Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No-Bake Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars

I knew from the second I laid eyes on this recipe that it'd be a hit. I knew I HAD to share with all of you the second I actually made it!

In my house, I love to bake and cook (like I've said before), but when you're working full-time and you're literally gone from your house for 11-12 hours a day and come home to have to cook supper and keep up with daily chores as well as care for a child, it can feel like a bit much. Some nights I just really want to bake but I want it to be something quick and simple because I don't have the energy to put up with coming up with some 4-hour masterpiece, even though I'm sure it'll be just as good. I know I'm not alone in this feeling, thus having to share this awesome recipe with you all!

(Not my recipe or picture. Click title to see original)

1 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 1/2 c. salted peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
4 c. rice krispies

Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with wax or parchment paper. Place the corn syrup and sugars in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Stir in the peanut butter and mix well to combine. Quickly stir in the vanilla and Rice Krispies. Spread into the lined baking pan. Cool and slice into squares.

See?! How amazing do these sound?! I hope you love them as much as my family did!

Click here to view the pin!

Until next time,


The Liebster Award

I came online tonight to make a much-needed post or two of a couple recipes I've tried and was pleasantly surprised to be nominated for a Liebster Award by a lovely lady I know, Victoria ( You Make Me Feel Like Dancing).

Now, I'll admit I wasn't entirely sure what the Liebster award was, but not to worry, Victoria provided the answer, whom she got from someone else, who I'm sure got from someone else, and so on. :P... I am here to enlighten you all and will copy and paste just what it's all about!

"So what is the Liebster Award?
The Liebster Award nomination goes to those bloggers who have a following of less than 200 to promote other bloggers to comment and share - even get to know each other!  I think this is great, because it gives you the potential to gather a larger following!  If you get nominated, you cannot nominate the person who nominated you (No tagbacks!).

The point of the Liebster Award is to answer questions, tell 11 secrets about yourself, and nominate 11 other bloggers who fit the criteria.  Here it goes!"

I'm honesty very honored to receive such a nomination as I kind of felt like I was one of those blogs that falls into the cracks, so to speak. I show up on someone's blog feed, but maybe they don't really pay attention. But hey, this blog has only been around for just under a month, so I think it's to be expected that it's not the most popular thing, though I doubt it'll ever get to some high status as such...

So without further adieu, I will carry on with my duties of a Liebster nominee!

11 Questions Posted by Victoria for Those Who Were Nominated

What was your favorite TV show growing up?
Oh boy, I don't even know! Honestly, I didn't really watch a whole lot of tv. I was always out with my friends or doing something for cadets. However, I always made time for Degrassi every week. It holds a place in my heart!

What is it that you "get" out of blogging?
My thoughts. I also get to share my favorite recipes and crafts that I've made. I love to share things like this and blogging makes it easy without being too annoying. ;)

What is your favorite book? Why?
I can't pick just one, I really can't. The entire Harry Potter series is just so amazing to me. The magic, love, fantasy, lessons... everything... It's so perfect in every way to me. Another favorite is "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult.

What made you decide to repost this and nominate others?
I was nominated and felt it was only right to Pay it Forward!

What is your favorite memory?
I don't have one favorite memory, I can't pick one. My favorite kind of memories are the one's spent with my closest friends and with my family. Family means everything to me and I can't even begin to pick a favorite out of them all. I can say that most of the fondest involve my mom's side all getting together. My cousins on that side might as well be siblings, we're all SO close with one another. All  those memories are priceless to me!

What do you do when nobody's watching?
Dance. Like a complete fool. But hey, nobody's watching ;)

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money, and why?
-I would officially by the house we're buying/building
-Buy a new vehicle for our family, and my husband a new truck that he's always wanted.
-Start a college savings for our son.
-Pay off my parents house, and grandparents.
-Pay off all bills and debt.
-Go on a real honeymoon
-Take a trip to Disneyland and bring my family.
-Put the rest in savings so we can have the comfort of knowing we have money for retirement, kids schooling, etc.

If you could donate to any charity (any specific charity, or a general cause), what would it be?
I would donate to cancer. Not any one in particular though... It's something that strikes very close to home with family and friends.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
I would love to have some kind of job where I get to travel the world and see all the amazing things the world has to offer, if there is a job like that out there!

What do you love most about yourself? List five reasons why.
I love my ambition, passion, and stubbornness.
1) Though my being stubborn can create a certain sense of being a tad bit of a pain in the ass (:P) I love that it has created me to be driven. I fight. I don't give up. I don't give in. I push. I work for the things I want in life. I know that some things may take time and though I may fall off the wayward path from time to time (which can lead me to something better or make me fall behind a tad), I always end up finding my way.
2) I love the sense of accomplishment and doing something good.
3) I love what I love and don't like what I don't. I don't let people push me over just because it's "the cool thing".
4) It's shown me what I've made of myself. There are so many things I have accomplished that I'd never dreamed of doing. My drive, passion, ambition, has gotten me there. Like I said, I don't give up.
5) It makes me a better person and inspires others. I dare anyone to say that when someone says your success pushed them to NOT feel great!

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla, usually. I guess I'm boring ;).

11 Secrets About Myself

1) I'm not as strong as I come across. Passionate, yes, but my inner strength is a mess.
2) I still don't know what I want to do with my life. A big reason I never went to university/college was because I simply didn't know what I wanted. I'm 24 and still don't. I don't even have a relative idea.
3) I love my dotg more than most people.... And I'm not ashamed by this.
4) I'm afraid of what the future holds in terms of some personal things I want in life. I'm terrified that certain things may not happen. Things I've always dreamed of. Things that I can't control.
5) I have been diagnosed with having secondary infertility. It's a scary thought. It goes hand in hand with number 4. It terrifies me. I love my son, if he has to be "enough" then he will, but I don't want him to have to be.
6) I feel selfish for feeling that way because so many deserving people in life don't even get that.
7) I love cheesy, predictable, and lame tv shows like Gossip Girl, 90210, The Carrie Diaries, and Hart of Dixie.
8) I love Disney movies... though that's not really a secret :P.
9) I have a habit of going "offline" on facebook when I want to stop talking to people, when I'm really still around. It's not any of these people's faults, I just sometimes don't care.
10) Laundry is my least favorite chore. Hands down. Hand me some dirty dishes over laundry ANY day.
11) I get complimented on being "so creative" a lot, when really I have Pinterest to blame for a lot. I can say that it has made me more creative in looking at something and thinking "I can totally recreate that!" when before I'd just buy it.

11 Questions for Those Who Have Been Nominated

1) If you could replay any day in your life which day would you pick? Why? Would you change anything?
2) If you could change anything about your wedding day, what would it have been/? If you're not married, if you could have one dream thing happen for your wedding, which would it be?
3) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
4) What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far?
5) What is your favorite childhood memory?
6) What is your favorite thing to bake or cook?
7) You're stranded on a remote island with no escape, but all the necessities of life (food, water, etc.). What three things would you have with you? (You can't pick a boat or anything to get off this island either!)
8) What is your favorite "kid" cereal?
9) What tv show could you never get enough of?
10) What is your dream job?
11) What is your favorite movie?

My 11 Nominees

1) Manda - Eat Cake 
5) Kez - Kreative Kez
6) Rachel - Eat, Run, Rach
10) Jade - N and J
11) Allyson - Allyson & Co.

I hope you all enjoyed this post as much as I did. Thank you again Victoria! Congrats to you all that have been nominated!

Until next time,


Monday, January 21, 2013

Baked Crab Rangoon

My husband and I weren't really all that hungry so I decided to make supper an appetizer night. This particular recipe I've had sitting around for awhile and I'm not entirely sure of it's origin as I printed it off so long ago. However, I'm sure I found it through Pinterest or some food blog!

Tonight I finally got around to making what ended up being an AWESOME Baked Crab Rangoon! Naturally, I HAD to share the recipe with you all after finding it to be a big success! Even my husband who isn't much of a seafood fan liked it!

(My photo, however not my original recipe)

Baked Crab Rangoon

8 oz. crab meat, drained and flaked
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp. light soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. onion, minced
1 pkg. wonton wrapppers (I only used about half, but I suppose it depends on the size)
Water for sealing wontons
3-4 Tbsp. butter, melted

Combine the crab, garlic, and onion in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce thoroughly. Add the cream cheese mixture to the crab mixture and combine thoroughly.

Place a wonton wrapper on a flat surface so it forms a diamond shape. Wet the edges of the wonton. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wonton and spread it out toward the left and right points of the diamond.

Fold over the edges of the wrapper so that it forms a triangle. Seal the edges, adding more water if needed. I folded each point of the triangle over again, as an added measure to keep he wonton sealed.

Cover the completed rangoon with a damp paper towel to prevent from drying out while preparing the rest.

Place sealed wontons on a nonstick baking sheet and brush the tops with melted butter. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 48 Crab Rangoon.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we did! It's perfect for the holidays, family get togethers, a dinner party, or just a simple appetizer supper like we had!

If you'd like to see the pin, click here!

Until next time,


Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins

I love muffins. And cupcakes. So does my son... In fact, my son pretty much thinks of cupcakes and muffins as the same thing, and really the biggest difference is the glob of icing on the top, so naturally, when he gets a muffin with his breakfast he thinks it's the best day in the world! Tonight I decided to try a new recipe for muffins that I found on, none other than, Pinterest! I love muffins, especially blueberry, s I knew this would be a likely hit and boy was I right! So, of course I had to share with you all! Here you go!

(My picture, but not my original recipe. To see original, click title)

1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/4 c. oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil, and egg. Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist. Fold in blueberries and fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes. Enjoy!

It's a really simple and quick recipe AND it tastes delicious! I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do!

For the pin, click here!

Until next time, 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes. It's seriously my most favorite form of potato and I'm convinced that my grandma makes the best on this planet. I don't know how she manages to make them taste so darn good, but they are to die for.

When I found this recipe on Pinterest I KNEW it was going to be love. Boy, oh, boy was I right! I coupled them with a previous recipe I posted, Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin.

(Not my picture or original recipe. To view recipe click on title)

5 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cubed
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk
3 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese blend, divided
1/2 lb. sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 green onions, sliced

Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Beat on med-low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in 2 cups cheese, bacon and onions.

Transfer to a greased 3 qt. baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did!

To view the pin, click here!

Until next time,


Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin

I love pork. Especially tenderloin and chops. So when I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, I know I just HAD to try it! It sounded delicious, the picture looked delicious, and I just knew it'd go over well in my house.

 I coupled this recipe with a side dish for Loaded Mashed Potatoes, which I will give you the recipe in another post.

(Not my picture or my original recipe. To view original click on the title)

4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Honey
1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 c. water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In an ovenproof pot, heat butter and honey over medium heat until melted. Sprinkle pork tenderloin with Cajun seasoning and black pepper. Brown each side for 5 minutes in the honey butter. Lower heat if honey begins to burn.

Place pot in oven and roast uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Remove pot from oven and transfer the pork to a plate. Cover with foil.

Add water to the pot and stir over medium heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until sauce is reduced slightly. Slice pork on the diagonal and drizzle sauce over top to serve.

I just know this recipe is going to be used again and again. It came out SO delicious!

You can view the pin here!

Until next time,


Layered Zucchini Parmesan

Here, I present to you my second post for the night!

In my last post I gave you a recipe for Pork Schnitzel. Well the night this week that I made that I was trying to figure out what could with it and decided on this recipe. Now, this Zucchini Parmesan could either be a side dish or a vegetarian dish on it's own I suppose. I chose to do it as a side so I could have more for leftovers! So here you go, ladies and gentleman!

(Not my picture or my recipe. Click the title for original)

3 large zucchini, sliced into 1/3-inch coins
1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated and divided in half
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cu marinara sauce, homemade or bottled
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Blot zucchini coins with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place zucchini in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil, turning to coat each piece. In a separate bowl, combine half the parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.

Dip each zucchini coin into the parmesan mixture, turning to coat and pressing the breading slightly to ensure it sticks. Place breaded zucchini coins in one even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned and crisp.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Coat the bottom of a small baking dish with marinara sauce. Layer one third of the crisp zucchini coins over marinara, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle zucchini layer with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan. Repeat the layers 3 times (or until the zucchini is gone, depending on the size of your baking dish) ending a sprinkling of cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

There you have it folks! Another great recipe for you to try!

Check out the pin here!

Until next time,


Pork Schnitzel

Okay, okay, okay. So I know it's been a few days since my last post, and I apologize. I've just been really busy with life and when I caught a minute to breathe, I was trying to catch up on some things around the house. But I promise to make it up to you all with a couple entries with different recipes!

You've probably figured out by now that I like to cook. I love cooking and baking. I love trying and finding new recipes. It's one of the many reasons I've become addicted to Pinterest. I grew up in a family of FIVE kids. My mom would often make bigger meals, like casseroles or pasta dishes, because they'd feed us all. As a result, we ended up having similar things often. I will say, it's not a bad thing! Our family has it's staples, such as our Tater Tot Hot Dish which is still a big favorite with my family and now my own family. But, as a result, we often at the same things and we got used to those things.

I think in part, that's why I love to experiment so much. I see nothing wrong with sticking with the same old stuff, but while I'm at it I'd like to try new things. Thus, I love to cook. This isn't even something I can lightly say. I have several hundreds of recipes typed up and saved on my computer. From there, I print them out and put them in protective sleeves and store them in a couple of binders. The sleeves are just so that when I make a recipe, if I spill on it, all I have to do is wipe it off! But to say I like to try new things would be a tad bit of an understatement. I can honestly say that in the last 3 years or so that I hardly make the same meal all that often.

I like experimenting and trying new things, especially with food. The way I see it, you can't say you don't like something unless you try it, and hey, if you don't like it, you simply don't make it again! It's also nice being able to introduce my son to new things, and my hubby certainly isn't complaining. ;)

With that said, I now bring you a recipe I tried a couple days ago! I will also be providing you with another post that will have a recipe for a side dish I served with this!

(Not my picture or recipe. Click on title for original.)

4 boneless pork chops (1 lb. total) 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (or substitute plain salt)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs or panko
1 teaspoon paprika
3 Tablespoons canola oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried dill or 2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)

Use a meat hammer to pound the pork cutlets to 1/4-1/8 inch thickness. Cut small slits around the edges of the cutlets to prevent curling.

Set out 3 shallow bowls. One with a mixture of the flour, seasoned salt, and pepper. The second with the egg and milk whisked together. The third with a mixture of the bread crumbs (or panko) and paprika.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on med-high heat. Dredge the cutlets first in the seasoned flour, then dip the cutlets in the egg mixture, and then into the mixture of bread crumbs and paprika.

Working in batches, saute the cutlets for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the cutlets from the skillet and cover with foil or place in a warm oven to keep warm.

Add the chicken stock into the skillet to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits. In a small bowl mix the dill and salt into the sour cream. Stir the sour cream mixture into the chicken stock. Heat and stir until mixture thickens (do not let boil).

Serve the cutlets with the sauce, and lemon slices if you like.

*Serves 4

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did!

Check out the pin here!

Until next time,


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Corn and Cheese Chowder

Something I really love to make is homemade soup, stew's, and chowders. I love to do them both in my slow cooker and on the stove. I've got a few different recipes I've tried and all have been VERY successful in our household. Someday I might share my Spaghetti Soup (one of our favorites), but you'll have to wait on that. ;)

Tonight, for supper, I made this absolutely delicious Corn and Cheese Chowder. It was a first time making, but it definitely won't be the last! I found the recipe on Pinterest (surprise, surprise :P) and just HAD to share! So here you go!

(My picture, not originally my recipe)

(Click for original recipe)

4 Tablespoons and 1/2 stick butter (or 1/2 cup + 4 Tbsp)
1 whole onion, chopped
3 slices bacon, cut into piece
3 whole bell peppers, finely diced (red, yellow, orange)
5 ears corn, kernels sliced off
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups (heaping) Tex-Mex blend cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions

In a large pot, melt butter over med-high heat. Cook onions for a couple of minutes. Add bacon and cook for another minute or so, then add diced bell peppers and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally, add corn and cook for a minute.

Sprinkle flour evenly over the top and stir to combine. Pour in broth and stir well. Allow this to thicken for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer/thicken for 15 minutes or so.

Stir in cheeses and green onions. When cheese is melted and the soup is hot, check seasonings. Add salt and pepper or other seasonings as needed. Serve.

And that's all that's to it! It's a really simple recipe that can be done in less than an hour and it is SO good! I hope you all enjoy it!

For the pin, click here!

Until next time,


Monday, January 7, 2013

Hawaiian Sweet Bread

It's been a couple days since my last post and in that time I tried out a new recipe I found on, you guessed it, Pinterest!

In my initial introduction post I mentioned being a newlywed. Well, as a gift from my former workplace for my bridal shower, I was given a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. It was absolute love at first sight. I would have probably used it that night had my hubby and I not made a deal that we wouldn't use any of our gifts until after the wedding. So, it sat in my spare bedroom teasing me for nearly a month before I could add the beautiful machine to my kitchen. I've since come to adore the machine even more. I'm fairly certain that if I could marry any appliance, that baby would be THE ONE.

One thing I've come to love, in huge thanks to the mixer, is making bread. Before I stuck to basic loaves like banana, or cranberry orange, lemon poppyseed, something of the sort, and that was entirely because I HATE kneading bread. It's such a pain, and it's sticky and it takes so much time and I just have no interest for it. Now that I have my mixer, I really don't have that problem anymore thanks to that handy dough hook! My life is even more complete with the delicious fresh bread I can make up!

I have always had a love for those Hawaiian Sweet Rolls you can buy, so sweet, delectable, yummy... So when I came across a recipe for a bread version, I HAD to try it. Though it's not exactly the same to the stuff I've bought, it's pretty darn close and definitely will be something I'll be making again!

(Note this is my picture, but not originally my recipe. To view original, click on title)

7 cups flour, unbleached
1/2 cup butter
1 cup pineapple juice at room temperature
3 eggs
3/4 cup mashed potato flakes
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger or mace
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 envelopes active dry yeas
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water

In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, mashed potato flakes, sugar, salt, ginger/mace, vanilla, and yeast.

In medium saucepan, heat milk, water and butter until very warm, 120 to 130 degrees. Add warm mixture, pineapple juice and eggs to flour mixture. Blend at low speed of mixer until moistened. Beat 4 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in 3 cups flour to form a stiff dough.

On floured surface, knead in 1/2 to 1 cup flour until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl turning to grease top of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in a warm place, 80 to 85 degrees, until light and doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down. Divide into 3 parts, form each into a round ball. Place in 3 (8 or 9-inch) round cake pans that have been well greased. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size, about 1 hour.

If desired, brush loaves with glaze made of lightly beaten eggs. Also sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when lightly tapped. Remove loaves from pan immediately.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

If you'd like to check out the pin click here!

Until next time,


Friday, January 4, 2013

Snowflake Clothespin Wreath

I love wreaths. I love seeing them in stores and being tempted to buy them, though I rarely actually buy because most are so darn expensive. I also love making wreaths. A lot. Seriously, in the last month I must have made 5 or 6 alone. They were mainly for Christmas, but I also made some for Easter and Spring because I had some bug in me wanting to work on ALL the projects I could possibly do!

One of my most favorite kinds of wreaths to do, or at least a kind I've made a few different of, are clothespin wreaths. They're super duper easy, rustic, and cute. They can be a tad time consuming with the whole painting of all the clothespins, but I'm sure you could always spray paint them all and make your life about 10 times easier, but who has time for that nonsense ;).

Today I bring you one particular wreath I finish a few days before Christmas. I love it and intend to keep it up probably for the rest of the winter season, or at least until I decorate for St. Patrick's Day or Easter because it's something I'm really quite proud of. I originally found this wreath browsing through cyber space on a website I used to frequent and it was an "advent calendar" wreath, but I decided not to make mine as one, but instead follow the basic concept.

Here is the wreath:

Snowflake Clothespin Wreath

Clothespins (I believe it was about 50-55 as it generally takes that many to fill a wreath form)
12-inch wire wreath form, or a wire clothes hanger, whichever tickles your fancy
Red paint
White paint
Mod podge
Silver glitter
Red glitter
Silver glitter glue
Wooden snowflake shapes (or something else winter-y if you wish, or any shape really if you don't want to do it for Winter/Christmas)
Fishing line
Ribbon for a bow (if you wish to have one)

You can do it one of two ways really, you can take all the clothespins and clip them around the wreath form to see about how many you'll need, or you can just take all your clothespins and paint them. Either way, paint or spray paint your clothespins red. I did two coats so it was nice and covered, however if you like a more rustic look, one is enough.

Next, take your mod podge and apply it to one side of your clothespins. I put it on to about five at a time because I didn't want to risk the mod podge drying on me before I was done. Dip mod-podge-side-down into one of the glitters. Or, if you want, mix the colors and just dip it in, whatever, it's all personal interpretation! I alternated each clothespin between silver and red, as you can see. Set aside. Continue until all the clothespins have been glitter-fied.

Wait for the mod podge to dry. Now, this next part isn't necessary, but I like t do it so I don't have glitter falling all over the place. I sealed the glitter to the clothespins by then applying another layer of mod podge over top of the glitter. Let dry.

While those are busy drying, you can move on to your snowflakes. Go ahead and paint those cute, little suckers white and let dry. Again, I did two coats, but if you want one or more, have at 'er! If you want, you can paint both sides of the snowflakes, but it's not necessary. Once they were dry, I took out my glitter glue and lined the snowflake with it.

Since your clothespins are likely dry, or close to, go ahead and attach them to your wire frame in whatever order, form, or fashion you wish. As you can see, I alternated colors.

Once your snowflakes are dry, take your fishing line and cut two pieces long enough to allow your snowflakes to dangle in the middle of the wreath. Attach the fishing like either by taping, gluing, or just tying it to the snowflakes (I tied since they had the hollow bit in the middle) and then tie it to your wreath form.

If you wish, you can now attach or create a bow and put it on the top of the wreath.

TA-DA! You just made an adorable clothespin wreath, perfect for any home this winter or holiday season! :)

I hope you've enjoyed this post!

Check out the pin here!

Until next time,


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Brownie Christmas Trees

I realize that Christmas was already a week and a half ago, but I've decided to share this recipe with you now as it's one of the few things I made during my holiday baking that I managed to actually take a picture of, albeit a crappy picture. Either way, enjoy this! It's GOOD!

Every year at Christmas I do some baking, like many people. I love to bake and craft, so every Christmas I make a bunch of goodies for mine and my husbands families, as well as some friends and give left overs to co-workers. Among those goodies this year were some Brownie Christmas Trees. I originally found the idea somewhere on Pinterest but ended up not actually pinning it for whatever reason, probably because it's actually ridiculously easy and doesn't really require any instructions at all.

And so, I bring you...

Brownie Christmas Trees

Brownie mix (either boxed or your own personal recipe) and ingredients for mix/recipe
Green icing (or whatever icing you have and green food coloring)
Candy canes
Red cinnamon hot candies or any other candies you might have around for decorating

Make your brownies according to directions, including baking them. I found if you make it in a bigger pan the more brownies you get, however, bake in whatever size pan you deem worthy. Cool the brownies.

Once brownies are cool, cut them into triangles. I just cut them in half lengthwise and then made triangles by cutting on diagonals. I think I got about 8 trees per 9x9-inch pan, but it depends on how big you really want them I suppose.

Take your icing and either pipe it or smooth it on with a knife in a crossing formation, much like garland on a tree.

Finally, decorate your tree as you wish with your candies. Then, carefully push a 1-2 inch long piece of candy cane in the bottom to make the trunk.

And there you have it, a Brownie Christmas tree! :)

I hope you enjoy these as much as our families and my son did!

You can view my pin here.

Until next time,


Valentine's Conversation Hearts

Yesterday I was unable to make a post, which I apologize for, I just had to go to the hospital last night and get told that I had bronchitis, which I already knew, but I'm back tonight! To make up for yesterday, I'll be providing you all with two posts tonight! :)

One thing you'll learn about me the more I post is that I like to decorate for holidays. Not just the normal Halloween and Christmas, I like to decorate for Valentine's, St. Patrick's, and Easter too! Let's be clear, I don't go all out and have like massive inflatable hearts and rabbits in my yard or anything, it's just small things around the house like wreaths (I REALLY love wreaths), simple centerpieces for my kitchen table, and maybe some things to hang up on the windows (window clings) or a little around the house stuff. It's never really a situation of my house puking a particular holiday... Except for maybe Halloween and Christmas, which I really like to go all out for, however, even at that, it's nothing like those TLC specials you'll see.

Tonight I bring to you a project I completed recently in honor of Valentine's Day. I came across it on Pinterest some time during the last year or so and thought "I can do that! It's so easy!". The lady's blog didn't provide me with any instructions really because she makes and sells them herself. And why on Earth would *I* buy something that I could just make myself!

(Not my picture, this is from the original creator, which you can check out by clicking on the title below)

Wooden Hearts (One for each person in your family, or whoever you're making it for)
Pastel paint colors (think Conversation heart colors) - get one color for each heart
Red sticker colors or red paint (I didn't have and couldn't find red sticker letters, so I just free handeded it)
Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Take your wooden hearts and paint each one a different color and let dry. If you like a more rustic look, leave it at one coat, otherwise do a second coat once it's dry.

Once the hearts are done, add a persons name to each heart with the stickers, or free hand paint it with red paint like I did. Let dry, if needed. You could seal it with a clear sealer or mod podge if you'd like, or just leave it as is like I did.

Take your ribbon and cut it into, roughly, 5-6 inch strips. You'll need one strip in between each heart, if you're only making three hearts like I did, you'll need two strips. Glue the strips to the back of the hearts. I had about 3 inches between each heart.

Once you're done with "connecting" the hearts cut enough ribbon to make a bow with some hang off long enough to attach to the top heart. Make a bow and glue the ends of the "hanging strips" (I couldn't think of what else to call them :P) to the top of the first heart.

Now hang it up on your wall for others and you to enjoy!

I know I didn't have pictures for each step along the way, but I didn't think I'd be making a blog post about it, so hopefully you're able to follow these simple instructions via text!

Here's what mine looks like!:

Now you have a pretty, simple, and cute decoration for Valentine's Day! :)

For the pin you can go here, or repin at the top of this post!

Until next time,


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Pork Chops

A couple weeks ago I picked out recipes from Pinterest to try for the next month and this was one of the choices I made. I'm telling you, these pork chops are great, but the Honey Garlic sauce? It's THE best. There's a local restaurant that my husband and I love to go to that makes the best honey garlic sauce I've ever had. This sauce is almost identical to the restaurants and will become a regular, whether I end up making the pork chops again or not.

So without further adieu, there they are!

(Not my picture, took it from the original site as I forgot to take a picture of mine)

(click title to go to original recipe)

6 center loin pork chops, well trimmed
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp ground sage
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs
4 tbsp water

2 tbsp olive oil
3 – 4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup honey
¼ cup soya sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper

Sift together flour, salt, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, sage, paprika, and cayenne.

Whisk together eggs and water.

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, then dip the chops in the flour and spice mixture. Dip the chop into the eggwash and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix into the chop to get good contact.

Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chops do not brown too quickly on the outside before they are fully cooked on the inside. I find just below medium heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 4 1/2 out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before dipping the cooked chops into the Honey Garlic Sauce. Serve with noodles or rice.

Sauce: In a medium saucepan add oil and garlic. Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer together for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.

Like I said before, the sauce is amazing and will definitely become a regular, possibly my go-to. I hope you enjoy this find too!

For the pin you can go here.

Until next time! :)


Melted Crayon Art

Since tonight is the first of my blog being up and running, I thought what better time to make my first post than now? I figure I can also let you in on some bits and pieces of my life as time goes on.

I was a stay at home mom for a little over 3 years when I decided to venture into getting a job in hopes to get my son around kids his age and get myself out of the house. I started my job November 7th, 2011 and worked there until June 2012 where I decided to leave and stay home for a bit. It wasn't long before I was craving that outside life again and got a job about a month later and was there for just under three months when things fell through and up until about 3 weeks ago I found myself being at home again.  I tell you this all because it brings me to the last few weeks I've had.

Lately I've been feeling something inside me itching to keep busy, so I started doing some crafts again. I used to love crafting and making things, usually for different holidays, and hadn't in quite some time. I've had a lot of projects sitting around that I either started or had the supplies for but never got around to doing and decided to get to work. In the last few weeks I've found myself doing several projects.

Today I present to you one of the many projects I did this past while. This is a project I've really been meaning to do. I have an account on Pinterest (click on link to go to my profile) and have come across the Melted Crayon art many times. I did one last year that was just the colors lined up in a row and melted. This time around I decided to do a little something different.

I took this pin:
And made this:

Since it's not actually my original creation, I wouldn't feel right explaining how to do it, so if you wish to do one yourself, feel free to visit this pin.

Until next time,