We all have different smells or food that reminds us of different people in our lives, the one thing that always reminds me of Christmas or family gatherings at my Gramma’s is her cheese ball. Words cannot describe how much I LOVE this recipe! Besides the taste as well as how genuinely simple and fast it is to make, I love it even more for the fact that it also freezes so well! It is something that I tend to always make a double batch and use one ball immediately and freeze the second ball. That way I have it on-hand just incase I need a last minute dish to bring to a brunch, dinner etc its already made and I just have to swing quickly by the store to pick up a variety of crackers.
A quick and easy addition to any gathering.
I always double the recipe and freeze the other ball to use later.
1 large pkg.(500g) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 pkg. (125g) Imperial Cheese, softened
1/2 tbsp. Blue Cheese (optional, which I leave out)
1 1/2 tbsp Grated Spanish Onion
Shake of Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp Sugar
3 Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
Mix all ingredients together then roll into logs or balls. Can roll in crushed walnuts or pecans.
Happy cooking everyone!
I like many people LOVE Harry Potter and I was having a friend come and visit me over the weekend and with her also being a big Harry Potter fan I thought I should make her something because… why not! So I happen to have a roughed up copy of the first Harry Potter book and so I decided to create a Harry Potter banner which was inspired by the Archie Comic banner I have having on my wall. So off I go rummaging around my apartment for a ruler, cutting mat, exacto knife, scissor, glue stick and beading thread. Once I was able to find everything which included chasing my cat Newt around trying to get the spool of thread he was playing, I got down to work.
I used the ruler to help me get a nice straight cut with the exacto knife and took out 20 pages to use for my banner. From there I measured the width of the page on the bottom and marked a tick the the centre. From there I used my ruler to act as guide for my knife lining up the ruler from the centre tick to the top edge and cut out my triangular pieces. I also being the weirdo that I am decided to use some of my gold ink to underline any Harry Potter-esq words that were on the page i.e. Harry Potter, Dudley, Uncle Vernon etc. Once dry I folded the top quarter inch of the triangle down to create the flap that I will glue down.
Once I had my stack of triangles with the tops folded I grabbed a scrap piece of paper and my beading thread. I knotted a loop at the start of the thread and just worked off the of spool. Using a glue stick a glued the folded flap and inserted the beading thread along the width of the inside folded edge of the triangle. Pressed down well to make sure the glue flap is secured well and did the same to the other 19 triangles, ending with another tied loop at the end to make it a bit easier to put up.
Keep in mind the way you are gluing down the flaps as you want them all on the same side!
Once all the glue is dry and hang enjoy!
Happy crafting everyone!
What is winter but a perfect excuse to wrap yourself up in a blanket with a good book and a mug of homemade hot chocolate or… you can be me on a Saturday and enjoy some lovely hot chocolate while doing some school work!
The best part about this recipe is that you can make a huge jar of the mixture and just scoop out the amount per mug that you want to use at the moment.
A perfect beverage for a cold winter day.
You can easily make this into instant hot chocolate by adding 1 cup + 2 Tbsp of milk powder!
For the mix:
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Sugar (preferably cane sugar)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
Keep adding the measurements in a container until full, mix well.
To make a lovely cup of Ho-Cho heat a mug of milk (or an amount of milk for several mugs) in a pot then add 1-2 heaping tbsp of ho-cho mixture for each mug you are making. Please not that the amount of mixture you put in is to your taste! Add a splash of vanilla extract and whisk the contents of the pot until everything is combined and the temperature is to your liking.
Sip away and enjoy the day!
I LOVE winter… second to autumn, partly because I tend to run hot so I am far more comfortable in colder weather. Also because I adore wearing layers, sweaters, colourful scarves, mitts, and hats are amazing. But I think what I love the most is the feeling of winter, cozying up with a mug of something warm and crafting.
What I have been working on for the past few weeks is an afghan. I have been teaching myself to crochet so thought why not go big and attempt to crochet an afghan for my mom. What I have been using for reference ( stitching techniques as well as pattern ideas) is the Crochet: The Complete Guide . I found the instructions clear and concise and love that in addition to the written instructions for the pattern they also have the pattern in a chart form, which I find far easier to understand. The Pattern I choose was 42 Ocean Swells on pg. 92, a pattern that seemed to have more detail then then other patterns featured in the book before it.
In the final afghan I used almost 2 balls of Red Heart yarn in 16oz. balls, and it took about 3 weeks to make (very dedicated weeks). The final result measures about 40×60″.
You can find the pattern online on Ravelry or this exact pattern through Pinterest .
Happy Crafting everyone!
It has been an extremely busy summer and now were into fall! I personally can’t believe that.
Some things have temporarily changed, first being that I have gone back to school! I am currently enrolled in a Fashion Design program in Ontario and man is this humidity killing me! The nice thing however is how everything is so incredibly close, 10 minute walk to the store, AAAMAZING! On top of that being in Ontario means that I am currently experiencing summer temperatures at the tail end of September which is nice but I’m longing to layer up and cozy down with a mug of hot cocoa.
On top of all the things that have changed I thought I should go back to things I was wanting to focus on previous to me moving across the county for a school year first being this blog. So… here I go!
Although I am fully embracing the new season with the warmer temperatures and brighter days, there are still gloomy days and what better to do then to knit or crochet.
My Gramma was a wonderful knitter and tired to teach me to knit which proved rather difficult as she was right handed and I am left handed however, I did end up picking up crocheting leaving the knitting lessons to for my sisters.
My older sister Sandy got my Grammas knitting genes because she has become a wonderful knitter as well. I always saw her rummaging around to find something to use as a knitting marker that’s when I figured I could easily make one!
I picked up some earring clasps, I choose to use them because with crocheting the marker doesn’t move as your go along it stays put. So you have to have a way to remove the markers so a earring clasp made total sense.
While I was at the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart picking up the earring clasps I grabbed some headpins, jump rings, small pliers and an assortment of beads.
Starting with the headpin I slipped the chosen beads in the order I wanted them then made a loop, cutting the excess metal. Using the spring ring attach the beaded section with the earring clasp.
I ended up making quite a lot of markers some in sets of 4 some in sets of 3 just depending on the beads I had on hand.
Using birch bark from some logs in the woodpile I used a leather hole punch to create holes in the bark and wove a strand of yarn through, doubling it back and tying the end to the beginning strand in the back.
Attaching the markers to the front yarn loops to create a nice display/ tag when giving them as a gift.
Happy creating everyone!
If you cant tell already I am in full blown spring mode, so I thought what better then to make and bring to a friends for coffee then some raspberry shortcakes! To kick it up a notch I decided to flavor the whipped cream with a hint of coffee!
Raspberry Shortcake with Coffee Whipped Cream
A few days before making the shortcakes I poured a small carton of whipping cream in a container and added 2 heaping tablespoons of ground coffee to the cream, stirring until the two are well combined. Sealing the container I let it sit in the fridge for a few days to infuse the cream with the coffee flavour.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup milk
granulated or raw sugar
2 cups whipping cream
2 heaping tbsp ground coffee
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup icing sugar
Preheat oven to 425°F
In a bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mix well. Using a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut in butter finely. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream and milk; add to dry mixture, stirring with a fork to make a soft slightly sticky dough. Gather into a ball and on a lightly floured surface, knead dough gently about 8-10 times or until dough is smooth.
Roll the dough out to about ¾ inch thickness and using a cookie cutter cut out rounds.
Place on a lined cookie sheet and using a pastry brush lightly brush the tops of the shortcakes with milk and sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown.
While the shortcakes are baking place the beaters you are going to use to make the whipped cream in the freezer. It makes it a lot faster to use chilled beaters and a chilled bowl if you have the room in the freezer!
Once the shortcakes are out of the oven and cooling on a wire rack strain the whipping cream with some cheesecloth and get to work whipping the cream with your beaters until almost stiff peaks form.
Then gradually add your vanilla extract and icing sugar (amount depends on the sweetness you want your whipped cream to have). Beat until combined well.
- you can also add chopped up berries to the whipped cream combining before piping onto the shortcakes.
Cut shortcakes in half, spooning a generous amount of whipped cream on the bottom half and add berries. Place the top half of the shortcake back in place and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a berry.
There is an amazing Mexican food restaurant in Whitehorse called Sanchez Cantina and it serves the best black beans you will ever taste! So for a few years people in the village that like the restaurant have been trying to make beans that are similar to its since the only thing they will tell you is that the beans are made with love.
Well I just happen to have a friend that is Guatemalan and her mom is a fantastic cook so I got her recipe for black beans and after about 6 tries I finally got very close to the Sanchez Cantina black beans and now I’m going to share it with all of you!
Rodriguez Black Beans
A must have for your Mexican themed dinner!
A very freezer friendly meal!
1 Bag Black Beans
Mushroom Bullion Cubes
Herb Bullion Cubes
1 Head of Garlic, Finely Chopped
1-2 Onions, Finely Chopped
Place full bag of raw beans in a large pot and cover well with water. Add one mushroom and one herb bullion cube. Boil for one hour, you will have to keep adding water, every time you add water add one of either herb or mushroom bullion.
Add one head of finely chopped garlic and continue boiling for 2 hours more, adding water and bullion cubes when needed.
Once boiled for 3 hours turn off heat and leave on the stove top until the next step
In a large frying pan place a fair amount of oil and add diced onions to the pan. Caramelize onions do NOT caramelize them so much that they are a dark brown it will give the beans a bitter flavor. You want them transparent and just starting to turn a light brown.
Once onions are done add a portion of the beans and water to the frying pan and fry them with the onions. Will have to fry several times to get all the beans done, placing the finished beans in a different pot or bowl. Once all beans are fried stir well to get the onions evenly distributed though out the beans.
Enjoy with rice, bean salad, nachos and more!
Because this recipe takes about 4 hours to make and also makes a large amount I tend to freeze a large portion of the beans in different size freezer bags to use later. They freeze amazingly and then you have homemade black beans ready anytime you have a craving!
Spring break has just ended sadly even if you are not a student or in a job that is affected by the winter break, it is a perfect time of year to get out of our usual surrounds even if it is within the same city!
In preparing for my spring break, which took me to sunny Florida for a week, I thought I would class up my luggage with some new homemade info tags. I happen to randomly have scraps of thick leather laying around and decided to get to work.
Tracing my chosen pattern (a random gift tag I had laying around) on the rough side of the leather then cut out all the pieces I had traced. Using a leather punch I cut out the holes for the rivets. I picked out some metal rivets from Wal-Mart on my last trip into town. Once all the rivets were in it was time for me to locate my metal letter and number punch sets, mine are 3mm.
With a board set underneath the leather tags I set to work stamping my families names and info and used some shoe polish to give some of the tags a darker look and made sure to push the polish into the indents made by the letter or number punch.
Once everything was dry I grabbed some ribbon to attach the tag to my chosen piece of luggage and now I’m ready for my travels!
April the start of spring in reality no matter what the calendar says! I find in Canada at least that although spring officially starts in March the most change or transition into another season happens in April. Seeds that have been started in March are starting to grow, snow is starting to melt and for the first time in months you can see the ground and best of all the long and dark days of winter are becoming brighter! Since it is officially SPRING means its time to start some plants!
So living in a northern community means that to really purchase many of the things I might need, requires a drive of about 4 hours to the city where there is more then just a small grocery store. So when I can find a second use for something it makes life and I think the planet a little better. Such was the case with the used Keurig pods, I love the simplicity of making one cup at a time so I don’t feel the need to have the second…or third cup of coffee just to finish the pot! There is however the other side of things that if you are not using the refillable pods then you are essentially creating a lot of unnecessary waste. So I decided to clean out the used pods tossing the grounds in the compost, toss some dirt and seeds in the empty pods, water then BAM freshly grown herbs are coming your way! A bonus with using the Keurig pods is that it makes it super easy to share/ give baby plants to someone!
Happy spring everyone!