Monday, September 7, 2009

The leftover pizza experiment.

I love a good deal...and pizza. So when I am offered a second pizza with my delivery order for 25 cents, I can't turn it down. Unfortunately, I can't eat it all either. So the question becomes, what do I do with all this pizza? So I decided that freezing it must be the answer. But after reading some websites on the topic, I found that there is much dispute about the best way to do this. So I have decided to give several of the suggestions a try in an attempt to answer the question... what (if any) is the best way to freeze leftover pizza?

The actual freezing part seems to be agreed upon for the most part...wrap in plastic wrap, put in freezer bag, put in freezer. So that is today's task. Results to come in a week or so. Try to contain your excitement. Haha.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Father's Day is on the Way!

I just wanted to share a suggestion for a delicious, cheap, and easy Father's Day cookout. Beer can chicken. I have made it a few times in the past for family and friends and it has always been well received.

So here is the recipe - George Duran's Spice Rubbed Beer Can Chicken.

I am also going to try my hand at homemade baked beans as a side dish. Here's the recipe I am thinking of using - Slow Cooker Baked Beans. Let me know if you have any suggestions for recipes/techniques!

I haven't figured out what else I will make, but I am going to attempt to cook everything on the grill to avoid a hot June kitchen.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In case anyone cares...

Just so you know.. I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I have, however, just finished grad school, accepted a new job, and am in search of a new home... so, slightly busier than usual. I will return. I have some stuff to post from the past few months and will have more to share in the future. Hang in there...I will be back!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Goodies - Pecan Pie Bars

Here's the first of the goodies I made to fill my easter baskets. Pecan Pie Bars. They are sooo good and easy to make. If you like pecan pie, you will love them! Give them a try!

Origami Easter Baskets

In my search for an inexpensive and cute easter gift idea, I came across these super cute origami paper easter baskets on Expert Village.

The directions were presented in a series of videos (which were a bit confusing because they were not listed in any particular order, so I have provided ordered links here)

Origami Easter Basket Video Instructions:

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
Video 5

And here's what you get! I will be filling them with homemade goodies for my family and friends.. more to come on that!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Just a quick update...

More to come later. I just wanted to post a picture of the longies I am working on for my cousin's new daughter...made from my awesome Kool-Aid dyed wool!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Choosy Moms Need to Think Again...

Homemade peanut butter! Yum!

So it has been a while. Being a grad student takes a lot of time. Ha ha. But for the sake of my sanity, I have taken a break for some food and blogging. Why peanut butter, you ask?

1. This giant jar of mixed nuts in my freezer (and let's face it...who eats the peanuts with all those yummy cashews and pecans and almonds to distract you?)

2. My overwhelming desire to use my "new" thrift store blender (1.98!) and its awesome ability to blend things in mason jars.. see this tip at Simply Recipes for more info.

3. This spaghetti jar...

So the peanut butter adventure begins. Here's what you will need:

  • 2 cups peanuts (in my case, painsakingly picked from the mixed nuts jar)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • salt (if desired)
  • blender or food processor
  • jar for storage (or blending if you have one of these cool old blenders)
  • spatula or spoon to scrape down jar if needed

From there, it's pretty simple...

First - fill jar, food processor, or blender with two cups of peanuts (the spaghetti jar had the ounces marked on the side of the jar making this task even easier) and 1 tablespoon oil.

Next - Blend! Add up to one more tablespoon of oil if the mixture is too thick. Keep in mind, though, that it will make the final product slightly thinner.

When it looks like peanut butter, stop blending. Pretty simple. At this point, I tasted it and added a little extra salt...probably about a quarter teaspoon with my salted peanuts.

Finally - Enjoy!!

Be sure to keep the peanut butter in the refrigerator. Unlike the commercial stuff, there are no preservatives!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Tiny Valentine's Treat

Two of my friends are having some people over for Valentine's Day next weekend and while I have very little to spend (being a poor college kid and all) and gifts are not customary for such occasions, I was trying to think of something I could make each of them just to say thanks for having us over.

So the thought process began as I was sitting on my couch trying not to eat the Hershey Kisses I had left over from Christmas in a dish on my coffee table. Then it came to me...remove the green kisses from the Christmas assortment, and you have red and silver. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

So my very small (but I think rather cute) gift was in the works.

Back to the paper box. Soon people will stop accepting them from me...haha. But for now I am definitely taking advantage of that lovely Etsy tutorial.

This project doesn't really require any explanation, so here are some pics.

For those of you who read my last Valentine's post, these hearts should look familiar. For those of you who didn't and want to, click here to learn.

So there you have it. My cute (and incredibly inexpensive) little thank you gesture. I like to think it's the thought that counts. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A personal victory...aka Harddrive Cozy Part 2

I finally figured out how to post a pdf file for others to download. So here it goes...the Harddrive Cozy!

If it's not too much trouble, please let me know if you try it and how it works.

Also, I have posted the pattern on Ravelry. Check it out here.

Thanks so much to those of you who have shown an interest in the pattern!

It's my first pattern, so bear with me. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions!

View the original Harddrive Cozy post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Valentine's Day!!

Another fun holiday coming up...Valentine's Day! Continuing with my attempts to recycle and reuse, I came up with these cute Valentine's Day cards.

Here's what you will need:

  • Tissue paper (The stuff from Victoria's Secret purchases works great!)
  • Mod Podge (regular white glue would probably work too)
  • Brush or sponge for Mod Podge
  • Notecards or card stock (remnants of flashcards...)
  • Cardboard or whatever you want to adhere your hearts to
  • X-acto knife
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil

(The paper bag in the picture above will be used to make envelopes)

Step 1: Tear the tissue paper into a bunch of little pieces and Mod Podge them to your notecard. No particular method...just whatever you like.

Step 2: Once the notecard has dried, turn the card over and draw your heart.

Step 3: Using an X-acto knife, cut out the inner portion of the heart.

Step 4: Using scissors (or the knife again, if you prefer) cut out around the outside of the heart. You will end up with the shapes below:

Once you have your hearts, affix them to cardboard, or card stock, or whatever else you have in mind! I used double stick tape for mine...the Mod Podge made the hearts curl a bit so I thought the tape would help to fight the paper's urge to curl.

I also embellished with another of my many $1 stamps and cut down the inner heart a bit so it would fit better.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And the pillow is complete!

But I had a lot of help. Here it is though..

Complete with pockets for my remote or lip balm or any other necessities... yay!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A new kind of box..

So this is in its early stages.... but I'm really excited about it (despite not really coming up with much of anything on my own). I found this tutorial on and have come up with my own use for the finished product. The tutorial shows you how to make a cube from old cd cases for displaying pictures, but I have found that it makes a great way to store those cd cases that haven't yet made it to the "please find a way to reuse me" stage.

I haven't really thought it all the way through yet. It's a little shaky when used with the openings on the sides versus the top and bottom... but I'm thinking a little hot glue along the inside edges will fix that. I will keep you posted.

I can't wait to make more and stack them to make an entirely recycled cd tower!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

You put your right foot in...

Whether it's the Hokie Pokie, or the picture in my mind of me reluctantly dipping my right toe into the ice cold swimming pool that is sewing, the title applies. But here it is. I'm trying to sew.

I've been wanting to cover this thing for a while. Another of my many Walmart purchases, it's been around for about 15 years now. The fabric is not very nice and the color no longer matches my decor. It also used to have incredibly large piping on it, which I cut off.

So after my aunt gave me over 6 yards of Virginia Tech fleece at Christmas time, I decided now was the time to cover it. What better way to fix a pillow that doesn't match anything than to cover it with bright orange collegiate fleece? :)

I must confess.. I actually made a body pillow case as my first project, but I don't think that really counts as a sewing endeavor. So I will consider this the first attempt at legitimate sewing.

Luckily, my mom (who actually sews) had a pattern from a pillow like this she made years ago for my sister. Also luckily, she had the patience to work with me on cutting out the pattern pieces. Sad, I know, but I did need help. So here are the pieces.

If any of you out there are sewers, or Hokies, or would just like to brighten my day, please leave me some words of encouragement. The worst is yet to come. Haha.

Friday, January 2, 2009

And they're all made out of ticky tacky...

Although Christmas is long past, in my family we are still trying to squeeze a little more celebration in. So with a trip to visit some more family just around the corner, I have just finished round two of cookie baking and gift tin packing.

It seems that 2008 is the Christmas of the paper (and wax paper) box. So using my new found paper box making skills I made these wax paper boxes to hold cookies instead of buying more candy or muffin cups. They worked pretty well, despite being no where near as precise as its scrapbook paper relative.

I tried some new cookie recipes this year in addition to some of my regulars. The tins (purchased around this time last year for a dramatically discounted price at Walmart) include:
  • Peanut butter blossoms
  • Snickerdoodles
  • Ginger cookies
  • Cinnamon peanut brittle
  • Chocolate crinkles

I thought I would share some of these recipes because I think they are delicious and super easy. The peanut brittle (which is in its third year of Christmas gifting) is a great recipe from Gale Gand.

I normally make a double recipe (one recipe at a time), resulting in 2 cookie sheets full of brittle. I also like mine very heavy on peanuts so instead of using two cups of peanuts as the recipe states, I use about three cups (one and a half jars) of peanuts per recipe.

The ginger cookies are on year two and seem to be a hit. I only bake them for about 12 minutes resulting in a chewier cookie than the recipe would create.

Last recipe - the chocolate crinkles. This is the first year I tried these and they are absolutely delicious! I made these just as the recipe is written and they turned out wonderful.

The crinkles would also be great for Valentines Day!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Harddrive Cozy

Well... I got a new external harddrive for Christmas, which syncs all my files and is fantastic, so the first thing I had to do was knit it a cozy. It's a Western Digital My Passport Essential (in case you have one and want to knit this) and according to the website its measurements are as follows:

Height - 0.590 Inches
Length - 4.967 Inches
Width - 3.130 Inches

...which I am sure could be used for other items as well. It is quite stretchy. If you are interested in the pattern leave a comment and I can try to type something up. But its knit in the round on size 4 needles with some Caron Simply Soft I had laying around. Cast on 36 stitches and knit a 3 by 1 rib.

Then I just added this little tab and button to keep it from falling out. Result: cuddly little harddrive case to protect all my pics and music and the like.

P.S. - Happy New Year!!!

P.P.S. - I've added the pattern. Check it out here.

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