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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

New Year - New You!

If your New Year's resolution is to set goals for 2010 , then the Project Girl has a downloadable goal chart that is perfect for you.

Just follow this link, download, and start setting your 2010 goals today!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Basic Grey Giveaway

Bree at GETSKETCHY has posted a wonderful opportunity for one person to receive the entire collection of Basic Grey "Origins". What a wonderful way to ring in the New Year!
Here is all you have to do to get entered into the giveaway:
  • Become a follower = you are entered 1 x (if you are already a follower, don't worry you're already entered)
  • Post the FREE BASIC GREY Blinkie with the link back here = 1x
    (post a comment here with the link to your blog)
  • Dedicate a blog post to this contest = 1x
    (post a comment here with the link to your blog)
  • Tell your friend about us = 1x
    (they will have to leave a comment here saying who sent them)
  • Twitter about this contest = 1x
    (send us a tweet about it to GETSKETCHY or leave a comment here telling me you did)
  • Participate in the TRASH TO TREASURE challenge = 5x

Good luck!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Project 12

Have you heard about Project 12? Project 12 started out as a compromise to the yearly challenge of taking 365 photos. The Project 12 challenge is simple. The idea is to create a layout on a monthly basis which recaps what you’ve been doing. Whether you took 31 photos, no photos, or 100 photos, simply choose your favorites that best described what you were doing that month, and create a layout.

Scrapbook & Cards Today, in partnership with designer Davinie Fiero and sketch artist Becky Fleck, are pleased to offer its readers Project 12 on the Scrapbook & Cards Today blog!

Here is how it works:
Becky will post on the blog a beautiful double page sketch on the last Saturday of each month for use the following month. Davinie will post a page example to get your creative juices started!

When the new sketch is revealed, everyone who has sent us (Scrapbook and Cards Today) an image or a gallery link of their completed page for the previous month, will be entered into a drawing to win a fabulous prize from one of our advertising partners!

In order to be entered into a challenge simply create a layout and link it to the monthly challenge thread by the 20th of the month or send it to Scrapbook and Cards at with “Project 12” in the subject line. That means January’s sketch will be due on February 20th and so on. For a second chance to win, link your layout to Davine's blog at and the corresponding challenge thread.

The first sketch and official launch of Project 12 was on December 26th! Without further ado, below is the January sketch for the Project 12 challenge, 2010:

Here is the timeline of new sketch releases and reveal dates for the year!
January sketch and official launch: December 26th
February sketch: January 30th
March sketch and January reveal: February 27th
April sketch and February reveal: March 27th
May sketch and March reveal: April 24th
June sketch and April reveal: May 29th
July sketch and May reveal: June 26th
August sketch and June reveal: July 24th
September sketch and July reveal: August 28th
October sketch and August reveal: September 25th
November sketch and September reveal: October 30th
December sketch and October reveal: November 30th
Final album reveal and prizes: January 15th, 2011

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Greetings

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday. Wishing you and those you love all the good fortunes of life, health, happiness and peace throughout the New Year.

Merry Christmas and may God bless you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

I promise after the holidays I will start back on papercrafting and start posting projects instead of just recipes.

The following recipe is an adaptation from Betty Crocker that will wow your taste buds.

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

1/2 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing (I use Hidden Valley Light)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, Ramono, or Asiago cheese (I use a Ramono/Asiago combo)
1 can (14 oz) or 1 jar (12 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 box (9-10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeeze to drain
1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I use a combo of Colby & Monterey) for topping

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix mayo, dressing, and Parmesan cheese in a bowl.
  • Stir in artichokes and spinach.
  • Spoon into a 1-quart casserole.
  • Sprinkle with Monterey cheese.
  • Cover and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve warm with baguette slices, crackers, or veggies. Refrigerate unused portions. This can easily be reheated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Company - My Time Made Easy

Opening very soon is a new company/store called My Time Made Easy. Some of you may already be using Lauren Meader's templates to create fabulous paper craft projects that she created for Papertrey Inc. Now Lauren has created a new company with online store that will be selling her own stamp, template and digi paper.
Here are a few of her creations:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Scrapbooking & Crafting Friends

I would like to take the opportunity to invite everyone to join the Scrapbooking and Crafting Friends Group. There are a great number of wonderful ladies that share their talents, expertise, and completed projects. Some of the mini groups include altered arts, card makers r us, use your paper scraps, and weekly color challenges.

Hope to see you there!

Happy Birthday!

I just wanted to wish a very happy birthday to my fabulous sister!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Apple Cider Donuts

Just the other day I was remembering the wonder apple donuts that Bell's Apple Orchard (in Lake Zurich, IL) used to serve with fresh apple cider. After doing a search on the web, I found a recipe that sounds just like them. Just image a fresh donut served with hot cider or cocoa after a day of shoveling cold snow, building a snowman, or a long day of Christmas Shopping.

Apple Cider Donuts

These apple cider doughnuts -- dense, richly spiced and with a faint taste of buttermilk -- are adapted from a recipe by pastry chef Lauren Dawson from Hearth restaurant in New York City's East Village. Hearth serves the doughnuts with applesauce and whipped cream.

For the doughnuts:
1 cup apple cider
3 1/2 cups flour, plus additional for the work surface
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat or nonfat work fine)
Vegetable oil for frying
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider

For the doughnuts: In a saucepan over medium or medium-low heat, gently reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed (with the paddle attachment, if using a standing mixer) beat the butter and granulated sugar until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat until the eggs are completely incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the reduced apple cider and the buttermilk, mixing just until combined. Add the flour mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper and sprinkle them generously with flour.

Turn the dough onto 1 of the sheets and sprinkle the top with flour. Flatten the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is still wet. Transfer the dough to the freezer until it is slightly hardened, about 20 minutes. Pull the dough out of the freezer.

Using a 3-inch doughnut cutter, cut out doughnut shapes. Place the cut doughnuts and doughnut holes onto the second sheet pan. Refrigerate the doughnuts for 20 to 30 minutes. (You may re-roll the scraps of dough, refrigerate them briefly and cut additional doughnuts from the dough.)

Add enough oil to a deep-sided pan to measure a depth of about 3 inches. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Have ready a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels.

For the glaze: While the cut doughnut shapes are in the refrigerator, make the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar and the cider until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

To fry and assemble: Carefully add a few doughnuts to the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds. Turn the doughnuts over and fry until the other side is golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Drain on paper towels after the doughnuts are fried. Dip the top of the warm doughnuts into the glaze and serve immediately.

Makes 18 donuts & holes

Per doughnut: 201 calories, 3 gm protein, 33 gm carbohydrates, 6 gm fat, 31 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 200 mg sodium, 1 gm dietary fiber

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies (oh yum!)

1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
*Beat butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Add dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
*Roll into 1-inch balls about the size of a walnut (larger if desired). Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
*Drain cherries and reserve juice. Press center of each ball with thumb. Place a cherry in indentation.
*In a saucepan, heat condensed milk and chocolate chips until chips are melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of cherry juice. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of mixture over each cherry and spread to cover cherry. (More cherry juice may be added to keep frosting of spreading consistency.)
*Bake for 10 minutes.

Yes, cover the cookies with the frosting mixture before baking. This is not a mistake as it makes the frosting almost fudge like.

Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes


I just wanted to make a quick post and show off a cute snowman I made using the same concept as the pumpkins I made for Thanksgiving.

The large scallop cirlce is 3" (cut 9), medium is 2" (cut 7), and the circle for the head is 1" (cut 5). Trim the tops and bottoms of the 3", 2", and 1" balls so they sit flat and can easily be glued together. Use glue that is tacky and dries quickly. I used Alene's glue but you could also use a glue gun.

For the hat, I used two 1 " black circles glued together for the brim, a 1/2" strip of black paper (about 4" long), and two 3/4" circles glued together for the top of the hat.

The eyes are beads from my stash, the buttons are attached with pop dots, and the scarf was just a leftover piece of ribbon that I glued on at the very end.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hungry Girl Hot Wings

I have been craving hot wings the last few days and wanted to find a recipe that wouldn't ruin my diet. I found a terrific recipe from Hungry Girl on her website and just couldn't resist passing it along.

HG's H-O-T Hot Boneless Buffalo Wings

Right Wing!
Ready for a crispy, hot boneless buffalo wing swap? You BETTER be. These spicy nuggets will blow your mind! And for an all-out b-wing experience, serve 'em with celery sticks and some low-cal bleu cheese or ranch dressing (mmmm!)...


8 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cut into 10 nugget-shaped pieces

1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original), ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor

1 oz. (about 14 crisps) Pringles Light Fat Free Potato Crisps, Barbecue (or another fat-free BBQ-flavored potato chip)

3 tbsp. Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce

dash onion powder

dash garlic powder

dash cayenne pepper

dash black pepper

dash salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Crush potato crisps completely and, in a small dish, mix with cereal crumbs. Add a dash of each of the seasonings and mix well.

Place chicken pieces in a separate dish, and cover and toss with Frank's RedHot.

Spray a baking pan with nonstick spray.

Give each chicken piece a shake (so it's not dripping with RedHot), and then coat it evenly with the crumb mixture.

Lay the battered nuggets on the baking pan. Place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes.

Then flip the wings over, and return them to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until outsides are crispy and chicken is cooked throughout. MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Serving Size:

5 wings (half of recipe) Calories: 175Fat: 1.5g Sodium: 1,153mg** Carbs: 14g Fiber: 4g Sugars: <1g Protein: 27g Weight Watcher POINTS® value 3*