Saturday, March 29, 2014

Baby Box

I made this keepsake box for my new grandson who will be here on April 9th.  What it lacks in finesse, it makes up for in love!

This is based on a very expensive box I saw in a baby store several years ago when my daughter was expecting my first grandson.  I made one for him and so I had to make one for his brother as well!  For Joseph's box, I used tiny envelopes which I couldn't find again.  So I purchased small gauze bags from the bridal aisle to use for the "First Tooth" and "First Curl" holders.  I wrote on them with a Sharpie.  I slipped some card stock in the bags so that the ink didn't leak through the fabric.

I lined the box with some stretch velveteen.  I wrapped it around some cardboard first and then glued it in to the top and bottom of the box.  

The entire box was first painted yellow, the letters were David Tutera letters and were a little too green so I put a light coat of yellow on them as well.  My spacing is a tad off on those.  I would recommend laying out your letters before gluing them down.  My glue is messy because I was using a new glue gun.  Also a tip, try out your equipment if it is new.  The triggers on glue guns are different and the pressure you need on one is different than another.  I used some scrapbook embellishments which were also David Tutera for the decorations.  

Here are all of the items I used to make this:

To make this an extra special keepsake, I added this on the back with a black Sharpie:

Let me know what you think!  Let me know if you try it, if the tutorial is a good one, give me your feedback!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Everything's Coming Up Roses!

A friend gave me this beautiful teapot for Christmas, but it had no lid.  She knows I love pretty little things even if they are less than perfect.  What to do, what to do?  Well, my darling hubby brought home these gorgeous roses and I thought, "Why not use the teapot as a vase?"  

I cut the stems nice and short and varied the lengths of the stems so they would form a rounded appearance.  I used the little bit of babies breath that was in the package too.  

So pretty!!!

Now I just need a constant supply of roses!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Oven Fried Onion Rings

Oven Fried Egg-Free Onion Rings

2 Medium Sized Onions sliced in ½ inch slices
3 ½ Cups Buttermilk
2 Cups All purpose Flour
4 ½ Tablespoons of Sour Cream
2 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Black Pepper
2 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 ½ Cups Panko bread crumbs
¼ Cup Cornmeal
In a casserole dish, place sliced onions and cover with 2 ½ Cups of Buttermilk. Cover dish with foil and put in fridge to soak for at least 5 hours.  Overnight is better. 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Remove onions from fridge and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  In a separate bowl, mix together remaining 1 Cup Buttermilk and Sour Cream, whisk together.  In a third bowl, combine Panko and Cornmeal with a pinch of Salt.
Dredge onion rings in flour, then in buttermilk and sour cream mixture and then in Panko mixture.  Place on a cookie sheet sprayed with Cooking Spray (Olive Oil cooking spray works best).  Repeat until all onion rings have been coated.  Bake onion rings for 7 ½ to 10 minutes and then flip.  Bake for an additional 7 ½ to 10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. 
*Optional Dipping Sauce*

6 Tablespoons Salted Butter
3 Tablespoons Flour
1 Cup Chicken Stock
½ Cup Milk
¼ Cup Chive & Onion Cream Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a small sauce pan, melt butter.  Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute until a brown color is achieved.  Whisk in Chicken Stock.  The sauce will then thicken.  Add Cream Cheese and stir until melted.  Whisk in milk, salt and pepper and whisk through.  Cook for 2 minutes until all flavors have combined. 
Serves 4.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kids' St. Patrick's Day Craft

This is my oh so handsome grandson!  He loves doing crafts and he loves holidays!!!  This year he really gets what St. Patrick's day is about, at least the shamrocks and the green part.  He is only 3 after all.  

So I wanted to come up with a toddler friendly craft to do with him.  Off to the Dollar Tree we went.  I got 2 garlands, one of all green with shamrocks and one that had gold shamrocks on a green garland.  They were 9 feet long each.  I also got a package of glittered shamrocks that were about 3 inches big and a floral foam ring.  The only other thing I used was my hot glue gun.  I was careful to do the gluing and keep his little fingers away from the hot glue.  He would hand me the strands of the garland through the hole in the "wreath" and we wound the garlands around it.  We only glued the ends.  Then I put a dot of hot glue in the very center of each large shamrock and I let him place them.  Other then scooching the top one up a little bit so you could see the center one, he chose this placement.  I promise you he did!!! 

I twisted together 2 green pipe cleaners to use as a hanger.  I think this is amazingly cute!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

St. Patrick's Day, One Way Or Another!!!

Finger Tip Towels

I have a great brushed nickel towel stand that I keep on my vanity in my bathroom.  It only holds finger tip size hand towels.  Now, they aren't easy to come by.  But, Kohl's usually can be depended on to have cute holiday towels in this size.  

So, I happen to live in an area that is predominantly Irish.  It's referred to as the 33rd county of Ireland (there are 32 if you include the 6 northern counties).  So, apparently, if you want things for St. Patrick's Day you need to get them in FEBRUARY!!!   This is something I just learned!

But, I am nothing if not resourceful.  There were a few kitchen towels left.  So I picked up a few sets since I only liked one of the two in each set.  Then I set about altering them so they were the size to fit on this stand.  

Aren't they cute????  I just love them!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Semi Homemade Baked Ziti

Semi Homemade Baked Ziti

1 (16 oz.) package ziti pasta
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg beaten
1 (32 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
¼ Cup Parmesan cheese
3 Plum Tomatoes diced
3 to 4 Cloves Garlic minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil

1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add ziti and cook 8 to 10 minutes until al dente, drain and rinse.
3.      In a large bowl; beat the egg, then add all but ¾ of a cup of the mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, the diced tomatoes, the minced garlic, the fresh basil and 1 ½ Cups of the spaghetti sauce.
4.      Mix this all very well with a spatula. 
5.      Then add the ziti and toss until well combined.
6.      Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and spoon in ziti mixture.
7.      Top with remaining spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. 
8.      Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 8

If you have ever heard the term "semi homemade" and wondered what it means, this is it!  It means taking some things that are premade (a jarred sauce, a boxed mix, etc.) and some fresh ingredients and coming up with something delicious!!!   This really worked.  The fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic made this really taste fresh!!!