Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Very Cute Thanksgiving Crafts

Two more days to go!! I saw these on bhg.com and thought I'd pass them on (click the name for of the item for more details):

Monday, 24 November 2008

Christmas Cards

Ok so I know it isnt even December yet. I also know that we haven't even got past Thanksgiving. But today I made our Christmas Cards. I tend to make them every year. It just makes them a bit more personal. Well to be honest I only give the homemade ones to Family and close friends. Everyone else get a cheap store bought one. I have had the stuff to make my cards for months. I only just got around to making them. Anyway so here is what I did:

What I used:
1 pack plain cards with envelopes
Velum Paper
Embossed Stickers
Computer & Printer

What I did:

I printed my message (which comes from a classical Christmas song) onto the velum paper. I then put the sticker in the middle punched holes in the card and the velum and tied them together with a piece of ribbon. So easy!! There are so many things you can do. This was just my idea and an easy idea so that it didnt take loads of time to do. Good Luck with your homemade cards!!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Christmas Gift Idea

I have been looking for something my daughter could make for family members for Christmas. My Husbands family all love to read so when I found these I thought they were perfect! I hope you like the idea too!

Bookmarks Made From Buttons!

Bookworms of all stripes will love these bright place markers. They make sweet stocking stuffers -- and they're fun and easy for kids to create. Simply cut lengths of ribbon (ours are 12 to 14 inches long, to fit a standard-size hardcover book), then attach buttons to the ends using tacky glue or a glue gun. Shown here are just a few of the decorating options: sandwiching the ribbon's ends between two buttons; stacking smaller atop larger buttons; and grouping several small buttons in a pattern.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Homemade Pancakes

This morning I made pancakes for breakfast but since we didnt have any mix I made it from scratch. I decided to try a new recipe then the one I have and this one is so delicious I thought I would share it with everyone. Plus by putting it on here I can always find it again. The measurements are British but I will try to transfer it into American for all the Americans too. These are so fluffy and honestly are so good!! A fantastic find!

135g /4 3/4 oz / 3/4 c. Plain Flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3tbsp caster sugar (I dont recall ever seeing caster sugar in the states use granulated)
130 ml / 4 1/2 fl oz / 1/2 c. milk
1 large egg lightly beaten
2 tbsp melted butter (allow to cool) plus extra for cooking.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl. In a seperate bowl or jug wisk together milk and eggs then add melted butter. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will disappear with a little mixing. Let the batter stand for a few minutes. Heat a non stick frying pan over medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it's melted, add a ladle of batter. It will seem very thick bit this is how it should be. Wait until the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1 cm (1/2in) thick.

Serve with butter and maple syrup or whatever you prefer. 

Quiet often when making pancakes I will add a bit of cinnamon and applesauce to the batter. I also love to put bananas on top with the maple syrup or mach bananas up and put them inside the batter. My dad always likes to put peaches and whipped cream on top. Sometimes we add fresh blueberries as well. So many different things you can do with pancakes it is unbelievable.  We Love them anyway. 

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Thanksgiving Tree

I got this from a blog I read, and thought it was so such a nice idea! It's for a Thanksgiving Tree. Here it is copied over from http://conversationswithacupcake.blogspot.com/:

To kick off this season of gratitude,
I hot glue-gunned this
Thankful Tree
with cuttings from our lilac tree
and a few vintage buttons.
(ain't it cute?)
As a family, we're writing down our blessings,rolling them up, and tying them to the tree. Come thanksgiving day, we'll gather together and read them one by one.
I'm grateful I get to look forward to that.
I think I'll go write it down right now.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Price Matching at Walmart

I have done this a few times. Basically you take in your coupons from other stores and take them into Walmart and they'll price match it for you. If you're trying to save a bit of money using coupons, this is a lot easier and cheaper than driving to a billion stores. I've never had a problem doing it.

Here's an article on it too: http://myfoodstoragedeals.blogspot.com/2008/09/walmart-price-matching-few-simple-tips.html

Does anyone know if they do this at Asda in England, or any of the other supermarkets?

Orange Rolls

Here is the Orange Roll Recipe now too!

Orange Rolls

1Tbsp Yeast
1 C Warm Milk
1/4 C warm water
3/4 tsp Salt
1Tbsp Sugar
2 Eggs Beaten
1/2 C melted Butter
4 cups Flour
1/2 c Sugar

1/2 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Melted Butter
1 orange peel, grated fine

Combine 1 Tbsp yeast, 1Tbsp Sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water in a small bowl, Mix and set aside. In a large bowl, combine warm milk, melted butter, sugar, salt and beaten eggs. Add yeast mixture; stir. Add flour 1 cup at a time (if dough is a little sticky you can add a little more flour) Knead for 5 minutes. Let rise until double in size about 2 1/2 hours. Roll out onto floured surface in the shape of a large square. Spread with Orange filling and roll up like a jelly roll. place on baking tray and let rise until double in size. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. This makes about 24 rolls. If you want to ice these I think the best icing is a simple mixture of milk powdered sugar and butter just to make a glaze. Anything more than that is too much as these are sweet in themselves and dont need to much sweetening. 
Picture with the icing if you choose to use icing.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Coloring Pages

I just saw this link on another website and thought I'd pass it on...

http://www.coloring-book.info/ is a website where you can print coloring pages from your kids favorite movies, i.e.. Wall-E, 101 Dalmations, Anastasia etc., so you don't need to spend money on coloring books and you can print off whatever they're in the mood for.

Another one that I have used before is: http://www.coloring.ws/coloring.html, they have a wide variety of coloring pages too on many subjects.

Check them out.

Save a Few Pennies... with coupons of course

So I know that in todays world everyone is trying to save  a little so I have found some coupon sites for people in the states and in the UK. There are coupons for everything try these websites. I am pretty sure you will find some coupons that you like. Plus the site for national coupons so no matter where you live in which ever country you will be able to use the coupons.

USA Sites:

UK Sites:

The UK doesnt have nearly as many. Plus they dont tend to use coupons for food which is a pity. Anyway I hope some of these sites help someone to save a little bit of money. 

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Homemade Cinnabons

I have the most amazing Cinnamon Roll Recipe and as I made some tonight I thought I would share the recipe. This makes LOADS!! I always have so much dough that I freeze half of it. I love this dough recipe so much as well that I use it for Navajo Tacos and Homemade Pizzas.


2pkg active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
2/3 c granulated Sugar and 1 tsp
1 c warm milk
2/3 c butter
2tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7-8 c all - purpose flour (more if needed)

1 c. melted Butter, divided (2 sticks)
1 3/4 granulated sugar, divided
3 Tbsp Cinnamon

Chopped Walnuts and Raisins if you want (I dont add them but you can)

In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast and 1tsp of sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add Half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky).

Turn out onto a well-floured board, knead 5 - 10 minutes. Place in a well buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts until doubled in bulk about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When doubled, punch dough down and let rest 5 minutes. Roll out on well floured surface into a 15 x 20 rectangle.

To prepare filling: spread dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together 1 1/2 c sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins if you want them.

Just getting ready to roll up covered with Sugar and Cinnamon

Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 - 15 slices. Coat Bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and a 8 inch square pan with remaining 1/2 cup melted butter. then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 c sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk about 45 minutes.

Just getting ready to rise!

This is them raised about ready to go in the oven

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Bake 25 - 30 minutes or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly and frost with favorite icing. I always use the Betty Crocker vanilla or Cream Cheese Frosting. So Yummy. We always have them with Hot Chocolate as well (it is a Nelson Family tradition!)  

If anyone is interested I have an amazing Orange Roll Recipe as well. I might put it up another time!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Frozen Cookie Dough

Recently my sister was telling me about how a number of her and her friends got together over the summer and made a bunch of meals to put in the Freezer. They did this over the summer which made it easier to spend time as a family during the day and not have to worry too much about what was for dinner. I thought it was a great idea. She said they also did cookie dough and froze chocolate chip cookie dough, oatmeal & sugar cookie dough. the problem is you have to defrost the whole bit of cookie dough in order to cook it. So I thought what if you put the cookie dough in ice cube trays and then frozen it. IT WORKS! I put cookie dough in ice cube trays frozen them and then once they were frozen solid I took them out of the ice cube trays and put them in a ziplock bag. then all you have to do is when you want a few cookies take a cube out (or as many cubes as you want) and bake them as you normally would from frozen. It is really great and makes freezing cookie dough so much easier. Hope someone finds this tip useful.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Every year around this time I am asked a million times to make my Pumpkin Roll. So I thought that I would post the recipe on here. I love this it is such a festive dessert. So Yummy!!

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • .
  • Filling:
  • 8 ounces Cream cheese -- softened
  • 4 tablespoons Butter -- or margarine
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla


in large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating well. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 350 ° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer. From 10- inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside.

While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.
Unroll cake. Evenly spread filling over cake. Roll up cake (without the towel). Wrap in plastic wrap. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Slice before serving. Keep leftover slices refrigerated. This pumpkin roll freezes well.

Sometimes when making this pumpkin roll I will sprinkle walmuts or pecans on top of it before baking the cake. It is really nice with the nuts.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Cute Magnet Board

A friend made this for me as a baby shower gift. It is really cute and easy to make. All you need is a magnet board, some pretty paper and glue. She also attached buttons as a border, netting as a tie and added letters for his name. She made the magnets by buying some glass pebbles, gluing some of the paper on the underside of them and then gluing a magnet underneath so it all co-ordinates. I love it!

Would look great in a kitchen or office or kiddies bedroom, or anywhere else you wish!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Make Your Own White Chili: Frugal Thanksgiving Leftovers Meal Ideas

Make Your Own White Chili: Frugal Thanksgiving Leftovers Meal Ideas: "White Chili : Thanksgiving Leftovers

This Delicious recipe turns leftover turkey into a delightful,
fragrant dish.

3 cups chicken broth
2 -19 oz cans white kidney beans
1 onion -- chopped
2 garlic cloves -- minced
4 ounces chopped green chiles (canned)
2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper -- to taste
4 cups cooked turkey

Rinse and drain the beans. Combine all ingredients in a large pot
and simmer gently about 1 hour. Serve in bowls topped with
grated jack cheese"

Friday, 7 November 2008

Homemade Chocolate Cake Anyone?

So I have the most amazing, definitely the most moist chocolate cake recipe ever and as I am sitting here wishing I had a piece I thought I would share the recipe here. I am so making this tomorrow! It is so delicious and so easy to make!! I dont have a recipe for the icing. If anyone else has one I would love to try it. I used Betty Crocker. Delicious!

2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. soda
Dash salt
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 c. salad oil
1 c. boiling water
2 eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together, putting eggs and milk in last. Cocoa can be dissolved in boiling water before adding. Batter is very runny. Put in one 9 x 13 or two 8 inch pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until done.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Thanksgiving Turkeys from Pine Cones

Thanksgiving Decorations are difficult to find. Especially if you are an American Living in England. I try to do what I can to make my house as festive as possible and to teach my children all of our American Traditions. Which is why for the past few weeks I have been looking around trying to find simple and cute crafts for the children to do. I like to do something crafty with them most days after school. I find that it allows their creative side to come out rather than turn the brain to mush by putting them in front of the TV for hours until bed time. Anyway yesterday I found these little Turkeys you can make out of Pine Cones. How cute are they? So today I am off to the store to buy Pine Cones ( I have felt and Pipe cleaners) and once these little turkeys are done they will make a cute decoration for my mantle piece. They look really simple and pretty self explanitory as to how to make them.

Picture Memories

We recently had a brand spanking new baby and I am now obsessed with creating memories. Just before his baby blessing I saw some matting/mount for a frame for $1 and decided to buy it. The aim was to have everyone who came to the blessing leave a message for him, as a memento of the day, and so he would know how much he is loved - plus it will look great in his nursery.

I have seen it done for weddings, but it would also work for birthdays and holidays too. Anyway. This is how ours turned out:

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Thanksgiving Table Cloth

Every year I ask my children on Thanksgiving day what they are most Thankful for. This is my daughters 4th Thanksgiving and do you think I can remember what she said last year or the year before? Nope. So this year I have decided to do something new. I bought a White Bed Sheet and have laid it across the dining room table. I have also put some fabric markers where my daughter can reach them. Now that she is writing words herself I have told her that every time she thinks of something she is thankful for I want her to write it on the "Tablecloth". I am them going to keep this Tablecloth as a momento for Thanksgiving in 2008. I am going to do this for now on with the hopes that as they get older I can look back on the things they were thankful for at each age. Plus I will have something with their drawings and writing on for that year as well. I hope that someone else finds this idea useful and fun. My little girl loves it and my son (18 months) loves to just doodle!

Cute baby booties

These cute shoes were incredibly easy and fun.
You can find the tutorial here at Stardust Shoes

Heather Bailey has the free download for these cute ones check her out.