Recipe: Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

I know you guys enjoyed the chicken and veggie nugget recipe that Marigold from Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! shared while I was on vacation. Today I’m sharing my recipe for Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake over there. Skip on over and check it out.

If you’re visiting from Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!  welcome. I hope you stay and peek around. If this is your first time here let me point you to a few of my favorite posts.

  • Circus Birthday Invite AKA the time I made my husband dress up like a tiger and my niece played the cat tamer
  • Eclair Cake, super impressive looking, but totally easy and delicious dessert that grown ups and kiddos will both enjoy
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, pictures and review of my trip to Universal Studios Orlando new Potter themed amusement part.

UPDATE: recipe reposted below

Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake Recipe

For the Crust
 1 1/2 (about 1.5 C) packs of graham crackers (crushed)
1/3 C Margarine (melted)
1 TBS Chopped Macadamia nuts

For Cheesecake
3-8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese (room temp)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 C Sugar
3 Eggs
3 Tbls Lemon Juice
1 Tbl Vanilla
1/4 C Sugar
1 TBS Chopped Macadamia nuts

For Topping
1/2 C. Caramel sauce
1-2 TBS Chopped Macadamia nuts

The Steps
  • If you want it to be good you MUST wait for the cream cheese and eggs to come to room temp. don’t bother using light or fake cream cheese unless you have high quality artisan cream cheese use Philadelphia cream cheese the taste is worth the extra fat, cost, and time
  • Break up the graham crackers (I like to stick them in a ziplock and mush).
  • Melt the butter and mix with the graham cracker crumbs. Press them into a springform pan. 
  • Sprinkle crust nuts evenly
  • Beat the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth.
  • Add sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice until well combined.
  • Add eggs one by one until combined. Mix as little as possible on this step, you just want the eggs fully incorporated.
  • Pour half the mixture into the pan on top of the crust sprinkle nuts and top with remaining mixture.
  • Bake in at 300F with steam for 1 hour and 15 minutes (until outside is set but inside is still jiggly). Heat a dish while preheating the oven and pour hot water in the dish when you stick the cheesecake in.
  • Let cool in the oven with door closed for at least 2 hours 
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours I think overnight is best, the texture and taste are much better when it’s colder 
  • Right before serving top with caramel and macadamia nuts.
  • Cut with a knife rinsed with hot water between each slice

Take it to a party, have everyone ooh and ahh and make new friends. Let me know if you try it out! If you catch the cheesecake bug check out my blog for other recipes including a copycat recipe of Cheesecake Factory’s Wild Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake.

How to Make Your Own Iron-Ons

I know you guys enjoyed the shirt tutorial that Becky from Crafting Chicks‘ shared while I was on vacation. Well today I’m guest blogging over there. I’m sharing a tutorial on how to make your own Iron-On’s out of pretty much any fabric you want. And I’m giving away one of each of these new bunny baby gift sets (they are also in the shop if you want to buy one). To enter the giveaway and to check out the tutorial go here.

If you’re visiting from Crafting Chicks welcome. I hope you stay and peek around. If this is your first time here let me point you to a few of my favorite posts.

UPDATE: tutorial reposted below

What You’ll Need

  • Ultra Hold Heat Bond (you can find this in the notions section in packs or by the interfacing on the bold of your local fabric store)
  • Design or Pattern
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Something to put the iron-on onto (I’m using onesies today but totes, napkin, and other clothing would be great too the options are endless)
  • Iron

What to Do

First find or create a design to use. I like to google ideas and I use the word “shape”, “silhouette”, or “outline” since basic designs are the ones that work the best. You want something that you know what it is just from the outline. Then I trace or print the image onto thicker paper and cut it out (you can even use a cutting machine like a cricut or silhouette to do this).

Read the directions on the heat bond if you’ve never used it before. Cut out a piece of heat bond the size of your design.

Put your fabric scrap pretty side down then iron the head bond to the WRONG SIDE of your fabric. You’ll be ironing on the paper side of the heat bond. And trace your design onto the paper part of the the heat bond. Don’t do this if you’re tired, I’ve ummm ironed it on to the right side too many times late at night!
Next cut out your design. Peel off the paper and position it on your item.

Press the iron to the iron on and hold for a few sections. Lift and repeat shifting the position of the iron. It’s best not go go back and forth but rather to press lift and press.


This stuff holds really well and is washable so you can just be finished here or if you like top stitch for decoration add beads, ribbons, etc. for embellishments. These two designs are in my shop here I’d love to see what you make though so let me know if you use the tute.

Enjoy.

Guest Post: Potato Casserole

I was such a happy little peach when Marissa contacted me about being a guest blogger for her, while she got to take a fabulous little get away with her hubby!

Being totally honest this is my very first guest post appearance and I debated on just what to share with you.

And then it hit me like a ton of potatoes… Death by Starch!

I can really eat this fabulous dish by the pan full’s!

Hope you enjoy it has much as I do! 

Stop by anytime and say howdy! I would love for you to visit The Gaines Gang!

I know that many of us have a good ole’ standby potato casserole recipe filed away, or stuffed, in our holders ready to go.

This Potato Casserole was passed onto me from my Mother-n-law. And now has become my go to potato recipe for the last few years.

It’s a no brainer and requires just a hand full of ingredients.

20 oz. bag cubed hash browns
2 Cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup milk
2 cups (16oz) French onion dip
Handful of onion flakes
1 can cream of chicken soup {undiluted}

Using a large bowl mix everything together except the potatoes and butter. Once everything is well blended stir in the frozen hash browns. Top with ½ stick butter sliced over the top. I like to mix mine up the night before and cover with foil and let set in refrigerator until the next day. Bake uncovered @ 350* for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The result is ooey starchy goodness!

Guest Post: Little Monkey Onesie Dress

I’m so happy today to be featured on Marissa blog Rae gun I hope all your followers enjoy a little girl outfit, that is super easy and quick to make. Today i’ll be showing you how I made my little monkey onesie dress, and I need to say sorry about the quality of the photos as my camera is in the shop at the moment, so I have my point and shoot camera :)
Here is the tutorial
cute huh I just love easy cute outfits (this fits Chloe and I paired it with jeans underneath and it looked super cute i’ll have to get a picture of her in it like that)
Here is my 4 years old Chloe in it
Hope you enjoyed 
Peace Love and Cupcakes
Amanda
Thank you so much again Marissa, If you would like to see a bunch of other girly tutorials make sure you stop by my blog If life was like a Cupcake

Fried Cream Cheese Avocado Shrimp Wontons

I’m still on vacation but before I left I asked my sister Tanya if I could re-post her cream cheese avocado and shrimp wonton recipe that she made for my birthday party and posted on her private blog.They were SO good. Here she is.

My big sis – the infamous Marissa from Rae Gun – turned the big Three Oh today. Her hubster – the equally popular Fisch (Daniel) the Music Maker – Yai Yai, myself, and her two friends Kelli and Linda conspired to throw her a surprise party!  And of course I had to make my famously yummy Fried Cream Cheese Avocado Shrimp Wontons. Yes I know you’re mouth is watering. They’re so easy and ohh so amazing.

[note from marissa: So I kinda had a dream a while back of delicious fried food and they not only remembered it but made it come true! Awesome huh? It was a fried food theme party the day after every one set new year’s resolutions bwahahaha. And yes those are pictures of fried food hanging from the ceiling.]


Just 4 ingredients and they’re all in the name!

Let the cream cheese come to room temperature. Devein and peel the shrimp. Next throw the shrimp in a small saute pan with a little oil. Season with whatever you have on hand. I used garlic powder, salt, pepper, no-salt-organic-everything-seasoning-that-isn’t-any-good-until-you-add-salt-to-it, and a dash of Italian seasoning.

Cook the shrimp all the way. It should be pink and not translucent – don’t over do it or your shrimp will be rubbery. Yuck! While the shrimp is cooking mash up two ripe avocados. Add a block of the soften cream cheese and mix it up. You should end up with a beautiful light green.


Now you need to chop up the shrimp. Don’t massacre it and turn it to mush, just chop it into tiny pieces. Then dump it into your avocado-cream cheese mixture and combine.


Mmmm I could eat this with a spoon…. Oops I forget the green onion. Chop up one sprig and throw it in. And while you’re at it add 2-3 shakes of soy sauce. Mix it all up and set it aside


Now grab your wonton wrappers. *I* find it helps to pull them apart and re-stack them first before your fingers get all gross. Next throw some corn starch in a small bowl with warm water. Keep the spoon in there because the corn starch tends to settle and you’ll need to keep mixing it up.



Now the fun part. Take a dollop of the mixture and place it into the center of the wonton wraper. Fold it into a half moon shape pinching it in the middle. You can just pinch it closed all the way around of do it the traditional way making little folds. I have no idea how to explain how to do this – here’s the link to the video Marissa did. Just note that they stay closed better if you do it the fancy traditional way – this goes for any type of wonton.




After folding 54 of these little nuggets of goodness you can freeze them – HA like they’d survive for long, they’re too good – or just go ahead and fry them up right away.
Enjoy! Sorry I don’t have a picture of one fried for you, they got eaten ;)

Guest Post: Cupboard Candle Centerpiece Tutorial

Hi Rae Gun Readers! I’m SO excited to be here today! 
My name is Jamielyn and I blog over at I heart nap time! You can find lots of yummy recipes, tutorials, and lots more. I’d love for you to come by and say hi!
Today I’m going to show you how to make a fun centerpiece for your table -on the cheap! 
candle holder
So my candle was looking pretty bare on my kitchen table… and I decided it was time for a little makeover! Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the before…but just imagine a plain ol’ white candle sitting on a white table… pretty boring if you ask me!
trimming garland
First thing was to wrap the candle with a some garland. I picked up some from Jo-Ann’s on sale for $2. I cut off all of the leaves and threw those out. It was also easier to use smaller pieces when wrapping them around the candle.
wrapping garland
This part was pretty easy, all you need is a hot glue gun. I basically just started wrapping the garland around the candle and glued every few inches. Once I was all the way around I looked for spots that looked sparse and filled them in with more garland.
So the candle was done, and it still felt a little lonely. I had been looking for some sort of tray for awhile, but never had any luck. I’ve seen a lot of people do some fun things with old cupboard doors, so I figure I’d give it a shot! I found this cupboard at the Habitat Restore for $2. That place is great for stuff like this!
painting old cupboards
First I spray painted the whole thing white. Then I covered the middle with newspaper and spray painted the edges green. It was a little too green so I distressed the edges a little and added some ralph lauren glaze. making a tray
Then I bought two handles from HL and drilled them in. Black paint works great to cover nails! :)
tray for kitchen table 
Yay now my candle doesn’t look so lonely!!
cute tray 
So there you have it a cheap addition to my kitchen table! I’m really loving the green! :) Now go pick up an old cupboard from your local Habitat Restore and give it a try! Let me know how it goes!
 tray for candle 
 Thanks for having me! It was fun.

-Jamielyn
Photobucket

Guest Post: Chicken and Veggie Nugget Recipe

Hello, Rae Gun Ramblings readers, and thank you, Marissa, for having me over to visit! I’m Marigold from Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! I’m excited to do a guest post here, and have decided to share one of my very favorite recipes of all time. First, a bit of back story for this recipe: A little while ago I became obsessed with the idea of having a Secret Recipe. One that I would never, ever, ever give out, but that people would always ask for. Around the same that time idea was bouncing around in my head, I was trying to come up with recipes to replace the processed foods my two little boys preferred over anything homemade or remotely healthy. What I came up with was an amazing chicken nugget. “Meh,” you think. “A chicken nugget? Seriously? You came all the way over here from your blog to this blog to brag about a chicken nugget?”

Well, well, well, Naysayer! One taste of my chicken nuggets, and see just how quickly you’ll come crawling to me for the recipe. Begging at my feet and tugging at my skirt. “GIVE ME THE RECIPE!” you’ll find yourself screaming, crazed tears running down your swollen cheeks.

So, here’s the deal: I don’t want you to have to embarrass yourself like that. I’m just going to give you my Top Secret recipe! Give it to you without any crying or pleading involved! Remember, though, that this is a SECRET recipe, so when you make it and your friends begin weeping at your feet in their nugget-induced mania, you are going to have to be strong withhold it from them. No.matter.what.

Mrs. Haske’s TOP SECRET Chicken and Vegetable (and a bunch of other stuff) Nuggets
(makes about 30 mind-blowing nuggets)

for nuggets:
1 lb. ground chicken
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup old fashioned oats (not quick cooking
1 medium zucchini, shredded (approx 3/4 cup shredded)
1 large carrot, shredded (approx. 1/2 cup shredded)
1/2 medium onion, finely diced (approx. 3/4 cup finely diced)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano (or other herb of choice-basil or italian season blend are also yummy)
oil for cooking
for coating:
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup ground flax meal

You have two options for cooking the nuggets, oven-fry or deep-fry. Oven-fried nuggets use less oil and therefore have less fat, but are a bit softer in texture. Versus deep-fried nuggets that are crispier, but fattier.

1. If oven-frying: Preheat oven to 375°F have ready two shallow, rimmed baking sheets with enough vegetable oil to generously coat the bottoms.
If deep-frying, Just before you begin forming the nuggets in Step 4, heat 1/4 inch of oil over a medium-high heat. Have ready paper towels for draining.

2. In a small bowl, combine ingredients for coating: seasoned breadcrumbs and ground flax meal. Mix well and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for nuggets: ground chicken, cheese, oats, zucchini, carrot, onion, garlic, egg, salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well with a wooden spoon or by hand.

4. (If deep-frying, now is the time to heat your oil).For each nugget, use approximately 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture to form a small patty about 1/2 an inch thick. The mixture will be sticky, so it is easier to get about a tablespoon in a rough ball and then move it to the breadcrumb and flax meal mixture. Roll the nugget in the coating mixture and then gently pat it into shape. Shake off excess coating and set aside. Continue until all nuggets are formed.

5. If oven frying: Place all of the nuggets onto prepared baking sheets. Cook for 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Rotate sheets and flip nuggets. Cook for 8-10 more minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and blot off excess oil and drain on paper towels, if necessary.
If deep-frying: Without crowding the pan, fry nuggets in 1/4 inch of oil for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

A few notes:
Serving suggestions: These nuggets are delicious for both picky little kids and grown-ups. Kids like to dip them in bbq sauce or ketchup. For grown-ups, serve in a pita pocket with lettuce and tomatoes. This recipe can also be used to make larger chicken burger patties. Delicious with ranch dressing, or for a tasty white sauce, whisk together a couple tablespoons of sour cream, a squeeze of lemon juice, crushed garlic, chopped fresh basil, salt and pepper to taste.

Substitutions: This is a very versatile recipe, and I have had a lot of success changing up the ingredients and substituting different vegetables and cheeses. Using mozzarella in place of the cheddar creates a milder flavor and is yummy when made into meatballs and tossed in with pasta and marinara sauce. I’ve even made a vegetarian version replacing the ground chicken with mashed chick peas for a sort of modified veggie falafel.

To freeze: When completely cool, place nuggets on a single layer on baking sheets, lightly cover, and freeze. Once frozen, toss into a freezer safe container. If you freeze them touching each other, they tend to stick together.

To reheat: Preheat oven to 375°F. Put frozen nuggets in a single layer and bake until warmed through, about 10-15 minutes. Or, you can microwave for a minute to defrost and then crisp in a toaster oven.

Enjoy!

Guest Post: Treasure Maps

Hi all of you cute Rae Gun readers!
My name is Tiffany Hewlett and I blog over at Making the World Cuter!

I would love to have you over!
In short, I like cute things.
My kids are the cutest things in my world, and make it cuter every day.
I have 4 of them and one hecka cute hubby too!

 I also like to make cute things, review cute things and eat…

well I like to eat, it doesn’t necessarily have to be cute!
Here is one of my recent makings…

It’s a giant felt ‘girly’ treasure map! My daughter plays with her Littlest Pet Shops and other random toys on it…and other times uses it as a treasure map when she plays explorer.

I also made one of my boys a pirate treasure map and my other son a Super Mario treasure map. The kids love them!

I really hope you stop by and say hi, I have a party every Monday to show off all the things that make your world cuter and I would love to add you to the guest list! :)
Thanks Marissa for having me-and hope you are having a ball on your vacay!


Guest Post: Corsage Flower T-Shirt

The Crafting Chicks

Hello! I’m Becky, one of the 6 “Chicks” who writes on The Crafting Chicks. I am so excited to share one of my favorite projects with you on this fabulous site. We get inspired whenever we read fun blogs like Rae Gun! It is filled with so many great treats! We at the Crafting Chicks love to inspire you as well!

The Crafting Chicks began with friends sharing crafty ideas and along the way, we are excited to say, we have gained a whole community of friends that also share our passion for Motherhood and all things Crafting!
Between the 6 of us, we have 21.5 kids, and just like many of you, are very busy! We often get asked, “How do you do it?” We all have this in common, we would go crazy if we couldn’t craft or get creative. It truly is our therapy. So here is one of our favorite “Craft Therapy” projects I’d like to share:

I love making fun things to wear and wanted to make a cute corsage type t-shirts. I found two shirts at Target for $1.98 each, (Ah, how I love Target. These shirts having been hanging out in the bottom of my “to-do craft” pile. I finally got a vision for what I wanted and got working.

Here is what you will need:supplies needed for flower t-shirt

  • 2 of the same t-shirts (If you are going to do this with a friend, I would suggest just buying 3 shirts and getting one as large as you can so you can share the fabric from it.)
  • a needle and thread
  • scissors
  • tulle (I did mine in a matching color, but do what you like.)
using circles to make flowers for a t-shirt
First off, I found something round (my handy rice cooker measuring cup) that was the size I wanted for my flowers. (I made circle flowers, but you could really use any shape. I have seen hearts or stars as well.) 
Then I cut the circles out and did the same thing with my tulle. I actually made a template out of construction paper for the tulle.

I cut out two fabric pieces and one piece of tulle for each flower I wanted. I wanted my flowers to have the fun contrast of the tulle in between so that is where I put that piece. I think it might be fun to add another layer of tulle or you could do more layers of the fabric flowers if you wanted.

how to lay the circles on the shirt for flowers

Then I laid the circles down on my shirt to get the spacing the way I wanted. I don’t think you can go wrong here. I would just place them where you want. I guess I should mention that you probably want an odd number of flowers. It will look better aesthetically.

How to pin your circles on t-shirt for flowers

Now I have to admit, I am not a huge pinner, but it made this project so much easier. So go ahead and grab those pins and put those flowers in their place.

sewing on the circle flower with a round stitch

To secure my flowers to the shirt, I used a straight stitch in a circle shape. I used a lighter color for the thread cause I liked the contrast and the circle gave the flower a cute shape.

Sew all your flowers onto your shirt and in no time you will have…

finished circle flower t-shirt

I can’t beleive how quickly this came together and it really didn’t cost me much at all to make. I am so excited to have another fun cute t-shirt!

Thanks for welcoming us on this fun blog. We hope to have some of you stop by to see what we are up to.

Guest Blogging: Making the World Cuter

Making

Just popping in to say I’m guest blogging over at Making the World Cuter today while Tiffany is enjoying maternity leave. I shared my Oreo Cheesecake recipe. Stay tuned I’ll be posting my turtle cheesecake recipe later this week.

Plus it’s the last day to enter Halloween/Fall my giveaway.