Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Homemade Allspice

I have a freezer recipe that calls for allspice and, I keep forgetting to pick up allspice when I go to town for my shopping.  Well, in a pinch, I decided to do a search for how to make my own allspice and found not the greatest information, but found a pretty simple version that has worked for me.  

The ingredients in allspice are:
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Ground Cloves

Here's the recipe...Wait for it!  It's equal parts of those three ingredients mixed up.  So in this case, I used 1 teaspoon of each to make it, but you could use 1 tablespoon to make it up to store.  My recipe conveniently calls for 3 teaspoons, so using a teaspoon of each really works for me.
I know this isn't the most stellar tutorial or recipe, but after spending a half hour trying to figure this out, I just thought I would put it out there for you!  Hope this helps and saves money in the future.  You can buy the ingredients separately cheaper than buying the mixed spice in the store. (And I've found it hard to find allspice on the shelf of the stores, locally.)

Check out those blogs I love to link up to in the right column of my blog!

Monday, June 25, 2012

He's Off!

I finally got my oldest baby off to Japan!  It seems impossible that he is old enough or rather, that I am old enough to have a child that is travelling the world!

Whew!  It sure was chaotic getting him off.  We made all kinds of gifts to send with him, including these Bottle Cap Magnets.  I haven't heard yet if his hosts have enjoyed them, but really I'm just thankful he's there safe and sound and having a great time!

While he was still here, I was sending off cards to him in the mail, so they would arrive the first week.  I didn't want him to miss his Mommy, you know! lol.  (I know, it was really for my benefit, not his, but hey, I'm just doing my best here!)  To sneak off his card, I made cards for his host families to thank them for opening their homes to my son.

 Here's a picture of the two cards for the families.  My son's was similar, but I was afraid he would see the picture before he left.  (He was on to me anyway, so I guess I could have taken the chance.)
I have to say that I love these cards.   Although it is fun to go to elaborate card making classes with another direct sales company, I love the fact that most of the components of these cards are already pre-cut Just Because Card Set.  All I did was used the already cut parts and the new Stamping System to stamp the cute little bird with the Hello and stick them together with some Tape Runner.  Then I added a personal note inside (and attempted some Japanese translating.).  Easy Peasy!

I love how some of the cards are cut to make them interesting.

And of course, who can resist a wonderful pretty envelope to go with it?  I think that Creative Memories went all out to really make this set wonderful!  You'll want to get your Stamping System and Just Because Card Sets now, while supplies last.  

I am an Independent Creative Memories Consultant, so please consider supporting my household by visiting my website and ordering from me HERE.  

Also, make sure to check out all those great blogs that I link up to in the right column.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bottle Cap Magnets

Some of the Makers that I used
All lined up and ready to add the Dimensional Magic!

I'm sorry that I have been absent here so much lately.  I really had the intention of getting more up here, but I have been spending so much time getting my son ready for an exchange trip to Japan.  Now that he's off, I can share some of the projects that we made before he left.
He had to bring 40 small trinkets or such for an International Bazaar at a camp he was attending.  The kids pay up to $1 for items and the money goes to charity.  Apparently, the American items are popular, so we had to send 40.  We made bottle cap magnets and pins, using the Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.  Also needed for this project were:
  1. Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
  2. Bottle Caps (can get them at the craft store or online)
  3. Scraps, buttons and beads for inside the bottle caps
  4. Magnets or pin backs
  5. Various Makers
  6. E 6000 or equivalent glue

I cut 1 inch circles from my scrap stash of paper.  (I have a hard time throwing anything away, so I have a lot  this!)  We just lined them up in the bottle caps, then cut out small paper shapes or added a bead or button or two.   Then we added the Dimensional Magic to all the bottle  caps.  Finally, when it has dried for 24 hours, we used E6000 to glue magnets and pins to the backs.

 One thing we did learn, is to make sure to get all the bubbles out of the Dimensional Magic right away, or they actually stay there.  They look really professional when they are done!  I think the kids will enjoy them.  We used so many different combinations, for girls and boys.

Please let me know what you think and be sure to check out those blogs I love to link up to in the right column.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Enjoy Free Bounty

Do you enjoy free food when you find it?  When friends offer free food do you take it?  How about going out an looking, hunting or fishing for free food in the "wild"?  Well, we've always taken whatever has been given for us for food, but I have to say that this week's gift of found food has to top the list for us!  We were given fresh morel mushrooms!    What a gift and blessing, for sure!
Setting aside Mr. Right's want to just fry them in butter and eating them, I decided to look for a new recipe to spread out the enjoyment a little more.  My son let me know that he had some onion scapes read to harvest, too, so I was excited to find a recipe that called for chives, so I substituted the onion scapes instead, making another free bounty for our meal.
Here's what the scapes look like, garlic scapes taste even better than these, but they don't even have as strong of a taste as chives do.  Cutting the flower off the onion before it blooms encourages the plant to focus on the onion, so this actually helps the plant!
 The recipe that I adapted for this recipe can be found here at  Instead of the asparagus in this recipe, I used large, fresh button mushrooms that were on sale (cheaper than the asparagus this week!).  To clean morels, soak them in lightly salted water for 2 hours.  Rinse and use as directed.

Morels & Buttons with Fettuccine

  • 1/2 lb. Button Mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 lb. morel mushrooms, stems trimmed, cleaned and cut in half lengthwise
  •  2 C. heavy cream (I used half and half, with heavy cream)
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 lb. fettuccine pasta
  • 1/2 c. fresh chopped onion scapes or chives
  • 3 tbsp. fresh grated parmigiana or Romano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet over high heat, add butter and scapes or chives, heating until it just begins to brown. 

Meanwhile, start water boiling to cook the pasta.  Add pasta and cook to al dente.  Transfer to  a strainer and rinse with warm water.  Set aside until mushroom sauce is ready.

 Mix in flour and add morels and buttons.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. 

 Add cream, cooking until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Add lemon juice and zest.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer pasta to the sauce in pan and let it warm up briefly if needed.

 Sprinkle with fresh parmigiana cheese to serve.
Mr. Right is not crazy about eating meatless meals, but he even commented that this tasted so good, he'd go without the mushrooms!  I know it's a basic sauce, but his opinion was that it tasted  like a stroganoff and was so good, he didn't miss the meat in it!  Trust me, that's a huge compliment!

Hope you enjoy!  I just wanted to share how we try to Enjoy the Free Bounty during morel season - thanks so much to our good friends!  Check out those blogs I love to link up to.