Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

I love these things! I think they are surprisingly delicious.  I make them to take to parties and things around this time of year and I think everyone passes by them thinking they are plain old almonds but once they taste them they are always surprised and love them!  Without fail someone asks for the recipe. They remind me of the nuts they sell in the mall around Christmas time.  I buy my almonds in bulk at Costco because I know we will be making lots of these at this time of the year.  The best part about them is they are quick to make.  My oven takes ten minutes to preheat and in that amount of time I can have these ready for the oven from start to finish!  The original recipe came from allrecipes.com but I made changes to just about everything it calls for and added more ingredients as well.  I hope you love them like I do!   

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups whole almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

 Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Lightly beat egg white, add vanilla and beat until soft peaks form.  Add nuts and stir until well coated.  In a gallon size zip-lock bag shake together (you may want to seal the bag first :o) the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until well mixed.  Add almonds and seal bag again and shake up until the almonds are all coated.  Spread almonds evenly onto a lightly greased cookie sheet (I cover my pan in tin foil first and then grease it so there is no clean up!) .  Bake for one hour stirring every fifteen minutes or so.

These make great neighbor gifts because they're something a little different.  I used plastic icing bags and filled them up and tied them off with a ribbon and they're the perfect size.  Not too much and not so little that you look cheap!  Ha ha.  Tell me if you try them because I know you will love them!

I will be linking up to some of these places.  Check them out for more fun ideas! 

Origami Gift Box

This is a little gift box I made last year.  It just takes two, 12x12 sheets of paper and a little cardstock and some ribbon to finish it off!  It's the perfect size to to store homemade caramels or something yummy.  Go here for the tutorial!

I will be linking up to some of these places check them out for more fun ideas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Christmas Elf Stockings

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McKinley doesn't have a Christmas stocking and I want to make her one this year.  I found this tutorial for these elf stockings from Sew 4 Home and I think it would be perfect!  I want to make it shorter and fatter and add a jingle bell to the toe.  Sew 4 Home also just posted a tutorial for these stockings...

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I love the pom poms!  You can find the tutorial here.  Which do you like better?  Why is it that I feel like I have already ran out of time to start projects like this when we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet? 

Now, all I need is a mantle to hang them!  Maybe I will just have to build one like Mandi did (umm yeah, that's not going to happen, but it would be nice ;0).  Check it out here and while you are there check out her other amazing projects!  I love the wall of mirrors.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Buttermilk Syrup

I got this recipe from my sister, who I believe got it from our cousin, who got it from her piano teacher,  Did you follow that?  This was once one of those "secret" recipes that the teacher wouldn't give out but she would make it for you if you wanted some.  The secret's out now!  This syrup is very rich and has a caramel taste to it, so much so, that I think it should be called caramel syrup instead of buttermilk syrup.  

I will warn you though, I would save this recipe for special occasions, otherwise you are going to be making it every weekend and end up packing on some major pounds!  I made them to go with these pancakes and it was good, almost too good.  I could have licked my plate clean!

Buttermilk Syrup

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (see substitute below)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

In a medium sized saucepan (make sure it's not too small, the syrup expands when you add the baking soda) combine butter, sugar and buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, you can use a substitute by filling a measuring cup with a 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and fill to the 1/2 cup mark with regular milk).  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.   Remove from heat and mix in vanilla, baking soda and salt.  For a thicker more caramel like syrup, before removing from heat, continue to boil until you get the desired consistency.  Serve and enjoy!
I will be linking to some of these places, go check them out!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meet Sally

She arrived on my doorstep a couple days ago and I can't wait to make her part of the family!  I had been borrowing my mom's serger to make all those pants, but I don't need to steal hers anymore!  I am super excited.  It's nothing fancy.  It's the Brother 1034D and they are really quite inexpensive as far as sergers go, but I'm still in love!

P.S. I will show you that kitchen makeover I promised, I just need to get some pictures first!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Living Room Makeover: Before and After

I just got back from visiting my family and I thought I would share my mom's living room overhaul she did a while back.  I couldn't find much of a before picture.  These two pictures were the best I could find.  You'll have to try hard to look past the adorable cowboy in the picture and just focus on the old style, matchy-matchy stuff in the room.

 This one was taken Christmas day after we opened presents and made a mess of the place!
 And here is the after...
 Ta da!!! Love it!

All the decor before was not at all her style and hadn't been for a long, long time but it's hard to get rid of something when it's still in perfect condition.  It just seems wasteful.  That's why I love KSL Classifieds (if only more people in Southern UT would use it) and Craigslist.  Your unwanted stuff is bound to be someone else's style no matter how old it is.  She sold eveything in the room on KSL and used that money to redecorate.  She only spent $500.00 out of pocket which isn't a lot when you look at all the furniture and accessories she got.  The only thing that isn't new in the room is the tree in the corner.
The leather chairs she found on KSL.  They were brand new. Overstock's warehouse is in Salt Lake and sometimes they sell some of their stuff on KSL and that's where she got the chairs and the coffee table.  She also saved on pillows by making many of them herself.
 She found the armoire from KSL as well. It was originally a plain oak and so she painted and scuffed it up a bit.  If you hadn't already noticed from the before picture, she has crazy high ceilings so to bring some coziness to the room she brought the ceiling down by adding some molding and filled it in with the same chocolate-y paint color used on the other walls.
 She got the couch for a really good deal and found the clock at Tai Pan on the damaged isle (my favorite isle in the whole store) for 75% because some of the paint chipped off.  She just added some paint on top and you would never be able to tell.  The little chest of drawers was cheap because it's laminate so she got out her trusty can of spray paint and gave it a more custom look.  My favorite part of the room has to be that awesome paint job on that wall.  She used a faux painting technique called Bellagio.  Here you can find out how to do it yourself.  It looks amazing and it's pretty easy!
 It gives a really cool texture to the room as well.
 Directly across the room is the front entrance where she hung a cool antique barn window (also found on KSL) and used it as a frame to hold pictures of all her grandkids.
I think she did an amazing job, don't you? Next I'll have to show you her kitchen makeover she just finished while I was there.  I will be linking up to some of these places check them out for more ideas.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I can't wait...

I have been off playing at my mom's house and I have some fantastic things to show you, including my mom's kitchen and living room makeover!  I will post pictures next week.  I hope you have an awesome weekend!
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