Sunday, July 28, 2013

3 Ingredient Sloppy Joe Sauce

I went to make Meat Cupcakes the other night and then changed my mind mid-stream. I had browned my meat and whipped up the sauce, but realized I had buns about to go bad. So, I decided to use my meat and sauce from the meat cupcakes and put them in my buns instead of baking them inside biscuits.

photo courtesy of French's mustard
It made the best sloppy joes! Just three ingedients made the perfect sweet barbecue sauce for my sandwiches. And get this, you likely have all three just sitting in your kitchen everyday! Perfect last minute meal!

Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
1T mustard
2T brown sugar

Mix it up and enjoy! It is the right mixture for about a pound of hamburger meat. You can adjust as needed to match your meat. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

I met some girlfriends at a local painting place and wanted to bring an easy snack for us while we were painting. I came across these pretzels on Pinterest and decided they would be perfect. I whipped them up in less than an hour that afternoon and we have been snacking on them ever since!

These pretzels are quick, easy and delish!

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels
recipe from Baking Junkie

16 oz. bag of pretzels
2/3 c. oil
1/2 c. sugar
2t cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 300. Put the pretzels in a large bowl. Make the glaze using the oil, sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the pretzels and toss to coat evenly. Pour on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. I stirred mine up every 10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Black Bean and Pico Dip

This dip is one of my all time favorites! I hadn't made it in ages and my friend Carrie brought it to a party recently and reminded me how much I love it. When another friend asked for the recipe, I realized I last blogged it in 2008, before I had started this blog. You are in for a treat with this fresh, healthy dip. I promise you won't leave with leftovers!

Black Bean and Pico Dip

6  tomatoes (we use Roma)
4 large avocado
1 onion (I buy this one already chopped)
1 can drained black beans
1 bunch cilantro
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper

Chop all ingredients and mix well. Chill and serve the same day with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kitchen Table Makeover

Meet my newly improved kitchen table- black with a new tabletop in Annie Sloan's Country Grey.

I have always wanted a black round pedestal table.... and then I got this one and a year later the top looks dirty all the time.

The shine is gone and has been replaced with water rings, scratches, paper towel lint, fork pokes and crumbs. I can wipe it clean after every meal and it still looks dirty. I was over it, so I decided to paint the top and try to make it look fresh again.

I went round and round with myself over what to do- paint the whole table, just the top, paint the chairs or leave them black. In the end, I bought Country Grey from Annie Sloan's chalk paint line. It is a good khaki color that I thought would blend well with the black and also the other reds I have in the kitchen. A big part of my wanted to go and paint each chair a different color a la Friends circa 1995. But, that was a lot of painting, so I went table top only.

You can see one coat on the left and two coats on the right.

I am really happy with the final product. It goes well with my floors, wall color, the black chairs and all of my other kitchen decor.

Let's hope this holds up better than the black top did!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chipotle Ranch Dip Recipe

I was asked to bring chips and dip to a party recently and decided to make my favorite Chipotle Ranch Dip. This dip is the spitting image of a local restaurant's beloved Creamy Jalapeno dip. If you have ever visited Chuy's, you've likely consumed this dip in mass. What I like about this dip is that is tastes like their creamy jalapeno with a little kick of cilantro, which I love!

Chipotle Ranch Dip
note: I don't have a source for this.... I've had it for a few years and can't find the creator

16 oz. sour cream
1 package Ranch Dip Mix
2 whole jalapenos, roughly chopped with seeds removed
2 minced cloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1 lime, juiced
2-4 T milk

Combine the jalapenos, cilantro and garlic in the food processor. Pulse until finaly chopped. Add the sour cream, lime juice and ranch mix and blend until well mixed. Add 2-4 T milk until you have it as thick as you'd like.

This dip can be served immediately or does great in the fridge overnight to let the jalapenos heat up a little!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Easy Kid Popsicles

My niece was visiting us for VBS earlier this summer and I wanted a fun food for her to help me make and also eat while she was here. So, after searching Pinterest, we bought the supplies needed for these crazy kid popsicles!

You simply place a handful of gummy bears in your popsicle molds and then fill them with Sprite before freezing them. The Sprite takes on much of the gummy fruit flavors. The kids loved them!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

VBS/Carnival Party Crafts

The last week of June I worked VBS at a local church and helped design crafts for school aged kids. The theme was Colossal Coaster World and was all things carnvial. There were lots of fun crafts for the kids to make and these two extras I found on Pinterest were among my favorites!

These bracelets were a big hit among the 4th - 6th grade kids. They are inexpensive and simple to make with long balloons cut into 2" strips and strung through elastic to make a bracelet. You can see detailed directions at Michelle Paige's blog. I would love to have them as a party favor when Abby is older!

The kids also made snow cones. I will not lie, these were my favorite and the worst craft of the week. I loved how they turned out and the kids wanted to make lots of them, but they were messy! I will totally make them again for a party- they wouldn't be messy if made by adults. Having 40 kids making them at once was a bit much! ;)

They are made by painting cheap craft paint onto small styrofoam balls with a foam brush. You add iridescent glitter while the paint is still wet and then glue the paper base onto them. We did it all while attached to a skewer to minimize the mess!

The template and detailed directions can be found at Creature Comforts blog. I simply added the VBS logo to the paper cone template before copying it for the kids.

If you are going to have kids do these, I would recommend they do the painting and then bring an adult the painted ball on a stick. The adult can then do the glitter (over a bowl) and glue the cone onto the ball. We premade the cones before VBS and had just stapled them shut. We made about 150 snow cones over 4 days! They take a few hours to dry, so be prepared for that. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

New Favorites: Marianna, BB Cream and Vinylux

I have found three new beauty products this summer that I just love!

Have you ever tried Marianna bobby pins? I recently had a professional do my hair and makeup for a DVD shoot and she recommended these "supreme" bobby pins after all of us girls asked how she was doing much magic with our hair? She would do a messy side bun and hold it firmly in place with 2 bobby pins! No joke!

Since the DVD shoot, the other girls from my church and I have tried all kinds of magic with bobby pins. I am still working on a cute braid! If you really want to get adventurous- there are tons of bobby pin videos on You Tube!

Stephanie, the artist, also did our make-up and wow- she made my eyes look amazing. You can see her video on makeup application here

I recently read an article on the new makeup out called BB Cream. Have you tried these yet? The L'Oreal brand was rated the best of the grocery store options, so I have been using it for about a month. My skin really is smoother and looks better when "nude". I use it instead of my moisturizer and tinted foundation. Just BB cream and powder it turning out to be a great summer combination. I bought mine at Target for under $10. BB Creams were started in Asia- you can read more here. There are also CC creams now. Who knew?

I recently took Shellac off my nails. It is too hard to make nail appointments in the summertime. My nail tech recommended a new product called Vinylux from CND who makes Shellac. It is not a gel polish, but a regular polish that is said to last a week. You just do two thin coats and then their top coat.

It didn't look perfect after a week, but looked much better than a regular manicure. I can't seem to make a manicure last more than 2 days! Plus, the colors are all the same as Shellac which is great if you have Shellac on and want to touch up or match up your toes. 

I bought mine from her, but Amazon has it and I am sure other retailers will be stocking their shelves soon. It is about $10 per bottle.

Any new products you have seen lately that I should try?

Monday, July 1, 2013