Archive for November 2012

Hot Cocoa Mix and White Chocolate Candy Cane Spoons

Friday, November 30, 2012


As promised (but a day late), here are the recipes and ingredients for the hot cocoa mix and white chocolate and peppermint spoon stirrers I used for my hot cocoa bar.  Enjoy!


I have made dry hot cocoa mixes before, but what makes this one different (better) is that it uses white chocolate in the mix!  I put the mix in a glass container and put a 1/3 cup scoop in the container for easy dispensing.
HOT COCOA MIX

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1½ cups cocoa powder, dutch-process or natural
1½ cups white chocolate chips or finely chopped white chocolate
¼ teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS:
Pulse the white chocolate chips in the food processor until the chocolate is finely ground.  Thoroughly mix  all ingredients in a large bowl.   Store the dry mix in an airtight container for up to 3 months.


I took the above photo hoping you could see the tiny pieces of white chocolate in the mix.  To make hot cocoa, put 1/3 cup of the cocoa mix in a mug and fill with hot water. Top with whipped cream or miniature marshmallows, if desired.  If you don't want to make the spoon stirrers below, add a white chocolate and peppermint Hershey's Kiss!

Then I made these white chocolate and candy cane spoon stirrers.  The white chocolate and little bit of peppermint take the hot chocolate up a notch!


WHITE CHOCOLATE and CANDY CANE SPOONS

INGREDIENTS:
Package of 4 silver look plastic spoons from Dollar Tree 
(they actually come in a set with four forks and knives)
1 bag white chocolate candy melts from the craft store
1 box candy canes
Small candy bags from the craft store  for packaging
Red and white Baker's twine for bows


I made these spoons in small batches:  1/2 bag of chocolate and 1/2 of the box of candy canes.  That made about six spoons (which are now gone and I have been asked to make more!)  Unwrap candy canes and break into pieces.  I used my food processor to crush the pieces, but you could also put them in a heavy duty freezer bag and use your rolling pin to crush them.  
Melt the white chocolate as directed on the package in your microwave.  Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Dip each spoon in the melted chocolate.  Be sure to cover the top and bottom of the spoon.   Place the spoon face down, so the bottom of the spoon is up, on the wax paper.  This way the chocolate won't settle at the bottom of the spoon.  Dip all your spoons once and then refrigerate until well set.  Then re-dip each spoon and sprinkle with the crushed candy cane.  Again, place each spoon face down on the wax paper.  Refrigerate again for about 1/2 hour until completely set.  Put each spoon end into a small candy bag and tie with the red and white Baker's twine.  


I think I am going to use the hot cocoa and spoons as my gift to our neighbors this year.  I'll use Ball jars and fill them 3/4 full with the hot cocoa mix and then add some mini marshmallows to the top.  Then I'll tie a pretty bow around the jar and secure some spoon stirrers with the bow.

I hope you try the hot cocoa and the spoon stirrers! 

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I Want a Hot Cup of Cocoa!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012



Yesterday we had our first snowfall of the season - just a dusting, but really stuck to the trees and was beautiful!  It was the perfect day to set up a hot cocoa station for the holidays.


At Thanksgiving, I had set up a dessert and coffee station on my antique water table and decided that I wanted to do hot cocoa for Christmas.


Tomorrow I will share the hot cocoa recipe I used - it is seriously the best cup of homemade hot cocoa I've ever had!


I'll also show you what I used to make these white chocolate and peppermint spoon stirrers.   They are so easy to make.


I found this silver plate nutcracker at Goodwill for .97 and just had to add him to the display!


This silver dessert cup is from a restaurant that was in business in the early 1900's in Philadelphia.  I found it at a local antique shop.  The silver spoon was from my mother's family and has a lovely monogram on the handle.


I am thinking about making jars of this cocoa with cute recipe labels, tied with a ribbon and some chocolate and peppermint spoons for the people who help my husband with youth group at church.


My kids and husband have all been enjoying the new hot cocoa station and one comment was "seriously, Mom, this has to be your best idea ever!"  Of course, they don't go on Pinterest or home decor blogs, so they don't know that this isn't an original idea.   But, who's telling - not me!



I  had to include this little song in my post - it just makes me smile!  The song is sung by the Von Trapp Children.





Blessings,

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The Tale of the Eagle Chairs - A Slipcover Story

Monday, November 26, 2012


Once upon a time, late last summer, I was taking a stroll through the old village store.  You know the one, it's where they sell treasures that other people no longer want or see value in.  Something in that store caught my eye that day.  Actually, it was TWO somethings.  The most amazing chairs, except for one thing - they were covered with green eagles!


What is a maiden to do?  The chairs had lovely bones, but those eagles . . . ?


Then I thought about the good sewing fairies of Blogland, Miss Mustard Seed and Anita from Cedar Hill Ranch.  They would help me magically transform these chairs into something of beauty,  I felt sure of it!

I called Prince Charming to come to my aid with his trusty steed, the minivan.  I paid the storekeeper the fee for the eagle chairs - $70 (for both chairs) and they were loaded and carted safely home.  There they sat  in the dungeon, my garage, for several months while I got up the courage to try some sewing magic.

I read and re-read Anita's slipcover tutorial and watched and rewatched Miss Mustard Seed's slipcover videos; until finally, one fair day I found the courage to begin.  It did take me three days, but this story has a happy ending!  One of my eagle chairs has now been transformed into something of beauty, something I'm proud to have in my castle.


This story, unfortunately, is not finished though.  You see, I now have to work some magic on the other chair.  Alas, this maiden is waiting until after this Merry Christmas season for that!


I hope you enjoyed this tale and that it will give you the courage to transform a chair for your castle!

Blessings,

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Oh Christmas Tree!


Sunday was a fun day!  We went to the local tree farm to get our Christmas tree.   I'm finding that I treasure these days more and more as the boys get older.   It seems like just yesterday they were three little boys running through the tree field to find the perfect tree!    

After much wandering up and down hills and a maze of trees, we found one we could all agree on.  This first picture is when my husband cut the tree down and it almost fell on me as I was taking photos!  I don't think anyone thought to yell, "Timber"!


Josh and his girlfriend, Sarah, carried our "perfect" tree to the trail where a tractor and wagon came to pick it up for us.


Some family members don't like having their pictures taken!   But, I managed to snap a quick profile shot before Caleb realized what I was doing!


The farm we went to had tractor drawn wagon rides that took you out to the field to cut down your tree and then horse drawn wagons to take you and your freshly cut tree back to the main farm area.


The horses were beautiful!


We took our dog, Rags, along.  Here he is with Seth.  We have a lot of pictures when the boys were little at the tree farm with Rags. 


Since Rags is 14 this year, we were all a little sentimental about having him come along.  


He had so much fun and was very well behaved, but exhausted till we got home!  


This is a nice shot of Josh and Sarah as we rode on the wagon back to the barn area where they wrapped the tree for us.


One of the barns on the property was set up as Santa's Workshop.


Inside, there were recreations of 2008 window displays from  Bloomingdale's in New York City. This one, in all white, was my favorite.


Hung from the high barn ceiling were beautifully cut snowflakes!


In another room, there was a charming Santa's workshop set up with vintage toys, a life size train, elves, and of course, Santa himself! 


While the men tied the tree to the top of the van roof,  I stopped to take pictures of the animals.


This little donkey was my favorite!  There were also sheep, a tiny goat, and chickens!


As I was going through all the photos taken, I realized I didn't have one good shot of my husband!   He actually was with us and cut down the tree that almost hit me!  Of course, I mentioned having someone take a family photo of us around the tree, but was way outvoted on that!   In the end, we all had fun together and that is what matters most!


Finally, I wanted to share two new pillow covers available in my Etsy shop.  They are 12" x 22" and are 100% linen.  The first is "Dashing Through the Snow".  


The second one is "Jingle".  


The print is black with a little bit of silver added.  It reminds me of mercury glass and love the way they turned out.  Here's a close up to show the silver a little better.  It's subtle, but makes them feel vintage, yet current.  Attached to each corner is a silver jingle bell.


Thanks for letting me share my fun day with you!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your family!   Now it's time to get the bins out and decorate!

Blessings,

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Twas the Night Before Christmas Glitter Reindeer Ornaments

Friday, November 23, 2012


I went to the Dollar Tree to find some inspiration for the challenge over at Debbiedoo's and Fox Hollow Cottage.  After wandering the store I finally settled on this idea - "Twas the Night Before Christmas" Glittered Reindeer. 


I started with five of this two pack of gold glittered reindeer - that's right, $1 for two!    First, I removed the gold bells from each reindeer (they are wired on).  I'm not really a gold person and had just received some silver German glass glitter from Meyer Imports that I was anxious to try out.   I used spray adhesive and then dipped each reindeer into my container of silver glass glitter.

I decided I liked the look of the gold bells against the silver glitter, so I just rewired the bells around each reindeer neck.  Then I used a word processing program to create a name banner for each reindeer.  I printed and cut them out, and then glued each one just above the bells.


Of course, I had to make a Rudolph (even though he really isn't mentioned in "Twas the Night Before Christmas").    His nose is a red Swarovski crystal that I got in a pack at AC Moore (they are in the T-shirt section).


I finished each Reindeer off with a silver cord to hang on the Christmas tree.  This year I'm doing my tree in antique silver tones, so they will look perfect!  Now I can't wait to get my Christmas tree on Sunday!  

Stop by Debbiedoo's  or Fox Hollow Cottage to check out all the Dollar Tree contest entries and a bonus - Debbie and Shannon are giving away a $50 gift card to Dollar Tree to one lucky reader!


I'll be back tomorrow to post some new pillows for my Etsy shop.  Hope you will stop back to see them.  They are 100% linen and I'm loving how they turned out!
Have a Blessed Day,

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Yummy Pumpkin Cupcakes That Look Like Pumpkins

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Just popping in while the turkey is in the oven to say "Happy Thanksgiving" and to share a yummy dessert recipe.  I used to make a pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling every Thanksgiving, but last year my sister-in-law introduced me to these adorable cupcakes.  


They taste virtually the same and are way easier to make - and then there is the cuteness factor!  

Here's the recipe.  It's from Taste of Home magazine.  

Cupcakes:

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
4 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whole cloves for stems

Directions:  In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, pumpkin and eggs until well blended.  Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon;  gradually beat into pumpkin mixture until well blended.  

Fill paper lined muffin cups two thirds full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For filling, combine cornstarch and milk in a small saucepan until smooth.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. 

In a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla extract.  Gradually add the cornstarch mixture and beat until smooth.

Use a sharp knife and cut a 1 inch circle 1 inch deep in the top of each cupcake.  Carefully remove the tops and set aside.  Spoon or pipe filling into cupcakes.  Replace tops.  Add a whole clove for a pumpkin stem into the top of each cupcake.  

Yield:  1 1/2 dozen.


Here's my dessert and coffee bar all set up.  Just waiting for the apple pie and it will be complete!  

Wishing you all a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving today!  

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