Let’s Get Sketchy – July Week 3

Playing along with the Let’s Get Sketchy challenges again.

Here is the week 3 sketch:

And here is my take on the sketch:

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Hobbled Housewife In The Kitchen

It’s not all cut and paste all up in here since I’ve been home & hurting.

I’ve been cooking and baking a lot. So, I’ve decided to share the recipes for 3 of the favs in this house.

I’d been craving something that used to be in regular rotation for dinner, turkey manicotti. I first tried this when my girlfriend made it and brought it to a crop for dinner and it was fantastic. She was kind enough to share the recipe with me, and so I’m sharing with the blogosphere. This isn’t an overly exact science so you’re going to have to go with the “look test” in the process.

TURKEY MANICOTTI

1 pk ground turkey (I think it’s a pound, but don’t quote me on that, my store only sells one size pack of ground tukey)
1/2 onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 pack oven ready manicotti (can use cannelloni as it seems to be easier to find, just narrower)
1 can half fat cream of mushroom soup
1 tub fat free cottage cheese
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 can milk
1/4 tsp Epicure curry dip mix
shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 385F. In large skillet brown the turkey with the onions and garlic. Drain as needed. Add mushroom soup, milk and curry. Stir well. Stuff manicotti with the meat mixture. I usually lay out my cannelloni in my Pampered Chef 13″x9″ rectangular baker then fill the shells while they’re in the baker. Pour cottage cheese over stuffed pasta in baker. Pour tomato sauce over cottage cheese. Top with shredded mozzarella to cover. Bake uncovered at 385F for 50 minutes.

In full disclosure I just realized I completely forgot to add tomato sauce to this one but it was still fantastico. It had also been so long since I had it last that I didn’t realize or notice the missing sauce. Oops! Guess I’ll have to make it again the right way.

Dinner needed dessert. So I turned to Pinterest and found a recipe for Amish Cinnamon Loaf. WOW. Once again Pinterest doesn’t let me down. It was incredibly easy and delicious and made the house smell sooooooooo good!

Here’s the link for where the recipe came from: http://www.redflycreations.com/2012/10/the-amazing-amish-cinnamon-bread.html

And as a direct cut and paste from her blog..

CINNAMON BREAD
(makes 2 loaves)
Batter:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs.  Add milk, flour, and baking soda.  Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan).  Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan.  Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping.  Swirl with a knife.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min.  or until toothpick tester come clean.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.
Last but not least I baked some cookies. I wanted something baked to bring to the crop this weekend – and I was craving chocolate and toffee. Elaine requested cookies. So handy google led me to this recipe.. http://www.saltandserenity.com/2009/06/skor-bar-cookies/

I was a touch skeptical because the recipe was seemingly lacking liquid and a binding agent (aka milk and eggs), but there were so many favourable comments it was totally worth giving it a try.

SKOR BAR COOKIES

4 Skor Bars coarsely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

What you do:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a 10 x 15 inch cookie sheet (with sides) with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3.  Beat in vanilla and salt.  Add flour, Skor Bars and chocolate chunks. Mix briefly until just combined.

4.  Dump dough into prepared pan.

5. Press dough evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

Personally – these are amazing on so many levels BUT.. they’re very sweet and I don’t think you could reduce the amount of sugar safely because of the lack of liquid and binding agents that I mentioned earlier. So – you only need a little bit (win!) to satisfy the sweet tooth. That being said, I may need to make it again with less sugar in the name of research…

Scrap Happy News

Now I can share!

Earlier this month I found out I was selected to be a guest designer for ScrapMuch? for one of their weekly sketch challenges this month.  I am beyond flattered to be selected. In truth, it’s only recently that I’ve been willing to post any of my work online – so to be selected as someone who can create something inspiring.. wow.. FLOORED.

So, shortly after I got the news, Laura gave me my sketch assignment. Commence freaking out! It was a lot more detailed than I’d ever normally do, but it’s good to push my comfort envelope. And then it’s going on display! YIKES! Yes, I was freaking out. A lot!.

So here is the sketch:

 

And my take on the sketch:

 

Not going to lie – I was so proud and excited I actually allowed my spending freeze to go on a brief hiatus and purchase a current line of paper and embellies from ScrapMuch? for this project. I did use a few wee items from my stash to complete it, but the bulk of it is from the super fun Fancy Pants Trendsetter line.

The pic in the layout was a bit of a happy accident! I was snapping pics around the resort at sunset on New Year’s Eve, and I happened to catch a couple in a romantic embrace on the pier. I love everything about the picture and it brings back so many memories of an incredible week spent ringing in the new year on Isla Mujeres Mexico at Isla Mujeres Palace.

Thank you so much ScrapMuch?! I am sooooooo flattered!

ScrapMuch? July Colour Challenge

The lovely ladies of ScrapMuch? also host a monthly colour challenge.

Here is this month’s colour selection:

And here is my take on the colours:

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This layout features my experience in the Temascal at Aventura Spa Palace last November. It was an amazing experience and I’m so glad I finally got to give it a try. The main photo features me standing with the Mayan Shaman who guided the Temascal experience. It was a way to work through so many issues of life and attempt to cleanse and begin with a clean slate – mentally, emotionally, physically. Slathered in mud, with hot lava rocks welcomed into the sweat hut at regular intervals, the group shared moments, grew together and experienced a really unique cultural experience.

As for the project – all CS is Stampin’ UP!, PP and most embellies are from the Echo Park Everyday Eclectic line with some Prima flowers, Tim Holtz token, Bazzill floss and Studio Calico flair, distress ink is Tim Holtz Vintage Photo (one of my go-to’s!).

Status Quo

As I continue to be housebound, I continue to scrapbook a lot. I also keep finding new challenges to join and try.

Enter Let’s Get Sketchy. I’ve seen the creations of my friends Laura and Eileen for them and since I’ve been home and was otherwise out of challenges I figured now was as good a time as any to give one of theirs a try. Once again, I’m loving that there are a ton of really pretty layout designs that are helping me to get my photos into albums, and use up the stash in the process too! Sketches are great for me as they give me a really good leaping off point and help to ensure all my layouts don’t look the exact same. I’m really good at getting into a rut and reproducing the same style.

So the Week 2 sketch on Let’s Get Sketchy looked like this:

 

And here is my take on the layout:

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In carrying on with what I have been doing, of course I did the ScrapMuch? weekly sketch challenge too.

Here is their sketch for this week:

And here is my take on the sketch:

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Reasons to Rehab

I’m 2 1/2 weeks post injury and I gotta tell you, it’s been really hard. I’m not sure what’s hurting more at this point, my psyche or my ankle. My funk is very much back. I’m hoping that returning to some semblance of normal life will help, but I’m admittedly terrified it wont.

I started physio on Thursday. It’s only one visit, but I really liked the therapist and felt he was very thorough, very understanding of my challenges and limitations and needs for returning to work, and returning to real life. He gave me a bunch of exercises to do at home to help restore strength, mobility, stability and function. That being said, my fears were realized and at the end of the day I was in tremendous pain again. I know it’s a means to an end, but it’s so hard. And the return of such strong pain frustrated the heck out of my psyche.

So – I’m sitting down and writing a list, of reasons to rehab, so that every pain in this process will be so worth it when I can:

  1. Be independent again – most notably, drive (tho the gas savings has been fab!)
  2. Return to yoga (my psyche needs it but my body is so not ready for it yet – and a partial class would do more harm to my fragile psyche)
  3. Learn to make canned peaches with my dear friend in August as planned
  4. Enjoy my “me” days again – that involve driving, walking, nourishing my soul
  5. Tear up the strip in Vegas in September (and Grand Canyon, Fremont St, etc.) I just finalized all my bookings yesterday and I’m VERY excited to return and do some of the things I didn’t get to last year, and repeat some of the things I loved.
  6. Maybe tackle some of the things on the list I wanted to try this summer (standup paddleboarding), and try new things (trampoline fun!) on the urging of my physio (ok ok, he recommended the mini-trampoline, but I think it would be fun to go big and go to one of those bounce zones!)
  7. Yank the weeds from my garden so I can see the flowers hidden below (That may just be a great metaphor for life at times)
  8. Pedicure!! Oh my I so need one but the thought of any sort of massage to the foot right now is terrifying!!

Those 8 reasons are a fantastic start. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to learn how to walk again (yes, really).

Scrapping Rehab

What’s a busy girl to do when she’s home on forced rest, dealing with das boot, dealing with pain, can’t drive, can’t bear to watch another bad movie (Breaking Dawn 2 was marginally better than the first, but I definitely lost brain cells I’ll never recover)…?

…Why, scrapbook like a fiend of course! On the nudging of a friend I believe I’ve managed to scrap the bulk of my DC trip from last summer, and the rest will just go into divided page protectors with all my collected ephemera project life style. It feels good to get it done and re-live the memories; and it makes me want to go back so much! I also used up a bunch of paper I once loved, but no longer did (the joys of an overflowing stash).  So – mostly on mom’s request (HI MOM!), I’m sharing what I’ve been up to these last few days. As a footnote (pun intended), I’m doing way less laundry not having to wash uniforms all the time, but washing way more dishes because I’m actually home for all meals!

I do have some happy scrappy news to share in a few days – but for now, just a bunch of layouts I’ve been plugging away on.

DC-Post-LO
Holocaust-LO
IMG_4150

Another layout using Graphic45 Bird Song! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this paper pack!! I bought it for my cherry blossom pictures but it’s proving to be so wonderfully versatile and I am in LOVE with every layout I’ve used this paper for.
Arlington-LO
Unforgettable-LO

Pardon the glare – I forgot to turn the flash off when I was snapping pics of these layouts. This is a pic of Steve with our fav breakfast chef at Le Blanc Spa. Every morning he makes special treats for us and delivers them with a smile. Things like this are part of what makes Le Blanc my absolute favourite place to vacation. I used a ScrapMuch? project kit with a few wee modifications to make the layout suit my photo – and inked it all up!
Awesome-LO

Another project kit from ScrapMuch? celebrating the everyday moments at Aventura Spa Palace 🙂 This was my breakfast view for most mornings.

Everyday-Moments-LO

Another ScrapMuch? project kit – this time highlighting a normal everyday poolside at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Chandler Arizona – where Creative Escape used to be held. I always built in extra time at Creative Escape for a few days just. like. this.
Everyday-LO