Sunday, February 27, 2011

Popcorn Balls---mmmmm!

For my friend's birthday last night, we watched a movie. Decided to invest in the bottomless popcorn bag and before leaving got it refilled. We could only really handle so much of course, and not everyone likes cold popcorn but I had a plan...

Here we have about 8 cups of popped popcorn (complete with butter and salt), caramel ice cream sauce, almonds, and toasted coconut marshmallows.

I made sure to chop my almonds first thing finely and mix them with the popcorn in a large bowl. Then I melted my marshmallows (15 full size) and about a Tablespoon of the caramel sauce. It only takes about a minute in a microwave safe glass dish, stirring every 20 seconds. Mix thoroughly and once slightly cooled, form into popcorn balls.

Additional tips:
Make sure to rid all of the old maids (unpopped kernals!)
To me this had the right amount of sweet and salty. However none of the flavors (toasted coconut, almond, caramel) jumped out. Feel free to adjust as you would like it!

Flavor 7 out of 10
-could have used more of a flavor punch

Appearance 9 out of 10
-maybe mini m&ms or something for color?

Cost 5 out of 10
-sure, the popcorn was pretty much free, but I bought the marshmallows, almonds aren't cheap, and if you don't have the caramel sauce you may want to improvise.

Time/Ease 10 out of 10
-Like 4 minutes?

Clean up 5 out of 10
-2 large bowls, chopper, stirring spoon, tray for finished balls. Marshmallow stickiness.

Healthiness 3 out of 10 has almonds right? lol

39 out of 60 pts.

65% recommended.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Leftovers Remade-Tonight's Dinner :)

About me: I have a culinary arts degree. I cook a real meal about 1-2 times a week-I'm too busy or too lazy most of the time. I am also a "bigger" gal-I'd love to study and teach nutrition but I obviously have to find the self control to fix myself first :P

Tonight I was starving after church and decided to cook up a real dinner. (I ate the last of the cold cereal for dinner last night anyway, so that wasn't an option.) Here's what I came up with:

Chicken Zuchini Boats served over Pine Nut Couscous

The Zucchini Boats: I took a zucchini, cut off the tops and botoms, and cut in half the long way. I then scooped out the inside (seeds/meat) of the zucchini and chopped it up. I started frying the zucchini halves while I mixed together the filling.

The Filling: I had cooked up some chicken in the crock pot, shredded it, and mixed it with some italian dressing yesterday. I took some of this chicken and put it in the frying pan with the zucchini and zucchini innards to get it warmed up. Warming the oven to 400 degrees F, I then placed the partially cooked zucchini boats in and tossed the chicken filling into the boats. Cover with grated cheese (because everything is better with cheddar), and tossed in the oven while I prepare the couscous.

The Couscous: Couscous is very easy and extremely tasty. It can be found near the pastas or grains. It's like rice but smaller and is actually a pasta. I usually go the lazy route and get the kind that has a seasoning packet. Just bring water to bowl in the frying pan you just started the boats and filling in (deglazes to add extra flavor) and add the couscous to the boiling water. Gently mix in, turn off the heat and cover with a lid. In 5 minutes, the water will be absorbed and you just lightly fluff it with a fork.

Presentation: Scoop up some of the tasty couscous and place the zucchini boat(s) on top. Eat with a fork and knife.

Flavor 5 out of 10
-not the best combo. There was plenty of flavor but maybe too much competing flavors. Has potential, but I don't plan to make this the same way again.

Appearance 7 out of 10
-got some different colors, fun presentation.

Cost 9 out of 10
-any time you can use leftovers is great. Zucchini is also cheap.

Time/Ease 10 out of 10
-took maybe 10-15 minutes, super quick!

Clean up 9 out of 10
-Used an oven bread pan, frying pan, measuring cup (clean-only for water), fork, spoon, knife, and plate.

Healthiness 9 out of 10
-better than a cheeseburger, that's for sure!

49 out of 60 pts.

82% recommended.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Projects in the Pipeline!

Things have been ever so busy and I have come to accept that there's just no slowing down in life!

I wanted to share some of the 20 teams (yep, 20! I'm a woman of many interests!) that I've joined on as well as another promissing site and personal news.

Again, here is a great team for coupons and discounts, lots of opportunity for sellers and buyers alike *Team Link*

A team for Self Taught Artists- *Team Link*

A great one for treasuries, helping get your products out there-no strict requirements! *Team Link*

For those of us who take our creativity and mush it with upcycling *Team Link*

And last, but not least, of my most visited forums, is the CUSTOM ORDER CORNER. This team was created because etsy chose to shut down the alchemy section for people to order custom items. Terrible, terrible choice if you ask me or the 300ish other people that have joined the team! Please feel free to join and point people in this direction! *Team Link*
>>>>Similarly, I've joined a group on Facebook called Artisans for Hire, a group, which inspired by Etsy's lack of custom order inspiration, is starting its own venue. You can find it and sign up for free at It is in its alpha phase and is not yet fully operational. Once it is, we'll get the word out-so much potential there!

Lastly, I've just turned in my application for a Masters in Teaching. Scary and exciting! It has been 6 years since I got my bachelors degree and I'm a little scared to go back to all that studying which I'm sure I've forgotten how to do, and to rack up several thousand more $$$ in debt! But wish me luck and buy my stuff so I can pay for books, lol! Hopefully I'll find time to at least keep some items listed on etsy as supplimental income. In case you forgot, here's my main shop ;)