Studio 52

Studio 52
My little piece of Texas that restores my soul!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Getting in the Mood!


Good Morning to all of my peeps in blogland!
I had such good intentions of posting this blog prior to NSD, National Scrapbook Day, for those of you that might not be familiar with that set of letters! As usual my to do list was way too long and the days were rolling by me like the evening tide. I was putting the finishing touches on a couple of my senior proof books and had made a huge pile of scraps. My son-n-love and daughter had shown up and was sitting at the kitchen table visiting as I was beginning  to clean up my mess. Well if you have ever sat at our kitchen table you know what can happen. NARNIA time, yes they began to talk and I started "playing" with the scraps of paper as I listened to the current events of their daily lives. The following pics will tell you the rest of the story......

Reece and Leslie have a beautiful pink rose bush growing in the front of their home!   Nothing blesses me more than to have a few fresh picked flowers in my kitchen, after all that seems to be the room I spend the most time in! As I was making my frenzy of cards I kept noticing the petals drop...... ahhhh, but the fragrance was beautiful ..... and of course the camera had to come out in the middle of my chaos!

 When down-and-outers get a break, cheer! And when the arrogant rich are brought down to size, cheer! Prosperity is as short-lived as a wildflower, so don’t ever count on it. You know that as soon as the sun rises, pouring down its scorching heat, the flower withers. Its petals wilt and, before you know it, that beautiful face is a barren stem. Well, that’s a picture of the “prosperous life.” At the very moment everyone is looking on in admiration, it fades away to nothing. James 1:9-11 Message


Card #1 - Insipiration in the making....

I had been trimming 4.5 x 6.5 pieces of paper down to 4 x 6 for my albums and had created a nice big pile of strips that for all practical purposes should have been tossed into the trash can! I tend to doodle or move my hands in some small activity, or drink a cup of coffee, but this moment in time found me "weaving" strips of trash! Reece teased me and said and so now you are going to throw that in the trash?!  My creative juices started flowing and I decided to see what I could create.......

Card #2 - outside

Card #2 - Inside - I enjoy adding a bit of pizzaz to the inside as well!

Card #3 - Using more scraps from my scrap box.....

Inside of Card #3

Card #4 - Keeping it really simple

Card #5 - Funny thing about trash.... see the little piece of paper with the scripture? Our puppy chewed up the corners of one of my daily devotional books. I was not a happy cropper and picked it up off the floor along with the other books she chewed on and was about to toss them in the trash. New thought, tear the pages out and ink them for embellishments on cards! There you see one! My contribution to recycling!

Card #6 - Thank You!

Card #7 - Blank on the inside so it can be for any occasion!

Card #8 - My inspiration was picking up with steam because I had decided to create an entire set of cards to give to my daughter, the cosmo girl in my life. She had agreed to do my hair because I couldn't go to NSD with my roots showing! 

Card #9 - you have to have a few birthday cards....

Card #10 - Another friendship card and don't you just love the antique sparkle  button?

Card #11 - I finally used my new Stampin-Up banner punch! 


Inside of Card #11 - This card can be used for a wedding, anniversary or any kind of love message you need to send!

AND finally Card #12 - yep got three cards out of the trash I weaved together! 

Inside of Card #12

Finished product..... 12 cards all sealed away in a tin can that my friend purchased for me at Goodwill for .50 cents! We take pieces of scrapbook paper and cut a piece to line the bottom of the can and bam you have a nice gift! I surprised my Leslie with this token of love the morning she took care of my root issues! She was most surprised because she thought I just brought them to show her! 

LOVE is a fun lane to travel in the highway of LIFE ... and truly it is really brief, so don't forget to really live today....... AND learn a little more about LAUGHING.... I promise you it will do your heart good!
Scrapping up a little fun in the kitchen really got me in the mood for the four day NSD celebration/convention that was approaching quickly on my calendar. That my dear shall be another blog, however I think I will leave you with a sneak peek .......

and I promise you the funny flamingos really showed up!

and guess who "rocked" the house.....!??!


Today is WOW Wednesday over at Cat's..... If you've made it this far, leave me a little luv "comment" and you have a chance to win a prize ~that would be some "blog candy". Cat's Creations randomly picks someone who has commented on blogs that have linked their handiwork to Cat's Creations Blog blog. Go to Cat's Creations for all the details!  And while you are there check out more about National Scrapbook Day. I hear rumors that people are already signing up for next years retreat?  Something about a jungle!?? 


Go and make some melodies with those you love today!
Till my coffee cup and mouse meet again,

Teresa



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chicken Florentine Soup

Well, it just wouldn't be right if I didn't mention Vanessa and Emily in this post. Recently we all met for lunch. Now I was actually trying out my eldest daughters advice about time management. She suggested I go to lunch with someone that had a tight time schedule which would prevent me from falling into Narnia time. Sounded like it might work. These two young mothers would be in pursuit to pick up their little toddlers at the local Mother's Day out program.

I told them they would be responsible to watch the time and when they had to leave, I would leave. We were having such a delightful lunch and a lively conversation and time was slipping. When I sensed it was the time we should be departing and going our separate ways, they just giggled and announced, "Got 'cha! Our moms are picking up our children, so we have all the time you can spare!" So much for time management!

The local Italian restaurant served Chicken Florentine soup with their lunch special and since I am usually willing to try something new I ordered some! Emily being the great adventurous cook, too admitted to never making it! Needless to say, since I had never eaten it I certainly didn't recall ever looking at a recipe. Well, my dear ladies I have been wanting some more soup and with a little google search I discovered there were many different ways to make it. And I did what I like to do best...... Just started tossing stuff in the pot!

I will save the Ricky and Lucy story for the end....... So let's get cooking!

Teresa's Chicken Florentine Soup
(First Attempt)

4-boneless chicken breasts
Cover them with water; add salt, pepper and garlic powder; simmer until done
Dice into bite size pieces and add back to broth and continue to simmer

Add one yellow onion finely diced
About one cup of finely diced carrots 
About one cup of finely diced celery
Minced garlic - about 2 Tblsp.
2- boxes of chicken broth
** optional - A shake or two of "Slap Ya Mama" by Walker & Sons

Remove a couple of cups of hot broth from stock pot and whisk in 3-Tblsp. of flour ( I went really easy on the flour due to gluten issues, therefore my soup was pretty thin )

Bring back to a simmer

Add 1-cup of white cooking wine
2-3 bay leaves (I try to remember to scoop out those floating leaves - failure to do so will bring on the commentaries)

Then add:

8 oz. of cream cheese
1 & 1/2 cup of heavy cream

Add a carton of fresh baby spinach (sliced)
* I added a bunch because I figured it would be a easy way to get my family to eat a healthy portion! Warning: the green stuff floating in the pot gave it the "fear factor food" name at my house tonight.

Simmer a few minutes until spinach wilts and now it is time to sit down and enjoy some piping hot Chicken Florintine!


Croutons

One loaf of stale French bread-sliced into one inch cubes

1-stick of melted butter

Stir in:
1-tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Black pepper
A couple of shakes of  "Slap Ya Mama" by Walker & Sons

Continue stirring as you drizzle the butter over the bread pieces.

Bake 350 for 20 minutes-
Stir them around
Lower oven to 225 and continue to bake an additional 20 minutes
Turn off the oven!

But, leave them in the oven for a couple of hours. The goal is to dry them out slowly. Crispy is the goal!

Serve with soup and if you have any leftovers they store great in a ziplock bag for up to one week.


The calendar in Texas says it is spring, but my pansies are still loving the really cool nights!


Pan of bread cubes before the spices are added......


The broth mixture with the onions added....... 


The finished soup and croutons......yummy goodness!


Reece and Leslie showed up un-expectantly and just in time for dinner! Imagine that! Well, needless to say they have become accustom to my experiments in the kitchen, but tonight was even a tad out on the edge, because Olivia kept saying we were having fear factor food.


A close up of the finished croutons. I have been making these for years
and they never fail to be a big hit with the family!

Read on to learn more about this mysterious tortilla that showed up in
the middle of my Italian night...... the Mexicans are coming........!

Top view of dessert.....What is it you ask?

Tarimisu Wanna Be


1 small box of Jello Vanilla instant pudding & pie filling
1 small box of Jello devil's food instant pudding & pie filling

Mix both boxes "together" and follow directions on the box and add about 3- Tbsp of brewed coffee

Now for the really easy part:
I put one Tbsp. of coffee in the bottom of the glass and laid a girl scout cookie on top of the coffee. I then spooned in the pudding mixture and topped with a dollop of heavy whipped whipping cream. Two more girl scout cookies garnished the top and there you have a very simple dessert.

Let us talk a bit about that whipping cream..... I really wanted some cream cheese and powder sugar mixture, but didn't have any. So I poured about a half of cup of heavy whipping cream into a chilled bowl and added a couple of Tbsp. of sugar and beat with a fork until it got stiff. Normally I would have used a mixer for this process, but decided I was not making enough to justify the mess. It doesn't look as pretty, but taste was super!


Well I was already committed to the evening menu and with Reece and Leslie
showing up I decided to throw together a quick dessert.



Ready for the Ricky and Lucy part of the story!? Everybody kept coming through the kitchen and asking what was for dinner.... My answer was the same every time, "Chicken Florentine" and their response was "Chicken who?!" When Olivia went to get her dad for dinner he enters the kitchen with a fairly decent attitude about dinner. "So we are dinning like the Italians?" You know you really should have married an Italian, I am Mexican and Mexican's don't eat Italian food! About half way through his bowl of soup he departs from the kitchen table and starts warming up some flour tortillas. Well of course Leslie starts picking out her chicken and rolling it up in her tortilla! You know after 32 years of many Ricky and Lucy moments I have learned more about going with the flow and choosing not to be insulted or angered! Most of the time I can laugh at our differences and we have tried to instill in our children that it is okay to embrace both sides of their parents cuisine worlds.

Finally we had reached the end of the main course and it was time to serve the dessert. Needless to say the anticipation was somewhat high because chocolate was involved. Leslie takes a bite and says, "Oh, no, you put coffee in it!" Damita and Olivia chose to eat theirs, but decided it would have been much better without the coffee..... Reece ate his and Leslie's or at least I think that is what happened. And as for Jose' (Ricky) he announced that he had had enough Italian food for one night and trotted off to the fridge again, only to return with his Mexican rice pudding! Yep, it was just the store bought-pre-packaged kind. As he is peeling off the foil top announces that if he cannot pronounce it then he shouldn't eat it! 

All in all the meal was pretty tasty, I just didn't have the right guests over for dinner! Emily and Vanessa I should have called you, perhaps you would have appreciated my efforts a tad bit more! In closing let me send up a warning to you sensitive gals..... If you decide to experiment in the kitchen and try new things that your family is not accustom to eating, you should have a tough exterior along with a sense of humor! Getting upset over a meal just simply isn't worth it! It wasn't exactly the family dinner gathering at the June Cleaver's table, but it was our dinner table and 32 years later we still think it is pretty important to hang out at the table and dine together! Want to know one more little secret we have enforced all of these years at the dinner table? No TV! We like to talk about our day ...... It really is important to connect with our loved ones and sometimes this is the only time after long work days and school activities and all the other craziness our busy lives take on. Go ahead whip up something new tonight and experience the satisfaction of helping your family out of the box!

Go and make some melodies with those you love today!
Till my coffee cup and mouse meet again,

Teresa






Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be Mine Sweet Valentine

"To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven."

 -Karen Sunde

Scrabble Letter Fun!

Making Valentine Cards with my girls....
we cut printed scrapbooking paper 4.5 x 5.5

Then we cut card stock 4 x 5

And then we ran the card stock through the Cuttlebug and embossed it with
the Tim Holtz folder from the LOVE collection....

Adding a little swipe of Pixie Pink ink from
the Stampin' Up! collection dressed
up the embossed paper.....

punching two holes through the entire stack of papers
and adding a piece of twine or ribbon
held our project together.....

close up of the embossing....

and finally signing the back of the cards and
getting ready for the Valentines Day party....

The scalloped punch from Stampin' Up! and their rubber stamp
made for a nice embellishment!

"Follow your heart~it knows the way"

Sharpie fine point perma marker makes a nice writing
tool to sign the back of the cards.....

And Damita gets in on the action!

"live like you mean it"

is a Stampin' Up! stamp too

a little lady bug and button add a touch
of pizzaz!

and look at those nails..... cute manicure for
a day of fun!

and one last glimpse of our batch of cards ....

Hope you enjoyed our little crafting  moment....

Making Valentine cards has become a
family tradition that all
of my children have
enjoyed!


No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in 
Christ Jesus our Lord
Romans 8:37-39


WOW Wednesday over at Cat's..... If you've made it this far, leave me a little luv "comment" and you have a chance to win a prize ~that would be some "blog candy". Cat's Creations randomly picks someone who has commented on blogs that have linked their handiwork to Cat's Creations Blog blog. Go to Cat's Creations for all the details! I just won a last week and it was so much fun I decided to try and link up my page. So we shall see if I succeed in doing so!  


Go and make some melodies with those you love today!
Till my coffee cup and mouse meet again,

Teresa

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rolled Sugar Cookies



Rolled Sugar Cookies

Old Fashioned Teacakes

My dear friend Jean shared this yummy cookie recipe with me years ago. Nancy, Jean and I would bake up dozens and dozens of these cookies and help our kids decorate for hours! It became one of our Christmas traditions. Pretty sure they ate more than they decorated! Recently I blew the dust off of this forgotten gem and decided to make these for Olivia's class. It was her birthday and she wanted to take something to share with all of her friends. Dear me I had forgotten how long it takes to make these! Needless to say they were a big hit with the students and the teachers! Be sure and allow a few hours to finish up this project. Enlist some help because conversations that happen in the kitchen can be the best part! Some traditions are worth sharing with the next generation of young people! Bake up some love this Valentines Day! Real butter and cream make these melt in your mouth! 

Cream:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar

Beat in 1 egg
3 T. Cream or milk (more if needed)
1 t. vanilla

Stir in :

3 cups unsifted flour (all purpose)
1 - 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt 

Chill dough for easier handling.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Roll out dough, one-third at a time, on floured surface to 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on ungreased baking sheets. I prefer to use parchment paper!

5-8 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups powder sugar
1/3-1/2 cup milk or half n half

Cream butter, add vanilla, salt and sugar and milk. Alternate milk and sugar and beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. You can thin with a little bit more milk if you need to.

Be sure to sprinkle on the sprinkles as soon as you ice a cookie. The sprinkles will dry into the frosting and for the most part stick! We allowed the cookies to set for a couple of hours before placing into the baggies!

Optional : add orange & lemon extract


the mustaches were a bit tricky getting straight on the pan
and the tips really cooked fast....but, too cute!


another shot....


bow ties and lips too! 


We put four little cookies in a snack size ziplock bag...
it was perfect for her to hand out to her friends....
Notice the lips on the ribbon!? I found that
at Cat's Scrapbook Store last week at
her 75% off sale!! Whoop!!


Olivia off and running with her basket of goodies....


one last glimpse of the cookies..... and the one
picture I did not capture was my husband holding
a mustache up to his mouth and acting totally
out of character.....!!!! I begged him to do it again
and he quickly gobbled up the cookie and
fled out of the room! You will just have to use
your imagination!



Go and make some melodies!

Till next time my coffee cup and mouse meet.....

Teresa


In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. ~Khalil Gibran