Friday, November 20, 2009


Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is wound around a quill to create a basic coil shape. The paper is then glued at the tip and the coil shaped, these shaped coils are arranged to form flowers, leaves, and various ornamental patterns similar to ironwork.

I want to do it. Why?

Check out this tutorial, and the finished product:

Reese Dixon Quilled snowflake ornament.

Is that not absolutely gorgeous?! I think I'll try my hand at these for next year. I'd love to have some on my tree this year, but with my busy schedule the next few weekends, I just don't see it happening. As someone who hates the commercialized red and green Christmas and all things tacky that come with it, I'm excited to put some of her gorgeous ideas to work on my tree.

Be sure to check out other crafts at , she's amazing and totally inspiring.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Broccoli Beef

This is from Pioneer Womans Broccoli Beef post a few weeks ago. Amazingly easy and delicious! Head over to her blog for the recipe, it's definitely worth a try.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This is kind of a no brainer, but these turned out so good I had to share.

2 Large Sweet Potatoes
2 tbs butter
2 tbs honey
half and half

Boil Sweet potatoes until soft. Toss into kitchenaid (or mash by hand) with butter and honey. Add Half and half until smooth and creamy.

TADAAA! Instant beautiful side dish to go with your honey pecan pork :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chicken Garlic Artichoke pizza

For our housewarming party we were given a gift card to Williams and Sonoma, which we finally used last week. We ended up getting a big gorgeous pizza stone. Anxious to use it, we made this pizza the same night.! If you don't have a pizza stone, I recommend getting one. It made the crust crispy and delicious, far better than any pizza we've ever cooked at home!

Chicken Garlic Artichoke Pizza

Preheat your oven to 500 to get your pizza stone nice and hot!

Pizza Dough (this is the best pizza dough recipe I've found so far)

3 cups flour (any will do. We used Wheat flour)
2 and 1/4 teas. yeast (or one package)
2 tbs veggie oil
1 teas salt
1 teas sugar
1 cup warm water

Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Mix in oil and water. Let rise. Bake at 375.

Now you can let it rise, but you can also cook it right away. It's a little more dense if you don't give it time to rise though. I also like to mix the yeast in with the warm water first, it activates a little better.


White garlic sauce (we cheat and buy this in the deli of our grocery store. SOOOOO good!)
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts
bell pepper
mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper chicken, and fully cook on stove top. Spread sauce over rolled out pizza crust, top with mozz, chicken chunks, artichoke hearts and bell pepper. Sprinkle parm over top.

Turn oven down to 375. Sprinkle corn meal over pizza stone, and slide pizza on to stone. (I had some problems here, hence my wonky shaped pizza)
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until crust is browned.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Handmade Christmas

This post will be ever changing as I find ideas for a handmade Christmas. I started it on Oct. 19th, but am just getting ideas collected nearly a month later! The next four weekends are going to be busy ones!

Since beginning this post, I also found out that we are expecting a new niece or nephew next summer, so I will add one more to my list: fetus, due July 1. I'm calling niece as they just had a boy last summer :)

Looking at last years list, I have some gifts I never made, so I'll roll those over to this year. Also, I've found a wonderful new resource for handmade gifts called Givers Log that is filled with beautiful gift ideas.

nephew P, 6 months - we purchased all of his presents. oops.
nephew PJ, 2 - crochet hat
niece A, 5 - Organza flower headband
nephew B, 11 - Duct Tape wallet with ants
niece C, 11 - Organza flower headband
niece M, 13 - Organza flower headband
niece J, 13 - Duct tape wallet

These Organza flowers will look adorable attached to headbands for the nieces. The only niece who I think might not like this is niece J, who isn't the headband type of girl. I'll make her one anyways, though, because maybe someday she'll want to wear it to church :)

Hot Chocolate on a Stick
, for adults

Pecan Honey Pork

I made this for my husband when he returned from a long week of work. He said it was the best dinner I've ever made him, so I think it's a winner! Really, this could not be any easier and impressive tasting.

Awesome Honey Pecan Pork Chops from


* 1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, pounded thin
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour for coating
* salt and pepper to taste
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 cup chopped pecans


1. In a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt and pepper. Dredge pork cutlets in the flour mixture.
2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chops, and brown both sides. Transfer to a warm plate.
3. Mix honey and pecans into the pan drippings. Heat through, stirring constantly. Pour sauce over cutlets.

You want to be careful not to burn the pork when you're browning it, because then your sauce will come out dark and ugly.
mmmmm! enjoy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin-Chocolate cheescake pie

Oh Yes. My horrible photography does not do this pie justice!

I made this for a family dinner on Sunday, and it was incredible. I've never attempted a cheesecake before, so this was kind of a cheater version. It was very easy, though, and I highly recommend!

From the Better Homes and Gardens All Time Favorites 2010 Cookbook

Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

1 pie crust
12 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 C finely chopped semi sweet chocolate
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 Eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 C. half and half

1. Preheat oven to 450. Transfer pastry shell to 9.5 or 10 inch deep dish pie pan (I used a regular one). Trim crust to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Crimp edges high. Using fork, prick bottom and sides of pastry. Line pastry with double thickness of foil and bake 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 to 6 minutes more until golden. cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temp to 375.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, one egg and 1.4 C. sugar on low speed until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture in pastry shell. Sprinkle with finely chopped chocolate.
3. In bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. stir in four eggs. Stir in half and half. Slowly pour pumpkin mixture over chocolate layer. To prevent over browning, cover pie edge with foil
4. Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove foil and cool on wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours, top with extra chocolate for garnish if desired.

I'd recommend making this the day before, as it needs to be completely cold to taste good :)

mmmmm, pie!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Easy Halloween Craft.

So it's a little late for this year, but it's never too early to collect ideas for next year! I just have to share this super cute idea that I got from Thrifty Decor chick :

Mummy candle holders! I just hot glued the eyes on, wrapped it with some gauze (I stretched and pulled holes into the gauze to make it mummier) And lit the candles!

I LOVE them!

Then, after Halloween, all the embellishments popped right off so I can save them for next year, leaving the candle holders available for a new holiday craft.

Yay for Halloween crafts! I can't wait for next year to bust these mummies out again :)