Friday, September 19, 2014

Tennis Themed Granola Bars


I wrapped some scrapbook paper around some granola bars and added a little tennis ball tag for a good luck treat for the team.

For this project you will need:

Granola bars

Scrapbook paper (solid yellow and two patterns)

Circle cutter

Scalloped circle cutter

Tape

White Sharpie pen

Scissors

I used some Kashi Granola Bars.


Using one of your patterned papers - cut a pattern to wrap around the granola bar.


Tape the scrapbook paper around the granola bar.



Cut out the yellow tennis ball circles and draw the white line with the Sharpie pen. Cut out a scalloped circle. Tape the tennis ball to the scalloped circle.


Simply tape the tennis ball tag to the granola bar. I always keep granola bars in my tennis bag. It is so easy to grab a quick bite on the change overs.



This is a cute treat to make for any sports team! Soccer, baseball, basketball, softball would all be cute to make with this project.

Granola bars come in so many fun flavors! I like the Kashi and Luna bars.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Maraschino Cherry Bread


This time of the year I am usually making pumpkin or apple bread - but we are experiencing  an unbelievable heat wave in Southern California. And I felt like making something fresh and light. So instead I woke up early and made this Maraschino Cherry Bread.

I love Maraschino Cherries!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup oil

1 egg

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 tablespoon salt

2 jars (10 ounces each) maraschino cherries

Glaze:

2  1/2cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons melted butter

1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice

1/2 teaspoon almond extract


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" x 5" loaf pan with a non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl stir together the sugar, milk, oil and egg. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Drain the maraschino cherries. reserve the juice to make the glaze and some Shirley Temples. Coarsely chop the cherries and gentley fold the cherries into the batter.


Pour the bread batter into the loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread should come out clean. Allow the bread to cool for at least a half hour and tuen it out on a wire rack.


Place some foil or wax paper under the wire rack. Combine the powdered sugar, melted butter, cherry juice and almond extract. Sttir until a thick glaze forms and spoon it over the Maraschino Cherry bread.




 Let the glaze set and then slice the bread.



This is a wonderful bread to serve as an after school snack with a big glass of milk or a Shirley Temple!




Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tennis Themed Lollipops - A Good Luck Treat for the Team



Today I made some tennis themed lollipops - a good luck treat for the team. I was going to make another treat like a homemade granola bar. But today was so hot - there was no way I could turn the oven on!

Fortunately - I had everything I needed to make tennis ball lollipops.


For this project you will need:

Yellow lollipops

Yellow scrapbook paper

Circle punch

White Sharpie pen

Green scrapbook paper

Scalloped circle punch

Double stick tape

I bought my yellow lollipops at Party City.


Then cut out yellow circles and green scalloped circles.


On the yellow circles - I used the white Sharpie pen and made the white line.



Using the double stick tape - tape the yellow tennis ball to the green scalloped circle.


Then tape the yellow tennis ball to the green scalloped circle. Now tape the circles to the lollipop.




This is such an easy project and I have made these lollipops to look like with both baseballs and basketballs.


These lollipops would also make cute place cards by writing the players name on the tennis ball for a tennis banquet or luncheon.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tennis Ball Cookies - Dessert for the Team




I make these all the time - sometimes I also sprinkle the frosting with yellow sugar. But today I was running out of time.


Using your favorite sugar cookie mix - roll out the dough and cut out some 2-inch circles.


Then I frosted the cookies with melted white chocolate tinted with yellow gel food coloring.  Once the yellow chocolate has set add the white line with some melted white chocolate in a zipper top bag with a small corner sniped off.


Once the chocolate has dried on the tennis balls - they can be placed on a serving platter.



Here is my serving platter - I placed them on a large white oval platter.


These would be fun to make for your child's tennis team or to serve to the parents while watching tennis matches.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fresh Fig Jam


Tomorrow I am going to Fig & Olive for a girlfriends birthday lunch. I wanted to make a small party favor. Lately I have been bringing flowers in repurposed tin can vases and sachets for party favors. So today I decided to do something different and make small jars of Fresh Fig Jam.

I love figs, in my childhood home we had a fig tree in our backyard.

All summer I have seen fresh figs at Trader Joe's, Sprouts and Whole Foods. When I researched fig jam all the recipes were all about the same - fresh figs, sugar, water and lemon juice. I had sugar and fresh lemons but everyone was out of figs.

 However, when I went (as a last resort) to the produce store next to Trader Joe's and asked them if they had figs - he said sure we have "June figs" and they are with the berries.  These "June figs" are smaller and very sweet.



Ingredients:

4 cups chopped fresh figs

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions:


Wash the figs and trim off the stems.



Chop the figs into small pieces and throw them into s saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a boil.


Then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour until the mixture has reduced and thickened. Add the lemon juice and simmer for an extra minute or two.


Let the mixture cool and carefully spoon the fig jam into the sterilized jars and seal with the lids.  Once the jars have cooled place them in the refrigerator.


While the mixture is simmering - you should prepare your jars and lids by sterilizing them in boiling hot water. Set the sterilized jars on a clean dish towel. I used small 4 ounce jars. And this recipe filled 5 small jars. I bought these jars at Target. They have a great jar selection in the kitchen section.


Isn't this fig jam beautiful? I love the color.


Since I made these little jars for a party favor I added a little piece of scrapbook paper on top of the lid and a small piece of coordinating ribbon around the lid.  I am hoping to make little birthday labels in the morning.

This jam can be used on toast, English muffins or scones. It can also be used as a condiment on a cheese and crackers tray. It is wonderful on ice cream!

And of course it would be fantastic in a sandwich with brie and argula or even a pizza with the fig jam and argula.  I think my friends will love this party favor.

Happy Birthday Kim!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tennis Ball Sachets - Good Luck Treats for My Tennis Team


I made some tennis ball sachets. These will be good luck treats for my tennis team - our first matches are in two weeks. They can be put in tennis bags, linen cabinets, lingerie drawers or a suitcase. Basically they can be put anywhere that you want to smell pretty and fresh.

Supplies:

Yellow felt

Round cookie cutter

Black pen

White embroidery thread 

Embroidery needle

Scissors

Dried lavender

Cellophane bags

Coordinating ribbon

Tennis ball sticker

Directions:

Using your circle cookie cutter or a round glass - trace circles onto the yellow felt.


Carefully cut out the circles. You will need two circles for each sachet.


On half of the felt circles stitch the white lines of a tennis ball. These will be the top of the sachet.



Now stitch the top circle with the white tennis lines to the bottom blank piece of felt.


Before the tennis ball is sewn shut — add some dried lavender and continue sewing the tennis ball shut.


You should be able to buy dried lavender at any craft store or online.



Once all of the tennis balls are filled with dried lavender and sewn shut - it is time to package them!



I thought I had some yellow ribbon in my ribbon drawer. But I could not find any yellow ribbon. So I decided to use black ribbon. It makes a nice contrast with the yellow tennis ball.


I actually found some yellow tennis ball stickers while I was looking for ribbon. So I put the tennis ball sticker on an index card and cut around it and using double stick tape I adhered the sticker to the middle of the bow.

These can be made for any sport! I made these while I was watching the US Open. I am hoping that my favorites win - Roger and Maria.



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Key Lime Pie


Today I made a Key Lime Pie - it is one of my husbands favorite desserts. He always wants to order Key Lime Pie for dessert in restaurants. It is really very simple to make and this recipe called for lime zest which added a little extra lime flavor. I also did not process my graham crackers in the food processor because I detest cleaning out my food processor. So instead I put the graham crackers in a large zipper top bag and used a rolling pin over them repeatedly until they were almost fine crumbs. I think my crust has a thicker rustic look.

I found this recipe on The Moveable Feasts and it is a really fascinating blog.

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

4 large egg yolks

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

11 graham crackers, processed to fine crumbs ( 1 1/4 cup)

3 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

For the filling whisk the zest and yolks in a medium bowl for about 2 minutes until the mixture is tinted light green. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and then the lime juice. I used a combination of regular and key limes to make the lime juice. Key limes are so small that it would take forever to make 1/2 cup of juice.  Set the mixture aside to thicken at room temperature.



For the crust preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter. Stir until the mixture is blended.Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Pressing the mixture to the bottom and sides of the pan to form an even layer. Bake the crust for 15 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and add the filling on to the cooled crust and bake for 15 - 17 minutes. The center should be set but yet wiggly when jiggled. Return the pie to the wire rack so that it cools to room temperature.


Once the pie is cooled it should be refrigerated for at least 3 hours. Serve with lime slices and dollops of whipped cream.


I used the key limes to make the slices to decorate the pie.


Key Lime Pie is really a perfect summertime dessert. It is both sweet and tart, cool and refreshing.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Peach Cobbler Bars


I saw the Peach Cobbler Bar picture on foodgawker and it lead me to the blog From Calculus to Cupcakes. And I found the recipe really easy and happened to have all the ingredients in my kitchen.

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

2 cups flour

1 cup oats

1 cup sugar

4 large peaches, peeled and chopped into small pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8" x 8" square baking pan with foil. Brush the foil with a little of the melted butter.

In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, oats and 1 cup of sugar. Pour the melted butter over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until the mixture resembles a coarse meal texture.

Press approximately 1/2 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Stir the peaches with the cornstarch and sugar. Spread the peach mixture evenly on top of the  pressed crust. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the top of the peaches.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Let the Peach Cobbler Bars cool for at least 1/2 hour. Then carefully cut the bars into 12 even pieces.


Can you see the juicy layer of peaches?


I have served these bars with both vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.