January 27, 2011

blog spotlight...

jenny 'holiday' heid: everyday is a holiday

jenny's an artist/designer from The New Jersey shore and creates such cute paintings of cupcakes and other baked goods and more. I asked her today if she'd design a cupcake tattoo for me....and she said YES!

January 21, 2011

looking at new laptops...

see LINK

I need something for my photography and standard everyday stuff, plus something with enough speed for my Etsy shop, Facebook and my Blog. Brig helped me design what features I wanted. I have the docking station and speakers already. Now I just need to decide if I need this BEFORE  getting a new cell phone or AFTER....hmmm?

January 18, 2011

homemade chicken noodle soup...

Serving Size: 2 cups / Servings: 6

- 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or to taste
- 2 quarts chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup carrots, sliced or diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cups egg noodles, wide variety
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lay out chicken breast on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil. Use a brush to coat or preferably coat by hand rubbing oil on meat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in oven for 30 to 40 minutes making sure chicken is fully cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Heat chicken stock. Simmer stock in an uncovered stock pot or similar pan on stovetop before adding other ingredients. While broth or stock is brought to a simmer, cut up chicken breast, cutting meat into medium size cubes.

Dice celery, slice or dice carrots, and thinly slice green onions. Add celery, carrots, green onions, and noodles to broth or stock. When noodles are fully cooked (8 to 10 minutes), add chicken meat and then parsley. Allow to cook for an additional 4 minutes or until meat is heated and serve hot.

January 12, 2011

Ten ways you can use a mason jar...

I LOVE my Vintage Blue Ball Mason Jars....and the Atlas jars and glass jars...and so on. I have about 16 Blue ones...but really don't fill them with anything right now (I leave that for the clear jars). I use the clear ones for photos, sewing kits, shells, etc...So, I thought maybe I should start actually USE these jars.

Got this info from: http://hubpages.com/hub/Ways-to-Use-Mason-Jars
1.Flower Vase: Mason jars are perfect for a quick flower vase. Cut your flowers to the length of your jar and add water. For an added touch, tie a ribbon around the mouth of the jar.

2.Drinking Glass: It's not the conventional cup, but who can resist the charm of lemonade in a mason jar on a hot summer's day? Collect an assortment of jars to make as an alternative set of glasses for your dinnerware to give a causal, summery feel.

3.Gifts: Mason jars are the perfect, yet smaller alternative to a gift basket. The holidays give the perfect opportunity for using mason jars as quick gift wrapping, particularly if your gift is food. Just drop some Christmas colored M & M's or Hershey's Kisses, close the jar, then cut a fabric circle and tie with a ribbon to attach it to the jar. Now you have a gift that doubles as a seasonal decoration!

4.Candle vase: It's simple and quick. Just set the candle in the vase and light it up. If you want to add a little seasonal flair add sand with a few shells for summer or a ribbon with a bell or ornament for Christmas.

5.Food Mixes: Have you been wanting to send a care package to that college student you know with some good home-cooked food, but don't have a recipe that will make it through the USPS? Then layer the dry ingredients into a jar, print the recipe, use a ribbon to tie the recipe to the jar, and you could even stick a little cash in an envelope to cover the cost of the perishable ingredients and the student will be thanking you soon! You can use this with soup mixes, cookies, pancakes, or even nuts and granola.

6.Party Favors: Mason jar glasses are the perfect size to use as party favors. Add some erasers, stickers, candy, or even a yo-yo or other small toy and you're good to go. Decorate it with a ribbon or sticker that goes with the theme of the party and they're ready to enjoy.

7.Change jar: Just have one sitting on the counter where you drop your keys and drop your spare change in it as you walk by. At the end of the year (or when the jar is full), see how much money you've saved!

8.Craft Kits: Use a jar to hold a craft kit for beading, soap-making or candle making, or embroidery. Just make sure you include all the supplies--or at least all the supplies that will fit!

9.Organizational Containers: Since mason jars come in varying sizes they can make great containers for organizing everything from your craft supplies like buttons, brads, and ribbon to tacks, paper clips, nails, and even bathroom supplies like cotton balls.

10.Canning: And, of course, mason jars are perfect for their original purpose of preserving food.

And there you have it, ten simple ways to use mason jar glasses today!

January 11, 2011

Stuffed Shells

oh holy yumminess....

Baked Apple Pie Oatmeal

* 4 cups of milk
* 1/2 cup of brown sugar
* 2 Tbsp of butter
* 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp of salt
* 2 cups of old fashioned oatmeal ( not the quick cook kind)
* 2 eggs slightly beaten
* 2 cups of chopped apples ( I used Granny Smith)
* chopped pecans

Warm your milk, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan or microwave safe bowl until butter is melted and sugar is mostly dissolved.

Then mix in eggs, oats and apples.

Pour into a greased 8x11 casserole dish and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until set in the middle.

When you are finished baking, scoop some in a bowl and load with your favorite toppings….a dash of milk, a slice of butter, a sprinkling of brown sugar and chopped pecans on top.


January 10, 2011

using extra applesauce...

from Cooks.com
Makes 12 muffins

1 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1 c. applesauce
1 lg. egg, beaten
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. double acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. milk, orange or apple juice (or frozen concentrate)
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 sugar (optional)
1/2 c. cranberries, dried cranberries or raisins (optional)

Spray 12 (3 inch) muffin cups with Pam or use metal muffin liners. Preheat oven to 375°F degrees.
Stir together the oatmeal, applesauce, juice or milk, egg, and oil. Set aside.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Make a well in the center, and add the applesauce mixture. Stir until well combined, but do not over beat.
Add raisins or cranberries if desired. Pour into the muffin tin. Each cup should be 2/3 full.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing muffins.

Variation: Substitute 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg for the cinnamon.

pantry challenge...

 Life as a Mom's: Pantry Challenge

~Make the Most of What YOU Have This Month~
■For some that might mean digging deep into the cupboards and using up those odds and ends.
■For others that might mean
building a frugal pantry, scouting for good sales, and starting to stockpile items that you regularly use.
■Still others might want to give the pantry an overhaul and remove unhealthy items and replace those with more wholesome alternatives.
~Make this challenge fit YOU and YOUR life!~
So...I joined, even though the month has already started. I do what works for my family.
~As for ME, I’m going to attempt the following~
■Spend $100 (or less) a week on groceries. (I currently average $150 per week for a family of 6.)
■Focus on fresh produce and dairy.
■Bake from scratch....like bread!
■Eat up what’s in the freezer.
■Use less meat or use leftover meat to make another meal.
■Use coupons wisely.
■Build a better stockpile (healthier and more plentiful).

■Start Freezer Cooking

Meals this week:
Sunday: Pot Roast w/ carrots and potatoes in the crock- done
Monday: Tuna Noodle Casserole and homemade bread- done
Tuesday:  Pancakes and Bacon
Wednesday: TVP Chili
Thursday: Chili Nachos (using leftover chili)
Friday: Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie
Saturday: Burgers, baked beans, corn

Going to make applesauce muffins to use up some big jars of applesauce too.

January 9, 2011

our new spot...

Confetti Caffe and Gelato

233 Market Street, Virginia Beach * Town Center of Virginia Beach
757-227-6682 / vbtowncenter@confetticaffe.com

16-24 hand-dipped flavors / prepacked and hand-dipped pints

OK...so I have been here 2 times already in 1 week and I must say....I LOVE THIS PLACE!!!

Ashley P., Ashley G. and baby Alex, Vickie, Juanita, Beatrice and I all met to knit, have lunch and gelato and gab for hours. It was a blast! Atmosphere worked for us and the food...delish~

January 3, 2011

I'm hosting a RECYCLE PARTY!!!!

Being a Brand New Year, many people find themselves clearing out the old to make way for the new!
So, with that in mind…I am planning on Hosting a:
'RECYCLE PARTY'date: Saturday January 22nd time: 10am until whenever...
This is where you bring anything you don’t want anymore and give it away, and while there, pick up items other’s don’t want. (FreeCycle idea).

Ideas of what you can recycle:
Glass jars, Tupperware, Dishes, Clothes, CD’s, Books, Purses, Jewelry, Containers, D├ęcor, Frames, Craft items, Fabric, Furniture, Pet Supplies, Non-Perishable Food, Garden Supplies, Tools, Games, Appliances….and more. It should be in good enough condition to be re-used…no broken junk.

I’ll provide coffee, cocoa and donuts. You bring bags to carry home your new found good in.
Starting off the new year with a bang!

~ Peg

(email me for my address....if I know you)