Monday, June 30, 2014

What's cookin'? - Steak with Rosemary Garlic Butter/ Parmesan Mushrooms

Too hot!

We moved our meal to the outside - cooked it outside on the grill and then ate it outside too.
This meal was so delicious!

The only thing that would've made it better is a different color on the plate - it was so BROWN!

But, because of the heat, none of us were especially hungry. Therefore, we opted out of a dessert (egads!) or another side dish!

Tonight I had a London Broil to prepare on the grill. I think any cut of beef would do for this recipe. It is a man pleaser, and makes any steak even better (if you can imagine that!)

Tonight our meat was topped with a Rosemary Garlic Butter. 

Butter on steak?


And it was damn delicious too!

I was happy that I got to use some of my rosemary from my herb pot on the deck!
I found the original recipe here:
This Blogger chose to sear the steak in a frying pan, and make the butter along with it. Since we were grilling our beef, I only made the butter sauce in the frying pan.

Here's what I did:

3 garlic gloves
2 T fresh rosemary leaves
4 T butter
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
A splash of white wine 

•Mince garlic and rosemary. Add 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste). 

•Heat a skillet over medium/high heat and melt butter. Add oil to prevent it from burning too much.
•Add the wine, garlic and rosemary to the skillet. 

•Cook the wine until reduced and a kind of sauce if formed. (You don't want your garlic to turn brown - it tends to taste bitter!)
•Slice the steaks and serve them with the sauce.
Oh. My. Goodness.

I served "baked" Parmesan Mushrooms on the side. (The original recipe calls for them to be baked in the oven; we cooked ours in a grill basket, lined with foil, outside.

These are the best mushrooms I have ever tasted!

Even my oldest son, who doesn't normally eat mushrooms, loved these! (The younger one, not so much.... he still won't even try them ever since he learned in school that mushrooms are a fungus....) 

Once again got to raid my herb pot, this recipe calls for thyme !
This is such an easy recipe, and it was easy enough to put it on the grill instead of in the oven!

Just toss the following ingredients together in a large bowl:

•1 1/2 pounds Cremini / Baby Bella mushrooms
•3 T of olive oil
•Zest and juice of one lemon
•3 cloves garlic, minced
•2 - 3T fresh thyme 
•1/4c parmesan cheese
•Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)

Spread them all out in a single layer on a lightly greased (or sprayed) bake pan. Bake 375° for 15 minutes.

Again, we put ours in a foil-lined grill pan and just cooked them on the grill! About the same amount of time!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Set Sampler Saturday! - Work of Art

I've decided that I have way too many samples to make at classes or clubs!

I "hoard" pictures of cards!

If you have ever visited my Pinterest boards, you know exactly what I mean!

I can't help it! There are so many pretty cards out there that I wish to re-create.  BUT THERE ARE TOO MANY for me to possibly make!

So I have decided that I will try a new blog post - "Set Sampler Saturday" is what I am going to call it!

In past years, I would make some cards with one set and put them in a "set sampler". They would each be put in cello bags with a cardstock bag topper. By doing so, I could take the "set samplers" to workshops and show customers what you could do with a particular set. 

I don't do home workshops anymore, but I can still give you lots of ideas! I will just do it this way, on my blog!

 I will do my best to share with you, each Saturday, 3-5 cards that I have made with one set in particular. It may be a new set or it may be a retired set. There are so many sets that I want from this new catalog, but yet I have some many on my shelf that have retired this year and I have either never used or used like, once! 


I'm not ready to sell them either! There are still cards I want to make!

With out further ado, let's get this party started!

I have been wanting to play more with the new Work of Art stamp set.
At first glance it's just a lot of watercolor "blobs" and "swooshes". But there are so many things that people are doing with it!

At yesterday's 2/5/15 class we did this card:
This card is a perfect example of "no matter how you lay the stamp images down, it's going to look great"! Try it with your favorite color combo! (The blue dots/splotches are from the Gorgeous Grunge set.)

Today I felt a little more adventurous, so I CASED these cards from my Pinterest boards. They use this set in ingenious ways!

Here is a sunflower featuring the new In Colors Hello Honey, Mossy Meadow and Tangelo Twist (ribbon). Note the colored rhinestones - I used a Blendabilities alcohol marker on those!

The next card features not only the Work of Art set, but also another of my new favorites, Endless Birthday Wishes (photopolymer). 

What I love about this new photopolymer set is that it has so many words and phrases that you can piece together!
This is going to be a birthday card for my friend Katie. Her birthday is the 4th of July. What an appropriate card, huh?

The silver glimmer punched heart adds a little bit of feminine sparkle!

And finally, a summertime greeting!

I love, love, love, how the watercolor "swooshes" were turned into a watermelon slice! The hearts/seeds were stamped with a heart from the Sale-a-Bration set Bitty Banners

Dazzling Diamonds glitter added to the green "swoosh" adds some "bling"! I hope you can see it!

You have not seen the last of this set! I love it and have so many other samples to share with you!

If you're interested in purchasing the Work of Art stamp set, Endless Birthday Wishes, or other Stampin' Up! products, please visit my website: and click "shop" in the upper right-hand corner.

What's cookin'? - Broccoli Salad with Cooked Dressing

It's so stinkin' hot right now I don't even want to think about being in that hot kitchen!

But, summertime means a lot of eating/cooking outdoors and therefore, cool salads, (ie. PICNIC FOOD!)

I have already made a couple (at my son's graduation party a few weeks ago). Now, with the holiday weekend coming up and the rest of the summer I know I will be making a lot of salads!

Here's a recipe for a dressing that you can use on a couple of different salads. It's called "cooked dressing" and it was given to me by my friend and former colleague Tori E. (the same person that gave me that wonderful recipe for pineapple stuffing!)

I use it on this wonderfully tasty broccoli salad...
I also use it on macaroni salad...

So, let me share with you how to make this versatile dressing first, and then the broccoli salad. 
Cooked dressing:
• 3/4c sugar
• 1/8c flour
• 1/4c vinegar (white or cider)
• 3/4c water

** Combine above ingredients in a small pot. Stir until smooth.
** Boil together and then cool.
** Add 3/4c mayonnaise and 1/4c yellow mustard (you can always add more mustard or even change to a different mustard if you wish!)

Now your dressing is ready for macaroni, potato or broccoli salad!

Broccoli Salad:

•  Cook about 4-6 pieces of bacon until crisp.

• Drain on a paper towel and let cool.
• Crumble, then add to a large bowl.
• Cut 1 head of broccoli and 1 head of cauliflower into bite-size pieces.

• After adding these to the large bowl, add:
     • 1/2 chopped onion
     • 2c shredded cheddar
     • cooked dressing
• Mix it all upand refrigerate at least one hour before serving.


Friday, June 27, 2014

June 2/5/15 Class!

Every month on a Friday (usually the third) I hold a 2/5/15 class.

It's called that because you make 2 each of 5 different cards... for only $15!

They are meant to be simple cards-so simple that even a beginner stamper can do them. I am getting better (finally) at making really simple cards, so it takes only about 1 1/2 hours to complete this class. (although Lois and Donna finished today in 55 minutes! Yowie Zowie!)

Sometimes there will be a theme to the class. In the past I have done themes such as: masculine, brides and babies, Christmas, and kids' cards. 

Other times I try to focus on seasonal offerings: Sale-a-Bration, mini-catalogs, spring/Easter, etc., with no given theme. This is one of those times!

Let's take a closer look at each of these very simple cards... All ideas came from Pinterest, but only one is a direct copy!
(Using the "negative" of a punch)
•Colors: Wisteria Wonder, Coastal Cabana, Whisper White
•Elegant butterfly punch
•Hello and thank you stamp set (retired)
•Dotted embossing folder for the Big Shot
•Coastal Cabana Blendabilities marker used to color rhinestones (available in August!)

•Colors: Crisp Cantaloupe, Very Vanilla
(Early Espresso marker used on the flower stem; ink pad used for greeting)
•Stamps: Blooming with Kindness
Thick bakers twine in Crisp Cantaloupe

•Colors: Mossy Meadow (NEW In Color), & Basic Black card stock and watercolor paper
•Inks: Mossy Meadow, Hello Honey (NEW In Color), Real Red, Black StazOn 
•Stamps: Simply Sketched (retired hostess set)

•Colors: So Saffron, Tangelo Twist (NEW In Color), Whisper White
•DSP - Retro Fresh (retired)
•Stamps - Endless Birthday Wishes (NEW Photopolymer)
•Inks: So Saffron, Tangelo Twist, Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon (NEW In Color)
Tangelo Twist ribbon

•Card stock: Whisper White
•Ink: Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie, Rich Razzleberry**, Coastal Cabana, Black StazOn
** at the class I switched this color out to Blackberry Bliss (NEW In Color)
• Stamps: Work of Art and Gorgeous Grunge 

I tried to incorporate the new In Colors as well as a few new stamp sets! Some items are retired, but I have them and want to use them. No one seems to mind!

Hope to see you at next month's class!

Monday, June 23, 2014

What's cookin'? - Grilled Steaks with Chimichurri Salsa

Summertime means grilling at our house!

My husband likes to eat steak, so at least once a week we have it on the grill.

Sometimes we just eat them plain with good ol' A-1.

Other times I dress it up!

In an earlier post I mentioned a "blue cheese and onion sauce" that you can serve with steaks:
Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman!

Next week I'm going to try "rosemary-garlic butter" on my steak. I'll let you know how that turns out and share the recipe! Recipe courtesy of:
Last night it was all about chimichurri! (or, has my husband refers to it "chimichanga."..)

Chimichurri salsa originated in Argentina. It is a green-herb sauce served with meat, poultry and fish or used as a dipping sauce. 
This picture doesn't do it justice! It is so flavorful and keeps the meat moist and tender when you put it on top of a cooked steak!

We have had chimichurri in the past. I followed the recipe for "chimichurri steak salad" from one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks. 

This recipe is mostly made with parsley. I threw in a little cilantro as well. Some chimichurri recipes are made solely with cilantro... Some have oregano or jalapeno peppers in them. I guess you can just make it the way you prefer.

I love cooking with fresh herbs!

Summertime, to me, means planting lots of herbs outside on the deck, where I can get to them easily for every night's meal.
(This pot has parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and basil. As you can see, it still has more room to grow, but summer has just begun! - I can't wait to make pesto after I get more basil!)

(If you want an easy herb to grow, try mint! Grows like a weed! Here my sweet mint, peppermint, and chocolate mint are taking over the lavender and marigold that I planted! Just to give you indication of how fast they grow, these were planted at the same time as the other herbs!)

Yikes! I'm going to have to throw a Mojito party!

Making chimichurri is just one way to use the parsley and cilantro (in another pot) that I have.

Whether you serve this salsa on top of steak alone, a steak salad, chicken, or fish - you're going to love it! I guarantee it! The fresh flavors just make your meat come alive!

I just throw mine all in a food processor because it's easier than chopping and mixing by hand.

Here's what you need:

• 1 cup fresh parsley
• handful of fresh cilantro
• 1-2 cloves garlic
• 1/4c olive oil
• 2T red wine vinegar
• 1/4t ground cayenne pepper
• Salt to taste, about 1/2t

Blend it up and spoon over your steak. Let sit 5-10 minutes so it can absorb the flavor.

Refrigerate unused portion in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for up to two weeks!
(Note that leftover graduation paper plates! Fancy dinnerware!)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June stamp club - My Paper Pumpkin!

For June I have three projects that we are making at Stamp Club: the Work of Art In Color card (which I have already posted about), the dividing screen card (which I have yet to do a post about), and a treat bag made with the June My Paper Pumpkin kit.

I am really excited to show you the My Paper Pumpkin kit!

When it first began last year, I didn't join, thinking that I already had too much stuff to do!

I have a customer who joined early on and was dissatisfied because of the elementary skill level of the first kit. She's an "advanced stamper", so I could understand.

But, then I started to see samples that people had created online using their monthly kit, and I noticed how each kit got better and better....

They were different every month.... A card, a journal, a banner, a piece of framed art... I liked what I saw!

Stampin' Up! has really "upped" the value of each monthly kit!

I realized that maybe I was missing the point of the kit... They've referred to it as "creativity in a box", delivered to your doorstep each month.

It wasn't always a card like I usually make  - it was a paper crafting kit.

Wouldn't this be fun to do with friends?

Everything is included that you need to make their monthly project (except scissors)!

After my friend Nancy showed me a "Paper Pumpkin" project that she had completed with her granddaughter, I was sold!  It was a cute, decorated gift bag.

Like I said before, I was approaching the concept the wrong way.... It is a monthly craft kit with some stamping involved!

So when Stampin' Up! made an offer I couldn't refuse, I signed up to start a monthly subscription.

I love this kit! It is so nice to have everything I need, including instructions (there is even a video), to assemble the projects! I don't have to spend time creating, cut paper, or plan!

This kit had everything I needed to complete 24 patriotic pinwheels! 24 cello bags, 24 jumbo brads, 24 sturdy "straws", 24 mini clips, an ink spot, 3 photopolymer stamps, baker's twine, 24 pre-cut, ( and pre-punched!) pieces of paper (heavy!), white card stock diecut banners, 96 glue dots (!) and instructions!

Because it was my first month they also included a clear block for use with all future kits.

This all arrived, mind you, in a cute red box! When I opened it up it was wrapped in Pool Party tissue paper and sealed with a sticker!

I felt like it was Christmas in June!

My hope is that my "locals" will join in on the fun! Then, I can set aside one night a month to get together and do My Paper Pumpkin with them!

Fun, right?

Of course, I already have some long-distance customers enjoying their monthly kit. I feel like I have missed out on so much!

Now with prepaid subscriptions being offered, I'm sure many will take advantage of this value as a gift for the Paper crafter!

It’s convenient and low risk—you can put it on hold or cancel anytime. Visit to sign up for just $19.95 a month (shipping included). Once there, you'll have the opportunity to choose me as your demonstrator.

AND NOW we are offering prepaid subscriptions! You can purchase for yourself OR AS A GIFT!

If that isn't fantastic enough, your purchase will go towards your workshop or club total! You just use the following codes and it will be entered with your show or club. Then you will receive an email with your special enrollment code that you can start at any time!


Simply enjoy the fun every month.




(shipping included)









$113.70—save $1 per month



$215.40 - $2 per month 

Try My Paper Pumpkin today! It will be the best half hour of your month!