Sunday, January 27, 2013

Missing Bag Clip Solution

Bag clips are hard to find  in the Bonham kitchen. Usually one or two have broken, all the clips are being used, or I just can't find one. This happened to me today and by chance I saw a plastic hair barrette on top of the microwave. My brain kicked into high gear and I realized that I might be able to use the hair barrette as a bag clip. Carefully I clamped the barrette around the tightly rolled top of the powdered sugar bag and let go. It worked! I have always heard that "Necessity is the mother of invention." and now I know it to be true. For less than a dollar I can buy a whole bag of  barrettes and save my bag clips for the larger jobs.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fast and Fabulous Pantry Style French Toast

We are French toast fanatics!
Not filled French toast, not gourmet French toast, not berry smothered French toast, we just want some old fashioned, made with love French toast. This morning Bill wanted French toast and I whipped up my favorite egg and milk mixture. As I was replacing  the vanilla bottle on the spice shelf, the small container of ground allspice caught my eye. Hmmmmm maybe an eighth of a teaspoon would compliment the taste of the egg?

Now I don't like putting cinnamon in my egg mixture because cinnamon clumps up and wants to float on the surface. The first slice of sandwich bread has lots of cinnamon, but as you continue dipping bread slices the cinnamon presence becomes smaller and smaller. However, I know that allspice will incorporate into the mix and a small amount would add that little extra flavor without really making its presence known. Allspice has a combination flavor that tastes like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, hence the name allspice. Now where was I? Oh yeah, French toast.

My French toast starts with just a basic egg and milk mixture that has sugar and vanilla added to it. So I went ahead and added the allspice before dipping the day-old, white sandwich bread slices into the eggy mix. Each slice was allowed to sit and soak up some eggy goodness for 10-15 seconds before I flipped it over and  let the other side soak up some of the mixture too. Then it was time to place the slices onto a griddle that had one tablespoon of butter, not margarine, melted on it. Patiently I cooked the four slices to golden brown perfection over a low flame. Then it was time to taste test my new recipe.

Breakfast was served and  my first bite was so incredibly good that I was actually surprised that I had made it. Bill thought it was the best French toast he had ever eaten. Oh yeah I made the hubby happy! Slowly savoring a bite I could taste just a hint of allspice, but it had added a richness to the toast that really surprised me. Try my recipe and see if you can make your husband think you're a kitchen wizard.


4-5 large eggs                      1 teaspoon sugar                            1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup regular milk            1/8 teaspoon ground allspice         5-6 slices day old white bread 
                                1 Tablespoon butter, not margarine, butter

Servings: 2-3


  • Turn your oven to warm and place two, oven safe dinner plates in it to heat.
  • Pour syrup of your choice into a one cup glass measuring cup with a pouring spout. Put aside for later.
  • Put a griddle on your stove burner over low heat or flame, put one tablespoon of butter on the griddle and let it melt. If your butter starts to turn brown, your heat is too high.
  • place eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and ground all spice in a wide, shallow bowl. Beat with a fork or whisk until mixture is thick and yellow.
  • Place a bread slice into the egg mixture for 10-15 seconds, flip over and repeat with that side. Continue until you have four slices of French toast on the griddle. Cook until both sides are golden brown. Remove your slices and place on the two warm plates in the oven. Cook the remaining slices of bread after dipping them in the egg mixture bath.  
  • Once all your French toast is done and warming in the oven, place the glass measuring cup in the microwave and heat for fifteen seconds. If the glass cup doesn't feel warm, cook for another ten seconds.
  • Using oven mitts or hot pads, remove you two warm plates from the oven and you are ready to eat. 
 Happy cooking!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Double Duty Snowmen Bulletin Boards

I browse my way through catalogs, magazines, EBay, Pinterest, and other websites on a daily basis. Flipping through pages of all sorts, scanning pictures, and reading combine in a curious way inside the storage files of my mind.  My creative brain sifts through information from unrelated sources and combines these bits and pieces into a new idea. For example, making flowers from coffee filters and making a cupcake bouquet somehow gave birth to the idea of using flattened cupcake liners to edge a bulletin board. Before that, the picture of letter tile paper plates and wrapping Christmas presents inspired me to use wrapping paper for quilt block squares on a bulletin board. Below are pictures of the two bulletin boards that I assembled for a hallway bulletin board that is close to the elementary office. I hope that these two ideas will help and inspire you to new creative heights of your own.

December to January Snow Secret Bulletin Board

It's Snow Secret We're A Great School!


  • two rolls of gift wrap from a dollar store
  • 3 dinner size party plates
  • 2 dessert size party plates
  • 2 or 3 sheets of black and green construction paper
  • orange marker for snowman nose
  • black marker for snowman buttons, eyes, mouth, and "stitching" around squares
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • scotch tape
  • computer and printer

I typed the headline on my computer, printed it, and trimmed each page to the size I wanted. If your computer or printer has a banner setting that would make this job less time consuming.
The font is called LD SNOW
Font size needs to be set at a minimum of 200.

Verna M. Kelly Snowflake Quote
Snowflakes are on of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together

I wasn't happy with the size of the quote that you see in the picture, so I reset the font size on my document and redid it.

Snowmen were created by turning party plates upside down and drawing buttons, face, and nose with markers.
I didn't use a pattern for the scarfs, arms, or hats. The hats are cut from a 8.5x11.5 inch sheet of construction paper. I free handed the bowler and top hat with a pencil. The hatbands are held in place with rolled tubes of scotch tape. I fringed the ends of the scarf by snipping the end with scissors.


  • White paper covered the bulletin board. I cut snowflake gift wrap into fourteen, 12" "quilt"squares and the snowman gift wrap into 2" strips for the boarder. Using the printed grid on the reverse side of the gift wrap made this an easy job.
  • Start at the bottom left of the board and place your first row across the bottom of the bulletin board.
  • Use your bottom row for a guide to place the second and third row. I placed all the full squares first, then placed the squares that had to be trimmed to fit.
  • I stapled the snowmen heads and bodies first, then slid the "twig" arms under the plate rims and stapled them into place. Hats and scarfs are also stapled into place.
  • Staple headline and quote into place.
  • Using a black marker, draw 'x' stitches around each quilt square. You don't have to, but it does make for a much nicer bulletin board.
  • Last, staple border into place.

February to March Kindness Bulletin Board


2 packages of 40 cupcake liners, red with white hearts
About 6 sheets of red construction paper.
2 sheets of white copy paper



  1. Remove the snowman border from the bulletin board and throw away. Carefully remove the snowman hats and save for reuse.

  2. I found a black line master of a heart that read, "Kindness in Contagious".  I enlarged the pattern 120%  so the hearts are about 3.5" and made fourteen hearts. Next I cut them out.
  3. Using the green bowler hat for a pattern, place it on a sheet of white paper and trace around it. Cut out the white hat. Make a red hat band with a narrow strip of red construction paper. Use tubes of rolled scotch tape to place it on the white hat. Use a black marker and draw small X's along the edge of the hat for contrast "stitches" Replace the green hatband on the black stove top hat with red paper also.
  4. On a computer,  set up a word document using landscape, narrow margins, my font is LD Dots 200 font or use a size that will fit the word kindness on a single sheet of paper. Type your headline,  Kindness is at the heart of (Name of School). Then trim your sheets of paper into strips.
  5. Fold a sheet of red construction paper in half and cut a heart shape starting at the fold line. You will need three of these large hearts. Cut 5 or six small red hearts and  six white hearts. Using  bulletin board pictures as a guide, place your hearts as shown. Draw small black X's for stitching around the hearts that decorate the snowman hats and the heart each snowman is holding.
  6. Staple hats onto snowmen. Staple a heart onto one hand of each snowman.  
  7. Use flattened cupcake liners for your border. I placed a heart arrangement in the center of the bottom border. If you don't want to do this, purchase 3 packages of cupcake liners.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cookin' for my Captain: Corn Crisps

Cookin' for my Captain: Corn Crisps: I found this blog and recipe while I was on Pinterest. I think you will really like these and check out the comments cause some of the readers made these baked and the consensus seemed to be that you needed to put in 2 cups of corn.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Valentine's DIY Cookie Bouquet

Heart Cookie Bouquet

You don't have to web surf to find the perfect cookie bouquet recipe because I have found it for you. I have made some suggestions below on how to make it a little more frugal, but just as eye appealing.

Sallee's Notes
  • I have never used parchment paper when baking sugar cookies that have lots of butter in them. I let the cookies cool for two or three minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.
  • A set of graduated heart cookie cutters are very nice for this project. You can scatter 2 or three smaller heart cookies in your bouquet to give it more eye appeal.
  • Pastry bags just make life so much easier! Sandwich bags can be used, but I always end up with a blown out side seam and frosting oozing everywhere.So go ahead and purchase a pack of pastry bags and  a package of frosting couplers  in the craft aisle of your super discount store. Then you can have fun and make frosting tip changes quickly.   
  • A $1.25 will buy you a pack of 100 bamboo skewers instead of the white cookie sticks. I cut them to length with side cutter pliers or heavy duty kitchen shears. If they spinter just pull the loose piece off and everything will be fine.
  • Make a batch of krispy rice cereal treats and pack your mug with krispy rice treats instead of styrofoam. Line your mug with plastic wrap, pack it with your cereal treats, fold the excess plastic wrap over the top of the cereal. Don't pack the mug completely full or you won't have room for your paper crinkles.
  • Red, white, or pink ribbon of your choice so you can tie a pretty bow onto the coffee cup handle. Two years ago I bought a spool of white ribbon at a party store and I still haven't used it all up. So you can shop around and find spools of ribbon for under $6.
  • click here for the directions on how to bake and assemble a heart cookie bouquet.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Cupcake Bread Pudding

How do you feel about bread pudding?  The custardy texture and eggnoggy flavor remind me of pumpkin pie and eggnog; two of my favorite things to taste during the holidays. Bread pudding is a homey comfort food that I bake occasionally to use up stale bread.

For two weeks I have had a dozen, unfrosted, jumbo cupcakes in the freezer.  This wealth of cupcakes was created when one of my Christmas baking projects, graduated cupcake trees, didn't work out as planned. I quit assembling them after six trees were completed and I was a stressed out, cranky wreck. My mile wide frugal streak wouldn't let me do anything with those extra cupcakes except place them in the freezer for later use.

Yesterday I took six, unfrosted, jumbo cupcakes out of the freezer to prepare for our New Year's Eve dessert. The other half a dozen jumbo cupcakes were still in the freezer and I didn't even want to think about them last night as I prepared the buffet for our evening festivities.

This morning I sat pondering one question,"What am I going to do with the rest of those jumbo cupcakes?"  As I mulled over this thought, I remembered a Paula Deen episode where she created doughnut bread pudding. Inspiration struck as I thought about that episode; if Paula Deen can make bread pudding with doughnuts, then I can make bread pudding with -jumbo cupcakes! Yes, I would do it. Excitement coursed through me as I headed for the kitchen to create a new type of  sweet, custardy pudding - Cupcake Bread Pudding.

I substituted four cups of diced, unfrosted,  yellow cupcakes for the bread in my recipe and placed the cubes in a buttered, 9 inch x13 inch baking pan. Next, I assembled the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, mixed them well, and poured the mixture over the sweet chunks of cupcake in the baking pan. The baking time and temperature stayed the same and the finished product looked like - bread pudding. Tasting time arrived this evening about seven o'clock. I sliced the cooled pudding, placed the slices on a plate, and topped the slices with whipped cream. Bill and I simultaneously placed a forkful of pudding into our mouths and began to chew. Cupcake Bread Pudding has a much smoother texture than basic bread pudding. Flavor wise, the pudding is sweeter, with a more pronounced eggnog flavor. In our opinion, vanilla sauce would add too much sweetness; the whipped cream was perfect with this new version of bread pudding.

 Here is my recipe.  Happy baking and enjoy your cupcake bread pudding. Any questions? Leave a comment for me and I will answer you as soon as I can.

Fluffy Cupcake Bread Pudding


  • two mixing bowls, one medium and one large
  • wire whisk or hand mixer
  • 1Tablespoon
  • 1 butter knife
  • one 9"x13" baking pan


4 cups diced, cupcakes                                                       4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                                                   1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup sugar                                                                       3 1/2 to 4 cups of milk
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)                                      small amount of butter 


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Butter your 9"x13" baking pan and set it aside.
  • Place 4 cups of milk in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place eggs, sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl and mix well.
  • Put your 4 cups of diced cupcakes in the buttered dish.
  • Then pour the egg and milk mixture over the top of the cupcake cubes.
  • Using a tablespoon, pat down the cubes so that they are all covered with the egg and milk mixture.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted into the middle of the pudding comes out clean.
  • Can be served warm or cold, with whipped cream