Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Treats

My sugar cookie snowmen are always the first to go. This year I make some with cereal buttons and others with small m&m buttons. The nose is a small orange m&m cut up with a pill cutter. The eyes are brown m&ms cut into quarter pieces. The pill cutter works great!

Just a star sugar cookie with gold sprinkles,
 These chocolate malt cookies were the next to go. Some were hesitant. They are not as Christmas(y) as the snowmen. They certainly have the flavor!

The chocolate roll out cookies are fun to. The first year that I made them I decorated them a lot. My sister's and mom sampled them and said they taste better plain. I just added a blob of chocolate frosting and added a pearl sprinkle to the angles and an m&m to the others.

I love orange slices. Since it was Christmas time, I went for the cherry slices. They taste really good dipped in dark chocolate melt. This is probably the easiest thing I made. It totally added color to the dessert table.

The round pretzels taste good with dark chocolate melt poured in them and a single mint chocolate kiss. Just don't put them on too fast. They can melt and make a mess.

These pre-bitten Gingerbread Boys were fun to make. My sister bought me cookie cutter Gingerbread Men a few years ago. One has an arm off, another has a foot off and the last one has his head off. They are fun, but I think they look best on a plate full of them. Then people get the humor of them.

I also made Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls. I guest posted about them here. They are so good made with Coconut Oil! I also loved them dipped in dark chocolate!

Monday, December 5, 2011


I remember when I was registering to get married, I didn't have a KitchenAid mixer on my list. My Aunt said, "Alissa you need to have one of those." She convinced me that I needed one. It's one of my top items in my kitchen. I make breads, cookies, cakes and bars with this thing.

Mom Spotted is giving away one $550 KitchenAid Mixer!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Parade

We have Christmas in November with my husband's side of the family. I decided to make some Thanksgiving cookies to take on our journey.

Meet Mr. Tom Turkey: 

He was so easy to make. I love how I found one last bag of candy corn on clearance! I totally think they should sell them into Thanksgiving time! The colors totally say, "Halloween" and "Thanksgiving"!

Not my forte, but my husband says that part of Thanksgiving is about football. So I made some footballs for this Turkey day.

Reindeer Food

It looks like I have a few more carrot cookies to make! I have to cover all the reindeer!

This was my Grandma's giant plate. It has all kind of scratches in it that I rubber stamped out of the first image. I just love the plate {scratches and all}! 

These are now in my freezer waiting to be set out on Christmas Eve for Santa's reindeer.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Heart Wilton Even More

Want to win this prize package by Wilton?

I do! I just love Wilton! They have such creative ideas. This is indeed the time of year I like to bake.

You can win this at Baby Loving Mama!

I Heart Wilton!

Do you want to win all this stuff?

You can win all this from Wilton by going to Mom Spotted to enter! This is the time of year for baking! The oven warms up your house.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The New Edition of The Big Red Cookbook from Betty Crocker!

I really haven't dived into making anything new lately. Maybe it's the quest to being healthier that is preventing me from making yummy treats. Lately when I make something, it's a repeat of something I've made and posted on this blog already. I have been trying to experiment with replacing things in recipes. Like I used ground up apple in replace of butter in my muffins and banana bread. It tasted just as good, but much better for anyone who eats it.

My Organized Chaos is giving away the New Edition of The Big Red Cookbook from Betty Crocker:

I saw this recipe and so want to try it out with my own flair. I'd like to give the bird feathers.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Campus Book Rentals

Every year I have the lucky job of making the student's art supply list. A lot goes into making that list. Beyond that the student's have a book list. Many get their books new. It's hard to have a book sell back program at a small art school. As much as we would love to start getting digital books, the students do not have laptops first semester. Even when they get their MacBooks, publishing companies for ebooks are not consistent. Some rent out books, while others sell them to keep. Many have no page numbers on the book, so it's hard to tell the students to read certain pages. There are just too many what if problems with books online.

This is why I love the idea of Campus Book Rentals.

Now I'm an art instructor at the Creative Center.

When it comes to art, there are supplies and more supplies to buy. When it comes to classes, each book costs money.

Now there is a way to reduce that money. There is a company called Campus Book Rentals.

My top 10 loves about Campus Book Rentals

  1. They have a huge selection of books. 
  2. They have live help. I think this is so important because I can for see a lot of questions that people might have. Sometimes text books have version after version. It gets really confusing which version is the most current.
  3. There is no fee to sign up.
  4. They have a 1-800 number. It's very visible. :) It really annoys me when I go to a site and can't find a phone number to call.
  5. College students spend only half of what they would if they bought the book full price. They sometimes save more then half! If the student loves the book they can keep it and just pay the difference. 
  6. The book can be highlighted or underlined in with no additional cost to the student.
  7. Renting a book is kinder to the environment. Books that you don't want to buy, but need, is then reused by someone else. 
  8. The book can be returned in 30 days for any reason. I know instructors change their mind on books a lot.
  9. The shipping is easy. The company actually gives the student a self addressed envelope for easy returning.
  10. For every book rented, they donate money to Operation Smile. A nonprofit organization that helps children that are born with a cleft pallet.  

Check out their video:

Disclaimer: The opinions on this post are my personal take on the products. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I am not compensated to provide my opinion except for receiving the a basket of chocolate covered fruit. If you have questions about this post please contact me at: alissa4illustrationAThotmailDOTcom

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Superman Cake

I made a chocolate cake in two round pans. Then I made 1/2 a batch of red velvet cake in a square pan. I was planning on having the two circle cakes as a base for the superman logo; cut out of the square cake.

This is where disaster struck! The red velvet cake crumbled to pieces when I tried to get it out of the pan! I was mad! A cuss word or two may have come out of my mouth. By the way I really do not cuss very often! I vow every year that I'm going to stick to cookies! It seems like once a year this happens!

Here's my process: I spray the pan first, sprinkle it lightly with flour before pouring the batter in. The cake is fully done; toothpick comes out clean! Then it's really cool before I decide to pop it out! I even help the edges with a spatula. What am I doing wrong?

I decided to wrap up everything {even the crumbled pieces} and go to bed. In the morning I had a brilliant idea. Why not use the crumbled up velvet cake? One of my worst pet peeves is discarding something that is perfectly edible! I crumbled the cake up even more, added frosting to the cake, and sandwiched the two chocolate cakes together with it. Then instead of using tons of red food coloring for the logo, I used red velvet cake/frosting mixture.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chocolate Malt Cookies

I found a new cookie recipe I LOVE! I found the recipe here. This is the second time I've made them. They are so yummy!



    • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup plain malted milk powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 3 tablespoons hot water
    • {Cookie Directions}
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
    2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg, heavy wiping cream, and hot water. Reduce speed to low; mix in flour mixture.
    3. Space tablespoon-size balls of dough 3 1/2 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. 
    4. Bake until flat and just firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on parchment on wire racks.
  • {Filling}


    • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 cup plain malted milk powder
    • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


{Filling Directions}


  1. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Stir. Let cool. With an electric mixer, beat malted milk powder and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Gradually mix in half-and-half, chocolate mixture, and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until thick, about 30 minutes. Mix on high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.


{Assemble Cookies}


  1. Spread a heaping tablespoon filling on the bottom of one cookie. Sandwich with another cookie. Repeat.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    June Berry Crisp

    My son's and I picked a lot of berries off of our Service Berry tree a week ago.

    I put them in muffins, pancakes and made a crisp that was yummy!



    • 2 cups June Berries
    • 2 cups of another kind of berry, chopped up apple or just more June Berries. I happened to use black berries this time.
    • 4 tablespoons white sugar
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups rolled oats
    • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • It called for 2 sticks of butter, but I used 1 and the rest was coconut oil.


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar; set aside.
    3. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a glass pie dish. Cover with berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
    We served ours with ice cream. Yummy! Then for breakfast I topped off plain yogurt with June Berry Crisp. It was very good!

    Sandcastle Bundt Cake

    I made a Sandcastle Bundt Cake last week for work.

    It seemed to be a big hit at work. I think a few people thought I carved the castle out! Nope! I didn't tell them otherwise. ;) I did make the cake from scratch. You can buy the pan here.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Custom is Cool

    I like things that are custom! It's fun being able to choose what goes in your food, or a product that fits your needs and wants.

    One company that I really like is Chocri. It's a company where you design your own chocolate bar. They have lots to choose from. I know I'd pick dark chocolate with raspberry bits for sure!

    New Age Mama is hosting a giveaway for Chocri. Ten winners will receive 3 customized bars!

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    The World's Most Artistic Marriage Proposal

    Nordic Ware

    I like making a fun breakfast for my kid's. I recently got ceramic face plates. We often decorate their plates with all different foods. They love it! It's a great way to get them to eat what you'd like for them to eat. I find myself saying, "Mica eat his hair" when it's green beans. ;)

    My kids are huge breakfast eaters. I've made heart shaped pancakes. One of my favorite breakfast recipes is here.

    My Organized Chaos is giving away Nordic Ware - Kitchenware Products for you Home.

    The products include: Zoo Friends Pancake Pan and Pro Cast Castle Bundt Pan. I have the Pro Cast Castle Bundt Pan; it makes really cool looking cakes! My sister and I have used it for birthday parties. I would like the Zoo Friends Pancake Pan! My kid's would really love taking a bite into a zoo animal pancake!

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Hemispheres, Earth Cake

    Yesterday we hosted my son's third birthday party and my nephew's sixth birthday party.

    Our theme was space, so I wanted to make a planet cake of some sort. I made a chocolate chip cookie sheet cake with stars as a base.

    Then I used a Wilton Sports Ball Pan Set.  

    Photo found here.

    We left the cake separated. That way each kid had a spot for their year.

    I made the cake, put on the blue frosting and mixed up all the others. My husband put on the details. He's an artist, and you can see his work here. He's super into geology. If you looked at this cake up close, you can spot out most everything on the world. My Dad and Brother-in-law were like, "There is Madagascar!" and so on.


    Top View

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Calabsas Candy

    I love the art of making sweet treats!

    Check out these yummy looking eggs by Calabsas Candy!

    These look like glycerin soap. I don't mean that in a bad way!

    Kostiuk Crew is hosting a giveaway for one winner to win $20 worth of candy from: Calabsas Candy!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011


    Candy Stick Lane inspired me to make these Caksters. They are yummy!

    How to make them:

    In a mixing bowl mix 1 box of any cake mix, 1 egg, 1/4 Olive Oil and 1/4 Buttermilk.

    *If you have no Buttermilk, here's a substitute: This makes 1 cup, so you can cut it in 1/2 depending on what you are making. 1 Tablespoon lemon juice plus enough milk or plain yogurt to fill a cup. Let stand 5 minutes before using. I used this alternative recipe to make Buttermilk to make the Cakesters.

    The dough will be stiff. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. You can make different sizes, but in this case I like a smaller size.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

    I found that they were a little soft when I got them out of the oven, so the first time I made these I didn't think they were done. I didn't over cook them, but they were not as moist as the second time that I made them. Just insert a toothpick to test if they are done. If the toothpick comes out clean, they are good to go!

    Frost them and sandwich.

    Here is the Red Velvet Cake with the Cream Cheese Frosting:

    Here is the Lemon Cake with the Lemon Frosting:

    I make some things like this to get rid of frosting. When I ran out I really didn't want to open another container. I made a few ice cream sandwiches. My boy's LOVED them! You have to work QUICK.