Thursday, December 30, 2010

Garden Bounty Tortilla Soup

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This soup is very good for you and is a great way to get your kids, spouse or anyone for that matter to eat their veggies.  I am a picky eater and really don't like a lot of veggies, but this soup is delicious!  The only downside to this soup is that it requires a lot of chopping, but it makes a lot.  I even freeze it which makes up for all that time spent chopping.  You MUST try this soup.

8 cups chicken broth (you can use chicken bouillon cubes - 1 cube to 2 cups of water)
1 red onion, diced
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 carrots, pealed and diced
2-4 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup tomato paste (more if desired, to taste)
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole pepper of the canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (I use the La Costena brand)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 small to medium zucchini, diced
1 yellow summer squash, diced
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
1 Green bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
Fresh, frozen or canned corn - optional

In large stockpot over high heat, combine chicken broth, chicken, onion, carrots, potatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, garlic, chipotle pepper, jalapeno, oregano and cumin.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.  When the chicken is cooked, remove from pot and shred it.  Add salt and white pepper.  Add zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers and corn if desired.  Bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.  Add cilantro, lime and orange juice.  Stir well and remove from heat.

Garnish: Tortilla chips, shredded cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced avocados, jalepeno rings, lime wedges.  (I usually just do chips, cheese, cilantro and a bit of lime juice).

Makes approx. 3 quarts

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cheese ball

Pin It We always have a cheese ball during the holidays.  I have yet to find one that I like better than this one.  It is delicious!

2 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 can - crushed pineapple, drained
1 Tbs - seasoning salt (I actually put less so it's not so salty)
2 Tbs -green onions - finely chopped
1/4 cup - green pepper - minced

Mix together in a large bowl until well blended. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to set back up. Take mixture out of the bowl and using your hands - mold it into a ball or log. Once it is the desired shaped roll it in chopped pecans. Serve with a variety of crackers.

Friday, December 24, 2010

White Chocolate Snowflakes

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To make You first need a pattern of a snowflake.  My printer is out of ink, so I had to draw one.

 Next place the snowflake design under wax paper.
 Melt some white chocolate bark - 30 seconds at a time in the microwave.  I used one square to make a bunch of snowflakes.

 Put the melted chocolate in a ziplock bag and cut a small hole on the corner.
 Trace the snowflake design with the white chocolate.

 Carefully pull the snowflakes off the wax paper after they have hardened.

If you flip the snowflake over, it will be smooth and flat.
 If you don't flip it over, you'll have a little more rustic looking snowflake.
 I went with the rustic look :)  I had baked some cookies so I decided to add the snowflakes to the tops of the cookies.  You could add them to cupcakes or any other treat you want to add a little something special to.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cute Hair Clip Holder

Pin It I've been trying to think of a cute way to store all of my daughter's hair clips.  I eventually came up with this:

I started with a piece of wood I found at Walmart for 97 cents.

I drew a little face of the wood.

Then using my acrylic paints, I painted the face - don't worry she looks better with hair.

For the hair, I used brown yarn: $2.50 at Walmart.  I used a hot glue gun and attached each strand of yarn individually so I would get a nice part.  Before I started to braid the hair, I used some green ribbon I had on hand to tie the yarn together.

I braided the yarn and tied the ends with the green ribbon.

Then she was ready for the clips!

All the supplies I purchased only cost me about $3.50 since I had most of the other supplies on hand.  I'm pretty pleased with her and am happy that I won't have all these clips just sitting in a bag getting mushed.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Tree Ornament Mobile

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How cool is this???  There is a tutorial on Not Martha.  Check it out! It's a bit late for me to make it this year, but maybe I'll make one next year :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Amazon Mom

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I know I already did a post on diapers a while back, but I have found another awesome deal!  It's called Amazon Mom.  It's free as long as your are a mom, or a dad or a guardian pretty much.  You get 30% OFF diapers and wipes.  I was able to get a pack of 204 Pampers diapers fro $28 delivered right to my door!  How awesome is that???  You get to decide on how many packages you want and how often they get shipped to you.  It's gotta be the best deal around - at least that I've heard.  You can become an Amazon Mom HERE.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Flowered Beanies

Pin It With the weather outside getting cold, I decided I needed to get some beanies for my daughter.  There are plenty of cute beanies out there, but all of the really cute ones are about $10 sometimes more - SO I took matters into my own hands and decided to make simple $1 beanies from the dollar store cute.  I followed a tutorial from Delia Creates where she added a brim to a beanie for her son.  It was really super easy!  So the beanie didn't look too boyish, I added a flower.

 My cute little model
 Another beanie I got from the dollar store.  I didn't do a brim on this one, but I did add the flower.
 Love her!

Fabric Flowers

Pin It I've seen all sorts of tutorial about how to make darling flowers.  I just HAD to make some of my own.  I had some fabric lying around the house that was perfect.  You want to use a fabric that will curl easily when heated like: nylon organza, polyester, satin, lining fabric, etc.

What you need:
- Fabric
- Lighter or Candle
- Tweezers or something similar to hold the fabric so you don't get burned
- Needle and Thread or hot glue gun

Here's what you do:
- Cut out different sized circles - I didn't do perfect circles - it's easier and looks better in my opinion

-  Carefully melt the outside of the fabric with a candle or lighter - use tweezers or something to hold the fabric so you don't burn yourself!
- Assembly your pieces of fabric from biggest to smallest.  Attach all the layers with hot glue or with a needle and thread.

Here are some other flowers I have made:

You can add beads to the center for a little something extra :)

Mixed Berry Cheesecake

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I made this last year during the Holidays.  I love love love cheese cake.  This recipe was awesome!  It's from the Barefoot Contessa.  It's a recipe you have to start the day before - just a warning. 


For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1 cup red jelly (not jam) such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
  • 1/2 pint sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 pint fresh blueberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Keep the oven temperature at 350 degrees F.
To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 (I did 23 minutes). Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.
To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss berries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peppermints on a stick

Pin It I saw some little styrofoam peppermints at Robert's Craft the other day and thought I could definitely make some of my own.  They were cheap and super easy and make a fun little Christmas decoration.

Here's what you need:
Styrofoam Circles - 2/$1.00 at the Dollar Tree
Wooden Dowels - Pack of 10 is $1.50 at Robert's Craft
Colored foam or paper - on hand
Hot glue fun - on hand
Gold fabric - on hand

Here's what I did:

I took the wooden dowels and pushed them through the center of my styrofoam circles.  Be careful, it's easy to make a hole with the dowel - if it's a small enough one you might be able to cover it with your foam.  You only need the dowel in an inch or two.
 Then make a stencil with the shape you are wanting to use.  Cut out your foam and hot glue them in place.
 I then used my fourth styrofoam circle as my base.  I covered it with some gold fabric and wallah!
 I put a little basket with candy next to it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweater Trees

Pin It I found a cute idea for a homemade Christmas decoration on Crafts and Sutch where you use an old sweater to cover a cone to make little trees.

These are her trees

These are the ones I made:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ice Cream Cake

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My husband has been requesting that I make him an ice cream cake for his b-day ever since we got married.  I finally decided I should give it a shot.  He really likes the ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen, but they are around $20 and I figured I could make one for much less than that.  I used THIS tutorial.

I did make a few changes, the biggest one was adding a layer of brownie to the middle.  While the brownie tasted good, it was a beast to cut.  Next time I might just have to serve brownies of the side.  The bottom layer of the cake was double fudge brownie ice cream (my husband's favorite) then came the brownie layer.  Next was the chocolate fudge and oreos and then vanilla ice cream was the last layer.  I used whipped cream for the frosting and grated some chocolate for the top. 

It was fantastically delicious and MUCH cheaper than $20.

No Longer MIA

Pin It Sorry everyone for not posting for so long.  Life got a bit crazy for us the past couple of months.  My husband and I were playing on a co-ed intramural basketball team.  My husband ended up blowing out his knee.  He tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus - not good!  Two days before Thanksgiving, he got surgery.  Recovery is going well, but that's a big reason as to why I have been MIA for the past couple of months.

As some of you know, I have another blog that is dedicated to recipes, well I've decided to combine my two blogs and share recipes on here too :)  Who doesn't like to learn crafty stuff and get some delicious recipes at the same time right?

Hopefully this time around I will have a better run with my posts so you can get lots of ideas without a huge break in between ha.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dry Erase Menu

Pin It Today I made a "Dry Erase Menu".  I bought a glass frame at Roberts for $2.60 (it was 60% off) and some scrapbook paper.  I also bought a stand, but you could also buy magnets and hang it on the side of your fridge if you wanted.  Now I can be organized with my meals throughout the week and have a little decoration on my counter :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Polka-dot Dress

Pin It I made my daughter another little dress out of an old shirt of mine.  Here is the shirt before:

I cut the shirt up:
Added a silky black fabric for the lining and to the bottom of the dress.  I also cut off the extra tie and made arm straps and a black headband. 
The cute model showing off her new outfit:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beach Towel Cover-up

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I saw a super cute homemade beach towel cover-up on this MADE blog.  Now, just so you know, I didn't plan using the exact same towel as she did, but it was the only towel that matched my swimming suit at Target.

It was super simple - the only pain was having to hand wind the elastic thread on the bobbin for the shirring.  I would definitely suggest making one though.  It's great because your towel stays on you without you having to wrap it or hold it in place - which is great when you have kids to take care of :)  Check out her instructions and if you have any questions let me know!