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!

<sigh>

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?

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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.

 

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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!!

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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:   https://design.cricut.com/…/projec…/5c3750f6a573630635ee6809

Also, here is the link to the Pinterest pin: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/273030796146024176/

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:  https://www.shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=327204&m=51766&u=1089398

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).

 

 

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recipe

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:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/273030796146030963/

 

Links to project file in Cricut Community:

https://design.cricut.com/#/design/124423506

https://design.cricut.com/#/design/125392037

“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:  https://www.shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=327204&m=51766&u=1089398

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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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

Dutch Oven · recipe

Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowl

Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls
Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls

Hi fellow Weight Watchers!

I’m back again with another yummy and “WW friendly” Mexican-style main dish.  This one is an old favorite that I plugged into the WW App and only modified slightly to produce a 6 point large entree to die for!  Soooo yummy for the tummy!

I like to prepare this one in a Dutch Oven, because of its even heating, but it can also be prepared in a regular pot, too!  My 12 year old son–MO–loves this one and he’s not even a Weight Watcher!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups canned/boxed chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies (I use Rotel)
  • 1 large (or 2 small) cans/jars of enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup frozen yellow corn kernals
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

 

Instructions:

  1. Add oil to your Dutch Oven and heat for a minute or so.  Toss in onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook for a minute or two.  Add chicken chunks and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until vegetables are soft and chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Add the rice and stir to combine.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until rice and chicken is light golden brown.
  3. Add chicken broth, canned tomatoes and chilies, enchilada sauce, corn, chili powder and cumin.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Cook covered until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid or for approximately 20 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat and add the black beans.  Stir to combine.  Cover and let rest for a few minutes.
  6. Makes 6 *very generous* servings, which equal to about of only 6 Weight Watcher points, as prepared.  Note: If you serve it with a low-fat sour cream and/or a sprinkling of low-fat Mexican cheese you need to consult your app and add for the additional toppings. 
Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls
Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls sprinkled with optional low-fat Mexican cheese (don’t forget to add points for the cheese!)

 

recipe

Skinny Black Bean Burritos

Fresh Veggies for Black Bean Burritos
Fresh Veggies for Black Bean Burritos!

In honor of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday, here is an amazingly delicious and fresh Skinny Black Bean Burrito recipe!

They are easy to prepare and so satisfying!

Ingredients:

  • One yellow, orange or red Bell Pepper, coarsely chopped
  • One medium or half large sweet onion (such as Vidalia onion), coarsely chopped
  • One medium jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • Handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic, pressed (feel free to use minced!)
  • Pan spray
  • Adobo seasoning
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fat free Greek-style yogurt
  • Shredded low-fat Mexican style cheese
  • Salsa for garnish
  • Low-carb wraps, such as Tumaro’s “Skip the Sandwich” Wraps

Instructions:

  1. Spray a medium non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss in Bell pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro and fry until softened and onion is translucent.
  3. Season with salt and pepper or Adobo seasoning.
  4. Fold in black beans and cook for an additional minute or two until beans are warmed.
  5. Remove pan from heat and mix in yogurt.  Do NOT do this while the pan is still on the heat or it will curdle! You can also use low-fat cream cheese, but I found the Greek yogurt gave a “fresher” taste and also had less WW points.
  6. Spoon the mixture into preheated tortillas.  Sprinkle with a bit of Mexican style cheese and top with salsa, if desired.

This recipe makes 4-6 fully stuffed burritos and–if prepared as above with fat free yogurt and low-carb wraps–they are only 2 Weight Watcher points!!

Black Bean Burritos
Black Bean Burritos

Simply delicious!!