Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich

When my Today’s Parent magazine came in, it had a recipe for Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches.  You can check it out here.  It inspired me.  I didn’t actually make that recipe, I did something different, and here’s how it turned out:

Ice cream sandwich made with brownies and mint chocolate ice cream.

I didn’t use the recipe from TP, because I have a great recipe for brownies.  It’s the chewy low-fat recipe from the Joy of Cooking.  I always use that brownie recipe because it makes delicious brownies.  Plus I usually slather them with peanut butter frosting, or cream cheese frosting… or stuff two of them full of ice cream.  It helps with the guilt.

Anyway, if you would like to try these, they are really simple!

Step 1:  Make brownies.  Your favourite recipe, stuff from a box, anything.  This recipe is pretty forgiving.

Step 2: Whatever size you normally use for your brownies, get a bigger pan.  If you make them in an 8″ square pan, use a 9×13.  I made these in a cookie sheet.  What I do with my brownies is I line the pan with foil, and then spray it with baking Pam.  The edges don’t get all hard, and it comes out of the pan so much easier.

Step 3: Lick the batter off of the bowl while you wait for them to cook.

Step 4: Let cool completely.  While you are letting them cool, set some ice cream out to soften.  If you make a single batch, it will take 1pint of ice cream, a double batch will take a whole litre.

Step 5: Cut the brownie in half, and cover one half with the ice cream.  Layer the other piece on top and then put in the freezer for at least a few hours until the ice cream has re-hardened.  Once it freezes again, cut into pieces.  My double batch makes 16 big pieces.  I do refreeze these and sell them at the market, and they taste delicious!  But you can serve them right away, too.  Just don’t let them sit out too long, or they will get all melty!

 

Next up for me is to try these with sugar cookies.  Yum yum!  I’ll inform you of the delicious results.  🙂

Cocktail Ice Pops

The freezer has been running all out chilling these babies!  First up, my watermelon mojito:

I found this recipe at Endless Simmer, and many others (including a White Russian that turned out beautifully!).  This one is a mocktail, no rum, but it just turned out so pretty that I needed to take a picture of it.  The watermelon floated to the top making it look layered.

And, the pina colada!

Here is the recipe:

1/2 fresh pineapple

1 can of coconut milk (I think it was a 370mL can)

2 T shredded coconut

1 T honey

2 shots of Malibu coconut rum

It made 9 ice pops, which I think are 3oz each.  And they taste super yummy!

More jewellery!

So I’ve been a busy little beaver making more clay jewellery this week.  Check it out!

Some colourful roses: (check a previous post on how to make these ones!)

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I also made some hair clips:Image

And some cupcakes:

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A few watermelon pins:

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And last but not least, I made a few more hairclips.  These little guys were supposed to be on posts for earrings, but were not cooperating, so they became clips.

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Strawberry Cake Pops – a tip to help make your cake pops

I’ve tried a few versions of these over the past few weeks.  Here is the one I made a week ago:

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I used white sprinkles and everything.  However… I only made one, so I gave it to my son to eat.  Last week, I think I found the cake pop solution to them working out for me!  And maybe it was in the books that I have, and I just didn’t read all the way through.  I do that sometimes.

When you are making your cake pops, you first dip the stick in your melted chocolate before inserting it into the pop.  I had done that, but the things would still fall off the stick.  This week, I found out if I stick them back in the fridge for 15 minutes, the chocolate hardens, and they won’t fall off!  Success!  I made another batch of strawberry pops to sell, and they seemed to go over pretty well.

Clay Rose Earrings

I’ve been having so much fun with clay lately.  I will definitely be posting some more pictures once I’ve finished all the treats that I’ve been making this week.

It was Christmas last year that I started making jewellery with clay.  I wanted Christmas-themed charms for my jewellery, and I couldn’t find anything.  I decided to try to make my own, making Christmas trees and stockings, and they turned out pretty good.  I wanted to branch out and do a little more this year.  I made some a few weeks ago, but I don’t have any left, because I sold them all at the market.  I made a few more this week.  Here’s the first one:

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I’ve been selling the earrings and hair clips on my card, so hopefully more people with check out the facebook page or this blog.

And here’s a close up:

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I wish I would have taken pictures step by step to show you how easy it was to make these.  I can try to explain though.

Step 1: Soften your clay by kneading it and rolling it in your hands.

Step 2: Make the inner bud by taking a small ball of clay, and smoothing it out to an oval shape.  Then wrap to get the rose bud.  Here is where I inserted the head pin for the earring.

Step 3: Continue to wrap petals around the first bud until you have reached the size you want.  Bake according to package directions for approximately 15 minutes.

Once cool, add a crystal (if you wish) to the pin, and make a loop.  Open the loop of the earring, and connect them all together.  Enjoy your new rose earrings!

Easy Afghans

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post!  We’ve been quite busy with the market.  Things have been going well, and I’ve been (literally) cooking up something neat to show you!  I’ll get it finished this afternoon, and will write another post about it.

Anyway, I tend to make a lot of things as gifts.  If I kept everything I crafted for myself, I’d need another house to hold it all.  As is, I almost need another house for my supplies.  But that’s beside the point.  I went back through some old pictures today, and found this one:

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When I graduated from my second degree in 2008, I was living with five other girls.  I made them all afghans as graduation presents.  The one on the left, though it is hard to see, is actually a giant white ‘X’ set on a blue background.  X was the symbol for our school, for Xavier.  So here’s the gist of how to make these:

First panel:

Cast on 40st

Row 1: *K2, P2* repeat until you reach the end

Row 2: *P2, K2* repeat until you reach the end

Row 3: *P2, K2* repeat until you reach the end

Row 4: *K2, P2* repeat until you reach the end

You will knit until you reach 64 rows, then you can change colours.  On the first block you will knit straight across, and then pick up on row two with the pattern.  After you knit 5 blocks, you can bind off.  Knit five panels, then sew together, adding a tassel at the bottom if you wish.

Happy knitting!

Earring Organization

Last October I was doing some cleaning, and my jewellery box was a mess.  Necklaces were all tangled, and earrings were mismatched, and it took half an hour to find what I wanted.  My necklaces are still a little messy now, but I’ve got a good system for my earrings.

This one is for the hook earrings:

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And for the earrings with posts:

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And they were really easy to make!  Remember how in the last post the term ‘pack rat’ came up?  Well… we do like to save things in our house.  But this time, it worked to our advantage.  These were two picture frames that had the glass broke out of them.  The screen came from a roll that was used to make a door, I believe, and there was still some left.  I cut out a piece of screen large enough to fit the back of the frame, and then I went to town with the glue gun, making sure every piece of the edge of screen was glued down, and voila!  My husband also made something like this for me to sell my earrings, as well.  He made a frame, and mounted it to a stand to hold other things.

On another note, I just joined pintrest.  This could be addicting…

Organizational Skills up the Wazoo

I’d like to think that I’m organized.  I’m organized enough to know the general area where something can be found, but that’s about it.  I’m also a bit of a pack rat.  My darling husband calls me a yarn hoarder.  I have been bad in the past for saving everything.  I mean everything.  I just threw out notebooks from high school, thinking I might “need them”.  The university ones are next.  When in doubt, I google, I don’t go back and look through my boxes of notes.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to get my craft supplies organized.  It all started when I was in Canadian Tire, and found a little tackle box on sale for $2.99.  I thought that it would be wonderful to store jewellery making supplies in, and I was right.  It had 18 compartments, and was great!  I put hook earrings in one, clip ons in another, lobster clamps… you get the idea.  However, it wasn’t enough.  Then DH gave me a few containers that once held wood screws (from the dollar store!  He got 200 screws for $2, and I got another bead container!) and in went head pins, hair clips, and safety pins.  Then I saw this in the Princess Auto flyer (which in itself is amazing.  I never look at that thing):

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Granted, it did have a huge “POWER FIST” label on it which I couldn’t quite peel off, but who cares?  The top compartment is great for holding all of my pliers (which I had bought at Michael’s for a ridiculous price, and DH bought me some at Home Hardware for half the price… for FIVE!), some wire, and the longer head pins that don’t fit in the smaller compartments.  Speaking of compartments… there are 4 cases, each with 18 smaller compartments.  You can take some of the walls out and make them larger, should you wish.  It’s awesome.  The best part is that it was only $11.99.  They had a comparable case at Michael’s for about $50, on sale (granted, it was slightly larger… but $50, come on!).

So I guess in this post, dear readers, I encourage you to look outside of the box for your storage/organizational needs.  Craft stores will put a label on something saying it is for ‘jewellery storage’ or ‘scrapbook storage’, and charge more, because it is specialized.  Check out the hardware stores, or dollar stores.  I’ve been finding lots of awesome findings for less than a quarter of the price at dollar stores lately.

Oh… and the two plastic crazy bins you see beside my new tool box are the bins that I have been using for my beads.  It’s really just a jumble.  I will be saving one for my larger things, like my loom, and bead board, and books.  Even to get rid of a grocery bag of packaging was nice.  And kind of sad.  We don’t have a bulk bead store locally, so when you buy beads, there is a lot of packaging.

And now, I must get back to the sorting.  I’ll show you some more storage things once I get my craft room all nice and tidy.  The in-laws were visiting this week, and the door was kept firmly shut.  It’s a jungle out there… I mean… down there…

Flower Beanies

I’ve been making some more beanies to sell at our local market.  Here are a few that I finished:

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The beanies were crocheted from the top down using a hdc all around, increasing by 1hdc each round until I got to the desired size.  The edging is sc in the same colour as the flower.  I got the flower patterns from the book “100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet” ( http://www.amazon.ca/100-Flowers-Knit-Crochet-Embellishing/dp/0312538340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341501706&sr=8-1 ).  I’ve made a few of the flowers from the book, but I need to find some of my finer yarn in my stash to make some of the more delicate blossoms.

Homemade Fudge Pops

I’ve been making popsicles lately, and I thought that the fruit was going over so well, so it was time to introduce chocolate to my molds.  I scoured the net for a few different recipes, and I took from a few, but made quite a few changes.  Here’s what I came up with:

Homemade Fudge Popsicles

1/4 C chocolate chips
3 T honey
2 T cornstarch
1 1/2 T cocoa
1 large can of condensed milk (looking for about 14oz, or at least 300ml)
Pinch of salt
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 T butter or margarine
1/4 C greek yogourt

Method:

1.  In a sauce pan, melt the chocolate chips and honey over low heat.  Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cornstarch, cocoa, milk and salt, and turn your heat up to medium (it needs to get hot to activate the cornstarch).  Continue to whisk until it is thickened, for at least 5 minutes.  Once thickened, add the vanilla and butter and stir until combined.  Let stand.

2.  Once the liquid has cooled, add in the yogourt.  Freeze for 30 minutes, then insert the sticks, and freeze until it is completely frozen.

Yield: 5 popsicles (+1 tablespoon for putting in a dixie cup to try yourself before serving… yum!)

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They were delicious.  Chocolatey, fudgy, everything you could ask for.  One thing to watch out for – the melt quite quickly, and were a pain to get out of the molds.  I’m going to see if doubling the cornstarch will make them firmer.

**Edit** I changed the original recipe from 1T cornstarch to 2.  The 2T worked much better.  They were firmer, and slid out of the molds easier, and none were ruined, unlike the first batch.  Two didn’t come out of the molds, just the sticks.