Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hanging Paper Kites Tutorial

Today I want to share with you how I made these sweet hanging kites!

I began by cutting my paper. I forgot to write down the exact measurements, but they're about 3.5" x 4.5".

I wanted the top part of the kite to be about 1/3 of the total length, so I figured what that would be and marked the paper at the sides. I also marked the top and bottom middle. Then I used my ruler to make the sides.

I cut this one out to use as my pattern.

I then flipped the paper to the white side and traced the kites.

I cut them out using my paper cutter. You could use scissors.

Fold them in half, wrong side out. Use a bone folder or a pencil to crease.

I went ahead and did them all at one time.

I used my Scotch ATG (Advanced Tape Glider) to run a strip of adhesive along the two outer sides and then adhered it to another folded piece.

I used four colors per kite.

See how it's coming together?

Before sealing up the last side, run the adhesive down the middle.

I had already figured the length of my cords. Lay a cord down the middle. Press into the adhesive. Now you can apply adhesive to the last edges and seal up the kite.

I ran my fingers along the sides to make sure they were stuck together.

I had this ribbon in my stash. It's usually 2 for $1 at Walmart. I went ahead and cut three pieces for each kite.

Knot around the kite string.

It's virtually impossible to match the sides perfectly. I went back and trimmed away any obvious white borders.

I used tape to hang them from the inside of the light fixture in my dining room. I tied them to the arms of the chandelier in the kitchen. The girls loved them. So does Possum Kitty. I've found him on my table playing with them several times. Don't tell my mama...

I hope you've enjoyed the details of my kite party! Here's one last look...

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Avacado Dip

My last Miss Manners party fell on a VERY busy weekend, so I kept the food simple. I made pinwheel sandwiches, chips and dip, crudites, and cupcakes. The dip was a huge hit! One little girl came back four times! She actually scraped the bowl. Yep. It was that good.

You need two cups sour cream (I used light), two ripe avocados, one lime, a packet of Ranch Dips mix, and salt and pepper.

Remove pit from avocado. Slice into cubes and use a spoon to scoop out. Slicing it ahead of time just made it easier to whip it to a creamy texture.

Squeeze the juice of one lime over the avocado to keep it from browning.

Add salt and pepper. Quite a lot. Avocado and sour cream both suck up the seasoning.

I used a potato masher to cream the avocados.

Add the Dips seasonings packet.

Add two cups sour cream.

Whisk until smooth and creamy. I just did this by hand.

You can see this makes about four cups.

Refrigerate a couple of hours so the flavors can marry.

Some ate this on chips, some on veggies. But everyone ate it! I had bell pepper strips, carrots, tomatoes and cucumber slices for dipping. 

It's kinda like quacamole for beginners! Give it a try. It's delicious!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Pinwheel Sandwiches

So I've been sharing details from my latest Miss Manners party. Here's a peek again at the tablescape...

I did a great job photographing the tables and capturing images of the food as I prepared it, but completely forgot to take a picture of the food before we ate it! Oh well. I think you can use your imagination!

I kept it simple with the sandwiches. I made ham and turkey combo and then just plain cheese pinwheel rollups. The kids ate every one of them!

I used the large flour tortillas.

Instead of mayo, I used this. It's thicker than mayonnaise and it acts like a glue to keep the rollup rolled up! No complaints from the girls. 

I spread about a tablespoon of the cream cheese on the tortilla.

I used an offest icing spatula to spread it to the edges.

I alternated ham and turkey slices.

And added two slices of provolone cheese.

Roll up tightly then roll in a piece of plastic wrap...

and twist the ends tightly. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. I made these about three hours before the party so they could set up befor slicing.

I sliced them into half inch rounds before serving. They were yummy!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Kite Party Tablescape

On Tuesday, I shared with you the invitation to our latest Miss Manners party which I hosted last Saturday. Today I'm sharing the details of the tablescapes.

I wanted everything to be light and airy. Think blue skies and kites! I found the blue fabric for the table runners at Walmart. The white swirls on the blue fabric made me think of clouds and wind. A perfect backdrop for my kites!

Next I headed to Dollar Tree to look for paper goods. I don't worry about buying sturdy, expensive paper goods since I know that I'll be using my glass plates for food. I am more concerned with pretty than durable! I found one pack of these baby blue plates and used them for chargers. I found the napkins there as well. I like to mix patterns, and I thought the geo-print in two shades of blue would blend nicely with my table runners. All the blue allowed the colors of the kites to pop.

I made a simple kite door hanger for each of the girls and incorporated it into the table decor. I encouraged them to take these home and hang them on their bedroom doors.

You can't fly a kite without string - lots and lots of kite string! We lose kites regularly in all of the trees surrounding our house, so Gerald doesn't invest in expensive kite accoutrements. He came home one day with a couple of these colorful kite string winders, and I thought they'd be perfect for adding color to my table. I went back to Dollar General and bought another half dozen. They were $1 each!

The little kite on top is a bookmark. This was our craft for the day. More on that later. 

I scattered little blue glass bubbles down the table. I found them at Dollar Tree. They could easily work with a water tablescape, but they just spoke "air" to me.

I like to have cut flowers in my home, but they don't last long. When possible, I try to create a centerpiece out of something I'll use again. I found these maiden hair ferns the other day and bought them for my bathrooms. I like how flexible they are. They seem to float when the air blows them. 

The vase I used is one I made. I'll share those details soon.

3-D kites hung from the lights and added a sense of whimsy. More on that soon...

I recently found a STEAL on a cotton candy maker. Doesn't everyone need a good cotton candy maker? (Don't judge! It was $39, on sale from $230!) 

I made my "famous" white cupcakes and cream cheese icing and set them on tea saucers to make them "special". I thought little puffs of blue "clouds" made from cotton candy would be so cute on top! It was! For about 3 minutes. As soon as I got them all set on the table and went back to look, the cotton candy had melted. I guess the moisture from the icing got to them. They ended up looking like they were sprinkled with blue sanding sugar. Oh well. They looked good for the pictures!

That cotton candy machine will be making appearances at birthday parties and at Halloween. The kids are already asking me to just keep it on the kitchen counter!

I used silver cupcake wrappers to match the flower pots.

I pulled out my trusty Starbucks mocha bottles. I found silver and white striped straws to go with the cupcake wrappers and vases.

I set the tables in both the kitchen and dining room. I'm so pleased with the airy and Spring-like decorations! It really got us all in the mood to go fly a kite!

Check back in for details on crafts and food. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I HEART...Corn Chowder with Chicken

Everybody loves Wednesday, right?
The week's half over.  The weekend is on the way.
What's not to love?
Each Wednesday, I want to share something with you
that I absolutely love and can't live without!

I haven't written an "I HEART" post in forever, but after supper last night, I knew I needed to! We've already established the fact I love soup. I blogged about several of my favorite over the winter like split pea soup with ham croutonshomemade broccoli and cheese soupsausage and kale soup, as well as others. But soups aren't just for cold weather. Sometimes I just want something a little lighter.

Tuesdays are usually absolute bedlam around here. Jewell helps teach a dance class for toddlers at 1:30, then has two more of her own (one at 3:45 and one at 6:30). Brack has TKD at 6:45. Of course Jewell can't drive yet, so I have the honor of chauffeuring her around! Add to that housework and the fact that we've completed a full day of school before noon, and well, you get the idea. Usually we get a burger since Gerald is not home in time for us to eat together in the one hour between classes.

Today was different. Gerald had been out of town on business and got home early, so he picked Jewell up so I could get dinner cooked. I had half a rotisserie chicken in the fridge. I trolled around Pinterest and found a few ideas and came up with the idea for "Corn Chowder with Chicken". You'll notice the corn comes'll soon see why.

I took four (or five) slices of bacon and cut it into pieces.

I started them in a cold Dutch oven. No extra oil needed.

Meanwhile, I had bought red onions this week for something else I'm making later, so that's what I went with. You could use a sweet onion.


Keep stirring the bacon around. It will separate as it cooks.

When it was beginning to get crispy, I removed about two tablespoons of bacon grease, leaving about two in the Dutch oven.

Add onions and saute until they begin to get tender.

I chopped three cloves of garlic - about 2 tablespoons worth.

Add the garlic and two heaping tablespoons flour. Stir well to coat the onions and bacon with flour.

Cook for about a minute to cook off the raw flour taste.

Add one can of chicken broth.

Whisk well to get rid of any lumps.

Add four cups milk. (We drink 1% so that's what I used.) Keep whisking to make sure there are no lumps left.

While the bacon and onions were cooking, I cut the kernels off three ears of fresh corn.

Drop the corn cobs and two sprigs of thyme in the chowder. I have three (or four?) different thymes in my herb garden because it's one of my favorites. I used German thyme today. 

Allow the chowder to come to a low boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Stir often to keep bottom from sticking.

I covered it but left it cracked.

After 15 minutes, remove the corn cobs.

And the thyme.

Add corn.

And chicken.

And salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of pepper.

Stir and allow it to simmer for about another 15 minutes.

I served it with a bagged Caesar salad and bread sticks from Walmart's deli. I sprinkled a little grated Parmesan cheese on top.

It was filling, but not heavy! The corn still had a fresh taste and retained it's crunch. Simmering it with the corn cobs really boosted the corn flavor. That's why I put corn before chicken in the name! Jewell had two bowls. Luckily, we have enough for me and her to have for lunch tomorrow!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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