Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas is Coming!!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Can you believe that tomorrow is December 1st??? What I can't believe is that we actually have all our holiday decorations up AND I ordered our Christmas cards last night. I make photo cards and i'm NEVER this early. I guess it just feels like this year is barreling ahead and i'm just trying to keep up. Or try to not get run over!

There are some fun scrapping holidays things coming up. You will want to check out the PSA Stamp Camp blog for some really great holiday cards and gift ideas all month. Today there is a Christmas card kickoff on the blog. Go become a follower and you will be happy you did! Lots of great stuff coming up in December!

Also, over at Croppin' Paradise, starting December 1st we are having the 12 Days of Christmas Gift Bazaar. The design team has come up with a whole bunch of great gift and holiday crafty ideas. For 12 days, we will be posting a new idea each day. We also have a new sketch posted for this week. Lots of fun holiday ideas coming up to get you in the holiday spirit!!

And because I can't leave you without a photo, here are a few pics from our recent trip to the Long Beach Aquarium. It was raining and overcast, but we still had some fun!

Feeding the bat rays...

Touching the big rays and sharks...

And feeding the beautiful Lorikeets...

Thanks for stopping by today!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

This is a recipe i've had in my head for a while. I love cinnamon rolls and make them frequently. But for some reason, i've had apples on the brain. My favorite breakfast right now is to chop up an apple, add some cinnamon and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Then add vanilla greek yogurt and chopped almonds. Sooo good!! So I decided to translate that into a cinnamon roll. Because carbs are yummy.

It's just a basic dough recipe that I started with. This is a recipe from my mom and it's my go-to dough recipe for everything, bread, rolls, etc.

2.5 tsp yeast
3 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
3.5 cups bread flour
1/4 cup powdered milk (optional, I only add this when I have it...which isn't often)
2 tbsp butter, cut
1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water

Add the yeast to the warm water. Let it sit for a little bit. Add the flour, sugar, salt, powdered milk, and butter into the mixer bowl. Fit the mixer with the dough hook. Mix all the dry ingredients, then add the water/yeast mixture. Mix this and knead with the dough hook for 6-7 minutes. Cover bowl with a clean towel and let it rise until it's at least doubled in size.

Now for the apples. I took 2 granny smith apples, peeled, chored and chopped them up. I added 2 tbsp butter to a pan and turned on medium heat. After butter is melted, throw in the apples. Add some brown sugar and cinnamon (I was winging it at this point) and cook until the apples looked cooked enough.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a rough rectangle shape. Paint the dough with melted butter. Add the baked apples and cinnamon and sugar (if you want). Roll the dough into a log, cut into slices and place in a baking pan. Let the rolls rise for about 15-20 minutes. Then cook at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. When they are golden brown, take out of oven and cool in the pan on a cooling rack.

When it comes to frosting, I like the basic powdered sugar frosting on my rolls. I have tried cream cheese frosting on top, but for me it's over the top. I made a powdered sugar frosting for these.

1/2 -3/4 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp soy milk

Add the soy milk, 1 tbsp at a time, to the powdered sugar. Mix until your desired consistency is reached. I drizzled the frosting on the warm rolls and let all the sweet goodness soak right in. So yummy!!

I kept these overnight in the fridge and we heated them for a bit in the microwave for breakfast today. And they were fabulous. Of course, they would be fabulous right out of the oven but I made them the night before. And I'm not that motivated in the morning to make cinnamon rolls. I would much rather have them already done and ready to eat!

These were delicious and exactly how I wanted them. It was a fun change from regular rolls! They fueled us all enough to do a 2-hour hike today and score some geocaches. It's beautiful outside and we took full advantage of it. Hope you are having a great weekend!! Thanks for stopping by...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Black Friday!

So...how was your Thanksgiving?? Ours was great, filled with family and good food. My crazy husband was up early early this morning to get some of those great deals that were available only at 4am. Ha ha!! Me, not so much. I slept in a bit and then took my kids to boot camp with me. I worked out, they played at the park and then at the end of boot camp my kids did all the abdominal work with us and my son had to race me up the hill we were working out on. He had to tackle me to beat me. Hee hee, yes I'm competitve with my 8 year old son. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

All of us Croppin' Paradise girls created a thankful layout this month and here is mine. I am thankful for my two little munchkins...who really aren't that little anymore.

Hmmm...Jillibean Soup again!! I just love the Pasta Fagioli papers!! The journaling sprouts are pretty cool, too.

If you are looking for some great Black Friday deals, look no further than Croppin' Paradise! Go check out all they are offering this weekend and grab yourself something good! Thanks for stopping by today...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Love Soup

Jillibean Soup, that is!!! I got my hands on one of their newer paper lines called Pasta Fagioli and I just love the colors. I've had this photo of us at Disneyland from last year that I have been hanging on to...just waiting for the perfect papers to use. And I think I found them. Pasta Fagioli...

The colors are perfect for this fall photo of Disneyland. We went last year for my daughter's birthday and it was all decorated for Halloween. Very cool! I also love Jillibean's journaling sprouts, I used a bunch of them on this layout.

You can find all things Jillibean Soup at Croppin' Paradise. They even have the new holiday papers called Chestnut Soup, so super cute with all the snowmen.

Hope you're having a great week so far. I have one more day of work this week and then I need to get busy makies pies and cheesecakes and cranberry sauce for the big dinner on Thursday. I can't wait to pig out! Thanks for stopping by today!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pumpkin Pecan Butter Dessert Squares

A while ago, my MIL gave me this...

And i've been wondering what to do with it. I look at it everytime I open the pantry, and then I close the pantry on it. Just not quite sure what to use it for. And then I saw a post on Bakerella's blog about Pecan-Pumpkin dessert squares she has been enjoying at her book signings at Williams-Sonoma. And I was wondering why the recipe sounded familiar...and it's because I have a jar of this stuff staring at me from my pantry! And it's from Williams-Sonoma! And now I have something to bake with it!

Williams-Sonoma Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares

recipe from Bakerella

18.25 oz. package yellow cake mix, set aside one cup
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
13.5 oz. jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan.
  • Divide cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl.
  • Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix until combined.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  • In another bowl, mix pumpkin butter with two eggs and milk until combined.
  • Spread pumpkin mixture over pressed cake mix.
  • Stir the reserved 1 cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Then add the softened butter and mix together until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle over the top of the pumpkin layer.
  • Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool and cut into 2 ” squares. Serves 24.
It starts with a box of yellow cake mix, this could not get any easier. These mixed up fast and baked up delicious. Like a moist yellow cake on the bottom and pumpkin pie on the top.

But to be honest, this picture is pretty uninspiring. Ho-hum. Do you really want to eat this? Or serve it to fancy company on Thanksgiving? I needed to dress it up a bit..how about this?

Okay, it's looking better. But it still needs something more...

Oh yeah! Looking better!!!

Now with the ice cream and caramel sauce, now you have yourself a dessert!! Or an afternoon snack eaten by myself in my bedroom with the door closed so the kids can't find me. I'm just saying...

It was a quick, easy dessert. I bet you could substitute pumpkin for the Williams-Sonoma ingredient because all it was was pumpkin and pecans. Hope you are having a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cards on Friday

Happy Friday everyone! We have had one long week of stomach flu around here. Me and my son got the bug and it hasn't been pretty. But if you want to lose 7 pounds in one week, I highly recommend the stomach flu. ICK!!! Here are some pretty Cosmo Cricket cards to get that thought of the stomach flu out of your head.

I am loving the big bows lately!

And one more, I love these Pixielicious papers!!! Want some? Head on over to Croppin' Paradise, they have all sorts of great Cosmo Cricket...even the new 1934 collection!

Have I mentioned how much I love the cute matching chipboard embellies?? I love them!

That's what I have today! I hope you had a healthy week. We are supposed to have our last soccer games tomorrow but with a 90% chance of rain, it looks like we might be rained out. Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

3 Musketeers Cupcakes

A friend of mine had a birthday this week and I asked her what her favorite candy bar was. I was so excited that my Snickers cupcakes turned out so well, that I wanted to try another candy bar flavor. Well, she picked 3 Musketeers. Hmmm...how do I do that???? I decided to try to re-create the fluffy nougat inside a 3 Musketeers bar so I could fill a chocolate cupcake with that. Amazingly...I found a recipe!! I used the Pioneer Woman's best chocolate cake ever recipe for the cupcakes (found HERE) and a nougat recipe, which I'll share below. First, the cupcake.

Pretty unassuming, right? I used my standard vanilla buttercream frosting for the top. And I tried to whip up some nougat...like this:

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tub cool whip

I melted the chocolate chips, then put the melted chocolate into my mixer. While whipping the chocolate, I slowly added the cool whip. This is where things got weird. It took a long time to whip together and then the chocolate got a little bit chunky. Maybe the cold cool whip added to the hot melted chips wasn't a good combination? Regardless, I got most of it to whip and then I filled the cupcakes with it.

What do you think? It tasted pretty good. But not really like 3 Musketeers. Every once in a while you would get a bite that almost tasted like it, but not quite. It wasn't fluffly and light enough. So these were more like chocolate filled chocolate cupcakes. And really, what's not to like about that???

So not all of my cooking experiments turn out quite how I would have hoped. But I will keep baking and trying. Anybody got a good nougat recipe?? Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kayla's Jewelry Board

I've had this project in my head for quite a while. I've been wanting to make a board for my daughter to hang all her nice jewelry. It usually sits in a drawer in the bathroom and gets all tangled up and caught in hair ties and other stuff. And she forgets what she has. She really enjoys wearing jewelry and I thought this would be a good place to keep it all nice and neat, no tangles. When I saw these cork bulletin boards at Michael's right around back to school time, I grabbed one immediately. And finally completed it!

I painted the outside edge with crackle medium and purple acrylic paint to match her room (it's very purple).

I used papers and chipboard embellies from the Pixielicious line by Cosmo Cricket. I love all the purples in this paper. And so many fun chipboard embellies, I love that more companies have chipboard to match their papers.

And one big flower in the corner!

She has been wearing her jewelry more and it's not tangled. And I love that! Hope you are having a great week so far...thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ode To Soccer Season

The Devils and The Yellow Highlighters, my two favorite teams this season!!

Kevin, #6, is a great defender, nobody gets past him when he is protecting the goal. Well, most of the time. He's learning how to be aggressive on the field and has improved so much.

Kayla, #3, is an aggressive player. She is good on both offense and defense. While she is not the fastest runner out there, she will get in your feet and get that ball away from you. She has come a long way and I have so much fun watching her play.

We have one more game next weekend, but the soccer pizza parties have begun!! Here are the cookies I made for Kayla's team this weekend...

This cute stamp is from PSA Essentials, perfect for a little girl's soccer team!!

And soccer ball cupcakes, my hand was aching a bit after all this piping...

That pretty much sums up our weekend. I hope you had a good weekend...it's back to work and school tomorrow. Only 1 week left for my kids then they have a whole week off school for Thanksgiving. They are so excited! And I'm excited too...bring on the Thanksgiving food!!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hippity Hop Blog Hop

Happy Friday!! The Crop Suey challenge blog is participating in the Hippity Hop Blog Hop this weekend. What the heck is that?? It's 5 challenge blogs who have all come together for one very cool Hippity Hop Blog Hop. You will need to visit ALL 5 challenge blogs to get 1 ingredient for the master recipe. Then create a layout based on all those ingredients. Be sure you stop at each challenge blog, pick up the ingredient, leave a comment and become a follower. One of the ingredients is an amazing SKETCH, so don't forget that ingredient!

You can start HERE at the Crop Suey Challenge blog for more information. Crop Suey is also offering a great prize, so don't forget to leave a comment.

After you get all the ingredients from each blog, then you can create something fun. Here is what I did...

I used the gorgeous papers from SEI called Claire. Isn't it sooo pretty!! The paper is great, it's flocked and foiled and embossed. So pretty! I've been getting back into butterflies lately...

And I broke out the crackle medium for this chipboard heart...

And of course...a banner...

And this quote is one of my favorites!

Have fun hopping around...you have until Sunday to hit all the blogs and link up to your layout. Go to ScrapFit to link up your layout for a chance at the grand prize. Thanks for stopping by today!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Any Occasion Place Settings

I have another project to share today that I made for PSA Essentials. I think their Peel and Stick packs featuring UBU stamps are just the cutest!! Check them out here...so many fun, girly themes and images. The Dress Up set was the perfect set to use to create some place cards. You could create these for a bridal shower, a girls night in, a scrapbooking retreat weekend, any place you gather with your girlfriends.

I colored each image just a little bit using watercolor pencils (I have yet to dive into Copic markers!!) and matched the images with the color of the place card. You could color them all the same or give each one a different color personality!

They came together so quickly with cardstock and matching patterned paper. Make them all the same or mix up the colors. This is a quick, easy way to dress up your table. You could even switch up the themes and make place cards for your holiday table. PSA Essentials has many holiday stamps to choose from!

Hope you are all enjoying your week. It's been super cold in the morning, in the low 40's! That is cold when I am outside, trying to get warmed up for boot camp. Even running up and down the stairs this morning with my weights over my head didn't warm me up. I was still chilly! Stay warm and thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Besides peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter and jelly is one kick butt flavor combination. I have always loved PB&J sandwiches. I remember coming back from dinner in the dorms at college, where the food wasn't always the greatest, and making myself triple decker PB&J sandwiches. I still love a good one, although I don't put away the triple deckers like I used to. So making these was a natural transition...

Soft peanut butter cookie on the bottom, sweet jelly in the middle, chopped salty peanuts on top...

These are really really yummy. But you definitely need something to drink with them, they are stick to the roof of your mouth good!!

I knew somebody at work a few years ago who was Irish and he could not understand the American obsession with peanut butter. It was hard for me to put into words the awesomeness that is peanut butter, but I bet these bars would have done the trick. If you would like to try them for yourself, check out the recipe on the My Baking Addiction's blog...HERE!!

Happy Monday everyone, and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 5, 2010

First Crop Suey Challenge is LIVE!

Hi Everyone! Happy Friday!!!! If you are looking for some scrapping inspiration or a scrappy challenge to get you motivated, check out the first Crop Suey Challenge! It's an easy one...

We challenge you to use at least 3 out of the following 5 items on your scrappy project/layout/card or whatever you choose to do!

*white cardstock

Easy, peasy...right?? Here is what I came up with.

White cardstock...distressing...buttons...

another button...

oh, and butterflies!

Come on over to Crop Suey and join our November challenge. We will be having some fun tutorials and other stuff being posted throughout the month. May Arts is our sponsor and you will have a chance to win some awesome May Arts goodies if you participate. Hope to see you over there!

Thanks for stopping by today!