Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Celebrate Autumn at a Pumpkin Sale!

Melinda Smith is having another pumpkin patch party! She has the most beautiful, unusual, and best-priced pumpkins I have ever seen. You can purchase beautiful pumpkins to decorate with.

This year she is hosting it for two days instead of just one, which should make it easier for everyone to have an opportunity to attend. Delicious food will also be served.

Dates: Friday, October 2 from 11:00-2:00
Saturday, October 3 from 11:00-2:00

477 Lake Road (Chandler Mountain)
Steele, Al

Directions: From Bham, take I-59 N to the Steele Exit.
At the exit, turn left. Go 1/4 mile to Hwy 11.
Turn left and go 1/4 mile to County Road 42 (Chandler Mountain Road). Turn right.
This will take you up Chandler Mountain. As you top the mountain, look for Chandler Mountain Baptist Church on your right. Take the third paved road past the church, which is Lake Road. Turn right onto Lake Road. The Smith house is the 3rd house on the left.

These are my pictures from her party last year. It was so much fun!

So pack up your car with a bunch of friends and head to Melinda's party! It is worth the drive.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Simple Embellishment to a Betty Crocker Standard

I prefer to bake cake from scratch. But that doesn't mean I always do. Sometimes a box cake is good, too. A few weeks ago, I was in the grocery store line and the person in front of me didn't get all of their groceries. They left their Betty Crocker Pound Cake behind and the checker put it in with my groceries. I didn't realize it until I got home. So, I put it away to use on a day when I wanted to fix a quick and easy dessert. If any of you try to tell me that you would have returned it to the store, I will not believe it. So don't even try. Do gooders.

I followed the directions on the package and added 6 oz of chocolate mini morsels and about 1 cup of pecans. I baked it in my removable bottom flower pan for about 25 minutes.
It was sooooo good, especially warm.

Heartfelt thanks to the lady in front of me at the grocery store for the unintentional contribution she made to my family and to my blog.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Taco Salad in Shell Bowls

Taco Salad is an easy dinner idea to fall back on when you are busy. I decided to make one for last night, and while I was shopping for ingredients, I noticed these Azteca Salad Shells. I have seen them for years but have never used them. They are in the cold section.

(Please forgive the graffiti. The damage was done before I had a chance to take a picture).

The shell kit comes with tortillas and cardboard formers. The instructions say that the formers are ovenable, which, yes, is a word. I looked it up. I guess it is a more correct way to describe something that can withstand oven temperatures. Global warming became climate change. Ovenproof became ovenable. Whatever.

Here are the formers and the shells:

After you have assembled the formers, place them upside down on an ovenable cookie sheet:

Place the tortillas over the formers and bake at 350° for about 10 minutes. Watch them so they don't burn!

Flip them over and fill with your favorite taco salad components.

They will turn an ordinary taco salad into a special treat!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Good Things Come in Personalized Packages

My niece, Kellie is having a baby at the end of October and I wanted to buy a gift for her baby shower. I really like to give people gifts in containers they can reuse, so I bought several small items on her registry and grouped them together in a basket. I have posted similar gifts to this before, using the same wrapping technique, but this one is a little more personal.

I grouped everything in the basket with some shredded paper:

I laid the basket on a baby blanket:

Then I folded the sides first and secured them with a diaper pin:

It helps to keep the corners really neat while you are folding:

I folded up the bottom half:

Then folded down the top half:

What makes this gift different from the gifts in my other posts is the card. I just so happened to have had an adorable picture of her when she was a little girl. I cropped it, gave it a sepia finish, and reprinted it on photo paper. Then I added photo corners to it and attached it to some textured red card stock. I spelled her name with baby alphabet beads and glued them to the card:

I glued a strip of the card stock to the back:

So that I could run the ribbon through it in order to attach it to the gift:

The final touch was a diaper pin on the top:

It is really so much fun to take a little bit more time and personalize your gifts.