3/2/15

0 3 Easy Steps to Frosting Sugar Cookies


A reader of mine asked me how I was able to frost my Valentine Conversation hearts so perfectly, with clean, crisp edges.  Here's how!

1.   Frost your sugar cookie with butter cream icing, using an offset spatula.  An offset spatula is flat and has a bent blade, allowing ease in frosting cakes and cookies. Go past the edges and resist the urge to make it perfect!



2.  Dip your offset spatula in some room temperature water and shake off the excess.  Go over the surface of your cookie lightly, and watch the surface magically smooth over.


3.  Hold the offset spatula 90ยบ to the edge of your cookie and scrape off the excess.  This gives your cookie the desired clean and crisp edge.


Now your cookies are ready to embellish with sprinkles, or additional frosting in various colors. 

Have fun!




May contain affiliate links.  Please refer to my disclosure policy. 

2/19/15

0 Four Steps to Making A Family Story Cookbook

Great Grandma's Butter Dream Cookies 
Midwestliving.com


After attending RootsTech, a genealogy conference here in Salt Lake City, I was definitely overwhelmed and inspired.

Overwhelmed? Yes.  There is so much work to be done, finding our anscestors and sharing their stories.  My husband loves the "hunt" and "discovery" of genealogy, so this part belongs to him!

Inspired?  Yes.  To continue documenting my life and the lives of our family members through stories, pictures, and food.

Food?  Yes, food is a part of YOUR history!

These days, families may get a store-bought pre-packaged family meal.  Wouldn't it be great to capture and preserve YOUR family's favorite home-cooked Thanksgiving favorites?  If your family doesn't have a tradition, it's never too late to start one.

Do you have a family favorite recipe?  Is there a story that goes with the recipe?  How about a photo of the story or recipe?  If so, you've got the perfect recipe to making a Family Story Cookbook.

Funeral Potaotes

There are many ways of going about starting a Family Story Cookbook.

First, capture story ideas.  Think about the foods you and your family have loved.  Hated. Foods that have reminded you of a holiday, event, or vacation. Use a timeline to jot down your notes.

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Second, gather the recipes and photos.  Recipes that are handwritten and have stains are the most used and loved recipes.  Is there a story with the recipe?  Are old recipes safe? Recipes that use raw eggs (chiffon pies or soft souffles) can be replaced with meringue powder.  Canning methods also have changed.  Salsas are now canned using a pressure canner.  Pickles and jellies are canned using a water bath instead of paraffin.  Not everyone will like the recipe, but hey, if it has a story and a photo, record it anyway. Look through your family photos.  Does the photo remind you of a story?  Write your thoughts on your timeline.

From Cappersfarmer.com

Have a story and a recipe, but no photo?  Recreate the recipe and take a photo of it. The photo will be the first thing your reader will see and will be pulled into reading the story that goes along with it.

Photo Album for Recipe Cards

Third, where do you want your recipes to come from?  A single person, such as Grandma Tilly?  An event, such as birthdays?  Or a location, say, Italy?  You can ask your family members for their favorite recipe and have a family collection: The Smith Family Cookbook.  How about cooking from the decades or stories/recipes from a specific time period?  College Days: More Than Ramen?

When you  get your recipes, proof read each one and check for potential problems, like underdone eggs. Check for clarity of ingredients (what size can of tomato sauce) and directions.

Recipe 3 Ring Binder is what I use

You can now see there are many ways to start a family cookbook. Pick one and start gathering your recipes and stories.  Photograph kitchen gear and memorabilia. Family members may love to see what grandma's old flour sifter looked like.

Fourth, you've got your recipes, stories, and photos.  What are your publishing options?  You can go low tech:

Customizable 3 Ring Binders  with Clear Sheet Protectors
Photo Albums
Scrapbook Page
Make Decorative Recipe Cards

Or high tech:

Use Scrapbook Software
DIY Photo Books - Blurb.com
Scan original handwritten recipes

It's never too late to start. Start today and preserve those family favorite recipes!  What are your favorite recipes?






This post may contain affiliate links. For more information please refer to our Disclosure Policy.


2/10/15

0 Big Bear Chocolates: Caramel Apples




Recently, a friend from way back found me on Facebook and friended me.  I was excited to reconnect with Julie as both of our sons are childhood and college friends.


In catching up, I found that she is a chocolatier and owns Big Bear Chocolates.  She has her own brick and motar shop in Spokane, Washington and sells these goodies through her Etsy shop online.

Friends of mine have been asking me about shipping my sugar cookies.  I began asking Julie questions about packaging and shipping.  She agreed to be one of my testers and said, "Why don't we do an exchange?"

Huh? What a sweet idea! She explained that she uses USPS flat rate priority mail and packages usually arrive between 1-2 days, depending on location.  "What do you want to try?" she asked. Julie makes over 20 different flavor gourmet caramel apples, fudge and offers gift basket combinations.

"Surprise me!"

And surprise me she did.  I tell you, it is SO fun to receive a package in the mail.  It's even better than Christmas.  I can understand why Amazon is so popular...


I was so excited to find six beautiful gourmet caramel apples in my delivery box!

Each one was perfect, beautifully wrapped; no cracks, crumbs or damage. 


On the left is one of her most popular favorites: Caramel Apple Pie.  The Peanut Butter tugged at my heartstrings, but the Pecan Turtle was calling my name.

These caramel apples were decorated especially for Valentine's Day.


Take a look inside this Rocky Road caramel apple. A crisp, green locally grown Granny apple, dipped in homemade caramel, milk chocolate, covered with chopped walnuts and mini marshmallows, then drizzled with a combo of white and milk chocolate....


This cut caramel apple was put in the fridge a couple of days ago (hence the slight browning), but it still tastes amazing! 

These uncut apples, if left in the fridge, will last up to two months!!  Heck, around here, it's not going to last that long....

What do you think about these apples? Aren't they darling??


These caramel apples are wonderful for any occasion, gift giving, or simply because you are drooling and want them, like, NOW.

Thank you, Julie, from the bottom of my heart and stomach ~ Your apples are everything you promised and much, much more! 

Please visit Big Bear Chocolates through any of the following links: **HINT** Look for a GIVEAWAY on her Facebook page!)

Big Bear Chocolates
Big Bear Chocolates Online
Big Bear Chocolates on Facebook  

I was not given any compensation or asked to write this post. My opinions are 100% my own and I love sharing wonderful products with my readers!

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