Friday, October 29, 2010

It's CHEESECAKE season!!

 For the last 10 years or so, we've been in charge of putting on a big Christmas banquet our church.  It's a big event (we feed about 250+ each year), and every fall, I love trying out new recipes to figure out what we'll prepare for this year's banquet.  That's especially true for the desserts--my favorite part of the meal!  I try out desserts on my customers when they come to my workshops, and I think they're always more than willing to help me out!!
I'm a total recipe junkie--I scour through oodles of magazines, I browse cookbooks, and I look all over the internet.  One of my FAVORITE places to get good recipes is from Todd Wilbur's Top Secret Recipes books and website.  Both of these cheesecakes, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake and Pumpkin Cheesecake, which I made for my Christmas Card Sampler class last night, come from Top Secret Recipes.  They're both knock-offs of Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes, and they both were really YUMMY!!  You can get the recipes from the Top Secret Recipes books or by buying the recipes individually off of his website,  They're usually 99 cents each.  I'd type them here for you, but cheesecake recipes are awfully long! 

I've found that the secret to good cheesecake is letting your cream cheese soften to room temperature and baking your cheesecake in a water bath (you wrap foil around your springform pan so the water doesn't get in) and set the pan inside another pan filled with 1/2 to 1" water.  I also line my pans with parchment paper (sides and bottom) so that they come out easily.

If you want to help me sample some yummy desserts, sign up for my upcoming classes. . .restaurant-quality desserts at no extra cost!


These are some of the cards we made at my Christmas Card Sampler Class last night.  I'll be having another Christmas card class, the Christmas Card Marathon, coming up Nov. 8th or 9th (same class both nights).  At the marathon class, we'll be making 20 cards in one night (four each of five designs).  If you'd like to come, be sure to contact me!  Cost is $8 for materials plus a $10 minimum order.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I'm loving the blues and browns in our new Magnifique paper.  This board shows the layout I did with my club members this month--complete with rub-ons and paper pleating.  Most of the cards (except the clear card) were made by my magnificent team members for our last team meeting swap.

If you live in the Springfield area and want to join one of my monthly workshop clubs, let me know!

Monday, October 11, 2010


When I saw this adorable table topper on our Consultant website (original design by Annette Green of Florida--this photo is my version), I knew I had to try this for myself!!  It's a great home decor item that you can put on a shelf, table or mantle--"Thanks" on one side and "Joyful" on the other.  You can even make it with your letters going the other way and have a vertical wall hanging!  This project uses our new Mix N' Mingle mini album with papers from our Olivia and Mistletoe kits.  If you'd like to come make this project, I'll be teaching a workshop on Thursday, November 18th, 6 p.m.--just in time for Thanksgiving!  Cost is $25, which includes the Mix N' Mingle album, a set of chipboard letters, a package of Opaques pearls and all the papers you'll need.  Please sign up by November 4th so that I can get your materials ordered!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


 Today I've been designing clear cards for my Thursday night clear card class.  If you haven't yet tried these clear cards from Close to My Heart, you need to give it a go!  Clear cards require a little more thought to put together, but they're not difficult, and there's something really cool about giving someone a clear card.

Monday, October 4, 2010


When I have meetings with my Close to My Heart team members, we always have a great time!  And, although we get together to scrapbook and stamp, I have to tell you that these gals can cook!  We never starve at a team meeting!  (Come join my CTMH team and see what I mean!!)  As a result, I get some fabulous recipes from my fellow team members.  This recipe came from Jan Jackson, and I think it has to be the easiest soup recipe I've got.  My family loves it, and it's perfect for busy days (and cold days) when you need something to warm you up and fill you up!


1 bag frozen tri-colored cheese tortellini (if I can't find tri-colored, I go for regular cheese tortellini)
1 lb. ground beef
2 cans of Cream of Onion soup
2 cans beef broth
1 can Rotel (I use mild, though this soup still has a bit of kick)
1 can cut green beans
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef and drain.  Combine the beef and all of the other ingredients and cook in a crock pot on high for one hour (I'm sure you could simmer this on the stove, too).  The soup will get thicker the longer it sits.