Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Day

Just a quick post, it is noon and we have already been out to trick or treat at Grandma's work. Followed by picking up our annual jack-o-lantern pizza! I think the costumes are stinkin' cute!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie gifts

Before I start talking about giving gifts, looky what my friend Margaret gave me?!

I am covering the title of my book out of shame. My guilty pleasures are those vampire/mythological romance book... don't judge! You can find more Margaret's creations on her Etsy page. My favorite are the coasters!

Now onto the yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies! You can't really make a bad chocolate chip cookie so use whatever recipe you like. I used Tide and Thyme (dot) Com's recipe. I ran out of flour so added an extra cup of bread flour to mine. They held the shape of the scoop when the first batch was done, so in the following I used the back of the scoop to flatten them.

These are for my son's Fall Harvest Dance at his school. I assume they will be used for the cake walk. I am sure everyone is making cupcakes (which is not a bad thing, too many cupcakes? NEVER!), so I wanted to do something different. I added them to a plastic baggy and got out my cuddle bug for the first time in months!

Using my Sizzix die I cut out the top note in both patterned scrap paper and a harder card stock. The letters were punched out of black card stock. I used my favorite tool, a glue pen, to adhere the letters onto the top note. Then I stapled a folded top note onto the bag.

These would make perfect additions to your boo bags too! Let me know what you think, and do you have any guilty pleasures?
Posting to these great link parties:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DIY Zombie Costume

Are you as addicted to Iphone and Ipad games as I am? I think the only people addicted more is my children. From learning games to their absolute favorite Plants VS Zombies we spend hours a week playing.

Plants VS Zombies is a battle game where the zombies (all different types and skill levels) are trying to get into your house and "EAT YOUR BRAINS!", you need to defend your yard by planting plants that shoot or blow up the zombies.
Photo from

For Halloween Gabe decided he would be the bucket head style zombie from the game, so off to Goodwill we went. I am extremely happy with how it turned out!
Photo from
And here is Gabe:

Roland will be a skeleton but his was from the store, hopefully next year he gives me a more interesting costume to put together!

Linking to these great parties:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Leaf Banner

The leaves are finally starting to change in Canby, my favorite time of year. This is the perfect time to take a nature walk and start making those projects with whatever you find outside. I was inspired by one of my favorite muses, Kids Craft Weekly. You can receive her newsletters by email monthly. This last month we created the Fall Leaf Banner. It takes several steps to complete it is well worth it.

Fall Leaf Banner:

If you are making this when the leaves have dropped take this opportunity to go out on a nature walk and find different varieties of leaves to trace onto news paper. We are lucky enough to have a nature trail right behind our house!

After you have traced several leaves on the newspaper let the kids water color, don't worry about staying in the lines you will cut them out later. We did this last month so I found some free printable leaf pictures and printed them directly onto the newspaper.

When the water color is dry cut out all of the leaves. Paint a white background on another piece of newspaper. Place the cut out leaves onto the paint.

For the finishing touches I chose to punch out hearts and glue in the corner. Punch a hole in the middle of each heart and tie your ribbon, string or raffia.
We hung this above our entry table, just don't tell my husband I put push pins in the wall!

This is one of my favorite projects thus far and am going to make sure I figure out a way to store this nicely for next year. Will you be trying this? Let me know!

Linking to these great sites:

Blue Cricket DesignThe Girl CreativePhotobucket Keeping It SimpleTip Junkie handmade projects TGC Blogiversary Celebration
DIY under $5Photobucket

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our Favorite Breakfast Biscuits

My morning routine usually starts with chores. There is something about the morning that makes me want to clean. So the first hour of my morning is usually spent cleaning the kitchen and putting in the first load of laundry. That's what I love about this breakfast biscuit recipe, I can throw a frozen on in the microwave for 3 minutes and have a nice hot breakfast to reward myself for the early morning chores. These are also great grab and go on those out the door type mornings. Whether you make these in advance and freeze or eat them out the oven they are delicious.

Breakfast Bicuits
1 Tbl butter
4 eggs
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
1/4 cup milk
chopped ham (lunch meat or bacon work well too)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter in a skillet. Wisk together eggs, salt/pepper and milk. Add Ham to mixture. Pour mixture into the skillet and scramble. When finished set aside. Open your biscuits and cut each one half. With your fingers flatten the biscuits and press into a muffin tin (I use a Demarle muffin sheet, you may need to grease yours). Scoop a spoon full of scrambled eggs into each cup and top with cheese. Bake in your preheated oven for 12 minutes.

To freeze: When cool put them into ziplock bag in the freezer. When ready to eat microwave for up 3 minutes checking after 2 minutes.

Linking to these great sites:
Romantic Home

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sweet Pickle Relish And Egg Salad Sandwhiches

Ok I call it cucumber relish but the recipe I made is called sweet pickle relish. This year I bought the Better Homes and Garden's canning magazine and paid way too much for it, but it was worth it. Wanting to use up the pickling cukes I purchased at the Oregon City farmer's market this looked like the winner. I don't eat pickles, even though I canned a whole lot of them this year, but I do put relish in things and on my hotdog. I made this recipe back in August but it came back to my attention today as I was putting it in the most fabulous egg salad.

Sweet Pickle Relish adapted from BHG Canning magazine 2011
6 cups (about 6 medium)seeded and finely chopped pickling cucumbers
3 cups (about 6 medium) finely chopped onions
3 cups (about 3 large) seeded and finely chopped green and/or red sweet peppers
1/4 cup pickling salt
cold water
3 cups sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

I found these beautiful purple peppers (wish I would have picked a peck......)at the farmer's market to use.

In an extra-large nonmetal bowl, combine the cucumbers, onions, and sweet peppers. In this batch I hand diced everything, in others I have also used the food processor. Go with what you have. Sprinkle vegetables with salt; toss gently to coat. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables. Cover and allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Go now and do a craft project!
Rinse vegetables in a colander with cold water and drain.

In large heavy pot combine sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and turmeric. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add the veggies. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until most of the excess liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.

Gather your supplies and prepare to can them in a water bath. If you can't tell those are canning jar rings around his cute little arm. What a big helper!

Process filled jars, leaving half inch headspace, for 10 minutes. Makes 7 half-pints.

If you have one to open right away go immediately and make an egg salad sandwich!
5 hard boiled eggs peeled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried onion mix (like Tastefully Simples Onion Onion mix)
2 tablespoons sweet pepper relish
salt and pepper to taste.
eat with a spoon or spread onto a sandwich and enjoy!
The boys ate this on toasted bread in between the craft project coming up next, I ate mine on a artisan tortilla.

I would love to know what you put relish in!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ketchup in the Slow Cooker

I am in love. Totally head over heals in love with canning! It is our second year in this house and I finally got the garden to grow without the bugs eating everything. With tomatoes from my garden and my father in laws I had enough to make some ketchup. This process should be started in the morning to be finished at the end of the day, otherwise you will be up all night. You could also do this over night and can the next morning. Directions are simple.
Adapted from What Julia Ate.
8 cups diced tomatoes (peeled if you do not have a food mill)
1 medium sweet onion sliced thin
2/3 cup of dark brown sugar
3-4 cloves garlic peeled
A spice sack: cinnamon stick, bay leaf, black peppercorns, allspice berries, celery seed
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp salt

Chop tomato, onion and garlic into a non reactive stock pot. Boil for 20 minutes or until soft. Run the tomato sauce through food mill to remove skins and seeds into your slow cooker. If you peeled them first use an immersion blender or small batches in a food processor and transfer into the slow cooker.

At this point at your sugar, salt and vinegar. Using a spice bag, coffee filter or tea ball pack your spices and add to the mixture. Leave on low or for me the 10 hour setting for as long as you can until the right ketchupy (I now deem that word) thickness.

Bottle and follow water bath canning procedure found here at processing for 15 minutes with 1/2 inch head space.

I put mine straight into Grolosch bottles I had on hand and kept it in the fridge. This will make you want to have french fries and hotdogs for dinner every night!