Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pac Man Cookies

I was so excited about making Pac Man cookies for an 80's themed skating party. I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to make the ghosts, until I found this post that suggested using a tulip cutter turned upside down (duh). I'm not sure I got the ghost eyes quite right.

The SAD (boo-hoo, wah) part of my story is that the icing color separated AGAIN, leaving unpleasant looking splotches of color on the cookies. The last two times this has happened to my cookies have been during cold weather months, so my new theory is that cold may be causing the discoloration. The first batch of cookies (yellow and orange) were left to dry next to a big, drafty window, while the next batch (red, pink, blue) stayed in the cozy kitchen. I still had a little bit of spotting, but not nearly as much as the first batch.

I'm also going to try switching colors ... I've always used Wilton with decent results, but it seems like Americolor is the way to go. Definitely worth trying out!

Here's our table all set for the party! I volunteered to be in charge of the music and had the BEST time compiling our playlist. We also had Pretty in Pink playing on the big video screen - totally awesome to the max.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baking Monday - Valentine Cake Bites

Today's Baking Monday is from one of my favorite Bakerella posts. I've made them before, but it's been a couple of years, I was looking forward to making them again.

I love these mini brown wrappers - they hide what a truly awful chocolate dipper I am! (Take a look at today's Bakerella post for some truly awesome chocolate dipping. I can't believe that's not a mold ... how does she do it?)

Yum! Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm such a geek that I did Valentine shopping at Staples. The kids really don't need a thing right now, and I so wasn't in to buying something just to buy something. So, I restocked their school supplies and wrapped them all up with a cute package and left them by their chairs at breakfast.

And, they loved it! Clark's favorite part? The hand sanitizer. "Mom, I will use this hand sanitizer. It's BLUE, and that's my favorite color."

Update: Here are the ruler bag tags, upon request. Personal use only, please! Download ruler valentine tags here.

They also got some heart pancakes for breakfast. I didn't go crazy with their lunches, but wanted to leave a few surprises. I used these printables to wrap squeeze yogurt, wrote a little love note on the string cheese wrapper, cut sandwiches into heart shapes and included strawberries with a little heart toothpick. Oh, and some silly valentine jokes. No treats, because they are all having parties at school, and there's an extremely good chance we'll be hitting our favorite ice cream shop after dinner.

I tried to do a fun valentine hairstyle for Dora. I had seen this one and was pretty confident I could replicate it. She asked if I had a printout and I said, no, I read the website, I can do it! She looked me in the eye and said, "Mom, I'd really be more comfortable if you had a printout."

Turns out she was right, because I totally screwed it up, but it still looked okay. Will try to do it the right way next time!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Kitten Valentines

One more Valentine project, this one's for the girls: my adorable niece wanted kitten valentines for her playgroup, and my sister was disappointed with what she could find online:

so she asked me to come up with something cute for her to print and color. Done!

Download Kitten Valentine here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baking Monday (on Wednesday) - Multigrain Cookies

It was our turn to bring snack during last week's Football Day at preschool. Clark's preschool has a healthy snack policy, which I love. We sent fruit kabobs, but I also wanted to use my football cutters, so I made some multigrain cutout cookies. They still have lots of butter and sugar, but also have some whole grain, so that's something.

Clark and I LOVE these cookies, but the rest of the family is not so fond. They're more savory than sweet and have a crunchy texture because of the cornmeal. They might not be for everyone, but I think they are super yummy!

Multigrain Cutout Cookies

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Baked-On Frosting

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 tsp hot water

Cookie Preparation:
• Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in remaining ingredients.

• Make Baked-On Frosting: Mix flour and butter until smooth. Stir in hot water. Place in decorating bag with a writing tip.

• Roll dough about 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

• Pipe frosting on unbaked cookies.

• Bake at 350 for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool 1 to 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Day = Valentine Day

Two snow days at home this week! Sounds like a good opportunity to make some Valentines!

As usual, Dora likes to do her own thing. She wanted to make Valentine outfits for a boy and a girl with her fashion portfolio. The only problem? There are no boy models in her book. So, she challenged herself with trying to make one of the girl shapes more masculine. And while she did a good job with what she had to work with, her boy looks fairly ... let's say, groomed.

After working on her sketches, the outlines were transferred onto tracing paper and scanned. I showed her how to use the magic wand, eyedropper and fill tools in Photoshop to color her pictures.

We printed them out, three to a page. They turned out pretty well! She's very proud.


Theo had a very clear vision for his valentine cards: "a Superman symbol inside a heart." I did the artwork, but he was the creative director. We printed them on cardstock, two on a page with super sayings on the back. They'll fit into an A2 envelope when cut out.

Would you like to use them, too? Here you go! (For personal use only, please!)
Download SuperValentines here.

Football Valentines

"Clark, what kind of valentines do you want this year?" Football, no question. This is the kid who told his teacher last week that they "should have Football Day at school," so, guess what they're celebrating today? He's very charming. And persuasive.

These are his football valentines. I printed them in black and white so he can add his own embellishment (watercolor, his preferred medium) with a valentine message on the back and space to sign his name. Blue is his favorite color, but he decided to throw some red ones in at the end for variety.

Would you like some for your football fan? Here you go! (Personal use only, please!)

Download Football Valentines here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Clark: I have to go to the bathroom!
Me: Okay, let's go.
Dora: Why don't you make him go by himself?
Me: I wish I could.
Clark: That's your dream.
Me: Yes, that's my dream.
Clark: I dream that I'm a ninja.