Monday, September 28, 2009

New ornaments I've been working on...and some oldies but goodies!

I can't even believe I'm uttering the word "ornament" right now. I am still in flip flops and shorts, yet for those of us who sell wholesale or retail, the holiday season is upon us! So far this week I've had orders for my sea glass angels, butterflies, and dragonflies. I also had a request to make up some custom ornaments for a new shop in Newport, RI and a sea glass group that I belong to issued a challenge to come up with a new ornament design using genuine sea glass. Whew!

Copacetic in Providence, RI will now be carrying sea glass angels and dragonflies (and butterflies if the owner is convinced once he sees one! He will be, I know it! LOL)

The custom sand dollar ornaments are for The Nutcracker Suite in Newport, RI. These are new, I just finished them tonight so the owners haven't even seen them yet, I am going to show them tomorrow- wish me luck!

Last is the ornament I made for my sea glass group challenge. I love the way it came out and even though I ran into a few glitches while working out the design, it was fun to make and I am thinking I will make more of these and they'll be available on my website and possibly some local RI stores by mid October.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Morning Muffins

We had 3 bananas in the fruit bowl bespeckled with the tell-tale ripe spots. I was tired of banana bread so I pulled out the pancake mix, but then decided too, that I was tired of pancakes... what could I make?
I am not a baker by any stretch of the imagination so I decided to do a Google search for muffins I could make using bananas and pancake mix. The results were these AWESOME peanut butter banana muffins with streusel topping:

• 2 cups complete pancake mix (the just add water sort)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup very ripe bananas (2 to 3), mashed
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1/2 cup complete pancake mix
• 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
• 2 tablespoons shortening
• 1 tablespoon softened butter

1. HEAT oven to 400°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
2. COMBINE pancake mix, salt, bananas, sugar, eggs, oil and peanut butter in medium bowl. Stir just until moistened. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Make streusel by mixing pancake mix, brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and shortening. Divide mixture evenly over muffin batter.
3. BAKE 14 to 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes.

This recipe supposedly yeilds 12 muffins but I got 20 muffins out of it- maybe they mean those gigantic oversized muffin tins... in any case they rocked, everyone in the family loved them! Great use for bananas that need to be eaten up quickly!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Celebrating our 100th Blog Post with a Swap!

It's official, we've been around a while! With the publishing of this post, Maggie and I have blogged 100 entries and we thought to celebrate we would host a swap! The theme of the swap will be "Things That Inspire". The idea is to come up with a variety of items that are inspirational to you, which you think might also be inspirational to others.

In the spirit of our crafty mamas blog, we encourage handmade items but are also cool with purchased things if that is your preference. To keep it reasonable for everyone who wants to participate, we have set a $15 maximum limit for supplies and other purchases.

Some suggestions for possible swap items are: music mix CD, inspirational quotes, crafty goodies that you love to make, photos or drawings, materials for people to make their own goodies, etc.

The deadline for signing up to participate is October 10th. We are aiming to have all our swap partners paired up by the middle of the month so everyone can ship their inspiration packages to their partners by October 30th.

If you want to participate in the swap, please leave us a comment. Sign up, get creative with your ideas and be inspired!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The events of yesterday...

September 18, 2009

Dear Toothfairy,

I lost my tooth and I don't know where it is. I think I lost it out on Overlook Rd. Please give me a big dollar so I can put it in my bank. I have a puppy dog and I like him.

Love, Aidan B.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Project

So I've had this antique mahogany mirror for about 15 years. It was free, and while it had been stripped of its paint and nicely refinished, the mirror itself had some damaged spots and it was entirely too dark for use our new house. Based on those facts, I decided it wouldn't be a sin to paint and use some hot glue on the thing. Here it is after 3 coats of primer

And here are some after shots, with it hanging over my fireplace in our living room. Sorry I wasn't better about taking "in process" photos!

I did it using white/pearl seashells, starfish, sand dollars, sea glass and beach pottery. It measures 3 feet wide, 2 1/2 feet tall and 4 inches thick.

What do you think?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Back to school and some tasty eats!

(Aidan's necklace says "kindergarten kids rock!")

So this year I put my oldest on the bus to 8th grade (no pics of the mopey preteen today, sorry!), my middle child on the bus to kindergarten and my baby got dropped off at preschool.
("Mom! I forgot to give you a hug and a kiss!")
(he sooo handsome and SO ready for preschool!)

Aidan and Austin started on Tuesday, Avery on Thursday. Thursday night we had a classic New England dinner to celebrate the new school year and mom's newly found free time!
Recipe for the stuffies (I give this out to customers who purchase baking shells from me and they rave about it!):
6 large quahog clams
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped chourico (spicy Portuguese sausage), or chorizo
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced red & green pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 loaf Portuguese masa (sweet bread), cubed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

-Heat a medium pot over high heat and bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil. Add the quahogs and cover the pan. Steam them until they open, at least 6 minutes. Discard any quahogs that do not open. Strain broth and reserve 1/4 cup. Remove the quahogs from the shells (leaving the shells intact; do not snap apart) and chop the meat.
-In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the chourico, onions, and peppers and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour white wine into pan to deglaze; allow to reduce 2- 3 minutes. Add the chopped clam meat, lemon juice, and hot sauce and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
-In a large mixing bowl, pour the chourico mixture over the cubed bread and add the cilantro, parsley, bread crumbs and clam broth. Mix gently, and then stuff each clam shell with about 3/4 cup of clam stuffing. Wrap the clam shells in aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
-Serve immediately with lemon wedges and your favorite hot sauce.

Recipe for the chowder (aka "chowda"): Sooooo simple- I cheat on this one unless we're having guests; then I'll make it from scratch.
I use:
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 TBSP of butter
1 cup of frozen corn kernels
1 strip of bacon cut into tiny pieces (I know, healthfood dinner this NOT)
-Over medium heat, brown the bacon, drain the pan and then add the onion and butter- cook until translucent. Add the corn kernels and toss around the pan with the onion just to coat them in the butter and warm them through.
-Next the cheat: 2 cans of Snow's condensed New England Style Clam Chowder
-Cook the chowder according to package directions (I believe it's 1 can of chowder to 1 can of liquid). Once the chowder is heated through, add in your bacon, onion and corn.
-Season with black pepper and a dash of dill weed, serve immediately.