Monday, June 29, 2009

Cookie Challenge - Week 4

Today, I made chocolate chip cookies . . . but I didn't use the traditional recipes. Yeah me! Jon has been asking for chocolate chip cookies and I needed something quick and easy to make for our road trip this week and make his belly happy. I also didn't have that much food in the cupboards, so I had to work with what I had. I found this recipe on Epicurious and they taste delicious. It is a pretty basic recipe, but there is some magic going on with the eggs here, so make sure you follow the directions closely. This recipe also for a little more than a bag of chocolate chips. Since, I only had one bag, I added half of my Heath bits bag and a chocolate Hershey Bar broken into pieces. You can find the recipe here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Diaper pouch

There are so many times I have quick errands to run, and just don't feel like hauling my diaper bag around. This pouch is a cute way to store some wipes, a diaper, and even a binky all in one place that even fits in your purse (with the exception of those who can manage to carry around a small purse that barely fits their wallet).

My sister bought me the fabric to make something for Ethan. It is a heavier fabric, which will make this pouch even more durable. I got the pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's book, Simple Sewing For Baby and then modified it to fit my needs. Lotta Jansdotter reccomended using a velcro strip. But I used an elastic and button to close mine. I was hoping to find a neat car button, but the yellow one did the trick.

IPOD sleeve

Vacations is coming very quickly and I have just been having so much fun sewing that I am trying to tie the two together. We just bought a car adapter for our IPOD and wanted to try making something to keep it protected and still be functional. After looking at several tutorials, I came up with my own idea and I really like it's functionality and they way it protects my IPOD. I used fusible interfacing between my two pieces of fabric which helps make it sturdy. I also sewed a button whole in the right hand corner of the bottom fold. That way, I can stick the cord right through there. To close the sleeve, I used a rubber band (see the tutorial for the coffee cozy) and a button. This was super easy!

Fabric Swatch Card

Several months ago, while reading some of my favorite blogs, I found an idea for a card like this. When I went back to actually find it, I couldn't find it. So, I played with the circle cutter and some leftover fabric squares and came up with this card. It was so easy! I plan on making lots more to keep on hand.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cookie Challenge - Week 3

Today the house smelled heavenly. This week's recipe is a taste of deliciousness that comes in bar form. I am not even sure you would consider this recipe a cookie, but since I made them for Jon's lunch . . . they do. This week's recipe is Raspberry Breakfast Bars. They were easy and I only had to buy a bag of frozen raspberries to make them. This recipe comes from the website Smitten Kitchen and she got the recipe from the cookbook Baked: New Frontiers in Baking.

Here's the recipe:

For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the raspberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.
Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. (Note: The book suggests you reserve one cup only. My gut told me that was too little, and I upped it. I wanted to make sure the top of the raspberries were mostly covered, at least for packing purposes, and was glad I had changed it.) Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hans or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.
Make the raspberry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.
Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.

Enjoy these! They will work great for both breakfast or a light dessert, snack, or even a potluck! Not to mention they cut beautifully and don't fall apart and so you could wrap them up and give them as a gift.

Going Blue

Last week, my stamps came out and took over our dining room. My husband has been so patient with me in my quest for getting as much finished before we go on vacation next week.

Below is a quick gift bag if you have something small, but still want to make it look cute. I took a regular brown lunch bag and added some flare.

This bag was stamped with the "Celebrate" stamp from ???? (SU) with the cupcake stamp from Little Layers Plus (SU). The cupcake is on top of a popdot to give it some dimension. There is a white ribbon folded in half and stapled to the corner of the background paper. Ink is Close to Cocoa (SU) and paper is Natural and Buckaroo Blue. The cupcake is colored with the ink from the stamp pads and watercolor makers.

This card is one of my favorites. In fact, I may have a difficult time giving back this stamp set and punches back to my mom. I am having way too much fun! I made this card for my friend Stephanie's birthday. It uses Polka dot punches (SU 2009) and Stampin' Up Designer Series Paper, and once again, Buckaroo Blue. I also found some green brads and put them in the center of the flowers. The "Celebrate one cupcake at a time" stamp comes from ???? (SU 2009).
I am going to post this now, and if you are reading it and wondering why I have question marks, it is because the little guy is alseep and that's where I keep my stamps. Must wait til he wakes up. :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cookie Challenge - Week 2

This week, I decided to try S'Mores cookies. I have very fun memories of sitting in front of the campfire as a kid roasting marshmallows for S'mores. So, it didn't take much talking into to make these. These cookies were, by far, one of the best cookies I have every made. They have graham cracker crumbs, chocolate bar chunks, and mini marshmallows all melted together in this scrumptious cookie. Plus, they are not as messy as making the real thing. I found this recipe at the Cookie Madness blog.
Here it is:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cool room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup miniature marshmallows
2 Hershey Bars, broken into pieces (or other favorite milk chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Cream butter and both sugars with an electric mixer; beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in salt and baking soda making sure they are well distributed and free of lumps; stir in the flour, followed by graham cracker crumbs. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart. Bake for 9 minutes. Remove and quickly press marshmallows and chocolate into cookies. Return to oven and cook until done (about 3 or 4 more minutes)
Makes about 3 dozen

Breadstick Tutorial

One of my favorite things about eating at The Olive Garden is the breadsticks. They are so yummy and delicious that I tend to fill up on those and the salad before my meal comes and am too full to eat. Unfortunately, the recipes for those delicious breadsticks are under lock and key. But, thankfully, The team at Food Network magazine worked really hard to come up with a recipe that was similar. Last week, I decided to give it a try. Usually when I make bread, I just use the bread machine and go do something else because using yeast tends to overwhelm me. This recipe was so very easy, that I decided to take pictures to show that it is really easy. You can find the actual recipe in this months Food Network magazine in the "Copy That" section. Jon was very impressed with how they turned out.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

A Coffee Treat

I have been so busy lately, that I finally got the opportunity to sit down and read some of the blogs I like. Being the end of the year, and all, a lot of them had ideas for what to get your child's teacher for the end of the year gift (is it the end of the school year already? I think I have maintained a very busy stay at home life). On houseonhillroad, she had made some great coffee cozies for her kids to give to their teachers. It was love at first site for me! I immediately clicked on the link to print out the pattern, bought some elastics at Target, and washed my new fabric. Man, I was on a mission! I also had a fantastic way to put them quickly to use. I made my friend Steph one for her birthday yesterday (So I couldn't post this until today . . . didn't want to give it away!) and then made myself one. They were a quick and easy project. I will totally make more! Steph's brother in law said it would be fun to make one for him with guns or trucks or something. The wheels are turning! I can't stop them!

I took mine yesterday morning to Starbucks and put it on instead of those cardboard ones. I could say I am going "green," but the reality is that I just wanted my coffee to look cute . . . or maybe me look cute holding my hot latte. Who knows? I do know is that I got a compliment from the barista when I picked up my coffee. That made it all worth it!!!

I should note, though, that I used batting that is made to go in pot holders, so there is a nice insulation from the heat. It worked nicely, keeping my fingers perfect. It was also more comfortable to hold than those cardboard ones that you normally pick up with your cup of joe.

Happy Birthday Steph!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


A year ago, my great grandma died. I feel very lucky to have had a great grandma for almost 30 years of my life. That's pretty incredible, I think. My grandma was an amazing quilter. She made one for me when I was in third grade and i love curling up in it. It doesn't come out often anymore because there are pieces coming apart and I want to treasure it so that my children and grandchildren can have a piece of her.

When my sister helped my grandma clean out her house, they found these old quilt blocks from 1938. Yes, from 1938. Each block was done by a different family member (sister or in-law of my grandma) who wrote their name and location in the center. We are thinking that all 12 blocks were given to my grandma as a gift or to have her finish the quilt. We really are not sure why. But, over the years she forgot about them and the quilt never was made.

Tradition has it that quilters used to make 1 square a bit wrong on purpose. I am really not sure why. I do think it is a neat tradition though.

My sister and mom are working diligently to finish the quilt in time for the Terrell Family Reunion in July. Hopefully we will be able to hang it up. I will post a picture of the completed quilt another time.
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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Honeyed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know that I have mentioned that I am always looking for new chocolate chip cookie recipes . . . and now I must mention that I think I am going to see how long it takes me before I break down and just make the traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Tonight, I gave Jon a choice of several variations of chocolate chip cookies to pick from and he picked this one. I have to admit, I was very curious how they would taste, too. Anything with honey has got to be scrumptious, right?

I found this recipe here. Because this recipe contains honey, I must let you know that the recipe cooks at a lower temperature and browns beautifully! They also stay moist for longer and are chewy (the good kind of chewy). I just had a piece of a cookie (2 days later) and they still feel and taste just like they popped out of the over (minus the warm, melty feeling). Someday. . . I will make these cookies again! Please try this and let me know your thoughts. . . I am very curious! Happy baking! :)
Here's the recipe:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in honey and both eggs, adding the eggs in one at a time. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Working by hand or at a low speed, gradually incorporate flour mixture into honey mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place onto prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie to allow for the dough to spread.Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, I am blogging today instead of cleaning. In the room next to me, sits a rather large mess of dishes, babyfood that needs to be made, along with many, many other things on my list (any takers ?) Last week, I found a recipe in my recipe collection for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough To-Go by Mrs. Fields. I remember writing down that recipe on a trip to Idaho to visit my Aunt and Uncle. These cookies sounded so delicious! And now over 5 years later, I finally have made them. The funny thing is, I didn't tell my husband about the cookies and he said he was thinking about how they tasted like a Mrs. Field's cookie. So, I am hoping that that was a compliment because I certainly enjoyed them. In fact, the other half of the dough is sitting in the freezer just waiting patiently until I cook some more up. Here's the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks, unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coarsly chopped pecans
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (I also added a half bag of white chocolate chips)

In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, cream sugars and butter together. Beat eggs and vanilla and gently stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

I baked half of my dough right away and through the rest of it in a 1 qt. freezer bag and stuck in the freezer. They can be frozen for up to 6 months.

Bake at 300 for 20 minutes or so.

An explosion. . . .

No, nothing really exploded, although my husband (who has been rather patient) might think otherwise. I have a very long list of cards that I have needed to make and some stamps that I have been borrowing from my mom until school let out for the summer (that would be today). Man. . . I need to get movin'! The dining room table has been taken over by scrapbook paper, cardstock, stamps, and embellishments, causing chaos in our primarily clean home. So, here is a sample of what I have been working on. There will be more to come!

This is a close up on the card below. I bought the card at a local scrapbook store because I liked the detail around the punched out center. I added the celebrate! stamp and flower for my SIL, Kelley's birthday and then made a matching gift bag.

Quick and easy graduation card.

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

My favorite!


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