From Cherry Trees to Wooden Teeth– Happy Birthday Mr President!

george washington cherry treeIt’s cherry season again. Not when the trees blossom or or the fruit ripens but the month that has become synonymous with cherries. As a food writer for most of my life, it’s a given that any column you do in February should involve themes of chocolate or cherries or both. We are now past Valentines Day and sandwiched between Presidents Day and  Washington’s official birthday which means it’s time for cherry pie.

Before we start the recipe,  let’s first review the cherry tree legend. From our earliest days in elementary school, we were taught that young George Washington was given a small hatchet at age six to play with and went to town whacking away at bean posts in his parent’s garden. Something possessed him to take a swing at his father’s cherished cherry tree. When George’s father first discovered his favorite tree had been axed he was angry. George supposedly came forward and fessed up because he “could not tell a lie”. This impressed his father who valued his son’s honesty over a thousand trees . The iconic tale has been one of the first lessons on values in American classrooms. There’s just one problem with it (aside from the bad choice of toys for one’s child): most historians agree that it never happened.

black & white George Washington cherry tree

The story was first published by biographer Parson Weems in 1809. The tale came from Weem’s interviewing a neighbor who had known Washington as a boy. This is the only historical source and not considered to be very credible which brings us to the next famous folklore. Washington most likely did not eat his cherry pie with wooden teeth. He had notoriously bad teeth, in fact he had only one tooth left by the time he became president. Instead, he wore dentures fashioned from cows teeth, hippopotamus  ivory even human teeth his dentist had purchased from slaves. None of these worked out that well because Washington was said to have been plagued his whole life with chronic pain from his false teeth.

This year my spin on the cherry tree/ cherry pie theme has a classic crumb topping with some toasted almonds in it. It’s a great version for those of us with a sweet tooth who like the contrast to tart cherries.

Cherry Crumb Pie

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes

1/3 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1 unbaked 9″ pie shell (I prefer baking in a glass pie plate)

Cherry pie filling for 9″ pie  (see below)

Combine brown sugar, oatmeal, flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into dry ingredients until crumbs are about the size of small peas. Stir in almonds.

cherry pie 7cherry pie 6

Spread cherry pie filling into unbaked pie shell.

cherry pie 5

Cover filling with crumb topping and place on a foil lined baking sheet.

cherry pie 3

Preheat oven to 375° and bake on the bottom rack of oven for 50 minutes or until crust looks golden. I like to use glass pans for this reason. If the topping starts to brown much faster, lay a piece of foil across the top of the pie during the last 10 minutes of baking.

cherry pie 2

Cool to room temp before slicing.

cherry pie 1

Cherry Pie Filling

4 cups fresh or frozen tart cherries

1 1/3cups granulated sugar

5 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 Tbs almond extract (optional)

Place cherries in medium saucepan and place over heat. Cover. After the release most of their juice, which may take several minutes, remove from heat. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together. Pour this mixture into the hot cherries and mix well. Add the almond extract, if desired, and mix. Return the mixture to the stove and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool.

 

 

 

 

CRAZY CROQUET FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

CRAZY big

 

If you are still hiding the kid’s leftover Halloween candy, there are other ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without overdosing on chocolate. How about an activity that actually helps them burn off a little of that sugar rush? I like to turn to Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts for inspiration. When she played croquet, it was no ordinary match. The court would swing pink flamingos at roly-poly hedgehogs. This is a great game indoors as well as outdoors. Think rainy day miniature golf and dream up your own obstacle course using stuffed animals, sofa cushions for tunnels and books for ramps. I even like to make big, bend able wickets out of playing cards and pipe cleaners. An ordinary croquet set can be transformed into a flock of flamingo mallets with some easy-to-sew felts heads. Rules…What rules? Unlike traditional croquet this is an improvisational sport. However– should anyone get too unruly shout “Off with her head”! (and take a time-out.).

FLAMINGO MALLETS & HEDGEHOG BALLS
(Note- croquet sets vary from 4 to 8 mallets. Materials are listed per individual mallet.)
Materials:

    Light pink felt (a 9” x 12” rectangle will make one head
    Yellow felt (a 9” x 12” square will make about three beaks)
    Pencil, sheet of 9” x 12” paper, scissors, craft glue, pins, thread and cotton batting (or cotton balls)
    Pink pipe cleaners, glue-on hobby eyes, pink craft feathers 4” or 5” styrofoam balls (one per mallet)
    Acrylic paints (deep pink, black and shades of brown) brushes and sponge brush
    Playing cards, white pipecleaners, invisible tape

Fold a piece of pink felt in half (6” x 9”) and cut through both layers into sort of a light bulb shape. Cut remaining pink felt the same way. Fold yellow felt in half (6” x 9”) and cut through both layers to make crescent shaped beaks. You should be able to get 3 double sided beaks out of one square. Glue two sides of each beak together and allow to dry. Pin beaks to one side of felt heads, facing inward. Pin remaining felt head piece on top and sew around edges, leaving bottom open.flamingo heads 2

Turn inside out. Stuff heads with cotton and place over ends of mallets. Secure around stick with a pink pipe cleaner. Secure feathers around neck by wrapping with pipe cleaner. Paint end of beaks, mouth and nostril with black paint. Accent head of flamingo with darker pink paint. Glue on hobby eyes. Paint styrofoam balls to look like furry brown hedgehogs.HEDGE HOG BALL

Twist ends of white pipe cleaners together to add length. Tape cards along two parallel cleaners and bend into a D- shaped wickets.

card wickets

When I look out the window this winter, it’s hard to believe there was actually a February when we kid-tested this game for my column in The Connecticut Post on my neighbor’s lawn!

However, you can just as easily set up Crazy Croquet in your living room as we are about to do! What a way to enjoy yet another snow day.

Mallets

 

 

Snow Day Snow Men

full size snowmen

I’ll admit I’m sentimental (not about snow storms, they drive me nuts!) but about the first kid’s column I ever wrote for The Connecticut Post.

snowman mix it up with kids

 

Years ago, I was very excited the Saturday it was coming out. It was a monthly column, a whole full page on recipes and crafts for children. Naturally, the calendar begins in January and I thought ice cream snow men made the perfect project: Something to do when you’re cooped-up with your kids on a snow day. Only problem was… it was springlike weather all month!

snowman teaser

I almost ran out of  month waiting for a really good blizzard to re-publish my old January column on this blog and here the storm is turning to rain. Truth is, I couldn’t be happier!

So stock up on ice cream and coconut the next time the media is predicting snowmaggedon and  here’s the transcript from the article below:

You’re up an hour early listening for school cancellations. You call the snowplow guy and his message box is full. The car is somewhere out there underneath a snowdrift. You’d like to pull a warm, cozy blanket over your head and hibernate but when the weather outside is frightful— so are the kids! Relax… the best cure for kiddy cabin fever is to occupy them with a new and memorable activity. Once you’ve heard that winter storm warning (it’s coming, it’s coming), when you’re out raiding the supermarket for bread and milk, just pick up a few extra ingredients for sweet and savory snow men. Even if the blizzard is a bust, you’ll be prepared for the next snow day.

Frosty Ice Cream Snow Men

(Note: This recipe will make about six, more or less depending on the air content of the ice cream)

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream

Shredded coconut (at least 2 cups in a shallow pan or plate) Miniature chocolate chips

Fruit roll candy (in strips)

6 chocolate covered mint patties

6 chocolate bon bon type candies

Toothpicks. Full size and mini-size ice cream scoop (very useful to have-available at cookware shops)

For each snowman: Roll two large scoops of ice cream and one small scoop in coconut. (Place scoops on a foil lined tray in freezer, while making the others) Stack one large scoop on top of the other and stack the head on top of that. Use chocolate chips to make eyes, nose, mouth and buttons. Cut strips of fruit roll candy and wrap around the neck of snowman for a scarf. Make a bowler hat out of the chocolates by spearing a toothpick through the mint patty and the bon bon so that the bon bon becomes the crown and the mint patty is the brim, secure in place on head. Keep frozen until ready to eat

snowmen copy 2

snoman column

A Few of my Favorite Things: Part 2

Parmesan crisps

It’s that time of year when everyone in the house has been “cutting back” after the holidays and trying to stick to new, healthier regimes. My New Year’s resolution was walking a mile and a half every day. Why a mile and a half? Because last year my resolution was to walk a mile every day and, I’m proud to say that I actually did it! It wasn’t easy because I live in the North East and walking outside in the winter can be treacherous most of the time (take it from one who’s a “frequent faller” on ice).  Mall walking is great but I live too far from a mall to waste time and gas to drive there. My solution is walking in circles around the periphery isles of Home Depot or BJ’s Wholesale club which are a short distance from the house. Sometimes I’ll even use Whole Foods for my exercise track but it takes more laps around the place. I use the pedometer iPhone app to know how I’m doing but, in general, it takes six orbits around my track to to reach this goal.

It’s not only a good work out for the body but for willpower as well. To any shopper,  there’s the desire to stop and check some new product that catches your eye but that has to wait until I’m done with my mile and a half. One of my favorite discoveries this year has been ready made Parmesan crisps. These have always elevated any Caesar salad to a whole new level and if you skip the croutons it makes a perfect meal for anyone who’s doing Paleo or low carb (as so many are in the bleak month of January). Parmesan crisps are very basic and simple  to make. You just bake grated piles of Parmesan cheese on baking sheets until they form crispy, lacy wafers— but when I’ve been walking for miles, I get lazy and would much rather pick up a box.

To my delight, I have stumbled upon two excellent brands. I first came across these Kali Parmesan Crisps for $7.99 at whole foods.whole foods parm crisps

About a month later I noticed these Simply Indulgent Gourmet Parmasan Cheese Crisps at BJ’s Wholesale club for $4.99.BJ's Crisps

 

Both products are excellent and the only real difference is that the Simply Indulgent Gourmet Parmesan Crisps contain a trace of potato starch and their label list having 1 carbohydrate per serving as opposed to Kali’s 0 carbohydrate per serving but it a savings of three bucks so it’s a matter of which matters most to you.

So how do I use these things? On salads and soups of course. They are even a good dip dipper if you are off of eating chips. My go to favorite will always be a Caesar salad. I like to do my chopped style– where you toss the romaine with dressing, pack it into a bowl, invert it on your plate and garnish with a Parmesan crisp– a totally guiltless pleasure.Caesar with crisps

 

 

 

 

 

Peas for Prosperity

Forgive me, I meant to ring in the New Year on my blog with some black eyed pea recipes. (You know how it is, the holidays hijack your life and it’s not until they’re over that you discover that present you wrapped and meant to send to your aunt.) As you might have guessed from the last post on making Cream Carton Cottages for Christmas, we usually have a lot of black eyed peas around the house this time of year. I guess I’ve always been comforted by them, having some southern roots in my background. Traditionally, this humble dish was served at New Year’s dinner to insure prosperity in the coming year. On that note: I thought it was interesting that all forms of black-eyed peas (dried and canned) had been wiped-out of inventory over at an affluent Westport Connecticut Stop & Shop on New Year’s Eve afternoon.  I was finally able to locate some at a much less upscale market.

So here’s what I do: I cook my black eyed peas in a big pot with smoked pork hocks, drain them and divide the beans in half. I use part of them with the meat from the hocks in a side dish (served on January 1st). The remaining beans find their way into black eyed pea chili. Both dishes hit the spot on these frigid winter nights.

Traditional Black Eyed Peas

2 pounds dried black eyed peas

4 cups vegetable stock

3-4 smoked pork hocks

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 Tbs olive oil and  1 Tbs butter

1 diced onion

1 diced green bell pepper

2/3 cup diced celery

1Tbs fresh thyme leaves

In a very large stock pot, cover peas with 3-4 inches of water. Soak overnight 8 hours or use rapid method: Bring peas to a boil for 1 minute. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 1 hour. With either method, rinse peas well and cover with vegetable stock, pork hocks, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves and enough water to cover again by about two inches. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until peas begin to fall apart. Drain peas and divide in half (reserve half for following chili recipe). Remove hocks from broth and peel away fat. Pull out any meat and dice. Set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter and oil and sauté onion bell pepper, celery and thyme until tender. Stir in diced pork and peas.

6-8 servings

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Black Eyed Pea Chili

2 pounds ground beef or turkey

1/2 medium onion, chopped

2/3 cup chopped celery

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1-2 cloves crushed garlic

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

4 Tbs chili powder (mild or hot)

15 oz can crushed tomatoes

15 oz can tomato sauce

2 Tbs ketchup

2 bay leaves

reserved black eyed peas (about 3 cups)

or 2 15 oz cans of black eyed peas.

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Drain off excess fat, allowing enough to sauté vegetables. Add onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper and chili powder. Sauté until tender and moisture has evaporated. Transfer mixture into a large saucepan or stockpot and add tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, bay leaves and black eyed peas. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer cover for 10 minutes. Remove cover and continue simmering for another 30-40 minutes or until desired consistency.

4-6 servings

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Cream Carton Cottages

We all know construction projects are full of set backs and stress, especially when you are building  gingerbread houses! I’m all about shortcuts whenever something ceases to be fun. No more cracked walls or collapsing roofs around here. We make “holiday houses on a base of cream cartons “using egg white icing (a.k.a royal icing) and black eyed peas for stones to bring good luck in the new year. Just add some Shredded Wheat for roofs, pretzels, candy and imagination.

This project is from a kid’s column I wrote for Connecticut Post.

(For easy reading I’ve provided the transcript below.)

 

12 Dec:cream carton

Festive “Gingerbread Houses” without the Fuss 

CREAM CARTON COTTAGES

I’ll never forget my first gingerbread house. My parents had gone out Christmas shopping and I was under the not-so-watchful eye of my grandmother. I decided to take out a coffee table cookbook on Cuisine of the Austrian Empire and attempt a Black Forest Christmas cottage. For an 11 year -old in the kitchen, I didn’t realize the hazards of “gluing” together the sides and roof with hot, caramelized sugar. I proudly displayed the end result to my parents but spent the holidays with my hands wrapped in bandages. I later learned that the safer way to cement a gingerbread house together was to use royal icing, a concoction of powdered sugar and egg whites. Even with that, gingerbread architecture is still very fragile. It’s easy to break your prefab house just lifting the pieces off of the baking sheet and then there’s transporting it to it’s destination.

The first year I appeared on the “Today” show, my spot showcased “edible architecture”. I made Noah’s Arc, Big Ben and a barn filled with sugar cookie cows. I held my breath as the structures were driven down the FDR drive and carted up through the service elevator to the green room. Miraculously, everything stayed intact. Once on the set, Tom Brokaw walked over to the table to tape a tease. He broke off a piece of the barn and ate it. The floor director shouted “You’re not suppose to really eat those things!” At that moment, a light went off in my head. I’d been doing it the hard way! After that, I started using cardboard structures for reinforcement and covered them with cookies, candies, cereal and pretzels. My favorite version is using black eyed peas as tiny stones over cream cartons and topping them off with thatched roofs of shredded wheat. The black eyed peas are a New Year’s tradition, symbolizing health, wealth and peace for the coming year.

Materials:
4 half pint, empty cream cartons (washed and dried inside and out).
tape or paper clips
aluminum foil
black eyed peas
Andes chocolates, mini pretzels, spearmint leaves and Shredded Wheat biscuits
Royal Icing (recipe follows)
spatula, pastry bag with large writing tip
For each cottage, Tape shut or clip the openings at the top of cartons. Spread icing around the four sides of each carton and press dried peas, as if they were stones, into mortar. Spread icing on sides of roof and attach Shredded Wheat biscuits so that they resemble thatch on a stone cottage. Cut a 1” x 6” strip of aluminum foil and roll into a cylinder. Spread with icing and cover with peas to make little stone chimneys. Fill pastry bag with remaining icing. Pipe icing down the center of the roof. Set chimney in the center and use icing from bag to attach other pieces to the cottage: chocolate mints for doors, halved chocolate mints for windows, spearmint leaves for bushes and mini pretzels under the gables of the roof. Allow icing to dry 24 hours.

ROYAL ICING:
1/2 cup egg whites
1, 1lb box of powdered sugar

Beat egg whites and powdered sugar at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

 

A Few of My Favorite Things: Part 1

(One of my goals with this blog was not only sharing recipes and craft projects but bringing you products and places that deserve a shout out! This is the first installment of many to come.)

TJ’s AND DR MIKES TEAM UP FOR DESSERT

photo 1

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday was one of those days when 1+1+1=10! I’m talking about dessert last night. It was one of those lazy meals when you put two products together, add your own sauce and the end result is magic in your mouth.

It all started last month as I began feeling really under the weather  about a week before Thanksgiving. Just in case I didn’t feel like baking, I bought Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding (a frozen, ready to bake dessert). I stashed it in the freezer and quickly forgot about it. As my strength came back,  and I started cooking up a storm the night before Thanksgiving and never needed the stand-by dessert. Then a friend brought me a pint of pumpkin  ice cream from Dr Mike’s Ice Cream in Monroe CT. I still had praline sauce left over from our pumpkin cheesecake (see  November 2014 posts or recipe below) so I decided to serve TJ’s pumpkin bread pudding with Dr Mike’s pumpkin ice cream and my homemade praline sauce. Such a delicious combination I wouldn’t mind serving it to company in the middle of July!

photo 2

Dr Mikes Monroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Praline Sauce:

2 tbs butter

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 Tbs maple syrup and 1 Tbs bourbon

1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, melt butter and blend in brown sugar and flour. Add heavy cream, maple syrup bourbon and vanilla. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and serve warm to room temperature.

WHY PIE?

butcher block pies

When it comes to holiday baking, I find the gifting of pies gives the most bang for the buck as far as time spent achieving the “Yummm Factor”. You know how it is: You spend a couple days rolling, cutting, baking and decorating dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies to come up with an attractive assortment. There’s flour all over your counter and you’re getting carpal tunnel from repetitive motion. Then you bring your cookies to a holiday dinner and the hostess sits them right next to three other boxes of homemade cookies. Since the invention of refrigerated pie crust, there’s a reason for the expression “easy as pie “ ! (I like making my own from scratch for many occasions but not when I’m time stressed at the holidays.) In a few hours you can bake two, four or six pies for presents. Best of all, when you carry it through the door, it will get noticed and most likely end up on the dining room table for the grand finale!

WHITE CHOCOLATE PECAN CHRISTMAS PIES

Ingredients:

2, 8”aluminum cake pans with clear plastic covers
(these make more stable pies than aluminum pie pans)

 

Makes 2 pies

Allow pie crusts to soften for 30 minutes at room temperature. Unroll and line pastry into cake pans taking care to ease pastry into bottom and sides so as not to stretch it. Trim crust evenly around edge of pan and score edges with tines of a fork. Place pie shells on a large baking sheet. For each pie: Spread 1 1/2 cups pecans in the pie shell and top with 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 1/3 cup raisins. In a large bowl with wire whisk, beat together, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Transfer filling to a large glass measuring cup and pour filling evenly into pie shells. Preheat oven to 350 and bake on lower rack of oven for 45 minutes. Cool completely and drizzle with white chocolate glaze.

Ingredients:

2, 8”aluminum cake pans with clear plastic covers
(these make more stable pies than aluminum pie pans)

1 box ready to bake pie crust rolls.
3 cups lightly toasted pecans*
1 cup white chocolate chips
2/3 cup golden raisins
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
(note the blend of light and dark brown sugars gives the right caramel color)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 bottle (2 cups) light corn syrup
6 large eggs
1 Tbs vanilla extract
White Chocolate Glaze

For White Chocolate Glaze: Melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips with 1 Tbs vegetable shortening in microwave about 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.

 

crust in pancrimped crustchips & nutsbrown sugarsstream of caramelIMG_1466sliced pie

Start Your Own Tiny Tree Farm

I’ve always felt really “green” whenever I’ve bought a live tree in a pot around the holidays. I don’t have to feel guilty about harvesting a perfectly good source of wood, way before it’s prime, just for my family’s entertainment. (OK– I don’t really feel that guilty about having a  cut Christmas Tree in my living room but it seems so much better knowing I don’t have to put it out of it’s misery when the needles start to fall.) Why not make your own mini live trees from pinecones which are really nothing more than baby trees! Talk about the circle of life. These make unique mantle decor or accent to place settings at the dining room table. Wrap them up and they make great hostess gifts to bring to your next holiday party.

pinecones on mantel

 

 

 

 

 

Materials:

15 mid-sized unscented pinecones (bagged pinecones frequently come in 15 count size)

Large baking sheet

Aluminum foil

1 can sage green colored  satin finish spray paint

15 mini terra cotta pots – 1.5″

High temp hot glue gun

7 1/2 yards 1/4″ silver wired ribbon

Scissors

Arrange pinecones (well spaced) on baking sheet that has been completely covered (top and sides) with aluminum foil. Spray well with one coat of green paint to cover all sides. Allow to dry 2 hours.

Come back and spray second coat, taking care to reposition pinecones to cover any spots missed by paint. Allow to dry 24 hours.

Taking caution not to touch actual hot glue. Pipe a rim around the edge of each terra cotta pot, one pot at a time. Immediately top with a pine cone and apply gentle pressure. (Twisting the pinecone slightly into the pot helps make better surface contact as the glue hardens.) Be sure to work quickly after applying hot glue. If glue becomes too hardened to adhere to the pinecone, peel the glue off with a knife and try again.

When all trees have been glued into pots, cut ribbon into 15″ lengths. Carefully tie ribbon around each pot at the base of the pinecone, taking care to cover the hot glue seam as much as possible. Tie ribbon ends into a bow.

sprayed pinecones trees and hot glue gun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

trees across table

 

 

 

 

 

tree farm with bows

Tis The Season For Silver Bells

“In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas… Soon it will be Christmas Day!” Maybe that should be your cue that there’s still time to trim your tree with some hand made silver bells. The materials are really simple and so is the technique. These are the kind of ornaments you’ll enjoy pulling out year after year or giving as gifts to friends and family. The bells are made out of a durable, air hardening clay, trimmed with gossamer silver wired ribbon. I was tying these together the other night while listening to Jimmy Stewart in “It’s a Wonderful Life” . I just couldn’t resist jingling away when the classic line came on : “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings”.

bells on tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials:
1, 1.2 oz package of DAS white air hardening modeling clay
2 mini muffin trays (12 cups each)
Plastic straw
1 can chrome spray paint
1 can silver glitter spray paint
Aluminum foil
15 yards, 1/4” silver wired ribbon
8 yards 1-1/2″ silver wired ribbon
24 jingle bells
8 silver glitter pipe cleaners
Scissors, yardstick

Divide clay into 24 equal sections and roll into balls. Place each ball into a muffin cup and press into sides with a hollow spot in the middle (similar to forming tart shells). Use straw to pierce a hole in the bottom of each clay cup. Allow to air dry for at least 3 days. Carefully twist clay cups out of muffin cups and place on a tray to dry another 24 hours.

Cover two baking sheets with foil. Place clay cups open side up on foil. Spray with chrome spray paint and allow to dry. Turn over on other side foil and spray with silver glitter paint and allow to dry.

Cut 1/4 ribbon into 24, 22” lengths. Cut 1- 1/2” ribbon into 24, 12” lengths. Cut pipe cleaners into quarters. For each bell: String bell on to 1/4” ribbon and fold in half . Tie in a knot about 1- 1/2 “ from bell to form a clapper. Fold pipe cleaner section in half and tie just above firth knot. This will anchor the bell in place. Invert bell and string 1/4” ribbon ends through the hole. Fold a section of 1- 1/2 ” ribbon into thirds and gather on top of bell. Tie a knot around the wider ribbon with the narrow ribbon to hold in place. Tie a knot at the end of narrow ribbons to make a hanging loop. Shape wired ribbon to make a bow.

muffin tinsbells-inside sprayedbells tying knort for clapper
pipe cleaneer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bells-ribbon foldbells tying ribbon on topbells finished on board

 

 

 

Author, Columnist, Creative Consultant