Saturday, May 31, 2008

Monster Cookies

This makes a ton of cookies.... you can cut the recipe in half if you don't want to be baking all day long (but who wouldn't want to do that???) and still end up with about 4 dozen.

2 sticks butter
2 c. white sugar
2 c. brown sugar
2 c. peanut butter - smooth
6 eggs
2 tbsp. vanilla
4 tsp. baking soda
3 c. quick cooking oatmeal

Mix in order given using mixer. Transfer batter to large container and add the following:

6 more c. quick cooking oatmeal
2 c. Nestle chocolate chips
2 c. nuts
1 med. bag M & M's - these can either be included in the batter or used on top

Mix until well blended. Form cookies -- I use large mixing spoon for monster size. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 dozen cookies. Freezes well.
NOTE: Use smooth peanut butter as it helps to bind everything together.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May Daring Bakers Challenge - Opéra Cake

Bonjour! I have successfully completed my second Daring Bakers Challenge. May's challenge was cohosted by Lis, Ivonne, Fran and Shea. It is an Opéra Cake, something I had never heard of until joining this group.

A classic Opéra Cake is seven layers; made up of three thin layers of almond cake (joconde) which are soaked in a coffee syrup, two of which are topped with a layer of espresso buttercream, and the last topped with one layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache, followed by a chocolate glaze.

However, the Daring Baker hosts have dedicated this month's challenge to Barbara. Barbara is the force behind the food blog event called A Taste of Yellow that supports the LiveSTRONG foundation started by Lance Armstrong, and she is battling cancer herself. Because LiveStrong Day is in May, the hosts decided that we could show our support by dedicating our respective challenge posts to Barbara, and instead of making the Opéra Cake with the traditional coffee and chocolate flavors, we are making Opéra Cakes that are light in both color and flavor, to tie in with the LiveSTRONG theme.

So without further ado.... my Opéra Cake song and dance: (ha! Get it? Song? Opera? ... never mind.)

When I first printed out the recipe, it was about 12 pages. 12 pages for a 7 layer cake? Yikes.

I first went through the recipe and cropped out all the filler mumbo jumbo and different fonts and such and that brought it down to 8 pages. Much more doable. I wasn't as nervous anymore.

I read through the recipe and realized it was actually pretty simple. There were a lot of steps to do and when seeing it all out on paper as a whole, it could be a bit overwhelming. But when you break it down into each individual little piece of the puzzle, it actually ended up being not at all difficult. There weren't any steps that I was unfamiliar with.

I did choose to grind my own almonds to make the almond meal. That was pretty harmless but probably the only "tricky" thing in the recipe... and pushing the "pulse" button on a blender is not very tricky!

The only problem I had was that while baking, my bottom layer was borderline burned- while the top layer was perfect. So I would bake the sheets separately next time, using the center of the oven for both and omitting the bottom of the oven.

Mine also ended up being 9 layers instead of 7. I used a different sized pan so I just sliced each cake in half to have four equal sized pieces. I should have probably made more buttercream and syrup to have thicker layers, but it worked out okay.

As for the taste-- I was a little unsure of how it would be. I actually didn't think I would like it at all, as I don't like buttercream and I don't like white chocolate. And knowing that the real recipe calls for chocolate and coffee flavorings paired with the almond spongecake (which I love), I just didn't think I'd like it.

Faux pas numeral uno. Wait, that's French AND Spanish...

If you're looking for a perfect cake recipe to make for a WOW factor, this is it!
Try it out!

Bon appétit!

Be sure to check out more Daring Baker's results by clicking here.

Here is the recipe:

For the joconde

(Note: The joconde can be made up to 1 day in advance and kept wrapped at room temperate)

What you’ll need:

•2 12½ x 15½-inch (31 x 39-cm) jelly-roll pans (Note: If you do not have jelly-roll pans this size, do not fear! You can use different-sized jelly-roll pans like 10 x 15-inches.)
•a few tablespoons of melted butter (in addition to what’s called for in the ingredients’ list) and a brush (to grease the pans)
•parchment paper
•a whisk and a paddle attachment for a stand mixer or for a handheld mixer
•two mixing bowls (you can make do with one but it’s preferable to have two)


6 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp. (30 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (225 grams) ground blanched almonds (Note: If you do not want to use almond meal, you can use another nut meal like hazelnut. You can buy almond meal in bulk food stores or health food stores, or you can make it at home by grinding almonds in the food processor with a tablespoon or two of the flour that you would use in the cake. The reason you need the flour is to prevent the almonds from turning oily or pasty in the processor. You will need about 2 cups of blanched almonds to create enough almond meal for this cake.)
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
6 large eggs
½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. (1½ ounces; 45 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1.Divide the oven into thirds by positioning a rack in the upper third of the oven and the lower third of the oven.

2.Preheat the oven to 425◦F. (220◦C).

3.Line two 12½ x 15½- inch (31 x 39-cm) jelly-roll pans with parchment paper and brush with melted butter.

4.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a handheld mixer), beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy. If you do not have another mixer bowl, gently scrape the meringue into another bowl and set aside.

5.If you only have one bowl, wash it after removing the egg whites or if you have a second bowl, use that one. Attach the paddle attachment to the stand mixer (or using a handheld mixer again) and beat the almonds, icing sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and voluminous, about 3 minutes.

6.Add the flour and beat on low speed until the flour is just combined (be very careful not to over mix here!!!).

7.Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture and then fold in the melted butter. Divide the batter between the pans and spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of each pan.

8.Bake the cake layers until they are lightly browned and just springy to the touch. This could take anywhere from 5 to 9 minutes depending on your oven. Place one jelly-roll pan in the middle of the oven and the second jelly-roll pan in the bottom third of the oven.

9.Put the pans on a heatproof counter and run a sharp knife along the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Cover each with a sheet of parchment or wax paper, turn the pans over, and unmold.

10.Carefully peel away the parchment, then turn the parchment over and use it to cover the cakes. Let the cakes cool to room temperature.

For the syrup

(Note: The syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator.)

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan


½ cup (125 grams) water
⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. of the flavouring of your choice (i.e., vanilla extract, almond extract, cognac, limoncello, coconut cream, honey etc.)

1.Stir all the syrup ingredients together in the saucepan and bring to a boil.

2.Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

For the buttercream

(Note: The buttercream can be made up to 1 month in advance and packed in an airtight container. If made way in advance, you can freeze the buttercream. Alternatively you can refrigerate it for up to 4 days after making it. To use the buttercream simply bring it to room temperature and then beat it briefly to restore its consistency.)

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan
•a candy or instant-read thermometer
•a stand mixer or handheld mixer
•a bowl and a whisk attachment
•rubber spatula


1 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 grams) water
seeds of one vanilla bean (split a vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the seeds) or 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1¾ sticks (7 ounces; 200 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
flavouring of your choice (a tablespoon of an extract, a few tablespoons of melted white chocolate, citrus zest, etc.)

1.Combine the sugar, water and vanilla bean seeds or extract in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat just until the sugar dissolves.

2.Continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 225◦F (107◦C) [*Note: Original recipe indicates a temperature of 255◦F (124◦C), however, when testing the recipe I found that this was too high so we heated to 225◦F and it worked fine] on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Once it reaches that temperature, remove the syrup from the heat.

3.While the syrup is heating, begin whisking the egg and egg yolk at high speed in the bowl of your mixer using the whisk attachment. Whisk them until they are pale and foamy.

4.When the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature and you remove it from the heat, reduce the mixer speed to low speed and begin slowly (very slowly) pouring the syrup down the side of the bowl being very careful not to splatter the syrup into the path of the whisk attachment. Some of the syrup will spin onto the sides of the bowl but don’t worry about this and don’t try to stir it into the mixture as it will harden!

5.Raise the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the eggs are thick and satiny and the mixture is cool to the touch (about 5 minutes or so).

6.While the egg mixture is beating, place the softened butter in a bowl and mash it with a spatula until you have a soft creamy mass.

7.With the mixer on medium speed, begin adding in two-tablespoon chunks. When all the butter has been incorporated, raise the mixer speed to high and beat until the buttercream is thick and shiny.

8.At this point add in your flavouring and beat for an additional minute or so.

9.Refrigerate the buttercream, stirring it often, until it’s set enough (firm enough) to spread when topped with a layer of cake (about 20 minutes).

For the white chocolate ganache/mousse

(Note: The mousse can be made ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to use it.)

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan
•a mixer or handheld mixer


7 ounces white chocolate
1 cup plus 3 tbsp. heavy cream (35% cream)
1 tbsp. liqueur of your choice (Bailey’s, Amaretto, etc.)

1.Melt the white chocolate and the 3 tbsp. of heavy cream in a small saucepan.
2.Stir to ensure that it’s smooth and that the chocolate is melted. Add the tablespoon of liqueur to the chocolate and stir. Set aside to cool completely.
3.In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form.
4.Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate to form a mousse.
5.If it’s too thin, refrigerate it for a bit until it’s spreadable.
6.If you’re not going to use it right away, refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

For the glaze

(Note: It’s best to make the glaze right when you’re ready to finish the cake.)

What you’ll need:

•a small saucepan or double boiler


14 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup heavy cream (35% cream)

1.Melt the white chocolate with the heavy cream. Whisk the mixture gently until smooth.
2.Let cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the chilled cake. Using a long metal cake spatula, smooth out into an even layer.
3.Place the cake into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

Assembling the Opéra Cake

(Note: The finished cake should be served slightly chilled. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 day).

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Working with one sheet of cake at a time, cut and trim each sheet so that you have two pieces (from each cake so you’ll have four pieces in total): one 10-inch (25-cm) square and one 10 x 5-inch (25 x 12½-cm) rectangle.

Place one square of cake on the baking sheet and moisten it gently with the flavoured syrup.

Spread about three-quarters of the buttercream over this layer.

Top with the two rectangular pieces of cake, placing them side by side to form a square. Moisten these pieces with the flavoured syrup.

Spread the remaining buttercream on the cake and then top with the third square of joconde. Use the remaining syrup to wet the joconde and then refrigerate until very firm (at least half an hour).

Prepare the ganache/mousse (if you haven’t already) and then spread it on the top of the last layer of the joconde. Refrigerate for at least two to three hours to give the ganache/mousse the opportunity to firm up.

Make the glaze and after it has cooled, pour/spread it over the top of the chilled cake. Refrigerate the cake again to set the glaze.

Serve the cake slightly chilled. This recipe will yield approximately 20 servings.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fruit Kabobs

This is actually the arrangement I made last year for Memorial Day. I got the idea from one of my aunt's that had made a similar fruit kabob arrangement. I loved it so much, I decided to make one and use it as our edible centerpiece!


Various fresh fruits (I used the following so it would be a rainbow order)
Green grapes
Red grapes
Wooden skewers
Half a head of cabbage (or iceberg lettuce would probably work, too)


Cut up fruits into about 1 1/2 inch pieces. Slide onto skewers in the order that suits you, leaving a couple of inches free on the bottom end of the skewer (the pointy end) and about an inch at the top (this allows guests a place to grasp when they choose their kabob).

I found that it was best to end with grapes.... as they are strong enough and stay tight enough to the skewer that they will hold everything else up on the stick. If you end with something like watermelon, you may have a problem with the weight of the other fruits above it causing it to slide down the skewer.

Place half a head of cabbage, cut side down, in the bottom of a decorative basket

When your skewers are complete, poke each one randomly into the cabbage. The cabbage will hold the skewers in place.

**Some fruits may stain your basket if they come into contact with it**

Monday, May 19, 2008

Paper Kites

This is another activity out of a Rainy Day Book that I have. I was surprised at how these kites held up out in the wind. They are made out of just plain sheets of paper. I used regular 8.5 x 11 sheets, but you could probably use different sizes or even wrapping papers to throw some cute patterns in the mix. A metallic wrapping paper would look neat flying on a sunny day!

What You Need:

3 pieces of thin paper (regular 8.5 x 11 computer paper or whatnot)
Drinking straw
Clear adhesive tape
Cotton thread
Paper Clip


1. Take one of the pieces of paper and fold the short sides to meet each other. At the very top, mark a dot 2cm from the left corner. At the very bottom, mark a dot 2cm from the right corner.

2. Pull the top layer in your direction and make a fold between the dots.

Now turn the whole sheet of paper over. Fold the top piece over, so that the crease matches the one that is directly underneath.

3. Unfold the top piece of paper again, then turn the whole sheet over. Lay a ruler between the left and right corners and draw a pencil line across the paper.

4. Mark the middle of the straw. Lay it along the line with the mark on the kite's middle fold. Put adhesive tape on each side. (if using a bendy straw, secure the bendy part with tape so it stays stiff.)

5. Turn the kite over. Lay a ruler between the left and right corners. Draw a line across the folded part only. Label this Line A.

6. Mark a dot on the folded edge, 1 inch above line A. Then draw a line from the dot to where A meets the middle fold. Label this Line B (I'll be honest in saying that I have no idea what Line B is for... I followed the instructions and it never has us do anything with Line B! So you can skip this 6th step all together, however the pictures will have Line B in them.)

7. To make a reel, fold a second piece of paper in half four times, then in half lengthwise. Tape where the two halves meet to keep it from popping open.

Tie a length of thread around the reel and wind it up. (I taped the first end down to the reel). Make the thread as long as you want. The directions suggest 33 feet, but I think mine is only about 15 feet. (33 feet? Seriously? Maybe that's why my kites are so durable! They didn't have a chance to get up high enough in the crazy winds!)

8. Tie the other end of the thread securely to a paper clip. Push the paper clip firmly onto the kite at Line A. I taped over the paper clip on both sides, as well.

9. Cut the third piece of paper into long strips, about 2 cm wide. Tape them together to make a tail about 31.5 inches long (I think mine was actually 5 strips that were 11 inches long, so about 55 inches long! Eek!)

10. Use a pencil or paper punch to make a hole in one end of your tail.

11. Make a hole near the bottom of the keel (the middle foldy part of the kite- at the opposite end of Line A and B). (I actually reinforced the holes by putting a piece of tape on the area first, and then punching my hole.) Tie the tail on with a little piece of string.

You're ready to fly your kite!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Garden Markers

Last year I tried my hand at growing my own vegetables in a little garden. I enjoyed gardening a bit... but I really enjoyed creating the garden markers for the vegetables even more.

I just used clean paint stirrers and painted on fruits and vegetables with exaggerated faces. I used both acrylic paints with a brush and paint markers, both can be found at a craft store. I used a spray can clear coat to finish them off, however, by the end of the summer, they had disintegrated quite a bit. My husband suggested that I use a good wood clear coat or a shellac instead of a cheap spray can. Then they will hold up a little better.

I made up a ton of them and gave them as gifts and even sold a few to people that saw them and liked them.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New York Style Cheesecake

I made a cheesecake for dessert for Mother's Day. I like my topping to be caramel or chocolate, but our guests prefer strawberry so I made a strawberry sauce to top the cheesecake. I mushed most of the strawberries up to be less chunky, but you can have your strawberries as large or small as you'd prefer.

15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.

In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. (Do not over beat or your cheesecake will crack.... only use mixer for this part and use a wooden spoon for the rest).

Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Strawberry Topping:

1 pint strawberries, cleaned, stemmed and diced
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine sugar, vanilla and about 1/3 of the strawberries. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a blender and puree. Combine the puree to the remaining strawberries in a bowl. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

I drizzled (okay, globbed...) both caramel and chocolate on mine. It was almost sinful to eat. Almost.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pecan Pie Cupcakes

This is a recipe I stumbled upon when viewing another Daring Baker's blog. The recipe comes from Laura Rebecca's Kitchen. Her blog is actually one that I followed even before I joined The Daring Baker's.

I had to try this recipe when I saw it. I couldn't believe how small the ingredient list was for this recipe. And with directions like, "Mix all ingredients together"... you can't go wrong. Mine did get a tad over baked at 18 minutes, so next time I make them I'll pull them at 16 or 17 minutes.

One word of warning-- the batter. I (naturally) tasted it right from the bowl before baking and decided that it could be it's own ice cream topping. It's that good.


Pecan Pie Cupcakes (adapted from

1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Liberally grease a miniature muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine all ingredients and mix well; fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and enjoy!

Yields 24 mini cupcakes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Marble Magnets

Okay-- I'm addicted. I saw somewhere this cute idea to make your own little picture magnets using a decorative clear marble rock, magazine pictures and silicone glue. I thought it'd be fun to make a few and include them with the End of the Year Teacher Gifts.

I went to get the supplies, and could only find the round magnets in packages of 50. I said to myself, "Fifty? I don't need fifty! I just need about 10." Boy was I wrong. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. These are so fun to make-- and I used all 50 magnets last night and am going to go get more later on! They are unbelievably easy and the possibilities are endless. You can create themes that are geared towards ones interests or hobbies..... you could do individual letters to help your child learn to spell on the refrigerator..... you could do holiday themes.... you could do your favorite foods..... My hands are getting sweaty just thinking about the possibilities! I can hardly wait to make more. Not to mention, smooshing the glue under the rock is amazingly satisfying.

What you need:

Clear marble rocks (for vases, bowls, fish tanks, etc)
Round magnets (about the same size as the rocks)- found at craft stores or Walmart
Magazine pictures
Silicone glue (found by the caulking supplies at Walmart or Target)

What you do:

1. Go through your magazines and find little pictures that are of interest to you. Place the marble rock on top of the picture and trace around it.

2. Cut out the picture.

3. Place a little dabby of glue on the magnet. I used a toothpick to spread it around a bit.

4. Place the picture over the glue and press to adhere.

5. Now place a little dabby of glue on the picture. I didn't spread it around this time.

6. Place the marble rock over the picture and squash down the glue. You will see the glue spreading out to the sides, allowing the clear picture to show through. I also smooshed the marble rock around a tad to make sure the glue was spread evenly.

7. Allow to dry for an hour or so.

Have fun! It's so addicting!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Macaroni "Crackaroni" Salad

My dear friend Gretchen shared this recipe for Macaroni Salad. Her husband coined the phrase "Crackaroni Salad" when he describes it because it's so good and he isn't able to stop eating it. Tonight at dinner, my own husband asked me why it was called Crackaroni Salad and when I explained to him about Gretchen's husbands reasoning, my own husband didn't show much reaction. Ironically, as we finished up dinner, he was almost licking his bowl clean and said, "Will you just get this stuff away from me?????" I think he finally caught onto why it's called Crackaroni Salad.

4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (1 box Barilla elbows)
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Cook macaroni, hard boil eggs. Chop up eggs and celery, add to macaroni. Mix dressing ingredients separately, then pour over and toss to coat.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Paper Caterpillars

Spring is a perfect time for little kiddo's to make their own cute little caterpillars. These can be easily made with items most moms have in their craft closet (okay fine... maybe not everyone has an entire closet devoted to craft supplies, but most everyone has the items needed to make a paper caterpillar).

What you need:

Pipe Cleaners
Googly Eyes or markers


1. Fold your paper in half lengthwise and make a cut along the fold. You will only need one side for your caterpillar, unless you want to make a really, really long one.

2. Fold your halved paper in half again and then in half one more time. Open it out and cut along the folds (you should have four strips now).

3. Put some glue at the end of one strip and press on the end of another strip, fitting it in the corner neatly, and making a V with both strips. (I used two different colors of paper.)

4. Fold the left strip over and crease it. Then fold the other strip down over it.

5. Keep folding one strip neatly over the other one to make a concertina shape.

6. When you get near the end of the strips, glue on the spare strips and keep folding.

7. When you get to the end of all of the strips, glue the ends together.

8. Glue on eyes (either googly eyes or paper eyes), feelers and legs.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Flower Topper

Here is another use for the flowers I made for the May Baskets. I used it as an alternative to a bow on a wrapped gift. Follow the instructions for making the flowers, but trim the straw and tuck into a ribbon wrapped around the package.

Strawberry Bread

This is a new recipe that I had never tried. It is really sweet for a bread, but would be really good slathered with some plain cream cheese. Next time, I'm going to make it with blueberry preserves and will put a little strudel topping on it before baking.

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup strawberry preserves

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup chopped nuts (opt)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two bread pans.

Cream butter, sugar, and extracts; add eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

Sift dry ingredients together.

Combine strawberry preserves and sour cream together and add to creamed mixture alternating with flour mixture.

Add pecans or nuts if desired.

Place in prepared pans and bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes.

This bread freezes well. Wrap several times in saran wrap and then in freezer bags. You can also use 6 canning wide mouth pint jars and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes and seal with lids while hot.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Basket

By the time I get this posted, May Day will be almost over... but maybe you can make one next year? Or for a special mom or Grandma on Mother's Day. These are simple little baskets I made with supplies that most people have on hand. It literally took minutes to make-- but sure made little eyes widen and mouths smile at my house today. Almost as much as mine did as I watched them sneak it onto a neighbor's doorknob.

(I've also added some links to other crafts that could work as May Baskets at the bottom of this page.)

What you need:

Tissue paper, assorted colors
Drinking straws
1 piece of cardstock or paper

What you do:

To make the flowers:

1. Cut a piece of tissue paper to be about 9x12 (or so...give or take).

2. Fold the piece of tissue paper in half, long sides together. Open it out and cut along the fold.

3. Fold one of the pieces in half, long sides together together. You don't need the other piece (but can use it for another flower).

4. Fold the paper in half, with the short sides together this time. Then fold it in half again.

5. Make lots of long cuts from the top edge (not the creased edge). Cut through all of the layers of paper, but don't cut all the way up to the top.

6. Open out the paper carefully. Lay it flat with the cut edge at the top.

7. Tape one end onto a straw. Then roll the paper tightly around the straw.

8. Fasten the loose end with tape. Pull down all the cut ends to make petals.

To make the cone:

1. Using card stock, draw a curved line on the cardstock as shown in this photo:

2. Roll into a cone shape and use glue to seal.

3. Glue or tape a ribbon handle onto the cone.

4. Embellish the cone with paper flowers and curly ribbons fastened to straws and attach "Happy May Day" message.

Leave the May Day Cone Basket on a special someones front door to brighten their Spring Day!

Some other options for the actual basket could be to use any of these:
Tissue Box Basket

Homemade Gift Bag

Recycled Magazine Bowl

Cookie Bouquet

Gift Bags Made From Envelopes