I love giving gifts made in the kitchen –especially on Valentine’s Day. Making something for your loved one just seems to say “hey, I dig you” a lot more than a grocery store card. Add in the extra cool factor of it being the most yummy smelling exfoliant and moisturizer and you are bound to get some action! 😉
Sprinkle Sugar Scrub (makes 8 ounces)
What you need:
1/2 cup colored coarse sanding sugar (I used pink)
1/2 cup Toyland Sprinkles (you can sub coarse white sanding sugar)
1/4 cup almond oil
1/4 teaspoon bubblegum extract (you can sub with your favorite extract or essential oil)
What to do:
Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir. Scoop into an 8 ounce jar and seal. Shake before using.
(NOTE: We used pink sanding sugar and there was a visible pink hue that was there when rubbing into the skin, but left when washed away…it was really nice!)
Watch the fun video of making the Sprinkle Sugar Scrub!
A true lesson in Holiday Cheer!
I try to give homemade gifts that are a bit unique. This year, for all the people that have cheered me on in life I’m giving a pair of cheerleading pom poms! Because I think everybody should make Varsity this holiday!
Homemade Cheerleading Pom Poms (makes one pair) What you need:
2-3 plastic table cloths (in whatever colors you would like to make the pom poms…we found every color imaginable at Party City), cut into 9″ x 12″ rectangles
What to do:
1. Make two stacks of 25-30 layers of the 9″x 12″ cut pieces of table cloth together. For a colorful pom pom, vary the colors as you stack them.
2. Working on one stack at a time, cut strips about 1/2 -3/4″ wide and 4.5 inches long down the entire length of each of the 9 inch sides of the rectangle stack to create a fringe. There should be about 3 inches of un-cut material remaining in the center of the rectangle stack.
3. Scrunch together the uncut center of the pom pom and secure with duct tape.
4. Repeat process with the other pom pom.
5. Nows the time consuming time. I can tell you it took two episodes of Flipping Out to get one pair of pom poms fluffy. Here’s what you do: Working in sections, take two strips at a time and pull the two strips in opposite directions. Repeat on all the strips until the entire pom-pom is full.
Note: Do not pull TOO hard as the plastic is thin and could tear.
When an iconic pattern/print takes over your creative mind, really fun things can happen. Sure they aren’t for everybody, but maybe just a little takeaway from this room of crazy can help you decorate your holiday this year. Maybe just wear one of my Pom Pom Bandanas from the Yum Yum Smile Shop or make a bandana ornament, or wear a vintage bandana print jumpsuit, or make a bandana backdrop, or bandana up the ends of your fireplace logs, or sew festive stockings. It’s not all or nothing here…but all is really kind of great!
3. Bandana Stockings
More handmade stocking ideas HERE!
4. Bandana Gift Wrapping
On our packages, we used a bandana printed ribbon and festooned the gifts with blocks of bandana scraps and loose bandana “bows”.
5. Bandana Fireplace Logs
If you have a non-working fireplace like we do in the studio, have some fun with it. We decoupaged the ends of birch logs with colorful bandana scraps.
Maybe you like gingham better? Check this video out.
6. Bandana Toy Horse Blankets for Stocking Hangers
This fudge is as delicious as it is beautiful. Basically, a bubble gum flavored carnival for the mouth and ready in 2 hours!!
Yum Yum Sprinkle Fudge Serves 18
What you need:
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2 cups white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup dry white cake mix
1 teaspoon Bubble Gum Extract (you can substitute vanilla extract)
4 tablespoons Spring Break Sprinkles (or your favorite sprinkles), divided
What to do:
1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper leaving enough paper to hang over all sides. Spray with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate and butter JUST until the chocolate has melted.
3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in cake mix.
4. Stir in extract.
5. Stir in 3 tablespoons sprinkles.
6. Spoon into prepared pan. Smooth top and spoon remaining sprinkles over the top.
7. Place in refrigerator until set (about 2 hours).
8. Cut into squares and serve.
You could certainly make this recipe at any time of the year (and I encourage you to do so) but, as the days become shorter and there is a hint of autumn in the air you really HAVE to make them. This is a down-home, super simple, show-stopping dessert. Always serve warm, either on their own tossed in cinnamon sugar, drizzled with honey or melting a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Fried Apple Rings serves 4
What you need:
3 granny smith apples
Oil for frying (enough for 2-inches in a dutch oven)
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, room temperature
Honey for drizzling
4 small scoops vanilla ice cream (optional)
What to do:
1. Prep Apples: Peel apples and slice into thin round slices (about 1/4-inch thick or slightly thicker. I got 5 slices from every apple). 2. Preheat a large shallow pot full of about 2 inches of oil over medium heat. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside. 3. Make Batter: In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk in buttermilk and eggs until batter is well combined and no lumps are left. 4. Make Cinnamon Sugar: In a shallow dish, stir together remaining sugar and remaining cinnamon. Set aside. 5. Fry Apples: When the oil reaches 325 -350ºF, dip the apple slices in the batter (allowing excess batter to drip off) and carefully place into the hot oil (work only a few slices at a time). Use a spyder to flip after the bottom is golden brown. Remove to the paper towel lined plate when both sides are browned. Remove from oil and place on some paper towels to drip excess oil off. 6. Finish Apples: Dip apple slices into cinnamon sugar mixture, and coat on both sides. To Serve: Divide apple slices between plates (stacking) and drizzle with honey. You can also add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but you don’t need it! Make it Sweet and Vicious: I love adding just a pinch of chipotle pepper in the batter. It’s soooo good!!!