chocolate dipped Valentine spoons

These chocolate dipped Valentine spoons took only a few minutes to make and will be perfect for stirring a bit of sweet into your sweet’s hot chocolate or coffee on Valentine’s day! {grin}

Here’s what you’ll need to make chocolate dipped Valentine spoons:

  • Wilton pink chocolate (available at your local craft store)
  • Wilton candy hearts
  • Spoons (I picked these up at Target)

And here are the super easy steps to making chocolate dipped Valentine spoons and stir sticks:

  1. Melt 7-8 chocolate wafers in a glass bowl on 8 second intervals in the microwave, stirring with a toothpick.
  2. Dip your spoon and level off chocolate with your toothpick.
  3. Add candy heart embellishments.
  4. Let dry on wax paper until set.

Tip: Don’t overheat or continue to reheat your chocolate. Heat just enough to melt and dip one spoon and set aside to set. If you overheat you’ll get a white film on your chocolate.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate!

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s’more brownie bars

Over the holidays I attended a little New Year’s Eve soiree and took s’ more brownie bars as a sweet little treat. Super easy to make and completely kid and adult approved.

Channeling my best Sandra Lee, here’s the semi-homemade recipe:

  • Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Brownie mix (I used this one because it’s dairy-free for my little guy) + ingredients on the box (egg, oil, water)
  • Graham crackers
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips (I used Trader Joes chocolate chips because again, dairy-free for my little guy)

Simple baking steps:

  • Prepare brownie mix as recommended on the box.
  • Line a shallow baking pan with graham crackers.
  • Spoon brownie mixture about 1/2 inch deep over entire cracker base, leaving a bit of a lip between the brownie and the edge of the pan. It will rise and fill that space.
  • Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes, or until toothpick pulls out wet but lumpy. Don’t over-bake!
  • Add mini marshmallows to cover entire top of brownie and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  • Bake for another 4-5 minutes at 350.
  • Allow to cool and cut into squares with a  damp knife.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate!

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chocolate dipped Halloween spoons


It’s already getting chilly here in Ohio and by Halloween night it will be downright cold! Each year our entire neighborhood sits outside to hand out candy… the reason… there are so many children coming through the neighborhood that there would be no time to open and close the door. It’s crazy! So we all make a party of it and accept that we’re all going to be popsicles for a few hours.

We pull out the firepit, make coffee and hot cocoa… and this year, we’ll also be making chocolate dipped Halloween spoons with spooky eyes and lime green chocolate (flavored vanilla) wafer melts from Wilton! I picked both up at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores and the orange and black spoons from Target.

The “how to” steps are super easy ~ melt the chocolates in a glass bowl (double boiler method, or 10 second intervals in the microwave, your call!), dip your spoons, add candy eyes, allow to cool on wax paper and finally wrap in cello bags if you like.

It’s that easy and now you can get your spook on!

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As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and CELEBRATE!

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easy & moist pumpkin muffins


This weekend I baked, I crafted, I enjoyed my family. It was wonderful! And this morning, I’m sharing a recipe for these super simple and oh so yummy pumpkin muffins that we snacked on.

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (use Smart Balance vegan if you have a child like me with dairy allergies)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin, packed solidly
  • Cream cheese icing

Easy steps for 12 muffins:

  1. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; set aside.
  2. Whip butter until light; beat in honey, egg and pumpkin. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until blended.
  3. Spoon into a greased (or into baking cups if you prefer) muffin tin.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 2o to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Remove muffins from pan to wire rack to cool.
  6. Pour cream cheese icing over muffins (You could make your own from scratch, but I used Pillsbury cream cheese icing slightly heated in the microwave.) {grin}

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate! Enjoy!

Oh, and this fabulous gray cake plate is from Target. I caved when shopping on Friday and then justified my purchase by using it in this shoot… {smile} Happy Monday!

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tailgate party snack ideas


It’s that time of year! It’s football season! And that means it’s time to host tailgate parties! My hubby is a huge football fan, Ohio State football fan to be exact. And I came from a huge football loving family… University of Alabama, Roll Tide Roll! {wink} There aren’t many times when we clash since our teams are in two separate conferences, but when it does happen it’s done all in good spirit and very loud cheering! {grin} 

So today I’m talking sweet and savory tailgate party snacks and goodies over on Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com to help kick-off this season. And my first idea was gobbled up as soon as the photos were shot! Guacamole and Town House Flipsides Pretzel Crackers served in single portion fry cones! Other great combinations you could serve are Italian Herb Flatbread Crisps with fresh salsa or Flipsides Pretzel Crackers with queso. YUM!

Hop over to my article on Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com for more ideas! And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and TAILGATE!

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chocolate pumpkin cupcakes


Have I ever told you that I LOVE the holiday season?! This little stretch from now until New Year’s. I can find a party anytime of the year, but when I was a little girl this time of year was very special. Lots of family, lots of creativity, lots of laughs and lots of memories. And I want all of that for my boys too.

So this past weekend, I was playing around in the craft room, burning my pumpkin spice candle in the kitchen and got the craving for pumpkin bread. Instead of going traditional, how about a chocolate pumpkin cupcake?!

I didn’t have time to create my own recipe, I wanted to bake right then, so I hopped on the net and came across this recipe from allrecipes.com.

But I did have time to create a quick pumpkin garnish. I knew these would make my boys smile… after all, that is the point, right?! Using orange flavored soft mint candies from my local candy store (left over from a previous project) and sour apple Starbursts, I simply cut a small triangle from the Starburst and lightly pushed it into the candy. Ta-Da! Pumpkin!

Now on to the cupcakes. You’ll need: 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix; 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin; 2 eggs; 2 tablespoons vegetable oil; 1 (16 ounce) container cream cheese frosting. Now hop over to allrecipes.com for all the easy directions for a moist yummy cake idea that will have your kitchen whispering fall!

And you see these sweet little jars? These are Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni 8 1/2 Ounce Canning Jars. You can pick  these cuties up on Amazon.com.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate!

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homemade oreo pudding pops


It looks really yummy doesn’t it?! Well it is! What if I told you it is dairy, nut and egg free? Still think it’s yummy? I promise, it still is!

My little one has severe food allergies and as you can imagine that makes it tough to buy… make… plan dinners, much less sweets. It never fails we go to the grocery and he sees some new cookie or ice cream and wants to give it a try. I get so very tired of telling my sweet baby boy no. For any mom that has experienced this, you know what I mean.

So I’ve started making up my own recipes and altering other people’s recipes to be dairy, nut and raw egg free.

Today I’m sharing a Oreo fudge pudding pop and I made it with my little guy. I know it can be messy, but cooking with kids can also be a ton of fun! If you’ve not done it much, do it more! They learn so much and you will too. {wink} 

I edited this recipe from kraftfoods.com. If you don’t have to worry about food allergies, give thier version a try! For those of you like me and need allergy free recipes, here’s what you need:

  • 1 package of JELL-O fudge chocolate instant pudding
  • 2 cups of soy milk (replacing 2%)
  • 10 Oreos, broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup French Vanilla Soy Dream Ice Cream (replacing 1/2 cup Cool Whip)

Beat pudding and milk with a whisk for 2 minutes. Add broken Oreos ad 1/2 cup softened soy ice cream.Spoon mixture into 9 (3-oz.) paper or plastic cups. Insert a wooden lollipop stick or plastic spoon into each for handle. Freeze 5 hours or until firm.

When you pull them out of the freezer, just rip the cup off and you’re ready to go! Both of my boys really like them and I do too.

That is something else a mom of kids with food allergies will tell you. It’s not only important that your child loves the treat, it’s important that he or she can share it with their friends and they will love it too! Even though we parents try to encourage our children that being different can be wonderful, it definately doesn’t feel that way to a six year old at a birthday party… nope… not one bit!

So the next time your kiddo wants a treat, or you’re hosting a gathering and one of the little ones has a food allergy, consider making these. You won’t be disappointed and neither will your guests!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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cooking with kids: lemon blueberry pie

Yesterday was our annual 4th of July picnic and we served one of my all time favorite pies: lemon on a graham cracker crust. My grandmother made it for me at every birthday when I was a child AND every other time I could talk her into it. Her recipe was a bit complex, but perfect.

But today I’m sharing with you my simple version AND I’m throwing in a few blueberries since yesterday was a patriotic holiday. It was absolutely delicious.

And this is the perfect recipe to get the kids involved with. I love nothing better than getting messy in the kitchen with my boys!

Did I mention this is the easiest recipe ever?! Oh… and that it’s low fat?! Here’s what you need:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk, fat free
  • 1 thawed container of Cool Whip, low fat
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, real
  • 1 graham cracker crust
  • 1 cup blueberries

Simply mix the milk, Cool Whip and lemon juice together. Poor into crust. Chill for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with blueberries and serve.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! Happy Thursday everyone!

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dairy free Oreo pudding sundae

Last week I posted about my son’s food allergies and about this pudding sundae idea I saw in Kraft Foods most recent issue of Food & Family. Well that one was a chocolate chunk & marshmallow sundae.

Today, I’m sharing the same idea, but as an Oreo sundae. Did you guys know that Oreos have no dairy, no egg, and no nut?! They are the number one cookie in my house just for that reason!

So here’s how you make these dairy free sundaes:

  • 2 pkgs Jell-O Oreo Instant Pudding
  • 2 1/2 cups cold soy milk (less than what the packaging recommends because you want the pudding to be a thicker consistency)
  • 10 -12 Oreos (not crushed, but broken into small chunks)
  • cones

Whisk your pudding and milk until smooth, add the additional Oreos and then freeze for 4 hours and serve. (Tip: Freeze the pudding in a ZipLock Freezer Bag for easy cleanup.) 

Not only is this treat yummy, but it doesn’t melt as quickly as traditional ice cream so you could actually scoop an entire tray of them for your guests all at once and not worry that the first few will be messy before you serve!

I hope your loved ones with food allergies like these little treats! My youngest loved them and as you can see here, his big brother, who can have ice cream all day long, loved them too!

And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! 

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chocolate & marshmallow sundae

My readers know that my youngest has severe food allergies: nut, dairy and egg (unless baked into recipes). He’s such a sweet little boy and rarely complains, but I can’t stand for him to feel left out so I’m always looking for ways to adapt recipes so that he can enjoy them too.

My latest is this fabulous Chocolate Chunk & Marshmallow Sundae recipe in Kraft Foods most recent issue of Food & Family.

We’ve only found one soy ice cream that he really likes and a small pint costs $6 so when I saw this pudding based sundae idea I was ecstatic to give it a try! You can hop over to Kraft to see the original recipe and the how to details, but here’s my twist to make it dairy free:

  • 2 pkgs Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 2 1/2 cups cold soy milk
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (I used Divvies)
  • Waffle cone cups

Whisk your pudding and milk until smooth, add the marshmallows and chocolate and then freeze for 4 hours. Serve in waffle cone cups. 

 It was a huge hit for a little boy that typically only gets vanilla ice cream.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

Join The Celebration Shoppe on facebook, sign-up for the daily ideas to come right to your inbox (a box in the right-side navigation bar), follow us on twitter, pinterest and on instagram at @thecelebrationshoppe

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