Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making some Valentines samples

Trying a few more crafts to add to the list of things to make for Valentines day.
This is a cute little box! I saw one with a link to the tutorial over at Julia's.
It was pretty easy. I like this because the box is bigger than the ones I have previously made, and I don't have to cut the die cut down. I use the full cut.
The directions show dividers for 4 spaces in the box. I only divided into 2 for my sample.
Here we have a couple of ideas with Ghirardelli squares (the small ones). I made 3 X 3 cards, decorated with scrapbook paper and punched a small hole for a ribbon tie. The ribbon tie holds the chocolate in pretty well, I didn't use adhesive for the chocolate on this one. I used 1 top note die cut folded in half, and I did use 2 sided tape to hold the chocolate in that one. And I tied a ribbon around it. It needs some embellishing, but remember these were only test runs tonight.
These things can only get better!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A lovely afternoon of crafting with some lovely ladies

Yesterday afternoon I had some of my favorite crafters and bloggers over for some Valentines crafting. My friend and craft mentor Julia (that I mention frequently in my blog) is the lovely lady on the right. Julia got me started with card making many years ago and is truly my craft mentor! The lovely lady sitting down is my longtime friend Laura. I am hoping to craft again with Laura. I want her to get the craft bug like the rest of us!

Julia had posted these cute mailboxes and some other very crafty Valentines day crafts at her blog. Julia and her twin sister Judy, pre-cut all our supplies and had everything ready to go for our Valentines mailboxes. They showed us how to put the mailboxes together and helped us make 3X3 Valentines Day cards. These 2 ladies love love love paper crafts and love to share! They rock!
Then we have the lovely Jenny and Emilie, my crafty friends and bloggers. These two ladies host Moments (Moms Off the Clock) events at their home. Used to be monthly, but with busy lives and a new baby for Emilie we haven't been able to get together like we used to. Jenny has a blog called Lipstick and Laundry and you will find many great posts at her blog. Jenny is very creative and great writer! Emilie has a blog as well titled Bunch of Scrap .
Emilie is also very creative and a great writer!!! These 2 ladies got me back into the craftbug and inspired me to start a blog! Thanks Ladies!!!

Then we have the lovely Dawn. We work at the same company and are members of an employee non profit group. I found out Dawn was a fan of Stampin' Up and was also looking forward to crafting. She is my newest crafty friend!

Here we have the lovely Sheri giving you a nice view of our little mailboxes. Sheri is a member of Moments as well. Sheri loves crafting and has a blog too!!! Hers is titled Daughter of an Artist. Again, another great writer who shares her passion for her family and friends, baking, crafts and so much more. Sheri is so sweet she already blogged about our fun craft day! So if you want to see more hop on over to Sheri's blog.
We had fun! It was so relaxing to sit at the table and chat and create.
When we were done making our mailboxes and cards we had Kahlua Bundt Cake.
I was going to try the Blueberry Sour Cream cake, but decided to go with a cake that I had made before and knew for sure was dee-lish. But come to find out Jenny tried the recipe from
Lick the Bowl Good and says it is very good! Like a blueberry donut! So I do need to try this recipe someday!

Monday, January 18, 2010

1 baking idea and a little bit of crafting

The recipe for these gooey S'Mores cupcakes came from Bakerella' s blog. They were the most complicated cupcakes I have ever attempted. But I did figure it out. If you attempt to make them, they do take longer than the 15 minutes it says on the recipe. I think it is more like 20. I thought they were ok, not over the top delicious. However, one of my daughters friends asked for the recipe and Johns daughter Gillian asked me to make them for her birthday. So try them for yourself and see what your favorite taste testers say. I finally shut off the oven for a while :) and spread out my craft stuff on the kitchen table. I made several boxes to fill with Valentine Candy and wrap up with ribbon and stuff some time soon. (directions for the box are at Splitcoaststampers tutorials)
I put together a few cards with items I had on hand. The flower on your right is made out of three graduating size circles. I wet the paper and scrunched it up, let it dry then glued together, and topped off with a part of a broken bracelet. Very easy! The paper doilies are from the $ store.

Every season I find myself using my favorite Stampin Up' Top Note Die. Started with Easter last year, then Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and now for Valentines Day. Guess that about covers the year! So I am certain that my investment in this die cut was a very good one!
Small # 4 white bags, scrapbook paper, ribbon and buttons and adhesive of course are all that is needed for this project. And the die cut of course.
Have a great evening! Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I swear I am not trying to make anyone fat!

Honestly, I am not showing all these cool sweet recipes to make you fat! I just love baking and sharing this stuff with you. I am hoping to get off the baking binge soon and go on a crafting binge. But this weather is just really doing a number on me, and I think baking makes me feel better?? Unfortunately, so does eating this yummy stuff! So I promise to stop with the goodies after just a few more posts.

The Kahlua cake I made last night for the birthday at work was delicious if I must say so myself! But I wasn't the only one sayin' it! It was rich and creamy and oh so fudgy!!!! I will definitely make this one again! It does not need any frosting or drizzles of anything because it is so rich. Just a light sprinkling of powdered sugar will do the trick!!!

I just had to do it, I had to go back and visit Monica at Lick the Bowl Good today, and what did she have but an easy yummy looking recipe! My Favorite! If you haven't checked the blog out yet, you must. These are made with fresh sliced bananas, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and Grands Flaky Biscuits! Who'd of thunk it? Sorry folks, but I had to add this one to my list of must make! But I do promise to stay away from baking posts after I finish the current must try lists.
Just so you know there is hope of seeing crafts again on my blog, I am having Julia and some friends over on Saturday January 23rd for a Stampin' Up Valentines crafting afternoon! Of course I will be baking one of my must tries then, but we will also be making some cool paper crafts that I will show you as well. Talk to you soon! Have a great evening!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I didn't make the Blueberry Bundt Cake :(

I am sorry I lied! I said I would be making the Blueberry Sour Cream Bundt cake Sunday night. I ended up making chocolate chip cookies instead (due to laziness). I apologize. I will not make any more promises!
I really wanted this Pampered Chef cake pan! I had to borrow my friends pan for the last 2 cakes.
My wonderful mom, who knows my love of baking, got me the pan for Christmas!!! So now I don't have to borrow Jenni's pan, I have my own! But I did have to borrow Kahlua from my mom! (I will explain shortly) I made chocolate chip cookies for my co worker Bob, his birthday was Sunday. At 4pm today after Bob had gone home from work, he called me and said "Hey did you know it is Nate's birthday tomorrow?" I said NO I didn't know this!
So after work I got the ingredients I needed to make Sue's Kahlua Cake. I don't know Sue, but this recipe looked good and easy! Two of my favorite things!!!! I got all the ingredients I needed at the store except the Kahlua. I know my mom had a bottle of homemade Kahlua, so I borrowed a 1/2 cup from her. Next Bundt cake I think I won't need to borrow anything!!! If this cake goes over well at work tomorrow I will buy my own bottle of Kahlua :).

1 chocolate cake mix (w/pudding in the mix)
(the only one I could find was Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil's Food)
2 eggs
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup oil
1 pint sour cream
12 ozs chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips. When well blended fold in chocolate chips and pour into a bundt pan (I sprayed the pan with Pam). Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.

I do promise to post again soon to let you know how it went over at work.

I do plan on trying more baking soon. I have to put my new pan to good use!
I don't know when or in what order, but I plan on trying the following recipes:
S'More Cupcakes that I found at Bakerella. You have to check this out! They look wonderful!
The Blueberry Sour Cream Bundt from Lick the Bowl Good (I was supposed to make this last night, sorry)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Nirvana (this one is for John, because he loves chocolate and peanut butter) This recipe was posted on our message board at work, so I don't have a link. So you will have to stay tuned for photos, recipe and reviews in the near future.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cold weather + hot food???

OK, I am not sure if it is this cold dreary weather that makes me want to stay home and hibernate and cook, or the discovery of Monicas Lick the Bowl Good blog, or watching Julie and Julia last weekend, or a combo of all the above. But I have been checking out recipes like crazy and I just want to cook and bake!!!!
My mom had given me this No More than 5 Ingredients cook book some time back. I went through it and flagged a bunch of recipes I want to try. I think my mom bought this from a school fundraiser somewhere. I checked half.com for this book and they don't have this exact one, but if you search for 5 ingredient recipe books, there are others. First two things I tried were the Cheesy Potatoes and Artichoke Chicken.
I liked them both, my kids not so much. Too much stuff for them??
Here is the recipe for the potatoes: 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup sour cream, 1 bag frozen country style hash brown potatoes, and 2 to 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (I used 2 cups and that was plenty) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix soup and sour cream together in a 9X13 baking dish. Add frozen potatoes and stir until well coated. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on the depth of your dish. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and begins to brown. Serve immedietly.

At the same time I also made the Artichoke Chicken recipe.

1 15 oz can artichoke hearts drained and chopped
3/4 grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts-halved

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the artichoke hearts, parmesan cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream and a pinch of garlic pepper (I used garlic salt and black pepper) Place chicken in a greased baking dish and cover evenly with artichoke mixture. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in the preheated over, or until chicken is no logner pink in the center and juices run clear.

Then on to dessert! This is the Snickerdoodle Blondie recipe from Lick the Bowl Good.
My kids sure liked dessert! You can tell by Zach's thumbs up! (but he wouldn't eat the chicken! )
And to mix all this stuff I have my handy Montgomery Wards 5 speed hand mixer that I received as a wedding shower gift in 1983 from my dear aunt Frances. This appliance is nearly an antique! haha! It brings fond memories of someone I love very much and miss very much!

Hate to do it, but I must say Bon Apetit! just one more time! I just can't help it.

I plan on trying the Blueberry Sour Cream bundt cake from Lick the Bowl Good sunday night! So check in again on Monday!!!! Have a great weekend!!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Do you love collecting recipes? I sure do!!!

I am home today with a very painful neck and shoulder. An ongoing problem for me, usually treated with lots of stretches and lots of ibuprofen. But it is getting too painful, so I am hoping for pain meds and muscle relaxers today. Waiting to hear back from my doctor.

On a happier more creative note. I love to collect recipes! I use all sorts of sources, magazines, cookbooks, internet recipes, recipes from family and friends. I don't cook that much, but I do love to collect the recipes. And slowly but surely I will get to them! Recently I made homemade chicken soup, and last night made homemade mac and cheese!!! I wanted to try it with asiago cheese, but Food 4 Less isn't the place to find it! So I settled for medium cheddar. It was very good! But I will try again with asiago soon!
Last night my friend Julia sent me a link to Lick the Bowl Good .
What a fabulous blog!!!! Recipes, recipes and more recipes. She sent me the link because she knew I would love this bacon and eggs recipe made from pretzel sticks, white chocolate melts and yellow M&M's. So very clever!
But not only did this blog have these cute novelty recipes, she also has lots and lots of other recipes! And the photos are wonderful!!! I am looking forward to trying her blueberry sourcream bundt cake recipe, and her snickerdoodle blondies recipe!!!
If you love recipes like I do, head right over to Lick the Bowl Good and check it out!
If you want some more inspiration be sure to rent Julie/Julia. It inspired me to break out some recipes. Bon Apetit!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Family Get Togethers at my house

Yesterday we celebrated my daughters Dec 27th birthday, my brothers Jan 6th birthday and my neices Jan 13th birthday at my house. Just a little family get together! To set the mood I made these banners. Just cut paper into 4" X 4" squares and used the Cricut for the letters. Simple, not too time consuming and it really makes the mantle pop. These are the ice cream pies from Coldstone. We had chocolate chip cookie dough and pecan turtle. Yummy!! Everyone liked them! I didn't forget the monogrammed cupcake tower idea from Imperfectly Beautiful. I will use that for my neice Shelby's 16th birthday coming up Feb 28th. Looking forward to that one and will blog it for sure!!Here are our birthday babies. My daughter Val on your left, my brother Bobby in the middle, and his daughter, my neice Sydney on the right.
My brother Bobby gave me an outside fire pit for Christmas!!! I love it! We made use of it last night. I don't know what it is about sitting around a campfire, but I do love it! Here is my mom, sitting by the fire holding Eva. Ahhh, so sweet!

Here are John and I and there is little Eva again! Oops she blinked!

Here is Grandpa who tries to be too cool to smile! And here is my brothers older daughter Shelby, who was really giving us a big smile!!! They too were enjoying the fire pit in the backyard!
I forgot to mention and take pictures of the delicious food we had!!! I made a greek salad and it was yummy! My mom made empenadas and Puerto Rican rice! This food was so delicious! Everyone loved it!!! (even our non family non Puerto Rican guests haha!) Luckily, we have some leftovers for today. Hmm, is it to early for rice and empanadas???
Have a great day! Talk to you again soon!!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

No more slacking, got to get crafting!!!

I have been on vacation since Christmas. In the last 7 days I have been to the movies 3 times! I have rented 7 movies and by the end of the night I will have watched 10 movies in the last 7 days! I think that may be a record for me. I feel so guilty!!! At least I can say that I have kept my house up (somewhat )as well as the laundry and made homemade chicken noodle soup today (I guess watching, Julie/Julia may have inspired me to cook just a little bit). So I am not a total slacker right???? Yikes! I think I need to get back to work and get in a routine again! I also got a trip to San Francisco squeezed in with my kids to celebrate my daughters 21st birthday. But I still feel like a slacker!!!!
We are having a 3 birthday celebration at my house tomorrow. I was planning on copying an idea from Imperfectly Beautiful for a monogrammed cupcake tower, but am now leaning towards something different, like the $12.99 ice cream pies at Coldstone Creamery. The cupcake tier would be impressive, but the ice cream pies will taste better. What to do??????

After the party, I think life will get back to normal and I will look forward to getting into some Valentine crafts.

I took an inventory of what supplies I had on hand. Thanks to Julia I have lots of paper!!! I also found some ribbon and embellishments, just need some fresh ideas! Have any you want to share????? Stay tuned, I will figure out something to do with these supplies soon! I promise ;)