Ginger Snap cookies

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Ginger Snap cookies

Well, it’s the last day of November, that means it’s officially cookie baking season! Well, I use any excuse to bake cookies actually! I have my jam all made for presents, and this year I thought I would pair it with some shortbread and cookies, so I am looking for some new recipes to try.
We went to a friends party last night, and they had some delicious ginger cookies, and that got me to thinking that I have never made ginger snaps before, but they are one of my favourite cookies. And then, just this morning, I found this recipe in an email from the Yummy Mummy club…it must be a sign… so I thought I would give it a try!

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Here is the full recipe:

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Start by softening 1 cup of butter in the microwave (I usually microwave it for about 30 seconds) and beat it with 1 cup of brown sugar, and 1 1/4 cups of white sugar.

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Add a full cup of molasses, and beat for another couple minutes.

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Then beat everything until it is fluffy.

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Next, add 2 eggs and a tablespoon of vanilla extract and beat a few minutes more.

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Finally, add 4 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and 2 1/2 tsp of ground ginger. I just dumped everything on top of the batter and I used a fork to mix the ginger and baking soda with the flour before I mixed it together with the batter.

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I actually took another look at the recipe because four cups of flour seemed like too much, but it was right. It actually mixed right in without too much effort. It was really sticky, and gooey.

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Before I put it in the fridge, I spread it around the sides so it would hopefully cool faster.

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After 15 minutes, I set up a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bowl of sugar. The recipe said to refrigerate for 15 minutes, which I did, but 15 minutes wasn’t enough to cool it. I just kept putting it back in the fridge between batches.

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I rolled dough into balls in the palm of my hand, then I rolled them in the sugar and put on a cookie sheet.

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I spread them out about an inch and a half apart, then put them in the oven at 375 degrees.

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Check them out!

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OK, warm from the oven, these are the best ginger snaps i have ever had! They are sweet, but still have a sharp ginger taste.
I made the cookies a little smaller than the recipe said, so I only baked them for about 7 minutes. They came out perfect. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
I am so excited to make the rest of these… the only problem is that there is no chance that these will make it until christmas, and I am not even sure I want to give any away!

Pizza Fritta – or as we call it, Pizzetti

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Pizza Fritta – or as we call it, Pizzetti

I tried googling this, but came up a little more confused on what I should call this… so I am just going to call it what John’s mom calls it. Since she is actually from Italy, (and since she is my mother-in-law) I’m sticking with her name of Pizzetti. And besides, when she makes it, it is delicious!
What I am talking about is fried pizza dough. Whatever you call it, it is delicious, and pretty easy!
All you need is some canola oil, pizza dough, and salt, and if you are a little more adventurous, some anchovies.

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I guess you could make your pizza dough from scratch if you wanted to, (which John’s mom does sometimes) but this still tastes delicious with store bought fresh pizza dough.
Start by pouring enough Canola oil to cover the bottom of your frying pan, and give it a few minutes to heat up.
Then, pull off a couple tablespoons of dough at a time and try to stretch it out as best as you can without ripping it. I just use my hands, I don’t know how else you would do it…

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Then, drop them in the pan, and sprinkle them with a little salt.

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Let them cook until they are golden brown.

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And, flip them over to brown the other side. That’s it!
If you want to try them with anchovies, rip the anchovies into pieces (I use tiny pieces) and place them into the dough, then fold the dough in half to seal them in the middle for a little anchovy surprise! Note -not everyone enjoys the anchovy surprise, so I keep the anchovy ones on a different plate :)
Once they have browned on both sides, sprinkle a little more salt on and I let them cool on some paper towels.

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Just so you know, if you try skimping on the oil, they don’t really cook the same way. Instead of browning evenly, only the parts directly touching the frying pan will brown, and this is what they look like:

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Hey, if you are frying pizza dough, it’s not like you can even pretend it is healthy, so just add a little more oil and enjoy!
Make sure you serve these warm! They don’t taste the same at all cold. You can make them ahead of time and warm them up in the toaster oven.
They are great as an appetizer, or snack. They would be great with a dip too – maybe even some hummus (just don’t tall my mother in law) lol. I bet they would also be delicious with cinnamon sugar! mmmm

Inspirational Bathroom Wall

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Inspirational Bathroom Wall

I would like to think that every post I write is inspirational, but this one is particularly inspirational because I used a lot of my most favourite inspirational quotes. After we renovated the downstairs washroom (for the second time) It needed something on the walls. I think the washroom is the best place to put short inspirational quotes because you have a captive audience, with nothing better to do than read my walls! So, I was going to frame a bunch of quotes, but it honestly seemed like it would be too expesive, so I decided to make more of a mural or wall paper border instead. This is what the bathroom looked like after we finished installing the new vanity.

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Trust me, it looked a lot better than it did, but it needed some decorating. So, I started by searching on line and saving a whole pile of quotes that I like onto my camera roll (on my ipad). Then, I sent them to be developed, all 4 by 6 inch prints with white borders.

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I wanted to attach them to each other before taping them to the wall. I figured out that two horizontal photos will line up almost exactly with three vertical photos, so I taped the photos together in groups of eight.

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Then I taped the groups of eight together to make a border three photos wide. I used scotch tape for all of the taping on the backsides.

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Then, to tape them to the wall, I used masking tape. I figured it would do less damage to the walls.

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Then I continued all of the way around the bathroom.
I’m not sure how long I will keep it up for, but I think I like it!

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Now I guess it’s getting to be time to start on some Christmas projects!

Making a Mummy (actually a Mummy’s Mommy)

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Sam had the cool idea for her Halloween costume this year of being the Mommy of a mummy. She wanted to dress up like a mummy, and dress up one of her dolls too. So, we got down to some serious work the other night.
At fabricland, I bought 2 yards of the cheapest broadcloth fabric, which was I thing three dollars a yard. We ripped it into strips about an inch and a half wide. Sam loved ripping the fabric! I have to agree…. there is something theraputic about the sound and feel of ripping fabric apart. Anyways, we ripped a bunch of strips the length of the fabric.

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And we started with an old black shirt and track pants. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before we started gluing… we were just too excited to start!

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So, as seen in the pictures, she put on the black shirt and pants before we started gluing the strips. I used a low melt glue gun and started from the bottom, and wrapped around as loose as possible. We wanted to make sure she could take everything off and on after.

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Then, we used a second piece to wrap around the opposite way. I glued a tiny blob of hot glue every few inches.

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It took a while to glue down both legs, arms and the body…

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I have to admit that I should have wrapped a little more loosely around the body. To get out of the costume, Sam needs help and it is a little like escaping from a straight jacket. So, thinking that at some point during the day she might want to sit down, I decided that it would be a lot easier to make a little skirt, rather than wrap the rest of the pants. So, we took a strip of the broadcloth, and measured the length to her knees. We folded over the top to add elastic at the top, and left the bottom raw.

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Then, we ripped slits into the bottom.

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And, we glued down a few strips on top of the skirt…

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They using a grey marker, and a couple brown markers, I antiqued or aged the bandages by drawing a bunch of lines.

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And we hot glued a bunch of spiders. I also got a short string of spider lights from the dollar store that we wove into the bandages. I think that was one of my favourite parts, plus there will be no missing her at night when she is trick or treating!

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Finally, we mummified her doll, by covering her with strips of fabric too. I didn’t want to ruin the doll, so I was careful to not actually glue the strips directly on the doll.

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And… here is the final product….

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Happy Halloween!

Crocheted Infinity Scarf

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Crocheted Infinity Scarf

I have seen these infinity scarves all over Pinterest, and in every store, and fashion magazine lately. So, sooner or later, I had to make myself one! Sam has been bugging me to teach her how to knit, so I took her to Michaels yesterday. Of course, I ended up coming home with more yarn than she did. I loved the colour of this yarn, and it has even has sequins too! You can never have enough sparkle!

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I looked up a few patterns, and what I decided was that a length of about 6 feet would make a nice scarf that would wrap around three times. So I did a double foundation stitch to end up with a chain about 72 inches long. I used the biggest hook I could find which was a 7mm.

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I connected the two ends so it was a huge continuous loop, and crocheted a couple more rows. This is what it looked like..

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I had bought three balls of the yarn, so I just kept crocheting until I ran out of wool, which was five rows of double crochet, then I had just enough yarn left to add another row of single crochet. Here is the finished product:

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Because it was such a chunky yarn, and I used a pretty big hook, it turned out nice and fluffy, and the best part was that I had it done in less than a couple hours!
Every little bit of warmth helps me when I think about the long winter we have ahead of us. I know it’s only fall, but man am I looking forward to spring, I am not loving the Canadian winters the last few years!
Keep warm! -Unless of course you live in a country that is warm all the time… I am so jealous! :)

Stuffed Peppers

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Stuffed Peppers

So many things going on, so little time – I am busy making stuff all of the time, but just haven’t been doing enough writing! The good news is that I have no shortage of things to write about! Anyways, I think I will share a recipe today….
I have made various versions of this a few times. What I like about the recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, is an entire dinner, and it makes great left overs, so I always make a huge batch. I haven’t put any measurements in because quite honestly, I didn’t measure anything! It is not the kind of recipe that you need to measure…and substitutions work great too! Use whatever you have in the fridge!
I decided to make these because we had a pile of red peppers in the fridge that needed to be eaten.
So I washed them all, cut them in half and removed the seeds.

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I browned some ground chicken in a frying pan, and mixed it with some leftover rice, and some left over brocolli. (corn is also good too)

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Then, I made a couple boxes of stuffing, and mixed everything together…

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I added some greek seasoning, a bit of salt, and a couple eggs to hold it all together. Than, I spooned it into the red pepper shells.

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I sprinkled the tops with some cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.

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I popped them in the oven at about 360 degrees for about 1/2 hour.

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If I do say so myself, they were pretty good. They are healthy, low in fat, and contain all four food groups. They were just as good for lunch the next day and I put half of them in the freezer for later… yummy!

What to do with all of those tiny toys?

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What to do with all of those tiny toys?

After sorting out all of our toy boxes and the kids rooms, I was amazed at the pile of tiny toy pieces that we ended up with. Some of them were toy parts, some were freebees, and some I swear I have never seen before! I had them all bagged up, ready to donate, when I saw a fantastic idea!
Why can’t I make all of these little pieces into an Eye Spy game? I have these Eye Spy books at school that the kids love, so I thought, why not make a real life one? I am always looking for quiet activities for the kids at school.
Once again, my hoarding tendencies have paid off, because I have carefully washed and saved every sushi platter we have ever ordered! I had this huge party sized platter just waiting for a project like this! It even has a clear lid so the kids can’t pick off the toys.

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So I gathered up all of the little toys…

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I got out my glue gun, and started gluing! I started with the larger pieces. I had to make sure all of the toys were small enough so the lid would close.

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So after I glued all of toys down, I picked off all of the glue gun threads. I was pretty surprised how well the glue gun glue held everything down.
Then, I glued the lid down, so no little fingers are tempted to pick any of the toys off.

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Then, I took the tray to the computer and typed out a few lists of things to hunt for. When I ran out of ideas, I listed things like 4 things that start with s, and 3 yellow things.
Here is the finished product. I think the kids at school are going to love it!

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