March 29, 2013

Fenced In

My husband has done a great job finishing our fence.

We have a flock of wild turkeys that roam our neighborhood.  The boys love to watch them.  This one stayed in the same spot for quite some time, watching Doug. 

The gate is up and a trampoline is ordered for the kids for Easter.  We normally don't give big gifts for Easter, or any holiday for that matter, but this year is an exception.  Next step is some fencing up the sides of the hill, stairs, grass, a swing, sandbox...who knows?   We are still trying to decide on layout and what else we want down there.

March 12, 2013

Three Baby Quilts

 Baby #1

Our YW leaders have been having babies lately!  Flannel top with a minky back, tied with cute yarn by the Laural class.  I bound the edges by cutting one side of the fabric a little smaller than the other and then rolling the edge and sewing it closed.  Didn't take too long and they all turned out cute.  Beware: Minky fabric (the cute, bumpy, soft fabric that everyone loves) is really hard to work with on a sewing machine.  It's a bit stretchy and slippery, so watch your fabric to make sure it stays where you want it to stay!  Lesson learned after picking out a couple of spots where the fabric slipped out of where I  was stitching.

Baby #2

My quilt holder's head showing a bit here...

And his assistant....

 Quilt holder's arms getting very tired!

Baby #3

Babies #2 and #3 are twins, thus the matching fabric.  Can't wait to get these delivered, Enjoy!

March 11, 2013

Chocolate Ginger"dead" Men

 Using some leftover chocolate cookie dough from my son's Mirror, Mirror cookies, I decided to try out a cookie cutter I bought last year after Halloween:

 Picked this up on clearance because I knew my boys would love these scary-but-cute cookies.

I first tried it out on some regular sugar cookie dough last November and it was a dismal failure. 

 First you cut out your dough in the gingerbread man shape using this side of the cutter.

Then, you flip it over and use the stamper side to indent the dough with the skeleton design.  Throw those cookies in the oven and bake...easy, right?  NO!  I could never get the stamper to stamp cleanly into my sugar cookie dough.  No matter how much I floured or greased the dough and stamper, it would stick.  AND if I did finally get a decently stamped cookie, they puffed up too much in the oven while baking, thus rendering my tedious bone stamping efforts useless!  The whole point is to have the indentation of the bones intact after baking so you can fill it in with thinned, white frosting.  It was so aggravating that I gave up and stored the cookie cutter away, thinking I would just use the cutter side at Christmas time for normal gingerbread men.

Well, after seeing how well those Mirror Mirror cookies were holding their shape, I gave the skeleton stamper another go....

 ...and it worked!  It's all about the dough consistency, baby.  Just dust the top of the dough and stamper with a little cocoa powder and you are good to go!  I love this cookie dough and prefer the chocolate to regular sugar cookies anyway.  Win, win.

These will definitely be making another appearance this October...or if one my boys wants a skeleton themed birthday party this summer...hey, you never know with my kids.

March 10, 2013

Mirror, Mirror Cookies

 I have a Disney kids' cookbook that has been in my possession for a long time, possibly bought before I had my own children, I can't remember.  I figured someday I would makes some fun things out of it with my kids.  Well, the cookbook sat on the shelf for years and years until my 8 year old found it, poured over it's contents, and chose a recipe to try.  I have no idea why it was Snow White's Mirror Mirror cookies.  I don't think he's even seen the Snow White movie.  The closest thing we get to Princess movie watching over here is skipping to the action sequences in boys love Max the horse and the frying pan smacking.  There were plenty of more boy friendly movies and recipes to try (Aladdin, 101 Dalmations, Bug's Life, etc) in the book.

Anyway, he must have thought they looked yummy, because that's what we made last weekend.

 Here is my attempt at making my cookie look like the ones in the book:

We didn't have red heart sprinkles or the little silver balls (do they even make those anymore?), so we did the best we could with what we had on hand.

My son's creations.  I think he got a little tired of the detail work around the mirror by that fourth cookie.  Can't say that I blame him.  They were a bit more work than my normal throw-everything-in-a-mixer-and-add-some-chocolate-chips cookies.  Nothing we couldn't handle though.

 And may I just say, they were surprisingly delicious.  The dough was really yummy and held it's shape well.  I will be using this recipe again for chocolate sugar cookies.  The frosting wasn't bad either, although I prefer royal icing for decorating.

"Someday my prince will come...."

"Oh, there he is!"

 Here is the front cover of our cookbook.  There are lots of fun recipes in there, most of them very easy to make.  We also tried the "101 Dalmations" Kanine Krunchies  (rice krispies treats in the shape of dog bones) a few days later.  I forgot to take a picture, but they were a hit as well.  You can pick up a copy of this cookbook HERE if you're interested.  Happy baking with your kids!

March 4, 2013

You Are My Sunshine

 My friend hosted a "You Are My Sunshine" breakfast for her Relief Society board a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks to my husband's new job, I was able to help with the chocolate covered strawberries.  It was a lot of fun and the breakfast was a huge success.

The night before the party, we went to my husband's work (with permission, of course) and dipped some strawberries in tinted chocolate coating.  We "swizzled" white chocolate on top of the yellow berries.

How adorable are the decorations?  She did a fabulous job.

Favor bags filled with yellow things: body soap, flower seed packs, candy, pencils, and more.

 Friends brought beautiful yellow daffodils as well.

We had Belgian waffles with all of the toppings you could ever wish for. 

I was privileged to attend and help serve food even though I am not on the Relief Society board.  I am so glad I was able to help out in a small way.  It was a beautiful breakfast and a wonderful way to spend the morning.

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