Monday, May 30, 2011

Pink and Green Bridal Shower

Last weekend my mother and I hosted a bridal shower for one of my favorite cousins, and what fun we had!

We decided to go with a pink and green theme--something bright and fun and perfect for this time of year.


Clockwise from top right:
  • We used Emily's tissue paper ball tutorial to make a half dozen pink and green tissue paper balls of various sizes to hang above the food table.
  • Filled some jars up with color-coordinating candy.
  • Cut x's in the tips of strawberries, then piped in a mixture of cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla and followed that up with a sprinkling of chopped pecans. So good!
  • Pink flower bouquet as a table centerpiece.
  • Limeade mixed with club soda for the beverage.
  • We made some delicious chocolate truffles using our truffle tutorial. Rather than dipping them in chocolate for a hard coating, we rolled them in two different cocoa powders and chopped almonds.
  • We also made an ice cream cake that was to-die for! Using a bread pan, my mom layered pistachio ice cream, strawberry ice cream and angel food cake that had been soaked in a mixed-berry compote then topped with more mixed berry compote and a drizzle of whipped cream. It was beautiful and delicious!
We also served a lunch at the shower: quiche, green salad and pasta salad.

As you can see, we had more than enough good things to eat at this party! :) We also took plenty opportunity to make the bride blush.

Have a great day!




Here's where we're linking up.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What's for Dinner?


Shrimp with Peppers and Corn, Thai Green Curry, and French Onion Short Ribs


Monday
Thai Green Curry This is a standard menu item for us and we just use the recipe on the Thai Kitchen green curry paste bottle--it's great. :)

Tuesday
Hamburgers and oven yam fries

Wednesday
Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas (Thanks Emily! So good! I put black beans in mine and used plenty of cilantro and avacado, yum!)

Thursday
Vegetarian Spaghetti and broccoli

Friday
Shredded Chicken Quesadillas (I just put two chicken breasts in the crock pot with some salsa and cooked until shred-able then added black beans and lots of cilantro and put that between tortillas with some cheese and cooked it in the oven.)

Saturday
Shrimp with Peppers and Corn

Sunday
French Onion Beef Short Ribs and green beans. If you make this, DON'T skip out on the bread with melted Swiss (used Swiss instead of Gruyere). It is so amazingly good. :)

Happy menu planning!
 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rustic Strawberry Cake

Something this beautiful has to be good, right?

RIGHT.

This was my Happy Mother's Day to myself cake. :)
Actually, I made it with my two girls, and it was quite enjoyable--cooking with kids isn't always 'enjoyable' but this time it was. My 3 1/2-year-old is old enough to be truly helpful now, and I just held the 14-month old the whole time--just how she likes it. She doesn't seem to bind that I have to contort into all sorts of positions in order to hold her and the bowl and mixer all at once. 

 

Spring and Summer are the perfect times for strawberries, and this wonderfully delicious cake is a great way to enjoy them. It goes perfectly with whip cream (what doesn't?)

Yum. I might go have another piece now. :)


I adapted one of good ol' Martha's recipes for this. Here's my notes:
  • Her recipe said to use 1 lb strawberries. I thought there wasn't enough room for all of them, so I didn't use them, but I wish I would have. The cake is good, but the cake and strawberry bites are WONDERFUL, so I wish there had been more berries.
  • Like pretty much everything I cook, I did mine with half whole-wheat flour, and I thought it was great. Granted, I'm used to this texture and flavor now, so perhaps others wouldn't like it, but I genuinely prefer my baked goods to have a little more oomph to them. All white flour just seems too foo-foo to me these days.
  • The recipe calls for a cup of sugar--I used somewhere between 3/4 cup and 1 whole cup and thought it was plenty sweet.
  • Also, my littlest is still on a dairy-free diet, so I used almond milk and dairy-free butter substitute with good results. (No whip cream for her, poor girl.)

Happy baking! This is a crowd-pleaser for sure. Or a self-pleaser. :) Who says you can't bake for yourself? I'd bake it again just to look at it. :)

 

Here's where we're linking up.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Featured On Momma's Kinda Crafty

Just thought I'd let you all know
we have a brand new project/tutorial being featured on
Head on over and check it out... right now!
(here's a hint)

Friday, May 20, 2011

German Pancakes with Glazed Apples

Today we bring you something extra special and extra fun--a great way to get great ideas and find great new blogs! It's great! (ha, ha, OK, enough with the greats....) :)




Anyway, at the bottom of this post you'll find links to a number of other great fabulous blogs that today are also sharing some family-friendly recipes. So, sit back, relax, do a little blog hopping and be prepared for a little drooling as you feast your eyes on these great recipes. :)

Today, I bring you German Pancakes with Glazed Apples.

I'm seriously a little obsessed with these pancakes.


OK, a lot obsessed.



I made them sometime back in April and pretty much every single morning since then I have woken up craving them. I even had a dream about them. They're that good. And as far as pancakes go, German pancakes (or oven pancakes, or puff pancakes, or hootenanny, or any other name they tend to go by) have more protein in them regular pancakes, so I figure them to be a decent way to start the day. These ones also have more fruit. And more sugar. :) Buuuuttt I don't put syrup on them so it may all even out, right?

ANYWAY... They're fabulous. Just look at those sauted apples, all coated in melted brown sugar gooey-ness. Yum!



The secret? apples sauteed in butter and brown sugar. Mmm, mmm, mmm.



Ready for a fabulous breakfast tomorrow? Here's your ticket. :)

Ingredients

2-3 apples (preferably tart ones like Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced (I used 2 in the images above and chopped them to make it easier for the kiddos)
2 Tbsp. butter
¼ c. brown sugar

1 c. milk
1 c. flour (I used 1/3 whole wheat)
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. While the oven preheats, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the apples and brown sugar and sauté until the apples are soft.
3. Mix the milk, flour, salt, and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla and whip with a wire whisk.
4. Now, you can either cook the pancake in the skillet (if it is oven safe) or you can transfer everything to a 9x13-inch glass baking dish. (I'm acutally lucky enough to have a pan that my aunt Shelley gave me when I got married that especially designed for German pancakes--it works wonderfully). If you transfer it to a new dish, then spread some melted butter over the bottom and a little way up the sides. Then transfer the sautéed apples into the baking dish.
5. Pour the batter into the baking dish starting at a side and swirling it around the outside (this allows the batter to kind of seep under the apples a bit).
6. Transfer into the oven and bake until golden brown, about 17 to 20 minutes.
7. Serve warm as is, sprinkled with powdered sugar, or with syrup. (For breakfast, syrup is an overload on sweetness for me, and my family and I find these to be plenty sweet without syrup. I have seen this served with dessert with a thin caramel sauce though....)




Click here to print.
 
 And now for some other mouth-watering posts! Check out these ladies:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Striped Quilt

And now for my favorite part of this little boy's room...

The Striped Quilt!


There isn't a pattern for this quilt, but I will tell you what I did.

I started with the light blue fabric (the one with all the dots). Then I chose all the other fabric, one at a time using coupons of course, to match the different color dots on the first piece of fabric. When I finally had enough I cut the fabric into stripes.
 
The stripes across the quilt were wider than my fabric was, so to waste less fabric I would cut all of one color into 8 inch strips and sew end to end (so you have one very long 8 inch wide stripe). Then I cut a couple stripes (the width of the quilt). I split the remaining fabric in 2 lengthwise. (Some colors I split 4 and 4 inches, some 6 and 2 inches, some 5 and 3 inches). Then I cut these strips to the width of the quilt. I lined up all my stripes randomly and sewed them together.

Next I layed out my back fabric, batting and striped quilt top, and safely pinned the entire thing together. (I didn't have a quilt rack to stretch it on, so I had to improvise. It was nice to be able to fold it up and put it away when I needed to though). Then I stitchen along each seam 1/4 inch to the side, using different colors of thread. (here's a picture of the thread I used since I'm not exactly sure how to describe it.) -I love the texture it adds too.

Can I just say that all that HAND STITCHING took FOREVER! There were times when I seriously questioned my sanity and whether or not my fingertips would quit feeling numb.

But I LOVE how it turned out!

and so does this little guy...


Enjoy!




here's where we're linked

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cute Accents for a Little Girl's Room

Here is a collection of some of the small details we did for my daughter's room. I hope you find some inspiration too!

I loved these little pink butterflies painted on the wall. Most people do vinyl, but I found it very easy to find some pictures of butterflies (google image search for "butterfly silhouette"), print them out, cut them out, trace them on the wall with a pencil and use craft paint to paint them in. Quick, easy, adorable, and fun to do. :)



I'd just hung these on the wall in this picture, so it's bare, but here's the french memo board, a shelf and matching stuffed rabbit. I bought the shelf at Goodwill for $1 and then just painted it yellow.


Who doesn't love japanese lanterns?


I picked up these storage boxes at Michaels--they were the perfect colors, so I couldn't resist. We store all most of her stuffed animals in them.



This was another really fun thing we did. I knew I wanted something to display her art work on and had originally planned on a long magnetic strip, but I found these super adorable bird-shaped magnetic boards (great website for shaped magnetic boards--Fridgedoor), so I went with them instead. They came yellow, but some of them I used spray adhesive to cover with cute paper.




Her Papa made her a name sign, which she loves, and we painted her potted plant pot to match the room. You can see a bit of her "birdy-birdy" here too (her night light--we bought it at Target). You can see a bit of a theme there too--we went with yellow and pink, but had the bird night light, bird magnetic strips and bird in her wall mural. I thought about painting birds on the wall rather than butterflies, but went with butterflies to make the room not a "bird" room, but just pretty and slightly nature-ish.


This was my first room re-decorate and I must say it was a lot of fun to do. Kids rooms are always fun.

 

Here's where we're linking up.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What's for Dinner?



Monday  Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
I went to a fabulous cinco de mayo party and this was one of the many delicious things served. I think at least half of us asked for the recipe and made it for dinner the next week.

Tuesday Wraps- grilled chicken, lettus. tomato, carrot, bell pepper... whatever you have.

Wednesday BBQ Chicken and Buttermilk Buscuits

Thursday Leftovers :)

Friday Hamburgers (with fresh guacamole) Yum!

Saturday Coconut Curry

Sunday Skillet Chicken Salad Pitas I love, love, love, these!!!


Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

6T Honey
5T Lime Juice
1T Chili Powder
1/2t garlic powder
3 Chicken Breasts (cooked and shredded)

8-10 Flour Tortillas
1 lb. Monterey Jack Cheese
16 oz. Green Enchilada Sauce
(1) 8oz. Sour Cream

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Pour about 1/2 Cup Enchilada Sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving a bout 1 Cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the sour cream. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

** I like to throw my chicken in the crockpot on high for 3 hours and then shred it. It literally falls apart and makes it so easy! Also, I can usually get this recipe to make 11 or 12 enchiladas if I use 3 pieces of chicken.

Enjoy!



Friday, May 13, 2011

DIY French Memo Board

French memo boards are such a pretty way to present a collection of photographs, and I knew I wanted to make one for my little girls room. I thought it'd be fun for her to have pictures of her family--particulary grandparents who live far away and a french memo board would be a beautiful way to present them. By making my own, I could make it exactly the way I wanted!





Materials
•a canvas or inexpensive French memo board to redo
•fabric to cover the board
•batting
•staple gun and staples
•ribbon
•covered-button kit or buttons of your choice

Directions
1. Cut your batting and fabric so that it is big enough to cover your memo board, go up the sides and onto the back. If your using an old French memo board, remove and discard the buttons and ribbons.

2. Use the staple gun to secure the batting and fabric onto the board, stretching taut as you go.

3. Turn the memo board faceup. Arrange ribbon on the board how you like it and cut it a few inches longer than the distance across the board. Wrap one end to the back, and staple in place. Stretch the ribbon taut to the opposite corner, wrap the end to the back, and staple. Repeat with the other ribbons, secruing them into the positions you've chosen for them.

4. Using scraps of your fabric, make covered buttons for each intersection, following the manufacturer’s directions. Alternatively, use regular buttons. Now you can either insert a staple at each ribbon intersection and hot glue the buttons on (hiding the staples at each ribbon intersection) OR you can sew your buttons on. I just sewed mine on.

Easy Peasy. There are a number of videos on youtube where you can watch it.

Here memo board is pretty loaded up with pictures, but she really likes it that way. She has pictures of mom and dad and her baby sister, all of her grandparents and most of her cousins.





Quite the fun project and really quite simple to do. I've found the easiest and cheapest way is to just re-purpose canvases you have laying around your house or that you pick up at yard sales/Rosses, etc. 

Hope your board turns out lovely. :)

 

Here's where we're linking up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DIY Wall Hangings / Paintings


Here are the wall hangings / paintings I did for David's room
I knew I wanted a couple big canvases on the wall, but it took me forever to decide exactly what I wanted them to look like. I wanted them to fit for a little boy, but not look baby or cartoon. I knew I wanted animals (I ended up picking a couple of his favorites because I figured he'd like them more), and I knew I wanted them to match the bed.

I have to say that I love how they turned out.




I know a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of painting, let alone designing your own picture, but for those of you who are brave enough to try....
Here are a few pointers.
Start with a reference (a photo, a design on a piece of fabric or clothing... whatever it is you like)
SIMPLIFY!
if you try to paint a million little details you'll be screaming and the painting will be a mess.
Here's the best way I can describe simplifying your design...
Look at the VALUES (lights and darks)
Break your picture into 4 values (or less):
light side, dark side, light accent, dark accent (or outline)


This way you're dealing with 4 solid colors plus the background.
You won't have to worry about blending and shading and a million other complications.
Much easier if you ask me. Besides, I think it gives your picture a more modern look.
If you have trouble seeing how to separate the values, use a photo editing program and adjust the contrast to better see the light and dark division.

Hope this helps!
Have fun!



Here's where we're linked