Saturday, August 22, 2015

Found A Ceramic Christmas Tree -just perfect!

I'm here to tell ya folks, not all Craigslist experiences are bad! I've been looking for one of these old ceramic Christmas trees for years and never dreamed I'd find one this big, it's 22" tall, 16" wide and three pieces. It's in beautiful condition and I can't believe I picked it up for $25!!! I love-love-love it and it will be living with me year round in my craft room. Have to say, I don't think I could have made this for $25 today... It's quite a find:@)
The woman told me her father bought a $1 raffle ticket in 1983 and won the tree. It was displayed on her mother's TV for years and sadly, her father passed away last year. They decided it was time to let go of some things and were glad someone got it that would enjoy it. All I can say is, this is something I'll have for the rest of my life and sincerely hope one of my boys wants it next.

Have a happy weekend:@)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Eagles Football Tree 2015

It's just about my favorite season of the year... football season! This year I decided to use the little tinsel tree to support the Eagles, I like that it has lights and silver/gray is one of my team colors:@) I made a little Go Team spoolie ornament and posted the new logo balls that were a thrift store find earlier. The glass football ornaments are from Michaels.

The football tree is still a work in progress but I'm slowing gathering and making things for it.

  I picked up a pack of six pins, hot glued a ribbon to the back and think they make nice simple filler ornaments.
The football in the lower left is actually an eraser. I had a vintage string of lights that had seen better days,
so I saved the foil reflectors and tossed the string... The green tinsel works well with this tree.

 So that's my Eagles tree this year folks, between this and my new charm bracelet... We have to win!
Have a happy day:@)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Grilled Potatoes with BBQ Sauce, Rosemary and Bacon -George Foreman Grill or Outdoors

I found this recipe on the Sweet Baby Ray's site and just knew it would be different and fun! Although I didn't exactly follow instructions because I used what I had on hand and didn't have any bacon??? But I think there's a lot of wiggle room here. I chose to use my George Foreman Grill and it did a pretty good job with the potatoes! The BBQ sauce and rosemary worked well together and of course bacon makes everything better... Note to self: pick some up. If you're looking for a side dish with a twist folks, I think you'll like these Grilled Potatoes with BBQ Sauce, Rosemary and Bacon.
Tip: My experience with the George and other contact grills has been that it's the upper plate that creates the grill marks. The lower plate gets wet from the juices and kind of steams more than sears. 

This recipe was written up for baby potatoes to be skewered and grilled. My red potatoes were bigger. I didn't make kabobs and just tossed the cubed potatoes onto the George-yea, you don't want to do that. Next time I would slice them about 1/2" thick and grill the slices. They'd be easier to corral and turn. A grill pan on an outdoor grill would work really well.

Grilled Potatoes with BBQ Sauce, Rosemary and Bacon-from Sweet Baby Rays
1/4 C of your favorite BBQ Sauce (they suggest Honey Chipotle SBR's and I wish I had some!)
24 baby potatoes
1/2 C bacon, cooked and chopped
2 Tblsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Olive oil for brushing
S&P to taste
  1. Add potatoes to pot of cold water, bring to a boil and gently simmer about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but not mushy.
  2. Cool potatoes quickly in cold water.
  3. Skewer potatoes, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with S&P and grill over medium/high heat until you get sear marks, turn for more grill marks.
  4. Brush with BBQ Sauce and grill for a couple seconds to set the sauce.
  5. Sprinkle with rosemary and bacon and enjoy!
Eat well and have a happy day:@) 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Help-Need idea to fix Jack-O-Lantern

Anyone have a fun idea to fix an ugly problem? I picked up this Jack-O-Lantern at Walmart a couple years ago and love that it's over-sized, a good 16" tall. I also love it's happy face:@) The problem is that they put the light bulb right in the middle of the back of it's head and you could see the bare bulb. This decoration goes in the kitchen so I didn't want that glaring light.

I did manage to make a hole at the top and move the bulb, that works much better. 
But it left an ugly (and distracting) indent in the middle of the back of it's head.

My son used a Dremel and cut the indent out...
How can I hide this 2 1/4" round hole? Simply putting cardboard, etc, over it still looks odd.
This has had me stumped so I thought I'd put it on the blog and ask for ideas... 
The pumpkin is one piece and the only holes are the cut-outs in the face (and now back of the head). 
It's also a harder, tough plastic and not made of the funkin material.

Lately I've been thinking about "stuffing" the inside of the pumpkin with crumpled deco mesh? 
...as you can tell by that thought, I welcome all suggestions:@)

Thanks and have a happy day!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini (or Yellow Squash) Sheet Cake

When life gives you an abundance of zucchini, I suggest you make cake:@) Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake to be exact. What I love most about sheet cakes is how quickly they bake and they always stay moist. I had a yellow squash so that's what I used. Thoughts: Grease the pan well. Be prepared to work quickly with the frosting-it begins to set fast and most importantly... If you're worried about a picky eater wanting to know what the "funny stuff" in the cake is, peel the squash. It's only the peel that shows up in the cake, not the flesh. This is a great cake folks, I think you'll really like it if you try it!
 I made a half batch, only used 1 egg and baked it in a 9x13" quarter sheet pan. 
If you'd like some other options click for: White Sheet CakePumpkin Sheet Cake, and Pound Sheet Cake.
Thanks for another great sheet cake recipe Jenn:@)

Chocolate Zucchini Sheet Cake-from Eat Cake for Dinner
2 1/2 C A/P flour
2 C sugar-I cut back to 1 1/2
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C butter
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
3 eggs
1/2 C buttermilk-I used 2% milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 C shredded zucchini-I used yellow squash
  1. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
  2. In small saucepan over medium beat melt butter, add cocoa powder and stir until smooth and combined. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add to dry ingredients along with everything else. Mix well. (I suggest adding everything but the squash, mix well and then stir in the squash.)
  3. Pour into greased 13"x18"x1" baking sheet and spread out evenly. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched (15 minutes in my oven).
  5. Remove from oven and top with frosting.
Chocolate Frosting-from Eat Cake for Dinner
3 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 C butter
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 C buttermilk-I used 2% milk
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Add powdered sugar to a large bowl (I did sift mine), set aside.
  2. In small sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add cocoa powder and buttermilk and stir until smooth. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and pour over powdered sugar. 
  3. Add vanilla and whisk together until smooth and creamy. 
  4. Quickly pour over hot cake and spread out evenly. 
Let's use up that overachieving zucchini and have a happy day:@)

I'm Joining:
Craftastic Monday

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Curried Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs

As soon as I saw the addition of curry in this marinade I knew I'd have to give it a try, and I'm glad I did:@) Sweet, tangy, spicy (meaning exotic, not hot) and savory... there's a lot going on here folks. The original recipe uses whole chicken breasts, I cut mine into cubes for these Curried Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs. The marinade coats all of the little pieces of chicken and makes for a very flavorful bite. I served it over Zucchini Rice-a nice combination!
Notes: Oil your grill grates really well, this wants to stick. And I will say the bell peppers didn't seem like a good fit with the curry, so you may want to stick with yellow and green summer squash which was very good! Actually, I'd recommend this marinade for zucchini as a grilled side dish, they go together that well (cube it and cook it quickly in a grill pan). Some apple would probably be a tasty choice for kabobs too...

Curried Honey Mustard Chicken Kabobs-from A Farmgirl's Dabbles
1/4 C honey
2 Tblsp prepared yellow mustard
1 Tblsp vegetable oil
1 tsp curry powder-I used Jamaican
S&P to taste
1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2" thickness
  1. Mix together first five items, add chicken and marinate in fridge 2-4 hours.
  2. Remove from fridge, heat up grill and grill until done. 
  3. Alternately: If you want to make kabobs cut desired vegetables to approximately the same size as the chicken cubes and add to skewers, I did brush them with the marinade before placing them on the grill (then discard marinade). I used green bell pepper, onion and yellow squash.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Zucchini Rice

My son walked in yesterday and said "it's official, the neighbors won't take any more of my zucchini"... Welcome to August as a gardener son! Guess who got the squash??? I thought Zucchini Rice would be a nice easy way to use some up. Nothing ground breaking here folks, simply stir grated zukes into the rice the last minute or two it cooks, add butter and S&P. One zucchini off the counter:@) And I like the color of this side dish.
While I've never frozen zucchini before I'm going to try that too. 
I think it will be nice to add a shredded cup or two to soups this winter. 

Zucchini Rice
2 C water or chicken broth
2 tsp Chicken Better Than Bouillon if not using broth
1 C long grain rice
1 large zucchini, grated-approx 1 C but just use what you have
butter if desired-I desired about 2 tsp:@)
S&P to taste
  1. Boil water with bouillon (or use broth instead), add rice, stir occasionally until tender.
  2. About 2 minutes before it's done cooking stir in zukes. 
  3. Add butter, S&P and serve immediately.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)