Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en

No - not a very inventive title, but I excel at crafting- not original titling :D (okay- maybe I do, or should, considering I'd love to write full time one day- but it's just a blog and it's just hallowe'en and I just want to wish everyone a happy one!)

Okay, so. Every year, for the past two? years I wanted to make something special for the kids in my children's class. Being as I love baking and candy making and paper crafting I thought I'd do something cute for the classes. It's fun, the kids can be involved yadda yadda yadda right? WELL both last year and this year- poor poor pitiful me left the craft til last minute so not only did I have no room for error, I also had no room to let the kids help as I was doing this the evening before. In fact, I stayed up til two last night fininshing the ones for my daughter's class. Aigh. I do it to myself.

So here's the story: last year I wanted to make those tent bags with homemade chocolates. Well, you have to be careful as some kid are allergic, severely allergic, to nuts. This poses as a problem because I'm not sure if my chocolate melts are made in a plant that produces nut products or not. So better safe than sorry, I said no to the chocolates, and decided to make caramels instead. WELL my regular batch was too goopey to hold it's shape and I burnt the chcolate one- bad candy thermometer :C- so it was about nine? ten at night and I had nothing- NO-THING! So I decided at that wonderful time at night to make mini chocolate chip shortbread cookies. Well, I had trouble with the temperture as smaller cookies bake faster than regular ones. They were okay- but a bit, um, hard. (One of Lexie's classmates complained to her- 'your mom needs to make softer cookies'- thanks kid :P) So I was up til about midnite or one am last year making nasty cookies in ugly bags. OH THEY WERE UGLY!!! LOL- so ugly that I don't have a photo. I wanted to make pumpkin and ghost tents- the ghosts were hideous as I had this brainstorm to run the paper through the cuttlebug folder first (the swirl one) and it warped the paper. The pumpkins I used my EK Success bugs- the peircing ones that help you stitch- and I faux stitched with a pencil. It wasn't neat- it looked like- well- like a child did it :C THEN I cut out peices of black paper to make faces- oh, they were just so horrible.

So this year will be better... right... ??? I do have to give myself some credit. The boxes turned out okay- it's hard to mess up a pizza box. BUT my grand idea was to make a chocolate rolled cookie and then decorate these circle cookies in the faces of monsters. I actually got pretty good at cake decorating- and love it- and one of my fave sites is the Wilton site which has some pretty good ideas... so! I start making my cookies. A nice sugar cookie recipe- what I didn't realize was that sugar cookies require almond extract- I'm sure I could've subsitituted more vanilla- but I didn't think about that until AFTER I put the almond extract in and I'm staring in the bowl thinking of kid's allergies. Crap. So I'm taking stock of what I have- which isn't much, grocery day isn't until Friday, so I have to work with what I have. I FINALLY find a recipe that has all of what I have and start. I measure the cocoa first- I need 3/4 cup- I only have 1/2 cup. Crap. So I go on the net and try to find substitutes for that as I do have squares of unsweetened baker's chocolate. So after many sites searches (it really wasn't easy to find) and some math (which I'm not very good at) I thought I had it figured. I chilled the dough. I took out the dough and got everything ready to roll the dough. Dough was hard as rock. Crap. So I nuked it for 30 seconds and put it on my kitchen table. I now have chocolate crumble that doesn't roll worth a hoot all over my table. Double Crap. And now I don't have enough ingredients to start all over. I could really cry. So I just wind up getting some chocolate bars- and again without thinking about the nut allergy thing- oops. Grrr- if it's this hard for a mother to do that for her kids' classroom I cannot imagine how hard it is for the mom of the child WITH this allergy. I really feel for them doing this everyday. So that's my wonderful tale. I could cry- I almost did. But thankfully my mom put it all into percpective, as mothers usually do. And it didn't turn out too bad- this is what I came up with:

The finished pizza box- I wish I had some Hallowe'en stamps to livin' up the purple paper- but I don't. Ah well, chances are the kids are just going to tear them up to get to the goodies inside :D

The inside of the box- I got a free box of chocolate bars from Superstore as their deal- and they had to be the cadbury ones- so it sucks cuz they are peanut butter, but I gave the teacher's each a warning. Thankfully the children in question just can't eat peanuts. I feel for the moms whose children can't even smell them or touch something that has peanut oil or something on them.

I made 21 for Lexie's class all last night (I had everything pre-cut or I'd have been up an extra two hours!) and the day before I did ten for Gabe's class.

So I hope you all have a happy hallowe'en with your little ghosts and goblins... after today, it's time to get ready for Christmas... augh!!! If I had this much trouble with Hallowe'en I dread what Murphy's Law has in store for me during the holidays! LOL take care :D

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