Friday, December 23, 2016

Super Easy 4-Ingredient Christmas Cookies!

Since it's Christmas Eve-Eve, I've been baking today and I thought I'd share a shockingly easy, but oh-so-delicious, recipe I've been making since I was in grade school.  Brown Sugar Shortbread.  How can only four ingredients taste this delicious, you might ask? Well, they can and do.  I've gifted them by the dozen to my extended family for my the bulk of my life, and they are usually gone before they go home!  Naturally, it's the perfect simple recipe to make with small children (especially since there's no egg in the dough they can sneak a pinch without worry).  They are certainly some of my two daughter's favorites and they look forward to them every year.  
Here's the original recipe card from my childhood, complete with my unusual spelling of cookie.  Take time to make some memories in the kitchen this Christmas with this recipe, and I can guarantee you won't regret it! Cheers!

It doesn't get any simpler than this! 4-ingredients to buttery, sweet goodness.

Mix ingredients until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Firm consistency.
Roll into 1" balls, then dredge in granulated sugar. Close-up of the
cookie press I've had all my life...but the bottom of a glass would work too.
Dip stamp in sugar between presses to avoid sticking.

Cookies ready for baking!
Finished cookies...ahh, the smell of melted butter and brown sugar...nothing better!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dollar Store Garland Upcycle...Christmas Bell Ornaments

Post two for today...yes, it's still raining.  It's the time of year for the team holiday party, and I wanted to make the girls on my daughters' dance team some cute bell ornaments...they are the "Belles," after all!  But, if you've ever shopped for Christmas ornaments (who hasn't!), you know they can add up fast.  So, off I went to my local Dollar Tree to see what they had in the way of bells.  What to my wondering eyes did appear,  but a gold bell garland so my choice was I taking this holiday thing a bit far?  

Okay, so with 10 bells per garland, I grabbed two and got to work.  I measured equal distance between the bells and sniped the bead string.  Then, after making sure the bead strings were the same length I wired them together between the two ends beads with some thin gold wire I had on hand. Next, came the glitter.  I poured some ModPodge glue into a jar lid, and carefully dipped just the edge of the bell into the glue in a circular motion.  I then poured some light blue glitter into another lid, and dipped the ornament edge in to cover the glue.  I dried the bell upside-down in an old egg carton.  After it was dry, I used a craft paintbrush to apply a line of ModPodge for the second color of glitter (navy blue) on a band around the bell.  This time I just sprinkled the glitter over the wet glue and taped against it to remove the excess.  Let dry again.  As with all glitter projects, do it over a piece of paper or mat so that you can put it back in the jar and reuse it.  Lastly, I made little glitter bows with some glitter ribbon also bought at Dollar Tree.  For these, I didn't actually tie a bow I just made it like you would a cheer bow and wired it with the same fine wire I used to wire the bead strands together.  I used a glue gun to attach the finished bow to the top of the bell.  

Oh! I almost forgot...I used a fine tip Sharpie to write the team name and year on the inside edge of the bell.  Here's some photos to help you understand these rambling directions! They're really very easy, and I think pretty darn cute!  Not bad for less than $5 for 20 including all the materials!

"Halftime" Dance Team Performance Favors

Hi all! It's another rainy Saturday here in Oregon, so I thought I'd catch up a bit with the ol' blog.  If you've read my previous posts, you'll see lots of little favors I've made for my girls dance team when they perform, compete or party.  

Here's a group of three different favors, all using the same format of using a business card template in my PrintShop for Mac program.  The first and second favors were a play on the lyrics from the song they performed to..."I can move mountains" and "I can work a miracle." So, a cool mountain graphic and some Disney Frozen fruit snacks; favor one, done.  Second, some cloud graphics to play on the etherial miracle idea and a little Rolo candy.  Lastly, some favors I made for a recent basketball halftime performance. Nothing expensive here, just a little "shot" of chocolate to put some jump in their steps! As always, I hope these inspire you to spoil your favorite team with sweet kindness.