Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Recently I purchased a huge bag of frozen raspberries because I had this amazing idea to make about a million raspberry cream cheese muffins and send them to people as "I'm thinking of you" gifts. It was a sweet idea, wasn't it? Yeah, it was! But all the sweet ideas in the world are just frozen raspberries if they're never made into muffins.
Last week, I bought ANOTHER bag of frozen berries, this time a raspberry-blueberry-blackberry mix, for Thanksgiving. The hubbster doesn't like pumpkin pie or pecan pie (the two kinds of pies being provided by my mother-in-law) so I decided to earn some pie-points and bake him his own non-Thanksgiving-themed pie.
So I went to my freezer last night, and I had two half-eaten large bags of frozen berries. I was running out of room for all of my other freezer stuff (like the 10 boxes of Weight Watchers frozen desserts I've got in there). Something had to be done- and fast.
I did my normal problem-solver: www.foodnetwork.com, of course. And that's when I found heaven in the form of Triple Berry Turnovers- adapted from this recipe by the Neeley's.
WARNING: This recipe makes WAY too much filling for just 8 turnovers. We were happy about it, because we like berry stuff to accompany our vanilla ice cream once in a while. If you don't want extra, cut first six ingredients in half.
Weight Watchers Points Plus Value per serving: 4
- 4 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) frozen raspberries
- 4 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) frozen mixed berry blend (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry)
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium pot, combine the first 6 ingredients and mix well.
- Cook on medium heat until berries are thawed and mixture is syrupy.
- Allow to cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle on a well-floured surface and cut into 8 squares.
- Place onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Brush the edges of the square with the beaten egg.
- Place about 2 1/2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the square, leaving 1-inch on all sides clear.
- Repeat until all the puff pastry is used.
- Fold the turnover into a triangle, seal edges with fingers.
- Brush egg wash on top of each triangle.
- Bake the turnovers until puffy and golden brown, about 16-20 minutes.
- Dust with confectioners' sugar.
I made this layout for this Two Peas in a Bucket challenge.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Black and white photos can be breathtaking. Their ability to focus a picture, introduce new elements unnoticed in color, and simplify decent photos into masterpieces is widely known. However, changing a photo from color to black and white effectively is not so well known. Never fear- you’re about to learn how to easily (and beautifully) black and white your color.
Here’s a simple step-by-step plan to easily transform a color photo to black and white masterpiece using Photoshop CS.
Step 1: From the “Image” drop-down menu, select “Adjustments”, and then “Channel Mixer”. This is the most difficult part of the whole process. First, check the box in the bottom right corner that says “monochrome”. Next, slide the “red” slider to zero. You’ll notice your preview goes black. No worries- slide the “green” slider up to about 65%, and the “blue” up to about 60%. Move the sliders up and down until you reach the perfect black and white combo- you’re the judge on this one.
Step 2: From the “Image” drop-down menu, select “Adjustments”, and then “Brightness/Contrast”. Adjust the contrast to the desired level, in this case 30. You want true blacks, and true whites- play around with the slider til you find the perfect combo.
Step 3: Select the “Blur” tool from the tool panel. Make the brush size maneuverable for the photo, I used 231. Set “Mode” to “manual”. Set “Strength” to 100. Blur out anything that is not the primary focus. In this case, I blurred the background as much as possible, but especially the books in the bottom left corner. Eliminate any distractions.
And now you’re done! Your color photo is now a black and white photo- modern and eye-catching.
Have questions about other photo-processing techniques and would like to see more tutorials? Leave your suggestion in the comment area- we hope to see you again soon!
Also: Don’t forget about the huge CONTEST going on until Friday March 11- you could win a whole bunch of free digital scrapbooking stuff!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. While I personally don’t have any plans for that evening, I know many do, and I KNOW the kiddo and I will be doing at least one shamrock-themed craft that day. And when we do, I’ll be able to scrap the memory- now that I’ve designed this classic, deep hue, Celtic symbol paper.
When I think about Ireland, I think of misty mornings and heavy fabrics, warm drinks and bagpipes. (It might have something to do with Braveheart.) At any rate, I imagine beautifully dressed women in long gowns of blue velvet and green emeralds, men in their kilts, and beautiful jewelry and symbols. With that in mind, I designed my Celtic Wonder paper set- a five piece set designed especially for those Celtic themed layouts. Check it out:
This pack is now on sale at ShellinaScrap- just in time for St Patty’s Day.
And now, an Irish blessing to bring you a smile:
(Click the quote to find more Irish blessings!)
Monday, March 7, 2011
When I was in fifth grade, my teacher told me something that would stick with me forever:
“Always KISS- Keep It Simple, Stupid!”
Now, while I don’t support teachers who make a habit of calling their students stupid, I can attest to the fact that simplicity, whether it be in life, in writing, or yes, even in scrapbooking, is an excellent way to make a bold statement.
Often, as scrappers, we find ourselves with a whole slew of pictures from our most recent exploit, but really only one good one. In my case, I’ll have 800 pictures from any given event, and I might keep three of them. (I’m a little shutter-happy.) So when I get home, and I’m sorting through hundreds of pictures, and I pick my one keeper, I then find myself saying something like, “Oh dang it! A one-photo layout?! Lame!”
And to that little voice, I then respond, “NAY! A great layout can be made with just one photo!”
I did it, and you can too, with a little help. Sometimes the best layouts feature one beautiful photo that tells a beautiful story- and the layout just helps it shine more. For example, this layout:
Notice how the whole layout seems to frame the focal point, and serves to draw the eye right to the kiddo? By choosing to keep the page free of elements, putting in just a little bit of well-placed journaling, and triple framing the photo, the beholder automatically is drawn to the photo- the whole point of the layout.
Now it’s YOUR turn! Here’s a freebie for you- the template (shadows and shapes included) for you to add your own papers, photos, journaling, and title work and make a beautiful simple layout. Just go my website, and use the access code FREE01 to download.Feel free to share your layout with us! Put a link to your layout in the comments, and I’ll pick one to feature later this week.
(Just CLICK HERE, and use the access code FREE01 to download.)
And hey- do you like the papers used in the layout shown above? They can be yours! The Iron and Wine paper pack from ShellinaScrap is available now at my shop.