05 February 2016

Gift Wrap Presentation

I was posting the collage below and thought I needed a side view photo.  So I started taking pictures and then thought I should get my hand under the handle so you guys could see that I made a handle with the scrap gift paper.  And if I have a good size left, I keep it.  Just in case of an emergency. Well, I am glad I kept the extra scraps this time because I needed them after I broke the handle.  See, being Frugal can pay off sometimes.

The funny thing is I kept telling myself that the gift was
too heavy for the handle.  But I wouldn't listen to myself
and I was trying to take a picture of me holding the gift
by the handle and it broke. 

It looks good as new but I will not be lifting it by the handle. 

The yellow arrows show where the paper ripped. 
The pictures on the right side of this collage are what the gift
looked like after I fixed the handle.

Oh! I forgot to tell you how I make the handle. By the way... great for lighter gifts.  I fold the extra gift wrap paper so it is long and narrow.  I tape wire on the inside, so you can give shape or hold onto the handle.

I usually tuck the wire under the wrapping paper so you can't see it but I didn't do that this time so you could see it.
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03 February 2016

Birthday Celebrations, Clip Art and Crafts

The boys get a ballon filled with money or a tiny gift for each year they have been alive... so 10 balloons for a 10th birthday.  I decided this year to step after 16 year because it is too hard.

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Duncan Hines German Chocolate Cake Frosting

This is the best German Chocolate Cake Frosting!  At least I think so, I can't wait to make another one in a couple days.    I just used a cake box for the cake but I don't like the frosting in a can so this was my first attempt at German Chocolate Frosting. 
Duncan Hines Recipe

 This mini German Chocolate bundt cake is from 2015. 
The frosting was so good I plan on making this cake every year.

This cupcake is from 2016


  • 4 egg yolks
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (for a richer color and flavor in my opinion but optional)
  • 3/4 stick butter (can substitute margarine but real butter yields better flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract                                                                                           
  • 1-1/3 cups sweetened grated coconut, with any compacted clumps pulled apart or discarded
  • 1 cup pecans broken into small pieces
Baking Instructions

In a  jelly roll pan, toast the pecans and  coconut at 350 about 8-10 minutes, watch closely. 
See picture below, the coconut is toasted but not brown.
Now in about a 2-quart heavy saucepan, whisk evaporate milk and egg yolks well; then add the sugars. Cut the butter into pieces and add to pan
Now heat on mediium high, whisking constantly, the butter will melt as it is warmed.
It will start to thicken up as it reaches the boiling point.
Once it starts to boil, keep stirring about 30 seconds more, then remove from heat, about twelve minutes from start to finish.
Pour through a sieve into a clean medium-sized heatproof bowl.

This traps some little bits of egg but probably wouldn't be noticed.   I won't sieve again.  I actually ate the little clumps of eggs and they tastes great.  So I don't think anyone will even notice. 
Stir in vanilla thoroughly.
Let cool at room temperature until just a little warm when felt on bottom, then chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Remove after 30 minutes and stir in the coconut and pecans well.
The above is a generous amount needed for 3 layers, filling between two and then the top but not frosting the sides although I've seen that done.
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