Thursday, December 31, 2009

JUGS challenge #13 and a sneak peak!!

Hi Everyone!!! It feels so good to get scrappy again. And it was awesome to work with non-Christmas colors! Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. But when it's over, it's over. For challenge #13 over at Just Us Girls challenge blog, I used the January Color Me Daisy's a beauty! Lots of great springy, fun colors to work with. It will get out of your winter doldrums, for sure!!

The challenge was to use a template. I loooove templates and I usually get mine from Papertrey Ink. Lauren Meader recently started her own company and is now selling templates through her company, My Time Made Easy. I downloaded her free template called Cutesy Cover and it was pretty easy to put together!

It reminds me of a playing card box! The top opens us to reveal...well, whatever you want to put in!

Everything is from the CMD January kit, except the polka dotted ribbon. I just love the little woolies that come in the kit!

That's it for me today! I have lots more to share from the CMD January kit, so come back tomorrow!

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kevin's birthday treat

We celebrated my son's 8th birthday the day after Christmas. I cannot believe he's already 8. If you're a parent, you definitely know how time flies!!!

We are having a party for him in January with cupcakes and a cake, so I didn't want to make a cake for his actual birthday. Instead I made Bublanina. It's a recipe my mom used to make and her mom used to make it, too. Here's the recipe:


1 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 big can cherry or other fruit pie filling
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour

-Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy
-Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture.

It will look like this, it's pretty sticky at this point:

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of dough for later. Plop the rest of the dough onto a 11x16 jelly roll pan OR a plain ol' cookie sheet:

Use a spatula and just spread to the edges:

Spread pie filling over the dough to the pan edges:

Use the reserved dough and add to the top of the cherry filling. I usually try to be symmetrical about it and try to put 9 equally spaced dough balls on top:

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into squares for serving:

This is soooo good served with some fresh whipped cream dolloped on top. YUM!! I've made this with blueberry pie filling and apple, but cherry pie filling is the running favorite in our house. He loved this dessert, as did the rest of us. I have big plans for his party cupcakes and cake. In fact, i'm going to check out a new cake supply store I just found near me TODAY. My heart is beating just a little bit faster with anticipation!!!

Hope you're having a good post-holiday week. Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Hangover!!!

Wow, that was fun!!! We had a wonderful holiday this year. My kids are old enough to really 'get it' and they were so much fun this year. LOTS of loud yelling and screaming when they opened certains gifts and saw what Santa left them. It was too fun!! Here they are with the big puffy stuffed animals from Santa...

Santa also brought them The Claw. It's a mini version of that claw grabber game you see at the Arcade (where nobody ever wins!!) and it's been going non-stop since Christmas morning. The song it plays is LOUD and there is NO volume adjustment. I must talk to Santa about that...

And Santa never forgets to add Holiday M&M guys to the stockings!

One of Kevin's favorite gifts is a book we got him called Oh Yuck! It's all about gross stuff like farts and boogers and poop and vomit...this was his face when he realized a WHOLE section was dedicated to vomit. AWESOME!!! sunk my Battleship!!!

After the dust settled at home, we went over to my brother-in-laws for a fun, family dinner and celebration!! The weather was gorgeous, Kayla wore her short sleeved dress and sandals and swore she wasn't cold.

And look at this gorgeous dinner table that my sister-in-law set!! Beautiful!!!!

And one last photo, this one of my niece and my daughter. They got these blingy, glittery, COOL shirt and tights from their Grandma and they looked so great together!

Thanks for making it through all those photos!! We had a fabulous time, thanks to all our family for spoiling us completely. We are dealing with the aftermath of bags and boxes and tissue paper and plastic wrap all over the house. But there are no more questions of 'What Can I Do NOW', which is my daughter's favorite thing to say. Because both kids have so many fun things to explore. Hope you all had a great holiday this year. I have some recipes to share with you soon, so stay tuned!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Coffee Cake

My mom used to make this coffee cake every Christmas. Well, maybe not every Christmas but I can't remember a time without it!! It's a recipe from my grandma and now I make it during the holidays. It's simply called Coffee Cake. It's what we have for breakfast on Christmas morning...before, during, and after opening gifts.

Coffee Cake:
soften 2 packets dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water

Combine in saucepan:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk (I use soymilk)
2 tsp salt
Stir to melt all ingredients together

Blend in 3 eggs and the softened yeast

Add 5 to 5 1/2 cups flour (I use half white and half whole wheat) and form a stiff dough
Knead for 3-5 minutes (my kitchenaid mixer gets a workout!)
Let rise in warm place for about 2 hours or until dough gets 2x size

For filling you'll need:
2/3 cup sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon, combined
jam (i use homeade, whatever flavor I have handy)
nuts (optional)

Divide dough into 2 parts
Form each part into a rectangle
Spread with melted butter and small amount of jam

Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix.

Roll up (long end first) and seal edge and ends.
Place seamed side down on greased cookie sheet. I always use my round pizza stone for this part. Curve to shape a 'U'.
With scissors, make cuts down center, about 1/3 of the way into the roll.

Let these rise in warm place for 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes (or until golden brown).

Let coffee cakes cool
Frost with 1 cup powdered sugar + 1 tsp vanilla + 1-2 tsp milk

And my coffee cakes always leak! No matter how well I seal the seams and edges and ends, I always get jam oozing out. So don't overfill with jam, because it will erupt in the oven and cause a huge mess that smells like your oven is on fire. Don't ask me how I know.

I slice it up and people can just grab what they want. I like to heat up a few pieces in the microwave, maybe slap some butter on and enjoy with a nice hot cup of tea. Nothing like this coffee cake for Christmas morning breakfast!!

Thanks Kayla for helping me bake yesterday! We love to bake together, she is an expert at rolling out dough. And my son is an expert at eating. Alot.

Merry Christmas Eve!!! We are very excited about Christmas tomorrow. We are hopefully hitting the beach later today (yes, the weather is wonderful here) and then putting out cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer. And I hope you have a great Christmas tomorrow with family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Yes, it's the sweet smell of vacation. No plans, nothing pressing to get accomplished or done, shopping is mainly done, wrapping is done...just pure vacation bliss! Our trip to Vegas was too much fun. It was great to meet all my hubbie's high school buddies. Nice to put a face to all the stories. And we stayed up waaay too late and drank too much and ate too much...but it was an awesome weekend. Believe it or not, I didn't take ONE photo!! We just were moving around too much and I didn't want to be responsible for my big, chunky camera everywhere we went. Plus, I didn't want all my hubbie's friends to think he married a paparazzi. I am waiting for some photos to surface on Facebook because other people were taking photos. Not sure I want to see them...hee hee!!

I have baking plans this week but that's about it for plans! Here's one more layout I did using the Color Me Daisy December kit this month. My mom is amazing in the kitchen and she loves to cook with my daughter. Here they are last year making cinammon bread or rolls or some doughy goodness for the holidays.

I loved using those postage stamp looking rubons from Pink Paislee in the kit. Too cute!!

I am going to be making my mom's coffee cakes this week. We always had coffee cake on Christmas morning for breakfast (plus a big plate of holiday cookies!) and I love it. It's my grandma's recipe and we'll be making it this week for sure. I also am bringing dessert to Christmas dinner at my BIL's and i'm looking for some good recipes. Any suggestions????

Thanks for stopping by!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Teacher Gifts

Yeah, vacation has officially started!! Woohoo!! I get two weeks off work and my kids last day of school was today. We are all very excited. Now it's really starting to feel like the holidays. I had fun making some teacher thank you gifts this year. Check out these treat cones!!

I love to bake but you don't have be a wizard in the kitchen to give great treats to your friends and family. Creating a special package for your store-bought treat makes it extra special. For this cone, I cut an 8 inch circle on my Cricut using the North Pole collection by Crate Paper (you can find it at Posh Designs Store!!). Then I just folded it into a cone! I used super sticky tape to hold the cone closed once I folded it around. I added a punched scalloped circle, a diecut from the Crate Paper collection and some coordinating ribbon to round out the cone. This one was filled with caramel and chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels (say that 5 times fast!!) and this next one was filled with homeade caramel corn.

I heard they were a big hit with the teachers! So, it doesn't take much to make somebody feel special. And it didn't take much time to make these, either. It's a win-win situation!

Hope you are all having a great weekend. Are you running around doing last minute holiday stuff?? My hubbie and I are relaxing in Vegas this weekend...without the kids. WooHoo!! It's my hubbie's 'unofficial' high school reunion and we are taking advantage of some time with adults. I know, it's a really bad weekend to be close to the holidays. But i'll take it. Ha ha!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Candy Cane Cupcakes

These were so fun to make!! We had a holiday party today at work and these were for the dessert table. Candy Cane Cupcakes!!

I used The Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake recipe (which truly is the best chocolate cake recipe ever) and made cupcakes instead. I filled them with chocolate ganache made with a mix of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate. Made vanilla buttercream frosting and added some peppermint extract for a candy cane kick. I then colored half the frosting red. When I was filling my piping bag, I put red in one half of the bag and white in the other. It came out swirled for the tops. Then...a candy cane hershey kiss for the topper.

And not to toot my own horn, but these were amazing. I've never used chocolate ganache for filling but WOW...they were sooooo good! And the buttercream was minty without being over powering. One of my favorite cupcakes to date!!

I finally got most of our christmas cards addressed tonight and they are ready for the mail. Well, except they don't have stamps. So, i'll be getting stamps tomorrow!! How are your holiday plans coming along?????

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guess What I've Been Baking??

Want to take a peek at the goodies i've been baking for the holidays????

Peppermint brownie bites...recipe HERE:

Irish Creme Biscotti, modified from a recipe HERE. I used Irish Creme hershey kisses instead of Mint Truffle.

Peanut Butter Chocolate bars (I don't have a recipe online for this one!):

Chocolate chip cranberry oatmeal cookies...recipe HERE (modified to leave out pecans and add chips and cranberries):

And my new favorite recipe...White and dark chocolate caramel corn (modified from a recipe HERE):

This popcorn is my new favorite treat, it's sooooooo sooo sooo good!!! I am definitely making another batch this week. Because the first batch is gone. What kind of baking are you doing this holiday season???

Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gift Sets

Happy Sunday everyone!! We had a wonderful day yesterday with some friends. They came over despite the torrential rain we are having and we spent the afternoon sipping home brew and Poinsettia cocktails while all our kids played together so nicely. I love that! We had dinner and then attempted to go look at Christmas lights. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and we ended up doing alot of puddle stomping! But it was a fun day.

Today, i'm going to share some gift sets i've made for friends lately. I am loving all this good stuff from Papertrey Ink. First up, a little gift bucket for a neighbor.

Just a little thank you for being such a great neighbor and friend!! I made this notebook using all Papertrey supplies. I love all their button stamp sets, so cute! And covered some Hershey nuggets for a little sweet treat. I also added some peppermint lotion and some hot chocolate packets (they are hiding behind the notebook!!).

I also made this notebook/Hershey nugget gift set. I used a Papertrey tin to put the nuggets in. Again, used their oh-so-fun button bit stamp set!

Made another attempt at a tissue paper flower. I inked the paper and added some stickles for a little bling. And just one more notebook I've made. I love these notebooks, so quick and easy to put together!!

Don't you just love that cute snowman? I do! LOL!! Hope you are having a good weekend. Today I am doing more baking, shopping, and just hanging out. I'm getting ready to watch a Holiday movie with the kids, if they can decide on one. Thanks for stopping by!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Super Easy gift bag

Wow, is this December flying by or what???? So much to little time. We are having our annual cookie decorating party tomorrow, and then Saturday having friends over to go look at the Christmas lights. That is...if the weather cooperates. It's POURING rain right now. We'll see if it lasts through the weekend.

This is a great little project if you ever need a gift bag in a pinch. If you have a paper lunch sack laying around, you can easily transform it into a gift bag! I cut a circle in the front of this one with my trusty, old-school, Creative Memory circle cutter (you know, the one with the big glass plate???). I added a piece of transparency over the whole to create a window...embellished...and it's done!

With all the gloomy weather, it's been difficult getting a good photo of my projects. Sorry for the glare off the transarency!! Here are some closeup of the ruffled ribbon and other stuff!

I plan on filling it with caramel chocolate popcorn that i'm making this weekend. Along with the 7 other recipes I want to try, LOL!! I'm hoping to squeeze in some baking this weekend, along with all the other holiday things we are doing. Hope you're having a good week and staying warm and dry!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Jar Luminaries

I've been wanting to do this project since I saw the cutest jar luminaries around Halloween time...and it's taken me this long to get it together!! This weekend the kids and I gathered up supplies to make frosted holiday jar luminaries. This is what you will need...

Glass jars. They can be canning jars, recycled pickle jars, baby food jars...

Strips of tissue paper. My strips were about 2 inches wide and tall enough to fit whatever glass jar we were using. I just tore the strips by hand. You could also use colored tissue papers.

Two very excited and willing participants...

Some Mod Podge (or other decopauge glue) and foam brushes.

Start by brushing the mod podge over one long strip of your glass jar. Then press the tissue paper to the glue. Smooth out all bubbles and make sure you have enough glue. The glue will dry clear, so using alot of glue should not be an issue.

The kids and I cut holiday shapes from the Cricut with plain cardstock. After your whole jar is tissue papered (is that a word???), add a good amount of glue to the spot you want to add your decoration. Then paste it on. Hold it good a tight for a second, then generously mod podge over the decoration.

Once they are all dry, you can add tea lights to the bottom of all the jars. Line them up...light the candles and enjoy your holiday luminaries!!

I just LOVE how these turned out!!! I added googly eyes to the reindeer after the mod podge was dry. The kids love them, I love them...I think they are a great addition to our holiday decor!!

I'm also posting this project over at Today's Creative Blog Get Your Craft On!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!!