Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review: Crepe Paper Rose Kit (ala Martha)

Yesterday, I saw the Martha Stewart Crepe Paper Rose Kit in the store on clearance. I have to admit that it is the only time I would buy a kit from her brand, because they are over priced and you can get the instructions online for free. The price I paid would probably cover the cost of the materials, so I decided to try the kit out.

I was optimistic at first, because it was relatively easy and looked like it would turn out. Enter floral tape. This is the option for attaching the petals. I understand that when you stretch floral tape, it gets sticky. So I thought it might work. It didn't. The kit came with a little bottle of glue, which seemed to be nice and I tried using it to assist in attaching the petals. That definitely didn't work. The glue was very watery and made the paper saturated without any sticking power. I finally got all the petals put together with the floral tape...at least enough to take a picture. It easily fell apart with little handling.

So the Pros- bright & high quality crepe paper, templates & Cons- watered down glue, poor assembly. I will make more soon, but use a hot glue gun next time :) It is totally worth the clearance price, but I would not pay the full price (around $10).

Over at one of my fav blogs, The Glittered Nest, you can find some beautiful crepe paper rose corsages! I love the addition of stamens. She is so creative...why can't she be my neighbor?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mama's Bacon Smokies

Look fast, because these little guys disappear quickly! My mom has been making these for years and years. I have no idea where she got the recipe, but they are super easy. They make great party food.

Take a 1lb. package of bacon and cut the slices into thirds. Next, you'll need a 1lb. package of Little Smokies & some toothpicks. Wrap one piece of bacon around each little smokie and insert a toothpick to hold it together. Place the little bacon smokie (seam side down) on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Once all smokies are on the cookie sheet, then sprinkle with a good amount of brown sugar (approx. 1/2 cup). Make sure you sprinkle on the tops of the bacon and let some fall to the tray. Bake @ 350 degrees for 45 minutes. The brown sugar with caramelize on the bacon and make it delicious!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Photo Props


I'm starting to take a lot more portraits lately. Last month I took some adorable pictures of a young woman from church. She was so sweet and it was a lot of fun. This week, I have some seniors lined up :) I can hardly sleep at nights thinking about it! I have a lot of ideas for locations and props...some that I have, some that I need and some that I have that need a little work.

Today, I set out to find an umbrella....you know the classic "Singin' in the Rain" kind? I feel like I hit the jack pot today! I went to a huge rummage sale and found exactly what I was looking for. To top it off, it was a beautiful, bright red. I also found a little vintage point and shoot. It is a Kodak Magimatic, circa 1970. I think it is adorable and just had to snag some pics of my new found treasures.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quick & Easy Roasted Corn

One of our favorite foods at the fair is Roasted Corn...anyone else? It is easy to replicate at home if you fire up the grill. If that isn't an option...like your new grill is still packed in its box waiting to be assembled...well there's no need to fret. Just stick the ears of corn (on some tinfoil) in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes and bam! you've got some tasty corn on the cob. It is a quick & easy addition to any meal lunch or dinner. Plus there is no shucking/big mess before hand. The husks peal right off after being roasted. Then you can slather with butter & spices of choice.





P.S. It was delicious.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Strawberita!


All sorts of new flavor combos this week. Last week, I was looking at a Paula Deen magazine while visiting my mom and found a couple recipes I wanted to try. I actually made these cupcakes on Sunday. Originally, they were suppose to be Simply Delicious Strawberry (cup)Cakes, but I didn't have strawberry gelatin on hand. So I had to make a change and go with lime gelatin...like a strawberry margarita (w/o any alcohol). I wasn't 100% happy with how they turned out. The frosting was runnier than usual, because of the strawberry puree. Everyone that tried them liked them, but I don't think they looooved them. They are definitely different and I think I would be more of a lover of the flavors (if I could eat them). Lime is a favorite of mine. So if you have an itch for a Strawberita!, then here is the recipe (very slightly modified from the original)-

Ingredients:
1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box lime-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners’ sugar


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Zucchini Meets Coconut

Not much crafting going on around here, at the moment. We are doing some remodeling in the new house and that includes ripping out the carpet in my art studio and giving it my personal touch. Now that summer is almost over (sad), I'll have more time to focus on getting my studio done. For now, another creation from my kitchen. My husband wanted zucchini bread and of course I had to make it slightly different than the traditional zucchini bread. He wasn't too sure about having coconut united with zucchini, even though he liked both separately, but ended up really liking it!

Zucchini Coconut Bread

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups raw unpeeled grated zucchini
Directions:
-Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
-Grease & flour 2 loaf pans. Mix oil and sugars together, add eggs, mix, add coconut & zucchini, mix, add rest of ingredients, & mix.
-Pour batter into both pans, evenly.
-Bake for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes (depending on pan size). I like to test with a toothpick in the middle of the loaf or by touch. The toothpick should be inserted and removed with crumbs stuck to the toothpick (if it comes out clean then it is over done). Or if you don't have a toothpick, lightly touch the top of the middle of the loaf. It should be soft, but not wet or firm (please be careful not to burn yourself!).
-Lastly, remove the loafs from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Flip the pan over (use oven mitts), remove the loaf, stick into a plastic grocery bag and then tie a knot. Let the loafs cool in their own plastic bags. It seems to lock in the moisture. Enjoy!