DIY Chocolate Stir Sticks

hot cocoa on a stick

With Christmas just around the corner, I’ve been looking for inspiration for things to make for gifts. These could be given to friends, teachers, coworkers and anyone who loves hot cocoa. I made these at Valentine’s day last year.

Chocolate on a stickCame across these at Target and I wanted to share an easy DIY for them too. They cost $1.00 a piece but can be duped for much less.
What you will need:
Double boiler or glass bowl to go over top of pot of simmering water
Heart shaped chocolate mold, ice trays work great. I got a heart shaped one from IKEA for $1
Stir sticks or a bag of wooden craft sticks, can even use sucker sticks
Ziploc baggie or piping bag. 
Cellophane wrap or treat bag
b
 
Option 1:
Ingredients:
8 oz. chocolate bittersweet, semisweet, milk, and white chocolate all work (I used Andes Mints baking chocolate) 
3 Tbsp cocoa, sifted
6-8 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar, sifted, depending on how much sweeter you’d like your hot chocolate
pinch of salt
Giver’s blog has the best directions on making hot chocolate on a stick.
Option 2:
Just use baking chocolate and heat in microwave. Fill mold with ziploc bag or piping bag. Always tap the chocolate in the mold on a surface to release air bubble. Stick the stick straight up after the chocolate has hardened a little. 

hot cocoa on a stickCan

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4 Layer Chocolate pie

chocolate 4

Each year my aunt makes the tastiest 4 Layer Chocolate Pie for Thanksgiving. This year I asked what to bring and she said I could make the pie. At first I was skeptical because I really do not cook or bake, but it really is easy and fast to make. No cooking required and takes about 25 mins. Take this to your next party or holiday event and it is sure to be eaten. Allergic to nuts? eliminate them and make it a 3-layer.

Here’s how:

 

How to Freeze Green Tomatoes

My Aunt Vicky is doing a guest post today. She knows a thing or two about cooking and freezing food.

Do you ever crave all the great summer harvest foods in the dead of winter?  That’s why I like to freeze as much as I can in the summer when it’s available so I can enjoy in the winter when it’s not.  

How to freeze green tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are one item I love year round.  This will show how to freeze green tomatoes to be used at a later time for making fried green tomatoes.
Sliced Green Tomatoes
First take a few green tomatoes – wash them and slice them.
Then in a mixing bowl mix 2 cups corn meal and add some salt and pepper for flavoring.  Now coat the tomatoes in corn meal making sure they are completely covered.
Green Tomatoes ready to freeze
Then lay the tomatoes flat in a gallon Ziploc freezer bag.  Do not overlap them.  Place them flat in the freezer so they freeze with all the coating on them.
When you are ready to cook them set them out of the freezer to thaw – about 20-30 minutes.  In a large frying pan put enough cooking oil to cover the sides of the tomatoes, on medium heat let the oil get hot before putting the tomatoes in the pan.  Cook the tomatoes to the desired darkness turning during the cooking process for even browning. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and place them on paper towels to drain before serving them.
Fried green tomatoes
Enjoy!

Falling in love with PUMPKINS! Pumpkin Round-Up

Pumpkin round-up title

Because Tina and I love everything pumpkin we figured a pumpkin round-up is definitely what we needed to start September off right! We gathered everything we love pumpkins from: recipes, desserts, pumpkin crafts, to good Ol Pumpkin spice latte recipes.  Check out our other round-up of: Falling in love with fall- Fall Porches.

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First thing first, create your own Pumpkin Spice for your recipes found on: Howsweeteats

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-

I love, love, loveee Pumpkin Spice Lattes and I probably drink way to many from Starbucks than I should because I need to save money. With that being said I found this amazing recipe from asimplepantry She makes her own syrup which has fewer calories and you can store in your refrigerator for weeks. Money saving thank you!

Pumpkin-Spice-marshmellow

As if the Pumpkin Spice Latte wasn’t amazing enough I had to share her recipe for homemade pumpkin spice marshmallow. Imagine these wrapped up with a hot chocolate packet or Pumpkin spice k cups in a coffee mug for a gift. LOVE-IT! –asimplepantry If you are not feeling like a Betty Crocker, you can find pumpkin spice marshmallows at the store.

pumpkin spice mallows

pumpkin hot cocoaI have never tried Pumpkin spice hot cocoa but I could only imagine that would be another thing I can add to my list of addiction. You can find the recipe at Americancupcakeabroad.

la99191_1002_potpouri_xlFill your house up with Pumpkin Spice Aroma by cleaning out a pumpkin, rubbing cinnamon or pumpkin spice spices to the top of the lid and light a tea light candle inside. Why didn’t I think of that you smart Marthastewart.

PumpkinBrowniesI love recipes that I find that are super easy but people think I can bake amazing, I found this Pumpkin Cheesecake mousse recipe that you can top your brownie bites with again : chocolate + Pumpkin, yes please! shakentogetherlife.

pumpkin-roll-It’s not fall until you have a bite of Pumpkin roll. Sweetpeaskitchen has tons of Pumpkin recipes that all look amazing.

cherryteacakes-pumpkin-seeds

Swankyrecipes have pulled together 10 pumpkin seed recipes for roasting. Cute for movie night!

glitterpumpkin_titleMy kids like to carve pumpkins but I just like to decorate them, I found this cute idea at: unoriginalmom.

69fac05f74126b59911191bb59761944I love white lights, if I could I would have lights outside all year long. How simple is wrapping white lights around pumpkins and they turn out so pretty!

Hallowen-party-children-favors-post-768x1024Last year I had a Halloween party for my daughters and we have out little Pumpkin Favors for the children to decorate.

4x4-pumpkin-9-logo-title-750x649I’ll take some these pumpkins that don’t die! Try this craft by: Simplykierste they look adorable!

bleaching pumpkinsI can’t wait to try this trick for my pumpkins: wash in bleach for pumpkins lasting longer indoors I found on: Sweetwaterstyle.

ft_oct04msl03_xlThese DIY pumpkin lanterns look adorable to decorate with found on: Marthastewart. If your not feeling crafty I have seen them already made at party city.

Pumpkin-Spice-Muffins-copy-709x1024You will definitely fill your house up with pumpkin spice aroma, while baking these Pumpkin Spice muffins by:  Tutti-dolci.

pumpkin everything please

And lastly a pumpkin loving Freebie printable: Pumpkin Loving Printable.

 

 

 

Easy way to freeze peaches

Normally I wouldn’t post anything about food, except eating it! I do not cook and make things that are easy. While visiting my grandma this past weekend, my family was peeling peaches to freeze. Now I did not participate in said peeling because I can not cut or peel food to save my life. My aunt knowing this sent me to the store to get more supplies.

Freezer peaches

This is what you will need to make this an easy project:

Peaches

Fruit fresh powder

Sugar
Quart size freezer ziplock bag
Now my aunt picked up two boxes of peaches from the Carolina’s. You can pick up 4-5 peaches from the produce section or farmer’s market. Rinse your peaches and start peeling. Make sure to thinly slice the peaches. This really helps with the next step: coating.
Sliced peaches
Once all the peaches are cut into slices you are ready to coat your product.
Fruit Fresh preserver
We used Mrs. Wages Fresh Fruit Preserver powder to preserve the fruit from browning. You literally sprinkle it over the peaches and toss the peaches to make sure they are coated. Next you are ready for the sugar. Sprinkle  1.5 cups of sugar over the peaches. Stir the peaches up to make sure they are coated.
Sliced peaches
Now it is time to bag the peaches. Scoop or spoon them into a Quart size Freezer Ziploc Bag. My Grandma swears by Ziploc freezer bags. They seal the best and keep it the freshest.
Label the bag with date and where you got the peaches. That way you know where to get peaches next time.
Bagged freezer peaches
Put in freezer. Eat by themselves, put on ice cream or use for cobblers. There are a lot of recipes out there for frozen peaches.

Sundae Cupcake Cones

Ice cream cupcakes post

Have some fun with these cupcakes!  These adorable cupcakes were perfect for our Ice cream social. Here are a few tips on how to make them, because they can be a little tricky. I used a regular box cake recipe first and then I added my batter to the middle of the cone and stopped right about here:cupcakeI filled about 9 cones and put them in a cupcake pan to bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes . Once done take out to cool. I have seen some fluffier cones and I tried some cones with more batter and it turned out to be a hot mess, bubbled over the cone and it just wasn’t a pretty sight!

cherry on top cupcakesSo the trick to these cones: they are top heavy. Once you put your frosting on- just pray nobody walks by them or breathes on them so you can show off your hard work before they start tumbling over.  Tina and I were knocking cupcakes over left and right, but hey they did come out cute! Now with the rest of the batter I made regular cupcakes that didn’t fall over!

Cupcakes ice cream socialAnd they were just as cute! Tina found this adorable cupcake carousal at Kirkland’s. Amazon has same one Here

DIY Sugar Heart Molds

DIY sugar moldsMy Girls and I had fun making these easy DIY Sugar Hearts for a tea party we were throwing! I was making Sweet Tea Favors and you put inside a mason jar tea bags along with sugar cubes. Well I have never bought sugar cubes before so I thought, I bet I could make them. So my little girls and I experimented in the kitchen and had some fun.

All you need is 1 cup of sugar & 1tbs of water, if you want to add color add a little food coloring, I did some white and some red. Next just mix it up and fill your mold up — my kids favorite part!

The only tricky part is getting your sugar mold out. The first batch I made, I made them and took them out of the mold right away. This way worked the best –and then just let them dry on wax paper. When getting them out they are a little soft but you can still shape them.  The last time I made them I let them dry in the mold and then when I took them out, and about half of them broke — Sad moment.

sugar diy

Once your molds are fully dry you can fix your edges up.

And there you go, a fun easy DIY if you ever need to make some sugar molds! sugar hearts 1

Tea Party

sweet tea favorsHere is this adorable Tea party favors — Sweet Tea

 

Lazy S’mores

smores fun

If your not into camping like myself, or you don’t have a fire pit, utilize your stove! So my kids have been bugging me for some S’mores after we had some at a 4th of July Party. So I took the lazy route and made them in the stove, but I think they came out even better! When you make a S’more by the fire – half the time your chocolate isn’t melted from your toasted marshmallow anyway, so this way you have melted chocolate!  Just lay your S’more up on a foiled cookie sheet and pop them in the oven on broil for less than a minute! I know, I know easy way out!

I set my stove to broil at 450 degrees: layered my S’mores up and toasted literally for a minute. Watch your marshmallow for toasting, as they toast fast!

cheating smores 1Cheating smores

smores made easy

Afterwards I had two little happy girls!!!

Summer Cocktail: Champagne Sangria

Summer cocktailSummers: we love the sun, we love being outside and we also love all the summer cocktails! So after a long day of work and cleaning every nook and cranny in my house I was ready for a drink! Unfortunately all I had left was a bottle of Champagne so I opened it up, why not! But it was a bit strong, so I opened my refrigerator up to make a Mimosa – my favorite! But of course no juice, no nothing!  I did however have some orange soda. So I filled my glass up and threw some strawberries in it and it was delish.

So todays mommy medicine: my own version of a Champagne Sangria… Don’t Judge ;)

Bake Sale for Charity: Lazy Chocolate Chip Bars

 

 

Lazy Cookie Bar

Earlier we posted our Lemonade Stand for Charity — well here is another idea you can have fun with this summer with your kids. Host a bake sale for a local charity in your community. Currently at my job we are hosting a food drive for Second Harvest.  Second Harvest Feeding America, has food banks throughout the whole country, and are always excited to hear how you want to help out. With our drive I called my local Second Harvest and asked about the different programs they have and if we can pick one of their programs that we would like our money and food going to, they were more than helpful and even offered to pick up everything after our Food Drive. Some people feel uneasy donating to big charitable organizations so I always use the resources the charity organization provide on their website and check where all their money is going and about their organization. So when people ask something – you can tell them information on the organization.

You can host a bake sale to help raise money for your food drive. I have my children involved and we baked tons of cookies  to take to work and for our family and friends this weekend to sale. You can dress up your Bake Goods with these fun Free Bake Sale Printables brought to you by The TomKat Studio. Bake sale

Now for the Yummy stuff! Tonight I made for the first time Lazy Cake Cookies that I found on I’m A Lazy Mom Website. They came out so good and unbelievably easy, you must try! Let me remind you I had my kids help, so pouring the cake mix and few ingredients they handled very well with little mess! I suggest putting your batter on a greased cookie sheet. I found it easier to cut into the Cake to make cookie bars that I could individually wrap up.

Lazy Chocolate Chip Cake Cookie Bars:

1 box yellow or white cake mix
2 eggs beaten
5 Tbs. melted butter
2 Cups chocolate chips

Mix together, spread on a greased cookie sheet pan and bake at 350 for 20 min! The recipe made about 30 bars. Have fun!