Glitter Sparkling Cider New Years Bottles

DSC_0139I’m sure you have seen these sparkling New Years bottles all over craft blogs this year.  In our neighborhood we have a few people that don’t drink, so I thought why not give them a bottle of sparkling cider vs. a champagne bottle for New Years.

Heres what you will need:

Sparkling Cider
Mod Podge or Medium
Paintbrush
Glitter (my glitter is fine you can find it at walmart)
Glossy Paper for note
Ribbon

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DSC_0055The first thing I did was soak off the labels.  I noticed that some bloggers skipped this step but I was concerned I would need to much glitter to hide the label.

DSC_0059Once my bottles were somewhat label free and dry I spread my medium on with a paint brush.

DSC_0061Then I placed my wet bottle over a dinner plate to catch the glitter that didn’t stick.

DSC_0063I did the bottom of the bottle first. Doing the bottle in two stages bottom then the top allows you have to a dry part to hang on to during the process.

DSC_0138Once the glitter on the bottom dried I took the bottles outside and sprayed them with a  clear paint.  This helps adhere more of the glitter to your bottles.

DSC_0129Then I came back and did the tops and sprayed them again with the clear spray paint.

DSC_0135Then I simply printed out some tags on glossy paper and added some curling ribbon.  Nothing Fancy just a nice item to leave on your neighbors porch to ring in the new year.

DSC_0147This project was inexpensive and easy to do.

 

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Corn Bread topping

DSC_0074Today it is cold; I mean Arizona cold. It was 27 degrees at 8am, to us that is cold.  What a great day to throw some turkey chili in a slow cooker and let it do it’s thing.

What you will need

1 package Taco Seasoned Turkey
1 or 2 cans Fire Roasted Tomato
2 cans Pinto Beans
Dried Clinatro
Minced Garlic
Jalapeño sliced

Cornbread – I just used a mix feel free to use your own recipe.

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Turn your slow cooker on. This is the rice cooker they sell at costco for around 30.00 it does a great job at slow cooking.  Far better than my old crock-pot.  I placed it on slow cook for 2 hours.

DSC_0042Then tossed in my turkey taco meat.

DSC_0043Fire roasted Tomato.

DSC_0045Beans, Garlic, Spices.

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Cook for an hour and a half.  Make sure to break up your taco turkey meat along the way.

DSC_0048 Add your cornbread mix  and green onions. Shut the lid for 30 minutes.

DSC_0067Then add cheddar cheese on top.

DSC_0075Here is the end result.  Super moist cornbread on top of spicy turkey chili.  Next time I will add another can of tomatoes.

 

Holiday Wine Bucket

IMG_7438This holiday bucket was super easy to make. I think I will keep some on hand and just throw them in our deep freeze for special occasions.

What you will need:

A plastic tub, bowl or bucket ( this one was a biscotti container from costco)
A bottle of vodka to place in center
Herbs
Cranberries
Flowers
Holiday Ornaments

DSC_0117Rosemary twigs from our greenhouse.

DSC_0119The first thing I did was have my husband cut the top of the biscotti container off. Once he did this I places the vodka bottle in the center and added some rosemary and cranberries around the edge.

DSC_0120You will notice the twine around the lid of the bottle this was to prevent the bottle from falling over to the side.  I just twisted the twine around the top of the bottle a few times and taped it to the sides.  Now place it in the freezer for a couple of hours.

DSC_0123Once the bottom portion has frozen your going to repeat your rosemary, cranberry and ornaments and place it back in the freezer.

IMG_7432Once you pull it out of the freezer you will want to remove the vodka bottle.  How we did this was removed the vodka and poured room temperature water in the vodka bottle and the started twisting the bottle.

IMG_7433Now you will fun your frozen ice container under running warm water until it releases.

IMG_7434It helps to roll it around on its sides to help warm all sides of the container.

IMG_7438Here’s your released ice block.  Although it’s sitting a bit high now we know it will melt down.

IMG_7435It really adds to just swinging by with a bottle of wine.  I also look forward to making some with Rosemary and Lemon for summer lemonade or iced tea bottles.

Chicken Lime Tortilla Soup

DSC_0126I have used this recipe for around 20 years now.  Sometimes I add beans or corn but the basic ingredients remain the same.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • I can Green Chilies
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2  can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 10 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves (more or less)
  • handful of broken up tortilla chips
  • 2 avocados, pitted, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey cheese

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DSC_0097In a large saucepan heat the vegetable oil and sauté the onions and  for 2 minutes.

DSC_0101Once the onions have softened add the garlic and green chiles,  cook for another minute.

DSC_0112Pour the chicken broth, tomatoes  and pepper flakes into the pot and bring to a boil.

DSC_0111Once at a boil lower heat to simmer and add your cooked chicken.

DSC_0113Add your lime juice.

DSC_0115Then your cut up avocado, trust me it won’t get gross.

DSC_0116 Add lime juice and fresh cilantro to the pot.

DSC_0118Stir in a handful of tortilla chips into the hot soup simmer for 5 minutes.

DSC_0123Ladle into bowl and top with more tortilla chip, cheese and sour cream.

DSC_0126If you want to add beans, corn anything else please feel free to.  It’s hard to go wrong and this soup becomes much more favorable if stored for a day or so.  Recipes are meant to be played with so change what you don’t like and make it your own.

Pozole or Posole, it’s simply Mexican Pork Stew

DSC_0065There is a very long history with Pozole. You can find mention of it well back in the 1500’s.  They claim that the meat used in Pozole was of human prisoners that were sacrificed by the spaniards, but my version is a bit modern I simply use pork shoulder.

I honestly can’t remember when I had my first bowl of Pozole.  Growing up in Arizona and doing missionary work in  Baja Mexico it was a staple.  Here is my variation of Pozole Rojo.  There are a million recipes out there and I have many New Mexico friends that wouldn’t dream of using Anchos.  Sorry, I’m an Arizona girl!

4 or 5 dried ancho chiles
6 cloves garlic chopped
Kosher salt
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large white onion, chopped
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
2  25 -ounce cans white hominy, drained and rinsed
shredded cabbage, diced onion, and/or fresh cilantro, for topping

DSC_0046Break the stems off the  ancho chiles and shake out as many seeds as possible. Put the chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water; about 30 minutes.

DSC_0042While Ancho’s are soaking dice your onions and garlic and prepare dry ingredients for blender.

DSC_0045You will find hominy in the Mexican food isle of most stores.

DSC_0044Makes sure you rinse and set aside.

DSC_0043Pork shoulder has a lot of fat.  I prefer to trim the fat off before cooking.  This is a personal choice,

DSC_0047Transfer the chiles and 1 1/2 cups of the soaking liquid to a blender. Add all dry ingredients as well and process.

DSC_0051This is what your sauce should look like.

Heat the vegetable oil in bottom of slow cooker. You can of course do this on your stove top as well.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook 2 minutes.

Add the pork to the other side and sear, turning, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

DSC_0053Pour sauce over your pork.

DSC_0058Stir in remaining water, hominy and cut cilantro.  Shut your lid and go run errands.

DSC_0062This is what it will look like after a couple of hours.

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Add some water or broth if the posole is too thick. Season with salt.

DSC_0073Serve with assorted toppings and fresh squeezed lemon!

 

We discovered a Fairy Garden

DSC_0115Colossal Cave Park has recently waived it’s admission fee, and encouraged the public to come explore their park.  We just visited last weekend, and thought it would be great to take Garrett’s cousins Mya, and Rose on a hike.  Little did we know that we would bump into a Fairy Garden.

Fortunately, I had my camera with me to capture the trail we took, so you too may find the Secret Fairy Garden.

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 3.08.11 PMOnce you make it to the park you will  drive past the Cave entrance and enter the overnight camp area which is off to your left hand side of the road.

IMG_7396You will drive towards El Bosquecito.

DSC_0127You will drive around 1/2 mile, and take the first Right which will place you in front of this group of Mesquite tree’s and picnic tables.  You can park your vehicle next to the washrooms that will be just to your Left hand side.  You then will notice a wash just to the Left of these Mesquite trees.

DSC_0126You will notice this barb-wired fence  down the wash.  Step under the barbed-wire and continue to follow the wash.

DSC_0103After walking a couple of minutes you will notice a tree with mushrooms growing on the side and bottom.  Keep Walking down the wash.

DSC_0121You are looking for this very large Cottonwood tree that has fallen over to the Right hand side of the wash.  Once you see this tree you will know you have arrived.

DSC_0118Do you see the Fairy houses up in the tree?

DSC_0109There are 3 Fairy houses high in the tree.

DSC_0108Do you see the swing next to the blue house?

DSC_0112Near the yellow house there is a clothes line with the Fairy’s laundry.

DSC_0107It appears there are a few that live in these woods.

DSC_0114They also have a garden at the edge of the large tree.

DSC_0113With a Canoe for the Monsoon floods.

 

DSC_0117Feel free to leave a note for them in the box above.

DSC_0116If only we could swing on the little Fairy swings!

DSC_0121Mya, Rose and Garrett had a magical hike today.  We do hope you will go and explore and tell us what we may have missed.

Mesh Ribbon Gift Box

DSC_0084I have some wonderful neighbors.  With Christmas just around the corner and some left over mesh ribbon it was hard to not come up with another creative way of using it as a gift box.

 

What you will need

Any box of your choosing
Mesh Ribbon
Stapler
Items to place in your gift box

DSC_0063For my box I used two pieces of mesh that were approximately 3 feet long.

DSC_0068I folded the mesh in half length wise and started stapling it around the sides of the box.

DSC_0070The second 3 foot piece of mesh I simply twisted inside my box.

DSC_0071This is quite simple to do.

DSC_0084Then I loaded it up with some hot cocoa, marshmallows, 2 cups, ginger cookies, dark chocolate almonds, some napkins 2 large snowflake ornaments.  Then I tossed some additional holiday ribbon in the gift box.   This didn’t take more than 10 minutes.  Go Grab your box!

Star Wars Silhouette Flameless Candles

DSC_0066With less than 40 hours away from the premiere of The Force Awakens these candles seem to scream MAKE ME!

What you will need

Flameless Candles ( bet you have some laying around)
Printer or access to printer
Silhouette images of your favorite Star Wars peeps
Paper
Tape

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 9.09.10 AMI used word to simply adjust my images to the size I needed.  My paper lay out was set to landscape that way the paper would wrap completely around my candles. My images were purchased off of Etsy.https://www.etsy.com/shop/PartyKidsDesigns?ref=l2-shopheader-name
DSC_0052Once I had the images printed I chose which candles I would use for which images.  It was obvious that the smaller ones like Yoda and R2D2 would go on the smaller candles.

DSC_0051Now you will simply wrap your paper with images around your candles.

DSC_0049I taped in two areas on the back of the candle. One almost to the bottom and the other towards the top of the candles.

DSC_0058What a simple and inexpensive way to add some Star Wars decor to your home.

DSC_0062May the force be with you!

Leah’s Ginger Spice Cookies

 

DSC_0066These cookies are  a favorite in our house, and neighborhood.  They are just the right amount of spice and although they are thin they remain chewy.

2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
A pinch of cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup raw  sugar w/ 1 tablespoon molasses
½ cup molasses (not blackstrap)
1 large egg
Several pieces of crystalized ginger cut up
About 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling

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1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cracked pepper.

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2. Working with a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, if you have one, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat for 2 minutes or so to blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute more.

DSC_0053Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until the flour and spices disappear. If some of the flour remains in the bottom of the bowl, avoid overbeating the dough and mix in the last of the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula. You’ll have a smooth, very soft dough.

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3. Divide the dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes or chill for at least one hour.
4. Preheat over to  350 degrees.

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5. Cut up your crystalized ginger.

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6. Take a small cookie scoop and make your balls of cookie dough while adding 2 to 3 pieces of ginger to each scoop.

DSC_00547. One by one, roll the balls around in the bowl of sugar, then place them on the baking stone.

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8. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies feel set to the touch. They will appear fluffy but don’t fear once they come out they will look like the photo below.

DSC_0060 29. I place mine on cookie racks to ensure they are dry before placing on plates.  This helps to prevent cookies from sticking.

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DIY Mesh Ribbon Chandelier

DSC_0052By now everyone knows my house is an explosion during the  Christmas Season.   This year I had some left over Mesh Ribbon that I picked up at Costco. We all know I can’t just let it set there!   Here is my homemade Mesh Ribbon Chandelier.

 

What I used

1 roll of Mesh Ribbon
Fishing line
3M Strips
Scissors
Large Needle

IMG_7219I cut approximate 1 foot pieces of mesh and strung them on fishing line with my large needle.  Then placed a 3M strip on the ceiling.

IMG_7221Once I had my mesh ribbon pieces strung up I started adding some old ribbon I had laying around.

DSC_0064 This project may have taken me 30 minutes total.

DSC_0073I’m loving that it adds some drama to my ceiling without adding more lights and extension cords.