Thursday, May 27, 2010

End of Year Teacher Gift

It's hard to believe that kids are finishing up school for the year and summer is starting!  Where did the year go?  Times are tight for all of us and I am always surfing the net for ideas for quick, easy, and *cheap* ideas for gifts.  This is the time of year to remember our teachers.  Teacher Appreciation Week was just at the beginning of the month, so I needed something low-key and enjoyable.  Kristen of Paper Crave was a guest blogger for The Sweetest Occasion and posted a template for a retro milk carton favor box!  This was the perfect fit!  Check out this cutie here!!

The sweetest little fold-it-up yourself template to make a milk carton just like you see in the school lunchrooms!  Here are some other views of it:

Caaauuute!!  It's small and will hold a little treat.  Also included on the template is a mini report card for teacher and a recipe card that fits inside the report card holder.  Here's what mine looked like after it was assembled:

What did I put in my little milk carton?  Chewy homemade brownies!!  Yum!
The carton will hold two small square brownies wrapped in wax paper to keep the oil from getting onto the paper carton.  What a sweet, personalized gift for my son's teacher! 

The carton was very easy to assemble once cut out with scissors and I used double stick tape to hold it all together! The templates for these are free and found at this page when you scroll down!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sleeping While Standing Up

I looked out and saw this today.  Can you imagine sleeping while your standing?  That's what it looked like these two Canadian Geese are doing!  I tried, with no luck, to catch some baby ducks swimming nearby.  If I could have gotten closer to these guys, I would have been able to catch the ducks.  But this was as close as I dared.

What's venturing out in your neck of the woods?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Decadent Mini Chocolate Souffle'

Okay, admit it!  Sometimes you just gotta have chocolate!  This is a recipe that anyone can make with only 4 ingredients!  Feast your eyes on these yummy souffle's! Mmm!!  The recipe makes 4.  And yes, I couldn't help myself and had to eat one right away, warm from the oven! LOL

Here's the recipe:

Non-stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons sugar & little extra
4 oz semisweet chocolate squares, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 egg whites
powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat the insides
and rims of 4 6 oz ramekins wi th non-stick cooking spray.
Sprinkle bottoms of ramekins lightly with sugar.  Set on a baking sheet and set aside.

In a small microwaveable bowl, combine chocolate and whipping cream.  Microwave on high (100% power) for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring twice.  You will have a smooth, chocolately pudding mix.  Divide into half in two bowls.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature.  (I had a hard time keeping my fingers out of this chocolately goodness!)

In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium until foamy.  Then slowly add sugar, beating until soft peaks form.

Fold in cooled chocolate mixture and gently stir until mixed.  Spoon mixture into prepared ramekins.  Bake for 12-15 min. or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.  It took almost 20 min. for this to happen in my oven!  Serve immediately (I didn't and it worked just fine.)  Open the centers of each souffle' with a spoon and pour in some of the chocolate mixture into each one.  Makes 4 servings.  And let me tell you...they were delicious!!  I made a delicious French Onion Beef Noodle Bake and some salad with it for supper and these for dessert!  Yum!!  Let me know if you are interested in the French Onion Noodle Bake recipe!  I'll gladly share!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Glue Guide - What Glue to Use for Projects

Today I stumbled upon a very useful tool!  How many of us have started a craft project or home improvement project and wanted to use glue and had no idea what worked best for whatever material we were using? I know I have!  Well, there is a Glue Guide!  How awesome is that? 

The folks at Super Glue have designed this guide and it's very user friendly!  You can find the guide here.

Using the chart, you'll see that gluing wood to metal (as in that graduation frame you're making) calls for Bondini Magic Glue, while porcelain to porcelain calls for Super Glue Gel. There's even a waterproof option for those wet projects!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Antipasto Bake = Yum!

Amy @ Living Locurto was wonderful enough to post her recipe for a delicious Antipasto  Bake a while back.  You can see her post here.  This has quickly became my family's favorite dish!  It's easy to make, creative to change up, and delicious to eat!  And, by the way, it is VERY filling!  We try to have this dish once a week.  I am constantly changing it to make it different.  But, we have our favorite combination here and I made it for my family last night:

Antipasto Bake

2 cans crescent rolls
1 package Canadian Bacon (I used all of it)
1 package pepperoni slices (1/2 package)
1 package cotto salami slices (1/2 pkg.)
1 package sliced provolone cheese (1/2 pkg cut up in thin slices)
1 package sliced swiss cheese (1/2 pkgs cut up in thin slices)
1 jar roasted red pepper strips (only used 1/4th of the jar!)
1 egg
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13x9 inch pan with sides with one can of dough.  Layer meats and sliced cheeses and red peppers on top of the dough.  In a bowl beat egg lightly, and stir in parmesan cheese and black pepper.  Spread 3/4 of this mixture over the peppers.  Unroll the 2nd package of crescent rolls and place over the top the peppers.  Brush with the remaining egg mixture.  Cover with aluminium foil.  Bake for 25 minutes then remove foil and bake for 10-20 minutes longer or until dough is fluffy and golden brown.

As you can see from her recipe, I changed it up a bit on the meats.  You don't have to use all the packages of meat and cheese.  I use about 1/2 of each package and then make sub sandwiches with that during the week for lunches.    Hope you'll try her delicious recipe for your family!

Mother's Day Gift - on the frugal!

Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table & Dreaming has been at it again with yet another beautiful, yet simple hand-made gift for Mother's Day!  You can read about it here.  It's her recipe for her Lemon Sugar Scrub that caught my eye!  Oh my!  How beautifully colored it is and I had everything on hand to make it! 

I am all about the frugal.  I am also all about making things!  Put the two together and it can be downright dangerous!  So, I gathered up my supplies and all I really needed to purchase was a jar.  I don't do canning but if you do, then a 12 oz mason jar is perfect!

I ran to the dollar store and for $2, I purchased a 28 oz glass jar with a screw on lid.  (check!)  Then, you'll need:

2 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup olive oil
4 TBSP lemon juice or lime juice or essential oil

Mix all the ingredients up in a bowl.  See how pretty the color is? Very springy!  Next comes my favorite part! Decorating!  Out comes my glorious Cricut Expression! LOVE!!!  I used some black vinyl to cut out some pretty parsley images and did some lettering.  I practiced first on some cardstock for size check.

I hate waste!  I also needed to make sure the image I selected would actually fit on the jar!  I added ribbon to the lid, raffia and fabric bows to match, and put my mom-in-law's  initals on the lid!  I am quite pleased with the end result! 

It was a very inexpensive gift that I'm sure she'll love.  I used spring colors so she can put it in her kitchen.  I tried a little of it before sealing it up and it makes your skin so soft!  I am sure it'd even work great for feet as well as hands!  Thanks, Stephanie, for yet another wonderful idea that is both thrifty and beautiful!