Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ranch Dip Mix

  At our house we LOVE ranch dip (the sour cream based kind). We eat it with our homemade chicken bites, veggies, fried zuchinni, etc. We used to buy the packets but they are pricey and the off brands are not as good as the name brands. Then I had my sister-in-law's homemade mix and I loved it. It's one of the best kept secrets I have discovered. It's extremely cheap and easy to make and this batch will make almost 60 cups of dip, it will last you a long time! I would half this recipe if it you don't want to make a ton. You can also use this mix to make ranch dressing with buttermilk or mayo but we don't each very much ranch dressing so I haven't tried that yet. 

8 saltine crackers
8 T (1/2 cup) dried parsley
4 T (1/4 cup) dried minced onions
1 T dried dill (can use chives instead or half and half)
4 T (1/4 cup) garlic salt
2 T onion powder
2 T garlic powder

Put in food processor and blend for 30 seconds or so, until everything is well chopped and mixed. Store in airtight container. Use 1/2 T per cup of sour cream. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fitted Cardigan Out of a Big Goodwill Shirt

As I was getting ready for church a couple of weeks ago I suddenly needed a white cardigan. I was sad that I didn't have one but realized that I had a big white shirt that I had bought at Goodwill that didn't really fit and seemed like a perfect candidate to be transformed. I was inspired by this blogpost and others I had seen in the past and decided to give it a shot. It took less than 30 minutes and I didn't even have to rip out any stiches, first time ever! You can use this tutorial to make a big shirt more form fitting or make a shirt into a cardigan, or both. I'm going to be on the lookout for more big shirts at Goodwill. 

Fold shirt in half to get the exact center and cut down that line.

 Fold each edge toward the inside and pin and sew. 

 Cut the side seams all the way through the sleeve if you want to make it more form fitting. 

 Find a shirt that fits well and approximate how much you want to take it in. 

 Put the two sides back together (folding toward the inside of the shirt) and pin

 Repeat on other side and sew each side. 

I sewed straight up from the bottom through the sleeve about 1 inch because it seemed like my pink fitted shirt was about 1 inch smaller on each side

Trim the edges to make them cleaner. 

 Now it's about the same size as my fitted shirt. 

wah la - white short sleeve cardigan from a Goodwill purchase that otherwise probably would have been donated back to Goodwill  ; )

Monday, April 9, 2012

Deviled Eggs (my secret recipe) - and tips to making perfect hard boiled eggs

Recipe for 12 deviled eggs:

6 large hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half, yokes removed
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon pickle or pepperoncini juice
1-3 teaspoon sugar (depending on your sweetness preference)
salt and pepper to taste

Combine yokes and rest of ingredients in small mixing bowl and use hand mixer to combine until smooth. Alternatively, mash yokes well with fork and stir in the rest of the ingredients. You can adjust any single ingredient to taste but I start with these amounts. Fill egg whites with filling using spoon or pastry bag. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish.

* I use the same recipe to make egg salad.

Hard Boiled Eggs - Electric Pressure Cooker (easiest method, shells peel easily)

Place large eggs in steamer basket or loosely sealed foild bowl/pouch in the pot. Pour 1 cup of water underneath. Pressure cook for 5 minutes and allow natural release. Stop cooking by rinsing eggs under cold water. Peel while still warm.

Hard Boiled Eggs - Stovetop Method

Place large eggs cold in large sauce pan filled with water up to at least one inch above eggs. Bring to FULL ROLLING BOIL. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Stop cooking by rinsing eggs under cold water. Peel while still warm.

Quick and Easy Soft Cinnamon Rolls

These are the best cinnamon rolls I have made and they are easy because they only rise once.

1/4 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1 T yeast
1 T sugar

1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about)*
3 T sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened - NOT MELTED

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 T milk

Combine water and milk and warm in microwave until very warm to the touch (or about 110 degrees). Stir in 1 T sugar and 1 T yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes until it gets foamy and bubbly. In a stand mixer with dough hook combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast mixture, sugar, butter, and egg. Add salt and stir to combine. Keep stirring and add additional flour, 1/4 cup at a time. When the dough has just pulled together and is barely sticky, stop adding flour. Knead for 5 minutes with mixer or by hand on a floured surface. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. At this point you can put the dough in the fridge if you want to make the rolls for the next morning. Roll out dough into a 12x9 inch rectangle.

Combine filling ingredients in small bowl. Spread evenly with spatula over rolled out dough up to short edges, but leave about 1/2-1 inch space on the long sides so you can easily pinch the seam together. Roll dough and pinch seams together. Cut into 12 rolls with floss. Arrange rolls in a 9X13 ungreased glass casserole dish. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes in warm area or until doubled in size. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until just barely starting to brown. You do not want to overcook them or they won't be soft and wonderful.

Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 T milk. Add additional teaspoons of milk until desired consistently is reached. Frost rolls when they are warm but not hot.

*I have even incorporated some whole wheat flour into this recipe. They don't rise as much but they are still soft and very good.