Monday, February 28, 2011
While I was trying to stay warm on a mountain in Michigan during a recent vacation, lots of beans were cooking up over the man-made stove one crew brought along. Over and over, people kept saying how amazing the beans were. So, I fulfilled my blog duties and grabbed the recipe, which is adapted from one found by the cook online. People raved.
BIG BAD BEANS
1.5 pds lean ground beaf (ground round/sirloin)
1 large onion, diced
2 large cans of baked beans with pork
1 large can of Northern beans
1 bottle of a rich and sassy BBQ sauce
1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp of brown mustard or horseradish
1 cup of biscuit baking mix
1 cup of milk
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Crumble and brown your beef over medium heat. Add your onion and pepper. Stir. Once the beef is browned and the onions are soft, drain the grease. Mike transferred the ingredients to a cast iron pan, but a standard casserole dish will do. Then, add your baked and northern beans, BBQ and worcestershire sauces and the brown mustard.
Separately, mix the baking mix, milk, and egg. Pour that mixture over the beef and beans. Bake your dish for 40-45 minutes, until the biscuit mix turns a nice looking brown. Sprinkle with cheese while your beans are still hot, and let it melt. Serve.
The amount of kick and spice depends on the type of BBQ you use. If you use mild...it will be more mild. If you use spicy hot....you'll be on fire. Big bad beans are good for a big party on a cold winter day.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Mod Podge Rocks. The topic of my blog is my craftastic disorder - an obsession with Mod Podge. I consider it to be completely healthy, because it allows me to be featured on wonderful blogs such as this one. It's my pleasure to be here! It's actually going to be a regular occurance for 2011, so I hope you'll get used to me. I like the color blue and sock monkeys, pumpkin bread and road trips. I also like chunky bracelets, hence the project you see above. I typically only wear silver hoop earrings, but I've expanded into some additional fun jewelry as this spring approaches. Come join me on the wild bracelet ride. Here's how to make these.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Marketing by day, Mod Podge Mistress by night! I can't tell you how over the moon I am to introduce you to our new monthly guest blogger! Mod Podge Amy is the creative mind behind Mod Podge Rocks! She likes to wear stripes and/or bright colors every day because it makes her happy! When I went to her blog I was immediately happy. She exudes excitement and energy!
She says "I love the color blue, dogs, reading, cold weather, funny movies, road rallies, yogurt, garden gnomes, sock monkeys, running, tattoos, being outdoors, buttons, snuggling and apparently blogging." You have to check out her blog- her Mod Podge projects are second to none- and if you have a project she accepts submissions to be featured!
Amy moved from rain loving Seattle to Hot-lanta! That's Atlanta Georgia if I got to cheeky for you!hehe. She's been knitting for 18 years, sewing for longer and decoupaging for just a few- but I guarantee you she is THE expert in the world of Mod Podge.
Amy is joining our little Crafty Life and Style family as a monthly guest blogger for a YEAR!!!!! She will be offering some amazing crafts AND giveaways. I'm so excited!! This is really a dream come true for me! Can you tell? Please give a warm welcome to Mod Podge Amy!! She has an awesome D.I.Y. coming TOMORROW!
Monday, February 21, 2011
1 lb of Sweet Cream Butter
½ Lb of Shorting (Crisco not butter flavored)
2 Lb of Powdered Sugar (10X)
5oz of Egg Whites (5 large eggs)
1 Tbsp of Vanilla (not imitation)
Mix Butter and Shorting together until light and fluffy. Slowly add egg whites until incorporated and mixture looks dry.
Add powdered sugar slowly and at a slow speed on the mixer (unless you want powered sugar on your ceiling, this is the voice of experience talking)
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
The most popular spot at each makeshift viewing station is generally the heat source/cooking device. In this case, one crew had used a barrel to handcraft a stove, with a two-tier cooking rack on top.
Yes, it actually made the food boiling hot. The food in Michigan generally involves lots of bratwurst, chili, and venison. The male maker of this fireplace stove welded on feet, a door, and even a ventilation tube in the back.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Being from Texas we always had fried bananas, I married a girl that spent a lot of time in South Florida. There are a lot of Caribbean influences in that part of the country so I was introduced to Fried Plantains. I will admit I prefer the sweet ones but the savory ones are pretty good too!! The key to this recipe is making sure that the Plantains are ripe, and when I say ripe I mean black and pretty soft. If the market has them and they are green put them in a brown bag and put on top of the fridge for about 1 week. DO NOT FREEZE THEM!!
3 Ripe Plantains
2 cups of Canola Oil
1/2 cup of salt (for savory)
1 cup of sugar and a couple pinches of cinnamon (for sweet)
Heat oil to 350 degrees.
Peel and cut plantains on a bias (angle) soak in water with a little lemon juice to prevent browning.
Remove Plantains from water and pat dry (do not put into oil wet, I do not think I need to explain why!!!)
Place plantains a couple at a time and cook until golden brown on one side then flip them over to brown the other side (be careful, oil might splash).
Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to drain.
While they are still hot sprinkle with salt, or toss in cinnamon sugar. (The key is while they are hot. This will allow the salt or sugar to stick).
Serve warm or at room temperature. With your favorite Caribbean Dish. Some of those recipes will follow in the coming weeks.
Salute and be well
C'est Magnifique French Toast ...start the day off with a special yummy breakfast.
40 Wonderful Reasons ...you can still do this one today and it is very personal.
Book of Love ...this one takes a lot of work and time, but you might be able to adapt it.
Crafty Coasters ...print pictures from special moments together and make something useful.
Wrapping Paper Alternatives ...even if your present isn't homemade, you can wrap it special.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I wanted to share with you one of the very first pieces of advice I was ever given when taking pictures. My father and grandfather were both photography hobbyist, and the reason my love affair with photography began. My father first placed a professional camera in my hands at the age of 16. I remember holding the old piece of equipment, and taking in its leather smell. I was so excited to try it out, I think I went through an entire roll of film in about 20 minutes!
Tip: The closer you are to your focal point, the lower/wider you want your
aperture setting to be. For example mine was set to f/2.2, this is how I was
able to keep her face sharp, and the palm branches soft. You will also want
to make sure to toggle your focus points in your lens when using wide apertures,
especially on people. The focus point in my lens was directly over her eyes.
Once teaching me a few technical things about its operation, my Dad gave me a great piece of advice that I have now applied to every aspect of photography. While we were out shooting for the first time I had practically tripped down a hill when trying to avoid some brush that was getting in the way of the shot I wanted. My Dad told me that instead of avoiding the brush, to use it. Frame the shot he said! So I tried it. I outlined the shape of the base of the tree I was trying to photograph with the brush. After getting the photos back I flipped through them and one picture in particular caught my eye. Yup, you guessed it, the one where I had framed the tree with the brush. It had so much more visual interest than any of the other pictures I took. So, long story short? I started using that technique in nature photography and now I apply it to every aspect of photography I do. So the next time you’re out and about taking pictures try using some of nature’s natural elements and FRAME THE SHOT! You might just love the results!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
One of my favorite embellishments to add is a homemade tree. They add texture to your page and look pretty darn impressive.
The trick for the bark is the paper. You can generally find this type of paper in Michaels or other major craft stores that carry paper varieties. You might end up paying $1-2 a sheet, but you can cut it up for many uses....animal skin, trees, or picture borders.
It comes in different shades. In addition to blue and other bright colors, there is a leathery looking brown and a bronze brown.
It isn't a flat paper, but rather a crinkled, folded, hard paper with spots of darker and lighter brown mixed in.
Trace you tree trunk with several limbs shooting out and adhere it to your background paper.
Next, add your leaves. I didn't make them. I bought these leaves. They are paper, but they have a fabric feel. Find your own version in the craft store. The fabric feel is important. Paper leaves just don't have the same effect. Then, one by one, add those leaves to your branches.
I really love how this page looks because it combines the picture of real tree branches with the base of the homemade tree.
Instead of using the whole picture, I cut out the excess space and let the branches within the picture, frame the subject. The snapshots are lovely in this layout....but the tree steals all the attention.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Diem Chau. I was turned on to this cool art via another very creative website called Freckled Nest. I think it's so awesome that an element used in art has become the art its self!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Go to your ribbon stash and find a pretty ribbon. You can cut it at about 12 inches. Then raid your jewelry stash. I found a cute little heart charm and a wonderful little funky bead. You thread an embellishment on each end of your ribbon and tie it off. I tied the bead in on both ends- but left my little heart with one end open. It's not moving. Then you put it in your book and away you go. There are also little clasps that you can put at the end of a ribbon that allows you to dangle a charm from- but in this case- I wanted to make a quickie one. I hope you like it! Happy reading!
Monday, February 7, 2011
1 Can of
’s Condensed Tomato Soup Campbell
1 Soup Can of Milk or Heavy Cream
1 tsp of Dried Thyme
2 tsp of Salt (I use Kosher but it does not matter)
1 tsp of Crushed Black Pepper
1 cup of chopped fresh Basil
1/4 cup fine chopped Onion
1/4 cup of Butter
Heat butter in sauce pan and saute onions until tender about 2 minutes.
Add Basil and saute until fragrant about 1 minute (do not burn, it will ruin the final product)
Add soup and milk or heavy cream and mix well.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and adjust with Salt and Pepper.
Serve hot with a fresh Basil leaf for garnish.
2 Pieces of Whole Wheat or White Bread
1 cup of melted Butter
2 Slices of Cheese Cheddar, Provolone, or Swiss (not processed it taste funny and does not hold its form very well)
Heat a frying pan or griddle to about 300 degrees.
Brush melted butter on one side of bread.
Place bread in pan.
Put cheese on bread and top with other piece of bread.
Brush top piece of bread with butter.
I like interactive scrapbook pages, as you've seen with my picture flip pages and picture pockets. So, I dare to cut the plastic protective sheet. I know it is very SCARY...but, it is the only way to allow people looking at your album to actually discover and play with your 3-D embellishments. Brochures are a particular challenge because they fold open and shut. First, you need to affix the bottom page to your layout. My brochure here folds open both ways...so the bottom page is not necessarily the last page of the brochure. If you're not sure what I mean, lay your brochure flat, all folded up. The page that lays flat against the layout is the page you want to affix to your background paper. Place the layout inside the protective plastic sheet of your album as you would with any other layout.
With an exacto-knife, carefully trace the right and left side of your brochure, along the folds. Be careful to cut very close to the edge of your brochure without actually cutting your paper. Make a slit all teh way down, the length of the brochure. Slide the page that opens to the right through the right slit. Do the same with the left side. Now, when you flip through your scrapbook. The brochure will fold closed on the outside of the protective sheet and admirers can open and read it.
Place the layout inside the protective plastic sheet of your album. With an exacto-knife, carefully trace the right and left side of your brochure. Be careful to cut very close to the edge of your brochure without actually cutting your paper. Slide the page that opens to the right through the right slit. Do the same with the left side. Now, when you flip through your scrapbook. The brochure will fold on the outside of the protective sheet and admirers can open and read it.
I like to add a tiny personal picture or two inside as a sweet little surprise. It looks like your family is part of the brochure!! Use the same method to open the picture flip pages and picture pockets that I showed you. See the next blog for those details. You'll never scrapbook the same way again. You will find yourself opening and flipping through your album over and over again....cuz you know that's what we all do!!