Quantcast
DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 12/11/17

Monday, December 11, 2017

DIY ICE BOTTLE COOLER!

This comes form www.celebrationsathomeblog.com .  A cool idea to add a little decor to that holiday buffet and to add some color to your holiday table.










 


This icey bottle cooler as seen on my Holiday Bar Design, is a stylish way to present vodka or white wine on the bar while keeping it cold at the same time. It’s a simple project but you need to give yourself a couple of days to freeze the layers. This works well for vodka because it can go in the freezer without turning solid, and is best served very cold anyway. Here’s how it works…

 
 
 



What you’ll need:
  • A 3-liter empty soda container that you will cut the top off of
  • distilled water for more clarity in your end result
  • fruit such as lemons, limes, star fruit, or cranberries
  • duct tape – only in case your bottle floats up in the water
Place the bottle of vodka inside the 3-liter container and fill with an inch or two of the distilled water – freeze until solid.
When the base is frozen you can begin adding slice fruit or berries around the bottle and fill with more water to just cover the fruit layer - freeze until solid.
Once the first fruit layer is frozen you can add your next layer in the same manner, filling with distilled water enough to cover the fruit. This layer should take you to the top of the vodka bottle – freeze until solid.
Once the cooler is frozen, take it out of the freezer so it can thaw slightly – enough to work the 3-liter container off of the ice (about 30 minutes). You may still need to dip in luke warm water to help ease it off. Once you have the ice cooler out of the container store it in the freezer until ready to set on your bar.
Important Tips:
When setting the ice cooler out on your bar, set it in a shallow dish or tray that is lined with a small towel. This will prevent the icey base from slipping around on the dish, as well as help contain the melting ice. Under normal home temperatures this should last a few hours.
If you would like to use the ice cooler for white wine or other cold drink, just insert an empty bottle (wine bottle or other decorative bottle) into the 3-liter container and follow the same steps. You can add your beverage to the empty bottle inside (using a funnel) after the cooler is frozen.

SNOWFLAKE SUGAR COOKIES!

This comes from www.bakersroyale.com.  These look so good you don't even want to eat them. But, if we have to snack on them, what's the harm.  Go ahead and make a batch or two.


Snowflake Sugar Cookies – Dress up your holiday cookie tray with some fun and colorful snowflake sugar cookies.





Snowflake Sugar Cookie





Snowflake Sugar Cookie
I don’t make sugar cookies often, in fact I usually only make them for certain holidays and sometimes for birthday requests. I love the beauty and creativity of them, but they are massively labor intensive and I’m not the most patient person for baking projects like this.
But to save myself a step, I skipped flooding the cookies for the simple design you see in the picture. The royal icing I used is from here. It’s easy to work with and has the perfect consistency for simple lines like the one you see on these snowflake cookies.






Snowflake Sugar Cookies Bakers Royale2 Snowflake Sugar Cookies




 
The cookie recipe is one I have been working with and fine tuning over the years. Actually, the recipe started with me trying to re-create those soft pillow-y sugar cookies from the Ralphs grocery store. You know the ones that are super thick and covered in frosting. I don’t usually like grocery store made cookies but these are awesome, well minus the too-sweet frosting that I always scrape away. But I love the texture of the cookie portion, it’s soft and almost cake-like in texture. I still haven’t figured out how to replicate them, so if anyone has some suggestions or a recipe for it, please help a baker out and give me some tips.

A few notes:
  • The dough will be wet and sticky once mixed, so it requires some chilling before working with it.
  • Divide the dough and create four round flat discs for easy handling. Cover each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze up to 3 months.
  • To keep the cookies nice and even in thickness, I use these rings on my rolling pin.
  • Lastly, for the curious, using the cream cheese versus all butter gives the cookie a softer texture; and using powdered sugar versus all granulated sugar, also helps to keep the cookie soft and tender while giving it a tighter crumb and a less crisp texture.

Basic Sugar Cookie

Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bake sheet with parchment paper.
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 eggs, plus1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Instructions:

1. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl lightly mix eggs and vanilla together. With the mixer running on medium low, slowly add egg mixture to creamed butter mixture, continue mixing until combined. Turn off mixer, using a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula gradually fold dry mixture into wet mixture and continue to fold until combined.

2. Divide the dough into four flat disc and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove chilled dough one disc at a time and roll on a lightly floured surface into 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake cookies for about 8-10 minutes.

CHRISTMAS IN BELGIUM!




   In Belgium there are two main languages, Flemish and Walloon (a version of French) and the two languages are spoken in different regions.
   In Flemish Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Vrolijk Kerstfeest' and in Walloon 'djoyeus Noyé'. 
   On Christmas Eve ('Kerstavond' in Flemish and 'le réveillion de Noël' in Walloon), a special meal is eaten by most families. It starts with a drink (apéritif) and 'nibbles', followed by a 'starter' course such as sea-food, and then stuffed turkey. The dessert is 'Kerststronk' (Flemish) or 'la bûche de Noël' (Walloon) a chocolate Christmas Log made of sponge roll layered with cream. The outside is covered with chocolate butter cream and made to resemble a bark-covered log.








   As in Holland, children in Belgium have two Christmas visitors! On December 6th, St. Nicholas' Day, 'Sinterklaas/St. Niklaas' (Flemish) or 'Saint Nicholas' (Walloon) is believed to bring presents to children. This is quite a long time before Christmas. Different regions of Belgium have different customs and traditions about St. Nicholas. On Christmas day (25th), Santa Claus might bring some more presents if you're really lucky!
   Small family Christmas presents are also given at Christmas too, under the tree, or in stockings near the fire-place, to be found in the morning or opened on Christmas Eve.
The traditional Christmas breakfast is the same as the normal Sunday breakfast eaten throughout the year. This is freshly baked crusty rolls (bakeries do their best trade on









   Sundays in the Flanders region) with butter & cold meats and/or jam, followed by pastries (like Danish pastries) called "koffiekoek(en)" (meaning coffee cake(s) as they are normal eaten with a cup of coffee!). In Walloon districts (the south of Belgium), a special sweet bread called 'cougnou' or 'cougnolle' made in a shape that is supposed to be like baby Jesus is eaten for Christmas breakfast.
   Some families have Advent Crowns made from fir or leylandii greenery.

DIY SANTA CLAUS TIN CAN!

This comes from www.sewmanyways.blogspot.com.


Hello and welcome to Tool Time Tuesday. For the next few weeks or more, I am going to gear these TTT posts towards Christmas...maybe do some decorating posts or maybe gift giving ideas. I know it may seem early, but we all know those nights of making or decorating at the last minute. So why don't you join me in doing one or two crafts a week, so you can actually enjoy the holidays without all the rushing around.

Here is the first project for the holidays....A Santa Can. Make one this week for yourself and then make another one for gift giving. It's perfect and practically FREE!










   Do you remember the post I did showing flower arrangements for a school fundraiser. I went to local restaurants and pizza places and asked them for their large metal cans that tomatoes come in. They were happy to give them to me for free. They are the big ones...7 inches high and 6 inches across at the top.(note: Lowes or Home Depot have unused paint cans of different sizes you could probably use also)

  That's one in the picture below. You will also need red spray paint, something to make a black belt and a belt buckle. Pictures on this next...












Here are some ideas for Santa's black belt. Old leather belts that don't fit any more (I don't want to talk about the not fitting part) or elastic belts that you can adjust to fit.












How about an old strap from a camera or bag that you aren't using any more.












You can also cut black fabric and fold the raw edges into the middle...no sewing! You can also use trim, satin ribbon or ric rac too.






 
 
 

If you aren't using an actual belt, you'll need a buckle. You can cut one off an old belt or use 2 D rings. D rings are the things you find on a belt most of the time made with ribbon or a scarf. Another idea to make a shiny belt buckle is to cut open a soda can, trace a template of a buckle on the inside metal and cut it out with tin snips. Actually, the can is so soft, I cut it with a small pair of scissors.





 
 
 

Just find a picture of a buckle and draw it out on card board.





 
 
 

Then trace it on the inside of the can.





 
 
 

The next step is to spray the can. I sprayed it upside down so the paint won't get inside the can.









Now for the ideas...
a place to hold all the Christmas cards you receive over the holidays.

Add some evergreens cut fresh from outside for the scent of the holidays.




Add some berries for a beautiful centerpiece. These were some fake berries I already had, but real ones from your yard would be beautiful too.


 






Then add a little HO HO HO sign for the perfect greeting at your front door. I bought this sign after Christmas for 10 cents. You can easily make one by printing the words out on your computer, tracing it on cardboard...a little paint and glitter and you're done!





These large cans would be great for centerpieces, but wouldn't a little vegetable can or those tiny tomato paste cans be cute decorated the same way, but used for place card holders at the dinner table. Ohh, I need to make one of those!! I'll show you if I do! Add that to the list of "To Do's"










Here's a little break down of the cost:
  • cans...free
  • belt...free (because it doesn't fit...wahhh!)
  • evergreen...free
  • berries...I had them, but maybe $2.00 if you had to buy a bunch)
  • Ho Ho Ho...10 cents or free if you make one
  • red spray paint...I had it, but $3.00 for the can if you need to buy it