Food Gifts


These skeleton treats are so cute and super easy to make!

I came across an adorable Halloween party table at Wants and Wishes. You will want to go there. Way cute! She made some really cute pretzel skeletons for her party. I just had to try them on my girls.

They have not seen them yet. I sent the treats in their lunch boxes today!

I think they turned out really cute.

I made them in a BIG hurry. My pretzels could have used another dip–just to make them look whiter.

Here is what you need:

Now, I just used store-bought brownies because I didn’t have time to make my own.

As I’m sure you know, Little Debbies come “2 to a pack”. If you ask me, they come one to a pack. However, there is that little dividing line so they can easily be broken into two pieces.

I used one little square. I wrapped it in plastic wrap, so it wouldn’t dry out as much.

For the pretzels, I just used a candy coating on regular pretzels-no rocket science there.

My skewer was a regular sized bamboo skewer. I cut it down to about 4 inches with my kitchen shears.

For the faces on the marshmallows, I used a food safe marker. I would like to have a finer tip on a marker. I’ll have to be on the look out for those. For the eyes I used the letter D and a backward D. I thought that made the eyes look vacant, like a skeleton.

I had myself a little skeleton treat assembly line going in my kitchen yesterday.

•Dipped pretzels

•Wrapped brownies

•Trimmed skewers

•Marshmallows with faces drawn

•Bags & trimmed ribbon

Set a pretzel on top of the brownie just to make sure you have it positioned correctly. Stick the skewer through the bottom opening of the pretzel. Thread about five more pretzels onto the skewer. Pop the marshmallow on top.

Stick it all in a bag and put a bow on it. Easy peasy!

It is truly amazing how a cellophane bag and a fancy ribbon dress up a snack!

I didn’t go crazy and make these for all the trick-or-treaters that come by tonight. I mainly just wanted to make them for my girls. I did make a couple of extras for a couple of extra goblins we know.

I was rather pleased with these little skeleton treats.

They really take no time at all to make. Hurry, there is still time. If you are seeing this post at a different time of year, just put it on your Pinterest board for next year! You’ll want to make them–quick, easy, delicious!

Hooray! I made it to Foodie Friday with BLOGtober Fest! I just want to take a moment here to thank the gals at Arkansas Women Bloggers for this fun week! It definitely WAS a challenge. I guess I need one of those every now and then. I’m already looking forward to the next ARWB challenge/event. Thanks! If you are in Arkansas and you are a Woman and you have a Blog, sign up! It’s free!

I have wanted to experiment with stamping cookies since I got these babies at the Craft Gossip get together a year ago! These acrylic stamp blocks were in the incredible swag bag we took home compliments of EK Success Brands.

We also received some cute Halloween bottle cap clings to go with the blocks. The bottle caps are cute, but I wanted to try with something a little larger.

The clings are a little on the pricey side. They weren’t out-of-this-world expensive. It’s just that I’m always looking for a bargain.

I hit the jackpot a few weeks ago when Michael’s had all their rubber stamps, including the clings, 50% off! I came home with a “few”.

These are the ones I used for my cookies this time.

I supposed I should add a disclaimer of sorts here. I have no idea if these products are “safe” to use with food or not. I wasn’t selling these cookies to anyone, so I figured it was okay to try. No one who ate the cookies got sick or died! Try this at your own risk!

The cling stamps are really cool! you just peel the stamp from the package and press it onto the block. When you are finished using it, just wash it, peel it off and store it back in the package. Cool! What I really like is being able to place my stamp in a specific spot. With the acrylic block there it no more guessing if you got your stamp in the right place.

Since the stamp I chose referred to the golden beauty of fall, I decided to try out a product I had never used before–pearl dust.

You can use the pearl dust dry, straight from the bottle. You can also mix it with a little vanilla to make a paint. The directions are on the back of the package.

I tried several different techniques. Click on the cookies below to see which method was used for which cookie.

My cookies didn’t turn out quite like I had hoped. I think I will have to give it another whirl. One thing I did discover was that the cooler cookies were easier to stamp. A little flour seemed to help some to keep the stamp from sticking on the cookies. DO NOT try to stamp the cookies when they are hot! I had the “smart” idea that that might work better–WRONG! Overall, it was a fun little experiment. I will have to work on it some more.

Happy Fall Y’all!

They are talking about me at CraftGossip.com

 

Back in January I came across a fabulous looking Spinach Strawberry Salad on the Internet.  Thinking I might eat healthy food sometime, I decided to check it out.

I am so glad I did! Monica’s website, The Yummy Life, has so many great sounding recipes!

Although I was initially attracted to the beautiful salad, it was the salad dressing that grabbed my attention–Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing.

As if a fancy salad and pink polka-dotted dressing was not enough, one of the ingredients in the dressing was Raspberry Vinegar! Oh, my! So pretty!

I knew I would have to try this for myself!

First the vinegar…

This was incredibly easy!

Monica’s recipe calls for 2 cups of white wine vinegar and 1 cup raspberries.

The vinegar I bought only had 12 ounces in it. So, I ended up using  3/4 cup berries and 1 1/2 cups vinegar.

Be sure the berries are clean and don’t have any nastiness on them.

Put the berries, fresh or frozen, in a canning jar with the vinegar. Screw the lid on tight. Hide it in a dark place for a couple of weeks. You don’t have to do anything to it during that time.

Here is what they look like after they have soaked.

You can eat the pickled berries, if you like that kind of thing. Most of the color has gone out of them by this time, so they look a little weird.

Warning! Necessary Specialty Item!

Yes, you NEED to use the cheesecloth, unless you know of a suitable substitute. It took a bit of searching for me to find the cheesecloth at the store.

Get out a bowl. Put a strainer on it. Put the cheesecloth in the strainer. Strain the vinegar off of the berries.

You are left with your beautiful raspberry vinegar!

Isn’t it pretty?! Now you want to go make some too, don’t you! This would make a lovely Christmas gift!

Here is Monica’s recipe for the Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing…

Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1/4 cup grated/minced onion (half of a small onion)
  • 1/2 cup raspberry vinegar (for recipe, go to http://www.TheYummyLife.com/recipes/142); may substitute white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Directions

3 EASY WAYS TO MIX THE DRESSING:
–In a blender or food processor. Mince the onion. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard, & salt to the blender or food processor and mix until combined. With the blender/food processor running, add the oils in a thin stream through the hole in the top. Blend until well mixed. Add poppy seeds and pulse just until mixed.
–In a bowl. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, minced onion, and poppy seeds until well combined. Continue whisking while adding the oils in a thin stream. Keep whisking until well combined.
–In a jar. Add everything except the 2 oils to the jar. Cover and shake to combine. Add 2 oils and shake vigorously until well combined.

If too thick, may be thinned by whisking in water a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.

I went with the jar method because, well, it meant fewer dishes to wash!

I did use a big grater to grate the onions. I was tempted to just chop them up really small. Grating them is definitely the way to go.

Using the jar method also meant it was easier to recruit helpers!

Well, my salad didn’t look quite as fancy, but it sure was yummy!

No comments from the Critics. They are not big salad eaters. I’m working on them though.

The other day I was chatting with my Mom about Christmas baking. I said something like, “Remember when you made those Christmas Wreaths out of Cornflakes?”

“Yes, ” she replied, “that was the Christmas you and your sister had chicken pox!”

“Oh, yeah! I remember we had little red caftans with gold trim that you had made us, ” I said. “And we were banished to the basement for the evening while y’all had a party!”

Ok, the basement banishment wasn’t so bad. We played with the electric train and fish-shaped Go Fish cards while we tried not to scratch.

I was pretty young, maybe 6 or 7. I guess those wreaths made a big impression on me. I don’t remember Mom ever making them again.

Just a couple of days after our conversation, I saw this on Pinterest:

It was the recipe for those Christmas wreaths!

I knew I had to make them!

They are very easy. Here is the recipe, thanks to Mr. Food.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 30 large marshmallows (a 10-ounce bag contains 38 to 40)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons green food color
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups cornflakes cereal
  • Red-hot cinnamon candies, for decorating
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
  2. When melted, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon food color and the vanilla. Add more food color, if desired. Stir in cornflakes.
  3. Drop mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto wax paper. Decorate with candies. Let stand 30 minutes, or until cool.

I only had mini marshmallow. How many minis make a large? Well, if you surf around the internet you will find various different answers. Some say 10, others 12, others 15. One site I zoomed across, sorry don’t remember where, said one cup of minis for every ten large. Thank goodness this recipe called for a multiple of ten!

I tried making the wreaths. I thought I would just grease my hands then I could form the wreath. HA!

It was quite a mess. I happen to have Mom’s Wilton Christmas tree cake pan at my house. It was perfect! (I’ll tell you what I was doing with that in another post.)

I had bought tiny red and green M&Ms to use rather than red hots, so I put those in the pan first.

Then I smushed the cornflake mixture into the mold on top of the M&Ms.

No, this is not just a picture of one red M&M. I’m actually showing you that I put my Silpat liner over the top of my filled pan. Then I just flipped it over.

This is what happens when you press down too hard on the Silpat liner—broken candy.

They didn’t all get broken.

I thought they turned out cute. I do love cute food. Some went into goodie boxes we gave to a couple of friends.

Of course, we couldn’t send the all away. The Critics wouldn’t let me!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: It’s like a tiny little Christmas tree—only sweeter.

Megan: I love them even better than Rice Krispie treats!

Katie: They taste like a dream! A LOT of things would be hard to top this! (Hand over the yummy Cornflake Christmas Trees and nobody gets hurt! Ha ha!)

While making Christmas goodies for my husband to take to work, I stumbled upon a good idea.

Now, it may not be a new idea, very few of them are. It was new to me though.

I was making chocolate dipped pretzels-the long kind. I didn’t want to lay them on waxed paper to dry because I didn’t want them to be flat on one side. I know. I’m weird.

Besides that, when you lay them out to dry, the coating kinda oozes off the pretzel. So then, not only is it flat on one side, but it also has a strange shape jutting out from the side.

Quite the dilemma! Don’t you think?

I could stick them in glasses. No. They would squish together and stick to the glass.

I had to find something more shallow than a glass. A coffee cup?! No. The pretzels would fall over.

But wait!

What if I put some dried beans in the bottom of the cup?! And what if the cup were actually a bowl?!

Ta-da! Looks like this is gonna work!

I guess you noticed that I used other vessels as well. I did have to choose carefully. The vessels with flat bottoms worked best. The pretzels had to find their way to the bottom of the beans and rest on the bowl.

I dipped some pretzels in white almond bark and some in brown. Sorry, I couldn’t say white and chocolate. Vanilla and chocolate, yes. It’s like milk. Why do we call one by its flavor and one by its color?! Sorry, I got off track for a minute there.

After the dipped pretzels were dry, I drizzled them with red and green candy melts like these.

Some of the chocolate pretzels got sprinkles. You have to add the sprinkles before the chocolate dries-duh.

I put the finished products in a little clear bag with a wrapping paper topper.

I ended up making about 100 pretzels. I hope his co-workers like them!

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