Welcome to my blog. Grab a cup of coffee and join me as I share life, creating and recipes with you.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Day 5 of the Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration

 Good morning friends!

What a day yesterday was.  Hubby and I decorated the outside of our home, and in the middle of it, our oldest son, a History teacher at our local school, called to say he was being sent home because he may have been exposed to Covid.  We are unsure yet how long he will have to quarantine, but we do know that his exposure was very minimal.  We will wait to hear further news from the DOH.  Please pray for him, and his family, which also includes one month old baby Grant.

Sorry to bring up serious stuff, but I appreciate your prayers...let's continue with our celebration!

Today's tutorial is for 

Orange/Clover Saltdough Ornaments

 You will need:

2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water
ginger – 2 tsp
cinnamon – 2 tsp 
ground clove -2 tsp 
nutmeg -2 tsp 
10 drops Orange essential oil (optional but it adds to the amazing smell)

1. Mix the flour, salt, spices and the orange essential oil if you are using it.

2. Then, slowly add the water until you have a workable piece of dough. You don’t want it to be gooey and sticky, so I always start with a little bit less water and add if I need more. The dough should be close to the consistency of play-dough.
3. Roll out the dough and cut out the desired shape that you want for your ornaments. If you are hanging the ornaments, you will need to use a skewer, straw or something to create the hole for your string.

 4. Place the ornaments on a baking sheet and put in the oven at the lowest temperature possible, usually about 170 degrees.
5. Bake the dough ornaments for 1 hour, then, flip them over and bake another hour.

6. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool. You can leave them plain, paint them, create a garland, tie them on packages or simply use as ornaments.

We continue with the 'Orange' Theme as Today's festive recipe is for

No-bake Orange Creamsicle Truffles 

(recipe from Rocky Hedge Farm)

1 cup white chocolate melting chips

1/4 cup unsalted butter

zest from 1 orange

3 tbsp. heavy cream

1/2 tsp. orange extract

a few drops orange food coloring

1/2 cup confectioners sugar, divided

Instructions

  1. Place white chocolate melting chips in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine butter and orange zest in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 1 minute. Pour in heavy cream and stir to prevent scalding the cream.
  3. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes, then pour the mixture through a fine strainer over the white chocolate melting chips.
  4. Let the mixture sit and melt the white chocolate for about a minute, and add in the orange extract and orange food coloring. Whisk until mostly melted. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  5. Divide confectioners sugar between two small bowls.
  6. Begin scooping teaspoon-size balls of truffle mixture and rolling them into balls.
  7. Roll each truffle in one of the bowls of the confectioners sugar before placing on a cookie sheet. Once all of the truffles have been rolled, re-roll them in the second bowl of confectioners sugar and place the truffles in the freezer for 20 minutes to set.
  8. Transfer to the fridge until ready to serve.  

 Ohh so tasty!

There will be no post on Sunday, but please come back on Monday for another tutorial and recipe!

Have a lovely weekend and don't forget to share my posts if you are enjoying them! 



Friday, December 4, 2020

Day 4 - Twelve Days of Christmas

 Welcome to Day 4 of

the 

12 Days of Christmas Celebration!


Yesterday turned sunny and temps got to a whopping 42 degrees, but at least the sun shone and a bit of our snow melted.  It certainly is looking and feeling like Christmas around here.

Today's tutorial may seem complicated, but it really is simple sewing, so I hope you give it a try.


As part of my Twelve Days of Christmas Celebration, I will be sharing instructions for a festive little bird ornament. 

This pattern is very versatile, and you can make your bird as Prim or as Fancy as you wish.  For my tutorial purposes, I chose to make a fancy bird to match my red toile dining room tree...but it would look equally good stained with coffee with a twine or cheesecloth 'ribbon' around his neck.  This ornie is quick and easy...if you make one I'd love to see a picture!  For this little bird, who is about 6" long, you will need the following:

one fat quarter of fabric
fiberfill
2 - 4 mm black beads for eyes
2 small buttons to coordinate with your fabric
ribbon, garland or twine for the neck tie

Fold your fabric with right sides together.  On back of fabric, trace the bird and wing patterns.  Do NOT cut out, but sew the entire way around the tracing line.  Once all pieces are sewn, cut out pieces.  You will now need to make a small slit in one side of the bird, as indicated on the pattern.  Be careful not to slit both sides.  Turn bird right side out, being certain to use a small pointed object to completely turn the beak and tail areas.  Stuff the bird firmly and slip stitch the opening closed.  Take the sewn wing pieces and make a slit in one side of each, making certain to do opposite sides, so you wings will fit correctly.  Double check before you cut! Turn and press, do not stuff. 

Pin the wings to either side of the bird, with slits facing toward the bird, being sure to cover the slit in the side of the bird as well. When you are happy with the placement, take a doubled length of coordinating thread and a long needle and sew the buttons onto the sides of the wings, running the thread through the entire bird body a couple of times.  Knot the thread in between the bird body and one of the wings, so the threads don't show.  Sew on the beads for eyes and add a hanging cord or ribbon to the top of bird.  Decorate as you wish....it's that simple.  
You can hang these on your tree, from a garland, sit them in some greenery or tie them to a gift....the possibilities are endless!  They are so easy you can make an entire flock in no time!
 
Ah...Christmas morning....so busy, but everyone loves to have a yummy breakfast too.  I'm breaking from the tradition of sharing sweet recipes, to sharing a tried and true yummy breakfast for the whole family!

Easy Bacon/Egg Cups for a Crowd 
When the family arrives early Christmas morn, preparing this yummy and simple recipe for breakfast is a must!  With a little prep the day before, these whip up quickly.  We have an abundance of farm fresh eggs, so I like to use some of them up while everyone was here.  The recipe uses a muffin tin,  so in no time at all, you will have a tasty breakfast for all!  Yummm....give them a try.

12 slices of wheat bread, crusts cut off (or bread of your choice)
12 eggs
6 strips of bacon, pre-cooked and crumbled
Lightly spray your muffin tin with cooking spray.
After cutting the crusts from your bread, push each slice into a muffin tin cup, making sure to not rip or tear the bread, and working it up around the sides of the tin.
  
Next, crack an egg into each bread cup (I used smaller eggs because my tin is a bit on the small side, and the regular eggs were overflowing).
Top the egg with crumbled bacon pieces (I cooked mine the day before so it was all ready, but you can easily 'zap' some in the microwave the day you are preparing these).
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes - you will want to check occasionally so they are cooked they way you like them.
Other options you could try is sprinkling with cheese or using ham instead of the bacon.

Hope you get a chance to try these!
 
That's all for today!
See you tomorrow as the Celebration continues!

 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Day Three of the Twelve Days of Christmas

Good morning friends

I'm glad to see you back again for Day 3 of my Christmas Celebration.  Lots to share today, so we'll start out with my tutorial.

Christmas Wall Plaque

You will need...

Scrap of pine board 

Modge Podge 

foam brush

printed image of your choice*

white paint**

rubbing stain

sandpaper

twine

Choose your board according to the size you wish to have.  Mine was a scrap from another project that measures about 10" x 6".  I sanded it lightly, then painted with my background color.  **I chose a creamy white, but feel free to use whatever color best compliments your printed image.

 Once the paint is dry, I took my paper image and carefully tore the edges of it to make it look old and tattered.  I found that keeping my fingers close to the torn edge while tearing it, resulted in less 'white' from the paper showing.  Preview how the image will sit on your board. You want to have some extra space at the top and bottom, and a little on the sides.  Once you have decided how you like it, put Modge Podge on the top half of the board, place your image and carefully press it down, getting out as many wrinkles as possible. Don't fuss with it too much or your paper may rip.  Lift up the unglued bottom of the image, and apply more Modge Podge, repeat as with the upper part.  It is often difficult to get a larger image on exactly right if you use the Modge Podge on the entire piece at once, which is why I prefer to do it in sections.  Once your image is glued down, go over it lightly with another layer of Modge Podge, making certain all of the edges are glued down.  Set aside to dry.  Sometimes you will see wrinkles in the image...most will disappear once it dries, but some will stay, which only gives it more of an old look.

 Once your image is completely dried, take your sandpaper (or a small palm sander) and carefully sand the corners and edges to expose some bare wood.  Take a rag and apply a bit of rubbing stain onto it.  Starting at a corner, apply the stain on the corners and edges to further 'age' the board.

 At this point you are nearly done.  Take a length of twine and wrap around the top and the bottom of the sign, as shown.  Add a sawtooth hanger on the back and hang with pride!  You just made a beautiful Christmas sign! Perfect for your home's decor or gift-giving.

 *You can use any image you choose.  Just do a Google search for Vintage Christmas post card images...lots to choose from.  Graphics Fairy also has a lot of images to pick from.  If you like mine, feel free to nab it here by right clicking and saving to your computer to print.  To adjust the size of your chosen image, you can use just about any print program.



Our recipe for today is one we all LOVE.  Creamy, soft and delicious, this fudge is easy to make and a family favorite at Christmas time. I originally shared this back in 2011, but it is definitely worth posting again!

It's so good... I challenge you to eat just one piece.

Wendy's 

Peanut Butter Fudge

 3 c. sugar

3/4 c butter

2/3 c evaporated milk (not condensed)

7 oz jar of Fluff 

1 pkg (12 oz) peanut butter morsels

1 t vanilla

3/4 c chopped peanuts (optional)

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and evaporated milk.  Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and add peanut butter chips.  Stir until melted and well combined.  Next, add your Fluff and vanilla.  Stir again until well blended.  If you are adding nuts, do so now (I don't add them, as we prefer the smooth, creamy texture). Pour into a 9 x 13 foil lined pan.  Chill until firm and cut into bite size squares.

Yummy.

 To add a little interaction to our Celebration, I would love to hear what your favorite Christmas treat is!  Comment away!

That's it for today dears, but stop back tomorrow for more fun!  And please, if you are enjoying these posts, feel free to share them!  You can easily do so by heading to the bottom of the post, and clicking the Facebook or other icon.  Thanks so much!


 

 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Day Two of the 12 Days of Christmas Celebration!

 Brrrr....tis cold and snowy here in Central New York.  I am not ready for winter!

But I am ready for some more sharing and crafting fun, so let's get to it!

My recipe for the day is one of my Hubby's favorites.  Chris grew up in northern Idaho, and his Mom would always make him these bars.  To this day, it is a special request at Christmas time. We lost Evie two years ago, but fondly remember her each time we have these. They are quick and easy, and hey, who doesn't love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter!

Evie Montreuil's

Kris Kringle Bars

1 c Karo corn syrup

1 c peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal 

one bag semi sweet chocolate chips

In a large pot, combine the Karo and peanut butter, cook and stir well for 5 minutes. Take pot off the stove and pour in the Rice Krispies, mixing well.  Press into a buttered 9 x 13 pan.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly across the top, and place in warm oven just until melted.  Spread the melted chips with a knife, covering the entire top.  To make them extra festive, you can sprinkle with Christmas spinkles or sea salt. Cool completely, then cut into bars. 



I have a fun tutorial for you today.  It would be a exciting thing to do with the kids/grandkids.  A little patience is needed, but in the end, you will be rewarded with these beautiful

 Icicle Ornaments

  


You will need....

One box of Borax

package of white pipe cleaners

String or twine

Hot glue gun

Large pot, large mouth jars and water

 Step 1. Fill your pot with water and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, slowly stir in the Borax. For every 3 cups of water stir in 9 tbsp of Borax. Stir well until the Borax has completely dissolved and it's crystal clear.

While you're waiting for the water to boil, you can start prep work.

Cut pipe cleaners to the length you want your icicles to be. The pipe cleaners will become the icicles and you'll hang them in a pot of water. So make sure when you're cutting the pipe cleaners to allow at least a half inch from the bottom of the pot so they don't touch.

Step 2. Find a knife or cooking utensil that lays across your pot or jar. Then, take some string and tie it around the top of the pipe cleaners and around the cooking utensil so the pipe cleaners floats in the pot without touching the bottom.

 Step 3. Once your mixture is dissolved, you can either leave it in the pot or pour it in a glass jar. I wanted to do multiple batches at a time, so I left some in the pot and poured some in the jar. Next, drop your pipe cleaners that are tied to a utensil in the water, making sure they aren't touching each other or the sides of your container. For a large pot that is about 12 inches in diameter, I put in 8 pipe cleaners, and the glass jar I put in 3.

 I found that the fewer pipe cleaners per container, the more crystalized they get.

Set aside your container in a safe place so it can cool. Now you practice your patience and wait for the crystals to form. I let mine set for a good 12 hours overnight, but I think 8 is sufficient.

When you wake up, they will look like this! Glue a twine or string loop to the top with your hot glue.

Clean Up: Fill the pot again and bring it to a boil and all the crystals will disappear that were stuck on the side of the pot. A bonus with using a glass jar is it forms crystals too! Add a little battery operated tea light and set it out with some evergreen boughs for a soft and classy decoration...what a wonderful added bonus!

These are so pretty with the Christmas lights hitting the crystals...be sure to make a lot...you won't be sorry!
Okay folks, that's it for today!
I'll be back again tomorrow for more recipes and tutorials!
Stay safe and healthy!

 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Twelve Days of Christmas Begins!!

 Good morning dear ones!

It's been a couple years since I did a 12 Days of Christmas celebration. With all of us staying closer to home these days, I am hoping you find time to enjoy the recipes and craft tutorials I will be sharing.  Each day for the next 12 days, I will be posting, so don't miss out.  I'd also love it if you could share my posts, so that more people can enjoy the celebration.

To me, there is nothing worse than having to scroll through pages and pages on blogs, 'gabbing' about projects or recipes, before getting right to the directions, so I am going to skip all the fluff and share my tutorials and recipes promptly, so you can get busy making them! 

So without further ado, let's begin our

12 Days of Christmas Celebration!


 Today we start our with an old family recipe, passed down through several generations of my family.  These soft and spicy cookies always bring back fond memories of my childhood.  Be warned though...once you eat one, you will want another!

Ginger Snaps

 1/2 c shortening

1/4 c butter

1 c sugar

1/4 c molasses 

1 egg

2 1/4 c flour

2 t baking soda

1 t each of cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves

Cream sugar, butter and shortening, beat 2 minutes, then add molasses and beat again until well blended.

Add egg and mix just until blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda and spices and gradually add to creamed mixture.  Chill for 1 hour.

Roll into 1" balls and then roll in extra sugar.  Place on cookie sheet 2" apart, and bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes or just until cooked.  Do not over cook if you want these cookies to come out soft and oh so good.  If you prefer your Ginger Snaps to 'snap', you can bake for 12 minutes. 

For today's tutorial, I am sharing how to make a primitive garland.  


 

You will need the following items:

 Sturdy rusty or black wire - no thin stuff!

a variety of acorns, pine cones or other seed pods
dried orange slices 
(I always make a lot of orange slices**...they are great to use in crafts or as bowl fillers)
pine garland, cut into separate pieces
1/2 yard homespun fabric
Drill with small bit
**see notes at bottom on how to make the orange slices

Collect all of your items.  You will need to do some prep work before stringing your garland.  First, take your acorns and drill a hole through the bottom portion...if the tops fall off while doing this, just reattach them with some hot glue. (See collage photo below) Next, drill a hole in each of your seed pods and at the top and thickest part of each pine cone. 

How many of each you will need depends on the length of the garland you are planning to make.  I like to do quite a few of each and/or keep the drill handy if I need more.  Next, tear your fabric into 1 inch strips, then cut these into strips that are about 8" long...you will need quite a few, but this also depends on how long your garland is.  Once your prep work is all done, you can start to assemble your garland.

Take your wire and make a loop at one end, wrapping the extra bit of wire around the length of wire, to make a hanging loop.  Now comes the fun part...start stringing your garland elements onto the wire...I like to create a pattern, such as one acorn, one seed pod, one acorn, two orange slices, one pine cone, two orange slices, and repeating until I have the items strung to the length I want PLUS one foot of extra wire.  It will seem like you have a lot of empty wire, but once you add the garland and homespun ribbons, it will be used up.  Make another loop in the wire at this end, so that your elements stay on. 

  Once all the hard elements are strung, you will go back and take your garland pieces, wrapping them around the wire loosely and evenly down the garland.  Do the same with the strips of fabric.  The more you add, the fuller the garland will be. 
 
**to make dried orange slices, simply cut very thin slices of orange, place in dehydrator if you have one, or place on cooling rack atop a cookie sheet, and put into a 150 degreee oven until dry. You need the air to circulate all around the slices, which is why they should be placed on a rack first...the cookie sheet is to catch any drips.

Enjoy your new Garland!  Hang above a doorway or set atop a prim cupboard.
See you tomorrow for more fun ideas!
**Blessings**

 





SaveSaveSave

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

A New Grandson and some Holiday Goodies for Sale

 Wow, has it really been two months since I posted?  Time marches on way too quickly!


Since our last visit, we have added a new grandson to our family.

Grant Christopher Montreuil, born two weeks ago.  He joins sisters, Allison and Elena.




 

I have been super busy with orders and Holiday Creations.  Here are just a few of the items I have made, which are available in my Etsy shoppe, with the exception of the little snowmen, which can be purchased directly from me.










 I"ll be back in after Thanksgiving to share my own

12 Days of Christmas event with you.


Blessings!

                 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Plugging along....

 Good afternoon friends.

Hope this post finds you happy and healthy.

While it has been rather warm the last couple of days, the signs of Fall are all around.  Leaves are changing on a few trees, the garden is winding down (thank goodness), the squirrels are busy gathering walnuts from our many trees and children are heading back to school this week.

Our grandchildren, however, are not.  Their parents have opted to keep them home and home school them for the time being.  With such uncertainly still looming regarding Covid, I, for one, am thankful they will not be exposed to things.

The garden produce has kept me very busy lately.  I have a pot full of Salsa ingredients....tomatoes, onions, hot peppers and corn just waiting to be canned tonight.  I desperately needed to sit down, so I thought I would jot you all a note while these old legs rested.

This time of year also reminds me, and many, of that fateful day...the Anniversary of 9-11 is Friday.  How I wish our country was united like it was in the days following that tragic time.  There is such division right now, it is discouraging.  

I'll leave you with a few pics I've taken lately, and hope that you will comment and say Hello!




 





Blog Archive


In memory of the over 57,000,000 children killed since 1973