Autism · Cricut · DIY · life · New England · recipe

Welcome to “Miss Rita To The Rescue!”


Hello and welcome! 

My name is Ritamarie Cavicchio.  I’m a blogger, a Cricut Product Expert, a homemaker, a corgi lover and a mom (not necessarily in that order).

Everything on my site is FREE for you to use, although not for commercial use.
I do need to support myself, which I do with selling my wares locally and on Etsy (
I am also an affiliate for the Cricut brand, which basically means I get a small percentage of your sale on…but only if you use this link–> My Cricut Affiliate Link
As a “thank you” for using my link above, you can also use my code MISSRITA1 on your order of $50 or more and you will receive an additional 10% off and free shipping (some exclusions apply)
I’m here to help, so feel free to reach out!
A little more about me:
I blog about my beloved Cricut machines, FOOD, corgis and, of course, my wonderful 13 year old son–affectionately known as MO online–who is on the Autism Spectrum.
I am a Boston native (Shout out to Somerville!), but I was raised here on the North Shore of Boston.  After a few years away, I was drawn back to Peabody and I own a beautiful old home in the Emerson Park section.  MO and I have always lived with corgis.  Maybe you’ve seen us around town with Ted E. Bear?  He’s super cute!
After many years in the corporate world, I decided to stay home and raise MO.  While raising a child with Autism is tough work, I do also find time to take care of my home and do lots of crafty things.
Back in 2012, I was introduced to these amazing machines called a Cricut.  When I couldn’t find help on how to use it, I decided to create my own helping groups on Facebook.  Today I am the founder of four Facebook Groups called “Cricut Newbies & Pros”.  In 2014, I was invited to join the Cricut Product Expert program and I am very proud to help people to maximize their experience with these awesome machines!


I craft a LOT! On January 1, 2019, I began a Cricut Access Challenge, which has become a regular feature on my blog and in my groups.  If you’d like to see all of my projects from my challenge, you can find the index at this link:  Cricut Access Challenge Project Index


I also love to cook and craft other things, too.  I am enjoying cooking with a Dutch Oven especially, which includes baking bread and frying!  I’m hopelessly old fashioned and I love to cook all those Italian and New England recipes from your childhood.  If you are interested in my recipes, you can find them all here: Recipe Index

“Go forth and Cricut, my friends!”

Best always,

Miss Rita


“Miss Rita To The Rescue!”Recipe Index

OMG! I *love* to eat!!!

Isn’t it the greatest thing on Earth?

Over the years, I’ve posted a lot of my favorite recipes on this blog, but I do realize that sometimes all those awesome recipes get a little lost with all my Cricut crafting.

Hence this Recipe Round Up!

Each recipe is linked to this index, so feel free to bookmark this page!  I will update it as I add more recipes!


Amazing Chicken Marinade

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Beef Barley Soup

Better than Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

Beef Stew in the Dutch Oven

Beef Stroganoff

Beer Battered Fried Pickles

Good Enough for Santa Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chicken Stock in the Dutch Oven

Christmas Morning Quiche

Cioppino: San Francisco’s Fish Stew

Crusty Bread in the Dutch Oven

Durgin-Park Boston Baked Beans

Easy Chicken & Stuffing in the Slow Cooker

General Tso’s Chicken

Italian Bread in the Dutch Oven

Italian-Style Potato Pancakes

Jalapeno Cheese Bread

Julia Child’s French Onion Soup Gratinee

Key Lime Pie

Lazy Lasagna in the Dutch Oven

Make Your Own Pizza Dough

Make Your Own Sushi Rice at Home

Meatless Stuffed Mushrooms

Skinny Enchilada Rice Bowl

Skinny Black Bean Burritos

Sausage Tortellini Soup

Skinny Sesame Chicken & Broccoli

Ricotta Calzone

Pasta Puttanesca

Pizzelle: Auntie’s Italian Cookies

Ditch The Canned Pumpkin

Rib Eye in the Dutch Oven

Expertly Cutting a Pineapple & Pera Pena Drink

Whole Chicken in the Dutch Oven




Cricut · recipe

Cricut Access Challenge: Mix & Match Valentines for Kids

fullsizeoutput_e5aI just adore thinking of the Valentine’s celebrations of my youth:  Remember decorating a shoebox with paper doilies and hearts? Or finding the perfect cards and labeling for all your friends?  And, of course, *always* taking them home to admire!

Good memories!


But times have changed, haven’t they?

Today’s Valentines are about the size of a postage stamp and so uninspired!

I guess that makes me “old school”.  Are you “old school” like me?


If so, you’re going to love making these adorable Mix and Match Kids Valentines!

All of these delightful Valentines are available on Cricut Access in a Cartridge called “Spring Cards”.  This wonderful cartridge includes designs for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring and Easter, too.  I’ve made nearly every card on this cartridge and it’s really a gem! In addition to the basic two layer cards, there are also designs to make little treat boxes, too! Such a cute set with unlimited possibilites, as you can see!

screen shot 2019-01-10 at 1.41.11 pmAll the card designs are basically two layers.

The top is a detailed layer and the bottom is for either solid color or patterned papers. Over the years I’ve collected a bunch of 6″ x 6″ pads of Valentine’s paper, so I’ve come up with a way to use a sheet of that paper in each “quadrant” of my Cricut mat to get full use out of my fun paper.  You can do the same or cut the backs on any background you’d like, of course.




The top layer to these designs are like stencils and I’ve found using black, white or red cardstock works best for these designs.  But feel free to experiment, too!  Here’s what your mats will look like:

screen shot 2019-01-10 at 1.40.44 pmscreen shot 2019-01-10 at 1.40.37 pm


If you have a little grade schooler that needs Valentines for class, I suggest you cut out a bunch of these, bring both layers to the table and work together to match the tops with the bottoms to make unique and truly special treats for the class.  There’s an added bonus of having notches cut in the bottom layer so this becomes a NO GLUE craft project!!


As you can see, the sky is the limit on how you assemble them, so just focus on having fun!fullsizeoutput_e5d

Psst! Do you know about Cricut Community?  It’s a totally new way of sharing Design Space projects to a large community of Cricut users and it is *totally* FREE to use!

screen shot 2019-01-10 at 2.12.13 pmIf you are already on Cricut Community and would like to access this project (or any of my other great Cricut Access Challenge projects), please find my profile under my name “Ritamarie Cavicchio” and you will see my projects.

This Mix and Match Valentines project is also available on my Facebook page and through this link:…/projec…/5c3750f6a573630635ee6809

Also, here is the link to the Pinterest pin:

Go forth and Cricut, my friends!

Best always,

Miss Rita

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on one of my links and buy something I will receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you for using my links as this is how I support myself and keep MO in pickles and Ted E. Bear in chew toys–they both are insatiable!

But seriously….I do so appreciate your continued support!

Here is my affiliate link:

Remember if your order exceeds $50 and you use my code MISSRITA1 and link, you will receive an extra 10% off and free shipping on most items!  My code will *not* work for Access Subscriptions or machines (anything that plugs in).




Indulge Your Love of Winter: Another Cricut Access Challenge

Three Cards for Snow Lovers

I simply cannot deny it: I love winter.  I think my love of snow is in my blood.

I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts.  I went to college in the “Snow Belt” in upstate New York.  Most of my family members live in New England and aside from travel, I have lived in this cold, snowy place for my entire life.

Don’t feel bad for me either!  It’s breathtakingly beautiful in New England all year round, but especially so when everything is covered with a good, deep coating of the white stuff.

So, is it any wonder why I love crafting this time of year?  With Cricut Access, there are so many choices on how to celebrate my love of snow.

Today’s Challenge is actually a group of cards that center around my favorite theme “snow”.

Three Snowy Cards

Each card is darling, of course, and each card shows you how simple or challenging you can be when you have an Access subscription.

Holiday Card 5

First up is this simple to cut and assemble snowflake card. It uses only two pieces of paper and your Cricut machine does the rest. You could use this card as a base to build upon–maybe add a greeting–or you can leave it simple. It’s entirely up to you! You can find this card by searching for “snowflake card” in Images. Pull it onto your canvas and then add any embellishments. Cutting takes only a few minutes.

From Simple Holiday Cards

The second card is also easy to cut, but I’ve given it a sparkly blue background.  This card is so simple to make, but makes a BIG impact!  You can find it under the Cartridge section when you search for “Simple Holiday Cards”.  I think the glitter really works, don’t you?


Joy Snowflake Winter Card, modified

Joy Snowflake Winter Card, modified

And the last card is this dimensional  Let It Snow Card.  This card started out with the word “JOY” as a greeting in the center, but I swapped the greeting out for another favorite greeting.  Everything else remains the same from this Cricut Access Project entitled “Joy Snowflake Winter Card”.  I cut the snowflakes in Cricut glitter Card stock and mounted some of them with foam dots to give the card the look when snowflakes are falling. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Pinterest pins:


Links to project file in Cricut Community:

“Go forth and Cricut, my friends!”

Best always,

Miss Rita

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on one of my links and buy something I will receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you for using my links as this is how I support myself and keep MO in pickles and Ted E. Bear in chew toys–they both are insatiable!

But seriously….I do so appreciate your continued support!

Here is my affiliate link:

Remember if your order exceeds $50 and you use my code MISSRITA1 and link, you will receive an extra 10% off and free shipping on most items!  My code will *not* work for Access Subscriptions or machines (anything that plugs in).




Dutch Oven · New England · recipe

Beef & Barley Soup in the Dutch Oven

Beef & Barley Soup–if you don’t count chowder–is quite possibly the quintessential New England soup.

But nowadays finding a good version can be difficult to find, except maybe in a can. And even the best canned soups are still too salty and tinny for regular consumption.

So, I set about making a healthy and easy Beef & Barley that would rival the ease of warming up a canned version and I think I’ve done it. Of course, I used my trusty Dutch Oven, but I also used my Instant Pot to make ready the beef.

I started with a small piece of meat that was intended as a small roast. I got it on sale for less than $4 and it weighed just under two pounds. Because I froze it when I bought it, I first defrosted it and then cooked it with a small amount of beef broth and some salt and pepper in the Instant Pot on the beef setting. Couldn’t be easier, but note that you could use a portion of roast beef leftovers if you have that.

Once the beef was cooked and had rested, I chopped it up in small pieces and tossed it into the Dutch Oven along with some tomato sauce, a box of beef broth and the drippings from the Instant Pot. I added a can of peas and carrots, but you could use fresh or frozen. It’s up to you, of course.

The Barley was cooked separately from a dried bag of the grain. If you’re wondering where you find dried Barley, check the dried beans section of your grocery store. Once cooked, add the Barley to the soup toward the end of the cooking to keep it from getting too soggy.

Small oyster crackers are the only thing you need to complete this wonderful, homey meal, which is perfect for a cold late Autumn supper.

One small points:

This soup is exceptionally economical. I figured the entire recipe cost me under ten dollars for ten servings!


  • Small cut of roast beef, prepared either in an oven or Instant Pot, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • Box of beef broth
  • Small can of tomato sauce
  • Can of diced carrots and peas
  • About two cups of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Barley, 1 cup, dried and cooked separately with 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste


  1. Cook beef in Instant Pot with a small amount of beef broth and allow to rest OR use precooked cut of roast beef
  2. Slice and then dice the cooked beef and place in Dutch Oven with any pan drippings from the cooking of the beef
  3. Add tomato sauce, beef broth and water to the Dutch Oven and bring contents to boil on the stovetop
  4. Reduce heat to allow the soup to slowly boil off some of the added water and thicken, about 1 hour
  5. Meanwhile in a separate pan, bring the dried Barley to boil with 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste; cook for 45 minutes
  6. After cooking off some of the liquid, add the can of peas and carrots and the Barley
  7. Allow soup to simmer for an hour or more so that all the flavors meld together
  8. Serve with small oyster crackers