Thursday, February 25, 2016

ST. PADDY'S DAY DECORATING FUN + CUTE ROMAN NUMERAL GIFTS

When thinking about changing out my entry table from St. Valentine's Day to St. Paddy's day it occurred to me it would be nice to do a little something as an homage to our upcoming anniversary.  So I thought about it for awhile and decided upon something a little subtle.
Some old friends
This old friend was a find at Home Goods several years ago but it certainly could be very easily copied by using a white plate from the Dollar Tree and adding shamrock stickers and a stand all available at the dollar store.
 A new friend from Nell Hills - he was in the downstairs "as is" area - if you look under the bow you will see that he is missing a piece.  I permanently glued the handle and added the shamrock ribbon and only I (well, and now all you folks) know what the bow is covering as you cannot see it well in person.  When I saw this beautiful ceramic lantern for some reason it reminded me of the lovely Irish Belleek dishes (think it is the weave pattern) anyway it was originally $35 and since it was broken it was $4, so I thought it was worth hauling around the airport as I had a mental vision of it fixed with the shamrock ribbon.  I have one of those battery candles inside.
I love a boxwood wreath and this guy moves around my house.
 The framed Roman numeral is our anniversary date in March.
Another boo-boo bargain!  Hobby Lobby usually has a section of items marked way down and I often cruise the aisle looking for treasures.


The only thing wrong with this frame was a few chips which were easily taken care of with a coat of Annie Sloan off-white paint and then a little wax to make the finish nice.
 The frame had a nice mat so I created a simple insert with our first names and the Roman numerals of our anniversary.
Just in case you don't remember your Roman numerals here is what the online converter screen looks like at: http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/number/date-to-roman-numerals.htm

Here is a link to free Roman fonts: http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=204

After I made the framed anniversary Roman numeral date I started thinking of other simple applications for this and I made a few samples......




 I think these would be so cute in a nursery in a white ceramic frame....what do you think???

 Often times at the special anniversaries we are asked to not bring a gift and I for one feel awkward about this, something just not right to not bring a gift so instead of that nice bottle of wine print this out on some special cardstock and put into a silver frame and if it is the big 50, use gold.


In a cute frame for Sweet 16.  Let your imagination go wild. Very inexpensive and a little unique.  Hobby Lobby's frames are always on sale 50% off and other hobby stores have coupons.

I found all these cute graphics at the Graphic's Fairy (natch) and you can be sure that the graphics are OK to use because just Googeling "free.....graphics" will not necessarily bring up graphics that are not copyrighted and available for your use

Resource

Frame, Hobby Lobby
Paint, Annie Sloan color, Old White
Roman Numeral Converter,http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/number/date-to-roman-numerals.htm
Free Roman Numeral fonts, http://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=204   - there are several to chose from
Graphic's Fairy, Boy on Rabbit, & Bunny wearing pink dress and Mary Jane's, Premium, Cute Easter Graphics
Graphic's Fairy, 25 Anniversary Wreath,  http://thegraphicsfairy.com/vintage-clip-art-printer-ornaments-wreath-horseshoe-rabbits/
 Graphic's Fairy Sweet Sixteen Wreath, http://thegraphicsfairy.com/free-vintage-clip-art-rose-wreath/

Thank you for stopping by.
 


 




Tuesday, February 23, 2016

TASTY TUESDAY BAKED FILLING FOR TACOS, BURROS, ETC.

The "Tasty Tuesday" healthy recipe this week is a filling that may be used with tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, etc. Very easy and very tasty. I have done this two ways - once with very thin sliced beef and once with chicken - the process is the same the spices are different.
After gathering the ingredients for my spice rub in the bottom of a Pyrex dish slice a couple of bell peppers and a medium onion and place in the bottom of the pan - it is the same for chicken and beef. The amount and type of peppers and onions is up to the individual.
 I like to use very thin sliced beef and find it with the steaks in the meat aisle, it's reasonable and great for this dish.
 The spices get mixed with honey (tip: spray your tablespoon with non-stick spray like Pam and it will slide off the spoon).
Cover with parchment paper - make sure it is tucked in all around - covering it this way will keep the heat in, sort of like steaming the meat in the oven.
Finally cover with foil and place in a 300° oven for 2 hours - low and slow.
Carefully remove the foil, then the parchment and let it cool a bit and take a meat fork and knife and cut up the meat and the veggies.  This can be used to make tacos, as filling for enchiladas, burritos, tostadas, etc.  No fat has been added and the thin sliced beef is not full of fat.


 The chicken is the same process.  I used about 1.5 pounds of beef and only a pound of chicken, next time I will use the 1.5 pounds of chicken tenders.

Spice Mixture for Beef:

You can mix up any spices you like or you can just use taco seasoning and the honey and the tomato paste - use 1T of taco seasoning.

1 Tablespoon Honey

Mix together:

1 Tablespoon tomato paste (I used half tomato paste & half chipotle paste, you can find them both in a tube)
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp green Tabasco sauce  (or red)

Mix together the last 7 ingredients with the honey and brush on the meat.

Once you have the meat seasoned I pour either a little beef broth or better some jarred Heinz beef gravy around the edges of the dish.  Not too much but enough to add moisture to the dish.

Spice Mixture for Chicken

1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp green chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp green Tabasco sauce

Mix these ingredients with 1T honey and brush the chicken, then pour a little Heinz chicken gravy around the edges of the dish.  These jarred gravies are low in fat and calories and help give moisture to the dish.

Enjoy.

Thank you for stopping by.     

 

Friday, February 19, 2016

MAKING SPREADS WITH HEATH AND BELLE!

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of making cookies and Valentines (for them to give to their families) with two of my grandsons on Saturday and then with my dear granddaughter on Sunday.  We made simple Spreads cookies - on Friday with milk chocolate topping and on Sunday with white chocolate topping.  These cookies are both simple and delicious.  A great cookie to make with kids.  I told my granddaughter that this would be a great cookie for her to make for the first time on her own.
These cookies are so simple - just a few ingredients.


Spreads Cookies Recipe

Preheat oven to 350°

Ingredients:

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter (two sticks) softened
1 egg, room temp
2 cups AP flour, preferably King Arthur
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
8 ounces of chips – your choice semi-sweet, white, butterscotch, etc.

Directions:

In your mixer whip the butter until fluffy, add the brown sugar to incorporate, in a separate bowl mix together the egg and the vanilla and add to the butter, then add the salt and finally add the two cups of flour.
Once the mixture is all incorporated spread onto a Silpat lined cookie sheet making a rectangle as smooth and even as possible.  You want the mixture to be as even as possible.
Bake for about 15 minutes, remove from the oven and put the chips on top and return to the oven for approximately 1 minute 30 seconds.  Remove from the oven and spread the chocolate (or other chips) to the edges of the cookies and then place your toppings.  Let the cookies completely cool and cut into squares.
 



On Saturday Heath and I made Spreads with semi-sweet milk chocolate chips, Heath bar chips (natch!) and walnuts that we put into the food processor - we called these "English Toffee Bars."

Once the cookies are done and you put the chips on to melt then simply add  your toppings, let the cookies cool and cut into squares.
On Sunday Missy Belle wanted to do white chocolate chips...

A mixture of sprinkles, jimmies, Hawaiian rainbow sugar and red hearts for Valentine's day were Belle's choices.
Cooled and ready to cut...
We placed them in a Valentine tray, covered with plastic wrap, added a bow and she was ready to take her Valentine cookies home for the family - with her homemade cards too!

Hubby, Belle and I liked the ones with the white chocolate best but there are so many ways to make these your cookie.  Some semi-sweet (or Hershey's chips) then add crushed graham crackers and little marshmallows, butterscotch chips and some walnuts and drizzle with caramel - or just add the chips - whatever your little heart desires. Have some fun with this cookie.

Recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman.

Thank you for stopping by.