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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trash to Treasure Baby Cradle

I bought this baby cradle at Goodwill for 1/2 off, which meant it was $2.50! It had stencil painting all the way around it with a large angel painted on the back. Not my cup of tea. I knew with a little sanding and a couple fresh coats of paint (and primer) she would be a beauty in no time.
...and one happy little girl!
I painted it with Rustoleom's Heirloom White spray paint and I am still debating on whether to distress it. I made a simple "mattress" and pillow, as well as a top sheet for the bedding. She loves it and and it beats paying $20 for a plastic Fisher Price cradle!
I've added this to Southern Hospitality's Thrifty Treasures Linky Party. Be sure and check out all the other great finds!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mesquite Flat Iron Steak

My family is a big fan of flat iron steak. You can buy a large enough cut to feed the whole family and it is reasonably priced. I have yet to have one that isn't tender too. McCormick's had their marinade packets on sale at the grocery store last week so I decided to pick one up and try it. It was really good, lots of flavor, and the kids out-ate us!

2 lb. flat iron steak
1 envelope McCormick's Mesquite Marinade
1/4 cup oil
1/4 water

1. Mix marinade seasoning with water and oil. Reserve a small amount for basting. Place remainder in a large ziploc bag.
2. Rinse steak and pat dry. Place in ziploc bag with marinade.
3. Refrigerate over night.
4. Grill over medium heat, 10 minutes each side, brushing with reserved marinade.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Twice Baked Mashed Potatoes

I have one word for these potatoes...YUM! My family loved them. I've had this recipe for probably a year and finally got around to making them. Don't ask me what I was waiting for. These will become a regular side dish at our house now.

5 medium baking potatoes
4 Tbsp. butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped chives, separated
1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch mix
bacon bits

1. Wash and wrap each potato in foil. Bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees.
2. Remove potato pulp from skins and place in a medium mixing bowl along with butter. Mash potatoes with a potato ricer or mixer.
3. Add cheese, sour cream, ranch mix, and 1 Tbsp. chives. Mix with a spoon.
4. Pour potato mixture into a lightly greased pan and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
5. Garnish with remaining chives and bacon bits. Yum!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Trash to Treasure Furniture Re-Fab!

So I have been working on my daughter's "little girl" bedroom furniture for sometime now. I bought her furniture late last year and thought I had taken before pictures of everything...apparently not! The only before picture I could find was of the hutch, but just know the dresser looked the same way.
I am going for a "shabby princess" look for her room so I sanded, painted, distressed, and sealed everything off with a coat of poly.

You can see the before and after of the hardware above. The top is what it looks like now, the bottom is what it did look like. I used a technique I found on Centsational Girl to re-finish them (look towards the middle of her post to see how to do it).

As for the bed, no before pictures, but it was a deep dark brown. I really like the dark brown showing through where I distressed the bed. I think I may go back and stain the distressed marks on the hutch a dark brown as well.

So that's as far as I've gotten. We are going to be moving in a few months so I will do her bedroom reveal then.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

We have a winner.......

And the lucky winner of the Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook is #48, Amber from Our Family! Congrats Amber, I will be in contact with you soon! (winner selected using random.org)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chicken and White Cream Pasta

I found this recipe the other day on a blog called Dinner's Ready. I knew right away it was one my family would like. So onto the menu it went and the family loved it. The only changes I made were seasoning my chicken with Johnny's Garlic Seasoning before cooking it and then adding the seasoning again to the final dish. Yum!
2 c uncooked penne pasta
2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1 c sliced green onions
2 Tbs butter
½ c chicken broth
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs flour
1/3 c water
1 c heavy whipping cream
2 c chicken, cooked and cubed
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Shredded Parmesan cheese (not grated)
Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onions in butter for 4-5 min or until tender. Add broth and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 min. Combine flour and water until smooth; gradually add to mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir until thickened. Stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 4-5 min. Add the cooked pasta, chicken, salt and pepper to cream sauce. Cook for 3-4 min or until heated through. Sprinkle with lots of shredded Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My 1st GIVEAWAY!!!

Giveaway is now closed.
In celebration of my 1 year blogoversary I am treating one lucky reader to the 752 page Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook. It's been a rather quick year and I am so excited over all the new people I've met through blogging. My little corner of the internet has grown so much over the past year and I can't wait to see what another year brings! On to the Giveaway....
One of my most absolute favorite books is Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook. It has come in handy so many times. From organizing to stain fighting to decorating, you name it. We all know she's a genius...well at least her staff is. She takes you from room to room of your house explaining how to organize and care for your home. There is also an A-Z material guide that has come in handy so many times.
Here's how to win:
1. Leave a comment! This gives you one entry, be sure and leave me your e-mail address if it isn't linked.
2. Blog about the giveaway on your own blog, linking back to me. Return back and leave me another comment letting me know you've done it.
3. Become a follower and leave a comment letting me know you've done so, if you are already a follower, leave me a comment letting me know as well.
So there you have it, 3 chances to win, easy enough? Good Luck.
The giveaway will end Friday night at midnight and a winner will be announced Saturday morning!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

1 year and 194 posts later....

Yep, that's right, I've been blogging for 1 year! Wow, has time flown by. I am hoping to have my first giveaway in celebration of my blogoversary early next week. Be sure and check back for your chance to win!...and a big thank you to all my wonderful readers!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lo Mein

I can't even remember where I found this recipe because it's been sitting in my "to try" file for so long. So if this recipe belongs to you, please let me know! I thought the oyster flavor was a little too strong for me in this dish so I will probably cut that in half next time. Still very good and everyone enjoyed it. I served this along side Sweet and Sour Chicken, you can find the recipe here.

12 oz. Lo Mein noodles (I used thick spaghetti noodles)
stir-fry sauce (recipe below)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup broccoli florets (I omitted this)

Stir-Fry Sauce
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. chopped ginger ( I omitted this)
*whisk all ingredients together

Cook noodles according to package. Meanwhile, prepare stir-fry sauce and begin chopping vegetables. Once noodles are done, drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add remaining vegetables and cook until crisp.
Add noodles and stir-fry sauce and crank the heat up to high for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through and well combined.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Serving Tray Makeover

I decided to add this to the Tray Transformation Linky Party over at 320 Sycamore, be sure and check out the other great trays!

It seems as though everybody in blog world is doing tray make-overs! I found this guy at Goodwill a few months back for $2 and finally got around to fixing him up. My husband had our paint sprayer out this past weekend so I decided to give him a few coats. I thought I would throw some fabric in the bottom for color but ended up using one of Martha Stewart's 24x24 sheets of paper from Michaels. Couldn't beat the price. I cut it to size and Mod Podged it on. Makes a great magazine display for my coffee table. Super simple, super cheap!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

This is pretty much a fix it and forget about it meal. Great for Sundays. I love that it has simple ingredients that I typically have on hand. This is always a family pleaser, anything with meat n' gravy over noodles usually is. Give it a try!

2-3 pounds cubed beef stew meat
1 packet Au Ju mix
1 cup water
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
rice or noodles

Mix Au Ju mix and 1 cup of water and place in a slow cooker. Add cubed beef and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or until meat is tender.
Once meat is tender add soups, sour cream, and mushrooms, and cook on high for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve over rice or egg noodles.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Breakfast Burritos

This is the Pioneer Woman's breakfast burritos. If you follow her recipe she has you cook the eggs in with the meat and potatoes. I cooked mine in a separate skillet because I don't eat eggs. These were really good and super filling. I had tons of leftovers and I only made 1/2 the recipe. Make sure you buy really big tortillas!

You can find the recipe for the breakfast potatoes here.
You can find the recipe for the actual burritos here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mexican Pizza

If you've ever had a Mexican pizza at Taco Bell, then this is a simple take-off. My kids really like these, which is odd because they usually don' like tacos. Must be the deep fried tortillas! It's a super easy meal and is ready in less then 30 minutes.

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkt. taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
shredded cheese
chopped tomatoes
diced green onion
sour cream
8 small flour tortillas
canola oil

Brown your ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain grease, add 1-2 Tbsp. water and taco seasoning and return to burner on low heat. Warm refried beans and cover to keep warm. Heat canola oil (enough to fill about an inch of the pan) over med-high heat. Once oil is hot, brown each side of the tortilla, making sure to pop any bubbles. The tortillas need to be as flat as possible.
Layer as follows:
browned tortilla
refried beans
browned tortilla
then top with:
green onion (you can put the pizzas under the broiler at this point to melt the cheese, if desired)
sour cream

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summerly Squash

My mom introduced me to this recipe from allrecipes.com last summer and we adapted it to our own liking. This kids aren't a big fan of this one but Jon and I sure are. It's a great summer side dish to almost any meal.

1 squash, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
Italian seasoning, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions for 2-3 minutes, then add sliced squash and zucchini. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, reduce to a low simmer and add garlic and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Toss every 5 minutes or so.