Monday, March 30, 2009

Onion Straws

Ok much to my own embarrassment I messed this one up big time (excuse me while I cough and clear the smoke out of my house) but in true bloggy style I have to post the results of my latest attempt......I stumbled upon this fantastic web site called The Pioneer Woman and she has some really fun recipes with excellent tutorials. That is where I fell in love with this recipe for Onion Straws

Onion Straws
1 large onion

2 cups buttermilk

2 cups flour

1 scant tablespoon salt

Lots of black pepper

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Canola Oil

Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with buttermilk for at least one hour.Combine dry ingredients and set aside.Heat oil to 375 degrees.Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tab to shake off excess, and PLUNGE into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.Repeat until onions are gone.

The recipe was easy so I know you are wondering "how did she mess this up"? Well, because of my small experience with hot oil (yes you can see where this is going) I cranked the heat to high and left the room for it to come to a rolling boil. Thanks to my husband walking into the room and helping me realize that was a mistake I didn't toss all of the onions in. I turned the heat down a little and put a small amount in as a test. And yep we will be smelling greasy smoke for may weeks to come.

The second attempt was soooo much better and trust me if you like yummy onions you have to give this a try. Just keep an eye on your oil temp (wink wink).

Easter Egg Decorating Ideas

One family tradition that I love is our annual Easter egg decorating contest!! Here are some of my all time favorites from my Dad, my husband, and myself. I think this started as a "darkest" egg contest but as you can see we seemed to have upped our game. And the winner gets? Yep, that's right friends the right to gloat!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chipboard Album Cover

I made this fun little chipboard album for my Grandma and I was so happy with the way that it turned out. I used scrapbook paper, mod podge (I can't get enough of that gooey wonder), stamps, and some eyelets. I also used a template for the flower from one of my favorite sites

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Princess Tutu

Because I have a boy whenever I get to make something really girly I have so much fun with it.
I gave this tutu to my niece for her second birthday. I was so excited to give it to her and I think she really liked it. I wanted to share the link for the tutorial I used to make it because she does a great job of showing how it's done, .

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Card Obsession

I know that I have a serious scrapbooking obsession and it has leaked over into card making. These are some of my favorites.....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Best Lemon squares!

I made these treats because I wanted to try another recipe out of my Bisquick recipe book and because (oddly) I actually had a couple of lemons in my fridge, and you would not believe how yummy they were. If I could offer you a bite I would or if I could somehow just transmit the smell of these to you, you would be hooked. I am still learning alot about cooking but for a first attempt at lemon bars I was sold!! They were easy and delicious!

1 cup Bisquick
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons firm margarine or butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon Bisquick
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (I used 2 tablespoons because I read it wrong {sigh} it was still great :)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice plus 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Heat oven to 350 Stir together 1 cup Bisquick and the powdered sugar. Cut in margarine, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Press mixture in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of ungreased square pan, 8x8x2 inches.
Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown.
Stir together remaining ingredients except Glaze; pour over baked layer.
Bake about 25 minutes or until set and golden brown.
Glaze: Stir ingredients until smooth.
While warm, loosen edges from sides of pan. Spread with Glaze; cool completely, about 1 hour. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Love Frame

I saw this fun idea through my favorite website they have the best ideas. For this project you take random pictures of anything that might look like the letter that you want it to be. I gave this one to my sister and I think I am going to make one for my house that says Family!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Finger Paint Fun

We are always looking for something simple and fun to do together. This project was super fun (and it was a good time filler). I can't find the exact recipe that we used but I am including the closest one that I could find.

Cornstarch Finger-paint
3 cups water
1 cup cornstarch
food coloring
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in a separate bowl with water. Remove boiling water from heat and add cornstarch mixture. Return to heat, stirring constantly. Boil until the mixture is clear and thick (about 1 minute). Remove from heat.
As the mixture is cooling, divide into separate bowls and add food coloring. Let the children carefully mix in the coloring.
My friend Ammie also recommends using chocolate pudding and then you have edible finger paint!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thank you card

I love to have a little stockpile of handmade birthday cards as well as thank you cards on hand. It's one of those small things that makes me smile, to need a card and have it. I think that with card making as well as scrap booking that cute paper is more than half of the battle. I hope this inspires my crafty friends to dig out their craft supplies and make some fun cards.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bunco Cards

Not long ago one of my best friends and I hosted a Bunco party. With the help of a bunch of friends I think we pulled off a really fun night. Everyone helped out and brought a yummy dish! We had fun eating, chatting, and playing. Most of all I think it is so good to be together as women and friends without the pressure of buying or selling anything (as much as we all love a good Pampered Chef party). We try to put together a girls night out every couple of months even if we just meet and have desert somewhere. I am grateful for a fantastic group of friends and for a family that supports and understands my need to hang with the gals.

These are the score cards that I made for the night. I found the dice clip art through a Google search and used my son's colored pencils to color them pink!! Next time maybe I can fly in some of my friends that live too far away to come and play with us (hey a girl can dream right) ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gift Giving

I love to find new ways to wrap and give gifts. For this project I used a can that is similar to a Crystal Light container. I wrapped it with some of my favorite paper and tied it up with some yarn and added a couple of tags. I can't remember exactly what gift I put in this particular container but this would easily fit a t-shirt, burp cloth, or any small toys.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Photo Album Cover

I made this little photo album for my mom and it continues to be one of my favorite projects. I am not super crafty but I love to find fun ideas from the Internet or magazines and give them small changes to make them my own. I put little tabs in this book and made a section for each of my siblings and myself, then I filled each section with pictures of our families.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Little treats

This was our test run for making Valentine's Day treats for my son and his friends at playgroup. We bought sucker sticks and melting chocolate (that comes in any color) from Michaels craft store. We learned a few things the first time around like a metal bowl stays hot and makes the chocolate too runny, and not to use candy like M&M's because they are too heavy and fall right off. I think we got it right for the big day. My son decorated a metal can as his "mailbox" to put all of his Valentines in.

We love to do little crafts just for fun and to waste time together. I think this project would be cute for something to do on St. Patrick's day. You could use green chocolate and fun sprinkles. Send me a picture if you decide to make them I would love to see how they turn out!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Impossibly Easy Chicken and Broccoli Pie

I have to say sorry to Kelly and I promise that next time I will try to take the picture before we cut into the food (wink wink). This was another Bisquick recipe that we loooooved.

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
1 cup cut-up cooked chicken
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle broccoli, 1 cup of the cheese, the chicken and onion in pie plate.
2. Stir Bisquick mix, milk, salt, pepper and eggs until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted. Cool 5 minutes.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Adventures in cooking

I have a made a new goal to try a new recipe every couple of weeks and I thought that I should share it with you if it works out (who am I kidding I will let everyone know how it goes either way). I got this recipe out of The Best Bisquick Recipes book (I love to cook with Bisquick). My husband bought it for me for valentines day and so far we have loved everything we have tried.
Cheesy Tomato-Beef Bake

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup cold water
2 to 3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and chili powder over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Set aside.
2. In small bowl, mix sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese and onion; set aside.
3. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix and cold water with fork until soft dough forms. Using fingers dipped in Bisquick mix, press dough in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Layer beef, tomatoes and bell pepper on dough. Spoon sour cream mixture over top; spread evenly over vegetables to cover.
4. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until edges of dough are light brown.

Friday, March 06, 2009

My second apron

Here it is my second apron attempt. I used the same pattern as my fist apron and slightly altered a few things. And yep the pocket is big enough for my phone (he he). I have so much to learn in the world of sewing but I have had fun so far.

Yeay I just got the OK to link this post to the fantastic blog and tutorial I used to make my aprons The 5 ruffle anniversary apron was the tutorial that I used and altered just a touch for this apron. I have learned so much from these talented women!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Glass Candy Recipe

I have had a couple friends ask me why I didn't add the recipe for this fun treat so here it is!!

3 3/4 Cup white sugar

1 1/2 Cup light corn syrup

1 Cup water

Combine these ingredients in a sauce pan and stir continuously over medium high heat until your candy thermometer reads hard crack (approximately 35 minutes)

Remove from heat and add 1 tsp of your favorite Loraine Flavoring

Pour into a lightly greased cookie sheet like this:

Try to keep it as even as possible so that you don't get thick pieces. Let it sit overnight and smack it all over with something like the flat side of a metal spoon. And eat all of the yummy bits till you get a tummy ache (and trust me I did).

Something so simple

Every year around Christmas we make glass candy. It is something so simple but we love it sooo much. We let our son pick the flavor and help stir all of the ingredients together. He calls this "glass of candy". Then after it cools we give him something to break it with and let him go to town. What little kid doesn't love to break things (wink wink). Eating this brings me right back to grade school when we would flock the bake sale table and fight for the best zip lock filled baggie of glass candy.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Heat Packs

For my sister's birthday I wanted to make her a microwavable heat pack (because I had seen her borrow her neighbors). I had fun making this one. The outer cover is something that she is able to remove and wash. I was so excited with how this one turned out that I decided to make something similar for me. I used wheat as a filler and it actually holds the heat better than I expected. So here they are.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

My first apron

One of the biggest reasons that I wanted a sewing machine was to make a cute girlie apron that I saw on the Internet. This is a pic of my version of that apron. I was proud that I was able to finish this project but I have to say I didn't love it once I was done. Somehow I didn't see this apron as being so puffy, go figure because the name of it is "The five ruffle apron" ha ha.

Next Project

This was my second sewing project. I found a pattern for a re-usable shopping bag and wanted to make one to store all of my sewing scraps in it.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Here we go!!

I have been slow to join the world of blogging but I enjoy reading other blogs so much that I had to be part of this fun world. I am excited to let my blog be a way to share the crafty things that I am up to.

I got a very basic sewing machine for Christmas and I am teaching myself how to use it. My first project (thanks to Kenny) was pillows for our bed.