Thursday, June 19, 2014

Old Fashioned Mac N'Cheese



This is a family favorite in my house.  It is by far the most requested recipe when it comes to holidays and potlucks.  And everyone expects me to bring this if I'm invited.  It is so delicious!
This is a simple southern take on Mac N'Cheese (sorry no bread crumbs).


Ingredients

3 Cups dry macaroni
6 Tbsp butter
6 Tbsp flour
4 Cups of milk
2 Cups of shredded Cheddar cheese
Pepper to taste


Tools/Cookware

1 Medium pot
1 Large sauce pan
Wisk
Measuring spoons
2 8x8 pans or 1 9x13 pan


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Fill medium pot about 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil.  Once boiling add in the noodles.

Place butter in large sauce pan and melt over medium heat.  After the butter is melted add flour and mix together with your whisk.  


Now, slowly mix in the milk and add pepper.  
(I do not add salt due to the high sodium content of the cheese.)



Keep on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

In the meantime, the noodles should be done.  You only want to cook them partially (they continue to cook in the oven) so take them off the burner when the ends of the noodles are slightly flared out.  Drain and place evenly in 2 8x8 pans or one 9x13 pan.


By now, the roux should be thickened and ready for the shredded cheese.  I wait until it's almost boiling so the cheese melts quickly and evenly.


Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and mix in well with a spoon.


Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes.

That's it!


My kids love this served with baked beans, peas, and rolls. 

If you make the 2 8x8 pans like I did, this recipe can easily be frozen for later.  Follow the directions above but instead of baking it place it in the freezer.  Thaw overnight and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I also make a fun summer version with tomatoes baked under the shredded cheese.

Enjoy!








Friday, May 23, 2014

My New Organized Craft Corner

My little corner filled with all things crafty became a dumping ground over the last couple of months.  It was time for a change!  So I carved out a few hours one Friday afternoon and did some serious organizing.  I find it so energizing to take a stale unorganized space and make it functional again.  Here's what it looked like before (don't judge me, we all know crafting leads to hoarding!).



Eeek!  Yarn overflowing, crochet needles everywhere, felt and fleece piled high, and you can barely see my poor sewing machine.

I first decided the quilting table was no longer working for me.  I mean, I never quilt so it seems ridiculous to have a QUILTING table.  I quickly found it a new home through Craigslist.  We had a spare desk so I decided to use it.  It's a simple desk that will make it more difficult for me fill with clutter (hopefully).

I took everything out and off the desk and shelves, moved my new to me desk in, and then proceeded to do some major de-cluttering.  There was a bunch of junk inside that quilting table.  I made some piles, found unused containers throughout my house, labeled them with a paint pen and viola!  A completely new and organized Craft Corner.


Wow!  So fresh, so clean!  Everything has a place with room for more.

Here's the breakdown of where everything ended up.


Not in view is a table top ironing board and 2 cutting mats discretely placed behind the bins underneath.  And I now have a drawer to keep my notebooks full of crafting ideas.


And since this desk has open space underneath I thought filling it with well organized bins would help me keep the clutter at bay.


So that's it.  My new organized Craft Corner.  I hope I can provide some inspiration to my fellow crafters for your own Craft Corner or room.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Two Bean Turkey Chili

 

This is one of my family's favorite week night dinners during the week and I'm so excited to share it with you today! All three of my children (yes, even the baby) love this chili. And it is so delicious and warming on those cold winter nights.


Two Bean Turkey Chili

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes


Ingredients

1 lb lean ground turkey
1 small onion diced (or half of a large onion)
1 can Kidney Beans 15.5 oz
1 can Black Beans 15.5 oz
1 can Tomato Sauce 15 oz
1 can Diced Tomatoes 14.5 oz (plain, NOT seasoned)
1 packet Chili Seasoning
1 cup Chicken Stock (or broth)


  1. Brown the ground turkey over medium in a large pot.
  2. Add diced onions, cook until translucent.
  3. Throw in the beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, and chicken stock. Stir well, reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.



Add a sprinkle of cheddar cheese before serving and you're done!

While the chili is simmering I put together a quick salad and pop some cornbread muffins in the oven.

**This chili can also be prepared in the slow cooker, for those extra busy days.

Instructions as follows:
  1. Brown the ground turkey over medium in a skillet and add to the slow cooker.
  2. Dump all remaining ingredients in, mix well.
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. (Cooking times may vary in your slow cooker. I recommend trying it out on a weekend so you don't come home from work to burnt chili.)


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Granny Square Heart Tutorial


Valentine's Day is upon on us so I thought I would make up a quick and cute themed pattern! This adorable Granny Square Heart can be used and gifted in so many ways. As a fabulous trivet, dish cloth, coaster, or wash cloth. You could even use it as an applique on a t-shirt, onesie, or pillow.  

Please let me know if you find any mistakes in the pattern so I can quickly correct them! 

Materials needed:

Crochet Hook (I used a 5mm)
2 coordinating worsted weight yarns (I used Lily Sugar and Cream)
Needle for weaving in ends
Scissors

Abbreviations:

Sl st – slip stitch
ch – chain stitch
sc – single crochet
dc – double crochet
sp – space
beg - beginning

The pattern begins with a typical Granny square.

Start with a magic ring.


Rnd 1: ch 3, 2dc, ch 1, (3dc, ch 1) 3 times. Sl st to beg ch 3. (Four 3dc, ch 1 groups)


Rnd 2: Sl st to corner, ch 3, 2dc, ch 2, 3dc, ch 1, (3dc, ch 2, 3dc, ch 1) 3 times, sl st to beg ch 3.

Rnd 3: Sl st to corner, ch 3, 2dc, ch 2, 3dc, ch 1, 3dc, ch 1, (3dc, ch 2, 3dc, ch 1, 3dc, ch 1) 3 times.
Sl st to beg ch 3. Fasten off, weave in ends.


Now to add the half circles.

Flip the square to the wrong side and join yarn in any right ch 1 space.


Ch 5, sl st in next ch 1 space.


Row 1: Ch 2, sl st to second dc in next 3dc group, turn. 2dc in ch 5 half ring, ch 1, (3dc, ch1) 2 times,
3dc, sl st to second dc in next 3dc group, turn.






Row 2: Sl st in every dc and ch 1 space across.


Row 3: Ch 2, sl st to corner, turn. 2dc in same sp as ch 2, ch 2, (3dc, ch 2 in ch 1 sp) 3 times, 3dc, sl st
to corner. Fasten off, weave in ends.


Repeat half circle on adjacent side.


Row 4: With right side facing, join anywhere with new color. Sc around in every dc and ch 1 sp.
2sc in every ch 2 sp and 3sc in bottom point of heart. Fasten off, weave in ends.


**Optional Picot Border**

Join yarn in any ch 1 space, ch 3, sc in same sp as join. (ch 3, sl st to ch 1 sp, ch 3, sc in same sp as
sl st) around.

I was featured on Skip to my Lou Made by You Mondays and on 6 DIY Crochet Projects!
Skip To My Lou

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pacifier Clip Tutorial



I love paci clips!  They are incredibly handy and help your baby's pacifier stay relatively germ free.  However, these little clips can be pricey and I'm all for saving money where I can.  This project is also a great way to use up yarn scraps. And it would make the perfect gift add on for a baby (clipped to a cute set of onesies) or stocking stuffer!  Here is my pattern for a basic pacifier clip.

What You Need:

1 Suspender Clip
1 Hair Elastic
Worsted Weight Yarn
3.75 mm Crochet Hook
Yarn Needle
Scissors


Basic Pacifier Clip Pattern

Abbreviations
Ch - chain
Sc - single crochet
St - stitch
 *New to Crochet?  Here's an excellent stitch guide with videos.

Chain 6
Row 1:  Sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each ch st across.  Ch 1 and turn.



Row 2:  Sc in same ch 1 st and in each sc st across. (5 sc)  Ch 1 and turn.





Row 3-28:  Repeat Row 2. (You can do more than 28 rows but I find it to be the perfect length).



Do not weave in end, leave a long tail for attaching the suspender clip.


 Take your suspender clip and insert it over the tail end.


Then bend the end over the suspender clip and sew it to the strap.


Now attach the hair elastic to the other end of the strap.


Loop it through and you're done!

You can also substitute different stitches for a different look. 

*Pink is done using HDC and tan is done using SC but in the back loops only.

I hope you enjoyed my pattern!  Feel free to email me with questions or leave them in the comments below.  

Happy Crocheting!


Skip To My Lou

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mario and Princess Peach Cross Stitch

Last weekend was my six year wedding anniversary!  It feels like so much longer, in a good way.  In six short years we've grown so much as individuals and as a family.  For our first anniversary I cross stitched our wedding vows so I thought five years later I'd continue the cross stitch tradition and made this...

At our wedding, my Mother surprised us with a Mario themed wedding cake.  

You can barely see it but Princess Peach is behind the Goomda

So when I saw this Bitter Luigi Pattern on Craftster about a year ago I thought this would be a perfect anniversary present.  I decided not to include our anniversary date because this pattern is so simple and cute, I wanted it to stay that way.  And I'll be honest, we had a ton of stuff going on with our kids so I did not really have the time.  I think it looks perfect as is and more importantly so did my hubby!  


He returned the favor with a beautifully framed picture from our wedding, you know the part when you intertwine your arms and sip champagne.  He even added a quote in Photoshop, "A toast to us, may we ever see one another as we did then".   Super sweet and completely warmed my heart!  

Did I mention that I have the best hubby in the world?

Cause I do!