Arte Es Vida

Holiday Toasted Pecan Pie by arteesvida
December 24, 2008, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Kitchen Magic

No one likes to mess with a classic! But you can improve upon one by toasting your pecans for a richer, nuttier flavor!

1 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbs flour
1 cube (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 beaten eggs
2 cups pecan halves (not pecan pieces or chopped pecans)
1 prepared pie shell, in glass pie pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat the pecans lightly with melted butter. Spread pecans out in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a shallow pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan often until pecans are lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool. Put pecans in the bottom of your pre-prepared pie shell.

Stir first 5 ingredients together over low heat until butter is melted. After you remove the liquid from the heat, stir in the vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Add beaten eggs, after the mixture had cooled (otherwise you will cook the eggs!) and pour on top of nuts in pan.

Bake on bottom shelf of oven at 375 for 30 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 325, bake 20 minutes more, or until the filling is cooked thru and begins to crack a little on top. Cool to room temp on a rack before serving.

You can pre-bake your pecan pies and freeze them several weeks ahead of time. After the cooked pie has cooled, seal the whole pie (still in the pan) in a large zip lock freezer bag. Make sure the pan lies flat in the freezer!

Peanut Butter Fudge by arteesvida
December 24, 2008, 4:18 pm
Filed under: Kitchen Magic

I usually make a batch of this with a batch of regular chocolate fudge and layer one on top of the other!

1 lb box of powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 C Peanut Butter (not crunchy)
1 jar marshmellow cream

Combine sugar with milk in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for just under 3 minutes, while stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add peanut butter and marshmellow cream. Stir until mixed thoroughly and pour into an 8×8 dish. Chill in refrigerator until set.

More Cheap Holiday Gift Ideas! by arteesvida
December 9, 2008, 12:52 pm
Filed under: Holiday Projects, Home and Garden

1) Make a throw pillow out of a silk scarf!

2) One dollar design finds from Domino.  Some good ideas, just like their one dollar gift ideas in the last post.

3) Embroidered menorah (very easy and chic looking!)

4) WalletPop’s gifts you wouldn’t know are from the dollar store.

5)  Sour Cream Pumpkin Bundt Cake.  Doesn’t this look delicious?  I would love for someone to give me a delicious cake!

6) Cute bears to sew from felt.  A fairly easy hand sewing project.  Come to think of it, I would love someone to give me some felt bears, too!

7) Marshmallow guns! No need to buy them, they are simple and inexpensive to make!

8)   Homemade felt stockings.  Another fairly simple hand sewing project, and one you can fill with goodies!

9) Free printable 2009 calender.  Gorgeous graphics.  Print it off at work for no cost at all!!

10) Ok, so I don’t have a number ten.  What is your favorite inexpensive idea?

Poor and Crafty — Budget Christmas Ideas by arteesvida
November 30, 2008, 5:25 am
Filed under: Holiday Projects, Home and Garden

1) Domino has a bunch of dollar gift ideas here, with some clever new spins on some inexpensive classics. 

2) Homemade hot chocolate mix.  This mix is TO DIE FOR OMG SO GOOD.  I’ve not had any kind better that isn’t completely homemade.  And sometimes this recipe even beats the completely homemade.  There is some serious fighting over this mix whenever I make it.  Talk about office politics!  You can present it in jars, or baggie it up, put it in a Christmas mug (mason jars and Christmas mugs are dirt cheap at thrift stores, which will make you not only cheap, but green).  If you want to get fancy, decorate with ribbon, candy cane, etc.

3) Homemade quick bread such as Pumpkin Plumpkin Bread (this recipe makes two loaves, which equals two gifts, or one-for-me-one-for-you.

4) Have a friend who loves to cook? Make them some Umami Salt!

5) Print wrappers for candy bars or candy canes.  This makes a great little work present!  Some are even customizable.  Here, here, and here.

6) Make small, inexpensive theme baskets. Some ideas: tea, a mug, and honey; bath salts and a candle, mexican hot chocolate and a molinillo (ok, so that’s only regionally inexpensive).

7) Teacup candles (love this idea, it’s great even if crafty isn’t your thing)!

8) Your Daily Freebies is my favorite deals and freebies board online.  Great source for cheap and free magazines subscriptions and other items you can use as gifts!

9) Have kids? Frame their art with inexpensive frames and mats from the thrift store or your local discount supercenter.  I have my kids art mixed in with other framed pieces around the house and it looks great.  A good present for grandparents!

10) Marble suncatchers.  I want a bunch of these on my back porch!

Cash For Books! by arteesvida
August 13, 2008, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Linky Goodness

Ok, this is officially the cool…I’m sending off some old beading books and getting some fundage back in time for my Labor Day vacation! Just print the shipping label and go!

Cash 4 Books:

Cash For Books – We Buy Books & We Pay The Shipping!

First Fridays in San Antonio by arteesvida

The first friday of every month is the day of a popular event in San Antonio’s artsy Southtown.  There are lots of street vendors, musicians, and dancers and the local galleries stay open late and host open houses.  This month it fell on the Fourth Of July so we expected it to be great fun.  Unfortunately, it got pretty much rained out.

This guy, the owner of, had a cover for his booth and stuck it out.  That flower is made entirely of vinyl records.

I also picked up this armadillo at Inter Artisan.  They find amazing oaxacan carvings that I don’t see anywhere else.  Amalitos are traditionally in static poses, you don’t see them like this guy, turning to look at you.  Or my other current favorite in the shop, a zebra scratching his ear with his back paw.

Their prices are great and they go on buying trips several times a year, their next one is in two months and they have an assignment to find Molly a muerta Frida for her Christmas present.

This place also has fun stuff though not necessarily high artisan quality…I purchased two huge tin milagros to hang in my kitchen (pictures forthcoming).

Usually we spend hours at First Friday but this was the extent of it after the rain started.  We ended up going out to Amy’s Ice Cream and to the bookstore instead.  Happy late 4th of July!

Architectural Salvage by arteesvida
June 15, 2008, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Home and Garden, Linky Goodness

Discovery Architectural Antiques is located in Gonzales (halfway between San Antonio and Austin) and is one of the premiere artchitectural salage stores in the country.  I was looking for something for my backyard and didn’t find what I was looking for but I did take some pics of some of their gorgeous things!

These pictures don’t represent nearly close to all of what they have, or even the best of what they have, just the times I actually remembered to pull out my camera!