Valentine’s Day Candy Molds!

Hi guys!

So, this semester is supposed to be my craziest one yet. So far it is, but not for the right reasons.

I’m taking almost all psychology classes, and I have a job with a psych professor (I assume you’re all applauding) BUT since the very first day of classes after winter break, we’ve been bombarded by snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm. There have been almost as many snow days as class days (and we’re expecting another storm today, of course). That might sound fun, but I’m soooo not about it anymore. And I’m not the only one, either. My cousin made this her profile picture on Facebook:

Plus, I’m one of those people who can’t function without structure, and so Wednesday and Thursday both being snow days seriously made my brain hurt.

My friend Alli and I are alike in that way, so we’ve been suffering together, spending endless hours in the library doing work that hasn’t been assigned yet. Everyone off campus has supposedly lost power from this last storm, and they even made our Health Sciences building into a shelter for residents of our town. We had figured it was too dangerous to leave, until we hit rock bottom on our boredom scale. We had to get out, and naturally we ended up at the craft store.

Our friend Jill has a car on campus, so we took the bus down to the parking lot where she keeps it. The temperature was that painful level of cold where your eyes tear and then the tears freeze to your face, and we missed the first bus so we had to wait for another one. When we got there, her car was buried under like, three inches of snow and a layer of ice above it. The people in the parking spot across from her were also trying to dig their car out, and it kind of turned into a ruthless competition of who was going to get out first. The two girls kept giving us looks from the backseat of their nice warm car while the three of us hacked away at Jill’s car and their guy friend handled theirs. In the end, they got out first. But we were there first so technically we still win.

It pretty much felt like we were in the middle of “Frozen,” and I was starting to get really nervous about the roads. I got into a bad accident a few years ago because of black ice, so it freaks me out a lot. But as soon as we got out to the highway, everything was dry as a bone. There were no trees down, no wires down, and I only noticed a few buildings that seemed to be out of power. The Michael’s that we go to is in a giant strip mall (it’s really like a series of strip malls…it’s like an adorable little neighborhood full of every store you could ever want. I love it there!) and everything seemed to be up and running. I don’t really understand how we ended up in a state of emergency and all this stuff. 

We ended up in that section of the store for cake decoration and candy making. They have molding chocolate (well, most of them are vanilla flavored, but they also had chocolate and peanut butter) in every color and you can choose which ones you want and a mold to put them in. They have molds for lollipops, pretzels, or just plain candy, and they’re super cheap. There was a package with like hundreds of shapes in it for $9.99, and the candy wasn’t bad either. 

We got back to campus without incident, and here’s the best part of this project: We didn’t have to sign out the kitchen! You can literally do this right in your dorm room. Here’s what ya do:

1. Melt the molding candy stuff in the microwave the way it says on the package. Don’t deviate from those directions, because if you do it too long, it’ll burn. When it burns it smells bad and can start a fire and gets chunky, not liquid-y. We got red and pink candy, and here’s what it looked like before and after melting (we mixed colors for fun, but yours will be a solid shade if you use one color)

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2. Put the melted candy in the molds. We used a spoon, but they suggest a piping bag because it’s more precise. We’re dorm chefs, we don’t have piping bags sitting around. We’re lucky if we have spoons lying around, actually. 

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3. Once all of the molds are filled, you can even off the tops if you want to, but we didn’t bother. We put them right in the freezer and waited for a while until they had hardened back up. 

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4. Once they’re solid again, you can pop them right out and eat them right away! Here’s how ours turned out:

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They’re not all perfect, but we are first-time candy makers. I can’t wait to try this again, because they can be so impressive but it’s so so so so easy. We did this in like a half hour in four easy steps. Then, we went around our building offering them to our friends and even some strangers 🙂 It was a lot of fun!

So if any of you are as single as I’m going to be this Friday, there’s still something you can do. Make these cute little guys and spread some Valentine’s Day love to everyone around you. Candy is much better than boys anyway 😉

Oodles and oodles of love,

Nicole ♥

Bite Sized Apple Pies

Hello darlings!

I want to start by showing you my five favorite pins from this week. I think I’m going to start doing this with all of my posts, because it might inspire you! 🙂 These aren’t going to follow my pattern of easy things that I can show you how to make (or how NOT to make) but they’re still fun! I’ll do a food one, a clothing/accessory one, a home decor one, a wedding one (my very favorite even though I’m a good five years from acceptable marriage age) and maybe a random, like a cute puppy. Or Channing Tatum. We could all use some Channing Tatum in our lives.

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As we recover from the fainting that I’m sure we all just did, here are my top five pins this week 🙂

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Hotline in Nude by Chinese Laundry $70 pinned from Heels.com

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Glen Oaks pinned from Houzz.com

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Cilantro Lime Shrimp pinned from Lanascooking.com

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Elegant Sweetheart Ball Gown Wedding Dress $299 pinned from weddingdressbee.com

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Pinned from “Best Earth Pics” on Twitter

Those are the pins from this week that made my heart hurt I wanted them so badly. Yes, I even want the elephant. Better get rich quick. And move to Africa.

Anyway, the challenge this week was Bite Sized Apple Pies, as you may have deduced from the title of the post. I thought I would make a fall-themed dessert to celebrate the beginning of October 🙂 Each week this month, I’ll be taking on a Halloween or autumn themed pin. I have them all mapped out already and I’m so pumpedddd!

This week’s apple pie pin took me to this link: http://cookinupnorth.blogspot.com/2011/09/bite-size-apple-pies-from-taste-of-home.html and it’s a cute blog by a lady named Laurie who really REALLY enjoys her home “up north.” Now, care to venture a guess as which end result belongs to me and which belongs to Laurie?

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Honestly, even though they aren’t exactly pretty, they tasted pretty delicious. The most amazing part of the whole thing is that when I brought all of my ingredients down to the kitchen in my dorm building, I neglected to bring the recipe. And the dorm kitchen has the weirdest assortment of useless items that I’ve ever seen. There’s no peeler and no brush thingy to spread stuff, but you better believe there was a whole drawer dedicated to grill utensils. There’s no grill anywhere near my building. So, I had to spread my melted butter like this:

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and peel my apples like this:

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And the counter space that you see here is the only counter space in the whole kitchen. And I thought my room was small.

Anyway, let’s start at the beginning. Here’s the recipe Laurie used, with my edits.

  • ½ c sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • If the grocery store happens to somehow be out of cinnamon, (what?!) just substitute cinnamon sugar. It eliminates a need for sugar, and you don’t have to mix them together so in the end it saves time.  
  • 1 pkg refrigerated pie crust (mine came with two 8-inch round crusts, worked perfectly)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter divided (Don’t know what “divided” means- didn’t bother with it)
  • 2 medium tart apples sliced into 8 wedges each (I got green apples because I heard they’re “tart” but Laurie used red ones)

If you do it my way, you can just unroll the pie crust on a lightly floured surface. What’s that? You didn’t get any flour because that wasn’t in the list of materials? Join the club. It’s okay though, it didn’t make a difference to me. Then, melt your butter and brush it all over the crust. Next, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over it, and slice it into 8 slices, about one inch thick. Now, you can set that aside.

BUT DON’T SET IT ASIDE ON THE STOVE BECAUSE THE OVEN SHOULD BE PREHEATING (at 425, by the way) AND THE STOVE WILL BE HOT ENOUGH TO MELT YOUR CRUST! Yeah, it’s a good thing the package came with two pie crusts. I only got to make half the recipe though, which meant that an apple went to waste.

Next, you need to deal with your apples. If you have a handy dandy apple slicer like I have at home, this should be a piece of cake. At school though, it was a little bit harder because I had to use an old dull knife to cut through the core of an apple. Since there was no peeler, I also had to use that same knife to peel the skin off. Laurie said that she kept the skin on because she liked the color, but I was worried it would make the texture a little tougher or something, so I peeled it off. Then, all you have to do is roll each little apple up in the slices of dough you just made, and brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with some more cinnamon sugar. If you’re me though, and you’re brushless, you’ll find a slotted spoon and dip each pastry in a bowl of butter. I actually thought it was pretty clever of me.

Then you just pop them in the oven for 13 minutes! If everything had gone as planned, which it never does of course, this would have been done in under a half hour. Regardless, they were delicious and easy. Look at these cute little guys!IMG_1597

Well, I hope you enjoy your Bite Sized Apple Pies, and I hope you have an absolutely fabulous October! Keep track of how many days are left until Halloween with my nifty countdown in the sidebar 😉

Stay wonderful ♥

~Nicole