Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter Wonderland Wands


In January my daughter celebrated her 5th birthday in real fashion. She wanted a peacock tea party and I wanted Alice in Wonderland. So we had a Winter Wonderland Alice in Wonderland Peacock inspired tea party. I was waiting for someone to request how I made the wands before I shared the tutorial. I apologize it is so late coming but perhaps you'll be able to use it for your own daughter's fairy wand or winter wonderland party. They take less than 10 minutes to make one and probably about $1 for materials. To be honest, these are not the most sturdy of wands. The snowflakes are fragile and the straws bend over time. But for the purposes of a pretty party favor or just dancing around magically like my daughters' like to do, they are simple to make, fun and inexpensive. 

 I have two variations. Ready?

VARIATION #1
PAPER STRAW WAND

1. Materials: You'll need hot glue (not pictured),  ribbon (about 20" long, 2 pieces), a paper straw, a wooden skewer, a Q-tip and a snowflake on a stick (I found this at Joann's for about . If you cannot find this I have also used $1 Tree snowflakes that are not on a stick, just glued it to the wand). 


2. First, cut your skewer to just shorter than the straw. Then cut the Q-tip in half. Slip the skewer in the straw and then shove one of the Q-tip pieces along side it, this is the bottom of the wand. Slide up the straw so you can't see them. 


3. Then, place the other Q-tip alongside those two pieces so it's nice and snug. 



4. Next, flip the wand over. You'll put a dab of hot glue on the top of the straw and gently slide the snowflake inside. It should slide right along side the skewer. Glue in place.


Slide flake down until the tip of the snowflake fits snugly inside the straw.



4. Then, add the ribbon. I can't remember the name of this knot. Maybe it doesn't even have one? 




5. Then put a dab of glue underneath the ribbon to hold in place. And you're done!



VARIATION #2
Dowel Wand

1. Materials: Hot glue, snowflake on a stick, wooden dowel (about 12" long. I found mine at Joann's in a pack of 10 or so) and long piece of ribbon (about 1 yard) plus extra of same or contrasting color for the end.


2. Put a dab of hot glue on the dowel and glue snowflake in place. 



2. Next, start adding the ribbon. Put glue over the snowflake stick and dowel about an inch at a time, on three sides of the dowel. Careful, don't burn your fingers as you gently press the ribbon in place over the glue. Gently pull the ribbon taut as you twirl the ribbon around the wand over the hot glue. Or you could twirl the wand as you hold the ribbon in place. Either way works. Whichever you're most coordinated with. Be sure to overlap the ribbon over itself a bit so the wood doesn't show.



3. Glue ribbon all the way down the dowel. When you get to the bottom, cut any excess ribbon and glue in place by overlapping a few times. Then tie the ribbon (as many as you'd like) around the bottom of the snowflake in a knot. Glue in place. 



 **If you cannot find these snowflake sticks use any snowflake. Glue to a painted dowel and glue ribbon on over just the top of the wand. 

If you have any questions, please email me. And feel free to pin away! 






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Monday, December 10, 2012

Mrs. Field's Chocolate Chip Cookies

i.e. one of the best chocolate chip cookies recipes out there!


Again, my mother-in-law gave us this recipe. She has so many great ones! This make a HUGE batch, so if you'd like, you can halve it (I've done so for you). Why are these the best? Well, first of all, they are simple to make. Second, the flavor is perfect with the combination of white and brown sugar. And lastly, because they are a touch crispy on the edges and perfectly gooey in the middle. I like to make a full batch of these and freeze half for school lunches and then use about 1/3 of the batch to use for my Butterscotch Cookie Dough Fudge Bars.  Please note about making a full batch......do so if you have a stand-up mixer because the hand beaters cannot handle the amount of dough the large batch creates.


Mrs. Field's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 90 cookies (FULL batch) / 45 cookies (HALF batch)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb butter (4 sticks)/1 C butter
    • softened, almost melted (if I did not leave my butter out beforehand I melt it in the micro for about 30 seconds)
  • 3 C brown sugar/ 1 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 C white sugar/ 3/4 C white sugar
  • 3 eggs/ 1 1/2 eggs  --at room temperature
    • (I usually just try to break it over a bowl and take out half, or when I break it pour out half the yolk and half the white)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla/1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 6 C flour/ 3 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt/ 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda/ 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 C chocolate chips/ 2 C chocolate chips

Directions: 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl (see note in description above) combine the butter and both sugars. Cream well  until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition.
  4. Add vanilla. Mix.
  5. Add dry ingredients. It will be very thick and hard to mix. 
  6. Add in chocolate chips, mix with a spoon.
  7. Bake, on ungreased baking sheet, for 8-11 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. The tops should be lightly brown in areas. 
  8. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow cookies to settle for 5 minutes on cookie sheet. 
  9. Carefully remove from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy warm with a glass of milk!
  11. Keep stored in airtight container. 



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