Friday, August 31, 2012

Enchilada Pasta


I kind of have a thing for enchiladas. I have already posted about my regular Chicken Enchiladas as well as Enchiladas Verdes and I have a few others that I haven't even shared yet. I just love Mexican food and I like having different versions of dishes so that I can mix things up. This enchilada pasta was easy and full of flavor. It is definitely going to become a regular around here.

Enchilada Pasta
adapted from Chef In Training

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium White Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 medium Red Bell Pepper, diced
3 Chicken Breasts, boiled and shredded
1 (4oz) can Diced Green Chilies
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
2 (10oz) cans Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
2/3 cup Red Enchilada Sauce
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Sour Cream
16oz Penne Pasta, cooked

Optional Toppings:
Chopped Tomatoes
Sliced Green Onions
Additional Sour Cream

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onions and cook about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Stir in chicken, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, salt, and enchilada sauces. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. 

Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in sour cream until well combined and heated through. Do not boil.

Fill your dish with pasta and cover with sauce mixture. Top with tomatoes, green onions, and sour cream, if desired.

Serves 6 - 8

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mags' Apple Pie "Moonshine"


*Please drink responsibly. No underage drinking.*

Does anyone else around here watch Justified? If so, you should already know about Mags' famous apple pie moonshine. If you haven't seen it, you should! I wasn't too impressed by the third season but the first two were awesome. Anyway, this recipe is in honor of Mags and her crazy family. Technically this one can't really be called moonshine because it uses Everclear which is the legal version of moonshine. It's the closest you can get to the real stuff without breaking the law though.

You would think that this recipe came from my Dad's family in Kentucky but we actually got it from a some frat guys that we know in Minnesota. Those boys know their hooch though and this recipe is really tasty. When you hear "moonshine" you may think that just a sip of this will knock you on your butt. However, it is actually just a pre-mixed drink and the alcohol content is only around 12%. The problem is that it tastes amazing and the alcohol is well-hidden so you can easily drink too much without realizing it.

Apple Pie Moonshine
adapted from Noel F.

Ingredients:
3 quarts Apple Juice
1 gallon Apple Cider*
750ml bottle of Everclear 190 Proof**
8 Cinnamon Sticks
3 cups Sugar
16 pint size Mason Jars, sterilized

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, combine 6 cups of apple juice and 10 cups of apple cider. Heat to a light boil. Add sugar and cinnamon sticks. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Stir occasionally and wait for cinnamon sticks to open up. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Remove cinnamon sticks from cider mixture and cut in half. Place one half in each mason jar. Fill each jar with: 2oz Everclear, 7oz cider mixture, 3oz apple juice, and 3oz apple cider. Tightly replace lids and rings.*** Serve chilled.

Store in a cool, dark place. Some people have reported drinking their pie shine years later but I would recommend drinking it within one year.

Makes 32 (8oz) Servings

* We used the good apple cider from our local apple orchard and I think it made a big difference but you could also just use the stuff from the grocery store.

** 190 proof Everclear is illegal in some states because it is so strong. You may want to check and see if it is allowed in your state before you waste your time trying to track it down. When necessary, 151 proof could be used but your drink won't be as strong and it may affect the flavor.

*** I have looked at other apple pie 'shine recipes and none of them say that you need a water bath to seal the jars. The alcohol content should be enough to preserve it. I'm no canning expert though so if you feel better sealing the jars, feel free to. Just be aware that doing so may reduce the alcohol content. You can also keep it in the refrigerator if you are more comfortable with that.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just Ducky

I gave you all a glimpse of the bathroom makeover in my Fresh Start post but I just finished up a few more things in there and decided it was time that it got a post of it's own! It's fun and colorful like the rest of our house has been so far. Why? Because being a "grownup" is way overrated and I would much rather walk into a room and see something silly that makes me smile instead of a room that is stuffy sophisticated. :)


I started by painting the top half of the room a bright green color called Tart Apple. The ceiling and wainscoting are Ultra Pure White. Then I hung up a fun rubber ducky shower curtain from Walmart. I love that the ring holes are ducks too!


Our bathroom is really small. When I say small I don't mean it like those decorating magazines who talk about how tiny a bathroom is then you see the picture and it's the size of a small bedroom. Nope. I'm talking 5' x 7'. It's not a terrible size but storage has definitely been an issue.

When Steve (our landlord) replaced the cabinets, he used a large medicine cabinet so that helps to store some things. (I love the old school Hollywood light fixture that he used too.) We have a linen closet but I decided to use it for all of our extra toiletries, medicines, etc. I like having the towels in the bathroom instead of the hallway anyway since I tend to forget to bring one in with me. So I found this towel shelf which holds all of our towels and the rounded bottom keeps it from feeling like it is in the way.


One of the reasons that I picked the rubber ducky shower curtain is because it goes inside the tub instead of hanging on the outside so it doesn't seem to come into the rest of the room as much. The frog bath mat came from Walmart and they have a shower curtain that matches it now. I kind of like the combination of ducks and frogs though so I'm glad they didn't have it when we were shopping for one before.

When we first moved in we noticed a lot of water on the floor beside the shower. After watching to see where the water was coming from, we discovered that it was hitting the wall and then draining of the edge of the tub. Shelby went into Home Depot to find a piece of plastic or something that he could cut down to remedy the problem. When he was talking to one of the workers, he found out that this is actually a really common problem in narrow showers and they already had a product designed just for this called a Splash Guard. It's that L-shaped thing along the side of the shower next to the sink. It works amazingly well. Although the double stick tape didn't quite do the job on the top part because of the tile lines so I am still going to need to caulk around it.


I made some towel hooks using outdoor faucet handles. I saw the idea on Remodelaholic awhile back and thought it looked fun. I just unscrewed the handles from the faucet (about $2-3 each although ours rang up $.08 a piece for some reason and the cashier didn't feel like correcting it) then I spray painted them orange to match the duck's beaks and used some long wood screws to attach them to the chair rail. I love how fun and functional they are!


The only thing I need now is something decorative to go on this blank wall space. It has to be something really flat since the room is so small and anything sticking out would keep the door from opening all the way. Any suggestions? I want it to be fun and colorful as well. Links to specific designs and such would be much appreciated. If you have a blog, be sure to include your web address so I can link to you if I end up using your idea. :) 

EDIT: here is how I decorated the wall using YOUR suggestions. :) You can read more about it here.


And because you know I love a good before and after here is how it started out:



Thanks for reading and I can't wait to hear any suggestions for my blank wall! :)

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Link Party 74

Is anyone else having "a case of the Mondays" or is it just me? Within the first hour of waking up I succeeded in spilling coffee on my white shirt, forgetting to snap the lid on Jer's water bottle so it dumped water all over his lunchbox, misplaced my keys, he slipped and fell getting into the truck, and we missed the line at school so I had to walk him all the way back to his classroom. Blurg. Hopefully the rest of the day goes better!

Right now it is the time of week when I get to show off some of your awesome projects so things are looking up already. :) After taking a break for awhile I decided to go back to Pinterest and starting today, I will be pinning each of the posts that I feature at the link party! You can find me here. Check out a few of my favorites from last week

Knock Off Buca di Beppo Penne San Remo @ White Lights on Wednesday

Bathroom Mirror Morning Checklist @ Just A Little Creativity


Die Cutting Metal @ Art, Craft, and DIY with Leah

Embroidered Photo @ Small Things With Love

Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.

PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Polish The Stars

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hash Brown Skillet


This hearty breakfast is tasty and goes together quickly. Great for everyday or as a special treat for overnight guests. My husband calls this kind of dish "camp eggs" because whenever he goes camping he throws some eggs and whatever else he has on hand in a skillet for breakfast. Call it whatever you want, it's yummy either way. :)

Hash Brown Skillet
adapted from Taste of Home

Ingredients:
7 Sausage Links
1/4 cup Butter, cubed and divided
15oz Shredded Hash Browns
1/2 cup chopped White Onion
1/2 cup chopped Green Pepper
6 Eggs, lightly beaten
4-8oz Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Cook sausage links in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and slice. 

In a large bowl, combine hash browns, sausage, onion, and green pepper. Heat half of butter in the skillet that you cooked the sausage links in. Add potato mixture and cook, uncovered, over medium heat until potatoes are lightly browned. Flip and brown on the other side. Do not stir the potatoes too much before they have browned or they will stick to the bottom of the skillet.

Push potato mixture to the sides of the pan. In the center of pan, melt remaining butter. Pour eggs into center of pan. Cook over medium heat until eggs are almost completely set. Reduce heat and stir eggs into potato mixture. Continue cooking until eggs are cooked through.

Top with cheese, cover and cook over low heat until cheese is melted.

Serves 4-6

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dry Erase Notebook Page


If you need a dry erase board for your grocery list (or a menu, to-do list, etc.) why not make one that looks like a page from a notebook? It's easy to put together and looks really cute. Added bonus: it's just as cheap as the plain, boring ones!


Start with a clear, frame-less, 8 1/2" x 11" picture holder with a magnetic back. I found this one at JoAnn's and used a 40% off coupon so it ended up being only $4.


Grab a sheet of white cardstock, a ruler (my quilting ruler worked really well for this), and ultra fine point sharpies in red and light blue. Make your right line 1 1/4" from the left edge. Start the light blue lines 1 1/4" from the top and make the following lines 3/8" apart continuing all the way down the page.


Hand-write your title at the top or use your computer printer. The font I used for this one is called Sketch Block. Use a hole punch to add three holes. Slide it into your frame and start jotting down your list with a dry erase marker.


I added a dry erase marker clip that I had lying around from an old Dollar Tree dry erase board. If you want your list on the fridge, just use the existing magnetic backing and you're done!


I wanted mine on the side of my pantry shelving though so I pulled off the magnetic backing (it is attached with velcro). I searched around for our heavy duty self-stick velcro but it is somewhere in our disaster of a garage so I just nailed some onto the wood instead. You could just nail the magnetic velcro on there but I wanted to keep it intact in case I change my mind and want to put it on the fridge later.


Now we have a cute and convenient place to write things down when we run out of them!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Link Party 73

Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend. Today is Jer's first day of school! He has been counting down the days for weeks now. I'm going to miss having him around but I am really excited for him and all of the fun that he is going to have. I am also looking forward to getting into more of a routine and hopefully crossing more things off of my never-ending to-do list.

First, it's time to for our link party. Check out a few of my favorites from last week:

DIY Crate Seats by Projects at the Pickett's

These are such a great way to add storage *and* seating. This time of year you can find these crates in all sorts of fun colors too.

Oreo Cupcakes by Will Cook For Smiles

Mr. Steambike by Gaslight and Gilt

I love steampunk crafts and this awesome little guy started out as a dollar store toy. Amazing.

Living Wreath by Like Ordinary Life

This is an awesome take on the old door wreath. It is actually made out of live plants!

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Smokies by White Lights on Wednesday

I love making bacon wrapped smokies for parties and this recipe sounds like a great way to add even more flavor and spice them up. Can't wait to try it.

Thank you all for linking up!  If your project was featured feel free to grab a button from my sidebar.

PARTY ETIQUETTE:
  • Please become a follower of Polish The Stars
  • Link up anything related to the domestic arts: crafts, recipes, photography, cleaning tips, money saving tips, decorating, etc. NO advertising or Etsy shops.
  • In the "Name" spot put the name of your project or recipe.
  • Link directly to your post - not your home page.
  • Add my button or a text link to your post to spread the word.
  • By linking up you give me permission to use content from your post for the purposes of featuring your project.
This party will be open until Friday at Midnight. My favorite projects will be featured at next week's party!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Polish The Stars

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rootbeer Pulled Pork


These slow cooker bbq pulled pork sandwiches are super fast and easy. Perfect for a busy night like when you are getting used to being back to school. The root beer keeps the meat really moist and tender. It also adds a delightful, slightly sweet flavor.

Ingredients:
2lb Pork Tenderloin
12oz Root Beer
18oz Barbeque Sauce
8 Hamburger Buns

Cut pork tenderloin in half and place in slow cooker. Pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. 

Remove pork from slow cooker and shred with a fork. Discard the root beer. Replace the shredded pork and mix in the barbeque sauce. Serve immediately or warm in slow cooker until ready to serve.  Scoop meat onto hamburger buns and enjoy!

Makes 8 Sandwiches

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My New Craft Room


My new craft room is complete! It isn't as fancy as some other craft rooms that I have seen but it is functional and has everything that I need. As you have seen over the last few days, I have also added a couple of cute and colorful touches.


It was a little difficult to get good pictures since it is a long and narrow 8 x 14' room. We also divided the room in half so it is my craft room / library and the bookcases got in the way of my picture taking. 

The room is only partially finished although I am probably the only one who notices. The outlets and switches need covers, the door needs to be cut down to allow for the thicker carpet and then painted, and the closets need doors. It may be awhile before those little things get taken care of though and I don't feel like waiting around to share my new space.


I designed the closet shelves and Shelby built them for me. The inside of the closet wasn't finished so I had him hang a piece of drywall on the back because the nails from the living room wainscoting on the other side of the wall poked through. Then he screwed 10" x 1" x 8' boards onto the sides so the whole system is completely removable if we want to change things around.

I kept my old shoebox and snack size ziploc bag storage for the little odds and ends. My folded fabric has been wrapped around pieces of cardboard so they can stand up straight like little bolts from the fabric store. Previously the only ironing board I had was a tiny tabletop version which was kind of a pain. I have now upgraded to an over the door version and I love it! I don't have to clear off table space for it and it stores itself. It even has a hook to store my iron.


Then there is my crafting surface / bill paying desk / blogging command center. Now that Shelby is working from the corporate office instead of a home office, I got his old desk! It is an old, heavy duty desk that we found on craigslist for $50 and spray painted it dark grey. The desk top is large and one of the drawers is a hanging filing cabinet so I can organize all of my shop invoices as well as our personal bills. The desk even came with all of the original drawer dividers which is rare. 

I also inherited Shelby's old external computer screen, keyboard, mouse, and sound system. The dual screens make it really nice when I have multiple programs open. Or for when I want to work on one screen and watch a movie on the other.

I also have to point out my lovely red Swingline stapler like Milton's from Office Space. :)


Above the desk is my extra large dry erase board. I cut super thin strips of black vinyl for the calendar grids. I use those to keep track of upcoming posts that I want to write. I color code all of them so that I can see at a glance which projects haven't been made yet, which ones have been created but the photos need to be edited and the post written, and which ones have been written and are all scheduled to post.

I used my silhouette to cut out black vinyl lettering to designate spaces for my to-do list and items that need to be re-stocked in the shop. I also mounted a clip for new orders. As soon as I receive an order, I print out the invoice and put it in the clip. Then as soon as I have a minute I either create the custom order or package the stock orders. This way I know that no order will be forgotten.


Proudly displayed on my desk is my Grandma's sewing machine that I use for all of my sewing projects. Even though it is the most basic machine that only does a straight stitch, it has actually been way harder to figure out than a new machine that does all sorts of tricks. It took me thirty minutes just to figure out how to thread the dang thing and that was with a manual! It is worth it though. I absolutely love the retro look and the color is perfect. Plus there is just something special about working on my Grandma's sewing machine.


Next to the desk is my photography light box setup. Under the table is storage for all of my shipping supplies. One of these days I will probably make some kind of skirt for it so I can hide all of that stuff.


Above the light box is my whimsical pinwheel garland. The retro red clock is a hand-me-down from Jer. We got it for his old room but it ticks too loudly and he couldn't sleep. 


My new colorful, messy string art hangs above my dry erase board. 

I can't end a big reveal post without a before and after:


Unfortunately the only "before" pics we have are crappy iPhone photos. I forgot to take more with the good camera before getting to work. It was a newbie mistake but the house was so bad that I just dug right in without thinking. I might see what kind of before photos our landlord has and ask if he will let me have a copy of those.

I think that's all I have to show you for now! I hope you like my new space as much as I do.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cake Batter Truffles


Fellow cake batter lovers - rejoice! It is time for another batter infused recipe and this one is even better than the last. These little truffles are easy to put together and highly addictive. Next time I make them I am going to have to send most of them to the office with Shelby because I couldn't stop eating them. They have all the flavor of cake batter with the texture and richness of sugar cookie dough. Delish.

Cake Batter Truffles

Truffle Ingredients:
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 cup White Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Yellow Cake mix (dry)
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
3-6 Tablespoons Milk
2 Tablespoons Sprinkles

Coating Ingredients:
8 squares (16oz) Vanilla Almond Bark
4 Tablespoons Yellow Cake Mix
Sprinkles

For the truffles:
In an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until well combined. Add flour, cake mix, salt, and vanilla. Mix well. Add 3 Tablespoons of milk and mix. Continue adding milk, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until you it reaches a dough consistency. Stir in sprinkles with a spoon.

Scoop dough with a 1-inch cookie scoop and roll with your hands to form a ball. Place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

For the coating:
Melt almond bark in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time until melted. Stir at each interval. Once melted, immediately stir in cake mix until blended completely. Using a fork, dip truffles into the almond bark and shake off excess by tapping the bottom of the fork on the side of the bowl. Place truffle back on the waxed paper lined cookie sheet and immediately top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls.

Keep refrigerated.

Makes about 2 dozen truffles.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pinwheel Garland

Awhile back I saw this picture of a wall full of pinwheels and instantly fell in love with it. Sadly, it is another one of those Pinterest casualties where the original source wasn't linked correctly so I have no idea where it really came from. Anyway, when trying to come up with a way to fill this large blank piece of wall in the craft room, I thought of that photo. I didn't want over twenty holes in my wall though so instead of nailing in each one, I made it into a garland so it only required a few holes.


I love how it turned out. It's colorful and whimsical and it makes me smile. :) This would also be a fun addition to a kid's room!


Start by cutting your paper into 4" squares. I found this adorable polkadot paper in the scrapbook section of Hobby Lobby. I really liked that it was white on the back instead of all being the same color.


Using a ruler, mark the center of your square. Use a metal ruler and a knife to cut 2 1/4" from each corner to the center mark. You could also use a pencil to mark the line then cut with scissors but be sure to erase the pencil line when you are done.


Pull the left side of one of the corners into the center and use a dab of hot glue to secure. Repeat with the left other corners and glue each one in place. Of course, if you want functioning pinwheels you will need to skip the glue, pull each of the left corners into the center and secure with a straight pin pressed into a stick behind it. Mine are purely decorative though so I glued them.


Glue a cute little button, bead, gemstone, or whatever pleases you, into the middle.


Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

To change things up a bit, I did half of each color starting with the white side facing up and the other half with the color side facing up. That way some of the wings are colored and some are white.


Randomly place nails on your wall to get your garland to hang the way you would like then tie a string around the nail heads. Finally, put a dab of hot glue on the back of your pinwheel and stick to the string one at a time.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting Polish The Stars.