Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cheese Bread

There is nothing more delicious that a loaf of sourdough bread that been spiked with half a pound of jack cheese and drizzled with butter. Oh My !!!


1 round loaf of sourdough bread, unsliced
1/2 pound of grated jack cheese
1/2 yellow onion cut into thin silvers
1/2 cup chopped parsley
4 tablespoons butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cut bread into diagonal slices, about 1 inch apart, stopping before you cut through the bottom of the loaf.
Cut bread in the opposite direction in the same manner,creating diagonal shaped cubes,taking care not to cut through to the bottom
Carefully stuff the space between each cube with cheese,onions and parsley , then drizzle with melted butter
Wrap in foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Unwrap the top of the loaf and bake for 15 minutes more, to crisp up the crust.

Homemade Lip Balm

Here's a great idea for a small gift and stocking stuffers.

Homemade lip balm,infused with your favorite scented oil,will make your lips delicious while smoothing and softening them.

Using essential oils such as lemon, tangerine,grapefruit or peppermint you can customize this basic recipe. Purchase plastic tubs or tubes .


3 teaspoons grated unbleached beeswax
5 teaspoons carrier oil
6 or 7 drops of essential oil
1 teaspoon honey for flavor

Melt the beeswax and carrier oil together in the top of a double boiler,stirring to combine. Remove from heat;add honey and essential oil. Mix thoroughly so the honey does not clump

To add a little color, stir in a tiny dab of lipstick with a coffee stirrer. Pour the mixture into containers;let sit 20 minutes before covering or moving. For glossier lip balm,use 2 tablespoons wax and 8 teaspoons carrier oil.

Carrier oil = sunflower,Castor, or jojoba

Fun Felt Snowmen Decoration for Christmas

Use felt scraps in a variety of colors to make fun felt snowmen to use as Christmas ornaments or decorations.

You need:

Felt scraps
Marking pen
Embroidery floss
Craft glue
2 small pom poms
Ribbon for hanging

How to:

Draw a pattern onto tracing paper and cut out the shapes. Referring to the photo, trace the shaped on assorted colors of felt using the marking pen. Cut out all shapes, except for the snowmen fronts.

Create the faces with black floss, work french knots for eyes and outline stitches with a small straight stitch at the ends for smiles.With orange floss, whip stitch the carrot noses in place. Cut out the snowmen fronts.

Assemble the Snowmen with wrong sides together and blue floss. blanket stitch the fronts to the back,inserting small amounts of fiberfill before sewing the shapes closed.

Add the hats and scarves using coordinating floss to whip stitch the hat striped to the hats. With wrong side facing, blanket stitch the hat fonts and back together along the sides. Slip the hats on the snowman's heads and blanket stitch or glue in place. Tack or glue a pom pom to the tip if each hat. Tie scarves around the necks. Add ribbon loops for hanging.

Cooked Sauce

Now, this is right up my alley!!! This sounds good.

Tomato Sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 medium onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves smashed
1 small stalk of celery finely chopped
1 small carrot finely chopped
1- 28 ounce crushed or chopped tomatoes including the juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup basil chopped
2 tablespoon parsley chopped

For Croutons:

1 baguette
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Pinch of garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano

Get Cookin'

Preheat oven to 350

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add chopped onion.garlic,celery, and carrot

To this mixture, add crushed tomatoes,tomato paste, basil and parsley. Reduce to low heat and cook for 5- 10 minutes stirring

While sauce is simmering, tear baguette into small pieces and place in bowl. Combine with the oil and remaining ingredients.

Place in oven on lined baking sheet at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Now get to dunking'

Golf Wreath

For the golf enthusiast in the family. This is very clever and I think the person that receives this will be very pleased.

You need:

18 inch diameter grapevine wreath
7 golf balls and tees
2 golf clubs
Sheet moss
Reindeer moss
Spanish moss
Silk ivy bush
Red star flowers
Glue gun and hot glue
18 gauge floral wire
Wire cutters/Floral tape

How to:

Hot glue the golf tees to the golf balls;set aside and allow glue to set

Secure wire the golf clubs to the bottom right side of the wreath, referring to the picture; for placement. For added stability, use green floral tape at the junction of the clubs.

Hot glue sheet moss in several places around the lower side of the wreath;let the glue set. Add reindeer and Spanish mosses in the same manner.

Cut leaves from the silky ivy bush. Randomly tuck ivy leaves into the moss,dabbing glue on the stems to secure in place. Cut the red star flowers into different lengths; sort the flowers into groups of three. Dab glue on the stem ends and stick the flower groups onto the wreath. Hot glut the golf balls into the moss in a pleasing arrangement

When you are satisfied with the placement of leaves, flowers,and golf balls, fill in any gaps with additional pieces of the mosses

Use the wire to make a hanger on the center back of the wreath

Wreath with fish Bobbers

Make this clever Christmas wreath from fish bobbers for your favorite angler.

You need:

12 inch wire wreath form
100 light string of white lights
Spool of silver craft wire
Assorted bobbers (24) 1/2 inch 18 3/4 inch (30) 1 inch (42) 1 1/2 inch (6) 1 3/4 inch
Needle nose pliers
3 yards of 3 inch wide red -white and green striped ribbon

How to:

Wrap wreath form with the string of lights, leaving the plug free

Fold 6 inch pieces of craft wire and hook bobber at fold. Place largest bobbers first, second largest next and so on.

Wire the pieces to the wreath form, twisting wires to snag bobber and adjusting and positioning lights between bobbers. Cut wire and tuck ends

Fill in with small bobbers and pull lights into place until wreath is full

Make a large bow and add to the top of the wreath. Add a hanger wire to the back of the wreath.

Cookie Cutter Wreath

Playful cookie cutters make up this easy to make wreath.

You need:

30 metal cookie cutters
Tacky wax
Small paper clips
3 yards of 1 inch wide red and white check ribbon

How to:

On a flat work surface, arrange the cookie cutters in a circle. Make sure all of the cutters have contact points.

Secure the contact points with tacky wax and small paper clips. This temporary adhesion will allow you to disassemble the wreath and keep your cutters for cookie making. Turn the wreath shape over.

Tie a ribbon bow. Paper clip it to the wreath top Trim the ribbon ends

Great gift for the baker on your list.

Spelling it Out

Go for simple and clean with large wooden letters. Spell out any holiday greeting and garnish the base with greenery or flowers.

Peace and Joy

Dress up your holiday gathering with inexpensive champagne flutes. Spell out your festive message with adhesive letters and place a single bloom in each glass for an elegant centerpiece.

Cup of Roses

You don't need to blow you decorating budget to make an impact this holiday season. Just a few fresh red roses tucked into pieces of a silver tea service make a quick and easy table top.

Kindling Keeper

Good looking garden planters don't have to hibernate all winter. Arranges along a hearth,the containers take their turn as eye catching elements indoors. In glazed terra cotta or another heat resistant material, the pots provide a perfect place to stow split logs, kindling and aromatic enhancements, such as dried lavender and pine cones.

Kindling Keeper How-To:

Look for pots in coordinating textures and tones, but consider pieces in different shapes and sizes to add a pleasing visual rhythm to your fireside.

Before bringing pots indoors, clean them with a soft cloth and warm soapy water.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mini Mushrooms and Sausage Quiches

Gosh, these sound good!!! These crust less quiches are like portable omelets. Small and satisfying would be great for a party.


8 ounces breakfast sausage , removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup scallions sliced
1.4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon ground pepper
5 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup milk

How to:

Position rack in center of oven preheat to 325 Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool , stir in scallions, cheese and pepper.

Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture onto each cup

Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown,25 minutes. Let cool then flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack.

Sewing Kit in a Jar

Turn this Mason jar into a sewing kit for yourself or a friend.

Separate the lid's sealer and screw cap/ Trace around sealer on cardboard. Using a compass,draw another circle on linen or cotton, 1 inch larger in diameter than the first. Cut out both circles ;make cushion by placing batting between fabric and cardboard.

Turn screw cap upside down, and apply hot glue to inside edge of rim;quickly press cushion into lid until cloth protrudes smoothly above screw cap's opening and cardboard is flush against rim.

Apply hot glue around edge of cardboard,fold over excess fabric, and press down. Glue top of sealer to cardboard. Fill jar.

Warm Chocolate Pudding

What a great way to end a good meal !!! These are easier to make than they look.


4 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

How to :

Preheat oven to 375 Place four 6-8 ounce ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet Set aside.

Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally just until melted 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat;mix in 2 tablespoons sugar, then egg yolks and vanilla Set aside

In a medium bowl,with electric mixer beat egg whiles and salt until soft peaks form. Still beating, gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar;beat until mixture is stuff and glossy

Using a rubber spatula, mix about 1/3 egg white mixture onto chocolate mixture;gently fold in remaining egg white mixture just until combined. Divide among bowls.Note--- At this point pudding can be prepared and refrigerated for 1 day

Bake until tops are puffed and cracked but inside are still quite soft about 20 -25 minutes Serve warm or room temperature.

Almond Butter Blossoms

Here's another great idea for neighbor gifts and some for yourself ,too!!!


1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp finely ground almonds
48-60 milk chocolate kisses with almonds

How to

Preheat oven to 350 In a large bowl beat butter and almond butter with electric mixer to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar,brown sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until combined,scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg,milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in whole wheat flour and as much of the all purpose flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour

In a shallow dish combine 3 tablespoons sugar and ground almonds. Shape dough in 1 inch balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and tops are cracked. Remove from oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie.

Warm Crab Dip

Satisfying, cheesy dips steal the show at any holiday gathering,and they're well suited for teaching young cooks the basics of sauce making and presentation.


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons Old Bay
4 ounces low fat cream cheese softened
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup milk
8 ounces crab meat fresh or canned(drained)
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar

How to:

Lightly oil or butter a small shallow casserole Heat oven to 375

Melt the butter in a medium size skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and saute them over low heat for 5 minutes stirring often. Add the Old Bay and cook another 30 seconds, continuing to stir. Remove from heat.

Using an electric mixer,blend the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Add the lemon juice,Worcestershire sauce,mustard, and milk, and blend the mixture again until smooth.With a spoon, stir in the crab meat, half of the cheese, and the sauteed onion and garlic.

Transfer the dip to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spoon. Sprinkle remaining grated cheese over top. Place in oven and bale until top is bubbly About 20-25 minutes.

Serve warm with celery sticks, bell pepper strips, and toasted baguette slices.

Snowmen Luminarias

Imagine these welcoming snowmen lighting your Christmas walk. Organize a craft making party for the neighborhood so everyone can enjoy these smiling luminaries.

You need: Round fishbowls/white frost paint/orange oven bake clay/golf tees/glass baking dish/black glass paint/paintbrush/silicone glue/crafting mesh/work gloves/scissors/ruler/round can/ribbon/tea candle

How to:

In a well ventilated work area, spray paint the fishbowls. Let dry.

To make a nose, form a carrot shape from clay. Push a golf tee in the wide end for extra strength. Place on baling dish. Bake in oven according to the manufacturer's directions.

Glue a clay nose on each fishbowl. Let dry. Use glass paint to the make the eyes and mouth. Paint quarter size dots for the eyes and smaller dots for the mouth. To make snowman winking, paint one eye as shown with eyelashes in the corner.

To make a hat, you might want to wear gloves. Cut an 18 inch circle from crafting mesh. Center the mesh over the can. Form the mesh over the can, folding the edge into a brim. Tie a ribbon around the brim.

Add tea light.

Small Packages

This beaded top box is so elegant that it can live a second life storing jewelry. Cover the bottom of the box with gift paper,then paint the top of the box to match.

When the paint drys, brush on white craft glue and adhere glass seed beads. You might want to save this for a special gift.

Whimsical Wraps

Help your children make their own wrapping paper. Photocopy or scan and print multiple copies of their drawings, altering the size if needed.

Or cut out drawings apart and arrange them so they fit the box top,then tape the drawings tot a sheet of paper and make a photocopy. Wrap the box with the paper. Tie the box with a simple narrow ribbon .

Buttoned Up

Craft a clever snowman card from scrap booking supplies. Layer different-color papers for the background and then top with a rub on sentiment and a snowman made from paper scraps and buttons.

Super-Duper Chocolate Kisses

This recipe makes about 40 cookies. Great gift idea!!

1- 16 1/2 ounce package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup chocolate flavor sprinkles
2 tablespoons milk
About 40 dark chocolate kisses unwrapped

How to

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a cookie sheet;set aside, in a large resealable plastic bag, combine cookie dough and cocoa powder. Seal bag;knead with your hands until dough is well mixed. Remove dough from bag.

Place chocolate sprinkles in a shallow dish or small bowl. Place milk in another shallow dish. Shape dough into 1 inch balls.Dip in milk to moisten;then roll chocolate sprinkles to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet

Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until edges are firm,immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Baked with Love

Bake a batch of cookies and wrap them up in felt to give away. Tie ends with ribbon,then cut the extra fabric into strips. Or glue ribbon in a spiral around the package and add a metal tag dressed up with scrap booking supplies.

Santa's Little PC

Use your home computer and printer as a wrapping paper factory. A repeated holiday phrase in a script font becomes elegant packaging for small gifts.

Under the tree

Sparkling versions of a holiday tree disguise bottles of cider or wine. Use pinking shears to cut three 17x17x8 inch triangles from felt.

Glue together the edges leaving the bottom open and tack on sequins, glitter, or other embellishments.

Snowman Snow Gauge

Now it's true that some of you might not need one of these, but I thought it was adorable. And I could use one. When the weather outside is frightful, this guy is so delightful. Making these snowmen is a useful way to use old buttons and fabric remnants.

You need:

Foam balls, Styrofoam in three different sizes
Plastic knife/wood craft stick/fabric scraps/buttons/paper clips/sticks/small plastic cup and plate/scissors/yardstick

How to:

Using a plastic knife, saw off a small slice from the smallest and largest balls and two slices opposite each other on the medium size ball.

Slide a wood craft stick through the center of the middle ball,leaving part of the stick coming through each flattened end. Pole the other two balls onto the stick, lining up the flattened edges.

Decorate the snowman as you like with scraps of fabric and buttons. Poke the buttons into the balls with a paper clip. Add stick arms

To make the hat, push a small plastic cup into the top ball.Use a small plastic plate with the center cut out for the brim, and add decorations. Push the bottom of the snowman onto the high numbered end of the yardstick or meter stick. When there a snowfall, stick the other end into the snow, and you'll see right away how deep the snow is.


I need to say " Thanks" to Jennifer for my Christmas look. Didn't she do a great job. !! Just a reminder that she designs blogs, so if by chance you are in the mood for a change,email her and maybe something could be worked out . Her address is She would be glad to talk to you . She's great !!

Jingle Bell Wreath

The wonderfully familiar sounds of the holidays often get shut out while we are keeping warm indoors. Hang this wreath where it will be heard, and bring the ring of sleigh bells to all the rooms in the house.

Form 16 gauge wire into a circle. Make a closed loop at one end with needle nose pliers. Thread jingle bells onto the open end in any size and color combination. When the wire if full, join its ends by twisting the unlooped end into a hook, and fasten it onto the closed loop.

Tie a piece of ribbon into a bow;secure it to the bottom of the wreath with 24 gauge wire.

Turkey and Stuffing Bake

Thanksgiving leftovers get reinvented in this hearty comfort-food casserole that makes the best of both turkey and stuffing


3 cups stuffing
1- 6 ounce can French Fried onions
1 can cream of celery soup
3/4 cup milk
1 1 /2 cups cooked turkey cubed
1 package frozen green peas thawed


Combine stuffing and 1/2 can onions. Spoon stuffing mixture onto a 9 inch shallow baking dish. Press stuffing across bottom and up sides of dish to form a shell

Combine undiluted soup, milk, turkey and peas;pour into stuffing shell

Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes Top with remaining onions. Bale uncovered for 5 minutes longer

Thanksgiving Highlights

Hope you all had a great Thanksgivings!! As you can see we did not starve last night!!
I made these little name plates for the table that I saw on line, Jennifer thought they were so cute that I have to show them to you.

Last night we had quite treat,the Shuttle and space station came over our house about 6:07. I had heard about it on the news and happened to remember. So we all bundled up and went outside to watch. Wow!! What a sight . It was very close and we could see it very well. It was a beautiful thing to see.These are some pictures that Jennifer took while we were waiting. It took about 7 minutes for it to disappear from sight.

Here is a picture of the two loves of my life. Abby had a fleece scarf around her neck. She looked so cute.
Here she is posing for the picture, which she does not do very often. She must have known that she looked cute !!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simple Ways to Decorate

Glam up a chandelier by hanging pretty ornaments from the arms. Red satin ribbons and clear decorations have a rich, traditional feel.
Fast and Simple . Tie a festive ribbon around a punch bowl and surround it with a fresh pine wreath to create a quick and easy, and elegant centerpiece.
Dress up a doorknob. Tie a bot of velvet and sprig of holly onto a doorknob for a fun holiday touch. You also could try satin ribbon streamers tipped with little sleigh bells from a craft store.
Mitten bags. If you want to send party guests home with a few goodies, skip the conventional paper gift bag for something more creative,such as these fuzzy mitten bags, which also make a nice table display for your party.
Bright Blooms. Spotlight a snowy white flower with a single tall taper. A drop of wax at the bottom of a cylindrical vase secures the candle before you add the water. For safety, cut flowers several inches taller than the candles.
Powder Room. Don't neglect your bathroom when decorating for the holidays. Twin candles, vintage ornaments,and a beaded garland dress up a shelf and cast a warm glow.
Easy Candle Display. Pressed for time? This arrangement takes just a few minutes to assemble. A tray,candlesticks, candles and a few ornaments are all you'll need.

Outdoor Holiday Decorations

I have a whole list of outdoor decorations. Fill window boxes with cedar and boxwood boughs,green hypericum berries, and sprigs of baby's breath stuck into a dry block of florist's foam. Protected from direct sun and weather extremes , cut greens can survive throughout the season.
Hanging bells --Line up simple shepherd's hooks with oversize red jungle bells to add punch of color to a wintry landscape.
Snowy Fun--When not cruising the snow covered hills, an old sled embellished with pine sprigs,pine cones, and fruit does double duty as a welcoming decorations next to the front door.
Leafy Luminaries --Cylindrical glass vases light the way when filled with river rock,magnolia leaves,red winter berries, and long lasting pillar candles.
Holiday Bench -- Give your porch some holiday spirit with an arrangement of holiday greenery,pine cones,gazing balls, and ornaments.
Gardeners Touch ---Instead of abandoning your wheelbarrow through winter's cold days, fill it with a potted evergreen and add strings of lights. Depending upon which zone you live in, you might be able to plant the tree in the spring.


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