Showing posts from 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte Without Coffee Recipe

How to make a delicious pumpkin spice latte without coffee.  If you don't like coffee or don't want caffeine, this is a great recipe to try.  It's great for kids, too! It's fall!  That means pumpkin everything is showing up in the grocery store, bakery, and coffee shop. I've been known to drink a few pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks.  My daughter loves pumpkin spice, too, but I don't want her to have much caffeine.  She definitely doesn't need more than a sip.  If you want a yummy drink without caffeine, try this easy no coffee pumpkin latte recipe.  Since it doesn't have coffee, it's perfect for an after dinner treat, and you can let your kids have a sip. Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe Without Coffee This easy fall drink has real ingredients in it.  There's no yucky or questionable chemicals or syrups to use. It's quick to make, and you can even store leftovers in the fridge for a few days. You can even make this dairy

DIY Candy Corn Craft Collection

Fall is my favorite time of the year, and I love to make my own decorations for fall and Halloween.  Last year, I noticed that I don't have any candy corn decorations.  This year, I'm going to get busy making some awesome decorations and yummy snacks.  Here are some of my favorites ideas because they are inexpensive, easy, and adorable!   1.  I love to upcycle in my crafts, so this is perfect for me!  I also love to paint anything that stands still long enough.  Check out these awesome candy corn upcycled bottles from The Swell Life.   2.  I have a confession: I am not a great cake decorator. Actually, I am terrible.  But this is something I could do! How cute is this candy corn cake from Bird on a Cake?  I love how even the inside is candy corn themed.   3.  Knead to Cook shows you how to make these candy corn marshmallows .  These would be a great Girl Scout snack for a fall meeting! 4.  Since I am a papercrafter and not a seamstress, I have gobs of pap

Red, White, and Blue Jello Dessert for Fourth of July

This red, white, and blue Jello dessert is so easy to put together, and it tastes so yummy!  I take this to all of our Fourth of July parties, and it is always gone. Feel free to use sugar-free Jello or low-fat Cool Whip to make your dessert.  You can also add blueberries or slices strawberries to layer with the Jello. What You Need 1 container Cool Whip 1 pound cake 2 boxes blue Jello 2 boxes red Jello Clear glass bowl Directions 1.  If you bought a frozen pound cake, let it thaw completely.  Otherwise, make your pound cake and let cool completely. 2.  Prepare Jello according to package directions and let set up. 3.  Cut pound cake in to 1 inch cubes. 4.  Cut Jello in to 1 inch cubes. 5.  Layer the two kinds of Jello and the point cake in the glass bowl.  Place Cool Whip on top of the pound cake. 6.  Place in refrigerator for an hour.

Easy Weeknight Dinner Rolls Using Kitchenaid Mixer

Oops! I forgot to start bread in the bread machine for dinner, and we are supposed to eat in less than two hours! Don't worry - these easy weeknight dinner rolls are ready in about an hour. And they taste great!   Easy Weeknight Dinner Rolls    Ingredients 1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water 1/3 cup oil 2 teaspoons yeast 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg 3 1/2 cup flour Directions  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. In mixer bowl, combine water, oil, yeast and sugar. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes. 3. Add salt, egg and flour and mix on medium speed with the dough hook until soft and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 4. Divide in to 12 balls. 5. Place in greased 9x13 pan. 6. Let raise for 10 minutes. 7. Bake 10-15 minutes. Even though these are so easy to make, sometimes I need even easier and quicker, so I freeze a batch. Freeze them just after you roll them in to balls and before they raise. Let thaw in the fridge for several hours before baking.

Chicken Crossing Sign

Have I mentioned that we have chickens?  22 of them!  Our house and the chicken coop are at the back of the property, so we recently started letting them free range.  They are very happy chickens now! Our friends and family know to watch out for chickens on the drive way, but I wanted to warn the UPS and mail drivers and anyone else who wanders back the drive way. Somehow an old metal no smoking sign made its way in to my craft room.  I think I was going to make a magnet board out of it, but needless to say, that didn't get done. I had some bright yellow spray paint, so I painted the sign yellow and added vinyl.  The vinyl was scrap from other projects. So my total cost was FREE!  Oh, how I love free! My adorable new Chicken Crossing sign!  I feel better knowing that my girls will be safe against big bad UPS trucks and rogue cars traveling the driveway.   PS - I was going to make it say "SLOW chicken crossing" but I didn't want anyone thin

Thrift Store Bird Cage Makeover

When I decided to do my dining room in French country, I went on a mission for a bird cage.  I saw them everywhere , but suddenly, I couldn't find one anywhere !  Finally, weeks later I went to my local Habitat for Humanity Restore and found this beauty.  I gasped and ran so no one would get this beauty.  I didn't need to worry about anyone snagging it because it was pretty ugly to any non-crafty person. I spray painted the entire thing black, which was not easy!  It took several days and several coats of paint to get all those wires black.   Next, I added some cute little bird die cuts that I used to sell in my Etsy shop.  They are made from double sided Amy Butler paper in blue, pink and green.  I used fishing line to hang them, so they look like they are hanging.  I also lined the bottom with coordinating striped paper from the same collection. It turned out beautiful!  I could have sold this thing right off my wall 10 times every time I had a guests over

My Semi-Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Making alfredo sauce from scratch takes forever, and jarred sauce is just too plain for my taste.  This semi-homemade sauce starts with a jar, but it quickly turns in to a thick, creamy sauce that tastes completely homemade. Feel free to use 2 percent milk instead of cream and low-fat cream cheese.  I've made it with both substitutions, and it tasted creamy and delicious. I added sauteed chicken and mushrooms for our meal.  I served it with homemade garlic bread and a salad. Ingredients 1 jar prepared alfredo sauce 8 ounces cream cheese 2 tablespoons cream 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 cup shredded Italian cheeses 1 teaspoon basil  Directions 1.  Heat alfredo sauce in large saucepan over medium to high heat.   2.  Add cubed cream cheese and stir until melted. 3.  Let come to a slow boil and reduce heat to low.  Add cream and lemon juice.  I used milk, and I put it in the empty jar and shook it before adding it to the pan. 4.  Add basil

Easy Garlic Breadsticks

The first time I made these, my kids devoured them!  Even my 10-year-old, who is the pickiest eater ever , said they are delicious.  The kids think they taste like Pizza Hut breadsticks.  They kind of do, but they are more like a biscuit since they use baking powder and not yeast.  These are great for pasta night or any night you forgot to run the bread machine.  Ingredients 3 cups flour 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1 cup milk 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 stick of margarine 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt (can omit this one if desired) Directions 1.  Combine flour, salt, parsley, garlic powder, and baking powder in a large bowl.  Stir well.   2.  Pour in the milk and stir until a dough forms.  You may need to dust more flour on the dough if it sticks to the sides of the bowl.   3.  Knead dough five times while in the bowl.  Then place on counter to roll out.  Roll in to a 9x13 rectangle. 

Frugal Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Couples

If expensive gifts aren't in your budget this year, don't despair. You can create a romantic evening for your spouse or loved one without breaking the bank. These frugal Valentine's Day gift ideas will help you show your love without spending a lot of cash. Handmade Gifts By making a handmade gift, you not only save money, but you can also personalize the gift. If you aren't crafty or creative, many photo-printing services offer collages that let you create a professional-looking photo for a wall in your home or the desk at your office. Or, you can check your local craft store for kits that include everything you need to make a one-of-a-kind gift. A handmade gift doesn't have to be something physical. You can write a poem or song for your loved one, or you can serenade your date. If you write a poem or song, consider printing a copy and framing it as a keepsake of the evening. Gourmet Dinner Even with coupons, a nice dinner out is expensive. If you

Do Big Box Stores Save You Money?

Big box stores advertise everyday low prices and claim that you can save money by doing all of your shopping there. Their prices are lower than smaller, specialized stores, but do you really save money? That depends on your shopping habits. Sales Stores that advertise low prices every day rarely offer sales, and when they do, the sales are not significant. Other stores charge higher prices every day, but they also offer great savings on several items each week. By stocking up on items when they are on sale, you can spend less than if you shop everyday low prices. Coupons Most big box stores accept coupons, but some do not. Many high-priced smaller grocery stores double or triple coupons all the time or during certain times of the year. Although the shelf price of the item is higher, using a coupon often makes the final price lower, especially when the store doubles or triples coupons, especially if there are two or three of them. Other Deals Smaller stores often match sa

How to Make Suet For Birds

I'm pretty sure that we have the fattest birds around.  The blue jays and cardinals here are so fat, I'm not sure how they can fly.  The farm is more of a animal sanctuary than a farm.  Birds and other critters come here because they know they will be well fed and safe.  I feed my birds suet in the winter to give them some extra fat and protein.  This was so easy to make, and my 5-year-old even helped! I used lard in my recipe, but you can use shortening.  Lard is better for the birds, but if you can't find it or are vegetarian, substitute with Crisco shortening. Homemade Suet Ingredients 1 cup lard 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky) 1 cup flour 3 cups cornmeal 1 cup oats, seeds, crushed eggshells, dried fruits 8x8 pan waxed paper medium saucepan Directions 1.  In medium saucepan, melt lard over low or medium low heat.  When almost melted, add peanut butter and stir well. 2.  Add flour and cornmeal.  Add the oats, seeds, dried fruits.  

Upcycled Ribbon Holder For Craft Room

I love ribbon!  Since I didn't have a way to store it, it ended up in a drawer never to see the light of day again.  I saw this idea on a blog a few years ago and decided I needed it for my room. I found the shelf at a garage sale for $2!  It is just a simple wood shelf, and the shelves are about 6 inches apart.  My husband drilled holes on the end to slide a dowel rod through to hold ribbon.  You can use any size shelf you can find or make.  Just make sure you have enough room between the shelves for the ribbon to roll. I stuck a pin in the end of each spool of ribbon because they kept unraveling. On the top, I store small pieces of ribbon or ribbon that did not come on a spool.  I found the containers in the dollar zone at Target, which is why one has a white lid.  They were on clearance, so I only paid 25 cents or 50 cents per container. On the side you'll see a bunch of ribbon hanging.  They are organized by color or theme on plastic pieces I cut with my Cricut an

Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is a great dinner when you have some time to prepare dinner in the afternoon and you will be busy at dinner time.  Yesterday, we had girl scouts right after school and cub scouts at 7.  I needed something that would be ready to eat from the Crock Pot without any additional prep work. This is the best broccoli cheese soup ever.  My husband hates soup and hardly considers it a meal, but he loves this soup. Ingredients 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup diced onion 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 6 cups chicken broth 16 ounces broccoli (fresh or frozen) 8 ounces thin noodles 2 pounds Velveeta cheese 6 cups of milk salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste Directions  1.  I used my homemade chicken broth, which is not all shown in the photo.  If you don't have broth on hand, you can use 6 cups of water and  bullion cubes, but we  prefer it with homemade broth.  Place broth and noodles in the Crock Pot and turn it on high. 2.  Meanwhile, cook celery and onion i