Friday, November 28, 2014

Frugal Friday 11-28-14

Grocery Deals
*cream cheese 70¢ each
*gallon milk 2.99
*flour 78¢/5 lb
*butter 1.98/lb
*sugar 97¢/4 lb

*was given corn candy and peanuts left over from Ladies Night Out
*rec'd bag of Hawaiian Dinner Rolls from a friend
*won a blog hop and rec'd a stamp set
*rec'd free book from Blogging for Books
*downloaded free books from Bookbub
*SIL gave me some baskets and yellow goodies she picked up for my Sunshine Baskets I made
*picked up some baskets for 10¢ each
*pretty snowman mug for 10¢ for a Christmas goodie basket I'm making

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pinned It Made It Monday Week 47

Benjamin came out and stayed with us Friday night so he could go hunting the next day. He likes snickerdoodle cookies, so I made up a batch. He also likes zucchini bread and I had a Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread recipe pinned on Pinterest for some time now and decided it would be the perfect time to give it a try.

And since I made Benjamin some special zucchini bread, I also made Kassy (his wife) her favorite flavor Reese's Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.

Reese’s Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Moist, rich Reese's peanut butter chocolate muffins have zucchini hidden inside!

Muffins: (my note: I just made into bread pans, but I recommend making them into muffin pans. they take too long to bake and get hard on the outside with all the gooey stuff on the inside still needing to bake. I also lowered the temp to 350° for the bread loaves.)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Streusel:
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 12 mini Reese's cups, quartered

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the oil, milk, sugars, vanilla, egg and zucchini until well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Don't overmix, or your muffins will be tough! Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

For the streusel, combine the flour, sugar, butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips in a small bowl until crumbly.

Spray a jumbo muffin pan with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop, put one scoop of batter into each of the cups. Put a tablespoon of streusel, and 8 pieces of chopped Reese's cups over top the batter in each cup. Scoop the rest of the batter evenly over the 6 muffin cups. Batter will be almost to the top of each cup. Sprinkle the remaining streusel evenly over the batter.
Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes. Do not open the oven ...just reduce the temperature. A toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Because of the chocolate in the middle, the toothpick might have a little chocolate on it, but there should not be uncooked batter on it.
Store in an airtight container. These muffins keep for up to 5 days at room temperature.

If you don't have a jumbo muffin tin, you can use a regular muffin tin and get 12 muffins. Reduce the baking time so they do not overbake.

My note: Black walnuts have nothing to do with Snickerdoodles, so I left out the black walnut extract and nuts.

Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread
via: kissrecipes

3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon black walnut ext.
2 cups zucchini, grated, unpeeled
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cups black walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup cinnamon and sugar mix

Oven Temp: 325°
Recipe Cooking Time: – 60 minutes
Pan Type: two 8 x 4" loaf pans

Zucchini Bread Directions
Preheat Oven and spray baking pans with non stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until blended. Stir in the oil, vanilla, black walnut extract and grated zucchini. In a seperate bowl, stir the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon together, add to the sugar mixture and blend. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour zucchini bread batter evenly into baking pans, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mix of bread mix evenly. Bake snickerdoodle zucchini bread in a preheated oven for the allotted time or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Transfer zucchini bread to wire rack to cool.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tombow and Stampendous Blog Hop Day 1


Welcome to the TombowUSA and Stampendous Winter Wonderland hop!
If you have come from 
Kristine Reynolds blog then you are on the right track, if not- you can start the hop over at the Stampendous Blog!

This hop will be a 3-day hop beginning today. I hope you have fun hopping all weekend as you will
see some winter-ful projects using both TombowUSA and Stampendous products.

I chose to create a card using the Cling Bundled Penguins stamp and Crystal Glitter from Stampendous! and Dual Brush Pens and Mono Adhesive Permanent from Tombow.

 To make the hop even more fun, Tombow and Stampendous! are offering up this prize:
The Prize includes:

In order to be entered to win this amazing prize, please comment on all the design team projects as well as like BOTH TombowUSA & Stampendous! on Facebook!
The winner will be announced on Monday November 24th at 3:30 PM EST.

 Here is the Line-up for Day 1:
Stampendous Blog
Tenia Nelson
Kristine Reynolds
Debbie Fisher
Amy Hurley-Purdie
Pam Hornschu
Melissa Cash
Tombow Blog

Now it's time to hop on over to Amy Hurley-Purdie's blog to see what "winter-ful" project she has created.

BFB The Pizza Bible

The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemignani is a book full of wonderful Pizza recipes and history as well as how-to's. The recipes are divided up into categories: Regional American, Chicago, Sicilian, California Style, Napoletana, Regional Italian, Global, Grilled, Wrapped and Rolled, and also a section on Focaccia and Bread.

It makes one hungry just looking at the pictures! There is a recipe for stuffed crust that I'm definitely going to try when the kids are all here for Thanksgiving weekend. I think it will be a perfect meal to a game of Settler's of Catan (my now favorite board game).

Another thing I loved about this book was detailed information on tools used. For instance: stones vs. steels; why rock to slice, as well as best ingredients to use to make the best pizza.

This large hard-cover book is 310 pages thick and full of so much information. I can't wait to see if some that I have learned helps to make my pizza even better.

I rec'd this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy Turkey Day!

The Cutting Cafe team is designing with any of these 3 Thanksgiving themed sets this week:
Happy Thanksgiving Word Shaped Card Template 
Turkey Shaped Card 
Thanksgiving Day Printable Stamp Set 

I have tried my hand at Zentangle before and it just looked awful. I thought the turkey in the Thanksgiving Day Printable Stamp Set would be the perfect image to try my hand at it again. I love doodling and have been so inspired by my friend Michelle's zentangle projects, that I just had to not give up at it. Ü

So here is my zentangle Thanksgiving Turkey.

Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pinned It Made It Monday Week 46

We picked all our apples right before the BIG freeze and snow, so have lots of apples waiting to be worked. I had pinned a recipe for Apple Pie Bread Pudding and decided as cold as it was, this would be a good way to warm up the oven, use up some apples (very few though LOL), and try a new recipe.

I served this warm with some cream and homemade caramel sauce (forgot to take a picture before Ü).

And here is the recipe via Katie's Cucina

Apple Pie Bread Pudding
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Yield: 8-10 servings
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar, separated
  • 4 cups Whole Milk
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 large loaf of crusty Bread (Italian or Country)
  • 5 small Apples, or 3 medium Apples
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 4 cups hot tap water
  1. Combine the Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice and set aside. Cut the Bread into inch-sized cubes and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, scald the Whole Milk but do not bring it to a boil. While the Milk is heating, crack the Eggs into a large bowl and whisk vigorously with 1 & 1/2 cups of Granulated sugar.
  3. Once the Milk is warm, slowly pour into the Egg and Sugar mixture while whisking constantly (called Tempering, so the Eggs don't curdle/scramble). Once all the Milk is added, whisk in 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of the homemade apple pie Spice Mix.
  4. Place all the bread into the large bowl so it can soak up the mixture. You can toss it with a spoon and press down to make sure all the bread touches liquid. Leave it to "soak" for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat the oven to 300F. Wash and dice the Apples into 1/2 inch cubes. I prefer the skin on for an added texture, but you can peel them if you do not like the skin. Place the apples in a bowl and add the Lemon Juice, the rest of the Spice Mix and stir until the apples are completely coated.
  6. Using a 2.5 quart Corningware or deep casserole dish (or if you prefer, individual portioned dishes) layer the soaked Bread and the Apple Mixture in 5 layers, beginning and ending with the Bread.
  7. One of the most important steps when making bread pudding is to use a water bath, or Bain Marie. Place a large dish or pan (big enough to fit the casserole dish and about 4 cups of water) on the rack in the middle of your oven. Place the casserole dish inside and then add the water - this is the easiest way so you don't create a big mess by moving the already full water bath into to oven.
  8. Cook for 45-55 minutes. The top will look slightly crisp and the bread should be moist, but cake-like with no excess liquid around the edges. Very carefully, and if you can, take the bread pudding out of the water bath and let it cool slightly before eating. If you can't grab the casserole dish, take both containers out of the oven and let the water cool, until you can get the casserole out of the water bath. Again, please be careful, because the water bath is extremely hot!
  9. Best served warm with either vanilla ice cream or homemade Creme Anglaise
Original Recipe from Love and Confections

**my note: the recipe above did not say what to do with the 1/2 cup of sugar left over. I sprinkled about 1/2 of that on top of the bread pudding and it gave it a nice sugary, crispy crust. I'm thinking that it is probably suppose to be tossed with the apple, spice, lemon juice mixture.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Frugal Friday 11-14-14

*rec'd from 2 different people free sample for Jamberry nails

*downloaded free files from MyScrapChick

*a friend's brother had extra tickets to Ne. Volleyball game...VIP seats! Ride was free, game was free and VIP meal at the Devaney Center FREE! Awesome experience and we won, so even better!

*2.5 lb bags of corn candy for only $1. Scored 10 of these. Some to use for our ladies night out, some for DH and the kids and some to make homemade Butterfinger Candy. The funny thing is I had my SIL pick them up for me and I was trying to visualize what a 2.5 lb bag would look like. Oh my! They are huge! LOL

*2 free beef jerky package samples for DH and I at Walmart

*canned vegetables for 25¢

*whole turkey for 88¢/lb

*6¢ off per gallon using HyVee fuel saver points

*expensive name brand gallon of milk for 2.99

*lb butter 2.50

*finished the fooled you peppers from the garden. They really lasted long in the refrigerator

*used 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby for blades for my paper trimmer

*also took advantage of 50% off fall items for plates for Thanksgiving and printed cello bags I needed for next week's ladies night out

*Betty Crocker vanilla frosting for 90¢. Had to buy two. I like this frosting for sugar cookies.

*free e-books from Blogging for Books

*free e-books from Amazon

*earned $35 in swagbucks

Blog Hop with Jen Goode/Church Fall Banquet

Today the Tombow Design Team is hopping with Guest Designer Jen Goode.

I am sharing some things I made for a recent fall banquet held at our church. The theme for the banquet was Refresh & Rejuvenate. I created 19 of these for round table center pieces. I was asked if I could do it as inexpensive as possible and I was able to.

The jars were free...our canning jars. I was able to bring them home and we will use them again. The "flowers" are just weeds. I went ditch hunting by our place and cut several different kinds of textured grasses/weeds.

The burlap on the jars were left over from my son and DIL's wedding. It is held together in the back with Power Tabs. The ribbon tied around it is by May Arts and from a roll I won from one of their contests.

The flag idea I got from Pinterest & Etsy. I have seen these fun flags around made from fabric, designer paper, Washi tape, etc. I cut and sewed the flags from fabric to give more color to the jar and then used Xtreme Adhesive along the skewer (97¢ for 100 at Walmart) at the top to hold it in place.

Here are all the other colored flags I made. I tea dyed paper doilies which were left over from B & K's wedding as well. Oh and the wood slice is also from what I used to decorate tables at their rehearsal supper.

I also got this twig holder idea from Pinterest. I went twig hunting in our yard and cut them to length and then using 1/2 Power Tab adhered them together on the ends. I typed "Replenish and Rejuvenate" on the computer and then hand drew the leafy image onto each card with the Mono Twin Permanent Marker. I cut and added a little color into the leaves with a Dual Brush Pen 026 Yellow Gold from the new Muted Set by just "smooshing" the marker into the leaf drawn.

And finally these pumpkins. I saw the idea I think first on Martha Stewarts website a few years back. The accordian circles were to just sit on top of each other (glued), but that didn't make them very tall, so  I added a Foam Tab in between each layer. Just in case  you are wondering...that was 133 accordian circles I made by hand. All the paper used was what I already had on hand. I added a stick at the top and hand cut 2 leaves from felt and glued and then adhered a raffia bow.

As with all our guest designer hops, there is a prize being offered.

The Prize includes:
In order to be qualified to win this amazing PRIZE, PLEASE comment on each of the designers projects. Tombow will announce a winner Monday 10/17.

Now it's time to head over to the very talented Melissa Cash's Blog.

The Lineup for this hop is:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

BFB Daughter of Highland Hall

The Daughter of Highland Hall - eBook   -     By: Carrie Turansky
I rec'd another e-book from Blogging for Books. This one was the second in the Edwardian Brides Series called Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky. I loved her first book that I rec'd from BFB and was excited when this next one was available.

This story is about Katherine (Kate) Ramsey. She is coming of age and is ready for London's social season. Just about everything that could go wrong does for her coming out, but God is always in control and knows best. This was a fun read and I can't wait for the next book in the series that will feature her younger sister.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pinned It Made It Monday Week 45

A couple of weeks ago I had purchased a spaghetti squash at Walmart for 49¢/lb (via price match, it was not that cheap normally) and oh how I wish I would have bought a bunch of them. I have only had spaghetti squash from the garden, so wasn't sure what one would be like from a store.

I baked it for an hour and then with 1/2 made THIS recipe from Pinterest that I forgot to take a picture of and then for supper made THIS recipe (Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo) from Pinterest. Both were absolutely delicious! I used garlic from our garden, so that was fun as well.

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
via Comfort Cooking

Yield: Makes 2 large servings or 4 side dish servings


1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
1 Tablespoon butter
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (I used fat-free)
1 Tablespoon cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 Tablespoons extra for topping
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, for optional garnish **I didn't do this**


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
First, prep the squash. Cut spaghetti squash in half using a large sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet covered with water. Bake until tender, about an hour.
As an alternate way of baking: Poke a few holes deep into the whole squash with a paring knife. Bake for 60 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing in half with a large serrated knife. Scoop out the seedy inside leaving the spaghetti strands.
Once squash is cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the “spaghetti” strands into the center.
For the sauce, melt butter in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour, cooking for another minute while stirring. Whisk in milk until no lumps remain. Once hot, add cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Spoon sauce equally into each spaghetti squash half. Gently pull up the spaghetti strands to coat as much as possible with the sauce. Top with extra Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
Top each half with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

Adapted from Food Doodles

and here is the recipe I didn't get a picture of:

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 5 Cook Time: 60

photo via steamykitchen

I tend to under-bake the spaghetti squash just a bit, so it still retains just a slight crunch. Baking time really depends on how big your squash is - try to get the smallest one, especially if you’re only feeding 4 people. It’s ready if you can pierce the squash with a paring knife with little resistance. If you’re a garlic love, don’t be shy - use more!

Alternatively, microwave the whole squash for 2-4 minutes (to soften enough to cut lengthwise). Place squash cut-side down on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until tender.


1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)2 tablespoons butter2 cloves garlic, finely minced1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.

2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) - but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

House Treat Box

Our challenge this week for Cutting Cafe was to use either the House Shaped Card set or the 3D House SetI chose to use the 3D house with a bit of a twist. I had seen on Pinterest where they made a house without a roof for a treat box and knew I wanted to do the same. After I fill it with goodies, I can make a tag that says something like "from my (our) house to yours".
First I cut the house out of kraft cardstock. I used the open roof option and just cut off the tabs. I glued a book page to the roof and designer paper for the house sides to the kraft cardstock with Mono Aqua Liquid Glue. I wanted to use and adhesive that I could apply to the entire piece of paper so it wouldn't bubble up where there wasn't adhesive (in humid weather) and to make it a bit stronger when it dried. I would have preferred using a glue stick, but was out, so just used what I had.I then cut a cracker box up and adhered that to the inside of each piece to make it even stronger. I laid the pieces out and adhered the side tabs all together with the exception of the last side so that it laid flat and did my decorating  of the front and back of the house sides (the back only has the rick rack and glittery rope piece).

I hand cut a little chimney and added that to the front of the house roof. The door was created using the rounded top door piece and moving one of the window pieces into it. I enlarged it and it's hard to tell, but added a piece of vellum behind the window.
To finish it off I created a base using  chipboard aka cracker box covered with another book page, adding chunky glitter to the roof, door and windows, punching holes in the sides to create a handle. I had sooooo much fun creating this and now want to make a bunch of them. I want to make some houses with roofs as well.

Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

BFB Where Treetops Glisten

Where Treetops Glisten -eBook   -     By: Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin

I rec'd the above e-book from Blogging for Books. The 3 stories in this book are about the 3 Turner siblings (Abigail, Pete, and Meredith) and the stories all take place during World War ll. Each one has faced heartbreak and each one searches for hope and peace.

The stories were good, but the reading wasn't as smooth and exciting as some I have read. I give it a 4 out of 5 rating.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Altered Dollar Store Christmas Gift Challenge

This week I am the hostess for Tombow's monthly challenge. My challenge is to alter a dollar store item into a lovely gift to give for Christmas.

I made some candy bar covers using Xtreme adhesive to close the paper around the candy bars and to attach the hats.

Here are some altered candles using Xtreme adhesive & Mono Liquid Aqua to adhere all the pieces. The fun thing about this gift is after the candle has been burned down, you can clean it out and then use it to store covered candies, buttons, tea bags, etc.

cranberry cobbler candle topcranberry cobbler candle

If you would like to play along with us for a chance to win the prize below, please hop over to the Tombow blog for more information. I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Pinnned It Made It Monday Week 44

Today's pin involves my youngest cutie patootie nephew. He wanted to be Mickey Mouse for Halloween and his mom asked if I could make him a costume. He had the clothes, so I just sewed big felt buttons on the shorts, drew black lines on Dollar Store white gloves and made the Mickey Mouse ears using this pattern from THIS pin on pinterest, courtesy of Wiki.

Can you stand the cuteness?! Ü