Monday, November 26, 2012

DIY Photo Canvas

     Ever since Mike and I got our pictures back I have been wanting to make one of these canvases. I see the tutorials all over Pinterest and thought how easy it would be to do this. The prices of photo canvases is absolutely ridiculous and there is no way we can afford as many as I want around my house. lol. 

     So...I got the motivation up last weekend and asked my friend, Abby, to join in on this adventure with me. We both braved our sicknesses and took a trip to Walmart to pick up the Mod Podge and her photo print. Then, at about 10pm, we got to it!!

     The process was definitely not a hard one. Time consuming, yes, but only because of all the waiting you have to do for everything to dry. Other than that it was just a lot of spreading, pressing, and sitting.

1 16x20 canvas
Mod Podge - I got mine in matte
your 16x20 photo of whatever print you like 
sponge brush
Xacto knife or razor blade

Brush Mod Podge all over the canvas fairly thick. You can spread it on the back of the photo, too if you would like. You want to do this fairly quickly, but don't rush.

Then, place your photo on the canvas evenly and press to stick. ** I used a print from Walgreens. It was a better photo quality than Walmart, but there was an edge of white all the way around the photo. Based on my experience, definitely trim off all that white before you place the photo on the canvas.** I turned mine over on a very clean table and put something heavy on the corners just to make sure they stuck. Let that dry........

     After the Mod Podge dries (I let mine dry overnight) you need to trim the edges. I turned my canvas face down and just lined up the xacto knife with the canvas and cut. With this photo paper I needed to press very hard so make sure you aren't on a surface where you could damage anything. Gently pull off the excess paper. Then Mod Podge over the entire picture/canvas in order to seal the photo to the canvas. 

Don't worry it will dry clear...

Once it dries you are done!!!

     My corners were a little jagged because of the photo paper, but it actually didn't look that bad after the Mod Podging. I sanded down the entire side in order to make it uniform. Next time, I'll keep that in mind.

Before Mod Podge


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Sorry about the horrible pic...

     I hosted our monthly Book Club at my house last night which gave me the opportunity to try out some things I have been looking forward to. I have been searching Pinterest and made one of the new "secret boards" in order to keep my thoughts straight. Might I say that those boards have come in handy lately. Especially for Christmas present ideas.

My menu included:
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Deviled Eggs
Mini Pizza Bites
Tortilla Roll-ups
Warm Cheese Dip
Cheese and Crackers
and Pumpkin Spice Cake
     (I can post the recipe to most of these but I, unfortunately, did not get to take many pictures.)

      I have been really getting into soup mode since it is getting so much colder outside. I, unlike Mike, must prefer potatoey, creamy, chicken soups. He is more of a vegetable beef, brothy type of person. I came across this recipe from Pinterest and decided it seemed cheap easy enough. Most of the ingredients I already had in my pantry or fridge and it's a crock pot recipe!! So much easier for something on a school night!!

     As usual I changed some things around but here is the final recipe!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
     5 cups chicken broth
     1 10.75oz can cream of chicken soup
     1 15oz can whole kernel corn
     1/2 cup carrots, sliced
     1/2 cup celery (I don't like celery so I left this out)
     1 cup onions, diced
     2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
     1 1/2 cups egg noodles 
     salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine everything except for the chicken and egg noodles in the crockpot.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

2. Add chicken and egg noodles. Turn crockpot up to high and cook another hour. Salt and pepper to taste.

Mini Pizza Bites

     This was another one of the hor d'oeuvres I served at our Book Club meeting this month. (Ok, I could have said "appetizers" but, i just really wanted to use that word. :P) I wanted something that was easy, but also didn't taste like they were from a box. I found this recipe off of, yes folks, Pinterest. Surprised??? Probably not.
     I don't usually get home from school until about 5pm and I scheduled Book Club for 6 this month so I knew I didn't have a whole lot of time. I decided to prepare all of the dry ingredients on Sunday so all I would have to do was add the wet ingredients and put them in the dish. This worked out great and I even had some down time to change before people came over. Always a plus when I can get out of my work clothes first!!
     Not only were they easy but they were also very tasty. (At least, in my opinion.) I should have warmed up the pizza sauce but I think I got too lazy by then. I recommend it, however, because it's a good way to keep the bites warm when you eat them.

Mini Pizza Bites
     3/4 cup flour
     3/4 teaspoon baking powder
     1 tablespoon italian seasoning
     pinch of salt
     pinch of red pepper flakes
     1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
     1 egg, lightly beaten
     3/4 cup milk
     1 cup shredded mozzarella
     1/4 cup grated parmesan
     1 cup cubed pepperoni
     1/2 cup pizza sauce

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, italian seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Whisk together. 

3.Whisk in egg and milk. Stir in parmesan, shredded mozzarella, and pepperoni.

4. Let stand for 10 minutes.

5. Stir the batter and divide between the mini muffin cups. Bake until golden; about 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Heat up the pizza sauce and serve. :)


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chicken Corn Chowder


   Last Saturday seemed to be a very uneventful eventful day. I guess what that means is, although nothing was really going on, the day seemed to be quite a busy one. I woke up early in order to get to my hairdresser so she could chop 10 inches of my hair off. After that, I made a few stops in town at our local farmers market, the consignment shop, and then a few stores to pick up some groceries.

   Mike decided on Friday that he wanted to go race the car at the track one last time before winter. He left early Saturday morning in order to get the car ready and inspected before testing. While I was walking around the farmer's market I realized how cold it was getting and decided I would make some soup. Mike would be outside in the cold all day and figured he would enjoy something to warm his bones. The only problem was that I wasn't exactly sure what soup to make, nor did I have a recipe in mind, so, I bought a few different things that I figured would get me started at least.

   When I got home I checked our stock and noticed we still had some potatoes left from the potato soup we made last week. I also knew I wanted some kind of corn chowder so I got to work on both my Pinterest board and the web. I finally came across this soup from Tasty Kitchen and, judging by the picture, it looked AMAZING!!! I read through the ingredients and had everything but the bacon. (bummer!!) I kept looking but eventually decided I would just suck it up and go get the bacon because this soup looked awesome! AND IT WAS!! I changed the recipe a little, as usual, but I'm hoping it only made it better.

Chicken Corn Chowder
     1 lb cooked chicken, shredded (The recipe didn't tell me whether to cook it first but better safe than      sorry)
     1 cup chopped onions
     1 cup chopped red pepper
     2 cloves of garlic, minced
     1 4oz. can chiles (I used Rotel chiles and tomatoes)
     5 cups of chicken broth
     2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and diced
     1 can whole kernel corn, drained
     1 14oz. can creamed corn
     1/2 cup all-purpose flour
     1 cup skim milk
     1 1/2 cup grated cheese
     a couple hits of hot sauce
     salt and pepper to taste
     3 slices of bacon

Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and let it drain on a paper towel. Place off to the side. Keep drippings in the saucepan.

Add chicken, onion, red bell pepper, and garlic to the saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or so. Add diced chiles and cook for another minute. Add chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add whole kernel corn and creamed corn, stir well.

Pour flour into a medium bowl. (I use a mason jar instead, easier to mix.) Whisk in the skim milk, or pour it into the mason jar and shake. It should get to be like a pancake mix consistency. Add the milk mixture to the soup and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. Stir in grated cheese and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with crumbled bacon and extra cheese.


Friday, November 02, 2012

Easy Cheesy Chicken Casserole

So, Mike decided at about 1pm today that he was going to drive to New Jersey in order to get a new tire for his race car, therefore, I needed something easy for tonight. Because he works tonight, he only had 30 minutes home, and that is including the time it took us to drop his car off at the shop. I have been craving this dish for so long, but we never have the items on hand and Velveeta is so expensive at the local grocery store. Luckily, a brand new Wal-Mart has just opened across the street from my school!!! (P.S. Velveeta is WAY cheaper at Wal-Mart.)

Disclaimer: When you eat this, you will want more...and more. It's not exactly healthy for you, but, who cares?!?! It's delicious! And even better re-heated up!!

Easy Cheesy Chicken Casserole
     1lb cooked chicken, shredded
     1 can cream of chicken
     1 packet of stuffing
     8 oz Velveeta
     1/5 can corn (optional)
     Enough breadcrumbs to sprinkle (optional)

     1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 2qt casserole dish with cooking spray.
     2. Prepare stuffing as directed on the package.
     3. Mix together all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
     4.  Spread mixture into casserole dish.
     5. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.