Friday, April 29, 2011

Sweet Owl Cookie

I didn't have an owl cutter but I did have a cauldron that resemble an owl if you turned it upside down. This little guy is still a bit rough looking but with each cookie I am learning a little more. I think I should make my outline thinner so it doesn't show as much. The glace spreads a bit. but it tastes soooo much better than royal icing so I still prefer it!

What's better than one little owl cookie? Two little owl cookies! Diana

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Duck, Duck, Bird?

Another cookie! But is it a duck or bird?

You decide. Diana

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cupcake Cookies

I can't think of anything better than a cookie-cupcake combo! My mom has been making all of these cookies, and I thought I would give it a try. We found these adorable cookie cutters at our local craft store. The little on is only 1" tall. Cute!

To get the swirls on the white I simply outlined the "frosting part" and made some swirls. Then I waited about two hours for it to harden before I flooded the inside area. I love how it turned out.

Lesson learned: lime juice is a poor substitute for lemon juice in the glace recipe. NOT GOOD! Definitely should have ran to the store.


Button, Button, I Have The Button

You have probably seen these on cookie blogs before but I had to try my hand at them too. All of the ones I saw were outlined in the same color as the body of the button so I thought it would look cool if I outlined in black instead.........after all I had decorated two whole batches of cookies just last week, my very first ever, and they came out beautifully. I was now an expert and could tackle a simple shape like a button (and a duck but more of that tomorrow)! I mean it is only a couple of circles right? And black would look so country! I am now a more humble cookie decorator. These buttons kicked my bum. Apparently black is very noticeable and if your circle isn't PERFECT it really stands out. Bummer. Using the same color for the outline and flooding would have been so much better. And I also had a lot of issues with the consistency of the glace. And I tried to make too many cookies so I wasn't really having much fun.....feel bad for me please..... Maybe I will just go and have one of my lopsided buttons to help me feel better. Diana

Monday, April 25, 2011

You Did It!!

Giant candy bar as a reward (bribery) for memorizing the Articles of Faith? Absolutely! And one of our little boys at church did just that! All thirteen! So yesterday we gave him this. Just wrap a large candy bar with some light weight paper and tie a ribbon around it. A few punches later and a little ink.......hey, even chocolate can use a little decorating! Diana

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Avocado Eggrolls

I needed some comfort food today (25 kids, 800 egg.....don't ask!) so I made this favorite recipe to soothe my nerves! It is seriously nummy and I'm sure it has hardly any calories.....

Here is the recipe (America's Most Wanted Recipes by Ron Douglas)

The Cheesecake Factory Avocado Egg Rolls

Dipping sauce

4 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate (I don't have the slightest idea what this is so I don't use it)

1/2 cup chopped cashews

2/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 cloves garlic

2 green onions

1 Tbs sugar

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup olive oil

Egg rolls

1 large avocado, pitted peeled and diced

2 Tbs chopped dry packed sun dried tomatoes

t Tbs finely chopped red onion

1/2 tsp chopped cilantro

pinch of salt

6 egg rolls wrappers

1 egg beaten


To make dipping sauce, combined the vinegars, honey and tamarind in microwave safe bowl. Stir in tamarind and microwave for one minute. Puree the mixture, turmeric, cashew, cilantro, garlic, green onions, sugar, pepper and cumin in food processor. Add the oil and mix. Set aside. Prepare the egg rolls by stirring together the avocado, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and salt. Place avocado mixture in the center on one egg roll wrapper. Fold one corner up one quarter of the way over the filling. Brush the remaining corners with the beaten egg, fold over the left and right sides and then fold the top corner over and press to seal. Repeat with remaining egg rolls. Deep fry the egg rolls in 375 degree F oil for 3 to 4 minutes or until brown. Drain on paper towel and serve with dipping sauce.

This is sooo good! Diana

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eat Your Vegetables!

I'm not sure these qualify as vegetables but if they did, I'd sure become a veggie lover! Check out the high contrast between the outline and the flooding icing! For recipes go here. I gave the carrot tops a little texture with some green jimmies.

For these cookies I used a little less corn syrup in the icing so they had less gloss. Another thing I noticed is that the color deepens as the icing sets up. My black was more of a dark gray when it was wet and now it is jet black. Diana

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Silver Rabbits and Copper Chickens

This cookie started because my sweet sister in law Milly called and asked me for the sugar cookie recipe I used to bake. Alas, I had thrown away my 30 year old Betty Crocker cookbook years ago when I got the new edition (I thought it would have all the old favorites but I was SOOOO wrong). For many years I have been searching the web for the recipe but I had never found it. Milly didn't realize that the sugar cookie recipe was the old Betty Crocker version and said she still had that cookbook!!! Happy day, she sent me the recipe and I began looking for an occasion to try it out again. The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle cute rabbit cookie was featured on a blog I follow and I had found a cookie I NEEDED to try. Never mind that I have never "outlined" or "flooded" icing before! Hours of research convinced me that I would not like working with or eating royal icing so that left the softer glace. And here is my first EVER fancy smancy decorated cookie. A copper chicken. Who would have guessed they make edible copper dust!!!

Or edible silver dust too!!!!

Glace spreads more than royal icing so I think I will still use RI when I want really fine detail. And glace has a high gloss (though I did read you can eliminate the corn syrup if you want a matte finish) so the copper and silver didn't stick as well as it would have to the RI.

This is the paper I used as inspiration for the scroll work. This chicken cookie is HUGE, 5 inches tall and 6 wide. The rabbits are much smaller.

I took the cookies and the lollipops I made to church on Sunday for a few friends. I am already thinking up a new cookie to practice on. But until then, here are the recipes I used so you don't have to dig up the old cookbook!!!

Betty Crocker Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

4 teaspoons milk

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg; beat till light and fluffy. Stir in milk. Blend dry ingredients into mixture. Chill 1 hour. Bake on greased (parchment covered instead) sheet for 6 to 8 min (8-10, depending on size of cookie). at 375.

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe (Glace) 1 cup Confectioners Sugar (powder sugar) 1 Tablespoon Milk 1 drop Lemon Juice (fresh or processed) 1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup Combine powder sugar, corn syrup, and lemon juice in a bowl. Do 10 second test (dip knife in icing and cause a peak to form. now count slowly to 10. if peak completely disappears before you reach ten then add more sugar and if peak stays after ten then add more liquid), remember, you might want thicker frosting to outline. If you have already outlined your cookies and need to fill in your cookies, you can add more milk (as much as you would need) to make your frosting very runny, like honey. If you are using food coloring, be sure to use LESS milk. Most food colorings are liquid and can make your frosting more runny. If you are using a gel food coloring, your milk quantity can remain the same. If you want to add different flavors, you can add drops of vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon, etc. to flavor your frosting. If you want more SHINE, use more corn syrup and less milk. This frosting will stay good for days in the fridge.

SweetSugarBelle's Top-Secret Royal Icing (Almost Wilton's Recipe) •3 Tbs of meringue powder •4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar •6 Tbs liquid (1-2 Tbs oil free flavoring, 4-5 Tbs water) Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).


Spring Lollipops

What is it about lollipops that bring out the kid in us all? And the cuter the shape the better! Skip to my Lou has a great tutorial on how to make lollipops using molds that they carry in their on line shop. Here are a few of the ones I made this weekend. This pink blossom looks right at home in a little clay pot.
Here are all the other lollipops. I decorated them with royal icing.

This is one easy craft and doesn't take a lot of time. And who doesn't love a lollipop, especially ones shaped like flowers and bluebirds! They yell SPRINGTIME. Diana

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dollar Store Fimo Kitty

Remember the fimo egg I did a few days ago? Well it got me thinking.....I had seen some VERY expensive fimo pieces in an artsy shop a while back. They were made of fimo canes and were fantastic. Snakes, frogs and bears carved by the artist and then covered in bright colored canes.....Well I am no sculptor but I figured if I could cover an egg with canes, could I cover other things to get a similar look as those pricey pieces of art? Using my calico cat as an inspiration, here is my own little piece of "art". I pick up a cheap figurine at the Dollar Tree (below) and made a lot of fimo canes. My one regret is that I played it safe by using too much white and not enough color.
Here is the cat as it came from the store. It was important that the figurine be a simple shape, without much detail. I would be adding a lot of bulk so a skinny cat worked best.
The canes were sliced at 1/8 inch and they stuck to the gloss finish of the cat just fine. After it was all covered, I mushed the canes together to cover the spaces in between. Then I used a small roller to blend the seams until they disappeared.
This took some time. The face was the hardest. The fimo obscured most of the detail of the face so I had to form it with my poor skills....I am no artist for sure! Cooked at 220 for 15 minutes and let cool. Then about three coats of polymer glaze. I can't wait to make another and I am on the look out for other figurines to cover! Diana

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chandelier Makeover

I had a love hate relationship with my foyer lighting. Loved the shape, HATED everything else about this chandelier.

I finally got around to pulling it down and revamping it when the wiring went bad. It was really a simple project with a big impact. I untwisted any component that would untwist, sprayed it with white primer and spray paint, and added some crystals that I found in the wedding aisle of the craft store.

I saw a lampshade makeover using ripped fabric strips gathered and hot glued onto the original shades and knew that would be just perfect for my 'new' shabby chic chandelier. This only took a few hours and a few dollars to change. Much better!

Owl Pendant

Do you love owls like I do? Then you are going to love these cute little pendants made from a clip art from The Graphics Fairy Just a few jewelry findings, paper and dimensional epoxy and I have two little owls to wear and brighten my day.
The owl watching the bird is a little creepy! Diana

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Polymer Easter Egg

This craft is amazing. And can you believe it is polymer clay? Over a real egg? From my chickens? I found this video over at Mill Girl and while it did take all day (waiting for drying, not actually crafting), I had a lot of fun doing it.
And it was my first attempt at cane making. I made mine smaller and so they didn't stay as round as the one on the video but I like it all crazy. Diana

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Silver Leaf Egg

Who knew paper mache could look so good. I had picked up a large egg at my local craft store over a month ago and didn't have any idea what I would do with it. But yesterday I got out some paint and silver leaf.... First I painted the egg black with craft paint. After that dried, I painted silver/gold leaf sizing over the paint and let dry til it was just tacky (about 10 minutes). Then I used 1 1/2 sheets of silver leaf over the entire egg. A little black paint showed through here and there but that made it look a little aged. Brushed off any extra silver and gave the egg a light spray of gloss sealer. I then loosely tied a ribbon around the egg and that's it. Simple, easy and I don't think it cost me more than 5 bucks total, and it adds a little sparkle to my Easter display on my mantel. Diana

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fimo Jewelry

Jenn and Abby spent part of the weekend making cute fimo jewelry. And how cute is this cherry pie necklace. It even comes in it's own pie tin!
See how small this blueberry pie is!
A mug of milk and a chocolate chip cookie.....delicious.
Pink pig charm.
Abby made these! A bee pendant and an M&M charm in honor of her grandfather who loves the candy!
And for her brother Eli, Abby's mom made this stick of dynamite.....go figure. Diana

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chocolate Gems

Chocolate cake, chocolate fudge frosting and mini peanut butter cups equals little gems of chocolate goodness.

Happy, happy, happy. Diana

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ducky Cupcake

This is not a rubber duck, it is a cupcake. And I love him! My grandmother's birthday was today and this is one of the cupcakes I made.
I used a Wilton's mold to make the heads and wings out of yellow candy melts. The heads are lollipops. That makes it easy to stick them into the cupcakes.
I piped orange bills and blue eyes out of more candy melts. The cupcakes were filled with lemon custard. The frosting was also lemon and then rolled in yellow sanding sugar.
Looks so cute in an Easter basket.
So many duckies! Diana

Dairy Queen Ice Cream

I have a new cookbook! "America's Most Wanted Recipes" by Ron Douglas. It is full of recipes that duplicate our favorite restaurant dishes! Yippee!This ice cream is soooooo good....and not difficult at all to make! Dairy Queen Ice Cream 1 envelope unflavored gelatin 1/4 cup cold water 1 cup milk 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cup heavy cream Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk to almost a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt with a wire whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved, at least 2 minutes. Stir in the gelatin mixture and let cool. Stir in the cream. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours (I let it set overnight). Transfer to an ice cream maker (I used my kitchenaid) and process according to the manufacturer's direction. (It only took my machine about 10 minutes but the recipe said about 20 minutes) It will get thick and very creamy. Transfer into a freezer safe container and freeze until firm. *note- if you want to add goodies, and who doesn't, add them right before you put the ice cream into the freezer safe container.
I used the teeny tiny peanut butter cups that Reese's just came out with!
Before you stick it in the freezer, it reminds me of soft serve. My husband loved it just like this! But into the freezer it went, minus a few LARGE spoonfuls, until it is just right for our night time snack! Diana