Archive | January, 2012

Bride Oreo Favors

22 Jan

I was in charge of the favors for my future sister-in-law’s bridal shower and I made chocolate covered Oreos that look like wedding gowns. It was easy but very time consuming, but that may have been because I had to make 65 of them.

I’ve made tons of chocolate covered Oreos before but this was my first time using a cookie mold. I must say that the mold made them look very professional! I’m not sure I’ll go back to my old method of using a dipping fork and just dipping the Oreos in chocolate since they looked so perfect using the cookie mold. However, the molds do require more chocolate than the dipping fork method.

Here is how I made the bride Oreos:

First, I melted the white chocolate (I use Merckens wafers). You can use the microwave or a double broiler. I use the microwave and I also use Wilton Stay Warm Candy Melting bowls, but you can use disposable candy melting bowls too. Microwave the wafers in 30-45 second intervals at a reduced power level (I use level 3), stirring after each time, until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and smooth.

Next, I filled the cookie molds about 1/3 full with the melted white chocolate. Then I placed an Oreo in each of the molds and filled them up the rest of the way with white chocolate. Sometime I had to gently tap the molds to get rid of air bubbles and/or to make sure the Oreos were totally covered with chocolate. I let the molds sit for about a half hour and then placed them in the fridge for 10 minutes before removing the cookies from the mold. To get the cookies out of the mold, I turned the mold upside down over top wax paper and gently pressed on the top of the mold.

Finally, I used my Make ‘n Mold squeeze bottles to decorate the Oreos. I squeezed 5 drops to form a semi-circle at the top of the Oreo to look like a necklace. Then I squeezed crisscrossing lines at the bottom of the Oreo to look like a wedding dress.

After I finished with the Oreos, I placed each one in a clear candy bag and tied a bow with gold ribbon.

Salt Dough Valentine’s Hearts

21 Jan

Since FabDaughter had such a good time making salt dough Christmas ornaments, I decided we should make salt dough hearts for Valentine’s Day. (I have a lot of cookie cutters so we are probably going to make something salt dough related for every holiday.) She has also really been into painting lately and painting little figurines is more fun than just painting on paper. This activity is perfect for a week night after work since the salt dough is super easy to make. We also break up the steps into a few nights. The first night we made the dough (and played with it too), cut out our hearts and baked them. The second night we painted one side of the hearts and the third night we painted the other side and varnished them.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with 30 hearts, so I strung some of them up and used it as garland over our sliding glass door for a Valentine’s Day decoration.

If you need the recipe for salt dough, check out my post: Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments.

A Heart Breakfast

15 Jan

Have you ever been on Pinterest? If you haven’t let me tell you about it. It is kind of like a virtual cork board where you can organize and share all the great ideas you want to try out. Essentially, you “pin” an idea to a board you create. You can have as many different boards as you want and you can create boards on any category you desire. It’s an obsession of mine and also a great place of inspiration.

Anyway, someone pinned bacon in the shape of hearts for a Valentine’s Day breakfast idea. Inspiration! I thought I would try it and I made FabDaughter a heart-irific breakfast. She had heart french toast, heart bacon and some blackberries all served on a heart plate. If I had fruit that I could have used one of my heart-shaped cookie cutters on, she would have had heart fruit too. Oh well, maybe next time but she really loved her heart-irific breakfast!

So are you wondering how to make heart-shaped bacon? I made it in the microwave because I wasn’t sure how I would be able to flip bacon arranged in the shape of a heart. I used 4 pieces of bacon and started out by folding each of them into a V-shape. Then I took each end of the V-shaped bacon and folded them to the center to make a heart shape. I put the bacon hearts in between a couple of paper towels and microwaved them for about 4 minutes total (1 minute for each piece of bacon). My husband thought my heart-shaped bacon was silly but it was fun to try and I think I’ll make it again on Valentine’s Day:-)

Meal Planning Printable

14 Jan

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to be more organized about meal planning.  In an effort to do so, I created this weekly meal planner using Photoshop Elements.  I printed it out on cardstock and then put it in an old frame I had packed away.  (I’m not sure I like the frame but it will work until I find something I like better.)  I just used a dry erase marker right on the glass to fill in our weekly dinner menu.  I’m hoping that this will in turn help me to more effectively plan my weekly grocery lists as well.  Here’s to 2012 being my year of better organization!

Here is a picture of my framed meal planner:

Here is the downloadable meal planner for your personal use:

An Apron Fit for a Bride

10 Jan

I’m very excited about this apron I sewed for my future sister-in-law so I just had to blog about it! I used the McCall’s Retro Aprons pattern by Barbara Brunson and made apron style C, “Sophia’s Diner.”

I found the perfect fabric for a bride-to-be. It has engagement rings, champagne flutes, hearts, blue boxes and the words “Celebrate” on it. Below is an up-close picture of the fabric:

I absolutely love the halter style top of the apron. When I tried it on, it felt like I was channeling my inner Marilyn. One day I’ll make one for myself so I can feel fabulous while trying to cook my family dinner!

I thought this pattern was very easy to use but I did make a couple changes. First, steps 9-11 are about sewing the pocket but the pattern made no mention of sewing the opening of the pocket. It has to be a mistake otherwise the edges of the pocket opening would have raw edges. It would look unfinished and would fray with washing so I decided to sew the two pieces that make up the pocket together. The second thing I changed was that I added an edge stitch around the pocket band. I think that the edge stitch adds a nice decorative detail.

Here is the finished product:

I hope she likes it!

Valentine’s Day Printables

3 Jan

Only 6 more weeks until Valentine’s Day!  Hooray!  I’m going to get started early this year in order to pack in all the fun decorations, crafts and baking I would like to accomplish in order to celebrate the holiday of LOVE.  With that being said, here is my first Valentine’s Day decoration.  I created these images using Photoshop Elements.  You can print them out, frame them and set them out for decoration.  I printed the 2nd image (pink background and white letters) as an 8 x 10 and have it in a white frame in my kitchen.  It looks adorable.  Enjoy!  XOXO!

Curly Hair Bow Tutorial

2 Jan

I absolutely love putting bows and ribbons in FabDaughter’s hair.  She wears a hair accessory of some sort daily.  Purchasing them to match every outfit can get expensive, but here is a way to make your own curly hair bows for pretty cheap.  All you need is:

  • ¼ inch dowel cut into four 12 inch pieces (can be purchased at Home Depot)
  • 8 clothes pins
  • 3/8 inch grosgrain ribbon
  • Alligator clip (I use 2.25 inch ones purchased at Michaels.)
  • Sewing needle and thread
  • Fray Check (I use the Dritz brand.  It is around $4 but if you use a 40% off coupon at JoAnns or Michaels you can get it for cheaper.) Or you can substitute clear nail polish.
  • Fabric glue or hot glue
  • Cookie sheet and wax paper or foil

Directions:

1)     Preheat oven to 300F.

2)     Place ribbon at the top of your dowel and secure with a clothes pin.

3)     Wrap the ribbon around the dowel making sure not to overlap the edges.  I wrap mine so the edges are just touching but if there is space between the edges that works fine too.

4)     Cut the ribbon when it reaches the bottom of the dowel and secure with another clothes pin.

5)     After you finish wrapping all your dowels, place them on a wax paper (or foil) lined cookie sheet.

6)    Bake for around 30 minutes.  Take cookie sheet out of the oven and let dowels cool.

7)    Cut a 5 inch long piece of ribbon to cover your alligator clip.

8)    Coat one side of the ribbon with fabric glue or use your hot glue gun and coat with hot glue.

9)     Start by putting the ribbon inside the alligator clip with the glue side facing up and stick ribbon to the clip wrapping it around the clip.  It should look like this:

10)    Unwrap dowels.

11)    Cut your korker ribbon into 3 inch pieces.

12)     Start placing cut ribbons onto your threaded needle making sure to keep the ribbon on the needle.    Arrange each ribbon into a different direction after you put it on the needle.  I used 10 ribbons for this hair bow but you can make yours as full as you want.

13)     Once you have all the ribbons you want to use arranged, then you can pull the needle through to make a stitch.  Make a couple stitches to secure all the ribbons into place.  Note: It may be hard to make the stitches because of the thickness of all the ribbons.

14)     After you have your ribbons secured, stitch them onto the ribbon that has been glued to the alligator clip.  Use about 4-5 stitches to really make it secure.

15)     Use Fray-Check (or clear nail polish) on the ends of each ribbon.

Voila!  Here is the finished product modeled by my lovely daughter: