Friday, December 23, 2011

Pretty and Easy Holiday Sweet Treats

Last night I decided to make some of my favorite sweet chex mix snack (Muddy Buddies) to give to our kid's teachers along with their holiday gifts.  This recipe is on the back of most chex boxes.  It's very yummy and very easy.

9 cups of any type of Chex cereal
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used unsweetened and it was great)
1/4 cup of butter or margarine (I used a bit less and you can't tell)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of powered sugar

1.  Put cereal in a large bowl on the side
2.  Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter for about 1 minute and stir.  Microwave for another 30 seconds or until it is all melted.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until it is evenly coated.  Pour the coated cereal into a 2 gallon zip lock bag.
3.  Add powered sugar to the bag, seal, and shake until the cereal is coated.  Spread on wax paper to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

To make it pretty I put it into cellophane bags and cut rectangles of decorative paper.  I punched holes in the paper and the bag (I stapled the bags shut too before putting the paper on so nothing would come out) and tied a ribbon through the holes.  Here is a picture of the back:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Designs

With a little coaching from my sister-in-law, I am have been delving into graphic design a bit.  Here are two new designs I created that I am excited about.  They may go into our nursery:

I also created these two new birth announcement designs:

I still have a few more projects to post from our super hero extravaganza in the next few days.  It was very chaotic, but also a lot of fun!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Super Hero Soap Party Favors

I have been spending the last few weeks getting ready for my son's birthday party.  One of my seemingly more ambitious projects for the party was homemade soap.  In the end, it was pretty easy and I hope to try some more ambitious soap projects in the future.

The party will have a super hero theme so I went with superman and batman chocolate molds for the project.  I bought all of my supplies (except the molds) from Bramble Berry Soaps.  They have a great website with everything you will need to make any kind of soap.  They have great instructions and I also called them directly a few times to ask some questions before I got started and they were super nice and helpful.  I went with simple pour and melt soap.  I bought a clear base, some colors (red and blue) and I picked a grapefruit scent since I thought the kids would like something sweet.  Here is my set up before I got started:

First, I cut up some soap and melted it in the microwave.

Next, I added a little scent (a little goes a LONG way) and then the coloring.

I used a small wooden dowel to mix the ingredients, but you can use anything to mix the solution:

Next, I poured the scented and colored soap into the molds (I used some leftover red soap to plug the lollipop stick section, but you could also just tape it off).  Once the soap is poured, small bubbles sometimes form on the surface.  You can spray rubbing alcohol on the bubbles right after you pour the soap to get rid of them.  This was my favorite part...the alcohol just zapped them away:

It took the soap at least an hour or two to dry so the project took me a few nights since I only bought two molds.  You can re-heat and re-use any soap left in your glass measuring cup, so you don't have to waste any of it.  

Lastly, I packaged them in some cellophane bags and printed out labels to go along with our theme:

 All in all, a fun and easy party favor that my son is super excited about!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Egg Muffins

Tonight we made egg muffins for dinner.  They were delish, very easy, and a lot of fun.

I knew my pre-schooler would be excited about helping out so I did a little prep before he joined me in the kitchen.  I put corn, eda mame, shredded pecorino romano, arugula, turkey bacon, and mac and cheese (lunch leftovers) into small bowls.  I basically used whatever we had, but in the future (and if I were doing it alone) I would make some sauteed onions, roasted potatoes and maybe some smoked salmon...those ingredients make my mouth water...but I don't think my three year old would agree.

I filled each cupcake mold 2/3 fill with beaten eggs and then we went to town filling them up.

Right before they went into the oven:

I baked them at 350 for about 17 minutes (until a fork comes out clean).  This is definitely something we will be doing again.  My son was so proud that he made us dinner tonight!