Non-Gingerbread Gingerbread Houses

There is nothing like baking to bring out the Christmas spirit. This year I decided to make homemade gingerbread houses (without the gingerbread). I got the idea from my friend BreeAnn. We are not really fans of gingerbread but we still wanted to be able to eat the house. So on Christmas Eve, we sat together as a family and made non-gingerbread houses and I felt like myself again.

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Non-Gingerbread Gingerbread House Recipe

Preparation: 1 hour

2 Boxes of Honey Maid Graham Crackers

  • 1 house is 6 sheets
  • 4 full sheets
  • 1 sheet broken in ½
  • 1 sheet broken in ½ and then each ½ is cut into a triangle

Disposable Icing Decorating Bags (as many as you need)

Royal Icing (without eggs)

  • 4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of meringue powder
  • 6 tablespoons of water

Different types of small candies

  • Examples: Skittles, Smarties, Gummy Bears, Mints, Sour Patch Kids, Mike & Ikes, Gobstoppers, or Jawbreakers

To begin, I got the gram crackers and prepared them. I broke them into the correct amount of pieces. The hard part is cutting the triangle pieces. You have to use a serrated knife and you slowly shave down the cracker in a straight line until they separate. Just be careful not to push too hard because you will crack it in half and you will have to start all over again. I went through quite a few crackers for this process. It takes patience.cutting

The next part of the process is to make the Royal Icing. For this process you must bag it as soon as the icing is made. Royal icing will dry out if it’s not covered. The air dries it. So if you don’t bag it then cover the bowl it with a towel. You put the sugar in the bowl, sift the meringue powder on top of it, and then add on the water. Blend it together until it’s a solid form. This should take about 5 minutes. Place the icing into the disposable bags. Make sure to have enough bags that everyone can have their own.

Take one of those bags of icing and use it to glue each house together. Make the bottoms of the houses first. Let the icing dry and harden. Then start the tops of the houses. By the time you finish the 3rd or 4th house …the 1st one should be ready. Once all of the houses are built then you let them stand for at least 30 minutes. This will give the houses time to harden so when the kids decorate, the houses do not fall apart.houses

Put all the candy onto a dish and take it all to the table to decorate.candy

Man!! I love baking! Even though I didn’t really “bake”…..it felt like baking. Today was a good day!

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Going Back to School

imageWell I did it…. I decided to go back to school. I know it’s little late seeing as I’m in my late 30’s, but something just hit me and said “it’s time!”

A lot went in to this decision….

  • more money
  • promotion at work
  • I love school and miss it
  • my health is better

And a lot was holding be back until now….

  • Working 40 hours a week
  • Having 2 kids under the age of 6
  • Health issues making me tired all the time

A lot has changed over the last few months. Yes, I still have health issues but they are mainly in my back and leg. I’m not tired anymore. I finally got my thyroid medications regulated. I’m finally able to get back in the gym to get this weight off. A lot of the classes I will be taking will be online so I will still be able to pick up the kids from school. I know I will be stressed out but I think I can handle it. It will be a rough 3 years…trying to juggle my job, my kids, and school….but I’m willing to try. And it may just take me an extra year to complete it but so be it….

So starting tomorrow…I will be back in school.  And man oh man, I do not miss biology. But following in my grandmas footsteps….In the next few years I will be  finally be a nurse.

Get’er done!!