Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Twelve Miles Down That Road Again! & Roasted Beef Brisket!!!

Another week gone by in my long journey "Down That Road Again"....I lost 2 pounds last week and of course I am pleased with that lost...My old Butter Crock is filling up with money and at the end of the road I will have a nice little stash to get something I really want...I hope all my friends that are struggling to lose weight are doing well in their weight loss journey!...


Serves 8.....WW Points 5
Toss some potatoes in the oven with the meat to round out your meal.
1 large onion(s), sliced
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 pound(s) baby carrots
5 oz mushroom(s), sliced (about 2 to 2 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 pound(s) raw lean beef brisket, trimmed, use brisket from the flat half
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Spread onion slices and garlic on bottom of a nonstick roasting pan; top with carrots and mushrooms. Arrange beef over vegetables.
In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and sugar; stir to dissolve sugar.
Pour tomato mixture over brisket and vegetables; tightly cover with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Roast for 2 hours and then remove from oven; uncover, stir and use pan juices to baste meat. Return brisket to oven and roast for about 1 hour more, uncovered, basting every 15 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Serve meat and vegetables with sauce spooned over top. Yields about 3 ounces of beef plus 3/4 cup of vegetables and sauce per serving.
For added color and flavor, substitute a cup of frozen green bell pepper strips for half of the mushrooms.


Serves 8....WW Points 0
You have to love a zero POINTS value dip that not only livens up crudite but also doubles as a fabulous finishing sauce for grilled chicken or pasta.
1/2 pound(s) spinach, cooked and drained
1 cup(s) tomato(es), chopped
1 cup(s) basil, fresh
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
5 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender; process to desired consistency. Yields about 3 tablespoons per serving.
I recommend a high quality cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano for the best flavor.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Tie" Dyed Easter Eggs~Crown Jewel Cake~Black Bean & Pineapple Salad Ole!!

You need 100% silk for this to work. Make sure to check the labels to make sure you're not buying polyester, which can look similar. Grab old ties at the thrift store where they're all under a buck. And remember: when it comes to ties, you may not want ugly ones on your man, but ugly ties do make pretty eggs! You could also use silk from an old blouse, a scarf, whatever.
Try to find an assortment of colors and patterns. Usually dark blues, purples, and reds work the best, but it's fun to experiment with all kinds of things. The interesting thing is that you never know how much of the color and pattern will transfer to the eggs. Sometimes ties I think will be awesome really disappoint, and ones I didn't think much of make the most beautiful eggs.
Materials and Tools
-Raw Eggs
-Glass or enamel pot (but pretty much any non-aluminum pot will be fine)
-Silk ties, blouses, or boxers, cut into pieces large enough to cover an egg
-An old white sheet, or pillowcase, or tablecloth, or random fabric, cut into pieces to cover silk-wrapped eggs
-Twist ties or string
-4 tablespoons of white vinegar
-Warm water
-Vegetable oil
-Paper towels
-Tongs or spoon
1. Remove seaming from ties and any lining on the inside. You just want a piece of the silk. Cut silk into a square (or a piece) large enough to wrap around a raw egg.
2. Wrap an egg with a piece of silk, making sure the printed side of the material is facing the egg. Silk can still be used if it doesn't fit perfectly around egg. Just try to make as much smooth contact with the fabric to the egg as you can. The pattern will transfer better if it is right up against the egg. Any part that is folded or wrinkled will leave kind of a tie-dyed pattern (which is a good thing, it’s pretty that way) Secure with twist-tie or string..

3. Place the silk-wrapped egg in a piece of white sheet, pillowcase, or old tablecloth and secure tightly with another twist-tie or string. (Do yourself a favor and go with the twisty tie!)

If you go to the thrift store to get ties, you may want to grab a pillowcase too.
4. Place the egg(s) in the pot. Fill pot with water to cover eggs completely. Then, add the 1/4 C of white vinegar.
5. Bring water to a boil, turn heat down, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
6. Remove eggs from water with tongs or spoon and let cool on a pile of paper towels or in a colander.
7. When eggs are cool enough to handle, you can remove the fabric.
8. To add a little bit of lustre to your eggs, put a dab of vegetable oil on a paper towel and rub onto the egg..

A little thought: You're going to use the largest part of the tie, at the bottom, and be left with the rest of it which might not be large enough to use again. What I do is take all of those pieces and just stitch them together on my sewing machine. It's really fast and then I'm left with a brand new piece of silk to cut squares from. You can get a lot more use out of them that way and it's fun to combine fabrics. Have you seen the beautiful purses made from the silk ties….You could make yourself a purse from the left overs….
**Safety Note**: Now about the dye transferring to the actual egg. Know that it is not food safe dye. Who knows where the silk came from our how it was colored. So be on the safe side you probably shouldn't eat them…
“Our Best Bites”


Your family will loves this dessert and it is so pretty to serve.

1 (3 oz) pkg. each of orange,cherry and lime jello
3 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 pkg lemon jello(same size as above)
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups graham wafer crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 envelopes Dream Whip
Prepare the first 3 pkgs of jello separately using 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup cold water for each. Pour the jello into loaf pans. Chill until firm and cut into cubes.
Combine pineapple juice and sugar, heat to boiling. Remove from heat and dissolve the lemon jello in it, add remaining cold water. Chill until syrupy..(texture of a raw egg white)
Mix the graham wafer crumbs with the melted butter. Press into an ungreased 9 by 11"pan, reserving 1/2 cup for garnish.
Prepare Dream Whip according to pkg and fold into syrupy lemon jello mixture. Gently mix in the jello cubes. Pour over the crumbs.
Garnish and chill for 8 hrs in fridge.
This makes a lovely Easter/Spring Cake!!


Makes 6 to 8 side salads (about 7 cups)
3 tbsp. Lime juice
3 tbsp. apricot preserves
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans rinsed and drained
2 cups Del Monte Gold® Extra Sweet pineapple chunks
2 medium ears of corn, cooked and kernels cut from cobs (about 1 ½ cups)
1/3 cup sliced roasted red bell pepper
1/3 cup diagonally sliced green onions
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 to 2 tsp. minced jalapeno pepper (optional)

To make dressing, in small bowl whisk together lime juice, preserves and oil.
In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add dressing; toss well. Chill 2 to 3 hours to blend flavors before serving.
Nutritional information per serving: calories 330, total fat: 3g, saturated fat: 0g, calories from fat: 25; protein: 12g, carbohydrates: 71g, cholesterol: 0mg, dietary fiber: 15g, sugar: 29g, sodium: 275mg
This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A and Folate, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese
This ingenious Pineapple Slicer will peel, core and slice a fresh pineapple in just 30seconds. It works like a corkscrew, removing the flesh in perfectly formed rings leaving the core in the shell. One turn, one slice, or the whole pineapple in one go.
It is made by Vacuvin and I got it at my Hy Vee grocery store...It works perfect and makes using a fresh pineapple so much easier...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Create Yummy, No-Calorie FaKe CupCakes!

Yippee...CupCakes with no calories! Now that is right down my ally...These do turn out awesome looking and will go well with your Spring decorating...

To make the cupcakes you will need…

an old muffin pan
cupcake liners
plaster of paris
3-inch styrofoam balls
hot glue
paper clay
sand paper
acrylic paint in desired cake and frosting colors
lightweight spackling for frosting (1 1/2 - 2 cups per color)
disposable pastry bags
# 1 M decorating tip
cupcake toppers/decorations (optional)
1.Put cupcake liners in pan. Mix plaster of paris following directions on box (I mixed 3 cups plaster with 1 1/2 cups water and had enough for 7 cupcakes). Fill lined cupcake pan with mixed plaster of paris. As plaster sets, place a toothpick in the middle.
2.Cut 3" styrofoam ball in half
3.Pierce the center of the ball with the toothpick you inserted in the base.
Take the ball off the toothpick and squirt hot glue in the hole created by the toothpick. Put the ball back on the toothpick/bottom.
4.Cover the stryofoam with a thin & smooth coat of Paperclay. Allow the clay to dry thoroughly.
6.Paint dark brown or desired color
7.Put about 1 1/2 cups of spackling in a bowl and add acrylic paint to make it the desired color.
9.Place spackling in a disposable pastry bag and pipe on cupcake as desired (I used a # 1M tip and spiraled the icing on starting on the outside and working my way in). WASH BOWL, SPOON, DECORATING TIP, ETC. IMMEDIATELY!!
10.Adorn cupcake as desired and allow to dry...

If you want a tutorial on making the Faux CupCakes with pictures then click on more faux cupcakes tutorial

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Recycle/Make Your Own Paper~Strawberry Shortcake & Angel Lush!!!

I like trying new crafts, but am not always able to invest in all the supplies....so this is a groovy way to make paper with stuff you probably have on hand (or can acquire for next to nothing!
If this is the first time you are making paper, don't be afraid to experiment with different fibers, you don't have to stick with paper related products. Add whole flower heads to the pulp mixture after it has been through the blender. You can add scraps of yarn, tin foil, even seeds. Its all comes down to what you want. Experiment with different textures and colors after all Ts'ai Lun did! Remember, some of your ideas will turn out while others may not. Have fun with it, express your creativity..

Things You’ll Need:
Gather supplies:
white glue
panty hose
wire hanger
and of course paper...
Many types of paper that can be used include:
Computer Paper (unprinted)
Newspaper (If you want a grayish colored paper)
Egg Cartons
Old Cards (For heavier paper)
Toilet Paper
Paper Bags
Non Waxed Boxes (Pre-soak in warm water)
Office Paper
Tissue Paper (For finer paper)
Typing Paper
Construction Paper

Create the drying screen before you begin. You can create a drying screen by shaping the wire hanger into a square or rectangle. Stretch the panty hose over the wire being careful not to snag them. You will need a screen for each piece of homemade paper you plan to make.
Tear up your old paper. I shred it with a paper shredder. What I don't use to make new paper is used for garden mulch. You can also tear the paper into 2 inch, or smaller, squares.
Add water and blend. Place your paper in the blender. Cover it with water. Allow it to sit and soak up some of the water. Add more water to keep the water level about an inch above the top of the paper. Adding enough water is important to keep from over working your blender! Run the blender on low speed. Once you have grey liquid, blend a few more minutes. When you are finished, the original paper should be completely broken down.
If you want colored paper, add a few drops of food coloring. Blend until the color is distributed evenly. I enjoy the natural off-white color of the paper with small specks of color from any colored paper in the mix. You can also get creative in this step and add natural elements such as sticks, shells, or flowers.
Give your blended pulp a glue bath. Fill your sink with 4 inches of water. Add 2 tablespoons of glue to the water. Dump the contents of your blender into the sink full of glue water. Use your hands to mix it up. Make sure it is mixed well.
Strain your homemade paper. Place your screen at the bottom of the sink. Wait a few seconds and then very slowly begin lifting the screen. You should lift as slowly as possible, taking at least 30 seconds to lift it from the water.
Dry your new paper. Take your screen outside and dry it in the sun. It should be completely dry before you try to remove the paper. Very gently pull the paper off. To speed dry your homemade paper, you can try putting it in the oven on a very low heat setting. Just be careful not to set the oven temperature too high. You would not want to catch your homemade paper on fire!
Iron your new paper (optional). You can iron the homemade paper if you wish. This will remove the wrinkles. If you do this, be careful not to scorch it with the iron.
Make something pretty from your homemade paper. You can make special notes, cards, use it in scrapbooks or other paper crafts, or make a book cover out of it.
It's fun to add bits of thread and flowers and seeds, etc
While your paper is drying you could lay it over an overturned bowl and it will dry into a bowl shape...

Strawberry Shortcake:

Super easy and very good

1 cup milk, divided
¼ cup sour crème
3 tbsp. sugar
2 ¼ cups dry all-purpose baking mix for biscuits (I used Bisquick)
1 pkg. (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding and pie filling mix
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping (Cool Whip)
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 425F.

Mix ½ cup milk, sour crème and 3 tbsp sugar in large bowl with wire whisk. Stir in baking mix until blended. Spread evenly into greased 9-inch round cake pan. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove and let cool completely on wire rack.

Meanwhile, combine dry pudding mix and remaining ½ cup milk; blend well. Gently stir in half of whipped topping until well blended. In a separate bowl mix strawberries and 1/3 cup sugar; set aside. Slice cake in half horizontally to make two layers.

Place bottom of cake on serving plate. Spread pudding mixture evenly over bottom layer (saving a large spoonful of pudding mix); evenly layer half of strawberries on pudding layer; put leftover large spoonful of pudding mixture in center of strawberry layer; place top cake layer on top, press down gently. Spread top with remaining whipped topping and top with remaining strawberries...

Angel Lush with Pineapple:

This is the perfect dessert for when you just want something light. The hardest part was cutting the angel food cake! This is super easy to prepare but looks and tastes great! I hope you enjoy.

1 can (20 oz.) DOLE® Crushed Pineapple, undrained
1 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O® Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP® Whipped Topping
1 pkg. (10 oz.) prepared round angel food cake
Seasonal Berries

Mix pineapple and dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Gently stir in whipped topping. Let stand 5 minutes.
Cut cake horizontally into 3 layers. Place bottom cake layer, cut side up, on serving plate.
Spread 1-1/3 cups of the pudding mixture onto cake layer; cover with middle cake layer. Spread 1 cup pudding mixture onto middle cake layer; top with remaining cake layer. Spread with remaining pudding mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Garnish with your favorite seasonal berries.
Store leftover dessert in refrigerator.

Great Substitute:
Prepare as directed, using JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Fat Free Sugar Free Instant Reduced Calorie Pudding & Pie Filling and COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping.

How To Cut the Angel Food Cake:
Use a serrated knife and gentle sawing motion to easily cut the angel food cake.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fear Should Never Stop Us From Eating Our Greens & Three Recipes!!

First I want to share with you some pictures of my baby girl on her birthday!

Cearle with Crissy & Scott, her SL & BL

Cearle, her husband Greg and her brother John...

Cearle & her horse riding friend Garry Ann


Eat your greens. Good advice, sure. But there's something scary about those Jurassic leaves at the market. You come home with a big bouquet and then what?

Fear should never stop us from eating something so healthful, so flavorful. The benefits of vitamin- and antioxidant-rich greens are well known. And don't just think spinach. Kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, escarole—there's a world of good tastes that can dress up any plate.

Just follow these simple steps:

Look for whole leaves, supple but still firm, like the healthy leaves on any plant, with no gooey or brown spots. The stems should be taut, the leaves fanning out from them.

Remember the rule: the firmer the leaf, the longer it must cook. Chard cooks more quickly than escarole, which cooks more quickly than collard greens, which cook more quickly than kale.

When you're home from the market, wash your sink out, stopper it, and fill it with cold water. Immerse the leaves in the water, shake them around a little to loosen any sand and grit, then leave in the water, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Gently scoop them up from the sink without unstoppering it and shake dry over the water, thereby leaving any dirt to go down the drain. Blot dry with paper towels, or take the greens for a spin in a salad spinner. Be sure the leaves are thoroughly dry before you store them. Do not stem the leaves—doing so will encourage rot.

Using a knife or scissors, poke 8 to 10 small holes on each side of a large supermarket plastic bag or a large zip-closed bag. Place the washed and dried greens in the bag, seal the top and place it in the vegetable bin for 3 to 5 days.

Just before cooking, lay the leaves flat on a cutting board and cut the stem off at the bottom of each leaf. Discard this fibrous piece. Then carefully cut out the thick, stiff stem that runs most of the way up the center of the leaf, as well as any other thick, stiff veins. (Unless you're going to be braising or stewing the greens for a long time, these parts would be tough and unpleasant to chew.)

About the Swiss Chard and Garlic with Balsamic Vinegar
A little sweet balsamic tames the chard—and creates a healthful side dish for fish, chicken or beef. If all the greens don't fit in the pan in one bunch, add them in batches, wilting one heaping handful in the pan before adding the next.

Swiss Chard and Garlic with Balsamic Vinegar
Makes 4 servings....WW Points 1 per serving
2 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard leaves, stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup no-salt vegetable broth
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a deep 12-inch, sauté pan or wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook 20 seconds.
Add the greens, toss well, and pour in the broth. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender and wilted, about 7 minutes. Season with vinegar, salt and pepper before serving.
Serving size: 1 cup.

About the Chicken and Winter Squash Baked on Greens
Here's a well-rounded dish: a bed of healthful greens topped with winter squash and a baked chicken. Look for cut-up butternut squash in the produce section, then cut those pieces down to 1/2-inch cubes.

Chicken and Winter Squash Baked on Greens
Makes 4 servings....WW Points 3 per serving
Nonstick spray
1 medium yellow onion, minced
2 cups peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound turnip or mustard greens, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 pound whole, bone-in chicken breast (both lobes), skinned (leaving you with 12 to 14 oz. meat)
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat.
Add the onion and squash; cook, stirring often, until lightly softened, about 4 minutes.
Add the greens; toss well. Pour in the wine; cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the greens wilt, about 4 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Stir in the maple syrup, sage, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high; cook, uncovered, stirring often, until the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 4 minutes. Mound in the center of a pie plate or a small roasting pan.
Place the chicken—bone side down—on top of the vegetable mixture. Spray the chicken with nonstick spray; sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Bake until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165ºF, about 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes at room temperature before slicing the breast in half down the breast bone and then each lobe in half the short way.
Serving size: 1 piece chicken and 1/2 cup vegetables.

About the Barbecued Spinach Enchiladas
Don't stand on tradition! These enchiladas may not win the authenticity award, but they're a fantastic way to get everyone eating their greens.

Barbecued Spinach Enchiladas
Makes 4 servings....WW Points 5 per serving
Nonstick spray
1 medium onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound large-leaf spinach, stemmed and chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
4 Mission 96% fat-free whole-wheat tortillas
1/2 cup shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup no-salt vegetable broth
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano leaves
1 medium shallot, minced
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray.
Spray a deep, 12-inch sauté pan or wok with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add the spinach leaves; toss well. Stir in the wine, cinnamon, cumin and salt. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is tender, about 10 minutes.
Uncover, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring almost constantly, until all the liquid has evaporated from the pan, about 2 minutes.
Lay the tortillas on your work surface; divide the spinach mixture between them, creating a line down the center of each tortilla. Top each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Roll closed and place seam side down in the prepared baking pan.
Whisk the barbecue sauce, broth, chili powder, oregano and shallot in a medium bowl. Pour evenly over the rolled enchiladas in the pan.
Bake until bubbling and heated through, about 25 minutes.
Serving size: 1 enchilada.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rambling Thursday...Some Of This & Some Of That..."Perfect Scrambled Eggs"

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Having tasted delicious scrambled eggs and then been unable to recreate them myself I tried to figure out what I was doing wrong. A little research into the way the French do it and I was on my way. Nothing fancy here, just a little patience.
And of course butter.

Basic Scrambled Eggs
for two
2 T. butter, plus another pat at the ready
6 large fresh eggs
1/2 tsp. water, or just a few drops
salt & pepper

double boiler or similar set-up (one saucepan set above a larger saucepan containing simmering water)

Melt 2 T. butter in the saucepan at the top of the double boiler. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl. With the fork, beat in the water, salt and pepper, just until the yolks are blended into the whites.
Add the eggs to the melted butter in the pan and stir with the spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan in a circular motion. Be patient and continue to stir although nothing seems to be happening for a minute or two.
Continue slowly scraping the pan and suddenly the eggs will thicken and lump. Pick up the pace a bit with the spatula, making sure all the surfaces of the pan are scraped down.
Take the eggs off the heat and incorporate another of pat of butter with the wisk so the eggs won't become overcooked.
Remove the eggs to warmed plates and serve immediately!!

Flattened Bottle Caps For Scrapbooking Or Altered Art Embellishments!

Need bottlecaps?...check out your local neighborhood bar and ask for their bottle caps...

#1. Supplies needed to manually hammer these flat are: metal bottlecaps, a hammer or mallet, and a rubber mat.
#2. Next we have to remove the glue used to seal the cap to the bottle. This needs to be removed if placing images or embellishments on the INSIDE. Some crafters choose not to flatten the caps but rather to leave them large and place the image or decoration on the FLAT part of the OUTSIDE of the cap.
There are 2 different ways to remove the glue and both involve HEAT. You can use a crafters heat gun or a household candle.
Both methods will require a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the cap because as you heat it to melt the glue it will become too hot to hold.

I have tried both methods. I prefer the candle as it leaves a dirty, smoky burnt look to the metal, aging it naturally.

Warm the glue for a few seconds (approx 8) and then start to pick at it with either a Popsicle stick or large needle...starting at the edge and moving towards the center to peel off
#3. Next, place the bottlecap FLAT SIDE DOWN onto a hard flat surface like a work table or concrete floor.
Lay rubber mat OVER bottlecap(s) ...you can do several at a time once you get the hang of it.

..and start to hammer edges...they will naturally curve over creating a thinner embellishment.

#4. Now you are ready to embellish the center with an image, you can use personal images (GIFT IDEA!:drill a hole into your cap, add a jump ring and family photo and create a wonderful gift for mom or grandma!)

Bottlecap digital collage sheets are an easy way to quickly get your hands on several images that have already been measured and fit into/onto caps perfectly! Simply cut out or punch out with a 1" paper punch the desired image and glue it into place! Your embellishment is complete!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This & That Junk Drawer Wednesday & Rag Wrapped Eggs!!!!

Pay Pal Fee Calculator:
For those of you who accept Pay Pal payments on your site, you might find this website very helpful. It provides a fee calculator for your Pay Pal payments, so you can determine the fee you will be charged for any given sale. It will also do a reverse calculation, allowing you to see how much you would need to charge to receive a specific amount for something. And there's a currency converter there as well! A very handy site, indeed.

Pay Pal Fee Calculator

And as a bonus, the site also provides links to fee calculators for Ebay, Half.com, Amazon, BidPay, Etsy, and other sites you might be selling through.

Who's Linking to You?
Want to know who's linking to your website or blog? Just go to this site, enter your URL, and submit. You can add their code to your site if you'd like too.

See Who's Linking to You


They are so cute, messy but easy to make. Easter Eggs that last and last.
CHEAP WAL-MART PLASTIC EGGS (the kind you put candy in)
I also did up some in different shades of blues and mustard colored fabric.
You can find Primitive Dried Green Easter Grass in my eBay store..

Eleven Miles Down That Road Again! And Elephant Jokes!!!

Well gals "I am a day late and a dollar short" as my mother use to say...I was just so busy yesterday preparing for my baby's 43rd birthday, that the day simply got away from me....When I woke up this morning I remembered that I hadn't posted yesterday and such an important day too.
I did get up early and jump on the scales, well lets just say I waddle down stairs and stepped on them...Well much to my surprise I had lost 1.5 pounds....Now I was surprised because I had supper one night last week at a wonderful Mexican place and there is no such thing as light/diet food there and then on Saturday I took two of my son's out for lunch....We ate at Applebees and I had their WW fish, so that wasn't so bad....Haven't been drinking my water as I should but will try harder this week....
Taking my baby and her husband out for supper tonight and will try to be good...

This is my baby Cearle and her husband Greg...as you can see it was taken last summer...

Here Are A Few Elephant Jokes:

Why were the elephants thrown out of the swimming pool?
They couldn't keep their trunks up.

Why did the elephants leave the circus?
They were tired of working for peanuts.

Why do elephants have trunks?
Because they don't have glove compartments.

How can you tell if an elephant has been sleeping in your bed?
The bed smells of peanuts and the sheets are wrinkled.

Did you hear about the elephant with diarrhea?
It's all over town.

How do you make a dead elephant float?
Well, you take 10 dead elephants, 10 tonnes of chocolate ice-cream, 5 tonnes of bananas,.....

Q: Why don't elephants like penguins?
A: They can't get the wrapper off.(Too whom it may concern: Penguins are a brand of cookies).

Q: How do you know if there is an elephant under your bed?
A: Your nose is touching the ceiling.

Q: How does an elephant get down from a tree?
A: It doesn't, You get down from a duck.

Q: Why are elephants wrinkled?
A: Have you ever tried to iron one?

Q: Why are elephants large, grey and wrinkled?
A: Because if they were small, white and smooth they'd be aspirins.

Q: How can you tell if an elephant been in the refrigerator?
A: By the footprints in the butter.

Q: How do you make an elephant stew?
A: Keep him waiting a couple of hours.

Q: What should you give a seasick elephant?
A: A lot of room...

Your children will have a lot of fun with these...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Have You Made Your Own Cookie Mixes For Gifts Yet?

Make a delicious White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Mix for your child's teacher... whip up an awesome Candy Bar Cookie Mix for that new next-door neighbor... put together a memory-inspiring Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Mix for that 'special someone'. Easy to make and special because they are made by YOU!

These mixes are unique because first, they are made by You, and second, they are layered in the jars and are quite decorative once they have been completed. You can decorate them as the recipes suggest, or use your imagination.

These make wonderful gifts or to welcome a new neighbor into your area. Please remember that the ingredients have been measured to fit exactly into quart sized jars, so please do not vary the measurements. A good source of jars for these recipes, is to wash and save mayonnaise jars. They are the perfect size, and this will be a great way to recycle as well. Enjoy!

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookie Mix:

3/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Raisins
2 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Add to Mix later:
3/4 cup Butter or Margarine
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Layer mix ingredients in order given in a 1 quart canning jar. It is helpful to tap jar
lightly on a padded surface (towel on counter) as you layer ingredients to make all
ingredients fit neatly. Use scissors to cut a 9 inch-diameter circle from fabric of
your choice. Center fabric circle over lid and secure with a rubber band. Tie on a
raffia or ribbon bow to cover the rubber band. Attach a card with the following

Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookies

Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Stir mix with large wooden spoon
to evenly distribute ingredients. Add 3/4 cup softened butter or margarine. Stir in
one egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Mix until completely blended. Mixture will be
thick, so you may need to use a wooden spoon to finish mixing. Shape into
walnut sized balls and place onto a greased
cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes until
edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet and then place
cookies on baking racks to finish cooling.
Makes 3 dozen

Candy Bar Cookie Mix

1 cup all-purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1-1/4 cups Rolled Oats
1 single serving size Milk Chocolate Bar (size can vary)
1/2 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup chopped Nuts, your choice (optional)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Layer ingredients in order given in a quart size canning jar. Mix oatmeal in a blender. Grate chocolate bar and mix into the oatmeal. It is helpful to tap jar lightly on a padded surface (towel on counter) as you layer ingredients to make all ingredients fit neatly. Use scissors to cut a 9 inch-diameter circle from fabric of your choice. Center fabric circle over lid and secure with a rubber band. Tie on a raffia or ribbon bow to cover the rubber band. Attach a card with the following directions:

Candy Bar Cookies;

Remove chocolate chips and nuts with a large spoon. Empty cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Stir mix with large wooden spoon to evenly distribute ingredients. Add 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until completely blended. Mixture will be thick, so you may need to use a wooden spoon to finish mixing. Shape into walnut sized balls and place onto a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet and then place cookies on baking racks to finish cooling.
Makes 3 dozen cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Mix:

1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
3 (1.55 ounce) bars white chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder.
Set aside.
Layer ingredients in order given in a quart sized wide mouth canning jar.
Add the flour mixture last.
Pack down well after each addition.
Write these directions on a pretty piece of card stock and attach to jar with a ribbon:

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

1. Empty cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix.
2. Add: 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened at room temp. DO NOT USE DIET MARGARINE. Add in 1 egg slightly beaten and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
3. Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands. It will take a while to mix into a smooth dough.
4. Shape into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart on sprayed cookie sheets.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 12 to 14 minutes until tops are very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to racks to finish cooling.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Mix:

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 peanut butter cups, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Mix together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
Layer ingredients in order given in a 1 quart ''wide mouth'' canning jar. Press each layer firmly in place. It will be a tight fit. Add chopped peanut butter cups last.
Pack down well after each addition.
Write these directions on a pretty piece of card stock and attach to jar with a ribbon:

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1. Remove peanut butter cups from jar. Set aside.
2. Empty remaining cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix.
3. Add 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened at room temperature. DO NOT USE DIET MARGARINE. Add in 1 egg, slightly beaten, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
4. Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands.
5. Mix in peanut butter cups.
6. Shape into walnut sized balls. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets.
7. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 12 to 14 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to racks to finish cooling.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.