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!

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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.


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


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

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.


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


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Rigatoni with Orange Flavored Vodka Sauce

Rigatoni with Orange Flavored Vodka Sauce Recipe

This dish has such a fun flavor, and it’s a nice change to the everyday (albeit wonderful) regular ol’ marinara sauce.

Spaghetti with spice.

This recipe is based on Penne with Vodka Sauce by Giada De Laurentiis.  I’ve been making it for years, and, in the beginning, I was pretty much following her recipe word for word.

Then, one day, I went to make it and discovered that the only vodka we had in the house was orange flavored.


Well, I threw caution to the wind and, for one of the first times in my life, I changed up a well-tested recipe.

I was not disappointed.

This stuff is awesome.  First of all, the vodka – any flavored vodka – adds a nice sweetness to the finished product.  Regular vodka may not have much of a flavor on it’s own, but when you simmer it with tomatoes, it makes a very rich sauce.  By using the orange flavored vodka instead, you also give the dish a noticeable citrus touch.

And it makes your kitchen smell amazing as it cooks.

Rigatoni with Orange Flavored Vodka Sauce

I’ve been making this version for quite a while now, and I just can’t go back to the regular recipe.  I love the fruitiness.  It’s one of the more unique flavors in my repertoire.

And it’s easy to make.

All of the ingredients are pictured above, so the only thing I don’t usually already have in my pantry is the heavy cream.  When I pick some up, I make this dish.

I use the Traditional Ragu bottled sauce because it’s a very basic sauce:  just tomatoes, mostly.  No overpowering herbs, no big chunks of veggies – I don’t want things like that to overshadow the awesomeness of the flavor behind the meal.

It’s also quick.  The whole thing from start to finish only takes about a half hour.  Just make sure you simmer it for a full 20 minutes, to cook off the alcohol.

Rigatoni with Orange Flavored Vodka Sauce

It’s a pretty basic process.

And the noodles can cook while the sauce simmers.

I usually throw them in some boiling water when the gravy  sauce is about halfway done.

And you don’t have to use Rigatoni.  I’ve used Penne as well, but I prefer the bigger noodles for this.

Also, once you mix the sauce and the noodles, it may appear at first as though there is too much sauce.  Keep mixing and the sauce will absorb into the macaroni.

When I dish it up, I sometimes add a scoop of Ricotta to the top.  Some people like to mix it in, but I leave it like that, picking up a little cheese and a couple noodles in each bite.  I like the contrasting textures.  But the Ricotta is not necessary.  Just a nice touch.

Rigatoni with Orange Flavored Vodka Sauce

Rigatoni with Orange Flavored Vodka Sauce

Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6+


1 quart (or 6 cups or 2-24 Oz. jars) of smooth marinara sauce
1 cup Orange-flavored Vodka
1 tsp. each pepper & garlic powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 grated Parmesan
16 Oz. Rigatoni
Ricotta, to taste (optional)

Cook the pasta, according to directions.

In a large saucepot, combine the marinara sauce, vodka, and spices. Bring the marinara sauce and vodka to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. The sauce should reduce by about 1/4.

Stir in the cream and gently simmer for a few minutes until heated through.

Stir in the Parmesan. Continue to heat until the cheese is melted and fully combined.

Stir the cooked and drained pasta into the sauce. Mix well.

Serve with a scoop of Ricotta, if desired.


Click for the Free Printable PDF:  Rigatoni with Orange Flavored Vodka Sauce


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