Tag Archives: printables

How to Make a Holiday Baking Cheat Sheet

OK, guys…Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is JUST around the corner.  While everyone else is on the hunt for antacids and stretchy pants, I’m raiding the baking section of my local grocery store to plan for my holiday cookie platters!

Baking Christmas cookies is a tradition I picked up from my dad.  He used to bake cookies for family and friends every year, and since he’s now passed, I’ve taken on the duty of turning my own little kitchen into a butter and sugar paradise.

I always make his favorite cookies:  gingerbread snaps, peppermint canes, butter cookies, almond cookies, and cranberry bread…but every year I try to make a few new cookies to help switch things up.  This year I have a lot of new recipes I want to try, and it can definitely be daunting to figure out exactly how much of everything is needed so you can buy all your supplies in one shopping trip!

holidaybakingtips

However, I’ve found a way to make this insanely easy and stress-free.  The answer?  EXCEL.  Excel is seriously a life-saver.  If you don’t have Excel, you can also use Google Sheets…it’s free and works exactly the same.  PLUS, you can access your Google Sheets from any device that can connect to the Internet, which is super helpful in a pinch.

For my purposes, I’m using Google Sheets this year, as my home computer doesn’t have Excel.  And I’m gonna take you on a step-by-step tutorial on how to use any spreadsheet program to make your holiday food shopping so much easier!  While I use this for cookies, you can also use this for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any occasion when you have to bake or cook several recipes at once.

First things first—gather all your recipes.  Open up Google Sheets or Excel and, in the first row, type “Ingredients” in the first column, “Amounts” in the second column, and “Recipe” in the third column.  Then you’re just going to import all your data, putting the ingredient in column 1, how much of that ingredient is needed in column 2, and what recipe that measurement belongs to in column 3…so your chart should look a little something like this:

cookieplatter1

Keep going until all your ingredients for all your recipes are listed.  It will also help you in the long run if you list ingredients the same throughout the sheet.  For example, list “flour” and “all-purpose flour” just as flour.  That will make this much easier to sort in the next step!

Also you can freeze row 1 so it remains at the top of the sheet as you scroll down through your data.  To do that, just highlight the first row, then go to View—Freeze—Row 1 and the top row will remain at the top as you scroll down your list.

Once everything is added, create a new tab and copy and paste all the info from the first tab into the second.  Highlight everything but the top row:

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Then do a right-click, select “Sort Range” and sort by Column A, AàZ:

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Now all your like ingredients are grouped together.  As you can see, I have Heavy Cream, Salt, Sugar, and Butter listed several times:

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Now comes the fun part!  Next we’re going to combine all the double-listed ingredients.  So for butter, I’d combine all the measurements (1 cup, 1 cup, ½ cup) and type “2½ cups” in the “Amounts” column, then delete the two rows I don’t need:

So this:

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Becomes this:

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Go ahead and do that with all instances of doubles.

Finally, I like to add one further step of organization and just put like ingredients together so I’m not running all over the grocery store.  For that, I turn the “Recipe” column into an “Area” column and type in the section of the grocery store where I would find said item:

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That way I can walk through the grocery store once, get everything I need, and head out.

This method has been pretty foolproof for me since I started using it about two years ago.  It makes it so much easier when I don’t have to guess how much stuff I need and I know I’m getting just enough ingredients to make everything I want to make.

If you plan on baking a lot like I do, you might have an instance where, after you tally your totals, you end up needing something like “40 cups of flour” or “15 cups of sugar”.  For instances like that, keep in mind that one bag of flour can contain anywhere from 15 to 20 cups of flour, depending on the type of flour, the brand and whether or not it’s sifted.  There’s really no great conversion for how many bags of flour you’ll need, but a 5 lb. bag should give you a good 15 cups at least.  For sugar, the average is about 2¼ cups to 1 pound…so a 4 lb. bag should contain about 9 cups.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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6 True to Life George Carlin Printables

everybodyHe was one of the greats. He was the one who influenced and paved the way for some of today’s best comedians. His large body of work and ability to speak truthfully about everything from religion to politics put him at the top of the entertainment ladder. Comedians like Louis C.K., Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Lewis Black, and many others have been very open about how the late and great George Carlin influenced their comedy and the industry as a whole…and it was a sad, sad day when the world lost this beloved curmudgeon eight years ago today.

Some may know ol’ Georgie from SNL (he was the lucky bastard who hosted the very first episode!), some may know him from his countless performances, others from his collection of publications…still others might even know him as Mr. Conductor from Shining Time Station. With an impressive collection of recordings, performances, guest appearances, books, TV shows and specials, and even movie roles, George Carlin has put his mark on nearly every entertainment medium. His persona was rough and honest, and he never hesitated to share his feelings on several controversial subjects, including race, abortion, women’s rights, and homosexuality. But for as tough and gritty as he was on stage, who he was at home was completely different.

George met his first wife, Brenda, in 1960. They had one child together and remained happy until Brenda’s passing in 1997. Six months later, George met a writer named Sally Wade and married her the following year. They remained faithful to each other until George’s death in 2008, two days before their 10th anniversary. George described his meeting with Sally as “love at first site”, and their relationship was nothing short of ooey gooey lovey dovey sweetness. Hard to believe, right? But a short glance at The George Carlin Letters, a book written by Sally Wade, shows a different story. Throughout their 10-year courtship, George and Sally shared a whole magical world all their own. Love letters, dreams of lands in far off planets, and sweet notes back and forth fill the pages of this book, showing a hidden side of a man we all thought to be so open and honest. This book will make you laugh, make you cry (for SURE!), and will have you falling in love with George all over again.

Often hidden in his crude and truthful comedy are little gems of life advice that we should all keep in mind. As a tribute to this trailblazer on the anniversary of his passing, I’ve collected some of them for you here. Save ‘em…print ‘em…live by ‘em.

 

The Wisdom of George Carlin

Download these George Carlin printables here: George Carlin Printables

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

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Have a Nice Day Free Printables

Started in Charleston, South Carolina, June 1st was granted Say Something Nice Day when the Mayors of North Charleston and Charleston came together with members of various church groups to create a day to be kind to the special people in our lives. In an effort to fight unkindness and bullying, Say Something Nice Day is spreading into schools and offices all over the nation.

In an effort to spread the love, here are some cute printables to share with your family, friends, and co-workers. You can print them out on an 8.5×11 sheet of paper, cut them out, and write sweet messages on the back. Hand them out to your loved ones and help make their day on June 1st!

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Download this printable compliment sheet.

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

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5 Fantastic Liz Lemon Printables

So, I know 30 Rock is old news now, but today is the wonderful Tina Fey’s birthday! Happy birthday, Tina Fey!

CraveTV 30 rock tina fey liz lemon werk

To celebrate this wonderful witty woman of comedy, I’ve created some fun little printables for you…inspired by the wonderful wisdom of Liz Lemon:

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everythingstheworst

imgonnagotalktosomefoodaboutthis

suckitnerds

whatthewhat

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

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13 Star Wars-Inspired Foods

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No one loves a pun like Yoda:

sad depressed yoda disappointed the empire strikes back

A play on the popular phrase, “May the force be with you”, May the 4th has been granted Star Wars Day. Whether you spend the entire day in your Darth Vader uniform or just in your pj’s watching the ORIGINAL movies, celebrating Star Wars Day is a must for fans of all ages!

With the recent release of the new Star Wars movie, a whole new generation is being introduced to the nerd-lore of this galaxy far, far away…and if you’re looking for fun ways to celebrate Star Wars Day with your friends and family, here are a few helpful suggestions from your fellow Han Solo-loving friend:

Sing along with Moosebutter’s rendition of the Star Wars medley:

Listen to Paton Oswalt’s plan to prevent those terrible prequels from even happening:

 

Or…have a good old-fashioned viewing party (with themed foods, of course)!

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Forget those nasty sandwiches…as Yoda would say, “A sandwich does not a party make.”

food star wars no bored sandwich

Gear up for a party every fan is sure to love with these awesome printable Star Wars-themed food signs!

First of all, make sure everyone knows where the silverware is with the “May the Forks Be With You” sign. And it’s not a party without red “Han Solo Cups”!

HanSoloCups

For chippies and dippies, you can have “Seven Leia Dip”, served with “Storm Trooper Scoopers”…or how about “Eguaok Dip” (like guac…get it?!) with “C(hi)p30s”…which is a very big stretch for chips…but you know, all in the name of geekism!

SevenLeiaDip

EquaokDip

Throw out some “Yoda Soda” to drink…or if you’re feeling so inclined, you could make some “Darth Maulted Milkshakes”.

DarthMaultedMilkshakes

Other snacks could include “Millennium Falcorn” (popcorn), “Light Sabers” (chocolate-dipped pretzel rods), “Wookie Cookies”, and my personal favorite, “Obi-Wan Kabob-ies”!

ObiWanKabobIes

Adventurous eaters could also serve a batch of “Jabba-Ghanoush”. I know, I know…

O&O, Inc star wars harrison ford annoyed han solo

So there you have it, Jedi’s. If you want to celebrate Star Wars Day with these fun themed snacks, download your copy of these printable signs here:

Star-Wars-Printable

May the 4th be with you always…

Star Wars wink harrison ford han solo movies

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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How to Use Your Favorite Herbs

If you’re a beginner gardener like me or you’re looking for easy window plants to liven up your home this spring, herbs are a great solution.  They can grow in medium to full sunlight and plants like basil, parsley, sage, and cilantro are great to have on hand for your cooking needs.

Use this helpful printable chart to keep track of how to use your favorite spices!

common-uses-for-common-herbs

While they may all look similar, herbs vary in taste, texture, and usability.  Some, like the bay leaf, offer wonderful flavor to soups and stews but should not be eaten.  Others, like cilantro or basil, can be chopped up and added to just about anything…even desserts!

To Grow In or Out?

Herbs are not only food for humans, but hungry bunnies, chipmunks, bugs, deer, and other wildlife that might come visit your garden…so grower beware–if you grow your herbs outside, make sure you fence them in or protect them so you can enjoy them, too!  Herbs are also great for indoor gardening and grow easily on a windowsill in medium to full sunlight.  Last year we planted basil, sage, lavender, and cilantro in our little Chicago windowsill and had delicious fresh herbs all season long.

Dry Spell

Dried herbs are more concentrated versions of their fresh counterparts; however, not all herbs are good when dried.  Do some research before drying your herbs and store dried herbs in a cool, dry environment.

These herbs are great when dried:  bay leaves, oregano, sage, and thyme.  They will keep 1-2 months when dried and dried herbs make great gift ideas for hostesses or friends who love to cook.

 

What’s your favorite herb to cook with? 

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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Rosh Hashannah Apple Printable

Remember the days of pop up cards and vintage toys?  Yeah, neither do I.

Thankfully, a woman by the name of Marilyn Scott-Waters has released many of her designs of elegant vintage paper toys in PDF format.  And the best part is that you can download many of them for free!  There are toys for every major holiday, toys for kids, and an online book store where you can purchase many of Marilyn’s how-to books.  Here’s a little apple I made for Rosh Hashanah using one of her patterns.  You could easily convert this into a little gift box and fill it with candy or good wishes for the coming year.

The pattern…

and here’s mine!

You can find this and many other templates here.  Check out her Halloween and Christmas collections.  Beautiful!  And often all you need to create these beautiful decorations are scissors and tape.  The only downside is that many of her patterns don’t include instructions…so kids might have trouble knowing what to cut and what to fold.  However most adults who have had craft time in school should be able to figure any of the patterns out.

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

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