Christmas DIY Card Tree

CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE.

Here’s a quick craft I’m not sure where I say it first but it came to me as I was decorating the kitchen for xmas. I used approx 8 tacs and some green sparkly stretchy cord to fashion an xmas tree shape on the wall. Then as the cards came in, I filled it. We sent out cards this year with pride. Next year ( with a newborn may be a different story. Post Xmas, i used the sewing pinking sheers and a hole punch to create gift tags for next year. Yeah, upcycle, recycle. I also only bought one roll of paper and a thrift store bag of bows. All my ribbon was from years past.

There is still so much waste at xmas, it was the least I could do.

What did you craft this xmas?

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HAPPY NEW YEAR.. baby!

Well, it’s a DIY with my husband ! Here’s a pregnancy update ~ We are at 30 weeks on New Years! Holy cow, heh?

Trimester three is going swimmingly (see posts of me eating chocolate and baked goods, finally!) I’m about to start behaving now that the holiday is over. Back to daily either ~ walking, prenatal yoga or swimming. Anywho.. it’s hard to take a flattering photo at this stage so here you go. Professional photos are booked in another month! My husband took me out to a fancy dinner ~I got to wear a fascinator I’ve been dying to wear for a while ~ and got lots of compliments on it ~  OMG truffle oil shoestring fries, wild mushroom soup and beet, goat cheese, pear and pecan salad. YUM.

My sweety has been taking VERY good care of me. xo

 HAPPY HOLIDAYS.  What did you make this holiday?

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Turtles Cupcakes!

Today I made some Nestle turtle chocolate cupcakes. Basically, you bake chocolate cupcakes half way then place a turtle chocolate on them, with more cupcake mixture, and put it back in for another 10 minutes. The recipe is below. If you look at the photo  you can see that I left them in a little too long (we have a brand spankin’ new oven and all appliances.. thanks daddsy! ~and even though i put it on 15 degrees less than the recipe said- it cooked very quickly). So the photo at bottom is the halfway point. They were naughty and decent, not incredible. Husband review? “they would have been better heated up so they’d be gooey. (recipe actually says to do that) But they were cupcakes with turtles in them.. c’mooon!” IMG_3998

 

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click here for the Nestle Turtles Cupcakes recipe!

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My Cat From Hell

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We have watched a couple of episodes of this show on Animal Planet, lately. click here for tv show info. We are now thinking our cats are pretty awesome! Lol. Our grey cat Salal is at optimal health once again (see previous posts of vet / home made medicine recipes), and getting into everything! Awesome! I forgot how he loves to eat wrapping ribbon. Those festive barfs sure keep us on our toes.
Here’s holiday greetings from our frisky friends to you, my favourite blog following friends!
Warm hugs and all the Kongs & ocean swims in the universe, to our late best dog friend Amos. I miss you & put a photo of you on our tree, this year. Xo.

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Mint Chocolate Chip or Butterscotch HayStacks, anyone?

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20121222-092713.jpg I wrote a lengthy blog to go with these photos but it didn’t publish! Something was lost between iPhone publish, slow Internet upstairs and space, I guess. I also experimented with a new app called “vintique” which has old filters and text options. So I messed up the gingerbread photo but you get the idea.
Haystack recipe is from my late Nana ~ recipe found on this blog last Xmas.
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oh how I’ve missed you blog

Well here we meet again blog friends.. me by the woodstove with the winds howling and once again impending doom of power outage hangs over us. I’m solo, with my man at work today and possibly not even home tonight if the 80km wind gusts keep up ~ there will be no ferry home. Fingers crossed for spoons tonight with my man!    It’s been an eventful and somewhat creative while since we’ve spoken. I considered doing a V-log today but you have to pay to post videos on wordpress.com unless they are uploaded to youtube first. I digress ~ here’s what I’ve been up to.

We have been enjoying my record a day BLOG project which is now in month FOUR or twelve! It has been the soundtrack to many creative festivities around the pad, including baking. Here we baked more Theryaki smoked salmon tarts with Mr. Music maker’s help! And a one and a two and a … 

The record blog has been getting a great response and has a ton of followers. What a riot going through all different genres and styles. There’s a really romantic slowness to the vinyl process. The stink of the cover albums, the inserts, the album art. Deciding to get up to flip over to Side B. All great.

Check it out if you wish ~ just for the records BLOG 365 project

 I also made a another batch of peanut butter balls ~see my blog here for the recipe near xmas.

We had an awesome visit from my in~laws recently. Thankfully the weather was excellent FINALLY and we spent some time down at the beach. We gathered oysters and clams and then were told we couldn’t take them home (by a strange fella on the shore with no evidence but a fantastic story of  a shipping container that flipped over in the ocean and some chemicals released into the local waters).

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Because it’s worth it.

Still not feeling the creative bug as I ‘m back at work and trying to get rid of this flu bug. These two videos make me smile so i hope they brighten your day as well.

toenails from a man.

treats n snoozin. snoozin n treats. Oh god. i can smell his face. Read on!

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the screamin heebie jeebies & wild rose hips

Nothing brings newly weds together quite like both being sick at the same time. Neither of us have even been sick since we met (2.5 years ish ago) so this week was an extra special one. We are on day 4 of cold & flu ~he missed work for 3 days, I missed my 4 day weekend. But we are on the mend. Cabin fever has for sure set in, especially for our dog. It gives me a day on the couch under several variations of blanket, to update my 365 blogs! The record blog is getting a great response and I am loving all the music and research that goes with the posts. If you haven’t been over there it’s just for the records ~another 365 project BLOG click on this coloured link.

For today, here’s a running photography commentary of a few of the things I’ve been making this week:

            

rose hips / rose hip tea

These are the rose hips I picked at our place in the fall, dried out and made tea with last week. This week we drank jars of it for the Vit C!!

 the chick is annoying but there are great facts about rose hips in this video.

   We bottled wine & beer but have been too sick to really try either of them! I got my sweety grolsch style glass bottles with ceramic tops on Craigslist via a German brewery.

we bottled homebrew Pinot Grigos ~yum & my sweety's first crack at a honey ale with homepicked blackberries!

         

thai smoked salmon, pesto pinwheels

 

     

grew some cat-grass (xmas gift from dad) & Estevan went a bit psycho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xmas leftover turkey loaf for Amos dog

 

froze half ~used gravy, skin & giblet bits & a regular dogbone recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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the christmas whale… ho.

BEST xmas card EVER

This photo goes with the above best ever xmas card by my friend Tigger's child. So awesome.

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jerk turkey

Jen’s famous Turkey Jerky appeared after 2 days of processing leftovers from our giant, delicious and generously donated (thanks Dad) Xmas turkey! I almost over dehydrated it again but the husband’s review suggests that I “aced” it. 

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Bake Sale!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my lovely blog readers! I made a ton of stuff in the last 2 weeks but as many of your lives were.. mine was also busy. Here’s a recap of the seemingly large bake sale we hosted over Xmas.   We didn’t actually attend any and don’t have any kids ~ it was an intimate gathering of west coast family of 3 & several animals ~full of maple butter stuffed turkey (30lbs!) and cashew apple dressing. My husband is a rock star chef and I stepped up to the plate with several baking experiments. Here’s a sampling:  Chocolate coffee and bacon cupcakes (type that into the search for the recipe on this blog this past year). My sweety made enough sugar and cream cheese cookies for an elementary school which we lovingly decorated like school kids ~ while listening to many xmas vinyl’s ~2 shown below. We would have eaten these two cats because they were such bad kitties this holiday but they were too adorable at photo opps. I made Haystacks ( I renamed Beaver dams) in both butterscotch and also mint and chocolate ~both with peanut butter and chow mein noodles (recipe from Nana on this blog). Not shown but previously blogged were peanut butter balls ~ they were my fav and went first ~ my husband’s ginger bread cookies & turkey dog bones. Hope I didn’t forget anything. winks*

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The traditional Christmas eve moose.

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A few dozen sugar cookies were decorated tonight! Wine & Christmas carols on the record player.. Such wholesome fun! We prepped dinner for tomorrow & made other goodies, with details to follow tomorrow. For now, we must go to sleep so that Santa will come (in this scary coastal windstorm)! Happy Christmas eve my little crafty elves!
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Ho! Ho! Ho!

fish heads, croquettes & a mounted salmon

The pets & I spent a lovely, stormy but warm-by-the-woodstove kind of day yesterday ~with my dad in our Quadra kitchen!  We laboured for many hours and created 5 dozen deep fried Greek Christmas ling cod & snapper Croquettes! YUM! He had put a sticky note in the bottom of a returned, clean pyrex with his mailing address for refills. Dad arrived with Xmas cheer and the rest of the ingredients. We mastered the recipe yet again! See my BLOG OCT. 22, 2011 ~ for complete photos & how to make. Thanks Dad & Abby for a lovely day.  This being a very FISHMAS week for him… what with being Xmas Mounted Salmon punked, see BLOG entry this week for more festive details.

My creative photography share today is also about our stinky friends. This time from Chinatown, Vancouver.

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Roe! Roe! Roe! Merry Fishmas!

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Roe! Roe! Roe!
Yesterday, and I can’t be sure of the details… But a mystery merriment elf team punked my dad’s condo with some fishy Christmas cheer! It was dad’s fault for giving out his spare keys to just any hooligans. Later this holiday, a video will be circulated with merriment details, possibly here.
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Snapper snowflakes… for dogs

That’s right.. another excuse to make dogbones for my dog…  Xmas party season.

Last Xmas my practice co-horts raved about the dogbones I baked and gave out at potlucks. So this year when asked, it was easy to oblige, as every day with our aged pup is a chance to spoil him. He was such a big helper standing over me in the kitchen for 2 hours! Here’s something that I learned that made my life much easier. The last time I made turkey dogbones (see previous blog entries) I froze three big balls of batter in ziplocs. I simply opened the wedding freezers and found 4 balls ~2 were the snapper  and 2 were turkey. I thawed, rolled, cookie cut & baked them up in no time. The snapper recipe was a little lack luster so I added peanut butter and garlic salt. Sounds gross but dogs love the ingredients.   

This year I went the silly extra step of putting them in little santa bags with bows. And yes, Amos taste tested each batch and got all the ends, saved in a jar on the counter (which already requires refilling).

Happy Christmas to the mutts that make us so happy all year. 

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cheesey Pointsettias

IMPERIAL CHEESE CRISPS

((THANXS to my awesome mother in law ~Barb for the recipe))

1 carton Imperial Cheese

1 cup flour

½ cup butter

1 ½ cups Rice Krispies

 Blend cheese & butter, add flour and Rice Krispies. Spoon onto greased cookie sheet, push down with fork.

 375 deg for 8-10 min.

These bad boys were super easy and quick to make. “pleasing sharpness & crunch!” is the husband review. And that man loves him a cookie.

 SIDENOTE: Living on Quadra I bitch and grind my teeth when food shopping. 2 batches of these cost $20. The imperial cheese container was $7 and the Krispies small box was $6. CRAZY. Forget shopping local when it comes to Xmas baking, is what I’m learning this year..sorry community..I’m a Costco convert.

And speaking of Poinsettias  (workshopping that segway)…     I had every intention of spending more money than I should at a bead & gem openhouse Friday (after my awesome Friday night date… With my Dad! Thanxs again dad xo). But try as I did for 40 mins, I couldn’t find the party. Lol. Funny when that happens, heh? As I came close to losing my shit, I 911 called my husband. He simply said “baby…you go get yourself a pointsettia”. So I did. And it’s pretty. It’s my very first one as an adult, actually. This holiday season is really shaping up.

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SomeWIKI  facts about this lovely plant:      The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]

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Crafty Womyn on Quadra

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I had an awesome time with a cabin full of lovely crafting ladies, this weekend. It was in a really cool A frame cabin that happened to be next door to our first Quadra beach rental! See blogs from 2 years ago for those photos. Christmas crafts, female shennanogans & wine were enjoyed. My peanut butter balls were a hit! Lol. Thanks to Bluetree photography for the photos. PS. You should totally like them on facebook.

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We are a Hemnes Family. So shoot me.

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(sigh, head tilted to side). I love my growing record collection. Today’s “make” was accessorized by a glass of Coppermoon cab sav & Xmas cheer! We got our Xmas tree today (no incriminating details will be shared of that adventure…) & cooked a Turkey, maple-butter style. We got an awesome amount of leftovers, dog treats & stock to freeze, from it.

20111204-211130.jpg Between basteings & hot tub dips, I… organized my record collection! I know, exciting right?
I’m gearing up for my new vinyl a day BLOG & needed to make some sense of order. Next step will be the tech department teaching me about USB vinyl uploading, how to post audio tracks on wordpress & choosing a new blog name & theme. I labelled sections, found covers for strays & loved up my Ikea shelf! We are a Hemnes Family. So shoot me. Lol.

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Deck the Balls with Peanut Butter

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20111203-094607.jpg As a kid, my mom used make loads of Xmas goodies. Possibly my fav was Peanut Butter Balls. She even mailed them to University or they were frozen waiting for my visits. These gooey, crispy, balls of joy are a non-bake, coconut coated, idiot proof recipe ~ that as long as I stay away from the chili powder & hot sauce… I’ll ace. So today, I honoured my mom, by using her recipe properly & made 4 batches of kick ass balls, for dessert, Xmas parties & freezing. The last batch I DID alter, by adding nutella. My husband was a “big helper” on the ball making committee. Did that come out wrong? Lol!
What’s your fav Christmas family goodie or memory? Tell us in the comment section! Happy almost holidays.
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Nothing says Canadian Christmas quite like Moose… gingerbread cookies

Technically my husband baked these yesterday but he said that I was “his best big helper”, so that counts as a “make”, non? We decided to bake treats this Xmas (for my first time ever ~ hello feminism, take a breather this month) & we kicked off the mission on Johnny Cash Sunday by baking Big Soft Ginger Cookies. click here for recipe. yum.  Rated 5 stars, with 3000 positive reviews, my creative, hunk of a husband chose this recipe. I essentially, was on the photography, sampling & decorating committees. Photos of fully sprinkled, decked out cookies not available. Reason? We ate ’em.

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Shortbread short listed

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I’m a total farm fresh egg snob now. We love eggs from the neighborhood! This week I was a bit “make” lazy but part of any creative process is purging, organizing, planning. I cleaned out (unpacked from our last move, actually) the recipe file box. I threw out a bunch of hand me downs I’ll never make & honoured some handwritten family & friends recipes by protecting them in ziplocs & filed everything in the kitchen. I made a “to make” pile, all of which my sweety is also excited about. We also have as winter goals 1) learn how to & make Sushi. 2) eat more salmon from the freezer, in creative ways. I’m still in crockpot heaven… Got any crockpot fav recipes or websites for me? I’ll post what I make. Here’s the short list for Xmas baking! Im sure dogbones will also be on the list (for Amos & to take to xmas work potlucks). I’ve never as a grown up, actually made anything for Xmas!

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20111114-150147.jpg Blanche’s Shortbread, Nana’s haystacks & mom’s peanut butter balls. Classics. What are you baking this Xmas? Please share a recipe in my comments?
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my little cod croquette!

I was feeling frisky in the kitchen and decided to learn a new way of using some of the frozen ziplocs of fish in our freezer – thanks to my fisherman husband. The above video is Hilarious! I went with a Greek Christmas recipe Cod Croquettes but I used Ling Cod & Snapper. I didn’t dress quite like the crazy video lady (winks to husband) but I did use her recipe. It was a lengthy process & as usual I made way too much so after dinner we were still frying croquettes. Here’s how I did it:

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pan fried all the fish in butter & garlic till flakey. Made mashed potatoes with milk. Melted butter with onions, green onions & more garlic & parsley. I grated Mozzarella cheese and crumbled Feta.

20111022-093509.jpg I mixed it all together in a big pot and put in the fridge for 45 mins.

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I made little balls of mixture (recipe called croquettes to be fingers but mine fell apart during frying). I dipped balls in egg whites then in a mixture of Panko & Cajun seasoned fish crisp & lemon pepper.

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Then I tightened up my Martha Stewart wedding apron (from Annelli in the Saulte) and got down with some frying. I used olive oil and blue mechanics paper towels for grease drying after. Naughty bits of yummy were consumed with wine & sour cream to dip. Fisherman’s review: “they were very tasty. The lemon pepper made them zingy. They were the prefect combination of zingy & crispy. It was good”. There you have it folks! Ling Cod & Snapper Croquettes.
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