Category Archives: Baking & Treats

Salt Dough Houses

Salt Dough Christmas House

This is a fun way to get the kids involved with holiday decorating for this year and years to come. Everyone loves salt dough because you most likely have the ingredients in your home, it’s easy to make and use, and it’s non-toxic. Here’s a new take on those salt dough ornaments kids love to make. It combines the ideas of gingerbread houses and Christmas villages without the added expense. I chose to keep my house natural partly because I like the rustic look and partly because I’m still cleaning up after the last time I used glitter. Decorate your houses however you would like, and display them on your mantel.

What You Need:

Salt Dough (Yields 1 house approximately 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Rolling Pin
  • Wax Paper

Hot Glue

Optional: Glitter, Paint, Christmas Embellishments, Candy, etc for decorating.

How to Make It:

Salt Dough

Start by combining your salt dough ingredients in a bowl and mixing together until a nice dough forms. If it’s too crumbly, add a little more water, if it’s too sticky add some more flour.

Roll

Roll out your dough to 1/4 inch thick on some wax paper. As you can see, I used tin foil because I found out after making the dough that I didn’t have wax paper. I don’t recommend using tin foil as the dough will stick. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the wax paper to prevent any more sticking.

Templates

Create a template on a piece of cardboard for the front and sides of your house. I used a square votive holder to create my shape, but a ruler will help you make perfect shapes. Sprinkle some flour on top of your dough and place the templates on top and cut around them with a butter knife. Keep rolling and cutting your templates until you have two pieces with roofs and 3 without.

Cutouts

Create indentations with your butter knife for doors, windows, shingles, and whatever else you would like on your house and place your pieces on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.

Hot Glue

Once your salt dough has hardened, glue our house pieces together, 1 on the bottom, 2 sides and a front and back. I really cared about the way the front of the house worked, so I made sure that the sides were glued to the back of my front piece.

Now it’s time to decorate your house however you like, or just leave it alone for a more natural look. Place a tea light on the inside and watch it glow!

Salt Dough Christmas House

Here are some variations to make the project unique to you:

  • Create roof pieces and don’t glue on a bottom for a more classic Christmas village look.
  • Use polymer clay for a smoother result.
  • Make tiny window cutouts so the light can glow through.
  • Create cinnamon dough to make them look like gingerbread houses and your village will smell amazing.

Halloween Apple Cider

Halloween Apple Cider

For as long as I can remember, it’s been a tradition at my house to have hot spiced cider after a long night of trick-or-treating on Halloween. I was the only one of my friends who lived in a neighborhood, so trick-or-treating always started at my house. My friends and their parents would meet at my house a few parents would stay behind to hand out candy, and a few would take us from house to house.

The hour or so before the fun would start was one of the most agonizing of the year, the only thing worse was probably the few hours I would sit in bed and wait for my parents to start stirring on Christmas morning. My mom came up with a pretty smart way to occupy my time between coming home from school, and waiting to put my costume on. She would sit me down at the kitchen table with an orange and a bowl of whole cloves to contribute to her hot spiced cider.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon of unfiltered apple juice
  • 1 orange
  • whole cloves
  • 3 – 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Cloved Orange

Start by punching a few holes into your orange with a toothpick. This helps to poke the cloves in a little better.  try to keep each hole between 1/4 and 1/2 inch apart. You can create your own designs, or you can be like I was, and carefully create perfect staggered rows.

Cloves

Push your cloves into the oranges. If you have little ones doing this, the cloves can sometimes be a little sharp, so I would recommend wrapping a band-aid around the pad of their finger. Make sure to leave about a 3/4 inch gap around the center of your orange so that you can cut it in half.

Cut Oranges in Half

 

Cut your orange right down the center. You can kind of see my sad little attempt at hearts on the one on the right.

Hot Apple Cider

Put all of your ingredients into a large stock pot and turn your stove on low. Cover and let simmer for about an hour. Use a ladle to serve, and enjoy warming up after a long night on your feet!

Hot Apple Cider for Halloween

Get Ready For Fall with These YouTube Videos

By Guest Blogger Emi of Hectanooga Patterns

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I am passionate about designing easy crochet patterns, that use the easiest methods to accomplish a finished project that has charm, fashion, style, and of course, “the cuteness factor”!

It’s the first day of September, tomorrow is Labor Day, and fall is right around the corner. It’s time to get ready for the fall season, and Emi has some great DIY’s to get you in the spirit.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTK3OFYv4gA’]

Nothing says fall quite like the smell and taste of apples and cinnamon. Follow along as you make some delicious apple crumble.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnE6pLVW2tA’]

Baking bread from scratch has never been so easy! Emi has a great video tutorial for you as she makes and bakes bread in 1 hour.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njZQJ94zoi4′]

If you’re working on any yarn craft projects, you might want to start thinking about Halloween. These eyeballs make great baby and cat toys, but I think they would also look amazing displayed in a bowl or centerpiece for a Halloween party!

Check out the rest of Emi’s YouTube videos for beginning crochet patterns and more crafty things!

 

Lollipop Mushroom

By Kid’s Crafts Contributor Stephanie, from the blog A Geek In Glasses.

An easy and fun DIY Centerpiece - a mushroom made of lollipops! Tutorial at ThinkCrafts.com

I am having a birthday party for my daughter in a few weeks. One of the things she is most excited about is the Candy Bar. It is a table made to look like a candy shop with different glass jars filled with sugary goodness. Each guest gets a treat bag and can scoop up the candy of their choice. The theme of her party is Alice in Wonderland. I came up with this Lollipop Mushroom idea to add to the decorations as well as the candy bar.

Supplies:

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Father’s Day Treats

By Crafts-a lot Contributor, Mable who is an avid reader of craft blogs & magazines and is always looking to improve her crafting skills. Join Mable on Facebook to socialize and share with other crafters!

Happy Father’s Day! While you’re celebrating, don’t forget possibly the most important aspect, dessert! Dads will love satisfying their sweet tooth with these fun themed cakes and cookies!

Grate Gift For Dad - Spoonful Blog

Grate Gift For DadSpoonful Blog

If your husband or father is a grill master, he’ll get a kick out of these fun barbecue cupcakes.  Apply some black food coloring for the grill marks and they’ll look authentic and delicious!

Father's Day Golf Cupcake - BHG

Father’s Day Golf CupcakeBetter Homes and Gardens

A golf tee with a customized golf ball makes the perfect cupcake topper for an athletic father!

Dad Sugar Cookies - Martha Stewart

 

Dad Sugar CookiesMartha Stewart

These simple cookies will look fantastic packaged together in a box to bring along to an outing for Father’s Day. They’ll transport well and taste delicious!

Touchdown Treat Football Cookies - Spoonful Blog

 

Touchdown Treat Football Cookies – Spoonful Blog

Use Dad’s favorite team’s colors to make these fun and delicious football player cookies. Best of all, they can be made with store bought cookies so you’ll spend less time in the kitchen and more time celebrating.

Mustache Cupcakes - Sprinkle Bakes

Mustache Cupcakes for Father’s DaySprinkle Bakes

Even if Dad doesn’t have facial hair, he’ll love these mustache cupcake toppers. Add it to the top of a lollipop stick and you’ll have a fun way to give everyone a mustache on Father’s Day; just hold the cupcake up!

 

Washi Tape Toppers

By Kid’s Crafts Contributor Stephanie, from the blog A Geek In Glasses.

It’s my new love, Washi Tape. I guess I’m late to the party though, since it seems like everywhere you turn great projects are being made with this new craft medium.  I love how easy it is to use and how great the finished products look.  These little toppers would have taken a lot more time if made with scrapbooking paper and tape or glue.

Washi Tape Toppers at ThinkCrafts.com

 

These can be made for any occasion, just choose a different pattern of Washi Tape. An adorable way to decorate for your loved one this Valentine’s Day or Birthday! More than just a cupcake topper, think pancakes in the morning, a sandwich pick in a packed lunch. How many ways can you say “I love you”, or “I’m thinking of you”?

 toppers materials

Supplies:

 Directions…

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Craft Book Review: Super-Cute Cookies by Chloe Coker

By Crafts-a lot Contributor, Mable who is an avid reader of craft blogs & magazines and has aspirations to improve her crafting skills. Join Mable on Facebook to socialize and share with other crafters!

Want to make bakery decorated cookies?  You can.  It’s easy.

Super-Cute Cookies

With a few simple cookie recipes, some decorating tips and just a few DIY tools you can create beautiful, professional looking cookies, guaranteed to wow anyone. Super-Cute Cookies is full of step by step tutorials with pictures to show you how easy it can be to create a cute cookie masterpiece. The first part of the book has tips and definitions of key terms to make your decorating go as smoothly as possible. From the perfect recipes to correctly covering your cookie with icing, every question you have will be answered.

Bunting

From there, Chloe Coker gives clear instructions for building a cute cookie for any occasion. Each project has photos and directions to help you every step along the way. While each tutorial has step by step decorating instructions, each cookie can still be created with your own personal touch. Many of the  cookies are free to decorate with whatever color and design suits your personality best. With so many helpful tips, you’ll be decorating super cute cookies on your own in no time.

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