Okay, so maybe not *my* abode, but let me show you some of the fun things that I created with today’s steal, the American Crafts Abode collection.

I have been dying for WEEKS to get my chance to play with this kit.  When I saw it I instantly knew what I wanted to create and begged Melodee to place it on a Friday, so that I could make a Friday project.

The fun papers and embellishments scream kitchen to me, and I’m sort of a recipe junkie, so I thought it would be fun to make a recipe box.

I went to the store to look for a standard recipe box and wouldn’t you know, I couldn’t find one!  My boys were being little banshees so we hit the dollar spot and here is what I found.  This cute little Holiday gift bucket.

I removed the ribbon then set about covering the sides of the bucket.  I found that the sides of the bucket were slightly odd, so it was easiest to adhere the paper to the side with photo tape, then use my craft knife to cut away the excess.

I continued the same procedure on all four sides, then added some ribbon to cover up the rough edges.

I then added ‘recipes’ to the front of my box using the delicious brown Thickers that come with the kit.

After adding a few more embellishments my recipe box was complete!

I couldn’t believe how perfectly some of the ‘Just Write’ cards worked for actual recipe cards.

I then made dividers to separate my favorite things to cook; Main Dishes, Side Dishes and of course….YUM!  Desserts!

This recipe box would make a fantastic gift for a friend, or family member that loves to cook.  I mean aren’t we all looking for new favorite recipes to try?  This would even make a great bridal shower gift filled with tried and true recipes, and maybe a new set of meauring spoons hanging off the side.

While parousing the dollar spot, I couldn’t help but look for more items that I could transform using the Abode collection.

I found this 2011 planner and thought it would be fun to spice up a little.

I covered the front with various papers, added a ribbon closure, a few embellishments and now I have a fancy planner which I will most likely use to plan my menu!

I think this collection was not only made to create fantastic scrapbook pages and projects, but of course cards.  So many of the embellishments make the perfect and simple addition to complete a darling card in minutes.

I had to use the coffee cup embellishment, so I made a cute little ‘Thanks a Latte’ card.

I couldn’t stop at just one card and had to made one more using a variety of the embellishments from the kit.

American Crafts, you have outdone yourself, yet again.  Such a fun, whimsical, versatile and crazy cute collection of papers and goodies….and of course….how can we forget the Thickers.  ::swoon::

Now here is my little gift for you, since I can’t give each of you a recipe box filled with my favorite recipes.  I thought I would post a few of them here for you!

Spicy Pork/Chicken Chili

1.5 lb. pork tenderloin or chicken cubed (both is really good)

2 large onions, diced ( I use only 1)

4 celery rib, diced

2 tablespoons butter

6 cans (15.5 oz. each) great northern beans, rinsed & drained

4 cans (14.5 oz. each) chicken broth

2 cups water

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & chopped

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon each white pepper, cayenne pepper, ground cumin & pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (I actually just chop up the celery leaves…tastes really good).

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, optional (I usually leave this out…it’s pretty hot as it is).

1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

Directions:

In a large pot, cook the pork, onions & celery in butter until meat is browned. Stir in the next 13 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1.5 hours. Uncover; simmer 30-40 minutes longer or until chili reaeches desired consistency. Sprinkle with cheese.


Fruited Turkey (Chicken) Salad Pitas:

1/2 cup reduced fat plain yogurt

1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (we use the Kraft Light)

2 Tbsp. lemon juice (I prefer it with lime juice)

1/2 tsp. pepper

4 cups cubed cooked turkey breast (and yes…it rocks with turkey. I bought “Peppered Turkey” and it was amazing!)

2 celery ribs, thinly sliced

1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped pecans

8 pita breads (6 in.), halved

16 romaine leaves

8 slices red onion, separated into rings (I just chopped up the onion and put it in the salad)

1. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and pepper. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, celery, apple, spinach, cranberries and pecans. Add yogurt mixture and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

2. Line pita halves with lettuce and onion; fill each with 1/2 cup turkey mixture.

Nutrition facts: 2 filled pita halves equals 393 calories, 11g fat (2 g saturated fat), 66 mg. cholesterol, 501 mg sodium, 45 g. carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 29 g protein.


Snickerdoodles:

1 cup butter (just ignore that little fat, I mean, fact)

1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 – 3 1/2 Cups flour

4 Tablespoons sugar

4 Tablespoons cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Blend inflour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.

Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar mixture

Bake at 375 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.


Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Roll-ups

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

2 turkey bacon strips, halved

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Flatten chicken to 1/4-in, thickness. Place egg and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in egg, then coat with bread crumbs.

Combine cheese and tomatoes. Place 1/4 cup cheese mixture down the center of each chicken breast; top each with bacon. Roll up from a short side; secure with toothpicks. Place on greased baking sheet; drizzle with oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Don’t forget to throw out the toothpicks. Probably wouldn’t taste so well!

Have a wonderfully scrappy weekend everyone!