Thursday, April 28, 2016

Funeral potatoes

If anyone knows where this name came from, please advise! Personally, I have two theories:

* either they are great for a crowd and you can take them with you to funeral reception, OR
* they are so deliciously bad for you that they will clog up your arteries which may result in death by potatoes!

Regardless of where the name came from, the recipe is finger-licking good and definitely worth giving it a try. Make sure that you use hash browns! This is Pioneer Woman's recipe straight from Food Network and as many of her delights, it rocks. Only Ree would come up with the brilliant idea of using potato chips in a potato casserole! yums!

8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
One 28- to 32-ounce bag frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
2 cups kettle-cooked potato chips
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.

Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir to incorporate. Cook for a minute or 2 to cook out the raw flour, but do not let it color. Whisk in the milk, making sure to get out all the lumps. Add the broth and whisk again if there are still lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow it to thicken, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in the Monterey Jack, sour cream and Cheddar. Add the hash brown potatoes and mix everything together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small pan. Put the potato chips and Parmesan in a bowl and crush the potato chips. Pour in the melted butter and toss to coat. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the potatoes.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until golden brown on top and bubbling around the edges, about 15 minutes more. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Coffee Please!!

Gift card holders are so darn useful now days. It seems that gift cards are the easiest and the most appreciated way of gift giving. No more getting socks or ties or bath salts - gift cards are just crazy awesome. I found the coffee cup gift card tutorial on splitcoast and followed it to the T.
Complicated? The first few, yes.
Difficult? Not really, once you follow the directions.
Fun? Heck , Yeah!!
And please don't ever, ever, ever make only one of these cuties. Remember, it will take only a minute to make additional ones. So precut paper for 8 cards and get to work.
The greeting is from Perfect Pairings and the little coffee cup... it's a good question... I believe it was a part of the Voila set by SU that has been retired years and years ago. But the cup worked and I liked it. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The most perfect rib eye roast

I have neglected my Recipe Central in the past few years and I'm totally ashamed of it. I have tried so many delicious recipes and I have a need to start sharing them with you on top of my creative card making.
One of the recipes I've tried recently was a recipe for rib eye roast. As you know this is the middle part of the prime rib. Over the years I've been fighting with perfecting the cooking method and I was almost at the point of giving up. No matter how much I tried, how many thermometers I've used, I would always, always manage to overcook it.
Until the day..... yes... the day has come that I fond this amazing recipe and victory was MINE, I have finally made a perfect rib eye roast!

Now, I could be like one of these people who will not share recipes with others in fear of .... well I don't quite understand what their fear really is because I am just so excited about sharing it with you!

Let start by heating your oven to 500 degrees. Take your roast out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes. Put seasoning on it ( I usually use Paula Dean's House Seasoning which I mix myself) and put it in the oven for 7 minutes per pound (fatty side up if your roast is not trimmed). My roast was 2.5 pounds and I put it in the oven for 19 minutes.

Now comes the part that will go against anything that you have ever done.... Turn the oven off..... DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR... and walk away ... just walk away for 2.5 hours. Yes, you heard me, leave the roast in there for 2.5 hours! My roast was warm but not hot after that time so I turned the oven on to the lowest setting of 180 degrees for 5 minutes just to warm it up. It turned out absolutely perfect!!
Here are the meat temperatures that you should be looking for (although I didn't watch the temperature and went off the time in the oven only).

Rare 120-125 degrees
Medium Rare 130-140 degrees
Medium 145-150 degrees

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Botanical garden masculine card

I can't get enough of the Botanical Framelits! Bummer that they are retiring the bundle. Starting June you will only be able to purchase the stamps and framelits separate and you know that it means no savings and savings are good. So if you like it, you better get it before the savings is gone!
The Botanical Garden DSP is just so neat. You almost have to do nothing else to the card, just play with the designer paper and the framelits and you have yourself a card. Don't get me wrong. I love creating elaborate and time consuming cards but sometimes simple is just plain fun.
Today I made a Z Fold card which is a 4 1/4 by 11 cardstock scored at 2 3/4 and 5 1/2 and then folded. The greeting is from Perfect Pairings which I hope that you had an opportunity to get while they had it. Hope you like it!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sky is the limit!

Sky really is the limit! What a nice reminder that we can achieve just about anything if you put your mind to it.
As you may have noticed I managed to implement Lovely As A Tree set which is just so dear to my heart. The colors used are Pool Party and Black. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In the Meadow

I love In the Meadow stamp set! There is so much calmness to it. I used Gorgeous Grunge in the background and markers for the tress. To color the deer I used Sahara Sand ink and blender pen. I really am surprised how much I use Gorgeous Grunge, especially for someone who likes things somewhat neat and that stamp set is about anything but neat!
I don't know if you can see but I also run a double score lines on the edges just for that special touch.
Oh, and shame on me for not mentioning the greeting which is from the Picture Perfect stamp set.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Black and White botanicals

Having fun with Botanicals and the Botanical garden framelits. I stamped the image on vellum and then popped it out so that it would not touch directly the black paper. Enjoy!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dry embossing on vellum

I really didn't know what kind of background I wanted for this card. I tried plain white, embossed white, embossed Bermuda and then I tried running vellum thru an embossing folder and .... I really, really liked it! Well, let me start off by saying that the flowers were stamped on vellum as well. I used Stazon to do that and then I colored them with a marker (you could use aqua painter and ink as well).

There is a special softness to the flowers since they are already displayed on vellum so in my opinion the vellum background fit right in. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I scream for ice cream!

Those of you who received Honeycomb Happiness as one of your freebies may recognize this cute ice cream cone. And those of you who didn't, well, I'm sure you feel horrible about it! Ha! The card base is Mint Macaron with a touch of Birthday Bouquet dsp from the Occasions Catalog.

You may recognize the greeting from Suite Sayings. I colored the ice cream with ink and the aqua painter and of course, yes, there is the Wink of Stella sprucing them up. And did you notice the score lines I added to the white cardstock. It's such simple touch but it adds so much to it. Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sympathy card.... and shadow stamping

Hello there fellow stampers!
Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and is ready to tackle another Monday! To start off this week I wanted to share with you this sympathy card I created with Serene Silhouettes. I have used this set so many times and it just never gets old. I stamped the image in early espresso on a 2 3/8 by 4 5/8 white piece of cardstock. I then used stapamaig to stamp it off a little bit to the side with versamark and embossed it in white. The image will not pop up until you start sponging and all the sponging is done in Sahara Sand just because that's what I had on hand and it worked. I placed the image on an Espresso cardstock 2 1/4 by 4 3/4.

Now, lets get to the rest of the card. The card base is in Early Espresso, White is  4 1/8 by 5 3/8 and the Crumbcake is 4 by 5 1/4. Don't you just love the brick embossing  folder??? It's totally fabulous and I love it. I sponged it just enough for the brinks to pop out. The greeting is from a hostess set Bloom with Hope. So there, now you know it all so enjoy it!