Monthly Archives: November 2012

Candied Almonds

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I have made a lot of candy and chocolates over the years, and this is one of the easiest candies I have made! No thermometer needed! Hey, you don’t even need to use a measuring cup!
All you need is a cup of brown sugar, and 1/3 cup of water

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If you want to add cinnamon for flavour, you can, but I loved the flavour with just the sugar!
Basically, you mix the sugar and water in a frying pan…

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Bring it to a boil on medium heat, then dump in about a cup or a cup and a half of almonds…

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Keep the heat on, and stir until the sugar thickens. It’s weird, but all of a sudden it will thicken and change consistency. It’s hard to explain, but you will notice the change right away. Here is what they look like after they thicken…

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After they are done, pour them onto a cookie sheet to cool…

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They are amazing to eat when they are still warm! I also recommend sprinkling them with a little salt too…I love salty and sweet together!
These would also make a cut gift packaged in a nice little cellophane bag!
Enjoy!

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T-Shirt Scarves

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I have seen these scarves all over the internet, so I just had to try making one. The boys were going to the Raptors Basketball game this weekend, and Sam and I were going to spend the day at my Mom’s. So, I brought along three of John’s old t-shirts, and a couple sharp pairs of scissors, and put the girls to work.

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We started by cutting off the bottom hems of the shirts…

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Then, we cut the t-shirt in half straight across, just under the armpits.

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After that, we cut the midsection into strips about an inch or a inch and a half wide, leaving the side seams uncut, so we ended up with a bunch of loops…

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Here is the really cool part, one at a time, you pull the strips! When they are stretched, they curl up…

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That’s it! I like it when you loop it around your neck twice…

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Sam wanted to braid her scarf, so we followed all of the above steps, then cut the loop, and tied one end with a scrap.

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She then, she braided it, and we tied the other end so it looked like this…

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They were so quick and easy to make! We had some scraps left over from the shoulders, and some time before the boys were due to be back, so we decided to try out one of the other ideas I saw using t-shirt fabric. You start by cutting out circles, you can use a plate or template, but I just freehanded it…

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Then, cut a swirl or spiral into the center…

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The cool thing is that when you pull the swirl, it makes a ruffle!

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Make a whole bunch of ruffles, and tie them together…

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and you end up with a scarf that looks like this…

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We all ended up with scarves we were happy with, but more importantly, we spent a really nice girls day together! Love you mom and Sam!

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I can’t wait to try making some other stuff out of t-shirts…you could sew, knit, crochet, weave…just wait, i’ll think of something….

Felt Ornaments

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I know this might surprise people who know me, but sometimes I have a hard time focusing on just one thing at a time…So, sometimes…I have a few projects on the go at the same time. (I know my husband is just bursting to say something here!) Anyways, I wanted a little something to do while I was watching TV the other night, so I pulled out some embroidery thread and polar fleece.
I started by cutting out hearts out of polar fleece..

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Then, in the center, I added a French knot, which is a stitch where you wrap the thread around the needle two or three times, then back through the same hole.

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Then, I added a few stitches radiating out from the center..

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Then, I started to add some more details, by adding some more lines and I think it’s called a daisy stitch. You basically thread your needle in and out of the fabric, but leave a loop, then stick the needle back through where you want the loop to end…

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Then, you pull the thread through, and back

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I repeated this design until it looked like this..

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Then I added some extra stitches…

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To attach the front to the back, I used a blanket stitch (I think that’s what you call it). To do the blanket stitch, you simply thread the needle through the edge and put the needle on top of the thread before you pull it through..

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Here is it half done…

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When I got about 3/4 of the way around, I stuffed it with the polar fleece scraps from when I cut out the heart…

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Here it is…

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Then, here are some variations I played around with…

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I thought they would be a nice addition to a gift, or a bottle of wine

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I love making ornaments because they are so quick and easy, and when I get bored, I can try something new….Which reminds me, I have a really cool ornament idea to show you!

Banana Muffins

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A couple weeks ago, I was looking for recipes for banana muffins because I had four really ripe bananas that I wanted to use up. Most of the recipes were basically the same, but I came across this recipe on the Livestrong website. It was the same basic ingredients, but it was put together differently than most cakes or muffins, so I thought I would give it a try and see if there was a difference in the final product.
The ingredients you need are 4-5 bananas, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs, 1tsp baking powder, and 2 cups of flour, I used whole wheat.
I started by mashing 4-5 very ripe bananas

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Then add 1/2 cup of melted butter to the bananas and mix well…

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Then to the bananas, add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1tsp of vanilla, and 2 eggs.

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Sprinkle 1tsp of baking powder on top and mix in.

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Next, add the chocolate chips and 2 cups of flour.

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Get your muffin tins ready… I made these just before Halloween, so I used Halloween cupcake liners.

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Scoop the batter into the cupcake tins so they are about 2/3 full.

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I thought I would make them a little fancier by adding a few chocolate chips…

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I will admit, they are not the prettiest things I have ever made, but they are very good! They certainly didnt last that long!

The Quest for the Perfect Meatloaf is Over!

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I have been searching for a great meatloaf recipe for quite a while now, and there are plenty of recipes, but this one is by far the best!!
You need 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup of salad dressing, 2 eggs, 1 package of stuffing and a pound to a pound and a half of ground beef, and 1/2 cup of water.

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Alright, you ready for this? Mix everything together in a bowl. That’s it.

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Once everything is mixed, spread it out in a pan. This recipe made enough for a 9×12 pan and a 8×8 pan!

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Squirt some ketchup on top, then stick in the oven at 375 degrees.
I think it was the stuffing and the salad dressing that made the difference in this meatloaf. And seriously, how can it get any easier to make?

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Chocolate fudge

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I tried making this fudge a couple weeks ago and it was really good, and I had most of the ingredients in the fridge…
You need 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 cups of chocolate, one cup of cream, 1/2 cup of butter, and 3/4 cup of corn syrup.

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Mix together the white sugar, brown sugar, butter, cream and corn syrup in saucepan

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Bring to a boil for five to ten minutes, until it reaches the soft ball stage. This means that if you add a drop into cold water, it hardens to a hard ball, not crunchy. Or, if you prefer to measure using a candy thermometer, heat it to about 260 degrees

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Then, most important step is to wait five minutes, before adding the chocolate chips. The reason why you have to wait is because the chocolate will heat up too fast and overcook, which will change the texture of the fudge. Waiting ensures it will keep its creamy smooth texture…exactly what makes it taste so good. I have to admit, I didn’t wait quite long enough… I find it very difficult to be patient when fudge is involved, you understand, right?

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Once you have mixed the chocolate, and it has melted, pour it into a pan and spread out evenly. This recipe was enough for a 9×9 pan.

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Put it in the fridge to let it cool… Once again…hard to wait..but worth it!!

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