Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Fettuccine Alfredo

This isn't your typical Christmas Eve dinner, but that's one thing I love about it.  If you're looking for a dinner to impress, but don't want to spend a lot of time, this here is your golden ticket!  If you'd like the full tutorial on how to create such a feast, come and visit me today over at Holiday's Homemade.  I'm hosting, and this one is sure to be a winner.  My entire family says so! :)

Merry Christmas All!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Elf Yourself Bow

Sometimes I surprise myself when I sit down to make my bow creations.  I'm not saying that in a braggish sort of way.  Just in a way, that you never really know how good (or bad!) something is going to turn out until it's finished, and I'm pleasantly surprised with these. :)

So far, this is the only bow (outside of Santa) that my daughter begs to wear.  She has 2, one for each piggy tail, and she named her elves Judy and Emily.  :)

To start on your darlings bows;

You'll Need:
3/8" Grosgrain Cream Ribbon
3/8" Grosgrain White Ribbon
3/8" Grosgrain Green Ribbon
3/8" Grosgrain Red Ribbon
3/8" Grosgrain Ribbon in the color of hair you'd like to use.  I was making multiple ribbons for the girls in my life, some were blonde (gold) and others brunette (chocolate brown).
Tiny Santa Hats (found mine at Hobby Lobby)
Mini Jingle Bells, Optional
Puff Paint, Optional
Lighter (to seal)
Wooden Skewer, optional

To begin, as always plug in your glue gun, so it's hot and ready when you are.

Next, cut 3.75" of your cream ribbon for the body.  Since my daughter was "helping" me make these, these are all guestimation on measurements, but they're all pretty close, I'd say.  Below you'll see that I use my lighter as a reference, so you can see 1st hand what it should look like.
Heat seal your ends.

Next, we'll create the face of your elf.  It's simple enough.  Just wrap the ribbon around your finger or thumb to create a loop. 
Place a small amount of glue where you want to secure the face and sit aside.

Now, we'll move onto the arms.  Cut 3.25" of your cream ribbon, and heat seal the ends.
Fold the "arms" at an angle, and seal with glue in the middle, so your image looks like this:
Then top and glue the body
Cut red ribbon to size for sleeves and heat seal the ends
Just like you did for the arms, fold the shirt at an angle, and seal with glue in the middle, so your image looks like this:
 Attach the sleeves to the arms with glue
Cut and seal the middle of your shirt:
Attach to the middle of the shirt:
Let's move onto the skirt...Created 3 loops.  You'll start with a "V", and make one loop directly in the middle.  Then attach your skirt to the body directly under the shirt.
Cut 2 pieces of white ribbon for the legs approximately 2.5" each and heat seal.
So they resemble legs, I cross them a bit at the top and seal with glue before attaching the "legs" to the "body".
 To attach the pieces, flip over the body, and attach to backside

Moving onto the tights.
 I couldn't find candy cane striped ribbon in the uniform I wanted, so I opted to use puff paint.  I love how it brought a different texture to the bow, and overall it turned out really great.  

When working with puff paint, allow your paint to fully dry before moving forward with your bow.  I highly recommend overnight.

Another thought, is to use a sharpie if you're in a rush!
Moving onto the hair:
I chose curly hair, but you could easily leave your ribbon straight for straight hair, and it will look just as cute!  My daughter has curly hair, so I thought the curls for a special touch.

For instructions on curling ribbon, please visit here

For the hair, you can make it as short or as long as you want.  Just play with the length.  Remember you will wrapping the "hair" across the head, so that will take away some of the length.

My curled ribbon pieces were roughly 5.5" pieces.  Some longer, some shorter.  I made about 10 of these, so it all depending on who they were for and the age of the girl.

To attach the hair, place a decent amount of hot glue on the top of the head.  Tip: If your unsure of where the placement of the hat will be, it's best to glue more towards the back than front, as the front is on display.

Press the "hair" onto the "head" and hold for a few seconds.

Now for the hat!  I adore the hat!!
My hats came in a six pack, which was perfect for this project.  
Just add glue to the crown of the head, then a small amount around the rim of your Santa hat

Using your skewer, allow it to assist you in adding the hat to the elf's head without getting glue everywhere.

Here's a side by side.  
I did reverse sides for the tassel, so if you had them in pigtails, it would be uniform. 
For the feet...Cut a small square, and then clip one corner at an angle for the shoe, and heat seal.  Watch your fingers, so you don't burn yourself!
 If you'd like; Sew on a mini jingle bell on each foot and viola...
One cute, cute, cute, little elf!
How will you elf yourself?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Traditions - Santa's Cookie Plate

When my daughter came along, like most mother's, I couldn't wait for her 1st Christmas!  I adore this time of year; and Santa...oh, there's so much to be said about this jolly ol' fellow.  He and his helpers prepare all year long and then, when Christmas Eve comes, he travels all over the world in one single night to deliver special gifts to children.  There's something to be said about that.  Especially this time of year.

Like most families, we leave something special for Santa and his reindeer to keep them going strong for their long night of travel.  What do you leave for Santa?  What about his reindeer?

We typically sit out a tall glass of milk, cookies, and carrots.  Mmm!

This year, since my daughter is old enough, I wanted to create a cookie plate for Santa, that we can use for many years to come.

If you're a traditionalist too, or just like to have plain ol' fun; Head on over to Holiday's Homemade for the full tutorial.

This project is perfect for you, and this idea would be great to do for birthday's too!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Santa Wreath

Only 10 days, 14 hours till Christmas, but who's counting?! ME!! ;)

Don't forget to come see me today!  I'm hosting at Holiday's Homemade, and I've got a Ho! Ho! Ho! Hooooliday Wreath! 
 See ya there!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Peperoncini Roast

I received this recipe from one of my Facebook friendlies, Jennifer, last week.

After she posted this,  I still can't help but laugh when I think about her post.  She wrote that her husband thought she had ruined a perfectly good roast with those peppers, and now it is one of his favorite meals.  I laugh and laugh at this, because this fits my husband to a "T"! "Those peppers..." hehe

Surprisingly after some hoaxing, my husband did finally try the peppers with the roast, and he has given it his stamp of approval.

I HIGHLY recommend you load the pepper up when you build your sammy.  They give the roast a special zip.  My mouth is watering just thinking about what's about to be my lunch!

You'll Need:
2.5-3# chuck roast - I recommend bnls.
1 package of italian dressing mix
1 jar of peperoncini pepper slices (juice and all)
slices - juice and all
2 Tbsp.  Worcestershire Sauce
enough garlic powder to cover the entire roast
Sliced Provolone Cheese
Hearty Buns
Your favorite condiment(s), optional

To begin, line your crock pot with your crock pot liner.  Add roast (can be frozen).  Top with Italian dressing mix, worshey sauce, garlic powder, and lastly your peppers (juice & all).

Cook on low for 5-6hrs or until your thermometer reads 145 degrees.

Take the roast out of the crock and place on a platter.  Slice or shred.

To serve.  Prepare your bun the way you like.  Add provolone cheese, then top with meat and peppers.  The peppers are what really sell this dish so pile 'em on.  It's gooood!

Thanks for the great recipe Jen!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Faux Bedskirt

I have been wanting a cute bed skirt for my daughters room.  She has had her big girl bed for 6 months now, and she loves the bedding, but me being me felt like something was missing.

Even though no one else cares if she had a bed skirt (including her!), I wanted it.  I think it can really make a room (sometimes).

With Christmas being less than 2 weeks away (Wee!!!), now was not exactly an ideal time to be spending $ on something like this.  Especially since the one I want is a bit pricey!  eek!

So, I'm improvising for the time being, and decided to use an old curtain we had downstairs in our basement.  It was just taking up space, and it happened to turn out pretty perfectly.

Since so many of you have enjoyed her bed roll up I created, I thought I would share this project as well.

So far, I really like it.  It's been on there for 2 weeks now, and it has stayed perfectly in place.

I have been toying with the idea of just leaving it, but maybe dying the curtain a different shade.  The khaki goes really well with both sides of her bedding, but like most little girls - She adores pink!

Maybe something like this will work for you?

Just steam or iron out the wrinkles

Not too shabby for a free project.  Momma likes!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lasagna Soup

If you're like me the title is somewhat intriguing...Lasagna Soup??  
I'll tell you, after mere curiosity, we gave this recipe a try last year, and I am so glad we did!
To this day, this recipe is in our winter menu rotation!
All I can say is give it a go.  You'll be glad you did!

By the way, if you've never heard of this before, the original recipe is from Paula Deen, but we used a revised version of Bobby's Lighter recipe, and truthfully didn't feel like we missed a thing.

You'll Need:
1# Ground Beef
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32-ounce) container chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces broken lasagna noodles (about 5 noodles)
1 T. basil
1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the beef is crumbled and browned, 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes. Add the noodles; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in basil, and Parmesan.  Top with mozzarella. Mmm!!!

Now for those of you who depend on leftovers for lunch.  Pack a sandwich.
We didn't enjoy this nearly as much the 2nd day, but the day of - Oh my! It's yumilious!!

Spoons up!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Breakfast Pizza

I was a little leery of this recipe after our friend told us about it, but after he raved and raved about it, how could I not try it?!  Something about the sound of eggs and gravy didn't do much for me, but I'll tell you what...This stuff is GooooooD! 

Surprisingly, what we had leftovers we did have heated up rather well too.  Which I'll be honest...microwaved eggs and gravy didn't sound that appealing either...but just go with it.  This recipe is sure not to disappoint!

You'll Need:
1 pizza crust (we used the package add water and oil kind, my friend used the canned kind)
1 tube of sausage
4 eggs
2 cups White Gravy
About a cup of cheese
Shredded Cheese (We used mozzarella)
Salt/Pepper/Additonal Seasonings if desired

Preheat your oven to 400.
Prepare your pizza crust and place it on a greased cookie sheet or 13x9 pan.  You want the crust to be somewhat thin.  Cook the crust per the directions of your container.  Mine was a medium thick crust, so we cooked for 10 min's.

While your crust is cooking, prepare your meat topping.  Drain fat.

Take your pizza crust out of the oven.  Top with drained sausage and sit aside.

In a small bowl, whisk your 4 eggs with seasonings together, and pour over the sausage.

Top with warm gravy.  I had leftovers from our Biscuits and Gravy, so it was perfect!  I don't think there's a true measurement here.  Just enough to cover the entire surface evenly.  I'd say about 1.5 cups.

Same for cheese.  Top the gravy with shredded cheese. Approximately 1 cup.

Place pizza back into the oven to finish cooking.  Since we had a medium thick crust, ours took 15-18 minutes.  If you use thin crust, it will take 10-12 minutes.  All depends on what kind of crust you like.

Once the eggs are fully cooked through, remove your pizza, and sit for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Now that's good eats!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Morning Skewers

There is something so beautiful about Christmas morning, isn't there?!  The whole house is filled with joy and laughter, and who wants to fuss over making breakfast. 

I've come up with a solution that is not only a well rounded meal (for Christmas morning anyway), but it only takes about 15 minutes from oven to table.  Nice!

Come see me today over at Holiday's Homemade.  I'm hosting today, and would love to see you!

Yep...They're so good, you'll be licking your finger for more! ;)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday's Homemade

Don't forget - We go LIVE on Holidays Homemade - Christmas Countdown Calendar with you TOMORROW!!! 

I know...December, already?! I'm excited!!

26 days till Christmas. Wee...

Grinch Munch

Come check out my post on Holiday's Homemade, to see how you can make your own Grinch Munch!
After you make this yumilious snack, you might want to grab a blanket, a tall glass of water, and get comfy.  It's time for Christmas movie night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

This recipe sort of just came together on it's own.  I was in a rush one morning, so threw all the ingredients in the pot, and was quite pleased with the outcome. Funny how one jar of "cheese" that has set in my pantry for the last 6 months turned something ordinary into extraordinary!

You'll Need:
2 Chicken Breasts
1.5c. rice (not minute)
1 jar of Ragu Cheese (over by the spaghetti sauce)
Water filled 3/4 full in Ragu Jar
Seasonings (We used garlic, salt, onion powder, paprika)

Liberally season your chicken breasts with all your seasonings (excluding paprika).  Place into your lined crock pot.  Top with rice.
Combine your cheese and water in a separate bowl.  Stir.  Pour over the top of chicken and sprinkle with paprika.
Cook on low 7 hrs or until the temperature of the chicken reaches 165.

A few minutes before serving, I placed on a bit of shredded cheese on the rice, and served with green beans.  Not bad for a dinner on the fly!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin Hair Bow

This is one of the fall hair bows I made for the girls in my life.  I'm a little late in posting, but since it's almost Thanksgiving, it's really perfect timing, if you think about it! 

So let's get started, shall we?

You'll Need:
12 pieces of 3/8" Curled Orange Crossgrain Ribbon 
2 pieces of 3/8" Curled Green Crossgrain Ribbon
1"x 1" piece of brown satin ribbon
Heavy Duty Needle

Lighter or Fray Away
Hot Glue Gun, Glue
Alligator or French Barrette Clip

To start, you'll need to curl your crossgrain ribbon.  If you've never done this before, it's simple enough, just follow these easy instructions.

Once your ribbon is curled, you will want to take them off the dowel rods and sit aside for them to be cut down.

With your ruler or cutting mat, measure your ribbon down into 3" pieces. Cut.
You will need approximately 12-15, 3" pieces/bow.
Once all your pieces are cut, heat seal your ends. This is just quickly running your lit lighter across the ends of your ribbon.  Make sure when you do this, you're doing it in a sweeping type motion, so you don't catch your ribbon on fire.

Now it's time to thread your needle.  Every bow designer is different, but I like to thread my needle and (triple) knot the end when making my korker bows.  I just always make sure to leave ample room to sew the bow together.  I typically leave about 18" hang, which will leave me with plenty of thread to swipe the needle through the center of the "pumpkin" several times for maximum hold.

Let's start building the pumpkin now.  Once your needle and thread is prepared, you will measure the true center of each piece of ribbon and where the center point is, that is where your needle will go.  You can see a full "how to" here

Place the middle (center) of your ribbon directly down into the needle.  


As you are adding pieces to your needle (again, do not pull the needle through any of the pieces just yet), you will want to stagger the pieces as you go.  Think of it as a clock.  Start at 12, make your way to 1, then 2, then 3, etc., as you add them to your needle.

You will have to cinch the pieces down as you go, as your needle is only so big.  It sounds much harder than it is, trust me.  Oh and don't worry about hurting the ribbon.  My 2 year old tugs at hers all the time and is still in perfect condition.

Okay, so once all your pieces are positioned/staggered the way you want them, add your 2 green pieces in a cross fashion across the top.  These will be your leafy steams.

Now it's time to feed the needle all the way through the layers.

With your opposite sewing hand, pinch the center together and hold it taut.  Feed the needle all the way through, keeping the center pinched, so the ribbon doesn't move around.  To feed it all the way through, you may want/need a hard surface for this. The ribbon is quite strong once you get so many layers.

Now you just continue to feed the needle through the front and back as you normally would when sewing.  I like to criss-cross the stitching as I go.  Once you are close to the end of your thread, make sure the needle is going through the back side of your bow.  This is where you will snip the thread from the needle and triple knot it.

Now for the stem.  Take 1, 1"x1" piece of brown satin ribbon and fold it in half (Sealing with glue), then in half again to create the perfect "Stem".

With a small dab of hot glue, insert the glue into the center of your bow between the green leafy steams, and place your brown stem in place.

There you have it...The most adorable pumpkin bow you'll find this side of town!