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Category Archives: Pie’s Tips and Tricks

Quick and Easy Comfort Food: Ravioli Lasagna

 

While in the midst of doing a million Christmas crafty-craft projects I am going to take a moment to post a quick and easy comfort food family favorite I came up with this year.  Everyone loves lasagna and everyone loves ravioli, what do you get when you meld the concept of lasagna with ravioli?  A wonderful surprise twists two very classic dishes!   This dish literally takes about 15 minutes to throw together and about 40 minutes in the oven and it tastes like you cooked all day If you would like to freeze it, skip placing it in the oven and just freeze it.  Pop in the oven for about hour covered (pull cover off the last 15 minutes).  This is a great dish to make for a meal to bring for a new baby etc…

Ingredients:

  • Package of ground turkey, ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 3 9-10 oz packages of per-made ravioli (you usually can find them in the refrigerator section – Costco also carries them) I mix it up and add one cheese base ravioli and then a spinach based ravioli for the other two
  • 1 container of ricotta
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara
  • 2.5 cups of mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spray olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Brown meat and while browning meat, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste to browning meat.
  4. Once meat is browned and water has reached a boil, toss in the three packages of ravioli into the water and boil for about 3 to 4 minutes (if you toss in frozen boil for about 6 minutes) They don’t need to be fully cooked through, you want them to be very firm and they will finish cooking in the oven. 
  5. While the ravioli is boiling add jar of marinara and bring to a simmer.
  6. Once sauce is at a simmer (which should be within a minute or so) add the entire contents of the ricotta to the sauce and blend well.  Keep stove on low to medium and let simmer until ravioli is done
  7. Strain ravioli carefully so they don’t break and begin the layering process.
  8. Spray a deep baking dish with non-stick olive oil spray (Pam or veggie spray oil).
  9. Start layering with the first layer being the ravioli, then sauce, cheese and then ravioli.  Do this until all the ravioli and sauce is gone.  Top with cheese and place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes.

Serves about 8-10 servings.  Serve with a fresh salad and garlic bread.

Turkey Day Cupcakes!

Hello everyone! I had so much fun today making these with my kiddos.   We made the cupcakes and the toppers! 

Thanks for coming and sharing a piece of “early Turkey Day” pie with me.

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Recipe:

Cartridge: Mini Monograms for circle cut at 1 3/4, 2 3/4 and 2 1/4

Cuttlebug: Distressed Stripes

Paper: Die Cuts with a View – Harvest Gatherings, Recollections cardstock

Glossy Accents

Ink: chocolate – Close to my Heart

Stickles

Wilton lollipop sticks – 4 inches

 

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Happy Saturday before Turkey Day!  I am heading off to our first Thanksgiving meal of the season today! I am super excited that I am cooking this year on the big day!  However, today I am going to make pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes to bring to the dinner along with a bottle of wine.

Now on to the winner of my poll I conducted this week.  I used Random.org and numbered the names of the participants  and wallah… the winner is Missy from Quick Chick Designs!   I could not embed the widget into this blog… totally frustrating.  If you know how please let me know! I think you are going to LOVE the stamp set ( I am going bananas for it) and the holiday themed Stickles.   The neat thing about the stamp set is that it is compatible with the Cricut Cartridge, Art Philosophy.  I will contact you to for you mailing address!

As for my decision, I decided to go with the Cinch (it is on sale at Jo-Ann’s for 40% off)…the Imagine, is a given.. of course I will get it! 🙂 Thank you for all your feedback.  It really helped! I would have never knew about the Cinch and I was put to ease about the ink consumption for the Imagine.

Last week I participated in my first Close to My Heart card workshop.  It was super fun and the ladies I met there where a stitch.  They had me laughing more than creating!  It was a great time.  Here are a few cards we made.

 

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Thanks for having a peice of  “winner, winner, chicken dinner” pie with me!

 

 

 

Fly Me to the Moon Birthday Banner!

 

I got the joy of making another boy birthday banner for this weekend!  I was literally over the moon to do this project, since I have been antsy to use my new “B is for Boy” Cricut Lite cartridge.   His theme is “Rockets”. 

I found some cute scrapbook paper at Michael’s and used coordinating color card stock to pull it all together.  Tonight I think I may film another “Easy as Pie” videos on the card and gift bag I am going to make to go along with it.

I had so much fun making this banner, especially since the hubs took the girls out last night to meet up with parents who are in town.  I had three hours of Cricut fun that did not mean I had to be up till all hours in the morning to do it! 🙂

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Thanks for sharing a piece of “beam me up” pie with me!

Recipe:

Cricut Cartridges:

  • B is for Boy – Rocket  and layer cut at 5 inches, 4.74 and 4.5 inches
  • Learning Curve – Letters cut at 3.5
  • Celebrations – Circles cut at 5.5 , 5.25 and 3.5 AND the number 3 cut at 2 inches and 1/5 inches

Cuttlebug: Spots and Dots embossing folder

Paper:

  • Recollections card stock
  • Recollections scrapbook paper – found in open stock bins
  • Die Cuts with a View Autumn Glitter stacker for the letters and numbers (be sure to do multi cut and be on 6 for blade)

Ranger Pearl Powder – Biscotti – Used on embossed circles

Glossy Accents Clear, Black and White

Twine from Oh My Craft.com

Stickles – Star Dust and Orange Peel

Halloween!

Halloween Tree

Well it is over… Halloween that is.  The kids are coming down from the sugar and party high which makes for some challenging moments and there were times yesterday I was convinced they were trying out a few new little monster costumes. 

 The party was a huge success.  We ended up having  all but 3 families show up but a few “last-minute invites” took their place, so I had a total of about 20 kids and 40-ish adults here.  It was a little overwhelming at times trying to keep cold beverages in everyone’s hands (it was 80 degrees and I was the requested margarita maker – I can make  a mean margarita!) while trying to catch up with friends and remembering to change my youngest diaper.    The best feedback was my oldest telling me that she can’t wait until next year, so we can do it again!

Trick or Treating was my favorite thing we did.  My kids really have the hang of it this year and marched, sometimes bravely, to doors and melted everyone’s heart out of more candy than they should have been given with “please”, “thank you” and “Happy Halloween”.  That made this mommy very happy!

I am super sorry that I don’t have more detailed pictures of my projects and a ton of them are missing.  It was just a bit crazy to get it all documented.  I did have a kids craft table where they got to decorate little fash lights that came with batteries I picked up at Home Depot to take with them for Halloween night. That was a big hit with both kids and parents. 

Thanks for coming and sharing a piece of “Life’s is a Party” pie with me!

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Easy as Pie Trick or Treat Bag!

I am taking a quick break  from party prep!  Here is one of my Halloween projects I just wrapped up.  I made this for a dear friend’s daughter.  I mixed the paint I used with glow in the dark paint, which I tested and it really glows in the dark!  I was unsure it was going to work, so I was pleasantly surprised!  This was a pretty easy bag to make, only took about an hour or so. It was all no sew since I picked up the bag at Michael’s for $1.50 and then me and the glue gun had a hot date (literally)!  I promised my girls they will have one next year! 🙂 

Now back to the pre-party madness!  I will post pictures on Monday of the fun event and the fruit of all the hard work these past weeks… one hiccup today though!  I rented white child chairs and paid for them in advance to have this weekend and when I went to pick them up they only had green!  It really does not go with my ghost theme, but I will make due, especially since they were so apologetic and refunded me all the money for their mistake.  

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DIY Glitter Spider and My First Video

Happy weekend before Halloween!  I am in the final stages of prepping for the big party next weekend, so what do I decide to do. . . take on another project procrastinate by filming and editing my very first “how to” video.  I have to say I have a HUGE appreciation for all the amazing crafty ladies (My Pink Stamper, Sprinkled with Glitter, etc) that have inspired me to try this whole video thing.  It is a lot of work and time, but super fun to do! 

This is my first video, so please watch with a forgiving heart:-)  I am calling it “My Crafting Organicly”video!

Thanks for coming and sharing a piece of procrastination pie with me today!

A “Spook-alicious” Halloween Card!

 

Hi everyone!   I have been having so much fun in my craft room these past couple weeks.  I am gearing up for a Halloween party where I have challenged myself that I am going to make all of the decorations and favors.  Even though my craft room looks like Halloween exploded with six different projects going, I did have some time to make a few Halloween cards specifically for family using My Pink Stamper’s Spook-alicious and Spooky Puns stamp set. 

Thanks for coming and having a piece of “Spook-alicious” Halloween card making pie with me!

 

 

Recipe:

Cricut Cartridge: Mini Monsters – Spider and shadow cut at 2 inches (This is my first project with this cartridge and I love with it! I fell in love with this cartridge thanks to Quick Chick Designs.  Check out her Mini Monster inspirations!)

Paper:

Die Cuts with a View: Shimmer Mat Stack (green 4×4, orange, and purple 4 x 5. 1/4)

Recollections Black Mat Card Stock 8×11.5 cut in half and then folded in half for card base.

Recollections White Mat Card Stock 4 x 5 1/4 for the inside of the card

Ribbon – Celebrate it – Halloween Seasonal (made a bow for the Spider)

Glossy Accents (Black  and White Enamel for the eyes)

Signo Uni Ball Gel Pen- White (for the mouth)

Stamps: My Pink Stamper’s Spook-alicious (“Boo to You”) and Spooky Puns (“Happy Boo-day)

Ink: Craft Smart Embossing Ink

Embossing Powder: Martha Stewart’s Peridot Embossing powder (this is the first time embossing anything with heat.  I am using my husband’s commercial grade heat gun, so I was unsure if I was going to catch the house on fire.  It turned out great and it took only a few seconds to do with no need to dial 911 🙂 )

Stickles: Orange Peel (for belly marking on the spider)

White Spiderweb: Stretched just a small amount around the green 4×4 paper.

Stick and Spray: Used to lightly spray on the spiderweb for glitter to stick to it also made it possible to stick the spider to.

Glitter: Creatology Halloween Glitter set (orange) – used to sprinkle on the spiderweb

Pop dots

Two-Way Glue Pen

 

 

Who Needs Pottery Barn When You Can DIY for Made it Myself Monday!

I have been saving this for You had Me at Craft’s “Made It Myself Monday”.  Today one of my favorite young ladies (16 year-old Madison from Funky Cards) has the control of MIMM and I am VERY happy for her.  She is such a blessing and encouragement for us, gen Xers, that when we are all old, she is the hopeful example of the generation that will be in charge. 

Now on to the challenge! 

I am obsessed with Pottery Barn.  I love EVERYTHING and I do mean EVERYTHING they have in their catalogue, but like most of you all I do not have a money tree in my back yard, so I have been forced to use their inspiration and do it myself. 

I have had my eye on the Pottery Barn Kid’s banner for Halloween for a few years now, and finally decided to make a couple for myself  and a dear friend. I wanted to challenge myself a little on this project and made it a completely “No Sew” project using my Cricut in cutting out the pattern and material. 

By the way, no matter how easy people say it is on all the message boards and blogs to cut material using their Cricut, it is still very challenging and if you have a trick or tip that you finds works, please let me know :-). I even went out and bought the deep cut blade and housing.

Thanks for sharing a piece of “doing it yourself Pottery Barn Style” pie with me!

Recipe:

Cricut cartridges:

  • Deep Cut Blade and Housing for Cricut
  • Design Studio
  • Celebrations – Banner pattern cut out of heavy-duty card stock.  It was the triangle pendant at 6 inches
  • Wild Card font at 3 inches and manipulated with Design Studio (if you want the exact measurements, please contact me and I will give them to you)

Medium Ric-Rack – back and orange

Novelty Seasonal Halloween Material found at Jo-Ann’s

Glossy Accents (White Enamel) for the tracing out of letters

Wonder -Under (used for ironing on letters to pendants) – I found that I ironed on the Wonder-Under and then peeled off back and then placed on the Cricut matt to cut seem to work the best.  The settings varied each cut – I had to do a lot of babysitting.

1/2 inch black binding for stringing banner

Random buttons

Glitter Tulle – Jo-Ann’s (cut into 1.5 x 3 inch strips and tied together to make “fluff flower”. Each “fluff flower had 5 strips.)

Straight cutter – Used to cut out pendents using pattern I made.

Pre -sticky bling dots!  Love those for that little sparkle they bring!

Hot glue/gun

Ice pack – to deal with the hot glue burns. 🙂

“Holy Cricut Batman!” Another Birthday Party and My Cricut!

 

Cake/ Cupcake toppers

I have a dear friend that asked me to do the decorations for her son’s 6th birthday party, using the Marvel Super Hero Comic theme.  Since I have two girls I could not wait to get my hands on a “total boy” birthday project.  

I made cake/cupcake toppers, a 16 foot banner, and hanging “pom-poms”.

For the base of the banner, my friend and I snagged some free promotional comic books from Williams Sonoma.  It was a bit tricky cutting the banners out on the comic book paper, but after a few run throughs, I manged to find the sweet spot of my bug (speed slow, low pressure, and light blade).  I supported the comic paper with a heavy-duty card stock cut at the exact demention.

I did most of the work in Design Studio and used Glossy accents on the “words and number”

This project had a lot of “devil” “vilians” in the details, but I think it paid off in the end.

Pom-Poms

Below I listed a very loose recipe and if you would like more detail, feel free to contact me.  You can find my contact information on my “ABOUT” page.

Thank you for coming and enjoying a “Holy Piece of Life’s Pie Batman” with me! 🙂

Recipe:

Cricut Cartridges:

  • Celebrations
  • Plaintain School Book

Cuttlebug Folders:

  • Squares
  • Circles
  • Stripes

Paper:

  • Comic book
  • Red, black and yellow card stock from Recollections

Glossy Accents (used on the words and number)

Pop Dots

Glitter Pipe cleaners Cut to about 2-2.5 inches in sets of three to make the star

Glitter Pom Poms

Ribbon:

  • Celebrations 1 inch red (roughly 6 yards)
  • Celebrations 1/8 inch red

Wilton Lollipop sticks 4 inch

Tissue Paper (6 sheets layered and cut down in half)

Staples