Hot Polka Dot
26Mar/13

How To Tuesday: Funny Bunny.

Learn how to fold your own bunny napkins just in time for Easter via @hotpolkadot.

Growing up in Ontario bunnies were these cute little critters that lived in the field behind my house. They frolicked like cartoon characters come to life and feasted on my mom's flower gardens. My twenty-four toed double jointed tortoise-shell cat, Scrapper would often wander home with one in his jaws.

Here in Alberta bunnies don't exist. There are no Thumpers or baby Bugs here. Here is the home of the thirty pound jackrabbit that could probably take on all three of my wimpy squishy cats at once. They hide under the pine trees in our yard and munch on the fallen crab apples when they're not absconding with small neighbourhood children.

These bunnies are neither fierce or furry. They make a sweet statement on your Easter table and their floppy ears are perfect for wiping away glazed ham and apple pie. I love napkin folding because it's so versatile, fun and unique. You can have just one set of napkins and fold them into countless shapes to surprise your dinner guests all year long.

Want to learn how to fold your very own bunny napkins? Sure you do!

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6Mar/13

How To… Er… Wednesday: Easy As Pie.

How to prevent your proce crust from shrinking. It's easy as pie!

I've never really understood that phrase. Making pie isn't exactly an easy task but eating pie is definitely both easy and delicious.

That's what the phrase really refers to: something that's simple and pleasurable. Like bubble baths, curling up with a good book and cuddling puppies. Try cuddling puppies in the bath with your favourite book while eating a slice of pie and you've really got something!

Pie crust can be kind of finicky at times. You might have formed the dough perfectly, tried the frozen butter trick, let it chill overnight and your pie still shrivels up like a raisin when you bake it. You've probably scratched your head about the mysteries of shrinking pie crust, but never really worried about it because, though it might be ugly, it tastes beautiful.

Today I'll impart on you the little tips and tricks that you can utilize to avoid the dreaded shrunken pie crust. Making your pie can be just as easy as eating it!

Make sure to come back soon to find out what flavour this glorious pie is!

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26Feb/13

How To Tuesday: Petal To The Metal.

How to achieve the petal frosting technique via @hotpolkadot

You know that picture in your head, the impossibly perfect one? You see it when you're imagining how that royal icing flood will turn out. You see it in the back of your mind when attempting a side dutch braid. You see it clearly when you're trying to match that DIY project you saw on Pinterest. Then suddenly your flood fails, your braid is broken and your DIY is a major don't.

We probably set ridiculously high expectations for ourselves. I know I do. I'm pretty sure I can count the number of times reality matched my imagination on one hand. This is one of those times.

I'll admit I was terrified to try this frosting technique. It's trendy, it's cute and it looks super complicated. For a perfectionist like myself, I was certain it would be a flop. I was worried the consistency of the frosting would be too thick, too dry and just not friendly. I was worried my rows would start slanting and look crooked. I was worried I wouldn't have enough frosting to finish.

All my worrying was for nothing. This technique is deceptively easy to pull off and very forgiving. The recipe I used was the perfect consistency and even the exact amount.

You want to make a petal cake of your own? Sure you do!

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4Dec/12

How To Tuesday: The Gift.

I am a gifted gifter. I'm not the type of person that asks what you want for Christmas. I'm the type of person that, through my powers of deduction and reasoning, I figure out exactly what you want. I daresay I know what you want better than you do.

I live for that warm smile that spreads over a person's face when they rip that pretty paper open to catch a glimpse of that perfect gift hidden inside. It might not be expensive, or big, or hard to come by, just exactly what they wanted. A wrinkle at the corners of the eyes, a tug at the corners of the mouth. That contagious warmth that began in the first hint of their smile spreads to your heart and keeps you cozy all day.

Some of the best gifts are the unexpected ones. For that kind neighbour that collected your mail while you were away, for that teacher that helped your daughter master the saxophone, for that little boy who shovelled your walkway. Just a little something to say thank you at a time when everyone should be thankful for those around us that do things without expecting a reward.

I think DIY gifts are extra thoughtful and special. Just because it didn't break the bank doesn't mean that you didn't make it with love. Just the fact that you made it with your hands says more than most expensive gifts could.

What better gift to give this holiday season than hot chocolate mix? Show someone how much they warm your heart by warming their belly!

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10Jul/12

How To Tuesday: Chocosaurus Rex.

I'm presently propped up in bed with some of the fluffiest pillows I've ever had the pleasure of smushing in our hotel room in Winnipeg. This week we're visiting family and friends and keeping pretty busy between restaurants, swimming pools, museums, zoos, rivers, lakes and camp sites to name a few.

I'm the sort of person that never likes to come to a party empty handed. Nothing says “nice to meet you!” like a jar full of chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Add some ribbon and a dinosaur and you have yourself one adorable, unique and thoughtful gift, one that you can be pretty certain they've never received before.

This is something you can whip up easily and inexpensively in an afternoon. I've seen so many DIY posts floating around featuring these plastic animals you can get at pretty much any dollar store, so I just had to try it out for myself. These jars are perfect for all sorts of occasions like a favour for a dinosaur-themed birthday party, a gift for the budding archaeologist in your life, or a baby shower favour. You could even swap out the dinos for bunnies and fill the jars with chocolate eggs for a super cute Easter gift.

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