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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Flour Jars

I've been working on organizing my pantry lately. I found these jars at Target and loved them. They are perfect for my flour, they hold up to 10 lbs. I had my vinyl lady make the labels so I could distinguish which flour was which. By the way, I have a good vinyl lady if anyone needs one. All in all, I think they turned out cute. Organizing my pantry will be a slow process though. The cost of doing this, the way I want it, isn't going to be cheap.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Scalloped Potatoes

It's been a while and I'm a little behind on posting! I've been super busy but wanted to get some recipes on here so make sure you check them all out. I'll have another craft posted soon. Thanks for checking in!
8-10 large russet potatoes
Wash and peel potatoes. Wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees. Allow potatoes to cool completely. Slice potatoes on a mandolin slicer to desired thickness. Set aside.

Saute the following:
4 Tbl. butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large leek, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Set aside.

Roux (sauce):
Melt 3/4 cup butter in a skillet.
2/3 cup flour
1 Tbl. salt
1 1/2 tsp. garlic pepper
1 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
Slowly add 5 cups milk or 1/2 & 1/2 to mixture, stirring occasionally till thickened.

Spray baking dish and layer as follows:
1/3 sauce, 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 onion mixture, 1/3 sauce, remaining potatoes, remaining onion mixture, and remaining sauce.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees.

*this recipe came from Shar's Bosch Kitchen Center

Lion House Rolls

2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbl. yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
5-5 1/2 cups flour, all purpose works fine but bread flour is better if you have it
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine water and milk powder till dissolved. Add yeast, then sugar, salt, shortening, egg, and 2 cups flour. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes.
2. Add 2 more cups of flour and again mix on low for 2 minutes.
3. Add remaining 1- 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. (The dough should be soft but not overly sticky.
4. Remove dough from bowl coat with oil, return to bowl, cover and allow to rise till doubled. (you can skip this step if using SAF instant yeast)
5. Sprinkle your counter with flour or canola oil, which ever you prefer, and roll out dough. You can cut these into any shape you prefer. (I cut rectangles and rolled them like you would a cinnamon roll)
6. Place rolls on a greased cookie sheet and cover allowing them to rise till doubled again.
7. Bake rolls for 8-12 minutes, depending on shape, at 375 degrees.
(I yielded 2 dozen with this recipe)
*These are good but I'm still a fan of my "knot roll" recipe.

Chicken Pillows

3-4 cups chicken, cooked & cubed
6oz. cream cheese, softened
2-4 Tbl. green onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped mushrooms (optional, I didn't put these in mine)
2 Tbl. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
2 cans crescent roll dough (or Pillsbury's new crescent creations)
Italian bread crumbs
1 stick melted butter

1. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, green onion, (mushrooms), 2 Tbl. butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
2. Open crescent rolls and carefully unroll dough. Separate each tube into 4 rectangles. Seal center seams if using actual crescents. Place a heaping scoop of chicken mixture onto one side of rectangle and fold other half over sealing edges and creating a "pillow".
3. Dip each pillow in melted butter, then in bread crumbs.
4. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crescent is cooked through. Serve with cream sauce.

Cream Sauce:
1 can cream of chicken
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbl. mayo
milk, to thicken

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat until thickened and heated through.
*recipe came from Real Mom Kitchen

Ranch House Pork Chops with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

6 pork chops, 1/2" thick
1 packet (3 Tbl.) Ranch dressing seasoning
10.75 oz. Cream of Chicken
4 lbs. potatoes, peeled & cubed
5 Tbl. butter
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 cloves roasted garlic (directions below)
1- 1 1/2 cups warm milk
1 Tbl. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

1. Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning, and cream of chicken in crock pot. Cook on low heat for 6 hours.
2. Just prior to serving pork chops, boil cubed potatoes until fork tender. Drain and place in mixing bowl.
3. Mix on low till potatoes are mashed, then add butter, Parmesan, garlic, milk, salt, and pepper. Season to taste as needed.
4. Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with a pork chop and gravy.

Roasted Garlic:
Slice the top off of a garlic bulb, drizzle 1 Tbl. olive oil over top. Wrap tightly in foil and bake for 1 hour and 350 degrees.
* recipe from Real Mom Kitchen

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Burritos w/Cilantro Lime Rice & Cilantro Lime Dressing

Anyone who has had Cafe Rio's sweet pork knows how awesome it is. This is a copy-cat recipe and it is a must try! It may seem like a lot of work to some but it is soo worth it! They usually serve this pork on a yummy salad but I decided to make a burrito instead using their sweet pork, cilantro-lime rice, and cilantro ranch. You could also add their black beans to this as well but my family is not a big fan of beans, I'll include the recipe for it though.
I bought the uncooked tortillas and I do recommend them. They are so much better than pre-made and they only take 60 seconds to cook. We also added romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese to our burritos. They turned out delicious!

Sweet Pork
2 pounds pork (I used boneless pork ribs)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet), buying the 2 ltr. is cheaper
1/4 cup brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 cup water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso brand, mild spiciness but any will work)
1+ cup brown sugar

1. Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinate overnight.
2. Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on low for 6- 8 hours.
3. Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork. (for those of you who have a Bosch mixer, place meat in mixer with wire whisks and mix on speed 1 for 15-20 seconds, it will be perfectly shredded!)
4. In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.
5. Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours.

Cilantro-Lime Rice
1 c. uncooked white rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice

Cilantro Ranch Dressing
1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno (I left this out, I don't like it too spicy)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!

Black Beans
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro.

Easter Decor

Now that St. Patrick's Day is over it'[s time to change the decor once again! I decided I wanted to fill this apothecary jar with some cute eggs for Easter. One problem, I'm cheap and cute eggs are not, especially when you need 34 of them! So I really liked the look of the splattered quail eggs. Here's how I made them:
What you need:
plastic Easter eggs, yes the cheap ones you put candy in (We all have too many of these things around our house)
sand paper
white spray paint
acrylic paint, colors of choice for eggs
brown acrylic paint, for quail look
sponge brush
old toothbrush
What you do:
1. Sand each egg just enough to scuff the shine off. This will help the paint to stick better.
2. Open each egg and place them on a paint drop cloth (outside). Spray paint each egg white. You may need a few coats. Do not spray the insides.
3. Once eggs have dried, paint each egg with acrylic paint. I gave each egg 2 coats.
4. Once they have dried, return the eggs to the drop cloth, still opened. Dip your toothbrush into the brown paint, turn it so that the bristles face the eggs, and run your finger down the bristles. (I used dark brown paint and then added a little white to it and went over the eggs with the lighter brown as well.) This may splatter up at you so make sure you are wearing old clothes or an apron.
5. Let dry. Close eggs and your done!

Once again here is my holiday cloche. I found this huge egg at Ross for $2.99! It fits perfectly. The pink beading is from Designer Blvd. To view my post on how to make your own cloche click here.

Breakfast for Dinner

It's not very often we do breakfast for dinner at our house. This meal turned out really good so we'll have to do it more often. I used the breading recipe from my chicken fried chicken recipe, found here, but substituted breakfast steak for the chicken. I also made hashbrowns and whipped up some country gravy to pour over top both the hashbrowns and steak. Yummy! I did fry up some bacon to go with but the only missing was biscuits. I was running tight on time, maybe next time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ham & Potatoes Au Gratin

1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
dash of pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 medium potatoes, cooked and diced
1 lb. ham, diced
1/4 cup mayonnaise

1. Cook onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Stir in flour and pepper. Add milk all at once and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
2. Reduce heat and stir in cheese and mayonnaise. Stir well till cheese melts.
3. Combine diced potatoes and ham with sauce.
4. Place in a casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Monday, March 16, 2009


1/2 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Cream together shortening and brown sugar.
2. Add eggs. Mix.
3. Mix all remaining ingredients.
4. Pour batter in a lightly greased 9X13 pan.
5. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
These are so addicting, just another one of my Mom's recipes!

Raspberry-Lemon Muffins

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
6 Tbls. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbl. lemon zest
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)

1. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
2. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until blended. Whisk in milk, butter, and lemon zest.
3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir till evenly moistened. Gently fold in the raspberries.
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them 3/4 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 425 degrees. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Tips: I personally thought these needed a little more lemon and a little less nutmeg. I recommend 1 1/2-2 Tbls. of lemon zest and 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg. I'm not a huge fan of nutmeg and I could taste it a little more than I would have liked to.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Before & After....Chair

Infarrantly Creative is having a Roadkill Rescue Party- Go Check it Out! I also rescued a baby cradle, but I have to admit, I paid $2.50 for it...still check it out!

I've been needing a chair for my craft table for quite some time now. My husband called me from work one day last week and told me that someone had dropped off some old dining room chairs next to the dumpster at his work. So I hurried over to get one, and as you can tell they were in pretty bad shape. But not anymore! It was nothing a little sanding, painting, new pad, and some fabric couldn't handle.
Chair: FREE
Sanding: $0.00
Paint: $3.00
Chair Pad: $3.00
Fabric: $6.00
Total: $12.00!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cheese Potato Soup in Homemade Bread Bowls

First I have to credit my Mom for the delicious soup recipe, I grew up eating this soup, and thank you Nelda Evans for the yummy bread bowl recipe!
Cheese Potato Soup
3-4 large russet potatoes, cubed
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
3/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbl. flour
1 can evaporated milk
2 cups water
3/4 lb. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1. Boil potatoes, carrots, and celery till soft, NOT MUSHY!
2. Saute' onion in butter.
3. Drain vegetables and return to pot.
4. Add onions, salt, pepper, and flour. Toss to coat.
5. Pour evaporated milk and water in slowly and warm over medium heat. (do not let it boil)
6. Add cubed cheese and allow to melt completely.
7. Serve immediately.
Crusty Soup Bowls
2 Tbl. yeast
2 cups warm water
1 Tbl. sugar
2 tsp. salt
5 cups flour

1. Dissolve yeast in water. Add sugar, salt, and 3 cups flour. Beat for 3 minutes.
2. Gradually add remaining flour till the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. (You may not need all 5 cups)
3. Knead dough on a lightly oiled (canola oil) surface till smooth and elastic, or if you have a bread machine, let it do the kneading for you!
4. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise till doubled.
5. Punch down and divide into 8 pieces (I did 6, I like my bowls a little bigger). Form each piece into a ball and place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise till doubled.
6. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.
7. Cool, cut off tops, and scoop out interior.
8. Pour hot soup inside and enjoy!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 ultra gel (optional, helps soften the cookie)

2 Tbl. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
2. Blend in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and (ultra gel).
3. Shape dough into balls.
4. Mix cinnamon and remaining sugar.
5. Roll each ball of dough in mixture and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove immediately from baking sheet.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Salsa Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2-3 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

1. Rub taco seasoning on both sides of chicken.
2. Place chicken in a greased 9x13 baking dish. Cover each chicken breast with 1/4 cup of salsa. (I used homemade salsa)
3. Bake chicken at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, return to oven for 3-4 minutes. Cheese should be melted.
5. Add a dollop of sour cream and serve!

Shar's Corn Muffins

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 4oz. can chopped green chilies (optional)
1 15oz. can creamed corn
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup fresh ground popcorn kernels
1 1/2 Tbls. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup ultra gel (modified food starch, see comments for more details)

1. Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs.
2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Fill sprayed muffin tins 3/4 full. (makes 2 dozen)
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until golden brown) at 350 degrees.
Allow muffins to sit in pan on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Outback Chicken

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2-1 tsp. seasoning salt
6 slices of bacon, halved
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp. dried onion flakes
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional, tastes fine w/o them)

1. Pound chicken breasts to 1/2" thick. Season both sides with seasoning salt and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Cook bacon until crisp, set aside and reserve grease.
3. Combine mustard, honey, mayo, and onion flakes until smooth.
4. Brown chicken in a little bacon grease approximately 3-4 minutes per side (I know, so healthy!)
5. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with bacon and (mushrooms). Pour sauce over chicken and cover with cheese.
6. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cooked through.