Monday, October 16, 2017

Crockpot Mexican Dish


I made this really simple side dish to serve at a Mexican themed meal recently.  I was looking for something easy to toss together to go along with everything I was monitoring on the stove, and this was perfect because it cooks itself.  You can add any veggies or spices according to your taste.

Crockpot Spanish Rice
Ingredients:  1 c. long grain rice (uncooked), 1 c. water, 1 14.5 once can of diced tomatoes (included the juice), 1/2 c. chopped onions, 1/2 c. chopped green peppers, 1/2 t. salt, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 T. ground cumin, 1 T. chili powder
Instructions:  Place all the ingredients in a crockpot.  Stir together.  Cook for 2-3 hours on low until all the water has evaporated out of the rice.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Adult Lunchables

 I've been in a freezer dinner rut the last few years, so this year I bought some cute little containers via Amazon and I've been trying to make my own version of adult lunchables.  I haven't taken a picture of all of them.  I did BBQ and Slaw once....and a few others, but here are a few pictures, mostly for my own good, of some of the ones I've enjoyed most. 
 I'm all about sweets...and salads. 
I try to eat my main meal for lunch....it allows me to eat less for dinner.  Some of these I eat over two days too, but it's allowed me to go to work more prepared to prep these in advance. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mail a Pumpkin

I'm always trying to find fun ways to send things through the mail. This Halloween I'm sending some treats in these little pumpkin cans.  
 I used a pull tab can of soup that I opened with one of the openers that removes the lid without leaving a sharp edge.  I then sprayed the can orange.
I filled the can with little treats I found at the dollar spot and Party City favor bins.
I added some confetti from Hobby Lobby to fill the extra space.

 I took a glue gun to reattached the lid so it can be 'popped open.'  Since this is going through the mail I'm also taping it.
I colored on a face with a black paint pen and added labels and mailing labels to the can and then sent it on it's way.
 You'd be surprised by what you can ship through the mail-no brown envelope required.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Cornbread Stuffing Muffins

     The great debate is always cornbread or white bread.  The answer is cornbread....at least if your roots go deep into the south.  I love dressing/stuffing, and this recipe is very similar to my grandmothers dressing (minus the sausage).  These are savory, so they make a great dinner side, or if you don't mind savory (and I don't) I love to pop these in for breakfast as well.
     Truth, I don't really need a season or a time of day to justify eating these.  They are delicious.  The key is picking a good cornbread mix-nothing too sweet/honey-ish.
     So...if you want to try out a stuffing as it should be-try these!  (The original recipe is from JimmyDean.)
Cornbread Stuffing Muffins
Ingredients:  1 lb sage sausage (I halved this b/c it's all I had), 2 large stalks of celery (finely chopped-should be about 1 c.), 1 medium onion (finely chopped-should be about 1 c.), 2 boxes of corn bread muffin mix (about 16 oz each), 2 eggs, 2/3 c. chicken broth, 1/4 c. sour cream, 1/2 t. ground sage, kosher salt, 1/2 t. ground black pepper
Instructions:  
1.  Cook sausage, onion, and celery until sausage is brown.  Drain and set aside.
2.  Beat egg, add chicken broth, and yogurt.  Blend well.  Add in muffin mix and stir until just moistened.  Stir in sausage, sage, salt and pepper.
4.  Spoon into greased muffin cups (about 3/4 of the way full).
5.  Bake 15-20 minutes (until light golden brown).

Friday, October 06, 2017

December Daily: The Reason Why

This year I'm planning on participating in December Daily.  I'm trying to set up a few pages in advance b/c based on my calendar already it's going to be a busy December.  I'm going to try to keep up, but it's easy to say now.  Last week I made a calendar for my album, and this week I finished my reason why.  
The gist behind this page is that you set a purpose or a reason why (novel, I know) behind why you want to scrapbook December on a daily basis.  I'm not doing a traditional 12x12.  I'm trying out the 6x8 form with pockets and cards so that scrapbook will be a lot easier day to day.  I've also been posting my haul videos here.  I am pretty sure I'm set to do December Daily for the next 14 years, but whatever...you never know when the scrapbook stores are going to have a drought. 

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Fall Wreath

My pal Kelly asked me for a fall wreath, so I put together a few of my favorite tricks.  
I grabbed a foam wreath (they sell these at the Dollar Tree, but you can find larger sizes at any craft store, they just aren't as cheap).  I found some yarn from Hobby Lobby on clearance that matched the fall colors I had in mind.  I simply wrapped it around and around.    I used some felt I had in my house already to make some flowers to attach.  Very easy and affordable.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake

Last year some of the gals at work decided to do a friendsgiving after a long day of working our school's version of the Turkey Trot.  We usually don't get to eat until almost 2 pm, so we've got the appetite for a potluck!  I decided to try out Paula Dean's version of the gooey pumpkin cake.  Trying her chocolate chip gooey butter cake at her restaurant in Savannah it still one of my favorite culinary adventures.  This dessert did NOT disappoint.  I love the yellow cake crust...and pumpkin is always a good idea!  
Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake
Ingredients for Crust:  1 pkg (18 1/4 oz) yellow cake mix, 1 egg, 8 T of butter (melted)
Ingredients for Filling:  8 oz pkg cream cheese softened, 15 oz can of pumpkin, 3 eggs, 1 t. vanilla, 8 T of butter (melted), 16 oz powdered sugar.  
Whipped Cream
Instructions:  
1.  Heat the oven to 350.
2.  Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter.  Mix well with an electric mixer.  Press into the bottom of a greased 13x9 inch pan.  
3.  In a separate bowl.  Beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together.  Last add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Mix well.  
4.  Spread pumpkin filling over the cake mix.  Bake for 40-50 minutes.  The center should be a little gooey when you pull it out of the oven.  
5.  Serve with whipped cream.

Friday, September 29, 2017

December Daily Calendar

This year I'm going to join the December Daily bandwagon.  As a single, it's not something I'll necessarily do every year (or I might), but this year (I think) my whole family will be in town, so I thought it might be a nice way to record the memories.

I've been shopping.  I posted some of my hauls on youtube, with a few more to come.  I don't usually do hauls...or youtube, but I might try more videos because it does help tell the story better in some cases...I just have to figure out the camera situation!  I decided to share the hauls b/c there can be so many details, and nothing bugs me more than wondering where someone got something, so.....now I can refer back.

Obviously, it's not December yet but once December hits I'd like to keep up with my album on a weekly basis, since I'll be juggling that with the busiest month....I've decided to do some prep, though I still want to leave room for spontaneous plans.

One thing I can do in advance is a calendar.  Here's a link to the free printable.  There are some calendars that are provided each year for free, and if I were a patient person...I'd wait.  But, I'm not a patient person.  I added a few little enamel dots (from Hobby Lobby), a ticket (from the Dollar tree) and a little sticker that says 'stories' from October Afternoon.  My plan is to fill this out day by day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Easy Frankenstein Card

When I'm on top of my game I make greeting cards for my friend's kiddos for the holidays.  When I'm playing my B game I buy them.  When I'm off my game I'm not even sure what month it is, much less which of my friends have kids.
This summer I tried to get ahead and I made some easy greeting cards.  This one was pure simple for Halloween.  I used some scraps on a lime green card, a stamp from my stash, and washi tape and some google eyes to make a monster card.  I think this is right up the alley for some little 4 year old boys who usually get a card from me.  Just a tip for mailing-sometimes brads and google eyes poke through the envelope when they are mailed, so I usually place a scrap piece of paper between the front of the card and the envelope to give it one more layer of protection.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Copy Paste

A friend of mine recently had a baby.  She wanted to surprise her husband at the hospital with a new dad shirt.  This was baby 2, but the first little guy.  So....her idea was birthed thanks to pinterest.  I bought the shirt on Amazon b/c I could get a onsie and shirt from the same company, and I wanted them to be the exact same color.  I used my cricut to cut out the words and then ironed it down....ready for pictures.  :O)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Witches Broom Treat Bags

 I made these last year for some of the gals I work with.  These actually came from a kit via Stampin Up.  I did detail the process so I can make my own witches bags in the future, so....for me (and :you:) here are all the steps and materials the kit came with, but first....I was planning on making caramel apples to go in the bags, but when I got them they were a bit smaller than I thought, so I made a trailmix instead, my fav-candy corn and peanuts, but I also added sixlets I colored black circles on so they would look more like eye balls.
 The bag they went inside had fringe cut about 1 inch down all the way across.
 There was a second bag with the bottom cut off, and it was cut all the way down (to about an inch).  There was a strip of sticky tape that allowed you to adhere it to the first bag....
 They you put the treat inside, put a straw into it for the handle, and bunch both up and tie it shut.
...add a tag and they are good to go.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

 Here's a quick and easy little project I put together.  Last Christmas I bought a little banner similar to this at the craft store.  The letters were made with red glitter vinyl.  I bought some of this four inch ribbon at Michael's.
I embroidered the word "Boo" onto the banner and then used some fraying glue to keep the edges from fraying, and hot glue to glue this around a dowel rod with some ribbon I tied on to it.  So simple, and it'll be a really cute addition to my garden for minimal cost.  I might try some of these with iron on vinyl as well that I use my cricut to cut out.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fox and Cactus Trifold Album

I recently made this trifold album using a tutorial on Youtube.  You can go here for a walk through of all the pieces of this album.  I attached a link to the original post, but it was really easy to follow and the album has a ton of space for pictures.  I don't know yet what this album with house, and I'll eventually add a title once I DO know, but....it's always good to be ready to scrapbook an adventure.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pencil Door Hanging

I made this pencil wreath last month as the school year geared up.  
 Step one is to cut out the shape and then run some glue or no fray glue around the edges so the strings won't fray away.  Cut out two of the same shapes and I do this to both the front and back.
I then paint my design on plastic.  Since the holes are so large in burlap it takes a lot of paint and this helps the paint kind of 'pool' and stick better.  
 Once it dries, run hot glue along three side's edges and glue the paint front to the blank back.
 I left an opening so I can stuff this.
I stuffed mine with paper b/c I plan to add some heated vinyl with a name or word eventually, but you can also stuff these with plastic bags or stuffing.  
Glue the last side and then add some rope for hanging.  These would be cute as a pumpkin or I've seen cute summer watermelons and flamingos.