Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kitchen Redo $200 Budget: Pt. 6 Starting Over

It has been almost a month since the last time I updated about my Kitchen on my other blog.  After determining that I really didn't like how my kitchen was turning out my inspiration left me.

Here are the cabinets we weren't so happy with when I last posted.

Well guess what... at the moment they are still this lovely orange. I went out and bought my gallon of Behr Silver Dust and I painted the first coat on the walls and then I didn't touch the walls again until yesterday.  I just couldn't seem to get myself motivated to start working again.

Not only was my motivation gone but I was pretty upset that I had already spent $88 which was basically now wasted.  I initially decided to start the $200 budget over then I decided I would stay with the $200 and hopefully not go over too much. So I guess we will see if I can make that happen.

As you can see I got the new wall color up and it is almost white.  However it does have silvery/grey undertones and in certain lighting you can definitely tell it.

So today I was sitting around thinking about all the money I have already spent, $111 to date, and I started rummaging through all the paint and supplies I have from other projects.  Even though I had planned to go with pale greens and greys to finish up the kitchen I thought maybe I could save some money.

So I found 1/2 a gallon of Valspar that was my first bathroom color that was too pale.  I then mixed it with about 1/4 of a gallon of my new bathroom color and 1/4 gallon of white.  Oddly enough this new mixture almost perfectly matches Behr Porcelain Blue.

I painted just one door so I could really think about it and then let my hubby check it out.  It does need one more coat but here is my newly painted door.

I really like it and so does my husband so I will be painting everything that I did in the Sweet Carrot this new blue color.  Yay for a free gallon of paint!!  After this I will be going back to my original list of what I need to do in the kitchen.

Painting the cabinets
Painting the counter tops and backsplash with the new counter top paint
Painting the linoleum floor (yes this works I have been reading up on it :) )
Painting and reusing all the hardware
Painting an old farm table and my small pantry cabinet
Painting my fridge to match my stove with appliance paint

I have a lot of trim work and cabinets to do in this new blue color and I will update with pics as soon as I am done.  If you haven't read the posts that got me here you can check them out now.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Don't Pay for Chicken Broth...Make Your Own!

Each one of these containers hold 2 cups of homemade chicken broth/stock and  I have 2 more in the freezer.  I try to keep at least 6 on hand.  I use chicken broth often when cooking rice or lentils and when fall rolls around I will use it in soups and stews.

I really hate to pay for something that I can get for free all the time.  We eat a lot of chicken.  I often cook whole chickens in the crockpot or I do whole cut up chicken in the crock so I can shred the meat.  Once the meat has been cooked and eaten you still have something very valuable.  

I either take the whole carcass or if it was a whole cut up chicken I just take all the leftover stuff and put it in the crockpot.  I add water until it is about 1 inch from the top.  I then add pepper, garlic powder and onion powder,  I do not measure I just shake it in good.  :)  Then I let it all cook on low for about 8-10 hours. 

When everything is done cooking down I strain off all the liquid and toss all the leftover bones, skin and such.  I then measure 2 cup portions into my freezable containers and stick them in the freezer.  

If I know we are having something that I need chicken broth for dinner then I just pull it out of the freezer to thaw.  By the way, this chicken broth tastes so much better than the canned stuff.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I found this great recipe for Peanut Butter Banana muffins however I decided to make it as a bread.  

Here is what I used:

  1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/3 cup firmly packed organic brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 large mashed banana
  1 egg
2 tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla

I did not make the topping.

Heat oven to 375°F.
Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and baking powder. Whisk together milk, peanut butter, banana, egg, applesauce and vanilla; add to dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened. Pour into greased bread pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

This made a great bread.  It was not very sweet but it was rich and delicious.  It didn't make it through the night.  Thankfully I got one slice!  :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toddler Skirt and Purse

I decided to make a skirt for my niece and I wanted to use up some leftover material I had laying around.  I had three different materials to use and I had an envelope as my pattern.  I cut 6 strips of each material using the envelope as a guide.  Then I cut one strip that was 25" X 3".

(I was using measurement for a size 2)

Next I sewed the strips together one after the next alternating the pattern.

Once all the strips were sewn together I gathered the top of the skirt all the way across.

I then pinned one side of the waist band to the gathered part of the skirt and sewed them together.

Next I folded the waistband in half and ironed it.  I then stitched it all the way across in order to make a casing for the elastic. (I ended up with a 21" waist)

After I inserted the elastic in the casing I sewed the end tightly and then stitched up the casing opening.  At this point I also stitched up the side of the skirt which had been open all this time.

Finally I pinned and ironed a hem around the bottom of the skirt and then sewed the hem.

Here is the finished skirt with a little purse I quickly put together.  My niece is almost 2 and she has fallen in love with purses.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Make Your Own Framed Art

I want to start by apologizing for my crooked picture taking.  I swear the pictures are level on the wall however I apparently need a level attached to my camera because I take crooked pictures.  LOL

I was needing some art to hang on my bedroom wall but I wasn't about to spend a ton of money to get it. I found these great frames at Walmart and they were on clearance for $1.50 each because they had been beaten up a little. This was fine with me, who doesn't love the distressed look.

After I bought the frames I started going through picture files on our computer.  My husband loves to take scenery pictures so I was sure I could find some that I loved.  
I found 4 pictures and I printed them off on plain old printer paper in black and white.  They came out great and they cost me very little.

This first one was taken at a Marina in Paducah Ky.

The second one was taken at the small pond that is near the bottom of the St. Louis Arch.

The third one is on a bike trail at Rend Lake near my home.  You can barely see way ahead on the trail, the little dot is my girls on their bikes.

The final picture is part of an old fence out on my Mom's property.

When my husband came home and saw that I had put his pictures on the wall he was thrilled.  I have considered doing some more and chances are I probably will.  We have plenty more great outdoor pictures.

Linked to: Coastal Charm, The Thrifty Home, Life as Lori

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Kiwi Banana Bread

Last weekend I was baking some snacks for the week.  I started with Pear Bread which everyone loved.  It came out so good and those delicious 14 slices were gone before the weekend was out.

I had already planned on making a Peach bread with fresh peaches however I was looking in the fruit bowl and there were 4 very sad overly ripe kiwi.  They were too ripe for anyone to eat them by themselves so I figured I would do some searching on RecipeZaar.  I found this recipe for Kiwi Quick Bread and I spent a few minutes reading through the comments.  Many people stated that it was good it just needed something extra.  

This is my version:

  1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 applesauce**
2/3 cup organic sugar
2 eggs
4 peeled and mashed Kiwi
1 medium size Banana Mashed
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 5 X 3 loaf pan. Sift together flour, baking powder baking soda and salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside. In large bowl mix applesauce and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time to mixture beating well after each one. Stir in kiwis and banana. Fold in dry ingredients gently, stirring only until batter is completely moistened. Spoon batter into pan and bake for 55-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. Remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.
The original recipe states that it is 10 servings however I cut it into 14 slices. 
This bread turned out very good and it was eaten pretty quickly however everyone loved the Pear Bread more.  I will definitely make the kiwi bread again.  Next time I may add more Kiwi and another banana to make it a little more fruity.

**Note:  I always make it a point to substitute butter or oil with applesauce in my baking.  Not only does it cut down on the fat and calories but it adds more fruit to the recipe.  I purchase Mott's Natural applesauce that does not have High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.

Linked to: Tatertots and Jello, A Vision to Remember

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dress to Halter Top Refashion

When I started this refashion I intended to take plenty of pictures throughout the process.  Instead I got going and didn't stop.

I started with this ladies dress which had some beautiful colors but just wasn't the dress for anyone in this house.   I measured and cut straight across around the waist.  The hem of the skirt would now be the hem of the halter top.

I simply made a casing around the top of the skirt and then ran elastic through it so that it would fit snugly on Jonah.  Not too tight but just enough to draw the top in.  I took what used to the thin belt/tie from the dress and made it into the tie around the neck.

Both sides of the skirt were slit pretty high so I stitched them up only leaving a couple inches open at the bottom.  Finally we simply took a wide piece of coordinating ribbon that she can use to tie up the waist if she chooses.

This was a very easy refashion with a happy recipient.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Homemade Ketchup

I have been wanting to make the switch to Ketchup with no High Fructose Corn Syrup but it is so expensive.  We have switched our bread and buns and I do my very best to buy very little with HFCS but the ketchup I have just not managed to do.  Everytime I go to Kroger and see the teeny tiny bottles that are $5+ I cringe.  I know my family will go through it so fast.

I live in an area where we have Kroger, Aldi, Walmart, Target and Sav A Lot.  Our stores have the smallest organic/health food sections ever and there is very little variety.  So sometimes it can be very difficult when trying to make some healthy changes.

Last weekend I was just seaching through RecipeZaar looking under "healthy" recipes and I came across Healthy Ketchup!

So this weekend I made it.

I did not find the demerera sugar so I just used organic sugar.

4 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste ($2)
2 cups water
3/4 cup vinegar (12cents)
7 tablespoons Organic Sugar (35cents)
1 teaspoon onion powder (4cents)
4 teaspoons salt (6cents)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (2cents) 

Place tomato paste in pan and stir till smooth. Add water little bit at a time while stirring. Add vinegar same way. Add remaining ingredients and stir over low heat till simmering. Place into old bottles and cool. Store in fridge.

This was super simple to make and didn't take very long at all.  It made a total of 38 ounces and it only cost me $2.59!!  How is that for frugal?

But how did it taste?

That night I made Scrambled Eggs with Kielbasa and Baked Homemade Hasbrowns for dinner.  We tested out our new Ketchup and it was a hit.  It tastes just like Ketchup however it tastes better.

This is definitely how we will be doing ketchup from now on.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Follow Me Back Tuesday Visitors


Hi guys!  This is my very first time to participate in a Follow Me Back Tuesday.

I have been blogging for almost 2 years here about coupons and bargains.  Paint Chips and Frying Pans is a brand new endeavor.  I just started this blog last week and it is going to be a wonderful place I can write about my recipes, crafts and home remodeling.  

If  you are a new follower please leave me a comment so I can follow you back.  I look forward to finding many new bloggy friends.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A New Summer Bag

Today I was digging through some old bags of clothing seeing if I thought there was anything at all that could be used.  I found an armful of items among them were the bright floral skort and the plaid belt that went to another skirt.

My oldest daughter Emeri saw these pieces and asked if I would make a summer bag for her.  Back in January I had made her a Plaid Bag to carry her gym clothes in.  She has carried that bag alot! 

I started below by cutting along the seams where the crotch had been sewn to make the shorts.  This skort was the kind that was shorts and only had the flap across the front giving the appearance of a skirt.

Next I stitched up both sides of the crotch to make it look like a skirt.

Once I had it looking like a skirt I closed the front flap and buttoned it.  Then  I turned it inside out and stitched up the bottom about 3 inches.  I also stitched up both sides about 2 inches just to make it a little smaller.  

Emeri wanted the bag to be big but she is not very big herself (5') and I didn't want her to look like it was swallowing her.  She didn't care....the bigger the better.

I double stitched all the inside seams because I am sure she will be filling it up and it needs to be strong.

Next I took the plaid belt and removed the metal pieces.  I stitched it on either side of the bag to make a shoulder strap.  Then I decided I wanted to do something to hold it closed but I didn't have anymore of either of these materials but I found a pink plaid.   I used it to make a strap coming from the back center of the bag and it runs through another strap connected to the front center of the bag with the plaid belts metal hardware.

She loves it and her friend that was over today really liked it too.  She was wanting one herself so I may have to find another funky skort to make her a bag.  This one went together super fast since I had made the previous one a few months ago.  I have a feeling there will be more funky bags in my future.  :)

Linked to: All Thingz Related, Life in My PJs, Today's Creative Blog and Creative Itch

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pear Bread Delight

I followed this recipe at RecipeZaar however I halved all the ingredients in order to only make 1 loaf.

Here are my adaptations:

  1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour 
  1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/8 cup applesauce
  2 egg, slightly beaten
  1 cup organic sugar
1 can of pears in juice drained and diced
  1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine oil, eggs, sugar, pears and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Spoon mixture into 1 greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3 inch loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.

I made this bread yesterday afternoon and as of tonight it is gone!  Everyone loved it and it was really easy to make.  The girls didn't notice the addition of whole wheat so I will be adding more of that in every time I bake.  I sliced it into 14 slices.  A very yummy bread!

Linked to: A Southern Fairytale, Sumo's Sweet Stuff and Homemaker Monday

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What's For Dinner? Cheesy Chicken Bake

This is a healthier take on something my husband started making when I was pregnant with our first daughter 15 years ago.

I was on bedrest for quite a while so Gary would cook this up for us often.  He would broil 2 large chicken breasts, skin on and bone in.  Once they were cooked he would shred up all the meat and I am pretty sure I wanted the crispy skin.  :)
He would cook up a mess of noodles the layer it in a 9 x 13 pan.  Noodles, shredded chicken, noodles, shredded chicken and cheese once more.  We never used any less than a whole bag of shredded cheese and this was for the 2 of us.  It was soooo yummy!!  I loved it and him for cooking it for me.

Now I make it just a little different however the family still loves it.  

What's for Dinner tonight....Cheesy Chicken Bake

Here is what I used:  (these amounts feed our family of 4 with no leftovers)

1 very lg chicken breast (no skin or bone)
1 cup shredded cheese
4 cups rotini cooked al dente
2 TBS. Canola Oil
1 can diced tomatoes
pepper, salt, garlic and onion powder to taste
I diced up the chicken breast and sauteed it in the canola oil until it was no longer pink.  I added the can of diced tomatoes, juice and all, to the cooked rotini.  When the chicken was done I added it to the warm pasta.  I added pepper, salt, garlic and onion powder to our likings.  We like a lot of pepper and garlic.  I added half a cup of the cheese and then I mixed everything well.  I poured it into a greased (cooking spray) 9 x 13 pan.  I then sprinkled on the last 1/2 cup of the cheese.  I put it in a 375 oven for about 15 minutes or until it is getting bubbly.  

It turned out great! Everyone loves it and we will eat it again sometime.  I also like to make it with broccoli instead of tomatoes.  It just depends on what we have on hand.  I served it with corn and it was a perfect easy Saturday dinner.

Linked to: I Heart Naptime

Family Photo Collage

(try as I might I could not get a clear picture of this)

I have just a few nieces and nephews,  15 to be exact.  Not all of them are on here and several are in a small group picture.  (I sadly don't have pics of them all)  Anyway,  when the first few were born they each had their own picture frame on my living room wall.  Obviously that became too much too fast.  :)

I still wanted to display all recent pics that I had of my nieces and nephews but I had to figure out something different.   Back in December I made the above photo collage and blogged about it on my other blog.

I used old picture frames that had broken glass and wrapped them in this vibrant material.  If you would like to read all about my making it you can read it here.  It now hangs on the wall above my computer desk and I love it!!

Whenever I get a new picture of any of my little sweeties it will go up on the board.  If there was an older one of that particular child I will just replace the old with the new.  It is simple and easy I can just slide the pictures in.  Not to mention that it is bright and happy.  I love being able just to glance up while I am working at the computer and see their smiles.

Linked to: Along for the Ride , Funky Junk Interiors and Tatertots & Jello

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Bit of An Introduction

Welcome!  Some of you may know me or have previously stopped by my other blog Southern Illinois Money Savers.

I have been blogging about coupons and deals for nearly 2 years.  However it seems like more and more I am writing about decorating and cooking.  So I finally decided I would separate the deal from the homemaker type stuff.
I will still be blogging the deals at SI Money Savers so if you want to see what hot deals are available you can check me out there.

Otherwise if you are looking to see the frugal meals I am cooking for my family or the frugal ways I am decorating or making our home better then stay right here.  I am very excited about having this new outlet.

If you would like to know a little about me, my name is Amber and I am a stay at home mom.  I have a wonderful husband and we have been married for 16yrs.  I have 2 great daughters named Emeri (14) and Jonah (11), I am sure you will be hearing about and seeing them on this blog.

I would love to know more about you and would like to check out your blog (if you have one).  Please leave me a comment with you blog url and I will come over for a visit.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Favorite Glass Cleaner

Okay I am sure to you this looks like a glass cleaner bottle with about an inch of water in the bottom but I assure you it is not.

It in fact is my favorite glass cleaner....the bottle just happens to be almost empty so it is time for me to make some more.  How do I make it you ask?  Well you may need to get out a pencil and paper in order to write down this long list of ingredients.  ;)

To make my favorite glass cleaner all you need to do is get an empty glass cleaner bottle.  Fill it half way full of white vinegar and the other half full of water.  Simple as that!

Good for the environment and good for your wallet.

Linked to: Life As Mom

Rice, Broccoli and Sausage One Pot Meal

I absolutely love One Pot Meals!
Whether I am using my slow cooker or just a large pot on the stove I love the ease and forgiveness of one pot meals.
Sometimes I follow recipes and other times I am just winging it.  Last night I threw together this one pot meal that was delicious and savory and everyone loved it.

My ingredients:
1 1/3 Cup Home made Chicken Stock
2/3 Cup Water
1 Cup Uncooked Long Grain Rice
1/4 lb Ground Sausage
1 Box Green Giant Broccoli and Cheese
Garlic, Salt and Pepper to taste

I started by cooking the rice in the chicken stock and water until it was done.  While the rice was cooking I browned up the ground sausage.   Because this was a fattier sausage and it was spicy I only used 1/4 lb mainly just to give it the flavor.  When the sausage was browned I crumbled in the box of Broccoli and cheese.  Once the broccoli was thoroughly heated and the cheese sauce was melted I stirred in the rice.  I added my seasoning to taste and kept it over the low heat a few minutes longer to let all the flavors mesh together.

This turned out so yummy and rich, everyone really enjoyed it.

Linked to: Grocery Cart Challenge, Tidy Mom