Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Have you Ever?

Have you ever had a fried egg on a hamburger? If you haven't you should try it. My husband served an L.D.S. mission in South Africa and he ate these there all the time. So every once in a while when I make hamburgers for supper I fry a few eggs to go on top.

How about jam or jelly on top of a grilled cheese sandwich? It might sound weird, but I won't eat a grilled cheese sandwich any other way. Raspberry jam is my favorite.

What weird food combinations do you enjoy? One of my roommates in college liked peanut butter and pickle sandwiches...I never mustered up enough courage to try it but she spoke very highly of the combination.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Distressed Wood Coat Hanger

I have a weakness. It shows itself in the form of rustic home decor. I just simply love it! So when my husband said we needed a coat hanger by one of the doors I saw it as an opportunity to distress wood and do something crafty.

I went to the craft store in search of some decorative hooks. I had a particular kind in mind...

But apparently they don't sell these any more. As I was wiping the tears away I noticed this little guy poking its pointy head out of a basket.

I quickly snatched three before they went extinct as well.

When I got home I found a scrap 1x6 in the shed. I clamped it down and took a reciprocating saw to it. I sawed out little notches along all the edges and sanded it nice and smooth.

Then I took it out to the woodshed--figuratively speaking now, since the woodshed is literally where it was. Well, we were on the lawn in front of the woodshed.

Please don't think I'm crazy for referring to myself and a board as "we."

With a chain in hand I beat the daylights out of that board. Twenty lashes later I called it sufficient. Actually, I would have kept going but my neighbors were looking at me whip a 1x6 with a chain like I was some psycho lady. Since we're new in town I'm still a little worried about first impressions and all. So I smiled, picked it up, and brushed it off.

I spread a little stain on it. It filled all of its wounds with warm beautiful color and it no longer hurt from it's beating.

Then it met these decorative hooks and they lived happily ever after on my wall.

Freezer Paper Stencils and a Homemade Shower Curtain

We just moved into a new home. Well, it's not a new home, it's actually rather old. But it's new to us and it's been remodeled, so it looks new. I couldn't find a shower curtain to match the guest bathroom (and the rest of our western decor). Actually I found a few, but they were all over $100 and I'm too cheap to pay that kind of money for a shower curtain. So, what does a girl like me do in this situation?

Make one. And that's exactly what I did.

I made it exactly how I wanted and I only paid $8 for all of the material.

I bought 2 yards of white muslin that was 84 inches wide. A standard shower curtain measures 70 inches wide by 72 inches long, so I finished my piece of muslin to match those measurements.

I first folded over the raw edges half an inch, then half an inch again so that the raw edge was hidden inside. Then I sewed down the length. Since I had cut two yards (72") it now measured 70 inches with the finished edges. Then for the top and bottom of the curtain I folded the selvage three inches down and then over itself and sewed down that length as well.

Are you lost yet? Sorry there aren't any pictures to follow along.

Then I took a regular vinyl shower liner and laid it on top of my shower curtain. I marked where the holes needed to be. Then I proceeded to stitch buttonholes along the top edge of the curtain.

And then it was done.

Hold on!


I couldn't leave it just plain white could I? Of course not!

Now for the fun part :)

First I sewed a few decorative eyelets in a random pattern all over the top 2/3 of the curtain. Then I found a design I liked of a cowboy and traced it onto freezer paper. Then I cut it out and ironed the shiny side of the freezer paper down onto the curtain. The plastic on the freezer paper melts to the fabric to create a perfect stencil. Paint will only penetrate the open areas, but will not soak into anywhere that there is freezer paper. When the paint dries, the freezer paper simple peels right off with no damage to the material. It leaves an image that almost looks silk screened. So that's exactly what I did with my cowboy and his noble horse. And the decorative eyelets look like stars don't you think?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sorry About the Lack of Posts

Wow, it's been a long time. For some reason I just don't have the time to post to this blog like I used to. Maybe a crawling eight month old can explain it. So here's a quickie, and hopefully it won't be three months before I post again.

I am extremely picky about chocolate frosting. It seems like any recipe I use tastes too bitter if I add the full amount of cocoa. If I don't add the full amount of cocoa though it doesn't taste chocolaty enough. Does any one else have this problem?

I think I found a solution though. The other night when I made frosting I only used about half of the cocoa and then I mixed in some Hershey's Syrup until it tasted right. It was the silkiest chocolate frosting I have ever tasted! It was the perfect combination of chocolate and sweet so I figured it was worth passing along. I will definitely use this method again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Free Handmade Gift for you...If you Hurry

This was on my friend's blog and I decided to join in the fun. Plus I was curious to see if it was even possible to get three comments on this blog :-)

Craft It Forward Exchange is based on the concept of the movie "Pay it forward". I will send a hand made gift to the first three people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join the CIF exchange. All the gifts will be made and sent out 'sometime within the next year'. How exciting to not know when your surprise package will arrive! What you need to do in return, is craft it forward by making the same promise on your blog. This exchange is only open to those with active websites or blogs. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PROMISE TO POST THIS SAME 'CRAFT IT FORWARD' MESSAGE ONTO YOUR BLOG, WHICH MUST BE ACTIVE IN ORDER TO PLAY. YOU WILL CRAFT IT FORWARD TO THREE PEOPLE WHO COMMENT ON YOUR BLOG. I'd love for you to join me! Will you? Other comments are welcome, but only the first three will be my Craft It Forward recipients. Come and join me who doesn't love a gift or giving gifts???

Monday, February 9, 2009


My husband and his brother were traveling through Nebraska recently. They were trying to decide where to stop for supper when they passed a billboard for a restaurant called Runza. They didn't know anything about the restaurant, and frankly the name scared them away--they decided on Subway instead. When he got home we looked Runza up on the Internet and the actual runza sandwich sounded very interesting. I guess it originates from Germany. It's browned ground beef that's been cooked with cabbage or sauerkraut, then stuffed in bread dough and cooked. It sounded kind of gross, but I guess they are very popular in the Midwest. I wanted to try one, but I didn't want to go through the work of making them unless I knew they were going to be good. Needless to say, I am a very curious person so the curiosity overruled my fear of wasting my time making something I didn't I needed to make homemade bread anyway so I killed two birds with one stone.

The other reason I wanted to try it out was because it's similar to a food my husband ate on his LDS mission to South Africa. They called it "bunny-chow." It's curried ground beef stuffed into bread dough and cooked. It's of Dutch descent, so I guess meat stuffed into bread dough is popular in that part of Europe :-)

I must admit I was afraid they'd taste way too much like cabbage, but they didn't at all. The cabbage added a nice moisture to the meat. They tasted like they could use something else, so I added ketchup to mine when they were done. Since I'm kind of a western girl and I like good old fashioned western cooking, I think one day I might try my own variation and turn it into a sloppy joe runza. Anyway, I'll quit yackin''s how to make runza:

You'll need to prepare one batch of bread dough. While it's raising for the first time, shred half a head of cabbage. Then saute some onion in a little bit of oil. I didn't use very much onion because my husband hates onions, but use as much as you want. Then add a pound of ground beef to the onion and brown it. Season it generously with salt and pepper. When the meat is browned, sprinkle the cabbage over the top of meat. Stir occasionally until the cabbage is cooked and soft.
Roll out pieces of your bread dough into rectangles. Mine were about 5" x 7". Place 1/2 cup of the cabbage meat mixture on a rectangle. Fold the long edges over top of the meat and seal all the edges. Flip it over so it's seam side down and place on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the bread dough is lightly browned and cooked. Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scrapbook Page

So I've taken about a five year hiatus from scapbooking. I was the senior class historian in high school and one of my responsibilities was creating a scrapbook of the events during the school year. Since scrapbooking then became an obligation I started to enjoy it does most things once they are an obligation instead of a hobby. Anyway, now that I have about 200 pictures of our 4 month old, I decided I probably better get back in the game before it's too overwhelming :-) So here's the first page for Maggie's scrapbook. It feels good to be back.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I have been scouring the Internet in search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. At last I have found one that met all of my criteria: easy to make, requires no fancy ingredients, turns out gooey, stays soft for days, and makes my husband exclaim, "this is the best cookie I've ever had!"

Out of all the recipes I tried, this one was my favorite. (I don't mean to plagiarize, but I don't remember where I finally found this recipe) Follow the directions to a T and they come out very soft and gooey, and stay that way after they've set-up and cooled...even days after you've made them (if by some miracle they last that long).

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In the mixing bowl, cream the sugars, butter, shortening, and vanilla together. Beat in egg. Gradually add flour mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. The dough will be sticky, but just thick enough to roll by hand. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Bake until just after they take the cookie form, just as they are starting to darken on the edges. The original recipe said 8-10 minutes, but I cooked mine for 6:45. It's more important to watch them than the clock. They may not look cooked enough, but they'll finish and set up after you take them out. You can also make them into bars by spreading the dough into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Don't double the recipe or they won't turn out as soft.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mod Podge Plate

Sorry about the glare on the picture. All you need for this is some cute paper, Mod Podge (Kind of like white Elmer's glue, you'll find it in the craft section. I prefer matte finish), and a clear glass plate. I bought my plate at Wal-mart for about $1.50.
Apply pieces of your paper to the backside of the plate with the Mod Podge. To do this, brush some Mod Podge onto the backside of the plate, then place the paper over on top of the Mod Podge, then brush Mod Podge over the paper. It looks ugly at first and it's kind of messy, but it all dries clear. Make sure to do the right side of the paper facing through the plate, so you can see it from the front side :-)
Obviously the plate's not dishwasher safe after this, but it makes a cute kitchen decoration when propped up on a little stand :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snowmen Cookies

These are a little tradition of mine. They are really easy to make and they turn out really cute. You just need Nutter Butter cookies, white melting chocolate or almond bark, and black and orange sprinkles.
Melt the chocolate, cover the cookie, and decorate with the sprinkles. Tada!