Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kentucky Hot Brown Bake

 One of my favorite things to do is eat dishes that are specific to certain regions.  The thing I collect when I travel are local cook books.  Despite the fact that I've been to Kentucky (very pretty state), I somehow missed out on the hot brown until my Mom's friend Shirley mentioned this dish.  I then went and asked a lady I work with...because...uh....how did I miss this?  She brought me a cookbook with all sorts of fun recipes.  I know this isn't the traditional method, but this is where I started on my Kentucky recipe journey...and I'll be trying some of those same recipes out soon, but with the Derby coming up in a few weeks, I had to post this recipe.  I've never had a 'real' hot brown, but...if it taste anything like this, count me in!  Here the recipe I used, originally from Mr. Food's Italian Layer bake.
Kentucky Hot Brown Bake
Ingredients: 8 oz of pkg crescent roll dough, 1 lb. of smoked turkey lunch meat, 8 slices of cooked bacon, 8 slices of Swiss cheese, 3 Roma tomatoes (slice them thin), 4 eggs (beaten)
Instructions:  
1.  Unroll the dough and separate it into 2 squares.  Press the seems together.
2.  Place one square into the bottom of an 8x8 pan that is greased and press the dought to fit into the bottom of the pan.
3.  Place half the turkey, bacon, cheese, and tomatoes over the dought.
4.  Pour half the eggs over the top.
5.  Repeat the layers (minus the other half of the egg).
6.  Top with the remaining dough square.  Pour the remaining egg over the top.
7.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake a remaining 25+ minutes.
8.  Let the sandwich sit at room temp for about 15 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cupcakes in a Cup

 I posted the recipe for these pink velvet cupcakes yesterday.  I packaged them several different ways-here is another favorite cupcake packaging ideas I've seen floating around the net for the last few years.  You know those little punch cups you get at retirement receptions, and when I visit weddings from the  past and attend weddings these were always there in abundance.  They are the perfect house for cupcakes that are iced....even with a little puff.  Slide them into cellphone bags, add a tag in a ribbon, or I've even seen parents send these up to school for their kiddos birthday...they'd be fun with a favor or two at the bottom as a to go gift at a party.  Have your cake and eat it too....at home.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pink Velvet Cupcakes In a Jar

You know it's going to be good when the batter takes like cookie dough...I found this recipe for pink velvet cupcakes and Baking Perfection and thought it would be the perfect gifts for the Mom's I knew.  I baked these and stacked these inside of jars.
Pink Velvet Cupcake
Cupcake Ingredients:  1 c. butter (softened), pink food coloring, 3 eggs, 2 t. vanilla, 2 1/2 c. flour, 1 1/2 t baking powder, 1/4 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt, 1 c. buttermilk
Instructions:  In the first bowl, cream butter until fluffy.  Add pink dye a little at a time and mix until you get your desired pink.  Add vanilla.
In a second bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Pour half into the butter mix, pour in half of the butter milk and mix.  Repeat with the second half of the dry mix and buttermilk.  Beat until well combined.
Add into lined cupcake pan (2/3 full).  I made about 20 out of this batter.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
 Icing Recipe:  Mix together 2 sticks of butter (softened), 6 c. of powdered sugar, pinch of salt, 3 T vanilla, and 2-4 T of milk.
Top put these in a jar, take two cupcakes and cut it in half.
 Press the bottom into the bottom of the jar...
 Place icing in a ziplock, snip off the edge of a ziplock bag and fill it with icing, pipe it over the cupcake.
 Add another layer of cupcake (sometimes I take another cupcake and use half of that to fill in the middle layer since the jar is a little wider here).
Pipe on a final layer, add sprinkles...
 Place a lid on top....
 I added tags (found a cute, free printable at sunshine's blog- here), and baking twine and forks....for eating on the go.  You never know when you need to take along your emergency cupcake rationing.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Book Themed Gifts and Parties

My very favorite gift to give for little ones are those that are oriented around a book.  I often pick a favorite book and then put together a gift set.  I started a pinterest board here.  Or you can click on the label 'book' below and these projects will pull up.  Some of my favorites include Fancy Nancy and all her fanciness, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and one year I recorded all my relatives reading a story and put them on a dvd and sent the book and the dvd to Blythe so she could have the book read to her from her different family members....even though she lives a few too many thousands of miles away.  I also love giving books instead of guest books at showers.  I even helped host several showers in the past completed revolving around bedtime stories.
I'm working on another birthday gift this year (May) that I'm really digging), and I'll be posting a bunch of Christmas gift book ideas I put together this past year in the fall.    I'm a reading teacher....so anything I can do to get kids excited about reading...I'm in.  I heart a good picture book!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Books: 3 Little Pigs Party

Another workshop theme  last year at work during workshops, as we discussed where we wanted students to go/where they were at and what 'foundation' to build our teaching on was The Three Little Pigs.  
We had straws...
 Sticks (pretzel sticks).
Pigs in a Blanket (kind of morbid...I guess that makes us the wolves?).  
And then all our papers were on red acme brick with the info for the meeting for building a solid foundation.  Get it?  Huh?  Do ya?  Whatever...it makes planning workshops so much more fun.  You could also serve rice crispie treat squares as bricks....but it didn't really go with the 'theme' b/c we needed something to tie it all together.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Table Decor

Today on Good Morning, Texas I'm sharing Easter crafts.  My assignment was 'table decor' though I've thrown in a few other misc last minute projects.  The above are some napkin rings I put together.  I have seen these in craft stores around town, and several tutorials.  Here is my version.  
I'm also sharing these tattoo eggs.  These take about ten seconds (tutorial here), so I'll also be sharing some fun 'egg shell' crafts for candles and flowers.  No pictures yet, but I'll post the video on my facebook page later.  The week has kind of ran away from me....lots of fun reasons....I'll post those run away project soon, but in the meantime....the video will have to do.  
My 'extra' item this go round is a peat moss basket.  The one I'm bringing looks a little different from this one, but here is a tutorial from the past on making these super easy baskets.  
I always try to bring more than I'll need...time to fill is my biggest fear on TV....I can only imagine what I'd share with 30 or so seconds of unplanned time....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bunny Ear Napkin Rings

 A year or so ago there were some napkin rings that looked like this at Pier One...since then I've seen the same concept at stores all over (especially boutiques).  I know there are some tutorials out there, but here is my version.
Step one-I took a toilet paper tube.  I cut it into 1 1/2 inch strips and then sliced it apart so it was one long strip.
 I cut burlap two inches longer and 3 inches wide.  I glued down a seam on the burlap with the glue gun and then folded it around the tube.
I glued the two ends together.
 I cut out two bunny ears.  I put a piece of double sided fusible fabric.  You iron on one side (the rough side) peel off the back and repeat.  You could just glue two pieces of burlap together-but the fusible 'stuff' just makes it stand up a little better.
Pinch the bottom, glue, and then just glue both ears to your ring.  Ta da-bunny ears.

Tattoo Eggs

 So...I've seen this around (Better Homes and Garden) and I decided this year I was going to bypass the vinegar and egg dye and try this out instead.  Yes, you could still dye your eggs and add a tattoo, but I like the white.  I found butterfly tattoos via Amazon, but I'm sure (know) there are some super cute ones at most stores in the part section (with glitter).
 It is RIDICULOUS how easy this is....I took the tattoo, peeled the plastic film off, press it paint side down to the egg and applied a wet cloth.  It's the same steps you take to apply these to your flesh.  It came right off and slide onto the egg.
Nothing like Easter like tattoos butterflies.  Oh the possibilities!

Miss Spider's Tea Party Gift Set

This year for Blythe's Christmas I wanted to get Blythe a paint your own tea set.  I think she's finally old enough to handle the ceramic, and enjoy the painting it up to fit her style.  I made some little tea bags, sugar cubes, and lemon wedge pieces to add to the playset (I blogged about these a few months ago).  Per usual, it's necessary that each gift I give to small children comes with a book-so I added Miss Spider's Tea Party. Simple, educational, and lots of imagination required. I can't wait to have 4 year old hosted tea parties with Blythe.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Books: If You Give a Pig a Pancake

 Part of my job includes presenting and/or facilitating meetings within the district, or within our school.  My teammate and I always come up with a theme.  We realize if you feed people they are a little less upset about the extra hours.  Last year we decided each meeting's food would align with a children's book.  These things are important :cough-to nobody but me-cough:.  BUT...wouldn't this be fun on a bigger scale as a teacher appreciate gift, or just for a bunch of kids that love the If you Give A....A..... series.  We decided to go with If you give a pig a pancake (it was a morning meeting) and I brought up a skillet.  We made pancakes..
 Then put out some different toppings (fruit, butter, walnuts, peanut butter, whipped cream, syrup etc).
 All the papers, of course, given out at the meeting had some icons that follow the book (downloaded online) along with the meeting notes.  I really do this more for my own sanity.  Themes make everything way more fun.  ...or at least a little less miserable.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Black and White Crafts

On today's Good Morning, Texas I'm sharing black and white crafts.  I'll post the video later on facebook.  I'm not sure what all the show will entail...I know I decided that black and white to mean meant books and old photos...so....one tutorial I'll be sharing is turning photos into candle holders.












Vintage Photo=New Candle Holder-Seriously, these are so easy, and how cute would they be at an anniversary or birthday party? I scanned a photo of my grandmother and her mom when she was young and printed it onto vellum (I found it at Hobby Lobby-near the scrapbook paper).













 I just added a glaze of mod podge to the candle holder and pressed the vellum down (after I trimmed it).  The mod podge dries clear.  You may need to press the bubbles out some when you first lay it down.  












Dictionary Necklace-I blogged about that yesterday.

Book Wreath-it cost me a buck to make this-that tutorial lives here.