Something Fun for the kids how to make home made butter

Home made butter (2)

Home made whipped butter

The other day my husband who loves to cook mentioned to me that our heavy whipping cream that we had in the fridge was about to expire and that I better use it soon.  Well I thought to myself what am I going to do with it since I was really not going to use it anytime soon for any baking ideas.  Then it dawn on me a childhood memory of mine, Pioneer days in elementary school in Washington state.  Ok now I am going to date myself I know, but I had to share this since I LOVED those days that we would have in school.

For Pioneer days they would have us children dress up  wearing  1800’s clothing from bonnets, to crochet shawls, to little house on the prairie dresses. It was a lot of fun to feel like being in another period of time for just one day.  We would learn how they lived, how they were craftsman, miners, farmers, homemakers etc. back in those days.  I would remember  how the women would wash their clothes, how they would iron the clothes, but one particular thing I would like to do was churn the butter in the tall old fashion churner.  I remember the person that did the presentation they would have the children inner act by pouring heavy whipping cream in the churn, and then she would pick someone from the group to churn for awhile. Each one of us would take turns, and then she would pull off the top of the churn and pull up the paddle to show the progress. I would be so fascinated to see how liquid would turn into that beautiful yellow whipped butter. I have to be perfectly honest the best tasting butter ever as well as all natural.

Now to present day I decided to go ahead and make whipped butter since I did not want to let that heavy whipping cream go to waste, but of course I don’t have a churn right! I always keep my left over glass jars that were previously used for salad dressing, or seasonings. I never get rid of them when they become empty because you can use them again for something like this.  So I had a mason jar and a left over dressing jar to use .  This is the part  that I know kids would love to do since you will get to teach them a little bit of science, and a little bit of history.  Such an easy and fun thing to do with the kids, but also teaching them they can help in the kitchen with you.

So what I did was I added a cup of heavy whipping cream in the mason jar, covered it with the lid nice and tight, and just started to shake it up.  Now when I noticed that it started to clump inside that of course is the butter, but during this process you are also making butter milk.  You will see that there is still some milk inside go ahead and poor that out.  I did that process by using a bowl and having a small colander over the bowl in case some of the butter falls out you can pick that up and put it back into the mason jar.

Home made butter idea

Put the lid back on the mason jar and shake again for awhile. You will see some more butter milk in the jar so repeat the step to drain it.  Keep shaking the mason Jar until you no longer see the milk, and the butter becomes a nice yellow color, and nicely whipped.

finally your are done you have whipped butter in the mason jar, and you can save the buttermilk for making butter milk pancakes, or for baking whatever you want.  I added the butter milk in the other jar that I had because I will eventually make a nice ranch dressing.  Keep the two in the fridge for about two weeks.  This idea is inexpensive, flavorful for baking or you can make different flavored butters from sage to garlic.  plus you even get to make butter milk for other baking or cooking processes, enjoy!

A Berry kind of Cobbler Crisp

Blueberry Cobbler Crisp (2)

Blueberry Cobbler Crisp 

Whenever I think of blueberries  I think of the time when I lived in Washington state, and my husband and I went camping up near Rasar State Park. We had only stayed over night due to the fact we got rained on the second day, and our tent was wet etc.  So we packed up and headed back home, but on the way back there was a little cabin store on the side of the highway that we stopped at. They  had the most beautiful blueberries I have ever seen. The berries were so big I had never seen anything like it. Since then I have not seen blueberries like that until a couple of days ago when my husband brought some home.  I was so excited and thought lets make the best out them.  Now I really wanted to make something sweet, savory and comforting so I thought why not make a blueberry Cobbler crisp!  I had some Granola in my pantry that needed to be used up so what better way than to use it in this dish.  Now I seem to like throwing white chocolate chips in my fruity dishes, so I did add some to this, but not a lot since the recipe has sugar added.

This dish is to die for I tell you, and of course my husband says the same thing, or well he didn’t say much while eating it just kept shaking his head yes over and over so that certainly made me feel good.  It certainly was warm and comforting to eat and just brought me back to my best memory of us in Washington state, our rained out camping trip.

You can serve this awesome treat with vanilla ice cream, or you can serve it up with just some cool whip or home made whipping cream.  Warm it up in the microwave before adding  the topping to it so yummy !

Recipe:

For the Filling

4 cups of Blueberries  fresh or frozen I prefer fresh

2 table spoons of cornstarch

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

14 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup of water

2 tsp lemon juice

Prepare topping

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup of old fashion oats

1 cup of granola

1 cup of brown sugar

1/2 tsp of  ground cinnamon

1/2 cup of butter melted

1/2 cup of white chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Place blueberries in a large bowl, set aside. whisk together cornstarch, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle over berries and toss together. Add lemon juice and water; toss together.

Place in a 9X13  baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Combine flour, oats, granola, brown sugar,white chocolate chips,  and a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl.  add melted butter and toss until well combined. Sprinkle topping over the blueberries evenly.

Bake  at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until berries are bubbling and the topping is a golden brown.

 

 

 

Lemon Zest Zucchini white Chocolate Mini Loafs

Lemon Zuchini white chocolate mini Loafs

Lemon Zest Zucchini White Chocolate Mini Loafs 

It is 40 days before  Fall and who is counting right? Summer time I love to savor the fresh fruits and vegetables  that I get from our local small business grocery stores.  I have a thing for Lemons I put them in my drinking water with fresh mint leaves from our back yard as well as cucumbers. I also love to drink lemonade, and eat lemon Meringue Pie, Tarts I can go on and on.

I am the type of person who does not like to waste food, and if you lived in my generation of parents who said ,”Eat what you have on your plate before you leave the table there are starving children out there that would want your food.”  Then you would totally understand.  I recently had bought Zucchini and totally forgot about it since the middle drawer of my refrigerator seems to get forgotten of those hidden buys.  I was going to make Zucchini bread, but thought why not try something a little different lets add some zest to it and see what happens.  Now a little hint about picking the best lemons always look for ones that are very bright in color, and a little soft when you squeeze it that tells you it is nice and juicy. Now I had added the white chocolate chips to this recipe because I have learned that the white chocolate chips when they melt inside they actually give a nice sweetness, not to sweet just right.  These loafs are great for gift giving, parties and events, small bites they just fit in the palm of your hand bon appetit!

Recipe:

4 cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

4 eggs

1/2 cup of oil

1/2 cup of butter ( Soften)

1 1/3 cup of sugar

1 cup of sour cream

4 table spoons of fresh lemon juice

1 table spoon of lemon zest

2 cups of grated Zucchini

1/2 cup of white chocolate chips

Combine all dry ingredients, white chocolate chips, set aside. In separate  bowl beat eggs, oil, butter, sugar until creamy . Add sour cream, lemon juice and lemon zest stir until combined. Fold in Zucchini and add dry ingredients.  Don’t  over mix just stir until combined. Grease and flour the mini loaf pans.  I get my mini loaf pans from Wilton bake products.  Scoop the batter evenly in the mini loaf pans, make sure you do not over fill them or else they will rise over. I usually scoop to fill half way. bake at  350 degrees for  25 min, of course I usually set at 20 min and take a look to see does it need more time because I do not like to set it to long or else you are going to get a burnt mess.  Everyone’s Oven is different in baking .  Put a tooth pick in the loaf to see if it comes out clean if so then you are done, ready to take them out of the oven. Cool in the pan for ten minutes, then remove and place on paper towel or a cooling rack.  After they are cooled, top them with lemon glaze.

Glaze:

1 Cup of powdered sugar

2 tsp of lemon juice

Mix ingredient in a bowl until all lumps are removed.  pour over the loafs and spread with a spoon. let glaze set up slightly.

 

 

The Simplest things that you can turn into beautiful

Saftey Pin Bracelet (2)

Safety  Pin Bracelet

Hi Everyone I am back!  I can’t believe it has been 4 months since my last blog so I am so sorry that I have been on a mini hiatus.  Life has been crazy since we moved into our house the end of last year.  We have been so swamped with work, and trying to do updates on the house, family and friends coming to visit from time to time that I think I finally have some time to do some projects that I want to share on my blog. Today I wanted to share something crafty!  I have not done anything in a long time crafty so here it is.

My sister  has been sharing with me her craft and that is making jewelry.  I have certainly enjoyed her love of it, and so I wanted to take part in it also. My sister has been working on doing just earrings right now, and for me I just can’t seem to get into doing the earrings.  I recently went shopping at Charming Charlie ( yes a girly store that I really need to stay away from all together) Found a bracelet  that I fell in love with, but did not want to buy it.  I saw that it was made out of safety pins and tiny beautifully colored beads. I took a photo of it (secretly)  and decided I am just going to make one for myself !  I figured why not make a safety pin bracelet I would love it even more because I designed it.  I did however  look on pinterest  to see if there is anything like this online, and of course there was. I actually learned how to make this bracelet from this blog site  redflycreations.com which was easy to do and just great so thank you for sharing this information redflycreations.

I went to my local Joann store  awhile back and bought tiny glass beads, and tiny Safety Pins  to make this bracelet.  You can buy all kinds  of beads from abalone, to glass beads to wood beads etc.  I think I spent about two hours there just to figure out what colors I wanted to try out and what kind of beads  I wanted.  For the safety pins I found those in the sewing section of the store.  I had bought two packages  of  200 just to make sure I had enough.  Then  I bought elastic thread that’s  it all you need to make this bracelet  , but when the creation is done it looks like a million bucks.

To start this process  I just sat down and played around with the beads to see how I wanted it to look like and then wrote down on paper  two pinks, two abalone, two silvers  etc that way I would not forget my pattern.  The next step was just to add the beads to the safety pins and do as many as you can and set aside.

Once I was done doing this time consuming piece ( at first it was time consuming, but after awhile I learned other ways to make the process faster you will to) I then got the elastic Cord thread out.  Now you really need to know this part to the process  because you want to make sure you have enough thread not to little or not to much.  I measured my wrist circumference  with a measuring tape.  The size of my wrist was actually 7 inches so what I learned was that I needed to have 8 inches  of thread to work with.  the reason for this is because I tie a knot at one end of the thread to hold the pins in place while putting them on the thread see picture below.

How to make safety pin bracelet 2 (2)

As you can see I tied the two threads together at the bottom for now that way the safety pins don’t fall off the thread.  now you have to remember  that the safety pins need to be put on the threads  alternating  the heads and the bottoms that way they can stack together  perfectly. If you don’t do this your bracelet will look funny and just will not turn out.  Remember  the threads are elastic so leave a little room at the top of the thread about  a half an inch.  Once you have gotten to the end point of adding the safety pins to the thread then you need to tie the bracelet off.

Tie the beginning of the top string to the end of the top string.  Then tie the beginning of the bottom string to the end of the bottom string.  Tie them both securely. You will have some access string hanging and that is ok because what you want to make sure that the  bracelet will sit on your wrist not to tight and not to loose.  If the bracelet seems to be to loose then take it off your wrist and re-tie the ends to make it a little tighter, and repeat trying it on to see if it fits. Once you have the right fit to your bracelet   tighten the threads and then cut  off the access thread.

finished safety pin bracelet (2)

The End result  should look like this photo above. Now I have left over thread on this bracelet because this is made for my sister she stated her wrist size was 6 inches  so when I go to see her I want to make sure that it fits perfectly before I cut the remainder of the threads.

I absolutely love this idea and will be making more of these.  This idea is fun, creative, and simple yet comes out looking like a beautiful piece.  You can make this for your girl friends, for party favors, bridesmaids gifts , birthday presents etc the list goes on.  I hope this idea will get your creative juices  flowing.  Be safe with those safety pins and enjoy!

The Coolest Idea for ladies!

grainy-top-handle-bag-black-black-gold-monpurse-56889-1

Picture courtesy of Mon Purse.com

Ok ladies I came across this website that I am totally hooked!  If you have a vice of purses, shoes and sunglasses like I do then this is for you.  I came across this website on Twitter and was so curious about it.  Totally a cool idea where you get to design your own purse the way you want it.  They have hand bags, clutches, and big purses.  You get to pick the materials, the colors, and monogram them.  They are a little pricey, but save some money and really make it your own!

Check it out Mon Purse.com  I am hooked!

A Mickey Happy Birthday

mickey-mouse-birthdayy-2

I love to help out with event planning or just help out if someone asks me to  it’s  my passion. So a few months ago I was asked to help a co-worker of mine to do a few things for her sons first birthday.  I was delighted to help and totally honored since I love kids.  She told me that it was going to be a Mickey Birthday party for her son, and that she wanted a banner made to hang up at the birthday party table to show his pictures from New born to 12 months. I have to be honest I was a little nervous to do this since I have never made one of those before, and I wanted to make it perfect. So Of course I had to go on pinterest to get some ideas and think of what I really wanted to do.  I remembered that I had tons of felt from some previous projects that I have done in the past so I was going to use my Cricut , but we recently had a terrible storm that it was not working right ( I got it to work now thank Goodness!) I got a tracing of Mickey from the internet printed it up and traced it on Freezer parchment paper.

I swear by this stuff Just trace what ever it is you need to trace and then use a iron on low heat.  You want to make sure you lay the shinny side of the trace paper facing down on the felt fabric.  Just iron over the paper and you have it stuck to the felt.  Once that is done just cut around the tracing and you get your patterns.  mickey-felts

Once you have all the patterns cut out you can use a glue gun to attach the felt together. The process takes awhile, but it is easier than to sew the whole thing.  I was thinking of doing that, but realized that would take to long. The next step was To stencil the Patterns which was pretty easy to do. I had some stencils and fabric paint. When you use the fabric paint just remember it sometimes takes 24 hours for it to completely dry on the fabric.   The next idea I was thinking  was how is she going to attach the photos on this banner??  I thought I can just add to the banner tiny cloths pins which I had, but realized they were a little to big for the banner.  So I went out to Joanns and bought some tiny wooden cloths pins. the results are in the next photos.

 

I had so much fun doing this, that I realized I think I need to make more of these especially for one of my friends who is having a baby soon. She is a HUGE Disney fan so Finding Nemo is my next project.

 

Besides making the banner for the party I was asked to make my sugar cookies and she wanted me to make Mickey Mouse Cookies. Once again I have never made Mickey Mouse Cookies so I did go and buy a Mickey mouse Cookie Cutter to do this for the party ( One awesome Cookie Cutter to add to the rest of my other Cookie Cutters). I found them on Amazon and got them for a really reasonable price.  mickey-sugar-cookies

I had bought the Food Coloring gel online through Amazon as well,but I would prefer to use Wilton cake Decorating gel.  The Gel that I used was a little Glossy to me and that was not what I wanted to do, but in the end I think they turned out.  So I am thrilled that I got to do this for a little one’s first birthday it certainly turned out cute.

Christmas has ended but a New year will begin.

christmas-tree-2

hard to believe Christmas has come and gone, and now we wait to celebrate the New Year.  The last few months has been a busy time for Chris and I. We recently bought a house of our dreams, and got to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home. We wanted to get to know our new neighbors and welcome them in our new home. Chris and I made gift bags for each neighbor along with a get to know us letter. I of course did some baking to share with them, and one Sunday morning we walked to each house and introduced ourselves to them. Chris and I were thrilled to meet most of our neighbors, and invited them to an open house the following weekend. It was a success for sure and we truly enjoyed everyone. Chris and I were thrilled to meet them and feel blessed to live where we live now.

Of course we had to have our little niece stay over that night, and it was her first night over in our new house. Chris bought her a cute reindeer made out of wood to put together and paint, and then we all made a gingerbread house with her. I love doing crafts with her when she is with us . claire-and-chris-making-gingerbread-house-2

I usually like to make Christmas gifts for my friends and family, but this year I did not have a lot of time to do so, instead I baked away for everyone. I decided to make some gift boxes of baked goods and then a little package of Teriyaki Jerky that my husband made. My boxes were a hit because all I could see was smiles. I love doing that stuff and seeing people smile it is a gift to me knowing that I did my job to make someone smile. In my gifts I made red velvet whoopee cakes, Peppermint Rice crispy treats, Bourbon balls. Just the simplest things are more than anything.

Of course I had to make my famous Sugar Cookies for my workers  cookie exchange party.  These are not just any sugar cookies they are the kind that melt in your mouth and are so light they are absolutely amazing.  I actually learned how to make these from a woman named Jenny Keller when I lived in Washington state. Please check out her website and Blog Jennycookies,   and her new website Jennycookies bakeshop.  I would give  the recipe out, but I think this one I will have to keep a secret.sugar-cookies-roses-2

Besides doing all the baking, for Christmas one of my nieces had mentioned that since the whole family was gathering for Christmas we should all wear Pajamas. I actually thought that would be a fun and cool idea so I was totally in. After hearing that the whole family was in on this idea I thought why not get the whole family together in a photo shoot. It has been a long time since we had a family photo, and our family is growing . I wanted to do this so I can get the photos  copied and give to my family members as memorabilia.

This holiday has come and gone, but I have to say it was a fun time with family and friends. I certainly enjoyed everything this season, and I hope next year we can do this again.

Bourbon Balls Recipe

Ingredients

1          box (12 oz) vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed
1          cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4      cup powdered sugar
2          tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2      cup bourbon
2 1/2   tablespoons light corn syrup
Additional powdered sugar

Directions

  • 1 In large bowl, mix cookie crumbs, pecans, 3/4 cup powdered sugar and the cocoa, stirring well.
  • 2 In small bowl, mix bourbon and corn syrup, stirring until blended. Pour bourbon mixture over cookie mixture; stir until blended. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in additional powdered sugar. Store tightly covered at room temperature up to 2 weeks

Red Velvet Whoopee Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.5-oz) box red velvet cake mix
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or see Note)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (3.9-oz) box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 (16-oz) can cream cheese frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and pudding mix in a large bowl. Mix on low speed with an electric mixer until ingredients are just blended, then on high 1 minute.
  • Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until set.
  • Let cookies cool 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups of imperial margarine
  • 2 tsp of clear vanilla
  • 5 table spoons of coffee creamer I usually get sweet cream creamer
  • 2 lbs of C&H Powdered sugar

Directions:

Blend the Margarine together with the vanilla, and Creamer once that is mixed well then add the powder sugar by cups one at a time. If the Consistency is still not stiff enough I usually add more powder sugar to get it fluffy.

Note: Make your own buttermilk by blending 1/2 cup milk and 1 1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice.

You can also get my Peppermint Oreo Cookie Rice Crispy treats recipe from one of my latest blogs the red velvet Oreo cookie white chocolate Rice Crispy treats by clicking onto the link.