I went through some pics and found a few things I had forgotten to post - you know, real fascinating stuff like what you usually see here. I'm in a cleaning mood..from my camera to my desk to my pantry - it's time to get rid of a few things to make room for all the goodies Santa will bring! Hahahahaha...as if my pantry will ever be clean!
This beautiful flimsy was made by Kareena and Lori for American Hero Quilts. The mister and I delivered it to them on our visit to Vashon Island last month. Now if only I had a picture of the flimsy when Lori first brought it to me...when Lori unfolded it to show me and we noticed one row had been sewn together wrong! My heart fairly skipped a beat! You see, Lori and Kareena never make mistakes - they fall into that exclusive group of perfect quilters, to which I will never belong. Actually, the mistake wasn't all that bad but Lori, being a perfectionist, insisted on taking the flimsy back and getting it right (and truth to be told, had she left it with me as it was, like I told her to do, I would have fixed it myself before passing it on.) I didn't get a picture of the flimsy before - Lori wouldn't let me take one - so I still have no proof that Lori makes mistakes! This is a really nice top - good work girls - your generosity knows no bounds!
Stephanie brought some large cardboard panels to our quilt meeting last month, they were painted by her elementary school aged art students. Stephanie explained that a lot of paint is wasted in art class so she had her students take all of the left-over paints and make random shapes on cardboard. After it dried Stephanie painted the black and white around each shape - turning a bunch of colorful blobs into something quite fantastic! I loved these!
The house is all wrapped-up for Christmas - the mister was not amused when he saw I used about 2,227 staples to attach the ribbon to the garage doors but it took the focus off of the 3,019 staples I used to hang up my kitchen garland, which has a few new gingerbread men this year. As long as I don't get any more holiday decoration ideas, the staples (and the house) should be safe for now. And then there's my new girl Ginger. I was in an antique shop with Dr. Nancy - we were just snooping around when I spied that little beauty - I let out a rather loud, high-pitched gasp and the good doctor said, "What happened?" I pointed at the gingerbread girl - because words failed me - and she laughed hysterically and said, "You're not actually going to buy that are you?" I love her to pieces - not Dr. Nancy but Ginger! She's so great and at night she glows!! Score!
My dear friend Janice surprised me on my birthday with this beautiful painting of our home. I love it so very much...I want to live in that painting I love it so much...oh wait, I already do! I haven't hung it up yet - it's currently in our living room leaning against a cabinet at eye level - I'm auditioning places for it because I want it to be seen by everyone who comes inside our house. Thank you Janice - I love you and will treasure this painting forever!
Just a few other things that I've been busy with that I wanted to show you. I had a little eclair making party for my sometime-sous-chef, neighbor and friend, Katie, who turned Sweet 16, and her friends...I should have taken pictures of the eclairs they made - and of the cream filling that went almost everywhere except the eclairs! They had a great time and so did I. There's something about an eclair that sets things right. I made a Quadruple Chocolate Cake for Tanner (recipe will be up soon), to welcome him home after serving a two year mission for our church in Mexico. Tanner used to take piano lessons from me - he was such a cute little boy and now he's all grown up. I was told he liked chocolate cake so I made him one with two layers of milk chocolate cake and one layer of chocolate fudge cake with a rich chocolate ganache in between the layers. It's frosted with a milk-chocolate butter-cream frosting and a semi-sweet chocolate frosting around the base and the writing. Welcome Home Tanner - we missed you!
Speaking of chocolate, I have a quick dessert for you for the holidays - it's easy and super delicious! Chocolate Mousse Trifle with Whipped Cream is a show stopper! Make your favorite chocolate cake mix and bake it in a 9 x 13-inch pan. Let it cool and then, using a small, round cookie cutter, cut out circles of cake. They will be about 2-inches thick (use a cookie cutter that is the size of whatever pretty goblet/glass you are planning on using.) Whip up a batch of my 5 Minute Chocolate Cherry Mousse and then whip some heavy cream, sweetened with a little powdered sugar and vanilla. Place a circle of cake into bottom of glass, top with a tablespoon or so of mousse and then some whipped cream and repeat until glass is full, finishing with whipped cream. See? Easy as can be and absolutely heavenly tasting! Even Santa would like this!
Lastly, let me leave you with a few links to check out and this video of Maria Menounos who is standing in a cranberry bog while she discusses some great ways to use cranberries...in a bog!
You can find the recipes for Maria's recommendations by going clicking here. I love cranberries and Maria's recipes are pretty great, especially her cranberry mocktail. I decorate with cranberries this time of year - who doesn't love stringing cranberries for the Christmas tree with popcorn in between?!? And just in case you're a cranberry freak like I am, here's a three more recipes for you to try:
This is a crowd pleaser - even the mister likes this! It's full of flavor, a little bit tart and a little bit sweet - truly, you'll like this!
If the thought of tossing a few cranberries into your pie hole makes you pucker three ways to Tuesday, then you need to give these sugared cranberries a try...they are addictive and kids love them!
This has to be one of my favorite Christmas gifts to give - my dear friend Karon gave me the recipe for her Cranberry Curd and it's now a staple in my kitchen. It's so thick and rich, with a beautiful color and just the right amount of tart - it will liven up any ol' muffin or scone!