Friday, July 27, 2012

Spicy Fire Crackers

A couple of years ago my husband brought me a treat that someone had given him at work. He warned me that they were spicy but that didn't seem to be too big of a deal since they were only saltine crackers after all. WOW was I surprised when I tasted one. They were, in fact spicy and wonderfully savory, all at the same time. Who would have thought??! I had to have the recipe. He brought it to me the next day and we have been making these super easy gems ever since. I will say that they are not for the faint of heart (or the dieters...) because they contain a whole lot of oil. In fact, I am almost embarrassed to tell you how much. ;-) Just save them for a big game or a party or some other occasion and you will be just fine. I just made a batch for my family to munch on during the 2012 Olympic opening ceremonies which air tonight. Good a time as any!! Hope you like them too!

Fire Crackers

1 box (4 sleeves) plain saltine crackers
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-2 tbsp red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like them)

Put the crackers in a large bowl (I use my 26 cup Tupperware bowl which works perfectly.) In a glass bowl or measuring cup, combine last three ingredients and whisk well to combine. Pour over the crackers and gently stir to coat each piece. Continue to carefully stir for 15 minutes to ensure even coverage. Store in airtight container or serve immediately.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pinwheel Wreath

I needed a gift to give a friend who is going through some difficult adjustments in her life. Looked to my trusty Pinterest, yet again. That fabulous site did not disappoint. Here is the pinwheel wreath that came out of my search. It is kind of a persnickety craft (I always loved using that word...) and takes a little patience, but it is easy enough once you get the hang of it. I would try to explain how it is done but the original poster did such a better job. Here is the inspiration project.

I ended up finding one of those floral foam type, green wreath forms at the Dollar Tree. I covered it in strips of natural colored muslin so the green didn't show through. I chose a complimentary light yellow ribbon for the hanging strap.

I found the double sided scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby. The brand is Authentique. I am kind of in love with it. ;-) You can't see, but I used some additional long dress pins to keep the pinwheels in place. They definitely needed the extra support. Glad I did that. I need to make a card to go with this wreath. Tomorrow it gets a new home at a friend's house. I am kind of excited. Hope she likes it!

Super Easy Button Bracelet

 I have been feeling like I need to do a little crafting lately. It has been awhile! I needed a project for my weekly Pinterest project commitment and I needed to make a couple of  "thinking of you" gifts too. So I looked and looked and came up with several options. This idea was one of my favorites. Pretty simple concept and took very few supplies. Sounded perfect! The hardest part was trying to convince the end of the cording to go through the button holes. I recommend painting it with clear nail polish to make it easier to slide through, it will save you a ginormous headache. (Don't ask me how long it took me to figure that tip out...) ;-)
I will also mention that trying to use buttons with two holes makes it ridiculously hard. I even called in my crafty critical thinking reinforcement A.K.A. my oldest daughter, and SHE couldn't figure out a way to do it. I guess it is beyond our current skill sets. Oh well. The 4 holed buttons it is!! If you would like to make some of your own, check out this tutorial where I found the idea. Happy crafting!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Awesome Churro Flavored Popcorn

I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to make a recipe that I had found on Pinterest for Churro Popcorn. It is hard to find one of the ingredients but I managed to snatch up the last bag that they had at Winco. Score!! It also happens to be the weekend that my group of crafty lady friends has a trip planned to the southern California area to veg out and relax. What better way to veg out than to munch on yummy goodies while you are relaxing. (That is my philosophy anyway.) ;-) I am taking this yummy batch of goodness along for the ride. IF it survives my family's thievery. Hope you get a chance to try it. Sooooooo good!

Churro Popcorn

6 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup cinnamon chips (I used Hershey's)
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Place popped corn in a large bowl. Set aside.
Melt chips with butter in a microwave safe bowl. Stir and pour over popcorn. Stir gently to coat pieces.
In another bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon. Shake over coated popcorn. Stir to combine once again.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and store or serve immediately.

Pinterest Weekly Project #7 :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Panda Express Orange Chicken Copycat Recipe

So... tonight I decided to try another Pinterest inspired recipe. This one caught the eye of my son who requested I give it a shot some time. I had to admit it did look pretty awesome and I had all the ingredients on hand so I went for it. Oh. My. Goodness!! This was about as close to a Panda Express recipe that I could have imagined making at home, that is for sure. I tweaked it a little bit from the original recipe and was really glad that I did. It feels like it took forever to make, but, in actuality, it only took about 20 minutes. Not bad at all. If I made it when I was TOTALLY NOT in the mood to cook (like tonight), then certainly you all can handle it too. ;-) Give it a shot when you are in the mood for Chinese food and you will not be disappointed. I made broccoli and steamed rice to go with it. Super yummy!!

Just-as-good-as-Panda-Express Orange Chicken

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups cornstarch
vegetable oil, for frying the chicken

dredge the chicken pieces in cornstarch and cook in preheated oil, in small batches, until light brown, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.

1 cup water
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp orange zest
juice of 1 orange
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
4 tsp cornstarch

Next, combine sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl until blended well. Heat to a simmer in a frying pan, large enough to hold all the chicken pieces. Once simmering, allow to thicken for 3-4 minutes. Add cooked chicken to sauce mixture and stir to coat the pieces. Allow to thicken a little more, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Let's just call this one my Pinterest Weekly Project too. #6. :)

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Taco Pizza

Tonight for dinner I made a Pinterest inspired dish again, called Taco Pizza. We have had this a couple of times recently and I must say, it is sooooo yummy! Just wanted to do a quick post and share the recipe. I am positive that your whole family will love it. (Just take off the onions and tomatoes for the picky eaters...)

Please excuse the spots on  my well loved jelly roll pan.... ;-)
Taco Pizza

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 pkg. taco seasoning (added to ground beef according to package instructions)
2 pkg. Pillsbury crescent rolls (don't use generic, it makes a difference, and not in a good way)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can refried beans (I used Taco Bell brand, fat free because it spreads really easily)
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1-2 green onions, sliced
small can sliced olives (optional- I didn't use them tonight because I forgot them on the store shelf...) ;-)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a jelly roll pan with nonstick spray. Unroll the crescent rolls and stretch them to cover the whole bottom of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and spread the can of refried beans to cover the surface of the baked dough. Evenly spread the prepared meat mixture over the beans. Cover the meat with the shredded cheese. Sprinkle the tomatoes and onions and olives (if you didn't forget them at the stinkin' store...) over the cheese. Bake the pizza again for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the pizza is heated through. Remove and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes so the cheese doesn't slide off onto your plate. Enjoy!!

linking here:
Tip Junkie handmade projects
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