2014 is just around the corner. Everyone is talking about their resolutions so I started to think about what I'm going to focus on this year. I'm not big on resolutions but I don't think having a few goals is a bad idea. I decided to make a print and hang it in my apartment throughout the year to remind myself of what I'm trying to focus on.
If you like it, feel free to print your own! Click here for the image. Print on an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper and cut inside the lines. It should turn out to be 8" x 10".
Christmas is tomorrow! I've been doing nothing but wrapping and baking for the past two days. I'm ready! If you're still looking for a delicious recipe or a last minute holiday craft, I've put together my list of favorites from past years. Merry Christmas eve!
I'm trying to keep everything simple this holiday season, including my Christmas cards. I wanted to make a few cards by hand (rather than printing them out, since I do that year round) so I decided to use a method I learned in college. I cut out a simple snowman using a rubber carving block and stamped it onto some scrap paper. Here's how to make your own...
ribbon (for the scarf... washi tape would be cute too)
Start by tracing a simple snowman onto your carving block. Carve around the outside. Makes these cuts extra deep. Now carve inside the snowman but don't carve quite so deep. Leave some lines for the paint to transfer to.
Use the foam brush to add some paint. Typically you would use a roller but if you don't have one, a brush will work just fine. You could experiment with an ink pad too but the transfer will be much lighter.
Add whatever accessories you like. I decided to use some ribbon for the scarf and some orange construction paper for the carrot nose.
Add a holiday greeting to the inside and you're all set!
This year I bought my first (very own) real Christmas tree. I have a fake pink one that I decided not to use this year. I don't know why. I was just in the mood for a real one. It's definitely a Charlie Brown tree. I put it on a box and it's still shorter than me, but I love it. It's so hard for me to turn the lights off at night before bed because it's just so pretty... so I turn them on again around 4AM when I wake up for work. It definitely brightens up those dark, early mornings. Below is a photo of some other decorations I have up in my apartment. I better enjoy them now... Christmas is only ten days away. Can you believe it?
For Thanksgiving this year I decided to try Martha Stewart's triple chocolate pumpkin pie. I know, it took me a while to finally post this but it's a great pie for Christmas too. It's not the easiest recipe but it's definitely worth the effort.
Ingredients (for the crust):
2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ingredients (for the filling):
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ounce milk chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start by crushing the graham crackers.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over the crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute.
Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Now for the filling. Create a double boiler and melt the semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.
Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack.
Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours. Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. I put melted chocolate into a small ziploc bag and cut the corner to create a makeshift piping bag for the chocolate swirls.
Serve well chilled. A small slice will do the trick. This pie is rich!
Do you have your holiday cards yet? If not, you're in luck! I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop and there are plenty of holiday goodies to choose from! Interested in a set of cards? Just convo or email me for pricing. Go take a look!
About a week ago I made an ice cream filled yule log for my dad's birthday. I'd never made one before and had a feeling that it might be a little tricky. It definitely was!
I used the same cake and frosting recipe that I use to make my double chocolate cupcakes. I lined a rimmed cookie sheet with wax paper and poured the batter on top. It only took about 10 minutes to bake. Once the cake cooled, I flipped it onto some more wax paper. My first mistake! I used two pieces of wax paper rather than one long piece so when I went to roll the cake, it split where the paper split.
While doing all of this, I let the ice cream soften. My second mistake! I let it soften way too much. I unrolled the cake, smoothed the ice cream over the top, and when I went to roll it again, a lot of the soft ice cream poured out of the sides. I put the whole thing back in the freezer and let it harden for almost 24 hours.
Once the cake and ice cream was hard, I frosted it and cut the messy sides off (at an angle). It's not the prettiest yule log but the gnomes sure made it cute.
About two months ago I went to a rummage sale and spotted this moose head. I shopped around for a bit and didn't consider buying it until I heard someone ask the price. One of the people working at the sale told the person that it was $4. 4 DOLLARS?! What a steal! Luckily the person who inquired decided against it, so I grabbed it.
The moose head sat in my mom's backyard for about a month (sorry, mom) until I finally got around to painting it. I decided to paint it all white and use it as a shelf.
I know it's not for everyone but personally, I think it turned out pretty great.
As you might know, I spent the past couple of weeks preparing for Patchwork. Well, it was on Sunday and I must say, it was a success! I had so much fun meeting people, visiting with friends, and selling my cards. My favorite part was seeing my display come together. I had an idea in my head of how I wanted it to look but didn't figure out the exact set up until the morning of the show. I took these photos to share with you guys. Check out more photos from the festival here.
If you're interested in purchasing any of the cards you see in the photos, I have everything in my Etsy shop!
I haven't posted much lately because I've been busy prepping for Patchwork on Sunday. If you're in the Los Angeles area, you should come! It's going to be a lot of fun! The show will be in Santa Ana and Oakland soon too. Check the website for all of the info.
I'll be back to sharing recipes and holiday crafts soon!
Today at the grocery store I stared at the back of the mystery taco seasoning packet for a while and began to wonder why I was even considering buying it. Not only do I have everything to make my own taco seasoning at home, but if I make my own, I'll actually know what's in it! So, I searched through some recipes online and put this together. The verdict... I'll never buy a packet of seasoning again!
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix it all together and keep what you don't use in an airtight container.
You might recall the Louise Belcher costume I made last year. Well, my obsession with Bob's Burgers (and burgers in general) continues. I finished this burger costume (complete with a pickle hat) yesterday and couldn't wait to share it. It's so easy too! I didn't sew a thing!
What you'll need:
about 2 yards of tan felt
green, yellow, red, brown, and white felt (pre-cut squares or about 1/2 a yard of each)
Start by cutting out everything you'll need. I cut 6 large tan circles, white sesame seeds, yellow squares for cheese, red half-circles for tomatoes, and scalloped green shapes for lettuce.
Hot glue two of the circles together at the edges (do this twice). Leave a small opening and flip the circles. Now stuff them and glue the opening shut. You should have a top and bottom bun as well as two leftover circles.
Glue the sesame seeds onto the top bun. Glue the cheese, tomatoes and lettuce to the back of the top bun. Do the same for the bottom.
Now take those two leftover tan circles and glue them to the backs in order to cover the ugly edges of the cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. Use brown felt to make straps.
That's it! I made my pickle hat by sandwiching a piece of cardstock between two green pieces of felt and gluing the entire thing to an elastic headband.