Sunday, November 22, 2015

Craft: Elf Clothes Line

I saw a cute embroidery pattern for an elf clothes line. I really wanted to make a real one!! It just so happens that I have some green/white cording that was leftover from an activity a few years ago that would be perfect!

I found some cute clothes pins at Marshall's

I worked off of a drawn gingerbread man  to come up with patterns.

All of the "clothes" items were cut out of felt and glued together with a hot glue gun.

The line was about 36 inches and the tallest item (pants and suspenders) was 6 inches tall.

I Love how it turned out!! I'll try to post the patterns later!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Carribean Pork Chops
Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  15 mins Total time:  30 mins
Serves: 4 servings

4 pork chops, fat trimmed (1" thick chops, if thicker adjust cook time )
1 tbsp EVOO

Rub: 1/2 C. Dark Brown Sugar, 1 T kosher Salt, 1/2 t. red pepper flakes (less if you don't like spicy) 1/4 t. garlic powder, 1/4 t. paprika, 1/8 t. allspice, 1/4 t. cumin
(NOTE: for more flavor add more of each spice or of the ones you prefer, I kept it very mild because I was experimenting and hubby bought expensive chops!!)

1½ cups fresh tomatoes, diced (include liquid if cutting tomatoes produces a lot of liquid)
1 fresh mango peeled and diced medium
1 Med red onion, sliced


Coat each chop with rub on each side and set aside
Heat a large, heavy pan on high until warm.
Add oil and heat until shimmery (but NOT burning/smoking) about 20 seconds.
Brown pork chops on each side, about 1 minute each.
Reduce heat to medium, add onions.
Stir onions and flip pork chops after 2 minutes on each side.
Add tomatoes and mangoes.
Simmer until tomatoes are soft and sauce has set up- about 5-8 minutes.
Serve on a bed of rice or rice pilaf or brown rice or pasta.

Serving size: 1 pork chop + sauce

Adapted from another Favorite: Tuscan One pan Pork Chops!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Napa Cabbage Oriental Salad

I've  been trying to come up with a salad that will compliment our Kung Pao Chicken dinner. I had in mind the basics of the salad but needed some inspiration for putting it together. I found two outstanding recipes that I tweaked and made my own and LOVED the results!

For the DRESSINGS I have included both recipes. The first one is light and tasty, the second is peanutty and yummy and we preferred it! BUT....wait....After sitting for a while the peanut dressing got a little, I mixed the two dressings together and WHAM! Perfection! I do need to shake it before using now, but I think it's just what I was looking for as far as taste and texture.

Here are the two salad links:

Salad Base that I made:

Thin Sliced Napa Cabbage (I quartered one head of napa cabbage and put it through the cuisinart on a thin slice)
Thin Sliced Celery Heart (I used one celery heart and the same setting on the food processor as above-Probably about 4-6 large pieces of celery or 6-8 small. I wanted a good amount of celery in there for crunch and cause I like it!)
1 Grated Carrot
4 green onions sliced thin

Gently mix all together with clean hands
Set in Fridge with paper towel over top-I found the napa cabbage to contain a lot of water and this worked to help keep it from being soggy.

Crispy Topping:
In a non stick fry pan on Med/High add:
1 T. Salted Butter
Melt and add in:
1 crushed pkg of Ramen Noodles (No Sauce Packet)
1/2 C. slivered almonds (or 1 C. if you like them a lot!)
1-2 T. Sesame Seeds

Fry till all are light brown and smell like heaven!
Set aside to cool

Dressings: (Below are the recipes from the above web sites adjusted to reflect what I did)
Recipe 1:
Dressing- Shake in a jar or plastic container
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ⅓ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Dressing 2:
 3 T peanut butter + canola oil to equal 3/4 C
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
3. Prepare the dressing: Combine the dressing ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once combined, bring heat up to medium high and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute and remove from heat. Let cool.

To Serve Salad
Top Salad with the cooled crunchy topping, add the dressing and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Birthday Scrappy Quilt

Birthday Quilt!

I had grand ideas of doing an amazing Princess quilt using fabric princesses and applique techniques! 
Time got away from me! 
Time almost always gets away from me!
Between spending hours in the car picking up and dropping off kids and working on Church jobs and helping girls make prom dresses more modest and reading books, I ran out of time.....

So, I decided to make my granddaughter a scrappy princess quilt instead!

I bought a packet of  Colorfast Fabric sheets for ink jet printers and printed out many princesses and/or loved characters for the quilt. I followed the instructions and I hope and pray that these pictures are colorfast!!

My center was a picture of my granddaughter in a "Princess and the Pea"  Photo.

Each picture was framed in fabric that either contrasted the photo or went with the princess.
I found adorable snow white and dwarf fabric so I used them for her frame.
Then I outlined each of these with this VERY COOL wood grain flannel!!

Scrappy quilts work really well with Flannel. So, for most of the fabrics on the backs of each picture we used Flannel fabrics that went with our princess, or we used some of the cotton Princess fabric.
The backs were sewn on around the picture and then around the inside of the frame.

In addition to Disney Princesses and characters I added some pictures of her sister and  aunties dressed as princesses!

Somehow this simple Lap Quilt ended up LOTS bigger than I had imagined it would!
I used up quite a bit of fabric (YAY!) now I have room for more...Just Kidding!! (Kind-of)

I imagined this quilt looking like framed pictures and I think I got that look down! Unfortunately, that meant trying to figure out how to arrange them with the middle fabrics that I had and make them look balanced while having them be all different sizes!

This took me hours and I had Melannie help me re-arrange them a few times before I figured out how to manage the balance issue! I had to sleep on it and come at it from a different angle.
I ran out of the bright pink fabric, so I had to add a second color.

The finished quilt turned out so cute and way better than I could have imagined it!

The coolest part of a scrappy quilt is how fun the BACK can turn out!!

I love it!! I know she loves it too!!
Below are the other squares:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Michael Symon's Turkey Gravy

Turkey Gravy Michael Symon

Go here:

I have a really great turkey neck gravy recipe that cooks for hours and is yummy! This one takes only about an hour and is just as amazing, well, it's even better!!! can make it a day or two ahead by going to step 4 and stopping then reheating and adding the pan drippings the day of Thanksgiving.

NOTE: go get some turkey stock to make it!

Sweet Potato Praline Casserole

This recipe is NOT MINE Here is the link to where I got it.

We made this a few months ago and it is what the family wants now!
I didn't find it needed any more sugar than the recipe called for.

Sweet Potato Praline Casserole

Sweet Potatoes:
4 lbs. sweet potatoes
3/4 – 1 cup sugar* (I used 3/4 C)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Praline Topping: (I found this to be more than it needed! I am going to try half this time)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 heaping cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, melted
Pinch of salt

Arrange sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil then pierce each with a fork a few times to vent. Bake at 400 degrees until tender (usually about an hour for large sweet potatoes). Check tenderness by inserting a knife into the thickest potato – knife should slide in easily with no resistance. Do not boil the potatoes or use canned ones. I mean it!

Allow sweet potatoes to cool to room temperature then remove the skins. Add sweet potatoes, sugar, vanilla, salt, eggs and butter to a medium bowl or stand mixer.  Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Spoon sweet potato mixture into a 9x9 casserole dish and spread evenly.

To make praline topping, combine flour, brown sugar, pecans, butter and salt in a small bowl and mix until combined.  Mixture will be crumbly.  Sprinkle praline crumbles evenly over sweet potato mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

*Start with 3/4 cup of sugar and add more if desired.  Some sweet potatoes are much sweeter than others so the amount of sugar that you need can vary.  Mix everything up to the eggs and taste it for sweetness.  Make it as sweet as you like.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Carrot Cake

I LOVE estate sales....I find all sorts of fun things there, like old cook books! This recipe comes from one of those finds. It was found in the "Centennial 1888-1988 Recipe Book" From the First Presbyterian Church Florence, Arizona.
I made it sans raisins to see how it would be with substitutions for the raisins. I used half of the batter  and added diced apples, the other half I added shredded zucchini! I liked BOTH very much! So, here it is:

2 C. Sugar
1 C. Oil
3 eggs
2 C. Flour plus 2 Tbsp.
1/2 t. Salt
1 level t. soda
1 t. Cinnamon
1 C. Chopped nuts
1 C. or one small can of Crushed Pineapple (I didn't drain it...but it doesn't specify)

Beat all together thoroughly.
Fold in 2 C. Shredded Carrots
1 C. Raisins (or shredded zucchini or diced apples)

Bake at 350 for 1 hour in Loaf pan-9x12 (I don't think they meant a bread loaf pan but a 9x13 pan)
I made mine into muffins, so that I could keep the two varieties separate. I cooked 20 min to start and I think I had to add a few more minutes.

Results (sorry! I will add pics later!) These were amazing!! They stayed moist for days!!

Cream Cheese Icing:

1 8oz pkg. Cream Cheese room temp
1/4 C. of butter room temp
1/2 Box Powdered Sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
Beat till smooth and spread over cake.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lila's Pizza Sauce

This recipe is from my mother in law Lila Bates. I made it tonight for the first time and used it with our Calzones. It worked great!!

In a 3 qt. sauce pan heat  2 T. Olive Oil and add:
1 yellow onion Chopped fine
Cook till translucent then add 3-4 lg. cloves of  garlic minced.
Cook for 30 seconds and add:
1 can of tomato puree or diced tomatoes with liquid (15oz)
1 can of tomato sauce (15oz)
1 can of tomato Paste (6oz)
2 t. sugar (can substitute some balsamic vinegar to sweeten if desired)
2 t. salt
2 t. pepper
2 t. Dried Oregano
1/2 t. finely chopped rosemary (or dried)
2 t. dried basil
dash of Cayenne Pepper
1 bay leaf
Simmer uncovered for an hour stirring occasionally, remove bay leaf when done and store in fridge or freezer till needed.

My notes: I forgot the Cayenne, but I will add it next time! I used 2 t.  Balsamic and the sweetness was fine, when I make it again I might use my immersion blender, the diced tomatoes were a little too big for the calzones! The thickness of the sauce was perfect!!!