Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Craft Project: Decorative Letters

We moved into our new house in January of this year, and we haven't really done a very good job of getting the place decorated. More than once, David was ready to hang pictures, but I couldn't go through with it...I just couldn't bear to put the holes in the walls! I'm having a hard time committing to the placement of pictures. But strangely enough, I don't have too much of a problem with hanging "stuff" on my walls. Right now, just about the only two decorative things we have hanging in our house are a tobacco basket and an old wooden ladder from my grandfather's farm (which led one of my colleagues to say that I'm going with the "Cracker Barrel" approach to decorating). Anyway, the ladder was the springboard for this whole craft. The ladder is hanging horizontally over the entrance to our kitchen/breakfast room, but it was a little bare. I knew that it needed something extra, and then I thought about the decorative letters I'd seen all over the web. Here's what I did:
I bought some large, chipboard letters from Michael's and painted them all a cream color. (I realize that it might be hard to figure out what the heck I plan on spelling. I had intended to spell HOME. However, Michael's did not have an M that day, so I got the letters to spell LOVE along with the H. Hopefully Michael's will have the M next time I go back.)
Then, I gathered my scrapbook paper and traced my letters. It's very important to actually do the tracing on the side that you don't want showing. Also be sure you trace the letter backward!
Here are cut out scrapbook letters! As you can see, they're all turned the right way. That's because I traced the letters backward! Now I'm ready to apply the scrapbook paper to the chipboard letters. Sorry I don't have any pictures of that step, but it's pretty self-explanatory. I used Mod Podge to glue the paper to the letters, but looking back, I'd use spray adhesive instead. The Mod Podge was a little messy to work with, and the paper wanted to wrinkle.
After the letters dried, I put them in the "frames" of my letters, and here's the finished product! In this picture, you can see the whole ladder.
And here, you can see the letters a bit better. Once I finally get my M, it'll only be a matter of changing two letters to make HOME. And, if you think about it, I can cover the reverse of the HOME letters pretty easily with other papers for Christmas! This was such a quick, easy project, and it makes such a difference!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

White Castle Casserole

Is it health food? Nope. Is it gourmet? Absolutely not. Is it good? You bet.
My friends, I give you White Castle Casserole! I originally printed this recipe from RecipeZaar (which is apparently food.com now) on March 11th, 2010, and I can't figure out why it's taken me so long to give it a try! I have always liked White Castle, but there's not one that close by, so this was a great copycat recipe for those times when you want some White Castles, but a visit to the restaurant just isn't in the cards. (And yes, I know that you can buy frozen White Castles at the grocery, but it's not the same. Sometimes the bun gets hard, and they're just not as good when that happens!)
It's not exactly the same as a real White Castle, but it gets pretty close. I used the reduced fat crescent rolls for this, and they seemed a little "off". Next time, I'll use the full-fat ones. Because, really, if you're the kind of person who is making White Castle Casserole, are you really counting the calories and fat? Probably not. :)
White Castle Casserole
1 package dry onion soup mix
2 (12 oz) cans crescent rolls
1.25 lb. hamburger
American cheese slices (or shredded cheese of your choice)
Dill pickle slices
Cook hamburger with onion mix. Drain extremely well. Lay a whole can of crescent rolls in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish (do not break the rolls apart). Layer hamburger, cheese, pickles, and mustard up and down across the pan. Lay a whole can of crescent rolls on top. Bake at 350 degrees until brown. Cut in squares and enjoy! (Makes 8 servings)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's Been Awhile...

It's been quite a while since my last post. A month at least. Things have just been crazy lately, and I haven't taken the time to add to the blog. Rest assured, I've still been cooking (and taking pictures), so I'm getting quite the stockpile ready. But I've decided that there are going to be some changes to The Sweet Life. Instead of being strictly a cooking blog, I've decided to branch out some. I've been bitten by the crafting bug lately, so I'll be adding my craft projects as I get them finished (but some of them are slow going). I'll also be adding some of the adventures that I go on with David, friends, and family. And there'll probably be some general "life" stuff on here too. But there'll still be plenty of food posts. That's what I do best, I think.
So stay tuned. There'll be something new here soon!
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