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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Get Crafty, Headline, Let's Celebrate » Christmas Craftdown, week 5

Christmas Craftdown, week 5

christmas tree lighted liz and kate cup copyI guess you realize Christmas Day is days away. Well, not me. I’m in denial. Still a ton of things to do. Like craft some more creations.

This week, we’re featuring five crafts or edible ideas so let’s get to it!

  • Susan’s Chicken Tacos
  • Holiday Wassail
  • Candy Crackers
  • Pine Crafts
  • Bowls made from vinyl records

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My cousin Susan has been quite an asset to our craftdown. This week, she sent in a recipe that sounds great for those busy holiday nights. It’s perfect for the family, or a dinner party:

susan's chicken tacos

Susan’s Chicken Tacos

1 cup frozen corn

15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

16-ounce jar mild salsa

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 1 1/2 pounds)

Place first 3 ingredients in a slow cooker and stir to combine.  Arrange chicken on top.  Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.  Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with a fork.  Return the shredded chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine.

Serve over rice, in warm tortillas, or with tortilla chips with some of the following garnishes:

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • Salsa
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped red, yellow, and green peppers
  • Sliced avocados or prepared guacamole
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced black olives
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Hot sauce

Set up buffet-style and let everyone create his or her own meal.

Leftovers freeze well. Serves 8-10.

When Susan sent this recipe, she also asked for a long-time favorite drink recipe. No dinner would be complete without a beverage, so here’s a little holiday cheer:

wassail

Holiday Wassail

1 c. fresh lemon juice

2 c. fresh, frozen concentrate, or packaged orange juice

2 c. unsweet pineapple juice

½ gallon apple cider

1 t. whole cloves

1 stick cinnamon

¼ c. sugar

Pour all juices into large pot or crockpot. Place cloves and cinnamon in cotton or cheesecloth bag and add to juices.

Bring to a simmering boil over medium heat. Cover and simmer one hour. Dissolve sugar in hot wassail before removing from heat. For an extra kick, add one pint of Apple Jack or hard cider. (Don’t boil after liquor is added) Makes about 4 quarts. Reheats nicely, assuming it lasts…

Let’s finish off the meal with a treat for your sweet tooth, Candy Crackers submitted by reader, Karen Smith-Morganti.

cracker candy 3

CANDY CRACKERS

2-3 sleeves of Club Crackers (regular or whole wheat, your choice)

1 ½ cup granulated sugar

2 sticks butter

3 tbsp. white corn syrup

2 tsp good vanilla

1 large package fresh Pecans – (chopped or pieces, your choice)

Line jelly roll pan with non-stick foil.  Spray foil with non-stick spray (just in case).   Spread out your crackers evenly, covering the bottom of the jelly roll pan (you may have to break a few crackers here and there).

Combine first 3 ingredients (sugar, butter and corn syrup) in sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Pull from heat and add vanilla.  Stir.

Pour over crackers and spread as evenly as possible.  Quickly sprinkle on pecans.

Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool and break apart.  Store tightly covered.

No need to calorie count or watch fat.  They’re too good for anyone to care!

I don’t know what’s overcome me, but I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time creating over the past week. Saturday, I decided I needed a wreath for the front door, but didn’t want to pay for one. So I dusted off one of those wreaths made of twigs and set out in search of decorations.

vasecandle

Pine Crafts

After a good deal of time searching in vain for something to put on it, I happened to glance out the window. To the pine trees. Eureka!

Pruners in hand, I scalped several branches and turned to come back inside – until I noticed a bush underneath my daughter’s bedroom window, loaded with clusters of red berries. Enter the pruning shears – again.

IMG_0529

I don’t own a glue gun, so I decided to just weave the pine branches and berries into the twig wreath and hope for the best. So far, so good. I’d gone a little crazy with my pruning, so I started looking around for other uses for the leftover berries and branches. Next thing I knew, I’d created four more Christmas decorations – and it didn’t cost me a penny. Hooray for me.

And now for the grand finale…so easy you won’t believe it!

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Vinyl Record Album Bowl

I ran across this nifty retro idea that looks like the perfect thing to make for one of my brothers. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vinyl record album (available at most thrift stores)
  • Oven
  • Bowl

Heat the oven to 200 to 250 degrees. Invert an oven-proof bowl of choice and place on a cookie sheet. Place album on top of bowl and bake for 5-8 minutes. The album will begin to warp over the bowl, making it pliable for shaping.  Once it gets good and warpy, remove from oven and work quickly to shape it to the bowl. The album will be warm, but  you’ll be able to use your bare hands on it.

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There are two ways to do this. If you shape the album around the outside of the bowl, you’ll get a larger interior.

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You can also flip the bowl upright, push the album into the bowl, and shape that way. Albums are so cheap that you can try several of them. I couldn’t really find a way to screw this one up, so I think however you do it will be fine.

That’s it! Can you say simple? The bowl is perfect for fruit, candy, whatever your heart desires.

And I think it’ll be the perfect fit for Vespa Lexington’s show room.

Old albums can also be made into wall clocks, by simply adding a clock kit (you really only need the hands, but could likely come up with cool ways to add the numbers around the perimeter). I may try a clock, too. I think the kits are less than five bucks.

Okay kids, that’s it for week five. Hope you enjoy the delicious recipes from today’s craftdown.

 

liz pic~Liz kate pic& Kate

Enjoy your Coffee Break

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