Thursday, January 1, 2009

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chocolate Truffles

My dear friend Naise, sent me the recipe for these delicious and simple to make truffles during Christmas week. I found I already had everything I needed in the cabine so Savannah and I made these on Christmas Eve. We used several different things to roll them in from the decorative sprinkles you can get in the baking section of the grocery store to coconut, chopped nuts and colored sugars.

Everyone here loved them, especially Mama :)

Naise said she tried a variation of ingredients giving hers a peppermint flavor. That's something I want to try next time because I love the combination of chocolate and mint.

3 cups (18 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Coatings: Finely chopped toasted nuts, flaked coconut, chocolate sprinkles, colored sprinkles, unsweetened cocoa, confectioners' sugar or colored sugars

In large saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with EAGLE BRAND®. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
Pour into medium bowl. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours or until firm.
Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in desired coating and/or decorate with frosting and candies. Chill 1 hour or until firm. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Unique Doily Ornaments (2 Gifts in 1)

I was visiting All Free Crafts over the weekend and happened upon this page:

Christmas Doily Ornaments

I thought these were just adorable little things and they looked so simple to do. However, I wanted to change them up a bit and make them into more of a gift so I could just pull one from the Christmas tree and hand it to visitors when they happen by for cookies on Wednesday and Thursday.

So, here is our take on the Christmas Doily Ornaments:

We used

2 Doilies (One was a new lace one and the other was a vintage crocheted doilie):

2 Scented Ball Candles:

Place the candle in the center of the ornament:

Gather the doily up and around the ornament and tie a strip of ribbon around it to secure it in place:

Cut another strip of ribbon about 5 inches long and fold the ends over a little bit:

Do the next part if you want to hang them on the tree. The instructions on All Free Crafts were to hot glue the ribbon to the doily. We chose to stitch it because it would be easier for the stitches to be removed to use the doily than it would be to remove the glue from the fabric :)

Stitch the ribbon to the center top area of the ornament:

Here are the completed ornaments:

Here's how they look on the tree:

As completed ornaments I like the resulting look of the lace one over the crocheted one. I think a tighter crocheted doily would make a better looking ornament than the one I used.

Now that we know which one we like best, I can pick up more supplies while I'm out shopping and make a few more for the tree and friends.

So there you have it, two inexpensive gifts in one and a very simple and fun craft to share with your family :)

Lemon Bath Salts

Savannah and I spent a few minutes in the kitchen today whipping up some refreshing lemon bath salts. These smell really good and are so pretty in the jars.

Lemon Bath Salts

1 cup Epsom Salts
1 tbs Tanning Oil
1 tbs Lemon Juice
5 drops Food Coloring

Mix all ingredients well until the color is blended and evenly distributed.

Pour into decorative jar for gift giving. Embellish jar.

Savannah chose to color hers a grapefruit color while I colored mine yellow.

She attached two pretty lavender ribbons around the jar with a label on the front.

****Please use caution when using these bath salts. The oil can make the tub slippery when standing****

**Tip: To make the bathroom smell nice all the time, pour this into a pretty bowl with a small scoop or wooden spoon and place it on the counter or near the bathtub. It will serve as a constant room deodorizer and whenever you want to use it you can just scoop it directly from the bowl into the bath water.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

1 (16 ounce) package macaroni
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
ground black pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) package sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 10 to 13 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. In a bowl mix together the eggs, milk, and pepper. In a casserole dish, place about a third of the cooked macaroni in one layer, sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese, then layer the rest of the macaroni and cover with the remaining cheese. Coat evenly with the egg-milk mixture. Lastly, cut slices of butter and place them on top of the cheese.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.

Candied Yams

1 40 oz can of Yams

1/2 cup of Butter
2/3 cup of syrup from the can
2/3 cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract (optional)

1 - 2 cups of Marshmallows (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Drain and reserve juice from can of yams.

Cut yams into 1 1/2 inch slices and arrange in a 2 quart casserole dish.

In a small pot on top of stove, melt butter, add 2/3 cup syrup from can, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and pour over the yams.

Sprinkle with marshmallows if desired.

Bake at 350 for 20 to 30 minutes.