Thursday, October 31, 2013

CAS(E) this Sketch: Pick of the Patch

Happy Halloween!!!

It's time for a new sketch at CAS(E) this Sketch!

I made a number of Halloween cards this year, but none of them were quite right for my youngest niece. I found this older A Muse sentiment in my collection and added some of the charming stamps from Lawn Fawn.  I had to fit it into this sketch so I could have a Halloween card on my blog today!!

Pick of the Patch

I hope you bring out your flags and pennants and play along with CAS(E) this Sketch!
  • Stamps: Lawn Fawn Into the Woods, So Thankful (pumpkin), A Muse sentiment
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pumpkin, Avery Elle white woodgrain, unknown green
  • Ink: Memento black and Copics
  • Accessories: Lawn Fawn Into the Woods, So Thankful dies, My Favorite Things Fishtail dies, Divine Twine Black Licorice, clear sequins

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Festive Friday with Avery Elle: 'Tis the Season

The challenge this week at Festive Friday is to create a holiday card with a wreath.  I have a gorgeous wreath from Avery Elle, so on my last day as a guest on their blog, I put these two together.

Tis the Season

This wreath is so unique and so different from most wreaths - it is fun to work with.  It has an open and airy look so works perfectly with CAS cards, but I'm sure it could be fancied up too!!  I used it a few weeks ago on tags - one in pinks and one in kraft colors - so it can take on a lot of looks.

Thank you so much to Jamie at Avery Elle - I had a very enjoyable month working together.  I actually noticed Avery Elle with its very first release (bought it all!) and have liked everything that I have seen (and bought) since then!!  Stamps and sequins! They are definitely on my list of faves!
  • Stamps: Avery Elle Winter Wreath
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Ripe Avocado
  • Ink: Papertrey Ink Ripe Avocado, Pure Poppy, Delicata Golden Glitz
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up embossing folder, Spellbinders circle dies, MFT fishtail dies, misc ribbon

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MFT Wednesday Stamp Club: Incredibly Sweet

Just a quick post...when I saw the Wednesday Stamp Club at My Favorite Things, I knew that I had a NBUS (Never-Before-Used-Schtuff!) stamp set and die that I recently got from their clearance rack that would be fun to use!

Incredibly Sweet

The challenge closes in an hour and I should be showered and cleaned up to meet a girlfriend in 15 minutes (sorry, girlfriend!) - so no more words!
  • Stamps: My Favorite Things Contempo Cage
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Strawberry Slush, Avery Elle woodgrain
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Coastal Cabana, Versamark
  • Accessories: My Favorite Things Contempo Cage die, Sentiment Strips 2 die, Lawn Fawn twine, MME enamel dots, white embossing powder

Monday, October 28, 2013

#TheNewSouthwest #CookbookSpotlight {Cookbook Review & Giveaway}

Author: Meagan Micozzi
Publisher: Hippocrene
Hard Cover 230 pages

Meagan Micozzi's The New Southwest is a fun, bright, and colorful cookbook that celebrates the festive, and oftentimes fiery ingredients, of the American Southwest.  The recipes are easy enough for beginner cooks but also unique enough to satisfy the adventurous spirit of a seasoned cook.  I found myself drawn to the happy nature of the recipes, as well as the charming personality of the author Meagan Micozzi.  If you are a fan of happy and cheerful food then you'll want to grab ahold of this brand new cookbook. 

Twelve Chapters  
The Southwestern Pantry | Building Blocks | Condiments | Breakfast | Drinks | Appetizers & Snacks | Breads | Side Dishes | Main Courses | From the Grill | Desserts | A "Christmas-Style" Extra

Recipes I've Tried

Recipes I'd Like To Try
Sunday Salsa|Coconut Crunch Muffins|Apple, Cheddar & Chorizo Breakfast Pizza|Breakfast Toastadas with Cumin-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes|Tequila Sunrise|Texas Rose|Black Bean & Corn Quesaditas|Cheesy Beer Bread|Sage & Honey Skillet Biscuits|Adobo Potato Gratin|Fideo Burritos|Chipotle-Spiced Grilled Cheese Sandwiches|Chicken Tinga Potpie|Fancified Frito Pie

And now... here's how to win your very own copy of The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi!

 ***The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight Giveaway!***

How to enter:

1. Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what your favorite Southwestern dish is.

2. There are tons of optional extra entries in the rafflecopter widget!

Hippocrene will be supplying 14 copies of The New Southwest by Meagan Micozzi for this giveaway, in conjunction with The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight. Contest is open to anybody with a shipping address in the USA. Submissions will be accepted via the rafflecopter widget through 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, November 3, 2013. Fourteen winners will be chosen by random draw, verified, and be notified by email (from Heather at girlichef) within 48 hours of the close of this contest. The winner should respond within 24 hours of notification, or a new winner will be drawn in their place. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Author Notes: Meagan Micozzi was born in New Jersey, raised in Washington, D.C. and educated in New England. In 2011 she launched Scarletta Bakes, a blog devoted to her adventures in southwestern cooking. Micozzi's recipes have been featured on The Huffington Post, The Kitchn, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and Scarletta Bakes was named a Site We Love by Saveur. Micozzi resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. You can visit her at

This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef

Note: I received a copy of this cookbook from the publisher as part of a Cookbook Spotlight event, however I received no monetary compensation to review it. As always, my thoughts, feedback and experiences cooking from it are entirely my own. 
This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef.

To see 14 other food bloggers thoughts, reviews, and recipes they've tested from the book, click on the "cookbook spotlight button" to the left!
- See more at:

A Deconstructed Merry Monday: Santa

I am thrilled to be this week's guest designer at Merry Monday!!  The challenge for the week is Santa.

Sadly, I discovered that while I have a number of Santa image stamps, they date back a decade or more, or they are simply not my style any more.  And I didn't have time to go shopping this week (usually I love any excuse).

But...I did find a stamp hiding in my collection.  It's not a Santa image, but it's definitely Santa. And given that I have two teenage is perfect!!

I Can Explain

I Can Explain close

I was stressing over this Santa card on the same day that a new deconstructed sketch came out.  It had such fun panels that it seemed perfect with my silly card.

  • Stamps: unknown (sorry)
  • Paper: Doodlebug Home for the Holidays Here Comes Santa Claus (used both front and back), Stampin' Up Poppy Parade
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Gumball Green
  • Accessories: Sweet Stamp Shop Holiday Flair (the cute naughty/nice button), Lil' Inkers stitched circles, Holiday Divine Twine, Stampin' Up embossing folder, Ellen Hutson Red and Dill Iridescent sequins, Neat & Tangle Crystal Clear sequins

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Four Weddings and a Werewolf
Seattle Wolf Pack #2

To have and to howl…

Logan Black, former Marine and bodyguard for the Seattle Wolf Pack, hates weddings and has no plan to walk the path to matrimonial misery. But when he’s hired to protect a hot-to-trot wedding planner with a werewolf stalker, he’s forced to put his feelings aside. Not such an easy task when the damsel can turn him on with a single smoldering glance.

Wedding planner Veronica Vale knows werewolves exist, but hates them. One bit her sister, changing their lives forever. When a sexy Marine shows his gorgeous face at one of her wedding appointments, Veronica finds it hard to focus on the task at hand.

The chemistry drawing Logan and Veronica together seems fated, but with Logan’s playboy attitude, Veronica’s hatred for werewolves, and a stalker lurking in the shadows, these two need more than passion to keep them together.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

BAD COP! He's Coming!

Bad Cop by Angela McCallister
Bad Mouth Sequel

A cop who tosses the rulebooks to get his way…

Vampire Ian McCready doesn’t care for Alice Capshaw’s opinions about his version of justice. Her humanity makes her off-limits, but that does nothing to lessen his overwhelming desire for her. To Alice, Ian is just another bad cop as detestable as the one who destroyed her family. She’s attracted to him, yes, but he threatened his way into her agency’s murder case and has too many secrets.

When a new case resurrects ghosts Ian believed long dead and buried, his law-bending ways might result in his execution. The second Alice becomes a target, his cold heart flares into blinding existence. But following the law for her sake may end with devastating results.

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phew [fjuː]
an exclamation of relief, surprise, disbelief, weariness, etc.

Marching band season - done.

You may not understand how much effort a high school marching band puts in.  Typically 16 hours of practice during school weeks and full days for weeks in the summer and even during fall break.  Sadly, they did not end as well as they had hoped.  Based on who they had beaten in earlier competitions, they had hoped for 5th, but they got 10th.  10th in the entire state is very, very good but my children don't see it that way (and it didn't help that it was just a couple of judges that marked them way down - other judges liked them).  It was heartbreaking seeing my 6'4" teenager huddled with the group just sobbing  (after they had proudly and coolly left the stadium).  My youngest wasn't too upset, but he has played competitive sports for years and I think he's grasped the concept of losing.

Finals project #1 - done.
Finals project #2 - done.

I am actually back as a full-time college student getting my second degree.  It's a program that offers two classes for two months and my current classes ended today.  I actually submitted my papers Friday morning so I could enjoy state marching band competition.

Fall break for me - just starting!!

For some reason, my college program has a two-week break at the beginning of November and then doesn't have a break over Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Figure that out???

Today - Denver Broncos football!!  Beer!!  Tacos in a bag (don't ask!)


Pine Nut Brown Butter Pasta

Pine nuts.  I never really cared for them until I had them toasted in a pan with butter and salt.  Then I fell in love with them.  A special deep kind of love.  I wanted to put those toasty buttery pine nuts on everything and I found myself craving them.  If a recipe called for pine nuts I was sold.

So to say I loved this pasta dish is an understatement. It was absolutely delicious and and as a bonus, extremely simple and straightforward.

Pine Nut Brown Butter Pasta
Adapted from Off The Shelf
by Donna Hay
Serves 4-6

Cook one pound of pappardelle or fettucine until al dente, then drain. Melt 5 -6 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan then add 1/2 cup pine nuts to the pan and simmer until the pine nuts are golden.  Add pepper and salt and toss through the hot pasta.  Finish with grated Parmesan and serve as a simple meal or side dish.

Theme: Potluck

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts {The New Southwest #Cookbook Spotlight}

I am a big fan of bean burgers.  I've made chickpea burgers, black bean burgers, fava bean burgers, and now pinto bean burgers and I've loved them all. The good news is that everyone else in my house loves bean burgers almost as much as me so it's a total win-win situation.  

As soon as I spotted this recipe for Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts in The New Southwest Cookbook I knew it would be my choice for Week Two Blogger's Choice.  These pinto bean burgers are seasoned with a heavy dose of cumin, black pepper, coriander, and garlic so they are mighty flavorful.  Crunchy on the exterior and creamy on the inside this is one powerhouse of a breakfast that will keep you full way into the afternoon. They were a big hit at my house!

Check back on Monday, October 28th for a cookbook review and a chance to win your very own copy of The New Southwest. You don't want to miss it!

Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts
Adapted from The New Southwest by
Meagan Micozzi of Scarletta Bakes
Serves 7

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for frying
3/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup grated zucchini 
2 jalapenos, stemmed and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
3-1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
(about 2-1/2 cans if using canned)
3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs*
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
7 slices Monterey Jack cheese
7 English muffins, sliced, toasted

Note: I had to use a little over a cup of breadcrumbs to get the mixture to come together.  Also, I think the 2 tablespoons of black pepper in the recipe might be a typo.  We love black pepper but I only used 1 tablespoon just in case.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until golden, translucent, and fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, jalapenos, and garlic and saute for just 2 more minutes.  Remove pan from heat.

Meanwhile, place the beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.  (Use a fork for chunky, uneven consistency.)  Stir in the breadcrumbs, eggs, cumin, black pepper, coriander, and salt.  Fold in the cooked onion mixture.  Using a half cup measure, portion off and form seven patties.  Freeze them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet to firm them up.  They can be kept frozen at this point and you can cook them as needed or you can store them in the refrigerator if not using right away.

Once ready to cook and assemble your melts, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-bottomed lidded skillet over medium heat (I prefer cast iron). Add the patties and cook for 3 to 4 minute on each side, applying pressure to the top of the patties to flatten once you have a cooked side facing up.  Note that you may need to work in batches so as not to overcrowd your pan, so you may need to refresh your oil between batches and wipe the pan clean.

Once patties are crisp on the outside and cooked through, top each with a slice of cheese, replace the lid on the pan and steam just 30 to 60 seconds to melt the cheese.  Remove each patty melt to a toasted English muffin bun and serve immediately.

Every Sunday @ Kahakai Kitchen


This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef.

If you'd like to keep tabs on who's making what from the The New Southwest, then head on over to The New Southwest event page over at girlichef.
If you missed last week's "host choice" recipe, Mushroom and Leek Migas, please drop by The New Southwest event page.  You will find links to each person's post, see their results, their spin, and their thoughts on that recipe.  Also, check it all week long for updates on what people are making this week!

This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef.
- See more at:

If you missed last week's "host choice" recipe, Mushroom and Leek Migas, please drop by The New Southwest event page.  You will find links to each person's post, see their results, their spin, and their thoughts on that recipe.  Also, check it all week long for updates on what people are making this week!

This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef. - See more at:

If you missed last week's "host choice" recipe, Mushroom and Leek Migas, please drop by The New Southwest event page.  You will find links to each person's post, see their results, their spin, and their thoughts on that recipe.  Also, check it all week long for updates on what people are making this week!

This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef. - See more at:

Quick Cards with CAS-ual Fridays Stamps!

There is absolutely no chance that I will ever be nominated for mom-of-the-year.  It was about 7 pm on Thursday night.  My two children were at a football game until 8 pm.  It suddenly occurred to me that they had the biggest weekend of their lives coming up and I hadn't made any cards of encouragement or congratulations.  It is the state marching band competition this weekend.  These kids have been working on their show starting with a two-week marching camp in July, into the school year, straight through daily rehearsals during fall break - and it's now the final weekend.

I am not a fast card maker.  You will never see me in the 10 minute challenges.  Even my simplest cards typically require multiple changes and re-dos - not to mention multiple photos and edits - before I am happy with them (and sometimes, I'm not even happy then!).  But Thursday night, in 60 minutes (OK, maybe 70 minutes) - I did six cards - and I mostly like them!

Thank goodness for CAS-ual Fridays Stamps!  They have great contemporary sentiments that work perfectly in these situations.  I did six cards for my two teenage boys, who aren't typically easy to make cards for! These first two cards were encouragement on Friday morning before the entire weekend began.  Noise...marching perfect!  Everything comes from the Woot Woot set.

Make Some Noise 1

Make Some Noise 2

FYI: the flag and the "washi" tape were made with dies from My Favorite Things.
I did get a starting point for this one from Freshly Made Sketches.

I am fairly certain we will end up placing higher than our marching band has ever placed.  We won't win it - there are a few fabulous marching band dynasties that win it year after year.  Our kids would be thrilled to be in the top 8 and are secretly hoping for 5th.  I'm thinking somewhere in the middle.  But assuming that they are thrilled with the outcome, here are the congrats cards.  All of these stamps are still from Woot Woot.

Yeah Baby

Woot Woot High 5

I was needing inspiration at this point, so I got these great colors from Sunday Stamps.  In real life, my blue is closer to the teal that is in the inspiration photo - but I edited so quickly I messed up the colors!

Then there are two cards that I am hoping never see the light of day and end up in the garbage.  Not that there is anything wrong with them - but it means my kids are disappointed.  The sentiment comes from Tech Talk and the asterisk from Exclamations along with the coordinating die.
That Bytes 1

That Bytes 2

At quarter finals yesterday, the band ended up once place lower than hoped for.  One place higher and we wouldn't be up at 3:45 a.m. this morning getting ready to take them to the bus for semi finals.  One place higher would have moved their performance three hours later and after two of their main competitors which does make a difference in the judging..  They are discouraged but still hopeful of making finals tonight.  

Keep your fingers crossed for my boys and the Chaparral High School Marching Band!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

The halloween display

Today on the Heidi Swapp blog I am sharing my Aussie version of a Halloween display. Of course I had to add in some yellow to the traditional orange and black colour scheme. Wink!

I started with a digi word from Heidi's digi shop, I printed it off and wound it through my type writer for a fun twist!

I painted some goodies including a real pumpkin and these plastic skeletons with metallic silver spray paint! I made his little hat from paper from Heidi's Believe collection!

The little yellow frame I bought in Michaels when I visited the US in January, I spritzed a Color Magic letter in Georgia Peach Colorshine and added it to the frame.

I found the paper Mache hat in Riot Art and Crafts  and spray painted that in the silver metallic spray paint. The beautiful bloom was a gift from fellow team member Jamie Pate and I hot glued it to my hat. I finished it off with a crepe paper ruffle on the bottom of the hat.
I used the Halloween digi word again and created the subway art printable. I have provided it as  free download on the Heidi swap blog here.
I found the wooden words at Spotlight and covered them in various Heidi Swapp pattern papers. For the B I added a fun element using the Epiphany Crafts  Hexagon tool. The O uses another word from the digi words.

The last O I added a spider I cut with my silhouette.

I used the silver spray paint to cover my plastic skull and gave her a pretty bow using the Bow Die from Stampin Up!

I also wanted a place to share my past Halloween photos so I used  one of the Shadow box frames and spritzed it with Tinsel Colorshine.  I wanted my shadow box to be transferable to other Celebrations such as Christmas  so I  kept the pattern paper (adhered to the back of the frame) a neutral black  and white.

I hot glued a binding Mechanism to the pattern paper and then layered it over my photos and embellishments to decorate. I started with another Epiphany Crafts hexagon dome and tied it on with black craft wire that I wound around a pencil for  a fun look and then filled it with photos, banners and other goodies for a fun layered look!


I am loving this little Halloween vignette sitting on my dining room table. It makes me smile every time I look at it!