Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday's shopping spree Aka Have you thought about Christmas yet?

Have you thought about Christmas yet? Do you wait until the last minute to shop, hit the stores on the day after Thanksgiving before the sun rises, or do you plan ahead, making lists and determining that this year, most of it will be hand made or at least purchased and mailed by Thanksgiving,  I fall somewhere in the midst of all those categories. I've been thinking about it lately though and because I hate to shop in a crowd and I really would like to make the majority of the gifts I give and yes, I would love to have everything done before Thanksgiving so that I can be free to enjoy as many of the season's festivities as humanly possible. After all, it only happens once a year right?
Brace yourself: Here it comes: Christmas will be here in.....133 days!
Let's Go shopping....

new baby in the family? check out this adorable Sock Monkey Cocoon and Hat by nmelone13 on ETSY, or how about the little ones who love stuffed animals? Check these out....Gordon.
For the avid reader on your list, you can always offer bookmarks like this one  by my favorite folk artist Campbell Jane.

Jewelry is always a plus, and I love this bracelet by sparkle peach with it's simple elegance.
 I've been working on some earrings and bracelets of my own too,

but I have yet to list them.   I have no idea what to do for the guys on my list, but I really need ideas.

So where do you stand? Have you started, do you not want to think about it? Have you thought about it but don't want to deal with it just yet? Once again I seem to fall in the middle of all my categories.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursdays Tips

I have run out of a few things this week and I am trying my best to avoid the grocery stores and walmart and all those other places that you almost can't escape with any pennies left in your bank account. I have posted before about my love of DIY recipes for convenience items and seeing as payday is a couple of weeks away,

and school is starting in less than 10 days, and though I am not really agoraphobic, lately I just don't want to leave home. All the more reason to avoid the stores right? This week, I have made home made "hot pockets", Ketchup, and I am just before making my own hershey's style chocolate syrup because I used the last two teaspoons I could squeeze out of the bottle to make a mocha frappuccino for my son. I thought I would share my recipes for my cheaper versions of some of our favorite convenience things.
The hot pockets were really a good surprise. I had some leftover chicken and filling mix from a pot pie I had made so I simply added some broccoli and cheddar cheese to the mixture and wrapped it in an empa~nada dough recipe that I got from my sister so many years ago I'll bet she doesn't even remember. LOL They were easy to make and even though the crust was a little more bread like than hot pockets, they passed the ultimate test, the snack-hungry teenager.
Here is my recipe, feel free to tweek it anyway you like to suit your own tastes and if you make it, let me know how you like it.
2 Cups Self Rising Flour
1Tbsp Sugar
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp shortening
2 Tbsp butter/ margarine
1/2 cup water ( I actually used a little more).
Bread dough:
Mix flour, sugar, shortening and butter until the mixture is dry and crumbly, then add the egg yolk and last add the water a Tbsp full at a time until the mixture forms a ball. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Roll out circles 1/8-1/4 inch thick. ( thinner is probably better)

Filling: Stir together
1-2 cups cooked chicken. ( I used leftovers)
1 can cream of chicken soup,
1 cup broccoli ( frozen is good, but I am sure some fresh steamed broccoli would be fine)
1 Soup can milk ( not quite full)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese ( more to taste, I also added some mozzarella and parmesan)

Fill each dough circle with about a 1/4 cup of filling mixture and seal the edges with a fork.
I used the leftover egg white and some water and brushed the egg wash on before I baked them.
Bake at 400F 25-28 minutes or until golden brown.
I let them cool, wrapped them individually and put them in the freezer in a zipper storage bag. We re-heat them in the microwave, just like the regular hot pockets.

This made about 12 hot pockets for just about the same price as 1 box from the store. I suppose if you had to buy all the ingredients, it would work out to about 6 bucks, depending on the price of chicken. The way I figure it, I made them for about $.50 each and they run about 1.25 each on sale. That saved me about $9.00 not bad for about 45 minutes work.

I'm thinking I'll stash all the savings I can and use it to buy some supplies for my jewelry.

I found this recipe for the "Hershey's" style syrup online and I think I will try it tomorrow.
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

l cup Hershey's cocoa
l l/2 cups sugar
l cup hot water
dash of salt
boil for three minutes and add 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Store in refrigerator

For the frappuccino, I mixed some cold coffee, ice, about 2 tsp sugar and 2 Tbsp of chocolate syrup with some half and half in my magic bullet and blended it until it was smooth and fluffy.
I do not enjoy cold coffee, but the other caffeine lovers here both appreciated it.

I am looking for a better ketchup recipe. The ones I have used seem to be a little flat. Of course they are missing the high fructose corn syrup and all those multi-syllable chemical ingredients that I can't identify so maybe that is the problem. I will keep searching for a good one. I wonder how many times I can refill the bottles before they realize that things just don't ever run out anymore.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday....

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Monday, August 9, 2010

Meandering through Blogs on Monday

This has been one of those weeks that I think my mind went on vacation and left my body behind. Does that ever happen to you? Nothing specifically wrong, I just seem to have been in a fog this week. I have to do something to clear my head, so I decided I would meander around some blogs that I enjoy and see what I can find. Want to see what I have found too?
I am not usually a fan of bottle cap jewelry, but Adaptive Reuse has used them to make a bracelet that may have just changed my mind. Then these Roses
that Emily made are stunning. I cannot begin to fathom the patience she must have to get all that weaving so pretty.
At Campbell Jane's blog "Sometimes things ARE just black and white", She has an awesome collection called Carpe-deim. I really like the doodles and that black dress is really something.
Today I spent working on this and that, but not actually completing anything just yet. Although I did wrap a bright white sun-bleached beach pebble with sterling silver wire and as soon as I finish wrapping the bail, I will show it to you. I think it has turned out very nicely.
Have you seen what Trudie Davies Designs has for her August give away? They are gorgeous sterling and gemstone rings. I couldn't choose a favorite, but ok if I had to choose just 1 it might be the topaz, or maybe the garnet, but then again..............Oh, I just can't choose!