Friday, January 27, 2012

Templates for Cutting Out Paper Designs

Crafting with paper can be fun. Especially with the hundreds of scrapbooking paper available today, you can be sure to find a design you’re looking for. Sometimes tho, you may just want a small section of a large sheet. It can be difficult to select a design from a larger sheet if the sheet is filled with different patterns. I have devised a tool you can make yourself to help you in selecting that perfect design for your project.

Here is a 12 x 12 sheet of scrapbook paper. I would like to take one of those flowers to use in my design, but with all the other colors and patterns surrounding the flower, it's hard for me to see how the flower alone would look in my design.   

Here is my tool - basically the same shape as your base cut out of card stock, but 1/8" - 1/4" larger.

Here is my base: a 2" circle cut out from a formica chip sample.

Making this tool is easy. To cut out a circle, I have a Martha-Stewart Simple Circle Cutter or you can just find a circular shape that's a little larger than your base. Cut out your shape, leaving a boarder of at least 1/2" or so - you want to have a large enough border to break the large pattern on the paper and make it easier for you to see your design. I always mark my template as to what size it is, mine is 2 1/4".

 Now you can use your tool to isolate designs on large papers. Place your tool over your design and if you like what you see.

Trace around your shape. 

Cut out with a craft knife.

To center your design, coat the back of your design with glue, then hold your design against your base and hold up to a window or use a light box to see exactly where you want to place your design. Because the glue is still wet, you can shift the design into place. Cut the edges to the shape and finished as desired.

Here is another tool I've used time and time again. 

This also works with fabric - this is a hand dyed bookmark. 

This can also work with rubber stamping or other any craft where you need to see how a design would look on a particular base. So you see, you can cut out any design from a large piece of paper using my home made tool.

Happy Cutting!!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this tip or any of my other posts. Thanks!

Monday, January 23, 2012

ONE BOWL Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Back in September, I remade a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. Well, I can never leave well enough alone and remade it again, only easier. Actually, I did this by mistake. I always get 1 cup of butter mixed up with 1stick of butter and one day when I was making this recipe, I accidentally used 1 stick instead of 2 (1 cup of butter equals 2 sticks). I even fidgeted with the flour measurements so it was easier to do - just 1 cup of each flour.

Since then, this cookie has been very popular and I even made a bunch to pass out this past Christmas. I renamed it because as I was making the cookies that day and getting confused with the butter measurements, I accidentally threw the flour after creaming the butter with the honey (usually, the dry ingredients go into a separate bowl). I was sure the cookies were not going to turn out but, to my surprise, the recipe came out great. I love these happy mistakes - especially when they turn out delicious!

ONE BOWL Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 c. softened Earth Balance, butter, or coconut oil
3/4 c. honey
2 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. brown rice flour
1 c. arrowroot powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1½ c. dark chocolate chips
½ c. pecans or nuts of choice
1 - 2 tb. flax meal (optional) - my addition

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Beat butter until creamy, then add in brown sugar and granulated sugar and beat until well combined. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, then the vanilla and beat until incorporated. In the SAME bowl, dump in flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda, and salt. With your mixer on low, mix the flour and butter mixtures together a little at a time, and slowly process until they come together. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Using your 1 tablespoon measure (or a small cookie scoop), place 1 tablespoon on your baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until set. Place cookies on a cooling rack to cool, then enjoy!

Now there are 3 ways you can make this one cookie, the way Shirley Braden made them, my first take on this recipe and this new version. Either way you make them, I guarantee you'll like them as much as I do.

My 1st take is on the left and the new ONE BOWL cookie is on the right

Happy Baking!!!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this recipe or any of my other posts. Thanks!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paula Deen

**This was not meant to be mean, I'm just disappointed**

Everyone knows who Paula Deen is right? The Queen of butter and all foods fried. Well, just recently, she announced that she has Type 2 Diabetes and she's had it for 3 years and have kept quiet until now - now that a pharma company has made her the spokesperson for their company. There is a HUGE scuttlebutt online regarding this. People are saying that Paula should've used this 3 years ago, when she 1st found out, to turn things around - diet wise. Instead, she kept promoting butter and fried foods which we all know is not good for a healthy person, let alone a diabetic one, and she jumped on the pharma wagon. We all know that with the proper diet, diabetes can be turned around and possibility eliminated, but Paula took the easy way out.

I’m going to throw my hat in the ring too and say that I am disappointed in her. I was noticing in the past 3 years that even tho she was still cooking with butter and putting forkfuls of her Gooey Butter Cakes in her mouth, that she had adopted Rachael Ray’s mantra of “eating in moderation”.  In these past 3 years, she could’ve been a great role model and turned things around. She could’ve retired her butter crown, changed her TV show and showed us all a better way of eating healthier. Instead, she continued on her quest of being the butter queen. In fact, she has stated that she doesn't plan to change her cooking format on TV. She keeps pushing "eating in moderation", but doesn't being a type2 diabetic mean you have to change your way of eating, not just "eating in moderation" - a lot of what she's cooking, she shouldn't even be putting in her mouth, and  you always see her taste testing her food on TV. To me, this is a poor example of a role model. She keeps saying that she doesn't eat like that at home, but we don't see her home life, we just see her on TV - eating her high calorie dish that she just made. 

Her son, Bobby, recently started a new show on the Cooking Channel called, “Not My Mama’s Cookin’”. Here, he is taking all of Paula’s high fat, butter ladened dishes and making them lower in fat and healthier to eat. Just think if Paula did this to her show - she’d be a hero to many people, me included.

I used to love Paula and her simple way of cooking. I have taken many of her dishes and suited them to our way of eating - replacing the high fat with suitable ingredients. I loved watching her show and watching her family on TV (her hubby, Michael, is a sweetheart). She has disappointed me and probably a lot of you with her recent actions and I probably won’t be watching her shows anymore. For these past 3 years, she's lied to us about eating what she's been cooking. She kept us fooled by saying that she doesn't eat "this way" all the time. Paula should've been up front from the beginning, then there wouldn't be a lot of this negativity that people are feeling. Don’t get me wrong, she is still a nice person, but just I don’t agree with how she's handling this.

Here is something I found this morning online regarding Paula Deen - which stirred this post.

Anyways, enough of that.

Thanks for reading.

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Thanks!