Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fifteen Weeks Down That Road Again-Drying Flowers & Making Note Cards!!!

Not a good week "Down That Road Again"!!!!!Don't know how I did it but I gained 2 pounds instead of losing them....Ate the right way, so must of been the way I prepared my meals....and no I didn't eat any of the fating recipes I have posted..Missed three days of walking, but that isn't the answer...Will just be more careful this week and weigh and measure everything, like I should of done last week...Just hate having to re-lose pounds....

Having trouble getting your child to eat vegetables?...Then use these recipe and deceive them!


3 medium carrots, steamed and pureed
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup Cheez Whiz -
½ cup cottage cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese, divided
1/3 lbs of whole-grain pasta - I used whole wheat penne

Pre-heat oven or toaster oven to 350 F.
Bring a large pot filled with very salty water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
While the pasta water is coming to a boil, prepare the cheese sauce… in a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the buttermilk and carrot puree. When that is warm, add the cottage cheese, most of the parmesan, cheez whiz or cheddar and let it all melt together. Watch out it does not boil because it will make the buttermilk runny/watery… just enough for all the cheeses to come together as a sauce.
When the pasta and sauce are done, drain the pasta and combine it with the sauce. Place them in a pyrex casserole dish, sprinkle with some of additional parmesan cheese and place in oven.
It will take about 15-20 minutes for the cheese on top to brown… that’s when you take it out.
Wait about 20 minutes for the cheese sauce to stop bubbling and dig in

Then use the left over sauce for some...


About 10 fingerling potatoes, washed well and cut in half
About ½ cup of leftover sauce from the Undercover Carrot Mac & Cheese

In a medium sauce pan place the fingerling potatoes. Add enough water to the bottom of the pan, where about half of the potatoes are still exposed. I find that potatoes cook better and faster when only a small amount of water is added to the pot.
Salt the potatoes and swirl the water in the pan for the salt to combine with the water.
Cover and let it boil/steam over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness. If they’re still underdone, let them go for about 2-3 minutes more and without uncovering, turn off the stove.
After about 10-15 minutes, the potatoes will be perfectly steamed and at the right temperature to handle. I sometimes take the skin off after I steam them… but that’s entirely if to you.
While the potatoes are resting, heat the leftover sauce. After it’s warm, pour on top of potatoes.



A popular method of drying flowers is to bury them in a drying material. There are several choices of drying material that work very well. A mixture of equal parts of sand and borax or sand and white cornmeal make excellent choices as drying compounds. Although sand is a popular product, it tends to weight down the flower petals and flatten them, therefore the borax and white cornmeal mixture may be a better choice for delicate petals. To help retain the flower’s original color, add about three tablespoons of non-iodized salt per quart of mix.
When flowers are dried in a borax mixture, it is necessary to leave them uncovered during the drying process. A heavy cardboard box lid or shallow cardboard box make good containers for this project. It is not necessary to bury the flower stems in the mixture, just the flowers themselves. Begin by pouring a layer of the drying material into the bottom of the container about 2 inches deep. Lay the flower facing up in the mixture, gently working it into the mixture until the petals are well supported. Carefully sift the mixture over the flower making sure the petals remain in place. If necessary, use a toothpick to unbend any petals. Continue adding the drying material until each flower is covered. Leave undisturbed for two to three weeks.
The flower petals will be extremely brittle after the drying process so use care when removing them. Gently shake the drying mixture to the side and carefully remove the flowers. If a petal or two drop off when removed, a tiny bit of glue at the base of the petal can be used to reattach it.

Microwave Oven Drying

One of the quickest methods to dry flowers is with a microwave oven. Flowers dried in a microwave tend to look fresher and hold their color well. Dry the flowers in an uncovered heat-tolerant glass or microwave safe container. Support the flowers by surrounding them with a medium such as silica gel. To help prevent excessive drying, place a cup of water in the microwave with the flowers. Dense flowers with a lot of petals will require about 3 minutes while a smaller or thinner-petaled flower can be successfully dried in about 1 minute. Leave the dried flower in the container and silica gel untouched for 12 to 24 hours to allow sufficient time to cool and dry. Finish the flowers by spraying with hair spray or lacquer.
Remember to avoid touching the flower petals with your hands as the oils from your hands can cause dark spots to form on the dried flower petals. The colors of the petals tend to darken as they dry. Extremely dark flowers may become almost black after drying while white flowers will develop a cream or tan color.

Make your own Personalized Stationery, Notepaper, Cards, Place Cards using Dried Flowers and Leaves.

This is a nice way to preserve a piece of nature and present it to someone for a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion. Pressed flower greeting cards also make nice note cards. You can make a set of these and give them as a special homemade gift by tying a group of them together with a piece of ribbon.
How to Properly Frame Your Dried Flower Designs.
Use some slightly diluted tacky glue when gluing flowers and leaves to paper. There are many NEW acid free glues on the market (thanks to the scrapbookers) that will work just as well as tacky glue. (See links below for other adhesives) Thinner glue is needed for delicate flowers and slightly thicker glue is required for the heavier stems and leaves. Put a dot of glue on the paper; position the flower and press down. Use a toothpick to add glue to each of the petals.
Rubber cement, a contact adhesive, can be used instead of tacky glue. Brush the rubber cement on the paper and brush some on the backs of the flowers and leaves. Allow to dry. Place a sheet of tracing paper on top of the dried rubber cement on the paper. Plan your design on top of the tracing paper or vellum. Slide the tracing paper away a little at a time as you press your flowers and leaves onto the paper. The floral material will adhere as it makes contact. Clean up excess glue with a kneaded eraser or a rubber cement pickup.
Add a few decorative lines to enhance your design. Use a triangle to make parallel lines and a French curve template when adding curved lines. Be aware of where the paper will fold when decorating the page. Colored felt pens can be used to draw graphics on stationery as well as adding color to pale flowers and leaves. A hole punch is useful when making holes for ribbon ties on bookmarks.

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