Monday, November 17, 2014

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful!

It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  It's been very cold, and yesterday we even got an inch or so of snow!  I don't normally decorate quite this early, but our travel plans plus a late Thanksgiving mean that it was either now or the middle of December!  These are a couple of my favorite new additions.  The little feather tree has dried oranges and my applesauce cinnamon gingerbread men.  I ordered the little pillow through Etsy from Valley Primitives.  It's the third little pillow I've ordered from Kim.  I just love her work!  Plus, each ordered has included a piece of Ghiradelli chocolate in the package - can't beat that!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Primitive Christmas "Cookies"

 I've seen some really cute faux gingerbread men cookies on Pinterest this year, so I thought I'd try my own.  I used salt dough to make these three different cookie shapes.  Poor David...I'm not sure he shares my affection for fake cookies!  Especially when the house smells like real cookies.
 I made a bunch of stars and gingerbread men, and a few candy canes, but I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them.  I tried putting them in Mason jars but only the candy canes would fit through the opening.
Then I remembered some neat jars that I'd seen at the new At Home store.  The lid was a very shiny silver when I bought it, but a little black chalk paint followed by a light layer of brown and tan paint helped it look not so new.

Many craft projects look better in my head than when they're actually done, but this is one that turned out even better than I'd hoped!  And rolling out the dough every afternoon was a lot like playing with Play-Doh.  Not bad therapy after a day of work!

I started with the same basic salt dough for each shape:
1 cup salt
2 cups flour
1 cup water

For the stars, I added about a quarter cup cinnamon to the salt/flour before adding the water.  For the gingerbread men, I didn't add any cinnamon to the dough, but rubbed cinnamon, cloves, and or nutmeg onto them after they were cut out, before baking.  For the candy canes, I added cinnamon after the dough was mixed, so they have a few veins of cinnamon running through, but it's not mixed thoroughly.  The gingerbread men have clove eyes, and the red stripes for the candy canes were added with a barn red craft paint once they were dry.

After baking for an hour at 200, I left them to dry on racks for a few days before putting them in the jar.

Don't feel too bad for David...I did finally make a batch of real cookies for him last night.

I'm posting this on Anderson + Grant's Your Time to Shine link party.  Click over to see lots of great projects!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Holiday Confusion

I'm blaming Pinterest for my early approach to Christmas this year.  Pinterest, late Thanksgiving, and vacation plans are encouraging me to get a jump start.
 But first...while I was hunting my star cookie cutter, I found these cat and witch aluminum cookie cutters that my Grandmother gave me with a bunch of Christmas ones.  I'll pack them up with Halloween decorations so that I remember to get them out next year.
 I've been experimenting with recipes for ornaments/bowl fillers.  The stars were made of cinnamon salt dough.  I followed the recipe that is here, but added about a quarter of a cup of cinnamon to the dough.  They smelled wonderful while drying in the oven, but now their cinnamon smell isn't so strong.
Yesterday when I got home, I made the same salt dough, but left out the cinnamon.  Using a gingerbread man cookie cutter that I found at Dollar Tree, I cut out the little men then sprinkled cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves on top and rubbed it in a little bit.  They have clove eyes and buttons from the clove stems.  I like their quirky shape and think they turned out pretty well.

Next up...a couple more recipes.  One is applesauce and cinnamon, which I have done before, and then another for non-edible gingerbread men.  When I figure out my favorite, I'll post it on the Fremont Kitchen blog.