Wednesday, June 24, 2015

DIY Birthday Candles


1. For each candle, cut out 4 of the same letter from beeswax sheets using cookie cutters and make 2 stacks of 2 letters.  Soften the  wax slightly using a hair dryer on low.

2. Press a toothpick vertically into 1 stack, and then press a small strip of the candlewick above the toothpick.

3. Sandwich the toothpick and wick between the two stacks of wax; press to join the stacks of letters together.

4. Light your candles up and get ready to make someone's day :-)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Melted Snowmen Cookies

O THER THAN getting to see my family in Los Angeles, this hasn't been the white Christmas I've been dreaming of.  My grandma was rushed to the emergency room and we were told she would not make it past a week.  Since being admitted to the hospital her condition has stabilized, but it's been a sleepless week for everyone involved and it's been difficult keeping our spirits up.  My grandpa also was rushed to the hospital today and we are waiting to hear the prognosis.  One of my worst fears in life is feeling helpless when the people I love are not well.

I try to remind myself that there are many silver linings: this year has been a really great one in a lot of ways.  My friends have proven time and time again that they are there to help me back up when I've fallen, which is one of those things in life you don't really seem to notice until you're down.  I met my boyfriend who is someone I truly feel is my partner and makes me smile just because of who he is.  He is the kind of person who would laugh at me when I call to tell him I've locked myself out of my car but drop everything to help me get in.  I feel so fortunate to have met him.  This year I also got to explore China with my family, and my grandparents who are all over 90 years in age have lived really complete, fulfilled, lives.  The last couple of years I felt a rift growing between me and my parents; this year I feel like that gap has been partially bridged though there is still a distance.  I make every effort to see things through an objective lens: a situation is never really good or bad, our attitude is what makes it so.

Before my sister and I rushed to LA, we had made these festive sugar cookies that I planned on giving out to friends.  They're really easy to make and taste great too.

Yields 30 cookies

  •  3/4 cup softened butter
  •  1 cup white sugar
  •  2 eggs
  •  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  •  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 tsp baking powder
  •  1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until consistency is smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  2. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  3. Preheat oven to 400° F.  Roll out dough on floured surface 1/3" thick.  Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter or cup. 
  4. Bake 6 - 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
  5. Once cookies are cool, spread the icing on each cookie and allow to dry (see below for homemade icing instructions).
  6. For the 'head' of the snowman, cut a marshmallow in half and microwave them on a plate for 15-20 seconds or as soon as the marshmallow starts to puff up.  Remove and position them on the cookie.
  7. Using colored icing, decorate the faces on the marshmallow and the arms and buttons on the snowman's body.

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar 
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract  

  1. Stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. 
  2. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy.  Add corn syrup to thin the icing if it's too thick.  When you put the icing on the cookie, allow icing to firm up and go from a glossy finish to matte.  This will take several hours.