Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Organza Flowers

Posted by Donna:

Our younger daughter and her family were here last week. Kimberly and I were going to try a new recipe out, but instead we decided to make a pillow and add an organza flower to it. These are so easy to make and can be used in many different ways. I had bought everything for the pillow a couple of months ago, but never found the time to make it. I'm glad I waited now. It's much more fun to do "crafts" with someone.

Organza Flower

1/2 yard organza ( I bought extra fabric to make more flowers. I used ivory.)
Pearl buttons
clipping of satin ( I had the saleslady cut a corner off the black satin---of course, it was free.)

Cut three circles from the organza--three varying sizes. My largest circle was 3 3/4 inch. The next circle was 3 inches in diameter. The last circle was about 2 1/2 inches. The circles can be cut free-handed; unless you're like me and have to have a pattern. I finally found some drinking cups and glasses for mine.

Once the circles have been cut out, light a candle in a glass container or votive. I went to the Dollar Tree and bought one. Hold the edges of the circle over the flame until it curls up. This goes pretty fast. We got a little close on a couple of spots and had to clip some of the edge off. Once you get the hang of it, though, it's really simple. After all three circles have been done, stack them on top of each other.

Pull some of the stray edges off the satin and roll into a ball--then spread out a little--and place on top of the flowers. Place one pearl button on top of the satin and sew all the layers together: organza flowers, satin, and pearl button. Sew the flower onto the pillow. That's it.

I may go back and make two more flowers for this pillow. I like it with just the one, but I think I would like it even better with two more. Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Waikiki Chicken

Posted by Lori:
(Originally posted on June 19, 2009)

Waikiki Chicken was the first thing I ever cooked for Joe when we were dating, so I would have been 16. I remember setting the table with pretty plates, a centerpiece and candles. Dad, Mom, and Kim left home for the evening. Wonder where they went? I never thought about that before! This is still one of our favorites, even though our kiddos don't like it too much.

2 pounds chicken breasts or pieces, unskinned

1 - 20 ounce can chunked pineapple
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 chicken bouillon cube (Now I would try the chicken base I've raved about instead of bouillon!)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 large green bell pepper, coarsley chopped

Dip chicken pieces in milk and coat with flour. Fry in hot oil until browned. Place chicken in 9 x 13 baking dish. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to make 1 1/4 cups of liquid. Mix sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add pineapple juice mixture and next 4 ingredients; mix well. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with pineapple and green bell pepper. Bake for 30 minutes longer. Serve with rice (We like brown rice cooked with chicken broth instead of water).

It's great using the fried chicken, but it would be good with plain chicken breasts, as well.  Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

Posted by Lori:

I've thought about trying this for quite some time, and finally had the opportunity to do it last Sunday morning.  I've mentioned that our typical "Sunday morning breakfast" (for the kids, anyway) is cinnamon rolls - usually from a can.  These came from a can, but these cinnamon rolls were made from Grands Pillsbury biscuits.  All four of my children really liked these and a few of them liked them better than regular canned cinnamon rolls.  Of course, nothing can beat homemade cinnamon rolls, but these are pretty good for quick rolls.

Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls

2 cans Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
4 tablespoons melted butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
Cinnamon (sprinkled as desired)

3 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Open both cans of biscuits and place them on a clean work surface.  Press biscuits together and roll out to an approximate 10 x 12 x 1 inch rectangle.  Spread melted butter over biscuits, followed by 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and desired amount of sprinkled cinnamon.  Roll up biscuits, long side, jelly roll style.  Cut into 15 equal slices.  Place on greased 10 x 12 x 1 inch jelly roll pan. Bake for approximately 20 minutes...until golden brown.

For glaze, mix 3 tablespoons brown sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, milk, and vanilla.  Pour over hot cinnamon rolls.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cake and Ice Cream Parfait

Posted by Lori:

This is a fun treat to make on a hot, summer day!  It would also be fun to serve for birthday parties, as the cake and ice cream is all in one dish.

Layer in parfait glass:

Cake (I used Funfetti (Pillsbury) cake, without icing
Icing (or whipped cream)
Ice Cream
Icing (or whipped cream)
Ice Cream

Top with whipped cream and sprinkles.  My parfait glasses are really big so two children shared each glass.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Doctored Up Boxed Macaroni and Cheese

Posted by Lori:

My three oldest children stayed at my mother-in-law's for several years when I was working three days a week.  Even though I quit when they were 5, 3, and almost 2, they still remember lunch time at Grammy's house as some of their favorite meals.  The one thing she introduced them to was macaroni and cheese from a box.  That was something that I just couldn't understand, having grown up eating homemade macaroni and cheese.  It's just something about that artificial powdered orange cheese packet that bugs me! I was reluctant to even make it for them, but they eventually persuaded me and I gave in; however, I've also continued to make homemade and now they all actually like it a lot, too.  Even the fourth child is okay with both.

I would say that most of the time we go the homemade route, but a few days ago I decided to make them "boxed"....but with a twist.  Instead of using the regular milk as called for on the directions, I substituted canned evaporated milk.  I ate a few spoonfuls and was pleasantly surprised that it gave it a more homemade taste.  All four children thought I was crazy for trying something (they blame this blog for my willingness to be creative!), but they all thought it was SUPER! 

So, next time you open that "blue" box, or whatever color box you choose.....try adding the evaporated milk and see what you think!  (Note:  FYI - Target in Wichita Falls, TX, today had Kraft Mac & Cheese in the Disney Cars 2 shapes for only 90 cents!!!  I couldn't resist!  AND, they also had Kraft FLAT marshmallows - perfect for s'mores.  I bought every package at $1.19 each....to use at Bible camp in a few weeks! :).
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Cranberry Orange Scones

Posted by Lori:

This recipe was served at a wedding shower last Saturday. They were delicious! I asked my friend, Carol H., if she would share the recipe so that I could share it with you. She did! (Thanks, Carol!)

Carol got this recipe from the Gooseberry Patch Christmas book #9. The recipe's author is listed as Dayna Hansen from Junction City, OR. Thanks, Dayna!

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
10 teaspoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (the peel)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice plus 1 tablespoon, divides
1/4 cup half-and-half cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon half-and-half or milk
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, combine the flour, 7 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoonorange zest, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, cream and egg. Add to flour mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.

On a floured surface, gently knead 6-8 times. Pat dough into an 8-in. circle. Cut into 8 wedges. (Carol cut hers smaller....possibly cutting each wedge in half.) Separate wedges and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with milk; sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes (less for smaller scones) or until lightly browned; cool slightly. Combine powdered sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon orange zest; drizzle over warm scones.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grilled Ham-Wrapped Asparagus

Posted by Donna:

Several weeks ago, I got on an asparagus "kick" and made several different recipes. This is one of them. It's very quick and simple.

8 - 10 asparagus spears, washed and snapped
8 - 10 thinly sliced deli ham

Drizzle each asparagus spear with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roll each spear in a piece of deli ham.

Grill until the ham is crisp and the asparagus spears are tender---5 - 6 minutes. Turn the spears once during grilling.

*****The original recipe called for thinly sliced proscuiutto. When I find recipes calling for this, I always use deli sliced ham. I'm really not sure what the difference is anyway.

*******The original recipe also had this vinaigrette recipe that could be drizzled over the spears after grilling. I was short on time; so, I didn't make this.

1 large garlic clove
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Make vinaigrette by whisking garlic, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper in a 2 cup measuring cup. Slowly whisk in the oil until you reach the 1 cup mark.

I think the vinaigrette sounds really good. I plan on trying it on the spears next time.

The ham-wrapped asparagus is very filling. I could only eat a couple. They are really good. This is a keeper recipe for me. I found this recipe on threemanycooks.com Pin It Now!

Count Your Many Blessings Ring

Posted by Lori:
Here is a simple, yet special gift for any bride and groom-to-be or maybe a new baby or a birthday celebration:  A blessing ring.  A way to save things one is grateful for. It's easy to customize and personalize to match wedding colors or event decor.
I wrote a post about this wedding shower on my devotional blog.  (Read here for that post.)  Cesar and Krystin can hang mementos from their engagement time and wedding day on this blessing ring.  As I mentioned in that post, I gave them the suggestion of putting out little blank notes at their wedding reception and having guests write "blessings" on the cards.  Then the cards could be strung onto the blessing ring, either by punching a hole in them and stringing them onto the ring itself, or some could also be hole-punched and strung on the ribbons, as the picture are shown below.
To make the blessing ring, you will need:

1 silver or gold ring
(I got mine in the sewing department at Walmart.)  It had an opening with two plastic covers on the open parts.  It also had a hook.  I have no idea what it's for!  Sorry!  You may be able to find other types of rings that will work.  You just need to be able to get items onto it, so it can't be a solid ring.  It must have a place to open.
Several rolls of ribbon, rick rack, and/or tulle in desired colors.

Cut ribbon, rick rack, and/or tulle in long strips (mine were probably 3 - 4 feet long).  Fold them in half. lengthwise.  Loop each ribbon, rick rack, and/or tulle onto the ring and pull tightly to secure (or you can just tie it on - making sure the ends are even.  If ribbon will fray, tie a knot in the bottom of it.  If not, cut the ends at an angle or in a point.  Attach a note to to top, explaining what to do with the "Blessing Ring"  If desired, attach photos to the ring before giving to the recipient.

This craft is a great gift for others to "count their many blessing" and for them to see what God has done for them!  It will serve as a special memories full of things to be grateful for in the days, months, and years to come.

This post is linked to GRATITUESDAY.  Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!  It is also linked to TODAY'S CREATIVE BLOG.
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Sausage and Egg Mini Tarts

Posted by Lori:

I wasn't sure what to name these little breakfast bites.  The mini shells box says "fillo" but the company website calls them both fillo and phyllo.  I suppose it's just a matter of preference.  I went with "tarts" because I didn't want to make a decision (Sad, I know!) These mini appetizers were really tasty and perfect for a wedding shower brunch last Saturday (To read more about the shower food and decor, click here.)

I bought three packages of the mini shells, so this recipe is what I did for those three packages.  Adjust the recipe as needed. It's fail proof, I'm certain.  I over-filled a few shells and smashed a few with my bowl (don't ask!).  Even with those mistakes, the shells came out great!


3 packages of mini fillo shells (I bought Athens brand)
4 eggs
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled sausage
1/2 tablespoon minced onion
5 dashes of salt
2 dashes of pepper
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. In small bowl, combine eggs, sausage, minced onion, and salt.  Whisk until well blended.  Spoon egg/sausage mixture into unbaked shells.  Bake for 12 - 14 minutes until egg is set.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Armor of God Snack Craft

Posted by Lori:
Since I couldn't find an "Armor of God" snack craft anywhere, I decided to make one up to use during VBS.  (Read here about how I taught the lesson and to see activities about the lesson.) It turned out really cute and the kids had fun making it and eating it!  During our Wednesday night open house, I made this sample to show what the kids would be making the next day during the "Armor of God" lesson.  As a precaution, I hot-glued everything down to the plate!  I also made the little notes about what each item represented.  During the lesson the next day, I explained each item to the kids. 


From top to bottom....Items needed per person:

Helmet of Salvation: One triangle-shaped cracker
Face of person:  One round cracker with squirt cheese eyes and mouth
Breastplate of Righteousness:  One square cracker
Belt of Truth:  One strip of a fruit by the foot (roll up type snack)
Feet ready from the Gospel of Peace:  2 circus peanuts
Sheild of Faith:  One Pringles potato chip
Sword of the Spirit:  One Pringles Stix Crackers

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

David's Sling & Stones Snack Craft

Posted by Lori:

This snack worked perfectly when I taught the 1st and 2nd graders the David and Goliath Bible story in VBS (read here for my post about teaching the lesson and activities for the lesson) last week.  The kids had fun making it, of course, but had even more fun eating it!  I found these candy "rocks" at Atwoods (a chain farm/ranch store), but Walmart and candy stores also sell chocolate rocks.  The chocolate rocks are smaller than these gummy rocks, but they would still work just fine.


(All items below are needed per child.)
1 fruit roll up  (I used strawberry)
2 pieces ("strings") of Twizzler pull-apart candy (I used red)
5 candy rocks

Unwrap fruit roll up.  Place the fruit roll up square on top of the plastic it came on to keep it from sticking to plate or table.  Fold roll up in half, then in half again, making a square.  This is the sling part.  Place one Twizzler string on top edge of square and press down to secure...leaving equal lengths of string coming out from each side, forming one sling strap.  Using remaining Twizzler string, repeat on the bottom of the square to form the other sling strap. Place one rock on the middle of the fruit roll up sling square and the others around the sling.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Birthday Cake in a Jar

Posted by Lori:
I'm really excited about this recipe because the possibilities are endless!  These little individual jars would be cute decorated and given as birthday gifts or when someone has been sick.  They would be great for Christmas homemade gifts, school parties (when homemade goodies are allowed) and even fundraisers.
A couple of months ago, a family friend sent me a link for "Rainbow Cake in a Jar".  It was so cute and my plan was to make it some day.  However, I never had the time to do it, but kept thinking about the idea.  Since my son, Jacob, was having a birthday last week, and another son asked me to buy a Pillsbury "Funfetti" cake mix, I decided to make a Birthday Cake in a Jar and try it out for the birthday boy (it ended up being 'in addition to' his birthday cake - not 'in place of' his birthday cake!
Instead of pint jars as the rainbow cake had mentioned, I decided to get smaller 1/2 pint jars.  They are the perfect size for one serving.  To begin, remove the caps and rings from the jars.  Wash jars and dry them.
Place all 12 jars on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix cake mix (desired flavor) per package directions.  Pour approx. 1/3 cup of mix into each jar.
Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out mostly clean (a few crumbs is what I prefer so it's really moist).  Mine took 28 minutes.  Take cakes out and allow them to cool.  Now either top them with the caps and rings them until ready to use or freeze until ready to use.
Top with icing and sprinkles.  I used homemade butter cream.  Canned would work, too.  I used a 10 M Wilton tip to decorate the top with icing. Note: You could do a small amount of icing before putting the rings and lids on then they would be ready to give to someone.  The only thing is that the icing wouldn't be as generous of an amount as I've shown here.
This one is topped with squirt-type whipped cream and sprinkles.

Another friend mentioned making Neapolitan cakes using strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate cake mixes.  Wouldn't that be cute??!!  And, how about chocolate and strawberry making the very-popular pink/brown party ideas??  Of course, some may want to use the bigger pint jars for some of these other creations.  I definitely want to do the rainbow cake some time.  I may have to teach Noah in Bible class soon!  That would be so much fun for the story of the rainbow!

On this GRATITUESDAY, I am grateful for a friend telling me about cakes in jars.  It's such a fun idea for your own family, but also a great way to brighten up someone else's day!  I am grateful for new ways to have fun in the kitchen!
Let me know what creations you think of making!

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.
And....join us for GRATITUESDAY at Heavenly Homemakers!
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Sunday, June 5, 2011

BLT Sandwiches

Posted by Donna:

A few weeks ago, I had seen where you could make a BLT sandwich using biscuits. That sounded like something I wanted to try, I finally made it last week. To my surprise, Larry told me he liked the sandwiches much better on biscuits than regular bread.

I used a small can of buttermilk biscuits---five in a can size.
I rolled out each biscuit to make about a small pancake size; then sprayed a baking dish with Pam, and baked according to the directions. After baking, I cut each biscuit horizontally into two pieces, then added cooked bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes. I also added cheese to it.

I won't go as far as Larry did and say I liked it better than regular bread, but it was fun doing something different. I get tired doing the same old -same old- all the time. I was just glad that Larry liked it so well---and I will make this sandwich again.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Joshua and the Battle of Jericho VBS Snack Craft

This week is Vacation Bible School (VBS) for us and one of our lessons (or so I thought - read here about my mistake) was Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.  I had bought a craft book and it had the idea to use graham crackers and rice cakes for Jericho's wall.  My students used gummy bears to march around their city, but my own children ate all of the remaining gummy bears so I had to find something else to show you! These cute gingerbread man marshmallows worked perfectly!  (Teddy Grahams would be cute, too.) The "Bugles" were added for the rams' horns for the men to blow.  Stick everything together with icing.  I used canned vanilla.
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