Tag Archives: holiday

Personalized Handmade Sled Ornaments

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My older two siblings and myself received these great sled ornaments in 1982 and they are hung on my parents’ tree every year.

I always felt bad that my younger sister didn’t have one (she wasn’t born yet in 1982). I decided to make some this year for all of the additions to our family post-1982 (sister, sister-in-law, niece).

These ornaments turned out to be far more work and time-consuming than expected. It probably didn’t help that I made seven of them (four were gifts for a friend).

First I had to cut all of the wood pieces. Next I painted them. Before I could assemble them I used an awl to create holes at the top which was rather difficult to do without splitting the wood.

The next step was to add all of the lettering (alphabet macaroni, a puddle of glue and some tweezers came into play here). While I was at it, I replaced all letters that had broken or fallen off of mine & my siblings’ ornaments. Finally, gold thread was strung through the holes to hang from the tree.

Handmade Button Wreath Ornaments – Modern & Vintage

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I love buttons. Vintage, modern – it doesn’t matter. Last year I bought some buttons at the craft store and made little wreath ornaments for my family. These are cute resin 4-hole buttons of various colors, sizes and textures; easy to string!

This year I went through my stash of vintage buttons from the ’40s-’70s and made a new style of wreath ornament. The way the shank buttons hang give a great look and shape to the wreaths.

What I’m listening to as I write this post: Charlie Brown Christmas Special

Handmade Bat Napkin Rings

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Halloween is just around the corner and I decided to create a little decoration for my mom. I love bats and wrote a pattern to create a no-sew napkin ring all with one piece of fabric. Awesome. Check out the little winged creatures:

What I’m listening to as I write this post: The news on TV (so sad, they are talking about Steve Jobs)

Independence Day Chocolate Berry Torte

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On July 4th I went to The Berry Farm to pick some fresh red and black raspberries.

This place has great fruit and everything is chemical & pesticide free!

Freshly picked black raspberries! Half of these are destined to become dessert at our family dinner.

Next time I may have to try this jam recipe. This was posted on the back of the berry stand.

Or maybe the pie recipe will come next… this was painted on the door of the berry stand.

The above photo is the final result of my Independence Day dessert! I modified the “Cherry Glazed Chocolate Torte” recipe from Hershey’s 100th Anniversary: 100 Years of Hershey’s Favorites recipe book to suit the freshly picked berries I had on hand. And check out those amazing biscotti my sister got from Del Ponte’s Bakery!

I made the following torte recipe with modifications as noted below.

HERSHEY’S CHERRY GLAZED CHOCOLATE TORTE
(ie: Independence Day Raspberry Chocolate Torte)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Cream Layer (recipe follows)
1 can (21oz) cherry pie filling, divided (I made my own berry topping instead of using the pie filling – see below.)

Heat oven to 350*F. Grease bottom of 9-inch springform pan. In large bowl, stir together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; using spoon, beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cake is set. (Cake will be fudgey and will not test done.) Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Prepare Cream Layer; spread over top of cake. Spread 1 cup cherry pie filling over Cream Layer; refridgerate 3 hours. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan; remove side of pan. Serve with remaining pie filling. Garnish as desired.

CREAM LAYER

1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened (I used the reduced fat version.)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed (I substituted 1 cup dairy whipped cream.)

In small mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended. Fold in whipped topping.

TRACIE’S FRESH BERRY TOPPING

1 – 1 1/2 cup raspberries
1 – 2 tsp sugar (I added this because black raspberries are a bit more tart than red. If I used red raspberries I would not have added the sugar.)

Mix items in a small pot. Heat over med-low heat until berries cook down a little, for about 10 minutes or until desired consistency. (You still want good-sized berries, but sitting in a little sauce.

The torte was delicious! The perfect ratio of chocolate, berries and cream.

We ended the day with a walk down to the boardwalk to see the Asbury Park fireworks. We were a couple of towns down, but still had a decent view. As we were getting ready to leave we saw some of the Point Pleasant fireworks going off to the South.