Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Didn't Forget About You!

This is a crochet project I started well over a month ago and I swear I didn't forget about it! I just got side tracked with other craft ideas, school, life, and...umm...ok fine, I'll be honest! I just lost some motivation, but don't worry, I got it back and I started working on it again by sewing the squares together.

Progress is slow but it's still going!

As I was lining up my granny squares, I notice some of them were slightly bigger than the others.  I guess this is due to  the uneven tension of the stitches since my crochet skills aren't up to par yet, but once I sewed them together it looked ok. I still need to make more squares...which is the most tedious part of this project. Let's hope I can keep my motivation going. Wish me luck!

I hope your projects are going more productively than mine!

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tutorial: Pine Cone Christmas Tree

This time of the year, you start to feel the pressure because you see and hear Christmas everywhere and people are talking about gifts!  You better start getting ready now, because it's just around the corner! Next time you know it, you will be stressing over the last minute gifts and decorations. So, let me make your life a little easier with this tutorial.

Mini xmas tree.
Here is a great craft idea that is easy, simple, and cheap.  Pine Cone Christmas Tree! I vividly remember making this in kindergarden with my teacher. I remember painting it white with multi-colored glitters and giving it to my mom.

You will need:
  • Pine cone
  • green acrylic paint
  • glitter
  • hot glue
  • regular glue or Modge Podge
  • mini terra cotta pot (i got one from Michaels' for 69 cents)
  • mini star (optional) I used a wooden star but you can use star shaped buttons or cut out a yellow foam sheet.

Simply, paint the pine cone with green paint and let it dry. Apply some regular glue on the edge of each spine on the pine cone and sprinkle some glitter. Once it's dry, hot glue the pine cone to the terra cotta pot and glue the star on top. Super easy and it's a great craft project to do with your kids!

I painted white on the tips of the "pedals" of the pine cone to give a "snow" effect. Too bad you can't really see the glitter on the snow in the photos. I also applied glitter on the star.

You can get creative with the decorations. Use different paint colors, rhinestones, sequins, beads, fluff balls, ribbons, etc. Go crazy with them and have fun!

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks to my Followers

Since it's the season of thanks, I wanted to take this time to say thank you to all of my wonderful followers. It means a lot when you guys follow my blog and comment on my posts; it motivates me to keep this blog going. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving! *hugs*

Thank YOU!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My First Mini Giveaway!!

Yay!! This is my first giveaway and it's a big one too! The winner will receive what you see in the photos.  Some household items: wall clock, mantel clock, two candles, a beautiful gold framed mirror, and two gold picture frames (all brand new and in 1/12 scale).

Wall Clock

Mantel Clock


Ornate Gold Wall Mirror

Gold Picture Frames

My First Giveaway!!
Here are the rules to participate:
  1. Become my follower (please don't forget!)
  2. Publish a link of my giveaway on your blog.
  3. Comment on my post to let me know to count you in!
Deadline is until 12/31/11 and I will be doing a random drawing for the winner!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

I found this recipe on allrecipe.com and I decided to give it a try. I made a lot of changes after I read the reviews from others.

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake (makes one 9 inch cheesecake)
  • Ready-made 9 inch graham cracker crust or you can make your own.
  • 2 1/2 (12 oz) block cream cheese
  • 1/2 C. + 2 T sugar
  • 3/4 C. pumpkin pie filling (not pumpkin puree)
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Add and mix in the eggs and salt. Fill 1 1/2 C of the cream cheese batter into the graham cracker crust and spread it out evenly. Add and stir the pumpkin pie filling into the rest of the cream cheese batter and carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

Place the cheesecake into the oven and place a pan of hot water on the shelf below the cheesecake. Bake for 50 minutes, turn off the heat and leave it in the oven for an hour. And let it cool completely in room temperature.

Crack kills!
Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before you serve. Serve it with whipped cream or whipped topping.

I made my own crust in a spring form pan. My cheesecake cracked a little because I overbaked it just a tad bit. I should've stopped the cooking at 50 minutes, but I kept going for another 5 minutes since I wasn't sure if it was ready or not. Other than that, it was perfect; it was so delicious! I'm definitely making this again for Thanksgiving and you should too! It's a great change from the traditional pumpkin pie. I hope you and your guests will enjoy it as much as I did!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sugar Rusk: A Delicious Snack

No, sugar rusk is not a typo for sugar rush, then what the heck is it?  A rusk is a hard dry biscuit or a twice-baked bread (wiki), very much like croutons. It is eaten as a snack food and I recently had the famous variety from Japan, "Gateau Rusk: Gouter de Roi" made by Gateau Festa Harada

They're very popualr in Japan and sold only in limited locations. They're made from french baguette baked with sugar and butter into crunchy goodness. They're simple, yummy and addicting, so why not try to make them yourself?? So that's what I did...

Since they're pretty much like croutons, I baked them like croutons; low and slow.

Sugar Rusk (recipe for 30 baguette slices)
  • Baguette or sliced bread
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • More sugar to sprinkle
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Slice the baguette to about 1/2 inch thick. Melt the butter and sugar together in the microwave. Spread the butter-sugar mixture onto each baguette slices. Onto a baking sheet and into the oven for 1 hour or until the toasts are dry and crunchy. Sprinkle with some more sugar right after you take them out of the oven.

Before Baking.

After Baking.
I also made some with regular bread slices. And I may like them better than the baguettes because the baguette I used has a hearty crust, so some of them turned out too hard for my teeth! haha. Perhaps next time, I shall choose a  baguette with a softer crust.

Made with sliced bread.

You can change the flavorings if you wish, or you can add cinnamon to turn them into Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Just be careful, because they're pretty addicting.

Enjoy and Happy Baking!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Black and Gold Lace Bracelet

I have a bunch of rhinestones and rolls of embroidered lace from the time I was dancing since I used them for costumes and accessories. They resurfaced as I was organizing my room, so I decided to use them to make a lace bracelet.

Black and Gold Lace Bracelet with Jet AB Rhinestones

I had some black lace with gold threads woven in and jet AB Swarovski  rhinestones size ss 16. I used E 6000 to glue the rhinestones onto the lace and put a clasp finding to turn it into a bracelet. I love how it turned out; it's trendy, elegant, yet casual....the rhinestones sparkle a lot under dim light, so it's perfect to wear for a night out, yay!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tutorial: Beaded Earrings

They are cute, simple and easy to make! You don't need special tools and expensive findings to make these. All you need is some beads, beading string, and earring hooks. These make great gifts, so start making some now for christmas!
Turquoise Beaded Earrings

Purple Beaded Earrings
I used:
  • metallic seed beads
  • 2 (6x8mm) teardrop glass beads (find them here). I used aquamarine in the Video.
  • 8 (4mm) round polished glass beads (find them here). I used lavendar coral (FP1972)  and turquoise (FP2380) in the Video
  • beading fishing line
  • Earring findings
This is my first video tutorial so if you have a hard time understanding my instructions, let me know! 

It's so weird listening to your own voice! I don't like it...ewwww. Haha!

anyway...Happy Crafting!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cherry Lemon Scones

Cherry Lemon Scones with Lemon Glaze

Once you try these, it's hard to go back eating the store bought kinds because homemade scones are the best! They're easy to make, no fancy gadgets necessary, and they're just simply delicious! I apologize for the lack of photos and the poor quality. I had to use my cellphone camera... :-(

Cherry Lemon Scones
For the Scones:
  • 1 1/2 C. flour
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 T. frozen butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 C. of dried cherries
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest, grated
For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 C. of powder sugar, sifted
  • 1 T + lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.

    Combine milk and lemon juice and leave it to curdle. Combine and mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal.

    Add the dried fruits, lemon zest, and the curdled milk. Combine to mix

    Place the dough onto a floured surface and shape the dough into a log. Cut into 6 to 8 triangles. Bake for 10- 15 min, let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack. Drizzle the scones with the glaze once they're completely cooled.

    For the glaze: Combine the sifted powder sugar and 1 T of lemon juice. You may need to add more to get the right consistency but make sure to do it one drop at a time since the consistency can drastically change from perfect to runny by just a few drops. You want the consistency to be like Elmer's glue; smooth enough to drizzle, but not too runny.

    Enjoy and Happy Baking!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Make Your Own: Cheez-its!

This is my first experiment with making a brand name product from scratch. I searched online for a recipe for cheez-its and found it on goodfoodstories. With suggestions from others, instead of using the full 4 T of butter, I used 3 T of butter and 1 T of vegetable shorthening. The shortening is supposed to make the crackers nice and crispy. And let me tell you, they were crispy and wonderful! They're dangerously addicting!

You will need:
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
  • 3 T of unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 T. of vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. flour
  • 2 T of ice water
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling
It's ok if you don't have a food processor. You can use a mixer too.


In a food processor, combine cheese, butter, shortening and salt. Pulse couple times. Then add the flour in two batches and process until crumbly. 

Slowly add the ice water. You may have to add few more drops of water for the dough to come together.

Divide the dough in two and form a disk. Wrap them with saran wrap and let them rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F. On a parchment paper, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 1 inch square using a pizza cutter, pastry wheel, or a knife. Use a toothpick to poke a hole in each square.

Separate the squares and place them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle some coarse salt on them. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they're puffed and golden brown on the edges. Let them cool on the cookie sheet.

You can  pair them with your favorite wine or just snack on them when you've got the munchies! :-) 
Enjoy and happy baking!

Nom nom nom.