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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

My Chocolate Chip cookie secret recipe

The kids are out of school for the summer, to celebrate I made them a batch of cookies yesterday. I have been making these cookies for years, and from the beginning folks have always tried to figure out the "secret ingredient."
 I made these cookies for the first time while I was cleaning offices as a third job. I took the cookies to the guys working in the factory one night and then every night they would meet me at the door wanting cookies.
We joke that HB asked me to marry him because of my cookies and my gravy! LOL
I like that this recipe makes a thick, chewy cookie.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
Mix these two together and set aside.

Cream together
1 cup softened butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla 
1  small box instant vanilla pudding (the secret ingredient, Shhh!)
Once those are smooth add 2 eggs.

Slowly add in the flour/baking soda, mixing well.
Stir in one small package of Milk Chocolate chips.
Use a tablespoon to scoop onto an ungreased baking sheet. 
Bake at 350* for 10-14 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack right away. 
 Once cooled store in air tight container. I place a slice of brad in the container with the cookies to keep them soft, and replace it once the bread begins to harden. 

Yesterday I used up some of my baking goodies- chocolate chips, Walnuts and M&M's. Warm from the oven was too much of a temptation for my 4 little cookie monsters to resist. Hunter said they were better than perfect! I'll take that!!
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time~


Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Pantry Makeover

One thing I wish I had in our home is a walk in Pantry. I have extra stuff I need to store that I don't have room for in my kitchen. I had been using the small linen closet, but it is small, on the opposite end of the house (so not easy to access while cooking) and the shelves are spaced very far apart. I constantly had to organize and rearrange to make it work. And when the kids helped put groceries away it got to be a huge mess- in a short amount of time.
Sadly this is the what I ended up with...

 Huge mess!! Not practical! Not working for me!!

We have a larger closet that held spare coats, my bread maker and one end houses the hot water tank. So, wheels began turning and ideas started flying. Hubby was all for it, so the work began. 

 Before

I cleared out the closet, took some measurements and headed to Home Depot! I decided to go easy and bought the Closet Maid shelving system. The top shelf (not pictured) is the full length of the closet 68". It is now the new home to my empty canning jars.
My next set of shelves are 48" long to leave room to access the hot water heater. 
I found those cute baskets to organize my canned goods at the Dollar Tree! The littles helped move stuff from the old pantry to the new one. I will be donating a lot of baby food to our local food pantry.

After
I was able to store my bread maker here, moved in my Kitchenaid Mixer from the kitchen counter (it's under that pretty cover) and my Instant Pot now has a home in there too!!
Hubby installed a hook to hang that mini-step ladder. (Handy for reaching those canning jars!) I had the Sterlite drawers in another area, but they will work here to store potatoes, paper towels and other items.

I ran into Home Depot to grab something for another project and saw those Pantry Packet holders. I picked up 2, I currently have rice mixes in them but I will move them and use these for smaller packets and drink mix packets.
I love that now everything is handy and the new pantry works for our family. It should be easier for the kids to put groceries away and I can quickly see what needs to be added to my grocery list!

This project made such a difference in how our home functions we have begun making over our laundry/mud room to make it more functional and prettier too!! And that old "pantry" will be made-over in the near future to something very useful!!

Thanks for stopping by!!
Until later~

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dollar Store DIY Kitchen Tip

A little something different today. I have been working on organizing our home so I have a simple DIY to share. I put together a couple of lazy Susans for my spices with a couple of Dollar Tree items.




I bought 4 round cake pans and a bag of marbles. So for $5 I know have to lazy Susans!!

Put a few marbles in the bottom pan, then you put the second pan with your spices on top of the marbles.  Spinning the top pan is much easier than sorting through the basket that held my most used spices. I am going to pick up more marbles and pans to make more spinners for my spice cupboard. Who knows, I may even give them a face lift with a coat of paint!

Thanks for stopping buy!
Until later~


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Door Hanger

How cute is this hat? When I bought the unfinished wood shape I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted a leprachaun hat or a Patriotic Uncle Sam hat, why pick when you can have both!! LOL I painted my hat with green acrylic paint, added a black band and golden yellow "buckle" drew a shamrock and added some vinyl lettering. Project St. Patrick's Day was done. Once I take it off of my door next month I will paint the back side red, white and blue for the 4th of July. Two holiday hangers one wood cutout.
 My door faces south and has a glass storm door, that has been causing my a ton of problems with my vinyl lettering staying on my wood. I have tried using a thicker font, I used a hot hair dryer to stick the vinyl good before hanging it and still have problems with the lettering coming off. If you have any ideas or tips please share them. 
 Thanks for stopping by!!
Until later~



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Valentine Painted Door Hanger


I am not sure why, but the first couple of weeks of 2017 were very stressful/crazy/hectic! I was in serious need of a little craft therapy! I pulled out a wooden cutout and did some painting.

My bare wood cutout.
I usually have the finished product in mind before I start, but this one I went back and forth. I couldn't decide  between making the hearts look like candy Conversation Hearts or using a Bible verse. So, I painted and and designed my hearts in Silhouette Design Studio both ways before making my final choice. 
Painted and waiting for me to make up my mind.

I finally picked a Bible verse and cut it from black vinyl and applied it to my hanger.
 
All done!
I used acrylic paint from Walmart and the scripture file came from the Silhouette Store-->HERE The pink heart ribbon is from Joann Fabrics.
Thanks for stopping by!
Until later~

Friday, February 17, 2017

Owl painted door hanger


This is what I started with, Two owls sitting on a branch. I immediately thought of hubby and me when I saw this and knew that I wanted to add our initials to the heart. The wood is different than the other hangers I have painted and soaked up the paint quite a bit. I just needed to use 2 coats of  some of the colors. This is what I ended up with-

Aren't we cute! LOL I think this hanger would be good for Valentine's Day but I am going to find a spot in the house to hang it once it comes off of the door.
I do have another Valentine Hanger to share next time, and I am working on wood cutouts for March.
Thank you for stopping by!
Until later~ 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Birthday Cupcake Door Hanger

I had the big idea to make another door hanger, one I could use for each of our birthdays. With 6 people in our family it would get lots of use, right? Well, I started painting it after the new year in hopes to get it done in time for our first birthday of the year on January 9th. I didn't have the vinyl I needed for the words, so it didn't make it to the door. (I really wasn't too disappointed because it was my birthday. LOL) Now that I have added my vinyl sentiment, my cupcake is hanging on our door to celebrate hubby's birthday this week. I know each of the kids will be so happy to see the cupcake for each of their birthdays!!
I found my unfinished wood blank on Ebay, at my favorite craft shop-> Unfinished Wood Cupcake 

Just getting started. Again I forgot to get a picture before I started painting.



Finished and hanging on our door-
I painted the wooden shape with acrylic paints. The "Happy Birthday" is from the Silhouette store, cut with my Cameo using outdoor vinyl. I used a staple gun to attach my ribbon for hanging.
Now I am working on the ones for next month! (Yes, I am loving wooden door hangers and painting them!)
Thanks for stopping by!
Until later~

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Homemade enchiladas using the Instant Pot





Yesterday was one of those days that I knew ahead of time was going to be crazy. We seem to have a lot of those lately! I had to appointments in town that overlapped, then I needed milk before heading home added to the hour travel time and once home we needed to re-package the 80 pounds of ground beef we had picked up.  I am thankful that I had planned ahead for dinner!! Not only did I use my meal plan for the month but I used my Instant Pot to cook frozen chicken in only 16 minutes!! After dropping the 3 older kiddos off at school I threw the chicken in the Instant Pot, and then did a couple of chores around the house while the chicken cooked. After letting the pot naturally release pressure I mixed my chicken with the other ingredients, rolled in tortillas cover and put in the refrigerator until dinner time. After finishing up the ground beef and getting it into the freezer it was only 30 minutes until we were eating a hot meal! I had made some Mexican rice the day before so I just reheated it to go with my enchiladas. Hunter asked if there were more enchiladas after the first bite! He then said he loved enchiladas more than sushi, and sushi more than pizza!! That is saying a lot!! :-) And he asked if we could have them everyday!! (Maybe I should mention that this hillbilly girl never made enchiladas before!! LOL) I am sure they will find their way back in my monthly meal plan!!

Easy Instant Pot Enchiladas

Put 3-4 chicken breasts, thighs or even ground beef
1cup broth (chicken, beef or veggie) or water
1 small Onion, sliced thin
salt, pepper, and minced garlic
Into your Instant Pot, put the lid on, turn valve to "Sealing" select Manual  for 8 minutes, 16 if frozen. After the timer beeps let pot sit for about 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure. Remove chicken from the pot and shred it in a large bowl,

Add 1/2 c red or green enchilada sauce, 
1/2 c sour cream,
about 1 cup of your favorite Mexican cheese
and mix well. Warm 8 (I used 12) tortillas until they are pliable. Spoon 2 TBSP chicken mixture to middle of tortillas and roll like a cigar. Place rolled tortillas in a 9x13 baking dish that has 1/2 c enchilada sauce placed in the bottom. After all of your enchiladas are in the dish cover with remaining sauce, sprinkle with Mexican cheese (I used a lot for my boys, I think they are part mouse as much as they like cheese!! The girls on the other hand just had a little sprinkle of cheese! LOL)
Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes. (If refrigerated bake for 30 minutes or until heated through before removing the foil.)
Thanks for stopping by!
Until later~







Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Unmotivated

I have been feeling so unmotivated since Thanksgiving! Right after we celebrated Thanksgiving we got our first snow storm, and then another and another! Between the 3 storms we have piled up a considerable amount of snow, may 50". It is hard to measure because of the wind! And then there is the cold, windchill was -40* this morning!! I love snow, but even I have had enough now that Christmas is over! The kids are not able to get out and play very often, and even if they could there is not much to do outside! The snow does not pack well so snowmen are few and far between. The swing set is buried, only the top couple of inches of the slide is visible and the swings are hidden in the snow.
Hubby is hoping to hit the ice and do a little fishing this weekend. We will see how that goes, if the weather will let him.
I haven't accomplished much of anything lately. I was hoping once the kids went back to school after the new year I would be able to check a bunch of stuff off of my ever-growing to do list. I am starting to think I packed my motivation in one of the Christmas decoration boxes. LOL I would much rather be working in my garden but instead I have this.......

 Our A/C unit. This was taken a couple of weeks ago, it is now completely snow covered!

 This pile of snow is where my husband cleared out our driveway, again this was a couple of weeks ago and is much larger now. And yes, it is almost as tall as our garage!

This is a beautiful sundog. It looks like a rainbow around the sun caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere. They really are pretty cool!!
Oh well, spring will be here before I know it, right? And just maybe it will bring my motivation with it!!
Thanks for stopping by!
~Until later!