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1  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / decent snacks? on: June 09, 2009 03:18:46 PM
I'm wondering if anyone can suggest some good snacks! I've finally made the conversion to being vegetarian (just a few weeks) and am having a hard time sometimes with starving in the middle of the day. I just keep grabbing carbs - peanut butter sandwiches, crackers, stuff like that. What do you guys keep stocked for when you need a snack NOW?

On a semi-unrelated note, how long does it take to not be tempted to relapse? Sad

thank you!!
2  COOKING / Dessert / Cookie issues - with sad little pictures. on: November 01, 2008 01:10:05 PM
Ok, I can't make chocolate chip cookies to save my life. They always turn out looking like the mess below. The pics are kind of dark - the cookies aren't actually that dark - but my issue is - why are they always flat?
I have tried about 10 different recipes; some with butter, some with shortening, different sugar combinations, high altitude directions (I'm about 5000 feet), etc... but I still end up with this:

why why why?   Angry

Any good bakers have tips for me?

Thank you so much in advance!!

3  COOKING / Dessert / Banana split cupcakes *updated to add recipe* on: August 09, 2008 01:51:26 PM
I saw these in a book and thought they were totally cute, so I gave it a go Smiley
They taste pretty yummy too - the batter is banana with mini chocolate chips and maraschino cherries in it. The frosting is marshmallow flavored. I can post the recipe if anyone would like it!

Thanks everyone! They are pretty simple to make, since it starts with a cake mix! Smiley
Here's the recipe:

1 package yellow cake mix, divided
1 cup water
1 cup mashed bananas
3 eggs
1 cup chopped and drained maraschino cherries
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 cups vanilla frosting
1 cup marshmallow creme
1 t shortening
30 whole maraschino cherries, well drained

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your muffin pan with paper cups.
Reserve 2 T of the dry cake mix. Combine the rest with the water, banana, and eggs. Mix well. Combine cherries and reserved cake mix and stir into batter along with 1 cup chocolate chips.
Fill your muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove to racks and cool completely.
Combine frosting and marshmallow creme in a medium bowl until well blended. (Hint - take the lid of the marshmallow and stick in in the microwave for about 20 seconds - it's much easier to work with that way).
Frost your cupcakes!
Combine the remaining chocolate chips and the shortening in a small bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds then stir. Keep microwaving and stirring at 15 second intervals until it's really melted.  Drizzle over your cupcakes and top with a cherry!  Grin

A side note - if it's hot, keep them in the fridge until close to serving time. Mine have been sitting on the table (pretty warm in my kitchen) and the cherries are wanting to slide off because the frosting is too warm.

and if you find cherries with the stems still attached, that would be even cuter!
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Canning questions from a total newb on: July 13, 2008 02:59:35 PM

Diesels_Mom's recent post here https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=256757.0 about canning apricots re-awakened my want to learn how to can.

I am terrified of poisoning myself or DH (which I know is a common, and real! fear about canning). I read through the whole thread from a couple of years ago: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=40130.0 and it has me moving in the right direction. I've also been reading the USDA information site about the subject. But, there were a couple of things I didn't get answered.

I don't have a pressure canner thing, but I do have a big canning kettle. It's my understanding that there are only certain things I can do in that, correct? How do I know what I can and can't do that way? Does the recipe tell me?

Is everything about the same, or is there something easier (newbie proof) that I should start with? (jams, salsa?, etc)

What is freezer canning? I googled it and still am having trouble determing exactly what it is.

And finally - I read that canning asparagus is a big huge no-no - but now I am worried. I have two big jars of pickled asparagus in my fridge that someone made me. Does pickling it make it ok?

Thank you!!!
5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Sheep swap? on: April 06, 2008 08:52:30 PM
I was browsing old galleries and I found this:


a sheep swap!!  Cheesy

I don't know about anyone else, but I love sheep! Would anyone be interested in this?

*edit - and I was thinking just maybe a medium and a couple of smalls to make it low stress?
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / tiny martini purse on: March 02, 2008 02:36:45 PM
This little bag was a total nightmare to make. It's really too small for the handles, the fabric kept unraveling, my sewing machine hated it and I had to sew a lot by hand (ugh!). But, I think the final result turned out cute!  I needed a tiny black bag for a dinner conference next weekend so of course, I decided to make one! Smiley The finished size of the bag itself is about 8"x5" - just big enough for my ID, lipstick, a compact and some cash.

for some reason this first picture makes it look crooked. I think it's the way it's hanging, because the top really does line up!

and so you can see the liner (it reminded me of martini olives for some reason)

thanks for looking Smiley
7  COOKING / Dessert / First try with fondant on: February 25, 2008 08:38:36 PM
We are having a surprise birthday dinner for my friend tomorrow and I wanted to do a fun cake for her. This is my first try using homemade marshmallow fondant and it was easier than I expected. It's a white cake with strawberry filling. She loves strawberry shortcake, but I couldn't find decent fresh strawberries, so this was the next best thing. Anyway, on to the picture! Smiley

for some reason in the pictures the polka dots look a bit wonky... they don't look that way to me in person..

thanks for looking!
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Living room project (seriously image obese!!) on: February 17, 2008 04:52:08 PM
For the past week hubby and I have been working on our living room. I've hated it since we bought the house 4 years ago- it just always felt like a dungeon to me. All 4 walls and the ceiling are knotty pine, and the floor is wood too. It was just too much dark wood. The finish coat on everything had long since yellowed and it just always looked dingy. Our furniture did nothing to help either - big overstuffed dark green sofas - blech!

This project has been a long time coming. The amount of work involved was just overwhelming and prevented us from starting it. One thing was on my side though- hubby is a housepainter, so he had the knowledge, tools and materials to make it work.

We started sanding last Sunday, and finished sanding halfway through Thursday. About 50 hours of just sanding we figured out. eek! I can't take credit for too much of that- DH did almost all of that part.  We decided that 2 walls would stay wood, while we'd paint the other two.  Also, when we started sanding the floor we were surprised to find that it was gorgeous, light wood underneath. We had orginally planned on staining the floor, but when we saw what was underneath all the yuckiness, we just couldn't cover it up!

So, enough of my story- on to the pictures!
Here are a couple of before:

in progress:

and OMG, done! (well, almost, I still need window coverings - any ideas?!?!)

and comparing the floor:

after: (this looks a little bit yellow- it's not at all)

and for reference - the old nasty furniture (also shows the awful floor):

The white door is getting painted too - we just haven't decided on a color yet!

9  Calls for Swap Angels / Swap Angel Archive / Kitschy Kitchen Apron Swap - 2 angels FOUND!!! on: January 22, 2008 05:51:15 PM
We have two lovely ladies (eye_on_sparrow and girl A) who need angels for this apron swap. It's an old swap, send outs were 11/11, but we lost the organizer as well, so I took over. I would ask that angel packages be sent out by Feb 11th, since these two have had to wait so long.

The requirements are easy, just a fabulous kitchen apron! Please PM me  if you are interested!

original thread is here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=197188.msg2087241#msg2087241

and the gallery is here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=201424.0

Thank you in advance!!

Wow, you guys are quick!! Two angels have been found, thank you Babyangel and oneredboot!!
10  COOKING / Dessert / UFC cake (image obese) on: December 28, 2007 05:24:45 PM
UFC is big at our house and tomorrow night is a big event. We are having a number of people over, so I wanted to make a fun dessert! I don't really do cakes, so this was a big deal for me. I received some Wilton cake decorating supplies for Christmas, so I got to try them out! I'm really excited with how this turned out.

For those that don't know what UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is, it's a mixed martial arts competition that takes place in an octagon (rather that a boxing ring). And no, it's not barbaric as some people say. Smiley

The cake is margarita flavored, with cream cheese lime icing. It's the first time I have ever made icing from scratch too!

On to pictures!

for reference - here's the real octagon:

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