Saturday, June 30, 2012

I have a new favorite jar! You will want to see this for sure!

I have a new favorite jar!!

  I am going to be using these for a whole lot of things. I saw these and simply fell in love with them! I prefer glass over plastic these days , so when I saw how you can get small, medium or large jars in this style I went nuts!! I first laid eyes on  them at Wal-mart  but since then I have also found them at Target. I went with the large jar so I could fit more of my homemade mixes in them. The large jar was (your not going to believe this) $4.97!! That's my kind of find!

  Now, I like things to have a label! I am not big on finding out(that to my surprise) my memory failed me, and I have the wrong mix in the wrong recipe! Here is what I decided.  I used a stencil and my homemade chalkboard paint (see my blog for that recipe) to add my own label. I wanted a label that I could wipe off ,that way if I change what is going in the jar I dont have to redo the label! 

These jars are wide and they are airtight so they work for almost anything! I have an all purpose mix , a brownie mix, an oatmeal mix just to name a few..

                  I taped the stencil design down on the jar...

                 Then I sponged on the chalkboard paint and let it dry..

Remove the stencil after it dries to avoid smearing.. I also wiped down my stencil before I used it on the next jar.. This keeps any leftover wet paint from getting on the bottom of the jar..

Now you can write on your jar and remove it when you want!
My Top Recipe of the week!

You'll need:

8 oz. of cream cheese, softened

1 stick of butter, softened

1/4 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp. brown sugar

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix first five ingredients together

Then, fold in chocolate chips...

Once mixed, scoop it out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap it up, and chill until firm...

Once it's firm, form it into a ball and roll in chopped pecans or extra chocolate chips. It's delicious served with graham crackers and strawberries.
I have to say thank you to Julie, for posting this recipe. She has a great blog that shows steps to preparing (click) this recipe.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guess what I've been mixing up? Homemade chalkboard paint! Check this out..

Homemade chalkboard paint!

I am all about making a craft go from expensive to cheap! Those of you who know me well understand what a thrill I get from this kind of savings!  If you haven’t noticed, Chalkboard Paint is pretty expensive. This recipe is super easy and only requires two ingredients…paint (of any color or type) and some Non-Sanded Tile Grout.  
You can use any kind of paint!
 I used some tile grout that I purchased when we had our tile installed, which we bought from Lowe’s. You can purchase it from any home improvement store as long as you get non-sanded!

You will need to simply mix 1 cup of paint and 2 Tablespoons of grout. That’s it! Just make sure to stir it really well so that there are no lumps. Did I mention you can use any paint! How simple is that?  You can use paint for plastics, acrylic paint, or house paint. You can also use any color of paint. How cool is that? Look around at your left over paints and you just might have your color already..

Stir the paint really good...

 There are so many ways to use chalkboard paint. I took some stones and painted them for my porch lantern. I also made a sign that is hanging by my front door. You can decorate on containers, pots, glass bottles, etc.  There are so many possibilities! Below are some pics of my chalkboard crafting! Enjoy!

Cute sign we can change out from season to season!
How cute are these? Love them!

These are important words to me!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hey ya'll! It's hot outside! I have a cool treat to beat the heat!

My Orange Julius!


6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1/4 cup granulated sugar AND 1/4 cup powdered sugar sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

8 ice cubes


1. Combine all ingredients except ice cubes in blender.

2. Blend for about 1-2 minutes and then add ice cubes one at a time.

Voila! You have an Orange Julius! This is one of my family's favorite drinks on a hot summer day!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rolled Marshmellow Fondant

Rolled Marshmallow Fondant

I have heard several people say they use marshmallow fondant and how easy it is to make and use. I decided to be brave and try it. I was shocked at how few ingredients you need to make this.  I made this in a matter of minutes and it’s almost fool proof. The only drawback is that it dries quickly, and it is hard to work with if you need to cover a cake.  I recommend keeping it wrapped and using it in small amounts as needed. Coloring the marshmallow fondant was just as easy to color as with store bought fondant, and I liked the taste of the marshmallow fondant much better.

You will need:

 1 pkg of  white marshmallows

2-5 tablespoons water

2 lbs (about 8 cups) confectioners’ sugar

½ c solid vegetable shortening

Place your marshmallows and 2 tbs of water in microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stir till mixed well. Continue to microwave for 30 second intervals then stop and stir for an additional 2 ½ minutes.
When melted it will look like this.

Knead fondant for approx. 8 minutes

Place 7 cups of confectioners’ sugar on top of melted fondant and fold in. Flavoring can be added at this point. Put grease in a bowl and start kneading like dough with grease on your hands. If the fondant starts tearing due to being too dry then add water ½ tsp at a time and knead till fondant makes a ball (about 8 minutes). Double wrap the fondant in plastic, then place in airtight container. Keep in refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Make sure to store in Fridge!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Strawberry Chocolate Truffle Tree

My Strawberry Chocolate Truffle Tree!

 I recently hosted a party for a new line of chocolate, and I wanted to keep with the chocolate theme when preparing my food for the party. I came across an old Southern Living cookbook at a yard sale recently, and it had a wonderful idea for a chocolate truffle tree!  Many ideas for using this recipe came into my mind, but for those who know me I had to add my own twist to this idea! I decided that a strawberry chocolate truffle tree would be better than just plain old chocolate...I think it even sounds better when writing it!  I also changed the truffle recipe that my new cookbook suggested by using a very simple one! I am all about whats easy and less complicated..
Cinnamon dusted Styrofoam cone

I went to my local craft store (Michael's; this can also be found at Hobby Lobby) and purchased a 6 inch Styrofoam cone. I sprinkled it with cinnamon to give it a dark and decorative flare.

Now you can make your truffles from several easy recipes or from scratch should you like.  I made these fool proof Chocolate Oreo truffle's that I tried out last Christmas. I found these to be easy to make and they taste awesome! I added the link below should you want to try them out.

I used 2 pounds of fresh strawberry's and I washed and cut the green tops off . You will need wooden picks cut to 1 1/2" length.  Starting at the bottom of the cone, insert the picks into the foam cone, about 1 1/2" apart, and then attach the truffles and strawberry's in rows until you reach the top.

I made 5" and 7" strips of chocolate fondant to place in between the layers to fill in any open gaps on my tree.
Makes a great center piece!

Some of you might be thinking this is still way to much work, so I am going to simplify it for you some more. Here are a few quick alternatives you can do and still have your truffle tree! First, you can buy truffles of your choice and unwrap them and place right on the sticks. You can also top your tree with a bow and fill it in with ribbon instead of fondant. Just remember you can always simplify to meet your needs!

This can be used for all seasons and holidays. I can't wait to make this at Christmas and add a whole new flare to it! I know from my own experience this was a HUGE hit and I had none left at the end of my evening! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Nicole's power outage find!

Nicole's power outage find!

SO, it's been a crazy week here.. You see, we've had extreme weather in our area, thanks to an early tropical storm that decided to hit on Memorial Day weekend, and because of this, we lost power on Sunday night for about 12 hours. This was not a huge deal besides losing some food in the fridge, and a gate panel out in our backyard.  But, in scrambling to find some form of light, I tried several of my flashlights but all of the batteries were DEAD!
Then I went for the candles... that was fun trying to find a match in the dark! I suddenly remembered I have a battery operated candle that is sitting in a lantern. I have to say that was the easiest way to bring light into my room; it’s the switch of a button! I felt like I suddenly had my electric back. I highly recommend if you don’t own one of these candles to stock up on them. Not only was I able to take it all over the house without one drop of wax falling , I was able to leave it on and leave the room with no worries! I know this really seems drastic when you could just have a flashlight on standby, but as a lady I find that I have a decorative candle on display way closer than a flashlight!