Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Simple Beef Stuffed Bell Peppers




You Will Need:
  • 6 Bell peppers (Any color but I prefer green)
  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. Cooked rice OR one bag of boil in a bag rice
  • 1/2 tsp. Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 can Tomato sauce (14 oz.)
  • Cheese to top the peppers

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and scoop the core & seeds out with a spoon.
  3. Cook the ground beef and onion until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
  4. Add seasonings and turn heat to warm.
  5. Boil rice until fully cooked.
  6. Drain excess grease from meat.
  7. In a bowl or skillet combine meat mixture, rice, and can of tomato sauce. Stir until blended.
  8. Spoon meat and rice mixture into hollow bell peppers until full.
  9. Top filled peppers with a generous amount of cheese.
  10. Stand upright in a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Tips:
  • When buying bell peppers for this dish, make sure they stand fairly upright and don't lean. Or you will have a meaty mess in your oven.
  • Cover the bottom of your casserole dish with tin foil so if anything spills over like the cheese, you can just toss the foil and the casserole dish is clean in the end. Less dishes! Woo hoo!
  • Don't leave any straggling seeds in your hollow bell peppers. Clean them out well.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Note To Self...

Do not bribe my 2 year old to use the big potty for cookies anymore. Bad bad bad idea. It turned into her trying to make other "Will do for cookies" things. I'm running out of cookies and patience from her new found energy.

Upcoming Craft Tutorials

Hey y'all,
Sorry I haven't posted very many craft tutorials lately. I've been busy with 2 projects. One is I'm making... Like I'm gonna tell you. :) You'll just have to wait! But I CAN tell you that one is a super cute project to do for your kiddos!
And the other one is something you can do lots of things with. Anyway, I'm super excited. I'm going on a business trip next month so maybe while I'm in my hotel room for a few days I can catch up without any distractions.
So keep an eye out for those two things.
Love y'all! :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rosemary Roasted Reds



You Will Need:
  • 5-6 Large red potatoes OR a whole bag of the mini reds
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
I didn't put exact amounts on the seasonings because it's really up to you how much you want them seasoned. Just kind of eyeball it and taste as you go. It's all about preferences with these.


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice the red potatoes into cubed pieces. Note: If you make the cubes too big they won't cook through and if you slice them too small they will be chewy and not light and fluffy.
  3. In a skillet heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and throw in the potato cubes.
  4. While potatoes are in the skillet season to your liking.
  5. Cook potatoes until halfway tender and golden brown.
  6. Drizzle oil on a cookie sheet and transfer potatoes from skillet.
  7. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the top of the potatoes and season a bit more.
  8. Bake potatoes in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender all the way through.
Please not that if you bake them too long they will end up chewy. And that's no bueno. The goal is for them to be crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside.



I find that these go best with any kind of fish. They would be good with poultry as well.  :)



Friday, February 24, 2012

Cowboy Casserole



You Will Need:
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Garlic powder 
  • 1 can Whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can Cream of chicken, undiluted
  • 1/2 c. Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 c. Milk
  • 2 tbsp. Sour cream
  • 2 c. Frozen tater tots

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a skillet add ground beef, chopped onion, pepper, salt, & garlic powder. Cook until meat is no longer pink. When done drain excess grease and remove from heat.
  3. In the same skillet with the meat, add the drained corn, cream of chicken, cheddar cheese, milk, & sour cream. Stir until blended.
  4. Grease a shallow casserole dish and pour in all of the meat mixture.
  5. Top meat mixture with a single layer of frozen tater tots. Top tots with more cheese (optional).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes uncovered.






My Sauce

I told my daughter to stop sticking her fingers in her nose.
Then she looked at me with a serious face, had her index finger in the air with clear booger slime on it and said, "It's my sauce Mommy."
Yup. She's my kid.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Greek Chicken Dinner for 2


You will need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs OR breast if you don't like dark meat
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 c. Chicken broth
1 Lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 c. Pitted kalamata olives
1 Clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Dried oregano
Hot cooked orzo OR rice

Directions:
1. Trim fat from chicken and discard.
2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Brown chicken in skillet on all sides.
5. Place browned chicken, broth, lemon slices, olives, garlic, & oregano in slow cooker.
6. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
7. Serve over hot orzo or rice.

(You can double or triple this recipe if need be)


"W"

     I've been crafting with felt a lot lately. It's so forgiving and I can think of a billion things to do with it. And it's cheap. Can't beat that! I had this wooden "W" in my craft box for years now not knowing what I wanted to do with it.
     I'm working on another project with felt (not revealing until I'm done with it) and I got inspired so I covered the "W" with a bunch of cut out flowers. It's pretty self explanatory but below is a quick walk through.




 You will need:
1. Felt
2. Scissors
3. Index cards or paper
4. Hot glue gun
5. A letter
6. Rhinestones
7. Marker

Directions:
1. With your marker and index card or paper, draw a few different flowers and cut out. These will be your stencils to cut your felt. If you free cut the felt it's not so pretty so trust me, make a stencil.

2. Free cut small circles from the felt. These will be your flower centers. It's okay if they're different sizes. It gives it some character.

3. Once all your felt is cut you can mix and match the flowers and circles layering them until you get your desired colors and such.

4. Hot glue your layered flowers together with a rhinestone on top before gluing them to the letter.

5. Once all your individual flowers are finished you can position them on the letter as you like and glue them down. That's all there is to it!


This project took me only a couple of hours. You can add a ribbon to hang it with or be creative in other ways!
I may end up making it a hair bow holder for my daughter... 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Beef & Potato Moussaka

There are 2 parts to this meal: The main part, and the sauce...

Prep: 40 min          Bake: 1 hour + 10 min standing time

For the main part you will need:
  1. 1 lb. Ground Beef
  2. 1/2 Medium onion, chopped
  3. 1 Garlic clove, minced
  4. 3/4 c. Water, room temperature
  5. 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  6. 3 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  7. 1 tsp. Salt
  8. 1/2 tsp. Dried mint (optional)
  9. 1/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  10. 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  11. 5 Medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into circles

For the sauce you will need:
  1. 1/4 c. Butter, cubed
  2. 1/4 c. All-purpose flour
  3. 2 c. Milk
  4. 4 Eggs, lightly beaten
  5. 1/2 c. Grated fresh parmesan cheese
  6. 1/2 tsp. Salt
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, onion, and garlic together over medium heat. Cook until beef is brown and onions are tender. Drain any excess grease from skillet and return to stove.
  • Stir in the water, tomato paste, fresh parsley, salt, mint (if desired), cinnamon, and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Peel and clean your potatoes. Slice into thin round slices. Set aside.
  • Crack your eggs into a small mixing bowl and lightly beat. Set aside.
  • For the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. While continuously whisking, gradually stir in the flour until smooth.
  • While still continuously whisking, slowly add the milk until smooth and bring to a simmer. Continue whisking until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Pour about 1/4 c. sauce into the beaten eggs and whisk that together. Then pour the egg and sauce mixture back into the saucepan combining all the eggs with the rest of the sauce. Do not let the egg cook while going into sauce pan.
  • Continue whisking the sauce and add the fresh parmesan and salt. Whisk until mixed. Set aside.
  • Grease a 3-qt. shallow baking dish and put a layer of half of the potato slices evenly in the bottom of the dish.
  • Top the layered potatoes with half of the parmesan sauce.
  • Add all of the meat mixture on top of the parmesan sauce.
  • Layer the other half of the sliced potatoes evenly on top of the meat mixture.
  • Finally, pour the rest of the parmesan sauce over the last layer of potatoes.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 for an hour or until potatoes are tender.
  • Once done baking, take out of the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
*Serves 6-8



Saturday, February 18, 2012

No Fail Biscuits

You Will Need:
2 c. All-Purpose Flour
1 tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 c. Shortening
3/4 c. Water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a bowl sift the flour, baking powder,and salt together.
Add the shortening and cut it in with a fork until there are no more large chunks of it and it's well mixed with the flour mixture.
Slowly pour in the water and mix at the same time. The dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.
Lightly flour a surface and transfer dough to it.
Lightly flour the top of the dough and flatten with your hands to about 1" high.
Cut dough with biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or if you don't have either you can use a small cup or plastic container to cut the biscuits out.
Re-roll dough, flatten it, and continue cutting biscuits until there is no more.
Place biscuits on a lightly greased pan and bake for 10 minutes or until a light golden brown color.




Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Perfect Baked Potatoes

If you want awesome baked potatoes you should NOT:
1.) Wrap them in foil.
2.) Boil them in the microwave with shallow water.
3.) Stick them in the toaster. Because that's not logical.

So remember, no foil no boil. Or... toaster.
Ok?

Now...

How to achieve amazing baked potatoes:
1.) Bake them clean and naked (Get your mind out of the gutter. I mean clean the skin well and don't wrap them in anything).
2.) Cook them slower at a lower temp. 90 minutes at 325 degrees is ideal.
3.) Put some olive oil on the potatoes and lightly salt them. It makes the skin so good when they're done. They don't taste like dirt. I'm not a fan of dirt flavored things.
4.) Poke holes throughout the potato with a fork so they cook better.

Trust me on this, they come out so light and fluffy inside and the skin is so tasty.
Enjoy!



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Basic Pinwheel Hair Bow

For this project you will need:

Ribbon of your choice
Tape measure
Scissors
Needle
Thread
Alligator or classic hair clip
Embellishments (Optional)


Decide how long in diameter you want your hair bow to be.
I chose about 3 inches.
Take one end of your ribbon face up and measure the length you want it to be.
Now flip the ribbon and measure the same length the opposite way.
Continue doing so 7 times.
You should have the ribbon facing up 4 times.
Do not cut your ribbon until you have done this step.
Make sure to hold ribbon in place.


String your needle with your thread, cut thread, and tie it off at the end so it doesn't slip through the ribbon when you string it through.
Hold all your ribbon together and start weaving the thread in and out vertically starting at the bottom until you reach the top.


Hold your ribbon flat and pull the string to rusche your ribbon.
If you do not hold your ribbon straight it will overlap. You do not want this to happen.


After you rusche all the ribbon together it will form a pinwheel shape.
Make sure to not let it come undone.


Wrap the center of your pinwheel 3 times with your thread to make sure it is securely in place.



Once you have wrapped the thread 3 times, insert the needle through the middle of your pinwheel, wrap it once more, then insert the needle through the center one more time.
You may cut the thread now.
The main part of your pinwheel hair bow is finished.


You can attach an alligator clip or classic clip to the back with a hot glue gun.
You can also add embellishments or even layer smaller pinwheels on top of each other.
Get creative :)


If you have any questions etc... Feel free to leave a comment and I'll respond.
Thanks for reading my basic pinwheel hair bow tutorial!



Semi-Homemade Small Flower Pin

I bought a pack of 2 small ribbon flowers in the craft section at Walmart for about $1.50.
You will also need 2 small alligator clips, thin ribbon to match the flower colors, scissors, and a glue gun.


Wrap the ribbon around the whole alligator clip and secure it with the hot glue gun. Peel the white sticky tabs off the back of the flowers. Hot glue the flowers to the ribbon wrapped alligator clips. Super simple. I made these at the last minute for an outfit and it took me about 5 minutes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Chili Mac

You Will Need:
1 lb. Ground beef
1 tsp. Chili powder
A pinch of pepper
A pinch of salt
A pinch of garlic powder
1 Regular box of macaroni & cheese (I use the powdered cheese)
1/4 c. Butter
1/4 c. Milk

Directions:
In a large skillet add ground beef, chili powder, pepper, salt, & garlic powder. Cook through. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil macaroni noodles according to box instructions. When boiled through, drain and set aside.
When meat is done drain excess grease. Add powdered cheese, butter, & milk. Stir until powdered cheese is well blended with meat. Next, add macaroni noodles and blend well. 

Easy Beef & Carrot Stroganoff


What You Will Need:
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Seasoned Salt
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup (10.75 oz)
1 c. Water
1 1/2 c. Sliced carrots (I use fresh, thawed frozed will do)
2 1/2 c. Uncooked Egg Noodles
1/4 c. Sour Cream

Directions:
In a large skillet, add ground beef, onion, pepper, garlic powder, & seasoned salt. Brown beef until fully cooked and onion is tender. Drain any grease. Return beef to stove. Add both cans of cream of mushroom, water, and carrots. Cook on medium and let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occassionally. Meanwhile, boil egg noodles in a seperate pot as directed on package. Once noodles are done, drain and set aside. After 20 minutes of simmering, add sour cream and stir until blended. Do not over-cook sour cream. Finally, add the boiled egg noodles and blend well.





Who's the Fatty With the Popcorn?

This past Saturday I had a Twilight movie marathon with one of my best friends since Breaking Dawn just came out.
Saturday Night:
Drink wine slushies
Eat pizza
Watch Twilight
Drink wine slushies
Go to the movie theatre for popcorn
Come back home
Drink wine slushies
Watch New Moon
Eat popcorn
Drink wine slushies
Decide to make brownies, then undecide to make brownies
Eat popcorn
Drink wine slushies
Watch Eclipse
Eat popcorn
Drink wine slushies
Watch Breaking Dawn
Say, "OMG that was so good! Yay for part 2 later this year!"
Go home
(It was awesome)



Let's skip to step 5 from Saturday night... My friend dropped me off at the door of the theatre. And as Saturday nights at the theatre usually go... It was packed. So I rummaged through the sea of people waiting for their movie to start. After getting uncomfortably rubbed on "accidentally" by some creeper, I made my way to the holy grail, I mean concession stand... Anyway, I order 2 large popcorns. For myself. Just kidding. But that's what everyone in the theatre thought. I have a large tub of buttery popcorn in each arm and try once again to make my way though the  crowd. Then I hear, "What the hell is that chick doing with all that popcorn?" What? I can't just be fat and get 2 large tubs of popcorn to go?

Judgers.


Grocery Shopping

I went to the grocery store with a 2 page list of items I needed. It took me 2 hours to complete my shopping. I get home, I grab my purse and a 27 pound bucket of kitty litter out of my car. I get upstairs, open the door, put the bucket and my purse down, and my husband asks, "Are there anymore groceries?" ... No. I just spent 2 hours at the store and only bought cat litter... I just stood there shaking my head.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Retail Battle

Yesterday I was shopping for some new black flats and a new stylish laptop bag. I was in the shoe aisle along with another young girl. It seemed that the whole time I was browsing she was in my way. Even if I went to the other side of the rack, BAM!, there she was. And she was always in that awkward spot coming towards me, not with the flow of shopper traffic. And even though she could see me trying to look at something or move forward, she would not budge. I finally just got pissed off and decided to move on to the purse section of the store to look for a new laptop bag. I'd just go back to the shoe section once she left.

5 minutes into my search for a my new bag, I look up, and there she is. I was seriously about to lose it. Instead I counted to 10, took a deep breath, backed out of the aisle (because I couldn't move forward!), and went 3 racks down.

At last! I had found a gorgeous laptop bag! Only problem was, there was a brown one and a tan one. It took me a good 5 minutes to pick a color. (Life and death decision.. I know). I settled with the brown bag but I still had doubts about my choice. I proceeded down a few more aisles just to make sure I had found the perfect one. I eventually ended up changing my mind and wanted the tan bag instead. So I trotted back down to the previous rack of purses. But low and behold, that bitch had the tan one in her basket! Really? Really. Out of all things in the store, she wanted  that tan laptop bag? Then I got smart. I spotted a tan Polo bag with fake rhinestones on it. It was cute but not really my style. So I picked it up, "ooo'ed" and "ahh'd" at it out loud and acted like it was the best damn bag I had ever laid eyes on. Of course she said, "That's such a pretty bag! I love the little circle of gems!" And I said, "Isn't it?" Then annoying shopper girl said, "I'll trade you." Best 3 words I had heard all day.

I didn't let her have it easy though. She was going to suffer for making my shopping experience not so enjoyable. So I said, "Eh, I'll think about it" and I walked off. Just left her hanging. I could tell she wanted that tan sparkly bag so bad! I felt like I was winning a retail battle.

After a while of silently torturing her, I went and found her still browsing. I walked up to her and said one word... "Okay." Without any further conversation we traded bags like little kids trading sandwiches at school. There were no words, just smiles. mine was mainly because I outsmarted her and eventually got my way. Hers was just pure oblivious excitement.

After another hour of shopping I eventually found a great pair of shoes as well and checked out at the register. I grabbed my plastic sack with my new shoes and laptop bag, and walked out to my car happy that I prevailed and defeated annoying shopper girl.

Win. :)

So my point to all you aggressive shoppers out there like me is this... Instead of getting verbal with your retail shopping enemy, simply outsmart that bitch.

Stay classy my friends...




Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bananas for Smoothies

For all you smoothie nuts out there... If you use bananas a lot like I do, a word of advice, freeze your bananas! When I go to the grocery store I buy 2 large bushels of bananas because that is one food that never goes bad in my house. Once they are ripe to my liking I unpeel about 8 of them, slice them, and put them in small Tupperware containers. Pop them in the freezer and they're ready to use for your next smoothie adventure. I don't usually put ice in my smoothies now because the frozen bananas makes them really rich and creamy.

Send me some of your own smoothie concoctions! I love trying new things :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Ingredients:
1 14 oz. can Beef Broth
3 lbs. Boneless Pork Ribs
1 18 oz. Bottle of BBQ sauce, your choice

Directions:
Add beef broth, BBQ sauce, and pork ribs to crock pot. (Mine is a 6 quart and it's a great size.) Cook on high for 6 hours.
When done, remove from crock pot and shred pork on a cutting board. Return to crock pot so it can soak up the juices and heat through again.
It's great for sandwiches, salads, by itself, etc. It also does well for leftovers. Enjoy! :)


Alternative Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Lately I've been pantry cooking so we have been eating simple and easy meals this past week. Tonight I made an alternative chicken pot pie. It was easy and the ingredients are pretty basic.

Ingredients:
2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/8 tsp. Pepper
Seasoning salt (add to your liking)
1 Minced clove garlic (you can use garlic powder)
1 tbsp. Butter
1 can Cream of chicken
1/2 c. Milk
1 can Whole kernel corn, drained
1 can Rolled crescents
1/2 c. Cheese (colby/pepper jack works well)


Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put the chicken, pepper, seasoning salt, garlic, and butter in a skillet; Brown all the way through. Cut the chicken into cubes. In a 2 quart casserole dish combine cooked chicken cubes, cream of chicken, milk, and drained corn until well mixed. Put in the oven for 20 minutes.
Take the dish out of the oven and spread the rolled crescents out evenly over the top. Do not unroll the crescents. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Take the dish out of the oven and spread the cheese evenly over the top. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.


You can also add other veggies such as carrots or peas. This is a pretty basic recipe so be creative and customize it for a little pizazz!



"Mommy Be Back"

My daughter usually freaks out when I walk out of the house to throw the trash away. So today it struck me as odd when I told her I was going to throw the trash and she looked at me with a big grin and said, "Mommy be back! Otay! Wuv you!" I was just glad that she didn't start screaming like she normally does. So I gathered the trash, and as I walked out of the door I left the main door open and just closed the screen door. Still, no crying or screaming... this was a nice change. Halfway to the trashcan I heard the main door slam while my daughter was simultaneously yelling, "BYEEE!!!" I proceeded to throw the trash out and walk back up to my apartment. I go to open the door, and it's locked. In my head I was thinking how pissed and frantic I was at the same time. I was also thinking how I'm sure she had this whole thing planned. No wonder she was being so nice to me when I left! My conniving 2 year old was probably plotting this as soon as she started noticing our trash bag piling up a few days ago. But I couldn't really be mad; because it was kind of funny.
I had this genius plan to go to my apartment office and get a spare key to unlock the door. Then I realized the deadbolt was locked because that was the only lock she could reach. So plan "A" was out the window. Plan "B" came into effect, just take the screen off my window and crawl into my house like that. But noooo, I locked all of the windows in any chance someone were to come in through them (other than me when I'm locked out).
I'm sure you're wondering where the public embarrassment comes in... that time is now. I had to try to coax my daughter to open the door. But I had to do it loud. I mean, there was a wall in between us. So the persuading began... "Kiya! Open the door NOW!"... "Kiya hunny, please open the door for Mommy! :)"... "Just unlock it. C'mon, you can do it!"... "Kiya, do you want a cookie?"... Cars slowly drove by, people opened there doors wondering what was going on... And I was thinking, "Yes, my 2 year old outsmarted me and locked me out of my own house."
Just when I ran out of logical ideas, Kiya unlocks the door, I open it, and she nonchalantly says, "Hey Mommy. Come in." Now I'm scared to ever take the trash out again. Does she have any more plots brewing in her tiny head right now? I'm gonna have to start watching my back from now on.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ello Gov'na

When my daughter talks she sounds British 90% of the time and I always joke about me not knowing where she really came from. Even people in public are like, "Whoa! Did you hear that? She sounds like a foreigner!" Then they proceed to try to imitate her. I'm not even joking. So one of my best friends Amanda suggested that I should just start talking to her in a British accent all the time to see how it affects her. I just picture my child growing up talking with a British accent; Then all of her peers will be so intrigued to know where she's from even though she was born and raised in Texas. I think I'm going to persuade her to start saying "Ello Gov'na" just for shits and giggles. I'll get back to you when this little British accent trial is over ;) I'm gonna go have some tea and crumpets now with my pinky finger up.
Credits to the flag.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Trick To Cracking Eggs

What NOT to do: Stop cracking your eggs on the edge of the bowl, with a knife, or on the edge of any other surface. Doing this causes little pieces of the shell to fall from the egg, even small powder-like pieces.

What TO do: Crack your egg on a flat surface such as your counter top. I recommend putting a napkin or paper towel down and cracking it on that so that it absorbs any egg drippings. You will get a nice clean crack line and the shell does not break off (if you do it right). Simple as that. :) Happy egg cracking!