Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine Topiary

I saw this idea to make a rose topiary out of crepe paper/streamers.  It is SO cheap, but I don't think it looks cheap.  I have always loved roses bunched together.  My wedding flowers were just like this, but in soft pink and cream colors. Sorry....rabbit trail, but hey it is the season of LOVE after-all!

To make these balls you will need:

Streamers (cheap at the Dollar Store or Hobby Lobby has the huge rolls for .99)
Hot glue gun
Some sort of ball object (those crafty styrofoam ones would be great).
*It just occurred to me that if you really wanted to do this cheap, you could wad up a bunch of newspaper into a ball shape and put some masking tape around it.  Nobody will be able to see the ball in the end.

Miss O was my helper and we learned about measuring.  She measured two feet of crepe paper into strips for me.  Then the fun part, you get to crumble them up to give them a softer look.
Then lay the strips out flat.  Fold over the top portion a third of the way down like this:
 Starting at one end roll a few times
 Continue to roll it, but start twisting your crepe paper to make it more "bushy" for lack of a better term
 I added a dab of glue at the end of it to "hold" it together.  The end product will look like this:
 Glue the rose to your ball
Once you are all done, and yes this is time consuming...that is a LOT of roses to  wrap, but so pretty in the end!  This would be a good project to do while watching TV or listening to your kids read to you.
You could add ribbon and hang them or make a bunch (different sizes and colors) and put them in a basket or tray...the possibilities are endless!

This is the first of our Valentines craftiness.  More to come will include Valentine's frames, suckers, and a felt banner.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bon Appetit

I'd like to give a shout-out to my brother and sister-in-law for an awesome Christmas present that came in the mail today...a subscription to the magazine Bon Appetit!  It has some amazing recipes.  Definitely going to stretch me "out of my box".  I was browsing through it today (bad thing to do on an empty stomach), and found a recipe that sounded amazing and I had all the ingredients on hand.  This is a miracle in itself seeing as I desperately need to go grocery shopping. 

Honey-Marinated Pork
There was also a gremolata garnish that went with this; however, with our frozen tundra I do not have all the herbs that it required...will definitely try it someday though.  I am going to go out on a limb right now and let you know that I did not know what gremolata first thought a cheese? an olive? what in the world?  Thank goodness for google! ;) 
Back to pork.  Here is the recipe:

3 lb pork tenderloin
1/3 c honey
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS orange juice
1 tsp sea salt/ 1/2 tsp pepper
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 c dry white wine (I just used cooking wine)

Place pork in a 11x7x2 glass baking dish.  Whisk honey, garlic, and orange juice in small bowl.  Pour over pork; turn to coat.  Sprinkle pork with 1 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hrs. Great make-ahead meal!  Can marinate up to a day. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat oil in large skillet (I used a cast iron so it transferred right from the stove top to the oven to finish cooking).  Add pork to skillet.  Reserve the juices that it was marinating in.  Brown pork on all sides, turning often.  Transfer to oven; cook until done (150 on the inside).  It took me about 25-30 min.  Transfer to cutting board; let rest 5 min.
In the same skillet, pour the reserved marinade and add wine.  Boil gently until reduced to 1/2 C (3-4 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper.  Slice pork and pour sauce over it - Enjoy!!
  The green bean recipe can be found by clicking here

Monday, January 17, 2011


The girls wanted to have a tea party this afternoon.  They got out the candles, the tea cups, and the vase.  They asked if we had any flowers *sigh* I did not.  I have had a thing for fresh flowers lately and will occasionally treat myself to a bouquet if they are on sale.  A few minutes later I hear a loud "Never mind Mom! We got flowers!!" coming from upstairs.  Seriously?  You have a secret garden upstairs that you aren't filling me in on?  It just so happens we our bathroom where I keep our hair "pretties".  LOL  It just so happens that these fabulous hair clips can double as a flower bouquet for your next event.   The girls clipped them to the side of the vase and voila...
You can order them from this fabulous company called Posh Perfect.  The gal that does them has great attention to detail and will do custom orders.  The prices are also great!
Here is a picture of my girls and my sister's girls, they are sporting their Posh Perfect hair clips.
 And at Christmas...


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Random Messages

In our house, ever since our oldest daughter could write a sentence, you never know what note you may find.  Sometimes it surprises me, sometimes it melts my heart, every time it makes me smile or laugh.  Here is a note from Bunny (C's friend from toddlerhood) I found on my washing machine:

It reads: Can you please wash me. C wants you to Please!                 
And this week I went to use the
bathroom and was greeted by a lovely sign and soap options.  Me oh my, did I feel pampered. :)
It reads: Choose any one or choose both, that means mix.  I love the "fine print" at the case you didn't know that if you did in fact choose both that would mean you were getting a mix! lol  She is too much! 

I also got a VERY sweet note this past Saturday night...C and her sister had gotten into trouble for being rowdy and sent to bed early.  The note I found on my bed said: To: Mom, From: C I will give you a quiet day tomorrow, I promis."  That would be one of those heart melting ones I mentioned earlier. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Twist on Pizza...

This is a recipe I acquired at a Pampered Chef party when we were first married.  It was probably the first semi-complex thing I made.  I hope this does not scare anyone from making this because it really isn't that difficult and the taste is worth every ounce of effort!  The recipe came with step by step pictures/instructions and I was grateful!  I love a visual, in fact, I rarely will make a new recipe if I cannot see what the end product is supposed to look like.  I think this is why I love those home cooking shows (which I never seem to find time to watch) and I love cookbooks with pictures. 
So if you are in a pizza mood (it seems I always am) this is very yummy!

Pizza Twist 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1 pkg pepperoni (3.5oz), diced
1 can (3.25 oz) pitted olives, drained & chopped
1 TBS dried parsley (2 TBS fresh)
1 clove garlic
3/4 C mozzarella cheese
2 TBS flour
2 tubes of refrigerated french bread dough
1 egg white
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Parmesan or Romano Cheese
Pizza sauce (for dipping)
*Mix the first six ingredients together:

The flour really helps the pepperoni to not stick may need to separate them with your fingers.
Next you need to unroll your french bread onto a lightly floured surface:

      Cut a 1/2-1 inch slit down the middle of each roll then spread open and dust the inside with flour and add pepperoni mixture.
 Next pinch sides together:
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and put both rolls on the pan ends together:
                  Take one roll and cross over the other, repeating back and forth like a twist ;)

Take your egg white and Italian seasoning  and mix together:
Isn't that little mini-whisk adorable?  I am pretty sure this came in one of my daughter's cooking sets, but I sure have used it a lot lately.  Its the perfect size for small seasoning mix-ups!

Spread the egg white mixture over the entire pizza twist.  You can use a pastry brush or your hands.  Before you put it in the oven you will want to make a few slits in the top and sprinkle with cheese:
Bake for 30 minutes and when you are done: