Tuesday, November 19, 2013

10 Turkey Day Treats to Gobble Up

Thanksgiving seems soooo late this year. I'm all messed up. Sure feels like I should be eating turkey, green bean casserole and marshmallow-smoothered yams by now.

But alas, Thanksgiving is still another week away. I guess that means there's plenty of time to share some of my edible craft recipes - past and present. Here's a little roundup of 10 Turkey Day treats to gobble up:

1. Oreo Turkey Pops

2. Turkey Coffee Spoons

3. Spicy Sweet Potato Pumpkin Bites

4. Turkey Macarons

5. Peekaboo Pumpkin Pound Cake

6. Brown Bag Turkey Legs

7. No-bake Fall Mum Cookies

8. Cheesecake Mashed Potato Bites with Caramel Gravy

9. Caramel Pear Turkey Legs

10. Pumpkin Pie Cheese & Crackers

Friday, November 15, 2013

Olaf the Snowman Snacks

I saw a trailer for Disney's new movie, Frozen, way back in June and thought it looked awesome. Something about the snowman character, Olaf, just melts my heart.

So, I created a sweet little Olaf the Snowman snack that will melt in your mouth. Just a few oddly shaped marshmallows on a frosted graham cracker. Nothing complicated, but really cute. 

Instructions and helpful step-by-step photos can be found here at SheKnows.com.

See you in the theaters soon, Olaf!

Even my cat likes Olaf. (Or at least, she was curious about him during my photoshoot.)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

PIece-of-cake Peace Cake

I don't think I'll ever get tired of baking surprises inside of desserts. It's like getting a great present, and then realizing there's another present to unwrap.

I originally planned to make this Peace Cake for Bea's peace-themed birthday in September. But she wanted cookies this year, not cake. The idea kept burning in my brain though, so I decided to make it anyway. And I'm happy to have the tutorial featured on Handmade Charlotte this week! You can find the step-by-step instructions here.

P.S. You can do this with any shape. I've done variations of this idea with a pumpkin pound cake last fall, and a name cake for my sister's birthday this summer. The possibilities are endless. (In fact, I've got another one I want to try this weekend. Stay tuned!)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wiener Dog Rocker #2

Eric had a special request to make another dachshund rocker for a woman who's first grandbaby arrives in March. 

The first rocker he built was made out of white oak. This one, he built out of cherry wood. I just love how the green grass compliments the color. Looks like he's bounding through our lawn.

Here's hoping many generations are able to create great memories on this sweet little doxie.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Frost Bites

A few months ago, I came across this cool, 1955 book cover titled "You Can't Eat Mount Rainier!" It made me smile, seeing that mountain on a fork and that silly cartoon guy with his mouth open wide. And then it gave me an idea for a cookie.

Why would anyone want to make mountain cookies? I don't know.... maybe for a ski trip? Or a snow-themed party? Or to celebrate someone moving to the mountains. (Which, by the way, I would love to do someday. Growing up in western Kansas, Colorado was practically my backyard, and it's always been a dream of mine to live there.)

So, if you love the mountains like me, then mix up a batch of these chocolate no-bake cookies with snowy sugar tops. They're peaks you can eat. And they're even easier to attempt, than the bunny slope.

Find the complete tutorial here at SheKnows.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Like, Tweet and Pin!

SheKnows.com posted their 25 Most Socially Shared Recipes of 2013 today, and I was pretty excited to see that 10 of my recipes were in the top 25. Sweet!

I've been creatively baking for 20+ years, but I've only recently ventured into the whole "online tutorial" scene. My first ever recipe for SheKnows in April of 2012 - the Pinata Cookie - might have set the bar a little high. It went crazy viral, and I'm still kinda shocked at how popular it is. But it's only encouraged me to keep trying to find sweet success again. 

To date, I've done 58 tutorials for SheKnows. I'm lucky that my hobby has found an audience and there are so many of you finding me through social media. I'm also thankful that my husband and kids put up with some of my crazy baking marathons. 

I'm happy to be a regular recipe contributor to SheKnows. They're always receptive to my bizarre baked (and half-baked) ideas. You can check them all out here.

And here are links to my 10 tutorials that made the top 25 Socially Shared Recipes.

1. Nutter Butter High-heel Cookies

2. Watermelon BBQ Grill with Fruit Kabobs

3. Candy-filled Maraca Cookies

4. Pop-up Groundhog Cookies

5. Fruit Roll-up Fortune Cookies

6. Hollow Chocolate Easter Eggs

9. Dirty Diaper Cookies

12. Tent and Campfire Treats

13. Heart-shaped Brownie Treasure Boxes

25. Octopus and Penguin-shaped Bread Bowls

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Turkey Leg Treats

I created a dual-holiday treat that could work for either, Thanksgiving Day or April Fool's Day: Caramel Pear Turkey Legs!

It's just like a caramel apple, but instead of apples you use small pears. And instead of wooden sticks, you use pretzel rods. Add toasted coconut marshmallows to the tops of the pretzels, and they look just like turkey leg bones.

You can find my simple tutorial at SheKnows.com. Gobble, gobble.

Would you believe that I brainstorm a lot of my dessert ideas while I'm running? I guess it's kind of like the carrot dangling in front of me to keep me going. Except, my carrot is probably made of sugar and butter. Dipped in chocolate. And covered in caramel. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wonderful Wimpy Kids

The newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book - Hard Luck - comes out today! You can bet Gus will be in line to buy that one. He's read and re-read all of them a million times. 

Speaking of Wimpy Kids... I just wanted to share a couple of fantastic Greg costumes that some blog followers made this year, modeled after Gus' Halloween costume in 2011. I'm so, so, so impressed with how they turned out. And even more excited to hear that the kids wearing these costumes LOVED them. Makes my heart smile. 

One of my favorite messages came from this mom: "He was a total rock star at his parade -- people I'd never even seen before were asking to take pictures of him and with him. It was unbelievable and a wonderful treat for my kid."

Great job, moms & dads! And thanks for sharing your photos and stories with us.

By the way, if you ever need an easy Diary of a Wimpy Kid dessert idea, here's a Wimpy Kid cake and ice cream treat I made a few years ago for Gus' birthday. Let's celebrate the wimpy kid in all of us!

Make these Wimpy Kid cakes with Sno Balls.

These Wimpy Kid faces are made out of vanilla ice cream.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cereal Killers

Boo Berry, Franken Berry and Count Chocula cereal box costumes.

Halloween is over. And once again, my kids' costumes (although fun & clever) proved to be troublesome when it came to actually trick-or-treating. Walking, running and climbing up stairs were nearly impossible. And after about four houses, Bea decided she was done wearing her box. She just wanted to carry it. 

Which turned out to be an awesome idea. All three of the kids took off their boxes and carried them to the front doors of every house. Then they set them on the ground, and hid behind them. After I rang the doorbell, they would jump out and yell "Boo" and "Trick-or-Treat." Everyone got a big kick out of it, and the kids had so much fun hiding and yelling "Boo!"

So for once, my error in costume judgement turned into a good thing. (I really, really, need to work on making costumes that you can actually see and move in.)

Sorry, kids.

Hiding behind their boxes, ready to yell "Boo!"

Bea and her loot. Which wasn't a ton, but I was kinda glad.

Gus and Jay trading their candy.
Our cat guarding Gus' candy. Looks like she's eaten a few too many.


I'm the room parent for Bea's 1st grade class this year, so I had to come up with a simple, fun, Fall party game that the kids could do in, like, 7 minutes. (They only allow 30 minutes for the class parties, and most of that time is spent scarfing down cupcakes and juice boxes.)

I'd seen versions of this game on Pinterest, but they all involved popping balloons. And we all know how loud and annoying balloon-popping can be. Especially in a room filled with excited kids, hopped-up on sugar and the excitement of Halloween. So I opted for a quieter version. I put prizes inside orange cups with napkins rubber-banded over the tops. Then I hot glued the cups to a piece of black foam core. The kids simply had to poke their finger through the orange napkin on the cups and pull out either a TRICK or a TREAT. Some of the tricks included: toothpaste, socks, and fake ketchup & mustard bottles. Some of the treats included: candy, inflatable Halloween decorations, and Slinky toys.

The kids had a great time, everyone got a prize, and there was plenty of time leftover for a good sugar rush.

Carefully poking her prize pumpkin.

She got a trick bottle of ketchup!

He got a trick bottle of mustard!

Will she get a trick or a treat?

Will the teacher get a trick or a treat?
All smiles for the Fall Party.

Plenty of time to eat lots of treats.
Comparing spiders from their cupcakes.
Bea and her best friend, Morgan, before the costume parade.


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