Monday, May 31, 2010

Bavarian Cream Recipe

This is an old family favorite that I'm making for dessert today. It's very, very easy and a nice, light ending to a meal. (Light doesn't mean low calorie, it means 'not filling', LOL!)

You need:

1 large box strawberry Jell-O
1/2 pint whipping cream
grapes, halved *
cut up pineapple (don't use fresh)
cut up oranges (I'm using mandarin)
mini marshmallows
You can also add finely chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries, if desired

Like most of my mother's recipes, there are no set numbers for most of this--just eyeball it. You really can't go wrong.

Make the Jell-O and refrigerate until it starts to gel (my mother uses some of the canned pineapple juice for the water.

Whip up the cream. Fold it into the partially gelled Jell-O.

Add the fruit and marshmallows.

Chill until set, then enjoy!

* Being 'Sorta Frugal' I refuse to pay $3.99 a pound for grapes, even though I'd only need a handful. So I'm going to try blueberries in this recipe today.

I will post a picture of this later today--it's a very pretty dessert. For the record, it is nothing like 'ambrosia,' which is much heavier and has coconut in it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Prepping Dry Ingredients

I like to get my dry ingredients ready ahead of time. I've got a few bags of pre-measured flour for bread in my bread drawer, for example. I'm going to try a new recipe for Memorial Day. It is the Deen Brothers' Hush Puppies. I cut it from a magazine, which would either be Paula Deen's or Food Network--can't remember which. Anyway, the more I can do ahead of time, the happier I am. So I measured out the dry ingredients into a zipper bag. I know that people use tall glasses for filling bags, but I needed something bigger. Then I remembered this metal 'vase' I'd bought for a dollar on some clearance rack. I don't currently have anything in it. It was the perfect size for this job! Now I can fill up bigger bags with dry ingredients without making a big mess.

Don't you love finding new uses for old things? I have another one of these that I spray-painted turquoise. It holds all my little dish detergent packets!

It's time for Kitchen Tip Tuesday's over at Tammy's Recipes. I have a link to Tammy's blog on my sidebar, but here's a link to today's carnival:

BTW, the hush puppies were a total failure. Well, not total. They looked great. But they tasted horrible. I'm sure it's something I did wrong, but I'd never make the recipe again.

I did, however, make the best ribs I've ever made. My husband said, 'that's the way to make ribs.' Basically, you simply brown them off on the grill, then you put them in a big pan covered in barbecue sauce (I used Bullseye Memphis style) and cover that with foil. Then you throw them into a 250 degree oven for about 3 hours. They just fall off the bone when you eat them. Oh, and that really is two hundred fifty degrees. 350 for 3 hours would probably burn the sauce!

Fifty Cent Patriotic Wreath

I've seen 'rag wreaths' on several blogs and thought they looked easy and cute.

My neighbor was having a garage sale yesterday. I bought a picture frame, plus 2 wire wreath frames. They cost me 50 cents apiece.

Then I hit my stash and started tearing up red, white and blue fabric. These wreaths are so easy to make I might just have to use the other frame for another time of the year. I have so many scraps. I'm thinking autumn colors for the fall. I could keep the wreath hung up all through September, October and November. This one will stay on the wall behind my desk for the summer.

I'll probably add more rags as I go along.

BTW, Happy Memorial Day tomorrow. I'm sure everyone (all 3 of you) reading this has someone who gave his/her life for our freedom. I'm also sure those true heroes are enjoying barbecue up in heaven! (Yeah, I think you really live up there. Just floating around playing a harp seems boring to me. Hope this doesn't offend anyone.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another One Hour Project

Here's another project from the "One Yard Wonders" book (by Yaker and Hoskins). It's called "Granny's Clothespin Apron." In my version, I used two different fabrics, but they do add up to about a yard. This fabric came from Joanne's and it was in the baby section. Brown with either pink or powder blue seems to be a color combo for bambinos these days--very stylishly cute!

This project went together very fast. Now all I have to do is wait for a sunny day to use it. I keep my clothespins in a bag Debbie J (see my sidebar) made for me, but the clothesline doesn't move so I keep having to go back for handfuls of pins. Now I can keep them in Debbie's bag but carry them in my apron.

I'm going to try to link up to some creative carnivals this week. Today I'm linking to "The Girl Creative" for her "Just Something I Whipped Up Monday."

I'm also linking to "Motivate Me Monday" over at "Keeping it Simple."

Edited to link to:

"Look What I Made" at Creations by Kara

"Creative Share" at Trendy Treehouse

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An evening at the beach

I'm not much for beaches in the daytime, despite growing up on Long Island. I hate the heat and I detest the crowds.

But the beach at twilight? That's another story. Mike and I went last night to one of our 'state park' beaches and took a nice stroll along the water's edge. That's the Long Island Sound behind us. As you can see, I'm carrying a net bag full of shells. They are now spread out on a tray in the middle of my dining room table.

I found one piece of amber beach glass. The most unusual shell I found was a black scallop shell. I've never seen a black one and it was the only one I came across last night.

Of course, I also picked up rocks of unusual and attractive shapes. They don't look as pretty away from the beach, so I'll probably put them in mason jar of water to give them their 'shine.'

Mike took the picture on top by holding the camera up over our heads and aiming down. I saw on a TV show that this is a good way to take a picture. It took me 3 efforts of my own to realize it makes more sense to have the taller person hold the camera--I kept cutting off Mike's head.

BTW, doesn't he look amazing for a guy who will be 56 next month? (And he can still bench press 350 pounds!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

One Yard Projects

I found a wonderful book called "One-Yard Wonders" by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. There are 101 projects in here that take only a yard of fabric. There are household items, baby things, toys, accessories, clothing--things you never thought you could do with a yard of fabric!

This is a 'charging station.' As you can see, it's a box with a hole cut in the back that you use for things that need charging (like my DS and my Black-and Decker scissors). It is on a table in my living room and looks so much nicer than the crummy old tray I had there.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who sews! Oh, and the best part--it comes complete with patterns!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Like I died...

...and went to book heaven. That is how I describe my experience visiting a library today that I haven't been to in years. We used to belong until we moved to another school district. I mostly go to our own local library, plus two others one town over. I haven't been to the H library since I don't remember when.

What happened is that my neighbor belongs to a garden club, and she told me they were having a flower show today. I've never gone to a flower show, so I thought, 'why not--it's local.' But I got there a half hour too early so I decided to just sit around the library perusing magazines.

I have to tell you, I kind of felt like Belle in Beauty and the Beast when he shows her the library. The H library is still in the same building, but back in the day I'd guess they were barely using 1/4 of the space for the library proper. (The rest was meeting rooms.)

It has to be at least 3 times as big as it was. I've never seen so many books. Rows and rows and rows! The magazine aisle was at least 20 feet long.

The floor was carpeted, and everything was nice and 'open.' I didn't have time to look around as much as I wanted, because I wanted to get to the flower show, but I'm sure going back again. I'm hoping I can use my E library card there. I can use it at two other libraries, so it's pretty likely I can use it there, too. Even if I can't, it will be a nice place to spend a few hours on a hot summer day. I'll just pull books off the shelf to read a chapter at a time, LOL!

Don't you love it when you find something you didn't know about?

Oh, and the flower show was wonderful! The displays were amazing. There were floral arrangements, plants, and clippings from flowering bushes. I love how they put individual flowers in glass bottles--tiny flowers in small bottles, big flowers in tall glass vases. There was a flower from a rhododendron that was five inches across--I'd love to see THAT bush!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just a Little Note

I'm still around. I've just been having too much fun with a)the iPod the kids gave me for Mother's Day and b)my new sewing machine. It's a Brother somenumberorother and I love it. 130 stitches, easy to use, lightweight and only cost me two paychecks. I'd saved for the iPod but since I got that as a gift I went for the new sewing machine. I hope to show some things I've made, soon.

Other news: I'm probably 10 or 15 rows from finishing the crocheted baby blanket I'm making for my niece's baby (due in July). Then I will do the border around the edges. I didn't want it to be plain and it hit me today just how to decorate it. I'm going to make a caterpillar out of crocheted circles to match the border! I think that will be very cute.

I'm absolutely thrilled to hear the baby's name: Patrick Warren. Why? Because my niece is naming her little boy after one of my brothers, who passed away about 10 years ago. Patrick was the coolest guy ever, without a mean bone in his body. I don't want to go into private details, but he was only 52 when he had a heart attack. He was the victim of a crime and heavy duty pain killers probably ruined his heart.

(Warren is the father's father's name. And it also happens that my niece's mil's name is Patricia!)

My mother was so happy to hear about the baby's name. She not only lost Patrick 10 years ago, but another son back in the early 1970s. (My son Michael is named not only for my husband and fil, but for my brother.)

Life goes on, and I'm betting Patrick is smiling up in heaven to know his name will go on in our family!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Frugal Tray

I found these cute plastic trays for a quarter each after Easter. On the left is 'before' and on the right is 'after.' To make the green tray, I cut a big picture from a calendar (also bought on clearance!) to cover the picture in the middle of the tray. The avocado flowers around it are from an advertisement.

I used Modge-Podge for this. It dries nice and clear. I think I might be using a lot of this stuff. It's really fun to play with. Now I have a nice tray for the spring and summer.

Haven't decided what to do with the blue one yet, but I'm thinking patriotic. We'll see. It's a fast and easy project. The hardest part was finding pictures in a magazine that weren't mushed up with other images or half-off the page.

The jar says Modge-Podge is non-toxic, but I don't think I'd put food directly on this anyway. If anyone knows if that is safe to do, lmk.

Linking to:
Frugalicious Friday

Frugal Friday

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Thrifty Tip Tuesday

Note: editing this at 5:25 EDT 'cause Lori of Couponomic Stimulus Package invited me to link to her "Tuesday Tips" Carnival, too! Here is her link:

And here is the link to "Thrifty Tip Tuesday," and other source for great frugal tips!

It's Thrifty Tip Tuesday over at "I am a Money Magnet" today. I have a little tip: take inventory! Not just of what's in your freezer and pantry, either. Today's reminder is to write down what you have on your fridge door! If you are like me, you have a few 'ingredients' that may go forgotten for ages. Some stuff will last--hoisin sauce keeps indefinitely, I've heard--but some you want to use it before you lose it.

A site that really helps me is "Supercook." Here's the link:

Just plug in whatever ingredients you have on hand (like that chopped garlic you bought last year) and it will list all kinds of recipes for you. It's free, of course!

Hope you like my tip. Please visit Jamie's blog and join in!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

I made the above 'Scrappy Clutch' from this tutorial. I left the strap off because I'm using this as a makeup bag to throw in my pocketbook. The tutorial is excellent, so if you see any mistakes, that's just me, LOL!

Christine has quite a few tutorials on her blog, so be sure to check them out. They are well-illustrated and fun--quite a lot of work for a mommy who has three little ones!

BTW, that's the baby afghan in the background. I've made some good progress on it!