Saturday, January 2, 2016

Get Organized This Year - Household Chore List

With a new year comes the slew of resolutions. Of course, like everyone, I've got the typical ones of getting back in shape, getting a hold on housework, etc. And like everyone, these get broken within a couple weeks. So this year I decided to help myself stick to them, I'd create some lists to post to the fridge, keep in my phone, etc. The first is my housework list. It is a mashup of other list ideas I found on Pinterest put into an easy to follow spreadsheet. I've included a link here so you can edit it to fit your needs (because how likely is it that you need to clean a guinea pig cage weekly?). I hope this helps you get organized and stick to it this year!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Drunken Sugar Cookies

When one is preparing for a weekend away in the Keys without kids, apparently the thing to do (if you are me) is create Drunken Sugar Cookies. These ended up being such a hit that I was requested to share them. The base recipe is listed first, followed by the instructions.  At the bottom are some ways to change them up based on some popular drinks. Of course, you can use this all as guidelines to make your own favorite cocktail based cookies (or, you can leave the alcohol out for mocktail cookies...though who wants to do that?)!

Cookie Dough Ingredients:
6 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp extract (vanilla for basic sugar cookies, or see below for ideas)
1 tsp salt

Base Icing Ingredients:
2 lbs powdered sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbl extract
Milk, Alcohol, Juices to adjust consistency

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and extract.  Mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mix until completely incorporated and dough forms a large ball.
Roll dough up, flatten slightly, cover with saran wrap and chill at least 2 hours.

After dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350*.

Place dough on a well floured space and roll out to desired thickness. A great trick to get it even is use paint stir sticks (2-3 taped together) on either side of your dough and put ends of rolling pin over them.  Roll dough in between until pin is rolling flat along the sticks.
Cut out your desired shapes and place them on parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheets. You should be able to get 4-5 dozen out of the dough, depending on your cookie cutter size.
Bake approximately 10 minutes until the top edges get very slightly golden brown.  They will still be soft when they come out of the oven, but will harden as they cool.
Place the cookies on a wire cooling rack to let them cool completely before decorating.

Now mix together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, and extract with a spoon until combined completely.
You will slowly mix in your liquid until you get a very thick consistency. You can now add any food coloring gels to get your colored icing. Use this to line your cookie design once the cookies are completely cooled.
After you line your cookie design, add a little more liquid to thin out the icing a bit and fill in the design.
Let the icing set for at least an hour before stacking them (if you can hold out on eating them all right away).

Note: For all the icing recipes, always add liquors, milk, juices to icing slowly to get desired consistency.  These are just approximate amounts. You may need less or more as weather, temperature, elevation can always alter amounts needed.

Strawberry Daiquiri:
For the cookie dough: 1 tsp vanilla extract & 1 tsp strawberry extract (or strawberry jelly heated until liquid).
For the icing: 2 tbl strawberry extract & 3 Tbl dark rum (add rum slowly to make sure you get correct consistency for thick consistency.  Then add additional dark rum to taste/get thinner consistency.

Pina Colada:
For the cookie dough: 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp pineapple juice, 1/2 tsp coconut extract
For the icing: 2 Tbl Coco Lopez, 2 Tbl pineapple juice, & 3 Tbl coconut rum for thick consistency (add rum slowly to make sure you get correct consistency). Then add dark rum to taste/get thinner consistency.

For the cookie dough: 1 tsp vanilla extract & 1 tsp lime juice & 1/2 tsp grated lime peel
For the icing: 5-10 packets True Lime (to taste), 1 Tbl lime juice, 4 Tbl tequila (add tequila slowly to make sure you get correct consistency). Then add tequila to taste/get thinner consistency.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Caramel Apple Pie with Cinnamon Roll Crust

I know it's been awhile since I've posted a recipe, craft, or some funny story, but honestly things have been more than nuts in our house. However, after hosting a post-golf outing dinner party, I had a few requests for my Caramel Apple Pie recipe, so as always, you ask and you shall receive.


Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (you'll use approximately 14 so get two 8 packs)

6 cups apples (approximately 4 Jonathan or Granny Smith work best) sliced thin
1/4 cup Sweet Treat cinnamon/sugar mix (you can use any cinnamon sugar, but this brand has vanilla added to it and I'm honestly just hooked)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbl milk
2 Tbl caramel ice cream topping

1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup slightly softened butter
1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping

Preheat your oven to 350*
Take the cinnamon rolls and press into a pie pan,
making sure to press the seams together. Cover the edges with foil and pre-bake for 3-5 minutes.

Mix together all the filling ingredients, minus the caramel topping, and pour into the pie pan on top of the crust dough.  Drizzle the 2 Tbl of caramel topping on top of the filling.

Next, you will put the topping ingredients, minus the caramel topping, into a bowl and using a fork or pastry blender, cut the flour and sugar into the butter until you get a crumbly texture.  Remove the foil from the edges and sprinkle this all on top of the filling and then replace the foil around the edges.

Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes, remove the foil and bake another 15-30 minutes until the crumbled topping gets nicely golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, drizzle the remaining 1/3 cup of caramel topping over the pie, and serve with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Eat and Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Buddy the Elf. What's Your Favorite Color?

So, as I prepare for Buddy to return, I figured I'd post pictures of all his little escapades from the past 2 years that have only appeared on my Pinterest or Instagram page to help all the other families with some great (and probably sometimes a bit inappropriate) ideas for their Elf on a Shelf.


 Stocking Stuffer Elf
 Hiding on the top bunk...whatever did he do?
 Ahhh, gave Connor a kitty cat face.
 Hairdresser elf
 Sack races
 Buddy felt left out, so put himself into the family photos

 Teaching barbie how to play putt putt golf
 Got to get into shape
 A little light bathroom reading
Someone needs to stop making Buddy angry!
 Buddy has been frozen...
Han Solo style!

Fishing for goldfish
Riding with the big dogs
Taken captive
Time to grow some magical candy canes
Uh oh, someone didn't behave, so the magic didn't work
much better!
Day at the beach

a little climbing
band practice
bubble bath time with barbie
Alligator wrangling
toasting some marshmallows
1st night of Chanukah, so Buddy had to get into the spirit of things
fire rescue
pool shark Buddy
he found the candy bowl
story time
positive encouragement
protecting the house while we were gone

dreaming of a visit to the happiest place on earth
stealing the baby's swing
shooting some hoops with Larry Bird
Connor's note to Buddy
Snow Angels
Cars sleigh
He found his true love
a little artistic photoshopping
partied too hard with Mrs. Buttersworth on his last night