Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Special Card for Courageous Friend

I have a very special friend who has been fighting the dreaded "C" disease for the past several months.  She is a pillar in our community and loved and respected by all.  But cancer doesn't care how wonderful she is - and that is just one of the MANY things I hate about it. :(

I wanted to send her a little sunny encouragement and I hope this card helped.    I have been stretching to learn new things and/or use techniques that I have not used in a very long time - like distressing.  The Coredinations card stock is great for that because the white core comes through the color when lightly sanded - and I love that look with this card.

The digi image is another beautiful flower from Power Poppy - Climbing Clematis.I used the Spectrum Noir color blend pencils and gamsol to blend the colors together.  I had forgotten how incredible relaxing it is to color with pencils and I am determined to do more of it.  I just need to make more time.  I traced the image in SCAL and cut it out with the Silver Bullet and purposely left a bit of a shadow around it.  The "thinking of you" is a Hero Arts stamp, colored with a Zig Brush Marker to complement the background.

Love the closeup of the butterfly and all of the colors. The rhinestones
give the butterfly that little bit of sparkle and pop!

I highlighted the center of the flowers with Color Technik glitter gel pens.  I love the way they color - so smooth and sparkly. They are my "go to" gel pen because of the wide variety of color choices.  Well, I really love the Sakura gel pens, but they are limited in color - so I use both.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

For Easter Brunch this year, I was asked to bring a "fun" ice cream.  I wasn't sure what that meant (isn't ALL ice cream fun?!?) but later it was clarified that strawberry cheesecake ice cream would be great. So that is what I made and it was delicious!

adapted from Handle the Heat

1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
3/4 c. raw cane sugar, divided (1/4 c for the berries; 1/2 c. for the ice cream mixture)
1 T. balsamic vinegar
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
3 tsp. lemon juice
2 T. Lyle's Golden Syrup (or corn syrup)
1/4 t. fine sea salt
2 t. vanilla bean paste
4 whole (rectangle) graham crackers, chopped

Preheat the oven to 300.  Line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper.

Mix the quartered strawberries with 1/4 c. sugar and the tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  Spread the strawberries over the parchment paper in one layer.  Roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until they are darker in color, soft and the juices have released. (and they will smell heavenly!)  Transfer the strawberries to a medium bowl and mash until only small pieces of fruit remain.  (I used a hand blender so they were chopped probably a bit more than they should have been.  But it was still delicious!!)  Chill the berry mixture in the refrigerator about 1 hour, till completely chilled.

In the meantime, blend the remaining ice cream ingredients (except the graham crackers) in a food processor until the mixture is smooth.  I pulsed for about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover tightly. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to one day.

When ready to churn, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker.  Freeze according to manufacture's directions.  During the last 5 minutes of freezing, add most of the roasted strawberries and chopped graham crackers. Pour into an ice cream container and press plastic wrap or parchment against the ice cream.  Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

*  I put about half of the ice cream into the container and added a layer of roasted strawberries and then garnished the top with a few more strawberries and chopped graham crackers. 

I let my machine churn a few more minutes so the strawberries blended a bit more than they "should" have, but the end product was delicious and tasted like wonderful strawberry cheesecake..

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Happy Easter - a Little Late!!!

With Spring arriving so late in parts of the country, I figured I might be able to get away with posting a "bleated" Easter card.  This was actually delivered in time, but I was busy packing for a trip to New York so all things got pushed to the bottom of my priority list.  I have returned and am exhausted and jet lagged, but had a GREAT time. Will share more of that trip once I catch up on some posts!

It is hard to believe that Carter just celebrated his third Easter and family gathered around to help him enjoy the festivities with Easter brunch and plenty of Easter Bunny goodies. (post on my ice cream contribution to follow soon!)

I just realized as I am writing this, that his card was a bit more grown up than it should have been.  Not sure what I was thinking, but I definitely could have made it more little boyish - not that he cared. He was definitely more interested in the goodies in the Easter basket that we delivered!

And it was nice for both of the grandmothers to be there along with other family members and share in the fun over brunch.

This was a stamp I got years ago that I have been putting
on the back of the cards made for my grandchildren.

I hope you all had a blessed and happy Easter and are ready to enjoy a beautiful Spring.

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