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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: White Empire Waist Sundress on: July 08, 2006 08:45:57 PM
i LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  I would adore a dress like that.  If there's anyway you could post a tutorial I would be grateful.  It looks beautiful on you, not a maternity dress at all!  Great job!
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: Trip to Japan in a box ideas? on: January 16, 2005 10:27:34 PM
if you have a japan/tokyo mart or a 99 ranch market (though it's chinese) you can find imported japanese snacks and other food items.  maybe some of those japanese phrase books.  my friend is doing that japan english teaching program and as a gift he got one filled with all sorts of crazy phrases. hilarious.  hmm.. origami is a nice idea.  costplus world market also has LOTS of oriental trading goods so you can get him a chawan rice bowl, chopsticks, teapot, etc.  plus loads of other neat stuff.  if he likes jpop, etc you can burn him a cd of japanese music.. or if he's into anime, you can get some related to that.
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: Parent Gift Ideas 1 - retro candy on: January 16, 2005 10:22:31 PM
neat idea for a gift... my dad eats too much candy anyway however.. bleh.

for packaging ideas, take a look at their gift center.  i saw something like this on food network.  it might even be the same company.  cool packaging might be one of those replica lunch boxes of an old cartoon or even a tin decoupaged with comic strips.  i really liked the gift basket in the mini red wagon.  if your dad was into anything, like hobbies back then, try to package it with that theme in mind.  sounds like an awesome present. ^-~
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: birthday gift for a friend. swimming is her life. on: January 13, 2005 01:18:11 PM
hmm.. i used to do competitive swimming.  some useful things would be a 'meet survival kit' with a thermos, some healthy carbo snacks, a really nice fluffy towel or two.. perhaps you could even decorate the duffel bag and stitch her name on it.  i used to have a problem lugging all my swim gear around. and maybe some cute flip flops to wear when she's not racing.
another idea would be a windbreaker (those things help out a LOT) and you could decorate it for her with team colors, etc.
hope it helps and good luck!
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: can o' soup happiness on: January 13, 2005 01:08:38 PM
you could always make like a french onion soup with slices of onion and top it with mozarella cheese and crunchy croutons.. mm... just toast some french bread bits or whatever your preference may be.
6  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Subsitute for Mushrooms? on: January 12, 2005 12:29:06 PM
I agree.  Go with what your taste buds crave.  I personally instead of mushrooms would use zuchinni which has a like texture to mushrooms or egglant.  But I really like those vegetables.  It's up to you.
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Crockpot Meal Ideas on: January 08, 2005 06:16:06 PM
I just bought my mom an early Valentine's day gift --- a crockpot!
Are there any *really good* recipe books besides 'Fix it and Forget it' that you would recommend? 
Especially for beginners.. or even if it just has absolutely awesome recipes in it.
We're so excited to start using it! 
Thanks.
8  COOKING / Dessert / Re: chocolate heart box cake - can i do it? on: January 08, 2005 03:47:08 PM
I found this neat sort of tutorial on how one woman makes boxes out of chocolate.  It's sort of a construction job but it seems like it would work well.

http://www.shavkin.com/marydemo.htm
9  COOKING / Dessert / Re: Bat & Scull Forms for Cookies on: December 27, 2004 10:57:51 AM
i Actually saw a set at Fry's supermarket for one of those '101 cookie cutter sets' that had cookie cutters for all needs, including holiday ones, bats included!  AND they were plastic, which is awesome.  you might want to try to find a set like that.
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Rice Krispies Recipes? on: December 09, 2004 09:24:35 PM
I was just searching the web for interesting recipes using Rice Krispies for you.. not just the usual Treat-type of desserts and found this:

Rice Krispies Casserole

1 pound beef, browned
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can chicken and rice soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 cups Rice Krispies

Mix all ingredients together. Place in casserole dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

This also sounded scrumptiously awesome:

Chocolate Rice Pudding Parfait with Gianduja Whipped Cream & Caramelized Rice Krispies

The rice pudding can be made up to three days ahead, the whipped cream up to two days ahead. The Rice Krispies will keep for up to a month in an airtight container. Gianduja (pronounced john-doo-yah) is chocolate that's blended with ground hazelnuts.

Yield: 8 servings

For the chocolate rice pudding:
3 cups whole milk
2-1/2 Tbs. sugar
Pinch salt
1/3 cup raw Arborio rice
5 oz. good-quality bittersweet chocolate (I like Valrhona guanaja), finely chopped
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup golden raisins, simmered in water until plump and then drained (optional)
1 recipe Cream Cheese Mousse

For the caramelized Rice Krispies:
4 Tbs. superfine sugar
2 Tbs. water
2 cups Rice Krispies

For the gianduja whipped cream:
8 oz. heavy cream
3 oz. gianduja chocolate (or good-quality bittersweet chocolate), chopped

To make the pudding
In a saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, salt, and rice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender but not breaking apart and the pudding is still a little soupy but thicker than cream, about 15 min. Stir in the chopped chocolate and butter until well combined; the mixture will thicken. Mix in the raisins, if using. Divide among the eight glasses you're using and chill until needed.

Meanwhile, make the cream cheese mousse. Spoon equal amounts of the mousse over the pudding in the glasses. Chill until needed, at least 30 min.

To make the caramelized Rice Krispies
In a 3-qt. or larger pot, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 min. Sprinkle the Rice Krispies over the syrup, stirring gently to coat (the mixture will clump). Keep stirring gently over medium high (the rice will separate) until the rice is golden brown (the pan may smoke a bit), 4 to 5 min. Remove from the heat and immediately dump the caramelized Rice Krispies onto a baking sheet to cool. When ready to use, break up clumps with your hands.

To make the gianduja whipped cream
In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk vigorously until melted. Transfer to a stainless bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until the cream is well chilled, about 3 hours. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Chill until needed.

To assemble the parfait
Remove the glasses with the pudding and mousse from the refrigerator. Sprinkle on a generous layer of caramelized Rice Krispies and then a spoonful of the gianduja whipped cream. Finish with another sprinkling of Rice Krispies. Serve right away.

This site has some neat ways of using rice krispies for the holidays: http://members.aol.com/downindaparish2/recipes_ricekrispies.htm

And... Hot Chicken Rice Salad (serves Cool

    * 700g cooked chicken, in bite-size pieces
    * 500g cooked Roma Easi-Cook Rice
    * 1 small onion, finely chopped
    * 1 whole canned pimento, chopped
    * 425g can cream of chicken soup
    * 425g can cream of celery soup
    * 125ml mayonnaise
    * 4 sticks celery, chopped
    * 75g Shamrock Almond Flakes
    * 5ml (1tbsp) garlic salt
    * 50g Roma Formaggio da Pasta cheese
    * 50g Rice Krispies, crushed

Directions:

   1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Mix all the ingredients together, except the Rice Krispies. Transfer to a large buttered casserole dish.
   2. Sprinkle with Rice Krispies and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden.

Those sound yummy that I might have to try them too...
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