Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Acorn Squash with Apple Pie Filling

I kept seeing cans of apple pie filling at Dollar Tree and knew I wanted to make something with it... This Acorn Squash with Apple Pie Filling was a fun side dish. And if you get lucky and find the squash at your local garden center for $1, well, happy fall! (Actually, Aldi had it for $1.15, that's not bad either:@) This would be perfect with some pan fried ham or kielbasa, add a slice of buttered bread and dinner is served. I've seen baked squash stuffed with apples, I like the idea of serving the apples on the side so folks can help themselves, making this a four serving side dish.
I added my pumpkin label because (well, it's squash:@), 
and I added pumpkin spice to both the apples and squash.
Another addition that sounds good, a handful of raisins.

Acorn Squash with Apple Pie Filling
  1. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds.
  2. Place cut side down in baking dish (can place on parchment paper for easier clean-up if desired).
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven.
  4. Carefully flip squash cut side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dust with pumpkin spice.
  5. Return to oven for 20-25 minutes, check for doneness. It's ready to eat when flesh is tender.
  6. Stir 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice into 21 oz can of apple pie filling. (Want to up the flavor and add more spice? You know your crowd:@) Heat apples on stove or in microwave. 
  7. Cut squash into quarters, serve with apples at table.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Barbie's Halloween Party 2021

Barbie decided the groovy greens and purples of the original doll house livingroom would be perfect for a Halloween party! So we had one before I did any permanent wall papering. It was a busy night with guests floating in and flying out...

Bones provided the music.
An accomplished musician in a past life...
Rumor has it he (oh yes, I'm gonna say it) played his fingers to the bones:@)

Costumes were welcome, some dressed up more than others...

The bat people were well represented...

And there were a couple hippies from the 1960's-70's...
Peace, love, rock and roll!

A cute flapper outfit from the roaring 20's.
She even brought her saxophone to accompany Bones for a few soulful tunes...
A programming note:
~Miscellaneous doll Halloween costume tutorials and links will be posted Saturday🦇

And every party needs some food...
Barbie's Halloween tiered tray of snacks:

Tray made from two pill bottle caps glued to beads-love the raised warning labels!

Two little gremlins are hoping nobody sees them hiding under the table past bed time... 
One curious about what the grown-ups are doing, the other hoping someone drops some food.

The party went on long into the witching hours of the night,
when camera flashes were needed for pictures😈

After a while the snack table was pushed to the side for some dancing.
This time of year you have to be careful,
is he bending in to kiss her cheek... 
Or to bite her neck!

And of course there's always time for a little doll gossip...
Is Bones trying to hold Barbie's hand? ~Are they dating??~ Where's Ken???
Only the ssssnake knows for sure😉

🎃We wish everyone a little spooky fun this Halloween season:@)
From our house to yours, have a happy day!

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Monday, October 18, 2021

Whole Wheat Spritz Cookies -Witch Fingers for Halloween -No Sugar Option

The beauty of spritz cookies is, you can make them any time of year, and decorate them for any holiday or occasion:@) I've had the recipe for these Whole Wheat, No Sugar Option, Spritz Cookies, tucked away for a long time. I knew the whole wheat might bake up a little darker than A/P flour, so I added a couple drops of green food coloring, and here we have some very spooky looking Halloween Witch Fingers! Another great thing about this idea, while it's a spritz cookie, no cookie press is needed... Just fill a disposable icing bag, snip the tip, and pipe out some logs for fingers. 
I will admit, the nuts fell off when the cookies cooled folks, yep.
But I do recommend baking the cookies with the almonds for two reasons:
1. It creates an indent so we can stick it back on with candy melts or chocolate.
2. Toasted nuts just taste better:@)

As for those horrifying cuticles -eeeekk...
If you happen to have orange or purple candy melts,
Well, that would just add to the fun!
A word about whole wheat flour:
The consistency can be a bit like fine cornmeal with a little bite, and it bakes up with a nice nutty flavor.
This particular recipe is not very sweet as written, and may be more suited to an adult's taste. 
Although you could certainly add more sugar if desired.

Whole Wheat Spritz Cookies-from Paper, Ribbon & Ink
1 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar or sugar substitute of equal value
1/4 tsp salt if using unsalted butter, tiny pinch if salted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 egg*
A few drops of green food coloring
2 C whole wheat flour
Almonds for finger nails
Candy melts or chocolate
*It takes a little longer for whole wheat flour to hydrate, I felt mine was staying too dry and crumbly. I made a half batch and did end up using the whole egg. You want dough that's the consistency of Play Dough.
  1. Cream butter and sugar/substitute.
  2. Mix in extracts, egg and food coloring.
  3. Add flour until just mixed in.
  4. Fill piping bag (or cookie press). Cut hole in bag, mine was about 3/4" long.
  5. Squeeze or press out shapes onto ungreased, cool, cookie sheet.
  6. Press almond into tip of each finger.
  7. With butter knife press knuckle lines into fingers.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden on bottom.
  9. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes, remove to cooling rack.
  10. Stick fingernails on with a little melted candy melts or chocolate.
This is a fun project that kids will love, 
don't hesitate to make the fingers using any spritz recipe your crew likes.
🎃Enjoy a spooky treat and have a happy day:@)

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Saturday Re-BOO: Halloween Bottle Cap Spiders & Graveyard Bean Dip

I thought we'd keep the Happy in Halloween by revisiting a couple kid friendly ideas:@) These Bottle Cap Spiders are an easy fun craft for Halloween parties (or to keep little goblins busy for a while any day). They only require three items and make good use of recycled water bottle caps. I even saw these crazy tinsel pom-poms at Dollar Tree last weekend. Please click the title to be taken to my original picture tutorial. And if you're planning ahead for the holidays... I added a link to my Legend of the Christmas Spider post too.

And of course we all like to eat:@)
How about turning a fairly healthy old stand-by party recipe (seven layer bean dip) into a
This is great for Halloween parties or even to take to a football party this time of year.
Kids will be tickled...

Wishing you a fun Halloween Season and Happy Weekend:@)

Friday, October 15, 2021

Inspirational Friday


Have a great weekend:@)

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Instant Pot Swiss Steak Stew -Pressure Cooker Recipe

I thought I'd make a small change to a traditional recipe to make it work for me, and this Swiss Steak Stew turned out to be a nice Sunday dinner:@) I wanted my beef to be fork tender so I used my Instant Pot pressure cooker. But at the same time, we do like our vegetables to still have a little body and bite, so the vegetables got added after the meat cooked. Served it over mashed potatoes for a retro diner kinda feel... Wa-la, a very hearty meal for the cooler months! 
The tomato gravy was really different and this will be added to our meal rotation:@)
Recipe inspiration from The Iowa Housewife.

Swiss Steak Stew-Pressure Cooker
1 1/2 - 2lbs stew meat
1 Tblsp dried onion
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 C water
15 oz can stewed tomatoes, use liquid
large green pepper, thick sliced
large stalk celery, 1/4" sliced
1/2 small onion, 1/4" sliced
1 tsp beef Better Than Bouillon or 1 beef cube, maybe more to taste later
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 C water
2 Tblsp corn starch, add more for a thicker gravy
S&P to taste
  1. Pressure cook first six ingredients 50 minutes, automatic release.
  2. Add next six ingredients (everything except last three). Pressure cook for 1 minute. Automatic release.
  3. Taste the broth, add S&P, and more bouillon if desired.
  4. Stir cornstarch into water, use sauté function, add corn starch mixture to pot, cook until thickened. 
  5. Serve over mashed potatoes, noodles or rice.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Recycled No-Sew Scarf with Pockets for Barbie, Ken (or Any Doll)

We all like to feel cozy and warm, and when we can do it stylishly, with a quick craft... Well, that's just the icing on the cake:@) These Doll Pocket Scarves can be made any way you'd like, I chose a no-sew project made from a recycled sweatshirt. Other options are knit, crochet or use some thin felt or pajama material. Be sure to make it long enough to wrap around the doll's neck, and then hang down to a comfortable length at the sides to slip hands into the pockets. How wide should we make it? As wide as you'd like. And Barbie says, fashion alert: Super chunky over sized scarves are in this year!
Yep, I just had to buy a Pig In Mud t-shirt from Kosmo Kouture:@)

What I did:
Using recycled well-worn sweatshirt, cut 18" long for Barbie, 19" for Ken, by 1 1/2" wide strip of fabric.
Fold both ends up about 1 1/2". Glue both sides creating pockets. Hot glue worked well.
Option: Because I'm... me... I just had to add a team logo:@)
I glued the logo on with Liquid Stitch.

Embellish Barbie's with sewing trim, ruffle, yarn fringe, etc.
Tip: Glue the pockets so the smooth side is outside, it's easier to add embellishments.
Simply increase the size for larger dolls.

Let's gear up for the cooler weather and have a happy day:@)

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Monday, October 11, 2021

Deviled Egg ~Devils~ for Halloween

These Deviled Egg Devils have been around for a while. I've seen them on Pinterest, but saved the write-up in Food Network Magazine so I wouldn't forget to make them as this year's Halloween contribution:@) I will say, they are the most challenging eggs to make so far... Basically you take a thin slice off of the bottom so they stand up, then cut the top quarter off of the egg and scoop the yolk out. I ended up using the small end of a melon baller. And it's easiest to use a piping or sandwich baggie to fill the whites. My horns happen to be jalapenos from my planter, but red bell pepper would be great. 

Just a little spooky fun for Halloween...
These are more substantial than regular deviled eggs as you almost end up eating a whole egg.

Of course I wanted to try to add a little ~something~ to the idea...
Ha, another silly Bloggy Blooper:@)
And there are days at work I kinda feel like the one on the left!
Star Wars fan?
A little green food dye, green banana peppers and wider ears...
I see Baby Yoda!

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

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Saturday, October 9, 2021

$1 Store Saturday: Mini Recycled Tea Light Jack-O-Lantern & Pumpkin Man Treats

These Mini Light-Up Jack-O-Lanterns are a fun way to recycle the pumpkin topper from a Dollar Tree tube of candy corn. It stands about 2 1/2" tall and is a fun decoration to tuck anywhere in the house (hello tiered tray:@) This is a cute little project that, with the right tools, comes together pretty quickly. I love that the tealight gives it a fun, Halloweeny glow. 

 I started with the candy and some battery operated tealights.

The pumpkin topper.
I wasn't expecting the stopper to be that long and didn't think it would be closed on the bottom.
 He's laughing at me because this turned into a more involved project than anticipated...

I used my sturdy shears and kept running them around (scoring) the stopper until I could cut it off.
Bloggy Buddy Sandi suggested a coping saw for this...
But I did get the last laugh after all😉

Trim the bottom as evenly as possible and hot glue or super glue to the tealight.
From here, you could leave as is or embellish as desired.
I added a little harlequin washi tape and sparkly purple diamond mesh bling😎

Oh, and yes, it's the perfect size for Barbie play too-gotta love that!
Barbie says she's ready for trick-or-treaters now🕷️

And you can see how I made these silly Pumpkin Man Party Favors from Dollar Tree items HERE
They come together in no time, and make great treats or even a cute party craft for the kids. 

 Make something just for fun and have a Happy Halloween Season🎃

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