Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Looking Back A Little

This weeks little extra at Daring Cardmakers is all about looking back a little,at the last dare. They wanted us to choose a card from one of the design teams cards submitted for the 'Foiled' dare and come up with a card using one or two of the same elements. tricky... !

I'm not sure I captured this dare correctly but here's my card.

It was created using materials I had on hand, Me and My Big Ideas Chester paper (received in a blog exchange)and making memories black series of brads and flowers(given to me by a good friend for my birthday). The thank you stamp is by Technique Tuesday.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Apple Cranberry Crisp

For me a favourite comfort food is a fruit crisp and I often try different crisp recipes. A crisp is definitely one of those foods that picks us up when we are down, warms us when we are feeling lost and cold and blurs out the bad mood.

So I've submitted this recipe to the Monthly Mingle Comfort Food event

I made this crisp recipe on the weekend and really liked it! I think it was partly because of the pecans in the crisp portion and the contrast of the cranberries to the apples. The recipe doesn't call for cinnamon but I didn't think it could be an apple crisp without it so I did add about a teaspoon to the crisp topping.

Here's the recipe

Cranberry Apple Crisp

1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries
3 cups sliced apples(I used Granny Smith)
1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soft butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon(optional)

Mix the apples, cranberries and sugar and put in the bottom of 9 by 13 greased baking dish(I used a deeper oval dish and it worked well). Mix the butter and sugar, add the oats and pecans(and cinnamon if using). Mix and spread on top of the fruit.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

I served it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


The Daring Cardmakers dare this weekend was 'Foiled!'

We were to use some plain old aluminum (aluminium for our friends across the pond!) foil from your kitchen. It could be scrunched, die cut, embossed, inked, coiled, used to cover chipboard - or anything else!

So I didn't just make one card, I made three. And I used my new favourite tool, the Cuttlebug to emboss the foil! I'd never thought of using foil on a card or layout before and it is unique and fun!

I quite liked how this flower framed the felt sticker.

A couple of close ups.

And I think that's it for the valentine themed cards, I'm out of paper!


Last June while I was at CKC Buffalo, I took this class, making a Love sign, sponsored by Rusty Pickle. I didn't finish it while I was there and decided with Valentines coming up I really should get it done.

Its made from painted chipboard which was then sprayed in walnut ink to give it the distressed look. I added extra embellishments of my own in addition to those provided and am happy with how it turned out!

I know I'll use this for lots of Valentines Days to come.

Chocolate Oreo Pudding Parfaits

Did you know that parfait is derived from French and means completely perfect? Brittany is enjoying studying languages right now and suggested that maybe it really originated from Latin and it did.The Latin origin is perfectus.

So what can be more completely perfect(and simple) than chocolate oreo pudding parfaits?

I was in a baking mood yesterday so I made these parfaits(along with some other things I'll post about later), simply pudding layered with crushed oreo cookies. The kids loved them!

Hey Brittany! Where are you going with that parfait?!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Scraps of Paper

Here's a great way to use up scraps of paper with an impressive result. The windmill design on this card is created using four 2 by 2 inch pieces of paper cut on the diagonal and then arranged so that they each meet in the middle(behind the sticker). I've used patterned paper but I think equally as nice results could be achieved with plain cardstock, embossed cardstcok or a mix of cardstick and patterned paper! Hmmm, I'll have to try some more designs out!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Indoor Soccer

Shhhhh, I'm uploading these pics on the sly. Brittany doesn't want me putting pics of her on my blog, I'm not really sure why...... But I couldn't resist putting these couple of action shots from this week's game on my blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tempting Template

Here's another Card from the Daring Cardmakers. We were to use the following template to design our card. It could be twisted, shrunk, stretched and even turned upside down - as long as the basic plan is in there.
So what do you think, does my card reflect the template?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Texas Capitol Layouts

I'm almost through scrapbooking my Texas trip pics.

I spent a lovely day on Sunday scrapbooking with friends and completed these two pages of the Texas State Capitol.

These layouts use the Rockland series of papers by Scenic Route. Love the soft greens and blues.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hide and Seek

Its another Valentines card created for this week's dare at Daring Cardmakers.

This time we were to make a card which had a hidden component of some sort.
The hidden part could be a tag, a concealed photo, message or maybe a pull-out or pop-up.
Anything goes as long as there's something extra for the recipient to find on your card that's not immediately visible when they open the envelope.

So here's what you first see when viewing my card.

And here it is with the hidden message shown.

Paper is Smitten by BoBunny, felt stickers are from the K and Company Smitten line and the luv ya stamp is by Gelatins.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Time to Laugh

After all that hard work cleaning cupboards, its time to take a break and enjoy a laugh.

For all you scrapbookers out there, you must check out the Cosmo Cricket blog. The entries by Jon, The Warehouse Guy are pretty cute. Click here to view and then play.

Clean Cupboards

Yes, I spent most of the day yesterday and today cleaning the kitchen cupboards and cold room. What a job! But now that its done I can admire the neatness for a day or too right? Oh, but I'll have pictures here to come and look at when I forget what its like to have neat cupboards!

Glasses and pottery goblets arranged neatly in rows.

The plastics actually stacked up with the lids.

The essential travel mugs matched with lids.

I think we have a thing for tea(and the odd cosmopolitan)!

A neatly arranged cold room shelf. Yes, we like soup!

Another neatly arranged cold room shelf. Yes, we really do have a thing for tea,mint to be more specific! And the girls do like their KD!

Friday, January 18, 2008


A while back I posted a recipe from my new cookbook, Barefoot Contessa At Home. Well, I tried another recipe that all my family loved, Couscous with Pine Nuts.

Couscous is a small granular type of pasta which is made by sprinkling durum or hard wheat semolina grains with cold salted water and rolling and coating them in fine wheat flour. It's a staple ingredient in North Africa. Traditional couscous needs presoaking and takes a long time to cook. The readily available quick-cook couscous is more convenient and involves just soaking or simmering the couscous in boiling water for about ten minutes.

4 T butter
3/4 cup chopped shallots
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup dried currants
2 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Melt the butter in large saucepan. Add the shallots and cook them over medium-low Heat for 3 minutes until translucent.
Add the chicken stock, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Stir in the couscous, cover the pan and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the pine nuts, currants and parsley and fluff with a fork to combine. Serve Hot.

Try this recipe, you won't be disappointed.

And as an aside, I've always wondered where pine nuts come from, and yes, they actually do come from a pine tree. For more information, click here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Early Valentines Cards

As part of the current challenge on Daring Cardmakers,Me and My Shadow, I decided to get an early start on Valentines Cards. This week's challenge was to make two card with the same materials but different layouts. So, here are mine:

Felt stickers are by K and Company while the paper is from the Bo Bunny Smitten line.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Riverwalk

I've been trying very hard to stick to my scrapbook resolution of adding the journalling to my pages as I go. Friday night I scrapbooked with friends and completed four pages showing off pictures we took of the Riverwalk in San Antonio when we were there in November 2006. So today I added the journalling!

Here's the layouts and a couple of closeups. The patterned paper is by A2Z and is from the Sweet Nothing Collection.

Winter Greetings

I participated in a card swap just before Christmas but wasn't able to post my card as there was a contest to see if you could guess who made the card.

The cards have now been revealed so I'm able to share my card here.

This card is quite different for me, I did get inspiration for it from another blog or gallery(but can't remember where now!).

I found the pieced tree and snowman templates on line and then used various scraps of Christmas paper to put it all together. It is a technique that I will try again.

Restaurant Like in Vienna

Yes, this restaurant, Two Goblets, bills itself as a Restaurant Like in Vienna. And last night we went there for dinner. I'd heard it serves really good schnitzel and perogies. Brianne loves perogies so has been wanting to try it out for ages!

It did not disappoint! Salad or soup was included with each entree and the portion sizes of the schnitzel were huge! We brought lots home for lunch or dinner today.

Steve had some mini cabbage rolls to start, that were very good!

And here's the platter of perogies and schnitzel. The schnitzel was served piping hot and the batter was very light!

We'll definitely go back here again.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Anne of Green Gables

My sister Sherry was recently able to get us tickets to see Anne Of Green Gables at the Grand Theatre. She has been working in wardrobe maintaining the many costumes. So last Friday the girls and I joined her and her boys to see the play. It was a wonderful musical with the actress who played Anne suitably dramatic without being unbelievable.

And while the kids really did enjoy the musical, they liked the back stage tour too!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Beating The January Blahs

It seems from some of the blogs I've read that its not uncommon to feel the January blahs. And as we've had unseasonably warm weather for the past two days all the snow has melted leaving a soggy brownish-grey mess. I often feel the post holiday season let down although not as much this year as in the past. I think it has been helped by having been to two scrapbooking events since Christmas, installing new carpet and having made some progress on my New Year's resolutions. I've just returned from Curves and since Christmas have finished several layouts completely with journalling. I haven't been eating as healthfully as I would like, there's still too many leftover goodies around but I'll clear those out by taking them to work later this week.

Other things I try to do to get past the blahs is enjoy what the weather has to offer, walks in the crisp air and tubing with the kids. I often will buy a small spring plant to bring some colour into the house and although I haven't seen any out yet, I did browse online through some great spring photos. I also try to take advantage of a slower January to clean out the closets, cupboards, fridge and stove. Don't we all love the feeling of accomplishment when you look at a freshly cleaned closet or fridge?

Of course it also helps that I have a trip south planned for mid February. Maybe I'll go browse through some pics for the resort. Nothing like beach pictures to help forget about the muddy slop outside!

A Japanese Dinner

On New Year's Eve while Brianne spent the evening with her friends, Steve, Brittany and I had dinner out at Japanese restaurant I'd heard good things about.

We started with some sushi, and while I stuck with the vegetable sushi, Brittany tried some with crab and Steve enjoyed both the crab and scallop sushi.

Brittany is very open to new tastes and did eat her teriyaki chicken and noodles with chopsticks.

Steve had steak teriyaki and I had chicken teriyaki with tempura. All the dishes were brought to our table steaming and tasted so flavourful.

And of course we did have green tea.

The only let down was dessert. It was deep fried ice cream, coated in tempura batter that seemed a bit soggy to me. Next time I'd pass on dessert and have more sushi!