Monday, June 29, 2009

I don't know what these are called...

I got this recipe off of I love how the recipes have a rating system and a place to leave comments about how it really tastes. It cracks me up how some people change like 9 out of the 10 ingredients and then rate it 5 stars.

We'll just call these...

Candy Pretzels
Mini square or round pretzels (I believe Snyder's calls them snaps. They're square, though I read in some places you can find round ones.)
Hershey Kisses
Pecan halves

There are many variations to this little treat. We tried two. Place as many pretzels as you can fit onto a cookie sheet. Top each one with a Hershey Kiss. Place them in a 350° oven for about 2 minutes. You really have to watch them. Once the kisses are shiny, they are usually ready. Remove them from the oven and gently push the kiss down with a single M&M. Let them cool and then chill. This doesn't take long at all and kids are good helpers.
We also made them with a Rolo candy in place of the kiss and topped those with pecan halves. They were both good but I am partial to the Rolo ones. Yum!
I read about using Hugs or caramel Kisses. These would be a super easy and cute addition to your Christmas goodies plate for your neighbors this year if you use red and green M&M's. Or pink and red for Valentines Day...

(I put ours in the freezer to speed up the chilling process so they look a little frosty in the picture.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Extreme Makeover - Barbie Edition

On a whim, my youngest daughter and I decided to surprise my oldest daughter and update the Barbie house.

With some scrapbook paper, glue and imagination we went to work.
We wall-papered and made chair rails and wall-hangings.

Check out the chenille shag carpet.

The upstairs guest room needs furniture and the bathtub is AWOL (it's probably in the real bathtub) so that's why the top floor is kinda bare.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Chocolate Beauty

We made a Chocolate Facial Mask for a chocolate-themed girls night a while back. I don't have any pictures of it but it was fun and finger-lickin' good. :) We gave a sample of the mask to everyone to take home and try. It truly makes your skin baby soft. We also made Chocolate Lip Gloss to give away to everyone. We put the chocolate mask samples in a plastic baggie so all they had to do was snip off the end and squeeze it out. You can buy lip gloss containers in various shapes and sizes on the internet, just google it and compare prices.

Chocolate Facial Mask
1/3 cup cocoa
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup honey
3 tsp oatmeal powder

To get oatmeal powder, just pulverize it in the blender. Mix all ingredients together and smooth onto face. Relax for 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water.

Chocolate Lip Gloss
2 tsp Vaseline
1/8 tsp honey
5 chocolate chips (milk chocolate for light color, semisweet for dark color
1/8 tsp shortening

Mix all ingredients in a microwaveable container. Microwave, uncovered on high power for 20 seconds. Stir. Repeat until chips are fully melted. Pour into a small jar and freeze 15 minutes or until solid. Then apply it to your lips. Makes about 1 Tbsp of gloss.
*I remember adding a little beeswax (craft stores) to the mixture to firm it more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kids In The Kitchen

So, our cool friends from Utah are here and of course,
as usual we have been eating too much.
Yesterday we made a delicious treat from a
cute little cookbook they brought.

Here's the one we tried. Unlike some recipes from kids cookbooks I've tried, these were actually really good! Like better than a Fat Boy good. (Although I don't really like the taste of sprinkles so I could have lived without those.)

Ice Cream Sandwiches
1 chocolate cake mix, with pudding in the mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup warm water
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
Colored sugars and/or sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 13x9 inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray. Beat cake mix, eggs, water and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at low speed until blended. Press dough into prepared pan; prick surface evenly with fork. Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
2. Cut cookie in half; remove half from pan. Spread ice cream over cookie in pan. Top with second half; wrap with foil. Freeze 4 hours. Cut into squares; dip into sugars.
Makes 8 sandwiches.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blondes Are Better

An old family recipe that has been around since before our parents got married 50 years ago. We ate it this past weekend with homemade ice-cream....made with heavy cream this it was totally fat free. ☺

Blonde Brownies
2 sticks butter
1 box (1 lb) light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 3/4 cups self-rising flour
1 (12 oz) bag chocolate chips
(I like to use a half bag of semi-sweet and a half bag of milk chocolate)

You can do this all by hand without messing up a mixer. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and mix in brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, then flour. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Our church had a luau this past weekend and using some of Jill's brilliant ideas, we had some cool decorations.
Here are a couple of simple things we did.

I think this is originally a Martha Stewart idea. We took regular white Christmas lights and put a silk hibiscus flower over each light on the strand. The flowers were actually petals from lei's purchased from Walmart. They worked perfectly because they already had holes in the center of them just big enough to stretch over the light bulb. Otherwise we would have had to punch holes in the centers of about 600 flowers.

You could use this idea for many different themes. Weddings,
birthdays, etc. They look so pretty all lit up.
I forgot to take pictures of them hanging up at the luau
so here they are on my driveway. ☺

Jill has access to bamboo growing on some property she owns. We chain-sawed some down and then used a miter saw to cut them into varying heights and then tied hemp cord around each one and used them as centerpieces.
They turned out really cute.

I didn't know this until I saw it but each line or ridge on a bamboo pole is like a built-in shelf on the inside.
This made it easy to fill with white sand and a tea light.
I forgot to take pictures of these by themselves at the luau too, but you can sort of see it here. The tea lights were pushed down into the sand more on most of the centerpieces.

Plenty of summer left for a luau! ☺

Monday, June 1, 2009


Cream Cheese Cherry Brownies
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1 tsp maraschino cherry juice
1 egg
1 box fudge brownie mix
water, oil and eggs to make the brownies

Heat oven to 350°. Grease bottom of 8 or 9 inch square pan. Beat cream cheese, sugar, cherries, cherry juice and 1 egg. Set aside.
Make brownie batter according to directions on box. Spread half of batter in pan. Spread cream cheese mixture over batter. Spoon remaining batter on top; spread gently to cover the best you can.
Bake about 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting. Store covered in fridge.
*I added a little more of the chopped cherries and it still had a pretty subtle cherry taste so if you want more cherry and less chocolate taste, then I would double the chopped cherries. This would also be good with a chocolate frosting with maybe some cherry juice mixed in.
I'm kind of tired of typing the word "cherry" now. It's starting to look weird.