Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Handout

Just thought I would show a couple of small gift ideas that are great for children (think church or school).  This first one is a printable download from Laurie Furnell and it is free!  Instead of a knitted hat I did ear mufsf using pipe cleaners and pom poms.  We actually made kits for the kids at church to put these together for themselves!
Below is another handout I made for children at another church group.  Because I wanted these children to receive something more spiritual, I machine embroidered candy cane holders.  Each one took 15 minutes to make so be sure you give yourself enough time.  Since I made 28 it took 7 hours, but I broke it up over several days.  The download for this project was Embroidery Garden's Yahoo group and is free too! 
Both handouts went over very well but then who doesn't like the gift of candy!!!!

Guess What I Am Up To Now

Betcha can't quess what this is all about.............

Peppermint Marshmallow Candy

Do you have time to make one more candy in time for Christmas?  I hope you do cuz these peppermint marshmallows covered in chocolate are to die for!!!!!!If you have never eaten a home made marshmallow you have been missing one of the best tasting treats on the planet.  So don't cheat and use store bought marshmallows.  You will be sad if you do......  I use a recipe from Martha (notice the first name basis, all be it one way, we are on).
After letting it set over night, I turned it out on a cornstarch and powdered sugar covered board.
Using a knife sprayed with Pam, I cut the marshmallows into about one inch squares.  Don't be too OCD about this, it is just candy not rocket science.
Then I melted some white chocolate from Chocoley which is a dream to work with.  No clumping, smooth and creamy without any wax added!  And it tastes delicious.
Each mashmallow is dipped in the white chocolate and allowed to dry with dipped side up.
After the white chocolate is set up, melt milk chocolate, also from Chocoley, and dip the other side of the marshmallow.  Be sure that none of the marshmallow is left without chocolate (either white or milk).
See what I mean about not worrying if the pieces aren't exactly the same size. 
Now just pipe some melted dark chocolate across the tops.  Now aren't you glad you made these!!!!  Diana

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wedding Cupcakes

The other day I showed you the first of the three types of cupcakes I made for a wedding this past Thursday.  The pictures below show the other two cupcakes for the Victorian themed reception.  This first one was a white cupcake with raspberry filling.  The frosting was American buttercream tinted a soft pink.  I topped each one with a homemade raspberry cream filled white chocolate candy in the shape of a wedding cake. 
The cupcake below was a lemon cake with lemon filling topped with American buttercream.  That is a real blackberry on top that I sprayed with edible gold paint. 
72 cupcakes delivered in a rain storm that has since turned into a snow storm.  A special thank you to my dear friend Rhoda who came along for the drive and to calm my nerves.  Just glad to be home safe and sound and cupcake free.  Diana 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best Ever Chocolate Frosting

I am making this post more for myself than anyone else.  I seem to have trouble remembering things, one of which is which recipes I like or don't like......  Today was one of those times.  I am making cupcakes for a wedding, some of them chocolate, and when it came time to frost them.......I couldn't remember which recipe I hated (clumpy and thick) and which one makes the creamy frosting.  I made one I thought was the good frosting.  Iit wasn't.  Real bummer cuz it was the recipe I gave to my daughter when she asked for a creamy chocolate frosting a few weeks ago.  Sorry Jenn.  I swear this one is great.  I know it is the good one cuz it was the second frosting I made today.  And it turned out perfect.
It comes out of "the big book of cupcakes" and uses cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate.  I think the melted chocolate seizes up when the milk is added and that is what causes the unpleasant texture.   So here is the Best Ever chocolate frosting recipe.  Now that it is on this blog it should be easy for me to find again.......
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 3 tablespoons milk
In medium bowl. mix powdered sugar, cocoa, butter and vanilla and 1 tablespoons milk with electric mixer on low speed.  Gradually beat in just enough milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.  I use a little more milk and if it gets too thin I add more powdered sugar until the frosting hold it shape but is smooth.  This frosts 12 cupcake skimpy or 6 cupcakes as pictured above.  Guess which one I prefer.......

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another Project Done

Still working on redecorating our master bedroom.  The latest project we tackled was the lighting!  I found this pretty little thing at Lowes for less than $200. 
So much better than the dome light (see below) that came with the house and which I have lived with for 8 years!  Yes that is shiny brass and grape pressed glass.
And besides being so much prettier, the light bulbs will be a lot easier to change too!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lighted Snowman Pins

Want an easy and inexpensive craft for the holidays?  Try these snowman pins you create on your embroidery machine from Embroidery Garden.
They are quick to stitch up and the nose lights up because you use a tea light as the base.
Think Christmas sweater in a smaller format......... Diana