Monday, July 30, 2012

Crock Pot Caramel Sauce


UPDATE 9-13-2014: 
I decided to try this recipe again but made some alterations. As you can see from the original pictures at the bottom of this post, the caramel sauce isn't quite done...not a super dark caramel color or thick enough texture.... still yummy but not picture perfect or guest-worthy dessert I was imagining. I found that if you first pour the sweetened condensed milk in a mason jar instead of leaving it in the can you are able to actually see if the milk has caramelized!

You can make multiple jars at once which is great for gift giving! Although they do need to be refrigerated so make sure you don't leave them out or in your pantry.

Also, this time around I set my crock pot to LOW and left it in there for exactly 10 hours. I know that seems like a long time, but you could easily make this overnight, or start your crockpot in the early morning and you will have a delicious treat for after dinner.

Ingredients:
- One 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- One Mason/Canning Jar (I used THIS ONE )
- Crock Pot
- Water

Directions:

Open can of Sweetened Condensed Milk and pour it into your mason jar. 
Screw mason jar lid on tightly.


Place in Crock Pot and completely submerge in water. 


Set on LOW for 10 hours. No less! I checked at 8 hours and it still wasn't done! BUT since you are using a mason jar this time, you can see whether or not your sauce is done earlier. Slow cookers may vary in cooking temperature. 


Let cool completely before opening! Store in refrigerator.




So what about my original recipe/tutorial? I am confident it WILL still work! But if you are cooking it on high I would cook it for 5-6 hours instead of 4. Feel free to still leave it in the can!
_________________________________________________________________
Original Post: Get ready for the easiest Crock Pot recipe you have ever seen! It is ONE ingredient and it comes in a can...in fact, you don't even have to open the can. Seriously, can I get any lazier? This caramel dip is made by slow cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk. After 4 hours you will have a golden caramel sauce ready for dipping apples (or bananas, pears, pretzels or my favorite: over ice cream!). I found this idea over at A Few Short Cuts and this really is a short cut! Caramel dip can be pricey, but a can of condensed milk only costs a little over a $1.
Ingredients:
- 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Directions:
1. Peel off label and put can in the crock pot.
2. Cover with water and cook on high for 4 hours. EDIT: I think it needs 5-6 hours.
3. Let cool completely before opening.
                        _________________________________________________________________









Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Little Piggy Toe Socks


When I saw this pair of pink toe socks, I just couldn't resist making them into little piggies :o) All you need is a piece of pink felt and some yarn.



First I cut the felt out into pig faces. Then I sewed the edges and used yarn for the nostrils and eyes. I used my glue gun to attach the ears to the back of the head. I wanted to velcro them onto the toes, but I couldn't find our velcro anywhere so I sewed them on as well. I may still use velcro in the future. That way you can easily wash the sock and the pigs are more interactive since you would be able to switch them around. I may also add accessories to each pig. For example: grocery basket for the pig going to the market, roast beef sandwich for another, etc.



I just love the squeals from big brother when we sang the "This Little Piggy" song :o) Little brother enjoyed it too but these socks are a little too big for his feet.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Posting at Addicted to Recipes

Head on over to Addicted to Recipes today to see my latest crock pot recipe! It's a super easy 4 ingredient Crock Pot Nacho Dip. The best part is, you can serve it right in the crock pot! It is perfect for your summer BBQ's - on top of hot dogs, nachos or just with tortilla chips. It would also be a great party dish for the fast approaching football season!


Click HERE for the recipe

Thanks so much to Dawn at Addicted to Recipes for giving the chance to share one of my recipes on her blog. You will love the variety of meal ideas and desserts on her site. There is something new to try every week! Not to mention plenty of deliciousness at her Scrumptious Sunday's link party.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

DIY Kids Play Oven Mitt



Sunday morning I woke up with the urge to clean and get organized. About a year ago, I transformed our under-the-stairs closet into a clubhouse for the boys, and now it was overflowing with mis-matched toy parts, game pieces and more. Our family room and dining room were also cluttered with toys and games. I spent most of the morning creating a bag for goodwill, a large box of toys for storage and then decided to switch some toys from upstairs to downstairs and downstairs to upstairs. The kitchen play set was one toy we brought downstairs and it is amazing how much creative play took place just by introducing a forgotten toy. It was great to see them cook and "buy" food with the shopping cart. Then in the midst of it all, I realized they NEEDED an oven mitt. Right away. So as usual, I stopped everything I was doing and got into craft mode. Fortunately this project is super simple.


I cut out a mitt shape from two pieces of red felt. It measures approx. 5.5"w x 7"h. Then using size 3 crochet thread and a tapestry needle, I made a blanket stitch around the edges, leaving the bottom open. Here is a great video tutorial on how to make a blanket stitch:



I left a long tail at the end to make a loop for hanging it. And thats it! An easy play oven mitt!





Ok now back to cleaning... Here is our freshly organized clubhouse!



Toys are put away and organized in clear labeled bins



 A hanging sports bag holds all the balls, rackets, indoor golf clubs, etc.

PS - sorry for the lousy pictures. My computer crashed on me and is getting repaired, so I couldn't take photos with my nice camera or adjust the lighting in photoshop :(

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Craft Room Wall Quote - FREE Printable!

This is a very wise quote by the one and only Mickey Mouse :o) He sings this in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode "Mickey's Art Show." When I heard him say it, I knew it would be perfect hanging on my craft room wall. So I created a fun printable. Size is 18x24, but you could shrink it to fit on an 8.5x11piece of paper. This would also be a great wall decoration for a child's art room/space. I hope you like the fun colors!


Download it HERE


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Seashell Crafts


We recently got back from a wonderful vacation in Oak Island, North Carolina. We really enjoy going to the Carolina Coast each year because the beaches are so different than the ones here in the Pacific Northwest. The water is warm, the sand is soft and there are tons of seashells! Big Brother had a great time collecting the shells each day. With so different many textures and shapes it made for a great sensory activity.


We came home with 3 ziploc bags of shells, so I knew some immediate seashell crafting was in order.
Tip: Clean your shells by washing them in the dish washer! I put them in the utensil compartment or if you have a baby bottle dishwasher basket that encloses, that would work too.

We started by making Souvenir Seashell Frames. I bought small 3x3 wood frames for $1.00 at Michael's and painted them with white acrylic paint. I used my alphabet stamps from Mindy Mae's Market to stamp on the location of our trip. Then I arranged the seashells and hot-glued them on! I love how the mussel shells make a sweet heart on top.




I kept my glue gun hot and ready for this next project: Decorative Seashell Balls!
These are quick and easy to make. Just take a styrofoam ball and start hot gluing your shells to it. I started with the larger shells and then filled in any gaps with the smaller shells. These are great decoration for a beachy themed mantle, coffee table bowl, or in a glass container as a centerpiece.



Lastly, I made some cute Seashell Butterfly Artwork. I love how when the shells come together, they form what looks to be butterfly wings.


Originally, I had big brother put together the butterflies with pipe cleaners, but then I decided to use yarn since I had more colors and it was easier to glue.


I glued the yarn onto a matte frame with Elmer's glue and then hot glued the seashells on top of the yarn. I found a cute butterfly quote/artwork from the Craftionary.  I printed it out and glued it between the matte frame and a piece of foam core. This would be beautiful hanging, or resting in an easel frame.




If you have a beach trip planned this summer, consider saving your seashells! They make wonderful souvenirs and craft projects.

For more seashell crafts, head over to Cheerios and Lattes and check out what they made with their vacation seashells! Their Seashell Shadow Box is AMAZING! 


Like this post? Follow Repeat Crafter Me's Facebook Page for more craft ideas and sneak peeks of upcoming projects.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pennant Banner Thank You Card


I am really having some fun with my new Sharp Crochet Hook! Here I used it to crochet though paper. Seriously, what CAN'T you do with this hook?! 

I had a couple thank you notes I needed to write and thought it would be a nice touch to hand make my own thank you cards. 


First I cut scrap book paper into small pennant triangles. You will want to use a slightly thicker stock paper so you can crochet through it without it tearing. 

Using size 3 crochet thread and my Sharp Crochet Hook, I made three single crochets in each pennant. Be sure to chain 3 between each one.



I stamped each pennant with a these adorable alphabet stamps I got from Mindy Mae's Market. Just $10  for this whole set and it includes shipping! 


Use a little dab of hot glue on each flag and a little to hold down the string ends. I love how the crochet gives the card dimension. Now you are ready to write your note and mail it!


You can purchase the Sharp Crochet Hook at www.sharpcrochethook.com. On their website you will also find lots of great tutorials and patterns for crocheting edging and borders.




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crochet Watermelon Coin Purse


A couple weeks ago I discovered the Sharp Crochet Hook and quickly got one in my hands (Thanks Jessica!). This hook has a sharp point on the end which allows you to easily poke through fabric without having to pre-poke holes (something I had been doing before with a skip-stitch blade). I have soooo many fun projects lined up that use of this hook. The watermelon coin purse was a spur of the moment idea that was so easy to do thanks to the Sharp Crochet Hook. You don't have to worry about sewing the zipper or creating a lining. Just crochet directly onto the zipper! It's that easy! And it is the perfect accessory for the summer!


You will need:
- Coats & Clark Polyester All Purpose Zipper 7" (Bright Green)
- Vanna's Choice Yarn (Fern, White, Raspberry)
- the Sharp Crochet Hook
- Size  G (4.00mm) Crochet Hook
- Small black buttons (for seeds)



Note: the Sharp Crochet Hook will work best with size 10, 5, or 3 crochet thread. Since I used Vanna's Choice medium worsted weight yarn, I had to pull the yarn tight in order to crochet with it around the zipper. This took some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it goes quickly.


Watermelon Coin Purse Pattern:


Starting with the green yarn 
Round 1: Beginning at one end of the zipper, Crochet 45 SC stitches around the zipper with the Sharp Crochet Hook. You will want to chain 1 between each SC. Continue with the rest of the pattern with your G crochet hook.


For the rest of the pattern do not join, use a stitch marker to keep track of your rounds. 
Round 2: SC around (between the SC's) with 2 extra SC on each end (48 SC)
Round 3-4: SC around (48 SC)
Change color to white
Round 4-5: SC around (48 SC)
Change color to pink
Round 6: 20 SC, SC Dec, 22 SC, SC Dec, 2 SC
Round 7: 20 SC, SC Dec, 20 SC, SC Dec, 5 SC
Round 8: 19 SC, SC Dec, 20 Sc, SC Dec, 5 SC
Round 9: SC around (43 SC)
Round 10: 20 SC , SC Dec, 20 SC, SC Dec
Round 11: 8 SC, SC Dec, 8 SC, SC Dec, 8 SC, SC Dec, 8 SC, SC Dec, 2 SC.
Round 12: 8 SC, SC Dec, 8 SC, SC Dec, 8 SC, SC Dec, 8 SC.
Round 13: 6 SC, SC Dec, 6 SC, SC Dec, 6 SC, SC Dec, 6 SC, SC Dec, 3 SC.
Round 14: 6 SC, SC Dec, 6 SC, SC Dec,  6 SC, SC Dec, 7 SC.
Round 15: 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC.
Round 16: 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec.
Round 17: 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, SC.
Round 18: 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, 5 SC.
Round 19: 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, 3 SC.
Round 20: 4 SC, SC Dec, 4 SC, SC Dec, SC.
Round 21: SC, SC Dec, repeat around.
Round 22: SC Dec till closed.

Sew on small black buttons on the front and back and your done!


You can purchase the Sharp Crochet Hook at www.sharpcrochethook.com. On their website you will also find lots of great tutorials and patterns for crocheting edging and borders. If you are a crocheter and don't already have one of these hooks, it is something you must add to your supplies!

*** You may make and sell my patterns but if you do I ask that you link back to my post. Please do not copy and post this pattern and claim it as your own.***


Want more free patterns? Keep in touch on my Repeat Crafter Me Facebook Page for new pattern sneak peaks and when they will be available on my blog!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Crock Pot Monkey Bread (and Monkey Orange)



I am a big fan of these Crock Pot Iced Cinnamon Buscuits. They are absolutely divine, but they are HUGE! So I adapted this recipe to make monkey bread. These are perfect little gooey bites that are great for a breakfast, brunch or dessert!

Ingredients:
- 1 can of Grands refrigerator biscuits
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 stick of melted butter


Directions:
1. Line your crock pot with a slow cooker liner and spray with cooking spray. I used my round 5 quart crock pot for this recipe.
2. Mix sugars and cinnamon together in one bowl, and melt butter in a other bowl.
3. Cut up your biscuits into quarters.
4. Create an assembly line of ingredients in this order: biscuits, butter, sugars. Dip biscuits into butter then roll in sugar and place in crock pot. Be sure to lay them in ONE layer on the bottom. But they should be squished together.





5. Place paper bowl on top and cover with lid. Cook on low for 2-3 hours (mine cooked for 3)



6. When biscuits are done, lift them out in the liner and transfer onto a plate. At this point, I just cut the edges of the liner down and left the bottoms on the liner. You could TRY to slide them off.


7. Make icing by mixing a cup of confectioners sugar and a couple tablespoons of milk. Drizzle over the top of of the monkey bread.


I can't even explain to you how seriously delicious these gooey little things are!

Staying on the topic of monkeys, I thought I would make a monkey orange to try and offset all the sugar big brother was about to consume.

You will need two oranges. Cut the top off of one and hollow it out. You will also need to hollow out the top because it will become the face.


Cut a smaller piece of an end off of orange #2 and hollow it out. This will be mouth part. Use left over pieces of the orange to create the eyes and nose.



Cut the other end of orange #2 off (do not hollow it out). Cut it in half. These will be the ears.
Connect everything with tooth picks. Put inside of orange back in and serve!