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January 7, 2021

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A dish of Irish Italian spaghetti.

Irish Italian SpaghettiThis is a family favorite, but I don't know why it's called Irish Italian Spaghetti. It's not your regular spaghetti sauce, creamy and with a touch of spice.

 

Spreading chocolate chips on top of the toffee.

ToffeeA family tradition at Christmas.

 

A finished plate of beef stroganoff.

15 Minute Beef StroganoffPrecooking ground beef and freezing it saves time when preparing this tasty meal.

 

Propagating Plants Inside a Christmas Ornament Bulb - finished project

Propagating Plants Inside a Christmas Ornament BulbMake these cute and inexpensive ornament bulb propagation planters to give as gifts or simply to decorate your desk, bathroom, or home.

 

Two plates of French toast.

French ToastOkay so this is such a perfect thing to make. It's affordable, quick, and just what I like in the morning!! So I hope you enjoy this as much as I do:) On with the recipe!

 

Buttoned Headband for Masks - woman wearing the headband with a mask attached around the buttons

Buttoned Headband for MasksThis headband is helpful when you have to wear a mask for extended periods of time and don't want the pressure on your ears. Your mask's straps loop around the buttons near your ears. I originally made this for my sister who is a makeup artist and has to be extra protective for herself and her clients at work. I used an old t-shirt's sleeve for this headband.

 

A slice of peanut butter pie fudge.

Peanut Butter Pie FudgeThis is one delicious but time consuming fudge that I would only make occasionally!

 

A completed pot of corned beef and cabbage.

Corned Beef and CabbageMade in an Instant Pot and just as good as the old way!

 

A finished dish of Hudspudt/Colcannon

Hudspudt/ColcannonA combination of two favorite comfort foods from two different ethnicities; Holland and Ireland.

 

A dish of Hungarian goulash.

Hungarian GoulashThis is a recipe from my sister that my family has enjoyed for years. Her husband was in the Air Force and they travelled to many foreign places. She picked up this recipe in Germany.

 

The baked pie, ready to eat.

Girl Scout Samoas Cookie PieIf you like Girl Scout Samoan cookies, you will love this pie! Because some of the family members didn't like coconut, I made a second pie and substituted chocolate toffee baking bits. That one was delicious too.

 

A plate with two slices of quiche.

Basic Quiche RecipeI use this basic quiche recipe and then add various ingredients to it to make a variety of different quiches.

 

The broth after several hours of cooking.

Beef Bone BrothMy friend won the meat from an entire cow at a school raffle. She gave me about 6 pounds of beef bones to make broth and had another 4 pounds for herself. I made this recipe with her and then made it again at home. This nutritious broth can be used to make all sorts of soups: French onion, beef barley or even pho.

 

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Coconut Pandan Sticky RiceThis is my Vietnamese inspired Coconut Pandan Sticky Rice with layered mung beans. This is a sticky rice dessert - you can serve warm or eat at room temperature. The toppings are optional - mung beans and sesame.

 

A serving platter of spaghetti chicken.

Spaghetti ChickenThis is a recipe shared with me from a friend I used to babysit for over thirty-five years ago.

 

Upcycled Water Bottle Indoor Planter - two completed planters

Upcycled Water Bottle Indoor PlanterMake these cute indoor holiday themed planters with items you have around your home. They make a cute decor touch and are great for your plants to propagate in (instead of a plain plastic cup).

 

A dip with canned tomatoes and cream cheese.

Rotel Dip RecipesRotel are canned tomatoes mixed with chiles and spices for TexMex flavors. They are combined with cream cheese for a flavorful dip for crackers or cheese.

 

Decorative glass mugs filled with trifle.

Holiday TrifleIf you are a little "pied out" by Christmas, having eaten your fill of pies since Thanksgiving, here's a nice recipe that uses the flavors of the season. And it's kinda festive looking. And it's flexible and not too fussy. Read on for my recipe for holiday trifle!

 

A finished cookie bar.

Seven Layer Cookie BarsUsing this basic recipe, you have the freedom to use different layers of sweets to build this cookie bar.

 

Poured Paint Christmas Bulb - finished bulb, reassembled and ribbon hanger added

Poured Paint Christmas BulbA friend gave me ten of these silver Christmas bulbs that someone had decorated with a writing paint, so I decided to upcycle them using the "paint pour" technique.

 

The mixed broccoli salad in a bowl.

Raw Broccoli SaladThis is a favorite of mine and I have been making it for years.

 

A painted table top.

Recycled Painted TableAfter finding this bent and torn child's table, we recycled it into an adult side table.

 

A bowl of cinnamon fruit dip.

Cinnamon Fruit DipI substituted plain yogurt for the sour cream and 1/2 packet of Splenda Naturals for the sugar. I added 1/2 chopped, unpeeled apple. This is a healthy snack, with lots of variety.

 

A loaf of cranberry apple banana bread cooling on a rack.

Cranberry Apple Banana BreadUsing applesauce in this bread to make it more moist since I used half whole wheat flour and half white flour.

 

Converting a Drawer Unit Into a Footstool - in service

Converting a Drawer Unit Into a FootstoolI recently gave a very large desk to a gal just across the road from me. I had used it less and less over the last year, so it was time.

 

Pie Crust Protector

Pie Crust ProtectorThe outer rim of a disposable aluminum pie pan works well to keep pie crust from browning too much. Cut the rim of the pie pan and place it on top of the pie crust while baking.

 

The finished structure being enjoyed by a toad.

Stucco Style Reptile Hide/Pool DeckThis craft is made to be used in a reptile/amphibian cage. It is made from a brick of Styrofoam melted/molded into shape with a combination of a hot wire and a lighter, and then grouted to make it durable. The top includes a spot for a container of water to be placed into it. A ramp/stairs provides access to the top and a cave is carved into the bottom to provide a place to hide.

 

Soap Jellies - plate of jellies

Soap JelliesOkay yes this sounds unusual, but these are in fact really cool and playful. They make traditional soap fun and more interesting for sure!! I found many recipes and ideas online, but when I tried them, the jellies would just fall apart and these so far have not done that! So I'd like to share how I make them and hopefully these will be a fun project for you to enjoy:)

 

The completed meal in a frying pan.

Salmon Sauteed TomatoesThis is a great and simple salmon meal you can make especially if you enjoy sauce over your rice. Or, you could also dip the sauce with bread instead.

 

Aluminum Leaf Earrings - finished set on neutral background

Aluminum Leaf EarringsThese 2 sets of aluminum leaf earrings are made from scrap aluminum from disposable pie pans and also an aluminum seal from a coffee can.

 

A chestnut-sided warbler in a bush.

Chestnut-sided WarblerI captured this picture in September while I was birding at a local pond. This little bird was elusive, hopping from branch to branch, keeping an eye on me at all times. His beautiful green plumage confused as to what species he was but I soon discovered it was a juvenile Chestnut-sided warbler!

 

A salted caramel butter bar on a plate.

Salted Caramel Butter BarsI love everything caramel. This one looked rich, just like a cookie bar should be.

 

Two baby books with pictures.

Personalized Baby Books During CovidMy twin grandsons were born less than a year ago and are growing up without seeing their family members faces during these trying times. I decided to get close up photos of each of our families' FACES and add them to a small photo album to give the boys for the holidays.

 

The finished blueberry scones.

Blueberry SconesDo you enjoy scones? Try making these delicious and fresh blueberry scones from home! They are much cheaper making from scratch than buying from the bakery too.

 

A pan of Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls

Caramel Apple Sweet RollsThis was a recipe printed on a Christmas napkin that I thought would be good to try out. It was a good way to use up some frozen apple slices that I had in my freezer.

 

The Cornish game hen on a foil covered platter.

Air Fry Rotisserie Cornish HenThis is a great recipe if you're busy and want a delicious meal with the help of an air fryer. Have a rotisserie cornish hen ready in 35-40 minutes! This is my first time but you can actually fit 2 hens (but I tried 1 to see how it would turn out) and it's a hit!

 

Succulent Driftwood Centerpiece - finished centerpiece planter lying on flagstone

Succulent Driftwood CenterpieceMake this beautiful succulent driftwood centerpiece for little to free (if you have the supplies on hand).

 

The baked chicken and dressing casserole.

Chicken and DressingI didn't have time to make this for Thanksgiving dinner but we had plenty without it. I made it today and we had it for dinner. Well, the two of them had it. I can't eat it because it is not gluten free. I wish I could. They really enjoyed it.

 

A bowl of the mixture with cinnamon on top.

2-Ingredient CheesecakeIf you have pudding mix and yogurt, you can make an excellent dessert in no time. I used my own homemade Greek yogurt and Jello sugar-free cheesecake pudding mix. You can use any flavor pudding mix you want. The possibilities are many.

 

The completed chili relleno bake.

Chili Relleno BakeWhat to do with lots of free banana peppers? Make this recipe. You can adjust the "spicyness" by adding different kinds of peppers or cheese to the recipe and adding a little more hot sauce.

 

The finished loaf of sliced cheesy garlic bread.

Cheesy Garlic BreadJust a good way to dress up some French bread instead of the same old same old garlic bread!

 

A bowl of cucumber shrimp soup.

Cucumber and Shrimp SoupHere is a simple, lightweight and refreshing soup you can make. This soup pairs great with a side of rice and requires a few simple ingredients only.

 

A plate of sourdough cinnamon muffins.

Sourdough Cinnamon MuffinsTwo years ago I made a sourdough starter and have kept it going. Every time I decide to "feed" it, I make sourdough bread. One can only make sourdough bread so often, so I wanted to find other recipes using sourdough starter and found this muffin one.

 

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Dry Your Own HerbsFresh herbs are great, and it is good to have some dried ones to preserve your summer bounty, or to prevent fresh ones from spoiling before they can be used up. Some people freeze herbs, but they may be ruined with a power outage. Dried herbs stay good for longer.

 

Mask Organizer/Hamper - finished organizer/hamper

Mask Organizer/HamperMy daughter has about 30 masks because she works at a school and must change them out daily, sometimes more than once a day. In order to keep them organized, I came up with this organizer/mini mask hamper which she can hang in her closet. It also helps her choose what color she wants to coordinate with what she wears each day. It has a front and back for efficient storage!

 

A bowl of cooked green beans.

Southern Green BeansIt's fun to try out new recipes with my instant pot and to do something to make vegetables more flavorful.

 

A plate of keto crackers.

Keto Cheese CrackersWhen you are restricting carbs but need a savory snack, try this easy and tasty cheddar cheese cracker, with or without any optional spices (although the one with Italian seasonings tastes like thin crust pizza to me!)

 

A serving dish of the mushroom spinach and sausage pasta.

Mushroom, Spinach and Sausage PastaThis is a very tasty (non-tomato based) pasta dish that I thought I would try out.

 

Several cherry trees with fruit.

Cherry Tree PhotosCherry trees are very popular for home gardeners. The white or pink blossoms are beautiful in the spring and the fruit is ripe at the height of summer.

 

A cooked waffle in the waffle maker.

Easy Homemade WafflesThis is a basic recipe that can have variations, if desired. It only takes one bowl, makes plenty, and freezes well for future breakfasts.

 

Big Soap Bubbles - bubble floating over the counter

Big Soap BubblesSo I know winter is approaching and these aren't really typical to see at this time of year, but you can use them inside too! You just have to be prepared to clean up a little bit of a mess:)

 

A pan of baked mashed potato casserole.

Mashed Potato CasseroleBecause we were given several 10 pound bags of potatoes, I needed to come up with some different ways to use them (a large quantity) at one time. This potato casserole is one answer to my dilemma.

 

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Chinese Bitter Melon Scrambled Eggs with MushroomAdd some nutrients to your scrambled eggs with Chinese bitter melon and mushrooms! Very simple and easy to make pairs great with rice.

 

A bowl of refried beans.

Best Refried Beans (Instant Pot)We got tons of pinto beans from food boxes, so I decided to find a really good Instant Pot refried beans recipe and make up a big batch.

 

A plate of spaghetti pie.

Spaghetti PieA family favorite and a cross between lasagne and spaghetti.

 

A loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread with Caramel Almond GlazeI made these loaves of bread to give to my friends for part of their Thanksgiving brunch or breakfast. Recycled Halloween pumpkin for a Thanksgiving treat.

 

The completed clam chowder.

Clam ChowderOur family's Christmas Eve tradition for over sixty years.

 

A healthy acai bowl with lots of fruits and toppings.

Healthy Açaí BowlThis is some cool stuff! It looks pretty, tastes pretty, and it's healthy ;) This is an awesome substitute for ice cream. It's just as yummy, just in a different way.

 

The completed DIY Candy Dispenser

DIY Candy DispenserThese have always been a hit for gift giving.

 

Decorative glass jars being used as vases.

Unusual Vase IdeasI like the items in my household to have functional uses. The items in these pictures also have a sentimental value. The jars are old canning jars from my grandma's old cellar. I use them for vases in my kitchen. The can is an old battery can from my grandpa's old plumbing truck. I am using it as a large vase in my family room.

 

Quilted Hot Pad - finished pot holder with ring hanger added

Quilted Hot PadI was given some completed, pieced quilt squares and there was an extra quilt square I couldn't use in the quilt I was making. I don't like to throw useful things away, so I made it into this quilted hot pad.

 

Rhinestones in a floral pattern.

DIY Rhinestone NecklaceIf you want to make a necklace for yourself, it can be a lot of fun and easy. It takes you about 45 minutes to make this necklace. Just follow these steps.

 

Individual Apple Crisps in a muffin tin.

Individual Apple CrispWhen you are feeding a small family and don't want a lot of leftover dessert, this is a fun idea to make individual servings.

 

Starburst Earrings - finished earrings hanging in front of red fabric

Starburst EarringsThese cute starburst earrings are a quick gift to make in a pinch and you only need a few supplies to make them.

 

A bowl of broccoli cauliflower cheese soup.

Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese SoupI love cream soups. This combination was great. I used broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and cheese! It was the best. I had never made it before. I just made it as I went along.

 

A bowl of butternut squash and carrot soup.

Butternut Squash and Carrot SoupThis delicious and warming root vegetable soup is great for adding needed Vitamin C in your diet.

 

DIY Crayon Lipgloss - lipgloss on the back of her hand

DIY Crayon LipglossYup you read it right. I'm going to show you how to make lipgloss out of crayons! It's really fun and easy, and it's interesting to try different crazy colors and see which is your favorite.

 

Large Lip Balm - new tube of lip balm

Large Lip BalmLip balms are usually made the size for lizard lips. They are easy to lose too because of their size. With this colder and dryer season, I wanted something bigger. Here is how you can make one too from your excisting ones, or from new ones ! :)

 

A blender popover in a wooden bowl.

Blender PopoversA quick roll to serve with salad!

 

A footed glass bowl of orange pineapple fluff.

Orange Pineapple FluffThis is an old recipe that we have enjoyed for years. It is so simple and easy to make, it takes just a few minutes to put together and get it into the refrigerator to chill. It can be served as a salad or dessert.

 

A bowl of hearty sausage chickpea veggie soup.

Hearty Sausage Chickpea Veggie SoupI run to make this soup when I notice I have an abundance of veggies in my fridge. You don't even have to use these same veggies that I use in this recipe. I know I always change it up! After I boil the veggies, I puree them, add chickpeas and cooked sausage. This soup doesn't need too many herbal additions as the sausage and veggies bring a lot to the table. Really hits the spot on a cold day!

 

The completed pan of rolls.

Basic Bosch Bread RecipeThe only way to make homemade bread is using a Bosch--at least that's my family secret!

 

A piece of homemade fudge.

Basic FudgeUsing this basic never-fail fudge recipe, I like to make up my own combinations of fudge. This time I made a chocolate/butterscotch/cashew fudge.

 

A pinto bean brownie with ice cream.

Pinto Bean BrowniesOur neighbor has given me so many pinto beans that I needed to put them to good use. I remember having a recipe for pinto bean brownies and had never tried them, so decided to give it a shot. I'm guessing these are a bit healthier than the normal brownie! They are moist and tasty and don't taste like beans at all!

 

Candle Ring - finished candle ring

Candle RingThis candle ring is made from disposable aluminum pie pans and a 10 inch wire frame.

 

A plate of creamy pork chops over mashed potatoes.

Creamy Pork ChopsDelicious pork chop main dish on mashed potatoes.

 

Recipes

Slices of vegan lentil meatloaf.

Vegan Lentil MeatloafIf you are a former meatloaf fan from the past, try this Vegan Lentil loaf Recipe because it's over the top delicious!

 

Several finished waffles.

Make Ahead Raised WafflesThese are light, fluffy and tender. Because the batter is made the evening before, it saves time in the morning. They freeze well.

 

Articles

A yoga mat piece lining the inside of a dog crate.

Prevent Blanket Slippage in Dog CratesIf you line your pet's crate with blankets, throws, or towels and find they constantly slide around on the slippery plastic tray that comes with the crate, I have an inexpensive solution. I found an old exercise/yoga mat that I was no longer using, which I cut with scissors to fit the crate's plastic tray. Since my dog is small, I still have enough of the mat left to cut two more pieces, which I can trade out when one needs to be cleaned.

 

Questions

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Adjusting Riding Mower for Short People?I just bought a 06 Troy Bilt riding mower. I'm a short person, how do I fix it to where I can drive it and reach the brake pedal the same time?

 

A stuffed brown bear.

Identifying a Stuffed Bear?I need help identifying this adorable bear. All I know is I grew up with this bear and the only thing left on the tag is the name of the company (1996 UNEEDA DOLL CO LTD), but I can't seem to find any similar bears like him anywhere online!

 

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