As I've mentioned a couple of times already this year, my husband and I are trying to eat healthier. It's going well so far, and we've discovered lots of new recipes we love that are very vegetable-centric. We aren't giving up meat, but we are trying to focus on calories and balance. We've been at it for over two months and haven't given up, so we must be doing something right...Read More
My daughter's birthday was a few days ago, so we went out and spent the day shopping at the mall, something neither of us do often. Times have really changed, because her biggest purchases were made at the book store, while mine was the candle shop. Not a piece of clothing or pair of shoes between us. In fact, the one thing we both really liked and considered buying was something we decided we could make ourselves, and we talked about heading off to the fabric store...Read More
The big eclipse is over, summer travel and events are winding down and I've heard talk of pumpkin spice already. It looks like Summer '17 is almost a wrap, and I feel ready for autumn. It was way too hot for me this year, and my boots are calling. The funny thing is, I'm sure I talked about being excited for summer when spring was ending. I guess I know why I live somewhere with clearly defined seasons - I need them all...Read More
There's been lots of talk around here lately about the upcoming solar eclipse. There are parts of Oregon that are prime viewing areas. I'm not in one of those spots, but I'm just hoping we can see it. Those notorious Oregon clouds have definitely been know to show up in August, especially in the mornings. If that happens I'll be doubly glad I'm not one of those people paying a crazy amount of money for a hotel room or camping spot. My plan is to step outside, check it out, then back to making...Read More
I’m about to embark on the longest trip I’ve ever taken away from home, both in time and distance. It’s also my first time flying directly out of the country – the other times I’ve been out of the U.S. I was on a cruise ship. I’ve never been to Europe. I’ve never crossed the Atlantic. I’ve never spent an entire day flying. But all that isn’t even the most exciting part. I get to see my son again! The last time I saw him in person was at the Portland airport last May. I absolutely cannot wait. It's kind of a miracle I'm not already sitting at the airport right now.
Monday is the big day, and I'll be gone until late May. Since I didn't want you left with nothing new to look at all that time, I've scheduled a new Friday Favorites for each week while I'm away. When I return I'll be sharing some photos from my trip (which will hopefully include an Italian fabric shop!) and new projects and ideas that are already waiting in the wings!
This post contains affiliate links.
If you're like me, and love the look of a sliding barn door but don't really have a place to put one, Shanty2Chic has a solution for us. This nightstand has the style without the need for so much square footage.
Necklaces made from yarn can get a little warm to wear, which is why I think this one from Chabe Patterns is a perfect transition piece for spring.
Fruit pizzas are one of my very favorite desserts (and that's saying a lot). I particularly love that Hungry Happenings used strawberries and kiwi to make this one look like a watermelon.
I've made homemade tortillas before, although not as often as my husband would like. I've never thought to make them flavored, but thanks to Amanda's Cookin', now I know how.
You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!
Are you ready for the long weekend? We have a lot planned, with friends and family joining us at home on a couple of the days and my nephew’s wedding to attend. I’m hoping for some cooperative weather, and so far that’s looking promising. Yesterday was all about menu planning and shopping, so I think I’m all set. How about you?
No actual crack was used in the making of this Crack Dip from Food Fanatic. In case you were worried.
I could not bring myself to be the first to dip into this Taco Salad Flag from Family Fresh Meals.
These Mini Boston Cream Pies from WinCo Foods are super easy to make, and kind of adorable.
I know it’s blasphemy in some circles, but we actually like turkey bacon. I think it would be tasty in this Caesar Wedge Salad with Bacon from Simple Bites. Or, you know, actual bacon is okay too.
I can’t get enough avocado lately. Bonus points that this Avocado, Tomato and Corn Salad from Bake Your Day is so pretty.
Doesn’t this photo of Crock Pot Baked Beans from Moms with Crockpots just make your mouth water?
I’m just gonna say it – I like hot dogs. I had a Chicago style dog recently, and it was delicious. Next on my list to try is this Nacho Hot Dog from Way Better.
I’ll take a big glass of this Blackberry Limeade from Flour on my Face please.
Yum, yum, yum. Baked Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers from SkinnyTaste
These Patriotic Flower Pretzel Bites from Two Sisters Crafting are the perfect wrap up to a Memorial Day barbeque.
I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work. Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website. You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board. Thank you!
This post is sponsored by the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission. I received a gift card and accessories as reimbursement for ingredients and time. My grandfather owned a raspberry farm when I was a kid. We used to go pick for him when the berries were ripe. It was always hot, the raspberries vines were prickly and there were bugs. Even being the outdoor kid I was, I was kinda miserable. I think we were paid about 10 cents per pound we picked. The summer I was about 11 or 12 years old, I wanted a pair of leather boots, more than anything. I picked as fast as I could that summer and earned $40, just enough for my boots and a wild sense of accomplishment.
After a few years of that, I got my first not-for-a-relative, real job. It was working for a local berry cannery, Scenic Fruit. Are you seeing the theme here? I worked in the evening, after the farmers had brought in the fruit that was picked that day. Several of us stood at a conveyer belt, sorting through the raspberries and blackberries before they were dumped off the end of the line to be processed into frozen bags or made into jam. One summer of that was enough for me. Ironically, I now live less than three miles from that same cannery.
You might think, given how much of my childhood was surrounded in berries, that I might be sick of them. Not even a little. I still love berries, and there’s nothing like the ones grown here in Oregon. They’re great fresh, blended, cooked – you name it, and I’ve tried them all. I ate so many berries the summer I was pregnant with my daughter, I was afraid she was going to come out all red and covered in seeds.
Needless to say, when the Oregon Raspberry and Blackberry Commission contacted me about coming up with a recipe or two, I jumped at the chance!
I was only going to make a smoothie (which you’ll see on Wednesday), but when I received the package it had the cutest dressing carafe in it. So I decided we’re going to have Raspberry week!
I made a double batch of the dressing, poured about a cup into the carafe before adding the poppy seeds, and saved the rest to marinade the chicken. It worked out perfectly for four large chicken breasts. I left them in the marinade in the fridge for about 3 hours, then my husband cooked them on the barbeque.
Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing
1/4 onion (I used Walla Walla Sweets, since they’re in season), chopped into large chunks
8 ounces raspberries
8 ounces water
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Cook the onion, raspberries and water over medium heat until they begin to simmer, then lower heat to keep them just barely simmering. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the berries have fallen apart. Strain out the berries and onion, keeping the liquid. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk or shake well. Refrigerate.
The chicken does pick up a definite pink hue when you marinate it, but it was delicious. For the remainder of the salad, I used a spring greens and spinach blend, feta cheese, toasted hazelnuts, chopped avocado and cooked, crumbled turkey bacon.
This combination was amazing, and the berries were definitely the star of the show. The flavor came out in the chicken, and then adding a few whole berries along with the dressing brought it all together. I would eat this every day, all summer long.
A couple of weeks ago, it was hot here. We not only live in northwestern Oregon, but also basically on the side of a hill over a river. Hot is rare. I should probably also add that hot is anything above 80. When you’re done laughing at me, come back and I’ll tell you about the 100+ we’re supposed to get this weekend. Ugh. Anyway, on this particular “hot” day, we didn’t want to heat up the house, but I had promised the boys homemade macaroni and cheese. The barbeque is normally our go-to in this situation, but for mac and cheese? Oh, yes…Read More
I’m not going to pretend I know anything about authentic pulled pork. I’ve made a barbeque version before, which basically consisted of cooking a pork shoulder covered in barbeque sauce in a crockpot all day. Probably something a chef capable of making actual pulled pork would laugh at. But we like it, so it worked…until now.
We bought some pork sirloin tip roast at Costco last week. I didn’t have a plan for it, I just liked the nutrition stats. I wasn’t sure if it had enough fat to use as pulled pork, but we had a bunch of burger buns left over from a party we were trying to use up, so I went for it. As usual, no recipe I could find made me completely happy, so I made my own.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. My roasts were about 2 pounds each, which I didn’t think would be enough, so I used two. Rinse the roasts and pat dry. Place in a Dutch oven.
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Rub the mixture into the meat on all sides.
Combine 12 ounces of beer (gluten-free if that’s your thing) and 1 tablespoon liquid smoke. Pour down the side, not over, the meat.
Cover tightly with a lid or foil. Place on the bottom rack inside the oven and cook for 3 hours. Since I was cooking two small roasts, you might need to cook it longer if you’re working with one larger roast. Cook until it reaches a safe temperature on your meat thermometer.
Remove from the pan and shred by pulling apart with two large forks.
We served this on pub-style hamburger buns, generously drizzled with barbeque sauce and topped with pickle slices. My girl had hers on a toasted gluten-free bun.
This was a winner with the entire family, but my daughter liked it so much we’re having it for her birthday dinner later this month with a side of coleslaw. I’m going to try making it with hard cider (still gluten-free) instead of the beer. It can’t come soon enough – just revisiting these photos is making my mouth water.
If we’re having guests for dinner, I’ll usually make something I’ve been successful with before. It’s always seemed like a bad idea to use friends as test subjects. However, for some reason I decided last week to not add just one completely new item to Sunday’s menu for a couple of our good friends, but to fill it with things I’d never attempted. I was lucky enough to come out of it with only one fail, and even that turned out okay in the end. Oh, so lucky.
We started off with these Caprese Bites from Budget Savvy Diva. Simple, pretty and delicious.
Melinda and I are not huge drinkers, but when we get together we usually find a new cocktail to try. I recently discovered that DiSaronno, an amaretto liqueur, is pretty tasty, so I wanted something that used it as an ingredient. I ended up finding a recipe on Top Secret Recipes for the DiSaronno itself. If you give it a try, be sure to use real almond extract and dark, rather than light, brown sugar. I also used vanilla vodka instead of regular, because it’s what I happened to have in the house. We mixed it with some Chai tea concentrate and cream. Yum.
I’ve had mixed results making bread from scratch in the past, but it’s never stopped me from trying. I decided on this Rosemary Peasant Bread from Baking Whole Grains, and it was a winner. I even made a mistake and used more wheat flour than white instead of the other way around as the recipe instructed. I would do that intentionally last time. My husband said he loved the texture.
For our main dish, you might think I chose something with an Italian feel to coordinate with the other things I’d made. Nope. And I’m not even a little bit sorry. This Cheesy Jalapeño Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken from Skinnytaste was delicious and will go into our regular dinner rotation.
Now for the fail. My daughter was going to bring her fiancé over for dessert so he could meet our friends. John has celiac disease, so that meant I needed to make sure it was something gluten-free. I found several great options, but decided to go with some fudgy cookies. Ordinarily, this is where I would link to the recipe for you, but in the four days since I was there the website shut down. I know, weird. Anyway, they had lots of chocolate chips and egg whites. This is what they were supposed to look like:
The batter looked perfect. The cookies had been in the oven for about 4 or 5 minutes before I turned the light on to take a peek. Then I exclaimed “Oh goodness, what happened to my beautiful cookies?” At least, that’s what it sounded like in my head. I think what my husband heard was something more like “Ack! Wha, wha, NO! Grrrr!” This is what came out:
The photo doesn’t even do justice to their complete and utter flatness. When I tried to remove them from the pan, they were just goo. Until they cooled, and then they were hard. I threw the second batch into a square pan and cooked it like a brownie. You still had to eat them with a spoon, but they tasted good. I ended up saving dessert by turning a gluten-free shortbread cookie mix into lemon bars. Whew.
Everything turned out, but I think next time I will mix one or two new recipes with something tried-and-true. I have enough grey hair as it is.
I’ve been sucked in by an As Seen On T.V. product. I don’t even know what it’s called, but it makes these wavy-edged, perfect tortilla bowls. At home! In your oven! But wait, there’s more…Read More
I know Memorial Day is typically opening day for barbeque season, but with the iffy weather forecast we were looking at we went for homemade pizza instead. My favorite is barbeque chicken, but we were out of barbeque sauce. I always love making something that my kids think can only be found in a bottle at the grocery store.
After looking at several recipes, I cowboy’d it and just started throwing stuff into the blender. Lucky for me, it’s good. Really good. Some of this in a bottle with a cute label would make a great Father’s Day gift.
Homemade Barbeque Sauce
1 cup catsup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown deli mustard
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground smokehouse pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon GrillMates Smokehouse Maple seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
1/3 cup water
Throw everything together in the blender. Blend for a couple of minutes, until everything is well-combined and the onions and garlic are chopped into tiny pieces. Pour into a saucepan. Bring to a boil on the stove. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. Cool.
This seems very sweet if you taste it right away, but is much better after it’s spent the night in the fridge. This is another recipe with flexible ingredients. If you don’t want it as sweet, leave out some of the corn syrup or honey. Spicer? More cayenne. I recently bought some powdered chipotle I’d like to try in it. The smokehouse maple seasoning is optional. If you can’t find it, but want the maple flavor, try substituting some maple syrup for the corn syrup.
If I had known it was this easy, I would have made my own barbeque sauce a long time ago. I may never buy it again!
Today, I’d like to introduce you to a guest. She is an extremely talented cook, which comes in handy since she’s routinely feeding the nine people who call her house home. She and her family are gearing up to celebrate Hanukkah, so she’s agreed to share one of her favorite recipes with us. Meet my sister, Jennifer! My name is Jennifer and I have not only followed Staci’s crafts on her blog since she started, but since I’m her sister I’ve pretty much followed her crafts my whole life. So naturally, I was really excited when she asked me to guest blog for the first day of Hanukkah…Read More