Monday, April 9, 2012

Not Your Mom's Edamame

I saw this wonderful recipe on Pinterest Garlic Parmesan Edamame.  I am a little bit of a lazy cook, so I did a little bit of my own spin on this, oh and what I have on hand dictates it all.

1 Bag of Frozen Microwave Edamame
Pecorino Romano Cheese
Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flakes

I steamed the Edamame in the microwave for 4 minutes.

While the microwave was working its magic reminding me that I do not hate how large it is and how much I would rather have a awesome cooking vent, I heated up the olive oil and garlic in a saute pan.  Pour in the edamame and cook for about 2 minutes.  Top with pepper and your grated pecorino, then serve it up! 

I will say this, the pecorino is pretty salt so keep that in mind if you buy the Edamame with the sea salt.  But if you love salt like I do, you won't even notice.

"Alice Springs Chicken" with a New Spring

So, I spent 9 years of my life working for Outback Steakhouse.  Still to this day my favorite job.  I started off as a hostess at 16 and moved my way up to server, trainer, bartender and manager.  The day I graduated college and moved on all I could think about was how much I will miss the employee discount.  They have some serious yummy food. 

The Alice Springs Chicken is one of their best.  I wanted to create my own spin on it and save on the calories that this yummy dish serves you.  And here was the result........

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
Sliced Raw Mushrooms
6 Slices of Turkey Bacon
4-5 Slices of Gruyere Cheese

Honey Mustard Dressing
1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Honey
Mix them together until blended 

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and bake them in an oven safe dish at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until thermometer reads 165.

Put the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet and put in the oven with the chicken.  I read about cooking bacon like this and I will never cook bacon in a pan again.

While the chicken is cooking saute the mushrooms in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. 

Take the chicken and place on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Pour about a tablespoon of your honey mustard on the chicken, put one piece of bacon (torn in two pieces) on top of that, mound up the mushrooms, and top with one to two slices of cheese.  Place in the broiler on high for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Then serve it up!!!  This was incredibly tasty and I sure did not feel as bad as I usually do after I indulge in this belly buster meal.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Here Comes Peter Cottontail......

So I have a deep love for wreaths.  I will make a new wreath for every holiday just because, so here is my Easter wreath. 

What I have always hated about Easter wreaths is your choices for decorations.  You have bunnies, eggs, and chick's.  That's it.  What I love, pastels!!!!!!

 I took plastic eggs I got from the dollar store and some decorated, glitter eggs from the dollar store and jazzed them up a bit.  I used little bit of felt cut outs of bunnies and chick's with the eggs and some leftover Valentines Ribbon wreath love and threw it on the wreath.  I found a new love for some bunnies and chick's!!!

I Like it Cheesy!

If you have searched far and wide for that perfect potato recipe, you can finally end your search.  These potatoes are the very best casserole and your entire family will love them.  Extra bonus is that they are awesome served as leftovers.

Cheesy Crunchy Potato Casserole
1 32oz bag of shredded hash browns (thawed)
1 10oz can of cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup of melted margarine melted
1 10oz bag of sharp cheddar shredded cheese
8oz of sour cream
Salt and pepper

3 cups of crushed cornflakes
1/4 cup of melted margarine

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the topping, into one very large bowl.  Spread this into a 13x9 casserole dish ungreased.

Next take the cornflakes and pour them into a freezer bag and bust them up.  Take out some aggression, then pour the melted 1/4 cup of butter into the bag.  Toss it all around and pour the topping evenly on top of the potatoes.

Put it in the oven on 350 for 30 minutes until the top is nice and toasty.

Now sit back and enjoy.  Make sure you get all you want on the first serving, because there won't be any left for the second helping.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Time for a Re-Org

It was finally time to address our master closet "situation".  I have a bit of a shopping problem and I needed to have a little bit of a reality check, as well as, clean up our closet.  I wanted to do it on a budget and not spend a ton because I am hoping in a year to do something fancy.  Have my own little Mariah Carey closet ;)

Here are some of the cheap ideas I came up with.

1. Towel rack for ties
This one was about $10, but you can get a plastic one for $3-$4.

2. Hook towel rack for belts
Cost- $12

3. 3 Hook over the door hanger for purses
This one cost $10, but they have so many different types and some were is a little as $5.

4. Single hook over the door hanger for my husbands belt
Cost: $4

5. And the shoes.
This is about a quarter of my shoes, do not judge me, and I had this shelf that was taking up a little nook in my closet.  This is where I wanted to hang the towel racks for belts and ties.  So I turned it on its side and put it on a shelf that was not being used.

So the whole thing was about $35, which I thought was pretty good.  What budget friendly organization ideas do you have?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

They Call Me a.....Carpenter?!?

I found these awesome door knobs at Hobby Lobby for a dollar each and I wanted to do something cool with them.  During my manic master bedroom organization, I decided to organize all my necklaces and here is what I came up with.  This was my very first "carpentry" project!!

What you need:
Piece of wood (you choose the length and type)
Door knobs (however many you would like)
Forstner bit
Drill bit
Pull saw

Since the knobs I brought had nuts that screw into the back, I had to recess the wood so the nuts would fit with a 3/8" forstner bit. 

Next I used a 3/16" drill bit to make a hole all the way through on the front.  Then you screw the knobs in.  The nut goes on the back of the hole in the recess on the back of the wood, knob in the front.

The screw will be much longer then you need, so use a pull saw, have it flush against the wood and saw off the extra length.

If you need to you can use a file to smooth out the jagged edge of the rest of the screw.  This will keep you from cutting yourself or scratching up your wall.

And you are ready to hang.  I used two eye hooks and some ribbon and the finished look.......

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I fell in love with all the craft projects that have a solution for all my wine corks!!  So I decided to use them on a giant initial.  I think I had about 80 wine works, which I had saved for the last four years.  Naturally, I felt this would be no sweat....WRONG.  I ran out of corks.  So, if you are OCD like me you can order these online.  I got 200 for $40 which I know I will use the rest in other projects.  These are not used, so they will be wider then your used corks and some will not have a label on them.  If you are a patient soul and the blank letter does not bother you, then you can add this as you drink.  I honestly love the end result and the entire project was super easy.

Here is what you need:
A giant letter (I used one of the paper letters because it was much cheaper and easier to find)
Glue gun
Wine corks

Paint the sides and front of the letter with the paint color of your choice.  I initially laid out my corks to see how many I would need.  You can also just lay this out as you go.  I kept my corks pretty close together, you can space this out more and you could probably less corks.  Simply put a thin layer of super glue on one bottom of the cork and clue to the letter.

And here is the final result.

Get to drinking and make sure you host those wine parties and keep the corks! 


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken and Rice Casserole

This is another family fav that is quick and easy.

3 Cups of shredded rotisserie chicken with out skin
1 Can of Cream of Celery
2 Cans of French Style Green Beans
1 Diced sauteed onion
1 Pkg Uncle Ben's Ready Wild Rice
1 Cup of Mayo
2 Cups of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Saute onion with olive oil or a little butter.
2. Mix all the ingredients, except cheese, together in a large bowl.
3. Spray baking dish with Pam and pour all ingredients, except cheese into the dish.  Sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

This is great leftovers which is always a big plus for us!!  I hope you enjoy and if you find a way to make it any better, please share your tasty ideas.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Super Chic Valentines Day Gift

As I mentioned in my blog post Hearts With Love that I was making a little valentines gift for my girlfriends and here is what I came up with.

I put magnets on the back of the hearts.
And put them on top of some mason jars which I filled with two different sugar scrub recipes.  Brown Sugar Scrub and Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub.

 I think they turned out so cute and it was super affordable.  A nice little way of telling the special ladies in your life that you are thinking about them.

Total Cost: $20 ($1.67 per jar)
Crayon Hearts- $4.00
Magnets- $2.00
Jars- $8.00 a dozen
Sugar Scrub- $6.00

My Very Own Shim Sunburst Mirror

So, I jumped on the Shim mirror band wagon and this was probably one of my favorite projects.

Here is what you need:

14 packages of shims (10 per package)
Mirror (I used a mirror for candles which you can get at any craft store)
Wooden circle (You can get this at Michaels and it is with the wreath items)
Wood glue
Super glue
Stain or paint

The hardest part is starting off with the pattern you like.  You can do anything you want.  I went in sets of five and staggered them.  I tried using hot glue with the shims, but it will leave a little bit of a space between the shims and I thought this was a bit messy.  I chose to use your regular old wood glue.  Remember if you get wood glue on wood you want to stain, wipe it off immediately with a damp rag because the stain won't take to the wood.  I would glue in quarter parts and let the wood glue set.  This will help keep the shims from moving around on you. 

Staining this was the hardest part.  I probably would have stained the ends of the shims first, then glued them together, and lastly stained the entire thing.  I had to use a small craft brush to get between the shims.  And the final look.......

Ta da- Shimmy Shim Shim Mirror!

Total Cost: $31.57
Shims- $1.58 per pkg- $22.12
Stain- $6.70
Mirror- $1.40
Wood Circle- $1.35

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fancy Chicken Breasts

This is one of my husbands favorites

3-4 Chicken Breasts
4-8 Slices of Swiss Cheese
Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 Cup of cooking Sherry
1/4 Cup of Melted Butter

- Take the chicken breasts and put them in a casserole dish.  Salt and pepper both sides.
- Lay one to two slices of swiss cheese on each chicken breast.
- Mix the Sherry and cream of mushroom soup together.

- Pour the Sherry and cream of mushroom soup on top of the breasts, covering them.  Sprinkle with the croutons and then pour the melted butter on top.
- Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the chicken is cooked (175 on a thermometer).

And yummy, yummy goodness. 

Total cost of meal: $12

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Gift for Gene

I had the most fun with this project.  Bare with me because I did not take pics along the way, but I think there is enough here to share how I did it.

Art Canvas (any size)
Mod Podge (Matte or Glossy)
Black Craft Paint
Foam Brushes
Any sign of your choice (handmade or bought)

I tried this with both matte pictures and matte Mod Podge and glossy pictures and glossy Mod Podge.  I love the results of both, so it is your choice.  Little advice, if you go the matte picture route, the only place I found where I could get matte pictures was at WalMart.  Walgreens was mailed only and CVS did not offer matte in 4x6.
- Take the canvas frame and dab your foam brush in the black paint and dry brush this on the canvas. This means just put a little paint on the canvas so it is light.   Cover the sides and the front of the canvas enough to cover the area that will be around your picture.
- Brush some Mod Podge on the back of the photo and place on the canvas.  You will want to use a soft cloth that won't scratch the picture and rub over the picture to make sure it adheres to the canvas. Make sure you don't get your finger prints on the picture :)
- Let it dry and the dab a new foam brush into the Mod Podge.  Brush over the entire picture and canvas.  Go in the same direction and work quickly.  If you try and go back over a place where the Mod Podge has already started to dry, it will smudge and smear (had a few of these).  Then let dry completely. 

- I used the ribbon to hang the pictures below the sign and created a hanger.  I simply hot glued the ribbon to the back of the sign.  Easy as that.

Total Cost: 
Sign- $5
Canvas- $6
Ribbon- $2
Total:  $13
(I already had the Mod Podge, brushes, and black paint. If you have to buy this it will cost you an additional $12.  I would get the large bottle of Mod Podge because you will love these canvas pictures and I am sure you will use this for other gifts.)

Hearts With Love

I am working on an easy Valentines Day gift for some of my girlfriends, so I wanted to share the first part of the gift.

These are so easy to make and very inexpensive.
1 Box of Crayons
X-Acto Knife
Cutting Board
Heart Mold
Metal mallet
Ziploc Bag

I used an X-acto knife to remove the paper from the crayons on top of a cutting board.
I have seen this where people used a knife to break up the crayons, but a metal mallet and a ziploc bag was a heck of a lot easier.
Then you sprinkle the broken up crayon in a heart mold.  I found mine at JoAnn's for $5.
And finally put the mold on a cookie sheet and bake at 225 until melted.
Let them cool completely and just pop them out.  You can use either side of the heart.
A little hint to what this will be used for in my Super Chic Valentines Day Gift, a magnet. 

Total cost:  $8.00 (which includes the cost of the mold)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Great Office Renovation of 2012

So, I am really a first time "renovator" and we (meaning I have nagged/begged my husband enough) have decided to re-do our office.  Well, actually make it an office that someone will use besides Vern sleeping on the couch.  Since this will be renovation on a tight budget, because I am officially married to the financial taliban (thank goodness), I wanted to share our initial plans.

Here is the before picture

 I am going to take the desk and re-purpose the entire thing.  Two new living room end tables will be made out of these two pieces.

The middle part of the desk top will be used in my craft closet (next project).  Our new desk, which we will make ourselves will be this.
Hardwood floors will be laid by us (meaning by me with my wonderful husband directing) and the old couch will be sold (hopefully) or given away to charity and replaced with this.

This will be our storage and shelving, which is a great deal from Ikea ($69).

Then the extras of curtains and some DIY artwork.  Should be an epic adventure.  Off to tally the full costs of my idea and to put this into motion.  Grateful I have my Mom and her super handy boyfriend Gene to help out.  I have a feeling I will be providing several dinners for their hard work.  No such thing as a "free lunch".  Wish us all luck!