Thursday, January 24, 2013

Paper Lanterns: Tangled Style

I have to preface this by saying, I forgot I had this entry in the works and it is LOOOONG overdue!

I would like to think I am only a borderline Disney freak. Frankly, I dislike the Mouse. But I love the Princesses! I insisted on celebrating my 25th birthday at Epcot! So anyway. When it came time to throw my mom a birthday party (it was one of those important birthdays- 21 finally!), naturally I decided it should be Princess themed! She loved the movie Tangled, and I love an excuse to get in costume. So I started looking for crafty ideas to decorate the party. Don't get me started on the crazy (yet well executed) idea I had to make her a Tangled cake (also inspired by Disney Food)!
Thanks to Monique for the help- we may have a career in the cake business...

Now, the original Lantern plans can be found here, but I have my modified version to share with you. I tried it their way, but found my own "shortcuts" worked out better, if I do say so myself. ;)

Some of my helpful hints:
~Cutting the scrapbook paper (not the super thick kind, but thick enough to hold its shape) to various sizes made the lanterns more interesting.
~I found a ruler (mine was metal) really helped get nice crisp folded edges.
~Mini Glue Dots are your friend! Not mess, no drying time.
~Thin jewelry wire and button stickers to hold in place the "handle"
My finished product! I think I made about 20 or so!
I'm a little bummed at the moment that I can NOT remember where I saved the in progress pictures! As soon as I do, I will share! (And I do hope it is soon!)
If you happen to attempt this project without my full-on how-to, let me know how they turn out!! Or if you have any fun crafts, I'm always looking for more! (not that I need any more, I have a folder of to-do crafts on my desktop already......)

The Best Granola Bars EVER

Due to popular demand, here is my secret recipe for Home Made Granola Bars. There are other ingredient options but these are the ones that I use!
1 2/3 cups quick rolled oats
1/3 cup wheat flour*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 10oz bag of dark choc. chips**
1/3 cup organic peanut butter***
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup agave nectar ****
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the rolled oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, and dried fruit/nut/choc mix. Add the organic peanut butter, vanilla extract, water, and agave nectar. Stir with a spatula until the entire mixture is well combined. This takes some muscle.
Spray Scr*w that, use muffin tin liners! Spoon into muffin tins.  Now, this is an important step: press the granola into the pan. Bake for 15-20min or until edges have browned. Let cool on counter until you can place in the fridge for 1-2hrs. Once cooled, pop them out from the muffin tin with a spoon.
Store in airtight container and enjoy! =D
*original recipe called for oat flour which is just too much work when regular flour substitutes just fine!

**feel free to experiement here, if you like dried fruit use 2-3 cups, if you like Andes Mints try the Andes Mint Chips. The possibilities are endless! Mix and match- have fun. For some add-ins, 3 cups may be too much.

***I havent done this myself, but the original recipe said you can substitue for any other nut butter

****Original recipe said honey or corn syrup worked as well

Let me know in the comments what kind of success you have with this! The best part about them is they are healthy and OH SO filling!!