Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cami's Books: Giveaway Hot (Sweaty) Mamas

A good friend of mine is having a giveaway on her blog.  Pop on over to Cami's Books to enter.




Book Review and Giveaway - Hot (Sweaty) Mamas

She is giving away two copies of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas. Yes, that's two, just in time for those New Year's Resolutions!

For rules and entry information, visit:    Cami's Books: Giveaway - Hot (Sweaty) Mamas

Open to residents of U.S. and Canada
Contest closes: January 4, 2012





Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Hops

Here are a couple of Monday blog hops. The rules are easy, and by participating you'll have the opportunity of experiencing Blog Hops, gaining followers, discovering other blogs or even meeting a few more blog friends. After adding your blog to these great hops, feel free to follow my blog, leave a comment and I will return the favor. Happy Blog Hopping Monday!

A Helicopter Mom





Blessed Beyond Words










Cooking With Karyn

Things that make you say:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flock of Turkeys



I have been getting into the holiday spirit.  Doing some early Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts (I don't allow snoops around my house) and last Saturday I went to Holly Legare's Christmas Stamp-A-Stack.  It was a lot of fun.  So my holiday cards are made and now I can check that off my list.

But we don't want to forget about Thanksgiving.  I have a few November projects planned, I just hope I have time to get them posted!  For a recent family birthday, these cute turkeys were amongst the party-goers. 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Fudge-striped shortbread cookies
Fudge-covered graham crackers (or you can use fudge-covered sugar wafers as I did)
Miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups
Mini chocolate covered peanut butter cups or round chocolate-covered chewy caramels
Candy corns
1 tube decorating gel for eyes


  1. In a small freezer bag, place chocolate chips; seal bag.  Microwave until softened.  Snip off corner of bag. Squeeze bag to pipe a line of chocolate across the bottom of the striped shortbread cookie.  Center onto the graham cracker and hold until it begins to set.  Repeat with remaining cookies.  Allow to set up, about 30 minutes.  I put mine in the freezer to set.  It also helped with the next steps to have the cookies cold.
  2. Using melted chocolate attach the mini peanut butter cup to the miniature peanut butter cup.  Allow to set.
  3. Pipe melted chocolate onto the large side of the peanut butter cups and attach to the shortbread cookies, resting against the graham cracker. 
  4. On a piece of candy corn, pipe melted chocolate.  With the pointy end toward the peanut nut butter cup, center on the cookie.
  5. Place a piece of candy corn on each side of body for legs.  Using the decorator's gel, add eyes on each candy corn beak.  Let stand at least one hour to set. 



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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tomato-Herb Focaccia

Oops! I hadn't realized this had been posted until I popped onto the computer this morning. I guess I was distracted when I exited last night, because I thought I had just saved this as a partial post, not actually published it. 

So last week while my husband and I were out one evening our 10 month old puppy, Mr. Peabody, decided I needed an open-toe pair of boots.  He literally chewed off the toe of my suede boots.  This dog is the most destructive little animal I've ever come across.  In fact, I've nick-named him Destructo because of all the property he has destroyed, too much to begin to name here.  But my husband absolutely loves him and I keep holding out hope that he will get better once he gets older.  I've included a picture of him, although it is a few months old.  He's bigger than this now.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, thyme and rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small can chopped olives
Directions:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1 tablespoon oil, salt, sugar, garlic powder, herbs, pepper and 1-1/2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

3. Punch dough down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into a 13-in. x 9-in. rectangle; place on a greased baking sheet (as you can plainly see, I shaped mine as a pizza). Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. With fingertips, make several dimples over top of dough.
4. Brush dough with remaining oil; arrange tomatoes and olives over the top. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Glittery Halloween Pumpkins


Last Sunday was our family craft day.  Since we hadn’t had one in awhile, we were definitely overdue.   I saw a version of this project while surfing the web last month and thought it would make a good craft day project.



There are a few different versions of this dryer vent pumpkin out there, some call for the plastic vent, but for the most part the assembly is the same.   After it’s painted, add your own simple touches to make it unique.

Materials needed:
Orange spray paint
Sparkly Mod Podge
Metal dryer vent
Glue
Tie wraps (optional)
Cinnamon sticks
Leaves
Raffia
Ribbon of your choice

Cut a 24” length of the metal dryer vent.  Secure ends together with glue or tie wraps.  

 With orange spray paint, cover the entire surface.

Apply a coat of Sparkly Mod Podge to outer layer for glittery effect.

Glue cinnamon sticks to the center as the pumpkin stem. Attach a few leaves. Tie ribbon and raffia around the stem.


I have a few Halloween projects that I’m either trying to finish up or just get posted, so I hope you’ll check back.

If you like what you see on my blog, please vote for me at Picket Fence Blogs.  Just click the button below.



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wickedy Witch Sign



This was a birthday gift from my sister. It came unmounted and unpainted, with just a coat of primer.  I was so excited when I saw it!  Last year about this time, I went to visit my sister and saw this witch sign amongst her many Halloween decorations.  I wanted it.  I really, really wanted it.  When I asked her where she got it, she told me she had made it.

One day while surfing the web she came across some craft classes--one to make these witch signs.  So my sister looked at the picture, she showed it to her husband and the two of them came up with a pattern.  When I saw it, I asked her for a copy.  Although it was less than a week away from Halloween at the time, I thought we could do it for an upcoming family craft day. Unfortunately, she never gave it to me.  When the end of September came around this year I thought again of that sign and I was just about to start bugging her for the pattern, but before I could--voilĂ !, she gave it to me without me asking.  Aren't sisters great?


Materials List:
Sparkle Mod Podge
Paint list
  • Orange
  •  Black
  • Green
  • Purple
  • White
Coordinating ribbon
Glue gun
4 googly eyes 
Decorations for witch hat (I used glitterly pipe cleaner, ribbon and spider)
Witch hair (I used chenille pipe cleaners, my sister used orange yarn)
1 5/16" button (for nose)--you can also use this for the cat nose if you choose not to paint it.
36" x 5" piece of wood to mount your letters



These are the wooden pieces you have to work with.  Mine were already primered.


Paint the following pieces and allow to dry before adding a second coat.  
  1. W--orange.  T, wooden button (nose) and witch's face--green.  C--purple.  H, cat head, witch's boots, hat brim, top of witch's hat and witch's dress--black.  Decorate the legs as you wish.     
  2. Mod Podge scraps of coordinating paper to each letter, the dress of the witch and to the dowels for the socks.  Trim the edges. Remember to cover the entire surface with the Mod Podge so it will all look the same, especially if you are using one of the glittery or sparkly types.
  3. Glue your googly eyes on the cat face.  Paint the nose and mouth.  I mixed a little black and white together to get the color I used for my cat's face.  Use the same color and a fine brush to paint the lines around the cat's face and ears.  
  4.  Glue the googly eyes on the witch and with a fine brush and black paint add some eyelashes.  Then attach the nose.  Paint the mouth, I used a fine brush and black paint.  For the rosy cheeks, I used some of the orange paint mixed with white and began stippling it on (the harder you dab the darker the color).  I crosshatched some fine lines with black to finish off the cheeks (you can always use a fine black sharpie in place of a fine brush and black paint).  Glue your hair in place.  Attach the brim of you hat and decorate as you wish.  I added a couple of pieces of glittery pipe cleaners, two different ribbons, and a spider.  Glue the dowels in place for her legs and attach her boots.
  5.  Tie/add bows where you wish!


Start with a primered piece.  Base the letter with the color of choice.  Add coordinating paper with the sparkle Mod Podge.  Then attached some matching ribbon just to add a little more flair. 

This was the first time I used the sparkle Mod Podge and I loved it



The W


The Witch


The T



The C


The Cat


This is my sister's sign.  The one that started my obsession with this project.  This is not the best picture.  It's kind of hard to see the witch's face clearly, but you can get the overall gist. 



And for any of you who would like to make your own sign, please e-mail me for the pattern.  I will be more than happy to send it out.  I tried to upload it to this post, but it just wasn't working.  :(

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Spooky Spider Web--Halloween Mantle

How many of you have discovered Pinterest?  After waiting for months for an invite, I was finally invited a few weeks ago by a blogger friend--Melissa from Mel Dreams Often.  Thanks again, Melissa!  It was more entertaining than I anticipated.  I absolutely love that site.  It's so addicting.  Every time I log on over there, I discover so many other interesting web sites.  One such site:  Centsational Girl.  She has so many fun things on her site, there are just too many to list.  Check her out.  But I did get the idea for my Halloween mantle from her.  So, to give credit where credit is due.  Thanks Centsational Girl, I love your website.



My arachnid invaded mantle

First, I needed some cute candlesticks to display.  I had an old set that had been kicking around and I really didn't know what to do with them.  They had a good shape to them but they were very past their prime.  I gave them to my hubby to spray paint black.



I was going to distress them after they were dry, but I decided I liked the glossy black look.  I had purchased the garden trellis and mixed my craft paint with a few tablespoons of water to turn it into the dye, then dropped the trellis into the mixture.  I stirred it around and after it was completely covered with the black stain, I let it dry outside for a few hours. Then I hung it on my mantle, and set the spiders loose.



This was the outcome.  What do you think?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Holly Legare, Stampin' Up! Demonstrator--Guest post

Holly Legare, Stampin' Up! demonstrator is our guest blogger today. 

Sandy, Thanks so much for asking me to be a guest on your blog. I really needed this as I am working on starting my own blog soon. 


As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator I'm getting ready for my Christmas Stamp-a-Stack on November 5th. I just finished the designs this week. No, I'm not forgetting Halloween and Thanksgiving. I just had to get a jump on Christmas. More details on my Stampin' Up! website:  hollys_hobbies.stampinup.net, or Holly's new blog: Holly's Stamping Addiction


Now that these are finished I can concentrate on Halloween - My favorite!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Cheesecake Factory's Oreo Cheesecake

 My husband and I have been doing some home remodeling which has been keeping me away from posting here as much as I should.  I have done a few crafts, I just haven't taken the time to write the posts.  But I found this old post that was still in draft form clear back from April of this year.  I hadn't even realized it was still there until Blogger changed to the new format.  Unfortunately, I had no pictures attached to it.  My intentions were to search my desktop computer for the images.  However, I've had no time.  So I figured an imageless post is better than no post. 


Crust
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (about 25 Oreo cookies, finely chopped)

Filling
Three 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
5 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 oz. sour cream
5 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped for filling
10 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped for topping
  1. Have all the ingredients at room temperature before beginning.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  3. To make the crust, mix the melted butter with the Oreo cookie crumbs and press onto the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan; set aside.
  4. To make the filling, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low until fluffy.
  5. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating the cream cheese until mixed well.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat until blended.
  7. Measure the vanilla, salt and flour; pour into the cream cheese mixture, and beat until smooth.  Add the sour cream and beat.
  8. Stir in the 5 coarsely chopped Oreo cookies with a spoon.
  9. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the springform pan and sprinkle the 10 coarsely chopped Oreo cookies over the filling.
  10. Place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  11. After that time, keep the oven door open and let the cheesecake stay in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and let cool enough to place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  To serve, run a knife or metal spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, and remove the pan.
Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving for the best flavor.
Serves 6

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Get Wired Wednesday Hop 9-21

Welcome to the Get Wired Wednesday Blog Hop. It is hosted by Victoria's Voice and Three Boys and An Old Lady, and this week I am guest hosting. The rules are easy. After adding your blog to the hop you'll have the opportunity of experiencing Blog Hops, gaining followers, discovering other blogs or even meeting a few more blog friends. Be sure to leave a comment and I will return the follow.

All you have to do to join is:

•Follow the Hostesses Victoria's Voice and Three Boys and an old Lady through GFC
•Follow the Guest Host Cherished Handmade Treasures
•Link yourself to the list below
•Follow some of the other great blogs (Remember to leave a comment so they know to follow you back)
•Copy and paste the blog hop button on your blog so that others can join (optional)
•Not mandatory, but I would love for you to leave a comment that you have joined up to the blog hop.

LINK YOUR TWITTER, FACEBOOK, OR WHATEVER HERE

Friday, September 16, 2011

Witch Hat cookies


I first saw these cute cookies on Munchkin Munchies and I have tried them a couple of times.  The first time I did them exactly like Sue did over at MM, but they were much too plain for me.  I only made a few of them.  But I thought about them and how cute they were.  I really wanted to make some for my granddaughter.  I decided to try again.  The second time around, I completely covered the cookie with frosting.  They tasted better, not so plain and boring.  This is what I used--Witch Hat cookies:

Ingredients
1 pkg. Chocolate wafer cookies
1 bag Hershey kisses
1 cntr. Chocolate frosting

Directions
  1. Frost the wafer cookie with the frosting.  
  2. Place Hershey kiss in the middle of the cookie.  
  3. Cover the kiss with frosting.  
  4. Pipe ribbon around the base of the kiss with contrasting frosting.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fun Fall Treat Mix


I swiped this idea from Munchkin Munchies.  It is simple and easy, and if anyone knows me, I'm all about easy!  Of course you can change it up just as I did to match your tastes.
In a large mixing bowl mix together: 
cheese crackers,
salted peanuts,
pretzel squares. 
Reese's candy bits,
caramel corn,
honey nut cheerios,
cocoa puffs,
caramel candy corn,
candy apple candy corn
Halloween gummy candy
That's it!

Pour into storage jars and tie a ribbon around.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Banana Nut Bread


Last weekend we had out-of-town company.  My husband's brother and sister-in-law stopped in for a visit.  They were on their way home after staying with their daughter and son-in-law through the delivery and recovery of their first child.  So for breakfast on Sunday morning, I decided to make a loaf of banana nut bread.  I didn't use a loaf pan (mine were already occupied) but it turned out okay with the pan I used.  Since it wasn't as thick as in a loaf pan, I had to adjust the cooking time a bit.  Here's the recipe and cooking times for the loaf pan.  Enjoy!


1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cups shortening
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 very ripe medium bananas)
2 eggs slightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Grease and flour loaf pan.  In large bowl, with fork, mix first 5 ingredients.


2. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissor-fashion, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.


3. With fork, stir in bananas and eggs just until blended; spread batter evening in pan.





4. bake 55 minutes to 1 hour until toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out cleans.

5. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on rack.


BANANA-NUT:  Prepare as above but add 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts with banana.