my obessesion

my  obessesion
To live a creative life ,we must lose our fear of being wrong
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays1 Last post for 2011

Thank you guys for being patient with me this Fall 2011 semester. I have been crazy busy and would like to
take the next 2 weeks to catch up and eat you know Macedemia nut cookies.  I  mean half of my creative
adventures are either coffee or chocolate induced.  I hoope everyone enjoys their family and loved ones.  I will return the first week of 2012.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SEI scrapbook album and Why I scrapbook part II

This is the front cover of the scrapbook album(Joycelyn) fromSEI but instead of paying the $30 plus shipping and handling I got a 40% off coupon fromHOBBY LOBBY.  So I only paid $20 plus tax.  Still  a whole lot
cheaper and my need for instant gratification was met.As you can see the colors are pretty neutral and they
come with sketches so you don't have to  do a whole lot outside of embellishing which is what I will be doing. I find it very ironic that I use to look down my nose at this since I had been scrapbooking for 6 years now
and thought I should be advanced enough to do my own sketches.  What I quickly came to realize when I went back to school this semester is that I just don't have that kinda time anymore since I have to actually
bond with the kids in the photos that I am scrapbooking about! Here are the other reasons I try to keep doing this lovely hobby of mine:

  • Stress release
  • Self expression
  • I dread the idea of my kids not remembering the good things
  • I dread the idea that I may not remember the good stuff
  • It combines two things I love :writing and photography
  • I would say that it taps into my inner child or some deep psychological benefit but truthfully it just makes me really happy for reasons I  can't quite put my finger on.
So there you have it my new  work-in-progress and my reasons to continue going to Hobby lobby.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

paper from Die Cuts with aView and Why I scrapbook (part 1)

 I am taking advantage of those 40% coupons from Hobby  Lobby and bought this stack from DCWV called

all  about me .  I have been trying to remind myself why I scrapbook.  I am much busier now but I still want to

capture the everyday and maybe even al little of the mundane.This album will be a year in review for 2010 that way I can use the same paper line and it will have a cohesive look.  I love that I really don't have to have
a sketch for alot of it it already has journaling spots , a space for the photo, , it tkaes some of the guess work out.   I use to be the one who scoffed at album kits, other folk's sketches any little short cut that didn't originate from you.  If there was such a thing as being a creativity snob , then I was truly  the epitime of one.
Now I realize that I can't endure the thought of letting these goofy moments that my kids seem to  have an abundance of, go by without me to preserve them for all time. (Well maybe  for blackmail but mostly for laughs).  So I will be back with another album kit and some of the other reasons I scrapbook my kids are about to cross over into the mom he hit me zone .

Monday, November 14, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner: Coca cola Cakea

make 15 serving

prep 20 min Bake 35 min

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup of cola soft drink
  • 2 tablsepoons cocoa
  • 1/2 cups miature marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 arge eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • Cola frosting
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Bring cola , butter, and cocoa to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Gradually stir into flour mixture.  Stir in marshmallow and next 3 ingredients.  Pour into a greased and floured 13x9 inch. pan.
  3. Bake at 350o for 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Spread Cola Frosting over warm cake; top pecans
   Cola Frosting 
1/2 cup butter or margarine
6 tablespoons cola soft drink
3 tablespoons cocoa
1(16-ounce)package powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a  boil in a large saucepan over medium heat , stirring constantly until buttter melts ;remove from heat .  Add sugar and vanilla, stirring until smooth.

Quick Cola Cake:  Omit first 10 ingredients.  Beat 1(18.25-ounce)package Swill chocolate cake mix,1 (10 oz.) bottle of cola soft drink, 1/2 cup veetable oi, and 4 large  eggs at low speed with an electric mixer until blended... Beat at medium speed 3 more minutes  pour into a greased and floured 13 x 9 pan.  Bake at 350o
for 45 minutes.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner:Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep 30 minutes.  cook 40 min.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4(6inch)corn tortillas, cut 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2(32-ounce)containers chicken broth
  • 1(14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes,undrained and chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained and chopped
  • 10 ounce can greentomatoes with green chiles undrained
  • 1 tablespoon gound cumin
  • 1/2teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
           8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4 -inch strips
            Garnishes:shredded Montery Jack cheese, sour cream

  1. Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a Duthc oven over medium-high heat.  Add tortilla pieces and next3 ingredients: saute'5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add chicken and next 6 ingredients.  Bring to a boil:reduceheat and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.
  2. Discard Bay leaf.
  3. Heat1/2 cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat: add tortilla strips; and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels  To serve, ladle soup in bowls .  Top each seving with tortilla strips . garnish if desired.
I didn't use the bay leaf and it was still a big hit when  I ran out of the fried tortilla chips I did decide to bake
them instead which was pretty good,also . I am thinking about making it again this weekend since it's actually
cold enough to enjoy it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner:King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Prep:35 min cook 5 min Bake:35 min

  • 1 large onion,chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper,chopped
  • 2 tablespoons,vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped chicken
  • 1(103'4-ounce)can cream of chicken soupm undiluted
  • 1(103/4-ounce)can creamof mushroom soup
  • 1(10-ounce)can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
  • 1teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 (6inch) corn totillas
  • 2 cups (8ounces)shreded cheddar cheese, divided

  1. Saute' onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium -high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and next 7 ingredients; remove from heat.
  2. Tear tortillas into 1 inch pieces; layer one-third of tortilla pieces in bottom of a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish.  Top with one-third of chicken mixture and 2/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice.
  3. Bake casserole at 350o for 30-35 minutes.
You can substitute low fat soups and baked tortillas if you are tryng to lower fat.  Definitely a dish on my
permanent  menu since everyone ate it.(My menu is pretty flexible I try new dishes as often as I  can but
when I find one that is quick and not to expensive I hang on to it)  My older daughter suggested a Mexican
menu for Thanksgiving and I think this is the best idea ever.  I will of course share some more traditional recipes for you the blog readers .  Look for future posts on the weekend for the next 7-8 weeks for sure.  Thank you for stopping by and until next week stay gold!

Big Picture Classes: When you don't have a photo by Janet Phillips

One of the suggestions for a layout when you
don't have a photo was to go to the internet and use a photo.(I'm sure Flikr has some images under the Creative common license.)
I think this was a pretty cool idea I had already taken
the kids to see the Smurfs but hadn't thought about lugging a camera with me.  So this was an opportunity
to preserve a story that would otherwise be lost. Plus it gave me a chance to use those brads that were shaped like a burger and fries I got from Eyelet outlet
The journaling reads as follows:

I had a bit of a health scare that night . Some unknown symptom. It was hard to enjoy the movie, which is  ironic becuz the movie reminded me to enjoy just that!  I got the movie stickers fromhobby lobby and the journaling strip was the American Crafts brand..
I can't wait to try that Amy Tan decorative tape that they have (mixed tape).  Now that my 8 week class has
started at the local community college, I really have come to appreciate shopping online!  The kids seemed way more enthusiastic about the happy meal from McDonalds  just another reminder to parents that kids really do enjoy the simple things and it really is the quality of the time you spend with them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend edition:Birda Mae's Recipe Corner Maple Bacon Oven Pancake

Makes 8 servings
Prep:3 minutes   Bake 17 minutes

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups all -purpose baking mix
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups(6ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese divided
  • 12 bacon slices cooked and crumbled
  1. Combibe first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 cup cheese.  Pour into a greased and floured 13x9 inch baking dish.
  2. Bake at 425 for 12 minutes.   Sprinkle pancake with remaining 1 cup  cheese and bacon ; bake 3to 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean .  Cut into squares , and serve with maple syrup.
None really but I will say this was off the chain!  I don't normally try new recipes before going to church 
because I want the  proper amount of time and space in case I have to redo it  but this turned out great
as you can see in the picture (This was the first run)  After church the polished it of so good I made another 
batch.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

I rememeber when series:One time at Magic Mountain

Good morning everyone. I have not forgotten you guys I had to catch the bus to community college to
take care of some things before my class starts next week.(Don't think I am taking late start classes anymore
either but that's another issue)Here is another installment of the I remember series I think this really helps the
journaling portion of a layout so I will finish this series by the end of next month on my grandmother.  I will still
continue to the I remember when series but I will focus on my teenage daughter who is graduating from high
school this school 2011-2012 and has been a bit  of challenge to scrap her because she detests pictures as if it were a virus you could catch will taking the picture, but any who .I remember one of the occasions I went to
Magic Mountain with grandmother and two other relatives.  Magic Mountain was the same amusement park
in conjunction with the Six Flags Amusement parks such as  the former Astroworld  that we had here in Houston and the current Fiesta Texas in San Antonio .  This was my idea of teenage heaven! Funnel cakes,cool rides,hot guys and the occasional concert who could ask for more.  My poor grandmother didn't far so well on that Colussus . Looking back on it I am surprised she even got on the ride to begin with she
was a homebody for sure. Anyway her glasses were crooked when she got off the ride.  Being the jerky teenager I was I laughed.  Actually if we are being really honest I am not the person you want to ride with
on a roller coaster because the more you cry ,scream or plead the name of  Jesus the more I will laugh at you
so not a good idea for me to ride with you.  Now that she is gone it's one of those things you wish you could
take back but can't.  I can say my grandmother loved me in spite of who I was at the time and I will always love her for that!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Random Note:Twinkle Toes

Aren't these shoes over the top?I am feminine like the next chic but man these put those ruby red slippersfrom the Wizard of Oz to shame.I actually used the 30% coupon  I got from McDonald's but all Twinkle Toes  category looked like a fairy threw up on them!  Well anyway my baby doll likes them so that's all that matters

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner: Thai Chicken Soup

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons green curry paste
6 cups low sodium broth
1(15oz) can coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce, plus more to taste
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
4 oz. thin rice noodles broke in to pieces
2 small chicken breasts (1 1lb)
very thinly crosswise
1 tablespoon fresh lime plus more to taste
1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro


heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirringoccasionally until softend and lightly browned (about 8 minutes)  Add the garlic and curry paste and cook  stirring  1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk and fish sauce, cover and bring to a boil.

Add the bell peppers and nooodles and simmer uncovered , until noodles are al dente.  Add the chicken and boil until meat is no longer pink.  Stir in lime juice and cilantro.  Add more fish sauce if desired.

I used red curry paste because that's what  I had on hand , green bell peppers instead of the red.  The picture is the second batch of this soup I made in the first batch I used chicken thighs  and in both batches I used light coconut milk.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Inspiration Corner Amy Tangerine and Karen Gruenberg's blog

I realize these two blogs may not be the newest but lately they have really been inspiring me.
First Amy's blog  I love the way blog itself is uncluttered, bright and funspirited.  I discovered this
during the Big Idea Festival that Big Pictures had  in August..  I am also looking forward to taking the self
paced class taught by her called "Get Your Creative Juices Flowing" over at Big Pictures. It's only $17
and includes 3 videos but first I have to finish off the other ones I have paid for!

There is also Karen's blog . I am always glad to see another mother trying to fit in writing , art journaling and
scrapbooking into her everyday life.  Visutally speaking I am in love plus her schedule is posted so you know what
to expect  and when which I think is awesome!  There is a trick or treat blog hop going on over there. Her
self paced class "Embracing Imperfection" is free I will use this for a future art journal ( of course it can be
a mini album as well)
Well I have not recovered fully from my overload of Toffee Bars I made last night and the chocolate granola cereal I had this afternoon. (Yes HEB makes chocolate granola cereal)  Until next time stay gold!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Teddy Bear Brigrade and in loving memory of my Sony Cybershot

I finally figured out why I wasn't having any luck with batteries .  My Sony cyber shot is in camera heaven
I took these with the Canon IS 3 .  I mean I should've been doing that all along but I couldn't just dump my Sony  we already had a pretty good relationship and it was easier for me to shoot black and white shots with it.. I
was actually in Frye's Electronics trying to price a new one and I know I am being a little anal retentive but
it really isn't the same. Newer doesn't mean better all the time.  I had lost the instruction manual early on with the Sony cyber shot but it
was so simple I really did good without it.   As you can see by these photos there isn't anything wrong with
the Canon, I was just getting stuck in my way of doing things and not being open to a new challenge.  Now I regret it so I promise myself a new start with the Canon and yes I will be one of those
parents with 2 and 3 cameras.  Zaria loves to line these critters up  however I can't get her to explain why but I just
wanted to document this "hobby" of hers so don't be surprised when you see the layout.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner:Herbed rice

  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice
  •  2 tablespoons  of chopped fresh parsley, basil, oregano or thyme
  • or 2 teaspoons each if you are using dried herbs

  1. Bring water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan:add rice.Cover , reduce hat and simmer 20 minutes or until broth is absorbed, Add the herbs last 7 or 5 minutes.
I have to mention how being born and bred mostly in Texas(although I still feel
very Californian) I didn't think it was possible to have good rice without a truck load of butter or margarine.  In the past if I had rice or grits and no butter
I flat out would not eat it.  I usually felt like I was being punished.  So I am really glad to share this recipe because it  was really good.  Even the picky eater at it.  I also had some fresh Italian leaf parsley and fresh basil and it really made
a nice presentation and went really well with the sauteed pork  chops I made that day.  Well until next time stay gold

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art Journal page and creativity quotes

I wanted to share page there of my "Permision To Be Creative Class"(self -paced) I am taking atBig Pictures Classes taught by Courntey Waslh but my scanner is straight tripping this morning.  I went back and pulled this Art journal page.   I was playing around with the acrylics by watering it down so I could get a watercolor
effect and as you can see I love epoxy stickers,brads and rubber stamps.    Here are the quotes Idid for the class:

"The world is but a canvas to the imagination" Henry David Thoreau

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up"Pablo Picasso

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same place"  Arthur Koestler

Well I hope this has inspired you today we all need a little extra something-something every now and then.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe corner:Stuffed Peppers

                                         I got this image from here

  • 6 small to medium peppers red or green ,13/4to 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 350o.  Cut tops from peppers and remove seeds and ribs, keeping peppers whole.  Brush outside of peppers. with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  2. In a medium frying pan, heat remaining olive over medium heat.  Add onion and cook stirring to break up lumps, until it begins to lose its pinkness, 5to7 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage and onion to a medium bowl.  Add rice,parsley, Parmesan cheese, and egg.  Toss to mix.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stuff peppers, with rice and sausage filling, mounding top slightly.  Place peppers in a 13x9 inch baking
  5. dish.  Mix tomato sauce with water and pour into dish around peppers. Bake 45 minutes.
I used ground beef in mine I didn't really care for pouring that tomato sauce and water in the pan, but
I got the recipe from  the 365 Easy Italian Recipes cookbook.  I love this cookbook ,honey, believe me when
I tell you it's the best 4 dollars I spent on amazon it's just that I should have fixed them like Birda Mae use to
 she put the tomato sauce in the pepper with the stuffing and they were awesome.  My Amazon clicky thing isn't working  I apologize that's why I included the image.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flow (and an art journal page)

Have you ever had one of those days,were creatively speaking , things just seem to fall effortlessly in place?Now this may not seem like a strange phenomenon  or even an idea worth bringing up. However, if you are like me,a mother trying to have more than 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to create, it's like trying to finda diamond buried in your hall closet. The odds of that happening seems slim at best.One day this summer,thank the Lord , I found it!  . Zaria slept in  longer than usual and right about now the time she did wake up ,  Joshua , who had gotten up earlier than he normally does, actually went to sleep.
I couldn't have asked for a better block of time had I prayed for it!  With only one child to entertain/distract at a time  I managed to:

  • make a couple of sheets of patterned paper
  • make back grounds for my art journal(the above page was one of the results)
  • Begin a writing project for church
  • I even had a moment to check out this blog
The last time I flet this good about something related to creativity , is the one time I had more than $35 to spend at Hobby Lobby and they seemed to have a sale on several things I was looking for . However this was better because I didn't have to spend a thing to get the same result.  So how do you feel when you get that block of uninterrupted time to create  or just be?  What was the results?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Birda Mae'sRecipe Corner:Scottish Shortbread

                                             I go this image from here

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour(not self rising)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 11/2 cups butter(3sticks) cut into pieces and softened
  1. Preheat oven to 325oF.  In large bowl, combine cake and all-purpose flours,sugar, and salt.   Knead butter into flour mixture until well blended and mixture holds together. (or,in food processor with knife blade attached,pulse cake and all-purpose flours and salt to blend.  Add butter and pulse until mixture
  2. resembles coarse crumbs.)
  3. Divide dough in half; with hand, pat onto bottom of tow ungreased 8-inch round cake pans. With fork,prick dough all over to make attractive patterns.
  4. Bake unitl goldne,about 40 minutes. Remove from oven;immediately run knife around edges of pans to loosen shortbread, then cut each shortbread round into 16 wedges.  Cool completely in pans on wire racks.
  5. When cool,with small metal spatula,carefull remove cookies from pans.
no variations here perfect just as it is the cake flour really made the difference.

I remember when series:This one time at McDonald's

                                          I got this image from here

My grandmother use to work in cafeteria in HISD, except my grandmother could actually cook.  When
she got paid she would take me and a few of my first cousins to McDonalds without fail.  I don't care what you make at home it is hard to compete with Mickey D's in a child's mind.I remember getting really tired
of getting Big Mac's every time we went .  Even back then I loved variety! So just as  Grama(Birda Mae)
was about to order I quickly shouted that I wanted a Quarter Pounder and my cousins followed suit.  The
reason this sticks out in my memory is to illustate just how kind-hearted my grandmother was.   She did'nt get the least bit upset, didn't yell ,give me the-wait-till-I-get-you-home speech or even give me the look .  We all
had Quarter Pounders that day.It was nice to be myself and to have someone honor my preference at 9 it really meant alot to me.   Well until next time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Big Idea 12 day workshop Day 7:Cherish

I know that looks like notebook paper but that is actually from Basic Grey, brads courtesy of Paper Studios and epoxy word  sticker is Creative Imaginations.  I really liked her definition of the word.  Another word for
cherish is adore,treasure,value or love  based on that I wanted to list 5 things I want to cherish more:

  1. Life
  2. Memories
  3. Love
  4. Family
  5. Friends
You can also click the Big Picture Button in the sidebar it will take to Big Picture Classes

Big Picture Classes:Permission to live a Creative Life (Courtney Walsh)

Good morning.  I have some terrible handwriting.  This page two of the class project where our instructor asks us to write a letter about any guilt we may be feeling about taking time and space to create.  I could really relate
to this over the summer I really had to work to find  a moment where I could be creative.   School started for us to day so I don't feel like I am depriving my kids of quality time.     Here's what I wrote:I use to feel guilty about being creative I didn't feel like I should make anything unless someone else approved it or it was a gift for someone else(I.E a card or decoupage box etc)   It's taken  awhile ,but I am coming into the realization
that I have to nuture this part of me in order to be a whole, happy mommy and I may never get approval
so I feel better about creating.
This is a self paced course atBig Picture Classes besides the fact that it's just $10  I don't seemto do so well
with a scheduled time.  I like to volunteer with different minstries at church ,I am in a play   and besides getting
the kids ready for school I am taking a 8 wee course in October so I will have to make this adaptable to my
life right now.   The Big Idea Workshop is s till going I really liked Amy Sorenson's word and her blog.  I'll be
back I am still working on my mini album

Friday, August 19, 2011

Inspiration Corner :Chrysti Hydeck and Tina Modotti

today I wanted to shine the spotlight on two female photographers I am truly inspired by
                                           This photo was taken byChrysti Hydeck
I ran across her altered photographs in Art at the Speed of Life: Motivation and Inspiration for Making Mixed-Media Art Every Day  I can barely describe just how beautiful it was which is why I included a photo .  The reason I am so inspired is because this artist has Tourestte's Syndrome,OCD  and was diagnosed as bipolar.   Stlll she manages to create.   find myself referring back to her  story everytime I am tempted to feeel sorry for myself because of having limited supplies, or I can't get chipboard. or whateever embellishment I think I need to make my  layout or art journal page.  I no longer have a valid reason to not create on a fairly regular basis.
The second female photographer I am truly inspired by is Tina Modotti.   She started off as an actress, but fell in love with   photography.  In the 1930's  mn re supposed to be housewives they weren't supposed to have a career outside of teaching or nursing much less photography.  There  is way more to the story the main thing is check out her work. go to or better yet go to your publick library she really had a gift especially with abstract images. Well until next week stay gold.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner:Ravioli with basil and nuts

                                            I got this image from here
  • 1 1/1 cups whole hazelnuts or 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1 pound(1 to 1 1/2inch)frozen stuffed ravioli
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves,or 1 teaspoon dried basil and 1/3 cup chopped parsley Grated Parmesan cheese
  1. If using hazelnuts,preheat oven to 350o.  Spread nuts outon a baking sheet and raost 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and dark skins are cracked.  remove from oven and rub in a kitchen towel to remove as much brown skin as possible.  Wrap ina clean towel and use rolling pin to gently crazk nuts  into medium-size chunks.
  2. Cook ravioli as directed on package.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium -low heat.  Add nuts and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Stir basil and remove from heat.
  4. Drain ravioli and pour into a warmed large bowl.  Add sauce and toss together.  Pass a bowl of Parmesan cheese on the side.
! I used walnuts of course  and the dried basil with parsely.  I think the Italian flat leaf parsely was a better presentation but I will have to make it again with fresh basil it just isn't the same.  Lori and James this recipe
is dedicated to you my  Californian vegetarian friends!

The Big Idea Workshop(Big Picture Classes)

Today is the first day of the workshop  with Amy Tan as the instructor for the day and the word prompt is
share.There is a template and a prize if you submit your layout  to the gallery.Here's the  link to Big Idea Workshop and it's free . I also like the fact that you may get to see an instructor's style of teaching just in case
you were thinking of taking another one.  I made a little mini album last week so I could just decorate the pages once the workshop started. The cover is Die Cuts With a View and the inside paper is Basic Gray, letter stickers from American Crafts and the epoxy letter stickers were from Creative Imaginations,Acrylic stamp and brads from Paper Studios.  Thank  you God that this scanner of mine still works.  Stay tuned for the recipes I am doing something Italian.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I remember when series:7 up cakes Birda Mae use to make

 I got this image from here
I got this idea fromBeyond Blogging Class  I want to write the journaling portion of my scrapbook/recipe album
I am making for my grandmother who passed away almost 2 years ago. My grandmother was awesome in so many ways she was down to earth, loving , and kind to name a few things.  She is known  for her cooking in our family. I would even go so far as to say that  the way you knew she was loved was through her cooking.  However there was one dessert  I began to hate with a passion.  That was the dreaded 7up cake. Don't
get me wrong the cake itself was a culinary delight, but I was the one who had to walk in 90o weather to  the  store up the street from where we  lived to get it.
I know it sounds mean but I use to wish she would buy a six pack of 7up rather than have me go almost every other day(sometimes, not every week)
to get one can of 7up.  I remember I couldn't wait to go to college so I wouldn't  have to do that anymore.
Life is funny though because it was only a couple of years after that I began to really miss her 7up pound cakes!
Grama(Birda Mae) we love you and miss you so much .The world lost some of it's sparkle  when you passed
away but you will never be forgotten.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner:Walnut Shortbread

                                 I got this image from here


  • 1/2 cup walnuts toasted
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine(1 stick) softened.

  1.    Preheat oven to 325o.  In food processor with knife blade attached, process walnuts with 1/2 cup flour until nuits are finely ground.
  2. In medium bowl,combine remaining 1 cup flour, sugar, and walnut mixture and stir until blended.
  3. With fingertips, blend butter into walnut mixture until well combined and crumbly.  With hand, press dough onto bottom of 9 inch square baking pan.
  4. Bake until light golden, 25to 30  minutes.  While still warm,cut into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into6 pieces. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  5. When cool,with small metal spatula, carefully remove cookies from pan.
I don't have a variation for this it was awesome I will be making these again.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Explore:Shimelle class

Here's my explore journal I made it closer to a 4x6 size with paper from Die Cuts with a View and
Basic Grey
I am starting late with this class(so to speak I know I can take it whenever but still I feel a little behind)
for prompt two I found this paper from My Mind's eye  . We're suppose to use a postcard to write the prompt but I thought it was cuter. It's actually a 12 x 12 sheet so I may use the whole thing or cut it. Here
are the writing prompts:

In all my life I felt like_____ was my greatest adventure
I was my most adventurous when...........
I don't really feel adventurous but one particular moment does stand apart from the rest.

She suggest writing this on a postcard and mailing it to yourself.  I love the idea of using a postcard because
it feels less intimadting . You could also write some goals down and mail it to friends totally up to you.  Since I am writing this for myself I decided to keep my response private.    I should have a few recipes up by tommrow or Wed. I hate to give a specific day then something happens with the kids then I can't .     So
I will do my best to have some up by  Tuesday. Until then stay gold.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Big Picture Classes:Permission to live a Creative Life by courtney Walsh(self paced)

I am loving this class so far . I guess I do better with a self-paced course because I can come back to it when I have a moment.I went to Hobby Lobby today and  bought a 6x6 album with the 40% off coupon(You don't have to use a mini album for this class you can use  metal binder rings which I bought for another project I got the mini album because I could use the coupon)  , I am using paper from My Mind's Eye(lost and found) and
Thegirl paperie page one(or in my case the first few) we write our Creative Mantra
Here's my mantra:  I give myself permission to eat chocolate,be creative and enjoy the quiet moments, I forgive those who don't wish to support me. I realize that the more I nuture my creativity ,the more I have to 
give to my family.       I adapted this fromSacred Pampering Principles (It's not a religon just some affirmations
to encourage you to take care of yourself.

We're suppose to include a picture but those batteries I bought from HEB don't work!  I will not turn this into a rant about batteries instead I will press forward and improvise until I get some rechargable ones.  Don't forget there will be a Free Workshop  atBig Picture Classes From August 15-August 26th.I went ahead and signed up today so I wouldn't forget well I am off to either cook  or read or eat
maybe not in that order . Until next week stay gold.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Inspiration Corner: Blogs that inspire me Made In Brooklyn and Dispatch from LA

     Made in Brooklyn  This is one of my favorite blogs simply because it's an everyday person sharing
her creative journey and parenting kids with special needs .  A subject that is close to my heart since I am raising
two kids with special needs as well.  I like the fact that while she is sharing her life she includes pictures of something she's baking (not a tutorial just pictures of the process). It's almost like you were a neighbor who stopped by while you catch up with her life.  The other thing I find refreshing is the fact that there are no Facebook, Twitter  icons and that's almost not heard of these days on most blogs.  There isn't a push to sell anything . Just a mom who is being herself.
     Dispatch from LA  I love the art journal pages, the photography and the travel stories to places like Istanbul,Turkey.  Sometimes we get to see her students work, too.  It's one of those blogs you have to see
so you can enjoy the pure undiluted beauty of it.  I hope you get a chance to visit the links and check them out.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner: Floritine Steak with Mushrooms and Brandy

                                                         I got this image from here


  • 4 boneless beef rib steaks, cuat  1/2 inch thickk, 6 to 8 ounce each
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves,minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms such as shitakes, oyster mushrooms ,cepes ro morels sliced
  • 1/4 cup brandy,warmed
  • 1/2 cup canned beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

  1. Trim excess fat from steaks.  Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. In a onnreactive large frying pan, melt 3tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and oninon  and cook 2 to 3  minutes , or until onion is softented.  Add mushrooms and cook  2 to 3  minutes or until they begin to color.  Pour brandy into pan and ignite with a match. Shake pan until flames  subside.  Add stock, bring to boil over high heat, and cook until liquid  is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.  Season with remaining 1/2  teaspoon salt, 1/4 teasoon pepper, and parsley.
  3. In another large frying pan over high heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon oil. Add steaks and cook 3 minutes on one side and 3 to 4 minutes on second side, or longer  to desired degree of doneness.  Remove steaks to a platter and pour mushrooms and sauce over.
        Let me say right off the bat I didn't use the brandy because
            a) couldn't afford it  and
            b) I didn't want to set fire to my kitchen  and have to be on the 10 o' clock news. (I can hear
               Dave Ward from channel 13 now "Mom seeking adventure sets fire to her kitchen when all her
                kids wanted was chicken nuggets news at 10!"
          I went to Wal mart supercenter and got the red cooking wine and some parmesan risotto out of
t       the box and it was on and popping!  I gotta tell ya the parsley really did give this dish a really nice
     presentation.    For those of you in the Houston area if you go to HEB Central Market you can get the
     organic ones in a large quantity at a reasonable price.  Also I used a sirloin steak but next time I will use
     the beef rib steak or a cut of steak that is really  thick because it definitely makes the difference!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Explore Online Classe by Shimelle

I                                                I got this image from here
I feel like I am over dosing on classes! I also feel like this is my last  free time before I go back to school
this fall.(I am taking a late start class in October so I have room somewhat while I get the kids up and
ready to  go back  to school)  I felt like I was creatively blocked and at the same time a little resentful of
time I was giving to volunteer activites and not my  creative purusits.  Of course I won't give my work at church because that fufills me in a deeper and more meaningful way but I feel more complete and whole when
I nuture  that side of myself that longs to make something.A good day for me is one that includes art journaling ,scrapbooking and trying out a new recipe.   I will use some of these classes for mini albums and this class and
the workshop at Big Picture Classes(Big Idea Workshop Aug 15-Aug27)  Si will be getting up with the chickens but it will be totally worth it in the end.  Stay tuned for a new recipe!

Monday, August 1, 2011

big picute classes and a layout

I am finally going to take those classes at Big Picture Classes I am taking Permission to Live a Creative Life by Courtney Walsh(Author of Busy Scrapbooker) and  When You Don't Have a Photo By Janet Phillips
since I bought some batteries that were past the expiration date I have some recent memories I would like to preserve that don't have a photo that I would like to preserve so I thought this would be a perfect solution.also
on August 15-August 26th there will be a Free Workshop, featuring 12 instuctors called The Big Idea Workshop and I am looking forward to that one and here's  a layout  I did collage style.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Art Journal Page and Creative Catalyst 133(Creative Thearpy)

                      Wow my hair was actually combed in this picture! All vanity aside I enlargged this so
you could see the detail. I used a metallic champagne colored paint  and peach and I really loved the effect of this together, the patterned paper was from Basic Grey  and the brads were from Sei.  This is actually a 2 page spread but the batteries I bought didn't work so when I get some more mulah I will defiinitely take a picture. Now over at Creative Therapy  Creative Catalyst 133 is do you have a favorite or imporant family
recipe and I thought how cool is that .  Well I am off on another mommy adventure until next time stay gold.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner:Frosty Key Lime Pie

                                                      I got this image from here


Crunchy Pretzel Crust or1 package(6oz.) ready to use graham cracker pie crust
2 packages (8 oz. each) creamcheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/2 cup Key Lime juice or regular lime juice
1 can(14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
Few drops  of green food color, if desired.
1 cup  frozen (thawed ) whipped topping

Crunchy Pretzel Crust
3 cups small pretzel twists(about40)
1/2 cup(1 stick) margarine or butter,melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar


  1. Make Crunchy Preztzel Crust (below.) While crust is chilling, continue with the recipe.
  2. Beat the cream cheese,lime peel, lime juice, milk and food color in a large bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until smooth.
  3. Pour the lime mixture into the crust.  Cover and freeze about 6 hoursor until the filling is firm.
  4. Let the pie stand at room temperature about 5 minutes before cuttting into slices . Serve with frozen whipped topping freeze the remaining pie.
Tip: for a softer texture they suggest putting the pie in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours for a softer texture
but mine was too soft(I used low fat cream cheese) I used a concentrated form of the lime juice and I still
couldn't taste the lime. I mean mine doesn't have to be all twangy it's just that there has to be distinction
 between this and cheesecake!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner:English Toffee Bars

I                                               I got this image fromhere

  •   2 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 plus 2/3 cups of cold butter,divided
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup Hershey's Milk chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350oF.
  2. Combine flour and 1 cup brown sugar in large bowl. With pastry blender or fork, cut in 1/2 cup butter until fine crumbs form(a few large crumbs may remain). Press mixture onto bottom of ungreased 13x9x2 inch pan.  Sprinkle pecans over the crust Set aside.
  3. Combine remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and 2/3 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.  Boil 30 seconds, stirring constantly, then immediately pour over pecans and crust.
  4. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until topping is bubbly  and golden; remove from oven. Immediately sprinkle
  5. milk chocolate chips evenly over top; press gently onto surface.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.
I    I didn't think using HEB brand chocolate chips would alter this but it did the thing that totally saved it is the
bbutter.  I used Land o lakes and it was the best part of the bar!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Annoucement Postponement of Whatcha Makin' Wed

First of all I would like to thank all the people who took time to share their creativity with I don't feel like I can give that   blog hop the time and attention it deserves.  I would like to enjoy my kids this summer and
get ready to go back to college myself in the fall..  I will continue to post recipes, layouts , art journal pages etc...
but I will  not be doing the Linky List until sometime in the future.  Again thanks for taking time to visit me I have learned so much and for that I will always be grateful

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers form Shimelle

I love the fact that I can take this class when I have the time and space to do so . So even though the live class has already run I have access to the prompts,forum and videos like these. I thought this may be useful if you are looking for things to blog about .( Even the best of us get stuck sometimes)
You can still post your projects in the Linky List below and here's the link if you are interested in this or the other
classes at Shimelle.  Also on Fridays there is usually a giveaway.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Whatcha Makin' Wed June 14th-17th

Hello every body thanks for stopping by and taking the time to post with me just
a friendly reminder that the linky list won't be up next Tuesday .I'll pick it back up
June 28th.  I have also started Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers at Shimelle more about that in the
next post.

Birda Mae's Recipe Corner:e-z chocolate cheesecake

                                                          I got this image from here
I got the recipe from Hershey's 3 Books in 1: Sweet Treats Cookbook, Decadent Delights Cookbook, Timeless Treasures Cookbook (3 in 1 Cookbooks)

4 sections (1/2 oz.each) Hershey's unsweetened
Chocolate Premium Baking bar, broken into pieces
1/4 cup(1/2 stick) butter or margarine;,softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 package (3oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon milk
2 cups frozen  whipped topping, thawed
1 package crumb crust(6oz.)
Additional whipped topping (optional)

  1. Place chocolate in small microwave -safe bowl.  Microwave at Medium(50%) 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred.
  2. Beat butter, sugar ,cream cheese and milk in medium bowl until well blended and smooth, fold in melted chocolate.
  3. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping, spoon into ccrust.  Cover; refrigerate until, about 3 hours.  Garnish with additional whipped topping, if desired.



About This blog

My fondest memoreis in my life are the ones at my grandmother's table.I loved not only the warm,velvety ,slightly sweet 7-up cake, but the affirmation that I was loved. What started out as a creative outlet and a place to honor her loving,generous spirit has evolved into a food blog where I can blather on about recipes, food trends, and basically any food related topic that foodies would like, get the idea. I am sure my family and anyone I've been friendly with for more than 2 minutes will breathe a collective sigh of relief, since I don't have to dump my food conversations on them all the time. Also to mix things up I will share scrapbook pages. I want the blog to refect who I am and what I like to do when apart from being a full time Mama and part time college student.Thank you for sharing this journey of exploration with me.