Re-fashioned T-Shirt

Every year, my daughter Kinley has college week at her school.  Each day involves a theme and one of the days she needed to wear her favorite college shirt.  Unfortunately we didn’t have one in her size but no worries… we found a way! My sister-in-law and I began researching “no-sew” fitted t-shirts and found this DIY project.  We took one of my husbands old college shirts (out of about 1,000) and found a simple and cute way to dress it up.  This project took about an hour total and cost me an old t-shirt = FREE.

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We went through Russell’s closet and selected this one for our Project.  We cut off the bottom so the edges would roll up. Then we cut the sides of the shirt all the way up the side and even the sleeve. Note: Make sure the cut is as straight as it can be, the only thing that should be still stuck together after this step is the neck of the shirt.

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Then we cut about one inch strips all the way up the side and even the sleeve.
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We tied the strips into knots, like you would tie a shoelace or string into a knot. (don’t pull too hard but make sure its tight enough so the knot won’t fall out). Do this step to both sides of the shirt.
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 Cut the neck as big as you wish and cut the end of the sleeves off of the shirt. we decided to tie knots all the way around the sleeves but you can design or make unique for your liking.
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The rest is yours to decorate how you would like.  We added a few bows and made a cute headband to match.
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Go Red Raiders!

DIY Bath Bombs

These bath bombs were a whole lot of fun to make and super easy.  You can customize it to your liking by choosing your preferred essential oil.   I decided to use lavender because I’ve read it’s a great therapeutic agent that is used to help with relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep.  This is definitely a great addition to the kiddos bedtime routine and they love watching them fizz as it releases it’s great aroma. 20130913-135606.jpg

Here’s what you need!

 makes 4 small bath bombs
2 TBS Baking Soda
1 TBS Cream of Tartar
Food Color or liquid Dye (you can find at any craft store)
½ teaspoon Essential Oil (lavender)
Spray Bottle of Water
Soap Mold or Ice Cube Tray

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Add 2 TBS Baking Soda to bowl. Then add 1 TBS Cream of Tartar and ½ teaspoon lavender or Essential Oil. Next, add your food color. (I would suggest that if using food coloring to color these, make sure you use non-toxic vegetable based color.  Safer for everyone, especially for children.  Stir it up and add a couple of sprays of water and keep stirring. You want to get it where it is just sticking together without adding too much water. NOTE: Only add a couple of sprays of water at a time or your bombs will lose their fizz. Put your bath bombs in a soap mold or ice tray, and leave over night to dry out. NOTE: The amount this recipe makes all depends on how big your molds are.  You can really make them as large or as small as you would like.  You can make them the size of a baseball or the size of your thumbnail.  you can double the recipe and make more than four at a time.  I decided to make one batch at a time and change the colors during each of the batches.

20130913-190251.jpgIn the morning your bath bombs will be ready to remove from the mold. When ready just drop your bomb in the bath you can watch it fizz as it releases its sent and colors your water! These bath bombs can stay good up to 1 year as long as they are stored in a dry, cool place that is out of the sun.  ENJOY!!

Birthday Cake

Making a good, fluffy, homemade cake has been a challenge that I have failed at over and over again.  I have tried many and they always turn out flat or hard.  After making an awesome strawberry cake recently from a box, I set out determined to learn how to make a good basic cake.  It was a lot of work, but it turned out well.

Here is what you need: (I modified it from Martha Stewart’s cake 🙂 )

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 egg whites at room temperature

3/4 cup milk at room temperature

2 cups cake flour

1 cup sugar

1 TBS baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

20130819-082846.jpgOne of the steps I often skip when baking is bringing ingredients down to room temperature.  I rarely think about it ahead of time and when I am ready to cook, I just don’t have the time to wait.  But, since I have had so many failed attempts at cakes I decided to do it right this time.

 

20130819-082901.jpgPut your flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.

20130819-082914.jpgSift together.  (Yet another step I always skip…… )

20130819-082934.jpgIn a mixer, whisk together your eggs, butter, extracts and sugar until well combined.

Mix in your dry ingredients a little at a time until well blended.

20130819-083123.jpgPour into 2 9-inch, well-greased, cake pans.  Cook on 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

20130819-083135.jpgCool, ice and make your little birthday princess HAPPY!!!!

S’mores Pancakes

They say great achievements involve great risk.

 no regrets… it was worth every last calorie:)

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8 large graham crackers
(or 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
16-20 large marshmallows
6 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
maple or chocolate syrup, for serving

In a food processor, grind the graham crackers until they are crushed into very fine crumbs. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and pulse until well combined. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture until pancake batter is well combined and has a very slightly lumpy texture.  Heat a large nonstick pan or griddle to medium-high heat.  Dollop batter onto pan and cook until golden, then flip and cook the second side until golden. Pancakes can be made any size; I aim for 4-5 inches across. Cook all the pancakes (approximately a dozen 4-5 inch pancakes) and set aside on a cooling rack.

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Preheat the broiler.  Arrange 2/3 of the pancakes on a baking sheet . Cut marshmallows in half and arrange evenly on top of the pancakes. Top each with about 1/2-oz dark chocolate.  Slide tray under the broiler and cook until marshmallows are toasted, about 1-2 minutes. When they are toasted, immediately stack them up 3 high, topping two marshmallow pancakes with a plain pancake.
Serve immediately, topped with remaining chocolate and maple or chocolate syrup.  Enjoy!

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Copy Cat Sonic Pretzel Dog

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Over the summer Sonic came out with these awesome Pretzel dogs.  The first time I stopped through for happy hour, I knew I had to have one.  So I did.

 

And t was awesome.

 

My first step was to perfect the bun.  I did that here.

 

The rest was pretty easy.  I grilled some hot dogs, grated some cheese and fried up some bacon.  (Ok…well it was not REAL bacon.  It was turkey bacon.  I know. I know…. Not the greatest thing in the world, but a girl has to do what she can to make sure that she can button her jeans, right?)  The result was a pretty fantastic replica of the pretzel dog.  YUM!

 

Fresh Strawberry Cake

As a general rule I do not like fruity desserts.  If I am going to consume an entire days worth of calories in one plate it must include chocolate, caramel, brownies, ice cream, nuts, or Oreos.  Seriously.  Fruit is not a dessert.

Or so I thought.

A friend of mine had me over for dinner recently and she had fixed this amazing strawberry cake.  It was melted in your mouth, think about it the next day, awesome!  So I asked her for the recipe…..lucky for you (not for my waistline! 🙂 )

Here is what you need:

1 box of white cake

1 small box of strawberry flavored jello

3 TBS flour

1/4 cup oil

4 eggs

1/4 cup water

1 1/3 cup fresh strawberries, sliced and divided

3 TBS sugar

1/2 cup butter softened

2 cups powdered sugar

20130818-191609.jpgPut your strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar on top.  Set aside for about 30 minutes.

20130818-191621.jpgDump your cake mix, jello, oil, water, and flour into a mixer.  Turn on low and add one egg at a time. Mix well.

20130818-191632.jpgAdd half of your strawberries and mix well.

20130818-191646.jpgFill two 9 inch, well-greased, cake pans.  Bake on 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Until a toothpick comes out clean.

20130818-191710.jpgWhile your cake cools, make the icing.  Cream your butter.

20130818-191722.jpgSlowly add the powdered sugar and the remaining strawberries.

20130818-191750.jpgThis can be tricky.  It all depends on how much juice your strawberries make.  If they are extra juicy it can make your icing too runny.  If that happens you can always add a little powdered sugar until you get a good consistency.

20130818-191801.jpgOnce your cake has cooled, cut just enough off one of the cakes to make a flat surface for layering the cake.

20130818-191812.jpgCover with icing and place the other cake on top.

20130818-191826.jpgIce the remaining of the cake.  Then……..ENJOY!!!

Vanilla Crepes

My sister-in-law introduced us to her families famous crepes recipe this past weekend and they were seriously good! I mean, I can’t believe I’ve never had a crepe before!!  Oh em gee… they were IMPRESSIVE .  She made a large batch ahead of time and brought them over.  It was super easy to assemble them quickly so that everyone could eat at the same time.  The kiddos gobbled them up and wanted more!  So put on your seat belt and give this recipe a try.  You can put anything you like on crepes the limit is endless.  They make for a great lunch, dinner, or just smear one with butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, rolled up and eaten by hand as  a yummy snack.

20130904-085119.jpgIngredients:

2 cups milk

1 and 1/3 cup flour

1 egg

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

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 Mix all those ingredients in a large bowl and whisk the mixture until lumps dissolve.

Heat frying pan until very hot (on high heat on stove top), spray it with a non-stick spray and, using a soup ladle, pour small amount of batter into the frying pan as you roll the pan from side to side just enough to cover the bottom of the pan evenly with a thin layer of crepe batter. Depending on the size of your soup ladle, you could use a whole ladle-ful, or less. It also depends on the diameter of your skillet. The key is to cover the bottom of the pan with just a slightly thick layer of batter, don’t coat it too thickly.

Let this thin layer of crepe batter cook for 1,2 or 3 minutes, depending on your pan (the subsequent crepes will require much less time to cook than the first time as the pan heats up even more), then flip the crepe to the other side and let it cook for another minute on the other side. This way, you cook each crepe 1-2 minutes on each side. To flip the crepe, pick up the sides of the crepe around its circumference, gradually reaching towards the center of the crepe from all sides, until the crepe separates from the pan. How to know when it’s time to flip the crepe? When you pour the batter, it will be wet in the frying pan but gradually bubbles will be forming and batter will start to dry. When it’s all bubbles and no liquid batter – it’s time to flip!

As each crepe gets done, transfer it to the plate and add each new crepe on top of previous crepe in the stack.

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Once you have them ready, slather it up with butter add your favorite fruit or crème cheese filling and sprinkle with powder sugar and for an extra added bonus drizzle with chocolate sauce.  YUM.

And cheers to all the people who have never had crepes before… 🙂

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