Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bags :: Reversible Tote Bags

(bags made by Rhonda, Jill, Sarah, Sarah, Deana, Me)

Last night a group of us got together at Rhonda's Mom's place (which is where I work part time) for a bag making party! It was great fun, despite the sweltering heat. We made these simply adorable reversible tote bags. Thank you, Cindy at Skip to My Lou for such a clear, easy to follow tutorial!

We're all looking forward to the next time we can get together to do this again! Hopefully next time a few more friends will be able to join us as well. (helloooo Madlyn, Andrea, and Kim!!)

Today I think I'll make a couple of cute book bags for my niece and nephew. 'Can't wait to see them tomorrow, the adorable little sweetie pies! 




Craft Racks!

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bags :: Limited Series of 5 Unique Handbags

Finally! The moment you've all been waiting for. Awhile ago I showed you a little sneak peek of my latest projects and now I'm happy to report that they are all done and ready for your viewing (and hopefully purchasing) pleasure!


Hannah Bag $55


Each of these handbags are completely unique, one of a kind. They are made from only the best fabric and accessories. The fabric is 100% cotton designer fabric; Ginger Blossoms by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller. The fashion handles are a very comfortable and stylish rope and wood design. All of the bags have plenty of interior pockets for all of your necessities.

The bag dimensions are approximately 10" x 9" x 4". They have a nice firm bottom so they will stand on their own.

If you'd like to pamper yourself with a new purse, please drop me an email. I accept PayPal.


Gracie Bag $55


Raya Bag $55


Isabel Bag $55


Jane Bag $55

Thanks for popping by! Have a wonderful week.



Craft Racks!

Do you need help organizing your craft supplies?
Craft Racks can do the job!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

{ zesty orange cake }

Today my niece (along with her Dad and Grandma) stopped in for a quick visit and lunch on their way home. I thought it would be nice to whip up a birthday cake for Christine, since I likely won't see her next month on her actual birthday.

At first I wanted to make Pioneer Woman's Strawberry Shortcake Cake, but then realized I didn't have any strawberries (and not enough raspberries to substitute those), and not enough cream cheese either. I love on this post how PW says she wipes clean the excess icing from her cake pedestal with a damp paper towel even when she's just serving spaghetti-o's for dinner. Today I served *gasp* hot dogs, corn on the cob, and yes I wiped away the excess icing with a damp paper towel so the cake would look all pretty and, yes, so it would be bloggable!

Anyway, I couldn't find a recipe that I had all the ingredients for so I used one I found in the Watkins catalogue and gave it my own twist! Here it is:

Zesty Orange Cake

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup softened butter

3 eggs
1 cup milk with a tbsp of lemon juice in it (or buttermilk)

zest of one orange
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice

Icing
3 cups icing sugar
1/8 cup real butter, softened
1/8 cup cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8" round (3" deep) pan with Pam. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. Mix granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Add flour mixture and sour milk/buttermilk alternately to the sugar mixture. Beat in orange zest, vanilla and orange juice. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Icing: combine all ingredients, beat until smooth. Cool cake completely before icing.


What is your favorite thing to bake?

-Cindy

Friday, July 17, 2009

{ more ginger blossoms }



I absolutely adore this fabric! I can't get enough of it. Awhile ago I completed a friendship braid quilt using this pretty fabric and then I started on 6 little somethings using the scraps. Can you guess what I'm working on? The fabric line is Ginger Blossom by Sandi Henderson.

I still need to take some pics of the friendship braid quilt to show you. I love how it turned out! I was waiting until it was nicely hung in my new hair salon, but I'm not sure if I can wait any longer!

So, what are you up to this fine summer? Are you working on any creative projects?

-Cindy

PS. The site below has some fantastic patterns! Check them out. mrgreen

You Can Make This

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

{ decadent chocolate cake with raspberry sauce }


mmm... here's the luscious cake I made yesterday because my sister-in-law was here for her yearly visit. This cake is so delicious. You'd never guess that there's only half a cup of flour in it. The tartness of the raspberry sauce balances out the sweet decadence of the chocolate cake with its rich ganache-like glaze. You have got to make this cake. Seriously! It's that good.

Decadent Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all purpose or cake flour
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar

Heat oven to 325. Grease springform pan or regular round pan. Heat 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup butter in pot over medium heat until chocolate chips are melted. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in flour until smooth. Stir in egg yolks until well blended.

Beat egg whites in large bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until soft peaks form. Fold chocolate mixture into egg whites. Spread in pan.

Bake sprinform 35 to 40 mintues, round 30 to 35 minutes until top appears dry and cracked. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife along side of cake to loosen; remove side of springform pan. Invert cake onto wire rack; remove bottom of springform pan and cool cake completely. Place on serving plate.

Glaze

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp corn syrup
Icing sugar (enough to thicken)

Heat chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup over medium heat until chocolate chips are melted. Gradually add enough icing sugar to make it a nice thick, but spreadable consistency. Stir until smooth. Spread over cake.

Raspberry Sauce

1 10 oz pkg frozen raspberries, thawed, drained and juice reserved
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp corn starch

Add enough water to reserved juice to measure 1 cup. (I had enough juice that I didn't add any water). Mix sugar and cornstartch in pot. Stir in juice and raspberries. Heat to boiling over medium heat. Boil and stir 1 minute; strain. Serve warm or cold.

(Original recipe from Betty Crocker's 40th Anniversary Edition Cook Book.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

{ fresh picked }


Hello,

Today I spent a good part of the afternoon just playing and relaxing in the kitchen (aside from running up and down the stairs a million times to get the laundry caught up before the in-laws arrive for a visit).

For dinner we made bbq'd steak. First I marinated it in Victorian Epicure Greek & Souvlaki seasonings with some broth, olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice and lemon rind. I threw the remains of the lemon in with the steak as well to really infuse it with the lemony goodness. Here's a tip I learned from some cooking show: microwave your whole lemon for 10 seconds before juicing it. This will allow the lemon to release more of its juices! Rolling it on the counter firmly also helps. Another tip: after the steak is cooked let it rest for 10 minutes. If you cut into it right away all the juice will escape and you'll be left with a dry, tough hunk of meat.

To go with the steak I made Greek Roasted Potatoes, using a recipe and seasonings from Victorian Epicure. (no, I don't sell the stuff, but I love it enough that I probably should!). I also made Rachael Ray's Warm Corn & Tomato Salad. For the salad I used Peaches & Cream Corn from Sparkes Corn Barn that was picked today. It was so fresh and delicious. At $7.50/dozen it was worth every penny.

To top it off... a perfect ending to a perfectly delicious summer dinner...

Lemony Raspberry Cheesecake (of the un-baked variety)

crust
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs

Mix together in 8x8 pan and press down lighly with fork.

cheesecake
1 package/brick softened cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
zest of one lemon (I use a microplane grater to zest lemons... works great!)

Mix together with mixer until smooth. Pour over crust, cover and refrigerate.

Raspberries: gently wash fresh raspberries under a trickle of water, drain, sprinkle lightly with sugar and let sit out on the counter for a couple hours. Serve over the cheesecake... and enjoy!

(I found the original recipe on Quiltnut Creations)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

{ broccoli pasta salad }


Happy Canada Day!

Tonight for dinner I wanted to make pesto pasta salad with a bbq'd steak sliced on top, but alas I didn't have the ingredients and couldn't bear to pull the girls away from all their fun splashing in the pool to go to the store. Sooooo... I came up with this creation using what I had on hand. Yum! It's really good. Here's the recipe:

Broccoli Pasta Salad

-Cooked pasta shells (in well salted water with a little olive oil. rinse with cold water to help it cool faster)
-Cooked bacon, crumbled
-broccoli, chopped fairly small
-tomato, diced
-red onion, thinly sliced
-pine nuts, toasted
-coleslaw dressing
-1 tbsp lemon juice
-2 tbsp Pesto Artichoke Dip Mix (Victorian Epicure)

Chill before eating, unless you like warm pasta salad. ick eek

So, what did you do this fine July 1?

-Cindy


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