Thursday, 22 March 2018

St Paddy's Day Dinner - low FODMAP Guinness Stew

As part of our St Paddy's celebrations I wanted to make a special dinner, and made my first ever Guinness Stew.

I looked up several recipes and sort of adapted/mashed them together according to our needs as we are on a modified low FODMAP diet and due to my shoulder and hand issues I needed a slow cooker version and I didn't want to wind up with left over Guinness so wanted a recipe that would use the whole can.
As beer is low FODMAP due to the fermenting process I am assuming Guinness is too.
A couple of recipes suggested the stew is better the next day so I made it Friday to have on Saturday.  Hubby taste tested it on Friday night and said it was definitely far better on Sunday night, he said it was richer and more hearty than on Friday.  So this is a great make ahead meal which really helps with planning for a day that you know you won't be able to cook.

I managed to get 8 serves out of this recipe, we had a family meal and I put 4 single serves away for hubby.  Note he said it didn't do well being frozen and reheated.

So here is what my adapted recipe wound up being.

900grams of diced chuck steak
2 tables spoons of flour
A crack of salt and pepper added into the flour
1 can of Stout or Guinness
3 cups of Beef stock (either homemade or Massel stock cubes disolved in water)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of dried thyme
2-3 tablespoons (I spilt it into my pot) of parsley (fresh was out of stock when hubby did the shopping so I had to use dried)
2 large carrots cut into chunks
2 potatoes cut into chunks (I used 3 and it was too much potatoe)
2 celery stalks diced
The greens from 3 spring onions finely diced.

Put the potato and carrot into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Place flour and a crack of salt and pepper into a freezer bag, in batches put meat into the bag and shake, set aside on a plate ready to cook.
Once all meat is coated in a heavy pan in batches brown meat, transfer to the slow cooker.
Add spring onion greens and celery to the pan and saute a little.  Add to the slow cooker.
Add tomato paste, stock, stout, thyme and parsley.  Give a stir without disturbing the vegetables at the bottom.
Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours.
Cool and refrigerate to serve the next day.
My sauce did not thicken so for serving I decided I would put one family serve in a pot on the stove for 15 minutes to simmer off the excess and cook the dumplings in the sauce while doing it.

Serve with Mashed Potatoes or Rice and low FODMAP parsley dumplings.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Lucky Banner for St Patrick's Day - Scrapping Fun Kits DT

I wanted to create a banner for St Paddy's day from a cardboard box so I grabbed a empty wine box from a friend who has a wine with dinner to tear/cut up to make a cute banner and I was just going to cut the lettering from cardstock when I found this cute free printable Lucky Banner  I felt it was just what I needed for my lettering on the upcycled wine box banner I wanted to create.  I just tore the top flaps of the box and cut the long sides in half, trimming the shorter side to match the length of those.

Originally I wanted to stencil on the cardboard but due to time constraints I decided to go with simple layers using the papers and cut apart in the St Paddy's Kit from Scrapping Fun Kits.
I cut the dot paper into 4 and the shamrock paper into 3 so that I had one piece twice the size of the other 2.  Then I cut 2 of the tags and the pot of gold from the cut apart to use for layering.

I used Helmar Craft & Hobby PVA Glue to adhere my layers to the wine box.

I started just by grabbing one letter at a time and creating layers behind the free printable flag.

This cute tag from the cut apart was a great way to add a layer to the L, it has a slight overhang at the top which I love.

U and Y were a very simple lot of layering with just a piece of each paper, I also cut a scrap out from behind the Y to use on the shamrock.

C I just used the dot paper and the fussy cut pot of gold from the cut apart.  How cute is that pot of gold?

K and the Shamrock have the rainbow label from the cut apart, I simply trimmed it slightly to the right of the rainbow so I would have the left over for another layer elsewhere.

I loved how they all looked together while I was waiting on the Helmar glue to dry before I add the ribbon.

I simply used my standard hole punch to pun 2 holes in each banner and then thread multiple strands of orange bakers twine through the holes.

Getting a photo of the  Banner in action on St Paddy's Day was difficult due to some strong wind we were having but one of the other Mum's got this great shot of it.

I love how this banner turned out, it certainly was a hit.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

St Paddy's Day Fun in the park.

Last year Mr C was unable to attend his school's St Patrick's Day activities and asked if we could do something this year so I picked out a few simple things to do with the Mr C and Mr E this year.

While making plans and searching Pinterest for ideas I realised there may be other Homeschooling or Distance Ed families who would like to do something for St Patrick's Day and that it would be a great way for the kids to socialise with other kids who love St Paddy's activities.  So I decided to ask in a local Homeschooling group if anyone would like to meet us at the park for a simple Leprechaun Treasure Hunt and a few fun St Paddy's themed foods.  I was excited when a few families wanted to join us.
My dilemma was the lack of supplies available locally, it is usually pretty limited but this year was more limited then usual, Pinterest saved my day, I was limited on time for creating and suitable supplies but thanks to Pinterest I was able to find some quick and easy projects I could do or could adapt to suit my needs.

I downloaded this free and very cute Lucky Banner to make creating my banner a bit easier as my time available for die cutting was limited.

A post detailing how I created the rest of this banner will be up on Tuesday.

Mr E enjoyed painting sanitised toilet rolls for this cute Upcycled Shamrock Garland.

Mr C enjoyed painting a cheap container and adding a black ribbon and yellow cardstock buckle to hold chocolate coins for our Leprechaun Treasure Hunt.
For the clues I used this great Rainbow of Shamrocks set of clues.

I was inspired by these cute Leprechaun Hat paper cups, however I couldn't get green paper cups so used recyclable green plastic cups.

I created a cut file of hollow squares to cut all the buckles for the cups, the container for the treasure hunt and our Pringles can Leprechaun attempt.  This saved me a lot of time.

I thought these Yarn Wrapped Leprechaun Hats would be a fun activity for the kids to do, however the kids wound up mainly playing on the park equipment so I have saved the supplies to make a banner with the boys next year.

Mr E loved helping make coloured green sugar for our marshmallow pops, you can get a recipe for Coloured Sugar from McCormick.

I made Rainbow Jelly and after that experience have sworn I will never do it again, but given how much Mr E loves it I might have to have one more try next year.

I also tried making Rainbow Water and Rainbow Bars, which were a hit though due to having to use pink marshmallows my rainbow bars weren't very rainbow.  And due to the warmth here at the moment the rainbow ice cubes were melting fast so once I finished pouring the water into a glass it was not rainbow water but a funny brown colour.

Other simple food ideas I did were:
Green pineapple juice.  Add a glass of green cordial to a bottle of pinapple juice, it tastes nice and is a fun shade of green, though I forgot to take it to the park.
Green marshmallow pops, I melted white chocolate and the boys had fun dipping white marshmallows into it and then into the green sugar Mr E made, they stood them a sheet of baking paper in a container to set in the fridge.
I used the left over green sugar that hadn't gone into the bowl for the marshmallow pops to coat some green grapes and created leprechaun grapes which were inspired by Leprechaun Candy though I was out of green jell chrystals so the sugar made a good substitute.
The last of the melted chocolate and the green sugar that had had the marshmallow pops dipped into it, I immediately mixed them together and set in the freezer to make green chocolate bark.

One of the other Mums (Amy) helped me set up on the day and brought some green cordial (a life saver when I forgot the juice), green chips, some green fruit and veggie sticks (Mr E loves capsicum so he  was really happy about that).  And another Mum brought chips, so we had a lovely table full of goodies to eat.

The boys had a lot of fun making new friends and eating fun food.

Friday, 16 March 2018

St Paddy's Card and Cute Paperclip - Scrapping Fun Kits Design Team

When I saw the cute pot of gold resin I just had to make it into a quick but very cute paperclip to highlight when St Paddy's is in my diary since I am organising a event for my local home schooling community.

I simply adhered it to a large paperclip with Glossy Accents and punched a circle from the shamrock paper to cover the back.  One of the Chiffon flowers would have been great on the back for a double  sided clip but I wanted to be able to use it in a scrapbooking layout recording our St Paddy's memories this year so I needed the back to be flat.

I used it to hold the vintage postcard over hubby's roster in my planner spread for a cute planner spread photo and then took the card out to make a card.

I decided to create a simple card using one of the vintage postcards in the St Paddy's kit.

I punched some white cardstock with a border punch.
Then I trimmed some of the green lace in half length ways so I could adhere some to each side of the vintage postcard.
I added one of those gorgeous filigree to the front and called this card done.

I love how quickly it came together.  I hope the friend I send it to enjoys it.

If you would love one of these St Paddy's Kits there are still a few left so head to the Subscription Tap and fill in the form, enter St Paddy's in the promo code box.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Cake - Scrapping Fun Kits Design Team

As I was creating my layout for the March White with 1 Challenge with the St Paddy's Kit and other kits I was inspired to scrap this photo of my son at my birthday a couple of years ago using the emerald green chiffon flower from the St Paddy's Kit and other goodies.

I love how that little scrap of the green felt trim added a little bit of texture to this cluster.

My trusty Helmar's Professional Acid Free Glue was perfect for adhering my embellishments down.

Cutting up the shamrock doily allowed me to use it on this layout to give a little more texture.

I love how this layout turned out.  The St Paddy's kit was perfect for recording this memory.  If you would like one of these fun kits there are still a couple left so head to the Subscription Tab and fill in the form.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

March Challenge List

Welcome to the March Challenge List.  
I will continue to update the Challenge List as more challenges go up throughout the month, so please check back regularly and see what wonderful challenges have been added.

Due to positive feedback I will continue to split the list into Australian based challenges and International challenges, so make sure you scroll through and check out all the wonderful challenges as many allow entries from all over the world.
Please if I have put a challenge into the wrong catagory let me know, I worked hard to be correct but we can all make mistakes.

Please if there are any Challenges you are aware of that I have missed let me know.I am really loving participating in Challenges, it is getting me to craft more often, to do projects I may otherwise save to do later, and some there is the added challenge of completing them when I have limited supplies that meet the requirements but that just adds to the fun.
So now for the list, I will provide a link to each challenge that has a direct link for it and either their Facebook page, website, shop, whichever is appropriate so you have all the details you could possibly need.
Those that are in a Facebook Group I will link to the group, please contact admins of the group to let them know you are joining to participate in the challenges or look at the challenges as some admins have requested this due to the waiting list. 

Scrap the Girls has a fun Moodboard this month.

Show us your stuff has a fun sketch this month.

Scrap the Boys has a fun sketch this month. Here is a link to their Facebook Page.  Make sure you check their blog for the rules of their Challenges.

Scrapping Good Time - Scrapbooking Group Australia is a Closed Facebook Group that has multiple Scrapbooking Challenges and sometimes a Card Challenge each month.  This month they are having a special giveaway and to be in the draw you need to enter every one of their Challenges and participate in some other things throughout the month.

White with 1 is a fun shade of green this month.  Here is their Facebook Page.

Kraft+ Challenge has a fun ABBA theme this month, make sure you head to their blog and read the requirements for this one. Here is the Facebook Group.

SCRAPBOOKIT has a fun prompt challenge this month.

Off the Rails Scrapbookinhas a lovely moodboard this month.  Here is their Facebook Group.  Make sure you check their blog for the rules of their Challenges. 

Scrapping Fun Kits has a brand new Bi-monthly Challenge featuring a lovely Spring Moodboard for their first challenge.  This challenge is for all sizes including nonstandard, Traveler's Notebooks,Junk Journals, small albums, etc.  And this month has opened up to traditional sizes such as 12x12 and 8.5x11

Aussie Scrappers Society is a closed Facebook group that has challenges.

D-lish Scraps Inspiration Board this month is lovely, make sure you follow the link for inspiration and the rules of this Challenge.   

Aussie Crafters is a Closed Facebook Group that has a monthly challenge and swaps.  Please pm the group owner when you request to join. 

Archi-scraps has a fun prompt this month.

Use Your Stuff is a great weekly challenge that is all about using the stuff you have.  

Scrapping Clearly has a fun sketch and moodboard this month.

Sketchy Boards Challenge has a great Sketch and prompt this month and a fun prompt this month.  Follow the link for inspiration and rules. 

Anna's Craft Cupboard has a gorgeous moodboard this month which you enter either via a Online Gallery or their Facebook Community.

Art and Soul Studio has a art journalling challenge each month called Soulful Challenge   that goes for the calendar month.  And a Scrapbooking/Cardmaking Challenge that closes mid month. They have a album for each challenge in their closed group. The scrapbooking/cardmaking challenge in the photo closes February 15th.

ARTastic has a lovely artwork on a plate this month.  Here is their Facebook Page.

Mystical Scrapbooks has 2 new challenges on their blog for January.
Sorry this 
has been missing from the list, somehow a couple fell off my radar when I lost my hard drive with my base list.

Kaisercraft has a lovely colour prompt this month that is my favourite colour.  Here is their Facebook Page.

Scrapbook Boutique has a gorgeous moodboard this month.

Scrapbooking Top 50 Australia has a fun prompt this month.  Head over to the blog for inspiration and details

International Challenges

Crafty Creations Challenge is a bimonthly craft challenge.  Make sure you read their rules as entry closing dates are different to most challenges.

Pixel Scrapper is a Digital Scrapbooking community that has a monthly challenge.  I am so glad I found this wonderful community. 

Lasting Memories Scrapbooking Challenges have multiple challenges each month to inspire you.

Creative Inspiration is a online forum/group that features multiple challenges throughout the month.

CSI Challenge - Color, Stories, Inspiration is a fun challenge formatted as a case file for you to do.  I look forward to giving this challenge a go. 

Counterfeit Kit Challenge is a great concept where you take inspiration from a new kit that is out and create a kit from your supplies using that inspiration and so create layouts with your own kit.  They do a blog hop with their team showing each person's kit and layouts.  Well worth checking it out. 

Craft-Dee Bowz is a monthly challenge that involves using a bow.  Head to their blog for more details. 

Scrap Our Stash has a fun prompt this month.

Stuck Sketches has a fun sketch to start the month.

More Than Words has a great prompt this month.  Here are the Rules for their Challenges. Here is their Facebook Page.

Stick it Down has 3 Challenges a month, a card sketch, a single page sketch and a double page sketch.  Head to their blog for further details. 


Project Life

Here is a list of Challenges that would suit creating Project Life layouts.  Note I do need to check the challenges that are new to the list and update this sublist.  I will update shortly.

Scrap the Boys have said they will accept PL layouts.
Scrap the Girls have said they will accept PL layouts.
Kraft+ Challenge accepts tradition layouts, art journalling, tags, etc so this challenge would suit PL I think.
ARTastic Challenge Blog accepts all forms of Scrapbooking as entries.

Scrapbooking Top 50 Australia accepts PL entries.
Show us your stuff accepts PL entries.
Scrapbook Boutique accepts scrapbooking, off the page, etc so I think it would suit PL.  The new challenge is posted on the 10th of each month.
Dusty Attic states in the August Moodboard Entry Rules (so assuming it is the same) that your project can be anything you desire including layouts, cards or off the page so it sounds like PL will be accepted.

Previous Lists

My scrappy friends who only scrap when at a crop, or who have stopped or reduced their time scrapping for any reason I think you will love some of these, have a look at each one.