Craftsy Class Giveaway


It’s no secret that I like Craftsy, a lot! I have taken  a number of classes and find myself going back to them regularly. I like to have them running on my pc when I’m in the sewing room, working on my projects. I frequently post about them here and on my Facebook page. When my sewing students ask me where to go for more sewing help my first suggestion is always Craftsy! So when Craftsy contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I would like to host a giveaway on my blog I was more than thrilled because I am sure my blogging friends would love the opportunity to enter to win a Craftsy class of their choosing (to the value of $59.99).

Why do I love Craftsy so much?

  •  Great deals on crafting supplies: organic yarn, fabrics and fat quarters from top designers, high quality needles, etc..
  •  High quality online classes for beginning, intermediate and advanced quilters, knitters, sewers, jewelry makers, cake decorators and other crafters.
  • You can watch the class online anytime.
  • You have the option to interact with the teacher and other students
  • Members can post their projects for other to see and view projects others have posted.

Considering Craftsy currently offers 361 different courses choosing may not be easy, I suggest starting a wishlist after you enter to win a Craftsy class!

Entering is very simple and this giveaway is open internationally.  

Giveaway closes on March 31, 2014 at midnight


Irish Country Pot Roast (Bennigans Copycat recipe)

I don’t usually cook meat at home but when my husband exclaimed this is the best pot roast I have ever had at Bennigan’s a few months ago I felt as though I HAD to out do them! I looked around online and found a few variations. I followed one exactly except I added the vegetables, the second go round I  and some herbs. The results “This is even better than Bennigan’s”. Mission accomplished!


IRISH COUNTRY POT ROAST (Bennigan’s Copycat Recipe)

Serves 4-6

16 ounces Guinness Stout
3 to 4 pound chuck roast
2 tablespoons steak seasoning
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
4 large Carrots quartered
2 stalks of celery quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh Rosemarry
3-4 sprigs of fresh Thyme
2 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour Guinness into bowl and set aside so beer flattens.


Rub roast with steak seasoning. In large non- stick pan over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil. Sear roast on each side until browned. Immediately remove meat from pan and set in large roasting pan.


Slice the onions, carrots and celery then brown them in the same pan you used for browning the roast.


Add the browned vegetables, herbs and stock to the pan.


Roast covered in preheated oven 1 hour. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and add Guiness. Liquid level should be at least halfway up side of roast. Roast an additional 2 hours, check liquid level periodically and add water if needed.

After 3 hours, roast should be fork-tender. Transfer roast onto warm platter. Place roasting pan on stove top, on high, stirring juices constantly. Make a slurry by combining water and cornstarch. Gradually add to juice until mixture thickens. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over meat and vegetables.


Here are a few more recipes from our Foodelicious St. Patrick’s Day Round Up. Hope you take some time to stop and check out these other recipes! You can follow along with hashtag #Foodelicious.


Mooshu Jenne – Lucky Charms Blondies

Pary Moppins – Cabbage

Memories by the Mile – Shamrock Shake 

Captivating Corner – Irish Soda Bread

Little Family Adventure – Shepherd’s Pie

Free online Wilton Cake Baking Class (today only)



Today only, you can sign up for a free online Wilton Cake Baking Class from Craftsy.

This is a 2-hour online class that you can watch at your convenience. It’s only available for free today, so you’ll want to sign up right now if you’re interested.

Class Description

Make cakes with no crumbs, no crowning and no cracking, so you have a flawless decorating surface — every time! Join pastry chef Beth Somers as she demystifies bakeware, pan preparation and measuring techniques. You’ll learn the proper way to combine your ingredients and avoid over-mixing, so you always end up with a tender cake. Then, you’ll see how to level the top of your cake and cut it into layers to make room for your luscious, homemade filling. Beth also will teach you how to use a spatula to spread smooth, crumb-free icing and another “tip” for achieving a rich, textured look. To top it all off, you’ll pipe an easy, elegant star border and embellish further with wonderful decorations!

Sign up for Craftys special Wilton class bundle and save $40 on all four classes. It’s like buying three Wilton classes and getting the fourth free!

Little Girls Market Skirt


I am ready for spring! We have had some crazy weather here in Texas lately, 78 degrees one day and ice and sleet the next. It has caused my mind to wander to warmer things like lemonade, fresh flowers, a walk in the park and of course cute skirts that let the warmth of the sun hit your legs.

As my mind wandered over the beautiful images on Pinterest what should pop but this cute Market Skirt Tutorial from Dana Made It. It is a bright and happy skirt with pockets for storing treasures.

Market Skirt
1/4, up to 1 yard of main fabric (depending on the direction of your fabric’s print)
1/4, up to 1/2 yard of white cotton (depending on the fabric’s desinity and if you double-layer it)
1 inch wide elastic
2 to 4 buttons
Sewing machine
Skill level: Beginner to Intermediate, depending on whether you do the pockets

See the full Market Skirt tutorial HERE!

Complete Knife Skills

knifeskills If you have read my blog for any amount of time you know I have a passion for two things sewing and cooking. One skill they have in common is accuracy.  Have you noticed I rarely post pictures of my veggies cut up? Well, that’s because my knife skills are lacking! Ummm, actually lacking is probably an understatement.

Are you wondering why knife skills are important? I mean it’s all going to be eaten , right? Well,  aside form presentation the way a food is cut affects how it cooks and the length of time needed to cook. This is really important when it comes to pot pie, soups, stews and casseroles.

Since I eat a lot of soups, salads and other fruit and vegetable based dishes I often feel like my lack of cutting skills leave me at a disadvantage if for no other reason than I think my dishes don’t look as pretty as they could.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I received an e-mail from Craftsy announcing their latest FREE mini class Complete Knife Skills. Here is the class description:

” Become faster and more accurate with your knife work, and create dishes that cook evenly and look truly professional. Guided by chef Brendan McDermott, you’ll explore proper hand placement and the four fundamental cuts. Learn to dice, mince and julienne a range of produce. Find out how to chop herbs without bruising them or losing flavor, and never again cry when cutting an onion. Uncover Brendan’s favorite shortcuts for working with butternut squash, pineapple, chiles, citrus and more. Discover the four knives every chef needs in their kitchen, and finish the course with a lesson on honing and sharpening your knives at home!”

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? I signed up and am starting the course this week-end, be prepared to see a lot more food pictures on the blog in the near future!

Mystery Grab Bags

When I was little my mom and I would go to the mall together every Friday.That trip HAD to include stopping by  Claire’s to get a mystery grab bag. It was always so exciting to rip into the little brown bag and see what shiny new bobble awaited me!

That memory is what led me to put together a fun new option in the Hearts & Home shop. If you like to sew, receive packages in the mail or enjoy surprise  then you will  want to grab one of my sewing pattern mystery grab bags. I have a limited number available so don’t wait! Your purchase includes 10 random sewing patterns!
All patterns are NEW! They have never been opened, unfolded, etc. Instructions are included and patterns and their original packaging are in great condition. This is a great way to add some mystery to your sewing, add in some discontinued patterns and maybe even encourage you to try a project you may have normally shied away from.

Lil Blue Boo


In my post welcoming 2014 I mentioned that I would be working with some new companies. The first one I would like to introduce you to is lil blue boo. When I found this site via Pinterest I knew I wanted to carry her patterns and dress of the month


The patterns come as pdf’s enabling you to store them on your pc instead of taking up room in a container, you can print multiple sizes,  the pattern pages print out directly from your computer onto regular 8.5″ x 11″ paper and there are guides for attaching them together. My favorite part about purchasing patterns from lil blue boo is after you check out you will be redirected to your file download, no waiting!


The Lil Blue Boo dress of the month changes every month. The dresses all have a theme and  on the 15th of every month a new dress will be released, along with the pre-order listing for the following month. Each themed box will include a dress along with a hand picked special gift and two double sided trading cards (one for a friend!) to collect or frame.The January dress is perfect for Valentines Day and on into the spring and summer. Does the little girl in you life like dressing her doll to match? Then you will want to visit the doll dress page!


Looking back, moving forward

2014 can you believe it is already here? I know we are almost two weeks in and this post may seem late but I tend to stay in holiday mode until after my birthday on January 5th.

thankful 5

As I looked back on 2013 I was amazed by all the wonderful things that I was able to be part of. My youngest child turned 18 and started college. My older son entered into a serious relationship including a ring and my daughter started her own business.

I paid off my truck early, learned how to ride a motorcycle, bought my first motorcycle and have taken several long trips on it (well long to me). Walked away from a job that paid well but made me miserable and found out I had a heart condition. I guess some people wouldn’t put the last one on wonderful things but for me it was. Now I know why my heart races, I get dizzy and can’t do cardio. I also now know how to prevent it or at least decrease the episodes.

2013 was truly a wonderful year filled with ups and downs but most of all happiness and growth!


Now on to 2014! I am ready for an AMAZING year. I have lots of things planned in my personal life and for my business. Like I said, I walked away from my full time job and am now fully focused on Hearts & Home.

I have partnered with several companies and designers to bring you some fabulous sewing supplies and patterns, new line of home decor products and my favorite part I will be putting together some sewing and cooking videos. 2014 is going to be a fabulous year and I want to thank you in advance for sharing it with me.

To stay up to date on all that is happening be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest.

DIY Egg Replacer for Vegan Baking – Flax Seed ‘Eggs’

DIY egg replacer for vegan baking using flax seeds

I have been really itching to bake lately, but after my last failed attempt at baking cookies using powdered egg replacer, I have been sort of avoiding it (unless the recipe is totally egg-free in the first place, like this yummy vegan coffee cake).

I was SO excited to find a recipe for an egg replacer I could make myself in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking that I just had to try it out! It’s so easy and I just happened to have the ingredients already on hand – flax seeds and water.

Vegan baking experts seem to all agree that it’s not a good idea to try to replace more than 3 eggs in a recipe – the results will usually be disappointing. That is possibly what my problem was using the powdered egg substitute, though I honestly don’t remember which recipe I tried or how many eggs needed replacing. I do seem to remember a funny after-taste, though.

I found a new oatmeal raisin cookie recipe that only had one egg in it, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ll share that recipe another time, but let me just say they turned out perfectly using this homemade flax seed egg replacer!

How to Make Flax Seed Egg Replacer

(makes 1 ‘egg’):

1 TBS ground flax seeds + 3 TBS water

It’s recommended that you grind your own flax seeds instead of buying them pre-ground* (in the form of flax seed meal). You can use a coffee grinder, or do it by hand with a mortar and pestle.

DIY egg replacer for vegan baking using flax seedsOnce your flax seeds are ground into meal, add the water and whisk until you get a gooey consistency.

You could also use a blender. Either way, be sure to clean up right away – this stuff dries hard as a rock!

You may need to let the mixture sit for a few minutes to thicken up before using it.

Store the flax seed egg replacer in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

How Much Flax Seed Egg Replacer to Use in a Recipe

3 Tablespoons = 1 egg

Remember, try to avoid replacing more than 3 eggs in any recipe for best results.


* I will admit, I used flax seed meal because I already had it, and it worked great. The reason it’s recommended that you use freshly ground whole flax seeds is because apparently in ground form, the exposure to oxygen breaks down the oils and releases free radicals much faster – in other words, it will go rancid very quickly. Good to know!

If you grind up more flax seeds than you need, you should store the flax seed meal in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer instead of the pantry.

Recommended Reading:

The Joy of Vegan Baking

Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way 

Related Posts:

Delicious Vegan Coffee Cake

Vegan Vegetable Lasagna

9 Reasons to use a Gourmet Cooking Oil Sprayer

9 great reasons to use a gourmet cooking oil sprayer instead of a store-bought cooking spray

I’m not the kind of person that has to have every fancy little kitchen gadget that comes on the market. But I do recognize when there’s something that stands to add a bit of value to my life, whether that’s in the way of saving time, money, or making it a little easier to be healthy.

That’s why I got myself a Misto Gourmet Oil Pump Sprayer, and I use it ALL the time!

The Misto is a pump sprayer with a very fine misting spray nozzle. You fill it halfway with the cooking oil of your choice*, screw the top on tightly and then use the pump lid to pressurize the chamber. Pump about 10 times or until you feel resistance, and you’re ready to spritz!

misto gourmet oil sprayer in brushed aluminum

Misto Gourmet Oil Spayer in brushed aluminum

Why use a Misto Gourmet Oil Sprayer?

1.) You can use the oil in your Misto like you would any aerosol cooking spray – to coat casserole dishes, frying pans, or cake pans before baking, sautéing, or grilling to prevent food from sticking.

2.) Spraying your cooking oil means that you can control the amount of oil you are getting to be exactly what you need, whether you’re spraying it in a pan or right on your salad.

3.) This pump spray works without chemical propellants, unlike store-bought cooking sprays, which makes using the Misto sprayer a much healthier choice as well. You know exactly what’s in your cooking oil spray, because you poured it in there yourself!

4.) The Misto is a more environmentally friendly choice – since it doesn’t use any aerosol to propel the oil, you’re not responsible for adding to the destruction of the ozone layer. Also, since it’s refillable, you’re not adding empty spray cans to the landfill every time you need more cooking spray.

5.) It helps you save money because it makes your cooking oil last so much longer. Pouring oil out of the bottle tends to give you way more than you need almost every single time, which means you’ll go through the cooking oil that much faster. Since I started using the Misto sprayer, my cooking oil lasts about ten times longer!!

6.) Using the Misto helps you be healthier too. Using less oil not only means saving pennies, it also means saving calories!

7.) Making your own cooking oil spray means you have more options than you do if you buy a can of cooking oil spray. You can use olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, truffle oil, etc.

8.) You can use the Misto to spray flavorful oil, lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar on top of salads, pasta, or vegetables.

9.) Mix oil & vinegar in the Misto to spray a light homemade vinaigrette dressing!**

The Misto is available in a variety of fun colors and patterns:

Misto gourmet oil sprayer in raspberrymisto gourmet oil sprayer with damask patternmisto gourmet oil sprayer in eggplantmisto gourmet oil sprayer in orange

Tips for using the Misto Gourmet Oil Sprayer:

* I don’t recommend using coconut oil in the Misto sprayer, because coconut oil will solidify below 76˚ and it will clog up the sprayer. Similarly, DON’T keep the misto in the fridge with other oils either because you will have the same problem. Just store the Misto at room temperature in the pantry just like you would your other cooking oils or sprays.

Try mixing a flavored oil or more expensive oil (like truffle oil) with a less expensive oil like olive oil to extend it that much more.

**Don’t use any oil mixtures with food particles in them – like pepper or herbs – since they can clog up the Misto nozzle.

Clean your Misto regularly as recommended below to keep it working well and your oil tasting good.

How to clean your Misto Oil Sprayer:

Clean your Misto every 6-8 weeks. Do NOT run it through the dishwasher. Instead, discard any remaining oil and fill the bottle halfway with warm water. Add one drop of liquid diswashing soap. Replace the lid and pump 15 times, then spray for 15 seconds. Remove the lid and dump out the soapy water and rinse the inside of the bottle. Then fill it again with warm water only this time and repeat the 15 pumps and 15 second spray to clean the soap out of the nozzle. Rinse well and it’s ready to fill again!


What about you? Do you have any favorite money-saving kitchen gadgets?