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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chocolate Cupcake Goodness!!

Last week I was craving cake for some reason. I didn't feel the best so I wanted to make it from a box mix during the day, but I didn't have any. In the evening I found my second wind and decided to go for it. I found this cupcake recipe here. And the frosting recipe here.




I loved the frosting and the cupcakes super moist and yummy!!!

Yummmy!!!
I don't bake a lot of cakes or make frosting a lot but when I do I am always surprised at how easy they are to make from scratch- it's kind of funny how popular cake mixes are!!

So I hope I have inspired you to get out and BAKE FROM SCRATCH! You can do it!!!


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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Distressed Window Frame Picture Frame






My sister had some old windows at her house and before she moved I asked if I could have them.  She didn't have room to everything she had so I got them! I decided I wanted to make a picture frame to hang in our living room. I am really pleased with how it turned out. I put all pictures from the lake that we live at. I love having on the wall and it makes me happy everytime I look at it!

So here is how I did it:

First I wiped down the frame and sanded it off.
Then I painted an undercoat of brown.


Over the brown layer I painted a green layer. I didn't worry too much about getting the paint on the glass because I used a razor blade to clean it off later.


Then I did the distressing on it. I tried to do it by hand with sandpaper but it wasn't really happening.
So I switched to the sanding mouse- I like this little guy!


Then I cleaned the paint off the glass with a razor blade, cleaned it up and put a finishing wax on the frame part.

I cut scrapbooking paper to matte the photos and taped them in. I was going to use a spray adhesive but I thought I may want to change them out at some point. 

I was proud of myself on this project, I drilled the holes and installed the hardware myself!


I then glued on the sunflower accents that I made- I will post about how I did that later.
We tied on a rope to hang it on the wall. So pretty!!


Some detail pics.


Close up of the distressing.


Detail of rope hanger.


Close up of sunflower accent.


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Friday, August 26, 2011

New Food Friday #5- Chicken Alfredo Primavera

Welcome to New Food Friday- This week I had a little technical difficulty- I made a new recipe on Sunday (meatball marinara subs with provolone) but I forgot to photograph it. Whoops- the photos are the best part of a recipe post!


So this week I am not doing an entirely new recipe to me, but I did use an alfredo sauce mix rather than premade. Someday I will be able to make alfredo from scratch but for now this is yummy and easy enough!

******If you are reading New Food Friday for the first time, I started it as a challenge to try a new recipe or preparation method once a week. I would love if others want to join in- just grab a button from the sidebar and comment on my post. If we get enough interest I may even start a linky party!********


Chicken Alfredo Primavera
Olive Oil
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
Garlic Powder
Cut Baby Bella Mushrooms
Broccolli Cuts
Diced Summer Squash
Diced Zucchinni
Alfredo Mix Packet
2/3 Cup milk
2 Tbsp Butter
Whole Wheat Linguine



Season chicken breasts with garlic powder.
Cook Chicken Breasts until 165 degrees F at thickest portion. I like to sear them but add water to keep them moist and keep the pan from drying out.


Remove chicken from pan and let cool. After continuing on with recipe you can cut them into smaller pieces. I know my chicken looks pink- but trust me I temped it and it was way above 165!


****MONEY AND TIME SAVING TIP****
Every time I cook chicken I use half for the recipe I am making and freeze the other half of the package- most of the time you don't need the 1.5 lbs they put in the package. It makes the grocery budget last longer and the next time I need chicken in a recipe I just pull it out and heat it up!


Add olive oil and vegetables to the pan and saute until they are tender. Season with salt and pepper.


I used French's Alfredo mix because it was way cheaper than the premade jar and I just followed the directions on the package. I liked that it didn't make a lot and so when I mixed the dish up it was mostly veggies and chicken, but my husband said it needed more sauce. So next time I will probably use two packages of mix- it would still be way cheaper than the jar.


The flavor and consistancy of the sauce was great though and it was super easy.

Cook noodles according to package instructions and mix together. Enjoy!!



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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Photography Challenge Week #5- From A High Angle

I had a rough time with this week's challenge- didn't really have a lot of spare time and so procrastinated and only had a little bit of time to do it tonight. The light was really low and I had a hard time getting the camera to focus correctly. This is what I came up with- my little ones- Scout and Penny!


The funniest part of this whole process was that I climbed up on top of the couch to get a high angle and Penny (the little red dog) freaked out. She climbed up on the couch by me and put her paws up on the back of the couch and looked at me like, "What in the world are you doing Mom?? What's going on up here??" I didn't get this pic until a little later when all the commotion of me standing on the couch had died down!


Check out the rest of the fun over at A Step in the Journey

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

From Zoe's Kitchen- Meatless Monday Edition- Bean Burritos

Here is a recipe that is the three things I look for in a recipe- fast, easy and inexpensive. Oh yeah, and it tastes great so there is the fourth thing I look for in a recipe.


This is another staple of growing up in my parents home and another one that I make all the time in my home too.

Homemade Bean Burritos
Green Pepper
Yellow Onion
Olive Oil
2 cans cooked beans (you can use any- I prefer pinto)
Chili powder
Garlic powder
Cayenne powder
Salt
Pepper

Toppings:
Lettuce or spinach
Grated Cheese
Diced tomato
Salsa
Sour Cream
Guacamole (if you want to make it REALLY yummy, most of the time I don't go to the effort of making the guac)

Whole Wheat Tortillas


Put olive oil, diced green pepper and diced onion in skillet. Saute until tender.


Add 2 cans beans (drained) and all seasonings. There aren't specific amounts, I just do it to taste, but I usually go pretty heavy on the chili and garlic powder and light on the cayenne. If you like it spicy you can add more cayenne (my husband does this when he makes them).


Mash to the consistency of your liking while heating over medium heat- I like mine a little bit chunky but you can get them all the way down to a puree if you wish. You may need to add a little bit of water here to get a good consistency.


I like to prepare mine like a tostada nowadays but you can wrap it up like a burrito too (that is how I used to always do it!





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Jam Hands





























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