Avonelle’s Homemade Potato Soup

Avonelle’s Homemade Potato Soup

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Now that it’s officially fall, I love making and eating different soups, and homemade potato soup is one of my absolute favorites! This recipe is full of lovely chunks of potatoes, and has plenty of onions, celery, bacon, and even some cheese to add some protein.

 

This is a relatively quick soup to make once you get everything prepped. It’s easier to make if you have a little Ninja Food Chopper, or a good food processor. You’ll want to be able to process some of the soup to add back in as a thickener. I used my little Ninja just because it was sitting on the counter, and I didn’t need to blend a lot, but if I had a large amount to blend, I would have pulled out my awesome BlendTec blender. What can’t that machine do, am I right? Exactly!

 

Applewood smoked bacon

Get yourself about 3/4-1 pound of your favorite bacon. I used applewood smoked bacon for this soup.

 

 

Cut up bacon into small pieces.

Cut it into small pieces. You can leave it in strips, but I like to cook it all at once, and it fits better into the pan if it’s chopped up.

 

 

Cook in skillet.

Toss the bacon into a skillet, and cook on medium until done.

 

 

Bacon looking might fine.

It’s looking mighty fine!

 

 

Drain bacon on paper towels.

All cooked and looking yum. Reserve 1/4 cup of bacon grease, and do what you like with what’s left (if any). Drain bacon on paper towels while you get busy with the next steps.

 

 

Minced garlic with onions and celery bits.

Cut up 3-4 stalks of celery into small pieces, along with 1 white or yellow onion, and 3-4 cloves of garlic.

 

 

Cut up potatoes.

Cut into chunks 7 or 8 medium sized potatoes.

 

 

1/4 bacon grease in soup pot

Put reserved 1/4 cup of bacon grease into bottom of your soup pot.

 

 

Add in the celery, onions, and garlic.

Add in the cut up celery and onions and cook on medium low until slightly translucent, then add in the minced garlic. Cook for an additional minute or so.

 

 

Throw in potatoes and cook a little longer.

Toss in the cut up potato pieces, stir a few times, and cook for another few minutes or so.

 

 

Add in the bacon.

Add the bacon to the pot.

 

 

Whipping cream and chicken broth.

See this here heavy whipping cream and 2 cans of chicken broth? You’ll need some just like it.

 

 

Mrs. Dash and garlic powder.

You’re also going to need some of both of these.

 

 

Pour in the chicken broth.

Pour the chicken broth into the soup pot with everything else. You’ll need about 4 cups of chicken broth.

 

 

Give it a good stir!

Give it a good stir, then cover with a lid, and let simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 15-20 minutes.

 

 

Melt butter in skillet.

In a clean skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter.

 

 

Add in 1/4 cup flour.

Add in 1/4 cup of flour.

 

 

Cooking flour in butter.

Whisk flour into melted butter and cook, stirring constantly, for at least two minutes. You want to make sure you cook the flour so there isn’t a flour taste left.

 

 

Pour in the heavy whipping cream.

Remember that heavy whipping cream from the picture with it sitting on top of the cans of broth? Now is the time to use it! Pour it slowly into the flour/butter mixture, stirring constantly.

 

 

Add in Mrs. Dash and garlic powder.

Add in 2 teaspoons of original blend Mrs. Dash, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. You can also add in salt and pepper to taste, but I usually let everyone add in their own when they eat.

 

 

Cook until thickened.

Cook for a few minutes, until thickened, then pour into soup pot with the potatoes and other ingredients. Give it a good stir to combine everything.

 

 

Blend together a couple of cups of soup.

Carefully ladle out a couple of cups of the soup mix into a blender or food processor. Here, I am using my little Ninja since I don’t need to blend a lot.

 

 

Mix it up.

A few pulses will do the job nicely.

 

 

Pour back into soup.

Now scoop it out of the blender, mixer, or food processor and back into the soup. Mix it gently with a big spoon.

 

 

Check out the cheese!

See this cheese? It’s mild cheddar, but you can use sharp cheddar or really almost any of your favorite cheeses. Heck, mix it up and use a blend of cheeses! I used 2 cups in this soup, but you can more or less to suit yourself.

 

 

Put cheese into soup, then gently stir.

Dump it right on top, then gently mix it into the soup. It will melt almost immediately, depending on the type of cheese.

 

 

Finished soup.

There you go, you now have homemade potato soup! Eat it, and enjoy! As you can see, I added some celery leaves as a garnish just for the photograph, but removed them before eating, because they can tend to be slightly bitter. I also added a tad bit more cheese, because why the heck not?

 

What’s really great about a lot of soups, including this one, is that it tastes just as good, if not better, reheated a day or two later.

Try it, and let me know how you like it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avonelle's Homemade Potato Soup
Truly delicious, warm, and filling potato soup. It's the best homemade potato soup I've ever had, and it's the only recipe I use now for homemade potato soup.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound of bacon, chopped into small pieces
  2. 3 stalks of celery, diced
  3. 1 onion, chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  5. 10 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  6. 4 cups chicken stock
  7. 3 Tablespoons butter
  8. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  9. 1 cup heavy cream
  10. 2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash original blend
  11. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  12. Salt and pepper to taste
  13. 2 cups shredded cheddar (mild or sharp)
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat, in a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until done. Remove cooked bacon from the pan and place onto paper towels to drain. Drain off all except for 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.
  2. Saute the celery and onion in the 1/4 cup of remaining bacon grease, still in the same pot. Cook until onion begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute. Add in the potatoes. Stir together, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Return the bacon to the pot, and cover the potatoes and bacon mix with chicken stock. Cover the pot, and simmer until the potatoes become tender.
  3. In a separate small pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk the flour into the melted butter and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash.
  4. Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened.
  5. Stir into the potato mixture.
  6. Remove about 1/2 of the soup and potatoes. Puree it in a blender. Return to the pot. Add in the cheese and stir until melted. Add in salt and pepper to taste, or allow each person to add their own to their bowl of soup. Serve.
Adapted from Karena on All Recipes
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/
Avonelle’s Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Avonelle’s Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a time when leaves are turning colors in the most spectacular ways, the heat of summer is fading away, and most importantly to me in Alabama, the humidity is so much less that it’s a pleasure to be outside.

Along with those things, fall brings to mind slow cooker recipes.

There’s nothing better on a fall day spent raking leaves than to walk inside to a lovely home cooked slow cooker meal.

With the only real work being the prep, you can do your prep the evening before, refrigerate your ingredients, and just toss it together in the slow cooker in the morning.

With the exception of the potatoes, everything in this recipe can be prepped the day before.

Truthfully, the carrots I am using today were prepped a couple of months ago, then placed into a zippered plastic baggie, and put into the freezer.

Any time I have extra carrots or bell peppers from a recipe, I just cut them up and flash freeze them, then put them into baggies and pop them back into the freezer.

It really makes prep time quicker for many recipes using those same ingredients if you already have them ready and in the freezer.

I love chili, beef stew, soups, and many other recipes cooked in a slow cooker. There’s just something about a nice hot bowl of slow-cooked goodness that just makes a fall day even better.

Today, I am sharing my recipe for beef stew. You can either use already cut up stew meat from the store, or buy a nice piece of beef and cut it up yourself. Just look at the price per pound to decide which is the better deal.

I love to use my Ninja 4-in-1 Cooking System whenever I make slow cooker recipes. The Ninja 4-in-1 is great for other cooking, too! You can steam, bake, slow cook, and even fry in the Ninja 4-in-1. You can even make perfect “boiled” eggs using the steam feature. When I make “boiled” eggs, I add 3 cups of water to the bottom of the Ninja, place the Ninja basket inside, add my eggs to the basket (I usually do about a dozen at a time), then set it on steam for 20-25 minutes. When it’s done, the shells come off super easy, and my eggs don’t look like they’ve been hit by shrapnel.

 

 

Gathering the spices. 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic, and two bay leaves.

Gathering the spices. 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic, and two bay leaves.

 

 

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of beef broth base to the bottom of the crock of your slow cooker.

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of beef broth base powder on the bottom of the crock of your slow cooker.

 

 

Cut up 2 lbs of your choice of beef, or use beef stew meat from your grocery store.

Cut up 2 lbs of your choice of beef, or use beef stew meat from your grocery store.

 

 

Bag of stew meat with flour.

Place 1/3 cup of flour into a zippered plastic baggie, and add in the stew meat.

 

 

Close the zippered bag, and shake, shake, shake your groove thing...um, I mean shake the bag to coat the meat with flour.

Close the zippered bag, and shake, shake, shake your groove thing…um, I mean shake the bag to coat the meat with flour.

 

 

Place the flour-coated stew meat into your slow cooker (I use a Ninja 4-in-1 and love it!) on top of the beef base powder.

Place the flour-coated stew meat into your slow cooker (I use a Ninja 4-in-1 and love it!) on top of the beef base powder.

 

 

Add in 1 finely chopped onion, 4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and then cut into bite-sized chunks, 4 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds, and 2 rough cut celery stalks.

Add in 1 finely chopped onion, 4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and then cut into bite-sized chunks, 4 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds, and 2 rough cut celery stalks. Top it off with 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and the minced garlic and bay leaves. Pour in 1 full can of beef broth, then mix 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch with the other can of broth, and pour it over top.

 

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After 6 hours of cooking, it's ready to eat. I did not add anything to it. The flour and cornstarch thickens into a gravy with the beef broth, and all you have to do is spoon it into bowls and eat it!

After 6 hours of cooking, it’s ready to eat. I did not add anything to it after turning on the Ninja 4-in-1 Cooking System. The flour and cornstarch thickens into a gravy with the beef broth, and all you have to do is find and remove the two bay leaves, then spoon the beef stew into bowls and eat it!

 

 

Avonelle's Slow Cooker Beef Stew
A super delicious and very easy slow cooker recipe for a hearty homemade beef stew.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 teaspoons beef broth base powder
  2. 2 lbs. beef stew meat (cut into 1-inch cubes if desired)
  3. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  4. 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  6. 1 teaspoon paprika
  7. 2 bay leaves
  8. 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or use 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic)
  9. 1 onion, finely chopped
  10. 4-6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  11. 4 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
  12. 2 celery stalks, chopped coarsely
  13. 2 teaspoons beef base
  14. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  15. 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) beef broth
  16. 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Instructions
  1. In a 1-gallon plastic sealable bag, mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Put the stew meat into the bag, close it, and shake it up until the meat is thoroughly coated with the flour and seasonings.
  2. Sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of beef base over the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the stew meat into the slow cooker. Put the veggies, garlic, and bay leaves on top.
  3. Dribble the Worcestershire sauce over the meat, then mix the cornstarch with the beef broth and pour the beef broth over the meat and veggies.
  4. Cover, and let it cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high 4-6 hours.
  5. Find and remove the two bay leaves before serving.
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/
 

 

I usually make cornbread to go with my beef stew, because it’s just a delicious combination, and I sometimes like to drop pieces of the corbread into my bowl of stew.

What is your favorite side item to have with beef stew? Leave me a comment below!

 














Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream & Neufchatel Cheese Icing

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Cream & Neufchatel Cheese Icing

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There are some products or businesses to which I may post an AFFILIATE LINK, which you will see as blue clickable links on my site. An affiliate link, when clicked, will take you to another website, not owned by Centsible Me, where you will be able to make a purchase of the linked item, or other items on that site. Each time someone clicks one of my affiliate links, and makes a purchase of a product or service, I will earn a small percentage of the purchase price or fee. Although I do make money from affiliate links, it is my promise to you that I will never link to a product or business in which I don’t fully trust or believe. Avonelle and CentsibleMe.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

I am sure that I am not alone in loving myself a nice gooey, warm-from-the-oven homemade cinnamon roll! There is something about them that kind of just says “Cram me into your mouth right now!”.

When I was a teenager, I was for a time kind of obsessed with finding the perfect cinnamon roll recipe, and the perfect cream cheese icing recipe. I must have made cinnamon rolls once a week for a couple of months, but finally kind of gave up in defeat.

At that time, I didn’t have my handy-dandy KitchenAid stand mixer, so had to do everything with a hand mixer, then knead by hand. If you love doing that, more power to you, but it’s just not for me!

It seemed that I was doomed to a life of good, but not amazing, cinnamon rolls.

I am pleased to announce that I am no longer feeling doomed! I have found an amazing cinnamon roll recipe, and paired it with an equally amazing recipe for cream cheese icing to top these bad boys!

Up front, I will say that the link I will post to the original recipe does not also contain the cream cheese icing recipe. Well, it does have one, but not the one…the amazing and ultimate cream cheese icing recipe for melt-in-your mouth deliciousness without the sickly sweetness so many other icing recipes leave you with.

Friends, this icing to which I refer is so amazing you can eat it by the spoonful without ever feeling like you’re going to go into a diabetic coma!

If you’re really nice to me, I may just post the recipe below. 

 

Normally, before I make the cinnamon roll dough, I turn my oven on to 170° F for just a couple of minutes, then I turn it back off and work on the gathering ingredients and mixing the dough.

 

 

 

Add yeast to warm milk.

Put 1 packet of fast-acting yeast into one cup of warm milk, and let sit for a few minutes.

 

 

Add in margarine and sugar.

Add in 1/3 cup margarine, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt.

 

 

Add in two large eggs.

Add in 2 large eggs.

 

 

At this point, I like to mix it just a bit in order to break up the eggs and get them incorporated with the other ingredients.

 

 

Add in 4 cups of AP flour.

Add in 4 cups of all-purpose flour. You can dump it all in at once, or you can mix in a little at a time. It’s totally up to you.

 

 

Depending upon what the humidity is like where you live, you may need to add a bit more than 4 cups of flour. I live in Alabama, and find that I need 4-1/2 cups of flour. Add in the 4 cups, then you will be able to gradually add more until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch.

 

 

Using the dough hook, mix it on low speed until the flour is well-incorporated, then put it on a medium speed, and let knead for a few minutes.

Using the dough hook, mix it on low speed until the flour is well-incorporated, then put it on a medium speed, and let knead for a few minutes.

 
As I mentioned above, I did end up using another 1/2 cup of flour, and I didn’t realize it needed it until I had already removed the dough hook from my amazing KitchenAid stand mixer.

No worries! I simply put the dough hook back on and mixed it a few more minutes, just to get it all incorporated. It worked out just fine!

Wondering why there is plastic wrap around the base of my stand mixer? It’s because I don’t have a guard on my mixer, so I sometimes spill flour when pouring it into the mixer bowl. With plastic wrap on and around the base, I can just ball up the mess and throw it away.

 

Now that all of the flour is well-incorporated, form a rough ball with it, and place it inside a lightly-oiled bowl. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Now that all of the flour is well-incorporated, form a rough ball with it, and place it inside a lightly-oiled bowl. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

 

 

Preheat oven to 400° Farenheit

 

 

 

Lightly flour a flat surface, the plop the dough ball down and get ready to roll that baby out!

Lightly flour a flat surface, the plop the dough ball down and get ready to roll that baby out!

 

 

Please ignore my hideous 1960’s green laminate counter top. Lord knows, I try to!

 

 

Roll out the red carpet...er...um...dough until it's roughly 12"x16" or thereabouts.

Roll out the red carpet…er…um…dough until it’s roughly 16″ x 21″ or thereabouts. For those who aren’t sure, the ” marks mean inches. The resulting dough should be about 1/4 inch thick, but don’t panic if yours isn’t. It doesn’t have to be exact.

 

 

Spread 1/3 cup margarine all over the dough

Spread 1/3 cup margarine all over the dough. Go ahead, it’s fun!

 

 

I keep a tub of cinnamon sugar in my kitchen. Doesn't everyone? If you don't, then just mix up 1 cup (packed) brown sugar with 2-1/2 Tablespoons of cinnamon.

I keep a tub of cinnamon sugar in my kitchen. Doesn’t everyone? If you don’t, then just mix up 1 cup (packed) brown sugar with 2-1/2 Tablespoons of cinnamon.

 

 

 

Spread the cinnamon/brown sugar mix liberally all over the dough, but not quite to the very edge. You want some dough showing, so you can pinch it together after you roll it.

Spread the cinnamon/brown sugar mix liberally all over the dough, but not quite to the very edge. You want some dough showing, so you can pinch it together after you roll it.

 

 

Grab the long edge nearest to you, and gently start rolling it up.

Grab the long edge nearest to you, and gently start rolling it up.

 

 

Finish rolling it, and try to keep the edges pretty even on both ends. Pinch the dough together to seal it. A little bit of water on your fingertips can help with this, but as you can see, I didn't think of it at the time.

Finish rolling it, and try to keep the edges pretty even on both ends. Pinch the dough together to seal it. A little bit of water on your fingertips can help with this, but as you can see, I didn’t think of it at the time.

 

 

You can use unflavored dental floss to make great cuts in your cinnamon roll dough, but I ran out of my kitchen dental floss, and didn't want to grab any from the bathrooms, so I just used a serrated bread knife to make sort of even cuts.

You can use unflavored dental floss to make great cuts in your cinnamon roll dough, but I ran out of my kitchen dental floss, and didn’t want to grab any from the bathrooms, so I just used a serrated bread knife to make sort of even cuts.

 

 

Place each slice onto a buttered baking dish. Excuse the ends of my dish. I need to get the steel wool out to get that baked on gunk off.

Place each slice onto a buttered baking dish. Excuse the ends of my dish. I need to get the steel wool out to get that baked on gunk off.

 

This recipe does NOT need a second rise.

 

Bake for 10 minutes in a 400° Farenheit oven.

 

 

 

They have baked for about 10 minutes. My oven was installed in 1960, and can be a bit unpredictable, and doesn't always brown evenly, so I didn't want to chance leaving them in there longer. I still wanted the insides to be tender without the outsides being hard.

They have baked for about 10 minutes. My oven was installed in 1960, and can be a bit unpredictable, and doesn’t always brown evenly, so I didn’t want to chance leaving them in there longer. I still wanted the insides to be tender without the outsides being hard.

 

 

Let cool while you make the scrumptious icing recipe listed below.

 

 

Toss 2 sticks of room temperature butter into your mixing bowl, along with 1/2 cup of your favorite shortening.

Toss 2 sticks of room temperature butter into your mixing bowl, along with 1/2 cup of your favorite shortening. Gosh darn it, I just noticed I didn’t grab a picture of the cream and Neufchatel cheeses in there with it! Bad blogger girl! Oh well, throw in 4 ounces each of room temperature cream cheese and room temperature Neufchatel cheese, then mix it up some.

 

 

Adding in the powdered sugar. Sweet!

Add in 2-1/2 pounds of powdered sugar. You can add it all at once, or just a little at a time. Do NOT turn your mixer on high, or you will have a hot mess! Note that the recipe I will link to calls for 3 pounds of the powdered sugar, but I prefer it with 2 to 2-1/2 pounds, instead. Mix until well incorporated.

 

 

Finished icing. Delicious!

Finished icing. Delicious!

 

 

Spread the icing on the cinnamon rolls as liberally as you like. There’s going to be extra icing!

 

 

You can always freeze it if you don’t eat it now, or you can make some sugar cookies, and spread it on those, too!

 

Cinnamon rolls with coffee. Yum!

Cinnamon rolls with coffee. Yum!

 

 

The BEST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Serves 12
A truly scrumptious and tender cinnamon roll recipe.
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For the DOUGH
  1. 1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
  2. 1 cup warm milk
  3. 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1⁄3 cup margarine
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 4 cups flour (or up to 4-1/2 cups if needed)
For the FILLING
  1. 1 cup packed brown sugar
  2. 2 1⁄2 tablespoons cinnamon
  3. 1⁄3 cup margarine, softened
Instructions
  1. Heat milk to about 110° F. Pour into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, then add in the yeast and allow to dissolve.
  2. Add the sugar, margarine, salt, and eggs. Mix briefly.
  3. Add in 4 cups of flour. Using the dough hook, mix well.. If you find it is still sticky to the touch, add in about another half cup of flour, or slightly more if needed.
  4. Allow the dough to mix for about 5 minutes. If you do not have a stand mixer, you may remove the dough from the bowl and knead it by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Lightly oil a bowl, then form the dough into a ball shape, and place inside bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. After the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 400° F.
  7. Lightly flour a flat surface, then roll out the dough to approximately 16 inches long by 21 inches wide. It should be about a quarter of an inch thick.
  8. Spread 1/3 cup soft margarine all over the surface of the dough.
  9. Make the filling by combining the 1 cup of brown sugar with the 2-1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Mix it well.
  10. Spread the cinnamon sugar all over the surface of the dough, on top of the margarine, but not quite to the edges.
  11. Beginning with the edge closest to you, start rolling the dough away from you. Keep rolling until you have a long log of dough.
  12. Pinch the exposed edge together with the side of the dough it's touching. You may wet it slightly with a bit of water if you choose, then pinch together.
  13. Using dental floss, or a serrated bread knife, cut evenly sized pieces. You should end up with 12 rolls. I usually make the first cut in the very center of the dough log, then cut each half into halves, then each of those halves into thirds. It's just an easy way to get fairly even pieces.
  14. Place each roll into a buttered 9x13 baking dish.
  15. Bake in a 400° F oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before you ice them. If they are too hot, the icing will slide off and make a mess.
Adapted from Todd Wilbur's "More Top Secret Recipes." and www.TopSecretRecipes.com
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/
 

Ultimate Cream Cheese Icing
A truly amazing cream cheese icing without the sickly sweet taste so common to other icings.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter (2 sticks) - room temperature
  2. ½ cup shortening - room temperature
  3. 4 oz. cream cheese - room temperature
  4. 4 oz. Neufchatel cheese - room temperature
  5. 2 to 2-1/2 lbs powdered sugar (your choice as to how sweet you like it)
  6. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  7. 2-3 Tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Place the cream cheese, Neufchatel cheese, and shortening into your mixing bowl and mix well. Add in the vanilla, and mix again for a brief time, just to incorporate it together.
  2. Put all of the powdered sugar in at once, and on low speed, mix it well. It will become thick.
  3. Add in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix until it gets to a good spreading consistency. You may not have to use all of the milk. 2 tablespoons is usually enough.
  4. It is now ready to spread on your cinnamon rolls or sugar cookies, or whatever! This makes a really generous amount of icing, so you may have some left over. You can freeze it until the next time you need it, or just freaking eat it by the spoonful. It's just that good!
Notes
  1. If you cannot find Neufchatel cheese (usually next to cream cheese at stores), then just use a full 8 ozs. of regular cream cheese.
Adapted from Rose Bakes and You Can Too!
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/
 

Have you tried this recipe yet? If so, drop me a note below to let me know what you think!














Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

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There are some products or businesses to which I may post an AFFILIATE LINK, which you will see as blue clickable links on my site. An affiliate link, when clicked, will take you to another website, not owned by Centsible Me, where you will be able to make a purchase of the linked item, or other items on that site. Each time someone clicks one of my affiliate links, and makes a purchase of a product or service, I will earn a small percentage of the purchase price or fee. Although I do make money from affiliate links, it is my promise to you that I will never link to a product or business in which I don't fully trust or believe. Avonelle and CentsibleMe.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

I love a plate of really good spaghetti with meatballs, and this is a delicious and fairly easy recipe, with most of the cooking being done in the slow cooker.

NOTE: If your mornings are super busy, and you just want to get dinner started and go on about your day, you can prepare the meatballs ahead of time, then drop them into the sauce when you turn on the slow cooker in the morning. Heck, you could prepare the sauce ahead of time, and then combine it with the meatballs in your slow cooker the morning you want to cook it. You can even freeze your balls (of meat…er, meatballs) separately from your sauce, then put them together in your slow cooker when it’s time to cook. Totally your choice.

INGREDIENTS for the SAUCE:

2 (28 ounce) cans (total of 56 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon dried basil

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

2 medium bay leaves

1 Tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark, either is fine) NOTE: If you don’t like sweet sauce, omit this ingredient

1 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 
DIRECTIONS for SAUCE:

I cook the onions and garlic in my super convenient Ninja 4-in-1 Slow Cooker (<—affiliate link, y’all), which I truly love because it has stove top settings as well as a steam setting and slow cooker settings, but if you don’t have one, heat a skillet (I love my Lodge cast iron skillet) over medium heat, then add the olive oil. Cook the onions and garlic until the onions start to turn translucent. Remove from heat, and dump into your slow cooker.

Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, and give it a good stir. 

Cover with a lid and move on to the meatballs.

Frying the onions and garlic in my Ninja 4-in-1.

Frying the onions and garlic in my Ninja 4-in-1.

 

All of the ingredients ready to be mixed.

All of the ingredients ready to be mixed.

 

Related Posts:
INGREDIENTS for MEATBALLS:

 

1 lb. ground beef

1 pkg. (1.5 lbs) mild Italian sausage, casings removed

1/2 of a medium yellow onion

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided (see below)

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

1 Tablespoon dried parsely

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

 

DIRECTIONS for MEATBALLS:

Put 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil into a large skillet, add onions and garlic, and cook until soft and the onions are translucent. Set aside and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle with your bare hands.

I totally forgot to get a picture of the onions and garlic cooking, but trust me, I cooked them in a skillet on the stove.

In a large bowl, using your hands (ew, squishy!), mix together the ground beef, Italian sausage, cooked onions and garlic, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, and eggs. It’s going to feel kind of gross, but just suck it up and get through it somehow. Mash the crap out of it, then form it into meatball-sized…um…meatballs. Yeah. Meatball-sized meatballs. I’m brilliant!

 

Squish all this together! Get jiggy with it!

Squish all this together! Get jiggy with it!

 

Get a shallow bowl and dump the flour into it. Roll each meatball all around in the flour like you’re coating it in glitter, but without the bling. Place each flour-covered meatball onto a plate until you have finished all of the meat mixture, and are ready to scrub your hands to within an inch of your life, trying to get the nasty off.

 

Yep, it's a plate of floured meatballs. Nothing else to see here.

Yep, it’s a plate of floured meatballs. Nothing else to see here.

 

After your hands have been scrubbed to your satisfaction, heat a large skillet over medium heat, then pour in the four remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Place several meatballs into the skillet, and fry on all sides until lightly browned, then set aside to drain. You aren’t fully cooking the meatballs. They will get plenty cooked, but still remain moist, if you allow them to cook in the sauce.

 

Looking good, little balls of meat, looking good!

Looking good, little balls of meat, looking good!

 

Once all of the meatballs have been browned, you can add them to the sauce. Cover with a lid, and set it on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over your favorite pasta, and for goodness sakes, don’t forget the garlic bread!

 

Gently toss into pot (okay, don't toss, sauce splatters!), then put lid on, set it to low, and go about your business for the next 6-8 hours.

Gently toss into pot (okay, don’t toss, sauce splatters!), then put lid on, set it to low, and go about your business for the next 6-8 hours.

 

Voila! Spaghetti and meatballs with a glass of sweet iced tea. Can't beat it!

Voila! Spaghetti and meatballs with a glass of sweet iced tea. Can’t beat it!

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
A yummy slow cooker recipe for Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
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Ingredients
  1. 2 (28 ounce) cans (total of 56 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  2. 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  3. 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  4. 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  7. 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  8. 2 medium bay leaves
  9. 1 Tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark, either is fine) NOTE: If you don't like sweet sauce, omit this ingredient
  10. 1 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat, then add the olive oil. Cook the onions and garlic until the onions start to turn translucent. Remove from heat, and dump into your slow cooker.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, and give it a good stir.
  3. Cover with a lid and move on to the meatballs.
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/
 

 

 

Slow Cooker Meatballs
Super easy meatballs you first brown in a skillet, then finish cooking with your spaghetti sauce in a slow cooker.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground beef
  2. 1 pkg. (1.5 lbs) mild Italian sausage, casings removed
  3. 1/2 of a medium yellow onion
  4. 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  5. 6 Tablespoons olive oil, divided (see below)
  6. 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  7. 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  8. 1 Tablespoon dried parsely
  9. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  10. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Put 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil into a large skillet, add onions and garlic, and cook until soft and the onions are translucent. Set aside and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle with your bare hands.
  2. I totally forgot to get a picture of the onions and garlic cooking, but trust me, I cooked them in a skillet on the stove.
  3. In a large bowl, using your hands (ew, squishy!), mix together the ground beef, Italian sausage, cooked onions and garlic, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, and eggs. It's going to feel kind of gross, but just suck it up and get through it somehow. Mash the crap out of it, then form it into meatball-sized...um...meatballs. Yeah. Meatball-sized meatballs. I'm brilliant!
  4. Get a shallow bowl and dump the flour into it. Roll each meatball all around in the flour like you're coating it in glitter, but without the bling. Place each flour-covered meatball onto a plate until you have finished all of the meat mixture, and are ready to scrub your hands to within an inch of your life, trying to get the nasty off.
  5. After your hands have been scrubbed to your satisfaction, heat a large skillet over medium heat, then pour in the four remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Place several meatballs into the skillet, and fry on all sides until lightly browned, then set aside to drain. You aren't fully cooking the meatballs. They will get plenty cooked, but still remain moist, if you allow them to cook in the sauce.
  6. Once all of the meatballs have been browned, you can add them to the sauce. Cover with a lid, and set it on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over your favorite pasta, and for goodness sakes, don't forget the garlic bread!
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/
 

 

Leave us a comment if you’ve tried and loved these recipes, or if you have a favorite of your own, please share a link. We’d love to try it!














Slow Cooker Black Bean & Salsa Ranch Chicken

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Salsa Ranch Chicken

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Slow Cooker Black Bean & Salsa Ranch Chicken over Nacho Cheese Doritos with melted cheese on top.

I found this recipe here at A Busy Mom’s Slow Cooker Adventures, and decided to try it out. It looked pretty easy, and I am all about easy. It’s also fairly cheap, which for me is a bonus!

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 package taco seasoning (or use 1-2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning)

1 package dry ranch dressing

1-1 1/2 cups salsa of your choice (hint of lime is outstanding!)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can of drained and rinsed black beans

Mild cheddar, shredded (for toppings)

Sour cream (optional for topping)

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, mix together the salsa, can of soup, and the rinsed and drained black beans.

Pour the taco seasonings and the dry ranch dressing mix into a large plastic zippy bag. Place the chicken inside the bag, seal the bag, then shake well to coat the chicken in the seasonings.

Remove the chicken from the bag and place the chicken on the bottom of your slow cooker. I personally use the Ninja 4-in-1 Slow Cooker (<—affiliate link, y’all) (which is amazing because it functions not only as a slow cooker, but a steamer, small oven, and it also has stove top settings for frying). Pour the salsa/soup/black beans mix over top of the seasoned chicken.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours if using a slow cooker that heats normally. I find with my Nina that I can’t really cook chicken that long without it being kind of gross, so I don’t cook it for more than 3 hours or so.

You can eat this over rice or noodles, or you can eat it over Doritos or tortilla chips. We like to put it over Nacho Cheese Doritos, add shredded cheese over top, then microwave until the cheese melts into an ooey, gooey mess of deliciousness.

Gathering the ingredients.

Gathering the ingredients.

 

Chicken and plate with taco seasonings and ranch dressing mix.

Chicken and plate with taco seasonings and ranch dressing mix.

 

In a bowl, mix together the salsa, can of soup, and the rinsed and drained black beans.

In a bowl, mix together the salsa, can of soup, and the rinsed and drained black beans.

 

All mixed up.

All mixed up.

 

Chicken after shaking in bag of seasoning

Chicken after shaking in bag of seasoning.

 

Seasoned chicken before cooking.

Seasoned chicken before cooking.

 

Seasoned chicken in Ninja.

Seasoned chicken in Ninja.

 

Chicken with soup/salsa/beans mix poured over top.

Chicken with soup/salsa/beans mix poured over top.

 

Shredded chicken with salsa/soup/bean mixture.

Shredded chicken with salsa/soup/bean mixture.

 

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Salsa Ranch Chicken over Nacho Cheese Doritos with melted cheese on top.

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Salsa Ranch Chicken over Nacho Cheese Doritos with melted cheese on top.

 

 

Slow Cooker Black Bean & Salsa Ranch Chicken
A super easy and yummy slow cooker meal. Serve over Doritos or tortilla chips, rice, or buttered noodles.
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Ingredients
  1. 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 package taco seasoning (or use 1-2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning)
  3. 1 package dry ranch dressing
  4. 1-1 1/2 cups salsa of your choice (hint of lime is outstanding!)
  5. 1 can cream of chicken soup
  6. 1 can of drained and rinsed black beans
  7. Mild cheddar, shredded (for toppings)
  8. Sour cream (optional for topping)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix together the salsa, can of soup, and the rinsed and drained black beans.
  2. Pour the taco seasonings and the dry ranch dressing mix into a large plastic zippy bag. Place the chicken inside the bag, seal the bag, then shake well to coat the chicken in the seasonings.
  3. Remove the chicken from the bag and place the chicken on the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour the salsa/soup/black beans mix over top of the seasoned chicken.
  4. Cook on low for 5-6 hours if using a slow cooker that heats normally. I find with my Nina that I can't really cook chicken that long without it being kind of gross, so I don't cook it for more than 3 hours or so.
  5. You can eat this over rice or noodles, or you can eat it over Doritos or tortilla chips. We like to put it over Nacho Cheese Doritos, add shredded cheese over top, then microwave until the cheese melts into an ooey, gooey mess of deliciousness.
Adapted from A Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Adventures
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/
 

 

 














Centsible Me’s Bourbon Chicken

Centsible Me’s Bourbon Chicken

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Centsible Me's Bourbon Chicken

Centsible Me’s Bourbon Chicken

 

While the title implies you will be using bourbon in this recipes, you won’t. According to the site where I found the original recipe, it was named for the street on which the cook created it.

I found the original recipe here: Bourbon Chicken Recipe, but had to make a few changes in order for it to work for us. The original sauce was runny, and I like a thicker sauce, so I make a slurry with cornstarch and cold water to add to it just before it’s ready to serve. My daughter also does not like a lot of spice in her food, so I reduced the amount of crushed red pepper flakes.

INGREDIENTS:

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (you can use more if you like your food extra spicy)

1/4 cup apple juice

1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons ketchup

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup cold water

1-1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch

2 Tablespoons cold water

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

 

DIRECTIONS: 

Heat your skillet over medium high heat, then add the olive oil. Cook the dried minced garlic for about a minute, then add the chicken and cook until the surfaces of the chicken are a light brown color.

Heat oil in skillet.

Heat oil in skillet.

 

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Add dried minced garlic, cook for a minute, then add chicken.

 

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Cook until chicken is lightly browned.

 

Remove the chicken from the skillet, set aside.

Add in all other ingredients except the cornstarch and 3 Tablespoons of water into the skillet, and mix until brown sugar is dissolved. 

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Add in all other ingredients except the cornstarch and 3 Tablespoons water.

 

Mix and cook until brown sugar is dissolved.

Mix and cook until brown sugar is dissolved.

 

Add the chicken to the liquid ingredients in the skillet, then turn up to high heat and bring to a boil for a minute or two.

Add back in the chicken.

Add the chicken back into the skillet.

 

Reduce heat to simmer, cover skillet, and allow to cook for about 20 minutes.

Mix the cornstarch with the 3 Tablespoons of cold water in a small cup, then pour into the skillet and mix well. Allow to cook for another couple of minutes, just to thicken the sauce.

Add in the cornstarch/water slurry, and let cook for an additional few minutes.

Add in the cornstarch/water slurry, and let cook for an additional few minutes.

Serve over rice.

Serve over rice.

Serve over rice.

Have you tried this recipe? If so, have you “tweaked” it to suit your own palate? Let us know by commenting below!

 

Printable Recipe: 

Centsible Me's Bourbon Chicken
Serves 4
A delicious chicken dish with a lot of sauce and flavor.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
23 min
Total Time
33 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
23 min
Total Time
33 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  2. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (you can use more if you like your food extra spicy)
  6. 1/4 cup apple juice
  7. 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  8. 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  9. 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  10. 1/2 cup cold water
  11. 1-1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  12. 2 Tablespoons cold water
  13. 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat your skillet over medium high heat, then add the olive oil. Cook the dried minced garlic for about a minute, then add the chicken and cook until the surfaces of the chicken are a light brown color.
  2. Remove the chicken from the skillet, set aside.
  3. Put all other ingredients except the cornstarch and 3 Tablespoons of water into the skillet, and mix until brown sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the chicken to the liquid ingredients in the skillet, then turn up to high heat and bring to a boil for a minute or two.
  5. Reduce heat to simmer, cover skillet, and allow to cook for about 20 minutes.
  6. Mix the cornstarch with the 3 Tablespoons of cold water in a small cup, then pour into the skillet and mix well. Allow to cook for another couple of minutes, just to thicken the sauce.
  7. Serve over rice.
Adapted from Food.com
Adapted from Food.com
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/

 














Free Daily Planner Printable!

Free Daily Planner Printable!

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I’m so excited to be able to offer my first free printable!

Download this high-resolution printable, and print as many as you like. It’s great for keeping track of both your personal and your professional daily notes and appointments or meetings.

Now, you may think it’s cheaper to print things like this at home, but when you have a high-resolution printable, it’s a much better idea to have it printed at your local print shop. Maybe it’s Office Depot, maybe it’s Staples, or hopefully some mom and pop place, but your printable will come out looking much nicer, and generally be more affordable, if you have it done professionally, especially if you are printing a large number of pages.

As well as being more affordable (Ink is EXPENSIVE!) to have it printed by a professional, it will also simply look better. They have better printers and better paper, and personally, I love supporting my local economy whenever I can.

Please feel free to share it on your social media sites!

Click here to download: daily-planner-by-centsible-me

How To Make This Awesome Halloween Candy Dish Using Dollar Store Items

How To Make This Awesome Halloween Candy Dish Using Dollar Store Items

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Affiliate Link Disclosure - Please Read

There are some products or businesses to which I may post an AFFILIATE LINK, which you will see as blue clickable links on my site. An affiliate link, when clicked, will take you to another website, not owned by Centsible Me, where you will be able to make a purchase of the linked item, or other items on that site. Each time someone clicks one of my affiliate links, and makes a purchase of a product or service, I will earn a small percentage of the purchase price or fee. Although I do make money from affiliate links, it is my promise to you that I will never link to a product or business in which I don't fully trust or believe. Avonelle and CentsibleMe.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

I love crafts, and my daughter Christina does, too, so we decided to make something together, using dollar store items. I am all about saving you money, and this is a great craft you can enjoy with your kids, too.

Items Needed:

  • 1 plastic Halloween platter (I bought it last year, then never used it, so grabbed it out of my Halloween storage box). I believe it was purchased at a dollar store
  • 6 plastic dollar store glow-in-the-dark skulls
  • 2 sets of dollar store plastic yard stakes with attached plastic “chains”
  • 1 plastic dollar store bird skeleton
  • 1 plastic dollar store human skeleton, small (comes in a string of four. I snipped one off at the top of the head)
  • 1 dollar store flameless candle tea light
  • e-6000 glue (the only thing not from a dollar store, but which I already had in my craft supplies)
  • Various dollar store candies

If you’re anything at all like me when doing crafts and projects, you’re messy as hell, so the first thing we did was to place a large trash bag over our dining room table, just to avoid getting any glue on the table. I used scissors to cut open the plastic packages the skulls came packaged in, and because we wouldn’t be using the plastic stakes from those packages, we tossed them, with quite a cavalier attitude, to the other side of the table.

The yard stakes we bought were plastic, had one flat side, and one side with an ever-so-lovely 3-D spider (yikes for the arachnophobes out there!), and had attached plastic chains. We gently removed the chains from the stakes and tossed the yard stakes over with the stakes from the skulls into a growing pile of cheap plastic wannabe vampire-slayer tools. The chain’s links weren’t fully closed, so it was very easy to remove them from the stakes.

On the black plastic Halloween platter I had purchased last year, there are 3-D skulls, and in between the skulls are decorative bumps. We decided to place one skull on each of the bumps. Okay, okay, it was my daughter’s idea! She’s a smart one, that girl! She’s also a much better photographer than me, so if you see a really great picture on my blog, it’s probably one she took, although I do occasionally get lucky and take a decent shot.

Out came the handy-dandy E-6000 glue (<—affiliate link, y’all). We placed a generous gob of glue on a bump, then placed a skull onto the glue. It isn’t an instant dry glue, so in order to make sure it stayed in place, we taped the skull to the platter while it dried, and also propped up the jaw area with one of the stakes from the skull bag. Poor guy looked decidedly odd all taped up and with his jaw being held up by a stake the likes of which I haven’t seen since the last time I watched Dracula. 

Once that had dried, we glued the chain pieces to each side of each skull, stringing them together. Again, because the glue doesn’t dry instantly, we used tape to make sure the chains stayed in place while the glue dried. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but E-6000 is, like, messy. Super messy. It comes out in big globs, and if you aren’t careful, you’ll have your fingers stuck to everything, and there will be strings of glue like ribbons of snot strung all over your work surface. So yeah, be careful with it. It might help to have a little wooden chopstick or something with which to remove glue from the opening of the tube, rather than squeezing the tube. Anyone else think of Mr. Whipple (“Please don’t squeeze the Charmin”), or am I alone in being that old?

While the glue was drying on the chains/skulls, I checked to see if the flameless tea light would fit under the rib cage of the bird skeleton, then glued it in place, making sure the on/off switch was at the front, just to make it easier to turn on or off. After unsticking my fingers from his naked spinal column, I set him aside to let him dry.

After the glue on the tealight was set, about twenty minutes, we put the human skeleton onto the back of the bird, pulling the legs through the wing bones, so it looks like he’s riding the bird. My daughter had made an extra chain using the biggest links from the original chains, which we had removed since we didn’t need those. She placed the new chain around the neck of the bird, so he has his own bling! Yeah, baby!

When the glue was dry on both the skull bottoms and chain areas, we removed all of the tape, placed the bird skeleton with its human skeleton rider in the middle of the plate, then scattered candy all around the dish. I decided against gluing the bird to the plate, just in case I later want to put something else in the center. You never know, the bird and skeleton dude may decide to ride off into the sunset together.

My original thought was to put a strand of Christmas lights under the candy, but since the dish would be placed in the center of our dining room table to be used as a centerpiece, we nixed that idea. We didn’t want a cord running from the table to a wall outlet, because someone might trip over it, and it also wouldn’t have looked very good.

Check out the picture gallery below, then let us know what you think! This is such an easy project that just about anyone could do it, and it’s cheap enough to make that you can make several for a party.

 

Homemade Pizza Crust Dough

Homemade Pizza Crust Dough

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I absolutely love to save money on groceries, and what better way to save money than to make something homemade? I’ve been using my homemade pizza crust dough recipe for a few years now, and it never fails me.

 

INGREDIENTS:

4-5 cups all-purpose flour

2-1/4 teaspoons or 1 package quick-rise yeast

1 teaspoon honey

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 Tablespoon Mrs. Dash Original Blend seasoning

1-1/2 cup hot water (approximately 110-115 degrees Farenheit)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Flour, olive oil/honey mixture, saucer with salt, Mrs. Dash, and pepper, & package of yeast.

Flour, olive oil/honey mixture, saucer with salt, Mrs. Dash, and pepper, & package of yeast.

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to about 170° F, then turn oven off.

Pour the 1-1/2 cups hot water into your stand mixer (or mixing bowl), and add the yeast to the water. I use a KitchenAid stand mixer, <–Affiliate Link, y’all) and it’s been an awesome little work horse of a machine.

Add honey, 4 cups of the flour, the salt, Mrs. Dash, and olive oil.

Using your dough hook attachment, or, if mixing by hand, a sturdy spoon, mix thoroughly. If the dough feels sticky after mixing, add in more flour until it is slightly tacky, but not sticky. You may not use all of the flour, or you may need a little more, depending on humidity.

Once you have everything mixed, let the machine keep mixing on low speed for about 5 minutes, or, if mixing by hand, remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface for about 5-10 minutes.

pizza crust dough

Dough after it’s been mixed together

 

Lightly oil an oven-safe bowl, then place your dough ball inside. Cover with a clean tea cloth, and place bowl into warm oven. Remember, you turned off the oven in step 1.

Let rise for about 30 minutes, or until about doubled in size.

Pizza crust dough

Dough after rising. It’s hard to tell from this picture, but it’s much larger than it was before rising.

 

Remove bowl of dough from oven, and turn oven on to 425° F.

Prepare your pizza pan. I use a metal pan (one day I will buy a stone version to try!), and so I pour a tiny amount of olive oil onto the pan, and spread it around in a very thin coating. After the oil, I like to sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal onto the pan. Don’t clump it all together; you want it spread out. Like the oil, this helps to prevent the dough from sticking.

Pizza crust pan

My often-used pizza pan. It’s an oldie, but it works well.

 

For the dough, you can either roll it out on a floured surface until it’s the thickness and size you want, or you can skip that and just stretch it out a bit, place it onto the pizza pan, and use your hands to smooth it and and make it round and the desired thickness. The latter is what I do simply because it’s faster.

pizza crust dough on pan

Pizza crust dough.

 

As you can see, I like to use a fork and just gently poke the dough several times before I add the sauce and toppings.

Next comes the pizza sauce. I don’t at this time use a homemade sauce, because pizza sauce is pretty cheap if you buy the industrial-sized cans at Sam’s Club (pro tip – you can divide it up and freeze it in plastic freezer bags), and I haven’t yet found a great homemade sauce recipe that I really love.

pizza crust dough

Pizza crust with sauce added.

 

Now, add your cheese. I use an economy sized bag of Great Value shredded mozzarella from Walmart just because it’s easy and relatively inexpensive, but you could save even more money by making your own, or buying a block and shredding it yourself. After the cheese, I add toppings. We often eat pepperoni, because we all love it, but sometimes if my son is at their dad’s house, and my daughter is with me, we will make an all veggie pizza, and that’s yum, too!

Pizza crust dough with added toppings

Pizza crust dough with toppings

 

When you have your sauce, cheese, and preferred toppings on, and your pizza is all ready to go, check the oven to make sure it’s up to temperature, and pop it in there. Let it bake for 12-15 minutes, watching carefully when it’s been about 12 minutes, as you don’t want it to burn. Our oven is old, and the temperature is not always perfect, so sometimes it takes 12 minutes, sometimes 15 minutes. When you have an old oven, it’s a crap shoot, folks!

Ta-da! The finished product:

Pepperoni pizza

Ready to eat!

 

 

Centsible Me's Homemade Pizza Crust
Yields 1
A wonderfully easy pizza crust recipe
Write a review
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Ingredients
  1. 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2-1/4 teaspoons or 1 package quick-rise yeast
  3. 1 teaspoon honey
  4. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 3/4 Tablespoon Mrs. Dash Original Blend seasoning
  6. 1-1/2 cup hot water (approximately 110-115 degrees Farenheit)
  7. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to about 170° F, then turn oven off.
  2. Pour the 1-1/2 cups hot water into your stand mixer (or mixing bowl), and add the yeast to the water.
  3. Add honey, 4 cups of the flour, the black pepper, salt, Mrs. Dash, and olive oil.
  4. Using your dough hook attachment, or, if mixing by hand, a sturdy spoon, mix thoroughly. If the dough feels sticky after mixing, add in more flour until it is slightly tacky, but not sticky. You may not use all of the flour, or you may need a little more, depending on humidity.
  5. Once you have everything mixed, let the machine keep mixing on low speed for about 5 minutes, or, if mixing by hand, remove from bowl and knead on a floured surface for about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Lightly oil an oven-safe bowl, then place your dough ball inside. Cover with a clean tea cloth, and place bowl into warm oven. Remember, you turned off the oven in step 1.
  7. Let rise for about 30 minutes, or until about doubled in size.
  8. Remove bowl of dough from oven, and turn oven on to 425° F.
  9. Prepare your pizza pan. I use a metal pan (one day I will buy a stone version to try!), and so I pour a tiny amount of olive oil onto the pan, and spread it around in a very thin coating. After the oil, I like to sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal onto the pan. Don’t clump it all together; you want it spread out. Like the oil, this helps to prevent the dough from sticking.
  10. For the dough, you can either roll it out on a floured surface until it’s the thickness and size you want, or you can skip that and just stretch it out a bit, place it onto the pizza pan, and use your hands to smooth it and and make it round and the desired thickness. The latter is what I do simply because it’s faster.
  11. I like to use a fork and just gently poke the dough several times before I add the sauce and toppings.
  12. Next comes the pizza sauce. I don’t at this time use a homemade sauce, because pizza sauce is pretty cheap if you buy the industrial-sized cans at Sam’s Club, and I haven’t yet found a great homemade sauce recipe that I really love.
  13. Now, add your cheese. I use an economy sized bag of Great Value shredded mozzarella from Walmart just because it’s easy and relatively inexpensive, but you could save even more money by making your own, or buying a block and shredding it yourself. After the cheese, I add toppings. We often eat pepperoni, because we all love it, but sometimes if my son is at their dad’s house, and my daughter is with me, we will make an all veggie pizza, and that’s yum, too!
  14. When you have your sauce, cheese, and preferred toppings on, and your pizza is all ready to go, check the oven to make sure it’s up to temperature, and pop it in there. Let it bake for 12-15 minutes, watching carefully when it’s been about 12 minutes, as you don’t want it to burn. Our oven is old, and the temperature is not always perfect, so sometimes it takes 12 minutes, sometimes 15 minutes. When you have an old oven, it’s a crap shoot, folks!
Centsible Me http://www.centsibleme.com/
What do you think? Do you have a favorite pizza crust dough you’d like to share, or have you tried this recipe and loved it? Drop us a note below!

 

 

 

 

 














Easy? Oven Cleaning Trick for A Dirty Oven

Easy? Oven Cleaning Trick for A Dirty Oven

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I TRIED THIS “EASY” WAY TO CLEAN MY FILTHY OVEN – THIS IS A REVIEW

 

Okay, y’all, this is me, being real. I need an oven cleaning hack. Like, right now. Oh, and it needs to be inexpensive, because that’s how I roll. I am here to save you money, after all!

So, you know how you see something so often that you don’t even notice when that something is getting kind of gross? Like it’s been creeping up on you without you even being aware? Yeah, you know.

Well, that’s what my oven was doing…creeping up on me with baked-on crud and who knows what lying in wait for an unsuspecting baker. That baker was me. Sigh.

I opened my oven this evening, and was pretty grossed out by how nasty it really was. It probably doesn’t help that my kitchen was, like everything else in this house, built in 1960, and has inadequate lighting. I truly had not noticed just how bad the oven had become, until tonight. To be perfectly honest, I think I only barely wiped it out when we moved in here, because I was exhausted from moving, and I don’t remember doing a good deep clean on it since. We’ve lived here for two years.

What’s a girl to do? It’s September already, my birthday is a little later this month, and I might want to bake a cake! Even if I don’t bake a cake, it won’t be long before I will be wanting to do more baking as the weather starts cooling down, the days pass; and before I know it, it will be time to bake holiday goodies.

I’ve used ammonia before with great success on burner rings and gas burner grates, so I figured ammonia would likely do the trick. After a quick trip to what I like to call “Webland” (the internet, in case you’re wondering), I found this Lifehacker post (originally found on One Good Thing by Jillee), and yes, ammonia was the star ingredient!

I always have ammonia on hand, because it really is a versatile cleaner, so I was in business. As Jillee mentioned in her post, never mix ammonia with bleach or any commercial oven cleaners. To be safe, I wouldn’t mix it with anything except the dish liquid mentioned in this post.

Although it’s embarrassing, I am sharing my before pictures. Ugh. It’s so very gross. I really hope I’m not the only one out there with a nasty oven, because if I am, I will just shrink up into a little ball and roll away.

Here are a couple of shots of the oven before. Cue dramatic dum, dum, dum…

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