Slow Cooker Gouda Mac’n’Cheese

slowcook-gouda-macncheese

This Slow Cooker Gouda Mac’n’Cheese is a cheesy blend that you can make in your crockpot.  It’s simple and delicious just how we like it!  [click her for instructions and a printable recipe card]

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Joy | Homemade Exterior Christmas Decoration

I wanted to try and use this piece of scrap wood I had to make a homemade Christmas decoration for my yard.  I thought I’d share a few pics. while it was coming together and how it turned out : )

Getting the letters sketched out and ready to cut.Christmas Exterior DIY DecorationAdding some paint
Christmas Exterior DIY DecorationOnce it was painted I used my staple gun and strings of lights to fill in the letters. My puppy Holly was supervising. : )
Christmas Exterior DIY DecorationIt’s in place and waiting for the sun to go down to test it out : )
Christmas Exterior DIY Decoration

…and there’s light : ) Much better than my first attempt.  This is the next day because somehow I didn’t complete my circuit and the “Y” didn’t light! lol
Christmas Exterior DIY Decoration

Hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful holiday season. : )

Pie Pumpkin Vase for Thanksgiving | DIY

Yay! I found some pie pumpkins. I’ve been looking and they disappeared for a bit after Halloween, but they are back. I like using these to make mini vases.  I think they look cute on side tables or on a night stand when guest stay over. : )
pie pumpkin
They’re fast and easy to make! : )
Here’s how to make them:
1. The dirty work! Hollow out the pumpkin.
the dirty work. cleaning the pumpkin
2. Make sure a plastic cup will fit in the opening. It works great to hold the flowers and it’s easier to change out the water.
use a plastic cup for vase
3. Trim the cup to fit just below the top of the pumpkin.  Make sure to not cut too much off so the cup won’t shift or tip.
tirm and fit plastic cup into pumpkin
4. Arrange your flowers and fill with water.
add and arrange flowers
5. You’re done! : ) Ready to add a little harvest cheer wherever you decide to place them!
pumpkin vase

Squirrel Snacks! | Hershey Kiss Acorns, An Easy Cookie Recipe

I saw these fall treats on pinterest and they were to cute! I wanted had to make them!   Of course, because it’s pinterest there were a few variations.  I used mini Nutter Butters halved (it looks more petite than the whole cookie).  I also went with melted chocolate instead of frosting because I already had the mini chips for the top.  For the cookies that didn’t have a rounded top from splitting them a chocolate sprinkles dressed them up! ; )too cute. yummy acorns

Ingredients:

  • Hershey Kisses
  • Mini Nutter Butter cookies
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles/colored sugar

Directions

  1. Here’s the tedious part… unwrap the kisses.  (But your little ones to work) hehe : )
  2. Separate the min Nutter Butters cookiessplitting cookies the hardest part
  3. In the micro wave on high melt one cup of the mini chocolate chips.  Approx.. 1 min and stir until smooth.
  4. Dip the kiss into the melted chocolate and place on the cookie with the peanut butter side going to the bottom of the Hershey Kiss.kiss timecookieyummyyummies
  5. Dip the flat top cookies into chocolate and then into sprinkles.
    **Depending on how the cookies where sandwiched together some will have peanut butter on different sides.**flat bottom
  6. For the round/textured top cookies dip a mini kiss into the melted chocolate and place on the center of the cookie.acorn cookie

 

Simple. Adorable. Ready to be shared and enjoy!!! : )

acorn cookies

Absolutely Amazing Apple Cider | Crockpot Recipe

This is a delicious, warming cider  to enjoy on that cold autumn day.   It prepares easily in you crockpot, too.amazing apple cider recipe

What you’ll need:

  • 8 c. apple cider
  • 1 medium sliced orange
  • 1Tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. of “REAL” maple syrup
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 8 cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. of ginger
  • Liquor (added at end to taste/see below)

Directions:

  1. Place your crockpot on low/warm setting.
  2. Take the cloves (and cinnamon stick if you prefer) and create a pouch using the cheesecloth
  3. Add all ingredients into your crockpot and give a quick stir.
  4. Let is cook for 3-4 hours.
  5. When ready to serve pour into glasses add liquor

It tastes wonderful and it’s very aromatic.  Your home will smell like the holidays the whole time it’s cooking! mm mmm : ) I usually place a variety of liquor to choose from and let guests poor.   The most common seems to be a spice rum.  The selection I like to have is: spiced rum, grand mariner, brandy and a cinnamon liquor.

*When I bottle this as a gift I do a non & an alcoholic version.  I will use Applejack Brandy. : )  (Applejack is alcohol fermented from hard cider so it pairs well.  It gives the drink a nice change from the spiced rum).

**If you do not have cheesecloth a paper coffee filter will work just as good!

Amazing Autumn Apple Cider

Halloween Decorating: Our Graveyard in the Making

haunted

Mauh Ha Ha! Halloween is definitely a fun time to decorate.  My husband and I started making our graveyard a couple years ago and add a little each season.  It was very easy to make and we had such a fun time on this little project : )

Here are some of the tombstone names we decided to use:

  • Barry M. Goode
  • Miss. Stake
  • Noah Pulse
  • M.T. Tomb
  • Willy Rott
  • Seymore Bones
  • Y. Mee
  • R.E. Manes

There are also a lot more to choose from on this site or you could always make up your own! http://1halloween.net/html/docnames.html

We made all our stones using scrap wood.  Some of the stakes, crosses and sign were made from an old pallet we cut down.  My husband is trimming some of the boards up to give them different shapes.

grv1

If you’ve seen any of my remodeling pictures you’ll know I paint almost every room gray!  I used an exterior door primer, an indoor Behr gray paint and some spray paint.  It’s held up great.  The only items I had to purchase for these was a test container of exterior black paint for the writing and a small pack of screws to attach the headstones to the stakes.

gv2

We finished it off with some lights and webs.  Next year I think we’ll have to add some skeletons.  Hope this gives you some fun ideas for your yard!  Feel free to share some of your pics, too! : )

Oh, and lots of dry ice pouring out of these mini cauldrons on the walkway and stairs!

welcome

DIY | Spooktacular Halloween Vase!

Want to add a little haunted flair to a flower arrangement or need a quick centerpiece? Try this creepy look with blood red roses, black glitter, and some spooky accessories like bones or snakes! Don’t be scared it’s quick and easy to make 🎃

halloween vase with hands

Supplies

  • Flowers
  • Glitter (preferably black)
  • Spray glue
  • Vase
  • Food dye
  • Bamboo skewers
  • String
  • Skeleton Hands (or any spooky Halloween item!)

Directions

  1. First cut the flowers to the height you want in your vase. You can use a rubber band/string to help keep a specific arrangement while working with them.
  2. Lightly spray the glue over the roses and dust with glitter (definitely recommend working of the sink. I made a mess!)
  3. Fill vase with water and food dye. (I used black and dark blue. It had a midnight blue-ish purple).
  4. Add the flowers back in.
  5. Taking the hands tie them to the bamboo skewers.
  6. Test the height and cut off any extra wood.
  7. Submerge the sticks into the vase.

I couldn’t get a really good pic.  You could see the hands, color, and glitter much better in person.  The candle really helped illuminate the vase too.

halloween rose

hands in halloween vase

Frieghtfully Easy Franken Crispies | Simple Recipe

These Franken Crispies are a fun take on a classic treat!  I shared my idea last year on Tablespoon.com Facebook page for Halloween and they were a hit!  These rice crispy treats are easy to make and extra delicious with their chocolate tops ; )

franken crispies 2.Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
  • 6 cups of rice crispy cereal
  • food dye

For decorating you will need: Milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips (for melting) and food dye. Or in place of decorating with the white chocolate you can opt for a quick dry, stackable frosting.

Directions

  1. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with wax paper and lightly coat with a cooking spray (Pam)
  2. Melt margarine in large sauce pan over low heat. Add the milk and vanilla.
  3. Add in the marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended.
  4. Add drops of food dye and blend well. (I used green with a bit of orange to give the treats the shade of green in the photo)
  5. Remove from the head and add cereal. Stir until well coated.
  6. Using a spatula evenly press the coated cereal into the 13 x 9 pan.

Once the crispies are cool it’s time to decorate!

  1.  Using the wax paper lift the bar our of the pan.
  2. Cut into rectangles and lay them on wax paper (makes for a good work surface).
  3. Melt milk chocolate (if you use chocolate chips or melting candy the instructions are on the package)
  4. Dip the top of each crispy treat.
  5. Melt the white chocolate, color as you like and get creative! : )

Time to make your Franken Crispies come to life!!! Mauh ha ha

franken crispies 1