Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Light Tasty Mac & Cheese

Yes, that's right, I said LIGHT mac & cheese. Who doesn't love this food? But it can be REALLY bad for you so I'm always looking for healthier ways to make it.

Adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes

• 16 oz elbow pasta
• 2 tbsp light butter
• 1/4 cup flour
• 1/2 cup minced onion (or onion powder)
• 2 cups skim milk
• 1 cup fat free chicken broth
• 8 oz low fat mild cheddar cheese
• salt and pepper (I suggest lots for flavor)
• 4 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
• non-stick cooking spray

Scroll down for the instructions...

Cook pasta in salted water according to directions on box.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat stirring with a whisk.

Add onion and cook another 2 minutes.

Add milk and chicken broth and continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and thicker.

Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add cheddar cheese and mix well until cheese is melted. Add cooked macaroni and baby spinach.

Pour mixture into baking dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Pig out!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Old Jeans to Cute Denim Baby Bib

Cute, huh? That's my nephew modeling my newest baby craft!

Adapted from the book, Sewing for Tiny Tots by Susan Cousineau
My bib design is based on the book, but adjusted slightly to make it my own.

I started out with an old pair of jeans I found at the thrift store for super cheap. The softer and more worn in, the better!
There's a bib pattern to use in the book or you can just make your own using a bib you already have. I used the stencil and traced the it onto the denim with the seam centered in the middle to make the bib. For the bottom part, I just followed the shape of the bib, but added a curve at the top. (Pen works really well for tracing and it washes off easily.)
I pinned the bottom part on the bib to overlap. The bottom edges should be even. If they aren't you can always trim them to be the same.
To get some fraying, I sewed all the way around the bib about 1/4" from the edge. The bottom overlay piece will be attached on the outside, but the top will be open like a pocket. You could leave it open or sew it closed. I chose to close mine with a straight stitch.After the bib is washed, it will fray at the edges. I cut off the long pieces and left the short ones.
Using some small pieces of Velcro, I sewed one on each end to close the bib.
How could I resist the cute little chick patches I saw at the craft store?
I ironed them on the bib and let them cool.
Isn't he just adorable? Future hottie here!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brie Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

Some of you might know that I'm a pasta salad lover. I'm always looking for new and unique ways to make it and I get sucked in to your blogs when I look at your pasta salad recipes! I came across this one and the photos and title screamed, "Make me! I'm delicious!" Of course, it was fabulous and I had to share it with you.

Adapted from 33 Shades of Green


• 12 oz. shell pasta
• 2 oz. brie cheese, diced

• 1 qt. cherry tomatoes, chopped

• 1 tbsp. minced garlic
• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

• salt & pepper to taste

• 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on box.

Drain pasta and pour into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Serve cold and top with parmesan cheese.

So good and great left over too!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Crafting Secret

Fabric can be really expensive. Even with those 40% off coupons or a good clearance, some of the specialty fabrics cost way more than they need to.

So here's my secret to save you money on your fabric purchases:

Buy things from the thrift store and reuse them!Fleece can be pretty expensive to buy, but this huge men's fleece sweatshirt was more than enough for my project and it was less than $2!

Denim is great from old jeans and it's already nice & soft.

I've also used bed sheets for large projects like quilts. Just make sure they're not too stretchy unless that's what you're going for.

Old t-shirts & blouses are perfect to turn into scarves too.

The possibilities are endless and you'll save so much money!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yummy Peanut Butter Bread

This was one of those recipes that tasted really good, but the photos did not turn out very good. So I warn you that this tastes much better than it looks! It's bread...how can it be bad, right?

• 1 1/4 cups water
• 3 cups bread flour
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
• 3 teaspoons yeast
• 1/4 cup sugar

Optional: chocolate chips, banana, caramel chips

Add all ingredients to bread pan and bake according to breadmaker directions.

This can also be made in the oven and baked for about 50 minutes or until cooked throughout.

Absolutely fabulous with melted butter, pumpkin butter, or drizzled with caramel sauce!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sew a Stuffed Elephant

I saw this tutorial over at Pins & Pens and thought it was too cute to pass up! I love this for baby shower gifts and also for myself!

I followed the tutorial, but added a few of my own touches. I felt like the elephant really needed a tail, so I came up with a simple solution. Using a long thin piece of fabric, I folded both horizontal ends toward the middle and ironed the creases. Then I folded again horizontally and ironed the creases.
I took some leftover yarn and made a small tassel.

Then I sewed the fabric piece closed with the yarn tassel inside and attached it to the elephant.
The tail is the perfect touch! I also thought about adding button eyes, but I don't think they were needed. It's cute enough already!

The elephant is featured at Sugar Bee Crafts Facebook page today! Go check it out!

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