Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Celebration

Our Halloween festivities started on Friday and have finally come to a sweet and tired close tonight.  I made some Halloween treats and my three year old and I made homemade play dough to share with friends throughout the weekend.

I made some worm infested ice cubes (thanks for the idea Martha!):

These were a HUGE hit:

Here is the candy corn shaped play dough we made using this perfect play dough recipe:

My son's favorite part was adding the glitter:

I also made some ghost and pumpkin cake pops, using my own easy recipe (doughnut holes dipped in chocolate):

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Incredible Superheroes

As a mom to a three (almost four!) year-old, we talk a lot about superheros.  This year when I asked my son what he wanted to be for Halloween, he said he wanted the whole family to dress up like The Incredibles.  I thought it was a fantastic idea.  I'm not a fan of store bought Halloween costumes and I thought this was something I might be able to pull off.  My husband and I will be sporting "Incredibles" garb from the waste up, since we aren't huge fans of bodysuits with black underwear on the outside.  I purchased red shirts and thermal leggings for the boys and long sleeve shirts for me and my husband from American Apparel.  Then I purchased some yellow, orange, and black fabric as well as some fusable webbing (I'm now addicted) from the craft store.  I sketched out the incredible logos to make a template and then cut out the three shapes and ironed them together with the webbing in between each layer (I went layer by layer...not all at once).  Lastly, I ironed the whole emblem onto the shirt.  I wanted to be sure I got it right before putting it onto the shirt since there is no going back once it is on.  For my three year old, I also made the black underwear and belt.  I winged it on these pieces..snipping and trimming until it looked right.  It would probably have been easier to find some black underwear but my first few attempts were unsuccessful, so I gave up.

Tomorrow I am going to head to our local costume store to look for black masks and black gloves for us.  If I can't find a nice mask, he can always wear this one I made previously.  My son is already obsessed with his costume.  The best part is, he can wear them as PJs after halloween.  More superhero/Halloween pics to come soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Sparkle

We did a little Halloween decorating this weekend.  We carved our pumpkins and made pumpkin seeds, and I made some cut-outs with my Silhouette SD machine (love that thing) which I added some sparkle details to.  We went with a sparkly theme, since skeletons and other scary Halloween images are not favored by three year olds.  Plus, I love glitter!

I like the hanging decorations so much...I think I'll save them for next year too.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pecan Pralines...just cuz they taste sooo good.

Can you tell my sweet tooth has gotten the best of me lately?  I decided to make pralines last night because I had seen a picture of them on pinterest which made my mouth water.  I used Martha's recipe, which I heard was pretty fool proof.  I switched out the light cream for half and half and was nervous at first that they wouldn't work because the mixture got huge and bubbly in the beginning, but they ended up great.  The one thing I did differently was to toast my pecans first (about 10 minutes at 325 in my toaster oven).  They were so yummy.  Pralines should be stored in a moisture tight container (zip lock bags or tupperware) so that they don't dry out.

Here is her recipe:


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups pecan halves 


  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a 3-quart saucepan, mix together sugar and baking soda. Add cream and place over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until golden brown and mixture reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes. Add butter and pecans and mix together until butter has melted and mixture is well combined, about 1 minute. Using a tablespoon, drop mixture onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart; let cool completely.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Delux Caramel Apples

I just made these yummy caramel apples as gifts for some friends.  My son's eyes nearly popped out when he saw them.  They are a great gift that wont break the bank and in my opinion, the best kind of gifts are the ones you can eat.  I think they are especially nice in the fall since you can get the best apples now.

Simple caramel apples are very straight forward:

-  Wash and dry your apples thoroughly
-  Melt caramel in a sauce pan with a tablespoon of water, stir often (I burnt mine a little which you can see, but you can't taste those little dark I then covered them with chocolate so it really didn't matter
-  Remove caramel from heat and dip (reheat if caramel becomes too thick)
-  Place caramel apples on parchment paper and allow to cool

Bags of caramel often come with the popsicle sticks.  Since these are gifts, I wanted to make them a little nicer so I purchase round wood candy apple sticks at a candy making store.  After dipping the apples in caramel I then drizzled them with milk chocolate melting chocolate.  I melted the chocolate in a one cup glass measuring cup with a spout.  The spout allows you to get the thin drizzle.  It works best if you hold the measuring cup about a foot away from the apple when drizzling since it gives you a thinner stream of chocolate.  While the chocolate was still wet I sprinkled the apples with crushed butterfinger bar.  I put them in fridge to cool and then drizzled them a second time with white chocolate.  Refrigerating them causes the chocolate to get a nice shinny surface.  If you let them cool on the counter the chocolate may appear dull when it hardens.

I think four layers (caramel, milk chocolate, butterfinger, white chocolate) makes for a nice visual effect, but you could use any number of layers with any kind of candy of nuts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homemade Creamsicle

Even though fall is here, I am still in love with my ice pop maker and after trying some homemade creamsicles at my parent's house, I had to give it a try.  I'm addicted.  They are so easy and so good!  I just filled the empty molds with a few chunks of vanilla ice cream each, and then fill with orange juice.  The ice cream stays soft so you don't want to add too much.  They are much healthier than a bowl of ice cream, which is good since I tend to eat multiple in one sitting!