Friday, 28 February 2014

More Cards

Die cuts, embossing, gift card spot, this card has it all in beautiful teal and white...
More incredible options from that workhorse, the Silhouette. Flip card design, die cut present...
And more intricate cutting from the Silhouette. Don't the gems match perfectly?
And finally a duo of owls.. No machine used here. Just an intricate diecut with many pieces. A labour of love to put these together.
I'm glad I have such talented friends and now I have a lovely stockpile of cards to send(admire).

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

More Card swap

 Nice to have a more masculine card.
Look what the Silouette can do.

And a cherry on top.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

More Card Swap cards

This Swap there was everything from wedding cards to gift card holders. So many unique and creative ideas....
Here's a few more to inspire you...
Dog GONE cute!!!
Simple, yet tasteful!!!
I have this Bella stamp. Why have I never used it? Charming!!!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Pumpkin Muffins

Well, I was planning on posting some more of the cards I received in my most recent Card Swap, but I mentioned to one of my faithful blog readers that I was experimenting with different recipes for Pumpkin muffins and she is quite anxious for the recipe so here goes:

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla; pour over dry ingredients. Stir just until dry ingredients are incorporated. Spoon into prepared muffin pans. Sprinkle with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Bake at 375 F until tops are firm to the touch, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and transfer to container. Makes 10 larger or 12 smaller muffins.

I have 2 other slightly different pumpkin muffin recipes that I'm going to try and then I'll report back which one I liked the best. I'm linking up to my first Foodie blog; My Kitchen Escapades Saturday Link-Up Party.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Another Card Swap

I was asked to participate in another Card Swap, so much fun to get all the different cards and see what everybody makes but it takes a fair bit of time to make 13 of one type of card and I'm finding I'm not getting to my individual challenges.

I always make my BFF guess which one of the cards I made and she's usually pretty good at picking out mine but this time I tricked her a little bit. I used a pre-coloured illustration from Sassy Cheryl. Huge time savings when you are making multiple cards so even though she had me narrowed down to 3, it threw her off a bit. I love how this card turned out. It looks simple but it had many parts to it, some embossing, some glamour dusting, some diecutting and I tried to step up my game on the interior.

I'm linking up to Sassy Cheryl's Show ME Thursday challenge so she knows I'm not just baking every week.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If it seems like I've been doing a lot of baking lately, it's probably because I have. I do a lot of fundraising and it always seems to involve some kind of baking because that's what I enjoy doing. Even after a long day at work and busy times walking the dogs etc, I enjoy relaxing with my mixmaster running and the oven pre-heating.

I quite often get requests to bring my carrot cake to functions. It's a family recipe that I have made for years but I think it's a pretty basic recipe. This time, I made single layers (excellent frosting to cake ratio) and stenciled a cute heart for Valentine's Day. I made 36 of these beauties and I didn't have any leftover so I guess they went pretty well. I think I'm baked out for awhile. Time to get back to my challenges and start prepping for my major fundraiser in June.

Here's the recipe if you want to try it yourself:
Traditional Carrot Cake
Sift together:
2 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Then add:
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil

Mix above well, then blend in:
2 cups carrots, finely grated
1 can (14oz) crushed pineapple drained
3/4 cups pecans, chopped

Bake in 2 large 9 inch cake pans prepared for cakes at 350F for 40 min.

When cool frost with:
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 brick (250 mL) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla 
Mix together well.

Friday, 14 February 2014

From the Heart Stamps Birdbrain Valentine

I actually made a Valentine card. Couldn't resist using this new release from From the Heart Stamps of the Birdbrain chick. I think these guys are pretty cute. Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Valentine Sprinkle Cookies

I've made sprinkle cookies before and posted the recipe but these are just a teensy bit different and a teensy bit cuter with the adorable mini sugar hearts sprinkled on top. There is still time to whip up a batch for Valentine's day or anyday for that matter.

Valentine Sprinkle Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sprinkles plus hearts for the top

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla.
Beat in dry ingredients and fold in sprinkles.
Shape into balls and flatten slightly by pressing additional sprinkles on top.
(I made about 18 cookies
Chill the dough for about 30 minutes to prevent spread. Bake in pre-heated 350F
oven for 8 minutes and cool on baking sheet. These will be very soft, yummy cookies. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Conversation Heart Bark

Here's another quick Valentine confection that you can try. It's just an easy bark (I used chocolate chips and white chocolate melting wafers) with Rice Krispies and conversation hearts.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Melt about 3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips and spread it out in a thin layer on the cookie sheet. Let harden for about 20 min. then in another saucepan or carefully in the microwave, melt the white chocolate. Stir in about 3/4 cup Rice Krispies and spread over hardened chocolate layer. Sprinkle on conversation hearts and break into pieces when hardened.
This is a yummy combination and the hearts add that extra Valentine cuteness.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Valentine Candy Skewers

I've been working on a few ideas for Valentine's Day. I've made these candy skewers before but I thought I would make them again for my Valentine sale. My little Worker Bee Kate came over to help me package them up and sample a few treats.

 Here's a few tips if you want to give them a try. I got 8 inch skewers at a Restaurant supply place. They seemed to be a little thinner then the usual BBQ type and you don't have to cut off the excess, both important when you are threading 25 plus skewers. Spray them with some Pam to help the gummy candies slide on a little more easily. I always secure the bottom with a fairly heavy candy and cover the pointy top with a candy so it won't rip the bag. You can use any type of candy that will hold together when you skewer it. For some reason, candy just looks more appealing on a stick in a bag, tied up with some curling ribbon and a cute tag.....

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

M & M, Oreo Cookie Bars

One thing about cookie bars is they are very easy to whip up with none of the fuss of scooping out dough and changing cookie sheets. The downside is that I always find the edges are a bit crispier if you want the middle to be cooked. I guess that way you can satisfy both the crispy and soft tastes.
I believe this recipe was satisfactory because I gave  a batch to my neighbours and they served it up and got 2 requests for the recipe, so I will give it my endorsement also. (because you know I tried it too!).

Oreo Cookie, M & M Bars
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup light brown sugar packed
1 cup all purpose flour
15 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup M & M's

Line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil. Spray with Pam
Melt butter, let it cool a little.
Add egg, sugar, vanilla and whisk. Add flour. Do not overmix.
Stir in Oreos. Smooth down the top a bit with a spatula.
Evenly sprinkle M & M's on top and lightly presss down.
Bake until the top is set and edges are browned. Cool before slicing.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

From the Heart Stamps - Monthly Challenge

Look at me go.... This month's Freebie from From the Heart Stamps was this adorable Birdbrain image that comes with a whole whack of sentiments as well. And it's FREE! if you completed last month's challenge.
I thought I would double up my challenge participation and enter the weekly sketch 51 from the same site (you get $ towards future digi purchases)
Here's the Sketch I based my card on....

14 in 14

I decided to continue this year with my list of goals, not things I SHOULD do like go to the gym (ever) or eat better etc. etc but things I'd like to do and be mindful of through the year. The beauty of the list is if you don't complete it you can just add it to the list again the next year or discard it completely. No rules!
So here's my list for 2014. A little late, but then again, they're not resolutions, are they?

1.  Link up to more challenges
2. Try a new Pinterest recipe every month 
3.  Travel someplace I've never been
4.  Donate blood twice
5.  Support two charities (previously unknown to me)
6.  Write to my World Vision child at least twice
7.  Use one new scrapbooking item a month
8.  Compete with Lindor in CKC Rally/Obedience
9.  Use my Green bin (not to hold up the eavestrough)
10.  Use my freezer more wisely and on a regular basis
11. Read 20 books. (Fell a bit short last year)
12.  Participate in the Terry Fox run (walk)
13. Investigate some local Service Clubs
14.  Host another Major Scrapbooking Fundraiser.