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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Wreath to honor our troops using Dollar Tree stuff on: November 28, 2010 05:02:45 PM
Hi, all.  Yeah, my cell phone camera sucketh, hence the half blurry pic - wreath looks much better in person. 

Made this today in honor of my family in the military - my little cousin (well, he's not so little anymore) will be sent to Afghanistan soon as a medic, have other family members stationed overseas in various places.  I wanted a unique wreath to make this year - I get so tired of all the boring ones at the store.  A quick trip to Dollar Tree (don't you just love that place?) had everything I needed.  They had "evergreen" garland - about several feet of it in one package.  Just wrapped that around a wire coat hanger I bent into a circle and secured with hot glue.  They had a pair of little girls' footless camo tights that I cut into strips, wrapped around the evergreen.  I bought three packs of army guys that came with tanks, flags, etc. - they were nice and bright green and thankfully making a bit of contrast against the dark green.  Just went balls to the wall with my hot glue gun, gluing those little suckers on (burnt my finger, ow!).  Then I just wrapped a bit of red tinsel near the hanging hook for some more red.  It was a lot of fun and it worked up fast - instant gratification crafting is my M.O. And I paid $5 or less for the whole deal. Sweet...

Happy Holidays, everyone!

2  COOKING / Dessert / Pie pie me oh my...I...love...pie! Guava pecan pie ai yi yi on: July 04, 2010 06:12:12 PM
Hi fellow dessert lovers! I have an admitted church/civic association cookbook addiction/sickness - so chock full of good recipes (save the grody congealed ring salads, that is)! I must have at least 12 of those babies. I came across this recipe in one of them and have used it twice.  If you love guava and pecan pie, this is the ticket.  I am now swearing by this recipe!  Being from Tampa, guava paste and similar items are pretty easy to come by in my local supermarket....it could be difficult in other places but when in doubt, check your friendly local Hispanic grocer.  Good produce there, too.  Enjoy!

Guava Pecan Pie

1 Cup guava paste or guava jelly (I prefer the paste - cheaper and there's enough to make at least 2 pies from one tin of guava paste)
1 cup light brown sugar
4 eggs
4 tbsp. butter (I used Smart Balance 50/50 and it still turned out great; although, you can't beat the real stuff)
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked 9" pie crust (I like the Pillsbury Pet Ritz frozen pie crusts - nice and buttery)

Preheat oven to 450.  Nuke guava paste in microwave-safe bowl in microwave for about 1 minute with a little water sprinkled on top until jam-like - it will blend faster that way.  Blend guava paste with brown sugar, eggs and butter together with electric mixer.  Pour into pie crust.  Top with as many pecans as you wish.  Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.  Then lower heat to 325 and continue baking for 25-30 minutes.  Terrific served warm to room temperature with a little whipped cream on top.  Now we're talkin'.

3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / A "What Would Willie Do?" Card for my boss' birthday! on: July 26, 2009 07:07:37 PM
I'm lucky to have a music junkie for a husband!  He kept all the jewel case inserts from his hordes and hordes of CDs and bequeathed them to me for crafting purposes.....sweet.  My boss' birthday is this week, so I made him a simple, manly Willie card and I'll print something inside like "WWWD?  He would tell you to have a Happy Birthday, hippie!" You can't really tell from the pic, but the background is another insert with a picture of this cool metal grid. I've only used 2 of the thousands of inserts, and they're so much fun to craft with!  Enjoy!

4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Summertime's here! Honey Limeade on: June 23, 2008 06:14:41 PM
I've been trying to ditch sodas and drink naturally yummy drinks during this boiling-hot Florida weather - high fructose corn syrup is for the birds.  I came across this recipe and have been making it over and over.  Enjoy!

Honey Limeade

1 cup lime juice (about 7 limes, give or take a few - rolling your limes a few times before juicing helps)
5 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey

Mix all in a pitcher until dissolved.  I like to float a few lime slices on top to make it even more lime-y as it chills in the fridge.
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Kawaii-Esque tote made from Ikea nightlight pouch! on: March 09, 2008 10:16:16 AM
This is my first post in the completed projects section, so I hope I'm posting this in the right spot!  This was really way too easy, and some of the stuff you guys do puts it to shame, but it's pretty cute!  Ikea sells these nightlights for kids (the kind where you push on them, they light up) that look something out of a Japanese video game and they come in this nifty pouch.  Couldn't let such a cute thing remain unuseful, so I knitted some straps out of this rainbow ribbon yarn I had laying around in my stash, attached them with strong embroidery thread and voila!  It doesn't hold much other than my cell, keys, wallet and maybe a little lippie, but I've been liking it!  What do you guys think?  Thanks for any replies and happy crafting!

6  COOKING / Dessert / Easy Coconut Flan!!!!!! on: December 18, 2007 03:20:58 PM
This isn't very seasonal, but hey, I live in Florida...we don't have seasons!  Today's my husband's birthday and instead of the usual b-day cake, he requested I make this for him instead.  This is my tried-and-true recipe and heck, it's a lot easier than birthday cake!  It's the easiest flan recipe I've come across, because you don't have to melt sugar down to make caramel on the bottom.  I've adapted this from a recipe on Epicurious. 

Coconut Flan

2/3 cup whole Milk
2/3 cup coconut Milk
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla or coconut extract
3/4 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350.  Whisk first 6 ingredients together until blended.  Mix in coconut.  Pour into medium baking dish or bundt pan.  Place this dish into a large baking/roasting pan.  Pour hot water until it comes halfway up sides of pan.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Let cool for 30 minutes then place in fridge and let chill for at least 2 hours (can make night before and chill overnight). Scrump-Delish!! 
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Kumquat Pineapple Jam! mmmmm on: December 02, 2007 06:19:01 PM
This is my beloved Mema's recipe which I am lucky she gave me.  She passed away a few years ago, so I like to make this in her honor.  I just made a batch this afternoon and am growing impatient waiting for it to cool down!  It's darned tasty, and it uses orange Jello to um, jell!  My grandma used pectin too, but some of her recipes called for Jello, which is a helluva lot cheaper than pectin.  I've had good success with this recipe, so here it is.  A word on preparing those kumquats - those suckers are full of seeds, so the best way to make sure they're outta there before you chop them up in the food processor is to actually quarter the little things and poke poke poke those seeds out with a small sharp knife.  I like to sterilize my jars and lids and keep them nice and hot while the jam is boiling.

Kumquat Pineapple Jam

2 cups chopped kumquats (best to use the food processor for this one - comes out much better that way)
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained (I like to buy the Dole kind with no added sugar)
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 pckg. orange Jello

Mix all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan and boil away for 20 minutes.  Pour into sterilized jars, put the lids on and screw them tight.  Put in a water-bath canner and boil for 5-10 minutes.  Take the jars out and let cool overnight.  Makes about 4 small half-pint jars.  They'll keep up to a year unopened and once opened, they last about 1 month in the fridge.  Makes lovely Christmas gifts!  So Happy Holidays to all of you!
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