Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Album Beginnings…and a Sweet Treat

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Good afternoon, dear friends!

A no-school Friday at our house!  Such a lovely, relaxing day!  I’ve got some delicious looking Gingerbread Cinnamon Buns raising on the counter right now…I’ll let you know how they are next time!

A Christmas mini-chipboard album’s beginning…here’s the cover…

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I love this vintage Merry Christmas print!  This is found in Crafty Secrets’ “Christmas” Creative Scraps…

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…so many fabulously festive images—front and back!

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I painted the frame with a mixture of green acrylics to get the desired shade…sanded it to age it a bit, added a smattering of Martha Stewart snowflake glitter for a bit of winter sparkle, and added some button “holly berries” and leaves…

…all framed with platinum Stickles, of course!

One more page to share today…

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This one, wrapped up like a gift…a sweet Crafty Secrets’ retro Santa and a retro me, sitting on  another  Santa’s lap at a church Christmas party back in 1964…

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I love seeing my Mom’s caring hands reaching out to make sure I’m securely perched…

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…a few stitched-up red buttons and some holly berries at the top finish it off.  I love these Christmas papers from the Graphic 45 Christmas collection.

Now, for a little treat!

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I love collecting the best of holiday baking magazines each year—so many amazing recipes to be found!

This one caught my eye and I just HAD to try it!  Didn’t have a couple of the ingredients, so I improvised, of course! (my favorite thing to do!)

So, here’s the original recipe, and I’ll tell you what I changed…

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APPLE –RAISIN COOKIE BARS

4 cups granola cereal

1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup chopped dried apple

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13x9” baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of pan.  Grease foil; set aside

In a food processor, combine granola, flour and salt; process just until mixture is combined.  Add butter; process with sever on/off turns just until mixture is combined.  Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle dried apple and raisins over crust.  Pour or spoon sweetened condensed milk evenly over top.  Bake about 20 minutes more or until top is golden brown.  Do not over-bake.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.  Use the foil to lift cooled bars from pan.  Cut into bars.

(Recipe courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens “Ultimate Cookies & Bars” magazine)

Okay…I didn’t have the two main titled ingredients—dried apples or raisins!  So, I decided to substitute white chocolate chips (of course, right?!) and dried cranberries.  The results?  AMAZING!  I also used a maple-pecan granola, and all the flavors blended together beautifully!

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Well, that’s it for me today.  I hope you have a glorious weekend, and I’ll see you soon with something new…

Julie