Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Project – Painted Rocks

This project has been on my to-do list for a long time! A few years ago, our children's museum added a row of painted rocks along their outdoor walkway and I LOVE the way it looks. Thanks to some post-vacation freedom and cooler temperatures last week, I finally got our crazy, overgrown garden back under control and it is more satisfying than I can describe! Yesterday was finally a good time to add our little painted rock border.

We gathered these rocks two summers ago ...

Painted the base colors last year ...

And finally put the finishing touches on over the last two weeks.

(I think the rainbow is my favorite!)

Overall, the rocks look a little girly since the boys weren't really interested in painting - they each put minimal details on one small rock apiece.

I'm looking forward to adding some new perennials in some of the empty spaces this week. (Sadly, the ornamental cabbage that was growing around the mailbox died out a long time ago ...) Yay! This makes me so happy! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Patriotic Dessert Round-Up

(A few weeks behind Independence Day, but that's okay!)

I picked up this star ice cube tray in the dollar section at Target, thinking it might be good for chocolates. Dora helped me fill them with red, white, and blue chocolate melts.

Turns out, it's not as smooth as a candy mold would be (lesson learned!), but it still made some neat-looking treats.

We also tried it with sprinkles, just for something different.

Oh, and some Han Solo-frozen-in-carbonite molds just for fun. These were white chocolate mixed with crushed cookies ... super yummy!

Almond sugar cookies got the star treatment ...

And one of my favorites, soft sugar cookies with red, white, and blue frosting. Happy America Day!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Baking Monday – Chocolate Coffee Cake

I'd been looking for a reason to make this cake for awhile, and happily we had some small friends over for a playdate last week - plus one mom, so company for me - which gave me the perfect reason to bake!

I have a good friend who did not know until very recently that coffee cake was not actually made with coffee. However ... this one is! (I used decaf because I knew little ones would be sampling.) The coffee flavor is very subtle in this very chocolatey cake. Jeff recommended that he try a piece before our guests arrived – you know, just to make sure it wasn't poison.  

One small guest commented: "Why are we having cake when it's not anyone's birthday?" Behold, the wonder that is coffee cake!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Magic Cookies

These cookies were for a friend's Bar Mitzvah last weekend. The party was magic-themed, so we did magic hats, playing cards, and shooting stars. Had a little bit of bleeding on the red playing cards (waaah!) But otherwise very happy with how these turned out. These cookies were individually wrapped and given as favors to the younger guests.

Mom posted pictures of the party on Facebook - it looked absolutely incredible, and I was honored to be a small part of the celebration!