Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eggnog Thumprints

 I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time!  It comes from a fantastic Holiday Sweets and Treats recipe book, a treasure that I found at a library book sale. These are such a delicious little pop of sweet goodness, rolled into a lovely tiny cookie! Don't let the name fool you, there is not actually eggnog in the recipe. These are tender, walnut-encrusted, nutmeg infused butter cookies, with a creamy, rum flavored filling!

Here it is, I hope you try them and I hope you love them!

Eggnog Thumbprints

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 slightly beaten egg whites (i added a bit of water to mine to make it go a longer way)

rum filling
ground nutmeg
finely chopped walnuts

1. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. Mix in the flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

2. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll in egg whites, then in chopped walnuts to coat. Place balls one inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each ball to make an indentation. I try to find something round (like the end of my coffee brush) to do it, because my thumb never seems to do the right job!

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Pipe or spoon 1/2 teaspoon of rum filling into the center of each cooled cookie. The recipe calls for you to sprinkle nutmeg on the top, but I used cinnamon instead, because I like cinnamon better, and that's just how I roll!

Rum filling: in a small mixing bowl, beat 1/4 cup butter with an electric mixer, until softened. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in 1 teaspoon of rum extract, and 1-2 teaspoons of milk until you have the consistency that you like. I did add a bit of nutmeg to this mixture!

Enjoy! This makes about 40 cookies so it is a good size batch of goodness!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Creative Memories Nordic Christmas

It's that time of year again, Christmas fairs, Christmas Card Making parties and Christmas baking!

When Creative Memories comes out with new Christmas Paper, I just have to put it to good use and make some Christmas Cards and gift tags. I wanted to share with you, a sample of some of the Nordic Christmas inspired cards and gift tags.

Anyone who has signed up for a Christmas Card Making class with me, will be making a sample of these here cards! What do you think of them?

Thank you for stopping by!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

83 Days Until Christmas!

Wow, can you believe that it is only 83 days until Christmas?

Tell me, have you started your shopping? Have you started your crafting? I am about to go into my three busiest months, with copious amounts of hours spent in my craft room creating!

I have already started taking orders, so if there is anything you need, please let me know!

Happy crafting!


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quinoa Salad Recipe

Quinoa (keen' wah), have you tried it yet?

If not, you really should try it, perhaps instead of rice? All summer, we ate quinoa salad instead of pasta salad, and I thought that once the cool weather came along I would be done with it.

I'm not! It makes such a great tasting, healthy lunch. It is high in protein, and is actually gluten free. I thought I would share with you, my quinoa salad recipe. Try it and let me know what you think.

Quinoa Salad

1/2 cup dried quinoa
1 cup chicken broth

Cook according to package directions. I use broth instead of water, and this eliminates the need to use any kind of dressing at all.

Once quinoa is cooked, transfer to a bowl and cool in the fridge.

Once cool, add a total of 2 cups of chopped up veggies. I like to use minced red onion, green and red peppers, cucumber and celery. If you use a bit more than 2 cups, all the better!

Add 1/3 cup of crumbled feta cheese, mix and serve. That is it! So easy and this makes a great lunch or side dish.

I also like to add a few walnuts and dried cranberries as well.

I hope you try it, and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Bread and Butter Pickles

It's that time of the year, when cucumbers abound! If you are tired of eating them raw, try making some sweet and slightly tangy bread and butter pickles. Here is one of my favorite recipes.


You will need

  • 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 1 large onion, quartered, sliced about 1/4-inch thickness
  • 1/3 cup pickling salt
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, or use half pickling spices
  • 1 red pepper


Wash cucumbers and cut off the ends. Slice crosswise into 1/8-inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with the salt and onion slices; cover with about 4 to 6 cups of ice cubes. Cover and let stand for 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.
Prepare a boiling water bath. Add water to a large canner with rack and heat to about 180°. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above the filled jars.
 Wash jars thoroughly and heat water in a small saucepan; put the lids in the saucepan and bring almost to the boil; lower heat to very low to keep the lids hot. I also like to keep my jars warm in the oven at 350 degrees.
Once your cucumbers have sat for the 4 hours or overnight:
Drain the cucumber mixture. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the drained cucumber mixture and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, loosely pack the vegetables in prepared jars. Ladle the liquid into jars, dividing evenly among the jars.

 With a clean damp cloth, wipe away any drips around the rims of the jars then cover with 2-piece jar lids.  Adjust the screw on rings firmly but do not over-tighten. Place filled in the prepared boiling water bath, adding more hot water as needed to bring the water up to about 1 inch above the jars. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Lift the jars out of the water and place on a rack to cool.

Makes about 6-7 small jars.

Leave this to sit for about 3-4 days before you enjoy them! Don't forget your friends who do not make pickles, this would be a great treat to surprise them with!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Creative Memories Enchanted

Today, I am just sharing some projects using the Creative Memories Enchanted paper and embelishments. When this paper came out, I thought it was the most beautiful paper that Creative Memories offered, yet I didn't want to use it!

Then I found out that neither did anyone else who bought it from me. So I decided to bite the bullet and create some cards and a Chipboard Album with it!

Here are the cards....

And here is the Enchanted chippbaord album...

Soon, I will post some page layouts for my scrapbook!

Happy Creating, enjoy your week!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Better than Starbucks Blueberry bar

When I have a day of writing ahead of me, I like to take my laptop, my journal and my notebook and go to Starbucks for hours on end. Yes I have become one of "those" people! One latte in, before a second coffee, I like to get myself a blueberry bar. I love them. Well, I can tell you, I am no longer in need of their blueberry bar, because I have perfected my own sweet, oatmeal crumbled goodness. I present to you, a lovely recipe for the best blueberry bar you will ever taste. Try it, and you will love it!

Blueberry Bar

Step 1 for Filling:

3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
4 tsp cornstarch

In a saucepan, bring blueberries, sugar and orange juice to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Next wisk cornstarch with 2 tbsp water; whisk into blueberries and boil, stirring until thickened, about 1 minute. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface and refridgerate until cooled.

Step 2, for base and topping:

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (I have used 1/2 whole wheat flour as well)
1 cup brown sugar (you can use 3/4 cup if you like)
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter or margarine, cubed

In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, sugar, orange rind and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until you get course crumbs. Press 1/2 into an 8 inch square pan; spread with blueberry filling. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture, pressing lightly.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F until light golden, approximately 45 minutes. Let cool on baking rack before cutting into squares.

Enjoy this blueberry, yummy, slice of goodness! Try it and let me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies

I just needed to share an oatmeal cookie recipe with you! It's one I use often, actually it's one of only two oatmeal cookie recipes that I use. But it is fool proof and I know that is always a good thing. Please note at the end of my recipe I will give you some ways to alter it, as always!

I am not sure what possessed me to bake tonight, when it's so hot in my house, but I did. Of course Haley wanted to help, so to keep my patience about me, I decided to start a second "somethin' somethin'" while she was scooping the cookies out into balls. I know it doesn't sound like a good idea, but trust me, while she is taking forever and a day to scoop, I kept myself occupied with cooking fresh blueberries on the stove. We won't be needing any Starbucks blueberry bar tomorrow, let me tell you, because the one I have baking in the oven, is sure to be a winner!

So here we are, onto the Oatmeal Cookie recipe!

Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips (or a combo of chocolate chips, coconut, pecans, walnuts, cranberries, etc.)

Cream together the margarine or butter with the brown sugar. Add in your eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Add flour mix into the bowl of margarine and sugar. Add in your oatmeal and chocolate chips.

Use a cookie scoop, and place about an inch apart. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Note: in the one cup of chocolate chips, you really can add anything you like, as long as it is approx. 1 cup worth of goodies. If you add flax seed, these cookies are phenomenal! Use about 1/4 cup of flax seed and the rest chocolate chips. Then they have some health benefits right?

Enjoy! Please let me know if you made them, if you like them, and if you added anything different!

Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Lemon Feta Salad Dressing and Marinade

This is great on salad or on chicken! Try it, go ahead now, if you're going to the store, get the ingredients! Go!

Lemon Feta Salad Dressing and Marinade

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove (or two, is what I would do)
1/4 cupp fresh dill
1/4 fresh parsley
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper as desired

Wisk all ingredients together.

If using as a marinade, let chicken soak for 15 minutes.

Variations for this....use mint, oregano, chives, or whatever is your favorite herb. I add a dash of agave nectar to this for a hint of sweetness! It is a large lemon flavor, so make sure everyone eating it, likes lemon!

Happy grilling and salad eating, bring on summer!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Cats Meow

This is just a quick post today, lots going on! It has been raining like crazy, and I have been scrapbooking like crazy, trying to design an abundance of pages for my All About You Album class.

I just wanted to share a quick something with you.

A few years ago, I made my daughter one of those 12 x 12 Memory Box frames with pictures of our pets. She loved it! Acted (at the time) like it was the best gift ever. Now I only get that reaction from giving her cash and pop star magazines.

I digress!

Two of our beloved pets have since passed on, and we have replaced them with two others. Cats of course. One of them is my buddy Harvey, the other is her "best friend" Angel. These two have a connection that is so wonderful. This cat truly is her confidant, her friend, her companion and her sunshine. My girlie has been bugging me to make another frame for her, of just Angel. So last weekend I took some time to do just that, and I wanted to share it with you. I love the way the pictures of her turned out!

What do you think of it?

This is a great gift idea, if that special someone has a beloved pet!

I have alot of people who have given me feedback about not being able to sign up to follow my blog or not know how to "subscribe" by e mail, so I created a Facebook Page that will update with each post I do. Could you please make your way over to my Facebook Page here, A Pinch of Creativity, "like" it, and share it with your crafty friends? If there is anything you would like to see me post, please let me know!

Happy Crafting, and thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cinnamon Crunchies

Here is a perfect recipe for the Victoria Day Long weekend. I really hope you will try it out, it's a very simple recipe! Be sure to start with a very clean counter.

Cinnamon Crunchies

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Mix all dry ingredients together. With a beater, mix in the butter, egg and milk, until crumbly. Use a spatula to mix until moistened.

Flour your counter and your rolling pin well, dump out the mix onto the counter and roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Now you will need some more butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Spread a thin layer of butter on the rolled out dough, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll this up into a log, and cut into either 6 large pieces, or 12 small ones! Place in greased muffin tins.

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20 minutes.

Don't over think this recipe, it is simple, and if it is sticky, add more flour. If it's falling apart, mush it together and put it in the muffin tins.

The most difficult part is the clean up of the counter!

A variation on this recipe that I sometimes use, is to finely chop an apple and sprinkle that on top of the brown sugar before you roll it up. If you want, when they are cool, you can mix some icing sugar and milk until a smooth consistency and drizzle over top. This adds a bit of extra sweetness if you want. Have fun, and enjoy!

This will taste so yummy with morning coffee, outside in the sunshine. I can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Great Bran Muffin Recipe

Check out this amazing Bran Muffin Recipe, try it, you will like it!

Bran Muffins

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup raisins

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 cup bran

1/3 cup oil
3 tbsp molasses
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp vanilla

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and raisins. Stir well. Push up the sides of bowl making well in center.

In another bowl stir buttermilk and bran. Let stand  minutes.

Add remaining ingredients to bran mixture in order given. Beat with spoon until mixed. Pour into well. Stir just to moisten. The batter will be lumpy. Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 375 degrees. for 20  minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Note: to make sour milk, add 1 tsp vinegar to measure 1 cup.

So in true Tannis fashion, I do deviate from this recipe! I don't like raisins in my baking so I don't include them. If you make a double batch, you can also substitute half of the oil with apple sauce! I top my muffins with some sunflower seeds as well, just for that little something special!



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Scrapbooking with Creative Memories Black and White Paper

I have two scrapbooking groups that are working on an album that I was inspired to help others to do. It's an ``All About You`` memory book. This is an album that we are working on, mostly for ourselves. When we are done, I wonder, will we share our albums with each other? Will we show our kids (they are the ones we ultimately want to share our story with). Will we keep it somewhere private until we are ready to share?
Perhaps you are wondering why we would not put it on display, bursting with pride for all the work we have done. Well, let me explain.
Have you ever looked through your parents old black and white photos, and been totally mesmerized by someones beauty back in the day? Have you looked at all those people and wondered who they were, what was the connection, what was the story? Who was moms first love, Dad`s half brother? What did your Grandmas handwriting look like? Well, my hope is that through this album, our kids won't have those questions!
In taking a writing course, I realized, that more than just my writing, I wanted to combine my love of pictures and working with paper, and have a visual story for my daughter to look back on. I wanted her to know what I looked like as a baby, what my parents looked like, who my childhood pets were.  I also wanted her to read the poems I wrote when I was a teenager, as I learned about love, about deception, and living life! I wanted her to know that I had a first love and a broken heart (yes I still have all of his love letters to me, so I will pull them out one day when she needs to know and she will see, that yes, I was a teenage girl once, who thought I could not live without that one special boy!) I want my daughter to read, in my writing and my words, the tragedy that crushed my world as a young girl, taking away my trust and for a while, my hope. I want her to know my strength, my resilience. I want to showcase my favorite recipes, my favorite photos, my life, seen through my eyes, for her to know!

So I chose a black and white paper palette, with pops of color! We have been having so much fun creating this album. I have found it a bit difficult to work quickly through it, as I take a long time to mull over most decisions I make, and figuring out what pictures to include, what stories to write, I see, that I need way more pages than I thought! Here is a peak at some of the pages we have worked on so far!

 I sure hope that my scrapbooking ladies are enjoying this journey with me, because I am having so much fun creating these pages for them!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Photo Books

I started making photo books for my daughter when she began her own love of sharing our photos. She always wanted to take our scrapbooks to school to show her friends and teachers. Anyone who has this hobby, knows, it is not a cheap one to have! So I started to make her very own photo books that she could carry around.

As everything, once I started I could not stop! Being Mother's Day soon, I thought that I would make some up for that special day. Here is a peak at some of them!

And of course a Mother's Day card!

I also had some great paper left over from some journals that I made, so I created a few photo books from that! I think I may keep one of these for myself!

All that is needed is to cut some photos and add them! Easy peasy!

The weather is beginning to change, and I know that I will feel that natural shift to craft less and garden and write more! How is it that somehow, there is just not enough time for it all!

Have a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Altered Clip Boards and More

Wow, I have been absent for a while, but I have definately been working!

I have a few events coming up in April, just in time for Mother's Day. I will share with you some of the things I have been making.

Here are some photos of the clipboards that I have been working on. I have made some chore charts (inspired by trying to get my girl excited and organized and independant at doing her own chores!).

These are inspired by my need to constantly having a list going for groceries, things to do in the day, supplies I need, you name it! I found these wood cut outs of lemons and grapes and carrots at Michaels, with some beautiful brown paper list pads! Check them out!

 Then there is this kind that may just be a pretty gift for someone!

Of course I am always making cards, so here are some of the cards I have been working on. I am always finding paper and stamps that I forgot about, so being inspired by something pretty never seems to be a problem.

Thanks for stopping by, have a lovely week!