Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sara Jane: Microwave Caramels

Hey everyone.  Sorry I've been a slacker.  Our advent calendar kind of took over around here and its been fantastic :)  Tonight, the advent calendar insisted we go caroling with our lovely friends.  It was perfect!  

For our goodies plate that we handed out while caroling, I made a delicious and simple caramel that I had to share with you.  These caramels weren't the absolute best I have ever had but they were pretty stinkin' good and only took SIX minutes to make.  Yes, you read that correct.  SIX MINUTES!  I found the original recipe here.


1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar1/2 cup brown sugar1/2 cup light Karo syrup1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
sea salt


First, line a dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking oil.  Next, Combine all dry ingredients in a large microwavable bowl.  Mix together.  Add butter.  You don't need to mix it in.  Just stick it in.  Then, in the microwave, cook for six minutes, stirring every two minutes.  Be careful when you take the bowl out...its going to get hot!  After your six minutes are up,
 pour into greased dish.  Again, the bowl will be VERY hot so be careful when you do this.  

After I poured my mixture into my dish, I sprinkled a good amount of sea salt on top because I like salt on my caramel.  If you don't like salt, omit.  

Since I needed my caramel to set quickly, I put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.  After it had cooled enough that I could work with it, I took it out, cut it into little logs (about 2 inches by 1/2 inches) and wrapped them up in parchment paper.  

There you have it.  I hope you are all having a very enjoyable December.  

Sara Jane

Friday, December 14, 2012

Allison: White Chocolate and Candy Cane Popcorn

Hello again!  Just dropping in for a quick post.  I just decided to make some goodies on a whim.  Not really a good idea if you're home all day, and trying to lose baby weight.  Hmm...  But I have to share this treat with you!  I made this last year too, and it is so addictive:  White Chocolate and Candy Cane Popcorn.

Here's what you need:

*white chocolate chips
*candy canes

Pretty tricky, huh?  I don't exactly have the amounts, as I kind of eye-balled it.  Remember how I'm always talking about how lazy I am?  Well, I cheated and used microwave popcorn bags, and made the whole process that much easier.  The funny thing, is that both times I've made this, I've only had the single-serving-sized bags of the Orville Redenbacher's Kettle Corn (the low-fat/calorie kind).  It still worked great, and even added a little more flavor.  I think I used three bags (after burning one).

I then used a double broiler to melt about 1/2 a bag of white chocolate chips.  Once that was done, I poured the chocolate over the popcorn in a large bowl and used a rubber spatula to mix it together.

To allow the chocolate to cool, I poured it onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Finally, while the chocolate was still melted, I sprinkled crushed candy canes over the top.  I always have crushed candy canes in my pantry.  Never know when you'll need it!

Lastly, give it away quick, before you end up eating it all yourself.  I think the whole process took maybe 20 minutes (and that was with some snacking).  Enjoy!!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Allison: Christmas ABC Book

Hello, everyone!  I know we've been a little unreliable lately with posts, but we're figuring it out.  This is our first Christmas with a blog, and the balancing act is a little tricky.

Today, I'm going to share the text from the cute ABC Christmas book that I posted some pictures of last week.  This was such a fun project to put together as it brought back so many fun memories from my childhood.  In case you didn't read my last post, this ABC book was a book that my Grandma Golda put together for each of the families of her children.  The book includes a Christmas card for each letter of the alphabet, with a cute sentence.  I remember sitting for hours and looking through this book.  Sara and I have had ambitions of recreating this book for year.  We've been collecting cards, but this year I decided it was time.  Sara had given me the cards she had collected, so I made her a book first.

It was really easy to put together.  I felt a lot of freedom to make it specific for Sara's family, and didn't worry too much about making it look exactly like my Grandmother's book.  You can find the text here.
I used the font "Harrington".

I found this photo album at Joann's for $12.99.  Of course I used a coupon and it ended up being closer to $7.  I also used my favorite little paper stamp to round the edges of the letters and text (also from Joann's).  As far as the lay out of the book... that's up to you.  Have fun with it!  The book only had 10 pages, front and back, (though inserts were available), so I doubled up on some pages.

I hope you all are wrapping up your Christmas gift shopping/creating (pun intended), and have some time to relax and enjoy the season.  Until next week...


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Allison: Christmas Projects and Ornament Books

Hello again!  I've meant to post various times the last couple of weeks, but it just hasn't happened.  But I have a few posts planned for the next week.

Christmas projects are in full swing here at my house, so I thought I'd share what I've been working on.  Since we've been married, I've wanted to make our own family stockings.  So this year, I finally started!  I've completed Brent's stocking and my stocking so far.  Two more to go!  Here they are:

Brent's stocking (left).  Allison's stocking (right).

Each ended up being such a quick project and so fun to make.  I'm excited to see all 4 hanging above the fireplace.

I've also completed an ABC book that I gifted to my sister, Sara.  We grew up with a similar book from my Grandma Golda, and Sara and I have talked for years about creating some new ones to give to our siblings.  I'm planning a post in the next week or two to share the great text with all of you so that you can make your own.  Start collecting Christmas cards!  Here are a few pages:

I've also been working on our immediate family's presents.  Both my family and Brent's exchange presents with one other sibling's family each Christmas.  I decided to add a little more stress to my life by making them myself.  I've wanted to make some kind of quilted project for my sister-in-law, Tammy (Brent's sister), so I made her and her family a Christmas tree skirt.  It turned out so cute and I hope their family enjoys it.

I'm currently working on a gift for the family of my brother, Briant, but I'm not ready for pictures yet.  And of course these cuties have kept me mildly busy.

See why I haven't posted lately?!  But the project I wanted to share this week, are these family ornament books.

Does your family buy special ornaments each year?  Or maybe you have ornaments that have been handed down.  I saw the idea on Pinterest to create a book with pictures of each special ornament and the story behind it.  That way, years from now, the story of each ornament can be passed down.

Making these cute books was super cheap and easy.  I found these little photo books for a dollar at Joanns, allowing me to change out the cover pages.  Then I simply scrapbooked a small page with the title of the book.  Easy!

Next, I took pictures of each special ornament, and through Powerpoint inserted the year and wrote out a simple description of the ornament and its significant.

I also think I might include a "family picture" of Christmas morning each year.  I'm excited for the day that my kids will look through their books each Christmas, as they hang their special ornaments on the tree.

I hope you're all enjoying your Christmas projects, and not stressing out too much.  Don't forget to remember the reason for the season.  Have a great week!