Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Deeper Meaning of Fairy Tales

For lovers of stories, fairy tales, imagination, and dreams…

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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What Lies Around the Bend?

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

…and I’m not even kidding.  These are some of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had…and considering the recipe comes from Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook, that’s really no great surprise.

If you love good old fashioned home cooking, you will love these soft and chewy cookies.  These cookies are great for bake sales and gatherings, since they stay soft and chewy for days.  Keep them in an airtight container to maintain freshness.  And if it just so happens that the cookies get hard or stale, simply throw a piece of bread into the container and your cookies should return to their soft state in a few hours.  By the way, if you’re shipping cookies to someone, this is a great way to keep them fresh and soft!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package chocolate chips, or chips of your choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a second bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  4. Gradually blend in the flour mixture.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
  6. Drop by the tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes, or until edges are brown.  Remove from pan and let cool.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Never Forget Who You Are

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes

One of my all-time favorite flavor combinations is sweet and spicy…and there’s nothing that will get your taste buds in a frenzy like chili and chocolate.  Spicy chocolate is a genius invention and one of my go-to guilty pleasures.  If you haven’t tried it, I recommend you give it a shot.  To get the full sensation, melt some dark chocolate in a double boiler.  Create medallions on wax paper by spooning the chocolate on the wax paper when it’s melted.  Sprinkle each medallion with a little cayenne pepper and use a toothpick to swirl the powder into the melted chocolate.  Let harden and enjoy.  It may not seem spicy at first, but these little guys have a kick…and will bite back!

So when I was given the task of baking some yummy treats for my bother’s fiancee’s bachelorette party, I just had to try making spicy chocolate cupcakes!  What better way to top off a ladie’s night?  Oh, and I did make these weenie cake pops, which I thought you might enjoy!  HAHA!  I mean, it was a bachelorette party!

Anyway, back to these chocolate cakes.  I didn’t want the spice to be too overwhelming, so I just added it to the icing.  If you want a little more heat, add it to the batter.  It’s really up to you.  Just remember, when it comes to cayenne pepper–a little goes a long way!

Spicy Chocolate Cakes

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Frosting:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine boiling water and cocoa, stirring well until all the cocoa is dissolved.  Let mixture cool completely.
  3. Place sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until well blended, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl and stir with a whisk until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of one cupcake comes out clean.  For these cakes, it’s best NOT to use cupcake liners, since the icing is poured onto the cool cake and hardens over time.  You can place cupcakes in liners once the icing has set.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.
  7. To make icing, melt the butter in a pan.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
  8. Use a tablespoon to skim off the foam on top of the melted butter and discard.  Set aside the clarified butter, also discarding the milky liquid in the bottom of the pan.
  9. In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  10. Remove the chocolate from the heat and pour the clarified butter into the chocolate.  Stir until smooth.
  11. Add cayenne pepper and mix until combined.  Add more to taste if the heat isn’t strong enough for you!
  12. Let icing sit for about 5 minutes to thicken.
  13. Place cakes on a cooling rack with a pan underneath to catch extra icing.  Pour icing over cooled cakes and let sit for at least 2 hours to let icing set.
  14. If you have extra icing, you can drizzle it over the cupcakes after the first layer sets.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Stamped Clay Keychain

I think it would be safe to say I have a thing for bees.  Ever since people I know and love found out that my name literally translates to “sweet like honey from the bee”, I was swarmed with bee-themed gifts, cards, clothes, supplies, and more.  After a while, the bee thing grew on me, and now I can say that I’m slightly obsessed with them.

I decided to make this key chain after I wrote a guest post on clay charms for a craft blog.  I guess I never really realized how fun and easy this is…and it’s a great way to create personalized charms for wedding favors, baby shower favors, and even gift tags.

Stamped Clay Bumble Bee Key Chain

Materials:

  • 1 block Studio by Sculpy Clay, in Butterscotch (#6437)
  • Stamp of your choice
  • 1 block Studio by Sculpy Clay, in Cappuccino (#6785)
  • 1 sewing pin
  • Ribbons of your choice
  • Two similar buttons
  • Hot glue gun

Instructions:

  1. Condition the butterscotch clay until it’s easily workable and roll it into a ball.  Using a marker, pen, or clay rolling pin, roll out the ball until it forms a circle about 2 inches in diameter.

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  2. Take your stamp and carefully press it into the clay.

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  3. With the sewing pin, create a hole large enough for your ribbon to go through.
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  4. If you have clay tools, you can add texture to the clay however you’d like.  I just used the round head of the pin to make tiny grooves in the clay charm.  I like the vintage look of it!

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  5. Once your charm is the way you want it, set it aside.
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  6. Condition your Cappuccino clay until it’s easily workable and roll it into a ball.  To create a bead, shape it to be the size you want (I did a cone shape to mirror a bee hive) and carefully pull the pin through the bead to create a hole.

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  7. Once your charm and bead are ready, bake them according to the package directions.  If you’re using Sculpey clay, bake at 275 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.  After baking, remove from oven and let cool completely.

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  8. Depending on how workable your ribbon is, you can weave it through your charm.  I had to use a tapestry needle to help get my ribbons through the holes on the charm and the bead.  Once the ribbon is through both clay pieces, tie a knot to secure it.

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  9. If you’d like, you can attach a separate ribbon like I did to the secure knot.  Then I secured that ribbon by gluing 2 like buttons together.  I think it looks kind of cute!

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This is an easy project to make for any occasion.  You can easily attach these clay charms to gift packages, wedding favors, necklaces, and more!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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May You Forever Live in a World of Fantasy


Thank you for a childhood (and adulthood) filled with fantasy and imagination.

Maurice Sendak, 1929-2012

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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