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Shopping, Crafts, and Recipes on a Budget


Archive for February, 2011

I don’t know how this cake got its Mardi Gras name. It is an old recipe I got many years ago from an old childhood friend. I had never been to Mardi Gras and don’t believe she had either, at that time. Fifty years later, I still haven’t been to Mardi Gras and have no idea if she ever has. But if you like butterscotch, you will think our Mardi Gras cake is yummy!


2/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs, unbeaten
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease well and flour two round cake pans. In a small saucepan melt the butterscotch chips in the water. Cool. Sift the flour with the salt, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.

Add the sugar gradually to the butter in large mixing bowl, creaming well. Add the eggs and beat well. Blend in the melted butterscotch chips. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, mixing well. Pour into the prepared pans, dividing evenly between the two pans. Lightly tap on countertop to remove any air pockets. Place in the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes then remove to racks to cool.


1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1 beaten egg yolk (reserve white for frosting)
2 tbsp butter
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in the evaporated milk, water, butterscotch chips, and egg yolk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring continually. Remove from the heat and add the butter, coconut and pecans. Place one of the cake layers on the cake plate. Spread the filling to 1/2″ of the edge of the layer. Set the second cake layer over the filling. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the following:


2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla

Boil the brown sugar and water until it makes a soft ball when you place a drop in cold water. Beat the egg whites until stiff; stir in the vanilla. Slowly pour the brown sugar mixture into the stiffly beaten egg whites, beating until stiff enough to spread. Frost the top and sides of the cake.


For more of Linda’s old-fashion recipe collection visit her blog at For more of her recipes for delicious desserts visit her at

Are you interested in baby food jar crafts? There are many ideas for recycling those baby food jars. This would have to be my all time favourite use of those baby food jars. I have shared this idea with many of my friends and they have also said it was a complete hit with their baby. It is so simple.

  • Simply collect every lid off every jar whether it is a baby food jar or the pasta sauce jar lid.
  • Put them into the dishwasher and sterilize them.
  • Then fill a big plastic jar with those lids. I buy my rice in a large plastic jar and this is perfect for collecting lids.


When my baby was less than 7 months old he loved to hold the lids and bang them together. He found out that they rolled and then he began to stack them. They were perfect for his wee hand grip.

At around 7 months he began to put them one at a time back into the plastic jar.

At around 11 months he loved to tip the plastic jar over and try and tip all the lids out and then of course put them back in.

When he was about 14 months he started using the lids to cook with.

Now at 21 months he is still playing with baby food jar lids.

We once borrowed a toy from a friend as Jamie loved playing with it so much at her house. When I asked her if there was a toy Jamie had that she wanted to borrow she said ‘Actually could I have some of your baby food jar lids’.

The most fun toys are usually free and in our house all along.

To learn more about baby food jar craft ideas and many other baby craft ideas try Baby Books Guide the ultimate resource site for parents. It is where you can find books both for your baby and about your baby.


Crafts have always been a great way to spend some time with your kids and others. If you teach a Sunday school class, or a 4H group, you’re constantly on the lookout for fun and easy crafts. No matter the ages of the children you’re working with, this is a great time to teaching sharing, tolerance, encouragement, appreciation of others work, pride in your own work and much more. Use the time to enjoy each other. Don’t expect perfection. Stress enjoyment and putting forth your best effort. When you’re done, share your crafts with others.

Kiss me, Blarney Stone Critter

3-6 inch long smooth stone (washed)

Green paint

Assorted other colors of paint

Glitter, eyes, scraps of lace, pipe cleaners etc.



Place newspaper on table. I use old adult t-shirts as cover-ups for the kids. Paint stones green. Allow to dry. Decorate with paints and assorted scraps of lace, fabric, glitter and whatever else your imagination dreams up. This allows a lot of room for different ages, abilities and creative styles. Now you have crafted your own personal Blarney Stone.

Easy Shamrock Necklace Craft

Heart cookie cutter (or plastic glass to trace)

Heavy poster board in green or white

Yarn or heavy string




Glitter, paint, markers etc. for decorating

Use the cookie cutter to make a pattern for your shamrock. Make sure you overlap the ends of each leaf, not leaving the center of the shamrock too thin. Don’t forget to add the stem, making it thick also. For young children, it helps to make a ‘template’ they can trace and cut out. Some children can make the shamrock design themselves. If you’re working with very young children, it helps to have the shamrocks already cut out. Next, punch a hole in the top of the shamrock. Now use glitter, paint, markers and whatever else you have available to decorate your necklace. If you’ve used glue, allow time for them to dry. Finally cut yarn (or string) and pull through hole in top. Tie and slip your shamrock necklace on.

Extra: If your children are older, you can use your shamrock template to make cutout cookies. Trace around the template with a knife. Add green sprinkles and bake according to the recipe. Now share your shamrock cookies.

St Patrick’s Day Puzzle

Picture with Irish theme

Poster Board

Glue (or spray glue)


Pen or marker

Glue picture to poster board. Take care to smooth out all air bubbles, and to have the whole picture glued down. Allow glue to dry. Use the marker to make lines for the puzzle pieces on the back of the poster board. Carefully cut out on the lines. For younger children make fewer pieces. For older children make smaller pieces. For extra fun, have the children make each others puzzles.

Variation: Have the children drawn their own picture to use for the puzzle, or color a picture from a coloring book. Remember, St Patrick is said to have driven all the snakes out of Ireland. Snakes, people in long capes, wooden staffs. What could be more fun for kids to draw?

Lori Bedard has been sewing, and crafting since she was 5 years old. Her first love was making doll clothes for her favorite dolls. Since then she has been a mother of two, a Sunday School teacher and a 4-H leader. She has recently begun a website, where she hopes to feature new crafts every month.


Children will love this Mardi Gras project – who does not love masquerading around with a mask, pretending that they are somebody else? Of course, first, they have to make the mask. There are many different ways to go about making a mask – what you choose depends completely on what you and your students or children want to make. To make a mask, you will need cardboard to keep it from bending (a cereal box will work). You can either create a template, or have your students come up with their own mask designs. Draw this onto the cardboard and cut it out (cardboard is difficult to cut through – make sure that you help any children that need it).

Now, you can take crepe paper or tissue paper (in green, purple, and yellow, of course) or construction paper. You can cut it up and glue it to your mask (or Modge Podge it to it) in what ever design you want. You can even make your mask look like a butterfly. Add glitter and feathers and sequins. Make sure that you have 2 holes cut out for the eyes (help with this). Now you just need to tape to the side of the mask a stick (made from a stick, sturdy straws, a wooden spoon, or whatever) so that your students can hold it up. Voila.

Mardi Gras projects and activities – MAKE A KINGS CROWN

Treat your students like royalty, and let them create their own kings crowns. You just need some construction paper, scissors, and tape or a stapler. Have your kids cut a piece of paper lengthwise with jagged pointed edges. Now they can decorate it (with crayons, glitter, sequins, feathers, etc.). Then simply curve the paper around, decorations on the outside, and staple it together. For a more sturdy crown, glue the construction paper to a long and thing piece of cardboard paper right at the base.

Mardi Gras projects and activities – MAKE MARDI GRAS BEADS

Alright, we have saved the best of the Mardi Gras projects and activities for last. Who doesn’t love Mardi Gras beads? First of all, you are going to need to make “clay beads.” Here is an easy recipe.

· 2 cups flour

· 1 cup salt

· 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

· ¾-1 cup water

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix the 2 cups of flour with the salt and then add the oil and slowly add the water. Stir this concoction until you have a good clay consistency. Now make the clay into the desired shapes that you want. Do not forget to poke a big hole through your clay beads so that you will be able to string them later – you can use a straw or a toothpick). Cook the beads for about one hour (the time varies depending on how thick your beads are. Do not make them too thick, because then they will crack while baking).

Once your beads have cooled down, paint your beads green, purple, and gold (or yellow). Once they dry, string them up onto some yarn or string. Now was not that an awesomely fun Mardi Gras project?

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on arts and crafts, please visit Homeroom Teacher.

A few months from now, we will be celebrating Easter. Easter is a Christian celebration where Christianity commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It is considered as one of the oldest and most important Christian Holiday. For Catholics, it marks the end of the Holy Week, which is celebrated yearly. A week of Christian rumination, reflection and fasting while committing to recall how Christ died to deliver mankind, Easter signifies hope and new life.

Planning your Easter celebration

Kids happily awaits Easter just like Christmas. Having party for Easter is like having a Christmas party during spring. The weather is just right with gentle breeze while golden sun rays and lush greens accentuate the scenery which is always a perfect time for family gatherings.

Before choosing a theme for your party, set your goals and objectives. For example, if you wish to incorporate more Christian values to your children, why not have a biblical themed Easter party? Plan carefully the program, food and budget. Having to camp out on a hot spring for Easter is a good idea but is it wallet friendly? Why not have backyard picnics instead? Better yet, have a grand family reunion to downsize your budget but will definitely up-size the fun. To personalize the celebration, you can create your own decorations, include the children, assuredly they would love to help out!

Easter crafts for kids

When you have planned out your entire Easter festivity, don’t forget to involve your children to this special festivity. Decorate your venue for the event and make Easter crafts done by your kids as a set up design to your event. Through this, your children will learn the value of hard work and provides them an opportunity to be creative. Remember to always have an adult or guardian to assist your children while making these top 5 surefire Easter crafts for your children to work on to:

* Easter egg painting – painting the egg shells with non-toxic paints, you can use this as center pieces on your table or hang them with a thread over tree branches.
* Bunny ears – have an adult (such as your daughter) assist your children make bunny ears. Think outside the box, don’t be too conventional, color the bunny ears with exciting colors to make it more personalized and exciting.
* Giant Easter mosaic – have a free wall for your kids where they can draw, paint or paste pictures of anything Easter related then use this as a photo backdrop where you can take pictures of your guests as souvenirs.
* Easter bag – this is very simple indeed. Using paper bags gather all the candies and small toys and other freebies that you can think of and put them all inside the bag, add tags to make it more attractive. Your children can tie the ribbons; add other designs such as flowers, mini toys, handmade cards or paper dolls and voila! You have your Easter souvenir with a personal touch!
* Paper Easter bunny – buy “ready – made” jiggly eyes in your local bookstores. You can paste them in paper plates after having your children color, draw or paint the paper plates whichever they want. They can use art papers, cut pictures from magazines. Assist the children to ensure you are getting the “bunny look” correctly.

Easter (aside from Christmas) is distinctly a good way to spend more time with the family and share the teachings of Christ to your children. Easter is a festive celebration that is widely celebrated and anticipated by all Christians around the world – especially children. Easter doesn’t have to be grandiose and expensive – just remember the three F’s and you’ll surely have a wonderful party. What’s the 3 F’s? Food, Fun and of course, Faith.

Find exciting ideas to celebrate Easter 2011. Visit the link to learn more.

Handmade card ideas can start from pretty paper prints, beautiful stickers or even a favorite tool like a craft punch. Making greeting cards can be fun but sometimes frustrating when you are just staring at a blank card.

There are so many tools and embellishments available these days that coming up with card making ideas seem endless. You can create beautiful, handmade birthday, thank you, Valentines, Christmas and get well cards using a plethora of materials.

One popular tool is craft punches. I love using craft punches because my cutting skills aren’t so refined. Since the cut is pretty precise, using craft punches give your card a professional, polished appearance.

One of my favorites is the 1/2″ corner punch. You can round off one, two or all four corners of your card. Rounded corners help soften the look of a card.

  • TIP #1: Cut two or three different sizes of rectangles or squares in different colors that coordinate with your card, each 1/8″ smaller than the other, and round off the corners. Then layer them about 1/8″ apart to give a dimensional effect.
  • TIP #2: To give depth to a card, cut out a rectangle or square shape, round off all four corners using a corner punch and then adhere foam tape on the back. Put your sentiment, sticker or other embellishment onto the rectangle or square shape.
  • TIP #3: You can also use a corner craft punch on your photos. Cut a shape from cardstock, 1/8″ larger than your photo and round off the corners with a corner punch. Round off corners of your photo as well and then place your photo over the larger shape which will create a frame for your photo.


A ¼” corner punch is great for making tags as well as rounding off corners from square or rectangle shapes. Apply chalk paint to soften and highlight the edges.
Decorative corner punches are pretty and delicate. I like to use it on solid color paper or paper that isn’t so busy because you lose the fine detail of the punch design.

My other favorite craft punch is border punches. As of this article, I only have one design but it has been so versatile, I’ve utilized it on many cards. You can include a punched border on the sides, middle and bottom of your card.

  • TIP #4: Cut strips of paper using different colors that coordinate with your card. Punch out one side of the edge of each strip and layer by overlapping the strips. Circle punches are great for adding a sentiment or featuring an embellishment.
  • TIP #5: Using a graphic software program, create a dotted circle large enough that it fits just inside the circle, close to the edge of the punch. You can also include a sentiment or personalized message. Print it out on light cardstock paper. Center and punch out the dotted circle or sentiment with your circle punch. Punch a tiny hole just close to the top and use it as a tag.


If you can find two circle punches, one about 1/8″ smaller circumference than the other, the larger circle creates a nice frame and is just another idea to include in your card making techniques.
I think craft punches are a great addition to your card making supplies because they are so versatile and you can reuse it over and over again.

My name is Chloe, a card making enthusiast, and I love to share my ideas with those of you that have the same passion for card making.

Find these tips, examples and instructions of how punches are used at


One of the easiest and most common ways to make herbal soap is to use the Melt and Pour Method. To make an herbal soap this way, soak the herbs you wish to use in boiling water for 15 minutes. While the herbs are boiling, take plain, unscented soap, which you can easily buy from a grocery store or arts and crafts store, and place it in a pot on the stove. Turn the heat to low and slowly melt the soap.

After the soap is melted, drain the herbs that were soaking in the boiling water into a colander and then dump them into the melted soap. Stir well, remove the mixture from the heat, place it in a mold, and allow it to cool. If you allow the soap to cool in the pot before placing it in the mold, the soap may harden in the pot. You will then have to re-melt the soap and quickly place it in its mold if this happens. Once the soap is cool, it is ready to use!

The Melt and Pour Method is recommended for first time soap makers because of its simplicity. It has the advantage that it is easy and can be finished in only 1-2 hours and that the bars of soap can be used immediately. However, since you are using a commercial soap for your base, you will still end up with some artificial chemicals in your soap, which can cause drying and irritation. Many of the moisturizing skin care benefits may be lost also, depending on which commercial base is used.

However, all the benefits that the herbs provide will still be available to you. After you have made a few batches of soap using this method, you may want to move on to the more advanced methods of soap making, such as the Cold Process.

Charles is a herbal soap enthusiast and is interested in the health benefits they provide. To read more about herbal soaps, please visit:

You don’t have to feel guilty about feeding your family meals that you have made in a hurry if you choose those quick meals wisely. One thing that every mom on the go should know about is how to make some interesting chicken rotisserie recipes by picking up such a chicken or two from the store to turn into a full on tasty and healthy dinner. There is so much that you can do with this chicken that you may find you use a new idea each week and your family will never know about your short cut secret – unless they paw through the trash, of course.

One thing that you can use rotisserie chicken for is to make your own chicken noodle soup. There are many great recipes out there, and all you need to get is the chicken that you need from one rotisserie chicken. All you have to do is buy it, cut the breast off the chicken, cut it up into cubes, and put it into your soup. You can use the dark meat if you wish, though most prefer to use the breast so that they have a low fat and delicious soup. This is one of the easiest chicken rotisserie recipes you can do on your own. Leave it in the crock pot all day and come home to an amazing dinner your family will love.

Another of the great chicken rotisserie recipes that you can do is homemade chicken and biscuits. You can find your favorite biscuit recipe, which is often very simple to make and bake, and then work on your chicken and your gravy. You should start out with chicken stock and a thickening agent like flour or cornstarch. You can then pick apart the chicken using the meat that you want to use and throwing the rest away or you can save it for something else if you wish. Remove the skin and take out excess fat you may find in the bird. The chicken is already cooked for you, and is seasoned beautifully also.

There are just as many other chicken rotisserie recipes that you can try. You can use a rotisserie chicken in just about any recipe that calls for chicken that you can find to make for your family. There are casseroles and other meals that you can bake in the oven, or perhaps you would like to try your hand at making homemade chicken pot pies. Whatever you can cook with chicken you can cook with a juicy, rotisserie that you can pick up anywhere you shop, or almost anywhere.

Don’t forget that chicken rotisserie recipes can simply include the chicken as it comes from the store. You may have to get two of them to feed your family, but they are often cheap enough that this is not a huge problem. You can cut them up and serve the parts with mashed potatoes, a vegetable, or any other side you want to serve to your family. There are different rubs used for these chickens, so you can offer a different taste so it won’t feel like a repeat if you do it once a week.

Information and reviews on the hottest new home appliances in your kitchen

In an age when both the economy and the environment are compromised, learning how to reuse, repurpose, and recycle common objects is important. It can help save time, money, space, and even the world. Here are some fun paper bag craft ideas for kids.

Grocery bag gift totes:
You’ll need:
Grocery bags
oil paint
furniture wax
hole punch

Start by cutting off the top of the bag to make a new edge and get rid of the handles, if it has any. Prime inside and out in a thin layer and let dry. Mix furniture polish with a little bit of oil paint and, using a rag, paint the entire surface of the bag with this mixture. Let dry. Apply several layers until the bag has a texture and look you like. Decorate with paint. Punch holes in the top of the bag and thread through with yarn, raffia, or ribbon to make a decorative closure. This makes a gift bag suitable for any gift recipient. To make a child’s gift bag, use a grocery-sized or lunch bag-sized bag in the same way, but skip primer and furniture polish. Just paint and decorate the outside.

Grocery bag vest:
You’ll need:
Grocery bags
crayons or paint
construction paper

Cut arm holes and a head hole into a grocery bag so that it can be worn with the head through the bottom of the bag. Cut a line up the center of the bag until it meets the head hole. Trim up the top of the vest until it looks the way you want it to. Remove vest and decorate with crayon, paint, or cut-out shapes. This is a great craft for a rainy day and can result in a costume of any kind for restless kids. It could be a space suit, police vest, fairy princess costume, and anything else your kids can imagine.

Lunch bag puppet:
You’ll need:
paper lunch bags

Lay the paper bag flat so that the bottom of the bag is facing you, flattened against one side. This should make a little flap. Decorate the bottom of the bag with paint or felt cutouts to make the top of a face. Create the mouth inside the flap so that you can see inside the mouth when the flap is lifted. You’ll want to leave a little lip or tongue peeking out from under the flap even when it is not lifted. Add yarn “hair” and dress the body of the bag with felt or painted clothing. When it is dry, place your hand into the bag so that your fingers are over the flap and your thumb is beneath it. Make your puppet talk by moving your hand and opening and closing the flap.

Paper bags can also be decorated or used as: Santa’s toy bag, mail carrier bags, pillows, televisions, cat toys (just place open, on its side, and watch the cat attack), and anything else. The only limits lie in your imagination. If you can’t think of anything, hand a bag to your child and see what they come up with.

Misha Anatolia writes about many topics including arts and crafts, events, and bridal showers. To see some fun ideas for bridal shower arts and crafts or for more bridal shower information, go to

Note: You have permission to use this article freely in any publication as long as the resource box and byline are included as-is and any links are do follow when published.

Most parents have an annual hunt for good Christmas craft ideas, so to help you out, I have listed out my top three favorites.

1. Paper stars. These are really fund to make and also strangely simple. I actually use these for three different purposes. I make them small and colored for the and then use a sewing cotton thread to create a tie to hold them onto the Christmas tree. Then I make quite a few of these in different colors and sizes, and use them to make indoor wreaths. This is really simple to do. Firstly find a metal coat hanger and pull it out into a circular wreath shape. Then you will need to cover the metal. To cover the metal you can use either crepe ribbon or material ribbon; tissue paper is not really strong enough for the job. Then you need to simply arrange all your stars onto your circle and attach them. The best way to attach them is with strong tape at the back. To make the wreath look really good you need to make sure that it is jammed packed with stars, do not leave any spaces. To finish off the wreath simply add a large fabric bow at the top, then bend to coat hanger hook and hang it up. The final use for paper stars is as gift decorations. If you are making the Froebel stars then you can form half of the star and stick the easily to the presents.

2. Snow flakes. These are the easiest and probably the most commonly found of Christmas craft ideas. Some people then to think of these are rather basic. However, that does not need to be the case. By putting multiple snow flakes together in different colors and either overlaying them or interweaving them some truly amazing effects can be created. This is also a great way to get the kids involved as even the youngest children can make basic snow flakes.

3. Marzipan fruits. The only problem with these is not eating them as you make them. As a child I used to make these with my grand father and it is a memory I will always cherish. We divided the marzipan into parts and colored each one separately; red, yellow, green, brown, orange. The brown only needs to be a small amount. Then we would make strawberries, bananas, apples and oranges and each one would have it relevant stalks and stems. To create the texture for the strawberries and oranges we would roll them on a cheese grater.

Personally I find that Christmas can be a fairly stressful time, but the time we spend as a family together discovering new Christmas craft ideas and making old ideas more spectacular than the year before, is time I hope my kids will never forget.

These are the moments which form happy memories and can often last longer than receiving any gift from Father Christmas.

Discover more great Christmas craft ideas and other hints and tips to ensure that you have wonderful and memorable Christmas at

Making soap at home has been popular hobby and or business for many years. In the last few years with the economy being in the shape that it is. It is less expensive option. There are also many reasons that have nothing to do with economics. Many people have sensitive skin that is aggravated by the harsh chemicals in ordinary commercial soap. One such chemical is sodium silicate which can cause burns and eye irritation, and possibly toxic when ingested. There are more chemicals such as

1) Sodium Lauyl Sulfate or SLS for short. Cant be digested and will negatively affect the liver.

2) Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

Both of these ingredients are related to sulfuric acid and are used to make many soaps, detergents, shampoos and even tooth pastes it is used to make soaps foam up. Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, it cannot be digested by the body and liver can affect the liver and its functions. That’s why making soap at home is more desirable than ever. You control what touches your skin.

It must be stated that ingredients in soap or any other product list is generally listed in the order of greatest quantity to the least common ingredients. Ivory soap has about the best ingredients for commercial soap but still is only about 56% pure. that’s pretty good for one of the BIG guys. The only way to get 100% pure soap is to make it yourself or to by natural soap. The only harmful ingredient in the grand scheme of Ivory soap is sodi among the ivory soap ingredients list is sodium silicate which can cause burns and eye irritation, and possibly toxic when ingested. However, the amount used in ivory soap ingredients is in minute amount to be a cause for concern. There’s just one ingredient missing in my opinion which is glycerin. This ingredient is all natural and is a ingredient that has natural moisturizing characteristics.

The only thing left to do is to give it your signature. you can add your favorite fragrance and color to match any room in the house. With a few touches you can be on your way making gift baskets or selling then online. People are going back to all natural soap. They might as well buy it from you.

That’ is why making soap at home is the best of both worlds. It gives you control over what goes on your body and you know for sure if that it is 100% natural. Naturally made soap, is the best for your skin with out a doubt. Visit my blog if you want to make your skin softer and more young looking.

Things You’ll Need:

• Oil, Lard or Shortening
• 2 envelopes tomato soup mix, preferably Lipton cup-o-soup brand
• 2 envelopes Italian dressing mix
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• 2 teaspoons dried chervil (optional, but makes a huge difference in taste)
• 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
• 1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon powder
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley
• 1 teaspoon tarragon
• 1/2 teaspoon sage
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Put all of the ingredients for the coating in a blender or food processor. The grilled chicken coating is enough for a whole chicken, cut up. Soak the chicken pieces in a brine of water, lemon juice and salt for at least one hour in the refrigerator. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry, sprinkle all sides of the pieces with season mixture. Let chicken sit at room temperature while waiting for the cast iron grill pan or grill to get hot.

2. Put about 2 tablespoons of lard or shortening if you really want that original KFC taste in the skillet, allow to get good and hot so you can get good grill marks and sear in the flavors, that is the whole purpose of this step. Now put chicken on grill or in skillet. Do not crowd the chicken when placing into the skillet. If you’re making this chicken recipe, chances are you weren’t looking for low-fat, healthy recipes;)

3. Brown the chicken in the skillet on high. Then remove chicken to a broiler pan and place in a 350 degree oven. Cook until the chicken is done, about 30 minutes.

Patrick St. Charles has been in the home repair and remodel business for over 30 years, and an avid cook for more years than he can count. At best Retail Bargains we will be offering a locator service for our subscribers, you can add to our list of items we search for daily. We will also be offering articles written to order on any aspect of home repairs, recipes with a shopping list these will all be available to download or read online.
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A St. Patrick’s Day party punch will be one of the first things your guests notice, so you want to make sure your punch won’t disappoint them. This St. Paddy’s Day Leprechaun party punch will be a hit with young or old. This Leprechaun party punch recipe is different from the usual “sherbet and soda” punch recipes, and it is a difference your guests will enjoy. This recipe is for a non-alcoholic punch that can easily be converted with a bottle of one additional ingredient

A nice “extra touch” for your punch is to have a couple theme-shaped ice blocks floating in the punch bowl. Shamrock-shaped ice blocks would look perfect. Use aluminum foil shamrock-shaped cupcake molds that you can find at your local grocery or party supply store. Fill them with water, add a few drops of green food coloring, cover with clear wrap and freeze them. Voila’! green shamrock ice blocks to float in your Leprechaun punch.

Leprechaun St. Paddy’s Day Party Punch

Serves approximately 30 – 6oz. cups


2 ea. – 2-litre bottles Ginger Ale**
60oz. Pineapple juice 2 ea.
12 oz. cans frozen orange juice concentrate*
3 ea. – 3oz. boxes Lime Jello/gelatin mix 21/2 cups sugar

*put the OJ concentrate in the refrigerator instead of the freezer so they will be thawed/softened when you are ready to use them

**put Ginger Ale in the refrigerator to chill


Early prep: Mix the boxes of lime Jello mix into a quart of hot water, stir until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool. When cool, add 5 cups cold water, OJ concentrate, and sugar. Stir until well mixed, then refrigerate until time to put out the punch bowl for the party.

Party Prep: Pour the pre-prepped liquid gelatin/OJ in the punch bowl first, and then add the chilled Ginger Ale and pineapple juice, and stir until well mixed. Crushed ice can be added if desired. Add 1 or 2 shamrock ice blocks and it is ready to serve.

And that is all there is to making a great St. Patrick’s Day Punch. This St. Paddy’s Day Leprechaun party punch will be the hit of your party that your guests will remember all year long. (they will expect more Leprechaun party punch next year too)

Don’t wait! While you are thinking about it, check out these articles with decorating ideas for your St. Patrick’s Day party: And save the search! Here are the resource links you need to find all your St. Patrick’s Day decorations and party supplies online:

Lots of kids love to watch Rolie Polie Olie on Disney. He is a fun robot that knows how to play and have a good time. Why not let them do a fun and easy craft to make their own Rolie Polie Olie? They will have lots of fun and can get creative.

Here are the materials you will need for the Rolie Polie Olie craft.

Construction Paper

Crayons or markers

Black string/licorice or anything else that you want to use for the arms, legs and antennae

Glue or tape

Template of Rolie Polie Olie

The first thing that you want to do is to print out a template or draw your own for Rolie Polie Olie. You will need to have the clothes and shoes too. You or the kids can cut out the templates depending on how old the kids are.

Now have them glue the body together. They can use tape to attach the arms, legs, hands, antenna on the top of the head and feet. Once that is done, all that is left is to put the face on him, which they can do by drawing it. Then they can get creative and decorate Rolie Polie Olie any way that they want to. This will let each child have their own kind of robot.

Now they can take him home and hang Rolie Polie Olie in their room or just play with him. This makes a great craft for kids to do and they will have hours of fun making it and playing with it.

Mrs. Party… Gail Leino takes a common sense approach to planning and organizing events, celebrations and holiday parties with unique ideas for birthday party supplies and fun party games. She explains proper etiquette and living a healthy life while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Hut has lots of party ideas with hundreds of free holiday printable games and free birthday party activities. Over 100 adorable Themes including Party Supplies to fit your birthday celebration, holiday event, or “just because” parties. Party themes include cartoon characters, sports, movie, TV shows, luau, western, holidays, and unique crazy fun theme ideas.

So you have decided to promote your business doing craft shows but now you are wondering “how do I make the most out of my precious 10 X 10 area?” The key to this is to attract attention and bring those customers into your booth!

Planning out your booth before hand is a key factor to the successful layout of your booth. Using items found at home is an inexpensive method. Look for unique pieces to incorporate into your display; furniture pieces, shelving, Items with visual interest. Layers and stacking product keep interest high and makes everything easier to see.

Color plays a big factor as well. What decorations are you using? Is it holiday themed? Tie decorations around that. Harvest time? Easter, Valentines, Bridal? All of these have certain colors associated with them. Of course you do not have to go that route. Complete opposite decorations are attractive as well. Shocking pink or bright yellow would definitely set you apart from the crowd. Make sure that you incorporate your products however and pick up color schemes from them.

Interesting fabrics are a great tool to use as well. Be careful of clashing prints though. You do not want any busy displays. If it is hard for people to focus on any one thing and the table ends up looking junky, they will walk away.

The flow of traffic in and out of your booth is important. You don’t want it to seem crowded but you do want to utilize your space completely. You want to be able to have someone come in and talk with you, see your merchandise easily, fill out information sheets. Comfortable and inviting is the ambience that you are striving for.

Your mix of product is equally important as all of the above. You do not have to bring your whole inventory, just a representation of your line or the products geared to the event theme. Taking orders is definitely ok to do at these shows. Don’t feel you have to bring everything. That will be too much work for you and you will be less inclined to want to continue these types of shows. Try bringing a photo album or book with you to display your other items available.

Keeping your event set up simple yet attractive will ensure interest from your potential customers. Being a unique vendor in set up and display will encourage a great shopping experience for them as well. Above all, have fun!

Copyright Chris Carroll All Rights Reserved

Chris Carroll is a sales professional that has made direct sales her business of choice and enjoys sharing with others. Blogger, product reviewer, article writer and ghostwriter round out her profession. Find her at and

Making soap at home can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Once you’ve learned the basics, there are lots of experiments you can do with scents and other things. But it’s important, first, to understand the basic steps of how to make soap at home. After all, soap making has become a lost home craft because there can be difficulties and dangers involved. But when you’ve created something useful from scratch, the work can be well worth the effort.

The main ingredients you’ll need for homemade soap are water, lye, and some kind of oil-even lard can be used, like your great-grandmother probably did. Lye is a caustic material so you’ll want to handle it carefully. Don’t get it on your skin and make sure you wear eye goggles and work in a well-ventilated area. You might even want to use a respirator. You’ll also need a couple of containers in which to heat the ingredients-glass or plastic for the lye and a metal pot for the oil. Plus you’ll need a mold into which you’ll pour your soap for cooling and shaping.

A wax paper-lined cake pan will do the job, but you’ll have to cut the soap after it hardens. That means you’ll need a large, very sharp knife, or you might be more comfortable rigging a soap slicer out of fishing line. If you’d rather not mess with cutting then smaller, soap bar-size molds work better, like muffin tins or a similar-sized container. Inexpensive cooking thermometers are needed so that you’ll know exactly how hot your lye and oils get. Finally, you’ll need measuring cups and stirring implements, preferably wooden ones. Whatever materials you use when you are learning how to make soap at home, make sure it’s dedicated to soap making. Don’t plan on using any of it for cooking food.

There are plenty of soap recipes available, but basically you’ll heat the lye with the water-a chemical reaction causes the mixture to heat as the lye dissolves. Once that is done, let it cool to 110 degrees. At the same time, heat your chosen oil-coconut, olive, lard, or other-to the same temperature. When they are both 110 degrees, slowly pour the lye mixture into the container with the oils. Mix everything carefully with your stirring implement, using gentle but constant strokes. You can use a stick blender if you like, but many people prefer wood.

When the soap begins to thicken, start paying really close attention to avoid losing control. Lift your stirring implement and allow a little bit of the mixture to drizzle back into the rest. If the soap maintains its shape before sinking, then it’s ready. If you wait too long, you might not be able to get all of the soap mixture out of the container. That’s an important less in how to make soap at home-if not done properly you’ll ruin your container for future attempts.

Carefully pour the thickened soap into the mold. Then wrap it with a towel and put it aside for 24 hours. This gives the ingredients time to meld properly and for the soap to “set”. Once that is done, the soap can be turned out of the mold and cut into the desired size. Then you should store it on brown paper in a cool area of the house. Turn each bar after it has set for two weeks then allow it to set for another two or three weeks. Basically it is ready to use after one month.

For more details and some great recipes that include various scents and other techniques on how to make soap at home, visit, or click here!

When I felt a very tempting smell coming from the kitchen this morning, I couldn’t linger in the bed lying and reading more although it was Sunday. Mom II (husband’s mom) is here and “she must have done something scrumptious for breakfast”, I thought but couldn’t guess what it was. When I entered the kitchen, she was taking this yellowish yummy thing out of the oven. I thought it was a cake, but mom corrected me saying it was corn flour bread. It definitely smelled irresistible and when I took a very small bite just to taste, I understood what my dear student meant.

Mom said that when she was in the kitchen to prepare something for breakfast, she saw a package of corn flour in our pantry. And tasting it, she understood it was of good quality. “I couldn’t miss this opportunity of making fresh corn bread with this great flour”, she said. If she hadn’t made this yummy bread, the corn flour package might still be waiting. Many thanks to mom and my lovely student!

There is still some corn flour left and I know I will use it making another bread very soon.


- 1 ½ cup milk

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1 cup corn flour

- 1 egg white

- 1 ½ tsp sugar

- 2 ½ tsp salt

- 1 tbsp dry instant yeast

- 1 tbsp olive oil

- ¼ cup raisin

- ½ tbsp olive oil (for topping)

- 1 tbsp nigella sativa (for topping)

- 1 yolk (for topping)

Mix all ingredients except raisin and the ones for topping. Knead it and cover. Wait it at room temperature for 2 hours so that it rises.

Pre-heat the oven at 180 C.

After 2 hours, add raisin and mix it with your hand. Grease a rectangular cake mold (pyrex). Place the dough in it.

Whisk egg yolk and mix it with olive oil. Brush the dough with this mixture and sprinkle nigella sativa. Bake it for 40 minutes until it gets golden.

You can see its picture in Corn Bread With Raisin post at

Typically a stew will be prepared on the stove top, while a casserole may be done in the oven. Having said that, we tend to mix up the words nowadays, and in reality both of the methods are equally very nice. It doesn’t matter if making a stew or simply a casserole, the two very important factors are to give it a good deal of time, and not to use too much heat, otherwise it will dry out.

This recipe comes from a small book that my mother had and dates from 1950. I often ate this dish when I was young and I still eat it today. It is a great comfort food and wonderful to eat when it’s cold outside.

1 chuck roast about
2 pounds without bones, cubed
1 cup of carrots, cut into large dices
1 cup of turnips, cut into large dices
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cups potatoes cut into chunks
1 tablespoon of herbs de Provence

Coat the beef cubes with flour seasoned with salt and pepper and sauté in olive oil. Add 1 cup of boiling water and deglaze, then add 3 cups of water. Cover and cook for about 2 1 / 2 hours.

Add vegetables and cook for 1 hour. Add dough by the tablespoon on top of beef. Cover and cook for 1 hour.

Dumplings 2 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup milk

Sift flour with baking powder and salt, add milk and mix well to form a ball.

You can prepare the stew in advance (without the dumplings). Simply let cool and place in airtight containers. It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can then reheat on the stove top and proceed with the dumplings.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

To find more great beef stew recipes, you can visit my blog

Over the holidays, Victor and I had a wonderful opportunity to experience first hand the majestic beauty of Yosemite National Park. From the snow covered roads (yes, there was someone to help us with our chains!) to the glory of Half Dome’s snow cap, nature’s display of scenery was breathtaking. Inspired by this beauty, here are a couple of fruit salad recipes for a natural winter fruit salad.

Even in winter, fruits can be fun and delicious. Here are two options for easy-to-make winter fruit salad. One recipe is from Martha Stewart and the other recipe is from Both fruit salad recipes call for ingredients that are easy to find and both salads take little time to make.

Winter Fruit Salad

1 Pink Papaya
1 Yellow Papaya
1 Pint of Fresh Strawberries
1 Lime Halved
Fresh Mint for Garnish

Remove the skin and seeds of the papayas and cut them in quarters or vary the look of the salad by cutting one papaya in 1-inch chunks and the other in 1-inch strips.

Wash the strawberries, remove the stems and cut in half.

Toss the fruit in your favorite serving bowl, squeeze the lime on top and garnish with mint.

Here is a second option for a winter fruit salad.

4 Seedless Oranges peeled
3 Pink Grapefruits peeled
1 Pineapple cored, skin removed and cut into quarter inch cubes
2 Star fruits cut to accent the shape of the fruit
Pomegranate Seeds

Remove the white pith from the oranges and grapefruits; quarter the fruit lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Toss with the pineapple, star fruit and pomegranate seeds in a bowl and serve.

As a side for your fruit salad recipes, serve them with plain or vanilla yogurt (Greek yogurt is a great option as well) or add some additional eatable natural beauty to your buffet by making “fruit cups” with a piece of bib lettuce or sometimes called Boston lettuce.

You can always hallow out a watermelon and create a basket to place the fruit in or take the fruit and create different shapes and sizes using a melon baller. And don’t forget about a Madeline, it also works great for creating textured sliced fruit!

Another fun way to display your winter fruit salad is in a bowl made of ice. You can also decorate your ice bowl by freezing flowers, or herbs such as rosemary, mint and basil or sliced citrus such as lemons and oranges in the ice as well.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the winter and try one of these fruit salad recipes for a winter fruit salad. Until next time, remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, stylish, fun and economical to all!

Andrea Wyn is owner of A Wynning Event, a Los Angeles wedding and special event management company. She is a marketing & special event planner with over 15 years of experience and for the past ten years, she has been the event planner for the Screen Actors Guild Awards(R). She has taken her knowledge and special event experience and written an easy-to-read book called Budget Bash where you can find more ideas and helpful tips on event planning including menus, decor, budgets, timelines, florals and more.

As lots of people have started cooking more at home, the thirst for new recipes is on. Yet, what most people don’t realize is that old cookbooks are filled with fantastic recipes that our grand parents and great grand parents grew up eating. When it comes to the main meal of the day, vegetables were not in abundance. Unless one lived on a farm, the western diet was primarily starch and meat. Bread, potatoes, beef, mutton, and pork were the daily fare.

Desserts played a major part in the lives of our distant relatives, and puddings were the most popular. Made with suet, the fatty tissue that covers mutton and beef organs, these puddings were primarily steamed and served with a sauce or home made ice-cream.

This fabulous recipe dates to the late 1800s. All of the ingredients can be prepared the day before, except the beating of the eggs. It will serve a large gathering. For less, adjust the quantities.


8 eggs
2 pts milk
1lb stale bread (or 1/2lb bread and 1/2lb flour)
1 lb sugar
1 lb suet (or 1 lb unsalted butter)
1 lb currants
1 lb raisins
Grated fresh nutmeg
Grated rind of lemon or orange
1 gls brandy
1 glass wine
Dash salt

Beat eight eggs very lightly; add a pint of milk and beat; gradually stir in a pound of stale grated bread. If you don’t have a pound of stale bread, use ½ lb of bread and ½ lb of flour. Slowly add a pound of sugar. Slowly, and alternately, add 1 lb suet (or 1 lb unsalted butter) 1 lb currants and 1 lb raisins. The fruit must be well sprinkled with flour to prevent its sinking to the bottom. Stir the mixture smartly. In the last place, add two grated nutmegs, a spoonful of mingled cinnamon and mace, the grated rind of an orange or a lemon, a glass of brandy, a glass of wine, a teaspoonful of salt, and, finally, another pint of milk.

Stir, and stir faithfully, the whole mixture. This is where the family comes in. Everybody takes a turn stirring. If the mix is not thick enough, add more bread or flour – if it’s too thick, the pudding will be heavy and hard. Put the mixture in a greased pudding dish. Cover with a layer of waxed paper and a layer of aluminum foil, both with a fold in the middle to allow expansion of the pudding during steaming. Tie the paper and aluminum foil with kitchen string.

Boil for approximately six hours.

Have some blanched, sweet, almonds cut in slices, and some lemon rind sliced thinly. Decorate the outside of the pudding.

Serve with a sauce made of drawn butter, wine, and nutmeg.

Eat with wine.

Drawn butter is simple to make. Expand your puddings; we have some best pudding recipes.

When it comes to making and baking cookies for my family, I love easy to prepare recipes and this one is exactly that! When you make these deliciously sweet sugar cookies, there is no need to use cookie cutters, unless you want to use them!

With this particular recipe, you can make your dough up ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before you need to use it. If you are into once a week cooking, you can prepare the dough up and then freeze it for up to 2 weeks before you need to use it. If you decide to freeze it, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it into a plastic freezer storage bag. When you are ready to use it, let it thaw out in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Holiday Drop Sugar Cookies Recipe

2 cups all purpose white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 medium or large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar (for the batter)
1/4 cup colored granulated sugar (for the topping)
2/3 cup vegetable cooking oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Tips: You will want to change up your colored granulated sugar to match the holiday you are baking the cookies for.

Directions: In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, baking powder and table salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until they are light and fluffy. Add in the granulated sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract until the ingredients are well combined. I find it better to use an electric mixer other wise, it is too hard stir.

Pour the sifted flour ingredients into the large mixing bowl with the wet ingredients and beat until all of the ingredients are well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, but you will want to use the batter up within 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a tablespoon to drop batter onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 2″ between each drop to allow for expansion. Flatten each dough ball with the back of your spoon. Once it has been flatten, sprinkle colored sugar on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until each cookie is lightly browned. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow them to cool for 1 minute before transferring them to a wire rack to finish the cooling process. Once cooled, store them in an air tight container.

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys cooking, baking and canning. You can visit Shelly’s foodie blog Shakin ‘N Bakin in the Kitchen at for free menu ideas, cooking tips and for free recipes.

You know the feeling, that irresistible urge to drop everything you are doing and go grab your favorite fast food. It can overcome you while you are watching TV and an advertisement comes on tempting you mercilessly with high-definition photographs or videos of steaming hot burgers, tacos, chicken or French fries, you return from a remote camping trip and now you crave your favorite fast food hamburger, you see a billboard for that taco and you have to get it now. The worst times are when you are comfortably settled in your home and you don’t want to go out but the craving is overwhelming….anywhere, anytime it can happen.

How many times have you wished you could copy your favorite fast food or restaurant recipe at home with fast food duplicates? Have you scratched your head and pondered how all your favorite restaurants make those great tasting offerings that you enjoy so much? You conjure up visions of secret kitchens hidden away deep underground with PhD type chefs creating menu items that a normal human could not possibly prepare or some corporate CEO walking with six armed guards to a Fort Knox type vault to unlock a world-famous recipe that only two people in the world may know.

While cooking your favorite fast food duplicates at home would be great, you also know the original recipes are unhealthy in many ways with high salt and fat content, even though your taste buds and stomach may not care, but you know there must be a way to copy them without the unhealthy parts that your heart and kidneys do, yet still retain the great taste and satisfaction they bring.

You also are well aware that being able to create fast food duplicates at home could save you from waiting in line at your favorite establishment, would blow away your friends and family members by preparing copycats of their most loved menu choices and save you lots of money.

I know I have often wondered what the “secret” recipes are for a McDonald’s Big Mac and Special Sauce, a Burger King Whopper, KFC Original or even a Starbucks latte, to name just a few, but that is just the word – they are “secret”.

Well like anything from computer hardware and software to automobiles, things can be “reverse engineered” to achieve a near perfect copycat, or in the case of food; fast food duplicates, without actually knowing the original recipe or breaking into an underground vault or mounting spy camera’s in the kitchens of McDonald’s or even kidnapping the CEO and holding him or her ransom for that food you just have to have.

With these reverse engineered recipes you can cook your way easily to your favorite’s right in the comfort of your own home anytime you want but using healthy alternatives to the salt and fat the big boys use. All you need to do is search for cookbooks for fast food duplicates and you are in, and on your way to having your own personal and famous menu items any time you want, day or night.

So stop craving and start making your favorite restaurant menu items simply by following cookbook instructions that anyone can read and prepare once you have a copycat cookbook in your hands.

Learn all the best kept secret recipes behind your favorite fast food and restaurant dishes… Amaze your friends and family with fast food duplicates! 200 of the most popular fast food recipes ever created and another 300+ restaurant recipes that you can make quickly and easily from home. These are step-by-step instructions for making the same great dishes you’ve tried in your favorite restaurants!

Theme-related party punch recipes can be so much fun. It’s exciting to have family or friends over for a nice party. No doubt, you want everything to be perfect.

This means you’ll want to really spend some time on the food preparations so everyone enjoys tasty foods and drinks at the party. Of course, as you are planning everything else at your party, it’s easy to forget about the punch. Mixing up a nice party punch is a way that you can add something special to the party. After all, that punch will add a bit of flair to your party and if you can come up with a punch that carries on the theme of the party, it is particularly special.

As you are trying to decide on the punch you want to serve, take some time to think about the theme of the party, the type of party, and of course, your guests. If you’re throwing a party with a tropical theme or even a luau theme, going with a punch that includes tropical fruits or even coconut is a wonderful idea. If your party is occurring in the winter or fall, going with a punch that is spiced is a great option. You may even want a warm punch to serve when it’s cold outside. If you’re throwing a baby shower, a blue or pink punch can be a lovely touch, depending on the gender of the baby.

Are you throwing a party for the 4th of July? If so, red, white, and blue are probably the main colors you are using. You can use strawberries, blueberries, and some whipping cream to get the theme colors in the punch. A margarita style punch or even a nice sangria can go nicely for a party with a Mexican theme. No matter your theme, finding a nice punch recipe should not be a problem.

Of course, you’ll want to consider some of the popular ingredients if you’re trying to come up with a punch recipe of your own. First, decide if you are going to have alcohol in your punch or not. Most people do serve punches that have no alcohol. You should definitely avoid the alcohol if you have kids at the party. If you have an all adult party, you should still label your punch if you do choose to put alcohol in it. This way they know what they are drinking.

When it comes to punch base ingredients, often cherry juice, fruit punch, and even cranberry juice are used for punches that have a red base. If you want something more tropical in nature, orange juice or pineapple juice can be a nice base. Lemonade can make a good base and you can add a variety of flavors for a nice kick as well. Often selzer water, ginger ale, and lemon lime sodas are added to the punch to offer a bit of carbonation to it.

To really kick off your theme and make a punch special for your party, you may want to add a nice garnish. Adding some scoops of s sorbet in a fruit flavor can make your punch look pretty and taste amazing. Another fun garnish is ice cubes in fun shapes. You can purchase ice molds in a variety of themes to add to your themed punch. Fruits are also a popular choice for punch garnishes.

Don Abson shares more party punch recipes and more easy recipes to meet your special diet needs at

If you’ve never made smoothies before, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make them. All you need is a good blender to make a nutritious smoothie. When you make a smoothie at home, you have complete control over the ingredients that you want to add. Read on to find out what these nutritious drinks have to offer and learn how to make healthy smoothies.

Some Smoothie Benefits
For Energy – If you’re feeling tired a high-carbohydrate and high-protein smoothie can keep you energized and alert.

To Detoxify – Smoothies can remove toxins from your body. You can find smoothie recipes to cleanse and purify your body.

For Weight Loss - Low-calorie and low-fat smoothies are best for weight watchers. They provide essential nutrients and help burn body fat.

Boost Immunity – Smoothies can build your immune system and help you ward off colds, the flu and other infections.

To Beautify – Fruits and vegetables make delicious smoothies that are packed with vitamin and antioxidants for clear smooth skin and shiny hair.

Smoothie Recipes for Energy
If you’ve been feeling tired and drained lately you will want to know how to make healthy smoothies to boost your energy. A smoothie recipe that’s high in carbohydrates will make you feel active and alert again. Simply combine all ingredients called for in the recipe and blend until smooth.

Banana Cocoa Smoothie
This creamy chocolate-flavored smoothie is high in protein. It will keep you awake and alert all day.

  • 1 cup frozen banana, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup chilled silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp flaxseed powder


Creamy Fruit Smoothie
This smoothie contains a variety of fruits to wake you up in the morning. It’s easy to prepare and will keep you energized throughout the day.

  • 1/2 cup banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup papaya, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp brewer’s yeast
  • 1 tsp flaxseed oil


Berry Smoothie
Prevent muscle fatigue and weakness with the fruits in this recipe. This smoothie is high in magnesium for normal nerve and muscle function.

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 cup low-fat frozen vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Honey to taste (optional)


Tips for Making Healthy Smoothies
Smoothies allow you to decide what ingredients you want to add. You can use almost any kind of fruit or vegetable that you like. Whole fruits and vegetables are best because of their fiber content that keeps you feeling full. In addition, the fiber regulates the release of sugar to the blood stream.

Milk, yogurt and tofu can boost the protein content of your smoothie and improve the taste and consistency. You can also add crushed ice for a thicker smoothie. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn how to make healthy and delicious smoothies.

Visit now to learn much more about smoothies.


Puff pastry is delicious and is such a popular pastry, everyone loves it! Yet it is also the pastry most people are afraid to make at home. When you have made your puff pastry this way you will never want to buy it again! It is quite easy, needs a little time but if you make it ahead you will have the best and tastiest pastry you have ever tasted.

It can be used for desserts or savoury dishes, so is very versatile. Especially good for vol-au-vents cases!

To begin with make a small amount and see how much this will make for you. You can always increase your ingredients and make as much as you want.


• 8oz, 230g, plain all purpose flour

• 8oz, 230g, unsalted butter (slightly softened)

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup water, 4fl oz, 240ml


• Sieve the flour and salt into a large baking bowl

• Add the water and mix to a dough.

• Leave to rest for about 15 minutes

• Roll the dough into a square about 8 inches and place the butter in the centre

• Now fold the edges of the pastry over the butter covering it completely.

• Leave to rest for ten minutes then roll into an oblong shape

• Fold in three then roll again

• Leave the pastry to rest again

• Repeat the above another three times and rest the dough in the refrigerator for ten minutes or until you need to use it. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator or can be put in the freezer until you need it.


Basically rolling the pastry will distribute the butter throughout it. The butter must be softened just enough to allow you to roll it in the dough. If taken out of the refrigerator for a short time before use it will be just right.

If you would like to see how your puff pastry is made you will find the instructions with pictures at

Bon Appétit!

Warm, fresh, delicately sweet muffins don’t have to be high in fat, sugar or calories. Feel free to indulge in these delicious breakfast beauties; they taste so good, you’d never guess they’re good for you.
Carrots contain a great deal of moisture and have a slightly sweet flavor, which makes them an excellent addition to baked goods. They’re also high in fiber, and a great source of vitamins and minerals. Their distinctive orange color, which comes from the large amount of beta carotene they contain, adds a delightfully peachy glow to baked goods.

Carrot and apple are very complimentary flavors. The apples in this recipe contribute nutrients, fiber, and enough sweetness that no additional sugar is needed. If you have a sweet tooth, drizzle them with a bit of honey after removing them from the muffin tins.

Guilt-Free Carrot and Apple Bran Muffins

2 cups raisin bran cereal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg OR egg substitute – half of a banana, mashed with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk OR regular milk or soymilk mixed with a teaspoon of white vinegar
1/4 cup canola, corn or vegetable oil
1 cup tart apple, peeled (optional) and chopped fine
3/4 cup carrots, washed and grated
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, beat the egg or egg substitute,milk and oil until well combined, but do not overbeat. Stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients until they are moistened. Fold in the apple, carrots and walnuts, if desired. Prepare muffin tin by lining with paper baking cups or spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for about five minutes before removing them from the pan to a wire rack. For the best flavor, serve while still warm.

If you like this healthy recipe, try Honey Glazed Carrots. Check out my other healthy living articles, like 5HTP Benefits For Anxiety.

In different areas of the south, people keep on making creamy pralines and some are looking for ready-made of it. In order to be given as a gift or just something to eat at the office or during a travel. It is no doubt they want this because a bite of it is really tasty and it is really affordable. In fact, consuming it will not just go to waste because it helps you to live healthy. It has nutritional value. It is known to have antioxidants that helps lower your cholesterol level. It keeps you carry a healthy heart.

Everyone is amazed with this candy because anyone who got the ingredients can automatically make their own praline. Preparing this is just as easy as ABC. In fact, flavor variations have been found now and it makes people crave for it too. There are chocolate, orange, pineapple, rum praline flavored and many more. No doubt in your cooking you will be glad to know that it has other uses from being eaten as plain praline to the point of combining it to other foods. The result will be great as long as you know the correct procedure.

It can be used as an ice cream topping. Well, we know that ice cream is sweet and pralines are sweet too; so for people who have sweet tooth this is good news. They team up together to satisfy you. You just simply crush slightly the praline and sprinkle it to the ice cream before serving. Let your mouth be ready to crush it as the ice cream melts in your mouth.

Creamy pralines as a dessert. The best will just come in the minute of your meal and that is what you will expect from it. Now, how to prepare it? Well, the moment you have the pralines already. It is the time to get other ingredients of you dessert with pralines. It consists of condensed milk, evaporated milk and fresh cream. Wait until the evaporated milk turns fluffy as you beat it. Then beat in the condensed milk. Let it freeze after you fold in the cream. Take out and fold in the crushed pralines in the mixtures. Return it to the freezer until it is position well completely. No need to make in hurry because it is worth waiting once you have tasted it.

Remember, there are lots of things that you can find praline to be useful of. Therefore, be creative and never forget to share the results so that everybody can enjoy the recipe. You can buy it in any stores at very affordable prices. If you think you can do this on your own then gather all the recipes and set yourself ready in praline making. There is no harm in trying and finding out its other uses.

The common ingredients are brown sugar, evaporated milk, butter, vanilla, pecans, and one-fourth cup of water. Usually it is placed in a heavy bottomed saucepan and mix milk, sugar, and water as it is placed in heat. Make sure to stir it constantly. Let it to boil and wait till it reaches the consistency of a softball. Take it out from the heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and pecans. Once the mixture is even, start immediately dropping small balls of it on wax paper. Let them cool and the creamy pralines are ready.

Jane Ros is a great follower of New Orleans praline recipes. She is now mastering the quick and easy recipe of New Orleans to produce tasty, creamy and affordable creole delicacies.

Cookie baking is fun – particularly when you have simple and easy to bake sugar cookie recipes to follow. But the most enjoyable aspect is the decorating. This is what turns a plain ordinary cookie into an edible work of art. You really are limited only by your imagination.

The first step of course is to make the cookies. There is no creaming butter and sugar involved. The dough is worked in a food processor. Nothing could be easier.

Ingredients you will need:

9 oz / 280 g /2 ½ cups plain / all-purpose flour

5 ½ oz / 170g unsalted butter, chopped

Pinch salt

3 tablespoons caster / superfine sugar

2 egg yolks beaten with 4 tablespoons ice-cold water

Preheat the oven to 400oF / 200oC. Line two baking sheets with parchment or baking paper.

In the bowl of a food processer, process the flour and butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the salt and sugar and process again until just combined, being careful not to overprocess the mixture.

With the motor still running, add the egg yolk mixture and process using the pulse button until it forms a glossy ball.

Remove from processer, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and divide the mixture into smaller portions for rolling. While rolling one portion, keep the remainder refrigerated. Roll the dough out to a ¼ inch / 6 mm thickness. Using cutters, cut out shapes, placing the cutters as close to the edges as possible to minimise the number of times you re-roll the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough, then combine all the leftover dough and re-roll.

Place onto the baking sheets allowing room for spreading and bake for 10-15 minutes or until a golden color.

Remove them from the oven and leave on the baking sheets for 2-3 minutes before lifting them onto wire racks to cool.

Allow to cool completely before icing and decorating.

Now comes the fun part, icing and decorating. Glace icing is perfect for this sugar cookie recipe. It can be drizzled over the top or piped into simple designs.

This glace icing recipe is sufficient to ice 24 cookies.

1 cup icing / confectioners sugar

A few drops of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of hot water

A few drops of food coloring (if required)

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl then add the vanilla essence. Gradually stir in the hot water until the mixture is the consistency of thick cream. Add the water a few drops at a time until you have the desired consistency. If you find you have added too much water and the icing is too runny, simply add more icing sugar.

Spoon a little icing into the centre, then using the back of the spoon, spread out to cover the entire cookie. Glace icing sets very quickly, so if you are adding other decorations, you will need to work quickly before the icing sets.

Glace icing is also extremely versatile. It is perfect for feathering and drizzling.

To create a feathered effect, cover the cookie with icing as above, then pipe several straight parallel lines of icing in a contrasting color across the top. Take a toothpick and draw lines in the opposite direction, gently dragging the color through the icing.

Alternatively, pipe lines of icing, or, if you want to be adventurous, pipe designs over the tops of your cookies.

Really, the possibilities are endless.

Having a large collection of sugar cookie recipes that you can decorate in creative ways is great fun.

Monica L Latham creator of Homestyle Cookie Recipes shares with you hundreds of cookie recipes for every occasion. Get your collection of easy to make sugar cookie recipes with holiday themes: Halloween, Christmas etc today.

When you are a busy mom you want easy cookie recipes that are not only tasty and nutritious but also quick and easy to make, leaving you time for the more important things in life.

There are many different ways of making cookies, but by far the easiest method is the all-in-one method. This involves simply placing all the ingredients into a bowl and mixing.

No need for creaming butter together with sugar. The process can be made even easier by using a food processor.

Ideal for time-poor moms who are juggling busy schedules.

Following are two scrumptious and super easy cookie recipes that are not only flavorsome but also have the added goodness of dried fruit.

The first recipe uses the natural sweetness of raisins to give that extra flavour. The second is a rich, wholesome recipe that is packed with ingredients.

Raisin Cookies

150g / 5 oz / 1 ¼ cups plain / all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
115g / 4 oz / ½ cup caster / superfine sugar
115g / 4 oz soft margarine
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 190oC / 375oF and line two baking sheets with baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar, margarine, egg and vanilla essence.

Beat with a wooden spoon or process in a food processor until combined.
Stir in the raisins.

Take large tablespoons of the mixture and drop onto the baking trays. Space them about 2 inches apart to allowing them to spread during baking.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. When cooked remove from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool a little before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Fruity Cornflake Cookies

5 cups cornflakes
1 cup coconut
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup sultanas
1 cup dates, chopped
1 cup self raising flour
185g / 6 oz unsalted butter
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF and line two baking trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together cornflakes, coconut, sugar, sultanas, chopped dates and sifted flour.

Melt the butter in a microwave and add to the mixture. Then add the lightly beaten eggs and stir until the ingredients are well combined.

Take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and shape into rounds then press flat between the palms of your hand. Place on the baking trays spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave on the trays for 5 minutes. Then using a wide slotted spatula transfer to wire racks to cool.

About Author:
Monica L Latham creator of Homestyle Cookie Recipes shares with you hundreds of sweet cookie recipes for every occasion. Get many more tasty, easy cookie recipes today from our site.

Everyone like to eat delicious food. There are many types of food but among them Indian dishes are at the top. Nobody can compete with the taste and awesome flavor of Indian food. Among all misthi dohi is sweet dish which is lovable to almost every human being.Every one in this world should taste it once. So better eat once. I am sure you will love this and eat it again and again. In India after meal everybody like to have some sweet and mishti dohi is one of them. Its taste so good that you will found your meal complete by eating it.

  • Milk with full cream about 1 ltr
  • Yoghurt 3-4 tablespoons
  • sugar250 grams



  • Boil the milk first in medium flame till it gets half in quantity. Use pan having heavy bottom. Mix regularly to avoid the milk sticking. Now let it cools down to the room temperature.
  • Now add water in sugar and keep it over low flame, stir it till the sugar melts. Do this in another pan.
  • Let the sugar to turns in brown color. Now take the pan down and add the boiled milk in it. Blend it nicely.
  • Now put in the yoghurt to the mix and blend gently.
  • Pour into the pot and keep it in a temperate dark spot. Let the Mishti Doi set. If you want to give classic look to the dish, use earthen pot.
  • As soon as the Mishti Doi set, freeze for a few hours and dish up.