Places to see!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Surprise Goodie Bag Giveaway Winner!

First of I want to start out by giving a big Thank You to everyone who participated! This giveaway was a huge success, which wouldn't of been possible without all of you!

And the winner is Dayna Kinard! Rebecca Guthrie! Congrats!

Please look for a message from us on Facebook with further instructions (in your OTHER tab).  *If no answer is received within 48 hrs a new winner will be drawn. Due to Facebook's rules I can not post the name on Facebook.

So for all of you curious about the prize... you'll have to wait just a bit longer! I want to ensure the winner gets her prize before I let you all know what it is. But I promise it's full of some great goodies! Here is the sneak peak photo again. Thank you again to all those who participated!

Check out another giveaway I'm hosting HERE.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Felt Food Tutorials

My new Pita Pocket from MilkFly
Who knew felt food has become so popular! Felt foods are great alternatives to plastic foods. Plus they are just as fun and they are environmentally friendly!

I have been using felt food in my products photos for about a year now and I love it. I just got a new pita pocket in and I couldn't be happier with it. I choose to buy this pita pocket, from MilkFly, as I was so impressed with her work! I was shocked when I saw the prices, so she actually offered to trade with me. (Please don't bombard her with trades! lol I'm not sure if this was just a one time thing.) But not that I have recieved her products I would certainly pay the $39, with shipping, she wanted for this! Her shop is amazing and I really think you should all check it out!

Now I felt kinda silly buying felt foods as I knew I could make them myself! I just didn't know how. So I have compiled a list of FREE felt tutorials! There is a free tutorial out there for just about anything you can think of! Now I did make myself some carrots. I must say I impressed myself as I didn't use a pattern or tutorial.

For those of you who think you need a pattern or tutorial here are some links to great ones! Very simple too, even if you've never sewed a day in your life! Just click the item or shop and away you'll go.

FREE Tutorials
Craftiness Is Not Optional (Tons of Great Tutorials!)
Purchasable DIY Patterns
Maybe your not so crafty? Or not the best at sewing... Well don't fear! Plenty of folks sell fabulous felt food. 
Photo From: Bugga Bugs- Click go to page!

Already Made Felt Food

I'm sure these lists could go on and on! Have a favorite tutorial, pattern, or shop that I missed? Share it in the comments! Check Out Pinterest for More Great Felt Food Tutorials! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Freezer Cooking Part 1 - Just the Basics

Its amazing how you can set your mind out to do something and then life steps in the way! I was determined to get the first part of freezer cooking published Monday. And as my luck would have it some unforeseen events decided it was time to make an entrance! So without further a due, here is Freezer Cooking Part 1.

*This is gonna be a long post! Eventually I'll post more detailed recipes with more pictures. And as I do I'll shorten this post by adding links to recipes instead of having the entire recipe here!*

Freezer Cooking Part 1 - Just the Basics

This first part of freezer cooking is meant to familiarize you with freezer cooking. Hopefully this post will help you ease into the process and get ready for your first big cooking day!

What better place to start than with, "What is freezer cooking?" Well simply freezer cooking is meant to make cooking healthy meals easy and quick for you. The key phrase is "quick for you," because often freezer cooking is work for your crock pot! You simply prepare the meals and stick them in the freezer, then pull them out when you want to cook them. Its best if you pull them out the night before and stick them in the fridge, but its not the end of the world if you don't! Imagine how much money this can save! No more having to order dinner or go out if you forget to pull out something. And sometimes its just much easier, especially with a busy schedule!

Now I'm going to share one of the simplest and cheapest "freezer meals" out there. Part 1 is made to be simple so all of the recipes shared today are quick and require little work. Its a great step up to ease you in!

Practically Free Veggie Stock

Yes, I said practically free! This is not really a freezer meal, but it does have a home in your freezer. To make your veggie stock, start saving all of your veggie extras. Save those green onion ends, lemon rinds, onion peels, potato skins, squash skins, carrot peels, everything! Store these extras in a gallon freezer bag in your freezer. When it gets full you get to make stock. (As you can see below I saved everything! Squash ends, celery leaves and ends, lemon rinds, green onion roots, celery bottoms, extra red pepper potato peels and regular onion skins.)

Add the contents of your veggie bag into a large stock pot. Fill with water ensuring to cover all of the veggies. Let simmer for 1-2 hours, the longer the more flavor you will get into your stock. After cooking turn of the heat and allow to cool in pot. Strain out your liquid and throw away your veggies. Now you can freeze your stock. 

To Freeze: Pour into desired container. I like to use ice cube trays, muffin tins and snack baggies. The ice cubes of stock are great to add to skillet dishes and the muffin size are great when a soup or chili needs a little extra liquid.  When using freezer bags, lay them on a cookie sheet and place the whole sheet in the freezer. This will let your bags freeze flat for better storage. 

Crock Pot Sloppy Joe's

  • 1 lbs Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 lbs Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped 
  • 1 Small Can Tomato Paste
  • 2/3 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pepper to taste
Split ground beef, ground turkey and onion evenly between two gallon size freezer bags. In a bowl combine tomato, BBQ sauce, ketchup, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Divide between both bags. Close the tops of the bags and using your fingers mix everything together. Open and squeeze out any extra air. Place bags in freezer. To cook: place in a crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. You may feel the need to add stock if the mixture is not sloppy enough! 

Beef Burgundy 

  • 2 lbs Beef Stew Meat (Or you can cube your preferred choice of beef)
  • 2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 Cup Milk
  • 6 oz Mushrooms
  • 3/4 Cup Burgundy or Red Wine
  • 1 Pouch of Onion Soup Mix
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Dash of Worcestershire 
Add one lb beef to each of two freezer bags. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Separate between both bags, evenly as possible. Place in freezer on flat surface. To cook: Place in a crock pot on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve over rice or noodles! 

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped (or diced if you have picky eaters!)
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • 2 Tbsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Pepper
Mix everything in a big bowl! Meatloaf is one of the easiest things you can make for the freezer, no need to cook before you freeze it! Shape your meat mixture into desired loaves. I like to make a big loaf (in case we have company), and then I love to make personal size meatloaves. For mini/personal loaves using a muffin tin is a great idea, or you can use a bar pan (like the ones you make Twinkies in).

*You can add whatever other spices and sauces you'd like! BBQ sauce is a great addition, just add 2 eggs and about a 1/2 cup bbq sauce. Or go for an Asian twist adding soy sauce, green onions, oyster sauce or yum yum sauce are all good. 

Crock-pot Beef and Broccoli
  • 2 lbs Beef (Such as chuck roast) sliced thin
  • 1 Large Onion, sliced
  • 1 & 1/2 Cup Beef Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar (Dark is better, but light will work!)
  • 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce or Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Bag Frozen Broccoli (You can use fresh too!)
In a bowl combine broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, oyster sauce, and garlic. Place your beef and onion in a large freezer bag (or two if your cooking for less). Add your sauce over the beef and onions. Place in the freezer until your ready to cook it. 

To Cook: Place bag in fridge the night before you wish to cook, this will allow a little time for the liquids to thaw. Empty freezer bags contents into your crock pot. Cook for 4-6 hours, remember to check every so often. As your beef cooks it will become more tender, you do not want it to shred. About 30 minutes before its done to your liking get a small bowl, mix cornstarch with 4 tbsp liquid from crock pot. Make sure to mix this well. Add back to your crock pot, also add the broccoli. I used 4 small heads of fresh broccoli for mine. Serve over white rice.

I used this Recipe as a started and adjusted to fit my family and freezer cooking needs.

That is it for this edition of freezer cooking. As I said I'll slowly start to add the recipes to the blog and switch out these for links. Who knows, maybe I'll even add a few recipes! I hope you all enjoy and I look forward to hearing about your freezer cooking experiences!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Giveaway- Win a Surprise Goodie Bag!

Yup that's right, I'm hosting a giveaway! And it only takes moments to enter!

First off CLICK HERE to enter. Make sure you follow the rules or else your entry won't count, and that is not something I want to do! So just follow the rules (they are also posted right below this just in case).

Giveaway Rules:
1) You must enter on the link above! Any entries posted anywhere other than on the above link will not count.
2) You must "like" the Aprons N' Bows Facebook page, again your vote will note count if you do not.
3) You must "like" The Green Haven's Facebook page, as that is where the giveaway is taking place. No like, no vote ; )
4) You must leave a comment saying you voted! (This is your actual entry!)

Enough about the rules! What will you win!? Well that's a secret! But here's what I can tell you: You will receive a goodie bag (package) full of fun surprise items from my shop. And you will be the first ever person to receive a new not yet released product from my shop! This item has been in the works for a little while and will be in my shop for purchase in February. So if you win you will be the first person to receive on of these! Oh and did I mention there will be multiple goodies? Well there will be! You can count on at least 3-4 items (but there will probably be more!!!).

Okay I'm wishing you all the best of luck! UPDATE: Freezer cooking post is in the works! Look for it on Monday, January 21st!

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Little Overdue

Today as I was fixing my lunch I realize I never took the time to introduce my self and my little family! What was I thinking!? So today's post will be an introduction to the people behind the names.

But first... Happy new year everyone! Here's wishing you all a wonderful, prosperous new year. Did you all make resolutions  I know I did, and so far, I've stuck to them (I know that's not saying much 4 days into the new year... but you gotta start somewhere right?). My personal resolution is to not only loose weight, but to be healthy. For me its not just about one or the other. What is so good about loosing weight if your not healthy enough to keep that weight off? This year I've come up with goals and such to help me along the way and even became active on a wonderful site called Spark People. (More to come on them in a later post! But its a great tool, and its FREE!)

Okay enough about that, its time for introductions! First up, little ol' me. I'm the one behind the blog and the shop, the one who some how manages to do  it all (I have yet to figure out how!).

Yup that's me! That was Christmas morning at my mom and dads. It's one of the most recent pictures I have of myself, so I figured why not! Anyways, a little about me. I'm currently enrolled in college, I go to Frostburg State University (FSU). Here I'm majoring in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, with a minor in psychology. I have my own business, The Green Haven, in which I design and sew eco friendly and reusable products.

I do all the cooking, which I don't mind, and that's probably a good thing! Let's just say my fiance is not the best equipped for cooking, I just recently taught him how to make pancakes!

Now on to the mysterious fiance! He does have a name, which I do know believe it or not, and its Brian. But if you do see me refer to him by name I highly doubt you'll see Brian, to everyone he is Bubba! (Well to me he is Bub or bubby, but hey you get the idea!)

That's him on Christmas morning too! And if you look beside him your are not mistaken. Those are remote control cars, and actually they were one of his favorite presents. He is also at FSU, but he is majoring in Wildlife or something like that. I can never remember what the major is called, but basically he is going to school to be a park ranger, or a DNR officer.

Last but not least are our two furballs. We have two cats, who happen to be brothers, that will be 2 years old Feb 27th of this year. And yes they are curled up in the bathroom sink, I have no idea why! The grey and white cat is Felix, he is mine and boy do you know it. He will only lay down on me, he has to climb in bed and have me pet him before we go to sleep, he hates in when other pick him up, and if he can't find me he runs around like a lunatic until he does, and it goes on and on. The other cat is Austin, and he is quite the opposite! He is the most lovable cat on this planet. As soon as the front door opens he is there to investigate. He loves to rub up on your legs, and sit in your lap, and if you stop petting him he will nudge you until you start again!

Well that is a short and sweet introduction to our little family. I hope you all enjoyed! Oh an for those of you looking for the first edition of freezer cooking, look for it within the next week!