Friday, December 19, 2008

Fantasy Fudge

Back in the day the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar had a recipe for Fantasy Fudge on the back of the jar. A few years ago Kraft changed the recipe and there has been an outcry for the original ever since. Of course the original recipe is on the Internet and can be seen here. This is the fudge I make every Christmas, usually two batches, one with nuts and one without. I decided to start with the nut fudge this morning. Its a good thing I have my bar stool type sitting apparatus since standing to stir this was just not going to happen.

First the sugar, evaporated milk and butter/margarine are mixed.

Over medium heat, stirring constantly the mixture is brought to a rolling boil for four minutes, still stirring constantly.

After four minutes remove the pan from the heat and add the marshmallow creme and chocolate chips.

Next add the nuts (if you want them) and vanilla.

The fudge is them poured into a pan. The recipe says to use a 9 inch square pan but I have always used a 9x13. I also grease the pan rather than lining it with foil. For this step I had to have Mike come and assist since I have apparently lost the ability to hold up a pan and get the contents out, not that he minded since one of his roles is official taster and he got to walk away with the spoon afterwards (his other role is dishwasher, thank goodness). Here is the fudge in the pan cooling.

Later this evening or tomorrow I will make a pan of plain fudge.

Marble Bark

I found this recipe in a magazine many years ago, cut it out and make it just about every year. It is very simple and only has three ingredients 6oz of white chocolate, 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate and 1 cup of coconut.

To start the coconut gets toasted in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. The coconut needs to be stirred around every minute or two to keep it from burning. It should turn to a golden brown color.

The chocolate is then melted in the microwave. This year I used chocolate chips but you can also use the squares of baking chocolate.

When the chocolate starts melting you need to do a lot of stirring and make sure not to burn the chocolates.

Next divide the coconut putting half in the white chocolate and half in the semi-sweet chocolate.

On a wax paper lined cookie sheet spread out one of the chocolates in a sort of random pattern.

Then fill in the spaces with the other chocolate, I try to smooth or flatten it out as I go.

To marble the candy run a knife through in each direction.

I then put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator over night to let it solidify, this morning I broke the bark up into bite size pieces and put it back in the refrigerator till I am ready to wrap it up to give out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sugared Cranberries

Since I finished my last pre-Christmas sewing this morning its now time to turn towards holiday baking. We will see how much I actually have the energy to finish. Normally I make quiet a bit of holiday treats but I cut the list way back this year. However I did find a few new recipes to try out, this is one of them. It is from Cooking Light December 2003.

First I sorted and cleaned the fresh cranberries.

Next the sugar and water are heated into a syrup.

And brought to a simmer, if it gets too hot the berries will pop.

The berries are added to the syrup and they sit in the refrigerator over night. Next you roll the berries in superfine sugar, if you don't have superfine sugar you can just toss the sugar in a food processor for a minute.

Mix the sugar and berries in a shallow dish and them put on a cookie sheet to dry.

The berries have to dry for an hour then can be sealed up and stored. I have not tried them yet but they look like they would be yummy and they are very pretty.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big Blanket

My Mom recently found a bunch of fabric squares and gave them to me. I decided to try and make a blanket out of them, a large blanket that would go over the bed or might work for something to take to the beach that the three of us could fit comfortably on. I have been slowly working on sewing the squares together for the top off and on for awhile. Since I am now on maternity leave I figured I should get the blanket finished up before our little girl arrives. Here is a look at the top of the quilt.

And here is it folded over so you can see the back.

The color for the back is based on the fabric I had here at home that was a large enough piece to cover the back. Its not the prettiest quilt but it came out good. The one thing I had not anticipated was my frustration with trying to get it put together with my limited mobility, at this point I am just glad its finished. In this not so great picture you can get an idea of the size.

I have been working on a few other small items, but they are for Christmas so of course I cant show them plus I think I forgot to take pictures before wrapping them up.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mini Christmas tree

I knew I wasn't going to be able to do my normal Christmas decorating this year due to our impending arrival. I have been thinking about what to do and on a trip to Target today I came up with this. Its a live tree (which hopefully I wont kill) with just some lights and glass ornaments. It helps make the apartment a little festive!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

Things have been quiet around here lately since we have been getting ready for the little ones arrival. However I decided to make a pumpkin pie yesterday with a real homemade pie crust. I tried this recipe. It made three crusts which you freeze, I still have two in the freezer. The crust was fairly simple and came out pretty good, better than the rolled up store bought ones. I will definitely use the other two crusts at some point, I like the idea of having them ready to go in the freezer. As for the pie... enjoy the picture because the pie is already gone!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pacifier Clip

When looking around at patterns online for the hair bows I found one for a pacifier clip. I had been looking in the stores for some but have not seen any so this seemed like a great idea. I wanted to use the same green ladybug ribbon and just needed to get the rest of the supplies.

The clips were hard to find, I ended up ordering them from a store in Montana. They lock closed which I guess makes sense.

I cut a 15" length of ribbon, and threaded it through the clip. I then folded it to sew it.

This is a slightly blurry shot of it after I hand sewed it.

The directions said to use velcro but then also suggested snaps. After searching all week for a store with snaps in stock I found some yesterday and used them.

And finally the finished product.

Finished Blanket

This week I finished another blanket. This is one my Mom started by making the top, then I finished it up. Its pretty much the same as most of the other blankets but has the squares on the sides.

Don't mind the blue lines, I drew them in to help me sew straight lines, the came out when I washed it today.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ladybug Baby Shower

This last Saturday was my baby shower with a ladybug theme.

This is one of the two cakes my Mom made.

There was lots of yummy food. My mom also made the tablecloths.

I got to meet baby Brooke, she is just about two months old and totally adorable.

There were lots of people there.

We played several games including the one where everyone tries to guess how big I am around.

And the game where different types of chocolate are melted in diapers and everyone has to try and guess what type of candy it is.

And of course there were lots of presents (you can see how swollen my ankles were getting!)

There were cute favors that matched the ladybug theme handed out.

Overall it was a fun party and thank you to the planners (all four of them) and to everyone who came!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bibs getting finished

I have been trying to get some projects done that have been sitting around for awhile (you could say the two month countdown is getting started). One of those things was a stack of bibs that my Mom and I worked on that just needed snaps to be completed. This morning I took out my trusty snap thingy and went to work.

I was able to finish these and get them put in with the baby stuff.

I still have eight more to do, but ran out of snap pieces, so they will have to wait until I get back to the craft store.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ladybug Hair Ribbons

Ladybugs! That is the theme I selected for my upcoming baby shower. Turns out its a little more challenging to find ladybug stuff in the fall but that is ok. One thing my Mom wanted was some hair bows for my cousins daughters. She got the supplies and turned it over to me to see what I could make.

The ribbon was an adorable green with pink ladybugs. There are also two sized of hair clips.

Now I thought starting off that I would just need this things and some glue. However I ended up pulling out wire and the hot glue gun. Eventually I was able to make a bow with 24 gauge wire that I was pretty satisfied with.

Next I decided I needed to cover the hair clip since the bow would not cover the whole thing. I used hot glue for this.

The next step was to attach the bows to the covered hair clips, again it was all about the hot glue gun.

I knew that the bows still needed something more so I dug into my beads and found some that added a little something to the bows giving us the finished product.