Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Picking Paint

We got moved into our new place,
and we are totally in love with this house.

It is perfect for us in every way.
There are still boxes everywhere, but we have gotten a lot done.

One thing on the top of my priority list is to paint.
My future craft room/office is now a lovely shade of hot pink.
It use to belong to an 8 year old girl, but since I am not 8, it kind of hurts my eyes.

So I picked out a ton of color chips that I liked and my fiend Kristin and I settled on 2 colors that we want to use in the house. To my surprise they were from the same collection.
I am itching to paint, but I am waiting until we get are apartment completely cleaned and turned the keys in.

So here are our color choices:

What do you think?
Quaking grass for the craft room
Alpine Valley for the living room

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think, good or bad!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day Salmon

We are in the midst of another move around here.
Sadly we have moved so much that I should be able to pack in my sleep.
So I will quickly share with you part of our wonderful Father's Day menu and then get back to all of those empty boxes that need to be filled.

For some reason I decided that Father's Day meant we needed to eat salmon.
I found this wonderful recipe for salmon on one of my favorite sites ever, Your Homebased Mom.
When I grow up I want to be LeighAnne.
If you haven't checked out her site, you need to, you will be glad you did.
On to the salmon...
It was a wonderful marinate and the finished product was perfect.

Marinaded Salmon and Sauce

2 lb salmon with skin on

6 Tablespoons brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 Tablespoon apple juice

¼ bunch fresh chopped dill –I didn't have any

1 tsp crushed juniper berries (optional) – left these out

Place salmon skin side down in baking dish. Mix ingredients in bowl and spread evenly over fish. Marinate minimum of 4 hrs. (I got a late start and only marinaded it for 30 minutes and it was divine but my salmon was very fresh. Maybe if it is not as fresh you might want to marinade it longer. Logan marinaded his the full 4 hours and the salmon did not have any skin on it and it still worked great)

Pour off excess juices and reserve for sauce

Pre-heat oven to 400 and bake 15-20 min maximum

Sauce:(Used as a side condiment)

2 T brown sugar

¼ c Dijon mustard

1 T juice from marinade

½ lemon (juice only)

¼ bunch fresh chopped dill-I didn't have any

¼ c Vegetable oil

Tabasco sauce to taste

5 T Whipped whipping cream

Mix brown sugar and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Slowly mix in veg. oil. Add remaining ingredients saving whipped cream for last.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

S'more Cupcakes

Today was what is lovingly known as Cupcake Sunday. Once a month I bring cupcakes to my girls at church to celebrate the birthday's for that month. I love how excited they get to see the cupcakes, and it is a great time for me to try out new recipes.

This month I was inspired by our weekend camping trip, where I happened to forget the makings for s'mores. What is camping without s'mores?

These cupcakes turned out great and they were super easy make. I think the best part was the marshmallow buttercream frosting. YUM. I tried a few different twists, and lets be clear, putting a marshmallow in the middle of the 2 layers does not make a marshmallow center, it just makes a gooey mess on the top, stick with just doing marshmallow frosting.

S'mores Cupcakes

1 yellow cake mix, prepared as directed
1 chocolate cake mix, prepared as directed
graham crackers

1. Scoop a large spoon full of the yellow cake mix, and 1/3 full.2. Break up graham cracker on top of yellow cake mix.
- You want the pieces to be fairly big. If they are too small they will just get mixed into the batter. You want them to be big enough to poke out the side.
3. Then finish topping with the chocolate cupcake batter.
4. Bake @ 350 for 18-22 minutes.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
1 jar marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups of powdered sugar

1. Beat butter on high until light and fluffy.
2. Slowly add sugar. Add sugar until you reach the right consistency.
3. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.
4. Add marshmallow fluff and slowly mix in, do not over mix.
5. Frost cupcakes and sprinkle with fine graham cracker crumbs.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here's the Scoop!

Tonight I am in charge of a Party celebrating the girls who are graduating this year.
I have tons of exciting things planned, including time capsuels and skits, hopefully it will all come together.
I will share all the exciting details with you tomorrow, but here are the invitations.

Cricut to the rescue once again.
Sweet Treat cartridge this time.

Well, off to Costco, again!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Father's Day Frame

Last year at Michael's I saw these very cute Dad Picture frames.
By the time remembered my coupon they were all sold out.
I saw them yesterday and remembered how much I loved them last year.
Then I looked closer and noticed how cheap the frame was.
And they wanted $ 20 for it!

So I decided to make one myself, for way cheaper!
I bought mat board with my coupon, $2.50
It is near the poster board, in 20x30 sheets.
I had the frame, and so much cuter than the one at the store.

Want to make one yourself?
Come along, I'll show you how.

Here is the original frame.
Oh, when we were young and in love!

I took out the mat from the fame and traced it on my piece of mat board.

I cut out my letters with my Cricut and laid them on my mat.
If you don't have a Cricut you could print out the letters and cut them out yourself.

I laid the old mat down on top, since it happened to have 3 spaces, just to make sure the spacing was good.

Then I placed small pieces of painters tape on the back of the letters.

After I places the letters back on I used the ruler to makes sure the letters were straight.

Then trace around the letters with your Exacto/craft knife.
The mat board is fairly hard to cut so after I went around the letters in some places I had to go back and re-cut.
Be careful and go slow around the corners.

Also, you MUST use a craft mat or cardboard under while you cut.
I don't want to be responsible for ruining your kitchen table

Then pop out the pieces like a puzzle.

That's it! So easy.
Now add your favorite pictures.

Just think of all the wonderful words you could do.
And you can because that $2.50 bought you a huge piece of mat board!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fudge Crinkle Cookies

My husband worked some crazy overtime this weekend,
8:00PM to about 4:00AM.
Since he was going to get to stay up all night and work while I
slept in the middle of the bed I figured the least I could do was make him a few cookies.

He first requested peanut butter cookies, but in my attempt to grocery shop as little as possible so we don't have to move our food to our new house, I ran out of butter.

I was a little shocked that I ran out of butter.
Butter is almost as important as oxygen to me!
Being a few ingredients short for most cookies, I knew that I had everything for this recipe.
Because it only takes 4 ingredients!
We have a winner.

1 box chocolate cake mix

½ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

Powdered sugar

Stir cake mix, oil and eggs until ball forms. Shape dough into balls. Let “dry” for a few minutes, then roll in powdered sugar. Bake @ 350 for 8-10 minutes, until just set and “cracked”. Remove from oven and let cookies set for about a minute before removing from pan.

Here are the boys sharing a cookie, for quality control of course!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Freezer Jam

I love how easy freezer jam is!
We are moving in 2 weeks and I just don't have the time to commit to the real deal.

Aren't those little jars the cutest thing ever!
Way cuter than those plastic freezer jars!

Have a great weekend, and do something cute and Heavenly.
I will be packing, wish me luck!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Independence Day Votives

Independence Day is just around the corner!
My friend Leslie loves to remind people that saying 4th of July is like referring
to Christmas as 25th of December.

Anyway, as I was packing for our current move, yes our 7th move in 4 years I found these lonely little votives. They are actually left over from our wedding reception. The ironic part is we had an outdoor reception in June. The reception was from 6-9, so it never got dark enough to see the candles, and I don't think they ever got lit.

So I took these sad and slightly pathetic looking votives and turned them into something wonderful.
Together with my Cricut and a little vinyl we took these votives from this....

To these....

They turned out sooo cute, and I couldn't be happier with them.
It seriously took me about 20 minutes.

I used A Child's Year cartridge, which is deffinetly my favorite cartridge.
Aren't those silhouettes so sweet!

Just be sure to clean off the glass with rubbing alcohol before you start.
You want to have a clean surface for the vinyl to stick to.

Can you see these all over the table of your Independence Day celebration?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Taco Skillet

Sounds crazy, but taco's and pasta do go together.
This recipe actually comes from my Husbands Sister in Law, JayneAnne.

It is super easy and super thrifty.
Just top with anything that you would top your taco with.

1 lb. ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
1 packet taco seasoning
2 ½ cup water
2 cups raw macaroni

Brown meat with onion, when cooked drain hamburger. Add taco seasoning, water and raw hamburger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Another week, another cupcake recipe.
I have been making a lot up cupcakes around here,
and I don't mind one bit.

My husband said these were his favorite ever cupcakes!
That must mean they were pretty amazing.
He can thank The Cake Mix Doctor for this recipe,
and you can thank me later!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

24 paper liners for cupcake pans (2 1/2-inch size)
1 package plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 package (1 pound) frozen cookie dough (see "the Cupcake Doctor says" below)

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Spoon or scoop a heaping 1/4 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Cut the frozen dough pieces in half to make 24 pieces. Place a frozen cookie dough piece on top of each cupcake. Place the pans in the oven.

3. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 23 to 27 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. They may sink a bit in the center

5. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread it out with a short metal spatula or a spoon, taking care to cover the tops completely. The cupcakes are ready to serve.

Store these cupcakes, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

The Cupcake Doctor says...

If you use the 18-ounce logs of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough (instead of the 1-pound packages of frozen dough), cut them into 24 equal pieces and freeze them before using them in this recipe. It's important to use frozen dough, because you don't want it to bake completely and become a cookie. You want the center to be gooey when you bite into it.