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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.

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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.  :(
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