Recipe Friday ~ No-Bake ‘Unicorn’ Cheesecake

Have you seen the ‘Unicorn Cheesecake’ Video on the ‘Delish’ Facebook page?
If you haven’t…here’s the delicious recipe (with pictures) 😊
If you’ve seen it and wondered just how wonderful is it…I’ve tried it for you – twice! πŸ˜‹

I promise it’ll be a big hit at the next birthday party πŸŽ‰

Here’s what you need…

1. 2 bricks Cream Cheese
2.  1 pint heavy whipping cream
3.  1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
4. 1/2 – 1 cup sugar
5. 1 Graham cracker crust (I used the store bought one)
6. Food  dye * (about that….please see an extra tip how to enjoy without, at the end ⬇️)
7. Colorful Ice cream & Dessert Topping

Here’s what you do…

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy.
Add the heavy cream. Keep mixing until peaks form…that’ll take a wee bit. πŸ™„
Add Vanilla, then the sugar. Mix well.

For the first cake I followed the instructions, and divided the filling into 5 smaller bowls, then added the coloring 


Spoon the filling into the pie crust, alternating colors ( I just realized I forgot to take a picture 😳 Sorry about that!)

Mix and swirl the mounds -not too much! πŸ˜‰


Well – a little more …then add your toppings. 


Pretty, isn’t it? 😍

Refrigerate 4, 5 hours…and enjoy! πŸ’•

It is fun, and delicious- but all the dirty bowls, and spoons, and forks…ugh.                                 So, today I tried it again…trying to avoid all those dishes 😝

I spooned all the filling into the crust, then added the coloring- one drop at a time 


Swirled it around – first with a toothpick, then with a fork 



Very artsy, don’t you think! πŸ™‚

Here I just added some ‘Praline Crunch’ Ice cream topping- I don’t think it needs any more color!

Before I leave you, here are just a few things I learned the hard way…

1. Add the sugar slowly- especially if you, like me, don’t like your treats too sweet. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, try the mixture, then add 1 Tbsp. at a time, trying it after each addition.             2. If you wanna mix it up and use lemon extract- sure! Go ahead! Just make sure it’s not expired! 😝                                                                                                                                                  3.Food dye will stain your fingers, so be careful! πŸ˜‰

*I’m not a fan of food dye, so outside of Birthday parties they’ll be without. ☺️ I’ve successfully spruced up other Cheesecakes with Raspberry preserves, and lemon curd. Let’s try that next! πŸ˜€

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Until next time 

~ Tina xoxo πŸ’•

Dear (Project) Diary

….and all you lovely people out there πŸ’•

Lots of creative bustling going on around here. 😊 Almost too much – if there is such a thing. I say ‘almost too much’ because ~ as you probably know ~ if your brain is too busy planning things you get nothing done. πŸ™ƒ
So I decided to make a list of the projects I have on my mind…and by sharing them with you, commit to them, and maybe inspire you to create your own day planner/wallhanging/art and art display. πŸ€“

1️⃣ First I wanna update you on the day planner…if you missed it- here’s the beginning
Since that post went public I’ve made 2 more calendar pages -the other 8 are going onto the to-do list πŸ˜‹

2️⃣ Next on my list is a new ‘spring-y’ wallhanging 🌺
Remember theΒ felted one? This one is similar, except the background is not a piece of felted wool sweater. For this one I crocheted a rectangle with BouclΓ© yarn.
If you would like to make one, it’s really quite simple…
1. Crochet 28 chain stitches (that number is really up to you, it depends on the desired size of your piece… maybe you want to make a blanket 😊 it just has to be an even number)
2. Place a double-crochet stitch in the 3rd chain from the hook. *Chain 2, and place a double-crochet stitch in the 2nd chain stitch. Repeat from * until your piece is the desired size. Then pick your ‘wool fluff’ and start decorating! Have Fun! πŸ˜€
Here’s my ‘wip’…

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For a quick no-sew solution, simply clip some ‘CafΓ© Rod’ clips to the top and thread on a rod or a skinny branch (my favorite 😌)


3️⃣ Painting a frame is up next.
I’ve had this print in my store when it first opened, when it was ‘Beads for Belles’. Quite fitting, don’t you think? 😊

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Well, since then I changed the name to ‘Kristabella’, and also the decor and feel of the store. So, home with me it went. It really doesn’t go with anything here…what to do πŸ€”
A new print and some chalk paint! Got both – next thing on the to-do list 😏

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I will show you the result soon!

4️⃣ Then there is the stack of wool sweaters and pretty fabrics waiting to be turned into pretty pillows, arm warmers, and wall decor – next on the to-do list- man, that thing is growing fast πŸ˜† – so I can restock my somewhat depleted Etsy shop.

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5️⃣ Last, but not least…a finished project! My growing- quite literally πŸ˜‰- plant collection. As I mentioned before in Roommate: Mother Nature , I can finally buy and keep plants. Here’s the latest addition

It seems I can’t stop buying plants, cacti, succulents πŸ’•

Here I took some minis, and replanted them into these pretty pots

Behind the pink top you can see that I’m trying to propagate some succulents. I’ll keep you posted-if you never hear about it again, it didn’t work πŸ˜‚
I wanna say that’s it for now, but I’ll probably think of more projects you don’t wanna miss. πŸ€— So please look for the next entry in my ‘Project Diary’!
Until then

~ Tina xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books ~ My Year in ‘Review’

I love books! They’ve been a part of my life ever since I can remember. Even though I’ve been warned …. πŸ˜‚


πŸ’₯~from a newspaper article, 1914 

Over the years I enjoyed numerous genres – the common denominator being …crime. It was always some kind of murder mystery ~ Agatha’s Miss Marple (of course!), Sue Grafton, David Rosenfelt, Susan Wittig Albert to name just a few I can remember. Then came Nora Roberts! Everything Nora Roberts…not always a murder mystery, but mysterious nonetheless.
If I had to pick a favorite, I would say Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum! Right?!  πŸ€“    I have to ask…Ranger or Morelli? 😍

For quite some time now I’m reading (and enjoying immensely) ‘Cozy Mysteries’.
I think my love for those began with Jessica Fletcher. Yep, ‘Murder, she wrote’ is an all-time favorite of mine.  πŸ€“   I love the small-town setting, the everyday life of ordinary people, the clever way she solved every murder in her vicinity. The way her life was going, I would have been afraid to be close to her – I just know that I’d either be the victim, or the suspect    πŸ˜ But it’s fun being on the outside looking in.

Back to 2016 and my ‘cozies’.
~1. I started the year finishing the (seemingly) last installment of Madelyn Alt’s ‘Bewitching Mystery’ series – ‘Home for a Spell’. I really enjoyed this series, and I’m quite sad that it looks like there won’t be another book. Nobody seems to know what happened to Ms. Alt. There are rumors that a new book will be released soon…We’ll see, I keep an eye on it.

~2. Once I finished this one, I browsed through the ‘customers also bought’ section, and discovered Bailey Cates’ “A Magical Bakery Mystery” series. Oh, fun!
Cookies, Scones, Witches, Spells, and Recipes (for the cookies, not the spells!     )
Having a small business myself I love the ‘small bakery’ setting! The good news is that there are seemingly endless suggestions for me! If you like to take a closer look, check it out here πŸ“š

Don’t you love it when you discover a book, and then find out that it is a part of a series and you get to read them all right away?! When you don’t have to wait a year for the next one?
Well, that happened with the ‘Magical Bakery’ series, and also with…

~3. ‘A Witchcraft Mystery’ by Juliet Blackwell

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By now I’m not just looking for the small business setting, but also for the ‘witchy’ part.
I find the magical, paranormal, mysterious very fascinating, and Juliet Blackwell really hit a home-run with this series!
The series starts with ‘Secondhand Spirits’. Here we meet Lily Ivory, vintage clothing shop owner, and witch. After years of traveling, trying to ‘fit in’ somewhere, she finally feels at home in San Francisco. Then murder and mayhem start happening – and she has to team up with other ‘undercover’ witches to solve murders and some very ‘unusual’ occurrences. If you wanna dive right in, or read a sample here you go

~4. About half-way through the year I stumbled upon ‘It Takes a Witch’ – you can see why that caught my eye   😊  It’s the first one in the ‘Wishcraft’ series. The first one!!! Eureka!
Some more witches – this time with a little twist! Darcy lives in a town called ‘Enchanted Village’ surrounded by other ‘Wishcrafters’ – meaning they get to grant wishes- and other magical humans. Together they follow their magical paths, and solve a few crimes on the side.

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~5. This series is a regular one – no witches, demons, or other otherwordly spirits.
The authour is Diane Vallere, and these two are from her ‘Material Witness Mystery Series’.
It was a fun read. Small town (and small business  πŸ€—  ) with likeable characters, the mystery is not too obvious, and it’s beautifully written. Overall a great new series, and I’ll be definitely looking for the next (third) book.
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~6. I ended the year with a brandnew favorite – the ‘Pyper Rayne’ series. The first book is called “Spirits, Stilettos, and a Silver Bustier” by Deanna Chase.
This series is a spin-off of the ‘Jade Calhoun’ series, and is an amazing ride.
Pyper is a coffee-shop-owner and a medium. Murder, Mystery, Ghosts, a Witch, and a little bit of love  – doesn’t get better than this, right?!  If you wanna meet Pyper and her friends or just read a sample…here it is

Most of these books I found on Amazon* – and I must say, I love the ‘download a sample’ feature. They give you enough pages (for free!) to let you judge the book (so you don’t have to do it by the cover  πŸ˜‰ )

I just started a new (to me) series….also by Diane Vallere- I’ll tell you about that next time! πŸ€—

Until then

~Tina xoxo
*I am not affiliated with Amazon or the authors. I just love books, want to share the joy I found in these stories. πŸ’•

Recipe Friday ~ Hungarian Goulash Soup

Hungarian Goulash is a stew of meat, and vegetables (peppers, potatoes), and doesn’t have a lot in common with the american Goulash (no pasta, no ground beef). It originates from the 9th century medieval Kingdom of Hungary to stews eaten by shepherds. They packed the cooked and flavored meat, dried with the help of the sun, into bags made from sheep’s stomachs…I think we all agree that we won’t do that! 😝
It is also a very popular meal in the rest of Europe. That’s where I was introduced to it – growing up in Germany, this stew was a staple on Mom’s meal plan.

Here’s what you’ll need…

~2 – 3 medium onions (I use frozen 😬)
~1/4 cup shortening (even though lately I’ve been using Coconut Oil)
~1 1/2 – 2 pounds beef (I use shoulder roast, ’cause stew meat is just terrible)
~1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (there it’s better to start with less and season to taste later!!!)
~1 tsp. Caraway Seed
~2 Bay Leaves
~1 tsp. Thyme or Marjoram
~2 Garlic cloves, minced
~Salt, Pepper to taste
~6 cups Broth
~ 4 – 5 medium Potatoes
~ 3 Bell Peppers (green, red, and yellow)
~ 1 can (14.5oz) diced Tomatoes

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1. Dice the onions (or take the bag out of the freezer πŸ˜‰), cut the meat and the potatoes in chunks, and the peppers into appr. 1″ x 1″ pieces.
2. Saute the onions in hot oil until they are a nice golden brown. Add meat and spices, salt, pepper and garlic. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add 3 cups broth, and simmer for about an hour.
4. After an hour stir well, then add the potatoes, bell peppers, and the rest of the broth.
5. Simmer for another 30 minutes, add the tomatoes, bring to a light boil, season to taste….and you’re done! πŸ€“ Dig in and enjoy! 


I prettiet up each bowl with green onions….

It’s doubtful that you’ll get complaints about serving leftovers  πŸ˜‹ so go ahead and make a double batch….I do!

Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ’•

Until next time 

~Tina xoxo 

 

 

Create your artsy Daily Planner/CalendarΒ 

Well, hello there 😊Good to see you here in the new year! Speaking of which, isn’t one of the best things about January 1st the opening of a brand new daily planner and calendar? I love the possibilities it represents…and am always very excited to fill it with plans/birthdays/memories! πŸ’–

This time around I had a hard time finding one that got me excited, spoke to me. So ‘New Year’s Eve’ came and went…no new planner 😒 That conundrum combined with all the posts about the new year being an empty book- I love that thought! – gave me the idea to create my own! 😬 

Today I’d like to share with you the way I went about it, and show you the first few pages. 

Lately I’ve been painting on canvas, but I knew I had a sketchbook laying around somewhere…ahhh – here it is…


First I painted one of my ‘HippieDippie Owls’ (my favorite subject – for now πŸ€“) for the cover. I plan to glue/ModPodge it on the cover once it’s dry- I used oil paint, so it will be a few more days πŸ˜‹


Next I measured the page, penciled in the boxes for the days, then traced the lines with a Painter’s Pen. 


After the numbers and the month were filled in …

…the fun-part began – the artwork 😍


That’s all I have so far- I will post an update when  the calendar is complete. πŸ€—

I hope I inspired you to make your own planner, and that you will share your creation with me! πŸ’•

Until next time 

~Tina xoxo 

Thank you! πŸ’•


I’m peeking in to say ‘Thank you so much’ for reading, liking, commenting, sharing your thoughts on my, this, blog! πŸ’•

I appreciate you being here with me, and hope you’ll come back often. πŸ€— 

I wish you a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year. May all your wishes come true! 

Sincerely, with hugs 

~Tina xoxo