Monday, February 6, 2012


   This comes from www.thatsmyletter.blogspot.com  .  Really cool and really retro looking. Enjoy!

Jaime's festive snowflakes are colorful, glittery and sure to add a touch of sparkle to your holiday decor. I love attaching ornaments to the tops of Christmas presents as a special additional treat and I can see a few of these being used this year. Please welcome Jaime.

Glittered snowflake ornaments.
Made from STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, wire hangers and glitter.

Simple, easy ornaments you can make to add sparkle anywhere for the holidays.

Inspired by the large bead snowflake from Pottery Barn:

You could glitter these any color to match your decor.

Here's how I made the ornaments:

Supplies needed:

- 1" STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam balls

- 1 1/2" STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam balls

- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam flat sheet goods (any size)

- Krylon spray glitter

- loose glitter

- wire hangers (& wire cutters)

- hot glue gun

- tiny measuring spoons or melon baller

1. Begin by cutting the wire hanger into pieces, one 5" piece and 4 - 2 1/2" pieces

2. Prepare the smaller balls.

Using a metal measuring spoon scoop out a small ball shape from the flat sheet:

Dig down deep and then twist in a circular motion:

This is what comes out.

3. Take the ball and roll it between your hands like a meatball to smooth the edges and achieve a nice rounded shape:

4. Make at least 6 1/2" balls and 6 3/4" balls:

5. Begin assembly.

Use the 5" wire piece and slide the balls on in this order:

(Use a drop of hot glue on the wire then slide the ball over the glue.)

6. Take the 2 1/2" wire and poke into side of large center ball.

Add same balls into place.

7. Repeat on other side for equality.

8. Spray the glitter spray paint onto the balls, then sprinkle loose glitter onto the paint.

(Do this in sections over a scrap paper to collect glitter for re-use.)

9. Make a resting cradle for the center ball with straight pins to let paint/glitter dry.

10. Hang using ribbon and a straight pin glued into the outer most ball.

Ready for Christmas.

A little STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam can go a long way.


   This recipe comes from www.designsponge.com .  It looks simply wonderful and delicious, without all of the frills. 

This week’s recipe is by Irish-born and Sydney-based food photographer/food stylist Katie Quinn Davies. You know her best as the one-woman show behind the blog What Katie Ate. When Katie and I began to discuss what recipes she might offer, I found out that she was Irish and that changed up the whole game! I had the greatest time in Dublin last year, and couldn’t wait to see what Katie would propose. As luck would have it, among her ideas was a Guinness Chocolate Cake. I wasted no time in saying, “Yes, please!” So here you go, a beautiful chocolate cake that even the guys can get excited about! — KristinaAbout Katie: Training originally as a graphic designer in her native hometown of Dublin, Ireland, Katie has spent over twelve years working for some of the leading design studios in Europe, the U.S. and Australia. In 2009, Katie re-focused her creative abilities toward hatching a new-found career in food photography and food styling. Working out of her own fully-equipped studio in Sydney and taking all photographs in natural daylight, Katie often creates, styles, art directs and photographs food photography briefs from concept to completion. Her work covers magazine editorial and cookbook commissions, as well as freelance shoots for a variety of Sydney’s gourmet food stores and restaurants. In her spare time, Katie runs a foodie photography blog, What Katie Ate, which covers all things relating to food and drink in Sydney and features recipes and photos from Katie herself. You can visit her portfolio here.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients
  • 250 g (1 c. and 2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 250 ml (1 c.) Guinness
  • 75 g Dutch process cocoa ( 3/4 c.), sifted
  • 275 g (2 + 1/4 c.) all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 400 g (2 c.) sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 150 ml (2/3 c.) sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. good quality vanilla extract

Frosting Ingredients
  • 300 g (1 + 1/3 cup) cream cheese
  • 150 g (1+1/2 c.) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 150 ml (2/3 c.) cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

1. Add butter, cocoa and Guinness to a saucepan. Warm over a medium heat and stir until melted. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly.

2. Add flour, baking soda and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mix together well. Pour in the Guinness/cocoa/butter mixture, lightly combine, add the vanilla, eggs and sour cream and beat everything together until well combined. The batter should be thick and dark chocolate in color.

3. Pour into a greased and lined 10″ angel food pan (or another straight-sided tube pan) and cook in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake.*Note: This cake is very moist inside, so use your judgment regarding the skewer test. Do not leave in the oven until the cake has totally dried out — cook long enough so there is no uncooked cake on the skewer but there may be a few moist crumbs sticking to it after an hour of cooking. [Please note: Katie baked this in an 8.5" x 3.5" pan. If you make this in a regular angel food cake pan, you should start checking for doneness at least 15 minutes early.]

4. Leave to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the cake tin and placing on a wire wrack to cool completely.

Frosting Instructions
1. Place the cream cheese into the bowl of a mixer and beat on a low-medium speed using a whisk attachment (I find a paddle attachment tends to over-beat the cheese). Whisk until the cheese is smooth and there are no big lumps remaining.

2. Gradually, using a large spoon, add in the sifted powdered sugar and beat gently to combine. After 2 to 3 minutes, stop the machine, scrape any excess frosting from the sides of the bowl and beat on medium speed until lump free.

3. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the whipped cream, mixing to fully combine.

4. Place cooled cake on a cake stand and add the frosting, spreading out just to the edge without going over the side (never go over the sides of the cake) until the cake resembles a pint of the creamy black stuff! The idea is to capture the essence and simplicity of a pint of Guinness. Sláinte!

A special thank you to Donna Hay for the cake stand and wire cooling rack!


   This diy comes from www.alderberryhill.blogspot.com .  I like this one alot.  I like to make things scary and creepy without all of the bloog and gore.  This is right down my street.  Perfect for Halloween or a Day of The Dead Party. I give this 2 thumbs up!

Ghoulish Centerpiece.

And now I'll tell you all about it!

I had all of this already in the house, some of it I bought about a month ago, some of it is more than a year old.

The glass bowl & vase was thrifted, the skull and pumpkins are from the dollar store and the decorative balls were in my bathroom on the window sill looking fit for the garbage.

Putting this whole thing together was pretty simple.

Rip the scrapbook paper into strips and start adhering them to the skull with mod podge. Keep going until you've covered the entire skull leaving the eyes, nose & mouth uncovered.

Spray paint your bowl fillers & accessories with your desired spray paint - I chose silver.

Spray paint your bowl & vase as well - I chose black.

I also spray painted a wooden charger that I found in the kitchen cabinet above the fridge (the one that compiles things that I never use!) and I used the charger as the base.

I glued the vase to the bowl and the skull to the vase and the crow to the skull!(Oh, I put some black glitter on the skulls eyes & nose for a little bling! Just use a liquid glue)

Then I went outside to collect some branches to go with the moss and leaves I had left over from last year.

I poked leaves and sticks here and there and draped some moss around.

I played around with it a little bit until I thought it looked right.

Imagine, Improvise & Invent



This recipe comes from www.beckybakes.net .  When I came across these, I could not pass them up!  All that's needed with these is an ice cold glass of milk and possibly some vanilla bean ice cream

Alright, confession time. My first impression of these cookies was not a super positive one. I mean, don’t get me wrong…I love a good chocolate chip cookie. And Oreos easily top the list among my favorite “store bought” cookies. The idea of combining them just threw me. When I first saw this Oreo creation on Picky Palate I thought they looked a little gross (sorry Jenny). Just a bit too sweet for my taste, which sounds so very wrong by the way. I was a little curious though. Then I saw them again on Sing for your Supper. Boy, these were really getting around. I just couldn’t be left out. I caved to the peer pressure, and let me tell you that I am so glad I did. Oh boy…this one’s a doozy, but in a decidedly good way.
I am really not even sure how to describe these. They are very sweet, but delightfully so. I loved them warm from the oven all gooey and melty. Sooo good. Jenny recommends using Double Stuff Oreos and I wholeheartedly concur with that advice. If your looking for a fun and decadent treat these would definitely fit the bill! So, I stand corrected, these are amazing. Oh, and I’m already dreaming up other variations (just a warning)!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe from the fantabulous Jenny of Picky Palate

2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 pkg. Oreo cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars together with a mixer until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie. Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo cookie. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is enclosed with dough. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
NOTE: Some bakers have had some trouble with their dough spreading too much during baking. If that becomes a problem, throw the dough balls into the fridge for a quick chill before baking. That should solve the dilemma beautifully:-)
Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE cookies.