Free Find Friday -- Craftsy Class

Okay look, I know today is Friday. I know it's supposed to be a "Fantastic Find" kind of day...but this week's find just didn't get here in time for me to properly test it out. So...excuses, excuses...I'm just going to give something away anyway! If you don't know - I filmed a Craftsy class last fall. It's all about thinking outside the cookie cutter. We're talking a whole 124 minutes of chatting about cookie cutters and making some fun cookie projects. The class is divided into 6 lessons. Lesson 1 gets your brain working by taking simple shapes and seeing what you can fit inside of them. (Don't skimp on the homework! It will really change the way you look at cookie cutters!) Lesson 2 gets a little more detailed with more complex shapes of cutters. I talk about all the different parts of a cutter and how to visualize more than just the originally intended shape by utilizing each cutter's unique angles and shapes.

Decorated Magic Lamp Cookies for an Arabian Princess Party

I took my baby to the swimming pool for the first time tonight since she became actually aware of the world. (LOVE this age by the way!!) She looked at all that water like it was a controlled substance. Which, to be fair, it kind of IS at my house. My girls have overflowed our bathtub TWICE in the last 12 months in an effort to get the temperature "just right". And even when there are only 2 inches in thing to begin with, they still manage to get most of it on the bathroom floor during mermaid exercises. Mermaid exercises. That's happening at my house. I don't even.... I mean.... Mermaids. I don't even know how that happened. One minute I am raising 3 little girls that like dirt and bugs and baseball. And then without even blinking, their closets are overflowing with shoes and princess dresses and love notes they've written each other. And I'm not really sure how the next 17 years of my life are going to turn out, but at least I'll have

21 Tips for Creating Perfect Cookie Bouquets

I know it seems odd to take advice from the girl who still has Valentine's Day decorations up...but I've made my share of cookie bouquet mistakes. I've also probably made your share as well. So in an effort to even things out...let me share with you these 21 tips for creating the perfect cookie bouquet! 1.  Before you even get your butter out or power up the mixer...make sure you have the right sticks for your bouquet. The key to a gorgeous cookie bouquet is VARYING LENGTHS of sticks. If I am making a bouquet with 12 cookies-- I will bake 4 of them on the 11.75 inch sticks, 6 of them on the 8 inch sticks and 2 of them on 6 inch sticks. If you are only going to get two sizes - go with the 11.75 inch sticks and the 8 inch sticks . 2. Place your cut-out on a baking sheet. Keep a finger or two on top of the cut-out as you push the cookie stick in to the cut-out. I find it helpful to gently rotate the stick as it goes into the dough. 3. Place your cut-out on

Fantastic Find: The Cookie Architect Puzzle

I love that in this crazy-technology driven world some of the most primitive relaxation activities are coming back into vogue. And by that I mean....I no longer have to be embarrassed to admit that although I am a fully functioning adult, I still like coloring and puzzles. And candy. And sleeping. And this "Edible Garden" Springbok Puzzle made from cookies created by The Cookie Architect is the best of all my worlds put together. It's cookies without calories. It's colors and textures and patterns. I love picking out which pieces were made with the same color of icing and trying to guess which layer came first. I can justify spending hours staring at all the details that make Rebecca's cookies incredible. And I can do it with my kids. (Or without my kids. If I'm having one of *those* days. You know those days. They usually end with either tears or ice cream. Sometimes both.) Also...this puzzle is only 500 pieces. Which is kind of my favorite puz

Small Batch Fondant Recipe

I think I'm allergic to mopping. It makes me kind of sick just thinking about it. I like to play this game where I lie to myself and promise I'll mop tomorrow. And then I tell myself it's okay if I wait another day because it's only been a few days since I mopped last anyway. But it's never been only a few days. (I'm so ashamed.) Somehow sweeping is okay. With 4 children and hard wood floors...I could sweep in my sleep. Actually, I kind of wish I would, because if you add up all the time in a year that I spend sweeping....that's like...A LOT of time spent sweeping. But sweeping is just easy. You grab a broom and you do it. Unlike mopping. Mopping requires a full commitment.  And a diversion for the children. And moving all those chairs. And trying to figure out exactly what that spot on the floor came from. And then hoping it was something the children spilled. And not the black death. And then you have to budget in your recovery time because --HELLO --

Fantastic Find: Ateco Icing Comb

I feel like I live my cookie life on an elusive hunt for texture. When everyone else is chatting away about getting the smoothest, shiniest surface possible...I'm over here poking holes in mine with a scriber. I've seen this icing comb and other similar variations used on cakes for years. But when I saw the ATECO ICING COMB again a few weeks ago...I realized I just wasn't seeing it's true potential. know... I bought one or seven of them. And I tried it out with some cookies in my nautical baby set. And now I have a lot to say about it. (Surprise!) (Not really.) Are you ready? The comb is designed to be used with gobs of frosting. As put gobs of frosting on a cake and take part of it off with the comb...creating texture literally in it's wake. I'm not really into gobs of royal icing on a cookie, so I used it more like I do when scraping icing across a stencil. I used a knife to put a thick consistency icing on the edge of the comb

How to Make Decorated Sailboat Cookies

Do you remember those "sound" CDs from the early 90's? You could buy a CD that was nothing but rain on a rooftop or wind in the desert. Sometimes they had music...sometimes they didn't. I loved those things. I would listen to the entire soundtrack and pretend like I was somewhere else. Although, I'm not really sure why I would ever have wanted to pretend that I was in the desert in a windstorm. From what I can tell from my cinematic research....windstorms in the desert can bury you in like 7 seconds. And then camels eat your hair. And I like my hair. I don't want it to be eaten. Ironically, the one CD I *didn't* like was a sailboat CD. You've got to understand -- I love sailboats. I used to practically live my life on them. I taught people how to sail. I took people on sailing trips. I raced sailboats. I built sailboats. I cleaned sailboats. I slept on sailboats. (Life is so weird, isn't it?!) And the snap of the canvas and the chink of t

How to Use the "Easiest Rose Ever" Cutter

  If you've ever been in a room with me for longer than 12 know that I'm a little bit of a "non-listener." It's just so hard to hear the sound of responsible people over the noise of my inner carnival. I'm all in or all out. And usually that means that I'm all in for whatever crazy idea I've got going on in my brain. And that I have no room for advice or actual reasoning. And also that I've probably got candy hidden in at least 3 different places "just in case." Because really, you never know when you're going to need some. And you can't be too careful when it comes to candy emergencies. What I'm really trying to say here is that I actually have NO EARTHLY IDEA how this rose cutter is supposed to be used. There was a diagram on the back of the package, but I may have thrown it away before I read the words that someone so carefully placed there. My point is that this video shows how **I** made some roses with

Fantastic Find: "Easiest Rose Ever" Cutter

I'm going to be honest with you -- I had pretty low expectations for this "Easiest Rose Ever" Cutter . Like, I already had a mental list of friends I could pass it on to after trying it out. I've pretty much never had success trying to make a sugar flower that looks like an *actual* flower. I've tried a lot and I just don't have that special thing inside of me that makes it happen. (I think it's called "patience.") This cutter is designed to be used with fondant or gum paste. Basically you roll one of those things out real thin, cut a piece of it with the cutter, fold that piece of fondant or gum paste in half and then just roll it up into a magical sugar rose. Like this. But it can't really be that simple, right? I mean... I'm SURE I can find a way to mess it up. And I did. But only a little bit. Let me show you.  The package with the cutter came while I was photographing the wedding cookies this week. I ripped it open