Saturday, December 3, 2011

{FREEBIE} Game Day Bag Toppers

My son Cameron has been participating in Early-Bird Basketball at our local YMCA.  It has been fun to see him learn to shoot a basketball and he LOVES practice time with daddy.  This week was our turn to provide the post-game snack.  SO, we bagged up some 100% Juice Capri Sun and a granola bar for each player.  Cameron even helped me fill the bags and put the labels on each one.  It's always fun to dress things up a little.
Here' they are all bagged up and ready to go:

I used a red chevron pattern for the background because Cameron is on the "red" team.  You can download this red version below (just print as a borderless 4" x 6" photo, fold, and staple on to top of bag).  If you are looking for a different color or sport for your kids team, just send me a massage and I can alter either (or both) for a custom game day bag topper for just $2! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

{FAMILY FUN} Thanksgiving 2011

So I actually have MANY things to blog about, thus the silence over the last month or so.  I have been incredibly busy with some projects, however Thanksgiving get the first report.

Last year we had a huge group of friends come for a Thanksgiving potluck, but many of them had plans this year, so we ended up with just an intimate group.  Our friends Gavyn and Eliana came with their friend Jason.  

It was so fun to create a ton of fabulous dishes and then sit down and enjoy them with friends.  Though it took me just about two whole days of cooking, it was worth the time.  I have taken many recipes I have collected over the years and twisted some of them a little to make them more interesting.  A true gem I came across this year was William-Sonoma Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce!  Seriously, you will NEVER do canned again if you try this.  To tell you the truth, I never went back to canned even after just doing the cranberry recipe in the bag of cranberries . . . just throw a bag of cranberries, 2 cups of sugar, and two cups of water in a pot and boil . . defiantly worth the pot to have fresh sauce over canned.  If you haven't liked cranberry sauce before, trust me, try it  fresh . . SO much tastier than the can (especially the jelly kind, eek).

I made place cards from a Thanksgiving Clip-Art Place Cards template at  To make food labels, I then altered a cropped image in Photoshop to make the space large enough to accommodate the longer food names. And finally I lengthened that image to make a menu.  If only they would do all this work for me, lol.  Oh well, glad I can manipulate things in Photoshop.  (I will make these changes downloadable at the bottom of this post)

Anyway, I just wanted to share the deliciousness I CRAFTED this Thanksgiving . . here's a look (in the order of the menu):


I would have to say my favorite dish was the Bacon & Herb Ciabatta Dressing . . . . I have actually been altering a recipe from Jeremiah's Grandma I received a few years ago.  (Also, the pilgrim figures on the table were CRAFTED by her as well).  I never had the chance to meet her, she passed away before I joined the family, however her cooking legend lives on and inspires me in many ways.  I have substituted the bakery bread crumbs for Ciabatta bread I dice and dehydrate myself.  Then, I use fresh herbs rather then the dried ones her version calls for.  This year, I added crumbled bacon, mostly because there was extra from the BLT Deviled Eggs.  Also, I have substituted part of the amount of milk her recipe calls for with cream . . can't go wrong with that I think.  Anyway, it has become a delicious dish I know we will keep making for years to come.

So here's the download for the altered Martha Steward Place Cards . . . . a blank menu and a tag with an enlarged text field.

THANK YOU for reading!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{FAMILY FUN} Tomato Garden

Well, last night was the first frost this fall and I had to hurry and pick what tomatoes I could from our little garden.  It seems to be taking a long tome for our green ones to turn, but I was able to bring in a load of bright red ones last night.  In fact, I had two large juicy ones for my lunch today.  It seems that we have harvested the bulk of our tomatoes a lot later than others . . which is good since I haven't really had time to deal with them.

There are quite a few green ones left, so we covered them with a tarp last night as an attempt to prevent them from freezing.  Hopefully we can coax these last few along.

We are also nurturing some spontaneous pumpkins that are growing on the side of our house . . I will have to share about those another time.  

Anyway, here's the ruby red beauties . . . 

Hmmm . . . now what to do with them . . . .I am thinking chili sauce!!!  Seriously have the best recipe from my mother-in-law, who just happens to be coming to visit for the next 5 days!  It's a must have to eat with beef roast and top meat loaf! Reminds me of the "Homemade" brand my mom would buy when I was growing up.  I can never seem to find it in stores these days . . good thing I have a recipe for it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

{FREEBIE} Halloween Party Printable - Cupcake Wrappers

What a BOO-tiful October is has been so far  . . . fall is finally here.  I have to say that fall is my FAVORITE season!  I just love jacket weather and the crispness that is starting to snip in the air.

With the season changing, Halloween is quickly approaching. So, I am excited to share a Halloween Party Printable Kit now available in my Etsy shop.  With over 74 different printable options, I have designed each piece to maximize customization with both a black version and a green version. You can even customize your own text by downloading Troutkings BTN

This kit includes:

  • Poster : "Happy Halloween," "This Way," and Blank
  • Cupcake Stand
  • Cupcake Wrapper: "Happy Halloween" and Blank
  • Party Hat
  • Straw Flags
  • Invitation
  • Invitation envelope
  • Tent Cards (to label food and top favor bags)
  • Pinwheel
  • Milk Carton Box
  • Water Bottle Labels
  • Pennant Banner
  • Top Fold Card: "Thank You" and Blank
  • 3" and 2" Circles: Spider Graphic, "Happy Halloween", "Thank You", "BOO", and Blank
  • Popcorn Box
  • Pillow Box

To get you started with your Halloween celebration here's a FREEBIE cupcake wrapper printable:

Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 26, 2011

{RECIPE} Lemon Bars

When life gives you lemons, just make LEMON BARS!!!   SO much more satisfying that lemonade anyway.  And if life doesn't give you lemons go get some by yourself, you will be glad you did!  I just have to share my most favorite Lemon Bar recipe of all time.  Years ago, I found this delicious recipe by Ina Garten,  and I remember being so excited to make these the first time. She always has the most decadent recipes.  

Well, I can say that I have been making them for years now and never cease to be impressed with how yummy and rich they turn out.  These bars bake up thicker than the bars I grew up making, and I LOVE that! =)  More creamy lemon goodness to enjoy!  I am sure you can make them with bottled lemon juice, but I never have.  I have always used fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest.  They turn out so incredibly fabulous that I haven't dared use bottled juice and risk disappointment.  It takes a bit more forethought to use fresh ingredients, but it is SO worth it!

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Just a note, I like to line the pan with parchment, that why the whole thing lifts out fro easy cutting.

Anyway, I am sure you will love these as much as I do, so give them a try!  Let me know how yours turn out.

Enjoy the yumminess!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

{SHOP} Colored Pencil and Notebook Caddy

Here's the latest item to be offered in my Etsy shop!  I CRAFTED this lovely colored pencil and notepad case out of 100% cotton fabric and 100% cotton batting.  The case conveniently holds 8 pencils and one notepad.  I thought that this would make a great birthday gift for your little artist in your life, folds up conveniently to go just about anywhere.  

Keep an eye out for more color/fabric options being added soon.

Happy Drawing,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

{Tutorial} Hamburger Sandwich Cookies

For the block party, I made these darling little Hamburger Sandwich Cookies to package and send home a a party favor.  They went along PERFECTLY with the BBQ theme. These little sliders are super easy and come together quickly.  

You'll Need:
1 Package Keebler Grasshopper Cookies
1 Package Keebler Vanilla Wafers
1 Tub Duncan Heinz Cream Cheese Frosting ( half dyed red  and half dyed yellow)
1 Package Flaked Coconut, dyed green*

*place the amount of coconut you think you will use in a plastic bag along with a few drops of green food color.  Hold closed and shake.

The Process:


To package just use the Wilton Clear Treat Bags, the printable tags below, and a stapler.   Simply slide the cookie in the bag, place the label, folded in half, over the top of the bag, and staple.  And Here's a download for the nifty tags I created!  For the original blank version (without the red text) head over to Hostess with the Mostess.

Happy Burger Making!

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