Friday, February 25, 2011

Blog Hopping Again!


The Blog Hop Network. Add your blog to this discussion in the comments. For those of you new here, it's very 

simple.. the only rule is: no rules!!   That's right!!

This blog-hop is supposed to be a boost in our blogs' followers.So just make sure you link with

 us, follow us as the host (and leave us a comment so we know you follow us and return the love

and then feel free to follow whoever you want to then leave nice comments

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Love Sign

I tried to get this posted before Valentine's Day, but unfortunately the Gods and time were against me...anyway here it is finally.

Materials List
9" wooden letters L, O, V, E
Mod Podge
Red and pink tissue paper
wooden hearts
dried roses
floral tape
thin wire
1"x 4" board (for base)
red enamel gloss paint
I usually ask my husband to cut these type of projects out for me, but since he has had time constraints I decided to purchase the letters already cutout.  Pick your favorite covering to Mod Podge the letters.  I used red and pink,but you can change the colors to your favorites.

Cut the board to 40" in length. My husband ran it through it table saw to plane the edges.

Choose your favorite color and paint the base. I used enamel gloss paint
and then I didn't need to spray with the clear coat. Allow to dry.

For some of the decorations I used some dried flowers, wired
them with some thin wire and wrapped floral tape around them.

Lay your letters out and hot glue in place. 

Decorate with flowers, hearts and ribbon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sun-dried Tomato Cheese Balls

Want a nice little treat just for nibbling?  Try these bacon-coated mini cheese balls.  They're just the right size for a quick indulgence.  Or if you need a dish for a potluck or a party, you can't go wrong by bringing these...

12 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded shard cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped olives
1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. pepper
1package Morning Star Farms Veggie Bacon Strips
Assorted crackers

the ingredients

1. In a large bowl, beat the first nine ingredients until blended.

Shape into balls.

2. Place bacon into a small shallow dish; roll cheese balls in bacon.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  Serve with crackers.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

French Macaroons

Happy Thursday everyone!  What better way to start your day then with a plate of pretty pink french macaroons?  But beware, the recipe for these yummy cookies is not for the novice...and unfortunately I didn't take step-by-by pictures of the actual cookie-making process for this post.  So sorry...

I learned how to make these cookies from a local culinary store where I took a class with a few of my friends.  It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

The first item you need is a good scale to weigh all of your ingredients.  I purchased  mine from a local culinary store, it is manufactured by ADE in Germany.

Almond flound 300 g
Powdered sugar 300 g
Egg whites#1 110 g
Food coloring Tt
Granulated sugar 300 g
Water75 g
Egg whites #2 110g

1. Sift the powdered sugar and combine with the almond flour.
2. Stir in the first egg whites and food coloring by hand.  Cover with plastic wrap unitl ready to use.
3. Cook sugar and water to 118 degrees Celsius.
4. When sugar reachs 115 begin whipping egg whites.
5. Turn whites down to medium or low speed and pour in the sugar.
6. Return machine to high speed and whip until cool.
7. Add meringue to almond dough slowly.
8. Fill piping with #102 and 103 straight tip.
9. Pipe cookies roughly 1.5" in diameter roughly 1" apart. Hold the piping bag perpendicular to the sheet pan.
10. Let macaroons sit at room temperature uncovered for (at least 40 mins.) 1 hour.
11. Set black oven to 375 degrees.
12. Bake cookies for 10 minutes rotating half way through. Remove from oven and take cookies of sheet tray immediately.  Tip: @ 8 mins. open and close oven 3 times to give cookies air.
13. Store in freezer until ready to fill. Once filled store them in the refrigerator.

Yield: 72 cookies

You can fill these cookies with lots of different fillings/flavors.  That is what makes these cookies so yummy.  I used a wonderful Italian Buttercream.


Total prep time: 30 minutes

Egg whites 1/2lbs.
Sugar 1lb.
Butter 1 1/2lbs.

Measure egg whites

Measure sugar


1. Warm egg whites and sugar over a double boiler until warm to the touch and all of the sugar is dissolved.
2. Whip on high speed for 2-3 minutes. 

Lower to medium speed and whip until cool. 

The finished meringue should be shiny and smooth. 
3.Gradually add the soft butter with the mixer on medium-low speed.  Whip until smooth and light.
Flavor as desired.
Chocolate Buttercream: add 2.5 oz. chocolate
Hazelnut Buttercream: add 3 oz. praline paste, dash vanilla
Coffe Butttercream: add Sanka powder (2 packets dissolved with a small amount of hot water), dash of vanilla

Pipe inside cookies.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Hop

Cupid's Friends Blog Hop
Feb 8th -9th

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine Lanterns

During the Christmas holiday my husband & I visited a local shop that sells some high end hand crafted items.  One particular piece that caught my eye was a lantern made from a mason jar with a winter scene painted on it.  I decided we could make these for our Valentine's craft.  I gave the girls their choice of painting something on the jars or Mod Podging them--they decided on the Mod Podge.  Our finished products are above.

The items needed:
Mason jar
3/8" grommet
3/8" glass & tile drill bit
C7 replacement cord
Mod Podge
colorful tissue paper
Paint brush or sponge brush to apply Mod Podge
Beads or other decorations

3/8" glass and tile drill bit

Drill hole in the back of the mason jar

3/8" grommet

Place the grommet in the drilled hole.

Insert the bulb/cord into the hole on the back of the jar.

Cover the jar with the tissue and decorations. 

I glued some shiny, red seed beads over a few of my tissue hearts to make them really stand out even when the light is not turned on.

Courtney's lantern.

She added some hot pink stripes.

Stripes and hearts in various pinks.

Amber's lantern.

Purple with pink hearts and small red hearts made from the shiny seed beads.