Monday, August 25, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

serveKate here with another recipe. Maybe you're like me and are inundated with zucchini about now. Understand I'm not complaining. I'm actually grateful that our zucchini is living up to its reputation. In years past I would pick one maybe two zucchini and wait two days--yes two whole days--before another zucchini was ready. So when I checked the zucchini a couple of weeks ago, I was unprepared for this turn of events.
zucchiniNot bad, eh?
The novelty is beginning to wear off and I've already shredded, measured, and placed two cup portions into freezer bags and August is just beginning. Even the pigs have feasted on zucchini. This is when it's time to pull out Nate's Grandma's Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe.
shredFirst shred the zucchini. You'll need two cups of shredded zucchini. A hand grater works just fine. I used one for years before I got this attachment for my Bosch. You'll notice I don't peel it. Just give it a good wash.
Combine:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
In a separate bowl cream together:
3/4 cup butter or shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Add 1/2 cup of milk and 2 cups shredded zucchini. Then add flour mixture to creamed mixture a little at a time until combined. Grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
batter
Pour into a 9 x 13 pan.
toppingSprinkle with 1 cup of chopped nuts. Here I used pecans, but I've used walnuts and almonds with good success before. Also sprinkle with semi-sweet chocolate chips and either white chocolate chips or like I've done here Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips. There's no specific amount--just do it till it looks purty. Then bake at 350° for 1 hour and enjoy.
serve
Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Combine:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
In a separate bowl cream together:
3/4 cup butter or shortening
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Add:
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups shredded zucchini.
Then add flour mixture to creamed mixture a little at a time until combined. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Sprinkle with:
1 cup of chopped nuts, your choice
semi-sweet chocolate chips
white chocolate chips or  Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips
Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Strike a Pose! Fun Twist on The Wedding Guest Book

Chapter 22: Strike A Pose!
Kristie from Kristie Kreates here with another great 
wedding reception idea.
How fun would it be to set up a "photo booth"
with lots of fun props for people to take pictures with.
Here are a few things that I gathered together as examples.
Depending on the type of props you want,
you can raid your Halloween costume supplies,
hit up the Dollar Store,
borrow things from relatives and friends,
check out the thrift stores, 
there are lots of places to find your props.
Do you want to have a little fancier props,
how about a "red hat society" hat and some scarves?

Maybe you have some musical guests,
find some instruments to include.

There's always the silly stuff too!

Set up your table with whatever props you prefer,
make up a sign encouraging your guests to 
join in the fun.
Here are a few examples
   Depending on your style,
you can make your sign reflect your 
personality or the theme of your wedding. 


And the results?  
Just check out these silly pictures below that 
I took of myself.


A wig and a hat and a silly expression,
you have a priceless memory.
People can have all kinds of fun with your 
photo booth.
See if your photographer can take a few shots 
from a distance.
You might want to provide several 
one time use cameras for people to take pictures with,
or a digital camera set up on a tripod.
How fun would it be to see all these pictures 
when you come back from your honeymoon?
People would love to receive them as a fun 
token enclosed in their thank you note.
You could make a small photo album of 
"My Crazy Family and Friends"
with all the pictures in it.
Looking back at these years later will be such fun.

Thanks for stopping by today for another 
wedding idea.
Have fun!



Learn more about Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things and all of the chapter tutorials here

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Key to My Heart Wedding Tip for a Special Bridal Bouquet

Chapter 27 Tutorial: Key To My Heart
Hello!
Kristie from Kristie Kreates here today with another 
wonderful idea for making your special day even more special.
"Key to My Heart"
adds a special touch to your ceremony.
Attach a small lock to your bridal bouquet.
Here you can see it nestled among the flowers.
Add the matching key to the grooms boutonniere.

You can see the tiny key attached to the boutonniere flowers.
For my bouquet and boutonniere I had the florist use a simple
luggage lock and key.
You could use charms that can later be worn on a bracelet or
on a chain as a necklace.
How about adding them to your key chains, so they will be with you
wherever you go.
What a beautiful keepsake and remembrance of your wedding day. 

I'd like to thank Jackie the florist at Tops 239
for helping me put together this bouquet and boutonniere.

Thanks for stopping by today.
I hope you love this special touch as much as I do.
Learn more about Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things and all of the chapter tutorials here

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How to Create Coffee Filter Roses

Today I have step-by-step detailed instructions on how to create beautiful coffee filter roses. Here's a great collage you can pin and be sure to view my companion post on dying the filters!

Coffee Filter Roses Tutorial - Chapter 3

For each rose, gather three four-cup and three eight- to twelve cup
unused basket-style coffee filters. Dye them using watercolors or
watered-down acrylic paint. *I found that food coloring in a bowl of water works the best! Dip and then dry. For a bonus step-by-step post on dying the filters, visit this link http://www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com/2014/07/how-to-dye-coffee-filters-to-create.html

Stack the three large filters together. Flatten them out, then fold
in half and in half again to form a triangular wedge.

Using scissors, cut along the open end of the triangle to create a scalloped line.

Do the same with the three small filters.

Open the cut filters and place the small stack on top of the large stack.

With your fingers, pinch the underside of the stack in the center, where the folds meet, which will cause the filters to crinkle together.

Using a stapler, staple just above where your fingers have pulled the filters together.

Turn the flower over and open up the filters. Beginning with the outermost filter, gather the filter at the base and pinch around the base to pull the circle tighter, forming ruffles and petal-like fullness.

Repeat with each of the six filters, gathering them at the base and pinching along the bottom to create a stem-like bump on the bottom.

Wind masking tape around the base to hold the shape.

Fluff out the flower.

Use coffee filter roses as table d├ęcor, hang from the backdrops or ceiling, or use them to create floral wreaths.
Courtesy of www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com.

Learn more about Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things and all of the chapter tutorials here

Monday, July 14, 2014

How to Dye Coffee Filters to Create Beautiful Roses

I've had a lot of fun helping to create tutorials for the chapter headers in my new book, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things.
I think that Chapter 3- Coffee Filter Roses is my favorite and I believe my kids would agree.

I'm creating a bonus post to show you the best way to dye your coffee filters in preparation to create roses.
I enlisted the help of four of my five kids and they had a smashing time!


Here's what you'll need to make this project:
Three 8-12 cup style coffee filters for each rose
Three 4 cup style coffee filters for each rose
scissors
masking tape
food coloring



As you can see, a little food coloring goes a long way. My kids were able to dye an entire laundry basket full of filters.
 First put two or three drops of food coloring in a bowl of water. Mix together and you're ready to start dying!
 Take a bunch of three coffee filters together to dye all at the same time.

 Immerse them in the bowl of colored water
 Just wad up the filters in the liquid to coat them in the color of your choice.
 Then squeeze all the water out of the coffee filters by wadding it in a tight ball.
 Flatten out the wet filters and hang to dry.
 This is where a clothesline is super handy because we didn't have to worry about food coloring dripping anywhere in the house.
 The coffee filters dried in less than two hours in the hot summer heat.
 After drying, it's easy to mix and match the filters if you want a multi-colored rose.
 These coffee filter roses are so easy to make. My 8 and 11 year-old-girls made several and the possibilities are endless for your weddings, parties, and more.

Be sure to check out the full step-by-step picture tutorial here
http://www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com/2014/07/how-to-create-coffee-filter-roses.html


Learn more about Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things and all of the chapter tutorials here