A Scraphappy Southernbelle

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gypsy Challenge & A New Recipe

Hey yall! Happy Hump Day! I can't believe Wednesday is already here! I was thinking this was going to be a long week, but it looks like it is moving by pretty quickly...thank goodness! LOL. The hubby actually will be off all weekend! This is a RARE thing! So I am looking forward to spending some quality time together...something we rarely get to do. I'm so excited! Whoo hoo!

I wanted to hop online today and share a new project I have created with you. I created this project for the current Gypsy Challenge on the 'Gypsy Chat' section of the Cricut Message Board. As you already know, I just love playing in these challenges! It really gives Esmerelda a workout! I also learned about using templates this week with this project. I have been wanting to alter a basic 8x10 frame for some time and I thought this challenge would be a perfect opportunity to do so. I picked up this frame at our local 'Dollar Tree' store, so very inexpensive. I did go browsing around our local thrift shops too though, but did not come up with anything on the trip. But you could use any frame really, even one that is just collecting dust around your home. They make great accents for the various holidays. For this frame, I went with a Thanksgiving theme. My Mom and I recently picked up the new Cricut 'Thanksgiving' cartridge. I ADORE this cartridge!!! I've wanted a Thanksgiving themed one for quite some time and am so glad Provo Craft finally delivered! It is a seasonal cartridge and is so inexpensive! We scored ours on Ebay for...drum roll please....$11.00!!!! This is the first time I've used the cartridge, but I can tell you know, I'll be using it again and again! It is awesome! All of the cuts are pretty basic too. I really like that....it's not confusing at all.

Ok, so the specs for the Gypsy Challenge are:
1. 2 shapes-check (I actually have more than two: pilgrim lady, pilgrim man, pumpkin, Indian corn, 'Give Thanks' title, and the leaf flourish at the top.)
2. 3 Gypsy cuts-check (I have several of those with the base pieces and the layering on them.)
3. 1 item must be welded-check (I welded the pilgrim lady flourish/pilgrim man flourish/pumpkin flourish all together to make one cut.)
4. Must use the color 'orange'-check (I have the use of orange through my pumpkin and leaf. I also stickled these with orange glitter glue.)
5. Mix it with fun-check (Not really sure what this means, but I took it as to have fun with your project...which I certainly did. This is something new, fun, and makes me smile!)

Ok, here is my frame...'Give Thanks'. I used the Helmar Quick Fix Adhesive Runner to adhere the background to a piece of chipboard before adding it to the frame. I also removed the glass since this is a 3-D piece.
(if you want to see it bigger, you can click on the picture and it will come up bigger. Then just hit the back button to return to this post.)
 I used my Cuttlebug and 'Victoria' embossing folder on the Pilgrim lady/Pilgrim Man. I also wanted to go kinda non-traditional with the colors on this. I chose a light blue patterned paper, from My Mind's Eye, and a coordinating polka dotted paper for the accents on the pilgrims. I felt this style would match the decor' in my home better.
 I did do a bit of trimming on the Pilgrim Man/Pilgrim lady. I wanted to layer them for a 3-D effect. So I cut out the base of all that I welded (pilgrim man flourish, pilgrim lady flourish, and pumpkin flourish) in a solid brown. I then cut them out again and did a bit of trimming to pop them up a layer. I hope that makes sense...LOL.
 I used Distress Stickles glitter glue from Tim Holtz (Ranger Industries) on the pumpkin and the leaf. I love the rough texture it gave to these pieces. I also tied a bit of ribbon to the top of the pumpkin. I used Helmar Liquid Scrap Dots to adhere my ribbon. I used the Martha Stewart branch punch for the vines below the pumpkin. Also, you can see on this picture below how I welded all 3 shapes together.
 I love all of the sentiments that come with this cartridge! They all look so classy!
 I added some Indian corn to the top corners of the frame. I embossed the corn with the 'Tiny Bubbles' embossing folder to make it look more life like. Again, I added a ribbon bow. I adhered the ribbon and the whole cut to the frame with Helmar Liquid Scrap Dots. I'm tellin' ya, if you haven't picked up a tube of these liquid scrap dots, I highly recommend them! They make so many things possible when crafting! I LOVE them!!!! Also, I used Helmar Zap Dots to pop up the 'white' portion of the corn.
 I added a leaf flourish cut to the top center of the frame to add in another pop of orange color. Again, I used Helmar Liquid Scrap Dots to adhere this to my frame and Helmar Zap Dots to pop up the leaf. I used some more Distress Stickles on the leaf too.
 Here is a view so you can see all of the 'pop dot' action using Helmar Zap Dots.
Also, you know me...totally girly...I added a bit of lace to the Pilgrim Lady to act as a 'apron.' I adhered this with Helmar 450 Quick Dry Adhesive.

 More pop dot action...I think I get happy with those things sometimes! ROFL! 
 I hope you have enjoyed this crafty project! It was so affordable and fun to make! Why not dig up a frame today and alter it for your home? I promise you'll love it!!! Also, if you own a Gypsy and would like to play in this challenge (and there is a prize!!!), go HERE.

Now, yall know how I like to share my other passion (cooking) with ya, right? Well the hubby picked out a new recipe and we cooked it together in the kitchen today for an early dinner. He has to go out to work tonite, so I wanted to feed him before he had to work. It was so much fun cooking in the kitchen together!! He is a big help! He chose another recipe from our favorite chef Giada De Laurentiis. This recipe is called "Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Spinach." It was definitely different, but so delicious!!! We both adored it. I am not a big spinach person, but if it's cooked in something like this I love it. Also, this recipe included 2oz. of goat cheese, something neither of us had ever had. Although it is kinda tangy, it really sets off this recipe. That and the thyme, sun dried tomatoes, and sauce to go on top...YUM!!! It was delectable!
 You use center cut pork chops for the recipe and cut a little 'pocket' into them. Inside the pocket, you stuff a mixture of yummy goodness! It really accents the pork chops and was fabulous! Then the lemony/mustard sauce on top! Heaven! As you can see in the picture below, I got a little heavy with the sauce...this was my plate and let's just say I'm a big dipper! LOL!
So you wanna try it? I will share the recipe with ya.

Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Spinach


1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese
1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork chops
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Warm the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until combined, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add the goat cheese and the cream cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.
Use a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the pork chop. Stuff each pocket with 1/4 of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture and close the pork around the stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard.
Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork. Cook until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pork to a side dish and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the chicken broth mixture to the skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth by half to make a light sauce, about 8 minutes. Spoon some sauce over the pork before serving.

If you would like to see Giada's picture and the recipe on Food Network, go HERE. I think mine turned out just as pretty as hers this time. LOL

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you all have a fabulous evening! Happy Scrappin'!
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Sheila aka SassyLady said...

Where do I begin? With the challenge or the awesome pork chop? Well since I am dieting I will try to ignore the latter and deal with your beautiful, beautiful challenge entry as it is just awesome. Love your girlie pilgrim! and the colors are great! Thanks for playing along with us on the MB!!!

Suz said...

ooh, scrapbooking and cooking. You're a gal after my own heart. These pork chops sound delicious; my dh is a sun dried tomato fiend!

Great project, too. Always nice to see what people are creating.

Melissa said...

Aymee, your Thanksgiving art is gorgeous! I love how you embossed the pilgrams outfits! I really need this cartridge!

Your pork chops both look and sound delicious!!!!


Audrey Frelx said...

Wow, your projects are awesome, and another great looking recipe too!!!

Kray said...

So very cute! and that porkchop recipe looks very yummy!

Georgee said...

Love the artwork. It is gorgeous. Unfortunately I don't have an electronic die machine (3 manuals) But I am going to try to improvise something. The recipe sounds so delicious - I must try it! I have some nice pork chops in freezer. Your photo of your chops is outstanding. Feast with your eyes before your mouth!!!