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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kylee needs help!

After having to put down my beloved pommie/chihuahua mix KeeKee after 16 years, this story of Kylee the Mastiff has pulled at my heart.

Kylee's story from her loving caregiver:

Kylee has a defect in her heart valve called Pulmonic Stenosis.. In Laymans terms, the valve that pumps blood out to her lungs is deformed and very narrow.. Doc says that's why she is having more symptoms as she grows bigger and is intolerant of excercise.. We are told that the condition will grow worse as she grows and that the deformed valve will not grow along with her so it will put even greater stress on her already swollen heart.. the right side of her heart is moderately enlarged at this time due to the effort of trying to push the blood thru to her lungs.. The good news is that it can be fixed with surgery! The bad news is that it will cost $2000 for a procedure called valvuloplasty.. more bads news is that Doc says we need to have it done at the university before she turns 6 months old (in 2 months), else the heart will thicken on the right side and she could arrest on the table.. without the procedure, Doc says she may not make it past 1 year and her symptoms will increase dramatically once she puts on more weight.. our visit today cost $600 and we are desperate to gather funds to save her life.. If you can help at all.. every lil bit helps!

I'm challenging everyone to give up that $5 latte for today and donate it to help save Kylee. Please? Who will join me in helping to save this little girl's life?

Thank you!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Monday, March 12, 2012

Leap Around the World winner and more

Hello and Happy Monday to Everyone!

After a week with issues concerning my blog and Blogger, I am back and it feels like a lifetime. The first order of business is to announce the winner of the Leap Around the World Blog Hop.  I did a random number generator and it selected number 20 to win the Creativity Bug – Leap Around the World blog candy.

The winner is ---- Carol Sue from Carol Sue Designs Scrapbooking

Congratulations to Carol Sue! I will be contacting you shortly to get your snail mail address to send out your prize.

The second order of business is to share a few digital images.

Lastly, I wanted to share a recipe for Jello Popcorn. Make a few batches in different colors to serve as a rainbow treat for St. Patrick’s Day.

8 cups popped popcorn
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup (honey is a good substitute)
1/2 cup sugar
1 3.5oz box jello, any flavor (not the sugar free kind)

  • ·        Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a jelly roll pan with foil or parchment. If using foil, spray lightly with non-stick spray and set aside. Place popcorn in an extra large mixing bowl.
  • ·        Place butter and syrup in a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir until butter is melted. Add sugar and Jello and stir to combine.
  • ·        Increase heat and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat so it just simmers. Continue simmering for 5 minutes.
  • ·        After the sugar mixture simmers for 5 minutes, immediately pour over popcorn in bowl. Be careful, it’s super hot!! Mix right away and keep stirring so everything gets well coated. Spread mixture onto prepared pan and spread out evenly.
  • ·        Pop in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.
  • ·        Remove the pan from the oven and let cool to room temp. Then break into pieces and enjoy!

Have a wonderful day!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CraftFancy: Fabulous folds March 3

Fabulous Folds

Are you always looking to send your family and friends a truly unique card? Then CraftFancy has just the perfect class for you.
Join creative instructor Marnie for CraftFancy’s Fabulous Folds Card class. In this class you will make 4 cards, each featuring a new and unique folding technique that will take your cards to the next level. These cards are sure to impress your friends and family!
Click here for more information!

CraftFancy: Cricut workshop with Cathy March 2

Cricut Workshop

CraftFancy invites you to sign up for its Cricut Workshop with Cathy.
Join CraftFancy’s Cricut expert and creative designer, Cathy, this month to learn how to use your Cricut machine! You’ll create 5 different cards using various Cricut cartridges. Spring is just around the corner, and the cards from this month’s Cricut workshop totally reflect that!
If you have any questions about operating your machine, this is the perfect place to get them answered. Bring along your Cricut machine and basic crafting tool kit to this session.
Click here for more information!

D'vine wine and gifts: Thirsty Thursday

D'vine Wine and Gifts: Thirsty Thursday event

D'Vine Wine and Gifts is a neighborhood wine and gift shop that specializes in unique boutique wines and one-of-a-kind wine related merchandise.  D’vine Wine and Gifts invites you on select Thursdays each month for its Thirsty Thursday wine tasting event.
Join D’vine Wine and Gifts along with friends and other wine lovers for a chance to relax and enjoy some fine wine as you unwind from the day.
Click here for more information!

William Fremd high school: Booster craft fair

Booster Spring Craft Fair

The Viking Booster Club of William Fremd High School is pleased to announce their 2012 Spring Boutique.
The 2012 Spring Boutique is awash in the beauty of silk flowers, velveteen bunnies, and personalized children’s clothing. Find a blend of unique and quality gifts for upcoming confirmations, first communions, Easter holiday, graduations, and baby showers all at reasonable prices.
The Viking Booster Club supports all Fremd High School students with all proceeds raised by the Fremd Viking Booster Club being used to benefit all student organizations at Fremd High School.
Click here for more information!

Grasshopper mint Oreo cookie cups

Grasshopper Mint Oreo Cookie Cups

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, these Grasshopper Mint Oreo Cookie Cups are sure to add that special touch of green to any potluck table.
Who can resist the tasty combination of Oreo cookies, peppermint, cream cheese, and chocolate chips all mixed together. It will definitely be a recipe that everyone is sure to enjoy.
Click here for the recipe!

Coffee cake pound cake

Coffee cake pound cake

Looking for a dessert to bring for a special occasion or to serve at a ladies luncheon? Consider making this Coffee Cake Pound Cake which marries two Southern specialties, coffee cake and pound cake, to create one buttery, best-of-both-worlds dessert.
While this dessert takes some extra time in the kitchen, it is well worth the extra time. Guests will love the taste and probably come back for a second slice.
Click here for the recipe!

Oreo fudge bars

Oreo fudge bars

This past week while I was grocery shopping, I found bags of Oreo cookies in the reduced section of my local Jewel. I can’t remember the last time I had these cookies, so I decided to take a few bags home with me.
I have seen all over the Internet different recipes for Oreo truffles and desserts, so I decided to reserve a bag or two to try a few of these creations. The one to draw me in first was for these Oreo Fudge Bars.
Not only do these Oreo Fudge Bars looks sinfully delicious, but I had all the ingredients in my pantry including sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and of course Oreo cookies.
Pre-warning! These dessert bars are extremely rich in taste, so a little piece will go a long way.
Click here for the recipe!

Oreo peanut butter brownie cakes

Oreo peanut butter brownie cakes

Oh yum! Who doesn’t love Oreo cookies? This recipe for Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes is perfect to make for the next girls night in, book club, or kids party.
When I first saw this recipe on from Food Snots, I was completely bowled over. What could be more simpler then combining Oreo cookies, peanut butter, and a box of fudge brownie mix.
The original recipe calls for peanut butter, but substituting it with Nutella spread or another nut butter would be a prefect addition.
Click here for the recipe!

Oreo cookies turn 100

Oreo Cookies Turn 100

On March 6th, Oreo turns 100 years young. The Oreo was invented March 6, 1912, at the National Biscuit Company (you know it now as Nabisco) headquarters in New York City.
Oh, oh, oh, ice cold milk and an Oreo cookie. They forever go together. What a classic combination.
Since 1912, Nabisco has made it their business to make life a little less serious. In a world that's become far too adult, a couple of Oreo cookies, a glass of milk, and a shared twist, lick and dunk is all it takes to set your inner kid loose. Celebrate the kid inside all of us.
During its delicious century on this planet, the cookie has led to some pretty serious debates on just how the treat should be eaten: down the hatch or twisted apart? Dunked in milk or crushed on top of ice cream? Meanwhile, some 362 billion Oreos have been devoured.
To celebrate Oreos birthday, consider making a tasty treat such as Easy Oreo Truffles. This is the stuff that dreams are made of: Oreo Cookie crumbs are blended with cream cheese and covered with a chocolate shell for the best-tasting truffles ever.
Click here for the recipe!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Around the World blog hop

** This post will remain at the top for the month of February.
Please scroll down for other posts throughout the month**

Hello and welcome to your next stop in the Let’s Scrap “Leap Around the World” blog hop.

If you came here from Betty Anne Orr at then you are in the right place! If you did not, Mindi Brown at has the hop order to help you find your way.

I am so excited to be the 5th blog host out of 50 for such a fun and huge blog hop!

Here is the sketch I am showcasing for the hop:

Here is my card:

I want to apologize for the quality of the picture. My camera decided to stop working at the most inopportune time and I had to scan both my card and blog candy. Unfortunately, the scan does not show any dimensions and is of poor quality. I hope to have my camera working soon and an updated picture of the card posted here and in the gallery.

Now for the fun part! Here is the blog candy I am offering!

Here is how easy it is to enter for my random draw:
  • Be or become a member of Let’s Scrap which you can do by clicking here . It is free, easy and fast! Once you get there, I am sure you will love it!
  • Become a follower of my blog
  • Leave me a comment on this post telling me what your favorite thing is about Valentine’s Day

And if you would like a second chance in the draw:
  • Make a card from the sketch I have posted and upload it to the gallery at Let’s Scrap. Please tag it as 5-2-11, LEAP5
  • Leave a comment on this post with a link to your card on Let’s Scrap.

The hop ends at 11:59 pm Central Standard time February 29th, which you would be able to track using the clock on the main page of Let’s Scrap.

Thanks for visiting the Creativity Bug blog and have fun with the blog hop. Your next stop will be the talented Debby De Wilde @

If you get lost along the way or have joined the hop in the middle, Mindi Brown @ is the beginning of the hop. You don’t want to miss any of the fun!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

T.G.I. Friday’s nine layer dip copycat

Nine Layer Dip

Looking for a great dip recipe to bring to your next potluck, book club, or family get together? Why not try T.G.I. Friday's Nine Layer Dip recipe.
This bean dip is easy to put together and has all of the best ingredients that Mexican food has to offer; refried beans, bacon, cheese, taco seasoning, tomatoes, green onions, and so much more.
No need to wait for Cinco de Mio to throw on a sombrero and take out your maracas. Get ready to host a Mexican Night this weekend!
Click here for the recipe!

Central library: Ethnic food fest

Ethnic Food Fest

Celebrate the community’s diversity by coming to an Ethnic Food Fest sponsored by the Central Library in Schaumburg.
Experience a variety of ethnic dishes generously donated by area restaurants and delis, and served by students from local high school clubs.
While attendance is limited, no registration is required.
Click here for more information!

Ela area library: 1972 historic cooking

1972 Historic Cooking

Go back to the 1970s with the Ela Area Public Library as they celebrate their 40th Anniversary with special events throughout the month of February.
Join museum curator and dramatist Ellie Carlson as she takes you on a lively trip down memory lane. The 1972 Historic Cooking program will introduce 1970 recipes, a tasting of fondue, hot Dr. Pepper served in a crockpot, no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, and more.
Click here for more information!

25th annual spring arts and crafts show

Arts and Crafts Show

The Victor J. Andrew Music Parents Association invites you to its 25th annual spring arts and crafts show this weekend.
With more than 150 crafters and vendors with items ranging from jewelry to home decorations to food items, you can find something for everyone.
Click here for more information!

Knights of Columbus: Lenten fish fry and bake

Lenten Fish Fry and Bake

Looking for a tasty fish fry and bake that the entire family can enjoy? Then stop by the Knights of Columbus Centre and  Banquet Hall.
Enjoy an all-you-can eat wonderful fish meal with family, friends, and neighbors every Friday during Lent. Don’t worry, for those who prefer other meatless dishes the menu also includes cheese pizza, fries, mashed potatoes, salad, macaroni and cheese, coffee, and dessert.
Click here for more information!

Italian lentil soup

Italian Lentil Soup

Looking for a hearty yet healthy soup to have for lunch or dinner on a cold winters day? Need some meatless ideas for no meat Fridays during lent? Then consider making this low fat, high fiber Italian Lentil Soup.
This soup combines the flavors of lentils, tomato puree, shredded cabbage, hearty vegetables, and seasoning to make a tasty and filling meal.
Click here for the recipe!

Wauconda business and community expo 2012

Wauconda Business and Community Expo 2012

The 9th annual Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce Business and Community Expo is this weekend.
At the Village of Wauconda’s booth, meet members of the Village Board as they help showcase information about Lake Michigan water, Electrical Supply Savings Programs, and much more! Also joining the event will be representatives of What's Up Wauconda, a new web-based community calendar sponsored by the United Partnership for a Better Community. 
The event features the 6th annual American Legion Post 911 craft fair  along with over 70 area businesses, municipal booths, clubs, and organizations. 
On Saturday, don’t miss the demonstration by MAXX the Police Dog, passport registration assistance through the US Postal Service, musician Terry Spizzirri, and the Illinois Treasurer’s Cash and Dash program.
On Sunday, visit with Dave’s Traveling World of Reptiles, music by Jeff Trudell, caricatures, and the Wauconda Scholarship Bowling Team.

Click here for more information!

Ravioli bake

Ravioli Bake

Whether you are looking for a meatless meal perfect for Lent or want an easy lasagna style meal to make, this Ravioli Bake is just the meal you are looking for.
Made with large cheese ravioli, dice tomatoes, Italian cheeses, and your favorite spaghetti sauce this meal will be loved by every member of your family.
Round out the meal by serving it will a mixed green tossed salad and crusty garlic bread to soak up the sauce.
Click here for the recipe!

Jennifer Chiaverini book signing: The Wedding Quilt

The Wedding Quilt 

Come to the Warren Newport Public Library this Sunday to meet with author Jennifer Chiaverini. Jennifer will discuss and sign copies of her latest novel “The Wedding Quilt”.
The Wedding Quilt celebrates one of America's most romantic and enduring traditions.
Sarah McClure arrived at Elm Creek Manor as a newlywed, never suspecting that her quilting lessons with Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson would inspire the successful and enduring business Elm Creek Quilts, whose members have nurtured a circle of friendship spanning generations. As the wedding day of Sarah's daughter, Caroline, approaches, Sarah's thoughts are filled with brides of Elm Creek Manor past and present—the traditions they honored, the legacies they bequeathed, the wedding quilts that contain their stories in every stitch.
Click here for more information!

Cookie dough dip

Cookie Dough Dip

Warning! If you love the taste of cookie dough, M&Ms, peanut butter, and chocolate than you need to get out a pen and paper now to start your shopping list for these delicious dessert dip.
Aptly titled “Monster Cookie Dough Dip” this dessert dip is reminiscent of cookie dough eaten straight from the bowl. This recipe makes a ton, so you have enough for one dip ball to take to a party and another to nibble on at home.
It is best served with graham crackers, but I am sure it is just as tasty with Salerno butter cookies, flat pretzels, or cinnamon flavored pita chips.
Click here for the recipe!

Hush puppies with remoulade

Hush Puppies

A hush puppy or cornbread ball is a savory, starch-based food made from cornmeal batter that is deep fried or baked in small ball or sphere shapes, or occasionally oblong or ring shapes.
The name "hush puppies" is often attributed to hunters, fishermen or other cooks who would fry some basic cornmeal mixture (possibly that they had been bread-coating or battering their own food with) and feed it to their dogs to "hush the puppies" during cook-outs or fish-fries.
Typical hush puppy ingredients include cornmeal, wheat flour, eggs, salt, baking soda, milk or buttermilk, and water, and may include onion, garlic, whole kernel corn, and peppers. The batter is mixed well, adjusting ingredients until thick, and dropped a spoonful at a time into hot oil. The small breads are fried until crispy golden brown, and cooled. Hush puppies are traditionally served with seafood including fried shrimp and catfish or Southern barbecued foods.
Click here for the recipe!

Ela area library: Arts of the 1970s

Arts of the 1970s

As part of Ela Area Public Library’s 40th Anniversary celebration, the month of February is full of 1970 related special programs.
Don’t miss out on the Art of the 1970s. Jeff Mishur will present a slide lecture exploring Pop Art, Op Art, Earthworks, and Feminism as well as a variety of responses to the abstract art of the 1950s and 1960s.
Click here for more information!

Maryland crab cakes

Maryland Crab Cakes

The Lenten season has begun and that means no meat (only fish) on Ash Wednesday and the next few Fridays from now until Easter Sunday. Instead of the usual frozen fish sticks or fish sandwiches from the drive thru window of a fast food joint, consider making these tasty Maryland Crab Cakes.
Crab cakes are a regional favorite in coastal areas across the U.S., especially in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, where blue crabs are plentiful. Recipes for how to make crab cakes vary a bit by region, with some versions using significantly more bread crumbs or "fillers" than others. But they all have one thing in common: fresh and delicious crab meat.
If you happen to live near the coast, you obviously will have greater access to fresh crab meat. But living in the Midwest, you will find lump crabmeat is available in the seafood sections of most supermarkets across the country.
This recipe for classic Maryland crab cakes is true to the region, with ingredients such as Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley and, of course, Old Bay seasoning--a signature spice blend of the Chesapeake area that brings out the natural flavor of seafood. Crab cakes can be served as an appetizer or main dish; or put them on buns for crab-cake sandwiches.
Click here for the recipe!

Shrimp po’boys

Shrimp Po'Boys

Creole cooking and recipes originated in Louisiana and blend French, Spanish, Caribbean, and other cuisines. A Creole dinner is the perfect way to celebrate Mardi Gras.
These Shrimp Po’Boys are the perfect combination of Creole seasoning, shrimp, Remoulade sauce, and spices all wrapped up in a hoagie roll.
Click here for the recipe!

CraftFancy: Card creations Feb 25

Card Creations

Is your handmade card stash running low? Are you looking for new card making ideas? Then CraftFancy’s Card Creations class is just what you are looking for.
Join creative designer Melissa as she teaches different card making techniques, from stamping, embossing, creative punching, sewing cardstock, and more! This class is perfect for you if you want to learn how to create fun and whimsical cards out of your leftover scrapbooking material.
This month’s theme is "Hello Friend" and you'll be creating five different cards using a few different patterns of paper and stamps.
Click here for more information!

Dirty rice

Dirty Rice

It’s Fat Tuesday, so get out your Creole seasonings and whip up a batch of dirty rice for dinner.
Traditionally dirty rice is made with chicken liver, which gives it a "dirty" color. This recipe for dirty rice trades out the chicken liver and uses healthy lean chicken sausage instead.
Click here for the recipe!

The best darned grilled chicken ever

Grilled Chicken

Paul Prudhomme and his restaurant K-Paul's have been the driving force behind the national popularity of Cajun food for almost 30 years. This recipe for “The Best Darned Grilled Chicken Ever” blends different spices to give the chicken a surprising and unique flavor.
If you don't have a grill, you can broil the marinated chicken pieces until a nice brown crust forms, then bake at 300º until cooked through.
Click here for the recipe!

Creole shrimp and sausage stew

Creole Shrimp and Sausage Stew

Warm up cool evenings with a delicious stew that's just as good on its own or ladled over rice.
This tasty Creole Shrimp and Sausage Stew is perfect for Fat Tuesday, is simple to make, and uses easy to find ingredients from the grocery store. Tastes great with rice, inside a bread bowl, or served with crusty bread and hot sauce.
Click here for the recipe!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Paper crafting advertising opportunity

This is a special message to our faithful followers and those that stop by to check out our blog.

I have been a paper crafter for more than 20 years and love to scrapbook, make cards, stamp, create altered projects, and craft in general. Over the past 2 years I have noticed more than 8 paper crafting/scrapbooking local stores that have gone out of business and it just breaks my heart.

To help the local stores get business into their stores and people signing up for classes, since July I started to make posts both on this blog and on my website. I wasn't sure it was making a difference, but I really believe in the small business owner and want these stores to stay in business. 

Well, two things have occurred in the last few days that brings a smile to my face. The first is that I noticed that the monthly hits on this blog have gone up by the thousands and many of them are doing searches related to digital stamping, scrapbooking, scrapbooking supplies, paper crafting classes, and card making. 

The second is that one of the local scrapbook stores contacted me to say that they did a poll to see where people heard about their crafting classes and 1 out of 5 mentioned my blog or website. I can't tell you how much that warms my heart.

With all this being said, I am giving each of you the opportunity for a free advertising opportunity on this blog and/or my site as long as you fit one or more of the following:

  • The item you are selling is paper crafting, stamping, scrapbooking, card making, arts and crafts, or crafting related (this includes organizing, how-to’s, e-books, patterns, etc)
  • The item you are selling or want advertised pertains to the crafting industry.
  • You own a local store in Illinois or the Illinois/Wisconsin border that pertains to the crafting industry.
  • You own an online store with website that pertains to the crafting industry.
  • You offer classes (in store) or online that pertains to crafting (does not have to be paper crafting).
  • You company offers crafting retreats, all night crops, or crafting events.

If you fall into any of the above criteria, please send an email to with the following information:
  • Name
  • Company name
  • Company website address (if applicable)
  • Information about your business and services
What Creativity Bug will do for you in return:
  • Make a blog post and/or article post to introduce readers to your business
  • Make a blog post and/or article(s) pertaining to services you offer including classes, retreats, events, sales, etc.

I hope that this opportunity will be beneficial to all the small business owners and self-employed workers out there.

Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Monday, February 20, 2012

Antioch fine arts foundation: Stained glass class

Stained Glass Class

Have you seen the beautiful artistry of stained glass and every wondered “I would like to try that?”.  Now is your chance at the Antioch Fine Arts Foundation.
The Antioch Fine Arts Foundation is offering the class “Stained Glass” with instructor Marjie Krutsch.  This hands-on class introduces students to the basics of stained glass which includes choosing glass, cutting, foiling, soldering and finishing. Each student can expect to finish one or two projects. All materials are included (except beginners kit) and experienced students are welcome to come and work with fellow students in a group atmosphere
Missed classes can be made up and students can continue with studio time at $8.00 per hour after the session is completed. New beginning and advanced classes repeat every 6 weeks. Days and evenings can be adjusted to accommodate students. If you have tools, bring them along.
Click here for more information!

Small discoveries: Mardi Gras masquerade

Mardi Gras Masquerade

Small discoveries add up to big fun for your little ones! Join the Lake County Discovery Museum on  select Wednesdays each month as they explore a variety of topics through stories, hands-on activities, pretend play and simple crafts. A great opportunity to learn, make new friends, and get to know other families.
This month, learn about the celebration of Mardi Gras. Instructor Seleena Kuester will teach kids to make a mask, listen to music, and enjoy traditional treats.
Click here for more information!

District 300: Hampshire health and wellness fair

Health and Wellness Fair

School lunches have changed over the past decade, and an upcoming event in Community Unit School District 300 is designed to showcase just how.
District 300 parents, students, staff, and community members are invited to attend the district's first-ever series of Health & Wellness Fairs, in partnership with ARAMARK food service.  The fairs will take place in Hampshire on Feb. 21, Carpentersville on March 5, and Algonquin on March 19.
Admission is free, and each family-friendly fair will start with a screening of the highly entertaining movie about fast food in America, called "Super Size Me" (rated PG).  The free film screening will be at 5 p.m., and the rest of the fair activities will run from 6 to 8 p.m. 
The events will offer parents and students a screening of the documentary Super Size Me, highlighting the poor nutrition of fast-food choices, at 5 p.m. Other activities, including a tasting of actual foods served in the district's lunch program, and opportunities for pertussis vaccination and talks with area organizations, will be available from 6 to 8 p.m.
Click here for more information!

Central library: Drawing teens

Drawing Teens

Are you a teenager (grades 6 -12) that is interested in learning how to draw? Then sign up at Central Library for its Drawing Teens workshop.
In this special workshop, Artist Tim Broderick will teach teens the latest techniques in drawing.
Click here for more information!

Carol Stream park district: Glass fusing workshop

Glass Fusing Workshop

Become a jewelry designer! Learn how to create one of a kind pieces of wearable art in the Carol Stream Park District’s Glass Fusing Workshop.
In the workshop, you will assemble different colors of dichroic glass to make three unique pendants. All tools and supplies will be provided. Projects will be available for pick up at Simkus Recreation Center one week after class due to firing time.
Click here for more information!

14th annual race for hunger

Race for Hunger

The Lake County Farm Bureau will be sponsoring the 14th Annual Race For Hunger event. The Race for Hunger event is held every year in order to raise public awareness of Food Check Out Week, which celebrates the abundance and safety of food that we in the U.S. are able to enjoy due to the hard work of our farmers and ranchers.
This year's Race for Hunger features a five-minute race between two individuals to see who can fill shopping carts with the highest monetary value of non-perishable food products that contain corn, soybeans, wheat, and oats. The contestant whose carts have the highest value will be named as this year's winner. The real winners of the event will be the local food pantries that will receive the groceries. 
The Lake County Farm Bureau purchases all of the groceries that are collected during the five minute scramble around the store. As a new addition to this year's race, the Lake County Farm Bureau will also be providing a check in the amount of $500 to each pantry to be used toward the purchase of more food items that they are in need of.
Click here for additional information!

Paczki day

Paczki Day

Paczki (Polish [ˈpɔnt​͡ʂki]  are pastries traditional to Polish cuisine (the word pączek is sometimes translated as doughnut).  A pączek is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with confiture or other sweet filling. Paczki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing or bits of dried orange zest. A small amount of grain alcohol (traditionally, Spiritus) is added to the dough before cooking; as it evaporates, it prevents the absorption of oil deep into the dough.
In Poland, paczki are eaten especially on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday). Many Polish Americans celebrate Paczki Day on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, the reason for making paczki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent.
In the large Polish community of Chicago, and other large cities across the Midwest, Paczki Day is celebrated annually by immigrants and locals alike. Chicago celebrates the festival on both Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday, due to its sizable Polish population.
You can celebrate Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday by purchasing paczki from a European bakery or try your hand at making paczki in your own kitchen.
Click here for the recipe!

Featured Freebies for the Week of February 20, 2012

Hello and Happy Monday!

Here are this week’s featured freebies of digital stamps and images found on blogs and websites or sent to us from faithful followers:

Create with TLC is sharing a number of freebies including doggone cute,  chocolate, dreams, and fairy tale.

Create with TLC is also having a blog hop and at each stop you can receive a free fairy tale themed digital image. Click here to start the hop.

Beyond the Fringe is in the Irish mood and giving a freebie package of St. Patrick’s related images.

Crafty Moments shares a number of digital freebies in color or black/white PNG including sick dragon, Henry Higgins and his owl,  and Molly’s dragon.

ScrapHappy Paper Crafter shares a number of nursery rhyme digital images including Hansel and Gretel and Red Riding Hood. She also has a complete series of Alice in Wonderland digital images that can be found here, here, and here.

Well, that is all for this week! Happy Crafting!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Triple whammy brownies

Triple Whammy Brownies

Sometimes I get recipes in the funniest of situations. I happen to be at my local Jewel shopping the baking supplies aisle looking to see if there was anything new on the market to try. When all of a sudden I am knocked into by a woman carrying more items than she should. Of course, all of her items fall out of her hands and mostly directly into my cart.
I helped her collect the items (brownie mix, cookie mix, Oreo cookies, etc) and we begin to chat. She tells me that she is in a hurry to get home and fix a dessert for her book club that is starting in a few hours. The recipe is for what is originally known as “better than sex brownies”, but she quickly renamed as “triple whammy brownies” because they include brownie mix, cookie mix, Oreo cookies, and a few other ingredients.
Can I say that brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and Oreo cookies are my absolute favorite desserts!!
As I help her bring her items to the register counter, we quickly exchange email addresses, and that is how I received the recipe for Triple Whammy Brownies that are best served warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream.
Click here for the recipe!

Quick shrimp and sausage gumbo

Quick Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

A friend that is a busy mom wanted to introduce her kids to Cajun food, but didn’t want to spice up their tastes pallets too much. She created this wonderful gumbo that she calls Midwest meets Louisiana and serves it to her family as part of their Mardi Gras celebration.
While this is not your traditional Louisiana style gumbo which takes hours in the kitchen, this version is quick and easy but gives you a close taste to traditional Cajun gumbo.
Click here for the recipe!

Cajun shrimp soup

Cajun Shrimp Soup

I recently did some window shopping at the Deer Park Town Center in Deer Park and was pulled into the Williams-Sonoma by the tantalizing aroma.   At the front cooking station was a chef making Cajun Shrimp Soup using gumbo filé.
After commenting about the wonderful smell, the chef told me that as a mainstay of Cajun and Creole cooking, gumbo filé lends a woodsy, herbal sassafras flavor, with delicate tangy and peppery notes, to the soup she was making.
I had to agree that the soup had a wonderful taste and was told that those wanting a heartier soup that resembles a quick version of gumbo, you can ladle each serving of soup over a scoop of cooked long-grain rice.
Click here for the recipe!

Gumbo filled pastry shells

Gumbo Filled Pastry Shells

Looking for a new twist on an old favorite? Then try this Gumbo Filled Pastry Shell recipe to kick off your Mardi Gras celebration!
Golden puff pastry shells are filled with a Louisiana-style gumbo made with chicken, shrimp, kielbasa, green and red peppers and cream of celery soup.  This recipe has great taste and comfort written all over it!
Click here for the recipe!

Mardi Gras sweet yeast bread

Sweet Yeast Bread

Delight your guests during your Mardi Gras celebration by serving this Mardi Gras Sweet Yeast Bread for breakfast or as an afternoon snack with tea or coffee.
The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby, and a party. The King Cake is baked with a small plastic baby hidden inside;  the person who gets the slice with baby in it has to host the next party.  It is traditionally decorated with sprinkles of purple, green and gold sugar, or decorate with whole pecans and candied cherries.
This is not your traditional Mardi Gras Kings cake, but instead a sweet bread with a rich almond pastry filling. 
Click here for the recipe!

Gumbo casserole

Gumbo Casserole

Short on time, but still want to make a Cajun favorite, then this Gumbo Casserole using Campbell’s soup is just the ticket.
Two comfort foods, gumbo and casserole, come together to make a tasty family favorite.  Plus, it takes just 15 minutes to put together before you pop it in the don't even have to cook the rice beforehand.
Click here for the recipe!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Greek pasta salad

Greek Pasta Salad

If you can't make it to the Greek isles this year, make the much shorter trip to the aisles of your supermarket to create this smart pasta salad studded with feta and vegetables.
The fresh herbs, vegetables, and olives that characterize Greek cuisine are tossed with pasta in this sprightly salad recipe. It is topped off with Feta cheese which gives it a tangy finish.
Click here for the recipe!

Berry topped cupcakes

Berry Topped Cupcakes

Has it been a while since you have had your girlfriends over for conversation and dessert? Pull out your phone and start calling now!
Your guests will be delighted when they are served several different varieties of coffee or tea and delicious Berry Topped Cupcakes.
The party conversation will get hopping as they enjoy the fruity taste of these pretty-in-pink cupcakes loaded with strawberries.
Are you planning a bridal or baby shower? These cupcakes would be the perfect treat for a bridal/baby shower luncheon or part of your dessert table at your reception.
Click here for the recipe!