The Mini Dinner!

Friday, June 29, 2012

I don't know what it is but I love little foods. If I had the time I just might make mini versions of everything we eat! 

This is one of my families favorite mini-dinners. Salad boats, twice baked redskin potatoes, and mini meatloaves.. or meat muffins as we like to call them here.

Salad Boats

Our first course is the salad boats. Not only are these a mini version of a salad but they're a finger food too! 

These are the easiest little salads ever. Just use romain hearts broken off at the stem. Lay them out and then add your favorite salad toppings -- salad boats! 

Twice Baked Redskins

Using mini redskins make twice baked potatoes a cinch. They cook fast and the skins stay nice and tender throughout the whole baking process.

First, wash the desired amount of mini redskin potatoes. Then poke small holes in each potato and bake until they are done through. 

After the redskins have baked once, let them cool and then cut off the top and bottom. Cutting the bottom off allows the potatoes to sit steady on the baking sheet. 

Mix the potato pulp with seasonings, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese. The amounts you use will all depend on the amount of potatoes you cook. For 12 redskins I used a tablespoon of sour cream and a half cup of mild shredded cheddar cheese and seasonings to taste.

I like to use a gallon size ziplock bag for piping the potato mixture into the cored potatoes. Just fill up one corner and snip off the end and ta-da -- instant piping bag. I do my deviled eggs this way too.

Fill the cored potatoes and add extra cheese on top. Then bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.

Individual cheesy potato goodness!

Mini Meatloaves (aka Meat Muffins)

Ahhh meatloaf. Some like it some hate it. Personally I think that if you don't like it you just haven't found the right recipe yet. Meatloaf is so personalized that everyone has their own recipe for it. You might just not have liked the recipe you were forced to eat as a kid. 

Mine is the best! But I'm bias I guess. I use the recipe off the back of the Lipton's beefy onion soup mix box with some changes. I use ground up Ritz crackers for my bread crumbs and I also use about a cup more than the recipe calls for. 

When I make meatloaf I like the edges that have cooked against the pan. This was why I came up with using the muffin tin. Every meat muffin has the cooked edges. That way everyone can have an edge piece.

I also really like these because they can be personalized. My mom doesn't like the cooked ketchup on top so hers can be made with out it. 

If you like meatloaf then you are in for a treat. If you don't, I think you should give this recipe a try... It's delicious! 

I hope you liked my mini dinner.. I in fact enjoyed it a little too much for my own good!

Dip Dye 4th Of July T-Shirt

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's yet another t-shirt refashion here at The Thriftiness Miss. I just can't get enough! This one is in celebration of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.

I've been wanting to try a dip dye t-shirt refashion for some time now.  What's easier than dipping the end of a t-shirt in some dye? Pretty much nothing. The hardest part about this is waiting for it to be done!

All you need is a plain white t-shirt and some red and blue fabric dye. I like to use Rit Dye. I also prefer the liquid to the powered dye. It's a lot easier to get an even color with the liquid. You really want to make sure that if you use the powdered dye, it's 100% dissolved before using. 

Gather and fold the t-shirt in half. Then tie a rubber band around it to keep the middle section white. 

Mix the fabric dye in hot water in the bottom of the sink until completely dissolved. Then add hot water  to your desired level.

It's easiest to do this in a double sink but you could do it in buckets or pans that are side-by-side too..

Lay out a paper towel for the white part of the shirt to sit on. Now let them soak... and soak and soak.

Slowly but surly the dye will creep up the shirt. When the red and blue dye has soaked up, leaving enough white in the middle, drain the dye.

Rinse well with cold water to get the excess dye off and let dry before washing and wearing. 

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Insomniac Crafts - Toddler Buckle Pillow

Dear readers, I am an insomniac. I literally cannot go to bed before 3:30 am or later no matter how exhausted I am. If I do, I toss and turn and get mad that I can't sleep. 

So I craft. The problem is, my mind doesn't work right that late at night. I often make things and forget to take pictures or mess up and then give up completely. 

This pillow is one of those crafts. (A finished one)

I recently discovered that my son has an intense fascination with buckles. I brought his car seat in the other day and he sat and played with the buckles the whole time I cleaned the kitchen! 

I started looking around the house and found three buckles and some nylon straps. I sewed them onto a hand towel and then sewed the towel into a pillow case. 

After making my Roll-up Toddler Towel Tote Tutorial with a travel sized pillow and a hand towel I knew it would be the perfect fit. 

He loves it!

Best of all... This is a quiet activity pillow. I like to take it in the car with us. It keeps busy little hands busy.

Free Summer Fun... Visit a Nature Center

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

For some free summer time fun, you may want to consider visiting a nature center. 

We have a great nature preserve in my town called the Dahlem Center. It's free to the public 365 days a year from dawn until dusk. There are miles of trails winding through forest, meadows, fields and swamps. The center also runs various activities for adults and children throughout the year.

Tonight we packed up the little man and some sandwiches and headed out on the trails. We had a great time and I took some really cool pictures while we were there. 

For you viewing pleasure, here are just some of the 93 pictures I took along the trails...

Ethan had a blast and fell asleep soon after we got home. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you liked my nature pictures :)

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