Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cinco de Mayo: Praline

I found this super adorable printable here, and it was the perfect little favor bag for a thank you I was planning to give out.  These were originally made for a wedding reception...or something.  I just loved them.  I grabbed these little glassine bags and downloaded the template.  Instead of feeding the bag directly through the printer, I printed it on cardstock first, then taped the four corners over where it had printed on the cardstock and hit print again.  It worked well and there was no guessing.
I bought some pralines at a local Mexican food restaurant and then passed them out.  Fine, maybe I ate one. Red and White Striped Baker's Twine (Google Affiliate Ad)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cinco de Mayo: Pinata Brownies

 A festive little brownie for Cinco de Mayo.  These are super easy to put together.  And tasty.  And colorful.  If you need one of those three things in your life---here a dessert recipe for the 5th.  ...or any day that ends in y.
Pinata Brownie Recipe
Ingredients:  1 box yellow cake mix, 1/4 c. vegetable oil, 1 egg, 1/2 c. milk, 1/4 c. multi colored sprinkles, 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
Instructions:  Combine the cake mix, oil and the eggs.  Add the milk.  Fold in the sprinkles and the white chocolate.  Spray an 9x9 pan.  Pour in the batter.  Bake for 25 minutes for 350 degrees.  Let them rest for about 30 minutes before cutting.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Cinco de Mayo: Mexican Pasta

Here's an easy summer salad with a fun twist and lots of vegetables disguised within the noodles.  That pretty much covers all my requirements.  The recipe came from Cara's site.  As far as the noodle shape-jut pick something fun, it's the seasoning that makes it tasty and the noodles that make it fun.
Mexican Pasta Ingredients
1 lb of (fun) pasta, 1 can of black beans (drain and rinse), 10 oz of frozen corn (just throw it in while it's still frozen-it'll thaw over the few hours it sits in the fridge chilling), 2 med tomatoes seeded and diced), 8 oz of Mexican blend cheese (shredded), 1 1/2 c. salsa, pepper (to taste), 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/2 c. fresh cilantro (chopped), 4 T. lime juice, 1 avocado (cubed), 1 T. cumin, 2 garlic cloves (minced), 2 t. chili powder
Mexican Pasta Instructions
Boil and drain noodles according to instructions.  Rinse and drain beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add cooled pasta.  In a second bowl whisk olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and pepper (to taste).  Toss in cilantro.  Dice and add avocado right before serving.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Vintage Typewriter Canvas Art

 I went to Canton with my pal, Kelly a few months ago and we saw this little vintage type writer on a canvas.  The price tag read about 20 bucks, but for about 3 dollars I went home and made my own.
I got some beige fabric for an aged look, card stock, canvas (I went with 8x10), tape,  stapler, and adhesive spray.  I later added some furniture brads for the edge just for a fun look.
I used some adhesive spray to smooth the fabric and hold it in place as it through the printer...it peels right off when you are done.  I had cut the fabric a little large so it would wrap about the edge of my canvas.  I taped it down, but I didn't have any problems with it snagging as it ran through the printer (I'd always done exact size in the past).  
If you look at the one on the left....I was stingy with my adhesive, the one on the right I made sure to coat the whole paper....just an example of what not to do!!  FYI....I just googled 'vintage typewriter' and found one I liked then took a dictionary spelling.  I also google "free typewriter font"....I'm a google addict.  
 I then wrapped it around the canvas and stapled it to the back.
 I added furniture brads.
 Ta da!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wish Banner

 I bought this window for two bucks in TN....I would have spend 10 times that (literally) in Dallas.  I had to store it at my pal's house for six months...along with about four others until I drove my car back up for a visit....and was able to take these with me.  I'm pretty sure her husband canceled his membership to my imaginary fan club when I took up his garage space.  I can live with that for a savings that big.  I wanted to use this as a frame for my room.  I bought some metal roses with magnets on the back, and then used a second magnet on the other side of the window to hold them in place.  These hold up my pictures.  I have a few more things to add but in the meantime....I wanted to make a little banner.  My room needed a little more burlap to cancel out so much white.
I cut some burlap into the shape of pennants.  I hot glued the top edge to some rope.
 Burlap loves to shed.  I didn't want to sew the edges, so I found this no fray glue 'stuff' at the craft store and ran it along the sides on the back.  It dries clear, though I could still see it on the back side, but not on the front.
I cut out the letters on cardstock.  I then just placed them over each triangle and used a dabber to dab white paint on the outline I had cut out.  I did this using freezer paper in the past.  Here is that tutorial.

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....