Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Favorite Sugar Cookies

It feels as though I've gone MIA this last week! I have so much to tell you and so little time (more to come later!). My hubby and I were gone the week before the V-day, so I missed all the Valentine preparation, hoopla, and parties at school. And can you believe? Due to unforeseen circumstances, we still haven't had our Sweetheart Dinner yet! I feel better knowing that my sister who inspired this tradition didn't get to it before Valentine's Day either. I figure I've got a few more days in the month of love, and why not share the love anytime throughout the year... Right?

But I did find that post-Valentine Day celebrations have their perks. I found treats and boxes of chocolates to place at each plate for 50% off. And...did any of you see Michelle's cute mailbox idea for sharing the love over at A Little Tipsy?

Well, I stumbled onto these cuties at Wal-Mart, and couldn't resist buying one for half price. It's such a sweet tradition to leave little love notes for the family in the mailbox, and I figured that I could use it next year, or pull it out sometime when the family is needing a little extra lovin'.

So I made my favorite ever sugar cookies the day after Valentine's Day, inspired in part by my sister's blunder with a new sugar cookie recipe, and in part because I happened to be craving them. Growing up, the sugar cookies we had were typically crumbly and dry, and my mother added nutmeg (nutmeg?)to the dough, which I never liked much. So when my niece gave me this new recipe, I fell in love immediately. And when my Blondie saw the heart-shaped cookies, she proclaimed with a grin and a twinkle in her eye, "Mom, Valentine's Day was so yesterday!" I had to agree, but who can resist sugar cookies any day of the year?

I think I gained 5 pounds in the two days these cookies lasted in our house (which is why I can only make them like twice a year). They are soft and tasty, and super easy to make, but the real hero of the recipe is the cream cheese frosting.

Shelli's Favorite Sugar Cookies:

Cream the following:
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. softened butter (room temperature)
1 c. sour cream

6 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Roll out, cut, and bake @400° for 5-6 minutes.

Now, two things: Typically, the dough does not need to be refrigerated, but if it feels too sticky, just pop it in the fridge for 1/2 hour or so to firm it up a little. Also, you can see that the baking time is quite short. You may have to experiment with this a bit. My oven requires about 7-8 minutes baking time, and you have to find just the right amount of time so that the cookies remain soft, but not gooey. (Just be prepared for a tiny bit of experimentation to get them how you love them!)

8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter (softened)
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of milk

Mmmmm. I may need to make another batch for St. Patrick's Day! Let me know how yours turn out!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The DIY Dish and a Janome Sewing Machine Give-Away!

My buddies, the Wonder Twins, have done it again! In addition to the successful DIY sites connected with You Can Make This, twin sisters, Kim and Kris have added a new site dedicated to all things crafty and more: The DIY Dish. The site will feature how-to videos running the gamut of the crafting world.

Now that's just part of the good news. The rest is that Janome is sponsoring a give-away of two sewing machines in conjunction with this launch of this site, and you can win! Go here to their site for rules and give-away guidelines. Go now. Run. What are you waiting for?!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Few Valentine Faves!

Just have to show you a few of my faves for the upcoming Sweetheart Day! First of all, my friend and former neighbor, Sheryl sent me this photo of the Sweetheart Table Runner that she completed in just an afternoon. Didn't she do a beautiful job? I adore her fabrics, and it looks so elegant on her table. Love it!

Secondly, I got to sew up this darling shelf pillow with this whimsical design that my comrade Kris created. Isn't this just the cutest for your little gal, or for display in a corner of the room?

Thirdly, I am in love with this Rubik's Cube idea from Love Actually and A Little Tipsy.

My boys studied You Tube for hours until they finally cracked the code for solving the Rubik's cube. They spent half the summer having races to solve the cube, and started collecting them. I doubt I'm going to get one made for them for Valentine's Day, and of course, theirs would be, uh, not romantic at all, but it's definitely going into my files of things to do. Who wouldn't love a Rubik's Cube plastered with pics of their friends and favorite activities? I'm sure it would be a favorite amongst their collection.

Happy Valentine's Week to you all! I hope to be hearing all about your sweetheart dinners!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A "Sweet" Hanging Heart that is Sew Easy (and Free!), plus a Printable Note of Friendship!

Every month, I get the exciting opportunity to create a sewing project for You Can Make This. With the month of love upon us, I couldn't resist the notion of a patchy, heart-shaped pin cushion. Visit the You Can Make This website to download the quick and easy instructions! I forgot to mention that its also FREE!

In addition to using this heart as only a pin cushion, think of the possibilities...
What about a hanging Valentine for one of your kidlets? Take a look at what Micki did for her daughters to hang in their rooms: I love that she embroidered their names on them! Too cute!

Or how about a sweet token for a dear friend? You could certainly have fun embroidering their names on them like Micki did, or simply pin a note to the heart like this:

Click on the image to print a sheet of your own if you'd like! (As a disclaimer, I am not a computer whiz, and for the life of me can't get those columns straight in my Word document, no matter how I try! Sorry!)

Take some inspiration for a hanging heart of your own from these images produced by my team of fabulous testers! I love how unique and different each one is.

Thank you, testers! You are the best! I'd love to see images from the rest of you out there in blogland too!

Have a great day!

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