Thursday, February 22, 2018

Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken is one of my favorite recipes.  I have made it several different ways, but I recently saw this recipe via crockpot over at the recipe critic.  This easily feeds 4 people.  I didn't take a great picture b/c I at it swiftly and forgot to grab a snap of the left overs until they were boxed up.  There is only one 'cooking' step before the crockpot.  I did drop a few ingredients (green onions), only because I didn't have them.

Ingredients:  2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces, 3 T cornstarch, 1/2 t. black pepper, 1 T oil, 1/2 c. soy sauce, 4 T rice wine vinegar, 4 T ketchup, 2 T sweet chili sauce, 2 T. brown sugar, 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1 t. grated fresh ginger, 1/4 t. red pepper flakes, 1 c. cashew

Instructions:  
1.  Combine cornstarch and pepper in a ziplock.  Add chicken and shake to coat with cornstarch mix.  2.  Heat oil over medium and brown chicken for 2 min on each side.  Place in crockpot.
3.  Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and cashew in a bowl.  Stir and toss over chicken.
4.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2 hours.  Serve over rice.
*the original recipe says you can wait to add cashew until the end to prevent them from getting too soft

Monday, February 19, 2018

Broccoli and Cheese Cornbread

I try to stock up my freezer and pantry before winter begins b/c THIS might be the year that blizzard comes through....and I was a girl scout, so I have to prep for these sort of things!  So now, as I see spring in my near future, it's time to start purposefully working through those ingredients.  I made this broccoli cornbread to go along with sausage I had stocked away.  If you like broccoli and rice casserole, this is the bread version of that.  Plus, it's bread, with healthy stuff like broccoli inside, and just about every site I encounter says broccoli is good for you (if you ignore the stick of butter, you can almost believe that).  The original recipe came from allrecipes.  The broccoli came from my freezer of hope depleted as another winter passes me by without any missed work days.
Broccoli and Cheese Cornbread 
Ingredients:  1 c. cottage cheese, 3/4 c. butter (melted, and cooled a little or the eggs with scramble), 4 eggs, 2 pkg (8.5 oz) cornbread mix, 1 (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli (thawed), 1 large onion (chopped), 1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (divided)
Instructions:  
1.  Heat oven to 375.  Grease 9x13 in baking dish.
2.  Beat cottage cheese, butter, and eggs in a large bowl.  Stir in corn bread until mix is just moistened.  Fold in broccoli, onion, and 1 c. Cheddar cheese.  Pour batter into dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
3.  Bake 35-40 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean).

Friday, February 16, 2018

Heat Press

This is NOT a sponsored post, this is just a tool I have tried out and liked and I wanted to share b/c I had a lot of questions before purchasing this tool.  I've had a Cricut for years, and a few years ago I got into making vinyl shirts.  I have been using my iron without too much success for long term sticking.  It also took me a lot of pressing, rubbing, lifting, re-pressing, and probably a few words I shouldn't know to get things to adhere.  I know they have large presses a lot of folks use, but I just DON'T have the space required for those presses.  I got this one for about a hundred (99) around Christmas.  It does not come with an ironing board for below to press the shirts on, so you do have to purchase that separate.  Instead of buying their board, I used a flat board from the sewing section at the craft store (use a coupon, it's much cheaper).  They just saying not to use an ironing board b/c it's not truly flat.  I followed the online instructions for temperatures, and I pressed it several times from the front and the back.  I did these little Valentine shirts and then a bunch of multi colored vinyl shirts that are going to be a surprise for something else and it worked great.  So, two thumbs up for this Cricut Heat Press that I can store in a closet and didn't need to find more table top room for in my craft room!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Galentine's Gifts

 Last year a few friends and I decided to go out for Valentine's....it was my second year to do Galentine's with a group of friends.  I'm not one that is bothered much by Valentine's Day regardless of my relationship status, BUT I AM one who is always up for a little holiday celebration.
I decided some cake balls were in order.
 Let me pause and say I never have perfected the cake ball, the chocolate cooking time, or the perfectly round balls of cake, but....I've perfected the taste, so.....I can live with that.  I bagged up my cake balls...
 ...and I put them in these little jewel boxes I got from Stampin' Up.
This is not an ad, I don't sell stampin' up, but when my Mom got into scrapbooking a few years ago I wanted her to have fun learning some simple techniques and I found out about this monthly club called paper pumpkin.  It's less than 25 dollars (depending on how many months you do) and they send you a kit each month where you can make banners, cards, favor boxes etc.  This was one she got and didn't use, and so I used some Valentine's Stamps in place of the original stamps.  They turned out really cute if I do say so myself. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Ode to the Gluestick

I recently went on GMT and did 8 life hacks with the glue gun.  The first 4 are practical, the last 4 are necessary to my life.  Here is a link to the video.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Scrapbook Pages-Just add Photos


I recently went to scrapbook with my pal, Amber.  I had very few pictures I hadn't scrapbooked.  NOT because I'm caught up, but because I gave up on printing photos a few years back b/c I got so far behind, SOOOOO now I'm just scrapbooking current events and working from there.  As a single gal, it's not as though I have my kiddo's pictures stuck in a camera, and if I did, I'd just pop those puppies into a digital album and call it good.  SOOOO, in an effort to not get behind again, I did the two events I had photos from, and then did some pages for upcoming events so that I just have to journal and pop the pages inside the albums.  
This was the one page I actually had photos from, a shower I this summer. 
My sister from another mister and I think we are funny, so we do something called "ladies who Mensa" it was that or 'chess club.'  We said we were going to do monthly meetings where we tried new things.  We meet up, but usually just to eat the same old bad food, but occasionally we Mensa.  This weekend we went and got scalp massages and made some macaroons.  This page is for those adventures. 

Unicorns and birthday, you just never out grow them if you do life right.

I loooove vintage Easter, but I've had this paper combo for a few years and wanted to use it, so I went ahead and made a page.  I'll make an Easter 2019 with my vintage paper later.

I fell in love with this paper at the scrapbook store.  I'll definitely add some journaling to the blank space and some more doodads.

OK...time to put the scrapbooks up for awhile and get to work on some serious Valentine-ing.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

One Little Word

 Last year I picked a word to focus on for the year (Shine).  I did some bible journaling, and tried to bring it to mind throughout the year.  This year, I'm getting more intentional about my word.  I'm doing a monthly challenge with my word.  I picked Hope.  In some ways it seems overused, but I really need 'it' right now and I don't feel like I've given the word it's due.  This is the year.
 I'm loosely basing this project on Ali Edwards and using some of her prompts.  I am using a scrap journal I bought a few years back at an antique store as my base, and my plan is to use it for several years.
 I defined my word (biblically), picked a verse, and gave a reason why.
 I also described some of my hopes and fears, and then what it would look like if I can successfully apply hope this year.
 My plan is to do something each month, sometimes a one 'project' type entry, or in February, my plan is to track 'hope.'
 I've picked one specific prayer to pray each day, and I'm going to mark off my daily success with these enamel dots.
I've loosely plotted out each monthly challenge, but....I give my permission to adjust my plans, just not my word!

Monday, February 05, 2018

Strawberry Crinkle Cookies

Last year I needed a dessert to take to a lunch for Valentine's Day.  I had made a version of these cookies once as Christmas Grinch Cookies, but the strawberry flavor is my new favorite....and I'm one of those 'take it or leave it' kind of strawberry fans....I usually leave it.
Not to mention-this has 4 ingredients....I've been known to miss an ingredient or three while cooking, so this is one of those I can be distracted and get right-which is a win.
So....if easy, affordable, and tasty is on the list-Strawberry Crinkle Cookies for the win.
Strawberry Crinkle Cookies
Ingredients:  1 box of strawberry cake mix, 8 oz tub of whipped topping (thawed), 1 egg, powdered sugar, sprinkles (optional)
Instructions:
1.  Mix the egg, dry mix, and pudding.
2.  Roll 1 inch balls in powdered sugar (they will be very sticky).
3.  Place on greased cookie sheet (or silpat lined pan).  Add sprinkles.
4.  Cook for about 12 minutes (until the edges are firm, but not brown).
*Makes 2 dozen.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Sopapilla Cheesecake

If you have never had sopapilla cheesecake you haven't really lived.  This is a staple at a lot of events around here at least.  It has some really simple ingredients, but it's about the best thing you can do with canned crescent rolls!
Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie
Ingredients:
2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese (softened), 1 c. white sugar, 1 t. vanilla, 2 (8 oz) can refrigerated crescent rolls, 3/4 c. white sugar, 1 t. ground cinnamon, 1/2 c. butter (room temp), 1/4 c. honey
Instructions:  
1. Heat over to 350.  Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
2.  Beat the cream cheese with 1 c. of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
3.  Unroll a can of crescent roll dough and use a rolling pin to shape each piece in 9x13 inch rectangle.  Press the seems together.  Put 1 in the bottom of the pan.
4.  Evenly spread the cream cheese mix over the first crescent triangle.  Top with remaining piece of crescent dough.
5.  Crumble together sugar, cinnamon, and butter.  Dot the mix over the top of the top crescent roll.
6.  Bake for about 30 minutes (crescent dough should be puffed and golden brown).
7.  Drizzle with honey (I used about half the amount).  Cool completely.  Cut into 12 squares.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Valentine's Day Tag Banner

 I made this cute little banner with some clearance Jolee Cupid stickers I got for a buck, a few ribbon scraps (from Hobby Lobby Rolls), a piece of left over glitter paper and one sheet of scrapbook paper.
 I cut six 'tags' out of the paper, using one I had bought as my template.  I inked the edges, glued the ribbon to the bottom and just embellished away with little bits and pieces I had around my stash.
 I used my Cricut to cut out the word Love and glued them to the tag.  I added some hole reinforcers I had and strung it all together with some red twine.
 Not too shabby for two dollars worth of odds and ends.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Taqitos

These taquitos won't win any glamor shot awards, but they sure were tasty!  I made them along with a bunch of other appetizers for New Year's Eve, but I ddn't warm up the tortilas enough before I rolled them, thus the cracked sides, BUT instead of waiting to share the recipe, I thought I'd put it here, and net time I make some improvements to the 'look' I'll repost, but the taste was on point! 
This was a 2nd place 'speedy' recipe that was printed in this years State of Texas cookbook.
State Fair Chicken Taquitos
Ingredients:  2 c. shredded cooked chicken, 1 (1 oz) pkg taco seasoning mix, 2 c. shreddd cheddar cheese, 1 (10 oz) an Ro-Tel tomatoes (drained), 12+ corn tortillas, salsa for dipped (I also had sour cream and cheese sauce)
Instructions:
1.  Mix the chicken, taco mix, cheese, and Ro-Tel.  
2.  Warm tortials in the microwave 20 seconds at a time until they are soft and pliable (you can also do this on a skillet with vegetable spray). 
3.  Place 2 T of chicken mix on each tortila, roll tightly.  Secure with tooth pick, if necessary  
4.  Place on baking sheet, seam side down; bake at 375 10-12 minutes. Serve with salsa for dipping.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

UnBEARably Easy Valentines Gift

I found some cute little bear containers at a store called Daiso a few months back (it's a Japanese dollar store-though everything is 1.50).  I bought them and thought it would be a fun mailing vessel for Valentine's Day.  My godchildren and all their siblings live in different states, so I try to make an impresion via the mail since visits are few and far between.  I searched for bear shaped chocolates, but didn't have a lot of success, but I finaly found some individual size gumy bears, Teddy Grahams, and small enough stuffed bears (at the Dollar Tree) to squeeze inside the jars wiht a note (I googled and found fre 'bear' related tags to print).  I'm going to put the address on the lid and the mailing label on the backside.  You'd be surpised what you can send through the mail!  Well, unless you deliver mail to my godchildren, then you know all sorts of strange things can be shipped via the mail.  For more mailing ideas, hit this link. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Green beans are an adult flavor I took up, but I think having them 'cooked right' and not from a can probably did the trick. It's funny how your opinion of something can change when you have it served at it's finest.
I love roasted beans any way they can, but I especially loved this version via budgetsavvydiva that has you added Parmesan.  It's the perfect salty cheese.  They are calories worth added, and they reheated really well.
Parmesan Roasted Green Beans
Ingredients:  8 oz green beans, olive oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan Cheese
Instructions:
1.  Heat over to 400.
2.  Toss green beans (trimmed ends) with a small amount of oil, salt, and pepper (enough to cover).
3. Lay green beans on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a good amount of cheese to top.
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the beans are crisp outside and tender on the inside.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

December Daily 2017

     OK, I just completed my very first December Daily.  It's big, and interactive with lots of pages, so I tried my hand at a video that didn't wobble.  I still need to work on lighting and focus, but....you get the idea. 
     I started reading about December Daily last year around Christmas.  The basic goal is to document each day of December (some people stop at Christmas, I did the whole month since my family didn't come into down until the 25th).  I tried to do it each night, though there were several times I waited and did a couple days at a time. 
     I think if I did it again, I would probably not feel guilty about waiting until after December to really get into it and complete/or even start.  I'd try to organize pictures and maybe even jot down daily stories and thoughts as the month rolls by, but.....just to ensure no time was taken from living in the moments....which I think is what a lot of folks do anyway, future me, you have permission to do December daily in July. 
     You can use the project life style photo inserts, which I did some.  This does make it a LOT quicker to scrapbook, as does the 6x8 size.  I did a combo of the plastic pockets and some pages of just scrapbook paper.  I also didn't pick a color scheme, but....eclectic is more my style and matching is something I appreciate in other albums, but not something I enjoy working on.  I bought several kits via Ali Edwards website Octoberish, which I loved, and then I lost my mind at every craft store and online site I could find in the United States of America, which basically means I have to scrapbook every December for myself and my 12 closest friends for the next 16 years to put a dent in my supply. 
     Something to look forward to...

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Garlic Cheddar Chicken

I'm always looking for new ways to bake chicken.  I ran across this one via all recipes and it was really simple and delicious.  I adapted it some by using Italian bread crumbs so I wouldn't have to add a bunch of different seasoning-I let the package do it for me!  So, if it's time for a chicken revamp, here is an easy recipe that baked well and heated up well. 

Garlic Cheddar Chicken
Ingredients:  1/2 c. butter, 4 cloves of garlic (minced), 3/4 c. dry Italian bread crumbs, 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese, 8 skinless, boneless chicken breast (pounded thin)
Instructions:  
1.  Heat over to 350. 
2.  Melt butter in a saucepan on low and cook the garlic until tender (about 5 minutes).
3.  In a separate bowl, mix the crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Cheddar cheese. 
4.  Dip each slice of chicken in the garlic butter, then press into the bread crumb mix. 
5.  Place some bread crumbs at the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan, and place the bread chicken on top (this prevents the bottom from getting soggy.)
6.  Bake for 30 minutes (or until the chicken is no longer pink. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Nautical Nursery

Last summer I put together this surprise nursery for my friend.  Her and her husband decided not to find out what they were having, but they wanted to have a gender specific nursery.  I did this one other time (last summer) and had a lot of fun putting the details together.  This time around I had Amber do the same thing I did before-I asked her to create two pinterest boards so I had a good idea of what she wanted for either gender, but it was still enough of a mystery she didn't know exactly what to expect.  
 The only thing I did different this go 'round was paint the room-she selected a color for both genders, so once she headed out of town for a weekend I got to work.  She also had all the furniture already in place, and I love the way the trunk went so well with the theme.
 She had bought some fabric years ago when she was expecting her first baby (a girl), and so she gave me the fabric to use if this was a boy (knowing I'd go with a nautical theme-which is what she wanted to do the first time).  I framed some of the fabrics in old embroidery hoops I got at a thrift store.  I used my embroidery machine to make a compass for the smallest.  I found the "You Call Me" frame at Hobby Lobby, the "Work like a Captain" is from JoAnn.  I made the "Mightier than the waves..." sign.  I had her select a bible verse for each gender as well, and this is the one she had chosen for a baby boy.
 I found a cute whale lamp at HomeGood and I put some fish netting below the glass on the rocking chair table.  I added a blanket and made a pillow with my embroidery machine and some of her fabric.  I also bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby (one of my first purchases).  She had the red lamp we bought together years ago, and I added a glass fishing weight.  My thought is that she can eventually add books and special items like his first shoes etc to the boat.
 This shelf I imagine she will fill with different toys and baskets of socks, but I filled it with some things I found around the house, and a few things I bought.  I went back after these photos and added some pictures from her maternity shoot.  I found an anchor teether, and some cute little whales.  I made a burp.  I also found some sea themed bath squirts.  I 'borrowed' an ocean puzzle from her daughter.  The whale stool was also from Homegoods-it's one of my favorite pieces-hand carved....16 dollars!
 I added a few pillows to the crib and a penguin they had also bought.
 I added a little life ring I bought online.  The paddle I bought at Hobby Lobby and I added his name in vinyl, and I also added a 'No Wake Zone" sign I made.
 The quilt I made using fabrics she had bought, and the mobile I also made.  I bought some adorable, crocheted whales on Etsy, and added some anchors I also bought online.
 I found a few bins, made another sign using vintage dictionary pages, and I carved out a whale I imagine would be a good place to add baby's stats.  The banner is Holden's name using the nautical alphabet.
Last up was a wreath to greet the family.  Charlotte had one, so Holden needed one too.
It worked out well b/c Charlotte's room had some red, so I was able to use the old pieces without changing them out too much.  Hopefully Holden gets lots of good rest in this room.