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Showing posts from January, 2016

Football Fare

My daughter and I went to a cooking class at William Sonoma today.  They have free "technique classes" each Sunday morning before the store opens.  Today's topic was "Game Day Fare".  With the Super Bowl next week, I knew that this was one class I could not miss! 

One of the great foods that we were shown how to cook (and more importantly sampled!) was a grown-up version of "Pigs in a Blanket".  It will be perfect to serve at a tailgate party or of course, a Super Bowl Party! 
Chicken Apple Pigs in a Blanket
Small amount of flour for dusting 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed (we used Pepperidge Farm) 2 tbs whole-grain mustard (we used Dijon, but would use a Stone Ground if I had it) 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese 3 links chicken apple sausage, quartered lengthwise and halfed cross-wise 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out one sheet of puff pastry into a rectangle.  Cut into four strips lengthwise an…

Happy National Chocolate Cake Day!

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day!  And tomorrow is my Mom's birthday! What better way to celebrate than to make a delicious treat that she used to make for us when we were growing up! 

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake (Yes, that's right, mayonnaise, don't judge- it's good!) 
2 cups all purpose flour 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. baking powder 3 eggs 1 2/3 cups sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup mayonnaise 1 1/3 cups water 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and lightly flour (or use your favorite cake release) two 9 inch pans. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder; set aside. (I sift my flour and cocoa before adding to the bowl, but you don't need to.) In a large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla for three minutes or until light and fluffy.  Beat in mayonnaise at low speed until blended.  Add in flour gradually, alternating with water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour into…

Snow Day Crafting

We live in the area affected by "Snow Storm Jonas" (or the "Blizzard of '16" or "Snowzilla", whichever you prefer). Fortunately we only got a couple of inches of the white stuff and it is mostly gone now.  I send out lots of love and warm wishes to those who measure their snowfall in feet this time around!

For me one of the best things about a snow day is the extra time to do things that I ordinarily do not have time to do.  That means getting in a nap or two, but also I have time to spend in my craft room. I did that today, putting in some time preparing for another Celebration Season (a round of birthdays, holidays and other good times).  Unfortunately, I can't show you some of my projects right now because that would spoil some surprises, but I can share this banner with you and with the talented crafters over at the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog.  This week's challenge is "Snow" and I couldn't think of better timing or a b…

Snow Day!

Well, not yet, but the weather is expected to turn ugly this weekend with the prediction for snow in this area ranging from snow showers to "significant". I am not a fan of snow, but since I do not have a choice in the matter, I figured that I might as well enjoy it. 

I set up this simple snow tablescape for us to use this weekend.   In this area, if we get a flake of snow everyone panics and no one can drive, so we probably won't be going out for our usual Friday night dinner. Let's make the best of it!

The white tablecloth is covered by quilt batting for a snowy effect.  I bought these plates at the Dollar Store for 50 cents each after Christmas.  I just couldn't pass that up!  That's not much more expensive than paper plates and I can reuse them throughout the Christmas holidays and the winter season.

I found the candleholders at Lowe's before Christmas. They were on my holiday mantle and I can imagine using them a lot throughout the year.  The candles we…

Chilly and Chili

So today this happened....

It snowed.  Not a lot, but enough.  It was a cold, wet day, good only for staying inside and reading a good book or watching the play-off games.  It was a difficult adjustment since it was in the 60s yesterday!
Anyway, a snowy Sunday calls for chili.  I found this recipe somewhere years ago when I was a vegetarian.  It doesn't have meat in it, but is hearty enough to satisfy a carnivore. It is also a very easy dish- just pour and mix.  The taco seasoning includes all of the spices you need.  I am no longer a vegetarian, but the recipe still holds up on a cold day like today. 

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
2  16 oz. cans of Dark Red Kidney Beans, drained 2  16 oz. cans of Light Red Kidney Beans, drained 1  16 oz. can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained 8 oz. of Tomato Sauce 14.5 oz. can of Petite Cut or Diced Tomatoes 6 oz. Tomato Paste 1.25 oz. envelope of Taco Seasoning Mix  1/3- 1/2 cup of diced onions  1 Bay leaf, Optional (remove before eating)
Pour ingredients int…

Toasting a New Semester!

This past week was the first week of the "Spring" semester.  As a professor and the program lead, the beginning of any term is exciting and quite frankly, exhausting! I have made it to Friday however (sorry for the late post!) and I thought that I would toast the good beginning to the semester and celebrate the end of the week.  I saw this "Wintertini" on Clinton Kelly's blog here and thought it would be the perfect cocktail for a cold January night in the "Spring" semester! 

Clinton Kelly's Wintertini 
1/2 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. triple sec
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. white cranberry juice
1 lime twist

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice.  Shake and strain into a sugared martini glass.  Garnish with a lime twist (Clinton) or lime wedge (me.) 

I moistened the rim of the martini glass and then dipped it in sugar sprinkles before pouring the drink in.  I thought it added a little bit of icy sparkle to the drink.  The sweetness also cut the b…

Congrats Grad!

My oldest daughter graduated from college last month.  She did not want a big "to-do" about the occasion, but my husband and I decided that such a momentous event could not go unnoticed. So we recently had a little family party. 

Of course, what is a party without invitations?  I made these from a catalogue card generator at I stumbled upon the website somehow- it is actually designed to assist bibliophiles with cataloguing their libraries (remember the old card catalog system in your local library?). I manipulated the spaces to create this invitation instead. There really is no better way to announce the graduation of a future Master of Library Science student than with a catalogue card! 

So we set up some decorations- here you see the mantle that is often the centerpiece of our decorations.  I made the banner with my Cricut- (Everyday Fonts and Pretty Pennants cartridges).  I haven't used this font before, but I like it! (Yes, there are still Poinsettias on …

Super Princess!

Happy New Year Everyone! 

So far 2016 has been quite a busy time for me and I have not had the time to bake or craft or do anything really "blogworthy".  Yesterday however, a new Cricut cartridge came in the mail and I knew that I just had to take a few minutes to escape to my craft room and play with it, just in time to join up with the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge "Anything New".  Perfect timing! 

I have a friend who has met with some challenges in the new year and I thought I would send her this "Super Princess" card to remind her how special and strong she really is.  The cartridge is "Paper Doll Dress Up".  I combined parts of  the super boy and super girl outfits along with the pixy hair and dress (cut to a skirt) and the prince's crown. Of course I had to add some bling to the tiara. (Note to self: Go to the craft store to replenish the rhinestone stash!)  I doubt if I will use this cartridge for paper dolls, but there are some other cu…