Friday, September 30, 2011

Treat of the Day- Blueberry Donut Holes


I have a large supply of muffin mix in my house because they were on sale at the commissary and I had a good coupon. At first I thought of making blueberry muffins, but that seems so traditional. I try to think outside the box when coming up with the treat of the day ideas. So instead of baking it, I fried the muffin mix in dough balls that I formed with a cookie scoop. I must say if you duplicate this be careful because the oil tends to splash.


Here is Misty showing you the inside of her muffin ball.


To modify the standard muffin mix to be better suited for frying, 
I used half the milk the pouch asks for and I added an egg.
Pin It

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Treat of the Day - Peanut Butter Muffins with Chocolate Chips


I have been trying to find a fun way to use this muffin mix I've had for awhile. I got it from a British grocery store, which we found out has a different idea on how baked goods should taste. I didn't want to make the muffins because I knew they'd wouldn't be good, but I thought if I mixed it with some peanut butter cookie mix it would be alright. I must say it turned out just how I'd hoped. 

On a side note, I find it funny that if you buy a box mix of anything here in the UK that requires a muffin tin they include muffin cups in the box. That is just one of the interesting cultural differences lol.


Pin It

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Treat of the Day - Smores Cups


Today's treat of the day was inspired by something I found on Pinterest, an awesome website that you can browse pics on the internet. I saw these smores cups and had to try them myself. They are delicious! If you are curious how to make these, the Texas Cottage Blog was the source the yummy pic I found on Pinterest.
Pin It

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Treat of the Day - Fudge Icing Cupcakes


After the failure at my fudge yesterday, I thought I would try and
 make something out of it. My idea was to create fudge icing.


I cut up the fudge into chunks.


I added the fudge chunks with the cream into a double boiler.


I melted it all down.


Then I took some more whipping cream, that I whipped up really good, 
and added the melted fudge and cream mixture.

The end result was pretty good. Since I had no real recipe to go by, I was impressed with the end result. I think we all agreed it would be the perfect icing for brownies. Personally I was hoping that it would be nice stiff icing that I could pipe into a mountain on top of the cupcakes, but that didn't happen. The cupcakes were still delicious, and it probably is best that it didn't pipe because it might have been a bit too much that way.


Pin It

Monday, September 26, 2011

Treat of the Day - Chocolate Fudge



The past couple of days I've been in the mood for fudge. I couldn't figure out why, but then I realized the kids have been dog sitting for some friends of ours recently. Back in Georgia I had a sweet dog sitting gig where my friend paid me in fudge! Oh the yummy flavors she would bring back to us.... 

I must admit, this is not how I hoped my fudge would turn out. I like the creamy type of fudge and this is more of the sugary type. It is a bit too dark for my tastes as well, so I'm certain the family will find so too. I will say that fudge lovers all have their own idea of what the perfect fudge is, so for some this maybe great. For me it is not :( Don't be surprised if you see more fudge treats on here periodically as I try and find a great fudge recipe that makes fudge the way I like. Personally I can't wait until the commissary starts selling canned pumpkin so I can try some pumpkin fudge!


Pin It

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Toddler Shirt Sewing Project



Follow me as I take you through the process of making this adorable toddler shirt. It is a basic shirt pattern with a gathered neckline. The pattern is Jalie #2806 and the fabric is a lilac double knit, both of these you can get at Fabric.com. Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have about this sewing project.


Pin It

Friday, September 23, 2011

Treat of the Day - Cinnamon Sugar Palm Leaves


Something about the start of fall makes me crave cinnamon and sugar treats. Perhaps it is the thought of apple season starting that gets me in the mood for cinnamon goodness.


To make these treats all you need to do is get some pastry puff dough and cinnamon sugar. I cheat and buy the cinnamon and sugar premixed. Just roll out the dough into a large rectangle, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over the rectangle, and then roll up both the side edges at the same time. You will now have a log of dough. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut into slices and bake at 350 for 20 mins, flipping them over half way through.
Pin It

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Easy Apple Fritters


My sister taught me to make these yummy deep fried triangles. She makes them with yummy meat fillings, but I decided to fill these with yummy sweet fillings. These apple fritters are super easy, and I am going to walk you through the process. 


You start with some tortillas cut into quarters, bisquick 
mixed with a little bit of water, and apple pie filling. 


With the point of the tortilla quarter facing up, smear some bisquick mix on one side.


Roll the tortilla in a cone shape. The bisquick acts as glue to hold it all together.


Fill the tortilla cone with apple pie filling.


A little dab of bisquick mix on the top acts as glue to so you can fold the top flap down.

Now all you need to do is deep fat fry these triangles until they are golden brown. Make sure you flip them half way through so they get fried on both sides. Once they come out of the fryer put on a tray lined with paper towels to soak up excess grease. Then sprinkle with some cinnamon and sugar.



Pin It

Grocery Savings

I get to go to the commissary and buy my American groceries once a month. I was so excited this  month I saved $127 in coupons! I know...my friends back in the states have been posting how they spent $5 on $150 worth of groceries. I'm not that good, I spent $700 for a month's worth of groceries after my coupons. Sadly that is just for dry and freezer goods, I still have to buy perishables on the local market.

Since the local market rarely accepts coupons, or vouchers as they call them here, I have been researching ways to save money both on my monthly commissary runs and on the local market. I found a great website that offers the sales features of the month, like Frozen Food Month where stores try to clear out their freezers. Living Rich on a Budget - Grocery Sales Cycles

The Payless for Food blog has a lot of great articles on how to save money by knowing the tricks that supermarkets use to get you to spend more. The article I linked to is about the importance of creating a price book. I used to find this tedious and a waste of time. I thought I could keep track in my head if it was a good sale. Since I'm trying to find ways to save money without coupons for the local market, I thought I would try it out and see if I can save some money. I have noticed that I was not as good as I thought I was lol. Sure enough, I have gone from spending £50 on perishables a week down to £35 without a change in what I buy. Translating that to US Dollars, that is a savings of about $23 on today's exchange rate.

I hope these sites help you like they helped me save money on your grocery bill.
Pin It

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Treat of the Day - Soft Pretzels




I love soft pretzels, they are so gooey in the center and yummy. The problem is that they take forever to make. I have no problem making bread from scratch, but for some reason the added step of giving dough a bath in boiling water seems a bit much for me. 

So what made me decide to make soft pretzels today? Well as I mentioned I got a bread maker for my birthday, and I have been wanting to try the dough feature. I must say that adding all the ingredients and having it mix and rise the dough for me takes a lot less effort than doing it from scratch (by "from scratch" I mean using my kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook and transferring it to another bowl to rise). Now I can't promise it isn't just the excitement of the new bread maker, but it didn't seem like that much of a hassle to deal with the boiling water today. As a result, we have yummy looking soft pretzels.

The recipe I used for these pretzels comes from Alton Brown on the Food Network's website. 
Pin It

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Treat of the Day - Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars


My MIL always brings me my favourite caramel icing when she visits. It is suppose to be for caramel cake, which is so good. On her last visit she brought me two tubs of the caramel icing. I was so excited because I have always wanted to try the caramel with other things, but I was never willing to give up the chance to make caramel cake. With my extra tub I can try some recipe ideas and still make a caramel cake later.

Today I got the idea for these bars on the back of the cookie pouch. Ok I do know and love making cookies from scratch, but I use cookie pouches a lot because it is cheaper with my super awesome coupons. Anyways, I did not follow the instructions exactly, I mean what fun would that be. So I decided to bake the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip bars until the chocolate melted (about 10 mins). I took them out of the oven and stirred in some caramel and mixed the chocolate chips into the batter so it was just chocolate flavored all over. The end result was a combination of a cookie and brownie with a yummy caramel chew to it. I broke my diet just to take a bite. I just can't resist the yummy caramel icing, and the best part is I have more icing in that tub to try something else out. I'm thinking cookie sandwiches with caramel filling.


Pin It

Monday, September 19, 2011

Treat of the Day - Cupcakes


This weekend a bunch of my friends went to downtown London to decorate cupcakes. While it was a lot of fun, the cupcakes were very disappointing. The icing was all wrong, so it didn't pipe correctly and it was just a big pile of goo on each cupcake. On top of that, my kids didn't like the London cupcakes because the icing was too buttery which explains why it didn't pipe properly.

So to prove to myself that I can actually decorate cupcakes, as if I was really concerned, I decided to make cupcakes for the treat of the day. I just did blue icing, but it was fun :)
Pin It

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Treat of the Day - Chocolate Covered Waffles


If you have been following me on Facebook, you probably have enjoyed my treat of the day pictures. Some people have requested that I had some details about how I make the goodies. Honestly I just use box mixes, but I try do something extra to make them special. I started making the treat of the day to save money. I found out it is usually cheaper to use a coupon on baking goods than if I were to make it from scratch, plus if I planned to make a treat every day (5 days a week) then it is more realistic to do it from a mix.


Here is what I used today to make the treat of the day. I used a basic Bisquick waffle mix and covered it with this new icing glaze, I say new because it is new to me. Then I just added some sprinkles. See nothing special, but the kids love it :) I have to say my waffle maker is not the best, we bought a cheap UK waffle maker and the waffles usually turn out soggy. I have found that if I put them in the oven at 350 for about 5 minutes they crisp up nicely.
Pin It

Friday, September 02, 2011

Felt Animal Puppets and Softies



Felt Giraffe

This week I made two felt animals, an octopus hand puppet and a giraffe softie. I made a video tutorial to walk you through how to make this cute giraffe. The same techniques I used to make the softie can be used to make the puppet, just don't add the stuffing at the end.



Supplies Needed
Octopus Puppet

Felt

Coloring page for pattern

Basic sewing materials (needle, thread, scissors)
     or a sewing machine

Fabric Glue

Embellishments (buttons, goggly eyes, yarn, ect)



First you need to take two sheets of felt and the coloring page you plan to use as a pattern. Cut out the coloring page first and then cut out your felt to the shape of the large body. Do not cut out any details until the outline of the animal is cut.

To give the giraffe the cute spots that seem so random, I decided to cut out the paper spots and place them on the giraffe's body. I then took them one by one and cut them out of the brown felt and glued it in place. I'm not really artsy, so this made sure that my random spots would still look cute. Some of you maybe able to eye-ball it better and can skip this step.

I finished adding the rest of the embellishments, and I used a sharpie to add some finer details.


Finally, we stuffed the giraffe and sewed him back up.



Pin It