Sunday, July 31, 2011

Diaper Clutch



I've seen many diaper clutch tutorials over the past year, many which I have bookmarked.  Recently, I wanted to make one for a special little baby that will be arriving shortly.  I went through all of my tutorials and decided to use this one over at A Lemon Squeezy Home.    She has an awesome downloadable template that I used for this project.  The entire thing took me less than an hour and I was thrilled with how it came out.  I was able to fit 3 diapers and a personalized wipes case in the clutch I made.  Head on over to A Lemon Squeezy Home and make one yourself! 







Thursday, July 28, 2011

Binky Clips


Binky clips have been on my to do list for months now.  It's one of those things that I had never been able to get around to.  Usually, because another project came up.  But, the upcoming birth of Brittney's baby boy gave me the  motivation I needed.  I followed the tutorial over at Seven Sisters.  These were so so easy to make.  I'm kicking myself for not making them sooner.  I could have added them to many many baby shower gifts.  I especially love how the ribbons are interchangeable.  So, all you really need is one paci and one clip for each gift with a bunch of different ribbons.  One for every day of the week if you wish.  The options are endless.  


Supplies:
One Inch Ribbon
Iron on velcro 
Mitten clips 
Iron

Directions:
Measure and cut your Ribbon. I used heat to seal the ends.  
Place sticky side of velcro onto ribbon, turn ribbon over and iron on.
Make sure to leave enough room between the velcro for the binki and clip to fit. You'll end up with two pieced of velcro on each side of the ribbon.  
That's it, plain and simple! 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Felt Wine Bags

This was the second project from my crafternoon.  My friend emailed me this project and I wanted to make it RIGHT AWAY.  What a great idea and a perfect hostess gift! The tutorial for this project can be found here.  She provides step by step instructions with pictures, which I forgot to take.  Her tutorial is for a no sew wine bag.  I didn't have stitch witchery and did have my machine out, so I decided to sew mine.  I just did two straight stitches on each side, stopping an inch from the bottom.  It was simple, only taking me a few minutes.  I added some of my favorite felt flowers to doll them up! I am completely obsessed with these bags and will be making tons more over the holiday season.  


Here are the directions from Under the Table and Dreaming...

No-Sew Felt Wine Wrap

Materials Needed:Felt
Stitch Witchery
Pinking Shears {or regular scissors}
A Bottle of Wine, Champagne, etc.

Double over a single cut of felt {so the crease is at the bottom} and cut a piece measuring 6 inches wide by 24 inches tall {you may need to adjust the measurements as wine bottles do vary in size}. I used pinking shears to give the edges a little design.
Sit the bottle right side up and place in the center of the felt; the top edge of the bottle resting on the guideline - trace around the bottom of the bottle.
Lift up the top layer of felt and proceed to cut out the traced circle. {this only needs to be done on the top layer} It is pretty easy if you fold the top layer of felt in half and cut small slit into the center of the circle.
The next step is to seam the sides. This can be done by sewing or simply using stitch witchery. [Stitch Witchery is a polyamide fusible web that permanently bonds two layers of fabric together - and yes it works on felt too!]

Cut two strips of the stitch witchery, one for each side. Place each strip in between the felt as close as you can to the outer edges of each side, leaving a one inch opening at the bottom crease. {as shown above} Lightly press with a steam iron set to the wool setting. Keep the iron moving at all times when placed on the felt, as if left in one spot it will melt the fibers. It only takes 30 seconds or so to fuse.
Once the sides are together, seam the top in the same fashion. Depending upon the size of your actual bottle you may need to trim the top just a bit.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chocolate Cola Cake


I've been doing a lot of cooking lately, but not a lot of baking.  I used to make D sweet treats to bring to work all the time and I haven't done so in months.  So, I decided that I was going to send it something to work with him on Monday.  I went to Pinterest to find a recipe from my sweet treats board.  I decided to go with this cola cake because we had some left over cola from a party and neither of us drink it.  I also didn't need to go to the store for any of the ingredients, which is always a plus.  The cake was as easy as it seems.  It was out of the oven for less than 10 minutes before I dove in. Hubs and I ended up eating the cake for dinner, it was that good.   The sweet smell of chocolate and cinnamon filled the house for hours afterward.  Loved it! 



preheat oven to 350, and grease up (I like Crisco) a 9×13 (or so) pan.
mix:
2cups flour
2cups sugar
1/2tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp cinnamon
in a saucepan over medium high heat stir this up good until it boils:
1 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup coca-cola (from bottle is my preference!)
1/2 cup buttermilk
now take off heat and add that to the flour mix & whisk until combined.
Then add:
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
mix, put in pan, bake it for about 30minutes. Yes, it’s a quick bake. Don’t over-bake it!
when cake is nearly done make the glaze by mixing in saucepan:
1/2cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coca cola
once that boils, remove and slowly stir in 4cups of confectioners’ sugar until nice and smooth. Then add in about a cup of chopped pecans, and give it a stir.
once cake is done and out of oven (toothpick should come out clean), pour this warm glaze right over the top of the hot cake!
wait.
let it set… let it cool for a few minutes at least…
enjoy warm or cold. (next day/etc. feel free to microwave for a few seconds to warm it up… so good)

Felt Wreath


I've seen felt wreaths popping up everywhere these days.  Especially on Pinterest, which of course, is where I found the tutorial I used for this project.  A friend of mine came over for a crafternoon and this was the first project we took on.  Now, I will say that this project was time consuming.  I cut 200 felt circles to make the wreath.  One thing I will say... good scissors are key to cutting felt!  It will make time pass much much quicker.  I cut 4 layers of felt at a time and was done within an hour.  I honestly thought it would take much longer.  Below you will find the instructions for the wreath that I used.  After cutting the circles, I kind of just winged it with the pinning on the wreath.  I found a way that worked for me and went with it. As the wreath became filled with the felt flowers, it became easier.  Once the entire wreath was filled, I was in love! 
 I changed up how I hung the wreath after realizing it needed more than a simple hook.  I made a bow and attached a ribbon loop to the back of the bow.  I'm glad I decided to go with the bow, it added the perfect touch.  This wreath will definitely make an appearance during Christmas and Valentine's Day.  


What you’ll need for the wreath:
- a 12 inch styrofoam wreath form
- approximately 2 1/2 yards of felt
- straight pins (enough to match the number of felt circles needed, plus two for attaching the hanger)
- scissors
- a 3 inch circle template
- a pencil
- ribbon for hanging
Making the Felt Rosettes
Using a pencil and your circle template, trace circles onto the felt. Cut the felt circles, and fold them in half twice to form rosettes. Insert a pin near the bottom corner of the rosette, about 1/8 inch from the corner.

Attaching the Felt Rosettes
Attach the felt rosettes to the wreath form, making sure to group the rosettes tightly enough that no styrofoam is showing through the rosettes. After you’ve added a few, fluff and adjust the rosettes to your liking. Continue making, pinning, and attaching the rosettes until you’ve worked your way around the wreath form. If you have circles that are slightly misshapen or that have a little pencil or ink on them, place them toward the outside or inside edges, where they can’t be seen when the wreath is hanging.
Wreath Back
This is what my wreath looked like on the back when I was finished. As you can see, I started off with ball point straight pins, but I switched to flat head pins when the rosette count started to get up there and I had to run out and buy more pins. If you use flat head pins, then I suggest using a thimble to push them into the wreath form, or your thumb will take a beating. Ask me how I know.
Wreath Hanger
After you’ve finished adding the felt rosettes, cut a 5 inch length of ribbon, fold it in half, and attach it to the wreath form with two pins to form a hanger.
Wreath Finished
I love how organic the wreath looks when it’s finished. The ruffly felt rosettes, when grouped together like this, remind me a bit of a coral reef. While this is a rather ambitious project, I think it was completely worth the time spent. I’ll be using my wreath year ’round as part of my home décor!





This is the wreath that my friend made, I love it! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Scrapbook Bow Holder Tutorial

Every little princess needs a place to hang all of her gorgeous bows and I've got just the creation.  There are so many different types of bow hangers out there, I've decided to share my scrapbook hangers with you today.  The scrapbook hangers are made with scrapbook paper and take less than an hour to make.  What I love about it, is that you can choose the perfect paper to match your little girls bedroom or bathroom.  

Materials: 
Wooden Letter
Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush
Mod Podge
Scrapbook Paper
Ribbon
Hot Glue 

Step 1: Start with a plain wooden letter. Paint the back a color of your choice.  

Step 2: Then, paint the edges and a bit of the front.  Just incase your paper doesn't match perfectly you won't see the plain wood. 


Step 3: Grab some coordinating scrapbook paper.  Trace the letter on the paper.  



Step 4: Cut out the letter.  



Step 4: Cover the painted wooden letter with Mod Podge.  Start with the back and move to the front.  The Mod Podge on the front will adhere the scrapbook letter.  



Step 5: Place the scrapbook paper onto the wooden letter.  Press it down on all sides to get rid of little air pockets.  Then, cover the front (scrapbook paper) with Mod Podge.  So, you would have painted Mod Podge on the back, then front of wood, then on top of the scrapbook paper.  



Step 6: Hot glue ribbon on the bottom in a loop.  I usually use 20 inches of thick grosgrain ribbon.  

Step 7: Glue a smaller piece of ribbon to the top in the shape of a hoop.  This is how your holder will hang on the wall.  Add ribbons or little accessories to dress it up a little more.   

Here are some of the finished products!  If you're interested in ordering one, visit Simply Made with Love







Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tortellini with Balsamic Brown Butter

Okay, I know I've mentioned Pinterest a lot on this blog lately.  It's a fact that I spend way too much time on it.  But, I probably wouldn't have found some of my new- instantly favorite recipes without it.  This recipe comes from Gimme Some Oven.  I love balsamic, especially on tomatoes and mozzarella! So, why not try it on pasta?  I'm glad I did, because this is my new favorite pasta!  Delish!  


Tortellini with Balsamic Brown Butter Recipe(Adapted from Giada DeLaurentis)
Ingredients:
  • 18 to 20 ounces store-bought tortellini or ravioli (pick your favorite flavor!)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted, chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Method:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions (generally about 2-3 minutes until tender, but still firm to the bite), stirring occasionally. Drain the tortellini.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown (and begins to give off a nutty aroma) turn off the heat and remove from the burner. Let cool for about 1 minute. Then gradually (and very carefully!) stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the balsamic brown butter and gently stir until combined. Sprinkle nuts and Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good Eats Meatloaf


When is the last time you made meatloaf?  For me, it had been many months.  Lately, I've been trying to make meals using the food I already have at home. One of those ingredients was ground turkey.  After doing a little searching, I found Alton Brown's recipe for meatloaf.  The recipe received 5 stars with over 300 reviews.  For me, that is worth making. Even with using ground turkey instead of ground chuck, this dish lived up to the high expectations.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • carrot, peeled and broken
  • 3 whole cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 18 ounces ground chuck
  • 18 ounces ground sirloin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup catsup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a food processor bowl, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed. Combine the vegetable mixture, ground sirloin, and ground chuck with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the egg and combine thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.
Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of the tray. Insert a temperature probe at a 45 degree angle into the top of the meatloaf. Avoid touching the bottom of the tray with the probe. Set the probe for 155 degrees.
Combine the catsup, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes.


Total Time:




1 hr 10 min


Prep




25 min


Cook




45 min





Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cheesy Biscuits

I made these gems to go along with the chicken broccoli bake I posted yesterday.  I came across a picture of it on Pinterest and put it at the top of my list to make.  I decided to make big biscuits, which was a big mistake.  They were way too sweet.  BUT...if you follow the recipe below and use a mini muffin pan, maybe cut down the sugar a bit, I'm sure you will enjoy them.  They are just to quick and easy not to make once a week! If you make them, be sure to let me know how they came out.





1 1/2 cups Bisquick
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 Tbps sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425.  Stir together all ingredients just until combined.  Scoop into a mini muffin pan coated with cooking spray.  Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden.  **I used a medium cookie scoop and got 20 muffins**

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chicken Broccoli Bake


I had a great coupon for Philadelphia Cooking Creme recently and picked up one of each flavor.  I love how they post recipes on the containers.  That is exactly where this recipe came from.  To find it online, go here.  This is not your typical broccoli bake, the garlic creme adds a kick.  I loved it.  I served it with white rice.  Enjoy!




1-1/2 lb.
boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 pkg.
(14 oz.)frozen broccoli florets, thawed, drained
1-1/2 cups
KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 tub
(10 oz.)PHILADELPHIA Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
1/2 cup
milk
24
RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1 cup)
1 Tbsp.
butter, melted

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in 13x9-inch baking dish; cover.
  3. Bake 25 min. Meanwhile, mix cracker crumbs and butter.
  4. Stir chicken mixture; top with crumbs. Bake, uncovered, 10 min. or until topping is golden brown.



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