Valentine’s Day Fortune Cookies

Well,  I think the time has come to start giving you guys Valentine’s Day ideas. I’m really sorry that I ran out of steam for the end of the 25 Days of Christmas, but now there are some secrets to save for next Christmas 😉

So, I saw these perfect, adorable little fortune cookies that I was so excited to make for you guys. I was like: “this is great! What an adorable way to spend the day. You order chinese and just hang out, watch movies etc. Then, it’s fortune cookie time. Instead of finding a regular, boring tan one, that says “you will be hungry again in one hour” (true story, that really happened to me) you find a colorful one made with love by your significant other.

I clicked the link, and it brought me to a Martha Stewart project page entitled “Felt Fortune Cookies.” What in the world do you do with a felt fortune cookie?? And tell me that these little guys wouldn’t have fooled you too.

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Okay, maybe I should have guessed by the opened one in the corner with hershey kisses in it, but I just noticed that right now. I was super annoyed, but I thought “okay, I’ll still give it a chance. It might still be easy and cute.” So I take a trip to Michael’s, which is 20 minutes away and ti was snowing, by the way. I assemble all of the listed materials, which are: felt, ribbon, fabric shears, wire cutters and craft glue. I thought nothing of the fact that it required wire cutters but no wire. I got all of my materials home, and started the project.

“Step one: Using wire cutters, cut a piece of floral wire slightly shorter than the length of ribbon.”

Can I just take a poll of how many people have floral wire sitting around their house? What even is floral wire? Come on, Martha. Step it up.

So, then I was determined to find a fortune cookie recipe. As you know, I’m limited to what I can find on Pinterest only, because this blog is dedicated to helping you figure out what’s actually easy and what’s just labelled “easy” as a sick joke. I did find one pretty quickly, and I have a funny little story about it.

So I’ve been trying to come up with a fitness pin to blog about, because I mentioned in the very beginning that I would include those, and I haven’t yet because it’s really hard for me to work out at school. Now that I’m home and back at my regular gym, I can start to try again. I came across this pin that claimed to be a Jillian Michaels recipe for losing five pounds. Here it is:

I was like “oh, this is cool. I could totally do this for the blog.” So I pinned it to my “For the Blog” board and promptly moved on to my fortune cookie search. The first one that I found took me to a blog called “My Name is Yeh.” Ironically, the girl’s name is Molly so I’m kind of confused but she’s adorable, and I really like her blog.

OH it’s her last name. Continuing.

She has this fortune cookie recipe that she says is way better than restaurant ones. She also said it’s chewy though, so I’m a bit skeptical. Regardless, she posted a bunch of pictures of her finished product, and take a look at the one of the fortunes she wrote:

I was a little weirded out, considering I just pinned a juice cleanse to the blog board, so I went back to it and clicked the link. I got an error message telling me that the page was taken down due to a possible problem with the page’s content.

UMM WHO ARE YOU, MOLLY? GOD?

Anyway, I’m live-baking today, so I’m finding out about these fortune cookies as I write about them, just like live-crafting. Here’s the link so you can follow along without me having to explain eeeeverything. http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-the-carrot/189801/diy-fortune-cookies-for-christmas/

Okay, all of my ingredients are together. They’re not too crazy, but I did make a couple adjustments. I used cinnamon and nutmeg rather than cardamom, because I didn’t know what it was and the internet said this was a substitute. I also am adding red food coloring to make them more Valentine’s Day-like.  I also have to separate more eggs! I’m glad I had that miserable meringue experience now 🙂

Okay, so I mixed all of my dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, and I’m about to mix them, but I’m a little skeptical about how this little bit of liquid is going to mix with aaaall of that flour and sugar.

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Aaaaand I was right. I’m very confused. This is not a batter, it’s dough. That’s fine if it works, but her mix looks like she’s making pancakes and mine looks like I’m baking cookies. I’m gonna go with it.

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I’m using the mason jar method that she mentioned to get the right shape and size. I took it off of a decorative one that my sister has in her room. Shhh, don’t tell her.

Oh my God it’s so sticky.

Okay, so I have three set up on parchment paper, and I’m moving them to a tray to put them in the oven for their 5-7 minutes.

It’s taking longer than five minutes…longer than 7 minutes…okay 8 minutes to turn golden brown. The problem is, they look like regular cookies. They’re too thick and unfoldable.

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In addition to not looking like a fortune cookie, it tasted like way too many spices and it kind of gave me a headache. I threw the rest of the batter out. Also, I just realized I forgot to put in the red food coloring anyway. Duh. Well, I’m clearly out of practice. I haven’t baked since my last blog. Ugh, ya live and learn I guess. I may try to find another recipe for fortune cookies to see if this was something I did wrong or if Molly is in fact not God. If I do, you’ll be the first to know!

See you next week!

Love,

Nicole ♥

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Day 22: Caramel Filled Snickerdoodles

These sounded absolutely heavenly, and they were so simple that I couldn’t resist. Who doesn’t love a nice warm caramel cookie on a cold winter day?

It’s still 60 degrees, but I’m asking you to just please play along for me. 

All you need for this recipe is chewy caramel candies, SEAMLESS crescent dough from Pillsbury, and cinnamon sugar. And also a cookie sheet and parchment paper, but whatever. 

Here’s what you do, in picture form:

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I was really excited, because I was absolutely sure that these were going to come out flawless. I actually sprinkled some more cinnamon sugar over the outside before I put them in, too. Then they came out of the oven (which should be preheated to 350) after 12 minutes, and this is what I saw:

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Aaaaaand then I was heartbroken. But all hope was not lost: I picked one up, and it turns out that they weren’t nearly as bad as they looked. They just leaked, but they weren’t ruined, so I consider this to be four pins in a row that did NOT fail! Now this HAS to be a record for me. The only problem though, was that I really didn’t like the taste as much as I thought I would. That’s not up to me though, it’s up to you to decide. If you try it, let me know what you think! Maybe they’re delicious, and I’m the one missing out 🙂

See you soon!

Love, 

Nicole ♥

Day 21: Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice

This recipe is too sweet for most people I know, but those words are not in my vocabulary, so naturally it’s one of my favorites 🙂 If you’ve never tried it, it’s worth at least one try, and this copycat recipe is a great way to do that.

Today my Christmas present from Lindsay, my best friend at school (you guys remember Lindsay; she knows how to make peanut butter cookies) came in the mail. It presented the perfect opportunity for me to make a nice hot drink for a cold winter day 🙂 

Actually, it’s about 60 degrees Fahrenheit right now, in the middle of December, but who’s really paying attention. 

Look how cute it is!

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It was so funny because when I was online buying her present, I saw this mug and I put it IN my shopping cart but I decided that I didn’t have enough money for it at the moment, so I just bought her gift. I was upset though, because not only does this mug make a super cute tired face, IT TURNS INTO A HAPPY FACE WHEN YOU PUT A HOT DRINK IN IT :O Sure enough, this little guy showed up on my doorstep a few days later 🙂 It was a Christmas miracle 😛 And in her card she wrote something like “this was so cute and just a little bit corny so I knew you’d love it.” She knows me too well.

Anyway, since I now have an adorable coffee mug, I knew I had to make this recipe. All you need is apple juice, water, cinnamon, brown sugar, whipped cream and caramel sauce. 

You take the 1/2 cup of water, teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of brown sugar and simmer them in a pot for five minutes to make a cinnamon-y syrup thing. Mine looked like this:

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Then, you heat up your apple juice. I could have heated it up on the stove like I was told, but I didn’t want to get another one dirty so I did this instead:

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Whatever works, right? So once your apple juice is heated up, you add the syrup to it. The ratio they gave me in the recipe was 3 tablespoons of syrup for 12 ounces of juice. 12 ounces didn’t quite fit in the mug, so unfortunately I had to wake up my math brain, but it ended up working out. Once that’s all mixed together, you add your whipped cream and caramel syrup on top, and that’s it!

I’ve had three pins in a row work out for me. I think this is a new record. Here’s the final product, in my new favorite mug ♥

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See you soon!

Love, this happy girl 

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Day 20: Christmas Tree Pop-Out Card

For Day 20, I took on another pop-out card, but with a different style from yesterday’s. Remember those paper fans you used to make in the summer when you were a kid? You’d fold a piece of paper back and forth a bunch of times until you had one of these?

Well, this card is based on that exact same thing. Here’s the pin I based mine off of:

DIY: 3-D christmas tree card - Click image to find more DIY & Crafts Pinterest pins

See what I mean about the fans? This looked super easy until I realized that I had no way of really being able  to measure how big each fan should be. That was my biggest struggle with this project. But, lets start from the beginning, shall we? I promised you that I would tell you about my page-coloring breakthrough today. 

All you need for this project is card stock, regular printer paper, scissors, and some method of coloring the pieces. Instead of using colored pencils this time, I went to Microsoft Word on my computer and created a text box that filled the entire page. Then, there’s a button that says “shape fill,” and you click on it and choose the color that you want. I really liked the pale yellow that the pinner used in the example pin above, so I used a similar one. Then, all you have to do is print the page! It uses a lot of ink, but it saves us all from getting carpal tunnel so it may be worth it in the end. 

Now comes the fan part. Here’s what I ended up doing: I used the same coloring method to get a green piece of paper, and now I’ll show you with pictures. I’m not live crafting today, so I’ll be showing you with another piece of plain white printer paper. 

Fold it into 8 pieces, like this, by folding it in half, half, half, etc. Image

You’ll cut off one of these strips for your first fan, and then make it. That’ll give you your littlest top piece. Then cut off one and a half strips and do the same thing. Then two, then two and a half, then three, etc until you have five fans. That’s really all there is to it! Then you just glue them to your piece of card stock, and you can add a trunk and a star if you’re so inclined. Here’s a picture of my finished product, and I love it! It’s one of my favorite crafts that I’ve done because it almost looks like I could have bought it somewhere. Now all I need to do is put something on the front of it!

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Love, 

Nicole♥

Day 19: Christmas Present Pop-Out Card

Hi, pinaholics!

For day 19 I’m going to show you one of my favorite Christmas cards. It’s based on this one here, but I had to change it a little bit because of my available supplies, or lack thereof.

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Basically, for this one you just need two pieces of card stock, scissors and whatever else you want to decorate with. I used colored pencils and my very favorite: glitter! 🙂 Here’s what you have to do:

First, you take one of your pieces of paper and cut about a half inch off of each side. This will be your inside piece that stays white. Then take your other piece, and color it however you choose. I liked the red, so I made mine red too, but I didn’t have red paper so  I colored mine with colored pencil the same way I did when I made the Reindeer in the Dark Card on Day 8. For Day 20, I get a little smarter, and you may have already come up with this idea if we’re in the same predicament, but if I have to be stupid until the next post, so do you.

Once your bigger piece of paper is colored to your liking, we start cutting. Or rather, measuring and drawing and then cutting. It gets a little bit tricky to explain here, so pay close attention. Take your small paper and fold it in half vertically (hot dog style, if you will). Then, draw this on the outside of it, on the creased side, and make that cut on the top if you want a little bow at the top of your presents.

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I made each present a half inch wider and longer than the last present. You don’t have to do it that way, but it worked out pretty perfectly for me. Next, you start cutting. Cut along the whole top line that you drew. And then see how the next line down is longer because it’s the top of the second present? Only cut up to where the END of the FIRST present would be. This picture might help you get it:

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Now, open up the card. See where the crease is? Re-fold the crease in the opposite direction, and crease the ends of the present so it has crisp edges. It’ll look like this:

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Look at your first present! How cute, right? Now, fold it back up, and we’ll do the second and third ones. You see how when you fold it back up, all that’s left of that top line of the second present is the part that we didn’t cut before? Now is the time to finish that line. Then, cut the next line down all the way to the end, just like the first line you cut. Open the card up again, do the same folding you did for the first one, and now you’ll have two presents! Repeat those steps again, and you’ll have three, just like this!

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The last major step is to glue the small piece of paper to the larger, colored piece of paper. Then, it’s up to you to decorate it however you want to! this is what I did with mine, and I love it!

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So that’s Day 19! Only six more days of the 25 Days of Christmas Craftactular. I just made that up right now. My God, I’m clever. Just come to me when it’s time to name your children.

Well, if that doesn’t scare you away, I guess nothing will, so I’ll see you on Day 20.

Love,

Nicole ♥

Day 18: Christmas Tree Meringue

Well, I learned a few things today while trying to create this:

Christmas Tree Meringues

1. How to separate an egg– WkiHow has several methods. One of them was to use a funnel because the yolk will stay and the white will drip through. This is true, but only if the yolk doesn’t block the hole WHICH ALWAYS HAPPENS. There’s a better method, and it’s to break the egg shell in half, or as close to half as possible. Keep transferring the egg from one side to the other until all of the white has dripped out into a bowl underneath you. You need a bigger bowl than you think you do, because two egg whites fluffs up A LOT when you start beating it with an electric mixer.

2. “Meringue” is a fancy, french-sounding word for fluffy egg white and sugar- Once you’ve beaten two the eggs literally to death, you start gradually adding “finely granulated sugar.” I thought that meant confectioner’s sugar, so that’s what I used. I don’t really know if that’s what it means. Then you add half a teaspoon of green food coloring for the Christmas tree color. After you beat the eggs, they’ve already expanded to fill a lot more of the bowl than I thought they would. When you start mixing in the sugar, it just changes from a bubbly light consistency to a thick paste. The directions said to keep going until it forms “peaks” that are solid. I don’t know what that means, and my hand was getting tired, so I decided that I saw solid peaks and moved on to the next step. Mine looked like this, but I think that it’s not supposed to look like that. I can’t tell you what the right way is, honestly.

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3. When they say you need a piping bag, they’re not lying- The next step was to transfer the mixture into a piping bag. Well, if I knew I needed a piping bag I probably wouldn’t have even taken on this recipe because I don’t own one. Or maybe I could’ve gotten one while I was at Michaels like an HOUR before I started this project. I plowed through this dilemma though, and used a Ziploc bag as a piping bag. I just cut a hole in the corner. Then I read on and found out that it was supposed to be a star shaped hole. I said “screw it” and started piping. This is my piping bag:

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4. Meringue is a pointless, irritating recipe- Well, maybe all of those things that I neglected or changed turned out to be important, because when I tried to start piping out my cute little Christmas trees, I got this:

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Beautiful, right? I missed my calling as a chef, I think. I didn’t even bake it, although if you want to try, you need to do it at 250 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour. Although I’m telling you now that apparently you need to be a talented baker to pull this off. Oh well, better luck on my next recipe.

That’s a wrap for day 18, (no pun intended but…wrap…hah…like wrapped presents…) so I’ll see you tomorrow!

Love,

Nicole ♥

Day 17: Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

In other words: melted chocolate chips plus milk and red food coloring. Very easy, also very pointless. But it did look really cute in the end if you wanna take a look:

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If you’re still reading after my oh-so-convincing intro, here’s how this happened. All you need is milk, semi sweet chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla extract and red food coloring. And a whisk and a saucepan. If you follow the recipe that can be found on my Pinterest board (as always for those who weren’t aware…all of the projects that I take on are pinned on my Pinterest board called “For the Blog” and the link to my Pinterest can be found on my “Meet the Blogger” page) you’ll find that it serves five. I cut the recipe in half, and that half of a recipe served maaaybe two. Maybe I had an extra large mug; I don’t know. Either way, here’s what I did:
I put the milk and sugar in the saucepan. My first question: how am I supposed to know when the sugar is dissolved in the milk? I just stirred a lot and hoped for the best.
Then you’re supposed to turn off the heat on the stove and melt the chocolate in the mixture.
How am I supposed to melt the chocolate if the heat is off? I understand that the milk should be hot by this point, but not hot enough to completely liquefy five ounces of chocolate. I kept the heat on, just very low and with constant stirring while it melted.
Then you add the vanilla and the food coloring. Turns out, I didn’t have enough food coloring, so mine turned into some kind of odd purplish color.

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Honestly, it doesn’t even look all that purple, either. If I didn’t know that there was supposed to be dye in it, I probably wouldn’t question it.
Anyway, then I just poured it into a cute little (or apparently not so little) mug and added whipped cream. I didn’t make my own like the recipe suggested, because I already had reddi whip in the fridge and I’m lazy. I tasted it, and it was EXTREMELY rich. All I could taste was the semi sweet chocolate, and it was too much for me personally. I’m sure that’s exactly what some people want, but I’m used to Swiss Miss powder mixed with water. I also didn’t use whole milk as the recipe said; I used 1%. I don’t know if that could have had anything to do with it.
Anyway, I have an announcement! It’s true that this blog is essentially a series of unfortunate events, but some of my projects have come out really well, and most if not all of my recipes fail simply because I suck. It is for these reasons that I’ve decided to start selling some of the better crafts in my Etsy store! Right now the only one available is the map craft, and you can personalize it with your own cities. However, if people like the idea, I may add more products!
I hope you’re having a great week-before-Christmas! I’ll see you tomorrow.
Love,
Nicole❤️