Friday, December 27, 2013

"Chocolate salami" dessert recipe

Today, I'd like to share one dessert recipe that is pretty much in Russia. I discovered that also in Italy people make it at home for excample for Christmas or other holiday. In Russia we call this desert "Chocolate Salami", but it's nothing about meat. The title is just because it looks like salami.

My friend Irina wrote the text and made nice photos of this easy to cook great dessert.
You can find it here

You will need:
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
3 table spoon of cocoa powder (you can use dark chocolate)
1 stick of unsalted butter (115 gr)
5 table spoon of milk
1 lb of cookies or biscuits
1 cup of walnut pieces

Who has Trader Joe's store nearby, can use "Cats cookies for people". Well, this is just cookie. :) In Italy I used "Classici frollini",  you can use any type of cookies that are pretty much crackly and sweet (not too much sweet).

First, the cookies should be powdered in blender, grinder or food processor.

Than add walnut pieces to the cookie powder and mix it. Set aside the mixture.

Put eggs, sugar, and cocoa powder in non-stick pot. I prefer non-stick because it's easier to clean it after the desert is ready, but you may use whatever you want. Just keep in mind that the pot will be heated up. Whisk all ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Than add milk and completely melted butter. Whisk again and place the pot on medium-high heat.

Whisk it continuously, and bring it to the condition when it just about to start bubbling. Immediately remove from heat. Don't let it bubbling! It should look like chocolate souse.

Pour the mixture into ground cookies with walnuts and mix it thoroughly.

It should look like wet clay but short-brittle.

Then put this "clay" into plastic bag; smash and press it until the "clay" become smooth.

In the end, the mixture should look like a smooth clay. Put it on a sheet of foil or plastic wrap, and form it as a salami... or log. :)

Wrap and roll for better result.

Than cover the "salami" with foil or plastic wrap and put it into fridge for several hours until it firm.
That's it. :) Time for preparation is 15-20 minutes and then few hours in fridge (I pur also half an hour in deep freeze). 
Enjoy it at your New Year party!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Felt Christmas tree ornament DIY

Today I 'll show you how I decorated my Christmas tree this year. I'm tired of the traditional sphers etc, so I searched in Internet for interesting ideas and stopped on decorations made out of felt. You can make them in many variations: with embroidery or without it, with crochet snowflake... The last one I liked most, so I 'll tell you how to make it. 

You will need:

  • piece of felt (which is not easier, sold by the meter )
  • Crochet thread (I used white and azure , as I love the combination of red and azure )
  • needle
  • scissors
  • button of flat
  • optional filler cushions

Let's start with the making a small snowflake, like this one:

And then cut two circles a couple of cm larger then snowflakes.

Make these loose stitches. Place the snowflake on top and sew it as shown, using previously made stitches. 

Make a few decorative stitches between the rays of the snowflake and sew a button in the center of it, now you can connect two circles. You can use simply forward stitch, or as I did use back stitch. You can fill in with a little amount of filler.
At the end make a loop :

That's what we got:
With embroidery and filled inside:

and stars

I hope you like them as I like and you decide to decorate the Christmas tree with these ornaments)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Recycled paper Christmas tree DIY

In many houses there are stores up a lot of newspapers or promotional leaflets, especially before Christmas, and often we throw them. 

What you can make with all this paper - CHRISTMAS TREE!
This amazing tree was my Pinterest discovery. I changed it a little and added some details. You can do it also with your children.

You will need:

  • a lot of paper (I cut up a thick newspaper and a couple of Christmas booklets)
  • adhesive spray
  • acrilic paint in spray (any color, I used silver one)
  • wooden skewer or long nail 
  • base (I used half of the foam ball - you can use wooden stand or polimer clay one)
  • piece of felt
  • awl
  • salt
  • Pearl dust
  • paper star
  • scissors 

You have to cut a lot of squares starting at 1" down to 6". For example, I made them from 14 cm to 3 cm. I've cut them by scissors and it took a lot of time. If you have paper cutter of course you will need less time.

First you will need to assemble a base for your tree. Base must be large enough, otherwise it will not sustain enough the weight of the paper. 

Cut the felt circle with diameter of your base. Cover the base with the paint. Then insert the skewer into the middle. When I put it in, I removed the skewer and put a little of glue into the hole and put the skewer back. So I'm sure that the skewer is secure.

Now all paper squares fold in half and then in half to determine the center. Then do the hole with the awl in the center.

Once the base is ready and paper is folded and holed, you can begin assembling your tree.
Start with the largest squares. Thread squares and turn them. ISometimes between large squares I put little one to make the tree airy. Work your way up the tree until you get to the smallest squares.

Here's mine tree, but it 's not the end.

Now cover it with a bit of paint spray. This and the next few steps, you can jump.

Then cover tree with glue spray

and before it dryes, dredge with salt. Salt perfect for the role of the snow! Shake off excess salt after glue will be dry.

Now cover again with glue and then dredge with pearl dust
Cut out two stars from the paper and glue them on top of the Christmas tree.

Here's what I got:

You can make a huge number of variations of this Christmas tree using different paper, scissors, paints or pearl dust.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Crochet snowflakes coasters for Christmas table decor DIY

Of course, the idea is simple, but to me (and I'm crocheting snowflakes for many years), it came in mind just this year, that's it)

You will need:
  • scissors
  • Felt
  • crochet thread for number 8 or 10
  • hook (pick up to the thickness of the thread)
  • glue (if you want to stick snowflakes, the second option - to sew
Let's start with snowflakes. I used the following scheme:
I never made written crochet tutorials so I made a diagram. You can make other snowflake if you'd like. 
Here I made some photos so you can understans better:

Then pin the snowflake and iron. Do not need to stratch it.

Now cut out hexagons from felt, I cut out 4, but I think I will do some more later)

The last step - glue or sew snowflakes on hexagons. Then put for a couple of hours under a heavy book.

It's ready: 

Unusual touch for your Christmas tabe is ready!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

DIY Christmas tree ornament from wine corks

I don't want to buy Christmas ornaments even more. So, I checked my craft supplies and came up with these: Christmas tree ornaments made from wine corks.
Yes, I love recycling) This is wonderful project to make with the kids! It happens that I live in a wine region and I don't have problems with wine corks) 

All you need is this:

- 4 wine corks 
- glue 
- a (serrated) knife to slice the corks 
- some thread or ribbon

To begin, cut wine corks horizontally with a knife into two parts (Do it yourself if you make project with kids)

Glue the tree working by rows (first 3 then 2) and next glue the rows together in a 3-2-1 triangular setting. So your Christmas tree will not come apart.

Take some thread, ribbon and work it around your tree twice. Make a tight double knot at the top. Make another knot so you have a loop to hang up your tree. 

We still have the two pieces of the wine cork. Take one of them and glue it or attach it with small nail at the bottom - so we got a trunk.
Here it's ready:

Today we are decorating our Christmas tree )

In next lession I will show how to make cute felt ornaments so you can decorate all tree with handmade ornaments!


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