Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Wooden Scrapbook Paper Jewelry

Easy fun craft that can be made for adults, tweens, or kids :)

wooden circles from craft store
large popsicle sticks
scrapbook paper
modge podge
earring hooks and rings
glass mason jars
blow dryer, optional

Earrings: Cut out piece of scrapbook paper slightly larger than the circle. Glue on with modge podge, let dry, Cut the excess off. Put layer of modge podge on top and let dry (can use blow dryer to speed up the process). Drill hole near top and attach ring and earring hook,

Bracelets: Boil popsicle sticks in a saucepan for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Bend into mouth of mason jar, pulling tight to form smooth arched shape, and let dry in the jar overnight. Trace the paper with a flat popsicle stick, cut out, and modge podge on trimming away any excess. Let dry and modge podge the top. Glue ribbons on to tie, optional.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Good Morning Granola

Easy and adaptable to whatever nuts or fruits you prefer! The best and easiest granola recipe I've found and it's made with natural sweeteners! Wake up to this for breakfast and it will definitely be a good morning :)

3 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups chopped nuts (pistachio, sliced almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts)
1 cup dried shredded coconut
¼ cup flax seed or chia seed
1/2-3/4 cup coconut oil (*see note)
2 T honey
2 T real maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

½-1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (craisins, cherries)

Stir ingredients (except dried fruit) together in a large bowl. Spread onto a large baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment paper.  Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir in raisins. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to form clusters. Store in an airtight container. 

*If you want it a little less oily, use 1/2 cup. It won't cluster as much with 1/2 cup but it's still excellent and crispy!

Slightly adapted from https://pinchofyum.com/coconut-oil-granola-remix

Monday, March 30, 2020

DIY Foaming Dish Soap Refill

We've been saving soap since we got married, 12 years before it was cool ;) We actually got this exact foaming soap pump, Dawn brand I believe, as a wedding gift in a basket we received from a family friend. We've since removed the label and have refilled it with our own foaming soap for 12 years now and it still looks brand new! Haha! We buy the biggest bottle of dish soap from Dollar Tree, fill up the bottom, about .5-1 inch or so, and then fill the rest with water. The Dollar Tree soap isn't super strong and but just fine for most dishes that we hand wash. We keep a small bottle of the real stuff in case we need it for an extra greasy dish. We saved millions of dollars and reduced a lot of soap waste over the years. I'm sure most of you already know this, but just thought I'd share since soap is a hot commodity right now :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Yay We Can't Go Anywhere Daily Schedule!

This is what I made for my kids for the next 2 weeks or more to try and survive while literally every activity in town is cancelled :( We probably won't stick to it, but it's a start ;) We put ours in a plastic sleeve on the fridge and will fill in activities daily with an extra fine point dry erase marker (I found them at Dollar Tree) or you can print it out daily and write on it!

Download the Free PDF HERE!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Rainbow Topped Birthday Cake

I used this recipe for the cake and this recipe for the frosting with blue food coloring. One batch of the frosting just barely covered the cake and the middle layer and did the clouds. I made the rainbow out of jolly ranchers. See picture below. I shaped foil into a thin rectangle with sides folded up to prevent spreadinng and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Lined up jolly ranchers lengthwise, 3 rows. Cooked in oven on cookie sheet at 350 for 5-10 minutes until candy was melted. Remove from oven and let cool a little but not get hard, just pliable. Cover a large food can with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap candy around the foiled can to form rainbow and press to smooth and shape. Let cool until hard. Store in an airtight container until just before using. I wrapped mine in bubble wrap to make sure it didn't crack if bumped. Used 2-8 inch cake pans.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Crispy Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

I tried making these about 10 years ago when they were all the rage and they turned out terrible, grainy and soft! Unfortunately I had no idea that it was just a bad recipe and I never tried them again. Fast forward and a few months ago I had them at book club when a friend made them for our discussion of “A Place for Us”. I was hesitant to taste them because I knew I didn’t like them. I did anyway and was pleasantly surprised! They were a lot smaller and crunchier than I remembered from years ago.

After a little internet research I was thrilled to come across this technique. It worked like a charm and resulted in savory crispy crunchy chickpeas. The seasoning options are endless! They are so addictive with absolutely no guilt. Basically a super healthy copycat of corn nuts :) Which sadly I remember eating along with starbursts while on road trips as a kid … eeek! It’s amazing what you can eat when you are young :) These make the perfect salty snack, party appetizer, or salad topping! Note: you can double this recipe and two cans will fit on a large cookie sheet.

1 - 15oz can chickpeas*, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon olive oil
seasonings of choice

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. It's ok if they are still a bit wet, they will dry out in the oven. Bake 30 minutes, stopping to shake the pan every 10 minutes.
3. Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and stir in oil and seasonings of choice.
4. Spread the chickpeas back onto the pan and bake for another 10-15 until golden and crunchy. Let cool before serving and store in an airtight container. 

*Note: I have only tried the canned chickpeas from Aldi. Different lots or brands may vary in how crispy they turn out. They may need to be dried with a towel before baking or cover with foil after the suggested cooking time, to prevent burning, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Seasoning Ideas:
ranch seasoning
all purpose seasoned salt (like Lawry’s)
Italian seasoning
garlic salt
dried parmesan cheese
cumin and chili powder and dried cilantro

Friday, January 10, 2020

Any Month Meal Plan Calendar with Themes

This calendar can be used for any month of the year and you can use the themes that I use or fill in your own. You can download a free pdf printable here that includes both forms and an example calendar with meals written in. Enjoy and happy meal planning!

Download a free pdf printable here!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Christmas Morning Bundt (Sticky Pull Apart Bread)

Our family's tradition for breakfast on Christmas Morning! Most of the prep is done the night before : )

18 Rhodes frozen rolls (½ of bag)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Let frozen rolls sit on counter for 30 minutes, then cut each one into quarters. Spray bundt pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. Place rolls in ring in bundt pan. Melt butter and brown sugar in a quart glass measuring cup in the microwave, stir in cinnamon and maple syrup. Pour mixture over rolls. Let sit on the counter for 1 hour or half risen.

Let sit overnight, covered in fridge to finish rising. Let sit on counter in the morning until doubled in size if needed.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, check at 25 minutes until golden brown on top. Check doneness of dough in middle. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Amish Style Soft Pretzel Dough (Pretzels or Rolls)

So easy but gorgeous and taste divine. Your family and friends will think you slaved all day!

2 cups bread flour
2 cups self rising flour
¼ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast or 1/2 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
½ tablespoon salt
1 ¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon oil

1.5 cups hot water + ¼ cup baking soda
Or ¾ cup hot water + 2 tablespoons baking soda
Amount of liquid depends on if you are dipping large pretzels or small knotted rolls. Water should be as hot as your fingers can handle. 

Melted butter (about ¼ cup)
Kosher salt


Add dry ingredients to stand mixer fixed with dough hook. Stir on speed 1-2 while adding water and oil. Stir until ball forms and then continue to knead with dough hook for 2 minutes. Dough should be soft and slightly tacky but not sticky and should not stick to your hands when handling. Pull dough off hook and shape into a ball with your hands. Spray sides of bowl with nonstick cooking spray and replace dough into bowl. Cover and sit in warm area for at least 45 minutes, should double in size. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dissolve baking soda in hot water and pour into shallow bowl or dish. Cut dough into 12 pieces for pretzels or 16 pieces for knot rolls. Roll out each piece to arms length for pretzel or roll to about 6-8 inches for knot roll. Shape into pretzel or tie into knot and secure ends on the bottom for rolls. Immerse into baking soda water, and tap to let excess drip off. Lay on parchment or silicone baking mat lined cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 6-7 minutes or until deep golden brown (7-8 minutes for rolls), checking to make sure that dough is fully cooked in the center. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. Serve immediately alone or with cheese or mustard dipping sauce. 


Cannot skip the baking soda bath, that is key to the outside texture and turning golden brown.

Variation 1: sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and serve with dipping glaze (powdered sugar mixed with milk)

Variation 2: top with garlic salt and parmesan cheese, serve with marinara. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Air Popped Kettle Corn

Warning! Potentially addictive recipe ahead ;) Quick, sweet and salty popcorn that you can make with your air popper! No need to shake a heavy pot over the stove or crisp in the oven, easy peasy! Perfect for movie night or to take to a party :)

1/2 cup unpopped kernels

1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

This recipe works best if you have a large container with a lid, with enough room for the popcorn to be well shaken, or a large paper bag. Pop popcorn in an air popper. Mix sugar, butter, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir constantly until butter is melted, sugar is dissolved, and the mixture begins to simmer. Stir constantly for 30 seconds, the butter and sugar should be fully combined and creamy looking, and it should begin to thicken a little bit. Immediately drizzle over popcorn. Toss popcorn until evenly coated. Keep shaking/rotating the popcorn until it is cooled. This will prevent any large clumps from forming. Serve or keep in an airtight container.

Adapted from https://savorysweetandsatisfying.blogspot.com/2015/08/air-popped-kettle-corn.html?m=1

Monday, September 2, 2019

Rice Kristi Treats (Rice Krispie Treats)

My name is Kristi so I decided I will call them Rice Kristi Treats! I reveal the secrets to amazing rice krispie treat bars ... named brand cereal, more butter, more marshmallows, and a little bit of salt ;)

1/2 cup butter
10 oz mini marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon salt

6 oz crisped rice cereal (Rice Krispie named brand recommended for best flavor)

Melt first three ingredients in large pot over medium low, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal with large silicone scraper. Spread into greased 8x8 pan for tall bars or a 9x13 for shallow bars. Lightly press them down with greased spoon or fingers (don't over compress them). Let sit covered for 1 hour before cutting and serving. 

Adapted from original recipe here https://www.ricekrispies.com/en_US/recipes/the-original-treats-recipe.html

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Easy Cream Cheese Danishes

1 can of refrigerated crescent roll dough (do not unroll)

4 oz (½ package) cream cheese
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla

½  cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon milk
½ tablespoon soft butter spread
(may need to add a few more drops of milk or water to achieve desired consistency)

Using a ruler, mark ½ inch increments across the log of dough and cut slices with a sharp knife (I usually get 15-16 slices out of my roll). Lay out on parchment or silicone baking mat  lined cookie sheet. Use thumbs and forefinger to spread out dough edges a little and make an indent in the middle of the dough. 

Mix cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla with hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Scoop about ½ tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the middle of each slice. Spread out and flatten the cream cheese mixture with a small spoon if needed.  

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. 

Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Drizzle glaze over each danish. Serve immediately. 


Monday, August 26, 2019

Princess Ballerina Cake

Tiara came from party section of Hobby Lobbby. Used the extra large petal tip Wilton 127D to do the ruffles (large end of tip on top). Lots of good YouTube videos out there for piping ruffles! Cut the cake topper with pink cardstock on my Cricut. Sprayed it with spray elmers glue and dusted on fine glitter, then sprayed it with clear gloss to prevent the glitter from falling off. Hot glued it to a long toothpick.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Baked Zuchinni Fritters

Great way to use up the abundant summer squash! Good for breakfast, appetizer, side dish, or snack!

12 oz shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg
1/2 cup panko or regular bread crumbs, Italian flavor if you have
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

little bit of water or milk for binding

fresh or dried parmesan for topping
sour cream, ranch, or tzatziki sauce for serving

Spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray and place on a large baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400. Sprinkle shredded zucchini with salt and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Place in clean thin linen towel and wring out as much water as you can. Transfer to small mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Add a little milk or water if needed for binding. Form into 6-8 patties. Bake on the sprayed parchment paper at 400 for 20 minutes. Turn patties over and cook for additional 5 minutes or so, until golden brown. Sprinkle with dried parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Serve with tzatziki sauce or ranch.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.3g2%
Saturated Fat 0.4g2%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 469mg20%
Total Carbohydrate 8.6g3%
Dietary Fiber 1.1g4%
Total Sugars 1.7g
Protein 2.8g
Vitamin D 3mcg13%
Calcium 30mg2%
Iron 1mg4%
Potassium 178mg4%

Sunday, June 30, 2019

ONE Fruit Cobbler

So easy to make! If you can remember the number ONE then you can make this recipe! Options for fruit are endless :) Makes a shallow cobbler in a 9x13, deeper cobbler in an 8x8, or 6 largish ramekins.

fruit (fresh or frozen), any of the below or mixture:
canned apples

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
½-1 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
1 egg

1 stick salted butter (½ cup), melted

ice cream or whipped cream for serving

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x13, or 8x8, or 6 largish ramekins. Fill bottom layer with fresh or frozen fruit. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon (optional) and egg. Stir with a long fork or hands until even crumbles form. Sprinkle evenly over fruit. Pour melted butter evenly over topping. Bake 9x13 or 8x8 for 40-50 minutes until bubbly and topping is medium golden brown. Ramekins may be done in 30 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps

The perfect quick dinner for summer nights or anytime you’re cravin’ some Asian! So easy to make and won’t heat up the kitchen too much! Gluten free with a tasty sauce that resembles a light teriyaki. Just think of them like an Asian street taco :)

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼-1/2 teaspoon pure sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger or ginger paste
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

For Serving:
steamed white rice
lettuce leaves (butter, green leaf, or iceberg)
chopped peanuts or sliced almonds

shredded carrots

Brown ground beef and drain any grease if necessary. Add remaining ingredients and stir until heated. Simmer on low to tenderize meat more, but not required. Serve with steamed rice on lettuce leaves. Top individual wraps with shredded carrots and chopped peanuts.  

Variation: If the sauce is too sweet for your taste, half each of the sugars. 

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Kristi's Kitchen Hacks #3 - Replace Twist Ties with Dollar Tree Clips

Kristi's Kitchen Hacks #3 - I HATE twist ties because they are a pain to use and ain't nobody got time for that! I get rid of them completely whenever I open a bag. To replace them I am OBSESSED with these fun colorful clips from Dollar Tree! They are coated metal and super durable. You can usually find them near the check out stands. I use them for bread bags, frozen vegetables, chocolate chip bags, and sometimes for cereal and chip bags.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

One Bowl Buttery Corn Muffins

The best homemade cornbread muffins I've ever made! Easy recipe that can be made in just one bowl. Makes 12 Muffins**

1 stick melted butter (½ cup)
2 large eggs
¾ cup faux buttermilk*
2 T honey
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup cornmeal
1 ¼ cup flour

Preheat oven to 400. In a large microwave safe bowl (glass or ceramic) melt the stick of butter. Stir in eggs, milk, honey, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle cornmeal and flour evenly over the top. Stir with long fork or whisk until just combined. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out dry.

*faux buttermilk = scant tablespoon of vinegar plus milk up to 3/4 cup total volume

**I use the red silicone muffin pan from Aldi and the cups are a little bit bigger than the standard muffin tin.