Monday, July 25, 2011

Tortellini Salad

One of my favorite salads for summer is Pasta Salad--especially when made with tortellini. I hope you are able to make this delicious salad for your family and friends this summer.

Pasta Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
Mix above ingredients well.

In large bowl combine:
16 ounces pasta, cooked and rinsed
1 large sweet red pepper cut into 3/4" pieces
1 cup sliced pitted black olives
1/2 cup chopped red onion
*3 cups torn fresh spinach or broccoli florets

Pour dressing over pasta mixture and mix well. Chill for several hours or overnight. Just before serving add one cup fresh chopped tomatoes if desired.

NOTE: For quick and easy dressing I used LaMaison Organic Tuscan Style Italian dressing--delish!

Enjoy delicious food this summer!  Kat

Stamping Club Projects for July

This was a fun card to make and sooo easy! It just so happened that two of my stamping ladies have weddings coming up to use their cards for!

Card stock used is Whisper White, Basic Black and Blushing Bride. We used the Framed Tulips Embossing Folder for the Big Shot for the border and the Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder for the bride's dress. The Full Heart Punch was used for the bride and groom. The "bride" and the Congratulations banner are popped up using Dimensionals. Basic Rhinestones were added to the "bride's" dress and the Congratulations banner. The whole card was sprayed with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint--gives the card a all over subtle shimmer. The stamp set is Occasional Quotes (retired hostess set) that I got as part of my Blog Candy winnings from Ala Card Monkey. This card design was borrowed from Dawn Griffith and you can view her video for this card at Dawn's Stamping Thoughts.

This second card took a little more time but was soooo worth it! This card idea came from Jill Olsen and the video can be seen at Stamping Jill.

Card stock colors used are Whisper White, Basic Black and Poppy Parade. Don't you LOVE Poppy Parade?!!! It's such a happy color! We used the Perfect Polka Dots and Square Lattice Embossing Folders for the Big Shot. The punches used were the NEW Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer Punch, the flower from the Itty Bitty Punch Pack and the holes for the flowers were made with the Crop-a-dile but could also be made with the 1/16" Circle Handheld Punch. The finished card size is 5 1/4" square so will need the 5 1/2" square envelope and it will require extra postage (but well worth it)! Jill's directions on her video are so easy to follow. 

Remember, if you want to purchase any of the supplies above or order the NEW 2011-2012 Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog, please email me at or order 24/7 from my Stampin' Up! website.

Have a great Monday. Thanks for checking in:) Kat

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wait Till You See This!!!

I know I already posted today but this is for all the days I didn't:) I was checking out my friend, Crystal's blog and found out she's having a GIRL!!! She has a girl, Lily who will be six in October and a boy, Oliver who must be 2 1/2 now. Another girl is PERFECT!  Well, one of her sisters is also pregnant with a girl and the picture (right) is the Diaper Cake Crystal made her for her shower! Is that not the cutest thing EVER!!! Crystal tells step by step how to make the Diaper Cake on her blog--the post for July 18! I can hardly wait for the next baby shower:))) Wouldn't this make a beautiful centerpiece for the shower?

Have a great day!  I need to get something done!!! Kat

Best-Ever Chocolate Cupcakes

I almost never make cake and make cupcakes even less. Cake is simply not my favorite dessert.  Well, Wednesday night was our monthly stamping club and I was to bring refreshments so decided to bring chocolate cupcakes. I had enough cocoa powder for the cupcakes but not for the frosting which is very nummy so went on the internet and Googled "best frosting recipe". The same recipe came up on three different sites so decided to try it. Sooo, today you will get the cupcake recipe, chocolate frosting recipe and Best Frosting Ever recipe. These cupcakes are delicious with either frosting.

Best-Ever Chocolate Cake (or Cupcakes)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I use unflavored coconut oil)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cold black coffee (Postum works too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Beat in the shortening with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in milk, coffee and vanilla until combined. Increase speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs; beat for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour batter into greased cake pans or lined muffin pan cups. Bake the cake in the middle of the oven until toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 30-35 minutes for cake; 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Cool for five minutes, then turn the cakes onto wire racks to cool completely.
Chocolate Frosting

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup warm water
4 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Combine the cocoa powder, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed for two minutes. Add the warm water; mix well. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth.
  2. Frost cake or cupcakes and enjoy!
**The above recipes came on one of those promotional recipe cards that come in the mail from Great American Home Baking.

What frosting should look like after about
45 seconds of high speed mixing.
Best Frosting Ever 

1 cup milk (any will do; I used rice milk)
5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Put milk in small saucepan. Whisk the flour into the milk till smooth. Cook, stirring constantly till thick--about the consistency of cake batter. Let cool completely (cooling completely is important--I put mine in the freezer to speed up the process) then add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.

While waiting for the flour/milk mixture to cool, cream 1 cup butter with one cup granulated sugar. 

When flour/milk mixture has cooled add to butter/sugar mixture and beat with mixer till the consistency of whipped cream. Tada! It's ready to use! My stamping friends LOVED it!!!

You can find pictorial instructions for this recipe HERE.

Have a great day and a super weekend.  Hug the ones you love and pray for those you don't:) Kat

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wedding Reception

As I said last week, I was the wedding coordinator for a friend's wedding on July 10. She had some adorable decorations for the receptions and I was really hoping to have a better picture than this but this turns out to be the only one my husband took of the decorations.  Guess I should have taken a few pictures myself but I was soooo busy!  On the tables were these adorable planters that looked like teacups--some with dragonflies on them and some solid purple. Then there were two different bird houses--some said Honeymoon Nest and some said Love Nest. These were interspersed with votive cups filled with Jelly Belly jelly beans. We had purple and lavender Japanese lanterns hanging from the ceiling of the tent. It looks like the photographers cameras and bags were also decorating the tables at the time of the picture.

The cake had a very smooth butter cream frosting with purple and silver ribbon at the bottom of each layer. Purple butterflies were attached with frosting in a swirl up the front of the cake. Silk gladiola blossoms topped the cake. The cake knife and server were the same ones my husband and I used at our wedding reception 32 years ago:)
The bride's father is standing behind the cake threatening to put his finger in it.

Weddings are wonderful and this one was no exception.

Have a great day and a good week.  Kat

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fresh Raspberry Lemonade

For the 4th of July I had my heart set on making my signature Strawberry Lemonade for our family and friends to enjoy.  However, the strawberries were "in between" so no strawberries to use.  Plan B was to try raspberries which I had plenty of so I checked on the internet and found a great recipe at Amanda's Cookin'. I like this recipe even better than the Strawberry Lemonade and I'm sure you will too.

Amanda's Fresh Raspberry Lemonade
makes 2 quarts

7 medium lemons
1 cup mashed fresh raspberries
1 heaping cup white sugar

First reserve about 1/4 of the sugar and set aside. Pour the rest of the sugar into a medium saucepan. Add one cup of water. Stir and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. This is called simple syrup) Turn off heat and let cool a bit.

Meanwhile, pour the reserved 1/4 cup of sugar over the mashed raspberries and let them sit for at least ten minutes to macerate.

While waiting for the berries, zest 6 of the 7 lemons. Place zest into a zippered sandwich bag, squeeze out all air and put it in the freezer. Never cut up a lemon and waste the zest! :) Cut the six lemons in half and extract the juice (this should yield a little under a cup of juice).

Pour the lemon juice through a strainer to eliminate pulp and any seeds. Pour the juice into a 2 quart pitcher.

Push the macerated berries through a strainer using the back of a spoon. Pour the sweetened berry juice into the pitcher with the lemon juice.

Pour the simple syrup (sugar water) into the pitcher and top off with water. Stir, add sliced lemons and refrigerate.

Note: You can adjust the sugar to your taste. Also try mixing half and half with iced tea--yummy!!!

I hope you get to sit on the porch today with a good book and a glass of Fresh Raspberry Lemonade!  Kat

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Look What I Made!!!

I needed some invitations for a picnic we are having so put my thinking cap on and look what I came up with!!!
I bought a new punch from Stampin' Up! called Blossom Bouquet Triple Layer punch and when you punch out the blossom you get these little "watermelon seeds" that I normally throw away. Well, I should be saving them in case I want to make watermelons! I used Real Red and a retired green card stock. The stamp is one I have had for several years and bought from DeNami out of Kent WA! I was very happy with the way they turned out.

Just made a cute little watermelon wedge for the inside. The inside stamp is a Hero Arts stamp I have had for several years as well.

I am sooo anxious to share with you the projects for Happy Stampers stamping club which meets next Wednesday. However, I have to wait until AFTER our club meets so as not to ruin the surprise for the ladies in the club. I am excited because it is a week before the club meeting and the projects are all cut out and ready to go!!!

Have a Great Day!  Kat

Just Get Me to the Church on Time

Last Sunday I coordinated the wedding of a friend at an adorable country church in Maryhill, WA. The church was built in 1888 and has a lot of character and charm. The Maryhill Women's Club rents the church for weddings and the fee of $250 plus $100 deposit is very reasonable. Behind the church is a building with a modern kitchen and bathroom. Be warned, the rental does not include cleaning so when you come to decorate, be sure to bring your cleaning supplies and your own vacuum. The bride was able to rent a white tent for the reception. The weather was perfect--not too hot!
The church has electrical outlets, a piano, organ and several small tables.

This church is suitable for about 100 guests so is perfect for a small wedding. If you are interested in more information about this church as a venue for a wedding please call Dana Gunkel at (509) 773-3975. I am hoping to be able to share some photos of the decorations later this week.

Thanks for visiting. Have a great day! Kat