Monday, April 23, 2018

3-5 Minute No Guilt Microwave Vegetable Chips and a very good $20 mandoline

I've been enjoying microwave potato chips and decided to take it one step further... These No Guilt Microwave Vegetable Chips are really good folks! In addition to the potatoes, sweet potatoes and beets shown, I've also made carrot chips. Every vegetable was crisp and very tasty when I made them. Observation: Carrots and beets do retain some moisture which will make them soft the longer they sit... Read=Make 'em and eat 'em:@)

You may have read that I had a little... incident with a mandoline a few years ago. Let's just say it ruined my dream of ever being a hand model:@) I decided to give it another try ~but~ I'm committed to always using the safety guard this time. I Googled 'best mandoline' and it led me to this Kitchen Aid adjustable one HERE. So far, so good, and I'm pleased with this $20 purchase.

I used the 1/16 setting for these ultra thin, extra crunchy chips and topped them with a fine grind Himalayan salt.
Now this is my idea of eating the rainbow:@)

3-5 Minute Microwave Potato Chips-from The Painted Apron
~printable version~
Russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots
Olive Oil spray-I only had Canola Oil
Salt of choice and any other flavoring desired
  1. Wash veggies, peel if desired/needed.
  2. Slice as thin as possible. Lay slices on paper towel and pat tops dry.
  3. Spray microwave safe plate with oil, place veggies on plate in single layer without overlapping. Cook one type of vegetable at a time.
  4. Lightly spray top of veggies with oil, sprinkle with salt and flavorings if desired.
  5. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, flip veggies for 2 more minutes. Check for crispness, microwave at 1 minute increments (watching closely) until crisp. You will need to keep an eye on them in the microwave, we don't want the chips to get too dark.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Went Junkin' - 1970's (early 1980's?) Crochet Daisy Afgahn

Let's see, orange, harvest gold and brown... What's your guess, late 70's or early 80's? For some reason this handmade lap afghan tugged at my heart strings at the thrift store and I just had to bring it home:@) I can't imagine the amount of time (and love) that went into making this cute little blanket. Love, love, love the 3D flower centers and I was amazed that after many washes it was in perfect condition. I'm tickled to have this perky fun throw over the back of a chair in my livingroom this spring!

Find something fun and have a happy weekend:@)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ranchero Dip for Corn Chips

This Ranchero Dip is a very hearty snack that's great for a crowd. Actually the original recipe serves it as dinner, but I thought it would be more fun as a dip. As written, this is a very nice should please everyone type of recipe. We here at Pig In Mud might choose to make things a little ~bolder and spicier~ and there are lots of ways to bump up the flavor, I'll list a few below. Don't hesitate to serve this at your Cinco de Mayo party or the next BBQ, and you might want to tuck this one away for football season folks... It will be received well:@)

The best chips for this dip would be those really thick Frito dipper type chips, thinner ones can break.
I did brown the cheese a little under the broiler for a minute or two.
Leftovers? Serve on a bun Sloppy Joe style, roll into a flour tortilla with sour cream,
or serve with cornbread and call it lunch.
The recipe is easily cut in half.

Ranchero Dip-from Taste of Home
~printable recipe~
1 1/2 lbs ground beef-can cut back if desired-I desired
28 oz can baked beans
11 oz can whole corn, drained well-I used cooked frozen corn
1/4 C barbecue sauce
2 Tblsp ketchup
1 Tblsp yellow mustard
3/4 C cheddar cheese, shredded
*Possible add ins: more BBQ Sauce, 1/4 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning, hot sauce, jalapenos, bacon
Green onions and sour cream (pickled jalapenos) for serving-optional
Frito or Tortilla chips
  1. Cook beef until no longer pink, breaking meat up into small pieces, remove grease if necessary.
  2. Stir in everything up to cheese. Heat through.
  3. Add cheese, allow to melt a bit and serve with tortilla chips.
  4. **Alternately: Cook meat, mix first 6 ingredients and pour into shallow baking dish (half of the recipe fits in a one quart dish), cover with foil. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Bake covered at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, remove foil and top with cheese and bake for 10 minutes more or until cheese has melted.Brown cheese under broiler if desired.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Buffalo Bake-Pierogie, Chicken Nugget and Broccoli Sheet Pan Dinner

I've been thinking about doing a Buffalo Bake post for a long time, then when I saw Buffalo Pierogies on the Mrs. T's site, well, I just had to make it happen! Now, is this a Weight Watchers Points dinner? Ah, no. Is this an easy, toss everything onto a sheet pan and let the oven do all the work while you relax dinner? Yes:@) Can we skip the broccoli and turn this into a pan full of party munchies? Absolutely! Possible additions: Onion rings, sweet potato fries, tator tots, battered frozen veggies, etc. Add anything that bakes in about the same amount of time and tastes good with Buffalo Sauce.

Love cheese? Go ahead and sprinkle some cheddar on top for the last couple minutes of baking. 
Dipping sauce? Of course blue cheese or how about ranch or honey mustard, or ~dare I say~ even more hot sauce:@)

Buffalo Bake
Mini Pierogies-I took them out of the freezer to let them begin to thaw for 30 minutes before baking
Chicken Strips or Nuggets
Broccoli, cut into larger bite size pieces
Wing Sauce, your favorite-I used Frank's
  1. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place everything on sheet pan, generously douse with hot sauce, mix well to coat. Spread food out into a single layer, not overlapping.
  3. Bake in 425 degree oven, 10 minutes, flip, bake 5 minutes more.
  4. Give an extra sprinkle of hot sauce once out of the oven.
  5. Serve with dipping sauce if desired.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Broccoli and Pineapple Salad with Lemon Yogurt

I am soooooo ready for beautiful warm weather and this Broccoli and Pineapple Salad is a hint of nicer days to come:@) It feels sunny and a little tropical with the pineapple and lemon yogurt. The broccoli is briefly steamed and cooled quickly so it still has some crunchy bite. I also love that the recipe only calls for five ingredients. Don't hesitate to whip up this easy salad the next time you're grilling chicken or pork folks, I think you'll like it.

Want even more color and crunch? 
Possible add ins: red bell pepper, water chestnuts, slivered almonds

Broccoli and Pineapple Salad with Lemon Yogurt
~printable version~
Approx 1lb fresh broccoli cut into bite size florets
8oz can chunk pineapple, drained well, rough chopped and dried on paper towels
2 Tblsp thinly sliced red onion
6oz lemon yogurt
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning-or to taste
  1. Boil water, add steamer basket of broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately place broccoli on plate in single layer in refrigerator to cool quickly.
  2. Gently mix everything well, chill and serve.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Simple Top from Ruffle for Curvy Barbie or Any Barbie

I found a Curvy Barbie on clearance at Walmart, which was nice because I wasn't having any luck finding one at the thrift stores. The first thing I can confirm is, no, regular Barbie clothes will not fit this doll. I-did-try:@) The next thing is, no, Ken clothes will not fit this doll-no matter how cute the shorts are... So we needed to be a little creative and we love easy here at Pig In Mud. I whipped up this super simple Barbie Top From Ruffle and it can be made to fit any Barbie doll. As long as your ruffle is solid enough to provide some discrete coverage, you're golden! Mine was 2" from top to bottom.
 I like it, it has a summery, breezy, peasant top kinda look:@)
  1. Wrap ruffle around the doll under her arms, you can make it long enough to fold each raw edge over and sew a hem it you'd like. Ruffles don't unravel much, I didn't bother with hems.
  2. Either sew on a snap or little piece of velcro closure to the back-that's it!
  3. Unless you'd like to add some fun embellishments or decorations. I had some really small pom-pom trim and thought that was cute. Liquid Stitch works well for gluing trim to the top.
  4. All of my Barbie posts can be found grouped on Pinterest HERE.
On a side note: The three year old in me just had to give this doll a little make-over...
I'm lovin' the super cute red headed doll and shorter hair:@)

Make something just for fun and have a happy day:@)

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Fun Gift Baskets for Mother's Day or Any Occasion

Now ~this~ is a gift basket folks:@) I jumped at the chance when Gourmet Gift Baskets asked if I'd like to write a post about simplifying gift giving for Mother's Day, Father's Day or even College Grads-yes please! With everything from chocolate covered strawberries to large gift towers to choose from, you will find something for everyone. Perusing their site was fun and the tabs at the top of the page made it easy, they even have Military Care Packages!
I chose the Micro Brew Beer Bucket because... well, because it looks like a party about to happen:@)
Great for Father's Day and I could easily see this as a hostess gift for summer BBQ's.
My basket arrived quickly and was packaged well, everything was snug and in good shape.
I love the galvanized bucket which will be great for chilling beer and wine on the picnic table (or tailgating) long after the popcorn's gone.

Mother's Day ideas? How about Breakfast in Bed or Cheesecake of the Month Club.
Anyone else notice pineapples are a hot item this summer?

And of course this caught my eye...

No matter what the occasion, why not simply grab a cuppa, 
relax and browse GourmetGiftBaskets.com to find a gift that will be well received!

Have a happy day:@)

Thank you GourmetGiftBaskets.com for your generosity!

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