WFMW: Quick tip to slice a mushroom

works for me wednesdays

Does anybody remember my quick tip to cut an onion? Here’s the quick refresher version:

Well, today I am back with another Ah-ha! moment in the kitchen. Forgive me if all of you have figured this one out already:

Quick Tip To Slice a Mushroom!

And it goes like this:

Step 1: Acquire super cute helper:


Step 2: Grab your egg cutter and position mushroom:

Step 3: Have a large bowl of perfectly sliced mushrooms in seconds. Voila! (Also take better pictures than I do.)

Now you can have fresh mushrooms and onions to sautee in mere seconds! Plus, I hear word that this also works well for strawberries… oh the possibilities!!

What are your favorite tricks in the kitchen?

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Further Proof that I am a Geek

Like many Americans, we have a set budget for Christmas presents this year. We always have a budget, but since we are a little tighter this year and we are trying to save to completely redo our laundry room, we wanted to make sure that we stuck to our budget no matter what.

So being the geek that I am, I designed an Excel Worksheet using the Designer function and working with Macros. As I was making it I just took our budget and divided by the number of people we getting presents for, but then I thought, what about the presents we have already purchased that we found on sale or cost less than we originally expected?  So I figured out a way to make the money redistribute itself to the others who we had not bought a gift for. This way, if a present happened to cost more than we expected we would know how much squish room we had before we would just need to decide on another present. That way the left over money would be available to be spent if we needed it without having to worry about ‘accidentally’ spending too much.

For you visual people:

So, in case you weren’t 100% sure before, this should confirm it. I am a geek. No sense in hiding it, might as well embrace it! Any other geeky people out there that go a little crazy when making lists? I would love to hear your stories and know that I am not alone!

WFMW: Mama Janes

works for me wednesdays

Recently my family made a weekend trip up to Kansas City. This is always a treat because not only do we get to have fun in the city, but Bran’s sister, Jami, and her family live up there. Win/Win everytime. This particular trip Jami’s church was putting on an arts and crafts expo to raise money for missions.

Well, one of the ladies there had a booth for her spice mixes called Mama Jane’s Creations. This woman is a genius.  Not only did she make it easier for me to get the spices just right for a recipe, now  it appears to other people that I am an amazing cook. That is quite the accomplishment!

My favorite is the quick no bake cheesecakes that you can make from her packets! Just add any of the Sweet and Sassy dips to 2 blocks of softened cream cheese and a carton of Cool Whip.  It doesn’t get much easier than that and they taste A-MAZ-ING!

Go check out her website and if you are ever in KC make sure to visit one of the many stores that sell her products, you won’t be disappointed!!

WFMW: Perfect Waffles

works for me wednesdays

Since you guys seem to be liking my quick tips in the kitchen I am going to share another one with you, about waffles. Do any of you have the problem of getting too much (or too little) batter in the waffle maker? It ends up dripping all down the sides (or you never have enough to make the waffle whole)! Well, I am happy to say that I make perfect waffles. Oh yes I do! Look:

Okay, maybe not perfect, but they never over-flow and I also never have a huge mess all over my counter top trying to scoop the batter into the iron. How do I do this some of you who don’t already have your own method may ask? Well, two things make this possible. First: Use a pitcher.

Seriously, this makes pouring the batter so much easier and practically no mess!! Second: Pour in a circle like this:

This way as the batter spreads it fills in the middle and outside! Bam, almost perfect waffles! It works for me.

WFMW: Quick tip to cut an onion

works for me wednesdays

Alright, who here likes to cut up onions? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Me neither. So I’ve come up with a quick way to cut onion slivers. Seriously, I have and if you haven’t thought of this yourself you are going to be blown away. In fact this is so incredibly easy I’m just going to use pictures to explain. Are you ready?

(Okay I’ll break the silence just in case you aren’t sure what this is, it’s an apple cutter for making ‘perfect’ apple slices. Really, it only works when you have perfect apples, which is never.)

Awesome right??? Well I think so and I hope that some of you out there can use this tip to make cutting onions a little less of a chore!

Have a great day!

 

Baby Shower Fun Update!

Since making my second diaper cake a number of people have asked my how/why I make them the way I do. Couldn’t be because a lot of the same people were at both showers. 🙂 Anyways, there are a few reasons why I chose to make my diaper cakes this way.

   1. They are a ton easier to make!! The cakes were you roll up every, single diaper and put a rubber band around it are so tedious. Each of the cakes above has 100 diapers in it. Can you seriously except me to roll up 100 diapers? Yeah, I don’t think I like anybody that much. Sorry.

2. You can fit tons more diapers in a normal sized cake. Seriously, if you are wanting to save some money then don’t make them this way. Instead put your time, sore fingers, and carpal tunnel syndrome into lovingly producing the rolled up version of these. Personally, I would rather buy one more package and get done in 1/4th the time, but everyone is different.

3. I think they look more ‘professional’ this way. But I have seen a number of rolled up versions that look very good. Maybe it just comes down to how they are decorated? These do seem to come out more uniform though. But that is because of how they are made.

4. Easier on the recipent.I recieved a rolled up diaper cake at one of my baby showers. I LOVED it!! I waited until the night before AJ was to be induced to take it apart because I just didn’t want to take it apart. I sat down, cut the ribbon off and started  unwrapping all the diapers. Since you use rubber bands to roll up the diapers, some of them would tear as you pulled the rubber band off. By the time I was 20 or so in I was contemplating just throwing them all away. It is a pain in the you know what. Instead, when you give this version of a diaper cake all the momma has to do is cut the ribbon on each layer and put the diapers away. Takes 2 seconds tops!

Okay now that I have talked you into my version, I think you should know that I learned how to do this on YouTube. Oh, heck yes. Don’t know how to fix your facet? YouTube. Don’t know how to crochet baby booties? YouTube. Want to learn what not to do to propose? YouTube. Want to learn to make a bomb? Yeah, don’t do that the FBI disapproves.

This is the particular video I watched, I’m sure there are others:

WFMW: Food Prep

works for me wednesdays

I have to warn you, either you will find this post extremely helpful (like an Ah-ha! moment) or you will glean no information from it at all. Why? Because one of three things will be true: 1- You had never thought of doing this before, 2-You already do this or something close to it, or 3- You don’t do this/have tried it before and it just doesn’t fit you.

Moving on.

Once or twice a month I prep food to make meals easier during the week. Because, let’s face it after getting off work and picking up AJ it is 5:30. I don’t have time to be messing around. So, I pick a Saturday and chop/dice/mince until my hands about fall off. Then I throw everything into the freezer in normal portion sizes and call it a day. Then it comes to Tuesday (yes I did pull some onions out of the freezer just last night, how did you guess?) and I don’t have to waste the extra time to dice the onions and can just throw them into the dish and keep steam-rolling on through making dinner. Less time making dinner = more time with Bran and AJ. Perfection. 

Things that I have found freeze well after being chopped/diced/minced include: green beans (straight from the garden is ideal), carrots, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, green/red/yellow peppers (these I like to cut into strips because it is faster and if you need them diced then you can just use your hands to snap them as you add them into your dish), jalapenos and potatoes (boil these first). Make sure you seal all bags as air tight as possible, seriously. The less air the longer they keep. Also, make sure to label the bags because you will want to use your produce in 3 months (you might be able to make them last 6 months but no longer!) I have found it very helpful to use a bunch of small baggies for separating serving sizes but storing them in one gallon size freezer bag to keep them even fresher and labeling that bag X amount of diced onions.

Best of luck!

WFMW: Laundry sorting

works for me wednesdays

The one thing I hate most around the house is laundry! By the time you separate out the different loads it already feels like you’ve done a days work! At least, it does for me. After having AJ I had enough, I needed a new way to prepare laundry so that I wasn’t completely worn out before I even started. Walking around Walmart I found my solution: Laundry carts.

 

 


  We bought 2 that look just like this and set them up in the corner of our room and now have 6 ‘hampers’. Wonderful! I divided the bags up as follows:

  1. Towels
  2. Jeans
  3. Light Regular wash
  4. Dark Regular wash
  5. Light Delicate wash
  6. Dark Delicate wash

Yes, they do take up more room then one or two laundry hampers but it is so worth it! I just unhook the bag of laundry and carry it into the laundry room and empty it into the washing machine. Plus, as we use the cloths we can put them straight into the correct basket (took Bran a couple tries to learn my system) and whenever I want to do a load everything is ready to go! We also have a couple of baskets in the laundry room set up for cloths that are stained. As soon as they come off I take them to the laundry room, spot treat the stain and throw it into the corresponding basket for the load it goes into. That way, when I load up the washer I know which stained pieces need to be thrown in as well!