Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flavored Breakfast Syrups

In case I have convinced any of you to try the flavors from The Prepared Pantry (no they are not paying me to endorse them), I created a new way to use them this morning. I used the brown sugar flavor, but I'm sure they are all to die for.

Dieters beware--don't be shocked at the ingredients. Yes, this should be used sparingly, but no life isn't worth living without this syrup.

Flavored Syrup
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup minus 1 TBS milk, add 1 TBS lemon juice, and let sit for 5 minutes)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), melted
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-2 tsp. your choice of flavor from the Prepared Pantry (or any other extract or flavor)

Bring buttermilk, sugar, and butter to a boil. Take off heat. Add baking soda and 1 tsp. flavor and stir. Taste and add the rest of the flavoring as desired. Stir, serve immediately. (You can warm up later)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Just when I resolved to eat less sugar...

Can you tell that I love the Prepared Pantry and love using different flavors for things?

They just came out with flavored Rice Krispie treats! Check it out:
Strawberry Lemonade

What are you waiting for?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

This was my project on Saturday! I bought these letters from a place called The Wood Connection ( through my moms ward. They were unfinished letters. I stained them with a maple stain, then covered them with scrapbook paper using a spray adhesive. Then I sanded the edges down. I think it turned out pretty cute. Although I still can't decide if it matches my living room decor....maybe I'll have to repaint!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sew Great

DSC05835 Been on a bit of a sewing kick lately. Here are some of my projects. I took a hand-me-down shirred tank-top and sewed on a four- tiered skirt to it.

Who knew you could sew a hat out of an old T-shirt? Perfect for pulling on for early morning garage sales! Find out how here.

I bought this dress dirt-cheap at Old Navy, but it was too short. I took inspiration from this, only I sewed a length onto the dress and then added the ruffles. Not sure if I am in love with this or not. Me and my mom are working on a eyelet slip skirt to wear under a couple of other clearance dresses that were too short. If I like it maybe I will unpick it and wear that instead.

The 20-Minute Skirt. Ok, it took me about an hour, but that was more for operator error than anything else.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Popcorn Fun

In case you aren't on the Prepared Pantry's mailing list, they updated their popcorn handbook with more recipes such as:
Orange Crème Dream Popcorn,
Jenny’s Gooey Caramel Green Apple Popcorn,
Summertime Strawberry Tart Lemonade Popcorn
Caramel Turtle Popcorn
Birthday Cake Popcorn
Candy Butterscotch Popcorn
Butter Pecan Popcorn

I've died and gone to popcorn heaven! Check it here!

Otter Pops Solutions


Yes, I'm a bad mom and let my kids have otter pops despite their high fructose corn syrup. I have bought molds to freeze fruit juice in, I just need to get to it. Anyway, we usually have a major problem with scissors and otter pops. They lose them, ruin my good pairs with stickiness, etc etc.

So, a year or two ago my husband came up with solution. We took wire and hooked onto something near the freezer. We originally used string, but it was too tempting to cut them off with the said scissors. No more looking for scissors or ruining mine.

Now, if only I had a solution for wrappers on the ground....


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mexicali Burgers

Sorry, my mouth was watering too much to snap a photo before I devoured this delicious burger. You will have to let your taste buds picture it for you.

We got a BBQ Cookbook at a garage sales years ago, and this one of our favorite burgers. If you like Mexican and Burgers, this is the perfect marriage.

Mexicali Burgers
Adapted from Favorite Brand Name BBQ and outdoor Grilling

Guacamole (recipe follows)
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup salsa
1/3 cup crushed tortilla chips
2 tbs. finely chopped onion
3 tbs. finely chopped cilantro (optional)
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 slices cheese
hamburger buns
any other preferred toppings

1. Prepare grill. This tend to drip and fall apart easily, so you can use a drip pan.

2. Prepare guacamole.

3. Combine beef, salsa, tortilla chips, cilantro, onion and cumin in medium bowl.
Mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape mixture into 4 burgers.

4. Grill on covered grill about 8-10 minutes until desired doneness.

5. Place cheese on the burgers during last minute of grilling. Place on buns, top with guacamole and any other desired toppings.


1 ripe avocado
1 tbs. salsa
1 tsp. lime or lemon juice
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1. Mash avocado, leaving it slightly chunky.
2. Add other ingredients and mix.

Popcorn Connoisseurs

We (especially the hubbie) loves popcorn. He would rather have popcorn than brownies (I know!)
He makes it at least two times a week. Anyway, we saw an Alton Brown show the other day and he recommended using peanut oil to cook your popcorn. If you are like me I grew up on air-popped but the husband has to have stove-popped.
We use this crank-handled maker pictured above.
Anyway, we had to try it and I have to say it is really good. It has a distinct smell and taste, and I really like it. You might have to consume popcorn at least twice a week to tell the difference, but if you are obsessed like we are, you should really try it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

How to blog-surf with a 11-month old on a lazy Friday morning


You have to go for the fake-out keyboard. So, get an old keyboard. Thrift store might have them and place them where you would normally put your real one. Now, let them pound and sit on it to their hearts content.
Now, I better go shower!

Monday, May 10, 2010

4th of July Dress

What do you get when you combine two hand-me-down patriotic tank-tops with one of my old white shirts? This 4th of July dress!
I know-we still have two months to go, but I love the 4th of July! She already has her outfit all ready.
I cut up my old white shirt to to make the skirt to sew to the red tank top. Then, I cut up the cute words and graphics from the other tank and appliqued it to the skirt.




Sunday, May 9, 2010

Menu Planning take 626


I have tried a lot of different systems to organize my recipes and plan my menus. I haven't stuck with any of them. This week I tried something that just might work. I'm kind of excited about it. I read somewhere about having a having a theme for each night of a week.
They listed some suggestions, but I went through my recipes to see what categories we eat the most. Here is what I came up with:

Sunday--Sunday Foods (you know like roasts, scalloped potatoes etc.)
Tuesday-Italian, Pasta, Pizza
Wednesday-Hamburgers, Sliders, Sandwiches, Sloppy Joes, and Wraps
Thursday-Salad, Soups, Chili (I'm the only one who will eat lettuce, but I still make salads that they can eat on rice, chips, or plain)
Friday-Grillin and Meat night- Kind of a man's night, meat and potatoes. (Pork, chicken, steak kebabs etc)
Saturday-Misc.Breakfast for dinner (I have a whole different binder for breakfast), casseroles, and Asian


So, basically after I sorted my recipes, I put them into a big binder with dividers. Then, when I am menu planning I just look through each day, and put the recipe I'm using that day in the front of the section so it easy to find. On the back of the sections divider (which I just cut down a 12x12 to size) I can write down suggestions for that category that don't have recipes ( like tacos), or page numbers of recipes in books that fit that category.

I'm excited. I just planned out the next two weeks.

Mon-BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
Tues-Pasta Meal from freezer group
Wed-Croque Madame Sandwiches
Thurs-Chinese Chicken Salad
Fri-Grilled chicken and Parmesan potatoes
Sat-Breakfast sandwiches
Sun-Scalloped Potatoes with ham
Mon-Crock pot burritos
Tues-Beef Stroganoff from freezer group
Wed-Sloppy Joes
Thurs-Chicken Chowder
Fri-Parmesan Chicken
Sat-Baked egg and ham cups with smoothies

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lemony Sunshine Popcorn


Inspired by the popcorn handbook, I decided to create my own version. We had the Prepared Pantry's natural lemon flavoring on hand, so I decided to try a lemon version. It is so yummy. The perfect balance of lemon and sweetness. Gotta try it! I'm not sure what plain lemon juice would do. Let me know if you try.

Lemony Sunshine Popcorn

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup white corn syrup
1/8 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons lemon flavor
Yellow food coloring.
Yields 14 cups of candy popcorn. This recipe can also be doubled successfully.
1. Pop the popcorn kernels. Set aside in 2 large bowls.
2. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan.
3. Add the corn syrup and water. Stir.
4. Add the sugar. Make sure not to let any sugar stick to the edges of the pan. If one
grain of sugar is left undissolved, it can cause the whole batch to crystallize.
5. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 235-245 degrees.
(Please use a candy thermometer). It is important for the mixture to reach this
temperature, if it doesn’t the candy will not harden properly.
6. Add the baking soda and stir quickly as the mixture begins to bubble. Once bubbly
and frothy, remove the pan from heat.
7. Add the flavor and food coloring until mixed in.
8. Pour over the popped popcorn in both bowls. Fold into the popcorn until evenly

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Popcorn Lovers

If you like popcorn at all (or have a loved one who does)-- you have to check out this link for a FREE popcorn handbook from the Prepared Pantry.
You will find mouthwatering recipes like Bubba’s Friday Night Root Beer Popcorn or Banana’s Foster Panama City Popcorn just to name a few.
After you put in your name and e-mail address, it will send you to the PDF version.
It just might make your Wednesday a little happier just reading the recipe names!