Midwest Menu

Today we’re finishing our USA recipe tour with the Midwest.

Sides and Starters

Wisconsin beer cheese chowder

Sweet corn soup

Cincinnati chili

Kansas City steak soup

Dakota style bison stew

Chicago red hot poppy seed buns

Minnesota wild rice bread

Orzo and wild rice

Lentil and rice pilaf

Refrigerator pickles

Kettle style popcorn

Dinner

Chicago deep dish pizza

St Louis pork ribs

Chicago dogs

Bratwurst sandwiches

Baconista brats

Oklahoma Joe’s pulled pork

Illinois pork tenderloin

Sausage and apple stuffed Iowa chops

Kansas City barbecue sauce

Oklahoma Joe’s flat smoked brisket

Minnesota wild rice stuffed chicken

Kansas City style burnt ends

Dessert

Kolaches

Walnut potica

Pecan fudge brownies

Apricot squares

Illinois caramel corn

Lemon ginger cookies with mint

Cowboy cookies

South Dakota honey and sunflower vanilla ice cream

Fudgy coconut cream cake

Cherry and red raspberry pie

Michigan apple dumplings

Deep dish apple pancake

What are your favorite midwest recipes?

Circus Celebrations

Today we’re celebrating a summer favorite, the circus, with some fun crafts of our favorite circus animals!

Stenciled stool top

Paper plate animals

Forget me not elephant

Elephant feet

Elephant night light

Crochet elephant

Sock monkey

Climbing monkey

Pipe cleaner monkey

Lion mittens

Lion note holders

Tiger step stool

Bear bookend

Polar bear glove puppet

Cute felt bears

Bears felt ears headband

Cuddly bear cub toy

Polar bear knit hat

Santa Claus mouse ornament

Menswear mouse toy

City mouse

Pinecone mouse

Mouse Christmas ornament

What are your favorite circus animal crafts?

Feature Friday: Arty Vicky

Today I’m happy to announce that we’ve got a new friend joining us for Feature Friday (if you want to be featured you can comment below Vicky’s post). Vicky is passionate about many things creative, which is really an important lesson to us creative people: we have to be open to wherever creativity may find and inspire us!  Let’s hear what Vicky has to say about being creative and her creative passions.

Why are you passionate about being creative?:
As a child I remember making a little house for my Easter chick, inside the box my Easter egg came in. It even had curtains, a bed, shelves and little cardboard plates. I still see the potential in everyday materials, like empty containers, that I get really excited by modern craft supplies.

I love trying new activities or putting my own creative slant on an old activity, but once I feel I have mastered a craft to a level I am happy with, I flit on to the next one.

I’m always asking questions too. If someone tells me, you must use a particularly expensive tool or product, then I’ll become determined to find a cheaper, easier way. This is because I believe arts and crafts should be accessible to everyone’s abilities and budgets.

 

What have you learned from being creative and pursuing creative hobbies and passions?

When I was younger I suffered a bout of severe depression. Eventually I reached a stage where I forced myself to sew some soft toys. Slowly I realized that the more creative I became, the more my mental health improved. With time I discovered my greatest joy is to teach other people how to create with art or craft.

I’m not a trained teacher, but over the years I have voluntarily taught my daughter and her friends and other home school children, intellectually disabled people, elderly people, other artists and I’m now teaching art at a drop in centre for people with mental health distress.

As a teacher I have learned that creativity can not only lift a person’s mood, but it can also boost their self esteem. Creating on my own, for myself or as gifts, is relaxing and self affirming, but my greatest passion lies in lighting someone else’s creative fire, especially people who are unsure of their creative abilities.

What exciting future plans do you have for your work and creativity?

For the past year I have been teaching myself about the Internet, especially Facebook, YouTube, and WordPress, and I’ve taught myself how to record and edit videos. My dream is to share my skills and knowledge with people from all over the world.

I will be presenting all sorts of art and craft activities, many of them will be easy and inexpensive, but some will be more advanced. I will be putting up a couple more videos on drawing zentangles and then I have a series planned on using a cuttlebug.

I’ve made a start, I’m bursting with ideas for more activities and I’m open to requests. I want to share my ideas and skills freely with anyone who is interested in arts and crafts, but I would particularly love to inspire the people who teach people. I’d love to reach out to other people who facilitate activities for children and adults of all ages and abilities.

I believe the world is full of beautiful people and the Internet is like a huge well of positive energy that we can all draw from. I am excited to be part of a community which even stretches down here to New Zealand.

You can connect with Vicky at her blog, and on Facebook and YouTube.

Thank you Vicky!  Keep sharing creativity with the world!  I look forward to seeing what you create.

Wonderfully Western

Today we’re continuing our USA recipe tour with some yummy dishes from the Midwest (you can check out the Northeast and South from the last 2 weeks).

Starters:

California Cobb salad

Pacific very cherry salad

New Mexico green chile pozole

Idaho potato and smoked corn stew

Classic tortilla soup

Colorado chili

Potato crust quiche

California roll

Dinner

West Coast grilled vegetable pizza

Rocky mountain pastrami burger

New Mexico burgers

Hawaii Da-Kine burger

Roasted shitakes and pacific cod

Pacific halibut with green tea broth

San Francisco seafood stew

San Diego style blue corn salmon tacos with orange habanero hot sauce

Grilled Oregon Chinook in matsutake ginger broth

Pacific pork kebabs with pineapple rice

California kabobs

Shrimp and pineapple skewers

San Francisco seafood stew

New Mexico beef stew

Pacific rim stir-fry

Grilled Colorado lamb chops with lavender

Kalua pork

Seattle BBQ beef ribs

New Mexico red chile cheese stacked enchiladas

Drinks and dessert

Blue Hawaii

Ted’s Montana Grill lemonade

The Porcupine

Li Hing margarita

Oregon chai milkshake

Cinnamon pecan swirl brioche

Oregon hazelnut cheesecake

Huckleberry cupcakes with sweet cream

Baked Hawaii

Washington walnut pie

Seattle coffee mug cake

Baked Alaska

Pacific northwest blackberry filled doughnuts with white chocolate ganache and toasted hazelnuts

What are your favorite western USA recipes?

Ready for the Road

Since it is the summer and many of us are taking vacations and going places, I thought today we’d share some fun games, activities and memory keepers.

Getting ready and on the road:

Dad’s car travel kit

I spy travel game

License plate game

Car bingo

Portable game set

Vacation outfit bags

Gadget travel tote

Memory Magic:

Map picture frame

Memory jars

No glue scrapbook

As-you-go keepsake

Map artwork

Vacation shadow box

What are your favorite vacation memories?

Southern USA Specialties

Today I’ve got some more all-American recipes to share!  We’re taking a tour of the south today (last week we did the Northeast, still to come are the Midwest and West).

Sides and Starters:

Southern biscuits

Cornbread

Tex-Mex mac and cheese

Texas Chili

Texas red chili

Texas 2 bean salad

Dinner:

New Orleans BBQ shrimp

Maryland crab bisque

Scallops Charleston

Florida citrus grilled grouper

Fiery Cajun shrimp

Maryland crab cakes

Southern style pan fried catfish

Southern fried chicken

South Carolina ribs

Grilled Texas style beef ribs

Louisiana hot sauce chicken sandwich with Cajun ranch dressing

Cajun jambalaya

Dessert:

Classic key lime pie

Key lime sables

Beignets

New Orleans pecan pie bread pudding

New Orleans style bread pudding with whiskey sauce

Marshmallow cookie sandwiches

Fresh apple cake from Georgia

Georgia peach souffle

Southwest Georgia pound cake

Southern sour cream pralines

Tennessee banana black walnut cake with caramel frosting

Drinks:

Tennessee cherry cocktail

Mint julep

Whiskey sour

Tennessee lemonade

What are your favorite southern recipes?

Beautiful Bags

Today I thought we’d have some fun with different bags, clutches, purses and pouches.

8 cute critter clutches

Fabric clutch

Classic camp craft pouch

Drawstring pouches

Mickey tote bag

Yoga mat tote bag

Shoe bags

Ever open laundry bag

Over the shoulder bag

Roomy tote

Chenille bag with name tag and pocket

Reusable gift bag

Quilted messenger bag

6 pocket bag

Brown suede with plaid stripe tote

Cinch it tote bag

Small treat totes

Log cabin tote bag

Easy denim tote with floral brooches

Removable tote organizer

Almost no sew makeup bag

Reversible purse

Placemat purse

What bag and purse creations have you made?