Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Girly Pilgrim Hat Headbands

So apparently cooking a Thanksgiving meal, over decorating a house that's not even mine, and spending quality time with my family wasn't enough....no no no.

I of course had to shove a couple more things on my plate at Thanksgiving.

I had this grand idea in my head of making some cool Thanksgiving crafty things with my nieces....and once I get an idea in my head it's almost impossible for me to let it go....especially when it comes to Holidays

My idea of "letting go" this year was letting my sister bring whipped cream in a can.  And even that was sort of painful

Yep....I'm bat shit crazy

But a few years ago I wouldn't have bee able to even let that go....it's progress......baby steps.....baby steps I tell ya!!

Anyways....me...crazy.....too much crap.....

So there I am with this pile of stuff trying to make these adorable waffle cone cornucopias I saw on the Almighty Pinterest

Cute right?

Well mine weren't

I googled it and found a bunch of different techniques and tried them all

And mine still came out sad

EPIC fail

So we scratched that and ended up just eating all the Reese's pieces, pumpkin seeds, and sesame sticks  I bought to put inside them

The craft that did turn out well was the pilgrim hat headbands

In between setting off smoke alarms (it's a thanksgiving day tradition in our family) and drinking too many Vodka Cranberries I managed cut out squares of golden yellow felt (use whatever color you want for your buckle)

Fold it in half and cut little slits on each side

Then cut from slit to slit and unfold to give you and buckle shape

Hot glue onto little top hats.  I got these on the Xmas aisle at Michael's

Then I just hot glued the whole hat onto some glittery headbands from the Dollar Store

 Cute hats, cute kids

You know why they're so stinkin awesome right?


Damn straight they do!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Homemade Noodles- No Pasta Machine Necessary

Every year after Thanksgiving I make my Grandma Helen's Homemade Noodles to make a bog pot of Turkey Noodle Soup

This recipe probably would have been more useful to you a few days ago.....most normal people are probably almost done with their leftovers

But I kinda suck as a blogger in the timing sense...and picture taking....and posting regularly....basically everything haha

But I'm just gonna say what they always say in sports... "It's a building year"

I'm going to consider this first year of blogging as sort of a wash and maybe next year this blog will finally be somewhat useful...and timely

(A blogger can dream)

But of course these noodles are good for anything too! Not just turkey soup.  I won't care if you use chicken....promise

Here's what ya  need

Start by sifting the flour and salt together into a medium bowl

Separate your eggs and just keep the yolks

Form a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yolks and a tablespoon of the water

Beat the yolks and gradually start mixing in the flour and incorporating the water in a tablespoon at a time 

Once it gets hard to mix with the fork start mixing by hand

The original recipe calls for 7-8 tablespoons of water but I ended up using more.  Just do it by feel but you don't want it to be sticky....it will be a very stiff dough

Knead the dough until smooth and eleastic

This is the point where I look like a freak and I keep sniffing the dough...it just smells so good I want to bite it raw!  But I managed to refrain

Cover it in plastic and let it rest for 30 mins

Cut the dough in quarters and keep each wrapped until you are ready to roll it

You'll notice the dough feels completely different than it did before.  Before it rests it feels really tough and stiff....almost like rubber bands.  That 30 mins gives the gluten a chance to chill out and relax and it becomes easier to work with

Take 1/4 of the dough and begin rolling it out using flour as needed to keep it from sticking

Grandma's recipe says to roll it out to an 11x14 in rectangle

I have never once rolled it out into any kind of shape that remotely resembles a rectangle....ever.....and never once got it as big as 11x14

I don't think it's humanly possible

Or I am just incredibly impatient.....which is entirely possible

Lightly roll up your....errr....."rectangle" and cut across in thin strips

You'll get these cute little cinnamon roll lookin deals

Unroll them and lay them out onto a baking sheet to dry out a bit.  At least an hour

You could put these in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes and pull them out and eat as is......


Do what I did and just add it to your soup

Saute onion, celery, and carrots

 Add in diced turkey (or chicken) and broth.  I used 12 cups of broth

Bring it up to a boil and then turn it off and add your noodles.  The residual heat is enough to cook the noodles

Why do my hands always look so disgusting in pictures?  I'm starting to get a complex


My turkey noodle soup has plenty of fresh thyme, a bay leaf, and 3 cloves of pressed garlic for extra flavor

Your soup and noodles are all done!

See how plump the noodles get when you cook them?  I cut them about fettuccine width and you can see how wide they got.  I like them because they have a nice bite to them....they're almost a cross between noodles and dumplings.....maybe I'll start calling them Doodles?

It's really not hard or time consuming so don't be scared to give them a try!  You could even make them the night before and just cook them when you're all ready

Grandma Helen's Noodles

2 C. flour
1 tsp. Salt
4 Egg yolks
7-8 Tbs. Cold water

Sift flour with salt into medium sized bowl

Make a well in the center and add the yolks and a tablespoon of the water

Beat the yolks and water together and incorporate a little bit of the flour

Begin mixing it together by hand adding the water a tablespoon at a time. The dough will be very stiff

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.  Cover and let rest for 30 mins.

After 30 mins, divide dough in 1/4.  Keep each piece covered until ready to roll out

Roll each piece out to an 11x14 rectangle (or as close as you can get) Roll up lightly and cut into strips

Unroll strips and lay out to dry on sheet pan

Add to boiling soup or boil in water 3-5 minutes until cooked

Sunday, November 18, 2012

DIY Tardis Suitcase

The Boy is waaaaay into Dr. Who

I on the other hand have never watched a single episode ever.  Not even 5 minutes

But he and his friends gab about it enough that I've learned a few key things:

Bow ties are cool

Don't Blink

Sonic screwdrivers are a must

And the Tardis is bigger on the inside

When our vacation was coming up I realized The Boy didn't have a suitcase.  Every trip we've taken before we have driven so it was ok for him to use a duffel bag or backpack, but this was our first time flying together.  He needed something bigger and more structured.  I got the idea to make him a cool Tardis suitcase

So we headed to the 50% off Saturday at Goodwill and got him this old school Samsonite

It was our second choice.  There was a bigger one we liked better but it smelled like Feta cheese when you opened it.  I mean I love me some feta cheese.....but the thought of why a suitcase smells like that really skeevs me out!  Yuck!  It actually made me gag in the store

So needless to say we settled on this one instead

I primed it first

Krylon sells a perfect Tardis blue paint that we gave a few coats

I didn't get pictures of the rest of the process because the boy did it all.  And I decided to pick my battles and not nag him about pictures and just do his thing

I bought outdoor grade vinyl and he cut out all the windows and letters by hand with an exacto knife and stuck it on

We both went into this knowing there was a HUGE possibillity the entire thing would get trashed at the airport.  I mean have you seen the way they throw bags around?  It's alarming really!

We waited in suspense at the carousel and were surprised to find we only lost a window and had some slight crinkling

It's definitely a work in progress and we're going to see if we can figure out a better way to do it, but for now it works

I think the Dr. would be proud!

I am sad to say though....painting it to look like a Tardis does not indeed make it bigger on the inside

We had a hell of a time trying to fit all of our souvenirs in on our flight home

I had to get a shot of him sitting on his suitcase cartoon style 

Moroccan Themed Birthday Party

My friend Niki is the queen of birthday parties.  Her girls have some of the coolest and most epically decorated parties I've ever seen!

Her oldest normally has a big family Halloween party since her birthday is in October, but this year she opted for a small girls only shin dig and she chose a Moroccan theme

I just wanted to share some thing she did that I thought were super cool

She decorated the entire back patio for the party

She laid down a bunch of handmade rugs she had.  I believe her husbands grandma made them...could be wrong....but it was some family member

She made a low table and surrounded the whole "room" with random pillows

This was the table setting for dinner.  Cheap chargers, some lanterns, and see the pillows for them to sit on?  Those are pillow cases from the dollar store that she stuffed with old towels.  Genius!

It was funny she even said "Every time I saw those pillow covers I always wondered who the hell would buy those"....well no we know!  People like her haha

She set up a table full of fabric paint and little jewels that the girls could use to decorate  bras and slippers

Hard at work decorating

Later in the night they got Henna tattoos

I forgot to take picture but for dinner they had chicken kabobs and rice 

 I made chocolate hazelnut cupcakes for the girls and an individual henna inspired cake for the Birthday Girl!

Overall it was a really fun night that was much more laid back and not every second was planned

Perfect for girls as they're getting a little older

The funniest part was the next morning on Facebook my brother inlaw said (this is direct quote)

"I will say my future hit me like a ton of bricks. She stumbled through the door (she wasn't drunk, just sleepy) at 1000 p.m. in a bra with "tattoos." I about cried!

I thought that was just too funny! ;)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Low Carb/ Paleo Friendly Jambalaya

So I have sort of been in a Low Carb rut these days but I'm still determined to stick to it to get off the last few pesky pounds I gained on vacation....where I ate copious amounts of delicous Disney food (which I will be posting about soon)

But like I said...in a rut...bored.....so I decided to try and spice up my normal low carb fare
Quite literally actually

I decided to make some nice spicy Jamblaya

Here's what you'll need

I head of grated cauliflower, 6 links of andouille sausage, 1/2# chicken, 1 bell pepper, 2 stalks of celery, 1 small onion, green onions, garlic, broth, creole seasoning, and a bay leaf

Start by browning your chicken pieces. (I used thigh strips cause I like my chicken like I like my men....dark!) When it's almost done browning I add in my sausage that I precooked and cut into half moons just to begin heating it through and browning it 

Remove your meats from the pan and set it aside

Add your diced onion, celery, and bell pepper to the same pan and cook until the onion is translucent

Then throw in your grated cauliflower and let that cook for a few minutes

After a few minutes of frying that up, add the meat back in, the garlic, broth (beef or chicken will work) creole seasoning, and a bay leaf

Let it simmer over medium high heat and cook down all the liquid.  At one point you're probably going to look at it and think "oh this ain't happening" and it will look like too much liquid......but trust me....it will get there eventually.  Maybe 20 minutes or so

Like this

I like to leave a little juice just to keep it moist, but you can reduce it all if you would like.  Turn off the heat and stir in your sliced green onion

And that's it!  Not only is this low carb but it could also be eaten on Paleo diets.  Paleo is just a bit stricter than low carb because they limit dairy more.  I hate milk so that's not a problem for me....but I love me some queso! Mmmm So I guess I'll stick to the LC club

Low Carb Jambalaya

6 links andoiulle sausage, cooked and sliced
1/2# chicken
1 diced red bell pepper
1 small onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 head cauliflower grated
4 cloves garlic minced
2 1/4 c. broth 
2 tsp. creole seasoning 
1 bay leaf
6 green onion sliced

Begin browning chicken in a large skillet. When it is almost done add the sausage to brown, then remove it all and set aside.  Saute onion, celery, and bell pepper until the onion is translucent.  Add the cauliflower and saute a few minutes more.  Add the meat back into the pan.

Add the minced garlic, broth, bay leaf and creole seasoning. Start with 2 tsp of the creole seasoning and if more is needed later add...but start off small because those blends can tend to be salty.

Let simmer over medium high heat until almost all the liquid is absorbed,  Adjust seasoning inf necessary.  Turn off heat and stir in the green onion

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Diy Loofah and Soap Costume

Last Halloween The Boy and I were supposed to go as a loofah and soap

I bought all the stuff for it and in my crazy mind of mine I somehow really thought I would have time to make us killer costumes.....a mere 3 days before our big wedding (DIY wedding I might add)

Of course reality came along and gave me a swift kick in the ass and said "NOPE!"

So we stayed home that night and I baked 200 cupcakes for my wedding favors while my mass amount of net fabric got buried away in the closet until this year

To get started on your loofah I think it's easiest to use a tube top dress similar in color to your netting

I didn't have one but my dear seester Kinsey did.  (one of the big perks of having sisters)  Kinsey is a skinny bitch and the dress is an Xsmall.....I am not

Luckily it was a stretchy dress so I could actually shove it over my sausage thighs and donkey booty

To make all the pinning easier try to find something that is about your size to fit the dress over

I chose this small trash can I found in the garage.  I was probably closer to the size of our ottoman but I wanted to pretend I was more trash can sized.  It seemed less depressing at the time

I think I bought 15 yards of the netting...but don't quote me.  It was a year ago...I don't remember

What I did was bunch it up and cut it into long strips that were probably around 15-18 inches long

I sort of made a loop and just started randomly pinning the loops onto the dress

It's sort of hard to explain you just have to start doing it and get the feel for it

I started and then ended up taking off about the first five I did because I was over thinking it and lining it up too much. It looks much better if you just sort of fill in places more randomly and are less worried about it

It takes ALOT of safety pins.  More than I was expecting. In fact I made an 11:30 run to Walmart to get more because I was determined to get it done in one night

Here it is about half done.  I just scooted the dress up as I would finish sections until I got to the bottom

For the soap portion of the costume I didn't take many pictures because it's pretty self explanatory

I just got a box big enough to fit over The Boy and cut out head and arm holes

We decided on Irish Spring because it's such a classy soap of course.....or maybe because it seemed the easiest to duplicate.  You choose.

We spray painted the box dark green and then hand painted on a lime green swoopy deal

Glued on yellow paper between the 2 greens and cut out letters from poster board

I apologize for the weirdly blurry, hazy cell phone pics

He makes a cute soap!

And here we are as a duo

I just got some rope from the upholstery section and tucked it into my dress

And here I am with Katniss from the Hunger Games

And while I'm at it here's the rest of the Hunger Game crew

Katniss, Effie Trinket, & Prim

I was really happy we finally got to wear these costumes...even if it was 365 days later