Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Clear Cardstock Box

I am back with a quick and easy project for Cutting Cafe. All of my stamping stuff is upstairs and I hadn't quite maneuvered stairs with my walking boot, so took a few weeks off. I still have the boot (hopefully ONE more week to go!!), but I'm slowly learning stairs and don't feel like I'm going to fall down them and break something.

This week the design team has a fun challenge using clear cardstock that Regina is now selling in her new store. It comes 8.5" x 11" or 12" x 12". I wasn't sure what to create at first and then thought it would be fun to create a box for the hand crocheted dish cloths I make to give as gifts.


I used the medium box of Cutting Cafe's 3 Nesting Boxes Cutting Files. I think I could have used the large as I had to scrunch them up a bit to fit.


The pretty floral cardstock is Bright Bouquet by Darcie's.

Regina has made a youtube video showcasing several projects using the clear cardstock. You can see it HERE.

Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jane Austen Themed Bridal Shower

The next shower on the calendar was a double bridal shower with a Jane Austen theme. The brides-to-be will soon be sisters-in-law. Their separate wedding colors did not go together, so I just did colors completely different from either of their wedding colors and chose colors that would go more with the Jane Austen theme which was a soft pink and gold.

This is the invitation I created using designer papers from Hobby Lobby, adhesive from Tombow, frame die from Nestibilities, and a free svg cutting silhouette image. 



I bought some old frames from Goodwill and spray painted them all gold, so that they would match. I then printed some Jane Austen quotes and put them inside each frame to decorate the tables.


As you walked into the room this was on the table to sign in. I had separate sheets for each of the girls as well as separate address labels for the attendees to fill out.


Decorations on the table...book page base that I created for THIS shower last year, paper doily, battery operated candle that I added lace and gold ribbon that looked like something from days gone by. Frame with Jane Austen quote and jelly jar with silk flowers and pearls hanging out of each jar.

withe the candle on:

I found these napkins that I thought fit the theme at Party City

Food Table:


We served tea party themed food

Blueberry Ricotta Scones and Cranberry Orange Scones with Lemon Curd, Honey, and homemade apple butter



You can't have a tea party without cucumber sandwiches. These are made with the cocktail bread you can find at most grocery stores and topped with chive flavored cream cheese, a cucumber slice, and sprinkled with dill.


fresh homemade whipped cream and strawberries

Oreo truffles


Recipes and Links:
Blueberry Ricotta Scones
Lemon Curd
Cranberry Orange Scones
Oreo Truffles

free svg silhouette
invite inspiration
Jane Austen inspiration board
Tombow Adhesives: Mono Adhesive Dots, Adhesive Tabs, Mono Multi Liquid Glue

Blueberry Ricotta Scones
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, VERY cold and cut into tiny pieces
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (Whole Milk) Ricotta Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Whole Milk
  • 8 ounces blueberries, fresh or frozen (If using frozen, do not thaw first)
  • For the egg wash:
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon milk or water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, for sprinkling
  • For the (optional) lemon glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°(F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and lemon zest.
  3. Cut the butter into small cubes then quickly work it into the mixture (using your fingers) until lit resembles a coarse meal.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, ricotta cheese, and milk, then add to flour and butter mixture. Use a fork to stir everything together until just moistened.
  5. Add in the blueberries and gently fold them into dough with a spatula - don’t worry if some of the berries break up a bit.
  6. Pour the shaggy dough out onto a clean, floured work surface and shape the dough into an 8-inch circle. Cut the dough into 8 wedges and carefully transfer to the prepared sheet.
  7. Lightly brush each scones with the egg wash, then sprinkle the top of each scone with sugar.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden brown.
  9. Cool for about 10 minutes, then make your glaze.
  10. For the glaze:
  11. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and confectioners sugar. Drizzle over warm scones and serve at once.

The Best Lemon Curd
Yield: Makes about 2 and 1/4 cups
Recipe by The Food Charlatan
Ingredients
  • 1+ tablespoons lemon zest, optional*
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 large lemons)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), chopped**
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, stir together lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Set over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat together 3 eggs and 4 egg yolks. Whisk it very well.
  3. When the liquid on the stove is ready, slowly pour some of it into the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly. I usually pour in about half, but you can do more or less. This is called tempering the eggs.
  4. Return the pot to the stove and add the rest of the eggs while stirring. If you don't stir you may curdle your eggs.
  5. Continue to whisk pretty constantly over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. When you drag your whisk over the top of the mixture, it should leave marks.
  6. Pour the curd through a mesh strainer into a new bowl (or the same one, washed). Unless you are an expert curd maker, you will probably have a few solid egg pieces in there, which is totally okay! Just strain them out.
  7. Stir the chopped butter into the lemon curd until it's completely melted. This is a good time for a large spoonful of hot lemon 
  8. Press a square of plastic wrap directly on top of the lemon curd. If you just cover the bowl, you will get a film on your curd.
  9. Refrigerate until cold, about 2-4 hours. It will thicken up some as it cools.
  10. Transfer to a plastic container. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.
  11. Notes *The lemon zest adds great flavor and will make it more tangy. If texture is more important to you than flavor and you are looking for a super creamy lemon curd, then leave it out. (my note, I did not add the lemon zest)
Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe


Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 16 mins Total time: 31 mins

Serving: 12 scones

Ingredients
·         2½ cups all-purpose flour
·         2 Tbsp sugar
·         1 Tbsp baking powder
·         ¼ tsp salt
·         ½ Tbsp grated orange zest (from ½ orange)
·         ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into chunks
·         2 large eggs, lightly beaten
·         ½ cup heavy whipping cream + 1 Tbsp to brush the top
·         ¾ cup dried cranberries
·         1 Tbsp coarse/raw sugar to sprinkle the top, optional
·         ⅔ cup powdered sugar
·         1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
·          
Instructions
1.    Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together 2½ cups flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt and ½ Tbsp grated orange zest.
2.    Add butter pieces and using a pastry cutter (or 2 knives), cut butter into mixture until you have coarse pea-sized crumbs.
3.    Toss in ¾ cup dried cranberries and stir gently to combine. Make a well in the center and set aside.
4.    In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and ½ cup heavy cream. Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and use a spatula to stir just until moistened.
5.    Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface and pull it together into a round disk, about ¾" thick. Cut disk into 12 equal wedges and pull apart slightly. Brush tops of scones with 1 Tbsp heavy cream and sprinkle with raw sugar if desired. Bake 15-17 min until golden (mine took 16 min).
6.    Remove scones from the hot baking sheet and let cool 15 min then whisk together ⅔ cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice, adding more or less to desired thickness then drizzle over scones.

Cookie Truffles

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or foil; set aside. In a large bowl combine crushed cookies and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well mixed. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Chill or freeze until firm.
  2. In a large saucepan cook and stir white chocolate over low heat until melted; cool slightly.
  3. Dip each ball into melted white chocolate; let excess drip back into pan. Place dipped truffles on the prepared baking sheet. Chill truffles about 1 hour or until firm. Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Secret Garden Themed Bridal Shower

Last Saturday's shower was a bridal shower and we had a Secret Garden theme for most of it.

Each shower planning begins with an invitation:

I used lots of Tombow Mono Adhesive Dots and Mono Adhesive Permanent.

Now for the day of the shower...As you came into the room where the shower was held, we displayed on a table a candle, fresh flowers, a picture of the engaged couple as well as some old books, a sheet to sign in and some address labels for the guests to fill out if they brought a gift.



To me, the perfect thing to do in a Secret Garden would be to read, so we decorated the tables with old books. Beneath the books are book pages from a very old book taped together and the edges cut with a decorative paper punch.
Also, every Secret Garden needs a key to enter it. I just tied some ribbon onto vintage keys and tucked inside the book pages.
Sticking with a "garden" theme, the flower pots are painted peat pots and then a doily hanging out of the pot and silk flowers arranged in each one.

The dessert area had a tiered curtain covering sad marker board with ivy hanging from it. On the table we had an old crate box with doily, old books and Celtic plaster designed cross and a mirrored window frame.


 There was also a green with gold design scarf, cake platter made with terre cotta pot and base painted with off white chalk paint.


I found these pretty garden plates at Party City.

 I put a piece of waxed paper on the plate part and stacked with dark chocolate brownies.  The bride-to-be told me she loved brownies and ice cream, so we served brownie sundae's.

We served 3 kinds of ice cream: chocolate, mint chip, and vanilla...
 
Toppings were chopped Resee's, mini marshmallows (found in the hot chocolate section at the grocery store), chopped Andes' Mints, and chopped peanuts. We also had Vanilla Bean, Strawberry, and Chocolate sauces to choose from as well as canned whipped topping not shown.

 and alas...this is why this post is late (since I had told some ladies I would have this post up on Monday as they were looking for the recipes used at the shower). I was limping at the shower as my ankle was really hurting and continued to get worse (I can be stubborn and think if I wait long enough something will get better), but by yesterday, it was pretty clear that it was not going to get better. Somehow I tore some ligaments and ended up with a spur on the back of my ankle. Amazing how something so big and bulky and tight can make the pain so much more tolerable.


Here are the recipes and inspiration used for this shower:


Ultimate Double Chocolate Brownies
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup melted butter, divided
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 12 oz. package chocolate chips*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda. Blend in 1/3 cup melted butter. Add boiling water and stir until well blended.
Stir in sugar, eggs and remaining butter. Add flour, vanilla, and salt. Stir in nuts (if using) and chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Makes a 9X13 pan
**note: I did not add the chocolate chips and I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
Vanilla Bean Sauce (this was the most requested recipe)
adapted from motherthyme.com

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise and beans removed.
  1. Add sugar, butter, cream, vanilla beans and pod to a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, discard vanilla bean pod and allow to cool slightly.
Chocolate Sauce
(this recipe came from my son's friend)

4 Tablespoons cocoa
4 Tablespoons butter
1 Cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 Cup evaporated milk or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Boil to desired thickness then add vanilla


Strawberry Sauce
via:budgetsavvydiva

What You Need
1 Pint of Strawberries – clean and sliced
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
1/3 Cup of Sugar

What to Do
Over medium heat add all the ingredients to a skillet – stir and cook for about 5 minutes
Once the liquid starts to boil turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes (this will allow the sauce to get thick)
Use a potato masher and mash the sauce (this helps break up the remaining strawberries)

my Secret Garden Pinterest inspiration board

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Elephant Baby Shower

I'm sorry my blog's been quiet lately. The shower season is starting again, so I've been busy creating invitations, decorations, and food. Last year I hosted and/or co-hosted 18 bridal/baby showers! It was so much fun and I am looking forward to hosting again this year. I already have 8 "in the works", so I'll be curious to see if there will be more than 18 this year.

The first shower was this past Saturday and it was elephant themed. I have many shower ideas and have created inspiration boards for them on Pinterest (many are in "hiding" until the shower happens so that they are a surprise to the bride or mommy-to-be) and I will put a link below to my Elephant Pinterest board, so you can see where some of the ideas came from.

To start off I created elephant shaped invitations using Cutting Cafe's Elephant Shaped Card. This month Tombow sent the Stamp Runner, Dot Pattern Adhesive for being on the Brand Ambassador program. This came at the perfect time as I was just starting on my invites. I did run out of adhesive, but had a refill, so was able to finish them out.


The colors I used to create with were gray, soft coral, and mint. Here are the decorations I made:
For the center pieces, I made yarn pom poms in mint, white, gray and dark salmon (I didn't have any peach yarn, but would have rather used it). I also made some fabric flags using the fabric left over from the gift I made the new mommy.

I used the same elephant cutting file for the front of the cold coffee jars, but just shrunk them down to fit the jars. I used just a little Mono Multi Liquid Glue to keep the flag from slipping down on the skewers. I also used Tombow's Power Tabs to adhere the elephants to the ribbon.

Here is a peek at the sign in table as the guests walked into the church:



I spray painted a frame with white chalk paint and just inserted a printable I found on line. You can find it on my pinterest board as well. It comes in 3 different colors. The size is 8.5 x 11, but I shrunk it down to 4" x 6" to fit my frame.
 


Baby banner I made that hung above the food table. The elephants on the end are from My Scrap Chick's Elephant Treat Box.

Cute plates from Target
 I couldn't find any napkins to match, so just used white napkins and stamped them with Inky Antics' Birthday Elephant Honey Pop Clear Set (11024 MC).

For food we served Elephant Ear Bread. You can find the recipe on my pinterest board, but I just used my favorite sweet bread recipe and then made as the directions say, with the exception of the powdered sugar topping. That is too sweet for me, so I just made the recipe and didn't add the powdered sugar and drizzled that caramel topping on the top after it baked.

Nutter Butter cookies dipped in colored almond bark


"Elephant Trunk Jello Roll-Ups" (name I made up, these just reminded me of an elephant trunk). You can find the recipe here. I have made these many times for many occasions and they are always loved by all.

Not shown was a silver bucket with cashews which I thought mimicked an elephant's trunk as well and to drink, a simple punch made with orange sherbet and 7-Up.

and last, but not least is this sweet pillow I created for the baby: I used different fonts and cut them with my Silhouette and then used wonder under to iron on to the fabric and sewed around each letter.



Elephant Pinterest Board
Chalkboard Easel