Here we go AGAIN!

Today is the beginning of ‘The Search’ for ideas for the LAST Art Design project. As I mentioned in the last blog entry, son wants a Japanese-style Tea House/Hotel idea – let’s just say, upon my reflections (and MUCH research via ‘the net’) this is NOT an easy task! For starters, tea houses are very plain. This project is an ALL-OUT type, the bigger/grander/more glorious, the better. When I was looking on line he spotted an image and said: “Yes! Like THAT!”


Remember, we’re supposed to CONSTRUCT this out of foam board and any other materials we can use to make the building like we’d want.  It’s supposed to be 10 inches (or bigger). (I just attempted to copy & paste an image which is more to my liking/creativity but it wouldn’t take it.) Son is all for having lots of curving roof lines (UGH!) We CAN use other materials – perhaps if we made the main part of the building in foam board, and did the roof in cardboard – that might work  – you can bend/curve cardboard – we’ll see. So far, in my research we went from designing a Japanese Bath House (they, too, are very plain) to a Japanese Tea House to, now, a hotel. (I do remember the original assignment was to make a business OR a hotel). Anyway, we’re back to the CREATING mode, for the LAST time! (who knows? I might just miss this!)

Today is Friday – Grandson day, later; right now it’s a balmy 36 degrees, rainy & grey/gloomy out. I was thinking of doing a few errands, but the gloomy weather really drags my energies down – we’ll see.


Shortcut Carrot Cake

1 (2 layer) pkg. spice cake mix*
3 large carrots, shredded (about 2 C.)
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple in juice,
1 C. chopped pecans, divided
2 (8 oz, ea) cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Prepare cake batter as directed on pkg;
stir in carrots, pineapple & 3/4 C. nuts.
Pour into two (9 inch) square pans sprayed
with nonstick spray. Bake 25-30 minutes or
until a toothpick inserted into center comes
out clean. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes.
Invert onto wire racks; gently remove pans.
Cool cakes completely.
Beat cream cheese & sugar in large bowl
until blended; whisk in Cool Whip. Stack
cakes on plate; spreading frosting between
layers and on top & sides. Sprinkle top with
remaining chopped nuts.

*You can substitute a yellow cake mix
plus 2 tsp. ground cinnamon for the
spice cake mix.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Swiss Cheese, Ham & Asparagus Bake

1 1/2 C. hot water
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
2 C. cubed, cooked ham
1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 2″ lengths
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of celery soup
1/2 C. milk
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Add hot water to stuffing mix in saucepan
until just moistened; let stand 5 minutes.
Combine ham, asparagus, soup & milk in a
9 X 13 baking dish sprayed with nonstick
spray; sprinkle top with cheese then cover
with stuffing mix. Bake 30 minutes or until
heated through. Makes 6 servings

(recipe: Kraft

Sweet Salsa Chicken

1 T. tomato paste
1/2 C. diced onions
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. water
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 C. salsa or picante sauce (your choice
of how hot, or not)
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. quick cooking tapioca
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Combine tomato paste, diced onion, garlic &
water in small microwaveable bowl. Microwave
4-5 minutes, stirring every minute (onions should
be soft). Transfer to crockpot. Place chicken, salsa,
brown sugar, Dijon mustard, tapioca & Worcest.
in crockpot; stir gently to combine. Cover & cook
on Low 3-4 hours; break up chicken with a fork, into
large pieces. Cover & cook an additional hour to
coat individual pieces in sauce.
Serve alone, shredded on tortillas, or over rice/noodles/
cooked potatoes. Serves 4-6

(recipe: 365 days of

Sour Cream Biscuits

3 C. flour
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 C. cold, unsalted butter
1 1/4 C. buttermilk
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Combine flour, baking powder & salt; cut
in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks).
Mix together next 4 ingredients; add to dry
ingredients & stir gently until dough comes
together. Do NOT knead the dough. Turn out
dough onto a lightly floured surface & roll
or pat down to 1/2 – 3/4″ thickness. Cut out
biscuits; place on a sheet pan lined with
parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake
10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 4-6

Stuffed French Toast

2 pkgs. (3 oz, ea) cream cheese, room temp
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 loaf Challah or other egg bread (about 1 1/4 lb)
12 slices crisp-cooked bacon

Egg Mixture:
4 eggs
1 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
1 T. butter

confectioners sugar, for serving
maple syrup, for serving

Preheat oven 200 degrees F.
Stir together cream cheese, sugar &
cinnamon in small bowl. Slice ends
off loaf of bread; cut loaf into six
1 1/2 to 2 inch thick slices. Lay slices,
flat side down, on work surface. Slice
pocket into side of each slice, without
tearing through other sides, bottom or
top of bread. Spread a scant 2 T. cream
cheese mixture into each bread pocket.
Gently fill each pocket with 2 slices bacon
(or crumble and divide evenly). Whisk
together eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon,
nutmet & allspice in a large bowl. Dip
stuffed slices into egg mixture, until both
sides are moistened; do not let bread
slices soak. Melt butter in large skillet
or on a griddle. Add bread slices; cook
over medium to medium-high heat 3-5
minutes per side or until browned. Keep
slices warm on sheet pan in 200 degree
oven, until all slices are done. Serve topped
with confectioners sugar & maple syrup,
if desired.  Serves 6

(recipe: Family Circle magazine)
Tilapia with Corn & Tomatoes

2 C. frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 (14.5 oz) can (Hunts) Fire-roasted
diced tomatoes with garlic, undrained
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 tsp dried dill weed, divided
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 lb. frozen tilapia fillets (4 oz ea),
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine corn, tomatoes, onion, 1/2 tsp
dill & 1/4 tsp. salt in medium bowl.
For each packet, lay two 10 X 12″ sheets of
regular aluminum foil on top of each other.
Place about 3/4 C. corn mixture in center,
spreading slightly. Spray nonstick spray on
both sides of each fillet. Sprinkle with
remaining 1/2 tsp. dill, remaining 1/2 tsp.
salt & pepper. Place fillets on corn mixture.
Bring up short sides of each foil packet &
double fold top. Double fold both ends
to seal each packet, leaving space for steam
to gather. Place packets on baking sheet,
bake 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily
with fork (145 degrees F.) Carefully open
ends of packets to allow steam to escape
before fully opening. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.


Roasted Asparagus

20 fresh asparagus spears (about 3/4 lb)
4 tsp. cooking oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Trim, wash & dry asparagus; spread
asparagus in single layer in baking
pan with shallow sides & drizzle with
oil. Sprinkle garlic & salt on top. Bake
6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender, shaking
pan to turn spears once.
Serves 4 (5 spears each)



1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 quarts whole strawberries, capped and washed
4 ounces cream cheese, cut in small pieces
vanilla ice cream for serving, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt butter and pour into a
9×13-inch glass baking dish. In a small bowl, mix
together the egg, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder
and salt. Pour directly over the butter in the baking
dish, but do not stir Add the strawberries, arranging
in a single layer as much as possible. Sprinkle cream
cheese pieces over strawberries. Place in preheated
oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden
brown and edges are bubbling. (Crust rises up and
around the fruit, but fruit will still peek out of top.)
Serve hot out of the oven with choice of topping,
if desired. Makes 10 servings

(recipe: Facebook)

Chicken Nacho Bake

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 C. thick salsa
1/4 C. sour cream
1/2 C. crushed tortilla chips
1/2 C. (Kraft) Mexican-style finely
shredded Four cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken on foil-covered baking
sheet. Cut 3 slits in top of each breast
with sharp knife. Top with salsa, sour
cream & crushed chips. Bake 30 minutes
or until chicken is done (165 degrees F)
topping with cheese after 20 minutes.
Serves 4

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Sweet Spiced Nuts

1 T. egg white
2 C. pecans or walnuts
1/4 C. sugar
1 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Mix egg white & nuts until nuts
are well coated & sticky. Mix
sugar & cinnamon; sprinkle over
nuts, coating well. Spread onto
ungreased cookie sheet. Bake
20 minutes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe


I’m going to close for now, my computer is
acting VERY slow (and there’s no one on
the other computer – that usually is the
reason mine is slow, husband is usually
playing a computer game or downloading
something on his – our computers are
linked together).

Enjoy your day!





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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Wow talk about a difficult last project he picked one. Good luck on this and I’m sure you are glad this is the last one!

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