Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Macaroni Salad

Review by Lyndee:

1 pkg. (1 lb) pkg. macaroni (or shells)
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. mustard
1/4 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
1 c. ham steak, cut into small cubes
1 c. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3 c. frozen peas, thawed
2-3 carrots, shredded

Optional mix-ins:
cucumber, peeled and diced
dill pickles, chopped
tomato, diced
red bell pepper, diced
celery, chopped

Prepare macaroni to al dente according to package directions. After macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Once macaroni has cooled down, drain well.  In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.  In a large bowl toss macaroni with ham, cheese, peas, carrots, and other mix-ins.  Fold in mayonnaise mixture until pasta is well coated.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight.  If the salad seems a little dry after setting up overnight, add some milk a little bit at a time until salad becomes nice and creamy again.

I didn’t do any additional mix-ins. This salad was easy to make and tasted great. The mustard was a bit stronger than I would’ve thought it would be so if you aren’t a fan of mustard, I would half the amount.  Still, it was a great salad that made a big batch and fed my large crowd with ease.  

Bleach t-shirt

Review by Lyndee:

My friend Audra and I had a joint birthday celebration together this weekend.  She contacted me Thursday and asked if I could make t-shirts.  Obviously we didn’t have time to order anything special and I had no idea what to put on them.  When I asked her if she had any ideas she said “you’re the crafty one”.  Well that narrows it down, right?  I needed to be able to make the t-shirts fast, at home and on the cheap. I reached out to a friend who had made some fun ones for Superbowl and consulted Pinterest.  I decided to do bleach spray t-shirts.  With the help of my muse, Melody, I decided on the saying “Vintage 76”, for the year Audra and I were born.

The directions were to place stickers or stencils on the shirt.  MIX bleach and water and then lightly mist over the stickers.  I failed this in two ways in my first attempt.  First, I didn’t mix the bleach with water.  And secondly, I doused it instead of a light mist.  This turned into an ugly white blob of bleach on a t-shirt.  Ugh! 

So after going back and consulting the directions like any smart person would’ve done from the start, I found my mistakes and tried again.  And this time it worked. Next time I might use a lighter colored shirt so that the contrast of bleach isn’t so drastic but once I did it the right way, these were easy to make in a pinch.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chicken tortilla wraps

Review by Lyndee

1 tortilla
Shredded chicken breast
2 tbsp cream cheese
Fat free ranch
Shredded cheddar

Bake or grill chicken breast.  Shred when cooled. Spread cream cheese onto tortilla.  Drizzle with ranch dressing.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese to taste.  I used about 1/8 of a cup.  Add chicken.  Roll tight and refrigerate.  Cut into sections before eating.

This is a great way to use up chicken breast.  Easy to make snack or lunch idea.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Skillet pizza (low carb)

Review by Lyndee:

This was very easy to make and I thought it turned out pretty good for a crustless low carb pizza snack. 

Mozzarella cheese
Toppings (I used 5 slices of pepperoni) but you can add whatever you wish)

Heat non-stick skillet to medium heat.  Add ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.  Top with ingredients.  The cheese will melt, bubble and begin to turn a slight golden brown on the bottom.  Check often to make sure it doesn’t burn.  Once the bottom is a nice golden brown and your toppings are warm, remove from heat  Let stand a minute so that the cheese can set.

To me this tasted like a very thin crust pizza. I generally enjoy the cheese and toppings most anyway so this was a great snack for me.  Only takes a few minutes to make, you can get some protein and feel like you’re indulging and eating pizza.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ritz Bruschetta

Who doesn’t love a good bruschetta?  For those times when you don’t have a loaf of crusty bread on hand this is a great substation because if your house is like mine, there are always crackers in the cupboards. 

3 plum tomatoes, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. zesty Italian dressing (I used a light version)
36 Ritz crackers (I used reduced fat)
2 Tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400°F. Combine first 4 ingredients.  Place crackers on baking sheet; top with tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese.  

Bake 8 to 10 min. or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

This was tasty and super simple to make. Next time I would make the topping beforehand so that the flavors had time to mix together a bit more.  But as far as a quick and easy snack, this was all that and more. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bagel Dip

Review by Lyndee:

My cousin Brooke makes an ah-ma-zing bagel dip that needs to be shared with the world.

1 1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 1/3 c. sour cream
4 oz. of thinly sliced dried beef (I use Hormel)
2 tsp. dried dill weed
2 tbs. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1-2 bags of bagels (I use Sara Lee – they are the softest)

Cut up dried beef into small pieces.  Mix all ingredients together.  It is VERY important that you let it sit for several hours in order for flavors to merry, or it won't taste right.  Tear bagels into small pieces and serve with dip.

This dip is cheap, easy to make and sure to please a crowd.  If you're looking to healthify use fat free mayo and light sour cream.