Crafted Living

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Archive for the category “Entertaining”

Recipe File: Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thanks to my husband for finding this recipe on the back of the Safeway oats carton.  Here is recipe #3 from my cookie baking stash:

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

  • 2 sticks softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 c Safeway Old-Fashioned Oats cereal
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly.  Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and then add oats.  Mix it together.  Put mixer on slow speed and slowly add dry mixture until thoroughly blended.  Add chocolate chips and mix together.  Then add golden raisins and mix until incorporated.  Using a small scoop, drop by the scoopful onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-13 minutes and rotate the baking sheets halfway through.  Cookies will be soft, but will firm up as they cool.  Makes about 45 cookies.

I love oatmeal raisin cookies and find these to be quite exceptional because of the spice mixture and unexpected surprise of the golden raisins.  My husband and I discovered long ago that recipes on the back or inside of packages usually are the best because they want you to use their product.  Kudos to my husband for discovering this recipe and being my chief cookie tester!

Happy baking!

*Tina

Recipe File: Chocolate Pistachio Wafers

Chocolate Pistachio Wafers

Chocolate Pistachio Wafers

Here is the second cookie recipe that my husband found on the inside of the Challenge Butter package.  He said we should try it.  What a smart man!

Chocolate Pistachio Wafers

  • 3/4 c or 1 1/2 sticks of salted butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c finely chopped raw pistachio nuts

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Fold dry ingredients into creamed mixture and mix until blended.  Form dough into two 10 inch to 11 inch long logs on sheets of parchment paper.  Position each log in the center of the paper.  Pour half of the chopped pistachios in a line parallel with each log of dough.  Roll logs in nuts to thoroughly cover the outside of each log.  Wrap each log in parchment paper and chill for 2-3 hours.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Slice each log into 1/4 inch slices and put on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Yields about 5 dozen.

One of my work colleagues favors this cookie over all others.  She won’t even eat the other cookies in the gift package because she loves these that much.  I offered to share the recipe with her and she said no because she only wants to treat herself to enjoying them once a year.  Wow!

Happy baking!

*Tina

Recipe File: Chocolate Filled Raspberries

Chocolate filled raspberries

Chocolate filled raspberries

For the party, I made chocolate filled raspberries and they were scrumptious.  I got the recipe from Sweet Paul and you will need the following:

  • fresh raspberries
  • dark chocolate chips

Simply place a chocolate chip in each raspberry.  Put the pointy end of the chip in.  Finished.  Unbelievably good and addictive!

Enjoy!

*Tina

Crafty Today: Photo Banner

Photo banner

Photo banner

To keep with the elegant and sophisticated look for the 5oth birthday party, I created a banner showcasing my husband through the years.  You will need the following supplies to create this project:

  • photos
  • matte presentation paper
  • foil tape
  • thin chipboard
  • ribbon
  • adhesive
  • hole punch

I collected photos of my husband from two years old to the present.  Scanned, cropped and edited those photos in Memory Manager 4.0.  Printed them on matte presentation paper.  Cut them out and adhered cropped photos to chipboard (cereal box cardboard is a great option).  Trimmed the photos again.  Applied foil tape to the edges.  Punched holes in the upper corners of each photo and strung the ribbon.  Hung it.  Voila!

Photo banner detail

Photo banner detail

I paired the photo banner with a Happy Birthday banner on loan from my mother.  All the guests enjoyed looking at the banner and it added to the festive atmosphere.

You can find Memory Manager 4.0 and the foil tape here.  The birthday banner was purchased at Tancredi & Morgen.

Happy crafting!

*Tina

Recipe File: Hummus

50th birthday party spread

50th birthday party spread

As promised, here is the hummus recipe:

Hummus

  • 1 can cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 c. tahini
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

Drain garbanzo beans.  Put the beans in a small saucepan and add enough cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Drain and cool.  Squeeze lemons, peel garlic, and measure out tahini.  Put drained beans, lemon juice, garlic, tahini and salt into a blender or food processor.  Blend into a creamy paste, using rubber spatula to push mixture down.  Pour into a bowl and chill.  Dip should have the consistency of peanut butter.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

This recipe is an old trusted recipe from the Lebanese side of my mother’s family.  The original recipe calls for one clove of garlic and I always add three.  My brother has also tweaked it by adding more lemon juice, which makes it more on the runny side.  Whichever way you make it, it will be fantastic.  A creamy, velvety hummus with a kick.  Hope you try it!

*Tina

Effortless Entertaining: 50th Birthday Party

50th Birthday Party

Entertaining in style

We celebrated my husband’s 50th birthday on Saturday with a magnificent party.  We started with a wine and cheese spread followed by a light dinner and finished with birthday cake.  Here is how I did it:

  1. Dishes and Glasses: I used a combination of pressed glass dishes, china, small cheese plates, and a collection of wine glasses.  Nothing matched per se, but it worked well together.  The pressed glass bowls and plates are from my mother’s collection, the china is mine from my great grandmother (who loved to entertain), the small cheese plates are from my collection as well as the wine glasses.
  2. Flowers: The camellias are from my garden and the hydrangeas are from my mother’s garden.
  3. Cheese: We are fortunate to have several shops in the area that carry delectable cheese.  The four cheeses on the green marble slab are from The Cheese Store of Pasadena.  The cheese on the small cutting board is from our local farmers market.
  4. Crackers and Dark Chocolate: Both of these food items came from Trader Joe’s.  We had dark chocolate covered almonds, dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, dark chocolate covered cherries and dark chocolate almonds sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar.
  5. Food: The carrots came from the local farmers market and I paired it with my hummus.  The recipe will be posted tomorrow.  A selection of cured meats was purchased from Trader Joe’s.  The olives came from The Cheese Store and the raspberries were filled with chocolate.  The raspberry recipe will be posted next week.  For dinner, we ate meatballs made by a dear friend, kale salad and fresh sourdough bread.  We topped off the evening with a delicious chocolate strawberry shortcake birthday cake made by a colleague.
  6. Wine: We had a selection of red and white wine plus Prosecco and port.
  7. Miscellany: Since we have a wine and cheese party twice a year, I have collected various serving pieces and other items to make it easy to pull it all together.  The marble slab and cutting board are designated cheese boards for the party.  The cheese knives came from Pottery Barn years ago as well as the small cheese plates.  The cheese markers are a recent addition and I purchased those in Los Olivos at The General Store.  I pick up napkins from Tuesday Morning or wine shops and have collected wine coasters to add to the collection.  Every wine glass has a wine charm and they were purchased from Brighton and The Key of A.

My rule is that I want it to look elegant and sophisticated, but be relaxed and fun at the same time.  I purchased most of the food, but had certain dishes made from scratch to make it special.  The party lasted for six hours and everyone had a grand time!

*Tina

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