15 Christmas Crafts Under $15: Project 10, Christmas Candy

DSC_0779

Ok, so I know that candy isn’t really a craft, but it’s definitely part of Christmas!  I have two candy recipes for you today.  I have to admit, I didn’t really keep track of how much the supplies for each of these recipes cost, but I’m sure it’s under $15.  I made these candies for my teammates at work and Cora’s daycare teachers.  I bought the plastic bags for $1.99 for 25 and the Christmas paper was around $.59 each.

The first recipe is for a holiday candy mix I make every year.  My mom got this recipe from a coworker of hers many years ago, and it’s always really popular.

Recipe

3 cups Cheerios

6 cups Crispix or Chex

2 cups Salted Peanuts

2 cups Pretzel Sticks

8 oz Holiday M&Ms

16 oz Vanilla Candy Coating

DSC_0773

Mix the Cheerios, Chex, peanuts, and pretzels together in a large bowl and set aside.

DSC_0774

Melt the vanilla candy coating in a double boiler.  Be careful to not overheat the candy coating, it will scorch and not taste right and get thick and yucky.

DSC_0776

Once candy coating is melted, pour over dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the M&Ms and stir to coat.  Spread the mixture out evenly over wax paper to cool and harden.  Once cool, break apart.

DSC_0777

The second recipe is for M&M buttons.  You need square or circle pretzels, Hershey Kisses and/or Hugs, and holiday M&Ms.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lay pretzels out flat on the baking sheet.  Place a Kiss or Hug on top of each pretzel.

DSC_0766

DSC_0767

Once oven is heated to 200 degrees, place the baking sheet on the middle rack for 4-5 minutes.  You want the chocolate to be shiny, but still holding its shape.  Once the chocolate is melted, place an M&M on top of each Kiss or Hug and push down.  Let cool for about 30 minutes.

DSC_0768

I packaged my candy up in plastic treat bags and topped the bags with a piece of 5.5″x6″ scrapbook paper folded in half and stapled to the plastic bag.  I ran out of skinny ribbon to embellish the top, but it adds a nice touch if you have it.  If you don’t, they still look nice without the ribbon.  Enjoy!

DSC_0770

DSC_0778

Advertisements

Breakfast Casserole

DSC_0647

 

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  We had a good weekend relaxing at home mostly, but today I’m home with a sick baby 😦  She is getting caught up on some sleep, so I thought I would make a post about this yummy breakfast casserole I made yesterday morning.  I got this recipe from a friend of mine and it is a big favorite at my house.  The best part is there is plenty left over, so we get to eat on it for a few days!

Recipe

1 can crescent rolls

1 roll breakfast sausage

12 eggs

A splash of milk

1/2 cup red pepper

1/2 cup green pepper

1 handful spinach

 

First cut up your vegetables.  You can add whatever veggies you like, I usually do green and red peppers and spinach (I don’t cut up my spinach, just the peppers).  I think mushrooms would be good in this, but I’m the only one who likes mushrooms at our house.

DSC_0637

 

Then spray your 9×13 pan with nonstick spray and lay out your crescent rolls flat on the bottom.  You can also buy the crescent roll sheet instead, but if I buy my groceries at Target that week, they don’t have the sheets.  Either one works fine.

DSC_0639

 

 

Next, crumble and brown your sausage in a skillet.

DSC_0638

 

Once the sausage is done, spread it evenly over the crescent rolls.

DSC_0640

 

Melt some butter in a new skillet, and once the butter is melted, add the spinach.  Saute until wilted.

DSC_0641

 

Next crack a dozen eggs into a bowl.

DSC_0643

 

Add a splash of milk to the eggs.  I don’t ever measure this, I just wing it.  Mix the eggs and milk together, then stir in the peppers and spinach.  Be sure to lift the spinach out of the pan with a fork, you don’t want the buttery juice going in there.

DSC_0644

 

Pour egg mixture over the sausage and crescent rolls.  You may have to spread out the spinach so that it’s evenly distributed.

DSC_0645

 

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes until the eggs are set.  You could also add salsa or cheese to this casserole, and it would be delicious!  My husband loves to put Cholula on his (I’m not a hot sauce fan).  Enjoy!

DSC_0646

 

DSC_0649

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

I love Thanksgiving leftovers.  They’re awesome because you’re exhausted from all that cleaning, cooking, and shopping you did on Thanksgiving and Black Friday and you don’t have to cook!  All you need to do is heat them up in the microwave.  There is a downside to Thanksgiving leftovers though; by day three you’re starting to get pretty weary of them.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom’s stuffing and my aunt’s mac and cheese, but after eating them for lunch and dinner for three straight days I was craving something different.  Enter homemade chicken noodle soup.

The crockpot might be one of the best inventions out there in my opinion.  I use mine at least once a week, sometimes even two or three times a week.  It’s great because I can prepare dinner in the morning before work or during Cora’s nap when I’m not distracted, tired, busy, etc.  Coming home from a long day at work to dinner ready to go on the table (and it not be take out) is awesome.

So without further ado, here is my chicken noodle soup in the crockpot recipe.

Chop up your carrots, celery, onion, and green onions.

Combine your chopped veggies, drained canned corn, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and water in the crockpot.  I usually start with one cup of water and add more once I have added the chicken and noodles if I need it.  Cook on low for 5-6 hours.  For those of you who work don’t worry about leaving this going longer than 6 hours.  Once I left it for 9 hours and it was fine.

I usually use chicken thighs with this recipe, but the last time I went to the grocery they didn’t have any boneless, skinless thighs and I hate dealing with bones and skin, so I just used chicken breast this time.  Either works fine.  I usually use around a pound of chicken.  Bake or boil your chicken until it is done all the way through, then shred.

After the crockpot has been going for 5-6 hours on low, set it to high and add the shredded chicken and noodles.  Cook on high for one hour, then enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 cups of chicken broth (boxed or can is fine)

1-2 cups of water

1/2 cup onions, chopped fine

1/2 cup celery, chopped fine

1/2 cup carrots, chopped fine

1/2 cup green onions, sliced

One 15 oz can of whole kernel corn, drained

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 1/2 cup Egg noodles

1 pound chicken shredded

Directions

Add everything but the noodles and cooked chicken to the crock pot on Low for 5-6 hours.  Then add the chicken and noodles and cook on high for one hour.

Homemade Artisan Bread

Image

There are several recipes for this floating around on Pinterest and it is soooo easy!  The only downside is you have to make sure you plan ahead because the dough needs to rise overnight.  There are only five ingredients that you need.

Image

Warm water, bread flour, salt, cornmeal, and yeast (by the way, I know you are all super jealous of my hip 1960s wallpaper).

First mix the water, flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl.

Image

Then cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight.  In the morning it will have risen some and have some holes in it.  You can let it sit in the bowl up to 20 hours after mixing the ingredients.

Image

About two hours before you bake it you will take it out of the bowl (be sure your hands are wet so that the dough doesn’t stick) and form it into a round shape on a dish towel.

Image

Cover the bread and let rise for two hours.

Image

After two hours, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  The original recipe I got called for a dutch oven, but I don’t have one, so I used a round Corningware casserole dish and it has worked great for me.  Put your dish in the oven while it preheats so it gets very hot.  When the oven has preheated, take the dish out of the oven and sprinkle corn meal on the bottom of the dish.  Then put the dough in the dish (I just lift the towel up and let the dough roll off and plop into the dish).

Image

Bake for 25-30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for 10-15 minutes more.  My oven is very finicky, so I usually aim for the shorter times then add more as needed.

Image

And enjoy!

Recipe

3 cups bread flour

1/4 tsp quick rise yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups warm water

Cornmeal to sprinkle

  • Combine flour, yeast, salt and water in a bowl and let sit up to 20 hours.
  • Form dough into a ball shape on a dish towel using wet hands, let rise for 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and place dish in the oven while preheating.
  • Once dish is very hot, sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of the dish, and place dough in the dish.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes covered, then remove cover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Turkey Meatballs

Who doesn’t love spaghetti?  My daughter, that’s who.  I have never heard of a 14 month old who wouldn’t eat any noodle of any kind (that’s right, no mac and cheese for us) but of course my daughter is the exception to the rule.  But spaghetti has been a staple of our diet since our college days and it is a quick, easy, and cheap (check out Target’s coupons, they often have $1 off if you buy Market Pantry pasta and sauce, which makes them about $.50 a piece!) meal.  We usually have spaghetti twice a month and the only way I can get Cora to eat any is by making meatballs.  Not to mention they are delicious.

When I was pregnant with Cora my sister made me a bunch of meatballs to freeze and I had to have the recipe.  These meatballs are based off of this recipe but I’ve tweaked it a little for our tastes.  The original recipe calls for red pepper flakes and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, but I found that they made the meatballs too spicy for my little’s taste buds, so I have omitted those ingredients.  We also don’t eat much red meat at our house, so I use ground turkey in my meatballs instead of ground beef.  Feel free to use whichever you prefer.  So without further ado, here’s the best meatball recipe every:

Turkey Meatballs

Image

Ingredients

1 pound extra lean ground turkey

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 small onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup skim milk

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop 1/2 an onion finely.

Image

Next break up your ground meat into a mixing bowl.

Image

Next add the chopped onion, salt, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce to the meat and mix well.

Image

Add the milk, Parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs and mix well.

Image

Once all the ingredients are well mixed, roll out into 1 1/2 inch balls.  I like the line my baking sheet with nonstick foil, it makes clean up so much easier.  If you don’t use foil, coat your pan with cooking spray first.  This recipe will make 24-28 meatballs depending on the size.

Image

Pop those in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until they are browned on the outside.

Image

Voila, you are done!  I generally make these on a weekend and freeze them all once they are cooled.  We usually have spaghetti twice a month on days we are going to busy.  This recipe makes enough for two dinners for our family of three so when I’m ready to make dinner I take out however many meatballs I need for dinner and put them in a saucepan with spaghetti sauce to heat them up.  Enjoy!