Easy Maple Chocolate Cream Candies

About this time every year I start craving maple chocolate candy. Maple creams go hand-in-hand with Fall for me. I came up with this super simple recipe to fill my craving:

  Take one stick of softened (not melted) butter

And cream it with 2 cups powdered sugar

 It should look like this when you are done

Add two teaspoons of imitation maple flavoring

Blend until creamy, but thick

 Roll into small balls

For the coating, chocolate-flavored candy coating tends to work best. You can use regular chocolate chips, but it is harder to get them to set up if you don’t temper it. That’s just too much trouble for me   😉

 I used about 6 blocks (1/2 pack)

I find it easier to melt in the microwave…OK actually, I started off melting it on the stove and ruined some of it. It got too grainy to use.
Dip the balls of maple cream into the chocolate and let some of the excess chocolate drip off. Chopsticks work really well for this
Let them set up on a cookie sheet lined in foil or wax paper. You can put them in the freezer if you are impatient and want to gobble as many down as possible before your husband and kids notice  in a hurry.
Enjoy! :o)

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Fireflies and Jellybeans

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Things You Can Freeze

A couple of years ago my husband and I realized that we couldn’t fit enough into our freezer to accommodate our growing family.I passed up good sales sometimes just because I had nowhere to put the food when I bought it. So we decided to invest in a freezer. In two years we’ve saved enough to pay for several freezers!

Here are some of the things you can freeze to save money and/or time:

Breads: store-bought loaves, homemade breads, rolls, biscuits, muffins just about any type of bread freezes great

Pancakes and waffles freeze well…you can either flash freeze them on a cookie sheet then place in a zip-lock bag or you can place a piece of wax paper between each one to keep them from sticking.

I think most people already freeze meats but you might not think to freeze hot dogs, bacon, precooked hamburger, chicken or turkey.

If you have herbs that are about to go bad or just too many to use you can chop them and place them in freezer bags. That way you can pull out the amount you want when you need it. Some good examples are: jalepenos, basil, peppers, chives (no blanching is necessary for any of these).

You can also freeze cheese, butter, milk, and soymilk. Be sure and let liquids thaw completely and shake them up before using.

I’ve heard people say that you can only freeze eggs by separating the yolks and whites and mixing in a little salt and sugar with them. My family has been freezing eggs for a while by just placing a few in a container and freezing.

 Here they are frozen.

And thawed.

If you decide to freeze cream cheese, remember the texture changes so it might not work so well in some dishes.

Cooked pasta, rice, soups chili and stew freeze well. You can also freeze nuts and coffee to extend their freshness.

Most vegetables will freeze, though some need a little blanching. Potatoes do not freeze well, they tend to mush. Bananas are great to freeze if you are saving them to bake with.

I hope that my list is helpful to you. I know there are a lot of you that have seen most of this before, but there may be one or two items on the list that you weren’t aware of.

So, what do you freeze?

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Easy $2 Large Hurricane Vase

                                                         

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend! Ours was pretty quiet for the most part. 🙂

The other day I was walking through Wal-Mart when I saw a display with large hurricane style vases on stands for sale for $15. My first thought (after “Those are pretty!”) was “I can do better than that!”

So I went to Dollar Tree and found a large plain glass hurricane style vase.

Then I went to Goodwill and found a large candle holder for $1.

I pulled out my trusty hot glue gun and glued the two pieces together.

Much better than $15 and it goes well with the rest of my decor!
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Easy Pine Cone Wall Art

I hope everyone has had a good week so far! Our week has been busy but, we are looking forward to the weekend and a family gathering.
Today, I wanted to share an easy craft  with you.

First, find a frame  and spray paint it. I started with this ugly frame and spray painted it Krylon hammered copper. I know it’s hard to tell from the photo, but it’s kind of a weird faded black. The people who lived in the house before us were avid golfers and left the print here for us.
Now, I don’t have anything against golf…just not a fan. In fact, if anyone is interested in the print I will mail it to you. First one to email me (happyhodgepodgehome at yahoo dot com) can have it!

 Next, dismantle a couple of pine cones. Try to leave the “petals” intact when you take it apart.

Cover a piece of foam poster board (cut to fit just inside the frame) with some fabric. I chose this cream colored knit because I really liked the texture. Stretch the fabric on tight  (try not to leave bunches in the back) and hot glue it to the poster board.

Lay out your petals and beads  the way you want them and hot glue them into place. I used  suede strips (found on a spool in most craft stores) to make the stems. You could also use ribbon if you want.

Place your picture in the frame and find a nice place for it!

This is a very easy and inexpensive craft that can be modified in a lot of different ways! Have fun creating!

I hope everyone has  a great weekend! :o)

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