Sunday, January 29

Tutorial: How to make your own cookie cutters.
WHY? Why would anyone bother doing this? See below - for the why and the how. I was inspired by a You Tube video (I think) which I've since tried to search for so I could credit her, but I couldn't, so I took a shot and making my own and thought I'd share it with you guys. 

Cookie Cutter copy
And here are the finished cookies. I didn't have time to ice them - mostly because they were all eaten, but also because I didn't have yellow food coloring. Maybe the next batch. For the Cookie, I used Martha Stewarts recipe


Sunday, January 22

The Dragon New Year ... and a giveaway

Happy Chinese New Year. This is the Year of the Dragon - MY year. :) Which, if you can do the math, means I'll be 48 at the end of the year. Yikes! With my Aunt getting older and my mom living so far away, I cooked the whole meal (well, most of it) for my family. It was surprisingly so much fun. 

Chinese New Year is akin to Thanksgiving for us. Its a time of reflection, happiness, and hope for the future. So, even if you are not Asian, Happy New Year everyone. May the luck of the Dragon spread to you all
. Dragon Table 

And for the occasion, I have a giveaway printable poster. Grab it here. 2012_POSTER 

I wanted to make something to go in a frame that I rotate prints in. I am also printing one for my mom's restaurant - with the addition of the restaurant name. 


Monday, January 16

Lego Mania

Have you ever tried to build something with lego and been frustrated by just digging around for the pieces you might need? We did. It felt like it took longer to find the pieces than it did to make anything. My husband decided to separate the bigger pieces by color after a night like this... 
Building with Legos 

We put them in ziplock bags and dumped them into a big box that we'd gotten. The box was perfect for just the bigger pieces but it overflowed when you added all the Legos we had into it. This is the box we started with - our neighbor had gotten 2 boxes as a gift and gave us one. Original Lego Box

The best part of organizing the Lego is that the next morning, my 5 year old came down, pulled out all the bags, tossed them all over the floor, took out what he wanted, built his toy then - shocker - put all the pieces back into the bags, pressed the air out of the bags, zipped them back up, and put them all back in the box. What? That made it all so worth it. This is what he built. He called it Wormy and carried it around for a week.


But folks, that was just the lead-in ... THIS is what I really wanted to blog about. Take a look at my Lego Organization! 


i bought some boxes that stacked and (see the handle looking things?) they clicked on to each other so they can be carried as a group. Some of the boxes even had little trays inside to further separate into boxes. This allowed me to break them down by color and some by unique shapes. 

Mainly they were grouped by color according to the ones that had 'regular thickness' and 2 circles side-by-side. 

Here is a detail of the Yellow box. I wish this had a separator so I could keep the 2 circled pieces from the larger ones. 

 Angled Pieces Flat Lego Boxes 

(oops, I have a typo below, but its late and I'm too tired to fix it right now.)
Lego Tackle Boxes _SMALL  Misc Pieces 
Voila! My masterpiece!
I know... I call it organized, my friends are calling me uber-anal. But this is how the Legos have stayed, for months, even with my son playing with them regularly. 
So, yeah, I'm a little crazy. Yeah, it took a long time and a good bit of my Christmas break. But I LOVE it. :)


TARGET: the stackable boxes that click into each other - 4 pack (was a bought at a post-Christmas sale and I haven't seen it again ), 3 pack with smaller boxes inside.

K-Mart/Wal-Mart: Baby Tackle boxes (top row), Medium Tackle boxes

Wal-mart: Largest tackle boxes (the ones that held the flat pieces)

How did we get so many Legos?
We started out with our neighbor cleaning out his aunt's house and he gave a couple of boxes to our friends. They didn't need that many so they gave us a big box. I love Lego so we were thrilled. We didn't really have any yet, so that was great. Then my sister got rid of all the ones her sons played with. That more than doubled our supple. Then, we cleaned out my aunt and uncle's home before they moved and they gave us about 4 giant box sets and the rest is organizational history. 

Over this Christmas, we did actually buy my DS some more sets. Don't laugh. But there is a new kind called Ninjago with dojos and other things from the Ninjago Spinjitzu show. 

Thursday, January 5

Blog Prompts

I found this on - you guessed it - Pinterest from a site called Jenna's Journeys. I loved doing the ScrapMatter's daily blog so this naturally appealed to me. Here is a link in case you want to play along at your own pace.

Thanksgiving Wall Sign

This year we decided to have a few friends over for Thanksgiving and what better way to really make them feel like part of the family than printing a welcoming poster? I included our guests' last names, printed it cheaply at Costco and found some nice wooden frames on sale at Micheals. Our guests loved it and even asked if they could have it when we took it down.

Wednesday, January 4

Greek Balls - Kourambiedes

Wow, has it really been a month since I last posted? Shame on me! What have I been doing? Baking, wrapping, gifting, all the usual holiday stuff. I think I baked about 15 dozen cookies -- so far. 

Tonight alone, I made 2 different kinds totaling 7 dozen.  One of the cookies I made was from an older woman named Mary, who lived on the third floor of my uncle's Chinese Laudromat. We always visited her when we went to his place in the Summers. She'd give us lemonade and these rich butter cookies and these awesome, light morsels covered in powered sugar. 

She's passed away over 20 years ago, but her recipe lives on. We've always called them Greek Balls because Mary was from Greece, but (thank you internet) I think the real name is Kourambiedes. 

There are some delicious and complicated recipes on the internet but I think some of the best recipes are those simple original ones handed down. I'm sharing them with you to pay forward the delicious yumminess that was shared with me as a child.

Greek Balls

4 sticks  unsalted butter - room tempurature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/.2 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups chopped pecans 

Save a bowl of extra powdered sugar for finishing.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Blend powdered sugar and flour together well. 
In a bowl, mix butter until light and fluffy
Add in the flour-sugar mixture, egg yolk, vanilla and chopped nuts - mix well. 

Form into balls, bake 8 to 10 minutes. 
Immediately roll in powdered sugar.

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