Jackatessa's Blog

This is a collection of recipes, canning projects, crochet, crafts, cakes, and anything else I find interesting!

Warm Chicken Curry Dip

This dip….is good.  No, it’s great.  Divine.  Mind blowing.  The best thing that has ever happened to your taste buds!

The first time I came upon this recipe was on one of my favorite blogs– Brittany Herself, and I read through it just like I read through all of her blog posts every day, and I just went about my business.  Back in 2012 I had never had curry and it never really interested me to try it.  Since then, however, I have had curry multiple times and am officially in love with it now! I would pretty much eat curry every damn day if I could, but alas, Nate does not like it and won’t eat it.  So I am only able to have it when we go out to eat at a place that might serve it, wait until he is gone for the evening and make it for myself, OR start taking this dip to every single party I go to from now on.  Three guesses on which one I plan to do!


Someone shared this dip again on a facebook thread about appetizers, and I decided to make it for an appetizer for our christmas dinner this year.  I had planned to make a jalapeno popper dip as well, but decided not to at the last minute.   So I took the cream cheese that I was going to use in that recipe and decided to put it on the bottom of this because….well, cream cheese.  Duh.


It was a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself! It made the dip stretch further, which is good in my family.  When we have a family dinner, we have almost 20 people with just the immediate family members, so we need a lot of dip lol!  Everyone gobbled this down, even those that didn’t think they liked curry.  It is sweet, spicy, and has a little bit of a tang from the cream cheese.  I would really recommend this recipe– and whatever you do, DO NOT skip the almonds!!  They are the perfect touch.

I wasn’t able to find mango chutney at walmart, so I grabbed a jar of apricot preserves and it worked really well.  I think a peach would also be pretty yummy.

So basically the original recipe would have you heat and serve it just like this, which is delicious by itself, but I prefer it with the cream cheese myself.  We are dip fiends and I’d have to make about 5 batches to get us through a party lol.

I took it to another party last week, and we ended up eating the entire thing before dinner even started, so I’d say it was a hit!  I think my dad ended up eating half of it lol.

For real, dude, make this.

Serve it with crackers, tortilla chips, or you know, a spoon.  I prefer chips (but I did get crackers and then forgot them in the pantry).  You could also go with carrots and celery as dippers, if you were going for a healthier route.  However you serve it, I’m sure you will love it!


Recipe HERE.

 

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Flower Power Dishcloth

 

 

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Flower power dishcloths!  Because who doesn’t want to add a little bit o’ pretty to their dishwashing routine?!  I found this pattern on Ravelry a year or two ago and have made quite a few to sell.  They work up extremely quickly, aren’t too big,  and can use both cotton or acrylic yarn, so they are a nice, easy sell for me.

** I have talked about it before, but I personally prefer acrylic yarn for my washcloths over cotton yarn.  It dries faster, seems scratchier, and it isn’t as ‘heavy’ as cotton is.  You can throw it in the washing machine just like a regular washcloth. But if you prefer cotton, use it!  You do you, boo!  Ok, PSA over.  Carry on.  **

I wish that I had more photos of the flowers that I have finished, but I can’t seem to find them.  I love the one that I made below.  I used some older acrylic yarn that my mom and I found in my Great Aunt Fern’s stash of yarn after she passed.  I just loved the colors!  It makes me happy to look at it.

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One of the nice things about this pattern is that it uses very simple stitches, so even beginners should be able to work some of these up pretty easily.  I will say that you need to be sure that you are counting your stitches, since there are a certain number of petals and it will be completely obvious if you miss a stitch (<—–ask me how many times I had to learn that the hard way!).

This would be a fun gift idea to give to a graduating senior headed off to college (it would make dishes WAY more fun lol), as a wedding present, or even as a Mother’s Day present!  You can make a few in their favorite colors or that coordinate with their kitchen.  You could also make it a set with coordinating potholders, or even double this pattern and attach the two together to make a flower potholder.  Actually, that’s a really good idea and I think I’ll definitely be making some as potholders for my farmer’s market booth this summer.

PATTERN HERE.

 

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Finding Nemo Clownfish Cocoon Blanket

This is the third and final installment in my cocoon blanket posts!  Hopefully you have seen the Mermaid Tail Blanket and the Shark Blanket that I also did.  If not, go check them out!  Seriously, I’ll wait……

 

Ok good.  SO.  This blanket.  I needed to find something that I could do that would go along with those other two, but that would be different.  My little nephew, Kannon, doesn’t like scary stuff, so I didn’t want to make him the shark blanket.  I had also seen a pattern for a dragon, but again, scary.  Then I came across THIS pattern….NEMO!!  It was perfect!!  Not scary at all, he knew what it would be, and it would be pretty simple to make.

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I used Red Heart yarn and followed the pattern alllmost exactly.  The only thing that I had trouble with was getting the ‘little’ fin to work. I decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to figure it out, so I just made two regular fins, but sewed one on a little tighter, covering fewer rows, so that it was different.  You can just throw it into the washing machine as it get dirty and it will just get softer and softer every time you wash it.

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The pattern said that it was for ages 2-4, and he turned 3 in January, so it was the perfect size.  I do think that it would be extremely easy to increase the width and make larger sizes.  The best part?  He LOVED it!!  It’s his ‘fishy blanket’ and he apparently uses it all of the time.

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I am so glad that I made these little cuties their own blankets for Christmas instead of giving them (more) toys.  Now they have something that they will use all of the time and can keep for a few years as they grow into them!  I mean, I might be a little biased, but I give them a 10/10.  :-)

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Random Thoughts Post

Thinking about what homework I will do for which class which night.  And that I really need to buckle down and finish this semester out strong.

Reading facebook posts.  People are interesting.

Loving the Blistex Soft and Lush lip balm.  My sister let me use it when I stayed the night with her and I had forgotten mine (and seriously, who can sleep without using lip balm first?!).  I was immediately hooked and had to get it for myself.  They have it at Walmart, over in the pharmacy section.  Don’t buy it online, it’s hella expensive.  It smells like cappucino to me, it’s like $2, and I like that you can twist it up like you would a glue stick.  Highly recommend!

Cooking nothing tonight!  We are going to Independence to take Nate’s little brother, Jaron out for a birthday dinner!  But I made fried chicken on Sunday, stir fried chicken last night, and plan to make a mexican casserole later this week, so that counts for something right??

Pinning clothing/fashion ideas, stained glass for my step mom, and ideas on home improvement.  There are usually a few recipes and crochet patterns thrown in there, too.  You can follow me HERE.

Deciding wedding details.  There’s still a lot to do!

Wanting some wedges like THIS, these Harper pants from Old Navy in Black and Blush, a fur vest like THIS one, and much much more!  Am I going to get them?  Nah, but I can pretend and keep pinning them like I’m going to!

Trying to not spend all of Nate’s money on the wedding!  Hi honey!

Needing to get things ready for the 5K fundraiser this weekend, and just get these dang To Do lists marked off and off of my desk.  Yeah…..this blog post should tell you how well I’m doing on that lol.

Watching The Walking Dead, of course.  I want to start Parenthood on Netflix, but once I start watching a series, it’s like I can’t stop.  I binge watch and then get NOTHING accomplished!!

Making a friggin’ sweet new cocoon blanket for a birthday gift.  Or like, I would, if I would just get started on it.  But I have the yarn!  And the pattern!  I’d say that’s a start.  Also, I’m glittering approximately 60 wine bottles for the wedding.  That’s a lot.  I stick my index finger into the top and hold them so that I can modge podge/glitter/seal them, and my finger has been numb for a week.  I’m now taking a break so as not to cause any wedding related injuries lol.

Listening to Lukas Graham 7 Years.  Love this song!  Also, Lost Boy by Ruth B.

 

That’s it!  My random thoughts for the day.  What have you been up to?

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Shark Cocoon Blanket

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This is a very long overdue post to go along with the Mermaid Tail Blanket that I posted right before this one.  I made this for my cute little nephew, Kolton Lee, as a Christmas present.  I made his sister the Mermaid Tail and I wanted to find a boy version.   While I think that boys can absolutely have a mermaid tail, which is what he would have gotten if I hadn’t found this, I am so glad that I came across this pattern.

The thing about these cocoons is that yes, they are FAST to work up, but they do take a lot of yarn.  Personally I would rather use more yarn and finish my project quicker though!  I lucked out and had this pattern picked out in time for me to hit the Black Friday sale at Walmart, so I found the yarn that I needed for only $2 a skein instead of it’s usual $4.  I believe that I ended up using 11 skeins total. It was Lion’s Brand, the super chunky stuff. I think that if I were to make this again (and oh, I totally will be), that I would try it with three strands of Red Heart worsted weight yarn.  While the Lion’s Brand is incredibly soft, it also made it HEAVY!  My arms were getting tired turning the blanket over and over and over!  That is another reason that I will use worsted weight next time.   I found the buttons that I used for the eyes at Walmart for $1 or $2 a piece.  I also used two strands of regular worsted weight, Red Heart yarn for the teeth and gums.  Easy peasy!

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The pattern that I used was one that I would highly recommend– MJ’s Bulky & Quick Shark Blanket.  I know that some people balk at the idea of paying for patterns, but I really think that you can tell a difference in the end product in a pattern that you have paid for and one that you can get for free.  Not always!  But sometimes, I think it is 100% worth it to pay the little bit for the pattern to get a more professional look.

As far as the pattern itself, I followed it exactly.  it worked up extremely quick, within 4 or 5 hours from start to finish.  The only thing that I would change if I were to do it again would be to change the placement of the fin🙂.  While Kolton didn’t think anything of it, the adults all had a little snicker at it. Also, you might notice that his feet looked pretty squished in there.  That’s because this little guy likes to wear his boots about 3 sizes too big!  lol.  He clunk clunk clunks around in a pair of boots that were meant for his sister, and he doesn’t care a bit!

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I actually plan to work one or two of these up to take with me in my farmer’s market and craft booth this year.  I hope they sell well!

Pattern HERE.

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Mermaid Tail Blanket

“Once upon a time, in a far away place named Kansas, a (very pretty, if I do say so myself) auntie decided to make her munchkin niece and nephews some fun Christmas presents out of crochet.  She searched high and low all over the internet until she came across this fun blanket idea.  She knew that it would be the absolute perfect gift for her pretty little niece, so she set out to find the perfect yarn and got to work…”

 

 

No, but for real, as soon as I saw these mermaid blankets spring up all over the internet, I knew that my niece would just love one.  That was the start of the idea to make the three of them their very own cocoon blankets.  After reading all about the patterns, everyone was saying how expensive the yarn would be (around $40), but I was lucky enough to be given some yarn after my Great Aunt Fern passed away earlier this year.  I remembered seeing this yarn in the boxes and thought it would be the perfect palette for a mermaid tail!!

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It was called Red Heart Jewel, and I used a variegated yarn with purple, turquoise, and pink in it, a matching purple, and the matching turquoise.  Since it was not bulky weight yarn like they suggested, I just used 3 strands of the regular worsted weight.  It worked like a charm! All together, it took me 7 skeins per tail….if I were to buy Red Heart at Walmart @ $2.97 each, that means I would only pay about $25 in yarn.  Much better than the $40 for the bulky yarn, in my opinion.  I know some people don’t care for Red Heart because it isn’t the softest, but I’ve found that after a few washes it is just fine.

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Since I was coming out of the end of my craft show season,  I had been working on every other order/project under the sun but these Christmas gifts.  It was really starting to get to me and I was afraid that I wasn’t going to get them all done!  The great thing about it was that this worked up SO QUICK.  Like, I was completely done in less than 4 hours.  The biggest complaint/not really a complaint/first world problems is that my arms got soooo tired from having to lift and switch it over and work the giant hook.  Sad, I know.  But in my defense, I had been crocheting nonstop for a month straight.

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The yarn looked so pretty in these colors, and it almost had a shimmery look to it (as you can see below).  Not really sparkles, but it didn’t look like regular yarn either.  Either way, it was a perfect mermaid tail, and I knew she would love the way it turned out.

 

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One thing about it though, is that the blanket is a pretty thick one with using so much yarn (or using a bulky yarn), so it is HEAVY.  If that turns you off of making this, I wonder if you could increase a size and just use two strands?  Or just use two strands and keep the same size?  Hmmmm……if you have done either let me know.

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**Tip for the tail– after I had it completely crocheted and was getting ready to sew it on, I took the end that I was attaching and used my needle and put a string through the entire piece, leaving a longish tail on the one end (but don’t tie it off.  Then I just tightened the tail on the string until it was the same size as the end of the tail, then I just attached it by sewing it on.  That way it was the perfect ruched look and was nice and even!

 

They were so fast that I finished them all three in two days, so I had time to whip up another one!  Good thing there was a lot of yarn in that box!

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I used the same base colors and just changed the color of the tail/border to the turquoise.

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I used MJ’s Off The Hook Designs Bulky and Quick Mermaid Blanket.  It is SO WORTH IT to pay for this pattern!  I have seen quite a few from free patterns online, but I don’t think they look as professional as these do.  It is not confusing at all, and there are photos that you can use.

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I love that it makes a cocoon for their feet and it’s not just a blanket that lays over them.  They can actually get IN the blanket.

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She loved it by the way🙂.

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Any ideas on what we are going to talk about next??

 

PATTERN HERE.

If you are not into making your own, but would like a mermaid tail of your own and would like to order one from me, feel free to comment or shoot me an email at brainiac512@yahoo.com   .

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Crochet Boot Cuffs

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When I was searching for new patterns and ideas for my fall shows, I kept coming across different boot cuff patterns on Pinterest.  I saved quite a few different patterns, but this is the one that I eventually settled on.

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I whipped up a few for my first show, and sold 3 out of the 5!  I was pretty happy with that!  I’ve had multiple orders since then and have sold quite a few, so I am very pleased with this pattern.   The good news is that is works up really quickly, and you can do any kind of color combo that you want.  I have done team colors, solid colors, and then some with white tops (it makes me think of lace).

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They are so cute sticking out of the top of a pair of tall boots!  I even made a pair of extra wide calf— I just did the base crochet of 44 to fit mine.  I plan to offer them next year in my booth, too.

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Photo from the designer’s site– NOT my photo!

I used all acrylic yarn, mostly Red Heart.  I like the bulk, the cost, and the color selection of Red Heart for this, but feel free to make it out of whatever yarn you’d like!

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The way that I displayed them was to just print out a little tag with boot cuff typed out and with a picture in Word.  I put the price and the pattern designer’s name on the back. Then a quick little hole punch and some extra yarn or twine tied through both pieces and you are good to go!

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Let me know if you make some!

 

Pattern HERE.

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Jello Popcorn 

Jello popcorn…sounds weird, right?  Of course weird is what piques my interest whenever I am searching for new stuff to make, so this was right up my alley.  A year or two ago I found the link on Pinterest for a Monster Popcorn when I was looking for fun stuff to make for a carnival concession stand.  It looked simple enough….jello, popcorn, corn syrup, butter, and sugar.  I could handle that!

The first year that I made it for the carnival, I packaged it up in little snack size ziplocks and wrote the flavor on the outside of it.  They were a HUGE hit and I sold them all!  I have been asked to do them every year since.  My favorite flavors to make are raspberry, lime, orange, and strawberry, but you can use anything.  You can also make them all separately and then mix them all back up together for a fruit punch flavor.   Here’s how I did it.

 

First I popped my popcorn.  I used my new popcorn machine that Nate got me for my birthday!  It is pretty much the coolest thing ever and we frequently enjoy popcorn in the evenings.  I think I did about 2-3 batches of popcorn, following the directions on the package.

Get your flavors ready to go….

Melt your butter, sugar, and corn syrup together.

Dump your jello mix in and stir stir stir!

Then you just dump your popcorn into a bowl and dump the mix over it and stir to coat. Be sure to use a large bowl!  I have found that this way is much easier than trying to pour it over popcorn laying on a flat surface.
  

You’ll need to work quickly so that your jello doesn’t set up.

Then just dump it out onto a baking sheet to cool.  I do not line mine with parchment paper or foil, as I found that it just sticks to it and then I have to pick foil pieces out of it.  That’s no bueno.

Another trick is to frequently stir it around as it cools.  If you just dump it and leave it, then it will just leave all of the excess on the bottom of the pan and it will be wasted.  If you keep stirring it, it will recoat the popcorn and cover it completely.  AND it will keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

It will also make it easy to break apart when it is nice and cool!   Basically what I’m saying is that this is an important step and you should definitely be sure to do it🙂.

Then all that is left to do is to break it apart and bag it up!  It is a perfect, sweet treat that people will love, especially the kids!

 

 

Recipe HERE!

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Happy New Year!!

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Wishing you a Happy New Year!  I’m planning to add some projects I have been working on the past few months.  I have been insanely busy between starting school full time, working on prepping for craft shows, and getting orders completed.  But all of that work means that I have plenty to show you!  Get ready….it’s going to be good!

 

-Teresa

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Blackberry Pie

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Oh man, this pie.  It was something else.  This pie was fricken delicious.

I made this pie for Father’s Day, for my dad.  He LOVEESSSSS blackberries, and especially blackberry pie.  Now, I’ve tried to make blackberry pie for him before, but I used frozen berries.  I (apparently) didn’t thaw the berries all of the way, so the bottom of the pie was, let’s just go with….soggy.  Don’t get me wrong, he still ate it, but bless him, it was NOT my finest moment.  I went at this pie looking for redemption for that other sorry excuse for a pie.  THIS one would be good, dang it!

It just so happened that I came into quite a bit of blackberries right before our father’s day dinner, by way of a kind, little offbeat guy, that sold them to me for $5 for a butter tub full.  Now, that’s a lot of berries!  And for $5?!  You bet!  I bought $20 worth and stuck some in my freezer for jelly (which I hope to share next), and then kept two tubs out to make some pie.

When searching for the right recipe, I went to Pinterest (obvs).  I searched for Blackberry Pie- blog.  Because I always want to be able to read more about it, if it has quirks, how it turned out, etc.  I read a few different ones, but when I came upon one that basically said she was a grandma that had been making this pie forever, I knew that I had found a winner!  And with just 4 ingredients, it was getting even more promising.  Yep, I’d found my recipe!

Now, since our family dinners consist of at least 15 people, but more like 20 if everyone comes, I knew that I could not just make one little 8″ pie.  I needed a big ‘un.  So I figured that I could just double the recipe and fill a 9″x13″ pan.  And it worked!  This would actually be a perfect dessert to a potluck, too.  It will serve quite a few.

I decided to go the pre made route and buy my crust– I used this entire package.  I let it thaw a bit, threw some flour on my counter and rolled the crust to around the size of the pan, but with just a little bit extra.  I sprayed my pan and put the bottom crust in, and pushed it up the sides.  I wanted to give it more stability when it was cut, but I wasn’t too worried about it being completely covered on the sides.

Pretty, huh?  NOT.  Then I just took a few minutes to put the filling together.  I don’t think it could have been any easier, seriously.  Like I said, I doubled the filling- so I used both tubs of blackberries, thawed, and added the flour and sugar.  I did heaping measurements of the sugar, since my berries were kind of tart.

    YUM.

Then it was just as simple as dumping it all into the pan and rolling out the other crust.    

I’m not even gonna lie, I totally ate a few of those flour/sugar covered berries.  Still delicious.

 

I rolled it out just a little larger again, and then rolled and pinched it to form a nice crust.   I knew I wanted to add sugar to the top, because I LOVE pie with sugar on the crust!  It’s how the church ladies make their blackberry pie at the fair, which is totally my favorite pie, and by golly I was going to have it on mine, too. So I took a stick of butter and rubbed it all over the top crust, to give the sugar something to stick to.  

Then sprinkled that puppy with a liberal coating of sugar!  The whole time I was doing it, I was thinking – Diabetes!  Diabetes for everyone!

After it came out of the oven, I thought it was the prettiest, most delicious looking pie I’d ever seen.

I let it cool on the counter for a bit, then put it in the fridge to really set up.  She recommends at least 3 hours, and I was doing this the day of the party, so I wanted to speed it up a bit.  Worked like a charm!

 

I 100% recommend  Syrup and Biscuits recipe.  Super simple and delicious!  Win win in my book!!

(Oh, and my dad LOVED the pie and took all of the leftovers home.)

RECIPE HERE!

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