Thursday, April 28, 2011

Amazing Asparagus

I made really good fresh asparagus tonight. I did not heat the oven. I made it fast.

Sautee a sliced shallot in evoo. After it softens, add asparagus and carrot ribbons (use a potato peeler).

Season with salt and pepper. Here is the new trick: glaze with a nice balsamic vinegar. Amazing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scrap Challenge

I logged into the Scrapgirls chatroom this afternoon for their Mischief Week 'Mess or Masterpiece' Challenge.  We were given instructions for how to pick random papers, embellishments, and one photo.  Amazingly, this photo of Larry as a teenager on his horse was the one the fickle finger of fate landed on.  I completely recolored the papers I got stuck with.  The flower stayed the same, but I recolored the egg and covered the design on it with the flower.  I had some stitching to use that did not fit the mood of the page, so I turned it into a tone on tone flower thing in lower right.

Desaturating to fix an older photo

I need to remember this layer effect more often.  See the difference between the full color and the desaturated one?  (photos from 1980's)   Desaturating got rid of the awful sunglare  in this shot.  To make the layout, I copied the square part with the kids and then put a white layer in between and used the opacity slider to make the base look like vellum.  A tip I got online somewhere.  Sunshine is a word art I downloaded from another scrapper's website.  Gotta love the generous freebies out there.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fun with PSE Effects

Relaxing with PSE and some pictures from Biltmore House trip several years ago.

 From this:
 To this:
from this:                                                                to this >                                          

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Roasted smashed potatoes

This recipe is very literal. You take tiny round potatoes and boil them. Drain. Then lay them on one end of a towel. Fold the towel over on the potatoes and gently smash each one.

Put each smashed potato onto a oiled pan, brush with evoo. Roast at 425• til nice and brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve.The recipe idea came from current issue of Everyday Food magazine.


No, not sewing patterns, knitting patterns, or quilting patterns.....I am talking about patterns for Photoshop Elements.  Patterns that allow me to make my own digital papers in any color i want.  No searching through my files for just the right pattern and color.   I went online to search for free patterns and textures for PSE and found this site.    I downloaded the different files and put them into my program files in Adobe.  Now I can learn to use them!

Here are some papers I created using various patterns and textures and blend modes.

(this last one gets its pattern/texture from a closeup photo of my carpet.  Texture is everywhere!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saving a Bad Picture that I Love

I have hung onto this picture for many years.  I love the way it looks like Jason wants to punch his daddy.  The climate has not been kind to the 1970's paper, and the color is really bad.

Through the magic of Photoshop Elements editing I got this result:  Now I can enjoy the photo I love so.
The papers and flower were a free kit called Dream a Little Dream.

Bachelorette Weekend

Jenni is getting married in a couple of weeks.  Her two best friends are her bridal attendants and a couple of weeks ago they went on a girls' weekend to celebrate.  She shared the pictures with me and I share a page I made with you.  I used Template 24 by No Reimer Reason and the yin_oceanspray minikit.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Star Fruit

The only time I ever ate starfruit was in 1972 when I bought it from a fruit stand in Miami, Florida. I have seen it from time to time in the grocery stores around here, but never thought about it. This week it was very cheap and right beside the mangoes. So here is what it looks like sliced on your plate.  It is a mild, slightly citrusy taste and a crisp texture.

Easy Chopped Eggs

I love chopped, hard cooked eggs in tuna salad.  I love plain egg salad.  I hate to boil and peel eggs.  My solution?  Break your eggs into a microwave safe container with a good lid.  Microwave on medium setting for 2+ minutes, or until done to your liking.  Note:  pierce the yolks with a fork before cooking, but they will still explode.  Hence the good lid.  Which will blow off anyway.  Clean your microwave when it cools.

After the eggs are cooked, take two knives, or a pastry blender and chop them in the container you cooked them in.  They are lovely. No boiling or peeling required.  Sounds like a good idea to me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Joining a Scrapbook Challenge

Since I have been advancing in PSE, and have learned to use templates, I decided to join a Scrap Challenge with Scrapper's Guide.  For joining, you get some free goodies.  It promotes their website. I used one of their kits, called Southern Days.   Now if I can figure out how to post it to their gallery......

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thai peanut noodles

I love the idea of Thai style peanut noodles. However, anytime I would eat them at a restaurant they were too rich and 'peanutty '. I never tried to make them at home til I found this recipe

I made these last night and they are delicious. The recipe calls for 3T peanut butter and a can of chicken broth. So not so rich and heavy. Note that I did use my old friend JIF.
(photo is from

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

From That to This

Cleaning out drawers and found a note on how to fade out a busy background in PSE, then add a paper.  So I randomly picked this picture of me at my wedding shower:

and ended up with this:

Now THAT is cool!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

My Style

I am cleaning up my "studio" (fancy name for room above the garage) in preparation for my son's family's visit in May.  Since I have items collected over the years from quilting, sewing, knitting, and now photos that stretch back to the late 1800's for my digiscrapping projects, it is an undertaking.

I accomplished a lot rid of about 100 books to Friends of Library.  The space thus revealed is where the old photo albums and boxes of photos will go.

Speaking of boxes of I put a box on the shelf, a photo of myself as a child that I love caught my eye.  Well, of course I had to sit down and scrap it.  I started by going to my templates and spotted a completed page I found on the web (I copy ideas to my hard drive for inspiration).  I first opened it, changed the colors, and put my photo in the frame for the fancy effect.  Hmmmm....pretty.

Then, using the idea of the page, I opened up Scrapper's Guide Shabby Floral kit.  And this is what I came up with.

You see the similarity of the layouts.  When I start to do my own quickpage....I find I absolutely cannot put a bunch of elements on the page.  I am beginning to like my plain style. For this page, I used the green paper in the Shabby Floral Kit.  There was also a  floral paper that I reduced in scale and then cropped a rectangle shape.  When I put it on the page it was of course not enough to stretch across the page.  So I copied it several times and made no attempt to make it look like it was one smooth piece.  I used one flower
from the kit up in the corner of the picture.  Put a stroke around the picture using a color from the flower.  I was going to stop there, but decided to use a brush I had made and stamp it around the picture.  I stamped it many times, erased those, and then stamped twice.  Plain.  But I like it.  My cousin Kay would approve.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Jif peanut butter

I finally came back to this old friend. Over the past years I have bought all the healthy versions of peanut butter. What they all had in common was "store in refrigerator after opening". COLD. ICK.

On Friday in 7:30 am yoga class we were discussing the problem of being hungry during class, but breakfast and 'downward facing dog' leads to indigestion.

One of the class members had a brilliant suggestion: a spoonful of peanut butter. I am sure she eats the natural, no added sugar type.

Today I needed a snack and decided to try the spoonful of peanut butter idea. I only had some healthy stuff in the fridge. Hmmmmm

I had to go to the grocery today and my old friend jumped into my cart. It was a difficult jump ......the jar was on the bottom shelf. Horrors! All the other shelves were filled with all natural, low sugar, part soy....... But I found my extra crunchy JIF.

Maybe Monday morning yoga will find me a little less hungry.