Quick and Easy Pie Crust (made without eggs!)

Every once in a while, when I’m baking dinner, I decide to make something that requires a pie crust… Of course, I don’t always meal plan like I should, so I sometimes end up in a kind of tight spot!

The other night I wanted to make my yummy quiche recipe, which can be made with or without crust, but I was really in the mood for some crust!

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How to make a pretty set of Hooks with Authentic Barn Board

I collected a few pieces of beautiful, authentic barn board some time ago from my parents’ farm and it took me a really long time to figure out what to do with them…

One ended up as a sign to use in pictures for my sister’s gorgeous old-world-style wedding.

I used another piece to make my DIY painted flower box. (Which you can check out right, here!)

That left me with one final piece from the farm, and after a while, I finally came up with the perfect idea – a pretty set of hooks… you know, for hanging stuff! Like hats and purses… or even Christmas stockings! Continue reading

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Easter Décor! (All you really need are a few good pieces!)

Can you believe that I never really had any Easter décor, before last year?! I still kind of can’t even believe it myself! I guess it’s because Easter is usually a pretty big traveling holiday for us.

However, since I’m now a mom, I decided that I should probably put on my mom-hat, hunker down and buy some Easter décor. So I did… but I tried to be very wise about it! Continue reading

HONEY APPLE ROASTED HAM (a very quick and easy, delicious recipe!)

Usually I remember to make supper — but sometimes I just get so busy that I forget to take out meat to thaw, and I end up in a pinch! This is why I have been trying to come up with more quick and easy recipes, that don’t have to sacrifice flavor!

I’ve really been trying to keep my freezer stocked up with a variety of frozen meats, beef, pork, chicken, and with emergency frozen vegetables as well… corn, peas and carrots, etc.

Lately, every time that I am at the grocery store, I try to remember to grab a couple of hams to throw in there, because; 1. They are usually pre-cooked so they cook up really quickly, and 2. If you are like me, and always forget to take meat out of the freezer so that it can be thawed in time for supper, you can easily defrost it in a bowl of cold water.

So the other night, I realized that I of course, forgot to take something out of the freezer for supper, and instead of having a full-on panic attack, I instead ran out to the deep freeze in the garage and pulled out a ham… Whew — Crisis averted!

And well, that brings us to this new and exciting, super easy and quick ham recipe…

What you’ll need:

  • Honey (about ½ a cup)
  • Apple Juice (1 juice box – yep, I said juice box… I am a busy mom!)
  • Pepper (just a sprinkle for extra flavor)
  • Ham

Step One: Slice the ham up so that it is about ¼” thick, and then put the ham into a casserole baking dish.

Step Two: Pour the box of apple juice over the ham.

Step Three: Pour the honey over the ham, and then sprinkle on the pepper on top.

Step Four: Cover and bake in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Step Five: Serve and enjoy!

Psst! Looking for the perfect side dish to go with your ham?! Check out my yummy Double Baked Loaded Potatoes!

 

Quick & Easy Shepard’s Pie (For the busy family!)

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Shepard’s Pie is one of those really yummy dishes that taste really good, but seem like they take a lot of work to make. However, this does not have to be the case!

I’ve now learned that when I’m making a nice home-cooked meal, if I make extra mashed potatoes, then I can use them to quickly whip up a super delicious Shepard’s Pie! This means that I’m actually slightly ahead of the game called “life” since dinner for the next night is already half-prepared!

Perfect for those busy Mom’s or Dad’s on the go, here is my very easy recipe! 

All you’ll Need:

– 1.5lbs of Ground Beef
– Salt & Pepper
– 2tbsp of Soya-Sauce
– 1 small, diced Onion
Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel 6 Piece Knives Set (5 Knives plus and Acrylic Stand)
– 3 cups of mixed frozen Peas, Carrots, Green Beans and Corn (You can use fresh vegetables in place of frozen, if you like. Frozen just seem to be a little bit faster and easier when you don’t have a lot of time!)
– 1 can of Condensed Mushroom Soup
– 3 cups of Mashed Potatoes
– ½ cup of Shredded Cheese (I’ve made this dish using both Cheddar Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese before, and both tasted great!)
– 4oz of Cream Cheese

What to do:

Step One: Using a nice big pan, start out by frying up your ground beef, onions and Soya-Sauce. Once the meat is fully cooked, drain off and dispose of the fat.

Step Two: (You can perform this step while you are waiting for step one to cook!) In a separate bowl, mix the mashed potatoes with the shredded cheese, cream cheese and pepper. Set aside.

Step Three: Add the mixed vegetables and a dash of salt to the pan with the ground beef and onion mixture.

Step Four: Add the condensed mushroom soup to the vegetable and ground beef mixture. Stir and then let it simmer for about 2-5 minutes.

Step Five: Pour the ground beef and vegetable mixture into a medium sized casserole dish, and then layer the potato mixture on top and cover.

Pyrex Easy Grab 8-Piece Glass Bakeware and Food Storage Set

Step Six: Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, then remove the lid and let the dish bake for another 15 minutes.

Step Seven: Serve and enjoy!

DIY Christmas Tree Garlands

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Are you having trouble finding the perfect garland for your Christmas tree? Or perhaps you are just a little bit tired of the shiny tinsel garlands that just seem to be everywhere… Either way, the perfect garland can be hard to come by, and a garland can either make or break your Christmas tree!

If you’re having trouble finding the perfect garland, then why not make your own?! That’s why I’ve compiled this list of very easy DIY garlands that you can easily make yourself!

Whether your style is fancy, natural, rustic, classic, or just plain easy, there is something on this list just for you! And remember, you can take these different DIY garland ideas and apply your own color scheme to them or even put your own creative twist on them to make them just perfect for your tree!

Pretty Burlap Garland devised by Simply Notable

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DIY Deco Mesh Garland devised by The Bajan Texan

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DIY Cotton Ball Pom Pom Garland devised by Home Remedies

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The Easiest Tree Garland Ever devised by Scout & Nimble

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DIY White Feather Boa Garland devised by The Project Pile (This is what I came up with this year, and I just love it! Next year I’m thinking of maybe trying the same idea, only in either red or black… Can’t wait! Would you like to check out the rest of my Christmas tree decorations and ornaments?! You can read all about how I decided to spend a little more money on my Christmas decorations this year, and how I very carefully chose each ornament, and where exactly I found them, right here!)

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Easy Cowboy Garland devised by North Pole West

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DIY Wine Cork Garland devised by Fun Holiday Crafts

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DIY Dried Orange Garland devised by Garden Matter

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Paper Garland devised by A Cup of Thuy

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Old Fashioned Popcorn Garland devised by For Rent.com

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2 Minute Pork Chop Marinade!

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2 Minute Pork Chop Marinade!

Prep Time: 2 Minutes!

On the weekend I decided that I would try “online ordering” from M&M Meat Shops, and let me tell you, what an amazing shopping experience it was! By ordering online, I was able to browse through all of their products, easily search for specific ones, view and compare their weekly deals and easily stick to my budget! Then, when I went to the store to pick it up (at a specific time that I got to choose!), it was all ready in a giant box, and the nice people working even carried it out to my car for me! I was in and out of the store in about 2 minutes! Definitely a fantastic new way that I will continue to shop with, and I highly recommend that you try it too! Perfect for the busy family! (And no — M&M Meat Shops is not sponsoring this post! LOL)

What does this have to do with Pork Chop Marinade?! Well, I just happened to order some pork chops from there to try for the first time. So last night I took them out of the freezer to thaw, and realized that I needed some sort of marinade for them — oh no! (I’m always so close to being prepared for life…. but never quite fully there! LOL)….

My husband and daughter would be home shortly, so with very little time to spare, I was able to put together this super quick and easy marinade, and it actually turned out to be extremely delicious! (Total score!)

All you need is:

  • Pork Chops! (This recipe makes enough for about 4 chops)
  • 1/3 cup of Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup of BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s, my favorite!)
  • 1/4 tsp of Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp of Onion Powder
  • A pinch of Salt

Step One: Mix all of the ingredients together with a fork, until it is all an even consistency.

Step Two: Pour the mixture over the pork chops, and be sure to flip them in order to cover both sides with the marinade.

Step Three: After your chops have marinaded for a couple of minutes, or hours — whatever you have time for, throw them on the grill and cook as usual!

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Tip: Since this marinade uses so much lemon juice, it is absorbed by the meat rather quickly, so you are able to use it right away! But for even more flavor, let your meat marinade for a couple of hours, or even overnight!

I hope you enjoy this quick and easy recipe…. I definitely did and will be trying it on chicken next time! Do you have a favorite quick and easy go-to marinade recipe, that you’d like to share? I am always looking for new things to try! 🙂

Ten Minute Tuna Pasta Salad!

2Summer is finally here! BBQ’s and summer get-together’s are in the air!

Tonight I thought that I would share with you one of my favorite, go-to side dishes — Tuna Pasta Salad…. The best part about this salad is that it can be ready in just ten minutes!

This salad always knows how to get me out of a jam when I come home late from work and have to be somewhere ASAP, and this pasta salad is always there for me when I forget to plan out dinner and need something quick and tasty…. I guess, if salads were besties, this one would be mine!

All you need is:

  • 1/2 a bag of Pasta (I prefer small shells for this pasta, but just about any type will do!)
  • 1 can of Tuna
  • 1/4 cup of chopped Green or Regular Onions (Whichever you have on hand!)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped Celery
  • 2/3 cup of Mayo
  • 6 dashes of Hot Sauce
  • Pepper

Step One: The very first thing I do in order to get the ball rolling for this pasta is get my water boiling, and my pasta on.

Step Two: While the pasta is cooking, I take full advantage of the time, and get my veggies (onions and celery), all chopped up and into a big bowl.

Step Three: Next I drain my can of tuna, and then add it to my big bowl.

Step Four: I then throw in my mayo and hot sauce. My favorite mayo to use is Hellman’s because I love “salty”, but any type of mayo will work!

Step Five: As soon as my pasta is soft, I then pour it into a big strainer. I usually let my pasta cook for about 7 minutes, but you can check your packaging for exact timing!

Step Six: I run cold water all over my pasta, and stir it with a spoon while doing so. This really helps it cool down fast…. A great trick for when you are always late like me, or just in a huge hurry!

Step Seven: After your pasta is cool and drained, add it into the big bowl and mix, mix, mix!

Step Eight: Place pasta into your favorite serving dish, garnish with celery leaves, sprinkle with pepper, and enjoy!

Tip: This salad keeps very well if you wanted to make it a day ahead, or eat the yummy leftovers for lunch the next day!

 

Healthy, Easy, Yummy — Apple Chutney!

Healthy, Easy, Yummy — Apple Chutney!

Prep Time: 5 minutes, Bake Time: 10 minutes

Hello, hello everyone! It’s been a little while since the Project Pile has done a recipe… we have just been so busy around here! Last September I started teaching at our local college, then I starting working on another “project” for another company here in town…. Plus, we are now expecting again — Yes, expecting! So, now it’s the end of the school year, I thought that I would share this really yummy, really easy and healthy apple chutney recipe that I came up with last week when I had to quickly throw together one of those last minute, yet super delicious, home-cooked meals!

I needed the perfect side to go with my pork chops…. something fresh, crisp and summery…. and then it came to me — Apple chutney! Now, here’s the interesting part, the part where my chutney differs a little bit from other recipes…. there is no vinegar in this chutney recipe at all! The vinegar is actually replaced with cranberry juice, which allows the amount of sugar required to be significantly reduced, therefore making it much healthier than your typical chutney recipes! 🙂

So here it goes — hope you enjoy!

All you need is:

  • 3 diced Apples
  • 1/4 cup of Cranberry Juice
  • 1/4 cup of diced Onions
  • 1/4 cup of Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup of Cranberries
  • 1 tsp of Butter or Margarine
  • 1 tsp of Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Step One: In a small or medium sized frying pan, saute onions on medium heat in the butter or margarine, until golden-brown.

Tip: Add any extra seasoning that you like during the sauteing process, for extra flavor!

Step Two: Add the apples, cinnamon and cranberry juice. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for seven minutes, or until the apples are soft.

Tip: The cooking time will vary depending on the type of apples that you use. The softer the apple, the less time it will take for them to soften.

Step Three: Stir in the brown sugar and simmer for about two more minutes.

Tip: The addition of the brown sugar won’t only sweeten the mixture, but it will help to thicken it a little too, as it cools.

Step Four: Remove the mixture from heat, and add the sunflower seeds and dried cranberries — Then serve and enjoy!

Tip: It’s best to add the cranberries and sunflower seeds at the very end of the process, otherwise they may harden.

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