Monday, November 26, 2012

Autumn Garland from Tim Holz dies

As I am putting away the fall decorations, I wanted to share the fall garland that I made using  the Tim Holtz sizzix Autumn leaves dies and embossing folder.  It was created with dyed coffee filters, twine, acorn caps, and brown beads.   I think it would be fun to use the same technique to create a holly leaf garland for christmas.

Here is where I found the inspiration for the garland: 

Sizzix blog I also created toiled paper pumpkins this fall- The best part is they are no sew and I just took them apart now that the Autumn decorating season is done. - I love that I don't have to store them.

Creating: Christmas Cards

Its that Time- I am about ready to start making this years Christmas Cards.  These are a few of the ones from that year.   

Friday, November 23, 2012

Crafting instead of Shopping on Black Friday

I spent most of Today making some more Leather Cuff Bracelets for a Local Shop.

Quinn's Pumpkin Cheesecake



  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted salted butter


  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For crust:
In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
For filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.
Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Paula Deen Recipe from Food Network

Hope You Had a Wonderful Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving day Cooking and Eating at our own pace.- Just the four of us at home. We had a great time cooking together.  We each decided what we were going to make Thanksgiving Morning. The boys found some  great new recipes on the Food Network website
Quinn made a Pumpkin Cheesecake, Cade made Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Scot made a Balsamic Turkey with Apple Stuffing and an Apple Tart, I made a cheese ball, Cranberry Chutney, and a baked Ham.  

Cranberry-Orange Chutney
4 medium oranges
1/2 cup orange juice
1 pound fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup crystallized Ginger - diced
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 medium clove garlic- peeled
3/4 tsp curry powder
3/4 raisins

makes 6 cups
Remove outer rind from oranges to make 1/4 cup thin slivers.  Then cut oranges cross-wise into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Cut slices into quarters.  Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over moderate heat stirring until sugar dissolves and cranberries pop open. Remove from heat.  Discard Cinnamon stick and garlic clove.  Serve hot or cold.

Baked Virginia Ham

Balsamic Roasted Turkey with Apple Stuffing

  1. Remove the gizzards (save in refrigerator for gravy)
  2. Rinse bird well and pat dry with paper towels; then truss (tie legs together with string)
  3. Place turkey breast side up in a roasting pan, then put rosemary inside bird
  4. Drizzle bird with oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt
  5. Wedge apples around roasting pan to prop turkey up evenly –place 2 apple halves in cavity of bird
  6. Place roasting pan with turkey, apples, etc. in oven on lowest rack
  7. Roast at 325°, 15 minutes per pound; a 15 pound turkey requires 3 hours and 45 minutes
  8. If skin begins to brown too soon, cover with foil
  9. To check temperature stick a meat thermometer deep into thigh; at 175° it is safely done
  10. Remove turkey from oven and allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes before carving
  11. Serve
Serves 12

Cinnamon Apple Tart with Pecan Crust

4-5 medium Jonagold apples, peeled, cored and sliced ⅛-inch thick

  1. In a large bowl, toss apple slices, lemon juice, arrowroot, honey and cinnamon
  2. Fan apples out on top of uncooked crust, forming a circle
  3. Layer more apples over circle and in its center
  4. Cover tart with foil, and bake at 350° for 45 to 70 minutes, or until juices are bubbling
  5. Remove foil and cook uncovered for 5-10 more minutes
Serves 6

Dried Beef Cheese Ball

2 (8 oz)  pkgs of cream cheese
4 pkgs of dried beef, chopped fine
1 T. Wasabi powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup minced onion
Reserve 2 packages  of the dried beef.  Mix the rest of the ingredients really well and shape into a ball. Roll in the reserved chopped beef.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper


Boil potatoes until tender, drain and reserve. Return the pot to the stove top over medium heat. Add butter and bananas to the pot. Cook bananas 5 minutes and add the juice of 1 orange to the pot, reserve the zest. Allow the juice to cook out, 1 minute. Add potatoes to the pot and the stock and sugar. Mash potatoes, banana, stock and sugar together until well combined. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and orange zest, to your taste. Mash to combine spices and serve

Monday, November 12, 2012

Soup of the Day- Panera Bread Inspired Broccoli Cheese Soup

Ingredients Needed:
1 Tablespoon Butter, Melted
1/2 Medium Onion, Chopped
1/4 Cup of Flour
2 Cups of Half and Half
2 Cups of Chicken Stock
1 Pound of Fresh Broccoli
1 Cup of Carrots, Julienned
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
8 Ounces Grated Sharp Cheddar

Sauté chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of melted butter and set aside

Using a whisk combine 1/4 cup of butter and flour over medium heat cooking for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half and half to make a roux.

Still constantly stirring, add in the chicken broth and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add in 1/2 of the broccoli {1/2 Pound - cut in pieces}, carrots, and sautéed onions.

Cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes until the veggies are tender. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder. The soup should be thickened by now.
Pour soup in batches into a blender and puree.
Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese, stirring until well blended. Steam the remaining 1/2 of the fresh broccoli {cut into pieces} and add to soup. Stir in nutmeg.
Top with additional grated cheese and serve...Enjoy!

Recipe from Under the Table and Dreaming

Friday, November 09, 2012

Holiday Baking Soon to Start: Going to try Cranberry Bliss Bars

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Yield: One 8-by-8-inch pan, 8 generous triangles
Just like the popular Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars 
For the Bars
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed
For the Frosting and Topping
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted and divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (whipped or light may be used)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups+ confectioners' sugar (I used about 2 3/4 cups)
1/4 cup dried cranberries, loosely packed (optionally, roughly dice them if the pieces are larger)
For the Bars - Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 90 seconds. To the melted butter (allow it to cool slightly so you don't scramble the egg), add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or the bars will be tough. Fold in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips and 1/2 cup cranberries and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.
Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, and center is set and golden or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan, or a toothpick comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow bars to cool before frosting them. While they cool, make the frosting.
For the Frosting and Topping - In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate on high power, about 1 minute, reheating in 10-second intervals, or until it can be stirred smooth. White chocolate is notorious for scorching so melt it very carefully, and slowly, heating in quick bursts, and keep a watchful eye; use a double boiler if that's easier.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, about three-quarters of the melted white chocolate (about 3/4 cup, just eyeball it), 2 cups confectioners' sugar (I don't sift it because any tiny lumps will be covered up by sprinkled cranberries and white chocolate drizzle), vanilla, and beat until smooth and fluffy. Start by mixing on low speed so sugar doesn't spray, and then beat on medium-high for about 3 minutes. Mixture will seem stiff at first but will loosen and fluff up after 2 to 3 minutes of beating on medium-high; stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add additional confectioners' sugar (I used about 2 3/4 cups, I like it on the thicker side) based on taste preference and desired frosting consistency. Frost the bars; if you have excess, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.
Evenly sprinkle 1/2 cup cranberries over the top of the frosted bars. Evenly drizzle bars with remaining melted white chocolate, reheating for a few seconds in the microwave if it has set up. Allow bars to set up for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Creating more Leather Cuff Bracelets


Snicker's Brownies

Snickers Brownies:  A Super Rich and Gooey Dessert

Brownie Layer
     1 box fudge brownie mix (make sure it's a box that will make 9 x 13 in. brownies)
     Ingredients called for on box
     1/4 cup hot fudge topping

Nougat Layer
     1/4 cup unsalted butter
     1 cup granulated sugar
     1/4 cup evaporated milk
     2 (7 ounce) jars marshmallow creme
     1/4 cup peanut butter
     1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
     1 teaspoon vanilla

Caramel Layer
     1 (17 ounce) jar of caramel topping, preferably Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel

Candy Bar Topping
     1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
     1/4 cup peanut butter

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for a 9x13-inch pan, adding 1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, unheated and straight from the jar to the batter. (Make sure to follow the high altitude directions if you live at high altitude.) Cool completely.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Add in the marshmallow creme, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Turn off heat and fold in peanuts. Pour evenly over cooled brownies. Use a spatula to help spread the mixture. Cool. (Stick brownies in the freezer for about 15 minutes to speed up the process.)

Place caramel, with the lid off, into the microwave and heat for two 30 second intervals, letting caramel rest for a few seconds between. Pour over nougat layer. Make sure to pour it evenly, covering as much of the nougat as possible. Spread with a spatula to cover any bare spots. Let cool. (Again, you can stick in the freezer for about 15 minutes.)

Place chocolate chips and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, then heat for another 30 seconds. Repeat until smooth. Pour over caramel, drizzling over as much of the surface as possible. Spread evenly over surface and place in fridge until chocolate is set. After chocolate has set, cut into squares and serve.

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