Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spooky Skull Crayons

I was making a little Halloween care package to send to my nieces and nephew in Las Vegas and I came across this cute idea from Homemade by Jill.  Custom made crayons!  Just too cute.  I decided I needed to make some to add to my package.

I found this ice cube tray at Party City and thought it would make a cute mold for the crayons.  I did like the end result but it took a lot of crayons to fill the individual molds and they didn't come out of the molds as easily as the cheaper candy molds.  Spraying the mold with Pam cooking spray helped a little.  It did take some effort to get clean once the crayons were unmolded.

The next mold I used was a very inexpensive candy mold that I got from Michaels.  It worked great!

The mold size was perfect.  Once the crayons set up, they released from the molds with no effort at all and cleaned up really easily with warm water and soap.

Making the crayons was a pretty easy process - you can check out Jill's post for her instructions. I simply grouped similar colors of crayons together, peeled off the wrapper, broke them up into small pieces and melted them using the double boiler method.  I covered a bowl with foil to make it easy to clean.  I was also able to fold the foil into a little spout to pour out the melted wax.

The best piece of advice I can give you?  Absolutely DO NOT use cheap crayons!!!!!  I started out using Crayola Brand, then switched to a cheap no name brand.  They didn't melt nicely and look at the difference when molded - not smooth or shiny.  And they crumbled after I unmolded them.  I switched back to Crayola brand and everything worked just great again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quiche - It's the Stuff that starts Wars!

A friend of mine asked me if I had any ideas for what she could serve for a luncheon she is hosting.  She wanted to serve something that would show off her Mother In Law's gorgeous china set.  I thought a slice of Quiche would look pretty on the plate.  Plus it's pretty versatile, one's you get down an egg and cheese mixture that you like you can add in any variety of ingredients that you like such as veggies or seafood.  So, I told her my friend I would send her over my recipe.  Then I was craving quiche so I decided to make one.

Funny thing is, no one in my house usually eats it.  On occasion my oldest daughter does.  So I made the quiche for lunch.  Gave my friend and her husband a slice each and I ate one.  The next day my incredibly picky eater son noticed the leftovers in the fridge at breakfast time and asked if he could have some and declared it the most delicious breakfast ever!!  By the next morning there was only one slice left.  My son wanted it and so did my daughter.  We were already having one of "those" morning and now they were fighting over quiche of all things!!  There was screaming, yelling, name calling.  My son was even trying to outwit my daughter with detailed "logical" arguments of why he should get to eat the quiche.  She declared possession is 9/10th of the law and ate it.  Needless to say I ended up making another quiche that evening.    Next time I just need to remember to never leave just ONE slice in the fridge!

Basic Quiche Recipe

Pastry for 9" one Crust Pie
1 1/2 cups cheese grated
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Filling of your choice*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 

Make the pie crust of your choice, or if you are like me get one out the freezer and let it defrost.  I always buy the Pillsbury kind cause I can keep them in the freezer and they taste good and I love the convenience.  Place the pie crust in your pie plate and make the edges looks fancy or rustic or however you like it.

At this point I usually pop the pie plate into the fridge while I get the rest of the stuff together to keep my crust from getting too soft.  

Next, you'll need to grate some cheese.  The original recipe called for Swiss which is not a big favorite in my household, so I usually do two thirds cheddar and one third swiss or mozzarella.  Try to use cheeses that you wouldn't mind eating a slice of.  

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, add in the cream,  salt, pepper and dry mustard.  If you're the kind that like's Tabasco on your eggs and you want to spice it up a little you can add it a touch of cayenne pepper.  Give it a stir and make sure it's all mixed together.

Get that crust lined pie plate back out of the fridge and sprinkle it with the cheese and fillings of your choice.*

Pour the egg mixture over the top.  Make sure it's not filled completely to the top because it will puff up and if it's filled all the way to the top it will overflow and make a mess.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees than bake for another 30 minutes.  Knife inserted in center should come out clean.  (If your quiche starts getting too dark, cover it with a piece of foil)

Let the quiche stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

*Bacon is a big hit in the quiche in our house.  About 8 slices cooked crisply and crumbled usually does it.    Turkey bacon works fine too.    I have put in broccoli and diced ham too which was yummy and I had a delicious quiche at a restaurant that had asparagus in it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tea Towel Wedding Gift

A while ago, I saw the most adorable tutorial on Aly & Ash for a Mother's Day Tea Towel Cake.  I thought it was really cute, but both my mother and mother-in-law have well established kitchens so I didn't really have any use for it at the time but I loved it, so I book-marked it.

This past weekend my hubby and I attended the wedding reception of one of his coworkers.   I just love weddings and they were the cutest couple.

By the time I finally took a peek at the registry to buy them a gift, most of the stuff they registered for, had already been purchased.  Left on the list were were various kitchen utensils, dish towels etc.  While I love that kind of stuff, and know that it's a necessity for a new kitchen, opening a box full of wooden spoons and dish towels is kind of boring!  Thankfully I remembered Aly & Ash's cute tutorial that took dish towels and made them look like a tiered wedding cake.

You can check out the link above to Aly & Ash if you would like to follow their tutorial.  I just winged it.  I actually used a 9" round cake pan as the base and wrapped in some ribbon.  I used some double stick tape to adhere the ribbon and added the bow.  If you want to see how I make the bow, click here.  I used some construction paper to anchor the towels and cut them in different heights to make the two different "layers"  Once again I didn't use any particular measurements - just eyeballed it and adjusted it till I thought it looked good. 

For the third "layer"  I folded two towels accordian style.  The same way you would make a paper fan.  Then I folded them in half and stuffed them into the second layer.  Fluff them up a little until they look the way you want them to.  Then I just added in the utensils.  (I used tongs, whisk, zester, three pastry brushes, wooden spoon)

Thanks Aly & Ash for the tutorial.  And congrats to the beautiful bride Jen and her handsome groom Paul!!