Saturday, December 19, 2009

A star is born!

I wanted to share a delightful submission from our design team member Kristie.  Some of you may even subscribe to her blog - she is so talented!  I have attached her directions for making this super cute Christmas Star using a neat grouping of our papers.  

Be sure to check out her blog for other great ideas and projects...


DECEMBER 15, 2009

Tuesday's Tips & Techniques: Embellished Star

 Would you believe this star began life as a Christmas Tree topper? I picked it up at Joann's, with my coupon.  It is heavy, waaaay too heavy for any tree that fits in my house so I redesigned it into a lovely kitchen decoration. I used a variety of Cookbookin' papers and embellies and just in case you'd like one too, here is how I did it!

Those of you who know me, know I really have an aversion to measuring. Do I even own a ruler? Well, I do but it's lost somewhere in the junk drawer. {No, not really.} If you are one of those amazing measuring people. Simply measure each side of your star's arm areas -the places you want to cover with paper. I looked for my ruler, just for you measurers but I couldn't find it -looks like it really IS lost.
This was one of those "having 5 kids is really convenient" times, I just went to one of their bedrooms and snagged a ruler from one of them! My star's arms measure: 5x2-1/4x3-1/2inches. Cut your papers just inside those measurements or make yourself a template to use for cutting the papers.

MAKE A ~no measure ~ TEMPLATE like me!

Push one flimsy piece of scrap paper over the area you want to make a template for. Technical, I know!

Ah, see, there is the lovely impression.

 Cut out the template of the template;)

And check real quick just to be sure it fits right, trim until it does.

Then cut out a real template from scrap chipboard, cardboard, whatever you have around that is a little sturdier than cardstock.

There it is, THE TEMPLATE. {Keep this around in case you get another of the same kind of star...I embellished one of these exact same stars a few weeks ago but somehow lost my template}

Now, choose some papers and cut away. I used some of my favoriteCookbookin' papers: Cookin' up Memories and Preserving Memories, for mine. They just go perfectly in my kitchen!

I like to stick my papers right onto my star with vellum adhesive (or any low tack adhesive) so I can really see how they look. Some of these papers ended up on the cutting room floor...

I stood it up to take a look and make sure I liked how I had it. I like to use a 4-3-3 paper technique on these stars. 4 of one paper, 3 of another paper and 3 of a third paper. I played with several papers for this one and kept dragging the entire project to my kitchen to see how it was going to look...Finally, I made my paper decisions. 

 I always ink my edges on a project like this so one by one, I pulled the papers off, inked them and then replaced them so I wouldn't forget the order that I liked them in!

Finally, ready to permanently adhere the papers to my star. I use Mod Podge, but only on the back of the papers. Just personal preference. I'll probably be sorry when I splatter the star with pasta sauce one day.

I hung a nice little metal rimmed tag, also from Cookbookin', around the star. Gives it a nice feel, don't you think? 

And now it happily resides on my kitchen countertop alongside some of my other Cookbookin' creations.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mini French Silk Pies

Cookbookin' has lots of friends who participate in recipe swap classes at their local stores. This submission came from a "Trim and Fit" recipe swap! I don't know about you, but I feel pretty puffy after my Holiday indulgences! I wanted to include this submission either as a healthier alternative for a Christmas party dessert, or a "get back on the wagon" dessert to have in your freezer for after Christmas!

Our "Executive Chef" Patty created this layout using papers from our Chocolate Celebrations and Mom's Diner collections. I love, love, love the use of the lidded pie plate from our Mom's Diner stamp set. There are just so many ways you can use that stamp set. To create the same look, use the stamp with black ink and fill in the handle with a silver pen. Cut a 5" piece of tulle to tie around the stem of the pie plate and tie a knot. Finish by sticking a pearl-topped pin through the knot. You have my word that this recipe is just as fabulous as the layout. Enjoy!

8 oz. package mini Oreo Cookies
1 cup chocolate Teddy Grahams
2 Tbsp. butter-flavored spread, melted

½ cup butter, softened
4 oz. reduced – fat cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
¾ cup liquid egg substitute
Sugar-free Cool Whip, for garnish
2 Hershey’s chocolate bars

For Crust:
Fill 15 standard-size muffin tins with paper liners. Seal Oreos and
Teddy Grahams in a zip-top bag and use a rolling pin to crush them
into fine crumbs. Add melted butter-flavored spread;
mix well. Divide crumb mixture into lined muffin cups. Press
crumbs firmly into the bottom of each muffin cup, then place
muffin tin into freezer for about 20 minutes.

For Filling:
While crust is in the freezer, in a medium bowl, beat butter,
reduced-fat Cream cheese, and sugar with an electric mixer on
medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and melted
chocolate. Gradually beat in egg substitute on high speed for about
3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Spoon filling into chilled crusts
and refrigerate at least two hours or until well chilled.

To Serve:
Top each mini French Silk Pie with 2 Tbsp. of Sugar-Free Cool Whip.
Break chocolate bars into individual pieces and add one piece to each mini
pie as garnish.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just some ideas!

I don't know about you, but my mom and I are constantly clipping little ideas out of the many magazines that we subscribe to.  The holiday issues of Women's Day, Real Simple and Good Housekeeping are my favorites for great craft and gift giving ideas.  We wanted to share some of our favorites with you on this snowy, snugly day!  (In Colorado anyway!)

1. Women's Day magazine suggests: "Be a secret Santa this month - 
leave a poinsettia on your neighbor's front porch with a note that 
simply says 'Enjoy'". 
*I think I'll leave plates of cookies instead.  :)

2. Get creative with your gifts this year….Create a collection of 
your favorite recipes (and include a small sample, if possible) to 
give as a gift. This is a great way to pass on culinary traditions to 
your family and friends.
*Recipe's as gifts?  What a swell idea! :)

3. Deck your halls with something different this year - hang your 
favorite holiday cookie cutters from pretty ribbons in your kitchen 
window. Inexpensive and fun! 
*Do this in your kitchen window and take a picture for me!  
I would love to post pictures of everyone's festive cookie cutter garland! 

4. Gift in a jar for yourself:
Mix together a large batch of instant oatmeal and scoop up a serving 
that costs only about 25-cents per day. In a large bowl, combine 1 
container (18-oz.) quick-cooking oats, 1 envelope (3.2-oz.) nonfat dry 
milk, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1 cup raisins or dried 
fruit of your choice. Transfer to an airtight container. For 
breakfast: Scoop 1/2 cup oatmeal mix into a bowl and add 1/2 cup 
water. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Makes about 16 servings.
*Done and Done! This one sounds great to me,
and I have been a very good girl this year!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A note from "P"!

Today I am excited to bring you a special guest blog from our very own "P" of PJK designs ~ Enjoy!

Just before Thanksgiving, I attended a recipe swap and pot luck at my local scrapbook store. The food was delicious some of which is pictured above. If you squint, you can see my cookies pictured in the upper right hand corner on a pedestal plate. They are Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies and they won a million dollar prize in the Pillsbury Bake-Off. I’ve also attached the recipe that I made for the swap. Each scrapper participating in the swap made 35 of their recipe cards.

I saw the recipe for these cookies on TV somewhere – maybe it was an advertisement on the Food Network? I thought to myself at the time that I have a lot of men in my family who love peanut butter cookies – my Dad, my brother, my son, and my son-in-law. So I went to the Pillsbury website and tracked down the recipe. It looked easy and it even starts with Pillsbury refrigerated cookie dough. Now I have to tell you that I have turned up my nose at prepared cookie dough in the past. I’m embarrassed to say that thoughts like “who doesn’t make their own cookie dough?” have gone through my mind. Guess what? These cookies are great. My husband Fred announced, “these are the best cookies you have ever made”, after eating one cookie. So far this cookie season, I think I’ve made hundreds of them. I even made these little gems and hand carried them on the airplane for our family gathering in Scottsdale over Thanksgiving. You can probably guess that they were a hit. My sweet daughter-in-law, Katie, even declared at one point that there was nothing on the dessert menu at the restaurant where we were eating that could top the cookies back in our hotel room so she would just rather wait for dessert.

So without any further ado, here’s my version of Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies.

Double Delight Peanut Butter Cookies
What You’ll Need:
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 roll (16.5 oz.) Pillsburyâ peanut butter cookie dough; chilled

1. Heat oven to 375 °F.
2. In a small bowl mix cinnamon and granulated sugar; set aside.
3. In another small bowl, stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape into about 24 (1-inch) balls; chill until needed.
4. Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly.
5. Shape 1 cookie dough slice around each peanut butter ball; covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.
6. Roll each ball in sugar/cinnamon mixture.
7. On an ungreased cookie sheet, place balls 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly.
8. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet and cool completely on a wire rack.
Note: I am careful not to overcook these so that the peanut butter ball in the middle stays creamy. Be sure to cool cookies on a wire rack for best results.

The original recipe can be found here.

It calls for rolling the unbaked cookies in a mixture of cinnamon, sugar, and chopped peanuts. I’m sure they will be a hit either way you make them.

Happy Cookies to you!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tanned and relaxed!

 Jackson having a nice, relaxing float in the pool!

Dear friends,

I hope you had a wonderful and realxing holiday with family and loved ones.  As you know, the Kershaws were relaxing in warm and sunny Scottsdale.  This has little to nothing to do with recipe scrapping but I wanted to share some family pictures with my COOKBOOKIN'TM friends! 

Geoffrey, Alice and little Jackson Kershaw on Thanksgiving Day

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Count Your Blessings Card

Everyone I have spoken to over the last couple of days is busy, busy getting ready for the big day on Thursday.  One of my nearest and dearest chefs (you know who you are missy, wink wink) will actually begin her turkey brining ritual tomorrow...Impressive!  

This Thanksgiving the Kershaws are taking a family trip.  This is a first for us and I am so excited!  We are meeting parents, (P of PJK), silbings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I have so much to be Thankful for this year.  My darling Jack arrived on May first and has been such a blessing to the family.  My work with COOKBOOKIN'TM is exciting and FUN and I think I have the best friends in the whole wide world.  A special thanks to all of our wonderful COOKBOOKIN'TM friends, fans, designers, retailers and reps.  We couldn't do it without you!  On that Thankful note, I leave you with this darling "Count Your Blessings" card from COOKBOOKIN'TM designer Debbie Sherman.  

Happy Sunday!  I'm off to the first showing of the day of New Moon...I would like to add the Twilight series and Edward Cullen to my list of things I am thankful for!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Speaking of Traditions...

Today I was so pleased to open my email and find a new and terrific project from designer Kristie Coleman.  I love when our COOKBOOKIN'TM fans come up with cool and innovative uses for our papers and embellishments.  I would have never thought to use our Preserving Memories paper for a Thanksgiving page, but it looks fabulous!  

I especially love how Kristie included the thoughtful journaling block to tell her family story.  I sincerely hope that each of you will remember to take a moment to capture these priceless memories, stories, and especially recipes!  These are truly priceless heirlooms that will be treasured for generations to come.  It's so easy to say "I'll come back and journal later" - we all do it!  This holiday season I want to encourage you to take a moment and write a note about your families annual cookie decorating assembly line and Great Grandma's famous rum cake recipe. You won't be sorry you did!  Here's a new can always go back and scrap it later!  

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday Traditions and COOKBOOKIN'TM

By Debbie Sherman

With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, I started thinking about holiday traditions. What traditions do you and your family celebrate with? You may have one and don’t even realize it. If you don’t have a family tradition, it’s never too late to start one! The best way to have a pleasant and meaningful holiday is to create your own family traditions. The most important part of a holiday tradition is that everyone participates and enjoys themselves.

Decide what part of the holiday is most important to your family. Is it religion, cooking a special dish that your family has only once a year, baking cookies for gifts, going for a family walk after your meals, ornament exchanges, playing board games?? There are literally hundreds of ways to create a family tradition. For me, at Christmas time I send each of my grandkids a snow globe. My family did this when I was little and I wanted to pass this down to my grandkids. I have some beautiful snow globes and fabulous memories of staring into them and watching the glittery snow fall until every speck was settled.

My Thanksgiving tradition is mostly based around cooking. I love to get up early, make stuffing and put the turkey in the oven. While the bird is cooking, it's church, football and more cooking!! After our meal I go for a long walk in the park and think about the color scheme and theme for Christmas decorations. Friday after Thanksgiving I watch the Wizard of OZ in the evening with all the Christmas tree lights on. I burn candles and cuddle up with hubby. These are all yearly rituals that have been a part of me for years.

Most holiday traditions include food, whether it’s a snack while decorating or baking cookies or decorating gingerbread houses. Who doesn’t remember any special holiday meal traditions? A couple of years ago my husband decided that we were not going to fuss with cooking for just the two of us and that we were going to go out to dinner instead. Well, that will never happen again! I missed the leftovers and the cooking and even the cleaning up! Even though it’s a lot of work, it is work I love!

My love for scrapbooking and documenting our family traditions play a huge part in my holiday season. In the last few months I decided that I was going to create my own cookbook of our favorite meals. Most of the time, food is the focus of family gatherings and traditions. It plays a very important part in everyday life…why not document it and pass it on to your family. They will love it! As you’re sitting down eating a meal that your grandmother cooked when you were little…the memories will come flooding in! Traditions are a reflection of your family’s beliefs and personality…..something that should be treasured forever. What about the foods you celebrate with? Are they traditional dishes? Have they been recipes that have been handed down through the generations? It’s important to document these family heirlooms! You could include a family recipe next to a picture of the dish or someone preparing it. These recipes are an important part of family history and traditions! Don’t forget to hand these memories down as your legacy !

I wanted to share a layout I created about my grandkids and their family tradition. Every year my grandkids make a gingerbread house with their mother. I love getting the photos of their annual gingerbread house! You can see how proud they are and how important this tradition has become in their lives. I’ve included the recipe for the gingerbread so that one day, when they have a family of their own, they can pass this tradition down to their children. I created this layout using products from Cookbookin .com They are perfect for documenting your families favorite traditions!

Family traditions are such an important part of a legacy, don’t forget to document your traditions!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mom and Jack Scrappin'... This is exhausting!

It's still cold here in Denver but the Kershaws have been keeping busy inside. I love it when I can catch up on my scrapbooking projects, and nothing makes that easier than a good snow day. I was able to finish some pages this week and also make Piglet's Halloween cards. As much as I love our Gooseberry Patch Halloween papers, I just felt like the colors were not quite right with the picture I was using. This year Piglet is going to be a lion and the colors in his costume are yellow and brown. I loved the way that the pattern of our 12x12 Pantry Shelf paper looked with the picture, so I decided to go with that one. I used the check portion of the paper as thebackground for my picture and then mounted it on a piece of dark brown cardstock. I used an antique edge scissor to trim the check paper and then finished the edges with a brown chalking. Finally, I added ur note and my cards were complete!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Delicious treats from Creative Cookbookin'!

We are so excited to be a sponsor of a delicious new blog site called Creative Cookbooking. You must check it out!

Sign up for this blog, and join the weekly challenge! Here's how it works...Each week has a theme - we just participated in the "Favorite Halloween Treat" challenge. You have a week to create your entry. Send them in and every Tuesday they publish the layouts that fellow chefs created. Not only do you have a great opportunity to scrap your recipes, but you are also entered to win a prize!! Stay tuned for more from Creative Cookbooking.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cold = YUM!

Brrr....Denver area residents, you know what I'm talking about!  We had quite the little cold blast come in this weekend.  After living in Texas for most of my life, I am still not used to 23 degree days in early October.  I must say, I have grown very fond of snuggling on the couch with Jack and 2 fur-babies on a snowy and cold day.  It also puts me in the mood for a yummy crock pot stew with rolls.  Stew is something that requires many ingredients and unfortunately a good bit of time.  However, my rolls are fast, EASY and delicious.  They only require 3 ingredients!  Whatever you decide to make to warm up your family this Fall, I highly recommend adding a serving of Easy 1.2.3 rolls, AKA "Fatten you right up" Rolls ;)  

Here is the super-easy recipe!

1 stick melted butter
1 cup sour cream
1 heaping cup self-rising flour

Mix together.  That's it!  Put little globs into greased mini-muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sweets for my Sweetie!

This week my husband Geoff and I celebrated our four year anniversary! With a new baby and the holidays around the corner, we kept our gift exchange budget to a minimum Personally, I love a great homemade gift and a zero budget challenge! I started digging around in my scrapbook goodies and decided to work with the Chocolate Celebrations collection. This collection really lends itself to weddings, anniversaries and Valentine's Day so I knew I was off to a great start. With the "sweets for my sweetie" theme in mind, I created this goodie tower - and it was easy! Scrapbook paper actually makes wonderful wrapping paper for small boxes, which is what I was working with. All you need to do is wrap the box and lid separately and make sure all of the paper is very well attached so that it does not snag and rip when the lids are removed. To accomplish this I always use spray adhesive rather than a scrapbooking product. Spray adhesive comes in a can, like spray paint, and is applied the same way. I always spray my paper (on a surface you don't mind getting messy - like a piece of cardboard) and then let it sit for one minute. The adhesive will get a little tacky and then it sticks the best. I then used ribbon and my Chocolate Celebrations Appetizing Accents to embellish my boxes. Fill with your sweetie's favorite chocolate treats!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Cookbookin' Designer!

PJK Designs and Cookbookin' are so excited to announce the first member of the Cookbookin' design team. Allow me to introduce Lisa Phillippi and her darling projects! Lisa is a fellow Texan from the city of San Antonio, home of the PJK Designs headquarters. Lisa used the acrylic stamps from our *new* Halloween Goodies collection. I absolutely love to see people making products with our acrylic stamps. You may say I am biased, but I truly believe these are the best stamps on the market. The quality of the image is simply unparalleled by other brands. Happy creating, and don't forget to send me images of your projects. We love to post new ideas in the Gallery of our website.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hello again!


Oh my goodness, it has been WAY to long since our last blog update! Cookbookin' has been BUSY. We have had an all-team creative meeting at our headquarters in San Antonio, attended Creative Escapes in Phoenix, Arizona, and our first consumer trade show in Sandy, Utah. Whew! I am really excited about our last creative meeting and I can't wait for you all to see what we are working on. For now, I wanted to share with you the awesome project we taught at Creative Escapes, see above!  This is just a sampling of the pages, there are 12 total.  Use the cards to document your favorite Halloween recipes and the extra pages for pictures and journaling about your favorite spooky memories!  

Fortunately for you I am feeling quite guilty about neglecting my blog for so long.  While supplies last we are offering all of the items needed to make this mini flip album along with detailed instructions with pictures for just $9 + $2 shipping.  Such a great deal it's spooky!
Email me, to secure your kit!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Christmas in July!

I was so pleased with my progress in the department of pre-made birthday cards last week that I decided to take it a step further. I now have a few Christmas goodies made and ready to go! In my opinion, it's never to early to prepare for this holiday. It ALWAYS sneaks up on me. This is what I did...

  • Step One - don't throw away Crystal Light containers (actually, I never throw away any containers that have any kind of crafting potential!
  • Step Two - locate "Sugar and Spice" Recipe Scrapbooking Kit and Appetizing accents.
  • Step Three - use papers to wrap Crystal Light containers. It is a perfect fit horizontally - no trimming needed! You will only need to trim a few inches lengthwise.
  • Step Four - Use paper scraps to make folded tags and adorn with appetizing accents and stickers. I also used stickles for a little extra pizazz on the canister. Tie tags on to canisters with holiday ribbon.
  • Step Five - Filling. It's a bit early to fill the canisters with goodies. However, when the time comes, I plan to fill with chocolate dipped pretzel rods. The pretzel rods are just tall enough to stick out of the containers and look really cute. However - any cookies, candies, brownie mixes, etc. will be a great filling.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chocolate leftovers

If you are anything like me, you often scramble at the last minute to get cards and gifts in the mail for birthdays. If I could have saved all the money I have spent on overnight shipping of late gifts, Jackson would be well on his way to a nice college fund! Well, today I am taking charge of this reoccuring and frusterating problem! One of the best things about the Cookbookin' line of Recipe Scrapbooking Kits is the great amount of product included in the kit. I have found that I can use one kit to create several double page layouts and I still have plenty of great scrapbooking supplies left to create with. As you know, I recently used the Chocolate Celebrations RSK to create a special birthday card for Nana Kershaw. Check out all of the other fun projects I was able to create using just the leftovers from my RSK. P.S. - I still have lots of stickers and cardstock cutouts to use!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nana's Ninetieth!

Geoffrey and I are sad that we are not able to attend our Nana Kershaw's Ninetieth birthday party at the end of the week. I wanted to make a really special card for her big day. I love the Chocolate Celebrations collection for birthdays. The recipe scrapbooking kit has great paper, stickers and cardstock shapes for cards, tags, and even wrapping gifts!

To create this card, I started with a basic pink cardstock and trimmed it to 7" x 12". With the longer side positioned vertically, fold the cardstock two times, creating 3 horizantal panels. I embellished the inside panels using the cake and cupcake journaling shapes, pink photo corners, and pink tonal striped paper from the recipe scrapbooking kit. Add pictures and notes as desired. When the inside of the card is complete, simply fold and tie with ribbon. Adorn with cake appetizing accent. And viola! Beautiful and special birthday card for your loved one.

*Note - Appetizing accents are stickers - grab a scrap of paper to create a backing for the sticker so that the card can be opened over and over. Then attach top left corner of the sticker with a small amount of glue directly on the ribbon.

Chocolate Celebrations Recipe Scrapbooking Kit - #806
Chocolate Celebrations Appetizing Accents - # 826

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

GQ Tacos

Since Geoffrey starting working in marketing 3 years ago, our magazine subscriptions have quadrupled. The Kershaw household gets more magazines than you could possibly read in a month and unfortunately none of them are crafting or gossip magazines - my favorites! However, every once in a while, the entire family benefits from our overstuffed mailbox. This past Saturday night is a great example of such a benefit. Geoffrey treated me to a delicious home cooked meal as suggested by our chic friends at Gentleman's Quarterly magazine. This recipe has been altered from the original, but I'm sure I will always affectionately call this meal the "GQ Tacos".
The meal was such a delight that I felt it deserved it's very own scrapbook page. I used the Gooseberry Patch 'Preserving Memories' Recipe Scrapbooking Kit (#603) to create this page. I love the bright green and white check paper and the farmers market theme are so cute for summer recipes. The Vegetable Paper Clips (#741) added the perfect finishing touches to the page.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Crabby When Hungry - Part Two!

Dear Cookbookin' friends -
Sorry about the lack of posts recently, but I do have a very good excuse! Jackson Thomas Kershaw was born on May 1, weighing 7lb. 15oz. and measuring 20.5 inches. I am happy to report that mommy and baby are both doing great. Jackson already shows great potential as a fellow "foodie" - he is a very hungry boy and is growing every day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crabby When Hungry

I recently received this adorable baby bib for Jackson from my dear friend Tracy. With baby Kershaw’s big arrival still a few weeks away, you can see that Geoff and I found another model . The bib did not fit me (we tried) which is unfortunate because it speaks very truthfully about my current disposition! We had a giggle about the phrase – it really couldn’t be more true – and not just for the preggies, either. Good thing for me, I learned in month one to never be without a snack. I have baggies of snacks stashed everywhere from the glove compartment of my car to the bedside table. By month two, Geoff, friends and coworkers learned only to touch my snacks if they felt like gambling. You could get sweet, happy to share Alice, or…”whose the dead man that took my cheese cubes!” Alice. The smart ones steer clear.
I wanted to share one of the best recipes for snacks to have on hand. These treats are really best refrigerated, so the glove compartment is not an option here. However, these little delights are easy, healthy and filling. You can pop a few in your mouth for a snack or sweet treat after a meal. My mom has been making them for me since I was a little girl -

Mom’s Peanut Butter Balls
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips*
1/4 cup honey
Mix all ingredients, shape into small balls, store in the refrigerator. What a delicious and healthy snack!

*Does anyone else think these are getting harder and harder to find? When I see a couple bags, I always buy more than one. You can always freeze them. Note – In a pinch I have coarsely chopped the larger chocolate chips and used these in the recipe instead. Tastes just as good!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cupcakes & Cocktails!

Geoffrey and I recently hosted a couples wedding shower for our good friends Jamie and Todd. I love to entertain, and I often use the same format when creating my party theme. It's pretty simple - I just pick two of the guest-of-honor's favorite things and plan everything around that. For the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs, the Cupcakes & Cocktails theme was born! I find that this is an easy, yet personal approach to party planning. For Geoffrey's last birthday, we hosted an afternoon BBQ with the theme 'Bourbon & Brats'.

I must say that planning a menu around cupcakes is much more fun than bratwurst. I loved testing out friends and families favorite cake and cupcake recipes! The biggest hit at the party came from my brother's wife, Katie. Her recipe for cinnamon toast cupcakes was quite the crowd pleaser. Only one hiccup - on party day the icing application did not go as planned. *Note to self- there is no good substitute for a pastry bag. Zip lock baggies with a hole cut in the corner do not pipe icing matter how good it may look in your head! Due to the icing snaffu, I renamed these "Cinnamon Bun" cupcakes, but I actually think they are pretty cute as is!

Of course I will be scrapping this fun event, and used Cookbookin' recipe cards and papers for both mine and Jamie's album. I hope you enjoy the Cinnamon Bun cupcakes as much as we did!

Cinnamon Bun Cupcakes

1 (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3 1/3 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
cooking spray

Place baking rack in center of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line cupcake pans with liners and spray top of pan with cooking spray. Place cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with mixer on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and increase to medium for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into each liner (about 3/4 full). Place pan(s) in oven on middle rack. Bake cupcakes till they are golden brown, (about 18 to 22 minutes). Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes. Slowly and carefully turn pan on it's side and remove cupcakes. Cool 15 minutes and frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. I used the swirl "technique" (Ha!) pictured to make the cupcakes look like little cinnamon buns and topped with cinnamon spinkles.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Welcome friends!

Welcome to the new Cookbookin' Blog!

I am so excited to introduce everyone to the new Cookbookin' website. As many of you know, the Cookbookin' line of product was acquired from Sulyn Industries by Jackie and Patty of PJK Designs in June of 2008. The Cookbookin' product line has since been edited and reworked to include some terrific new designs and updated favorite product.

Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Alice Kershaw, the marketing director for PJK Designs, the new home of Cookbookin'. The focus of this blog is a few of my favorite things ~ food, recipe scrapbooking, entertaining, gifts and more! Of course, I will always keep you up to date on the latest Cookbookin' products, projects and news. I am big on putting names to faces. I have included a picture of myself and my assistant editor, Sophie Kershaw. She is my go-to gal for all things chic and stylish. If I may, I would like to point out that both Sophie and my cheeks are a little puffier than we would like due to the upcoming arrival of baby Kershaw. My dear Sophie has accompanied me on many trips to the local Baskin Robbins as all good assistant editors should. Cookbookin' has been extra fun these last few months - everything tastes wonderful at 8 months pregnant!

Thanks for checking out the new website and stay tuned for more from the team at Cookbookin'!