Wednesday, June 29, 2011

our {SUMMER} list

These Summer 'Bucket' lists are EVERY-WHERE in blogland lately! So here is ours!
We sat down as a family , okay so just me and my husband, a 9 month old wouldn't of had too much input ;)
We wrote down all the things that we always thought would be fun to do, but had never gotten around to! It really only took maybe 20 minutes to come up with this list! Then I printed it, slid it into a page protector (with the side cut off), stuck a few magnets on the back and hung it on the fridge! I'm REALLY excited to start checking things off of the list! This weekend hopefully we will start with the Zoo and eating at a new restaurant!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cupcake Fondue.

I found this on my Pinterest and i'm in love with the 
whole concept. Simple. Fun. and Yummy.

pictures and how-to's VIA How Sweet Eats.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pork & Rice Bowls

This is a super fast and easy lunch if you already have the rice cooked (I had leftovers) and a pork chop precooked. And it's SO yummy! Add any veggies you want... this is just an 'inspration' recipe!
2 cups cooked rice
sliced pork (I used a leftover porkchop)
1 cup broccoli florrets
1/2 cup peas
3 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS teryaki sauce
1 tsp chili sauce (optional- this makes it spicy!)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
After you cook the rice, slice the porkchop into pieces, and add all the ingredients into a pan and heat until vegtables are heated through. I never measure my seasonings, so those are just guesses, add more to taste.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Double Duty Beef & Bean Burritos

Burritos are a staple at our house! I used to buy the prepackaged bean and cheese burritos, but they were always so dry, so I stopped. But, I missed the convenience of them, so I decided to make my own!
One night I was making Beef and Bean Enchiladas, and I had leftover filling, so I decided to try making them into regular burritos, and freezing them. IT WORKED! like REALLY well! I was very (and pleasantly) surprised! It's definitely something I will do again!

You need...
Flour tortillas (I used 7, but it depends how full you fill your burritos)
1 can fat free refried beans (use fat free, they are a little stiffer)
1/2 cup precooked ground beef
1/2 can corn (optional)
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 can enchilada sauce (if you are making the enchiladas)

In a bowl, combine beans, beef, corn and cheese and mix well. Spoon into the tortillas and roll them up tight (with ends TUCKED IN!).
 If you are doing the enchiladas, place them in a dish and cover with enchilada sauce and a little cheese. Bake at 400 until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted.
If you are only making the frozen burritos, roll the burritos tightly in plastic wrap and lay flat in the freezer. To eat, unwrap from plastic wrap, rewrap with a paper towel and microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
SO EASY! You can fill these with pretty much anything! Just make sure you don't put anything you don't want heated inside! (lettuce, sour cream, etc.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

My scrap wood collection

On the last post I did, I got asked about my 'scrap wood'. So I thought I'd give a little insight into how I came about all these chunks of decorating soon-to-be's.
THISis my collection. It doesn't look too big, but I would say there are around 50-75 blocks of wood in there! I've come about the wood in various ways, I started out by raiding the 'scrap bins' at home depot. They usually have manageable sizes of random wood for cheap, and will cut it for really cheap, if not free. I would just have them cut me a bunch of random sizes, that way I had a bunch to choose from when I got home.
When we moved there was a pool in the backyard of our new house, the pool is now gone, but it left behind a HUGE stack of wood that the Bank had used to cover the pool.
Needless to say, between this stash and the fact that my Dear Hubby was nice enough to ask for a saw for christmas, I haven't had to go to Home depot for wood in quite awhile.
Now onto the cutting of the wood. I have a few basic sizes that I like to work with. But really you can get them cut to any size that you want
I'll give you a little run down of the sizes:
5.5x4 and 8x4 - I like to use these two sized together and stack them. Ive done Happy Valentines, Happy Halloween, basically Happy Anything. :)
11x6 - I use this size for gifts a lot, I just did a baby name on one for a friend's shower, and I use them as wedding gifts. But it's a good basic size for just about anything!
17x6 - This is a good size for a LONG name, or a quote. I cant find one of these that I have kept, so you'll just have to trust me ;)

2.5x6 - I probably have used this size the most, they are perfect to just stick on a shelf somewhere or as small gifts. I used these for neighbor gifts for Christmas and they worked great!

7x6 - This is another good size for basic decorating. You cant fit much on it, but its perfect for short words (Love, USA, Boo, etc)
Another good size to have on hand that I am out of in my box, is a square block. I use 6x6's and 8x8's mostly.
Here are a few more examples that I just dug out of my decoration boxes.
 Anyways I hope this helps you get an idea of how to start a 'wood stockpile' of your own! It's SO nice to just be able to whip up a Wedding gift, or a few holiday decorations for free!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Perfect Potato Salad

8 Potatoes - peeled, cut into bitesized cubed, and boiled.
4 hard boiled eggs (*see footnote)
1 cup Miracle Whip, or less depending on how 'saucy' you want it
2 TBS mustard
1/2 cup chopped pickles + 2TBS pickle juice
1/2 cup sliced olives
1/4 cup chopped green onion (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp celery seed

While potatoes and eggs are boiling, mix all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the eggs and potatoes in a bowl. When the potatoes and eggs have cooled, chop the eggs and add them to the potatoes. Add the Miracle Whip mixture to the eggs and potatoes and mix just until combined. Sprinkle paprika over top and chill until very cold.

* Want to know how to boil PERFECT eggs every time? place your eggs in the botton of a sauce pan, add enough water to cover the eggs about an inch above the tops with cold water. As soon as the water comes to a boil, cover with a lid, and turn off the heat. Allow the eggs to sit in the water for 15 minutes. If you do all this right, you'll get perfect boiled eggs!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2x4 Firecracker Tutorial

I LOVE 4th of July decorations! Probably more than the average person I am sure. These were super easy and fun to make!
All you need is...
3 2x4 chunks cut at random heights ( I just plucked 3 from my big box of wood scraps)
red, white and blue paint
tape, stickers or vinyl
foam paintbrush
any dark stain
hammer and a thick nail
rusty (or not rusty) wire

I started out painting all 3 blocks with an off white spray paint. I use Rustoleum 2x coverage in Heirloom White. It's my go to spray paint!
So after those all dried, I taped off stripes, and stuck some random vinyl stars on one. Then I painted over the other parts of the blocks with the red and blue paint.
When that paint was dry I removed the tape and vinyl. The lines weren't perfect, but that was fine with me because I wanted the vintage-y look. Anyways so then I sanded around the edges and rubbed some stain on them.
For the wire sparks, I took some old wire my husband had in the garage, cut it into some short peices and curled them around a pencil. Then I took a large nail and hammered 3 holes into the tops of the blocks and stuck the wire in.
that brought me to this point. They were cute, but a little too plain for my taste. SO I raided my craft room, and found some netting and metal numbers to spruce them up a bit!
I was really happy with how they turned out! And even happier that they costed me nothing!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Zucchini and Mushrooms

Our zuchini plants are starting to produce! and quickly! We LOVE any kind of squash at our house, but this is the way we usually have it.
You need...
2 small zucchini (smaller=more tender so its better to use 2 small instead of 1 big)
1/2 -1 cup of mushrooms
1 sweet banana pepper (optional.. we have a TON of these in our garden so we are putting them in EVERYTHING!)
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
salt to taste
pepper to taste

In a shallow pan, heat olive oil, and the rest of the ingredients and saute on medium until zucchini and mushrooms are tender. If you are in a hurry, put a lid on the pan so they will sort of steam, and they will get soft faster.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Harmon's Sloppy Bobs

A new take on the original Sloppy Joes.
So yummy!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 chopped onion (optional. I just did onion flakes)
1 chopped red bell pepper (optional)
1/2  6 oz. can tomato paste
1 bottle Harmon's Smokey Bacon (my favorite) or Harmon's Smoked Habanero sauce

Brown ground beef in skillet, add onions & red pepper & simmer til tender. Pour in tomato paste and Harmon's sauce then heat through.

Cheesy Fried Ravioli

These were SO yummy! Not SO healthy, but ya gotta live a little sometimes, right?
You need...
appx. 8-10 cheese ravioli per person for a meal cooked according to package directions and set aside to dry.
2 eggs
1 TBS water
2 cups bread crumbs, seasoned or not
1 tsp. garlic powder plus 1/2 tsp. (separated)
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 TBS Parmesan cheese
oil for frying

In a  shallow bowl, combine eggs, water and 1/2 tsp garlic powder and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, the remaining garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and parmesan cheese.
In a large frying pan, heat enough oil to come up the pan about a 1/2 inch. To test if the oil is hot enough, stick a wooden spoon into the oil, if bubbles form, its ready. one at a time, dip the ravioli into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Place CAREFULLY into the oil and allow to fry until golden brown before turning over. Allow to drain and cool a bit on paper towels.
Dip in warmed marinara sauce.

We had these plain for dinner, but I think they would be REALLY good in a salad, or as an appetizer!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Father's Day Crafts

With Father's Day just around the corner, I found this adorable
FREE printable to help make his day more AWESOME!
Go to this site:

{photo courtesy of shindig parties to go}

She has quite a few different ideas and they are all so adorable.
Check out her etsy shop too for more fun party/holiday ideas!!
Thank you Amanda! You Rock!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Creamy Chicken Orzo

I had never cooked with orzo before if you can believe it! Orzo is just pasta, that is shaped like rice. But it doesnt seem like pasta when you eat it, at least it didnt to me. Not pasta, not rice, but still yummy!
1/2 lb. orzo pasta
1/2 to 1 cup shredded chicken (warmed)
1/2 can cream of chicken soup, or a whole can if you want it creamier.
3 TBS milk
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 TBS worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas

Cook orzo and set aside. Combine cream of chicken soup, milk and seasonings and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, while stirring occasionaly for about 10 minutes. In a saucepan, saute carrots in a little olive oil until soft, add mushrooms and peas, continue to saute until peas are thawed. Combine sauce, chicken and veggies, add to or spoon over the orzo and serve!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Taco Pizza. {yum}

taco pizza.
-dough, homemade OR you know those french breads they sell at the grocery store, well...if you ask for the dough they make them with they will give it to you, for a buck fifty. yummy dough.
-black beans crushed up with some taco seasoning, making the base {'sauce'}
-we put cooked ground turkey, or keep it vegetarian with just the beans. {or add whatever meat}
-fried tortillas for chips on top
-sour cream, like half a cup, mixed with cholula sauce for drizzles on top.
-any other desired veggies or yumminess.

--put the bean 'sauce' on, then the meat, and then cheese. Cook at 375, for about 15 minutes.
When it's out and a little bit cooled add the lettuce, tomatoes, veggies, etc..then put the chips on top
and drizzle the sour cream mixture on it.

This is super easy, cheap, and FAST. it was like a navajo taco, just times 10. :)

found at The Pioneer Woman.


Friday, June 3, 2011

DIY Garbage Bag Storage

I was SO sick of having THIS mess in my pantry...
So I did something about it! I made this with all scraps I had, which is the reason they are SO wrinkled, sorry :)

You will need:
3 pieces of coordinating fabric
-one 22" x 20" (the middle)
-two 22" x 5" (the ends)
1/2 inch elastic cut into 2 pieces
-one 10" (top opening)
-one 7" (bottom opening)
12 inches matching ribbon
sewing machine

Here are the steps, although it's pretty self-explanatory...
1. cut your fabric pieces to size. Or if you are wanting one solid piece, cut it 22" x 30".
2. sew your strips to each end (so the 22" sides are together)
3. on the 22" sides, sew a casing for your elastic about 3/4 inch wide or just big enough to thread your elastic through.
4. sew the other sides together so it forms a long tube.
5. (no pictures, sorry) thread elastic through the casing and stitch ends together. repeat on the other side.
6. in the side with the larger elastic opening, stitch your ribbon ends to the inside of the fabric, making a strap to hang the holder from.
7. Stuff your bag full of garbage bags, and hang!

Use the code STMMMS84668 to get $10 off instantly!
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