Monday, September 30, 2013

C r a f t B r e a k : C u t t i n g B o a r d

Because you can never have too many cat themed items in your home....

If you have the tools, this is a pretty simple project.  Just draw out your design on hardwood (the simpler the better), saw it out, sand, round the edges, and rub on a food safe wood polish (we used a product with beeswax and orange oil). This was quite the fun project!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

G e r m a n y : H a r d e n b u r g F e s t i v a l

All this talk of Octoberfest really has me missing Germany!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

F o o d i e : B r û l é e d Y o g u r t

Here is a great way to take your morning yogurt up a notch. Turn it into creme brûlée! 
All you need to do is mix vanilla yogurt with your choice of berries in a ceramic bowl and sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top - I prefer raw sugar to granulated as it adds more of a caramel flavor. Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar being careful not to burn anything. I would not recommend placing this under a broiler as it will heat everything and unless your a fan of hot yogurt, I'd stick with using a small torch. 
I'm definitely hooked on this breakfast, as this simple addition turns plain old yogurt into a special treat.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

C r a f t B r e a k : P o m P o m T o t e

Ive been seeing totes with bold pompoms pop up on various fashion and craft sites and I knew this was something I could DIY. I picked some colors of yarn out of my stash and made two poms out of each color. I used my trusty pink pompom maker to create my poms (pictured above), but you can easily find a variety of tutorials on the web on how to make your own. I left the strings long when I cinched in the center of the poms and used this string to attach them to a straw bag that I have had for years. 
I'm really happy with how this project turned out! Plus, if I ever decide to change things up and redesign the bag all I have to do is snip the strings and I'm back to the original bag. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

F o o d i e : C h o c o l a t e C a k e

If you love chocolate....YOU MUST MAKE THIS CAKE. 
Seriously it's so good.
The pictures do not do it justice. I never even got around to taking nicer pictures because I was in a chocolate coma.
But really, this is the best cake I have ever made and
I've already had several requests to make another one.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

F o o d i e : P u m p k i n S p i c e C r e a m e r

These pumpkin spice lattes sure are addicting, but if you want to give your wallet (and waistline) a break - try making your own! This way you can control the type of milk base you use, how much sugar is added and there's nothing artificial in it! 

To make: In a sauce pan combine 1 1/2 cups of your milk of choice (2%, whole, half and half, coconut, cream, or a combination) with 6 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 3 tablespoons sugar (I used raw sugar), 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie seasoning, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat over medium until the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Don't let this come to a full boil.
Once everything is combined and nicely dissolved you're done! If you want to add a bit more of an indulgence stir in a 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips as soon as you take the pot off the heat. 
Let the mixture cool before adding to a storage container. Keep refrigerated.

Add some of this creamer to a strong cup of coffee and you're good to go! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

C r a f t B r e a k : G r a n n y S q u a r e B l a n k e t

YOU GUYS.... It's done! I finally finished my granny square blanket! 
I actually had the squares done about a year ago and then they sat in a bag until I finally decided to put the darn thing together. I'm so happy it's finally complete. 
This is definitely one of the most time consuming and challenging craft projects I have ever undertaken. I learned a lot from the process and I am so happy with the result. I think my cat is pretty happy about it too. She seems to be under the impression that I made the blanket for her.
 Let's hope this baby lasts a few decades because I don't think I want to put myself (or my poor fingers) through this time consuming process again, at least not for a long time. 
Time for the weather to get chilly so I can really put this blanket to good use! 

FYI: If you are interested in making something similar here are some of the great tutorials I used for the squares, joining, and edging.
I drew out the pattern in advance so I could get a handle on how many squares I would need to make of each color. I made my squares with 6 rounds, then tested how many squares I could get out of each ball of yarn (Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice) before I purchased all of the colors. For reference I ended up with dimensions of 9 squares x 12 squares or approximately 54" x 70". 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

F o o d i e : B e r r y H a n d P i e s

Before the summer berries disappear, try these berry hand pies! 
I made one batch with phyllo dough and one with traditional pie crust (the phyllo was my favorite).
You can find the recipe here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

M o s t W o n d e r f u l T i m e O f T h e Y e a r

Its beginning to look and feel like fall! My most favorite time of the year for so many reasons. 
This weekend I hit up the apple orchard with some friends. A perfect way to kick off the most wonderful time of the year.