April 8, 2015

Marvelous Molds Review

I LOVE this product from Marvelous Molds and I've finally had the time to sit down and play with it and perfect my technique.

My first few tries were incredibly frustrating.  I watched several instructional videos, all done by different people and they made it look so easy....I however....ya, I had a few issues.  My biggest problem was how to get a clean sharp cut edge.  Finally I realized that fondant and gum paste has to be rolled thin so that the silicone mold cuts through completely.  Once I figured that out, I was golden.

(There's a little gold spot on my white fondant, this was FIXED prior to the event)

For this cake I used 50/50 mix (fondant/gumpaste) and colored it a deep yellow then painted it gold with Aztec Gold luster dust.  It took a few coats to get the shade of gold I was looking for but it went much faster than expected.

So at the end of the day, I really enjoy this product my only complaint is price!  My heavens they are so over priced its silly.  I paid around $28 bucks for a flimsy little piece of silicone.

April 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper Chicken Taquitos

I just tried these out on a group of young men and they APPROVED.  Enthusiastically.
They are super easy and I admit I enjoyed them as well!  These will be showing up on my dinner table quite often.

I also made a batch of CafĂ© Rio's Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing.  To Die For.

There are many recipes on the net which are all very similar.  This is my own combination of what I have found online and what my boys like.
1 packet dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
1 C. buttermilk
1 C. mayo
1 jalapeno chopped, remove seeds
juice of 1 lime
2 tomatillos, husked and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves coarsely chopped
Place all ingredients into a blender.
Blend on high for 2 minutes
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving
*My boys like to see a little 'chunkiness' in their dressing so I pulse the mixture a few times until I have small enough chunks that will pass through a squeeze bottle.  I remove about 1/4 cup of the dressing and set it aside.  Now I blend the rest of the dressing for the full 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes I add the reserved dressing back into the blender and pulse everything together a few more times. 
This is mainly for appearances.
**This dressing will go FAST.  I always make a double batch or more.

March 31, 2015

Grow Tulips in a Vase

Spring is here and its more beautiful than ever! This is my favorite time of year and I love decorating in new fresh pastels with flowers and buds everywhere.  Since tulips are one of my favorite flowers ever, I just adore this project.....

click here for details....

March 29, 2015

Homemade Cake Release

I love this stuff!  I've even made extra to give as gifts to family and my students....  Easy as pie.

Equal Parts
Vegetable Oil.
mix well by hand or with a mixer
Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  If mix separates simply remix.  This mix can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 months. 

Slow Cooker Bread

Ah!  I slow cooker everything I can.  I haven't tried this recipe yet but hope to soon....


March 12, 2015

Framed Chalkboard Calendar DIY

I have a super busy 13 year old son and keeping track of his schedule has become tricky.  My solution?  I purchased a big ol' framed  picture from our local thrift store, removed the glass, spray painted the frame red, applied chalkboard paint directly to the picture itself....that's it, a quick easy DIY chalkboard calendar was born!  Best part... total cost was under $10 bucks.  Winning!

(I'm doing several very thin coats of chalkboard paint so its not quite finished.  I will post pics when complete)

March 1, 2015

Tiramisu Brownie Bars

Betty Crocker offered up this fun recipe for easy Tiramisu Brownie Bars.  I cant wait to try it!
Thanks Betty!

Click here for instructions....

February 26, 2015

Chinese Chicken Salad

I love Chef-in-training, she has amazing recipes!  For some reason the Chinese Chicken Salad just screams spring to me.  I cant wait to try this, I think I'll add cucumbers and sprouts.  I think I'll even maybe try a different dressing like ginger sesame or even a yummy raspberry vinaigrette....

Click here for the recipe.....

February 24, 2015

Chalkboard Cake!

Oh.  My.  Gosh!  I LOVE this!
I didn't know if this would work but it did. 
I covered a cake in black fondant then used almond bark as the chalk to write on the cake just like a chalkboard. 

Allow fondant covered caked to sit over-night.  The bark doesn't write well on freshly rolled fondant.
Use a sharp knife to chip almond bark into pieces to be used as chalk.
Do not press too hard when writing or it will leave a mark in the fondant.
Don't worry about mistakes, the almond bark will actually erase off using just a dry paper towel.

Grow Green Onions! (basically forever)

So I saw this online and didn't believe it but then thought "hmmmm, why not try it?"  Uhm ya, it's totally true, they grow.

After cutting your green onions place the bulb end with roots in a jar and add a little water.  That's its, you're a green onion farmer. 


February 21, 2015

February 19, 2015

Meal Makeover Ideas from Cooking.com

I think most of us can agree that we get stuck in ruts when it comes to meal planning.  Kids have their favorites but they can get old, right?  Cooking.com just offered up some really amazing Meal Makeover Ideas that I cant wait to try.  The basic dish is there, its just jazzed up a bit.  Yay! 


February 14, 2015

DIY Laundry Soap

DIY Laundry Detergent CONCENTRATE

This is my first try at detergent concentrate so I still need to test it out a bit but I think I'm going to like it.

Here is my concentrate recipe.....

2 quarts water
2 bars grated soap (I use ZOTE or FELS NAPTHA)
2 C Borax
1 C Washing Soda
1 C Baking Soda

*Purex Crystals - optional

Pour water into a LARGE pan and bring to a simmer.  Slowly add grated soap and stir until it is all dissolved.  DO NOT WALK AWAY.  If it gets too warm you will have one heck of a giant soapy mess to clean up and you will be kicking yourself in the fanny whilst yelling WHY?  WHY?  WHY?  Seriously.  Don't walk away.   Once soap has dissolved, remove pan from heat and gradually add your dry ingredients.  (I put all the measured dry ingredients into a bowl and mix it up good before incorporating into your melted soap)

Stir for several minutes while ingredients are dissolving.

No place the whole pot in a cool place and set a timer for 5 minutes.  After five minutes, give the mix a good stir, it should be 'gelling' up.  Again let it sit for another 5 and stir again.  Complete these steps until your mixture has cooled.  It will turn into a rather odd texture, kind of like ice cream but the final product should be slightly dry.

Pour your laundry detergent concentrate in to a large container with a scoop or tablespoon.  I use 1-2 tablespoons per load.

Personalized Storybook

I'm always looking for that 'something special' and I definitely found it at Put Me In The Story.  I ordered the sweetest personalized book for my granddaughter and I'm incredibly happy with the final result.   Its so darn cute that I couldn't even wait for Valentines Day to give it to her, I wrapped it up and gave it to her the very next day!