Saturday, March 31, 2012

Watch out World

Tomorrow will be the 7 month anniversary for my Etsy shop (minus December because I took a long vacation from making boots to regain my sanity). It's been so nice to have something for me, something that's mine, something I've created, something I've seen grown, and I've seen go all around the world. I threw this map together to show all of the places my little white box of boots have gone. I'm just five sales away from selling a total of 200! 

I've been so excited to see those boots go to Australia, Norway, Taiwan, Greece, Germany and France. I just wanted to take a minute to document all of this, so I remember how nuts I was. I'm excited to see where the next 7 months take me! Now it's time to gear up for Swiss Days.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Coconut Chicken

(recipe inspired from Best Bites)

Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders
12 chicken tenders
1 cup chopped coconut
1 cup shredded Parmesan 
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 
Combine the coconut, Parmesan, Panko bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and curry powder. Set aside in a small bowl. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Put the flour out on a plate. 
Prepare a foil-lined and greased baking sheet.
Put about a cup of the coconut and bread crumb mixture on a plate. (You don't want to dump out the entire mixture because the Panko bread crumbs are super absorbent and after a few chicken tenders is won't stick. So dip a few chicken tenders, and then pour out more crumbs as you go along). 
Dip a chicken tender in the flour, shake off excess. Dip in the eggs. Place the chicken tender in the crumb mixture, make sure to cover both sides. Place on the baking sheet. 
I used my Misto to spray some olive oil (or just drizzle some olive oil) over top the chicken to create a more crispy coating. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes until chicken is no longer pink inside and the coating has turned a nice golden brown. 

Try this dipping sauce! It was perfect with the chicken. 

Dipping Sauce
1 cup of apricot-pineapple preserves
2 tsp. Soy sauce
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. pineapple juice

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Turkey Chili

On a stormy, rainy, and "chilly" afternoon, this is a perfect, quick meal to dish up. 

Turkey Chili
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 small can of green chilies
1 can of black beans
1 can of pinto beans (you can use red kidney beans if you like those better)
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 lb. of ground turkey
½ cup of chopped onion
1-2 gloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of water
2 Tbsp. of chili powder (or more – the more the better!)
¼ tsp. of black ground pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese
Add salt and pepper to taste 

In a large sauce pan, brown the ground turkey. When it is no longer pink, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Also add in the chili powder and black pepper. Once the onion starts to soften add in all the canned ingredients (diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilies, beans, and corn), and water. Bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Top it off with a little cheese and cilantro. Delish! It makes enough to feed 6 – 8 people, or left overs for lunch!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Baby Shower

I had so much fun hosting a baby shower for one of my best friends. It was fun to get everything together. I didn't get a picture of all the food, because once it was out, we were diving at it! It turned out really cute. It was fun!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Swiss Days

I just got accepted as a vendor for the Midway Swiss Days! Words can't not describe how I'm feeling...but here are a few: excited, scared, anxious, nervous, thrilled, overwhelmed, etc. 

Am I crazy for doing this!? This is the craft fair of all craft fairs. There's about 180 vendors, and they anticipate anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000 people in attendance. It's absurd. I applied because I didn't want to regret not trying...and then surprisingly I got accepted! Now I have to contemplate if this is really feasible or not. When there's a will, I'm sure...some how...there is a way. I have a few weeks to decide for sure. Wish me luck! Am I crazy? Yes, I think very much so. Hopefully people will like my little boots!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chocolate Mint Cookies

My father-in-law told me that these were "one of the best cookies I've ever eaten!". They really are quite a treat.

Chocolate Mint Cookies
1 Devil's Food Chocolate Cake Mix
1/4 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Ande's Mint Baking Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour your cake mix into you mixing bowl. Slowly mix in the flour, egg, water, and vegetable oil. Mix until combined. Add the Ande's baking chips.

On a lightly greased baking sheet, place small balls of dough an inch or so apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. I like baking 15 cookies at a time, then keeping some dough in the fridge or freezer, so that I can have fresh warm cookies at a later date.


Woman to Child - Refasion

My mother-in-law had a big ole' pile of clothes she was going to give-a-way, so I took advantage and stole a few! There was a sweater vest that first caught my eye. It had such a cute print. So I decided to make my little girl a dress! Literally 10 minutes. I sewed in the sides. Cut off the excess, and used the excess to make a ruffle. Voila! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Green Dinner

Last year I made a green dinner and we loved it. I love a good excuse to do something silly, like put green food coloring in everything. *(See noted recipes below) 
Our meal consisted of:
A green baguette with Parmesan cheese
 Green pasta, 
with a *Mushroom Parmesan Sauce, and shredded chicken,
naturally green broccoli,  
green grape and kiwi fruit salad (recipe here)
 and *Mint Oreo Ice Cream Cake.

Mushroom Parmesan Sauce
1 can of reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup fat-free plain Chobani yogurt
1/2 cup skim-milk
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Empty can of cream of mushroom soup into a medium-size sauce pan. At a medium-heat slowly whisk in the Chobani yogurt and skim milk. When it comes to a soft boil add in the Parmesan cheese, stir until the cheese is completely melted. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Either pour on top of your pasta, or fold your pasta in and completely cover.

Mint Oreo Ice Cream Cake
1 package of Oreo's (about 36 Oreo's)
3 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar
2/3 cup hot fudge, melted
3 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened

Take your ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften while you're doing the other first few steps.
Take 2 of the 3 sleeves of Oreo's and crush them up (I actually did it in the blender so that the crumbs were very fine, but I've also smashed them by hand for a more chunky crust). Melt the butter. Add the butter and sugar to the crushed Oreo mix. Stir until well combined. In a greased pie dish, pat in the Oreo crust.

For an extra chocolatey cake, you can do a layer of fudge after the Oreo's, a layer or ice cream, fudge, and ice cream. Otherwise you can just spread out half of the softened ice cream over the Oreo crust, a layer of fudge, and the rest of the ice cream.

Crumble the rest of the Oreo's and sprinkle over top. Put in the freezer for at least 1-2 hours before serving so that it will solidify.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

French Dip Roll-Ups

French Dip Roll-Ups
1/2 lb. freshly sliced roast beef (get from a deli)
Crescent Rolls (8 pack - reduced fat)
2 slices of swiss cheese (cut one slice into quarter pieces)
1 Au Jus mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Lay crescent roll flat, layer the roast beef and then cheese. Roll up with all of the goodies inside. 
Bake for 11-13 minutes. 
Make Au Jus according to package directions. 

Dip the roll-up in the au jus, and enjoy! Quick, easy, delicious. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls

Warning!! If you are on a diet... do not make these, don't even come close. I came across this recipe, and had to try them. I got the recipe here at Mel's Kitchen Cafe - there are a whole lot of recipes I want to try there. They all look so delicious!

These rolls were so soft, so flavorful, and so finger-licking good.

Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 1/2 oz. package instant vanilla pudding
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
6 + cups flour

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups of confectioner's sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk

- In a small bowl combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let it sit until it gets bubble (about 5 minutes). 
- In a large bowl make the instant vanilla pudding according to package directions. Add in the melted butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. 
- Mix in the yeast mixture. 
- Slowly add in the flour. (I used my kitchen aid mixer as I added in 6 cups of flour. But then I put the dough on a floured surface and used my hands to knead almost entire extra cup of flour. You do not want to over-flour the dough, but you always want it to be smooth and not too sticky. 
- Grease a large bowl, and put in your ball of dough. Cover with a clean towel and let the dough double in size. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen this may take up to an hour. 
- While your dough is rising, in a small bowl combine your brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling. 
- Roll out on a greased surface to about a 2' x 3' rectangle. 
- Spread out your room temperature butter over the entire surface of the dough. 
- Sprinkle your sugar and cinnamon mixture over the dough. 
- Roll the dough very tightly towards you. 
- Either use a piece of fine string (floss, etc.) or a sharp serrated knife to cut about every 1 1/2 inches. Depending on the size of your rolls you should have about 2 dozen rolls. 
- Place on a lightly greased sheet about an inch or so apart. 
- Cover and let them double in size again. (They will also expand while they cook, so don't let them rise too long)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until they turn a light golden brown. 

While the rolls are baking make your yummy frosting. Use a mixer to combine your cream cheese, vanilla and butter (make sure the butter is room temperature - if it's too cold then it'll be lumpy). Slowly add in your confectioner's sugar.  Add milk for your desired consistency. Make sure to frost them while they're warm. 


Friday, March 9, 2012

High-Waisted Skirt

I bought a skirt a few months ago on clearance that was being discontinued. I love it so much that I made a copy-cat! This was super ambitious of me. But I basically traced the skirt, and piece by piece I was so excited to come up with this!! The fabric totally makes the skirt. The cuteness of the fabric hides my little flaws :) You can find the fabric here. Make sure to use a 50 % off coupon that Joann's has all of the time. I used just barely over a yard of fabric too. A cute skirt for under $10!

The pockets make me happy. I like this style I just might make another one! (If so, I'll try and do a tutorial). 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Little Man Fashion

I have one little girl. My sibling all have girls too! So when I found out my sister-in-law was going to have a boy, I got excited to try out some of these baby boy onesies. (Hopefully she won't see these pictures before she gets her package!) Although there seems to be endless possibilities for dressing a little girl, there are still some very cute ways to dress you baby boy too! I know these are far from perfect, but fun nonetheless. 
Tie and suspenders - dressy casual
Tie and vest - formal wear
Etch-A-Sketch (fun play-date attire) 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
1 Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 container of cream cheese frosting
Melting chocolate

I used a Chocolate Fudge cake mix for these chocolate cupcakes. Make according to package. 

I took a cheap metal serving dish, cut out small enough holes to hold up the cones. When filling up the cones with the cupcake batter do not fill them all the way to the top, leave about 1/2 of an inch to allow for them to rise a bit. 

The only tricky thing is to cook them for 22-25 minutes at 350 degrees. This is a bit longer than cooking most cupcakes. Since the cupcakes are in the cones they take a bit longer. 

Allow them to cool. Melt a bowl full of frosting for just 10-15 seconds. Dip the cones in the frosting. Feel free to double dip if you want a bit more frosting. 

Melt your chocolate and drizzle over cupcakes. Top with sprinkles and a cherry on top!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Creamy Fruit Salad

I used grapes and blueberries. Feel free to use apples, oranges, bananas, raspberries, blackberries, whatever you'd like. 

Creamy Fruit Salad
1 lb. green seedless grapes, washed and dried
1 lb. red seedless grapes, washed and dried
8 oz. blueberries, washed and dried
8 oz. fat free Chobani Greek yogurt
4 oz. light cream cheese
2 Tbsp. sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Washed and dry all of the fruit you're using. Make sure it is dried well. Cut the grapes in half, and cut other fruit you use in smaller than bite size pieces.
Mix the yogurt, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until very well combined. You may want to use a hand-mixer to try and get it nice and smooth.
Add the fruit to the yogurt mixture. Put in a large serving dish.
Combine the brown sugar and nuts. Sprinkle of fruit mixture. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

I could eat this all day. It's a great snack, and sweet little treat after dinner.