DIY Chalkboard Placemats

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Add a little decoration to your tablescape! Plus, kids of all ages will have fun with these DIY Chalkboard Placemats!

Supplies:

Placemats (I got mine from the Dollar Store)

Chalkboard Paint (Can use either spray paint or a jar of paint)

Chalk

Directions:

1. Paint the placemat with chalkboard paint. Let dry.

2. Place around your table and get creative!

Source: http://www.thehighheeledhostess.com/2011/08/tangible-tablescapes.html

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Chocolate Chip Danish

About to be stuck inside for a snow day? Savor the day with this sweet treat!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Heat oven at 350°F. Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.

2. Unroll crescent dough onto cookie sheet and press into about 16×10-inch rectangle. With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut 1 1/2-inch-long slanted cuts 1 inch apart along both long sides of rectangle, leaving center of dough uncut. Make sure you have the same amount of cut strips on both sides.

3. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Spread mixture onto center of dough. Sprinkle chocolate chips over cream cheese mixture.

4. Braid dough by crossing strips over filling, alternating from side to side. At end, trim off any overhanging dough.

5. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and cut into slices to serve.

Enjoy!

Source: http://www.pillsbury.com/everyday-eats/breakfast-brunch/ditch-the-bakery-diy-chocolate-chip-danish?nicam4=SocialMedia&nichn4=Pinterest&niseg4=Pinterest&nicreatID4=Post&crlt.pid=camp.EyjOqlfqCUxF

The Etiquette of “Thank You” Notes

It is an old Southern tradition to write a “thank you” note for, well, just about anything. We write them to thank a person for their hard-work, birthday or Christmas present they gave us, the cake they baked for us, and so on and so on.

You might think it is pretty simple to write a “thank you” note. However, did you know that all notes need to be handwritten, no matter how many you have (trust me, I’ve spent my week writing over 20 for a recent event), and did you know that there is an appropriate amount of time to thank someone, before it’s too late?

Brush up on your “thank you” note etiquette with these five quick steps.

1: Send your thank yous” quickly: two to three weeks after the occasion is perfect timing. Eight weeks is the latest you should send them out.

2: Write your notes on stationary: it is better to use a personalized set and absolutely no notebook or scrap paper.

3: “Thank you very much” should be said only once: be careful not to over thank them.

4: It’s okay to print addresses onto labels to save time; however, if you can hand-write them, the better.

5: The message should be brief and to the point: make sure to point out the reason you are writing the note, the occasion, the gift specifically, and why it’s special and important to you. Never refer to gifts as “money” nor their amounts.

King Cake Cocktail

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Another favorite recipe to celebrate Mardi Gras in style!

Ingredients:

2 oz. Cake Vodka

1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

1/2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

Ground cinnamon for dusting

Green, purple, and gold sugar for glass

Directions:

1. Combine the vodka, Grand Marnier, and Baileys in a cocktail shaker with ice.

2. Shake well and pour into a glass.

3. Dust with cinnamon. Decorate rim of glass in carnival colors.

Enjoy!

Source: http://homeiswheretheboatis.net/2013/02/06/a-pre-mardi-gras-celebration/

King Cake

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Enjoy a New Orleans’ favorite-King Cake!

Ingredients: 

1 16 oz. container sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 oz. envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Small plastic baby
Glaze:
Purple, green, and gold sparkling sugar sprinkles
Directions:

1. Cook the sour cream, sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside

2. Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes.

3. Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

4.Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

5. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.

6. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.

7. Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.

8. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

9. Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Drizzle Creamy Glaze over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely. (Don’t forget to place the plastic baby inside the cake before serving!)

Enjoy!

Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/traditional-king-cake

It’s Mardi Gras time!

New-Orleans

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Mardi Gras can be dated back to medieval Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries with Rome, Venice, and the French House of the Bourbons. Today, this festive holiday is celebrated with parties, parades, music, and lots more. No wonder New Orleanians call it the “Greatest Free Show on Earth!”

To help you honor the festivities, I have put together a list of everything you need for a perfect New Orleans style party!

1. King Cake (Recipe to follow)

2. Purple, Green, and Gold Beads

3. Masquerade Masks

4. Jazz Music

5. King Cake Cocktail (Recipe to follow)

Happy Mardi Gras!

Source: http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/history.html

Hail to the Chief

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“Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe…”

You might be like me and just sang a little tune, learned in elementary school, to the words above. Today we are celebrating Presidents’ Day, a day set to honor all 44 of our nation’s leaders. As a history fan, I always like to look up facts about the United States and all of the Presidents.

Test your presidential knowledge below!

1. James Madison weighed under 100 pounds and was only 5’4”.

2. William Henry Harrison commissioned bottles of hard cider into shapes of log cabins as part of his campaigning.

3. Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service hours before his assassination.

4. Rutherford B. Hayes signed an act that allowed women to plead cases before the Supreme Court, making it legal for women to practice in the court system.

5. The teddy bear got its name from Teddy Roosevelt.

6. Woodrow Wilson is the only president to have earned a Ph.D.

7. Dwight Eisenhower was a painter and produced more than 250 known pieces.

8. Gerald Ford was once a male model on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

9. Ronald Reagan is the only US President to have been divorced. He divorced actress Jane Wyman in 1948 and married Nancy Davis in 1952.

10. While captain of  Yale’s baseball team, George H.W. Bush met and posed for a photo with Babe Ruth.

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinlarosa/presidents-youll-never-look-at-the-same-way-again?sub=3092089_2629659#.nn2Xllpjy