Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hot Buttered Rum Mix

I tried it this afternoon (without the rum) and it was yummy.  Todd thought it was a little to "spicy" for him ... whatever!

1 c butter, softened
2 c confectioners' sugar
1 c plus 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 c vanilla ice cream, softened
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (you could add less if you wanted)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp rum extract (I used vanilla since I didn't have any rum extract lying around!)

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add the ice cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and extract.  Transfer to a freezer container; freeze overnight.  The mix may be frozen for up to 2 months.

To prepare hot drink.  Dissolve 2-4 tablespoons of rum mix in boiling water (recipe calls for 3/4 c - but I just filled the cup up), stir well.  Add rum if desired.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Creamy Bacon-Potato Soup

So here is the recipe that I use:

6-7 bacon slices (1/2 package of "cheap" bacon), crisply cooked and crumbled, drippings reserved.
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
6-8 potatoes (depending on size), peeled and cubed
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans or 1 box chicken broth
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 c milk, divided
2 c Tillamook medium cheddar cheese, grated (I use the pre-packaged ones you can get on sale at Fred Meyers 10 for $10- they work great out of the freezer in a recipe like this)

In saucepan, place one tablespoon bacon drippings, onion, garlic and oregano.  Saute until onions are translucent.  Season with salt and pepper, add potatoes and chicken broth.  Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes, then mash with potato masher; don't drain.  Blend flour with 1/4 cup milk, stir into potato mixture.  Stir in remaining milk and cheese until smooth.  Add bacon and heat through until soup is thick.  Ladle soup into bowls, add a salad and garlic bread ... and dinner is done!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sourdough Bread Recipe!

Sourdough Starter

          1 Tbsp yeast
          2 c water
          2 c white flour

          Combine all ingredients (in a non-metal container).  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 48 hours, until it foams and develops a pleasantly sour smell.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
          Each time you remove some starter, you need to “feed” it.  Just add back 1 ½ c water and 1 ½ c flour, stir, cover loosely, and return start to the refrigerator.  *If you don’t use dump 2 cups every 2 weeks and feed starter to keep it active.
This is what the starter will look like when ready to use ... it is bubbly and has a very "sour" smell.
Sourdough Bread (2 loaves):

          5 ½ c flour (can sub whole wheat for 1 or 2 cups)
          2 c starter
          1 Tbsp salt
          1 c water

          Dissolve the salt in the water in a mixing bowl.  Add the starter and then the flour.  Use dough hook.  Cover with a damp cloth and let rise overnight at room temp.  The next morning, punch down risen dough and divide in half.  Shape each half into a round loaf, make an X-shaped slash on each top, and place the two laves on a greased baking sheet.  Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise at room temp for about four more hours.  Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  Bake for 35 minutes.

P.S. I will add pictures once I start my new batch!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Toilet Paper Pumpkins

So, today I was going through my crafting supplies and ran across some fall/orange fabric quarters.  I had seen online where people had taken them and made toliet paper pumpkins - so I figured that would be a good use for the fall season.

For each pumpkin you need 1 fabric quarter, 1 roll of toilet paper and 1 stick to use for the stem (I have seen some blogs where they used empty toilet paper rolls for the stems - I tried it and couldn't get it to look right!)

Instructions:  open up fabric quarter (iron if desired), place toilet paper roll in center and fold fabric up around and stuff into center hole.  When complete add the "stem".

Here's how mine turned out:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Boo Sign

Halloween is just around the corner ... so I wanted to do something crafty (but also not very difficult and hopefully something I would like for years to come).  I found this Boo Sign idea on Blue Cricket Design and thought I would try it out!

Items you'll need:

     * Wooden Letters:  B and two Os
     * Black Spray paint
     * Scrapbook paper
     * Mod Podge
     * Scrapbook Embellishments

First Step is to spray paint your letters black ...

Then using Mod Podge attach your scrapbook paper over top of your letters (I had used plain paper to get the stencil for the craft paper (I just laid the white paper on top of the letter then rubbed a pencil over it to get the outline - like we did in grade school with leaves!)  Then I used my pattern to cut out my letters.

Here are the letters with the embellishments added.

Then I put it together with some hemp string (tied together in the back) and hung it on my wall.  I think it turned out pretty good.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Applesauce is Easy (Unless your me!!!)

So ... I think I will start this out with I was born a dishwater blond, please remember that!

I learned a lot about apples, applesauce and just how dumb I can be this past week.  First I will start with what I learned about apples.  #1 - 25 lbs of apples is a lot of apples (I set out to farmers market to pick up 8 lbs of apples for applesauce, and ended up coming home with a 25 lb box - Thanks Todd (my husband) ... that was a great idea!!!  #2 - 25 lbs of apples sitting on the table in the kitchen looks like a very big task, which makes it easier to procrastinate!

Well, after several days of walking by the apples and wondering what I got myself into ... I decided it was time to start making applesauce (I did not want my 25 lbs of apples to rot before I dealt with them!)  So after putting Easton to bed I dug out my recipe to make a batch of applesauce using 4 lbs of apples (which I decided to double) and started.  I wash a large portion of apples, cut them in quarters, remove the cores and any bad spots and put the in the pot until I have reached my 8 lbs.  *THIS IS WHERE YOU SEE JUST HOW DUMB I CAN BE - INSTEAD OF WEIGHING JUST THE APPLES, I WAS WEIGHTING THE APPLES AND THE POT AND DIDN'T REALIZE IT UNTIL THE END OF THE PROCESS!!!*

 I put my "8 lbs" of apples on the stove with 1 cup of water and let them simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes until the skins are easy to remove with a pair of tongs.

After all the skins are removed you can either mash your apples if you like chunky applesauce or use a blender to make it smoother.  I chose to use the blender since Easton is used to eating the store-bought applesauce which is smooth.

After you get the right consistency then you add your spices, and if I would have measured my apples right this would have been perfect.  But instead, I ended up with super-spicy applesauce and spent the next 2 hours cooking down more apples and adding them to make it less spicy.

Once you get the right flavor place applesauce in warm jars (I used pints and 1/2 pints).  Wipe rims, add lids, screw on rings, and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and let them cool on a towel-lined counter top.

What I learned about applesauce:  #1 - if you use correct measurements it is very easy to make, but it does take quite a bit of time.  #2 - Easton does not like warm applesauce (I let him try it from the second batch I made and he was "mommy warm - icky!")  #3 - 25lbs of apples does not really make that much applesauce!

 and an empty box!!!

Here's the original recipe if anyone wants to try it:
  4 lbs apples
  1/2 cup apple cider or water
  1 Tbsp cinnamon
  1 tsp grated nutmeg
  1/2 tsp cloves
  sugar (if needed)

Process jars in boiling water canner for 15 minutes for half pints and pints or 20 minutes for quarts.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mom's Flower Pot Cakes

Well, I couldn't just start the blog with an introduction ... I had to post my most recent project.  I wanted to to something special for my mom's birthday (it was Friday) but we couldn't make it to see her until Saturday and I wanted to make her smile!  So I did a little looking on-line and found this idea to do flower pot cakes!  They ended up turning out super cute and my mom liked them. 

For anyone interested in making them they also were pretty easy and not to expensive (less than $30 for 12).  I started off getting 12 of the pots (.79 each) and washed and dried them.  I cheated and used 2 boxed cake mixes for the cake (I had bought them on sale!).  When you go to bake the cake spray the inside of each pot with Pam and then coat with flour or baking cocoa (my choice).  Place a little piece of parchment paper in the bottom to cover the hole and fill the pots about 1/2 full (I had a couple that were to full and spilled out in the oven - I ended up just cutting the tops off and using them anyways!).  Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes.  After they cooled I took a knife around the outer edge and popped out each cake to remove the parchment paper before decorating (I didn't want my family to accidentally eat it!).  Frost with chocolate frosting and sprinkle with chopped up Oreo cookies (centers removed).  Last step was inserting the fake flowers (I bought them at Michaels 50% off - so they were about .99 each)

Getting Started

So ... this is the first time I have tried blogging.  Hopefully I will be able to keep it going (my life tends to get me sidetracked - but, my goal is to blog at least weekly!)  Anyways, the reason I have started a blog is because I was wanting a place that I could share my current projects and also some of my favorite recipes.  I hope to maybe inspire someone to try something new and to get feedback from others out there that are doing crafty things.

I hope that you will check back and see what I am doing!