Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ugly Sweater Christmas Ornaments


I felt like crafting! So I started making Christmas ornaments. Christmas in July is the official name for this!


Supply List:

felt 

fabric pen

scissors

embroidery thread

embroidery needle

embellishments 

fabric glue

wire 

wire tweezers

wire cutters

Directions:

Make a little shirt pattern and start tracing the shirt pattern on to felt.


Start cutting out the shirts with sharp scissors. 


Each ornament needs 2 felt shirts and a wire hanger.


Using a piece of wire - twist into a hanger shape that fits the shape of your shirt. I only had red wire - but silver or black wire would have looked better. 


The hangers were really simple to make.  It might help to make a hanger template on a pice of paper and use that to make all of teenagers the same size.


Using a contrasting embroidery thread sew the two shirts together with the hanger included. 


Using some Christmas themed stickers and little rhinestones. Add some fabric glue and embellish the felt sweaters.


The more little embellishments added make the sweater look "uglier." These are so fun to make! I am thinking packaging up 3 or 5 sweaters about giving them for hostess gifts. I also like to bring everyone an ornament - whenever I go to holiday lunches.









Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Watermelon, Feta and Fig Salad


Today after some humid tennis - I mean I was sweating profusely after about 5 minutes of play. I decided to make my favorite refreshing salad.

This salad is so simple to make and can be made in less then 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

arugula

olive oil

salt and pepper

watermelon cut into cubes

feta cheese cut into cubes

figs sliced in half

balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Toss a few handfuls of arugula with a small drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scatter the dressed arugula onto a rectangle shaped plate.


On top of the arugula - add the watermelon and feta in a checkerboard type pattern. Add the figs along the outside of the pattern. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.


This salad is so delicious and light. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Farmer's Market Chopped Veggie Salad


I am obsessed with chopped salads. I have been making chopped veggie salads every week since mid June!  I can add them to a pasta or an orzo salad. But my favorite way to serve them is over a bed of lightly dressed arugula.


There is no recipe for this salad - I often just chop what ever veggies I have. This veggie salad has green bell pepper, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, carrots, radish, cucumber, green onion and some chives.


I actually had some celery and red onion and I didn't have enough room in my serving bowl! 


Since I have been making so many chopped salads - I invested in a chopper. I bought the Sharper Image chopper from Bed Bath and Beyond (with a coupon!). 


Everything tastes better in the summer and even better if you can eat outdoor! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Shark Week Sugar Cookies


Every year during Shark Week I make Shark cookies.


The shark cookie cutter is from Sur la Table.


My sugar cookie recipe made so many sharks!


I frosted each shark with a little melted white chocolate and coated it with blue sanding sugar. So easy! I actually ran out of blue sugar and white chocolate and I still have 50 more sharks to decorate!


Shark week cookies = who ha ha!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Red, White and Blue Bracelet


I crafted today while I watched Wimbledon, I made these cute little bracelets to celebrate the 4th of July. Each bracelet took about 45 minutes to make.

Supply List:

waxed linen cord

jewelry glue

beads in red, white and blue

large jewelry clasps

scissors

ruler

Directions:

Cut the waxed linen into 9 inch pieces.


The waxed linen cord is in the beading section.


I bought both the waxed linen and jewelry clasps at Michael's. 


Using your jewelry glue - add a glob into the larger end of the clasp and put about 7 to 9 pieces of the waxed linen cord into the clasp.


Wait a few minutes for the glue to dry - then spread the linen out like an octopus and start randomly beading.


The wax will hold the beads in place. I happened to have some red, white and blue beads - left over from when I made the Flag pins for Meals on Wheels. But I also bought some crystal beads in two different shapes at Hobby Lobby.


Once each strand has 15 to 20 beads in any random pattern - cut the wax cord into a 7 or 7 1/2 inch length. Then add a glob of glue to the other side of the clasp and add all of the beaded cords into the glue.


Wait a few minutes for the glue to dry and your bracelet is complete. 

 The waxed linen cord also comes in black and I was thinking with orange and black beads for a Halloween bracelet.

Happy 4th of July! God Bless America.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Olive Tapenade - Napa Inspired




My husband loves olives! So today I made him some homemade Olive Tapenade. This is so simple to make - it invokes a little minimal chopping and pulsing in a food processor.  And he loved it!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped shallots

1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red vine vinegar

 6 ounce can green olives, well drained

6 ounce can black olives, well drained

1/4 cup fresh basil, lightly packed

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place shallots, sundered tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar into a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped and well combined. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper. Pulse again until everything is well combined and finely chopped.

Place the tapenade into a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for a least 1 hour or overnight.



Serve with toasted baguette slices or crackers. The perfect summer appetizer to serve at your next BBQ.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Flag Brownie


I made a m&m Flag Brownie! So easy and really fun! I simply made a 9" x 13" brownie. I let the brownie cool completely. Then the brownie can be frosted in chocolate or vanilla frosting. I used chocolate frosting.


For this project you will need two bags of red, white and blue m&m's. Apparently Target is the only store selling these red, white and blue m&m's. And when you start the design - place the side with the m&m logo face down into the frosting. Place the decorated brownie into the fridge for about an hour to set the m&m's.


Wishing you a happy and safe 4th of July! God Bless America.



Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tennis Team Emergency Kits


Tomorrow is our last USTA match of the season - so I made all of the ladies little Tennis Emergency Bags! These were so simple to make and you can get everything you need at Target or a drugstore that carries little travel size items. 


Each kit contains a hand sanitizer, sunscreen, Chapstick, nail file, two bandaids, two hair ties and a granola bar.


I put all of the items in a cellophane bag.  


I tied each cellophane bag with yellow and white ribbon.



Made some simple labels. And my little tennis gift is ready for the ladies on the team.


I hope we win tomorrow! It is going to be HOT!







Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Heirloom Tomato Soup



Lately I have been ordering Heirloom Tomato Soup whenever it is on a menu. So I decided to try to recreate the recipe at home. I Googled a bunch of recipes and figured out how to make it at home.

I had some awesome Heirloom Tomato Soup last week and it was served with a Lobster Grilled Cheese sandwich. Yum!

This is a really easy recipe and can be made in advance - then reheated before serving.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, sliced

1 shallot, finely chopped

3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 1-2 cups chicken stock/broth

3 to 4 table spoons heavy cream (optional)


Directions:



I used cherry sized heirloom tomatoes.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the tomatoes in half and place them in a large shallow pan. 


Add the shallot, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the pan into the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes. 


Once the tomatoes are soft and the pan is full of tomato juice the pan can be removed from the oven. I let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes. 



Then the tomatoes can be pureed. I used an immersion blender - because I am lazy and didn't want to clean a food processor or blender.  Then the tomato puree can be added to a saucepan and the chicken broth and heavy cream can be added to the simmering soup. Add more chicken broth if you want a thinner soup.


I served the soup with some crusty bread and a green salad.


This soup recipe only made about 3 large soup bowls. The next time I make this recipe I am going to double the recipe. 












Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tri-Melon Salad



Last week I bought a new melon baller at Sur la Table. And I have been making melon ball salads.


I made this melon ball salad with a cantaloupe, honeydew melons and watermelon. 


I always squeeze a little lemon over my fruit salads. Sometimes I will also add a squeeze of honey.


It is so nice to have a bowl of fresh cut fruit in the fridge. Having fruit ready to eat is always a healthy snack. This fruit salad would be a great dish to make for your next BBQ.