Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Went Junkin' -Quick St. Patrick's Day Ornament Spruce Up

I don't know why this little ceramic cat ornament was displayed with the St. Patrick's Day nick-knacks at the thrift store, but I thought the ginger colored fur and green eyes worked:@) I removed it's red ribbon and old glue, and simply added a green ribbon and old worn clover charm Ma gave me. I think it's cute and for $1 will be fun on my tree.

 The ornament I started with:

I also found this cute but simple ceramic shamrock on the same day. 

 I'd say the luck of the Irish was with me:@)
Have a happy day!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

3-5 Minute No Guilt Microwave Potato Chips

Yep, you read that dangerous title correctly! The minute I clicked on this idea from Bloggy Buddy Jenna I ran walked to the kitchen and had to try it. These Three Ingredient Microwave Potato Chips are a ~darn good~ whole food snack folks! Now, are they diet food? Nope. I'm not a nutritionist, nor do I play one on this blog:@) But... They have to be healthier than deep fried chips drenched in powdered salt (which I love BTW). My favorite chips were always the darker ones, you can take them out of the microwave sooner, but my russets browned up beautifully. Love-love-love these tasty fun potato chips, don't hesitate to give them a try folks! Every microwave is different, try a couple slices to figure out what amount of time works best for you.

The key is to cut the chips as thinly and consistently as possible. The right tool for the job is a mandolin... 
My mandolin -and thumb tip- were thrown out a couple years ago, so I used a knife. 
Public Service Announcement: Please use the safety guard if you use a mandolin.
One of the best things about this is, you know exactly how much potato you are eating.
Who knows how many we mindlessly pull out of that bag...

3-5 Minute Microwave Potato Chips-from The Painted Apron
Russet potato
Olive Oil spray-I only had Canola Oil
Kosher Salt and any other flavoring desired
  1. Wash potato, peel if desired.
  2. Slice as thin as possible. Lay slices on paper towel and pat tops dry.
  3. Spray microwave safe plate with oil, place potatoes on plate in single layer without overlapping. 
  4. Lightly spray top of potatoes with oil, sprinkle with salt and flavorings if desired.
  5. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, flip potatoes for 2 more minutes. Check for crispness, microwave at 1 minute increments (watching closely) until crisp. My microwave is pretty strong, I just set it for 3 minutes, did not flip the potatoes, and you see how they look.
Enjoy a munchie and have a happy day:@)

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Egg Bread with Onion, Parsley and Poppy Seeds -Bread Machine Recipe

If you're looking for a dinner bread with lots of big flavor you can't go wrong with this Egg Bread with Onion, Parsley and Poppy Seeds. I've made it in the bread machine a few times now and the boys always comment how good it is. You can leave the parsley out if you don't have it and go ahead and add an extra tsp of poppy seeds if you love them! Either way, give this bread a try folks, I think you'll like it:@)

The recipe below is for a one pound loaf.

Egg Bread with Onion, Parsley and Poppy Seeds-adapted from Fleischman
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups bread flour-I use unbleached A/P flour and sometimes sub a little whole wheat too
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 tsp yeast-I like to use 1 tsp regular and 1/2 tsp rapid rise
1 Tblsp dried onion flakes
2 tsp poppy seeds plus 2 tsp dried parsley ~or~ 1 Tblsp poppy seeds
  1. Add everything to bread machine, choose soft setting, let 'er rip.
  2. Watch while mixing, it might need a little more water. Aim for a smooth soft ball of dough.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Silk Plants Direct -Ficus Tree Review

I was offered the opportunity to review my choice of silk flowers or plants and chose a large 5' ficus tree from Silk Plants Direct, and have to say it's beautiful! I needed something to fill the far corner of the livingroom and this tree is full and lush and has so many more branches than the faux plants we can find at the craft stores. I'm still working on a planter or basket, it's in my cast iron pot for now...

I had to chuckle when I stopped at the dentist last week and recognized another tree I saw on-line!
This premium site offers commercial quality items.

If you're looking for plants or flowers to spruce up the house for spring...
Don't hesitate to stop by Silk Plants Direct folks.

The tree came packaged well, with a nicely balanced weighted base. 

Receive 10% off your order by using the code BLOGGER10.
While I was generously supplied with this tree, my review is honest and opinions are my own.

Have a happy day:@)

Monday, February 12, 2018

I ♥ U Berry Much Spritz Cookies -Freeze Dried Strawberry Glaze or Icing for Cookies

These I ♥ U Berry Much Spritz Cookies are my contribution for Valentine's Day this year. Actually, what I'm really sharing is the idea for a Freeze Dried Strawberry Glaze/Icing, a fun ~and tasty~ way to add a little pizzazz to any type of cookie. I wanted to make something different that had a hint of red, and as soon as I saw the dehydrated strawberries at Dollar Tree I knew they'd be perfect for this project. A quick whirl in the food chopper gave me a nice fine powder that was easily incorporated into the glaze and a disposable icing bag worked great for decorating the cookies.

 I used the White Chocolate Spritz Recipe HERE and added lemon extract to the Strawberry Glaze. 
The glaze can be flavored with any extract or... Sub the water with any flavorful liquor you choose.

The strawberries I bought:

A neat little bonus, I used my thrift store vintage Ateco plunger cookie press with the heart disc and it worked well!
That was fun:@)

Freeze Dried Strawberry Glaze/Icing
For each .7 oz bag of dehydrated fruit (approx 2.5 Tblsp powdered fruit, just use all that's in the bag):
2 Tblsp butter, melted
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp lemon extract
approximately 1 Tblsp hot water
  1. Crush or run dried fruit through food chopper.
  2. Mix fruit, butter, powdered sugar and extract.
  3. Slowly add water, a little at a time, until the glaze is thick but somewhat liquid.
  4. Place glaze into icing bag and drizzle or spoon it onto cookies. Heat for a few seconds in microwave if it gets to firm.
  5. Allow glaze to firm up on cookies.
Enjoy a cookie and have a happy day:@)

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday Snippets-Spell Check? Crafting A Super Bowl Ornament, Tabasco Popcorn and Lottery Update

Vendor tents popped up on every street corner after the Eagles won the Super Bowl and I decided to treat myself to a t-shirt. So I stopped and picked up a $10 one that had a fun picture on the front and the guy was all excited because it listed everyone on the team on the back. Only one little issue (that I noticed after I got home)... They misspelled PhiladeLphia! Ha-ha, oh well, I guess you get what you pay for:@)

While we can find t-shirts and hoodies (some even spelled correctly), glasses and mugs and all sorts of other commemorative items at stores... The few ornaments that are offered have to be bought on-line and with shipping can be a little expensive. So, I'll just hope that Eagles Super Bowl Ornaments trickle into the stores as we get closer to the holidays. In the mean time, the guys at work printed me this Eagles Underdog Logo and I Mod Podged it to a ball. Added the letter beads, a football button from Ma's stash and a bit of fine glitter bling... Wa-La, a unique free ornament for my tree-I likey:@)

This idea from a 1985 advertisement for Tabasco Popcorn was a fun Friday night treat! I will say the advertisement, as written, is for butter lovers:@) I will also say I gave my popcorn an extra sprinkling of hot sauce before eating it... But it's always fun to try new things with popcorn.


Tabasco Popcorn-from Hey My Mom Used To Make That
1/4 C butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp Tabasco hot pepper sauce
2 Tblsp Parmesan cheese, grated
~Mix everything and pour over 3 quarts popcorn, toss to coat.

As for my Lottery Experiment... Someone told me the rule of thumb is ~some kind of prize~ for every four $1 tickets sold. So this leads folks to buy $5 worth of tickets. It seemed like a theory worth testing (once), so I did:@) I won $10! And yes, the winner was ticket #5. Bottom Line: At this moment, I'm ahead $1 (would have broken even). And won't be retiring soon...

Have a great weekend everyone-enjoy:@)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Small Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Scratch

Here's how things work in my world folks... At 5:30 in the morning I think~ I wonder if I can make a Pressure Cooker Pineapple Upside Down Cake? This then leads me to the kitchen to see if I have any pineapple. Only a 20 oz can of crushed. Maraschino cherries? Four left in the jar (4 cherries??? I cut them into quarters.) Pinterest suggests using cake mix, didn't have that so I search my blog for a recipe for a small cake batter. 40 minutes later my little spur of the moment cake is safely tucked into the PC baking away:@) It's yummy and moist and we think it turned out pretty darn good!

Since I only had crushed pineapple I filled 1/2 C and pressed out the excess liquid. Kept adding to it until I had 1/2 C of packed pineapple. 
Then let it, and the cherries, drain on paper towels while I mixed the batter.
I've already picked up a can of sliced pineapple and hope to add updated pics after I make my next one:@)

Specialty equipment (in addition to a 6-8 quart pressure cooker):
  • A six cup bundt pan or 6-7 cup springform pan. I've been a long time fan of making smaller cakes for one or two people, as well as for those of us that don't want to be tempted by cake all week:@)
  • Long handled silicone trivet, makes getting the pan into and out of the PC vessel much easier.

Pressure Cooker Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Up to 3 Tblsp brown sugar-I used 1 1/2 Tblsp, add more if desired-you know your crowd
Maraschino cherries for color

Pineapple, preferably slices or chunks drained
1 C A/P flour
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C pineapple juice
1/4 C vegetable oil-I still want to try subbing apple sauce one day...

1 egg
  1. Spray 6" bundt pan or 6-7" springform pan with cooking spray (I used Aldi's Baker's Joy).
  2. Sprinkle bottom of pan with brown sugar and arrange cherries and pineapples in pan.
  3. Mix dry ingredients in bowl, add pineapple juice, oil and egg. Mix well (batter will be thick).
  4. Pour/spoon batter over fruit. Spread out evenly.
  5. Cover pan with foil.
  6. Fill vessel with 1 C water. Sit cake pan on trivet and place in vessel. Or make tin foil sling HERE, sit on trivet that has been placed in vessel.
  7. 18 minutes high pressure, allow natural release. 
  8. Remove from PC, remove foil, place plate over cake pan, turn cake upside down, should easily slide out onto plate.
  9. Cool completely and enjoy!
Have a sticky sweet happy day:@)

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