Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August Crafts

August Crafts

Oilcloth Lunch Bag
The same oilcloth that covers your kitchen table can transport your children's lunches -- or your own -- in leak-free style. These reusable bags will cut back on waste since they can simply be washed with a damp sponge.
Use a single print for the whole bag, or cut out complementary patterns or solid colors for side panels. You can attach small Velcro tabs to hold the bags closed, or clip the tops with colorful wooden clothespins.
Cut main piece 29 1/2 by 8 inches and two side panels, each 12 1/4 by 5 inches.
Fold long panel, inside out, into U shape with 5-inch bottom.
Make 1/4-inch cut at bottom corners of side and middle pieces so bag folds smoothly. Sew-in side panels, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Turn right side out and top-stitch all around, 1/8 inch from edge.

Other Oil Cloth Uses
On the Shelf
Lining shelves with oilcloth adds color to a work space -- no sewing required. Simply cut a length of fabric to fit shelf, allowing extra width for overhang. Fold and iron edge to create flap; then lay in place. Cut in a jagged edge, following the pattern of the cloth.
Cookbook Cover
Impervious to grease stains, oilcloth-covered cookbooks hold up to heavy use.
Drawer Liner
A sleeve of oilcloth brightens a utility drawer and is more substantial than shelf paper. A heavy cloth will stay in place on its own; attach a lighter-weight fabric with double-sided tape.
Oilcloth Apron
Simple, functional aprons can become part of the kitchen "uniform," even for little ones.
Cut two pieces of oilcloth. Main piece should be 23 inches long (11 1/2 inches at top and 22 inches across).
Fold larger piece vertically, wrong side out. About 1 foot from bottom, draw curve; cut.
 Make 1-inch hem at top of pocket panel; sew to apron, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance.
To create pockets, machine-stitch down front of pocket panel, about 1/3 of the way in from sides.
Sew 1 1/2-inch hem at top of apron. Trim curved edges of apron with bias tape, leaving enough extra at each end for ties; zigzag-stitch over tape to attach.

Make a Beach Ornament
Going to the beach is one of my favorite summer fun activities. And keeping the memory of a great beach trip with a glass ornament is a fun summer craft.

Things Needed:
  • glass ball ornament
  • small piece of paper to make a funnel
  • sand from the beach
  • small seashells or rocks from the beach
  • glue
  • white rope (I used a piece of clothesline), or ribbon/raffia
  • gold paint pen or gold enamel paint and a thin paint brush
  • Blue and silver glitter

 Purchase a clear glass ball ornament of any size you like. Be sure you are able to remove the top and the hook.

Collect small shells, pieces of seaweed, smooth beach glass and sand for your ornament.
Wash and thoroughly dry all the beach items you have collected.
Remove the top of the ornament carefully so that you do not break the glass.
Have a friend hold the ornament for you, or secure it in a small box with the opening at the top.
Pour sand into the ornament using a small funnel. Fill the ornament about a third of the way to the top.

Sprinkle in some glitter or some colored sand to give the ornament an eye-catching appearance. Blue and silver glitter work best.

add small seashells, small rocks, sharks teeth, bits of drift wood... anything that will fit into that small hole. Be careful not to add too many, as the ornament may get too heavy!
Gently shake the ornament to mix the items together or arrange everything as you want them with a straw/pencil.
Observe the ornament and decide whether it needs more sand, shells, glitter or other items to make it perfect.
Add a bit of glue around the edge of the glass ball ornament, where the metal top fits in. Then add the metal top with the hook. This will keep it secure since the ornament will have a bit of weight to it now.

 Next, wrap a bit of rope, cord, raffia, or ribbon around the stem of the ornament. Finally, write the name of the beach you visited and the date on the beach ornament and allow the paint to dry.

Shell Flowerpots

To weather a pot, combine 1 part powdered milk paint (available at crafts stores) with 1 part water. Apply to pot with a paintbrush. Let dry 1 hour.

Combine 1 part lime powder (find it at garden centers) with 2 parts water; brush on over paint. Let dry 1 hour.
Working in a well-ventilated area, sand pot with medium-grit sandpaper until desired look is achieved.

Gather shells that are uniform in size and appearance (or purchase them at crafts stores or online). Affix shells to rim of pot with tacky glue; employ tweezers to adhere the smaller shells.

Yellow Votives
 Yellow Votives look especially lovely paired with seasonal arrangements of sunflowers.

  • Glass container, such as a Mason jar
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Yellow paint (1 1/2 ounces will cover 4 pint-size jars)
  • (Pebeo Vitrea 160 series glass paints, which are nontoxic, permanent, and dishwasher- and microwave-safe).
  • Paper towels or cloth
  • Shallow pan
  • Wire, crimp beans, and pliers, for hanging (optional)

Prepare jar for painting by washing and, if necessary, wiping interior with rubbing alcohol to remove any debris or traces of oil. Pour approximately 3 to 4 tablespoons of paint into the jar. Rotate jar slowly to move paint around the interior until entire surface is coated. Tip jar on one of its sides, and hold in that position to pool excess paint in one area. Pour excess paint back into paint jar (if you're making more than one, pour remaining paint into the second jar, making sure it has been cleaned and prepared for painting).

Place the jar, inverted, mouth side down, on a small stack of wet paper towels or a cloth to allow any excess paint to drain. To avoid excess-paint buildup at mouth, replace wet paper towels until paint begins to set and is no longer dripping. Once paint has initially set, turn it back on its base to dry for 24 hours. 

Once dry, place jar in shallow pan, in a 325 degree oven, and bake for 40 minutes. Turn oven off, and allow jar to cool in oven, leaving door ajar. After jar has cooled, insert a votive candle. 
To hang the jar, cut a piece of wire 3 inches longer than the circumference of the jar. String one crimp bead onto one end of the wire.

 Holding it in place, thread the wire's other end through the same bead in the opposite direction so that the crimp bead has a wire end extending about 1/2 inch out of each opening. Use pliers to crimp the bead, creating a wire ring that will be placed around the jar's neck.

Place the ring over the mouth, and twist loops on opposite sides of ring until it's small enough so that it won't slip off. Bend wire in half, slip one end into one loop, and use pliers to bend the tip of the end upward. Repeat for other side. 

August Recipes

August Recipes
Cinnamon Wreath Bread  
  • 2 Packages ( ¼ oz each ) Active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 6 TBS butter
  • 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 4 1/2-5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBS butter melted
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 TBS water
  • ¼ tsp almond extract

In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the butter, milk powder, sugar, egg, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. ( The dough will be sticky )
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 18 in x 12 in rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and chipped almonds to within ½ inch of the edges. Roll up jelly-roll style starting with the long side and pinch the seam to seal.
Place seam down on a greased baking sheet and pinch the ends together to form a ring. With kitchen scissors, cut from the outside edge to 2/3’s of the way towards the center of the ring at 1 inch intervals. Separate the strips slightly and twist to allow the filling to show. Cover and let rise again until doubled. (About 45 minutes to an hour)
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, Combine the confectioners sugar, water, and extract and drizzle over the warm bread.
Sauce in the middle for pull apart and dip!
Sausage and Cream Cheese Breakfast Casserole
  • 12 Eggs
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 1 pound Breakfast Sausage
  • 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 2 cans (8 Oz. Size) Crescent Rolls
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
 Preheat oven to 375ºF.
 Beat eggs and add milk. Scramble and then set aside.
 Brown sausage. When cooked, add cream cheese and stir to combine. Add scrambled eggs and combine.
 In an ungreased 13×9 dish, unroll 1 can of crescent rolls. Press down. Spread sausage mixture on top. Top with shredded cheese. Then top with the remaining can of crescent rolls.
 Bake 25 minutes.
 Mexican Breakfast Casserole with Chorizo and Veggies

  • 3 oz. uncooked chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage)
  • 6oz. ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped  
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic  
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread, cubed  
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup skim milk  
  • 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
  •  1/2 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated reduced-fat swiss cheese  
  • 1/2 cup grated reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated reduced-fat jalapeno cheddar cheese 
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9" by 13" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the bread cubes in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.
Whisk the eggs, milk, ground mustard, salt, and black pepper together, set aside. In a skillet, brown the chorizo and ground turkey until cooked through then add the onion and bell peppers and saute until tender.
Add garlic and saute a minute more and then add spinach and cook just until spinach wilts. Layer half of the meat and veggie mixture over the bread, then half of the egg mixture, then half of the cheeses. Repeat the layers once more until all ingredients have been used.
 Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until cooked through, uncovering for the last 5-10 minutes so the cheese will brown slightly on top.
 Enjoy it with fresh fruit and refried beans for brunch
  • 4 pounds yellow squash, sliced (1 pound of squash yields about 2 cups sliced, so you’d need about 8 cups)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  •  2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives 
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper 
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt 

In large skillet, cook squash, covered in boiling water, for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and remove squash from skillet; gently press squash between paper towels to take out remaining moisture and set aside.

Then, in same large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic, and saute 5 to 6 minutes or until tender. Remove skillet from heat; stir in squash, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and the other remaining ingredients, except for the garlic salt. Spoon into a lightly greased 13×9-inch baking dish.
 Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and stir with remaining 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and garlic salt. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the top of the casserole. (If you want, you can also sprinkle another 1/2 cup of Cheddar cheese on the top to make it extra cheesy.) Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until set.
This makes 8-10 servings.
Spinach Roll-Ups
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 
  • 1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits 
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 10 (12 inch) flour tortillas
In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine spinach, ranch mix, mayonnaise, sour cream, bacon bits and onion.

Spread the mixture onto each tortilla and roll it up. Refrigerate the rolled tortillas until ready to serve.
Slice each roll-up into 1 inch servings no more than 3 hours before serving.
 Blueberry Lemon Bars
For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
For the filling:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Stir until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press crumbs firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of prepared pan. Bake the graham cracker crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
To make the filling, combine the egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until mixture is smooth and begins to slightly thicken. Gently fold in the 3/4 of the blueberries, reserving some for the top.
Pour the lemon blueberry filling evenly over the graham cracker crust then top with the remaining blueberries. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just set.
Cool for 10 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled. Cut into bars and serve.
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