Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lots of Presents Birthday Card

I love to send hand-made cards to my friends on their birthday's. I'm always on the lookout for fun cards ideas that can be sent without using extra postage. I saw this idea in Cards and it fit the bill perfectly!

Tools Needed:

  • Paper cutter
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive
  • Glue Dots
  • Foam tape
  • Darning thread or crafting floss
  • White card stock
  • Solid card stock
  • 3 - pieces of coordinating patterned paper
  • Sentiment
  • Glitter glue

Start with an 8.5" x 11" piece of white card stock. Cut it to 5.5" x 8.5" and fold it to 5.5" x 4.25". 

Cut the remaining white card stock to 4.5" x 3.25". Cut the colored card stock to 5" x 3.75". Adhere the white card stock to the colored card stock and the colored card stock to the card base. 

Cut 6 - 3/4" x 3/4" squares from patterned paper. Place a piece of foam tape on the back of each square. Adhere squares to card with about a 1/2" between each square.

Tie 9 bows with darning thread or crafting floss. Adhere a bow to the top of each package with a glue dot. 

Use a rub-on or sentiment sticker on the top of the card. I added some Stickles (glitter glue) on either side of the sentiment.  


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Elmo Birthday Party

Happy 2nd Birthday Rex!!

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Elmo birthday party held in Rex's honor. His mom, Andrea, used her craftiness to personalize his party and to bring the theme to life. 
Using some poster-board, a black marker and some die cuts, Andrea made this adorable sign to incorporate the Sesame Street theme.

Pin the Nose on Elmo!!

To create this spin on a classic children's game, Andrea used a over-head projector to enlarge an image of Elmo that she found online. She traced his face onto red butcher paper and cut it out. She used white paper for the eyes and made several noses from orange butcher paper. To finish, she laminated all the pieces. 

Each guest was given the opportunity to pin a nose on Elmo. 

Since the guests were pretty young, Andrea didn't bother with a blindfold. As you can see it really didn't make a difference none of them got to close. But it was a lot of fun watching them try.  

Andrea ordered a Elmo shirt from and it arrived within a week. She had a local friend screen print his name and age on the back of the shirt. 
For dessert she ordered cupcakes with vibrant frosting and added Elmo sticks to them. 

The party was a lot of fun and everyone had a wonderful time celebrating with Rex!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I've made snickerdoodles using a few different recipes but my favorite is this recipe that I found in a Paula Deen magazine. The cookies are always soft and moist. I've been asked to make these repeatedly so I wanted to share one of my fan favorites with you.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coarse sugar (I use Sugar in the Raw)
  • 1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at a medium speed with a mixer until fluffy. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating to combine. Stir in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours up to 3 days. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or grease cookie sheet). In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.

Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in cinnamon mixture.
 Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 10-11 minutes or until golden brown. 

Let cool on pans for 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pasta with Chicken, Spinach and Bacon

This pasta is perfect when you need a fast and satisfying weeknight meal. I also like to omit the chicken and serve this as a hearty side dish during the holidays. 

Pasta with Chicken, Spinach and Bacon
Recipe adapted from


  • 1 (12 ounce) package pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. of chicken tenders, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place bacon in the large pan over a medium-high heat. Cook bacon until browned and crisp. Remove bacon and wipe out the pan with paper towels. Return the pan back to the heat and add 1 tbls of olive oil. Add chicken and cook completely for about 6 minutes. Return the bacon back to the pan and add garlic, cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until heated through.
  3. Place the spinach into a colander and drain the hot pasta over it so it is wilted. Transfer to a large serving bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil and the bacon and tomato mixture.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Roberta's Tuna Patties

In honor of Lent, I made a recipe that was given to me by my Mother-in-law years ago and has been a favorite ever since. 

If you've never had tuna patties, imagine crab cakes but with tuna.

Special Tools:
Food processor


2 cans of tuna (drained & flaked)
3 cups bread crumbs (6 slices fresh)
2 eggs
4 tsp finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp green onion
2/3 cups of celery, diced
1/2 cup of Panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp of olive oil

In a food processor, finely chop green onion. Tear bread into large pieces and add it to the food processor. Pulse until bread is completely crumbled. Transfer bread crumb mixture into a large mixing bowl. 
Dice celery very fine, add to bread crumb mixture. Add tuna, eggs, salt, pepper and lemon juice to the mixture and combine. With hands shape into patties. I usually get about 7-8 patties that are the about the same circumference as a tuna can. 
Heat oil over a medium heat. Dip each side of the tuna patty in panko bread crumbs before placing them in skillet. Cook on each side for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. 
Keeping up with tradition, we serve ours with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shamrock Cookies

These minty little treats are a perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Shamrock Cookies

  • 3/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp of peppermint or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Green food coloring
  • Green colored sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on a medium speed until soft. Add sugar and salt, beat until fluffy. 

Add egg, peppermint extract and green food coloring. Beat mixture well. 

With the mixer on low, add in flour slowly to butter mixture and beat well. 

Divide dough into three equal parts. Shape each part into a roll about 1 inch thick and about 8 inches long. Roll each in green colored sugar. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week. 
Unwrap rolls. Slice crosswise so the slices are 1/4 inch thick. To shape each shamrock, place 3 slices of dough with sides touching in a shamrock shape on an un-greased cooking sheet. To make a stem, take one of the circles and cut it into 4 slices. Use a fourth slice and attach it to the bottom of the shamrock. Press together slightly so that each leaflet curves a bit. 
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Store baked cookies in a airtight container for up to 3 days. Or store baked cookies in a freezer container in the freezer up to 2 weeks. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Corned Beef Hash

Weekends are made for big breakfasts and corned beef hash will give you a reason to crawl out of bed!

  • 1-1/2 cups corned beef, cubed
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbls butter

Rinse grated potatoes and pat dry. In a large nonstick skillet melt butter over a medium heat. Combine potatoes, onion, corned beef, salt and peeper and add to the skillet. Press the potatoes evenly into the pan using a pancake turner. Cook for 8-10 minutes. 
Divide into four slices and flip each slice over. Cook for another 5-7 minutes. 

Serve with scrambled or fried eggs and toast. My mouth is watering looking at these photos! I wouldn't blame you if you skipped ahead and used all the corned beef for making hash!! Enjoy!
I love to eat my hash with a fried egg and toast!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Reuben Sandwich

Reuben sandwiches are one of my favorite ways to eat corned beef. I like to use home-made thousand island dressing to take this sandwich to another level!!

  • corned beef
  • swiss cheese
  • thousand island dressing (recipe below)
  • sauerkraut
  • sourdough bread or rye bread

Saute corned beef over medium-high heat. Toast bread. Layer dressing, sauerkraut, corned beef and swiss cheese on one slice of the bread. Top with the other slice of bread and Enjoy!!

Thousand Island Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1/2 cup of sweet relish
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Easy Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

In celebration of St. Patrick's I have cooked up a few corned beef dishes! I start out making corned beef and cabbage then use the leftovers for other tasty meals throughout the week.

  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 5 red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 small onion, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water
  • 1 (4 pound) beef brisket
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • season packet that comes with the corned beef

Coat crock pot with olive oil. Place potatoes cut side down along with the carrots and onions in the bottom of the crock pot. Cover vegetables with water and place corned beef on top of the vegetables with the fat side up. Empty seasoning packet on top of the corned beef.
Cover and set on low for 8 hours. During the last hour of cooking add in the chopped cabbage.

After 8 hours remove the corned beef and scrape the off fat (this the not-so fun part), slice and serve. 

I really like corned beef and cabbage but I LOVE Reuben sandwiches and corned beef hash. Stay tuned for those recipes using leftover corned beef.


Friday, March 4, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17!! Leprechauns, shamrocks and pots of gold are usually what come to mind when I think about this holiday. But, like with many western holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday.

St. Patrick was held as a prisoner in Ireland from the age of 16 to 22. He was able to escape his captors and returned to Britain where he studied to be a priest. Later in his life he returned to Ireland as a missionary. St. Patrick often used a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish.

To celebrate, I have cooked up a weeks’ worth of recipes that remind me of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m starting the week off with “Easy Slow-Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage” then using the leftover corned beef to make “Reuben Sandwiches” and “Corned Beef Hash”. I’ll end the week with the recipe for “Shamrock Cookies”, a treat that you can make with the kiddos.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Value Conscious Vase Filler

I needed something new to fill the vase in my bathroom but didn't want to spend a fortune. I had the idea to fill it will coordinating yarn balls. The result was cute and very affordable!
Tools Needed:
  • styrofoam balls - $5.46
  • assorted yarn - $3.46 each
  • corsage pins

Secure end of yarn with a corsage pin and begin wrapping the ball with yarn. 
Continue to wrap the ball until the white foam is no longer visible. Secure the end with another corsage pin. 

Wrap as many balls as you need to fill your vase and display. It's that easy!