Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Plenty of Pumpkins?

I have a church activity coming up in which I have to decorate 20+ tables. I had a dozen fall floral arrangements already, so I only
needed to make centerpieces for ~10 tables. So, I've been making pumpkins.

3 tables of glitter pumpkins:
3 tables of paper strip pumpkins:
and 7 tables of vent pumpkins:

And I do have one other pumpkin style, but they cannot be made ahead of time. Take an orange balloon, put a handful of rice or beans inside. Blow up, tie, and tie a curly green ribbon on. Draw a jack-o-lantern face on the balloon. These kind-of remind e of a bobo doll. Wobbly bobo balloon pumpkins. Hehehe.

Now, party goers will also be bringing their own decorated pumpkins to be judged, so there will be many more pumpkins.

Do you think I have enough?

Now off to carve pumpkins with the kids. Do you roast your seeds? How do you like them? Salted? Plain? Seasoned?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Make-it Monday: Gumball machine candy jar

*Disclaimer: Please forgive the horrible picture quality. I really do have a decent camera, but the colors in my house are awful for pictures. And, I took this picture so late last night - it was late, bad lighting, unsteady camera hand . . . - and well, this is the best I could get.

*Disclaimer #2: I know it's not Monday, but I was ready to post yesterday- school work just got in the way.

I saw this darling candy jar on another blog (forgive me whoever you are, I can't remember) and just HAD to try it.

$1 terra cotta pot
$1 terra cotta drip tray
$1 round glass jar
a 1 1/2 inch wooden knob
some black acrylic paint (this is a metallic paint, very cool, nice and shiny, but requires 2 or more coats where the original covers completely with just one coat) and foam paint brush
Gorrilla brand super glue
ribbon to match the current holiday/season

Just paint the pot (don't have to paint the inside), the lid (paint both top and bottom), and the wooden knob. Dry completely, then glue the glass jar to the upside down pot and the knob to the upside down drip tray. Fill with candy, tie a festive ribbon, and there you have your gumball machine.

Isn't it cute? I'm going to switch the ribbon every holiday and season, and keep it filled with colorful candy. We had candy corn for Halloween, I've switched to fall colored M&Ms (cause the kids ate all the candy corn), and then there will be plenty of red and green candies for Christmas. But can you imagine gummy hearts for Halloween, chocolate coins for St. Patrick's Day, red and blue jelly beans for the 4th of July . . . ooh, I just get carried away.

I need to find where to get cheap gumballs. They'd look so fun for summer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Candy Vase

I've seen a few really cute Halloween crafts in the blog-o-shpere lately. This vase-turned-candy dish caught eye, so I threw a few together. They'll serve any holiday with a simple change of ribbon and candy.
They were so quick and easy, I made three!
The best part, each candy vase only cost $2. (Dollar store vases and candlestick holders) Add a little super glue, ribbon if you want, and your choice of filler (candy or decoration). I threatened the kids to not touch the candy until three days before Halloween (so it stays looking cute all month). We'll see how long that lasts.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Apple Pudding

I have the BEST apple dessert recipe for you. Unfortunately, I have no pictures. I made it for a church ladies function, and there was none made it back safely for pictures. But trust me on this, you need to try it.

2nd note, forget that it's called a pudding. (Think bread pudding ?) Naw, forget the name. It's a cake, about the same texture as a carrot cake. Now, go make it. Here's the recipe:
(and, as with most recipes, you could use butter or margarine, but butter is better)

Best Ever Apple Pudding
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, soft
1 egg
2 large apples, shredded
1 cup flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped, optional

Gradually add sugar to butter. Cream well. Add egg, beat hard. Shred apples, add at once. (You don't have to peel the apples, just core them.) Stir in sifted dry ingredients. Add nuts (optional). Bake in 8" pan @ 350° for 45 minutes. Cool slightly, but best served warm.

Butter sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned milk (evaporated)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of nutmeg

Stir butter, sugar, and milk in saucepan until blended and slightly thickened. DO NOT BOIL. Add vanilla and nutmeg. Serve warm cake with warm sauce and whipped cream.

Last notes: I like it cold, too, but it's better if you at least heat up the sauce. And, for my tastes, whipped cream is too rich on this cake. I prefer cool whip. And for events (which are a good excuse for a rich dessert) I double it and bake in a 9x13 pan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Sweet Pork Burritos

Mmmmmm. Isn't this making you hungry? Of course, my presentation could be better. But we were hungry, and the kids weren't going to wait for me to make it pretty. (Besides, it was already almost 8:00 at night, which is really late for dinner for kids.)
Start by preparing your pork. Combine 1 cup of brown sugar with 1 cup of salsa (any kind) in your crockpot. We even mixed the last of a bottle with the last of some homemade. You probably want to use whatever kind you like best.

Add your pork. I was told to use a pork roast, but I like using these thick cut boneless chops because they cook faster and shred better. Whatever cut of meat you have is fine.

Cook until the meat shreds. These chops only took 2 hours.
Then prepare a spanish or mexican rice, any type, any brand or homemade. I use whatever brand is on sale, and prepare 2 packages for my family. Add black beans, canned or homecooked (we use 2 cans), mozzarella cheese, green enchilada sauce and flour tortillas. Have tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa, etc to serve with.

Assemble burritos with meat, cheese, beans, and rice on a tortilla. Drizzle a little enchilada sauce and roll up.

Now, if I wanted it all pretty, I'd make a bunch, lay them in the pan, top with more enchilada sauce and cheese, and throw it in the oven for a few minutes to heat and melt the cheese. But, we didn't take time for that, so the burritos got rolled right on the plate. My kids don't like the enchilada sauce, so theirs looked a little plain. But I threw mine in the microwave (to melt the cheese) right after this:
Top with your favorite garnishes: chopped tomatoes, fresh salsa, sour cream, etc. and Enjoy!

Make-It Monday: Dress to Skirt Re-make

I know it's been a while. I've been sick, had papers due, then midterms . . . Well, needless to say, I haven't had time to post lately. So I wanted to share this darling skirt I made from a dress.

(*Sorry about the direction of some of the pictures. I forgot to turn them, but my computer is being retarded and won't read my camera card, so I'm not taking the obscene amount of time it would take to go back and fix them.)

The fabric was just perfect for my middle child. And her birthday was coming up. But the dress was not up to our modest standards, and besides, it was way too big. But I saw potential in the fabric.

I wanted to keep the darling trim and bow, so I planned to cut it off above that. I started by cutting out the boning.

Then I removed the zipper. I did another dress to skirt where I left the zipper in and just cut it down, but I decided to try this one without it completely.

Then I measured 3 or 3 1/2 inches (don't remember which) above the seam, and cut it off. Measure every few inches all the way around and mark, then cut connecting the dots. Then I serged around the raw edge to finish it and hold the lining and fabric together.

Then I folded it down inside, and stitched "in the ditch" to hide the seam. I didn't want to sew over the cute piping and have it show.

I didn't know how big I needed it to be, and thought I might need to put the zipper back in so she could get it on and off, but I might need to add elastic in the waist to keep it on her. So for now, I just finished it off by sewing the back seam where the zipper was closed (sorry no pic).

Turns out, she can pull it on, but it's not too loose. So, for now, she can wear it as is. And in a year or so, if we need, I'll cut the zipper off shorter (I kept it for this reason) and put it back in. I love how it turned out! And it took less than an hour from start to finish.