Subway Art


Have you discovered Wordle? It's a website where you can make subway art for free and you don't have to be all tech savvy or anything to use it?  I made this one in a couple minutes.  I'm not actually going to use this one for anything, but I just wanted to try it out.  

This website would be perfect if you're into Subway art for seasonal decorating.  Wouldn't it be fun to make a Christmas themed one and put it in a frame? 

Make sure you check out the FAQ section before you do it.  It explains how to make one word larger than the other and how to save it.  It's super simple....SWEET!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Card

Here is a Christmas card I made last year.  It's almost embarrassing to post cards on here because I am not into scrapbooking at all, so mine are never anything too fancy compared to some of the one's you see out there.  I did however break down and buy a stamp and some glitter stuff (what's that stuff called, embossing?) for this one because I couldn't resist the thought of a sparkly snowflake!

I just can't get into scrapbooking.  If I scrapbooked, I think it would take me all day to make one page and I would spend a small fortune on each page so I just don't do it!

I'm hoping to make a few more cards this year to make up for my lack of handmade gifts.  I know, can you believe it? I have a craft blog and I am not going wild with making everybody something handmade.  Hopefully a few things will get done at least...we'll see.
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