24 November 2008

Tasty Treats I Will Be Making This Week...In Tunisia!

The man & I will be heading out-of-town this week for Thanksgiving. Actually, we're headed out-of-country, which I'm pretty excited about. We will be visiting a friend from home who lives in Tunisia. She has procured all of the necessities for an American Thanksgiving meal, which should be divine. I will be bringing a few contributions of my own. Fortunately, we each get one free checked bag for the plane so I can bring that can of cream-of-mushroom soup and the bottles of vanilla, almond & maple extract. So you can have a taste of what I'll be making this week, I'm posting the recipes. They are NOT MINE, so I don't take credit for them. They are uber-simple, which is the best kind of recipe, in my mind. So, here you go!

Green Bean Casserole

1 (10 3/4 oz.) can Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup milk
shake of Worcestershire or soy sauce
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 (9 oz. each) pkgs. frozen cut green beans, thawed*
1 1/3 cups French Fried Onions

1. MIX soup, milk, sauce and pepper in a 1 1/2 -qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French Fried Onions.
2. BAKE at 350°F (175°C) for 30 min. or until hot.
3. STIR. Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 min. until onions are golden.

Tip: You may substitute 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) cut green beans, drained or 4 cups fresh, cooked cut green beans.

Cake Mix Cookies
1 pkg. cake mix
½ C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 C. chocolate chips (if desired)
1 t. vanilla (or any other extract)

Mix, drop on cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes (or more) at 350°F (175°C). My favorite combo is yellow cake mix with almond extract!

And for breakfast...

1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. white sugar
1 1/4 C. milk
1 egg
3 T. butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Maple Syrup (my mom's recipe)
4 C. granulated sugar
½ C. brown sugar
2 C. water
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. maple flavoring

Combine sugar & water, stir till dissolved. Cover & boil 10 minutes. Remove from heat & add vanilla & maple. Stir till mixed.

14 November 2008

Fabric Storage Cubes

I want to make these! I found them from a link on How About Orange. Blogger "crazy mom quilts" posted a tutorial. I have borrowed a sewing machine from a friend, now I just need to scrounge for fabric & find the time to make them! What a great idea for your own house, or for gifts. Hmmm...baby shower gift...housewarming gift...birthday gift...possibilities!

03 November 2008

New Life for the Quirky

This little beauty is waiting for me at home. My mom decided to do some editing of stuff in her basement, and offered this vintage stamp holder up to the first family member who wanted it. Of course, I couldn't hit "reply" fast enough to her email. Turns out, I didn't have to be fast at all. No one else wanted it. Can you believe that!?

I vaguely remember this item from my childhood. I can't recall where or why, but it is familiar to me. I'm looking forward to using it...somehow. Most likely it won't hold stamps, since I'm not a stamper. But think of the possibilities! It could hold any number of crafty tools or supplies. It could hold jewelry. It could hold fabric swatches or ribbon. It could even be a swanky little Christmas tree, holding sparkly ornaments.

This does remind me of another piece of cast-off "junk" that I appropriated from my mom & dad's garage a few years ago.

It used to serve as a library cabinet, but spent several years in my grandpa & grandma's garage or basement full of gems & minerals (they were rock hounds). Then it sat for years in my parents' garage full of screws & nuts & who knows what else. After my mom had an editing session in the garage, I decided that it needed a new life. I cleaned it up, painted it and put it in my pink crafty room in our house. I used the metal label holders on the front of each drawer to label important contents, such as "cool paper", "sewing notions", and "re-gift". THEN people decided that they really liked it...and wanted it. My sister said that she had always wanted it, which I believed, but...too bad. :) It proves that there is great benefit in seeing the potential in something dirty, junk filled or just odd. Hmm. I think there's a sermon in there somewhere...

Thanks, Mom, for giving me the quirky little stamp holder, and thanks, family, for not wanting it! Needless to say, I'm excited to find some creative use for it that no one else thought of. :) Anyone have a great idea for it??