Glitter Glue Pumpkins

Glitter Glue Pumpkins 1

Last Fall, my daughters and I bought a variety of pumpkins and went at them armed with glue, glitter glue, and lots and lots of glitter!

(And one of these years, since it IS spring as I write this, I’ll maybe actually remember to try this with Easter eggs…)

The pumpkins in the background resemble some of our past pumpkin decorating efforts.

But this year I changed it up just a little and decorated a couple of the mini pumpkins with nothing but silver and gold glitter glue.

I started at the center of the top of the pumpkin, slowly pouring out the glitter glue in a tight circle around the stem.  I did a gold circle, then a silver one, then gold, et cetera, keeping the circles tight and touching each other until I had the entire top of the pumpkin covered in a thick layer of glitter glue and it was just barely starting to drip down the sides in the creases.

Glitter Glue Pumpkins 2

That’s it!  Just drew circles with the glue.

And look how pretty!

Please share your pumpkin photos with me on my Facebook page!

Happy Crafting!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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Chocolate Fudge Recipe (with no condensed milk!)

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

As I recently mentioned in my post about Vanilla Fairy Fudge, I really, really, really don’t like fudge that’s made with condensed milk.

So I’ve been experimenting with fudge recipes lately (ones withOUT condensed milk), and today I wanted to share my Chocolate Fudge.

This stuff is AH-may-zing!!!

Just supremely smooth and decadent and perfectly chocolatey!

I think I’m in love.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Just look at that pile of perfection.

Sigh……

This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Anyway – back to the recipe.

Basic fudge stuff, plus a cocoa powder that you like.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Mix together the sugar and cocoa….

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Then mix all of it (except the vanilla) in a sauce pot.

Then whisk it to make sure it’s all mixed.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Bring it up to a boil…..

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Then simmer until it hits 235 degrees Fahrenheit.

Which is important.  You gotta wait until it gets to 235 (soft ball stage) before you take it off the stove.  Otherwise it won’t set properly.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Stir in the vanilla and then put the whole pot on top of a bunch of ice cubes in a big bowl.

Stir, stir, stir.

After a couple of minutes, it will be much thicker.  Time to transfer to your prepared pan!

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

I recommend lining your pan with tin foil and then greasing it with a very light layer of butter or a nonstick cooking spray.  I like coconut oil spray.

BUT – I need to stress that the pan pictured here is NOT a big 9 by 13 inch baking pan!  I didn’t realize that it would look like that in the photos.  I usually use an 8 by 8 inch baking dish for this, but just happened to grab this little guy when I was photographing this batch.

The dish pictured here is actually 1.5 quarts or approximately 6 by 10 inches.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

After a short time, you’ll be able to pick the fudge up out of the pan with the foil and turn it over to allow the bottom to set.

Then you can (carefully) flip it over again and cut it into pieces.

Let those pieces sit out for a while to fully set all around.  I will usually leave them out overnight or for at least a few hours, just to make extra sure they’ve hit the texture I’m looking for before I pack them away.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

The pieces of fudge you will get from this recipe are pretty small, by design.

If you want really thick giant chunks, you’ll have to either double (triple??) the recipe, or just pour it into a smaller pan to set.

But just take a look at that gorgeous pile of deliciousness…… you’ll be wanting to try this.  About right now.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil and a light coating of butter or cooking spray.

Whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa, and butter in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer it without stirring. This is important: do NOT stir the mixture! After 15 minutes, test the temperature with a thermometer. Once it reaches 235°F or soft ball stage, remove from heat. Do NOT stop simmering until it reaches this temperature, or it will not set. It will be noticeably thicker at this point, but still slightly runny.

Let it sit for a minute and then stir in the vanilla extract.

Fill a large bowl with ice and place the saucepan into the bowl on top of the ice. Stir the fudge for a few minutes until it is very thick. Then (making sure not to let any of the melted ice get into your fudge) pour it into the prepared baking dish, spreading it smooth.

Place baking dish on a wire rack and allow to completely set. This may take a half hour or a little longer, depending on the temperature and humidity of your home. Then carefully remove the fudge from the dish by pulling out the foil. Carefully invert it on a flat plate or platter and allow the bottom to dry. Again, this may only take a few minutes.

Cut into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife and allow the pieces to sit for a while without touching. I usually leave them out overnight to make sure each piece is fully set and has a nice solidity all the way around the smooth interior. Makes about 4 dozen very small pieces, depending on how you cut it.

[Note: the recipe can be doubled or put in a smaller pan if you like thicker pieces.]

**********

Click below for the free printable PDF version of this recipe:

Chocolate Fudge

And if you like this, be sure to check out my Vanilla Fairy Fudge:

Vanilla Fairy Fudge Recipe

Or if you’d prefer cookies……..

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies Mini M M Chocolate Chip Cookies Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

I am a BIG fan of fudge.

But I stopped making fudge for a long time.  I got tired of trying out recipe after recipe and never having an end result that resembled what you’d find in candy stores or ice cream shops.

This was mostly because every recipe that I tried called for condensed milk.  And each and every one of those recipes left me with a fudge that was mushy and half-melted at room temperature.  Which – to me – isn’t really fudge.

Recently I decided to tackle this particular dessert again.  I tried some different combinations of ingredients and some different methods of cooking.  There were successes.  And there were failures.  What I’m posting today was not only a success but a hit.

And I’ll be sharing more fudge recipes soon, but today, let’s just start with this Vanilla Fairy Fudge.

Why “fairy?”

Well, when I was doing Letter F Day with my girls, I wanted to make a snack that started with the letter F.  I was enchanted by the pictures of Fairy Bread that I found on the internet (it’s an Australian treat – not something we see over here in the U.S.), but I decided to go one step further and add another “F” to make it better fit my alphabet theme.  Thus, Fairy Fudge.

The fudge I made that day, however, was a bit of a failure.  Not completely – I mean, we did eat it…..

But it was yet another condensed milk recipe.

Turns out you can use regular milk (and some cream, too) and come up with something even better.  Which is what we have here.  And it’s surprisingly easy, too, once you know the steps to take.

Originally this was just Vanilla Fudge, which was – don’t get me wrong – great, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about my Letter F recipe.  So I added some sprinkles to the next batch.  Great became awesome.

Because sprinkles just make life better.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

The ingredients are pretty basic:  butter, milk, sugar, etc.

Heavy whipping cream is pretty much the only think here that I’d have to remember to actually pick up at the store ahead of time.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Everything except the vanilla and sprinkles gets mixed together and brought to a boil.

Once you reach a boil, you turn it down and simmer it for 15 minutes or so.

There is NO stirring.  You just watch to make sure it’s still bubbling, but that it never boils over.  Especially on stoves like mine.  My stove seems to change its temperature when it feels like it.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

The important thing is that your fudge reach a temperature of 235 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even if it takes more that 15 minutes.  This step is important.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Then you mix in the vanilla and stir it over a bowl of ice to cool it down quickly.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

When stirring it over the ice, it’ll thicken noticeably.

Then it’s ready to go into your prepared pan.  I like to coat the pan with foil first, to make it easier to remove the fudge once it’s set, but you also need something to grease it with.

Butter works well as long as you don’t overdo it.  I sometimes use nonstick cooking spray.  My favorite is coconut oil spray.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Cover the top with sprinkles (all the way to the edges) right away.

It’s better to put too much than too little.  After it’s set, just tilt it to allow the extras to fall away.

The fudge should set quickly.  I might let it sit for an hour just to be extra certain, but it usually sets in just a few minutes.

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Then you take it out of the pan and turn it over VERY gently onto a large plate (retro plate optional).

But even if you’re like me and you sometimes stop paying attention to what you’re doing and you manage to break the fudge into two or three chunks, that’s okay.  You can always cut the pieces diagonally.

And this recipe is meant to produce small pieces.  Not gigantic thick hunks of candy.  If you want it thicker, though, it’s easy enough to double the recipe or just put it in a smaller pan to set.  Your choice.

I then leave those little pieces out overnight, or for a few hours, to make extra, extra certain that they’re fully set all the way around.  I don’t like mushy edges.

Because the best part is biting into the crisp edges of the fudge piece and discovering the smooth, soft melt-in-your mouth center.

Mmmmmmm…… I think I need to go make some more fudge…….

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Above is a photo of what the fudge looks like without the sprinkles.

Still delicious.  Just not as colorful.

And, honestly, I love the texture that the sprinkles add to it.  But it’s a choice that’s up to you.  I promise I won’t judge your fudge.  (As long as you don’t judge my rhymes.)

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Nonpareil sprinkles

Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil and a light coating of butter or cooking spray.

Whisk together the milk, cream, butter, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer it without stirring. This is important: do NOT stir the mixture! After 15 minutes, test the temperature with a thermometer. Once it reaches 235°F or soft ball stage, remove from heat. Do NOT stop simmering until it reaches this temperature, or it will not set. It will be noticeably thicker at this point, but still slightly runny.

Let it sit for a minute and then stir in the vanilla extract.

Fill a large bowl with ice and place the saucepan into the bowl on top of the ice. Stir the fudge for a few minutes until it is very thick. Then (making sure not to let any of the melted ice get into your fudge) pour it into the prepared baking dish, spreading it smooth. Immediately cover the top with nonpareil sprinkles. This is an optional step, but it adds a nice texture.

Place baking dish on a wire rack and allow to completely set. This may take a half hour or a little longer, depending on the temperature and humidity of your home. Then carefully remove the fudge from the dish by pulling out the foil. Carefully invert it on a flat plate or platter and allow the bottom to dry. Again, this may only take a few minutes.

Cut into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife and allow the pieces to sit for a while without touching. I usually leave them out overnight to make sure each piece is fully set and has a nice solidity all the way around the smooth interior. Makes about 4 dozen very small pieces, depending on how you cut it.

[Note: the recipe can be doubled or put in a smaller pan if you like thicker pieces.]

**********

Click for the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Vanilla Fairy Fudge

And if you love fudge, then you absolutely HAVE to check out my Chocolate Fudge recipe:

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Happy Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

These Lemon Cake Mix Cookies are super, super amazing!

Seriously delicious.

It has something to do with the softness you already get from the using the cake mix to make the cookies, PLUS it’s even more amazing when you use cake mix that has pudding in the mix.

Dude.

You gotta try these.  Even if you only kinda, sorta like lemon at all.  If you love lemon – well – these will blow you away!  {Trust me:  my coworkers didn’t leave a crumb behind!}

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

These are also an easy dessert that you can throw together at the last minute when guests show up for a surprise visit, or you’re just suddenly craving something sweet and lemony.

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Stir together the cake mix and a bit of sugar, then stir in some eggs and oil.

Easy peasy.  And smells amazing!

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

I used teaspoonfuls to make mine.

You could make them a little bigger if you wanted, but I find this to be a perfect size.

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

And the icing is another easy step.

Just mix it all up in a little bowl or cup and drizzle it over the cookies.

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

It only takes a minute to mix the icing and another minute or two to drizzle it over the cookies with a fork.

Totally worth it.

It really makes the cookies extra special.

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Doesn’t that gooey-ness look ah-mazing??

I love these things!

Please share your own pics when you make them here or on my Facebook page!!

{Scroll down to print the recipe.}

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box (15 oz.) lemon cake mix
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Icing:
1 cup confectionery sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vegetable oil until fully combined and smooth.

Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the cookies are set on top and just barely starting to brown around the edges.

Cool on baking pans for two minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Using a fork, mix all ingredients for icing in a small bowl or measuring cup, starting with 1 tablespoon of water, and adding about a 1/4 tablespoon of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. It should still be a little thick, but drip easily from your fork.

Drizzle the icing over the cooled cookies, making sure your working space beneath the cookies is lined with waxed or parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Allow icing to set. Store covered. Makes 3 dozen.

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Print the free PDF copy of the recipe:  Easy Iced Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Freezer Crock Pot Meals: Jambalaya

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

With the colors and excitement of Mardi Gras around me, I felt inspired to make some jambalaya.

It’s been on my To Do list for awhile, and I really haven’t been keeping up with making new Freezer Meals anyway, so it felt like great timing.

Technically Mardi Gras had already passed when I made it, but it is a warmly spicy and flavorful dish that’s a comforting {and super easy} meal anytime.

Why is it so easy?  As you can see in the pictures below, everything gets thrown into one freezer bag, and then the contents of that freezer bag later get thrown into a crock pot.  Done.

It’s best with rice, but that’s also something you can make ahead of time and have stored in the fridge.

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

I typed up my recipe with the ingredients measured out for one meal:  one freezer bag portion that serves 4.

However, you can see that I actually made two.

And if chicken hadn’t been so expensive when I was in the mood for this, I would have made even more.

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Once you put all of the ingredients in the bag, you freeze it overnight while it’s flat.

I like to put mine on top of pizza boxes or baking sheets, or something else smooth, because if you freeze them right on wire shelves, they’ll have little bumps on one side.  That doesn’t hurt the recipe, but it takes up waaaay more space in the freezer.

And the whole point is that you can stack these frozen meals vertically or horizontally without them taking up much space.

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

And when you’re ready to eat, you just pull a bag out of the freezer and dump the contents into the crock pot.

I run mine under some warm {not hot} water in the sink for just a couple of minutes, to help break the large chunk into a few smaller chunks.

You can throw it right in the crockpot when it’s still completely frozen, it just fits better in smaller chunks.

Oh, and as you can see in the photos, there’s an excess of broth.  It will look wet when you first put it into the bowl, but once you stir in a scoop of rice, the rice will soak up most of the liquid.

So the finished product is not as soupy as it appears when still in the crock pot.

Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your own taste!  I like my food spicy, and though the heat was strong, I didn’t think it was too much.  But you can just use less hot sauce or a milder sausage if you prefer.

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Ingredients:
14 to 16 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 oz. Andouille sausage
1 (28 oz.) can diced or petite diced tomatoes
1 medium to large sweet onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup chicken or beef broth
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Prepare a gallon freezer baggy by writing today’s date and the instructions on it. Set aside.

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Cut sausage into slices or dice it.

Put chicken and sausage into a one gallon freezer baggy. Add the rest of the ingredients to bag. Seal bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Place the bag into the freezer on a flat surface, like a baking pan, to freeze overnight. Once frozen, you can store the bags upright.

When you’re ready to cook, remove baggy from freezer and run under warm water just long enough to break the contents into a few smaller pieces, about 2 minutes. Pour contents into crock pot and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 hours. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Serve with rice. Serves 4.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BAG: Jambalaya ~ Cook on high 7-8 hours / low 3 hours ~ Serve with rice ~ Date

NOTE: This recipe makes one freezer bag portion but is easily doubled or tripled, making it easy to assemble multiple meals at one time, like you see in the photos.

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To print the free PDF copy of the recipe, click here:  Freezer Crock Pot Jambalaya

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Easy Christmas Craft: Toilet Paper Roll Ornament Painting

Easy Christmas Craft Toilet Paper Roll Painted Ornaments

Painting Christmas ornaments with toilet paper rolls was another fun craft for my kids that was super easy to set up.

We just used the rolls to stamp red and green circles of paint onto a piece of white paper, and, once the paint was dry, we colored in the “ornaments” with colored pencils.

And hung the finished product of the fridge.

Easy and super fun.

But then, paint is always fun for kids.

Easy Christmas Craft Toilet Paper Roll Painted Ornaments

My suggestions include:  covering your creating space with newspaper to catch extra paint, put some paint into tiny paper plates, and suggest making patterns with the colored pencils when they color in the “ornaments.”

And don’t forget to check out these other Christmas crafts:

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Easy Christmas Craft: Paper Cone Christmas Trees

Crystal Snowmen

Roaming Rosie Signature

Easy Christmas Craft: Paper Cone Christmas Trees

Easy Christmas Craft:  Decorating Paper Cone Christmas Trees at RoamingRosie.com

Decorating these paper cone Christmas trees was a fun craft for my kids and easy for me to set up.

I simply took some green construction paper, rolled it into a cone, added some tape to keep it in shape, and snipped off the bottoms with scissors to make them stand.

Easy Christmas Craft:  Decorating Paper Cone Christmas Trees at RoamingRosie.com

I covered their art table with some scrap paper, set out the trees, some glitter glue and some sequins, and let them at it!

I actually had set out a bowl of gold and a bowl of red sequins, but my 4yo mixed them both together.  She thought it looked better.  :)

And I did help them a little with the glitter glue, just to make sure there was enough of it on the tree.

The sequins {our little ornaments} stick to the glitter glue, and when the glue dries, the glitter is still there, so it looks a little like a snowy garland.

Easy Christmas Craft:  Decorating Paper Cone Christmas Trees at RoamingRosie.com

Ours are by the big Christmas tree right now.  :)

And don’t forget to check out these other Christmas crafts:

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Easy Christmas Craft: Toilet Paper Roll Ornament Painting

Crystal Snowmen

Roaming Rosie Signature