Tuesday, February 09, 2016

DIY Valentine's Day Wreath

Over the past year I've been working on making front door wreaths for each holiday. I'm close to having them all done but I still needed a Valentine's Day wreath. I am still finding Christmas ornaments on clearance and I thought they would be perfect for a Valentine's Day wreath. Lucky for me, I found red, silver, white and pink shatterproof ornaments. I'm sure you can guess what happened next, I bought 6 boxes of beautiful, shatterproof ornaments for $1.49 for a box of 16! It's always exciting to save some money and I love to create my own unique home decor or you could make a cute little wreath for a gift!
60-75 ornaments (depends on the size of your heart and the size of the ornaments)
1 wire hanger or heavy wire
hot glue
ribbon to use for a hanger

  • My ornaments had secure tops so I did not need to hot glue them to the ornaments. However, if your tops are not secure or feel loose, I would recommend hot gluing them to the ornaments for your first step. 
  • Bend your wire or hanger into the shape of a heart. You don't have to be exact on this, just a general heart shape will work. My strong helper used a pliers to bend the hanger for this step :)
  • Start by placing the one end of the wire through the tops of the ornaments. I placed mine on one at a time so I could arrange them by turning them. You can leave the other end of the wire open (the ornaments shouldn't fall off or you can bend it if you aren't using a hanger for your wire).
  • Continue to add ornaments to the wire hanger and let them bunch together for a full look. 
  •  Once you get to the end of your hanger, twist one end of the wire over the other end at the bottom of the heart. The pliers work great for this part too.
  • I cut a piece of ribbon about 20 inches long and wrapped it between ornaments on the left and right side of the heart at the top and tied a bow at the top.
  • The entire project took me about 2 hours including minor distractions, you know... phone calls, texts, taking the dog out, etc....
  • Total project cost was $7.50. Love that part and it was a fun little project!
Love and peace,
~ Simply Tammi

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Orange Muffins

If you use cake mix from a box, this recipe is for you! Our special muffin taste-testers highly recommend these orange muffins! And there is more good news, they are easy to make!

Ingredients and Directions:
1 yellow cake mix
1 1/4 c orange juice
3 egg whites
1/4 c oil
Zest from one orange
Optional - sprinkle a little sugar over the muffin tops

Combine all ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium. Pour batter into lined muffin pans filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.
Makes 24 muffins.

Natural Homemade Living Orange Muffins
Love and peace,
Tammi and Angie

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The other night as I was trying to figure out something to make for supper and clean out my fridge and freezer at the same time I found this recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It was a quick and easy solution to getting rid of my leftovers and cleaning out the freezer at the same time!  Add what you have and what you like to make it as mild or spicy as you like.

Here's what you need:
  • 3-4 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts ( I had mine in the freezer and they were shredded already)
  • 3 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1-2 cups salsa
  • V8 juice I used about 32 oz
  • corn
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • garlic
  • optional: you can also use a taco seasoning packet if you need something quicker than adding separate seasonings
  • black beans, rinsed, (I actually forgot to add these and it still tasted yummy!)
  • Tortilla chips
  • shredded cheese
This is one of those recipes I taste along the way, then you can add more or less seasoning, salsa, veggies or whatever you want.  Put in all in a large pot and cook over medium heat about 30 minutes until it's all heated through and tastes "just right."  Then top it with shredded cheese and crunched up tortilla chips. You could even add some sour cream if you like.

~Simply Angie

Friday, February 05, 2016

GLUTEN-FREE Cinnamon Pancakes

Natural Homemade Living
I wanted to adapt this recipe for those of you restricted to a gluten-free diet. I made these for my granddaughter on Sunday morning and they were awesome! I wanted to make the cinnamon roll pancakes but one of our granddaughters has Celiac Disease so I didn't want to make anything that she couldn't eat. So I experimented and revised my own pancake recipe from the original post. So you will need to substitute the all purpose flour with white rice flour. The texture is great and they taste just like the non gluten-free pancakes! This made 8 gluten-free pancakes.
Prepare the cinnamon filling:
1/2 cup butter melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
Mix together until smooth and pour into a baggie. It'll get thicker, just let it sit until you're ready for it.
Make the glaze:
4 T butter
2 ounces cream cheese (I used the reduced fat)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat the butter and cream cheese until melted (I used the microwave for 20 seconds). Whisk until smooth and add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Let this sit until the end.
 * Preheat your oven to 200F to keep the pancakes warm until they are all done.
Now make your pancakes
1 egg (slightly beaten)
2 T plain yogurt or 2 T softened butter
3 T white or organic sugar
Mix these together then add:
1 1/2 cup white rice flour (gluten-free)
2 tsp baking powder
Then add:
1 1/4 cup milk
Mix everything (I use a wooden spoon) together and leave the batter just a little lumpy.
I use an electric griddle about 300F-325F degrees. Preheat your griddle. I used 1/3 cup of pancake batter for each pancake. Then cut a bottom corner off your baggie with the cinnamon filling. As soon as your pancake batter is on the griddle, swirl your cinnamon filling around your pancake. Once you have bubbles over your pancakes, it's time to flip them. Now this is a little messy once you flip them because the filling may run out onto your griddle, don't panic, it'll be ok. Cook the pancakes about another two minutes on the other side with the filling. I put them a on a parchment covered cookie sheet and put them in the oven to keep them warm. Here is the recipe for the Cinnamon Pancakes, (not Gluten Free.
Enjoy your gluten-free cinnamon roll pancakes!

 Love and peace,
~ Simply Tammi