Monday, May 31, 2010

Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza
Large homemade sugar cookie with a cream cheese based icing. I took this to a good friend's impromptu backyard barbeque party this afternoon.

It has been about a year since I last made one of these, so I thought it fit to occasion.

When spreading and patting the sugar cookie dough onto the large round pizza pan, I make sure to add extra dought around the edges to prevent them from getting too brown or crispy.

I personally prefer to keep the fruit simple. Most photos of fruit pizzas I have seen are packed with a variety of fruits. I would think it would make the cookie soggy. I am not sure I would like peaches or green grapes on top of a sugar cookie with cream cheese. Instead, I always opt for strawberries and kiwi.

You can use homemade sugar cookie dough or prepackaged sugar cookie dough. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Take 2 packages of softened cream cheese, 1 cup of white sugar and two teaspoons of vanilla to make the cream cheese icing and spread on top. Chose and arrange fruit of your choice!



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lemons For Your Skin

Lemons are often overlooked when it comes to skincare. Most people use chemically laden commercial brand products for skincare. I opt to use natural products and foods when it comes to skincare which includes lemons. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and they naturally have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Besides providing pure beneficial vitamins and properties to your skin, lemons can lighten the appearance of discolorations from freckles or age spots. They also help to tighten the skin which helps with blackheads.

I slice a fresh lemon and I squeeze the juice onto a cotton round. I get my cotton rounds at Target in the beauty supply section. I once had a smattering of freckles (as my husband calls it) across my nose and now they are barely there at all. I have also noticed an overall improvement of my skin since I began using lemon. I apply fresh squeezed lemon to my face 2-3 times a day to help clean and freshen up my face.

Have you ever used fresh lemon as part of your skincare routine?


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Getting Soaked

Alexa helping me with washing the car today.

She was soaked by the time we finished, but she had a lot of fun helping me re-fill the bucket with soapy water and spraying the car. I remember how important those tasks were to me when I was a child.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cookie Sandwich Tutorial

Cookie Sandwich Tutorial
Most of you may know by now that I like to prepare cookie dough ahead of time. I make cookie dough, roll it into balls and freeze on a cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a zip-loc bag. I keep several bags of cookie dough that is ready to bake in my freezer at all times.
Here, I am ready to make a couple of cookie sandwiches. I pull some frozen cookie dough balls out of the freezer and place onto a cookie sheet. I press the M&M's very slightly onto the frozen cookie dough tops.

This is what the M&M's will look like after you press them onto the tops. As the cookie bakes, the M&M's will sink nicely into place. Keep in mind, I do not thaw my cookie dough balls, I bake them from a frozen solid state.

After the cookies cool, I turn one over and pipe homemade buttercream onto the cookie using a pastry bag and tip.

Sandwich another cookie onto the buttercream. Be careful not to press them together too much so you don't squish the buttercream out of the middle.

I prefer to let mine sit out for a while to allow the buttercream to set and form a slight crust or better yet, I like to refrigerate them until cold. If you eat them from the refrigerator, the buttercream won't squish out.

Next time, I am going to altenately pipe both buttercream and store bought rich chocolate icing into the middle. The two icings best resemble those of the cookies icing the Great American Cookie Company or mall cookies stores use.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cookie Sandwiches

Cookie Sandwiches

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. I am eating the M&M cookie sandwich as I am typing this.

These are much like to cookie sandwiches found at the Great Cookie Company in the malls across America. I remember close to my due date with my daughter four years ago and enjoying one of these "doozies" as they call them at the cookie store. I would get one each time I went to the mall back then.

I think I made these once before, but never really thought of it again until yesterday when my now four year old daughter asked if we could make cookie sandwiches. I always keep frozen cookie dough balls in the freezer. I took six frozen cookie dough balls out and put them in the oven. I whipped up a half batch of buttercream, got out my piping bag and top, and some sprinkles. It was as easy as that! I like to let them set out for a while before eating so the buttercream can crust over on the outside just the Great Cookie Company "doozies."

I used chocolate chip peanut butter cookies. I recommend pressing some M&M's lightly into the tops of the cookie before baking. The M&M's add more interest to the flavors, in my opinion.

What combination would you make?


Monday, May 17, 2010

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

I have used the "Lemon Poppy Seed Bread" recipe from AllRecipes before. I enjoyed it, but I ended up throwing most of the bread away. It was a little dense and the orange juice glaze crystalized on top after a few days.

I just got a brand new bread pan that I have been dying to use, so I decided to take another stab at therecipe again. With the recipe, you have to add a lot of lemon to the mix and still the lemon taste is leaving much to be desired. Since then, I have discovered Lori Ann Oils for baking, candymaking, etc. I have a dram bottle of natural lemon. I have used this oil with icing recipes to make a lemon icing for sugar cookies with success. I added close to half of the bottle of highly concentrated lemon oil to the lemon poppy seed batter.
I promise this addition of natural lemon oil brings the lemon flavor up to where it should be. It tastes like Starbucks version of lemon bread, but this recipe is much more moist. Top with "Vanilla Glaze" from AllRecipes and you will have a great Lemon Poppy Seed Bread.

**I just wanted to talk about my new pan for a moment. I threw away the metal bread pans I have before during a move because I never used them. I kept my silicone bread pans but they are not ideal for baking bread of any sort. When I was at Marshall's the other night browsing, I have a very heavy, dark metal pan that is longer and slightly skinnier in length. It is specifically designed for baking breads. The best part, it was only $4.99. I have extremely pleased with the pan. My bread is perfectly golden which it lacked when using a silicone pan and the shape of it is more consistant with that bread should be.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Childrens Rooms Part II

This is my 4.5 year old daughter's bedroom. Find other children's bedrooms featured on Kellys Korner Blog here:

The Pottery Barn Cameron toy shelf has more toys and books on it that what I prefer, but at least it is organized. I have toy storage system in my daughter's closet which holds the majority of toys. The lamp on the shelf is the very first thing I purchased for my daughter's room when I was pregnant with her. Fours years later we still have it and love it!

You can also find me on my YouTube Channel here:


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Childrens Rooms

I went to our local Pottery Barn Kids store last fall and fell in love with the pink Barbie line after I initially saw it in the mail catalog.
Pottery Barn is pretty pricey, so I resisted purchasing anything that day. Instead, I took myself home and logged onto eBay to see if I could find some deals. I got the full size duvet cover, complete sheet set, two shams, and decorative throw pillow for $130.00 with shipping. I really lucked out with that deal as it was all brand new in the packaging and the set was still for sale at my local Pottery Barn full price!

Before, my daughter's room had very dark furniture from when she was a baby and the color theme was bright pink and green. I was eager to make a change and get rid of those colors and instead make her room soft, girly, special. I already had my eye set on a furniture set from Ashley Furniture. Luckily, the Navy Exchange carries Ashley Furniture and I ordered it through the NEX which came at a great savings compared to purchasing it at the Ashley Furniture Store down the road.
I got a complete full size bed, tall dresser and matching nightstand. I love this set because it is solid wood and everything comes assembled.

I still needed some special pieces to bring the room together. This wall sconce was featured in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog and there was no compromising on this piece, I had to have it. It makes the room. I believe it was $69. Thankfully they already had this in stock at our local Pottery Barn store.
Above is the Pottery Barn Kids "Mia" Sconce. They also carry a matching chandelier that I would like to get as well. It is something that we can remove and take with us. I don't believe they sell this sconce anymore. I know it is no longer available on the website, but you can still get the chandelier.

We already had this KidKraft set we purchased at Costco a couple of years ago.

Lastly, the drapes at Pottery Barn are awesome. I didn't want to pay a couple of hundred dollars, so again, I logged myself onto eBay and bought these Pottery Barn pink lined Silk Duponi drapes, the same panels at the PBK store, brand new for $80 for both panels. It took me about a month of constant looking to find them in this color and the length I needed.

If you are anything like me, I take several trips to stores like Pottery Barn to check out the items in person and purchase them on eBay at a huge discount.

The tall white dresser and the Pottery Barn Cameron white toy shelf are not pictured.

Find other children's rooms over at Kelly's Korner Blog here:


Daughter's Closet Before & After

I often get neurotic moments when I go into a cleaning frenzy and my daughter's walk-in closet was the target last night. It wasn't that it was overly messed or unorganized, I just needed to eliminate a few things and tidy up. You probably can't tell by looking at the photos, but it feels like a completely different closet when I walk into it now.



I use the photo storage boxes to store keepsakes, crafts supplies such as stamps, markers, chalk, and crayons. I also keep accessories like sunglasses, hairbows, diaper covers, and hats in the others. Games are neatly stacked to one side.


This stack of totes sits perfectly hidden behind the door. I put Barbie furniture in a large one, Barbie dolls and clothing in a small container, and all of the little Barbie accessories into an extra small container. We also have all Thomas the Train pieces in a large storage container, cars, and Fisher Price Loving Family House furniture in the others. It is very helpful when cleaning up the room. Each toy has a specific spot.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wicked Good Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding

As a loyal follower of Bakerella, I saw the chocolate peanut butter she made this past week. Chocolate and peanut butter? Count me in! So I made it this morning with my four year old daughter.

Here is the link to the original recipe:

Bakerella's post of this delicious dessert can be found here:


Friday, May 7, 2010

Smooth and Creamy Cake Batter Ice Cream

I fell in love with cake batter ice cream the moment I first tried it at Cold Stone Creamery. Occasionally I may give into the special dark mint flavor during Christmas or chocolate ice cream mixed with peanut butter, but the cake batter ice flavor remains my one and true love.
I have since tried grocery store versions of cake batter, but they have all failed to impress me. The flavor is off.....too icy and not creamy enough.......weird blue ribbons of icing running through it.......ick!
I recently saw a submitted photo of ice cream on and noticed it was made from using a cake batter ice cream recipe. I was very intrigued. I never made ice cream before but I knew I have to try it right away. I did. I was happily whipping the ingredients together in my saucepan while eagerly watching my candy thermometor. I turned around to view the recipe on my laptop sitting on the counter behind me when I realized the recipe required an ice cream maker. My heart sank......

I quickly did an internet search on how to make ice cream without using an ice cream maker. I came across an article of a French ice cream maker who explains that people have been making ice cream long before the invention of ice cream makers. Sweet relief!
So, this is what I do in lieu of an fancy ice cream maker.
1.) Pour hot mixture into a large round Wilton cake pan so it can spready out thinly and place into the freezer to cool for 30-40 minutes.
2.) Get my electric hand mixer ready and take the mixture out of the freezer. I blend it mixture in the pan and it may still be liquid or slightly lumpy at this stage and won't look anything like ice cream. Return to the freezer for another 30-40 minutes.
3.) Remove from the freezer and blend with the hand mixer once again. It may begin to look like pudding. Return to the freezer for another 30-40 minutes and repeat this step 2-3 more times until it becomes creamy like ice cream.
Here is the recipe I used from

I am looking forward to using this recipe and expanding on it.
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