Sunday, July 21, 2013

Biscoff Cupcake Update

We needed to find something that would be a true heartfelt thank you to a local business.  My husband suggested the Biscoff Cupcakes that I made a couple of weeks ago.  They were a lot of fun to make and look pretty cool, so I agreed.

I made little flags for them just using MSWord and a logo.  I cut the paper into strips and glued the flags to colored toothpicks.  I also added some sprinkles to the top - they were brown sugar sprinkles - and I also used some kraft paper colored cupcake liners that I found at Walmart for $1.50.  I liked the look of the brown frosting, the brown Biscoff crumbs and sprinkles and the brown paper liners.  I used the Wilton 4B tip.  Recipe is from and can be found on my Recipe page.  Previous post can be found here.

We delivered them and I think they were genuinely touched.  They had never heard of Biscoff cookies, so including a few of them in the cupcake tin ended up being a good thing.  I think they'll be Biscoff fans themselves pretty soon!

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Lovely Biscoff cream frosting, Biscoff drizzle, Biscoff crumbs and brown sprinkles.  Mmmmmmm!

A few cookies were added to the tray

Cupcake and easy flag

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cardboard Scrapbook

My mom has lots and lots of pictures of every family event - every one of them labeled in her handwriting and put in 3 ring binders.  She often tells the story of how we all moaned and groaned every time she took out the camera (and we still do - but in a joking way!) but that we always come back to her if we're looking for a certain picture or trying to remember the name of a certain campsite in South Dakota.  I know she's thinking "I told you so!" in all caps!!

Anyway, I think her documenting all those everyday moments was passed on to me and I have taken pictures and labeled and stored them for years.  When scrapbooking became popular, I went to a few Creative Memories parties and was hooked.  Things have certainly evolved since then and there are a lot more ideas and raw materials to work with which I love.  I just wish I had lots more time to get caught up.  I initially did all my albums chronologically (like my mom did) but then started doing little "breakaway" albums for vacations.  That seems to work best for me.

This past week, I ventured out into the cardboard scrapbook realm.  I've never done one before and the one that I will post here is not yet complete (I'll update the page when it's finished).  The initial appeal of this book was the cost.  The cardboard set was only around $5 at Michaels.  I bought some embellishments and some paper, but ended up using scraps and stuff I had on hand.  I also decided to ModPodge the whole thing.  

The finished cover - ModPodged and all!
Also, instead of doing the trip chronologically as I usually do, the tabs inspired me to block the book into sections; sightseeing, restaurants, family, etc. 

Let's get started!!
I kind of played around with the first page or two before I committed and glued things down.  I was especially reticent because I had no idea if this thing was gonna work.  I cut all the items and fit them to size first.

Then I ModPodged the entire piece of cardboard.

I put all the pieces on and used scrapbooking glue for anything that didn't touch the cardboard - just as I would do for a regular scrapbook.

I took a credit card and a blank piece of paper and pressed it all down tightly to reduce any bubbles or gapping that might occur.  Then I covered the whole thing with ModPodge - even the embellishments.  

 After it dried, it had that nice ModPodgy thick covering.  

The page above is finished.  The "smile" is cardboard, and the ModPodge sealed it nicely.

In addition to paper and embellishments, I've used things we picked up on the trip - motel card keys, maps, ads, business cards from restaurants, napkins - anything and everything that would add to the interest factor of the pages.

I have a few more pages to finish, but I really like the heaviness of the cardboard and the ModPodged pages seem to invite you to touch them.  So different from my usual albums where everything is covered in plastic so that any fingers can't damage the pictures.  After mounting the remainder of the pictures, my next step will be to tie lots of fiber and ribbon scraps around the rings and then I will be done!   I'll post a pic when I'm done!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Days Until" Chalkboard

Here is a variation on the usual framed chalkboard that I've done (mentioned in my last Crafty Girls post).  This one was made from a piece of wood.  I attached a sawtooth picture hanger thingy on the back and a drawer pull on the front (to hold the chalk).    My stencil was made by printing up the phrase in a very large font on my computer and cutting it out with an exacto knife.  When the paint was dry, I traced the stencil on the board in pencil and then painted it.  It now hangs proudly outside the door near my office.  I need those reminders to get things done!!

The chalkboard in action!  Geez, not much time left to get registration going!  Yikes!

Use an exacto knife to cut out the printed words

After painting the board black, trace the stencil with a pencil (hey that rhymes!) then paint with ivory!

Crafty Girls Day

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Biscoff Cupcakes

I first found out about Biscoff cookies when I tried them on an airplane.  I fell in love with them at that moment.  When I got home, I scoured the local stores trying to find them, but no luck.  I googled them and Amazoned them and the trail led me to Walgreens.  Yep, I found 'em at Walgreens.  I was on a Biscoff and coffee kick for quite awhile but eventually moved on to other things.

While perusing my favorite blogs recently, I saw a post featuring Chocolate Biscoff Cupcakes.  Really???  Chocolate Biscoff Cupcakes???  Oh my!!  The recipe called for the cookies and something called Biscoff Spread.  I had no idea there was such a thing!!  Later that day my husband and I went to CVS.  I was strolling through the cookie section and lo and behold there were Biscoff cookies AND Biscoff spread.  Game on!

The recipe can be found on the i am baker website (link is also on the home page - you'll love this blog!) as well as on my recipe page.  We'll see how popular they are when I take them to work tomorrow.  Doesn't matter though... they were fun to make and I know I will be enjoying one with my cup of coffee in the morning!!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pizza Night!

My husband is from Chicago.  Chicago = pizza.  And for the 30 years we've been married, we've eaten a lot of pizza.

My husband also loves to bake.  He did a lot of research on the web a few years ago and after lots of thought, comparison, reading reviews, etc., he purchased his first bread machine.  He used it so much, he eventually had to get a second one.  He's made various loaf breads, cinnamon rolls (link here), and.... wait for it.... pizza dough.  I've mentioned our Friday night pizza night in an earlier post, however, after our recent trip to the Windy City, he is on a deep dish kick.

He has the recipe down pat:

3 1/2 c. bread flour (he uses King Arthur)
1/2 c. cornmeal
2 tbs. sugar or honey
Pinch of salt
2 c. water (he uses sparkling water)

He puts it in the bread machine and allows it to rise once.

He then takes it out, covers it with a towel and allows it to rise a second time.

Of course, in true Chicago style, the cheese goes on top of the crust and then the sauce, then the toppings.  Bake at 475 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pop open a nice cold beer, and you'd think you were in Chi-town!  I'm so lucky!!

The dough on it's second rise

My daughter's favorite - peppers - before going into the oven

Cheese pizza - hot out of the oven

Pizzeria Uno - the original!!  (Chicago- June 2013)