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Yesterday, while I was waiting to leave for Thanksgiving dinner…watching the parade…the dog show…Miracle on 34th Street…etc, etc, etc…the thought hit me why not try to make a snowman.  It was inspired by a post from Danny Seo’s blog which I talked about here

So out came the styrofoam balls, the felted wool sweaters, and the button jars.  There is a lot I would change, but I like how it ended up.

snowman1snowman2

Then I thought…..ooooohhhhhh…a snowy Dotee Doll!  She is still a WIP, will have to show the finished product later.  She is sewn together and her face is done, but that is all.  I have thoughts about how I want to decorate her, but they are still fermenting.

Hope your Thanksgiving was a great one.  I sent this recipe to Christy for our Thanksgiving swap and thought I would share it with you here.  It is easy to make and tastes/looks like a million bucks!  Your guests will be impressed, too.

Cranberry Holiday Brie

Paula Deen

INGREDIENTS

 

1 sheet (1/2 package) frozen puff pastry dough

1 egg

3/4 cup apricot preserves

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

1 Brie cheese, about 13 ounces

Water Crackers

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Allow the pastry sheet to thaw in the package about 30 minutes, until pliable. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water to make egg wash. Set aside.
2. Lightly flour a large wooden cutting board and roll out the pastry dough into a 14-inch square. Cut off the corners to make a circle. Save the extra dough to cut into decorative shapes for a garnish.
3. Spread apricot preserves on the pastry, leaving a 2-inch margin around all edges.
4. Pour the orange juice into a small glass dish and add the cranberries, allowing them to absorb the flavor of the orange juice for about five minutes, until the cranberries are soft. Drain the cranberries. Arrange them evenly on top of the apricot preserves. Arrange the almonds evenly on the cranberries. Place the brie on top of the almonds.
5. Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash. Completely seal the Brie in the Puff pastry. Seal the edges by brushing the egg wash on one edge, as if you are gluing edges together.
6. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Place the Brie seem side down on the sheet. Decorate the top with cutouts from scraps of dough.
7. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving; the cheese will be runny if cut too early. Serve with crackers.

Enjoy!

Yesterday was spent experimenting with using fabric on the pendants.  I placed fabric as the background with the image on top. 

fabric pendants

I don’t like the look of the image on top as you can see the edges of it.  I may just use interesting fabrics on top alone with maybe a button or some lace instead.  The larger domino is from Target’s $1 section.  It is a child’s domino.  I bought them for the brooch forms, but thought I would try to make a pendant first with it. 

Tomorrow, I am going to check out the Goodwill Outlet Center. 

Warehouse Outlet
6301 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Christy keeps finding the greatest stuff there for change and it is killing me!  Tomorrow I am off to check it out. 

Last night I had a hankering to make an Apple Crisp.  I looked through all of my favorite cookbooks and then found what I was looking for in my 4 ingredient cookbook.  Most of the time, you need to add the spices to it.  It is literally 4 ingredients and sometimes the spices fall by the way side in the recipe.

Here it is:

Apple Crisp
1/3 C butter, softened
1 C brown sugar
3/4 C flour (I substituted oats)
4 C tart apples sliced

Mix butter, sugar and flour.  Place apple slices in 8X8 pan.  Sprinkle butter topping over apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 

I added some cinnamon and the ever present, lately, Craisins.  I love cranberry and apples together.  It is the perfect combination of tart and sweet.

Check out this great idea from a Little Hut for these cute gift tags.

Aren’t they too cute?  You can get the instructions to complete them here.  I might have to make some with my new crop-a-dile!  I am not sure why I needed it, but everyone had one and they seemed to like it.  It punches and it sets eyelets and snaps.  Time will tell, huh?  Here is a link to a 50% off coupon from Joann’s.  The 50% is off the original price and not the $24.49. 

The weekend is upon us!  Enjoy!

It is really raining hard today.  The wind is also starting to blow and making it really soggy and nary a sun ray in the sky.  I think I might make some soup.  I love Black Bean Soup and found this easy recipe in the newspaper a while back.  I make it often.

Speedy Black Bean Soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small chopped onion (you can use frozen)
2 – 15 oz cans black beans
1 – 14.5 oz can fat free chicken broth
1 – 15 1/4 oz can kernel corn, drained
1 – 14.5 oz can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes 
3 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until slightly brown, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, pour 1 can of the black beans with the liquid into a bowl. Using the back of a large serving size spoon, mash the beans against the sides and bottom of the bowl until the beans are broken up and pasty.

Raise the heat to heat under the pot on the stove and add the chicken broth, mashed beans and the other can of black beans including the liquid. Stir well. Add the drained corn, stewed tomatoes with liquid, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, vinegar and cumin.

Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes or so to let the flavors blend together, stirring often to prevent any sticking. Remove from heat and serve.

Makes about 6 servings.

It is ready (start to finish) in 30 minutes! 

 

ornaments

Here are the Amy Butler ornaments I worked on yesterday.  I didn’t have the thin batting and used cotton stuffing instead.  I believe that the batting would have kept the circles more like circles.  Oh well, you live and learn, huh?

I have a friend with a shop and will let him have them for his tree decorations.  He loves it when I am learning or trying!  Trying to decide if I want to add some buttons.  What do you think?  I thought a button in the center on both sides.

Hope your week is wrapping up well!

 

Yesterday I made a tote for a new friend.  I found the vintage Vera dishtowel that it is made from at an antique shop.  I lined it with some vintage knit fabric I located at a thrift shop.  It was copyrighted in 1978.  Then, close it off with a vintage green button. 

tote1toteclose

I like that it is Christmas colors, but could be for fall, too.  The lining doesn’t match the exterior exactly, but I don’t care.  I wanted a vintage feel for this one. 

And here is a recipe that I have not tried, but received via an e-mail newsletter from Mealtime

Harvest Pumpkin-Pineapple Loaf 

With canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, this bread is bursting with fall flavors!

Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (8 1/4 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice (juice reserved)
4 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Tip: If desired, walnuts may be added. Prepare recipe as directed, stirring in one cup coarsely chopped walnuts when adding the dry ingredients.

Preparation Time: Approximately 15 minutes

Cook Time: Approximately 60 minutes

Preparation:

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray two, 8 1/2×4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

Beat sugar and butter in a bowl until blended. Add pumpkin, pineapple and eggs; beat well. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a separate bowl; stir into the pumpkin mixture, mixing until the dry ingredients are completely moistened. Divide batter between the prepared pans; spread evenly.

Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Servings: 16

Nutritional Information Per Serving:Calories 310; Total fat 7g; Saturated fat 4g; Cholesterol 70mg; Sodium 320mg; Carbohydrate 56g; Fiber 2g; Protein 5g; Vitamin A 80% DV*; Vitamin C 2% DV; Calcium 2% DV; Iron 10% DV

Since it makes 2 loaves you might want to half it until you are sure it is something you like.

I am working on these ornaments today. 

Sliding into the weekend!  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee………………..

Here is where I stand at day four:

  1. Finish brooches
  2. Coffee cozies (cut fronts, sew, and sew buttons to close)
  3. Crocheted flower brooches(starchand sew on buttons/pinbacks)
  4. Journals
  5. Totes (May not make them as I am working on another item)
  6. Button push pins

Here are pictures of the WIPs.

stiffy

flowers

Stiffy helps to hold the shape of the flowers which are not all white and orange, but various fall colors and neutrals.  They are sitting on aluminum foil and I like the foil as I can wipe up the drips easily and also reuse it after wiping it down.  I flip the flowers several times through the drying process.  This avoids the little puddles that sometimes attach to them in certain places.  Also, I can use the front or the back of the flower as the mood hits me. 

I also cut out the felt inside of the coffee cozies, 30 in all.  Felt linings help to absorb the heat.  It also makes the cozies a bit thicker.  Anyone who has burnt their fingers holding a cup of hot coffee/tea can appreciate this extra heft. 

felt cozies

Later today I will cut the fronts and start making the journals.  I took a side trip and worked on the buttonhole sewing yesterday.  I may bag the totes (no pun intended) and go with this other item if I get a bit better.  I made 7 yesterday and I really like them.  They meet my favorite craft criteria: fun, funky, and I would buy a bunch.  I will post pics tomorrow as I get better with them.

Here is a recipe that I made yesterday to treat myself for working so hard.  It is from Real Simple, so you know it is both quick and easy.  I love this magazine and get a lot of great ideas from it with every issue. 

Roasted Apple and Walnut Tarts
1 8-ounce sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 Cortland, McIntosh, or Empire apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) walnuts, chopped
 Whipped cream (optional)

Heat oven to 400° F. Cut the puff pastry into 4 squares. Line 4 rounds of a muffin tin with the squares, allowing the corners to stick out.

In a small bowl, combine the apple, sugar, and walnuts. Fill each pastry square with some of the mixture and bake until the crusts are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before removing from the tin.

Place one tart on each plate. Serve with the whipped cream, if desired.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 382(57% from fat); FAT 24g (sat 10g); SUGAR 19g; PROTEIN 2g; CHOLESTEROL 40mg; SODIUM 212mg; FIBER 2g; CARBOHYDRATE 42g

I used a Granny Smith apple as that is all that I had and added a quarter cup of craisins to the above.  I didn’t have whipped cream, but it was still YUM-UM-UMMY! 

And to all of my blog readers….

Happy Halloween!

Sometimes I get dates “remembered” in my mind that are not quite “the date.”  Let me explain…I make a commitment to do something and then fix the target date in my head.  I think each day…week out….two weeks out…5 days out…etc. 

I am prepping for a craft show on November 4th.  It is my first show.  I have been thinking that I was 2 weeks out.  I looked at my calendar yesterday and realized that as of today I am ONE week out!  OMG, the panic set in.  You can tell I am panicked as I sat down and made a list of the projects I need to start/finish/complete.  I only do lists when I need to focus and knuckle down.  I try to happily live my life “on the fly.” 

So a list is serious!  A list is a commitment.  It is a contract.  You set goals, you write words, you place check marks or line through them when they are done.  As I wrote it yesterday, the panic hit.  HOW COULD I POSSIBLY GET ALL THAT DONE??  Then I took a few breaths into a paper bag, calmed myself and set about the plan. 

Here is the list:

  1. Finish brooches
  2. Coffee cozies
  3. Crocheted flower brooches
  4. Journals
  5. Totes
  6. Button push pins

Notice that one of the items is lined through.  I finished them last night as I watched TV.  The felty brooches have been completed, all 50 of them!  There are teacups, stars, angels, oak leaves, and trees.  I believe the stars are my favorite.  I used metallic gold floss to outline them.  Let me tell you though, what a pain in the @## to use!  It tangles, it knots, it catches…argh!!!!!!!!!  I bought some silver and pink metallic floss also and it might just stay unused.  I have to admit that the hassle was worth it on the stars.

felty brooches

Now to my plan.  I will make one to do list item per day.  Not a single item, but a quantity of them.  I should be right on track and still meet some commitments that I have made to some of my friends-dinner and a movie with Brenda on Friday evening and help to pack and wrap so that my friend, James, can paint in the Market is Your Canvas competition during the Brunswick Stew Festival.  I have not been to the Brunswick stew festival and it sounds like a lot of fun.  If you are in Richmond, you might want to check it out on the 3rd.

My Sweet Goodness Swap sister, Christy, has posted about the goodies I sent her.  You can also check out the flickr page to see the other amazing items that the Swap Sisters made.  Here is the link to the Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle recipe Christy mentions in the post.  It is super easy as it uses boxed Gingerbread cake mix and it is a Paula Deen recipe, so you know it is YUMMY!   

Lastly, I ate the most glorious soup yesterday!  I had to go to the Lakeside area of Richmond to check on some items at a new shop to see how they are doing.  At times I have lunch at the Garden Cafe at Lewis Ginter.  It is not your usual fare of cafe items. 

I wanted some soup and they had a Butternut Squash Soup.  Normally, it would not be my choice, but I am trying to be more adventurous with my eating.  OMG, it was the best thing I have ever eaten.  It was soup, but it was sweet and warm and glorious.  It was like eating a pureed pumpkin pie!  Not nearly that sweet, but as great.

I searched my trusty All Recipes and found a recipe that I believe has all the flavors I tasted and is easier to make (I am not one for complicated cooking).  In case you want to try it, too here is the recipe. 

Creamy Butternut Squash With Cinnamon Soup
SUBMITTED BY: USA WEEKEND columnist Pam Anderson      

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and seeded butternut squash , cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into large dice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or from a carton or can
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: store-bought apple chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.
  2. Add butternut squash, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until squash start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.
  4. Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cayenne pepper; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.
  5. Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid’s pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To ‘clean’ the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)
  7. Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.

This recipe was originally featured in the USA WEEKEND article  One Formula Makes 10 Full-flavored Vegetable Soups  on October 24, 2004.

One more item for the list:

7.  Buy Butternut Squash!

 Hope your weekend is going well! 

lemons

Life has blessed me with a big lemon lately and I am trying to be positive about it.  On the 16th I was downsized from my job.  I had been there for a whopping 4 months and 12 days.  I was understandably stunned, but am determined to turn this around! 

As is always my plan, I am throwing some humor at the situation.  Here are some lemony fresh quotations:

 When life hands you a lemon, say, “oh yeah, I like lemons. What else ya got?” -Henry Rollins

 When life hands you lemons, stick ’em in your bra. Can’t hurt, might help, ya never know!

-Birthday Card

And always remember…. when life hands you lemons, ask for Tequila and Salt and call me over!

If life gives you a lemon, sit down and eat the d*** lemon
-friend

if life hands you lemons, chuck them at the person next to you.

If life hands you lemons you hand them back to life and say i dont want your god d**** lemons!

“Practice pitching. When life hands you lemons you’ll have good aim and free ammunition.”

“When life hands you lemons, find a kid with a paper cut.”

And my favorite sweet recipe!

 Lemon Bars

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5/8 cup lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour and confectioners’ sugar. Blend in the melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light. Combine the sugar, baking powder and 1/4 cup of flour so there will be no flour lumps. Stir the sugar mixture into the eggs. Finally, stir in the lemon juice. Pour over the prepared crust and return to the oven.
  4. Bake for an additional 30 minutes or until bars are set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Quote O’ The Month

"What this world needs
is a new kind of army
- the army of the kind."
~Cleveland Amory

E-mail Me

cindyforeyes at earthlink *dot* net

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1221 Bellevue Ave.
Richmond, VA

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