Friday, February 29, 2008

Leapin Lizards! It's Leap Day!!

Digg! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Hey everyone! Happy Leap Day! If today is your birthday, Happy Birthday! I can't imagine having a birthday that technically falls every four years. Hey, maybe that is the way to beat the aging game. LOL By the way, I got an email from Einstein Brothers Bagels that if today is your birthday, go in and show them your id and you can get a free meal. Pretty cool!

I'd also like to say a special hello to those of you who are visiting my blog that live outside the United States. I was looking at my blog stats and see I've had visitors from Australia, Serbia, and a few other countries. Thanks for stopping by.

Not only is it leap year, but today is Friday. And its time for my second Fabulous Favorite Friday. Where I feature things I love and want to share with you. Because who knows, you may love them too.

To start off with, one of my favorite purchases that I made about a month ago is the Swiffer Sweeper Vac. My husband's aunt has one and said she really liked it. So, I decided to get one and give it a try.

We have a two story house and our downstairs is hardwood floors. With our little guy and the dog, the floors need to be vacuumed alot. I was tired of lugging our upright vac up and down the stairs. This little vacuum has been my favorite thing. It is great on hardwood floors and has pretty good power. It will suck up Cheerios and small pieces of dog food. I keep it plugged up and ready to go in my pantry. So, if you need a light weight vacuum in a small area, I'd recommend it. It would be great for a bathroom too. Here is a link so you can sign up to get coupons. I got a $5 off coupon for mine, along with some other coupons for other Swiffer products. As Martha Stewart would say, "Swiffer Vac. It's a good thing."

This Friday, I wanted to share a second thing that is one of my favorite things. A french rolling pin. I love this type of rolling pin because to me it is easier to use. I like the way it is shaped. I feel like it fits in my hands easier. I use mine all the time to roll out the Friendship bread that I posted a recipe for earlier on the blog.

I purchased mine at a specialty kitchen store a number of years ago. But, I did a search on Target's website and they sell them. So, if you are interested in getting one I'd suggest Target. Of course Sur La Table is an awsome store too and if you don't have one in your area, check out their website.

Well, those are two things of my favorite things for this Fabulous Favorite Friday. Be sure to check back next week for more exciting things. Wow, we will be in March starting tomorrow. So, I'll see ya next month.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And now for some chic...on the cheap...

As promised yesterday, here is a post that brings up some chic.

Over the weekend I had a chance to run into Payless. I didn't need any new shoes, but the BOGO 1/2 off sign was calling to me. And, what girl can pass up a shoe sale? So, I went in and found two pairs of shoes. The white chunky heels were on sale for $8 and the flip flops were $5, but of course they were knocked down to $2.50. Cha Ching! I love a good shoe sale. I think the white ones are my favorites. Since I'm a shorty, I can use some heels.

By the way, here is a little tip about Payless. There are a couple in my area and I've discovered if I'm at one store and they have a shoe I like but not in my size, I have them do a check on the computer to see if any of the other stores will have it. They'll print off all the locations that might have it, but also at the end of that sheet there is usually a $2 coupon you can use towards that pair of shoes. I love that!

By the way, there won't be a post here tomorrow but do check back on friday for my second Fabulous Favorite Friday. I'll be featuring some great products and things that I love that hopefully you will too.

Here are pix of my new spring shoes. Now if the weather would just get nice...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thank you Lord for the Samoan people..

And the wonderful cookies they make. Ok, not really. But, according to my husband that is the case.

So, Sunday my husband was out at the store and called to ask if he should bring home dessert. I told him that he could pick up some Edy's ice cream with the Samoa girl scout cookies in them. These cookies are also known as Caramel de Lites according to the official Girl Scout website. Well, my husband gets home from the store and says, I got the Samoan ice cream. I told him it is Samoa, that Samoans are a people who live in the Independent State of Samoa, which is a "country governing the western part of the Samoan Islands archipelago in the South Pacific island" (all this from Wikipedia). I told him he was thinking back to years ago when we went to Hawaii and we learned about the Samoans when we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center. Ah, the good old days. Our beautiful trip to Hawaii. I guess Samoa ice cream is the next best thing. Well, maybe. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Check out the new poll at the top right of the page! Be sure to vote this week and let me know which chips you prefer. And remember to print off your free coupon on the website.

And now for some crafty news...
Since the blog is called Chic Crafty Chick, I thought I should post something crafty. And yes, there will be a post soon on something chic. Unfortunately I haven't been able to work on any scrap booking in a while, but I have had an urgent project to finish.

Back a few weeks ago, our sweet, wonderful, cherub faced boston terrier chewed up a gorgeous hat I had knitted last year for Sawyer. I was so excited for him to be able to wear it. I had used red yarn and found the cutest buttons to sew on top. But, silly me left the hat where the "boston beast" could get it and she completely ripped up the hat. She is really a good dog most of the time, but that dog loves to chew buttons. Fortunately she just crunches them and doesn't swallow them. So, with my baby boys hat ripped to shreds, I had to knit a new one.

I just finished the hat yesterday. I used Paton's yarn and then I got some cute dinosaur buttons at Joann's fabric. The pattern I used was very simple and I added some stitches to it to make it bigger. As you can see, I think we will get two years wear out of this hat which is great with all the time I put in. The pattern I used also has a matching sweater which I may try to make. Wish me luck.

Hope you all are having a great week!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fabulous Favorite Friday

Welcome to my first Fabulous Favorite Friday! Fabulous Favorite Friday's are my chance to share with you what I consider great finds. Things that make life easier or brighten my day. And hopefully yours too! Don't you just love finding out about a new great products, tools, beauty tips, etc. from you girlfriends? I think that sharing information is a great way to help each other out. So, that is what Fabulous Favorite Friday's are all about. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Drum Roll Please....

My first favorite thing to share with you are Flat Earth chips. Isn't the flying pig logo the cutest? I'm a sucker for pigs. My friend Sheila loves pigs too.I just bought my first bag this week. The type I bought are called Tangy Tomato Ranch, pictured above. These chips also come in flavors such as: Apple Cinnamon Grove, Garlic & Herb Field, Wild Berry Patch, Farmland Cheddar, and Peach Mango Paradise. You can visit their website and print off a coupon to get a free bag. I'm excited because I'm going to try another flavor next week. It will be such a hard choice. Apple Cinnamon Grove and Peach Mango Paradise sound good. Yum! Warning, these chips can be addictive, so you may want to buy two bags, one for you and one for your family. I'd love to hear if you've tried any of these chips, so leave me a comment if you have with your thoughts. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Remember to vote in my poll in the top right hand corner. There isn't much time left, so make sure your voice is heard. Be sure to look for next week's poll.

Have a great weekend folks!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Deceptively Delicious Recipe Review #8


Deceptively Delicious Recipe Review #8 Chicken Nuggets

Hey everybody! I'm excited to post another video blog review. This time I did the chicken nuggets. I was a tad stressed making this because our Chief Taste Tester was hungry and I was running behind on dinner. I was editing this video late last night, so I hope you enjoy.

I love the idea of homemade chicken nuggets, so I was anxious to try this recipe. Knowing that Sawyer isn't eating processed chicken and that I can control what is in his nuggets is important to me. I also found the ingredients for this recipe intriguing.

I used the thin cut boneless chicken breasts from Perdue to make my nuggets. They cook quickly and it is easy to cut them into bite size pieces. The recipe calls for using onion powder (which I didn't have) and also using your choice of either a cup of pureed broccoli,spinach,sweet potato, or beet puree. I didn't mess with the veggies in the batter because I was already giving our Chief Taste Tester steamed carrots. Steamed carrots, by the way, have been an awesome discovery of a soft food that is great that a one year old can feed himself. I'm all about trying to let him feed himself as much as possible.

As I mention in the video, this recipe uses flax seed in it. That is why the nuggets have a dark color to them. I have to admit that I didn't measure the breading ingredients, I just eye balled them. Also, I used Canola oil to fry up the nuggets. I use Canola oil for all of my cooking.

And now two special announcements!

Now, to digress for a moment, I wanted to announce that beginning tomorrow, Friday's are going to be a great day to check my blog. I will be having Fabulous Favorite Friday's. What is Fabulous Favorite Friday's? Well, I love finding out about great products and useful things from my girl friends. I've had a couple of things recently that I've discovered and thought I should share. So, tomorrow I'll be featuring a something that I've found that I think is just fabulous. Be sure to tune in. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
Also, be sure to check out the poll I've got up on the upper right hand side. It will expire on Sunday, so be sure to vote. I'll probably come up with another poll soon so be sure to check out the blog for more polls. In this season of primaries and voting, exercise your mouse and vote in this poll. Let your voice be heard!

And now the video review...

And the rating for this one is...

I know, another 5 Cheerio rating. The reason I gave the rating is these nuggets really have a great flavor. They fried up easy. Easy to make and great taste rate 5 Cheerios in my book.

p.s. Sawyer looked like he was going to spit out the chicken, but he ate it all up. As you can see from the video, he is a little piglet and tries to shovel too much in at once.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for Fabulous Favorite Friday!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oh Spring, where art thou?


I don't know about you, but I'm ready for spring to get here. And, I think my yard agrees with me. I have daffodils that have come up in one of the flower beds in my backyard. I noticed a neighbor has a bunch that have bloomed too. So, instead of leaving them out there where I couldn't see them, I had to cut them and bring them in the house. Aren't the gorgeous? I remember as a kid doing a science experiment in school where they added food coloring to the water to change the daffodils to green. Such a cool thing I'll have to do when Sawyer gets older.

One day it is 70 here, the next it is 50 or 40. The weather has been so wonky. I know we probably need some good cold to kill off all the flu germs, but I'm a spring/summer girl at heart and I'm ready for warmer weather. Also, I think that the fashions for spring and summer are so much cuter.

And now for a recipe....

I'm plotting my next recipe to try with Deceptively Delicious and I haven't quite decided what will be next. But, in the mean time I wanted to share another recipe that I've been doing. For about the last month, I've been baking home made bread on and off. A girl who lives near me was kind enough to share the "starter" so I could begin the adventure of making bread. I thought y'all might be interested in this too. Thanks Kim L.!

I didn't have the recipe for the starter (since y'all don't live close by and I can't share it) so I went online and found a great recipe that gives directions to begin your starter. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can add anything to it. I've been doing cinnamon sugar and golden raisins in loaves, chopped fruit, and sesame seeds. I think you could add pesto too. I just haven't yet.

How cool is it to be able to make your own bread? People have been doing it for thousands of years. So, I figured why not me? Hey, why not you?

Here is the recipe and I'll add some tips after it. If you decide you want to do this and have any questions, feel free to email me. It is a pretty easy venture once you get the hang of it and make your first batch.

Before you begin....

You will want to have all of your ingredients on hand. This recipe will make 3 large loaves, so you will need 3 large loaf pans. You can use metal or glass, doesn't matter. You could also make smal loaves, but you will need a lot of small pans if you are just doing small loaves. I also recommend using a glass jar to ferment and store your bread starter. The girl who shared the starter with me said you should put a piece of plastic wrap over it to keep out fruit flies. Just poke a hole or two with a fork (remember, small holes to keep out the fruit flies)

Friendship Bread Starter & Recipe

· Starter (first time):
· 1 cup warm water
· 1/2 cup sugar
· 1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
· 3 level Tablespoons instant potato flakes

First Time Starter Directions:Mix water, sugar, yeast, and potato flakes. Let ferment on counter for two days.Then feed with starter feeder (below). If you get starter from someone else, you can omit this step.

Starter Feeder:Combine water, sugar, and potato flakes. Add to starter. Let stand on countertop eight hours. Refrigerate 3 to 5 days, then make bread. After using 1 cup of the starter for dough, pour one cup back into container and refrigerate. Discard any other starter.

· Starter Feeder (subsequent times):
· 1 cup warm water
· 1/2 cup sugar
· 3 Tablespoons potato flakes

Once you finally get your starter going, here is how you make the bread...

· To Make Bread:
· 6 cups bread flour
· 1 Tablespoon salt
· 1/2 cup sugar
· 1/2 cup oil
· 1-1/4 cups warm water
· 1 cup starter (See notes above)

Then you will want to mix all of the ingredients in the "Make Bread" section of the recipe. Put the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise in a warm place. Depending on the weather (humidity, etc) that will affect how quickly your bread will rise. In the winter, I've been putting mine on my kitchen table where the sun comes in and it will rise in 8 hours.

After it has risen, you'll need to knead the dough about 8 times. I have a Kitchen Aide mixer with a dough hook, so I always oil my bowl, let the dough rise in that and then put it on the mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead that way. Then I use a rolling pin to roll mine out.

Next, divide the dough into 3 (assuming you are using 3 loaft pans). If I want to add golden raisins or cinnamon sugar to mine, I'll roll out my individual pieces and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar in the middle and add the raisins there. Then you can roll your dough so that you can easily get it into the pan. Spray your pans with cooking spray. Once in the pan, I'll cover the loaves with cinnamon sugar too. This will make an awesome crust. Cover with plastic wrap (which I spray with Pam so it won't stick) and let the bread rise for 8-10 hours.

Once the bread has risen, you can bake it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then you let the bread cool for about 10 minutes and you are ready to partake of some good eatin!

A couple of tips...

I've found that this is a really wet dough when I go to roll it out. So, I usually add a good deal of flour on top of it so my rolling pin doesn't stick. I flour up the rolling pin too.

When I roll out the dough, I cover my counter with plastic wrap. That way I can contain the flour and it makes clean up easier.

This bread freezes well. So, if you don't want to share the loaves (which I do recommend) then you can put some away. Of course fresh tastes best, but freezing is an option. Friends and family have been really happy to see me with a fresh loaf of bread for them.

When you are not using your bread starter (keep it in the fridge). When you are ready to make bread, take it out of the fridge and leave it on your counter for a few hours

You'll want to feed your starter once a week. I've been told the more bread you make, the more active it will be.
I think it might be a nice change to try some wheat flour to make this a bit healthier. That is something I hope to do in the coming weeks.
Our Review

Our Chief Taste Tester really likes this bread whether it is plain or with the cinnamon sugar. We give it a 5 Cheerio score.

Ok, so now you are ready to begin your journey with making bread. If you make bread, I'd love to hear from you and to have you do a review. So, please email me if you decide to take on this challenge. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Deceptively Delicious Recipe Review #7

Deceptively Delicious Recipe Review #7 Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

Hello Dear Blog Readers! I am so bummed it has taken me this long to write another review. Life has been crazy and our little taste tester has had another ear infection. Since I'm not used to what goes in these recipes, it takes a little planning to make sure I have the right ingredients on hand to do the reviews. Remembering to add some of this stuff to the grocery list has been a challenge. I hope to post more reviews soon and not have such a long wait between reviews. Hopefully you'll find the addition of the video blogs helpful and worth the wait. So, onward, onward to the review!

This time I made the Blueberry Oatmeal Bars. I was very nervous about this one because it calls for spinach. I actually don't mind spinach, but when ya start messing with my sweets, well this girl gets a little upset. I just couldn't imagine how this recipe was going to come out. One tip (that I mention in the video) is that you need to let these bar completely cool before eating them so the spinach taste will disappear. I did that and the tip definitley worked. This recipe also calls for blueberry preserves. I had a bit of a challenge finding some, but I found a jar that was Smucker's brand (in case enquiring minds want to know).

The recipe doesn't specify, but I used frozen spinach that I heated in the microwave. I knew I wasn't going to have time to use fresh spinach which I would have to steam and then puree. I felt that using the frozen was just as good.

So to find out what we rated this recipe, click on the video below. Enjoy the show!

I wanted to let you know that I made turkey meatloaf the other night and I decided to throw in a cup of sweet potatoe puree to see what would happen. Our Chief Taste Tester and my husband both liked it. My husband said he thought it gave the meatloaf a slight sweet taste which he liked. The Deceptively Delicious cookbook does not use sweet potatoe puree in it's recipe. I just thought I'd mention this in case some of you are looking for other veggies to try in different ways. If you don't like turkey for your meatloaf and want to use beef, I'd still give this a try. You really can't taste the sweet potatoe in it since meatloaf has a strong tomatoe taste to it.

Until our next review, here is a food quote that made me laugh...some food for thought...

"Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?"
-Author Unknown

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

The Blueberry Oatmeal Bars are in the oven as I type. I ran out of time today to make them, so I had to wait until our little taste tester went to bed. I have to say I'm really wondering how this one is going to taste. It has spinach puree in it. I don't mind spinach, but I'm not sure how I'm going to like it in a dessert. The recipe does recommend letting the bars completely cool before cutting them to "allow the taste of spinach to completely disappear". Hmmm, we will see about that.

I will post a review of it hopefully over the weekend, if not then by Monday.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! I wanted to share a super cool site I just discovered. It is called Mod Mom. She is having a fabulous Valentine's Giveaway. Be sure to check it out.

As the day goes on and I find cool things, I'll update the site. I hope to make a Deliciously Deceptive recipe today too.

Love is in the air! And, I love having you all as readers. I hope you all have a fabulous Valentine's Day!

Edit - 8:50 P.M. EST - Sorry I didn't get to update the site more today. But, I wanted to point out that tomorrow is Fashion Friday on the Big Mama blog. She is a hilarious gal who has an awesome blog. Be sure to check her out and let her know the Chic Crafty Chick blog sent ya. A link to her blog is on the right.

I'm thinking of doing the Blueberry Oatmeal Bars tomorrow from Deceptively Delicious. As you know, I'll be sure to report on them. I'm very intrigued because not only does this recipe have blueberries, but spinach. Popeye would be happy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Quick Check In

Things have been a bit crazy and I haven't had a chance to do much out of Deceptively Delicious. I hope to make a new recipe either later today or tomorrow. My goal is to get another review up by the end of the week.

Hope you all are doing well and staying healthy. It sounds like everyone I know has some kind of sickness crud.

Until my next post, stay well and eat healthy!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Deceptively Delicious Recipe Review #6

Deceptively Delicious Recipe Review #6 Quesadillas

We had this recipe last week and I am finally getting an opportunity to review it. This recipe calls for Navy beans and butternut squash. I roasted the butternut squash the night before which made it very easy to get out. I've never had or made butternut squash and it was hard to cut the end off, but once it is roasted it is very easy to scoop out. The Navy beans on the other hand were a pain. The recipe calls for using canned Navy beans, but the oh so helpful Wal Mart staff pointed me in the direction of dried beans. Well, that meant having to soak them and I ended up with way more than I needed. I will plan ahead and get the navy beans from another store next time.
The recipe also calls for using salsa. I bought Pace picante sauce (that is just what we like). There is a recipe for salsa in the cookbook, but I didn't have time to make that.
This recipe uses browned chicken pieces. I recommend buying the chicken strips and chopping those pieces up. They will cook quicker and it is easier for small eaters.
My little taste tester did a great job eating this. I had to cut it up in small pieces, but he liked it. The taste of the whole quesadilla was pretty good. I wasn't real thrilled with the navy beans in it, but the butternut squash was fine.
Since the taste was pretty good, but the navy beans were a pain, we give this 4 Cheerios.
One nice thing is the tortillas get crispy in the oven. As you can see, I cooked mine on a Pampered Chef stone.

And now I thought I'd leave you with pictures of my beautiful blooming amaryllis. It finally started blooming all 4 blooms yesterday. Red is my favorite color, so this is so cheery to have inside during the cold winter days.

Until my next review, which I hope will be later this week, Bon Appetite!

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