Friday, April 29, 2011

More Crafting!

I love to make cards but it is always more fun to do it with others. I sometimes get bogged down when I am trying to do it myself. I recently purchased a new Stampin' Up! stamp set called Stength and Hope. For each Strength and Hope stamp set sold, Stampin' Up! will donate $2 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The stamp set will be on sale from May 1 through August 31. You can see the stamp set and watch a little video by clicking here.

This card was from a design in my Stampin' Success magazine I get monthly as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. I used Bermuda Bay (retired) cardstock as my base and stamped the butterflies on Whisper White. The butterflies are stamped in Bermuda Bay Classic Stampin' Pad (retired), Crushed Curry Classic Stampin' Pad (also retired) and Pretty in Pink Classic Stampin' Pad. I used Basic Rhinestones (LOVE them!!!) and Whisper White 3/8" Taffeta Ribbon. Quick, easy and fun!!! I also made one using Melon Mambo card stock--very cute!
When making the 3" x 6" card above, I didn't space the butterflies right so put that piece aside. When I was finished I decided to cut the butterflies out and make 3" x 3" gift enclosure cards and they are just adorable! Even mistakes can turn out to be a thing of beauty:) Please forgive my photos. I do not have the right lighting and am working with a VERY simple Kodak EasyShare C360. When I get my craft room organized I will have an area with better lighting and will borrow my husband's nicer camera to take the pictures. But for now you get the idea anyway. Just want to show you the other two little gift enclosures I made... The first one is just super easy. The second one I matted the Pretty in Pink butterfly with Rich Razzleberry textured card stock and used a Basic Pearl instead of the Basic Rhinestone. By far, this is my new favorite stamp set. Do something that makes you smile today. If it makes others smile too, all the better.  Kat
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

1500 Blog Views!!!

Some days I get a little discouraged with blogging because I would love to have a little more interaction but on other days--the best days--I am just writing because I want to write; I have something I want to communicate.

In looking at the stats for my blog, I was shocked to see that since the end of June 2010, I have had 1564 visits to my blog!  WOW! That was pretty exciting!!! And the really surprising part was where those visits came from. In the last month I have had the following visits:

  • 115 from the United States
  • 11 from Slovenia
  • 2 from Pakistan
  • 1 from Canada
  • 3 from Iran
  • 2 from Malaysia
  • 1 from Russia
  • 1 from Brazil
  • 3 from China
  • 2 from Sinapore
In addition to the above countries, in the last year my blog has also been visited by people living in Bularia, South Korea, Germany, Demark, Australia and the United Kingdom. It's almost too much to wrap my brain around that a little blog about what I was going to do with myself in retirement would be viewed by people all over the world! Thank you one and all. I feel blessed.

In celebration of my 1500 plus blog visits, I will be giving away the following Blog Candy! It includes:
  • Card stock 
  • Sheet of die cuts
  • Hostess Level 2 Stampin' Up! stamp set called "Apple Blossoms"
  • 10 blank cards with envelopes
  • Ribbon
  • Bling
  • Embellishments and stickers
The first five items on the list are Stampin' Up! products; the last two are just fun stuff I threw in. You have four chances to win. First, sign up as a "follower" of my blog. Second, post a comment telling me why you read my blog--easy:) Third, email your friends and tell them to check out my blog, then post a comment telling me you did so. Fourth, if you have a blog, do a blog post about my Blog Candy Giveaway, then post a comment with your blog address.  The deadline for this Blog Candy Giveaway will be May 21st. I will pick the winner on May 22--bright and early:) I am sorry but I can only take submissions from the United States because of the cost of mailing internationally.

Thank you again for visiting my blog. Great things are ahead:)  Kat

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mushroom Barley Soup

This is one of our favorite recipes for when the weather isn't the best. It's a comfort food of sorts. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. When I don't have fresh mushrooms to use in this recipe I use the dried Gourmet Mushroom Blend from Costco. Oh, and I ALWAYS double the recipe:)

Mushroom Barley Soup

1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
6 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 -1 tsp salt
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce
3-4 Tbsp dry sherry (opt)
Pepper to taste

  1. Place barley and 1 1/2 cups of water in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Simmer till barley is tender (20-30 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile melt butter or margarine in skillet. Add onions, saute 5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally till tender, 10-12 minutes. Stir in soy sauce.
  3. Add the saute` ingredients with all it's liquid to the cooked barley along with the remaining 5 cups of water. Add pepper to taste. Simmer partially covered another 20 minutes over low heat.
  4. Eat and enjoy:)
Bon Appetit!  Kat

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stamping Club Projects for April

The Happy Stampers stamping club met last night and we had a great time as usual. I should have taken pictures of the goodies that were brought for us to eat--they were a work of art!!! 

The two projects we made this month were a little more involved than normal but they turned out sooo good. The one on the left was made using Baja Breeze card stock for the main card, layered with Crumb Cake card stock that was run through the Big Shot using the Lots of Love Letterpress and Whisper White Craft ink. What a huge difference that made!!! Love it! The strip of paper is Springtime Vintage Designer Series Paper and I used Baja Breeze 1/2" Seam Binding Ribbon--love that seam binding ribbon! I used the largest Beveled Window Pane, Trinket Key and medium Ribbon Roses. This is by far one of my favorite cards to make so far. 

The second card we made is a Tri-fold Pocket card. A little tricky to get the folds right but well worth it in the end. I used Cottage Walls Designer Series Paper (retired but available currently on Stampin' Up!'s Clearance Rack), Wild Wasabi card stock and Whisper White cardstock. The flower was made with the Blossom Petals Punch and the center of the flower is stamped with the Build a Blossom stamp set. Birthday Wishes was a Sale-a-bration set called So Happy for You. The inside of the card has a pocket (that's why it's called "pocket" card) with a card to write on plus a place to tuck that gift card into!
Isn't that a great idea?!!! 

The new Summer Mini Catalog starts on May 1 and is filled with great products as usual. There are a couple of products I am just itching to use:) There are two promotions running until the end of the month. The Spring is Blooming promotion can be viewed by clicking here. And the Strength and Hope Campaign can be viewed by clicking here

I am going to have to hold off till next week to announce the giveaway I have planned for reaching 1500 visits to my blog. I started getting a cold on Tuesday and it is taking me twice as long as normal to do everything. So check back on Monday to see what I am giving away to celebrate!!!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

What's in Your Refrigerator Challenge?!

Friday I did a lot of cooking! I made Potato Soup for dinner plus two loaves of Rosemary, Garlic French Bread, a batch of Double Carob Brownies, an Apple Pie sweetened with crushed pineapple and a Tofu Lemon Creme Pie for potluck on Saturday! Well, my stash is still holding out:) Sunday my stomach was bothering me so I made Haystacks again for my men and they seemed happy with that. I made Miso Soup with Udon noodles for myself that I ate along with Multigrain Chips by Food Should Taste Good and they do!!! Today, I'm not sure yet but one week for me ended yesterday. I am sure from the looks of my refrigerator and pantry I could go for at least another week but Hubby is out and about today so will be bringing home some fresh fruit and veggies:)

Back on the Gluten Free Challenge:(

Flourless Chocolate CakeImage by djwtwo via Flickr
Flourless Chocolate Cake looks Yummy!
I have had a lot of challenges in the last two years and now this one:( At least I had some practice when we did the Gluten Free Experiment with my son last fall. I don't know that this will solve my issues but in researching on the internet I am led to believe it is worth a try. I am going to start with one month to see if I get relief from my symptoms.

When I mention a gluten free diet many people have said to me, "Then you just can't eat wheat, right?" Wrong! Grains containing gluten are wheat and related grains such as barley, rye, spelt, kamut and triticale. Then there are the products that contain gluten in one form or another. For instance, some soy sauces and vanillas contain gluten. Grains that are gluten free are amaranth, buckwheat, rice, quinoa, corn, millet, sorghum and teff. Oats are inherently gluten free but are often contaminated with wheat when growing or processing. Gluten free oats can be purchased from Bob's Red Mill in Portland, Oregon. 

My biggest challenge will be eating out (don't do this often anyway) and church potlucks (weekly). If you have any ideas, please share them. In the meantime, I will probably just pack a separate lunch for myself so I don't have to ask everyone what is in their dishes--embarrassing! We have talked about labeling dishes at potluck for those who are food challenged. I am allergic to peanuts and watermelon. Watermelon is pretty easy to spot but peanuts hide in the strangest places like cake and granola!

Wish me luck and I will keep you posted on my progress.  Kat

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's in Your Refrigerator?!

First of all, I just looked at my stats and I am just two blog visits away from 1500!!! I can't believe you all have visited that many times!  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! I will have something special next week to celebrate so stay tuned!  One favor--if you enjoy my blog, please become a friend:)

Now for what my post was supposed to be about.  

Are you a daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly grocery shopper? We live in the middle of nowhere so are not able to go to the grocery store more than weekly and it is usually bi-weekly. So, as I was making dinner on Monday, I started to wonder how long I could cook meals for my family with just the food that I have on hand. Realistically, there could be situations where you would have to do just that. A couple winters ago, the trucks were not able to run because of the snow and the store shelves were pretty pitiful after just a few days. What about a truckers' strike? So my challenge to you today is to try cooking for the next week with just what you have on hand and I will do the same.

Monday, I made Yakisoba. I found the ingredients lurking in my refrigerator and it was sooo yummy! Tuesday, I didn't really cook. Last night we had Basmati rice with delicious greens from the garden (still growing from fall), onions, garlic, almonds plus seasonings. Today I plan to make what we call Haystacks--layer corn chips, pinto beans, rice, sweet onions, lettuce, olives, avocados and salsa (one of my favorite meals!). But for today I am going to share the Yakisoba recipe I made on Monday. Quick, easy and delicious!


1 pound Yakisoba noodles
Vegetables to stir fry:

  • Bok Choy, sliced
  • Onions, chunked
  • Carrots, sliced
  • Mushrooms, fresh, whole or sliced
  • Celery, sliced
  • Broccoli florets
1 cup +/- Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce (or sauce of choice)

Stir fry vegetables in 2 Tbsp oil (I use coconut oil because it remains stable when stir frying), adding broccoli last. When vegetables are nearly done (still crunchy), add noodles and sauce. Stir to coat all ingredients with sauce. Tada! Done and delicious!!!

Be sure to share with me the things you are able to make from your refrigerator and pantry over the next week. 

Hug the ones you love and pray for those you don't:)  Kat

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Win This Bag?!!

One of the blogs I frequent is called Islander Girl Stampin and Claudette currently has a Craft Bag Giveaway! There are several chances to win so click here to find out how to enter this great Giveaway!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Indian Food Revisited

As stated before, my sweet hubby loves Indian cuisine and I do not!  There are not many foods I don't like but never really acquired a taste for Indian food. So, my adorable husband was visiting with his brother on the phone and they decided to meet for dinner in Portland at, you guessed it, an Indian restaurant!  While I don't like Indian food, I do like my brother-in-law and sister-in-law so didn't make a fuss.

Last night we met at Namaste Indian Cuisine at 8303 NE Sandy Blvd in Portland. They had an amazing buffet but you could order off the menu if you wanted to but we chose the buffet. There were some dishes that weren't too hot and weren't too yellow that tasted really good. I have to admit, it was quite pleasant. The restaurant was clean, the service was great. And on a Tuesday night, there were customers but the restaurant was not crowded or noisy. For dessert you could have some homemade mango ice cream. Unfortunately, I ate too much of the other offerings so had to skip the ice cream:(

I would be happy to visit Namaste Indian Cuisine again when my hubby needs another Indian food fix.

You can check out the menu and contact information by visiting their very attractive website at If you happen to be in Portland and have a hankering for Indian food or want to try something new, visit Namaste Indian Cuisine.  Kat

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stamping With Roxy

Corinne "Roxy" Sommerville is a fellow Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.  Unfortunately, I have never met her. She lives and works in Canada. I don't remember how I found out about her website, but I love visiting!  She is so positive, funny and creative!  She says things like WOWZA! and *GUSH ALERT*--how cute is that! Her webpage is all pink and flowery with cute little lady bugs--very girly and fun. I think you will enjoy visiting her website as well!  So, when you get a chance, visit Stamping With Roxy.

Have a great day and like Roxy says, "Hug the ones you love"!  Kat

Monday, April 4, 2011

Amish Apple Pie

Rhubarb-apple pie.Image via Wikipedia
Picture this! Company is coming and you have dinner planned to a tee. But, wait, what are you going to have for dessert? You need something really special and how about unusual? Well, THIS is the recipe! 


4-6 cups sliced apples
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix and put in unbaked pie shell.

Mix together:
1 beaten egg
1 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
1 tsp vanilla

Pour on top of apple mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with Streusel Topping and bake 40-55 minutes more.

Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup walnuts

This is a definite crowd pleaser. Top with whipped cream or a scoop of Tillamook Vanilla Bean ice cream and your guests will be talking about you for months! Be sure to have copies of your recipe available because they will be certainly ask for it!

Happy Baking!  Kat

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