Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies Just Like Momma Makes 'Em

 We have been making these amazing peanut butter cookies every Christmas for as long as I can remember and when I asked my mother where this recipe originally came from she laughed and said probably the back of a Bisquick box or old cook book!  I poked around and ended up finding it on  It may not be an original recipe but it is far to delicious not to share!

1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of ORIGINAL Bisquick baking & pan cake mix 
(the "complete" or instant Bisquick where you just add water will not work!)
unwrapped chocolate kiss candies

preheat oven to 375 then mix condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth

next add the 2 cups of dry Bisquick mix

At this point you mixture will become very thick and it is easier to knead the dough with your hands! This is why you wont see a picture of the process ;) didn't want to get anything on my camera

Next, shape the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar

Space dough balls about 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes
Do not press flat!

While cookies are baking unwrap one chocolate candy for each cookie.  I prefer hershey kisses but I have heard of people using chocolate hearts for valentines day and even Rolos

When cookies are light golden brown remove from oven and gently press candy down into the cookie ball.  If you are unsure if your cookies are done, I like to check the bottom of a few to make sure they are browning but not burnt!

I hope you enjoy this Betty Crocker Recipe as much as my family has! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Christmas Rice Cereal House

Last Christmas Eve I decided to build a house out of rice cereal instead of a traditional gingerbread house!
To create the perfect shape, I wrapped a box with waxed paper and I then built my rice crispy treat walls around the box.      

The roof was made from cinnamon graham crackers  The sugary grainy texture gave it a slight sparkle.  I then dressed it up by adding holiday lights made from spice drops and jujubes. The Roof was also lined with rainbow candy canes and frosting shingle lines with peppermint accents.  

This tree was by far my favorite part of the project. It was made by cutting green sour Twizzlers up with a pair of kitchen sheers. Then using the frosting as glue, I stuck them onto side of the house and added colorful candies as decoration.  The window on this side of the house was made from lemon Starbursts.  

Upside down pretzels made an adorable little fence and vanilla waffers worked as a stepping stone sidewalk to the front door!

A marshmallow snow man with oreo hat! His nose is made from a piece of an orange Starburst.  The snowy yard is made from shredded coconut.

Supply List!

Rice Krispies 
Marshmallows - to make rice crispy treats and 2 set aside for snow man
cardboard box
wax paper - to wrap box in
large cutting board or cookie sheet to build on
Graham Crackers - roof
M&M candies
Starburst - windows, snow man nose
candy canes 
Sour Twizzlers (mulit colored) - christmas tree and lining sidewalk
spice drops 
Oreos- snowman's had
Pretzels - fence
Vanilla Waffers -stepping stone sidewalk
shredded coconut - snow

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Winery Wedding Shower

 These are some photos of a small intimate bridal shower I recently hosted at a quaint little Midwest winery.  Our group was given a quick tour of the winery and a private wine tasting.  To help eliminate any busy work during our event the brides maids ordered catering from the winery.  Crackers, cheeses, dips, and a few small appetizers were served as our bride opened gifts.  

 Here is a beautiful moment I captured 

The winery provided basic white table linens, serving ware and glasses but with the help of the other bridesmaids we were able to give this celebration a more personalized look!

A chiffon ribbon was ran down the center of each table with plastic over sized diamond jewels placed on top.  A few small vases of simple red roses were added.  Our party favors, hand made cake truffles, and a wallet sized photo of the couple were also at each place setting.
A quiz on how well guest knew the bride was worked into each place setting.  The questions were printed on regular typing paper then mounted on matching card stock to give color and charm to the table.  The card stock was topped off with a strip of ruffled red ribbon and a scrap booking jewel.

It may be slightly OCD but I always purchase a pack of pens when I am having guest do a writing activity.  This way not only do they all match and look nice but you wont have to go digging through draws in the middle of the party!

Each guest was asked to address an envelope to themselves for when the bride sent out thank you cards.  The addressed envelopes were shuffled and the bride was asked to randomly draw one from the stack.  The person who's envelop was pick received a gift basket as a door prize.


Friday, October 5, 2012

A Zebra Baby Shower for Andrea

Last June I had the honor of throwing a baby shower for my long time friend and college roommate, Andrea.  She has always had such a wild and fun loving spirit so the animal print theme seemed very appropriate!   

While guest were waiting for everyone to arrive, I had a table set up for them to leave words of encouragement or advice as Andrea began her role as a mother.  The table also included a variety of index cards, scrapbook paper and stickers to allow guest to add their personal flair. Later the cards and pages were combined into a book for expectant mother!

A bunch style menu was served for this afternoon party.  Chicken salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, fruit and veggies, meat balls and premade mini cheesecakes.  Very little time was spent on cooking but presentation made this buffet elegant and impressive.  You may begin to notice throughout my blog that my serving ware is usually the same ceramic white sets.  I love having the basics and being able to dress them up with different linens and decor.  The Zebra print table cloth shown here is actually just a remnant of fabric I found on clearance at a craft store! I simply bunched it up and layed my dishes on top.  Height variation can help liven up a boring buffet.  The plate of strawberries in the back is actually just sitting on an upside down bowl! Hiding boxes and bowls under table clothes is a little trick I like to use to achieve the pedestal look.
I had originally planned to place the silverware in cute little basket but I somehow forgot to pack them when I was getting everything ready for the shower.  Quick on my feet, I grabbed some scrap book paper, cut it to size and put it down inside these drinking glasses!
This zebra table runner is also made from a remnant found a fabric store. I added the hot pink feather boa to give a fun sassy accent!

While everyone was finishing up snacks we played a matching game where each guest drew a card with a name of a well known parent or child.  Then had to get up, find whoever had their match, and sit next to them for the next activity.

Marge and Homer Simpson - Bart, Lisa, & Maggie
Britney Spears - Sean Preston & Jayden James
Danny Tanner - DJ, Stephanie, & Michelle
Gwyneth Paltrow - Apple

Next, requested by the mother-to-be, we played the dirty diaper game.  Different candy bars, baby foods, and other random edible items were put in diapers.  Guest could taste, touch, feel, smell etc. as they tried to guess what was in them.  

Little details, such as this number tag for the dirty diaper game, tend to make big impressions!

View of the entry way banner from the second story.
These bath fizers, candles, and notebooks found at hobby lobby made perfect prizes for our games. The cards and words of wisdom where added to the pink scrap book shown here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Girly Dinosaur Party

My daughter absolutely loves dinosaurs so this year I had to get creative in order to throw her a feminine Dino-Mite party.  After searching several party stores and websites full of boyish party supplies I finally found my inspiration piece to base my party theme around! These handmade cupcake toppers were purchase through The original listing was for bold primary colors but the designer, Robin, is able make them in just about any color!   

To create the vibrant frosting colors I used concentrated gel colors made by Wilton.  A little bit goes a long way! They can be found at your local craft store or you can visit to purchase online.

Robin also created this beautifully detailed banner 
that we kept after the party to hang in our daughter's play room. I love this banner so much I feel I must post another picture so you can see the intricate craftsmanship!  

With the larger crowd this year, my husband and I decided to use our garage space as an extra party room. We did not want our guest to have to stare at our tools/lawn equipment so we ended up wrapping the entire garage with rolls of plastic table clothes. A staple gun was used to secure the plastic to the ceiling and again at the bottom of the wall. Then we finished off the look with streamers and tissue paper puffs.  The total cost for this project was less than $20.  The end result turned out looking like a fun circus tent! Far better than we had imagined. 

 Dino-Mite Menu
Prehistoric Pizza
Brontosaurus Burgers 
 Pterodactyl wings (Buffalo wings)
Paleontologist Pasta Salad
Deviled Dino Eggs
T-Rex Tortilla Rolls
Volcano Veggies
Stegosaurus snack mix (homemade chex mix)


Food labels were made using sparkly scrap booking  letters and stickers on white card stock, free hand cutting the zig zag/ lightening design. Then I simply mounted it onto a square of sea foam green card stock and folded it in half!

And No Dinosaur party would be complete with out a Dino Dig .  We filled my daughter's plastic baby pool with a few bags of clean sand and buried dollar store dinosaur toys.  Each little girl received a Prehistoric Dinosaurs Pith Helmet (purchased from Party City) , a bucket, shovel and all the dinosaurs they dug up as a party favor!