Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookie

To date, I've carried on a pretty tumultuous relationship with the peanut butter cookie. I've tried, and tried again to love it - putting up with it's dry ways, it's tasteless existence. I finally gave up and decided that we should just part ways. Until now.

This is quite possibly the best peanut butter cookie you'll ever make. And I'm not really sure what to call it. I mean, I hate just saying, "peanut butter cookie." It's so....commoner. No, this one has chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and if that weren't enough for you...you roll the dang thing in SUGAR. I made these tonight for a cookie exchange and received a positive response. My mom (who is here visiting) nearly peed herself when she tried them. Now that's good.

Sugar-Dipped Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie
courtesy of Smitten Kitten
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temp
3/4 cup sugar, leave some aside for dipping
1 large egg, at room temp
1 TB milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter (oh. my. god. Does that alone not sound YUM?) and beat until smooth. Add egg and mix well. Add milk and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and beat thoroughly.

Stir in peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets. Using fork, lightly indent with a crisscross pattern, but don't overly flatten the cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes.The cookies won't look done, but they are. Let them cool on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Now...pat yourself on the back and bask in the glory that is you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Round Up!

Thanks so much for participating in the Handmade Parade Holiday Gift Guide! We hope that you found plenty of inspirational recipes, tutorials, and gift ideas for the holiday season. As a little re-cap of the festivities I am putting together a comprehensive list of the ideas we featured and the sites to find them, all in one post. Hope you like it!


Gifts:
Cup cake Cookie Jar and Owl Vase- fruitfly pie
Hedgehog toy- Quiet Hour Toys
Sara Bangles- Salt and Paper
Felted Headbands - Raimbow Designs
Custom Accessories - kiku-co
Key chains and cell phone charms - Nicole Lee
Handbags, belts, accessories - Queen Puff Puff
Funky Jewelry- Lucky 11
Hair Ties- riyze designz
Sweater Pins- tanis alexis
Slouchy Shoulder Bag- Sweet Sugar Cane
Pilot Piggy- Susa
Mechanical Man Paper Toy/Print - Custom Paper toys
Button Earrings - Peptogirl
Cheeky Tees - Miss Wit
Cute Hair Clips - My Zoe Bug
Stud Muffin Tee- Fort Cloudy
Home Sweet Home Magnets - Block Party Press
Super Bot Stuffie - Bam Pop!
Vinyl Totes and Messengers - Flamestitch
Hand painted Brazilian Toys and Ornaments - Maderacolores
Gocco Print - 3P3
Smarty Pegs and Farty Lights - Dippylulu
Screenprinted Ties - re:made
Hand Bound Notebooks - The Kate Black
Crafty/Nerdy Buttons - Button Empire
Coasters - Magic Jelly
Wallet - Sewlutions by AMO
Compass Cuff Links - LuxeDeluxe
Greeting Cards and Art Prints - Carambatack
Memory Board - Katie Jean
Layette Set - Doodle Sprouts
Sock Walrus - Knit Owl
Art Smock - Buttons Magee
Appliqu├ęd Tees - kirsten Can
Custom Valise - Little Pink Studio
Yo-Yo Necklace - CooKoorikoo
Mittens - See Also
Orange Dotty Bunny - Speckled Nest
Blythe Dresses - Laura Eve Leigh
More Blythe Dresses - Academy Bedlam
Necklace Trio - Marsh Toh
Bear - Mumka
Potholders - Mukkibubb
Zippered Pouch - Nest Decorating
Cupcake tea Cozy - Pink Petal Designs
Clutch - Flyball Bags
Business Card File - Ugly Kitty
Vase - Clay Dame
Little Poppy Pendants - Salt and Paper
Tweed Purses - Abi Bansal Designs




Holiday Decor:
Betsy Ornaments - Sadie Lou Who
Felt Fish Ornaments - Lil Fish Studios
Reusable Wrapping cloth - Rickrack
Cupcake Ornaments - Cutie Goodie
Holiday Noms- Little Deer
Paper Mittens Kit - Little Pink Studio
Elephant Ornaments - pangodin
Jingle Mousekins - Maggierama
Daisy Ribbon Ball - Mizusigi Creations
Yetis - Little Black Forest
Holiday Tins - A bel Emporium
Tote bag - Nancy Gamon
Nesting Necklace - Skipping Stones Jewelry
Snowflake - Collage Art Studio



Tutorials:
Chocolate Bar Cozies
Clothespin Dolls
Free Embroidery Patterns
Silhouette Tutorial
Shrinky Dink Keychains
Garland Tutorial
Christmas Tree Ornament
Jingle Jolly Runner
Gift Card Holders
Pixie Blossom Pin Cushion
Cashmere Headband
Snowpoms


Recipes:
Jam Thumbprints
Farfalle with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Sweet Potato Souffle
Holiday Turkey
Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
Cookies in a Jar
Big Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Stationary Round Up

Allright, I think I got it all down in one post! Thanks so much to all my lovely contributers and designers. I could never have done it without them, they made this all as great as it was. Thanks again!!

Please check back after the holidays because I am going to have some super great Handmade Parade fun for you!

Now I need to take a nap after typing all that!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Clothespin dolls

Clothespin dolls are fun to make, fun to give and would make great ornaments. Here's a little tutorial to get you started.

Sew, Mama, Sew!


We're approaching the middle of December, but there's still time before Christmas to whip up some fabulous handmade gifts! The gals over at the Sew, Mama, Sew blog have put together an amazing list of tutorials for you - so get over there, and get to sewin'!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

They're Pinkalicious!

I'm gearing up for my annual cookie bake-a-thon, where I usually make hundreds and hundred of cookies , in about 8 varieties. I will wrap these up in some of that new Martha Stewart cookie packaging from Michael's to give as little gifties to friends and neighbors. My favorite?

This recipe was slightly adapted from Ina Garten's Jam Thumbprint Cookies, from her book Barefoot Contessa Family Style. Last year, Olivia and I decided to make them pink. And their new name? Pinkalicious Thumbprints - because they're pink and delicious!

xoxo

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fruit Fly Pie

I really hope Santa brings me some Fruit Fly Pie for Christmas this year!

I MUST have this cookie jar:
FruitFlyPie_CookieJar


I'm still deciding which of the owls I want, but I think it's this one:

FruitFlyPie_Owl


Please, oh please??!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy hedgehog in orange and turquoise

A sweet little hedgehog like this one from Quiet Hours Toys would make any child (or adult) tickled pink on Christmas Day!

sara bangles


sara bangles, originally uploaded by saltandpaper.

Check out these awesome bangles from Salt and Paper!! I will definitely be putties these pretties om my holiday list!

Wild Mustard Meadow Ultra Warm And Cozy Felted Wool Headband

Raimbow Designs has delightful and fun felted headbands and scarves that will keep anyone cozy this year. Her colors are vibrant and her floral accents are bold and sweet at the same time.

Shrinky Dink Keychain Tutorial

I just saw this super-cute keychain tutorial in NEET Magazine. Yes, it's really...neet! Hehe.

Anyway, back to the tutorial, it's super easy and I bet those keychains would make great holiday gifts! Especially for those people on your list like bosses and co-workers!

NEET Shrink Dink tute


Head on over to NEET Magazine for the full-size version!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Garland tutorial


Make a simple garland out of felted sweaters. Instructions here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Scrap fabric wreath


Scrap fabric wreath, originally uploaded by nestdecorating.

I love this cute scrap wreath! It would be hard to put this away after the holidays! Tamar from Nest Decorating makes these beauties.

more cupcakes


more cupcakes, originally uploaded by CutieGoodie.

Look at these deliciously cute Christmas ornaments! these would look lovely on a sweet themed tree or mixed in with old family favorites. Get some here.

Kiku Handmade

I recently helped Laurie of Kiku Handmade to get e-commerce for her web site up and running. I had her make me a custom belt buckle with an image that I drew in Illustrator. The colors are hand-painted. She did an amazing job!!!

Custom belt buckle by Laurie at Kiku-co.com

Laurie also has a whole lot of amazing items listed on her web site, including custom belt buckles, necklaces, earrings, rings, knitting needles, and sewn pouches. Everything is so cute. What I love about Laurie's jewelry is that it is incredibly simple but still beautiful and unique. You can tell she really has an eye for color!

Kiku Handmade Kiku Handmade Kiku Handmade


Place your orders by December 17th in order to ensure a before Xmas delivery (custom orders should be made by December 12th)!

www.kiku-co.com

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Baking is pretty tricky for me. I don't do that whole perfect-measurement thing well. I'm more of a, "Oh, what would an extra teaspoon of cumin hurt," or, "that's all the salt they call for? That's just ridiculous! :: sprinkle ::." Point being, I am not fully in love with making baked stuff and so you won't see that many recipes on here that will satisfy your sweet tooth.

I kept hearing about this one recipe for "Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies." If nothing else, they sound dang good. I'm a big fan of recipes that just - SAY it. And these cookies live up to their name, my friend. I became one with my inner fat kid when these came out of the oven.

The Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie (makes about a dozen)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 TB vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well-blended. Beat in vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips by hand, using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto prepared cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 3" apart.

Bake for 15-17 minutes in preheated oven. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Sweet Trio


Sweet Trio, originally uploaded by marshatoh.

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=76902

This etsy shop is full of beautiful, simple, modern yet vintagey jewelrey! Stop by and take a look! Tell her handmade parade sent you!

Nicole Lee Designs

A big thanks to Nicole Lee for donating swag for IndieSac! Aren't these keychains and cell phone charms cute? I wanted to keep one for myself...

Swag by Nicole Lee Designs

Swag by Nicole Lee Designs


Speaking of cute, Nicole has a whole slew of cuteness on her website and Etsy store. I've pictured a few of my favorites below:

Nicole Lee Designs


www.nicoleleedesigns.com

Add Queen Puf Puff to your Shopping List!

There were SO many great crafters at IndieSacramento - I can't wait to share them ALL with you! Nicole from Queen Puff Puff is super nice - and she came all the way from Petaluma!

Queen Puff Puff


Her handbags, makeup bags, and headbands are super-cute and professional! I am kicking myself for not grabbing a makeup bag at IndieSac. Oh well, there's always shopping online, right?!


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Be sure to add Queen Puff Puff to your gifts for her shopping list. And if you are good, maybe Santa will too ;)

Three Christmas Tree Decorations

Tutorial here: http://www.sophiestansfielddesigns.blogspot.com/
I think these would look really cute as a garland too! They look like they are super fast and easy to whip up, so why not make them for your office mates or for a teacher?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mechanical Man paper toy

You can make a paper toy robot from this print.... or buy it already assembled for only $10 more! There are a lot of really fabulous paper toys on this site, and some are less intricate :)
http://www.custompapertoys.bigcartel.com/

Too Cute!


new Big NOMs, originally uploaded by merwing.

These little "nom's" are so cute and unique! I know I want the whole set to put n the window sill of my kitchen! They are available in Little Deer's etsy shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=21426

Monday, December 3, 2007

Perfect for MY stocking :)


DSC02454, originally uploaded by mumka.

I just love this little guy with his overalls, and cute little anime face! He was for sale in the etsy shop, but alas, he's been picked up :) Keep an eye on her shop though, because her softies are the CUTEST!
etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5074330
(p.s. Sorry I'm not as good of a writer as Claire is, but I'll keep practicing and hopefully I'll be better by the time she gets back! LOL!)
luv, missy

twighlight trees pot holders


twighlight trees pot holders, originally uploaded by Shanny Poo.

Shannon makes the most fabulous fabric things! They are useful, and artful, all in one! Check out her etsy shop here : http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=88624

Paper Mittens kit


Paper Mittens kit, originally uploaded by littlepinkstudio.

A super cute project for you to do yourself, or give as a gift for that crafty person in your life :) A teenager even?

Gifts for him, her and...errr....yourself

If you missed IndieSacramento this past Saturday, don't fret! You can still purchase from many of the vendors online.

Here are a few of the items that I picked up at the show. Some of them were gifts for (ahem) myself:

A pink and black dice bracelet (with flamingos!) from Lucky-11

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Adorable change purse (see the top one in the wooden bowl) by Mahleewan

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And beer soap (yep, I said beer) by Dennis Anderson.

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I also got the peppermint & poppyseed scrub soap and they were nice enough to throw in a bar of plum crazy!

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And a set of fabric hair ties from his wife, Brandy! Her company is Riyze Designz.

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What are you waiting for? Start shopping!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Fast, Easy Recipe - and Healthy, Too!

It's Sunday evening and I'm sitting here in my new Christmas flannel pj bottoms and pink fuzzy socks. I know. Super-duper sexy. After dealing with a week long of the icky flu, I think I deserve some sweet and fuzzy time. Don't think I didn't spend my sick time wisely, though. I did go in to work and I also spent a good chunk of quality time playing online Tetris.

If you feel like you're short on time and high on being-sick-of-that-backfat-roll-which-keeps-creeping-up-on-you, this is a great recipe to trim the calories but still keep the taste (shocking thought, ain't it?). It's also speedy. So you can be lazy AND calorie-conscious at the same time.

Farfalle with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
1 pound uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces presliced exotic mushroom blend
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper; cook 12 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Add the cooked pasta, whipping cream, cheese, and 2 tablespoons parsley, tossing gently to coat. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Garnish with minced fresh parsley, if desired. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)