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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Halloween Advent Calendar

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       When I see item in stores I always say I could make that.  How much of this is true I just don’t know.  I have no real talent when it comes to sewing at all.   I have a sewing machine but have to read the directions on how to load the tread every time, and the 100’s of stitches are wasted on me as I have no idea what to do with them.  Don’t get me wong I have made things and they have turned out (although I have no idea how).

       So When Potterybarn Kids had a advent type calendar to count down the days until Halloween  again my inner seamstress came out and I ripped out the page thinking some day I will make this and it will be wonderful.  Well 2 years passed and I had not even thought of it again.  SO when cleaning out my craft room I found the photo  and thought why not try.

        I used felt by the yard and Halloween dot ribbon.  I drew out a sketch on poster board and cut it out to use as a pattern.  I then used the embroidery part of the sewing machine  and just did numbers in some different fonts.  cut it all out and sewed it together.  OK when done I have to say I amazed had myself.  I gave this one to my sister and I have to say I think she was a little shocked as well.  I am thinking of making another soon it was much easier than I had ever thought.  I love felt it can be so cute, its super easy to work with, and its cheep.

This is the Potterybarn Advent.  I found the photo on ebay where they are asking $69.99

This is mine.

  I left out the rat i just could not get him to look right.

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Easy Pork Carnitas

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Pork Carnitas  (AKA best taco I have ever ate!)

These are hands down the best and easiest tacos ever.

  Let me just say it again THE BEST!  I am so glad I found http://peggyunderpressure.com/2011/02/carnitas/ through a pin on pinterest.

  You have to check them out and make the tacos.  I have made them about 7 times now and they have never disappointed.  They freeze wonderful and are great to just reheat on a very busy day when you just want a quick meal.

 I use a corn tortillas, cilantro, onion, Mexican crumble cheese, and avocado on mine and my husband’s.

My kids prefer to eat them as nachos, they love them just as much as I do.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 lg  can chiles
  • 1 (3-4 pound) boneless pork shoulder/rump roast
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • corn tortillas

** The original recipe had bay leaves I left them out because we personally are not fans and used canned chiles not fresh.

  • In a small bowl, mix up all the dry spice ingredients, except for the Chiles.  Rub the roast with the mixture all over.   Let it sit for about 2-3 minutes.
  • poor in chicken broth place roast on top and cover in chilies and cook.

cook time :

pressure cooker 1 1/2 hours

Crock pot 8-10 hour

The original post has very detailed directions.  I am going to be trying another recipe from http://peggyunderpressure.com/2011/02/carnitas/ very soon!

Wedding Cake Cupcakes

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There is nothing I love more than white cake with fluffy white frosting.  This is one of the reasons I love weddings (that is if they have white cake).    When looking at recipes on pinterest I found a wedding cake cupcake recipe that starts with a box and you add the items.  http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/03/16/white-wedding-cake-cupcakes/ The blog said that by adding the extra ingredients it taste so much better.  I also used the buttercream from the Guinness Cupcakes.

They are moist and delicious they baked up wonderfully and looked great.  They tasted good too, but if I am honest I could not tell much difference in the flavor from just a white cake mix.  If you have a recipe I would love to try it.

Crayon Rolls

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I saw these and decided to make them for my sons pre school class and my for a few other kids we know for Christmas.  I got on pinterest and found a video that explained how to make them at http://www.thediydish.com/2011/12/how-to-make-cosmetic-wraps-or-crayon-rolls/.  Then I didn’t follow the directions:)  I did use it as a guide but I have sheets of felt and scrap ribbon that matched already so decided to use them.  The best part of felt was I didn’t have to do anything with the cut ends because they stay nice and don’t fray.

I have a embroidery sewing machine so I put all the kids names on them.  I made 15 in all but only have photos of 3.  Let me tell you the first one took as long as it did to make all the others together.

Small Places Closet/Craft Room

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Small Places Closet/Craft Room

So I know some people will think I am crazy to give up my closet for a craft area but I could not be happier.  When I told my husband about my idea  to convert my closet into a craft room he thought I was crazy.  Not because of clothing storage, we have another large closet in or room and may build ins, but that I was going to  sit in the closet.  It has turned out so nice he even said he wishes he would have thought of it for himself.

The cork boards are just cheep ones from Wal-Mart covered in fabric.  My closet was covered in wallpaper and it was not coming down.  I have never ever recommended anyone paint over wallpaper so that’s what I did:)  It worked out fine for this space but still don’t recommend it.  After changing out the lighting adding a tv I was ready to start working.  I do love my space even though there is not much of it.

Sports Ball Party

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Invitations

These are fondant covered sponge cake and cupcakes.  You have to check out the molds from Country Kitchen.  I didn’t do any lines this time but later got the hang of it. http://www.countrykitchensa.com/shop/cookie-pie-and-pastry-shop/sports-ball-cookie-cutter-texture-set/44/603/314/636152/  check it out they are so cool!  It’s a cookie cutter and fondant texture mat for 8 types of balls.

Electric Presser Cooker Shredded Chicken

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This is my favorite Kitchen item hands down!  Yes I love my Kitchen aid but  don’t use it that often and yes I love my crock pot but can never remember to  start and it takes so long.  Sometimes I forget to defrost my meat for dinner,  ok I always forget, and with the presser cooker it does not matter.  You can do  this in the crock pot also it just won’t be as fast.

My daughter loves this chicken and has it in her lunch everyday of the school year.  I was buying turkey or chicken lunch meat and the chicken cooked chunks for her lunch last year.  My daughter asked me not to buy the cooked chicken anymore she said it was not very good.  Lets face it I would have to agree, so I was trying to come up with another idea.  In the mean time I had made the BBQ chicken in the crock pot that just falls apart so thought I would give just shredded chicken a try.  It was such a great success that we almost never buy lunch meat anymore and never the cooked chicken  her favorite lunches are spinach salads with chicken, chicken wraps, and chicken pasta salad.  I can’t believe how much it saves us too with was just an added bonus to getting a better tasting lunch.  I have also stopped buying canned chicken for chicken salad, casseroles, chicken and dumplings………  (Oh and did I say it freezes GREAT!)

So I was spending $8-12 a week for lunch meat and maybe a can of chicken ever few weeks.
A large bag of chicken runs 6.99 and when on sale 4.99 Chicken broth less than $2.
So one month of lunch meat ranged from $32.00-48.00
One month of shredded chicken $7.00-9.00 (and I have an extra weeks of lunches or casserole serving)

You need:

  • Bag of frozen chicken
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place whole bag of frozen chicken in Presser cooker.
  2. add chicken broth and salt and pepper
  3. Set cooker for 30 minuets
  4. When done I  break it apart with a fork.  (It’s impossible to keep together is so juicy and falling apart.)

I sometimes use food saver bags and other times just freezer bags on the meat I do not need for the week.