Muffin Gift Basket

Thank you all for your kind comments on the new blog, I appreciate it so much!

This gift idea is hard to categorize because it is so versatile.  And also relies heavily on puns so if that isn’t your thing I’ve given you fair warning.

Muffin Gift BasketThis basket is so fun and also seems so “homey” to me as well.  Just a big ol’ basket of comfort!  If you want to put together your own Muffin Gift Basket here are some things to consider putting in your basket:

  • -Muffin Tins
  • -Measuring Cups
  • -Measuring Spoons
  • -Whisk
  • -Mixing Spoons
  • -Cooling Rack
  • -Muffin Cups
  • -Lots of varieties of muffin mix

This would be such a great welcome for a new neighbor or a house warming gift to a new home owner.  You could fill the basket with some quality kitchen items and it would make a darling wedding gift as well.  And how about a way to say thank you to someone who has really been there for you?  Lots of people would be happy to receive this thoughtful gift.  And or course don’t forget the tag!

Download the PDF

I told you I would be using some puns.  I can’t help it, they make me smile!  But there is a blank tag included so you can write whatever you like and tailor it to the recipient.  I’m sure whoever receives this gift will have a smile on their face as well!

Darling Doodles 2.0

Welcome, welcome!  If you are here than you’ve made the jump with me to the brand new Darling Doodles Design!  This website has been in the works for months and I am SO excited that it is finally making its debut.  My stomach was in knots yesterday when we officially made the switch but so far it is going pretty smoothly.  If you do happen to find any broken links I’d appreciate it if you let me know so that I can make sure to fix things right away.

If you’re a long time reader than don’t worry, you will still be able to find all sorts of crafts, gift ideas, decorating tips, and as always lots and lots of FREE printables!   But the new site is more streamlined, user friendly, and I’m hoping it will help me take this blog to the next level.  So take a look around and explore the new site, I think you’ll like what you see.  And as always I’d love to hear what you think.

Creating a new site means a lot of new designs so let’s take a look at some of the new elements.  The most obvious is a new header:

I’m loving the fun, bright colors.  It feels like the whole blog has taken a big breath of fresh air.  There are brand new buttons, the codes can be found in the right side bar so be sure to update your button:

And to match the look I’ve created a new Facebook cover photo and Etsy banner as well:

I owe a huge thank you to my family for giving me their opinions on the different designs and the biggest thank you to my husband who has been so patient and amazing in teaching me all about HTML and all the hours he spent building this site with me.

And of course thanks to you, my readers.  Without you this blog would not be here and it is because of you that I get to spend each day doing what I love.  I truly appreciate the time you take to read each post and every kind and encouraging comment or email you send.

On Wednesday we will be back to business as usual and I’ll have a cute gift idea to share.  In the meantime have fun looking around and let me know what you think of the new Darling Doodles Design!


Homemade Pop Tarts

My sophomore year of college my roommate, Jen, and I had an obsession with pop tarts.  One entire shelf in our closet was dedicated to our supply of pop tarts and we seriously ate at least one a day.  College student diet I suppose?  Who has time to cook anything between all the fun and boys….uh….between all that studying?

I think I must have eaten my lifetime quota though because something happened where I suddenly couldn’t stand pop tarts.  I had eaten too many and couldn’t choke down any more! Fast forward several years and I have only just recently tried them again.  They weren’t bad, but this tasty homemade version is MUCH better!  I could probably have a shelf in my closet dedicated just to these now.

You could certainly make your own pie crust if you wanted to, but if you’re like me and looking for ease and convenience then grab a premade pie crust and cut it into squares using a pizza cutter.  These squares are about 3×3 and made a medium size pop tart.

Use your favorite jam, jelly, or preserves for the filling.  Plop a small dollop into the middle of one of the squares and cover with another square.  Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.

Put on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and slightly crispy.  Remove from the cookie sheet and place on a rack to cool.

You can definitely eat them just like this and they’ll be delicious.  But you can take it a step further and top with a glaze and sprinkles as well!  A simple glaze of powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk along with some food coloring is the perfect topping.  Dash on some sprinkles immediately after glazing so they will stick.

They might take a little bit more work then opening up a box and unwrapping but the taste is much better and well worth it.

An “Apple” For Teacher

Is it already time for back to school ideas?  Apparently because I am seeing them explode all over Pinterest and Facebook!  Lots of apples.  Apples & Teachers.  Teachers & Apples.  They just go together.  It seems like every teacher has an apple shaped pencil holder or a world’s best teacher mug dotted in apples.   It is probably safe to say that your child’s teacher already has their fair share of apple knickknacks so this year if you are looking for a Back to School Teacher Gift this modern twist on an old favorite is a great way to go.

This little gift basket includes apple themed items that can actually be used and enjoyed instead of just gathering dust on a shelf.  You can put together a whole basket or just choose one or two items and jazz them up with some cute ribbon.  Some ideas:

  • Apple scented candle
  • Apple scented lotion
  • Apple Cider
  • Apple Butter
  • Apple Menu Planner

The Apple Menu Planner is available in my Etsy Shop for $3.00 and once you add it to a frame it makes a great gift all on its own.

While most of these are more suited for a woman I think a male teacher would still enjoy the apple butter, cider, or a basket of caramel apples as well.

Add the printable gift tag to tie all the items together and you have an easy and cute gift.


Mini Food, Big Taste!

Isn’t mini food cute?  For some reason it just is more fun to eat than normal sized food.  Is it because we can tell ourselves that we are eating mini calories?   For you Jim Gaffigan fans out there it’s like eating muffin vitamins!  If you don’t know who Jim Gaffigan is and you have no idea what I’m talking about then just shake your head and move onto the yummy food below.  :)  Or watch him on YouTube, laugh, and then come back and look at the yummy food below.

For this recipe if you want to use a premade mix such as Bisquick you certainly can, but in our house we like to make our own baking mix and it is really fast to throw it all together.  Here is the recipe we use:

– 2 1/2 cups flour
– 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
– 3 teaspoons sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup (or one stick) of softened butter
– Milk to texture

Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add in the butter and milk.  When adding in the milk you want the batter to be a little bit thicker than waffle batter.  Thick but still spoonable.  (It’s my recipe, I can make up words.) 

After you’ve made up your batter, whether using homemade or Bisquick, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.  Put a large spoonful of the batter in the bottom of each of the tins and place a pepperoni on top of the batter.

Place a spoonful of spaghetti sauce on top of each of the pepperonis.  (Pepperonis is a really odd looking word by the way, and I didn’t even make that one up.)

Add a handful of mozzarella or parmesan cheese onto the sauce …

and cover with  an additional pepperoni.

Pour one more spoonful of batter over the top completely covering all the filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out clean.  As you can see the top of these don’t really brown so if you wait for them to be golden brown the sides will most likely have burned.   My other tip is to make sure you put in enough filling.  If you don’t put in enough your pot pies may be a little dry.  But when you do it right (and it isn’t hard to get it right) they come out so tasty!

This recipe was a big hit with my husband and it was really easy for him to take the leftovers to work the next day.  You can reheat them in the microwave or if you’re able pop them into the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to reheat. I like them reheated in the oven better. These freeze really well too and can be thawed out in the fridge in a day or on the counter for a few hours.  Since this recipe was a keeper we’ve experimented with them and found some variations we really like as well.

Using the same batter and layering method I put together a filling of shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, frozen veggies, and a spoonful of gravy.   Tasty!

The fiesta version was also a favorite of my husband because he LOVES spicy food.  We had some leftover taco meat so I used that with some cheddar and pepper-jack cheese, salsa, and jalapenos.

I think you could put just about anything in these nifty little pies- its a great way to use up leftovers.  You can download the PDF recipe page here.

I do have a quick question for you, dear readers.  What format do you prefer for the recipe download?  Do you like it to be the size of a recipe card or do you print off the whole page and put it in a binder?  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


August Visiting Teaching- LDS

First things first….its August!  What???  Where is time going?  Okay, moving on…

The Visiting Teaching message for August is called Taking Action in Time of Need and it talks about one of my favorite things about the Relief Society and Visiting Teaching Program: the blessing and duty that we have to look out for one another and use our time and talents to serve each other.

You can print the handout to take to or mail to the ladies you visit teach. Want to learn more about the visiting teaching program?  Visit here for more info.