Sunday, December 29, 2013

Paper Flowers for Cards, Scrapbooks, Decor and More

Look what I made. These paper flowers are so simple and pretty.
You will need card stock, glue, water in a spray bottle, and a way to cut out paper flower shapes in two or three different sizes.  I used my Silhouette but paper punches, or good old fashioned scissors will work just fine.

I created flower shapes on my Silhouette.  I made two different 5 petal flowers, a 6 petal flower and an 8 petal flower.  Each of the different paper flower cut outs gave a slightly different end result.  Click Here for the link to my Google Drive for the templates I made in both pdf and studio format.

The difference between the end results were mostly negligible between the 5 and 6 petal cut outs.  The 8 petal cut out creates a much fuller flower.  The big three color purple flower pictured above was made with three sizes of the 8 petal flower cut outs. 
For the blue flowers I cut a 5 petal flower out of three different colors.  The dark blue is a 3 inch cut out, the middle blue is a 2 inch cut out, and the smallest is a 1 inch cut out.

Spray each cut out lightly with water then scrunch the cut outs.  You want to start by holding the center and forcing the petals up to the middle  and then scrunching them together.

Let them dry, or mostly dry.  Then carefully open them back up.

Then using craft glue you put the layers together.  I used three of each sized cut out.  I found the craft glue works better than glue dots because you can twist the cut outs around to give you the best petal layers.  With glue dots, once affixed, you cannot move the layers to a better position.
In this picture the yellow flower on the left was made from 5 petal cut outs. The yellow at the bottom of the picture was made from 6 petal cut outs.  The large purple flower was made with the 8 petal cut outs.

These flowers will work beautifully on homemade cards and scrapbook pages.  My daughter wants to hang them from mono-filament from the ceiling in her room.  That would be very spring like in these bleak winter days. These would also look great on a door wreath.
Please follow me on FacebookPinterest, and Bloglovin.

Featured on:

Shared with:
Shared With Marvelous Mondays; Motivation Monday; More the Merrier Monday; Craft O Manic Monday Link Party; This Momma's Meandering Mondays; A Return To Loveliness; Inspire Me Tuesday; The Scoop; Take a Look Tuesday; Pincentive Blog Hop; Tuesdays with a Twist; Do Tell Tuesday; Too Cute Tuesday; Share It Link Party; Homemaking Link Up; Whatever Goes Wednesday; Inspire me Wednesday; Your Whims WednesdayWow Me Wednesday; Create It Thursday; Wildly Original Link Party; Pin It Thursday; Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop; Catch a Glimpse Thursday; Frugal Days Sustainable Ways; Homeacre Hop; Grace at Home; Home and Garden Thursday; Sweet and Simple Friday; The Weekly Creative; Craft Frenzy Friday; Blog Strut Owl Style; Friday Link Party; Fresh Cut Friday; What to Do Weekends; Lovely Crafty Weekend; From the Farm Blog Hop; Farm Girl Friday; Serenity Saturday; Tickled Pink Times Two; Snickerdoodle Sunday

What To Do With Leftover Ham - 5 Recipes

For Christmas we baked a wonderful yummy ham.
(Picture from Honeybaked Ham... yummmmy!)
But since there is only three of us, and one is pint-sized, we have a lot of leftover ham.  Good thing I have a set of leftover ham recipes that go beyond the basic ham sandwich.  There are not a lot of pictures with this post so you will have to use your imagination a bit. I hope these recipes and ideas inspire you to use up the rest of your leftover ham!

Ham and Egg Scramble

This is another one of those use what you have on hand recipes. We had this for breakfast this morning but I didn't even think of taking pictures.  But it did inspire this post.  For my egg scramble I use:

1 cup chopped leftover ham
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup mined onion
6 eggs
salt to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter

In a skillet add the olive oil and chopped veggies.  You do not have to use the vegetables listed above but can throw in any combination you happen to have on hand.  Once the veggies are softened, add the chopped ham and cook until the ham is warm.

While cooking, put the eggs and salt in a bowl and beat with a whisk or fork until well combined.  Move the veggies and ham to one half of the pan.  Add the butter to the now clear half of the pan.  Spread the melting butter around to coat that half of the pan.  Add the eggs to the clear, now butter coated half of the pan.  Use a spatula to continuously scramble eggs in the pan.  Once about half of the egg is cooked, combine the eggs and the veggie/ham mixture and continue to scramble another minute or two.  Do not over cook the egg. Transfer to a plates and serve immediately.  Scrambled eggs, contrary to every restaurant buffet, do not sit well.

Ham and Egg Bake

My egg bake recipe is here.  Instead of using sausage, use ham.  Super yummy!  This recipe does not need to have the hash brown crust.  It can be cooked directly in a greased pan instead.  

Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin

I made this the other night.  Again I wish I had thought to take pictures.  Blogging is going to drive me to capture pix of everything I cook, just in case.  Well my family seems to understand... or they are afraid and don't want to startle me in someway.

You will need:
6 cups water (boiling in a sauce pan)
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 medium sized potatoes, peeled
2 cups chopped ham
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or 1/4 cup onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt (this is in addition to the salt listed above)
1-1/2 shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Bring your 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a medium sauce pan.  While the water is heating, wash and peel the potatoes.  Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Then cut all the slices in half.  Once the water is boiling carefully add the potatoes to the boiling water (please wait until boiling). Reduce heat to a simmer to prevent bubbling over.  Gently boil potatoes about 10 minutes.  This will significantly cut down on the oven cooking time.  It drives me crazy that every Au Gratin potato recipe has a 50 to 60 minute cook time when it really is more like 1-3/4 hours to get the center potatoes truly soft and cooked through.

Drain the potatoes into a colander in the sink.  Let them sit a few minutes to really drain off the water.

While waiting, in a bowl whisk together the milk, cream, salt, and garlic or onion.  You can add pepper to this mix too if you like.

Butter the bottom of your baking pan.  Take about half of the potatoes and add them to the pan then layer with about half of the chopped ham.  On top of that add about half of the milk and cream mixture.  Then repeat with the remainder of the potatoes, chopped ham, and mix and cream mixture.

Put in the oven for 30 minutes, uncovered.  After 30 minutes, add the shredded cheese and cook another 20 minutes until browned and bubbly.  Let set about 5 minutes before serving.

Ham and Bean Soup

This is one of my favorites.  We make a big pot and freeze it into many meals for the long and way too cold winter. (Did I mention tomorrow our high is supposed to be -10?)

I mention this here as a place holder.  I will be making this later this week and will post the recipe specifically.  And will take pictures this time!

Update: This recipe has been posted.  Find it here.

Ham and Pasta Alfredo Bake (Also Known as Ham Mac and Cheese)

This is super simple recipe.  And again is one I throw together with what I have on hand. Generally you will need:

1 box of pasta, any shape will do
4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cup shredded cheese (I like to use 1/2 Gruyere and 1/2 cheddar but any combination will work)
2 cups chopped ham

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare pasta until cooked al dente (in other words until not quite done and still chewy).  Drain in a colander over the sink.  Let sit a few minutes to drain well. 

While pasta is cooking in a sauce pan melt butter then add garlic to cook 2 or 3 minutes.  Add milk and cream and whisk together then cook until just simmering.  Whisk in Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.

Grease a baking pan.  Add cooked pasta and ham then cover with cream sauce you made above.  Last top with the shredded cheese.  Bake 30 minutes until top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Classic comfort food!

Happy eating.  Please follow me on FacebookPinterest, and Bloglovin.

Shared with:
Clever Chicks Blog Hop; Inspiration Monday; Amaze Me Monday; Shared With Marvelous Mondays; Motivation Monday; More the Merrier Monday; Craft O Manic Monday Link PartyThis Momma's Meandering Mondays; Great Party Food Block PartyInspire Me Tuesday; The ScoopTake a Look TuesdayPincentive Blog HopTuesdays with a TwistDo Tell Tuesday; Too Cute TuesdayShare It Link PartyHomemaking Link Up; Whatever Goes WednesdayInspire me WednesdayYour Whims Wednesday; Wow Me WednesdayCreate It Thursday; Fabulously Frugal Thursday; Pin It ThursdayThursday Favorite Things Blog Hop; Catch a glimpse ThursdayFrugal Days Sustainable Ways; Homeacre Hop; Grace at HomeSweet and Simple FridayThe Weekly CreativeCraft Frenzy FridayBlog Strut Owl Style; Friday Link Party; What to Do Weekends; Friday Food FrenzyFrom the Farm Blog HopFarm Girl FridaySerenity SaturdayTickled Pink Times Two; Snickerdoodle Sunday; January Savings Challenge; Meal Plan Monday

Monday, December 23, 2013

Elf Yourself

Christmas break, officially day one toady, 9am, and my daughter is climbing the walls.  Seriously?!? This is going to be a long two weeks.
This calls for emergency crafting.  She wanted to make a flamingo craft.  Really?  Maybe later in the week.

I wanted to make her into an elf.  I think she thought I was going to dress her up in an elf costume.  She ran away when I suggested it.  And after I described what I meant, she still said "no!".

But I pressed on anyway, bringing the child along whether she wanted to or not, because I am the mom and I said so. Did I mention this is going to be a long two weeks.

This craft takes some colored paper and a large print out of your elf's face along with tape or staples and maybe some glue.  We also used cotton balls and ribbon but you could use paint, markers, stickers, or anything else you have on hand.
I let my daughter pick the colors for the dress, hat, shoes, arms and legs.  She also got to pick out how to decorate the dress.
I free hand drew the shapes for the various parts and she cut them out.  Then we taped, stapled, and glued the elf together.

I think this might be fun to do as a surprise for my husband.  When he goes out to run errands today I may make him into an elf and hang him on the wall next to our little one.  Not sure if I will elf myself too... but I might.
With the light reflection on the wall she looks like she is standing in snow... or surfing maybe.
 Please follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Bloglovin.

Most viewed post on:
Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop

Shared with:
All Things Christmas; Inspire Me Tuesday; The Scoop; Take a Look Tuesday; Turn It Up Tuesday; From The Farm Blog Hop; Pin It Monday; Do Tell Tuesday; Tuesdays with a Twist; Share It Link Party; Your Whims Wednesday; Winter Blues Wednesday; Wildly Original Link Party; Wonderful Wednesday; Create It Thursday; Show Off Your Stuff Party; Blog Strut Owl Style; Craft Frenzy Friday; Tickled Pink; What to Do Weekends; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Show Off Weekend Party; Snickerdoodle SundayInspiration Monday; Clever Chicks Blog HopAmaze Me Monday; We Made That

Christmas Cookies - The First Round

My first round of cookies are done.  I posted the recipe for the three ingredient peanut butter cookies earlier.
In this first round of cookies I made, in addition to the peanut butter cookies, chocolate chip cookies (because they are my husband's favorite), vanilla butter cookies, chocolate spritz cookies, and cinnamon sugar cookies.  These last three are made with a cookie press.

And this is when that homemade colored sugar came in handy.
I brushed the sugar coated cookies with some warm light corn syrup then rubbed the cookie, sticky side down, in the colored sugar.  The tray above I will be taking to a Christmas party.
 The tiered tray sits out o the kitchen counter inviting holiday snacking.
 I also filled up ten little boxes with a dozen cookies each to give away as needed.  People are always stopping by this time of year.  It is nice to have an impromptu gift to give.  Tomorrow might be round two of cookie madness.

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.

Shared with:
All Things ChristmasThe ScoopTurn It Up Tuesday; From The Farm Blog HopPin It MondayDo Tell Tuesdayhare It Link PartyCraft Frenzy FridayTickled PinkWhat to Do WeekendsShow Off Weekend PartySnickerdoodle Sunday

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Morning (or any time) Egg Bake

I am working on our Christmas Eve and Christmas day menus.  For Christmas morning I am going to make a Creme brulee french toast and an egg  bake.   This post isn't really a recipe since I always just throw together what I have on hand.  So this is more of a concept you can run with.
The egg bake has sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, carrots (and any other veggies I have on hand) and sits on a hash brown crust.

The hash browns need to be precooked before adding the egg mixture.  I oven bake my hash browns the night before so final preparation and cooking in the morning is quick.  The recipe for the oven baked hash browns is found here.
Cook them the same way as I cooked the smaller patties in this post  but don't bother trying to turn it over.

Next you saute your sausage (or bacon, or you can leave the meat out all together).  Toss in the rest of your veggies.  I used red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, and carrots.  All the veggies were chopped and I used about 1/4 - 1/3 cup each.  Use whatever you have on hand.  I added these chopped veggies to the pan with the sausage to cook.  After the veggies were soft and the sausage fully cooked I added about 1 cup of spinach to the pan and took the pan off the heat.
In a mixing bowl I added eight eggs and 1/2 cup of heavy cream then beat them together with a pinch of salt. I added the egg mixture to the pan with the precooked hash browns then sprinkled the veggie sausage mix over the top.  Last I added a handful of shredded cheese.
This went into a preheated 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  The time will vary based upon the oven and the ingredients.  Everything but the egg is cooked when it is put into the oven.  You can tell it is done when the whole thing is puffy, including the center.
Depending upon whether this is the only thing you are serving or not this will serve 4 to 8 people.  You can easily increase the number of eggs to a full dozen to accommodate more people.
Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.

Shared with:
Snickerdoodle Sunday; Inspiration Monday; Clever Chicks Blog Hop; Amaze Me Monday; More the Merrier Monday; This Momma's Meandering Monday; All Things ChristmasInspire Me TuesdayTurn It Up TuesdayTuesdays with a Twist; Tasty Tuesday Wonderful WednesdayCreate It ThursdayBlog Strut Owl StyleWhat to Do Weekends; Friday Food Frenzy; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways

Peanut Butter Cookies - Only 3 Ingredients!

This is the easiest cookie recipe.  Only three ingredients. And it is peanut butter which is a BIG deal in our house.  If you wanted to make this a four ingredient recipe I would recommend adding chocolate chips by pressing the chips into the top of the cookie dough before baking.

If peanut allergies are an issue, you could use any nut butter (remember peanuts are legumes NOT nuts).

This recipe makes 16 cookies.  I double or triple it when baking.

You need:
1 cup of granulated sugar (and some extra for rolling)
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the ingredients together. I used my stand mixer but you could do this by hand or with a hand mixer.
Once mixed, scoop out tablespoon sized balls of the cookie dough. I used a food scoop but you can use a measuring spoon.  Roll the dough into a ball then roll the ball in some extra sugar.
Put the sugar coated dough ball onto a cookie sheet.  I like to use parchment paper when I can to keep the cookies off the aluminium.  These cookies will not stick to the cookie sheet when cooked if rolled in the sugar.
Press the dough ball with a fork in a crisscross pattern.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Since there is no flour in this recipe the cookies do not brown.  Also, since there is no leavening (like baking soda or powder) they will not rise or spread.
After cooking, let them cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes then use a spatula to move them to a cooling rack. You need to let them cool completely before storing or they just fall apart.

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.

Shared with:
Snickerdoodle SundayInspiration Monday; Clever Chicks Blog HopAmaze Me Monday; Marvelous Mondays; More the Merrier MondayThis Momma's Meandering Monday; All Things ChristmasTasty Tuesday; Friday Food Frenzy; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways

Baked Hash Browns

As you may recall, we grown our own potatoes.  And when you grow and store a couple hundred pounds of potatoes, you need to eat them.  One of my favorite potato recipes is simple hash browns.
I have made hash browns in a number of different ways and have found baking them in the oven to be the absolutely best way to make them.

You will need:

1 to 1.5 pounds of  potatoes
1/4 cup onion, minced
Small amount of olive oil or cooking spray (see my cooking spray note below)
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 tsp paprika or other seasoning

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Wash, peel and shred the potatoes.  You can use a cheese grater or a mandolin.  You can also use pre-shredded, fresh or frozen, potatoes. However, look at the ingredients on that prepackaged shredded potato sometime.  Yuck! It is only an extra 10 minutes of  your day to shred your own potatoes.  Take the time and do it yourself.
Once shredded, squeeze the potatoes to drain off some of their liquid.  You can use a fine mesh strainer and push the potatoes down against the mesh.  You can also gather up the potato shreds a handful at a time in some paper towels and squeeze.  I like the paper towel method. A clean tea towel also works great and you just toss it in the wash rather than toss it in the trash when you are done.  Either way do it over the sink because there will be a lot of dripping.  The drier the potato the better they will crisp on the outside.  Wet potatoes steam while cooking giving you more of a baked potato texture which is fine but not what we are aiming for here.
In a bowl, mix the potatoes, minced onion, salt (and pepper which my daughter will not eat so I leave it out), and cheese if you are using it.  We love the cheese.  I used cheddar in these pictures.  Gruyere works great too.

I think the best method for cooking is to spread parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Spray the parchment paper with a little oil.  You could also use a basting brush and brush a thin layer of oil on the parchment paper.  The oil helps the potatoes brown nicely.

Here is my cooking spray note.  Don't buy it.  It is a toxic mess.  Instead get a refillable oil spray bottle like my Mr. Mister Oil Sprayer (you can buy it on Amazon).  This little baby is awesome.  Fill it part way with olive oil then pump the top a few times to create pressure.  Take off the top and push down on the nozzle to spray the oil just like a can of Pam without the chemical mess needed to make that Pam can spray.
Scoop about 1/3 cup of the potato mixture onto the parchment paper at a time and form into little potato patties.  The space between the patties helps the potatoes cook faster.  It also makes turning them over to cook both sides easier.
Put the cookie sheet into the oven and cook for about 20 minutes.
After cooking for 20 minutes before being flipped
Flip each hash brown over, return to the oven and cook another 15 minutes or until done.  Your oven may take more or less time.  You want golden brown, but not burned, on both sides.
Remove the hash browns from the parchment paper and either serve right away or put on a rack to cool.
These hash browns freeze great!  Once cool, put a piece of wax paper between the hash browns and store in a ziptop bag in the freezer.  You can warm them up in an oven or on the stove top.  Yes, you can use the microwave too, but try not to when you can avoid it.  The microwave destroys nutrients in the food.  And food should be about both nutrition and enjoyment.

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest.

Most viewed on:

Featured on:
A Sweet FragranceGrab button for Tasty Tuesday at Craft Dictator

Shared with:
Inspiration MondayClever Chicks Blog HopMarvelous MondaysCraft-O-Maniac Monday Link UpThis Momma's Meandering MondayThe ScoopFrom The Farm Blog HopPin It MondayDo Tell TuesdayTuesdays with a Twisthare It Link PartyTasty Tuesday;  Wonderful WednesdayCreate It ThursdayShow Off Your Stuff PartyBlog Strut Owl StyleCraft Frenzy FridayTickled PinkFriday Food Frenzy; Pin It Link PartyShow Off Weekend PartySnickerdoodle Sunday; Let's Get Real Blog HopIn and Out of the Kitchen Link Party
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...