Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Lone Valentine

So here's a pic of the only Valentine I made this year. It's not terribly inspired, but I felt pretty good to get three of these made. I'm still not getting much around here with my sweet baby around, but she is completely wonderful, so I'll make the sacrifice in hopes that some day, she will be able to entertain herself for brief periods of time and I can papercraft once more!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Heart Day! (a day late!)

I only made three Valentines to send this year and I mailed them before I took a picture - rookie mistake, don't you think?! But, I did get a picture of the little boxes of truffles I made and I think they are super cute! One thing I learned is that wearing gloves if the BEST way to roll the truffles out without making a gigantic mess! This is a recipe I found on-line a few years ago and it's one of my favorites. They are surprisingly simple to make and taste delicious!

by Sara Moulton

1 cup sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts for coating

Place the sugar in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring just until the sugar has melted. Continue cooking, swirling the pan often, until the sugar is a dark golden caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. Return the pan to the heat and simmer, stirring, until the caramel has dissolved.

Remove the pan from the heat and, while hot, stir in the chocolate, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until the chocolate and peanut butter have dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Use a small spoon to scoop out the truffles and form into 1-inch balls. Roll the truffles in the peanuts and transfer to a tray covered with wax paper. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 40 truffles.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Papertrey Ink!!

It's anniversary time over at Papertrey Ink and Nichole has challenged us to pick our favorite Papertrey project from the last year and post it for a chance to win an AMAZING prize pack.

I LOVE this card because of the beautiful spring colors (desperately needing those right now!!) and the PTI floral stamp set, Life. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Delightful & Delicious

One of my sweet friends gave me a Starbucks gift card for my birthday recently, so I decided to make her a coffee-themed thank you note. I LOVE my Verve set called Delightful & Delicious and I've bookmarked the company's gallery for the set. I chose this card to make for my friend and while it took waaaaaaay too long to make, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I sure don't have the patience for all those layers any more!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Diet Busters!

A friend of a friend recently posted a chocolate chip cookie recipe on FB and, since I have a terrible time making cookies successfully (except cake mix cookies), I decided to print it out and give it a try one day. Well, "one day" turned into last night!! The recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter - my heart goes pitter patter (probably because I'm going into cardiac arrest!). It also calls for 3 different kinds of chips - milk, semi-sweet, and white chocolate. YUM! Since I didn't want that many ingredients to be ruined by my ineptitude, I researched on-line whether cookies should be baked on Silpat, which is a silicone baking mat that prevents foods from sticking. I am so glad I did my homework, because everything I read recommended baking on parchment paper, NOT Silpat. So I gave it a try, and the cookies came out beautifully!! Parchment paper is the key to cookies that don't spread out all over the pan (that ALWAYS happens to me!) and are a cinch to remove from the baking sheet. And let me tell you, these cookies are magically delicious!! This is definitely a recipe I will make again. Bailey took some to her teachers today and I hope they like them as much as we do. Chris even ate some and he's not typically a sweets eater - I know, right?!?!

Here's the recipe, 'cause I know you want it!

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup Nestle toll house milk chocolate morsels
1 cup Nestle toll house semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup nestle toll house premier white morsels
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. combine flour, baking powder and baking soda in medium bowl. beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in larger mixer bowl until creamy. beat in eggs and vanilla. gradually beat in flour mixture. stir in morsels and nuts. drop by level 1/4 cup measure 2 inches apart onto parchment paper.
3. bake for 13 to 14 minutes or until VERY light brown around the edges. don't over cook. they will harden some as the cool. cool on baking sheets for two minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Branching Out . . . Once Again!

I often see cards and projects that seem simply too complicated or difficult for me to make. This may seem ridiculous because what could possibly be hard about paper, stamps, & ink? So many things!! I have recently developed a new fascination with sponging - I love the softness it creates and the warmth of having a hint of color versus a stark white background. So, as I was looking through the numerous projects I've saved to my hard drive, I was drawn to a card very similar to this one and decided to take the plunge. It was so much easier than I thought it would be and turned out beautifully. Branch Out is an amazing stamp set, and randomly stamping all those beautiful colors on a humble brown tree trunk is almost therapeutic! The hill and the grass are done with markers in a very free form way, and the red boots add a bit of whimsy that's unexpected on a sympathy card. I'm so sorry to have had to make this card for a friend who recently lost her father, but I hope the colors and the idea of a tree representing life will comfort her during this difficult time. I might just be on a roll here so come back soon to see what I'm up to!!