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…


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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.