Friday, May 9, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

This is Teacher Appreciation Week and I wanted to share what I put together for D and L's teachers.

I found these cute tags (via pinterest) with a Mason jar theme.  I bought a case of the new Perfection green pint jars and added the drinking straw/lid and used the rings that came with the jars.  I added in a few single serve packs of lemonade and iced tea mix into the jars.  Along with the drink container, I made a batch of Lemon Shortbread cookies like these.  I added some lemon extract and zest to the shortbread dough and added lemon juice to the icing glaze.  Sweet, tart and buttery all at the same time..yum!

Lemon Shortbread Cookies
I added a ribbon and flower to the jar for a little decoration.  I thought they turned out really well and the teachers really enjoyed them!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chocolate Hamentaschen

Chocolate Hamentaschen (Adapted from The Frugal Ima's Perfectly Parve Chocolate cookies)

1 cup shortening
1 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


1 cup confectioner's sugar
2-3 Tbs. Water
1 tsp. flavor extract of choice (i.e.vanilla, peppermint, etc.)
sprinkles or other toppings

Cream the shortening and sugar together until fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla and combine thoroughly.  Sift together dry ingredients and mix into shortening mixture just until combined.  Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill in the fridge at least a half an hour.  

Unwrap the chilled dough onto a floured surface.  Roll out the dough to a 1/4" thickness.  Cut using 1 1/2" round cutter.   Pinch the rounds to form a triangular shape.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.   Immediately after removing from the oven, use the end of a wooden spoon to make an indentation in the center of the cookie.  Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. 

Mix the filling in a small bowl.  Spoon the icing into the cavity of each cookie.  Add sprinkles or other toppings, if desired.  Allow icing to set.  Store cookies in an airtight container. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - 2/24/14

Weekend was pretty busy.  We had a Girl Scout event yesterday.  Our troop did a presentation on Brazil and we made brigadeiros.  It all went really well and the girls had a blast!


Monday:  Meatless Goulash - Substitute a bag of Boca crumbles for the ground meat makes the recipe super quick and easy for Monday.  I'll add some veggies on the side.

Tuesday:  Grilled chicken, salad, Asian sesame dressing, brown rice

Wednesday:  Pasta night

Thursday:  Back to back after school events today, so I plan on packing a picnic.  Calzones, crudite

Friday:  Not sure yet.  Perhaps grilling if the weather cooperates.

Looking for more menu plans, please visit MPM at

Brigadeiros - Brazil GS World Thinking Day

World Thinking Day for our Girl Scout troop this weekend went really well, although it was sweltering hot at the Lodge.  Brazil was our country and we made brigadeiros for our sample treat.  They were a hit!  Several people came up for the recipe.  I don't know why I didn't think to make recipe cards for the table.  They are super easy to make and the girls helped with the rolling out and coating in sprinkles part.


1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbs. cocoa powder
1 Tbs. Butter

Add the milk, cocoa and butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.  Heat the mixture on medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.  The mixture will thicken and begin to pull away from the pan when it's ready.  Pour onto a greased jelly-roll pan or baking sheet.  Allow to cool completely before forming into balls (about 1 teaspoon-sized) and rolling in sprinkles (either rainbow or chocolate)  or any other topping of your choosing.  The candy is slightly soft and sticky, so a little cooking spray on the hands may help to roll the balls out.  You can also pop the mixture in the fridge for a bit to firm it up.  Storing them, in a sealed container, in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve will keep them fresh.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - 2/17/14

Menu: (quick post)

Monday : Veggie Quiche with crudite
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken and asparagus
Wednesday:  Baked Fish with brown rice
Thursday: Pasta night
Friday: Pot roast with veggies, challah

This week I plan on making Brigadeiros for the GS World Thinking Day (our troop is focusing on Brazil).

For more menus or recipes, please visit MPM at

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Homemade Marshmallow Heart Pops

Homemade Marshmallow Heart Pops

I made these treats for a school Valentine's Day event.  I think they turned out really sweet!

I started with this recipe for marshmallows.  I added a touch of pink food coloring to the mixture after I added the vanilla.  You could certainly choose to add different flavor extracts to the marshmallow mixture to change it up.  I pour the marshmallow in to a large 9" x 13" pan that has been greased and lined with parchment or waxed paper.  The pan gets dusted with confectioner's sugar and I allow the marshmallow to sit over night to dry.  The next day, I used a small heart-shaped cutter to form the shapes.

Place the hearts on lollipop sticks and line up on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.

Melt a bit of chocolate or confectioner's coating and drizzle over the heart pops.  You can add a sprinkle of mini hearts before the chocolate sets and you are all done.  Get ready to share!

Girl Scout Sleeping Bag SWAP

Girl Scout Sleeping Bag SWAP

What you will need:
Felt Sheets
Wooden Beads
Mini Craft Sticks
Sharpie markers
Craft Glue
Safety Pins
Hole Punch
Scissors and/or Fabric cutter
Stickers or labels with Troop #

1.)  Start by cutting felt into strips 9" x 1 1/4".  You should get about 9 strips per sheet of felt.

2.) You will need some small lengths of yarn to tie up the roll 5" long.  And you will need smaller (2") lengths for the "hair".  I used a bundle of rug loom yarn in various brown/yellow/beige colors.  The girls can cut the yarn to make shorter "hair", too!

3.)  Use the Sharpie markers to draw faces on the beads.

4.) Next, punch a hole in the felt strip about 1/3 of the way down the strip.  Roll the short end of the felt and tie it with the yarn.

5.)  Glue a small craft stick to the felt and fold the felt up and over to make the "sleeping bag".  Leave enough room to glue the bead to the top of the stick for the head.

6.)  Add glue to the bead for hair and then attach it to the craft stick carefully.  I used a paper plate to keep the glue mess to a minimum. :)

7.)  Once dry, you can add the safety pin to the bed-roll part and attach the Troop# label.  So cute!