February 26, 2013

Baked Ravioli

     Hello!  This recipe comes from the Tasty Kitchen website (here).  Aaron and I are always looking for quick but delicious recipes to make for weeknight dinners and when I stumbled upon this one I knew we had to try it.
    The original recipe calls for frozen raviolis but I opted to use fresh Buitoni raviolis.  At our local grocery store a 20oz package sells for around $6 but Aaron and I feel the splurge is well worth it.  Keeping in mind that the raviolis were not frozen I took 10 minutes off the initial bake time. 

Baked Ravioli

  • 1 bag (25 oz) frozen ravioli or 1 20 oz package fresh ravioli
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top.

1.  Preheat oven to 400.  If using a glass baking dish, spray bottom with cooking spray.

2.  Spread 3/4 cup of pasta sauce on bottom of baking dish. Arrange ravioli in single layer over bottom of baking dish; top with pasta sauce and Mozzarella cheese.  Repeat layers until there are no more ravioli. Top with shredded Parmesan.

3.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes (if frozen).  Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

February 22, 2013

Butterfly Trio

     Hello!  Today's card was inspired by Susie Nelson's "Trio of First" card over at SCS (here).  I loved the simplicity of her layout and decided to change very little.  Using what I had in my stamp room I swapped out the Elegant Butterfly punch for the Beautiful Wings embosslit and added a few pearls to the center of each butterfly.

Stamps: Elements of Style
Ink: Marina Mist
Paper: Marina Mist, Basic Black, First Edition DSP
Tools & Accessories: Big Shot, Beautiful Wings embosslit,  pearls, dimensionals

February 19, 2013

Zuppa Toscana Soup

     Hello!  Today's recipe was passed along to me by a parent of one of my students and originated from the blog Two Peas & Their Pod (here).  While I've been to the Olive Garden too many times to count, I've never tried their Zuppa Toscana.  Aaron, on the other hand, has and says this recipe is WAY better than the O.G. (shh, don't tell them!).
     I will warn you... If you follow the recipe and add the 1 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes there's going to be some heat.  I'm talking burn your lips and tongue-reach for a glass of milk and a loaf of bread heat.  We cut back to 1/2 tsp of flakes and even then I thought it was a bit spicy.  Aaron did not.
     While the recipe doesn't specify, I'm not a fan of spicy or hot sausage so I opted to use sweet sausage.  Aaron didn't seem to mind the sweet and I thought it complemented the red pepper flakes perfectly.  The soup is hearty but not too thick and tastes great reheated, which is good because it makes big potful!

Zuppa Toscana Soup

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (use caution if you don't like heat)
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a medium skillet, saute the sausage with the red pepper flakes.  Drain the excess fat, set aside.

2. In a large soup pot, sauté the bacon.  When the bacon is half way cooked, add the onions and garlic.  Sauté until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth and water; bring to a boil.

4. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, 20-30 minutes.

5. Add the heavy cream and sausage and cook until the soup is heated through.

6. Stir in the chopped kale.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.  Enjoy!

February 15, 2013

Sparkly Snowflake

     Hello!  Today's card was inspired by bon2stamp's card over at SCS (here).  I {loved} everything about Bonnie's card and decided to add just a bit of color to my snowflake with Primrose Petal classic ink.  This card was quick and simple to make (I'm seeing a pattern with my last three posts!) and would make a great winter birthday card.

Paper: Whisper White, Silver Glimmer paper
Tools & Accessories: Big Shot, snowflake sizzlit (Sizzix), Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Primrose Petals Stitched Statin ribbon, rhinestone basic jewels, sponge dauber

February 12, 2013

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

     Shut. The. Front. Door.  Strawberry and chocolate in a cookie?! This incredibly delicious and super easy recipe comes from Sally's Baking Addiction (here).  I'll admit that the only reason I wanted to try this recipe was because the cookies were pink.  Yes, pink.  I'm a girl, what can I say?
     Besides being pink, the cookie is puffy, soft and has just the slightest hint of strawberry flavoring.  The semi-sweet chocolate adds a nice touch... They practically melt in your mouth and I feel comfortable saying that there will be very few left overs, if any, when you serve them.  Even the boys will want to eat the pink cookie! 
     Wouldn't these be perfect for Valentine's Day?! 

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 box strawberry cake mix (like Duncan Hines)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  In medium sized bowl combine the cake mix and baking powder.  Set aside.

2.  In a separate bowl combine eggs, oil and vanilla extract.  Slowly stir in cake mixture and blend until a thick dough forms.  Add chocolate chips.

3. Drop dough by tablespoonful onto baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool for 3-5 minutes before moving to wire rack.  Enjoy!  

February 9, 2013

Just a Bit of Snow...

     Living in New Hampshire we're used to snow and the occasional Nor'Easter, but nothing like the Blizzard of '13.  The snow started at 7am on Friday and finally ended around noon on Saturday; but not before leaving us with over 2 feet of snow!  The above photo is of my husband in our parking lot - the snow is up to his knees (keep in mind that he's 6'2").

Can you tell those are cars?  They look like giant marshmallows to me!

February 8, 2013

Quick and Simple Valentine's

     Hello!  Today's card was inspired by Laurie Willison's card over at her blog, Soapbox Creations (here).  I absolutely {loved} everything about Laurie's card and used what I had in my stamp room to CASE her card.  It's hard to tell from the photo above but I used the circle stamp from the Apple Blossom stamp set (retired) to create a border.  This card was super quick and simple to create and would make a great Valentine's Day card!

Stamps: Apple Blossom (retired hostess)
Paper: Crumb Cake, Cherry Cobbler, First Edition DSP
Tools & Accessories: Small heart & 1" circle punches.

February 5, 2013

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cookies

     Hello!  The title of this post says it all - these are incredibly ooey gooey cookies!  The original recipe came from Lil' Luna's blog (here) via Pintrest (where else?).  While they do take a bit of time to assemble they are definitely worth it!  The cookie is soft with just a bit of tang from the cream cheese and the center is sooo gooey from the Rolo candy.  
Make sure Rolo is completely covered by dough
     To create the cookie balls and keep them uniform in size I used a Pampered Chef scoop (I love that thing!).  When inserting the Rolo into the dough I found that the dough was getting a bit sticky after several minutes and refrigerated the dough when it wasn't in use. 
     The original recipe says to bake cookies for 10-12 minutes but I found 12-14 minutes was a better fit for my oven.  And when cooling I made sure to have a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil underneath the wire rack to catch any of the caramel drips (there were a few).
     While I'll eat cookies at any time, I recommend eating these the day of baking... I served them at a Stampin' Up! workshop the day after baking and found them to be a bit chewier than the previous day, but they were still delicious!

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Cookies

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • powdered sugar
  • Rolos chocolate candies

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Cream together butter, vanilla and egg until light and fluffy.

2. Mix in cake mix.

3. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4.  Insert Rolo into a ball of cookie dough, making sure the candy is completely covered by dough.  Roll cookie dough ball in powdered sugar and place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate dough for 10 minutes if it becomes sticky.

5.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to wire rack.  Enjoy!

February 3, 2013

New "Best Of" Stamp Set

     Happy 25th anniversary to Stampin’ Up! Every month during 2013, they’re smashing up some of their all-time-favorites with a new, never-before-seen stamp to create a monthly “Best Of” stamp set. And what else would you expect from a February set than images that will help you make that perfect Valentine? Share the love with the Best of Love set! 

132987, $14.95

Note: Clear-Mount Blocks B, C, and D needed for this set. 

Heart: Block D

Read My Lips: Block B

Olive You: Block B

Love You: Block C

Love: Block D

To order your "Best Of" stamp set click (here)

February 2, 2013

Sent with Love Special Offer

Pack your crafting bags, and get ready for a creative trip with Stampin' Up's new Sent with Love products! These all-new travel-themed products are perfect for documenting family vacations, creating unique invitations, or myriad other fun paper-crafting projects!
And here’s the rub: these exclusive products are only available from February 1 through April 30! Buy the Sent with Love stamp set or Designer Series Paper separately—or get them both in a bundle with Calypso Coral Baker’s Twine for 20% off!
Stampin' Up! is also offering a coordinating digital kit. See below for item numbers and prices.
Sent with Love Clear-Mount Stamp Set*
Sent with Love Designer Series Paper*
Pretty Bundle*
Includes the Sent with Love Stamp Set, Sent with Love Designer Series Paper, and Calypso Coral Baker’s Twine at a 20% discount!
Sent with Love Digital Kit
Coordinates with the Sent with Love products. Not included in the Pretty Bundle.
*Only available through April 30, 2013

To order the Sent with Love kits click (here)

February 1, 2013

Lots of Hearts

     Hello!  This incredibly quick and simple card was inspired not by a card but rather by a home decoration pin on Pintrest (here).  It's hard to tell from the photo but there are three rows of heart punched out of First Edition DSP (love that stuff!) and adhered to the card stock with Tombow glue.  I had thought of popping each heart up on a dimensional but that would have meant trimming the dimensional just a bit to fit inside the heart - way too much work!

Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler, First Edition DSP
Tools & Accessories: Small heart punch