Saturday, December 27, 2008

Home Home on the Range

Yes its true I'm at home! The blog has been a little lacking in content and will be for the next few weeks but don't you worry I'm still cooking and crafting. Oh and Xmas gifts went over very well, to the point they want me to make more. Ive been making beanies like crazy for the family (we live in so cal when do you ever need a beanie?) and ill be teaching the Boy Toy's mom how to crochet next week some time as well. So I'll be busy and ill have a long post or a string of short ones after the new year! Hope you all are enjoying the holidays!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chronicles of Bake-O-Rama The Finale

I Cheated! Yes its true I cheated. This cookie is never absent from the Home Ec Teachers Christmas. It's a Family favorite and it comes right off the Hershey Website!! I can remember having these since I was a wee little Home Ec Teacher Daughter. So here it is without further introduction.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
I know I'm lazy today but what the hey I thought they did a great job saying how to make these and here are some pics for you!

Chronicles of Bake-O-Rama Part Tres

Okay now this is a text book cookie. I don't think you can screw up this cookie it so good! for one its easy and 2 it has peanut butter cups in it!!!! 2 things in life I enjoy the most. They even look like the picture in the magazine what more could you ask for. Your kids will love them and your husbands will adore you for making them (and if your single your friends will love you and your Boy Toy will definitely spoil you after you make them)

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Faith Jensen Meridian Idaho

1 cup butter softened
2/3 cups peanut butter (i used chunky)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12oz) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups chopped peanut butter cups (about six 1.6 ounce packages)

Preheat oven to 350
In large mixing bowl cream the butter peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy
Beat in the eggs and vanilla
In a separate bowl combine flour baking soda and salt and mix together.
Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients SLOWLY
Stir in the Cho Chips and Peanut Butter Cups

Drop rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet cook for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned

These are amazing cookies. My one piece of advice is don't put the batter in the fridge over night. For some reason on the second day of baking the cookies didn't exactly turn out the same as the first.

Chronicles of Bak-O-Rama Part deux

So the baking continued from Thursday all the way to Friday evening (ie 12am). It was a lot of fun very sweet and sticky. Boy Toy was here to help as well. We are heading back to So Cal later today. So this is the 2nd cookie a White chip Cookies from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen. I have to say its quick but not as easy as I thought. you use a package of devils food cake and the batter is very very very thick! Also it calls for a 9oz package of devils food cake but did you know that the packages are actually 18oz so I doubled the recipe. The cookies are VERY sweet which I was expecting but they are so sweet my sweet tooth said no more! Here is the recipe and please forgive me i forgot to take pictures of the final product (they really are n0t cute cookies) they remind me of hockey pucks but really rough.
White Chip Cookies
1 package (9oz) devils food cake mix
1 egg
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 cup vanilla or white cho chips
Preheat oven to 350
Combine cake mix egg cocoa cream cheese and mix until we blended (batter will be VERY thick)
Stir in chips.

Drop tablespoons 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet cook for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Now for my honest opinion I would never do these cookies again unless I needed a quick fix. The batter was HELL to deal with and my kitchen was covered in chocolate. The batter is so thick that its even hard to get it off the spoon onto the cookie sheet. So I wouldn't suggest to have your kids help you on this!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Power of the BLOG

Who knew a Blog could be so powerful? I know I don't have many followers, but today I came up with an idea for my work. If you didn't know I'm an accountant (boring) but I'm a creative thinker so they come to me often for ideas and suggestions. I also work in an area known as Agricultural Sustainability and HERE is our site. To be quite honest I still don't know what it all means but what I get from it is a better way of farming for the future. So we do a lot of stuff that has to do with BIG words like Nitrogen Supplementation yadayadayada. Stuff the common folk like me don't understand. But at my work we do some fun stuff like Chocolate Tasting. Now don't think this is like hard core we go into a room take a sample and give our thoughts. No its a group effort we get a chocolate bar stand around and do a chocolate tasting blurting out what we think then we write it down in a note book and tape (yes tape) the wrapper to the paper. Well today the discussion came up of that we need to keep a log so we can ensure we don't try things twice we were also coming up with ways to better access people who don't know anything about ASI. And I had to open my big mouth and say that we needed a chocolate tasting blog. Well apparently my idea has been a hit and has now been expanded to the idea of giving reviews on AG sustainable items along with the chocolate. Who knew one little word could be so powerful and hopefully reach thousands and thousands of people who are interested in what we do or at least chocolate.


Well I've only had my etsy store up and running for like 2months at a maximum and I'm PROUD to say that I'm extremely satisfied with how its going. My first sale was actually a special order and since then Ive had two more orders for other items. I'm very happy with any sales but this many in the past few weeks is AMAZING to be honest! I wish I would have gotten this stuff posted earlier but for now its great and its not like I'm attempting to make a living off it right now (maybe later). Well lets hope for some more good luck and more sales for a little extra cash on the side.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 from god or the devil?

Well today I signed up for a class at the local JC to learn how to use illustrator a little better. I do have a book and I'm working through it but it takes time. I'm struggling and frustrated with the books and wishing there was something a little better but I'm working through it and learning lots of stuff on the way through all of this craziness. For some reason I thought it would be easy to learn but to be honest the data bases I use and created are easier but I keep telling myself it wasn't that easy when I started. Stupid numbers!!! I think that I might actually be able to make a few embroidery patterns off of what little I know but that may take a while.

On another note I'm also supposed to be studying for the GMAT. Its time to go back to school. I like business and designing stuff so hopefully it will help me become more creative. This may also lead to my exit from the Accounting world. Yes, I love it but I think there are bigger and better things out there for me that don't involve sifting through ledgers to find errors (not fun).

Can you tell I've been day dreaming again? Well lets all HOPE that I do well on this exam and get into a great school sooner rather than later! I feel like I'm starting down the road to the SAT's again. The SAT's are pretty much my Nemesis from high school. I'm not a good test taker ill admit it i do well in the presentations and homework and exams if the teacher did there job to teach me. But the SAT's were horrific, talk about pressure I think I put so much pressure on myself I just didn't do as well as expected not to mention it took away from my active social life and soccer. I'm hoping the GMAT goes better since I'll be studying for it on my own with no help from a special class since they are so damn expensive! Maybe a few tutors (ie my friends) but that's about it.

Its stressing me out just thinking about it so lets not!

Back to the Illustrator thing. I have been working through a few tutorials in the book and after doing them was able to come up with this

yeah its not that great but I figured I could print it and use it as a embroidery design may be? And so could you if you really felt like it. All you need is a transfer pencil and an iron (follow the directions on the pencil) or better yet tape the picture in a window and tape your fabric over it and trace it with a embroidery pen that washes out with water! If you want a smaller or larger size you can use Paint in windows and open it in there and then select the re size option and make it as larger or small as you would like.

Scarves Scarves Everywhere

Poodles thinks I have an addiction or at least a new one. SCARVES. Yes I'm in a mood for Scarves cause its so cold! I'm also trying to use up some scraps so I made these scrappy chenille scarves! And they are so EASY.

1. Gather your scraps

2. Get some Chenille or soft fabric (even some flannel will work)

3. Decide how wide and long you would like your scarf (mine are about 5 inches wide x 50 inches when done) and then add your seam allowance. I added 1/2 an inch to each side so I could have a 1/2 seam allowance. If you want it exactly like me your going to want two pieces of fabric your scraps to be 7x51 inches and your Chenille 7x51inches as well.

4. Next make a pattern for your scraps or just start sewing them together. Remeber to Iron the seams so they look like this
5. Cut out both your chenille and soft fabric to the width and length + 1/2 an inch to each side (for mine that would be 7x51inches)

6. Place the right sides together and pin together

7. Sew together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance leaving a 3 inch space on one of the long ends so you can turn it right side out

8. Turn right side out and pin close the opening and sew the opening shut and then around the entire scarf. My stitch is about 1/4inch or less from the edge. I have also added a decorative stitch which is a zig zag pattern under that. 9. Your done Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy!

These two are posted on Etsy if you would like to buy them!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogger has issues

I had a tutorial ready to post then blogger had some fatal error and well trashed it. Ill try it again tomorrow!! boooo


Well I finally found a tutorial that showed me how to make a banner for my etsy shop which in turn helped me figure out a better way to make a banner for my blog!!! I'm so excited! I feel like I am finally catching up in the design area even though my skills at illustrator are still lacking. My good friend tells me it just takes practice. Well practicing I am. I bought a book with lessons to help me out and I'm thinking about taking a class to get better skills. Now if only I could afford the programs so I wouldn't have to work on this at lunch!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Chronicles of Bake-O-Rama Part 1

Well after a long week it was of course time to bake. What else would I do on Friday? Well tomorrow I'm off to Chico for some fun an relaxation (code word for party). So I made us some goodies while starting on my office gifts. This year I'm baking up a storm for work. I figure that I would fatten everyone else up at work to make my self esteem improve. Plus those amazing student's deserved something good! This year I'm Baking cookies from the Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies and let me tell you it took like 4 hours to dwindle down the competition to pick my favorite. I though I would 1. post the cookies I make and 2. give a little review. Today was frosted molasses cookies and cup cakes. So here they are. I have to say the Molasses Cookies are a little dry but that's my own damn fault I kinda left out a whole stick of butter!!! I know bad bad bad. But the Cup Cakes are to DIE for and are super easy so lets start with those

Home E Teacher's Daughter's Box o Cup Cake

1 Box Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Recipe Chocolate
1 Box instant Jello Vanilla
1 1/3 cups water
3 eggs
1 Stick of butter softened
1 tub of vanilla icing (I buy whatever is on sale)
1 1-gallon freezer bag
1 pair of scissors
cup cake shells (those paper things you put in the tin)

1. Turn that oven on to 325 degrees
2. Mix together Eggs Butter and Water in a mixing bowl.
3. Add Jello and Betty Crocker mix until smooth
4. Place cup cake shells in the cup cake tin
5. Place mixture into a 1-gallon freezer bag
6. Cut off the corner of the 1-gallon freezer bag

7. Pipe the mixture in to the tins (this assures that the same amount of mixture gets in to every tin its also way less messy)
8. place in oven and cook for about 25 minutes (check with a fork pierce the center of one of the cup cakes the fork should come out clean)

9. Let the Cup Cakes cool completely and while they cool prepare the icing.
10. Take the icing and put in mixing bowl and mix for about 5 minutes so it whips it and becomes lighter.
11. Ice your cup cakes and decorate! When I use sprinkles I actually dip the cupcakes into the sprinkles (which are in a bowl) to cover the cup cake (much easier and less mess)

Frosted Molasses Cookies adapted from Muriel Lerdel Humboldt Iowa

1 cup butter softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon slat
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups confectioners sugar (or as I like to call Powdered Sugar)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 teaspoons milk (u can use buttermilk if you'd like too since you had to buy some for the cookies)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
2. In mixing bowl cream together the butter and brown sugar.
3. Beat in eggs molasses and vanilla
4. In a separate bowl combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice and mix together
5. add the dry mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk
6. drop 1 tablespoon 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes
7. allow to cool before frosting

1. cream shortening and butter together
2. Add Almond Extract
3. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar and ginger
4. add mild and beat until light and fluffy
5. Ice your cookies and decorate with sprinkles (you can use the same logic as I did with the cup cakes as well)

Well I think this is it for the weekend I'll let you know how Chico is were going to attempt a gingerbread house lets hope that the relaxation doesn't get in the way of that!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Seat Warmers

So this is a little off topic but what the hey. Tonight I went to dinner with a good friend of mine. It was good to blow off some steam hang out eat and have a beer. But our conversation was as I would call it CLASSY. He works in construction I used to work in construction so bathroom humor is not far off in our conversations. But today's took the cake. Did you know that seat warmers can cause the desire to poopoo? I had never heard of this in my life. Ive heard of how running water can be unbearable when you really got to go (which I believe in). I have even heard about how being around large bodies of water can make you want to urinate. But I have never heard about how seat warmers can cause the sudden urge to poopoo. So my question to him was "So a heated toilet seat would be a bad idea?" His reply "Yes it would not be good". But why a seat warmer? We have all these associations for peeing but not pooing. What gives? I really don't have time to do research and figure this out so if anyone knows please enlighten me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mystery Bruise Post 1 Continued

So I thought Mystery Bruise 1 was done changing colors apparently not...

Gym Toys

This has been one long week and its half way over. But I did have some time to fix myself up a new bag for the gym!!! I have to say I'm extremely impressed with myself. It fits all my little toys (or torture items) for the gym and even has some extra room for more supplies. Its a simple tote bag with pockets on the exterior including one for my ID.

Sorry this is so short but I'm beat (work is on OD this week)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

No Sew Fleece Blanket

Got 90 minutes and a pair of scissors??

Then you can do this project!!! I know I'm always sewing and crocheting but there are those of us out there that are NOT crafty. I’m making this for a BT to give to a “friend”. Sometimes I think I’m not as in charge as I think I am of this relationship. So here we go..

What you need
1 pair or scissors
2 yards each of 2 different fleece fabrics (you can get this at Joanne’s)
1 piece of paper
1 ruler (you can estimate too)
A cleared space on the floor (I used the kitchen floor)

Lets get started

Lay down one of the fabric’s wrong side up (if you pick a solid color it doesn’t really matter.

Lay down the 2nd fabric right side up on top of the first fabric that you already laid down (if it’s a print one side will look a little clearer than the other but that’s about the only difference)

Match up the edge’s the best you can. My print was actually a lot bigger than the solid so I matched up two edges and the overhang was on the other two.

Now you want to cut off the selvedge edge (this should be located on the two longest sides) and the excess fabric from the overhang. Now the selvedge looks different than the short edges it has little dots on it (its so the fabric doesn’t pull apart).

Now get that piece of paper and cut out a 3inch x 3inch Square.

Place the square piece of paper on the corner of your fabric and cut it out

It should now look like this

Repeat the remaining 3 edges and you should have something like the diagram below

Now you want to fold the edge over on one edge so you have a 3-inch overhang from one edge to the other.

Next you want to cut 3inch x 1-inch strips all the way down the other end.

For the final step you want to take the front and back strip (i.e. the solid and the print strip) and double knot the strips all the way around the blanket
TADA your done!


Ive been in the Crochet mood lately with finishing up some xmas stuff I had time to do some extra scarfs for etsy. So here they are and they are available for purchase too!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mystery Bruise Post 1

So I have a problem. I get these bruises but I don't exactly know where they come from (I probably ran into something or Poodles beats me up long distance who knows). So since I have a blog and no one reads it I'm going to post the mystery bruises as they occur.

Mystery Bruise 1 Back of leg upper thigh

Flower Power Snowflakes!

Today was an amazing day. I got up went to the gym went to the indiescaramento trunk show. I got lots of good ideas for what I would like to make next and possibly going to it the next time its around and taking some of my stuff. I even met Pimp Stitch and Pepto Girl thanks to my crafty coworker who was there with her husband. It was like meeting stars who have no idea how much they inspire me on a daily basis. So with that inspiration it was home to crochet a scarf to finish up the Xmas gifts...yes I know I'm done!!! officially done!!! Which means now I can focus on this and etsy. I also thought that it was time for a change in the bathroom good by pumpkin and leaf hello Flower Power Snow Flakes!!! Now this was easy so let me show you how!

What you need:

1 Square piece of paper
1 Pair of scissors 1 Pencil
So here we go

Here is my Square piece of paper (I used some origami left over paper I had)

Fold paper over so you have a triangle. To do this just match up opposite corners and make a fold. (the edge is where my thumb is)

Fold the triangle to make another smaller triangle. Take the corners of the longer edge and match them up to make the triangle.

Now here is where it get a little tricky. You are going to make it look like this.

So take one of the corners of the long edge and and pull it down so it looks like this and make your fold line.

Take the other corer and fold it over what you just should have something like this.

Get your scissors and cut off those tales so you have a really tall triangle.

Now its time to get out your pencil and start the design. You want to put a half circle at the top of your triangle and then 2 arcs on one of the longer edges so it should look like this

cut on the line

unfold...and smile!

Here is another snowflake might be a little better than mine