Kitchen Crafts 'n' More

Monday, December 25, 2006 Today's Kitchen Gadgets: Silpat Baking Sheets & a Great Candy Thermometer

Today over on the Kitchen Gadgets Blog I've rated two new kitchen gadgets that cooks will WANT in their kitchens.

#1 - Silpat Non-stick silicone baking sheets - they really DO prevent your cookies from sticking to bakeware


#2 - Classic Candy thermometer - that takes all the guesswork out of making homemade fudge and candy

Posted by HappySlob :: 7:39 PM :: 0 comments

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Easy Dinner Recipes: Cheddar Chili Cups (Kids Love these)

Cheddar Chili Cups

Chili Cups Ingredients:
2 (15-ounce) cans vegetarian chili
1/2 cup sliced green onions
6 (4-inch) hard round dinner rolls

Toppings Ingredients:
6 slices (1/2 ounce each) Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup Sour Cream
2 ounces (1/2 cup) Cheddar Cheese, shredded Cherry tomatoes, if desired

1. Combine chili and green onions in 2-quart saucepan. Cover; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through (3 to 5 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, hollow out rolls with serrated knife, leaving 1-inch shell.
Place 1 slice cheese in bottom of each roll; fill with 1/2 cup hot chili.

3. Top each with 2 teaspoons sour cream; sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Serve with cherry tomatoes, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.

Posted by HappySlob :: 11:42 AM :: 0 comments

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Delicious Hot Wintertime Drinks: Hot Chocolate Caramel

Hot Chocolate Caramel
Big thanks to Dorina for sending in this decadent hot chocolate recipe with a twist - a rich addition of melted caramels! Oh MAN does that sound good...

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup water
6 milk-chocolate-covered round caramels
6 cups milk, half-and-half, or light cream
Whipped cream (optional)
Milk chocolate-covered and/or candy-coated round caramels (optional)

In a large saucepan combine sugar, cocoa powder, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add candies; cook and stir until melted. Stir in milk. Heat through. Pour into mugs; top with whipped cream and additional caramel candies. Makes 6 servings.


Posted by HappySlob :: 11:39 AM :: 0 comments

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No-Bake Fast & Easy Tuna Casserole: Great Fast Lunch Ideas

Tuna Casserole (no bake)
Submitted by: Dorina

8 ounces dried wagon wheel, macaroni or medium shell macaroni
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

1 6 1/2-ounce container or 2, 4-ounce containers light semi-soft cheese with cucumber and dill or garlic and herb

1 12-1/4 ounce can solid white tuna, drained and broken into chunks

Salt and pepper

1. Cook pasta in lightly salted water, according to package directions. Drain and return to pan.
2. To the pasta add 1/4 cup of the milk and the cheese. Cook and stir over medium heat until cheese is melted and pasta is coated, adding additional milk as needed to make of creamy consistency. Gently fold in tuna; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Posted by HappySlob :: 11:37 AM :: 0 comments

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Saturday, December 23, 2006 Need Your Home Based Business Ideas & Experiences

Hi everyone,

So far I have a dozen different REAL ways to make money from home listed on the main KCnM site: Real Home Based Business Ideas. I'd love to hear YOUR ideas and experiences on this topic. What business do you (or have you in the past) run? Which ideas have worked for you, and which business ideas didn't work?

Thanks for your input!
Take care,

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:41 AM :: 0 comments

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Start a Candle Business - Great Home Business Idea

Want to find a REAL work at home job, but just aren't sure which one is right for you? Over at Start a Candle Business I've shared some ideas on how to take a love of candles and turn it into a career!

If you love candles, this might be just the right business for you. Ideas range from selling online (at auction sites like eBay) to having home parties with friends to get your candle sales started.

If you have more ideas on how to sell candles, or how to start any other type of creative/crafty business, please email them to me at

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:39 AM :: 0 comments

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Butter Pecan Cookies - Using Store Bought Cake Mix

The idea of using a cake mix to whip up fast and delicious 'homemade' cookies is a popular one! Try this scrumptious recipe for Butter Pecan Cake Mix Cookies that will sure to get rave reviews!

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:27 AM :: 0 comments

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Sunday, December 17, 2006 Judi's Tips for Lump-Free Gravy - Easy Gravy Making Hints - Make Gravy in the Microwave

Here's a really cute email sent in to me by Judi...she's discovered the secrets of making lump-free gravy and wanted everyone else to know! Here's the content of her email:

Let me start with a tip I just dicovered myself.

Even after nearly 40 years of cooking, you can still learn new tricks. I have always had a problem making gravy. While I use both corn starch and flour, I prefer to use flour (the gravy will thaw better after freezing).

I disovered this by mistake, but I now make gravy in less than 5 minutes and

ta da NO LUMPS!!

I use the microwave oven

using a microwave safe (corningware, pyrex, fire king, etc) pan, remove a good 90% of the fat and put your drippings into the pan. For each cup of pan drippings, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of flour over the top of the drippings

1. microwave one minute on high

2. remove from microwave oven - stir the not-yet-gravy (but don't worry about
breaking up lumps), sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the gravy

3. repeat step 1

4. repeat step 2

continue this until the gravy is of the consistency that you like - usually less than 5 minutes.

Since microwaves heat food from the inside out, the little lumps of flour are "exploded"
and no more lumps. I have used this method frequently since I learned it.

But I guess I should say as everyone else does - "microwaves vary"

Cuts down on gravy making time - I don't have to stand at the stove and stir!!

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:41 AM :: 0 comments

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Homemade Cream Soup Base/Mix Recipe - Make Your Own Soup Mixes

This very interesting homemade 'cream' soup recipe mix sent in to me by Cindy, aka: "The Bead Lady!"

Hi Christina!

I think folks will love this one!

Homemade "Cream" Soup Mix
2 c Instant non fat dry milk
3/4 c Cornstarch
1/4 c Instant low sodium Chicken bouillon
2 T Dried onion flakes
1 tsp each Basil and thyme opt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Combine dry milk, cornstarch, bouillon, onion flakes, basil, thyme and pepper. To make the equivalent of one can of soup, use the 1/3 cup of the mix and 1 1/2 cup water and cook until thickened. NOTE: Beef bouillon may be used in place of the chicken. Mushrooms may be added to the sauce for a mushroom soup base

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:38 AM :: 0 comments

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Blueberry Crumb Cake Recipe

Blueberry Crumb Cake
Submitted by Dorina

1 pint blueberries
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2-1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup margarine (I'd go with butter)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Toss the blueberries gently with the lemon zest in a bowl.Combine 2 cups of the flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the margarine until crumbly. Reserve 1-1/2 cups of thecrumb mixture for the topping. Stir a mixture of the remaining 1/4 cup flour and baking soda into the remaining crumb mixture until mixed.Add the yogurt, egg and lemon juice and mix well. Fold in 1 cup of the blueberries. Spread the batter in a lightly buttered 10-inch springform pan. Sprinkle with the remaining blueberries. Top with the reserved crumb mixture. Place the springformpan on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until light brown and the cake tests done.NOTE: In many recipes 1 cup granulated can be replaced by 1 cup of corn syrup, molasses, or honey, reducing the amount of liquid in the recipe by 2 to 4 Tablespoons or by using 1 cup packed brown sugar.SERVINGS: 16
Copyright 1997 The Junior League of Buffalo, Inc.

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:37 AM :: 0 comments

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Simple Hot Apple Cider Recipe - Easy Apple Cider

Simple Hot Cider
Submitted by Jeannie

1 gallon apple cider
3-5 sticks cinnamon
6-8 whole cloves
dash nutmeg

Place all items in a large stanless steel or large pot. Depending on your personal pallet adjust the spices to taste. Then heat slowly on a low flame and let the flavors meld. Might take 30 minuets or more. Keep heat on real low setting to keep the cider warm through the evening. You can split the cider in two containers and for those that want a little kick add your brandy, rum, vodka or whatever to the adult one.

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:33 AM :: 0 comments

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006 Today's Pie Recipes du Jour - Three Delicious New Pie Recipes to Try

Our pie recipes are growing by the day -- we're up to 203 differerent pie recipes! Here are the new ones submitted by readers today:

  1. Brown Sugar Pie Recipe - a real old-fashioned delight. A sweet treat that is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

  2. Old-fashioned Blackberry Pie is another old-time treat. If you've been wondering what to do with that bag of frozen blackberries in the freezer, this is the recipe for you.

  3. Truly Decadent - Peanut Butter Fudge Oreo Cookie Pie Recipe
  4. This sounds like the epitome of decadence to me! If you're looking for an over-the-top impressive and gooey dessert, try this one. :)

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:25 AM :: 0 comments

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Onion Cheese Bread Recipe (using baking mix like Bisquick)

Onion Cheese Bread
Submitted by Jeannie


1 cup chopped onion
4 tsp. vegetable oil
3 cups biscuit/baking mix (like Bisquick- Christina's note: you can make your own Bisquick-type mix - the recipes are here: Make Your Own All Purpose Baking Mixes
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
6 tsp. dried parsley flakes, divided
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted


In a skillet, saute' onion in oil until tender. Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine eggs and milk; stir into biscuit mix just until combined. Stir in the onion, 1 cup cheese, and 4 tsp.
parsley. Spread the batter into 2 greased 8 inch round baking pans. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and parsley. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and top of bread is lightly browned.

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:10 AM :: 0 comments

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For Janet - Two Cottage Cheese and Jello Recipes as Requested

Big thanks to Sue B, who always helps me out by finding recipes that were requested in the newsletter. These are two variations that were recently requested by Janet in the December 1st Issue of the Newsletter.

FOR: Janet

Prep. Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 1 Honey Maid Honey Grahams crushed (about 3 Tbsp's.), 2/3 cup boiling water, 1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O brand Orange Flavor Sugar-Free Low Calorie Gelatin, 1 cup Breakstone's or Knudsen Low-Fat Cottage Cheese, 1 tub (8 oz.) Philadelphia Fat-Free Cream Cheese, 2 cups thawed Cool Whip Free Whipped Topping.

DIRECTIONS: Sprinkle crumbs onto the bottom of a 8 or 9-inch springform pan or 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray. Stir boiling water into gelatin in large bowl at least 2 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool for 5 minutes. Pour into blender container. Add cheeses; cover. Blend on medium speed until well blended stopping occasionally to scrape down side of blender; pout into a large bowl. Add whipped topping; stir gently until well blended. Pour into prepared pan; smooth top with spatula. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Remove side of pan just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator. Garnish with fresh mint just before serving (optional).MAKES: 8 servings.

Prep. Time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup (8 ounces) small-curd cottage cheese, 1 pkg. (3 ounces) gelatin flavor of your choice, 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges drained, 1 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple drained, 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional), 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping thawed.

DIRECTIONS: In a bowl, combine the cottage cheese and gelatin powder; mix well. Stir in oranges, pineapple and pecans (if desired). Just before serving, fold in the whipped topping.

MAKES: 8 servings.

Posted by HappySlob :: 10:06 AM :: 0 comments

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Help for Dog Odors - Natural Ways to Combat Stinky Pet Smells

In the December 1st issue of the KCnM newsletter Marilyn from Florida asked if anyone could help her with a problem. Which was -- that her beloved Maltese dog had developed a severe body odor.

Three helpful KCnM readers helped out with these suggestions:

  1. Ruth writes: "My vet told me to use the original palmolive dish soap to wash the dog, and it worked great for me. Washing too often is hard on the skin, but mine had a flea allergy so had to be bathed every week. Also the odor could be caused by a skin fungus. A mixture of 50% white vinegar and 50% peroxide will clear up a fungal skin infection. I would bathe the dog first, then apply the vinegar mixture to get as much of it on her skin as possible. It does sting, but is effective."
  2. JoAnn says: "I've got a dog with some skin problems and odor. A vet just told me it's due to a yeast infection and to use a shampoo made for that. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but hopefully it will help."
  3. Jeff in LA suggests: "Marilyn should take her dog to the vet. There could be digestive problems, gum or tooth infections, or anal sac infections/inflammations that are causing the problem (and pain) and which need tending to.
    Also, there is a product on the market that could help (but it should be used in addition to a trip to the vet, not in place of).

    Here are the links to help:
    The first is informational, the second is about a product (Dinovite)."

Thanks you guys, for helping out as always! Hope this gives you some idea of what to do, Marilyn. As Jeff already suggested, it's vital that you take your puppy to the vet to get professional advice.

Take care,


Posted by HappySlob :: 9:59 AM :: 0 comments

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Healthy Food of the Day: 3 Reasons to Eat Almonds

My husband and I have been trying to eat a lot healthier lately, and so I've had an opportunity to do some research on healthy foods. Here's a delicous, healthy treat to snack on any time: ALMONDS. And, three reasons why snacking on almonds is such a good idea for your health:

  • Almonds promote colon health - A study in 2001 at the University of California at Davis showed that almonds can improve colon health. People who eat almonds are less likely to develop colon cancer than people who don't. This is particularly interesting, since before this study, it was sometimes believed that nuts weren't good for colon health.
  • Almonds can reduce bad cholesterol levels - An interesting Canadian study in 2002 shows that almonds can help people who have low good cholesterol, high bad cholesterol - or both! Researchers measured cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight in the subjects. They found that patients reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL – bad cholesterol) an average 4.4 percent with the half portion of almonds and 9.4 percent with the full portion. (The full portion was 74 grams of almonds a day.)
  • Almonds also help heart health in general - The folic acid in almonds is believed to help lower levels of homocystein, the amino acid that is thought to contribute to the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries. So, eating your almonds keeps your heart healthier!

So, if you've always thought that nuts were a no-no, because they're high in fat - rest assured. :) Almonds are a fantastic snack...they taste great, and your body loves them just as much as your taste buds do.

Posted by HappySlob :: 9:45 AM :: 0 comments

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