If you have a question or comment, please e-mail me at marinscreations@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Banana Crumb Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon butter

1. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a small bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter.
3. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture until nice and moist.
4. Spoon batter into lined or greased muffin tin.
5. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and ground cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Generously sprinkle over muffins.
6. Bake muffins at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes of clean.

Cheesy Potatoes

I think alot of people have their own variation of this recipe, but this happens to be my Mom's.
2 lbs. frozen hash browns, thawed
1/2 cup melted butter
1 can cream of chicken
1 pint sour cream
1/2 - 1 cup diced onion
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. Mix all the above ingredients and pour into a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes

Mix butter and corn flakes, sprinkle over hot potatoes and bake another 15 minutes.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Knot Rolls

I have officially found my roll recipe. I have been trying many different dinner roll recipes lately and this is the one. This is going to be our family roll. Let me warn you though, yummy doesn't always mean healthy!
3 cups milk- boil milk for 6 minutes in the microwave on high, then pour in mixing bowl.
Add to the warm milk:
3/4 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
3/4 cups shortening
1 cup potato pearls/flakes
Stir and let sit until cooled, about 4 minutes and the shortening will melt into the mixture
4 eggs
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon yeast (I LOVE saf instant yeast)
7 cups flour +/- (the dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl)
Let the dough rise for 1 hour, maybe a little longer if you use whole wheat.
1. Once dough has risen, take 1/3 of the dough, roll it out into a rectangle, lightly butter it, then fold in half forming a square. Using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 strips.
2. Take a strip of dough, roll it lightly in flour, then tie it in a knot and tuck the sides under. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with all your dough.
4. Let them rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
This makes about 20 enormous rolls. If you would like to yield more rolls, divide your dough into fourths before rolling out and make smaller strips. Adjust cooking time as well, roughly 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rookie Cookie's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from the fabulous Rookie Cookie's blog
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets (I use silicone baking mats).
4. Bake for 12-14 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.
*this recipe made 3 dozen 2" cookies.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Picture Blocks

What you need:
wood block (whatever size you want)
sand paper
foam brush
wooden knob/drawer pull
hot glue
mod podge
What you do:
1. Sand blocks until smooth on all sides.
2. Paint block and knob with foam brush. Apply as many coats until desired color is achieved. Let dry completely.
3. Distress edges of the block with sand paper. Now apply stain (any color) using a white rag to the distressed edges. (this step is optional) Let dry.
4. Cut picture to size. Apply a smooth layer of mod podge over the face of the block and attach picture. Allow to dry completely.
5. Once mod podge has dried, apply thin layer of mod podge over the top of the picture to seal it to the block. Allow to dry.
6. Hot glue wooden knob to the top of the block and tie ribbon around.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cranberry Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 pkg. chopped pecans
1 bottle Catalina dressing
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1. Place chicken in baking pan. Generously spread cranberry sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle pecans and onion soup mix over chicken. Pour catalina dressing over top.
2. Bake lightly covered with foil at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes.

Ribbon Organization

Believe it or not, there is 68 spools of ribbon in here!
Finally! A way to organize ribbon that works for me! I was a little overly excited about this one. I've seen many ways to organize ribbon and I used to run wooden dowels through shadow boxes which works great, if you don't have a ton of ribbon. I gave up after my third shadow box. I found this new idea on a blog called Capture the Moment. I'm so excited to finally have my ribbon organized and takes up so little space!

What you need:
wooden clothespins/doll pins (I've heard these are at the Dollar Tree, but I picked mine up at JoAnn's for convenience)
glass headed pins

What you do:
1. Insert the end of the ribbon in the slit of the clothespin. You only need the end to extend about half an inch or so.
2. Then fold the end over onto the base of the clothespin and hold it in place with your thumb. You will want to fold it so the good side of your ribbon is face up.
3. Next you want to pull the other end of the ribbon (the opposite end from the one you folded over in the last step) down over the short end. This will help keep it from pulling back through the slit without using any tape to hold it in place.
4. Start spooling the ribbon at an angle down the length of the clothespin. Try to keep even spacing because this will ensure that your spool will be evenly dispersed once it is completed.
Then spool back up the clothespin in an opposing angle. Keep everything fairly tight as you are working to help make sure that the ribbon doesn't come off the clothespin when in storage. You will continue spooling until you have completed your entire length of ribbon.
5. To keep the end of the ribbon in place, fasten it with your glass head pin.

* you can fit roughly 5 yards per clothespin

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The blog make-over is done. Thanks to Hillary over at Simply Yours Designs! It's just what I wanted. Simple and doesn't distract from my posts. Check her out if your blog is in need of a new look.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Under Construction

I am going to be working on my blog over the next few days to try and find a permanent template design. I've been debating on getting one made for a while and I think it's time! If you are new to my blog or have just stumbled upon it, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I am always open to new readers! I've heard rumblings that "friends of friends" frequent my blog but don't leave comment because they don't know me directly. Don't worry, I'd love to hear from you too! It's always good to get feedback and know I'm not wasting my time. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Master Cookbook

I decided the cover still needed something...so why not a little bling!

*for those of you who saw this post earlier, yes, I changed the name

This is what I like to call my "master cookbook". This binder holds all of my liked, successful recipes. These recipes are usually ones I've printed off the internet, or have been given to me, or ones I've made copies of out of cookbooks I own. I know that sounds weird, but I make copies from my cookbooks so that I don't have to remember which book it was in and I'm less likely to forget about the recipe. I always place a page protector over each sheet to protect it from splashes and spills. I love that I can write notes or alterations right on the recipe too. And heck, when the recipes fails...throw it away!

Anyways, I outgrew my last one and had to move on to bigger and better..... here she is!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grandma Ople's Apple Pie

2 9" pie crusts
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 Tbl. all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1/4 cup water
8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add both white and brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Place bottom crust in pie pan. Fill with apples. Pour sugar mixture over apples, reserving enough to cover crust.
3. Cover pie with lattice crust. Using a basting brush, brush remaining sugar mixture over lattice crust.
4. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35-45 minutes.

Beef & Bean Burritos, Enchilada Style

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 can diced green chilies
1 16oz. can refried beans
1 15oz. can No bean chili
1 can tomato soup
10oz. enchilada sauce
flour tortillas
shredded lettuce
chopped tomatoe
shredded cheese
chopped green onion
black olives
sour cream
1. Brown beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook until onion is translucent. Drain meat. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir in green chilies and refried beans. Keep warm.
2. In a saucepan, combine chili, tomoatoe soup, and enchilada sauce. Mix well and heat thoroughly. Keep warm.
3. Warm tortillas. Place 1/2 cup of meat/bean mixture on tortilla, add lettuce, tomatoe, etc. Roll into a buritto. Cover in sauce mixture, sprinkle cheese, green onion, etc. over top and serve.

Beef & Broccoli

1 lb. beef tenderloin
1/2 lb. broccoli
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbl. soy sauce, separated
1 tsp. MSG
3 slices fresh ginger
1 Tbl. ketchup
2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch
3 Tbl. water

1. Cut beef into thin, bite-size pieces. In a small bowl, mix black pepper, 1 Tbl. soy sauce, and MSG. Place meat and mixture in a ziploc bag, add ginger slices. Let marinade for at least 2 hours.
2. Remove ginger slices. Stir fry beef on high heat until browned. Remove and set aside.
3. Stir fry broccoli until crisp and tender. Season with salt.
4. Mix remaining soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, and Worcestershire. Add to broccoli and bring to a boil.
5. Mix cornstarch and water and add top broccoli mixture to thicken.
6. Toss in beef and heat thoroughly.
*Another great recipe from Barbara Lamb, thanks!

Fried Rice

2 cups cooked rice
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbl. soy sauce, or more if desired
Add any of the following:
shredded carrots, sliced celery, bean sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, green bell pepper, ham, scrambled egg, shredded pork, or shrimp.
1. Stir-fry onion and veggies.
2. Add any cooked meat, if desired.
3. Stir in seasonings, soy sauce, and rice.
4. Place in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

*Thank you Barbara Lamb for teaching me this yummy recipe!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sister Price's Dinner Rolls

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/2 cup and 1 Tablespoon sugar, keep separated
1 1/2 Tablespoons warm water
1 cup milk, almost scalding (1- 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave)
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour, sifted

1. Combine yeast, 1 Tablespoon sugar, and water in a small bowl, stir and set aside.
2. Pour milk into large bowl (or mixer) and add melted butter and remaining sugar. Stir until dissolved.
3. When milk mixture is warm to the touch, add yeast mixture.
4. Beat three eggs with a fork and add to the mix.
5. Add salt and stir.
6. Add 2 cups of sifted flour, then stir.
7. Add remaining 2 cups of flour and stir well.

At this point the dough will look sticky, bumpy, and a little wet- Don't worry.

8. Place in a large bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled.
9. Once dough has doubled in size, you can-
roll out dough to 1/8-1/4 inch thickness, cut into triangles, then roll into crescent shape
shape into balls, about the size of a golf ball
10. Place rolls on a greased 9X13 cookie sheet, cover, let rise again until doubled.
11.Bake for 8-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch carefully, once they brown they are done.
12. Rub melted butter on finished rolls and enjoy!
*Thank you Brooke for this recipe!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

7-8 red potatoes, leave skins on
4 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
3-4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sour cream
3-4 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons parsley flakes
2-3 Tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Quarter potatoes and place in a large pot of salted water. Add whole garlic cloves and bring to a boil.
2. Cover and reduce heat for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Drain well, add all remaining ingredients.
4. Mash to desired consistency, add more milk if you like your potatoes smooth.
5. Serve immediately.

Salisbury Steak

*this is not one of the most eye pleasing meals, but it has tons of flavor and is so good.
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (you want to use a higher fat content to keep beef tender, I use 80/20)
1 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, minced
1 26 oz. OR 2 10.75 oz. cans of cream of mushroom
1 envelope onion soup mix

1. In a bowl, combine ground beef, bread crums, egg, and onion.
2. Form into 5-6 patties.
3. In a separate bowl, combine cream of mushroom and onion soup mix.
4. Place patties in a lightly greased 9X13 pan and pour soup mixture over patties.
5. Place foil over pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Remove foil the last 30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bookshelf Makeover

This is a bookshelf that was given to us a few years ago. When we got it, it was white washed and had that pink hue to it. I hate to admit it, but we spray painted it white and threw it in my little boy's room. Now that I am in the process of re-doing his room I decided it needed a make over. A few coats of chocolate brown paint and a little bead board for the back panel.....much better!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Valentine's Wreath

*I've had a lot of questions about this wreath. Just to clarify, I used only one fabric above. The other color you are seeing is the reverse side. You can use as many fabrics as you'd like.
What you need:
styrofoam heart
tacky glue
scrap fabric (about 1/3 of a yard), cut into 2" squares
What you do:
1. Fill a small bowl with glue.
2. Place the tip of the pencil in the center of the fabric square (print side facing the pencil), then dip the end of it in the glue.
3. Press the pencil tip into the styrofoam.
4. Remove the pencil and the fabric should stay in place.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 until entire heart is covered. (make sure it looks nice and full)
6. Tie a small loop around the finished wreath with ribbon, then thread enough ribbon through that to hang your wreath.
*I'm pretty sure I got this idea from Little Birdie's Secrets

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cute Bank for a Cute Girl

Every Christmas Grandpa does a "money toss" for the grandkids. When we got home I discovered Aliza didn't have a bank to put her money in. So....of course I had to buy one....NO!.....MAKE one!

What you need:
Mod Podge
scrapbook paper
paper trimmer
container of choice (4x5 clear plastic w/removable lid pictured)

What you do:
1. Cut the money slot out of the top/lid of the container. (I recommend letting your husband do this, I did.)
2. Cut scrapbook paper to size for all sides.
3. Mod podge paper to container and let dry.
4. Once dry, add an outer coat of Mod Podge to seal the paper to the container.
5. Add embellishments. (I added Swarovski crystals to this one) ribbon, chipboard, an initial, anything!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Just wanted to share....

I just wanted to share my favorite after Christmas find. If any of you had your eye on one of these guys this holiday season then you know they aren't the most afforadable decoration around, especially since it's only displayed one month out of the year! I scored this beauty at Designer Blvd. for $20, originally $80. I was so excited, I just had to share!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Valentine's Day Decor....Already

Remember this guy? He used to be filled with Christmas balls. This is his new look for Valentine's Day.
I bought these wired, glittered hearts at JoAnn's and stuck them into a styrofoam square. I placed red tulle in the bottom to cover the styrofoam. I re-used my same red beads from before and there you have it!

Breaded Chicken & Rice

*this was a last minute meal that I threw together with ingredients I had on hand. It actually turned out really good! (sorry for the bad picture, the lighting is off)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1. Combine cream of mushroom soups with sour cream and place in a greased 9X13 pan.
2. Dip each chicken breast in melted butter, then coat with seasoned bread crumbs.
3. Place chicken breasts on top of gravy mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. Serve gravy mixture over hot rice.