Tasty Thursday - Candy Cane Marshmallows

I'm always looking for new Christmas cookie ideas.  I came across this several years ago and thought I'd give it a try.  My girls liked them more than I had anticipated.  They are super easy and cute. They would also make great stirring sticks for hot chocolate.  Just picture these amongst a hot chocolate bar.  What the heck, even for hot coffee.  It could be your own Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate.   I found this picture on Pinterest to show you.

Candy Cane Marshmallows

Candy canes - I prefer the plain sticks over the hooked

1 bag Marshmallows - regular size

Dipping Chocolate

Additional sprinkles, chopped nuts, crushed candy canes

Stick the candy cane in the center of the marshmallow.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.  Dip the marshmallow partially in the chocolate.  Garnish with sprinkles, nuts or candy canes.  Stand up on waxed paper until chocolate is hardened.  Store in air-tight container.

Unfortunately, I don't know the exact measurements.  I usually use the entire bag of marshmallows and if there are leftover candy canes, just have the kids eat them.  Usually Christmas is all about the cookies.  I do have to agree.  But these are a refreshing change in the cookies.

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper

A Golden Merry Christmas

I apologize for not having posted on a regular basis the past few weeks.  Work has been super crazy.  It's been worse than a normal December in retail.  I was actually glad that my husband was travelling last week so I didn't have to worry about dinners and that sort of stuff.  Working 9-10 hour days, I basically came home and collapsed.  I'm hoping things will calm down and just be the normal crazy.  That's so sad to say isn't it?  

We had our normal club last night.  It was all about Christmas.  We did 2 Christmas cards and 2 different Christmas tags.  With the tags, they made 4 of each one.  I always think a single tag doesn't equal a card, so I make the tags worth while.  

Now, I think all the metallics going on, it makes a very elegant, but simple Christmas card.  My upline gave me a sampler of the Year of Cheer Speciality paper and it worked out perfectly!  They chose which design they wanted on their card.  A lot of times I design a card, but they can choose their own dsp accent piece or stamped sentiment.  It makes the card more of their own taste rather than all my taste.  

For the Merry Christmas, I used a gold stamp pad that was retired from Stampin' Up.  I was sad to see that and the silver go.  But, if you have the gold embossing powder, that would work great too.  As I'm typing this, a thought came to mind.  The copper embossing powder would be awesome too!  It would totally bring out the copper piece of washi tape.  

I just want to give you a warning on the champagne foil sheets.  I cut a circle out using my Big Shot.  Looking at the cut piece, there was all kind of marks on the front.  What?!?  After a minute, I realized that the acryllic plates I use with my Big Shot was leaving impressions on the foil sheets.  My  plates are very well loved.  So, I suggest one of two things:

  1. Put another piece of cardstock between the acryllic plate and framelit.
  2. Keep a set of acryllic plates (or just a single plate) to use just for the top of any kind of foil sheets.

When you are putting photographs through the Big Shot, keep this tip in mind.  I actually discovered this same problem when I was working on my girls baby books several years ago.  Some photos came out looking really worn.  Now I do have a set of clean plates to use just for these reasons.  

Well,  I have to work early tomorrow, so it's time for bed.  Busy day tomorrow.  After work, I have to help my daughter move out of her dorm.  Alyssa's done with exams and is coming home for Christmas!  One more to go after her.  

Click on the picture for dimensions and instructions.

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper


A Jingle Bell Merry Christmas

Now I'm sitting on the living room couch trying to do this post on my laptop.  My cat, Clyde, comes up and decides to cuddle with me right between my two legs.  Now, he maybe comfortable, but my leg that I'm kind of sitting on will be falling asleep very quickly.  Clyde is a very headstrong cat and if he wants to sleep somewhere, he will.  No matter what.  I Snapchatted my daughter, Megan so she can see where her cat is.  I can't wait for her to come home for Christmas break.  She can have her cat back.  

 Here's a quick card I came up for club next week.  Next to the Merry Christmas tag looks like two holes.  They are actually the Black Rhinestone Jewels.  They didn't photograph well, but in real life, they look great.  The pine boughs came from the Christmas Staircare Thinlits.Now when I added them, I only used glue on the part that is tucked under the dsp strip.  The bottom kind of floats away from the card and I love the look.  

This card would be super easy if you need to make quite a few of these.  It also helps that in the set of thinlits, there are two pine bough thinlits.  

As usual, click on the picture for the dimensions and instructions.

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper


Tasty Thursday -Cinnamon Biscotti

I've had some rough days this week at work.  So what do I do on my day off?  Go Christmas shopping.  Just trying to check a few things off my to-do list.  Tomorrow is baking day.  I'm starting off with the recipe from last week, White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread.  I stopped on my way home and bought 2 jars of cherries.  The cookies will be done tomorrow, but since I have other things that need to be dipped in chocolate, I usually save that part for later.

On Sunday mornings, I usually meet several friends at a local coffee shop to chat.  We've been doing this for quite a few years now.  We all are involved in Stampin' Up so we exchange handmade cards and little gifts.  I usually made a biscotti to enjoy with our coffee.  I've made this several years and everyone seems to like it.  Coffee and Biscotti.  What's not to like?

I've made other biscottis before.  People are surprised that I make them.  In reality, they aren't hard to make at all.  Bake.  Slice.  Bake again.  Not so hard.  They are actually easier than cookies.  

Cinnamon Biscotti

6 Tablespoon Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla

2 cup Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips

1/2 Cup Pecans

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Mix together. Add the flower, baking powder and cinnamon until mixed well.  Gently mix in the pecans and white chocolate chips.  Divide the dough in half and form into 2 logs.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Let them cool for 15 minutes.  Slice diagonally.  Lay the pieces flat and bake for another 20 minutes.  

Now, I typically don't like the biscotti super crunchy.  I will bake and slice like the recipe calls for.  But, on the second bake, I usually only bake for another 10 minutes.  Now, if you have some leftover white chocolate melted, that would really taste good on these.  I figure I have another week before I have to make these.  

Until next time...Stmapin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper

Happy St. Nick

Do you celebate St. Nick or do you do Christmas Stockings?  Growing up, we always celebrated St. Nick. I insisted we continue when our girls were born.  My grandma always said she was a St. Nick Eve baby since she was born on 12-05.  It's a good way to remember both dates.  Since my girls are both in college, we do St. Nick's stockings over Thanksgiving weekend.  But, that doesn't mean he doesn't go to college either.  I couldn't resist making these for my girls and their roommates.  Inside the red tissue, was a gift card for their favorite places.  Ice cream or cookies.  

To make these, I finally dug out my Pocket Framelits.  My first thought when I saw this set was I had to get this set for my girls.  How fun to get a package with these?  I used the Big Shot to cut out the framelits.  I didn't get a side picture, but they are large enough for a gift card(s) and tissue.  I used my Glue Dots to adhere them together.  

I challenged myself further by not making two the same. Now, in order to do this, I used the stamp sets Merry Little Labels and Labels to Love with the Everyday Label Punch.  Among the cardstock, paper from the Merry Little Christmas and Be Merry dsp packs.  The tinsel was fun to play with.  It really added a nice sparkle to them.  

They fit perfect into these stockings I found at Kohl's.  I added an ornament and of course, some candy.  Megan even hung them on her roommates doors for them.  All the girls loved them.  I don't think they would object if I would do these next year. 


I didn't take any dimensions, but you can click on the first picture for a list of the supplies I used.  

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper


Stamparatus is Back Tomorrow

Reservations are open tomorrow!  I so can't wait.  Have you heard about this new product?  It sounds wonderful.  Here is some ways we can't do without one...

  • Makes multiples with ease
  • Consisstently stamp crisp, clean images
  • If you want a darker image, apply more ink and restamp-no need to start over
  • Make few mistakes, saving time and money
  • Easily create 2-step, 3-step and 4-step stamped images using reversible plates
  • Develop new and specialized stamping techniques with adjustable stamping plates and precision placement

Now here are the product details...

  • Compatable with Stampin' Up's red rubber and photopolymer stamps
  • Foam mat to use with Photopolymer stamps
  • Rules and gridlines for quick measuring

2 open sides so you can stamp on larger paper

  • 2 reversible plates: total of 4 surfaces to work with
  • 2 magnetsto hold the paper in place
  • Magnet storage areas
  • Retail price $49.00 UDS/$65.00 CAD

There is a limit of one Stamparatus per order.  The order winder is open tomorrow, Dec. 5 at  2:00 (MT).  Here in Wisconsin that's 3:00.  Now, they won't ship to us starting March 19  and your credit card won't be charged until your Stampatarus is shipped.  

Click on the image above and it will take you to a YouTube video Stampin' Up made.  You can see exactly how it works.  

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper

Year End Sales Event

Just in time for Christmas!  Stampin' Up is getting ready for the new catalog in January.  This means out with the old and in with the new.  Many items are on sale.  There are stamp sets, paper, embellishments and more.  Check it out!

Important to remember: 

  • Retiring items are while supplies last.  So if you see something you like, don't wait.  It might not be there very long.  
  • They will continue making the stamp sets until 12-21, but not the accessories.
  • Discounted items are not retiring.  But, they are in limited quantites at the discounted price.

Some of the items will be missed by all.  It's always a sad moment to see the retiring list.  Keep in mind they are doing this to get ready for the new catalog!  Many new and fun items are coming very soon.

Happy Shopping.

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper



Tasty Thursday - White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

Tomorrow is December 1st.  Christmas is only 25 days away.  I still can't believe that.  One thing I can remember is my mom making lots of Christmas cookies.  I was almost more excited for dessert on Christmas Eve because that's when we could eat them, but noteven a day before.  

I continued that tradition with my family.  They LOVE Christmas cookies.  I guess you can say, "It's what I do."  Starting Thanksgiving weekend, I go crazy.  Cookies.  Candy.  As my girls got older, they would make a batch by themselves.  They would take such pride in their cookies.  The girls were a great help to me when things were crazy.  We would get at least 3-4 different cookie doughs ready and get them all made in a day.  They would be right beside me helping every step from making the cookie balls to taking them out of the oven.  Boy, do I miss those days.  

In all the craziness, we always had the same rule with the timers.  The upper timer (on the microwave) is for the upper rack in the over.  The lower timer (on the stove) was for the lower rack.  No matter what, we didn't get confused.  I still do that today.

One cookies they all love are these White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies.  I found this recipe many years ago from the Better Homes & Garden magazine.  They used to come out with a special edition just for Christmas cookies.  This is requested every year.  

White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drain and finely chopped

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup cold butter

12 ounces which chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 drops red food coloring (optional) 

2 teaspoons shortening or coconut oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Drain cherries well.  Place on paper towels.  Chop into small pieces.

In large bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Stir in chopped cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) chopped chocolate.  Stir in almond extract and food coloring.  Knead until mixture forms a smooth ball.

Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls.  Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten the balls to 1 1/2 inch rounds.

Bake in preheated over for 10-12 minutes or until centers are set.  Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet.  Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool.  

In small sauce pan or microwave, combine remaining 8 ounces of which chocolate and shortening or coconut oil.  Heat until melted.  Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate, allowing excess to drip off.  If desired, roll dipped edge in nonparcils or edible glitter/sugar.  Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set.

I found this picture on Pinterest and they look exactly how mine look.  Not perfect but totally delicious.  If you opt not to use the red food coloring, they just don't have the hint of pink in the dough.  Personally, I think they just look too bland without it.  

This recipe only makes about 40 cookies.  Now, my family would have that done in a single night.  I know to double or even triple this right away.  My husband is not a cherry lover, but absolutely loves these cookies.  Go figure.  

Enjoy the recipe.  

Until next time...Stampin' Always

Cheryl, HomeStyle Stamper