Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to clean up all that GLITTER

Tis the season for all that SPARKLE!!! And I'll admit it- I do love the glitter- but oh how I don't like having it all over EVERYTHING!!!  And cleaning it up for months!!

So today I am going to give you a great tip... when you need to clean the sparkle up, grab this!!!

yep.. a lint roller!!!  It works like magic!

so the next time you have the glitter mess.. grab your lint roller & clean it up in a jiffy!!!  I've never tried it on my face, but there's an idea! It seems like I WEAR as much as I use!  LOL
Monday, October 29, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls you can Freeze

I have been doing a lot of freezer meals and I love them. I have been searching for a great cinnamon roll recipe that I can freeze. I have tried a bunch of different recipes and decided to combine some of them that I like.

Makes 3 dozen cinnamon rolls
-4 cups of warm milk (I used 1%)
-4 Tbsp of yeast
-6 cups of whole wheat flour
-6 cups of white flour
-4 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-4 tsp salt
-1 cup shortening

Warm 4 cups of milk in microwave for about 2 mins. Mix together all ingredient except 6 cups of flour (I used 6 cups of my whole wheat flour first).

Stir in the remaining 6 cups of flour. Once all mixed you may need to add some more flour if it still is sticky.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Spray a oven save bowl with cooking spray, and play dough in bowl. When oven is preheated, turn oven off and play bowl in oven. Let dough rise for about 20-30 mins depending on your oven.

When dough has risen, punch it down. Sprinkle flour on counter and place dough on counter. Roll dough into a rectangle.

Next take a stick of butter or margarine (make sure it's at room temperature so it's easy to spread) and whip it until smooth. Spread it all over the dough. Try not to get too close to the edges.
Take some cinnamon sugar and brown sugar and sprinkle all over. I really don't use any measurements on this part, I just estimate. You may also add at this time raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, crushed candy bars or anything you want.
 Next you want roll up your dough. Try to roll really tight.
Mark about 1 inch lines at the top of your dough so you know where to cut it. My mother-in-law told me to cut my cinnamon rolls with floss, and it works AMAZING!!

Now is the time where you can bake all your cinnamon rolls, freeze them or half and half.

To serve: Let the cinnamon rolls rise for about 30-35 mins. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake them for 15-20 mins depending on your oven

To freeze: Take the unbaked cinnamon rolls and place them on a baking sheet and freeze them for about an hour. When they are done you may place them in one gallon freezer baggies. Label the bag- Put frozen cinnamon rolls on a sprayed baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap place in oven overnight.  In the morning, preheat oven 375 degrees F and bake for 15-18 mins depending on your oven.

While the cinnamon rolls are baking you can make the frosting.
-3 oz of cream cheese (room temperature)
-1/4 butter
-1 cup powered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract ( I have use almond and lemon extract too)
-1 tsp of milk

Take cream cheese and blend until smooth. Then add the butter and blend until smooth. Add milk, vanilla, and powered sugar until creamy. You might have to add more milk depending on the consistency you want.

I hope you enjoy these delicious cinnamon rolls just like my family does!!!

Witches Brooms

I have had a couple of people ask how I made these fun Witches Brooms--  I took pictures when I made them thinking I would post the how to's, but lastnight after the party... I was too tired to do it!!! Lol

 so here's how to make these cute- healthy- snacks.....

First take a string cheese, unwrap it and cut it into 3 pieces like this.  Then take a small pretzel stick & press it into one of the ends.  ( It makes it a lot easier to do this part if your cheese is room temp.)

After you have inserted the pretzel stick.. take a knife and make slices into the other end of the cheese

then to make it fan out more like a broom, I turned it the other way and made a slice down the middle like this.

and that's it!!! Stand them up and you have your brooms ready to go......

Halloween Party 2012

We had our Family Halloween Party yesterday..... here are a few pictures from it.

there's never a shortage of Treats!!! 

these are made with a small pretzel stick & string cheese.

my favorite little monsters

these are my favorite.. I had Jamie make me up a cute topper for them, if you want it- leave a comment on this post & I will have Jamie email them

More Caramel apples!!!  Oh YUM!

It was a lot of FUN!! Love spending time with my favorite people!!
Friday, October 26, 2012

Dipped Pretzel Rods

I've been dipping pretzel rods for our Halloween party this week.  So I thought I would show you how to do them.  I love to work with Peters Caramel-- it comes in a big block, and is so soft & yummy.  So first I cut a piece off and put it in the microvave for about 8 seconds. Then I roll it out flat

once it is rolled out, take a pizza cutter and cut thin slices of caramel

starting at the top of the pretzel -wrap the strip of caramel around, you don't need a very long piece.  I like to do it this way instead of melting the caramel because you end up with a thicker amount of caramel on the pretzel

next melt some chocolate-- I like to use a tall cup- dip the pretzel into the chocolate & coat it well

add some cute sprinkles, and lay it on some parchment paper to dry

you can do all kinds of  different things- I like to use both white & milk chocolate .... and it's always fun to drizzle some colored chocolate on them too.  Trust me they taste delish!! 
Thursday, October 25, 2012

Got a Headache? Try this!

A few years ago I was walking through the mall and saw these lavender packs that you put on your eyes- they were suppose to help relax you and ease headaches.  So I bought one... and it worked.   Then I thought - I think I can make these.  So that's what I did--  They are really easy to make. 

you will need some dried lavender, rice, and esential oil.
pour a few drops of oil into the rice, mix the rice & dried lavender together...  

sew a piece of material to make a pouch like this- leave the top open, fill it with the mixture- sew it closed and your done.
Then when you get a headache- or you just want to relax a bit, lay down & place it over your eyes-- it's amazing!!  I store mine in a plastic bag in the fridge.  You can also use peppermint oil in them too.  They make great thoughtful gifts.  

P.S. to all my friends I gave these to a few years ago...if the lavender smell isn't as strong anymore- bring them back & I'll re fill them for you.  That's what I did with mine! :)    
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Last years Christmas Eve Party

YES!! I caved .... with the snow yesterday morning and more forecasted to come, I started thinking Christmas!!  I know you are saying NO NOT YET!!!   I am with you, I am no where ready for Christmas talk!! But you can never start thinking about it too soon.  :)   

here are a few pictures from our Christmas Eve Party last year.

when my boys were young & living at home, we had a tradition.... every year we went shopping and everyone got to choose 2 of their favorite things to eat for our Christmas party!!  Jell-o is still a favorite.

lot's of favorites = lots of food!!

I added a few extra things too! I will post how to make some of these a little later ( or closer- to Christmas)  ;)

Family & food.... they are two of my FAVORITE things!!  And they always seem to go together!  LOL

The hot chocolate bar is always a hit!!  We love the coco-motion.  You can't really see them, but the rims of the glasses are dipped in chocolate & then rolled in crushed up peppermints.  Oh I want some now!!!!
Santa hats... made with strawberries & a cream cheese mixture-- I'll post more on how to make these later.

Peppermint Chex Mix!!  This one will be YOUR new FAVORITE!!   I will post the recipe for this one soon too! 
So there's your little bit of Christmas in October!! 
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Make store bought frosting... better

I don't usually use store bought frosting... home made is sooooo much better!!  But there are times like this last week when I was making cookies for the little boy's (Grandsons) to frost.  I made sugar cookies for them and was in a hurry to get things ready before they came-  so I grabbed the store bought frosting. 

But there's an easy trick to make the frosting taste more like homemade & make it go farther too!!

Just put the can of frosting into a medium size bowl & whip it with an electric mixer...
it will increase the amount of frosting & it also makes it a better consistency for little hands to spread onto cookies.

if you are using a cream cheese, or vanilla frosting you can add a little bit of Almond emulsion to it & oh  it makes it taste so good!!! I was going to take a picture of the frosting after I mixed it up-- but once the little boy's came... I was too busy keeping the sprinkles off the floor!! LOL and forgot-- I didn't even get a picture of the cookies. :(   Next time you're in a pinch for time try this trick & let me know what you think.

Here is the emulsion that I use.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oreo suckers... for Halloween!!

Getting some things ready for our Halloween party.....
Chocolate covered oreo suckers are one of the little boys favorite treats,  They are pretty fast to make, I was going to take some pictures of each step.. but forgot until it was too late.  So let me just walk you through it.. really it's easy!!! Just take sucker sticks and insert them into a DOUBLE STUFF oreo, dip into melted chocolate & add some sprinkles on top!  When they are dry- put into a plastic bag & tie a cute ribbon on it!!  Ta-da.. that's it!! Then try to eat just one! :) 

Crockpot Freezer Meals

I made these freezer meals about 2 months ago. I just haven't put them on the blog until now. These meals are so delicious and easy. I love that these meals are in gallon zip lock bags and you can just toss them in the crockpot in the morning. I thought I saved my pictures to show you step by step, but I can't find them. This is very easy to put together. Here are the meals for you to try.

Teriyaki Chicken (makes 2 one gallon bags)
-Medium bag of baby carrots
-4 chicken breasts
-2 Tbsp of minced garlic (I just buy the container at Costco)
-2 large cans of pineapple (undrained)
-Red onion
-1 cup Teriyaki sauce

Spilt everything into two gallon freezer bags. Label the bags- Add Teriyaki sauce to crockpot with ingredients in bag, cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hrs. This recipe is delicious over rice!

Garlic Honey Chicken (1 one gallon bag)
-1 1/2 to 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-5 Tbsp of minced garlic (we love garlic so if you don't do about 2Tbsp)
-1 1/4 cup ketchup
-1/2 cup honey
-2/3 cup soy sauce

Add all ingredients to one gallon baggy. Label bag- Cook 3-4 hrs on high or 5-6 hrs on low. This is delicious over rice or mashed potatoes.

Brown Sugar Chicken (1 one gallon bag)
-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
-1 cup brown sugar
-2/3 cup vinegar
-2 Tbsp minced garlic
-1 tsp pepper
-3 Tbsp soy sauce ( I used less sodium)
-1/4 cup sprite(I used diet sprite. Don't add until you put in crock pot)

Add all ingredients to one gallon bag EXCEPT Sprite. Label bag- Add Sprite and all ingredients in baggy to your crockpot. Cook on high for 3-4 hrs.

Salsa Chicken (2  one gallon baggy)
-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
-1 bag frozen corn
-2 cans of diced tomatoes
-1 jar of salsa (I used homemade)
-1 packet of taco seasoning
-2 15 oz cans of black beans
-3 cups cheddar cheese

Divide everything into 2 one gallon bags EXCEPT cheese. Label bag- Cook on low for 8 hrs. Serve over rice or in a tortilla.

I hope you guys love these recipes like my family does.
Friday, October 19, 2012

Cute Halloween tags

I haven't posted for a few days, but I haven't been just sitting on the couch...eating bon-bons!! LOL
Jamie posted some CUTE Halloween Tags she made..... so I thought I would use them!!

You can't get enough caramel apples this time of year!! They are one of our favorites!!

I had a Boutique last week-end and made caramel apples... wrapped them up and attached one of our  Halloween Tags!!

there are a couple of different ones to choose from... they turned out darling. If you haven't printed out any still have time!!   So there ya go, now you know what I have been eating... but hey, I figure they are better than bon-bon's!!  :) 
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween tags!

Have the cutest halloween treat but no tags? We are here to help!

Pumpkin Teeth Tag
Happy Halloween Tag
Halloween Treat Tags

Pumpkin graphics thanks to gg digital designs!

Thanks for sharing on Pinterest!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Scary Peanut Butter Blossoms!

Such a cute and SIMPLE cookie to make.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
* Skull Shaped Chocolates (I made my own using a mold from dollar tree... Yes Dollar Tree)
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
* 1/3 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* granulated sugar

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl. Add 1/3 cup granulated and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate skull into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. (I put them in the freezer because the chocolate skulls continue to melt and you don't want that!!!)

Here is a picture of the mold I used

Simple instructions on how to use chocolate molds!
Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to store Tomatoes

With the cold weather comming... we picked everything out of the garden over the week-end.  There were still alot of tomatoes!!!  I wish I had kept track of how many bushels we had picked this year, it was a LOT!!

 So it looks like I have a little bit of work to do with the ripe tomatoes, but today I wanted to share with you something I learned from my Dad.   He would pick the GREEN tomatoes too!

He would take the green tomatoes-- wrap them in newspaper and place them in a box. They will ripen, and taste just like vine picked tomatoes.  We keep ours in the 4th level where it's a little cooler.  Then you can unwrap one or two every couple of days and enjoy garden fresh tomatoes for weeks after they have been picked. 
Friday, October 5, 2012

Washing outside windows

Oh what a day!!! My windows were looking horrible- and have needed to be washed for a while now.  So I had seen this way of washing them here & I decided to try it.  It worked!!  First I took out all my screens, rinsed them off with the hose- sprayed the all purpose cleaner (you can get the recipe for it on the blog under cleaners) on and scrubbed them- then rinsed all of them and let them set to dry.... 

This was really pretty easy to do- first use a high powered nozzle on your hose & spray the window down

then dip whatever you are going to use to scrubb the windows into the soulition-  (the recipe for it is at the end of this post)  and scrubb each window.

then.... take the nozzle again & squirt it down really good to rinse them off.  You don't need to dry them with anything, just watch as the water ripples down the window & sheets off into a shine.

I don't know if you can really see how clean they look from this picture, but trust me... it's amazing!!   So if you want to try it yourself, here's what you'll need!!

Oh ..... it feels so good to have nice clean windows!!!  Now I'll enjoy it while I can, until the next rain/wind storm!!  :(
Life looks much better through a bright clean window!! Have a good week-end!