Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day - Just Another Day, Magazine Hearts, and Ugly Patties

Happy Valentine's Day!
Today was just another day for G and Mama at home.
Actually, I kinda felt like I sucked at being a mom today.
Ever have those days?
I literally sat down at the kitchen table today and said out loud, "I totally suck today".
It seemed like every other word out of my mouth was "no" and in response to that, nothing was making G happy today.
It's okay. We'll do better tomorrow.
We did do a few fun things today, though.
I got out an old magazine and cut up some hearts and we attached them to the bulletin board in his room.
  I may keep those up for awhile.
 On to a Valentine's gift for Hubs.
I didn't really want something too involved because these days I have a little helper with me.
Remember him? The one that likes to jump on bar stools?
 Here's what you'll need. I modified it as I went along.
4 cups confectioner's sugar
2 bags of candy melts (I got mine from Michael's)
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract
(I used mint instead because that's what I had on hand. Tasted just as good.)
Notice the candy molds? I wound up not using them. I'll explain later.
Notice the shortening? I didn't use that either. I'll explain later.
 Okay, so you'll want to get out your mixer, AKA "Too Noisy", and combine the confectioner's sugar, mint extract, and sweetened condensed milk.
Add the sugar a cup at a time.
It's done when you can roll a ball in your hands but it's "dry" and not sticky.
To achieve this, I had to add a dollop more of the sweetened condensed milk and mix some more.    Not sure why, but that's what did it for me.
Oh yes, and add some color based on the occasion.
Gel food coloring. And a little goes a long way!
 Man, he's cute.
Even when he has kind of expensive stuff in his hands and I know if I don't grab it, he's going to chuck it across the room at any second.
 Okay, back to it. So, once you have all your balls rolled, press them down onto wax paper so they are like thick discs.
I read that they need to dry out at room temperature for 2 hours, flipping them over after 1 hour.
Dude. I don't have that kind of time. I let them dry for an hour on one side then flipped them and popped them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. It worked great!
So the recipe that I read called for regular chocolate with shortening.
I just used candy melts but accidentally took the picture with some shortening.
So, if you use regular chocolate, melt the shortening with it.
If you use candy shortening.
Got it?
Here's where the molds DON'T come in. Bah.
As I pressed the filling down on the wax paper, I thought they looked super cool like that, all ugly and whatnot. So, I just went with that.
Once the candy melt chocolate was melted (in the microwave) I just dipped the filling in the chocolate. the filling held up nicely to the hot chocolate because they had been in the freezer before hand.
Once covered in chocolate, pop back in the freezer for a bit and viola!
Homemade Peppermint Patties.
Or...Homemade Mint Patties, sans the shortening and cutesie candy molds.
I love Macro Photography.
I don't have a Macro lens. But I did try this little trick of taking my 50mm lens off the camera, switching it around and holding it up to the camera body and taking a picture that way.
Instant Macro.
I think I need practice. And sleep. But I think it's a pretty snazzy idea. 

Happy Monday!

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