The Shady Porch: 06.11


A Longtime favorite - Velveeta Mostaccioli

I'm sharing a  dish that has been a family favorite for a very long time. It make look hard to make but looks are deceiving. This Velveeta Mostaccioli recipe comes together really quick and it is so worth making too! Yum-O! I'm sure it will be a favorite at your house too. 

Velveeta Mostaccioli recipe pasta casserole onedish
Leftovers (if there are any)...are just as good the next day!


4th of July Door Decoration

My family has always been thrifty. We take pride in getting a deal and saving $$. At the same time, we like nice things and enjoy living a good life. Holidays are a time of celebration with friends and family, but can break the budget if you don't pay attention. When hosting these celebrations, I try to go the extra mile to make them memorable but also affordable!

Patriotic Door Decor by The Shady Porch #doordecor #crafts #patriotic
This weekend we're celebrating Independence Day. In preparation to our annual cookout, I've started my decorating.One of my favorite thrifty stores is our local Dollar Tree (everything is $1.00), and I spent just about $5.00 to make this patriotic Front Door Decoration. 

1 Wine bottle gift bag

4 flower bundles - 2 red & 2 white

1 foam flower pot insert

1 Patriotic bow (you actually get 2 for $1)

That's it!

Partially opened wine gift bag
The only thing that might need some explanation is how I fixed the bag. Basically, I left the bottom of the bag folded and taped it so it would not open completely. Then I expanded the upper portion of the bag to hold the foam flower pot insert and flowers.

Finally, here it is on my front door! I hope it makes everyone feel welcome...because they are!

Happy 4th of July to you and yours!


Clock Repurposing Project

I loved our living room clock due to its large leather-look frame and decorative rustic tacks. It made a statement on our living room wall and happened to be functional too!  I was so disappointed when it suddenly quit keeping time. Long story short, I tried everything to fix the clock but to no avail. So I purchased a new clock and some Mod Podge. I was determined to keep that frame...but as what, if not a clock?

I pulled out my crafting whatnot bins and found my arty mojo and here is the new wall decoration in our guest room.

Clock Makeover #modpodge #repurpose #clock #crafts

I used my Mod Podge and a gift bag ripped into strips (kind of like doing a collage but with the same paper) to cover the clock face. Then I cut the words Joy, Glory and Peace out of another gift bag I had saved and attached them around the center. The center area of the clock was raised and I added a round mirror, since I had one.  Finally, I was able to use some of the glass river stones and pebbles I had on hand and randomly hot glued them from the center out to the frame.
I really did wing it from step-to-step, but, in the end, it was a easy project. I love to repurpose things rather than throwing them away!


BBQ Cookouts Say Summertime!

Grilled BBQ Chicken @chicken #grilled #BBQ
We've been saying it's summer since school let out but it's official now...this is SUMMER...a delightful time of cookouts, fireworks, fairs and parades. This time of year, I start scouring the cookbooks and blogs for new recipes. I love to surprise (or's a fine line!) my family with new menus! This summer we've added a smoker to our arsenal of 'Make 'em Say Wow' utensils. Whether it's chicken, pork or beef, if smoked properly, you will say Wow, when you've tasted it!

Last summer we took a trip to Louisville and tried a sampler platter at No bone throwin' in the aisles...Famous Dave's. The smoked Texas beef brisket with a little BBQ is the reason we own a smoker today. If you get a chance you should go see why Dave's so Famous (just my opinion...I received no compensation for this).

Besides firing up the smoker this weekend, there is a Lemonade Bundt cake I want to try soon!


Homemade Butter using a Mason Jar!

How to Make Homemade Butter Using A Jar #homemade #recipe #butter #masonjar
How to Make Homemade Butter Using A Jar
I am so excited to get this blog started. I want to share so much I really don't know where to begin. Squeal! I guess I'll start with my latest experiment. Homemade Butter.  I was surfing about uses for buttermilk and found instructions on how to make your own butter with nothing more than a jar with a lid and heavy whipping cream. Well, that sounded interesting since I had both…and sure enough, it worked!
How to Make Homemade Butter 
Using A Jar
clean jar with lid (of course, a blender, or food processor will also work...boring)
whipping cream
salt - as desired

Some sites say the whipping cream should be room temperature before you begin but I skipped that and went straight to shaking and it worked. I guess I just had to do a lot more shaking my way, which is fine since I needed the workout!

Pour whipping cream into the jar. Make sure you leave room for the shaking process, approximately 1/2 to 3/4 full. Tighten the lid on the jar and shake, shake and then shake some more.
During the shaking process, in the first phase the cream will thicken like whipped cream and in the second phase you will see it break down again and finally you will have a some liquid with a solid mass.
Shake until you have a solid mass sloshing around in the leftover liquid known as buttermilk! Shaking to butter stage takes approximately 15-20 minutes.

Drain the liquid and add cold water to the jar and slosh it around to rinse the butter. Now knead the butter or with a spatula press all of the liquid out. Rinse again and repeat the rinsing until the water runs clear. If you leave too much moisture in the butter it will spoil quickly.
Needless to say I had even more buttermilk afterward but the good news is we made awesome buttermilk pancakes for breakfast the next day!
Next time I am going to try making garlic butter and honey butter.

Other Shady Porch recipes you might like - 
Lemon Bundt Cake  and Lemon Creme Bars