Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cherry Pie Filling

I made a jar of Cherry Pie Filling! I searched the internet for recipes and then made my own recipe based on the amount of cherries that I had.

My mason jar of cherry filling is in the refrigerator waiting for me to make a pie crust! 

This is so simple to make!

However, I suggest that before you start this recipe that you purchase a cherry pitter. See it in the lower right hand corner. You can buy one for less then $10. I bought mine at Sur la Table. It pops the pit out and keeps the cherry intact.


5 cups of cherries, washed and pitted
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch 

Wash and pit the cherries and put them in a medium sized saucepan.

Add the water and lemon juice to the cherries and stir over medium heat.

Once the cherries start to pop and the mixture has started to boil. Reduce the heat and add the sugar and cornstarch. Stir constantly for 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture should really start to thicken.

Once the mixture has cooled you can put it in your sterlized mason jar. This mixture can be kept in the refrigerator for about two days! If you are short on time you can purchase a plain cheesecake and pour the homemade Cherry Pie Filling over the top. Yum! Or serve over vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tennis Ball Cookies

I made some tennis ball cookies in honor of the French Open.

I used one of my favorite sugar cookie recipes and cut out circles. Frosted the cookies with yellow melted chocolate. Then sprinkled the warm chocolate with yellow decorating sugar and once that was dry I piped the white lines.

This is a super easy recipe! Fun for your tennis tennis team or party! If you make the cookies small enough they can sit on top of a cupcake! I am sad that Andy Roddick went out the first round.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Red, White and Blue HoHo's

I made these for a BBQ yesterday! And I wanted to post this last night but I was so tired when I got home.

I just bought a box of HoHo's! You will also need some extra long lollipop sticks, cello bags, ribbon and colored candy melts. I bought the HoHo's at Target and everything else at Michael's.

Simply unwrap all of the HoHo's and place them on a cookie sheet. Then melt a little chocolate and put a little of the melted chocolate on the end of each  lollipop stick. Place the lollipop stick about halfway into the HoHo and put the cookie sheet with the HoHo's into the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Then I melted a little cup of red candy melts and put the red melted chocolate in a zipper top bag and sniped off a little end and zig-zagged over the HoHo's.

Then I did the same thing with blue candy melts.

Then I did the same thing with white chocolate.

Once everything is dry - you can package the HoHo's in cellophane bags and tie them with coordinating ribbon.

In order the bring the HoHo's to the BBQ I put some dried beans in the bottom of a ceramic Flag themed cylinder so that the lollipop sticks would stand straight up.

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day. Hopefully you can take a little time today and remember those who have served our country. Please remember those who gave their lives for our freedom. God Bless America.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Indy 500 Cookies

Gentleman start your engines...... I made Indy 500 sugar cookies!

I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe. See the recipe on my number cookie post (December 29, 2011).
Using my ABC and number cookie cutters I cut out "Indy 500."

I decorated the cookies two ways! My son wanted checkerboard cookies and bright colored cookies.

First I will explain the checkerboard cookies. Spread the cookies with melted white chocolate. Once the chocolate is dry you can melt some milk chocolate and put it in a zipper bag. Snip a small end off and start making a grid and outlining the letters and numbers.

I usually decorate my cookies on parchment paper - but in the middle of this project I ran out of parchment paper! So I used foil! I am almost out of sugar also!

Once the grid design was dry - I went back in and made the checkerboard design. I took this photo with my left hand because my right hand was covered in chocolate.

I think they came out really cute! But don't look too close!

I also made some with bright colored sprinkles.

I just spread the cookie with some melted white chocolate and sprinkled them with bright colored sprinkles.

These will be great snacks tomorrow while watching the Indy 500! With a big glass of milk!

We miss you Dan Wheldon.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Girlie Gift Wrap

I wrapped Tina's birthday gift in a Tiffany blue wrapping paper.

I glue gunned some Tiffany blue beads on the wrapping paper and used three types of ribbon. A turquoise polka dot ribbon, thin white ribbon and some white net ribbon. I used a rhinestone pin I found in my craft cabinet to put in the middle of the bow!

Isn't this a perfect example of girlie gift wrap?

I also brought some homemade granola - in a girlie theme. I used a flowered cupcake liner and toped the middle with a huge rhinestone.

I hope this girlie gift wrap inspires you the next time you wrap a gift!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This cold soup couldn't be easier to make!


1 cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
1 red bell pepper
2 stalks of celery
1 small zucchini
1/2 yellow onion
7 large Roma tomatoes
1 garlic clove. minced
3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Roughly chop the cucumber, bell pepper, celery, zucchini, onion and tomatoes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Then transfer the finely chopped vegetables to a large bowl.

Now add the garlic, tomato juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Mix well and cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours so that all of the flavors blend.

If you want to bring this gazpacho to a friend or neighbor - transfer it to a large mason jar. The mason jar method also works if you want to bring the Gazpacho to a picnic or potluck.

Instead of serving the Gazpacho in a bowl - you could put individual servings in shot glasses for a fun appetizer at your weekend BBQ.  Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Biscotti Drizzled with White Chocolate

This is an easy recipe. Although it might seem difficult, it is just a lot of very simple steps.


2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons of cold butter
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate, melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. With a pastry blender cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Remove one tablespoon of the beaten egg and put in a very small bowl, set aside. Now add the eggs, chocolate chips and vanilla to the flour mixture.

Using a spatula throughly mix until a dough forms. Cover your hands with flour (because the dough is a little sticky) and form four logs in approximately 7" x 2" size. Place the logs crosswise about four inches apart on two cookie sheets. With a pastry brush top the tops and side of the biscotti logs with the reserved egg.

Bake logs for 25 minutes. Cool the biscotti on the cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.

Place each log on a cutting board and cut into 1/2" diagonal slices with a serrated knife. Place the slices upright on the cookie sheets.

Bake the slices for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Put the melted chocolate in a zipper bag and snip off a small corner. Place the biscotti on parchment paper.

Drizzle the white chocolate over each biscotti.

Once the chocolate is dry you can display your biscotti on a lovely plate!

Don't these look fantastic? And they were so easy to make. To preserve freshness place the biscotti in an airtight container.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Upcoming Posts

Baseball season will soon be over for my son :( but I will be posting ideas for the French Open (tennis) and the Indy 500 (racing). I will also be posting some Memorial Day and Father's Day ideas - so keep checking back!

I also love all of the fresh summer produce - and I am going to try to post some healthy recipes! Be sure to try one of my granola recipes it is fantastic over fresh fruit.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Homemade Crunchy Granola

Lately I have been making large jars of homemade granola every week. I keep it on the kitchen island in a big jar. We put the granola on fruit, yogurt and ice cream. However, the granola is perfect to use for your morning cereal with some milk!


6 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups of  chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews) *
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups dried fruit
1 cup chocolate chips

*Use your favorite type of nuts.  Also you can use honey instead of maple syrup.


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the oats, coconut and your choice of nuts in a large mixing bowl. Combine the oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla in a medium sized saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture and mix until everything is well combined.

Bake the granola in a large shallow pan. I use a large glass casserole dish.

If you are using a metal pan you might want to lightly spray it with some non-stick cooking spray or line with foil.

Bake the granola until it is brown. About 50 minutes. Stirring every 10 minutes. Once the granola has been removed from the oven - let it cool completely.

Once the granola has cooled you can add the dried fruits. Once again the type of dried fruit is your choice! They have a great selection of dried fruits at Trader Joe's. Also add your chocolate chips. Stir until everything is combined.

Store the granola in an airtight container. This recipe makes a ton - so share! With your friends and neighbors!

The little jars off to side are for some friends that I am meeting for lunch today! I used cupcake liners to decorate the tops of the jars.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Heart Cookies for 6th Grade Bible Study Class

Tuesday was our last sixth grade Bible study class. And it has taken me forever to download the pictures. Actually just two days. I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe (see my numbers cookie post for the recipe).

And I cut out some heart shapes.

I frosted the cookies with melted white chocolate.

I also melted some purple chocolate tabs and put the melted purple chocolate in a zipper bag and cut off a small corner and started making Crosses and designs around the hearts.

I decorated these cookies in just a few minutes. The melted chocolate dries really fast and tastes wonderful!

I will miss all the sixth graders! I loved making treats for you!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another Baseball Treat/Party Favor

I put a box of Cracker Jack, a bat pen and some baseball chocolates in a cellophane bag and tied it with a red ribbon and used a baseball sticker to decorate the ribbon. So easy and fun.

I found the Cracker Jack boxes at Target - they came in a three pack for a little over a dollar.

I bought the multipack of sports candy at Party City for $4.99.

I used the soccer balls already. See my soccer gift wrap post on May 8th.

I also bought the bat pens at Party City. They were .99 each.

I love it that the bat pens say "It's Outta Here!"

I bought the ribbon, cellophane bags and stickers at Michael's.

I made these bags for play off treats for my son's team. Go Angels! Let me know if you make any fun baseball bags. These would also be a cute birthday party favor or could be a treat at your tailgate party.

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