Easy Breezy

Easy Breezy
Being creative every day and making it look Easy Breezy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sew Busy

I got a call from a girl I work with the other night.  She has a friend who sews children's clothing that she sells at craft shows and apparently, this being her busy time of year, she had gotten behind and needed some help sewing and getting caught up.  That's where I came in.  I have been sewing up a storm for the past two weeks.  I've sewn over 50 darling dresses.  My dining room resembles a sweat shop!  Everywhere I go random people pull stray threads off my clothes and out of my hair.  You should have seen the huge pile of serger confetti (that is my name for the little strips of fabric left behind when you serge something) I accumulated after sewing that many dresses!  Surely there is something fabulous that can be made with serger confetti.  I used to make handmade paper - I'll bet serger confetti would be great for that!

Anyway, I've just been so busy sewing I've gotten behind on my blogging so I thought I'd take a break from my Singer and share something I made for a ladies dinner last week.

The ladies in my Sunday school class planned a ladies night out and my friend Amy offered to host it at her house.  She made a yummy pasta dish and everyone else signed up to bring the salad, bread, dessert and drinks.  I brought the dessert and the sweet tea.

I've been seeing all these cute desserts in the Mason jars online lately, so I thought I'd give it a try.  Here is my version of dessert in a jar.

I made my "dump cake" recipe, which is the easiest dessert ever!  All you need is a can of pie filling, I used peach and apple (shown here) and cherry (my favorite) a box of yellow cake mix, chopped pecans and two sticks of butter.  I spooned 1/3 a can of pie filling into each jar, then I chopped up about 3 cups of pecans and mixed them into the dry cake mix. I then spooned the dry cake mix and pecan mixture on top of the pie filling.  I just divided it up evenly among the nine Mason jars.  Lastly I dotted cold cubes of butter on top of the cake mix (about a tablespoon per jar).  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until pie filling is bubbly.  I placed my jars in a deep roasting pan just to make it easier to get them in and out of the oven, but you could use a cookie sheet too.  When I took the jars out of the oven I covered them with the lids.  You could hear the jars sealing up like I had just made preserves or something!  Then I tied raffia around the top and added a spoon.  I lined my cooled roasting pan with some fall towels, put the jars back in and that is how I carried them to my friends house!  I also brought along some whipped cream, but I think a scoop of vanilla ice cream on this warm dessert would have put it over the top!

My easy breezy dessert was a big hit!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

I Couldn't Help Myself!

Okay, if anyone overhears me saying I'm going to Hobby Lobby or Hancocks, please host an intervention!  Things are really getting out of hand with all the fabric buying.  I may have to start quilting to use up all my scraps, because y'all know a true crafter NEVER throws away scraps! 

So anyway,  I was strolling through Hancocks the other day just "looking" and I saw this adorable fabric!  I thought to myself, "my darling niece NEEDS something made from this!"  So I bought this cute witch hat fabric, then ran right next door to Hobby Lobby... you can see why I'm having such issues with Hobby Lobby and Hancocks right next door to each other... and I bought the orange and white polka dot. 
Then I rushed home and whipped up this little cutie!

The beauty of a pillowcase dress is that next year she can wear it as a top with a pair of leggings since babies don't really get wider just longer!

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Trick or Treat Smell My Feet...

...give me something good to eat!  It's getting to be that time of year!  My son in law calls it "The Gilmer Eating Season".  We start with an annual family reunion the second weekend in October and we don't stop eating until after New Year's.  It's just one long eat-fest, with football games and birthday parties and family reunions and holidays all running together for three whole months and  I love every minute of it!  It's really the only time of year I enjoy cooking.  I don't dislike cooking, but I do get board of the every day what's-for-dinner routine.  When the eating season rolls around I get to pull out the good stuff, the recipes that define this holiday or that.  Like my sweet potato souffle with the brown sugar and pecan topping.  It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.  I'd sooner give up turkey!  But don't let me get ahead of myself, I've got a lot of eating to do between now and Thanksgiving! 

 First things first!  Taco Soup!  With the first dip in the temperature  I have to pull out my trusty recipe for Taco Soup.  I hear its supposed to get cool this weekend and I can't wait to make a big pot of it! I know that there are many versions of this recipe floating around, but this is mine if you'd like to give it a try.

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. hidden valley ranch mix
4 cans Rotel Tomatoes
2 cans Shoepeg Corn
1 can Black Beans
1 can Kidney Beans

Put ground beef and onion in a large pot.  Brown meat.  Drain.  Add Taco and Ranch seasonings.  Stir to coat meat and onions.  Open all your cans and dump them in!  Add water (about 4 cups) to fill pot.  Stir.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  I serve mine with Fritos and grated cheese on top and a big piece of cornbread with butter on the side! YUM!

Secondly is Halloween.  My oldest son was born on Halloween so I tried to come up with some special treats to serve at his birthday party.  One of my favorites are these ghost lollipops.  I got this idea from a Martha Stewart magazine many years ago and they have always been a hit. 

Can you believe I painted this tin can about fifteen years ago!  Actually I painted several and used them to hold utensils (or lollipops) at my son's birthday party.  I still use them all these years later.

To make the ghost lollipops I melt white chocolate almond bark over low heat.  I don't use a double boiler, but you can if you don't think you'll be able to stand by the stove, constantly stirring until the chocolate is melted.  I also add a teaspoon or two of Crisco shorntening.  The shortening helps thin the consistency out a bit and keeps the chocolate from seizing up.  Do NOT use oil.  Only shortening will work. When the chocolate is melted, spoon chocolate onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.  Using the back of the spoon spread the chocolate into a ghost shape.  You could also add the chocolate to a piping bag and pipe out your ghost shape. My ghosts are about 3 inches tall.  Lay a lollipop stick into the wet chocolate and cover the stick with a bit more chocolate to anchor the stick.  Then take 3 mini-chocolate chips and place them pointy side down to make a ghost face.  Refrigerate until firm (about an hour). I place the ghosts into a lollipop bag and tie with orange and black curling ribbon. 

Then there is the pumpkin cake.  I've made this cake for my son's birthday almost every year.  A couple of times I strayed from the pumpkin cake and made a scarecrow cake and a haunted house cake and my biggest cake disaster, the candy corn cake.  It looked like a big orange, yellow and white hill.  If people have to ask what it's supposed to be, you can pretty much chalk it up as a "cake fail!"  But the pumpkin cake has always been a success.  Although every year I forget to save a soup can to bake the stem in and I'm always running out at the last minute to buy soup!  I should put that with my recipe - eggs, butter, flour, one can of cream of mushroom soup...
This cake is actually two bundt cakes stacked on top of each other.

Seth's 18th birthday party. 

Seth was wishing he'd get accepted at UGA.  His wish came true!

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