Tuesday, November 6, 2012


   This was found at www.marthastewart.com .  They would make a great decoration around the front door of your house.

Glowing Gift Boxes

    Lit from within, these presents suggest magical snow sculptures; the open bottom and a small hole provide ventilation. Anchor a battery-powered candle or outdoor-safe light fixture underneath a ready-made plastic box. Cut waterproofed fabric ribbon long enough to wrap around three sides of box, leaving extra to be secured with electrical tape inside the box. Repeat with additional lengths of ribbon, imitating a wrapped gift.
Tie a bow, and affix it to the box top with tape.


   This recipe was found at www.bakerella.com .  Like a said before, you don't always have to make a big dessert.  Small sometimes goes along way (especially when you trying to watch what you're eating) .  Make different mini dessert and have a sampling party!

Pumpkin Pie Bites

Pumpkin Pies

I’ve been in a mini-mood lately when it comes to baking and these bite-sized pies met my big craving.
They are really, really easy. Let me show ya.

Pumpkin Cutter

Of course, it didn’t hurt that I used ready to roll refrigerated pie crust. It comes two to a box and if you roll each round pie crust a little bit thinner with a rolling pin, you can get 24 mini pumpkin-shaped pie crusts out of them. Make sure you use all the dough scraps and re-roll to maximize quantities.


Then, stuff each one in a mini muffin baking pan. This one holds 24.

Pumpkin Shells

Press the dough down, in and around the edge of each muffin cup. Make sure the stem for the pumpkin stays sticking out. You’ll notice I alternated cups above. I did this mainly to make sure the pie crusts didn’t touch each other. So I ended up baking these in two batches.


Fill each pie crust with pumpkin filling all the way to the top.

Puffed Pumpkin Pies

When they come out of the oven, they’ll be puffed up like this. Too bad they didn’t stay that way. That would be pretty darn cute.

Pumpkin Pies

But no, after they cool for a few, they’ll fall and be flush with the pie crust.
See… easy mini pumpkin pie bites. These would be really cute at Thanksgiving.

Drizzled Pumpkin Pies

You can even drizzle them with melted chocolate to jazz them up a bit. Just melt some chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. You can also add a little bit of vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Then, transfer the chocolate to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off and drizzle away.
But wait… you say you don’t want to wait until Thanksgiving.
I don’t blame you.
So… pipe some chocolate faces on and make them in October.

Mini Pumpkin Pies

And I’ll say it again… easy!

Pumpkin Pie Bites


2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter
1/2 cup chocolate morsels
vegetable oil
re-sealable plastic bags


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.
Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.
To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle or draw faces on pies.

The cutter I used was 3 3/4 inches wide, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Just use a round cutter around that size or slightly smaller to cut circle shapes out of the dough. Then make stems with the scraps. Press each stem over the edge and down the side of the dough before filling.
Pumpkin pie spice is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

Pumpkin Pies


  The story of the Pilgrims has its origins in early 17th Century England. It was at that time, nearly four hundred years ago, when religious persecution was making it difficult for many people to practice their religions and live comfortably and safely in London and in the rural areas outside of London.   England, at that time, was a monarchy. Today, it is a Parliamentary Monarchy in which the Queen has no real power. At that time, however, the King had absolute power over all of the nation’s citizens and, as a result, could make the practice and observance of religion difficult. That is exactly what happened. Persecution ruled the day … especially if the religion you chose to practice was different from the “national religion.” England, at that time and today, as well, was and is primarily Protestant.
These persecuted individuals met frequently and, after a time, decided to seek permission to start a new life in “the colonies.” Remember, it was very early in the 17th Century and there was no America … certainly no states, as well. Once granted permission to travel across the Atlantic Ocean, these persecuted people, dubbed Pilgrims, began to make plans for their trip and the new life that awaited them far from England.

   The planning took some time, well over a year, but it eventually began to materialize. In their original plan, there were to be two boats, not one … the Mayflower and a much smaller boat, each to be filled with crew and with Pilgrims. In fact, the first attempted voyage did have two boats, but a leak in the smaller vessel forced both boats to return to London.
   They remained there briefly until it was time once again to embark on their dangerous, but exciting, voyage. One hundred and two Pilgrims and as many as twenty-five to thirty crew members sailed toward the Americas in 1620. As you might imagine, it was not an easy trip.
   That’s because the boat, while large, was constructed entirely of wood. There were limited sleeping quarters, little or no sanitation. And, because of the fear of fire, all food was eaten cold, not cooked. This, of course, led to illness in many of the Pilgrims. But, they persevered.

   In fact, the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean took sixty-six days, more than two months. And when the Mayflower finally reached land, it was not their intended destination. They had hoped to sail to northern Virginia. Instead, a storm pushed them off-course and they ended up much further north, in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts..
And that is where they stayed that first year … and for all the years that followed. It should be noted that the Pilgrims arrived in America ill-prepared for what they would face during the first winter. They did not bring food with them and did not know how to hunt, fish, farm or gather food for their survival. Fortunately for them, local Indians were friendly, not hostile and taught them the basic skills they would need to survive.
That, of course, led to the first Thanksgiving which took place in August … not in November.


   This comes from www.increations.blogspot.com .  They would go perfect with some paper flowers or even just by themselves glued to some branches or twigs.

How to make paper leaves with veins

Paper rose with leaves

Recently I've been asked how to make the paper leaves with veins I sometimes use in my greeting cards. Let me show you my way of doing this in a step-by-step tutorial.
1. Cut out a paper leaf. I usually fold a sheet of colored paper in two and cut a symmetrical leaf shape around the fold.

Paper leaf
2. Fold the leaf in two.

Leaf folded in half
3. Grip it with narrow pointed tweezers, where you want a vein to be. Tip of the tweezers should be as close to the fold as possible.

Grip with tweezers
4. Without releasing the grip of the tweezers, twist them clockwise or counterclockwise, whichever works best for you.

Twist the tweezers

5. You've got a nice crease. Move the tweezers further on a little bit.

Grip with tweezers
6. Twist again, without releasing the grip.

Twist the tweezers
7. Repeat until you get all the creases you need: grip and twist.

Grip with tweezers
You can make parallel veins that go at an angle to the center, or change the angle a little all the time so that the creases diverge like a fan.

Twist the tweezers
Hold the leaf firmly, so that it's creased only where you want it to.


8. Make it to the other end of the leaf.

Almost finished leaf
9. Now you can open the leaf and use it in a greeting card etc.

Finished leaf
   You've probably noticed that paper flower on the first photo. I explained how to make a simple paper rose for a greeting card earlier, and even produced a short video tutorial about it.