Monday, March 29, 2010

I {Heart} Cake Wrecks

Not the “craftiest” blog around, but so hysterical!  I can’t believe the funny things they find!  What you may be asking is a Cake Wreck?  “A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.” 

If you need a good laugh, go now, and check it out!  Here are a few of my favorites:



imageReally just makes me wonder who was these people’s teachers?













Friday, March 26, 2010

Spaghetti a la Philly

I really don’t like spaghetti, but my husband had requested it for dinner. so I hit the internet/blogosphere in search of something spaghetti-ish. I found this recipe, and tried it. We thought it was pretty good. I liked it better than regular spaghetti and it really wasn’t hard to make. Although it did remind me of some kind of homemade Hamburger Helper!


Spaghetti a la Philly

1 - lb lean ground beef, browned & drained
1 jar (24 -26 oz) Prego Traditional Italian Spaghetti Sauce or your use favorite brand
1/2 package (4 ounces) Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 - (8 ounces) pkg spaghetti, cooked and drained
2 - tablespoons Kraft grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the beef in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meat. Pour off any fat. Stir the sauce and cream cheese in the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 3 minutes or until the cream cheese is melted, stirring often. Place the spaghetti into a large bowl. Add the beef mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
(about 1 1/2 cups each)

{Photo courtesy: http://www.mommyskitchen.net/}

How do you switch up your over done recipes?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ranch Quesadillas

I came across a new post in my Google Reader the other day, with a recipe for Baked Ranch Quesadillas from Life Should Be Delicious.  It truly sounded good, so I thought I’d give it a try.  It reminded me of a favorite enchilada recipe, but with corn, which was such a yummy addition!  Even my 18 month old gobbled it up!  We used these delicious uncooked flour tortillas that you can by at Sam’s and Costco.  So I didn’t bake my quesadillas in the oven, I just cooked them in a pan on the stove. 


Ranch Quesadillas

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded  {I used a can of chicken}
1-2 c. Monterey Jack Cheese  {I used Colby Jack, cause that’s what we had}
1/2 c. prepared ranch dressing
1/4 c. diced green chiles
1 small can shoepeg corn
1/2 c. salsa
Flour tortillas

Combine chicken, cheese, dressing, chilies, corn, and salsa. Mix well. Butter one side of tortillas. Place 1/2 c. of chicken mixture on un-buttered side of tortilla and fold in half to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden and slightly crisp.

Serve with guacamole, salsa, and more ranch dressing.  {We ate our quesadillas with some Rice-a-Roni Mexican Style rice and sour cream}

{Photo courtesy:  http://life-should-be-delicious.blogspot.com/}

Fondue: Eggless Cookie Dough

image Have you ever tasted the goodness of fondue? It’s such a simple tasty treat. We love taking it parties and impressing all our friends. Ok, well impressing the same friends over and over, we don’t have that many friends! The possibilities of things you can dip in that chocolaty goodness are truly endless! One of my favorite things to dip is cookie dough. Take a minute . . . think about it . . . Genius right. I’ve tried a few different cookie dough options. I made my own chocolate chip cookie recipe and used that dough. I’ve used just plain and simple Pillsbury cookie dough, we always keep some in the fridge incase we need something quick. Both were good, but there were two problems. First neither stayed together very well when you skewered the balls, it always fell apart in the fondue pot. Second, I worried about the raw eggs. So my solutions, da dada daaa (trumpets blaring), this awesome egg free cookie dough recipe. It was originally used to make cookie dough truffles. But solved my two problems and is so delicious!

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour (*You may need more flour than this. I added about 1/4 cup more because the dough was a little too sticky.)
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
(Optional) 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, milk and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Shape into 1-in. balls; place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm. (I put them in the freezer for about 40 minutes and that worked well, too. All about speed.)

So what do YOU like to dip in fondue?

Monday, March 22, 2010

I {Heart} Make It and Love It


I have a confession to make, I do not subscribe through my Google Reader to, Make It and Love It. It’s really what’s best for all of us you see. I love it so much, if I subscribed to it, every time Ashley posted a new projected I would have to spend hours oogling all her other crafty stuff. So every once in a while when I have some time to kill I pop over to check out what’s new. Which in turn makes me want to run out this very second and buy a sewing machine so I can steal all of her ideas. It doesn’t help that she has recently posted on two things that I am a total sucker for, flip flops and little girl things.


First I saw these, awesome, amazing, gotta have/make ‘em ASAP (note to self really hold off on wearing since it is STILL SNOWING as you type).

Then it got even better . . . .


Which transformed into this:


By this point I am convinced that I need to make some, and even more I needed to make some for my little woman, but of course she beat me to it. Are these not the cutest darn things you ever saw!



Fine, I’ll make some. Oh, did I mention this will be made easier since she has an amazing tutorial, step by step, pictures, the works.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars {The BEST EVER! Alpine School District Lunch Version}

I know, school lunch might bring back some awful memories for some of us.  But trust me these are THE best peanut butter bars you will ever taste!  I used to buy school lunch just for the peanut butter bars.  I found this recipe in a Ward Cookbook that I received as a wedding gift, of course first thing I checked out was the dessert section! 


Peanut Butter Fingersimage
(Local Elementary School Version)

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup peanut butter

3/4 tsp soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cup oats

3/4 cup additional peanut butter

Chocolate frosting

Combine first 8 ingredients; mix well.  Add flour and oats; press into 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 320 for 20 to 25 minutes.  Top with additional peanut butter while still warm.  Cool.  Spread with frosting.  Cut into squares.

Stephanie Wilkey
Cedar Hills 2nd Ward Neighborhood Recipe Collection, pg. 153

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 bag powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cube butter

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together, add more milk if needed.

Stephanie Wilkey
Cedar Hills 2nd Ward Neighborhood Recipe Collection, pg. 157

{Picture: Cheesy Kitchen}

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Make Your Own Baby Leg Warmers

Have I mentioned that I live in a freezing tundra? I don’t know if it’s really geographically considered a tundra, but you get the idea. Have I mentioned that I have the cutest funnest (I know not a real word) little girl ever. And boy do I love to dress her up! One of my favorite articles of clothing that we own are her leg warmers. They are so fun and I know they’ll keep her little leggies warm in this frozen tundra we live in. The best part is, I made them all and didn’t have to pay $10 or $12 a pair.


I made our first pair for a Halloween costume last year. We were looking for something cheap and already had the wings and an antenna headband. So I found these red and black striped women’s knee high socks at Six Star Party outlet for $1. I cut off the feet, zig zag stitched around the bottom, pulling the socks tight as I sewed . . . easy as one, two, three . . . baby leggings with a frilly ruffled bottom. We’ve washed and worn them several times and they have held up great.

imageThese leggings were also originally women’s knee high socks, found at the Dollar Tree. I cut off the feet and called it good. They have also held of great through many wearing and washing with no fraying.




These two pairs where actually children’s knee socks found at Payless. A little pricier than a dollar but still cheaper than other baby leg warmers you can buy.

Of course, I did not come up with these ideas on my own. It’s been awhile since I actually looked at the tutorial I used, but I’m pretty sure I used this one from, Little Miss Crafty Pants. And I also liked this one from Little Birdie Secrets.

I’d love to know what fun cheap things you’ve made or use that are staples in your wardrobes?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bleached Lucky Shirt

I officially HATE St. Patrick’s Day.  Before St. Patrick’s Day 2010, didn’t mind it so much.  This year I tried to go all out.  I made these Mint Shamrock Cupcakes, which in all honesty turned out ok.  Except I didn’t have enough frosting . . . 100_1362

Then I tried to make one of these shirts. 


Isn’t it so cute?  That's {Fam}tastic made this lucky shirt, and Jamee Homemaker made some with her kiddo’s names.  They both made it sound so easy, I thought I could make one too.

So I followed their instructions.  Cut out letters from my Cricut, laid them out on a green shirt . . . But I used Elmer’s Glue instead of a spray adhesive because I’m so cheap and it’s water soluble so it all comes out in the wash. 


Sprayed with bleach, washed, and nothing!  You could hardly see the letters.  So I cut out more letters and tried again.  Again nothing.  I have concluded our shirt was too light.  Maybe we’ll try again someday when we’ve recovered from the trauma that this darn shirt caused!

Here was our finished product, I tried to make the best of the situation . . . I think I made it worse . . .



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mint Shamrock Cupcakes

These ended up being my most successful St. Patrick’s Day project.  That was until my husband asked, “What are those supposed to be?  Flowers?”  “No shamrocks!  You know for St. Patrick’s Day!”

I found the recipe and idea at Pleasant Home, via Be Different . . . Act Normal


I started out with a boxed cake mix, a package of Fudge Grasshopper Cookies, and a can of chocolate frosting (but ended up using almost two cans), and white chocolate almond bark. 

Mix cake mix according to directions.  In each cupcake liner place one cookie, fill 1/4 full with batter. 

While cupcakes are cooking start making shamrocks.



100_1338 I only had white chocolate almond bark on hand, which is not very St. Patricky, so I melted the chocolate and added some green food coloring.  Wha-la green chocolate!

To make my shamrocks I found some clipart online, printed it off and stuck it under some wax paper on a cookie sheet.  I need an outline, freehand scares me!  I filled a ziplock bag with the chocolate, snipped off the corner and piped away.  Note:  I have learned that the sandwich baggies do not work so great for using as a piping bag.  The freezer bags are much sturdier and won’t grow extra unwanted holes. 




100_1364 After the cupcakes have cooled frost and top with shamrocks.  To frost I filled a ziplock bag with frosting.  This time I wanted something fancy.  First I reinforced the corner of one of the bags with a few pieces of packing tape.  Then snipped off a good portion of the corner.  Just using this would give me smooth swirlies, so I snipped a few zig zag triangles and ta-da cheap disposable fancy frosting bag. 




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The results:  De-lish.  Got the husband and 18 month old stamp of approval.  The cookie in the bottom made a delightfully crispy little crust!



I used my Cricut to cut out some shamrocks, put a few on a plate with those chocolate gold coins, used some cellophane, added a tag and ribbon, and gave them to neighbors and the families that my husband and I home/visit teach. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

I {Heart} Fonts!

I am seriously OBSESSED with fonts!  I simply cannot stand using plain old regular fonts.  I spend hours finding just the right font for everything!  Crazy, probably.  Weird, most definitely.  But there you have it, I am addicted to fonts. 

One of my most most favorite places to get cute fonts is Kevin and Amanda.



They have so many fun handwriting fonts that you can download for free. 



And also a slew of adorable scrapbooking fonts.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Plain and Simple Potato Salad

100_1272 Today is your lucky day, because today I am going to share with you THE BEST EVER IN THE WHOLE EN-TIRE WORLD POTATO SALAD. I know, it’s not summer yet. But the weather is getting warmer and I am excited for all the good food that warm weather brings. This is my mom’s potato salad recipe, so of course it’s the best. And you’re extra lucky because whenever I call my mom for the recipe she always gives vague measurements, which drives me crazy. So this is the fo’real recipe.

Potato Salad

6 –8 cooked potatoes

6 – 8 boiled eggs

1/2 medium yellow onion

Chop and set aside

1/2 jar Miracle Whip

5 ish squirts of mustard

1/4 cup relish

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix together, one easy one is to put all ingredients in the Miracle Whip jar and shake. Add sauce to potatoes, eggs, and onion. Makes A-LOT of salad, I usually 1/4 this for us when we make it, and we eat leftovers until I think it’s probably best to throw it out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Have You Heard?

image I just about almost peed my pants with excitement when I heard that Bakerella is going to have a book!  I cannot cannot wait!  I love Bakerella, secretly I hope to meet her some day.  I have never been brave enough to try cake pops but it’s on my list of things to do before I die!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I {Heart} My Cricut

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Words cannot even express how much I love my Cricut!  I love it!  I wish I could take it to heaven with me.  It does all kinds of awesome amazing fabulous things!  These are two QUICK cards I made recently.  Not the most creative things in the world, but they were perfect for the occasions.  Just talking about it makes me miss it.  I am always thinking of new things I can make.  {Sigh} I love that amazing machine!  My current favorite cartridge is Cricut Paper Doll Dress Up Cartridge.   So what’s yours?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chunky Crayons

100_1061 I crafted, on a weeknight. And we had grilled cheese and Spaghetti-o’s for dinner. I do not claim to be THE BUSIEST person on the planet, horrible at time management, yes. I don’t usually do projects on weeknights, I work during the day and by the time I get home I’m tired and done, and if I do do a project my family gets neglected. But I thought this one would be fairly simple. Here’s my “tutorial” because I actually remembered to take some pictures. I got my idea from Amy at the Idea Room. Which is waay more than just making crayons. She is THE WOMAN behind the a-ma-zing felt heart wreaths that were popping up everywhere around Valentine’s Day. I am looking for an excuse to make one, since I slacked off and didn’t make one for Heart Day. Any good ideas?

Making, not from scratch, Crayons. Maybe a more appropriate title would be, Refurbishing Crayons?

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{Step One} Peel every single last piece of little paper off of every single crayon. Not my favorite step. Soaking crayons in water for a day really helped.

100_1060{Step Two} Brutally chop crayons with THE BIGGEST knife you can find in your kitchen. Or you can just break them up.


{Step Three} Fill muffin tin full with crayon bits (I used a regular sized muffin tin). Thoughts on this step, I bought an old muffin tin at DI for 75 cents because I was worried that my muffin tins might get ruined. In then end I don’t really think it mattered. Second thought, in the end when you color with these crayons they leave little bits (more than regular crayons). I pretty much barely squeaked by in Chemistry, really not my strength. So I can’t tell you if the mess happens because the crayons got too hot in the oven. Or because I filled the cups too full and made the crayons too thick. I tend to lean toward the later because I made a trial crayon that wasn’t as thick and it doesn’t leave crayon crumbs.

100_1062{Step Four} I pre-heated the oven to 300 degrees and then baked (do you really “bake” crayons?) them for about 8 minutes or until all the crayons are melted. Let your new and improved crayons cool COMPLETELY, don’t ask me how I know this, but trust me I know.

{Step Five and Other Thoughts} Tap crayons gently out of the muffin tin. I found that a Crystal Light container I had in the cupboard worked perfect for a storage container. They stack up nice and neat inside.