Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Happy New Year!

I had time to squeeze in one last challenge for 2015. Little Red Wagon's challenge was to create a Happy New Year card. While I have no intentions of giving anyone a card for this occasion, I came up with this simple celebratory card that could be used for a number of occasions. I think it fits the bill.
You probably can't tell from the photo but the white card base is textured and the stamped part is smooth. Also, the champagne? is glossy accented. Also the brads are straight. It's an optical illusion. LOL!

On another note, my brilliant friend Nicole challenged herself to make these cuties after seeing a picture on Pinterest. They turned out very well. Good job, Nicole.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Stamp of the Month Challenge

Well, I DID IT! I accomplished one of my 15 in 15 goals and I completed the From the Heart Stamps - Stamp of the Month challenge for 12 consecutive months earning 12 free digis along the way. It was a really good way to push myself, I would never have completed these cards without the challenge. I'm a little late with my last card (he's a little Christmasy) but oh so cute!
I tried a couple different techniques. I did plaid lines with my Copics and I was able to use my new stitched circles which I have wanted for so long and just treated myself to. Didn't get around to a sentiment but my card is ready to send next year which is a good thing as I didn't get many out THIS year.
And I blogged TWICE in one day....
Will I do it again in 2016? Stay tuned.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Over the holiday season, there seems to be lots of opportunities to bring or make appetizers for entertaining so I'm going to share one of my favourites. I make this recipe all the time. It just simmers away in the crockpot and becomes nice and carmalized if you leave it long enough. I make my own meatballs but you could just use the frozen as well.
It's difficult to get an appetizing photo of meatballs, but trust me, these ones are delicious.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs
1 cup brown sugar
1 can tomato paste
1/4 cup soy sauce (low salt)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp garlic (fresh)

Mix and pour over meatballs in crockpot. 5 hours on low heat.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Chex Mix Sweet and Savoury

Well, now that the dust has settled after an excellent Christmas, I may have time to squeeze in a couple more posts before we see the end of 2015.

I wanted to try a different type of snack mix this year. I love the traditional with Shreddies and Cheerios but now that we have Chex cereal here, I thought it was time to branch out a bit.

This mix is a bit sweet and a bit savoury. I followed the recipe exactly but I would recommend not adding the nuts until the last 15 minutes or so, maybe 30 min. The hour of baking was too long. The original recipe called for Mixed nuts (who can afford those these days?) so I substituted peanuts and then tried a second batch with almonds. Both were salted.

It is an additive mix. Be warned.

Sweet and Savoury Chex Mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp seasoned salt
3 cups Rice Chex cereal
3 cups Honey Corn Chex cereal
3 cups Bugles
1 1/2 cups pretzels
1 cup roasted, salted mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 275 F.
Put butter, sugar, syrup, soy sauce in medium saucepan over med-low heat until sugar dissolves.
Add seasoned salt.
Put dry ingredients in large roast pan. Slowly drizzle sauce over top while stirring.
Bake one hour, stirring every 15 min. Add nuts towards the end of the baking time. Store in airtight container.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas is coming!

Nice to have a few days before Christmas to get together with family and friends and enjoy some of the decorations and traditions.
First up is decorating the sugar cookies. It was a little rushed but AMac did a great job. He is getting much more detailed every year...
I love having the beautiful arrangements outside and inside. I was lucky to get a Christmas Cactus from my special girls, I think they are so interesting and this one was so unique; a very pale pink, almost transluscent and it bloomed just in time for Christmas vacation.
I bought a couple of these arrangements at Costco for an Auction and they were so nice, I went back and got another one for myself.
I love putting out my stained glass Nativity. One of these years, I will finish it off and make a Creche to really complete the set. Too many crafts, too little time.
I love putting out my special pieces. This year, I decorated my tree with vintage ornaments from my childhood. I really like the look and now I'm sorry I got rid of some of the old decorations.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas gifts

I like to give the secretaries at work a little something for all their hard work and help and because there are six of them, it can add up. I like to do something a little homemade, a little crafty and I try and avoid giving food products because we tend to get and give so much at this time of year.
 I recently got hooked on knitting dishcloths again so I had a few made up and I thought they would pair nicely with a Bath and Bodyworks soap which is one of my guilty pleasures. I also added a nice Christmas tag that could be used on a gift. I thought this ended up being a decent (and useful)gift.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

December Rush

Well, my intentions were good but there wasn't very much free time in the last month, even though I have plenty to show... a card swap, new recipes, fundraising. I was the lead for an on-line Auction and that took a lot of my free time plus everyone wants to get together as the holidays approach and there is baking to do and cards to make....
I was busy making chocolate covered Oreos to sell for Autism Dog Services when we were handing out the Auction prizes at the Cambridge Centre. They had to not only be made but packaged as well. I had some help with that so it saved me a lot of time.
I also made a dozen to put into the Auction itself. I took some baking to the Mall for the volunteers to enjoy...
Doesn't that look yummy?  Then I did about 20 dozen more for my baking sale at work...
I cut back this year, didn't have the time to do quite as much but I made the old favourites.. snickerdoodles, Classic shortbread, soft ginger cookies, Cadbury cookies, Funfetti cookies to name a few. I tried a couple new recipes, one a whipped shortbread that was a disaster (more on that later) and a new snack mix that is yummy. Will post a recipe once things slow down.