Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mickey Mouse Card

Using a Mickey Mouse image found online, I did a print and cut with my Cameo and pop dotted it onto layered white and red circles for a mat.

The white background was embossed using a Swiss Dot Cuttlebug folder.

The circle border was done with an EK Success punch.


Who knew? Hot Water Pie Crust

Guess I've been making pie crust the wrong way all these years.  Every cookbook, cooking show, and pastry recipe tell you to (1) never over work the dough (2) use only cold shortening and (3) cut the shortening into the flour until it makes a crumbly mixture.

This recipe just tosses all those requirements right out the window.  The boiling water as well as the mixing process should have developed the gluten in all purpose flour and made the crust tough--but it definitely didn't!

I made a "fold over" apple pie to test the crust recipe.  While it was baking, I rolled out strips of the leftover dough, spread melted butter over the strips and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top.  My momma used to do this with leftover crust and it was always a treat for us kids.

After baking the strips less than 10 minutes at 350°, I was surprised just how flaky the crust turned out.

This short cut method for making crust is now going to be my "go-to" recipe.  I used my Kitchenaid mixer to blend the boiling water into the shortening, then stirred the flour in by hand.  I did add some additional boiling water to get the dough to the right consistency to roll out.



 HOT WATER PIE CRUST

¾ cup shortening
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. milk
¼ cup boiling water
2 cups all purpose flour

In a large bowl, combine shortening,
salt, milk and boiling water.  Whip with
fork until smooth and creamy.

Add 2 cups flour and stir with round-the
Bowl strokes until all flour is incorporated.

Makes crust for one double crust pie.




Monday, February 23, 2015

Cutout Heart Card

Seems like forever since I've made a card!  It's been over a month since I've had either the time or energy to work in my craft room.

This card was inspired by one seen online.  Using my Cameo, I cut the heart opening in the dotted cardstock. The heart shapes were embossed with the Brocade Cuttlebug folder.   Then I added a shadow layer to the heart out of the darker pink cardstock, a couple of flowers and a bow.

After adding the pink and off white cardstock underneath the cutout I decided it was too plain so I added some pen work and Pearl Pen dots.




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tax Season 2015

Since I closed my business almost five years ago I've spent my time doing things I want to do when I want to do them.  Most of my days have been spent making cards for Operation Write Home and spending time with the light of my life, Cooper, our three year old grandson.

It occurred to me that being at home and not around people was the main thing I missed most since retiring.  Since I've done accounting and tax work for over 40 years and had worked for H & R Block in the past, I decided to work during the 2015 tax season.

In order to become up to date with all the new tax laws and changes I spent about two months taking online courses and tests and began working in the local office in January.

Going from doing virtually nothing all day to working 8-9 hours a day has been quite a change.  There is a great group of people in the office and the owner is a good man to work for so it's been fun although tiring.

Tax season is winding down now and I'm looking forward to getting back into my "no routine".  It's been a pleasure to work with my co-workers and I've enjoyed the challenge but I'm ready to get back into spending my days being retired, again!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

An Old Favorite Cookie Recipe

My momma used to make these.  Fred's mother did too.  They're one of the easiest cookies to make and the recipe calls for ingredients I always have on hand.  Since Fred really likes these, I made a batch this afternoon.

CHEWY CHARLIE COOKIES

1/3 Cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4  cup corn syrup
1/2  cup milk
1 1/2  cups sugar
1 1/3 cups peanut butter
1/4 cup margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups rolled oats

In a heavy saucepan over low heat mix first
5 ingredients.  Bring to a rolling boil.
Boil 1 to ½ minutes.  Remove from heat
and stir in peanut butter, vanilla, margarine
and oats.  Stir well.  Drop by rounded
teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to
cool and become firm.
Makes 40 cookies.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Meatball Pie With Biscuit Topping

A super simple, fast recipe that is very filling.  Makes 4-5 generous servings.  I fixed it tonight and "cheated" by using canned biscuits rather than making them from scratch.

If you use canned biscuits, start by cooking the meatballs at 450° as the recipe says, then lower the heat to 400° when you put the biscuits on top so they don't burn before they're completely baked. 

Tonight I heated the carrot, potato, sour cream and soup mixture in the microwave until it was hot before pouring it over the meatballs.  I didn't think it would heat thoroughly in the short time it would take to bake the canned biscuits.  Had I made scratch biscuits, I wouldn't have lowered the oven temperature or heated the mixture up.

I also used a cookie scoop to make the meatballs.  I placed them in the bottom of the pan directly from the scoop, much faster than shaping them by hand!

You can substitute two cans of mixed vegetables for the potatoes and carrots.  Drain one can and use the liquid in the second can. 


MEATBALL PIE WITH BISCUIT TOPPING

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. dried parsley
6 T. sour cream, divided
1 can Cream of Celery soup
1-16 oz. can sliced carrots
1-16 oz. can sliced potatoes, drained
Biscuits for topping

Heat oven to 450°.
Mix beef, onion, parsley, 3 T. of the sour cream, salt and pepper
and shape into 1" meatballs.
Place meatballs in 13 x 9 pan and bake 8-12 minutes.
Mix remaining sour cream, undiluted soup, drained potatoes and 
carrots with juice and pour over meatballs.
Place biscuits on top of meatball mixture and bake 15-20 minutes 
until biscuits are golden brown.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blue Card With Red Flowers

The overlay  is vellum embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.  I added some white gel pen dots and used Pearl Pens for the flower centers.