Friday, December 24, 2010

Apple Cider Tea

Ok so in all the hoop la of the season, I have found my new favorite tea to drink!!!  It is a process to make it but oh My word so worth it!!!!  Apple Cider Tea, now I have had lots and lots of teas in my day but this is probably the best I have ever had!!! 

Like I said it is a long process that could probably be broken down by using store bought Apple cider but making it is so easy!!! 

Apple Cider

1 gallon Apple Juice, I used Martenellis because that is my favorite
4 Cinnamon sticks
2 Star Anise
2 Cardamon
6 whole cloves
peel of one orange(very little white part)

Put everything into a crockpot and let steep on low for 4 hours.  Strain and let cool then put back into juice bottle for storage.  Let sit in fridge overnight.  The next day add a simple syrup...

Simple Syrup

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water

put sugar and water in sauce pan and simmer until sugar is dissolved.  Let cool completely then add to juice.  Mix well.

Apple Cider Tea

To make the tea mix half a cup of the Apple Cider with one Black pearl tea bag and fill your tea cup up with boiling water... the cold cider makes it the perfect temp for drinking right away!!!

By half a cup I mean half the size of your tea cup!!

Now the cider is awesome by itself, but you add that black pearl tea and it is awesome!!!!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday and that you receive all of your wishes!  Thanks for looking

Blesses Be

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yummy No-Bake Cheesecake

Ok so this cheese cake was thought up out of the need to get rid of some holiday cookies!  You know the ones I'm talking about, those butter cookies that come in the decorative tin!  Yes they are quite tasty by themselves, but we all know we have loads of tins each year.  Wether we buy them ourselves because we want them or wether they are given as gifts.  So I came up with a way to use them in my favorite dessert form!!! AND the best thing about this is I already have the items needed in my house, ESPECIALLY around the holidays as I do a lot of baking!!!!!

So I took these cookies:

and made this cheesecake (which the hubby and kids got into before I remembered to take a picture)

Heres what you need: 
For crust
1 12oz tin of danish butter cookies
1 1/2 sticks of butter

For filling
2 8oz pkg cream cheese softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 8oz tub of creamy cool whip
zest of one lemon
juice of 1 1/2 lemons

To prepare crust melt 1 1/4 sticks of butter in sauce pan.  In food processor pulse the cookies until they are crumbs and resemble sand.  With 1/4 stick of butter grease the sides and bottoms of a 9 x 13 glass pan.  When cookies are crumbled, pour melted butter into them and pulse until just combined.  Press into bottom and just a little up the sides of pan.

To prepare filling:  In large bowl, cream the cream cheese with a hand mixer or by hand.  Add the zest of the lemon and mix well.  Add the juice and mix well.  Mix in the condensed milk.  FOLD in the cool whip so it doesn't deflate.  Pour onto crust and chill for at least one hour!  Serve!!!!!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hats for Nephews

So its been a while, but here I am with a couple of Hats that I made for my nephews in their school colors.  Which just happen to be my favorite College football teams colors too!!!!  LOL  Anyway, I was talking to my sister one night about what to do for the boys because I wanted to keep it a mostly handmade Christmas this year.  I asked if they would wear scarves and she said no... We went through a long list of maybe's when she said can you crochet a Mohawk hat.  So of course not knowing for sure if I could, I said yeah if I see a picture of it!!!  So we searched for pictures and this is what I came up with.... I hope they like them!

Similar yet different... It's hard to make them completely different when you only have 2 colors to choose from and the samy style project to make!!!!  So Now I am off to wrap these up, along with the goodies I made for my sister and brother-in-law!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

What are you doing for the Holidays?

I have started making gifts for my loved ones.  I wanted to go mostly homemade this year as I can't see paying money for something I can make.  On one of my stamping forums,smeared and smudged,  there was a discussion started a while ago about homemade holidays and I am in total agreement.  It's not that I don't like giving and receiving gifts, I just don't like all the bull shit that comes with buying gifts.  So this year, I decided, along with lots of other ladies, to have a mostly homemade Christmas!!! 

So I have started, I have made scarves, and fingerless gloves, crochet of course.  I am in the process of Jewelry, and room decorations.  It is just satisfying to know that what they are getting is something I made with love and not something I ran out and got cause it was there!!!  Who knows, maybe this will become a tradition for me!  So don't be surprised if you receive something that doesn't have a price tag on it!!!!

I will keep you posted and maybe even put a few designs or recipes up in the future! 

Blessed Be

Monday, November 8, 2010

Whats for dinner...

K so today I just have to share what we are having for dinner.  The house is clean (almost) and I actually have time to make something really yummy for dinner tonight!  So we are going to have Pork Chops with Cider Sauce, Roasted potatoes, green beans and broccoli(cause Hunter doesn't like green beans).  followed by Caramel Apple Cupcakes!!

OK so pork chops:

4 center cut pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions thinly sliced
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 cups apple cider

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened and golden, about 5 min. Push onions to edges of skillet and add chops.  Cook, turning once, until browned, about 6-minutes total. 

Sprinkle sage over chops and pour cider into pan.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chops are cooked through, 8 to 10 mins.  Remove chops from pan, raise heat to high, and boil sauce until reduced and thickened, 2-3 min. Pour sauce and onions over chops and serve.

Roasted Potatoes:

Enough potatoes to serve the number of people you are serving!  Any kind of potato you want, although thin skinned potatoes work very well!  I used heirloom fingerling potatoes cause they were cute and on sale!  Garlic(chopped or powder) salt and pepper to taste, rosemary(fresh chopped).  Cut potatoes into bite size pieces and sprinkle with seasonings, drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil(depends on how many potatoes used actually, but enough to coat them all liberally).  Bake for 30-40 mins(until done) at 415*f.

If you have fresh veggies, green beans/broccoli throw them on a separate pan, season, and bake for 10-15 mins at 415*!!!!!

Caramel Apple Cupcakes:

Ingredients needed:  1 1/4 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 eggs, at room temperature, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup veggie oil, 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 1 lb apples( that's usually 2 nice size apples.  You can use any kind you want, I like to use 1/2 granny smith and 1/2 Macintosh or gala)(peeled and shredded), 1 1/2 cups chewy caramel candies(about 25), and 1 tbsp heavy cream.

What to do:  Preheat oven to 350*, line a cupcake pan with baking liners.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth.  Whisk in the oil and vanilla.  Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.  This will be kind of thick.  Stir in the apples.  Spoon batter into the prepared pan until almost full.(usually a little over 1/3 of a cup each for me).  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done.(it takes 28 min in my gas oven).Let cool slightly in pan then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  It is very important that they be cooled completely!  In a small bowl, microwavable bowl, combine the caramels and cream. Microwave for 1 minute on medium power, then stir; repeat in 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. 
The first time I made these I let the caramel cool then spread it like a frosting on the cupcakes.  This time I poured it onto the cupcakes while it was still hot.... you decide what you want to do!
And that is what is for dinner tonight!  I will add pictures as we start cooking!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

So I'm thinking....

about participating/or starting this 30 days/posts of truth.  I'm not quite sure I will do 30 days in a row, but hey it can only help me improve myself right?  who knows.  I found it by roaming around one day, saved it to my favorites cause I knew I wanted to look into it further, and now as I was cleaning my favorites out saw it again.  I am quite sure I will give it a go. 

Oh just a side note..... 13 days until the Hubby comes home!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Welcome to My World

Like it says, Welcome to my World.  For a long time I have been thinking of starting a new blog, one where I could post anything I wanted to.  One where I didn't have to have a stamped project on it.  If I wanted to come in and say HI and that's it, I could.  I love stamping, and creating art, but that is not all I do!  So I was on the phone with my friend Terra today, and can I just say that it is scary how much she and I are alike, but we were talking and she told me that she just started a new blog for the same reasons.  I was like, no freakin way dude, I have been thinking of that for a while now.  So needless to say, she gave me that shove I needed, and made it my assignment for the day to get a blog up and running!  So I did and I thank her very much for getting me off my Arse and getting me going!

So for now, welcome to my world, grab a cup of coffee/tea/vodka, whatever you choose, pull up a comfy chair and lets start chatting!