Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mom's Chip Dip

This chip dip is ALWAYS a staple for parties or barbecues in my parent's house. It is the easiest chip dip to make and has a surprising ingredient to some. You will need:

  • Cream cheese (2- 8oz packages for average recipe)
  • Onion (dried flakes or fresh)
  • Milk
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt & pepper

 There is your line-up, I almost like it better with dried onion flakes, but we were all out. If using dried onion, let soak in a little of the milk before adding.

This is so basic and delicious... With the cream cheese at or almost at room temperature, whip it up in a small bowl. When it is getting smooth, add some milk. You want it to be a good thickness to dip chips in without them breaking off! Add in the onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to your liking. Eat with regular potato chips or whatever your favorite is!


Repurposing Christmas Treats

So I had this revaluation last night while I was trying to go to sleep. i had just been visiting sites about cake pops and was trying to think what I had around the house to make some of my own. I thought about the 'leftover' Chritstmas cake in my fridge, but this morning the idea didn't seem so good...

Until I got to thinking about it... What a wonderful way to repurpose Christmas treats into New Years eats! If your house is anything like mine, that HUGE cake I made specially for Christmas, doesn't usually get eaten much after that day. And I put a lot of time and ingredients into that cake, so I thought why can't I make some cake pops out of it?! And believe it or not this worked out wonderfully for me and has endless possibilities. Uneaten cupcakes, brownies, etc could all be re-worked into fabulous chocolate dipped cake pops!

Okay, so here is the cake. And while it was fabulous on the 25th, I don't know who is going to eat it now. Cut off a portion of it...

...And get to mixing with a hand or stand mixer. This cake was 2 layers of cake, a cheesecake layer and frosting, so it formed a GREAT texture. If using brownies or another dessert, you may need to add cream cheese or some frosting to it.

Look how beautiful! Now get out your scoop. This one was about 3/4 or 1 in in diameter.

Scoop out all your balls onto some wax paper. Place them in the freeze for 5-10 minutes. They will coat in the chocolate much better when frozen.

Here is the chocolate I used, some milk and some white. (I just had 2 Hersheys bags that were almost empty, thats why I used two different kinds for both)

I put mine in a double boiler setting and adding some boiling water. 

Stir that chocolate until it melts and you are ready to dip!

 Of course I had to add some sprinkles and drizzle some chocolate!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake Bites! So good! 

 Hoping you can use this little trick to whip up some New Years treats for your family!

Toasted Oatmeal Cinnamon Ice Cream

Ever since my mom and I found the recipe for 'No Machine' ice cream, we have been trying out all kinds of recipes. We have yet to substitute evaporated milk for the heavy cream (I will do this soon), but we have made some good concoctions!

This one uses the basic recipe,

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (1/2 & 1/2 or other substitutes)
  • 1-2 cups oatmeal
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract

Using the desired amount of oatmeal (more oatmeal makes it more 'chewy' and less creamy) toast the oatmeal in a lightly buttered sauté pan. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. This could also be done in the oven.

Measure out your heavy cream.

Whip the cream (I don't do this step anymore and love the results, and if using a substitute you may not be able to whip it)

Add sweetened condensed milk, the oatmeal, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix lightly with mixer to combine the SCM and heavy cream well.

Mom used a spoon in the end to avoid over-whipping/mixing.

Now she got a new toy for christmas, this Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment. The bowl is kept in the freezer and you mix the ice cream from 15-25 minutes until it is at soft-serve stage. This cuts the normal waiting time of 6 hours to like 1 hour!  (For normal prep, place in a bowl and freeze after the previous step. It will need 4-6 hours to set properly)

I added some carmel syrup! Mmm! Next time I make this flavor I would like to play around with the amount of oatmeal. ENJOY!

Christmas Dinner

I have something special to share with you! For Christmas in my [parents] house we have an italian dinner, usually ravioli or some type of stuffed pasta. If was a tradition brought down my my father, grandmother and great-grandmother. Now, while I will not be sharing the recipes, I thought I would let you see what a wonderful dinner we had!

The main part of the dinner is what we call 'Banana Macaroni'. This name was affectionately dubbed by my great-grandmother, however it is basically a crepe stuffed with our family ravioli filling. 

Here is the ravioli filling, a mixture of ground beef, spinach, parm. cheese and some spices/herbs.

To cook the crepes, butter a sauté pan slightly. Scoop some of the batter on the pan and let it cover the bottom.

Flip the crepes halfway through, and then you have a stack as you go.

Mmm, here comes the filling. We did an assembly line. My sister scooped the filling and I rolled the macaronis.

Keep rolling...

We made an alfredo pan and a red sauce pan. Cover the bottom of the pan first, layer the macaronis and then cover with more sauce. (Like making enchiladas!) They bake in the oven until hot. And they are delicious! =)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Salt Dough Ornaments

Made this recipe for Salt Dough Ornaments today. They are super easy and pretty cute, because they look like sugar cookies. I just wanted to share some photos of how mine turned out after I decorated them. We are going to try and spray-adhesive them tomorrow to keep the glitter attached and add the string/wire to hang them from Hope you like!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Paint Chip Artwork

So I have seen quite a few paint chip pieces of art out their. I had planned on making a replica of this, however my shapes weren't quite as well cut. Great job Two Girls Being Crafty! My mom had overseen and asked what I was doing with all the leaves and it sparked this piece of artwork! I am pretty proud because well I love to do art stuff, I am not as gifted as I would like. I hope this art can be your inspiration as the one I saw was for me!

You will need:

  • A canvas
  • Paint chips (or old book pages, scrapbook paper, anything really!)
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush (es)
  • Sharpie
  • Acrylic Paint (optional)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • paper bag
*As I mentioned, this could be done with any paper medium, not just paint chips. I feel a bit guilty about taking so many, as I have heard they do cost the stores...Sorry! I really want to try this with book pages!

Lots of paint chips! I got ones that were larger pieces, not the ones broken up by white lines. I made a leave shaped template and traced that 4 times on about 40 chips!

They started out one size, but as I put them on the tree, I cut some of them down. 

I used a paper bag as the template for the tree, so I could sketch and erase ( a lot) as I went.

When you get the tree as you like, cut it out, carefully!

There he is finished! It would be an option to paint (or not) and glue this directly on the canvas. 

I traced the tree on the canvas with a thin-tip permanent marker, and filled it in with this as well. After, I put a coat of black Acrylic paint where I could get my fat brush to fit. The paint was more of a true black vs the blue-black of a marker. (ha I rhymed!)

There is my tree, ignore the wet paint/shiny spot!

Now you can start placing the leaves, without gluing first. This is when I cut some down and moved them around a lot to get the right color patterns etc.

Now it's time for the Mod Podge! I used a foam brush, but any paint brush would work also. Brush some on the bottom of each leaf and press them into place. Don't worry about the corners sticking up, we'll get to that.

Coat the ENTIRE canvas in a layer of Mod Podge. IT WILL DRY CLEAR, so don't be alarmed. However, be sure to try and coat it evenly and avoid bubbles. I learned this the hard way. 

Okay, here is where we deal with those pesky edges peeling up! Grab a sheet of plastic wrap, and if possible cover the entire canvas. Lay it down as smoothly as possible. Now place some books as heavy objects on top to press down the leaves. *If your canvas is like mine, you may way to place something underneath it to, so you down put too much weight on the canvas and tear it, if that is possible?*

Remove the objects and plastic wrap after 10-15 minutes and let the Mod Podge dry. Do another coat or two as you please, to even it out and get everything covered. It will dry clear and glossy.

Here is my finished product! I am excited to put it up in our new house and to try some more artwork with the Mod Podge. Hope this artwork inspires you to try some of your own! Don't be afraid and just have fun with it!