Monday, December 31, 2012

Garlic Infused Butter Pasta

- Pasta of Your Choice (I Used Penne)
- Butter 
- Garlic 
- Parmesan Cheese 
Once water is boiling, add pasta and 2 cloves of garlic that have been peeled. 
Cook pasta to your desired tenderness.

Once pasta is finished cooking, drain and return to pot.
Add enough butter to coat pasta and stir well. 
Add parmesan cheese to taste and stir well. 
Serve with a sprinkle of dried parsley and enjoy!

Do It Yourself Doll Hair Detangler Spray

If you have kids in your life who love to play with dolls then I am sure you have come across the problem of extremely tangled hair. With this simple spray it makes it very easy to brush through the dolls hair and style it.
The doll I used is one from my childhood that was discovered in a box of my old keepsakes recently. I have decided to place some of the dolls that I cherish most on a shelf for display so her hair certainly could not look the way it did when I started!
Spray the doll hair in sections and brush lightly. Use more spray if you find the hair difficult. 
An added bonus is that the hair will smell great from the fabric softener!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Black Beans For Freezing

I purchased a 900 g bag of black beans at my local Walmart for $2.00. 
Pre-cooking these beans and portioning them makes for an easy lunch or dinner prep. They can be thrown into soups, stew, on tacos or nachos. We eat a large amount of black beans per month and this is the cheapest way to do it. I get 18 bags with 1 cup portions for $2.00. That is a big savings compared to the $1.00+ I use to spend per can of beans. 

I only cook half a package of the beans at a time. 
1 cup of beans = 1 cup of water 
9 cups of beans = 9 cups of water
I store all the beans in individual bags with 1 cup portion sizes. 
I then put all the beans in one large plastic bag and label. 
I throw it in the fridge over night to cool the beans then I throw it in the freezer.
And voila! 
Portioned beans that are cheaper, easy, and convenient!

Make Your Own Labels

I purchased this package of labels at my local dollar store or $1.00 for 360 labels. 
That's extremely cheap. 
 They are an off brand but on the reverse side of the packaging it tells you the number that is compatible with Avery labels. 
You can imput the number into the website and design your labels from there. 

Here are some examples of the labels I printed for myself for the upcoming months. 
When making your own labels keep in mind upcoming holidays, and the seasons to add an extra flare to your labels. 

You don't just have to make address labels. 
I also made 'property of' labels and have used these labels for different household labeling tasks. 
They are easy, cheap, and turn out super cute. 
The options are ENDLESS!! 

* More Photos Will Be Added When Moe Labels Are Made! *

Friday, December 28, 2012

Make Bulk Mixes At Home

Lately I have been wanting to make some pre-made mixes that I would have on hand to make things a lot easier. I chose 5 of the most used dry recipes in our home and decided to make them in bulk and store them in canisters. This would make everything easier, faster, and would definitely encourage me to bake things rather than purchase them. 
I decided to make brownie mix, muffin mix, pancake and waffle mix, and tortilla mix.
Brownies are my go to dessert when I know company is coming over or am having a major chocolate craving. 
We always have some sort of muffin around the house, and making this mix will make my life that much easier. 
Pancakes and waffles are a staple breakfast and sometimes dinner item in our family. 
 Tortillas are definitely a staple item on our grocery list and making our own is saving us a lot of money. 

Just so you know ... 
The canisters I got at Dollarama for $2.50 each and the labels are from Staples and they are from the Martha Stewart line.

* I made half of this mix * 
- 8 cups of sugar 
- 6 cups of flour
- 2 cups of cocoa 
- 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of baking powder
- 1 tablespoon of salt 

~ Combine together and store in canister~ 
To Make Brownies: 
- 2 & 1/4 cup of mix 
- 2 eggs, beaten 
- 1/3 cup of melted butter 
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 
~ Beat all ingredients and pour into greased 8x8 pan. Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees ~

* I made 1/4 of this mix *
- 12 cups of flour 
- 4 tablespoons of baking powder 
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda 
- 2 teaspoons of salt 
- 4 & 1/4 cup of sugar 

~ Combine Together and Store In Canister~
 To Make Muffins: 
- 2 & 3/4 cups of mix 
- 2 eggs 
- 1 cup of milk 
- 1/4 cup of oil
- any fruit (blue berries, bananas, etc) 
~ Combine all ingredients and bake for 17-20 minutes at 400 degrees ~ 

* I made 1/2 of this mix * 
- 8 cups of flour 
- 2 cups of dry milk (found in the bulk store)
- 1/2 cup of sugar 
- 3 tablespoons of baking powder 
- 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of baking soda 
- 2 teaspoons of salt

~ Combine Together and Store In Canister ~
To Make: 
- 2 cups of mix 
- 1 & 3/4 cup of water or milk 
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 2 & 3/4 cup of mix 
- 2 cups of water 
- 3 eggs 
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil 

* I made 1/2 this mix * 
- 16 cups of flour 
- 2 tablespoons of baking powder 
- 2 tablespoons of salt 
- 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening 

~ Combine dry ingredients then cut shortening into mix with a pastry cutter. Store in Canister ~ 
To Make: 
- 2 cups of mix 
- 1 cups of water 
~ Mix dough then divide into 15 little balls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes. Roll out as thin as you can get it. Fry on a dry hot griddle for about 2 minutes until little brown spot begin to appear. Store wraps in the fridge ~ 

Make Your Own Taco Seasoning

All You Need Is: 
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder or Salt 
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes 
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Oregano 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika 
  • 1 & 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Sugar
Combine above ingredients in a mason jar and shake. 
I generally do 6 - 8 times the recipe so I am not making it as often.

This seasoning is fantastic. I use it very often and have stopped purchasing the store bought seasonings. When something is this good and is extremely cheap to make, why not?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

1 Pan Chicken Dinner

Easy dinner idea that can be prepared ahead of time and poped into the oven when ready for dinner! 

What You Need : 
- Large Casserole Dish 
- Olive Oil 
- Chicken Breasts, Fresh (I Used 3)
- Potatoes (I Used 3) 
- Green Vegetable (I Used Broccoli. You Could Use Any Green Vegetable) 
- Salt & Pepper
- Parsley
- Mrs. Dash Seasoning (Optional)
After cleaning your potatoes and vegetables, chop them up. Try to make them the same size as much as possible. 
You want to drizzle a generous amount of olive oil in the bottom of your casserole dish before placing anything inside. 
Place a row of potatoes, a row of the chicken breasts, and a row of your vegetables. 
Drizzle olive oil on top of everything and season to taste. 
Cover with foil. 
When ready to cook, place in oven at 350 degrees (still covered in foil) for 1 hour. 
After the house is finished, remove foil. 
Scoop out vegetables and return pan to the oven with just the chicken and potatoes for another 10 minutes to crisp them up. 
Pull out of oven and serve. 
Delicious. Simple. Affordable. 
Finished Dinner. It's a HUGE Hit in Our House!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Traditions

Tonight we are doing one of the many traditions we have developed over the years of celebrating Christmas together. 
This is our 7th Christmas together and our 3rd Christmas living on our own. 
The last two Christmases Josh has been in the hospital up until the last possible day before being released. So this year is completely different for us. 

Tonight we are watching one of our all time favorite Christmas movies ...
The Santa Clause ! 

In Our ..
Christmas Jammies ! 

Drinking some .. 

Snacking on some ..

Holiday Bark !

Left ; Milk Chocolate Bark With Sprinkles and Candy Trees
Middle ; White Chocolate Bark with Holiday Smarties and Sprinkles 
Right ; Mint Chocolate Bark with Crushed Candy Cane 

  • Chocolate For Melting ( I used chocolate disks and chocolate chips) 
  • Saran Wrap 
  • Sprinkles 
  • Candy Canes Pieces 
  • Smarties 
  • You can use anything! 
First, melt your chocolate using a double boiler.
Do it on low heat to prevent burning and stir frequently. 
While waiting, line cookie sheets with saran generously and make sure everything is covered. 
Once chocolate is completely melted, pour onto cookie sheet and use a spatula to spread the chocolate as evenly as possible.
Then add whatever toppings you want before the chocolate begins to set. 
Lay trays in a flat place to allow chocolate to set. Once completely set (do not try too early!) break the chocolate into pieces and enjoy!