recipe: chicken, spinach and rice casserole

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There was a week were Casey and I were obsessed with making chicken and rice things. Okay maybe it wasn't that many things- this casserole and a chicken and rice soup. But we ate both of those for almost a whole week. If I had to choose, this recipe would win over the soup every time. Although, the soup is a little friendlier to the waistline and very tasty. Anyways, you've gotta make this! It's so easy and D-E-LICIOUS. And the texture is the nicest. And if you think you don't like spinach, I especially need you to try this. Because you WILL like spinach... even if just for this casserole.
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Chicken, Spinach and Rice Casserole
Ingredients:
1/2 Rotisserie Chicken, Shredded
4 Cups Cooked White Rice
1 Small Onion
1 10 oz. Package Fresh Spinach
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese + 1/4 Cup for topping
1 Cup Milk
2 eggs
2 Tbs. Butter
1 tsp. Thyme, chopped
1 tsp. fresh Parsley, chopped
1 tsp. Basil, chopped
1/4 tsp. Ground Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Saute the onions in the butter and red pepper on medium-high heat.
3. Add the spinach and cook for about three minutes.
4. Whisk the milk and eggs together in a bowl.
5. Then add the chicken, cheese, herbs, rice, spinach mixture, salt and pepper. Mix it well.
6. Pour the mixture into a greased casserole dish. Top with the rest of the shredded cheese.
7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes then serve!

Serves: 6

the ultimate diy candle guide

Well, it's officially holiday season, I suppose. I've been hearing Christmas music in stores and such for a while now and Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet. It's crazy! But, if you're thinking about making some homemade gifts this season, you should consider making candles. It's easy and it's pretty fun to create your own fragrance. And you can name the candles after your friends, or whoever you are gifting them to. There are a variety of ways to create your own candles and while doing this tutorial, I tried a few different ways. So I put together this DIY candle guide.
Making candles is pretty easy, all you need is a container, a wick, some wax and something to scent the candle with. If you are using an old scented candle for your wax, you don't even have to add another scent element. If you are using old candles or tea lights, make sure to remove the wicks and any metal pieces.
Here are the instructions:
1. Glue the wick down to the bottom center of your container. Use hot glue.
2. Melt your wax in a microwave safe container. I eventually figured out that it's easiest to melt it in a measuring glass for easy pouring. Just leave it in the microwave until it's completely melted. The amount of wax you use will change depending on your container.
3. Let the wax cool for a couple minutes and then add your scent. You can use Scentsy wax, liquid scent, or a combination of both. Read the instructions on your liquid scent to know how much you should use. Mix it in.
4. Let it cool for a few more minutes and then pour the wax mixture into your container.
5. Let it cool completely. Sometimes air bubbles rise to the top and there are holes in your candle. If that happens, just re-melt your left over wax mixture and pour a little over the candle to fill in the holes.
6. Trim the wick.
Then all you need to do is come up with some creative names! What gifts are you going to be DIYing this year?

xo, Savannah

recipe: thanksgiving turkey and stuffing meatballs

Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
I am so ready to share my first post here as a contributor! I figured Thanksgiving is around the corner so I used it as my inspiration. We usually spend Thanksgiving with family, but I wanted to create something that has the essence of Thanksgiving in one dish that can be loved and adored at a pre-Thanksgiving party with friends aka Friendsgiving. Hence, Thanksgiving Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs with cranberry and gravy dipping sauces were born! I used cupcake toppers with fall leaves as toothpicks to create a more festive tone. These meatballs make a perfect appetizer and will definitely impress your friends. This recipe makes roughly 50 mini meatballs so invite all of your friends over and enjoy the holiday!
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
The day before cooking, leave out 8 slices of bread on a wire rack and let them dry out. You will need to flip them over one time. I like to lay them out in the morning and before I go to bed flip them over.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Chop the celery and onion and set aside in a bowl*.
*note: if you like a good crunch in your stuffing give the celery and onion a pretty rough chop like in the picture.
Use a serrated knife and cut the bread so they are about ¼ inch pieces. Place them in a separate large bowl.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Heat 1 ½ tbsp. butter in a nonstick skillet and sauté the onion and celery mixture for 5-7 minutes or until the onions become translucent and the celery slightly changes color. Add a good size pinch of salt once they are finished cooking. Add them to the bowl with the bread and mix.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Place the ground turkey, a bit of pepper and a hefty pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix using your hands. Add the sausage and break it up with your hands. Make sure it is fully incorporated into the turkey.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Place the bread mixture into the turkey and sausage mixture along with 1 ¼ tsp. of sage and mix together. Add the chicken stock slowly. We don’t want the mixture to be too wet. If it does get too wet add some breadcrumbs.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Preheat the oven to 330. Roll the meat and stuffing mixture so they are roughly the size of golf balls and place them on a baking sheet with a wire rack set on top.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Bake them in a 330 oven for 15 minutes. The meatballs should be slightly browned.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
While the meatballs are baking, pour a can of cranberry sauce into a saucepan and heat. Stir occasionally.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat.
Once the butter has melted, add 2 tablespoons of flour to the pan. Whisk the butter and flour together until the flour has turned brown and the mixture is bubbling.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. When the flour mixture has dissolved into the milk, season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until thickened.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
The gravy should coat the back of a spoon. You may have to add more milk, it really just depends on how thick you want your gravy.
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Turkey and Stuffing Meatballs
Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
8 oz. mild Italian sausage
8 slices thick white bread
Half medium onion, diced
3 stalks celery
1 cup chicken stock
pepper
1-2 tsp. salt
1 ¼ tsp ground sage
1 can cranberry sauce, or any homemade cranberry sauce
For Gravy:
Butter
Flour
Milk

Directions:
The day before cooking, leave out 8 slices of bread on a wire rack and let them dry out. You will need to flip them over one time. I like to lay them out in the morning and before I go to bed flip them over.
Chop the celery and onion and set aside in a bowl*. *note: if you like a good crunch in your stuffing give the celery and onion a pretty rough chop like in the picture.
Use a serrated knife and cut the bread so they are about ¼ inch pieces. Place them in a separate large bowl.
Heat 1 ½ tbsp. butter in a nonstick skillet and sauté the onion and celery mixture for 5-7 minutes or until the onions become translucent and the celery slightly changes color. Add a good size pinch of salt once they are finished cooking. Add them to the bowl with the bread and mix.
Place the ground turkey, a bit of pepper and a hefty pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix using your hands. Add the sausage and break it up with your hands. Make sure it is fully incorporated into the turkey.
Place the bread mixture into the turkey and sausage mixture along with 1 ¼ tsp. of sage and mix together. Add the chicken stock slowly. We don’t want the mixture to be too wet. If it does get too wet add some breadcrumbs.
Preheat the oven to 330. Roll the meat and stuffing mixture so they are roughly the size of golf balls and place them on a baking sheet with a wire rack set on top.
Bake them in a 330 oven for 15 minutes. The meatballs should be slightly browned.
While the meatballs are baking, pour a can of cranberry sauce into a sauce pan and heat. Stir occasionally.

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contributor post by: Nikole

diy: wire ear cuffs

I saw these awesome clip-on earrings on High on DIY and I immediately wanted to make them. The wire that I have is a little too thick to make hearts like Rinchen did but I did want to try to make an ear cuff. So I made an ear cuff and some triangle ones too. I have my ears pierced so I was worried they may look a little strange with my holes showing but the triangles covered them up pretty nicely. You just need some wire and some jewelry tools. Or if your wire is thin enough, your fingers will do! Anyways, here is what you do for both.
1. Bend your wire in two places to create a squared edge.
2. Repeat about a half inch down the wire to create a rectangle.
3. Twist the end pieces together.
4. Wrap the rectangle around a small round object, I used a paint brush.
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You may need to clamp the cuff a little on your ear when you first wear it but then you should be able to slide it on and off very easily.
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And here is what you do for the triangle ones!
1. Make a triangle with the wire.
2. Twist the wires together at the bottom of the triangle.
3. Create another triangle on the other side of the twist.
4. Twist the end pieces together and trim the ends.
5. Fold the end into the triangle.
6. Fold the whole piece in half where the twist is.
7. Then make another for your other ear!
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I'm ready to buy some thinner wire and make some more in different shapes now!
xo, Savannah

tutorial: straightened braid waves


Some of you may have seen the original version of this tutorial that I did last year and although it has over 1 million pins on Pinterest, I wanted to redo it with a little better instruction.

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When I had originally tried this on my hair, it didn't work very well. I tried it in a variety of ways and shared what worked best. The other day I had the urge to try this again in a way I hadn't tried before. The results? It was easy aaaand my hair went from super straight to wavy in no time! Here is what you do...

1. Braid your hair into several braids. I have pretty thick hair and only needed 6 braids. If you have thin hair, maybe try 4 braids. I just used clear elastics to secure the braids at the end.

2. Loosen the braids A LOT. I made mine as flat as possible. It was like a thin sheet of braid.

3. Starting from the top of the braid, clamp your straightener down. Hold it in place for a second and then open it up, move it down and clamp again. Repeat until you reach the end of the braid and then repeat on all braids.

4. Once the braids have cooled, spray with hairspray if you have some that you like. Then unbraid all of your braids.

5. Run your fingers through the braids to loosen the waves and do a quick tease with your fingers at the root of your hair to create some more body.

And that's it! I really like the soft wave that this creates. They are like hippy-esque waves. Like I need to put a headband around my forehead. And it's simple. Enough. Said.

xo, Savannah

tutorial: easy day to nite hair

We are so excited because today is our first contributor post ever! We will have 6 contributor posts every month for the next 6 months. Up first is Hannah from The Homesteady! Isn't she precious? This tutorial is pretty precious too. But enough from us, take it away Hannah!

I love this one for busy days. I don't have much time in the morning, and when I know I've got a long day ahead of me, this is what I pick. The daytime version is cute but no-nonsense, and it's so easy to get your hair nighttime-ready. This is especially good for women like me, whose hair doesn't hold a curl for very long. With this hairstyle, the waves stay for hours!
 Step one: Curl a few sections of hair away from your face.
Step two: Start on the left side, twisting your hair away from your face, beginning near your eyebrow.
Step three: Continue the twist down across the nape of your neck.
Step four: Secure with bobby pins.
Step five: Do the same thing on the right side.
Step six: Secure with bobby pins.
Step seven: Spray the whole twist with hairspray to secure.
Step eight: Go to work. 
Step nine: Remove all the bobby pins.
Step ten: Separate the curls using your fingers to form waves. 
That's all it takes!

contributor post by: Hannah