Monday, November 29, 2010

{ Punch Rack 36 }

Introducing... a brand new Craft Rack made specifically to fit the new style of Stampin' Up! punches. As you can see, the Fiskars punches fit perfectly as well! Craft Racks are made in Canada and we are happy to ship world wide. Please email me to place an order at: Now, FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY, we're selling the Punch Rack 36 (and all of the other Craft Racks) for $42 USD or $40 CDN plus shipping. In January, 2011 we'll be adjusting our prices.


Thanks for taking these pics, Sarah!


Cooking :: Baked Potato Soup


Last week when Mom was here we invited over my Grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and her sweet Baby Girl for lunch. We made a huge pot of this soup, fresh biscuits, antipasto and crackers. It was good! The soup lasted for at least 3 meals for several people!

Baked Potato Soup
  • In a large pot saute a large diced onion, 3 diced celery stalks and 1 diced carrot with 1/2 cup butter and a glug of olive oil until veggies are soft.
  • Season with lawry salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Add 3/4 cup of flour, stir and heat through then gradually add 1% milk, stirring constantly.
  • Bake 8 large potatoes in the oven or microwave. Peel after baking.
  • Cube half of the potatoes and mash the other half. Add to soup.
  • Add a large yogurt container of frozen homemade turkey stock, 2 cups of sour cream and some  cream. 
  • Add more 1% milk, if necessary, to make it the right consistency.
Add to your soup at the table: sliced green onions, crumbled bacon, grated cheddar cheese.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Recipe Box :: Orange Creamsicle Italian Sodas


For my daughter's birthday party, we wanted to serve something fun and different... not just the same old pop! We decided to replicate the Orange Creamsicle Italian Soda that the kids have had at our local coffee house. These were so delicious! Everyone loved them.
What a fun and tasty drink for a kid's birthday party!
Orange Creamsicle Italian Sodas
2 tbsp DaVinci Navel Orange Syrup
2 tbsp DaVinci Vanilla Syrup
2 tbsp Half and Half
Ice Cubes
Club Soda

 Stir and top with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream! Enjoy!

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{ slouchy beanie }

I can feel a slouchy beanie kick coming on! Last week when my Mom was staying with us we went to our favorite wool store more than once. She picked up the "Celebrity Slouchy Beanies" pattern book for herself on our first trip. I loved it so much that she bought me one the next time we went.  Here's the hat called "Truly Purple" from that book. I loved making it and love how it looks now that it's done!! Now to decide which one to make next and who to make it for.


{ holiday meatballs }

A couple years ago we had the "best ever" meatballs at Madelyn's Christmas party... this is our version of her recipe!!

150+ Honey Garlic Meatballs!

2.2 kg Ground Beef
3 Eggs
Bread crumbs (toast that I pulsed in my Cuisinart)
4 garlic cloves
Epicure garlic granules
1 jar of WalMart Honey Garlic Sauce
Salt & Pepper

Bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Flash freeze on the pan then remove and put in a ziplock bag. When ready to use put in a crock pot with another jar of Honey Garlic sauce and heat through.

Not only is having a "dine-in" pantry classy, it's also practical and convenient as well!

Monday, November 15, 2010

{ Christmas shop in your pajamas with CSN }


This year I'm going to sit back, relax, and do some of my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my kitchen. Already I've ordered a gift or two online and am looking forward to browsing CSN this afternoon to see what else I can find! There seems to be something for everyone... from toys, to kitchen appliances, to bathroom cabinets! Do you think my husband would take the not-so-subtle hint if I gave him bathroom cabinets for Christmas? Yes, I would love to have our bathrooms renovated!!

Thanks, CSN, for making my Christmas shopping even more enjoyable!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

{ project parade & giveaway }

There's a great giveaway now for a quilt book over at Kati Cupcake Quilting Co. She's also having a project parade from December 1-7. Be sure to check it out... and please tell her you heard about the giveaway on Thanks! There will be lots of free projects at the project parade, so you won't want to miss it!


{ my cuisinart food processor review }

Essential small appliance for my kitchen
By Cindy Keery from Canada on 11/14/2010
5out of 5

Pros: Sleek design, Very fast, safety features, Can handle wide food, Easy to clean, Powerful, Quiet, Easy to use.

Best Uses: Pureeing soup, Pureeing vegetables, Mixing dough, Making bread crumbs, Thinly slicing potatoes, Grating cheese, Mixing bread dough.
It would be handy if there were an additional blade that would great cheese finer. Overall I am very pleased with this product and happily recommend it to friends!
I love my new food processor!

Thanks, CSN Stores, for another great product!


Monday, November 08, 2010

Baking :: Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf
Don't skip the glaze! It's so lemony and delicious; almost candy-like. Serve with orange spice tea for a little citrus party in your mouth.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
grated rind of lemon
2 tbsp poppy seeds

In your Kitchen Aid stand mixer, cream butter, sugar and 1 egg. Beat in second egg. Blend in milk.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, lemon rind and poppy seeds. Pour over liquids and stir just to moisten. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350° for an hour. Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then remove from pan and glaze.


Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Combine lemon juice and sugar in small pot. Heat and stir until slightly thickened. Spread over top of loaf.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

{ not recommended for knitting }


Well, here's a review of a different sort; one of the negative variety. My Mom and I are what you would call avid knitters, and my Mom is more like an expert. She's been knitting for about 40 years or so and I've been knitting for almost 30 years. (hard to imagine when I don't look a day over 29, I know!). Anyway, between the two of us we've had a lot of experience with many different types and brands of yarn and we are good knitters - especially my Mom!

So, she recently purchased 3 balls of this new yarn put out by Bernat, called Mosaic. It is impossible to knit with. Mom has tried casting on more than a dozen times with each of the 3 balls. What happens is after casting on several stitches, she'll come to a really thin part in the yarn and it just shreds and breaks. She's been very gentle with the yarn and applied very little/no tension, and still has the same problem.

On the website, Bernat advertises this yarn as "Easy to work with, easy care". So far this has been the opposite of our experience. Bernat, what's up with this yarn?!


Update November 9/10: Bernat replied to my Mom's email. I have yet to receive any sort of response. Here's what they said to Mom:

Dear Alice,

Thank you very much for contacting our company. We are very concerned to receive your complaint about our yarn, and do appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

Mosaic is a Roving type yarn (meaning 'upspun') made with short fibre and very little twist so it will not be as strong as regular 'spun' yarn in ball form. However, once it is knit into 'fabric', it will strengthen and should not pull apart, this is the nature of any Roving yarn.

Please be assured that we take every possible precaution to avoid such problems. Unfortunately despite our strict Quality Control Procedure, much of the inspection process involves human interaction and occasionally faults are not always detected.

We sincerely apologize for the difficulties you have experienced, and appreciate your comments. Once again, thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention and thank you for using our products.


Leah Cherrey
Customer Service

My comment to that: how are you supposed to knit it into a fabric when you can't even cast on?!

Craft Racks!

{ owl pin cushion video tutorial }

Download accompanying PDF here: Owl Pin Cushion Pattern

Too cute not to share!

"The DIY Dish" web show is free to viewers and comes out each Monday evening. They demonstrate all kinds of how-to projects including home decor, sewing, quilting, paper crafts, and more.  Here is more information about what it is:

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

{ check out Craft Critique }

Good Morning!

Guess what... remember a couple years ago (of course you'll remember, lol!!) when I was a reporter for the awesome website, Craft Critique? Well, today they featured my review of the Brother Laura Ashley sewing machine. You can check it out, and be sure to leave me a comment over there, right here: Reader Review - Laura Ashley - Brother Computerized Sewing Machine.

Once I get the kids off to school I will be baking a couple of these... Decadent Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce. If you haven't baked this yet, you've got to give it a try! It's so light, but rich at the same time. The tartness of the raspberry sauce totally balances the sweetness of the chocolate.

Have a great Wednesday!


I Love

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

{ broccoli salad }

Broccoli Salad

Finely chopped broccoli
Crispy, crumbled, cooked bacon*
Quartered, seedless green grapes
Toasted pine nuts**
Diced red onion
Coleslaw salad dressing (You can use the bottled stuff, or make your own like commenter Julie: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespooons vinegar.)

*I like to dice the raw bacon, put it in a cold frying pan with a splash of water and then cook on medium-high heat. The water helps it to crisp up quicker and better. Just another tip I learned by watching the Food Network while folding laundry!

**Pine nuts can be pricey, but to me they make the salad! If you really don't want to spend over $5 on them, you can get sunflower seeds for about .70 cents. I toast the pine nuts by putting them in a frying pan for a few minutes. Don't forget about them, or they will burn. Not that I have ever done anything like that!

Deliciousness in a bowl. Just as good the next day.

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{ a handmade holiday giveaway winner }

... and the winner of the $100 pattern bundle is:

darcey said...
This is a really fun prize. I love patterns...if I'm honest, I have a lot more patterns than completed quilts!:) Thanks for a great giveaway. October 28, 2010 10:27 PM 

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{ chicken fajitas }

One of my favorite suppers to make (and eat) is Chicken Fajitas! They are quick, easy and delicious; perfect to make on "fright night" (that night of the week when the family is so busy with their activities that fast food quickly becomes an appealing option). Here's how I make them:

Chicken Fajitas

Marinade sliced, boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the following mixture for 30 minutes:
  • Watkins Fajita Seasoning (or make your own. Click here for a recipe)
  • Grapeseed oil (or you could use canola)
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice (or the bottled stuff, if you're desperate)
While that's marinading in the fridge, thinly slice a few bell peppers (feel free not to use green ones -ick). I like to keep it colorful with one red, one yellow and one orange. Also, cut up a large onion in thin slices.

Heat up a deep frying pan over medium - high heat. Stir fry your chicken mixture - throw in all of the marinade (do not save this and do not add it later - it had raw chicken in it!!)

Once it's partially cooked, throw in the peppers and onions. Turn down the heat just a bit or you'll scorch the marinade. Keep cooking until chicken is nicely browned and veggies are softened slightly.

Serve in flour tortillas with a little sour cream. I've found some good, high-fibre ones that are full of flax. It's all about the fibre, baby! High fibre + low fat = low WW points.

Optional extras: freshly made guacamole, salsa, grated cheddar cheese, lettuce, black beans. We don't usually use all of these extras, but once in awhile we'll add one or two.

What's your favorite fright night meal to cook?


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