Thursday, April 10, 2014

Plastic Egg Makover

Easter is just around the corner so there is no better time to pull out those plastic eggs & give them a nice little makeover. I have two decor items in my house I've been wanting some faux eggs to place in. One is a basket in my kitchen the other is this adorable little nest I found at an antique store. That same amazing antique store was selling faux eggs but were $3 each! Ouch no thanks! Maybe one for that price isn't tooooo bad but to fill the basket would have been a little ridiculous. So, I pulled my crafty self together and found an bag of plastic eggs from the dollar store & some paint ... score! I made about 12 eggs for around $2, now that's what I'm talking about!


*Plastic Eggs
*Old Toothbrush
*Paint - I used 3 different neutral colors but you can do any color you want (robin blue would be adorable! )
* Dark Brown Paint
*Extreme Glitter Paint
*Super Glue (If needed)

Step One:

Glue the plastic eggs pieces together so they don't pop open. Be careful if you decide to use hot-glue as it can leave "bulges" on the outside of the egg) (My eggs already stuck together pretty firmly so I actually skipped this step. Feel free to skip this unless you feel your eggs pop open a little too easy)

Step Two:

Cover the egg in "globs" of extreme glitter paint. It doesn't matter what color because it willbe completely   covered up with paint. Make sure to make a nice glob around the crease of the egg to help hide it. This step helps to add a realistic texture for your egg as well as help the paint layer stick.

Step Three:

After the glitter paint is completely dry paint with your preferred color of paint. I had to do two layers  in order to achieve the look I wanted.

Step Four:

Prepare for messy fun!! Set up a cardboard box (I cut out a side to have more "space" but you can just "lean" over the box) Make sure your paint is fully dried. Add a little water to the dark brown paint. Dip your toothbrush into that water/paint mixture and run your finger along the bristles of the toothbrush in order to sprinkle the eggs. It will not be perfect, have fun with the spots and unique   "splashing" of each one...that's how it is in nature anyways right?!

Step Five:

Use these lovely eggs around the house & for cheery spring decor  :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Catching up on my cookbook Challenge

With the traveling and business the last couple of weeks I got a little behind on posting the recipes I've done. So to help me catch up I decided it would help releave some stress to post a few together :) Who doesn't appreciate a shortcut here and there in life, right?!  Before I left for my trip here are some fo the recipes I undertook with successful results: 

Breakfast Pizza:
This was yummy, but since mornings are busy around here I pefer to spend time making food that saves for the rest of the week. Maybe I slipped up in how I stored this but it was not very good leftover. But for a one-time breakfast it was delicious! 

Which included making the Pizza Dough:

Restaurant-Style Salsa:
Delicious and easy! I just threw it together in my blender and stored it in that same blender :) (not having a dishwasher makes you find lots of shortcuts) 


Tequila Lime Chicken:
Yum! I do have to admit I had my husband help me because I don't like using our stovetop grill pan-thing. It fill the entire house with smoke. It takes a team, that's for sure! He cooks and I run around the house with a dish towel trying to keep that insanely ear-killing annoying fire alarm from going off. It's pretty ridiculous. Armed with fans and dish clothes we were able to make this recipe happen :) 

Mexican Rice:
Not my favorite but only because I married a Cuban man who made me fall in love with the simple yet divine taste of white rice. But it may be right up your ally so give it a try and see what you think.... cause ya know with movies & food, everyone has a VERY different opinion ;) 

Honey-Plum-Soy Chicken:
Honestly, dark meat scares me the way swimming in dark water does. You have no idea what your swimming with. Well, I feel that I have no idea what mysteries of the chicken I'm eating in the dark meat. White meat is like that safe feeling of seeing my toes in crystal clear water...ahh yes please! 
Nonetheless, I bravely marched forward & made this dark meat time I'll try it with chicken breast.... The flavor was so good but I look forward to trying it again with safe clear white meat, ha! :) 
(Excuse the lame photo, it was an on-the-go dinner night) 

  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 cups red wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 13 oz. jar plum preserves
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 20 oz. bottle soy sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 plums, pitted and chopped, plus 1 plum, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces egg noodles
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  1. Put the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Pour in 2 cups of the red wine.
  2. Add the bay leaves, toss to coat, and marinate for 1 hour in the fridge.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the plum preserves, honey and soy sauce, whisk to combine and set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the wine, then brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the garlic. Stir it around in the bottom of the pan for a couple of minutes to release the flavor.
  6. Add the remaining cup of wine, chopped plums and honey plum soy mixture.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1½ to 2 hours until the chicken is falling off the bone.
  8. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and place on a large platter.
  9. Spoon the chicken and at least half the cooking liquid over the noodles.
  10. Serve the noodles and chicken on plates. Garnish with the plum slices and a sprinkling of sliced green onion and have little bowls of the cooking liquid on the table so people can spoon on more if desired.

("The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Food from my Frontier" ) 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pork Chops with Apples & Grits

So I decided to start my week off by making something COMPLETELY new. (You can read more about my current Pioneer Woman cookbook challenge here) I quickly regretted that decision. While I am normally not a picky eater this one really threw me for a loop. I tried to like it, I really did. I forced myself to eat it after all that hard work..but alas, I have to admit it was not worth the work. Moments during this dinner making process I felt like Julie in the movie when she has those ridiculous meltdowns. She seems so childish but in the heat of the moment when things go wrong I have to admit I relate more to those childish moments then the calm adult I'm supposed to be. Aj had to come help me because I couldn't get the meat to cook throughly. Turns out it was too big. I missed the part where she said to make sure it wasn't bigger than 1/2 thick...missed that detail. Thankful Aj knows what he is doing, this is pretending to be upset at my picture taking..psh he loves showing off his new hipster glasses ;) What a cool dude. Next time I need his help I should make him where a pretty apron so my femininity is not so challenged by his better cooking skills.

Well, I signed on for this challenge with the realization that five-year old moments would occur and I would need prayer to overcome my inability to calmly handle my anger towards food not obeying my commands. Did I mention I burned my hand, & bought the wrong kind of bacon for the grits (yes I screwed up buying bacon.who does that? I accidentally bought uncured unsmoked FRESH side of pork...very different and it smells TERRIBLE! Basically it feels like your eating pork flavored gum or something chewy gross strange......I'm going to leave it at that)  I thought these mistakes would occur a few months into the challenge ....HAHAAHAH.....that's a good one. But hey, it's not a total disaster I fed the Aj who loved it. If we are being completely honest my ruff night ended with a large helping of leftover valentine chocolate cake and that's my kind of meal. Sometimes you just need a little sugar in your life :)
I needed it for the sugar rush to help me clean all the dishes: eek I need to get better at minimizing the dish mess:
DISHES, ugh even the word makes me cringe..the only downside to this challenge. Maybe if I feed people I can hire them to clean up for me ;)

Even though this meal was not all I hoped it would be it was just one meal on my weekly menu. So: "onward cooking champion" (I pretend the cooking coach in my head is Gordon Ramsay...makes cooking both exciting and ridiculously scary...maybe I should pick another food network star...I'll look into that) This story does have a happy ending, another checkmark in my book!  :)

Don't be scared off by my dislike, you may love this recipe like Aj. Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try (but for heaven's sakes BUY THE RIGHT KIND OF BACON. That was the most disgusting grits I've ever had haha):

Spicy Caesar Salad & Cornbread Croutons

I made this recipe a few weeks ago but it's taken me forever to get it posted. I just got back from FL for a friend's wedding and visiting with family. Back to real life now and the piled up pioneer recipes that need posted. :) 

The week I made thisrecipe was busy so it was nice to have a dinner on the schedule that was a little "lighter" and not so daunting to make. I can officially say that I am addicted to these cornbread croutons. LITTLE BITES OF BUTTERY HEAVEN! Seriously, you have to give these things a try. They make salads sooo tasty. I liked the spicy caesar salad too but it's the croutons that stole my heart. 

Crouton Recipe: 

Spicy Caesar Dressing
-2 garlic cloves, minced finely 
-1 Tablespoon Dijion Mustard
- 2 egg yolks
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Place the minced garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the Dijion & egg yolks, whisk to combine.
2. Squeeze in the lemon juice
3. Add the Worcestershire sauce. 
4. Mince the 2 canned chiptle peppers and add to the bowl. Whisk all together. 
5. Drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream while whisking. Slowly it will begin to thicken into more of a dressing consistency :) 
Toss your salad with the dressing and add those delicious croutons! :D 

(Recipe from "The Pioneer Woman, Food from My Frontier ") 

Thursday, February 13, 2014


was excited to try this recipe out! There is nothing that gets me out of bed faster then knowing I have some coffee waiting for me. I like hot coffee but there is something just divine about iced coffee. Ever since we moved to Ohio from FL I officially said goodbye to ever seeing or feeling my feet again (oh flip flops we had such a friendship). So you can also imagine how I kissed iced cofee goodbye too. Today, however, I needed to feel a little touch of summer as I sit surrounded by the white powdery stuff I use to think I would never hate. So I got my blow dryer out to warm my feet up and shivered away as I sipped on my iced cofee thinking "can a day start off any better?!" 

Let me tell you, this iced coffee recipe is a keeper! It's a little more time consuming then hot coffee but once you whip up a batch you will have a nice supply (if you can find room in your fridge) of this good stuff. I didn't realize just how big a batch it would make and will now be spending the next 30 minutes trying to figure out what to store it in (I don't own a dispenser yet and quit frankly don't feel like spending the $) and where in the world to put it?! Well, something will just have to give because I WILL be making room for my ridiculous amount of iced coffee. (I think I'll learn from this and halve the recipe next time...seeing as how I'm the only one in my household who will be drinking it). delicious! 

-1lb of ground coffee, a good rich roast 
-8 quarts cold water
-half & half 
-sweetened condensed milk (2-3 Tablespoons per serving..yum!) 

1) Place ground coffee into a LARGE container (I dirtied 3 trying to find one big enough) 
I had to grind my coffee beans up ..a little time consuming but I had no other choice..iced coffee was the goal!! 
This was the first container that was too small 
And the second....
3rd time was a keeper!  

2) Pour in the 8 quarts of cold water in with the coffee. Stir to make sure all the coffee grounds are wet. 

3) Place the lid on the container and let it sit on the counter at room temp for 12-24 hours 
4) Lay cheesecloth in a fine mesh strainer (I used scraps of fabric I had that was as similar to cheesecloth fabric as I could find. I've also heard you can use a clean pillowcase). Slowly pour the coffee mixture through the strainer into a clean container. 
I did a small batch first to make sure my fabric worked like cheesecloth. It did, so I got to enjoy some iced coffee while finishing the job :) 
It can get a little messy so I put some newspaper down to catch any drippings.  

5) When you have finished pouring gently press the mixture with a spoon to make sure all the liquid goes through. Discard the cheesecloth with the grounds. 
6) Place the dispenser or container of coffee in the fridge to cool. 
7) To serve: fill a glass with ice and add tbe 2-3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. Next pour the coffee into your glass 
8) Splash in some half and half (or milk) 
9) Stir to mix ...then drink away! 
10) Keep coffee concentrate in the fridge tightly sealed...refill cup as needed ;) 

Looks like I'll be on a caffeine high for the next month. Maybe now I'll have the motivation to attempt those 4 piles of laundry (yea it's bad). 

*This recipe is also available on the Pioneer Woman's website:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pots de Creme

AHHH!! I feel so accomplished right now let me tell you! Of course it's no surprise I decided to start off my challenge with a recipe from the sweets section ;) My choice (based on the availability in my pantry) was Pots De Creme (a cross between chocolate pudding, mousse & custard made with strong coffee & chocolate chips).
To be really honest I thought this one would be super easy (because it's supposed to be) but cooking hungry rarely leads to good things. I think the growl of my stomach blinded my ability to use common sense. *Sigh* someday I'll first, then try that exciting new recipe. Thus, I royally messed this up the first go around. The Recipe says for eggs to be room temp. (mine were freezing, so I tried microwaving them & I don't event want to tell you what that looked like) & I realized afterwards that frozen chocolate chips probably weren't the best choice either. Live and learn...I ended up with chunky Pots De Creme and it tasted pretty gross. Did I mention I also thought it was a good idea to multi task and make boiled eggs at the same time??Well atleast I can vouch for the eggs, they are okay. :) 

But don't lose heart this is a success story! I tried again :) I got my eggs and chocolate chips at room temp and low and behold just as the recipe stated it worked! My Pots De Creme was actually creamy *whew*

Brewing my dark magic k-cup for the coffee needed. It's my fav! 

You chop up the chocolate, vanilla & eggs the pour in the coffee..yum! :) 
I am so literal with recipes I have a measuring utensil for a "pinch"... It makes me happy :) 
Dessert is served: 

Well there you have it: my first recipe and also my first time ever trying, or even knowing about, Pots de Creme. I feel a little larger and a little more educated all at once, I say that makes for a pretty good evening. 

Oh the success of the first checkmark in my cookbook :) 

Need some chocolate in your life too?  Here's the recipe:

You're welcome :) 

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Wonderful WonderMill

So everyone else always seems so bloggy and cool except for me. I feel like I blog for fun but can never keep up with the popular hipster bloggers. I gave up trying to fit in because quit frankly technology hates me too much for me to ever make it in the internet world. I have happily accepted that my blog is an outlet an may never be read by more than one person a day. Either way it makes me happy so I keep it as an outlet. :) Well all this to say I was actually accepted into one of those cool blogger people get free stuff and write about it challenges. I felt like a kid at christmas! I could not believe I was accepted! I thought at first maybe I just got myself suckered into a scam but low and behold my Wondermill came in the mail as promised!

I thought I might pee my pants with unexpected joy :) I grew up grinding my own flour with my mom and sisters. It made the most incredible bread and I loved the smell of fresh ground flour. But now with my own household it was just an expense we didn't see fitting into the budget anytime soon. EEEEK I now have a mill and all I have to do is use hello no problem there!!! :) My challenge: Make 3 recipes using my new mill and post about them on Wondermill's blog before March 1st. I AM IN HEAVEN! I never ever imagined myself getting accepted. I applied a year ago and was denied. Randomly I received an email in December letting me know the next round was open and they had accepted my application. I can honestly say it was perfect timing. I was getting the blogging blues and it was just what I needed to get my tooshy up and moving.

I was happy when I found wheat berries at Walmart! (not a big selection but hey it will get me started) Good Ol' Wally World. Well just wanted to share that little bit of exciting news.Gotta go don my apron & visit the kitchen :) Happy baking everyone!!

*Here are the links to my recipes:

Well, I completed the challenge, feels good to say that :)

(The views in this post are 100% my own opinion and are not affiliated with my Wondermill challenge)