Tidbit Times

Tiny Tidbits of my Time

stART ~ Sunday Love July 14, 2013

Filed under: StART Bits,Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 1:36 pm
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Nothing says summer better than ICE CREAM!  We are ice cream lovers at this house — for sure!  Pretty sure we keep Sonic in business with 1/2 price shakes after 8 pm!  So how appropriate for us to read a book involving ice cream and coordinate that with an ice cream project.  We read the book “Sunday Love” by Alison Paul.  This is “mostly” a wordless picture book.  It tells the story of a burglar who breaks out of jail on Valentine’s Day, but is followed by Cupid.  Can you guess what the burglar falls in love with?  We think the title should have been Sundae Love.

SundayLove

 

Our project had to do with ice cream, but wasn’t actually ice cream….

Ice Cream Cone Cookies

This idea comes from Rose Bakes.

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Materials:

Nutter Butter Cookies

White Almond Bark

Sprinkles

Mini M&Ms

Waxed Paper

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Directions:

Lay out sheets of waxed paper to place the cookies on after they are dipped.  Melt the almond bark (or candy melts) as directed on the package.  Dip one-half of each cookie in the almond bark.  Place it on the waxed paper.

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Quickly, before the almond bark hardens, sprinkle with candy sprinkles and place a mini M&M at the top (like a cherry).

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That’s all there is to it!  Let them sit to let the almond bark harden.

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Enjoy that different kind of ice cream!

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We decided to deliver cookies to our next door neighbors as a special treat for our special neighbors.  Will took this picture of our neighbor, Shirley!  We also packed up a special bag of cookies for the Grandmas and Grandpas!  It is fun to share with others (I hope that’s what my boys are learning!).

HAPPY SUMMER DAYS!!!

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Teacher Appreciation Gifts May 24, 2013

Filed under: Crafty Bits — tidbittimes @ 10:12 pm
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Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I can’t believe it is the end of the school year!  Where did that time go?  Our little man if now a preschool graduate and on to kindergarten next year – yikes!  Here are a few of the gifts we gave his teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week.  We were so blessed to have two wonderful teachers and many wonderful helpers!

Initial/Name Cups

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Materials

Self-Adhesive Vinyl for the Cricut Machine

Plastic Cool Drink Cup

Cups Collage

I started by cutting each teacher’s initial of their last name using black vinyl.  I adhered it to the plastic cup.  Next, I used the white vinyl and cut out each teacher’s first name and placed it on top of the black initial.  I used two different Cricut Cartridges (Black Initial – Plantin’ Schoolbook and White name – Opposites Attract).

Cup Tag Collage

I added a tag I printed out on the computer.  Inside the cup I added a gift card to The Juice Stop our local smoothie shop.

Sticky Note Stack

Sticky Note Stack

I found this idea on Pintrest which led me to the blog “The Blackberry Vine“.  I thought the printable tag was super cute!  You can find it over at The Blackberry Vine.  Print it out and tie together different sized sticky notes with a matching ribbon.  Who doesn’t love a stack of note paper? (I know I am a sucker for office products)

Cookie Tin

Cookie Collage

Will and I baked Chocolate Chip cookies using our special recipe.  Stay tuned and it may appear on the blog one day.  I found these cute hounds tooth tins in the Target dollar section.  I added a computer printed and stamped tag, plastic wrap and a ribbon.  A tasty and simple gift for hard-working teachers.

Teacher Collage

A BIG thank you to Will’s teacher this year for giving him the BEST first school experience!!!

 

 

stART ~ The Great Turkey Race November 21, 2012

Filed under: StART Bits — tidbittimes @ 10:28 pm
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It has been a while since we have done a stART book project.  Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve had a blog post other than a Friday picture (I guess that’s what adding another family member does).  Here’s to getting back on the old blogging saddle.  We read the book “The Great Turkey Race” by Steve Metzger.  This is a cute book for Thanksgiving.  One of the turkeys in the barnyard overhears the farmers talking about choosing a special Thanksgiving turkey.  This turkey wants to be selected as the best turkey for the holiday.  He quickly shares this news with his turkey friends.  They organize a sort of track and field competition to earn the most medals to be crowned the special Thanksgiving turkey.  Partially through the games, another turkey realizes what being the Thanksgiving turkey really means.  Read the book to find out what happens to the turkeys!

For our project we decorated turkey cookies to take to daycare today.

I found this idea on Pintrest which led me to this page.  Since we were short on time we went ultra easy on this project.  Those of you who know me this generally isn’t my style.  Usually I think I need to go all out on things.  This time bring on the pre-made easiness!

Start with a package of Ready to Bake sugar cookies.

This is so easy — pull the dough off the plastic, plop them on the cookie sheet and bake!

To decorate you will need a can of chocolate frosting, candy corn, and mini M&Ms.

Using a zip lock bag (with a snipped corner) filled with the chocolate frosting make two dots of frosting and place a mini M&M on top of each frosting dot.  Then make a small dot on top of the M&Ms to make the eyes.  Also, use the frosting in the zip lock bag to draw on the beak and legs.

I made a thicker line of frosting at the top of each cookies to attach the candy corn as the turkey’s feathers.

Official Taste Tester!

Happy Thanksgiving from us to you!

 

Spiderman Birthday Party ~ Part 3 ~ Cake and Cookies! April 11, 2012

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 1:59 pm
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I spent quite a bit of time on the cakes and cookies for Will’s Spiderman party (although it was much easier than last year’s big Thomas cake).  I really enjoy the challenge of cake and cookie decorating!  When I saw the Spiderman cookies on Pintrest and looked further at the directions, I knew I needed to give them a try.  I thought they would make great party favors.

I found the idea and tutorial for making these fabulous cookies on The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.  She gives great instructions!  I also used a recipe I found on Pintrest (Authentic Suburban Gourmet) that mimics the Lofthouse Sugar Cookies (which both Will and I LOVE).  To cut out Spiderman head cookies I used an upside down Easter egg cookie cutter (pictured in a previous blog post) — clever, huh.

Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies (from Authentic Suburban Gourmet)

Cookies:

6 cups all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. butter, at room temperature
2 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. sour cream

Frosting:

1 c. butter, room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract
4 c. powdered sugar
6 T. heavy cream
Several drops food coloring
Multi-colored Sprinkles

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Use the plastic wrap that you chilled the dough in. Dust the top of the dough and then flip and flour the other side, keeping it on the plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Best to work in small batches while keeping the remainder of the dough chilled.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.

Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Makes approximately: 5 to 6 dozen cookies (will vary on the thickness of the dough)

On my first trial I used frosting to make the webbing on the face.  This looked great until the next day when the black frosting had bled into the red frosting.  Poor Spiderman didn’t look so good.  I then went on the search for cake decorating pens like Sugarbelle mentioned in her tutorial and found some at the local baking supply shop.

 

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make the webbing on Spiderman’s face.  Very simple when you see it one step at a time.

 

Here Will is pictured holding Trial #1 of the cookies using frosting, but it shows the eyes close up.  I used black frosting to outline the eye shape first and then filled it in with white frosting.

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CAKES!!!

I kept the cakes fairly simple this year after tackling Thomas last year!  I borrowed a Wilton Spiderman pan from my friend, Sandy.  After seeing the guest list I decided I needed more cake so I made a Spiderman head from a layered round cake.

I just followed the instructions to frost the cake from the Wilton pan.  It was pretty  easy although the design from the pan didn’t make a very clear impression on the cake, so I had to get a little creative.   I also had a little cake casualty when I removed it from the pan.  My advice, always wait until the cake has cooled before removing it from the pan.  I was able to piece it together and then make an emergency call to my mom and used her suggestion of freezing it together before frosting it.  It worked!

 The instructions suggested doing all the outlining before filling it in with red stars.  I tested it out first on one foot and I was surprised at how well that method worked (who am I to challenge Wilton, I guess).  The decorating went pretty smoothly and even resembled Spiderman when I was done!

 For the layer cake I baked two round cakes and then stacked them with frosting in between.  For the face pattern I just used the same method I had used to decorate the cookies.  It was super fast and easy!  There was even enough cake to go around!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the process of creating a Spiderman party for my sweet Will!  I had so much fun and was exhausted following the party.  It was all worth it though!

 

Easter Peeps Cookies April 2, 2012

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 7:32 pm
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I found this cute little idea and recipe on The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle last spring.   I thought they were so adorable.  Since I found it too late in the spring,  Hobby Lobby was all out of the larger size bunny cookie cutters.  Well, this year I was on the ball and snatched one up as soon as the Easter aisle was filled!  Last year I was able to find the tiny Easter cookie cutters, so used those.

 

 

Here is what the cookie cutter looks like.  You need to remove the pink rubber piece and slightly squeeze the sides inward to make a more authentic peep shape.

 

Here is the other variety of cookie cutters we used besides the peeps.

 

Here is the sugar cookie recipe that I used from Sugarbelle.

 

Rolled Sugar Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

Parchment paper

Directions:

-In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

-In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  This should take about 3 minutes.

-Add the egg and vanilla and beat another minute or so.

-Add the flour mixture slowly.  (Be careful not to add too much at a time or you will have a snowstorm of flour.)

-Blend until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

-Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a piece of parchment paper.

-Using your hands, knead the dough a few times.

-Place the dough in a large plastic (ziplock type) bag and refrigerate for about 2 hours.  If you want to speed up the chilling process, place the bag of dough in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes. Just don’t forget it in the freezer, or it will become to firm to work with (and then you’ll have to wait for it to thaw).

-When it’s almost time to remove the dough from the refrigerator (or freezer), preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
-When the dough has chilled and is firm, take out about half of the dough, leaving the rest in the refrigerator (until your ready to work with it).

Roll with sheet of parchment paper over the dough.

Cut 1/3 inch thick. Chill in freezer/refrigerator for 3-5 min before baking

Bake for 8-10 minutes  about 30 cookies (2-2 ½ in)

 

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Will and I worked together to make the dough and cut out the cookies.  It was a fun mother-son activity for a Saturday.  He really enjoys baking and I’m amazed at how long he’ll keep with the task.  We are expecting a baby in June.  I thought it was so sweet that Will wanted to make some of the bunnies with babies in their tummy.  (Note pink peep cookie pictured above).  I think he’s ready for his little sister to arrive!

 

(Wow, please disregard our messy kitchen in this picture.  Lots of baking lately = lots of dirty dishes!)

 

Here is the recipe I used for the icing.  I made two batches of this recipe and divided each batch in half before coloring it. It was just about the perfect amount.  I used Wilton coloring paste for the food coloring to get the bright and vibrant colors (rose, leaf green, orange, lemon yellow and aqua blue).  I then sprinkled a coordinating color of sanding sugar over the top of each cookie.  I used chocolate (canned) frosting for the eyes and noses.

 

Sugar Cookie Icing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • assorted food coloring

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

Here is the finished plate of Easter cookies ready to take to our family gatherings!

 

St. Patrick’s Day Treats March 15, 2012

Filed under: Tasty Bits,Uncategorized — tidbittimes @ 2:22 pm
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These dipped Oreos with a little St. Patty’s Day feeling were super fast and easy to make. 

 

 

There are only 3 ingredients required:  Mint Oreos, White Almond Bark and Green Sprinkles.

 

 

We melted the almond bark in a mini crock pot so that it would stay warm and not harden in the middle of dipping.

 

 

Dip half of the Oreo cookie in the almond bark and place it on a piece of waxed paper.  Immediately sprinkle the part of the cookie dipped in almond bark with green sprinkles.  That’s it!  EASY, EASY!

 

 

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These shamrock pretzels were very easy as well!

 

 

Again, all you need is 3 ingredients:  Mini Pretzels, Hershey Kisses and Mint M&Ms.

 

 

Heat your oven to 200 degrees.  Place the pretzels on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.  Place one Hershey’s Kiss on the top of each pretzel.  Put them in the oven until they are melted through. 

 

Immediately, place 3 mint M&Ms like the picture above (pushing the chocolate down).  I needed to put these in the refrigerator to help them set up quickly.

 Yummy, O’Yummy!

 

Slip…Slide…and the Gingerbread House Fell Down December 2, 2011

Filed under: Tasty Bits — tidbittimes @ 3:37 pm
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Last Sunday Will and Grandma Pam sat down to build a gingerbread house together.  Will was very excited (mostly about sampling the candy — he does have his mother’s sweet tooth).  Grandma had cut out the pieces and baked the gingerbread.  They worked together to make the frosting/icing. 

All was going well, until we all got in a big hurry to finish the house and didn’t let it dry properly before decorating it.  It was like a scene from “The Three Little Pigs” where the wolf huffs and puffs and blows the house down.  We finally threw in the towel and decided to treasure the pictures I had taken along the way and the memories of the fun of putting it together. 

As you can see, not every project goes exactly as planned. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It sure would have been a cute house, huh? 

 

 
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