Monday, August 22, 2011

Crafty Creations : Part 5

AMAZING ! Simply amazing ! Looking back at these pictures wows me ! 4 1/2 projects and all insanely successful !? AMAZING

Okay this is a really random post but still blog worthy in my opinion.

My sweet sweet friend saw my first "one shoulder" el cheapo dress and really really wanted one to wear to ECU football games.  We saw some on a website and were SHOCKED at the price, oh no, so I got creative :)  Here we are making her purple and gold dress, it's almost finished ... and was made out of a polo shirt and a t-shirt soo hummm less than $10 bucks.

And in case my mom reads this, I made this dress the right way ... i.e. sewing a front and back top (lined with matching fabric) so the dress would hold it's structure for a very very long time.  All of mine have been quick and easy.  Hopefully I'll post a finished picture of the ECU gal dress soon !

And on another note, my husband, yeah don't leave him out ... his name is on the blog too ! This is one of my favorite "Charles ideas" that has allowed us to function very effectively in the kitchen...

We received a free sample of dish washing liquid in the mail a while ago (note the mini dispenser) but we buy the big boy to get the best value.  I have little hands and when they are slippery, lets just say that super huge guy is hard to hold.  Soooo my amazing husband, thought of this... simply use the little one (takes up less space on the counter, easy to handle, and cute) and keep the big daddy under the sink and refill when needed.  Man, am I blessed or what !? Seriously, I knew he was a keeper.

Okay, that's all for me.  Sorry I didn't post these earlier this weekend.  Be blessed !

From our kitchen to yours : still part of my super productive weekend

Whoa baby I was productive :) Here's a yummy treat that I absolutely adore, one of my favorite desserts EVER !!!

Ooey Gooey Bars
1 box devils food chocolate cake mix

1 egg, beaten
1 stick butter/margerine, melted

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1 stick butter/margerine, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

6 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c pecans/walnuts
1/2 c shredded coconut

Mix first 3 ingredients. Spread in 9x13 pan, greased.

Sprinkle chocolate chips, nuts and coconut over the top.

Mix next 5 ingredients. Beat well and pour over chocolate layer. Spread chips over. Bake 350 degrees 40-45 minutes. Let cool, cut, and enjoy! 

Drool ... they are soooo so good !
Yep, that easy and you will seriously WOW your guests.

Crafty Creations: Part 3

Super easy dress for under $6

So I bought a men's 2 XL t-shirt a while ago b/c it was cheap and I wanted a cute black dress. Here's how I did it. 

Big ole t-shirt

Draw cut lines with chalk or pencil

Cut on cut lines (jersey knit doesn't fray, but it does roll/lose it's shape sometime. Once again, this was a cheap weekend kinda dress so I didn't care :)  and, I hate hemming jersey knit, I am terrible at it, so I didn't. AND I cheated/was smart and used the bottom of the shirt as the bottom of the dress, which was already hemmed )

Try on once you've made cut lines.  Pin and sew to "tighten" around chest.

Once you've sewed side seams (flip dress inside out and straight stitch down side) Measure waist with 3/4 in elastic (any size will work)

Flip dress inside out.  Pin ribbon, yes plain ole ribbon around the "waist line" of the dress.  Sew a straight stitch at the top and bottom of the ribbon.  Make sure your ribbon as a start and a stop and a narrow 1 cm gap inbetween, I recommend in the back. This will allow you to thread your elastic waist into the "casing".

Attach a safety pin to the elastic and thread through the casing to create your gathered waistline.

Finished product. Sorry I don't look cute, hahaha I fixed my hair and wore some big dangley earrings with it the next day to a baby shower and recieved many compliments :)

There she is :) Go make one !

Crafty Creations: Pt 2

Precious Welcome Baby door "wreath"

I had seen these on Pinterest and really wanted to make one for a friend.  Well, that was easy, all of my friends are pregnant :), so happy for them !  Can't wait to join the club one day :) Anyhoo, see the pictures below and make one for your friend. Or, use the really really cheap idea for a wreath form and make door wreaths for every season/holiday !

Supplies (glue gun, $0.97 pipe insulation from Lowes, duct tape, fabric, scissors, felt, buttons, ribbon)

Cut the el cheapo tube in half and make a circle, secure with duct tape

Hot glue fabric around the form.  You can also cut a strip and wrap it around and around, I wanted mine to have some "ruffles"

Attach a bow to hang the wreath

Create cute little flowers out of felt circles hot glued together with a button in the middle

Hot glue "flowers" to the wreath

Cut a strip of coordinating paper and fold.  Draw triangles (having the largest part on the fold) and cut, to create your little flag pennant.

Write letters on each flag and secure onto embroidery thread with Tacky glue

Attach embroidery threat to wreath

Welcome lil Charlotte Mae (aka Charlie) Can't wait to meet you !

Crafty creations : What a productive weekend pt 1

Well, I had a creative itch and a half day at work on friday so I decided to be super productive :) Enjoy !

Mini Cupcakes from ketchup cups
Box cake mix ($1 all different flavors, soo easy)
zip lock bag
ketchup cups from burger king :)

Okay, for this first attempt, I used this recipe One bowl vanilla cupcakes for two because I only grabbed a handful of cups from BK and wanted to try it to see if this was actually a do-able project. This recipe is OK ... it's a little too dense for my liking but add a lil chocolate frosting, and it will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Line up the lil cups on a baking sheet and spray with non stick spray

Place ziplock bag in a cup to hold it up while you pour in batter.

Snip a small corner of the bag.

Fill cups 3/4 full

Bake at 350 for 15 mins

oh my teeny precious treasure

Turned out soooo well !
I will do this, many many more times with many different flavor combos :) Oh and FYI these are called souffle cups, not nut and candy cups. These are just paper, not wax or plastic.  To get your little treats out, simply let them cool, take your scissors and snip a little tiny edge of the rim, tear and enjoy !

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

From our kitchen to yours : Dinner and dessert

These are two tried and true staples here at the Barrett household.

Dinner : Pasta with Sauteed Veggies and Balsamic Butter Sauce
Soooo I'm pretty sure I made up this meal one day when we had a lot of veggies (peppers and vidalia onion) in the house.  I always have pasta and chicken on hand so I played around and it turned out great ! We probably have this meal once or twice a month.  It's packed with veggies and covered with a light but flavorful sauce ... I really think you'll like it !

Cooked pasta - your choice (whole wheat spaghetti, bow tie, radiatore is our newest fave)
Butter/margerine (whatever you use will work)
Balsamic Vinaigrette or italian dressing (we switch off, you could also add a little alfredo to make it creamy)
Chicken - cubed and sauteed
Veggies - we use green and red pepper, vidalia onion and carrots
Salt and Pepper

Chop veggies into semi large pieces, combine in a large bowl/bag and season with salt/pepper

Sautee veggies in butter, set aside

Boil pasta and melt 3 Tbsp of butter in warm pasta,  add a splash of Balsamic Vinaigrette/ Itailian dresing set aside

Sautee cubed chicken breast in butter and a bit of your vinaigrette and a splash of lemon, set aside

Now you're ready to fix your plate !

First, lay a bed of pasta, then cover with veggies and chicken. mMm this meal is soooo good !
Charles' plate !

My plate, with extra veggie and a sprinkle of cheese :)
I had some noodles to use up so I boiled the oh so fun radiatore and now we have leftovers !

Charles will probably get to it before me :(

Dessert : Indian Boil Cookies (Aunt Ethel's Surprise)
i.e. No Bakes or Cow Patties

some of the ingredients
Such a simple cookie, and I always have these ingredients in the house!

1/2 C Butter
2 C Sugar
1/2 C Milk
4 Tbsp Cocoa
1/2 C Peanut Butter
 3 C Quick cooking Oats
 2 tsp. Vanilla

Add the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Stir in the next 3 ingredients and drop onto wax/foil paper. Let cool until set.

Warning : do not make when it's raining outside, my mom always warned me of this and I don't listen sometimes. But, the other day I tried it in the rain and well, the texture just wasn't right :(

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From our kitchen to yours : Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Yep,  I put the word meatloaf in a blog title, and you know what ... that's what the post is about. PLEASE PLEASE DON'T STOP READING ! I know I haven't posted in a while and then I come at you full force with Meatloaf !? haha Welcome to my life ... speaking of my life, I've done other fun things lately but haven't posted on them, oops, sorry :( I blame it on my camera, gahlee it stinks! I need to research and get a new digital camera so I actually want to use it!

Made a bow holder and bows for a friends baby shower.

Made a dress to wear to a friends wedding w/o a pattern :)

Made headband and bows to go with the baby shower present.

See, I have a lot of fun, I just forget to post about it !
haha okay okay on to ... (trumpets and vibrant fan fare) 

Cracker Barrel Knock-Off Meatloaft Recipe
Ground beef, lean, 2.5 lb

Vidalia Onions, raw, 3/4 cup, chopped

Green Peppers, 1/2 cup, chopped

Egg, fresh, 2 large

Salt, 1 tbsp

Pepper, black, 3/4 tsp

Diced Tomatoes, 1 can

Biscuit crumbles, dry, grated, plain, 2 cups
    - This is the secret ingredient!  Make biscuits ( I used my tride and true Mayberry's finest Mix) or buy them at Bojangles. Let them cool and crumble them up into your "bread crumbs"

Ketchup, 1/2 cup and 1/8 cup brown sugar sauce for the topping


Combine all ingredients and press into a loaf pan or a pyrex 8x8 dish.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Drain off fat (very carefully).  This is a part I added : take meatloaf out of pan and cook on a wire rack (with aluminum foil and rimmed baking pan underneath). Add  ketchup brown sugar mixture to top and sides of loaf and bake for 30 more minutes.

I hope this picture makes sense.  Basically I took the aluminum and placed it on the top of the loaf, then put the wire rack on the aluminum, and then the rimmed pan.  I carefully flipped the loaf over, so the part that had been on the bottom was now on the top to ensure overall baking and good edges- my favorite part.
Remove from oven and let it set for 10 minutes. Cut into portions and enjoy ! We really enjoyed it, and it was very filling and delicious.  If you ever have a hankering for meatloaf (my husband loves Cracker Barrel's meatloaf and well being the crafty southern wife I am, I googled it and made it for him) this is the one you want to make :)

Complete with buttermilk biscuits and green beans.