Blogger Widgets Gifts From The Kitchen : February 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Loom Knitting Tutorial - Solid Stripes for Scarves & Afghans

I love loom knitting and am always looking for new patterns and tutorials.  Here is one I found on YouTube.  If you love loom knitting or want to learn, here is one just for you.

Maybe someday I will be good enough to do my own tutorial.  Until then, I will shares tutorials from others.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

April's Crockpot Roast

This is my own recipe.  I used ideas from other recipes I have used. 
I'm looking for a creative name.  What would you name it? 
This is a fall apart, melt in your mouth, full of flavor meal.  By putting the potatoes on the bottom, they soak up the broth and become full of flavor.   
April's Crockpot Roast
Serves 3-4
3-4 pounds beef bottom round roast
1 cup brewed coffee
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 cups water
2 TBSP tomato paste
5 medium potatoes
1- 2 oz. package of onion soup mix ( I used Lipton)
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 bay leaf
1.  Pour coffee, red wine, vinegar and water into crockpot.
2.  Add tomato paste, stir to blend.
3.  Add chopped potatoes; lay roast on top.
4.  Sprinkle onion mix on top of roast and into broth.
5.  Add scallions, place bay leaf on top of roast.
6.  Cook on high 6-7 hours.  Time depends on how you like your roast.
7.  Let roast rest 8-10 minutes, slice and serve.
*We usually have leftover roast which I then make into soup or stew.
Ready to cook!
All done!  And oh so delicious!

Slow Cooker Chicken & Herb Dumplings

When I was a kid and well into my first couple of years in high school, I used to go to my Grandmother's and spend the weekend with her.  She would call me and ask me what I wanted to eat for the weekend and I would always tell her, "Chicken and Dumplings, cheeseburger pie, and cinnamon cresent rolls."  Of course, she had her own recipes for these.  I never learned to make the cheeseburger pie from her, but I did learn how to make the chicken and dumplings which was quite simple.  All we did was boil the chicken and follow the directions on the Bisquick box.  We never did anything fancy b/c we liked it just the way it was!
 The following recipe come to you from Campbell's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Chicken & Herb DumplingsServings: about 1 3/4 cups each
Cook: 7 hr. 45 min.
Serves: 8

What You'll Need
2 1/2 pounds lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
3 1/2 cups Swanson® Chicken Brothor Swanson® Chicken Stock
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
2 cups biscuit baking mix
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed

How to Make It

Stir the chicken, carrots, celery, corn, broth and black pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker.                                               

Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until the chicken is cooked through.                                                                                                     
Stir the flour and water in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Stir the flour mixture in the cooker. Increase the heat to HIGH. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens.                                                  
Stir the baking mix, milk and rosemary in a medium bowl. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoonfuls over the chicken mixture. Tilt the lid to vent and cook on HIGH for 40 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked in the center.

Update on Health

Well, if I ain't a blonde..... Anyway, I thought they were doing the endoscopy yesterday......NOOOOOO. It was a consultation only. They are doing an ultrasound on March 19 and then a Gastroscopy on the 27th. They will then decide if I need surgery. Then I will have to wait forever for the insurance to approve then wait forever for a surgery to be scheduled. Why does everything have to take so freakin' long?????
I have been having problems with one of my teeth since November, problems with my stomach since December and the freakin' insurance takes forever to approve anything! It gets very frustrating knowing that the Dr. can fix you but the insurance co. wants to take forever so they don't have to pay a bunch of money at once. What do they care? They aren't the ones suffering in pain or discomfort!
To top it all off, the Digestive Doctor called me to tell me that because my mother had colon cancer, he is scheduling a Colonoscopy at the same time as the Gastroscopy. 
I have a consultation on Friday with the Oral Surgeon.  Ugh!!  Can't wait for it all to be over.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chicken Riggies Recipe

You may be asking what "What are Chicken Riggies?".  Well, I am going to give you the history and recipe for the New York State dish.  My family and I love these and a lot of people, especially those not living in New York State don't know what they are. 
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chicken riggies or Utica riggies is an Italian-American pasta dish native to the Utica-Rome area of New York State. It is a pasta-based dish usually consisting of chicken, rigatoni and hot or sweet peppers in a spicy cream and tomato sauce, although many variations exist.

The origins of "riggies" have been disputed and lost in time. Many of the chefs from the Utica area seem to have a claim to the dish, yet there seems to be no clear idea who was the originator.
In one version of the origin, Bobby Hazelton came up with chicken riggies when he and Richie Scamarto owned the Clinton House restaurant in the strip mall in Clinton. In another version, a chef from Dominique’s Chesterfield Restaurant in Utica invented riggies in the 80s.

The first annual Riggiefest was held in Utica, NY, in 2005 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Riggiefest is a contest which determines what restaurant makes the best riggies in the area. The best riggies will win its creator the prestigious "Riggie Cup". All money made during the fest is donated directly to the YWCA. In 2008, the festival made over $300,000.
Recent Riggie Cup winners include:
  • Teddy's Restaurant in Rome, NY (2010)
  • Secret Garden Restaurant in Utica, NY (2009)
  • Route 69 Steakhouse and Saloon in Whitesboro, NY (2008)
  • Teddy's Restaurant in Rome, NY (2007)
  • Teddy's Restaurant in Rome, NY (2006)
  • Teddy's Restaurant in Rome, NY (2005)
Teddy's was inducted into the Chicken Riggies Hall of Fame in 2008 after winning the competition three years in a row. That year Teddy's stepped aside to allow other restaurants a chance at the title.  Teddy's winning recipe was published in Mohawk Valley Living

We have had Riggies from Teddy's but haven't tried the other restaurants yet.
And now for the recipe:
This is Utica, New York's specialty dish. Rigatoni (riggies) pasta is paired with chicken and spicy peppers in a creamy red/white sauce. Some other popular additions are mushrooms and black olives." —   
Original recipe makes 6 servings 
  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.

2.  In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.

3.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

4.  Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.
Follow this link for the Nutrition Information
Enjoy!  If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your comments!

Treasury Tuesday: PinterestPinners

This treasury features the Etsy Team Pinterest Pinners. 
About this team
Open to all people addicted to Pinterest

Who can join?

Anyone with a pinterest account who loves to pin Etsy finds!!

Just An Update

This past Christmas night, I ended up in the E.R. with severe abdominal and lower back pain.  This pain was way worse than labor.  Anyway, they found out that I have gall stones and a possible ulcer.  They gave me hydrocodone for the pain and put me on prescription anti-acids.  They think that it was brought on by too  much ibuprophen because I had a wicked toothache for almost a month (this is a whole other story) and was taking it like candy.  So, they told me no more ibuprophen.  I haven't had an attack like that since, thank God.  Today, I have to go for an endoscopy and after they get the results from that, they will decide what to do.  I don't care what they do as long as they make it go away!
Today is Treasury Tuesday so watch for that post and if I have time, I will be posting another recipe.  See you all in a little while!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
Pinned Image
15 min.

1 hr. 15 min.

What You'll Need
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular, 98% Fat Free or Healthy Request®)
1 1/3 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces)

How to Make It

  • 1 Heat the oven to 375°F. Stir the soup, water, rice, onion powder, black pepper and vegetables in an 11 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish.
  • 2 Top the rice mixture with the chicken. Cover the baking dish.
  • 3 Bake for 50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. Top with the cheese. Let the casserole stand for 10 minutes. Stir the rice before serving.

Weekend Leave

Horse blankets are now callled sweaters!
My daughter, Shelby and her girlfrined Leeza are both in the Navy and stationed in Maryland at Walter Reed Hospital. Leeza is from down south. They came home on leave this weekend.   We went to breakfast Saturday morning and we saw some horses with their blankets on and Leeza comes out with "Aw, they have sweaters on!"

Saturday night we went to dinner with the family.  Our daughters Shelby and Chelsey are both pregnant, both in their 3rd trimester.  Shelby is lucky if she weighs 100 lbs soaking wet.  Chelsey might weigh 120 lbs.  So anyway, they were comparing baby bumbs.  If you don't know them, you would never guess they were pregnant. 

Sunday we stayed home and watched the Daytona 500.  Shelby and Leeza went back to Maryland.  Shelby gets so emotional (even when she isn't pregnant) about having to leave.  She comes home every couple of months. 

So, how was your weekend?

Sunday, February 24, 2013


So, I have decided that I will be posting recipes.  Why?  Because most of us cook, most of us love new recipes and becasue, cooking and baking is a craft. 
I probably have about 50 cookbooks.  I collect recipe boxes and probably have about 30 of them.  A lot of them have recipes in them.  Also, every once in a while my husband will just throw something together and if we all like it then we will write down the recipe.  I will be sharing these recipes, gluten-free recipes, weight watchers, recipes and recipes I find on the web. 
I'm thinking I should do a theme each week like maybe do a week of Easter recipes, a week of gluten-free, a week of weight watchers, etc... and keep switching them up.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

From My blog Life In The Empire State

If you are Christian, this will at least make you sad, if not, outraged!  These people are definitely not Christians. 

A Sad Day For Christans

What this church did to this poor, dying man and his family is an outrage!

Who's Ready For Spring?

Who is ready for spring?  I know I am.  It has been a long winter here in Central New York.  I can't wait to be outside.  I want to start an herb garden so I will always have fresh herbs for my spice rubs. 
I will be very happy when all my birds come back.  I have a family of Mourning Doves, Cardinals, and Blue Jays.  The hummingbirds (my favorite) come to the feeders and of course all the robins and other beautiful birds. 
It will be wonderful to actually take Gizmo for walks.  Through the winter, I just let him out in the yard for a few minutes.  Too darn cold for walks. 
Gizmo!  He doesn't mind the snow.  He likes sticking his face right in it and eating it. 
Do not fear, Spring is almost here!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Discussion: How Do I Make My Blog More Appealing?

So, here is the thing.  I would love to know what I can do to attract more followers to my blog.  I have seen "blog hops", "guest bloggers",  "sponsors"  and stuff like that but have no idea how to set any of that stuff up. 
Here is what I already do on my blog:

Weekly Blog Schedule

MONDAY Meet Me Monday~~ This is where I tell you a little about myself, things I am
working on, things I've done, share recipes or anything that interests me.

TUESDAY Treasury Tuesdays~~~ There is a feature on Etsy that allows users to create a
Treasury which features up to 16 items from different shops on Etsy and usually
have a theme. I will be sharing either one I have made or one someone else has
made that features one of my items.

WEDNESDAY New Listings and promotions. Each Wednesday, I will post the new listings
from my shop, items I am promoting or any sales I may be having.

THURSDAY Tutorial Thursdays- I will be posting craft tutorials that I find on the web. These
may be crafts that I do or want to eventually do. They may be crafts that I have
no interest in but think my readers will.

FRIDAY I will be featuring an Etsy shop or an Etsy shop owner at random.

I am hardly ever around on Saturday or Sunday so, if I am, the posts will be random. All through the week, I will of course be posting items and updates from my shop. 
What are some of the things you do on your blog to attract new followers?  

Feature Friday: 3 Blue Dogs And Me

Hand Knit- Loom Knitted - Drop stitch Scarf- Shawl
Womans -Loom Knitted - Cowl Neck Warmer - Brown- Taupe Stripe - Antler Buttons
Hand knit- Loom Knitted  Pull Through Scarf - Purple

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Discussion: Is It Worth It?

I wonder if listing on Etsy is really worth it.  I know you all are going to say it takes time and it's only  20 cents per listing.  That 20 cents per listing adds up and so does all the cost of materials I need.  I opened shop in December and haven't had a sale yet.  Oh, I get views and favorites blah, blah, but what good do those do me?  They aren't paying my Etsy bill or helping me buy more material.  I do all the things that everyone says you should do to get noticed. 
I have been in several vendor markets.  You have to pay rent every month.  Usually, if I don't make at least enough to pay my rent for 3 months in a row, I pull out of that shop.  Why should I keep paying Etsy and not getting anything in return?
I would love to hear from you and would also like you to post your advice for other readers. 
How long was your shop open before you got your first sale?  If you are only selling one item here and there and are spending more money than you are making, what makes you stay with Etsy?

Sweet Heaven Bath and Body

Welcome to Sweet Heaven Bath and Body. This is my shop within a shop. In this section, you will find soaps, lip balms, lotions, and soon to come sugar scrubs. 
Shea Butter Sandalwood Soap
Apple Flavored Lip Balm and Apple Scented Lotion Gift Set
Apple Flavored Lip Balm Set of 2
Shea Butter Raspberry Scented Lotion Set of 2
Shea Butter Honey Almond Scented Soap Set of 2
I had thought about opening a separate Etsy shop for my line of bath and body products but decided to wait to see how my sales go.  I might already have a regular venue for these items.  I may be selling them wholesale to Noticeable Nails of Pittsboro, North Carolina!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Treasury Tuesday: FMFM/FEST Spring Hook up

Two great teams, one great treasury!  Follow Me, Favorite Me and Florida Etsy Street Team have hooked up to help each team's members get their items out there into different circles and get new views from people that may not normally see our beautiful merchandise!

Monday, February 18, 2013

My New Venture

I have begun making soaps, lotions, lip balms and soon will be adding sugar scrubs.  These will be listed in my Etsy shop soon.  I already have had a nail salon in North Carolina ask about wholesale!  I had thought about opening a separate Etsy shop for this but I think I will wait to see how well sales go first. 
I love making the soaps.  It fills the house with such wonderful aromas!  The lip balm is a little challenging and I have not perfected this as of yet.  The sugar scrubs look like they will be pretty easy to do. 
Be sure to check my shop often for these new items!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tutorial Thursday: Kids Crafts

Well spring break is coming up.  How will you keep the kids entertained?  How about some crafting? 

Rainbow Fish Craft
Rainbow Fish Craft


  • template of the fish (or you can draw your own)
  • 1/2 inch or so bits of various colored tissue paper or construction paper (we used tissue paper in the photo above).
  • small amount of tinfoil
  • thin strips of various colored tissue paper or construction paper
  • one big blue piece of tissue or construction paper OR a blue marker or crayon
  • glue,
  • scissors


  • print rainbow fish template (or draw the outline of a fish on a piece of paper)
  • color the head in blue, or glue on a piece of tissue or construction paper. It doesn't have to be perfect as we're going to cut out the fish at the end.
  • glue strips of various colored tissue or construction paper on the fins and tail (see photo).
  • glue 1/2 inch (ish) squares of tissue paper or construction paper onto the body.
  • glue a few strips and 1/2 inch squares of tinfoil over the fish (or just glue on one square scale to show Rainbow Fish after he shared).
  • Cut out along the lines (if you used tissue paper you'll be able to see the lines through it... If you used construction paper, just estimate where the lines are). This step will require adult assistance for younger children.
  • Cut out the mouth and eye and glue them onto the head. (you can color them in with markers if you wish.)


  • Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
  • Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).



strength paper craft


Strength Paper CraftComplete this simple paper craft to complement a strength theme. You can have the children print their strength(s) on the back of the craft.


  • printer,
  • paper,
  • scissors,
  • glue,
  • something to color with (B&W version)


  • Print out the template of choice.
  • Color the pieces (as appropriate) and cut them out.
  • Optional: You can have the children print their strength(s) on the back of the craft.


  • Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
  • Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).

Strength Template (color) or (B&W)


Find these crafts and more at

DLTK's Crafts for Kids

DLTK's Crafts for Kids features a variety of fun, printable children's crafts, coloring pages and more including projects for holidays, educational themes and some of our children's favorite cartoon characters.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Meet Me Monday

Well, I really don't know what to blog about today so, I guess I will just ramble.  LOL! 

The weekend. Didn't really do much.  My husband is the road, sound and stage manager for a local band and so Friday night we were at a show.  Didn't get home until after 3 am.  Spent Saturday recuperating.  Sunday was another relaxing day. 


The hubby working the sound.

Our 13 year old daughter decided she was going to ask when she could start dating so, I told her when she is 16.  She is the youngest of 8.  I really expected an argument but didn't get one.  Her 4 older sisters always argued with us about it.  One is now married and expecting a baby, one is in the Navy and expecting a baby, another one is leaving for the Navy soon and the last is working and supposed start college in the fall. 

My parents never let us date until we were 16.  Although we did date before then, we weren't allowed to be alone with the boyfriends.  We were only allowed to have them at the house if one of our parents were home.  No going to the movies or anything else unless it was with a group of friends.  Once we were 16, we had a little more dating freedom. 

So, do you think 13 is too young to date?  What do you think is an appropriate age to date? 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Feature Friday: Cute Random Things

This week's Featured Etsy Shop:
Warm Latte cozy hat - crocheted baby hat.
Cute little Old Lady-. Knitted baby hat
Vanilla and strawberry sundae hat - Knitted baby hat
Elegant lady with purple flower - Knitted baby hat

Straightener Cozy Tutorial

I usually do tutorials on Thursday but I was a little busy so I am doing it today.  Enjoy.

First, take your pot holder and measure which way is best for your iron.
After deciding that, simply sew around the edge of the bias tape on the side and the closed end.
I went around my edges twice just for extra strength. And then you are done. Super easy huh?
Slip your iron in and you can travel anywhere you want, even if your iron is hot. And if you find a potholder that has a pocket on it like mine, you can slip your cord in there and keep it contained.
And tada! Your ready to go. Happy Holiday traveling. It would also be really good for the teen in your life or better yet a college student!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl 2013

I don't watch football.  I hate it and my husband isn't very interested in it either.  He watches the Super Bowl for the commercials.  I only watch the half-time show. 
I love Beyonce.  Has anyone noticed though that the sound system during the half-time shows is always horrible?  It definitely doesn't do justice to the performers.  I know the super bowl isn't about the half-time show but you would think they would want everything to be perfect for the fans.
Records for 2013
Jacoby Jones of the Baltimore Ravens set an NFL postseason record with a 108-yard kickoff return against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Sunday night.
Most Combined Yards, Game – 290, Jacoby Jones
Longest Play – 108-yard kickoff return, Jacoby Jones
Longest Kickoff Return – 108 yards, Jacoby Jones
Longest Kickoff Return for Touchdown – 108 yards, Jacoby Jones
Longest Touchdown Run, Quarterback – 15 yards, Colin Kaepernick
Most Kickoff-Return Yards, Both Teams – 312 (Baltimore 206, San Francisco 106)
Longest Time Of Game – 4:14
Most Touchdowns, Plays of 50-or-More Yards, Game – 2, Jacoby Jones
Most Receiving Yards, Game, Tight End – 104, Vernon Davis
Most Touchdowns, Kickoff Returns, Game – 1, Jacoby Jones
Most Safeties, Game – 1, Chris Culliver
Most Touchdowns, Kickoff Returns, Game, Team – 1, Baltimore
Most Safeties, Game, Team – 1, San Francisco
Most Players, 100-or-More Receiving Yards, Game, Team -- 2, San Francisco (Michael Crabtree 109, Vernon Davis 104)
Most Points, Third Quarter, Both Teams – 24 (San Francisco 17, Baltimore 7)
Most Field Goals, Game, Both Teams – 5 (San Francisco 3, Baltimore 2)
Most Field Goals Without Miss, Game, Both Teams – 5 (San Francisco 3, Baltimore 2)
Fewest Rushing Touchdowns, Game, Team – 0, Baltimore