Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Striped Shiny Brite Halloween Ornaments

I found some Striped Shiny Brite Halloween Ornaments at TJ Maxx and Marshalls and loved this box in traditional Halloween colors! The indents are really cool and they are a good size, 2 1/2". They also had some in orange, green and purple with hot pink indents.
 I hate to break it to the zombies but these may be my new favorite ornaments for that tree!
Have a happy day:@)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sweet Hot Honey Mustard Wings

Man I thought these wings were great! The kind of great where you hate to take that last bite or you're running your finger over the plate to lick up the last of the sauce... You know, if you did that sort of thing:@) What I'm trying to say folks is, do not hesitate to make these Sweet Hot Honey Mustard Wings! The honey and mustard really came through, I didn't notice any heat while eating but there was a little warmth when done... This was totally different and truly a treat for me.
I made a half batch of sauce, it would have easily been enough for 8-10 monster wings.
The chef bakes his wings, this piggy fried hers and they'd be amazing grilled too, anything but boiled folks...
Do yourself a favor and once they're coated and you add the wings to a platter, 
use a spatula and drizzle the leftover sauce over the wings. You will thank me:@)

Sweet Hot Honey Mustard Wings-from Allrecipes
2 lbs chicken wings and drumettes
2 Tblsp Dijon mustard
2 Tblsp prepared yellow mustard
3 Tblsp honey
2 tsp cider vinegar
S&P to taste-do add a pinch of salt, it's important
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  1. Either: Bake wings at 400 degrees for approx 40 minutes or until done, flip them over at 20 minutes. Or fry wings until done, I suggest the twice fried method HERE. Or grill over indirect heat until done, searing the last few minutes over high heat.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a large bowl, coat wings, pig out, cheer for your team and love life!!!
Have a happy day:@)

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Homemade Grape Wine from Bottled Grape Juice

I am soooo easily influenced... As soon as I saw the cool one gallon jugs of homemade wine bloggy buddy Michaele was making I had to Google how to do it. It appears proper wine making requires fruit at the peak of perfection and lots of patience... So I looked into the, um, "quick" method of wine making:@) This Homemade Grape Wine from Bottled Grape Juice only requires a 64 ounce bottle of 100% grape juice, a cup of sugar and a pack of baker's yeast. It was an interesting $4 experiment and one that made the boys laugh. The juice only takes 10-14 days to ferment, then you run it through a coffee filter and at that point you have wine!
Now, is this a gourmet velvety smooth wine to serve your in-laws at a fancy dinner party? Ah... no. But it is a fun wine to make and a good simple starting point if you've ever been curious about wine making. It's pretty tasty too.

I found a two part U-Tube Video that was in depth and informative, and since the guy has been making wine this way forever, it must be ok to drink:@) Part 1 is HERE and Part 2 is HERE. He makes an apple pie wine that sounds interesting too.

Homemade Grape Wine from Bottled Grape Juice
64oz bottle of 100% pure grape juice, no additives-get a name brand folks
1 C sugar-you can use anywhere from 3/4 to 1 1/4 C
1 envelope yeast or 2 1/4 tsp from a jar
  1. Remove 1 1/4 C juice from the bottle. Hand it to a kid and make him happy:@)
  2. Add the sugar (a funnel helps), replace the cap and shake well. Let it sit for a bit and shake it again. Do this until you don't see sugar on the bottom of the bottle any more.
  3. Add the yeast (a funnel helps), replace the cap and shake well. Do this a few times.
  4. Remove the cap, replace the cap snugly, give it a little itty turn so that when you lightly touch it it wiggles just a bit. The video illustrates this well. Place tape over the top of the bottle to keep the cap in tact. 
  5. Set in a cool dark place for 10-14 days. It's ready when it no longer makes bubbles. You can see the bubbles by holding a flashlight up to the side of the bottle. It will take a few hours for the bubbles to start-remain calm... Lynn.
  6. When it's done put a coffee filter inside a sterilized strainer and gently pour all but the 1" or so (you'll see the sediment on the bottom) into a sterilized jar or pitcher. I just used a mason jar and left it in there for storage.
  7. Clean out your original bottle really well (with extra hot tap water or water heated on the stove), pour the wine back into it, screw on the cap and you're good to go. You can let it age a couple months if you'd like. He suggests serving it really cold, even over ice.
Let's raise a glass to trying something new and have a happy day:@)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

BBQ Macaroni Salad with Pork or Chicken (optional)

I've really been enjoying these different flavored pasta salads recently and this BBQ Macaroni Salad with Pork (or Chicken) was a great meal! I used the Neely's recipe as a guideline and just made a bowl for lunch, it was an excellent use for a couple ounces of leftover pork tenderloin, but you could leave the protein out if desired and call it a side dish. Actually leftover BBQ chicken would really be good in this, might just have to toss a couple extra legs on the grill this weekend:@)
I felt celery seed was the only thing missing from the ingredient list, I'd add some the next time.

BBQ Macaroni Salad with Pork or Chicken-adapted from FoodNetwork.com
2 Tblsp cider vinegar
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
pinch cayenne-I did not use this
1 C mayonnaise
1/2 C BBQ sauce
1 lb pasta, cooked, cooled with cold water and drained well-I used half whole wheat pasta
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped-I had green, any pepper would be good
2 ribs celery, sliced
2 whole scallions, sliced-I chopped some onion
8 oz pulled pork-I used cubed leftover tenderloin
S&P to taste
a few shakes of celery seed-optional but my recommendation
parsley, chopped for garnish-I didn't have any
  1. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a big bowl.
  2. Add the pasta and veggies, mix well. Garnish top with parsley if using.
  3. The Neely's serve the pork on top of the salad, I mixed mine into the salad.
  4. I chose to serve mine on a bed of lettuce, that was nice too.
Other flavorful options:

Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Darn Good Baked Beans! ...with Bacon and Brown Sugar

When three bloggy buddies rave about a baked bean recipe I just have to try it. Debbie calls these the Best Baked Beans Ever and I'm so glad she shared her recipe. While I tend to shy away from labels like the best or the greatest I will say these are some Darn Good Baked Beans! They're made from three different canned beans and the most time consuming part is frying up the bacon:@) They are sweet and bacon-y and the four of us may have pigged out just a tad... we ate all of them! They'll be on our menu again and I think you'll like 'em if you try 'em folks. This would be a great side dish for your Labor Day BBQ or upcoming tailgating.
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Darn Good Baked Beans!-from Mountain Breaths
2 C (one 15oz can) kidney beans, rinsed
2 C (one 15oz can) great northern or butter beans, rinsed-I used great northern
2 C (one 15 oz can) pork and beans-I poured some of the juice off
1/2 lb bacon, crisped and broken into pieces
1 small onion, chopped-mine was smaller than a baseball
1/2 C ketchup
1/2 C brown sugar
1/8 tsp garlic powder
  1. Brown the bacon, drain, break into pieces.
  2. Pour off all but about 1 Tblsp fat and cook the onions for about 5-7 minutes. 
  3. Mix everything together and pour into a 2 quart baking dish.
  4. Bake uncovered at 350 for an hour.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer 2014

I have to tell ya folks, barring a Sharknado attack some time this week, this has to go down in history as one of the mildest summers Philly has ever had! Maybe Mother Nature is trying to make nice for last winter??? Don't know but I'm grateful and loving it!
Gonna enjoy the last of it before I have to deal with another predicted Polar Vortex... 
Stay cool and anyone have the sudden urge for seafood???

Have a happy day:@)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Smiley Face Deviled Eggs

How about whipping up some Smiley Face Deviled Eggs! Why? Just because we can:@) Ok, if we really need a reason, how fun would it be for the kids to come home from school to find this snack. You'd bring a chuckle to the Labor Day BBQ, or take some to the next football party and hope your team doesn't turn them into frowny face deviled eggs...
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I trimmed the corners off the eyes in the upper pic and just left them rectangular in the lower pic... it's your choice. 
My best suggestion would be to get large olives, I only had small ones. You'd have a wider smile with the larger olives.
Nothing fancy here folks, just make your favorite deviled eggs and smooth the yolks into a circle with your finger. Cut the olives into rings, then in half for the smile. Cut smaller pieces for the eyes and press them into the yolks to make the smiley face.