Tag Archives: homemade

New Gadget

We needed another kitchen gadget/appliance like we need a hole in the head, but after several IG donut posts featuring perfectly round mini glazed donuts topped off with sprinkles, {the Easter Bunny} thought it’d be fun to skip the donut shoppe and make our own on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings!

You, too, can craft homemade circles of love with a quick trip to your local Target…


This Sunbeam Donut Maker was on clearance for 50% off last week for just $15. It gets fabulous reviews as seen here.

The basic batter is surprisingly easy to prepare and I happened to have everything on-hand including the glaze ingredients {just powdered sugar & milk}.


From what I understand, just about any muffin {not cake} mix will work here. I’ve heard rumors from this girl that you can make cinnamon toast crunch donuts with this mix…


Yes, please.

Since we’re on Spring Break, we may have fired this baby up once or twice to experiment…


The opportunities are endless with these things. It comes with a few recipes in the manual, but any thicker muffin-type batter would work.

I’m thinking blueberry donuts with a lemon glaze.

Or a simple cinnamon sugar.

Pumpkin for the Fall or gingerbread for the holidays.

Please stop me.


Just don’t forget your coffee to go alongside.

Happy Spring Break….or what’s left of it!


ALL This Post Is About Is A Chicken Sandwich. That’s It.

Jay is now on Pinterest. One of his first pins was a homemade Chick-fil-a sandwich recipe.

Ironically we had these for dinner last night {Sunday} and we both could not believe how close they came to the real thing. I used honey wheat buns, put extra pickles on mine and slathered some kidnapped CFA sauce on the top bun. Recipe for homemade CFA sauce here.

What you need:

1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Optional: up to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper for a spicy sandwich ——> Omitted this time, but next time, for sure!
Oil for frying (about a cup) ——> I used 1/2 cup and it was plenty!

{Recipe via}

What you do:

Pound out one or two chicken breasts {or buy cutlets} and cut them in half to create 2 or 4 pieces of chicken. Marinate in the pickle juice for 30-60 minutes. When you’re ready to cook them up, mix together 1/4 cup milk with the egg in a shallow bowl and mix the flour and seasonings in a separate bowl. Heat the oil on medium and go ahead and take the chicken breasts from the juice, dip them in the egg mixture followed by the flour mixture. Coat well and place into the heated oil. I didn’t pound mine out as much as I should have so I cooked them for about 4 minutes on each side. Once cooked, place them on a paper towel lined plate. Lightly toast your buns and spread with condiment of choice {mine is the CFA sauce!}. For the traditional sandwich, just place a few pickles on the bottom bun and then add the chicken. Would also be great with some sliced onion, tomato and lettuce.

And what is CFA without waffle fries? You could certainly pick up some Alexia waffle fries to go alongside, too.


Linking up with Jess and the PinterTest Kitchen….come say Hello!

Makin’ A {Pinterest} List

The last 10 weekends of the year are already filled on our little calendar…I am already beginning to panic and wonder when I am going to fit in Christmas shopping, homemade gifts, sweet treats and wrapping.

I’ve picked up several little goodies for Christmas gifts here and there and have made a list of tasty little morsels that I want to deliver to the special people in our lives. I figure you can never start too early…..if I know myself, I know that I will wait until it’s too late and stress about it. So with that said, I am planning ahead this year, getting things done so that when December 1st rolls around all I need to think about is picking out our tree, decorating the house, Jay’s birthday, visiting Santa, touring the lights, holiday parties, dance recitals, gift wrapping party, baking and cooking for the family and enjoying the dazzle of the holidays.

{obviously the food items will be made closer to Christmas, but at least I can shop for some supplies now}

For the neighbors:

Yellow Pepper Relish jarred in quilted Mason jars with a little tag that reads something like, “Relish in the magic of the holidays ~ spread this on your favorite sandwich or burger and enjoy!”

For the doc’s office, hairdresser, dog sitter, school office staffs, etc.:


Gift tag: “Naughty & Nice pretzel bites ~ a little salty, a little sweet! Merry Christmas from The Aspiras Family”

For Elliott’s classmates:


Gift tag: “Here are some “bookworms” to enjoy during your holiday reading! See you in 2012!”

For Holden’s classmates:

{his preschool is totally ANTI sugar so I thought these would be perfect}


Gift tag: “Have a COLORFUL holiday! See you in 2012!”

{I have already experimented with making the crayons…when Popsi was here visiting in September, he and the kids unwrapped all our old, broken crayons. I picked up a dozen silicone cupcake liners {square & triangle shaped} and did a trial run the other night ~ 200* oven for about 20 minutes. When the crayons are all melted, turn off the oven AND LEAVE THEM IN THERE TO START TO COOL. If you attempt to remove when they are still too liquid, you will mess them up! Take them out after about 30 minutes and set on your counter for another hour or so…then they will be ready to pop out of the liners. This was such an easy process…going to pick up some brand new crayons and make another batch so each of his classmates gets 3 or 4 crayons. Will post a pic in about 2 months {ha!} before we go and deliver them. Here is the tutorial that I followed}

I see LOTS of little clear cello bags, ribbon and gift tags in my future, but I am excited to put my Pinterest finds to work instead of them just looking pretty on my virtual boards!


What are you eyeing for your holiday goodies this year?

If you need an invitation to Pinterest for some inspiration, I can certainly help you with that ~ just say the word {insert evil laugh here}. However, I cannot be held responsible for all the time you will waste spend browsing and pinning.

Happy Humpday!

Frugal Girl’s Frap

On Monday afternoon I fixed my Pops and me an iced coffee with Coconut Creme coffee-mate ~ it was the perfect warm afternoon pick-me-up.

I thought I’d try it blended and make a frugal girl’s version of a Mocha Coconut Frappucino.

All you need is come chilled {strong} coffee, crushed ice, Coconut Creme coffee-mate, Splenda, Hershey’s syrup, whipped cream in a can, some coconut, a blender and a straw!

Fill a glass with coffee and ice as you would for an iced coffee. Pour that into a blender with a couple tablespoons coconut creamer and your sweetener of choice, if you desire. Process until blended. Drizzle chocolate inside a glass, fill with coffee goodness, top with a fancy spray of whipped cream, another drizzle of chocolate and a sprinkle of coconut!

Longing for my first pumpkin spice latte of the season, but still waiting on Mother Nature for the perfect morning!



Linking up over at Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain and What I Whipped Up Wednesday @ Sugar and Dots!

Pesto Change-o

Jay made a batch of pesto with his home grown basil for Mother’s Day.

We had it on pizza with fresh tomatoes…

It was delish…used the garlic herb pizza dough from Trader Joe’s.

Pesto is a favorite sauce of mine…perfect on pizzas, pastas or as a condiment on sandwiches. Use it as a “rub” on chicken or pork and grill. Also perfect mixed with a little ranch dressing for a creamy pesto drizzle over your salad.

I love that you can interchange the herbs and nuts to make other pestos, too…

Arugula Pesto

Cilantro Pesto

Parsley-Walnut Pesto

Looking forward to changing it up and trying out all these other variations.

Flip Flop Fiestas ~ Invitations

Now that you’ve come up with your theme, it’s time to get your guest list together and decide how you’re going to get the word out.

Part 2 ~ Invitations

If you want to go the FREE route, you can use evite or punchbowl which have lots of cute templates. If you are trying to be more {green}, this is also a good avenue!

I prefer to make my own simple invites using inexpensive note cards or card stock. I like to print them on our home printer for a {professional} look. I have paid A LOT for invites in the past, but think all that money can be used elsewhere.

I start by looking for blank notecards in the dollar bins at Target or Michael’s. I’ve also found them at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. If the cards are too plain, you can pick up some stickers that tie into the theme {of course!} to embellish them.

I also like to download a font or two for the invites that I use throughout the party for any signs, menus or goodie bag tags that I print up. This ties everything together. We have a Mac and there are several sites out there with FREE font downloads. For example, for Holden’s {Under The Sea} 1st birthday, I used a font with little bubbles {cocktail bubbly} which turned out pretty cute:

{please pardon the bad scan}

You can see a few other invites I’ve done here, here & here.

First, I just measure the note card {opened} or card stock and plug the dimensions into my Word program under format —> page. Then I write up the wording on the bottom half of the page {below the fold for a note card}, spell check a million times and then feed the note cards into the printer. Always do a test page first to make sure everything is lined up and looks centered. I am really anal about this part!

I am super cheesy and come up with all sorts of goofy rhymes and verbiage pertaining to the theme when writing up the invitation, too. Let your imagination run wild…parties are supposed to be FUN!

If you’re inviting a small number of kids, you can pick up a little trinket and include it with the invite or attach the invite with a little ribbon or raffia.

If you’re having a slumber party, maybe include a little eye mask or for a spa party, possibly a little bottle of nail polish. Just a little something to get your guests even MORE excited about your party.

They say that you should limit the number of guests to the number of years old your child is. I think that is a great rule of thumb, but I tend to be one of those that like to invite {everyone}! I am from the {the more the merrier} school of thought. We’re still at the stage where the adults stay at the parties, too, which I love, but it will also be nice when the {drop-off} parties begin!

I prefer to hand deliver the invites, but sometimes it makes more sense to pop them in the mail. I always like to pick out some special stamps at the Post Office…I know OVERBOARD!


OK, now you’ve sent out your invites and you need to start thinking about what your party is going to look like!

Coming up mañana, Part 3: Venue & Decor


how cute are these homemade Pop Tarts?

Found them over here

I must make these.

When I complete 5 miles non-stop {running}, I am going to make these for a weekend breaky.

The blueberry with key lime icing look ridiculous, but I think I’ll try some cinnamon & brown sugar with maple icing.

The brown sugar cinnamon variety have always been at the top of my list.

Although I haven’t eaten a Pop Tart in a million years and my kids don’t even know what they are.


But somehow the homemade ones make me feel less gulity.


Am I the only human being that treats herself to “junk” food once I hit a fitness goal?

Most would probably have a nice pile of alfalfa sprouts or a shot of wheat grass…

Oh no, not me…I’m just going to reward myself with more calories!

However, I will always be a foodie and love to bake.

I guess that’s why I’m trying to make running a recurring part of my life.

So I CAN eat all these things, but still {try} and be fit!

Stay tuned….if I can run a little over 3 miles, I can CERTAINLY do 5.

Homemade Pop Tarts coming soon.


I whipped up some homemade Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub for Elliott’s preschool teacher, Miss Linda, as part of her end-of-the-year thank you gift.

It’s the easiest thing ever.

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup regular sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

6 drops vanilla extract

That’s it!

Pour oil into a clear glass container, then add the sugars and vanilla.


That’s it!

I found the recipe here. {It calls for equal parts oil and sugars, but I bumped up the oil by 1/4 cup…too dry otherwise}

Dollar Tree had these cute little glass jars.

I had the oil, sugars and vanilla and leftover zebra ribbon from her party.

Easy. Peasy.

I added a little plastic spoon to make it easy to stir up and scoop before use.

Looking forward to trying the peppermint one for Christmas!