Sunday, December 7, 2014

Snickerdoodle Cookies for Coworker Gift Bags

Teachers have lots of coworkers. We have parent helpers. We have a boss and office staff. It can get crazy if you want to give gifts to lots of the people who help you do your job. I have found the most personal gift that won't also break the budget, is a homemade box or bag of cookies or candy.
Holiday Snickerdoodle Cookie Giftbags for Coworker Christmas Gifts 

This year I am giving some yummy and easy Snickerdoodles to my people I visit, in the neighborhood, coworkers and school staff. I found these adorable bags at Walmart for $1.00 for 5 of them or 27 cents each for just a couple.
Gift bags from Walmart. They are very colorful and festive. I just added a cute gift tag, bagged the Snickerdoodle cookies in a holiday Ziplock baggie, and added bright, red, tissue paper.
I made a double batch of this SNICKERDOODLE recipe.
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Mix together and then roll walnut sized balls in cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. After 5 minutes open oven and sprinkle red or green or both sugars onto flat cookies. 
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon (mix together cinnamon and sugar and roll dough balls in before baking)
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar 

I rolled them very lightly in a 1 to 3 ratio of  cinnamon to sugar mixture and popped them in the oven. If you want your to turn out more rounded than flat chill dough for 45 minutes before rolling and baking.
Easy Snickerdoodles 
After the cookies had baked 5 minutes and were flat, I opened up the oven and sprinkled red and green decorating sugar on them lightly. They are crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, with a hint of cinnamon.
Snickerdoodle Cookies with red and green sugars! Great Co-worker gift bag! 
The gift bags are cute with the tissue paper and the gifts took me a few hours to make but now I'm all done! I like how they turned out too. Yummy!
Snickerdoodle Cookies are always a yummy and inviting treat for a gift bag! 
I always love a good home-baked  bread or cookie as a gift. I have a friend who delivers caramels homemade and another who always makes English Toffee. And my good neighbor down the street brings over a homemade berry pie every year. I love the personal touch. And you can't go wrong when it tastes yummy.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Turkey Cupcakes and Scarecrow Cupcakes for Thanksgiving Dessert Table


How about making some Thanksgiving Cupcakes for the kids this year? If you want something different in addition to the pumpkin pies, how about Turkey or Scarecrow Cupcakes? Or a Pilgrim's Hat from a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup? Yum.

These turkey cupcakes were made with jawbreaker and lemonhead heads (giant sized shown below) and candy corn beaks and feathers. They were super easy, little kids could even do them. Adults would just have to add the eyes in a fine icing tip.
These jawbreakers and lemonheads make great turkey cupcake heads. 
These Scarecrow Cupcakes were made from Orange Slices (and other colored gumdrop flavors) and candy corn and Chocolate chips or M & Ms for eyes. The hair is Chinese crunchy noodles. 
I also bought a Wilton Package of Cupcake toppers in leaves and pumpkins. I added the leaves to the Scarecrow heads for a hat decoration on the Thanksgiving Scarecrow Cupcakes. On the Turkey Cupcakes I added the pumpkins for an added decoration. Check them out below. 
We did a Thanksgiving Buffet for a School Party and this was my contribution. These cute turkeys are made from gumballs or candy "Lemonheads" or "Jaw Breakers" in the large size. (They were Halloween candy leftovers!) Then I added candy corn for the feathers and some icing eyes. 
These Peanut Butter Cookies I added Reese's Pieces to them for fall colors. They were gobbled right up on Thanksgiving Day!  
Easy Scarecrow Cupcakes. They were tasty and cute too! 
 And the Thanksgiving Cupcakes made a very cute dessert buffet table too! The kids in your family (big kids or little kids) will all love them. You could also use this as a fun activity after Thanksgiving dinner too. Kids would love to decorate their own cupcake with candy!

Last year we made gingerbread houses and these cute Cookie Pilgrim Hats from a Keebler striped cookie and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. The "buckle" is a cut up gumdrop. 
I just added some Milk Chocolate chips to the Cupcake batter to make it a little bit richer and yummier. Sometimes I add a small chocolate pudding box to the dry mix and a cup of sour cream if I want them super rich and tasty. 
 Try adding some chocolate chips to your next batch of chocolate cupcakes. You will love it. If I use yellow cake mixes I add butterscotch chips to the batter for cupcakes and for cakes too. And I'll add a vanilla pudding small box (dry) and a cup of sour cream too. It just makes your cakes and cupcakes RICHER tasting!

Then I frosted the cupcakes and used chocolate sprinkles for the chocolate cupcakes before decorating them further. 
Cute little Turkey Cupcakes would be super easy for even 4 year olds to put together You would just have to add the frosting eyeballs. I just used a writing tip and made dots with white and chocolate icing. You could also buy the premade eyeball candies. 
Have some fun this Thanksgiving for your kiddos and grandkids; make Turkey Cupcakes! 
Or Scarecrow Cupcakes.  Or make both kinds on Thanksgiving Day for a fun activity after everybody has enjoyed the turkey dinner!  We have made gingerbread men and houses too. It's a fun activity for kids and a sweet memory.

Then when you are all done eating. Play some Thanksgiving BINGO HERE FREE, or else play Pin the Hat on the Turkey. I got mine from the dollar store! :D Have more fun on Thanksgiving Day with your kids and grandkiddos!  


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fall and Thanksgiving Decorating

I'm starting to decorate my house for Thanksgiving now that Halloween is over. ( sounds of sniffling). I have ALMOST as much junk to decorate with for Thanksgiving as I do for Halloween. But not quite as much.

I do love the FALL SEASON best of any other. I love the colored leaves, the pumpkins and turkeys everywhere, and I love fall linens and tablescapes. If you want to know my Top 10 Reasons Why Fall is My Favorite, see my rant HERE.  Here are a few tablescapes I snapped recently.


Here is my placemats and china I used last year. But I got some really pretty placemats with a lemon branch on them from William Sonoma a few weeks ago. I'm going with a green and yellow color scheme.


I just got these beautiful placemats at William Sonoma when I was down in Provo from the Chalk the Block Festival. 


Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim and the little tiny Thanksgiving peeps.  My grandkids love to play with this little table and the indians and pilgrims. 


You will NOT believe it but this scarecrow is made from a white mop. Yup. It's a mopcrow.....or....a scaremop.....or.....a scrop! Yes, that's IT! Or maybe it's a mop-a-row. hmmm....

Kitchen counters with my leftover Halloween pumpkin and some glassware. 

Here is the coffee table decorated up with my cute scarecrow and those gross tasting but cute candy corns for Thanksgiving. They have some brown in them. 

This is the funniest looking turkey you ever saw. WE always laugh at it every stinkin year! 

Writing desk in the living room has some cute decor for fall now too! 
Here is the front entry table. I love the cute table runner I got a few years back. It has all the fall colors. The turkey is from Kohls. I got it on clearance last year. 
I made these little pilgrims out of a 2 x 4 and our bandsaw. The boy has a little wooden turkey on a piece of brown twine. The girl is holding a small basket of "apples" but they are kind of reddish orange so they could be pumpkins...who knows! The hair is twine and the bonnet and collars are felt. 
I printed up this Fall subway art and matted it in pumpkin colored paper with a cool mahogany colored wood frame. The free printable is below.
I got this printable from Simply Sweet Home. I love it. 

Kiddie table is cute and ready for Thanksgiving. I made this tablecloth from some clearance Thanksgiving fabric I scored. 

I added some butterscotch colored candles to the hurricane lamps on the piano and some silk florals to a ceramic watcr pitcher I found at Michaels. 

My daughter Tiffany had this pretty mantle made up for fall that I loved too. We both like decorating a little bit for each season. Happy Fall Ya'll! 



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie to Die For


 I love a good Chicken Pot Pie. It is such a great comfort food.  My daughter-in-law, Wendy, made the most delicious one I've ever eaten at my granddaughter Chelsea's birthday dinner party. I had to go home and try it. So she shared the recipe with me. It has become one of my all time favorites. Mostly because of how easy it is. But also because it tastes so dang good!


Homemade Chicken Pot Pie  is the perfect meal for these chilly, fall days we have been having. And walking in the house my hubs called out, MMMMM, WHAT is that YUMMY SMELL?  Yeah. It makes cooking for a man very, very fulfilling, yes it does.

It is pretty easy if you use frozen peas and carrots. (I used fresh carrots that come in those little 1 pound bags already cleaned).  All you have to do for Chicken Pot Pie is dice up a few chicken breasts, a few potatoes, onions and some celery. The rest is super EASY PEASY! But it is so flavorful and mouth watering!  

The Walmart brand pie crusts (Great Value) are surprisingly flaky. If I am lazy or in a time crunch I use those. Wendy recommended them too. 

Here is the Recipe for Chicken Pot Pie to Die For! It is adapted from one she found on All Recipes.com by Robbie Rice. She adds potatoes. (So I did too).  Then I adapted a bit more by adding a half of a chicken gravy packet to my "broth" and I sprinkled in some added lemon pepper instead of celery seed. I added some leftover rice to one of pie instead of potatoes. You could also switch out turkey for the chicken if you prefer.


CHICKEN POT PIE TO DIE FOR
Chop and dice up all the veggies and chicken into a bowl. Add spices, flour, butter, milk and broth. Dump in 1/2 packet chicken gravy. Mix. Roll out pie crust and put in a 9 inch pie pan. Dump the pie filling into it. Cover with another pie crust and pinch the sides around with your thumb and forefinger to decorate. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes (more or less) or until golden brown on top. If the edges start to brown too fast put a strip of foil around them. 

Let set out for 15 minutes before cutting into the pie so it will stand up better. 
Enjoy! Serves 6. 
The "Great Value" pie crusts from Walmart are really tasty. I used these for the top and bottom, and they were on sale! SCORE! 



Try it one of these cold, autumn days after work. It only took about 30 minutes to bake.
Yummy Chicken Pot Pie. It is Oh SO Yummy! I promise!


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