Saturday, June 10, 2017

Grilled Buffalo Butternut Squash and Pineapple

I've always associated butternut squash with the fall but this Grilled Buffalo Butternut Squash with Pineapple is a great summer side dish! The sweet squash and pineapple play nicely with hot sauce, and if you're inclined... Some sliced jalapeno would be a colorful addition too:@) Please do serve this with either an extra shot of hot sauce once off the grill or even better yet, pass the bottle at the table.
Leftovers? Mix with black beans (maybe some pork) and serve on a salad or in a burrito-very nice! 

Grilled Buffalo Butternut Squash and Pineapple
Approx 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" chunks
15oz can pineapple chunks, drained well
1/4 C buffalo sauce-I used Frank's Wing Sauce
2 Tblsp oil-I used vegetable oil
a few grinds black pepper
salt to taste before serving
  1. Mix squash, pineapple, hot sauce, oil and pepper and let marinate for 30 minutes. I use a Lock-N-Lock bowl and flip it over occasionally.
  2. Heat grill pan to ~hot~, approx 15 minutes on gas grill. Spoon squash/pineapple into grill pan, reserve marinade and close grill cover. Reduce heat to medium/high.
  3. Allow to begin to char then stir. Cooking time will be approximately 20 minutes depending on how thick the squash is. Stir and check periodically for tenderness and pour what's left of the marinade over the squash/pineapple the last couple minutes of grilling.
  4. Serve with additional hot sauce.
Let's get grillin' and have a happy day:@)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Betta Bling-DIY Acrylic Bead Freshwater Betta Fish Toys

A co-worker told me his daughter won a goldfish at a fair... This brought back memories of a Betta fish I had years ago and I decided to get another one. In honor of the holiday weekend his bowl needed a little red, white and blue and after some research, I read acrylic beads are safe for freshwater fish. This little beaded hoop whipped up in no time, just make sure the hole is at least 1 1/2" to 2" wide so the fish doesn't get stuck.

The key is to find a heavier bead for the bottom that's wide enough to keep the hole open and stable. Without the heavier bead the ring floats on top of the bowl instead of sinking to make the hoop.

I named this active and ~very curious~ little guy Bud. He's in a one gallon brandy snifter that's easy to clean and easy to move. He travels with me if I'm working on a project in the craft room or watching TV:@) 

Does he like his hoop? Yes, very much:@)
What he doesn't like, however, is my camera. For some reason he gets very agitated when he sees it...
Note to Bud: This is a blog... Get used to the paparazzi dude:@)

Betta Hoop from Acrylic Beads
Acrylic beads, washed well-please make sure they aren't painted, coated, glued, etc. They need to be translucent and acrylic.
Monofilament fishing line.
Binder clip, suction cup, tape etc, to hold ring onto bowl.
  1. String beads onto fishing line, run both sides of the fishing line, in opposite directions, through the bead at the very top. 
  2. Pull line tight creating a hoop, you may need to nudge beads to make a nice circle.
  3. Tie a knot several times on top of the top bead. 
  4. Attach a binder clip to the rim of the fish bowl and tie a loop/knot in the excess fishing line that gives just enough length for the hoop to hang towards the very top of the water. 
  5. The most important thing is to make sure your hoop is not flat against the side of the bowl/tank, you want it to be open (hang sideways) so the fish can get through it without any trouble or getting stuck.
Make your Betta something new to play with and have a happy day:@)

Disclaimer-My only experience with fish is Betta's, a one gallon bowl and I use distilled water that gets changed out weekly. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo! And a quick Salsa from one can of Rotel

Let the fiesta begin... Gotta say even the guys at work were looking forward to a margarita or two tonight! I decorated my tiered tray with a wink and nod to Cinco de Mayo. Lovin the happy little chicken planter Ma gave me, I added the faux succulent and reused the cute chick salt shaker from Easter:@)

Found this colorful runner on Ebay a couple years ago.

In case you're looking for a quick ~but very tasty snack~ I wanted to share a post for Salsa from One Can of Rotel HERE from a few OMG 5??? years ago. And if you happen to find some Herr's Tortilla Chips with a Hint of Lime (my Dollar Tree had them)... Well, that's a beautiful thing too!

 Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone, 
I hope your day is filled with good friends and good food-enjoy! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Low Carb Coconut Berry Fat Bombs

While my sons are still doing the keto diet and have each lost about 15 pounds, they aren't following it as strictly as they were in the beginning. So I haven't done as much research and low carb cooking as anticipated... But we did try these Coconut Blueberry Fat Bombs. Gotta say they are very tasty, can be made with frozen fruit and there really is something to the idea that fats do help you feel fuller longer. Use any berry you have or that sounds good to you.

One thing I did notice is, it's difficult to gauge how big Fat Bombs should be. The few that do give a measurement say about 1 Tblsp. So that's what I ran with. If you're familiar with this type of diet and know they should be smaller please let me know in the comments and I'll correct this post-thanks:@)
I used a silicone Wilton Brownie Pop mold that was on clearance at Walmart for $2.

Coconut Berry Fat Bombs-from Whole Natural Life
1 C coconut oil-refined if you don't want a coconut taste, I used virgin coconut oil which was great with blueberries
1/2 C berries, frozen or fresh-I used frozen but did let them thaw a bit
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of half a lemon-optional and my contribution, would be good with the blueberries
liquid Stevia to taste-original post says 14 drops, my sweetener just kinda squirts out, I gave it one squeeze
  1. Add berries to food processor and give a whirl to break up. 
  2. Add vanilla and Stevia (adjust sweetener to taste).
  3. Melt coconut oil on stove. 
  4. Slowly pour into food processor, give it a whirl until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
  5. Scoop into silicone molds, or drop onto wax/parchment paper or into small candy papers. Aim for about 1 Tblsp per treat.
  6. Freeze until solid, remove from molds, and store in air tight container in freezer.  
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Single Serving Homemade Strawberry Pancake Syrup

On today's episode of Frugal Living, Squeeze That Penny til It Squeals...

I had six large leftover store bought strawberries and decided to macerate them overnight to make a quick Single Serving of Homemade Strawberry Pancake Syrup. This made a very nice breakfast folks! The only prep and planning ahead was cutting the berries into 1/4" slices and sprinkling them with a little sugar. The next morning I mashed them with a fork and a little cornstarch thickened the mixture. Easy and very tasty:@) 
(Early morning pic, the natural light was a little wonky...)

Super simple and just a couple steps.

Easy Single Serving Homemade Strawberry Pancake Syrup
For each six large strawberries:
1 Tblsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla-optional, but good if not using extra sweet local berries
1 tsp cornstarch
1/8 C water
  1. Wash, dry and de-stem strawberries. Slice 1/4" thick.
  2. Place in bowl and mix with sugar. Cover and let sit in refrigerator overnight.
  3. The next morning, pour berries into small sauce pan and mash well with a fork (or run through food chopper is you want them very smooth). 
  4. Mix cornstarch with water, and vanilla if using, and pour into berries.
  5. Heat to light boil and thicken mixture. Taste, add a little more sugar if desired.
  6. Remove from heat and immediately pour over pancakes.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mint Julep Tea for The Kentucky Derby

Get your fancy hats ready folks, the Kentucky Derby is May 6th this year. In honor of that, this Mint Julep Tea would be a nice smooth drink to sip during the festivities. Had to chuckle, that's the lone survivor of the mint from the yard for now... I have a new lawn guy this year... Bet it smelled good while he was mowing:@) If you'd like to skip the alcohol, just add the mint and maybe a pretty slice of lemon.

If you're looking for a middle price point bourbon, my son recommends this brand...

And if your crowd is into a friendly little wager to add to the excitement, I posted simple block pool (with options) HERE.


Mint Julep Tea-from Kohl's advertisement July/Aug 2016
~Per glass: Add lots of ice, a touch of bourbon and few sprigs of fresh mint to your favorite sweet tea recipe.

Enjoy the race and have a happy day:@)

I'm Joining:
Full Plate Thursday
Foodie Friday

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Onion Soup Bread -A Bread Machine Recipe

This Onion Soup Bread was a fun little novelty bread to try. I always have Lipton's Onion Soup mix on hand for dips, sometimes I find it at Dollar Tree and Aldi just had their brand on sale for 69¢. This flavorful loaf was good with meatloaf for dinner and it made the house smell pretty darn good too:@) 
This recipe makes a 1 lb loaf of bread.
It's always a good idea to look at the dough as it's being mixed to make sure it's developing a smooth ball.
You may need to add a couple extra tsp of water or flour.

Onion Soup Bread-from War Eagle Mill
1 oz pack of dry onion soup mix (one envelope)
1 1/4 C warm water
1 1/2 C unbleached flour
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Tblsp butter, softened
1 tsp active dry yeast
~Add everything to pan in order. Press soft loaf and let 'er rip!

Eat well and have a happy day:@)