Monday, September 22, 2014

Turkey and Feathers for a Fun Thanksgiving Platter

Today we're going to jump ahead to Thanksgiving for just a moment. My grandson was born a few days before Thanksgiving last year and so I was too busy with other priorities to make a full set of Thanksgiving cookies for our family's celebrations. Instead I made a quick and easy cookie platter that I'm going to share with you today. Then I didn't have a chance to post the cookies and cookie cutters, but a family member posted a picture and a friend saw it and asked for the set, so I named it after her. So here is Kathleen the Thanksgiving Turkey and Feathers. The original idea of a turkey and feathers cookie platter was created by the amazing and creative Sugarbelle's.

Cookie Cutters Available HERE
Download Tutorial Cards HERE
Free Printable Cookie Tags HERE
 I started by making a fun turkey cookie cutter without the feathers, available HERE
 I outlined my design
 and then I made a whole bunch of simple feathers to go with my turkey, available HERE
 This was such an easy project. I made 4 turkeys to give to the various family events we attended and a whole bunch of turkey feathers. 
 Then I boxed it up in a 10x10 window box from BRP Box Shop they have a gazillion sizes and styles of boxes. If you haven't checked them out, you really should!

I can't believe little Aidan is already going to be a year old in a couple months!
I don't mean to rush us toward Thanksgiving already, but I had someone ask for the turkey & feather cookie tutorial and with baby Aidan being born, I hadn't had a chance, so we're backtracking a bit today. Now back to getting ready for Halloween!

Thanksgiving blog background for today:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Back To School And Cookies Too

I went for a bike ride late yesterday afternoon. I had such a nice ride and was thankful to get away from my to do list for a little bit. It was 88+ degrees and I live in the hills, so I decided to drive to the trail instead of riding to it because otherwise I would have to climb my way back home and I knew it was too miserably hot for that. When I arrived at the trail head, there was only one other car in the parking lot. The entire 26 mile ride, I only saw 2 other people. It turned out to be super windy, especially the further I got South. At one point, I was pushing the pedals as hard as I could and I was only going a little more than 10 mph! But it was a great work-out. Thankfully when I got to the end of the trail and turned around, I had phenomenal tailwinds that pushed me along the trail at 18-22 mph! Since the wind usually goes the other way in the afternoon, it was quite a treat to have such an easy ride back to my car. Unfortunately when I arrived back at my car, I found a huge gaping hole where my window should have been :( Thankfully I didn't bring my wallet and didn't have any valuables in my car. They got a few re-usable shopping bags from my car and that's it. So then it's just the inconvenience of dealing with the insurance company and getting the window replaced. It could have been much worse. And at least I get to share some fun cookies and cookie cutters with you.

Most cookie decorators have already made back to school cookies, but I was out of town taking my son back to college, so I got a late start. I was pretty excited to make these for him though and I made enough that I was able to send some to friends too. My son always calls us on Facetime when he gets a special treat package from me, so I'm excited to see his happy face.

Cookie Cutters Available HERE
Download Tutorial Cards HERE
Free Printable Cookie Tags HERE
 School House with bushes, cookie cutter available HERE

 School bus front facing, cookie cutter available HERE

 Backpack for school, cookie cutter available HERE

 Chubby pencil, designed by Nicole of Salsa Sweets with the original design by Callye of Sugarbelle's, cookie cutter available HERE

Samantha Girl Student with pigtails, cookie cutter available HERE 

Apple cookie cutter available HERE

 Ruler Rectangle cookie cutter available HERE

and the Mini Star cookie cutter available HERE
and my poor car that was broken into yesterday. Thankfully I didn't have anything of value in the car.

and little Aidan thinks he's ready for school with his bus pajamas
and my muse little Abigail with a school backpack for our outings together
I hope Nick enjoys the fun school cookies that I sent to him in college!

 School blog background for today:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You Are The Apple Of My Eye

I went for a bike ride the other day and climbed some hills and then got on the trail for some flat miles. I was really enjoying the ride and the quiet and getting away from my to do list for a bit. I saw a guy on a bike up ahead going pretty fast. I decided that he would be the rabbit for me to chase after. I pushed my pedals as hard as I could to catch up to him. We both passed a homeless man walking on the trail. During the next mile, I went over what I had seen. The man was wearing a heavy winter coat. I looked down at my Garmin and it said that it was 94 degrees. The man was also carrying a large blanket under his arm. He was walking with a noticeable limp from one leg being considerably shorter than the other. He was also carrying a bag with his other items. I don't know where he was going or how far he had come, but I knew it was about 6 more miles before the exit of the trail. That's a long time to be walking in this heat with all his belongings. I had one full water bottle and one empty bottle. I finally said out loud "okay God, I'm listening". I left the fast guy and turned my bike around and went to go find the man. It took me some time and I started to wonder if he had gone off the trail, but I had gotten pretty far from him and he was walking with a struggled limp. I found him and stopped my bike. I gave him the full Camelbak bottle and a fruit strip and asked him to consider taking off his heavy coat in this heat. He thanked me and I continued on. I knew I wouldn't make it all the way back home (26 miles) with an empty water bottle in this heat, so I rode out to Morgan Hill and stopped at a store to refill. On the way back home, I saw the homeless man again. I gave him half my sandwich and continued on. My purpose in telling you this is to help our fellow man if you're able. Don't be in such a rush that you don't see an opportunity to help someone if you can. In the comment section, I'd love it if you would share a good turn that you've done lately.

I made these apple cookies and I did something a little extra special to them. Oh gosh they are GOOD! Keep reading to find out what I added to them to make them extra special delicious.

Cookie Cutter Available HERE
Download Tutorial Cards HERE
Free Printable Cookie Tags HERE
 I started by making an apple cookie cutter. I love it. It is just the right size and comes out as a nice plump apple with a stem and leaf. Perfect for fall cookies and back to school cookies. Cookie cutter available HERE
So I added a little something special to the icing on these cookies. Want to guess?
 For the liquid part of my icing recipe (in place of water or milk or whatever is your liquid in your recipe), I used apple juice! I also used apple extract instead of vanilla extract. I bought apple juice that is 100% juice instead of the kind that is a mixture with a bunch of sugar. I bought the most "natural" one I could find and it's called Mott's Natural Fresh Pressed 100% Apple Juice. Can you guess what it did to the apple cookies? Yep, they are DELISH! It tastes like biting into a super yummy apple! LOVE them!
 I outlined my simple apple design
 Don't you just love these plump apples? And having them with apple flavored icing, was just so fun!
Then I made some with fun faces too

 Sorry this one doesn't have a completed photo because I ATE IT before I could photograph the cookie. Yep, that's how good they were! ;-)
 Here's the others with cute faces on them
and then I used my chevron stripe cookie cutter to make some apples with chevron stripes

 Oops I photographed this one with the wrong cookie cutter. So pretend you don't see that and just look at the chevron stripes filled in! I filled every other stripe with the yummy red apple icing and then I let that dry for about an hour and then filled in the rest of the stripes with the same yummy red apple icing and added sanding sugar while those stripes were still wet.
 Pretty fun apple cookies for back to school or fall celebrations

Then I bagged up all the fun apple cookies and added an apple cookie bag topper
I really had fun with these apple cookies!
So let me know if you try out adding apple juice to your icing recipe. And don't forget to share a good turn that you did for someone too.

Apple blog background for today: