Monday, August 29, 2011

the BOMB Bruschetta!!

Every now and again I make something that is a complete and total home run. We're talking, rave reviews - that the boys take 2nds, 3rds, and even ask for more when it's all gone. This, my friends, would be one of those instances.

The best part about this bruschetta(besides being delicious and mostly healthy) was that it was SOO freaking easy I almost felt guilty about it!

Step #1: Layer whipped cream cheese over the garlic bread.

Step #2: Put a layer of spinach leaves, sliced tomatoes, artichokes, sliced olives, and grated mozzarella cheese.

Step #3: Sprinkle with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

Step #4: Bake on 375 for 20 minutes.

Step #5: Slice and enjoy thoroughly



Friday, August 26, 2011

New Knife Block

I got sick of looking at my plain old wooden knife block. Luckily, I had some leftover spray paint from my desk and some pretty black scrap booking paper from the birds I made. One thing lead to another and -


Looks cool, huh?

Once I find my camera I will make sure to go back and take better pictures of everything I have done. In the meantime, you get this cell-phone picture. You get the jest of it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Egg Muffins

Saturday mornings are always hard in that we normally have a couple extra mouths to feed.

#1. It's Saturday, I don't want you to always expect that I am going to cook something. I am not your mother. You know where the Apple Jacks are.

#2. Giving up and just going out to eat is much more convenient - just not always cost-effective.

This week I made some vegetarian-friendly egg "muffins" with my mini-cupcake maker. ( I will use just about any excuse to use that thing!) All I did was break a bunch of cage-free, vegetarian fed chicken eggs into a bowl. I mixed in the things I would normally mix into scrambled eggs; salt, pepper, cholula, chopped jalapenos, little tiny pieces of cooked Morningstar farms breakfast sausages. Delish!

I poured some of my scrambled egg goop into each of the tiny greased tins. After they had cooked allt he way through, I sliced pieces of cheese and put them on top. (LOTS of cheese, as you can see...we love our chees!) I put them in the microwave for a couple more seconds to get the cheese good and melty.

It was AWESOME. Clean-up was a breeze. No sticky pans, no dirty forks and plates left all over in the living room. They brought the plateful of "muffins" on the coffee table (with the cholula sauce of course) and just popped them in their mouths like they were candies while they played Xbox.

Another win for me!

This view gives the impression that we had a little bit of egg with all our cheese, but they sure were good!

The Most Delicious Bran Muffins Ever!

I realize that the title of this post may seem a little contradictory. "Delicious" and "Bran Muffins" aren't usually in the same sentence, but trust me, my dear friends. These. Are. To. Die. For.  My mom used to make them all the time when I was younger. Now I make them in my mini-cupcake maker so they're all cute and little and easy for me to grab and eat in the car on my way to work.

So, without further ado, here is how you make the most delicious bran muffins eva!

You will need:
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 5 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 4 cups All-Bran
  • 2 cups Bran Flakes
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

    NOTE: the buttermilk can be substituted for applesauce to make apple bran muffins, if you so desire. (Also delicious)

Combine water & baking soda; stir until dissolved. Cool.
In a mixing bowl cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour & salt, then add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Mix well.
Beat in the water/soda mixture.
Fold in cereals and nuts. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins test done.
*Mixture will keep in refrigerator for one week*
Which, to me may be the best part. There are technically only two people living at my house, so if it's just me and my sweetie, then I only have to make a couple at a time. Brilliant, eh?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Houndstooth Heaven

When I planned on re-doing my family room (more just doing it in the first place...I couldn't re-do something that had never been done to begin with) I had all these visions of my favorite things: Color, texture, and HOUNDSTOOTH. My couple trips to Joanne's proved to be unsuccessful, as the worker I spoke with on several occasions let me know that they only carried houndstooth print in the heavy duty upholstery fabric that was far too scratchy for couch pillows. I went with my second favorite pattern, french damask.   
My sweetie can never know this, but I secretly grew annoyed of the pillows that I made for the family room. I LOVE French Damask, but they were just so stinking loud with the different colors and the fading...not to mention the difficulty I had in getting the particular fabric I had purchased to stop fraying. The seams were a hot mess and anyone with any sewing ability at all would have seen what a less-than-desirable job I had done.

Fast forward a month. I'm at Joanne's to buy a few things for a different project. I see there is a sale on fabric quarters, so I meander on that way. What to my wandering eyes should appear? Oh, only the answer to my prayers. White. Chocolate. Houndstooth.   Needless to say, I am in heaven.

Bought my fabric. Waited for my sweetie to be away from the house, then quickly re-covered the pillows and put them back on the couch as if nothing had happened. When he finally got around to noticing (it takes him a few days sometimes) he asked what happened to the other pillows. I didn't dare tell him that I hated my old pillows (he told me that I would and I don't like to point out when he's right) so I just told him that I finally found the fabric I originally wanted.

I must say, I am quite pleased with the results.

Less busy. Nice and houndstooth-ish. Just the way I like it.

My new pillows being modeled by Toby.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Super Yummy Queso

This weekend we had an impromptu Fiesta at mi casa.
Our amigos were headed over, (as is customary for Friday evenings) and we had just picked up some delicious tamales and salsa from our favorite Maria in the world. (Learning how to make her delicious tamales is on my to-do list...I'll let you know how that works out). We decided that we also needed some queso, and since the boys had been requesting this ever since the last time I made it, into the crock pot went:
  • 1 big brick of Velveeta cheese - cubed
    (the spicy kind is best, but I have yet to find it in the larger bricks)
  • 1 can vegetarian chili (or not...depending on your preference of course)
  • 1 can black beans - drained (good protein and iron!)
  • 2 cans mexican style stewed tomatoes - drained
  • 1 small can jalapenos - drained
Heat in Crockpot (on high), stirring often, until the cheese has melted into a delicious gooey goodness.

Congratulations! You have successfully made the most delicious/easiest queso dip ever. Time to strike up the Mariachi band and Salsa your way over to the chip table.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Grocery Smarts Follow-Up

For those who read my previous post regarding the Grocery Smarts Class I had, here is my first big success! I've been grocery shopping a few times and I normally save between $5 - 10 just in coupons, but this time I hit the jackpot!

Everything here cost me a whopping...wait for it...wait for it....$11. True story!

That covers the $2.00 Tide, 2 tubes of 50 cent toothpaste, 2 bags of 50 cent Bugles, 2 boxes of Go-Gurt, (that are SO yummy frozen!) 2 packages of BOGO Trix yogurt, BOGO Dove shampoo/conditioner, $1.50 Almond milk, and 2 bottles of 50 cent body wash!!

A HUGE thanks Kat and her wonderful clippings!! Check out her Facebook page to learn where you can attend your Grocery Smarts class!


There are a few things in my house that there is never a shortage of:

(in no particular order)
1. Dog hair on couches
2. Beer cans (empty and otherwise)
3. Empty toilet paper rolls
4. Testosterone
5. Baked goods

One day, the Artist in me would like to be able to re-use one or all of these things for something absolutely creative and totally fabulous. Until the day comes that black dog hair on white clothes becomes a fashion statement, cupcakes make you lose weight, and beer can chandeliers are all the rage, I will have to work with what I've got.

#1: A piece of old wood that I cut off my super fantastic new-old desk.

#2: Toilet paper and paper towel rolls, folded in half and painted to my liking.

I took the painted paper towel rolls after they had dried, and glued them onto the old piece of desk (that I had also painted the same color as the desk drawers). I used all-purpose craft glue from Joanne's so it only took about an hour to dry completely. (You can kind of see where it's still wet in the picture above)


I am pretty freaking proud of this project. It too me all of a half hour to make, and it looks absolutely fantastic, in my humble opinion, next to the lamp shade I also made with old fabric scraps. (Please excuse the poor lighting)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pinterest Inspiration

For anyone who has not yet jumped on the Pinterest sure are missing out! I love, Love, LOVE lists and adore ways to help me be organized. It's nice for me, too because I am a very visual person. I retain images much better than words and other instructions.

I thought I would share a couple projects that I am looking forward to taking on in the next few weeks. These projects all come from my For the Home Board.

My bedroom needs pretty curtains

And a pretty headboard

And who doesn't need more ways to organize their craft room?

Pinterest is currently by invitation only, so if you would like to join, shoot me an email and I will send you an invite!

Happy Pinning!

Black and Decker Steam Mop Giveaway!

If you know me, you know that the only thing I love more than new tools (for cleaning, crafting, or baking) is FREE tools!

Thanks to the wonderful Ms. Stacy at Not Just a Housewife, I have a chance to win free stuff. Guess what? You do, too! Just click here to visit her blog and view the many opportunities to enter this contest.

The winner will be announced Monday, August 8th. Good luck!  :)