Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pop Rock Chocolate Pops!

I love chocolate....chocolate and nuts, chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and mint......but chocolate and pop rocks!  Who knew.While at an super fancy restaurant in Holland this month, we had a delicious dessert with little chocolate nuggets as decoration.  Imagine my surprise when I popped them into my mouth and they started dancing on my tongue!  They were chocolate covered pop rocks.  YUM.  Got to have more.  So when I got home I found you could order them online but more importantly, I found a utube video telling me how to make chocolate lollipops full of pop rocks. 

These guys even tell you how to temper chocolate in the microwave.  Took all the mystery out of working with chocolate!  You have to try this!  Diana

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fabulous Find Friday 11

And why is it important to have THE WORLD'S BEST CHOCOLATE SPRINKLES instead of the inexpensive jimmies available at the grocery store?  Silly people, you have obviously never eaten THE WORLD'S BEST CHOCOLATE SPRINKLES......or you wouldn't ask.In Holland they eat these as a sandwich topping ( I knew the dutch were smart people).  I saw these at the hotel we were staying at on the breakfast table along with the jam and butter in little white boxes (shown in picture).  How weird I thought, to put jimmies on your bread at breakfast.  Then I popped a few in my mouth and went "wow", these things are soooooo good.  Like in real chocolate taste!  We have been eating brown colored playdough and no one told us!  NO ONE TOLD US!!!!  So I did what any sensible person would do.....I "borrowed" a few boxes to hold me over and headed to the neighborhood chocolate store (yes in Holland they have neighborhood chocolate stores!) to buy a big box of these delicious little sprinkles.  But what to do when I run out of these and can't justify a trip back to Holland just for chocolate (my husband is unreasonable that way)?  Well, amazon does carry them (three 14 oz boxes for about 18.00) as does a dutch import store (one 14 oz box for about 4.00).  Just think of the ways you can use these.......on ice cream, cupcakes, hot cocoa (with whipped cream on top), or the traditional dutch way, on a slice of bread spread with butter and a huge pile of sprinkles on top......... Diana

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Custom Cottage Pillowcases

See the Laura Ashley comforter at the bottom left hand corner of the picture?  I needed pillow cases to match.  Do you know how hard it is to find pretty pillow cases in the right colors!  And expensive!  Then duh....I remembered I have an embroidery machine.
So I bought some sheets at Walmart, found a cute feminine design and picked thread to match the comforter.. 
Just what I had in mind.
Here is the vintage quilt that inspired the color scheme for the guest room.
This room is now so pretty and airy.
Here is the hutch I moved in front another room.
These cute little houses are from KLM Airlines.  They are replicas of dutch row houses.  See our recent trip to Holland and photos of actual row houses here.
I love this corner of the room most.  The frilly curtains and the sweet little drop leaf table look so pretty together.  I still have a few projects I want to do to complete this room but for now I am satisfied that it is starting to look cottage-y!  Diana. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012


One of my friends emailed me this video last week after I made my cherry cookies.  She found it on Dollar Store Crafts blog. Looks like a good excuse to whip up a new batch using this brilliant idea.  All in the name of education!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cherry on Top

I was asked to provide cookies for a fun activity with 8-12 year old girls.  I settled on a cherry cookie cutter, but I needed some filler cookies to go along with them.  It has been a bit dreary (ok, so really we are only on day 3 of snow this year, but I am DYING to see the sun), so I needed something bright and cheery!

These fun polka dot cookies were the easiest ones I have made so far!  I made the scalloped edge by piping small dots around the edge.  Before the dots had time to harden, I ran a straight line across the inside 1/4 of the dots.  Then blended together creating this fun scallop.

These were so easy to make...In fact, they were so easy that it didn't matter that I had to make the cookies TWICE because I was feeling super cocky and just skimmed my recipe and used baking soda in the recipe instead of the baking powder that it called for.  Note to self: baking soda is not a good substitute for baking powder.  I had so much time left over that day that on top of having my children's friends (who think they are over to play with me instead) over I also painted my kitchen.  Yay, Me!  Now if only the sunshine would peek out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cherry Vanilla Pop CUpcakes

This cupcake makes me sooooooo happy!  Maybe it's the polka dot paper, or maybe it's the moist vanilla cake.  Or maybe it is the cherry filling.  Could it be the bright white cherry/vanilla buttercream frosting and red candied cherry on top.

No, I think it is all of the above.These cupcakes just seem so cheery!  like they came out of a vintage 40's kitchen where the mom wears pretty aprons and pearls.  Such happy little cakes.  Diana

Monday, January 16, 2012

Paper Cookies

"Paper Cookies", that's what one sweet little girl called these cookies----cause they are decorated with edible paper circles.Ad they taste really good too!  Not like paper at all!

And how do I get the near perfect circle of frosting?I press a slightly smaller cookie cutter into the uncooked cookie before it goes into the oven.  Not too deep.  The mark stays on the cookie through the baking!  And now I have a pattern for my frosting!

Now I just follow the line with piping frosting, wait a bit for it to develope a crust and then fill with thinned icing.

Immediately apply the printed edible paper image.....And there you go.  Paper Cookies.  Yeah.  Diana

Sunday, January 15, 2012

More Scripture Covers

New group of little ones getting baptized this year!  These were handed out at our Great to be Eight program.Simple paperback scriptures were covered with scrapbook paper.

Coordinating paper and their names decorate the front of each child's book.
 I tried to pick papers that I thought would match their personalities.
Bright colors and robots for the boys.....
A little glitter paper for the girls.....

This one was for a little rock star.....no one will have any trouble mistaking whose scriptures these belong to.Diana

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fabulous Find Friday 10

Have you ever stayed at a Marriott's Residence Inn and had their waffles?  My husband LOVES them!  I have tried for years to reproduce them from scratch AND from different mixes to no avail.  After our last stay at a Marriott's right before Christmas I spent the better part of a day searching the net for their secret.  Here is what I found!  They use malted flour.......who knew. In fact, if my sources are correct, they use Carbon's Golden Malted Original Pancake and Waffle Flour.  I had to buy it and try it out!  And it was delicious, just like the ones at Marriott's.  The way my husband describes it is like the insides of a tractor wheel donut.  Yum.  We got the "just add water" mix, the original (add egg, water, melted butter) mix and the gingerbread flavor mix.  The gingerbread one was heavier and not my favorite but the just add water one was almost identical in texture as the original.  Now we just need to get one of the cool flip waffle irons and we will be set!  Diana

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Same Ol Cupcake But New Camera

Guess what I got for Christmas!!!  Go on guess!!!  A NEW CAMERA!!!!!!!!!!!!  A Nikon D3100!!!!!!  And I haven't an idea how to use it!!!!!Aperture, shutter speed.....what the heck!  A "for dummies" book is on it's way to my house, but until it arrives I have been just playing. 
Oh, right, the cupcake......chocolate with a fluffy homemade marshmallow frosting.  Husband asked for this frosting because husband says all my other frostings are too sweet.........get real.  And even though I have heard the judges on Cupcake Wars say that (as if it is a bad thing) about some of the frostings on the show, I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.  But I love my husband and want to make him happy so here is a cupcake for him.  Diana

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Candy Bar Wrapper

Do you really NEED to wrap a candy bar.......no.......chocolate, in and of itself , needs no decoration.  I mean, who doesn't get excited to see a giant chocolate bar?  And those of you who don't get all giddy when around chocolate are just a little strange.  And to be pitied.  Just saying.......
.......But as long as there is paper and glue and pretty ribbon I WILL cover any and everything that leaves this house as an expression of my creativity.......and lots of free time......and nothing good on TV.......... 
And this was so easy....didn't even turn on the cricut.  Diana

Monday, January 2, 2012

Look What I Found On Ebay

Everyone needs a place to get away and for our family it is a tiny little cabin we are building on 12 acres with a year round creek.  We have been working on the kitchen for the last few trips and one of the latest additions is this adorable shelf my husband built using antique shelf brackets I found on Ebay.  The shelf is 18 inches deep and is great for all the cool stuff I have been picking up at auctions!We just had a well drilled but water is not yet hooked up.  We have to bring ii in for the toilet for now, but soon I will have a kitchen sink, and full bathroom!

Counters are still on the honey do list as is wood floors, trim, curtains, etc., etc., etc.,

Here is a shot of an antique egg weigher that I found in a misc. box I bid on and won at a farm auction last year. I love all the rustic and fun things that have found a home at our little cabin.  Even though we spend more time working while we are there than relaxing, we can finally see an end in sight...... No TV, no cell phones or video games.  A warm fire in the wood stove, dinner in the cock pot and reading an old book while nestled in the rocking chair.  A place to let go of all the trapping of the world and just be together with ones you love.  Ahhhhh.  Diana