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I wanted to make cherry walnut pop tarts after I recently had one at Paper and Plastic with my friend Zach. These turned out more like a Toaster Strudel (remember those? I use to love them!).  I choose the easy way out using things I had in the freezer, like puff pastry and frozen cherries and berries.  Next time I plan on really doing the pop tarts…homemade crust and all! These were pretty tasty though!

what you need for the strudel:

1 package of puff pastry

frozen fruit, jam, or fresh fruit…about 2 cups

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

1 egg for egg wash

6 tbsp of powdered sugar

2 tbsp boiling water

rose food coloring

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pastry just a bit and cut each sheet into 6 pieces.

2.For the filling: you can just use jam if you would like, but its more fun to make your own! I had a bag of frozen fruit from Trader Joe’s in the freezer. I placed them in a saucepan, after dethawing, with a 1/2 cup of sugar. Simmer until thick like jam.Let cool and mix in the walnuts.

3. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Lay out six of the pieces of puff pastry.  Spoon the jam on top of the pastry. Don’t spread to the edges. Place the other pieces of pastry on top!

4.Fasten the two pieces together with a fork.

5.Brush with egg wash. Place sheet in oven for about 15-20 minutes, until golden on top!

6.Top with icing if you would like. To make the icing, bowl some water. Add two tablespoons to about 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar and stir. Add food coloring if you desire.  Using a spoon drizzle the icing over the pastry!

I have this thing about throwing away paper. Or throwing away anything,which explains my small hoarding problem, although I still tend to have a lot of trash it seems.  My dad asked me and my brother recently if we thought other families produces as much trash as we did. Kind of funny, actually.

So, back to this thing about paper. When I buy something new I often ask for it not to be wrapped in tissue.  The sales people often look at me like I am crazy, but what am I going to do with that paper once I get home…throw it away, right? I cringe a little at Christmas time when the trash bags of wrapping paper begin to fill up. Now, I am not perfect when it comes to saving the planet, but I have my things and hey, every bit counts.  Sometimes you can’t avoid getting something wrapped in paper at the store if the item is breakable…I will make this exception.  I sometimes save this paper, like I save the bags (that was a small hoarding problem for a while!).

Because of this paper issue, I have a hard time justifying buying wrapping paper. I have a few rolls, but I thought it would be fun to do a post on wrapping gifts in used paper! If you are crafty then I am sure you have lots of fun string, twine, weird nick-nacks lying around that you can make your trim for your gifts! The things I used for these gifts are things I have in my craft kit for other projects.

NEWSPAPER! The obvious paper to reuse right? Find a page with something interesting written on it, if you can, avoiding anything too depressing (check the creative sections!) I used twine and a small air plant to decorate this little guy. I also made some tags out of the paper thin wood I often use for tags and postcards (I buy it at Michael’s)!

This is my favorite one! A while back I splatter painted a piece of muslin with watercolors. I had this square piece lying around and thought why not use it for gift wrap! The fabric can then be reused by someone else as decoration or wrapping again.  This is great because you can make a ton of this yourself! You just need muslin, which is cheap, and some watercolors!

For the decoration I made a little flag from a skewer and ribbon!

This paper was from glasses I bought at Crate and Barrel.

Newspaper advertising pages!

Brown paper bag from the grocery store and bakers twine.

Okay, okay…I used some wrapping paper.  I bought this stuff though because I think it is versatile for most occasions!

I also made some gift tags with watercolors and paper. The small piece of driftwood is another little decoration idea. I got the idea for the dried flowers when I worked at KellyGreen Home for a hot second!

Its the time of year where we get three days to give. We give thanks, then we give gifts, and then we give ourselves a new beginning. Throughout the year sometimes we forget to give to others or to ourselves, sometimes we might give too much, sometimes we don’t give the right things.  But the holidays are for remembering what we are giving for…love.  There is so much to be thankful for:  a healthy family, a plethora of friends, amazing adventures, the kitty lola, coffee, the lucky life i lead, my blog and those who read it, and especially for today and then tomorrow.

A special thanks to the people in my life whom are always there, always supportive, and always loving.

 A THANKSGIVING PRAYER FROM THE IROQUOIS (SENECA) PEOPLE

Gwa! Gwa! Gwa! Now the time has come! Hear us, Lord of the Sky! We are here to speak the truth, for you do not hear lies, We are your children, Lord of the Sky. Now begins the Gayant’ gogwus This sacred fire and sacred tobacco And through this smoke We offer our prayers We are your children, Lord of the Sky. Now in the beginning of all things You provided that we inherit your creation You said: I shall make the earth on which people shall live And they shall look to the earth as their mother And they shall say, “It is she who supports us.” You said that we should always be thankful For our earth and for each other So it is that we are gathered here We are your children, Lord of the Sky. Now again the smoke rises And again we offer prayers You said that food should be placed beside us And it should be ours in exchange for our labor. You thought that ours should be a world where green grass of many kinds should grow You said that some should be medicines And that one should be Ona’o the sacred food, our sister corn You gave to her two clinging sisters beautiful Oa’geta, our sister beans and bountiful Nyo’sowane, our sister squash The three sacred sisters; they who sustain us. This is what you thought, Lord of the Sky. Thus did you think to provide for us And you ordered that when the warm season comes, That we should see the return of life And remember you, and be thankful, and gather here by the sacred fire. So now again the smoke arises We the people offer our prayers We speak to you through the rising smoke We are thankful, Lord of the Sky. (Liberally translated) Chuck Larsen, Seneca

prayer found at:

http://www.ewebtribe.com/NACulture/articles/thanksgiving.html

If you live in LA and you haven’t been to Rolling Greens yet, you are missing out. Both locations are worth a visit. At a recent trip to the WeHo store I got a lot of fun holiday ideas.  Yarn balls, something like snow balls, was one of them.  Their display, pictured above, isn’t necessarily a holiday display, but charming all together.

 All you need is yarn, obviously I choose white and cream for the winter effect…and I threw a few twine balls in as well. Find a jar or glass container or maybe even a bowl to display these little guys in. Super easy project and I think its super sweet.  You could also use them as a present topper!

 

 In honor of my friend Kristen over at Glitter and Glue, I glittered it up on this holiday DIY! A little festive project I thought of while grooming the craft store.  I am not much of a holiday decorator, nor have I ever been. However, this project is kind of festive and not necessarily screaming Christmas. Clark Griswald might be a bit disappointed with my holiday cheer, but hey, I’m trying!

What you need:

styrofoam balls (different sizes)

glitter glue

glitter (i love the Martha Stewart colors at Michaels!)

toothpicks or wood skewers

paint  brush for the glue

paper and bowls for a mess

1. Stick the skewer into the bottom of a ball.

2. Cover the ball with the glitter glue.

3. Shake the glitter all over the ball over a bowl or some paper! The glitter gets messy, clearly! Let the glitter pop dry in a container upright.

4. Cut the skewers to different sizes if you like and arrange them in a vase or container. I used an old milk glass and a mason jar. There are countless ideas of what you could do with these pops!

These are sooo good! I took these into work and they were a big hit. Even people who don’t like pumpkin were digging it! Apparently, gooey butter cake is a traditional St Louis recipe…where my parents are from.  Paula Deen sure likes ’em too! A good last minute Thanksgiving dessert, or for those who might be lazy on that pumpkin pie…it is one of the easiest things I have ever made!

Cake:

  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar!

i have had some pretty good luck thrifting the past few weeks
(after months of not so much) and  i am so excited about the pieces i found! especially the wicker peacock chair. i felt my cheeks turn red i was so excited when i saw it and…chi-ching! with no hesitation. thinking of painting it white? then there is the 1968 fondue set that came with the original recipe book. and the vintage leather suitcase that was just sittiing behind the counter at the goodwill…just sitting there. it still has tape on the side with georgette’s name on it.  the inside actually has an insert shelf! picture doesn’t really do it justice.

found a few fun pieces for etsy as well. that is to come soon!

 baked cinnamon apples

4 Fuji apples,peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 or 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoons cornstarch

sprinkle of nutmeg

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons butter, diced

pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. line a pan with parchment paper. mix all ingredients, except the butter, with the apples and place on top of parchment paper.  spread pieces of butter over the top.  bake for about 20 minutes. let cool slightly and dollop with some homemade whip cream or ice cream.

kind of like apple pie, without the pie!