Saturday, April 14, 2018

Cookbook Scrapbook from the Heart

Hi Friends ~

As always, life took over the end of this past week - but I'm finally here to share the little cookbook scrapbook I recently completed . I'm still an avid scrapbooker and it's one of my favorite hobbies. Besides working on my own family scrapbooks, through the years I have also made several scrapbook gifts and keepsakes for family or friends. I have done completed kinds of scrapbooks; like the heritage scrapbooks I made for my Grandma several years ago. Those scrapbooks contained family photos and journaling already completed in the books.

But a more common scrapbook I have often made (for a baby gift or wedding gift) is the pre-decorated kind. One that is ready-to-go (so to speak) and is decorated for someone else to add their own photos and do their own journaling. I think any gift like this is nice to give because it feels like it comes right from the heart.  Not only is it a handmade gift, but it's also often times personalized specific to the person I was giving it to; where I would include something related to their specific likes or personality on the decorated page.

I was going through my craft room the other day and I had some recipe cards on hand and a blank 8x8 album and I thought it would be neat to use both and create a little scrapbook. 

First of all I decided to embellish the plain burlap cover with some lace and a burlap flower. 

Then I often like to have a dedication page - or something similar. I often have even made this kind of spot hold a folded piece of paper in a full sized envelope that a person can open and pull out to write their message. Like a love letter of sorts.  I think it's so nice to have a place to personalize a sweet message for the recipient of the gift. Part of the "from the heart" stuff, right? ;)  On this dedication page I embellished with  a tiny little envelope I made and added a little message sticking out as a cute nod to that page being a spot to write a note for the recipient. 

Then I proceeded to make pages decorated with the cards - so someone could write down favorite treasured recipes to give as a gift to someone.  For some pages I included just the front of the recipe card - for shorter recipes. Each page is in a plastic sleeve so it's protected from getting anything splattered on it. 

Other pages I included the front and back of the recipe card for longer recipes.

Since the pages weren't very big, the recipe cards took up the majority of the room. So I just added some fun small embellisments, most often cooking related. Some also floral to go with the floral recipe cards.

The full book includes more pages then these, obviously, but I figured you would get the idea. ;) I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with this album. I already have a cookbook scrapbook for Annie to give her one day. I am either going to save this as a gift to give someone after I add actual recipes in it. Or I am still thinking of setting up an Etsy store that would include items like this for sale to buy.  Full sized and smaller albums like this that are already decorated and ready to be a gift from the heart. I would do several different themes as well. I also have other paper crafting kinds of items like jewelry with  papercraft items on them, pre-decorated individual 12x12 scrapbook pages, potentially some homemade cards?, and also little pieces of canvas art that would include vintage jewelry on them. I will let you know if I get this store going!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend. xo

I'm linking with Scrapality for Scraptastic Saturday.

Scraptastic Saturdays every Saturday @ 8 PM EST.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mini German Puff Pancakes

Hi Friends! 

Today I wanted to share these mini German puff pancakes that are made in a muffin tin. They were so easy and really yummy. My kiddos loved them! They're kind of a cross between a pancake and a popover... and they were perfect for fruit filling. 

First of all, you make kind of a thin batter. Then you add some pats of butter into your muffin tins and put them in the oven to melt and get your pans hot. 

Then you bake them and be sure to keep the oven door closed the whole time as you don't want them to have a kind of "double drop" as they will puff way up in the oven and then drop once you take them out. You can peek through your oven door window and see how big they puff up - Annie thought that was really cool ;) 

Kind of like a popover in that you may find some of the melted butter still in the bottom of the pancakes once they're done baking.  Then add topping of choice and enjoy! Great for breakfast or breakfast for dinner. 

I found the recipe on pinterest initially from the blog Latter Day Mommy and you can find the link for the recipe here.  Here's the recipe:

German Pancakes Muffin-Style

Makes 24 regular sized muffins.
*I don’t have 2 regular muffin pans, so I used 1 regular muffin pan (12) and 1 large muffin pan (6).
What you’ll need:
6 eggs
1 cup flour (I’ve tried using whole wheat flour to make it healthier but it doesn’t turn out quite as good).
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter
2 muffin pans
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, beat together all the ingredients except for the butter. Slice the butter and evenly disperse between the muffin pans, as shown in the picture below. Put the pans in for a couple minutes while it’s preheating to melt the butter, then pour some batter into each compartment in the muffin pans until each muffin compartment has amount the same amount. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until it is golden brown, or as dark as you like it. Also, bear in mind that the muffins will rise substantially, so make sure your rack isn’t too high (I’ve made that mistake before). I also wouldn’t recommend trying this in a toaster oven.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Monday Friends 

I can't believe it's another Monday already! My kiddos' Spring break is over and it was back to school today. So I have been catching up more around the house and life around here today. I had fun with my kiddos last week and it feels amazingly quiet to me today and I kind of miss the action. But summer will be here before I know it and I'll be complaining they're driving me crazy - so I guess I'll embrace having the quiet back for now. Lol!!

I wasn't feeling well some of this weekend so I didn't get more posts done like I had wanted to - but I will catch up this week. I will post another recipe or 2 in the next few days. I will also share the recipe scrapbook on Thursday this week. Again, so sorry between unexpected biopsy and Spring break my life felt it wasn't my own for a while. Feeling back on track and ready to tackle the week ahead...


Sunny and bright - but  a bit chilly. It's supposed to hit 40 degrees today though. It's supposed to be 40's and sun a lot this week (hopefully true!) and then by the weekend dip back down into the 30's and more snow could be on the way (please God no!!) 


toast with apple jelly, some raspberries,  and french vanilla coffee


Listening to the quiet ;)  Working on my planner and figuring out the family schedule and meals for the week ahead


I love seeing the sunshine and the fact that more snow is gone and I can see grass! I hope it won't be long before the bay melts and starts to break open. I don't want to even think about that chance of snow. Ggrrr


Pretty tidy from working around here all morning


Groceries, helping my Mom, MIL visit and bring FIL dinner, Annie's soccer and hockey, more Spring projects around the house, errands



I'm planning to read Whispering in French by Sophia Nash next, but haven't started it yet



Timeless, The Spring Baking Championship,  American Idol, Will and Grace, Greys Anatomy, Gold Rush, Survivor, Billions, Call the Midwife, Howards End


MONDAY: leftover gnocchi and marinara, veggies, toast

TUESDAY: summer meal night: grill hamburgers on indoor grill pan, veggie pasta salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, fruit salad 

WEDNESDAY: Spring chicken (you can find that recipe here from my recipes tab) , leftover pasta and fruit salads

THURSDAY: slow cooker pork fajitas with fixings (you can find that recipe here from my recipe tab)

FRIDAY: leftovers

 ** planning to bake a strawberry poke cake with fresh berries on top this week to go along with a more spring/summer menu


Last of my Grandpa's scrapbook, spring clean/organize projects around here, jewelry project


I will share several of the recipes I was going to share last week this week


My own tip this week comes from what I made to go with the gnocchi we had for dinner yesterday. If you have extra garlic around (I had a whole head I needed to use up) - cut off the end and drizzle olive oil on it and sprinkle a little sea salt. Wrap it up in foil and bake at 350* for an hour. When it's done you can mix it in a stick of softened butter and spread it on bread or toast, top with some cheese and dried herbs/parsley if you like and broil for a few minutes. The yummiest garlic toast to go with pasta ;P

This is Ruby's - it's a Monday - look

When I was getting my biopsy done - since Annie was home on Spring break - her and my Mom came to the hospital with me. They went to the gift shop and picked out some goodies for me including the sweet bunny above and this jar with twinkle lights in it ;) Love them so much xo

My latest wallpaper on my phone ;) 

Image result for seek god in all things inspirational quote

I'm linking with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

BBQ Apricot Chicken

Hello Friends ~ 

First of all, I would like to thank you all for the thoughts, prayers and words of support this week. They went right to my heart and they definitely worked as my biopsy went well and the results turned out to be benign (thank you Lord for answered prayers!). 

But next of all, I would like to share one of the recipes I've been meaning to share for a while. I worked on a post for the German puff pancakes - but something happened to it? So I will hope to post that one tomorrow. But for tonight I will share this one for BBQ apricot chicken. I actually got this recipe from watching Valerie Bertinelli's cooking show on the food network. I like her show and this looked so good that I had to give it try. It didn't disappoint! 

I really wanted to make this with boneless chicken thighs - but I ended up grabbing bone-in instead. The sauce was SO yummy!! The chicken gets seasoned well and roasted first. Then the sauce is glazed over it for the last minutes of cooking (broil at the end) - and extra sauce left on the side to eat with the meal. I liked the sauce so much I put some of it on my baked potato too! Lol 

Here are just a few of the ingredients used in this dish. Another one of the ingredients used in this recipe, that I forgot to grab, was a fresno chile (or could use a jalepeno) - so I didn't add that. But I did add a bit of red pepper flakes, so it was still sweet but a little spicy too.  For a link to the recipe page click here.  I will also just list the recipe at the end of this post. 

I didn't grab many photos when I was making the chicken - but here is the yummy (& pretty) sauce that I slathered all over the thighs at the end of cook time to broil them. It makes such a yummy sticky glaze on the skin. 

We enjoyed ours with a simple baked potato, mixed veggies and buttered toast. 

Isn't that such a pretty jeweled glaze on that piece of chicken? ;)  The recipe also says to blend sauce in a blender. I just used my hand immersion blender and blended it right in the saucepan that I cooked the ingredients in. Here's the recipe. Enjoy!!

Apricot BBQ Sauce:

Chicken Thighs:


For the apricot BBQ sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chile and garlic; cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the apricot jam; cook until the jam melts, 3 to 4 minutes more. Pour in the orange juice and cider vinegar, bring to a simmer, and then add the ketchup, honey, Dijon and Worcestershire. Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Add salt to taste. Remove 1 cup for basting the chicken; reserve the rest for serving.
For the chicken thighs: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Place the chicken thighs on two foil-lined baking sheets. Lightly coat the thighs with canola oil and sprinkle liberally with the spice mixture on both sides.
Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 35 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Baste the chicken with BBQ sauce and broil until the sauce has caramelized and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 160 degrees F, about 2 minutes. Remove to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes
Sprinkle the chicken with parsley, and serve with the reserved BBQ sauce.