Thursday, August 28, 2008

Basket Baby Carriage

My inspiration for this project was this picture:

No supply list or instructions, just the picture. That was pretty frustrating. I made several changes, one being the basket itself. This was going to be a baby shower decoration and I wanted it to be nice. So why not a nicer basket? Also notice the wheels. Wooden wheels are way cooler than felt ones. I was able to find the wheels and all my other supplies for this project at Hobby Lobby.

In the photo below is my finished basket. Putting it together was pretty dicey there for a while, and I was not sure that the results would be even remotely worthy of a post. So, because of that, I did not take many step-by-step photos. I will definitely do it again sometime, and when I do, I will be more thorough with my instructions.

You will need:

1 basket with handle
1 yd fabric
1/8 yd contrasting fabric
wooden wheels
buttons to cover
1 yd trim
hot glue gun
a scissor
wire cutters
(there is batting in the photo, but I did not end up using it)

Using the wire, we made a frame on one side of the basket. After that, we applied hot glue to the underside of the handle, attached the fabric, and then flipped the fabric it over the wire to make the canopy. Then I tucked under the edges of the fabric around the outside rim of the basket and hot glued it on.
I know, not enough pictures. -sigh-

I covered the buttons with buzzy bee contrasting fabric and glued them onto the wheels. Then I hot glued them onto the basket.

I added trim around the outside of the basket. I used the remainder of the checked fabric to line the inside. I turned the raw edges in and hot glued the lining fabric to the inside rim.

You can then place tiny gifts inside.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Top 50 Recipe Blogs

I was very honored to receive this award today from Amanda at My Finds Online. Go and check out her blog and see the other 49. Thank you Amanda!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rice Krispie Rattles

For this project, you will need the ingredients for Rice Krispie Treats (below), plus small wooden dowels and ribbon. I found the dowels at Hobby Lobby and Gil cut them in half for me. You can cut these into whatever length you want.

Rice Krispie Treats

1/4 c. butter
1 pkg. (10 oz., about 40) reg. marshmallows or 4 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 tsp vanilla
6 c. Rice Krispies cereal
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.
For the basic treats: Using buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly into buttered 13x9x2 inch pan. Cut into squares when cool.
For the Rattles: Pour mixture into a bowl and allow to cool completely. Shape into large balls for the tops of the rattles and flatten each ball on the front and back. Carefully pierce with dowel. Form around the dowel to make it more secure.
Shape a smaller ball for the bottom of the rattle and attach to the dowel.
Tie with ribbon. Store in an airtight container.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat:

Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Add vanilla.

Stir in Rice Krispies:

Shape into 10 large balls and flatten for the top of each rattle. Shape into 10 small balls for the bottom. Carefully pierce the balls with the dowel and shape the Rice Krispie balls onto the dowels to secure them into place. Tie with ribbon. (You could also decorate the top with icing if so desired. I would have if I'd had more time).

Serve in a single layer.
One recipe makes 10 rattles.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Washcloth Lollipops

I was helping with a baby shower for a friend and was looking for some fun new project ideas online. I found this one, which is a table decoration using baby washcloths. The directions were pretty sketchy, so I decided to give some detailed instructions on how to make these cute lollipops.

Here is what you will need:

baby washcloths
wooden sticks
needle & thread
scotch tape
shrink wrap
heat gun or blow dryer
ribbon or torn fabric strips
a scissor

Lay out your washcloth:

Begin rolling it up tightly:

Then roll up like a jelly roll:

Secure lightly on the back with a needle and thread. Make sure the stitches are large enough to be removed later by the recipient.

This is what they will look like:

I secured the stick to the back of the lollipop with cellophane tape. Then I neatly covered it with shrink wrap and secured it around the bottom of the lollipop with more tape.

I covered the bottom part of the shrink wrap with a dish towel to prevent the heat gun from shriveling it up. So all I actually used the heat gun for was the part of the shrink wrap that covered the lollipop:

The shrink wrap looks really cool when you are finished. Be careful with it because the heat gun can melt it. (If you don't want to use shrink wrap, just use regular plastic wrap).

You can tie a bow with ribbon around the bottom of the lollipop if you want to:

Instead of ribbon, I ended up tearing some fabric strips which I tied around them. I liked them better for this particular project, but ribbon is also very cute.

I found this small bowl at Walmart, and filled it with individually wrapped lifesavers. Then I placed three lollipops in each bowl. This is great for a table decoration which can be later given to the mother-to-be.

I loved doing this project and will definitely do it again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pepperoni Bread #2

This pepperoni bread recipe is like the previous one I posted, but this time with cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan and without olives. I am posting it again to show the versatility of this yummy recipe.

Pepperoni Bread

1 recipe basic bread dough (recipe below)
1 pkg pepperoni
grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp basil

Prepare dough in bread machine. Roll out 1/2 the dough onto a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Combine basil and egg and brush a generous amount onto dough. Cover with pepperoni slices and cheese. Roll up and slice into 3/4 to 1 inch slices. Lay each one, cut side up, in a greased baking dish. Brush with remaining egg mixture. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Basic Bread Dough
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 egg
1 stick butter, sliced
2 tsp salt
6 tbsp sugar
2 pkg yeast (either regular or rapid rise)
Place ingredients in bread machine. I like to add about 1/2 the water first, then the flour and other ingredients, including the rest of the water. Set the machine to the dough setting. This takes 90 minutes. When the cycle is over, roll the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into the desired sizes.

On a floured surface, roll bread dough out into a large rectangle. Brush with the egg and basil mixture:

Place pepperoni slices on top:

Then lots of cheddar cheese:

Carefully roll dough up:

Slice and place into a greased baking dish:

Brush again with the basil and egg mixture:

I had just baked some brownies and they were still hot. I experimented with letting the bread rise on top of the hot pan of brownies and the bread rose beautifully. I would highly recommend having a hot pan of brownies available for this very reason.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pepperoni Bread is one of Zac's favorites. He is supposed to be doing display hands, but he actually just wanted me to hurry up and take a picture so he could eat some.

I served it with a salad, and of course, brownies for dessert.

Monday, August 11, 2008

You are Cordially Invited....

Today I am posting an invitation that I made for a baby shower that we are giving for Allison, who is one of our nurses. When we have parties at work like this, we just post a single invitation on the wall for everyone to see. This could also be done on a smaller scale if you had several to print, but it would take a little time.

I bought all of my supplies at Hobby Lobby. I have been using vellum for a few projects lately, and I decided to use it for Allison's invitation. I used a mottled brown piece of scrapbook paper to go under the vellum. I wanted to attach the vellum to the paper with something fun and different, so I used brads with colorful tops. I found a really cute sheet of 3D stickers that had some intricate detail on them. I also used an X-acto knife to cut tiny slits in both sheets of paper so that the brads would go in without wrinkling them.

As I have mentioned before, the software I use for my print projects is called The Print Shop. It is designed for use with a Mac computer. Printmaster is great if you have a PC. I did not use any of the images available in the program for this particular project, but there are thousands of them. I pulled up a blank page and typed it out like I wanted. I used a font called "tuna and fries" that I found at

The printing looks great on the vellum.

I made an extra sheet for food sign-up:

This is the finished product. I attached the two sheets of paper with the brads and then simply placed the stickers on it. The whole project took about 20 minutes.

Next time you host an event, consider making your own invitations!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Cheese

Marsha, who is a nurse friend of mine from work, makes amazing pimento cheese. She said that she believed that what made it so unusually good was the addition of cream cheese. Well, being an avid fan of the cream cheese, I decided to try it. I didn't write down her exact ingredients, but I got the general idea and we loved the results. I also didn't have pimento, so I used Vlasic Roasted Red Pepper strips. I ran it all through my processor to save time, but if you like it chunky, then just chop the pimento or red pepper and stir it all together. This is delicious on a sandwich as well as on crackers.

Roasted Red Pepper Cheese

2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup mayo
1 cup red pepper strips or pimento

Combine ingredients in a processor and pulse until smooth. This makes enough for about 4 sandwiches.

Chunky option: Soften cream cheese in the microwave and process with pepper strips and mayo until smooth. Stir in grated cheddar cheese.

Combine ingredients and process. (Or stir together)

It will be smooth like this:

Spread on bread. You can be more liberal with it than I was.

I used my panini maker, which makes any sandwich more special.

Grill for a minute or so, or until the cheese is yummy and melty:

To add insult to injury, serve with chips. A Claussen kosher dill pickle spear is also a nice touch.

Boys like this as much as they do Hot German Potato Salad.
Thanks Marsha!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Hot German Potato Salad

This is a recipe that I have had for years. It is very tangy and tasty. Boys love it.

Hot German Potato Salad
1 - 1/2 lb new potatoes, sliced, skins on
1 small onion, chopped
8 strips bacon
3 tbsp flour
1 - 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1 - 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
celery seeds

Cook potatoes in boiling water for about 20 minutes or until done. Cut bacon into small pieces and fry in a skillet for about 5 minutes. Add onion and continue to cook until the bacon is done and the onion is tender. Incorporate the flour into the bacon and onion until it becomes a thick paste. Add water and stir until thickened. Add vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper. Sprinkle with celery seeds. Stir in potatoes and blend well.
Yield: 4 servings

Boil the potatoes until done:

While the potatoes are cooking, fry bacon in a skillet for about 5 minutes:

Add onion and continue to cook:

Incorporate flour into the mixture:

Add water and seasonings and stir until thickened:

Stir in potatoes:

This is good served as a main course or as a side dish.