Monday, June 28, 2010

DOLLAR STORE DINING

Good day to you my friendly flock! How are you doing this morning? I am alright. I had a rather rough night, and I am feeling a little ragged around the edges this morning, but I am alive so I am grateful. I’m glad you’re here, so grab your cup of Java and let’s chat, shall we?

When I got up this morning, the first thing was to feed the animals… so I thought. I got to thinking and I have to revamp my whole process of doing things because, well frankly, there’s a lot more animals to tend to now LOL! The outside cats are easy, the inside bigger cats are ok, the kittens were in the back whining and screaming their little heads off, and the rabbit was bouncing around crazy in the cage by the bed LOL! Lots to do, so I decided that maybe I should water the plants this morning first instead… LOL.

OK, so I go outside and there are kitties everywhere… getting underfoot and tripping me up. BAM! Down the steps I go with one big thud! Oh that hurts LOL. So I crawl back inside and gain my composure and the open bag of cat food LOL. Let’s try this again… Alright feeding the outside cats FIRST! THEN I go down the steps and get the water hose. Water the rose bed, which has such pretty new blooms that smell so wonderful (wish I could say the same for the INSIDE of the house LOL… just kidding!). Then I water all the plants on the porch… and its off to the back in the garden!

I get to the garden and see that I need to harvest a few things and that my eggplant plants are getting monstrous but the blooms are falling off… not cool1 THEN I see that my Romas are racing to heaven but no blooms even… odd. Then I spot it… holes in my leaves! OH NO!!! I am searching and searching but nothing… I lift EVERY leaf out there and can’t find a single worm, caterpillar, nothing! What on earth is going on… so I back up going down the stairs to the single pots of tons of things. Man my cherry tomatoes really bushes back out… YAY! Ok so anyway, I notice that my Italian parsley… the one that has been a beautiful bush of herby loveliness forever, is really short and spindly looking in some areas… I get closer… OH MY GOD!



I found them! 2 HUGE… FAT… UGLY caterpillars! Eating my parsley! First I got mad and then I started laughing uncontrollably! I remember back a few seasons ago where my mom’s garden was suddenly attacked by “worms” and she was chunking them across the yard LMAO… when she found out they were gonna be butterflies she felt so bad…LMAO my mom, the butterfly assassin! TOO FUNNY! So instead of chunking them across the yard, I gently removed them from my plants and took them and placed them on a branch of one of the trees in the back yard LOL. I let them live… just somewhere else LMAO!

OK back inside after the plants got plenty of water… it was time to feed and play with and love on animals. I started with the bigger cats. They need to know that they are still special, despite all the new critters coming into the house LOL. So after some special loving and canned food, it was off to the baby kittens, who by this time were literally climbing the wall/door and screaming their little heads off LOL! Ok, played with them and gave them some canned food and let them out into the big bedroom to play and have fun… then it was time for the bunny. I refreshed the water and pellets and cleaned the cage. I let her out on the bed after I blocked all the sides and turned it into a big playpen. She played for about 30-45 minutes then just came and cuddled up on me. So I get up to come talk to all of you and she is here with me now, cuddling on my chest grinding her little teeth in contentment LOL. She will soon be back into her home for awhile so that I can get some things done. I have to baby proof my home, because I will be having a visitor soon LOL. I will be “helping out a friend” by watching her little one while she tries to find a better job. I’m always happy to help someone bettering themselves. So since it is looking like rain outside (hearing the thunder now LOL gosh I wish I’d have known before watering the plants LOL), today is going to be inside serious cleaning day LOL! A new baby in the house will be my special motivation… always easier to accomplish goals (for me anyway) with a special “purpose” LMAO!

Alright, so after all that rambling, do you feel crafty? Well I saw this craft a while back and tried it and was so happy. So then I was sitting and thinking what I could possibly bring you that was new and unique. When I was in the kitchen feeding my bigger cats, I noticed my hot pad… my lovely lemon smelling hot pad and I thought OMG I could share that! It’s a simple but great little project that I really enjoyed and hope you will too!



Craft Idea of the Day: Scented Hot Pot Mats

Materials:

Desired cotton fabric
Sheet wadding (quilt batting)
Sewing machine access
Ground cinnamon or cinnamon Oil (other scents if desired)

Directions:

When you place your HOT pot on top, the fragrance of cinnamon will come wafting through filling the air with a beautiful aroma. Start by working out what size pot holder you want. Approx. 30cm X 30cm is suitable. Cut your fabric into the size you require allowing for 1/2 inch hems. Sew 3 sides of your fabric closed and slip in the sheet wadding through the last opening. You will need to either begin hand sewing or machine sewing this end closed. Just before you complete the closure Sprinkle about a teaspoon of cinnamon powder into the Project or sprinkle your drops of oil onto the wadding prior to placing it inside. You can finish it off by sewing some diagonals along the top to keep the wadding in place. The quilting also makes it look very decorative.

Ok so are you ready to cook? I hope so, because this week I have decided to bring you some recipes from something very near and dear to my heart… something I absolutely love. No not chicken LOL or strawberries… but Dollar Stores! WOOHOO! Nothing like Frugal cooking to enjoy dinner that much more! Awhile back I bought a book at Barnes & Nobles called “The 99c Only Stores Cookbook: Gourmet Recipes at Discount Prices” by Christiane Jory. I think I saw her or the book or something on a morning show and that’s how I knew what to look for. Anyway, every recipe I bring you this week will be out of that book and can be found in the 99c only store (some stores may not carry the exact same thing, but hey they should have something close to it LOL). I will include all the extra information from that page, recipe, etc. it’s a great little book! Most people have a Dollar store in their area… now I am not talking about a Family Dollar or Dollar general, where things can cost more than that $1. I am talking about a true… nothing is more than a buck store! Some of the more popular ones include: Dollar Tree, Everything $1, The 99c Only Store, Dollar World, etc. You won’t find anything more than $1 in these stores and THAT is the basis of this book! I’m telling ya, it will blow your mind some of the things in there! Easy to make, easy to afford, and easy to enjoy! I hope the theme for the week excites you and that I will tease your taste buds to try something new. We shall start out the Dollar Store Dining week with some lovely appetizers and hors d’oeuvres.



Clams Casino

Makes: about 15 Hors d’oeuvres
Cost: About $3.99

This is a classic that can also be made with oysters or mussels. In the original version, the filing would be put back into the half shell and quickly browned in a broiler. If you want the seared effect, place assembled hors d’oeuvres on a cookie sheet and broil for about 1 minute.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Spice Box dried chopped onions (use fresh onions if available)
8 tablespoons Danish Creamery butter
1/4 teaspoon Spice Box paprika
Spice Supreme salt and pepper to taste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans Snow’s chopped clams
12 slices Branding Iron bacon, cooked and diced

Directions:

1. Soak the dried onions in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain.

2. In a large frying pan, saute butter, onions, paprika, salt, and pepper for 2 minutes for the reconstituted onions or if using fresh, saute until tender but not brown.

3. Add clams and simmer for about 3 more minutes.

4. Serve warm, sprinkled with bacon bits on toast of choice.

(***HELPFUL HINT*** Strain the bacon fat and use it to fry your next omelet. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.)



One Bite Ham & Cheese Pies

Makes: about 12 Hors D’oeuvres
Cost: about $1.99

These are spicy, cheesy bite size biscuits. They can be prepared in advance, leaving out the last step of baking again for 1-2 minutes until right before guests arrive. My snobbiest, most skeptical friend loves them. Of course, I had to wait for her verdict before admitting they were part of the book.

Ingredients:

1/2 container (about 8 oz.) Pillsbury buttermilk biscuit dough
1 (6oz.) can of Libby’s Chunk Ham
1/2 (5oz.) jar of Kraft Old English cheese spread
1 tablespoon Oscar Mayer real bacon bits
Eden garden nacho sliced jalapeno peppers

Directions:

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F.

2. Peel the thinnest layers possible from the biscuit dough and form into the cups of a mini muffin tin.

3. Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, watching closely to avoid burning.

4. Remove from over and fill cups with a layer of ham, then cheese spread.

5. Sprinkle with some bacon bits and top each one with a jalapeno slice.

6. Bake again for 1 to 2 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Serve Warm.

(***HELPFUL HINT*** These can be prepared and frozen in advance, allowing you to always be prepared for unexpected guests.)

Well everyone, that’s it for me today. I hope you will join me again tomorrow for some more fun and crazy antics. As for me, I am going to get off here and get some cleaning done and maybe finish up DD’s birthday invites! I hope you have a great day, be safe, and see you tomorrow! HUGS!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie "MOM"June 28, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Dollar Store treats? I'll buy that for a dollar! Get it? LOL Those little bites look tasty. And they seem pretty easy to make. I dont know about you but I love and hate making appetizers. They look so cute when you make them and put them on display on your cute little trays. But once you set them out for your guests, they usually disappear instantly and all I can think to myself is "Where the h_ll did my appetizers go?" All that time and effort gone in seconds, especially if it has shrimp, bacon, cream cheese, or pastry in it! LMAO But I find myself still making appetizers.....OK, I'm a sucker for cooking. LOL Its something I really like to do.
    Huge, fat, ugly caterpillars? Welcome to the world of organic gardening. But if you remember that by removing them off your plants and putting them elsewhere in the yard; preferrably on another plant thats edible for them, then you have just saved what will soon become a beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly. I learned the hard way. And believe me, you can feel good about what you did, even though its kind of disheartening that they have probably ate some of your choicest veggie plants and from the looks of the size of those little pests they have big munching awhile...just doing it undercover, so to speak. They blend in very easily when there little but when they get to the size that they are in your pictures, that means they have been dining hardily right under your nose.
    The summer here on the Texas Gulf coast is getting real hot, real quick this year. Not a good sign. We already have a tropical storm heading into the Gulf. I am not pleased! With all the medical stuff I have been going through and not being able to move around or lift stuff, I have not made my preparations at all. Just managed to get some bottled water in storage and hubby checked our generator (made sure it runs and is not gummed up from gasoline particles that may have been left in it). I HAVE to get ready for the season!!! This is very unusual to have a storm in the Gulf this early. There have only been two hurricanes in the month of June recorded in history so far. Hopefully there wont be a third. I think today will be list making day for an A.S.A.P. Hurricane Preparedness organization. Hope everyone is more prepared for storm season then me! Til next time....

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