Friday, August 30, 2013

Safer Mosquito Repellant

Listerine as a mosquito repellant
Here's a little something that might come in handy this holiday weekend.

Instead of spraying your family down with the harmful chemical Deet, use Listerine. Pour the mouthwash in a spray bottle and spray the kiddies with it. You may want to use a nice, fresh scent like mint instead of the original Listerine. Also, do not use the whitening mouthwash; you risk staining or bleaching your clothes.

This will have to be reapplied more often than commercial bug repellants, but its safer for the family.

Easy Beach Themed Centerpiece

Easy Beach Themed Centerpiece

This is such a pretty, easy and inexpensive centerpiece that it is a must make for any beach themed event.


Pint Sized Mason Jars
Tea Light Glass Cups
Tea Light Candles
Shells of your choice
Ribbon or Twine
Pour sand in the bottom 1/3 of glass. Arrange shells around the edge of glass, leaving the center empty for the tea light cup. Put cup in jar opening and place candle in cup.  Tie ribbon or twine around jar rings. Its ready to use.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

3 Ingredient Pimento Cheese




12 oz. Package of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
4 oz. Dice Pimentos (drained)
1 cup of Mayo
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients and allow to set in refrigerator over night before serving.

Easy, cheaper and tastes better than those prepackaged pimento cheese spreads you pick up at the grocer.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Time and Money Saving Tip

Individually wrap chicken and pork chops before freezing

This is a tip my sister shared with me recently.

Next time you buy a family pack of chicken or pork chops, try storing them this way.
Wrap individual pieces with either parchment or freezer paper, then place them in your storage bag for freezing. This cuts down on loss due to freezer burn and you can pull out the exact number of pieces you need when you're ready to thaw. Oh, and it makes thawing quicker because you're not trying to thaw out one big block of meat.

Thanks sis.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Simple Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole


Teriyaki Chicken Casserole


3 - 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
2  Envelopes of Knorr Asian Sides Teriyaki Rice
1 Medium Onion (diced)
1 Green Bell Pepper (diced)
1 Small Can of Sliced Mushrooms
1/4 Cup of Teriyaki Sauce
4 Tbsp of Butter or Margarine (melted)
3 Cups of Water
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
Black Pepper

In the bottom of  a large casserole dish, place chicken breasts and season with garlic and black pepper. Toss onions, mushrooms and bell peppers over breasts. Now, pour contents of Rice envelopes over chicken. Then, pour butter and Teriyaki Sauce over rice. Last pour in 3 cups of water. Cover with foil and cook at 375 for 1 hour.

Note - You do not want to add any additional salt due to the salt content of the Rice Mixture.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Easy Colored Mason Jar Lanterns

How to Make Colored Mason Jar Lanterns


Votive Candles
Floral wires of any color you choose / Twine / Ribbon
Jars you painted using the technique in our blog entry titled Painting Jars or Bottles: The Waterproof Method

Folks, once you have the jars made the rest is a piece of cake. Its as easy as wrapping, tying, dropping in a candle and hanging. Making the handles can be a bit tricky, but I'm going to attempt to show how to make these using photos.

Floral Wire Handle

First, wrap wire around bottom lip of glass. Leaving one side longer than the other, twist wire around itself. 
 Take long side of wire around to opposite side of jar from where you tied it together. Now, feed end of wire under the original wire.
Feed end of wire under original wire, again.
Now, take both ends of the wire and twist, pulling in opposite directions.
Wrap ends of wires around original wire.
It ready to use.

 Twine and Ribbon Handle

First, take spool of twine and wrap around bottom lip of the jar three times. Leaving about a foot of twine on one side and about half a foot on the other, cut twine from spool.
Next, leaving one side longer than the other, tie both sides of twine together.
Now, take the long side of twine to the opposite side of the jar from where you tied it together. Thread end of string over and under the original twine.
Pull end of string through loop around the original twine and tie off.
Tie ends of twine together, into a bow. Its ready to use.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Painting Jars or Bottles: The Waterproof Method

Waterproof Paint Technique
Waterproof Paint Technique

Do you ever wish you could paint old jars or bottles and still use them as vases? Or wish you could make the cute colored mason jar lanterns? One of the hot items in Weddings and Evening Events are these lanterns. They are cute and inexpensive to make. Many of us saw them used on the Vow Renewal Episode of Duck Dynasty. The ladies used painted mason jars, with candles inside and hung them from trees. They can also be used to hold fresh flowers. You can make these too. Here is step one in the process.


Painting Jars or Bottles:  The Waterproof Method


Enamel Paint
Fingernail Polish Remover
Disposable Bowl or Cup
Paper Plate
Popsicle Stick or Disposable Spoon
Jar or Bottle

Take a bowl or cup and squeeze in about a tablespoon of enamel paint. Next. pour in about a 1/2 teaspoon of nail polish remover. Using the Popsicle stick or disposable spoon, mix paint and polish remover. Paint should be the consistency of nail polish. The paint will still be thick but able to run. Pour mixture into the jar and gently tilt the jar or bottle in a downward angle and turn. Spread paint mixture by tilting and turning. If this is not enough paint to cover the entire surface, repeat the mixture process.
Once you have the entire inside of jar or bottle covered with paint, flip the it upside down on a paper plate and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the jar/bottle upright in a weatherproof area. Discard paper plate. Allow to air dry for several days; according to paint instructions.

***Update:  We've had several people write in and ask why the nail polish remover. The polish remover is used to thin the enamel paint - only. You could use a paint thinner or acetone, however, we try to give you methods that uses things you have on hand, as opposed to purchasing more specialty items that you may only use once. You notice that you need a very small amount, and this is to get the paint to spread easily. Acetone (nail polish remover) will evaporate during air drying process and will not effect the paint.***

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ways to Open Jar Lids That Stick

Use a rubber band to open jar lids that stick.

The older we get, the harder it is to open some of those jar lids.

Here are few things you can try when you don't have a strong man handy.

  • Run the lid under hot water. The warmth should expand the metal or plastic just enough to twist it off.

  • Place the tip of a spoon between jar and lid, then lift. This should release the seal and allow it to open. This one always scares me when working with a glass jar because of the fear of breakage.

  • Put a rubber band around a smooth sided lid. This will provide enough grip that you should be able to open it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Crock Pot Alfredo Chicken and Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe for Crock Pot Alfredo Chicken and Scalloped Potatoes


4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
6 Medium Russet Potatoes (Peeled)
2 Large Onions (Peeled)
1 - 8 oz. Jar or Can of Mushrooms
1 can of Milk (fresh is fine)
1 can of Cream of Chicken with Herbs
1 jar of Alfredo Sauce
Garlic Salt
Black Pepper

Place chicken breast in bottom of crock pot and sprinkle with garlic and pepper. Drain mushrooms and pour over chicken. Scallop onions and layer over chicken. Scallop potatoes and spread them over onions.

In a small bowl, mix milk, cream of chicken and Alfredo sauce. Pour mixture over potatoes. Potatoes should be completely covered by liquid. If not, add water or milk; just enough to cover potatoes.

Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 7.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to Make Bath Bombs

 Bath Bomb Recipe

Who doesn't love a great Bath Bomb? These are wonderful in the bath and make great gifts for wedding parties, teachers, friends and neighbors.



2 cups of Baking Soda
1 cup of Corn Starch
1 cup of Epsom Salt
1 cup of Citric Acid (with the Canning Item at the grocer)
1 tsp. of Essential Oil (any scent you wish)
1 tbsp. of Almond Oil, melted Shea Butter, Olive Oil, etc.(optional)
6 drops of Food Coloring
Witch Hazel (with alcohol at the store)
Spray Bottle
Wax Paper or Sil Pad
Silicone Mold or Melon Baller
Yields about 16 Balls
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Make sure there are no lumps.
Next, in a small bowl, mix food coloring, essential oil and moisturizing Oil. Pour into dry ingredients and whisk until smooth; no lumps.
 Take witch hazel and pour in spray bottle and begin spraying dry ingredients. Spray about five times, and then, whisk. Spray 5 more times and whisk. Continue this process until it passes the press test.
Test mixture by grabbing a handful and press. If the ingredients form a ball, you're ready to start molding. If mixture falls apart, go back to spraying with witch hazel.

The ole' melon baller trick. They make the nice round bombs you've seen everywhere but they can be a bit maddening for a novice. Do yourself a favor and do not go out and buy one of these just for making bath bombs. If you have a silicone muffin pan or an ice tray (like you get a the dollar tree) use it. A little trick to the melon baller . . . form a ball by hand and then put it in the baller. Otherwise, the mixture is going to stick to the sides and just pull apart when you open the instrument. Its still a challenge when you do it this way, but as you see, I did get them to halfway form into balls. I prefer the muffin pans.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hot Tamales Recipe

Hot Tamale Recipe


2 lbs of hamburger meat
1/2 cup of corn meal
1 tbsp of Texas Pete Hot Sauce
1 tsp of garlic salt
Dash of black pepper
3 ears of fresh corn (broke in half)
Corn husk
String (thread will work fine)
In a large pot, boil corn. In a large mixing bowl, mix meat, corn meal, hot sauce, garlic salt and pepper. You will have to mix with your bare hands.
Next, roll out mixture into about 5" long sausage shaped tamales. Tamales sizes vary due to husk sizes. Place tamale in corn husk and wrap husk around tamales. Gather one end of husk and tightly pull string around it several times. You do not have to tie off string. Now, do the same for the other end. Wrap all tamales this way.
When you've finished wrapping all your tamales, toss them in the pot of boiling corn and cover. Allow to boil for 20 minutes.
When you start to remove the tamales from the water, you will need to drain each one.
Serve tamales with corn.  Yields about 12 tamales.
These are easy, cheap and delicious. Great for doubling and making for a large crowd.