Monthly Archives: February 2013

Christmas Light Storage

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Every year the Christmas decorations get pulled out and we think that THIS year we will be organized while putting them away. Of course by the time we put them away we are too exhausted to even think about it. That’s why now is a perfect time, before you start Spring cleaning!

I take no credit for this idea. I borrowed lights from a friend this year ans this is how they came. Wrapped neatly and organized, the only thing missing was a bow.

Start by cutting a piece of cardboard into the shape of a bone.  On each end cut a slit.

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Use a marker to label where those lights are to be hung.

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Using one of the slits to hold the end of the cord in place begin wrapping it around the length of the cardboard.

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When you are done it should look something like this.

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A fruit box works great to hold all the strands together for storage and when you start hanging them up again.  I suggest keeping the light clips and extension cords in the same box.

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I hope you find this helpful and that it makes the task of hanging lights next November a little less stressful.

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Shrimp and Mushroom Risotto

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It sounds like such a fancy dish and is quite expensive to order in a restaurant. Yet risotto is not only very affordable to make it is simple as well. From start to finish it is ready in less than 30 minutes.

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INGREDIENTS
2 TB Butter
1 1/2 c Aborio Rice
3 c hot Chicken Broth
1 lb peeled and devined Shrimp
8 oz sliced Mushrooms
3 Green Onions chopped
1 TB parsley
1/2 c Parmesan Cheese
Johnny’s Seasoning

* One cup of water may be substituted for the broth.

Melt the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the rice and saute for 3 minutes. The rice will slightly change color but pick up a nutty flavor.

Begin adding the hot broth in half cup increments. Stirring the rice until all the liquid is absorbed each time. Continue with this process until the rice is tender. You may not end up using all the liquid.

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Meanwhile, turn the oven onto 350 degrees.  Season the shrimp with the Johnny Seasoning, or salt if you prefer.  Spread them in a pan and place into the oven. Keep an eye on them and when they begin to turn pink add the sliced mushrooms and onions. Turn the oven up to 400 and continue cooking until the shrimp and veggies are done. The shrimp will be a rich orange and the mushrooms soft and brown.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the parsley.

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Once the rice is fully cooked add enough liquid to make a creamy sauce.

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  Add the shrimp and mushrooms. Sprinkle in the cheese and serve immediately.

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Total cost was less than $10. I hope risotto does not seem so intimidating and you will give it a try. Don’t be afraid to make it your own by substituting your favorite vegetables and meat, or leave out the meat altogether. What variations can you come up with?

Parsnips and Apples

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I remember the first time my mother fried up parsnips, I asked why the carrots were white. That night I fell in love with a new root vegetable. While tonight I pan fried them they can also be roasted in the oven.

INGREDIENTS
3 TB Butter
3 large Parsnips
1/4 c diced Red Onion
1 small peeled Green Apple that is diced
Salt

Melt the butter over medium heat and add the sliced parsnips. Begin with the larger pieces and add the rest in 5 minutes. Season with salt. Cook 5 minutes longer. Add the diced onions. Continue cooking until they are light brown and soft almost all the way through.  Now add the diced apples and cook 5 more minutes.

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I hope you give this winter veggie a try. As it becomes sweet when cooked most kids are pretty happy to eat it. Add in the apples and you have a side dish the family will love.

If you prefer to roast the parsnips,  toss them in canola oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.    Add the red onions and gently toss. Bake another 10 minutes and add the apples tossing them in. Roast another 5 minutes or all the parsnip are a dark brown.

Rosette Towels

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I have a small bathroom and it takes effort to store everything and still have it looking nice when guests arrive.  By simply using 2 bath sheets purchased at Wall Mart for $4 each and 2 large rubberbands I was able to freshen up the room in less than 5 minutes.

Bath sheets really do work best and the thin ones are easier to work with so don’t use your best guest towels.

Start by folding the towels into thirds lengthwise.  It does not need to be perfect as you will mess with it in a moment.

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Now hang it over the towel rack upside down so the fold is at the bottom. Slip the rubberband over the ends about 6 inches and repeat until it is nice and tight.

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Adjust the ends until you get a look you like.

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If you really want to get fancy tie a ribbon around the rubberband as if it were a bouquet of roses.

Easy breezy ams if people use them as hand towels you toss them right in the wash. Let me know if you give it a try.

Fixing the Kitchen Aid Mixer

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I love my Kitchen Aid but lately the head has been wobbly when it runs. I found a video today that showed me how to fix it in less than 1 minute.

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All I needed was a flat head screwdriver with a long handle. I locked it into place, pushed in a bolt,

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tipped it on the side and turned a screw.

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While I was at it I checked the remaining screws and tightened 3 more.

Easy peasy and the mixer head no longer wobbles. I hope this helps a few of you. Have a great day!

Decorative Blocks

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I have been seeing these on Pintrest and thought I would give it a try.

I had a 2×4 already cut into pieces so I only needed to sand them. I used a single coat of blue craft paint. Next time i want to buy a black satin for the base coat.

I cut scrapbook paper to be 2 inch less than the size of the block and decoupaged it on. I sealed the entire block with 2 coats.

The letters were cardboard die cuts I picked up several years ago. I think it adds dimension.

It took longer for the paint and glue to dry than to put it together.

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I will post more sets as I make them