Monday, November 26, 2012

After a successful dinner, time to move on to Vendor Fairs

The only thing that was a bit of a snag was the fact that I don't have a serving platter - oh well! Something to ask for for Christmas!

I signed up for a Vendor Fair on December 8 at the kid's school and I'm considering signing up for the fair the following day at the dance studio that my daughter dances at. I'm so unmotivated to create hair bows this weekend though and my backordered velcro hasn't arrived to finish the sandwich bags so I spent yesterday crocheting up a storm. I finished a sweater and beanie for my cousin (no pictures, please - in case she reads this!) and a new bonnet pattern (sans tucking ends and sewing on ribbon ties) for my table at the PTA Vendor Fair.

Onto Booties! and hopefully, I'll want to make some hair bows!

Okay, I photographed this hat that I made a while ago too - it's off-white (yarn package says cream, I say beige and a customer called it ecru, somewhere in there, it has to match one of the Pantone colors!).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Spread

Thought I'd let you all know that I successfully cooked Thanksgiving Day dinner according the "the plan". We were a 1/2 hour later than I planned to eat but that's exactly how long it takes to burn off a small piece of the plastic turkey bag that hit the top oven burner... That was the only mishap besides the fact that I didn't leave enough time to cook the green beans (they just got served later). I'm very excited that I also got to use my china and crystal for the first time ever!

Remember to use coupon code Black12 through Monday when checking out in my shop!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Turkey Day from my house to yours!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie - Really?

I don't eat Sweet Potatoes - love the pretty vines, will plant them but, nope, no orange potatoes for me... My in-laws asked for sweet potato casserole - um... I had to start making phone calls. I called my friend who's mother makes everything from scratch. Turns out, it's my friend who makes the sweet potato casserole! Win! That means it's no fail (Sorry, Dudders)! Best part - it's topped with peeps

Wait... exactly HOW MUCH butter? There's almost a whole cup of butter in that between the sweet potatoes and the pecan topping! And sugar? There's less sugar in the 3 pies and pudding than in this "casserole". So here's the recipe:

3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes (but who prints a recipe on how to cook mashed sweet potatoes? Turns out, there's no difference between sweet potatoes and white potatoes in cooking them)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
couple of beaten eggs
splash of vanilla

mix and put in 2 qt casserole dish (um... yeah, so a 1 quart casserole dish ain't cutting it)

top with this mixture:

1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans

bake for 30ish minutes at 350, add peeps and bake for 5 more minutes

Ready for the oven tomorrow - will add snowman Peeps

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pre-Holiday Baking

I'm the queen of "semi-homemade" - that Sandra Lee's got nothing on me! This morning, I checked me email  to realize that I had signed up to bring pumpkin pie to my son's class tomorrow! AHHH! I love making pies but I had to brave the grocery store the week of Thanksgiving - ALONE! duh-duh-dun... but I'm great at making pies so this shouldn't be a problem!

Note that this is for my son's kindergarten class and it's after lunch during snack time so I think small is probably better. I usually fake a pumpkin pie by using graham cracker crust sprinkled with cinnamon (really, how many people eat a pumpkin pie for the crust?) but the store didn't have the mini graham pie plates or even mini pie plates so I came up with a great, on-the-spot idea - this is for a bunch of kindergartners - Pilsbury refrigerated cookie dough! And I'm dubbing it "pumpkin pie a la cookie" (there would be accent marks in there somewhere if I could figure it out).

filling pumpkin pie a la cookie cups

Home from the store, I made the filling from the Libby's Pumpkin recipe (sub McCormick's pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon, ginger and cloves) and set it aside to rest. I'll put some cookie dough in a cupcake paper and pressed it to the cupcake pan, topped it off with 1/4 cup of pumpkin pie filling and followed the directions for mini pumpkin pies. I hope they turn out good but I wouldn't know since I don't eat it! update: doing it again, I'd probably bake the cookie dough a little bit so it doesn't bubble up.

pumpkin pie a la cookie

PS - do you think speed bake will help?
Holiday Crocheted Baby Bonnet
Update: The Pumpkin Pie a la Cookies were a BIG hit! Several kids asked for seconds!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Handmade Holiday - Let's Start at the Very Begining: Thanksgiving

The first of the BIG THREE holidays: Thanksgiving! I'm hosting it for the first time ever so we'll see if I resort to throwing things into the fire. I'll start out saying that the traditional, American Thanksgiving menu is not top of my list. I don't really like anything on the menu except cornbread stuffing and even then, I prefer it from a box.  Hubby isn't big on the traditional fare either. So we started planning the menu - he's the involved type (yay!). He'd still like a turkey but it doesn't have to be a whole one that we'll end up with a week's worth of leftovers so we put "Turkey Breast" on the list. And he added "Spiral Cut Honey Ham"...

So here's our menu that we're about to go shop for:

Shrimp & cocktail sauce
Crackers and cheese assortment (chedder, port wine and gouda) with pepperoni

Main Course:
Turkey Breast with gravy
Spiral Cut Honey Ham (easy peasy lemon squeezy)

Mashed Potatoes
1 Baked Potato (for me)
Sweet Potato casserole (for his parents - does anyone know how to make this?)
Green Beans and Almonds (still searching for my grandma's recipe - I think she used bacon and garlic and lots of butter)
Pepperidge Farm Corn Bread Stuffing
Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Dinner Rolls with butter we made b/c my kids didn't believe that you could make butter from milk (cream)

Pecan Pie (SIL is sending it since she can't make it this year b/c of work - Hurricane Sandy's handiwork)
Apple Pie with Crumble topping (Yes, I made the sugar cookie topping one recently and it was a hit but this is a fan - ahem, hubby - favorite)
Mini No-Sugar-Added apple cobbler for diabetic FIL
Mini chocolate pudding pies for me and the kids

One thing you should all know is that I do have a Speed Bake setting on my oven so I don't think this menu is too over-reaching and most can be made in advance and just reheated before we serve it (everyone likes it better that way anyway, right). The real $10,000 question is, do I have enough serving dishes and serving ware... You might find me over at Party City buying up the place!

Photos to come in the next installment but enjoy the view of my newest listing: Girl Scout Brownie bows

Friday, November 2, 2012

Has it really been that long?

So, February,  huh? Well, lots has happened since then! Over the summer, my family moved from the Washington DC Metro Area to the Richmond, VA, Area.It was a big move and was difficult for the kids to adjust at first b/c it was SO HOT - no one was playing outside! But we're renting a lovely single family home in a great neighborhood and now that school has started and it's cooler, I rarely see my kids b/c they're running around outside once they get home. And they are all in the same school too so I'm not all running around. I have more energy to invest in my shop.
The best things about this house is that I now have my very own office/craft room. My sewing machine has a permanent home that's not a box! And all my ribbon is "organized" by size - okay, organized might be overstating but it's at least mostly in the same cubby by size... and I have plans to organize even better by color and on a rack.
On the business end, I've also added cloth snack bags and wraps to my shop. They are selling reasonably well - especially the Eco-Super-Hero fabric ones - can't keep it in stock!

If you're following from Richmond, come see me at the Clover Hill ES Crafter's Corner on Dec 8 from 8am to noon.