May 23, 2014

Teacher's Appreciation Week

Teacher's Appreciation Week was the first week of May. In addition to Lil' Boo making homemade cards for her teachers, we also planted basil plants in metal buckets and made chocolate covered strawberries.
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I got two potted Basil plants from Home Depot for about $3.50 each. I knew I could separate the roots and get about 4 mini plants from each. The little metal buckets are from Target at the $1 Spot:
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After we planted them, I felt that they didn't look quite finished. Something was missing but I wasn't sure of what:


Thankfully that same day, I was with a friend who mentioned she got a bag of little pebbles from Home Depot for her flower projects. Yes, I think this was exactly what I needed! This was about $4:




It made a huge difference:


Looks much more polished now, and I'm confidently in giving these as gifts:


Chocolate covered strawberries were so easy to make, believe it or not!

I got a box of strawberries from Costco. The first thing is to wash them and let them dry really good. Then I used toothpicks and stuck them from the top as pictured below. I placed them all on a cookie rack:
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Then I took some milk chocolate chips, pour some in a glass bowl with a tablespoon or so of Crisco shortening. I melted it in the microwave in intervals of 10 seconds, taking the bowl out each time and giving it a stir, until completely melted. Don't over heat or it'll burn. Add a little bit of shortening if it's still clumpy. It should be a smooth consistency. Then I took a strawberry by the toothpick and dipped it into the chocolate at an angle. I dipped each maybe 2 to 3 times, and rotating the angle to make sure all sides are covered with chocolate:
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I laid the dipped strawberries on wax paper for them to set:
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While those are cooling down, I made some melted white chocolate with the same microwave method. I poured the melted white chocolate into a zip lock bag and closed it. I cut a tiny hole at the bottom corner of the bag and piped in a zig zag motion onto the strawberries. It would be less messy if I used a pastry piping bag to do this, but oh well. This was still good and they tasted so good!
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After the chocolate harden, I put each into a cupcake wrapper:
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I had these clear cupcake containers, and I decided to put the strawberries inside. It worked out great, especially for transporting them:


Good luck and have fun!
=)

April 29, 2014

Easter Cupcakes

Little Boo and I had a blast making these for her class Easter party!


Ingredients:

* 1 box of cupcake mix
* Edible Easter Grass (made of potato starch)
* Reese's Pieces eggs
* Peeps
* 1 jar of white frosting


Directions:
1. Make the cupcakes and frost the top.
2. Grab some edible grass and break/bend/shape onto the cupcakes.
3. Cut the points at the bottoms of each Peep, making it straight across so they will adhere to the frosting better.
4. With more frosting, adhere the Reese Pieces eggs in front or around the Peep.
5. Done, and enjoy!

I got these super cute paper plates from the Dollar Tree! I love them so much...I should have stocked up! Doh.

Good luck!
=)

March 25, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cupcakes

Happy St. Patrick's Day!



These cupcakes were so fun and easy to make!

Ingredients/Materials:

24 baked cupcakes
Gold cupcake caking cups/liners/wrappers - from Sur La Table
Airheads Rainbow Belt Sour Candy - from CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc.
Green frosting
White frosting - I used Buttercream
Small spatula
Piping tools or fill up a zip lock bag with the frosting, and cut a hole in a corner
Green sprinkles
White pearl sprinkles
  
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I did the green frosting (with a spatula) and green sprinkles here:


Then I piped white frosting on like so, for the "clouds":


I added the Pearls:


I cut each sour rainbow belt in half, then bent and stuck the end in the "clouds". I put them all in the fridge to let the frosting settle and harden. They did really well, and the rainbow candies held their shape! I am very happy with the result:


Lastly, I put each cupcake in a gold wrapper and hauled them in this neat carrier to Lil' Boo's preschool:



Good luck!
=)

February 06, 2014

Homemade Valentines

Valentine's Day is coming up quick! My Little Boo and I made these Valentine's together to give out to her friends. It's simple and affordable! I was trying to create something that does not involve candy...just because I know she will be getting a lot of candies anyways, so there's no need to add more.

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Materials:

* Tape - I chose Scotch Expressions for the color
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* Pencils - a pack of 8 in the Dollar Bins at Target
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* Large heart cutouts and a variety of stickers - I got these from JoAnn's on sale. The cutouts were 9 in a pack for about $2.
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* Glitter glue - available at the Dollar Tree and 99 Cent stores

* Marker/Crayon - to have your child write their name on the back


Directions:
It's pretty self-explanatory, but first, I had Little Boo write her name on the backs of each heart cutout. Then she decorated the front of the heart with foam stickers:

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We taped a pencil on the back:
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Then I used glitter glue to make polka dots:
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Done!

Good luck and have a lovely Valentine's Day with your loved ones!
=)

January 07, 2014

Boiled Sugar Cane Drink

Sugar Cane Drink! I used to drink this as a kid, and have forgotten about it until my mom came to visit over the holidays and brought sugar canes with her.  This is a nice refreshing drink that can be served hot or cold.

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I used barley, rock sugar and sugar canes. All can be found in Asian Markets; you can find sugar canes in tall cans:
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I boiled everything in a big pot:
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This is what rock sugar looks like:

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Ingredients:
10-12 cups of water
3 tablespoons of barley (or your preferred amount)
5 sticks of arm length sugar canes - (cleaned & chop peel off if fresh), and cut into smaller pieces to fit in the pot
2 chunks of rock sugar
Optional: carrots and water chestnuts, as many to your liking 

Recipe:
Boil water, add all sugar canes, and bring it back to a boil.
Add barley and stir.
Let simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours (until the liquid has reduced to half).
Add rock sugar and simmer for 15 minutes (until melted).

Wait for it to cool down and enjoy!

Good luck.
=)