holly homemaker

Friday, April 1, 2016

Funky Chunk Earring Kits DIY Custom Filagree Lightweight metal earrings

I love these new earrings kits!  And only $2.99.  They're available on Etsy, Ebay and Amazon.  Be a bit crafty and paint them whatever color you want!  Check out this cool tutorial video on how to paint them!Funky Chunk DIY Earring Kits
video


Thursday, February 6, 2014

DIY Fridge Coasters/Fridge Organization/Keeping Fridge Clean!

This is how my fridge usually looks:
Ok, I'm not gonna lie.....this is how it looks on a GOOD day! :)  I just cleaned the main shelves last week because they were looking so gross.  Here's what I'm getting at: I think I would be interested in keeping my fridge cleaned up if it wasn't such a daunting task.  Hence, the concept of "fridge coasters!"

I was recently introduced to the concept of fridge coasters from Jen's blog "I Heart Organizing."  I love the idea to have something cute lining the shelves, and then pulling them out to easily wash and dry them and put back, but they seemed pricey to me, so I began the hunt for a DIY version.  This is what I came up with. 

I purchased place mats from the dollar store.  When I went in search for them, I was thinking I'd buy plain ones and paint chevron stripes (or some other cute pattern!)  onto them.  So when I saw these babies, I  was excited and decided I could skip the whole painting part!  Woohoo!
 

I measured
I cut
I used clear packing tape to piece it together (this was for my bigger shelves...the small ones on the door didn't need to be pieced together)
Cool, huh?  It makes me smile to see the fun pattern! :)
I just placed the mats in, I did not adhere them to the shelves.
My fridge already had two blue removable "coasters" that came with 2 of the door shelves.  So, I didn't see the need to replace those.  But maybe I will so all of it is zebra print..?!
I bought 7 place mats, but I didn't have enough to do the bottom two drawers.  When I go to the dollar store next time, I'll get two more so I can finish up.  It makes me happy to open the fridge and see the cuteness (and the cleanliness!). It will hopefully get me in gear to keep it clean because I can easily pull the mats out and wash them in the sink and, dry them and put them back.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I am so excited about how delicious this experiment turned out!  Steve wanted a chocolate peanut butter combo for his birthday cake and this is what I created. 


Start by making Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake.  After the layers have cooled, put them on separate plates, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid (at least 2 hours). 


Peanut Butter Mousse Filling

Mix together:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
5 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
Once they are well combined, fold in one 8 ounce container of whipped topping (cool whip :)

After the cakes are frozen, pull one layer out of the freezer and spread the peanut butter mousse filling over the top; carefully place back into the freezer (uncovered) and freeze until fairly solid (at least 1 hour).  Then remove from the freezer and place the top layer of cake onto the mousse covered layer.  Frost the tops and sides with Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Frosting.  
Cut Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in half and decorate the top.  Keep cake in the freezer.  Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DIY Dough Enhancer (update to my favorite 100% Whole Wheat bread recipe!)



In my earlier post on this recipe, I mentioned that I'd prefer to not use store bought Dough Enhancer.  So, after doing some reading and experimenting, I've discovered that when vinegar, potatoes, and gluten are used together, they create their own "dough enhancer." Don't ask me why or how, I don't know those things! :)  I am just happy that they do the trick!  Here is an updated recipe of my favorite 100% Whole Wheat bread using the new combo for dough enhancer:


6 cups steaming hot tap water
16 cups freshly ground wheat flour (I prefer white wheat*)
1/2 c. Vital Wheat Gluten
1 c. instant mashed potato flakes
1/2 c. dry powdered milk
3 T. white distilled vinegar
1 c. canola oil
2/3 c. honey
 3 T. yeast
2 T. salt

(remember to experiment with the amount of flour and your baking time...yours might turn out better if you change it up from how I do it)


Place the  hot water into your mixing bowl.  Add 10 cups of wheat flour. 
 Turn the mixer to speed 1 and while running, add all other ingredients in the order listed. 
 Continue running the mixer and add 6 cups wheat flour.  Add enough flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl (you want soft, but not sticky dough).

 Then turn the mixer to speed 2 and mix for 10 minutes. 
 Divide the dough and shape into 5 loaves. 
 Place into greased loaf pans, cover with a clean dishcloth, and let rise on the counter for 30 minutes.
 Once the 30 minutes are up, turn your oven on to 400 degrees. 
 When the oven is ready, place the loaves in
 and bake for 2 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes (I do 30 minutes)

*I currently have a stash of Hard Red Wheat that I need to use up, so I use half red and half white.  If you use all red then the bread will not be fluffy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Brownies


1 pkg. German Chocolate cake mix (I've also used Devil's food and it turned out great)
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
2/3 c. evaporated milk, divided
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pkg caramels (14 oz) OR one recipe caramel sauce*

Mix cake mix, 1/3 c. evaporated milk, butter and nuts (optional).   Press half of this mixture into a greased 9x13 baking pan. 

(I usually have to use more than half to get it to cover the bottom; and I use my hands to get it all into place).  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
In a microwave, melt the caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk. (I do 30 seconds, then stir...over and over until it's all melted and combined). 

If using homemade caramel sauce, then skip this part and make the caramel sauce instead. (recipe below).  Top the baked half of brownies with chocolate chips and then drizzle caramel on top. 

Then drop the rest of the cake mixture onto the top by teaspoonfuls.

 Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Let stand overnight, then cut into squares.  (sometimes I let them sit over night, and they do cut easier than the times we dig right in after they are made!)
Caramel Sauce (I like this recipe from the Better Home and Gardens Cookbook
 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T. cornstarch
1/3 c. evaporated milk
2 T. light corn syrup
1 T. butter or margarine
1/2 t. vanilla
1. In a small heavy saucepan combine brown sugar and cornstarch.  Stir in 1/4 cup water.  Stir in the evaporated milk, corn syrup and butter.  Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. (mixture may appear curdled).  Cook and stir 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  (cover and chill any leftovers for up to 3 days).;

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My new favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe!



I finally decided to give in and try using Dough Enhancer in my bread recipe - I put it off for so long because I wanted my bread to be all "natural".   But can I tell you?!?  I am so excited about my bread now!  It is fluffy and spongy and it is still all wheat!  My kids really like my "brown bread" now!  It doesn't crumble - it is similar in texture to store bought wheat bread.  Here's the recipe I use (I've changed it a bit so that it works for me, use more or less flour and change your baking time so you get it just the way you like it)

100% Whole Wheat Bread (makes 5 large loaves)





6 cups steaming hot tap water
14-16 cups freshly ground wheat flour (I prefer white wheat)
1/3 c. Vital Wheat Gluten
2/3 c. instant mashed potato flakes
1/2 c. dry powdered milk
4 T. dough enhancer
1 c. canola oil
2/3 c. honey
 3 T. yeast
2 T. kosher salt (I've also used regular salt and it turned out good)


Place the  hot water into your mixing bowl.  Add 10 cups of wheat flour.  Turn the mixer to speed 1 and while running, add all other ingredients in the order listed.  Continue running the mixer and add 4 cups wheat flour.  Add enough flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl (you want soft, but not sticky dough).

 Then turn the mixer to speed 2 and mix for 10 minutes.  Divide the dough and shape into 5 loaves.  Place into greased loaf pans, cover with a clean dishcloth, and let rise on the counter for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are up, turn your oven on to 400 degrees.  When the oven is ready, place the loaves in and bake for 2 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes (I do 30 minutes)

Voila! :)

Here's a picture of Vital Wheat Gluten - it's a really fine powder

Saturday, October 15, 2011

DIY homemade french bread

I started with someone else's recipe, but it didn't turn out the way I liked.  So, I've changed this up a bit (mixing time, amount of flour, rising time...) and am going to claim this recipe as my own! :)  I am so excited about how amazing it is - I hope you'll try it and love it too!

 French Bread Recipe (makes 2 large loaves)
2 1/2 c. warm water (I run my tap water as hot as it will get)
2 T. yeast
3 T. sugar
2 T. white vinegar
Place these 4 ingredients in your mixing bowl and let sit until bubbly (5 minutes).  While waiting for it to bubble, put a small covered pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. (for later use).
Once the ingredients in the bowl are bubbly, add:
1 T. salt
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
7 1/2 cups flour
Knead on speed two in your mixing bowl (don't forget to use your dough hook!) for 1 minute.  Check dough consistency - if it seems too dry, add a bit more water, if it's too wet, add a bit more flour - honestly, I've never had to add anything, so hopefully you won't have to either!  After checking, knead on speed two for 5 minutes.
Place mixing bowl with dough and the small pot of boiling water into the oven (not turned on).

Let rise for 15 minutes.
Remove the mixing bowl and small pot from  the oven.  Turn the oven on to 170 degrees.
Punch dough down in bowl; then remove and place dough onto a greased counter top or cutting board and divide into 2 pieces.  Shape into long thin loaves.

Place onto a greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal (I get corn meal by grinding popcorn kernels in my wheat grinder).  Give the bread about 5 deep slashes on the top with a sharp knife, then brush the tops of the loafs with beaten egg white.

Place the loaves into the 170 degree oven and let rise for 15 minutes.

 After rising for 15 minutes, turn the oven up to 350 degrees (do NOT open the oven door!) and set the timer for 30 minutes.  (this is how long I bake it, but do it a few minutes longer if you don't think it's brown enough)  Take out of the oven and remove the loaves from the cookie sheet and let them cool on a wire rack (this will keep the bottoms from getting soggy).