Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Gingerbread People Recipe


This year we got a little adventurous with our cookie making and tried some new recipes. One of those recipes was for gingerbread cookies. Little did we know how delicious these cookies would be! I’m pretty sure they ended up being everyone’s favorite cookie this year. Anytime I asked Levi what kind of cookie he wanted he would say “a Christmas cookie” which meant a gingerbread cookie. And I’m pretty sure Mike shed a tear when he found out the last cookie had been eaten. We will definitely be making these for years to come! 


While I do hate rolling out any type of cookie dough I found that if you roll this out between cling wrap that it was tolerable. The more I rolled the more I got the hang of it. The same goes for decorating the cookies. This was a new territory for me. I’ve never made or used royal icing. At first I was scared of it but the longer I decorated the more I got into it and the more I wanted to do. 

This turned into me rushing to finish so Levi and I would get to church on time (Mike had left early for a meeting). I rushed around, icing the final cookies, washing dishes, eating icing (opps!!) and getting Levi ready. I told him we were going to be late for church and kept telling him to hurry up. We took our time driving sped down the road as quickly as traffic would allow and when we got to church there were hardly any cars there. I was confused because we were having our candlelight service. I dropped Levi off at his class (the teachers hadn’t even turned on the light yet) and went into the church (which was empty). At this point it finally dawned on me that we had arrived at church 30 minutes early… at least we weren’t late…  


Enough rambling - on to the recipe. I’m sure you aren’t going to make these anytime soon (unless you have a gingerbread cookie craving) but seriously I will be sharing these again closer to Christmas just in case you’ve forgotten and need reminded that they are a MUST MAKE!!


Gingerbread People Recipe (from my Williams Sonoma Baking Book)


Ingredients:

·         1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
·         1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
·         1/2 cup granulated sugar
·         1 cup molasses
·         1 egg
·         5 cups all-purpose flour
·         1 tsp. baking soda
·         1 Tbs. ground ginger
·         1 tsp. ground cinnamon
·         1/2 tsp. ground cloves
·         1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter on high speed until fluffy and pale yellow. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until the mixture is no longer gritty when rubbed between your finger and thumb. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the molasses. Add the egg and beat until the mixture is blended.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and salt together. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating on low speed or stirring with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and, with floured hands, form into a large, smooth mound. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, shape into disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough between your sheet of cling wrap to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Using gingerbread cookie cutters 3 to 5 inches tall, cut out figures. Transfer the cookies to a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough portions, then gather up the scraps and reroll them. If the scraps of dough have become sticky, refrigerate them for 10 minutes before rerolling. For best results, do not roll the same piece of dough more than twice.

Bake the gingerbread figures until lightly browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Dress up the cooled gingerbread figures with the royal icing, sugars and other decorations. Makes 2 to 5 dozen cookies, depending on size.


Royal Icing (by Alton Brown)

Ingredients:

·         2 egg whites
·         1 tsp. of vanilla extract
·         4 cups of confectioners' sugar

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and vanilla extract until frothy.

2. Add confectioners' sugar slowly on a low speed, once all combined, turn speed up to high and beat until mixture turns stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Note: If you want to flood your cookie with icing, thin the icing with a teaspoon of water at a time until you get your icing to correct consistency.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Hershey Park Happy June 2017

June started by our family heading out to Hershey Park. Levi has been to Chocolate World oddles of times but has only been in the Park once, which was over Christmas last year. As you can tell from the pictures he didn't have any fun. ;-) 

First find out you are the height of a Reese Peanut Butter Cup! And then let the rides begin!! Levi and I hung out for a large part of the day and let Daddy and Uncle Ben ride roller coasters. We met up later and rode rides together. 



Sometimes we rode the same ride over and over and just picked a different vehicle... 



Hershey Park Entertainment...


Despite the fact that they both look bored to death, Levi was thrilled to be able to ride multiple rides with Uncle Ben!! 


Who had more fun Levi or Mommy?! 


All in all, the perfect Hershey Park Happy Day!!


Levi hung on for half of the ride home but finally feel asleep with his blanket over his head!


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

DC Zoo in May

I really can't believe how long it's been since I've done any posting around here. So I'm going to attempt to throw a few posts together of mostly pictures and not many words(and more than likely misspelled words). These pictures were from a trip to DC Zoo in May. It was Memorial Day so we were able to spend the day with some friends who went along. It was a pretty warm out and the animals weren't moving around a whole lot but it was still a fun day! 





Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mother's Day at Green Meadows Petting Farm

**Warning** This post is going to include TONS of pictures!! Because I took tons and I love them all which means you'll be seeing pretty much all of them. ;-)

I learned about Green Meadows Petting Farm after a friend on Facebook shared pictures of a field trip they took there. I can't believe in all our trips to Frederick that we didn't realize this farm existed! It's such an amazing find and if you have kids you have to add it to a list of things to do with them. It's not cheap ($12 a person unless you are 2 or under - then you are free). Also, by going on Mother's Day I actually got in for free. So that was an added bonus. You can spend a great deal of time here, the animals are well taken care of and the stalls are clean. All important things to us! 

After arriving we caught the end of the pig race that they do(it's pretty cute) which was follow up by a hay ride. So we jumped in a wagon and the tractor pulled us along the edge of some fields and through a beautiful enchanted forest. Ok, so maybe it wasn't exactly enchanted - but it was very pretty and so peaceful. 


Then it was off to explore... And there was so much to see! Levi loved the horns on this guy!


Pot Belly Pig



Adorable baby goats - such a highlight of the day!


Sweet baby duck - my favorite animal!! If only they could stay this size...


Truth - I've been working on this post for awhile and was really having trouble narrowing down the pictures that I wanted to share. I finally figured out how to make a slide show (you can even make it full screen to see the pictures better!!) and now I can share ALL the pictures! And I'm happy because I managed to get this post done before Mother's Day 2018!! And you can tell that we had a blast! So much that we may have gone back again on Father's Day... Stay tuned...

 









Friday, June 2, 2017

Cloud Island Nursery Products

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Thank you for supporting my blog!)  


So when you are expecting a baby one of the fun parts is buying ALL the baby things. It was always so hard not to buy everything!! At least for me anyway. If you know me then you know that I LOVE Target. Since I work practically just beside one I am pretty much there several days a week (sometimes just for coffee). Target has taken way too much of my money all in the name of a 5% Red Card discount. ;-) 

When shopping for a baby Target was always one of those places that had so many adorable things that it was hard to pick just one. And apparently they haven't changed a whole lot... They just came out with a new line called Cloud Island which is only available at Target and is the CUTEST!! Everything is absolutely adorable and there are tons of different styles to choose from so there is something for everyone!

CLOUD ISLAND 

You can choose from styles like By The Sea collection, Floral Fields collection, Adventure Awaits collection, Pink Triangles collection and so many more. You'll have the sweetest nursery around and I'm totally jealous of anyone who gets to pick some of these items for their nursery...

By The Sea Collection

Floral Fields Collection 

Adventure Awaits Collection 

Pink Triangles Collection



 Happy Cloud Island Nursery Shopping!!