Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Make Your Own Cooking Substitutes:
Crescent Rolls (Pillsbury Crescent Roll Substitute)
Homemade Cheese Sauce
Homemade Baking Mix (Bisquick Substitute)
Homemade Greek Yogurt {makes 1 gallon of yogurt!}
Homemade Green Onion & Chive Cream Cheese
Homemade Italian Sausage
Homemade Nesquick
Ranch Dip... Super Duper
Ranch Mix #1
Ranch Mix #2
Sweet OR Savory Pie Crust

Make Your Own Cleaning Products:
Homemade Antibacterial Soft Scrub
Homemade Scented Fabric Softener

Make Your Own Art Materials:
Homemade Rainbow Crayons
Homemade Slime
Homemade Watercolors Print Friendly and PDF

Cheesy Creamed Vegetables (or Corn)

This is really delicious; I found the original recipe here, which uses all frozen corn.  I make this recipe with frozen mixed vegetables... yum yum!

Its a crock-pot recipe so its also super easy!  Enjoy!

-3 (16 oz.) packages frozen vegetables (or corn)
-11 ounces cream cheese, cubed
-1/4 cup butter, cubed
-3 tbsp water
-3 tbsp milk
-2 tbsp sugar
-6 slices American cheese

1. Combine all ingredients in crock-pot, mix well.
2. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until heated through.
3. Stir well before serving.
4. Enjoy!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Five Minute Mittens or Finger-less Gloves
Old/Too Small Shirt to New Shirt

For the Home:
Cord Cuff
Creating Colored Glass
Homemade Worm Compost Bin

For the Kids:
Old/Too Small Shirt to New Shirt
Oatmeal Can to Headband & Hair Accessory Holder

For Outside:
Homemade Worm Compost Bin
Paint Can Bird Houses
Windmill Clothesline

Art Projects:
Cord Cuff
Creating Colored Glass
Paint Can Bird Houses
Pine Cone Birds Print Friendly and PDF
Cleaning Tips:
Clean Tough Pans with Baking Soda

Clothing Tips:
Big Calve Mud Boots

Home Tips:
Homemade Worm Compost Bin

Kitchen Tips:
Baking Soda Storage
Binder Clip as Bag Clip
Cinnamon Sugar Mix
Cutting Food For the Kids Made Easy
Easy Leveling of Spices & Herbs
Easy Peeling Garlic
Flour Dusting Container
Homemade Worm Compost Bin
How to Frost a Layer Cake

Studio/Craft Room Tips:
Binder Clip as Bag Clip
Sorting Your Colored/Scrapbook Paper Scraps

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Make It For Home:
Cord Cuff
Creating Colored Glass

Make It For Kids:
Artsy "Crocs"
Baby Doll Diapers, Wipes and Baby Powder
Dinosaur Hoodie
Five Minute Mittens or Finger-less Gloves
Homemade Watercolors
Kids Pajamas Tutorial {Make Your Own Pattern}
Oatmeal Can Headband & Hair Accessory Holder
Old/Too Small Shirt to New Shirt
Presto Fairy Wand & Crown Headband
Rainbow Crayons

Make It For Outside:
Homemade Worm Compost Bin
Paint Can Bird Houses
Windmill Clothesline

Make It For Yourself:
Artsy "Crocs"
Cord Cuff
Dinosaur Hoodie
Easy Full Apron
Five Minute Mittens or Finger-less Gloves
Oatmeal Can Headband & Hair Accessory Holder
Old/Too Small Shirt to New Shirt Print Friendly and PDF

Homemade Slime

I found the recipe for making this fun slime here.  Its very easy and the kids love it!  

Last year for Halloween I made a some for everyone in Big Mr J's class.  They all loved it too!
Ingredients for a single batch:
-1 1/2 cup water, divided
-1 tsp borax {found in the laundry detergent department}
-1/2 cup (4 oz.) white glue
-food coloring, if desired

When I made this large batch I went to Office Max and bought a gallon of glue.  It makes more sense than trying to dump out multiple small bottles of glue.

You'll also need to separate small bowls and spoons for mixing.
1. In one bowl mix the borax with 1 cup of water until thoroughly combined.
2. In the other bowl mix the glue, water and food coloring until thoroughly combined.
3. Now, all you do is mix one mixture into the other.  It will begin to polymerize instantly, keep stirring to combine as much as you can (it will become tougher to stir).
4. Remove the mixture from the bowl and finish mixing by hand. (Some water will remain in the bowl.)

As you work with the slime it will become stiffer and more like putty.

We store our slime in a ziplock bag (the slime can dry out) and when we're not using it we keep it in the refrigerator because it will last longer and prevents mold growth.

Also if you added coloring, don't let the slime sit on any surface for an extended amount of time to prevent staining of the surface.

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Kids Project Tutorials

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Pot of Spiders

These are really fun for kids, especially for Halloween or a kids party.  They are very easy to make you can even have the kids help!

They're great with ketchup/mustard, barbecue sauce or even Cheese Sauce.

-1 pkg. sausages, brats or hot dogs, cut into about 1 inch slices
-1 pkg. dry spaghetti, broken in half
-your favorite dipping sauce or pasta sauce
1. Put on a large pot of water, bring to a boil while prepping pasta and sausage.
2. Push 4 dry noodles through each sausage slice.  {So there are 4 legs on each side.}
3. Repeat with all remaining sausages and noodles.
4. Cook the sausage/pasta according to the pasta instructions.
 5. Drain and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce or pasta sauce.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Farmer's Salad

This is a delicious salad!  I found the recipe here.  

I use romaine lettuce instead of iceberg lettuce; I just like it so much better.  Enjoy!

-2 small heads of romaine or green leaf lettuce, coarsely chopped or torn
-1 head fresh broccoli, cut off florets
-3/4 cup mayo
-3 tbsp sugar
-1 tbsp white vinegar
-1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled or 1 bag of real bacon pieces

1. In a large bowl combine lettuce and broccoli.
2. Whisk together mayo, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl.
3. Pour dressing over lettuce mixture, toss to coat.
4. Sprinkle with bacon.
5. Serve immediately.
6. Enjoy!
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jello Flavored Popcorn

This is a fantastic twist on caramel corn.  Make any flavor you like, its very easy!  Enjoy!

-10 cups plain popped popcorn (about 3 bags microwave popcorn)
-1/2 cup butter
-1/2 cup sugar
-3 oz. box jello mix, you choose the flavor
-1 tbsp corn syrup
-3 tbsp water

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Grease a large sheet of aluminium foil or parchment paper and place it on a large baking sheet.
3. In a large saucepan combine butter, sugar, jello, corn syrup and water; heat to 250-265 degrees.
4. Add popcorn to jello mixture and stir to coat.
5. Spread coated popcorn on prepared baking sheet.
6. Bake 5 minutes.
7. Stir and bake for 5 more minutes.
8. Remove from oven and slide the foil or parchment off of the baking sheet onto the counter or a large wire rack.
* You could let it cool slightly and then form into balls.
9. Cool completely.
10. Store in an airtight container.
11. Enjoy! Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Roll

One word... AWESOME!

There's nothing like the combination of cream cheese and pumpkin; you have to love it!

I found the recipe in my Southern Living Christmas Cookbook.

Cake Ingredients:
-3 eggs
-1 cup sugar
-3/4 cup flour
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
-2/3 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
-1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
-1 tsp lemon juice

Frosting Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
-6 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1/4 cup butter, softened
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp lemon juice

Process for the Cake:
1. Grease a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides.  Line the bottom of the pan with wax paper; grease the wax paper and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Combine all of the cake ingredients, beating well.
4. Pour evenly into the prepared pan.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
6. Sift 1/2 cup powdered sugar onto a clean, dry dish towel.
7. Run a knife around the edges of pan to loosen cake.
8. Peel wax paper off cake; turn cake out onto prepared towel.
9. Starting at the narrow end, roll up cake and towel together; place seam side down on a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Beat all of the frosting ingredients (only 1 cup powdered sugar) until smooth.
11. Unroll cake; remove the towel.
12. Spread the frosting mixture evenly over the cake, leaving a 1 inch border around the edges.
13. Reroll cake without towel; place seam side down on a serving platter.
14. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours.
15. Dust with more powdered sugar before serving if you want and enjoy!
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Friday, October 26, 2012

Mummy Pizzas

This is easy, yummy and super fun for this time of year!

Very fun meal to make with the kids, they'll love it!

Ingredients {the amounts depend on how may servings you need}:
-english muffins
-string cheese
-small cooked sausages, meat sticks or other meat, thinly sliced
-pizza sauce or tomato pasta sauce

* You could also use sliced black olives, green onions or any thing else that you would like to make the mummy's faces or under the cheese to add extra flavors.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place split muffins on a greased baking sheet.
3. Top each muffin with a couple tablespoons of sauce.
4. Rip string cheese into long strings and place them on top of the sauce {all going in the same direction, for the mummy's wrapping} to cover the sauce.
5. Add sliced sausage to make the eyes, mouth, etc.
6. Bake mummies for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little before serving to you little bunch.
 8. Enjoy!
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Five Minute Mittens or Finger-less Gloves

These are so tremendously easy to make!  

One day my daughter was going outside and wanted some mittens (all of the winter gear was still packed away for the summer season), so I just traced her hand on a piece of paper for the size.  And since I had some scrap fleece fabric from making the kids some fleece pillowcases; I thought fleece is warm I'll make her some little fleece mittens (and that means no need to hem the seams!).

So, I made Little Miss J her pair of mittens they took merely minutes (she stood there and waited for me to finish... that's how you know they're quick to make!) and she was on her way!

Then, I got the idea to make some quick finger-less gloves for myself.  I have been meaning to make some for a while and I want to recycle a sweater to make them but I haven't done it yet.  So, I thought why not make myself a fleece pair for using around home?!  So this is what I did...

-1 sheet scrap paper
-pencil or pen
-scrap fleece or other warm fabric
-sewing machine
-coordinating thread

1. To make your pattern, trace your hand on a scrap piece of paper, leaving some space around your hand (like your wearing a mitten). {You only need to trace one because you can flip it for the other.}  Cut it out.

For finger-less gloves, cut off the finger end and the thumb.
2. Put the pattern on top of the fleece either evenly folded once (to cut out two for one glove at a time) or folded evenly twice (to cut out all four pieces for both gloves at the same time).  So, you'll end up with a total of four pieces of fleece cut the same as your paper pattern.

Layer two pieces on top of each other with the wrong sides together and pin together.
3. Next, sew along the outer, inner edges and between the thumb and pointer finger {I did about a 1/4 inch seam allowance}, like this...
(For mittens: you would just sew from one side of the wrist opening around the fingers and thumb around to the other side of the wrist opening.)
4. Turn them right side out and enjoy them!

*I'll share the ones made with a sweater when I make them; enjoy! Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Scented Homemade Fabric Softener

I've tried a couple of different homemade fabric softener recipes in the past.  I just really like the idea of making my own and knowing what is in it and also knowing that its not going to negatively affect my septic system.

The problem I've had in the past is getting the clothes to have that fresh smell after washing.  

I found this recipe on the One Good Thing by Jillee website.  

This is my favorite recipe I've tried; it does use a small amount of store-bought scent booster, which is where the fresh scent comes from.  

Its very easy; I just made a double batch yesterday!  Enjoy!

Ingredients for a single batch:
-1/4 to 1/2 cup scent booster {I used 1/2 cup Purex Crystals}
-1 cup hot water {just hot from the tap is fine}
-1 cup baking soda
-6 cups white distilled vinegar
1. Mix hot water and scent booster in a small bowl.
 2. Set mixture aside, stirring occasionally while you mix the other ingredients.
 3. Add baking soda to a large bowl.
 4. SLOWLY add the vinegar to the baking soda.
The chemical reaction will cause it to foam up a lot, so make sure you add the vinegar very slowly to prevent a "bubble over".  I used a whisk to blend it well.
5.  Once all of the vinegar has been added; add the water/scent mixture to the vinegar/baking soda mixture.  Mix well.
6. Pour mixture into a larger container {so that there is extra space to shake the mixture}.
7. Shake before each use.  Add about 1/4-1/2 cup to each load of laundry.
8. Enjoy the freshness!

Update:  Be VERY CAREFUL about shaking or mixing the container, even just a little bit right after combining this mixture.  I had one container blow up and I had to clean fabric softener off of every surface in the kitchen!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Homemade Italian Sausage

This is a great substitute for buying Italian sausage.  

The big plus here is that you can choose the meat by the percent fat you like or substitute ground chicken or turkey.  You could also make Italian burgers with this recipe!

The seasoning recipe makes enough for more than one pound of meat.  Just put the rest in an airtight container to use another time.

-2 tbsp fennel
-2 tbsp dried minced garlic
-1 tbsp black ground pepper
-1 tbsp dried oregano
-1 tbsp dried basil
-ground meat (pork, chicken, turkey or beef) {I used beef here}

1. Add fennel to mortar or spice/coffee mill.
 2. Add garlic.
I used ground garlic this time, because
I didn't have any dried minced garlic in the house.
 3. Add the pepper.
4. Add the oregano.
 5. Add the basil.
 6. Crush everything together with the pestle.
 7. Crush until well blended.
 8. Add 2-4 tsp to 1 pound of ground meat.  {Put the rest of the seasoning in an airtight container for later use.}
 9. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
10. Put the mixed meat in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to let the flavors distribute.
11. Use as you like.  Enjoy! Print Friendly and PDF
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