Inside Out S’mores

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There are so many things to love about summer: fresh fruits and veggies, relaxing by the pool, and nights around a campfire sharing stories and eating those sweet, gooey s’mores.  Who doesn’t love that soft, melty chocolate or the crisp-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside amazingness of those roasted marshmallows?  Unfortunately, these are rare treats, unless you live in a tent or are desperate enough to toast up some marshmallows over your gas stove…and let’s face it we’ve all been tempted.  Well, the next time you’re craving s’mores and there are no campfires to be found, try whipping up a batch of these.  They’re simple and quick, and best of all, you don’t have to worry that your husband will walk in to find you standing in front of the stove, holding a skewered marshmallow with a look of quiet desperation on your face.

Inside Out S’mores

1/4 cup butter
10 oz marshmallow creme
4 cups crushed graham crackers
10 oz semi sweet bakers chocolate
15 mini marshmallows, cut in half

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Stir in marshmallow creme until fully blended.  Remove from heat.

Add crushed graham crackers and stir until thoroughly combined.  Mixture should be sticky and able to be shaped into balls.

Using your hands, shape 1 inch balls, forming each ball around a mini marshmallow half.  Place balls in freezer for about 10 minutes.

In a double boiler, over med-high heat melt bakers chocolate.  Remove from heat.

Remove balls from freezer and drop, one at a time into melted chocolate, turning to coat.

Place on wax paper and allow to cool.


Store in a cool, dry place…if you have any left to store.

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DIY Jewelry Cleaner

DIY Jewelry Cleaner

There are not very many things more exciting than when the love of your life drops to his knee, asks you those four simple words you’ve been waiting to hear, and presents you with a gorgeous, sparkling diamond ring.  You want to show it to everybody and they all exclaim over how beautiful it is, and how much it shines when it catches the light.  Well it’s been five wonderful years since the love of my life gave me that amazing ring, and lately it hasn’t been sparkling as much as it used to.  So I set out to find a solution that would restore it’s luster while staying CENTSIBLE.  Well, I am happy to report that this solution cost me absolutely nothing!  It’s made from ingredients that almost everyone will have in their kitchen, and it is so easy!

DIY Jewelry Cleaner

1 TBS Salt
1 TBS Baking Soda
1 TBS Liquid Dish Soap
1 Cup Water
1 Piece Aluminum Foil

Small bowl

Step 1 – Heat the water in the microwave for about 2 minutes.

Step 2 – Cover the bottom of a small bowl with the aluminum foil.

Step 3 – Pour the hot water into the bowl. Add the salt, baking soda, and liquid dish soap to the water. Stir together gently.

Step 4 – Place jewelry on the top of the foil and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water and dry with a soft cloth. Discard solution after each use.

Before                                                              After – although it did clean the diamonds too, the biggest difference I could see was the band, it looked almost brand new

Before                                                             After

Enjoy proudly displaying your ring to anyone who will look and bask in their ooos and aaahs over it’s sparkle and luster, all the while smiling to yourself because you know that the secret is simply a few kitchen ingredients.

Adapted from Pinching Your Pennies

 

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3 Cheese Chicken Zucchini Bake

zucchini

Okay so I know casseroles are not generally thought of as fabulous but I’m pretty sure this one will change your mind! It’s not only CENTSIBLE it’s downright delectable!! This casserole is anything but a bore…it’s full of flavorful feta, garlic, and gorgeous color!! Hope you’re ready to impress girls…because this one’s sure to “squash” the competition!!! (ok that was a lil cheesy…oh dear I did it again). Grab your aprons girls and go have some fun!!

2 medium zucchini

2 yellow summer squash

1lb chicken breast tenders

2 Tb extra virgin olive oil

1/2 c chopped onion

8 cloves chopped garlic ( trust me there is no such thing as too much garlic!!)

2 tsp  thyme

1tsp better than bullion paste (chicken flavor) or salt

4 eggs

3/4 C  sour cream

1 C  crumbled herbed feta cheese

3/4 C fresh parmesan cheese

2 Tb lemon juice

fresh cracked pepper (its some much better) Sautee chicken breast in olive oil until golden brown , season with salt and pepper as you sautee. Set aside.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a  casserole dish with nonstick spray.  Slice the squash into 1/4″ slices. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan.  Add the squash, onion, garlic, thyme, and the better than bullion.  Sautee just until the squash is  slightly tender.  Be sure you dont overcook cook or it will be mushy after it bakes! Remove from the heat. Beat together the eggs, sour cream, feta, parmesean, and lemon juice in a medium sized bowl.  Place half of the squash into the bottom of the casserole dish. Add a layer of chicken breast on top of squash. Now throw on some fresh ground pepper, then spread 1/2 of the egg mixture over the top.  Repeat with remaining squash and egg mixture. Finish the top by sprinkling a handful of jack cheese over it! Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and golden brown.  Enjoy your awesome creation!!

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Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I’m always looking for great casserole recipes because they are so easy to throw together and just toss in the oven while I take care of other things…dishes, vacuuming, manicures…you get the idea.  I’ve tried a few different chicken enchilada recipes and always thought they were either too dry or sort of flavorless.  This recipe solved all of those problems!  It had lots of delicious, creamy sauce and the flavor was amazing!

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

1 can (18.5 oz) Progresso® Traditional Chicken and Cheese Enchilada Soup
1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso® hot or mild enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar/monterey jack blend (8 oz)
1 medium tomato, diced
10 flour or corn tortillas (6 inches)
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, stir together soup and enchilada sauce. Spread 1 cup soup mixture in ungreased 11×7-inch baking dish.
  2. In large bowl, mix 1 cup soup mixture with chicken and 1 cup of the cheese; reserve remaining soup mixture. On microwavable plate, stack tortillas and cover with paper towel; heat on High 1 minute to soften. Place 1/4 cup chicken mixture along middle of each tortilla. Top mixture with diced tomatoes.  Roll up and place seam sides down in baking dish with sauce.
  3. Pour remaining soup mixture over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Sprinkle green onions on top. Bake about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly around edges.

Adapted from Betty Crocker

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Classy Corn Dogs and Cheesy Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

What girl doesn’t love summer? Sunglasses pushed back in our hair, different sundress for each day of the week, and of course our favorite pair of sandals lying by the front door… honestly it doesn’t get much better! Some of the funnest days I’ve ever had were spent at the summer fair…and nothing quite says summer like a corn dog right?? But these girls are a bit too sophisticated for just any old corn dog…so we gotta to find a way to dress our old friend up a bit. I mean a corn dog is CENTSIBLE for a low budget , but we need to make him fashionable enough to join us in the high life!

Classy Corn dog
Ingredients:
Italian sausage 1c flour 1c corn meal fine ground 1Tb baking powder 3Tb sugar 1egg 3/4-1c milk (batter should be thick) Bake sausage at 400* for 25 min. Mix all ingredients,  Insert sticks in sausage. Dip in batter and deep fry them just until they are golden brown ( your sausage will already be fully cooked because we baked them) You can use a large sauce pan. Be careful and have fun girls!!!
I had a lot of fun with mine! I even dipped, and fried string cheese also!
I served my corn dogs with a side of:
Bacon Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes
6 large red potatoes
half a stick of butter
2 tbsps whipping cream
4 strips of bacon
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
half a cup sour cream
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 jalapenos chopped
salt to tase
Cut potatoes in fourths, place in saucepan, cover in water and boil until tender. Meanwhile, cook bacon, crumble and set aside. Sautee garlic and jalapenos in 1 tbsp butter just until tender. When potatoes are tender drain water and place in mixing bowl, add remaining butter, whipping cream, sour cream, and salt. Mix until smooth. Now add the garlic and jalapenos and crumbled bacon!! Mix just until combined… try not to eat them all!
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Vintage Picture frame

So the other day I found myself browsing around in this totally swanky department store…you know where their price tags make you sure all the sales people are looking at you thinking “Really?….” as they choke back a giggle. I couldn’t even buy a sock in there that’s CENTSIBLE let alone a pair of them!! Nevertheless, there I am browsing all casual, head high, shoulders back…sticker shock hidden carefully behind my poker face! (Don’t worry girls I’d never embarass you). Then it happened…I fell in love!! I found the most fabulous picture frame I had ever seen…at that moment I knew we were destined to be together. The hundreds of dollars listed on that tag could not keep us apart. I left the store in flurry to find the CENTSIBLE solution.

1. Find a frame you like ( I used a basic old wooden frame I found in a thrift store)

2. Paint your frame ( I only dry brushed mine with bronze because I like the vintage look, but you can use any color you like)

3. Find old costume jewelery ( I used pieces from both of my grandmothers, my mom and even some of mine from when I was younger)

4. Use industrial strength adhesive to adhere the bling to the frame! (I used E-6000) put a dab of glue on the back of jewlery and on the spot on the frame where you want it to stick. Wait two minutes to allow adhesive to get tacky, then place jewelery on the frame exactly where you dabbed glue. Hold pressure for two more minutes. Do one piece at a time. Once you are all finished allow it to cure for 72 hours, to be sure its on there nice and tight!

Creative Hints: Overlap pieces slightly, use chains to hang down, don’t be afraid of color or sparkle, let your personality shine through! I also cut up a strand a pearls and glued single pearls throughout each collage to help tie everything together!

If you theme this properly it could be a great gift for bridal shower, baby shower, graduation etc..

Well girls, as it turns out that day in the store what I experienced was just a crush .  My search left me with a frame that I truly love, a frame that’s covered with little pieces of the most important women in my life. A frame thats more beautiful and valuable than anything money can buy!

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Creamy Cheesy Bacon-y Pockets

My brother, who is a genius with a grill and even better with the smoker, has recently been expanding his areas of expertise in the kitchen to include baking.  The moment I had the idea for these delicious pockets I knew he was the person to help make them.  Bacon and jalapenos are two of our favorite things, so it is only fitting that we should collaborate.  The result was amazing!  We hope you like them as much as we did!

Creamy Cheesy Bacon-y Pockets

6  strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
4  jalapenos, diced
1  8oz brick cream cheese, softened
1  tablespoon ranch dressing
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1  tube crescent rolls

Fry bacon over medium heat until crisp, remove from skillet and set aside to cool.  Drain most of bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the skillet.  Leaving heat on medium, saute diced jalapenos for about 2 minutes, just until tender.  When bacon has cooled, dice it or place it in a plastic ziplock bag and pound it with a mallet.
Unroll crescent rolls from tube and lay on a cookie sheet.  Stretch the dough a little, be careful not to tear.
Mix softened cream cheese with ranch and garlic powder. Place about a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture on the wide part of each crescent roll.  Top with about 1/2 to 1 tsp each of bacon and jalapenos, depending on the size of the crescent roll and how much you were able to stretch it.  Bring all three corners of the crescent roll up to meet over the filling and twist together to seal. Press seams together (I dipped my fingertip in water and ran it down the seams to help seal them).  Top with crumbled bacon.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or until tops are golden.

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Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

I was headed to a family get together this weekend, thinking about what I could bring when I remembered the box of unused cake mix in my pantry.  I’ve never been one to make anything exactly the way it says to on the box…I like to amp it up or add my own touches.  I saw this recipe on Fabulously Frugal, and I had to give it a try. They turned out very light and moist…so yummy!!

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

Betty Crocker Super Moist Golden Vanilla cake mix (although you could use any flavor you like)
4 eggs (if using a different mix take the number of eggs on the instructions and add 1 more)
1/2 cup butter, melted (substitute melted butter for oil in any cake mix)
1 cup milk (substitute milk for water in any cake mix)

Mix all ingredients together in a large glass bowl.  Beat for 30 seconds on low, then for 2 minutes on medium.  Mixture will be thick and creamy.  Line muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill each liner 3/4 full.  Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.  Yields 24 cupcakes.

For frosting I used Pillsbury Classic White.  Wait for the cupcakes to cool then frost and decorate as you please.  Enjoy!

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Skillet Lasagna

I’m a huge fan of lasagna…who isn’t with all of that creamy, delicious cheese…but I’ve had little success with oven lasagnas.  They are usually too dry, not to mention they take over an hour in the oven, and in these hot summer months who wants that?  When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. In less than 30 minutes I had a delicious, saucy lasagna that is lower in calories than a traditional lasagna.  What’s not to love?!?  I know my picture is not the prettiest thing in the world, but I promise this dish is fantastic!  If you want to see some much better pictures, click here, where I found the original recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
About 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds & fully cooked

Directions:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.
Add noodles to skillet and stir into the mixture well. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick.
Serve immediately with additional basil or parsley.

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Easy Italian Herbed Bread

What’s the greatest smell on the planet? If you are anything like me you quickly replied…” the inside of a bakery of course”!! I’ve always loved wandering through a gourmet bakery, chosing fresh bread for the evening’s meal…but you know what I found? It’s just not CENTSIBLE…(partly because the bread is much too expensive and largely because I end up buying eight thousand other things I DON”T need!) So I asked my momma for some help…and as momma’s do… she completely came through for us girls!  But I have to warn you…you may need to rethink your answer to the aforementioned question. I firmly believe the greatest smell on the planet will be your exact address, precisely 16.5 minutes after you pop this masterpiece in the oven…but patience is a virtue!! Our lovely loaf must finish baking ladies. This bread is such a beautiful touch for any dinner, and great for sanwiches too! What’s even better is that I’m sure you already have all these ingredients on your shelf right now…so what are you waiting for? Grab your apron and get busy girls! Oh and by the way throw a lil flour on your face when you’re finished, we don’t wanna make it look too easy to be this amazing!

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3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 3 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted

Directions

  1. Combine 2 cups flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir in the water, shortening, parsley, rosemary, and basil. Use an electric mixer to beat on low speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Turn mixer to medium, and beat for an additional 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour; mix until smooth.  Scrape batter from sides of bowl. Cover, and let rise in warm place for 35 to 40 minutes.
  2. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan. Stir down batter by beating about 25 strokes. Scrape batter into greased pan; pat down with floured hands. Cover pan. Let dough rise in warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Do not allow dough to over-rise.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  4. Bake in preheated oven until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 40 to 45 minutes. Brush top with butter.
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