Easy Dollar Tree Christmas Craft Hacks

It’s getting colder outside and the holidays are coming; it’s time to start thinking about party planning and setting up an awesome hot chocolate bar!

Whether your hot chocolate bar is for two or twenty you can pull it off with amazing goodies and adorable decorations from DOLLAR TREE. This segment includes two crafts. The first, a small floral arrangement used as a floral accent on the table or it can be used as a place card holder.

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Lavender Frosting paired with Lemon Cupcakes is a Delectable Combination

Do you love Lavender? Lavender scented laundry detergent or bubble bath probably comes to your mind first. However, a new frontier for me is Culinary Lavender.

I have heard of lavender cake and other desserts with Lavender but had never tried one. Of course, out of curiosity I had to try to make something.

I found the Culinary Lavender at Williams-Sonoma and off I went. After reading and investigating flavor combinations I decided to go with Lavender frosting and Lemon Cupcakes.

One important detail to share is : Use Lavender Sparingly! Lavender can be very strong and overwhelming; a little goes a long way. For the best results seep 2 Tbsp. Half n Half and 1 Tbsp. Lavender in the refrigerator for 8- 10 hours before using. Drain the seeds and use the liquid in lieu of the milk in your favorite buttercream recipe. Add Wilton violet food coloring for some color. That’s it! Simple and delicious.


The Box Gourmet Strikes Again

I will admit, there are times I need to use box mix. Dare I say it? YES, I USE BOX MIX!

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That’s where The Box Gourmet comes in. I have adapted box recipes to take them to the next level; turning ordinary box mixes into something spectacular (well at least I think so). Thanks to my culinary experiences, I am able to imagine great creations. I hope you enjoy the recipes and are inspired to use your imagination to fool your friends.

Check out the latest recipe!


It’s A Wash

It’s been a long day in the kitchen. I had intended to write earlier but, you know how that goes; Things don’t always go as planned and can get totally screwed up. Hours were spent on the phone dealing with tech issues was only the beginning.

I went to 2 grocery stores, Walmart and Walgreens in search of YELLOW PEEPS. THEY WERE OUT. No surprise there.

I needed to get Easter Cupcakes and Bundt Cakes made but, I decided to do an experiment with orange spice and candied walnuts which threw off the day but, so far, so good. The cakes will have to remain naked overnight; I’m beat. Today is a total wash. I plan on getting to the cream cheese frosting in the morning…I hope.


The Art of Food

I’m sure most of us have been out to eat and snapped a few pics of a delicious meal to post on Facebook or Instagram. Inspired by the advancements in technology and photo apps we all can create amazing pictures of food. If it weren’t for smart phones this photo trend probably would’ve never evolved. I mean can you see people snapping photos with their 110 cameras or Polaroids? No, film and development would be costly. So now here we are, taking food pics whether we go.

Thanks to Instagram this has truly become an art form. The art of food has taken over! Actually, for the good and bad. Now we can discover amazing new foods and ways to present them but, for those of us who take it to the extreme and can’t take a bite without a pic, it’s kind of disruptive to others.

Regardless of the disruption, I like many others, have made it a hobby. And have been inspired to push food photography to the limit in hopes of inspiring others. I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite pics for The Art of Food: Breakfast to Dessert.