Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Would-Be Christmas Desserts

Okay, so I'd like for a portion of my blog to be dedicated to product testing, not in a lab somewhere wearing a white coat and goggles and following some sort of scientific order, but right here in my own house in my own kitchen/laundry room/bathroom etc....For example, what product exists that will remove the Crayola chalk stains from my son's Tae Kwon Do uniform?  Haven't found one yet!  How about chocolate milk?  My kids are currently on chocolate milk restriction right now...for SEVERAL weeks in a row, EVERY time my kids drank chocolate milk it spilled.  Ruined; MANY adorable outfits ruined!  Hopefully I'll find something for stains soon, but this post is about wax paper and Christmas desserts, or would-be Christmas desserts.

I have some recipes that call for having a pan lined with parchment paper to ensure easy removal from the pan after baking.  However, running low on cash for my holiday bash and running out of both parchment paper and wax paper I stand in the aisle of the grocery store comparing labels, wax paper in one hand and parchment in the other.

Notice bullet point number two in that second picture..."easy removal after baking".  Perfect!  I head home with wax paper in hand thinking I have what I need.  (Also notice in the first picture the parchment paper in the drawer that I later went back for.)

Here's my peppermint cream brownie...that WILL NOT come out of the wax paper lined pan.

Here's how it came out...with wax paper melted into it...just lovely.

So my official PDD (Punkin Doodle Dandy) report is that wax paper is not, in fact, a good choice for lining pans for easy removal after baking.  I ruined 4 Christmas desserts this way (had them all prepped with wax paper lining before I started baking, so there was no going back!)...White Cloud (chocolate cream filled meringue), this peppermint cream brownie, melted cinnamon discs (that were to be broken into shards for topping cupcakes), and chocolate decadence cake.

Next time you have baking projects, your safe bet is definitely parchment paper! 

So did you wait until the last minute?


I'm one of those people who is D-U-N shopping by the end of the day on Black Friday.  I may pick up a few more odds and ends if I see something a particular someone will love or if I happen to stumble upon a crazy awesome deal, but for the most part, if Christmas surprised us by arriving on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, I'd be ready.  Many, though, are NOT like that at all.  If you have kids and you're one of those people, or if you're just on a shoestring budget, this is for you!

At my playgroup's moms only Christmas party, one of the moms arrived and shared with us an adorable ornament that her son had made at his part-time day care.  It is a hand print ornament which is always precious, and it came with a little poem which makes it even sweeter!

Total project cost for 8 ornaments:  $2  (yes, that's 2 bucks...not a typo; however, I did have a couple of things on hand that I didn't have to buy.  If you have to buy it all, I'd say about $5.)

What you need:

1 sleeve of 8 ornaments in any colour you choose ($1 Dollar Tree, Target dollar bins)
1 "strand" acrylic paint pots; you'll need one black, one white, and one orange at least ($1 JoAnn, Dollar Tree)
1 metallic Sharpie
1 thin paint brush
1 pair scissors
1 paper towel tube

1.  Cut paper towel tube into 8 pieces.  These will be used for drying stands for the ornaments.  (see pic)
2.  Paint childs hand white and have child grasp ornament, leaving a hand print on each.  You'll have to re-paint the hand each time (I did this with a wider brush).  Place each ornament on a "stand" to dry.
3.  Once dry, add embellishments.  Give each snowman a face and three buttons down the front.  Use a variety of top hats, beanies, earmuffs, and scarves.
4.  Either hand write or use a printer to print the following poem to include with each ornament gift:
"These aren't just five snowmen,
as anyone can see.
I made them with my hand,
which is a part of me.

Now each year when you trim the tree,
you'll look back and recall
Christmas of 2010
when my hand was just this small."

Voila!  With only a couple of bucks and about an hour of your time, you'll have the most treasured ornament gifts for parents, grandparents, teachers, aunts, uncles...anyone who loves your child!  Many thanks to my friend, Katherine, who inadvertently left hers on the side of the road :0) ***oops!*** so that I could find it and copy it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nearly Free Scarves!!!!

Check out this awesome deal available at Old Navy only on Saturday, 12/18......$1 fleece scarves!  There is a limit of 5 per customer.  5 scarves for 5 bucks!  That is an amazing deal!
Thank you so much to Jenny over at SouthernSavers who has developed an amazing super saving shopping system and shared it with the world and who leads a fan base that helps keep her informed of all the best deals out there!

I'd love to hear your crazy shopping stories from Black Friday through Christmas!  Find any unbelievable deals?  Witness any crazed shopper unruly behavior?  I was at Best Buy on Black Friday morning at 4 am and everyone was surprisingly mellow compared to years past.  How about you?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Forgotten

Last night it was my peppermint cream fudge...every time I have a party, I forget to serve just one dish as it sits vainly awaiting it's moment of glory.  Last night it was my peppermint cream fudge.  Now what to do with it (she says innocently from a chocolate smeared mouth, the faint scent of peppermint on her breath).

Does anyone else out there have a reoccurring party goof-up?

Monday, December 13, 2010


So I've finally decided as a self-proclaimed do-it-myselfer that I needed to start myself a blog!  Along my journey towards becoming a pro mom (is that even possible?) I've decided to set some goals that are more attainable...a pro blogger?  Seems more likely than becoming a pro mom!  Lots to learn, hops, link parties, and lots of other lessons to pick up on along the way.  Not just blogging lessons either...a while ago (around midnight), I started making a meringue only to realize that it had to bake for an hour and then sit in the warm oven for another 2 hours and then cool to room temperature before being wrapped in Saran wrap and placed in the fridge where it will reside until my Christmas party tomorrow!  So since I'm going to be up until around 3, I thought I'd use the time to create my blog and make my first post!

Now that I've figured those things out, I've just got to figure out how I'm going to get readers over here to check me out!  If you happened to stumble onto my blog, please click "follow"!  I promise I'm full of creative ideas, crafting tips, humorous anecdotes and insight into motherhood, and I can guarantee that more than once, you'll be glad you stopped by!

And that's that!  My first post!  Now, does that meringue really have to sit in the warm oven for another hour?!?!  I am BEAT!