Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homemade Dill Dip

7 or 8 sprigs of fresh dill (I bought a 2/3 oz package of dill from Wal-Mart and used about half)

1 Cup Mayonnaise

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Acouple shakes of dried onion

1 Tablespoon Parsley

Seasoned salt

Chop dill and mix all ingredients together-refrigerate and enjoy!

Personal Notes-This is really a recipe that you have to go on personal taste. I used a tad bit more sour cream than mayonnaise. I used the following recipe as a template of sorts.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon dill weed
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon beau monde (seasoning salt), optional
2 round bread loaves (preferably a dill/onion bread)
Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cut out the center of 1 bread round and mound dill dip into the interior cavity of the bread bowl. Cut up other bread round into 2-inch squares and dip bread into bowl.

Brownie Chunk Cheesecake With Chocolate Ganache

Cheesecake Recipe

2 pkgs (8oz each) cream cheese
3/4 C. Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Combine cream cheese and sugar alternating until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, blend till smooth and set aside.

I used box of Ghirdelli brownies. Refrigerate about 5 or so of the brownies so they don't crumble when you chop them up. Cut them up into pieces and toss into the Cheesecake mixture. Pour into premade crust and bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes. Take out and let cool.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

Chocolate Ganache

Photo By: hannah234432
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 20 Minutes
Servings: 16
"This is a rich, dark chocolate topping or decoration that has lots of uses. It can be whipped as filling or icing, or just poured over whatever cake you like."
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.

Drizzle over Cheesecake and enjoy!

Personal Notes-The better chocolate you have, the better it turns out. Since I used Ghirdalli Brownies, I used their chocolate chips as well, and it tasted pretty amazing.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sock Snowmen & Decorative Jars

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

"Sock Snowman"

Submitted by Melinda Thomas of CA

"I have been making these sock snowmen for years. They are fun and easy and can be simple or you can get as creative as you want. I have made them with my kids classes at school for parent Christmas gifts. Now that was an adventure! My kids and their friends have sat around the kitchen table and made them. I have seen some interesting creations over the years!!"

Coffee or tea

cotton batting/fiberfill
twine or yarn
strips of material
hot glue gun
paint pen, marker or eyebrow pencil
blush from your make-up drawer
nail polish

These snowmen are made from baby socks, size 3 months, or however big you want them. You first tea or coffee dye the sock. Depending on how grungy or dark you want the sock depends how dark you make your tea or coffee. Let the sock dry.

Cut the top of the sock off, where the sock would be folded over. Stuff the sock with cotton batting until the body is nice and fat. Tie the top closed with yarn or twine. Then take a piece of yarn and tie around where the neck should be and pull until you have a neck for your snowman.

The hat is made from the piece of the sock that you cut off. Tie some twine around one end to make a hat. Leave the twine long enough to make a hanger. Put the hat on the snowman and hot glue it to his head, just a couple dots will do. Tear a piece of fabric for his scarf and tie around his neck.

His face can be done with a paint pen, permanent marker or even an eyebrow pencil. His nose is just a dot of nail polish, his cheeks are done with a touch of blush and a Q-tip. Hot glue some buttons to his tummy. You now have a simple tree ornament.

You can get more elaborate and stitch the face on with embroidery thread. You can use small bells for the tummy instead of buttons. Use your imagination. You can also make large snowmen with big tube socks. Just put a jar lid in the bottom of the sock, then stuff it and proceed as with the small snowman. The jar lid enables it to stand. You can add arms of wire or twigs from the yard. Hats can be made from old sweaters or tops of old wool socks. Get creative and have fun with these.

Found this craft on:

Decorative Jars

You'll need a glass canning jar, fabric you find appealing, twine, a glue gun and something to put in your jar. I just threw this together from things around the house. I put pinto beans in mine. To cover the lid with fabric, place the fabric on the lid (while it's attached to the jar) and use a rubber band to secure it while you cut the right amount of length for twine. Then just trade one for another. You don't have to use twine, you can use ribbon, buttons, hemp cord...anything you find appealing-have fun with it!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Recycled Magazine Picture Frames

I've seen the following project in stores such as Romancing the Stone selling for 15-20 bucks, so I thought it couldn't be that hard to make. The following project comes from

Have fun!!

Recycled Magazine Picture Frames

Create a useful accent for your home décor and rid yourself of magazines at the same time! Many homes have boxes full of old magazines just collecting dust or waiting to be recycled. Pull those collections together to make colorful rolled magazine picture frames. You may have even seen rolled magazine accents being sold at specialty boutiques, but with these simple instructions you can create unique picture frames with your friends for less!

Getting Started
Invite your friends over for a full, fun day of crafting. Ask them to bring several old magazines and a shoebox lid to be the base of the picture frame. If any of your friends don’t have these items around their homes, just see if someone doesn’t mind bringing extras. Provide the rest of the supplies you need using this Rolled Magazine Frame Materials List.
Your finished picture frames will be colorful and impressive, but they can be a bit time-consuming. Even so, the process is relaxing and gives you lots of time to chat and catch up. You can also take in some favorite TV shows together or even rent a beloved movie to watch while you cut, roll and create your picture frames.

Rolled Magazine Picture Frame Instructions

Step 1: Cutting & Rolling
You’ll start out by cutting magazine pages into strips that are about 3 inches wide. They don’t have to be perfect, but try to keep them relatively straight. You’ll want to cut about 60 strips, depending on the size of your shoebox lid. You can even create a unified theme by only cutting out strips in certain colors, strips with white boarders, or multi-colored strips. Advertisements tend to work best because they often use vibrant, solid colors.

Once you have your strips, you can start the rolling process. Take one corner of each strip and roll as tightly as you can, at a diagonal, to create straw-like sticks. You can tighten your roll once it is created by twisting it in your hands. Right after you roll and twist, use a small amount of decoupage glue with a brush to tack down the ends and the corner of loose paper. Use your fingers to smooth out the edges and glue. Don’t use too much glue though, so your sticks remain somewhat flexible.

Step 2: Cutting Time
Once you have all of your sticks rolled, cut off the ends with a craft knife, to make sure they have even ends. You may need to use a little extra decoupage glue to make sure they stay rolled.

Use your pencil to trace a square onto the back of your shoebox lid that is approximately 1/4” smaller all the way around than the photo size you plan you plan to use. If you want you can also create two or more holes for photos by centering them and measuring an even distance between each window. Using your craft knife or a box cutter, very carefully cut the square out of the box lid.

Step 3: The Glue Process
Before gluing your sticks to the lid, cut out a few pages from a magazine to cover it. This helps make it easier to adhere the sticks to the lid. Using your brush, cover the lid on all sides with a thin layer of decoupage glue, and then cover with pieces of magazine pages cut to size. Try to make sure that you smooth out any bubbles or ridges so the sticks can lay flat on top.

Now you’re ready to start gluing your sticks onto your lid. Lay out some of the sticks on the lid to decide how you’d like to arrange them around the picture windows. You’ll need to use your scissors to cut some of the sticks to size so you can attach them around the holes.

Next, brush decoupage glue length-wise or side-to-side along the lid depending on your chosen arrangement. Attach your magazine sticks to the glue, placing them flush against each other, side-by-side. Be sure to not press too hard as you glue them down so they can retain their rounded shape. Simply hold together, gently pressing to make sure they stick. You’ll want to keep gluing and attaching your sticks until the whole lid is covered.

Step 4: Finish the Picture Frame
Once you finished gluing your sticks to the frame, take it to a well-ventilated area and spray with an even coat of polyurethane. This seals it and gives it a glossy shine. Make sure to follow any safety instructions listed on the bottle of polyurethane when using.

Once the picture frame is dry, use clear tape to secure the photo behind the window you cut out earlier. Tape down the top and bottom securely. Now your picture frame is ready to hang and display! It’s perfect for kid’s room, study, family room or home office décor.

After everyone has finished their crafting, round up what’s left of the magazines for recycling. Magazines can often be recycled in curbside bins or at local recycling centers. Some of your friends also may want to keep their leftovers so they can make more rolled magazine frames.

Personal Notes-
This was a very fun project, but very time consuming. I also put a piece of black cardstock behind the photo just like you would in a photo frame. For the whole project I used Modge-Podge. Also I didn't cut the "straws" until after I had rolled them up-it was easier to just rip a page out and roll it up, then cut it down to size. Great Project!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Splatter Cards

Craft found in "Better Homes and Gardens Christmas 1989" book


Construction paper or card stock
Acrylic paints
Tracing paper
Old toothbrushes (one for each color paint
pen or pencil
newspaper or brown kraft paper


Trace the patterns opposite onto paper. Cut out the shapes. Fold one 8 1/2 X 11-inch piece of construction paper in half widthwise for each card. lay the card on kraft paper or newspaper. Lay one of the patterns on top of the card. Dip a toothbrush into the paint. Tap the brush on the edge of the paint jar to get rid of the extra paint. Then hold the brush over the card with one hand and run the index finger your other hand through the bristles. Splatter all of the area not covered by the pattern. Let the paint dry before you try to pick a pattern piece off the card.

Personal Side Notes-These directions seem more complicated than the project really is. I just took a piece of card stock and cut it the same width as a regular card. Could get creative and use "crazy scissors" if you want. Then I took a piece of computer paper and anything that has a solid design that can be traced, like a cookie cutter, and I traced it onto the computer paper. Cut out the design and lightly tape it to the front of your card. Next splatter paint using the toothbrush all over the card (I even added glitter!)and carefully remove your trace cut out. You can choose to leave the open design, color it in, or write something in it. I thought it was cute!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cheesecake Recipes

This first recipe is from the Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe that I posted earlier.

Plain Cheesecake

4 pgks (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat the one package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in remaining cream cheese, one package at a time. Add remaining sugar. Add 2 eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Add vanilla and remaining eggs, beating on low speed just until combined. Pour batter into either handmade or boughten crust, bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Let cool and then refrigerate overnight. Garnish with desired fruit or topping.

Personal Side Notes-This makes two pies, so you might want to cut down the recipe or freeze the extra batter. This one is my favorite cheesecake recipe to use, very good!

Old Fashioned Cheesecake

Recipe found in Baker's Corner Graham Cracker Pie Crust lid.

1 Baker's Corner 9" Graham Cracker pie Crust
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. Sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. in a bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Mix until well blended. Add eggs, one ata time, mixing well after each addition. Place crust in its pie tin on a baking sheet; pour in filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.

1 C. sour cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh fruit or fruit topping

For the topping, combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla and carefully spread over pie. Bake the pie for an 10 additional minutes; cool. Chill 3 hours. Top with fresh fruit or canned fruit filling.

Personal Side Notes-I made the batter for this one, and the batter wasn't too bad. I haven't had a chance to try the topping or anything however.

The photo is for the first recipe.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Warm Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Bars

Grand Prize-Winning Recipe 2006! Mmm! Irresistible warm, gooey marshmallows, milk chocolate and graham crackers are baked into a delicious bar cookie.
Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 55 min
Makes: 24 bars

155 Ratings
68 Reviews

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup butter or margarine, melted
3 cups milk chocolate chips (18 oz)
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and crumbs. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. Press into ungreased 13x9-inch pan.
2. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.
3. Set oven control to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil with top 5 to 6 inches from heat 20 to 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.) Cool 10 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm. Store any remaining bars tightly covered.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.
Make the Most of This Recipe With Tips From The Betty Crocker® Kitchens

Did You Know?
This recipe was one of fifteen winners in the 2006 Mix It Up with Betty! Cookie Mix Recipe Contest. More than $10,000 was awarded!
To reheat, place individual bars on a microwavable plate. Microwave uncovered on High about 15 seconds or until warm.

Personal Side Notes-Watch how long you put them in the broiler for, the marshmallows brown VERY quickly. Also they are only good for about a day or two...the marshmallows tend to get chewy. Also use fresh marshmallows. I made my sugar cookie base, and it turned out pretty good as well. Watch as your spreading on the chocolate, that it doesn't tear up the cookie.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cheeseburger Chowder

1 lb. ground beef
2 med. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped onion
2 tbsp. chopped green pepper
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
3 tbsp. flour
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
In 3 quart saucepan brown beef, drain fat. Stir in potatoes, celery, onion and green pepper and 1 1/2 cups water. Stir in beef bouillon, salt. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Blend 1/2 cup of the milk with the flour and add to saucepan after vegetables are cooked along with rest of the milk. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly and then add cheese. Heat until cheese melts then serve!!

Personal Notes-
Depending on well you like potatoes, you could add more. Also, it says cheddar cheese-I used Velveeta and just added more milk as I kept stirring-it made it alot more creamier. I also added acouple cloves of garlic, seasoned salt and celery salt to bring out the taste of the celery. It was delicious!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Applesauce Spice Muffins

Recipe found in "Totally Muffins Cookbook"

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup diced peeled apple such as Fuji or Golden Delicious
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 3 tablespoons sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or line muffin tins with paper cups.
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves in a medium bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil, milk, apple, lemon juice and applesauce. Add flour mixture to liquid ingrdients and stir just until flour disappears.
Spoon into muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar mixture and bake 25-30 minutes until tester comes out clean.
Makes 12

Personal Notes
I've made these quiet a few times, and they are really good. For the topping mixture they don't specify weather you use white or or brown sugar-but I use brown sugar-it makes the topping that much sweeter.
I've used different apples different times, this time i used Gala apples-it seems to have turned out quiet well.