American Flag-Inspired Cupcakes and Cookies, Re-Post

Hostess gifts idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.
DIY Hostess gift idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.

Hon, you know what I like about a holiday besides spending time with family and friends?

 The built-in theme!

One of my daughters and I had fun taking the American flag colors to the extreme.  We baked red, white and blue sugar cookies and cupcakes.  Click here for sugar cookie and Royal Icing recipes.  My daughter decorated with flags while I tried my hand at tie dye effects. I used a toothpick to “drag” two or three icing colors from the center out, then swirled with the toothpick to create a tie dye look.

Patriotic Cookies
Patriotic Cookies.
Tie Dye effect.
Tie Dye effect.

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Coloring on cookies.
Coloring on cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Baking Day continued with red, white and blue cupcakes. 

We were inspired by Ziploc Bag’s Patriotic Piped Tri-Colored Cupcakes, but they turned out to be more challenging than they looked.  So, we abandoned our pastry bags and spooned the colored batter into baking cups.  The result?  Still patriotic, fun and delicious.

*Tip:  Wear plastic gloves because colored batter is messy and stains.

1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl vanilla.
2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl plain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

3. Transfer three bowls of batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored strips.
3. Spoon batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored stripes.

 

 

4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags at all.
4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags.

 

 

_________________________________________________________

5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.
5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.

 

Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.
Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
American Flag Fun!
American Flag Fun!

DIY Holiday and Hostess Gifts

Berry & Nut Granola and Mini Pumpkin Breads

Need last minute holiday or hostess gifts?  

Mini pumpkin loaves and granola are easy to make and delicious. Fill mason jars with granola, wrap the loaves in twine, and voila–DIY for the holidays! Click below for links to the recipes.

Pumpkin Bread I have two multi-loaf pans: one for baking four mini loaves and one for baking eight single serving loaves. Multi-loaf pans can be found at the craft store Michael’s. No time to get to a craft or baking store?  Bake pumpkin muffins instead. I used whole wheat flour and less sugar than the recipe calls for.

Homemade Granola  Add whatever seeds, nuts and dried fruit are in the house to the mixture. I purchased mason jars at Michael’s, but any jar, such as a jelly jar, with a mouth that’s not too small will work. I filled tomato sauce jars with larger batches.

Happy Holidays, Hon!

Quick, easy and delicious. Photos courtesy of Cherie.

American Flag-Inspired Cupcakes and Cookies

Hostess gifts idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.
DIY Hostess gift idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. These funky melamine dishes are from SEED387. Wrap cookies in cellophane for a pretty presentation.

Need a patriotic-themed kid activity? Or are you in the mood to bake? Either way, enjoy this re-post.

Hon, you know what I like about a holiday besides spending time with family and friends?

 The built-in theme!

One of my daughters and I had fun taking the American flag colors to the extreme.  We baked red, white and blue sugar cookies and cupcakes.  Click here for sugar cookie and Royal Icing recipes.  My daughter decorated with flags while I tried my hand at tie dye effects. I used a toothpick to “drag” two or three icing colors from the center out, then swirled with the toothpick to create a tie dye look.

Patriotic Cookies
Patriotic Cookies.
Tie Dye effect.
Tie Dye effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Coloring on cookies.
Coloring on cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

Baking Day continued with red, white and blue cupcakes. 

We were inspired by Ziploc Bag’s Patriotic Piped Tri-Colored Cupcakes, but they turned out to be more challenging than they looked.  So, we abandoned our pastry bags and spooned the colored batter into baking cups.  The result?  Still patriotic, fun and delicious.

*Tip:  Wear plastic gloves because colored batter is messy and stains.

1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl vanilla.
2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl plain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

3. Transfer three bowls of batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored strips.
3. Spoon batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored stripes.

 

 

4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags at all.
4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags.

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.
5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.

 

Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.
Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
American Flag Fun!
American Flag Fun!

American Flag-Inspired Cupcakes and Cookies

Hostess gifts idea:  Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.
DIY Hostess gift idea: Bring dessert on a dish the hostess can keep. I bought these funky melamine dishes from SEED387. Wrap them in cellophane for a pretty presentation.

Hon, you know what I like about a holiday besides spending time with family and friends?

 The built-in theme!

One of my daughters and I had fun taking the American flag colors to the extreme.  We baked red, white and blue sugar cookies and cupcakes.  Click here for sugar cookie and Royal Icing recipes.  My daughter decorated with flags while I tried my hand at tie dye effects. I used a toothpick to “drag” two or three icing colors from the center out, then swirled with the toothpick to create a tie dye look.

Patriotic Cookies
Patriotic Cookies.
Tie Dye effect.
Tie Dye effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing.
Coloring on cookies.
Coloring on cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

Baking Day continued with red, white and blue cupcakes. 

We were inspired by Ziploc Bag’s Patriotic Piped Tri-Colored Cupcakes, but they turned out to be more challenging than they looked.  So, we abandoned our pastry bags and spooned the colored batter into baking cups.  The result?  Still patriotic, fun and delicious.

*Tip:  Wear plastic gloves because colored batter is messy and stains.

1.  Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
1. Start with boxed cake mix. Separate batter into three bowls.
2.  Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl vanilla.
2. Add red food coloring to one bowl of batter and blue to another, leaving the third bowl plain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

3.  Transfer three bowls of batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored strips.
3. Spoon batter into three pastry bags (or Ziploc bags) OR skip this step and spoon colored batter into baking cups one at a time in colored stripes.

 

 

4.  Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags at all.
4. Seal pastry bags or Ziploc bags OR skip this step if not using bags.

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

5.  Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.
5. Tape bags together so batter can be piped at once OR skip this step.

 

Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.
Tri-colored cupcakes after baking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________

6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
6. Frost and decorate cupcakes. We used store-bought icing.
American Flag Fun!
American Flag Fun!

DIY Floral Arrangement

DIY Floral Arrangement
DIY Floral Arrangement

I love flowers and so does a friend who just celebrated her birthday.

When it comes to flowers, I usually just trim stems and place flowers in a vase.  But I got in the mood to dress up a pretty, ceramic bowl. This easy DIY Floral Arrangement is a perfect birthday, holiday or hostess gift as well as a centerpiece idea.

Happy creating (and Happy Holidays), hon!

Oasis floral foam.
Oasis floral foam.
Carnations and daisies.
Carnations and daisies.

 

 

 

 

 

Oasis cut to fit in small bowl.
Oasis cut to fit in  bowl.
Pretty in Peach!
Pretty in Peach!

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday bouquet.
Birthday bouquet.

Supplies:

1.  Vessel–this could be a bowl, vase, mug, glass or anything else you want to give as a gift.

2.  Floral Foam (Oasis)–can be purchased at a gardening center or craft store.

3.  Flowers–they must have sturdy enough stems to withstand being pushed into the foam.  I chose smaller flowers to complement the size of the bowl.

4.  Tape–the gardening center didn’t have floral tape so I used Scotch Tape.

5.  Pruning Shears or Scissors.

Steps:

1.  Cut floral foam to fit vessel.

2.  Sit foam in vessel and tape in place so it won’t shift.

3.  Trim flower stems to desired lengths.

4.  Insert flowers in foam, carefully, starting in the center and working your way out.

5.  Water flowers by pouring water in space between foam and vessel wall.  The foam will absorb a lot of water.  Holding flowers in place, pour off excess water.

Related Post:  DIY Clean-Lines Centerpiece

Please let me know if you have any floral arranging tips. I’d love to hear from you!

Mischievous-looking gnomes caught my eye at the garden center.
Mischievous-looking mini gnomes caught my eye at the garden center.