Thursday, November 17, 2011

Butter Tart Squares

Hey there - I'm back!! Well at least for a post or two. My computer is still in the dumper and with no extra money floating around right now, it's not looking like I'll be getting a new one anytime soon. My lovely stepdaughter, Miss E, left here laptop her for me to use. What a sweetie, huh? It's kind of funny how much I've missed blogging this past week. You're all like my digital buddies and I miss ya. So I'm happy to be back, even if it's only for a couple posts, for now. 

Last week I did my first guest post ever, over at my friend Kara's blog, Mine for the Making. Kara is one creative gal. Head on over and tell her I sent you.  =)

While there I shared a recipe for butter tart squares that I'd found on All Recipes last winter. I was going to a cookie exchange and wanted something quick, easy and delicious. These were perfect! Now, a classic butter tart is in a tart shell and has raisins in it. With this recipe you make a crust-like base and you can omit the raisins if you like. I chose to leave them out, not a big fan.

Butter Tart Squares
1 cup flour
2 tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or hard margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 flaked coconut (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x9 or 8x8 pan. 
2.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour and 2 tbs of brown sugar. Cut in the butter/margarine until mixture is crumbly. Press into bottom of pan. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Crust should not be fully cooked. 
3.  In a large bowl mix together the eggs and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar. Combine the oats, salt and baking powder; stir into the egg mixture along with the vanilla. Mix in the raisins and coconut, if desired. Spread mixture over the partially baked crumb layer in the pan. 
4.  Bake 20 minutes. Cool completely, and cut into squares. 

That's it! Easy peasy. Make sure you let it cool completely before you cut them. Otherwise the top will crack and they won't look as pretty. Also a little tip for ya, I always line my pan with foil so I can lift it out and cut it into squares on the cutting board. I like to trim the edges so they look nicer. Plus you get to sample the pieces you cut off. heehee  : )  The pan I use is 8x8 and I get 16 squares. You could cut them a bit smaller or larger if you like. I've also cut them into triangles before for a different look. This time I made up some fresh whipped cream to dollop on top. Mmm!!

You should definitely give these a try. They don't disappoint and they're great for the upcoming holidays.  Happy baking!
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Centsational Girl

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Tisket, A Tasket, I Made a Lamp Out of a Basket

Yep that's right, I made a hanging lamp out of a basket. For the past six months or so, one corner of our living room has been without a lamp. It's really bothered me. It's where I always sit on the couch and I miss not being able to read, thumb through a magazine and most recently knit, because there's not enough light. Unfortunately times are tight right now and going out and buying a new lamp isn't in the budget. So I got thinking. Years ago we had three hanging lights from Ikea that had rectangular paper shades, but they don't really go with our decor anymore. However I could use the cord. So I ran out to the garage and found one. While I was out there I found a cool, very old, cage for a light bulb. I'm pretty sure that's not what it's called. I have no clue what the proper title for it would be.

Anyhoo, I grabbed that too and headed back inside. Now you know me, I get soo excited about a project I forget to take pictures while I'm putting it together. I'm working on that, I really am!! Once back in the house I took a basket from the living room that had those decorative wicker balls in it and started cutting a small circle out of the bottom. You see where I'm going with this?  : )

I pulled the cord through, put the light bulb in and put on "the cage". One of you 
must know what it's called. Please let me know! 

Isn't it cute? I know it could be bigger, but right now it does the job.  

And look how pretty at night! Miss A and I love all the 
light flecks it casts on the walls and ceiling. 

I'm really enjoying having a lamp by my side of the couch again. Last week I started knitting an infinity scarf. Now I'll be able to knit at night again and might have it finished by Christmas. Ha, ha. I'm not the fastest or most skilled knitter, but I try. That's what counts, right? I'll show you once it's done. 

Have you made a light fixture out of something odd? Please, do share! 
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blanket Makeover - Sort Of

Hi There. Hope you all had a happy Halloween and your kiddies got lots of treats. We had lots of fun trick-or-treating with some of our friends. Miss A was a fairy, again. There was also a Lalaloopsy, zombie pirate, Luigi, and the Stay Puft marshmallow man in our gang. His costume actually had a tiny fan in the back that kept him puffed up. It was hilarious!

Sorry the picture's soo tiny. Of course I forgot my camera, this pic was taken with my friend's iPhone. Anyway, everyone had lots of fun until we all got too cold. Notice Miss A has mitts on. Yeah, they're snow gloves and her fingers still got cold. She also ended up with her coat on. But hey, can't complain, there could've been a foot of snow on the ground. Check out the green grass behind them - snow free! 

Now onto my blanket makeover of sorts. Years ago I found a gorgeous quilted silk throw blanket on clearance at Home Sense and had to get it. I loved it! Then Miss A came along and let's just say when she was a baby she ate like a puppy. And we all know what usually happens when puppies eat too much, too fast. Well my blanket got washed and dried and washed and dried. Eventually the seams started coming undone and it didnt' look soo pretty anymore. I never had the heart to get rid of it and kept it for the last five years, knowing that some day I would find a way to repurpose it. About a month or so ago that day finally came. A light bulb went off and I got the idea to turn it into a throw pillow for our bed. 

That once lovely blanket turned from this, 

to this! 

Isn't it nice? I'm really pleased with it. I made an envelope cushion cover and used a pillow from a sleeping bag to fill it. Then I got out my scissors and hot glue gun and made rosette after rosette. I really, really like rosettes! Don't be surprised if my next post has something to do with them too.  ; )
After they were all made I had a tough time deciding how to place them on the pillow. I tried a zillion different ways, before I came to this. Instead of stitching them on I just used my hot glue gun to attach them. This pillow is only for looks, so I'm not too worried about it getting washed. Although, I'm pretty sure hot glue doesn't wash off easily. Never tested that, but I have a feeling. Anyhoo, once they were all glued on I added the pearls to the centers and viola! I had everything I needed to make this pillow, so the cost of this project was $0. LOVE that!

Here's a few close-ups for your viewing pleasure.

What about you, have you made a pillow out of something that your couldn't bare to part with? Maybe an old sweater, t-shirt or baby blanket? Do share. Thanks for stopping by!

Click here to enter my giveaway!! 

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