Monday, June 27, 2011

Honey Yogurt Fruit Dip

I found this easy to make dip in a past issue of Martha Stewart. The dip is quick and easy to create, making it perfect pairing for all of the fresh fruit available during the summer.


Honey-Yogurt Dip
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey

Put the yogurt into a dish. Add honey and swirl it into the yogurt with spoon. It does get a little runny after being in the fridge for a couple of days, but I just added the remaining dip to a smoothie!

This post is linked here:
Organizing Junkie Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Minnesota's Best Burger + One of the Top 101 Things a Sport Fan Should Do In Their Life

Last night I joined my friend Linda and her husband Paul for a night to list-ranking events in Miesville, Minn., population 125 according to the 2010 census. Despite it's small size, Miesville has managed to squeeze a lot of goodness into a town that doesn't even warrant a stop light.
Photo From:

First up was burgers, fries and beer at King's Bar & Grill.  King's isn't fancy, but it is always packed with patrons clamoring for one of 54 different burgers. You can get them topped with everything from cottage cheese, peanut butter and marinara sauce to classic favorites, such as bacon, cheese and vegetables. My burger, stacked with green peppers, onions, sprouts and a variety of other vegetables, was delicious and only $4.75! It is no wonder King's was listed on Minnesota Monthly's list of best burgers in Minnesota.

After  burgers, Linda and Paul suggested that we head across the street for a Mudhens' baseball game.  The Miesville Mudhens are one of several town ball teams in Minnesota.  In a 2007 EPSN article, attending a Minnesota town ball game was listed 40 on the list of 101 things all sports funs must experience before they die. Granted things like the Olympics and World Cup ranked higher, but 40 is not bad for a sport that depends on amateur athletes who spray for weeds and rake the field before heading home after a game. In many ways, it's a real-life field of dreams.

Photo From:
Friday night's game came with great friends, sunny weather, no mosquitos and cheap beer - a perfect summer night in Minnesota! I agree, Minnesota town ball is a must see. Check out a list of teams from the Minnesota Baseball Association.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Easy Pipe Cleaner Gift Tag

PhotobucketIf you're looking for a unique way to label gifts, try using a pipe cleaner! In a recent issue of my Martha Stewart magazine, she used pipe cleaners to make place cards. This is really the same, but I attached it to a gift bag.

All you have to do it bend the pipe cleaner into the name of the gift recipient. Or, you could bend them into words like love, thanks, congrats, etc. It is a really easy way to add some flair to an otherwise plain gift bag. There really is no limit to the length either as you can easily twist two pipe cleaners.

I did this for my friend Evan's birthday, and it took all of two minutes and two pipe cleaners.


This post is linked here:
Keeping It SimpleThe Girl Creative Confessions of a Stay At Home MommyTip Junkie handmade projects

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Soda Pop Cupcakes

I had a variety of events that I needed to make treats for. Inspired by Cupcake Wars, I made a trio of soda pop cupcakes. While they are not necessarily competition worthy, they offer a fun twist on the traditional cupcake. The soda isn't too overpowering. It's just a slight taste.


Soda Pop Cupcakes
1 box cake mix
1 1/4 cups soda pop
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Combine all of ingredients and mix on low speed or by hand for 2 minutes.

Here are the combinations I came up with:

Root Beer Float =
white cake mix + root beer
topped with whipped cream
and crushed root beer barrels
Chocolate Cherry Cola =
chocolate cake mix + cherry Coke
Orange Dreamsicle =
white cake mix + orange soda

This post is linked here:
Organizing Junkie UndertheTableandDreaming Sumo's Sweet Stuff The Girl Creative Todays Creative BlogTip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brown Sugar Foot Scrub

 Today is my mom's birthday! Among the items included in her gift bag was a jar of homemade brown sugar foot scrub.


Brown Sugar Foot Scrub

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup olive oil

Combine the sugars. Add the cinnamon. Combine with olive oil and place in a jar. The scrub will last for a while, but you need to keep it refrigerated.

Want another refreshing summer foot scrub? Check out this strawberry foot scrub

Speaking of sweet things, I just realized that Hulu has full episodes of Cupcake Wars!

This post is linked here:

Katie's Nesting SpotSomewhat Simple

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day Celebration/Gift with Mixed Beer Recipes

Leinenkugel's beer is a favorite of my dad's. Actually, it's a favorite for most of the family. Therefore, most of the family gets the The Leinenkugel Legend, the official newsletter for Leinie Lodge members. The last edition featured a section on how to make "mixed drinks" with Leinie's. For example, a Pink Lemonade combines Summer Shandy with Berry Weiss. My dad mentioned that he wanted to make all of the mixes listed in the newsletter, and I thought, "great Father's Day gift." I gathered all of the ingredients, which amounted to three cases of beer + a six pack.


Not only did this turn out to be a popular Father's Day gift, but also these mixes would be great around a summer campfire. To try them, you can download the recipes on Leinie's website.

Photobucket Photobucket

Last Thursday night when I arrived at my parent's house for wedding weekend, my sister-in-law Megan was ready to begin the celebrating. Not knowing if I would be home for Father's Day, I went to the trunk for my dad's present and we had an early Father's Day celebration/wedding speech practice run.

What to make first?
Pouring the first drink.
Best man practicing his speech. 

Partially related realization about my blog: This past spring, I went to dinner with some co-workers and a consultant who was in town talking about internal news delivery. When I roll with professional communicators, the topic of my blog makes me a little uneasy. My blog doesn't contain the thought-provoking, discussion-starting content communicators strive to produce for blogs. So I typically feel a little foolish when people ask about my blog, and I respond, "It's about crafts and cooking."

But, my coworker Elizabeth (who has a good blog with witty, thought-provoking posts) mentioned my blog. Unable to avoid the topic, I characterized my blog as redneck Martha Stewart to deter any visits from serious communicators.

I realized today that the characterization of redneck Maratha Stewart is pretty acurate. In one week, I've managed to cover microwave meals and use beer to say "I love you" to my dad and make mixed drinks (no Grey Goose here). In many ways I am a redneck Maratha Stewart, so perhaps it is my way to insert my personality, which a professional communicator will tell you is a must of a good blog. So, maybe I'm on the path to a good blog!

This post is linked here:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Welcome to the Family Wedding Gift

This past weekend, we welcomed Christie into our family.


It was a fabulous weekend with a moving ceremony and a really fun party. I'll share more photos when they become available.

While she is off on her honeymoon with my brother, I thought I'd share with you the wedding gift I put together for them.


I took a different twist on the Date of the Month Club I made Blake for Valentine's Day, and I put together a date night basket for them with everything they need for four different dates.


The basket included:
1. Snowed in - movie, popcorn, movie candy and a card game
2. Dinner at home - pasta, wine, candle holders and candles
3. Date for him - gift certificates for Jared's favorite BBQ joint and a comedy club
4. Date for her - gift certificate for a paint-your-own-pottery store
5. A book full of future date ideas

This post is linked here:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Microwave Caramel Buns

My brother actually introduced these to me many years ago when we both still lived at home. We called them sticky buns, and I often made them as a treat while watching Saved by the Bell on Saturday mornings.


Caramel Buns

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 (7.5 oz) can refrigerated biscuits

First, melt the butter on a dinner plate. Add the brown sugar, syrup and cinnamon. Mix it with the butter on the plate. Place the biscuits on top of the caramel mixture. Microwave on high for 3 1/2 minutes.

This post is linked here:
Organizing JunkieTip Junkie handmade projectsTodays Creative Blog

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Microwave Chicken Cashew Casserole

Up next in the energy-saving, microwavable meals this week in a chicken cashew casserole.


Chicken Cashew Casserole

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cashews
1 1/2 cups chow mein noodles
2 1/2 cups of cubed chicken
1 cup chopped celery
1 (8 oz) can mushrooms, drained

Mix together soup and milk in a 2 quart casserole dish. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to coat in the soup mixture. Cover and microwave on high for 5 1/2 minutes, stopping to stir at the 3 minute mark.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Microwave Enchiladas

When Mother Nature turns up the heat, I'm revert to my days at Dakota Electric trying to convince people to save energy, especially on hot days when air conditioners labor to keep us all cool. Doing what you can to save energy on days like today reduces your electricity bill and helps keep the future energy costs to a minimum. One easy way to save energy is to avoid your oven and opt to use your grill, slow cooker or microwave to make meals.

Preparing a meal in a microwave uses two-thirds less energy than an oven. More importantly, using your oven heats up your home, making your air conditioner work harder. So, this week I'm sharing some recipes that will help everyone save energy without sacrificing a good meal. First up is chicken enchiladas.


Chicken Enchiladas
1/2 (14 oz) can of stewed tomatoes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 cans chunk chicken
2 cups taco blend shredded cheese
Ranch dressing
Taco sauce

Drain the tomatoes and mix with garlic, chili, cocoa and cinnamon. Cook uncovered on high for 2 minutes. While the tomatoes are cooking, drain the chicken and break it up with a fork. Add chicken to tomatoes, mix, cover and cook on high for 3 minutes.

Place chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla, sprinkle each with cheese, roll up tortilla and place in a microwavable baking dish. Cover and cook on high for 1 minute.

Top with ranch dressing and taco sauce. Serve with lettuce and tomatoes.

This post is linked here:
Organizing Junkie Sumo's Sweet Stuff Tip Junkie handmade projects Todays Creative Blog 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fruit Salsa and a Glimpse at My Future

Fruit salsa is the perfect summer treat - refreshing, sweet and healthy.


I also love you don't have to follow a really strict recipe. Just make sure to include fruit in a variety of colors.

My latest batch included:
1. 1 bag of frozen berries
2. 1 can of crushed pineapple
3. 3 kiwis, diced
4. 1 mango, diced

I just mixed it all together and have been enjoying it with cinnamon pita chips, yogurt and angel food cake.

While typing up this post, I've been watching Modern Family. Claire and Phil remind me so much of Blake and me that it's a little frightening - Blake is a dork who thinks he's cool and tries to act manly and I'm a perfectionist who gets irrational. So, I thought I would share a couple of glimpses into my future:

This post is linked here:
Organizing Junkie


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