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Monday, April 30, 2012

Go Your Own Way

As promised the sign is done!  As a reminder from where we started check out my original pin from pinterest

Im so sorry I dont know where this originally came from, I cant find the original source but I had to share the picture.

Since its been so long since the first post on the idea, Ill just make this a big post with all the details!  To start with I downloaded fonts that I though best reflected the place that I was going to mark.  Thanks for for all the great fonts that we used.
If you would like to use the names I did click here.  I printed the names out and had those ready for when the signs were ready to be marked.

Now what is a sign without a good post?!  Since the drought was so bad here last year my mom had a lot of fallen trees on her property, and we scored and awesome trunk from her.

Good post right?!  Not that we have the post, we need the arrows.  I didnt need them to be all fancy but Joe decided to make them look like arrows which is fine with me they were cute.  It wasnt that hard to make these all you need is a 2x4 or pallet wood or whatever you have laying around.  You can break the wood piece to have an angle that points or you can use a compound saw and cut angles that you want for an arrow, just do whatever you think is best for your sign here.

After you cut all your signs out now you are ready to burn/paint the words onto the signs.  We had a soldering gun that had a wood burning attachement.  Thankfully Joe is a great artist and drew the words onto the wood pretty much just like they were on the paper.  You can do whatever works best for you, I thought of buring over the paper or using an excto knife to cut into the wood and burn over that in case Joe couldnt draw them, but seeing as he could I never had to test those theories.  Honestly it was really time consuming to do all the burning and thats what it took so long to get this done, but it was well worth it since I think it will last the longest.  After you get all the arrows done now you can attach them to your post, and thats the fastest part.  If you use a nail gun it will be even easier.
If you put them on at funky angles that gives it an older cooler feel too.  But if you are more meticulous then of course you can make them perfect, its your sign make it fit you!  Now that all the arrows are on plant it in the ground.  If you have a hole digger you can use it or a shovel, but the hole digger makes it a litter easier to dig a hole.  Make sure the hole is about 2 feet deep so that the post is sturdy in the ground.  When the hole is dug stick the post in, re plant the soil and pack it tighthy.  Once thats done YOUR done!  Step back and admire your awesome job on an awesome sign!

What a fun way to make a fun statement in your yard.  We ended up putting ours in the back yard so as not to start any trouble with the HOA, they stress me out.  So what do you think?  All that work, was it worth it?  I sure do think so!

Project Housewife Out!

Im Linking Up!  Come check me out at Positively Splendid, Add a Pinch, Flour me with Love, Tip Junkie,Not Just a Housewife, Romance on a Dime, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Newlyweds on a Dime,Southern Lovely, DIY by Design, Lil Pink Pocket, Made Famous By, My Girlish Whims, Ginger Snap Crafts, Beyond the Picket fence, House of Hepworths, Michelle's Tasty Creations, Petals to Picots, Joy in the Jumble, Bacon Time, Create Craft Love, Addicted 2 Decorating,

Friday, April 27, 2012

Foodie Friday #23

Its Friday and Im super excited about it!  I started my new job this week but am happy for the weekend to finally be here and take some down time to...wait for it...FINISH THE SIGN...if you dont know what Im talking about then just tune in Monday because shock of shock I will finally be posting the epic conclusion to this masterpiece.  I have to say my husband is extremely talented and it looks fantastic!

For the recipe this week, I made these for my new work buddies but ended up eating them all myself.  Possibly next time I will leave out the Peanut Butter because they were pretty hard not as melty as I normally like my Krispie Treats.  I am a sucker for Butterfinger though and had to try these and were overall totally in love.  Try these out and let me know what you think!

Butterfinger Rice Krispie Treats
(A RecipeGirl blog recipe, modified by Rachael S)

Servings: 9     Prep Time: 25min     Cook Time: 5min            Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • 4 cups Rice Krispies
  • 8 pack of .65-ounce Butterfinger candy bars chopped into chunks
 Spray an 8x8-inch pan with nonstick spray.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and peanut butter together over medium heat. Add the marshmallows- stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the Rice Krispies. Stir in the Butterfingers (setting about 1/4 cup aside for the topping). Scrape the mixture into the prepare pan and press it evenly into the pan with clean hands. Let it cool.

Cut the Krispie Treats into nine equal pieces and store them in a covered container. 

What are you waiting for, go try these out an be prepared to want to eat them all!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Its that time of week again...a time to reflect and be thankful and you know what Im thankful for this week...YOU!  Thats right YOU!  Im thankful for everyone who has been with me from the beginning, those of you who just found me today and of course everyone in between.  You guys keep me wanting to be creative instead of just sitting on my butt doing nothing.  Sometimes its hard to get motivated and knowing people like what I create totally makes my day.

Thanks everyone for stopping by, leaving comments and following me it totally makes my day everyday when I log on and see how many people have stopped in.  I wanted to tell all of you that Im thankful for you and am so happy we are getting to know each other through the wonderful blog world.

If you have a project you would love to see me create let me know I would love to have some new ideas since Pinterest has been letting me down lately.  And what would Thursday be without a picture of Oreo!

Such a happy puppy, wish he didnt love sitting in dirt though :)

Project Housewife Out!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Wide Can You Go?

I want to start off by saying...this was really hard.  I mean really hard but I think it was well worth it in the end.  Not much story here for you just straight into the instructions.  If anything here doesnt make sense please let me know and I will be more than happy to try and articulate myself a little better, I feel like Im rambling a little today.

Remember yesterday when I showed you how to make a curtain longer?  Well if you dont remember just click here and you can see that post.  Today Im going to combine yesterday's post and add on to that.  I have curtains in my bedroom that I dont love, I liked them but the valance was throwing me off.  The picture below sucks but its hard to get a good picture when the sun is shining in through the window.

I decided to get rid of the valance but modify the curtain panels.  I wanted to add width to make a more lush look and then move the curtain panels up to where the valance was, which means I was going to have to make the curtain longer.  First things first, I had to cut the panel in half.

 Cutting the panel did need some help.  I dont have a large enough flat surface to cut on so I had m husband hold one end while I cut the other.  Be careful if your curtains have lining and make sure you cut the curtain and the lining at the same time so everything is the same size for hemming purposes.

**Side note, please note that the panels I am working on dont have the traditional pocket for the curtain rod but belt loop esk loops, so if you have the traditional pocket make sure you follow the instructions from my first curtain post found here**

 Remember from yesterday the hemming we did to the edges, but on this cut curtain you only have to hem the cut edge so that the fabric doenst come unraveled or anything on your seam.  Make sure its even all the way down, pin it in place, then iron it down, then hem it down.  Since I had a lining I actually had to hem the lining down then hem the fancy fabric down.  Honestly this probably would have been better to sew to save on hem tape but i cant sew in a straight line and thought that would be tackier than a lot of hem tape.

 Truth be told this took a lot of 2 hours per I forgot to take some of the pictures because my back was hurting and my knees hurt and blah blah blah sorry!!!  So the above picture is all the pieces put together so let me explain what I did.  After I had the two sides of the original curtain hemmed.  I went on to the addition fabric.  I hemmed the top and bottom at the length to match the original panels.  Make sure it matches 100% so it doesnt look off when you hang the curtain, which means leave enough for a 1 inch hem but the rest should match up.  The 2 edges I hemmed to each panel one at a time the same (so back to back with the hem tape in the middle).  I didnt hem the unfinished edge of the new fabric because it was going to be covered in the seam.  After you hemmed the fabrics back to back, flip it over and iron out the seam.  Then on the front put a piece of hem tape where you ironed the seam, flip the curtain back over and iron the hem tape in place.  Repeat the same thing for the other side of the curtain.

For the bottom, thats going to be the easiest.  Measure your piece to be same length as the new curtain panel and to the width you want, then follow the instructions from yesterday's post (here)

I know a lot of steps with like no pictures to go with it and I have failed you!  I am sorry.  But if you are going to attempt this and want some extra help just email me!
The next step is to make the loops to hang the curtain from.  From the scrap fabric I cut 2 pieces on the edge of the fabric so the top was a loop.  I them hemmed the bottom edges together, then hemmed the top and bottom edges to the top of the curtain in line with the other loops.  This doesnt have to be an exact science just make the width you think works best and space it at what you think is best.  Make sure you let that sit for about 5 minutes before you hang it so it has time to set.

Now comes the most fun part, is hanging the curtains!!

 Wow looks cool right?!  I was pretty impressed that it looked better than I thought it was going to.  Oh and a side note I am going to paint the walls gray so there wont be so much purple soon!

Here is a longer view for you, I love these now they are much more what I had imagined and that makes me what to do with the valances?!

Project Housewife Out!

Im Linking Up!  Come check me out at Six Sisters Stuff, Not Just a Housewife, Romance on a Dime, Southern Lovely 
My Girlish Whims, Lil Pink Pocket, DIY By Design, Beyond the Picket Fence 
Tip Junkie, Ginger Snap Crafts
Joy in the Jumble, Tidy Mom, Bacon Time, Blissful and Domestic, Create Craft Love, Addicted2Decorating, Petals to Picots, Serenity Now, While he was Napping,
House of Hepworths, Michelle's tasty Creations, A Bowl Full of Lemons
The Rooster and the Hen

Monday, April 23, 2012

Raise the Roof!

Or raise the curtain height in this case.  I have been starting at the curtains in my living room for a year and a half wishing they were longer and finally go around to matching up the fabric to do so.  This week I actually have 2 curtain projects to share with you but today's is the simpler of the two and thats adding length to a curtain. 

Here is a before shot of the living room (kitchen has the same curtains at the same height)

I decided that it would look better if the curtains were at the ceiling height so off to Joann's I went in search of a fabric match.  It was pretty hard to find an exact match but the color match was very very close.  The store associate actually made a great suggestion to add ribbon to the seam to try and make it look pretty seamless so I decided to go with that idea.  As a side note...none of this requires a sewing machine.  Arguably it would have been better if I had sewn it, but since I cant sew a straight line to save my life I figured hem tape would work better.  Below is after the curtain rods were taken down, and you can see what a big difference even sheers make to a window.  It looks so boring and bland, but with the curtains it brings more life into the home.  Dont get me wrong its cool if you dont want curtains, I just happen to prefer having them.

Here is what i started with...

 Thats the bottom of the curtain and the fabric that I used to make it longer.  First I measured with width of the original and cut the new fabric plus 1 inch on either side to match.  The 1 inch on either side is to make the hem so that the unfinished edges dont show.

 Here you can see the pinning of the hem.  What I do is first pin the hem, then iron over it so the hem stays down then I insert the hem tape between the fabric and the edge.  Make sure you read the instructions on the hem tape so you know how long to leave the heat on for.

 Here is a closer shot of the edges hemmed down.  Not the best shot but you get the idea.  I did the 1 inch hem on 3 edges to make sure there were not going to be any unfinished edges showing.
 Above is a better picture of all 3 edges hemmed and ready for the next step

 To attach the extra length put the original curtain face down and the new addition face up so they are back to back.  The white line you see at the bottom of the brown is the hem tape before I put it in between the 2 fabrics.  Once you have both fabrics as close to perfectly lined up as you can, put the hem tape between the 2 pieces of fabric and iron away.
 Once them hem tape has had about 1 minute to cool flip the extra length piece down and then iron at the seam to help it lay flat.  As an extra step I also flipped the curtain over and put a piece of them tape at the seam as well.  Since both fabrics were pretty heavy it helped to have the extra bonding to keep it from flopping around.  If you have a lighter fabric this wont be necessary.
Now for the decoration.  I have a hard time with straight lines so ribbon really is my best friend and helps me hide a host of problems.  Same is the case here, so I put hem tape on the curtain where I wanted the ribbon to go (aka cover up a mess haha), put the ribbon on top of that and ironed it all together.  Below you see the sheers have also magically grown in length as well...well I spent another 2 hours taking a seam ripper to them to make them longer.  These babies had like a 6 inch hem on them which was great because that meant I didnt have to add any length to them I just had to take the seam out.  Major score on that one.

All in all I had 4 curtains to do and it took about 3 hours to do all 4...and thats including distractions from the dog and the TV shows I was watching...oh and another 2 for the sheers.  Truth be told I am actually going to move these curtains to the kitchen with their sisters because i want to make a sheer valance for in here...but seeing as I used all my fabric allowance in here and the bedroom that will have to wait a few more weeks.  Oh and cost on this, the fabric was $13.50 for 3 yards, $5 for 2 spools of ribbon and $3 for 2 rolls of hem tape.  Total for this project of 4 curtains is $21.50.  Not bad considering you cant really buy a 100" length curtain for that price!

My back is killing me from all the sitting on the floor but I think its worth it, makes the room look taller and it was pretty cheap to do as well which always makes me happy.  Do you have curtains you like but would love to make longer?  Whats holding you back?!

Project Housewife Out!

Im Linking Up!  Come check me out at Add a Pinch, Alderberry Hill, Flour me with Love, Six Sisters Stuff 
The Rooster and the Hen
Joy in the Jumble, Tidy Mom, Bacon Time, Blissful and Domestic, Create Craft Love, Addicted2Decorating, Petals to Picots, Serenity Now, While He was Napping
Not Just a Housewife, Romance on a Dime, Southern Lovely 
Lil Pink Pocket, My Girlish Whims 
Tip Junkie, Ginger Snap Crafts 
Beyond the Picket Fence, House of Hepworths, Michelle's tasty Creations, A Bowl Full of Lemons

Friday, April 20, 2012

Foodie Friday #22

Happy Friday everyone!  Is it just me or was this week the slowest week in the history of weeks (ok thats probably an exaggeration)...but we are ending on a high note.  Today Im going to lunch with my Dad and Brother so this should be interesting...dont know where we are going since I dont know where anything is downtown but Im sure it will be better than anything where I work :)

Today I am sharing a recipe I made this week and it made a lot of leftovers and that makes me sooo happy...and the leftovers tasted pretty much just like it was fresh so thats even better.  It was very spicy though but I think this may have been from the brand of diced tomatoes I used.  I normally get Rotel but this time I got the Kroger brand and dad gum it was spicy, and I got the original type, not the hot type.  So if you are like me and dont like spicy you might want to just use normal diced tomatoes so you still get the tomato flavor without the extra kick of spice.  Oh and I actually didnt drain the diced tomatoes so that could have been a factor also.  As you can see from my picture this makes a large batch so you can either eat it alone or have a side dish.  Personally anything that has meat in it is a main dish but do whatever works for you!

Taco Pasta

Servings: 6-8           Prep Time: 5min      Cook Time: 10min         Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 8-12 ounces medium pasta shells or other small dry pasta shapes
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup, frozen onions are ok too thats what I used)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained
  • 1 packet (4 tablespoons) taco seasoning
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit if it is still too thin.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today is Thursday and you know what that means...another day to reflect on what I am thankful for.  I dont think I have shared this yet but I got a new job...again.  Back in February I switched to a job downtown and never really felt like it was my home.  Back at my old job in the Woodlands that job felt like home until my wings got too big for the property then it was with sadness that I had to move on.  But here it never felt like I would spend too much time here and as it turns out I was right.  Only 2 months after making the switch Im going back to the Woodlands but this time with a different hotel in a different position.

(Good husbands do stupid things if their wife asks them too haha)

What Im thankful for this week is opportunities.  I learned very recently that you should never shut a door to a career path because you never know what will come of it.  I love Revenue Management but it seems Im being called to a different field (accounting).  If I had kept that door shut I never would have moved Downtown and subsequently gotten the offer that I have now, which is a great opportunity for growth, development and promotion (honestly this is a great chance for me to stretch my wings and really start the career path).  Im thankful for my husband who supports me in every decision I make and always wants whats best for me and a Dad that is in the industry and can give me some really great insights (and the fact that I listen to them rather than brush them off)

(Dad took me and Joe to Gourmet Night, a great place to network)

Some great opportunities have come my way over my lifetime but I think right now I am most thankful for being able to have a job 15 minutes away from home and that allows me to work out in the mornings (best time to work out in my opinion).  I never would have thought I would be job hopping so much but when something great comes along you have to be crazy to pass it up!

What are you thankful for this week...oh and because everyone loves Oreo...My neighbor Evan took this when we stopped by his house during one of our of the best pics of my puppy I think :)

Project Housewife Out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Just Hanging Out

I HAVE A PROJECT TO SHARE!  I know sorry about the yelling but I know what you are all thinking..."Its about time!"  This project is actually a pin-spiration from a while back that I have been staring at but have kept putting off.  I mean its not even really that hard to do but I was waiting to get pretty measuring cups.  Dont judge I use my measuring cups all the time!  I was in Sur La Table the other day and they have these really cool fun colored measuring cups.  Well they had them in green and thats all she wrote, I had to have them.

Arent they cute with the fun colors?!  I bought the cups and the tablespoons to replace my old mismatched ugly white plastic ones.  Back to the pin which you can see a picture of below. Truth be told this was one of the first pins so I never visited the site I just saw the picture and knew I could do it, but she has a good tutorial on her site which is a little different from how I did it.  Oh her site there is a link to buy the vinyl labels you see and a conversion chart so if your interested in that check out her site for the details on that.


On to the project.  Here is my cabinet door before...make sure you measure your cabinet door because Im not sure cabinets are universally the same.

You can see here that the cabinet door is thicker on the outside than on the inside and this really is a good thing because you dont want the screw coming through the cabinet door that would be ugly.  For the wood pieces use whatever you have around the house and cut it to make it fit.  We had scrap thin ply-wood sitting around that was perfect for this.

Here are both of the wood pieces with the hooks in them.  The hooks are so easy to install, just measure where you want them to be placed (remembering that the measuring cups are larger as they go so make sure your spacing is wide enough to compensate for that) mark your spot and screw the hooks into the board.  Easy peasy.  To make for easier hanging joe bent the hooks so there was a wider opening.

Above is the back shot of the wood piece (messy paint on the back is no problem since you wont see it yay).  You can see here tha Joe made the indention so that the wood would sit flat on the whole door and not have a gab where the cabinet door was thinner from the cabinet door frame.  Such a smart man.  You can skip this step if you want but it wasnt too hard to do and a flush fit is always better to a gap fit.

Before you screw the boards in make sure they are level and mark your spots on the cabinet and the wood piece.  Make holes in the wood piece before you start screwing into the door because then you take the risk of pushing too hard to get through the door and wood and going all the way through the door so be careful.

Wood pieces in place, measuring cups in place...but something is missing...THATS RIGHT I have cool printables (link here) that I laminated!!

Ahh much better.  This printable is a conversion chart that I love because it has all the weird measurements that I have googled in the past.  Oh and if you notice there are only 4 teaspoon/tablespoon measurers so that means I dont have the 1/2 tbsp which I use all the time.  Well this conversion chart tells you how many teaspoons are in 1/2 tablespoon, pretty cool huh.  If you want to buy a print you can or they have the graphic large enough to print and again you can find that here.

Thats another thing off the to-do list!!  Now if we could just get that yard sign finished Im dying to see that go in the front yard!  What projects are you dying to finish but are having a hard time finding the motivation?

Project Housewife Out!

Im Linking Up!  Come check me out at Ginger Snap Crafts, Southern Lovely, My Girlish Whims, Lil Pink Pocket, DIY By Design, Beyond the Picket Fence, Made Famous By, Michelle's tasty Creations, Serenity Now, Petals to Picots, Create Craft Love, Blissful and Domestic, Bacon Time, The Grant Life, Addicted 2 Decorating
Alderberry Hill, Flour me with Love, Six Sisters Stuff

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Slap Happy

I think this weekend Im going to go buy some fabric to up date my curtains...and by update I mean make them longer so I can raise the curtain bar.  A new HUGE JoAnn's just opened close to me and I really want to go check out what they have in the store and what a great I got a coupon in the mail for 50% off SCORE!  Hopefully that means I will have some updates curtains to show you on Monday and Im really excited about the idea I have for the curtains in my bedroom, hopefully they will turn out like the picture in my head.

This past weekend we had a little date with my dad (instead of finishing our sign like we should have been doing, classic slackers).  The Three Stooges came out Friday and we love the three stooges.  When I was growing up we would watch all the old black and whites on VHS over and over again.  I think my dad's favorite was the one where they were in the court room, but I think mine was the one where they were looking for treasure, but of course I like Shemp and Dad likes Curly :)  I pretty much knew what to expect walking into the movie...lots a lots of slap stick, which I personally think is hilarious.  What surprised me about the movie was how spot on the actors were to the original Stooges.

Above...the original stooges in all of their awesomness.  Below the new stooges, I think Larry got an extra horrible wig in this movie.

They look great dont they!  They also sounded spot on to the originals and the slap stick was spot on too.  We were laughing through the whole movie and walked out thinking it was hilarious.  I have to say the directors had their work cut out for them because its not easy making a movie based on physical comedy, but they did a really great job.  The story of the Orphanage and all the mayhem they caused was great, then going out into the world to save the Orphanage was great too.  Lets be honest this is no Oscar-worthy film, but if you want to be entertained and laugh a lot this movie is perfect.  I love that Jack from Will & Grace is Larry that in of itself makes me laugh!  Oh and one of the cooler aspects of the movie is right after the traditional "The End" the directors come on screen and show all the props they used as foam and not harmful to make sure kids understand that its not ok to hit someone in the head with a sledge hammer.  The 2nd director being shirtless, my dad would argue was unnecessary but for the ladies in the audience I think it was spot on. :D

Do yourself a favor...go see the Stooges, laugh a lot and dont try it at home!

What good movies have you seen lately?

Project Housewife Out!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Its a Party!  A blog hop party that is!  5 Minutes for Mom is hosting the Ultimate Blog Party and Im joining!

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

If you are visiting from the blog hop, the Welcome!  My name is Rachael and Im the woman behind the Housewife.  Confession...Im not really a housewife since I do have a full time job but I love crafting, cooking, and creating.  My little blog is a place for me to let lose and be creative when my normal 9-5 just doenst allow for that...maybe one day.  Feel free to click through past posts and check out what I've created and cooked.  Its been a fun journey into blogland so far and I cant wait to see where else it takes me.  And of course if you like what you see and want to keep up with me, follow along!

Oh and I love my dog Oreo, he is kinda the mascot around here :)  My husband and I dont have any kids, Oreo is our baby for now.  I mean how could you not love that happy puppy face!

Project Housewife Out!

Foodie Friday #21

Let me tell you...I am sooo excited to share this recipe with you today!  I have been working on it for about a month now and I think I have it to where I like it.  Im also super excited to share with you what came in the mail yesterday...

Can you guess what today's recipe is going to be yet?  No...well here is another hint.  I made my own vanilla sugar, check it out...

I had to label it otherwise my husband would use it for his coffee and thats not cool!  This container holds a little less than a small bag of sugar.  When I first put the vanilla beans in there you could smell it but it hadnt really penetrated the sugar yet.  Now its been in there for a little over a month and when you open it you are hit in the face with vanilla sugar goodness.  I didnt cut the beans open or anything, I just stuck them in there and wow its awesome how great it smells!

I also bought some silicone baking mats and they make a WORLD of difference.  Recently I bought some new cookie sheets that would fit better side by side in my oven, but they were darker than my old cookie sheets so they kept getting dark on the bottoms too quickly.  This mat not only solved that problems but gives me the perfect light gold color cookie.  It was $10 for each mat, but the amazingness that it provides makes it well worth it.

The last awesome baking item I want to share with you is LorAnn baking emulsions.  I have 4 of them now (Red Velvet, Buttery Vanilla, Sweet Dough, and Princess) and the latest one, Princess, I think is going to be my all time favorite.  Its basically a combination of butter, vanilla, almond, and lemon...all flavors that I have used to try and get the perfect flavor...but now I dont need to experiment, I have the ultimate flavoring!  A word of warning though...these babies are really hard to find.  I got my Red Velvet flavoring from Marshalls Home Goods, but the other 3 I had to buy on so if you find them in a local store scoop them up!

So I bet you know by now what we are going to make today...The perfect Sugar Cookie!!  I have gone through many different sugar cookie recipes in my day, but the basic recipe from Bake at 350 is my ultimate favorite.  The best part about it is the fact you dont have to refrigerate it for 1 hour, I hate waiting.  Her royal icing is also my all time favorite.  So here it is, my absolute favorite cut-out sugar cookie and royal icing recipes, see notes at the bottom.

Vanilla Sugar Cookies
(A Bake at 350 blog recipe, modified by Project Housewife)

(dont judge me on the icing, I didnt get my cookie decorating kit until yesterday and these were for Easter)

Servings: 3dozen     Prep Time: 15min      Cook Time: 10min       Difficulty: Easy


  • 3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c sugar (I use sugar that I've stored vanilla beans in)
  •  2 sticks (salted) butter*, cold & cut into chunks
  •  1 egg
  •  3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract or 2tsp vanilla bean paste (I prefer the paste it has a richer taste to it)
  • 1/2 tsp extract of your choice, I've used almond, Princess, Buttery Vanilla, and a mix of almond and lemon...Princess is my favorite followed by lemon.
Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

*salted butter is a must here, but if you dont have salted butter add about 1/4 tsp of salt to the mix.  I have found that not having that salt will leave a bit of an after taste and no one likes that!

Royal Icing
Servings: about 4 cups    Prep Time: 10min        Cook Time: 0min       Difficulty: Easy

  • 4 TBSP meringue powder
  • scant 1/2 c. water
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp light corn syrup 
  • few drops clear extract (optional*)

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.

Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. Truth be told the first time I did sift but the the second time I didnt and I really didnt see much of a difference, so try it and see what works best for you.

Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired*. 

Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.  (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding."

Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.

*I always add the extract to the icing I love the extra kick of flavor...I have tried almond and wasnt crazy about that, lemon was great, butter vanilla was great and I actually have added a dash of cinnamon and that was surprisingly interesting.  Im still perfecting the flavor of the icing but thats just what makes a basic royal icing fun!

I want to encourage all of you to go to Bake at 350 and read her Royal Icing 101.  Anytime I dont know what Im doing with cookies I go straight to her blog and see what she's got for info.  Also, the Royal Icing 101 has pictures and tips that Im not going to share here because, well they are her's and while Im sharing the recipe here I cant at all take credit for her tips that she has compiled over dozens and dozens of cookie making session.  So if you want to learn some great cookie stuff, go check Bridget out at Bake at 350 (all Bake at 350's are links back to the site in case the links dont stand out)

What do you think???  Going to run home and make these cookies??  Are you going to follow Bake at 350 (because really you should, I love this girl, she comes up with some amazing stuff!)??  Are you just going to droll over these cookies and ask me to make some for you (because really Im fine with that I love making these cookies)??  Whatever you decide thats cool with me!

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