Sunday, November 28, 2010

Crafting the Madness

This holiday season is starting out Crafty in the Reale household. We've got our Advent Calendar activities set, a Christmas Cookie swap party planned, and of course crafty projects out the wazoo! I checked out the Joann Fabrics ad that came in the mail and figured now was the time to buy some fabric. Over all the kids did good, given they needed lunch and were hyped from candy (ya, I know....bad mom).

Can you guess what project we have next? I bet you can't ;)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

25 days to Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner and for years I've had an advent calendar hanging somewhere in my house, mainly for decorative purposes and no meaning but as the children get older I realize more and more that keeping traditions is a vital part in a military family besides it help teach kids patience. So I took to my advent calendar and came up with a creative way to use it other then eat chocolate to count down the days.

Here is what we have planned....

  1. Make an ornament
  2. Dance and sing to Christmas music
  3. Bake Cookies
  4. Share some of our baking with friends
  5. Write or decorate Christmas Cards
  6. Get dressed up for Crab Dinner (at home)
  7. Give a gift to an underprivelaged child
  8. Make a meal together
  9. Play Flashlight Tag
  10. Build a Gingerbread House
  11. Watch a Christmas Movie
  12. "Spread Joy"
  13. Find or make puppets and make up a Bedtime Story
  14. Candlelight bubble bath & paint nails ( might become mommy night)
  15. Pick out a Christmas outfit 
  16. Read favorite Christmas story
  17. Bake Holiday cookies
  18. Go for a drive into town to see Christmas lights 
  19. Host a Secret Santa Party
  20. Go to Snow
  21. A neighborhood walk with our DIY lanterns 
  22. Dessert before dinner 
  23. Make a popcorn garland
  24. Open Christmas pj's

    What will you be doing for the 24 days before Christmas?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peppermint Patties

Photo credit- My recipes
  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup  Dutch process cocoa
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1  large egg
  • Cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 30  hard peppermint candies, crushed (about 1 cup)
  • 3  cups  vanilla low-fat ice cream, softened


To prepare cookies, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Combine sugars and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg, and beat well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, and beat at low speed until well blended.
Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 6-inch log. Wrap logs individually in plastic wrap; freeze 1 hour or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut each dough log into 24 (1/4-inch) slices; place cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 11 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare filling, place candies in a shallow bowl. Spread 2 tablespoons ice cream onto flat side of each of 24 cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down, pressing gently. Lightly roll the sides of each sandwich in candy. Wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap; freeze 4 hours or until firm.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My baby is growing up

 That's my baby, my 1 year old baby.... we celebrated his birthday before his actually BIRTHday because well the hubster will be on a deployment before the actual date. We normally go all out for birthdays but this time a low key party was in order. In recent weeks the hubster and I were at ends with each other and were forced to spend some low key moments without interruptions. It never ceases to amaze me that kids can be entertained by simple balloons and cake, makes you wonder if spending all that money we tend to spend on bounce houses, clowns, food to feed and army and presents to give your guests are really worth it. It's their birthday, isn't it?
Back to my baby.... he is a stubborn lil runt who decided to come 5 weeks early with BREECH!! yeah Breech. It was the day I was going in to try to turn him around  and my water broke. Did I mention my husband was deployed? oh and I have two other children whom at the time were 3 and 2. So you can imagine I was NOT ready for my baby to come. After a C-Section, 1 1/2 weeks in the NICU out precious baby came home

 And now our LITTLE ( HA!) baby is growing into his own person, with his own likes and dislike...with the like being more then the latter. he loves to EAT,DRINK and follow his older brothers oh and EAT...did I mention EAT?

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

So I know I've neglected posting this for a week now but tough nails, you'll get over it. haha. So whats a girl to do with pounds and pounds of pumpkin?.... make pumpkin cinnamon rolls that is! I found a recipe very similar that caused me to step out of my cookie making and try this one and trust me, you'll want to try it too.


1/4 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tablespoon melted butter
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom or its substitute


1 stick softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves


4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter (in the original inspiration they used 1 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup powdered sugar
In a large bowl, stir the water and yeast together.
Let it stand for about 5 minutes or until it is foamy.
Add the milk, butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, salt, and spices.
Mix well for 2 minutes.
 Add the flour (a little at a time, about 1 1/2 cups to start) until the dough comes together.
Knead until the dough pulls away from the side.  The dough will become smooth and elastic.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl.
Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm place.
Let the dough double, about an hour.
Make the filling.  Mix together the sugars and spices.
When the dough has doubled, turn it out on a flour surface.
 Cut the dough in half.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle, approximately 12x16 inches.  Spread the butter all over.
Sprinkle with the sugar and spice mixture.  Roll into a 20 inch log.
Slice the roll into 15 slices.  Place the slices in a greased 9×13 pan or two  brownie pans.
Repeat with the other half of dough.

 Cover the pans with a damp towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes.
 * If you would like to add the frosting, wait until the rolls have cooled or until warm before putting it on. my mistake and why you see no picture is I didn't wait.*

Cream together the butter and cream cheese.  Add the vanilla and lemon juice.
Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.
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