Hybrid How-To | Napkin Rings

Hi, everyone! Kate here, bringing you another edition of our Hybrid How-To series on The Digital Press blog!

Today, I am going to show you how to use your digital scrapbooking stash to make some really cute paper napkin rings. It’s so easy!

Thanksgiving is next week for those of us in the United States, but this would make a fun addition to any table setting. There are so many digital kits to choose from… and you could easily find one that matches the theme of just about any dinner party!

Supplies Needed

–White cardstock paper
–Scissors or a cutting machine (I used a Silhouette)
–Adhesive or fastener of your choice (I used a stapler)
–Photo editing software (such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, etc.)
–Digital scrapbooking kit of your choice (I used Gather by Dunia Designs and Little Lamb & Co., shown below)

Instructions

1. Use your photo editing software to design your rings. I made mine 1.5″ wide and the length of the paper I was using (11″). If you don’t plan on using a cutting machine, my tip is to keep the design really simple so it’s easier to cut by hand…

2. Print and cut. I used a Silhouette for mine because the wreath has a lot of intricate details and the whole inside needed to be cut out…

3. Wrap the long edges together and adhere to form a ring. I used a stapler for this, but you could use double-sided tape, or even glue. Then, you’ll use adhesive (glue dots, tape, etc.) to attach your decorative piece to the ring you’ve created…

4. Once you’re finished, fold the napkins however you like, slip the rings over them, and you’re all finished. They’re ready for your table! So easy, right?

I hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Hybrid How-To, and that you will give this a try and come up with some of your own napkin rings! Don’t forget to visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and jump into this month’s Hybrid Challenge if you are thinking of trying this project. You can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES!


Kate About the Author  Kate is on the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She lives on the Utah/Colorado border with her husband, 5 kids, 10 chickens, and a dog named Gracie. She’s a city-born girl who found she’s really a country girl at heart. She can be found outside, barefoot, and probably in her garden.

Foodie Friday | Tracie Stroud

Welcome to another edition of Foodie Friday here on The Digital Press blog!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I can almost taste all of the deliciousness that the holidays brings! This week, we have a special treat for you scrappy food lovers… Tracie Stroud and I are here to share some delicious Thanksgiving recipes and tips that will have you looking forward to Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, and Tracie loves it too! There is something so special about family and friends gathering to share delicious food and appreciate all they have. When I asked her about her favorite Thanksgiving dishes, Tracie said, “I grew up in South Louisiana, and for Thanksgiving we always had a few must-haves: Cornbread Dressing, Green Bean Casserole, and Jambalaya. All three are still favorites in our family.”

And seriously, don’t these dishes look amazing?…

photo credits: [1] All Recipes [2] French’s and [3] Louisiana Cookin’

So, what is all of this deliciousness you see above?

  • Cornbread Dressing
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Cornbread Dressing

About this recipe, Tracie says, “The key to authentic cornbread dressing is to use day-old cornbread. I don’t know why, but it makes all the difference. When the dressing is done, we always add some of the Thanksgiving turkey into it.”

My favorite tip for cornbread dressing is to add some jalapeños. It gives the dressing a little kick that can cut the richness a bit.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—2 tablespoons butter
—1/2 cup chopped celery
—1 small onion
—2 eggs, beaten
—2 cups chicken stock
—2 tablespoons dried sage
—salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

—Prepare the dry corn bread mix according to package directions. Cool and crumble.
—Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9×13 inch baking dish.
—In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the celery and onion until soft.
—In a large bowl, combine the celery, onions, 3 cups crumbled corn bread, eggs, chicken stock, sage and salt and pepper to taste; mix well.
—Place into prepared dish and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

[ recipe adapted from All Recipes ]

Green Bean Casserole

The classic side dish! About this dish, Tracie says, “This is my very favorite dish from my childhood. My mom had this one down to an art, and she would always give me a few of the extra “crunchies” to munch on. She always used the French’s recipe, and it was always perfect. My kiddos aren’t crazy about green beans, so sometimes I make a smaller batch of this just for me.”

My own tip for delicious green bean casserole — it is the perfect make-ahead dish. On Thanksgiving, I am always running around like a crazy person. To save some time, I prep the green bean casserole the day before… just leaving off the fried onions on the top. By doing that, you can save yourself some time on the big day and give all the flavors in the casserole a chance to come together.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—1 can (10 1/2 oz.) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup 
—3/4 cup milk 
—1/8 tsp. black pepper 
—4 cups cooked cut green beans or 2 cans (14.5oz each) any style Del Monte® Green Beans, drained
—1 1/3 cups FRENCH’S® Crispy Fried Onions 

INSTRUCTIONS

—MIX soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 -qt. baking dish.

—Stir in beans and 2/3 cup Crispy Fried Onions.
—BAKE at 350°F for 30 min. or until hot. Stir.
—TOP with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 min. until onions are golden.

[ recipe adapted from French’s ]

Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Says Tracie, “Jambalaya takes a lot of practice to get right, and it can be quite an undertaking, but it’s always worth it in the end.”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—2 pounds mild smoked pork sausage, sliced ¼-inch-thick
—2½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken, chopped
—1½ pounds onions, finely chopped
—1 cup finely chopped celery
—1 cup finely chopped bell pepper
—2 tablespoons minced garlic
—1 cup diced tomato
—1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
—1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
—1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
—2¼ teaspoons fresh thyme
—2¼ teaspoons chopped fresh basil
—5⅓ cups chicken stock
—1½ pounds long-grain rice

 INSTRUCTIONS

—In a large cast-iron Dutch oven, cook sausage on high heat for 3 minutes.
—Add chicken, and cook until browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes.
—Lower heat to medium, and add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic; cook until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
—Add tomatoes, tomato paste, Creole seasoning, parsley, thyme, and basil. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
—Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil over high heat.
—Add rice, and stir. When jambalaya returns to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.
—Cover and cook until rice has absorbed all liquid, about 25 minutes.

By Cafe Reconcile, New Orleans, Louisiana
[ recipe adapted from Louisiana Cookin’ ]

Don’t these recipes make you want to pop your turkey into the oven and start prepping your holiday feast right now?

What are your favorite holiday foods? We would love to hear what recipes your families likes best to celebrate the holidays.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Tracie has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 11/23)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well — Spend $10+ in Tracie Stroud’s Shop, and get the following brand-new FULL KIT (just landed in the shop today) completely FREE!


KatieAbout the Author  Katie is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and their four sweet but crazy boys. When she’s not dodging Nerf bullets or trying to dig out from under the never-ending pile of laundry, she enjoys photography, cooking, going to Disney World with her family, and, of course, digital scrapbooking.

Tutorial Tuesday | Frame It Up

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog!

So what are we talking about today? Good old frames.

What comes to your mind when you run across a frame or set of frames in kit? Put a photo within it? Well, yes, that’s what I do too! Mostly. But then… frames can also be so much more, and I am hoping I can illustrate some examples for you today. I am using the term “frames” loosely — the same tips can apply to simple photo borders, etc.

So… let’s dive right in! Here are a few of my favorite ways to use frames while scrapping a page…

1. Doing what it says on the box

Frames, when used correctly, can add so much to a digital layout — just framing your beautiful photos and adding prominence. Take at look at the example shown below; it wouldn’t quite look the same without the white border frame around the photo, would it?

Frames don’t have to just be boring rectangles or square, though. Other shapes work just as well. I experimented with triangular frames in the next example, moving them around to suit my photos (and also splitting one photo between two overlapping frames; more about this later)…

2. Showing off details/key parts of your photo

I am sure you emply a lot of different means to bring out the details in your stories. Sometimes I like to do that by repeating a series of photos, and also highlighting some aspects using frames. In the following example, the different frames (and especially the one with multiple colored arrows) worked really well to show the dynamics between the sisters…

3. Adding dimension & focal points

I love that a frame can be used to add dimension to a layout. One of my favorite techniques is to clip a photo to a mask but use the frame on top of that to selectively show off some part of the photo or generally use it for a ‘cool’ effect. Here are few different examples of this technique…

In that first example, above, I used the “stack” of frames to add dimension to this 100% digital (flat) page. Stacking the frames is a fun way to create that effect. Here’s another example of that…

I love the effect that’s created here, of a stack of framed photos (arranged slightly askew, as though the photos were casually left on a table). It really creates a great dimensional effect with minimal effort, don’t you think?

In the next example, though, I used a combination of a frame and a mask; this helps add a focal point onto the layout and also ensures that the two duplicate photos — one clipped to the paint mask, and other to the frame — are linked so any adjustments are consistent between the two.

4. Using frames as design elements

Frames can also be used as design elements to accessorize your layouts.

In the next example, TDP creative team member Corrin used the frame on top of her cute photo (slightly askew) to draw attention to the photo. And it looks brilliant, doesn’t it? It definitely adds to the fun quotient of this layout…

In the next layout, I have used couple of frames — one for the photo and other just to add layering as well as partially show off the journal card underneath…

And in this next example… loads of frames! Looks like I have gone overboard! …but I love the quirkiness it adds to my layout…

 

5. Frames on pocket pages(?!) Yes! Why not?

So far, we have largely gone through examples of using frames on traditional layouts. But what about pocket pages? Well, they are definitely not out of bounds!

In the next example, I have used some photo borders and a few other frames placed here and there. It definitely adds so much detail to the layout and helps move the eye around — taking in all the different aspects of the story captured…

6. Splitting a photo into multiple frames or putting multiple photos in a frame

You can play around with how you want the photos split — it may be a subtle effect, as in the first layout… or a more dramatic split, as in the second layout…

Hugging-arms-Christmas-Day-2015-copy-for-web

Conversely, sometimes I struggle with cropping my photos just right to match the frame I’m using. Fret not! Creative freedom to the rescue! You may choose to use a photo and a Journal card together in a frame like TDP Creative Team member Anika has done here…

Or you can crop and size multiple photos in one big frame…

So these were just a few tips to enhance your layouts with frames! Hope you found them useful. I think the most important rule to remember is that there are no rules! It’s all about your interpretation, and if it works for you.

I can’t wait to see some of your creative uses for frames — do share your layouts with us in the gallery, and link us up in the comments below this post! As always, happy scrapping!


Profile pic avatar small

About the Author Shivani Sohal is a donner of many alter-egos. A finance professional by day in busy London, she morphs into a seemingly normal mum of two in the evenings and weekends. She is constantly found with her fingers in too many pies and juggling the metaphorical balls. That is living on the edge for her; aided by the two ankle biters and a darling hubby who define the warm and mushy for her. She is ferociously dedicated to memory keeping — almost immune to any nay-sayers (or equally-disruptive crying children or annoying house fires!); keeping her head down and forging ahead at all times.

Foodie Friday | Meagan’s Creations

Welcome to another edition of Foodie Friday here on The Digital Press blog!

Continuing our fun blog series that explores “what’s cooking in the homes of our designers and creative team members?” …I had fun chatting with Meagan Tuck of Meagan’s Creations to see what she has going on in her kitchen! It seems that as the weather is getting cooler here in the United States, we’re both reaching for comfort foods — pasta and warm cookies for Meagan, and beans, rice, and potatoes for me (love me some carbs!). Between the two of us, we’ve put together a main dish, a side, and dessert for you. If you like the combination of savory and sweet, you’re definitely in for a treat!

Doesn’t this all look yummy? I just had to make the cookie picture the biggest… because, well, cookies!

photo credits: [1] Kevin and Amanda, [2] TDP creative team member Kat Hansen, and [3] I Heart Nap Time

So, what is all of this deliciousness you see above?

  • Garlic Chicken Farfalle
  • Black Beans
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Garlic Chicken Farfalle

About this recipe, Meagan says… “For a main meal, my family loves chicken farfalle — everyone enjoys this! For the garlic in this recipe, I use a spoonful of crushed garlic.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—16 ounces Farfalle pasta
—1 cup heavy whipping cream
—3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
—2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or garlic salt
—1/2 tablespoon pepper
—1/2 cup butter
—1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
—1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
—12 oz mesquite barbecue sauce mixed with 1/4 cup lime juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Place chicken and barbecue sauce with lime juice in a crock pot; cook on low for 6 hours.
—Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred. Set this aside. Meagan’s tip — “I pull the chicken apart with two forks. For added barbecue flavor, I like to put the shredded chicken back in the crock pot with the juices until the pasta is cooked and then scoop out the chicken with a slotted spoon.
About a half-hour before serving, boil the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through.
—Sprinkle a little bit more shredded Parmesan cheese on top, and serve!

[ recipe adapted from the Kevin & Amanda site ]

Black Beans

Beans are a staple in my pantry, and I just love black beans. By themselves, however, they can be a bit… blah. I love spices, so this is a recipe to jazz things up a bit and add an earthy, rich flavor (and it’s awesome to mix into rice, stews, or even chili). With the Liquid aminos in here, I don’t find the need to add any additional salt in the cooking, and I try to get low-sodium beans, too, if I can find them in the grocery store. If the beans sit for a while (re-heated the next day, even), the flavors really start to come through. This, literally, takes less than 10 minutes to put together!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

—16 oz can black beans, drained
—1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
—1/4 teaspoon each chili powder, paprika and cumin
—1 tablespoons light soy sauce or Liquid Aminos (a soy derivative)

INSTRUCTIONS

—Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, mix well. Heat over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.

[ recipe adapted from Beachbody ]

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Says Meagan, “Quite simply, the BEST pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—1 cup canned pumpkin
—1 egg
—1/2 cup vegetable oil
—1 cup white sugar
—2 cups flour
—2 teaspoon baking powder
—1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
—1/2 teaspoon salt
—1 teaspoon baking soda
—1 teaspoon milk
—1 tablespoon vanilla
—2 cups chocolate chips (or 11 oz bag of chocolate chips)

INSTRUCTIONS

—Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and egg in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir into the wet ingredients. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir until combined.
—Add chocolate chips and stir until combined.
—Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop cookies on by the spoonful about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean.
[recipe adapted from I Heart Nap Time ]

Don’t these recipes all look delicious?! What is your favorite go-to comfort food in the cooler weather? We’d love to know!

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Meagan of Meagan’s Creations has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 11/16)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the Meagan’s Creations shop, and get the following brand-new FULL KIT that just landed in the shop today — completely FREE!


KatAbout the Author Kat Hansen is a creative team member here at The Digital Press. A Director of Human Resources by day, she loves the opportunity to spend a few hours each evening being creative. Vacation memories feature pretty heavily in Kat’s scrapbooking pages, as do her son and “daughter” (of the four-legged furry kind). Kat has quite the sense of humor (she “blames” her father for this), which she incorporates into her journaling and memory-keeping.

Tutorial Tuesday | Adding Texture

 

Is your life lacking texture? 😉

Or more specifically… are your digital layouts flat and boring? Or are you finding yourself, on occasion, using digital products that are texture-free (to enable home printing), but you want to use them digitally and you wish they had just a touch of texture?

Well, today I am here on the blog to show you an easy way to add texture to non-textured items (journal cards, papers, elements, etc… any texture-free digital image, really!).

For the purposes of this tutorial, I will be using journal cards to show you the technique… but remember, you can also use this method for texturing items such as digital papers, some flat elements (think: stickers), and even your own photos, if desired!

Here’s the process…

  1. Begin by opening your un-textured journal card in Photoshop (PS)… or similar photo-editing software program.
  2. Select a textured digital paper from your stash that has the texture you would like to replicate on your journal card.
  3. Place the textured paper on the layer above the journal card. Re-position it and re-size it desired.
  4. Next, de-saturate your textured paper (i.e. remove the color / convert it to black and white).
  5. Change the blending mode of the de-saturated textured paper to Soft Light (or Overlay).
  6. Duplicate the textured paper layer (if needed) for more texture… or… you can also decrease the opacity to lessen the texture that’s added.

Want to see this technique in action? Here are just a few examples of the variation you can achieve by using different textured papers…

For the examples you see, above, I used cards from Documenting Everyday Filler Cards and Hello June (both designed by Dunia Designs). Additionally, the textured papers I used are (from top to bottom): Happy Tales Papers by Anita Designs and ninigoesdigi (top row), from BeachyKeen Cardstock Sand by Karla Noel (2nd row), and from Standing Tall by Kim B Designs (3rd and 4th rows).

Here are some extra hints to help you with this technique:

  1. If your journal card becomes too pale after adding the texture… you can either (a) make the texture/overlay layer darker… or (b) try increasing saturation of the base card to restore some of the original color (be careful w/ this 2nd solution, however, to make sure you don’t substantially change the color of the card in a way that no longer matches the rest of the kit you’re using).
  2. Adding texture to a white card can be difficult. Try changing the white slightly to an off-white (or slightly grey) color to enable you to see your desired texture effect.
  3. Similarly, the same difficulties can apply to completely black cards (but less commonly). In these cases, you can slightly lighten the black color of the base card.

I hope this very simple texture technique is helpful for you! Don’t be afraid to try different blending modes to achieve other effects, as well. I can’t wait to see what you can create as you give this new process a try!


AvatarAbout the author  Carolyn lives with her partner and 2 rescue dogs on 5 acres of paradise in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Her camera, along with an assortment of lenses, is never out of sight. When not taking photos, she loves cooking and gardening and, of course, scrapbooking.

Hybrid How-To | Custom Desk Calendars

Hello everyone! It’s Tanya here, and I’m excited to share another Hybrid How-To post here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m going to show you how to use digital scrapbooking supplies to create adorable desk calendars that are perfect for holiday gifting and more!

Every year since I’ve been hybrid crafting, I have wanted to create a cute desk calendar using digital kits. I’ve been at this for a while now, and so it’s been a long time coming… 😉

The minute I saw Dunia Designs’ new 2018 calendar cards in the shop, I told myself…“That’s it! The time is NOW!” It’s also the perfect time to get started on my Christmas gifts (can you guess what everyone is getting this year?!).

Supplies Needed:

  • Digital kit(s) of your choice (the kits I used are shown in the image, below)
  • Pre-designed calendar cards or pages (optional; you could also make your own while working… I used Dunia’s, linked above)
  • Printer
  • White cardstock (& solid coordinating colors for layering, if desired)
  • Paper trimmer
  • Corner punch
  • Display for your calendar

Here’s a quick peek at the six kits that I chose to use for the first half of the year (based on the fact that I decided to pick a different kit for each month; something that corresponds with that month’s season/theme/holiday/etc.)…

first 6 kits

Additionally, here are the 6 kits I chose to use for the final half of the year…

If you didn’t want to use a different product for each month (and/or you wanted to use fewer kits in total, etc.)… you could simply choose one overall theme and use that for your calendar (using just one kit… or one color scheme… etc.). That’s the fun thing — it’s all up to you, and there are no rules!

Next, after choosing the products to use, it was time for me to begin designing each of my cards. Here’s what the calendar cards looked like before I began embellishing them…

I used Silhouette Studio to create my cards, but you can you any photo editing software.  There is some editing that you can do in other programs that I have not learned to master in Silhouette Studio (for instance, one of those things is shadowing; I’m getting better, but not quite there yet!)…

So, the first step is to drag the calendar and the elements from where you saved them on your computer into the workspace of your software (as shown below). I usually fill my workspace with several elements that I think I might like, that way I don’t have to go back and forth so much later. For the ones you don’t end up using… you can either move them off to the side or delete them…

Once  the elements were available on my workspace, I started dragging them onto each card and positioning them as desired…

Next, I drew a rectangle around the calendar so as to create a border area. As I designed each card, I was able to add digital papers (as backgrounds/borders) to match each month…

This next step may vary from software program to software program… but once I had all of my elements in place, I chose a background paper from the ‘fill paper’ menu in Silhouette…

Here’s a look at all of my finished cards, after I was finished designing them in my software program…

Aren’t these so fun?! I can’t wait to make more! 🙂

After I had finished designing all of the months/cards in my software, I was ready to print. I found that I was able to fit 4 cards/months to a page when printing…

At that point, I used my paper trimmer and cut away the margins. I also used a corner rounder for the corners of the cards…


All cut out and ready to go…

Here are a couple of ways to display the calendar (both are frames; I took the glass out of the black frame)…

After framing the calendar cards, I decided that I might re-size some of my future batches to fit into a 4 x 6 frame (although, I should note that you should always be very careful about re-sizing things to make them bigger than intended.*

Another idea for displaying the calendar is to add a piece of coordinating cardstock paper as a backing to each card, as shown here…

Here’s a look at the same card… one (left) without a cardstock mat behind it, and the other one (right) with a coordinating mat added. It also shows another cute way to display the calendar… a little easel that I found at WalMart in the craft aisle…

Anyway, isn’t this a cute (and quick/easy) project? I can’t wait to make more of these calendars for Christmas gifts! We will be starting a new weekend schedule where I work, and I think I may make each of my co-workers calendars that have the weekends they will be working circled. Oh, the possibilities… can’t wait to get started!

Meanwhile, I cannot believe it’s almost time for Thanksgiving.   Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving to everyone. This is such a wonderful time of the year to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for.

I hope that you have enjoyed this edition of Hybrid How-To, and that you will give this a try and come up with one of your own calendars! Don’t forget to visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and jump into this month’s Hybrid Challenge if you are thinking of trying this project. You can earn points toward discounts & FREEBIES! I hope that you will join in!

 

*re-sizing digital images downward (to make smaller) is always AOK; re-sizing upward (to make bigger) should always be done carefully and is not usually advised, due to the effect on image quality; print quality can degrade; things can get blurry or pixelated; etc.


Tanya

About the Author  Tanya is a part of the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She has been hybrid crafting for at least 14 years now, and loves creating and sharing those creations with others. Her all-time favorite tool is her Silhouette Cameo. She has been married for 28 years to her high school sweetheart, Richard and has two sons: Chris, 25 and Chance, 20. She also enjoys crocheting, photography and woodworking.

Foodie Friday | MEG Designs

Hello! Stefanie here, to bring you another fun edition of our Foodie Friday series here on The Digital Press blog!

As you’ve seen this fall, Foodie Friday is our newest blog series… based on the amazing positive response we had to the “Mess Hall” feature during TDP’s Summer Camp back in July. People just loved our food features… and as such, most every Friday throughout the rest of the year we will be combining the Foodie Friday thing with our weekly designer feature series — and having some fun in the kitchen! Every week you will get the chance to peek into the lives (and kitchens) of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members.

It’s been really fun so far… and this week, Marie Eve of MEG designs is here with me to share a few delicious recipes from each of our kitchens! Take a quick look…

It all looks delicious, right? Here’s what we have put together for you…

  • One-Pan Pasta
  • King Cake
  • Fruit Kebabs

One-Pan Pasta

This a quick dish that Marie Eve says her family loves… and it is something she turns to when time is short.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  •  350 g spaghetti (or any  other pasta)
  •  5 sausages (chorizo or similar)
  •  1/2 red pepper
  •  1/2 onion
  •  2 cloves garlic
  •  1 small zucchini (baby marrows)
  •  20 cherry tomatoes
  •  fresh basil (or parsley if you don’t have basil)
  •  herbs of Provence
  •  750 ml of cold water
  •  1 chicken bouillon cube (chicken stock cube)
  •  black pepper pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wash the zucchini and the pepper and cube into small pieces (so that it cooks quickly).
  • Finely chop the onion and the crush the garlic.
  • Wash the cherry tomatoes and halve them.
  • Dilute the bouillon cube in cold water.
  •  In a large pan, place spaghetti in the bottom.
  •  Cut the sausages into small pieces layer them next to the spaghetti.
  •  Add the cherry tomatoes, the onion, the cloves of garlic, the red pepper and the zucchini.
  •  Add the diluted bouillon cube.
  •  Sprinkle with some fresh chopped basil and add some herbs from Provence (not too much!) and freshly ground black pepper (no salt).
  •  Cook on high heat and when the pasta begins to soften, stir gently to mix, but take care to ensure that the pasta is immersed in the water.
  •  Cook until there is no more water, watch and stir regularly so that it doesn’t attach to the bottom of the pan. It takes about 15-20 min.

King Cake

About this recipe, Marie Eve says, “this is a recipe that I have made many times and we still like it. On the 6th of January, we celebrate the Epiphany (a Christian tradition). On this day, we eat the King’s cake, in which we hide a bean (a porcelain object).. and whoever finds it is the “queen” or “king” for the day.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 2 puff pastries
  • 200g almond powder
  • 150g sugar
  •  100g butter (room temperature)
  •  2 eggs
  •  1 tbsp bitter almond extract
  •  70g of raisins
  •  1 tbsp cinnamon
  •  150ml orange juice
  •  1 bean
  •  1 egg yolk diluted  with a water to create an egg wash to crisp and brown the dough.

INSTRUCTIONS

  •  Place the raisins in a bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon and cover with orange juice. Let swell 30 min.
  •  Preheat the oven to 180 °C (6).
  •  Arrange the first puff pastry in a pie dish and prick it with a fork. Do not cook it.
  •  Mix all the ingredients: almond powder, sugar, eggs, butter and almond extract. Spread it on the puff pastry base.
  •  Cover with drained raisins. Push them lightly into the mixed ingredients. Slip the bean into the filling.
  •  Cover the pie with the second puff pastry. Weld the edges lightly with your fingers.
  •  Mark the top of the cake with the tip of a knife before brushing with the diluted egg yolk.
  •  Bake for 35 min.
  •  Take the cake out, sprinkle it with sugar (through a sieve). Increase the oven to 250 °C  (8-9) and bake the cake for 5 minutes more.

Fruit Kebabs

This is a recipe from my own kitchen, and it’s one that my daughter requested when she wanted a picnic party for her 18th birthday with her closest girlfriends. Girls are always so health-conscious, and so I made this fresh fruit selection on a skewer. They loved it!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • pineapple, peeled and cubed
  • bananas, peeled and sliced
  • blueberries, washed
  • strawberries, washed and halved
  • mandarins, peeled and separated into segments
  • seedless green grapes (but any seedless ones will do)
  • basically you want a mix of different colours that look pretty together

INSTRUCTIONS

  • I started with pineapple and then layered them on to the stick one by one, ending with a blueberry
  • Serve cold, one per person

There you have it! …something for everyone, no matter where people are located in the world. These recipes are easy to make, and sure to be crowd pleasers.

After checking out these fun recipes… if you’re up for a challenge, come to the forum and check out our Recipe Book challenge, which is designed to help you create a quick-&-simple book of your favorite recipes — get this — in time to print it up and give it to friends and family members as a holiday gift later this year(!). Sound like fun? Come check it out HERE.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-With-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Marie Eve has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 11/9)… but she also has the following awesome deal available in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the MEG Designs shop and get the following product absolutely FREE…


small avi

About the author Stefanie is a member of The Digital Press creative team and a stay at home mother of three older children living in Cape Town, South Africa with her hubby of 29 years, two of their three children and 2 cats. She loves photography, travel and digital scrapbooking, documenting the good and the ordinary everyday.

Tutorial Tuesday | Combining Patterned Papers

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Tutorial Tuesday! I’m here today to share some tips on combining patterned papers on your layouts in visually pleasing ways.

Patterned paper is one of my all-time favorite things… but I avoided using much of it for a long time because I was intimidated by the idea of “how to use it correctly.” I tended to use just one pattern per layout in order to not have to worry about the patterns clashing, or about matching more than one pattern, etc. The fact is that combining patterned paper on one layout can be a challenge! Over the years, though, I’ve become more and more comfortable combining patterned papers… so I want to share a few tips that have helped me to be more comfortable using patterned papers together. Before we get to the tips, I want to remind you to have FUN with patterned paper… it is all about experimenting and trying different things!

Tip #1: Keep It Simple

Try to remember that a designer designs the patterned papers together for a given kit because they go well together. Use that to your advantage and use the papers from one kit together since they are likely to go together easily. Using patterns from different kits can be difficult since lining up color schemes and patterns can be challenging. This layout is one that I created using Dawn by Designs’ Globe Trotter kit. The patterned papers in this kit go so well together – each one complements the others. The papers that Dawn by Designs created were perfectly suited to one another and made this page all the more special!

Tip #2: Focus on Neutrals

I have found that using one pattern as a neutral to ground the other patterned papers is a great way to balance the patterns on your page. Your neutral pattern can be any pattern that you feel like will help the other patterns come together cohesively. I’d recommend using a large pattern that incorporates most of the colors you plan to use so it can act as an anchor for the rest of the patterns. Another option is to choose a pattern that contains the more neutral colors of the overall color palette which allows you to add other more colorful patterns without your page looking busy. For this layout, I chose a large map pattern that uses the neutral colors of the overall palette in order to add the more colorful patterns throughout the page. That map pattern really anchored the page and kept the page cohesive.

Tip #3: Choose a star!

Choose one bold pattern to be the star of your page and then add a couple of medium patterns to support the main bold pattern. You can then add subtle patterns or solids to round off your page and bring it all together. For this page, I chose the very bold yellow stripe to be the focus of the page but added the medium patterns (grey stripe, flower pattern) which came together nicely with the bold yellow stripe. Lastly, I added a few smaller bits of solid colors to bring the various patterns together.

Tip #4 – Just Go For It!

I suggest you also give yourself the freedom to just go for it! Use a solid for the base of your page but layer a variety of patterns in different sizes across the page. In my opinion, contrast is key with this method. If the patterns or colors are too similar or of the same intensity, the page won’t look as cohesive as it could. While creating this page, I decided to use a blue solid as my base but then layer a variety of patterns over top of the solid. I made sure to put the patterns down in a way that really added as much contrast as possible which made the patterns work better together than if I’d layered them differently.

Tip #5 – Use Simple Shapes

Using simple shapes with patterned papers will help frame your page and keep it from looking busy. The simple shape such as a square, circle or a rectangle will help balance the boldness of the patterns and make your page look a lot more cohesive. With this page, I decided to frame my photo with squares of patterned papers in order to keep the page from looking off balance. The simple shapes of bold patterns can really ground  your page and make it visually pleasing to the eye.

I really hope that these five tips will help you to increase your comfort with using patterned papers together on your scrapbook projects. Don’t shy away from the bold patterns … in fact, embrace the boldness and showcase them by using these tips! I think part of the joy of creating scrapbook projects is getting to use all of the patterned papers that I love, regardless of how bold they are! Trying some of these approaches to combining patterned papers will give you more options for using lots of different patterned papers on one project without feeling like it looks like a crazy mess! The most important thing to remember is that using patterns is supposed to be fun. Give it a try and see what you can come up with! I bet that you’ll find it to be much easier than you expected! Good luck!


Amy

About the Author  Amy lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband of  17 years and their 12 year old boy/girl twins. Their 21-year-old daughter has recently begun graduate school at Clemson! Amy has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together! Amy is a huge reader (mostly literary fiction), and is a pop culture junkie! She also LOVES all things beauty & makeup!

Foodie Friday | Mari Koegelenberg Creations

Hello! I’m Robin and am here on The Digital Press blog today to bring you another fun edition of our Foodie Friday series!

As you’ve seen this fall, Foodie Friday is our newest blog series… based on the amazing response we had to the “Mess Hall” feature during TDP’s Summer Camp back in July. People just loved our food features… and as such, most every Friday throughout the rest of the year we will be combining the Foodie Friday thing with our weekly designer feature series — and having some fun in the kitchen! Every week you will get the chance to peek into the lives (and kitchens) of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members. It’s been very fun so far!

This week Mari from Mari Koegelenberg Creations is here to share a few delicious recipes with us from her kitchen! Take a peek…

[ photo credits to [1] The Pioneer Woman [2] Damn Delicious and [3] Pinch of Yum ]

What is all of that yumminess you see, above? Here is the lineup of delicious recipes Mari put together this week:

  • Enchiladas
  • Baked Parmesan Zucchini
  • Flax and Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats  

Enchiladas

Mari says, “We call it Mexican lasagna. 😉 It’s so good! Not having grown up with this delicacy, I scoured Pioneer Woman’s vast and amazing recipe collection years ago and made this recipe one night while we had family visiting. Let’s just say its a real winner! I have also substituted chicken (and even stewing beef), which I put into the crock pot and then shred it — and its just utter comfort food deluxe. Do not skimp on the sour cream!”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • Mexican red sauce
  • Low sodium chicken broth
  • Canola oil
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Canned diced green chilies
  • Corn tortillas
  • Chopped black olives
  • Sliced green onions
  • Freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • For the sauce, add 1 tbsp. each of canola oil and flour to a medium saucepan
  • Whisk these together over medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes
  • Add in the red sauce and chicken broth then stir to mix together
  • Add in ½ tsp each of ground black pepper and salt
  • Simmer the sauce on low heat while cooking the rest
  • Dice the onions and place into a large skillet with 1 tbsp. of canola oil. Sauté the onions for a few minutes
  • Add ground beef and brown
  • Add two cans of green chilies
  • In a small skillet over medium heat, fry individual corn tortillas just until soft (about 30 seconds each side)
  • Place tortillas on a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm
  • Add 2-3 tbsp. fresh cilantro to the sauce
  • Assemble the enchiladas by dipping the corn tortillas into the warm sauce, lay them flat, and spoon the meat mixture, chopped olives, green onion, and cheese on the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam side down in a baking dish.  Continue until all tortillas are used.
  • Pour remaining sauce over rolled up tortillas and top it off with freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes until cheese is melted and enchiladas are bubbly
  • Remove the pan and sprinkle chopped cilantro and green onions on top

Baked Parmesan Zucchini

When asked about this recipe, Mari wrote, “Just over a year ago, we moved onto our little farm… and we started a veggie garden. We planted 6 zucchini plants (in case they did not all ‘take’)… UMM OKAY… so, yep, we had an over-abundance of zucchini this summer! It’s such a versatile veggie, though, so I didn’t complain (you can use it in salads, cakes/bread, grilled on the BBQ, and more). This is one of my favorite ways to prepare and it looks so presentable and is absolutely delicious!”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 4 zucchinis, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired

Flax and Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

Mari was quite enthusiastic about this fabulous recipe! She told me, “OMG to die for! It’s like pudding… so good, and so so healthy. It’s also great for busy moms/dads because you can prep this ahead and let it work its magic in a mason jar.” I think you will agree with Mari after trying this!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats OR quick oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon flaxmeal
  • 1 baby pinch of salt
  • blueberries, pecans, brown sugar, and other goodies for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In an individual food storage container, add the ingredients in the order listed (except for toppings). Do not stir. Refrigerate overnight.
  • In the morning, stir up the mixture; it should be thick and the oats should be completely soft. Add the toppings of your choice. Repeat forever.

Don’t these recipes look easy and fun to make? My kids were quite excited to try them all, after looking at the pictures!

Now, if you’re up for a challenge… come to the forum and check out our Recipe Book challenge, which is designed to help you create a quick-&-simple book of your favorite recipes — get this — in time to print it up and give it to friends and family members as a holiday gift later this year(!). Sound like fun? Come check it out HERE.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Marie has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 11/2)… but she also has the following awesome deal available in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the Mari Koegelenberg Creations shop and get the following FULL COLLECTION(!) completely FREE…


Robin

About the author  Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 25 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (3 in college and 1 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).

Tutorial Tuesday | Titles Matter

Welcome to another edition of Tutorial Tuesday here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m going to talk about using titles in your digital or hybrid scrapbook pages. Titles actually do matter. Why, you ask? The title gives your page a clear and concise connection between your photos and your journaling. Basically, it ties together the ingredients in your memory-keeping. It can often create balance in your layout, and it can even be the focal point of your project.

Titling my projects is something that I sometimes struggle with, but as I learn more about the elements of a balanced scrapbook page, I realize it’s an important piece of the whole and not to be ignored. In that spirit, I have for you a few tips and techniques that can assist you in creating a unique and clever title.

  1. Keep it short. A long, wordy title can easily dominate a page or project without intention. Remember, you want to create balance… so the title should be just a few words to let the viewer know at a glance what to expect from the project. Your journaling will then explain in more detail what the story is and how it connects to the photos.
  2. Keep it simple. This goes hand in hand with number 1. You want to keep it simple so the title doesn’t monopolize the entire page. One way to do this is to use the technique of ‘word mining’. This is basically making a list of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs describing your photo. You can be as specific or generic as you want, or you could start more general and get more specific. Here’s a simple example so you can see what I mean. After jotting down your words, you can come up with a title using any combination, like “Hairy Hubby” or “Kooky Duo”… 
  3. Use the tools available. Pinterest has countless pins that can be used for title inspiration. When I mean countless, I mean it. There are so many ideas and themes and quotes, the mind boggles. The other valuable tool that I absolutely treasure and use all the time is an online thesaurus. It’s literally as simple as typing in a word and hitting enter. You will get loads of synonyms for that particular word. Word of advice, though… maybe don’t use it on every word (like Joey… high five to those that got that without watching the video!).

Once you have figured out what your title is going to be, you just need to figure out how you are going to incorporate it into your project. Speaking for myself, as I start to plan my layout I often use a ‘place holder’ for my title. In other words, I typically just type ‘title here’ on my draft page, and as my layout evolves I can move it and size it to create balance. You can use alpha sets or fonts to create titles (for more on mixing fonts for titles, check out Tutorial Tuesday | Combining Fonts). Titles can even be shadowed or distressed to look like stamps. They can be very large or small depending on how many photos you have on your project. You can even use word art or pre-designed titles. The possibilities are truly endless.

I’m going to show you two examples today. The first uses a large stamped title…

[ credits: Purfect Tales by Anita Designs and ninigoesdigi Kit and Cards and Alpha Stash No. 5 by Tracie Stroud ]

The second example uses a cutout technique inside my title (if you want to learn more about creating a cutout, please check out TDP CT member Corrin’s Tutorial Tuesday | Creating a Cut-Out)…

[ credits: Tender Little Moments | Digital Kit by Dawn by Design ]

As you can see, the title in each layout becomes part of the layout… which creates a complete, balanced, design that is easy on the eye.

My hope is that using these tips and examples will inspire you to create a catchy title for your next digital project! Maybe you are a rock star and you always title your layouts, but if you are anything like me… it will take a little bit of effort (and trial and error) to create a beautifully-titled page. Either way, we can learn from one another and inspire each other… and with that, I hope to “see you” in the gallery at TDP!


About the Author:  Heidi Nicole is happily married to an amazing man, a step mama to 2 wonderful kiddos, and mama to 3 sweet and sassy furbabies.  She’s a radiation therapist by day and creator of pretty things by night (she’s pretty confident that she’s hit super hero status, but refuses to wear a cape.)  She loves cats and huskies, coffee, audio books, FRIENDS reruns, St. Louis Blues hockey, cooking, baking, and traveling.  Oh, and wine… she really likes wine.  She lives a normal and happy life, and enjoys all the absolutely extraordinary people she gets to share it with on a daily basis!

Hybrid How-To | Using Journal Cards to Design Hybrid Layouts

Hello everyone! It’s the third Saturday of the month, and therefore it’s time for another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog!

Today, I’m going to show you how to use digital journal cards in a fun way — to help create non-pocket-style hybrid layouts!

Supplies Needed

  • 12×12 white cardstock (or any other color and size, as you prefer)
  • Any physical supplies/embellishments you might want to add (I used enamel stickers, gold foam stickers, and little gold stars)
  • Stamps and spray paints
  • Digital kit of your choice (I used Limited Edition By Sahin Designs)

Instructions

First, I always start my project in Photoshop. I opened a new document in Photoshop and used a canvas that was the same size (12×12) as my eventual physical layout.

Next, I chose to work with a grid design for my page. By dragging different cards and elements from my digital kit onto my canvas in Photoshop, I made a digital version of the layout. I love to work this way; it’s easy and quick, and a great way to see the final result before I actually glue things together.

Here is a screenshot of my workspace in Photoshop…

I had so much fun arranging my cards, photos and elements until I became happy with the result. I really love this process. But when the digital version is done, the even more fun part starts. It’s time to cut and paste!

At this point, we will have to use different adhesives and try to give dimension to our project. It really brings interest to the page. For some elements I used regular double sided tape, and for others, I used foam tape (raised/dimensional). I also used foam tape for the journal cards. I think it helps them to pop up on the page and have more focus.

Here is a close-up look, showing these different dimensions in the layout as I worked…

Here’s another look…

Once all things are glued, it’s time to bring our page to life and give it texture with some physical elements, stamps and paint splatters.

I love to use small stamps and use the ghosting technique which consists in stamp more than one time without put more ink on the stamp. It brings a lovely texture to the project. I also like to add contrast to the page by adding some paint splatters in black.

All these add-ons and the physical embellishments give more interest to the page. I really love this part of the process.

In order to embellish my page, I used some gold foam tickers for my title, an epoxi speech bubble, and some little gold stars.

Here is another close-ups view (note the stamps and paint)…

And here’s a good look at the pretty gold star embellishments I added…

_1020908

I chose to write my journalling along the cards to ensure that my page will be cohesive. Here is a look at the final result…

As you can see, using digital journal cards is a fun and easy way to make a beautiful, quick, and cohesive layout.

If you’d like to give this a try, too, don’t forget that you can earn challenge points at The Digital Press! Come visit the CROSSWORD SECTION in The Digital Press forum, and you’ll find this month’s Hybrid Challenge thread (*NOTE* for each month’s Hybrid Challenge at TDP, you get to choose one of the two (2) “Hybrid How-To” tutorial posts from here on the blog for that month, and then you get to make your own version of that chosen project). If you choose to give today’s project a try… all you have to do is make a hybrid layout using digital journal cards and elements that have been printed and cut into a physical format (similar to mine, but it doesn’t have to be identical in size or format — you can do what works for you!).

Give it a shot, and share your final results with us! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂 Have a great weekend… and happy scrapping!


About the Author  Andrea Albuquerque is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Andrea has been a scrapper since 2010 and a photographer since 2012. Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, she can’t resist playing with paper, paint, and embellishments… so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her! She lives in Brazil with her hubby.

Foodie Friday | Jen C Designs

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Foodie Friday series here on The Digital Press blog!

Foodie Friday is our newest blog series… based on the amazing response we had to the “Mess Hall” activities during TDP’s Summer Camp back in July. As such, most every Friday throughout the rest of the year, we will be combining this fun feature with our weekly designer feature series — and having some fun in the kitchen with members of our team! Each week you will get to peek into the lives (and kitchens) of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members.

This week, you get to join Jen Cairns from Jen C Designs and TDP creative team member Astrid in the kitchen, where we’re cooking up a few delicious autumn-inspired recipes from Jen’s recipe books!

[ photo credits to Jen Cairns and tasteandtellblog.com (scones) ]

Here is the lineup of delicious recipes Jen put together this week (shown above):

  • Pancakes
  • Cheddar Biscuits
  • Yorkshire Puddings

Pancakes

About this recipe, Jen says… “they’re really simple and my kids love them! My 7 year old now makes her own pancakes!”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED*
—1 cup self rising flour
—1 cup milk
—1/4 cup white sugar
—1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS
—Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
—Heat a pan and melt some butter in the pan; pour desired amount of batter into the pan (depending on the size pancake you want to make).
—Wait until bubbles form across the top of the pancake, and then flip over. Let cook for another 2-3 minutes.
—Serve with topping of choice; we use syrup (and/or more sugar on top for extra sweetness!).

*makes 2 large or 4 small pancakes

Cheddar Scones

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—200g self-raising flour (plus a little more for dusting)
—50g butter (chilled)
—75g grated cheese (plus extra for topping; optional)
—150ml milk

INSTRUCTIONS
—Preheat oven to 220 C (about 425 F)
—Place the flour in a large bowl, and then grate in the butter.
—Stir in the cheese, then the milk. If it feels like it might be too dry, add a touch more milk… then bring together to make a soft dough.
—Lightly dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll out the dough no thinner than 2cm. Using a 4cm plain cutter, cut out the scones.
—Transfer to a non-stick baking sheet, dust with a little more flour (and/or grated cheese topping), and then bake for 12-15 mins until well-risen and golden.


Yorkshire Puddings

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—140g plain flour (this is about 200ml/7 oz)
—4 eggs
—200ml milk
—sunflower oil

INSTRUCTIONS
—Preheat oven to 230 C (about 450 F).
—Drizzle approx 1-2 TBSP sunflower oil evenly into 2 x 4-hole Yorkshire pudding tins or a 12-hole non-stick muffin tin and place in the oven to heat through.
—To make the batter, add 140g plain flour into a bowl and beat in four eggs until smooth.
—Gradually add 200ml milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free. Season with salt and pepper.
—Pour the batter into a jug, then remove the hot tins from the oven. Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the holes.
—Place the tins back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20-25 mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned. Serve immediately with lots of gravy!


Here’s a fun photo Jen provided of her two kids eating the Yorkshire Puddings (left) and pancakes (right)… two of their favorites!

Doesn’t that all look delicious?!

If you’re up for a challenge… come to the forum and check out the latest edition of our Recipe Book challenge, which launched this month and is designed to help you create a quick-&-simple book of your favorite recipes — get this — in time to print it up and give it to friends and family members as a holiday gift later this year(!). Sound like fun? Come check it out HERE.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Jen has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 10/26)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $5+ in the Jen C Designs, and get the following BRAND NEW template set that just launched in her shop today — completely FREE!


blogfotoAbout the author Astrid is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. She lives with her husbandand her 2 teenage/adult kids in Germany. As a mini-jobber with only 10 hours/week, she has plenty of time for her digital scrapbooking hobby. She has Netflix and Amazon Prime, and is addicted to nearly all series. Vampires, zombies, vikings… it doesn’t matter; she likes everything. She loves the ocean and the summer heat, but lives in the opposite: mountains. Therefore, she loves visiting her family in Algeria or the south of France.

Tutorial Tuesday | Transforming Templates

BlogHeaderTemplate

Welcome to another edition of Tutorial Tuesday here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I thought it would be helpful if I shared a few ways that you can creatively transform templates to fit your scrapbooking needs! These tips and tricks will help you get the most bang for your buck when purchasing and using templates!

More often than not I find I have more photos that I want to scrapbook, than the template allows for. To remedy this I often add in more photos in places on the template that are suggested to be papers. For this layout I use Anita Designs Quick Scraps Vol. 17:

ad_quickscraps17_preview

I altered the bottom left template by rotating & adding a photo to the spot that could have been background paper. I love the look of the larger unframed bottom photo behind the three framed photos. It gives the layout more dimension, helps tell the story & visually leads your eye across the page.

wicked-awesome_webJH

For this layout I used another template from the same pack (the top right template) and added a large photo underneath the layers of the template. Large photos help showcase the subject of a page and  are a a great way to catch the eye of the reader.

young-wild-and-free_web

Another way to use templates is to break up your single photo to fit multiple spots. For this layout I used another template by Anita Designs A December Story Captured (template 21)

ad_adecstorycapt2016_tp21

I placed a single photo in the three photo slots in the template. To get this look I merged the three photo layers (Command +E) in the template and then placed my photo on top of that layout and clipped it (Command +G) to the frames.  A super easy and unique look to make a template work to tell your story!

crazy_webJH

You can also rotate and delete parts of a template to make them work for your layout. I did exactly that with the bottom left template by Dunia Designs:_dunia_soco_springdays_templates

Again a large photo takes center stage of the layout. I rotated the entire template and moved everything to the bottom quarter to make more room to showcase the large photo. You can always move and tweak a template to make it work. Start with the end in mind and you can make your vision come to life with a few little changes!

candid-photograph_web

Remember just because a template is set up one way by a designer, it doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way! Change those templates up and make them work for you and your personal style! Happy Scrapbooking!


JenniferHigniteJennifer Hignite is a mom of three boys and new homeowner with her fiance in the mitten state of Michigan. When she is not scrapbooking, she enjoys photography, watching her boys play sports, decorating, and shopping at Target.

Foodie Friday | Little Lamm & Co.

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Foodie Friday series here at The Digital Press!

Foodie Friday is our newest blog series, and is based on the amazing response we had to the “Mess Hall” activities during TDP’s Summer Camp, back in July. As such, most every Friday throughout the rest of the year, we will be combining this fun feature with our weekly designer feature series — and having some fun in the kitchen! Every week you will get the chance to peek into the lives (and kitchens) of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members.

This week… we have the awesome Amie from Little Lamm & Co. joining me (Sabrina, from the creative team here at TDP)… and we’re cooking up a few delicious autumn-inspired recipes from Amie’s kitchen!

[all photo credits to Amie Lamm of Little Lamm & Co.]

Amie loves to cook and photograph her yummy food. She said that if she had more time on her hands, she would definitely be a food blogger. Amie is also a big fan of autumn… and had the followoing to say about her recipes: “I cannot wait for autumn each year — just for all the soups! I have a bucket list of soups and stews to make each season.”

Here is the line up of delicious recipes Amie put together this week (shown above):

  • Sunday Night Roast Loin of Pork with Fall Vegetables
  • ‘Autumn is Here’ French Onion Soup
  • Mini Carrot Cupcakes

Sunday Night Roast Loin of Pork with Fall Vegetables

Amie says: “There is something about how the mustard, wine and herbs in this dish meld together to make the most delicious sauce. If your sauce ends up a bit lacking, because roast times can lengthen depending on the size of your loin, you can add low sodium chicken broth to thin it out. I do make this dish on a week night occasionally, only because once you put it in the oven, there isn’t anything to do until it’s ready. I just have to be home at least two hours prior to dinner to start preparing.”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
—1 tablespoon olive oil
—1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
—1 tablespoon fresh sage (finely chopped)
—1-1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
—1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme (finely chopped)
—1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt + 1/2 tsp black pepper(for meat)
—4 medium carrots (washed and peeled, cut on the bias into slices 1/4-inch thick)
—2 medium yellow onions (large diced)
—1 fennel bulb, stems removed (rough cut into large pieces)
—2 tablespoons olive oil
—1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt + 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (for vegetables)
—1 cup dry white wine

INSTRUCTIONS
—Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
—In a small bowl, combine the finely chopped sage, rosemary, and thyme with salt and pepper and set aside.
—Heat a frying pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, brown the pork on all sides until golden brown all over, about 2 minutes per side with a little extra time on the top layer. Set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
—Brush the top of the roast with an even layer of Dijon mustard, and follow that with an even coating of the fresh herb mixture.
—In a separate frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and then saute the carrots, onions and fennel until slightly brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat.
—Place the roast in the center of a roasting pan or baking dish and surround with the sautéed vegetables. Pour one cup of dry white wine over the vegetables and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 50 minutes, until golden brown with an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
—Let pork rest for 3 to 5 minutes (maximum), and then cut into half-inch thick slices and serve.

[serves 4 to 6]

‘Autumn Is Here’ French Onion Soup

About this soup recipe, Amie says: “This recipe today is by far my favorite. Probably because we don’t make it super often (it’s a tad labor intensive). My second favorite, though, is Zuppa Toscana. It’s the only way I get my boys to eat kale!”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
—6 large yellow onions (about 4 pounds, halved and cut pole to pole into 1/4 inch-thick slices)
—table salt
—2 cups water (plus extra for de-glazing)
—1/2 cup dry sherry
—4 cups low sodium chicken broth
—2 cups beef broth
—6 sprigs fresh thyme (tied with kitchen twine)
—1 bay leaf
—ground black pepper

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR CROUTONS
—1 small baguette (cut into 1/2 inch slices)
—8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 cups)

INSTRUCTIONS

—Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
—Generously spray inside of heavy-bottomed large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray.
—Place butter in pot and add onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, 1 hour (onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume).
—Remove pot from oven and stir onions, scraping bottom and sides of pot.
—Return pot to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until onions are very soft and golden brown, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours longer, stirring onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.
—Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until liquid evaporates and onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing heat to medium if onions are browning too quickly.
—Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until pot bottom is coated with dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary (scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions).
—Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes.
—Repeat process of de-glazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown.
—Stir in sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until sherry evaporates (about 5 minutes)
—Stir in broths, 2 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot.
—Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
—Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
—For the croutons: while soup simmers, arrange baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in 400-degree oven until bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
—To serve: adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1-3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

[serves 6]

Mini Carrot Cupcakes

About this recipe, Amie says, “I am all about vegetables in my desserts. I love pumpkin everything! But because you might be sick of PSLs by now, here is my favorite carrot cake recipe. And I always try to do dessert in miniature. It makes portion control so much easier! Until you eat 6 at a time.”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
—1/2 cup chopped walnuts
—1 teaspoon baking powder
—1/2 teaspoon baking soda
—1/2 teaspoon salt
—1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
—1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
—1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
—1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
—1 1/2 cups grated carrots
—2/3 cup vegetable oil
—1 cup granulated sugar
—3 large eggs
—1 teaspoon vanilla extract

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR FROSTING
—2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
—8 ounces cream cheese, softened
—2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
—1 teaspoon lemon juice
—1/4 teaspoon almond extract
—1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts

INSTRUCTIONS
—Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
—Line two 24-cup mini-muffin pans with paper liners.
—Put the flour, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in the food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
—Whisk the grated carrots, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until combined.
—Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
—Divide amoung the muffin cups, filling each three-quarters of the way.
—Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 10-15 minutes.
—Transfer to a rack and let cool 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from pans to cool completely.
—Meanwhile, for the frosting: beat the confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, unsalted butter with a mixer until fluffy. Beat in the lemon juice and almond extract.
—Pipe or spread the frosting onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

[makes 48 mini cupcakes]

Does’t that all look delicious?!

If you’re up for a challenge… come to the forum and check out the latest edition of our Recipe Book challenge, which launched this month and is designed to help you create a quick-&-simple book of your favorite recipes — get this — in time to print it up and give it to friends and family members as a holiday gift later this year(!). Sound like fun? Come check it out HERE.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Amie has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 10/19)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the Little Lamm & Co. shop, and get the following BRAND NEW KIT that just launched in her shop today — completely FREE!


my head shot

About the Author  Sabrina is married to a hard-working man and has two rambunctious kids, nicknamed Captain and Sunshine. She spends every free minute creating at her crafty space. Digital layouts, hybrid layouts, project life and just anything memory keeping. She also loves to read, kickbox and go a bike ride.

 

 

Tutorial Tuesday | Customizing Your Workspace

Welcome to another edition of Tutorial Tuesday here on The Digital Press blog! Today, I thought it would be helpful if I shared a few ways that you can streamline your work flow by customizing settings/etc. in your Photoshop workspace.

I have set up my own Photoshop workspace (in Photoshop CC) panels & shortcuts… in order to help me spend less time working, so I can scrap faster! Faster is always better in my busy life! Once you customize your own workspace, you will love how much faster and easier you can whip out those beautiful works of art!

Rather than try to explain this in a wordy block of text… I thought it would be helpful, instead, to spend a few minutes walking your through my process (and my workspace) in a handy video format, instead! 🙂

*NOTE* in the video, above, when talking about the “Warp SHORTCUT” – I said “shadow” instead! Whoops! (so wordy this video was!) 😉


Amie About the Author  Amie is a craft-loving dental hygienist who lives in Washington state. She loves her husband, her two kids (ages 9 & 6), and her English Bulldog… as well as coffee, baking cupcakes, daffodils, glitter & sprinkles, reading a good book, and lip gloss — not necessarily in that order.

Hybrid How-To | Customizing Digital Elements

One of the key things that attracts me to hybrid memory-keeping are all of the wonderful digital embellishments that can be used (and/or tweaked to work for any project!). Namely, the ability to print and cut digital elements many times over is definitely a huge bonus for crafters on a budget (one purchase = endless uses!). Even better, though, is the fact that if you need to alter an element slightly to make it fit into one of your projects — with digital elements, you can do this! Today, I am going to show you how to take a standard digital element and customize it for your project.

The first step is to choose a digital kit from the amazing selection at The Digital Press. I chose the gorgeous Fresh Air collection designed by Anita Designs and Kim B Designs, because I love the color combination and the clean lines…

For my projects, I wanted to use one of the tags found in this collection (see below). The “Love” tag in the kit is gorgeous — but I wanted a shorter version for my project, so it would fit better into the space I had available. This next simple editing trick works wonders for tags that have a plain section.

Shorten a Tag

You will need photo editing software such as Photoshop (PS) or Photoshop Elements (PSE) — but there are plenty of alternative applications (there’s even a free online PS tool/version).

  1. Open your tag in the editor and select the marquee tool (shortcut key + m + the dashed rectangle on the left).
  2. Now select an area to move. We will shorten the tag by moving the lower section up towards the top of the tag. Drag the mouse to select an area as shown below…

3. Switch to the move tool (shortcut key =+ v).
4. Using the arrow keys, move the selected area up; you should see the tag becoming shorter as you move it…

Voila! The tag is now shorter — and it’s just right for my project! This techinique is very simple but very effective.

*TIP* don’t forget to “Save As” a new document, or you will actually overwrite the original file — which you don’t want to do!

Cookie Cut Your Own Tag

Next up, how about making your own version of the tag? We will use a cookie cutter effect to create another tag from patterned paper. This time I’ll use the free online Photoshop tool to demonstrate…

  1. Open a tag and paper; the paper can be patterned or plain.
  2. On the patterned paper window, make a selection larger than your tag using the marquee tool (m).
  3. Now click and hold on the selected area to drag the paper selection across to the original tag. There will be 2 layers in the tag window.
  4. Close the patterned paper.

5. In the tag window, Ctrl+click on the icon on the tag layer (layer 0 as shown above). This selects the image outline. You will see the “marching ants” around the outside of the tag.
6. The current selection is the tag itself but we only want to cut the ‘excess paper’ outside of the tag. To invert the selection, Edit > Invert Selection. This selects everything except the tag shape.
7. To cut out the patterned paper in the shape of the tag, click the patterned paper layer.
8. Click Delete to delete the selected area. The excess paper is deleted leaving only the tag behind.

Ta-da! Your new tag is ready to decorate… but again, don’t forget to save as a new document first (so you don’t overwrite your original file).

Here’s a look at my finished project, which is a decorated envelope (happy mail!)…

I used patterned papers from the kit to make an ‘envelope’. There are plenty of free envelope templates on the internet to use as a guide.

Here’s another closer-up view…

I only have singled-sided printing paper, so I lined the envelope with different papers. I really like the additional interest this created. It also made the project a bit more sturdy. A simple pocket holds a tag (for a message or for adding journaling). To finish off, I fussy-cut some flowers and butterflies and added tags and labels…

I hope that with a few of these ideas, I have inspired you to use elements from your own digital stash and tweak them around to make them work better for your own projects (and maybe even inspire you to try making your own happy mail and embellish with customised elements?). I think receiving a project like this would really make someone’s day!


Morag Cutts is part of the Hybrid Creative Team here at Digital Press. Morag has been an avid scrapper and photographer for ten years.  Although she adores the flexibility and creativity of digital, Morag can’t resist playing with paper and embellishments – so hybrid scrapping is the perfect medium for her!  Morag lives in the UK with her hubby, two kids and puppy.

Tutorial Tuesday | Removing Objects From Photos

Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog!

This week, I’m going to cover two different ways to use Photoshop (and/or many other photo editing software programs) to remove unwanted objects from the backgrounds of your photos. I find myself using this process a lot when I know I have a great photo — you know, everyone’s eyes are open, everyone is smiling — but there’s something in the background that ruins it a little bit. That’s all easily fixed with one of these two methods!

Both methods ultimately do the same thing: Photoshop samples from the surrounding area to “guess” what would be behind the object you’re removing. I find I use both methods in succession, because each one has its pros and cons.

Method 1: Using the Content Aware Feature

Step 1: Open your image in Photoshop

Step 2: Using the pen tool, draw a path around the part of the photo that you want to remove. You don’t have to be super exact here, but still get it as close as you can. You’ll want to draw the path a little way out from the edge of the item you’re deleting, but not too close to any other foreground object nearby. You can see in this screenshot how close I’m getting…

Step 3: Make sure you’ve got a path drawn all the way around the object, and make sure to connect the ends. Then, right-click anywhere inside the path and choose “Make Selection.” In the pop-up window, choose “0” for the “Feather Radius” and leave all the other options as the defaults, as shown here…

Step 4: Now you should have an active selection around the object you want to remove… so it’s time for the magic to happen! Choose “Fill” from the Edit menu. In the dialog box, make sure the Opacity is set to 100% and leave all the other options as the default…

And voila! Your object disappears and Photoshop smartly fills in the space using samples from the surrounding area. Take a look below; on the left side, you can see what the image looked like before… and on the right, you can see I’ve taken out the metal structure and the leash…

It’s important to note that there will occasionally be a couple of places that need to be “cleaned up” where Content Aware doesn’t do a perfect job. For example, the cat’s paws didn’t come out quite right after I removed the leash from the background, using the method above. I’ll use Method 2 to fix this up…

Method 2: The Clone Stamp Tool

Step 1: From the toolbar, choose the Clone Stamp tool. It looks like this —> Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 7.57.00 PM

From the options panel, choose a brush size that is appropriate for the area you’re fixing. If you’re removing a larger item, you can choose a larger brush. If you’re fixing up an edge, I like to use a 10 or 20 pixel brush. I like to set the hardness to about 50% so you end up with a blended edge and not a stark and obvious contrast…

Step 2: Holding down the ALT key (PC) or the OPTION key (Mac), click in an area of the photo from which you want to sample the replacement. You will see a little crosshairs circle icon to know that you’ve got it right. I usually try to choose a part of the image that has some amount of random texture or grain so that it still looks natural.

Step 3: Next, release the click and “paint” in the area you want to replace. Photoshop will copy the image from where you set the anchor… and then paint into the area you’re fixing with the other part of the photo…

Result: With a little practice and variation of brushes, you can see the result…

Here’s a look the complete “before and after” of this image, after using both methods. You can tell what a big difference it makes!

Hopefully these two techniques will help you fix up your photos more easily. Happy editing!


ShannonAbout the Author  Shannon has been completely addicted to digiscrapping since she began in early 2016 (though she’s been a scrapper since 2000). Her early morning ritual of a few quiet hours of scrapping while sipping a chai tea is her favorite part of each day. She is also the owner of a web design company, and when she’s not at the computer designing websites or digiscrap layouts, she’s probably hiking one of the local mountains in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. She is an avid reader and loves to travel to foreign countries.

Foodie Friday | Anita Designs

Well hello again, and welcome to another edition of our Foodie Friday series here on The Digital Press blog!

As you have likely already caught on throughout this past month… Foodie Friday is a new series based on the amazing response we had to the “Mess Hall” activities during TDP’s Summer Camp, back in July. As such, every Friday throughout the rest of the year, we will be combining this fun feature with our weekly designer feature series — and having some fun in the kitchen! Every week you will get the chance to peek into the lives (and kitchens) of your favorite TDP designers and creative team members.

This week’s fabulous recipes are coming to you from the spectacular Anita of Anita’s Designs. If you did not know already, Anita loves to cook… so she was very excited about sharing these recipes with you this week. I really enjoy cooking as well — and I love trying out new recipes — so I was super excited to see some new things here that I have not tried before!

Today we are sharing a series of recipes that Anita cooked one weekend this month for her family. In a way, this is “A Day in the Kitchen with Anita” documented! 🙂

[all photo credits to Anita ]

So, what are these delicious things you see pictured above?

  • Sunday Soup (a.k.a. Meatball Veggie Soup)
  • Waldorf Salad and Tarragon Oil
  • Pork Filet (Minute Steaks) in White Wine Sauce
  • Ice Cream with Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Sunday Soup (a.k.a. Meatball Veggie Soup)

Anita says, “this is a soup most people in Holland know and eat. My grandma used to cook this on Sunday for all kids and grand-kids. My husband’s mom makes it too sometimes, and hers is just as delicious as the one my grandma made. We call it ‘Groentesoep’.”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—4 liters (about 1 gallon) water
—broth to make 4 liters of soup
—500 gm (about 1 lb.) minced meat
—500 gm (about 2 cups) finely chopped mixed veggies ( carrots, cauliflower, leek, celery, white cabbage, etc)
—a handful of vermicelli
—flavor enhancers for soup (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
—In a large pot bring the water to a boil.
—In a bowl add seasoning to the meat (salt, pepper, paprika, etc. to taste).
—Mix the seasoning into the meat and then form small meatballs.
—Add the meatballs to the boiling water and reduce the heat to low.
—Cook the meatballs in the water for about 60 minutes, removing the foam that collects on top every 10 to 15 minutes.
—Add the broth to the soup and cook for an additional 60 minutes.
—Add the chopped veggies to the soup.
—If desired, add the flavor enhancers to the soup and cook for additional 55 minutes.
—Add the vermicelli and cook until the vermicelli is soft, then remove from heat.
[serves: 8-12 people]


Waldorf Salad and Tarragon Oil

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—3 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
—2 celery stalks, leaves picked, stalks thinly sliced
—1 red onion, thinly sliced
—100g (1/2 cup) walnuts, toasted and chopped
—170g (1 cup) raisins or a bunch of purple grapes
—50g (1/4 cup) tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
—1/2 Tb white wine vinegar
—60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
—a bunch of radishes
—juice from 1 lemon
—150 gm (about 3/4 cup) mayonnaise

INSTRUCTIONS
—Combine lemon juice and mayonnaise in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
—Place the apple, celery stalks and leaves, onion, nuts and raisins in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.
—Make the tarragon oil by combining the tarragon, vinegar, olive oil in a bowl.
—Serve the Waldorf salad and drizzle with tarragon oil on top.

[serves: 6-8 people]


Pork Filet (Minute Steaks) in White Wine Sauce

About this dish, Anita says… “I served the pork filet and Waldorf salad with pomme duchess (duchess potatoes).”

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—8 thin pork filets
—4 Tbs flour
—100gm (1/2 cup) butter
—4 cloves of garlic
—250 ml (about 1 cup) white wine
—200 ml (about 1 cup) broth
—20gm (3/4 cup) fresh chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS
—Mix the salt and and pepper into the flour and dip the pork filets in the mixture.
—Shake off excess flour and saute them in 50 gm (1/4 cup) of butter for about 4 to 6 minutes, turning over once in the middle.
—Remove from skillet, cover with foil and let rest.
—Add in remain butter and saute the garlic for about 1 minute.
—Add the wine and broth.
—Bring to a boil and let it boil for about 10 minutes or until it is 1/3 reduced.
—Place the meat back in the pan, and warm it on a low heat for about 7 minutes with the lid on the pan.
—Remove from heat and plate filets.
—Add parsley to the butter wine sauce and give it a good stir. Serve the sauce in a bowl, or over the meat in the plate.
[serves: 8 people]


Ice Cream with Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

INGREDIENTS NEEDED
—200 ml (1 cup) semi-skimmed milk
—2 tbs liquid honey
—250g (1 and 1/4 cup) fine sugar
—600 (3 cups) ml crème fraîche
—250 grams  strawberries
— 2 icecream waffles per person
—100 ml (1/2 cup) water
—additional fresh strawberries (to coat with chocolate)

INSTRUCTIONS
—Put the milk, honey and 1 cup of sugar in a pot on low heat and whisk until the sugar dissolves.
—Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
—In a bowl, add the cooled milk/honey sugar mixture to the fresh cream. whisk until blended.
—Place cream mix in an ice cream machine and let it work 1.5 to 2 hours (if you don’t have a ice cream machine, put the mix in a container and put in freezer and stir it gently every 15-20 minutes).
—Remove the green from 250gm of strawberries and slice in half.
—Add strawberry halves, 100ml water and 50gm sugar to a pot and bring to boil on med/high heat.
—reduce heat and crush the strawberries let the mix thicken for about 20-25 minutes (it should be syrup like).
—Remove from heat and let cool.
—Once cooled, mix the strawberry syrup into the freezing ice cream mixture with a fork and return to freezer for at least 20 minutes.
—Skewer the remaining strawberries from the top.
—set a bowl above a pot of boiling water and add chocolate to the bowl, stirring regularly until the chocolate is melted.
—Holding your skewer, dip the strawberries into the chocolate and twist to coat evenly.
—Place dipped strawberries on a baking sheet to cool, then store in the fridge until needed.

TO SERVE
—You can simply serve the ice cream in a bowl, and garnish it with the chocolate-dipped strawberries… OR…
—You can also place a waffle on a plate, and put a scoop of ice cream on top; add a second waffle on top and do another scoop; top with some chocolate sauce, sprinkled chopped nuts, and some whipped cream; serve with chilled chocolate dipped strawberries on the side.
[servings: 1 liter/10 people]


I don’t know about you, but just reading through those recipes and looking at the photographs got me ready to hit the kitchen (or at least have a nice snack!). Everything looks so amazing!

If you’re up for a challenge… come to the forum and check out our Recipe Book challenge, which launched this month and is designed to help you create a quick-&-simple book of your favorite recipes — get this — in time to print it up and give it to friends and family members as a holiday gift later this year(!). Sound like fun? Come check it out HERE.

Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be a designer feature week without a fantastic sale and a special Free-with-Purchase offer… so you’ll be excited to see what Anita has in store for you! Not only is her entire shop marked down 30% OFF throughout her entire feature week (sale prices will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thurs 9/28)… but she also has this awesome deal in her shop all week long, as well! Spend $10+ in the Anita Designs shop, and get the following brand-new FULL COLLECTION (!) that just launched in her shop today — completely FREE!


Erin is an artsy crafty kind of girl who is currently dabbling in far too many things, but is working hard to enjoy every moment of it, while avoiding the rain, which is difficult due to living in the land of many rains. She is slowly learning to use her smart phone to capture all the fun little bits of life that would otherwise go unremembered in the busy craziness that is raising a family!