December 15, 2014

Cute, Cheap, & Easy Holiday Gift

Last year I had come across this idea for Dip Mix Ornaments on Pinterest and knew that this is what I wanted to do for gifts for my coworkers. It is so cute, cheap, and easy!  You are really going to be blown away when I break down the cost of this whole project.

What I did was buy Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing & Seasoning Mix from Costco. I didn't want to just dump ranch mix into the ornaments so I added a little dried dill weed, chopped dried onions, and dried parsley. All of which I already had in my pantry. How Semi Homemade with Sandra Lee of me?

I'll be honest with you I didn't measure how much of the additional spices I added. I was torn between filling them all the way or not. If I had decided to fill them, I would have had to buy a lot more mix. I ended up only using about 1 1/2 containers of the ranch mix.

I bought these cute gift tags at the craft store and used some washi tape to jazz them up. I wrote the recipe for making both ranch dressing and dip mix on the back. Each ornament has approximately 6 tbsp of mix. To make 16 oz of dip or 16 oz of dressing only 3 tbsp of the mix is needed.


Approximate price breakdown of this project:
13 ornaments $0.44/each (I got these on clearance after Christmas last year at Walmart) = $5.72
2 containers of ranch mix $7.99 (from my local Costco) = $15.98
Additional spices = $0
Craft supplies (white gel marker, gift tags, washi tape, and string all 20% off with coupon at Michaels) = $10

Total $31.70 or $2.44 a person!

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December 12, 2014

I Heart Breakfast Casseroles

I really love breakfast casseroles because you can make them ahead of time and just pop it in the oven. They also reheat well and are delicious as leftovers. For the past few years I've made a breakfast casserole for Christmas morning. While the casserole bakes in the oven you are free to open up gifts.

In the past, the Jimmy Dean Breakfast Casserole was my go to recipe. I have been substituting the bread with the low carb bread we like. The best low carb bread I've had is Sammi's Bakery Low Carb 7 Grain Fiber, it doesn't have to be thawed, has the same texture of regular bread, and tastes really good. The worst low carb bread that I've had is Julian Bakery Coconut Paleo Bread, yuck. I digress.

I found a couple of new breakfast casseroles and adapted them a little bit because I can never just follow a recipe which drives my husband crazy. The first recipe below is the one I made over the weekend to test out on my husband and it was a winner (not low carb though). I made the second recipe for a pot luck breakfast at work today. It was good, but not as good as the other.

Cheesy Biscuit Breakfast Casserole (1/2 Recipe)
4 refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, quartered
1/2 roll breakfast sausage

1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup baby spinach, cooked
4 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz (1/2 block) Velveeta cheese, cubed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder

1. Grease an 8in square baking dish.
2. Place the quartered biscuits in the bottom of the dish.
3. Brown the sausage then sprinkle over the biscuits. Using the grease from the sausage, saute the spinach and onions until the onions are slightly caramelized. Once cooked, spoon over the biscuits/sausage.
4. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, cream, garlic powder, and mustard powder then pour into the baking dish.
5. Sprinkle the cubed Velveeta over the top then bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F.




Zesty Breakfast Casserole
10 eggs
1 pkg shredded cheddar cheese
6 hash brown patties
1 roll breakfast sausage
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup RO-TEL

1. Cook the hash browns as directed then place them in a single layer in the bottom of a 9x11 baking dish.
2. While the hash browns are crisping, brown the sausage then set aside.
3. In a large bowl mix together eggs, sour cream, and RO-TEL. Add in cooked sausage and the cheese.
4. Pour the mixture over the hash browns and bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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