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1  Heart-Shaped Bagels for Valentine's Day in Recipes and Cooking Tips by maidofspades on: February 13, 2011 10:53:46 AM
So, my Valentine's Day tradition is to make as many foods that I can, in the shape of a heart.
And so these heart-shaped bagels seemed like a good idea.

They were perfect hearts until the boiling step, when the bagels puffed up (They are huge) but I cut a little V into some of them to regain their Valentine's-like looks.

The recipe makes it seem harder than it is and it is especially easy if you have made bread before.

I put some sea salt on most of them, however some have minced onion. Mmm...

They are absolutely delicious and will make a great breakfast tomorrow.
Now to go buy some pink cream cheese. Smiley

I used this recipe, It's Emeril's:
2 cups warm water, about 110 degrees F
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

Combine the water, yeast, and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of an upright mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 4 cups of the flour and the salt, and mix until the mixture comes together.

Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional flour 1/2 cup at a time to make a stiff dough, either stirring with the wooden spoon or working with your hands. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 5 minutes, adding just as much flour as needed. (Dough should be heavier and stiffer than regular yeast bread dough.)

Grease a large bowl with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled, about 1 hour.

Remove from the bowl and punch down the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces, about 2 to 3 ounces each, measuring about 4 inches across. Form each piece of dough into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4 to 6-inch log. Join the ends and place fingers through the hole and roll the ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a lightly greased surface, cover with a clean cloth, and let rest until risen but not doubled in a draft-free spot, 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet with the remaining teaspoon of oil.

In a large, heavy pot, bring 12 cups of water and the remaining tablespoon of sugar to a boil. In batches, add the bagels to the water and boil, turning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Flip bagels onto the prepared sheet pan. Bake for 5 minutes, turn over and cook for another 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
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2  Tissue Paper Wreaths in Winter Holidays by maidofspades on: November 13, 2010 09:16:33 AM
So, on a recent trip to the dollar store, I found 40 sheets of tissue paper for a dollar.  Shocked
I decided my little apartment was in need of some holiday joy.

I just cut two cardboard boxes into circular shape, crumpled up some tissue paper squares, used a load of Mod Podge (My favorite thing in the world) and ta da! Two tissue paper wreaths, that I love!

Cheers up the gray, Chicago window, no?
I'm definitely thinking of making more in different colors.
I hope you like them and make some of your own!  Smiley
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3  Sad picture frame+ some love= New wall art! (Big pictures) in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by maidofspades on: August 18, 2010 04:40:46 PM
So, this picture frame was that one prospective project that sits around forever. 
When I found the frame again, it was in need of some love.

I took scissors to card stock and used paper ribbon to connect them, for a floating effect.
I was going for a somewhat whimsical effect, so I just free-handed the cards and pictures.
There are also some buttons and glitter present.   Smiley

Some close-ups!

Excuse the skull with Cincinnati Reds hat on, and the Halloween candles. I'm a bit early, I know.  Wink

My favorite one is the elephant, because it has a circus-likeness but I also adore the dragonfly.

I plan to change the cards, somewhat seasonally, because there is a lot of things I would have done differently, i.e. fishing line and a hole-puncher.

Let me know what you think! Smiley
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4  Origami(ed) Christmas Lights -Ranting/Raving/Too Many Pictures in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by maidofspades on: May 20, 2010 08:07:44 PM
So, this took me too long to make, sometimes I lack motivation.
But, I had these Christmas lights and this really cool coffee paper.
And these lights were born.
...WAIT! WHAT?! Coffee paper? Yep, paper made entirely of coffee.
So, you make some Japanese Water Balloons, really simple, sometimes frustrating.
Then stick them on the lights.   Smiley

I drew all the patterned ones, dyed some with diluted food coloring, and some I covered in tacky glue and glittered (my favorites).

Closer Shot

Covering Crappy, Bland Windows

Rainbow Fantasticness!  Grin

I hope you like them.
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5  Saltine Cracker Recipe- First Post in Recipes and Cooking Tips by maidofspades on: April 27, 2010 08:39:45 AM
Did you know that you can make your own saltine crackers? And they're super easy!
Well, easy until you have to roll them out.
My rolling pin's handles broke off. Just make sure to roll them very thin, very thin.

2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Cut in butter. Add milk and knead for a few strokes.
Roll out very thin, sprinkle with salt, poke holes with a fork, and cut into cracker-sized squares! Bake 12 minutes at 375 degrees or until lightly browned!

This was how to the butter looked before I used it. Immature, yes, but I had to take a picture.  Tongue

And here is the finished product!

Yours will look better if you roll them thinly enough. I did not and had to roll them out twice, and I didn't feel like making them nice squares again!

I hope you enjoy!
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