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Archive for 2013

Christmas Facebook Cover Photos

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Facebook followers were the first to get these! If you want to be first in line to get new cover photos when they come out, just "like" my Facebook page! www.facebook.com/aprons.n.pearls 


To use any of these photos... 
Open the photo by clicking on it.
Right click and click on Save Image As.
Save it to your computer. (I save mine to the desktop.)
Upload it as the cover photo on your timeline. 







Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours.


Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I have such fun decorating our family’s Christmas trees. Yes, TREES. Plural. We have our big tree that is beautifully decorated in our front room, a small Norwegian and Swedish tree in our dining room, and a small kitchen tree, decorated with miniature kitchen utensils and cinnamon applesauce ornaments. I'm hoping to have another big tree upstairs in our loft this year as well, and one in our downstairs movie theatre by next year. I am giddy just thinking about it! Okay, back to the ornaments. They are very simple to make, last for years, and make the house smell wonderful! And who doesn't love a spicy aroma wafting from the kitchen this time of year? It just shouts Christmas! By the way, kids of all ages will have fun joining you in the kitchen to make these, so let them help, and make some memories together!



Here’s what you may need to pick up at the store if you don’t have them on hand:
Applesauce. Cinnamon. Cookie Cutters. Material Scraps or Twine.
Easy, right? Let’s get started!

Directions,  adapted from McCormick.com:
  • Preheat oven to 200° F.
  • In a bowl, mix together 3/4 c. applesauce and 1 cup + 3 T. cinnamon until well incorporated and smooth.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on a cutting board, and roll out dough to 1/3″ thickness.
  • Cut out with small cookie cutters.
  • Carefully place cut outs on an unprepared cookie sheet.
  • Using a straw, poke a hole at the top of each ornament, as shown in the picture at the top.
  • Bake in oven for 2-1/2 hours, until hard. I kept mine in for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Cut or tear strips of muslin, homespun, or twine for each ornament. I used coffee-stained muslin. Mmmm, smells delicious!
  • Place a strip through the hole of each ornament and knot at the top.
  • Hang on tree!
  • These will last for years if stored carefully in an airtight container!
  • Note: even though these are made with just applesauce and cinnamon, they are not edible. Trust me.
  • These look FABULOUS when dusted with a fine champagne or bronze colored glitter. 


Here is a picture of my kitchen tree from last year. It was a work in progress when I snapped the pic.





Norwegian Fattigman "Poor Man's Cookie"

Monday, November 25, 2013


Last week, I posted a delicious recipe for Scandinavian Spritz and talked about the “syv slag kaker til Jul,” the seven cookies of Christmas. I am back this week with a second, and my favorite, Norwegian Christmas cookie… fattigman!
Fattigman is an ages-old Norwegian cookie that translates to “Poor Man,” and was named so either because purchasing all of these ingredients would’ve cost someone in the old country quite a bit of money, leaving them “poor,” or because sugar was so expensive in Norway that even a poor man (or woman) could afford to make these, since there isn’t much sugar used in these cookies. I’ll let you decide which version of the story you like better, but I grew up hearing the first version, and I’m sticking to it ;)
The recipe(s) for fattigman was brought to America by Norwegian immigrants in the 1800′s… my family included. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without these on the table, and they quickly disappear once put out! They’re traditionally rolled out, then cut using a fattigman roller. My grandmother, however, rolled them out and cut them in triangles, so that’s how we’ve always made them… no special cutter required! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 T. heavy whipping cream
  • 3 T. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 T. brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2 – 2 c. flour
  • lard for deep frying
Directions:
  1. Mix all ingredients together, stirring in flour until dough becomes thick enough to knead. Dough will be slightly rubbery.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  3. On a floured cutting board, roll out dough (small pieces at a time) to 1/8″ thick.
  4. Cut in triangles.
  5. Fry in lard, which has been heated to approximately 350 degrees (F.) Dough will rise to the top. Turn dough over with tongs and fry to a very light golden brown.
  6. Remove from lard and place on a cookie sheet covered in paper towels.
  7. Generously sprinkle both sides of cookies with powdered sugar.
  8. Store in airtight container on counter or in pantry.
Notes:
  • This goes much faster with 2 people making the fattigman. One person to roll out and cut cookies, and one person to fry them.
  • The cookies are very fragile (and VERY yummy!)
*Thanks to my daughter for taking pictures for today's blog <3 



Linked with: 
More the Merrier Monday Skip To My Lou partyMonday Funday at TWCS




Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™/Staples Gift Card Giveaway

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I've teamed up with Diana Rambles and five other fabulous bloggers for an awesome giveaway :) Details below!


 photo Staples-GC-Giveaway.png 
Who loves Staples? Enter below to win a $50 Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™/Staples Gift Card. This giveaway is open to people in the USA who are 18 yrs and older and ends on December 1, 2013.
This giveaway is sponsored by the following bloggers~
Diana-RamblesBonggamom FindsDuck
2 Crochet Hooks
Entry-Form


Good luck!

Scandinavian Spritz


The holidays are fast approaching, and it's time to start thinking about our Christmas baking. No Christmas in our home is complete without Scandinavian Spritz (Sprits.) I’m of Norwegian and Swedish descent, and grew up in a family that was mighty proud of its heritage. As a child, we always had two kinds of Scandinavian cookies at Christmas time – spritz and fattigman – but I’ve learned a lot in my adult years about a “proper” Norwegian Christmas, and to do it right, the hostess must offer the “syv slag kaker til Jul, the seven cookies of Christmas. Yes, seven! Fortunately, Norwegian housewives know how to take a few simple ingredients and turn them into something delicious, and spritz are no exception. They’re also one of the easiest to make, and don’t require any special tools (like some of the other Norwegian cookies) other than a cookie press
Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 2 1/2 c. unbleached flour
  • food coloring
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream softened butter and sugar.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk the 3 egg yolks.
  4. Mix the vanilla and almond extracts into the egg yolks.
  5. Add the yolk mixture into the bowl with the butter and sugar, and mix well.
  6. Add flour, one cup at a time, into the mixing bowl. Combine well.
  7. Divide dough into smaller bowls. (I wanted to make three different colors of cookies this time, so I divided the dough equally into three separate bowls.)
  8. Add a few drops of food coloring into each bowl to make colored dough. Mix well.
  9. Using one color at a time, put dough into a cookie press and press cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet in the shapes of your choice. (*Tip: I have found that a chilled cookie sheet works best, so I stick mine in the freezer for 5 minutes before pressing the cookies.)
  10. When your cookie sheet is full, bake in oven for approx. 8 minutes, until cookies are just slightly golden. They will be very soft to the touch, but will firm up just a bit while cooling.
  11. Remove cookie sheet from oven, and allow cookies to cool for a couple minutes.
  12. Using a spatula, carefully remove cookies and place on a cooling rack.


*I used a little bit of leftover dough to make the candy canes in the picture, just to see if it would work. If you do make a few cutouts with this dough, you will need to be very careful, as it’s a very soft dough. Using the cookie press is much better, and is the traditional way.



I’ll be sharing more of the syv slag kaker til Jul in the coming weeks!


Linked with: 
Skip To My Lou More the Merrier Monday  partyMonday Funday at TWCS

Springtime / Easter Facebook Cover Photo

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I have a fun new Facebook cover photo for you, just in time for spring and Easter!
*Sorry, Bloglovin readers... I don't know why you get that yucky looking picture instead of the super cute cover photo I made. Once you click to open the post, you'll see the cuteness ;)


My Facebook followers were the first to get this! If you want to be first in line to get new cover photos when they come out, just "like" my Facebook page! www.facebook.com/aprons.n.pearls 

(I'll have a special Easter cover photo for you next week!)

To use this photo... 
Open the photo by clicking on it.
Right click and click on Save Image As.
Save it to your computer. (I save mine to the desktop.)
Upload it as the cover photo on your timeline. 

Rice Pudding

Monday, March 18, 2013


Rice pudding is one of those scrumdiddlyumptious comfort foods that my family really enjoys throughout the year, whether it's winter, summer, or somewhere in between. Funny thing is - I hate rice. Won't touch the stuff. But in rice pudding? Love. Then there are those who like rice, but hate rice pudding. Well, all I can say is I've made a few converts with this recipe.

Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • a mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar
  • Reddi Whip or light cream (optional, but yummy!)

As you can see, there are no raisins on my ingredient list. I like raisins. Not in my rice pudding. We have a no raisins in the puddin' policy in our house, which is strictly enforced. Moving on...

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F.)
  2. Combine eggs, milk, rice, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Bake in an 11×7 baking dish for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Stir well.
  5. Return to oven and bake for another 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven. Put into individual serving dishes. Chill well in the refrigerator.
  7. Before serving, sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar. You may also top with Reddi Whip or a little bit of light cream.

I think this is going on the Easter menu this year, and whoever gets the almond in their pudding will get a jar of jelly beans! Allow me to explain... 

My great-grandparents came here from Norway, so I like to keep Norwegian traditions alive and well in our home. One tradition we keep is to serve rice pudding on Christmas Eve. An almond is hidden inside one dish of pudding, and the lucky person to get the almond gets a marzipan pig. It’s a fun way to create memories, remember our heritage, and enjoy this yummy dessert at the same time! I don't think the family will mind a bit if I tweak it just a bit for Easter. Rice pudding AND jelly beans? That's a win-win in my book! 



Goodbye Google Reader - How to Make the Move to Bloglovin

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Do you follow this blog {or any others} with Google Reader or Google Friend Connect?


It's official: Google Reader will cease to exist as of July 1st. (Source)

So, what do you do now? It's actually super simple. I've been toying around with Bloglovin, and I have to admit... I love it just as much as more than I loved Google Reader. And Bloglovin makes it ridiculously simple to make the move. I was shocked. And here I was, all worked up just thinking about how long it would take me to visit each blog and re-subscribe. Boy was I wrong! 

If you already use Bloglovin, just click HERE. Click "Import from Google Reader," then click "Allow Access." That's it! Just two clicks, and every blog you were following with Google Reader will be magically imported to Bloglovin. How's that for easy?!

If you're new to Bloglovin, it's easy to sign up using your email or Facebook. Just click HERE.

One of my favorite features is the ability to "like" a post. Bloglovin saves your likes, so you can easily revisit your favorite projects, tips, recipes, and other posts. 

Oh, did I mention there's also an awesome app for the iPhone? There is, and I love it! 

If you're a blogger, it's easy to "claim" your blog. I claimed mine and installed the "follow this blog with bloglovin" button in less than 5 minutes. After you sign up for a Bloglovin account, just click on your name at the top right of the page, click "My blog," and click "Claim blog." The prompts were very easy to follow! 

If you're following Aprons 'n Pearls using Google Reader or
Google Friend Connect, I encourage you to make the switch today...  Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Liebster Award

Thursday, March 14, 2013

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I have a different kind of post today, as I have some exciting news {and if you stick around, you'll learn lots about me!} This week, I was nominated three times for the Liebster Award! I am humbled and honored to accept the award, and pay it forward! I thank the following three ladies for thinking of me...

I'm Co-Hosting the Pinterest Power Party!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

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Welcome! So glad you're here! I'm excited to be co-hosting this week's Pinterest Power Party! There's always a ton of inspiration here, so get comfy and let's get this party started!

A Fun Thursday Pinterest Power linky Party with recipes and crafts
Welcome Back to our weekly Pinterest Party! Every Thursday we will be hosting a linky party that focuses on YOU, the readers! Do you have an amazing DIY project, a frugal gift idea, or even a delicious recipe