December 31, 2010

Well, it's over...

...just like that. You decorate, you craft, you go antique/thrift shopping, you take on MAJOR home renovation projects, you watch your mother-in-law go through scary health procedures, you plot your daughters' birthday parties, you travel down south in the blazing hot summer, you craft some more, and then 2010 seems to be over in a split second.

Thank you so much for stopping by throughout the year. Thank you for saying hello or for just being a silent observer.

Thank you for letting me show off pictures of the girls, my latest crafting endeavors, our obsession with Halloween, or Chris’s never-ending tree house construction project.

Wishing you all a crafty and creative new year!

Happy 2011!

Get ready!
Chinese New Year and Valentine's crafts and recipes are on the horizon!

December 30, 2010

Favorite New Year's EveTapas

Before I get to the tapas recipes, I just wanted to suggest that if you see mini candy canes on clearance, grab a box. I'm going to be using these in an upcoming valentine dessert in the near future. It's the hook of the candy cane that is important in the dessert...crushed candy canes won't work. I just grabbed a box at Walgreens for .25 cents.

Now onto my favorite tapas recipes....

When my husband and I actually have a date night (which doesn't happen nearly enough and should be TOP on my list of New Year's resolutions), our favorite restaurant is a tapas restaurant (thanks for the gift certificate Aunt Jean and Aunt Marion). Over the years, I've adapted some of our favorite tapas to enjoy at home.

Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce

4 oz Goat Cheese
8 slices of garlic toast
1 cup tomato sauce

1. Make a patty of goat cheese
2. Place tomato sauce into a small skillet or baking dish and place goat cheese patty on top.
3. Place in over for 7-10 minutes at 400 degrees until it reaches a light boil and is heated through.
4. Place hot skillet or baking dish on plate and line with garlic toast

Chicken and Chorizo Skewers

3 lb chicken breast (cut into 1 inch cubes)
2 lb chorizo (we use Eckrich smoked sausage in place of chorizo)
1 1/2 cup Cumin Mayonnaise for dipping

1. Alternate 3 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces of sausage on 4 inch wooden skewers
2. Broil or grill 10 minutes per side until done
3. Serve with cumin mayonnaise

Cumin Mayonnaise
*This recipe is used with the chicken skewers and the potato empandas.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp fresh garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard

1. Puree garlic
2. Juice lemon
3. Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Spanish Tortellini

5 lbs tri color tortellini (cooked according to package)
1 red pepper roasted or julienne (I use the roasted red pepper already prepared and in a jar)
3 Tbsp fresh garlic peeled and minced
1 cup red onions (julienne)
1 1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 Tbsp thyme leaf
1/4 Tbsp oregano leaf
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup Asiago cheese
1/2 white balsamic vinegar

1. Roast and julienne peppers (or use already prepared)
2. Julienne red onion, dice celery and mince garlic
3. Cook tortellini according to directions
4. Combine all ingredients except asiago cheese and mix well
5. Serve in small bowl and top with asiago cheese

Potato and Onion Filled Empandas

16 oz mashed potatoes (garlic and onion mixed in the mashed potato is delightful if your stomach can handle it and the kids don't complain about the taste)
16 pie dough circles (I use prepared pie dough and use a drinking glass to make my circles)
Cumin Mayonnaise

1. Lay out pie dough circle on tabe and place 2 Tbsp of potato mixture in the center.
2. Fold over and crimp edges.
3. Bake for three minutes at 350 degrees to seal dough.
4. Deep fry empandas until golden and hot (I've stopped frying and bake them for 10 minutes to cut down on the fat)
5. Serve with cumin mayonnaise and salsa.

Happy cooking!
Happy almost 2011!

December 29, 2010

Dashing to Detroit, in a Silver Chrysler Van...

We're home after spending the last few days in Detroit with the Kenward clan. I have to first thank Courtyard Marriot for allowing our family to take over their hotel lobby and pool.

2010 has been a year of hospitalizations, surgeries and recovery for my mother-in-law. Her strength continues to amaze.

We love you, Nana and Papa.

Thank you for a wonderful Christmas in Detroit.

December 27, 2010

New Year's Eve Chandelier

Get ready. This is my 2nd post in the same day but time is of the essence with New Year's eve right around the corner. Back in October, I found this lovely moon graphic on graphics fairy and turned it into a garland using chipboard, crepe paper ruffles and gold/silver trim.

I decided my special garland needed to come back out of storage and decorate my dining room chandelier for New Year's eve.

I also added a few ornaments to my chandelier for some added flair.

Then, I went back to Graphics Fairy and found this wonderful champagne girl and printed off a few more images from the web to hang with my garland.

It feels very Moulin Rouge.

In a few days, I'll be back with a few of my favorite New Year's appetizers.
Wishing you all a crafty and creative 2011!

Just in case... happen to be doing some after-Christmas shopping and find some discounted garland, you might want to grab some. The Dollar Tree is a great resource...hint hint.

I taped some garland to ordinary party hats and party horns for some added New Year's eve "bling".

I've got a few more New Year's eve decorations up my sleeve.
Wishing you all a crafty and creative 2011!