Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Baked salmon filet with mayo, parm, and breadcrumbs (recipe).

Salmon is our go-to fish for dinner for many reasons. Matt doesn't like most other types of fish, it's low mercury (pregnancy safe), it's easy to make, and with all those omega-3s it's very healthy. I almost always bake my salmon the same way, with a simple dusting of salt & pepper, and a squeeze of lemon when it comes out of the oven. The other day I felt like doing something a little more exciting with it though, and this is what I came up with. It was so easy and tasty! This just might become my new standard way of cooking salmon.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Flowers, stars, and candles (birthday cards).

I have three fun new birthday cards to share with you! The problem with showing off the cards I make is that I have to wait until after they've been received to blog about them, and it's always so hard to wait. Anyways, these birthdays have passed, so now I can share these cards (I have more cards to share soon, but you'll have to wait a little longer before I can post those).

I did these cards a little bit differently than ones I've made in the past with the Silhouette; I printed the words onto the cards, then cut out paper shapes to decorate the cards. I like the way the mixed mediums look, and it was much faster to make the cards this way too. I'm still using a gluestick to attach the decorations to the cards, but I'd like to find a better way. The glue gets sort of messy on the more intricate designs, and it stays a little bit tacky even after it's dried.

This simple card was made with the candles design that came with Silhouette Studio. I used light blue for the candle stick, green for the candle stripes, and yellow for the flames. The words are printed onto the card.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lemon coconut layer cake (recipe).

I have to be honest, baking cakes from scratch always seems like too much work for me. Box cakes are so much easier, and the results are always reliable. That being said, I do love to dress up the box cakes that I make, and I never use store bought frosting. This lemon and coconut cake was a big hit at the Easter party that we went to, and it was easy to put together.

I made this lemon cream filling as an experiment one day. I was craving something something sweet, but didn't have any dessert in the house. I raided the cupboards and found an extra can of sweetened condensed milk. I decided to experiment by squeezing a lemon into the condensed milk. When I first started mixing it together I wasn't sure what would happen, and it looked a little strange. I kept mixing though, and suddenly it came together into a lovely, creamy, velvety sauce. This mix is delicious over pancakes or waffles too, but I especially love it with coconut in this cake.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Potatoes au gratin (recipe).

 Potatoes are my favorite comfort food. I love them in any form: baked, fried, mashed, roasted, sliced, boiled, etc. There aren't many foods that work so well for every meal, and even snacks. I would be happy to eat potatoes every time I sit down to dine. Breakfast? Hashbrowns. Lunch? Potato salad. Snack time? Potato chips, obviously. Dinner? Well, the choices are endless, but I'm going with potatoes au gratin this time. Dessert? Okay, you might have to get creative to have regular potatoes for dessert, but sweet potatoes make a tasty pie.

This potatoes au gratin recipe is delicious, and pretty easy to put together. The most important part is making sure you give the potatoes enough time to fully cook and get nice and soft. If you need it to cook a little quicker, cut the potatoes up smaller. No one wants a crunchy half raw potato in their au gratin. I based this recipe off of The Pioneer Woman's Perfect Potatoes au Gratin, and I've made it a few times now making my own adjustments.

This dish makes a lot (about 10 servings), and it's great for feeding a crowd. Of course, you can halve the recipe if you don't want as much, but it also makes great leftovers, so I recommend making a full batch. Last time I made this, I actually made a double batch. One pan I cooked up immediately for my friend's Easter dinner dish-to-pass, and the other pan went into the fridge for a few days to be baked later in the week when family was here visiting. I love that this can be prepared ahead of time, and popped into the oven when needed.

Monday, April 1, 2013

March instagrams (photography).

April is here, and it's time for another Instagram round-up. I think I say this every month, but I can't believe how fast time is flying by! March was another great month, and I'm excited that Spring is officially here; longer days, warmer temps, and more sunshine make me a happy lady. We had a great time with Matt's brother & sister-in-law, Matt enjoyed his spring break (he worked most of the time, but we enjoyed having a full weekend off together - a true rarity), and we ended the month with a wonderful Easter party yesterday hosted by our friends Adriane and Rhys. As always, you can follow along on Instagram @MdoubleMcrafts.

Spring is here in full bloom; there are fresh flowers and tender new green leaves everywhere. I'm loving the extra sunshine, and I can't wait until it's warm enough to swim again.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy birthday cards (silhouette craft).

Unfortunately, I think I mis-addressed this card, resulting in it never being received. Shucks.
I made a few more birthday cards, and a Valentine's day card last month using the Silhouette. I'm getting more comfortable using it, and there's less error in my trial and error process now. These 3 designs are all pretty simple, so I'll just give you a quick rundown of how I made them. I have a box of blank 4.25" by 5.5" cards and envelopes, so I use those as the base when I am making cards to mail.

For the first card (above), I simply chose a font I liked, and laid it out with the balloons. I put a rounded rectangle that was slightly smaller than my card around the design, and then I cut it out. I glued the design to the front of the card, then colored in the balloons with colored pencils. Easy and cute.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Liebster award time (blogging news).

I must apologize for being so quiet on the blog this past week. For some reason I have felt rather uninspired to write. I have a few posts in drafts, but I haven't been able to muster the motivation to finish them. We've been rather busy in real life, with a trip to LA, and then having family stay with us for a few days. Additionally, I've been having exhausting dreams about going on epic adventures, and I wake up feeling like I've been running around all night (although, in a way, I enjoy them, as they are like watching exciting adventure movies). The next few weeks will also be quite busy, but I will try to stay more up-to-date on blogging (although I'm not making any promises).

Last week I was nominated for a Liebster award by the lovely Shandy from Aprons 'n Pearls! Liebster is German for sweetheart, darling, and beloved (and boyfriend, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that that's not what the award means). This is a fun way to get to know new bloggers, and to share a little bit about yourself. Here are the rules (I copied these verbatim from Shandy):