creativelifetolive

using everything he gave me… this is my creative life to live.

Don’t Mess with Me, I’m Reading… July 27, 2012

Filed under: ethan — cyurik @ 1:39 am

20120727-003452.jpg

Ethan really gets into his reading and is very intent on reading by himself at times. Other times he’ll bring the book to us, open our hand and place it in your palm. So smart!

Advertisements
 

Festive Fourth Angel Food Cake July 5, 2012

Filed under: 4th of July,Angel Food Cake,Cakes — cyurik @ 1:54 am
Tags: ,

I have to admit that I love Betty Crocker’s Angel Food Cake mix.   It’s so quick, easy and delicious!  For a quick dessert tonight I baked the cake and once cooled, cut in half setting aside the top for later.  I then layered in my fresh strawberries, blue whip cream and topped it off with the other half of the cake. 

Finish it off with a dollop of whip cream and berries and you have yourself a festive and tasty treat!  I hope you had a safe, happy and delicious holiday!

 

The Perfect No Bake Cookie – Step by Step July 4, 2012

RED, WHITE and BLUE

and NO BAKE COOKIES

These are the perfect treat for the 4th of July!  These tasty chocolate cookies don’t sport the typical red, white and blue flare that you might expect from a 4th of July snack but I never forget to make these the night before because if frozen – they are ideal to pack in your picnic basket before heading out to the lake, pool or park!  I freeze mine in a Costco size cream cheese container in advance and grab them on our way out the door.  They are delicious frozen and don’t melt  into a puddle of chocolate oatmeal sauce while you play on the water. 

Many of my friends have asked for step by step directions for my No Bake Cookies – Enjoy!

In a medium size saucepan melt 3 tbls cocoa, 2 c sugar, 1/2 c milk and 1/2 c butter.  Stir occasionally until  it reaches a gentle boil.  Boil gently for 1 minute then remove from heat.

Stir for 30 -60 seconds allowing your chocolate mixture to cool slightly

then add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 c peanut butter. 

This step is the make or break it step!  Be sure NOT to add the peanut butter while the mixture is to hot.  This is the most common mistake.  If the temperature is too hot, your peanut butter will break down and your cookies will not set up and remain a shiny, gooey mess. 

Stir until the peanut butter is completely combined and your chocolate

mixture is smooth and creamy. 

Add 3 cups Quaker Quick Oats and stir until well combined.

4) Drop by heaping tablespoon on to wax or parchment paper and allow to set for about 30 minutes.  Most often I use a 1″ cookie scoop but sometimes I vary the scoop size for larger cookies all the way to a full size ice cream scoop.  If you use a larger scoop, gently press the top center of the heap with the rounded underside of the scoop to flatten each one as you go.

Ta-da!  The perfect No Bake Cookie!  Ready to eat or freeze. 

They freeze well up to 2 months in an airtight container. 

*Tip from my kitchen to yours:  If you make cookies in the quantity that I do as you’ve seen in previous posts then I recommend you pre-portion your dry ingredients into ziplock baggies.  In my cupboards I keep a 2 gallon ziplock that has 3 sandwich ziplock bags with the 3 c oatmeal in each one and 3 sandwich ziplock bags with the 2 c sugar and 3 tbls cocoa.  All I need to do in a pinch is grab one bag of each and add the milk, butter, vanilla and peanut butter. 

 

Pretty Up that ol’ Saran Wrap July 3, 2012

As some of you know I am a former chef “trapped” in an insurance agents body.  Trapped isn’t really the right word because I actually love what I do and love where I work.  But in my former life I cooked for a great resort however, the many years of having grown up in the restaurant industry have left these 35 year old hands feeling and working like their 90 years old. 

So I save up all my energy for 3 or 4 big parties a year like this one and for my many loves…  scrapbooking, photography, cooking, baking, quilting, sewing, painting and crafty little projects like this.  You see, having worked in commercial kitchens I know there is really only one brand of plastic wrap that actually works – but it has to be purchased in a restaurant supply store and of course – it’s not a small box by any means:

 

But this gastly box of foodservice film hardly has a place in my kitchen without being prettied up!  Follow this simple recipe:

1 Fiskars Paper Trimmer

1 Exacto Knife

Your Favorite Printed Cardstock

Use white text weight paper to trace all necessary openings and slots on the plastic wrap box to use as patterns against your cardstock.  Cut your cardstock to fit and ta-da!  Plastic wrap that works, lasts about 10 years and is fit to grace my kitchen counter!

*It’s been about 10 years since I last purchased a box of this wonder wrap and they’ve since improved the box with surface grips on the bottom of the box that work great!  Thank you Reynolds!

 

A Cookie Monster Bash – Ethan’s First Birthday Party July 2, 2012

I can’t believe our little cookie monster is already a year old!  I’ve been planning his first birthday party for about 9 months now, down to the very last detail!  I’ve been handmaking 3 banners and many signs, embossing every napkin, preparing many batches of cookie doughs, planning and making games and even had Grandpa hard at work on some amazing outdoor activities for the littles.  Aside from not so great weather the party went off without a hitch.  We had over 60 guests and an absolutely amazing photographers who captured every moment. 

Photos were taken by our dear friends Jamie Crone and Gina Sainsbury and we are blessed by their talents.  Not only was I able to host the party and visit with everyone – I didn’t miss a moment because of the 600+ photos that were taken. 

THE INVITATION

 I used a variety of rubber stamps, cricut cartridges, paper punches, and my sewing machine to create the ticket effect as seenonpinterest!  See the 3rd and 4th pictures below…

 

Banners, Decor, Signs and Games

I used my Cricut to cut 12 letters that hung from above the garage.

I hand paperpieced several signs – I love how this banner turned out!

Plus I’m taking it apart to use as accents in our family scrapbook.

A small poster that has baby pictures of David and I for comparison.

I sewed small cookie beanbags for the littles to toss into Cookie Monsters Mouth.  inspiredbypinterest!

My dad this amazing “Cornhole” game that is double sided.  One side is blue and we put laminated cookie monsters that I made out of cardstock on it – the other side is a great terra cotta color for everyday use!

My father made these tire teeter totters for the smaller kiddos – if only we’d had better weather for the kids to be out playing more!  inspiredbypinterest!

This next project took me months (a year actually) but actual months to put together.  I used a picture for each month of Ethan’s first year as the 1, 2, 3 oclock stations on this clock whose hands are adhered at 1:38 (pm) the time Ethan was officially welcomed into this world on June 6 of 2011.  The detail is the border – a picture from every day of the year.  Well just about, for some reason I missed some days in October but it turned out amazing!  This is put together on a peice of left over sheet rock from when David was finishing the interior of our garage.  It’s painted to match our dark walls and will soon be hung on the lighter walls that grace our stairway to the upstairs.

The quote I put in the center of the “clock” is the quote that is engraved on our wedding watches (the gifts we gave to eachother) as well as on Ethan’s first scrapbook layout which details his every moment of his 15 day stay in the NICU.  I love this quote, it is truly timeless.  QUOTEBYHENRYVANDYKE 

I use the Canon IP1700 and it has so many print options for sizes of photos.  Each border picture is only 1/4″ squared in order to fit them all.

inspiredbythispinonpinterest

One last sign will be shown at the end of this post…

 

The Buffet is open!

Da-da the grill master manning his post…

 

 

 

Sweet Street – My Dessert Buffet

I bring home milk jugs from work to recycle and one day as I was rinsing one out from Costco I thought – there is something here for the party – these can make great cookie monster cookie “jars!”  It worked great!  The eye’s had to be bolted on after we spraypainted the outside.  We made 3 of these cute jugs.

My party tip for the beverage bar is to make ice cubes of each drink you are serving.  This way your beverage stays cold and when the ice melts your beverage doesn’t get diluted!  I made white milk and chocolate milk cubes, blue raspberry kool-aid cubes and orange sherbet cubes for the monster juice.  It works great and looks fabulous!

 

Click here to see some of my cookiemonster inspiration

 

The Cakes

I made Ethan a small banana cake so we wouldn’t end up with blue carpet.  He wasn’t very interested in it though – too many people and new toys around!

My First birthday cake for my baby!  David had to help work the fondant and Grandma piped the rice crispie cereal head I created to assist due to my terrible hand strength.  The cake turned out so cute!

 

A COOKIE MONSTER FAMILY

When you choose your party theme… commit to it!  I had cookie monster in my,  a neclace, a ring, cookie monster fingernails and toenails, made a shirt for Ethan with a cookie monster patch and found a tee-shirt for dada!  My men are so supportive of their silly momma and what fun we had!  Happy birthday my sweet little Ethan – Next year I’m thinking TOY STORY!

I will link recipes soon for all my tasty creations!  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!