Tuesday, January 31, 2012

PF Chang's Spicy Chicken (Gluten Free/Soy Free Option)

I love Chinese food.
Correction: I LOVE Chinese food.
So it's sad that a gluten and soy allergy keep me from my love.
No more buffet or take out for me :(.

There is a PF Chang's about 30 minutes from where I live, and they have a pretty good gluten free menu, but that's just too far and expensive to regularly fill the void!

I made a few changes to fit what I had around the house:
-garlic powder
-orange juice (instead of pineapple)
-soy sauce substitute
I cooked this two days in a row, because it's that good!
The first time I cooked the chicken on medium-high for about 15 or 20 minutes.
The second time I cooked on a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time, and the chicken was crispier (not pictured) which is my preference.
Serve it over some brown rice and add more chili sauce or soy sauce to your taste.
This will be a regular meal in our house now!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Crockpot Potato Soup

My best friend (the crockpot) and I made a pretty good potato soup last week.
Place these ingredients in the pot:
-3/4 cup chopped onion & 1 tbsp cooked together in the microwave for 1 minute
-2 1/2 tbsp flour (I used Pamela's gluten free flour)
-4 cups sliced potatoes
-1 1/4 cup milk
-3/4 cup vegetable broth
-1/2 cup water
-salt & pepper to taste

Cook on high for at least 5 hours

Scoop it in the bowl and top with:
-shredded cheddar
-green onion
-sour cream
-salt & pepper to taste
This is perfect for cool weather!
This makes about 2 1/2 servings, and Colin and I gobbled it up!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Veggie Dinner

Sometimes you just need some veggies.

I love meat, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood for it.  Last night was one of those nights.

I made portabella mushroom sandwiches and roasted cauliflower.

I love a good portabella sandwich.  I made this one a bit differently than usual.
Instead of washing the mushroom, I patted it clean with a damp paper towel.  I heard somewhere (Rachael Ray maybe?) that you're not supposed to completely wet the mushroom.
I still brushed both sides with extra virgin olive oil and then seasoned it with garlic salt, basil, onion powder, and cajun seasoning.
I put them in the skillet and cooked on medium heat until both sides were soft.  Then I turned the burner off and let them sit.  I found that this softens them up more without over cooking them.  It flattens them to make them a little easier to eat as a sandwich.
While the mushrooms sat in the skillet, I sliced some tomatoes from my tomato plant-- that's still producing!
It lives by my washer.  I planted it in a huge pot, and I'm glad I did!  That way I could move it inside when it turned cold outside and the tomatoes would keep coming for a little longer!
I dressed the sandwich with cheddar cheese and mayonnaise mixed with some cayenne pepper.  And it's sitting on a gluten free bun from Dempsey Bakery.
This meal will fill you up without making you feel guilty!  And it has lots of flavor!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pinterest Pillow

I might be obsessed.  I love and hate Pinterest.  But that's for another day.  Here's a pillow to salute Pinterest.
You can get it at Branch Out or contact me for a custom pillow.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Natural Inspiration

I've been working on loads of projects that I'll be sharing with you very soon.  Until then, I wanted to share with you a few things that have inspired me lately.  I'm a summer girl at heart and loved that these little treasures gave me a bit of greenery and sunshine in the middle of winter.  I hope they brighten your day a bit too :)

What has inspired you lately?  PLEASE share!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spicy Roast Beef (Sandwiches)

I love my crock pot.  It's a working woman's best friend.  So here's another crock pot recipe I'm pretty happy about.

Spicy Roast Beef

I bought the roast beef at the grocery store and threw it in the fridge.  I'm sure you could freeze it and throw it in later, but I only had mine in the fridge for a day or so.  Season it as you like.  I seasoned it with garlic salt and cajun seasoning.  Now here's the secret ingredient: a jar of peppercini peppers-- juice and all.  Just empty the jar on top of the roast.  Cook on low for at least 8 hours or cook on high for at least 5 hours.  The longer you cook it, the better it will be.
Once it's cooked, just pile it on some bread.  I put some bbq sauce on my sandwich.  You can also eat the peppers.  This roast beef will have a bit of a kick.  I think it's better warmed up the second day.  If you don't want to serve it as sandwiches, serve it with potatoes.

Thank you crock pot.  Hugs and kisses crock pot.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas iPad Case (Custom Gift)

My dad gave my mom an iPad for Christmas, so I made a cover for her to protect it until she found a hard case she wanted for it.
The lining is blue fleece.
She found a keyboard/hard case for it, so now we'll have to alter this case to make room for the keyboard.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Custom Orders

I was on vacation a couple weeks before Christmas, and my break was spent working on custom orders.  I had some husbands who needed gifts for their wives, so I got to take a general idea and make what I thought would fit the ladies!

The first husband told me he wanted scarves that were pink and red.  You can't tell very well from these iphone photos, but the first scarf was mainly red with some pink shades, using a traditional yarn. The second scarf used pom pom yarn, which can be fun but also a bit of a pain to work it.

The second husband said his wife wanted something "cool".  I talked to the wife, and she wanted neutrals.  For her first scarf, I did a two tone gray and wheat scarf.  The second scarf was a fleece infinity that I sewed together.

I love doing custom orders, because I'm always thinking of the person while making it.  But it can also be a bit intimidating, because you hope they like it!

Did you make any handmade gifts for Christmas presents?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Spicy Chicken & Rice

I like spicy food.

I love spicy food.

I do not like bland food.

I introduce to you an easy spicy meal.

Meet Spicy Chicken & Rice:
Make some minute rice.
Grill a piece of boneless, skinless chicken breast.
Stir together.

Add soy sauce and chili sauce to your heat tolerance.
This is quick, easy, healthy.
It's great for leftovers too.

(I didn't promise that this was revolutionary or completely original.  I just said it would be spicy.)

What are some quick, spicy meals you make?
I'd love to hear about them!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Branch Out Conway

You can now buy Marla, Plain & Small items at Branch Out Paint Bar in Conway!

If you live in Conway, go to Branch Out to paint and check out the boutique where you can buy these scarves and more!

New Year's Meal


I know I'm a bit late!
I'm still celebrating Christmas!

I had to go back to work on Monday, but the hubster was still off work, and he surprised me with a great dinner!  He made boiled cabbage with sausage and black eyed peas with bacon!  It was delicious!!!  And we ate on it for three days, because it makes so much!

When I got home, I whipped up some corn bread to go with it and a cake for dessert.

I am about to share one of my most prized possessions with you--- the cornbread recipe.  It can be found in the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, but I don't think many people know how wonderful it is.  I've been making it since I was a kid, because it's what my mom used.  This will be the BEST cornbread you've ever made.  I don't follow the directions.  I throw all the ingredients in a bowl and just mix all at once.  I think that's part of the magic.  So make sure you do that.  Oh, and make it in a cast iron skillet-- no exceptions!
(click picture to enlarge)

I also made a cake from a recipe found in the cookbook.  I had never made it before, but it might be my new favorite cake!  I love the history they tell you about the recipe.  And I love that it's gooey like brownies and not all dry and cakey.  I had to use gluten free flour, but that was my only change from the recipe.
This picture is extra gooey, because I couldn't wait for it to cool!  It won't be this gooey once it sets.  But I agree with the recipe in that it needs to be served warm.
Ruby laid by the table as we scarfed down our wonderful food.  Poor Ruby.  She just had dog food for dinner.
I hope you have a blessed New Year!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tutorial: Card/Picture Hanger

About two years ago, I saw a post from Oops, I Craft My Pants, and I bookmarked it.
Then almost two years later, I finally got around to the project!
Anyone else like that?

She tells you how she did it, but I snapped a few photos on my phone to show you how I did it.

Step 1:
Grab a frame
I've had this frame for a few years. It's in good condition, but it was missing glass and the backing-- perfect for what I needed!

Step 2:
Paint the frame (optional)
I literally finger painted a few coats.

Step 3:
String the wire
I used floral wire, and instead of hot gluing the wire in place, I wrapped the wire around the staples on the back of the frame. These staples held on the former backing of the frame. If your frame doesn't have staples, then use hot glue.
You may want to use something a little stronger and thicker than floral wire if you want to hold lots of pictures.

Step 4:
Create loops in your wire by twirling it around your finger

Step 5:
Attach a hanger if your frame doesn't already have one

Step 6:
Hang and fill!
I put Christmas cards in mine, and I plan to fill it with photos the rest of the year!
I'd love to know if you make this!

Linking up:
Tip Junkie handmade projects
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