All posts by laura

Making Butters

A few weeks back I saw on Pinterest how to make butter by shaking it in a jar. I tried it. It turned to whipped cream but nothing more, so I finished it with the mixer instead. It worked alright, but would have been better if I had a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  But it still turned out okay.  I mixed in some Cajun seasoning to some of it. Not bad for my first go.

Homemade Butter  Homemade Butter And Buttermilk  Homemade Cajun Butter

Last weekend we were visiting Chad’s family and they had seen my posts on Facebook about my attempt at butter making.  So I’ve been given a couple special family heirlooms that belonged to Chad’s grandpa, and his great grandma before that.  I’ve heard that Chad’s grandpa spent much time using this as a kid.

Antique Butter Churn Family Heirloom

I was also given two wooden butter molds with it. They’re pretty cool too.

Antique Family Heirloom Wooden Butter Molds

So I was pretty excited to give this stuff a try when we got home.  Got it all washed up, because it was all pretty dirty, went to the store and bought some cream and waited for Kaden to get home from school so he could help.

Kaden Churning Butter Churning Butter

I think I got a little too excited and put too much cream in at first. Just because the jar has a line marking 4 quarts, does not mean to fill it that full with cream lol.  So I took about half the whipped cream out and finished it in batches. Much easier.  We had worn ourselves out.

IMG_20170221_180354 IMG_20170221_180618

Kaden and I took turns churning (Chad took a few turns too) and after  a while and some sore arms later, all our hard work had paid off and we had butter! And also a lot of buttermilk.

Pouring Out The Buttermilk

Lots Of Buttermilk

Butter! Lots Of Butter

After I got all the buttermilk separated out from the butter, I divided it and made them into different flavors. I made chili lime, garlic and herb, Cajun, Italian herb, regular salted, and Sriracha.

Homemade Flavored Butters

I tried out the butter molds too. Although, I haven’t quite figured out the trick to these yet. The butter didn’t want to come out of them even after setting in the fridge for hours.  This is supposed to be a pineapple but it’s kind of hard to tell.

Pineapple Butter Mold

All in all, this was a fun experience to get to use something young grandparents and family members past have used. I’m not sure I’d make a habit of using the butter churn, I think I’ll retire it and find a nice spot for it as a decoration instead. I think one of these days I’ll invest in a stand mixer. :)

Dinosaur Silhouette Wall Art

Wooden Dinosaur Wall Art

I made these wooden dinosaur silhouette pieces for my nephews birthday. He’s pretty into dinosaurs, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with them. They were really pretty simple to make, and turned out pretty cute.

Wooden Dinosaur Wall Art

First, I started out with the boards. I used leftover pieces of a 2×10 board from another project. You can buy the board at Lowe’s for pretty cheap, and they will cut it for you there to the size you want. I sanded down the rough edges and then stained them.

Staining the boards

After I had them about the color I wanted, I let the stain set and dry for a few days.  Then I found some dinosaur outlines and silhouettes on Google that I liked. I edited them to be the size that I wanted, printed and cut them out.

Templates

Once I had everything where I wanted it, I traced the outlines with a pencil.

Trace the outlines

Then I found some pale green paint we had leftover from painting our old house. I knew one day all these leftover paints I’ve saved would come in handy for something. I used a small brush and painted a few coats.

Painted dinosaur

After I got them all painted, I went over them with some very fine sandpaper to give them an old,  distressed look.

Distressed

Once that was done, I turned them over and nailed in some picture hangers. And viola! Art!

Picture hangers

Dinosaur Silhouettes

Dinosaur Silhouettes 2

Dinosaur Silhouette Wall Art

White Country Gravy

Idaho Style Chicken Fried Steak Strips

Okay, so I’ve had this recipe in my old school, ACTUAL cook book for years now. I have no idea where I got the recipe from, but it’s so good, I’ve made is many times. Served with mashed potatoes and white country gravy…so so so good.

Idaho Style Chicken Fried Steak Strips

Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 in. thin strips
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp.  grill seasoning (I used a sriracha rub I had on had, but your favorite seasoning will work fine)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups canola oil for frying

Beat together egg, milk, seasoning and 1/2 cup of flour in a large bowl. Add beef strips and toss until well coated.  Cover and place int the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Sift 2 1/2 cups flour with garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Remove steak strips from batter and allow excess to drip off.  Dredge each piece with seasoned flour and place on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until firm, 1 hour to overnight. Heat oil to 370 degrees in fryer or skillet. Drop a few frozen pieces into oil and fry until golden brown on the outside, about 5 minutes. Do no overcrowd the pan.

White Country Gravy

This is the recipe I’ve used for years now. It’s easy and I always have all the ingredients on hand already, so I can make it whenever I need to.

White Country Gravy

Recipe:

  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Pepper to taste (It really depends on how peppery you like your gravy, I like mine to be pretty peppery. I also usually put a few shakes of Season All in, just for that little extra flavor)

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour.  Cook for about a minute, and gradually whisk in the milk. Stir in salt and pepper. Cook until thickened, stirring frequently.

Chicken And Noodles In Spicy Coconut Curry Peanut Sauce

Chicken And Noodles In Spicy Coconut Curry Peanut Sauce

I made this recipe for dinner tonight, and we liked it quite a lot. Even the Hubs, who doesn’t like anything with coconut milk or curry liked it and had seconds. :-) It’s too bad Kaden is sick with the flu, I think he would have liked it too, if it weren’t so spicy. But since I knew he wouldn’t be eating with us tonight, I kicked it up a notch…or two. I had 2 packages of Ramen noodles that I didn’t care for the flavor, so I threw out the packets and just used the noodles for this dish.  Pretty easy-peasy.Chicken And Noodles In Spicy Coconut Curry Peanut SauceRecipe:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cubed

2 packages of your favorite Asian noodles (I used Ramen)

1 Carrot, cut into matchstick slices

2 Stalks of celery, sliced thin

Oil for sauteing

For The Sauce:

3/4 cup canned coconut milk

1/2 cup canned petite diced tomatoes

6 Tbsp. peanut butter

2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely diced

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce (more or less to taste- we like it a bit spicy)

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)

1 1/2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. chili paste (optional- I added it for that extra kick)

3 cloves garlic, minced

A pinch of salt

Cook noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside.  Add all sauce ingredients in a sauce pan. Heat to a simmer; remove from heat and set aside. Pour a little oil in a skillet or wok. Cook chicken until no longer pink and cooked through on medium high heat. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed, and saute the veggies until soft.  Add chicken back to pan, along with the sauce and noodles. Mix well, and serve.

Antique Record Player Cabinet - Finished

Antique Record Player Cabinet Makeover

A few months ago my Grandma gave me their old record player cabinet, turned liquor cabinet.  My Grandma and Grandpa used it to store all their whiskeys and other tasties in for as long as I can remember. Before that it was an old record player that belonged to my great aunt. I’ve always loved the cabinet, so after my Grandpa passed away and Grandma down sized houses, she passed it on to me. It was pretty how it was, but I had to refinish it so it would match with the colors in our house.

Antique Record Player Cabinet Makeover

Antique Record Player MakeoverLucky for me, I had a helper to help get the job done. He put in a lot of work.  We sanded it all down, my least favorite thing to do. Then we got started with the painting.  I painted the legs and the handles white, and the rest gray. Then sprayed on some polyurethane. Someone had glued, and I mean GLUED some red felt down on the inside shelves. That stuff did. not. want to come off. I ripped off as much as I could and then tried some Goo-Gone on it. That didn’t even begin to phase it. I don’t know what the heck kind of glue they used, but it was pretty happy with where it’s at. So I tried to sand it down smooth, but those glue lines weren’t going anywhere.  I did my best. So I got some white leathery/vinyl-ish material with my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and spray adhesived that on the shelves. I was sad that you can still kind of see the bumps from those stubborn previous glue trails. But oh well. I guess the inside doesn’t really matter that much since no one is really going to see it. And then ta-da! It’s done! Doesn’t look too shabby. I think my little helper and I did alright.  :-)

Antique Record Player Makeover - Sanding

Antique Record Player Makeover - PaintingAntique Record Player Cabinet - FinishedAntique Record Player Cabinet - FinishedAntique Record Player Cabinet - Finished InsideAntique Record Player Cabinet - Finished




Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board Beer Tap Menu

Magnetic Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board

Chad’s birthday was a few weeks ago. I shopped and shopped, but couldn’t find anything that he might want or need. So like pretty much every other year, I had to resort to getting him lots of different kinds of beers. We enjoy the mystery cases from Goebel’s. So I got him one of those, and chose 2 six packs of random bottles from the beer wall. So I decided to get a lil crafty with the bottle caps this time. I saw something similar on Pinterest, so I thought I would give it a shot. I got a small chalk board from Michael’s for like $1.99, glued some magnets on the back and then glued on the caps.I had to glue in squares of cardboard inside the caps so I had a way to actually glue them onto the board. This got a little frustrating. I first glued them with my hot glue gun. They ended up not sticking. So I went and bought super glue thinking for sure, that that would do the trick. But I was wrong. It worked worse than the hot glue did. So I had to resort to using an epoxy. That stuff works on everything. So finally I got everything to hold in place, and voila!  Got some chalk pens, and made it a pretty beer tap menu. Although my writing isn’t the best, but oh well. It’ll do.

Chalkboard Beer Bottle Cap Beer Tap Menu

Beer Bottle Cap Chalk Board Beer Tap Menu

Beer Bottle Cap Chalkboard Beer Tap Menu

Sirloin Beef Tips With Mushroom Onion Gravy

Sirloin Beef Tips With Mushroom And Onion Gravy

Tonight I was in the mood for some good ‘ol comfort food. For me, that’s pretty much anything with mashed potatoes and gravy. :) In this case is was sirloin beef tips in a mushroom and onion gravy. So much yum.  Happy tummy. Happy family.

Sirloin Beef Tips With Mushroom Onion Gravy

Sirloin Beef Tips With Mushroom And Onion Gravy:

  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 1 lb.  sirloin steak, cut into large dice
  • 1 medium/large onion, diced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 8 oz.mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1  1/2 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

 

Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder together and combine with the flour. Heat the oil in a skillet. Dredge the steak pieces with the flour mixture.  Saute onions and cook until it is softened. Add the butter to the pan and then add the steak and saute until medium rare, about a minute. Then add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms begin to color, then remove the meat, onions, and mushrooms to a platter and keep warm.
Deglaze the skillet with the wine, making sure to loosen any browned bits, and let it reduce a little. Add the beef broth and bring to a boil, then return the reserved meat and vegetables back to the pan and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour, or until the meat is tender.Mix the cornstarch with a little of the cooking liquid to make a paste and add it to the simmering broth. When the sauce is thickened, serve the tips with rice or mashed potatoes, and a vegetable of your choice.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken And Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

Easy Kung Pao Chicken And Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

I made both of these recipes for dinner earlier this week. They both turned out really well. We ate all of the chicken, but the chow mein ended up being way more than two people need. So we still have quite a bit of that left in the fridge.  The chicken was pretty simple to throw together, which I love. I doubled the sauce ingredients, I like some extra saucy chicken. :)  The chow mein was pretty easy too. I got some Chinese noodles from the Asian grocery store, not exactly sure what kind they were, but they worked out alright. Hubs says the noodles were a bit too gingery, so may put less in next time. And maybe half the recipe lol. Other than that, dinner was a success! Definitely will be making these recipes again sometime, maybe even include them in this years annual Chinese Christmas stir-fry.

Easy Kung Pao Chicken And Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein

Kung Pao Chicken:

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup corn starch + 1 tablespoon
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon water

Cut chicken breast into bite sized pieces, place in a large plastic bag with ¾ cup of corn starch, lightly shake until all of the chicken is coated well.

Heat a large 12 inch skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat, pour in just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cook chicken in batches, take care not to over crowd your skillet. I cooked about 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet in order to drain off as much oil as possible. Continue until all chicken is cooked.

Combine the next 6 ingredients in a small bowl or measuring up to make your sauce. Set aside.

Combine one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of corn starch and mix well.

Drain off any oil that is in your pan and wipe clean, heat to medium, add in soy sauce mixture and corn starch mixture, add in chicken and stir until mixture is evenly coated and heated through.

Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds, and crushed red pepper if desired.

 

 

Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein:

  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onions minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Chow Mein ingredients:
  • 14 ounces of lo mein noodles, or 2 packages of Yakisoba noodles (dry) prepared without seasoning packages
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (use vegetable, olive oil, or oil of your choice)
  • 2 cups nappa cabbage sliced
  • 1 large white onion sliced thin
  • 3 stalks of celery cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices


In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, green onions, and sesame oil; set aside.

Prepare  noodles by placing in boiling water. Cook according to package directions. When noodles are done, drain them.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and celery, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3-4 minutes, the onions will begin to become translucent. Stir in cabbage until heated through, about 1 minute. Add noodles  and  sauce, stir until well combined and the noodles are heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately

 

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Sauce

Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Copycat Sauce

This past weekend, I ended up in a pinch to get a quick and easy dinner made. The sauce is supposed to be like the Spicy Garlic sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings. I’ve been wanting to try this out for a while now, so it seemed like a good time. I threw together the sauce really quickly and easily. I was pretty impressed that it really did taste like theirs. And it was super easy, so that’s a plus. I tossed some Tyson breaded chicken strips in it and we made wraps. It would have been better if I had had time to actually make my own chicken strips, but oh well. It turned out alright anyways.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Sauce


1 cup Frank’s red hot sauce (I only had 1/2 cup of Frank’s so I used another 1/2 cup of other hot sauce)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

In a small sauce pan combine first seven ingredients. Heat over medium heat until sauce begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk egg yolk and water together. Add cornstarch and continue to whisk until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Slowly add warm hot sauce mixture to egg mixture. Continually whisk to create an emulsion. Cover sauce and chill until needed.

Makes 1 1/2 Cups