Monday, April 28, 2008

Newspaper Column: Cookie Bouquet

Pin It Here is my lastest column....

Homemade Cookie Bouquet
By Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza

Add some sweet flavor to your next party with this unique cookie treat that is sure to impress. The bouquets are easy to make and can be customized for any occasion. Kids love cookie bouquets at birthday parties and parents love the “no mess” serving of cookies. If you want to say thanks, a special hello, bon voyage or get well - bake up a bouquet of cookies.

Cookie ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour

Royal icing ingredients:
3 large pasteurized egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 lb. sifted powdered sugar

Vegetable oil spray
Lollipop cookie pan
Lollipop sticks
Icing bags and tips
Food coloring
Small beach pail
Floral marbles
Brown sugar


1. To make the cookie dough: Preheat oven to 400˚. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. Next, add baking powder and flour, adding flour one cup at a time. Blend in last cup of flour by hand. The dough will be fairly stiff, but if the dough becomes too stiff, add water, one teaspoon at a time.

2. Spray each well in the cookie treat pan with vegetable oil spray. Fill each well with dough, filling almost all the way to the top. Slide a lollipop stick roughly halfway into each cookie. We used 6” sticks and 11 ¾” sticks. (Be aware of how large the inside of your oven is when deciding what size lollipop sticks to use.) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool before removing them from the pan. You can use the tip of a spatula or a knife to help ease the cookies out of the pan. Allow the cookies to cool completely before decorating.

3. To make the royal icing: Beat the pasteurized egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until frothy. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat for 5-7 minutes.

4. Transfer some of the icing into small bowls and add food coloring to each small batch of icing. Any icing you have left over in bowls at this point should be covered with a damp towel to prevent hardening.

5. Prepare a few decorating bags for icing. Insert the decorating tip coupler into a plastic piping bag, add icing, and twist the end of the bag. Cut the tip of the bag and screw on a decorating tip. Transfer each color of icing into a decorating bag and decorate the cookies. Allow the icing to harden.

6. To create a cookie bouquet, start by filling the bottom portion of a small beach pail with floral marbles. (for weight) Place a piece of styrofoam on top. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the styrofoam to create “sand.” Poke the cookies into the styrofoam, placing the ones with the longer sticks in the back.

Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza created and co-host Creative Juice on DIY and HGTV. Visit for more information.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


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Bow Wow WOW! features 2 different style patterns for bandannas.

Creative Juice Episode: Country Kitchen

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Creative Juice - Country Kitchen # 612

Our kitchen is cooking with craft ideas. We make 3 different funky kitchen towels with real charm, tie one on with vintage style aprons, pucker up for crispy, crunchy homemade pickles that are packed for perfection and treat ourselves to mini cucumber sandwiches.

Click the links to visit DIY Network for all
the instructions and step-by-step pictures.

Apron Project: Combine vintage style with modern flair to create an awesome apron that’s right at home in any kitchen.

Oh how I love my machine.

Funky Kitchen Towels: Give plain kitchen towels some country flavor with image-transfer techniques that range from high-tech to refreshingly simple.

Homemade Sweet Pickles: Here’s the scoop on a classic recipe for sweet pickles that pop with color and flavor.

Cucumber Sandwiches: Vegging out with these tasty little finger sandwiches will keep you cool as a cucumber.
Creative Juice was created by Two Bees and a Pea Productions for DIY Network and HGTV. Learn more great craft ideas by visiting

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Get crafty and celebrate Earth Day!

Pin It Get crafty and celebrate Earth Day!

On Creative Juice we strive to incorporate re-crafting and re-cycling into our projects! We have designed ideas that are earth and budget friendly, all with crafty flair and style. We even wrote a book filled with all sorts of fun projects for re-crafting.

Check out all our recycled crafts by visiting the Recycle Page on my website. We even have some fun ideas for kids!

View a trailer of the Creative Juice Re-Craft Book!
Wanna buy the book?
Barnes and Noble

For more info on Green ideas check out my friend - Victoria Everman! She has loads of eco ideas, crafts and tips for healthy living.

Bake It: Chocolate Cheesecake

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View a Clip From Creative Juice - we are making Chocolate Cheesecake!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Magic Castle

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The famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles.
(sorry no pics allowed inside)

Visit Lincoln's Myspace Page for upcoming events

We had such an amazing night at the Magic Castle thanks to my pal Lincoln. Lincoln was preforming last night and all I can say is WOW! I sill don't understand how in the world he did his magic. I swear he really is a mind reader - or mind tricker. hahaha

Magic Castle Loot!

The castle is totally meant to be explored. Each room has so much history and magic going on. One room "The Hat and the Hare" had a great magician performing coin and card tricks. The room was loaded with vintage tiny ceramic bunnies tucked away into glass cases.

The "WC Fields Bar", where we saw the amazing Lincoln, had puppet memorabilia and a mini diorama of the original design for Disney's Haunted Mansion Ride - It even had little ghosts that would swirl around when you pushed a button. I was blown away by the puppet wall - they were so cool.

The "Invisible Irma's Music Room" had a player piano and tiny glass boxes all along the wall filled with 12" tall skeletons performing mini magic tricks. My grandmother is named Irma so it was especially fun to visit this room.

In the "Close Up Gallery", Eddie and I were chosen to sit at the table and be the close up observers. We saw Patrick Heitkam perform he was stunning. Things were appearing and disappearing right before our eyes. He, like Lincoln, read my mind and made a 7 of diamonds appear on the back wall of the room. My mind is still spinning from that trick.

What a great night!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Spring has sprung at IKEA.

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My hubby is working nights on a teen movie and he did not get home until 7:30 am. In an effort for him to get as much sleep as possible (we are going to The Magic Castle tonight!) I decided to venture out to Ikea (one of my favorite places) to see whats new for spring.

First Stop Lunch! Everyone who know me knows that I have 2 favorite lunches in Los Angeles. #1 California Chicken Cafe on Melrose - Chinese Chicken Salad and #2 Swedish Meatballs at Ikea.

Spring has sprung at Ikea!

Tiny Table - Love the Poppy Yellow!

Polka Dotted Floor Rugs - Great for kids - $7.99!

Plastic rug - great for outdoors.

New Art - I love the print.

New Art #2 - Make me think of when I lived in NYC.

Beautiful and sturdy casserole dish.

Craft paints in brights and glitters.

Love this new fabric.

Awesome brights by the yard.

More fabrics!!!! I love the Bolds!

Silk flowers.

3 tired planter.

Floral globe lamps - oh lalala

Tube Lamp.

Love the GREEN!

Planting Spearmint 101

Pin It Spearmint is such a wonderful herb and it is so easy to grow. In fact, it is so easy that a small mint plant can take over a garden bed in just one summer, so be sure to plant mint in a container. If you are set on planting the mint in the ground, edge around the plant with plastic edgers or bury a large pot in the ground and plant your mint in the pot. Mint is also easily grown indoors.

Once the mint is planted the work is done and all you will need to do is water and harvest the delicious and aromatic leaves.

Step 1 - Fill the bottom of the container with Styrofoam packing peanuts (not the corn starch variety) this will help with proper drainage and keep the weight of the pot down. You could also use broken terra cotta or rocks. Make sure your container also has a drainage hole.

Step 2. Using a soil-less potting mix! (I like ones with fertilizer built in) Add a few heaping scoops into the pot.

Step 3. Remove your mint plant from the store container. (I really like the new Bonnie biodegradable peatpots and their herbs are spectacular.) Place the plant in the center of the container and add a little bit of water. Add potting mix to the sides of the plant until you reach the top of the pot. Pat the soil with your hands and add more mix if needed. Give the plant a healthy drink of water. Place in sun / partial shade. Will grow to around 24" high.

Harvest leaves in the morning when the oils are the strongest. Keep plants in check by harvesting regularly. Mint’s small flowers bloom from June to September; trim these before the buds open to keep the plant compact.

All this mint what to do?
Cooking: Fresh mint leaves are a nice complement to fish, poultry, lamb, and vegetables such as peas, new potatoes, and carrots. Mint can be used to make marinades and sauces. Mint is the perfect addition to icy sorbets and fruit salads. I love adding fresh chopped mint to rice pilaf or couscous.
Summer Drinks: Add a few fresh sprigs of mint to tea or lemonade. Freeze mint in ice cubes for a real cool down.
Cocktails: Mint is the main ingredient in the famous Mint Julep and Cuban Mojito.

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep
2 c. sugar
2 c. water
fresh mint sprigs
crushed ice
Early Times Kentucky whiskey
silver julep cups

1. Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for 5 minutes. Cool the syrup, pour it into a glass container with 6-8 sprigs of gently crushed fresh mint and refrigerate overnight.

2. Fill a julep cup with crushed ice, add 2 Tbsp. mint syrup and 2 oz. Kentucky bourbon whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup.

3. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Valentines Day 1962...Oh My!

Pin It It is Friday night and I have a huge hot glue gun burn, my cell phone battery died and I have been time warped to Valentines Day - 1962.

Steve and I got crafty today to help out our pal who is the prop master on an A&E show that is set in the 60's. What show???? Well - I really am not suppose to tell. What I can tell you is that the show rules and really is a break out show. They just began filming on the second season today. The box set of season 1 is available and you can get it here. Don't you love the packaging!!! The first season will begin repeating this Sunday! Get the scoop here.

Our job was to create candy boxes ala 1960 - They turned out so cute. I stuffed the bows with tissue paper to keep them perky until they film them next week.

We used:
Fusible Webbing
Folk Art Fabric Paint
Silk Flowers
Folk Art Gold Paint

Take a peek and a step back to the sweet 60's.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Creative Juice Episode: Bloom

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No green thumb? No problem!
Tune in or TIVO for The "Bloom" episode of Creative Juice.

DIY Network - Tuesday 15th at 12:30 eastern

Use Terracotta Paints to create Preppy Pots.

We plant a Spaghetti Herb Garden.

Melt records into Rock and Roll Pots.

Create a Birthday Cake Topiary with Carnations.

Make Rustic Pots with yogurt and moss.
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