Sunday, May 27, 2012

How We Celebrated...Part 1

Yes, it's been a few weeks since I blogged.  Although I have had lots to blog about, I wasn't feeling particularly inspired.  Then I had the brilliant idea to feature all the projects I was working on for Hubby's birthday this month, so I had to wait until that came and passed (since we sort of celebrated here and there all week).  And since we finally finished our birthday fun last night, I'm finally ready to write about what went on.  And I'm going to milk it, too, by featuring one item per blog.  Here goes...

1.  Birthday Wreath
Back in January, my friend Jacki blogged about a goal she had for the year - to have a new wreath on her front door each month.  And while I don't think I necessarily want a wreath all the time (after all, variety is the spice of life) I do like how welcoming a decorative hanging on the front door seems.  So I thought I'd try to meet Jacki's challenge.

Since I already had a Valentine door hanging as well as an Easter wreath in my collection, I thought it would be nice to have something to "Welcome Spring" to put up between the two occasions.  I found a cute design on Pinterest, so I followed the directions from the "Capture the Details" blog, and viola!  I was pretty happy with the result:

Following that success, I was ready for another challenge.  The next event:  Hubby's May birthday.  I found another wreath design online that I liked using un-inflated balloons and set out to recreate it.  I have to say, the birthday wreath was quite a bit more work (and quite a bit more costly, too).  The styrafoam wreath is wrapped in ribbon (which you can't even see, even though the ribbon was about $5) and there are almost 250 balloons on it, not to mention the "Happy Birthday" sticker and hat.  The little things added up quickly (although I suppose I could have made those items myself if I was super creative).   But since this wreath will be used three times each year, it's multipurpose (at least that's how I'm justifying it).  I really like how it looks:

Isn't it colorful?  I do think I'll add a few curly ribbons to it before we pull it out again for Bubba's birthday in July, and maybe stick a little gift ornament on it as well.

I was considering a patriotic wreath for the early summer to commemorate Memorial Day and Independence Day, but I think I might be a little burned out on crafts -- wreaths in particular -- for now.  So I found this at Kohl's for 60% off.

I think it will least for now.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Good Excuse

I'm not sure where the idea came from, but I've wanted to try making homemade tortillas for a while.  So when Cinco de Mayo rolled around yesterday, it seemed like as good a time as any to go for it.  And I am so glad I did!  Despite the fact that I can't roll dough into any semblance of a circle to save my life, the tortillas were by far the coolest thing I've made in a while and they weren't difficult either.  We used them for tacos, and the flavor was so much better than store-bought tortillas.  The calories were quite a bit less, too.  I can't wait to try using fresh tortillas in enchiladas.  Yum.

Homemade Flour Tortillas
Adapted from
Printer-friendly copy

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting and rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon plain shortening
3/4 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.  Combine the shortening in with your fingers until the flour is crumbly.  Add the water, a little at a time because you might not need it all, and mix until the dough comes together.  Place on a floured surface and knead a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, but not sticky.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes.  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.  Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Use a well-floured rolling pin and roll each dough piece into a thin, round tortilla.  Place the dough into the hot, dry (do not use cooking spray) skillet and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side.  Repeat until each piece is cooked, adjusting the temperature of the skillet as necessary.  Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in a sealed container.  Serves 12.