French Onion Soup……IN THE CROCK POT!

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The hubs and I LOVE French Onion soup, it is one of our all time favorite things to eat. The problem is, it takes FOREVER to cook it right. It takes so long and it’s a very meticulous process. One wrong move and the entire pot can be ruined. So I set out on a mission, to find a recipe for French Onion soup that could be made in the crock pot and left to simmer all day without damaging it or having it come out overcooked. I googled and found a few recipes but none of them looked like they would taste like my perfected from scratch recipe. So, I basically just adjusted my personal recipe a bit and tried it out tonight and it came out unbelievably delicious. This is my new favorite way to make our favorite soup! I hope that you try it out, share it with friends, and don’t forget to leave feedback!

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Ingredients

. 3 Large White Onions
. 3 Medium Sized Yellow Onions
. 1/2 Cup Butter
. 2 Tblsp Brown Sugar
. 8 Cups Beef Broth
. 3 Beef Bullion Cubes
. 4 Chicken Bullion Cubes
. 2 Tblspn Minced Garlic
. 2 Tblspn Dried Parsley
. 6 Bay Leaves
. 1/2 Cup Merlot or other Dry Red Wine
. Canola Oil
. 1 Bag Texas Toast Croutons
. 1 Package Provolone Cheese Slices
. Oven Safe Soup Bowls (I recommend Pyrex)

(I know, it looks like a lot, but I promise, this is a really easy recipe)

Instructions

In large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat

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Quarter the white onions, and slice the yellow onions (I prefer this because it gives some different texture to the onions)
Add onions to the skillet and caramelize over medium-low heat

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Add the brown sugar and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently

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Turn crock-pot to “LOW” and add 4 cups of beef broth, garlic, bullion cubes, and bay leaves
Add wine to skillet and cook on low for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously

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Remove skillet from heat and add contents to crock pot
Add parsley and remaining beef broth, stir

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Cover and cook on “LOW” for 8 hours

At some point during the day, preferably in the beginning so that all of your prep work is done, add 1/2 inch canola oil to medium skillet and fry croutons evenly over medium-low heat. This is an important step, it’s important to slowly cook them until they are a darkened golden brown color then remove them from the heat and place them on a plate with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. They need to cool COMPLETELY throughout the day, which is why I recommend doing this right after you put all of your ingredients into the crock pot, then going ahead with this step so that it’s all done and knocked out quickly. You could also do this the night before and let them sit in a ziplock bag with paper towels until you need them the next day. Doing this process will ensure that when you add your croutons to the soup later, they won’t get soggy, if you don’t care whether your croutons are soggy or not, then you can eliminate this completely and not even worry about it.

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Ok, so you’ve got your croutons cooling on a plate/bowl/bag whatever with paper towels and your soup is in the crock pot steadily cooking.

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Enjoy your 8 hours! (this could cook longer if you needed it to, depending on work schedule, you could leave it 9 hours and everything would likely still taste just fine)

When it comes time to eat your delicious soup…..

Place the top rack in your oven close to the broiler. I place mine on the 2nd rack because the first rack is a little too close for comfort. I’m always terrified that I’m going to burn the cheese.

Take your oven safe soup bowls and place them on a cookie sheet

Place 1 slice of provolone cheese in the bottom of the bowls.

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Add soup from crock pot to bowl until bowl is about 3/4 of the way full.

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Add 5-7 croutons and place 2 more slices of cheese on top

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Place cookie sheet in oven and BROIL only until cheese is browned on top. Do this at your discretion, I leave mine in about 5 minutes. Keep your eyes on it, because the cheese can burn really quickly depending on several factors.

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Serve with a glass (or two) of the remaining wine from the bottle.

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Bon Appetit!

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Thrift Store Finds!!!

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Went out on a mission to find something to put on the very blank wall above our TV in the living room…..and what I ended up with will not only not work above the TV, but these items don’t have designated homes yet. All that I know is that I got them for a STEAL.

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The first photo frame is from Target, but I picked it up at Goodwill for $6 (no idea what the original price is, but I’m guessing around $30)

The second photo frame was $1.99 at Goodwill, I just thought it was fun and will likely have a home one day.

Here, we have a pair of PartyLite wall sconces. I used to sell PartyLite, so I know these puppies aren’t cheap. I’m estimating the catalog price around $40 for the pair.

I paid $4 for the set. WINNING!!!!!!!

Pinterest Inspired Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans

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I would love to take credit for this recipe, because the mister sure did love it, but I cannot. I saw it as a pin on Pinterest and repinned it with every intention of cooking it as is, but it seemed like it would be a bit plain, so I added 3 cloves of garlic (minced) and 2 onions (quartered)

Recipe Source – Unknown source on Pinterest – I used TineYe Reverse Image locater to find a source, and found none. Soooo…..yeah.

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
6 Red Potatoes (quartered)
2 Cans Green Beans
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
2 Medium Yellow Onions (quartered)
1 Packet of Italian Dressing Mix
1 Melted Stick of Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Layer chicken, potatoes, and green beans in casserole dish, top with garlic and onions, sprinkle Italian dressing mix on top, pour melted butter evenly over all of it, add salt and pepper, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

YUM!

Fall Off The Bone BBQ Ribs

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If there is one type of food that I love, it’s BBQ. My hubby to be isn’t as big of a fan of it as I am, but even he gives this recipe a high five. If I pair it with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted green beans, he REALLY loves it. Unfortunately for him, tonights dinner is a bit more simple. BBQ Ribs, and potato salad. Easy Peasy.

Start by picking up a rack of baby back ribs. You could use any type, but baby backs are my fav. “I want my baby back baby back baby back…..”

Anyhow. Ribs. In the…….CROCKPOT. Extra emphasis on crockpot because as most wives and mothers would agree, crockpots are the key to sanity when you have a busy life. Well, crockpots and booze.

This recipe takes about 10 minutes to prep, then about 7 hours in the crock pot on low.

Ingredients

Rack of Baby Back Ribs
2 Small/medium Yellow Onions
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1 Bottle BBQ Sauce (I use whatever brand honey/brown sugar is on sale, today it’s Hunt’s because it was $0.88/bottle)
Salt/Pepper
1 Jar Cherry Jam/Jelly (you can use grape, but cherry is better)

Those are the basic ingredients, the recipe is delicious without anything else, but if you want a fabulous added boost of flavor, there is a bonus

***SECRET INGREDIENT***

Now, before I continue with this, it’s HIGHLY likely that you don’t have this in your kitchen, but I do absolutely recommend getting your hands on some. The tricky thing is, there is only one way to do it. You have to buy something from the company that makes it, and you can’t just buy it by itself. I will say, it’s one of my favorites though. The name of it is “Dillo Dust” and it’s a meat rub. I’m not sure any of the specifics as far as how to get some. I don’t know if there is a minimum amount of money that you have to spend, or if they just send one jar with every purchase. I do know, that it’s a genius marketing scheme. The mister bought some stuff from this website and they sent this with it, and it’s now a must-have in my kitchen. I find myself saying, “Honey, I’m almost out of Dillo Dust, you need to buy something from LaRue.” …..I’m sure it just breaks his heart to hear.

To check out the company website click here –> LaRue Tactical

(I am NOT speaking on behalf of the company, and I am not being endorsed by the company. I am not being paid in any way to promote this product, I just really love it)

Ok, now that my secret ingredient is no longer a secret, let’s proceed.

Cut your rack of ribs in half and throw them in the crock pot.
Top both halves with salt & pepper
Quarter both onions and toss them on top
This is where you add Dillo Dust if you have it, be generous

In separate bowl, mix jar of Cherry Jam, BBQ sauce, and Mustard, it’ll be clumpy
Pour it all over top of the ribs and onions, cover, and cook on low for about 7 hours

Serve immediately and they will literally fall off the bone. DELICIOUS!

 

Yard Sale Delight

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Hola! This post is a follow up to my 10 Tips to a Successful Yard Sale post.

I am so excited about this post, I had such a great morning, EXCEEDED my $200 sales goal, had some delicious beverages, and am so anxious to tell you all about it!

First off, my body did this ridiculous thing and woke up at 2:30 this morning. 2:30. No bueno. I didn’t need to be up until 3:20, but once I was up there was no going back down.

So I woke up, came downstairs to find that my mister had set the coffee pot to go off and left me a super adorable note. He’s so great. Had my coffee and my 20 minutes of free time before getting ready and heading out the door. As I left, my dog gave me a serious, “Are you really going to leave me here alone?” look. It was if I had crushed his soul.

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I got to my friends house right at 5am and we were able to set everything up and sit back and relax by 6. We even made a new friend along the way.

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This furry friend hung out with us all day. Aside from trying to drink our beverages, she was pretty cool. To be fair though, who wouldn’t want to drink this?

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These are delicious, by the way. I’ll have to ask her for her recipe. Hands down, one of the best Bloody Marys that I’ve ever had, and I have more than drank my fair share.

So throughout the day we had several visitors, all of which brought a certain “vibe” to the event. We had:

Woman with stinky armpits vibe
Man that was a borederline sex offender vibe (seriously)
Children that wanted to chase our new cat friend vibe
New Granparents that don’t know how to make change vibe
Pregnant with twin girls new mom vibes

All in all though, it was a good turn out, and almost everything sold. Winner Winner!

There was some definite haggling had throughout the day. I’m pretty sure that we got dwindled down too far, but that’s ok. The point behind this particular sale was less about the money and more about clearing out stuff, oh yeah, and then the money thing. Still hate that stuff.

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I will say though, walking away with a pile of it made me feel exceptionally accomplished.

After I got home, my dog was pretty convinced that he almost died without me for a whole morning.

Thanks for reading!

How To: Cut a bottle without shattering it using household items.

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Hi folks!

Many of my friends have asked me how I managed to cut a wine bottle without shattering it. I’ve been promising a tutorial for a while, and now that I have this blog up I figure it’s time I kept my word!

I will be doing this a lot over the next few months with the wedding planning, so stay tuned for more pictures! I only have the “after” photo today, but I will add more as I do this more often, and with different size/shaped bottles.

You will need these items:

Bottle

Scissors

Cotton Twine (yarn would probably work also)

Acetone Nail Polish Remover (this will NOT work if your nail polish remover doesn’t have acetone in it)

A lighter/matches

220 fine grit sandpaper

A sink full of water

(I also recommend safety glasses and a fire extinguisher………..juuuuuust in case)

If you follow these steps exactly, there should be no hiccups and your bottle should cut just fine.

Step one. Wrap the twine around the widest point of the bottle about 6 or 7 times and tie it off, and cut off any excess ends. You want it to be fairly tight on the bottle, but not so tight that you can’t slide it off somewhat easily.

Fill a small bowl (I just used the cap) with nail polish remover. Slide the twine off of the bottle, keeping the shape, and soak it in the liquid for about 15-20 seconds so that it’s nice and soaked.

Remove the twine from the liquid and slide it back onto the bottle, put it in the spot that you want the bottle to cut at. Wipe bottle with a damp papertowel or washcloth so that you remove any acetone that dripped on it while you were putting the twine back on.

Fill your kitchen sink up with cold water and put your safety glasses on.

Holding the bottle over the sink, with the bottle top down and the bottom of the bottle up, you want to light the twine on fire. This next part is IMPORTANT!!!

While the twine is on fire, it’s important to rotate the bottle so that the twine gets a nice, even burn. Let the twine burn until the flame goes out, this should take a minute or two. Remember, keep rotating the bottle the whole time.

When the flame goes out, submerse the bottle into the cold water. You will hear a “POP” when the glass separates.

Remove from the water, and sand down the edges. (I recommend wearing gloves while doing this) It’s important to use a fine grit sandpaper for this. I used 220 because that’s what I had on hand, but you could use a finer grit if you wanted. Anything too rough and you will damage the glass.

The end result should look like this depending on where you cut your glass –

Wine Bottle - How To

A New Take on Dry Erase

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WHY is cute organizational stuff so expensive????

Seriously.

I have such a huge desire to live an organized life, then I go to the store to pick things up and before I know it, my cart total is like $350. Really? That’s so not ideal.

So I took matters into my own hands. I looked around my house for something, anything, any way possible to figure something out. I had seen this thing on Pinterest that used a picture frame and paint samples to make a calendar. I thought that was a super cool idea so I kind of built off of that.

I found a collage frame with 8 4×6 openings for photos. Ok, by “found” I really mean “I had 4 of them on the wall and took one off”. Whatever works, right?

Then I made a quick trip to WalMart to pick up paint samples, while I was there I browsed their clearance and saw tons of Scrapbook paper in all different colors and prints on sale for $3. Score!

I also picked up some scrapbook letters to make the days, but if I had it to do over again, I would have done something different. Oh well, that can be a rainy day project one day.

Here is what I ended up with, I call it my “mom wall”