29 December 2011

2 Shrimp Dishes

This was one of two dishes I made for Christmas Eve dinner. Only three of us would be eating shrimp dishes, and one of the three I have never witnessed eat a lot. sigh.

I neglected to take pictures, so use your imagination of shrimpy goodness. =)

Dish #1 - Cheesy Shrimp Dip


This can be used as an appetizer, snack or entree.

I think it tasted fine and was told it was really delicious, but either I missed on my prep or the recipe is a miss by Paula Deen. It sounds amazing ... I mean cheese, how can you go wrong? And shrimp, yuum.

While standing in the store looking at the 10-oz ring of shrimp and the 1-lb ring, it looked like one pound was a lot for the three of us. So, I got 2 of the smaller rings...one for the dip and one to do some simple scampi. Then I'd halve, give or take, the dip recipe.

However, by time I chopped the shrimp for the dip it looked like a lot less, so I added a few more from the second ring. Still looked skimpy, but I went with it.

My modifications ended up being:

1/4 cup 3 tbsp. butter
2/3 1/3 cup chopped red bell green pepper
1 pound @ 12 oz. medium fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 cup @ 1/4 c. sour cream
1 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup @ 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
Pinch salt
Pinch cracked black pepper
Cornstarch slurry - @ 2 tbsp total of CS and water?

As you can see, I didn't quite halve the cheese since I had @ 3/4 the total shrimp...it's cheese, you can't have too much cheese, in my opinion.

Too much butter! I think it's really only in there to help with the pepper. It ended up separating from the whole mixture when baked.

I used green pepper because I couldn't find a small red one...all the ones in the store were ginormous, I swear they were on steroids. I think it tasted just fine with the green though.

Left out the onion because my dinky grocery either didn't have singular ones or they hid them.

After baking @ 25 minutes, I pulled it out of the oven and all the butter had separated and pooled around the edge and overall it was more of a chowder consistency. Meh. Hard to spread on crackers. I tried stirring it back in, but to no avail so had to add some cornstarch to thicken it up a bit.

If I make this again, I'd:
-Use the whole pound of shrimp.
-Only use a small bit of butter to keep the peppers from sticking to the pot, or none.
-Probably add another 1/4 cup +/- of cheese.
-Use half the sour cream and mayonnaise to help avoid chowder consistency.

Side thought: you could probably add some scallops to change things up.

Dish #2 - Baked Shrimp Scampi

I forget where I found the original recipe, but here's what I did with the 8-oz. (@ 20) shrimp. My additions in italics.


2 pounds large uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 tsp. salt
6 cloves 3 tsp. garlic powder crushed
1/4 cup 2 tbsp. (heaping) chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon zest A couple dashes of lemon dill seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
lemon wedges

1 heaping tbsp. Italian breadcrumbs plus 1 level tbsp.
2 tbsp. olive oil - I used EVOO instead of butter/lemon juice.


Leave shell on tail section, if desired. Removed tails. Preheat oven to 400°. Melt butter in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan in oven. Spray baking dish with PAM or other cooking spray. I used a small glass pie plate for my shrimp quantity.

To the melted butter, add the salt, crushed garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley. Stir well. In small bowl, combine salt, garlic or garlic powder, parsley, lemon dill seasoning, and breadcrumbs. Blend together. Add EVOO. Should be a crumbly mixture.

Arrange shrimp scampi in baking pan in a single layer. Bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Turn shrimp; sprinkle with lemon zest, lemon juice, and the rest of the parsley.

Bake shrimp scampi for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just done. Arrange shrimp scampi on hot serving platter; pour garlic butter from pan over the shrimp and garnish with several lemon wedges.

Cover shrimp with mixture and bake @ 10-15 minutes or when shrimp are done (curled up like they do). Serve warm.

Shrimp scampi serves 4 to 6. We each had about 7 shrimp.

If I made this again, I'd probably use a little less EVOO and rather than just cover the shrimp with the breadcrumb/herb mixture give them a small douse/stir in EVOO and then have the mixture coat them or toss it all in a bowl/bag and arrange them in a layer to bake.

19 December 2011

Cookies n' Fudge

Let's see... last weekend I was bummed I didn't have the cash available on Friday to treat myself to Pizza Hut (been ages since I've had PH) so I consoled myself with making cookies from Chef in Training

Hmm, mine look nothing like the CiT cookies, the only difference is I left out is the sprinkles because I didn't have any. Otherwise I would have because I love sprinkles and they make me happy. I started out rolling them (the four on the right), but got tired of that and lazy after a long week at work so just dropped them (the four on the left). Clearly the rolled looked prettier, so I compromised and mushed down the peaks after dropping them.

Mine came out small and I think I overbaked them just a smidge - they weren't burnt, but then again maybe I just wasn't used to this texture cookie. I do wish they had tasted more cake batter-y.

This weekend, I gave Pralines and Cream Fudge a try from Something Swanky. It's a little on the rich-feeling side because of the white chocolate.

My mom loves pralines, so I thought this would be a nice treat for her...

It looks great, smells great, but it's okay. I'm sure it would have turned out better if I could have found Kraft caramel squares. As it is, I had to deal with the grocery's. I heated and heated and melted them, but once cooled, it got hard again.

People with fillings should beware if you don't start out with soft caramel squares like Kraft's.

After the fact I learned I could have added some milk to get it softer.

Personally, I think it would have been fine with 3/4 of the caramel. If I try this again in future I think I'll halve the caramel portion from the Homemade Twix recipe. That caramel was much softer.

It wasn't Mom's favorite, so I brought the bulk of it to work and it seems to be slowing disappearing.

"Let it Snow"

Well, not really, I hate the way drivers deal with snow. An inch does not warrant widespread panic and mayhem. Just sayin'...

Anyway, most recent wee finish.

Design: Snowman from "Let It Snow"
Designer/Source: Glory Bee Stitch / Just Cross Stitch Christmas 2009
Website: www.glorybeestitch.com
Fabric: 16 ct. Aida   Color: blue
Floss: DMC & Vikki Clayton silks
Started: 14 Dec 2011
Finished: 17 Dec 2011
Size: @ 2" x 3&frac;12" over-all
Goofs: none
Purpose: ornament
Notes: "Stuffed" with 2mm craft foam. I neglected to copy the legend whilst I had the magazine, so I chose my own colors. Body and arms in VC silks.
Available? No

07 December 2011

Ribbon Reindeer

Design: Stocking Reindeer
Designer/Source: Daffycat Designs
Website: www.itsdaffycat.blogspot.com freebies
Fabric: 14 ct. Aida   Color: White
Floss: DMC
Started: 26 Nov 2011
Finished: 26 Nov 2011
Size: @ 3" x 3" over-all
Goofs: none
Purpose: ornament
Notes: "Stuffed" with 2mm craft foam.
Available? Undecided

01 December 2011

"...the stockings were hung by the chimney with care..."

Clicks makes bigs...

Design: Stocking Reindeer
Designer/Source: Daffycat Designs
Website: www.itsdaffycat.blogspot.com freebies
Fabric: 14 ct. Aida   Color: White
Floss: DMC
Started: 26 Nov 2011
Finished: 26 Nov 2011
Size: @ 2.6" x 1.6" +/- design size; @ 3"x4" over-all
Goofs: none
Purpose: ornament
Notes: Fudged up the stocking top, since it would have been white on white,so I did one band in green. S'okay. "Stuffed" with 2mm craft foam.
Available? Undecided

21 November 2011

"Need a moment?"

Last week, I found this recipe for Homemade Twix:

And...being a Twix whore, immediately said "I'm making those!" And I did. Also partly because any time I get some out of a vending machine, the caramel reached rock-like consistency.

They are super easy and the hardest part was waiting until they were done.

First, you have to bake the crust. I ended up doing two batches so I wouldn't have a half-can of Eagle Brand laying around with no use. I'm not a fan of having to do cutting-in for crusts, but I persevered. TWIX!

Prep time, about 15 minutes, cook times @ 15 minutes.
My crust came out a wee bit cracked (click for larger pics):

Then you have to wait for the crust to cool completely before doing the caramel layer. Which is another 15 minutes prep time. About 5 minutes to get the ingredients mixed and to boiling, another 5 while it's boiling, and another 5 for cool-down. All while stirring.

Stir, stir, and more stirring...


Then, wait for that to get to room temperature...I allowed about an hour.

THEN, the chocolate layer...

About 5 minutes prep plus spreading time and you have THIS:

Pop in the fridge to cool/set the chocolate...again, I allowed about an hour or so while I showered and did a few other things.

But then, after dinner, they were ready to slice. I sliced straight from the fridge, but in future I'd let them set out for a little bit or get back to room temperature to be easier to slice. If I were really brave I would have popped the whole thing out of the pan then cut with a large knife. But in the end I had Twixxy goodness:

07 November 2011

"Cinnamon bites and kisses simultaneously." - Vanna Bonta

Quick, easy, I had a batch in 30 minutes!

Cinnamon Biscuit Balls: http://bunsinmyoven.com/2011/09/26/cinnamon-biscuit-balls/

For the caramel sauce I just heated up some Smucker's caramel topping, about 10 seconds for 1 tbsp. +/- and dipped. I think a caramel icing done similar to the pumpkin cookie icing would do nicely for these as well. Next time I make them I think I'll give that a try.

A cream cheese icing รก la cinnamon buns would probably work too...I think I may try that next time I make these.

03 November 2011

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

I came across this recipe last week:

Iced Pumpkin Cookies: http://www.foodbuzz.com/recipes/4438546-iced-pumpkin-cookie

Needless to say, this is pumpkin flavor season and I felt compelled to make them, so I bought the spices (no, I didn't have any, I'm gathering them as I need them) and the pumpkin over the weekend. I did a batch on Sunday, and realized I had remembered the recipe wrong - it was one cup of pumpkin, not one can. Okay. I can get just under 2 cups out of the can I bought. And ended up making 2 batches.

I did find that using tablespoonfuls to drop them on the cookie sheet made rather large cookies; the second half of the first batch and the second full batch I used a regular table/tea spoon, like you'd eat cereal with. They were much better sized because they do puff up while baking.

I took the second batch to work and they were a hit and I handed out the recipe twice.

Very yummy!

If you can make chocolate chip cookies, you can make these.

05 October 2011

"I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper." - Mark Darcy, Bridget Jones's Diary

That time of year already...time for Christmas stitching... not that I have a lot people to come up with gifts for or am religious, but I enjoy Christmas cross stitch patterns. Reindeer are my favorites.

Truly, quick stitchings, supposing you don't get ¾ done with one and have to frog it because you short-stitched a line by one. I managed all three over the weekend, amidst grocery, time at the parental units', and baking.

Clicks makes bigs...


Designs: Jinglebell Reindeer, Holly Reindeer, and Mistletoe Reindeer
Designer/Source: Daffycat Designs
Website: www.itsdaffycat.blogspot.com freebies
Fabric: 14 ct. Aida   Color: White
Floss: DMC
Started: 30 Sep 2011
Finished: 02 Oct 2011
Size: @ 2" x 3" +/- design size
Goofs: none
Purpose: ornaments
Notes: Used left over gold beads for Jinglebell from Shimmering Mermaid. "Stuffed" with 2mm craft foam.
Available? Undecided

22 September 2011

Tea wallet guide/info

Okay, the .pdfs didn't turn out as clear as I had hoped, but here are 3 versions:

Tea Wallet Layout 1.pdf - 2 pages, your usual pdf
Tea Wallet Layout 2.pdf - 1 page that gets shrinked-to-page
Tea Wallet Layout.sth - KG-Chart file available here

Go here: http://www.amethyst-night.com/xstitch/

Enjoy! =)

20 September 2011

"OMG! TEA!" - friend Karen (she loves tea)

pre-edging   blanket stitched edging  pre-edging  
pre-edging   pre-edging

Design: Celtic tea bag wallet
Designer/Source: Celtic Cross - Cari Buziak/Aon Celtic Art
Website: www.aon-celtic.com (Freeware section)
Fabric: 14 ct. Aida   Color: Khaki
Floss: DMC
Started: 08 Sep 2011
Finished: 13 Sep 2011 (stitching); 20 Sept 2011 (finishing)
Size: 5" x 3" folded; 5" x 7" flat
Goofs: none
Purpose: tea bag holder birthday gift for friend who loves tea.
Notes: I switched out the lightest color green in the cross because it was too minty (swapped 369 with 368), otherwise, colors as indicated; lyrics in 163; "have a cuppa..." in 904; "tea stash" in 500. Double-sided fusible interfacing on the inside to join the stitching and inside fabric. Blanket-stitched the edges; a little messy since this is the first time I've done that stitch. I think the prep and figuring out how to do this took longer than actualy stitching it up! =D But, hoping she likes it...(She did.)

Borders from Celtic Charted Designs by Co Spinhoven.

Lyrics from Great Big Sea's "Have A Cuppa Tea", on their album Safe Upon the Shore.

Available? No

07 September 2011

Deck the halls...

Design: Deck the Home
Designer/Source: The Trilogy (Treats! line kit)
Website: www.heartinhand.com
Fabric: 32 ct. Belfast Linen   Color: Summer Khaki
Floss: The Gentle Art and Weeks Dye Works, over 2
Started: 29 Aug 2011
Finished: 07 Sep 2011
Size: 3.4" x 4.1"
Goofs: none
Available? Undecided

31 August 2011

"Pooh is going to see his friend Christopher Robin and find out whether he is interested in Bears today."


Design: Christopher Robin and Pooh
Designer/Source: Storybook Favorites in Cross-Stitch by Gillian Souter
Website: www.amazon.com
Fabric: 14 ct. Aida   Color: cream
Floss: DMC, chart-indicated; name/info/quote in 904; bees in 783/728
Started: 20 Aug 2011
Finished: 31 Aug 2011
Size: @ 7" x 9
Goofs: none
Purpose: birth announcement
Notes: I added the quote as a border from Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne, Chapter 8 "In which Christopher Robin leads an expotition to the North Pole". I realized about halfway through that I should have started the quote on the top rather than the right. I wasn't going to undo at that point. Added the bee as space fillers from the Winnie the Pooh sketch chart by Disney.
Available? No

27 August 2011

A wee bit of argyle

Design: Jewel-Tone Argyle
Designer/Source: Designs by Stitch Witch
Website: www.stitch-witch.com
Fabric: 18 ct. Davos(?)   Color: cream
Floss: DMC, chart-indicated
Started: 14 Aug 2011
Finished: 27 Aug 2011
Size: 2 516" square
Goofs: none
Purpose: ornament?
Notes: I added the black half-stitches since the yellow got lost against the cream fabric...the pattern actually suggests black or navy fabric.
Available? Yes

16 August 2011

Olive's Knot

Design: Olive's Knot
Designer/Source: Holbein Embroideries
Website: Holbein Embroideries at Classic Embroidery
Fabric: 18 ct. Aida   Color: white
Floss: supplied in kit
Started: 14 Aug 2011
Finished: 16 Aug 2011
Size: 4" square
Goofs: none
Purpose: decorative
Notes: found the kit in Dublin, Ireland.
Available? Undecided

13 August 2011

Design: from Fan Cutlery Case
Designer/Source: Oriental Cross-Stitch by Lesley Teare
Website: www.amazon.com
Fabric: 18 ct. Davos(?)   Color: cream
Floss: DMC, chart indicated
Started: 13 Aug 2011
Finished: 13 Aug 2011
Size: 2½" x 2"
Goofs: none
Purpose: ornament?
Notes: replaced the gold braid with DMC 30743R.
Available? Undecided

Green Celtic knot

Design: Celtic Knot
Designer/Source: Celtic Charted Designs by Co Spinhoven
Website: www.amazon.com
Website: ??
Fabric: 18 ct. Davos(?)   Color: cream
Floss: Vikki Clayton HDF Kail 3365
Started: 13 Aug 2011
Finished: 13 Aug 2011
Size: 2" x 1.60"
Goofs: none
Purpose: ornament?
Available? Undecided

Design: 'Tis Green
Designer/Source: Lori Markovic of La-D-Da; Just Cross Stitch July/Aug 2010
Website: N/A
Fabric: 18 ct. Davos(?)   Color: cream
Floss: Vikki Clayton HDF "Acts of Violet"
Started: 11 Aug 2011
Finished: 13 Aug 2011
Size: 2¼" square
Goofs: none
Purpose: ornament?
Available? Undecided

06 August 2011

Variegated Celtic Knot

Design: September 2007 Celtic Knot
Designer/Source: Tracy Horner/Ink Circles
Website: www.inkcircles.com
Fabric: 28 ct. evenweave   Color: khaki
Floss: DMC: 4045 (green), 4140 (brown), over 2
Started: 30 Jul 2011
Finished: 06 Aug 2011
Size: chart-indicated
Goofs: none
Purpose: key-rest/coaster for Mom
Notes: the color combo looked better in my head. It's a little more vibrant in person, really.
Available? Yes

Blue Celtic knots

Design: Celtic Knot
Designer/Source: Celtic Cross Stitch by Gail Lawther
Website: www.amazon.com
Fabric: 14 ct. Aida   Color: navy
Floss: DMC: 334, 8517, 996, 3760, 3842
Started: 26 Jul 2011
Finished: 06 Aug 2011
Size: 4" square
Goofs: none
Purpose: key-rest/coaster for Mom
Notes: admittedly, probably not the best color-combo; but she wanted something dark.
Available? No

22 July 2011

"As you slide down the bannister of life, may all the splinters face the right way."

Growth Rings just needs finished off by the maternal unit into its final form. I finished it a couple weeks ago and was hoping she'd have done that by now, but I knew I was too hopeful...it took her 3.5 years before she got something else I had done for her framed! LOL

Last seen 6-9-2009       
    crazy flash warp  
closest to actual colors

Design: Growth Rings
Designer/Source: Tracy Horner/Ink Circles
Website: www.inkcircles.com
Fabric: 18 ct. Aida   Color: black
Floss: DMC 221 & 420
Started: 06 Apr 2009 & 17 Mar 2011
Finished: 22 Jul 2011
Size: Ah, forgot to measure
Goofs: I think so, one square off somewhere. I could find it if I searched for a few minutes.
Purpose: new cover for Mom's footstool.
Notes: it would have been done sooner if I hadn't taken an almost-two year break...multiple factors led to UFO status. Coloring in the pictures is not exactly representative of the colors, I'm not very adept at photographing black fabric projects. The last picture is probably the closest.
Available? No

19 July 2011

"Perseverance can reduce an iron rod to a sewing needle." ~ Chinese Proverb


Design: Blue Willow Patterns
Designer/Source: Oriental Cross-Stitch by Lesley Teare
Website: www.amazon.com
Fabric: 18 ct. Aida   Color: white
Floss: DMC, chart-indicated
Started: 19 Jun 2011
Finished: 19 Jul 2011
Size: 4.55" x 3" each stitched area; --" finished/overall
Goofs: yes, a few wee ones; not design-impairing.
Purpose: decorative for my kitchen; it will complement the blue walls and my Lochs of Scotland dishware.
Notes: panels, from top to bottom: The Palace, The Escape, and The Lovebirds. I almost didn't do the French Knots, but it didn't look right, so I learned them. At least now I can do a half-way decent French knot.
Available? No - Mine!

23 June 2011

"Domo arigato, Mister Roboto."

Design: Blue and Violet Geisha
Designer/Source: Oriental Cross-Stitch by Debbie Minton
Website: www.amazon.com
Fabric: 18 ct. Aida   Color: white
Floss: DMC, chart-indicated
Started: 18 Jun 2011
Finished: 23 June 2011
Size: 3.055" x 3.77"
Goofs: yes, in the hair; not design-impairing
Purpose: decorative
Notes: can't see the backstitching in the hair, so I skipped it.
Available? Undecided

31 May 2011


Failed in my resolution to have a finish each month. May just zipped by without a finish. *Sigh* Oh well.

29 April 2011

"The rabbits’ eye differs from that of the owl." - Greek proverb

Design: Owl
Designer/Source: Radical Cross Stitch
Website: Radical Cross Stitch
Fabric: 18 ct. Aida   Color: cream
Floss: DMC 930/931 blended
Started: 29 Apr 2011
Finished: 29 Apr 2011
Size: @ 2" x 3"
Goofs: none
Purpose: gift/decorative magnet.
Available? No

27 April 2011

"He who has no falcon must hunt with an owl." - Danish Proverb


Design: Blackwork Owl
Designer/Source: Kincavel Krosses
Website: Kincavel Krosses
Fabric: 18 ct. Aida   Color: cream
Floss: DMC 311/334
Started: 27 Apr 2011
Finished: 27 Apr 2011
Size: @ 2½" x 1¾"
Goofs: none
Purpose: gift/decorative magnet.
Notes: I think he looks a little mad.
Available? No