Valentine’s Day Fortune Cookies

Well, ย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.ย 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. ย I also have to separate more eggs! I’m glad I had that miserable meringue experience now ๐Ÿ™‚

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’mย 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 โ™ฅ

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Day 11: Candy Cane Heart Lollipops!

So Day 11 is dedicated to an easy little recipe that you can do not only for Christmas, but also Valentine’s Day, or any other day if you happen to keep candy canes in the house year round ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

You’ll need:

Mini candy canes

White chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate because I already had them in the house…my car was in use by my dad because it’s only my car when he says it can be my car…I think white chocolate is prettier and more delicate looking though)

Sprinkles- in any color or shape that you feel is Christmas-y or appropriate for the occasion

Some sort of stick that should be oven safe for three minutes

It’s really simple, but the result is pretty fragile. Here’s what I came out with in the end:

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But here’s what I came out with when I was actually just finished. It’s honestly really cute, and it can definitely be done the right way if you’re a little more careful with it than I was:

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Even in this picture though, you’ll notice it’s a little cracked at the bottom. It’s okay though. Like I said, it can be done but you have to be more talented and patient than me. Well either way, here’s what ya do.

First, preheat the oven to 300. Put your two candy canes on a tray, and have them touching either side of the stick so they’re shaped like a heart. Melt your chocolate chips, and fill up the whole center. Then, stick it in the oven for just three minutes! When you pull it out, add your sprinkles and put it in the fridge until it hardens. BUT make sure your candy canes are touching the stick before it cools! I put mine away to cool for like a half hour, and it was rock solid, which was good, but probably most of the reason why it cracked. And after all that effort I put into making a place for it in the fridge…

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When it had hardened, I used a toothpick to kind of scrape it off of the pan. There was probably a better method, because that’s how I broke it, but I don’t know what that better method might have been. Maybe using parchment paper instead of the plain tray. It probably would’ve peeled right off. You live and learn, I guess.ย 

In the end, I wouldn’t call this one a complete failure. It looked cute for about 30 seconds, and when it broke, my sister ate half of it and said it was good. I consider that a win.ย 

So, let me know what you think! If you try it, I always like to hear how it came out for you!ย 

See you guys ASAP!

Love,

Nicoleโ™ฅ

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Day 9: Paper Cutouts are Classier Than You Think

Well, probably not but I’m still gonna try to convince you.

Today I’m going to show you some things that helped brighten up my dorm room for the holidays, and all it took was printer paper, sharpies and scissors. And technically a pencil and a hole punch and stencils and thumb tacks and glitter BUT that’s not important. The important thing is that if you have a normal functioning desk, you probably have 98.3% of these objects. That’s an actual statistic that I worked out. Trust me, I’m a psych major. We do a lot of statistics.

Take a look at what I did with primarily regular paper:

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I’m thinking of making a snowman and a Christmas tree to go on either side of the word “merry,” but I also only have two days left of school before Winter Break, so I feel like it would be a little bit pointless to add more decor.

The point of this post is that you can make decorations for literally zero dollars. Technically, I didn’t even use stencils. I know this is absolutely terrible and you’re never supposed to do this, but I did it super lightly so it’s okay. I just found the images I needed online and traced them on top of my computer :O :O :O

I know you’re not even supposed to touch your screen. You probably shouldn’t do what I did. Hopefully you’re talented and can draw what you need. But as you can see, I got a pretty classy looking ornament out of that, and I was also able to make those cute letters, which would look much better if that empty wall wasn’t so gigantic.

I’m thinking tomorrow that I’ll make some paper snowflakes to show you. I can hang them from my ceiling and leave them up all winter, like my roommate and I did last year! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s another thing that has such a dramatic effect on a room and all you need is paper and scissors. I’ll see you tomorrow for that project!

Day 6: Peppermint Christmas Tree!

Today I took on a rather painful project.

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It was seriously painful to not eat these mints. I love them so much. I’m that sneaky bitch who takes a whole handful at restaurants. Wanna know what I learned though? Shop Rite sells them by the bag, and sometimes they have specials where you can get two bags for $3 :O

But you actually need three bags. Actually you only need like six mints from the third bag which is so frustrating because GUESS WHO ONLY BOUGHT TWO BAGS?

But guess who was also really proud to be a sneaky bitch who takes a whole handful at restaurants ๐Ÿ˜‰ I ended up scrounging up enough JUST enough to finish the project. I had one to spare, actually.

So, for today you’ll need a few things. Those Starlight mints, a cone shaped Styrofoam thingy from Michaels, and hot glue. Here’s a picture of my setup:

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It was a little intimidating for me to start this one. There’s something that just seems so wrong about gluing food to Styrofoam. I got over it though, and once I did the first one I found a rhythm of unwrapping and gluing, unwrapping and gluing………

unwrapping and gluing……………………………………..

THEN after I got all the way to the top (this includes the hunt for floater mints around the house) I realized that the top looked really dumb. It just seemed to end really abruptly, and I couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong to make it not look like the pin. Then I looked at the pin again:

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AND I THOUGHT I WAS A SNEAKY BITCH! They oh-so-conveniently left the whole awkward top part out. So, I improvised and found myself a present bow to stick on top like a star at the top of a real tree ๐Ÿ™‚ My version doesn’t look quite as polished as the original, clearly, but I still think it came out really cute. I wish I had a cute candlestick thing like they did, but I really think it looks fine without one. I guess it depends on how classy you’re trying to be, and a dorm room is not exactly the picture of sophistication. To bring that point home, let me show you really quick how I transported this creation back to school with me:

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Ta-daaaa! Well, there’s day six for you. Sorry about the delay in posting. Hopefully days 7-25 go a little more smoothly, but eeehh I can’t make any promises. I’ve always been the kind of person who gets really excited about a new endeavor and then is disheartened and frustrated 30 seconds later.

Obviously that would never happen here. I’m patting myself on the back right now for ending this post on a high note.

Wait! I have a high note: HAPPY FRIDAY! Now that’s how you end a blog post.

Love always,

Nicole โ™ฅ

Day 4: Mason Jar with Epsom Salt Snow

Are you guys feeling jolly yet? I don’t know about you, but doing something Christmas related every single day really puts me in the spirit ๐Ÿ™‚ It might also have to do with the constant Christmas music playing in my room or the million decorations I put up. I can tell you one thing though: it’s got nothing to do with finals week which is looming ominously ahead.

Anyway, today is another super easy craft. It’s this sweet mason jar!IMG_2143[1]

You guys can put your own spin on this, which is why it’s so fun! The only things that you pretty much have to have are the jar and the candle. I used a fake one because it’s dorm safe, but if you’re allowed to have real candles, go for it! Aside from that, you can do almost whatever you want.

The title says Epsom Salt snow because that’s what the description said in the pin that I got this idea from. And it really does look like snow! However, I just got lucky and had some around the house. (I was home for Thanksgiving when I did this project) You can use whatever you have lying around that looks like snow to you (salt, sugar, etc). I would not recommend using bits of paper if you’re using a real candle. Just a friendly heads up ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, all you have to do is pour the amount of “snow” that you want in your jar, and put the candle in. My little sister had some silver glitter in her room, so I sprinkled some of that in with my snow to give it some extra sparkle! I really love that little touch. Then, all I did was tie some red sparkly ribbon around the neck of the jar, and I was done! When I turn it on at night, it adds the sweetest warm glow to my room. I don’t even think I’ll want to take it down after the holiday season is over ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

My sister helped me with this project, and we went a little crazy with the mason jar ideas. Here are some more things we came up with!

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So cute, right?! Look at that snowman! I can’t take credit for that one, but I wish I had one of those for my room too!

I hope you enjoyed Day Four! Be sure to come back tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ See you then!

Love,

Nicoleโ™ฅ

Day 3: Sprinkle Filled Ornament

Want me to show you the easiest thing you’re going to do all day today?

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It’s this adorably festive ornament! Here’s what you need: Sprinkles and a plain ornament. Here’s what you do: pour the sprinkles in the plain ornament.

THAT’S IT ๐Ÿ˜€

Well, not really. I mean yes, it’s done, but I’m not done talking ๐Ÿ™‚

Note that this is a REALLY heavy ornament. I lied when I said it was done, because I actually added Gorilla Glue to the part of the ornament that opens. It was going to pop right off if I tried to hold it up without securing it somehow.

HAHA now everyone who didn’t want to listen to me talk more has a million little sprinkles all over their floor. Joke’s on you guys! Always read all the directions before starting a project ๐Ÿ™‚

You can always substitute the rainbow sprinkles for more Christmas themed ones, like using only red and green or getting those ones that are shaped like Christmas trees and stars and things like that. If you’re getting to know me at all by now, you should probably know that I go for the cheapest materials. Doesn’t always work out for me, but that’s why I’m here: to be your test subject ๐Ÿ™‚

Welp, that’s day three! I think I’m really done talking now. See you tomorrow!

Love,

Nicole โ™ฅ

Day Two: Snowflake Peppermint Bark

Good morning pinaholics ๐Ÿ™‚

Day two of the Christmas Spectacular is dedicated to a cute, easy recipe for peppermint bark. Well, that’s what it was supposed to be. You can decide for yourself whether or not I failed miserably. Here’s what you need if you want to do it the right way:

White chocolate chips- the lady in the pin used Ghirardelli, but Nestle was like 30 cents cheaper so guess which one I used?

Milk chocolate chips- see above

Waxed paper- I think parchment paper might work as well but if it doesn’t, don’t blame me.

About 12 crushed candy canes- I used mini ones and guesstimated, it worked out fine and you can always crush more if you need to.

A cookie sheet

A snowflake cookie cutter- or whatever shape you want your bark to be

Peppermint extract- this is debatable seeing as how I did it without it, but the recipe calls for it so you might as well use a couple drops if you have it

Okay, let me start by saying that the snowflake shape did NOT end up working out for me, and I would’ve had to take on an entirely different method if I wanted to incorporate that. So, even though the title says “Snowflake Peppermint Bark,” I’m going to tell you how I ended up making plain peppermint bark, and then I’ll tell you what I would’ve had to do to get the cute snowflake. Or at least, what I think I would’ve had to do. Take a look at my horrendous snowflake attempts:

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Ugh. Anyway, first, line your cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Then, melt your milk chocolate chips in the microwave for however long it takes to get them completely smooth. Spread them across your cookie sheet, and refrigerate that for about 20 minutes. When that’s done, take it out and repeat the process with your white chocolate chips. If you’re using the peppermint extract, add it to the melted white chocolate before you put it on. Also, heads up on this part: unless you use significantly more white chocolate than milk, it’s not going to look perfect. The hot white chocolate melts the cooled milk chocolate and the colors will mix a little bit. It’s okay. I was worried at first when I looked at mine:

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But they all sort of look like that on Pinterest so it’s no big deal. Before you refrigerate it for the second time, add your crushed candy canes to the top. Then put it in the fridge for another 20 minutes, and voila! You have peppermint bark. Now, here’s where my fatal flaw was. I thought it was going to be a really easy thing to just use the cookie cutter and stamp out snowflakes. Well, it’s not easy. The bark will crack, and you’ll have a million tiny pieces of chocolate that look nothing like a snowflake ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I ended up just breaking it all into pieces that look like everyone else’s peppermint bark and calling it a day. It tastes great. In fact, I think it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve made, but it just isn’t cute ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

What I probably would’ve had to do to get the snowflake shape is use the cookie cutter to shape the melted chocolate before I refrigerated it. That means I either would’ve had to have several cookie cutters or several hours to spare, neither of which were available to me. If they’re available to you, that’s awesome! Send me pics of your not-failed attempts at peppermint bark, and I’ll be sure to feel bad about myself. Send me packages with your actual peppermint bark and I’ll feel a little bit better. Here’s a picture of the final product! I put it in this cute little Christmas box to bring back to school for my friends to try ๐Ÿ™‚

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Happy holidays, loves!

Nicole โ™ฅ