Wednesday, May 13, 2015

8 Cleaning Hacks for Your Kitchen

This past week I began the dreaded task of cleaning my kitchen.
And I don't just mean cleaning my kitchen but CLEANING my kitchen.
You all know what I mean.
Deep scrubbing.

And I've come across a few AMAZING cleaning hacks that I wanted to share with you.
You've probably heard of some of them.
But maybe there's a few that can help you jump start your kitchen deep clean.
And all of them contain at least one of my new best friends...
Baking Soda & Vinegar.
We're besties now.
They help me clean EVERYTHING!

The dishwasher.
More precisely, cleaning the dishwasher.
This tutorial over at One Good Thing by Jillie was a LIFESAVER.
I will confess that I made my husband clean the gunk trap.
I just can't even.
But it was so easy and definitely freshened up my dishwasher!

I can't tell you how many times I have cleaned my cooktop with this next method.
You can find it over at Tidy Mom.
Can you hear the hallelujah chorus?
Cause this is WONDERFUL and makes my cooktop SHINE!
It really helps get that caked on stuff off from when your chicken boils over.
{Which I do on a weekly basis.}

Here's another method for cleaning your cooktop over at A Step in the Journey.
I haven't tried this one yet but it looks promising!
And it includes my new BFF Vinegar.
There's also a tutorial for an easy way to clean your microwave!
Yes please!

Do your dish towels need a freshening up?
Or even your bath towels too?
Fear not because Vinegar and Baking Soda are here to rescue them!
Check out this how to over at Classy Clutter.
I tried this on my bath towels and it really worked!
I was a little hesitant at first because Vinegar and I were just getting to know each other.
But it didn't fail me! 
My towels smell so much better!

Now you can't neglect your kitchen sink when deep cleaning.
It needs some TLC too.
And that's where this guide over at Spend With Pennies comes in handy.
So simple.
Yet so effective.
Your sink will shine!

Oh kitchen cabinets.
How do you get so grimy?
I'll be using this cleaning hack over at Pinching Your Pennies to tackle those bad boys.
Simple and easy.
And uses stuff I already have!

The oven.
And I've got double the trouble since I have a double oven.
Oh, get the double oven- you can cook twice the stuff.
More like you can make twice the mess.
Seriously, how does it get so gross up in there?
Anyways, I'll be forced to face them soon.
And I'll be using this tutorial from Made From Pinterest to help me!
Just check out this before and after!

And lastly.
The fridge.
Can there be a cleaning fairy that can magically clean this for me?
Are you sure?
Cleaning the fridge is the worst.
But I really think these tips over at All She Cooks can make the experience a little less painful.
Vinegar hasn't failed me yet so I have high hopes!

Ok there you have it!
8 kitchen cleaning hacks to make your life a little easier.
And it's cheap.
So that's always nice!

Do you have any kitchen cleaning hacks?
Let me know in the comments!

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest by clicking HERE!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Homemade Patty Melt with Fries

So for my first real post back, I thought I'd share with you all a recipe I made up last night!

I had thawed some ground beef but didn't know what to cook. So I was browsing Pinterest and saw a few recipes for Patty Melts. I'd never made it before so I got the gist of an idea of what it was a decided to make my own recipe.

I busted out the ole' cast iron and put it to use!

My mouth was watering at this point! It smelled so. good.

Play around with the seasonings you like. I used salt, pepper, season all, Tony's, and dehydrated garlic and onions.

Cooking the onions in the pan beforehand lends some yummy flavor to the patties!

Here's the layers on the griddle. Buttered bread, cheese, meat, onions, cheese, bread.

And here's how to make the fries....
Wash the potatoes and slice to the desired thickness. I've found I like leaving the skin on the potatoes. Yum!

After a few minutes in the fryer, I use some tongs to break up the fries a little. This helps to give them the crispy edge.

And here's the final product!

When I first explained what I was making to the husband he said, "So it's a burger." But I explained it was more like a burger meets the grilled cheese. And it really was so delicious!

The husband's rating? "I'd eat it again. But with less cheese." So maybe next time I'll only do 1 slice of cheese. For his anyways. I like the extra cheese! I didn't put onions on his either since he is so picky and doesn't eat them.

My rating? I'm definitely making it again! So yummy!

Homemade Patty Melt with Fries

Prep time: 15
Cook time: 20
Yield: 2 servings

  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef
  • 2 slices American (or your choice) Cheese
  • 1 small Yellow Onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 4 slices Sliced Bread
  • 4 tsp Butter/Margarine
  • 2 medium Potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Season All
  • 1 tsp Dehydrated Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Dehydrated Minced Onions
  • 1 tsp Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
  • Oil for Frying
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat up cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add vegetable oil. Add onions and cook until soft and browned.
  2. While onions are cooking, mix ground beef with seasonings. Form into 2 patties.
  3. When onions are cooked, remove to a side dish. Place patties in cast iron skillet. Cook for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove to paper towels to drain.
  4. Heat a large griddle or skillet. Spread 1 tsp of butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Place 2 slices on skillet, butter side down. Top each with a slice of cheese, then the cooked beef patty, then the cooked onions, then another slice of cheese, then the final piece of bread, butter side up. Cook until the bread is browned and then flip. Cook that side until the bread is browned. Remove and serve immediately.
  5. For fries:
  6. Preheat deep fryer to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes and dry. Slice into thin strips. Place in deep fryer for several minutes until desired crispness is reached. Halfway through cooking, use tongs to break up the potatoes to create crisp edges to fries. Once finished, drain on paper towels and season with salt if desired.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Hey there... It's been a while!

Oh hey there.
Let me just dust off this ole' blog.
It's been a long while since I've sat down and typed something up on here.
Let me just say...

So here's what's happened in the past year and half since I last posted.

I recently turned 26. And you know you're becoming an adult when you spend your birthday mattress shopping with the husband.

Last September we adopted a dachshund from the shelter to join our other dachshund Dexter (the black and tan one). Toby (the brown one) has been the perfect addition to our family! The two of them get along so well and just fill our lives with so much love!

Skyler (the husband) and I recently celebrated our 2 year anniversary in December with a trip to Disney World with our best friends. Marriage has been great and we're constantly learning new things about each other! 

Also... want to test how strong your marriage is? Put flooring down together. We survived. But there were quite a few things thrown and storming into a different room. But I love this man of mine :)

I'm still in love with my job as a NICU nurse! It's been 4 and a half years and I wouldn't change it for the world! We were recently asked to make a sign about what inspires us. I'm inspired by the tiny fighters I am blessed to care for! I love seeing them overcome the obstacles and defeat the odds!

I'm looking forward to blogging again and hope you all enjoy a glimpse into my life!

Also... notice something different?
I have a different domain now. Through a series of mishaps and confusion, I lost my previous blog address. So bookmark the new one to keep up with the latest happenings!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oh Hey, Remember Me?

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. Just spent the last year adjusting to married life. And life is awesome :)

Here's what's been going on with me.

In less than 2 weeks, Skyler (the husband) and I will celebrate our 1 year anniversary. Has it really been a year already???

Work has been going good. It's been SO BUSY all year long! I really love what I do, working with NICU babies. But sometimes some of my coworkers make for a not so enjoyable atmosphere. If we can all just make it through the holidays though!

Remember this little guy?

Yea, he's not so little anymore! Doesn't he look so handsome in his sweater :)

Dexter has been the perfect addition to our little family. He can make me want to scream and pull my hair out. Particularly with his knack to find stuff he's not supposed to have and RUN AROUND THE HOUSE WITH IT WHILE I CHASE HIM. But he is the sweetest and cutest little dog in the whole world. And when he runs to give me a hug when I get home after a long day, my heart melts a little more.

Ok. I think I'm done overloading you with pictures of my dog. Follow me on Instagram for more pictures from my life!

Well I really miss blogging and all of the wonderful bloggers out there! I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon. So I hope you'll stick around  :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Patriotic Mini Fruit Pizzas with Red, White, and Blue Lemonade

Happy Almost 4th of July everyone! I'm SUPER excited to be a part of the AWESOME Red White Blue Series over at Sugar Bee Crafts {be sure to head over there for more AMAZING projects and ideas}!

Sugar Bee Crafts Red White Blue

Today I wanted to share with you a fun and YUMMY idea for your 4th of July festivities. As soon as I was sitting down to think of ideas for this post, one thought stayed at the forefront of my mind. Fruit Pizzas! They were one of my FAVORITE desserts as a kid! I loved helping my mom put together the pizza :) The great thing about this recipes is that it's REALLY easy to make and it's a great way to let your kids {or your inner kid if you're like me and don't have any kiddos yet} have fun and be creative.

First things first, gather your ingredients! You'll need sugar cookie dough (or ingredients to make your own), marshmallow creme, cream cheese (get the good stuff!), strawberries, and blueberries.

Now, prepare your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Or you can do it the "not so homemade" way and buy it premade ;) For those of you that are new around here, growing up my mom would always say "if you have to open a box, it's homemade." That's been the basis for my blog! I don't always have the time or energy to make things from scratch, but, hey, I had to cut open that cookie dough roll. AND it's the million dollar recipe. So yea. If anyone asks, it's homemade. Roll with me here people! Anyways. I ramble :)

Roll out your cookie dough onto your cookie sheet. Try to get it into a somewhat rectangular shape. And remember, it will expand while cooking so don't get too close to the edges {I came VERY close to making this mistake!}. I love to cook on my pampered chef stoneware. It's a pizza pan but I use it for EVERYTHING! It's almost near impossible to burn stuff on these things! Cook according to directions, then allow to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare your fruit dip. Beat together the cream cheese and marshmallow creme until smooth.

Attempt not to eat it all before your cookies are done. Because it's like heaven in your mouth.

Oh. How did that picture get in there? That was, uh, my evil twin. Yea. Pretend you didn't see that.

Anyways. Once your cookie sheet has cooled, cut into small rectangles. Mine were about 3 in by 4 in. Using a pizza cutter made this SUPER easy!

Then spread the fruit dip on the cookies.

Then wash your fruit and julienne your strawberries.

Now comes the fun part! Decorate your cookies into little mini flags using the blueberries as the stars and the strawberries as the stripes! This is a great activity to let kids get involved and they'll love doing it!

YUM! Can you say delicious? The {picky} husband even gave it his stamp of approval! I may or may not have eaten more than one. Don't judge me, 'kay?

I also served them up with some Red, White, and Blue Lemonade. I've made this lemonade before HERE. It's based off of Chick-Fil-A's lemonade. Which if you know me, you know I kind of have an obsession with it. I mourn on Sundays when Chick-Fil-A is closed.

Oops! There I go again, rambling! Anyways, the lemonade is really easy to make! You'll need to juice enough lemons to get 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice. It took me about 12 small lemons. If you have a strainer, I'd suggest using it if you don't like a lot of pulp and to get the seeds that slip by.

Mix the lemon juice with 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a 2 qt container. The acid in the lemons breaks down the sugar so it doesn't get grainy. Then fill to the 2 qt line with water. And that's it!

I stirred in some sliced strawberries and blueberries. It was REALLY good and got better the longer the strawberries and blueberries sat in it. The flavors blended well! Another 2 thumbs up from the husband too!

The lemonade stays good for several days (if it makes it that long) but you may need to give the container a good swirl to distribute the pulp.

The fruit pizzas and lemonade made a great snack and would be nice on a hot summer day! Perfect for a 4th of July get together!

Thanks for reading and welcome any new visitors! I hope you'll stick around :)

Have an AMAZING 4th of July everyone!

And be sure to visit Sugar Bee Crafts for more great 4th of July ideas! Thanks Mandy for hosting!
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