Friday, November 28, 2008

Success on Second Try

I like to think that I am a good cook. As a general rule I only make turkey once a year and try to do it really well.

For the most part I succeed but not this year. I always made my turkey the same way, using the turkey-in-a-paper-bag method that I learned during one of the cooking classes that I took at a local school and it always comes out good.

This year I wanted to try a different method and wanted to try brining again. So after looking at many recipes I settled on Alton Brown's recipe. His calls for brining over night using aromatics (allspice berries, candied ginger) and then cooking at 500 degrees for half and hour finishing at 350 until it reaches 161 degrees.

Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! I am not sure which was the determing factor of where things went wrong. The smoke poured out of my oven while the bird was cooking at 500. I had to open windows to prevent the smoke detectors from heralding the swan song of burning food. My dog howls when they go off and it is hilarious! Sorry Bijou! I laugh hysterically when she does that because she is a very quiet dog and she really gets into it.

The turkey looked ok and after adjusting the temp I watched the thermometer to insure that the bird was not over done. Well, overdone would have been better than what I ended up with. Mind you that two thermometers said it was done, but after the over-the-right and through-the-woods to grandmother's house we go car ride with turkey in tow 60 minute car ride, I was not happy to find that while the breast meat "seemed" to be done it could have used a little more time and the dark meat was a little underdone (slight understatement). Anyway, we ate the breast meat which was slightly chewy. This may have been due to the cooking method or just not the best turkey. Who knows! The rest of that bird is destined for soup.

So to make amends for my failure I decided to try again today to make an awesome turkey. Success the second time!!! I bought a Bell & Evans 13 pounder and brined it for about 4 hours. It would be better brined longer but we were going to my sister's for another Thanksgiving dinner with turkey in tow so overnight was not an option. I made a mixture of butter, fresh thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and stuffed it under the skin. I coated the bird with canola oil and in the oven she went. It cooked it at 325 degrees until the thermometer read 162.

It was yummy and there was a lot more meat on this bird than the one I got from the turkey farm and they were basically the same weight!

So lesson learned! I will document what went right and no repeat my first attempt.

Here is a pic on the second attempt. My kids said the herbs under the skin looked like mold. Humorous family I have! They laughed when I said I wanted a picture and said they would have a funny story to tell at my eulogy some day when the picture collage had a picture of my turkey. HA HA HA, very funny Dorinda!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This time of year is for remembering all that you have to be thankful for.

I am thankful for my family and friends. We are fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful people who make our lives just that much better. My husband and sons are the loves of my life and I cannot imagine what it would be without them. So this day is going to be spent with them and other loved ones and we will remember those that are no longer with us.

For our Thanksgiving table I have made this treat bags filled with yummy Hershey kisses. The template can be found here. Fun and easy to make!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Images: A Muse, Inkadinkado

Saturday, November 22, 2008

In the Holiday Mood

Christmas is my favorite time of year and spending it with family and friends is the best part. I made this card focal image as part of an A Muse ATC Swap and wanted to turn it into a card that signifies what the holidays mean to me. The A Muse Addicts Forum has a monthly home page contest and this is my submission. The theme is something that depicts what warmth means to you. This is it for me - spending the holidays with loved ones.


Images and Sentiment - A Muse

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Classes, classes and more classes!

I have been taking a bunch of classes at Ink About It lately. It was so much fun being able to take 3 classes last week with Linda Carnell, owner of A Muse Artstamps, and Julie Ebersole, Lead Designer for A Muse. They are two very creative ladies! The cards were fun and the techniques we learned I will definitely put to good use. IAI had their annual Customer Appreciation Night last Friday with Linda and Julie being the guests providing the Make-and-Take of this wonderful mini treat bag. It is a great place card for the holiday tables. I plan on making some for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Last night was Jenn Shurkus' Holiday Tag Class. We made 30 gift tags and boy, were we busy! Jenn, better known as the bucket nazi, put aside her usual rules and gave us parts of other buckets to keep us from getting too far behind. Great tags were made and I will make sure that they are not attached upside down as one of my darling sons did last year to my first homemade tags!!!

Tonight is the last of IAI's Christmas Card Challenge. Hard to believe we started making Christmas cards in March and now the last class is upon us. Time just flew by! I love the designs Lori Champine, one of the owners of IAI, comes up with. It will be hard deciding who gets what card. I, of course, will take pictures of all of them. IAI has a new blog, check it out here. Lori and Linda have such an awesome store.

Anyway, the holidays are fast approaching. I found a bunch of radio stations already playing Christmas music which I love and look forward to decorating my house. This is my favorite time of year! I love the sights and sounds.

Bye for now! I hope to post pictures this weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday ATC Swap - ** FULL **

Come one, come all to participate in my A Muse/Elzybells/Saltbox Studio Holiday ATC Swap.


To participate, each person is to make 10 ATCs. Only A Muse, Elzybells and Saltbox Studio stamps can be used. You will get back ten including one of your own. Splitcoaststampers has a great tutorial on making ATCs. See here.

Each Holiday ATC must have at least two layers and at least one embellishment (ex. ribbon, glitter, buttons, etc.).
Please sign and number each of your swaps and put them in a Ziploc bag to ensure the elements do not adversely affect them during their postal journey. Your bag should be marked with your name and your group number.

A SASE must also be included and 1 extra stamp (it’ll be returned to you if it’s not needed).

The due date is December 15th.

Provided that I receive all ATC's by the 15th the packages should be received by Christmas (of course, depending on USPS holiday delivery schedules). Please sign up by posting a comment on my blog. I'll add names to groups as people sign up and will email each person my mailing information.
* More groups will be added when needed.

NOTE: 11/24/08 All spots are now taken and no new groups will be created.

-- Pamela

Group 1
1. Pamela - *received*
2. Karen - *received*
3. Tracy O.
4. Jenny - *received*
5. Kim R - *received*
6. Tinla - *received*
7. Tracy C.
8. Penny - *received*
9. Liz - *received*
10. Amy

Group 2:
1. Pamela - *received*
2. Karen - *received*
3. Jenn
- *received*
4. Connie - *received*
5. Tinla - *received*
6. Lynnette - *received*
7. Lyndsay
8. Dawn - *received*
9. Jenny - *received*
10. Livia - *received*

A few people have signed up for whom I do not have an email address. For all that have signed up please send an email to me at and I will send my mailing information.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This time of year makes me think back on what has happened this year, good and bad. The family that I miss dearly, especially my mother and grandmother. I am also thankful for so much. For my wonderful family, old friends and new, people that I have never met IRL but whom I consider friends.

In celebration of the upcoming holidays I made this Thanksgiving card.
Images: A Muse
Ink: A Muse, ColorBox & Memento
Copic markers
Notecard: A Muse
Cardstock: Neenah & Bazzill

More Birthday Greetings

Here is a card I made for my niece Jenna.

I love Memory Box stamps and thought the Penguin set was so cute! I even got to meet Dave Brethauer when he taught at Ink About It! That was a great class.

Images: Memory Box
Sentiment: A Muse
Copic Markers, Spica Pens, Memento Ink

Happy Birthday October Addicts

Happy Birthday to the October A Muse Addicts. One year older and another year better! I love using the Stampin Up Spots to make a colorful background. You can mix and match the colors in some great combinations. Here are two of the cards that I made. I forgot to take a picture of the third design before sealing the envelope. That happens a lot to me!

Images: A Muse
Ink: Memento, Stampin Up
Paper: Neenah, SU
Notecard: A Muse

A Muse Christmas ATC Swap

I recently participated in an A Muse Addicts Christmas ATC Swap. This was the first time I had participated in an ATC swap and it was a lot of fun. Here are my ATCs.

Celebrate the Season:

Eat, Drink & Be Merry!

Images: A Muse

Dare to be Fabulous

When I saw the Stampin Up Fabulous Flowers set I knew I had to have it. I have this thing for flowers (you should see all my flower related stamp sets!). This set is so fun to work with. I have just started with it and have a lot of ideas to try with it. For this two cards I tried two different methods of inking the stamp: brayering on the ink and the traditional method of ink pad to stamp. The color vibrance differs with the two methods. Both great in their own way.


Inkpad to image:

Brayered image:

Images: SU
Ink: Kaleidoscope, Brilliance
Cardstock: Bazzill, GP, The Paper Cut

Bouncing Brayer Technique

The Bouncing Brayer technique is so fun to do. I love the way it comes out and it is so easy to do. With some glossy cardstock, image stamp, brayer and multicolored ink pad you can do this.

Ink up a brayer in your favorite Kaleidoscope or multicolored ink pad. Now 'bounce' the brayer on the glossy cardstock making sure that you do not roll it on the cardstock. Keeping boucing the brayer along the cardstock to get the desired effect. Let ink dry and then stamp your image onto the cardstock in a coordinating color. It's that simple!