St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Cookie


This design was so easy to follow.  Thank you  Lila Loa for coming up with this design and sharing it with us cookie fans.

Heres the Video on Lila Loa’s site to walk you through the steps.

Ok friends I have attached some photo’s of the process and have used the same recipe from my Nordic Roll-out cookies and standard Royal icing recipe which you can find here.

Nordic roll-out Cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups raw sugar
¼ Cups Agave Nectar
4 cups Unbleached flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cardamon
½ orange Tablespoons orange zest/oil
½ scraped vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350

If you need a visual step by step for the cookie roll out process please look at my Valentine Cookies.

Fit mixer with paddle attachment. Cream butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add agave and combine.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Add zest and vanilla to and egg to butter mixture and beat until smooth.

Add dry ingredients but do not over mix or cookies will be tough.

Divide dough in half and llay dough on plastic wrap; refrigerate at once. Can be in fridge for a number of days.

I use  cookie spacers on my rolling pin to ensure the same thickness each time.

I would highly suggest placing your rolled out shapes in the freezer for 10 minutes.

When ready roll out to desired thickness and cook at 350 for 9 to 12 minutes.

If you have a recipe you favor please use your favorite one. Royal Icing is hard to work with and I use what works for me.

Royal Icing

2 Tablespoons Crisco
2 Tablespoons Light Karo Syrup
7 Cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Meringue Powder
1/2 Cup Water
Flavoring of your choice
Colors I used were Americolors in green, gold, brown, orange.  I also used some red dust for the cheeks of these little stinkers.



Once I had the green and black colors mixed I began tracing out half of the cookie just as she explained in her video.



As you can see my black felt through their hats didn’t come out as nice as hers but it was my first attempt.



Then I mixed brown with orange to come up with their beard color and traced their beards.


I took a small amount of the beard color and mixed it with white icing until I had the flesh color I was looking for.

Then I mixed yellow with a bit of orange to get the gold embellish for their hats.



I then waited about 10 minutes to plop the eyes down. These were left over eyes that  had laying around but if you don’t have any you can easily make them by placing dabs of white royal icing on parchment or wax paper and then dotting it with royal icing in black then store them for how ever long you need them.


From here I just took and edible black marker and added their grins.  Then touched their cheeks with a small paint brush dipped in shimmer dust.  I had red on hand so that’s what I used.


Now they are packaged and ready to go.


Photo Transfer to Ceramic Tile



We all know that everyone has been transferring photos to wood.  Well the other day at Michaels I started thinking if the photos will stick to wood what about ceramic tile.  YES, YES it can!

What you will need

Ceramic Tile I used some coasters for $1.99 and a hanging tile for $1.99
A paint brush
Liquitex Matte Gel (amazon)
A photo printed on a laser printer
8 hours of your time
Elbow grease

Cut your photo to fit your medium of choice this time I used Ceramic tiles I picked up at Michaels.Place a good coat of Gel on your laser photo before applying it to the tiles.

Once you attach it you will want to smooth it out and make sure there are no bubbles underneath the paper. I used a pampered chef scrapper but anything smooth would work i.e. a credit card, or bone file.

Wait 6 to 8 hours until it’s completly dry.  Once it’s dry run water over the photo.


Now you will start rubbing the photo.  I did notice that the photo has a greater chance of rubbing off than it did with wood.


Here’s what it should look like once you have rubbed most of the paper off the photo.


Now you will wait for it to dry again and then spray it with a laquer to seal the photo.


That’s it a one of a kind moment captured.







Rouge Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Frosting (Happy Valentine’s Day)



I love Valentine’s Day it is by far my favorite holiday.  To celebrate this Valentine’s Day I have made my rich Rouge Chocolate Cupcakes that are packed with Zucchini and added Cherry frosting  and candy hearts on top.

For the batter:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Rouge Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup coconut oil, cooled to room temperature
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
2cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
7 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons cherry extract
3 Tablespoons Almond milk

Candy Hearts:
Candy Melts of your choice

Candy melts
For the candy hearts I simply melted down some candy melts you can purchase at any craft store. You will place a cup or so of the colors you desire into a bowl and microwave for around 1 minute then fill a icing bag with a wilton round tip and free form the hearts.



1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place cupcake holders on parchment paper covered cookie sheets. You could also make a cake vs. cupcakes.

2. In a large bowl, wnisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, coconut oil, and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, beat until smooth. Add the Greek yogurt and mix until combined.

4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the zucchini, coconut, and chocolate chips. Your batter will be thick do not be alarmed by this.


5. Bake the cupcake for 25-30 minutes, until the top springs back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cupcake from oven and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.


6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the cherry frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and mix until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the almond milk and cherry extract and beat until smooth.



Now when frosting your cupcakes the biggest complain I hear from people is “My frosting falls out of the top of my bag”  Here is how you fill a frosting bag.  Place the bag in any kitchen cup you have on hand.


Load your bag while it’s standing up in the cup.  It’s easier right?

Now for making sure your frosting ends up on your cupcake and not your arm.


Grab a hair band and simply place it on the top of your bag.  Now you can frost your cupcakes instead of your arm and the counter. You’re Welcome!

DSC_0016I used a large round tip to do the frosting swirls on these cupcakes.


Then I had the taste test crew come in to give them a try.


These cupcakes are incredibly moist and delicious.


Pallet Wall Art Beach Theme



Pallet wood gets my creative juices flowing.  There are so many endless options with them.  This one had some weather to it and I knew exactly what to do.


Here’s what we used to measure and make cuts.


I also sanded the cut edges just a bit to clean up the cuts.


DSC_0024I had these boat tie offs from another project and decides to place them in the center of each board.

DSC_0032On the back we simply placed a eye hook that comes in most nail kits.


Then we liquid nailed these coaster we picked up in the Bahamas on our last trip.

They were so pretty but honestly our glasses would slide off of them.  I didn’t want to waste them and realized they would really make a nice statement on our family vacation wall.


I love how the home made canoe paddle transfer and the pallet wall art  tie the mountains  and the ocean photos together. There is nothing better than having something unique that you can’t buy at a store.

For information on how to make the photo transfer to wood on our canoe paddle click here.

Photo Transfer to Wood (Canoe Paddle)



It seems photo transfer to wood is all the rage right now.  Since I already own a number of large canvas photo’s I decided to use a different medium to bring a wall of images together.

What you will need

  • Wood of your choice I used a Canoe Paddle
  • A paint brush
  • Liquitex Matte Gel (amazon)
  • A photo printed on a laser printer
  • Sander or sand paper
  • 8 hours of your time
  • Damp cloth


Since my Canoe Paddle had a finish I had to sand it down.  I would suggest sanding your wood down as well, just to make sure the photo has a smooth surface to cling to.

DSC_0002 DSC_0003

I had a hard time choosing so I printed two prints and placed them on the paddle to see which one I liked best.  Sometimes you need to do this.


I used Liquitex Matte Gel which I purchased off of amazon but I have heard it’s available at craft stores as well.



Cut your photo to fit your medium of choice. Place a good coat of Gel on your laser photo before applying it to your wood medium.

Once you attach it you will want to smooth it out and make sure there are no bubbles underneath the paper.  I used a pampered chef scrapper but anything smooth would work i.e. a credit card, or bone file.

Now you have to simply wait for it to dry.  I placed mine in the sun for 6 hours.  Arizona sun that is, so depending where you live you may want to allow it to dry longer.


I then placed it under my sink and soaked the surface followed by placing a wet kitchen towel on it for several minutes.  This is what you should start to see.


Now you just rub the paper slowly off of the wood.



From here I simply sprayed some clear paint over it and hung it in between our photo canvas family.





I cannot believe this worked!  It was way too easy.




What will you do?

Boiled Cider Apple Muffins





The Boy Scouts are coming.  We have wonderful neighbors, our neighbors next to us are Scout leaders and tomorrow a group of volunteers are coming to remove some invasive buffalo grass by our entrance.  This recipe makes 36 moist and delicious regular size muffins and is a nice size batch for a group of hungry boys.

Brown Sugar Streusel
1 cup (100g) dark or light brown sugar (please make your own)
1  cup (67g) toasted walnuts (always toast your nuts)
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A dash of cloves

Apple filling
3 cups Golden Delicious Apples
1/2 cup Boiled Apple Cider (you can purchase boiled cider on line I make my own by boiling down natural apple cider for around 6 hours)

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature preferred
1 cup sour cream or yogurt
2 teaspoon vanilla paste
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2cup 1 % milk
3 cups cups fresh golden delicious apples

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Makes 12 jumbo muffins or 24 regular size. Feel free to freeze them they keep well.

Make the streusel: In a small bowl, toss together the brown sugar, toasted nuts, and cinnamon. I throw mine in a food chopper for around 20 seconds.


Apple Filling

Take your peeled and cut apples and place them in a sauce pan with the apple cider.

DSC_0011 Boil for around 5 minutes.  You want the apples somewhat cooked but not mushy.


Place apples aside to cool.

In your mixer add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on high until creamed, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt or sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.


In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly mix with a whisk. Add the milk, gently whisking until combined and little lumps remain.

Fold in the Apples after draining excess cider off.  Do not over mix your batter.  You should be folding these in with a  spoon not using your mixer.



Your batter should look like this.


Layer in 1 Tablespoon of batter, then top with a little streusel, then more batter until the muffin tins or liners are full all the way up to the top.


Top with more streusel.


Bake in batches for 5 minutes at 425F degrees, then keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and bake for 18-21 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

DSC_0033This should be your end result.  A moist delicious apple muffin and yes tomorrow it will be so much better!