Monday, February 25, 2013

A quick hello!

Hello there friends!  I hope you have been enjoying what is left of the winter...I am all the way out here in warm & sunny California, and even I am ready for it to stop being 50 degrees, so I can only imagine how you east coasters & midwesterners are feeling!

I wanted to drop by and say hi, and to also let you know that I haven't forgotten about you!  We'll be back again soon with full-time party inspiration ~ just busy plugging away for a party photography and video shoot this coming weekend that Juneberry Lane is doing for PBS Parents!

You know what that means?  Video tutorials are coming soon...how much fun is that?  I have so much to share with you and I can't wait for our big debut!!  In the meantime, I will be heading over here when I can and keeping you ready & inspired for all of your coming events!!  See you soon:) Photobucket

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Paper Roll Owls


Well, being that things have finally cooled down for a second and the holidays are on a slight hiatus, now is the perfect time to settle in and have a little fun with a simple, cute DIY project to bring a smile to anyone's face.

And these adorable paper roll owls via The Centsible Life are just the thing to do it!  Costing basically nothing and easy to throw together with supplies you already have (some in the bathroom, ha ha ha!) you can turn a perfectly terrible middle of the week slump around in no time!

Go ahead, line your office desk with these at work, throw a few on your windowsill, or surprise your little one with a few new wise friends waiting on the night stand when they wake up from their nap!  Here's what you do . . .


PAPER ROLL OWLS

Supplies You Will Need:

~ toilet paper rolls
~ scrap paper
~ glitter card stock (or plain card stock brushed with glue and dipped in glitter)
~ foam – white and black (preferably with an adhesive back, but if not, use glue to attach)
~ Mod Podge (regular craft glue will work fine if you don’t plan on sealing your project)
~ Scissors
~Pencil

Directions:

1.) Begin by drawing a half oval at the top of the paper roll, I used a cookie cutter as a stencil for mine.  Cut the circle out and use it as a template to cut an identical one from the back side of the paper roll too.


Don’t throw the cut pieces away, set them aside because you will use these for the wings shortly.


2.) Place two fingers inside the paper roll and cover it in glue.  Roll the paper roll onto the scrap paper then trim accordingly.


3.) Set aside to dry for a bit.  Cover one side of the two pieces you cut off the paper roll in glue and place onto the back of the glitter card stock.  Set aside to dry.


4.) Next, you are going to cut the white and black foam to make eyes.  I used a couple of icing tips to size mine.


5.) Cut out a small beak from yellow glitter card stock.  Attach the eyes, beak, and wings using glue where needed.  Set aside to dry, and you are done.


Some more inspiration . . .






Now you know me, I am always thinking of gender reveal parties....so if you wanted to purchase our Owl gender reveal invitations right here...and throw a little party for your friends & family, one of these little cuties on each of the place settings at the party and filled with blue or pink confetti (and covered on the bottom) would make an excellent way to announce boy or girl, don't you think??  I LOVE IT!!
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Friday, February 15, 2013

FROSTED: Enjoy PB&J...In An Adult Way!


This last week my little nephew Sullivan started preschool. I am so excited for him to experience the joys and memories that I had while attending school, like: meeting new friends, playing on the playground, and learning tons of new things!!

For the past couple of weeks my sister Misty has been sharing a variety of exciting lunch ideas (on Juneberry Lane and Facebook) for other moms who have young kids in school. This got me thinking of  my favorite school lunch as a child...a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with a little carton of milk! Yum!!

I sometimes wish I was back to those days when I would open my pink plastic My Little Pony lunch box and there was a neatly packaged sandwich overflowing with creamy smooth peanut butter and dripping with sweet grape jelly.

This got me questioning why I don't make myself more of one of my favorite sandwiches? So, this week I am sharing with you a way to enjoy that classic lunch staple...but with an adult twist! Now, put away that knife...you won't have to cut off the crust on these gooey goodies.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Crunch Truffles
(Recipe by Picky Palate)


Ingredients:
(Makes around 16 truffles)
  • 1/2 cup of creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of strawberry preserves, or your favorite jam and jelly
  • 1 package (2 bars) of Oaks and Honey Crunchy Granola bars
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar + 1/4 cup for rolling truffles
Directions:

1.    Place peanut butter and jelly into a mixing bowl.  Crush granola bars with a rolling pin while still in package.  Open and pour into peanut butter and jelly bowl.  Mix until well combined then slowly stir in 3/4 cup of  powdered sugar until combined.

2.  Take 1 inch pieces of mixture and roll into balls.  Roll each ball into remaining 1/4 Cup powdered sugar then place into paper cups. Refrigerate or serve room temperature.



Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies
(Via Erica's Sweet Tooth)


Cookie Ingredients:
(Yields 20 sandwich cookies)
  • 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda 
Cookie Crust Ingredients:
  • 2 Tablespoons of vodka
  • Few drops brown food coloring
Filling Ingredient:
  • Jelly flavor of your choice

 Directions:

1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy, for 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla until well combined.

2.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and beat until just combined.

3.  Divide dough in half and roll each half into a rectangular block. Using your fingers, pinch along the middle of the top and along the two sides to form indentations along the length of the block so the dough looks like a bread loaf. Wrap each half in seran wrap and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight.

4.  When dough is chilled, unwrap the dough and use a sharp knife to cut slices of "bread" in 1/4" thickness. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5.  Place 1" apart on a parchment paper or silpat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until edges just begin to brown. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6.  To paint crusts onto the baked cookies, combine vodka and brown food coloring. Use a clean paint brush to brush mixture on the sides of all the cookies. Using vodka instead of water will prevent the cookies from getting soggy since the alcohol will evaporate!

7.  To make the sandwiches, take one cookie slice and spread with jelly. Match cookie with another slice of similar size and make your PB&J sandwich!


 Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Pops
(Courtesy of  Spoon Fork Bacon)


Cream Cheese Pie Crust Ingredients:
(Make approximately 12 pie pops)
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup of cold cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons of buttermilk
Egg Wash Ingredients:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon of heavy cream 
 Filling Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of blackberry jam (or any jam/jelly flavor of your choice)
  • 12 Popsicle sticks
Directions:

1.  Soak Popsicle sticks in water overnight or for several hours.

2.  Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the cold cubes of butter and cream cheese and cut in with a pastry knife or your fingers until a fine crumble is made. Add the buttermilk and gently work together, until a dough just comes together.

3.  Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Once the dough has chilled, roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut 24, 2 1/2 inch fluted circles from the dough and fill half with a small amount peanut butter and jelly filling. Place popsicle sticks flat down on top of the jelly filling. The stick should be approximately an inch inside the pie, with the rest stick coming out of the bottom.

4. Whisk together the egg and cream. Brush the perimeter of each hand pie with the egg wash and place the non-filled pie crusts over each filled crusts and gently press together to seal. Brush the tops with egg wash.

5.  Using a pairing knife, cut 3 small slits on the tops of each hand pie. Place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the pb&j pie pops to cool completely on a cooling rack.



Mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Cheesecakes
(Recipe from The Sweets Life)


Ice Cream Ingredients:
  • 3/4 pound of fresh strawberries, green tops removed
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 8 ounces (1/3 less fat) cream cheese
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Pinch of salt
Peanut Butter Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (about 9 full crackers) of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted
  • 1/8 cup of sugar  
Cookie Topper Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of strawberry preserves
  • 2 Tablespoons of cream cheese, at room temperature

Directions:

1.   First, make the ice cream. In a blender or food processor, puree all ice cream ingredients until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer instructions.

2.  While ice cream is churning, make the crusts. Line a muffin-cup baking sheet with 12 paper baking cups. Lightly spray each cup with cooking spray. In a food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter, butter, and sugar. Mix until mixture comes together. Divide crumbs evenly amongst the 12 baking cups, pressing crumbs into the bottom to form a crust. Bake at 375F for 6-7 minutes, until lightly browned.

3.  Once ice cream has finished churning, spoon ice cream into each baked crust, filling to the top. (Note: You will have a few cups of leftover ice cream.) Place muffin tin into the freezer so ice cream can set.

4.  While ice cream is freezing, make the mini pb & j sandwich cookies. (Note: You will have at least a dozen extra mini cookies.) Combine the egg, peanut butter, and sugar in an electric mixer until smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into small balls (half the size of a golf ball). Use a fork to create the criss-cross in each cookie. Bake cookies for 4 minutes at 350 degrees F. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire baking rack to cool completely.

5. Once cookies are cool, mix strawberry preserves and cream cheese in a small bowl. Spread a small bit of the mixture on twelve cookies and top with another cookie to create a sandwich. Garnish ice cream cups with mini cookie sandwiches.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Tiramisu
(Via Heat Oven To 350)


Ingredients:
(Serves 8-10 people)
  • 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups of confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of seedless raspberry jam
  • 14 Italian-style crisp ladyfingers
  • 4 cups of raspberries
  • Shaved chocolate, for topping 
Directions:

1.  Beat the peanut butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and 1/2 cup heavy cream until smooth and fluffy; 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup cream and beat until creamy, about 2 more minutes. (Note: Do not overbeat.)

2.  Whisk the jam and 1/3 cup water in a small bowl until smooth. Spoon about 3 Tablespoons of the jam mixture into a 9x5 loaf pan. Cover with half the ladyfingers, arranging them lengthwise. Brush with half the remaining jam mixture. (Note: Don't worry if it looks like a lot of liquid; the ladyfingers will absorb it as the tiramisu sits.)

3.  Spread half the peanut butter cream over the ladyfingers. Top with 2 cups of raspberries and the rest of the ladyfingers. Brush the ladyfingers with the remaining jam mixture and spread the remaining peanut butter cream on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

4.  Uncover the tiramisu and top with the remaining 2 cups raspberries and shaved chocolate. Dust with confectioners' sugar.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Skillet Monkey Bread
(Recipe from Picky Palate)


Ingredients:
(Yields 6 servings)
  • 1 can of Refrigerated Biscuits, (8 count)
  • 1/4 cup of butter, melted 
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter, warmed in microwave until liquid like 
  • 1/2 cup of jelly of choice, warmed in microwave until liquid like 
  • 4 Tablespoons of heavy cream 
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

 Directions:

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray 9-inch cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Cut each biscuit into fourths. Place melted butter into a large ziplock bag and toss in cut biscuits. Shake around to coat then toss in sugar, mixing to combine. Pour into prepared 9-inch cast iron skillet and drizzle warmed peanut butter and jelly over top. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until cooked through and golden.

 3.  Whisk the heavy cream and powdered sugar until combined then drizzle over warm biscuits. Serve warm.



Peanut Butter and Jelly Macaroons
(Courtesy of Mimi's Kitchen)


Peanut Butter Macaroons Ingredients:
  • 2 egg whites (100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup of ground peanuts
  • 1 1/4 cups pf powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
White Chocolate Strawberry Jam Butter Cream
  • 1/2 cup of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces of white chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar 
  • 2 Tablespoons of strawberry jam 
  • Pinch of salt
Macaroon Directions:

1.  Process the nuts with the powdered sugar in the food processor to combine.

2.  Beat egg white until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar. Continue beating until you have firm glossy meringue. Add the nut mixture in two additions. Sprinkle 1/2 of the nuts over the egg whites and fold in. Repeat with the remaining nuts. Be careful not to over mix. You will know that batter is ready if a ribbon of batter dropped from a spoon on top of the batter in the bowl disappears in 30 seconds.

3.  Line cookie sheet with parchment or silpat mat. Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip. Pipe batter on your prepared pan in one inch dots, they will spread to about 1 1/2 inch diameter dots. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to develop a crust  before baking

4.  Bake in a 280 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cookies just start to color. Cool on parchment paper.  Store in an air tight container.

Butter Cream Directions:

1.  Whip the butter and salt until fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar followed by the white chocolate, beating to incorporate. Add the strawberry jam and continue beating until light and fluffy. Fill each macaroon with the butter-cream and refrigerate for 24 hours to allow flavors to mellow. 


What a scrumptious way to relive the taste of your childhood! Nothing could be sweeter than serving these tasty treats on a dessert buffet at your next school reunion, as a thank-you treat for your childrens' teachers, or as an after game snack for your kids' tee-ball team.

So throw out those sandwich baggies and get out a cookie sheet...and enjoy the taste of the past
 with each peanut butter and jelly treat. Have a wonderful weekend!

***be sure to check with your school/team to make sure there are no nut allergies before serving:)


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Countdown to Valentine's Day! 2 & 1...


Whew, what a busy week over here...orders are racking up, parties are being planned, a very busy Spring is in the air!  I am just popping in really quickly to share two more things with you....my sweet boy's teachers gifts for preschool and the Valentines we made for him to give his class!

As most of you may have heard me mention a time or two, my little (very high energy!) guy is CRAZY for cars & trucks, so as with most everything I do with him, it helps to incorporate anything with wheels if you want to keep him interested for longer than 30 seconds . . .


For the teachers . . .


Stickers inside for his little 'green door' classmates:)



And the printable coupons I included in my husband's Valentine's Day card (more of a joke, but I sort of want to steal them:)


And lastly, a couple of pics of the littles today...



My tired little sweetie all tuckered out from his first school Valentine's Day party . . .


Hope you all had a lovely day!!  I had so much fun counting down with you!


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Countdown to Valentine's Day! 3...


Today's feature is a treat after my own 'heart'...these adorable and ever-so-easy fruit kabobs from Parents.com are a super healthy snack and adorable too.  All you need is a heart cookie cutter, popsicle sticks, and some delicious fresh fruit and yogurt!


Even the busiest moms & dads can throw that together, right?  Here is a little more inspiration to get you off and running . . .





Now that I have little ones of my own, I just love making food fun!!


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Monday, February 11, 2013

Countdown to Valentine's Day! 4 . . .


I just love the thought of surprising your family with a delightful breakfast on the morning of the big day.

And yes, most of us are pressed for time in the race to get everyone out the door for work and school (ha ha, I can say that now), but that doesn't mean you can't throw together one of these lovely little meals to fill everyone's bellies and hearts with love:)

Take a look at a bit of inspiration . . .




BACON!!




And the winner of the best Valentine's Day breakfast EVER goes to . . .


Best yet, it isn't even that difficult to pull off!  Check it out:

Conversation Heart Toast
(courtesy of Hungry Happenings)


Ingredients:

~ 2 slices thick white bread per person
~ 1-2 tablespoons milk per color
~ primary and neon food coloring

Special Equipment Needed:

~ heart shaped cookie cutter
~ pastry brushes
~ food safe paint brushes (either brushes that are only used for food or brand new paint brushes)


Directions:


1.) Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out of each slice of bread. Pour 1-2 tablespoons milk into a small bowl, ramekin, or glass.  Squeeze in 1 drop of food coloring and stir.  Add more drops of food coloring until you acheive the desired color.  Create as many different colors as you desire.  The neon food coloring works great for these hearts. Use a pastry brush to very lightly brush the colored milk all over one side of each of the heart shaped bread slices.  Be careful not to oversaturate the bread or your toast will not get very crisp.



2.) Pour 1-2 tablespoons milk into a small bowl and add 3 drops red food coloring.  Add more drops of coloring until you achieve the desired shade of red.  Use a fine tip paintbrush to write messages on each of your hearts.  The color will bleed if you have too much colored milk on your brush, so shake off excess colored milk before you paint your bread.  When you have finished decorating your hearts, toast them in a toaster or toaster oven.  You can also place them on a baking sheet and set them under a broiler set at low heat.  Broil for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Keep an eye on them as they can burn easily.  Serve your toast with your favorite spreads or create a conversation heart sandwich.



It just doesn't get more adorable than that!  How can you not have the best day ever after starting it off like that?!? Photobucket