How to Make Decorated Robot Cookies

It's very nearly June. Can you believe it? It's time to make your New Summer Resolutions!!! I pretty much gave up on New Year's Resolutions when I had my 4th child. Children are like electrons, they get excited when there are more of them in a smaller space. And my living room is basically a nuclear reactor in the winter. And not in a good way. More in a "I would like to hide behind this couch and cry for the next 3 1/2 months but I can't because I think the baby just got naked and is heading toward the bathroom" kind of way. My only New Year's Resolutions for the last few years have been continuing to exist on a daily basis until the sun shines again and my children can go kick the soccer ball at the fence until it falls down. (It actually did today. So tomorrow after school we're going to play, "Let's learn how to use a power drill safely.") PLUS... New Summer Resolutions are exciting because you can actually DO STUFF. I mean, be

Fantastic Find: Ateco Ruffle Tips

I love when "fun" meets up with "easy." And these ruffle tips are that perfect pairing. When I first got them, I couldn't think of a reason to use them....and after I tried them out....I couldn't stop wishing I had more reasons to use them! The basic idea behind ruffle tips is that they are shaped all totally weird so that the icing is pushed in such a way that ruffles are automatically created as you squeeze the icing out of the piping bag. You know, because moving your hand up and down to make ruffles is SO last year. I couldn't find a chart that shows what all of the ruffle tips look like, so I was really excited to try them out with some left over icing. The top line of ruffles is what each tip looks like if you just squeeze and move your had from left to right. The bottom line of ruffles is what each tip looks like when you move the piping tip up and down like you normally would to make ruffles. As you can see...there's not a lot

How to Make Decorated Ruffle Bunting Cookies (with BUTTER CREAM!!)

You know what I really love? If you said bright colors and candy AND candy that is brightly colored -- you would be right. And if you said going to sleep at night because I have nothing else to do and not waking up until morning -- you would also be right. (You also have a fantastic imagination...because I don't think that actually happens in real life.) But if you said growing a garden or trying to make my own cheese...actually, you know what? You would still be right. I would also accept water. Either to drink or to play on or in. And Chaco sandals. And melted cheese chips. (Let's not call them "nachos" because some people might think that I mean that fake cheese dipping sauce and I definitely do not mean that.) And organizing bins that you can't see into. And the month of August. Okay! I get it. I like a lot of things. I'm a liker. It's just who I am. What's so awful about liking things anyway?   One more thing that I like -- ZE

How to Pipe an Icing Rope

Wanted: Laundry-doing person. Must be able to put clothes in the washing machine and start it on a regular basis. And by "regular basis" I mean more than once or twice a month. Every day is ideal. Knowledge of washing temperatures is a plus, but really - if you can shove the clothes in that thing, somehow manage to add soap and press "start"- I won't complain. Transferring clothes to the dryer before they mold is negotiable but preferred. Helping the cleaned clothing find its way home while pretending that the rest of my house is in perfect condition is an absolute requirement. A signed confidentiality agreement will be signed regarding the state of the kitchen before work or payment can occur. Payment to be made in decorated cookies- payable on Saturday mornings or in chocolate cookie dough - payable on Tuesday evenings. Or you could just come over and talk to me while I avoid doing laundry altogether. Or starting cookies. I'm okay with that too

Fantastic Find: Fondarific Fondant

I LOVE the recent resurgence of cake and cookie decorating!! Remember when wedding cakes basically required the existence of columns and a cascade of flowers?! And now you can get a cake that *actually is* a replica of the Taj Mahal!! I love it!  I feel like cookie decorating has only just begun it's ascent into fame and acceptance. Cake decorating has had more time being "popular" and even's taken a while for fun new tools to come out. The good news is that when cake and cookie decorating have an overlap...we reap the benefit!! For example, I've been seeing fondant in the baking aisle of grocery stores for a few months now!! It's usually located below the sprinkles. I have avoided the Wilton fondant (it has great properties for beginners....but tastes awful!) and was super excited to see Fondarific Fondant being sold in the baking aisle at Walmart. So naturally, I grabbed 3 or 7 of them to try out. There were 5 different color choice

How to Make Wavy Sand Beach Cookies

I'm basically the queen of irrational fears. It's a miracle I ever lived to become an adult. Sometimes I worry that the tree in my front yard will get struck by lightning and crash into my house. I've spent actual time trying to figure out exactly how tall the tree is so I can estimate the damage it would cause. You know...just to be prepared. And every time I go to the grocery store, I'm terrified that I've left my wallet at home. Like, my heart starts racing as I put all my groceries on the counter for the cashier and I dig frantically through my bag until I find it. Interesting fact though -- I never really check BEFORE I leave for the store when I could actually do something about it. I prefer to freak out at the check stand instead. Oh! And I also have this crazy fear that I'm going to leave a child sitting in the grocery cart in the parking lot and just drive away. I always *ALWAYS* put my children in the car and get them buckled before I put the g

How to Make Decorated Seashell Jar Cookies

The way I see it, as a parent, there are THREE nearly insurmountable tasks that you have to somehow see your way to the other side of with each and every one of your children. They are what I like to call " the parenting gauntlet of sadness and despair. " You know, as opposed to " the parenting gauntlet of happiness and love " which basically involves cuddling and marshmallows. But that's not the one we are talking about here today. Don't distract me. The three hardest things I've ever, ever done as a parent...the things that very nearly convinced me that joining a circus really was the way to go... 1. POTTY TRAINING 2. TEACHING THEM TO READ 3. TEACHING THEM TO PEDAL A BIKE I mean, potty training by itself is enough to undo a person...for both child and parent. If you make it through the endless accidents and near-misses and the mountains of laundry you are afraid to should both get a pony. And maybe teaching a child to read

Fantastic Find: Wilton's Perfect Fill Batter Dispenser

I know this week's Fantastic Find isn't as cookie-centric as most of the other finds, and I almost didn't post it. But the truth is... I love the PERFECT FILL dispenser so much I couldn't help myself. And it kind of has a cookie use... It's basically an all-in-one coupler and tip designed just for dispensing batter. Like cupcake batter or pancake batter (or putting FLOOD ICING into a bottle!!!!) It's kind of hard to see in the picture but the purple tip of the dispenser is a piece of thick-ish silicone cut in a star pattern. (It might not be silicone. I actually have no idea what it is made out of. It could be rubber. I am not an expert on man-made materials. Do not judge me. It's purple. I know that for sure.) You put it together like you would any other coupler/tip set. Put the base into a piping bag and screw the dispenser cap on snugly. I used a giant piping bag I purchased in South Korea, but THIS GIANT piping bag would be perfect. Or... if

Decorated Derby Horse Cookies

I'm a "say what you mean and mean what you say" kind of girl. My children are not. They say things like, " I hate that shirt more than a million ." More than a million WHAT exactly? More than a million chocolate covered caramels piled on a silver tray with my name on it? Because then I would agree that I hate that shirt more than I hate a million chocolate covered caramels piled on a silver tray with my name on it. My girl child has started saying, " I don't have any shoes ." You know, while standing in a pile of shoes that reaches from her closet to her bedroom door. *I* don't even own that many shoes. Or they say, " You NEVER EVER make food I like ." You can imagine that in the history of their little lifetimes that I've never once made pizza or hotdogs or quesadillas or chocolate chip cookies or popcorn or french fries. Never ever apparently. And my personal favorite, " But ALL THE GIRLS have horses. I NEED one

Fantastic Find: Wilton Twist Quick Couplers

I'm pretty obsessed loyal to my Ateco couplers. I even wrote an entire blog post about why you should buy them and how to tell them apart from other couplers that are only pretending to be them. So I knew going in to this that it would take a pretty stellar coupler to rock me from my solid Ateco Coupler Love. The Twist Quick Coupler promises easy tip changes and a cap to keep your icing fresh between decorating sessions. Both sounded fantastic to me. I'm going to be honest... for one coupler that costs between 3-5 dollars, I was expecting a lot. It is made of super sturdy plastic -- which I love! The regular Wilton couplers are a really thin plastic and warp easily. I can't imagine this one would ever have that problem. Also the different parts connect to each other really well. Which is also fantastic, because again, the regular Wilton couplers have messy cross-threading issues. So this is definitely a step up. The weird part is that this coupler is actual

How to Make COLORED Chalkboard Cookies

I am the last person on earth that would claim perfection in parenting. I mean, just TODAY-- I lied to my children and told them the juice was all gone...when in fact it wasn't. I pretended I couldn't hear my children calling for me while I was in the bathroom. My little P was quiet for 20 whole minutes before I went to check on her. I let my Princess A wear her purple dress-up gown to school drop off so I could go yet one more day without doing laundry. I made scrambled eggs, quesadillas, and cut up apples for dinner. I bribed my children to clean up the living room...with cookies. But for all my shortcomings, there are two things I have done right as a mother. The first one -- I taught them to hold juice pouches at the top two corners. Even my little P knows how to hold them without squishing juice all over the front of her shirt. I'm not going to lie, I'm super proud of that. And the second thing -- bedtime is book time at our house. We have a "

Super Teacher Cookies for Teacher Appreciation Week

I need some advice from all you parents who have had more than one child. I just CAN NOT figure out how you get all of your kids in the car at the same time without one of them lying boneless on the ground sobbing endlessly because someone else "sat in their seat." I tried assigning seats like the Type A mother that I am. It worked well until I missed the rotation day and everyone hated me. And by "everyone" I mean my oldest child who never ever ever forgets a single thing that I promise him. I'm worried this will really come back to bite me when he turns 12 and wakes up to find that he does NOT, in fact own a pony. I tried a "first one there gets the back seat" rule...but nobody wants the backseat. So I suddenly found myself with 4 children that were entirely incapable of finding our car and climbing inside. My little Princess A actually hid under her bed so she could be the last person in the car. Then I tried the opposite approach -- the