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Thursday, November 20, 2008

thanksgiving dinner.

we had our early, mini thanksgiving last night. & although i was only cooking for the four of us (2 of whom, or should it be 2 of which? either way... two of them are 3 & under). anyway, there were so many delicious sounding recipes, we ended up with a quite a feast. on the menu?

1981 holiday bacon appetizers
brown sugar smokies
craisin apple salad
easy, breezy, no fuss turkey
creamed corn
brown sugar-glazed carrots
cream cheese mashed potatoes

although everything was oh so tasty, i think my favorite was the salad. it kinda tasted like candy. the funny thing? the salad was a total accident. i started out with every intention make THIS salad. but i forgot some of the ingredients for the salad dressing. luckily i had the ingredients for THIS one on hand & amazingly, it tasted sooo delicious (& the colors were so pretty). so here's the recipe:

craisin apple salad
1 bag of baby spinach, wash & dried
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked until crispy & crumbled
1 green apple, cored & thinly sliced
1 small bag of craisins
small onion, thinly sliced (optional)
candied pecans (or almonds), for candy-ing how-to go HERE.

mix the salad ingredients & add the following dressing just before serving:

poppy seed dressing
2 T poppy seeds
3/4 apple cider vinegar
2 cups light salad oil
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. dry mustard

combine in a jar, shake well & let sit

image via here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

feeling grateful.

this morning the little ones & i stumbled across every little boys dream... an entire parking lot full of fire engines. big & small trucks. red, yellow & green trucks. trucks from both near & far. my boys were in heaven. & while recent, unfortunate events may have inspired this particular gathering, it's comforting to know that someone has "our backs". last year, the fires were a little bit too close for comfort. finding out your neighborhood has been evacuated doesn't exactly warm your heart. i can only imagine how the most recent fires have affected people & their lives. so, for today, i am simply grateful.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

oreo cookie turkeys

THESE bad boys are always a hit. anything that involves munching on oreo's is definitely a winner. i think the boys & i ate just as many as we made. want to make your own oreo cookie turkeys? then grab your supplies & let's get crafting. all you'll need is: double stuff oreo's, whoppers malted milk balls, some candy corn, & a toothpick or two.

step 1: twist one oreo cookie apart, trying to keep all the "cream" on one side of the cookie. lay the cookie half with the cream, chocolate side down... this will be the base of your turkey.

step 2: take a second oreo & place the entire oreo on it's side (so it sticks straight up in the air), wedged into the "cream" base.

step 3: in front of the oreo that is laying on it's side, place a malted milk ball for the turkey's head.

step 4: insert several candy corn, points down, into the cream filling of the oreo cookie that is standing on it's side, making feathers.

step 5: use the white tip of one of the candy corns for the beak & "glue" it on to the malted milk ball using a little oreo cooking cream.

step 6: finally, using a toothpick, dab some oreo cookie "cream" dots onto the malted milk ball for the eyes.

Monday, November 17, 2008


last week we "celebrated" not your mama's craft night. we picked up a few new talents & perfected some old "favorites". (click on pictures to enlarge). christmas inspired mod podged frames (i tried something new & wrapped my $1 frame in some leftover fabric & i'm kinda lov'n the way it turned out). a few altered clipboards were made for the teachers in our lives, & then a little glass etching. we etched everything & anything that had a glass surface... pyrex pans, glass ornaments, glass plates, jars. the glass etching was just a touch more difficult than we thought it would be. it's really not hard, we just had some issues with the bleeding. but thanks to THIS & THIS tutorial, we had lots of help. if you're interested in any of the projects & have some questions, just let me know... although here are a few tips i thought i'd share:

i've worked alot with mod podge, & as much as i love the stuff, it's always remains sticky, even after it dries. so finally i decided to read the directions & discovered... "hard coat mod podge dries clear with a non-tacky surface. if using glsss, matte or satin mod podge apply a clear acrylic sealer to the surface after it has cured." ah ha! that answers sooo many questions, i better go out & pick me up a bottle of the hard coat mod podge.

if you are thinking about doing the glass etching, go for it! vinyl stickers work great, & i've got a gal who can hook you up. but you can also do it the old fashioned way with contact paper & an exacto knife. (you can also use the cricut for this. i borrowed a friend's & it worked perfect!) the hardest part is finding the right pan or surface to etch. you want something with as little logo or raised writing of any kind. the new pyrex pans have HUGE logos, which made it somewhat difficult to etch (we had some bleeding issues, although if you use a credit card to go over those areas REALLY go, making sure to get a good "stick" it helps.) but seriously, you can etch anything that is glass, so use your imagination.

anyway... hope this provides some inspiration. and as always, happy crafting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

it's beginning to look a touch like christmas.

just putting the finishing touches on my newest quilt. (featuring michael miller's christmas line, it's called "christmas with a twist". fitting don't you think?) this is definitely putting me in the holiday spirit. i can't wait to hang this bad boy on the wall.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

turkey on the brain.

i've been busy planning my early thanksgiving. last year i posted about some of my favorite recipes, you can read all about it HERE. this year i'm getting inspiration from some new faces & places. check out what some of my new "friends" (& few of my old friends too) are recommending...

ina garten's dinner for 20
martha's classic thanksgiving menu
paula's southern thanksgiving menu
food network's thanksgiving menu(s)
chow's thanksgiving menu for 6
the pioneer woman's thanksgiving recipes
cafe johnsonia's thanksgiving recipes

hope you find something tasty to inspire your own thanksgiving menu!

image via here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

hot chocolate floats

rich & decadent double fudge hot chocolate. served with just a touch (okay, maybe a double scoop) of peppermint ice cream.... the ultimate late night snack on a cold november evening. the only thing that could make it any better? a couple of candy cane joe joe's on the side. better wipe my mouth, i'm drooling.

Friday, November 7, 2008

cricut anyone?

so, i don't scrapbook. not because i don't think they are darling, because they always are. nor because i don't love to ohhh & ahh over them, because i do. but mostly because i don't have the patience for it. in college, i gave it the old college try. i actually managed to scrapbook all four years. but since then, i haven't touched a glue stick. i have tried my hand at the digital form, but, it still doesn't tickle my fancy.

but suddenly, despite my lack my desire to scrapbook, i find myself wanting, craving, even salivating at the mere thought of a cricut. it probably sounds dumb, but it just sounds fun. & even though i'm not a "scrapbooker", i'm sure i could come up with a project or two to put it to good use. so what do you think? anyone out there with a cricut? do you actually use it, or does it just gather dust on some shelf? is it silly to get one, even if i don't scrapbook? which one is the best (there are so many to choose from)? what to you use your cricut for? is it easy to use? is it good to go, the way it comes? or will i have to buy lots & lots of paraphernalia? anyway, i'd love to know your thoughts concerning the cricut while i continue to write my pro/con list & weigh need vs. desire. hmmm... what's a girl to do?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

little bites of heaven.

THESE might be my absolute, all-time favorite treat. i can eat an entire box in just one sitting, seriously. i bought some just last week, by the very next morning, only one itty bitty, teeny tiny square was left. care for a new best friend? send me a box & i can assure you we will be friends for life.

pumpkin dump cake

i know, i know... my blog's becoming more of a recipe blog than anything else. (sorry to the few friends & family who read in hopes of catching a glimpse of the boys & what they are up to.) but, we don't really "do" thanksgiving. don't get me wrong, we definitely celebrate thanksgiving, there just isn't any cooking involved on my part. for as long as i can remember, actually only since i was in college, but it really is all i can remember, we've been out of town during the thanksgiving holiday. sure the hotels tend to put on a nice party, but sometimes i miss whipping up a big feast. so, i compensate by celebrating the "festivities" all month long.

anyway, so i went off on a tangent there, sorry. but i've got a tasty recipe for you here. don't be fooled by the name, my entire family LOVED it.

pumpkin dump cake
1 can (30-ounces) pure pumpkin
3 cups evaporated milk (about 2 cans)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 yellow cake mix (rumor has it that it's tasty with a white cake mix too)
1 cup chopped pecans
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
2 sticks of butter, melted

mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, cinnamon, ginger, eggs, sugar, salt & cloves together well. pour into a well-greased 9x13 pan. sprinkle with cake mix & drizzle with melted butter (try to cover all of the cake mix with butter), then sprinkle with the pecans. bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

in my personal opinion (which i know doesn't really count for much), i think it tastes best when it's well-cooled, & topped with cool whip or vanilla bean ice cream (those little black specks are the best!).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

turkey tom veggie style

after THIS veggie tray was such a hit with the kiddos, i decided to try it again... thanksgiving style. i wish i had realized earlier that the key to getting my boys to eat their vegetables willingly, was yummy dip & some "fancy" display-work on my part. tom the turkey was such a winner, i'm sure he'll be back to visit us on several occasions this month. he'll probably even make an appearance at a party or two!

we've been busy.

while i've been busy putting away halloween, the boys have been busy "building". why do they feel the need to dismantle my entire couch every time i turn my back?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

bring on the pumpkin.

sweet pumpkin dip
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 packages (8-ounces) of cream cheese, softened
1 can (30-ounces) pumpkin pie mix
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger

in a large bowl, food processor or blender beat the sugar & cream cheese until well blended. add remaining ingredients & blend. serve with gingersnaps, vanilla wafers, apple or pear slices. store in the refrigerator.

another variation is to replace the confectioners sugar with 4 jars (7-ounces each) of marshmallow cream.

image via HERE.

Monday, November 3, 2008

martha & you... tackling thanksgiving together

so... halloween is over. that means it's time to start thinking about thanksgiving. starting today martha stewart & her crew, will deliver their best tips & tricks, menu inspirations, shopping lists, crafts & decorations right to your inbox. you definitely don't want to miss out. sign up HERE.