Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Do It Yourself Monogram Ornaments

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First of all --- I did it!!!!!!  I have blogged everyday in February!!!!!!  Some days were harder than others and I am so glad that I took photos of food and crafts way before I started blogging.  That helped me tremendously.   I think I will take a rest for a few days!!

A while ago I made some monogram ornaments and could not believe how easy they were to do!  You just need some paint pens (found at the craft area in Walmart or your favorite craft store), either clear or solid color ornaments (mine were all glass ornaments), and some coordinating ribbon.

Practice drawing your initial on paper with a pencil before attempting on the round curved ornament.  Find something to put your ornaments in/on while they are drying --

I painted the initial and some dots on one side and allowed them to dry overnight.  The next day I added more dots to the back and allowed to dry.  I added little dots and added time for them to dry, too.  I am paranoid about letting them dry so I would put them out of the way and let them dry overnight.  I did quite a few of them at a time and made sure there was plenty of time to dry.

I added coordinating ribbon to finish --

I believe it's never too soon to start thinking about Christmas, especially when it comes to making gifts or decorations.  But, this was Lucy's reaction to Christmas so soon --

I am linking to No Minimalist Here's Open House Party.  See all the great ideas by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stuffed Banana Peppers in a Crockpot

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Mr. Cardigan loves these!!!  I make it in the fall when the peppers are plentiful in our area.  Love it when I can make something easy in a crockpot.

For Stuffed Banana Peppers you will need -

banana peppers
1 pkg. Italian sausage
marinara sauce

When selecting your banana peppers keep in mind that these will need to be stuffed.   Clean the banana peppers and slice off both ends and discard.  Scoop out the insides - making sure to get the seeds - discards this also.  Just open the package of Italian sausage and using a spoon begin stuffing the sausage into the pepper as best you can.  I like to pour about a half jar of sauce in the crockpot first to help prevent the peppers from sticking to the bottom.  Place the stuffed peppers in the crockpot.  Pour marinara sauce over the peppers (I usually use 2 jars total).

Cook all day on low - which I usually do for about 8-9 hours.

Here are the banana peppers after being cleaned --

Ends cut off and insides scooped --

Banana pepper all stuffed --

Place in the crockpot --

Covered with sauce and cooking --

Love these with mashed potatoes and a vegetable --

You know how everyone takes their own photo by stretching their arm and hoping they get their face and not the ceiling???  Lucy and I tried this --

Clearly we need more practice!!!!

I am linking to How To Nest For Less - Party With My Peeps.  Just click here for other recipes, crafts, or decorations.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick & Easy Veggies w/Dip to Serve Guests

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If you are having a small number of guest over for a gathering try this quick and easy way to serve individual fresh vegetables with dip --

I had served these at my Cookie Exchange at Christmas.

First, find appropriate glasses so you will know what size is good for your vegetables before you cut them.

I had the fresh vegetables all ready, but did not assemble it all until shortly before serving.

Put your favorite Ranch Dressing in the bottom of the glass.

Then, display your fresh veggies on top of the dip.

This allows your guests to have a nice assortment of  veggies and not take room on the regular plate.

I had baby carrots, green peppers, snap peas, and celery.  But, you could have some fresh mushrooms, baby ears of corn, green onions, etc.


This is what Lucy thinks of eating vegetables --

Now - meat or seafood is another story!!!!

I am linking to A Southern Fairytale Linky Party.  Just click here to see lots of great recipes!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Another Obsession - COOKIE CUTTERS!!!!!

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Continuing with some of my obsessions - look at all my cookie cutters --

I have cookie cutters for every holiday or for any party or get together I might ever have!!!  I have them packaged according to category and also have them in a little notebook that I carry in my purse so if I see one that I love I can easily check to see if I already have a similar one.  I have no idea how many I have and don't really want to know!!!!

I just realized that I had a few (?) more that I have collected but not yet put in storage bags --

I also just realized that I don't have a cat cookie cutter -- but Lucy says that I can use her profile to make one --

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Favorite -- Crockpot Peanut Clusters

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I made these the other day - even though I had all the ingredients since Christmas but never got around to making them.  Oh my -- these are the best!!!  And, so easy!!!!

Crockpot Peanut Clusters

16 oz. jar unsalted peanuts
16 oz. jar salted peanuts
12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
2 - 12 oz. bags peanut butter chips
2 lbs. White Almond Bark, broken in pieces

Layer ingredients in order listed in a large crockpot.  Put the crockpot on low and cover with the lid.  Just leave as is - don't remove the cover.  Check back after 2 hours and stir it real good.  Put the lid back on and come back after 30 minutes.  Stir again and everything should be nice and melted.

Line cookie sheets with wax paper and spoon the mixture onto this.  Allow to harden - at least 1 hour.

UPDATE:  Those of you that are crockpot users know that the newer crockpots are hotter than the older versions.  If you have a newer crockpot (as I do now) then just cut in half the above cooking times.  Those cooking times were using an older crockpot that has since been replaced.

These are sooooo good!!  I was afraid that the chocolate would be real soft and come off on your hands, but that is not the case at all.

Here are all the ingredients --

(note - when I bought everything during the holidays the store I was at did not have the peanut butter chips, but had 11 oz. bags of a combo of peanut butter & milk chocolate chips.  So, I bought 3 bags of those and made up those extra 3 oz. with semi-sweet chips.)

All in the crockpot --

It barely fit in the crockpot, but it did!  I wasn't sure if I would be able to stir it -- but that was not a problem.  This was after stirring the first time after 2 hours --

Now, after 30 minutes and stirred again --

Cookie sheets all ready and lined with wax paper --

Mixture spooned onto cookie sheets --

After they had hardened --

I know that I will be making this plenty of times!!  In fact right this minute Mr. Cardigan is munching on these - but he rolled his eyes when I said that I would be making this a lot.  I added that I would be giving them as gifts -- hope he takes that 'eye roll' back!!!!

Lucy sure does get in some funny positions sleeping --

I am linking to I Heart Nap Time Sundae Scoop Link Party.  Check out some amazing recipes and crafts by clicking here.
I Heart Nap Time