Monday, July 29, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Cream Cheese Cherry Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Recently I came across a recipe at for a cream cheese cherry pound cake so I decided to give it a try, and boy am I glad I did! It is a deliciously moist cake...great for snacking! Here's the recipe:

  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, quartered
  • 1/2 chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat together cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs to batter. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients into batter and stir until combined. Fold cherries into batter. Spray Bundt cake pan with cooking spray. Completely cover the bottom of the pan with chopped pecans. Evenly spoon batter into pan on top of the nuts. Bake for approximately 75 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted into cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan for 5 minutes or so, then run a butter knife around the outer edge of the cake and carefully turn cake out onto cooling rack covered with a cloth towel. Cool cake completely and then transfer to cake plate. Drizzle vanilla glaze over cake, cut and serve.

Vanilla Glaze:
Heat 1/3 cup butter and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract in medium sauce pan over low heat until melted. Gradually stir in 2 cups powdered sugar and bring mixture to a boil and stir until smooth and desired consistency. Pour warm glaze over cake.

Have a TERRIFIC week!!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Little Felt Pouch Tutorial

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember back in September 2011 I posted a tutorial on how to make a cute, stitched felt clutch using a single piece of felt and some scraps to make a flower. (Click HERE to see that tutorial.)

Well, the project that I am sharing with you today is a spin on my previous felt clutch tutorial. These felt pouches are just smaller...perfect for tucking a note pad and pencil in to keep in your purse or car! These would also be great for presenting a gift card to your gal pal's favorite store. These work up pretty fast - I whipped these cuties up while watching TV a couple of evenings last week:

Begin with a standard piece of felt that you can buy at your local craft store. (Hobby Lobby carries these in LOTS of great colors, and they are priced at 4 pieces for $1.00. They even have printed pieces of felt in super fun patterns like sock monkeys, smiley faces, polka dots, hearts, etc.)

Ready to get started? Let's go! Begin by folding a piece of felt in half, then cut along the fold:

Next fold one of the cut pieces of felt as shown in the photo below. This will create the pouch and the upper flap. You can iron the felt if you like, so that it holds its shape, or you can just finger-press it which works fine too!

Free-hand cut a couple of flowers, leaves and a flower center from coordinating scraps of felt. Stitch around the flowers and leaves using a basic running stitch and two strands of embroidery floss. Tuck the edges of the flower center under and stitch it to the layered flowers as shown here:

Tack the leaves to the underside of the flower and set aside:

Using 3 strands of embroidery floss, blanket stitch around the outer edges of the pouch. Not sure how to do a blanket stitch? It's an easy stitch that adds a pretty, finished look to all kinds of projects! Here's a simple diagram to show you how:

Here's what your pouch will look like once you've completed blanket stitching the edges:

Tack the stitched flower to the front flap of the pouch. Cut a piece of Velcro and attach it to the pouch using fabric glue as shown in the next photo. (The top piece of Velcro covers the tack-down stitches holding my flower to the flap of the pouch.) NOTE: To keep the glue from seeping through the inside of the pouch, slip a small piece of foil into the pouch to keep the glue from seeping to the other side.
Once the glue has thoroughly dried you can tuck in some goodies and close up your cute little pouch! TA-DAH!!

Here's another look at the stack of pouches that I've been making...just waiting for some goodies!

Thanks for dropping by today! Wishing you a blessed week!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Macaroni Salad

As a kid growing up in the country I was fortunate that my parents and grandparents, (who lived next door to us), always had a HUGE garden. My mom and grandma would can lots of yummy veggies and fruits, and we would feast on them all winter long! Along with getting to enjoy the canned goods throughout the winter, we also had a vast abundance of fresh produce to eat during the summer. One of the yummy dishes that my mom and grandma would make to serve on a hot summer day was macaroni salad. They would chop up lots of veggies from the garden to toss into the salad, and sometimes they would add chunks of cheddar cheese and ham. There wasn't a "set" recipe for their macaroni salads, (they just used what was on hand from the garden, pantry and fridge), and yet it always turned out delicious! Here's the basic ingredients and instructions for their summertime lunch and dinner staple:

  • A package of macaroni: your choice of elbow, bow tie, rotini, shell, etc.
  • Various fresh veggies: carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
  • Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip (About 1/3 of a cup. My gram preferred mayo, but mom and I prefer Miracle Whip)
  • Spices and seasonings to your taste: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs, etc.
  • Pickle relish or finely chopped pickles (About 1/8 of a cup. We prefer dill relish/pickles, but once again, go with what you like!)
  • Pickle juice (Your choice - we like dill - about a Tablespoon or so)
  • Mustard (Just a teaspoon or two to your taste)
  • Milk (About a Tablespoon)
  • Optional ingredients: cubed cheddar cheese, cubed ham, pimentos, bacon, black olives, mushrooms, boiled eggs, etc.
Cook macaroni according to package directions, drain, rinse with cold water and place in large bowl. Chop veggies and toss into cooled macaroni. In a medium bowl whisk together Miracle Whip and other ingredients. Pour over macaroni and lightly toss. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator  for a couple of hours until chilled. Perfect as a light lunch or served as a delicious side to hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Daily Planner Make-Over

Recently I was cleaning out some drawers and shelves and came across an unused student daily planner. Since it was a fill-in-the-date kind of planner, I decided that I could give the cover a make-over and use it at work rather than toss it.

By simply adding some cute Washi tape to the cover of the planner, along with a fabric flower that I stitched up and some stickers to personalize it, I came up with a fun and very useful accessory that I will use every day at work! (Sorry, but I forgot to take a "before" photo of the wasn't cute at all though! It had a sports theme with footballs, baseballs, get the idea!)

Here's what the inside looks like...nothing fancy, just a basic fill-in-the-blank weekly calendar format which is great for a school secretary to use to keep track of important dates, appointments, substitute teachers, etc.:

I've got a couple more useful desk items that I'll be doing make-overs on in the next few days, so stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Happy Anniversary to My Sweetie!!

Twenty-six years ago today I married my sweetheart and best friend, Mike Brown. Through the years I have fallen more in love with this wonderful man, and I am so thankful and blessed to be his wife! Happy anniversary, sweetie!!! XOXOXO - I love you!!

Thanks, friends, for letting me share a little of my heart with you today!


Monday, July 15, 2013

New Front Door Wreath...

Good morning, friends! The wreath that had been hanging on my front door was beginning to look a bit tired, (or maybe I was just tired of the way it looked - HA!), so I decided that it was time to create a new one. I made a quick trip to my local Hobby Lobby to pick up the supplies that I needed, and here's what I ended up making:

I really love the sunny, summery colors of the new wreath, and I think it looks so pretty hanging on our front door!

Thanks for dropping by my blog today! Wishing you a terrific week ahead!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Altered Window Photo Display Board

Happy Monday, All! I hope that you had a fun, relaxing and safe 4th of July weekend! It was so nice to have my sweetie home for a 4 day weekend!! We just hung out around the house, watched a movie and enjoyed our time together...nothing major, just some much needed down time for my sweetie!

Now, on to the fun project that I've been working on! My pal Jamie recently mentioned to me that she needed something to hang in her office to display photos of her kiddos; something that would be easy for her to change the photos out quickly without having to take a frame all apart. Her office is decorated in a super cute Americana theme, so my mental crafty wheels started turnin' and this is what I came up with for her:

I started out with an old window that Jamie's husband, Dustin, had given me a while back from a window replacement job that he had done. My sweetie took the glass out of the wooden window frame and then stapled chicken wire to the back of it for me:

I tore strips of gingham, denim from old jeans, and some red/white heart printed fabric and tied them to the wood strip that runs across the center of the window:

After rummaging around in my button stash, I came across some really cute buttons in the shape of American flags and stars. I tied baker's twine through the button holes and then glued the buttons to clothespins. Jamie can clip her photos to the chicken wire easily with these! (Sorry for the bad quality photo...took this one with my IPhone and it came out a bit fuzzy.)

Using some salvaged pockets from some of Justin's old jeans, I created a pocket banner and attached it to the base of the window frame by tying it tightly with torn gingham strips. (I used my Crop-A-Dial to punch holes in the corners of the pockets to run the gingham strips through, which formed the banner). Jamie can use the pockets on the banner to tuck memorabilia and additional photos in for future use on the display board.

While I was rummaging through my craft stash for the buttons, I came across a wooden star painted to resemble an American flag, so I knew that I had to incorporate it into this project! I formed a wire hanger and ran it through a hole in the top of the star. I then tied coordinating ribbon around the wire hanger and then simply attached this element to the rusty window latch at the top of the frame.

Here's another look at the finished project that I will give to Jamie tomorrow when we go out to lunch! (I used photos of my family and friends to clip on the wires for this post, so you can see how it looks all pulled together!)

I really LOVE how this turned out, and I plan on making some more of these using different themes/designs!

Thanks for popping over to my blog today! Have a WONDERFUL week!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Silly Saturday

(Photo found on the Internet)

Great advice! ;)

Have a SUPER weekend!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Wishing you a very fun and safe Independence Day! God Bless America!!!