Tag Archives: Family

Recipe for Low fat, Gourmet Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

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I wanted to share my recipe for the most amazing low fat, homemade macaroni and cheese. Both kids and adults eat every bite and ask for seconds and thirds!

Your choice of pastas (macaroni, shells, curly pasta work great)
Fat free milk
Smoked Gouda cheese (make certain there is no “rennet” in the cheese)
Margarine
Flour
Salt and pepper to taste

If you want to make enough to serve 3-4 people, use half a box of pasta, boil as per directions.

In separate pot, melt 4 tablespoons of margarine, when bubbly add 4 tablespoons of flour and mix until smooth. Next add 2 cups of fat free milk and stir while on high heat until boiling and it has thickened, lower heat to low. Shred Gouda cheese to make one cup and add little at a time to the sauce and stir until all is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain pasta and add sauce to pasta in pot and mix. Serve hot.

Enjoy!

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Homemade Christmas Ornaments from Salt Dough, make great teachers gifts!

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We have made salt dough ornaments this year for Christmas Gifts for my daughter’s teachers and some for our own tree. They are simple and easy to make and turned out just beautiful!

Salt Dough Recipe:
Two parts flour. (For about 8-10 ornaments I used 1 cup)
One part salt (we used 1/2 cup)
One part water (we used 1/2 cup)

Mix together until completely combined and smooth.

For Ornaments:
Cookie cutters of your choice
Straw to make the hole for hanging
Paint, clear nail polish, glitter or any things you would like to use to embellish with
String or ribbon to hang with

Start by pre-heating your oven to 200 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment or nonstick paper. Roll out your dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to make shapes and use a straw to make the hanging hole in each one. Place shapes on cookie sheet and bake for 4 hours.

Let cool completely, and then decorate as you wish. We used what we had on hand which was, permanent markers, nail polish and clear coat nail polish for sealing. We also used ribbon for hanging and after making the bow I just stitched a couple of stitches in it to ensure the bow doesn’t come undone.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone!

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How to make Monster High Or Barbie doll furniture, entertainment center

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Continuing on with making furniture for my daughter’s Monster High dolls, I’ve made an entertainment center with a tv. This looks really wonderful and is so fun and easy to make.

What is needed:
Small box for however big you would like the center to be (for 1:6 scale I used a plastic utensil box)
Wood patterned self stick shelf liner (found mine at the dollar store)
Black construction paper
Glue and tape
Pictures cut out from ads of a tv and electronics
Scrap cardboard
Scissors

I started by cutting my box in half and then gluing down the open flaps and taping the two box pieces together so I created the size I wanted.

Next I covered the the front side of the boy with a rectangle of black construction paper, and the other sides with the wood patterned shelf liner.

I made little strips of the shelf liner to replicate shelves on the front and glued in the little pictures of electronics.

Lastly I created the tv using the picture cut out and gluing to cardboard back and using another rectangle of black construction paper to cover it and made a stand from a triangle of cardboard and bending it.

My daughter loves this and I think it came out cute as well.

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Applying Initial(s) for Style, Fun and Identification

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The embroidery of initials is almost a lost art except for far and few between or by high end store catalogs like Pottery Barn, LL Bean and Disney Store for their machine embroidery.

I much prefer the creative touch I can provide by embroidering by hand. Really it is simple if you sew by hand you can purchase embroidery needles and floss or embroidery thread. Also search online for the photo of which letters you need and you can copy on paper and then recreate and even give your own spin.

I like for my daughter to have her initial on all her bags for school and sports. She loves it to for the design and being able to recognize her things instantly.

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How to make roast peanuts at home and make spiced or masala peanuts

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A very healthy snack which is inexpensive to make at home are roasted peanuts. You can make plain roasted peanuts, salted, sweet, sweet and salty, spicy, masala or garlic. You can also roast them in or out of the shell.

Home Roasted Peanuts

Ingredients:
Raw peanuts (of your choice and in or out of shell)
Baking sheet or tray
Aluminum foil (nonstick type works great)

Optional:
Salt
Garlic salt
Your choice of masalas (cumin, coriander are nice)

If sweet you can add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if u have a roast setting use that)

Put foil on baking sheet and spread a single layer of peanuts.
Then add your chosen seasonings

Bake for 18-20 minutes for peanuts without the shell or 25-30 minutes in the shell

Let cool for about 10
Minutes before enjoying

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Yummy shortbread cookies with black raspberry jam

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I would like to share the recipe for some wonderfully scrumptious cookies today. I’ve made shortbread cookies with a black raspberry jam filling.

Makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup (two sticks of butter or margarine, I used I can’t believe it’s not butter) at room temperature cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 almond extract
1/2 to 1 cup of a seedless black raspberry jam
Powdered sugar for dusting

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy, about 4 minutes then add in sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Start adding the flour about a cup at a time and mixing until you’ve added all the flour. Shape together into a ball and place back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Put in the icebox for at least one hour until chilled. It will not roll out smoothly until this is done.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Once removed from the icebox, roll out onto a floured surface and use cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Use a whole cutter for the bottom of the two part cookies and then the same cutter again but make a tiny shape in the middle so when stacked with jam (after cooking) you can see the jam.

Bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes or until you see the edges just start to brown very lightly. Let cool and dust the cookie tops with powdered sugar. Next use about a 1/3 of a teaspoon of jam and place on the bottom piece of the cookie and put a top cookie on top.

They look wonderful and taste amazing!

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Jurassic Park Birthday Party

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A few years back my daughter had a wish for a Jurassic Park birthday. On a shoestring budget I was able to pull off an amazing themed birthday party for her. For decorations I used two great colors which are prominent in JP merchandise, red and yellow. I found some great Jurassic Park 3 and Lost World party supplies on eBay which included plates, napkins, tablecloths, balloons, goodie bags, etc. My daughter says that only dinosaurs in Jurassic park were real dinosaurs and so no cutesy Dinos to be found here. There was a great candy mold online that I purchased and used to make my own candy lollipops for each child as a take home treat along with a balloon. The cake was made at Costco but I had a frosting sheet made with two favorite dinosaurs picture on it and carried the theme of the red and yellow for the frosting. I also wanted to have a great photo prop to take a photo of each of the kids with so I came up with a cardboard jeep. This was easy to make out of a giant sheet of cardboard from Costco. It was one of the sheets that goes between stacks of products in the Costco store and free of course. I used markers to draw the outline of the jeep and collected some great images from online to print out and add to the jeep. All the kids adored this as they stood behind it and pretended to drive when I took photos. The last fun thing I wanted to make was a piñata. I could find anything close to what I wanted so I made my own using some dollar store balloons, tissue paper, newspaper and glue. I was able to make a baby raptor hatching out of the egg. Also this was made to be a pull string piñata so less destruction would happen. They had so much fun with it. Lastly I printed out some iron ons for her tshirt.

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