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Friday, April 11, 2014

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 75 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz pkg) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt in a bowl and set aside
Beat butter, sugars, vanilla until creamy
Add eggs mixing well
Gradually mix in dry ingredients
Stir in chips

Drop by teaspoon onto baking sheet
Bake about 9 minutes or until centers are set
Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes

Remove to wire racks to cool completely


Slightly Adapted from VeryBestBaking.com

Friday, April 4, 2014

Not Every Project Turns Out Perfect

.....and That's Okay.

If you look on Pinterest there are lots and lots of projects with mason jars. Painting, Mod Podge, Glitter, the list goes on and on.

I have been saving my empty jars instead of throwing them into the Recycle Bin. I've wanted to try a few of these projects.

Some of my stash.
I had these 2 "vases" floating around the house for years. They were originally from a Halloween floating candle display from Avon. I wasn't currently using them for anything special so I thought I'd practice one of the techniques I found on Pinterest.

They are a great size for storing things in.

The project I found was from Debbie at DebbieDoos.com. The first step is Mod Podge. You are going to coat your glass vase, jar, or whatnot with 2 coats of Mod Podge letting it dry completely in between coats.




Completely dry after 2 coats of Mod Podge.
I already had some Rit Dye from another project so I just used those colors. I wasn't trying to match a certain decor or anything.


Side Note: I hoarding plastic containers especially lids. They make great paint trays and after a few uses I just let the paint dry and recycle them.


Using a foam brush I painted each vase two coats once again letting completely dry in between coats.

You can see on the tangerine vase I tested the dryness of the dye with my finger.
The color deepen with the 2nd coat.
This is where I stopped. In Debbie's tutorial she finished the project with a glaze and polyurethane. I didn't care for the way the project came out. The vases felt gritty to the touch afterwards and they were a little streaky.

I am keeping the vases and putting them aside for now. Hopefully I will be inspired to pick them up again and try something else.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Upcycle a T-shirt into an Apron

Recently I went through Hubby's work t-shirts to see which shirts were "dead", done, had bit the dust. Two were particularly grubby. I tossed them into the rag pile. About a week or so later I came across No-Sew T-Shirt Apron on Pinterest. So I thought I'd give it a try.


Here is the before. The shirt is a little big but that's okay.


 Lay the shirt on a flat surface. Back side up.


 Cut off the sleeves.


 Cut the collar off the back of the shirt.


Go down to where the bottom of the sleeves are and draw a line. 


Go down about 4" from that line and drawn another line.


Cut up both sides to the bottom line you just drew.


Cut the top of the back off to the first line you drew.


So now you have a strip across the back.


Draw a line across the strip at the 2" mark.


Okay this is the extra tricky part.
Starting on the left of the shirt cut up to the mark you just made at the 2" mark.
Cut across to the right side but DO NOT cut the end off.
Now you will have one part of the tie and the other side is still attached.


Now on the right side cut the top of the end off.
Now you have two ties.



When I flipped the shirt over I noticed the front was a little wonky.


I trimmed the one side being careful not to cut into the pocket.
I really wanted to keep it for my cell phone, a pencil or a cookie.


I folded it over and trimmed the other side to match.


Much better.


Ta-Da! 



Quick and easy apron.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chili Mac


Serves 8

1 pound of ground turkey
½ cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 jars (32oz each) tomato sauce
1 box elbow macaroni

optional 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Brown turkey and onions in large sauce pan over medium heat
Stir to break up meat
Drain drippings from pan
Return pan to heat
Add chili powder, garlic powder, ground red pepper, black pepper and sauce
Simmer on low, stirring occasionally

Cook pasta in boiling water for 10 minutes, following package directions
Drain pasta

Add pasta to meat mixture and simmer for another 10 minutes or so

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese

This is a recipe I worked on for months and can truly say it's mine. (yea me). I hope you like it. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies


makes about 75 cookies

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
¾ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
2 large eggs
green food coloring
2 cups (12-oz pkg) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°
Combine flour, baking soda, salt in a bowl and set aside
Beat butter, sugars, peppermint extract until creamy
Add eggs mixing well
Gradually mix in dry ingredients
Add green food coloring a little at a time until you have a color you are happy with
Stir in chips

Roll into 1” balls or drop by teaspoon onto baking sheet
Bake about 9 minutes or until edges are golden brown
Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes
Remove to wire racks to cool completely



Adapted from VeryBestBaking.com

Friday, March 7, 2014

Spring Wreath Tutorial



I am not a big fan of making wreaths. I obsess about every little detail and end up driving myself crazy. However, I saw several "rag wreaths" on Pinterest and thought they looked easy and not too detail oriented. Once I decided to make a "rag wreath", I could not find a good tutorial. So I decided to dive in and take as many pictures as possible to pass along.

I do like wreaths to be large for the front door. Smaller wreaths seem to get swallowed up. We recently repainted our front door and decided to stay with a white door. This way I wouldn't have to worry about seasonal wreaths clashing with the color.


I started with a 16" 8 section wire wreath. Since I had no idea of how much fabric to purchase I decided on 4 yards. I figured if I had fabric leftover I could make a pillow or something. I spent quite some time at Jo-Ann's deciding on the fabric. I wanted something spring-like and that wouldn't be a huge contrast to the interior of our home.


Usually the first step in any project with fabric is to wash it first to remove the sizing. Since this fabric will not be washed or wore, you can skip this step. I ironed the fabric before cutting into strips so any wrinkles would not get in the way of my "precise" measurements. Looking back I could probably have skipped this step.

Using scrap pieces of fabric I tried several different lengths and widths until I decided on 1" wide and 8" long. You could go wider than 1" and you won't need as many strips. Any shorter than 7" to 8" and the fabric will be hard to tie. Go ahead and notch the fabric and tear. The edges will fray a little but that's what you want.

The total width of your fabric will determine how many strips you can get out of it. I made the strips a yard or so at a time. I didn't want to end up with more strips than I needed.

Okay time to get tying. Just start one section at a time making sure to alternate between the two fabrics. I double knotted each strip. This took me two afternoons. Not too bad considering how much tying I had to do.

Back view of first section

Front view of first section

For my 8 section wire wreath I used
-26 strips for the outer section
-24 strips for the 2nd section
-20 strips for the 3rd section
-18 strips for the inner section

Before fluffing

Agatha - Wreath Inspector

Make sure you fluff up your wreath


Turns out 4 yards was just enough. I have a small scrap of the floral fabric leftover. I am planning to make a sachet out of it filled with lavender from our garden.