Friday, September 30, 2011

Excuse me while I abandon my blog.

I am sorry Sweetest Pear, that you have taken a back seat to the gorgeous weather, family engagements, a few social outings and the general fatigue I've been experiencing.

Thanks to my fabulous readers who stop back and look at the same post day after day--how many times can you look at baked potato soup before giving up? It's good soup, trust me. But I will return very soon with lots of crafty and edible goodness to spice up this here blog again.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm alive and well (rested). My normal blogging time has become my new sleeping time. It's cool to go to bed when the 18 month old does, right? The sun is down, so it's totally bedtime in my book. See you soon and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

Favorite Fall Food: Soup. Love it all. Unfortunately my family does not feel the same way. But they will eat this one. It's hearty and has bacon in it. What? The bacon presence doesn't justify the legit-ness of a meal? It does at our house. This recipe is a keeper...and not too tough to make.


  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (we use a bag of "real bacon pieces")


  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool and cube potatoes.
  • Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add flour and stir until combined. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes).
  • Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Add potatoes and onions. Garnish with cheese and bacon and additional green onions.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

That Sweet Face

Of the hundred or so pictures we took to celebrate the little one's 18 months, about five turned out. Pretty good ratio, huh? My husband played photographer for these. I played silly and ridiculous, which elicited zero smiles. I am learning more about lighting and shadows as we play around with our camera, but have got a long way to go. Doesn't hurt when your subject is this dapper, I suppose. The learning curve for photography seems to be a little steep for husband keeps recommending practice. Novel concept for one who teaches kids every day. Better get to taking some more photos.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lemon Raspberry Mousse Squares

I just tried this dessert last week and loved it. It's light but sweet, and kinda fun to make--you get to stack vanilla wafers and flip the whole thing over in the end. Trust me, that's pure enjoyment for yours truly.
  • 48 vanilla wafers, divided
  • 3/4 cup(s) boiling water
  • 1 package(s) (3-ounce) Lemon Flavor Gelatin
  • 1 cup(s) ice cubes
  • 1 package(s) (8-ounce) softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 2 teaspoon(s) lemon zest
  • 1 tub(s) (8-ounce) whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 1/3 cup(s) raspberry preserves
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) fresh fruit


  1. Stand 16 wafers around edge of plastic wrap-lined 8-inch square pan. Add boiling water to gelatin mix; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in ice until melted.
  2. Beat next 3 ingredients in large bowl with mixer until blended. Gradually beat in gelatin. Whisk in 2 cups Cool Whip®.
  3. Pour half the gelatin mixture into prepared pan; cover with 16 wafers. Microwave preserves on high 15 seconds or until melted; brush onto wafers. Top with remaining gelatin mixture and wafers.
  4. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Invert dessert onto plate; top with remaining Cool Whip® and fruit.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Felt Owl Friend

My niece turned four last week, so to celebrate I crafted up this sweet owl. This little creature is about 10 inches tall and crafted completely out of felt. To make, I cut pattern pieces out of paper then traced onto felt. I attached the felt with a blanket stitch using embroidery floss in matching colors. It's stuffed with the regular ole' filling from the craft store and lots of love. This might be just the beginning of my animal adventures with felt.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

DIY Toolbox

I thought I'd continue the trend of showing off other people's craftiness today. My husband is usually the handyman behind my big projects, but last weekend he tackled one of his own. I thought it was a clever little transformation, so decided to share it here.

After rescuing some old filing cabinets from their fate in the dumpster, he brought up these clunkers. He gave them a new coat of paint, some casters (we just happen to have these from other storage bins..who knew they're all the same size?), and built and painted a top for them. Now he has two toolboxes on wheels. Ingenious, I must say.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Have you noticed we haven't heard from Barb for quite some time now? If you're just joining us, she's the other half of The Sweetest Pear. Her absence is not without reason. She has been keeping busy creating lawn and garden decor, which we lovingly refer to as "yart." Along with her sister-in-law, Barb creates and sells plate flowers, totems (stacked ceramic plates/bowls/etc), vase bugs, and stepping stones. All the yart items are sturdy, and even better, every piece is unique. I stalked them at their show this weekend and snapped some shots between customers. The pictures don't capture the coolness of it all, but you can get the idea.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wrap Bracelet

I decided to test my crafty skills by making a wrap bracelet this past weekend. It was much easier than I thought, and didn't require any jewelry making tools. Which is great, because I don't own any of these. I had three tutorials pinned, but ended up using the one from Hollie Rogue. It was straightforward with a lot of pictures. I bought all the supplies at JoAnn Fabrics, and have enough to make a couple more. That's code for "if you're a close friend or relative, expect this to be your next holiday gift."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Necklace Holder and Decor

Though I do not wear some of these necklaces often, they look great hanging on our wall. I had a plaque that had some wording on it, and decided it was the perfect size for this. I peeled off the words, painted it white, then my handyman drilled some holes and cut the ends of the knobs off (so they wouldn't hit the wall behind). The knobs we got from Hobby Lobby at half price, and we had the little plaque, so this beauty cost about $15. Here it above my makeshift end table:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Furniture Revamp

I have an uncontrollable urge to sweep everything off our kitchen island into the garbage. It drives me nuts how much stuff piles up on my limited kitchen workspace. Never mind that most of the junk is mine. Well, I've solved that problem, I think. Enter: five dollar record player stand. The previous owner tells me that's what it is anyway. It's got shelves inside to house plenty of albums and room for the record player on top. What I saw was a great way to conceal all our extra "counter junk," an accessible spot for the camera, and a colorful addition to our living/dining room area.

So here's the process:

1. Purchase the piece and haul it home. Convince your husband it's awesome.
2 . Clean it up and remove handles.

3. Sand with an electric sander, do the details by hand.
4. Prime and paint. Paint another coat. Then another. Adorn with some cute hardware. Store and hide all your junk inside.
Not the best after picture, but you get the drift. We need to get a latch and baby lock to keep the door closed, but I love my new concealed storage.