Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Home Made Painted Christmas Ornaments

Every year I make a bunch of ornaments to hand out at my annual ornament exchange party.  I've been pinning ideas for the past year and chose to do this one from this blog.  Hers turned out so much better, as is the case with most things I do.  Even so, I'm really happy how these turned out!
 I was going to go with small bulbs...because I figured it would be faster (making 50 of them) and cheaper. But, I found this cool shape at Michaels, sort of a flat circle.  I bought 52 of them.  
 I started by protecting the surface of our kitchen table.  That's my sister in the corner there...she came over to keep me company and cheer me on.
 The blog where I stole got the idea from used a bunch of different colors.  I'm of the keep it simple mentality when for a light and dark blue.
 Here's a better idea of the shape of the Christmas bulbs.
 In the original blog she mentioned using acrylic paints and shaking the bulb around. I'm not sure if it's the brand of paint I used, or the style of bulb....but it didn't work too well. I added some water and it helped quite a bit, especially with mixing the two blues and then giving me a third blue in the finished product.
 Added a little water.
 Added some paint

 Added some of the darker paint
 and shook it around
 from side to side
 and up and down
One thing I learned while doing this is to wad up some paper towels and shake the ornament with that on top to catch excess watery paint...otherwise you could have paint flying all over the place -- oops.
 I was kind of afraid it looked too 'stripey' the way I was doing it.  So I thought of adding some oil to the mixture.  Doing so gave it a more marbleized effect.  Which I liked
 The one on the lower right corner is the one with oil.  The problem is the next day, some of those had the paint separate a little bit and of the 5 I broke they were the ones with the oil...not sure if it's just they were slippier or if there was some weird chemical reaction.
 Bought 52 of them and after breakage I have 47 to give away.
 After letting everything dry, I took some windex and cleaned them up.
I'd like to say I was doing these with Christmas carols and laughter playing in the back ground and everyone in the family celebrating good cheer. But I had Walking Dead on and the kids and I were discussing the best way to defeat Zombies and how to survive a Zombie apocalypse.
 A quick look in the middle of the finished product pictures to show how messy my hands got.  Really it's just me, it's not that messy of a project....I walk by paint and get it on myself.
I'd say the project took about 5 hours from start to finish and cost about $45.

A Diamond in the Stuff


Sunday, November 04, 2012

Individual Meatloaves Recipe (made in muffin tins)

I've been seeing these individual meatloaf recipes on Pinterest. I've been wanting to try them and Jake, the eldest has been asking for meatloaf recently AND because we just got back from Italy (in the wee hours of this morning -- can you say jet-lag anyone?) I decided to make a typical American meal to celebrate being home.  Also, after eating authentic Italian food, I realized my Americana-Italian cooking is not so bellesimo.

After a huge trip to the grocery store, a couple hundred loads of laundry and catching up on some of my shows (love my DVR) I made some mini meatloaves.  I used my own meatloaf recipe though.  It's a super easy recipe, made easier with these muffin tin meatloaves so I thought I'd share.

Individual Meatloaves
(made in muffin tins)

Mix together:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 zucchini peeled and grated
1 carrot peeled and grated
2-3 tbs roasted red peppers minced
1 small sweet yellow onion minced
2-3 tbs chili sauce
1/8 cup of Italian bread crumbs

After mixing, place in Pam-sprayed muffin tins. This recipe will make 12. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  I don't like any part of my meat to moo so I baked them for 25.

There are all these blogs where people write about their menu plans, and because I'm a geek that way, I thought how fun and decided to try it too...I find it really helpful to see what other people are eating, not to mention I have a certain addiction fascination for food.  So Gonna give you my meal plan for the week as well as link it up to this blog.

Mini Meatloaves, green beans
Honey Garlic Pork Chops, brussels sprouts recipe found on Pinterest and can be found here. Haven't tried it yet but it looks good.
Coconut Curry Soup with Noodles, cucumber-tomato salad. I am on the hunt for a yummy curry soup. This one doesn't have chicken so I'll add some grilled chicken and if it's the the "one" I'll be so happy. It's another recipe from Pinterest and you can find it on this link
Jalapeno Chicken and Rice Casserole, artichokes, also found on Pinterest and also a recipe I haven't tried before.  I really like trying new recipes.  This one looked great because no canned cream of whatever soups. You can find it on blog I'm going to grill enough chicken for this recipe as well as the soup.

The eldest and I are leaving for a baseball tournament next weekend (for the eldest, I don't play) and so I added a couple 'easy' dinners for Jason and the youngest.

Grilled turkey burgers (premade ones), sweet potato fries (frozen) and steamed broccoli.
Green chili.  This is one of Jason's faves.  We went to Nick's to get our roasted chilis only to realize we were too late. Thankfully they had a bunch of roasted chilis frozen.  I learned something new when you freeze chilis, you freeze them with the skin on.  I've been peeling them.  Next year I'll figure it out.
Left overs.

There it is.

Linking up here:

Lori Ann's food & fam

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