Back at it

I know, I know, I was MIA for a few days. So sorry – chalk it up to Christmas preparations! But I am back and have some exciting, fun and yummy things to share!

First off…I am so excited to have been asked to join the Design Team for Christmas Cards All Year Long! I have been following this site since it’s inception and I love what Deanne and her team did this fall. When I saw the Design Team call, I sat on it for a while and debated about entering. I entered at the last minute figuring I would get a “Thanks but no thanks” email, so was I ever thrilled to get a “Welcome to the team” email from Deanne instead! Here is the card I created using elements from Shabby Princess Holiday Magic Kit. (Although it is a digital kit, I printed off some of the elements and then cut and pasted them onto my card.)

This is the first Design Team I have been on, and I will be creating cards for the site from January through March! Make sure to bookmark the site and check back often, or use the link on my sidebar.

Next up…many sites and blogs are giving away free things leading to Christmas. Yesterday I got an email from Big Picture Scrapbooking saying that they are giving away a class called “Glimpses”. Of course I immediately signed up! While I was there I saw the schedule for the new year has been posted! They are offering classes from scrappy stars like Wendy Smedley, Ali Edwards, Kolette Hall and Jenni Bowlin among others, but the class I have been waiting for is “Library of Memories” by Stacy Julian. I first came across Stacy’s system in her books, and I have implemented some of her strategies, but I am looking forward to taking the three month long class with her and finally get my photo/scrapbooking system working! (The class starts in February) Then today I got another email from BPS with free downloadable and cute Christmas gift tags! Better get over there and sign up so you can get fun emails like this too!

As for our dailly baking of Christmas treats, that got a little behind as well! We haven’t actually made our Chinese noodle cookies (as mentioned in Dec 5 blog!!!)yet, but we did make Nanaimo bars. Here are the recipes (sorry no pics) for both:

Nanaimo Bars For those of you who are reading from outside of Canada…these are named for a city on Vancouver Island, BC. Apparently they were a winning entry in a recipe contest, but the modest baker named them after her town as opposed to herself! Whatever the name, these are so yummy! The recipe is a bit involved (not hard though) so when I am in a pinch I use a boxed mix from Robin Hood, but when I have enough time, here is the recipe I use:

Bottom layer-
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp. Cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 1/4 cups graham wafer crumbs
1/2 c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
Melt first 3 ingredients on top of a double boiler. Add egg. Stir constantly until cooked and thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press into square (8×8 or 9×9) pan and refrigerate while you are making the middle layer.

Middle Layer –
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. + 2 Tsp. cream (ie: whipping cream)
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream all ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer –
4 squares 1 oz each) semi-sweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. butter
Melt chocolate and butter in microwave, stirring until completely melted. Cool for a few minutes, then pour over second layer (spreading if needed to cover entire layer). Refrigerate. Cut into bars, squares or triangles. Freezes well.

Chinese Noodle Cookies When I was growing up mom and I made these every Christmas. Another very easy, delicious, chocolately, no-bake treat that freezes well.
1 12 oz. package chocolate chips
1 12 oz. package butterscotch chips
1 10 oz. can Chinese noodles (I use China Lily brand)
1 12 oz. can peanuts
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in large bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth and glossy. Add Chinese noodles and peanuts. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls on parchment or wax paper. Let cool until hardened. Makes about 30 cookies.

Now I have to do some updating on my website (watch for this week’s page plan a little later on) and get the Christmas cards in the mail. Then there’s still wrapping, cleaning, shopping…yikes! Gotta go!

Happy Scrapping!

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