Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Well we survived the first snow storm of the season, although we were lucky and didn't get much. And I am still pregnant - no baby yet (6 days past my due date as of now, but there is an end in sight: scheduled induction is Wednesday if he/she doesn't come before then). To pass the time and celebrate Halloween, I whipped up a batch of these adorable Shortbread Witch Finger cookies I pinned awhile back:

Aren't they the cutest? They were originally posted on Le Petit Brioche and to pass the time yesterday, I decided to give them a whirl. The basic recipe for  the shortbread was easy. I mixed it up and added the food coloring:

Shaped them into fingers and added some detail using a toothpick and added an almond slice for the fingernail:

They fattened up a bit after baking - but we can just pretend our witches had "man's hands":

Then came the fun and disgusting part - dipping them in red chocolate to make them look like they were torn off the poor witch:

I gave a couple a little extra "blood" to make them a little more gory:

And here they are all done:

Aren't they gross and cute at the same time?

Verdict: Super easy recipe - I would use the basic shortbread recipe Christa gave again. Perhaps using some other shape for Christmas? Overall they were tasty, perhaps a bit dry, I might try adding a little more butter next time. They are shortbread cookies, however, which tend to taste best to me when dipped in tea or milk anyway. They were so easy and cute they might make a yearly appearance around Halloween.

Things to Consider: For some reason I couldn't get my green any darker. I kept adding food coloring, but it wasn't doing much. Also, like I said above, they fattened up a little more than I expected, but that could have been because I made them a little too big? Lastly, I used almond slices instead of whole almonds in the original post. No real reason, they were just what I grabbed from the store. 

Shannon and I hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween - and hopefully all the snow is gone and power is back on for all our readers!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Still waiting on this baby to be ready to be born... To keep myself busy, I have been cooking, baking, and cleaning (along with walking, squatting, and going up and down stairs). My latest baking experiment was Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins that I had pinned from here:

I had everything in my baking cabinet, so why not give them a go. I followed the recipe Amy from The Idea Room posted except I only added chocolate chips to half the batter - I wasn't sure I would like the combo of chocolate and pumpkin. Here are my progress pics:

And the finished product:

Verdict: Pretty good. I was surprised I like the one with the chocolate chips. Next time I would probably just make them all chocolatey.

Things to consider: The recipe calls for a 4th cup of flour if necessary to get the right consistency. I didn't use any of that flour - and am afraid if I did use it, these things would be lead sinkers. Even with just the three cups - they were close to being a little too heavy. Also, maybe I have a small cupcake pan, but I got 23 muffins out of one batch (not 12 like the recipe said). The good news is, I froze a bunch so hopefully I will have something to eat while taking care of this baby.

I have some freezer meals stocked up and will be back to review them once we thaw them out and give them a try - again if this kid ever wants to come out! Stay tuned!

Friday, October 28, 2011

One More Halloween Decoration

Grace here with one last super quick and easy Halloween decorating project. I am not even sure I can call it a craft it was that easy. I have been seeing subway art all over the blog world for awhile now, but haven't really jumped on that bandwagon and put any in my house. Then I saw this pin:

from the lovely ladies at Eighteen 25. I thought it was really cute, so why not print it out, and throw it up on the mantle? It was that easy - just d/l the image, and print to the size of my Ikea frame (5 x 7 in my case). Here it is on my ginormous mantle:

Now that I am looking at it, I probably should have swapped out those candles for some orange or black ones. Oh well there is always next year.

I have added the Eighteen 25 blog to my reader in hopes that they offer up a similar Thanksgiving one. Then maybe swap out the candy corn for some acorns? Stay tuned! And be sure to check out their blog - they have lots of fun craft/projects to try out! Hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Festivities

Some exciting news- we just obtained the domain name for PinsterSisters! Starting tomorrow, you should no longer need to type in the .blogspot.  Just simply enter in your internet browser to stop by!

Also, Grace and I are very excited for the Pinterst Challenge hosted by YoungHouseLove & Bower Power. They are two of our favorite blogs – check them out if you haven’t already! Grace and I will need to decide if we want to link a project we’ve already done or try something new. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Now on to my pinterst project…

This week my work is celebrating Halloween with two contests –department door decorating & department pumpkin decorating.

Each department can decorate a door in the Back of the House (I work in a hotel) and each department can also decorate a pumpkin. I think the prizes are a pizza party and an ice cream party - but I just want the glory of winning!

The contests were announced almost a month ago but for some reason I decided to wait until Monday night to figure out what my department was going to do. The sad part is - I’m the one who announced the contests and am facilitating them. You would think I would have been prepared, but of course, I wasn't! So what did I do? You guessed it…. looked to Pinterest for inspiration.

For the door decorating I took two pins and combined them. The original pins were from GoodHouskeeping and CountryLiving.

I bought some black poster board and got to work! Both sites had templates which made it pretty straight forward and easy. The only down side, if anything, was that it was a bit tedious cutting out all those bats.

For the witch’s cape, I used purple tissue paper.  Since the door is inside, I just used masking tape to attach everything.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a cute broom to attach but I think it looked fine as is.

For the pumpkin I found this cute “Headless Horseman” pumpkin on and decided to try my hand at it. This was a cute, easy project that I think would be fun to do with kids.

I painted the large pumpkin black on Tuesday. I also stopped by the craft store and picked up some foam to create the arms, hands, and feet.

Since I waited so long to get my act together, I had a hard time finding a smaller pumpkin to use as the head. I tried two supermarkets and Target but they only had HUGE pumpkins left.

When I arrived at work in this morning I was pretty defeated and had no idea what I’d use for the head. The pumpkins were due at 10:30am so the pressure was on! My boss and I brainstormed and decided to use a cantaloupe. I ran up to the produce fridge and grabbed one - a perk of working in a hotel!

I went ahead and painted the cantaloupe white. I soon discovered that cantaloupes don't dry as quickly as pumpkins so I had to use a hairdryer (grabbed from Housekeeping!) to speed up the drying time. Then my boss used a sharpie to draw on the face.

I used the extra tissue paper I had from the witch’s door as the horseman’s cape. If I had some more time, I probably would have darkened the eyes and mouth a bit so that it was more pronounced (maybe use black paint instead of the sharpie). Other than that, I was happy with the end result – especially given how last minute it was!

This year the competitions have been pretty competitive. The other departments came up with some great pumpkins (Sales made a Pacman pumpkin-awesome!) and some great doors.

Winners are announced on Friday. I’ll let you know if I win!

Update: Like these Halloween crafts? Then check out my vampire bat pumpkin and mummy door.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

This past weekend I went to the Colonial Clash -which is when UMass plays UNH at Gillette Stadium (Go UMass!). I was put in charge of desserts for the tailgate. I decided that one of the items I was would bring would be these chocolate chip cookie dough truffles from

I thought it might be cute to make these and shape them like little footballs. You start by making the dough. It's very similar to regular cookie dough just add milk instead of eggs.

Once the dough is mixed; cover and let chill in the fridge for 1 hour. When the dough has been chilled, shape the dough into one inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.

I decided to shape them into round balls and then some footballs. Once the dough is shaped, place it them in the freezer and chill for 30 minutes. Then it's time for my favorite part- dipping them in chocolate! This time I bought enough Baker's chocolate to cover all the truffles.

Once the dough is dipped, chill them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate. When the chocolate was set, I added some laces to the football shaped truffles.

The Verdict: These are AMAZING! One of the best finds I've seen on pinterest. Thank goodness, I was going to the tailgate because if I was left alone with these at home, I think I would have eaten them all.  Everyone at the game seemed to enjoy them as well. There were none left!

Things to consider: I don't really have anything to critique with this recipe. I will say you have to work fast when dipping the truffles in the chocolate. The longer the cookie dough is out, the harder it is to work with. It will start to fall apart as you dip it in the chocolate. Other then that, it's very simple and I wouldn't change a thing.

Enjoy and try not to eat them all yourself!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Infestation Part Two

Just wanted to share a quick post showing the rest of my entranceway all done up for Halloween. You saw my easy paper mice a week or so ago:

You can see a glimpse of the "spooky fabric" hanging on the banister, so here is a more zoomed out view:

I used more of the fabric on the console table.

And added some spiders from Walmart, spider webs, and birds from Michaels.

And right outside the front door, I dressed up the front porch with my hand painted candy corn pots, some mums, and pumpkins:

I also put the smallest mums I could find in my window boxes, but they were still a bit too big.

I painted the pots three years ago - I think they need some touch ups and some sealer this time. I'll be sure to make a post on them when I do that in case anyone wants to give it a try!

So there's a couple more pics of my Halloween/Fall Decorating of my entranceway. Hopefully I will have a chance to decorate for Christmas this year and will share pics of that too!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Crescent Cinnamon Rolls

Last night I came home from work starving and decided I wanted breakfast for dinner. I perused Pinterest and came across this pin from How to: Simplify for crescent cinnamon rolls. They looked quick and easy so I figured, why not?

from How to:Simplify

The recipe begins by unrolling the crescent rolls into two rectangles and brushing melted butter and cinnamon and sugar on the top. 

The next step is to roll up the crescent rolls. Then cut the rolls up and place on a foiled pan. As you can see, my crescent rolls did not hold their shape when I rolled them up. They started to tear and fall apart. I think only one (in the middle) held its shape.

Throw the rolls in the oven set at 375.
While they were baking, I mixed up the icing. I had to add extra milk to the icing because it was way too thick and had a paste consistency.

 The recipe said to bake for 12-15 minutes. Mine were done in 8 minutes. Here's what they looked like fresh out of the oven:

And then here with the icing:

The Verdict: The jury is still out on this one. Although they didn't look that great, they tasted great. The icing itself was delicious and simple to prepare. Overall it was a quick and easy recipe- the presentation was just lacking.

I will say that while I was making them, I was starving and in a rush. Maybe if I took my time I could have had a better looking end product. To be honest, I'm not sure if I'd make them again. I may just stick with the 'place and bake' Pillsbury cinnamon rolls.

Things to Consider: I think the recipe called for way too much cinnamon and sugar then was needed for just one container of crescent rolls. Also, make sure to watch the baking time. I wasn't paying attention and they were close to burning after 8 minutes.
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