How to Make BLACK ICING Without Using An Entire Bottle Of Food Coloring!!

 Back to School Cookies and the not-so-secret secret to perfect black icing. When I was kid, I started thinking about going back to school approximately 2.1 hours before bedtime on Back-To-School Eve. Before that, I had a vague sense of impending doom, but never quite grasped the idea that it would actually come. I was free. My summer was destined to last forever. I could run and play and live outdoors until winter came. And then I would build my own log hut of dreams and a small fire and do exactly as I pleased for the rest of my life. And there would be ice cream. Because if you live in a log hut of dreams that you built yourself, I think you can pretty much eat ice cream whenever you want to. Until Back-To-School Eve. And then the crushing reality of the coming morning would hit. Deep dark depression would seep into my happy colored sunshine and sprinkler thoughts. Devastation would cripple me. I couldn't possibly move. I couldn't possibly put my *own* pajamas on a

Make your OWN cake pans

When I lived in South Korea, I was a bit of a hoarder. The store that sold cocoa powder was more than an hour's drive away. And I had an irrational fear of running out. There was a time that I actually had TWELVE little plastic jars of cocoa powder. 12 . In my defense, this was also Christmas time. And at Christmas time they sold Nestle's cocoa powder instead of just Hershey's cocoa powder. And I had never tried Nestle's cocoa powder in the cookie recipe and I had this idea that Nestle's cocoa powder was going to be even more amazing. And that I would be devastated if I couldn't buy more of it for another year. As it turned out, I couldn't actually tell the difference between the two cocoas. I don't have a super refined palate. I just like chocolate cookies. And happily, I was able to make those chocolate cookies for a very long time before needing to buy more cocoa of any kind. And then I moved back to America. And I lost all hoarding tendencies

Summer Sandwiches for a Summer Picnic Party

I'm a super good rememberer. I remember *exactly* when my husband said he would be home. And how many bites of dinner my 6 year old needs to eat before he can have a treat. I remember which store has watermelon on sale (Did you know that one watermelon costs $20 in South Korea?) and the quickest way to get to that store. I remember all of the multiplication tables up to 12 times 12 and I can tell you the alphabet backwards. I remember every address I have ever lived at and the colors of the flowers outside those buildings. I do, however, have a hard time remembering what a dryer is for or where I keep the cleaning supplies. I often forget that night time is for sleeping and that my children wake up before dawn. I can't tell you what shirt I wore yesterday and I don't know everything that I put into that concoction I called dinner tonight. I have forgotten to look for a pink piggy bank for my daughter the last SEVEN times I went to the store. And I can't reme

Make Your Own 2 Tier Candy Cake

  It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Actually, it was just a surprise half-birthday party time. And there was a cake that needed to be made. And someone had to make it. And I was kind of hoping that person wouldn't be me because the last cake that I made was kind of a huge, colossal failure and it was super important that this one didn't turn into a huge, colossal failure again. Because I'm actually not that good at failures. I don't even like them. And I'm pretty sure they don't like me either. We are what you call " not best friends forever." If I had a birthday party and my mom said I could only invite 7 friends because she didn't want to pay for the whole town to go ice skating, Failure would NOT be on my list. I would rather invite Rain than Failure. Or... even better, an actual person.  Preferably one that wouldn't ruin my entire pile of self confidence with one surprise half-birthday cake.  I spent a lot of time

Tropical Luau Cookies

You know how some people have super powers? Like, they can see through walls and jump over buildings and read people's minds from across town and basically they are the coolest people in the entire world and everyone wants to be them or date them or at least hang out with them and occasionally borrow their powers when they aren't looking? I have the opposite of that. I have super un -powers. For instance... getting ketchup to come OUT of the bottle and ON to the hot dog. It's like I can either do one or the other. Or neither, really.  I start squeezing the bottle and nothing comes out. And nothing and nothing and then all of a sudden there is a giant ketchup line across the wall of my kitchen and someone is screaming, "My eye! My eye!" And that person might be me because I literally have no idea what just happened. And it's all so confusing and slightly terrifying. Because what if I have an arch-enemy and I don't even know it? What if they pla

Be Inspired Round-Up and a WINNER!!

There were some truly unbelievable entries in last month's BE INSPIRED challenge. In case you forgot, the challenge was to use this inspiration board to create birthday cookies. And as much as I wanted to stare at these pretty pictures all month... once the submissions started rolling in, I never looked back. Let's take a quick look at some of my favorites. I actually don't even have real words to describe how much I love these cookies by Mint Lemonade . The colors are gorgeous...and the multiple shades of orange together are like a burning fire summer sun of perfectness. And the perfect silvery chain across and around the cookies is so so pretty!! You know what else is super pretty and incredible? The shading of the sky behind those pillars. And the sharp pennant lines receding into the background. And also the elaborate fairy tale lettering on the wooden signs...and the tufted cake!!! Why are they still making calendars of cats? They should be cont