Friday, October 14, 2011

Boo Buckets!

So it's been FOREVER since I posted to this blog! But it's time once again for our annual "Boo-ing" so I thought I'd share with you what we're doing in this year's "Boo Buckets"! And because it's

Featured On The  Crafty Nest
I figured I'd share them with you here! This year we went with "buckets" instead of the traditional bags because it was cheaper mainly. The buckets were only $1.50 at the grocery store and are super cute! Inside this year's bucket's the traditional "boo" sign and instructions and some store-bought goodies like glow sticks, a halloween coloring book, a couple of halloween pencils, a halloween "slinkie", a miniature can of play-dough that we put a halloween label on (calling it Goblin Goo) and a bottle of bubbles with a special label (calling them Bubbly Brew). I also included a mini-loaf of homemade pumpkin butter bread and a jar of "cowboy cookie mix" calling them "Monster Cookies". I think it turned out pretty cute! And just because I'm such a nice person (haha) I'm going to share the recipe for both the cookies and the pumpkin butter bread with you! The cute sign and instructions for this year's bucket came from
create avatar
Check it out if you want a copy for your boo-ing!

We've done 4 buckets...kiddos get to deliver them soon!
Close up of one of the buckets
Here you can see the cookie mix and bread

And just as I promised, here are the two recipes for the cookie mix and the pumpkin butter bread...

For the "Monster Cookies", you can do quart sized jars (as the ones in our buckets are) OR you can do pint-sized jars (just divide the recipe in half or make two pint jars). 
Mix ingredients for 1 quart or 2 pint jars:

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup cooking oats
1/2 cup Reese's pieces
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Pour into jar(s) and tamp down well. (I used the bottom of my baking soda bottle and a shot glass for "tamping"). Layer the remaining ingredients in the order shown tamping down each layer as hard as you can in order for it all to fit. We topped the jars with a square of orange fabric (cut with pinking shears) and tied it with a brown ribbon. Then, apply a "Monster Cookies" label to the front and the following instructions to the back of the jar:

Monster Cookie Mix in a Jar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 egg, &  1 tsp vanilla. Stir in the entire contents of the jar. Shape into walnut sized balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. Transfer from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Note: if making this into TWO pint sized jars, alter direction label to use 1/4 cup butter, 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla...

The pumpkin butter bread starts with homemade pumpkin butter... I use the recipe from  Oh She Glows but do it in the crockpot on low for 2-4 hours instead. Works great! Once you have your pumpkin butter, the rest is easy!

Better than the Best Pumpkin Butter Bread

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup pumpkin butter
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp wheat germ
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease tw0 regular loaf pans or 5 mini-loaf pans. Cream the butter and sugars together until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine. Add pumpkin butter and beat to combine. In a medium bowl, combine flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Slowly incorporate into wet mixture, beating til just combined. Stir in walnuts (or cranberries). Spoon into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. For regular loaves, about 1 hr. For mini-loaves, about 40 minutes, checking after 30.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Here's the photo card I made for Mike for Father's Day from the girls...

We Love Daddy Father's Day 5x7 folded card
Shutterfly offers exclusive graduation announcements and invitations.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fun but messy Valentine's Day project for your Tot

So today my 2.5 year old and I have been having fun in the kitchen with a messy, sticky art 
project for Valentine's Day and I decided to share it with you! This is a great project for kids that like to get messy (ie. mud pies, play dough, etc....things that "squish") and is a great project for using up small scraps of yarn or ribbon. You could use this same project for Easter or for Christmas by changing the colors of yarn and the shape of the cookie cutters! For this project, you'll need:
  • 1 jar (only part of it actually) of Mod Podge or a bottle of plain white school glue
  • A bowl or plate you don't mind getting "gluey" (we used a paper plate with a rim)
  • A cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil or waxed paper (parchment would also work)
  • Cookie cutters in choice of shapes (we used hearts for Valentine's Day
  • Various scraps of yarn or ribbon in 1-2' lengths or shorter
  • If making into a card, you'll need card making supplies like cardstock, stickers, etc
  • If making into an "ornament", you'll need a length of ribbon or yarn for hanging your "ornament"
To start with, place your cookie cutters on your foil/paper covered sheet pan. Now, pour a puddle of your adhesive onto your plate/bowl. If using school glue you may want to water it down a bit since it will be thicker. Now comes the fun but messy part... Let your tot put the pieces of yarn/ribbon into the puddle and squish it all around! Make sure the yarn gets thoroughly coated in the adhesive mixture. Now, take the strands and run them through your fingers to remove any excess adhesive and then swirl into the inside of the cookie cutters on the cookie sheet. This is "artistic placement" so feel free to swirl and swizzle to your heart's (no pun intended!) content! Once you're satisfied with the number of strands in the cookie cutter, press down lightly to make sure the strands stick together and then lift the cookie cutter and move to another spot to continue making your shapes.  Allow to dry for several hours or overnight until thoroughly dried and stiffened. You can now make them into any number of things. Use them to decorate packages, as decorations on cards, as ornaments...the uses are endless! We're going to use them on the front of the Valentine's Day cards we send to her grand/great-grandparents! I'll post a picture of the finished cards when I complete them...