Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fabric Flower Lamp

I've had this plain lamp shade sitting around my craft room for a year now. After making those beautiful fabric flowers. I couldn't wait to accessories something else with them. This dull lamp shade was the perfect idea. I was so happy with the results. I repainted my little monkey's room so that this lamp would stand out. Crazy huh??? I hot glued everything on the lamp, and changed out the light bulb to a low wattage. So pretty.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm a copy cat!

Everytime I go into Target I always see something cute I want to add to one of my monkey's rooms. This time it was these cute prints that would look perfect in Kaya's room; however, I didn't want to pay $19.99 for each of them. On this rainy day my friend Gabby showed up and we spend the afternoon chatting, laughing, and painting. It was fun, relaxing, and the time just flew by. I encourage everyone to give this a try.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homemade Lemonade

I love making fresh lemonade for my monkeys during the summer. When we have summer parties I like to make different versions of this recipe with strawberries, kiwis, grapefruits, and pineapples added to this basic recipe. It's quick, fresh tasting, and absolutely delicious.
1 c. lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
4 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1 c. ice
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix up. Pour into a pitcher and chill. You can also add any fruit you want to the blender. For the adults a little vodka is perfect with this summer beverage.

10 Commandment cake

This recipe was handed down to me by a wonderful woman named Rhoda. My sister Carla and I stayed with her during our parents divorce in Idaho. What I remember most was she loved to cook homemade meals everyday. This is a family favorite which I now make for my family now. We started calling this cake the 10 commandments cake because it can be created with as many layers as you want. One day we did 10 lays, and so the name came about. I have fond memories of Rhoda and her husband Jerry. They were good, kind people. I hope I can bring happiness to my family through food like she did for so many who loved her. I love you Rhoda.
1 bag yellow cake mix
3 eggs
vegetable oil
whip cream
vanilla pudding
crushed pineapple (drained)

First make the cake and cool. In the meantime, make the vanilla pudding mix, and chill in frig. Slice the cake horizontally to create layers. Place base layer of cake on a plater. Spread vanilla pudding, pineapple, whip cream and walnuts on top. Stack 2nd layer of cake on top of base cake layer. Continue until you place the final cake layer on time. Now cover completely with whip cream and sprinkle with walnuts.
You can also make your own whip cream by purchasing heavy cream, 1 c.sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Blend ingredients together with a mixer until it's firm to your liking. Give Rhoda's 10 commandment cake recipe a try.

Powdered Sugar Cinnamon Crisp

Sometimes I feel like something sweet, but not heavy. These sweet treats are perfect. The best part is they are easy to made, and perfect for little monkeys to help you with. Here's how:
A package of won ton wraps
spray oil
powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut won tons diagonally. Place in bowl with 2 tbsp. of oil, and toss. Spray a cookie sheet with spray oil. Place won tons on cookie sheet, and bake for 7-10 minutes.
Place crisps on plate and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. You can also use these crisps as garnish to your favorite ice cream. Yummy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fabric Flower Power

My friend Erin has a beautiful sister named Alicia. There are many things I appreciate about Alicia. One of which is she is a crafty girl who loves to share her projects through her creative blog The Charity Wedding. When I first read about this craft project I got so excited! I couldn't wait to give this a try. Alicia suggested I make headbands for my little monkey, and that's exactly what I did! Here's how:

If you click on to the above blog site you can follow Alicia directions. I'm just a big fan of freezer paper I just created my own template by outlining bowls from the kitchen.

Next use an x-acto knife, and craft pad to cut out circles.

You must use systhetic fabric for this project. Use the circle template as your guide to cut out fabric circles. You can use a straight pin to hold template to fabric, or just hold and free hand cut. Now cut 5 straight cuts towards the center to create petals for flower. I also cut edges off to help form the petal shape. See above. Now light a candle and place individual cut pieces to the flame. The flame will create these beautiful wilted, curled edges. Once all done. Stack your petals, and add fleece for backing.

Now hand stitch together. I also stitch on to head bands and a tank top.

The possibilities are really endless. I was thinking about add to a homemade denim purse, or making them for Kaya's little girlfriends. Thank you Alicia for a easy, fun, and beautiful craft idea. I can't wait to make more.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lemon Chicken Pasta with Spinach and Pine Nuts

The first time I made this my hubby practically eat the whole bowl of pasta by himself. What I love about this dish is it's intense favor, and its so easy to make. About 10 minutes. Here's how:
4 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. butter
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 2 lemons
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp basil
roasted pine nuts
shredded Parmesan cheese
1 slice grill chicken (I use the frozen grill chicken from Sam's Club)
Angel hair pasta
Boil water in stockpot for pasta add salt and olive oil. In a skillet add olive oil, butter, zest, juice (I use a hand juicer), salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and basil. Stir and cook on medium low. Defrost chicken breast, and slice. Add to skillet. Cook pasta (about 6 -10 mins) In another skillet dry roast pine nut, and set aside. Once pasta is al dente use tongs to place pasta into main skillet and toss. Turn off heat, and add fresh spinach, and pine nuts then mix again. Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese. You can also substitute the grill chicken breast with shrimp. Cook raw shrimp with olive oil and salt for 2-3 minutes and add to main skillet. I promise you will fall in love with this simple dish.

Applesauce Muffins with Crunchy Streusel Topping

Don't you hate it when your cleaning out the refrigerator and realize that some of your veggies needed to be eaten today! Well that what happened to me this morning. I hate throwing away good food we paid good money for. This morning I had a whole bag of unopened carrots that were practically on there last leg. So I cut the carrots up, streamed, and toss in the food processor with a little water. Then I made these delicious applesauce muffins with crunchy streusel topping. The recipe I use is from the cookbook Deceptively Delicious . What I love about this book is you give your monkeys the food they want, but you trick them into what their bodies need. Also this recipe definitely leaves your kitchen smell like a Gold Canyon Candle which is an added plus.
Batter ingredients:
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 c old fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 c. cinnamon (I like using Pampered Chef)
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. nonfat milk
1/2 c. butternut squash or carrot puree
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c. canola oil
1 egg
Topping ingredients
2/3 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp soft butter

Preheat to 400 degrees. In bowl mix all dry ingredients for batter then add wet ingredients. Mix with spoon. Don't overmix. In another bowl mix all topping ingredients until will blended.Place paper baking cups inside cupcake pan. Pour batter into individual cupcake holders. I like to fill almost to the top. This creates nice fluffy cupcakes. Then with your hand place topping mixture over all the cupcakes. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. Remove and place on cooling rack. I usually give these to my monkeys without letting them know what's inside is good for them. They can find that out at a later day.

Here's what I do with the remaining puree.

I measure out puree and place in individual plastic bags. I usually write what's it for, and how much. Now just throw in the freeze, and pull out as needed. I feel so much better. No guilt over wasting good vegetables.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pink Champagne Cupcakes!!!

My new girlfriend Ruthie (a.k.a Rufie) was gracious enough to share her pink champagne cupcake recipe with me. From what I've heard she is an awesome cook who enjoys drinking a cocktail or two while preparing a meal. My kinda gal. Here's what you'll need to create these delicious cupcakes.
1 box of Betty Crocker Super moist White Cake Mix
1 1/4 c. champagne
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 egg whites
4-5 drops of red food coloring
Champagne frosting
1/2 c butter (softened)
4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. champagne
1 tsp. vanilla
4-5 drops of red food coloring
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl add cake mix, champagne, vegetable oil, eggs, and food coloring. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Insert cupcake papers inside cupcake pan. Pour mixture into individual cupcake holders. I like to fill to almost full because I like my cupcakes to look big and fluffy. Place in oven for 17 -22 minutes.
In another bowl add softened butter, powdered sugar, champagne, vanilla, food coloring drops, and mix until well blended. Once cupcakes are completely cooled you can frost, and decorate as desired.
Oh I forgot the most important step according to Ruthie. Drink the champagne, and invite a friend to help you out. With the bottle I mean. Thanks Ruthie! Cheers.

Fresh Corn Side Dish

With all the fresh corn in the market I decided to make a family favorite. My oldest monkey prepared this dish which is great. When I left my parent's house for the first time I was a McDonald's girl. Here's how:
8 fresh corn on the cob (white or yellow)
4 piece of bacon (diced)
1 tbsp.salt
1/2 tbsp. pepper
1/2 c. butter
Remove corn husk, and clean under water. Pat dry. Hold corn vertically and cut off corn kernals. Place kernals in a bowl. In a heated skillet place bacon bits, and fry. Remove bacon from skillet and set aside. Add butter to skillet and melt. Add corn, salt/pepper, and stir. Cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Add bacon bits, and toss together. That's it. This dish has a fresh, crispy, sweet taste. Simply delish!

Guacamole Dip

I love my Iphone! Sometimes while I'm standing in the market trying to remember ingredients for a recipe I can always pull up my blog on my Iphone, and see pictures and a list of ingredients. Now all I need is a Ipad so I can prop it up on a cookbook stand and scroll through my blog like a recipe book. Here's how I make guacamole dip.
4 guacamoles (cubed)
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 dashes of tobacco sauce (more if you prefer)
1/2 c. small diced red onion
1 minced garlic clove
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 cubed and seeded tomato
In bowl add cubed guacamoles, then cover with lemon juice. Next add diced red onions, garlic, cubed tomato, salt, and pepper. Mix all together. So easy!

Healthy Breakfast Burritos

My hubby has been asking me to make healthier meals, so I came up with this. Here's my version of a healthy breakfast burrito.

Diced red onions
Diced red bell pepper
Diced tomatoes
Sliced avocado
Drained black beans
Shredded cheese (your favorite)
1 whole egg, and 1 egg white
Fresh parsley
Red pepper flakes
Sour cream
Olive oil
Spray oil
Salt and pepper (optional)

Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, beans, and red pepper flakes (salt, and pepper optional). While that's cooking in a bowl add 1 whole egg, and 1 egg white. Add 1 tbsp. of water, and parsley then mix together. Spray another skillet with oil, and add scrambled egg mixture. On a tortilla spread sour cream, and salsa. Now to assemble the burrito. Lay bean mixture on top of salsa, scrambled eggs next, shredded cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and sprinkle tobacco sauce. Foil and eat. John and I love a lot of heat, so I always add more red pepper flakes. This is a great way to start the morning. You will feel satisfied and full of energy for the day. Enjoy!