Sunday, 30 June 2013

13 in 13 June Update

So another month has come and gone. That was fast. So let's see how I did....
In the Random Acts of Kindness department, I did well. I picked up 4 boxes of freshly picked strawberries and gave away 3. I also gave the roofer next door a piece of pie and a couple cold drinks to enjoy on his break while he was busy working away at his job. Note from the sidebar, that I am finally on another book. I usually read a bit more in the summer so I hope to keep up on this goal.

I used the Cricut and wrapped up Obedience with Lindor. I sent more cards and am just working in the threads to COMPLETE my afghan.

I attended a blood donor appt and passed "inspection", then was unable to complete the task as I had had a recent immunization. I will re-book.

I'm falling a little behind on my weekly card challenges but hope to find some time to work ahead this summer between travel plans.

SO at the halfway point, I think I'm in good shape to complete the race.
Enjoy your long weekend and HAPPY CANADA DAY!!! What a great country we live in.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Strawberry Crisp with Almond Cookie Topping

Yippee!!! Another delicious fruit is in season in this neck of the woods. Nothing compares to a fresh, locally grown strawberry. Apparently we are in for a good season so you'll have plenty of time to make this delicious and simple recipe.
I love the taste of cooked strawberries, this recipe isn't too sweet and doesn't overpower the fruit flavour.
Going into the oven....
I only put almonds on one half as one of my guests is not partial to nuts.

Here's the recipe with a couple of my suggestions:

Strawberry Crisp with Almond Cookie Topping
1 1/2 quarts of strawberries, hulled and cut in half
Stir together, then mix with fruit
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. corn starch

Beat together:
1 egg
1/2 tsp almond flavouring (original recipe calls for vanilla so you can substitute)
1/3 cup butter, room temperture

Using a fork, stir together:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix into butter mixture. Drop by heaping spoonfuls over berries. Spread slightly.
Scatter 1/2 cup almonds over top.
Bake uncovered at 375F for about 35 minutes.

And a SPECIAL welcome to my young follower, PAISLEY, who is going to spend the summer trying recipes from my blog. I hope you put this one on your list.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Raspberry Breeze Pie

If you need a quick and easy item to take to all the potlucks we seem to have these days. Try this pie. The Roofer liked it. (more on that later)
You can start with a pre-made pie crust and canned fruit filling and the pie is practically done.

Raspberry Breeze Pie
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
I cup whipping cream (whipped)
1 graham cracker crust
1 raspberry, cherry or strawberry pie filling
1/4 tsp almond extract
sliced almonds (I didn't put these on, but you could)

In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. (I used real whipped cream). Spoon onto crust. Combine pie filling and almond extract. Spread over cream cheese layer. Garnish with almonds. No BAKE! NO FUSS!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Spring Flowering Shrubs

With all the rain we've had at decent intervals, the garden is blooming beautifully and the cooler temperatures have let the blooms stick around a bit longer. Here's a few things that are showing well in MY yard this year.
Mock Orange
(smells like a Florida citrus grove)

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Delightful Inspiration - June Challenge

The free stamp of the month for June at Delightful Inspiration (From the Heart Stamps) was this charming set.
Here's the card that I made up with one of the images.
Pretty cute and it coloured up really quickly. I wasn't sure what sentiment to use so I'll add something later.  If you play along every month, you get the next month's stamp free. I'm barely keeping up with my challenges but this keeps me FOCUSED! and I'm actually getting stuff done.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Sympathy Card

I am determined to have a variety of cards in my stockpile so I made up another Sympathy card inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. I was a little worried that it would look too "bumblebeeish" but I think it's subtle and tasteful. I used a diecut from Memory Box, so delicate.
The funny thing is I was trying to use my Cricut to cut an oval shape for the sentiment. I tried many shapes and could never get just the right one.
After all that, I ended up using a Spellbinder. At least I used my Cricut this month.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip PB Bars

It's still cool enough here in Southern Ontario to bake so when I found out I had some people coming over yesterday, I whipped up a batch of these delights.

 I hadn't tried the recipe before, but it had all of the usual suspects in it... oatmeal, chocolate, peanut butter and condensed milk so I was pretty sure it would be just fine! It was especially delicious warm from the oven with Hagen Daz ice cream. YUM!
There is just a slight hint of peanut butter. You could add some nuts to crank it up a notch.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
Crust and Topping:
1 cup softened butter
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 cup flour
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 1/4 cups quick oats

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 package chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts, optional

Combine crust ingredients in a large bowl until crumbly. Reserve 2 cups for topping, press the rest into a prepared, greased 9 x 13 pan.
Mix the condensed milk, peanut butter and vanilla in a small bowl and pour over crust.
Top evenly with chocolate chips, then cover with remaining crumbs.
Bake at 350F for 25 - 30 minutes until brown around the edges. Center might not be set but will firm up later. Cool somewhat if you can't wait and cut into squares.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Birthday Card for a boy!

Yay! I finally scrounged up a bit of free time to work on this week's challenge at Sassy Cheryl's.
The theme this week was Guy/Boy card and I used the image that I think is just called Boy with Balloon. I tried to use a couple new things... the cloud dies and a couple biggie brads that I had on hand. Always happy when I finally use something that I have never used before.
So here he is; boy cards always come in handy....
And here's a shout-out to all the guys out there for Father's Day including my own; the best DAD in the whole world. Happy Father's Day!

Friday, 14 June 2013

13 in 13 May Update

I'm trying to get a little more caught up with my updates so one month doesn't blur into the next, but so far I'm not doing too well.
I HAVE been doing a lot of this....
.....yardwork, that is. I am fortunate to live in a beautiful, mature neighbourhood surrounded by foliage. But there is a fair bit of maintenance associated with keeping it looking good. You can see my friend here like to be involved and you can imagine that my house is never clean at this time of year. We've have had the weirdest weather, boiling hot to freezing cold and lots of rain.
I've also been attending a lot of sporting events. Lindor is wearing a Tae Kwon Doh medal (no, she didn't win it, my adorable nephew did) but we all had to model it. Does baseball or track and field count as a live performance? I actually attended the Jean and Classics Eagles tribute with the KW Symphony and saw a Junior performance of Willy Wonka at Galt Little Theater so I am able to check off one goal. DONE!

I'm chipping away at the afghan, just a couple more rows. I'm sending way more cards then I have in the past, I linked up to a challenge at least once a week on the Internet and I used my Cricut to make a wedding tag. I tried a couple recipes and I continued to take Lindor to Rally Obedience once a week.

Still not reading or using Wifi, no Heritage album yet and haven't redeemed all my loyalty points.
Stay tuned. Maybe June will let me cross another goal off the list.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

With the recent dip in temperatures once again, it was a good time to bake. When I go south of the border I'm always on the lookout for baking items that we don't have here yet. I spotted these caramel balls and thought they would be great to add to baking items.
These cookies were soft and chewy with a hint of cinnamon and of course, a soft caramel morsel in every bite.

Caramel Oatmeal cookies

1 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 cups quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked
1 package Kraft Caramel Bits

Cream butter and sugars, add vanilla and eggs. Mix together dry ingredients and then add to bowl. Fold in oatmeal and caramel bits. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 -12 min at 350 F or until golden brown.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Dog Sympathy Card

Unfortunately, quite often we have to say goodbye to our furry friends. For many people, their pets are treasured members of the family and are constant companions who provide unconditional love and affection. I made up a couple cards that I thought would be suitable to send and I think the sentiment expresses nicely our relationship with our canine companions.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Friendship Bread

Well, I read the novel so I just had to make the starter and bake me up a few loaves of Friendship bread. A few years ago, someone had given me the starter and I remembered that the bread was delicious. Then, I discovered this book at the Public Library and my interest was renewed.
I kept it alive for 3 splits and sent it off to 6 friends and then sadly, I had to let it go. After a month of baking loaves every 10 days, it wasn't doing any wonders for my waistline and my friends were starting to run the other way when they saw me coming (just kidding). I DID stick a baggie of the starter in the freezer so if I feel the inclination, I can always start it up again. I never got a chance to bake up the 1000's of variations that you can make from the starter (there is a website that lists them all) since I really loved the original, cinnamon recipe. So delicious and with a light yeasty flavour.
Check it out.