I grew up eating these delicious cookies that my Austrian grandfather would bring home from a German bakery near his shop. It was always a special treat to eat these cookies around the holidays. Since that bakery closed down many years ago, I have never found another bakery that made them until today. Today, I was just browsing the bakery section at ShopRite and found them. Problem was…. they wanted $10 a pound for them which amounted to about 5 cookies. That is not acceptable for our budget at all. So I did some research and created my own Kiffle recipe to share with all of you.
I grew up eating the walnut filled cookies but you can use other fillings such as jams and jellies.
A light, fluffy cookie with delicious filling inside.
4 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, room temperature
4 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 ounces sour cream
powdered sugar (optional)
Starting with the filling: combine sugar, milk and walnuts together in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the sugar is melted. Set aside until cookies are ready to be filled.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the sugar and butter together until creamed. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
Add dry ingredients to the first bowl, a little at a time, mixing until combined. The mixture will be dry.
In a new bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla and sour cream together.
In the other bowl, create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add a little of the egg mix. Mix together with a spoon or spatula. Continue to do this a little at a time until the dough becomes mixed. The dough will be sticky.
On a large surface, dust with flour and have flour ready to dust on the dough and rolling-pin. I roll out little sections at a time. Place a damp towel over the bowl of the dough you are not working with. Roll out dough to a square piece. With a pizza or pastry roller, cut the dough into 3″ squares.
Using a flour-dipped spatula, take the squares and turn them on an angle. Spread the walnut mixture in the middle. Dab a little water on the 2 opposite corners and pinch the corners together. Repeat with each square until done.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
The past couple of weeks I have struggled with my Thankful Thursday posts because what I am thankful for didn’t seem genuine. Yes there are material items and lots of people that I thabkful for but how do I write about these things without feeling either materialistic or generic? I was struggling big time.
I went into my speech class one day last week, which I enjoy because my professor always makes class interesting. He started the class out by talking about having passion in life and passion in what you do. I will admit that I lost some of my passion for art lately which turned into frustration and procrastination to get my projects done or even attend my studio classes. This lesson that my speech professor was giving on passion was the wake up call I needed to make a change in my college major and career.
I love art and love being an artist which means it should never be something I dread and I needed to get back to myself. I love my handmade business and have wanted to learn how to really work my business because that is my passion. So, I sat down with my professor who is the academic advisor for the business department and discussed the change I wanted to make.
After reviewing my transcripts and classes, we made a game plan to change my major to business and focus on learning the ins and outs of business. This will allow my to enjoy my art on my time and in my way. I love my art but losing my passion for it is something that’s just not acceptable to me. It has made me wonder if artists shouldn’t be art professor because pushing their own style and agenda isn’t cultivating a budding artist but instead hindering them to reach their full potential.
I am thankful for my professor that woke me up to the fact that my passion is exactly that… my passion and not someone else’s so be happy with my decisions or change them. Life lessons are taught at any age including a 35 year old adult student!
It is Wednesday which means I am featuring another unique, handmade gift from my online boutique: Kaella Boutique
Today’s feature is my super cute Minion inspired hats in sizes from Baby-Adult Large. You can customize the Minion-inspired hat with one or two eyes and choose from blue, pink or purple color bands. Customers love these hats because I create them using a super soft yarn so your head stays warm without getting all itchy because who wants to deal with scratching their head during the winter and getting static hair…. not me!
You can check out these hats and other unique, handmade gifts by following this link to my shop or click either picture in the post.
Even though we homeschool Danyella, I have many teacher friends who love handmade gifts for the holidays or teacher appreciation week. So today we are featuring a DIY mason jar decorated with crayons that is so easy the kids can do it themselves (with some help/guidance of course). Once the jar is decorated, you can fill it with their favorite candy, snack or flowers! Every teacher deserves to feel appreciated and will cherish a gift made from love from their student.
1 Jar (mason seemed to work best for us)
Double sided tape
48 or 64 count crayon pack (depending on how big your jar is)
wrap 1 or more rows of the double-sided tape around the jar. I did 2 rows of the tape but 3 would have made it more secure.
Let the kids decorate the jar with the crayons. Just be sure to press the crayons against the tape to keep them secure.
Cut a large piece of ribbon to wrap around the crayons and tie a bow. We learned it was easier for me to do this part because Danyella was getting frustrated with trying to hold the ribbon in place and tie the bow.
Fill your jar with the teacher’s favorite items and you are ready to place the gift in a box or gift bag and give to your teacher!
After many Sundays talking about how to plan your budget for your family vacation, I am going to spend the next 4 Sundays talking about how to squeeze out that extra money for your family vacation. Today, we are going to start with how to use cash instead of debit or credit cards to pay for your in-person purchases and collect the change to save for your vacation fund.
Trust me, I know that convenience of using a card to pay for everything at a store BUT having worked retail for many years, I have dealt with the times that card machines are down. Being on the other side of the counter and explaining that we can only accept cash can lead to many upset customers. This has taught me to keep cash on me and not rely on my cards.
Part of revamping my financial budget was learning to pay with cash because it can be so easy to go over my budget limit. Before I go into a store, I have my list in hand (which I am human and don’t always stick to that list) and my cash that has been alloted for that trip. If I can’t afford to pay for it with that cash in hand then I don’t buy it on that trip.
This is where the saving for your vacation tip comes into play! Whenever you pay with the alloted cash you have budgeted, take the change you didn’t spend and place it in your vacation jar. This has been how I have saved so much money because I have learned to use coupons and find sales to use to my advantage so when I allot $40 for a trip to Walmart for basic essentials and come away with a savings of $10 that goes right into our jar.
We have incorporated this savings skill learning process into Danyella’s schooling as well. Now she will equip herself with a calculator and our budget to see how much more we can save and how much more we can put into the vacation jar. Even if you start doing this with small things like your morning coffee. Say your coffee costs you $3.50 (I am a latte person in the morning) and you have a $5 bill to pay for it. For 5 days you will save $7.50 towards your vacation. Even small savings do add up!
Update on our Family Vacation Jar Week 1:
Since I was extremely sick this week after getting the flu and tdap shots, I was not very active in making/saving/budgeting money. In our cash jar, we have saved $44.76 which is from the system above. Plus, in rebates we earned $9.78 from the apps that I use (more on this on my next savings blog post next Sunday). Unfortunately my other 2 plans needed me to be able to function and that didn’t happen so we fell short of our weekly goal but this is a fresh week and fresh start. Goal: $163 Actual Savings: $54.54
So I will be honest I have no idea what a pomelo is so I had to google it… It is a large fruit similar to grapefruit. It was originally native to Caribbean countries like Barbados and Jamaica but is now grown in other warm climates like Hawaii and Florida. So basically my baby is a very large grapefruit.
Well we hit the next big milestone… 32 weeks! Now that I have met with the new OB’s office and can now deliver at the closer hospital because they only deliver from 32 weeks on at that location. I can’t even express how happy I am that I changed OB offices though we are still having issues with the insurance company updating the new plan in the system. This office made me feel at ease as soon as I met with my new nurse liaison. I never even knew these existed for OB patients but she is my go to person if anything happens or I need to ask a question during office hours instead of getting a different person every time I call in. This is biggest thing that makes me feel at ease with my choice.
The network provides a baby book that basically answers every question through pregnancy and the first year of the baby’s life. Plus they have their own app for kick counts, contractions and pregnancy questions.
Then I met with the nurse practitioner that went over my entire history and we made our game plan for the rest of the pregnancy which basically is to keep this baby girl in as long as possible. I am continuing every other week with the OB right now since I see the MFM every week for my shot and vitals.
As scary as switching OB’s offices late in my pregnancy was to think about and trust me my husband dealt with a lot of my sleepless nights and panic attacks, it was absolutely the right decision. Anyone who has doubts about the care they are receiving whether pregnant or not, switch to a doctor that will put your needs and concerns first and don’t be scared to speak up. You are your best advocate for yourself, your body and your mind.
This is one of the easiest crockpot recipes you will come across because all you do is put all the ingredients in the crockpot and go! We prefer to pair it with pair but egg noodles is a nice alternative as well. The only thing that we do different then the recipe is our cream of chicken soup is actually cream of chicken and mushroom soup because we like mushrooms.
The weather has finally turned cold here in New Jersey which means it is time for hats, scarves and gloves. These items are the bulk of my business which people love to purchase a new one every year. I prefer to use soft yarn that are gentle to the skin which is what makes my items so popular among my local clients.
Being pregnant with this baby girl has made me want to make more and more baby items. I have been continuing to make headbands which are so cute but with the months getting cold, I have started to make baby girl crochet hats. I have been using the same Mandala yarn with the unique color changes so each hat is different. Currently, I have 2 hats in size 0-6 months to choose from in purple shades and a pink/purple combination. These make wonderful baby gifts or a Holiday gift.
Today starts our Teach Me Tuesdays Holiday Edition! I will be featuring different gifts you can easily make at home and add some handmade love to your gift giving this holiday season.
Body products are always a popular gift to give for a holiday gift especially for the person who has everything. The brown sugar and sea salt body scrub has always been a popular item at my craft shows because they are all natural and great for the dry, winter season. Here I am going to teach you how to make your own scrubs at home from ingredients you have at home.
Coarse Sea Salt
Essential Oil (optional)
4 oz. Jar with tight lid
Depending on how many you want to make will depend on how much you will need in ingredients. I typically make mine in batches and give them away to a group of my female friends and family.
For a jar, you can use a mason jar but that can get a bit pricey if you need to make multiple scrubs. I like the white 4 ounce plastic containers because they are a better price on Amazon and they keep the scrubs moist a lot longer then the mason jars. You can find the white plastic jars here: White Plastic Jar with Dome Lid 4 Oz – 12 Per Bag
In a bowl mix together 2 cups of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1/4 cup of olive oil per 4 oz jar. Mix really well so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed through the scrub. If you know that someone doesn’t like fragrances or has a reaction then you keep the scrub just as it is. I like to add a few drops of essential oil to my scrubs to give a nice scent and enhance the shower experience plus essential oils have so many benefits for the body and skin. Next, you pack the scrub into the jar. Last, you can make cute tags with what the scrub is and the ingredients (always better to be safe then sorry to let people know what is in it).
Now you have a cute, useable gift to give someone this holiday season! I hope you enjoy and make lots of these scrubs for friends and family.
Now that you have your vacation destination set and your budget laid out, it is time to set your budget goals. The ultimate goal is to raise the money you need for the trip and spending money but breaking this big goal into small ones are what make each step feel like a great accomplishment. I love the feeling of setting a goal, whether it is a goal for a day, a week or a month, and achieving those goals. Time to put those goals into manageable ones for your family vacation! Do you have your Family Vacation Notebook ready?
For our family vacation to Disney World, we are first saving for the deposit and airfare which is only an approximate because the airfare rate can change. Then, we have to save for the balance of the trip. Lastly, there is the most important savings…. Spending Money!
I prefer to break these larger goals down to months and then down to weeks. This makes the big goals feel so much more achievable when you see them in small amounts. So what are your goals?
Starting with our deposit which is $1300 and due on January 1st. The balance will be $7130 which I don’t find out when that is due until I pay the deposit. That part is a little frustrating because it should be broken down on the payment options page. I am going to figure that the balance will be due in March so I am breaking that down for a 3 month goal. After that we will save for our spending money which everyone knows is alot when it comes to Disney spending.
As much as I wanted to begin my savings for our family vacation in October, life and unexpected bills and car repairs proved otherwise. So we are starting our savings in November. Breaking down our deposit over the next 8 weeks, we need to save $650 per month or $163 a week. That can seem like a lot since that is nearly our rent payment a month but it is achievable with my money-saving system that I have been implementing and strategizing. (I will go over these next Sunday!)
Danyella is already enjoying participating in placing our vacation savings into the savings jar which is starting to get some money in there. Along with the Savings Blog on Sundays, I will be updating how our goals are going every Friday on my Facebook Page: Kaella Boutique so that everyone can see how my strategizing and savings are going. Feel free to like our Facebook Page so you can follow along and share your own vacation savings stories!
Hi my name is Meagan, I am the owner, creator and write of Kaella Boutique and Blog. I am a mom to 4 beautiful kids ranging from an infant to 17 years old and our 1 year old puppy Max. I am the wife to a hardworking man and amazing dad. Plus, (as Danyella makes me say) the grandma to Benny the rabbit. My life is all about creating and bringing beauty into the world.