Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baby A's Blankets

My sister-in-law just sent me a picture of cute little Baby A using both blankets I made her.I made the yellow quilt the day she was born (February) and crocheted the quilt two months before she was born (and before we knew she was a girl) . She's just so cute. I just love her!

Thai Noodles

Check out the original here (and thanks for the picture)!

This recipe is a great resource to use when cooking from your pantry. The hubs gave it an A+ and it'll be happening again and again.
Time Needed: 20 minutes
Level of difficulty: easy
Materials needed: 8 oz spaghetti or linguine pasta, 1 C shredded carrots, 1 T sesame seeds, ¼ C peanut butter, 2 T mayonnaise, 2 T soy sauce, 2 T canola oil, 2 T hot water, 1 T rice vinegar, 1 T toasted sesame oil, 2 t honey, 1 t ginger, 1 clove garlic

Directions: Cook your pasta. Meanwhile, put peanut butter, mayo, soy sauce, canola oil, hot water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, ginger, and garlic in a blender and blend until smooth. Mix with pasta, carrots, and sesame seeds and enjoy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Easy home solutions - banana hanger

I don't know about you, but I always have bananas laying around and getting in the way of everything. So my hubby came up with THE easiest solution ever, and you can make your own in less than 3 minutes. Enter the banana hanger.
Take an old wire hanger, and cut a piece off the straight edge. Bend the ends over on themselves - one should look like a small loop and one should make a fishhook. Nail a small nail on the backside of your cupboard and stick the small loop edge over the nail. Then, hang your bananas on the fishhook edge. Voila!
Linked up at Little Brick Ranch and Tatertots and Jello

Abstract Fam Pic - Again

Again with the birds! Here's the newest version - 8 birds deep!

Cupcake gift boxes

You may have seen this before, but I thought I'd break it down. I made these cute cupcake gift boxes, all from supplies I either had on hand or got at the dollar store. Total cost was under $2. And that is fabulous!I got these three tins for a dollar and I got a whole pack of round styrofoam balls. I only used 2 of them, so I have a ton to use for another project later. I cut the balls in half and glued them on the top of the tin lids.For two of the lids, I took ribbon and did a loose stitch along the edge. I then pulled the thread tight, which made the ribbon bunch up. I started at the top of the ball, and glued the ribbon in a circle around the styrofoam until the whole ball was covered.For the other one, I followed the same basic pattern in the foursquare flower, except that I scrunched the petals and glued them from the center down on the styrofoam ball. On top of each of the "cupcakes" I glued on a few buttons as decorations.I then took a strip of paper, used some scrapbooking scissors to make the edges all foofy, and folded the paper like an accordin to give it the look of a cupcake wrapper. I wrapped this around the bottom of the tin, and there you go! I can't wait to use these for gifts for my cute friends.

Blueberry Crisp

Courtesy of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook
Time Needed: 50 minutes
Level of difficulty: easy
Materials needed: 5 cups frozen or fresh blueberries, 4 T sugar, 3 T flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 c packed grown sugar, 1/4 c flour, 1/4 t nutmeg or cinnamon, 1/4 c butterDirections: Preheat oven to 375. If fruit is frozen, defrost it. Mix fruit with sugar and 3 T flour. Put in a 2 quart baking dish. Mix oats, brown sugar, 1/4 c flour, and nutmeg. Cut butter into teensy little pieces, and cut into oat mix. Mixture should look like crumbly sand. Sprinkle over blueberries and bake for 30-35 minutes if using fresh fruit or 40 minutes if using thawed fruit. Fruit should be bubbly and soft and crumble should be brown and crispy. Serve warm with ice cream (because why wouldn't you eat it with ice cream?).

Linked up at Little Brick Ranch and Tatertots and Jello

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ice Cream Cake

When I say "ice cream cake," if you're anything like me, you probably start singing that Baskin Robbins song in your head (Ice cream and cake and cake, ice cream and cake, do the ice cream and cake). And if you are anything like me, the thought of making an ice cream cake seems a little daunting. It's so easy and they are so much better when you make them. Let's begin this madness.

Step 1: Choose your candy. You'll need something to be a crust, to go between the layers, and to top your cake. I like to use some kind of cookie or brownie on the bottom (actually, my fave is Oreos). You can grind this in the food processor and mix with a little melted butter, or you can just lay it down flat in your pan. You'll want to use a spring form pan. Once your crust is in, you'll want to freeze for a little bit to get things solid. With your other candies (center/topping), you'll want to freeze your ingredients so they chop easily. Once frozen, run them through a food processor to make candy chunks. Snickers, Reeses, or Kit-Kats are my favorite. The only thing I wouldn't freeze is if you're gonna shave chocolate on the top. It's way easier to shave room temperature chocolate.

Step 2: Choose your ice cream. You'll want to do at least 2 layers, so choose ice cream flavors that go well together and with your chosen candy. You can choose any flavor you want; don't limit yourself to just plain vanilla and chocolate. It's your cake! Just make sure the flavors all jive together and won't overpower each other. Also, make sure you leave the ice cream out for about 30 minutes before putting it into your cake so that it's moldable.

Step 3: Get it all together!
  • Cookie/brownie layer - after forming in pan, freeze for about 10 minutes before the next layer.
  • Ice cream layer #1 - scoop out and smooth over your bottom later and then freeze for 15 or so minutes before the next layer.
  • Candy layer - sprinkle a layer of your chopped up candy over the ice cream. This layer can be as thick or as thin as you'd like. Freeze for 5 minutes or so before moving on.
  • Ice cream layer #2 - same as layer #1.
  • Icing layer - many ice cream cakes have icing layers on the top. I prefer whipped cream on the top because I like it better. But this is your cake. Do whatever you want! Smooth your topping on the last layer of ice cream and then sprinkle with a final layer of candy (if desired).
Here's the thing about an ice cream cake. You can do as many or as few layers as you want and you can use whatever kind of ice cream and candy you want. I've even done a vegan organic version with soy ice cream and vegan cookies.
This is a picture of the cake I made for Heather's birthday. As you can see, we left it out a little too long and the sides started melting. However, it was way easy to cut! To make it easier to cut, dip the knife in hot water and wipe it off after each cut. Also, leave the cake out for a good 20-30 minutes before cutting.

This particular cake was complimented by all of the eaters as "the best ice cream cake I've ever had." And the people who said that are not the kind of people to praise lightly. Let me tell you what my cake included.
Layer 1: ground oreos with 2 tbsp butter
Layer 2: vanilla ice cream (the good stuff that you can see vanilla bean in)
Layer 3: crumbled Snickers bars
Layer 4: chocolate brownie ice cream
Layer 5: Cool Whip
Layer 6: shaved Harry David chocolate

Linked up at Little Brick Ranch and Tatertots and Jello