Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Halloween Fairy Godmother Costume

Cinderella's fairy godmother changed her life by turning a pumpkin into a coach, mice into horses, and a nice fat rat into a coachman. Then, she changed Cinderella's ragged dress into a ball gown. All by waving a magic wand. I always wanted a fairy godmother like Cinderella's, but settled for my own wonderful grandmothers. However, for Halloween,  I am going to be a fairy godmother.

The Dress 

I went through my closet looking for a suitable dress and found my three year old wedding dress tucked into the back of the closet. It isn't a ballgown, but the tea length hem is perfect for a working, fairy godmother. A white camisole with lace complements the dress perfectly.

Dollar Store Items - $12.00

A quick shopping trip to the local dollar store yielded all the items that I needed to create my accessories.
  • a can of silver spray paint    $3.95
  • a glow light wand                 $2.00
  • a bottle of glitter nail polish with a wide applicator brush $1.00
  • a pack of hair ties with organza ribbon streamers      $1.00
  • two packs of self-adhesive crystals          $2.00
  • a headband with two rows of pearls         $2.00
  • Total - $12.00

Silver Shoes

My shoes are an older pair of mary jane flats that I only wear at home. After a good cleaning, I filled the shoes with crumpled newspaper. Taking the shoes outside, a quick coat of silver spray paint turned them from ordinary to extraordinary. Like magic! After drying for several hours, I applied pale green crystals to the toes of each shoe. My fairy godmother shoes were done!

A Sparkling Wand

While the shoes were drying, I opened the glow stick wand package and discovered that the star was green, not clear. However, two coats of glitter nail polish caused the star to sparkle. The hair ties with bejeweled organza streamers yielded three, white organza streamers that I tied onto the top of the glow stick, below the star. The end result can be seen in the picture below.

Pearls and Crystals

I tried on my dress to make sure it still fit. It did. Then I rummaged through my jewelry drawer. Yes, my jewelry drawer. A multi-strand pearl necklace (bought from Ebay last year), my Grandma Pansy's aurora borealis crystal brooch, and a long strand of pearls (bought on sale) completed my outfit. I wrapped the long strand of pearls into a pearl bracelet.

The  Hair Plan

I am planning on curling my hair with small and medium size curling irons, then spraying it with lots of hairspray. In the picture below, it is its normal, straight, self. 
Fairy godmother Halloween costume

 The perfect accessories for a fairy godmother - silver shoes and a wand that will glow.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Quick Dinner Menu: Seasoned Oven Fries, Craisin Coleslaw, and Salisbury Steak

If you arrive home from work tired and frazzled, read on.

Do you open up the freezer and ask yourself, "What am I going to cook for supper? Do I cook a frozen dinner or do I order take out?"

It's decision time and I want to help you make that choice.

I'm going to share one of the meals that I rely on when the hubby is hungry and I'm dragging from a long day of commuting and work.

Seasoned oven fries cooked in your toaster over, a mixed green salad or craisin coleslaw, and a microwaved main dish.

AND it will be ready in about an hour.





The Menu

  • Seasoned Oven Fries ala Toaster Oven
  • Craisin Coleslaw or mixed salad greens
  • Salisbury Steak with Gravy, family size package (28 ounces)

To feed a hungry husband, you need to cook the whole package of Salisbury Steak. Two patties weigh 4 ozs. and make a skinny gal portion. Three patties weigh 6 ozs. and make a he-man portion. Plus, the 28 ounce package includes two cups of gravy which can be poured over the oven fries or used for another meal.

 The Meal

  1. Put mixed salad greens or coleslaw mix in a bowl and add desired toppings. I love Craisin Coleslaw. It is quick and easy to assemble. Coleslaw is best if it can sit in the frig for 30 minutes (or more) before serving it.
  2. Prepare the potatoes for Seasoned Fries Ala Toaster Oven and begin baking.
  3. Follow the package directions for microwaving ( about 20 minutes total time) or baking the Salisbury Steak with Gravy (about 50 minutes). I microwave mine.

The Seasoned Fries Ala Toaster Oven


2 medium sized potatoes, peeled
canola oil
garlic powder
black pepper I like to use fresh ground black pepper.


  • Slice each potato in half
  • Slice each half once, then stack and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Put in a one quart bowl
  • Add 1 TBSP canola oil, sprinkle with about 1/8 tsp. each garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper, and paprika. Add more if you wish.
  • Stir potatoes cubes until they are well coated with the oil and seasoning
  • Remove toaster oven tray from your toaster oven. Put 1 tsp. of canola oil on the tray and spread it out to coat the tray. 
  • Place potatoes in a single layer on your toaster oven tray
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Carefully remove hot tray, turn cubes over with a spatula, and replace hot tray back into toaster oven.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes more (until potatoes are golden and tender.) 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gotta Have That Sausage Gravy, Baby

Bob Evans on Urbanspoon
Love That Bob Evans Gravy

Bill loves Bob Evans sausage gravy and biscuits. Since we live seventy miles from the nearest Bob Evans restaurant, my husband can spot a Bob Evans sign from a mile away. I kid you not. We drove to St. Louis on business. When we drove through Valley Park, my husband spied the Bob Evans sign, but didn't say anything. Once we were done with our business and traveling home on I-44, he said,"Think you can find that Bob Evans restaurant we passed ?" What could I do? I said yes. I love breakfast as much as Bill loves Bob Evans sausage gravy and biscuits. I am more than happy to eat at an establishment that serves breakfast from open to close.

Country Biscuit Breakfast

At the restaurant, we looked at the menus. Even though we knew what we wanted, we still followed the ritual of looking at the laminated menus. Bill ordered his classic item - two biscuits with sausage gravy. I ordered the Country Biscuit Breakfast, minus the egg, and with home fries. In my mind, there is nothing better than a biscuit and home fries, accompanied by creamy country gravy, and lightly sprinkled with shredded, cheddar cheese. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it.)

The Food and Service

The food arrived in good time, but I knew I was in trouble when my server offered to replace the home fries before placing my plate on the table. Sure enough, the home fries were fried to a nice, dark brown color. Translation: burnt to a crisp. Never should have left the kitchen. After asking for a replacement, I watched Bill eat and I nibbled at my breakfast feast, but I don't like to eat it without the home fries. No home fries appeared. Bill wasn't talking cause he was busy savoring his perfectly cooked sausage gravy and smothered biscuits. Finally, Bill stopped the server, who showed surprise at forgetting about the side order. However, the saucer of home fries were brought to me hot and golden. Perfect. The rest of my meal was yummalicious. The flaky, tender biscuit was perfect with the creamy, perfectly seasoned, country gravy, melted cheddar and nicely fried cubes of home fries.

The Drinks

Bill ordered a strawberry banana smoothie, but left most of it. He said it was due to the bland flavor or lack of flavor. He won't order it again. I believed him and didn't taste it. My drink was water, so that was just fine.

Three Quarters Happy

Overall, we were happy with our meal. The cashier did take a dollar off the total cost of our meal after Bill explained what had happened with the home fries. We didn't want a free meal or a discount. We just want the cook or cooks to know NOT to send out overcooked, inedible food to customers. Take pride in the food you prepare. Servers want to make customers happy, but don't want problems with coworkers. I understand that. However, you never know who you are serving food to. Our server had no idea I write a blog with an occasional restaurant review.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ghoulishly Easy Carved Spider and Skull Pumpkins


This blog post has been published online by Yahoo Voices. Click on the link to read how to carve a spider and skull pumpkin using a free template.


Hammin' It Up For Dinner

Skyrocketing beef prices ($2.89 to $6.99 a pound) are limiting the types of meat  I buy for my carnivorous family. This month, glorious, porky ham is $1.49 a pound. I bought a nine pounder and brought it home. Tonight, ham is the star of our dinner.

My dinner production is going to begin with baking a fully-cooked, spiral-sliced ham. In the supporting roles will be mashed potatoes, home made gravy, and glazed baby carrots. Sound yummy doesn't it?

Baking a Fully-Cooked Ham

Heating a precooked ham is easy. Bake it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes per pound.
  • An eight pound ham will take approximately 1.5 hours to bake.
  • A ten pound ham will take approximately 120 minutes or 2 hours.
Cover the ham with aluminum foil. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of baking. Apply your glaze.

Glazing a Fully-Cooked Ham

What is a glaze? A glaze is simply a coating that is applied to the ham to make it look more appealing. My favorite glaze is brown sugar and orange juice. The sweetness balances very nicely with the saltiness of the ham.

1 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons orange juice

  • Blend the two ingredients in a glass bowl.
  • Microwave for 1 minute. Stir the glaze. If the sugar is melted and syrupy, you are ready to apply it to the ham. If it is not melted and syrupy, microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
  •  Sugar heats to a high temperature very quickly. Be careful not to get it too hot.
  • Brush or spoon the glaze onto the ham for the last 20-30 minutes of baking.
  • Reapply the glaze again about 10-15 minutes before the ham is done baking.  
Yield: This is enough for an 8-10 pound ham.
Double the recipe for larger hams.

Variation: Pineapple juice can be used in place of the orange juice.

What About the Leftover Ham?

  • Dice leftover ham. Package in 1/4 cup portions for use in omelets. Package 1/2 - 1 cup portions for use in mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, rice, or hash.
  • Slice thinly and pack in 1 pound packages. Use for sandwiches and or freeze for future meals.
  • Finely chop ham and make ham salad.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Making Washer Necklaces

A Donation Deadline

 I have several pins on my Pinterest board, "Handmade Accessories", that feature washer necklaces with a bead or button strung on the ribbon above the washer. I have been wanting to make these for months. This summer, I even bought two dozen washers, three spools of narrow black ribbon, and disassembled several necklaces for this purpose. However, I just couldn't seem to find time to assembly the necklaces until I promised to make some for my local Christian Motorcyclists Association chapter. The local Fall Festival celebration is in September and the CMA chapter wanted to sell crafts as a fundraiser. Nothing like a deadline to help me get a project done.

Gift Bag Paper

My paper was from a dollar store gift bag that had a coordinating floral and stripe background. I liked the fact that the paper is sturdy and the design is coated so it will not bleed or fade when a topcoat is applied to it.
The last four of my dozen necklaces.

The Source of My Inspiration

The blogger that I found inspiration from is Deneen at  A Path of Paper. AND she found inspiration and a tutorial from Haley Dyer, The Inky Scrapper. Click on Haley's name and watch her tutorial for washer necklaces. Then, go create!