Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa Pillows

A peek at some Santa Pillows I made for some sweet friends. They worked up pretty quick - the embroidery seems to take a little longer than you think it will, but I so love to do handwork. Hope you get a chance to make something homemade this season.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pinwheel Christmas Table Runner

I don't know why I embark on projects during the already frantic Christmas season. However, when I saw this table runner I had to duplicate it. My excitement multiplied as Laken and I found some darling vintage Christmas fabric to use. I walked into the store with the intent of making a red and white one similar to the original idea. However, the store didn't carry a lot of that color so out we came with a trendy blue, aqua and pink scheme.
Kudos to the Pleasant Home site for sharing her tutorial so we can enjoy a new decoration in our home! She and I must think a like because I told Laken a while back that we now need to make a red and white peppermint-themed one. Then, Pleasant Home posted this one.

Take a look at these fabrics!
Don't those stripes just remind you of ribbon candy?

And who didn't have those sparkly, odd-shaped, shaped vintage ornaments on their tree?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Crochet Bug

We found this book full of wonderful little crochet projects with simple directions and great photos of all the finished projects. I am including a few of the things I think are adorable. Crocheting is really a blast and pretty quick. I am slowly working on loving knitting, but it takes so much concentration. Some day, when I am all grown up I might be able to catch on. Anyway - give it a try! I think you will love it. I did make the green the skinny scarf and I LOVE it. The flower one is adorable. Can you see that in miniature on a little girl?

this book

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fall Festive Food

I love acorns!!! So, when I saw this cupcake recipe I knew I had to use it for my dinner I hosted recently. Not a hostess by nature, I am so grateful I have such a helpful and skilled daughter who saved my bacon to pull it off.

Dessert first!
These tasted as good as they looked.

Acorn Pumpkin Cupcakes

Mix the following 4 ingredients in a medium-sized bowl:
2 1/4 c. flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix the following ingredients in a large bowl:
4 eggs beaten
1 small can of canned pureed pumpkin (or half of a large can)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c milk

Add half of the dry ingredients in your medium bowl to the large bowl and mix, then add the rest and mix to only combine. Don't over mix.

Spoon into 24 paper lined cupcake pans 3/4 full.
Preheat oven to 375 and bake for 25 min.
Frost when completely cool.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar (add more if needed)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

With Electric beater mix cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy, add vanilla and cinnamon, and one cup of sugar at a time until desired consistency is reached. Place frosting into a freezer quart size bag, twist air out of top of bag, snip off a small amount off of a corner and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Caramel Acorns:
24 Brachs caramels
handful of chocolate chips, melted in microwave
chocolate jimmies

Microwave 2 unwrapped caramels at a time for about 8 seconds. Roll into a ball and shape into an acorn shape. Set aside. When all are shaped, dip caramel top into melted chocolate chips and then immediately into a pile of chocolate jimmies. Place on frosted cupcake.

The funny thing is, they gloss over and look even better the second day. These cupcakes can be made a day ahead. Just frost them when you're ready to serve them.

Next time I make them I am going to try the bean puree in place of the oil (like the pumpkin bread).

The Main Course

I make this chili on a rotation system in our house. The original recipe calls for 2 cans of White Northern Beans, however after scaring my entire family, including the dad, when they noticed a bean, of all things, in their chili, I have since pureed one can and added it to the mix. I often also add steamed and pureed cauliflower for some added vegetables -- another food that causes our family to shriek.

White Chicken Chili
1 lb. chicken, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 T vegetable oil

Saute above ingredients and then add:

1 can pureed Great Northern Beans
1 can corn, drained
1 1/2 can chicken broth
1 can diced green chiles
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 c. pureed cauliflower (optional)

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add:
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk

Don't forget the Salad

I don't have a picture of the salad. Sorry. It was the most colorful of the bunch. It was very tasty. I highly recommend it, too. Thanks to my friend Brittany for suggesting it to me. I was sold on it before she finished saying the word "Pomegranate." We love this time of year -- pomegranates are at their height!

Pomegranate Pear Spinach Salad

1 bag Spinach
1 head Red Leaf Lettuce
Mushroom slices (about 4)
Slivered almonds
Grated Swiss Cheese
Bacon slices
3 to 4 Pears, sliced

Assemble above together and top with dressing below:

2/3 c. cider vinegar
1 c. oil
2 tsp. mustard (prepared)
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 bunch green onions

Place all of the dressing ingredients in your blender and blend.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dresser Up

Here's the before picture of a dresser David picked up this summer at a benefit garage sale. Twenty bucks and it was ours. I didn't know where I was going to put it, so I let it sit in the garage for a while. I took off the knobs before I thought to take the picture, so for history sake, I put one of each back on.

Because I just had so much time on my hands -- really not true (should have been preparing more for my Stake Primary Appreciation Dinner at my house last night -- pictures of some darling cupcakes coming soon) I hurried to try to get this done prior to my get-together, but we didn't have time to put on the hardware and drill holes. Anyway, it's done. Who knows if it will stay in the living room or not. I am always rearranging.

Next project. My card catalog that has been a garage resident for many years longer than this piece. That ought to take some time. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Here's the Skinny

We love pumpkin bread. However, after hearing Melanie Douglass on Studio 5 inform everyone that pumpkin bread is essentially pumpkin cake, I had to think twice about that second or third slice I enjoy. She recommended replacing the oil in the bread with white bean puree. (White Northern beans pureed with some water). So, I decided to give it a try! And WOW! It was good.
She claims this bread only has 2g fat per slice and 140 calories per slice as opposed to 8 to 15 grams of fat and 200 to 300 calories per slice. Armed with that information now, you won't feel nearly as bad lathering up this Kneader's spread on top of it.

Pumpkin Bread with Bean Puree
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white bean puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz. canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • chocolate chips, nuts or raisins: optional
  • Rinse a can of Great Northern white beans and puree in a blender with about ½ cup water. Bean puree should be the consistency of applesauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray (1) bread pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix sugar, beans, eggs, canned pumpkin, and water. Then stir in dry ingredients and mix well until blended. Pour into bread pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool completely before slicing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Salmon with Herb-Almond Crust

photo from Country Home

This was delicious! I had cut this out of Country Home's February 2008's issue but just now got around to making it last night. I loved it.

2 6-oz. wild salmon fillets, skinned
3 Tbsp. chopped almonds
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. fine dry bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. snipped fresh basil and/or Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic)
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Rinse fish; pat dry. Measure thickness of fish; set aside. In a small bowl combine almonds, butter, bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, lemon peel, garlic, and black pepper. Place fish on the greased rack of a broiler pan. Spoon nut mixture on top of fillets; spread slightly. Bake fish in a 450° oven for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Makes 2 servings.

I bought a salmon from Costco. I prepared half of it this way for David, Logan and me. The rest I just fixed pretty plainly as if not to scare off the children. You would need to at least double the topping to cover both salmons.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our Favorite Grilled Cheese

My friend Shauna shared this divine recipe with me.  
It is simple and an amazing summer treat when some of these 
ingredients can be found right in your own garden!

Ciabatta Bread from our favorite bakery - Crumb Brothers
(Two slices per person)
2-3 assorted cheeses ( a few of our favorites are havarti + grueyer + gouda)
garden tomatoes
fresh basil

Slice bread to desired thickness. Butter one side of each and place on a hot griddle. Cover tops of bread with slices of cheese.  Heat just until bottom of bread is getting golden brown. (It's ok if the cheese isn't melted well yet) Transfer bread to a cookie sheet.  Add a few slices of  tomato to one side of each sandwich - salt & pepper tomato - sprinkle tomatoes with snipped basil -drizzle a touch of honey over the tomatoes & basil and broil for a few minutes under the broiler. Watch carefully.  Close sandwiches up and slice.  Let us know how you liked these. We think they are heavenly!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Too Much Chocolate Cake

Kaycee has mastered this delicious Chocolate Cake! It is so easy and SOOO delicious!She found the recipe at which is one of our family's favorite websites! This recipe has received a whopping 1,382 "5 Star" reviews!
We drizzle the ganache topping by simply heating 1/2 cup of cream and pouring over 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and mixing until melted. I especially love this cake chilled! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Keep It Original

Yippee!  The work is finally finished and I am off to the printer.  These little projects will be featured in the Wasatch Front Shop Hop this week at the Red Rooster & Treasures Quilt Shop.  It has been a lot of fun putting them together.  Lindsey worked all day with me putting the little wool packets together. Trying to decide if we like this business.... and wishing I knew a lot more about photoshop!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mini Eye Spy Quilt

Emily helped me with this little mini eye spy quilt for Liam's Birthday.  It's only 24" x 24".  there are two of every square and you can toss a bean bag onto one and look for its mate.  Hope he will have fun with it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Paper Cutting

A few friends were asking about this link so I am posting it here - it's a great site for Scherenschnitte.  If you haven't tried paper cutting, you'd love it.  It's very relaxing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Making Use of Scraps

Using the scraps of Laken's quilt and from some Anna Maria Horner fabric I had, I was able to make another quilt for a friend who is expecting a baby next month. I wouldn't have thought to pair it with white borders, but I was inspired by this piece I saw. I enjoy looking at beautiful quilts on the web. I would love to have more time to sew. I bought the backing for this quilt at Broadbent's; it is from a line by Mary Engelbriet. I didn't know she designed fabric. Anyway, Broadbent's had some yellow, black and white fabric bolts paired together that looked very fun and would make a beautiful quilt. I also saw some nautical fabric that would look great in Cael's room. But, too many ideas, too little time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Time to Create

Cold winter days are the best for getting in the creative mood!  When I find I have some time to finally do something, it seems I can't decide what it is I should or want to do!!  I was asked to teach a class on pincushions for a quilting retreat coming up.  Here are few I have come up with.  I get inspiration from old magazines & surfing around the net.  They were fun to figure out.  Let me know what you think, I am leaning towards the little birdie on the spoon for the project and then maybe walk them through the steps of a few of the others.  We have a sweet antique store here in town that will let me "borrow" some of their old pin cushions. Cool, huh?!

The cup cake is made out of old sweaters.  There are soooo many cupcake pincushion ideas out there.  This one was picked because our guild is emphasizing re-using and re-purposing items to give them new life.  I am totally into this! 
This spoon could be a sweet little family heirloom, it's not, because I am not that lucky to have an old family spoon - but I was fortunate to find a few out thrifting one day!!  Buttons from grandma and an old doily from the antique shop.

I just think the little bird is so sweet!

Now this one is almost my favorite!  So quick and easy and the base is a 2-liter soda bottle lid!! I am in love with it.  You can do all kinds of crazy little, itty, bitty designs - such as lady bugs or was quick and very fun.  (and I LoVe itty bitty!)

I fianlly got around to making that crazy collage necklace I posted a photo of many weeks back! I am "so-so" happy with it.  I want to try again.  I do love beading.  And below are two bracelets incorporating the YW value colors.  We are giving each of our girls one at New Beginnings.  I was assigned the lovely taske of dreaming  one up.  I don't want them to look like "little girl" bracelets - what do you think??  The bigger one is just for fun for ME!    8-) lucky me!!! I was inspired to use some of my real stones that are left overs from other projects and I was actually able to come up with each of the value collors!  I love it the most, but it would never be cost-effective for our budget.  I'll take any suggestions for the little one.  Have you seen any others done??
It was hard to find all the colors in beads that were the same so I just went random with the bigger ones.  They are all a little different even though it doesn't really show in the photo.
Hope you all find a little time in your day to create something FUN!!  
It's so good for your heart & soul.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Laken's New Quilt

This is the quilt I made for Laken's room. It is comprised mostly of Heather Bailey fabrics, with some Amy Butler and Michael Miller fabrics. David calls it her Happy Quilt. Is brightens up her room. In fact, when Cody saw it he shielded his eyes and said, "How are you going to sleep in that?"

Friday, January 9, 2009

Things Sure Have Changed!

Have any of you ever read the magazine, "Mary Janes Farm"? It's a lot of fun and I think you would enjoy the fresh, positive outlook it shares. Its something even city chicks like me appreciate! (And makes me yearn for the comforts of a little farm! You are all so lucky you have horses and that some of you even get to have chickens!!) So... I came across this little blurb that I thought you would get a giggle out of from Rhonda - in Indiana

We got a chuckle from this "advice" one of our farm girls came across in her 1949 Singer Sewing Manual:

"Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do. Never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.

Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing.

When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on....[if] you are fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy your sewing as you should."

isn't that just terrific? i loved it!!!

Check out MaryJanesFarm. I think it is published quarterly.

West Mountain 2nd Ward Recipes

These 2 recipes were used at a RS Dinner our ward had. I didn't get to try the salad but heard it was awesome and the soup was delicious!

Tuscan Tomato Soup
3T Olive or Canola Oil
2 Large Onions, chopped fine (you know we wouldn't add this much!)
5 Cups Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (Or canned tomatoes)
3 Cups Chicken Stock
1 1/2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Cup Basil Pesto
Salt and Pepper
Toasted Croutons and Parmesan Cheese for topping

Saute onions in oil. In a large heavy saucepan add onions, tomatoes, pesto, and chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat. Stir in cream and simmer another 10 minutes on low heat. Blend soup with hand held blender until pureed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with croutons and shredded parmesan. Makes 2 1/2 Quarts.

Pear Salad
1 large head of iceberg or romaine cut up
2 bags spring mix
1 bag spinach
Feta or Blue Cheese crumbled
1 cup craisins
2-3 ripe winter pears cubed (add at last so they don't brown)
1 cup carmelized pecans or almonds

Mix together and toss with the following dressing:
1/2 medium red onion cut in chunks
1 cup sugar
2 cups canola oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup cider vinegar (or raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar)
3 Tbls poppy seed

Blend all in blender and process until smooth. She said this amount of dressing is really enough for a double batch of salad.