Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sweet and Sour Chicken on the Grill

Last summer I went through a grilling season and this was one of the recipes I tried out and loved.  The original recipe is from adashofsanity and it was easy to put together, and tasty to consumer-which are my two criteria.  As a side note, it's also a pretty healthy recipe.  If your standards also go along these lines, here is the recipe.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Ingredients: 2 lbs of chicken tenders or chicken cut up into tender size, 1 T rice vinegar, 2 T soy sauce, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c.+2 T ketchup 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1 bell pepper (chopped into large chunks), 1 purple onion (chopped into large chunks), 2 c. brown rice (cooked and prepped by package directions), grill skewers (metal or bamboo)
Instructions:  Marinate your chicken by mixing all the ingredients except for the rice.  Cut the chicken into large chunks and leave it in a bowl in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
Soak bamboo skewers for 30 minutes.  Thread chicken, onion, and green peppers by alternating to fill the skewers.  Save marinate.
Place chicken on the grill over medium heat.  Cover and cook for 3 minutes.  Turn and baste with marinate.  Cook 3 more minutes.  Check the center and see if they are finished.  The chicken usually takes about 10 minutes to cook.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Lemon Glazed Cookies

I made these for a lemon loving friend a few months ago when I dropped by to see her new baby.  They were really easy to put together and had a soft texture I really dug.  All you need is....
Lemon Glazed Cookies
Ingredients for Cookies:  Lemon Cake Mix, 2 eggs, 1/3 c. vegetable oil, 1/2 c. powdered sugar (set aside).
Ingredients for the Glaze:  1 1/2 T water, 3/4 c powdered sugar
Instructions for Cookies:  Mix the dry cake mix, 2 eggs, and 1/3 c. vegetable oil.  Grease a cookie sheet.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, flatted slightly and roll the top of the cookie in your powdered sugar.  Bake for 6 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool.  
Instructions for Glaze:  Mix the water and powdered sugar (if it's too runny, add up to another 1/4 c. powdered sugar).  Drizzle over cooled cookies with a fork.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Snicker Stuffed Cookies

I recently arranged lunch orders for my school.  Each one came with a cookie dessert and we were all dealt a different cookie hand, but some of the gals got cookies with candy pieces inside.  They were the fan favorite.
 I made these a million years ago, and there are a ton of ways to make them from scratch, but...I like the cheater way.
 I bought a thing of premade cookie dough and a row of fun size snickers.  I cut them into 1/4ths (about one inch pieces) and then use just enough dough to cover them on top and bottom.
 I set them on trays and backed them as the package instructed.
The chocolate melts and flattens and once it cools you've added a nutty/caramel center of goodness to an already delicious cookie.  It's always fun to find a prize inside!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mini Box Album

 
I helped throw a shower last fall for my friend, Amber.  I've noticed through the years, as digital photos take off, so few people actually PRINT any of those photos, so I try to print photos for my friends from the events I'm a part of so they have 'proof' of the event somewhere other than their mind.  I printed off these photos as soon as the shower was over with the intention of making a birthday gift for Amber a few months later.  I promptly misplaced the photos.  I spent the next 4 months looking for them.  I bought the supplies to make said album (ribbon and this little paper mache box from the craft store and some pink paper).  
I gave up on finding those photos.  I ordered some more.  When they arrived I couldn't find the supplies for the album I had bought....in my hunt....I found the original photos.  All of this to say.....I guess this is my cry for help....or my confession-chaos reigns!  Regardless....I FINALLY made that album BEFORE Amber's next birthday, or Charlotte graduated from college.  Go.  Me.
 I used the box lid to create a pattern and cut the photos down to size.
 I laid them out along some pink ribbon and used double sided tape to glue them down to the tape.  I flipped each one over and glued a second photo to the back (more bang for my buck).
 If you wanted a longer string you could glue a plain sheet of paper to the back to write about each photo.  You could also create a border.  I wanted to get as much of the photo in the 'circle' I had available as possible.
 I took some blank paper and glued the ribbon below the circle and then glued the sheet down.  I did this to the top of the box and the bottom so that the photos stay attached to the box.  Again...your choice.
 It folds down neatly into the box.
 I made a little cover for the album.  I left a few blank sheets of paper for Amber to add her own memories.
A little box full of big memories.  I love mini albums and boxes.  Win.  Win.  Now, I guess I can go make another one since I have double the photos!  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Grilled Pineapple

Here's a super easy, but delicious recipe I tried recently.  I made mine on an inside grill...even easier!  Basically, trim and peel a pineapple.  In a bowl mix the zest from one lemon and 1/2 cup sugar.  Place the pineapple into the sugar mix and roll it around until it's totally coated.  Grill the pieces for 5-7 minutes.  Cool slightly and serve.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Graduation Words of Wisdom

 I made these last year for a pal who was hosting a graduation party for her nephew.  The idea was totally hers, I just brought it to fruition.  She was having the graduation celebration at a pasta restaurant and she wanted to give each guest a jar of pasta.  She wanted different pastas, and she wanted each one to have a quote they could read to the graduate.
 I found a bunch of different pastas (repeated some), and a bunch of quotes and words of wisdom.  I found the free tag printable online.  Here are all the quotes/tags I used.  I put each persons name on the tag to mark their place at the table...so the link is just for ideas.
I filled mason jars and put some clothe I found on top that I cut with pinking sheers.  I attached the tag with raffia.  I got a larger jar for the graduate.  Each person read their quote at dinner, added a personal message on the back and then gave them to him.  For the table, she used real basil plants she got at Trader Joe's to line down the center.  I thought it was a super cute idea and would be good for a bon voyage or rehearsal dinner, so...sharing just because.  :O)

Saturday, May 09, 2015

A Personal "Paws" :O(

My brother rescued these dogs last Friday night.
Their personalities can hardly fit inside their tiny little bodies.
The only thing they love more than my brother is each other.
I'm known for stealing my brother's dogs and I was planning to do it again.
He took them to the vet on Tuesday.
Layla has a mild case of heart worms.  Gizmo has an advanced case that was causing him fainting spells.
The only course was treatment.
They were dropped off Thursday morning.
The vet called this morning to say Gizmo had not made it.  The disease was too advanced and his little heart couldn't handle the medicine and he died overnight.
I assure you, whether it's a dog I've had for 12 years....or 6 days.  My heart can't take it.
I don't know what my point is-make sure you treat your dogs for heart worms?  Please rescue an animal? Please make my heart stop hurting?  I don't know.
I'm praying that dogs do go to heaven.  They have always felt like a little gift from God.  A slice of pure happiness.  A hug and unconditional love in a cold world.  Surely they'll be in paradise.   If they do, I have no doubt Gizmo lifted his leg on the pearly gates when he entered.  Not out of disrespect, but just as a way to mark the path when the rest of our pack follows...and because he'd never let a post pass him by without marking it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Apples and Celery Pasta Salad

Here comes the summer.....which means....my oven will be collection dust.  It also means you can find fruits and veggies at the store without having to get a loan in order to purchase a few.  I always love salads with a little pasta that will stick to my ribs and fills me up.  This is an easy one with some different ingredients.  It was originally posted on diethood, but I adapted it little to meet my current laziness requirement-I dropped the homemade dressing and just used my favorite bottle.
Apple and Celery Salad
Instructions:  Mix:  2 c pasta (cooked and chilled), you favorite apple washed and cubed (leave on the skin), 3 celery stalks (slice thin), lemon juice of 1 lemon (to keep the apples from turning brown), 4 c of romaine/baby lettuce mix, 1/2 c walnuts (chopped), 1 c. white cheddar (shredded).  Your favorite Caesar dressing.  Toss and serve.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Flamingo Cards

 Lately, I've been obsessed with flamingos.  Not to be confused with my unicorn obsession.  On another note, my Mom has also started scrapbooking, which is really exciting for me b/c that means that any vacation we go on together.....she will now scrapbook, which leaves more time for me to think about flamingos.  It's also nice to share a hobby with her.  Growing up I remember she sewed and painted and did all kinds of little crafts.  I think I wore her out about the time I turned 10....and so she stopped doing anything other than surviving motherhood until about a year ago.  We've been traveling to scrapbook shows together (something I've never done) and I found this little flamingo stamp/saying at one of those shows last winter.  I decided to use it to make a few birthday cards.
Nothing fancy, but it was a fun way to use up some scraps....and now....I have two fewer cards to purchase at the store.  On the first card-I used some blank white cards and glued down scrapbook paper, on this second card, with the stripes, I used a card from a big pack I got for five bucks at Hobby Lobby.  My stamping skills are primitive compared to the rest of the world, but....I guess this post is just really to say-I was an exhausting child...and my Mom somehow survived to live and tell the stories....and find some hobbies again now that I'm a fully functioning (and even graying) adult...hobbies we can enjoy together.  There is hope if your child is difficult.  And....there are also some pretty cute flamingo stamps available if you want to make your own cards.  The two really don't have much to do with anything...but....it's my blog and I don't have to have a clear reason for posting.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Mother's Day Necklace

I blogged about the easy process for putting these necklaces together last year.  I used definitions I had cut out of the dictionary.  Here is that tutorial.  Last year, my friend, Maurine, welcomed son #3 into her life.  I had previously bought these little initial charms for her first two little guys at a boutique near me.  She likes charms, I like these charms.  Win.  After Bennett joined the crew, I went and bought a B, and I made this little pendant using the word son to add to the charms.  Easy, and unique.  Win!  I also made one for MY Mom and got the initials for my brother and I.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Party Mix for Cinco de Mayo

I put these together last year for the ladies at work for admin. appreciation.  Party mix-get it?  So easy, but cute.  I filled bags with a mix of color candies and salt sweet snacks, then just added the mini sombreros I got at Party City (I've also seen them on Amazon), and I taped on some little glittered mustaches that are actually confetti I saw at Walmart.  I attached a tag and they were ready to go.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fish Bowl Treat

I made this last fall for one of my teaching friends.  I got some Swedish Fish....gold fish would work as well, and I filled a fish bowl I grabbed at the dollar tree.  Think of all the things you could be 'o 'fish' ially' thanking someone for.  Regardless...cute and easy.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Baseball Shower Favors

I recently helped host a bridal shower for one of my good friend's daughters.  I'll be posting all the details soon.  She met the groom at a Ranger's game and is an avid Ranger's fan...we kept that in mind while planning.
I found these adorable vintage style cracker jack boxes on Amazon-they cost less than a buck each when you buy them as packs of 24.  I added a sports tag and some tickets.  As a teacher...I hit up some of my nearby teacher friends so that I could get the right colors.  I found a baseball stamp and stamped it in the middle of the blue ticket (loved these blank tickets from US Toys).  Sooooo much easier than my original plan!  All the details coming soon!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ducky Luncheon

 Last month I threw a baby shower luncheon for my friend Nicole.  She is expecting her first little one in a week or two.  She and her husband decided to wait to find out the gender, so I hunted on her registry for a semi theme and found she had registered for some different ducky things.
I bought a little bundt cake for the occasion and found this little stand at Home Goods.  I threaded some yellow ribbon through the holes.  It made it a little more fun than the cardboard these cakes usually come on.
 I blogged about these last month.  I made some lemon scented bath salts.  It's hard to bring too much when we eat at tea rooms b/c they usually have a lot of cute decorations of their own, but this was a little something I figured could fit easily on the table.
 Nicole grew up in Dallas, but she has lived in Houston for 11 years.  I've been trying to change that for awhile (11 years).
I bought everything I could find off her registry that was duck related.
 I'm all about personalizing gifts, but with no name and no gender, I only embroidered a few little duck things.  I told her I'd catch up on my personalizing over the next 18 years.
 Nicole's sister had her first little guy just three weeks ago.  Her Mom has been waiting for this 'grandma' thing for quite awhile, so I'd say the ladies are doing a nice job giving her her grandchild fix.
I, for one, can't wait to meet the little one.  There is a lot of spoiling that's about to happen, though I figure I have to take a number.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day: No Sew Recycled T Shirt Grocery Bags

 I was a little skeptical about how this tshirt bag would work without my sewing machine....but I'm all for letting that machine collect dust in the closet whenever possible, and guess what....this worked great!  I saw the original idea for this on this mommyblog.  If you have a closet full of old tshirts....and a city nearby (Dallas) who has started charging for bags at stores....here's a great idea for making your own.  The perk to these is you can wash them.
 All you need is an old tshirt and scissors.
 Cut off the sleeves (right near the seam to the sleeve.
 Figure out how big you want your bag to be and cut large fringe pieces (about an inch) up to where you want the bottom of the bag to be.  Depending on the material, keep in mind, it's a shirt, so it will stretch a little.
 Turn the shirt inside out.
 Take the two pieces sitting side by side and tie them in a knot.
 Do this to the next two pieces.
 Now....take half of each of those and tie them together (so it creates a second layer of knots).  This prevents there from being little holes between the ties because each tied piece is then tied to the one next to it.
 Once you have done two layers of knots.....
 Turn the shirt so the outside is showing again (the fringe will just rest at the bottom of your bag).
Now cut off the collar.  The goal is it to look like half an oval.  This is going to be your bag opening.
You are ready to roll.  I tied the two handles at the top just to give it a little more strength when carrying.  This took me about 10 minutes tops.  
And....you're welcome, earth.