​Marshmallow of Delicious Death

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Marshmallow of Delicious Death


I make so many different holiday treat gifts that require time for the chocolate to set up, that results in some downtime. Downtime leaves me alone with my thoughts. Never a good thing. So during those downtimes I play around with goodies I have on hand. During one such playtime I made (deep voice echo) THE MARSHMALLOW OF DELICIOUS DEATH !
You will need: jumbo marshmallows, candy coat, chocolate chips, caramel pieces or bits, and pecan pieces.
I use Kraft caramel bits. If you prefer some other type of caramel, go for it. If you use caramel bits. Don’t forget to add a little water before melting. Unless you want to break a tooth. Milk will probably work in place of water. I forgot the water on my first batch. Even as I was stirring my melted caramel it didn’t even occur to me to be concerned about how thick it was. The marshmallows were beautiful. I took a bite, well I tried. I’ve never bitten a rock but I imagine it must be like my marshmallow. Lesson learned.
Okay let me quit rambling and get down to THE  MARSHMALLOW OF DELICIOUS DEATH! Melt your caramel. On wax paper have the marshmallows sitting there, just hanging out waiting on their shower of caramel. Once the caramel is melted spoon it over the marshmallows. Let the caramel set.

Then melt your chocolate. I use a 3:1 ratio of chocolate candy coat to semi-sweet chocolate chips. If mixture is too thick just thin it out with a tad of coconut oil. Spoon chocolate over the marshmallows. Let set a few moments then sprinkle on the pecan pieces.

Now impatiently wait for the whole thing to set up. Take photos and send to the people on your naughty list so they can see what they will be missing out on. Or skip the photos and just throw down on THE MARSHMALLOWS OF DELICIOUS DEATH!

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Hot Chocolate Spoons 

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​Hot Chocolate Spoons 
These guys are great to stir your hot chocolate or coffee. I make these every year for Christmas gifts and every year they are the most requested treat I make.
For the single and child free in the family they get 4 spoons per person. Families with children I give them A LOT. Kiddos love these spoons. I used to give a packet of hot cocoa  per spoon but now that I make 200 plus of these every year only people new to the  spoon of happiness get packets.

What you need:
8 oz light cocoa candy melts
Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sprinkles or Ghirardelli white melting wafers. Plastic or wooden spoons. Cheap plastic will melt, get the heavy duty plastic spoons.
Wax paper.

How to:
Take the whole bag of candy melts. Small handful of the chocolate chips. Melt using double boiler method or microwave. If microwave follow directions on candy melts bag. Remember half power or defrost setting.
Once melted just dip spoons in chocolate, set on wax paper. If chocolate is too thick add just a dab of coconut oil. Add more if needed but stir well and test on a spoon before adding more. You can go from too thick to too runny easily.
If adding sprinkles, sprinkle on now before chocolate sets up. If drizzling white chocolate let spoons set up for atleast 30 minutes. I melt small batches of white chocolate for the drizzle. A little goes a long way. If you coat any of the spoons in white chocolate it’s best to double coat. Dip once. Set up. Dip again.

Learn from my mistake people. One year I had two crockpots going making candy, the oven on all day making candied nuts, and my dryer running most of day. All this in kitchen where I was making the spoons. The room was so toasty my chocolate could not set up. Now I do all my chocolate coating on a day by itself.

 Gift giving: I use 4×6 plastic treat bags. Two spoons per bag. I cross them corner to corner. Then twist tie at the cross section. I then tie on some curling ribbon. Now put them in a gift bag or a Christmas theme coffee mug. Throw on a ribbon and name tag. Done.

If it’s a big family getting a good bit I tin them. Use wax paper between layers instead of bagging. Saves time and makes it convenient for the receiver.
At my family gatherings there’s always unexpected guest. Usually a family or person new to area that have no one to celebrate the holidays with. So I make several extra candy gift sets.

  

HAVE BROOM WILL TRAVEL

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0913141830b

Halloween will soon be upon us. Ghouls, zombies and witches will be bringing the fear to my neighborhood. That is if I get everything done in time.

A few of my projects this year are complete. Many others are in the works. Two of the ones complete are simple yet are great props to include in a porch display.

A simple rustic witch broom and a tall spooky witch hat. Witch shoes are in the works but they are not cooperating with me at this time.

Today I will share with you how to make the broom.

The broom was quick and easy. I have an oak tree, I call him The Might Oak. Yes I do talk to my tree, he’s a nice guy. Sadly during every storm he loses a few limbs. Some small and others big enough to use as a weapon in a zombie apocalypse.

I began this project by gathering a sturdy limb big enough to serve has the broom handle. After finding the perfect one I began to gather up smaller limbs. Some sturdy others thin and flimsy.

Before going any further I took some twine. It was a light beige. Not liking the new clean twine look I decided to age some. Which is a simple process. Get some tea bags throw them and the twine in a pot of water, bring to a boil. Take off burner and let sit awhile. Easy as pumpkin pie.

a little potion

a little potion

While the tea is working its magic grab some duct tape. It’s time to make a broom!

the magical items being guarded by my new puppy

the magical items being guarded by my new puppy

Take one of the small limbs, place it toward the bottom of the broom handle. take the duct tape and use it to attach the smaller limb.

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Keep wrapping the tape around the handle adding more limbs as you go. Stop when you are satisfied with the look of your broom.

Ready for the twine

Ready for the twine

Then I took the twine out of the pot of tea water. You can let the twine dry to use wet. I find it works better and you get a tighter wrap with it wet. Knot it at the top of the taped area. Now just start wrapping until you reach the end of the duct taped area. Tie off.

Done. Now wait for a full moon then take your broom for a spin!

finished hat 3

 

I Need a Little Cheese Ball part 2 of a Family Food Saga

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Today I am trying out my Aunt Anita Little’s cheese ball recipe. She has been making this for as long as I can remember. Every family gathering has to have this. No exceptions. She was happy to share her recipe with me.

This recipe makes one decent sized cheese ball:

Anita Little Cheese Ball Ingredients:

1 small box of Velveeta cheese block
1 8 oz block of cream cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
Crushed pecans or crushed Ritz crackers (enough to roll ball in)

Cube your Velveeta cheese and place in bowl to soften. Lay out cream cheese to soften also. This will take a few hours.
Once softened. Put cream cheese in bowl with cheese. Take a fork and begin mashing the two ingredients together along with the garlic powder. Anita Little (because you can say Anita without the Little) informed me that I could try using a hand mixer but it won’t work to well, the beaters will just get seized up in cheese. She said work those arm muscles, work them long and work them hard. (okay she didn’t say that part, just something like it)
After working up a sweat and your ingredients are now one with each other. Shape your mixture into a ball. Anita Little suggests wearing a pair of non-powdered gloves for this step. Once the ball has taken shape roll it in the pecans or crackers until ball is coated well. Set in fridge to chill.

Serve with crackers.

Great for any gatherings or functions. Or after tasting this cheese ball you may want to just hoard it for yourself. Hoarding it is totally acceptable, I won’t judge.
cheeseball 5

Yes there are many different cheese ball recipes on Pinterest, I could try them but why? This to me is the perfect cheese ball.

Okay now that I have shared the recipe with you I will share my experience of making one.
cheese ball 1
I cubed my Velveeta which turned out to be pretty easy and painless.
cheeseball 2
cheeseball 3
Then the wait for the items to soften began. Tick tock, one hour, tick tock, two hours. FYI: this is not something you can throw together last minute.
With my trusty fork I began mashing everything together. It was a workout you might just want to throw in the towel but don’t after you work it several tough minutes mixing gets easier.
cheeseball 4
Once I had my cheese mixture done I put on a pair of plastic gloves and jumped right in. I saw immediately why Anita Little suggested gloves. Oh what a mess it could have been without them. There was a lot of cheese mixture, instead of 1 huge cheese ball I made 3 smaller ones. The first two I rolled in crushed pecans the third in crushed Ritz crackers. Into the fridge it went to chill out.
cheeseball 6
cheeseball 7

It was great. Too great. Now I’m sitting here typing this with some serious heartburn. It was worth it though. Oh so worth it.

Great Balls of Sausage. Part 1 of a Family Food Saga

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sausage balls 3

My family loves food. Especially the food at family gatherings. Over the next few months I will share with you the must have foods at these gatherings. Some will be ones I tweaked using recipes from Pinterest. The rest will be the exact recipes my family uses because some recipes are perfect and need no tweaking

Here is the list of my family favorites:
Sausage balls. A must have yet there is never enough. These things go fast.

Watergate salad. Not a salad at all just plain awesome dessert. This is the one I usually make unless I’m experimenting with a new recipe.

Shirley’s pineapple cake. My mom has been making this cake forever. People fight over this cake, I’m talking family feuds. She usually makes 2 of these. If she would start making 3 maybe I could bring some home for once. (That is a hint mom). I’m not sure if it has an official name. we just call it Shirley’s cake, well I call it Mom’s cake.

Anita’s cheese ball. We have this at family holidays. Weddings. Baby showers. Parties. Basically anytime we can think of an excuse to have Anita make one.

Sandra’s Spinach dip. A great dip even the spinach haters love. If Sandra neglects to make it for a gathering people get mad. MAD.

Cathy’s broccoli cheese casserole. This is always the last thing to arrive at our gatherings. Usually after everyone’s plate is made but we all make a dash for it when it does arrive. Why is it always last you ask? Because Cathy is always late for gatherings. I tell everyone if the party is at 3 tell Cathy it is at 2 and she might make it on time. No one listens to me.

Okay let’s start this series off with sausage balls. It’s a simple recipe but one that can go downhill quick if something is slightly off. When cousin Crystal makes them they are always perfect. The rest of us don’t succeed in perfect a lot with these. Usually the balls end up too dry. I decided to hit Pinterest to find a fool proof sausage ball recipe. You know what? I succeeded.

I did not get pictures of the process. My hands were covered in sausage gunk. I did not want to risk getting anything gunky on my camera. The husband would kill me, it was a gift from him. I think it was more of a bribe. His way of saying, here go pursue your photography hobby and leave me alone to watch football, racing, wrestling or the movie Gladiator for the millionth time. FYI: no matter what he watches it ends up the same way. Him asleep on the couch. Funny how he always knows when I get ready to change the channel. He sits up like a launched rocket while loudly declaring, “Stop! I’m watching that!”

Now that I got off topic let’s get back to the sausage balls. One simple ingredient added to the recipe is all it takes to prevent the dreaded dry sausage ball. Cream cheese. Thank you Pinterest pinners!

SAUSAGE BALLS

Ingredients:
1 lb. mild or hot sausage
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese. Softened.
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix with a stand up mixer with the bread hook. Or if you’re like me and can’t afford a stand up mixer just dive in with your hands. Washed hands hopefully. Mix, squeeze, roll, fold. Get everything mixed well. Roll into 1 inch balls. Place on a baking sheet.
Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until brown.
These were tasty and not dry. I did not make these for a family gathering I just wanted to test out this recipe. What I ended up doing with all these sausage balls was dividing them up in several baggies and over the next few mornings the husband and I would just grab a bag as we headed out the door to work.

Thank you for joining me on part 1 of the family food saga. I will add other parts as I am able to get family members to part with their recipes. Hopefully they won’t hold out on me too long.

Great tasting moist sausage balls.

Great tasting moist sausage balls.

 

Something Wicked This Way Bakes

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cut cake close up

It is only April but I couldn’t wait to try a Halloween version of this cake. As you recall I made this cake a few posts back with spring colors. When I say I couldn’t wait to make this cake what I meant was: I made this cake and took it to the family Easter dinner. At this point my family just took me bringing a Halloween cake to Easter in stride. It took many years but I think they have finally accepted Halloween is my lifestyle not a holiday. If they did not like the cake theme my family kept that to themselves. They were impressed with the swirled color effect. They said the cake was tasty also.

So here is the instructions to make this cake. Once you learn the process you can customize the colors for any holiday or party theme.

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel
Any items you want to decorate with (I used gummy mummy)
1 can white frosting

Use a Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your Bundt pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Add the items listed on the cake box along with vanilla extract to a large bowl. Mix your cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors, I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Orange, green and purple. Halloween colors. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

color gel

color gel

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Stick that pan in the oven and let the cake voodoo happen.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

The spring color cake I made the other week, I divided the icing into three bowls and colored the icing with the same colors I used in the batter. This time I decided to go with red to look like dripping blood.

Put the icing in a bowl. Heat in microwave 25 seconds. You want the icing running so you can drizzle over cake. You may have to heat it a few more seconds if the icing is still thick after 25 seconds. BUT before you decide it needs to heat more give it a good stir, that maybe all it needs. Once you have it runny enough to drizzle add your color and mix away. Once mixed good drizzle that bloody concoction like you want that cake to resemble a crime scene.

without gunny mummy

without gunmy mummy

Let the icing cool then add your decorations.

Done! Now sit back and enjoy your evil creation.

bloody cake 2

uhhh 5

Here is the link to where I learned this technique. Actually it’s the pin that will gateway you to the site.
Here is the post where I made this cake with spring colors.

Something Wicked This Way Bakes

1

cut cake close up

It is only April but I couldn’t wait to try a Halloween version of this cake. As you recall I made this cake a few posts back with spring colors. When I say I couldn’t wait to make this cake what I meant was: I made this cake and took it to the family Easter dinner. At this point my family just took me bringing a Halloween cake to Easter in stride. It took many years but I think they have finally accepted Halloween is my lifestyle not a holiday. If they did not like the cake theme my family kept that to themselves. They were impressed with the swirled color effect. They said the cake was tasty also.

So here is the instructions to make this cake. Once you learn the process you can customize the colors for any holiday or party theme.

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel
Any items you want to decorate with (I used gummy mummy)
1 can white frosting

Use a Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your Bundt pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Add the items listed on the cake box along with vanilla extract to a large bowl. Mix your cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors, I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Orange, green and purple. Halloween colors. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

color gel

color gel

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Stick that pan in the oven and let the cake voodoo happen.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

The spring color cake I made the other week, I divided the icing into three bowls and colored the icing with the same colors I used in the batter. This time I decided to go with red to look like dripping blood.

Put the icing in a bowl. Heat in microwave 25 seconds. You want the icing running so you can drizzle over cake. You may have to heat it a few more seconds if the icing is still thick after 25 seconds. BUT before you decide it needs to heat more give it a good stir, that maybe all it needs. Once you have it runny enough to drizzle add your color and mix away. Once mixed good drizzle that bloody concoction like you want that cake to resemble a crime scene.

without gunny mummy

without gunmy mummy

Let the icing cool then add your decorations.

Done! Now sit back and enjoy your evil creation.

bloody cake 2

uhhh 5

Here is the link to where I learned this technique. Actually it’s the pin that will gateway you to the site.
Here is the post where I made this cake with spring colors.