Thursday, May 31, 2012

Father's Day Football Koozie

 I made this koozie for less than two dollars.  I saw the idea on greenbean to use a football, and I just changed it so that it actually goes on an insulated koozie....and I also found a 'free way' to get the green astro turf.    I found these koozies at Walmart for 75 cents, the patches where in a two pack for 1.99, and  I used a 40% off coupon at Michael's, and Home Depot let me have the little patches.  They are free near the astroturf people cover their porches etc with and you can take a sample.  I took three. 
 I glued the turf onto the koozie, glued on the patch....and it's ready for it's 'bigger job.'  They have all sorts of sports patches for whatever the case....it would be cute with a favorite team. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grow-a-Pizza

 I saw the idea for 'growing a pizza' a year ago in a magazine via a home improvement stores add.  I've been wanting to put together a pizza garden for awhile....I mean, really, any way to turn vegetables into a calorie rich dish.....I'm there.  I'm made this for a friend of mine's birthday who likes to garden.  My idea of 'gardening' is mowing my lawn before the city sends a letter, so...this is going to a MUCH better home than mine! 
For this garden I planted some tomatoes, basil, and peppers.  It also suggested parsley, oregano, and chives, but the pot was only so big.  I used some chalkboard spoons to mark the plants.  I added a tag and sent it on it's way so it has half a chance. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Skinny Mac and Cheese.....Really

 There are a few things that will always be a part of my life.  Mac and Cheese....it makes the list.  The problem is there are certain times in my life....like, the day before June 1st and the official OFFICIAL start to swim suit season that I realize the food company I keep and the swim suit section at every store on planet earth are not friends.  I mean.....if you are willing to throw in a nice cover up and by coverup....I mean mu mu....then maybe, but...a mu mu gets bulky to pack on vacation, so...enter....Skinny Mac and Cheese a la Skinny Girl's blog.  And you know what, I can dig it.  I added some seasoning salt, but I managed to make a meal or three out of this.  It was filling, it was a good substitute for those of us in need, and  if one can lose 20 pounds in 20 hours.....I'm pretty much almost, but not really ready for swimsuit season.....but I will be....next June.  And if you too have trouble fitting the mu mu in the suitcase, here's a recipe to help....  
Skinny Mac and Cheese Recipe
Ingredients:  6 c. (24 oz bag) frozen cauliflower and cheese sauce, 2 c. uncooked whole wheat pasta, 3 wedges of Swiss Laughing Cow Cheese, salt and pepper to taste. 
Instructions:  Cook pasta according to the instructions on the box.  Drain.  While noodles are cooking, place the contents of the bag of cauliflower and sauce package into a large microwaveable bowl.  Cover and microwave for 12-16 minutes (until sauce is melted and the cauliflower is hot).  Add cooked pasta to the cauliflower mix.  Unwrap the cheese wedges, place in microwave in a small bowl for 30 seconds.  Stir into the bowl of cauliflower mix.  Mix thoroughly.  Season to taste. 
4 servings:  1 c.=202 calories or 5 pointsplus values

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Bucket

 Blythe is visiting this week, and so I made her a bucket of beach fun.  Not that we have a beach, but....we have fun.  I filled it with chalk, a kite, silly string, a water bottle (filled with animal crackers that I added a B stickers to), swim rings, and a bubble wand.  I'm pretty sure this should keep us busy for the week.....and what a full week we have planned.....Happy Summer!  4 more work weeks for me!  I'd say....I'm ready!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Make Ice Cream in a Jar

I saw the idea for ice cream in a jar on asubtlerevelry and I had to try it out because A)  I love Jars and.....really if a jar is involved, do you really need a B)?  How perfect are these for summer treats, July 4th favors, or birthday fun?  They are so simple to throw together as well...and.....you end with homemade ice cream at the end?  Yes, I think I will....
Ice Cream Instructions
1.  Place 1 c. of rock salt in the bottom of the jar. 
2.  In a quart size bag, measure 1 T of sugar, and 1 t. of vanilla powder (I found this in the spice section of a gourmet grocery store, you can also buy it online.  You can use 1 t. of liquid vanilla, but you would probably want to put this in a separate container so it doesn't mix with the sugar if this is going to be sitting around for any length of time). 
3.  Place 8 half and half packets in the jar. 
4.  When you are ready to make the ice cream, combine the powder and half an half packets in the baggie.  Fill the remainder of the jar with ice and salt, and begin shaking for 8 minutes, or until ice cream has formed in the jar. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Malt Ball Nutella Brownies

 Throw in the word Nutella, even if it's attached to a vegetable....and my ears are going to perk up.....my saliva will start flowing, and it's definitely going to be added to my to do list.  I saw this recipe at butterbaking and I did not pass go.  I did not collect 200 dollars.  I went to work.  These are really easy to make, and they certainly fulfilled my required daily Nutella in take.  I adjust the recipe a bit to fit my American ways....and my batch only made 8 brownies....more is more in any cupcake liner that enters my house, but...I think the results are pretty much the same. 
And....if your (imaginary) doctor also requires you to eat Nutella on a regular basis....here's a great recipe to fulfill that prescribed life style...
Maltball Nutella Brownie Recipe
Ingredients: 1 c. Nutella, 2 eggs, 1/2 c.+2 T. flour, pinch of salt, 40 malted milk balls. 
Instructions:  Preheat oven to 355 degrees.  Line 8 muffin holes with cupcake liners.  Mix Nutella, eggs, flour, and salt.  Divide batter evenly in the cups.  Press 4 malt balls into the batter and place on on top.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until a crush is forming on the top, and a toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fruit Dip

Life came crashing in this spring.  It's been busy, and fun, and busy.  I needed a QUICK dip to bring to an event amidst a ton of other events.  This is a super easy dip, that is really tasty....all things considered.  So if you are busy having fun.....and need a dip.  I can recommend this one.  It goes a long way too, and it's about as simple as you can get and still call it homemade. 
Fruit Dip
Ingredients:  One can of marshmallow fluff, one bar of cream cheese, fruit of your choice (apples, oranges, bananas). 
 Instructions:  Soften Cream cheese, mix with marshmallow fluff and refrigerate.  One other tip.  I cut up about five apples to go with this dip, and I've shared this tip the gals at work taught me in previous post, but.....you can add sprite to a bowl and run your fruit through the sprite before storing it in tupperware overnight.  It keeps the fruit from browning, and it doesn't leave the weird taste that lemon water sometimes leaves on fruit. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Malt Ball Cake

 I saw a picture for a malt ball cake, and I saved it in a file for my Aunt's birthday because she is a fan of the malt ball.  She turned....uhhh...wiser last week, and I finally got to put that file to use. 
My Mom made the traditional 'yellow cake'....I'm pretty sure it has a flavor, but the color works fine, and a can of chocolate icing. 
 It took me exactly two large boxes of whoppers (the half gallon size) to cover this cake...give or take a sample or two.  I'm all about quality control. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Zuchinni Chips

 In a quest to utilize my new best friend, the Zuchinni, I went on a google search for recipes.  I also have been incredibly hungry, and these have, like, negative calories, which is a good thing.  I found this recipe at Vittles and Bits.  It's easy, and it really was tasty. 
Zucchini Chips
Ingredients:  1 zucchini, spray butter, seasoned salt. 
Instructions:  Heat over to 225 degrees.  Line a cooking sheet with foil, spray with a coating of spray (I actually used a pizza stone and didn't spray it down).  Cut zucchini in thin slices, about the thickness of a quarter. Lay out on sheet in one layer.  Spray with cooking spray, sprinkle with seasoning salt.  It's true, a little goes a long way.  I like a lot of salt, and I was a little over zealous thinking I would want more.   Bake for 45 minutes.  Turn the tray and bake for another 30-45 minutes.  These are best eaten right away, they don't store long.  One zuchinni only make enough for one person, maybe half a cup.  They shrink up to about half their size.  This is going to be one of my new favorite go to snacks for the summer. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Zucchini Tots

Meet my new obsession...Zucchini Tots.  I saw this recipe at the CuriousCountryCook, who saw it somewhere from someone who saw it somewhere, who apparently believes in magic. These were so delicious, that I made them two nights in a row.  They are a little tatortot-ish, and very flavorful, and relatively healthy.   I'll be making these again.....probably tomorrow.  Or tonight.  Or this morning. 
 Zucchini Tot Recipe
1 c. zucchini (grated, squeeze out excess water), 1 egg, 1/4 c. yellow onion (diced), 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese (shredded), 1/4 c. Italian Bread crumbs
Heat oven to 400.  Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray.  Mix the grated zucchini, egg, onion, cheese, and bread crumbs. 
Divide zucchini into 12 muffin tins using a spoon.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top is brown and set. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Coffee: Starbuck's Themed Bridal Shower


 I recently helped host a bridal shower for my pal Amber.  I could not be happier for her and her husband-to-be, Josh.  She has truly found someone great, and she is DEFINITELY deserving of finding someone because she is an incredible lady.  I've been blogging about the details for the last week+, but here it is....all in one, with links attached. 
Above are the invitations.  Sarah obtained some Starbuck's coffee cups, and I filled each with coffee bean shaped sugar cookies, and put the invitation information in a sleeve shape outside. I blogged those details here.
Below is the sign in.  We had everyone sign a matted engagement picture of Amber and Josh outside of Starbucks.  I made a banner using newspaper (which I used throughout....reminds me of 'coffee shops) and raffia....because I'm obsessed.  Close up details here
 The hostesses spent the last few months collecting frap. bottles to house these big mums (a flower she will be using at her wedding....I know this b/c I'll be putting those bouquets together....can't wait b/c they photograph well).
 Bean filled candle holders.  Once upon a time you could ask for expired beans from coffee shops, but after asking, we were told they sell so much they never have expired beans.....darn you coffee revolution, darn you.
 We set up a bar along the counter with all the fun coffee fixings (details here), and cupcakes.
I blogged about the chocolate covered sugar cubes/source/directions etc here.
 We included permanent markers for guest to personalize their cups....like every good Batista does.
 I made White Chocolate Mocha cupcakes.  Source and recipe attaching to the link.
 We covered tables with newspaper and burlap, and included the plates/napkins/forks, and a tiered platter (process for building these here) of coffee-ish desserts in the middle of each table.
 Favors were donations to a local charity that hopes to improve the inner cities, I blogged about it here
 Amber and the hostesses. 
Can't wait to attend her wedding in a few weeks, take pictures, and share more on my blog on those events and all the fun married life events to come for the happy couple.
You can find my entire album of photos from the shower here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Coffee: Donations for Favors

 I was trying to think of something different to do for Amber's Shower.  My broken record demands I repeat.....invitations and favors are my favorite part of every shower.  The beginning and the end.  The bookends of every event.  I love doing snack bars, candy bars, and recently a bath salt bar.  Thinking about Amber, I wanted something that reflects her personality, but is memorable.  She's a teacher, marrying a cop.  They both love giving, and serving.  So.....a donation in honor of each guest seemed like the perfect tickets.  Sarah asked Starbuck's for some of their dessert bags, and they complied, and we used these to bag up a card that explained what and where money was being donated in honor of each guest. 
We chose a group called Hisbridgebuilders.  This is run by an incredible man and those he has inspired with his faith and faithfulness to the inner cities-who sees a need, and has a plan to go into the inner cities of large locations like Dallas and help revitalize the neighborhoods and lives of those that live there.  His testimony and the lives of those that have been touched by this organization is incredible.  I could never do it justice, but the link above gives a pretty great description, and the donations will hopefully go a long way in honoring the new Mr. and Mrs. and the friends that love them and were able to attend the shower.