Monday, May 30, 2011

Peanut Butter and Banana Drops

1-16-1/2-ounce package refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
Peanut Butter and Banana Drops
1-cup dried banana chips, coarsely crushed

1-cup semisweet chocolate pieces

1/4 cup colored course sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine cookie dough, banana chips, and chocolate pieces. Seal bag; knead mixture with your hands until dough is well mixed. Remove dough from bag.

2. Place sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in sugar to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten balls slightly.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Makes about 40 cookies.

4. To Store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Pretty Patchwork

Stitch 3-inch-square scraps of patterned paper to create this quilt-like card. Leftover ribbon pieces tied to a long strand on the left side give the greeting a happy-go-lucky feel. The layered die-cut sentiment immediately attracts your attention
brown and green thank you card

Free Form Flair

dragonfly card

Stitching by hand is easy if you lightly draw the design first and then punch small holes over the design with your sewing machine needle. The holes serve as a stitching guide

Easy Treat Baskets

snack holders

Cut two 3x9-inch strips of double-sided scrapbook paper in patriotic colors; overlap in a cross shape. Use a glue stick to adhere overlapping centers. Punch holes in the corners of each strip. Fold the sides up and thread ribbon or rickrack through the holes to create the box shape, then tie the ends together in a knot. Fill with lightweight snacks (such as popcorn or chips) that won't slip through the open edges

Serve in Style

Serve in Style

Ditch the food packages and line galvanized pails with napkins to serve picnic staples, such as potato chips or buns

Deli Style

Deli Style

For a fun presentation, preassemble hot dogs or burgers with buns wrapped in waxed paper. Secure the wrap with an American flag toothpick

Roll and Wrap

dishtowel placemat

Make going through the picnic buffet line a breeze with an all-in-one utensil holder and place mat. Fold the long end of a dish towel up until it becomes the size of a place mat. Stitch or hot-glue the outer edges together. Insert utensils into the pocket, roll up, and tie with a separate ribbo

Keep It Clean

Tie the knot

Eating saucy sandwiches and dripping ice cream treats is all part of a great summer picnic. So let your guests enjoy the messy fare by using inexpensive white dish towels as oversize napkins. Roll the towels and fasten with checkered shoelaces for a pop of color

Independence Day Garland

Independence Day Garland

Trace mirror-image pairs of letters, numbers, and stars onto red, white, and blue patterned paper. Cut out the shapes and glue the pairs together with patterned sides facing out. Punch holes in the tops of the shapes and string onto ribbon. Hang the ribbon from a patio umbrella, a porch overhang, or tree branches for a festive decoration

Tiered Paper Candy Stand

1. Place a ruler on the diagonal of the bottom of a dessert plate. Draw 3 3/4-inch lines in the center, on the diagonal, in both directions. Center the top (mouth) of a cup on the endpoints and outline it.

2. Repeat process on the top of the dinner plate.

3. Draw 2 1/4-inch lines in the center of the top and bottom of the luncheon plate. Center the bottom of a cup on the endpoints and outline it.

4. Run a bead of hot glue on the bottom rim of a cup. Affix cup to the bottom of the luncheon plate. Run a bead of hot glue on the top rim of another cup. Affix to the bottom of the dessert plate.

5. Run a bead of hot glue on the top rim of the luncheon plate cup. Turn over and affix to the top of the dinner plate, making sure that the plates are square to each other.

6. Run a bead of hot glue on the bottom of the dessert plate cup. Affix to top of luncheon plate, making sure plate is square to the rest.

7. Fill the tiered treat stand: On bottom tier, place candy in candy cups. Place macarons on middle tier and a big red paper poppy on the top tier.

Transform a outdoor Bucket

Stick-On Stars

Transform a basic enamel bucket into a fun picnic beverage station with adhesive stars.

Waterproofing a Blanket

How To :

1. Cut fabric to the exact dimensions of the blanket, adding 1/2 inch on all sides for hem. Fold edges of backing under 1/2 inch, and place 2-inch-wide twill tape on top; machine-stitch both inside and outside edges of tape around entire perimeter, mitering tape at corners.

2. With a hammer or mallet, fix snaps along edges of the backing and the blanket (snap kits with instructions are available at sewing stores): Center a snap in the twill tape at each corner, then attach snaps at intervals of 10 to 12 inches around the whole border. Attach the "male" half of snaps to the backing first; then mark the placement of the "female" half of snaps carefully on blanket for a good fit, and attach snaps. The backing may be detached when it is not needed.

Make your Fresh Flowers Last Longer

Cut flowers need a little maintenance now and then to survive. To keep an arrangement fresh and attractive, you should first clean your vase to eliminate harmful bacteria. Scrub it with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water; rinse. After you've set the bouquet in the vase, if the water gets cloudy, remove the blooms, scrub the vase again, and replace the flowers

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I hope everyone has a great weekend with terrific weather(we can only hope), I have posted a main course, side and dessert for your Memorial Day gathering. Hope you enjoy !!!

Slow Cooker Zesty Pinto Beans

Slow Cooker Zesty Pinto Beans1 (16oz.) pkg. (3 1/4 cups) dried pinto beans, sorted, rinsed

2 cups water

1 cup chopped onions (2 medium)

1/2 cup finely chopped cooked ham

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (14 1/2-oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

1 In large saucepan, combine beans and 10 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender but still firm, stirring occasionally.

2 Drain beans, discarding water. Place beans in 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker. Add 2 cups water and all remaining ingredients except tomatoes; mix well.

3 Cover; cook on low setting for 8 hours.

4 Add tomatoes; mix well. Cover; cook an additional 1 to 2 hours or until beans are tender

Brownie Goody Bars

1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 9-inch square pan with cooking spray or shortening. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.)

Brownie Goody Bars
2 Make and bake brownies as directed on box. Cool completely.

3 Frost brownies with frosting. Sprinkle with peanuts; refrigerate while making cereal mixture.

4 Measure cereal into medium bowl; set aside. In 1-quart saucepan, melt peanut butter and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly. Pour over cereal in bowl, stirring until evenly coated. Spread over frosted brownies. Refrigerate 1 hour or until set before cutting. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Store tightly covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photo Pillow

Red and blue felt pillow with photo squares.

Combine sewing and scrapping skills to create this 14 inch square photo-embellished pillow. You can decorate a purchased pillow cover or make your own. Here are the embellishment steps:

1. Print 3x3" photos on iron-on ink-jet fabric sheets, cut them out, and iron them on a 12x9" felt sheet.

2. Hand-stitch around the photo edges with floss.

3. Punch holes in felt and fabric strips and attach the strips to the edges of the felt sheet with brads.

4. Hand-stitch or glue (with fabric glue) the embellished felt sheet to a pillow cover.

5. Adhere felt die cuts to the pillow cover with fabric glue.

6. Finish by stuffing the pillow cover with fiberfill or a purchased pillow form and, if necessary, stitching the cover close

Marshmallow Truffles

What You Need1 tub (7 oz.) BAKER'S Dark Semi-Sweet Dipping Chocolate

20 JET-PUFFED Marshmallows

1/4 cup multi-colored sprinkles

Make It

MICROWAVE chocolate as directed on package.

DIP marshmallows, 1 at a time, in chocolate, turning to evenly coat each marshmallow. Gently shake off excess chocolate.

PLACE in single layer on sheet of waxed paper; top with sprinkles Refrigerate 20 min. or until chocolate is firm.

Slip Proof Steps

Safeguard against hazardous slips and falls on the porch steps with several stripes of homemade sand paint. It's simple to prepare and just as easy to apply.

1. Purchase a bag of fine sand at a crafts or hardware store.

2. Paint stairs completely with a coat of plain paint, then let dry. Next outline the stripes with painter's tape.

3. In a bucket, mix 2 cups paint with 3/4-cup sand. Paint stripes with sand paint, keeping paint well stirred as you work.

4. Let sand paint dry completely before removing the tape. Finish with another coat of plain paint

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tiramisu Dessert

1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

2/3 cup confectioners' sugar

1-1/2 cups reduced-fat whipped topping, divided

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3 egg whites

1/4 cup water

2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers, split

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

1/2 teaspoon baking cocoa


In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping; set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, egg whites and water in a small heavy saucepan over low heat. With a hand mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating on low over low heat until mixture reaches 160°, about 8-10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Fold into cream cheese mixture.

Arrange half of ladyfingers in an ungreased 11-in. x 7-in. dish. Combine the boiling water, coffee liqueur, coffee granules and remaining sugar; brush half of mixture over ladyfingers. Top with half of cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Spread remaining whipped topping over the top; sprinkle with cocoa. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
Sensational Tiramisu Recipe

Flatware Storage for the table

Corral patriotic flatware and napkins into red-white-and-blue baskets to keep the tableware organized and standing at attention
Basket Case

Posh Picnic Basket

Upgrade your picnic basket with a stylish no-sew fabric liner. Drape Independence Day-inspired fabric inside your basket with right side down, fitting to size. Fold the fabric over the edges of the basket, smoothing as you go. With tailor's chalk, mark the fabric at the point where it hangs down three inches over the outside edge. Remove fabric from the basket and cut along chalk line. Hem with iron-on tape, then place fabric in the basket right side up. Tie ribbon around the basket handles for added color
Posh Picnic Basket

Picnic Ideas

Turn plain drinking glasses into patriotic ones -- temporarily -- for the holiday. Using pinking shears, cut bands of red-and-white plaid oilcloth to fit around the glasses. Sew or glue a white oilcloth rectangle to the center of the band, then adhere the ends of the band together so it fit around a glass. (The band should easily slip over the narrower bottom of a glass and slide upward until it stays snugly in place.) Provide permanent markers for guests to write their na
Temporary Labels
mes on the rectangles so they'll know exactly which glass is theirs

Hot Bacon Macaroni

Hot Bacon Macaroni Salad Recipe

1 package (7 ounces) elbow macaroni

1/4 pound sliced bacon, diced

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms

1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2/3 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup sliced radishes

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


Cook macaroni according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms in drippings until tender; remove with a slotted spoon. Add the sugar, flour, salt and pepper to the skillet; gradually stir in vinegar until smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Drain macaroni. In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, onion and celery. Drizzle with vinegar mixture. Add mushrooms and bacon; toss to coat. Garnish with radishes and parsley. Yield: 6 servings.

Sausage Shrimp Kabobs

Sausage Shrimp Kabobs Recipe


1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks

4 bacon strips

8 large fresh mushrooms

8 uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

8 large cherry tomatoes

8 ounces smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 large sweet onion, cut into 8 wedges

1 large green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/3 cup corn syrup

1/4 cup ketchup

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon dried coriander


Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Cut bacon strips in half; wrap each around a mushroom. On metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread the shrimp, pineapple chunks, tomatoes, sausage, bacon-wrapped mushrooms, onion and green pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the barbecue sauce, corn syrup, ketchup, soy sauce, lime juice, maple flavoring, seasonings and reserved pineapple juice. Set aside 2/3 cup for serving.

Grill kabobs, covered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or vegetables are tender and shrimp turn pink, turning and basting occasionally with remaining sauce. Serve with reserved sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Salad Starter

This planter isn't just an attractive addition to the patio. The plants are ready to be picked and tossed into the salad bowl,making it the perfect gift.If the planter doesn't have drainage holes, place 1 1/2 to 2 inches of mini pine bark chips in the bottom;fill with soilless potting mix. Overplant with seedlings of seasonal crops,this one has kale,spinach, and a mesclun mix, as well as cilantro and chervil. It should be kept outdoors in a sunny spot,watered when dry,and fed with plant food according to minimum recommendations on package. Pick leaves gradually, in four to six weeks, the supply will be depleted,,but the planter can be refilled.

Bird Nesting Bag

Send out a cordial invitation to wildlife, and you won't have to travel far to discover the joys of the natural world. This idea is from Nicole Blum  from Massachusetts did with this hanging gift for the birds

Materials- onion bag/nesting materials such as raffia,nonmetallic ribbon,small sticks, and pet hair

How to

Fill an onion bag with nesting materials and hang from tree, then eagerly watch for the birds to begin construction

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick Nature Crafts

 Cork Wrapped Candles - Cut strips of cork not quite long enough to wrap around votive candle holders. Punch holes along the ends of the cork strips. Wrap the strips around the votive holders and lace golden elastic string through the holes shoestring style.
Scented Herb Party Favor- Wrap pots of herbs in pieces of burlap and tie with satin ribbons to marry rustic with elegance,Give to your party guests as a parting gift.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Bills" Birthday

 This is how we celebrated Bill's birthday. A delicious lunch and a marshmallow roast at night.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Giveaway "

   Ladies, listen up !!! There is a beautiful giveaway on  you need to check this out . Check out the sidebar for link. There are also ways to win extra chances . " Isabella" is beautiful I have seen that one in person and it is gorgeous.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Banana Cream Pie In A Bowl

You will need

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup firm butter
1/2 cup peanuts
1 box instant banana pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
3 ripe bananas sliced
1 container whipped topping

How to

Heat oven to 400 In bowl mix flour and brown sugar, Cut in butter using a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in peanuts. Press evenly on bottom of ungreased 9 inch square pan. Bake about 15 minutes or until brown. Stir to break up Cool completely.

In large bowl, make pudding using 2 cups milk. In a 2 quart serving bowl,layer half of the crumb mixture,pudding,bananas and whipped topping;repeat layers. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Twig Plant Markers

We'd be lost in a spring garden without plant markers.

Gather small branches,about 1/4to 1/2 around,in an easily worked but sturdy wood,such as maple.

With a vegetable peeler,strip a couple of inches of bark at one end,making a flat surface,and use permanent marker to record the name


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