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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cool Whip-Pudding Frosting

I finally had an excuse to try out this frosting, then I ended up having to make something else  (×̯×)  It seems like I've been waiting for months years to make this! lol
We always seem to have a sweet tooth in the evening and it seems like we never have anything to satisfy it (of coarse) so I said what the heck, I'm going to make a cake! (•̮̮̃•̃) I don't need an excuse to make a cake! Right!?¿

Since this frosting is made from Cool Whip and requires milk in the Pudding, I would think it needs to be refrigerated. Problem is, we don't like our cake cold... Hmmmm (thinking) 1st thought.. We could just cut a couple slices and sit it on the counter to warm up for 10-15 min. before we eat it...
Nah that takes to long!...   I know!  2nd thought ...We'll just leave the cake on the counter and the frosting in the fridge and frost as we go (-̮̮̃-̃)   Brilliant idea!! lol 
That way, you can put as much on as you want, or as little as you want, and if you use it all up before the cake is gone, then I guess you'll have to make some more! (º.º)
Kind of like "If you give a Mouse a Cookie"

Here is what you need:

8oz tub Cool Whip (thawed)
Small Box (3.4oz) Any Flavor Pudding I used Vanilla
1 Cup of Milk
Cake Mix of your choosing, or anything else you want to frost (I made Red Velvet)
2 tablespoons up to 1/3 Cup of Powdered Sugar (Optional, and depends on how sweet you want it, I used about 2 tablespoons)
Food Coloring (Optional)

In Medium size bowl mix 1 cup of milk with the pudding mix, whisk until it gets thick.

Fold in Tub of Cool Whip ( Powdered Sugar,and Food coloring if you chose to add it.)

Make sure its Mixed well...

That's It! Wasn't that easy!?

Frost cake...
If your like us and don't like your cake cold and you have made it for a special occasion, you could always frost it right before serving, it doesn't take long at all! Or if its just for the family frost it as you eat it,like we did.

 Just sweet enough for my sweet tooth!! But not to sweet...



Comments Welcome!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tips & Tricks

I added another category,  so I switched the name of the post from Craft Tips to Tips & Tricks


**When using a stencil to paint, begin painting on the edges of the stencil, working toward the center, rather than from the center outwards. This helps prevent paint from getting under the edges.

**Apply the lightest color first when stenciling and blend to create multiple color tones.

**Use as little paint as possible when stenciling. Less is more

**When painting on glass be sure to prep the surface first by cleaning it with rubbing alcohol. This will remove any oils on the surface that might keep the paint from sticking to the glass. And after you clean it be sure not to touch the surface as this will transfer oils from your hands.

**After painting, set your brushes in fabric softener for about 10 minutes and then clean as usual. This works for brushes used for all types of paint, even oil based paints. You can also use  hair conditioner after using acrylic paint.

**Recycle large plastic lids by using them for a painter’s palette or cutting them up for stencils. I use a ice cream bucket lids for a palette when I paint.

Punch 3 to 4 holes in lip of paint can using a nail. This allows the paint in the lip to drip back into can while allowing the lid to make a better seal keeping the paint fresh.


**Keep glue sticks for glue guns in the freezer. It keeps them from getting stringy while gluing.

**Heat from a blow drier causes strings of hot glue to disintegrate immediately.

**Repurpose clear glass jars as containers. Baby food jars are ideal for small items like beads and jewelry-making supplies, medium sized jars can hold buttons and large jars can hold markers and colored pencils.

**Install simple curtain rods or towel bars on one wall of a closet or utility room to hang rolls of wrapping paper.

**Use clear, plastic containers to group similar items - craft supplies are easier to find and use if you can see the contents of the containers that hold them.
**To clean rubber stamps use baby wipes immediately after stamping. Baby wipes are already acid-free and gentle.

**Lubricate craft punches before using them by punching wax paper.

**If your scissors start to go a little blunt, grab some aluminum foil and cut that to sharpen up the scissors, you can also use sand paper for the same effect.

**Shoelaces make perfect drawstrings for small projects, such as bags or children's clothes, and they come in a variety of colors to match any project.

**Store pipe cleaners for kid’s crafts inside of a paper towel tubes


**Paperclips make great stitch counters. Just pop one on the stitch you want to mark. Safety pins work great too, and are a little easier to put on and take off.

**If your knitted item tends to curl at the edges, adding a row of single crochet may flatten it out.


**To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.

 **To create natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants

I will be adding more tips as I find them...

If you have some favorite craft tips you'd like to share, send me a message,or leave a comment and I'll add them to the list.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

(Tender) Beef Bottom Round Steak

Tender Baked Bottom Round Steak(s) ~ picture added 8-29-13

Recently my grocery store had Bottom Round Steaks on sale, Buy One Get One... I always used to cook these on the grill and they were a little on the tough side but they always tasted good! The last time my husband came shopping with me and I was looking at these, and he said "these are NOT steaks, get a Rib Eye, or a T-bone or something, those are steaks!  ¯\(°_o)/¯    So... I didn't get any steaks for a couple weeks.(•̪●)  Eventually I did break down and bought a couple Rib Eye's , I just couldn't resist a juicy steak cooked on the grill.  Well last week I went ahead and bought a couple of the Bottom Rounds and thought to myself  "I'll just cook them some other way"  Hence, this blog post. I just couldn't pass up that sort of deal!
I admit, this is one of the tougher cuts of meat, but you can make it a lot more tender...
All you have to do is "fork it"  ;) 
It turned out good, and I plan on having it again. Oh and BTW my hubby liked it too! hehehe...

Here is what you need:

Bottom Round Steak or two (they do shrink considerably)
Your favorite Seasoning (I use Everglades Seasoning and Garlic Salt)
1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/3 Cup of Flour (I added some seasoning to the flour also)
1 Cup of either Beef Bouillon or Beef Broth (I used Bouillon)
1/2 Teaspoon(or more if you like) of either fresh Garlic (minced) or Minced Garlic from a jar. 

I use Everglades Seasoning in just about everything I make!!

First get a cutting board and place your meat on the board and poke the steak with the fork for about 2 minutes on each side.(trust me your arm will get tired!) The more pokes the better, this will help make it tender. Stop poking if it starts to rip. After I forked it, I put a little seasoning on and and rubbed a little olive oil on each side and let it sit in the fridge for a little over a hour. (You don't have to do this, unless you want to do a marinade, I just did because my hubby was working late and I didn't want to start it to early )  (•̮̮̃•̃)

When I was ready to cook it, I laid it in the flour mix and coated each side.
Coat with Flour/Seasoning, both sides.
Heat  the oil in the pan on Med. High, sear it on both sides. (Don't flip to soon or it wont have a nice crust on it, or the flour mixture will come off.)
Sear Meat on both sides
Once seared put it in a baking dish with the Broth and Minced Garlic. Cover with foil and bake it at 350 degree's for about 30-40 minutes or until it pulls apart with a fork easily.
When it is done it will look something like picture below. We enjoyed ours with Mashed Potatoes and Corn. This had a nice flavor, and was tender!

Tender Baked Bottom Round Steak(s) ~ added pic 8-29-13

Tender Baked Bottom Round Steak

If you have any other ways to cook Bottom Round that makes it tender, please share with a comment and let us know!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Creamy Garlic Chicken & Pasta

When I saw this recipe I thought maybe is was similar to a dish that I loved from Macaroni Grill. The one I had from there had shrimp in it. I don't even know what the dish was called, its been forever ago since I have had it, and the last time I went they no longer had it on the menu. They did try to replicate it for me, but it wasn't the same :(  This dish is not, I discovered, the same as Macaroni Grill, but it's really good! It has a rich, creamy flavor,that you will love!! You could most definitely substitute shrimp for the chicken in this recipe, Chicken is just what I had on hand, but I'm using shrimp next time! I was thinking that this would only serve two, but it made a lot more than I thought!! I was going to use Risotto, but my local store doesn't carry it. :(  Have to drive a little further next time to get some.

Here is what you need:

3 medium sized Chicken Breasts (cooked on the grill)
2 + teaspoons Olive Oil (my Minced Garlic is in Olive Oil)
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced (can be fresh if you prefer)
2 tablespoons Butter
3 cups Chicken Broth
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 box or 1/2 lb Angel Hair Pasta Or Risotto
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup Whipping or Heavy Cream
Parsley for color

In a med. size pot, place olive oil to low-medium heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for about 2 minutes. (don't forget about it while getting the other ingredients prepared, like I did, and burn it! was way past caramelization, but we won't talk about that :p  ) Mix in the butter until melted. Add the chicken stock salt, and pepper. Raise the heat and let it come to a boil. Once it is  boiling add the pasta and cook till al dente. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the Parmesan until completely melted. Add the Whipping Cream and Parsley, turn off the heat.

This was even more flavorful the next night, that is, if you have any left over :)

Let me know how yours turns out or what you added to it!

Comments Welcome!!

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