Friday, December 31, 2010

New Camera

I got a new camera for Christmas, now it's all about figuring out the functions - like for fast moving objects ;) Look close - it's a hummingbird trying to eat the silk flowers on my Christmas wreath (time to put away the decorations) today!
Then I shot a picture of Cannella:
and then the cat because it was sleeping with both its arms outstretched (so cute) . . . on the once folded laundry:
and then tried to get a picture of the big eagle that nests on Tolt Hill Road, but it wasn't around. We did spot a juvenile eagle - it was so massive in size:
So my sister Stacy won't be surprised that I took a photo of 'wildlife' for my first day playing with my new camera - hehe
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lemon Poppyseed muffins

Here's a recipe I made up for lemon poppyseed muffins:
Ummm, really - try these - they are YUM!

2 eggs - separated
Beat egg whites to stiff peak, set aside. Save yolks.

Cream together:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cups brown sugar
2 lemons zested
1 tsp vanilla

Add yolks to butter mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
Set aside.

In (yet another bowl - maybe #4), combine:
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Add half the flour mixture to butter mixture and mix, then half the sour cream mixture to the butter mixture and mix, then the other half of flour mixture and mix and the remaining sour cream mixture and mix.
Fold in egg whites. Scoop into greased or lined muffin tins. Makes 12 regular or 6 large.
Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes - maybe up to 5 minutes more depending on your oven.
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dangling Earrings

I made 2 pairs of earrings for myself after helping Brady make a matching bracelet & earrings for Danee for Christmas - which we didn't take any photos of =(
I heart the color orange - so I made some earrings and a necklace to wear with my orange skirt:
I love dangling earrings . . . and all shiny things ;)
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The RIESEN for the season

Here's what we made up this year for a few friends instead of goodie plates:
to hang in their tree as an ornament or something:And a little poem that I stole from a Christmas card - I just altered it a bit:
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Brady Basketball

Starting player:
Tough defense:
Good form:
Looking good:
All smiles after a win:
Happy times:
Someone earned the 'STUD' award - yeah, a piece of 2x4 to write your name on . . . a very big deal ;)
Good job Brady!
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brown Sugar Scrub

Here's a little shower scrub recipe - I gave these to the sisters I visit teach at the brunch we held in December - used them as name settings, that's why I had one too. I cut these out and glued them to the lids:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cloves
Combine everything and stir in some oil just until moistened - I used Olive Oil - I will probably try grape seed oil next time =) This make enough for 4 gifts or so - depending on the size of the container you're using.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mini Stocking

I designed a little white stocking (baby socks) hanging from a swirly wire hook (dollar store) for our RS gift to the sisters this year. We added beads on the hook, strip of white boa and one petal from a silk hydrangea with a jingle bell.
The iron on says 'The joy in Christmas is not found in presents but in His presence'. I shaped the saying into a Christmas tree and used a picture of Christ for the stump.
We went with the idea of giving a gift to the Savior:
One of these are in each stocking along with a message from the RS presidency. The idea is to make a commitment and write it on this paper and then pack it away with their Christmas stuff and open it again next December.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Snowflake Ornament

I make ornaments for my tree every year - I try to make 12 of them that match. Snowflakes it is for 2010:
2 different snowflake shaped chipboard, shimmer paint, glitter paint, twine, jingle bell, paper punched snowflake, wire. They may not look like they took much time, but I worked for hours to produce a dozen of these!
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Agency lesson

I taught this month on Agency and made a Powerpoint presentation to use for my lesson. And here are the bookmarks I made to give out:
Loved that quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf - I changed IMPROVE to 'provide relief' so I could incorporate the chapstick I found on clearance for .25 cents each =)
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

12 days of Christmas

I sewed up these mittens in 2004 and use them for our family tradition for the 12 days of Christmas every year:
I like the idea that the wise men brought 3 gifts for baby Jesus, so 3 of these mittens say 'open a gift' and that is the extent of presents in our family besides our stockings. Yup, so basically we open gifts all month long - the boys love it ;) But then by Christmas Eve & Christmas we can focus on the real meaning of celebrating. Other ideas we do is giving service, buy a new board/card game and play it, go out to dinner, see a movie, make a gingerbread house, etc. - we open one mitten on every odd day in December, that way we have 2 days to do the listed event. And it is so fun that Brady & Keaton don't peek at what's in the next mitten, they just wait for that day - I've never had to hide stuff from them or worry about them looking for gifts before they're wrapped - how awesome is that? =)
Buy a few gift cards every month before December and get on a rewards program - we earned over $200 to cash in at the movies/restaurants and retail stores. We saved them up for Christmas time.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our tree 2010

2010 Christmas tree (yes, it's real):
With lights on:
We are doing the 12 days of Christmas this year - opening 1 thing to do on all the odd days in the month of December.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Caramel Apple Pie

I hate eating cooked fruit myself, but I do love baking pies . . . for someone else ;)
6 peeled granny smith apples, cubed or sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Combine and place in your crust. Increase everything by 50% if you're using a spring form pan. I baked up mine in individual crusts, so it was about 1 apple per crust.

Topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted butter
Combine all ingredients and sprinkle evenly over pie filling.

Foil the pie and bake 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 25 minutes.

Drizzle with caramel:
7 oz of wrapped Kraft caramels
1/2 cup heavy cream
Melt together and pour over apple pie.

Dot with whipped cream and sprinkle a few more pecans on top to serve.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quiche

I made these ones in 4 individual pie crusts, but usually do bake it in a 9-inch pie pan:
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt (pinch)
1 cup fat-free half and half
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1 can diced green chilies
3-4 artichoke bottoms, diced
Pie crust for 9-inch pan.
Beat eggs, seasonings and milk. Layer cheeses, chilies and artichokes on bottom of crust and pour egg mixture over top.
Bake 35o degrees for 40-45 minutes.

I have made this with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses and have also put broccoli and mushrooms in it too.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm stuck on you

Nah, really just stuck on a mountain! No one likes this predicament:
Ditch on one side, drop off on the other . . .
The ditch IS an easier bind to get out of . . .
Were we prepared? Nope, nope. We only had a saw (as we were going to cut down a Christmas tree).
and the Christmas tree permit paper actually gave us a list of ways to be prepared before going out (note to self: read BEFORE venturing off and not while waiting to get unstuck in current situation) Bring a shovel, blankets, water . . . etc.
Grandpa is shorter AND goofier than the boys ;) haha
Kicking the snow out of the way:
I was in the car waiting to reverse and gun it - but really just taking pictures . . . and staying warm ;)
We did have our towing strap =)
But what really got us out was a prayer because Grandpa & Grandma's car was smaller than ours and we were in very deep snow with little room to maneuver around.
We drove in reverse all the way to the other road -maybe only a mile or so - but still craziness!
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brrrrrr, but not too cold for a hummingbird

It's snowy & 20 degrees outside! The hummingbird nectar was frozen solid, but I replaced 4 feeders off and on yesterday so my little friend (who doesn't know how to migrate) wouldn't starve:
He let me get pretty close for a picture:

video
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cranberry Sauce Anyone?

Homemade cranberry sauce:
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 whole cinnamon sticks
Bring to a boil and then add:
4 cups fresh cranberries (rinsed)
4 Cuties ( or 1 orange) peeled, remove seeds if applicable
Simmer together until berries begin to pop 5-10 minutes - you will hear the berries popping!
Remove cinnamon sticks and add:
1 can pineapple with its juice
Blend into a puree:
Pour into dishes and chill for 2 hours or more:
So, does anyone want my 2nd dish of cranberry sauce? (I made a whole batch and should have halved this recipe for the amount of people I am having over for Thanksgiving this year - my boys won't touch the stuff - hehe) If you live nearby, leave a comment and I'll draw someone's name =) Maybe I'll only get one comment, then it'd be yours easily!
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Spice Cookie Cupcakes

Make a gingersnap cookie dough
Make a Spice cake mix
place a small amount of cake mix in your cupcake liner
then a rolled ball of cookie dough
and a little more cake mix
Bake as directed.
This process steams the cookie dough - yummy! Photo provided by Suze:
With the leftover dough, roll dough into balls and bake as directed into cookies. Let cool and crush into crumbs then sprinkle over maple frosting:
Emilee, I promise that the frosting is yummy ;) Another photo provided by Suze.
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