Sunday, September 30, 2012

Deep cleaning your car

Alrighty, so for the last six weeks I've stayed home and kinda vegged out with the girls and my husband. The only bad part about that is that for the last six weekends I have not been able to clean my car outside or in because I live in an apartment where my extension cords don't reach my car.
So we took a mini vacation and I decided to seriously clean my car.

 I like to start with taking either everything out or bagging it up. I took apart my girls booster/car seats and washed the covers. Then I wiped the windows drawings off the back windows with the fancy window cleaner armor all makes. Then I armor all my dashboard and used a knife and rag to get into the hard to reach areas.  It's best to work from the top down because if you were to clean the carpets first then dust the dust would get into the carpet. After that I asked my husband to take out the back seat (which only made me start singing the  Bowling for Soup song). I sprayed the all of the upholstery with Woolite cleaner

(if you're wonder about the hole- that's where the crayon stain still lives. Car: 1, us :0 ).

After about thirty minutes I busted out our carpet cleaner that has a wonderful hose attachment to work on upholstery. It so happens that mine doesn't like to spray water much anymore and so I had to get the seats wet myself. It wasn't until I was halfway through that my husband looks at me ans says, "You know those are foam seats and you can't get them too wet or it will take to long to dry." and I didn't. I just assumed the carpet cleaner would suck up all the water for me because that's what it does to my carpets. For the most part it did:
 To make sure you don't use too much water if your sprayer doesn't work I suggest using a spray bottle.

Anyway, after 2 and a half hours of scrubbing and sucking up as much water as I could. I was done. At least as far as I could be. The heat of the weekend had to dry the car seats the rest of the way. For a while it has a kinda gross musty smell (which got me freaking out). But once it was aired out it was fine and now I can sit in my car again without feeling like I need to sanitize the whole thing.

It doesn't look it because the seats are still wet in this picture- but the seats are a lot cleaner.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

S'more Kripsie Treat

So I admit, after the s'more crescent roll I have a bit of a craving for baked marshmallows and other s'more goodness. I remembered I had pinned this and decided: it was time.


1 bag (10 oz) Mini Marshmallows
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips + 1 for topping
1 box (12 0z) Golden Grahams Cereal
6 Tbsp Butter
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
Non-Stick Cooking Spray


Like when you're making classice rice krispie treats you want to be ready. Start by greasing a 9x9 pan, set it aside for later.

On medium heat, melt the butter in a large pan, add the marshmallows and  vanilla then mix until smooth. Add in the golden graham cereal and mix thoroughly. I added my chocolate chips a little early (can you tell I was antsy?).

Scoop into the 9x9 pan, smoothing out the top and adding a little bit more chocolate chips if you want (and who doesn't want that?).  Let it set :(

So I admit, like when I make rice krispies I ate some while it was warm. The cereal is not as crunch as it was when it was pre-mixed. It still tastes similar to smores- but I don't think it was as good as the Pillsbury s'mores.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pillsbury Crescent roll desserts

 Alrighty, It's a twofer today!  Basically we had a roll of crescent rolls and two ideas which we couldn't agree on. The Cinnamon roll crescent or the s'mores? So we decided to make both!


Since I made them both at the same time the directions will be together. Bust out your crescent roll tube and unroll the dough. For the Cinnamon rolls butter them and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the dough. For the S'mores  add marshmallows and chocolate chips.
Roll them up and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.I let mine bake about 12 and they kinda darkened. Still edible. Our favorite part was that the S'mores looked like they exploded.
Verdict: Although they were both good, one was better than the other. The answer? S'mores won unanimously.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kettle Chips

for the chips-
4 large Idaho Potatoes (Russets)
2 pints peanut oil (I used canola and the results were the same)
sea salt
Cracked pepper if desired

Onion dip (optional- I'm not making it because---well, I don't like it and I refuse to waste ingredients)
or the dip-
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
salt & pepper, to taste

Wash whole potatoes. Using a mandoline or food processor slice the potatoes very thin. Then soak them in cold water for 20-30 minutes.

In the mean time, make the dip by stirring all ingredients together. Refrigerate. 
Heat oil in large pot to medium high heat. (mine was about 6 1/2)

Dry potato slices extremely well (I went as far as to dry them individually with a clean cloth).You don't want them wet when frying. When you think the oil is hot enough drop ONE into the oil. If the chip doesn't have even bubbles you need to turn the heat up. If you drop in the chip and it starts drying like crazy- turn it down. I actually had to turn mine up a little bit.

You want the bubbles to be even.

After  about 3-5 minutes, the potatoes should be brown and looking a lot like chips. Drain with a slotted spoon and place onto paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt immediately and repeat with remaining batches. Serve with cold dip or eat by themselves- they are good.We even made a cracked pepper and sea salt one.

Verdict: Very good! Hailey told me while I was slicing the potatoes that they looked gross- she has probably eaten the most!

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Oven baked fries

  • 2 large russet potatoes (2/3 lb each), peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Heat oven to 450°. Cut potatoes into "long strings" I had a lot of fun with this and tried this pin on cutting my fries:

 Verdict: Although it's kinda cool I don't like that the middle is the biggest piece- which causes issues with baking evenly. I ended up cutting that piece into quarters.
 Once fully cut, place in a bowl of cold water for 10- 30 minutes.
 Remove from water and dry thoroughly. Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

 Place fries on a cookie sheet. Roast until browned and cooked through, turning occasionally, 25 minutes.  About twenty minutes into the cooking I didn't feel mine were getting crispy enough and the last 3-4 minutes I turned on the broiler.

Verdict: They weren't exactly as crispy as I would have liked them (but some of them were burning). They taste a little like individual servings of baked potato- The ones that were really crispy kind of reminded me of In-N-Out. I can just imagine how good these would have been if I had the guts to boil them.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Color mixings

I admit- I don't always got to the original source- especially if there is a description in the pin. I worry about spam, etc.. I took the pins advice and filled 6 cups full of water. Next I asked my youngest what are teh primary colors. We then  put food coloring dots into three.

We took the paper towels and placed once side in the color spot, the other end in plain water and waited for it to soak  up and go over to the second cup of water,

Then I realized it's supposed to be an empty cup. So, we re started...the water wasn't soaking all the way up the paper towel and well, we were getting a little impatient. So we submerged the yellow and red paper towels and let them drip into the empty one- essentially making orange.

Then we wanted to make some green too.

All in all the pin was kinda cool- but not as exciting as the pin claimed it to be.

Apple Crisp

What you need:

4 large or 5 regular apples
1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. white flour
1 C. oats
1 1/2 sticks salted butter (softened)
2 tsp. cinnamon
Peel and cut the apples.
yes, I left some skin on my apples
In a bowl mix all ingredients together- mine made a kind of a paste-

it was weird but I put it all over my apples anyway.

Bake 375 for 20-30 minutes. I stupidly set my timer but never hit my start button leaving me to question when it was done. It smells amazing baking in the oven, like fall :)

Verdict? While it is warm, it tastes just like apple crumb pie with no crust- delicious! a little mushy in spots where the oats didn't want to crisp. When it cools down it tastes more like brown sugar oatmeal. I think I needed more apples, but I ended up using 6!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Primrose Everdeen braids

Alright, I told myself for a very long time that I wasn't going to get into The Hunger Games series. Why? I just don't typically like fads. I ended up borrowing the first book from the library because I'm tired of my typical authors (their books all seem to be about the same general thing) and I'm almost finished with it. I love braiding hair and needed a new hairstyle for my daughters American Girl doll. Primrose Everdeens pigtail french braids were perfect.

You start at the front hair line with a braid and slowly add in a new piece of hair after each section is added to the main braid. The trick with Prims is that instead of going toward the back of your head, you curve it downward behind your ear following your hair line.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Regular Baked Potato


Baking Potatoes
Olive oil, vegetable oil, or butter
Coarse salt or sea salt (optional)

Clean the potato under COLD running water using a scrub brush- do not soak the potatoes this will make them soggy.  Once fully clean, dry with a pat towel and remove any blemishes you want. Pierce each potato with a fork or knife- going deep into the potato. Apparently if you do not do this it can and has exploded in the oven.

For a soft skin rub butter or oil all over the skin and coat with coarse salt. Bake:

For about a 5 ounce potato:
45 mins at 400
60 minutes at 350
90 minutes at 325

Verdict: These were good! a little too much salt (my fault) but still good and admittedly, my first baked potato, ever!

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Butter Buns

Alright, I'll admit from the start I'm a little iffy about these rolls ( I say this as they are rising in my kitchen) The only reason behind these feelings are simple: The original blogger isn't exactly specific on her choice in ingredients. One day she likes to add one egg- other days  egg whites, or two eggs. Now if you're a little neurotic like me and like things in order at this rate you'd toss the recipe out the window. I must be crazy because I decide to give them a try.  I did the stuff not in parentheses.

1/4 cup of water (or milk)
1 package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
4 cups of flour
1 egg (or 2 egg yolks )
4 Tablespoons melted butter
another 1 cup or milk (or water)--(original bloggers note says if you used unsalted butter to add 1-2tsp salt)

Start by warming the water in mixer (or bowl) add yeast and let it set for 5 minutes or until foamy. Next add 4 cups of flour and turn mixer on.

This is about where I realized I added 1 cup of water to my yeast instead and so I had to just add some extra flour. Once all of your ingredients are fully incorporated, place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover it with saran wrap and let rise until doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen grease a 9x13 pan and divide dough into 16 almost equal balls. Shape them into small baguettes and place them into the baking dish. Cover again and leave at room temperature.

Turn the oven on and let it reach 375F.
When your oven is nice and hot and your buns are almost doubled in size brush them with some more melted butter and place them into the oven
Bake for 23-25 minutes until golden. Brush with some more butter as soon as you take them out of the oven. Brush with butter.

Verdict: The second time they rose beautifully until I had to take the  saran wrap off. Then they kind deflated. I thought, "Oh well- looks aren't everything it's how they taste." Unfortunately, These were the blandest rolls I've ever made. They taste literally like dough (mainly because I took her advice and didn't add any salt because my butter has salt a little salt in it).

This is the best dinner rolls I've ever made: sweet dinner roll

Grilled PB&J Sandwhich

I admit, this one had me at "peanut butter". I typically love toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and figured: this has got to be good!! Since there was no original source (which we all know if you're following me it drives me crazy) So I assume it's like a grilled cheese sandwich.

I lightly buttered one side of two pieces of toast. Then I added peanut butter and a dab of jelly and put it on the griddle.

and cooked both sides until it was a nice golden brown

It was good.  A little soggy in the centers despite my attempts of putting a light coat of butter on the toast. Was it worth the extra calories and time? Not really. I love melty peanut butter and I get the same effects (and crunchier toast) if I just use my toaster.

(if you look close to the top bite mark you can see it even looks a little soggy)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Peanut Butter & Jelly sushi sandwich

Alrighty, this morning I decided to try to make the girls lunches a little more...interesting. They aren't always in the mood for Peanut butter or Jelly sandwiches, but it had been a while and I figured they weren't awake to argue.
I started by taking 2 pieced of bread and rolling then flat with my rolling pin.

 Then I removed the crust and added  jelly to one and peanut butter to the other. Now this is normally where people would put them together and then roll it up- not us. Not only did I think two rolled slices would be a bit much for their tiny mouths, but one only likes jelly the other, peanut butter. So I rolled them separately and sliced them with a knife.

 Here is hoping they like them! Mine don't look as fancy as the original posters photos because they are thinner and less peanut butter and jelly ( I also never photo shop). I also put Goldfish and grapes in their lunches today with my our home made lunch box organizer .Oh and I wouldn't add too much jelly- when you roll it it likes to seep out!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Betty's Chocolate chip Brownie Bars

**Quoted Directly from Betty Crocker**

  • 1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 egg
    1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting, if desired(which I didn't use)

    • 1 Heat oven to 350ºF (325ºF for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan(we used 9x9 because I like them a little thicker) with cooking spray, or grease with shortening. Make brownie mix as directed on box. Spread in pan.
    • 2 Make cookie mix as directed on pouch, using butter and 1 egg. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie batter; press down lightly. Then we decided we really wanted it mixed and started swirling the cookies a little (p.s. my cookie batter was a little soft because my butter was a little too soft)
    • 3 Bake 42 to 47 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Frost with frosting. For brownies, cut into 7 rows by 6 rows.
      Verdict: After smelling them bake for 40 minutes (raw middle? try wrapping the edges in tin foil so you can just bake the center) It smelled amazing- Then I had to let it cool- which was torture. I'm reminded of that pin that says they waited five minutes for their food to cook they are going to let their mouth burn before waiting one more minute for it to cool down. So they finally are just warm. I have to say they mainly taste like brownies with come melted chocolate  chips in them. You can't really taste the cookies unless you get a big cookie piece.

      The following night (after they were completely cool) tasted muuuuch better! You could actually taste like they have cookie dough in it.