Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Labor of Love...Wine Cork Wreath...

Well, it has taken me many years to save all these wine corks, but my quest began 14 years ago on our Honeymoon when Matt I visited Napa Valley, 4 of the corks on this wreath are from Bottles we bought in Napa and brought back. I saved the corks not knowing what I would be making with them, then about 5 years ago, the mailman delivered me a wine catalog that was suppose to go to another address ( which happens more times than I care to mention, I often wonder what I am missing out on in my mailbox) So I saw this wine cork corkboard and went OOOHHH I want to make one of those, then I Turned the page and saw this wreath, that sold for over $80, but it was kind of blah then I saw another one for over $100, but it was still BLAH, so I decided right then and there I could make one even better and I did, but let me tell you, it takes along time to keep the dream alive when you are saving wine corks from wine you drink. I did get a little bit of help from a few people, but mainly, most of them were from bottle Matt and I have shared and LIKED, there is not a cork from any bottle we did not like.

Another REALLY cool thing about this, that I absolutely love is that I am thrifty and I try to recycle anything I can for my craft purposes and this wreath, was one, I know this is gross, but was one someone was throwing it out and I took there stuff off of it, and the greenery, is greenery I bought 14 years ago right after Matt and I married to put on the curtains in our bedroom and they have been stored in a closet since we moved into our house and i stumbled ont hem when I was cleaning out my closet last week! And the grapes were a great stumble as well when we went to The Dollar Tree to buy some gag gifts for Matt and I saw these on the shelves and they looked exactly like the ones I was going to buy at Hobby Lobby for for $4 apiece and I got them at Dollar Tree for $1 a piece! What a deal!

Anyway, Thanks for looking and I would love any feedback you have for me!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Homemade PopTarts!

Watch Out Kellog, you ain't got nothing on mama.

So poor Matt has felt really mistreated the past few mornings because I have been staying in bed and then getting up at 8:30 or 9:00 and making the boys nice breakfast's, such as Muffins, french toast etc. So I dragged my tired Booty out of bed this morning and made him homemade PopTarts, which he loves, but I think they taste like fruity cardboard and are gross. Good thing about these, I have made a convert out of my boys, the bad thing about these, I have made a convert out of my boys and now they will always want these, I need to see if I can freeze these so the boys can toast them on school mornings.

These are also VERY easy if you use a refrigerated pie crust.

Pie crust, refrigerated
Jam or Preserves
Sparkling Sugar ( only if you want it to look like a pop tart)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Unroll one of the pie crusts and square the edges. Cut into rectangles. Place 1 tsp of jam in the center of a rectangle and top with another piece of crust. Crimp all four edges. You can seal with a little melted butter if you want it to look more like a pop tart and not a fried pie. Repeat until all of the pie crust is used. I also took the rounded edges that I cut off and rolled them together to form more pop-tarts. They weren’t as “pretty” as the others but I did not waste anything.

Bake for about 7 – 8 minutes or until slightly brown. Once cool, pour glaze over and decorate with sugar.

To Make the Glaze:

1 cup powder sugar
milk to thin
Place powdered sugar in bowl. I find that a milk capful and half is usually enough to make the perfect glaze.

Lemon Mousse

Here is another Easy recipe that Cole made last night, I actually go this in an E-mail from McCormicks and Cole made is all by himself, even made it look pretty in the glasses we served it in! although he would not let me garnish with a mint leaf or a rasberry to make it look smashing ! I have had a blast with the boys in the kitchen these past few days, teaching them tricks such as how to make real whipped cream, EVOO, Deglazing pans, and how to turn fresh garlic into a paste, no garlic was used in this recipe :) They are so proud of their creations and can't wait for Matt to come home at night to try them. Speaking of I need to go search the pantry and see what they can make tonight!

Here is McCormick's recipe, BTW I used Light Cream Cheese and it tasted just fine!

Makes 6 (1/2-cup) servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Lemon Extract
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1. Beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl until smooth and creamy.

2. Beat heavy cream, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice and extracts in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 of the whipped cream mixture to cream cheese mixture; stir until well blended. Gently stir in remaining whipped cream mixture. Cover.

3. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Spoon or pipe into dessert dishes to serve. Garnish with lemon slices, fresh berries and mint leaves, if desired

Cole's Cheesy Biscuits...Better than Red Lobsters!

Yes,I said it! Cole made Cheesy Biscuits better than Red Lobsters! and they were so yummy and did not come from a can, which is how my family prefers their biscuits, sad, but true.

So since I have been spending more time in the kitchen those boys have been right by my side wanting to cook as well.. I am so happy, they will be able to cook more than hot dogs and Mexican casserole for their wives and enjoy doing it, I'm not knocking Matt, don't get me wrong, he just does not care to be in the kitchen and besides he is much better behind a camera than I ever could be :)

Anywho, these Biscuits are super easy to make, even a 9 year old can make them!

1 pack buttermilk biscuit mix (I used Bisquick, about 1 1/2cups)
1 1/2cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oregano
3/4 tsp garlic salt1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray cooking sheet with non-stick spray.

2. Put biscuit mix, cheese and milk in a bowl and mix well to form a sticky dough.

3. Using spoon, drop lumps of dough onto cookie sheets 1.5in apart. Bake for 10min.

4. In a bowl, melt butter and mix with oregano and garlic salt.

5. When the timer goes off, take them out and brush with butter mixture and bake 5min at 400F and another 5-6min at 350F.

6. Remove immediately and serve hot!

MMMMMMM.....Cinnaminamy Frenchalicious Muffins

Muffins..yes, I may not be crafting but I was determined to try to make some muffins that were better than donuts, my all time favorite food. These were so simple to make and yes, they almost melted in my mouth. OKAY so they are not a plain glazed donut, but they are fewer calories, not by much, but hey every little bit helps. I am going to keep working on these recipes to try to make them lower in fat and calories, when I just get scared to exchange sugar for Splenda when baking, because if it is not good then I have wasted all the ingredients, but these were so easy and had so few ingredients this will be my perfect victim.

Here are the boys enjoying the muffins with a nice cup of Coffee!

We will call these: Cinnaminamy Frenchalicious Muffins, because well it makes them sound more extravagant! Anyways, eat them warm, they are so much better when they are warm! YUM!

1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 c. AP flour ( self rising flour works well also, then you do not need the salt or baking powder)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Don't overmix. Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. I got 10 muffins out of this batter. Bake for 20-25 muffins, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter in another small bowl. Dip the warm muffins in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar.

I disappeared again!

Yes, I did disappear again, and it is summer! This school thing is kicking my Butt. But I do know it will all be over in October, I have to just keep telling myself that and then hopefully I can get a job next school year helping out all these special needs kids, instead of tethered to one classroom or at least away from the principal I tend to clash with. SO some things I have been working on is helping my friend with raising money for her Susan G. Komen race for the Cure. I have been making her booby Cards and some collections cans like this one, although this is a crappy picture and not the best can I made. In between studying and doing this I think I lost my crafty Mojo this summer because I felt like I was ignoring my family so I would up taking a few weeks off from everything to give it all to my family, but the boys go to Children's camp on Aug 3rd so I plan to take a couple of days to use my new stamps and create for me before I go back to making Booby cards.

OH yes, I did sign up to sell Stamping Up stuff, but not for a profit really just so I can get my supplies in a timely manner if if I make a few extra bucks from people then OK, I am planning to do a Christmas card swap and maybe just a crafty get together, that way if people want to buy they can but there is no pressure , I am so not the salesperson, I hate being pressured, thus I do not pressure myself.

On another note, I always love to cook, but since the craftiness has taken a break the cookingness has gotten larger and I have tried new techniques in the kitchen so maybe I will post a few of those and recipes. Enjoy!