24 December 2011

My New Favorite- Christmas 2011

Introducing my NEW favorite Christmas item on the menu:

The one above is to take to my mom & dad's tomorrow, on Christmas Day. The one below is to take to the in-law's this afternoon/evening for dinner.

I love trying new recipes, and this one is certainly an eye-catcher! It was a LOT of fun to make, and it is DE-LISH, too! Want the recipe? I guess I can share it:


Pine-cone-shaped Cheese ball

(not creative, I know!!!)

1 pkg Cream Cheese (I used Red. fat Neufschel Cheese--however it's spelled)

1/2 Cup Mayo (NOT Miracle Whip, folks!!)

5 bacon strips, cooked & crumbled

1 Tbsp chopped green onion (i actually doubled it)

1/2 tsp dill weed

1/8 tsp pepper

1 1/4 cup almonds (recipe calls for them toasted, but I didn't do it)

Assorted crackers or raw veggies

Fresh Rosemary sprigs for decoration afterwards.


Mix all ingredients (minus almonds) in large bowl. Let chill for 1-2 hours to allow mixture to become firm. Place mixture on platter/decorative plate and shape into a cone/pear shape. Place almonds around it in rows, starting with the bottom and working your way up. Place several short stems of rosemary at the top for decoration.


What would I change, if I had to do it all over again?

1- I think instead of poking the almonds "outward" I'll lay them down a bit more. It shows too much of the filling. It looks like too spiky! But still cute!!!!

2- I almost went w/o the Rosemary addition...so expensive at the store! So, either grow your own for next year (ya right!), go to the farmer's marker (ya right!), or just grin & bear it. It adds a GREAT aroma to the dish!

06 December 2011


A few weeks ago, I got in the mood to make individual Christmas gifts for family members.
I started looking for ideas ALL around me.
Steven & I recently bought new bed sheets, and they came in a very plain drawstring baggy thinggy. So I thought, "HEY! This would be sooo much cuter if ...., and if ...., and if ....." AND, these could be so useful if ....., and if ....., and if ......"
So, I commenced my project.
I was so excited at the idea of my new project. I thought of all the wonderful things I could use for my baggy: makeup bag, travel bag, pencil bag, catch-all bag....the possibilities were endless, really! For girls, anyway. I didn't quite know what the boys would do with them, but for Steven, he collects chess sets....so he could use a baggy to put his tiny "men" in. So I thought, "whatever. They will use them for whatever, but I can't just make something for the girls. It has to be for EVERYONE."
So, I started the crafty journey, knowing full & well that's it been 2 years since I've even taken the dust cover off my sewing machine. Ahem. No, I haven't lost my "touch", but I knew I'd be a bit rusty, that's all.

Day 1:
I went to JoAnn's fabrics and purchased the cutest fabric I could find. Seriously, ya'll...there are so many cute ideas. I couldn't settle for one. I came home with 15 types of fabric. Take a look...there is something for everyone...men, women, kids...c'mon...you KNOW you love the colors/patterns. And if you don't, whatevuh.....it's my project. I get to decide what to give you. Be lucky it's not a lump of coal for your bad attitude. So there.
Day 2:
I ironed my fabric. I figured it'd been a while, but I had my pattern and process in my head. I hooked up the sewing machine and cut up some of the bed sheets that I'd replaced due to a hole in it. MAN...I love those sheets. So soft. So wonderful. Anyway, I started cutting. And then I sewed. At first, the bag was a bit lopsided, but I could handle that. I was just sewing for size, really, and to see if my "idea" in my head for a pattern would work. It really didn't turn out all THAT bad, but it did need some alterations.
So, all was going dandy. UNTIL I got to the lettering on the front. Ya see...I wanted to do everyone's initial on the front. It would be so cute in a different, contrasting color. And to make a cute lil drawsting at the top in the same contrasting fabric.
I could see it in my head. My vision was clear.
I started sewing. I messed up 4 times and had to take everything out. It was horrible. In the end, it was crooked, it had crinkles, it had bumps, and it was just plain ugly. I did start with the worst letter possible...S. So many curves. So much movement. Steven said, "well, just do block letters"...but they aren't as cute.
So I gave up. Steven has a ratty ol personalized bag made of old bedsheets. The S is horrible, and I didn't even do the contrasting color yet. I just wanted to make a sample. The sample is horrible, but here it is in all it's glory.
Yes, I gave up. I have purchased all this cute fabric, and I have no idea what to do with all of it. One day, I'll sew again. One day I'll be creative again. Just not with letters that are curvy that move around on me. I'm not THAT good yet, folks.
So all you family members out there...look at that sample above. You have two choices: either BALL your eyes out b/c you're not gonna get a cute lil catch-all bag for whatever your heart desires, craftily make by yours truly. Or two, you can cry tears of joy b/c you wouldn't know what to do with it anyway, and it probably would've never been used anyway.
Whatever you decide to do, fine. Just know that I love you enough and I'm sane enough to quit when it's the right thing to do.