Friday, January 27, 2012

Nanaimo Bars

Another recipe I just tried...
This is from a little bakery in Spokane (WA) called Lindaman's...these were my all-time favorite treats from there, and I've had this recipe for years...over 10 years without ever trying to make them. As I've been trying to make new and different things for the teachers/staff at Ellie's school, I finally decided to try making them. And...still so yummy!!
Lindaman's Nanaimo Bars
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
5 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans...that's what I used)

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chips work great)

For crust, place butter, sugar, cocoa and vanilla in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let mixture cool a bit (otherwise you'll "cook" the egg), then add egg and mix well. Then stir in graham cracker crumbs and nuts. Press crust into a 9x12" (or if you only have 9x13",  just use that) and refrigerate until crust is cold.

For icing, combine all icing ingredients, except chocolate; beat well. Spread over cooled crust; refrigerate until chilled. Melt the semisweet chocolate in top of double boiler (or in the microwave in 30 second increments till you stir it and it's all melted). Drizzle melted chocolate over icing. Refrigerate until chilled. Cut into squares. Yield: 1 dozen

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bloom & Grow Layout

I did a 13-hour crop with my scrapping buddy Bekkie this past was a lot of fun, but my chiropractor is not to thrilled with me as I managed to tweek my tailbone back out of place (and am paying significantly for it this week)...he really thought I was especially crazy, as he thought I said "Scrabbling" (as in the game) instead of "Scrapbooking", really? Well, the crazy things we do for the love of scrapbooking huh? (or maybe even Scrabbling?). Anyway, this is probably my most favorite "completion". I love this photo of Ellie...especially that it even shows her cute little freckles:o).

Supplies: Pink plaid patterned paper (K & Co), Green patterned paper (Authentique), Bright pink circle patterned paper (Echo Park), Scalloped tags (Jillibean Soup), Date sticker (October Afternoon), Heart stickers (Me & My Big Ideas), Butterflies (Colorbok), Pink spiral bling (BasicGrey), Pink floral rosette (Pebbles Inc), Pink heart pins (Unknown), Border punch (Fiskars)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Two Dolls...

Just finished this layout! This is an older photo of Ellie (my good friend Tara took it when she was visiting us a couple summers ago)...I love it, but I lost (or thought I lost) all these photos (she took numerous) for about a year! I was super EXCITED when I found them recently!

This photo doesn't do that photo justice....can I say how excited I am that I just got a new SLR camera--a Canon Rebel once I learn how to use that baby, all my photos (hopefully) will be a LOT better...I love my point and shoot, but it just doesn't take the best photos of cards and layouts (or hmmm, it could just be me??;o))
I kept the tag off the dresses I bought Ellie, and really wanted to incorporate it into the layout...and I love it! I mostly just used scraps of patterned paper to make this layout...and my Stampin' Up punches...the 3 Heart punch and the Scalloped Border. The alphas are from American Crafts (Thickers). The acrylic accent is from Colorbok, and the bling is from My Mind's Eye.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quick and Easy Brownie Bites

I have been making the teachers and staff at Ellie's school treats every Friday morning...which is actually fun for me because I love baking. One of my stand-bys when I don't have much else in the house is brownie bites. I just use a packaged brownie mix (for a 9x13 pan) and make the batter following the directions on the package. Then I use my mini-muffin tins (the one from Pampered Chef is awesome!), and some little mini cupcake liners. Then I put a big spoonful of batter in each liner, and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes (or till toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean), and I let them cool for a few minutes in the pan...then I usually put a Hershey's Kiss in the middle...and let them completely cool. 
This time around I didn't have kisses, so I just used chocolate chips (I put a total of 6 in...3 pushed way down, then three more sitting on top). The are pretty delish! And a great way to use brownie mix in a different way!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Really Quick Card

This is an Anniversary card, but you could easily adapt it for other occasions was super easy to make with scraps of paper and my circle and heart punches. The stamp is from PaperTrey Ink.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

How we spent our holiday...

We had a great time in Spokane (and Harrington) visiting my family over Christmas. 

Here are some photos from our time there....LOTS of photos!

As soon as we arrived (Christmas Eve morning) in Spokane, Ellie had to get some snuggle time in with "Papa Dan" (she's almost getting too big to share his chair with him...pretty soon she'll just be taking the chair over for herself;o)), but for now, it's one of her favorite things to do.

Later that evening, the "kids" (this is what my mom still calls us...cracks me up! Meaning me and Pete, my brother Cory and wife Bridget, and step-brother Aaron and his wife Nicole) and their kids over to open gifts....

Then we had even more join us (for a total of 19!!!) for a yummy dinner! 

Ellie and her cousins (Evan and Avery) opening presents. She got to enjoy a whole day with them a few days later (Tuesday), as "Aunt Nicole" invited her over to play, so my mom (aka Ellie's "Mimi") and I could shop the after-Christmas sales. 

 Ellie and Avery (3)

Nicole (my sis-in-law, my stepbrother Aaron's wife) and her son Zach, with his sweet girlfriend Vonda (middle)

Avery, Grandma Jean (Papa Dan's mom) and Ellie---
do you think perhaps Ellie's getting tired of photos?

 Ellie and Grandpa Fred (Papa Dan's stepdad)

Me, Ellie and Dan's daughter Kellie (my step-sis) 

Pete and Ellie having some down-time in the much coveted recliner on Christmas morning--she patiently waited for me, Mimi and Papa Dan to wake up before digging in to her SANTA presents!

Ellie found the plate and mug empty and a note from Santa (aka Uncle Cory)...
I had him write the note, since he did it last year and since Ellie's getting smarter I wanted to have the same handwriting...well HILARITY ensued as it took Cory took 5 times to get it right (well kinda...his final attempt still involved a crossed out word). First he spelled reindeer wrong (Rain-deer, really??) ummmm...twice (!!!), then he signed his own name twice...well, three times but on this last one he just ripped it off and squeezed in "Santa". Bridget (his wife--my SIL) about peed our pants laughing so hard....there is a reason we call him "Beavis"...UGH!

 Ellie opening her presents from Santa (and a few from Mommy and Daddy too)!

So happy to get a Baby Zhu Zhu of the things she asked Santa for!

We had a very relaxing Christmas morning...then that afternoon the seven of us (Papa Dan, Mimi, Uncle Cory, Aunt Bridget and the 3 of us) went to the Matt Damon movie "We Bought a Zoo" was a great movie, and the movie popcorn was pretty scrumptious too!!!

Then on Monday (the day after Christmas) we headed down to Harrington (my hometown) to spend some time with my dad and stepmom Kathy (aka "Opa" and "Oma").

 Check out these awesomely SWEET cowgirl boots that Oma splurged and bought her!

 Ellie had a great time playing with her little cousin Bayler (age 1-1/2). She must have built a tower 20 times, and Bayler knocked it down...ummmm, 20 times! By the end Ellie was throwing herself down on the floor in disgust and frustration (um, perhaps we have a little bit of only child syndrome?;o))...but overall, they had a lot of fun playing together!

Aunt Alyssa (my sis-in-law, my brother Dusty's wife) and Bayler (who was more than ready for a nap--he eventually crashed a few minutes later!)

 Uncle "Rusty" and "Shelly" (or Dusty and Ellie)
...this is what they jokingly call each other!

 Ellie putting on a balancing stick show for the group...Bayler, just be glad it wasn't the "karate show" she'd been putting on for us before Christmas!

Ellie and her "Opa" (my dad) this point, I think she was pretty much DONE with photos being taken...and my dad apparently wanted to punch me out?? Huh??:o)

 We spent a week in Spokane at my mom and Dan's house, then it was back on the plane to head home to Boise. Nanny Carol (Pete's mom) stayed at the house for us during the week we gone to take care of the animals...

When we got back, we celebrated with Nanny Carol. She got Ellie a new portable DVD player (the old one died quite some time ago)...Ellie was thrilled! She LOVES her movies!!!

 And Pete was thrilled too with his present from Nanny...a collectible, very expensive book about the GT/CS series of Mustangs (yes, the cars!).

Loretta, our black lab, was just excited that we were home...(she's such a goofball!)

Nanny opening one of her presents from us...

Pete, goofy Ellie and Nanny Carol 

Pete and I relaxing!!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas...
we wish you a very Happy 2012!!!