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Healthy Snack Ideas: Greek Yogurt & Quinoa Parfaits

Layers of naturally sweetened banana cheesecake yogurt, fresh berries, and nutty quinoa make for super fun and festive healthy snack ideas. But since they are packed with fruit, whole grains, and tons of protein, you can feel good about having them as breakfast, or even use them to satisfy your sweet tooth for dessert. Get …

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Valentine Dessert: Sugar House

I know everyone has seen a Christmas Gingerbread House, but how about a Valentine’s Day house? Children of all ages are fascinated with these simple structures and they can be decorated in an afternoon, if you’re not counting baking time.  They make the perfect Valentine Dessert that your children are sure to remember.

Valentine Dessert: Sugar House

Valentine's Day Sugar House from That's My Home.com


I know everyone has seen a Christmas Gingerbread House, but how about a Valentine’s Day house? Children of all ages are fascinated with these simple structures and they can be decorated in an afternoon, if you’re not counting baking time.  They make the perfect Valentine Dessert that your children are sure to remember.

Valentine Dessert: Sugar House

Valentine's Day Sugar House from That's My Home.com

To start off making the sugar house, you’ll need to make your cookie dough. I do not refrigerate it.  I roll the dough out on the back of cookie sheets sprayed with baking spray. Next, you’ll cut your pattern out of parchment paper. After cutting out my pieces I put the cookie sheets in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes. This helps to keep the dough from spreading, which will make your house easier to put together. Sugar cookie dough really likes to spread so you absolutely need to do this. If you are making a more complicated house than the one shown here, after baking I would lay my pattern on top of the baked pieces and trim them back to the pattern size so the edges are straight.

Valentine's Day Sugar House from That's My Home.com

I couldn’t believe my luck when I was in Home Good’s one day and they had this wonderful gingerbread cookie cutter set. This is the fifth one I have made since I bought them. It makes cutting out the houses quick and easy. You can see here how I roll my dough out on the cookie sheet.

After baking the house pieces, remove the pieces and place on a wire rack to cool. Let the pieces air dry at least a day before decorating. I prefer three days when I have the time. Then it is time to mix up your icing to glue it all together.

Wait, you did go out and buy a bunch of Valentine’s candy didn’t you? Some of my favorites are candy corn, jelly hearts and conversation hearts. I looked all over for the large conversation hearts and couldn’t find them, they would make a great roof decoration. I basically buy anything that is pink, red or white and then figure out where I am going from there. I also bake some heart shaped cookies for a fence or smaller hearts to shingle the roof. The only thing stopping you is your imagination.

When assembling the house, depending on how you are going to do your roof ridge, you might want to do what I do. I don’t butt my two pieces up together tightly to form a peak. I leave a little valley so I can have a flat surface there to put my candy on. This makes it easier to support the candy if it is too heavy.

Valentine's Day Sugar House from That's My Home.com

At the last minute I decided I wanted some valentine heart flowers and since I still had green frosting in my decorator bag, I got out a piece of parchment paper and some linguine… Yep, linguine. The flower stems were so thin, I worried they would break from the weight when they had to support themselves. It was a good call because the only one I did without the piece of linguine, broke. So break up a few pieces of linguine about 2 inches or less. Cover them with the green royal icing on the parchment, make a few leaves and then stick your heart candies on. Make sure to let it dry.  It takes about 4 hours so make them ahead with the bushes and trees if you can. They add a great touch of whimsy I think.

Valentine's Day Sugar House from That's My Home.com

Valentine Dessert: Sugar House
Ingredients
  • Sugar Cookies
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6 cups flour – (may need another 1/2 cup)
  • Royal Icing
  • 3 level tablespoons Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
  • 6 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. For the Sugar Cookies:
  2. Cream shortening and sugar together.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients one at a time in order of appearance on the list, mixing each thoroughly.
  4. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness on the back of a greased cookie sheet.
  5. Cut into desired shapes. Refrigerate on the cookie sheets for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Bake on a greased cookie sheet 10 to 12 minutes in a 350ºF oven.
  7. This recipe was modified from this one to adapt to making a Sugar Cookie House http://thatsmyhome.com/hannahs/cutout-cookies/ This recipe makes enough dough to make a large gingerbread house. Use the extra dough to make some rolled out cookies that the kids can decorate.
  8. For the Royal Icing:
  9. Beat all ingredients at low speed for 7-10 minutes (10-12 minutes at high speed for portable mixer) until icing forms peaks. Keep icing covered with a damp cloth when not in use.
  10. Yields 3 cups of icing.
  11. Note: Royal icing should have good body and be moderately stiff: It will not create a lasting bond if too runny and soft. For snow, I sometimes add a few drops of Karo Syrup to thin it just a little for a softer look.

 

Valentine Dessert Sugar House from That's My Home.com

 If you’re looking for something a bit faster, but just as gorgeous be sure to check out my Raspberry Cupcakes.  They make the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert.

Valentine Dessert Sugar Cookie House Tutorial

Mary Ellen 150

Crafts & DIY
Mary Ellen is the writer and creator of That’s My HomeRecipes, Food and Cooking, and Razzle, Dazzle Recipes. Mary Ellen loves to cook and bake and learned to cook watching her grandmother, mom and aunts in her grandmother’s busy kitchen. It was a magical place where it seemed as if the pot never emptied and there was always room at the table for one more.  It seems only natural that she would love to cook and bake so much.  She worked in her uncle’s restaurant all through school and continued on a culinary path for about 15 years including being a pastry chef at a big hotel.  She even owned a bakery for a short time.

 

Simple Mushroom Soup

The Kohlmann family is big on soup. It’s on the menu a few times a month, all year long. We like our soup creamy or brothy, hearty or light, chunky or smooth, simmered all day or whipped up in a few minutes. For my husband and kiddos, soup is sure fire way to satisfy at dinner time.  One of my absolute favorite soups to whip together is my simple mushroom soup because it’s packed with nutritious ingredients that most don’t even realize are there.

Simple Mushroom Soup

Simple Mushroom Soup

 Click here to snag this recipe….

Green Smoothie Recipe

Your kids will never turn down a PB&J sandwich, right? Then a breakfast or after-school snack with their favorite flavors of berries and peanut butter blended into a yummy smoothie is the perfect way to get in some added nutrition. With protein-packed Greek yogurt and vitamins from spinach or kale, or other dark, leafy greens, you and your kids will love this Peanut Butter & Jelly Green Smoothie Recipe!

Peanut Buttter & Jelly Green Smoothie Recipe

Peanut Butter and  Jelly Green Smoothie Recipe

 

Click here to grab the recipe…