Thursday, August 30, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Bread

 My middle child hates school deeply and passionately.  If it wasn't for PE and lunch, I don't think I'd get him on the bus in the morning.   To lesson the blow of school starting this week, I wanted to make him something special for dinner .  
Chicken Wings are his very favorite and so when I saw this on Pinterest I thought I'd give it a try.  The original recipe can be found here (finding a new life through food), but here's how I made mine:

You'll Need:
Pizza Dough (recipe below if you need one)
2 cups Cheddar Cheese
2-3 cooked and shredded chicken breast
Louisiana Hot Sauce
Bleu Cheese Dressing

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle white cornmeal on top. Mix chicken and hot sauce.  (I used just enough to turn the chicken red, because I was worried about it being to spicy-but add as much as you'd like). Mix in cheese. Roll out pizza dough into a rectangle. Top w/ chicken mixture.  Roll dough into a log and pinch seams. (I rolled one the long way and one the short way and didn't notice much difference) Place on cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Serve with bleu cheese dressing.

Pizza Dough (it makes 2)
You'll need:
1 Tbl oil
1 Tbl sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbl yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups of flour

Mix oil, sugar, and water in a mixing bowl.  Sprinkle yeast on top. Cover with dish cloth and let rest for 5 minutes until it gets foamy.  Add 1 cup of flour and salt.  Mix well.  Add enough of the remaining flour one cup at a time until it forms a stiff dough.  Knead every 10 minutes for the next hour (I just used my bread hook on my mixer). Don't stress too much about this.  I haven't really noticed a difference when I only remember to knead it 2 times and it still worked out.  Also when I've been in a rush, I have only let it rise for 30 minutes and it still turned out just fine.

It was super yummy!  I was worried the bread would be hard or soggy, but it was perfect.  I am so making it again, but next time I am going to add olives and onions.

UPDATE: This was so good, I actually made it again yesterday.  My family was thrilled to have it twice in one week.  I added olives, but while all of us love black olives, we didn't love them in this.  It wasn't disgusting, but we all agreed it's better sans olives.

To see where I link up or to add your party, please click here.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Will Craft for fun #54

I have been mostly busy w/ getting my kiddos back in school and trying to avoid getting West Nile Virus at their practices (I should just refuse to go and stay home and craft-much safer). However you guys are up to some pretty impressive things.

How Cute are these costumes?

I totally want to eat this:

Here's some great advice for back to school.

There was a tie for most viewed links:
Homemade Oreos
DIY Pink Filling Oreos
And DIY Storage Cubbies

Now it's your turn.  See you on your blogs:)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Christmas Tree Skirt a Mere 9 Months in the Making

 I am trying to not start any new projects or buy any new supplies until I finish up the old ones.  (This decision is also probably contributing to the lack of projects on the blog lately).

I've wanted to make myself a new Christmas skirt for the past dozen years or so, but have just never got around to it.  This year, I was determined and even went so far as to buy some fabric, which has been lying in a pile on the floor mocking me since November. 

So last week, I started on this baby and it has taken me an entire freaking week.  
(not an actual Christmas tree)

I was worried the original wouldn't be big enough so I added a few layers to mine.
       row 12 pieces of 6" x 42"
       row 24 pieces of 6" x 42"
       row 3pieces of 6" x 42"
       row 47 pieces of 6" x 42"
       row 58 pieces of 6" x 42"
       row 6: 9 pieces of 6" x 42"
       row 7: 10 pieces of 6" x 42"

Also, because I am insane, I finished all my edges.

It was a tedious project and I am sure I will have dreams that I am being smothered by ruffles for weeks to come, but I am thrilled with how it turned out.  I guess I can actually put it out it in a mere 3 months.

To see where I link up or to add your party, please click here.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Will Craft for fun #53

I have been busy w/ getting the kids ready for school and haven't done anything blog-worthy all week long.  My husband was gone, so I didn't even cook.  Here are some of my favorite projects that you guys have been doing:

These adorable Super hero dolls from Sewing Miles of Smiles (she makes them for sick kids which makes her a hero in my book).
I also love these mini topiaries from the Messy Roost.

My garden is all burned up, but I pinned these zucchini burgers from Meremade for next year.

And the most viewed link:

Brie Brie Blooms painted concrete floor.  I so want to try this.

What have you been up to?  See you on your blogs:)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Will Craft for fun #52

Happy Tuesday everyone! You all were very busy last week doing great things.  I, however, spent most of the week laying around and watching the Olympics. (I try to think of myself as patriotic not just lazy)

Gramma Luvlee has the amazing grandma camps every year, but this year they built a pirate boat for pirate day!  Seriously-go check it out
Visual Eye Candy pulled off this gorgeous office.
diy_ baby_bib_easy
Adventures of Our Family  diy bib was last week's most viewed link.

Now it's your turn-see you on your blogs!

Sugar-Free Watermelon Sorbet

Don't you hate it when you break open a watermelon and instead of the insides being all crisp and yummy, they are over-ripe and mushy?     

I've been a pretty good watermelon picker this summer, but got a dud this week.  I knew no one would eat it and I couldn't bear throwing it away, so I decided to make watermelon sorbet.

I based it on a recipe I found in my Southern Living Cookbook.

You need:
4 cups finely diced seeded watermelon
1/2 cups Splenda
3-4 Tb lemon or lime juice
dash of salt
1 cup half and half (you could use milk or yogurt too)

Mix watermelon, Splenda, and juice and chill for 30 minutes.

Optional: Blend mixture until smooth.(I liked the chunks of watermelon so I didn't) 

Add half and half and beat w/ a mixer until fluffy.  Pour into your ice cream maker.

Serve w/ sprig of mint.

All 3 kids liked it and it satisfied my need for a sweet treat.  I will be making it again:)

To see where I link up or to add your party, please click here.
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Monday, August 13, 2012

No sugar?!?!?!?!

I realize that most of you probably don't care, but I am posting this here to keep my self honest.

I am a sugar addict-especially if it also has some fat in it.  In an effort to try and control my appetite for all things yummy, I put a "Do Not eat Sugar for 30 days" challenge on my 40 by 40 list.  

Here are my rules:  I will avoid all sugars, syrups, and honey for 30 days.  I will try and avoid all processed sugars, but if there happens to be a little in something like bread or pasta sauce, I will not freak out can still eat it. For example, I could eat a slice of french bread, but not a cinnamon roll or a cupcake.  

I am allowed to eat sugar substitutes.   

Wish me luck.  I have 29 days to go.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Red Striped-Shirt of Shame

 Except for the dozens of shots of my headless daughter, I don't blog much about my kids, so feel free to skip this post.  If you read it  you can either laugh or be horrified by my parenting skills.

My boys usually dress like slobs.  I do buy them nice clothes, which they either ruin immediately or never wear. They have brand-new clothes (some even with tags attached) hanging in their closets, but they daily choose stuff with holes and stains. I want to force them to wear a wardrobe disclaimer that would read something like "I am not neglected or unloved, I just choose to dress this way".

My fashion frustrations with my boys go way back:
 When my middle son was 4, we drove up to St. Louis to visit our good friends. I was excited to leave all his ratty clothes home and pack the clothes I wanted him to wear including adorable matching striped red shirt that matched his baby brother. Unfortunately, he was going through a phase where he refused to wear anything w/ a collar except to church.  We compromised- he wore the shirt to church, and then changed into a t-shirt  for sight-seeing later in the afternoon. 
Check us out in our post-church clothes.  Notice baby brother's shirt.

I can't even remember exactly what, but he got caught doing some sort of four-year-old mischief.  Since we were busy sight-seeing w/ another family, "time-out" was not an option and I needed a quick discipline idea. I pulled the red shirt out of the diaper bag and told him that he had to wear it for 20 minutes.  It worked so well that through-out the week, whenever he was naughty, he'd have to wear the shirt. 

After the trip, we reviewed our photos and the poor kid is wearing the shirt quite a bit-the zoo, the Arch, dinner, historical sites etc.  

The shirt eventually got handed down to his little brother (who actually didn't mind it), but even he has out grown it. I cleaned out my boys closet and got rid of 2 large trash bags of clothes.  However, I just couldn't bring myself to donate this shirt, which we have lovingly named the "Red Striped Shirt of Shame". Now this shirt just makes me a little nostalgic for my naughty four-year old. 

He still has those big hazel eyes and dimples, but sadly the blond bowl hair-cut is gone and he will start middle school in a few weeks. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Will Craft for fun #51

Here are some of my favs from last week:

What Meegan Makes is making me hungry.

Meeha Meeha's charmed me w/ her tea party.

Threading My Way impressed me with all the detail on her pillow.

What have you been up to this week?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Back to School Shoe Deal

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


School starts up again in  few short weeks and that means my kids will have to trade in their flip-flops and bare feet for actual shoes.  I only have three kids, but it can still be a daunting task to find shoes that they like and that I can afford.  

Famous Footwear really tries to go out of their way to make shoe shopping as convenient as possible. They have a huge selection, but if they do not have the shoe I need in stock, they will ship it directly to my home for free.  Also if I do not feel like dragging the kids out shoe shopping, I can do my shopping from the comfort of my home computer.   Famous Footwear will even ship it to my local store for absolutely no additional charge.

I am a cheap skate and really appreciate the value I get at Famous Footwear.  Their prices are lower than your average department stores. To save you even more money they have a FREE Rewards Program.  Just for signing up, you will get a great discount offers and perks.  You will earn 1 point for every dollar you spend (either on-line or in store).  As you accumulate points you can earn certificates for up to $100 per year.

Famous Footwear currently running a great deal for back-to-school:

Click  BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon to print out a great coupon  to save you money.  The coupon will allow you to buy one pair of shoes and get the second at half off + you can take an additional %15 off.  Coupon is valid 8/2-8/18.  Actually if you sign up for the Free Rewards Program you can actually take %20 off!


Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Braid

I don't know where it originally came from, but this has been a family favorite for years (probably at least 25).  It is kind of like pizza's older more sophisticate sister. 

You need:
4 cup flour
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbl sugar
1 tsp salt
2 pkgs yeast
1 cup hot water
 2 Tbsp margarine/ or 1 Tb EVOO
 2 eggs
Tomato sauce
chopped veggies (optional)
2 cooked chicken breasts
1/2-1 cup mozzarella (shredded or cubed)

Mix oil, sugar, and water.  Sprinkle yeast on top.  Let stand a few minutes until it's foamy.  Add 3 cups of flour, salt, and 1 egg.  Add remaining 1 cup of flour to form soft dough.  Knead for 4 minutes.

Divide into thirds.  Let rise 10 minutes.

Roll each into a long skinny rectangle.  Cover with toppings.  Use sauce sparingly (you can serve with extra sauce later) so it doesn't get soggy. 

 Pinch ends to seal.  

Braid the three parts together.  Let rise over a shallow pan of boiling water for 15 minutes. Brush with beaten egg and bake at 400 degrees for 20- 25 minutes. Brush again w/ egg and sprinkle garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Bake and additional 1-2 minutes.  Serve with extra sauce.

This is a super versatile recipe.  You can substitute feta and spinach and make it Mediteranean or bacon and cheddar and give it a more southwest touch.  My family was just excited that I actually cooked:)

To see where I link up or to add your party, please click here.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Genius bobbin solution

My bobbins are always a big tangled mess of thread that make me grumpy.  No more tangles for me thanks to Sew Many Ways.  She just attached magnets to the side of  a planter and Voila-instant bobbin holder.

I already have a ton of stuff on my desk, so I decided to adhere the magnets to the side of the desk.  They are out of my way, easy to grab, and best of all-tangle free.  

I love when a find a cheap and easy solution!  

If you are one of those people w/ computerized machines or your machine uses plastic bobbins, here's another idea I saw on Pinterest 
Genius I tell you. bobbins in toe seperators.

To see where I link up or to add your party, please click here.
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