This Page

has moved to a new address:


Sorry for the inconvenience…

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Make the best of everything!: June 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Felt Rose Ball

My husband: " Your a craft blogger.  Why are our walls so bare?".

Me: " I have not really ever made wall decorations".

mmmmmmmm  ok.

So I decided to make a rose ball to give some color to our mantel.

" So...What is a rose ball?" You ask?

It is a cute little ball made up of lots of little felt roses.

How to Make a Felt Rose Ball

Supplies needed
* 4 pieces of felt
* 1 styrofoam craft ball
* hot glue gun
* scissors 

To make a rose.  Go to this felt rose tutorial on craft gossip.   ( There are so many felt rose tutorials out there, I don't want to reinvent the circle)

Make enough felt roses to completely cover the ball.  Hot glue them onto the ball as you go.  

I glued twine to my rose ball and hung it from a mirror on my mantel.  I felt like it gave my display some color.

This is my mantel.  Right now its a work in progress.  I just Modge Podged the initial to my last name.  Those black canvas's will also get some photos " Modge Podged" on them soon.  I am totally open to suggestions for this display if you have any.

I really like my Felt Rose Ball.  I have been married for 6 years.  If I knew about felt roses back in 2006, I might have used them for decorations.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Star Tortilla Chips

If you read my blog, then you know that I might have gone overboard with the "Homemade tortilla chip"

Last fall I made a simple " Homemade tortilla chip" recipe.

Then around Valentines Day, I made Heart shaped tortilla chips.

This past spring I taught my readers how to make a Tortilla cup that looks like a rose.

Naturally, I decided to be redundant yet again, and made some Tortilla chip stars in honor of the 4th of July.

I did switch up the recipe a little bit.  I added cinnamon and sugar to these chips instead of salting them.

My original plan was to find blue tortilla's at my local Mexican grocery store, but I live in a town of 30,000 people.  It can be hard to find specially items.

I settled with white tortillas and took out a set of star cookie cutters that I received at a baby shower.

I used the cookie cutters to cut out stars.  I then brushed each star with a mixture of canola oil, sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Or until you think your chips are crispy to your satisfaction.

You may desire to sprinkle some extra cinnamon and sugar on these chips.

My smaller stars were a little well done.  either way, they were tasty.  These are a healthier alternative to all those patriotic cakes out there.  


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Zucchini pizza cups

These are Zucchini pizza cups.  These cute little cups might just be the same thing that I always make for dinner, but transformed into a new shape.  If you are a reader of this blog, then you know I LOVE zucchini.

Just in a last month or so I have also made Zucchini Pizza  and Zucchini egg roll wrapper calzones.

When this idea popped into my head, I couldn't resist.

How to make Zucchini Pizza cups

1) Cut zucchini into 2 inch segments. 
2) use a melon baller to scoop out each zucchini piece, making them into cups. 
3) drizzle each cup with olive oil and some pepper. 
4) Roast in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. 

You should pull something that looks like these zucchini cups out of the oven.  Don't use as much olive oil as I did.  I tend to use too much.

5) Prepare your pizza toppings.  

My pizza toppings of choice almost ALWAYS include Italian sausage, as I am ( part) Italian and from the Chicago area.  Italian sausage is part of my family's culture.

I sautéed the Italian sausage and added the zucchini that I had scooped from the cups.  I don't like to waste food.

When cooking with Italian Sausage REMEMBER TO DRAIN the sausage after cooking.  This makes your dish much less greasy and cuts out some of the fat. 

6) Assemble your pizza cups.  Place your toppings in the cups, sprinkle with cheese and bake just until the cheese is melted. 

7) Serve with pizza sauce on the side and enjoy!

I will be making these again!  Roasting the zucchini in the oven caramelized the bottom of the zucchini cup, and it just tasted suburb! 

Labels: , ,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Caprese Cucumber bites

Last week my family was vacationing in Door County, Wisconsin.  One of the things that makes Door County special, is that you don't see " chain" restaurants there.  In contrast, they have many local shops where you can find outstanding fresh foods.

One afternoon we were walking around in Bailey's Harbor, one of the towns in Door County and we saw this fresh mozzarella cheese in one of the shops.  We couldn't resist it.

I'm fairly certain I saw my husband Greg actually grab some of this amazing cheese with his bare hands soon after we left the shop.

I came home, and made Caprese Cucumber bites.  Substituting cucumbers for crackers is a new found  thing I have been doing.

I did not have access to fresh basil.  Thats life sometimes.  I went to the store and purchased basil in a tube and some pretty grape tomatoes.

I was able to find some fresh parsley outside in my mothers potted plant.  ( It was her and my father's residence we were staying at)

On each cucumber I arranged a squirt of the basil, a spoonful to mozzarella cheese, a sliced tomato and decorated each bite with a dash of fresh parsley.

This was an excellent pre dinner appetizer.  Very refreshing after walking around the majority of the day.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tea party in a box

My oldest friend, Alexis always sends me the most thoughtful gifts for Christmas and my birthday.  She also always mails me fantastic books after she is done reading them.  I have made some cute gifts on my blog, but I always thought that the gifts I gave Alexis were not as thoughtful as the ones she has sent me.

Since I had a cute idea, and some extra time.  I made her a " Tea Party in a box for her birthday!  I know its not a competition between us for who sends the most creative presents.  But her friendship is a gift, and I wanted to show her that.

This " Tea Party in a box" was being sent from my home in Ottumwa, Iowa to Washington DC, where Alexis currently calls her home.

Alexis gave me a copy of "Jane Eyre" for Christmas this past year.  I enjoyed "Jane Eyre" I also love most Jane Austen novels.  I am pretty sure that everyone who loves English literature needs to have a proper tea cup and saucer.  I found this "old school" tea cup and saucer at a local second hand shop.

Any " Tea party in a box" should always include an " old school" tea cup.

Alexis is a huge fan of herbal tea.  This is not exactly the tea that Queen Victoria drank back in the 1800's when she started the English tradition of " High tea".  But of course I included the type of tea that Alexis would enjoy.

I cut open each tea bag,  took out the tea string, and taped on " Tea quotes".  I then taped up the tea bag again so the aroma's from the different kinds of tea wouldn't mix.

I arranged a few other items in the " Tea party in a box".  These items included reusable cotton tea bags, assorted teas, and some cookies for Alexis to dip into her tea.  The reason why Queen Victoria started the tradition of " High tea" is because she needed a snack between lunch and dinner.  

Cookies or some type of biscuit should always be included in a " Tea party in a box"

Alexis's birthday took place during mid May, and I believe she liked her gift.  I have many family members who consider themselves " Austenites". So, I feel like this won't be the last time that I will make a " Tea Party in a box"

Just a few notes as this blog post comes to a close.

1) I wrapped up the tea cup in newspaper before sending it through the mail.  I did not want it to break.

2) Alexis really is my oldest friend.  We are both 29 years old, and we started playing together at the age of two.

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Salsa Shrimp Salad

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I have been trying to eat healthier.  I have been attempting new recipes and trying to eat more vegetables.  I think I might try posting more of these recipes I am attempting. ( well I guess it depends on how they turn out. sometimes my lack of following directions can come back to haunt my dinner plans!) 

Last week I made " Salsa shrimp salad".  " Salsa shrimp salad was so full of flavor, that you Don't need any salad dressing with it!

I got the idea of marinating cooked shrimp in salsa from Hungry girl.  She has a shrimp taco recipe. 

My mother and father in law live on a 6 acre lot in Iowa where they grow every organic vegetable you can think of, including several types of lettuce.  Last weekend, when they came to visit, they brought us a large bag of lettuce.  This inspired me to make lettuce wraps and a few new salads for dinners.

Organic lettuce from my in law's garden requires more time for washing then ready made grocery store lettuce, but its worth it!

How to Make "Salsa shrimp Salad"

-  lettuce
-  1 cucumber
-  1 carrot
-  1 avocado
-  2 cups of frozen cooked shrimp with the tail off
-  1 jar of salsa
-  cheese, if desired

1) defrost the frozen shrimp
2) Marinate the shrimp in the jar of salsa for an afternoon in the fridge

For some reason, I LOVE great value salsa.

3) Clean and cut the lettuce and all the vegetables. ( Just use the vegetables that you happen to have around, I am sure your salad will still turn out great!)

4) Assemble the salad, leaving the bowl of Salsa shrimp on the side. As you can see I also have a bowl of cheese on the side.  I usually don't put cheese on my salads, but since I am using no salad dressing, I decided to splurge on some cheese.

Leave the shrimp salsa mixture cold when you take it out of the fridge.

Salsa marinated shrimp is AMAZING! Salsa is a great low calorie condiment to use if you are trying to eat healthier.

This is a salad I will be making again!

Labels: ,

Friday, June 8, 2012

Candy Stache

I have noticed that both of Evan's grandpa's enjoy candy now and then.  I have also noticed that both of Evan's grandma's don't like it when Evan's grandpa's have candy in their houses!  

I thought Evan could give his grandpa's a " Candy stache" for Fathers day. 

This is the first time I have done a " Mustache" craft.  honestly, I don't really get why mustaches are so trendy.  Last weekend when my father in law was visiting, Evan wouldn't stop playing with his mustache, so I thought that a mustache gift would be cute ! My dad doesn't have a mustache, but I will just have to explain to him that things with " mustache's are extremely trendy right now.

How to make a Candy " Stache" 
1) Purchase some candy jars.  I found these glass jars in the home good department at Target.

2) Fill the jars with the favorite candy of the recipient.  ( I have noticed that both of Evan's grandpa's like peanut M&M's.

3) Make a gift card that states " Grandpa's stache"  and draw a mustache on it as well.  I used puff paint.  A Sharpie mark we would work well too.

4) With a hole puncher, and ribbon, attach the card to the candy jar.

I think this is a cute little gift.  Dad's are difficult to buy for.  Candy is always a fun gift!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sprinkle Stencils

This is a tutorial on how I repurposed a cookie cutter into a sprinkle stencil for cake decorating.  

Last weekend I made my husband a birthday cake.  Our family doesn't make big fancy cakes. We usually try to eat healthy, so we don't want lots of extra cake lying around. ( This might change, as our only child has not celebrated his first birthday yet)  I don't have many fancy cake decorating tools, so I made some up with what I had!

I made my husband a Zebra cake with white icing.  A plain white cake would be just a little too boring.  I happened to have a star sandwich cutter.  I used it as a stencil on the cake.

I sprinkled my sprinkles into the inside of the cutter.  ( When I removed the cutter, I then also sprinkled over the line in the middle)

And that is how you repurpose a cookie cutter ( or a sandwich cutter) into a sprinkle stencil!

I like my husbands simple birthday cake!  It looks cute and I didn't have to spend extra money on decorations.

Labels: ,