Sunday, 28 April 2013

Snickerdoodle Blondies

These squares remind me exactly of the speculaas cookies, otherwise known as Windmill cookies, that I enjoyed so much with sweet tea when I was growing up (and when I was older too). These are much softer then the traditional cookie but have the same yummy spices as the original.

Snickerdoodle Blondies
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix together dry ingredients and add slowly to creamed mixture. Spread dough evenly in greased 9 x 13 pan. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the batter. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken

Here's another chicken recipe, since its been a week or two since I gave you one. This is a recipe I tried not that long ago and it was delicious. Much fresher tasting then deep fried but similar flavour and maybe? a few less calories.
It all starts with boneless, skinless chicken, lightly battered, then simmered in a tasty sauce in the oven.
Fry it up and put it in a 9 x 13 baking dish....
Mix up sauce and pour over chicken.......
Doesn't that look yummy?

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 cup white sugar
4 Tablespoons Ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  ( I thought the vinegar should be slightly reduced)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Place cornstarch and eggs in separate bowls. Dip chicken in cornstarch, then in egg and brown in skillet with canola oil.
Place chicken in 9 x 13 baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix together sauce ingredients and pour over chicken. Bake ONE hour at 325 F.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Kraftin' Kimmie Tic Tac Toe

My photo angle is a little wonky but you get the idea. Kraftin' Kimmie had a Tic Tac Toe challenge this week and I chose blue, die cuts and gems. My gem is a little discreet (check out her hair bow) but I think I managed to fulfill my obligations for the challenge. I really like this colour combo. Best   Fur-iends is the stamp set from Cheryl Alger.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Another Sketch Challenge

I found Challenge #162 - A Sketch, lived up to its name. I struggled with the dimensions at first and then used some different colours then usual and I love how the card turned out. Of course, when you start with an adorable image, the rest usually falls into place. I glossed the glass in the lantern and the nose on the dog etc.  Here's Sassy Cheryl's Challenge for this week....

and here's the sketch, I based it on....

and the sentiment that went along with the stamp was so sweet, I had to include it on the inside of my card....

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Delightful Inspiration

This month's Free Digital Stamp at From the Heart Stamps; Delightful Inspiration is this adorable chicken peeking out of a pot. The sentiment (which I actually used) is also included. If you play along every month, you get the next month free. I think it's pretty cute and the flowers are sparkled but you can't really tell.

Challenges are worse, then on-line shopping. They become a little addictive but so much fun.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Sweet Marie Bars

This recipe has been in my arsenal for years. I think it may be one of the first things I learned to (not) bake, way back when. Sometimes, we call them cottage squares as they are a very quick and easy square to take along in the summertime. You can speed things up with canned frosting.
Still yum!

Sweet Marie Squares
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 Tbsp. butter
Blend and heat in a saucepan on low temperature. Then add 2 cups
Rice Krispies and 1/2 cup peanuts. Put in 8x8 pan.
You can cover with coconut or just ice with chocolate frosting.
Chill and cut.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Gettin' Sketchy

I was able to squeeze in one more card this week. I think I'm on a roll. This card is based on a sketch from Kraftin' Kimmies Krafty Krop, say THAT a few times. It's challenge #5 and is based on a card that was provided as a map.
Here's my take....
You can see the original card here, Kraftin Kimmie. So I'm off to Scrapfest shortly, a whole collection of stores and scrapbooking retreats and on-line businesses all under one roof. So fun!

Thursday, 11 April 2013


Sorry to disapoint, not the kind that grow outside. This week the Challenge at Kraftin' Kimmie was #173 Flowers. I don't think I've ever posted two times in one day before, but I want to get this in for the week.
I used my favourite Lulu stamps and here's what I came up with.....

And look, I even put a sentiment on the inside....

Challenge #161 Anything Goes

It's a freezing rain day here in Southern Ontario. Unbelievable in almost mid-April but a good day to stay indoors and catch up. This week's challenge at Sassy Cheryl's was Anything Goes. Having a farm background, I was delighted to use the little farmer girl; Farmer Sally. Nice to use some of the bright colours from the new My Mind's Eye "About a Boy". You can't really see but I glossed up the tomato and her boots and added a bit of sparkle to her hat because sadly, a few of my scrapping buddies thought she was a boy. That's ok, there is nothing wrong with farmer girls.
Here she is, I hope you like her.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

13 in 13 March Update

With 20 to 50 mm of rain forecast in Southern Ontario, it's a good time to relax and reflect back over the last month. March was busy with the Break and Easter all rolled into one. Lots of time to work on the 13 in 13 though and here's how it played out.
Got to do lots of baking to give away and made a new recipe from one of my cookbooks. Kept up my reading (Friendship Bread soon to make an appearance), used my Cricut, found a new digi challenge site and sent a couple cards. I did a couple random acts; gave some $ to a homeless person and purchased and donated a Cricut cartridge to a senior's home that I'm connected with. Will be getting back into Obedience with the dogs, for now working on some behaviour around the house.
Here's my afghan progress. It doesn't look like a lot but I worked in all the threads and it's a really wide afghan. I've haven't been at it much this week. I'd better get to it before it warms up.
Still some goals to conquer but I have been able to FOCUS on my list.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sassy Cheryl Weekly Challenge #160- A Sketch

I love working from a sketch. I find it so much easier to come up with a card when I have something to go by. Here's the sketch from this week's Sassy Cheryl's Challenge.
I like to follow it right to the letter, so here's my card based on the sketch....

Here's hoping for camping weather, real soon!

Friday, 5 April 2013

After Easter Sales

One of my favourite times of year is right after Easter when all the candy goes on sale. Then I tend to forget that I'm trying to whittle down my stockpile and I'm out looking for the best deals.
Of course, who doesn't need a Star Wars Yoda egg basket? I HAD to have it!

Then of course, there is the requisite Easter lily. They go on sale right after Easter and that's fine by me.

Wasn't sure if it would open but one bloom is on it's way. Isn't that Nature's perfection?

Then I had to do something with the candy so why not bake? AGAIN!
Here's my latest square/bar cookie featuring Cadbury Mini Eggs. I found a similar recipe on withsprinklesontop but I made a few changes.

Doesn't that look delicious??

Cadbury Mini Egg Blondies
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1-2 cups milk chocolate mini eggs

Melt butter. Cream in sugars. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until creamy.
Slowly add flour mixture and other dry ingredients.
Fold in mini eggs.
Spread batter into a greased 9 x 9 pan. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted
in the center comes out clean. Let the bars cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.

It is not too late to make these beauties. There is still candy to be found. Good luck!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Company's Coming Brownies

Well, I almost forgot about my Cookbook challenge. I made this recipe from another great series of cookbooks called Company's Coming Squares. I make many recipes from this cookbook but I had never tried the brownies until I had them at my Great Aunt's house when I went for a visit. The intro says..."not only is this the easiest and fastest brownie to make, it is also the best tasting ever."
It WAS very good but I'll confess I made it in a 9 x 9 pan and it was a little thinner then I would like.

So if you don't have this book....
here's the recipe.

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
1/8 tsp salt

In a small saucepan, melt butter and cocoa, stirring as it melts.
In medium bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar, flour, nuts and salt. Don't stir yet!
 Then pour cocoa mixture over top and stir all together. Scrape batter into greased 8 x 8 pan.
Bake at 350 F for about 30 min or until edges start to pull away from pan. Cool and frost.
I used a can of chocolate fudge frosting for an easy way out.

Monday, 1 April 2013

The Great Outdoors

This week; Challenge 172 at Kraftin' Kimmie was The Great Outdoors. Well, if you live in Southern Ontario, there was nothing great about it this morning, we got a surprise visit from the snowmaker. Some April Fool's idea of a joke. Oh well, it will melt before we know it and then all the dog owners (like myself) can complain about the mud.

Once again, I pulled out my favourite artist, Cheryl Alger and stamped up a boy and his dog from the Set "Furry Friends". He's outside playing with his best buddy so I guess that qualifies. Here it is...