Sunday, April 21, 2013

Super Sausage Supper

I got this recipe from Matt's Aunt Sarah.  This quick and easy recipe is perfect for a weeknight supper when you don't have a lot of time to prepare.  What I love about it is that you can put whatever veggies and other fixin's in that you want.  If someone doesn't like them, they can easily be picked out.  This means that I get to have my beloved mushrooms, which no one else in my family cares for.  You can make it as much or as little as you want, so it's great for company as well.  You can prepare this in the oven (which I do in the winter) or on the grill (which means my husband gets to cook!) 

Here's the recipe:

Super Sausage Supper

1 - 2 pounds smoked sausage
Potatoes (white or sweet or both, whatever you like!)
Bell peppers (whatever color you like)
Baby carrots
Mushrooms, washed, dried and halved
Non-stick cooking spray
Seasoned Salt

Wash veggies and cut into bite-sized chunks.  Cut sausage into 1 inch pieces.  Place potatoes and carrots in a microwave-safe container with a lid.  Put a little water in the bottom, cover, and microwave about 5 minutes or until slightly tender; drain off water. Lay out heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Dump your veggies, mushrooms, and sausage onto the foil.  Spray liberally with non-stick spray (you could use some olive oil if you would rather) and shake on some seasoned salt.  Use your hands or a couple of spoons to toss and mix well.  Place another sheet of foil over the top and seal the edges.  Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 30 - 40 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.  Or, if it's grill season, throw your packet onto the grill for about the same amount of time. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Powercat Etched Glass Dish

I know there are a lot of tutorials for this out there because I looked at them to figure out how to do this.  My goal was to be able to do this without having to buy a fancy machine to cut vinyl or pay (and wait) to have someone do it for me. 

I made this glass dish for my husband's uncle and aunt, who are huge K-state fans.  We were staying at their house while Matt went to a farming and ranching conference, and I wanted a little something to give them.  This fit the bill nicely! 

Here is what you will need:

1.  Armour Etch
2.  Clear Contact Paper
3.  Masking Tape
4.  Scotch
5.  1 inch foam brush
6.  Exacto knife
7.  Latex Gloves
8.  Basic computer skills

I used Microsoft word to print their last name and a powercat on either side.  I had to play around with the size a bit until I got exactly what I wanted.  I also put a rectangle around the text and powercats to help with centering the design.  I used the font Cinnamon Cake, which you can find here.

Then I cut out the rectangle and centered it behind where I wanted it to be on a glass Pyrex dish.  I taped it in place with Scotch tape.

I don't have a picture of this next part, but basically I just put a piece of clear contact paper on the front of the glass over where the picture was.  I smoothed it out with my fingers to make sure it was well-adhered to the glass.  Using the printed piece as a template, I used my exacto knife to cut out the powercats and the letters from the contact paper.  I carefully peeled away the contact paper that was over the top of the powercats and the letters, leaving the rest of the contact paper in place.  Can I just say how handy it was that their last name was only three letters?  Tip:  make sure to change the blade when it starts to feel "draggy."  You will get a much cleaner cut!

I then placed masking tape around the edges of my contact paper.  To etch, I put a towel down in my utility sink in the mudroom and placed the dish on its side inside the sink.  Using latex gloves and eye protection, I then used a foam brush to place the Armour Etch on the areas where I had cut out the contact paper.  I left the Armour Etch about 13 minutes.  If I do it again, I will leave it on a bit longer so the etching will be a bit more visible.  Update (5/21/15--I find now that the etch shows up much better if I leave it on about 40 minutes!)

After the time was up, I rinsed the etchant off and remove the contact paper and my template.

So, if you are looking to make a personal gift for someone without breaking the bank, keep this idea in mind!

Evan and Lyla's Birthday Party (7 & 3, How Can that Be?)

It's been a couple of months since I have last posted anything. I have pictures ready, but I have not had the time to sit down and get anything typed up! With five young kids and homeschooling, I haven't had a lot of extra time. Because of that, I finally decided to combine some of my kids' birthdays to try to reduce some of the busyness. So, my seven year old and three year old got to share a family party. I told Evan that he will get to have a friend over sometime as part of his birthday celebration as well, but we still have to get that on the calendar!

Ready for the party! 

Evan, my farm boy, wanted a combine cake. I found the tutorial for this one here. It was actually fairly simple to make. However, I ended up needing more that one 9 by 13" cake to get it done. Also, I would recommend putting the bin a little farther back on the cake so that it is not putting pressure on the cab. I was trying to get everything done on Friday so that I could just relax on Saturday (the day of the party.) So, I had got the cakes done on Friday afternoon. I was preparing supper when I looked over to see that Evan's cake was slowly slumping to the right. I almost cried! Thankfully, with prayer, lots of frosting, and some additional work on Saturday, I was able to repair the cake. If you can make the space in your freezer, I would recommend putting it in the freezer until a couple of hours before party time to help make sure everything stays put! I plan to write a "cake disaster" post soon detailing how to fix a birthday cake mishap!

At any rate, Evan loved his cake, and even with the repair I thought it turned out well. I did manage to take pictures from an angle that hid the sloping area!

For Lyla, there was no question what to make: Hello Kitty! I am into cake pops right now (thanks to a cake pop maker and recipe book from my sister-in-law for Christmas.) They are so much fun. I found the tutorial for these cute pops here. Lyla was so excited about her Hello Kitty pops. However, I was sad to think that she did not have a cake that she could put a candle in for blowing out. These things are important to three year olds!

I solved that problem by making a small Hello Kitty cake using a leftover scrap for Evan's cake. I froze a small square of cake and then carved it into a Hello Kitty shape. I had enough frosting left over from Evan's cake (and the right colors) to frost it white and put on the eyes, nose, and whiskers. I made the bow out of a double layer of strawberry fruit roll-ups.

I could not resist getting this balloon from Birthday Express. I love the fact that it was almost as big as she was!

Happy Birthday to my exhuberant, loud, and bouncy little girl! I can't believe how quickly you are growing up. I pray that you will use your fire for Jesus' glory!

Happy Birthday to my big boy, my helper, and my inquisitive one. I pray that your faith will deepen in the next year, and that you will seek answers to your questions in His Word.

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