Friday, February 15, 2013

Fab Friday - Surprise Edition

Happy Friday lovelies! I hope your work day is short and happy hour lasts as long as you need it to! Today is a very special (and late) edition of Fab Friday because we have exciting news here at 3CB.

So, I ordered a new shirt that I thought I should share because it's totally adorable and it is handmade by a crafty bitch just like you and me. Here is her shop.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love at First Bite


So tomorrow is the big Vday and my son's school is having a little party to hop the kids up on sugar and send them home all crazy and demented. I signed up to bring cupcakes because who doesn't love cupcakes (!!) and I would rather be the mom with the cupcakes than the one who brought the broccoli. Am I right?!

These cupcakes are my absolute favorite in the world. I usually make them for my birthday in June which is prime strawberry season here in Southern California. Even though it's a touch early for strawberries, I really wanted to make these cupcakes for the kids & staff. They taste like summer sunshine and blue skies and happiness. Ok, well maybe they just really taste like strawberry, but they make me happy.

Strawberry Blossom Cupcakes
2-1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners, set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer (I use my stand mixer).
4. Add eggs. Mix until smooth and creamy.
5. Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix until combined.
6. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
7. Gently fold in strawberries.
8. Fill cupcake liners half full and bake 18-20 minutes. Let cool.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup fresh whole strawberries
2 tablespoons strawberry liqueur (the alcohol cooks off, I swear!)
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
16 ounces cream cheese
3 sticks unsalted butter
3-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Please strawberries, liqueur and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. Stir and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Let cool, then place mixture in a food processor/blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (or stand mixer), mix the cream cheese and butter until creamy.
5. Slowly add the confectioners sugar and mix until combined.
6. Add the vanilla and strawberry puree and mix until combined.
7. Frost and serve.

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes and I have NO idea where it original recipe came from. My mom found it ages ago and we've been in love with it since.  I hope they make your taste-buds dance with delight. Oh, and they are totally calorie free....um...yeah.

Happy Vday!
~Lizzie

Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekend Fave

I had a little time to play this weekend.  One of the first things I did was enter in this month's Peachy Keen Stamps release challenge.  This month's release is SO cute!  My package should arrive in the mail today and I am SUPER excited!  IN any case here is my favorite from the makings.  It was a monochrome challenge. Any color.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Good morning lovelies! Today's post is brought to you by necessity, the mother of invention. You see, my house has been ripped apart for the last 3.5 weeks while we were getting new paint and floors and all my crafty goodness has been inaccessible in the garage. While this has been a huge pain in the rear, it is so worth it! It's almost like a new house! Goodbye nasty vinyl floor and forest green carpet, hello gorgeous wood!


Anyway, to get back on topic...I volunteered to be part of a committee to start a community garden in our area and we are in the midst of fundraising right now. We needed a donation box for folks at the preschool to put checks in since I am not always there to collect them. So, as usual, I volunteered and promptly got in over my head. I am nowhere near the paper crafty person that Melissa is, especially with the Cricut, but I found some adorable stuff over at SVG Cuts and knew I had to try. A quick trip to Michaels for colored paper and I was off!

I started with a used FedEx Tube (why do they call them tubes?) stolen (with permission) from the FedEx store trash  and cut it down to a manageable size. I then covered it with a used brown paper bag from Trader Joes (remember all my craft stuff is in the garage, no accessible paper!) to get rid of the ever so lovely FedEx logos. I thought I would make a million little paper veggies and have them all over the box, then I remembered why I don't like doing these things; all those damn tiny pieces! Anything that requires an exacto knife and leaves glue all over me and my work area is too damn small. I did end up with some veggies, but not nearly as many as my original plan called for. 

I think it turned out rather cute, in spite of the distinct lack of kale, don't you?




This end was a little tricky as I needed to be able to open it to collect the donations. I ended up making flaps and covering them and then using a velcro sticky dot to keep it closed. It won't withstand repeated opening and closing very well, but it will work for now. 

Now that the collection box is done, it's time to start planning my plot at the garden. What are you growing this spring? 

Happy sprouting! 
~Lizzie

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Finally! A scrapbook layout!


So the entire reason I started collecting scrapbooking stuff was so I could well... scrapbook.  Guess what I NEVER do?  It's ridiculous really.  This weekend, I finally got one done! Only 6 billion to go! Wahoo!
So I made this double page layout for my son.  This was his first day at a new school that has been a major turning point for us.  So it was definitely worth scraping.  The nautical nods to page 2 go with the theme the teacher picked for her intro and I included the message from the bottle he received that day from his new teacher.  The circles on the side of the pictures have hidden journaling cards.

Here are some close ups:


Recipe:
The paper packs are from Close to my Heart.  Most is from the Scholastic paper pack that will still be available.  Some is from an older retired pack.  The embellishments on page 1:  The schoolhouse, flourishes and apple are from SVGCuts.com.  The Title I made on my Silhouette using Design Studio. Page 2:  The frames and titles I did in Silhouette design studio.  The compass is from the silhouette store.

I feel like I am a little rusty on this scrapbook thing.  But I printed about 400 pictures form 2012 that are GOING to get done.  Hopefully.  It was a good plan, lets see how long it takes! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Eat More Kale!

In my neighborhood, I am know as the Kale lady (well, that and the crazy chicken lady, but that's not important here) mostly because I have a sticker on the back of my car that says "Eat More Kale". I won't get into the story behind it, as it is somewhat political and we don't do politics here on 3CB, but Google is your friend. The other reason behind eating more kale is simply that kale rocks. It's a green superfood that contains awesome antioxidants, more than 100% of your RDA of Vitamins A, C and K, Lutein which helps keep eyes and vision healthy and it also contains a decent amount of fiber.

The downside of raw kale is that it can be hard to get down if you aren't a greens eater. I tend to chop if finely and throw it in salads and soups. But getting your kids to eat it? That's where these babies come in.


Kale chips are getting quite popular again and with very good reason. They are super tasty and once you get your kiddo past the green, very vegetable like appearance, they will scarf them down. Reluctant husbands also find these tolerable. :) Here's the basic recipe: 

Kale Chips
1 bunch Kale (any type, but we grown our own organic kale here and harvest the leaves young.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
pinch kosher salt and coarse ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. 
2. Wash kale, pat dry or use a salad spinner to get the water out and cut kale into chip size pieces (remember, they will shrink in baking). 
3. Put all your ingredients in a bowl and toss (I have also seen people use zip baggies and toss the ingredients in that, but we don't like throwing those away). 
4. Lay the kale flat on a baking sheet (lightly spray or use a silpat) and bake for 30 minutes or until crisp. 
5. Harvest or buy more kale, 'cause these don't last long! 



Variations on perfection: 
- Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. Parmesan or Asiago cheese over the chips before baking.
- Add 2 Tbsp soy sauce and 1.5 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Add the juice of one lime, 1 tsp lime zest and 2 tsp chili powder
- Add 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard and 2 tsp. Herbs de Provence
- Add 3 cloves finely chopped garlic and 3 Tbsp garlic salt
- Add 1/4 cup sherry vinegar and 2 tsp fine salt

I hope you love these as much as we do! 

Yours in kale, 
~Lizzie

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simple Joy

Happy New Year to you all and my apologies for my absence here this last week. After an emergency neck fusion surgery in December for Mr Lizzie, followed by the whole house coming down with RSV (a nasty little respiratory virus) and the coup de grace of a raging stomach flu sending me to the E.R. for fluids last week, it's been an insane month away from the blog.

I can tell you that this year holds so much for us here at 3CB, new projects and inspirations, new hopes and dreams and even new floors at my house! So exciting!

Today's post is a simple recipe that I threw together to use up some apples. It was lovely in a couple of ways 1. It warmed up the kitchen (If you hadn't heard, San Diego is having a "cold snap", it has gotten down to about 35 degrees at night...laugh away East Coasters.) 2. It made the house smell so tasty and homey. Apple crisp is one of those simple joys...it's easy and everyone loves it.



Lizzie's Use Up the Apples Crisp
4 apples (whatever variety, slightly tart work best)
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. rolled oats
1/3 C. butter, soft
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 8" square baking dish with non-stick/veg oil. Peel, core and slice apples and place in baking dish. Combine the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes or until top is crunchy and apples are softened. Serve with or without ice cream/whipped cream.

I can't wait to share all the wonderful things this year holds...

Until next time...
~Lizzie