Archive for the ‘Tuesdays with Tami’ Category
This year I wanted to put together some baskets for Christmas, but if you’ve ever put a bunch of stuff in a basket, you know that nothing stays in place. By the time you get it to where it’s going, everything is mish-mashed around, if it stays in the basket at all. While at the Dollar Tree looking for tissue paper, I came across these nifty “shrink wrap & pull bow bags”. And the best part? They were only a dollar!!! I picked up all that they had on hand. I had already bought out the supply of baskets at the Goodwill, so I am ready to go.
This is what the package looks like. I imagine there are many different brands on the market, just make sure they say “shrink”.
The bag inside is really quite large, large enough to accommodate a pretty good sized basket.
Place the basket inside, get it all settled as to how you want it.
Hold it together at the top, and shrink wrap securely around the gift basket with blow dryer.
You will see that it starts to shrink around the basket, making a nice tight fitting. If you had a handle, or anything around the top, it would shrink right around it. I wanted to leave a little room at the top, so I just stopped the blow drying process once it shrank around the basket, yet still had space at the top.
The package included a decorative pull bow.
Pull it and secure it around the top of the bag.
There will be a lot of plastic left at the top, just cut it off with scissors at the desired height. The plastic will fit nicely around the basket, and hold everything in place. They turn out really cute.
(oh, and they’re vegan, too!!)
There is just something about this time of year. Maybe it’s because fall is my favorite season, maybe it’s because the hot temperatures are cooling down, and maybe it’s because all the leaves are turning such vivid colors. I don’t know, maybe there isn’t just one single thing, but a combination of things. I love that we have beautiful Indian summers up here. It’s bright and sunny, warm, yet there is a slight nip in the air. The evenings get really cool. It’s times like these when I want to light a candle, and snuggle down to some hot spiced cider, and watch a good movie. Isn’t it funny, it’s times like these when you want to smell the smells of fall. Cinnamon, clove, pumpkin, I guess it’s because we know that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, there are pumpkins everywhere, and maybe it’s because we are beginning to bake more, now that the hot days of summer are over. Soups and casseroles begin to replace salads and barbecues. Anything with pumpkin and spice just screams of “comfort food”.
Autumn recently posted a blog about her pumpkin bread. As soon as I finished reading it, I got busy and made myself a batch. Believe me when I say it’s every bit as good as she described. Another benefit of this time of year is that you can actually find canned pumpkin on the grocery store shelves. It only comes out for a few short months a year, so you can bet I stock up!! Here is an easy recipe for pumpkin ginger scones. They aren’t very sweet, but they are dense, and moist, and go great with coffee. And with being full of pumpkin, I’d say they’re pretty good for you, as well.
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
3 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
2 cups pureed pumpkin
Mix dry ingredients. Cut in the margarine. Add pumpkin, mix well. On floured surface, knead dough (it’s a little sticky, flour your hands). Push into a large circle, roll out to about 1 ½ inches thick, cut into triangles ( use a big or long knife and just press it down on the dough, and flour your knife if it sticks). Put on cookie sheet or stone, bake @ 425 for 12-15 minutes.
This dough is quite wet, so you’ll need to use a spatula to get the scones off the counter onto the cookie sheet. (or use some wax paper to make it easier)
These are a nice little treat to serve up with coffee for company around the holidays. Can anyone say “Pumpkin soy latte?”
Tami’s Tip of the Week
While you’re making all these wonderful fall breads, etc, why not whip up a batch of Maple Spiced Butter? You can put it on biscuits, toast, waffles, breads, you name it.
1 stick butter or 8 TBSP margarine, softened
2 TBSP pure maple syrup (I suppose a good grade syrup would be fine)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Whip all together, and serve.
As I have stated before, I am a BzzAgent, and as such, I get to try out new products before they hit the shelves. Last summer, I was selected to try out the new Windex Outdoor All-in-One. I actually forgot that I had this, and today had my roll of paper towels and Windex in hand, along with my sturdy step stool. Then it hit me!! I have this nifty window cleaning tool. I used it last summer, cleaned every single window on my house on the outside. It worked so great, that when my aunt was over, I told her about it, she borrowed mine, loved it, kept it, but bought me my own new one!! She told all her neighbors. Anyway, what’s great about this product is that it is super easy to use. And so quick!! I also love the fact that you don’t need a ladder, of if you have 2 stories or very high windows, you could stand on a ladder and use the wand to reach the high places. In the past, I would take my paper towels and window cleaner, and spend quite a while cleaning all the windows on the outside. I would go through a huge amount of towels, and it seemed no matter how hard I tried, especially if it was hot out, my windows would have a streak here and there. And that drives me crazy. Seriously, this take no time at all.
You first must take off the screens (heck, they need sprayed off anyway to get all the dust and dirt off). Attach a pad to the wand (it has Velcro, and stays put) and I have to let you know that one pad will clean 20 windows!!!! There are 2 pads in a refill pack, so if you clean your windows twice a year, that’ll take care of it. I still had stuff in the pad, so I went out and cleaned my car windows. Anyway, you just attach the cleaning pad to the cleaning head
I have to tell ya, it literally takes all of 1 minute to wash a window. You really do have to try this. You have to purchase the starter kit first, which includes the wand and a couple of pads, and it retails around $16.99, but after that, all you need to buy are the refill pads. I read a review on the manufacturer’s website, and a woman claims she cleaned 55 windows on her house, and they were as clean as the professional window cleaner’s job that she usually uses, and only used the one pad.
Tami’s Tip of the Week
While cleaning the inside of your windows, you want them to sparkle, but when you dry them with a cloth or paper towel, you always seem to leave lint on the glass. Try drying them with a paper coffee filter instead, and you may eliminate the lint.