Monday, December 31, 2007

Brand Spanking New Year - 2008

Happy New Year! Hooray for 2008! I cannot believe how fast this year went by. And I cannot believe that I actually accomplished my goal this past year to get published. Here is to another year of accomplishing my goals. Hope this year brings you all the happiness and health and stamps you deserve. I think my first goal that I think I want to accomplish this year is to keep up on the laundry in my house. The second is to get healthy -- increase my water consumption!

I made some cupcakes this afternoon! Yummy chocolate cupcakes - butter recipe so ultra rich and super moist and yummy. I also made my first real buttercream frosting with egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and lots of butter. I am really proud of myself because it turned out fluffy and fun! I added a bit of vanilla for flavoring and some blue food coloring for a nice celebratory theme color. I think they turned out cute! It had been a long time since I had had a chance to decorate some cupcakes. The only thing that could have made them more perfect would have been some silver or clear sugar decors sprinkled on top.

Hope you had a fun new years eve. I spent my time cuddling my DS and watching Mary Poppins (we both fell asleep) and then I had a glass of chocolate milk with DH and then we watched New Years with Carson in Times Square. Not exactly a party, but I was with the people who mean the most to me. Happy 2008!

Confessions and Hanna Stamps

CONFESSION -- I admit it, I am stuck on sewing. I have an addiction and I am hoping that eventually I will be able to conquer it, but it is just so easy and the results are a lot of fun! My good old Singer machine has found a permanent home on my stamping desk . . . there I confessed (Jody would be so proud *giggles*)!

Now I can tell you my other news. I have been invited to be a guest designer for the months of Dec/Jan for Hanna Stamps. I absolutely love their stamps! Hanna is such a sassy and cute character to play with. The new set for this month, which will be released

Jan 4th, 2008 (FRIDAY)

is amazingly adorable and you are SO going to want them!!! Yep, so make sure you are saving your pennies. You can see more previews of this set on the Hanna Stamps Design team blogs.

Hope you like today's preview! Check back tomorrow for more fun Hanna antics . . . my favorite parts of this card are the kiss prints stamped on the patterned paper (I stamped off onto another sheet of paper first and then stamped on the patterned paper), the double stitched line of sewing (of course - read above about my addiction), and the layout which came from Jen's blog - her Saturday Sketch . . . thanks for the idea sweetie pie!

Stamps: Hanna Stamps - Celebration set (release date: Jan 4th/08), sentiment by Amuse Artstamps Paper: Cardstock by Stampin' Up! (Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla), Paper Salon - Enamored: Iron Gates Accessories: Pretty in Pink and Blush Blossom Classic Ink by Stampin' Up!, Staz On Brown Ink by Tsukineko, Prima Flowers, Copper Brads by Making Memories, Pink and Red brads by The Paper Studio, Rick Rack and Chocolate Chip ribbon from my collection - I think the rick rack was from a Jody share, brown thread, and my good old singer sewing machine Techniques: Sewing on a card, stamping off, watercoloring with ink pads, Paper piecing

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What's For Dinner Wednesday - Italian Sausage Soup

Tis the season for soups! I bet it is more freezing where you are than the barely freezing AZ temperatures that we are suffering here -- but seriously, 50 degrees and I am freezing my butt off. Add to that the heat in my house is not working, and the warmest I have been feeling is about 67 degrees inside, which is still chilly! Soup has been sounding really yummy!!! I made this the other day and thought I would share it this week with you! Hope you are having a wonderful Boxing Day and spending quality time with your family and that Santa was good to you! Happy Holidays!

Italian Sausage Soup


1 pound Italian sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth (I used chicken)
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, undrained
2 small zucchini, cubed
2 cups spinach - packed, rinsed and torn
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt


1. In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
2. Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
3. Remove from heat, and add spinach. Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready to serve after 5 minutes.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Full Sheet 2,4,6,8 Box in Acetate

I am finally all done with wrapping presents. I need to do some holiday baking but all in all I am feeling pretty much ready for Christmas. I did not get all my Christmas cards stamped and off yet, but I figure I can wait and mail them off the day after Christmas and no one will mind a bit. We are staying home for the holidays also which will allow me time to catch up on my stamping and playing.

So today I drove by the model homes in my development and I saw that our sales agent was working today, and I thought I should make something for the agent who sold us our new house - I kind of felt bad that he had to work so close to Christmas! So I wanted to come up with a quick project! I had seen some nugget boxes that my friend Nicki made with acetate sheets and I thought it I would make the tall version and fill it with wrapped truffle nuggets. This box uses one sheet of 8.5 x 11 acetate and one sheet of 12x12 paper (including wrapping the nuggets). I put a bottom piece in patterned paper (made it an inch tall - and made it just like a 2,4,6,8 box) and a topper on the top to match (I layered the pattern paper on pixie pink SU card stock). I think it turned out cute!!! I wrapped each nugget with the matching paper and tried really hard to make all of them face out to show the paper.

The paper is by KI Memories. I punched the tag with my scalloped circle (mega) punch and then sponged some pixie pink on the edges for depth. I just hand wrote the greeting and attached the tag with green polka dot organdy ribbon.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cute Snowmen Cupcakes Alert

I have been wanting to make these for days!!! I saw them on the family fun website and fell in love with them. I think they turned out cute. I used airheads for the scarves. I would use red ones next time, but I only had blue and green on hand. We made funfetti cupcakes and iced them with whipped white frosting (from a can). I only made a dozen and I followed what some people had said and put a candy cane in the center to hold it together and hold it in the cupcake. The faces and buttons were done with betty crocker decorating icing. Noses were pieces of Dots candy.

Here is the link to the site that had these: Snowman Cupcakes

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Altered Tootsie Roll Bank for DD

We decorated my DD's old bedroom in Disney Princesses and so in this new house, she wants to keep having a Princess room. We have looked for the perfect Disney Princess Piggy Bank, but have yet to find one where the doll looks pretty in the face like the actual Disney Princesses, or that matches her room, or that has it's stopper in the bottom not missing. Anyway, I decided to make her one and when I was at The Dollar Tree the other day, I saw the Tootsie Roll banks and thought it would be perfect.

The paper was some scraps that were in my drawer of scraps. The lavender lace piece was stamped with an SU set about a year ago, and had just been sitting there. I stitched the pieces together (my second time sewing on a project) and it worked well. The E for DD's first name, was a chipboard letter that I altered. In hindsight I don't think I would have sponged the edges and I may go back and make the white dots more crisp using my signo gel pen. We will see. I punched two sizes of ovals (mega and giga) and layered them and put a swarovski crystal every other scallop. Attached the whole piece on with 4 big glue dots. The rick rack in the back behind it really does match -- it is velvet so it photographed a weird color. Oh and I finished it off with a shiny bow above the "E". DD came in while I was making it. She was really excited to see what I was working on and more excited when she found out it was for her. I hope she likes the finished bank!!!

SC134 - Wreathabella Christmas Card

I made this a few days ago, but I thought I would share her today. I have a few more colored images that I need to turn into cards. This one was inkspired by the tent topper cards that were made for SC134. I wanted something that would be quick and easy to duplicate and besides the coloring -- this card is perfect. I bought a few Bellas and they have been waiting for me to ink them up and since I was stamping off some images for someone from the Bellaholics Yahoo group, I decided to play with some images myself.

Bella is colored using prismacolor pencils and other colored pencils and gamsol. The bow and the berries were colored in using a red gelly roll pen. I also added polka dots to Bella's dress with this pen. Ribbon is from Hobby Lobby. I just fell in love with it when I saw it and had to have it. Paper is by The Paper Patch - Small Kelly Green Plaid. Sentiment is by Elzybells (Amuse distributes these). I was really excited that this sentiment fit so perfectly in the oval.

How are you doing on your Christmas cards this year? Hope you are more caught up than I am. Only a few more days until Christmas! I hope you are having a joyous holiday season!!!

SC155 - Thank You

Last night the one and only couple that we know in our ward at church brought us a plate of cookies (a gorgeous assortment with recipes). I was so excited that I felt inspired to make a thank you card to thank them for being so kind.

I did the sketch challenge! This was my first time sewing on a card. I tried first with a ProvoCraft Sew Mini machine that was given to me but for some reason I could not figure it out and it would not work, so I grabbed my big machine and got to it. I *almost* sewed a straight line. The other random accent I added was little squares with white brads in two of the corners. Oh and I added some diamond stickles on the pink flowers to make them sparkle and pretty!

The striped paper is by SEI (Garden Rows) and the green background paper which almost looks like it was stamped with SU Linen stamp, is actually a printed paper called Paisley Green Solid by Making Memories. The ribbons were from my collection -- I think the coral/pink color came from a share I purchased from texasjodylynn.

Flower Images are by My Favorite Things and the set is called Bundles of Bouquets. Sentiment is Everyday Flexible Phrases by Stampin' Up! The original sketch for this challenge was actually turned 90 degrees, but I thought it looked cool turned on its side like this.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Sure Sign That Christmas is Around the Corner . . .

I woke up all sniffly and coughing this morning. A cold has finally caught me. It makes sense because our weather has been so cold at night lately and my body is not used to that at all. Anyway, after a couple glasses of Theraflu Cough and Cold, I was back in business.

Today I decided to bake cookies and as a second thought, make some fudge. Usually my fudge turns out all crazy and it is not so chewy and perfect like store bought fudge, but I found the most amazing recipe that was super easy (well except for the stirring, my arm got sore) AND it tastes so darn good. Shall I share????

Microwave Mint Fudge

1 1/2 c. Sugar
1 can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1/4 c. butter
5 c. mini marshmallows
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 packet (1 oz.) pre melted baking chocolate
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

In a 2 qt. microwave safe bowl, combine sugar, milk and butter. Microwave on high until mixture comes to a full rolling boil, stirring after 2.5 minutes. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring after 3 minutes.

Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Stir in chips and chocolate until smooth. Stir in nuts and extracts. Immediately pour into a well greased 9x13 dish/pan. Chill until firm. Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 2 1/4 lbs.

Grandma's Gingerbread Cookies (from the Grandma's Molasses site)

8 tbls. (1 stick) butter, or shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Grandmas Original or Robust Molasses
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


Beat butter with sugar and molasses. Mix in egg. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Mix well. Chill in freezer 1 hour or in refrigerator 2 hours. Heat oven to 350ºF. Roll out a portion of the dough 1/4-in. thick on lightly floured board. Chill remaining dough. Cut with cookie cutter, place on greased baking sheets. If decorating with raisins, add them at this time. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool. Pipe on royal icing and add candy pieces, if desired.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hot Cocoa Cupcakes (*The Faker Method*)

Have you missed me? Just like you I have been caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season -- I have managed to stamp and color some images, but have I made them into cards yet -- nope! One night really soon I plan to sit down and do that -- it's just that by the time I get to the end of the day I am pooped and just fall into bed and sleep as soon as the kids are asleep. Seriously, it is kind of embarrassing really, that I am going to bed at like 9 pm! Sheesh! I have had to catch up on my shows online lately because I have been too tired to watch.

Anyway, today I decided to test out some cupcakes -- I am going to a Christmas Party and Hayride Caroling Event this weekend at a farm, and I am supposed to bring a dessert, and I thought cupcakes would be perfect! I mean, when aren't cupcakes perfect??? So today, I made Hot Cocoa Cupcakes and tomorrow I plan to try some spice ones. Now for the faker method -- I used chocolate fudge cupcake mix and marshmallow cream by Kraft (SMALL SIDENOTE: Isn't marshmallow cream the weirdest thing ever -- seriously it just amazes me for some reason) for the topping. I got the idea for these yummy cupcakes from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella (I have referred to this book before -- I really like it). Oh and the cupcake papers are actually Creme Brulee cups that my friend Jaime told me about from Smart and Final (thanks Jaime). I love them, I think they look totally cute and they make it so you don't have to use a cupcake pan, you can just put them in the oven on a cookie sheet and fit a lot more at once! They are fabulous!!!! Oh and the cupcakes just pop right out of them too! Perfect! Anyway, hope you take some time for holiday baking -- even if it is the faker variety just like me. No one will remember that you brought the not from scratch cupcakes!!!! How could they possibly ever know????

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Finally Stamped {Artful Inkables & ElzyBells}

So the past couple days I have been stamping and coloring images. I am kind of in the groove with coloring right now for some reason, so I am going with it. A good friend of mine, Kristin, designed a line of stamps for Starvingartistamps called Artful Inkables. They are absolutely adorable. Seriously if you don't have any -- go order some now. Anyway, when I saw her a few months ago, she generously gave me some of her stamps, and so I decided to put them to use now that I am moved in.

SC 131 -- This first card is a cute fishy one. I used some of the sketch challenge layouts for all of these cards I made recently. This one is hard to see (my new stamp room needs better lighting so my photos look better - the colors on these do actually match in real life, I swear), but the turquoise panel is cuttlebugged and the water has some stickles on it. It looks cool in person. I colored the image using my prismacolor pencils and gamsol. Paper is by KI Memories - Surprise Hoopla.

SC90 -- This second card is the turtle - also part of Kristins Artful Inkables. I seriously fell in love with him. He is just precious. I colored him with prismacolor pencils and gamsol as well. The paper is Bohemia My Journey Brocade by My Minds Eye. I thought it looked perfect when I held the image up to it. Ribbons are from my stash (Sheer brown with white polka dots and some brown gingham). I did a lot more sponging on this card than I would normally but it sort of needed it. It seemed to fit. The water in this card also has some stickles on it.

Inside I stamped a sentiment by Penny Black that says "Thinking of you and smiling." I thought it was perfect because when I look at this turtle, he has a cute little smile.

The last card I made was with a cool stamp that my cute Elf Jody sent to me. It is Winter Song from Elzybells. I made this first card with it -- it kind of just flowed out and then I saw this dirty girl challenge on Jody's blog from Jami and my card actually fits it I think . . . well all except for the no patterned paper part (as if? lol) -- too funny.

The patterned paper I used on this one is double-sided paper by Bo Bunny -- called Forget Me Knots. The sentiment is Just a Note by Stampendous. Oooh and I got some swarovski crystals at Hobby Lobby before I moved for half off -- I used a couple of my pink ones here on the corners. Anyway, thank you again to Jody for this adorable stamp -- I love her.

Tomorrow I shall try to post a couple pictures of the Bella cards I have been working on. It feels so good to be back and stamping -- even if my stamp room is the biggest disaster I have ever seen. *grins*

Friday, November 30, 2007

Decorating the Tree

Last night we put our Christmas tree up. I put up the tree while M was still at work so we could decorate it when he got home. We had dinner and then we set up M's computer with a Christmas radio channel playing (since I cannot find any Christmas CD's so far -- they are still packed far far away), and started to decorate. The kids were hilarious with their decorating. They would put all the silver snowflakes on one branch and then all the jingle bells on another branch -- oh and only on the very bottom of the tree. DH and I had to remedy the tree a little once they were done. It was funny! After we had the tree up we did a photo session to have some fun family pictures (and because I *might* be a little obsessed with taking pictures.) I love the two pictures at the top -- my kids look so grown up them - kind of freaked me out!

I can't believe Christmas is so soon. I am working on some fun elf gifts for a couple sweet people and I am trying to get most of our house unpacked before Christmas. We shall see how it goes. Hope your holiday season is not too hectic so far . . . oh and if you have not entered to win the pinecone ball kit -- see the post directly below for how to do that -- the winner will be drawn tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pinecone Balls Revisited

So lately I have been noticing that a lot of the traffic to my blog has been to the tutorial on how to make the pinecone balls that I put together about a year ago. SO, due to the increase in popularity, I thought I would get rid of some of my extra supplies on hand (because I made some already this year again and my fingers are sore enough) -- I have decided to giveaway a kit that contains enough supplies to make three balls. It features some great papers and ribbon and will be similar to the ones you may have seen at I know it is not a huge giveaway, but I thought it would be fun! To enter, tell me what your favorite Christmas tradition is in the comments section of this post. I will draw a random winner on December 1st, so enter today!!!

UPDATED: We have a WINNER -- Post number 44 was chosen using the random number generator and the winner is *drum roll please*

Rosella said...

WOW! I'd love to make some of these beautiful pinecones! I think my favorite Xmas tradition is getting and putting up the tree!

2:20 PM

Send me an email with your address and I will send that out to you as soon as possible! Thanks for everyone who participated and shared your awesome holiday traditions. I am excited to borrow some of them! You all are great!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

House Warming????

So my house has been officially broken in . . . while BIL & SIL were here, they brought their little not so potty trained puppy and he peed and pooped a couple times on the new carpet. I had been doing so well with keeping my puppy from going on it too . . . *sigh* Then J and his cousin decided to color on the walls in blue crayon and pencil. So my living room/dining room now has those all over it.

Today was a rough day! My sweet children decided to color on my upstairs hallway walls with black sharpie, and my DD decided to tell me that her brother did it. Her brother was the only one to get in trouble because I did not notice until I was doing the primer that DD wrote her name on one of the chairs so basically I knew she lied to me at that moment and my heart sank. It is the first time she has ever lied to me *cries*

The primer seemed to cover it well. Now I just need to get a small roller to put the paint over top of it again . . . . hopefully it turns out well.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Leftovers??? Try this . . .

This is just the yummiest recipe. We just had it for dinner tonight and it is great!!! Tastes like thanksgiving in a bowl! Enjoy!!!

Thanksgiving-Leftovers Shepherd's Pie
Serves 4 to 6

* 3 cups cooked stuffing
* 1 cup cranberry sauce, plus more for topping (optional)
* 1 pound sliced cooked Roast Turkey With Sage
* 10 ounces glazed carrots, (or another leftover vegetable) (I used green beans and corn)
* 4 to 6 tablespoons gravy (I just poured about a 1/2 cup of gravy over the top, maybe more)
* 3 to 4 cups mashed potatoes


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, mound stuffing on bottom; layer with cranberry sauce, turkey, and carrots. Drizzle with gravy; spread potatoes over surface to sides of dish. Top with more cranberry sauce, if desired.
2. Bake until heated through and potatoes are golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I have so much to be thankful for this year. I have been so blessed. I have a wonderful hubby and two wonderful children and we all recently moved into our dream house. I am spoiled absolutely rotten and feel loved. I have amazing friends, amazing blog readers/friends, who make me feel like I am at least kind of good at this whole stamping thing and inkspire me all the time to be better. I am thankful for all the amazing things I have given to me, as well as the little challenges that help me to be a better person.

So, in case you all had not noticed, I like to cook and bake. I think it is fun! However, after completing thanksgiving dinner, I think I might be in need of a little break. I thought I would share with you some of the food I cooked and recipes to go with it, so plan on bookmarking this post! *grins*

Our Thanksgiving menu:

**Breakfast: Cold cereal, orange slices, melon slices, orange yogurt cake

Orange Yogurt Cake

Orange-Yogurt Cake

Makes one 8-inch round cake

Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large oranges (1 zested into thin strips, both segmented)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Stir flour, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, yogurt, oil, orange zest and juice, egg, and vanilla in a bowl. Pour into pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
2. Place zest strips in a bowl. Stir in segments and remaining tablespoon sugar. Garnish cake with some segments; serve with the rest. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

**Snacks: Puppy Chow (Taylor's Recipe), Spinach Dip and Bread - photo above right (Knorr), Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Fruit Gobbler - photo above left (Recipe), and Veggies and Dip

NEW!!!!! By Request - Knorr Spinach Dip (from the Knorr Website)

PREP TIME: 10 Minute(s)
CHILL TIME: 2 Hour(s)

1 package (10 oz.) baby spinach, chopped or 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)
3 green onions, chopped (optional)

Everyone loves our dip! Here's how we make it:
Combine all ingredients and chill about 2 hours. Serve with your favorite dippers to your favorite people.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs


2 pounds ground round (very lean) - I used ground turkey
2 cups dry bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 (16 ounce) jars pineapple preserves


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix barbecue sauce and pineapple preserves together.

3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, salt, and parsley. Mix well and form into bite-size balls. Arrange the balls in a single layer in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour the barbecue sauce mixture evenly over the meatballs.

4. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the meat is cooked.

**Lunch/Dinner: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Carrot Souffle, Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Beans, Corn, Gravy, Sweet Potato Crescents (recipe)

This year was my first year ever brining the turkey. I had never done it before and was curious about the results. The turkey turned out juicy and yummy, so I think it was a good thing to do. M watched a show on how to carve a turkey and was super excited to do it. It turned out wonderfully! He rocked!!! Here is the recipe I used for brining the turkey:

Clove and Honey Brine for Turkey


1 large bag of ice
1 gallon hot water
2 quarts chicken broth
1 pound salt
1 pound honey
2 tablespoons whole cloves

Combine salt and hot water until it dissolves. Add honey, broth, and cloves to mixture. Once thoroughly mixed, add ice. Brine for 1 hour per pound.

Carrot Souffle

1 3/4 lbs peeled carrots
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
1/4 lb margarine, softened
powdered sugar

1. Steam or boil carrots til extra soft& drain well.
2. While carrots are warm, add sugar, baking powder and vanilla.
3. Whip with mixer til smooth.
4. Add flour and mix well.
5. Whip eggs separately and add to mixture, blending well.
6. Add margarine and blend well.
7. Pour mixture into baking dish-ABOUT HALF FULL--as the souffle will rise.
8. Bake@ 350 about 1 hour or until top is light brown.
9. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving

Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing


1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
1 pound ground turkey sausage
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped
3/4 cup turkey stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
3. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill.

**Dessert: Apple Raspberry Pie, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Cheese Pie, Cranberry Crumb Pie, Blueberry Cream Pie

Apple-Raspberry Pie


2 3/4 pounds assorted baking apples, (such as Rome or Cortland), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
6 ounces fresh or partially thawed frozen raspberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 frozen pie shells (one for top)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir apples, raspberries, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Fill with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into a 12-inch round. Drape over filling. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Press edges to seal. Fold overhang under, and crimp as desired. Make five 3-inch slits in top crust. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
4. Whisk egg yolk and cream in a bowl; brush over top crust. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Place foil on rack below to catch juices. Tent pie with foil if browning too quickly. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 4 hours (up to overnight).

Pecan Pie ( I had never made a pecan pie and I ended up putting it back in the oven for awhile but it turned out really yummy! I will totally be making one again)

Makes one 9-inch pie

All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 pie shell
2 1/2 cups pecan halves
4 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional ) - I left this out
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Place the pastry in a 9-inch pie plate that has been set on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and press it into the bottom edges and along the sides. Trim the pastry using scissors or a sharp paring knife. Crimp or decorate the edges of the pastry, if desired. Transfer to freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
2. Coarsely chop 1 1/4 cups pecans; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine eggs granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. Add dark and light corn syrups, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Add chopped pecans, and stir to combine. Pour into prepared crust.
3. Arrange remaining 1 1/4 cups pecan halves decoratively over top of pie. Bake on a Silpat-lined baking sheet until crust is golden, filling is firm, and a cake tester inserted in center of pie comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. Serve with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cheese Pie


2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 cups pumpkin puree
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I usually make my own mix of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg)
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie (make sure it is deep dish or you will have enough filling for 2 pies)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Mix cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth. Stir in the pureed pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and eggs. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into the pie shell.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Keep refrigerated.

Cranberry Crumb Pie by Eagle Brand®


1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/4 cup lemon juice from concentrate
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake pie shell 8 minutes; remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese on low until fluffy. Gradually beat in EAGLE BRAND® until smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into prepared pastry shell.
3. In small bowl, combine 1-tablespoon sugar and cornstarch; mix well. Stir in cranberry sauce. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
4. In medium mixing bowl, cut butter into flour and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle evenly over cranberry mixture. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Cool. Serve at room temperature or chill thoroughly. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator

Blueberry Cream Pie - E insisted that we make this pie, even though it really did not match with the holiday at all -- she really wanted it, so I gave in.


4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, from an 8-ounce package, softened
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups nondairy whipped topping, from an 8-ounce container
1 (8-inch) prepared graham cracker pie crust
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided

Directions: In a medium, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until well blended. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon half of the mixture into the pie crust; top with 1 cup of the blueberries. Spread remaining cheese mixture over the blueberries. Scatter the remaining 1 cup blueberries on top. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate until set, about 5 hours

This year we had my brother and sister in law come from Utah and their four kids at our house for the holiday. They had a lot of fun playing Guitar Hero on the Wii! SIL took a liking to it. She played so much she managed to beat the game on EASY level while she was here.

Everyone enjoyed playing Wii sports as well. It was fun! The children played very well together. It was really good to have a chance to visit with them because we had not seen them in a couple years. It was super busy busy, but fun at the same time!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I've been ELFED!

So I got a private message in my box the other day on SCS, and then a couple days later, another one came and I was informed that I had been elfed twice and I needed to send my address and choose 2 other people per elfing to elf as well. I still am working on who to choose . . . there are so many cool people who are so awesome on SCS . . . here is the thread if you are interested in gifting a couple of your friends this holiday season. Also, apparently they have a second thank you thread that everyone has been posting on here.

Anyway, I wanted to show you what two very generous people did for me . . . I was so surprised by the amount of generosity it made me teary. I feel so loved by my stamping friends and I just want to thank the two sweet elves publicly for how awesome they made me feel and how they both went over the top in surprising me.

ELF #1 (We'll fictitiously call this one Jody - lol) sent me: a cute handmade altered lunch tin with an Elzybells stamp inside, a big roll of pretty ribbon, an acrylic stamp set by My Favorite Things -- so cute, and a gorgeous card!!! You were busted by the style -- it looked like you -- but then I saw where it was from and knew without a doubt!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! I love it all and I love the edge of the card with the icy look -- you will totally have to show me how you did that sometime soon!!

Plus this awesome acrylic stamp set:

ELF #2 (who we will fictitiously call Jennie) sent this: 3 acrylic stamps designed exclusively for 2Jills, Lily Kate Ribbon, Prima Belle Fleur, Deluxe Designs Plain Janes, Deluxe Designs Fleur Classic Laser Cut, 2 cards by My Minds Eye, Imaginisce Chantilly Charms in Antique Silver, and a Basic Grey Half Pint Album (which I had been totally coveting but had not spent the money on yet and now I have one *giddies*) THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU girl! It was so awesome to hear from you and this was a wonderful surprise and I appreciate and can't wait to play with all of it!!! You are so generous and I miss you!!!

Aren't I lucky???