December 30, 2011

A Little Thank You...

     Hello!  I decided to make a few 3x3 thank you cards for parents who donate items to my classroom. (You know you're a teacher when you get more excited about a container of bleach wipes than a bouquet of flowers... sad, but true).
     I can't take 100% credit for this card but I can't find my original inspiration... I think it was in the Idea Book & Catalog somewhere. I've tried to look for it but it seems I never get too far in the book since I'm always sidetracked by all the wonderful sets and samples and I keep adding to my wish list.

Stamps: Thank You Kindly, School Lines 
Ink: StazOn Black, Cherry Cobbler
Paper: Very Vanilla (smooth & textured), Daffodil Delight, Cherry Cobbler
Tools & Accessories: Brads, Boho Blossoms punch, dimensionals

December 27, 2011

Fiesta Chicken & Rice Wraps

     Hello!  It's Recipe Tuesday and today's recipe for chicken and rice wraps comes from Cambells  If you use a rotisserie chicken this is a super quick and easy recipe that uses items you most likely already have in your pantry.  We've also found that the filling, mixed with refried beans, makes a wonderful side dish for tacos or fajitas.

Fiesta Chicken & Rice Wraps
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup salsa (I prefer mild)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup uncooked instant rice
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 4 flour tortillas (10")
  • Cilantro
  • Shredded cheese

1. Heat soup, salsa and water in a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat to a boil; stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in the rice and chicken in saucepan.  Cover and remove from heat.  Let stand 5 minutes.

3. Spoon about 1 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.  Fold tortillas around chicken mixture, place seam side down on plate and slice in half.

December 23, 2011

A Trio of Bingo Bits

     Hello!  Today's card was inspired by Mary Brown's card Jolly Bingo Bits (here) on her blog Stamper Camper's Corner.  If you haven't checked out Mary's blog I highly recommend it - she's so talented and has an incredible collection of beautiful cards!
     I instantly loved Mary's layout but wanted to change the theme and colors to reflect the Christmas season.  To create the scalloped border I punched circles using the 3/4" and then adhered them to the back of the DSP.  to make this card a quick and simple card, stamp the Bingo Bits images directly on the white CS rather than cutting them out like I did (if you're a follower of this blog you'll know that I don't mind cutting out images).

Stamps: Jolly Bingo Bits, Christmas Greetings
Ink: Old Olive, Soft Suede, Cherry Cobbler
Paper: Whisper White, Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede, Old Olive DSP
Tools & Accessories: 3/4" circle punch, quilted ribbon, Stampin' dimensionals

December 20, 2011

Margherita Pizza

     Hello!  It's Recipe Tuesday and today's recipe for margherita pizza was inspired by a recipe from the Pampered Chef "It's Good For You" cookbook.  This is a super quick and easy recipe that uses many items you most likely already have in your pantry.  Aaron and I make sure we always have a tube of pizza dough and tomatoes in the fridge so we can make this on a lazy evening when we don't feel like cooking a big dinner ;)

Margherita Pizza
  • Refridgerated pizza dough
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp basil (or 2 tbsp fresh basil)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Shredded mozeralla cheese
1.  Unroll pizza dough on large cookie sheet pre-bake for 5 minutes according to package directions (usually 400 degrees).

2. Meantime, in small bowl wisk together vinegar, olive oil and spices; set aside.  Chop tomatoes into 1/2" pieces.

3.  Spread vinegar mixture over cooked pizza dough with pastry brush.  Sprinkle cheese and tomatoes over pizza.

4.  Bake pizza for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

December 16, 2011

Rustic Christmas Greetings

     Hello!  Today's card was inspired by Debra Currier's Monochromatic Christmas card (here) on her blog ARTfelt Impressions.  If you haven't had a chance to check out Debra's blog I highly recommend it - she's so talented!
     I'm not sure if it's the Crumb Cake CS or the linen thread but something about this card just says "rustic".  Can't you just see this sitting on a fireplace mantel in a log cabin? 
     Anyhoo, I loved Debra's layout and decided the only thing I was going to change was the color so I substituted Cherry Cobbler for Always Artichoke.  This card was quick and simple to make and would be easy to make in large quantities.

Stamps: Four the Holidays, Tags 'til Christmas
Paper: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler
Ink: Cherry Cobbler
Tools & Accessories: Corner rounder punch, ornament punch, paper piercing tool, linen thread, pearls, Stampin' dimensionals

A Sparkly Twist on Lights

     Hello!  Today's card is a case of myself, with a sparkly twist!  I used the same layout, colors and stamp set that I used on the Faux Silk card but instead of stamping on a coffee filter I used glossy white CS.  I then inked the CS with VersaMark ink, sprinkled with Iridescent Ice embossing powder and then used the heat tool to set the powder.  The result is an incredibly sparkly card that any recipient is sure to love!

Stamps: Jolly Bingo Bits, Christmas Greetings
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight
Paper: Whisper White, Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler
Tools & Accessories: Paper piercing tool, Stampin' dimensionals

December 15, 2011

Clearance Rack Blitz!

Nearly 200 new Clearance Rack items are being added to the Online Store at discounts up to 80% off retail--while supplies last!

Things to Remember:
  • Only online orders qualify for this promotion. Orders can include non-Clearance Rack items, as well.
  • The Clearance Rack Blitz includes old-body style punches.
  • There is no minimum purchase required to participate in this promotion.
  • Qualifying Clearance Rack orders are eligible for hostess benefits
  • Clearance Rack Blitz items are only available while supplies last. There are no refunds or exchanges on Clearance Rack items.
  • You may view Clearance Rack Blitz items in my online store (here)

December 13, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

     Hello!  It's Recipe Tuesday and today's recipe for butternut squash soup was adapted from from my favorite food blog, Sweet Pea's Kitchen (love her).  In the words of Christina, this soup is so rich and creamy you'll be surprised to learn that it's actually healthful - there's no cream!  The key is to use a great blender (like my Ninja) or food immersion blender to make the soup extra smooth and velvety.  This was the appetizer I served on Thanksgiving (I made it the day before and just heated it up on the stove) and had rave reviews from the family.

Butternut Squash Soup
  • 2 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2" chunks
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • sour cream
  • chopped walnuts of hazelnuts

1. Place squash chunks in large microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave 14-18 minutes, stirring halfway through, until a paring knife glides easily through.  Transfer squash colander set in large bowl; let drain for 5 minutes; reserve liquid.

2.  In large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat melt the butter.  Add squash, onion and 1 teaspoon of salt; cook, stirring occasionally until a brown fond forms on bottom of pot and squash pieces break down, about 10-13 minutes.

3.  Add 2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth and scrape bottom of pot to loosen fond.  Add remaining 2 cups broth, reserved squash liquid, 1 cup water, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne pepper.  Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for anther 6-7 minutes.

4.  Remove pot from heat and remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf.  Working in batches, process soup in blender until smooth.  Return soup to clean pot and bring to a simmer, thinning with up to 1 cup of water to desired consistency (I prefer a thick soup so I chose not to add water). Season with salt and pepper and serve with toasted hazelnuts or walnuts and a dollop of sour cream.

December 9, 2011

Jolly Bingo Bits Holiday

     Hello!  Today's card is my second take on dancerriley's card on SCS (here).  I loved her layout but wanted to change the theme from Thanksgiving to Christmas.  My new favorite stamp set, Jolly Bingo Bits, was perfect for this card.
     I think the Old Olive and Soft Suede colors blend a little bit on the first panel.  When I make this card again I'll use the Christmas tree image rather than the wreath and the poinsettia image rather than the candy cane.  Hopefully, this will provide a bit more contrast.

Stamps: Jolly Bingo Bits
Ink:  Cherry Cobbler, Soft Suede, Old Olive
Paper: Whisper White, Soft Suede, Old Olive, Cherry Cobbler
Tools & Accessories: Soft Suede taffeta ribbon, square punch, paper piercing tool, Stampin' dimensionals

Halloween Thank You

     Hello!  I was looking through my cards and realized that I hadn't posted this one.  There are several co-workers at my school that make my job so much easier.  I love to surprise them with little gifts of appreciation on the holidays and what better way to say thank you than with chocolate?
     For Halloween I  made each of these ladies a little 3x3 card and added a bag of Lindt chocolate.  We are lucky enough to have a Lindt outlet nearby and for some reason I can't leave that store without spending a small fortune.  Shhh, don't tell Aaron.
     To give the card a little sparkle I used Iridescent Ice on the pumpkin square.

Stamps: Got Treats?
Paper: Whisper White, Pumpkin Pie, Basic Black
Ink: Pumpkin Pie, VersaMark
Tools & Accessories: Square punches, Iridescent Ice embossing powder, heat tool, grosgrain ribbon

December 6, 2011

Cranberry Apple Pie

     Hello!  It's Recipe Tuesday and this recipe for Cranberry Apple Pie comes from the October 2009 Redbook Magazine.  This pie is the perfect way to capture fall flavors.   The sweetness of the apples with the slight tartness of cranberries make this a delicious dessert for a fall get together or holiday celebration.  And if you use refridgerated pie crusts this is quick and easy to put together!

Cranberry Apple Pie
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3lbs apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2" slices
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into small pieces

1. Preheat oven to 425.  Unroll 1 pie crust into bottom of pan.

2. In large bowl, mix sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Add sliced apples and cranberries; toss well to coat with sugar mixture.

3. Turn filling into pie crust, arranging apples to minimize spaces between the slices and dot with butter.

4.  Cut second pie crust into 1" strips with pizza slicer.  Arrange strips on top of pie in a lattice design.  Cover edges of pie with foil to avoid buring.  Bake for 15 minutes.

5.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 and bake 25 minutes.  Check pie and slide a sheet of foil onto the rack under pie to catch any drips (at this time you may need to cover entire pie with foil to avoid buring the top crust).  Bake an additional 25-30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and juices bubble at edge.

December 2, 2011

Faux Silk Lights

     Hello!  Today's card is another faux silk card - it's my new favorite technique.
     I know the photo isn't the best but under the main image I used the paper piercing tool and stamped the "Merry Christmas" sentiment from the Christmas Greetings stamp set in Cherry Cobbler.  When I demonstrated this card with the ladies from my stamping club they decided that stamping the sentiment in black StazOn ink looks much better - and I agree!
     If you're not familiar with the Faux Silk technique it couldn't be easier!  Check out Lyssa Griffin Zwolanek's photo tutorial on her blog here.  This technique gives your card such a unique look and feel; once you try it you'll be hooked!

Stamps:  Jolly Bingo Bits, Christmas Greetings
Paper: Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Whisper White
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive, Daffodil Delight
Tools & Accessories:  Paper piercing tool, Stampin' dimensionals