Saturday, January 30, 2010

And the winner is....

Well, I'm late posting the winner, aren't I? LOL

Today was the day the "Real Women Eat" group gathered for our "cook and critique" dinner. We draw out of a hat what we will make and the person who gets the entree has to host it. Guess who had the entree? Yep... yours truly! LOL We'll be blogging about it soon so put Real Women Eat on your reading stop for Monday (we should have it up then!) We chose a crockpot cookbook and, well... I'll let your read our critique but I'll just say this. We're not going to use that book again. (giggle) We were brutle in our critiques too! LOL

But you didn't tune in for that, did you? I must announce the winner of the Valentine's heart potpourri and...The winner is ~~~~~~ Drum roll ~~~~~ Susie Harris from Bienvenue.

Thank you all for your sweet comments. You made my heart happy! Now, Susie I will need your mailing address so I can send you your valentine next week. Congrats!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Freezer Food Friday, but this isn't really a recipe, but a neat tool!  I had this bookmarked about 3 or 4 years ago and just came across it again, and what do ya know, it's still there! LOL  I thought I'd share this in case you're one of us who made a resolution to waste less in 2010.  For those of us wanting to (not waste) clean out the cupboard and/or frige but just can't think of what to do.   Just click on the items you have on hand, and it finds recipes using those ingredients.  Granted, you might have to go out and get a few more ingredients to finish the dish, but it finds recipes containing the ingredients you've listed. 
Give it a try and play around with it.   See what new dish you create at Cooking By Numbers



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Valentine Potpourri craft

Valentine's craft and giveaway
I thought I'd share a craft I used to make, and have since resurrected! LOL

Here's what you'll need:
Wide lace (you can use "off the bolt" lace fabric, but I just found this 6 inch wide flat lace trim),
Two different sizes white lace eyelet, I had 1 inch and 1.2 inch, but you can use any TWO DIFFERENT sizes you wish.
About a yard each.
oh yes, and potpourri and hot glue gun and glue sticks!

See that wire? I got mine in the gardent dept of Michael's. I was really wanting the thick coated (white) wires, but they didn't have 'em at Michael's, Joann's or Walmart. I KNOW I used to use the white ones. I saw thin ones, but don't waste your time on those! LOL

On the eyelet, there's a "casing" at the top where it's gathered. Run the wire "stick" through this. Some have cotton casings, this one just had net-type - which is why I really wanted that white wire! LOL



Run it the whole length of the wire "stick"












Leave enough ends of the wire exposed (for twisting together later)


























Join the ends. You could shape into a heart before joining the ends if you're brave. But I found the best way to do it is join the ends first, then shape into a heart.....
















Then when you make the back heart (the one that has the larger lace) you can shape it to the form of the heart you first made.
















Now you're going to make a "lace sandwich". Don't worry about cutting out a heart shape of the lace, just lay some down and glue. You can trim later.















See?















Now do this for both hearts.


NOTE: I usually put in a little "give" to the top heart. You're going to be "stuffing" with potpourri so you want it to be able to hold it, right? LOL. If you don't know what I mean, just ask. I'll be happy to try to confuse you more. (giggle)
























Hot glue the two hearts together, leaving a small opening to stuff the pot pourri through, then glue the opening closed.

You're basically done now, but here's the fun part...Figuring out how you want to decorate it. I had trouble deciding....

I tried rose buds, I tried 1/4 inch satin ribbon and couldn't decide where to put it! LOL
Then I finally decided on some shear organza ribbon....

And glued a small rinestone in the middle of the bow.
OH! I just glued a loop of ribbon on the back for a hanger.

These make great Valentines. But, you could also do these as favors. I did this one year using roses from bouquets we had at a memorable event to pass out to all the girl cousins in my family.

Hope you enjoy! If you make these, please take pics and send me a link...I'd love to see yours!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A New Give-Away

Photo
I'm participating in a global giveaway-a-thon!!!  LOL  Lisa at  A whimsical Bohemian is hosting this party

This was created in 2007. The original idea behind this giveaway event was to bring bloggers together from around the world who may never ordinarily meet. It closes the gap of the blog community and enables us to interact, discover new and wonderful people, and in the process possibly win a prize or many prizes along the way. 2007 had roughly 85-90 participants and many connections were made because of it......friendships that are still going strong.


There was a strong showing the first year for sure, and then in 2008 they had just about tripled that number. In 2009 there were 911 participants. 28 countries were represented in the 2009 event as well.  

The winners will be chosen on February 15th.   What do you have to do to enter?  Leave a comment!  No hoops to jump through, no magic formulas.... just comment.  With so many people participating in this giveaway, the amount of gifts you could score is....well... it's just way cool...and a bunch!   LOL.  But best of all, you'll be visiting and making new friends all over the globe!    It just sounds way cool and I wanted to play, so here's what I have as a giveaway.  (you know how I love quilts, LOL)



It's a romantic, shabby chic quilted wall hanging.   See? I hung it up to show you.  (smile) I suppose it could be used as a "throw" but it has a rod pocket sewn in the back for hanging. 

So, let's recap...  leave a comment to enter my giveaway.  And to be sure you don't miss out on all the other fun give-aways, visit Lisa's blog for links to other blogs participating in this cool giveaway.

Good luck and have fun!

* Note:  I did not make this quilt. *


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday Thought


A couple of years ago, I flew to California for training for a closed captioning position I had accepted.  We had to pass by the Crystal Cathedral every day to go to the studio for training.  One day we pulled in just to "gawk" at the enormous place.  The gardens were breath taking, but this was the site I remember the most.  "Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone".


Friday, January 22, 2010

Freezer Foods Friday - Easy Egg Rolls


Well, this Freezer Foods Friday, I'm sharing Egg Rolls gone Easy!  These are great freezer friendly do-dads and perfect for party appetizers or just good munchin' !  Hope you enjoy these...

Egg Rolls Made Easy


2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (or pork)
1 1lb. package coleslaw mix
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 one-pound packages egg roll wrappers
oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Mix well. Place a heaping tablespoon of mixture in the center of one egg roll wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling, roll up tightly, forming a tube and seal.
*Flash freeze. Put in freezer bags and label.

To use: Deep fry frozen at 375 degrees for 4-5 minutes or until brown or fry in 1 inch of oil in electric skillet. Yield 40 egg rolls.

*To seal, make a paste of flour and water and using a pastry brush, wet the top corner with paste and seal.

Note:  When I say "Flash Freeze", I realize that the average home doesn't have the freezers to do that, (nor do I! LOL)  but the "home" method for flash freezing is to lay them out on a cookie sheet and freeze, THEN put in zipper type freezer bags.  That way, they're not (hopefully!) frozen together into one big popsicle stick.

ok, now it's your turn if you'd like to share a make ahead, freezer friendly, recipe or tip... please link up.  Please don't forget to link back to this blog so everyone can enjoy all the entries.



 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tribute to a soldier I don't know


Today a young soldier was brought home.  I didn't know him, but felt a connection.  As I found out, others did too.   This morning when I got up (the tv had been left on all night) and the news was on.  There was a family making signs to honor David Croft.  A young soldier who had been killed in battle.  The girl interviewed put it perfectly:  "I don't know him, but today we're all family".   Maybe he wanted to go, maybe he didn't. But the fact is, he was there.  He was there defending freedom for freedom's sake.

I've never done this kind of thing before, but my sister called me and said some of the family were going to meet at Brandon Farms (my family's vegetable stand) on Hwy 60 just outside Brandon to pay tribute to David Croft as they brought his body "home"  to Plant City, and did I want to come.  I said I'd be there.   On my way, I saw a sight that brought tears to my eyes.  There were pockets of people at every intersection. There to pay tribute and say "thank you".  

I remember the end part of the Viet Nam war.  Enough said?  For those old enough to remember it was a different world then.  Our heroes weren't greeted with thank you's, but rather, were barraged with insults. I was so touched to see the outpouring of respect and thankfulness for his sacrifice. 

I just learned from someone that his platoon was to come home tomorrow, and he was coming home to get married.  My heart aches for his family.  Such a sacrifice.

It is my hope that everyone make a special effort, whenever we see one of "our" servicemen, whatever branch, including police, firemen... to say a "thank you".










These guys were pulling up the rear.  If you click on the picture to enlarge it you'll see they were all wearing combat fatigues.






Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fresh Peach Muffin Recipe

 Fresh Peach Muffins
I'm bringing back a recipe I did waa-aaay back when I had first started blogging.  My mom had given me some fresh Georgia peaches and I had an overabundance so tried this recipe.   I was wondering how it would do with canned peaches.  Since it's not peach season right now, (brrrr!) I thought the canned idea might be the winning ticket. Not as flavorful, but not too bad.  Fact is, NOTHING beats fresh! LOL

PEACH MUFFINS
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
2 cups peeled, pitted and chopped peaches

Preheat oven 350 degrees (the recipe said 400 but that was cooking 'em a bit to fast in my oven)
Lightly grease 16 muffin cups. (I used silicone cups and skipped this step!)

In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, eggs, and sugar. Stir the oil mixture into the flour mixture just until moist. Fold in the peaches. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
 
Notice this pic, and the one lone muffin cup in the front?  That's the same pic I posted in the first blog entry.  When I am trying out a new recipe, to see if it's "freezer worthy"  I always test a sampling and freeze it to bake later and evaluate if it's a good " Freezer Food Friday" type recipe.  It is.  (lol)

I am linking this to Our Mommyhood (Where Motherhood meets Blogland)

Friday, January 15, 2010

FREEZER FOODS FRIDAY



Oh my goodness gracious!  Here it is after 3:00 pm and I just realized....It's Friday!!!!!  That means it's Freezer Foods Friday!  Have you been waiting for me?  So sorry!   Today will be a "two-fer".  Golden Chicken Nuggets.  You can make your own chick'n nuggets handy to pop in the oven, or nuke for a quick snack, party food or kiddies meal.  And to go with those chicken nuggets, how about some better-for-you (because they're oven-fried)  Freezer Oven Fries?   Since you've been patiently waiting for me, I'll just jump right into the recipes for ya, how's that?

And don't forget... if you have a tip, recipe, or idea for "making ahead"... please DO join in the linky link-up.  Just be kind and link back to here on your blog and give a link so everyone can come here and enjoy the recipes, will ya?  You're a sweetie!

Golden Chicken Nuggets
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
6 chicken breast halves - boneless and skinless
1/2 cup margarine - melted

Cut the chicken breast halves into about 1 to 1.5 inch chunks (really, whatever size you want, these just work better for me).
Combine the first 4 ingredients.
Dip c hicken in butter; roll in the crumb mixture.
Place in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet
Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
(this yields about 4 dozen 1 inch nuggets)


Freezer Oven Fries
Peel potatoes and cut into french fries
Shake the raw french fries in a little olive oil.
Bake 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven and cool
Set the cookie sheet they were baked on in the freezer until they are frozen solid.  Scoop them off the pan and store in ziploc bags.

To heat them up:  Just throw 'em back in the oven on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, until they are crispy.  (I usually give a light dusting of Pam, or spray olive oil)

Note:  For a little "twist", you could add Italian seasoning, or Cajun  after applying the olive oil.  Both ways are quite tasty!!!

ok, now it's your turn.   Let's hear from you!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

HOMESPUN HEART WREATH FOR VALENTINE'S DAY plus a bonus craft!



This "homespun" heart wreath hangs in my home.  I thought I'd share with you because it's so simple.  If you can use a sewing machine and follow a traced line,  YOU CAN MAKE THIS! 
All you need is...


Stuffing (see in the background)



something to make a heart shape with.  For the example I used a template I picked up on a trip recently.  I got this at a scrapbook supply store.  But for the finished wreath, the heart shape was the part you pop out of a frame.  (It was a frame where the center was the shape of a heart, the heart was just a toss-away).  If you feel comfortable enough, you can just draw your own heart.  I didnt.  LOL



A wooden embroidery hoop.  (Depending on the size of your hearts)  This one is a 6 inch hoop.
This hoop cost something like $1.29 at Michaels'.

oh yes!   and fabric!   LOL   I used fabric from my fabric "stash".  Too little to make anything substantial, but plenty good enough for this!

I draw/trace the heart outline directly onto the fabric.  This gives you a "sewing line".  Take the fabric to the sewing machine (your fabric will be RIGHT SIDES FACING) and just follow on the line.  Go ahead and sew all the way around and don't worry about leaving an opening for turning.  When you've made your hearts, cut a slit into ONE piece of fabric.  This will be the backside of the heart.  To do this, take a pinch of fabric, being careful not to have both layers and cut a slit.  You don't need a very big slit, just big enough to stuff through.  I cut my slit right in the middle of the heart shape. (and this  is hidden by the wooden embroidery hoop so everybody thinks you did such a great job sewing up the opening for turning on the side!! bwahaahaaa!!)   Clip your curves, and the top of the heart where it dips in) Pull the Un-cut layer of fabric through the cut...what you're doing is turning it right sides out, in case I've lost you there.  LOL
make sure your heart actually looks like a heart.  Now stuff it.  Doesn't have to be a hard stuff, but you don't want floppy  hearts either! (giggle)   Now whipstitch the slit you created closed.   Hot   glue the hearts to the wooden hoop.  (I found by trial and error, it's best to hot glue the hoop and lay the heart down on it rather than hot gluing the heart - -- trying to guess where the glue should go and where it lands on the hoop results in a lot of goop...ick!
For added decoration, I just took satin ribbon and weaved it around the heart and then topped it off with little satin ribbin bows.
To give the back a finished look, I just glued lace to the back, or some upholstry gimp.

Ta-Dah!  That's it.

And now for the "bonus" craft.


If you've found you've made a bunch of wrong heart sizes for your hoop (LOL) or just went crazy making hearts, Hang 'em by ribbons!  You could sew the ribbon onto the heart, but that's not what I did...I glued 'em!  LOL

Now have fun!
I'm linking up to:


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special



monogram


Monday, January 11, 2010

TEN MOST UNIQUE CHURCHES

I've never been to any of these places, so I have no proof of their existence, but aren't these amazing structures???
enjoy...
Ten Most Unique Churches


Harajuku: Japanese Futuristic Church


This futuristic non Catholic church is located in Tokyo and it was first unveiled by the design firm of Ciel Rouge Creation in 2005. The ceiling is specially made to reverberate natural sound for two seconds to provide a unique listening experience for worshipers and tourists.


Saint Basil's Cathedral: The Red Square's Colorful Church

The St. Basil's Cathedral is located on the Red Square in Moscow, Russia. A Russian Orthodox church, the Cathedral sports a series of colorful bulbous domes that taper to a point, aptly named onion domes, that are part of Moscow's Kremlin skyline. The cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan. In 1588 Tsar Fedor Ivanovich had a chapel added on the eastern side above the grave of Basil Fool for Christ, a Russian Orthodox saint after whom the cathedral was popularly named.


Hallgrmskirkja: Iceland's Most Amazing Church

The Hallgrmskirkja (literally, the church of Hallgrmur) is a Lutheran parish church located in Reykjavk, Iceland. At 74.5 metres (244 ft), it is the fourth tallest architectural structure in Iceland. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrmur Ptursson (1614 to 1674), author of the Passion Hymns. State Architect Gujn Samelsson's design of the church was commissioned in 1937; it took 38 years to build it.

Cathedral of Braslia: The Modern Church of architect Oscar Niemeyer


The Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida in the capital of Brazilis an expression of the architect Oscar Niemeyer. This concrete framed hyperboloid structure, seems with its glass roof to be reaching up, open, to heaven. On 31 May 1970, the Cathedral's structure was finished, and only the 70 m diameter of the circular area were visible. Niemeyer's project of Cathedral of Braslia is based in the hyperboloid of revolution which sections are asymmetric. The hyperboloid structure itself is a result of 16 identical assembled concrete columns. These columns, having hyperbolic section and weighing 90 t, represent two hands moving upwards to heaven.

The Cathedral was dedicated on 31 May 1970.


Borgund Church: Best Preserved Stave Church


The Borgund Stave Church in Lordal is the best preserved of Norway's 28 extant stave churches. This wooden church, probably built in the end of the 12th century, has not changed structure or had a major reconstruction since the date it was built. The church is also featured as a Wonder for the Viking civilization in the video game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.


Las Lajas Cathedral: A Gothic Church Worthy of a Fairy Tale



The Las Lajas Cathedral is located in southern Colombia and built in 1916 inside the canyon of the Guaitara River. According to the legend, this was the place where an Indian woman named Mara Mueses de Quiones was carrying her deaf-mute daughter Rosa on her back near Las Lajas ("The Rocks"). Weary of the climb, the Mara sat down on a rock when Rosa spoke (for the first time) about an apparition in a cave. Later on, a mysterious painting of the Virgin Mary carrying a baby was discovered on the wall of the cave. Supposedly, studies of the painting showed no proof of paint or pigments on the rock - instead, when a core sample was taken, it was found that the colors were impregnated in the rock itself to a depth of several feet. Whether true or not, the legend spurred the building of this amazing church.


St. Joseph Church: Known for its Thirteen Gold Domed Roof



The St. Joseph The Betrothed is an Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Chicago. Built in 1956, it is most known for its ultramodern thirteen gold domed roof symbolizing the twelve Apostles and Jesus Christ as the largest center dome. The interior of the church is completely adorned with Byzantine style icons (frescoes). Unfortunately the iconographer was deported back to his homeland before he was able to write the names of all the saints as prescribed by iconographic traditions.


Ruica Church: Where Chandeliers are made of Bullet Shells

Located over the Kalemegdan Fortress in Belgrade, Serbia, the Ruica Church is a small chapel decorated with trench art! Its chandeliers are entirely made of spent bullet casing, swords, and cannon parts. The space the church now occupies was used by the Turks as gunpowder storage for over 100 years and it had to be largely rebuilt in 1920 after WWI. Though damaged by bombings there was an upshot to the terrible carnage of The Great War. While fighting along side England and the US, Serbian soldiers on the Thessaloniki front took the time to put together these amazing chandeliers. It is one of the world's finest examples of trench art.


Chapel of St-Gildas: Built into the base of a bare rocky cliff
 

The Chapel of St-Gildas sits upon the bank of the Canal du Blavet in Brittany, France. Built like a stone barn into the base of a bare rocky cliff, this was once a holy place of the Druids. St. Gildas appears to have traveled widely throughout the Celtic world of Corwall, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. He arrived in Brittany in about AD 540 and is said to have preached Christianity to the people from a rough pulpit, now contained within the chapel.

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