July 2011 archive

Glamorous Glitter Glory

Confession: today I went to Michael’s to wander around aimlessly and pretend {for 20 seconds} that I didn’t have tons of responsibilities waiting for me at home. Is that terrible?

First, let’s discuss Michaels. Have you been? Am I the only person who thinks it is the most hilariously depressing place on the planet. Most of my experiences there {including today’s} should pretty much be scripted, produced and shot into a Saturday Night Live skit. They are that ridiculous, I swear. Today I asked where the glue guns were and the sales lady stared at me like I had 3 heads. Really people, glue guns? Sadly, I live for Michaels because a. it’s pretty much around the corner, and b. there are no other art supplies stores in the vicinity. So alas, to Michaels I went.

Second, Michaels seems to have become Martha Stewart heaven. I think this is the only part of the entire experience that makes Michaels somewhat bearable. I literally went into 2 entirely Martha aisles. It was like taking an alcoholic into a bar. I could not stop myself from wanting everything. But one particular product seems to be the Martha trend right now, and I’m ready to hop on the bandwagon: GLITTER.



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Oh Martha has so much glitter you can’t believe it. There’s sparkly glitter in nearly 50 colors. Tinsel glitter. Glitter glue. Chunky glitter. Metallic microbead glitter. A glittering tray. And adhesives and glues for glittering that come in millions {ok maybe that is an exaggeration} of tip sizes, widths and designs. It is literally glitter heaven. It made me drool.

And I hate glitter. I mean I love to hate it. When I was the arts and crafts director for a summer at camp {cue Timber Ridge friends laughing at me} glitter was my nemesis. I think I spent eight straight weeks with a piece of glitter somewhere on my face. Glitter multiplies. It’s nearly impossible to clean. And yet somehow we {as a society} have decided that it is a perfect medium for small kids to play with.

Ok, enough of my rant. I’m a total hypocrite but I’m going back to glitter. Yes people. I am going to undertake a Martha project. Here {on her fabulous website} I found a template for how to make your own glitter painting {using the hundreds of glitter accoutrements that Martha purveys at that fine establishment called Michaels}. The plan is to do one of this photo of R and M {which we will talk more about tomorrow}. This is what happens when you add it to Martha’s “glitter photo uploader” {yes this does exist and no it is not already a Saturday Night Live routine}. They even tell you what colors you’ll need {and now that I own the glitter mega-set due to the inability to just browse without incessantly buying things, I’m ready to go!}.



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Wish me luck and may the glitter be with you.

xoxo,

Niki

Cakery Friday: Chocolate Fudge

Do you remember when you were in high school and your friends made a huge deal about your birthday? You would walk around school with balloons, sweet treats and zillions of cards. Well, I had a “famous” gift that I would bring to all of my friends: homemade fudge! I guess I have always known baking was in the cards.

The deal went like this: I made fudge, my family licked the bowl. We had it down to a science.

While sifting through cookbooks in my parents house last week, I came across the very recipe I made hundreds of time in high school. I quickly realized that I must make a batch of this fudge to see 1. if it was half as good as I recall it being and 2. if I actually had a clue what I was doing back then. The answers.:  1. yes, this is truly that good {sickeningly sweet with a slightly grainy texture. Yum!}; and 2. clearly I was well on my way to become a pastry chef.



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{not the most beautiful recipe, but it’s what inside that counts!}

Gather all of the ingredients. {4 ingredients and a cooking time of 10 minutes, count me in!}



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In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter and finally stir in 6 ounces of semisweet chocolate {I used mini chips simply because that is what I had on hand}.



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Put the pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly.



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Do not let the contents of the saucepan come to a boil until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted. Then increase the heat slightly and let the mixture boil for about 5 minutes, or until it reaches the soft-ball stage {approximately 220 degrees}.



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Remove the fudge from the heat, dip the bottom of the pan in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and beat it until it is thick. Pour it into a buttered 8 inch pan and allow to cool.



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Try your very hardest to not eat the entire pan. Trust me, this is no easy feat!



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Happy Fudging!



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xoxo,

Ali

Happiness Is:

A carnation centerpiece that looks easy enough that I might {emphasis on the word might} even be able to do it myself. {Totally makes me to want relive a 3rd grade science experiment and put carnations into water dyed with food coloring! Did you do that?}



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{via Martha}

xoxo,

Niki



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