Berry Pizza for July 4th


A few weeks ago, I came across this pin for summer berry pizza.  It looked good, so I decided it would be dessert on the Fourth of July.  It’s pretty easy as it uses a store bought pizza dough and only a few ingredients.  The only one we didn’t have as mascarpone cheese.  Of course, when I went to buy the cheese, I didn’t write down how much I needed.  Turns out that while it comes in 8 oz. tubs, we needed 16 oz., so I had to get my mom to bring more before I could finish it!  Each tub costs about $4.99 in my neck of the woods, so it really turned out to be more expensive to make than I thought it would be.

The pizza dough we had was for thin crust and required a nonstick pan and a lower temperature.  I went by what the dough directions said instead of the blog’s instructions, though I wound up keeping it in the oven for 9 minutes because it didn’t seem to be as browned as it should be.

Baked Pizza Crust

Baked Pizza Crust

I didn’t have any blueberries, so I only used strawberries.  It still tasted good!  The only thing I noticed about the recipe that seemed off was the glaze:  I had covered the pizza with drizzle, and I still had some left.  I think the recipe should really be halved.

Finished Berry Pizza

Finished Berry Pizza

I thought it was delicious, as did my mom.  The kids had mixed reviews.  My son (Mr. Sweet Tooth) liked it pretty well, but my daughter didn’t care for the crust (said it was too firm), and her friend didn’t like the texture of the cheese.  What this basically means is that I wound up eating most of the leftovers, which was okay with me!   However, the leftovers did get a bit soggy with the drizzle soaking into the crust.  If you can make it for enough people that you will have few (if any) leftovers, that would probably be for the best.  Bon appetit!

Painted Art Journal for Tink


Hello all!  Sorry I haven’t been blogging very regularly.  The kids have kept me busy.

I’ve already talked about my daughter’s birthday party, now let me tell you about one of her gifts.  A while back I blogged about a painted art journal I created for myself.  My daughter loved it so much that she wanted me to do one for her.  I offered a few ideas I had in my head about what it could look like, but she opted to have it look mostly like mine.  BUT we found a bigger sketchbook (8×10) for her book.  As before, I primed it by using about five coats of gesso.  I used acrylic paints, and I sealed it with Mod Podge Hard Coat.  I think it turned out lovely.

Metallic Geometric Side

Metallic Geometric Side

Jessie Journal 2

Glittery Floral Side

A Brave Birthday


My daughter recently turned 9, and for her birthday, she wanted to have a Brave/Princess Merida theme.  So, I went perusing the Internet via Google and Pinterest to get some ideas.  I don’t have all of the original links, and unfortunately, I don’t have the pictures of all of the food, but I will try to add links where I can find them.

Food

1.  Bear Paw Cookies:  There were several sites that talked about this.  It was very simple:  just make dough for a basic chocolate cookie.  I used a recipe that I normally use at Christmas time with crushed candy canes, but of course, I left those out.  You shape the dough in more of an oval than a circle, and you put four slivered almonds in one end to become the bear’s claws.  It’s that easy.

2.  Mince and tatties:  The husband found the recipe we used, so I’m not sure where the one we ended up with came from, but it included onions, carrots, and beef broth cooked in with the ground beef.  The potatoes were mashed.

3.  Scottish/mince pies:  To make things easier, I used the meat for the mince (minus the carrots) and added a little nutmeg for the pies.  The rest of the recipe is this:  http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/175301/scottish-meat-pie.  I used a muffin pan for the pies.  In hindsight, I should have actually added some gravy or a little more beef broth to the meat to make it moister as the pies were a bit dry inside.  I’m sure if I’d used the full recipe, everything would have been fine.

4.  Scones: I used this recipe:  http://www.cooks.com/recipe/2w5ky5bw/scottish-scones.html.  They were messy and sticky to form and bake, but they tasted wonderful.  I suspect I will make them again.  My daughter added extra cinnamon sugar when she ate them, but the rest of the family ate them as they were.

5.  For those who are less adventurous in their eating, we had chips, chicken nuggets, and other more American fare.

Party Favors

For our party favors, we made bows and arrows, of course!   We used the tutorial found here:  http://www.skiptomylou.org/2012/07/24/diy-pvc-bow-and-arrow/.

Bow and Arrows

Bow and Arrows

Instead of using foam for the grip, you can see I used electrical tape.  Some of them were curved the way you’d expect, but others were less curved.  They all bent fine for shooting, though.  I think I must have held the nylon cord more taut when I measured it for some bows than others, which lead to the slightly looser stringing.  The arrows have batting inside the fabric to make it less likely they would hurt anyone, but I had to use a bit of school glue to keep the fabric and batting secure to the wood; the ribbons did not secure it tightly enough so that it wouldn’t slide off.  My husband used a box cutter to notch the other end.

The bows were a big hit.  Two of the girls even went into the woods with their uncle the next day (who had a real bow) and brought their bows and arrows with to practice.  Their cousin wanted to make his own, so I passed the link on.

Overall, the party seemed to go well.  Everyone seemed full and happy, so I consider it a success!

A Purse for my Girl


Back before I had children, my husband and I took a trip with our friends to China.  For that trip, my friend Shari made me a “passport” bag to bring on the plane.  It had pockets to keep handy all of the items I’d need for going through security and boarding the plane.  Last year my daughter borrowed it for a field trip and loved it.  She wanted one of her own.  So, I finally made one for her in the fabrics she selected.

IMG_1628 Small IMG_1629 Small

 

I think it turned out pretty well, and my daughter loves it.

Apple Pie from Scraps!


Okay, I figure that you looked at the title and either thought “What in the world?” or “Um, you mean, ‘scratch,’ right?”  Well, I did not mean “scratch.”  I know, it’s weird to say I made it from scraps, but I found a few leftover components that work well for apple pie, so it just kind of went from there.  Here’s the story:

I was digging for something in my freezer.  I no longer remember what, but I seriously was pulling everything out while looking for whatever it was.  Oh, I know–cheese!  But that’s another story.  First, I found some cream cheese dough that we made when we made the mini pecan tarts my friend Shari gave me the recipe for (they are yum!!).  It was a little old (I won’t tell you how old), but I figured I’d defrost it and make a flat tart or something.  After all, I have more apples around than I know what to do with (my MIL knows the kids like them, so if they’re on sale, she buys us some).   Then I found leftover cinnamon sugar from a box of frozen pretzels I had (so not good for me).

So, off I was to find a pan to use.  I found a pie tin and squished the cream cheese dough into it.  I know this isn’t how you should do pie crust, but it’s how you do it for the tarts, and it would really stick to the rolling pin.  Next I sliced up some apples (three, I believe) and started sprinkling in cinnamon sugar.  I have no idea how much I used, but the apples all had a light coating on them.  I placed them in the shell and took a picture.

Cinnamon apples in cream cheese dough.

Cinnamon apples in cream cheese dough.

Hm, needs something on top, right?  So, I dug out the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and found a crumb topping recipe.  I made some and put it on.

That's looking better.

That’s looking better.

I baked it at about 350 (maybe it was 375) for about an hour.  Half-way through, it was getting really brown on top, so I put a layer of tinfoil over it so it wouldn’t get burnt.

So, here’s the result:

I forgot to take a picture before cutting (I was eager to eat it).  Oh, well.  At least I got a picture before it was half-eaten, right?

I forgot to take a picture before cutting (I was eager to eat it). Oh, well. At least I got a picture before it was half-eaten, right?

Looks good, doesn’t it?  It really is.  As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here polishing it off as we speak.  It’s my lunch–don’t tell the family that!!!

Dying Eggshells


Hello everyone!  Did you have a good Easter weekend?  We had a rough Saturday  morning (everyone had the crankies) but it got much better after that.

Saturday afternoon was spent dying our eggs, which was a lot of fun for the kids.  Because I knew Easter was coming up, I had also saved some eggshells just for dying.  Sounds weird, right?  Well, I got the idea after seeing a Pin this blog post at cantstopmakingthings.com about giving a wooden box a sort of mosaic look with eggshells.  I thought it’d be even cooler if the eggs were colored, so I started saving empty egg shells.  Dying the shells was a bit tricky as they fell apart a bit and were difficult to retrieve from the dye cups.  But I think they look nice!

Dyed eggshells.  The faded ones in the blue were ones that were peeled off the egg by my hubby added to try to help me out.  I told him to stop doing that since some of them had bits of egg on them.

Dyed eggshells. The faded ones in the blue were ones that were peeled off the egg by my hubby added to try to help me out. I told him to stop doing that since some of them had bits of egg on them.

My hands, on the other hand, are a different story.

As you can see, my hands were used to retrieve shells from the dye because the small pieces wouldn't come out in the egg scooper.  I had to switch hands between the yellow/pink/orange and the blue/green so I wouldn't blend colors much, and wound up with two colors of hands.

As you can see, my hands were used to retrieve shells from the dye because the small pieces wouldn’t come out in the egg scooper. I had to switch hands between the yellow/pink/orange and the blue/green so I wouldn’t blend colors much, and wound up with two colors of hands.

When I eventually use them to make some art, I will post it.  I hope they will turn out okay because I’m not sure I got all of the inner skins off them–we’ll see when I do it.

Do you have any unusual/creative uses for eggshells?

You Might Be a Craft Addict If…


I was attempting to organize my craft/guest room, and I started thinking as I looked at groups of object “you might be a craft addict if…”  Ding, ding!  That’s all it took for me to abandon my organizing and start a list.  So, here it goes.  Feel free to add your own in “comments.”IMG_2103

You Might Be a Craft Addict If…

  1. You more colors of thread than you thought possible.
  2. You have enough piles of fabric to be mistaken for a fabric store.
  3. You visit your local craft store once (or more) every week.
  4. You have at least one entire container full of ribbon.
  5. You cannot pass clearance craft items without buying some of them.
  6. You have craft supplies you’ve never used but “know” you will, eventually.  (Yes, I will start scrapbooking.  And quilting.  And…)
  7. Your “guest/craft” room has no place for a guest.  (Um, there’s a bed in there, somewhere.)
  8. You are constantly buying and/or making more items to help you store your craft supplies.
  9. You need to re-organize your craft supplies monthly to accommodate new items.
  10. You spend hours pinning “pins” you will probably never get to on Pinterest.
  11. You spend even more hours re-organizing your Pinterest boards so you can find things when you want to eventually try to do them.
  12. You have a bunch of blank canvases, yet still buy more when they are on sale.
  13. Your paint rack is overflowing and you probably should buy a second one.
  14. You consider co-opting portions of your children’s closets to store some of your craft items.

If any of the above apply, you might be a craft addict.