Dragonfly Treasure
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Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Tackle Whatever Thanksgiving Brings with This Emergency Holiday Dinner Playbook

Are you hosting a Thanksgiving feast? Avoid the headaches and the stress by using this helpful Thanksgiving emergency playbook.

Whether you’re trying out some new Thanksgiving trends or sticking to your tried-and-true traditional dishes this year, preparing Thanksgiving dinner is a daunting task that never goes smoothly. For most people, Thanksgiving dinner is the largest, most complex meal they’ll ever prepare, and just the logistics of how to plan Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming for most cooks.
While preparing the Thanksgiving meal can be stressful and exhausting, it’s less so if you keep the occasion manageable. Part of that is being prepared for the inevitable hiccups. Fortunately, the most important thing is spending quality time with family and friends. Years from now, your kitchen mishaps will be nothing but a funny story – if they’re remembered at all. Smooth things over with these holiday emergency tips.

1. The Bird Won’t Thaw

Thawing a turkey takes a long time – at least 24 hours in the refrigerator for every four pounds of bird. Whether you forgot to take the bird out of the freezer in time, or simply find yourself with a still-mostly-frozen bird that simply isn’t thawing as fast as you need it to, don’t panic. Stick the bird in a sink full of cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until the bird is thawed. The bird will take about 30 minutes per pound to thaw this way.

2. The Bird Is Undercooked

Grill it, roast it, deep-fry it, smoke it or brine it, cooking a turkey is at the center of Thanksgiving meal prep. Most cooks dread cutting into a Thanksgiving turkey to find it still raw inside – what a nightmare! You can salvage the situation by carving off and serving the parts that are cooked, and sticking the rest back in the oven while everyone eats.

3. The Bird Is Overcooked

Hey, at least it’s done! Unless you’re facing a National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation kind of situation, you can salvage the overdone turkey by smothering it in gravy.

4. The Breast Is Cooking Faster than the Thighs – a LOT Faster

Uh oh! Cover the breast with foil to keep it from overcooking. If necessary, you can carve off the breast and stick the rest of the bird back in the oven.

5. There Isn’t Enough Time to Cook the Bird

Cooking a turkey in the oven takes several hours – but you’ve run short of time. If you still have a few hours left, you can speed up cooking time by butterflying the bird. A small turkey will cook in as little as one and a half hours at 400 degrees if butterflied.

6. There Isn’t Enough Seating

Thanksgiving dinner may stretch the limits of your home’s capacity to accommodate guests, especially if you have a large family. It’s time to get creative – once all the seats at the dining room table and folding card tables are taken, start putting people around the coffee table, or seat them on a blanket on the floor, picnic-style. Give them some pillows so they can lounge decadently as they feast, like ancient Romans.

7. There Isn’t Enough Food

A key part of your Thanksgiving shopping strategy should be making sure you have enough food. In the event you have more guests than expected, whip up some extra mashed potatoes, soup, stuffing, rice or pasta.

8. You Have Bottles of Wine or Beer, and No Bottle Opener

It’s the one day of the year when you most need a drink, so of course you can’t get it out of the bottle. Fortunately, you can use the edge of a counter, a lighter or a belt buckle to open a bottle of beer. Most can openers will also open bottles. Need to open wine without a corkscrew? If you plan to finish the bottle, push the cork in. You can also use a screw, a shoe or a key to get the cork out.

9. Your Garbage Disposal Is Clogged

Oh no! How will you deal with cleanup now? You can probably fix a clogged disposal yourself by sticking a hex key in the six-sided hole on the bottom of the motor, and wiggling it to free to blockage.

10) You’ve Run Out of a Key Ingredient – Or Forgotten It Altogether

Recipe substitutions are your friend. There are truly very few instances when you can’t substitute something else for whatever it is you’re missing. Google “substitute for” and whatever it is you’re short of.

11. You’re Running Out of Sides

Need more sides? Whip up an easy stuffing with bread, broth, and poultry seasoning.

12. There Isn’t Enough Room in the Oven

Of course there isn’t. Grill (or deep-fry) the bird outside to make space.

13. Your Gravy Is Too Thick, Too Thin or Too Lumpy

You can thin thick gravy with hot water or broth, and thicken thin gravy by boiling some of the liquid off. Got lumps? Strain the gravy through a sieve for a smoother sauce.
In an operation as complex as making a large holiday meal, something’s bound to go wrong – probably more than one thing. But those things don’t have to ruin everyone’s good time. Be ready to roll with the punches, and you’ll find that making Thanksgiving dinner is much more enjoyable than it is harrowing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Friday, October 18, 2019

Haunted House Turned Victorian Christmas Home

I wanted to make a snow covered Victorian House.
I happened to be at the Dollar Tree and saw this lite up Haunted House.
My rusty light bulb started to flicker.

For a buck I figured I could play with it and see what I could do.

First I needed to remove the "hauntings"

Bye Bye ghost 
The windows popped easily off also.

More deconstruction was needed.
The top was held on to the bottom by tabs, which were easily separated.

I wanted to remove the "gray" piece from the bell tower
opening it up for more light to come through

Luckily there was only a screw holding it place.
I removed it and out it came

Of course the screw was holding the gray piece too. 
No worries, a little super glue will remedy that ;)

Bell tower back together and now open.

After snapping it back together, I opened up the windows so the light would shine through better.  It then was painted with Chalk paint
 in Ballet Slipper. I started with the SnowTex application for the snow covered look.

Slowly but surely I worked my way around the house applying the "snow"

Once done, I let it dry over night.

I glued small cut pieces of poly sheet to the inside of the windows. After they were dry I went over them with Super Gloss Mod Podge that left them with an old time wavy appearance. Once the windows were dry I gave the snow a light coat of Gloss Mod Podge and sprinkled crystal glitter for a bit of a sparkle.

I made tiny wreaths out of tinsel stems by wrapping around my finger 
and cutting them down.

The wreaths were glued to each side of the house

for berries I used red seed beads

and super glued them on using a paper clip.
I added a tiny bush and Snowman to the front of the house also.
I ended up adding filigree bead caps to the bell tower at the last minute ~
they're difficult to see, but oh so cute.

Once everything was dry, it was sealed to lessen any shedding.
Popped in the battery operated tea light and we're all set!

Tea light off.


Tea light on, daytime.



 In the dark, look how the light shines through the windows!

Love the way it turned out.
It's available in my Etsy Shop ♥


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