With last month’s theme and project in the books, I am back for a new Cricut Design Space Star challenge. My design team chose a Halloween theme this time around and my creation is Halloween paper lanterns. While All Hallow’s Eve isn’t my favorite of holidays, I can appreciate the style elements. :) Black is sharp and classy and, paired with white, quite striking. I love love love intricate designs (which is why I bought my first Cricut so long ago) and I took full advantage of the Cricut Explore’s improved cutting power. Seriously, it’s fantastic.
My overall design morphed as I experimented and fiddled around to get something to work. The longer I messed around, the more complicated and detailed it got. I can’t help it. It’s just me. Thankfully, the Cricut does the lion’s share of the hard work and I was left with putting the parts together. *Special note: the bat design was inspired by Love Bug. After watching the other two designs come together, she thought bats made the perfect Halloween triad.
Because I created my appliques designs last month without really delving into the options and possibilities of the online Cricut design space, I made it a point to take time to play around in it this time through. And wow. It’s very intuitive and easy to work in and I cannot tell you how happy I felt when I pushed the cut button after creating something from scratch and, gasp, the machine cut it out!! I told MJ I wanted to marry the machine. He seemed surprisingly okay with it. I could not contain my gleeful smile as the machine easily cut out the many notches of the spider web. Made.My.Day. Intricate, complicated me has found the perfect paper cutting partner.
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This first image of the tart cherry bread pudding was in my head long before I’d even settled on what recipe to make. I pictured the individual ramekins filled to the brim with pudding goodness, all grouped together, and topped with whipping cream. Sometimes, the pictures in my head are the directors of my projects, inspiring me to make, bake and cook. In this blogging business, styling and photography top of my favorite list. Laying out the shot, adding in props – which dish to use? which linens? what angle will best show the focal point? I like the puzzle. My desire is to create a scene my better self could pull off in real life.
The storyline here is getting these tart cherry bread puddings ready to serve to a dinner party as the sweet finish to their meal; the comfort food is hot and ready for eating. It’s lightly sweet, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and the warm-from-the-oven custard of bread, eggs and milk is delicious. The tart cherry bits add a hint of tarty goodness and everything is better with whipping cream.
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This recipe for Texas Caviar came to me at the right time. As fresh, homegrown veggies are popping up everywhere, this fresh veggie mix calls for all that homegrown goodness. A friend shared this at a BBQ last weekend and I know I ate more than my share. I couldn’t stop. Cilantro is one of my favorite flavors and that evening I couldn’t get enough. It reminded me of a fresh salsa recipe we make at this time of year. Very similar ingredients with the same hand chopping but with an Italian flavoring twist. I begged my friend for the recipe and now I’m hoping to eat most of it myself!
I paired my Texas Caviar with the Multigrain chips by Food Should Taste Good, which I reviewed last month. By the comments I received, it appears many people are aware of the brand and their reputation of living up to their name. Since being aware of their brand, I noticed a large selection of Food Should Taste Good products in my store. It made me smile. A few comments mentioned how Food Should Taste Good chips were the choice of individuals with food allergies and sensitivities. It’s not something our household deals with but it affects people in my extended family and I’m glad to know of this delicious option. We tried the Sweet Potato kind after some commentors praised the flavor (they are good!) however, there wasn’t the Guacamole version MJ and I liked so much. They would have been perfect with our caviar. Don’t worry. We will find it. :) With Food Should Taste Good products in our store, it will be easy to pick up a bag or two when we need it. If they aren’t in your store yet, you can find whatever you need (and more) on their site and order online. Like the name says, Food Should Taste Good and it does just that.
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- 1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Toss together everything except the cilantro and chill 2 hours before serving.
- Add the cilantro right before serving.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Food Should Taste Good. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
When a good friend invites you to a celebration of their birthday, your answer is yes, of course, with a ton of extra exclamation points. This week, Alexandra Hedin, my good friend, celebrated her birthday with all the splendor and sparkle a weeknight party girl can muster. With party inclusions like a play list, an appetizer, a party cocktail and place cards from other friends like Jen from Classic Play, Melissa from Lulu the Baker, and MJ of Pars Caeli, the party couldn’t have been anything less than fabulous. I volunteered to make the cake and with Ali in mind and her love of and expertise in cocktails, I knew a champagne cake was the way to go. Let’s get this weekend off to a sweet start!
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Each time my mom, sister and I get together, I can count on adding a few new recipes to my collection. We are all food nerds who enjoy finding, making and discussing homemade food and food making techniques. My sister is always trying something new, finding new resources for inspiration. My mom, the one who inspired our love, is the master of making food from scratch. Sauces, soups, canned items, breads. And, if we happen to need a fresh ingredient, there is a good chance she’s growing it. I like to talk flavor, discussing how the ingredients play together in the final flavor. Plus I like to conjure up tweaks and reworking options. I’m certain for non-food nerds it’s a snooze fest however, we like it.
Talking food is one thing but cooking together is another. Three grown women (plus a few other periphery people) cooking three entirely different dishes in a normal sized kitchen requires a few dance steps. It’s helpful we all speak our language, which others have described as confusing and discontinuous. Something about the number of topics we discuss at one time. :) Additionally, our shared DNA gives us an edge in speculating what the others might need. Super helpful when my brain forgets how to make words. I’m so thankful I get to spend time cooking with my mom and sister. It special time to me.
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