Friday, December 30, 2011

Simon Says Stamp Challenge

This is my first entry to the SSSC.  The challenge is "Anything Goes" goes.
Just a little something to use as a "Do not Disturb" sign for my studio door.  It is made from a recycled brown bag with a handle.  Stamps are by: Stampotique, Tissue tape by Tim Holtz, Tattered Floral die cut flowers by Tim Holtz Alterations, Gesso mixed with acrylic paint for the background, Black Staz-on ink used for stamping images/phrase and a few rhinestones to dress up the Prom Queen's outfit.

Just one word

"Less is More" is having a challenge to create a clean and simple card with just one word highlighted.  The word I chose is "blessing".  I try to count mine every day.  This card is made with few embellishments, just some little flowers from Tim Holtz's collection that I sprayed with glimmer mist to give them a little color.  Oh, and some little golden pearls from Queen and Co.  It is hard for me to restrain myself and not bling it up too much.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

SDC45: A wish for the new year

I love challenges since they force me to be flexible and create things in a different way.  This week Stampotique posted a challenge using only their products and a resolute wish for ourselves in 2012.    This is my submission, a doorhanger, serving as a reminder on my craft room door to create a little art every day.  For this challenge I used the stamps:  "Relaxin'", parts of the words from "Do not disturb the artist" & "Blah, blah, blah" (my personal favorite) is stamped on the flower.  I recycled a brown paper shopping bag with a handle by using gesso, acrylic paints, glimmer mist, Tim Holtz tissue tape and Ideaology flower trimmings.  The phrase saying "Do my art daily" looks more like a threatening ransom note than the gentle reminder that it is.  All of their stamps make me smile.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Alice in Wonderland" CakePop Box

This Alice in Wonderland box is definitely an "Altered Alice".  I used Graphic 45 "Alice" paper that has lots of great colors and seems a little grungy/"goth", which I love the look of.   Then made a bow out of the same paper to put on the top.  Of course it went to California to "Popping Palate" cake pop master, Misty, and she said she loved it!  That's all that matters at the end of the day, right?

More Stampotique Creations

I don't know what it is about the Stampotique line of rubber stamps that speaks to my soul!  The characters all have their own kind of charm.  These are my latest card creations using some of Daniel Torrente's people.

A delicious and easy side dish

I am always trying to get more vegetable dishes into the weekly menu, especially if they are dark leafy green veggies.  Remember the chard cooks way down, so using 2 or even three bunches in not an unreasonable amount.  The anchovies in this recipe are the secret ingredient since Joe HATES anchovies.  I tasted it first to see if the flavor was strong and found instead that there was no "fishy" flavor to it, just a warm, buttery, nutty, aftertaste that you can't quite put your finger on.  (BTW, he loved it!)  It is so delicious with the feta that you could actually use this to put on top of a homemade pizza (Boboli) or make an open faced hot sandwich on a toasted French baguette.  You could even add some beans and sliced ham to this and serve it with some corn bread on the side.  I could keep going on and on but I won't.  Makes a great side dish with any protein.


1 to 3 bunches of Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped
3 Tbl olive oil
1 medium to large onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
2 anchovy fillets
Freshly grated nutmeg or 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste (you may not need the salt because of the anchovies and feta)
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese or crumbled Feta

Thoroughly wash and chop the chard stems and leaves into bite-sized pieces.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and salt the water.  Add the chard stems and leaves, blanche for about 3 to 4 minutes.  Drain well in a colander or sieve in the sink, press out any excess moisture.
In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the anchovies and allow them to melt into the oil.  Add the garlic and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until translucent.  Add the chard, sprinkle with nutmeg and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Top with the cheese and allow it to melt in.  Add salt and pepper.  Serve warm.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bolton Common Appetizer Recipe

Warm Brie with Mango Chutney Appetizer
The Mixing Bowl
By Renee Zarate

Let yourself be surprised by the intense flavor of the savory jam called Chutney combined with the delicate creaminess of brie cheese.  If you are in a pinch for time you can make this appetizer in the microwave in about 3 minutes or if you prefer, bake it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.   Any leftovers can be spread between two tortillas the next day for the ultimate quesadilla.

1 (19.6 oz) President Brie Cheese Round
1 (10.5 oz) jar of Mango Chutney
Carr’s Water Crackers or other assorted crackers

Oven Directions:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Unwrap the cheese round and place it on a small baking sheet or a pie plate.  Carefully remove the rind from the top of the brie with a sharp knife.  Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until softened.  Transfer to your serving plate and top the brie with chutney.  Serve with crackers.

Microwave Directions:
Unwrap the cheese round and place the brie on a microwave safe plate.  Remove the rind from the top of the brie with a sharp knife.  Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until softened.  Transfer to your serving plate and spoon the chutney over the top.  Serve with crackers.

Makes 10-12 servings

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Shimmer, Glimmer, Glitter & Glitz" Cake Pop Box (holds 8 pops)

I've got a new hobby....making cake pop boxes for a very talent baker in California named Misty.  She runs a little business baking her delicious cake pops and from time to time she has special orders that require special containers.  That's where I come in.  The box I designed for her and mailed today is a "Grunge" style box using Stampotique rubber stamps that are comical.  The color scheme is red, black and white.  The customer likes skulls and so those are of course scattered through out.  It was really fun and I think it turned out very cool.  I threw in a gift card that matches the box theme.  Hope she likes it!  I liked it so much I posted it on the Stampotique site for their "Shimmer, Glimmer, Glitter & Glitz" Challenge (it really does have a lot of gold, Glimmer Mist and bling on it even if my photography doesn't show it). : D

Saturday, December 10, 2011


A friend asked me for a cookie recipe today and I wanted to give her my oatmeal raisin chocolate chips w/walnuts cookie recipe but she thought that sounded too healthy.  (That's a good one!)  So my next favorite recipe for cookies is the tried and true Peanut Butter Blossoms.  You know the ones....little peanut butter nougats topped with a big Hershey's Kiss.  They are delicious and so easy.  The recipe is no secret, it is right on the bag of Kisses, with a few modifications.

48 Hershey's Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates, unwrapped
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
3/4 cup of Peanut Butter (cannot be reduced fat)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 Tbl milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1  1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl beat with an electric mixer the shortening, peanut butter, 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup  brown sugar until creamy; beat in the egg, milk and vanilla.  Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat this into the peanut butter mixture.  Place the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, then roll in the sugar to coat.  Place the balls about 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes; make sure all the kisses have been removed from their wrappers.  Remove the cookies from the oven and quickly top each with a kiss, pressing down until the cookie cracks around the edges.  Return the cookies to the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes more; remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Transfer to racks and let cool completely.  Store air tight.


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