Sugar Cookie Pops

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Since Valentine’s Day fast approaches (and snow days freed up my work schedule!), I decided to try my hand at these super cute sugar cookie pops from Our Best Bites.
I love, love, love the sugar cookie recipe from their site — especially with the Almond Extract flavoring. I’ve always had sugar cookies with Vanilla Extract, but the Almond was to die for. I love the smell of it!
Here’s the Cast of Characters:
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1 C real butter
1 C sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp Almond extract
3 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Directions:
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Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
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Add in eggs and extract and mix well.
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In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
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Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well.
Separate the dough into halves and roll between two sheets of wax paper. Chill for at least an hour in the fridge.
Once the dough is nice and chilly, use cookie cutters to cut shapes (I did hearts for Valentine’s Day!).If you’re making cookie pops, take a lolly pop stick and press in into the back side of the cookie, about halfway up.
If not, just move on. :)
Lay the cookies out on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on how crispy you want the cookies.
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You’ll know they’re done when the edges are just barely turning golden brown.
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Now for the fun part — Frosting the Cookies! :)
This was the first time I worked with Glacé Icing.
The second Cast of Characters:
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1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 cup and 2 Tbs whole milk
1/4 cup and 2 Tbs light corn syrup
2 tsp extract (Almond, if you used that in the sugar cookies)
Directions:
Mix the sugar and milk.
Add the corn syrup and extract.
Divide and add color — I did pink and white. :)
Here’s the white:
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And the pink:
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I used Wilton’s Sparkle Gel to pipe a line of icing around the edge of the cookies.
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Then, I filled in the cookie with the Glacé Icing.
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I’m sure it gets easier as you work with it more and more, but I learned after the first few cookies to pipe a line of frosting around the outside of the cookie to keep the glaze from running off the edges.
I had to salvage a few where the icing ran off the edge, so I just added a bunch more icing and piped a fun design on the top:
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Aren’t they so fun?
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Now, if only I had someone (other than the Nerd and myself) to share them with!

Snow!

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It’s snowing outside, and it has been all morning!
We awoke this morning to a blanket of white on the ground, and it hasn’t stopped sprinkling white stuff all day.
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Since we live in North Texas, this is not something we are used to. In fact, the Minions had a great time frolicking in the snow.
I thought I’d share some of their escapades:
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Kaylee had a lot of fun. There is nothing cuter than beagle ears flopping around.
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Isn’t she a doll?
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And Georgie was trying to eat the snowflakes as they fell around him!
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Since I don’t have to work for the rest of the day, I plan on baking some cookies and making Taco Soup for dinner tonight. I’ll take photos and post the recipes eventually.
Hope everyone stays warm and dry!

Nerdy Things Thursday: MTG

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Welcome to Nerdy Things Thursday, where I try to shed a little light on some of the Nerdy Things I come across in my life with The Nerd.
Earlier this week, I shared some photos from our weekend trip to Houston to celebrate a new set release for Magic: The Gathering. So I thought I’d explain a little about this super-awesome trading card game.
The basic premise of MTG is that you are a planeswalker, or magician, who is dueling another planeswalker. You cast spells and summon creatures or artifacts to assist you in the duel and defend you.
Each player uses a 60-card deck of spells, creatures, artifacts and mana cards. Mana is the “fuel” for your spells — a force that you draw from different forms of land. There are five colors of mana, and each color has a general strategy or “feel” of a spell associated with it:
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I like to play blue, white and (occasionally) black. The Nerd is more partial black and red.
So, you need mana to cast a spell. Each card has a certain mana cost. You are allowed to play one land card (which produces one mana) each turn, unless you have a spell that allows you to cast more than one land card.
Now, let’s take a look at a card:
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This is a white card. If you look at the top left corner, you’ll see the casting cost. It’s 2 white mana, and 4 mana of any color.
The card type is a “Creature — Human Soldier.” So, this card can attack your opponent, or defend against an attack from your opponent’s creatures.
In the bottom right, is the Power/Toughness of this creature. It’s a 3/3, so it had 3 hit points, and can absorb 3 hit points.
You need the right combination of creatures, spells, artifacts and land (mana) in your deck to win. It’s all about strategy. And making super-cool combos.
See this website for more basic rules.
The cards are released in sets. A block consists of three sets of cards, all with a similar theme. Currently, the Shards of Alara block and Zendikar block are the standard sets. So, you can use cards from these sets when playing in a Standard tournament.
Of course, there are really cool cards from all sets, and I really like to collect the cool cards.
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If you know me, you know that I am a (semi)organized person. I love Post-It notes and labels and file folders. Yep, it’s possible to love those things. But I digress. I like to keep my Magic cards in pretty boxes — one for each deck.
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Ah, blue, green and purple. My favs.
And I thought I’d give you a look at some of my favorite cards:
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This is Elspeth. She’s beautiful.
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Master Transmuter lets me play any artifact for a low cost. I love this card in my Esper Artifact deck.
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And Ethersworn Adjudicator is just a cool card. Yes, it’s autographed by the artist!
Hopefully, we can eventually delve into some of the strategy in this game, and talk about some of the popular types of decks that people create. Not that I’m an expert. I lose a lot.
Hope everyone has a safe, warm day! We’re expecting snow in Dallas, so this should be interesting…
Until next time, live long and prosper!

A Magic-al Weekend

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This weekend, The Nerd and I drove south to Houston to visit some friends. About a year ago, these friends had introduced us to a wonderful (and addicting!!) trading card game called Magic: The Gathering.
We’ll talk about the specifics of the games later in the week during Nerdy Things Thursday. For now, let’s just say that it’s FUN!
Oh, and the cards are pretty. That’s all that really matters.
A new set of cards was released this weekend, and we all got together for a booster draft!
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We purchased a booster box to split between us — that’s 36 booster packs, each containing 15 cards.
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That’s a lot of cards.
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There’s nothing better than opening a fresh pack of Magic cards:
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The Nerd likes to tease me by not letting me see the cards he got…
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He’s a mean, mean man.
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And then, he let me see the rare from the pack:
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April is a much better model.
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She likes pretty cards, too.
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She’s my compadre in many of our Nerdy activities.
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Once all the cards were open, the draft ensued! Eric won. 
Then everybody else. 
I was last. 
I suck.
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Eric is the thinker of the group.
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April always has a cool combo up her sleeve.
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And then there’s me. Blinded by pretty cards. 
(And wearing my Pioneer Woman shirt!)

Not Me Monday

It’s that time again…
Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
As for me, things have been pretty hectic the last week or so.
Things have been so busy, in fact, that I totally did *not* forget to post another Nerdy Things Thursday post last week. Not me.
Two weeks in a row that I’ve missed.
So much for my schedule.
The Nerd and I headed out of town for the weekend, which you’ll get to read all about in tomorrow’s post. I totally did *not* persuade my husband to purchase 8 additional Magic booster packs, just so I could get a pretty box. Not me. 
And I totally did *not* drink a Dr Pepper on our way home yesterday, cheating on my resolution to only drink water. I have *not* cheated several times. Not me.
And finally, I am totally *not* about to leave you hanging with a photo preview of tomorrow’s post. Not me.
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Happy Monday!

When Nerds Get Together…

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Massive amounts of gaming ensue.

Swimming … in January!?!

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Yes, this was us … yesterday. It was 31 degrees outside and we were wearing swimsuits. Are we crazy? No, we were at Great Wolf Lodge!

Remember my adorable niece? Well, my brother and his wife are moving her to Denver on Monday.

So, my mom thought it would be fun for us to spend the weekend with her at the indoor waterpark!

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Nanna and Pappy are so proud of River! 

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Here she is suiting up. Please excuse the terrible blurriness in these photos. I didn’t want to take my super nice camera into the waterpark, so I used my point-and-shoot.

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River wasn’t the only one who had fun!

It took a little while for her to get used to the water, but soon she was splashing around like a champ!

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There were all kinds of things inside the park. Like waterfalls…

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And water guns…

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And water slides… Go James!

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Nanna and River are best buds!

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I’m gonna miss that baby…



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