Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to School!

Pencil Sugar Cookies

I saw these on another blog and decided they would be fun to make! If I did it again, I'd probably use the sugar cookie dough mix and follow the recipe for cut outs, but I really liked this sugar cookie recipe too.
The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). I rolled out the dough fairly thick with flour. I wish I had a pencil shaped cookie cutter but as you can tell from the picture, I just used a knife to cut out the pencil shape.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely

I used the royal icing recipe from this earlier post
I think that doubling the icing recipe would have been plenty. I used food coloring to make a majority of the icing yellow, a small portion pink and then left the rest white.
On the tip of the pencil, I put a small drop of icing and then put a few mini chocolate chips on it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
I love chocolate, peanut butter and cupcakes. This recipe = perfection.
from the Little kitchen that Could
Recipe Notes
These cupcakes are made in XL foil cupcake liners because having a bigger cupcake allows for more peanut butter frosting. These cups are also nice because you don't even need a cupcake pan to make cupcakes. They stand alone on a regular baking sheet and you can remove the foil layer when they are finished baking. You can make these in a regular cupcake pan, but you will not have as much cupcake left after you carve some out for the peanut butter frosting. The XL cupcake cups can be found in almost any grocery store next to regular cupcake liners. To make these extra special, you can make homemade chocolate frosting, but the peanut butter frosting and mini chocolate chips are two new twists that make this cupcake seem very special even if you use boxed cake mix and frosting. If you are piping the icing on, you will need 2 cans, but if you are just spreading the chocolate frosting on top, you will have enough with one can.
12 XL stand alone cupcake cups (see recipe notes above)
1 boxed devil's food cake mix + ingredients to make cupcakes
1 cup of smooth peanut butter
1 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
2 cans of chocolate fudge flavored frosting
2 cups mini chocolate chips
Step by Step
Bake cupcakes according to directions, filling cupcakes cups 2/3 of the way full. Allow a few minutes extra baking time for extra large cupcakes. To test: Push cupcake with finger... when it springs back, cupcakes are done. Allow to cool completely.
While cupcakes are baking make peanut butter frosting. Combine peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter in a bowl. Beat until combined and a smooth frosting has formed. Spoon peanut butter frosting into a ziploc bag. Cut the tip off of the bag.
Using a sharp knife, cut a small cone shape in each cupcake and remove cone. To do this, cut into cupcake diagonally and draw a circle. (see picture above) Pipe a small dollop of frosting into each cupcake. Cover and place cupcakes in the refrigerator. Allow the peanut butter icing to firm up. (This will make frosting the top easier.)
Remove from refrigerator and top cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Option #1: Spread icing on with a knife. Option #2: Place chocolate frosting in a piping bag and pipe icing on to cupcake. Immediately sprinkle each cupcake with mini chocolate chips before the icing dries.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Oh Kindergarten...

My room is ready,

and my lunch is packed. Ready to start my fourth year of kindergarten! Please be praying for my sweet little ones this week as they begin their school careers! : )

Sunday, August 15, 2010

DIY Headboard

So I've been talking about making a headboard for quite sometime now...and I finally made it! Let me show you the steps I followed first and then I'll share the amazing cost : )
*piece of plywood (mine is 1/2 inch)
*Nufoam (or upholstery foam and batting)
*Muslin material large enough to cover the entire front of your plywood and a small part of the back
*Decorative material same size as the muslin
*Staple gun and staples
*Hot glue gun
1. Decide how big you want your headboard to be. I think I measured mine to 37" tall and 59" wide. Then have your husband cut the plywood to the right size.

And this is why I'm a good fit for kinder..I'm super cheesy...

2. Place foam onto plywood. I hot glued it to make sure that it didn't move later on in the process. Also, my foam was not quite as wide as the plywood, but I knew it wouldn't matter too much because the bottom part can't be seen.

3. Spread out muslin material on the ground and center plywood/foam face down on the material. Pull material taut and use the staple gun to secure the material to the back of the plywood.
4. Repeat the same steps with the decorative material. Spread out material on the ground and center plywood face down on the material. Pull material taut and use the staple gun to secure the material to the back of the plywood.

5. Cody added a little padding to the back to account for my poor stapling job (whoops) and to save our poor wall from the wrath of the headboard, he added picture brackets to the headboard and then those little things that they fit into on the wall and wahla (sp?)! So stinkin' excited!

Now for the cost : ) We already had the plywood, blue material (left over from curtains & pillows my mom had previously made for our bedroom), hot glue gun, staple gun. So I only had to buy the Nufoam and Muslin material from Joann's. On my way to the check out I found a 40 percent off coupon for one item, so my grand total for the head board was just $18.53!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I love Francine Rivers! She is an amazing author! I just finished reading Unspoken which is (I guess) historical fiction focusing on the love story between David and Bathsheba. In the back it says" You have just read the story of Bathsheba as perceived by one author. " So Rivers has sought out scripture and then filled in the details of the story. I love history, scripture and novels, so her stories absolutely enthrall me. There are five books in this particular series and I've already read Unashamed (Mary), so I'm moving on to Unshaken (Ruth). If you've already read these, I'd recommend The Mark of the Lion series also by is my favorite series that I've ever read!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Any great Etsy shops that my fellow bloggers might recommend?? : )

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blackened Chicken Pizza with Yellow Tomato Salsa

I love pizza...have I mentioned that before? I made this Rachel Ray recipe last week and it was very fresh. Perfect for summer!
Blackened Chicken Pizza with Yellow Tomato Salsa
From Rachael Ray

* 1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Grill Seasoning) or other seasoning blend
* 1 teaspoon sweet paprika – eyeball it
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon dried cayenne pepper
* 3/4 pound thin cut chicken breast
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan
* All-purpose flour or cornmeal, a couple of tablespoons to work dough
* 1 pizza dough (I used our pizza dough recipe)
* 1/2 pound brick reduced fat Cheddar with jalapeno or chipotle pepper (recommended: Cabot brand)
* 2 small yellow tomatoes, seeded and chopped
* 1/4 cup chopped red onion
* 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, optional
* 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
* 1 clove garlic
* Coarse salt
* 1/2 lime, zested and juiced
1. Preheat a large heavy skillet over very high heat. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Combine grill seasoning, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper on a plate. Press thin cut chicken into seasoning on 1 side. Add oil to screaming hot pan and cook chicken 2 minutes on each side.
3. Spread out a little flour or cornmeal and stretch out pizza dough onto a pizza pan. Shred reduced fat cheese.
4. Remove chicken from pan and chop. Combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro and thyme. Make garlic paste by chopping garlic then mashing it with the flat of your knife and a generous pinch of coarse salt. Add paste to salsa. Add zest and juice of 1/2 lime and mix salsa thoroughly. Scatter chicken, salsa and cheese over pizza dough working to the edges of both pies. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until crisp and bubbly-brown on top.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Soakin' Up Summertime

Only a week left until I am officially back on contract. Summer just flew by!! I'm enjoying these last couple of days with my friends the best I can : )

Laying out (that white thing on my belly is where my insulin pump connects)


I've also beening painting/crafting. I'll have a few things to share soon. Though I'll spare you pictures of things like a repainted ceiling, a new color beige in our laundry room, repainted interior doors and a painted wall that will hardly be noticed (but that makes me happy).

Also, I thought you'd be impressed that I ironed nearly 50 things over a 2-day span..impressive or not at all since I let 50 iron items build up.