Krafty Kaleidoscope Giveaway!

krafty Kaleidoscope GiveAway

I’d like to introduce Laurel Arnold and her business Krafty Kaleidoscope.  Laurel is an amazing woman with a multitude of talents.  She is truly creative EVERY single day, which makes her a perfect feature for our site.  Although they live on a small budget, she finds ways to decorate on a shoestring and brightens up their tiny home with countless beautiful ideas.  I’ll admit, I’m a bit biased in my praise, since she is also my little sister!  I can remember a day when she complained that she wasn’t artistic like the rest of us.  She must have been about 12 and my mother challenged her to find her own ways to create.  She was up for the challenge.  Since then she has dabbled in everything from pottery and sculpture to painting and sewing and has YET to be anything less than amazing at any of them.  Her most recent enterprise has been to conquer the art of wood burning, and I must say she does an excellent job.  I am excited to share that she has agreed to give-away some of her hard work in our newest give-away.

Click here to view this promotion.

Enter to win, and please share with your friends!

EC-Aleesha-Bio

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Crowdpleaser Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies1

 

Everybody loves chocolate chip cookies, right?  They are an instant hit, whether its straight from grandma’s kitchen or at a backyard barbecue.  The thing is, everyone has a very specific way they like them, right? Some like them chewy, some like them crunchy, some like them full of chocolate.  But we each define the “perfect” cookie in a little bit different way.  I think it’s a metaphor for life really, there are so many different definitions of “perfection” whether it be the perfect figure, the perfect outfit, or even the perfect person.  We all see things through a different lens.  The key to happiness in life, I think, is to stop measuring ourselves by OTHER peoples standards of perfection, and only try to fit within our own ideals.  It’s like baking the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie, and then getting offended when someone else doesn’t like it.  The problem isn’t in your cookie, its in the difference of opinion.

Most of us probably have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I won’t try to argue that this one is better ^see above^.  But I will tell you this one effectively incorporates many different ideal cookie textures into one cookie.  Its chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, it’s full of flavor, and it’s nutty, without having chunks of nuts in it, it’s also moderately healthy with the oat flour substitution, and its DELICIOUS.  Seriously- try it.  You won’t regret it.  You may feel like this recipe makes a LOT of cookies.  It does.  You will need them (all for yourself).

Crowdpleaser Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/3 Cup Shortening

1 Cup Butter

2 Cups Brown Sugar

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3 eggs

3 caps vanilla

2 cups oat flour (take your plain old oatmeal and put it in the blender or food processor and blend to a fine powder)

3 cups flour

1 TBSP baking soda

1/2 TBSP salt

12 oz milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (like super finely ground in your food processor)

 

Cream shortening, butter, and sugars

Add eggs and beat 4 minutes (do not omit this step- it really makes a difference)

Add Vanilla

Hand mix in flour, soda, and salt then add in chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes

The cookies will not look done when you pull them out- trust me they are- put them on a baking rack to cool and enjoy!

If you don’t want to bake them all – I highly recommend shaping them and placing them close together on a cookie sheet and flash freezing for about 15-20 minutes.  Then just wipe them off the cookie sheet into a ziplock bag and you can pull out a few cookies to bake fresh anytime you like.  That is, provided that you can avoid eating all the cookie dough balls from the freezer…I’ll leave it up to you to decide which way they taste better, for me the jury is still out.

chocolate chip cookies

 

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This week in Webland

Everyday-Creative.com - We love this week1.  Singer stands up for women

This article was great!  She talks about how as a singer, her handlers require her to present a certain image.

I think still images have a way of making us women hyper focus on our less then perfect features.  Guilty here!!  On the other hand.  When I see images of my friends and family, the only thing I see is their overall mood, personality & especially an eye twinkle {when there} in the images.  The things that make them, well, them.  It would be great if we could all start seeing ourselves as our loved ones see us.

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2. Awesome fast way to shuck corn!

 

3.  Super cute DIY ruffle shirt tutorial

Ruffle-Shirt-DIY

Thanks for checking out our website!!

 

Shannon White Everyday Creative Bio About

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Chicken Nuggets- from scratch

nuggetspin

 

My kids love chicken nuggets- but I’m not so in love with the added ingredients and price.  Plus the texture of chicken nuggets is just…nasty to me.  I do, however LOVE Chik-fila Nuggets.  I could eat at chik-fila 5 days a week and not get tired of the nuggets.  Its so good.  That being said, I can’t afford Chik-Fila.  I love their business model, and that they are closed on Sundays, and that everyone is smiling, and the restaurant is clean, but I just can’t afford their prices very often.

So I needed to be able to recreate something similar at home, for a fraction of the cost. And of course I wanted it to be from scratch.  I still visit chik-fila for birthdays, or the occasional play-date, but this recipe is my go-to for the rest of the time.  Give it a try! I usually buy several pounds of chicken at a time and cook a LOT of nuggets.  Then we freeze the majority of it for quick meals later on.  Its a bit of time up front, but its so nice to be able to pull nuggets out of the freezer that I made myself!

 

Scratch-made Chicken Nuggets

2 lbs chicken

1 egg

2 cups of flour +/-

Oil for frying (or you can spray them and bake them if you like, healthier but not quite as tasty)

Seasoning as desired (I’ve made this with ranch dressing, plain old salt, and garlic- it always tastes delicious)

 

Cut up your chicken in nuggets or strips- I was lazy when I took these pictures and did it more like chicken fingers than nuggets since it meant less time

Place the chicken in a bowl and crack and egg over it, then just mix it all up until you have the egg coating everything really well.  You CAN take 1/2 hour and dip each individual piece into a shallow bowl with an egg in it if your like…but I like to take shortcuts where I can.

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Take a large bowl and put your flour in it and drop the chicken pieces in and shake them till covered- I usually do several at a time, the put then directly into the hot oil.

 

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Don’t overcrowd the pan (like I always do) and cook them on medium high, turn halfway through and cook on the other side.  These do NOT take long to cook- maybe about 5-10 minutes.

 

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When we have eaten our fill, (thats a LOT with 4 kids in the house) I take the leftovers and set them on a plate and put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes to flash freeze them

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Then I just wipe them off the plate into a ziplock freezer bag and place back in the freezer.  This way I can pull out a few for a kids lunch, or they can put them in their lunchbox to defrost during the morning.  Sometimes they eat them frozen…gross I know.

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Enjoy!  I’ll share my favorite honey mustard dipping sauce to go with them soon!
EC-Aleesha-Bio

 

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Did you miss a chance to try something new today?

firsttime

Life is full of little opportunities to try new things.  In my quest to be a little more creative every single day, I am trying to take advantage of these opportunities more. Today I had the chance to do 3 things I had never done before.  I almost backed out of all 3 of them, because I was intimdated, scared, and just plain tired.  You know what, I tried them all anyway and I am glad I did!  Here’s a little snapshot of my day.

#1 I killed a snake today

–okay, I just helped-but I was the one whacking at it with a Machete…yes you read that right, a Machete.  My husband grabbed it with this extension reacher thing and I got to chop off its head.  I got blood all over me from the snake and that was gross, but I saved my sweet chickens from the scary monster in the henhouse.  That snake was more than 5 feet tall!

#2 I made pickled banana peppers.

–Our neighbor gave us a bunch and they have been sitting on the counter staring at me for days.  I’m not really a pepper person, and neither is anyone else in my house, but my husband DOES love the banana peppers at subway, so I thought I would try that.  I used this recipe here and they look like they worked!  I’ll let you know how they actually TASTE in a few weeks when we try them out, but for now I am pretty pleased with the way they look sitting on the counter.

#3 I made Watermelon Jelly

–I know, weird sounding…right?  I had never even heard of watermelon jelly until I bought a canning book a few months ago and saw this gorgeous picture of bright coraly red jelly.  I knew I would have to make some sometime.  So I bought this watermelon that was too mushy for my taste this week and its been sitting on the shelf in the fridge staring at me as intensely as the banana peppers were, and I felt guilty just throwing it out, ya know?  So today I made a quick run to walmart for pectin- I really like this pectin here- and gave it a shot.  I used this recipe here, and it tastes delicious!  Next time I want to try a recipe with the watermelon pulp in it as well, like this recipe here- I can’t wait to open up a jar and make a sandwich with watermelon jelly in December!

 

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