Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Day Puzzle!

This is the puzzle I started on Thanksgiving Day. It took me until Saturday night to get going on it so by that I mean I really had only done the edge and then I did the majority of it Saturday night/Sunday Morning. All by myself. Next puzzle will be started on Christmas Eve.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cheater Cooking Cream

I saw a recipe in a cook book that looked good. Especially since I had most of the stuff to make it. Most. It required that new Philly Cooking Creme. I didn't have any but I had some cream cheese so I combined about 2T with some powdered Italian seasoning. Yeah, it was delicious. Probably not too healthy but delicious.

What you see is Rotini Pasta, grape tomatoes, broccoli, peppers and onions. All of which I had on hand. I realize now that the recipe had chicken in it which I had on hand also but forgot. It was still good. I plan to try this with other seasoning packets as well.

Let the holiday puzzle tradition begin

I have been doing jigsaw puzzles over the holidays for as long as I can remember. I love them and I'm crazy good at them. That being said, it was a pleasure to find a friend (Celia) that is also crazy good at them. Last summer we completed a 500pc? puzzle in about 2 hours? I can't remember the details, she will have to correct me on this but either way, it was FAST and we even had some interruptions.

We'll call this one the Pre-Thanksgiving puzzle since I started and completed it this past weekend. Today, Thanksgiving, I am taking a puzzle with me to my visit to my brother's.

I found 3 of these Click puzzles at the thrift store for .99c each. All of the pieces were included.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pink Shirt - Fixed

I found this pink shirt at the Goodwill. Turns out, these rings that hold up the sleeves had a serious problem. If you pulled a little tighter, the rings actually slippid through one another. After some thoughts that included just cutting them off, I realized that they just needed to be sewn in place.

I chose a foot that would get me as close to the edge as possible and did this to both rings.

Much better! Who knew it was such a simple fix! Maybe that's why this shirt ended up at the Goodwill? Shame on you Karen Scott (this is the brand of the shirt) for your design fail.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Preemie Hats with Pom-Poms

My friend Celia is having identical twin boys so I decided to make them some wee bitty hats. Here is the pattern. I don't know where it originated since I only have a hand-written recipe on a piece of stationery from my mother. I also added the "Sock" yarn option. Love the striping!

Preemie Hats
for Baby Weight, Fingering, or Sock Yarn
Size 2, 3, 4, or 5 Double Pointed Needles

Cast on 68 Stitches
Join in Circle
Knit first round
Next 6 rounds K1, P1
Knit next round
Next 8 rounds K2, P2 (Ribbing)
Next 15 rounds Knit all rounds
Beginning on round 16 decrease 4 stitches every other round until 40 stitches remain
Clip yarn at 15 inches and thread and pull through stitches pulling tight.
Leave the thread to attach Pom-Pom

For these hats I used Size 2 Double Pointed with Serenity Sock Weight from the Deborah Norville Collection. I also did a K1, P1 cast on that my mother showed me so that the edge would be stretchy.

Pom-Poms
For the Pom-Poms, cut 2 like circles just larger than the size of the Pom-Pom you want. I guessed and used the 1 3/4" punch. Also cut out a circle in the center like pictured above.

Sandwich the circles together and wrap the yarn around and around going through the center of the circle. I used 6 yards for this project. Again, just a guess.

Cut the yarn apart by inserting the scissors between the two pieces of cardboard. Hold your thumb over the center of the circle to keep the yarn in place.

Tie some yarn around the middle of the Pom-Pom as tight as possible without breaking the yarn.

Here's what it looks like when you pull the cardboard away from the center. 

Trim the Pom-Pom and secure it to the yarn tail that was left on the top of the hat. This was tricky so you could have someone hold it all for you while you tie. Aren't they cute!? I'm so excited for Celia to receive them. If they don't fit, she can don'ate them to the hospital and I'll make some bigger ones. The pattern is a general one and can be easily increased for a bigger hat. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Step 1: Set your eggs out at least 1/2 hour early to bring them down to room temperature or just not ice cold from the fridge. Lay them sideways like shown above so that the yolk isn't resting in the bottom of the egg. You'll see why later in the post.

Step 2: Place your eggs in a pot of water and place the pot on the stove.

Step 3: Turn your stove on to Med-Hi and wait for the water to boil. That next notch works too but just NOT HI!

 Step 4: Once the water boils, set the timer for 15 minutes and wait.

Step 5: When the timer goes off, turn the stove off, carefully take the eggs out and set them on a dishtowel or something to cool. Once they cool down a bit, put them back in the carton, mark it "Hard Boiled" and refrigerate.

Hint: If you want to test the egg, try to spin it on the countertop. It will spin really fast if it's done. To see the difference, spin a raw egg and see what happens.

This is one of my hard boiled eggs and the proper way to crack and peel (in my opinion). Give it a gentle whack or two just around the center and then peel. The more shell you crack, the more you will have to peel off.

See? Lovely.

This is why you set the eggs on their side before cooking. Notice how the yolk has plenty of white around it?
The reason that the egg is not quite oval is because I tend to use older eggs to make them hard boiled. That is also the reason for the graying around the yolk.

These are perfect for Deviled Eggs! I'll add the recipe later...

Let me know how this works for you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Display Board

I got this idea from my friend Anna. She made one of these for her boys' room for their artwork. She used clips with alternating colors. I chose to do black and white so that the cards would stand out more. For a closer look, visit my other blog: SeeJulieStamp. I used the photo as a header.

Supplies:
8ft MDF Board from your local hardware store. (I got one that was pre-primed)
Black Paint of your choice (I used spraypaint)
Mini Clothes Pins from your local craft store. (these are about 1 1/2 inches long)
White Paint of your choice (I painted each one with craft paint)
Hot Glue Gun.
Nails or screws for mounting.
Drill (optional for nicer pilot holes for mounting)

I gathered all of the supplies, painted the necessary items and then glued on the clothes pins. It helped to pre-measure the distance and the number of pins I had to get the look I wanted. More glue is better even though you can see it. This display board is meant to hold lighter items so a stronger glue could be an option depending on what you want to show off.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Nuts

Have you ever purchased these yummy nuts at a convention center or local fair? They charge you about $5 for about 3/4 cup.

You can use Cashews, Raw Almonds, Pecan Halves or Blanched Whole Almonds.

1 Egg White
3 Cups Nuts (Obviously, I prefer Pecans)
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 tsp. Cinnamon (Ground)
½ tsp. All Spice (Ground)
½ tsp. Seasoned Salt
¼ tsp. Nutmeg (Ground)
¼ tsp. Pepper (Ground)
Bake at 250 degrees for 1 Hour, stirring them after ½ Hour

Gather the ingredients:

Put the Egg White in a medium bowl and use a wire whisk to beat it until it is frothy:

Add the nuts to the frothy egg white and mix in the coated nuts:

In a separate bowl, mix all the spices and sugar together:


Combine the spices and the coated nuts and spread them out onto a cookie sheet. The recipe says to butter it but I use a baking stone so I don't:

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 Hour, stirring them after ½ Hour:
When done it says to spread them out on something to cool like wax paper, foil, towel etc, then break the nuts apart but I just mixed them up and they were fine. No need to dirty something else in the kitchen:

Enjoy! The trick is to not eat them all yourself.
FYI - You can get the Pecan's at Sam's Club for $16.25/2lbs and the Raw Almonds are $10.66 or something.

**Turns out this is a McCormick.com recipe. I found out on 12/20/2015