Mini S’mores – Easy for little hands!

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.25.28 AMI looooove s’mores, but I have never had an easy time eating them. When you bite into it, the graham cracker smooshes melted marshmallow all over your hands and face. While it’s all part of the fun s’mores experience, it can be especially difficult for little kids to handle regular sized s’mores. And who doesn’t LOVE mini things?

IMG_2446FFWe had an awesome time making these. We chose to make them in the toaster oven using the broil feature. I think they would turn out even better speared on a fork over an open flame (gas range, anyone?), but unfortunately we had no indoor flames available. But the toaster oven worked great for us!


What you’ll need:
Teddy grahams
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Chips or Kisses (It’s not a s’more if it’s not Hershey’s!)
Miniature Marshmallows

IMG_2429FFSpread out your mini marshmallows on a foil lined sheet. I didn’t grease my sheet, and the marshmallows came off the sheet fine.

IMG_2431FFPut them under the broiler on high, watching them closely. The amount of time it takes will vary greatly, depending on how hot your broiler is, and how close the pan sits to the heat. Watch them closely to avoid catching fire. It should take between 2-6 minutes to toast. You want to hit them with high heat in order to get them to toast quickly without melting into a pile of mush. These toasted in about 4-5 minutes, and were melted on the inside, but didn’t get too melty on the outside.

IMG_2435FFWhile the marshmallows are toasting, turn half of your Teddy Grahams upside down, and place one or two chocolate chips on each.

IMG_2437FFWhen your marshmallows are perfectly toasted, remove them from the broiler. Immediate place one or two marshmallows on each chocolate covered Teddy Graham.

IMG_2447FFTop it with a second teddy. Serve while hot!

IMG_2451FFThese cute little s’mores were almost mess free (except for the sticky fingertips) and so much easier to handle than the larger size. The kids loved them, and they were really quick and easy to make!

The toasted marshmallows can also be replaced by peanut butter…. Don’t ask how I know this. ;)

My Little Pony Cakes, Part Three: Cutie Mark Cake

IMG_1044This cake is a bit different from the last 2 cakes that I posted here. I wanted to go for a simpler design that used fun colors instead of detailed decorating. Emma is still nuts about My Little Pony, and her favorite pony right now is Fluttershy. I decided to use each pony’s colors to decorate both the inside and the outside.



The top tier was decorated with pale yellow buttercream to match Fluttershy’s coat, and adorned with a fondant cutie mark. The cutie marks were actually pretty east to free hand.

The insides of these cakes are what I was really excited to decorate. This cake is yellow and pink, with pale turquoise buttercrema to match Fluttershy’s eyes.





The bottom tier was decorated in pale blue buttercream to match Rainbow Dash’s coat, with her cutie mark as well. I added fluffly white buttercream clouds to complete the border.


This is my absolute favorite part of this cake. RAINBOW ICING! I love finding new ways to add rainbows to make cakes. My daughter and I love everything rainbow, so this is something we can both enjoy! To create this look, I decorated between each layer with a bulls eye pattern in the rainbow color pattern. I started with a purple circle, and piped a blue circle around that, then green, and so on. I love the effect, and will definitely be playing around with this method again!




IMG_1051 IMG_1053   Here is the birthday girl, excited to see her cake!

My Little Pony Cakes, Part Two: Twilight Sparkle

I made this cake for my daughter for her 5th birthday while she was going through her Twilight Sparkle phase. Unfortunately I didn’t get any really great pictures of it. The inside cake layers and icing were colored to match the outside of the cake.

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These pearl beads are by far my favorite addition for cake decorating. The used to sell them in bulk at our local Meijer, but are now selling them in the cake decorating aisle. There are tons of colors! They’re sixlets (chocolates from my childhood!) completely re-designed with a gorgeous pearly outside which works great for decorating! They also make a smaller non-chocolate version (though I find those will nearly crack a tooth if you munch un-suspectingly on one in a fork-full of icing!) I’ve seen them in most stores in the baking aisle.


Twilight was done in the same manner that Rainbow Dash was in my last post.

IMG_4185Next up: Cutie Mark Cake!

My Little Pony Cakes, Part One: Rainbow Dash

Hey readers! I haven’t had a lot of time to get back into blogging yet (the kids will be back in school soon, so I foresee lots more blogging time in my future!) but for now I still wanted to share some content. I’ve done lots of cakes in the last year that I haven’t gotten the chance to share yet, so I’m going to start with some My Little Pony cakes! My daughter and niece both love MLP, so I’ve enjoyed making the characters into cake. I love bright colors, and most of all rainbows! So here starts a 3 part series of My Little Pony cakes!

The first one I have is a Rainbow Dash cake I did for my niece.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 10.00.15 AMThe best part of making cakes for people you know is 1: you get to eat it, and 2: you get to see what the inside looks like after all that work!

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 9.56.12 AMThe trick to a good rainbow cake is getting nice flat even layers (even here mine aren’t perfect!). To get flat layers, spread the cake batter in the pan evenly with a spatula and bake at 325 instead of 350. The lower temperature keeps the cake from doming. If you do end up with doming (where the cake ends up much thicker and domed in the middle), you can even it out with icing so your entire cake isn’t domed. Add enough icing around the edges of the cake to make each layer level before adding the next layer of cake. You’ll end up with a ton of icing inside the cake, but honestly, if you don’t like icing, you shouldn’t be eating a layered cake anyhow!

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 9.55.39 AMThe fondant rainbow dash was easy enough to make. I printed off a picture of her and cut it out with an x-acto knife. I then layed that on top of my rolled fondant and cut around it. When it came to the tail and mane, I cut the tail and mane off of the picture, layed it on my fondant, and cut it out with the x-acto knife. It ended up working perfectly for me!

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 9.58.15 AM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 9.57.02 AMFor the ruffles, I used a skirting technique I learned at the bakery I worked at a few years back. Maybe some day I’ll do a tutorial on it! So far it’s my favorite ruffle effect for cakes.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 9.56.50 AMThe rainbow was actually pasted to a cardboard rainbow shape that was stuck into the top of the cake. The clouds are marshmallows held together by icing. The also acted as stabilizers for the rainbow.

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And here it is all together. This lucky little girl is coming up on another birthday, so maybe there will be a new My Little Pony cake in the works soon! I absolutely love making these ponies into different cakes, it’s been so much fun!

Cupcake wrappers – Free Silhouette Download!


I realize I’ve been sitting here with all these files on my computer, and I haven’t bothered sharing them! I’ll be a little bit better about that in the future. ;) Here you go, two different kinds of cupcake wrappers! They’re sized to fit standard cupcakes. If you need them for larger or smaller cupcakes, you can resize.

Download Scalloped Cupcake Liner

Download Scalloped Lacey Liner

The big Facebook debate (and why aren’t people seeing my posts?)

Facebook is a fantastic way of monitoring blog fans, sharing posts with fans, and seeing posts from other blogs and businesses I like. Well, it used to be. Did you know that you’re not seeing tons of posts from pages that you’ve liked? How would you know that you’re not seeing them, you don’t even miss them!

Facebook has a handy little spot on each one of my pages to see who I’m reaching. The most recent post that I made on Facebook was only seen by 135 people. 135 out of the 1591 people who have liked my blog page. That’s less than 10 percent! Now what is the point of liking a page if you’re probably not going to see the posts. Most of the time that I “like” a page is when I’m reading through a blog and love it, so I click the “like” page on the side of the blog, so that I can see future posts. I then navigate away from the page, and there is a huge chance that I’m never going to see a post from them.

Now you might be wondering why Facebook is doing this. On my end, I can see it quite clearly. There is a big button that says “advertise this post”. It tells me how much I can spend, and how many people I will reach with each chunk of cash. I can advertise the post to people who haven’t like my page at all (yeah, that would be all the random businesses that show up in your newsfeed, and you think, hey, I didn’t like this page!) It seems to be about bringing in money. (A little off topic, but have you recently tried sending a message to someone not on your friends list? A notification pops up telling you that it will automatically go into their “other” folder unless you pay $1 for it to go into their inbox. Who checks their other folder?)

So far with all my googling, I haven’t found a fix for this. The best solution I have for you is this. Add my page to your “interests” list. Here’s how.

Go to my page. If you’re one of the lucky 8.5% of my readers, this post will pop up in your newsfeed and you can work from there. If not, just go to my Facebook page here. Hover over the name.

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Hover over “liked” and select “new list” (unless you already have a list, in which case you can add it to an existing list)

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Choose a name for your new list

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And click done. This should now show up on the left side of your newsfeed, down near the bottom under “Interests”.

I have no idea if the pages you add to your interests actually show up in your newsfeed, but you can click on your list to see all the pages you add to it. I suggest going through all the pages you have liked (you can access that from your profile) and adding them to your interest list. That way on a daily or weekly basis, you can browse through all the new posts from all of your liked pages.

And if anyone has tips on getting these pages to show up in your newsfeed, PLEASE leave suggestions in the comments!

(also, whatever happened to the whole “subscribe” thing? I can’t seem to find an option to subscribe to posts from pages I already “like”)

Another way to see posts from me is to Follow me on Pinterest (the button is on the right side of my blog). I post all of my recipes to my “Crafty Mama Food” board, along with tons of other stuff! You can pick and choose which boards to follow, so that you don’t get weighed down with tons of things that you don’t want to see. Now, this is no substitute for seeing my posts in your newsfeed (especially if I’m only posting something random, like a did a few days ago, instead of a recipe that can be pinned). But I hope it helps!

Reese’s Ice cream cake

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For my birthday, I had my make a special cake, something that I don’t get to have every day. While digging through numerous recipes on Pinterest, I came across this ice cream cake. When it comes down to it, I really only used it for inspiration, and used other recipes.

For the cake, I used this recipe (but used a gluten free box mix so that my daughter could have some).

For the ice cream, I used Bryer’s Reese’s ice cream.

For the icing, I used this Peanut Butter Buttercream recipe.


Bake 2 8-inch rounds. Let them cool, and then slice horizontally, so that you have 4 8-inch rounds.

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Take your ice cream and peel the box away from it. Slice it about 1/4 inch thick.

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Lay down a layer of cake onto your cake plate. Later 1/3 of the ice cream on top of it, following with the cake, until all of the cake and ice cream is gone.

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Place it in the freezer while you make the icing.

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This peanut butter icing recipe was awesome! But I think a nice chocolate buttercream would be pretty good, too.

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Once your ice cream cake has frozen solid, ice it quickly so it doesn’t melt. Add some melted hot fudge on top and chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups, and pop it back in the freezer to chill.

Take out of the fridge 10-20 minutes before serving so it can soften enough to cut.

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White chocolate vanilla oatmeal cookies

Last night I was browsing Food Gawker, with no intent of baking. But then I came across these. Do I have the ingredients? Check. Okay, why am I still sitting here? They were incredibly easy to whip up (well, as easy as a basic cookie recipe, which takes a whopping 5 minutes). I used a large scoop for them (cookies seem to bake up so much better when you make them bigger!). The only change I made was leaving out the cayenne and adding about a tablespoon of cinnamon. I’m usually not a fan of white chocolate, but when it’s paired with the right flavors, it is soooo good!


Blogging etiquette: sharing photos, recipes, and blog posts


I would like to address an issue that most of us bloggers deal with. Having our photos stolen and improperly used. This is a huge issue among bloggers lately. Most of it is due to ignorance, laziness, or people just not caring. So I want to contribute to the cause and EDUCATE people on how to properly share a recipe or photo from a blog. I can almost hear my fellow bloggers saying “AMEN!”

I was once a new blogger myself. I remember posting a recipe to my blog, along with the instructions and my own photos. I later received a strongly worded e-mail from the originator of the recipe about me not giving her credit. At the time, I didn’t know what I was doing was incorrect, but I certainly started giving credit afterward! We all start somewhere, and we all make mistakes. The important part is righting our wrongs and changing our ways. Today I am taking a stand, and making my own efforts at educating people on how to give proper credit where credit is due.

Now, of course you must know, there’s a story behind this. In August I made a post about my camouflage cupcakes, along with step by step pictures on how to do it. I pinned it to Pinterest, posted it to Reddit, and before I knew it, it was huge. I’ve see my Camo cupcakes pinned all over pinterest! I love coming across one of my blog posts. Whenever someone links to my post, WordPress gives me a little notice that someone linked to it, and I can go check out their page. Unfortunately, when someone posts my photos, but no link back, I have no clue that they’ve done it. But thanks to some of my lovely followers, it was brought to my attention. Twice this week, I had someone e-mail me about my photo being shared with no link back, no mention of my name, nothing.

One was posted to the Duck Dynasty Facebook page. The person (who I will leave unnamed) posted my photo, along with pasting my entire blog post underneath. Plagiarism at it’s finest. I brushed it off, thinking it was just a little mistake, a case of someone not knowing how to properly share things. But then I saw that it had been shared nearly 34,000 times! Are you kidding me?! If she would have only posted the link to my page, rather than my photo, those 34,000 hits would have been to my page. Ouch.

But I understand, people don’t always understand proper etiquette for sharing.

The other incident was much less forgiving. A person (I will also leave her unnamed, but a large part of me wants to post a link straight to her page so she can receive all the anger I’m feeling right now!) took my photos, saved them to her computer, made a fancy little collage out of them, and then slapped her watermark on it. She then posted the edited photo, along with an exact copy of my recipe and instructions, to her facebook page. One of my valued readers brought it to my attention today. I messaged her, and informed her (in a rather strongly worded fashion, channeling my inner Bree VanDeKamp) that it is NOT okay to take someone’s photos and put your mark on them. I kindly asked her to remove them from her page. She replied in the most dramatic way, saying I was attacking her, it was an honest mistake, and then refusing to take them down and saying “she just doesn’t care”. REALLY?? I can understand making the mistake, I can understand feeling bad about it, but to then refuse to take it down? To not change your ways afterward? THIS IS NOT OKAY. And the sad thing, is that this is happening far too often! Not just with my photos, but tons of photos all over the place! So I will attempt to inform my dear readers, how to properly give credit, and what NOT to do.

What to do:

-If you are making someone else’s recipe, you state where you got it, and post a direct link to the recipe. To get the direct link, go to the post you want, right click on the title of the post, and select “copy link location”. Paste it somewhere in your post. It’s always polite to call the blog by name, but it’s also acceptable to just add the link to the original source.

-If you are making a craft or recipe from another blog, please, post your own photos, along with the recipe and instructions, and a link to where you found it. It’s great to share your own individual experience with the recipe, and note what changes you made or what you’d like to do different.

-If you are NOT making the recipe (or craft), but just want to share it, there are a couple options.

-If you’re sharing it in a blog post, you can post a photo from the original blog, along with a link on where to find the recipe. Please, do not post the photo, along with the recipe and directions. Because then people will come to your blog to get something that isn’t yours, and they have no reason to continue on to the original post. It also gives the impression that it is your own work, and you are sharing it with a LOT of people. Please, just point them in the direction of the original blog. Blog hits are a very important thing to some bloggers! Especially those who are making money off blogging.

-If you are sharing on Facebook or Twitter, post a link to the blog post (right click on the title of the post, and select “copy link location”). This will post a thumbnail of what they’re about to click on, along with the first few words of the post.

-When sharing a link to a specific post, make sure you’re actually in the blog post, not just the blog’s main page. If you share the main page, and someone comes to see the specific post that you thought you linked to, it will be buried under days, weeks, or months of other posts.

-No matter what you’re doing, or who you’re sharing it with, if you’re ever in doubt, post a link to the original post, along with the name of the blog. Trust me, bloggers REALLY appreciate it!

What NOT to do:

-Please, do not take a photo from someone else’s blog and repost without a link.

-Do not take a photo from a blog and post it along with the recipe. People will come to your blog and find the recipe, and they really have no reason to visit the original source after that. If you make the recipe or craft that you’re sharing, post your own photos, along with directions in your own words, sharing your specific experience with that particular craft or recipe. But please also include a link back to the original!

-Do NOT add your watermark to someone else’s photo. It doesn’t matter if you made a pretty little collage from their photos, they are NOT your photos. You have no claim to them, and you have no right to have your name tied to them.

-If you make a recipe or craft, and are inspired by someone else’s work, it’s always polite to link back to the original. It doesn’t matter if you made a few changes to it, it’s common courtesy! Please do not take someone else’s recipe and claim it for your own, especially when it is a unique recipe that you don’t see everywhere.

Bloggers and fellow Internet goers, please, learn from your mistakes! Make the extra effort to give credit to the people who are making these recipes, taking these photos, and sharing their craftiness. I cannot count the amount of times that I have clicked on a pin on Pinterest, only to have it take me to Tumbler or some other website, where there is NO source for the picture. It is maddening, I tell you! Do us all a favor and give credit where credit is due!

With all that said, I’m sure I’ve got plenty of mistakes in the past of my blog. I don’t have the time to go back through every post and track down who inspired it. I do try to give credit with every post, or at least link back to specific recipes. I’m only human, just like all the rest of you, and I’m sure there are times where I completely space out and forget to link back. Though when it is brought to my attention, I’m always happy to fix it.


Edit: I just wanted to add after a few comments I received, that you don’t need to worry about any of this if you stick to Pinterest! Pinterest is designed to take you to the original source, so when you pin or re-pin something on Pinterest, there’s no need to link back or to name the blog. Lots of blogs actually have it autofill the pin description with the post’s title and their blog name.