Edible Valentine

I decided to do something different this year and send out edible Valentines rather than my usual homemade cards. The Valentines were little heart sugar cookies packaged in cutely decorated boxes. I thought, what a treat to get a box of cute cookies in the mail for Valentine’s Day!

 

For the packaging I went to A.C. Moore and found these great, sturdy, white cardboard pencil boxes. I decorated with a heart and a handwritten message. Then, I put shredded red paper inside to protect the cookies. I decided to hand shred the red paper myself so everything would match – I just put red paper through our home shredder, so easy!
I got the idea for the cookies from my friend Martha Stewart and used her recipe for sugar cookies and royal icing.

 

I got the idea from the Valentine’s Day episode of Martha’s show to use a squeeze bottle to apply the royal icing to each cookie. This eliminates the need for a pastry bag and makes outlining each cookies easier to ensure you get a sharp edge of icing all the way around to cookie.

Step 1 – outline the cookies with royal icing

Step 2 – fill in with icing

Step 3 – spread frosting out and smooth over

Step 4 – Decorate! Then I just wrapped each cookie in plastic wrap to help stay fresh, placed in the boxes, wrapped the boxes in brown paper, and mailed.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

NYFW

In honor of the first day of New York Fashion Week I thought I’d share the official Pantone colors of Spring, 2011.

I can’t wait to incorporate these colors into my spring wardrobe. I particularly like honeysuckle, peapod, and regatta! I am thinking about outfits with both beeswax and lavendar, too – that would be intersting. Which colors will you incorporate?

For complete coverage of NYFW click here. This site is great because they stream some of the shows live, which are always fun to watch.

Happy Fashion Week!

Ode to My Sparkle Purse

I was pulling together the accessories for an upcoming winter wedding I’m attending, when I fell in love with my Sparkle Purse all over again…

There’s just the right amount of sparkle to it and it’s the perfect size for a night on the town…it can hold a cell phone, lip gloss, Tide pen, and has a pocket to hold your ID, credit card and a couple dollar bills.

I wear it casual with jeans, I wear it dressed up with an LBD. I actually keep it on my desk at home so I can look at it all the time because I think it’s so cute!
Bag from J. Crew, 2009.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

We decided to make this delicious Buffalo Chicken Dip for the Superbowl tonight. This dip is so amazing, it tastes like you’re eating buffalo chicken wings. Whenever we serve it at a party, it’s the first thing to go. Whenever we bring it to a party, everyone asks for the recipe. We serve it hot out of the oven with tortilla chips for dipping.

And yes, I baked the dip in an oval dish and used a little garnish to make it look like a football.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
from http://www.allrecipes.com/

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2C Ranch salad dressing
1/2C Frank’s RedHot Sauce
3/4C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 lb shredded or chopped cooked chicken

Heat oven to 350°F. Place cream cheese into deep baking dish. Stir until smooth. Mix in salad dressing, Frank’s RedHot Sauce and cheese. Stir in chicken. Bake 20 min. or until mixture is heated through; stir. Serve with crackers or vegetables for dipping.

 

To balance out our Superbowl “meal” this evening, we had veggies and dip too.

And I have to recommend this Greek Yogurt veggie dip:


It’s just 60 calories/serving and has a great tanginess from the Greek yogurt! Yeah Football!

Anatomy of a Card

I decided to share step-by-step instructions on how I put together a basic homemade thank you card. With the right tools, high-quality paper, and creativity you can easily start making cards too!

Materials:
Folded card w/ envelope
Thank You stamp
Ink Pad
Embossing powder
Ribbon
Colorful paper that coordinates with the ribbon
Double sided tape
Glitter paint pen
Paper cutter
Puffy tape
Heat embossing tool
Paint the cover of the card with a glitter paint pen. This gives an added touch to a plain white card.
Then stamp your thank you stamp on plain white card stock, sprinkle with embossing powder, tap off excess, and heat with embossing heat tool. Let dry.
Using your paper cutter, cut embossed, stamped paper to desired size.
Tape stamped paper with double sided tape (I use 2 pieces for extra hold) to one piece of colorful paper. Then cut to desired size, depending on how much of a frame you want.
Then repeat this step using the second piece of colorful paper, which will add depth and more color to your card.
Wrap ribbon around your glittered plain card and secure with a small piece of puffy tape. Make sure the puffy tape secures the 2 ends of the ribbon to each other as well as the card.

Place stamped piece, centered onto the puffy tape to finish the card.

And voila – homemade thank you card!

Snow Day Cookies

In celebration of being stuck in our house for almost 36 hours with this snow, freezing rain, slush storm, we decided to bake a 1/2-batch of cookies.

We used the traditional Nestle Toll House Cookies recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag, also found here. Since chocolate isn’t my favorite, we split the dough in half and made half chocolate chip cookies for my husband and half cranberry/white chocolate chip cookies for me. We used 1/2 a cup each of dried cranberries and white chocolate chips for this size batch.

This 1/4-size recipe of each flavor yielded about 7 cookies each. They came out delicious!