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Thursday, December 18

Almost Effortless Vintage Chalkboard Tray!

By Emileigh Rogers

This is my first Christmas in my own home, and I realized I had very little in the way of Christmas décor.  I love bringing vintage inspiration to my pieces, and it’s even better if I can do it by upcycling an old item into something I can use.  This chalkboard tray does both!  It makes an unusable, ugly tray or pan and turns it into cute Christmas décor!

Tray-3

For this project you’ll need a glue gun, a tray or pan (I’ll show how both look), ribbon, chalkboard paint, chalk, a brush, scissors, ribbon, and any accent items you would like to use.  I am using glittery pinecones. I also recommend this for any tray-like kitchen items you have that have been blackened, warped, or otherwise ruined along the way.  It’s a great way to bring new life to an unusable piece!

 Tray-4

First, thoroughly wash your tray or pan to make sure it is free of dirt and debris.  Dry completely before moving to the next step.

  Tray-5

Next, brush on a layer of chalkboard paint.  Wait ‘til it dries, then paint another coat or two if necessary.  Both of my metal pieces required two coats, but you may need more if you’re covering a picture on the tray, for example, or using a tray made of a different material.

Tray-6

While that is drying, you can work on the accent pieces.  I made ribbon bows for both of my versions, one large bow and one small bow.

  Tray-7

When the paint is dry, hot glue the ribbon bow onto a corner of the tray.  I also artfully arranged and glued the ends of the ribbons so they didn’t dangle in front of the words on the chalkboard.

  Tray-8

Glue any accent items you would like onto the tray.  I glued the pinecones into the opposite corner of the bow.  Add some fun holiday phrases in chalk and your tray is complete!

  Tray-10

This is a really simple project that has a lot of possibilities for upcycling, seasonal décor, and matching your home.  The hardest part is waiting for the paint to dry!  It could also be a great way to use any kitschy Christmas knick knacks you have in a useful, focal-point way.  If you leave the accents and ribbon more neutral, you can even use it for other holidays or leave it up year round!

 

Thursday, December 18

Retro Cosmetics Give-Away!

retro makeup give away 1

Time for a beauty give-away!

Here on The Glamorous Housewife, I have written extensively about how important it is to treat homemaking as a profession, not something you slog through until something better comes along. To that end I believe one should dress up every day as if they were going to work, because in essence, you are!

Today’s give-away will help all of you lovely ladies look and feel your best. LeKeux Cosmetics has been so kind as to give away one set of their three gorgeous pots of beauty, along with three brushes! In addition they are taking of 25% for those of you who want to go ahead and purchase these retro darlings from right now until the 23rd! Just use GLAMWIFE at the checkout! 

Retro Makeup Give-Away!

My favorite part about these makeup pots are the tutorials you can find on the LeKeux website! Want to learn how to do the perfect cat eye? No problem!

makeup giveaway

Want to easily change the look of your lipstick? Here you go!

Lipstick_Insert

How wonderful is that? Thanks again to LeKeux Cosmetics for this fantastic and glamorous give-away!

Remember, I am giving away five prizes this week, so be sure to enter them all!

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 17

Chocolate Cranberry Cake

cranberry chocolate torte 1.1

Three words: Chocolate. Cranberry. Cake.

Ok, so I elevated the word “cake” to “torte” in the picture title, but either way this dessert is the perfect combination of sweet and tart!

I’ve been making this for a few years after I needed something festive for dessert that I could make ahead of time and I wanted to use cranberries. So after a bit of Googling I found this recipe, which was perfectly good but I wanted to take it up a notch. So I traded regular canned cranberry sauce for some cranberry orange relish I found at Trader Joes, and wow! The difference was remarkable. If you happen to have a Trader Joes near you, or you already make your own cranberry sauce, then I suggest using either one in this cake. But if not, that’s ok! The canned stuff is also delish!

cranberry chocolate torte 2.1

I top the whole thing with sugared cranberries, mainly because they are both delectable to eat and gorgeous to look at. I would have done a sugared cranberry tutorial for you, but I swear this is so easy and there are already dozens of better ones online. This is the recipe I use and they always turn out perfectly. *Note: You don’t really need to have them sit overnight. This is just to add extra sweetness to the cranberries. So if you run out of time, just ignore that part and go ahead with the rest of the recipe.

Chocolate Cranberry Torte with Sugared Cranberries
Deep chocolate pairs perfectly with the fresh tart flavor of the cranberries!
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For cake
  1. 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  2. 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  3. 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  4. 1 cup Cranberry Sauce.
  5. 1/2 cup sugar
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  9. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
For glaze
  1. 1/4 cup whipping cream
  2. 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  3. For cranberries
  4. 2-3 cups fresh cranberries
  5. 2 cups sugar
  6. 2 cups water
  7. 3/4 cup white sugar, either regular or superfine
Make cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with foil. Coat foil with cooking spray. Dust pan with flour, tap to remove excess. I used a springform pan which really helped.
  2. Microwave 2/3 cup chocolate chips, butter and unsweetened chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on High for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Microwave for 30 more seconds if necessary to melt chocolate. Be careful NOT to burn the chocolate.
  3. Add cranberry sauce and sugar; mix well. Add eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder mix well. Pour batter in prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until center is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 30 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour or until cold.
Make glaze
  1. Microwave cream and chocolate chips together in medium microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute on High. Stir until smooth. Microwave for 30 more seconds if necessary to melt chocolate. Mix well.
  2. Turn cake out onto serving plate; remove foil. Spread glaze over top allowing some to drip down sides of cake. Chill 1 hour or until glaze is firm. Can be made a day ahead of time. Store at room temperature.
Make cranberries
  1. Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.
  3. Before serving, add the sugared cranberries to the top of the glazed cake. I like to pile them high in the middle for a glamorous presentation.
  4. Makes 10 servings.
Adapted from Ocean Spray
Adapted from Ocean Spray
The Glamorous Housewife http://theglamoroushousewife.com/
cranberry chocolate torte 3.1

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