Monday, December 29, 2008

Pina Colada take 2

Well with the second halve of the pina colada simply scrapin' pack I made these 10 cards. I thought maybe some people rather have bigger cards but less of them. With this halve of the kit I used less of the stickers but more of the patterned paper. I figure which ever they end up using they can take the rest home to make other things with. All in all I am happy with how they turned out. I feel these cards are quite versatile. Some I have made into birthday others, thank yous, and even other sympathy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pina Colada

Okay so here is option #1 for my card class this next May. Now I know what you are all thinking, May?? Why have you started to soon? Well the answer is simple. When I get new toys I can't help but play with them. So Audrey and Oliver, my brother and sister, just came on Friday to visit and they brought with them all my new stampin' up stuff. So knowing that I wouldn't be able to get anything again until my parents come in April and I need them to bring the stuff for the actual class I need what I might want to do brought now so that I could try it out. Well I have had a few moments here and there since Friday and I made these up.

Okay so every year I have been in Belgium I have done a card class for the sisters in my Branch. The first year I made 15 cards for 15 euros and each card was very different and I used all sorts of different techniques. Well lets just say for lots of beginners it was not only a lot of work for me but it was very time consuming as well. So I learned from my lesson and last year I did what is called the one sheet wonder. Where we stamped one 12x12 and the used that to make 10 cards and a cute gift bag. Which was quite a bit better but we still had most sister unable to finish them all in the 2 or 3 hours we had to make the cards. So this year I decided to try stickers! I have always enjoyed the simply scrapin' packs and found that when divided equally that they can work for 2 people. So this year I bought two different packs and will let the sisters choose between the two. I add one white sheet of 12x12 paper and then made 20 cards 6"x3". I made all of these quite quickly and I hope that the same with happen with the sisters. I will admit some cards I like better than others but I did use almost all of the stickers and only a small part of the patterned paper. Not because I didn't like the paper but since I am using all the card stock as the card bases I didn't have any to accent with. But I guess you can't have everything and keep it in a good budget. So this year I think it will be the same 15 euros I have charged previous years but this year I am afraid if they want the envelops I will have to buy them separately since I have not been able to find a cheaper version of the size I need any where but through Stamp'in up. Hopefully people don't mind too much. I suppose they can always make their own.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bacon Cheese Topped Chicken

Here is this week menu!

1. Hutsepot (A Belgian winter stew)
2. German Sausages
3. Pizza (every other Friday night we have Pizza Movie night at our house)
4. Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Green beans
5. Mandarin Chicken Salad
6. Beef Enchiladas
7. Bacon Cheese Topped Chicken (pictured above)

In the bacon topped chicken I had cut the chicken breast in halve just so that I could made the two chicken breast I had stretch to feed my family so I think it would be prettier if you use the whole breast but these are delicious I have included the link to the recipe.

Here is the recipe for the German Sausages I made. They are also delicious!,1718,158168-229197,00.html

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

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Scrap night!

Well tonight I worked on some cards for and exchange. The cards had to have something embossed on them. It is not much but I embossed the white flowers along the bottom of the card. The white helps the flowers stand out a bit more. I started to make the first card to see if I was going to like how it turned out only to almost finish the card and realize I hadn't embossed anything. Oh well, but I did remember to emboss them when I made the ones for the exchange. I received this stamp set this summer as a free gift to hosting a party that had some amount of sales, how much I can't remember. But it is not a set I would have chosen on my own. But now I have made several cards with it and do quite like it. It is funny how sometime I see a stamp set and I love it but then once I get it I never like how this turn out when I use it. Then other times I get sets free that I would not have bought only to find that I use it often and love the results. I guess you never know.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!

I hade some leftover pumpkin in my fridge this week so I needed to make something with it. I remember seeing some cookies on the Martha Stewart website. So after I got my children to school Bhavik and I watch the video clip on how to make these delicious and very easy cookies. It is like eating pumpkin cheesecake. The soft pumpkin cookies filled with a creamy cream cheese frosting has been hard for me to keep from eating more than one. Okay so I ate two. Here is the link so if you want you can watch the video yourself and get the recipe.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We between yesterday and today I made these two cards for a card exchange I participate in. I like the top card but I am not sure I will be able to use it in the exchange. I wanted to use ribbon in the card but I am not sure I like the knot. I just hate to cut a slit and put the ribbon through. I just can never get the slit to look clean and then the card looks funny to me. I also had a hard time deciding what to put in the circles. I needed the card to be a adult card and I am thinking this is more kids like, but I used designer paper so I might I have to use this card in that category instead. Tell me what you think. The second card is pretty obviously a Valentine card and I am happy with how it turned out at well. Gluing the little red hearts on was a bit more time consuming than I had thought it would be but it worked out. It is kind of funny but the heart punch actually belongs to my 5 year old daughter Jouette. She really like to make paper things with Mommy so I have bought her a few things here and there. It is kind of sad how often I borrow things from her from time to time.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dunkers

I made this biscotto for the Belgians James works with last Thursday so that James could take it with him of Friday to work. Belgians love their coffee and I read that biscotto is meant to be dipped into coffee or hot chocolate. The kids and I tested it out on hot chocolate the night before and it really was quite delicious. I doubt any of the Belgians actually dipped it in their coffee but they were tasty all by themselves as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


1. Pigs in a Blanket with a green salad

2. Meatball subs and green beans

3. Fajitas

4. Supershells and a green salad

5. Sweet and Tangy Pork chops with mashed potatoes

6. Ranch Turkey Pasta Dinner

7. Ham and Cheese Quiche

If you haven't noticed we eat a green salad quite often since it is something my children eat really well. I usually have lettuce, shredded carrots, sliced red onion, mushrooms, and grated cheese on my salads. If occasion permits also like to have olives but that is not a common thing for us since pitted olives are hard to come by here in Belgium. I also like to put in small round tomatoes since James doesn't like tomatoes I can add these to a salad since they are not cut up and the kids and I can still eat them. Then of coarse ranch, that makes everything taste better!

Gingersnaps, the smell of the holidays!

Well yesterday Becky Evans and I made cookies. I also had a two kids from the neighborhood and with them it made for 6 kids making cookies. These gingersnaps are perfect for kids. Every child got to pour, crack, or mix until the dough was made then we scooped the cookies out and the kids rolled them in sugar and pressed them flat. Pressing them flat was the kids favorite part. So the first batch the kids made were not the prettiest cookies since many of them were severely flat. But the few older kids did a very nice job pressing their cookies. While were were mixing the spices for the cookies Becky said to me, "Wow now it smells like Christmas" I think the smell of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves it what most of us associate with the smell of Christmas. While the first batch of cookies baked Becky and I mixed up another batch since we wanted there to be plenty for everyone to take home. So the kids played while waiting for the cookies to bake. Becky scooped the rest of the cookies and made them a bit smaller than the cookies we let the kids make. I think the afternoon went very well, the kid enjoying playing and making cookies, but even more they enjoyed eating them. I think about by making these cookies I am beginning to introduce my children to them the smells of Christmas. Unless I am baking and making those smells they won't think of Christmas when they smell cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all the things I want to teach my children. But I am grateful for parents who took the time to bake and do fun things at the holidays so that I could have fond memories of these times and can now do the same with my children.

2/3 c. butter or shortening
¾ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
1 egg
¼ c. molasses
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. cloves
½ t. ginger

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and molasses and mix well. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Add to butter mixture and mix well until you have a soft dough. Add a little more flour if dough is too sticky. Scoop into small balls and roll in sugar. Gently press down with two fingers on the cookies sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-9 minutes. Just until edges are set like you do for sugar cookies. Let cool slightly on pan before moving to wire rack to finish cooling. If you are having a hard time removing them from the cookies sheet without breaking them up spray a bit if cooking spray on your spatula.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Strawberry Shortbread Cookies

Last night for Family Home Evening Jouette picked these cookies for us to make. They were not too sweet but still had a nice strawberry flavor. The glaze even became hard enough that I was able to stack the cookies on top of each other to store them. I found the recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens Christmas cookie magazine from 2007. They had several others I would like to try such as Honey and Cornbread cookies, PB Candy Shortbread, Banana nut Shortbread, and Carrot Cake Shortbread. I enjoy the flaky texture of shortbread cookies and these all sounded like fun flavors for cookies.

Monday, December 8, 2008

This weeks menu!

This is for the few of you who asked for my weekly menu. If something sounds interesting and you wish the recipe please let me know.

1.Hamburger Supper with green salad

2.Curry Chicken Salad Sandwiches with cold veggies such as carrot and celery sticks

3.Mandarin Chicken Salad

4.Taco Sundays

5.Mozzarella, Ham, and Mushroom Stromboli with fruit salad

6.Ham Steaks with Pineapple Sauce and a green salad

7.Chicken with Sea Scallops with green beans and mashed potatoes

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Homemade Chocolates

Making my own chocolates has been one of my favorite things of the Christmas time. I first tried making my own chocolates I think my second Christmas after James and I got married. I still have a long ways to go before my chocolate will look perfect the way I want them but I am getting better each year. This year I decided I wanted to try and put a letter on each chocolate so that we would know what flavor they are. Knowing which is what flavor is always a trick but I wanted it to be different this year. So here I have included a picture of my letter "C" on my chocolates that stands for coconut. I also made Peppermint, Lemon, Raspberry, and Cherry chocolates this year as well. I also plan to make some Bonbons but they don't last as long so I like to make them a bit closer to Christmas. As I was making my chocolates this year I was thinking back to when I was younger and all the flavors of chocolates my Grandma Washburn use to make. As a child I remember that they always seemed so uniform in shape and we always beautiful to look at, and of coarse all the different flavors. It made me a little bit sad since about 8 years ago my Grandmother divorced my Grandfather and then separated herself from my family. I was a teenager and the time and I have felt a great sadness in my life since I love to cook and Grandma is an amazing cook. There had been so many occasions where I wish I could cook along side her and learn. I use her roll recipe and everyone says they are delicious when I make them but they just aren't as good as grandma's and I really wish I could just go to her and have her watch me make them to see what I do that is different. Yes my rolls may be good but I want them to be perfect like hers. Well enough of my rambling. Chocolates, a symbol of the holidays for me!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Treat Baskets

I made these fun little treat baskets the other night and was very happy with how they turned out. I am going to fill them with goodies for the kids teachers Christmas gifts this year. They us 1 12x12 sheet of Card stock and 1 12x12 sheet of double sided pattern paper. You score the solid sheet of card stock at 4inches and 8 inches the turn it to the other side and do the same again. Fold each scored line then reopen and score each of the 4 corners diagonally. Fold the corners in. Cut you 12x12 patterned paper into nine 3 3/4x 3 3/4 inch. leave 4 as squares and cut the other 4 in halve diagonally. Glue the 4 square on the inside and the now 8 triangles on the out side. I use last square of patterned paper or another color of card stock to glue to the bottom. Punch a hole on each side of your 4 corners and attach eyelets. You will need 8 eyelets. Take a piece of ribbon that is 26 inches long and cut one end on a sharp diagonal. Use this end to thread through each eyelet, tie a bow when you get them all though.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yesterday Jouette had a friend from school come over and we made and decorated Sugar cookies. I think all the kids had a nice time. While to cookies were baking they played with toys and watched a Christmas movies. I will admit I had to make two batches of dough before it worked. I think my butter was too soft. I buy this butter here in Belgium and even right out of the fridge it is soft. So I went and bought another brand of butter and then the dough became firm when chilled. I also had frosting difficulty. Does any one have any suggestions? I think maybe something was up with the powdered sugar but it faintly tasted of lemon cleaner to me, yuck. So I tried a second batch of frosting as well. I guess I just need to stick to cream cheese frosting. That one always works for me. So after adding Almond flavoring and Raspberry flavoring the taste was a bit better but not really what I was hoping for. But atl east the second batch of Cookies turned out yummy. So here is the recipe for them:

Brenda’s Sugar Cookies
by: Brenda Mc Query

1 lb. margarine 2 c. sugar
4 eggs 3 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. Baking soda 6 c. flour

Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least 1 hour. Roll out thin for crispy cookies and thick for cake like cookies. Bake at 400 5-7 min. watch carefully and take out even if the seem undone. Let them cool for a few min before removing them to a cooling rack. Makes a really big batch.

Brenda was in the last ward we lived in and as long as I don't use the always soft butter these cookies are great.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pumpkin Pie!

Well it is the first day of December and I am so excited for the holidays this year. To celebrate James made this beautiful Pumpkin pie. I was so stuffed at Thanksgiving that I didn't have any pie so this is my first for the holidays. Pumpkin pie is such a comforting homely food for me. It bring to me lots of memories of holidays past. As I am sure it does for many of you. I have made a large list of treats a goodies I want to make this holiday season, if any of you have some family favorite please let me know what they are and give me the recipe. I am always excited to try new recipes, as many of you know.

I'm so Lucky