Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites Recipe

This is just a quickie because it looked so darn good.
Black Bottomed Mini Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites...and those Kisses on the top are called Pumpkin Spice. And is that a gorgeous picture or what? I can just see this for a Thanksgiving dessert! The recipe is at Picky Palate. Check it out! =]

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

I've come across some fun pumpkin ideas lately and wanted to share.

Love the idea of taking a drill to a pumpkin and making a nice, easy job of it. MY kind of carving, let me tell you!

Holiday Road / Great idea! (use a drill to make a polka dotted carved pumpkin)
Here's another holey one. Simple, simple, done!

A little creepy, but I like it....I'm a nursing student these days so it's OK, right?

Because I like the googlie eyes and I remember what it's like to do pumpkins with little ones. How cool and simple is this?

monogram pumpkins
Momogram pumpkins via Martha Stewart, because someday I want to grow up and be stylish. Check here to see how they're done

Another Martha. I love the face that shows up on the wall behind the pumpkin. Instructions here.

Pinned Image
Confession...this is a little more my speed for monograms at this point in my life. Time is limited, you know? Looks like you'd need a fairly smooth pumpkin to make it work and maybe use fabric or scrapbooking paper for the design?  Chased down the instructions here at Brown Paper Packages!

Adorable Personalized Pumpkins- Spider Web
Last but not least, because I think it's a cutie and it combines fun with simplicity...The lady who made this sells them at her etsy shop. Clicky here.

These last two would be nice to do on fake pumpkins. I bought a couple of them three years ago and I love them. They're colorful, look real, and best of all, they don't melt into a puddle when I forget to throw them out soon enough!

Happy Halloween!

One Crazy Lady

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Scones Recipe, Starbucks Style

I tried my very first Starbucks scone last weekend. It was delectable.
This morning, I checked my email and found a blog alert from RecipeGirl for her version. You can find the recipe here, at her blog.

***UPDATE 3/13*** - I tried this pumpkin scone recipe and I am in love. Seriously.
If they taste anything like the Starbucks version, as she says, then let me tell you, they are fantastic! She put solid layers of her plain and pumpkin spice glaze on each scone, rather than drizziling the spice one as Starbucks did.

 I like the look of the drizzly, but thinking all the extra flavor of more spice....mmmmm.....decisions!

This is a recipe I want to try. Now. Thanks, RecipeGirl!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater...Pumpkin Recipies for Fall

I love October. The air is cooler and the leaves are starting to change and fall. It makes me think of rain, hot cocoa, a good book, and a fire in the fireplace.

...And makes me hungry for pumpkin....

Came across this recipe for Pumpkin Fudge at Recipe Girl. Can't wait to try it out. Something about it just grabbed me. It was probably the word "fudge".

Then there's a recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles at Erins Food Files (not me...another Erin with great taste). they sound a little strange, but in a good way, right?  =]

...And Cream Cheese Rippled Pumpkin Bread from Lick the Bowl Good....Really, really want to try this one. We make a whole wheat pumpkin bread that is to die for. Yep. Whole wheat, and still great. If I have time to cook in the near future, I'll make it and post the recipe.

...And Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes over at Une-Deux Senses. These have a graham cracker base with vanilla cake and pumpkin pie frosting.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
...And Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Goodlife Eats...

Which lead me to another of Goodlife's recipies, this one for Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. Now, I am not an oatmeal fan, it's just a bit too slimy for me, but this looks more like dessert. Crunchy, sweet, and healthy enough that I can feed it to the kiddos in the morning and not feel guilty about it.

Who needs Halloween candy?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thrift Store Cedar Chest - Refinished

Remember the thrift store bargain I bought last month? You can check it out here.

I made the kids haul the chest outside for an after picture so I could fiddle with Picasa and try a split view photo. I have a renewed respect for those types of pictures now. Ug. Leaving this one as is until I have more time to play with it.

Here's the re-do. =]
One  half used can of Jasco and my very favorite gloves.....
I applied the Jasco with a cheapie brush.Wear shoes if you try this. You'll thank me for these words of wisdom. Glops of stripper between your toes and on the bottoms of your feet are not fun. No, I didn't go in the house and put shoes on after I burned my toes the first time. I'm tough...or something like that.
I waited two minutes before removing. It didn't work so hot. Wait 10 minutes. Really. The can knows what works best. Then remove with a putty knife. This is when you are going to wish you spent $3 and bought a new pair of favorite gloves, because all those splits in the rubber mean that goop is now burning fingers...
With a damp rag, wipe off the excess goop and sand....
Remember that broken base? Oh, how I wanted to rip the whole bottom off and replace the base with some round, ball type wooden feet. Then I priced them and realized I really didn't want to spend $50 on my bargain chest right now and decided to fix it instead.

I traced out the broken section and use a scroll saw to cut a new piece out of some scrap oak I had in the garage. Bargain girl strikes again.
The new wood isn't as thick as the original, but the difference is only visible from underneath. Both pieces of wood were predrilled before they were glued and screwed together. 

OK...I'll confess. I didn't drill the holes quite big enough for the screws, so when I put it together, the darn thing was a pain and shifted a bit. I left it. I know. Bad.
What am I doing here? Removing color #1. Yes, I tested it first. Yes, it was perfect. Yes, it looked awful on a larger piece. I used Minwax Polyshades, a stain and polyurethane in one. I used it to redo my kitchen cupboards a few years ago. They turned out blotchy and uneven. I almost cried.

I decided I'm better now and this miracle all-in-one would work this time. I was wrong. It's STILL a pain to work with. Do yourself a favor and don't bother with the stuff. I will never use it again.

This is the point where my camera broke and you're going to miss out on a bunch of exciting picture possibilities.

Like Putting on Stain. You do this across the grain. Who knew.
And Wiping off Stain. You do this with the grain.
And Painting on Verathane. It goes on milky white and dries clear.
See? Exciting stuff!

The trunk in its new home....and for the record, it really does look much better in person.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ugly Duckling Cedar Chest

I found a treasure chest at my favorite thrift store. It was a poor, homely, wobbly, crayoned chest sitting forlornly by the door as we were leaving. It was ugly. Really. I almost didn’t look at it twice. The finish was a white washed, peeling oak. The back of the base was broken off on the right side so it tipped drunkenly if you sat on it. It looked kind of…ugg…outdated. Not my style at all. But it was a Lane, so I looked anyway.
Then…drumroll…we opened it up. Inside was the most beautiful, pristine cedar. It was in mint condition, with original tags and all. October 1954.  The chest was 57 years old and in amazingly good shape despite the cosmetic mess. I bit the bullet and plunked down $38, called my sister and begged for her truck, then carted that baby home.
Please ignore the messy porch. This is my high tech workspace.
Lovely, eh? Filthy, scribbled, gouged, and I think that spot in the middle is a burn mark.
I actually fell in love with this little scribble. My oldest child's name starts with the letter "B", and I still remember finding those first scrawled attempts of name writing on walls and, ahem...dressers. It kind of made this chest belong to us in a way. Know what I mean? I could just picture a little boy standing there with his pen and smiling at his perfect "B". Amazing how a few years distance makes those things sweet!
 This is the broken base. Simple and fixable, but enough of an issue to scare away some would be buyers at the thrift store. Lucky me.
Here you can see just how nicely the inside was preserved. With the exception of the deteriorated green tray, the rest was beautiful. 
I showed my find to my mother-in-law, who, can you believe it, used to own the 1953 version of the exact same trunk. I believe she got it as a high school graduation present. I felt a little bad about calling it butt ugly before showing it to her. Sigh. One day I'll learn.
Hang in for the transformation from Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan. It was fun, relatively simple, inexpensive, a learning experience, and well worth the effort.

Friday, July 29, 2011


My daughter had her 16th birthday yesterday.

Rather than say "Sweet 16 and never been kissed", we woke her up with a shower of Hershey's Kisses. Not a bad start, eh?

Her Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake was a group effort, and the recipe can be found here, at Taste of Home .

Daughter #3 was in charge of the Hoho cutting and did a fab job. We lined a glass bowl with saran wrap, then placed the sliced Hohos cut side down in the bowl, courtesy of Daughter #2, who fought for the privilege. We popped it in the freezer to firm up a bit.

Next we added the ice cream. One box Vanilla Chocolate Swirl. While I usually beat softened ice cream to make something like this, this time I cut it in slices (economy bargain box brand) and placed the slices in a complete layer using my hands. I'm not going to show a picture because it looks messy. Fun though. Just saying.

Freeze again and repeat with the second ice cream. We used plain old chocolate. Again we cut it in slices and pressed it into place. The advantage with cutting is that the consistency of the ice cream doesn't change with too much melting and refreezing. Also, it can be ready to eat faster. And yes, I was being lazy.

Cover with saran wrap and freeze.

When frozen and ready to go, peel off the saran wrap and invert it onto a plate.

We call this picture "The Unveiling".

Anxious for a slice....

 Not the prettiest shot. Found out that the ice cream was soft because the outside freezer had been unplugged all day. We had fired some beads that morning and only one plug fits at a time in that outlet. Probably a good thing we had this treat or who knows when we would have checked on the freezer again. Uggg.

Overall, it was a success. Only three plates? Someone must have put theirs in the dishwasher!

Pretty sweet with all the Hohos. I think I'd rather just go with straight ice cream, but it was definitely good and looked pretty nifty up close. If you give this a shot, I'd recommend placing the Hohos (actually, we used Little Debbie's Swiss Rolls) closer together than we did. Don't squish 'em, but no gap-age.

 This is what happens when you leave the camera on the table when you're done. =]

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Organize Your Favorite Finds on Pinterest

I fell in love with Pinterest. Head over heels. Completely. It's become an obsession. My house is a neglected mess, but I have soooo many new project ideas now that I pretend it's worth it.

Pinterest is basically an online bulletin board for your favorite internet pictures and the pictures you collect create links to the sites where they're found. You make up your own categories, for instance "Dessert Recipes", "Quilt Ideas", "DIY Projects", then when you come across something wonderful on a site, you click "pin it" and you catalog the picture you like for easy reference.

The fun part comes in when you "follow" other friends and super cool Pinterest people.You see what they've found, then copy what you want of their great finds to your boards. I'm smiling here because I LOVE the copy part. I never knew there were so many awesome things are out there, and I never would have stumbled across them without this site..

Some of my favorite finds so far...

A recipe for Nutella Truffles. You can find it here . So, my head keeps going to these with a hazlenut inside and dipped in melted chocolate with the hazlenuts sprinkled on top. Kind of a makeshift Ferrer Rocher.

These were just beautiful. Sigh. Key Lime Cupcakes with Blackberry Filling and Blackberry Frosting...

And sandwiches? The recipe for Mozzarella Grilled Cheese (with tomatoes and pesto) is here. I'm hungry. Can you tell?

This one makes me want to go garage sale shopping for a chair to paint. I'm doing this project just as soon as I find a cheapie chair. Sadly, the linky thing on Pinterest isn't working this time and I can't find the source of this picture. That happens sometimes. Darn it. 

Because I want others to share in my happy addiction, and because I want to see what cool things everyone else finds, go check out this site and sign up!. The link goes to one of my recipe pages. Yeah, I'm still hungry. Clicky here.You'll love it. =]

To find all my boards me on Pinterest, Clicky here!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bodacious Beads!

We made beads today! Whoo Hoo!

Started with a bead holder made out of a piece of scrap wood from the garden. You work with what you have, you know?
Marked the board in 1" increments and drilled holes to hold wooden skewers used to dry the beads.
 I was so excited to try out the board that I pulled some dry beads out and let them sit I could check out the look.
 Next step was to glaze the bisqued beads and stack them in the kiln. The booger of the whole situation is that no bead can touch another. They have a tendency to stick together and get ruined and that would be a bummer.

So...a little stress here as we waited to see if our set-up would work. Had a fear that the metal support wires would droop and leave the beads in a pile of melted mess. Guess what??? It worked!!!
Finished beads. Yeah, they're a little wild and miss-matched, but you have to play a little, you know? My daughter had a blast painting. Most of these are hers.

Colors are a little off, but here's a sample. In person, the red is a real red and the little beads in between are a bright green.
And yep, I know these pictures are katty-whompus, but for the life of me, I don't know how to fix them.

***Edit*** I fixed the pics. I feel so accomplished today! =]