January 30, 2012

Amazing Lemon Drop Cookies

Remember my favorite Lemon Tree?

Well, I finally picked my last two lemons and I just knew what I wanted to make with them.



Curious about the difference between meyer lemons and store bought lemons?

Well, they look a little different.  My meyer lemons are very round.  They are also very soft and smooth.  But as far as taste goes, they taste just like a normal lemon.


So, once I "harvested" my bounty of two lemons I was trying to decide the best way to eat up these lemons.

Immediately I thought of the Best Cookie Shop in the World (I'm probably not exaggerating).

I went online and I googled, "Recipe for Ruby Snap Lemon Cookies".

Unfortunately Ruby Snap has not released any of their recipies.  

What??  I know, I was as surprised as I'm sure you are right now.

So I went on to plan B.-- which was googling, "Lemon Drop Cookie Recipes".

I searched through a couple recipes before deciding this one from Make It Do looked the best.

Here's her Recipe:

LEMON DROP COOKIES

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 1/3 cup sugar
  • Zest of one lemon – reserve juice for glaze
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 – 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 4 ounces lemon drop candies, crushed
For the glaze:
  • 1 – 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, soda, and salt until well blended, set aside.   In a separate bowl add sugar and lemon zest.  Using your fingers, rub together until well blended and fragrant.  Add softened butter and cream together.  Blend in eggs, vanilla, and lemon extract.  Mix in crushed lemon drop candies.  Add flour mixture in batches until mixed in.  Do not overmix.
Using a cookie scoop or a spoon drop 1 inch balls onto a greased cookie sheet.  Flatten balls slightly with your hand.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes until slightly browned.
Cool and spoon glaze on top.  Allow glaze to set up before serving.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.


The one thing I thought that was kind of weird was when it tells you to add sugar and lemon zest together and then rubbing it with your fingers to blend.

I thought it was sort of strange.  But then I did it and it smelled So yummy.  Then I licked my fingers when I was done.  Yum-- lemon sugar.



Another step tells you to mash up the lemon drops.  I got out my lemon drops, put them in a ziplock bag, then did one hammer with my mallet.  Immediately my husband was at my side, eagar to mash up some lemon drops.  He thought that was quite fun.

I decided to leave my lemon drops a little chunky, because I was thinking bigger chucks would be fun.  Next time I make this (probably this afternoon) I'll probably smash them up smaller.


Also, I will mention these cookies grow a lot during their baking time in the oven.  Be warned.



After they're cooled, you add a lemon glaze.  So good!  My husband said they were even good enough to replace chocolate chip cookies.  And we're pretty serious about chocolate in this home.  So that's very high marks indeed. 




Oh, and in case you're wondering, my lemon tree is growing two new baby lemons.

January 25, 2012

Birthday Rhyming Scavenger Hunt

A week and a half ago we celebrated my dear husband's birthday.

I wanted to plan something fun and low key.  We went out the night before and had a wonderful date and J mentioned that on his birthday he just wanted to stay home and be with the family.

Lucky for him, staying home and being with the family is my specialty!

But I wanted to put a little creativity in there, I planned a rhyming scavenger hunt to find all his presents in the morning.

After breakfast was done, we had One present wrapped up on the table for him.


He and the boys put together the puzzle.  Wasn't that nice that I only picked a 48 piece puzzle and not 1,500 pieces?

Once they finished the puzzle they flipped it over so they could read the first clue.
Here's the rhymes I wrote for J to read and discover.  In almost all the places there was a little present hiding with his clue.

To begin your search it’s quite simple you see
Start at the beginning where ‘A’ meets ‘P’.
This is a reference to a sign in our home.  

Go to the place where the green leaves grow
Down to the floor where they grow some mo’.
Not my best rhyme, but this is our plant that grows down to the ground.

Next journey to the place where books are found
It’s not in this room where the books are around.
The boys bookshelf.
  
This place holds cereal that we eat in the morn’
Better go quick or you might get forlorn.
Cereal Shelf. 

After breakfast is through it is commonly seen
That you enter this room to get thoroughly clean.
The bathroom, behind the soap. 

Now it is time to check the books not too far
This time I refer to boy with the Scar.
 Harry Potter Book.

You’re almost done just two more to go
Look in the spot where we ready for snow.
 Winter Hats and Scarfs closet.

Okay, you’re quite close in a drawer you shall find
A place where the silverware rests quite sublime.
 The silverware drawer. 

Ah-hah, you are cleaver your last present you’ll reap
If you look under the place where we oft’ go to sleep.

Under our bed.

Here he is searching for all his clues and presents.

J thought the rhyming scavenger hunt was very fun.  He found each of the clues really fast-- next year I'll have to make them harder.

My 5 year old has already told me he wants a scavenger hunt to find his presents on his next birthday.

Once the presents were all opened it was time for a--

Even little sister gets in on the action.  

Her specialty is chewing up bullets and stuffing them in the guns.


It was a lovely day!

January 23, 2012

The Ants have Invaded

Bad new:

Picnik is closing in April



Good News:
All those fancy Premium buttons that I've always wanted to use, but was too cheap to purchase, is now free to everyone...until the site closes.



Picnik, you've been awesome and I'll miss your simple editing features.

January 18, 2012

Mud Room Lockers.

Did you know I have 4 sisters?
I'm the youngest.
Yep, I do. I also have a brother-- though he's not pictured. 
 Here we are today. (Still the youngest) I'm second from the right.


Well....today's post is featuring my lovely oldest sister.  I was born ten years after this sister and when we talk about our childhoods it becomes very apparent that we grew up in different generations. When I was getting ready to be baptized, she was leaving for her freshman year at BYU.

However, as we've gotten to know each other and form our friendships as adults we've found that we have so much in common and now we're really good buddies.  

This is Freshly Completed's first guest post-- by my sister.  I asked her to share her amazing Mud Room Lockers with us.  Take it away, sis'.

A few years ago, we were getting ready to build a house.
We designed our house and I was especially excited about the "Mud Room" that was going to have ten built-in lockers.  You know it's important to keep your "mud" in a locker.

Then, we didn't build the house for reasons that still give me hives when I think about them.
 We bought a house instead. 
 A house that I really, really, really love.
But there's no mud room.

Shortly after moving into this house, we found some neato old school metal lockers at DI.
I quickly put them on my "To Do" list.
I planned to paint them and make our own little mud room in the corner of our garage by the back door.

Then, two years passed.
That's the usual going rate for accomplishing things on my To Do list.

One day I woke up and thought to myself, "Self, this is the week to do the lockers!"
So, I did.

I originally planned to spray paint the lockers.  But they're so big and sometimes it's hard to contain spray paint, so I painted them with a new product from Glidden called Glidden Trim and Door Paint.
Glidden Trim & Door Extra High Gloss with Gel-Flow Technology
It's a really thick gel type paint and it's oil based. 
Oil based paint is a big pain to deal with and clean up, but since I was painting on metal I decided to try it.


It worked really well.  I was happy with the results, except for the side of the big locker on the left.
I was running out of paint and decided it wouldn't matter because the sides weren't going to show....then we changed the layout.  Maybe someday I will get motivated to buy more paint and touch up that side.....or maybe not. 


I added a rug and a bench that's been sitting in our basement and now I have my mud roomcorner, spot.
Yay!

Mud? 
Bring it on.




This project turned out so awesome!  I love it.  Thanks for sharing, sister!

January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

We have young children and there is so much about this world of ours that they do not know.

Today I wanted to share a few children appropriate videos with them about Martin Luther King Jr.

I found two really good ones that I wanted to share with you if you're interested.

Kids National Geographic

Brain Pop

January 6, 2012

The Completed Quiet Book!

After Years, Months, and DAYS of preparation.

It's done!

Here it is.

I now present to you--

I gave it a simple  (-- too simple?) leather cover for the front and back.  I wanted something really sturdy that would protect my little book.  I might go back to the cover some day and add something to it, but for now it suits me.



Page 1 is a simple page with just the word FAMILY and our picture. All around the green fabric I sewed on clear vinyl so the picture is removable. It is closed with a small piece of Velcro.



Page 2 is the Family Tree page (click here for the tutorial).  The kids can put the apples where ever they want.  The pictures are sewed on with clear vinyl and are placed around the tree with velcro. The apples are stored when not in use behind the tree.

Page 3 is Miss Ladybug where inside the zipper is the lady bug's circles which can be attached onto the ladybug with snaps.


 Page 4 is a simple countdown and blast off to the moon.


Page 5 is practicing tying laces with the football laces. (Notice the small grommets I used on this page.  I talk about grommets here.)


The next two pages I made sure were next to each other.  I really loved making these barns.



Page 6 is the Tractor Barn.  I bought some John Deere fabric that I couldn't resist making soft tractors with.



Page 7 is the animal barn with 4 little finger animal puppets.



Page 8 is the Temple page with felt flowers that can be rearranged with the buttons.


Page 9 is straight up kid overalls that the kids can practice doing different snaps and zippers.

Page 10 is the egg page with six different little guys in each egg.


Page 11 is the counting button page.

Page 12 is actually the favorite page and has gotten the most played with.  The kids take out keys and locks and try to figure out which key goes to which lock.


Whoa, made it!
What a Fun project this has been.

It really did not necessitate three years of my life to make....but you know how these things go.

If you haven't seen my other posts dedicated to the Quiet Book this week, here they are.
The Round UP
My Sketches
Family Tree Tutorial page
How to Bind Your Quiet Book

January 5, 2012

How to Bind Your Quiet Book Pages


If you missed my other pages dedicated to Quiet Books, here they are:

Now we're on to binding my pages.  
Once I had all my pages completed I had to decide how I was going to bind them together.

I had decided early on that I should make the pages removable, so the book could be taken apart and shared with siblings and I could add to it as time went on.  
So the best approach I could think of to do this was to invest in Grommets.

I bought two different types.

1. A kit with small grommets and pliers from JoAnns

2. And a kit with larger ones from Roberts (which doesn't exist anymore-- boo-hoo).  
But here's something like what I purchased from Amazon.



MATERIALS:
1. Completed Quiet book pages
2. Grommet pliers
3. Grommets
4. Felt

STEP ONE:Once all the pages are completed, pin them together with right sides facing each other.

STEP TWO: Sew around three of the sides leaving the side where the felt binding is going to be open.
Warning: Don't sew part of your page into the seams.
Flip pages right side out.

STEP THREE: Cut felt so that there is enough to be folded on each side.

STEP FOUR: Pin and sew first side of the felt.


STEP FIVE: Fold down the top of the felt- pin.  Fold the rest of the felt in half on the sides- pin.


STEP SIX: Sew around the entire felt binding.


STEP SEVEN: Using the grommit pliers, make two holes into the felt where the grommets will be placed.


Because these pliers are meant for much smaller grommets than I was using, I widened the hole with my scissors.

These are the tools that I bought in the kit from Roberts (plus a lot more grommet rings).


The order to placing things is:
1. whatever that thing is
2. that grommet
3. FABRIC
4. Next grommet
5. Umm, that thing
6. Hammer or Mallet.

STEP EIGHT:  Bang, Bang, hammer it all together until the grommets are all stuck together.

STEP NINE: All done, so simple, yet professional looking.


Please stay tuned for Tomorrow, where I'll share the Completed Book!