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61  Lemon IceBox Pie in Dessert by Blackstitches on: April 29, 2009 11:42:25 AM

I love cooking but in the summer I hate being trapped inside a hot kitchen all day and I also really don't care for overly heavy desserts when it is 90 degrees.  So I have been working in some recipes for easy refrigerator pies that have no cooking involved.  Here is my first:

Lemon IceBox Pie

Lemon Icebox Pie

1 prepared graham cracker crust
2 boxes cream cheese
1 can lemon pie filling
1 tub of cool whip
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c. confectioners sugar

In the bowl of your mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth, add half of the lemon pie filling, confectioners sugar and 2 tbs, lemon juice, stir until combined. Add 2/3 of the cool whip and lightly stir until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust and spread evenly. Top with remaining lemon pie filling and spread until even. Put a dollop of cool whip on top to decorate and sprinkle with a little lemon zest. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

You can read more at my blog here:http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/04/wonderful-wednesday_28.html
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62  Easter Fabric Garland in Easter by Blackstitches on: March 31, 2009 07:27:58 AM

I have been making lots of Easter decorations lately and trying to reuse and re purpose stuff for them, so far I haven't bought anything to make them.  This week I worked on a garland for my window.  I used fabric scraps, trim scraps, lace scraps, felt, ribbon and vintage buttons to create it.  Thanks for looking and for step by step instructions check out my blog at http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/quilted-easter-egg-garland.html

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63  Paintings for my daughter's room in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Blackstitches on: March 30, 2009 04:31:10 PM

These are some paintings that I have done for my daughter's room.  I kind of went with a Japanese woodland theme.  There is a skunk, two owls and a deer.  Thanks for looking and you can read more about this project at my blog  http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/art-for-kids-rooms.html

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64  Paintings for my son's room in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Blackstitches on: March 30, 2009 04:25:08 PM

I have decided to redo my kids rooms this year and I'm trying to be thrifty and DIY as much as possible.  I found some cheap canvases at Big Lots recently and those along with some acrylic paint I already had gave birth to these.  My son is really into trucks.  The blue one was done based off a photo I had of a Ford Econoline and the green was based off of Alexander Henry's Traffic Jam fabric.  Thanks for looking and you can read more at my blog  http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/art-for-kids-rooms.html
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65  Easter Craftiness for the Home in Easter by Blackstitches on: March 23, 2009 02:30:13 PM

So I have been on a mission lately to make some Easter decor spending little or no money.  This weekend I spent some time rummaging through the basement and along with some supplies I had on hand and this tutorial http://www.livingwithlindsay.com/2009/03/diy-mottled-egg-spring-wreath.html  I made a door wreath, a door swag and a large paper mache egg. 

The supplies I used were plastic Easter eggs, an old grapevine wreath, blue spray paint, white, tan and brown acrylic paint, an old toothbrush, some moss and some floral wire for the wreath.  For the swag I used some willow branches, more eggs, floral wire, some hot glue and ribbon.  I already had a paper mache egg that had been painted orange and pink when it came to me, so I just repainted it.  All in all these projects cost me nothing since I had all of the supplies lying around.  If you would like to read more check out my blog: http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/cheap-easter-crafts.html
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66  Shamrock trifle in Dessert by Blackstitches on: March 17, 2009 05:59:28 AM

I came up with this recipe for a St. Patrick's Day dinner that we had.  It's totally easy and yummy and you could change the mint flavor for something like coffee or just vanilla to make it for other occasions.
Shamrock Trifle

I box chocolate cake mix
1 c. sour cream
1 1/3 c water
5 eggs
1 box chocolate instant pudding 5.6 oz
1 box vanilla instant pudding 5.6 oz
1 package mint Oreo's
mint extract
1 c. mini chocolate chips
chocolate syrup
1 tub of cool whip
green food coloring
green sprinkles
Mix boxed cake mix with sour cream, water and eggs. Pour into two cake pans lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with oil. Bake at 350 degrees until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool and then cut into 1 inch pieces. In two separate bowls prepare the puddings as directed on the back of the box. Into the vanilla pudding add 1 tsp mint extract and enough green food coloring to tint it a mint green color. In the bottom of your trifle dish place one layer of chocolate cake cubes, make sure to cover the entire bottom. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and 1/2 c. of mini chocolate chips. Pour the entire bowl of chocolate pudding on top and smooth out, making sure to get to the edges. Next place the Oreo's into a large plastic zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin, I like mine to still be nice size pieces so I just sort of break them up a little. Pour the Oreo's over the pudding. Next pour the mint flavored pudding over the Oreo's. Top with another layer of chocolate cake square, chocolate syrup and the other 1/2 c. of mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 4 hours and top with whipped topping and sprinkles just before serving. Serves 10-12.
For more info visit my blog: http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/homemade-granola-bar-recipe.html
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67  Granola bars in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Blackstitches on: March 17, 2009 05:53:54 AM
I have been wanting to try my hand at granola bars for a while and finally set down and came up with a recipe. These bars are pretty substantial and have about 220 calories a piece which may seem like a lot but they have a ton of good stuff for you and would make a good breakfast or lunch on the go, you could also half them for a low cal snack. I was really surprised by how good they turned out, I had a few people over when I made them initially and they each ate a few and commented on how much they liked them. Even bug who is almost two loved them (just make sure you only give little pieces as the nuts could pose choking hazards). So here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy.

Granola bars:

10 oz. mixed nuts -I used walnuts, pistachios and pecans
1 c. hulled sunflower seeds
3 packages instant oatmeal, brown sugar flavor
1c. dried fruit- I used a mix of cherries and blueberries
3/4 c. Splenda brown sugar
1 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

In a saucepan heat the Splenda brown sugar with the honey, vanilla and salt until sugar dissolves. If your nuts are not roasted you will need to roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes watching carefully. Mine were already roasted when I bought them. Place your nuts, oatmeal, sunflower seeds and berries in a bowl and mix. Pour the hot sugar mixture over the top and quickly stir to cover, mix until thoroughly combined. Add chips and stir. In a 13x9 inch pan lay a piece of parchment paper so that it overhangs the sides by a few inches. Lightly grease with spray oil pour mixture into prepred pan and evenly spread with a rubber spatula. place another piece of parchment on top and using a heavy pan press down hard a few times over the surface to evenly press the granola bar mixture. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely and use the parchment paper as handles to lift the cooled mixture out and onto a cutting board. Carefully remove the parchment and cut into 16 even pieces. Wrap tightly and store for up to a week.

 I also made some German rye bread with this recipe   http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/bread-machine-recipes/german-rye-bread.htm

For more info visit my blog: http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/homemade-granola-bar-recipe.html
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68  Lemon Birthday Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting in Dessert by Blackstitches on: March 07, 2009 05:59:10 AM
So yesterday was my dad's birthday and I was determined to make a nice looking cake.  I bake all the the time, but usually stick with cupcakes or bread type goods.  I can make a good cake but making it pretty is something I'm still working on.  I used cream cheese frosting for this and am actually really pleased with how the decorating went.  I followed all the rules on this one, and it makes a big difference.  I trimmed the cakes, used a crumb coat, and dipped my knife in water as I iced to get it smooth.  I used this recipe from country living for the cakes http://www.countryliving.com/recipefinder/lemon-cake-clv and this recipe for the lemon curd filling http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/lemon-curd?lnc=5a79cf380e1dd010VgnVCM1000005b09a00aRCRD&rsc=recipecontent_food
You can find the recipe for the lemon cream cheese frosting at my blog http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/triple-lemon-cake.html

By the way it is four layers of lemon cake with lemon curd between two layers and lemon cream cheese frosting between one, frosted and decorated with lemon cream cheese frosting.
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69  Smocket in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by Blackstitches on: March 05, 2009 12:04:05 PM

So I had found the lovely pattern for the smocket at themayfly blog and have been meaning to make it forever, but since my 4 year old was able to read 10 pages of Dr. Seuss I had to make her something to celebrate and what better than a red and white smocket.  This pattern is so easy to do, the only tricky part for me was enlarging the pattern to a size 5, it is about a 2t when you print it out, I just sort of tried the pattern on her and then made a muslin to make sure it would fit, if you try to enlarge it you have to make the straps considerably longer to fit a bigger child, I ended up adding several inches to the strap area and about 3 inches all around.  I also made a matching one for my two year old niece and just used the pattern as is.  I'm totally going to make a bunch of these for summer, since she will be able to wear them summer to fall with a short or long sleeved top underneath.  I only got a pic of the front because she wouldn't let me take it off to reverse it but it is solid black quilting cotton on the reverse and has some ladybug buttons at the neckline.  To read more check out: http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/theres-wocket-in-my-smocket.html

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70  Beignets in Dessert by Blackstitches on: March 04, 2009 05:36:50 AM

So my 4 year old wanted powdered donuts yesterday, specifically mom to make powdered donuts.  So I googled powdered donuts and came across Beignets.  Being as I am not from New Orleans I had never heard of them before but they looked so amazing I had to give it a go. I made the dough in my bread machine and used this recipe from cakespy  http://www.cakespy.com/2008/09/parlez-beignet-exploration-of-new.html   They were so amazing and I'm pretty sure that they should change the name to "little pillows of delight" instead of Beignets.  They were actually really easy to do since I used the bread machine, and since they are fried it only took a few minutes to cook them.  If you would like to read more check out my blog at http://livingindomesticity.blogspot.com/2009/03/beignets-or-powdered-donuts.html

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