Thursday, June 28, 2007

We Interrupt this Blog....

Audrey, Jake, and Katie at Wonderlab

This normally crafty and recipe-loving blog has been interrupted! I'm still recovering from the hysterectomy so I've been spending a lot of time like this:

Miss AudreyBug turned two! We had a small family celebration complete with a cake made by Daddy and Katie.

Then, on the night of her birthday, Audrey learns she can crawl out of her crib! We found her in bed with her sleeping sister, reading a book.

Today we took a break from homelife and took the kids, along with Jake, to Wonderlab. Talk about fun! The kids had a blast! I think they liked the magnets the best. Jake and Katie loved climbing to the top of the jungle tree. Audrey was just happy to run around and watch everything. All in all, it was a great day!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Could You Lend Me a Hand?

I came across this blog quite by accident. They are making very small blankets and quilts to take to an orphanage in China. These blankets even be easy for someone with minimal sewing experience. I'm signing up to make a few. If you are able, won't you do the same?

By the way, the photo is from This isn't what you would be making, unless you want to!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This One's for the Dogs

This recipe came from a magazine that was put out by Target stores over 10 years ago. I don’t even know if it’s still around. They had this recipe for dog biscuits. I was intrigued because, as a cat lover, I didn’t even know you could make dog biscuits! I’ve made them several times for some canine friends and they never fail to gobble them right up. Keep in mind that they don’t contain any preservatives, so if you want to keep them for awhile, you might want to put them in the freezer. They make a nice gift when wrapped in a cellophane bag and tied with a ribbon.

Dog Biscuits

¼ cup hot water
8 beef bouillon cubes
1 package yeast
1 cup tomato juice
½ cup water
1 cup flour
2 cups wheat germ
1 cup cornmeal
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

Put hot water and bouillon cubes in a bowl. Crush with the back of a spoon. Add yeast and let set for five minutes. Add water, flour, juice, and wheat germ. Stir until smooth. Add cornmeal and whole wheat flour. Use hands to mix. You may need to add a little more water at this point.

Roll out to ¼ inch thick on a floured surface. Cut into shapes. Place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 300 for 60 minutes. Turn off oven and leave biscuits inside for four hours (or overnight) to dry out.

Dog bone cookie cutters are available at most stores that sell metal cookie cutters. I once made them in the shape of cats, but decided the bone-shaped biscuits were more my style. (Remember, I’m a cat lover!) You can make them as large or as small as you like, depending on the size of the recipient. They’re easy and lots of fun! No one expects homemade dog biscuits!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Slowing Down a Bit

I've spent the last four days in the hospital after having a "procedure"--a total hysterectomy. I'm still in quite a bit of pain, and the medicines make me loopy.

The good thing is that I took a bunch of socks and beads to work on while I was there. I finished eight pairs of beaded socks! It was nice to have something to work on and to take my mind off of things--like pain. :-) Hopefully I'll be able to jump back into things in the next few days. I've been ordered to take it easy for six weeks! It's such a bummer that I can't run the vacuum, but I can still work on socks, sewing, and hairbows!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hairbow Heaven

I'm in Hairbow Heaven!

Via eBay, I recently found out there's a whole culture of people who make hairbows! I have a "girly girl" with long hair so hairbows are right up my alley. I found my first set of free directions at Girly Things. I later bought a CD set from The Ribbon Retreat.

These were all started this afternoon. Addictive, I tell you! Now Miss Katie will need a bow for each outfit! The pink/black/white bow with the matching socks will go with a dress I'm making for her. Miss Audrey won't be left out. Although she doesn't have much hair, I've discovered there are ways to use bows anyway. I'll start on some for her soon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Christmas 365

If you've read very many posts on this blog, you may have realized that I work on Christmas stuff year 'round. Someone on a Christmas Yahoo! group that I belong to recently posted this poem. I think it sums up my reasoning for my Christmas "passion"!

I Keep a Part of Christmas

I keep a part of Christmas,
For it helps to add a glow
To the January darkness
And the February snow.
If March is cold and blustery
And though April brings us rain,
The peace and warmth of Christmas
With its happiness remain.

I keep a part of Christmas
Through the summer hot and dry,
Through the soft bright days of Junetime
And the heat of mid-July.
Through the harvest of September
and October's golden days
In the city's haste and hurry
And the summer quiet ways.

Yes, I keep a part of Christmas
With its beauty soft and rare.
I can hear the Christmas music
All about me, everywhere.
Matters not the time or season
There is beauty to impart
If forever I remember
To keep Christmas in my heart.

There's a beauty when its Christmas.
All the world is different then.
There's no place for petty hatred
In the hearts and minds of men.
That is why my heart is happy
And my mind can hold a dream.
For I keep a part of Christmas
with its peace and joy supreme.

--Garnett Ann Schultz
Artwork courtesy of

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Low Fat Cornbread

We usually have cornbread in the fall, but it just sounded good today. I made a pot of soup beans (which I don't usually like at all) and this cornbread to go with it. The recipe says to make it in a 9x9" pan, but this time I made mini-muffins. The girls think mini muffins are fun!

Low Fat Cornbread

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 egg or 2 egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet to the dry, stirring just until moistened.

Pour into a 9x9" baking pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. (Or make 24 mini muffins!) Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes for 9x9" pan or 10 minutes for mini muffins.

Serve warm with butter. They're yummy with applebutter too! (Hey...don't knock it until you've tried it!)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Candy Apple Jelly

This is one of the easiest jellies to make—even for a beginner. It comes out a nice, clear red color and tastes very cinnamon-y! The last time I made it I used 4 ounce jars and it made 17. They are great for gifts at Christmas with a little square of green fabric on the lid under the band. They're great to have on hand for a "just because gift" tied with a ribbon around the top.

Candy Apple Jelly

4 cups apple juice
½ cup red hot candies
1 (1 ¾ ounce) package fruit pectin
4 ½ cups sugar

Combine juice, candy, and pectin in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in the sugar and return to a full boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Skim off foam and any unmelted candy.

Pour into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Add lids. Process in a boiling water bath for five minutes.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

It is Finished!

Last month I posted about my dad making a lamp out of a blender. Well, it is finished! I LOVE it!

The part where the speed control was is now the dimmer switch for the light. It has a 40 watt bulb so it can be an accent lamp. Or, you could dim it all the way down and use it as a nightlight!
I just finished listing it on eBay. Be sure to check it out! If anyone out there knows Emeril, Rachael Ray, or Martha Stewart, but sure to send them to the auction too!

Didn't I tell you my dad is creative!?!

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Decadence of it All....Blackberry Dumplings with Ice Cream!

Rick has been asking for Blackberry Dumplings (just like Grandma used to make, of course!) for, oh, maybe....five years or so! I finally made some today. He loved them! I'll post the recipe first, then how I actually made them. We'll be fixing these again in the near future.

Blackberry Dumplings
1 quart blackberries (or any fruit)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t lemon juice

1 1/2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1 t sugar
1/4 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
2/3 cup milk

Mix berries, water, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

In the meantime, stir together dry ingredients for dumplings. Add milk and stir until mixed. Drop by tablespoon into boiling berry mixture. Cover tightly and simmer for 15 minutes.

First of all, I didn't have any fresh berries, but I did find them in a can. I used two undrained cans and still added 1 cup of water and the rest of the syrup ingredients.

When it came time to do the dumplings, I followed the recipe but dropped them using a very small scoop--I believe it holds 1.5 teaspoons. This made the dumplings about the size of meatballs once they were cooked. Since I didn't drain the berries, we had plenty of syrup when they were all finished. If I don't use fresh fruit next time, I may double the dumpling part of the recipe

The ice cream was the "icing on the cake," so to speak. The warm syrup, berries, and dumplings were the perfect compliment to the ice cream. I may try making it with strawberries as soon as they start coming on around here.

Socks, Socks, EVERYWHERE...Socks!

As promised, I finally took photos of some of the beaded socks! As I said previously, this hobby has become very addictive! I now have socks for various holidays, in different school colors, with various shapes and sizes of beads, and with all kinds of crochet designs. I may still add buttons and/or bows to some of the pictured socks. My mind keeps swimming with ideas!

Watch Out for the Dreaded "Skittle Bites"!

Katie wanted me to scratch a "Skittle Bite" on the back of her leg. It took me a minute to figure out she meant "mosquito bite"! If M&Ms start biting, I'm in TROUBLE!