Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

Check out this yummy recipe I made for Sarah's cookie swap (check out her blog here). I found this one on Pinterest, and had to try it! Here's a picture of what it looked like on Pinterest, and what my version of it looked like. OK, mine aren't quite as pretty, but they tasted great! The recipe made 3 dozen cookies, but I needed 4 dozen for the cookie swap, and couldn't use half an egg yolk, so I had to make a double recipe. Luckily they were yummy (Jordan wasn't complaining!)

-2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-¼ teaspoon salt
-1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
-¾ cup powdered sugar
-1 large egg yolk
-2 large egg whites
-½ cup finely crushed hard peppermint candies or candy canes (about 3-ounces)
-Additional powdered sugar for rolling

Makes: 3 dozen

Sift together dry ingredients- flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk and beat until blended. Add egg whites and mix well (mixture will look grainy). Gradually beat dry ingredients into butter mixture. Stir in peppermint candies. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie with a fork, creating crisscross pattern. Bake until cookies are golden on bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

A note about crushing candy canes: 
At first I was trying to crush the candy canes in a measuring cup with a big spoon, then with the bottom of a cup, which worked OK, but then I remembered another method that I picked up somewhere along the way. Put the candy canes in a large ziploc bag and use a rolling pin and slowly roll over the candy canes. I'll admit that rolling was taking too long, so I took it out to the front step and just hit it a bunch of times with my rolling pin, which worked really well! I also used this trick on crushing peanuts because I was too cheap to buy the pre-crushed ones (I actually rolled those ones though). 

Side rant: Parchment paper
Go out and buy some parchment paper. Seriously. It only costs a few dollars, but it makes it so much easier to bake things. You line your pan with it, and then when it's time to take it off you just peel off the paper, you don't have to scrape it off or worry about your treats sticking to the sides or falling apart. I used the same two pieces on my cookie sheets, and it worked great! I am converted! Note that wax paper is not an appropriate alternative, my friend Sarah told me she learned that one the hard way!

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wall Sticker Update

I have been a busy bee making wall stickers for different people, and so I thought I'd share pictures of the different ones that I've made. If you're interested in ordering one, then e-mail me and we can work something out. Some of them are shown still with the transfer tape, so that would be removed once you put it on the wall. Enjoy!

Simply Sweet Font, 5.5", chocolate brown

Gratitude Font, 2", black

 Calligraphy Font, 2.5", brown

Paper Lace Font, 2", black

Paper Lace Font, 2", Black

Gratitude Font, 5.5", Black

Simply Sweet Font, 5.5", Pink

Opposites Attract Font, 5.5", Black

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cheesecake Cookie Dough Bars

This is the first recipe that I found on Pinterest that I decided to try (original source here). I won't ramble on too much, but if you like my blog, then you will LOVE Pinterest! It's an online pinboard tool with tons of awesome recipes, crafts, and amazing ideas. I saw this one and HAD to make it for my friend Josh's surprise party. It was a big hit! Cheesecake. Cookie dough. What could be better?

-1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
-¼ teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-¾ cup flour
-2/3 cup chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
-1 ¼ cup cream cheese, room temperature
-¼ cup sugar
-1 large egg, room temperature
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325ºC. Line an 8” baking pan with parchment paper or foil, allowing a little overhang, and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave your oven on while you prepare the dough.

In a medium bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Mix in the flour on low speed, until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Using your hand to form clumps, distribute the cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps. Be sure to use all of the dough.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm (the cookie dough) and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Chill in refrigerator overnight or for at least a couple hours.

Friday, 25 November 2011

M&M Cookies!

I don't have much to say about this recipe, but that it is fun and delicious! I got this recipe from Jordan's mom from a Company's Coming cookbook, and it is definitely a keeper. These cookies are nice and soft, but unfortunately this means that they fall apart easily. Still delicious. Also, if you don't have enough m&ms (or are too cheap to buy the right amount) then just replace with chocolate chips.

PS. I once made this recipe once with Reese's Pieces, and they were awesome!

v  1 cup butter or margarine, softened
v  1 cup brown sugar, packed
v  ½ cup granulated sugar
v  2 eggs
v  2 tsp vanilla
v  2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
v  1 tsp baking soda
v  1 tsp salt
v  1 ½ cups M&Ms
Makes 4 dozen
Cream butter and both sugars together. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and half the M&Ms. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Press remaining M&Ms on top of cookies. Bake at 375ºF  for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. 


Sunday, 6 November 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

Here's a yummy recipe perfect for fall- pumpkin muffins!


v 4 eggs
v 2 cups white sugar
v 1 ½ cup oil
v 1 ¾ cup pumpkin (half a big can)
v 3 cups flour
v 1 tbsp cinnamon
v 2 tsp baking powder
v 2 tsp baking soda
v 1 tsp salt
v brown sugar
Beat eggs slightly. Add sugar, oil, and pumpkin and beat thoroughly. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Fill muffin cups and sprinkle tops with brown sugar. Bake at 375ºC for 15-20 minutes. Makes 24 muffins.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Grape Juice

My Grandma Williams makes delicious grape juice every year, so this year I decided I would get her to teach me how to do it. Then I got engaged, and thought that it might be a good idea to make enough for the whole wedding!

We did two bushels (giant baskets) worth of concord grapes from Honey Valley Farm in Jordan. First step was to sanitize the mason jars by putting them through the dishwasher, and washing and pouring boiling water over the lids/sealers.

The most tedious part of the process was de-stemming the grapes (or de-graping the stems) after washing them of course. Thankfully my mom came along to help! This part's a little messy; I had purple fingernails for a few days after.

Next we put the grapes in the triple boiler- the bottom portion has boiling water in it, the middle is where the juice drips, and the top is where you put the grapes and sugar. We added about a cup of sugar and a bunch of grapes to the top part. As it heats, the juice drips into the middle portion. It's not a hard process, just tedious.

 Now the hard part: waiting. You have to wait for the juice to drip down. When there's enough, it starts to fill up the tube, and you can empty it into your mason jars. But be careful, because they're hot! As soon as the jar is full, you can screw on the lid with some oven mitts. You have to make sure that there isn't any cold water on the outside of the jars, because if there is, the jar could snap. My grandma had newspaper set out to put the jars on in case there was any water droplets.

As you're waiting for the juice to boil down, you should just make sure that there is always water in the bottom of the boiler, or else you could burn a hole in the pan! You can refill it with boiling water from a kettle. After a while, all the juice is out of the grapes, and just the skins and seeds are left in the top. You can throw them out and add some more grapes.

Overall we made 43 litre jars of grape juice! It took us all day, but it was a fun experience with my grandma and my mom, and it tastes delicious (we had to crack one out for Thanksgiving to test it)!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cards for Sale

Just thought I'd share what I did tonight- I made a bunch of cards that will be sold by the WAVES to support Great Lakes Christian High School. They are doing a home craft show on September 26th at 7pm in the girl's dorm, if you want to check it out! My cards will be there, as well as some wall stickers. Even if you can't make it, I hope you enjoy looking at my cards!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Cake Pops!

This one I made a couple of weeks ago, but with moving, getting engaged, and starting the school year I haven't had much time to blog! Check out these cake pops, a trendy new dessert with cake on the inside and chocolate on the outside- what's not to love?! This recipe is simple, but quite time consuming, so beware!

Here's what you need:
-1 box of cake mix (and the other ingredients the box says)
-1 can of icing
-meltable chocolate
-lollipop sticks
-floral foam
-ziploc baggie

1. Bake a cake, according to the directions on the box. You could use whatever recipe you want for the cake, but I used a vanilla boxed mix and it tasted really good. Let the cake cool.

2. The next step is to crumble the cake. I left the cake overnight, so this was a 2 day process for me. I used a knife and a pastry blender to crumble it up. It doesn't have to be evenly crumbled though.

3. Then you mix about 1/3 cup of icing with the crumbled cake (you can use your own icing too, but I used canned vanilla, and it was yummy!) Leave the mixture in the fridge for about 15 minutes so it's easier to work with in the next step. While you were waiting you can wrap the floral foam in tin foil, wrapping paper, or even waxed paper to decorate it. I also used a lollipop stick to poke holes so it would be easier later.

4. Next you use your hands to form balls about 2" in diameter. Make sure you press them together firmly and make sure it's not cracked.

5. Melt a bit of the chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until it's smooth. Dip the ends of the lollipop sticks in the chocolate and then insert them into the balls. (The chocolate makes it stick better).

6. Next you melt some more of the chocolate in the microwave. It's important that it's warm enough so that it's not clumpy, but if you heat it too hot then it will be too thick. The chocolate should drip off your spoon easily. Dip the cake pops in the chocolate one at a time. Make sure that you cover the whole thing in chocolate, but be careful that it doesn't break or fall off the stick (I only lost 1 this way!) Then you have to get the excess chocolate off the cake pops so let it drip off, and then gently tap the stick against your hand (carefullly!) Place the cake pop in the floral foam to dry. Repeat for the rest of the cake pops.

 7. Once the cake pops are all dried, you get to decorate them! I used some of the extra chocolate to decorate the cake pops. I melted it then put it in a small ziploc baggie and cut the corner then squeezed it to make the designs.

I think that they turned out quite nicely for my first time! Lots of fun, but very tedious. And just in case you're wondering, they did taste good too, they weren't too sweet.

Bonus tip: I had some leftover chocolate that I had already melted, and couldn't find my chocolate molds, so I poured the extra in drops onto waxed paper, and when they dried I put them with the rest of my chocolate so I can reuse it next time.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Variety Card Packs

Crafty item #2 that's for sale! I finally found enough time to make enough of one sort of card that I could sell.  Hopefully this is the first of many!

This set includes 8 different cards for different occasions- 1 each of birthday, Christmas, baby, wedding, thank you, miss you, friends, and thinking of you. Each are hand made by yours truly, and are blank inside. This 8 pack is $20, and includes envelopes. Let me know if you would like one and we can arrange something. If not, I hope you at least enjoy looking at them!

Side Rant: Why I make all my cards blank inside
It always drives me crazy when you get a card from someone who spent $6.95 on it and all they did was write your name at the top, and theirs at the bottom. I'm sure they mean whatever Hallmark employee #908 wrote on the card, but I find it much more personal when you write your own message inside. So please, buy my cards (at a cheaper rate), and put some real thought into your card-giving. :)

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Make-Your-Own Flower Headband

Here's instructions for how to make a trendy flower headband for your (or a baby's) hair. This was fairly easy, and didn't take too many materials. The fabric is actually from the bottom of my curtains!

What You Need:
-1 strip of sheer material, approx 2" x 12"
-1 strip of sheer material, approx 3" x 18"
-1 piece of ribbon, approx 36" long
-1 button
-needle, thread, scissors

1. Get the needle and thread ready, and tie a knot at the end of the thread, leaving about 2".
2. Starting at the end of one of the strips about half a centimeter from the bottom edge. Sew in and out about half a centimeter apart along the edge lengthwise.

3. Scrunch the fabric as tight as you can as you go along. When you are done, scrunch it all together into a circle, and tie the thread with the other end.
4. Repeat with the other strip. Sew the smaller flower into the center of the larger one.

5. Sew on the button, and sew the finished flower onto the ribbon, off center. Trim any remaining threads.
6. Wear and prepare to be complimented. :)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Oreo Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

Here's another yummy cheesecake recipe! I made the crust from one recipe, and the filling from another. I added extra Oreos from the crust on top just to make it extra delicious. The filling recipe I found online wasn't very good. It didn't mention that you need to add the cream cheese or the sugar. I figured out the cream cheese part but almost didn't catch the missing sugar! That would have been gross! So my lesson here is, always be careful with recipes you find online!

Oreo Chocolate Marble Cheesecake

  • 24 Oreo cookies
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 3 pkg (750 ml) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla

For the crust, place 16 of the Oreo cookies in a large ziploc bag, and roll with a rolling pin to crush finely. Mix with the melted butter and press into the bottom of a springform pan.

Beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and 2 tsp vanilla until well blended. Beat in the flour, and then beat in the eggs.

In a separate bowl, mix 1/4 cup each of cocoa powder and sugar together. Add in the oil, 1/2 tsp vanilla, and about half of the cheesecake mixture.

Alternate spooning in the plain and chocolate cheesecake mixtures on top of your crust, ending with dollops of chocolate on top. Use a knife to gently run through the cheesecake, creating the marbled effect. Add some of the extra crushed Oreos on top.

Bake at 450 ºC for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, lower the temperature to 250 ºC and bake for 30 minutes, and then turn off the oven and leave it for another 30 minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and cool.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Custom Wall Stickers For Sale

Well, I've decided to start selling some of my homemade crafts. First up is custom wall stickers. I have special adhesive vinyl that I can cut with my cricut. I can cut any letter in a few different fonts, and a few shapes as well from 1" to 5 1/2" tall. The colours I have available right now are black, chocolate brown, and pink. I may be able to get other colours on request. The stickers come off the wall without leaving a mark, and can be reapplied (although I do not recommend reusing them). The prices will vary based on what you want, but most should be around $20. Shipping/delivery are extra. Here are a few that I've made already.  E-mail me for more details or to place your order!

This one I made with chocolate brown vinyl, 5.5" letters, and Simply Sweet Font.

This one was done in chocolate brown, 2.5" letters in Calligraphy font and cost $18.50 ("best" done in 3").
This one was done in 2" letters ("fearless" in 3") on black in Gratitude font and cost $26.50.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

How to Host an Amazing Luau!

My boyfriend and I hosted a Luau last weekend, and it was a bunch of fun! I thought I'd share some neat party ideas if anyone else wants to host one!


Most of the decorations that we had were from Dollarama, one or two things from a party store. We got tiki torches ($2 each), candle holders ($2 each), citronella candles, paper lanterns, and a few other things. It looked great when the sun started going down, but the bugs were bad so we didn't get to enjoy it for too long. I just used bright colours for all the plates, etc. I also got some coconuts and pineapples that doubled as extra food. Make sure you have leis to give to your guests as they arrive too!

I made this sign using my cricut, and it was super easy! I just cut out the tags and letters using the George and Basic Shapes cartridge, and strung it together using some hemp. The wind blew it around a bit, but we added a bit of tape and it looked great! You could easily do this craft to suit any occasion as well!


Having a roasted pig would have been awesome, but we simply did not have the budget for it. We decided to do sliders (mini hamburgers), summery salads, and make-your-own skewer bar. The skewers were a big hit because everybody could put the foods that they liked on the skewers, and it saved us some work putting them together. Aside from the typical vegetables, we had pineapple, mango, and shrimp.


For drinks we made sure we had lots of water and pop. I bought some margarita mix from Walmart that was super easy. You just mix it with water (and tequila if you really want to) in the morning and stick it in a giant ziploc bag in the freezer and it freezes into a slush by the evening. I also had an ice shaver that I got from Home Sense for $15. It worked better if you froze the ice in the discs that it came with, but you can use ice cubes as well. I bought some slushie mix and pina colada syrup so we had sno cones and mocktails.


I spent more time working on the other parts of the Luau than the activities, but here are some fun ideas that we tried. A spontaneous game of ring toss ensued trying to get our ring-shaped frisbee to land on a tiki torch. We also played coconut bowling with waterbottles, but one of the coconuts split open. We also played human ring toss with a hula hoop, which was really fun. We found a giant bamboo stick at Dollarama for $2 (not sure what the actual purpose of it is) but it worked perfect for our limbo game! Make sure you have some good limbo music for this part! A couple other games you could try are hula hooping contest, any sort of water game, and another game where you have two people with a coconut or beach ball and you start with it on the ground, and without using your hands you have to get it up between your faces.

I hope you all enjoy, we sure did!