Author Archives: crapsmanship

Cranberry Crapsmanship

Standard

Here’s another post confessing to my inadequacies! I used an excellent recipe for cranberry salsa, that’s a delicious combination of sweet and tart that goes perfectly with tortilla chips. Serve it with cream cheese or without — it’s still delicious.

I found the recipe here: Fresh Cranberry Salsa Recipe – Cooking With Karli. Easy enough. I used a blender to chop up all the cranberries, as called for in the recipe. CRAP ALERT: I decided to use the blender to chop up all the other ingredients, instead of chopping them by hand as the recipe called for.

I got a big gloppy mess that definitely didn’t chop the ingredients well. Chunks in a salsa are okay; big strings of onion and large pieces of jalapeno are not okay.

But I made it work. It was messier than if I’d followed the recipe’s directions, but I chopped, chopped, chopped the whole big glob. Next time, I’ll use a food processor or chop by hand. Sometimes, I just can’t improve on a recipe!

New Year’s Day Flop

Standard

For New Year’s Day, I decided to make a dish that isn’t a traditional one in our family. So, instead of the New Year’s Day roast pork and sauerkraut that was served on January 1 as I was growing up, and in place of the southern tradition of black-eyed peas and cornbread, I opted for something different. Why not celebrate the good luck tradition of Denmark with a dish known as ebelskivers?!

Read the rest of this entry

Ornament Paintings

Standard

Our main Christmas tree (we have five!) is very tall and very skinny. Each year, we take down the art work that usually hangs on the wall behind where the tree is now situated. Every year, the wall looks empty except for the little area taken up by our thin tree. Art to the rescue!

I bought two 16”x20” canvases, and began with a layer of blue base paint. I varied the color a little and used some bubble wrap to add some texture to the blue (see close-up photo below).

Read the rest of this entry

Bowwow Bonbons

Standard

I always get Christmas gifts for my granddogs, but this year I have avoided unnecessary shopping due to Covid-19. So, poor dogs, this year they get my cooking. This recipe was given to me by Dan the Man, who has made these before, complete with rolling out the dough and cutting them into bone shapes. My dough was too wet to roll out, so I settled for scooping them onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. They don’t have the same uniformity or iconic shape as Dan’s, but by naming them Bowwow Bonbons, I think they’re just right! Here’s the recipe.

Read the rest of this entry

Masked Gnomes

Standard

Last September, I saw these cute gnomes for a good price on Amazon (https://amzn.to/39JhSLb), and I knew I could make a quick addition to each one to customize these ornaments for 2020.

I got some T-shirt yarn from my knitting stash (excuse Dan the Man’s feet in the pic!), and cut out pieces about an inch and a half each.

I used white thread to gather the ends, and then I tacked a “mask” to the face of each gnome.

I was asked if I was going to write “2020” somewhere on the ornament, but I don’t think any recipient will misunderstand the mask reference or forget about the COVID-19 pandemic. So, here’s to friends and family! (You know what you’re getting for Christmas!)

Gingerbread Village

Standard

For the last several years, I’ve created this little Christmas village in a jar using a delicious gingerbread recipe. I made this year’s village yesterday (see photo above). It’s a fun project from Better Homes and Gardens, and if you’d like to give it a go yourself, directions are included at this link: Gingerbread in a Jar | crapsmanship

Mantel Decor

Standard

For years now, Dan the Man has complained griped commented on our Christmas mantel decor. The fullness of the garland blocked our remote’s access to the TV, and a man can’t be happy without immediate access to his favorite show. So last year, I promised I would re-do the mantel since my sole goal in life is to make him happy. (Eye-roll.)

I got a new garland from Etsy and repurposed the candlesticks and lantern. I covered some books with white butcher paper and stamped Christmas-themed titles on to the spines.

CRAP ALERT: I did a crappy job with the stamps, doing so poorly as to get a couple letters turned sideways. The titles are:

-Santa: A Memoir

-Maps of the Top of the World (I meant it to say “Maps of the North Pole” but I stamped a T instead of an N — Crapsters are nothing if not flexible!)

-Santibodies — Fighting Covid

I may re-cover the books and re-stamp the titles, but my garland hides much of the crapsmanship. Plus, who’s gonna see it this season? Nobody but Dan, and he’ll be looking at the TV!

Stamped Holiday Cards

Standard


About a year ago, I bought a Speedball linoleum cutter and accessories, and I finally started playing with it as I’m prepping cards for Christmas sales. I decided to start easy since I am a newbie, and this straight-lined Christmas tree seemed to be a good pattern to try. Read the rest of this entry

World’s Easiest Meal!

Standard

Ok, yes, there’s a slight degree of hyperbole in the title of this post. This meal isn’t as easy as a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of cereal, but it’s damn easy for a homecooked dinner.

This is a version of SOS (shit on a shingle) that my mom used to make. You need:

Store-bought biscuits — any kind will do. I like these.

3 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. flour

2 cups whole milk

salt and pepper

1 jar dried beef

Get your biscuits in the oven and then start the dried-beef gravy. Remove the meat from the jar and cut into small strips. Set aside. Melt butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour. Mix and stir for about five minutes, long enough for the flour to cook some. You don’t need to darken to roux. Then add two cups of whole milk and stir, stir, stir, until the mixture thickens. Add a good amount of pepper but just a little salt. (The beef will salt the mixture.) Add the dried beef, stir, and taste. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.

Once the biscuits are baked, slice them open onto a plate and cover with gravy. Serve with a bagged side salad or frozen veggies. Fast, easy, and a family pleaser!

Pop Art App

Standard

I played around with an app I purchased called PopArt. The photo below is one of my sweet granddaughters after eating something berry-flavored at Dairy Queen. Cute, huh?

I sent the photo to PopArt and converted it into this image within the app.

I saved the pop photo, sized it, and sent it to my printer. I then used a printed copy and a light box to trace the photo onto mixed media paper. Painting the picture was a pain, but here are two versions.

The colors of the bottom photo match her bedroom. The picture is now framed and ready for Christmas!