“Real” Strawberry Muffins

24 05 2011

I held out on posting this recipe until I received some reviews back from my co-workers.  To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of these muffins, but I think I found out something about myself.  I’m not so sure I’m a big fan of baked goods made with brown sugar.  I made some chocolate chip cookies some time ago that had brown sugar in them and I just didn’t fall in love with them even though other people said they were really good.  So, I’ll be on the look out for more evidence of my theory.  BUT, that means I’m really excited to say that everyone seems to like these muffins.  I made a ton of them – four dozen.  Yeah, I said four dozen!  I was really bummed thinking I was going to have to pitch them all.  No need to now!

I made double and 1/2 of this recipe since I had about 4 cups of chopped strawberries.  These were the strawberries that Katlyn and Sarah picked this weekend at Huber’s!

Ingredients for Muffins
1 1/2 Cups, Chopped Fresh Strawberries
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cut Butter, Softened
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

First, combine the strawberries and white sugar.  Let them set for at least an hour then drain the liquid into a bowl to use for the muffin mix.

Preheat oven to 425

Cream the butter and brown sugar, beat in the eggs, then stir in the vanilla.  Stir the flour, baking soda, and salt together.  Then add the flour mix into the creamed mix, little by little.  Add in the strawberry juice as well.  As my mix would get thick, I would add in the strawberry juice to help with stirring.  Once that’s all mixed together, add in the strawberries.  For half of my muffins, I added tiny chocolate chips to the batter.  YUM!  Those muffins were good – probably because the chocolate helped to mask the brown sugarish?

Ingredients for Topping:
1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Cold Butter

Combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Add the butter and stir until you get a crumbly mixture.

I added a spoonful or so of the topping onto each muffin before baking.  I put the muffins in the oven for 7 minutes, then turned them so they’d bake as even as possible and put them on for another 8 minutes.

Check out the Before and After baking pictures.  They sure do look delicious!

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Platter Project

3 04 2011

Scott, the little brother, and I went to The Paint Spot for a class on how to make a cool platter.  This is what our platters looked like before we started.

First thing was to choose the style we were making. Mine’s the cross.  Scott’s is the Fleur de Lie across the table.  We cut out our design and placed them on the platter.

 We sponged the background color.

 Once the background color was dry, we could pick up the paper design and then paint our design.

 

 We added details to our design.  Dotting the edges gave the pieces a real nice touch. 

Scott posed for this picture in order to show the gray and bald spot details.  haha 

 I chose just a few dots around the main points of the cross.  I’m mostly happy with the inside details.  The orange accents are exciting.  I hope they turn out nice once the piece is fired.

  We added scallops and some more dots around the edge.  Scott put his inside the scallops; I put mine in between them.
 

  To be honest, I was not good at scalloping and I’m a little concerned that I ruined the platter. 

Now for the big finale…drum roll, please… 

 

  





Five Cup Salad

27 03 2011

I had a craving for this yesterday.  It’s so yummy and easy to make.

 Ingredients:

1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Coconut Flakes
1 Cup Pineapple (crushed or chunks)
1 Cup Mandarin Oranges
1 Cup Marshmallows

All you do is mix it up together.  It’s best after it’s been in the fridge a while.

I made a double batch here.

The sour cream always messes me up.  The salad has a nice sweet, light taste and in my mind I don’t see how the sour cream helps make that flavor.  But it does and it’s awesome.

Update!  I just had a bowl. Delicious!





Cutest Appetizer Ever

24 03 2011

Are you ready for this?  I don’t think you are.  Because I have pictures of the cutest damn thing ever!  I giggled the entire time making them.

 

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Okay, here they come!

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Holy Crap! Wait ’till you see them.
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Ahh!  Can you believe how cute these are??  As soon as I found the recipe, I HAD to try them.  Next time, I think I’ll try to make little scarves out of pimentos, hats with the carrots and flavor the cream cheese.  Honestly, I’m still smiling from these.

All you’ll need to make these adorable little snacks:

Jumbo Black Olives
Large Black Olives
Carrots – Real ones – not the baby carrots
Cream Cheese
Toothpicks

 





More Birthday Party Goodie Bags

16 03 2011

Saturday was my friend Kelly’s oldest son’s 3rd Birthday Party and I put together the Goodie Bags for his guests.  Today I’m going to show you what I did, mostly.  Not all of my pictures turned out as well as I thought when taking them but I did get a few good ones.

I chose handled gift bags this time since I suspected most of the kids were younger and the handles are much better for them carry their loot.  Blue was for the boys and green for the girls. 

The guest of honor, Aiden, likes Scooby Doo so I decorated the outside of the bags with stickers I found at Factory Card Outlet. 

 One of my favorite parts of the process is opening all the bags and laying it all out. 

Cars for the boys.

Lip whistles for the girls.

I grabbed one of each of everything to see what would go into the bags.  They got a ton of candy!  About 10 Tootsie Rolls and Suckers and 5 boxes of candy sticks.

To help identify the boy bags from the girls ones, I added tissue paper and that put some pizzaz in the bags.

I’ve been told that the kids really loved their goodies!  That puts a smile on my face since that’s the reason I love doing these things.





Birthday Party Goodie Bags

22 02 2011

This weekend was Sarah’s 5th Birthday party and I put together the Goodie Bags for the kiddos!  Today, I am sharing the process with you, my dear reader(s), so that you too can be awesome.

The first step is to decide what the Goodies will go in.  I found these cute little boxes on Oriental Trading.

I continued shopping on this site and also hit up the local store that sell their items, Horner Novelty, to find a ton of great pieces.  Once I was finished spending all my money, I went home and took everything out of their boxes and packaging.  To see exactly what I had purchased, I put them in piles on a sheet in the basement.

Some close-ups of my favorites…by the way, Sarah is Bananas over Monkeys…

Parachuting Monkeys!!  My favorite find.

Noise Makers – you must have some of these.

Monkey Bubbles

These are magnets.  You color them in yourself!

Next, I picked up one of each item to see what was going in each box.

Before packing the boxes, I decorated the outsides.  I found these colorful Happy Birthday stick-ons to go on one side and Monkey stickers to go on the other side.

I love the different color boxes and how they turned out.





Chocolate Chip Cookies

18 02 2011

Even though I don’t get to bake very often, I love it!  One of the things I like to make is Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I use the recipe on the back of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips.  I never knew that making things from raw ingredients would be so much more satifiying than eating raw cookie dough from the grocery.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips – again, I use Nestle Toll House
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
 

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

In another bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy.  The first time I did this, I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right.  But you keep beating it until it becomes creamy.  It’s amazing how the dry parts become the creamy mix.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating them until the mix is smooth.  Then gradually beat in flour mixture.

Because Chris doesn’t like chocolately cookies, I spoon the dough out here for his cookies and hand drop a few chocolate chips on each cookie.

I then stir in chocolate chips and sometimes nuts at this time.

Then it’s time to spoon out the rest of the cookies and bake. 

In about 9-10 minutes, they’re ready to be taken out.  Then, you wait and wait until their cool enough to devour.