Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Take on Map Art

Not long ago, I pinned this creative craft, and thought it was super adorable.  And one day, I might replicate it for our home, but I recently used it as the inspiration for a gift for my younger sister. 

My younger sister is currently living in her own apartment in Chicago, which means she can (and does) decorate it however she pleases, and she's got a fun, somewhat chic-wanderlust decor style.  When I stumbled upon a piece of scrapbook paper that had a vintage style map on it, I had an idea of a keepsake gift for her.  You see, we were raised in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN, and she went to college in Iowa City, and chose Chicago as the city to live out her fabulous 20s (and believe me, they have been fabulous!).

I went about making a plaque with the map paper, and I used the techniques I employed in my Coaster post.  I knew I wanted to showcase this a little differently, so I collected a few other items - frame, foam brushes, Mod Podge, Dimensional Magic and Scotch Foam Mounting Squares.

I had to let the Dimensional Magic dry overnight.  This is difficult for me, since I hate waiting to move on to the next step of a project.

To create the pretty background for the map tile, I cut out a piece of cardboard, using the glass from the frame as my guide.  Then I basically took the same steps I had to cover the tile in scrapbook paper.  Cut out the corners to reduce bulk, fold over and go crazy with the Mod Podge.

Once dry and secure, I applied the Scotch Foam Mounting Squares to the back of the map tile.

Did my best to center the tile, and stuck it to the background. 

I thought I had done a pretty good job so far.  Turns out, I had cut my background board a little too large, and it took quite a bit of maneuvering to fit it in the frame.  Again, measure twice, cut once!  Will I ever learn?

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and she seemed to really like it when I gave it to her over Easter. 


Creations by Kara
Party Button Photobucket Photobucket I'm Topsy Turvy
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We interrupt this Pinning...

To tell you that Pinspiring has just been given the "Editor's Pick" badge for being "particularly exceptional" (blush!) from the awesome editors of Be @ Home, part of the Pocket Change blog network of!

Honored doesn't even begin to describe how this makes me feel!!  I now have a little link over on the left for "Awards and Features" to brag a little! 

We will now return you to your regularly scheduled Pinning.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Crescent Drumsticks FTW!

I've never been much of a cook.  I've become even less of a cook since my son was born, and even less once I returned to work.  Who has time to prepare a healthy, square and delicious meal after 8 hours of work, a 1 hour Metro ride, a 30 minute trip to pick up the munchkin from the time we get home, it's 6:00, and my energy and creativity is spent. 

As always, thank heavens for Pinterest for being creative for me!  I found this recipe from Taste of Home a while ago, and decided it was time to try it.  I enlisted my husband to feed the little man, since this recipe has steps (aka, some prep that isn't just throwing canned ingredients in to a crock pot) and I needed to focus!

I had planned ahead for this recipe, so all ingredients were present and accounted for! 

The recipe was really easy to follow.  First remove and discard the skin from the drumsticks.  I think this took the majority of physical work and cursing of the whole recipe.  Combine 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup barbecue sauce over medium heat, then add the drumsticks.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

While the chicken is simmering, separate the crescent dough in to triangles and place on a lightly greased baking pan.  Brush the dough triangles with some of the beaten egg and sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning.  I didn't measure out my cheese and seasoning, and I was very liberal with it.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and let it cool slightly.  Place the meaty portion of the drumstick at the tip of the triangle, with the bony portion hanging down below the short side of the triangle.

Wrap the dough around the drumstick, placing the seam side down.  Brush the dough with the remaining egg.

Toss these bad boys in the oven at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.  If you're nervous about the done-ness, they should read 180 on the meat thermometer.

I gotta say, I was reluctant about the combination of barbecue sauce and italian seasoning/parmesan cheese, but it was delish!  My husband could only say "wow!" a few times while he quickly inhaled two drumsticks.  I served this with corn in butter sauce, which made the meal a little heavier, but a nice crisp side salad would go well with this too, especially in the warmer months.

Crescent drumsticks, for the win!
I'm Topsy Turvy
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Cups

Turns out, I don't have any "(insert food) cups" recipes pinned, even though I think it's a brilliant concept, and I've made a few ideas I've seen on Pinterest.  And as you can see, there is a wide variety of (insert food) cups ideas and recipes on the site.  Macaroni & Cheese cups.  Bacon & Egg cups.  Lasagna cups.  Cadbury Creme Cookie Cups (droooool)!  The list goes on.

Single serving anything is so convenient, especially for a small family like mine.  And the presentation once these (insert food) cups is so charming, so of course I wanted to try this method of cooking. 

My mom has a recipe for Baked Oatmeal that is so delicous, and can be enjoyed either with warmed milk, or alone (kinda like a brownie).  She made me like 3 big batches right before I returned to work after maternity leave.  She was a smart woman - she knew that I wouldn't have the time or energy to prepare anything for myself, and this dish can easily be cut in to single servings and tossed in the freezer, so I could just grab a bar and go on my way to work.  Plus, oatmeal is good for nursing mamas, bonus!

After I had eaten my Mom-made stash of the good stuff, and my mom had since traveled back to Minnesota, it was up to me to feed myself breakfast.  The recipe is crazy easy, and while I was making it, it dawned on me that this baked oatmeal could reasonably be made in muffin tins as well!  Baked Oatmeal Cups!  By the time I made this realization, my full pan of the good stuff was already baking.  I promised myself I would tackle this method when it was time to make the next batch.

By the way, have you ever gotten oatmeal from Starbucks?  Have you noticed that their packaging says "Perfect Oatmeal"?  Well, in my opinion, Starbucks oatmeal is mediocre at best.  This recipe is the real "Perfect Oatmeal".  Just sayin'.


1/4 Cup Canola oil                                                     6 Cups Old Fashioned (rolled) Oats (not instant)
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce                            4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Cup Non-fat Egg Substitute                                    1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Fat-free Milk
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar (can use less)                 Optional: Craisins, Dried Cherries, Raisins
                                                                                         Chopped Almonds/Walnuts, Flax Meal

Preheat the oven to 350.  Coat your muffin tin with spray oil - make sure the bottom and edges are coated!

In a large bowl, combine all incredients.

Spoon in to muffin tin.  For easiest removal, do not fill completely to the top with the mixture. 

The second to last row in the back are too full!  Those were muffin-toppin' all over the place!
The regular pan recipe calls for 30-35 minutes of baking.  I baked this in the muffin tins for 20-22 minutes.  The best way to determine if they are done is to insert a toothpick in the middle of one, and if it comes out clean (no batter/wet ingredients), then it's done.

Remove from the oven, and let them cool completely. Insert a knife along the edge of the tin and gently loosen the baked oatmeal cups.

Once out of the muffin tin, wrap individual Baked Oatmeal Cups in tinfoil and freeze.  To eat, either defrost and heat with milk, or defrost and eat it like a muffin!


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