Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Allow me to introduce Real Women Eat

Have you been to my "other" blog?  If so, then you might be wondering who these "real" women are over at Real Women Eat.  I thought I'd share a picture of us.


This was the day of our "Cook-N-Critique".  You really should go on over to Real Women Eat, and read!
We have loads of fun.  Hey, what could be better?  We have an excuse to party!  LOL  Next month we've "cooked" up a great Cook-N-Critique, and it's at Buttercream's house!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Re-usable Shopping Tote from a jumper dress

So there I was at my fave vintage (a.k.a. thrift store) when I spied this cute jumper. 

(NOTE:   If you look closely, you'll see I decided to take a picture after I had already sewn the bottom (before cutting off) !

I'm constantly looking for "containers" to make gift baskets out of,  clothing  and linens - not for the clothing sake, but for what fabrics I can find, and embelishments I can scavenge off of them.  My favorite "gift basket" containers are boxy-type purses.  You know the vintage kind you never see a lady sporting these days?  They're the best!  LOL

Anyway, The straps on this jumper  just made me think of a tote bag so, I bought it for $1.69 and started to work on it.  Not much had to be done though, so it's a super-easy, and super-quick craftiness!

First I decided where I wanted the bottom to end, ironed a crease in it and cut the excess off (to be used in another project I'm sure - maybe a cosmetic case or something)


Did you notice I sewed it "right sides out"  instead of right's sides in?  Since I decided I didn't want to line it, I decided on "French seams".

Cut off the bottom.  I gave myself a 1/4 inch seam


ok, now for the "French" part (???)


I'm sure I won't do a good job explaining a French seam, so you have my permission to Google it  but basically the gist is ....
After you've sewn that line (with right sides out) and cut off the bottom, you want to turn the bag insided out and sew another bottom seam (making sure to catch the rough ends up in it).   Now you don't see any fuzzy ends, it all looks "finished".   See, I told you I would explain it very well. So, go ahead, google it.  There are all sorts of instructions out there for doing French seams.

So, that's my jumper/dress turned Tote Bag!

Be Sweet!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

And the Winner Is...

I wish I had a Little Longaberger Tote for all of you who entered the give-away - but I only have one.  It's so very hard to only have one to give, (because we all know one of my love-languages is gifts, right? ) LOL   
So I did the old put-all-the-comments-in-a-bowl-and-draw-with-my- eyes-closed (and cringing!) and pulled out.........

Noelle  from Lil Bits and Pieces of Me

Congrats Noelle! 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

FREEZER FOODS FRIDAY

It's Freezer Foods Friday again, and we're wrapping up our self proclaimed "Chicken Month" .

I thought I'd share some chicken marinades with you.  These are some I've gathered over the years.  If you will notice one recipe I used as a marinade is from the recipe that everybody was making a while back...You know, the Apricot Chicken recipe?  Well did you know it makes a great marinade for grilling chicken???  It does!

Honey Chicken Marinade
3 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp garlic

Long Island Chicken
1 pint apple cider vinegar
1 cup oil
1 TBSP poultry seasoning
1 TBSP salt
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp pepper

Something's Different Here Grilled Chicken Marinade
1/2 bottle Catalina dressing
1/2 packet of dry onion soup mix
3 TBSP olive oil
12 oz jar of apricot preserves - heated in the microwave until runny.

Now for one that I don't do as a marinade to freeze, but a cool way to fix a moist chicken dish... Ya know how sometimes boneless-skinless chicken breasts can be a bit...um.. dry?  Try this:

Mayonnaise Chicken
Spread mayo onto boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Dip in a mix of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 until chicken is done, OR freeze between pieces of wax paper. (Really moist and delish!)

now, how about a recipe?

Creole Chicken
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 can tomatoes (16 oz)
1/2  a 6 oz. can tomato paste
Water
1 1/2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Tobasco sauce to taste
2 1/2 cup diced cooked chicken

Melt butter in sauce pan, saute the onions and celery until tender but do not brown.  Pour the entire contents of can of tomatoes into a bowl and "squish" into small pieces; add to saucepan.  Put tomato paste into a measuring cup and add enough warm water to make one cup, mix until smooth, add to sauce pan.  Stir Worcestershire sauce, salt and sugar, chili powder and tobasco into saucepan.  Simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.  Remove forom heat and cool.  Stir in chicken pieces and divide into freezer bags.

To serve:  Thaw and heat in microwave with dash of garlic powder.

I'm adding McLinky in case you've got a good tip, recipe, or hints for making ahead.  Doesn't have to be "FREEZER" foods.  Jump right in!  Be sure to link back here though, so everyone can see the goodness.




Monday, March 22, 2010

Storage ideas in the Kitchen

Do you have an unusual amount (I think they call that a "collection"  LOL) of cookie cutters?  I store mine in large...no make that gigantic... cookie jars.  I got one somewhere, but found more at Old Time Pottery.  I have two gigantic ones and one medium size one.  If I buy just one more cookie cutter, I'll have to break out the medium size one!  I like the clear jars so I can see my cookie cutters.

The one on the far left, (you an see green in there) houses the "holiday" cookie cutters (which, except for a few hearts and a carrot for Easter, is mostly Christmas).

And here's where I put my "stash" of scrubbies and dish towels...


see?


So I was playing around trying to decide if I wanted to "change things up a bit" in my kitchen.   I have limited counter space and that being said, things can become cluttered looking fast in there.



This is what that corner looks like.

See those things stacked on top of each other next to the mixer?  Those are one of the best kitchen purchase I've made from QVC!  The bottom (blue) one holds my aluminum foil and the top holds my plastic wrap.  I am now able to wrap things with plastic wrap without all that clinging to itself and un-even rips! Perfect every time.  I used to visit a sandwich shop that had a larger version of this and wished they made something like that for "us common folks".   Now they do!!!!  I really like it and want them to come out with a longer one now!
Ok, getting back on track... (yes, my conversations in real life bounce all over the place too!)

So I'm thinking, well, what if I put the Cookie Jars by the Kitchen Aid?

as opposed to where they were... (look back up to the cluttered kitchen, see there on the left by the microwave?)
hmmm...  What about this?

But that didn't accomplish much, just added to gigantic cookie jars.


So then I removed not only the plastic wrap and aluminum foil do-hickies, but the Kitchen Aid and got this:
Not thrilled with that either.  Besides that, I have no place for the wrap thingies (the drawers are too small to house 'em)  and I NEED my Kitchen Aid at the ready and not filed away somewhere so...


Back goes the cookie jars, and back goes the Kitchen Aid and the wrap do-hickies to their original spots!    ROFL!!!
But it was fun, right?

Friday, March 19, 2010

FREEZER FOODS FRIDAY

It's Freezer Foods Friday time again - and we're continuing "chicken month". This week I wanted to share some of my favorite "dump chicken" mixes. I happened to notice the date I typed in at the bottom of the pages and it was way back to 2001 ! Wow - I didn't realize I had been doing freezer cooking for over 10 years (yeah, I can count, 2001 was the year I obtained "these" recipes! LOL).

The reason they're called "dump" recipes, is all you do is make up the mixture,and "dump" it all in the freezer bags / containers with the chicken, and when you're ready to prepare the meal, you "dump" it all in the pan...or you can grill 'em too! Simple, right?

So, let's get to it!


BBQ Jelly Chicken
3/4 cup Ketchup
3/4 cup Peach, apricot, strawberry, or any other favorite jam.
1/8 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
2 teaspoons Chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

***** (NOTE: All of the "Dump Chicken" processes follow these instructions - just refer back here for each recipe's instruction)

For immediate cooking: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients into a large baking dish, turn chicken to coat. Bake until chicken juices run clear. (approx. 45-60 minutes for chicken pieces, or 20-30 minutes for chicken breasts)
For Freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 gallon freezer bag. Lay flat in freezer.
To thaw and cook: Take the bag out of the freezer the night before.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Empty contents of the bag into a large baking dish and bake until the juices run clear.

Creole Chicken
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup bell pepper
1 clove minced garlic
14 oz can whole tomatoes (I use the canned diced ones)
2 tsp. Worcestershire
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp pepper sauce (optional)


Sweet & Sour Chicken
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP honey
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP sherry vinegar
1/8 cup Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons minced ginger
4 cloves garlic - crushed



Spicy Sweet Glaze
2 tsp. minced garlic
2/3 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
1/3 cup Ketchup
1 tsp Tobasco

Sticky Chicky (this will sound weird, but trust me, it's good!!!)
2 TBSP oil
1 TBSP Soy Sauce
3 TBSP smooth peanut butter
3 TBSP ketchup

Teriyaki Chicken
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
2 TBSP Rice Wine (optional - I omit this)
1.5 TBSP Cider vinegar
1.5 TBSP brown sugar
1.5 TBSP minced ginger


Ok, there you have my top choices for "dump chicken". I'd love to hear if you try them and which ones you like. Really, that "sticky chicky" might sound g-r-o-s-s but I think it's really good. It doesn't taste at all like chicken-gone-peanutbutter-cookie at all! LOL

Also - you can use whatever pieces of chicken your family likes, I just use chicken breasts in all mine almost exclusively. I either catch 'em on sale (love those buy-one-get-two offers) or buy the big bags at Sam's. I just prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Now, if you have a good "make ahead" recipe, tip or idea, join in the McLinky party and link up. But please, link back to this so everyone can come and see!




Thursday, March 18, 2010

The winner for the Scrapping Giveaway is...

The winner of the scrapping give-away is..... Shannon from Milk and Cuddles Congrats!!!

Shannon, I tried leaving a message, but it never went through, so please email me your mailing address.


Thanks everybody for playin' along. Now, now be sad if your name wasn't drawn out of the old hat, check this post! I'm hosting yet another give-away! It's a medium sized Longaberger tote in time for Spring!

Longaberger Tote Bag Give-Away!!!

*** Entries for GiveAway are now closed ***
check back later to see who won!


In time for Spring, I'm giving away a Longaberger tote!!!


It's really cute too!

I know, the Scrapper's giveaway hasn't ended yet (ends tonight!) and here I am hosting another give-away! I'm in such a Spring mood that I can't help it! That, and I love to give presents almost as much as I love to get them... I said almost! (You can send me presents any time you want!!! LOL)
Ok, here's the low-down on how to score this cute little beauty:
1. Leave a comment for one entry
2. Follow my blog for two extra entries
3. Take my button and place on your blog for two more entries (and I'll love you forever!)
4. Talk /blog about it (with a link here), tweet it, etc. for two more entries
So there you have it, you have the chance for SEVEN entries!
Check back Saturday night, March 27th, to see if you won!
Enjoy, and Be Sweet!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Look what came in the mail!

Donna at Brynwood Needleworks sent me some great goodies!!! I won her giveaway in celebration of her 300th post. This came in the mail actually two days ago, but I have been so busy trying to get my recipes organized...you remember that post, right? (Here) that I haven't even been able to open it...until tonight!
That's really unusual for me, because everything must stop if I have a present!!! LOL




Of course, she took a much better picture of it all, so I'm going to add hers here....

(you can click on her picture (above) to go to her blog. She's a fascinating and busy woman! I love reading her blog and seeing what she's up to (she's always up to something beautiful!)

also, I got the neatest birthday present from my aunt Sarah (yeah, I'm late posting that too!). She is one of the contributors on my other blog Real Women Eat. Have you been there? You've gotta check it out. We're due for a "Cook-N-Critique" the end of this month so be sure to check it out..
Anyway, I think it's first of all, totally appropriate! (LOL) and secondly totally cool!!!! You know, I love repurposing and she did it all the way! Look!

She made the apron out of a jeans skirt... lovin' the hot pink fabric patches, don't you?

and if that wasn't cool enough, she even repurposed the wrapping and presentation! Get this!
The same fabric she used for the accents on the jeans apron she used to wrap it in
and can you see how she closed it? Instead of tape she... well, look for yourself...

Does she get me or what?!? LOL
Thank you Donna and Sarah! You made me smile!

Be Sweet,

Im feelin' like Spring!



Finally - a day without a jacket! LOL I'm feeling like Spring. How about you?












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