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Spring “in the Making” Here at HHC

Spring has finally arrived!!  With it has come the green grass, tree buds and growing hay in the farm field outside my at-home office/craft area window.  I’m so glad Spring has finally come because I have finally unpacked a majority of our boxes from our move and I am ready to breath a fresh new life into my blog as well as my Crafting and Mary Kay businesses!!

If you check out my Heartfelt Home Creates shop on Etsy (here) and on Facebook (here), you’ll be sure to find links to and pictures of the Easter- and Spring-themed wreaths and other products I just made over the past 2 weeks.  It was so nice finally being able to have my own crafting/office space again, thanks to the custom shelf built for me by my husband so that I may have my own little corner of the house to some of my supplies while at the same time sectioning off my own area from the kids’ new play room. For those of you that have your own work space or at-home office space, I’m sure you can completely relate and share in my excitement!

Aside from my crafting business, I have also been able to restart my Mary Kay business!  I have even created a Facebook page (here) for it so that I can connect with my customers, old and new alike, in addition to emails. I love finding new ways to connect with people!

But enough of the “self-promotion”, that’s not why I am writing this post. Instead, I’d like to just jot down some of my blogging and crafting to-do list items.  First off, I just finished reading a great inspirational book about a Christian single mom who, against many odds and obstacles, accomplished so much — it was great! I don’t want to say much more since I will be writing a review of this book in an upcoming post, so in the meantime I hope that you will check back over the course of the next day or two so that you can read more about it!!

In other news, I have been busy crocheting and crafting up some new fabric squares wreaths.  I am excited that this month marked my 2-year anniversary of my shop on Etsy! Right now I am focusing on Easter and Spring- inspired items, and I’ve been having a lot of fun creating them!! So far I’ve made about5 wreaths, as well as egg cozies, bibs, hats, placemats, washcloths (and I have a lot more ideas in my head waiting to be made!).  I think the spring weather we’ve been blessed with here is playing a key roll in energizing my creative side. (*smile*)

As far as blogging goes, I’m looking forward to trying new recipes and sharing them with you. I won’t be able to post recipes weekly like I have in the past since most of my time is now spent keeping up with our two little ones, but I am eager to get a few posts in soon!  There are also quite a few books I have on my “to read and review” list that I am anticipating sharing with you. I was hoping to write some gardening posts, but unfortunately I am unable to have my lovely garden in our new home.  I’m trying to find a way to remedy that, perhaps with a garden in flower pots… I haven’t quite figured that out yet, so if anyone has suggestions on how I can have my veggie garden in our new home (where I can grow tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, lettuce and such) I’m all up for suggestions!!

Well, I hate to end this rather spuratic and random post so quickly, but my little ones are in need of this Mommy’s attention. With that being said, I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening and will check back soon as I retake my blogging by storm!  🙂

 

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~* Recipe of the Week *~

Clams w/ Noodles in a Yummy Butter Sauce!

 

Yesterday was my birthday, and I had the chance to make one of my favorite meals for supper: Clams with Noodles in a special sauce I enjoy making!!

Preparation/ Cook Time: 20 – 30 minutes

Makes about4 servings.

Clams with Noodles in a Buttery Sauce

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of the pasta of your choice (this particular time I used a 1/2 bag of egg noodles, but I’ve also used spaghetti, and linguine pastas
  • 1 bag of fresh clams (I was able to get a 50 count bag at my local grocery store for about $5.00)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, melt 1 stick of butter.  While butter is cooking, scrub clams clean (still in their shells) with a scrub brush and hot water.
  2. When butter is melted add water, garlic, lemon pepper seasoning, and lemon juice. 
  3. Before continuing, start cooking pasta in a pot of boiling water. Drain pasta when it is cooked.  I find it easiest to have the pasta cooking while I’m cooking up my clams that way the noodles and clams in buttery sauce get done at about the same time.
  4. Place clams in frying pan (do not stack clams on top of one another).  Cover with lid and let cook on medium – high heat for about 5 minutes until all clam shells pop open! (Once all of the clams are “popped” open, that means the clams are cooked thoroughly. If you come across any clams that are not opened after cooking, discard them! We don’t need you eating bad or uncooked seafood!)
  5. Leave buttery mixture in frying pan, and remove all cooked clams. I put all of my clam shells in the garbage can and the clam meat in a bowl.  Continue cooking up the rest of the clams in the same way until all are cooked. Add more water to buttery mixture if needed. 
  6. ** There’s no need to dump buttery mixture into bowl of clam meat in between each round of clam cooking if you are doing a large amount at one time.  The more clams you cook in the buttery sauce, the more flavor gets added! 🙂
  7. Place noodles in a bowl or on a plate (whichever you prefer!).  Top with cooked clams and buttery garlic and lemon pepper “sauce”.  Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top if desired!

I enjoy having my clams and noodles with either garlic bread or crackers.  If you are not a fan of eating the clam meat whole, feel free to mince it up.  Adding chopped or minced onions to the mixture in place of the lemon pepper seasoning is also an option! Enjoy!!

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~* Recipe of the Week *~

Stuffed Green Peppers

 

 

MMmmmm…… stuffed green peppers!  This is one of those recipes I enjoyed often when I was growing up, and had decided to make for dinner yesterday.   My mom would often make them with mashed potatoes on the side. I liked using the extra tomato sauce/juice at the bottom of the pan to drizzle on top of my potatoes for some extra yummy flavor.  So, without further delay, here is my mom’s stuffed pepper recipe!

Preparation: 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour (oven set at 350 degrees F)

Ingredients: (Makes about 6 pepper halves)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup uncooked white rice (depending on how much or how little you enjoy rice; I used a 1/4 cup when I made 2 pepper halves)
  • 4 green peppers
  • 1 jar tomato sauce or 1 jar spaghetti sauce (I use spaghetti sauce because it is thicker, but either is fine)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, boil water and cook rice.
  3. While rice is cooking, cut peppers in half and remove stems, centers and seeds.
  4. When rice is done cooking, drain, then run cold water over rice and drain again to cool it down and to make it easier to mix in with the ground beef.
  5. In a large bowl mix together (I use my hands) the rice and the uncooked ground beef. 
  6. Place pepper halves in a glass baking dish. If using a metal baking pan, line pan with aluminum foil.
  7. Roll rice and ground beef mixture into balls and stuff them inside pepper halves.  Don’t be afraid to over stuff the pepper halves, the more stuffing in each, the better!
  8. Pour spaghetti sauce/tomato sauce over peppers.  Cover pan with aluminum foil.
  9. Cook in oven for 1 hour.  Check internal temperature of stuffing with a meat thermometer to make sure ground beef is cooked thoroughly.
  10. When done, serve with mashed potatoes or any other vegetable/side you would like.  And don’t forget to drizzle the leftover sauce onto your peppers for some extra flavoring!!

* These peppers can also be cooked on the grill.  Just wrap each stuffed pepper topped with sauce in aluminum foil!

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~* Recipe of the Week *~

Taco Burgers

 

Despite the rain we’ve been having lately (which seems to be just about every day), I’ve managed to squeeze in some meals cooked on our grill.  This week, I’ve chosen to highlight an idea my husband and I decided to experiment with yesterday.  Having an abundance of hamburg made from deer meat in our freezer, we wanted to come up with something different, and as a result made taco burgers!!  Now this may sound strange to some of you, especially with the addition of using deer burger instead of beef hamburger,  but surprisingly everything turned out pretty well. So,  on that note, let me share with you our quick and easy recipe for taco burgers!

Taco Burgers on the Grill

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef/hamburg
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • shredded taco or mexican cheese
  • taco sauce or salsa
  • lettuce and sliced tomato, hamburger buns

 

Preparation and Cooking:

Taco Burger

  1. In a large bowl, mix taco seasoning in with ground hamburg with either a fork or by hand, adding the 3 tablespoons of water if needed to make the mixing process easier.
  2. After taco seasoning is thoroughly  mixed in with the  meat, cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours (I made my meat mixture around lunch time and let it sit in the refrigerator for about 5 hours).
  3. When it’s time to cook the taco burgers, form hamburg into patties about 1/4 inch thick and place on grill. 
  4. Cook burgers on medium heat, flipping burgers occasionally to assure drainage of excess juices and to make sure burgers do not stick to grill.  I use a meat thermometer.
  5. Serve taco burgers with your favorite taco toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, taco/mexican cheese, taco sauce, salsa, etc.).

 

And there you have it — a bit of spice and something different to add to your backyard grilling adventures!

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~* Recipe of the Week *~

BBQ Chicken

(Your choice of in the oven or on the grill!)

 

Spring is finally making itself known where I live.   And with Spring, it brings my need to be outside in the warm sunshine. The other week when we had a warm spell I fired up the grill and made some yummy BBQ chicken.  You can use this same recipe to cook the chicken in your oven if you’d like.  When I made it on the grill, I cooked the chicken a bit before spreading on my sauce, that way the sauce didn’t burn while waiting for the chicken to cook thoroughly.

Prep time: 20 minutes 

Cook time: 1 hr 30 minutes in oven (45 minutes – 1 hour on grill, depending on size of chicken pieces and how fast chicken cooks)

Ingredients:

  • 12 chicken thighs, or legs, or a mixture of both (with or without skin on, you choice!)
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

 

Directions:

  1. If using an oven:
  2. 

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. 
  • In a sauce pan on medium heat, stir together the water, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.  
  • Once thoroughly stirred together, add in salt and chili powder.
  • Let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Place chicken pieces in a glass baking dish. Pour 3/4 of sauce over chicken.  Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and place in oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.   Turn chicken pieces over and pour remaining sauce over them.  Recover chicken and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.  Then bake chicken without cover for 15 minutes.

2.  If cooking chicken on the grill:

  • Make sauce according to recipe listed above. 
  • While sauce is simmering, place chicken pieces on the grill on medium heat.  (Cooking for about 15 minutes)
  • When sauce is done, place chicken pieces on aluminum foil on the grill.  Pour 1/2 of sauce on chicken pieces and cook on low heat for about 20 – 30 minutes.
  • Check temperature of chicken.  When chicken is thoroughly cooked (or close to it), turn pieces over and place directly on grill rack.  Pour remaining sauce over chicken and let cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until sauce is cooked onto the chicken without burning it.  (Some people might like to cook their’s a little longer so that it is more on the crispy side.) Make sure to use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of chicken to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly before serving.

 

Serve with some grilled vegetables or a salad.   I made mine with some grilled peppers and cooked rice.  Yummy!

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~* Recipe of the Week*~

Homemade Venison Vegetable Soup

(My own creation!)

Venison Vegetable Soup

Soups are the perfect dish to warm your belly on cold, winter afternoons!  I especially like hearty soups that fill me up!   Yesterday I decided to use the leftover half of venison roast from a previous meal to make what turned out to be a delicious soup!!  (If you are not a fan of deer meat, you can very easily subtitute with lamb, pork, or beef cubes.)  Plus, I let the ingredients cook and simmer in my small crock pot all day, filling my house with it’s yummy aroma.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pre-cooked venison roast cut into cubes (or meat prefered)
  • 1 bag of frozen soup vegetables, which may include corn, lima beans, green beans, chopped carrots, celery, peas
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped into quarters and separated
  • 3 cubed potatoes, with or without skins
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon/ 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 3 packets beef bullion
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper

 

Preparation and Cooking:

  1. Fill a small crock pot 3/4 full with water.
  2. Add venison cubes, frozen vegetable mixture, onion pieces, and potato cubes to water.
  3. Stir in beef bullion packets, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Cover and let cook on “high” setting for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender and venison cubes can be cut/separated easily with a spoon (yummy and tender!)

** I let my soup simmer on low for another 1/2 hour after potatoes and meat became tender, to allow vegetables and other ingredients to form a nice stock, creating a heartier broth!

Serve with fresh bread or biscuits with butter! 

~* Enjoy!! *~

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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Recipe of the Week, WAHM

 

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~* Recipe of the Week*~

~* Homemade Split Pea Soup*~

 

Here is another one of my homemade soup recipes that you can cook up and enjoy during those snowy afternoons/evenings!  I hope you enjoy my homemade split pea soup recipe!  (It’s another one of my favorites from my childhood 😉 )

HHC Recipe of the Week

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of split peas (you can find them in the dry foods section of the grocery store, usually near the beans)
  • 4-6 cups water
  • 2 – 3 carrots chopped (about a half of a bag of baby carrots work just as well)
  • 1- 2 potatoes diced into cubes (preferably w/out skins)
  • 1/4 chopped onion
  • 1 lb cooked ham chopped into small “chunks” (I like using the leftovers from our Christmas ham!)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Preparation and Cooking:

  1. Add split peas to a soup pot filled with 4-6 cups of hot water.  **Follow directions given on the split peas packaging. The kind I used today had me cook the peas in the water at a medium temperature for 20-30 minutes. Some brands ask you to soak the peas in the water for a period of time before cooking them. 
  2. After the peas are cooked, dump the peas into a strainer in order to drain out the water. Then return peas to pot.
  3. Add 4-6 cups of fresh water to the pot of peas (this can be done now, or you can add the water after all of the ingredients are added to the peas. I like to wait until after all of the ingredients are added that way I can make sure I don’t have too “watery” of a soup base. I like my pea soup to be on the thicker side.)
  4. Add carrots, onion, potatoes, and ham pieces to the peas.  Add salt and/or pepper  to taste.
  5. Add more water if needed.  I make sure there is enough water in the pot to cover all of the  ingredients. This assures that the potatoes and carrots and onions will be cooked thoroughly.
  6. Bring soup to a boil. Then, stirring occasionally, cover and cook for 1-2 hours until peas break down and make a nice, creamy broth, and the carrots and potatoes are soft.
  7. Remove from heat and let sit covered for a minute or 2 so the broth gets a chance to thicken a little more.
  8. Serve as a meal or as a side. I enjoy mine with a few slices of buttered bread!! 🙂

I hope you enjoy this recipe. This soup, along with many others, is one my mother used to make for my brother and I on winter afternoons when we were growing up.  This is also a good recipe to cook up in a crock pot!  Enjoy!!

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Posted by on January 10, 2011 in Recipe of the Week

 

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