Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's Cooking? {hot & sour soup}

Hi everybody! Welcome to a new little segment I'd like to call What's Cooking? Actually, it's not that new. If you've followed my blog for some time you know that I love to post food pics, especially baked goods. If anything ever pulls us away from our creative time it would be the growls of our bellies wanting nourishment after hours of cropping! From time to time you will see posts of recipes. Perhaps dinner items, snacks, sweets, whatever ends up on my table and into my family's bellies. I enjoy trying new things and this first recipe is a vegetarian meal. I found it in a recent Pampered Chef book. It is oh so yummy and was a winner with everyone. Hot & Sour Soup~

Recipe for soup: (edited)

6 cups vegetable broth (divided)

4 dried shiitake mushrooms

3 green onions with tops

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1-2 tsp Thai red curry paste

2 medium carrots

3 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup water

1 pkg. firm tofu

3 eggs

1. Pour 1/2 cup of broth in microwave bowl and heat on high 30-60 seconds or until boiling. Remove from microwave. Add mushrooms; let stand 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms from broth and thinly slice; set aside in broth.

2. As mushrooms soak, slice green onions; set green tops aside for garnish. Heat a large pot or casserole over medium high heat 1-3 minutes or until hot. Add remaining onions; cook and stir 1 minute or until tender. Add remaining broth, vinegar, soy sauce, curry paste and mushroom mixture. Cover and bring to a boil.

3. Peel carrots and julienne into short strips. Add carrots to soup; reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.

4. Whisk together cornstarch and water in same bowl. Whisk into soup; simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain tofu and cut into 1/2 in. cubes; add to soup.

5. Remove pot/casserole from heat. Lightly beat eggs in small bowl; drizzle into soup. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until eggs are cooked. Garnish with reserved onion tops and serve.

I also served my soup with some baked veggie rolls and brewed some organic tea to sip with our Asian inspired meal.

Hope you will give it a try and let me know what you think. Check back soon for more ideas that I will be cooking or baking in my kitchen. ; )

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Card Exchange 2011

Show me your blooms!

I held my Spring card exchange this past Saturday. Our theme was to create cards with spring time blooms, flowers or flourishes. It could have any sentiment attached to it and needed to use mostly Close To My Heart product, especially stamps. Here are the results and I'm sure you can agree they are gorgeous!

Suzy~ Pat~ Aysa~ Peggy~ Nanette~

Julie~ Janet~ {the inside of Janet's cards contained seed packets!}



This is my card~

{inside of my card and a message to all the wonderful ladies that participated this year! Thank you again and I'm already excited for the next exchange.}

Friday, March 25, 2011

Side by Side

I tend to save all sorts of items like containers and other packaging in hopes to recycle it. I held onto some nice sturdy cardboard pieces from a cookware set I purchased over a year ago. I finally got around to covering one of the larger circle pieces into this gorgeous wall hanging. What a great way to display a picture of my husband and I. We don't often get good pics of each other together, always focused on the kids or scenery.

I started with a pink card stock base stamped with flourish background stamp. I pulled out some older B&T papers for the next circular layer. This paper was glued to a card stock base as well, but I pleated some organdy black ribbon in between. I pulled out some various new and old stamps and also found some older felt pieces. You may remember the teeny tiny roses from earlier this week, well here are some larger roses with lots of glitter glitz on the petals. Check out all the close up pics. I am thrilled with the outcome and hope it inspires you to decorate and recycle!

I hope you enjoyed some of the blooms I've shown this week. Tomorrow is the card exchange and I will have those blooming cards posted very soon!
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh Baby ~ an H2H Challenge

I was given a picture years ago of a sweet baby and this phrase~ "A baby is God's way of saying the world should go on". I can't imagine my life without the blessing of my children. How quickly the time passes. It's been awhile since I've cuddled a little one in a blanket or heard coos echoing through the house. Luckily we have family and friends nearby having little ones to visit. I enjoy holding them, seeing their tiny fingers and toes, listening to their squeaks....then going home and getting a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. One day I will be Grammy and that will be a wonderful day!

This week at H2H, create a project for baby! Here is my sweet baby girl card done in soft colors of amethyst, sweet leaf and taffy. Sticking to my own theme this week of blooms I incorporated some gorgeous paper flowers. They are not from Close To My Heart, but were too hard to resist at half price. All the stamps used on this card were definitely CTMH as was the gorgeous sweet leaf ribbon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Going on an Egg Hunt

Our recent, but short lived warm weather inspired this Spring card. I saw the idea from another consultant and wanted to give it a try. I used some of the new Miracle papers and some older B&T papers in a soft smoothie color. One of the fun new products this season are the canvas badge buttons. It's like water-coloring on a tiny little round canvas. You can stamp on them, water brush or use markers. I did all three on this one! And, Yes... those are the tiniest little roses. Made just like the regular sized ones you begin with a square of paper, cut a spiral, then roll it up. These roses begin with a 1x1 inch square. Your fingers must be very nimble! They are finished with a teeny pearl.

Here is the card when it is pulled open.

Check back all week as I will show more projects with floral's and blooms. This weekend I will host a Spring card exchange which also has a "floral" theme. Those cards will be posted as well, I can't wait to see them all!

Friday, March 18, 2011

H2H Home Decor ~ Family Banner

This week on H2H Blog the theme is to show artwork in your home decor. This is truly from my heart to yours!

As you can see it hangs proudly above my wall of family photo's. It is a subtle touch of color to this prominently black & white themed wall!

Here is a closer look at the banner~

The story behind my banner goes like this: I originally created it last summer in hopes that it would become my very first entry in our town's fair. For the previous 4 years I would visit the arts and crafts hall to see the lovely entries of other talented artists in my area. I felt confident enough to enter something of my own. The banner really became a labor of love, meticulously arranging each individual piece perfectly. As the date drew near for the final day to enter I realized that my Husband and I had plans to leave town for another event. I was unable to submit my artwork on the turn in date. It now decorates my hallway and brings me much happiness when I look at it. Maybe I can still enter this year!?!

L= LOVE ~ There is a lot of Love behind this clear scallop flap.

Some of the best roses I've created.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I have no artwork to share with you today. Now that I no longer have children in Elementary school I have no little projects to create and share. I did however make one of my favorite meals from our favorite Irish Pub in Vegas. Traditionally I would make corned beef and cabbage, but we sort of craved it earlier and ate that last week. This is the "healthier" side of Irish cuisine. Broiled salmon, roasted tomato, steamed asparagus and mash. It melts in my mouth every time. A hard cider draft beer accompanies it perfectly. I had to settle for out of the bottle tonight, but this weekend I may indulge in some ice cold draft at a new Pub just opening today!
Have a lucky, delicious day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Birthday Party 2011 ~ Food & Fun

More pictures from the Birthday Tea Party for you. This year I wanted to come up with an activity for the kids to do and also give them a little something to take home with them to remember the party. Mad Hatter hats was the perfect craft project. You have to make the food special too! Here is the Dairy Queen cake that my daughter designed herself. Oh! and if you've never had one of these cakes they are soooo yummy! It was layered with vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream and in the center crushed Oreo cookies and fudge.

Here are some more goodies for the guests. Little lemon, lime and sugar tea cookies filled these darling cupcake cups. We scattered old fashioned salt water taffy's in a bright array of colors. They were both a big hit. I however, was tickled with how my "Eat Me" tags turned out. Just like the original book and movies. I printed the phrase on card stock then die cut them out with a Spellbinders label. I stamped them in coordinating colors with the Universal Background stamp {D1477}. Then adhered them to another die cut label. Just some matching ribbon to finish them off.

You can't forget the tea at a Tea Party! We chose to have iced tea's though rather than hot considering the gorgeous warm weather we were blessed with this weekend! We had sweet tea, peach tea and raspberry tea. They had tags too! Fortunately no one shrunk or grew bigger than the house !?!

Now on to the FUN!! Preparation for this part took place a couple of weeks ago. I tracked down several paper grocery sacks. This was harder than I thought! Every one is switching over to plastic or recyclable bags these days and the paper sacks are harder to locate. Once I had 20 of them I rolled on a flat exterior paint on all sides and top. The paint gives them a canvas to work on and also makes them more sturdy. You can paint them any color you choose, but I opted for white so that all the embellishments they would add later would truly be the stars!

The table was set with embellishments that my daughter and I gathered from all sorts of craft stores. Anything found in the marked down clearance section is the BEST! The raised trays in the center of the table are actually really cheap plastic cups turned upside down and crazy glued to plates. They could be super easy dessert platters too!

Super fun embellishments include: foam shapes and alphabets, rhinestones, pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes, buttons, feathers, flowers, ribbon and pom poms.

All the essential tools were on hand.

Rolling the bottom of the sack about 3 folds will fit most heads. Once each child was fitted the creative process begins.

Here is my daughter with her hat all finished. I had all the kids pose with their hats on and took photo's. They actually turned out like comical Mad Mug Shots! I can't wait to scrap them all.

I hope you enjoyed these Birthday Party posts and gathered some fun ideas to try at your next event.
Daughter~ "I wonder what the theme will be for next year? Ooooh! Yeah, let's start planning it!"
Son~ "Hey, my Birthday is next month, let's talk about that."
Mom~ "Let me get some sleep first, then we'll think about it!"