Cinnamon Candied Almonds



This easy treat is by far one of the most requested around the holidays.  It is so easy to make and, to the detriment of some of us (ahem...me), EASY TO EAT!

I like to whip up a few batches of this recipe to give to friends and my hub's co-workers.   It takes just 5 ingredients and only 20 minutes.    If you have almonds in your house, you probably have everything else you need too.

Ingredients:
3 Cups of almonds
1 ½  Cups raw organic sugar
1 ½  Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 C water
*Some salt for sprinkling*  (Opt.)
*You will also need a large non-stick skillet and your stove-top, as well as a strong arm.  This recipe requires that you gently continually stir your almonds until finished.


In your large skillet, at almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and water.  Mix them all together.

Turn your stove-top heat to just under high, and keep mixing your ingredients until it starts to boil.

When it starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium, and keep stirring until the liquid becomes gooey.

 Rather quickly, the sugar will turn from gooey to mushy, to crumbly. 

When the sugar is turning crumbly, but not too dry, take your skillet and almonds off the stove and pour them onto a parchment paper lined (and sided) dish to cool.     

Break up clumps with your spoon and spread them out.

Sprinkle a little sea salt over them, for that slightly salty but mostly sweet flavor we all can't seem to resist.  

Let completely cool for about half an hour and store in an airtight container.  Or, just eat them all on the spot like we do.



Thanks for visiting the Bitty Birdie Blog!  Please be sure to share this recipe with your friends!


Halloween Costumes!

Daedric Amor from The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim & Demon Hunter Armor from Diablo III


My husband and I aren't normally into dressing up for Halloween - we typically leave that to our kiddos.  But every few years an idea comes along and we TOTALLY go for it!  This was one of those years.  It was my first time working with materials like this, so I had some tough moments and learning experiences.  When/if we do this again, I think we'll try a few other techniques, and I'll be sure to update you all with those when it happens.

My hubs loves gaming (and I do too on occasion, try it girls!), and I love to craft.  This was the best opportunity to mesh the two!  We had so much fun with these, we're already brainstorming the next ones.  It is HARD to choose!  We're leaning towards more armor sets from Diablo III.  Demon Hunter Tier 15, anyone?  I mean, DANG.  Suggestions are welcome!

SUPPLIES for Daedric Amorcraft foam, a TON of hot glue, craft googly eyes (for rivets), puff paint, modge podge, craft acrylic paint, and even more patience, with some velcro and elastic thrown in there. 

SUPPLIES for Demon Hunter Armor: faux leather fabric (this was use for all the armor pieces except for the breastplate and pauldrons), craft foam (pauldrons & breastplate), hot blue, craft googly eyes (rivets), puff paint, modge podge, craft acrylic paint.

Both costumes are worn over black lycra form fitting morphsuits.

To see how  built and painted the foam armor pieces, please follow the link below.  If the pictures inspire you to make a costume of your own, awesome!  DO IT.  Questions and comments are totally welcome below in the comments section.   








 


 
No, the skulls are not part of the original design, but hey, why not right?  They're SKULLS.

UPDATE!!
My hubby's Daedric Armor costume was submitted to the Coolest Homemade Costumes website and is in the running for this year's costume contest!  We won't find out until December 15th if he is a winner, but we're excited to see how it goes.  You can find the submission HERE!  LEAVE A COMMENT OR SHARE IT! 

Here are a few updated photos of the completed Daedric Armor costume, as well as a few of my Demon Hunter armor from Diablo III.






Demon Hunter Armor from Diablo III




Printable Quote: Anyone Can Be A Mother



If you want to know how I feel about motherhood, I could write until my finger tips bruise and bleed.  Yet, coincidentally and just as equally, there are no words to describe what a mother is.  Mothers are more than words, more than the list of daily tasks and chores and dishes and nose wipes and diaper changes and smiles, hugs, kisses, or bedtime stories.  Mothers are something that comes purely from the heart.

But while we all might not have the opportunity to be a mother in the biological sense, I truly believe there are mothers everywhere.  In every woman.  Because we all have hearts to give, and love to share.

You may be a mother and might not know it.  You may have a friend who continuously needs your compassion.  You may be an aunt with little nieces and nephews, who rejoice when you come to visit.  
Whatever your definition of "mothering", it's an available trait that we all can acquire and practice.  

If you're the leader of a women's group, church society, or simply enjoy this lovely quote by the wonderful Sheri Dew, please feel free to download and use this for any related purpose!   
See below for the consolidated easy print 8.5x11 version with 6 handouts to a page.  
*EASY PRINT 8.5x11 format.  Just left click on the image below, enlarge, and save to your computer!  Print however you'd like.  I recommend a heavy white cardstock.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!
to all mothers, everywhere.

****GIVE-AWAY!!**** Ends on Mother's Day 2014

***  This Give-Away is now CLOSED.  ***


****GIVE-AWAY!!****

I am so excited to give out 3 printed copies of this wonderful Family Roots & Tree printable!  If I do say so myself, I LOVE it!  And by the looks of things over at The Shop, quite a few of you seem to like it as well.  Thank you for that!

In celebration of my 300th sale, THREE winners will be chosen at random to win one printed 8x10in copy of this image.  

The best part of it is how EASY it is to enter!  



I'm hosting my give-away on my Facebook Page, so you will need a Facebook account to enter.  



1 - Be a fan of my page.  Easy!
2 - Go to THIS post and "LIKE" the post.
3 - Comment on the post, tagging the name of a friend who you think might also love this give-away!  

That's it!  Done!  Entry in the bag!

UNLESS....

...you want an extra entry!  


4 - For an EXTRA chance to win, SHARE the Facebook post with your friends so they can have a chance to win too!



****Give-Away ends Mother's Day, May 11th, 2014.  Winners will be announced and contacted (via Facebook - Bitty Birdie will repsond to the winner's post comment) on Monday, May 12th.  Each winner will be given 48 hours to respond.  Winners will only be asked for the shipping address to which they would like their print shipped to.  No other information required. ****

I can't begin to tell you all how grateful I am for the community support I've received as I've built this little business.  You inspire me!  I can't wait to see what we come up with next for the shop.  



Thank you!


Brig

FREE Children's Valentines Printables


For the last couple of years, I have that wonderful opportunity as a parent to help my child create and give Valentine's to his friends and class at school.  Who knew making your own valentines would be so much fun?!    This year, my son definitively stated he wanted to give out pirate valentines.  Being a fan of the whole Pirates of the Caribbean phenomenon, (and I hardly need add Assassin's Creed IV), I was more than willing to help him with this project.

We printed our pirate valentines on 8.5x11 sticker paper, cut them out and pasted them onto Ghirardelli squares.  He can't wait to hand them out on Friday.

So, in the spirit of love and friendship, I've set up a few FREE printable options for you!

-PIRATE - Works with any goodie or toy.
-"BEAR-Y" special valentine! - Works best with gummy bears, cinnamon bears, or anything "bear"!

I hope you like them!  Print to cardstock, paper, sticker paper, or whatever!   Cut them out and staple, or use a hole punch and tie them to your valentine goodies.

8.5x11 high resolution format.  Just left click on image, enlarge, and save to your computer! 





Healthy Honey Whole Wheat Cornbread


Welcome!  This post has been a long time coming; I make this recipe so often, I should have had it up a long time ago!  If you're familiar with the blog High Heels and Grills, you might recognize some similarities in this cornbread recipe!

In my own search for the perfect cornbread, I came across THIS recipe, and decided to alter it to fit my own health and lifestyle preferences.   I try to incorporate whole grains and natural sugars in my family's diet, instead of the now commonplace refined alternatives.  The result of this recipe transformation is what you see below!  The biggest differences you'll notice between the original (which is also still fantastic!!!) and mine is 1) the whole wheat, 2) the sugar has been replaced with honey, and 3) the amount of that sugar has been cut in half.

Here we go!

Ingredients:
4 eggs - Whites and yolks separated.  Be sure not to get any yolk in the whites while separating!  
3/4 C. Butter - melted or very soft.  
3/4 C. Honey -  My hubby found this at Costco!  Bam baby!  Although it's not an entirely huge deal whether you use raw, commercial, or organic honey while baking (since the heat kills any enzymes anyway), it was still awesome to know that the process involved in getting this particular batch of honey was in accordance to the best standards this country can regulate.  Thank you Costco!


Continuing...

1 C. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Cornmeal
2 C. Whole Wheat Flour - We've been lucky enough to find an excellent Non-GMO brand at our local Walmart of all places!  
1 TBSP. Baking POWDER 
1 tsp. Salt

Directions:

First, separate your egg yolks from the whites and set the whites aside in their own bowl.  They'll be added back into the recipe at the very end.  

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and butter.  I just use a simple kitchen fork for most of this.  Mix together until they've combined well.  Depending on how melted your butter is, the cold from the egg yolks might solidify your butter again.  No worries!  Just mix as best you can.

Next, mix in the honey and vanilla until all are combined.

Lastly (as far as wet ingredients go), mix in the milk and stir it all up!

From here, dump in the flour.  Top that with the cup of cornmeal, then the baking powder, and salt.  Mix it all up until fully combined [pictured].   There's no real need to have all of these dry ingredients mixed together beforehand, which makes this recipe so much easier, and one less bowl to clean!  


Next, get your egg whites. Remember how we were super careful not to get any egg yolks in the whites?  If you did, this step won't work out very well.  Your egg whites will still be usable, but they won't peak like this.  Using a simple hand mixer, or similar device, beat the egg whites, gradually moving up to a high speed, until stiff peaks form [pictured].


Dump the fluffy egg whites into your batter and mix together until you no longer see anymore white and bubbles. 


Set your oven to °350.   

Grab a 9x13 glass casserole dish, or similar, and butter it.  I just scoop up about 1 and a half teaspoons of butter and run it all over the dish with my fingers.  



Pour the batter into the dish.  Grab the handles and gently shake the swivel the dish so the batter is even.  


Bake at °350 for about 32 minutes and then check the center with a toothpick.  The toothpick should come out clean, and the center should appear stable.  If needed, add 1-2 more minutes.

I have never needed to bake this for longer than 33 or 34 minutes, so I'm confident you won't need to either.  You do not want to overbake this.  Overbaked cornbread = grainy, dry, and crumbly.  

Perfect!  Lightly golden and random slight cracking lets me know it's done.

Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 10-15 before covering with a lid, or plastic wrap.  Keep the covering tight to lock in that wonder moisture!

Cut immediately before serving, and continue to store leftovers airtight.

I hope you enjoy it!  Thanks for visiting!  Be sure to Pin this recipe using the buttons below for quick and easy future access!