Monday, May 27, 2013

Book Club: "Rising Tide" by Lynn Steigleder *Spoiler*

I have recently started a book club in my area and was contacted by a local author prompting his book. I am all about supporting local authors and accepted a copy of his book. We scheduled the first meeting for this past friday and started reading "Rising Tide". Oh boy did we have a hard time reading this book.

"Rising Tide" is a fiction book based before the start of the new world. It is one of three books with Ryan "Adam" and Eve. It starts out at the end of the world and beginning the new world with Adam and Eve. The back of the book does not describe what the book is actually about at all and is very misleading.

The group agreed that we did not care for this book. We all felt that he did not do a great job of mixing religion and sci fi and that it felt more like a rough draft then an actual book. It had a great idea going just not perfectly executed and missed a lot of detail of the characters. We all agreed if he had given his idea to a different author with more detail that the book had a chance at being really good.

Now I am one for Love stories but not when it happens with in a minute of meeting someone. I was very disappointed by that aspect and even more so that they were married within a day of meeting each other. Even worse they killed of the only character that you actually start to like!

I don't want to ruin your choice to read it, something I don't like you might. However I would not suggest this book to any of my friends. Here is some reviews on Good Reads that you can take a look at! If you do decide to read this book I hope you enjoy it more then I did.

Our next book will be "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot. The first few chapters have started out great so hopefully I will have a better review for you!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Wedding Decorations: Down the Aisle

I am totally and absolutely addicted to Pinterst. There I said it. Too bad it doesn't fix anything!

That being said here is another idea I found on pinterst for my wedding. I found this great aisle decoration idea on weddingchicks blog and added my own flair to it to make make it unique!

The best part of this idea? I got to have a reason to drink 10 bottles of wine and no not all in one night, as tempting as that might be.

Our wedding colors are royal blue and yellow so I found Bartenura Moscato with a beautiful blue bottle. Made some burlap roses and some crocheted sunflowers and bought some sparkly preserved baby's breath from Here is what it looks like =]




We will put it at the end of each row of chairs for the ceremony and then move it up to the the parking area for guests to walk through when they arrive. I think we will put them in the ground like the blog shows. Will have the pictures in august! Hope you guys like =]

Thursday, May 23, 2013

DIY Workout Shirt

I am part of a meetup group that gets together and does different pintert pins. For the events we make a recipe we have pinned on pinterst and make a craft we have also pinned. Our upcoming event is to repurpose a old T-shirt. So it got my mind wondering and I decided to do something ahead of time. 

Here comes the new work shirt I have now made two of! I found this pin on pinterst but I can't seem to find the original source so I had to twist it up and figure it out on my own, heres what I have (ignore the nasty hair, just came from the gym!).

All you need is a pair of scissors, hot glue gun, ribbon, and a old T-shirt.


And it was very easy and quick, only took about a half hour. First find a T-shirt that is a little large on you. Then cut the sleeves, neck and bottom off as shown below.

Flip to the back of the shirt. The gray spot is the part you cut off the shirt to make the open back.

Instead of the huge bow on the link I posted above I cut 5 or 6 slices of thin ribbon I had on hand, or you can pick up thick ribbon. I hot glued the 5 or 6 ribbons together to make a think and sturdy piece that looks like this.

Then you can wrap around the arm pieces and hot glue in a few places until all the ribbon is wrapped.

Thats it! Try on your shirt and adjust the ribbon to wear you want it and your ready to work out. Makes a nice breezy and hip workout shirt. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wedding Favors: Kids Part 1

I have a cute country theme going for our wedding in August. Which consists of burlap, lace, and of course mason jars! So for the favors we will having mason jars as drinking glasses. For the kids favors I am putting coloring pages and crayons in the glasses. We will have lawn games but I wanted something special for the kiddos.

Here is the cute crayon holder I came up with. Thought it was nicer then tossing some crayons in a jar.

You will need about 1/4 yard of burlap, crayons, siscors, hot glue gun and glue sticks, and ribbon to match your wedding colors.

I laid the crayons on the burlap to see how big I needed to cut it. When I went to Joann's for the burlap I learned and easy way to cut a straight line in the burlap. You pull the string out at the exact spot you want to cut it then cut on the gap it left, will look like below. Keeps the line straight and helps it from fraying.

Go ahead and cut all the burlap to the size you need it. Plug in the glue gun and let it warm up. The pieces should look like this.

Put a line of glue on both sides of the burlap about halfway down, fold bottom up and gently press side together. The glue will come out of the holes in the burlap so be careful, its will burn!

Let the hot glue dry and put the crayons into the pouch. I used yellow and blue ribbon since they are my wedding colors but you can use any colors or types of ribbon you'd like. Double knot the ribbon around the punch and put a drop of hot glue on the knot. Attach knot to pouch. This will keep it from moving or falling off the pouch. Tie the ribbon into a bow and your done! Its a cute pouch that adds the special attention you expect to see at a wedding.

Hope you enjoy! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sweet Tater "Chips" and BBQ Casserole

So I seem to have a theme going when it comes to my recipe posts, always using something up before it goes bad. I love to have fresh veggies on hand but never seem to use them before they go bad! Must be all the awesome sales the grocery store has on their vegetables, I go a little wild.

So that being said I had to hurry up and use some asparagus and corn before it went bad, gave it about another day. I had also set some ground beef out for dinner but wasn't feeling the quick go to hamburger helper.

What perfect timing, my next issue of Parenting came in and had some quick recipe ideas to spice up mac and cheese. My wheels started turning. They had one that added roasted butternut squash which lead to the Sweet Tater "Chips." There was also one called Cowboy's Choice with bacon, onions, and scallions, which lead to my BBQ Casserole. 

For the sweet tater "Chips" I didn't do much spice since I love the natural flavor of sweet potatoes. I call them chips with parenthesis since they aren't the normal crunchy you think of when you hear the word chips. If you want more flavor you can just double up on the amounts below. I used size two in the mandolin slicer. If you slice the chips thin in spots they will burn a bit so try to slice as even as possible.

The BBQ casserole has all the joys of a backyard BBQ! The burger, BBQ, veggies, and pasta. You could even make this with out baking it as a pasta salad, just mix in bread crumbs! The husband couldn't even taste the Red Hot but I could and cut it back in the recipe below, if you want a bit more heat I would double it.

Sweet potato "Chips"(serves two)
2 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic

preheat oven to 400
Slice sweet potatoes on a mandolin, watch your fingers!
Toss in bowl with olive oil, oregano, garlic.
Lay flat on baking sheet, might have to do two batches
Bake for 10 min

BBQ Casserole (serves at least 6)
small bunch of asparagus
5 mini sweet peppers (if your local store does not have a small red pepper would be fine)
1 box noodle (I used garden delight Rotini)
1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, sliced/minced
1/2 cup favorite BBQ (I used Sticky Fingers Sweet Carolina)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/8 cup red hot (we only had the buffalo wing sauce on hand)
1/4 cup ranch
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon worchestshire
generous grind of steakhouse seasoning

Cut asparagus in small bite size pieces, throw into boiling water for two minutes. Take out of boiling water and blanch in a bowl of ice water. Toss into large bowl and set aside.
Boil noodles until cooked. Drain and rinse with cold water, put in same bowl as asparagus.
Brown ground beef, sliced/minced garlic, seasoning, and mini sweet pepper. Drain grease and put in bowl with other ingredients.
Mix BBQ sauce, ketchup, red hot, ranch, and worchestshire in a small bowl. Add sauce mixture to big bowl.
Put salad into casserole dish, top with bread crumb. Bake for 15 minutes covered, uncover and bake for 5 minutes more.

This is the seasoning I added to the burger mixture

I had added cheese but decided it wasn't so good! Trial and error...

Yum Yum

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Ipod Crochet Case

So it turns out the crochet case was a hit with Momma Dukes! Not only did she love it but the ipod fits beautifully. 

I will have to make more for the craft fairs before Christmas! Its a very quick and easy gift for friends and family. 

My next crochet case will be for her Samsung Digital camera for when she goes on vacation.


Check out the original post: Ipod Mini Case

Salsa topped Cauliflower "rice"

So I have been seeing pinterest pins about cauliflower rice and decided to give it a try today. I came up with my own recipe with what I had on hand and loved it! I also threw together a quick salsa with some corn and tomatoes that were getting ready to go bad and used it to top off the rice and add a little crunch. I will be making this salsa this summer with all the extra tomatoes I get from the garden.

Cauliflower Rice Recipe:
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
half head cauliflower
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup red pepper

Process cauliflower in food processor for a rough chop. Heat frying pan with oil and garlic clove minced/sliced, toss in red pepper, cauliflower "rice", and spices. Cook for about 6 minutes or until soft but not mushy.

Processed Cauliflower "Rice" 

Salsa Recipe:
2 vine tomatoes
2 corn cobs broiled
1/8 garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh or dry cilantro
1/8 cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop up two vine tomatoes, out in small bowl. Broil 2 ears of corn in an aluminum "boat" with a tablespoon of butter. Broil until the ears are charred, about ten minutes. Make sure to keep turning for an even char. Cut kernels from core and put in bowl. Mix in garlic powder, cilantro, and cayenne.

Before Broiling
After Broiling

chopped tomatoes

Final Salsa

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hash Brown Rosemary Crisps & Steak Sandwiches

The lovely grocery store always tempts you with something when you walk in for two things. Well this time it was fresh shaved steak sandwiches. And what goes better with steak then potatoes?

With every dinner I like to have a fresh vegetable as a side but lets face it, who has the time! Between attempting to keep the house clean (and failing miserably!), tending to a teething fussy baby, and making a thousand crafts for an upcoming wedding I run out of time way too fast. So I am always on the look out for yummy veggie sides that are quick and fast.

I found How Sweet It Is Cheesy Sweet Potato Crisps and tweaked it into a fast and yummy recipe with what I hand in my pantry and freezer. I had some leftover frozen hash-browns from a brunch we had a few weeks back and decided to use them for the potato's in this recipe. Works perfect with the beef sandwiches!

Hash Brown Rosemary Crisps
1 1/4 cup frozen hash brown, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon onion powder, salt, and pepper
1/4 teaspoon rosemary

Thaw out 1 and 1/4 cup of frozen hash brown.
Preheat oven to 400
Squeeze out as much liquid as you can from the has browns. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Make two potato patty's. Cook for 20 minutes or until brown and crispy.

I started with 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary but it was pretty strong, Honey loved them but I think next time Ill go with 1/4 teaspoon. You can be the judge depending on how much you like rosemary.

Steak Sandwiches
About a pound Fresh Shaved beef steak
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt pepper and onion powder (since I was out of fresh)
Fresh peppers
Fresh garlic
Sub Rolls

Heat olive oil in saucepan. Throw in garlic, spices and beef, brown almost all the way. Throw in pepper with about two minutes left. Prep rolls with cheese and any condiments you like.

We used Swiss cheese slices
Serve up and enjoy with an ice cold drink, ours was sweet tea =]

The finished meal!

Stuffed Avocado

Another avocado recipe! Had to use up that second avocado I got on sale. So I used the Baked Avocado Salsa from Mele Cotte Blog to make it into my own Stuffed Avocado recipe.

1 avocado, halfed and pitted
1/4 cup imation crab meat
1 tablespoon salsa
1 teaspoon panko breading
salt and pepper
2 tomatoe slices

Preheat oven to 350
Mix crab, salsa, and panko in a small bowl.
Stuff in both half's of the avocado
Bake for 5 min and pull out of oven
Place tomatoe slice ontop and put in oven for 3 more min


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ipod Mini Crochet Case

Mother's day is Sunday and we are trying to save money so I figured I would handmake a gift for my mother. I know she loves her Ipod and I have been wanting to make an Iphone case so I am testing out my first pattern. 

Here is what you will need:
G needle/ 4.25mm
size 4 yarn, 2 colors
thread and neddle

Front & Back:
ch 10 
SC in 2nd from hook sSC across, ch turn (9SC)
repeat for next 15 rows (total of 16 rows)
Finish Off, make two

I used Salt for the Spirit's small heart pattern for the front and sewed a button in the middle for the closing loop

Connect front and back with same color or color of heart (your choice). I first tried it with the blue border but didn't like it. So took it out and did it in rose and like it much better.

SC across top (9SC), hold back and front together SC two more SC in the 9 SC to make corner, SC 16 down the side connecting front and back. On each corner SC 3 to make the turn.

when you get to the top of the back piece SC 4, chain 15, skip next SC and SC across last 4 SC finish off and sew the tail.

You can alter the pattern to make one for a normal Ipod as well. Have Fun!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Avocado Salad Dressing

I went to the grocery store today and they had Avocado's on sale 2 for $3.00! 

I love avocados but have only had them so many ways. Well my best friend told me about her co worker who is vegan and how she uses a very ripe avocado for salad dressing. So I figured lets add a bit extra and make my own dressing!

I first tried using a blender but it just wasn't enough to really blend it together, unless you make a larger batch. So I switched to just mashing it together and it worked great. This recipe makes enough for two large salads and is delicious!

1 Very Ripe Avocado
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Container to store

In a small bowl put the pitted and peeled avocado half's, olive oil, salt, pepper, and squeeze the lemon once or twice to taste. Mash them together and mix well. Store for a day or two, might turn a little brown but will still be okay to eat.