Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the best Buffalo Chicken Dip

I know it is bold to claim that this is "the best" buffalo chicken dip but it's true.  I have eaten my fair share of dip, read through many recipes and this is truly the best.  I am sure you are wondering what makes it so good.  It's simple... grilled chicken and lots of it.  I know some recipes call for canned, rotisserie, or poached chicken and they are blown away by grilled chicken.  I got this recipe from an old co-worker a few years ago and tweaked it a little.  I think there is even some sort of a sporting event this weekend giving you the perfect excuse to make this.  

Print Recipe
Buffalo Chicken Dip- Recipe from co-worker, K, modified by me- this makes enough to fill a crock pot or a large casserole and a small dish.  Half if necessary.

3 pounds chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled
1 small stalk celery
2- 8 oz bricks cream cheese, I use 1/3 fat (fat free does not work)
12 oz bottle Frank's Hot Sauce
1 cup ranch dressing (i use yogurt based ranch dressing- it's less fat)
2 cups cheddar cheese
food processor

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Take the outer stalks of celery off and pulse 5-6 inside ribs of celery in the food processor until it is finely chopped.  Pour Franks into a large pan on medium heat.  Sauté Celery in the hot sauce.  Cut chicken into chunks and pulse in the food processor until it is finely chopped.  You will have to do this in stages.  When Franks is hot and celery is starting to get soft, melt cream cheese in the pan.  Add ranch dressing and turn off the heat. Stir in chicken.  Place in a well sprayed casserole dish and top with cheddar cheese.  Bake 20 minutes and stir cheese into the dip.  If you are putting it into the crock pot mix cheese into the dip while it is in the pan and let heat about 30 minutes in crock pot before serving.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Orange charging station

I got hubby this orange charging station for Christmas.  It comes in other colors.  Hubby has had his eye on these for a while.  When he showed it to me I was excited that all his cords and charging space could be kept next to the TV instead of in my junk drawer in the kitchen.  He was charging everything in the kitchen and it was starting to get a little crowded in there.  The lid comes off and you can keep everything plugged in and just turn off the power strip when you aren't charging.  Now we don't have chargers sucking electricity out of the wall.  

Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Donut Holes

When I made Hubby the Pink Feather Boa Doughnuts I had some dough left over.  Is it doughnuts, or donut?  I think I prefer donuts. 

 As Homer Simpson would say, "Mmmmmm... donuts."

I could have made more than 10 pink feather boa donuts but donut holes seemed like such a fun idea.  They were really easy and quick to make.  I shook them in some cinnamon and sugar while they were still hot and we were ready to enjoy some fresh made, warm donuts.  

I am ashamed to say it, but this donut monster ate 8 donut holes and one big donut that day.

I don't think he was ashamed though.  He loves donuts!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pink Feather Boa Doughnuts

Hubby and I went to Seattle almost 7 years ago.  I just found this hilarious pic:
Anyways, while we were there we went to Top Pot and had the greatest donut experience of our lives.  These donuts were so good when we got home we were convinced another donut wouldn't be as good so we just stopped eating them. 

Fast forward 7 years and Top Pot came out with a book and I got it for Hubby for Christmas. Part of the gift was the book, the other part was me making his favorite donut the...  

...Pink Feather Boa.  

Watching my manly husband eat something so pink and fluffy was the funniest thing I ever saw.  He loves coconut and he is too manly to care what he looks like.  

I was really excited when this book came out.  I have to say, they turned out perfectly, it was like we were back in Seattle. Oh and guess who else likes donuts...

I think liking donuts is in the genes.  

"I see you!"



You have to check out this book.  I can't wait to make more donuts! I think chocolate cake is next.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Reorganization 2012: the 3 messiest parts of my kitchen

I have 3 awful spaces in my kitchen.  
My junk drawer,

my baking cabinet, 
and the ice tea maker, pitcher and catch all cabinet.  

I started by de-junking my junk drawer.
I took out the plastic wrap, bags and aluminum foil. 

Then I dumped the rest of the drawer in a pile.  

I vacuumed and cleaned the drawer and then put the plastic wrap, bags and aluminum foil back along with all my empty bins.  

One by one I checked all the pens and markers and sorted everything. I also added that orange bin in the front of the drawer. Before there was no bin and all that stuff would get stuck under the plastic wrap and make the drawer hard to open and close. 

I trashed some things and put other things back where they belonged.  

Now my drawer opens and closes smoothly.  I think I am going to call this my utility drawer instead of the junk drawer.  

Now the baking cabinet:
When I started the cabinet wouldn't close. 
I removed some of those tiny sprinkles containers and cupcake liners.  I also regrouped and changed where things were kept. Now the cabinet closes and I don't knock all the pans out of the cabinet and on the floor when I bake.  

All those cupcake liners and sprinkles containers needed a home.  That brings us to the random ice tea maker cabinet.  
I found this spice rack at HomeGoods last week.  I can not be trusted in that store alone.

It fits perfectly on the top shelf of the cabinet.  All the cupcake liners fit perfectly on the top shelf.  My piping bags just fit next to the shelves.  

All of my sprinkles are now easy to see and access.  

I moved some things out of this cabinet and just organized it better.  
I had this pile of donate, trash and store in the entertaining closet. 

Now my 3 worst spaces are so much easier to use.  it only took about 40 minutes total.  

What is your worst space in your kitchen?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Orange desk scissors

I really have the best Hubby ever.  He always finds the best orange things for me.  This goes with the tape dispenser from last week.  

I won't even show you the scissors I was using at my sewing desk.  Let's just say that if you didn't hold them a certain way they wouldn't cut.  Well those are out and these are in!!  It's the little things that make life happy :)  They are designed by Michael Sodeau and you can find them on his website or through a google search.

I am not sure I mentioned this on here but my best friend, B, is getting married this spring.  I made her that pin cushion last month.  Well, the 2 of us are about to get very busy because she decided she wants to make her invitations!  How fun is that!! She just got the Cricut for Christmas and I am going to help her with getting the words all pretty.  I have been busy sending her samples of invitations all week!  Also she just asked me to be her Matron of Honor which is really exciting for me because I can't wait to do all those fun things for her.  I'll keep you posted on all our wedding craftiness and hopefully I will have sone tutorials for you along the way :)

Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fancy Restaurant Style Mashed Potatoes

This is a peek at the dinner we enjoyed New Year's Eve.  Hubby made an amazing steak and I made his favorite side, mashed potatoes.  I love mashed potatoes but I super don't like peeling potatoes.  I was watching the Food Network one night and one of the restaurants on whatever show i was watching was using a ricer to make their mashed potatoes.  They said it was better because the potatoes don't get over worked and pasty.  I have made some awful, pasty potatoes in my day.  But not anymore!

Turns out you can also lazy out and not peel the potato because the peels don't go through the ricer.  Genius!! Also you don't have to add a ton of milk or cream to help it get smooth, they are smooth all on their own.  

Boil the potatoes until they are tender.  Place them in the ricer, over a bowl and grind a bunch at a time.

The potatoes come through extra tiny and fluffy.

All that is left in the top of the ricer are the peels!

Once all your potatoes are done, stick them back in the pot you used to boil them. 

Turn the heat on med/low and put a few pats of butter in.  I add a little bit of milk and stir.  If you would usually stir in sour cream, go for it!  Season them how ever you wish.  

Smooth and creamy mashed potatoes that taste like they came from a fancy restaurant.  My favorite part. you can't tell I didn't peel the potatoes :)

I linked up:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Orange tape dispenser

Isn't this the cutest tape dispenser?!!?!! It is weighted and stands pretty tall.  Hubby found this for me.  Although I think he secretly bought this so he could use it when he wraps presents.  haahaa.

I have been pretty good with my resolutions.  The one I am doing the best with my workout schedule and keeping it.  It has only been 2 weeks but I have kept that one.  Sam from Fitness Food and Faith had a great post where she recommended some apps for weight loss.  One of the apps was Lose It which I will admit has been on my phone for 2 years and I never used it.  So I decided to start using it.  It keeps track of the calories you are eating and it has been helping me make better choices.  It turns out it is a great motivator to get that workout in every day.  After you enter your workout into the app, you get extra calories for the day.  So for example if I eat really good for breakfast and a salad for lunch and get my workout in, I can go out to eat and get that burger I am craving for dinner and still be in my calorie allotment for the day.  It is teaching me balance.  A bonus is, it is stopping me from eating junk from 3-dinner time when I am so hungry.  I have chosen healthy snacks so I can have a more fun dinner than a bowl of lettuce.  I know a lot of people make weight loss a New Year's Resolution and this app might help you. I am just trying to make sure I workout 5-6 times a week and this app is helping me keep track of my workouts.  The better choices I am making with food is a bonus.

Happy Weekend!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Guest Post: Sewing for Boys Pump up Series at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

I am guest posting today over at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!!
I made some matching cousins jammies for Stacey's 2 week long pump up series...Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

...leading up to her Sewing for Boys Sew Along.  
Sewing For Boys Sew Along
Come on over and check it out!

I linked up:

Monday, January 9, 2012

REORGANIZE 2012: The List

I think I am guest posting at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy tomorrow... I'll keep you posted :)

This list is made!! I am pumped. I am so excited to get started.

When I think about all the progress I made last year it motivates me to get this house into shape.
Some of the areas that were cleaned last year are now a disaster, others aren't so bad. I am ready to share my disaster areas with you all. So who's with me??!!! Many of the items on my list only take 5-10 minutes.
Stay tuned for pics of my super messy cabinets, drawers, closets and the king of all messy spaces, my craft area or maybe it's my kitchen. I think I will let you all decide.

Here is the list:

Take down Christmas (COMPLETED 1/8!!)
Take down outside lights (COMPLETED 1/8!!)

Master Bedroom
clean out all drawers in dressers clean out night stands clear and declutter shelves 

Master Closet
Go through clothes and purses and purge 
reorganize clothes on shelves 

Master Bathroom
Clean out cabinet and drawers 
Medicine cabinet
Guest Room
DeclutterWash dust ruffle and redo 

Laundry Closet
 Declutter and reorganize shelf

Linen Closet
Declutter and Reorganize 

Guest Bath
Clean and organize vanity 
Clean Medicine Cabinet

PB’s Room
Clean out baby toys from closet
Reorganize shelves as toy storage
Clean closet
Change to big boy bed

Declutter and Reorganize top cabinets 
Declutter and Reorganize bottom cabinets 
Declutter Drawers
Find a new place for all the baking supplies 
Clean freezer 
Clean Fridge 
Clean and organize pantry

Butler’s Pantry
Install Cabinets and Countertop (this was on the list last year, i really want to do this!!)

Living room
Go through toys and organize and move some to PB’s bedroom
Declutter entertainment center 
Declutter baskets in coffee table 
Move craft scissors into new craft storage on basement steps.

Coat Closet
Get rid of old coats 
Declutter shelves get rid of shoes and organize

Leather treat furniture
Clean out ottomans

Declutter downstairs 
Declutter and redecorate ledge 

Basement stairs
Install storage bins on the steps for craft stuff.

Organize entertaining closet 
toys- pack up some and organize others
Hubby’s office organize

craft area
purge and organize shelves and bins
Fabric- reorganize
Find a system for projects that need to be completed

Put away Christmas bins (COMPLETED 1/8!!)

Clean up iPhoto
Pin everything I keep unread in google reader
organize all my blog photos and purge those I don’t need
Finish my online course SO CLOSE!!

I crossed some things off already! YAY!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Functional Orange Art

This is another orange thing hubby got me for Christmas.  Can you guess what it does?  I was really excited about it when I opened the box and had a ton of ideas for its use.  But I had a hard time figuring out where it would hang nicely in the house.  So most of those ideas weren't going to work out.  But one did...

... it works perfectly as a coat and hat rack for PB.  I hung it on the half wall that is next to our front door.  As much as I wanted to use it for myself, I guess the gift of him being to hang up his own coat and hat is priceless.  So far he loves it and hangs up his coat and hat every time.  PB also likes orange so he appreciates it. 

This was step one in reorganizing the house from top to bottom by PB's birthday in March.  I am still working on my to do list for that, I'll share next week :)
Happy Weekend!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sewing for Boys with Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

Have you seen the series going on over at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy! this week?  
Stacey is doing a Sewing for Boys Pump Up leading into her Sewing for Boys Sew Along!!! I will be guest posting next week!!! Here is a peek at what I made: 

 See you there!
Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

Here are the last few pics from Christmas in AZ:
My SIL showing PB how to play piano.

My bro and cutie nephew snuggling.

Love my SIL and nephew.  
My cutie nephew loved my Hubby.  He liked to grab his beard.

He was trying to eat my face and making all these noises and squealing.  PB used to do that to me when he was a baby. I could snuggle my nephew all day.  

Waiting for our plane. 
 Leaving family is the worst.  We will see my mom in 2 months but I won't see my Bro, SIL and Nephew until summer.  At least we have memories of all the fun times.

Thanks for letting me share this pics with you this week.  I took over 700 and to narrow it down to just the ones I shared was hard.  I had a lot of fun with my camera in AZ and I hope to have more fun with it at home.  I need to just go out and play around more.  I also decided that I need to do more night photography.  I really enjoy the experimentation it takes to get a good photo.    
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