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Sunday, September 23, 2012


I can be a staunch traditionalist at times, and other times I can be a rebel.   When it came to table assignments for the wedding, I just wasn't too jazzed about the individual seating cards and decided to go for table assignments instead.  I got a couple of raised eyebrows, including one from the coordinator at the venue, discouraging me since people would have to look at ten tables to find themselves.  My feeling was maybe, maybe not....don't the odds suggest that you may find yourself before the tenth table?, and after all, the guests have the entire cocktail hour to casually find where they are sitting.   Anyway.....I had a design in my mind and I couldn't be swayed on this one!
Keeping with the Colorado and autumn theme, I used evergreen with pine cone sprigs, real deer antlers and clip art with a pine tree theme to put it all together....and before, you get all sensitive on me...those antlers weren't taken just for sport, there were many great meals consumed from the meat.  I know, to each his own....the Father of the Bride is a hunter, so it made sense to want to add some family heritage to the evening.  After all, that was better than the kilt idea....aaahhhh, but I digress....

You will have to imagine, a banquet table with a lovely tablecloth and some candlelight to add some ambiance versus my basement carpet, and it will look absolutely awesome!

I found the clip art in my many travels through the internet for free clip art, then used one of my favorite fonts that I found on and by way of a text box in  Microsoft word, I typed the table numbers within the oval.

The paper is just a simple buff colored scrapbook paper and I burned the edges the old fashioned way, over a candle.  I did find that the paper didn't burn like I remembered from some crafts I've done ages ago (probably something with the way paper is more eco-friendly these days).  So after I had glued the pages to the mat board, I painted some of the edges with some brown paint.
Finally, I used jute to hold two sets of antlers together so that they would have some stability, then propped the cards up in between the tines.  My favorite friend these days are glue dots.  I love, love, love glue dots!!!!  So, as needed I used glue dots to fasten the cards to the tines; I didn't want them slipping and falling in the event a guest bumped the table.

I have to thank my brother-in-law Steve for providing the antlers for me.  This project turned out to be everything I imagined and more!!

Friday, September 14, 2012


It's taken me several years to perfect this bread, so I thought I'd share and save you many of the headaches I have experienced along the way.  From gooey centers, to bottoms of the loaf stuck in the pan, to sunken centers....I've lived it.  So over the past two summers, I've been working on the recipe and cooking method and finally got this sucker figured out.   The only thing now is how to manage the garden.....where do all these zucchini come from anyway?  No matter how much we cut down on the number of plants, we still have way too many.  I mean how much bread (this year - 14 loaves) and zucchini cake (this year - two 13x9") and roasted zucchini (lots) can you stomach?  That doesn't count those we took to work or gave to the neighbors!!    It reminds me of Forrest Gump....shrimp gumbo, boiled shrimp, fried shrimp, baked shrimp, shrimp gumbo.......

Here you go: (makes 2 loaves)
3 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup oil (I use canola)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. lemon peel
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3 1/4 cups flour

Tip one:  After shredding the zucchini, leave it out overnight to thoroughly dry....Can't tell you how many sunken breads I had by not letting the zucchini dry out thoroughly. I always squeezed it....but I still had problems-the overnight dry is BIG.

Tip two:  cook lower and longer....most recipes I saw had the oven temperature at 350 and cooked for approximately 50 minutes.  Once I lowered it to 325 and cooked it for 65 minutes.  BRILLIANT!

Tip three:  Only use the electric mixer for the eggs, sugar and oil.  Using it throughout overworked the dough.  It's considered a "quick bread" and quick breads are hand mixed.

Tip four:  Since I began adding the mini semi-sweet morsels to my bread ages ago...I always had a problem getting the bread out of the pan.  Big chunks of bread and/or chips were left in the bottom, no matter what greasing method I used (and I used plenty).  So frustrating.  Once I learned to use cooking spray all over and then cut a piece of parchment paper for the bottom it was MAGIC!

Tip five:  I have always used the High Altitude flour (learned that one from my Mom) living in Colorado.  Once I added an extra 1/4 cup of flour, my bread rised, raised, rose? a bit better.  It's typical of most high altitude instructions to add extra flour.  Zucchini bread will never be as beautiful in height as a banana bread, but it did help....and most important, it didn't dry it out.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Beat the eggs, sugar and the oil using an electric mixer.  Add all the other ingredients by hand; leaving the zucchini and chips for last.  Spray the bread pans with cooking spray and use parchment paper on the bottom.  Divide the dough evenly between the two pans and bake for 65 minutes.

I wrap my loaves while they are still warm first in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil.  I pretty much have bread all throughout the winter and spring.  A nice big glass of milk and a piece of bread.  Yummy!  Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


It's time...I can feel the change in the air.  Crisp, cool mornings; neighborhood trees starting to change color and summer flowers that have said ENOUGH! I can't take it anymore.  So, it's time to change up the porch in honor of fall approaching. 
You can see I even changed up the planter.  That planter USED to look nice at the beginning of the summer.  But, too many 90 and 100 degree days just took the life out of the plants.  Poor little guys!
So, I bought some kale, dusty miller and mums.  I added a new handmade pottery planter and my porch has life again.  Give it just a couple of weeks and these little babies will really fill in the pot nicely.
As for the door decoration. I've had the garland  and wreath for several years now, I just decided to add a bit more to the wreath.  I bought a couple of fall picks at (you guessed it) Hobby Lobby for 50% off and took some heads of the silk mums I already had from another projects and my trusty glue gun and I went to town adding some extra texture and color to the wreath.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I've seen candy wrappers done for special occasions and I thought it would be a fun surprise (I can't tell you anymore than that).  So I was on a mission to make it a sweet (pardon the pun), but not "hokey" wedding memento.

Here's the finished product. 

I didn't realize how few chocolate bars with foil are on the market these days.  Take a look next time you're out and you'll see that many have gone to a single plastic wrapper.  Those that are foil with an outside wrapper are usually the bigger bars.  So, once I found the bars, the rest was a breeze.
I found a beautiful fall scrapbook paper that had gold touches in the paper....perfect, since the foil on the bars I purchased was also gold.    Next, I selected a simple beige flecked paper and made ovals (I was working in Microsoft Office Publisher) with the bride and groom's name and wedding date.  In small print it also says "made in Colorado", since that's where they found each other and became a couple.

Below are the photos that show the steps along the way:
 Purchase the bars.....I have to tell you I got a great buy on these at Big Lots.  It's crazy what the average grocery store wants for these large chocolate bars!
 Next. remove the outside wrapper, leaving only the foil.  Use the original wrapper for the length/width dimensions so that you can make a pattern to then cut your own.
Find the papers you want to use and make your personalized wrappers and labels.  Then, wrap the bar (I used a simple glue stick) and add the label.

These are going (oh yeah....I can't tell you).

There's a blog post on that coming soon.........