Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Good morning my dear friends… how are you today? I am tired… so very tired LOL! My feet are sore from the mass amount of shopping that we did yesterday! Everyone had gift cards that were burning holes in their pockets (I must admit mine were getting a little warm too LOL!) so we made a day of shopping our cards with CONDITIONS of course! LOL… gotta hate those “strings attached deals” right? I told them we would shop til we drop today ONLY IF 1. They used no extra cash… only what money they had on the cards (It had to be a free shop day!) and 2. if ALL of them helped with housework and taking down decorations both inside and out! LOL… They had to agree to be my little slaves for the day! The sad part is… they had no problem with it??! Ugh… why can’t they be normal sometimes and hate housework like every other red-blooded American? LMAO no, I’m kidding… I am grateful they are so helpful. It makes life much easier. Anyway, so here are some pictures to share with you of our day out…

The gang getting ready for our adventure LOL!

The goodies after stop number 1!

The 2nd Hobby Lobby goodies!

We just hit Barnes & Nobles!

Alex after Toys R Us!

Joann's loot!

Target goodies!

Walmart load... can you tell I was starting to really hurt?

The final talley...

Okie dokie… whatcha think of that haul? I was pretty impressed if I do say so myself! And I was so proud! Nobody broke out any extra dinero for our “family day of shopping fun”. Believe you me… Momma hawk was watching LMAO! We hit Walmart, Target, JoAnn’s, 2 Hobby Lobbys, Sports Authority, Barnes & Nobles, Starbucks, and Toys R Us. It was fun, but by the end of the day I just wanted to go home and relax as I was in a lot of pain. If you are saying OMG she's in almost all the pics... yes I know and Frank was loving it cause I usually don't take pics! I had the most cards cause everyone gets me cards so I can buy exacty what I want/need. Its easier and causes no hard feelings. No worries about regifting, or something not fitting, etc. I'll admit I'm hard to shop for and I love gift cards! LOL... ok looking at the loot from all the craft stores brings me to a craft idea to share with you-

BLANKETS… Its never to late to think “gifts”… be it for a Birthday, Christmas, you name it. Chances are sooner or later you will need one! Well I am gonna tell you about an easy, no sewing idea! Fleece blankets… have you ever seen those blanket “no-sew” kits in craft stores? Try one… they are easy! Or if you see a fleece that you like, grab 2 yards of it and 2 yards of a solid color. Place the 2 pieces “wrong sides” together and lay it flat where there are no gathers. Then go along all the edges and cut strips about 4 inches long. Tie the 2 strips together in a knot. When you get around the whole piece of fabric and it has frills on all sides… that means your done! And warm… OMG are they soft and warm! You see this blue camo one I made last night with fleece I got yesterday during our shop (mind you its folded in 4ths)… its our school color (blue & white) so I will use it during football season too! But I slept with it and actually was sweating last night LOL and it was in the 30’s here! My family all have blanket fetishes LMAO and my husband alone has like 5 olr 6 blankets on his side of the bed! Same with my kids… and they each got one for Christmas this year. Alex got toy story, Madison got music notes, and Michael got John Deere. Now Frank wants a fishing one from fleece he saw yesterday LOL! I picked up 2 clearanced Christmas ones (at 70% off) to make and sell in my craft shows. Figured I would make a few extra and throw them in with everything else! If they don’t sell… I’ll have some cozy blankets for us LOL!

Alrighty, so now that I am sitting down and letting my fuzzy massager whisk my feet into bliss (btw THANK YOU MEMA! Its absolutely heaven!), its time to eat! All that shopping made me super hungry! Here’s another dutch oven recipe for my dear friend…

Acorn Squash Soup

4 Acorn squash
3 Carrots, sliced
1 Onion, sliced
1/3 c Water
2 tb Butter
1 tb All-purpose flour
1 ts Salt
1/2 To 1 tsp pepper
29 oz Chicken broth
1/2 c Sherry
1/2 ts Ground nutmeg
1/8 ts Paprika
1 ds Of ground allspice
1 ds Of red pepper
1 c Half-and-half
1 1/2 tb Sherry (optional)
Kale leaves

Cut squash in half lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a broiler pan. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Spoon pulp from squash to create a serving bowl, reserving pulp.

Place carrots and onion in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain; combine vegetables with reserved pulp and 1/3 cup water in container of an electric blender or food processor. Process for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over low heat; add flour, salt and pepper, stirring until smooth. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add pureed vegetable mixture, chicken broth, and next 5 ingredients; bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in half-and-half and, if desired, 1 1/2 Tbsp sherry. Cook until heated. If desired, serve in squash shells on a bed of kale. Sprinkle with paprika.

Now, let’s cover some more yummy party foods… I want to start with mini empanadas. They are the greatest little thing and the best thing is, you can put anything in them and they are SUPER easy to make!

Mini Empanadas

Ingredients- a can of biscuits and your imagination!

First off, your filling must be in essence pre-cooked (ready to eat). That and the biscuits are what make these so easy! Say for instance you have leftover taco meat… make mini taco empanadas! Roll out the biscuit til its about 4 inches or so in diameter. Place a spoonful of your filling in the center and fold the biscuit in half over the filling. Crimp the edges with a fork and bake in the oven until golden brown. I told ya, simple huh?? And you can fill them with anything! Taco meat, spaghetti, chicken/broccoli/cheese, sloppy joe meat, you name it!

Now this next one is another recipe that is very versatile. You could really marinate the chicken in anything and it would be delicious. So feel free to tweek to your own liking! Remember everything I share with you… feel free to change and make yours. It’s just a guideline!

Appetizer Chicken Kabobs

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch pieces
6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems removed
In a mixing bowl, combine first five ingredients. Stir in chicken and onion; allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Soak 6 inch wooden skewers in water. On each skewer, thread a piece of chicken, onion, mushroom and another chicken piece. Place on a broiler rack. Broil 5 in. from the heat, turning and basting with marinade after 3 minutes. Continue broiling for another 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve immediately.

Now my family is a huge mushroom fanatics… and these are always a sure-fire winner! Again, another versatile recipe because you can stuff with all different kinds of things!

Stuffed Button Mushroom Caps

24 whole fresh button mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.

3. When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps. Garnish/sprinkle with chopped green onion or bacon bits.

Well there you go kiddies… a few more appetizer ideas I thought you would enjoy! I’m off to start the crocks with some delicious supper one dish wonders to warm the gangs tummies on this rainy dreary day! Gonna make a couple of blankets as well. Plus I have to put them to work on some cleanup too! LOL… Keep safe and I’ll meet you back here tomorrow! HUGS!

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