Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Getting Crafty

These little guys are so cute. When my aunt and I were out shopping a few weeks ago, I came across these cute bags at one of the shops. They were just muslin bags and inside where birthday candles. They were very simple and really cute. This is my version above. I just sewed some muslin together and stamped the front with StazOn ink. I think these would be cute little gifts with a card and maybe a homemade cupcake to a special friend.

I was checking out Heather Bullard's blog and came across this cute idea. She made adorable valentine's with pearls and wood hearts. My version started with some cooper paint on the frame of the hearts and gold on the inside. After they were dry, I covered the inside with glue and set my faux pearls. After they dried an old earring was added. I am going to attach these to some boxes of homemade truffles for some dear friends.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What Is This World Coming To!

When I first read this bit from this blog, about not allowing kids under the age of 12 in libraries, I thought it was some kind of joke. Well guess what folks, it's no joke. The Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) recent opinion ruling would require books to be removed or children under the age of 12 to be banned from public, school, academic and museum libraries. This ban is set to go into effect February 10. Check out the ALA ( American Library Association) website for more information.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Root Vegetable Hash

I wanted to recreate a part of a dish that I had recently at a local restaurant. Hubby and I went to lunch at the Esquire Grill (one of The Gov's favorite places) in downtown Sacramento. We had a wonderful lunch. I ordered the free range chicken with cider pan sauce and root vegetable hash. I loved this dish on so many levels. The chicken was cooked perfectly and the hash really was divine. My only complaint is I didn't get enough hash. I really wanted to recreate that part of the dish at home. The original was made with butternut squash, parsnips and smoked bacon. I tried two different versions and tried them side by side. The top recipe is cubed sweet potato and parsnips tossed in olive oil and roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. It was really good and you could really taste the freshness of the vegetables. The second picture is cubed sweet potato, parsnips, onions and bacon. I cooked and rendered the bacon and tossed in the onions and cooked until soft. I then added in the sweet potato and parsnips and gave it a good toss. Next, I added some salt and pepper and about 1/4 cup vegetable stock and covered and cooked for 10 minutes. It was not as firm as the roasted vegetables, but the flavor was fantastic. I really liked both versions. I would say the roasted version was closest to the restaurant. I would make both again and add different root vegetables.
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday!

I can't believe I have a 12 year old. It just seems like yesterday that we came home from the hospital with you. You are such a great kid. Funny, smart, adventuresome and quick witted. I am so proud of you kiddo! Happy, Happy Day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I made this the other night for appetizers when my father in law came to dinner. It is bacon wrapped dates. In our family, nothing trumps bacon. I had heard through the years about this little delectable, but had not tried it myself. My father in law comes for dinner at least once a week and I always put out appetizers before dinner for him (a tradition my mother in law used to do). I decided to finally try this dish. It was FANTASTIC! Can you tell I liked it. The sweetness of the dates caramelized with the smokiness of the bacon. It was wonderful. I will definitely make this again.

Bacon wrapped dates

Medjool dates (pitted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bacon slices into thirds and wrap around date. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes or until the bacon is slightly crispy. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ramblings 09

Boy, it sure seems like a long time since I have posted. My mother came through her surgery okay and we are waiting for her to come home. My days have been driving my dad to and from the hospital to see her and running him around town to do errands as well as taking care of my family. Thank goodness for hubby! I don't know how I would have made it through. I am so thankful for all the prayers from family and friends. The coming weeks will be trying and difficult as she recovers, but I know we will make it through.

On a crafty note, my father in law gave me a box of crafty things that was my mother in laws. He knows how much I love all things crafty! Boy, was there some awesome stuff in the box. I was blown away by all the neat craft supplies my mother in law had. I didn't realize how much she liked crafting. I wish I had known that when she was alive. I did know that she liked knitting and had made some beautiful stockings for the kids that we put up each year at Christmas.

In this picture you can get a general sense of what was is the boxes. There were old embroidery hoops, wool crewel, sequins, lace, eyes and four yards of silk from Hong Kong. It even came with a certificate of authenticity dated 1965.

Here is the fabric close up.

Look how pretty her embroidery is!

I love the old sequins and pipe cleaners.

There was even another box filled with plastic rosary making supplies and prayers. All of it was neat and orderly in the box with labels on everything. I love rosary making supplies! My mother in law used to make the rosaries and give them to a local homeless shelter called Loaves and Fishes.

Since I haven't been home much lately, I also haven't been able to check out my favorite bloggers. It has been nice to just be home today and catch up. You have to check out Heather Bullards blog. She has an awesome embroidery art piece that I absolutely love! I will have to try my own version of it. Also, check out Teresa McFayden's blog. She has done some lovely Milagros. I love Milagros and hers are very beautiful. I also was looking at the Crafty Crow's blog and she had an entry for an interview with kids. How adorable. I will have to do that with my kids.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy 2009

Can you believe that 2009 is already here? I am so glad to see 2008 out the door. Even though we have challenges ahead, it always feels refreshing to start a new year again. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. This weekend is our last holiday hurrah! My dear cousin and her husband are coming for a visit. They are staying the night with us and the boys are jazzed. I know the boys are hoping that Dave brings his remote control fart machine. You got to love boys! For our dessert tonight I made salted caramel cheesecakes from Michael Moorhouse. YUM! On another note, I finally figured out why my Daring Bakers challenge did not turn out. I was using bad Karo syrup. I didn't know that it could go bad. When I was making the caramel sauce for these cheesecakes, it turned out awful. So, I grabbed a new bottle and tried it again. It worked and turned out really nice. If I had used my head a little, I would have figured it out.

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