Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Soup Weather!

Sometimes it seems that Oklahoma summers last forever.  Just five days ago it was in the 90's with bright sunshine; today it's in the low 60's, cloudy, windy and rainy.  This is the kind of weather that makes you think of comfort foods, homemade soups, stews, beans and cornbread or chili.

We haven't had onion soup since last winter so that's what I made for our dinner tonight.  It's one of the simplest soups ever to make and some people believe that onions have great health benefits. 

I've been watching my food intake and onion soup fits right into the lower fat options I've been enjoying.  My recipe does include some butter, but you could reduce the amount or even try just sweating the onions rather than sauteing them.

Classic Onion Soup

2 medium onions
¼ cup butter
2 cans Campbell’s beef consommé
1 ½ soup cans water
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Provolone, Gruyer, or Mozzarella cheese

Cut onions into quarters and slice thinly.  Sauté onion in melted butter until tender.

Add consommé, water, and seasonings.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Pour soup into broiler safe bowls, top with croutons and thin slices of cheese.  Broil until cheese is brown and bubbly.

This makes two generous servings.

Art Impressions Celeste Image Card

The twine was colored with the same Promarker used for the lady's slacks.  I resized the sentiment and used oval punches for those.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Western Themed Card

Clip art images, a sentiment printed on my computer and some barn wood printed paper fit together to make a quick, Western themed card.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Victorian Image Card

The vintage photo as well as the rose was found online.  I utilized the print and cut feature on my Cameo to cut out the roses.

I saw a tag online very similar to this and thought it would make a nice card layout. 

The lace under the rose is just a medallion cut from some yardage.  I printed the quote and inked the edges for some dimension and was very pleased how it turned out.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Deli Style Rye Bread

This recipe is from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day.

Makes four 1 pound loaves. This recipe is easily doubled or halved.

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds, plus more sprinkling on the top
1 cup rye flour
5 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel
Cornstarch wash ** recipe below

1. Mix the yeast, salt, and caraway seeds with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a liided (not airtitght) food container.

2.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon, a 14 cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with dough hook).  If you're not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

3.  Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

4.  The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold.  Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 14 days.

5.  On baking day, dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece.  Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Elongate the ball into an oval-shaped loaf.  Allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 40 minutes.  **I don't have a peel, so I used a heavy weight cookie sheet.**

6. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450° with a baking stone placed on the middle rack.  **I used a cookie sheet**  Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread. **I used a foil pan---because I can't find my broiler pan! and put it on the bottom shelf**

7.  Using a pastry brush, paint the top crust with cornstarch wash and then sprinkle with additional caraway seeds. Slash with deep parallel cuts across the loaf, using a serrated bread knife.

8.  Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone.  Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until deeply browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustment in baking time.

9. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

Cornstarch Wash

Using a fork, blend 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch with a small amount of water to form a paste.  Add 1/2 cup water and whisk with the fork.  Microwave or boil until mixture appears glassy, about 30 to 60 seconds on high.  It will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks; discard if it has an off smell.

Butterflies and Clocks Card

I combined stamps from several different sets and used StazOn saddle brown and Memento tuxedo black ink on the card base.  The butterflies are clip art images. The card was inspired by a tag seen online.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Coffee Cup Lady Birthday Card

This image has been used on other birthday cards.  Up until I learned to do print and cut with my Cameo, I'd just print the clip art image onto white cardstock and then mat it onto a piece of colored cardstock.  It's too detailed to easily cut out by hand so it's always been on a white background rectangle.

Now that I'm an "expert" --- yeah, right!---doing print and cut, I imported the image into Silhouette Studio software and cut it that way.  It did take several tries and a lot of tweaking to get it just right.

I tried several times to do some sort of offset and cut a shadow layer using the Studio software and never could accomplish that.  And when I tried to create a shadow layer using MTC, it never lined up properly.  So, I just pop dotted the image and it looks fine.

The inside sentiment is " You go first. Happy Birthday!".

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Ultimate Gun Lover's Card--30 Minute Card

This is definitely not my original idea.  I saw it on Pinterest and tracked it back to a Mike's Hard Lemonade blog.  Whoever made the original actually made the bullet holes with a .22 rifle.  I took a short cut since it would take too long to (1.) get a rifle out of the gun safe and (2.) drive down to the range to shoot four card fronts.  My "bullet holes" were done with a pencil and shaded a little using a Q-tip and ink to simulate gun powder.

It's one of those super fast, silly cards and would be perfect for a gun lover!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Nuts" About You

Card I CASED from Maggie Mata, a Stampin' Up demonstrator.

Vintage Butterflies Card

It takes me forever to pick colors and elements for a card.  The butterflies were what I started with and it took a couple of tries to get a background I liked.  Since I wanted flowers in the corners I tried every flower punch I had with different patterns and colors of cardstock before I gave up and just added some paper flowers with Pearl Pen dots for centers.

So, this would be a 30 Minute Card times four since it took me two hours to complete one.

Part of that time was spent messing with my Cameo to print and cut the butterflies.  Never did get it to work so I cut the first ones by hand.  I contacted customer support and the representative walked me through the process step by step and isolated what I was doing wrong.  It works just fine as long as you do it correctly!  lol!

CASED this card from one seen online.