Days With Daniele

Cooking, Creating, and Chaos

It’s a New Year!

Sorry I fell off the grid for a while, my mother in law taught me how to crochet and we were working on a bunch of projects. Her and I crocheted our buns off all December because of the town craft fair and different orders that we got on crocheted items. here’s some pictures of what we been up to:




Cool huh? We do all different types of animals and hats, just ask and we can make it.
A lot has happened since we talked last: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, I got two jobs, and school started up today. Busy has become my midde name; but that’s ok, I was going a little stir crazy doing nothing.
One important thing I really have to mention is New Year’s traditions. In my family, and in the South, every New Years you eat black eyed peas and ham, our hoppin’ John, for good luck. So, did you get your black eye peas and ham? Well it’s not too late, here us a recipe to get you lucky in 2013: Black Eyed Peas


Boiling away!


Ready to eat!


The ham literally falls of the bone. Yummmy


Now that is a lucky lunch!
That recipe makes a lot, and if you don’t have a big family, make a big batch and save it for a day you need a little lucky pick me up. Here’s what you do:
1. Spray Pam in muffin tins
2. Ladle the soup in the tins so its full
3. Freeze
4. Once frozen, pop out if the tins and put in a Ziploc bag!


Good luck!


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Halloween: Decorating With What You Have and a Treat To Boot

I like halloween. Its a day for everyone to be creative and make kids happy. Most think it is about the candy, but not for me. In my family we passed out juice boxes and granola bars- all the kids liked the juice! This year we passed out candy and the leftover wedding bubbles we had; the bubbles were a hit!

So my husband and I usually carve pumpkins, but we couldn’t find any good ones to carve and didn’t want to spend the money on it. I had to get creative! The house we live in hasn’t had a “come trick-or-treat” at our house family in it for a long time, so I had to decorate in some way that would let the kiddos know we were here. With little money and a little effort i put out some pretty fun decorations and got some really great comments on them.

All I did was save milk jugs for a month, find some faces on the internet and cut them out (I looked up pumpkin/ghost printable templates). I glued them on one side of the jug and cut a hole in the back. Then i took Christmas lights and put a handful or two in each jug and lit them up. Cute huh? and it didn’t cost me a dime extra. I was drinking the milk anyway- call it another ‘Decorating With What You Have’

Not only did I get crafty on my decor, I made a little sweet treat for our friends and neighbors. I call them oreo truffles, some call them oreo balls; I mad them look like mummies! Here’s the recipe


  • 1 package of Oreos (spend the extra dime and get the real ones- it is worth it!)
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1 package of white chocolate bark or any other color candy melt


  1. Splice each cookie and scrape frosting into a large bowl (if you leave the frosting on it makes the next step gunky)
  2. Put the cookies in a gallon Ziploc bag and crush the cookies until fine; put the crumbs in the bowl
  3. Cut up cream cheese in 1/2 inch cubes; put in the bowl with the cookie crumbs and frosting
  4. Mix the ingredients together with your hands- the best tool in the kitchen
  5. Make tablespoon size balls or however big you want and put on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper
  6. I HIGHLY suggest you refrigerate or freeze them for an hour before you start the next step

I did not take pictures up to this point…. it was really late when i busted these out

  1. Melt the chocolate/ color candy melt. NOTE: Follow the directions on the package to melt the chocolate; Also, do not try adding color to white chocolate bar, it can seize the chocolate up
  2. Take the Oreo balls out of the fridge/freezer and dip them into the melted chocolate. When it is covered put it back on the parchment paper and let the chocolate harden NOTE: The bottom of the ball may flatten, if you don’t want that put it on a stick or toothpick and stick in Styrofoam to let the chocolate drip of
  3. Double Dip after the chocolate is completely hardened. NOTE: your first batch of white chocolate might get Oreo-y. Change the chocolate and double dip so it’s clean
  4. Decorate! I mummified mine by drizzling three lines of white chocolate over the ball and adding two mini chocolate chips. CUTE!

When i handed them out to our friends i put them in Ziploc bags and printed off a little labels that said, Unwrap some fun and have a Happy Halloween! They were great and everyone loved them. One of the families I gave some to came and trick-or-treated for more.


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Meal Plan Monday: 10/29/12 – 11/03/12

Well yet again it is not Monday, but I have a reason. This week is my husbands volleyball subdistricts and I didn’t know how many games we would be playing, so i didn’t know how much i should cook. The girls have been kicking butt and they are playing a lot of games, so that means I have cooked one night at home. Oh well here is what I had planned

MONDAY:  Game Day Food

TUESDAY: Game Day Food OR Shrimp Jambalaya

  • Get a box of spanish rice, and follow the directions
  • Add peppers and onions
  • Add shrimp
  • Cook away!

WEDNESDAY: Loaded Baked Potatoes and Corn

THURSDAY: Game Day OR Sesame Chicken and Fried Rice

FRIDAY: Chicken Parm Sandwiches (we still haven’t gotten to it yet)


SUNDAY: Chicken Alfredo– box mix. don’t get to excited



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Krazy Kitty Korner

My kitties never cease to make me smile. I saw them in the window sill the other day and couldn’t help but feel a little warmth in my heart. My favorite comic is the “Love Is…” comic, it is just so cute; but if my kitties in the window sill were a love is comic it would say

“Love is… snuggling up in the window sill with your best friend”

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Meal Plan Monday: 10/22/12 – 10/28/12

SO…. it’s Tuesday. My husband hogged the computer every time I was planning on blogging. Oh well, gotta love husbands. I have to say that Monday’s dinner was quite delish!

OH also! This week do you want to know how much i spent on ingredients for dinner? $7. That’s better than both of us eating at McDonald’s for a week! How did I do this? I try and plan my weekly meals around things that I have in the kitchen to keep costs down, I think everyone does that right? I learned this from years ago when i realised that my pantry was quite full because I kept grocery shopping when I had things in my house. So for the next two weeks I was using up the pantry. It was almost like when I first started blogging and we had no money! But $7, can’t beat that!

MONDAY: Grandma Rooney’s Cheesy Chicken Casserole

I was going to blog about it today, but it was so yummy we ate it up before we could get a single picture of it! WHOOPS! Here is the recipe though, you have to try it!


  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2-4 cups cooked chicken, cubed/ pulled apart
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. Cheese Wiz or Velveeta
  • 1/2-1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, choppped
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • crushed potato chips


  1. Cook the macaroni until about half done, drain, and set aside
  2. Mix together soups, broth, milk, and Cheese Wiz/Velveeta until smooth (if you use Velveeta there will be little lumps, but that is ok!)
  3. Add macaroni, chicken, onion, mushrooms, and pepper; mix
  4. Pour into a greased baking dish and c over with cheddar cheese
  5. Cover and bake approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees
  6. Remove cover, sprinkle with potato chips and bake another 30 minutes uncovered

My husband doesn’t like the potato chips on top, so you can omit them if you like. Also you have to try it with honey drizzled on top. I know it sounds odd, but my mother and I swear by it!!! It is delish! You won’t regret it!

TUESDAY: Game Day Food

WEDNESDAY: Shrimp Po Boys and Sweet Potato Fries

Inspired by the Food Network, this is what cost me $7; shrimp and buns

THURSDAY: Game Day Food

FRIDAY: Crock Pot Sesame Chicken and Homemade Fried Rice


SUNDAY: Chicken Marinara Sandwhiches and Roasted Potatoes


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Dammit Doll

I don’t know if you know what  a ‘Dammit Doll’ is, but I am finding that not many people do. To be honest, I didn’t either until until this summer. I was in halmark and saw these voodoo looking dolls but with cool fabric and a cute little poem to go along.

These dolls are meant for a time of frustration so you can take your anger out on something other than the world. My friend has kind of a frustrating life sometimes and I thought a dammit doll would be a cute little gift to let her know that I cared, unfortunately they are $14.50 online (you can find them anywhere, just google search it). So  I decided to make my own!

Here’s How I did Mine:

  1. Cut out the Dammit Doll Pattern with any fun fabric you would like. Here’s what I used:
  2. Put the right side of the fabric facing in and sew together leaving a 1 inch gap
  3. Turn the fabric inside out pushing all the edges out with a chopstick or something long
  4. Stuff with stuffing or folded up batting (i made mine as tightly filled as possible)
  5. When it’s filled to the brim, sew off the 1 inch gap with thread
  6. DECORATE- add a bow tie, buttons, hair, eyes, ears, etc… I used whatever i had to make it cute
  7. Add a poem- The original doll has the poem sewn on the belly. It is just as easy to print off the poem and put it on a little card and tie it around it’s neck, or put it in the box. Here’s the poem that makes the dammit doll the dammit doll

When you want to climb the wall
and stand right up and shout
Here’s a little Dammit Doll
You cannot do without

Just grasp it firmly by the legs
and find a place to slam it
and as you whack the stuffing out
yell Dammit, Dammit, Dammit!

If Dammit’s not a word you say
then twist its little neck
and grumble repeatedly
Oh heck, oh heck, oh heck!

And once you’re done abusing it
just sit it on a shelf
but hug it first, as I’d hug you
if I were there myself…

Cute huh? I love it! Here is a website for a homemade dammit doll that is soooooooooooo cute and the container they put it in is adorable too! I just decided to use what I had instead of going out and buying stuff!

Note: A dammit doll doesn’t have to be perfect, so don’t worry about your mistakes, they make it unique. Also, the doll is meant to be smacked and strangled!

Here’s how mine turned out and my friend loved it!

So if you have a frustrated friend or if you are frustrated, try a dammit doll!

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Potato Skin Chips and Dip

I have kind of been on this “what-can-I-do-with-the-parts-of-food-I-don’t-typically-use” kick. So the other day we had mashed potatoes, and i looked at my pile of potato peels and decided to be creative! I looked up a bunch of stuff and found a bunch of recipes for potato skin chips. The best looking and most popular recipe was along the lines of this. I would have made those, but I didn’t have parmesan cheese off hand and I was pinching pennies. So this is what I did instead:


  • Potato Peels
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Fiesta Ranch Packet


Peel your potatoes! Any size will do; i used a regular hand peeler and had thin chips.

Soak the peels in water to get rid of any extra dirt and to release some of the startch, and pat dry (they are crispier that way)

Toss the potato peels with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper- This is the place where you can get creative and crazy! Get that burger seasoning out from the back of your spice cabinet, add a little hot sauce, cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, etc- HAVE FUN! After seasoned, lay out on a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 15-30 min at 450 degrees. The smaller the potato strips the less time you will need, after 15 minutes I would watch them closely!

Mix up your dip- again be creative! I used greek yogurt and fiesta ranch dip packet. Dip and enjoy!

So, the next time you peel potatoes DON’T throw your peels away!

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Meal Plan Monday: 10/15/12 – 10/21/12

So I know it’s not Monday, but I have been away from my blog for a week and I have missed it! I went MIA because I visited my dear family that I live 6 hours away from. It was good to see them, but it is very good to be back home with my hubby and also my kitties! I missed them sooooo very m very much! I did learn something from my trip home: My husband loves me so much and needs me by his side, and also that absence makes the heart grow very much fonder! So if you ever need your husband to appreciate everything you do, take a 5 day trip away from him.

I had to go grocery shopping when I came back, because the kitchen was barren after me being gone for 5 days, and that meant I had to plan out this coming weeks meals!

MONDAY: Game Day Food

TUESDAY: Game Day Food

WEDNESDAY: Pork Loin (just one of those pre-marinated ones) and Herb Butter Rice

THURSDAY:  Barnyard Burgers- a hamburger with bacon and a fried egg (get it barnyard- cow, pig, chicken), and Sweet Potato Fries

FRIDAY: Mom’s Cheesy Chicken Casserole- recipe to come later

SATURDAY: Dinner & Theater Night

SUNDAY: Hubby Pick



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Krazy Kitty Korner

I was cleaning yesterday, and look what I stumbled on!

“Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of …cats!”

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Meal Plan Monday: 10/1/12 – 10/7/12

So here’s Meal Plan Monday on Tuesday. Somehow our house became a pit over the weekend, so my husband bribed me with shoes to clean the whole house. It’s amazing what you will do when you know that you are getting shoes. I haven’t picked them out yet, and I might not, but I got the house cleaned!

MONDAY: Volleyball Game- Game Food

TUESDAY: Bacon- Wrapped Apple BBQ

I saw it on Pinterest and it looked so good, plus it is made in a crock pot, so you know it’s effortless!

WEDNESDAY: Enchilada Bake

We haven’t gotten to this yet!

THURSDAY: Team Meal for husband, leftovers for me

FRIDAY: Game Day Food and Birthday Celebration for a friend

SATURDAY: Loaded Baked Potatoes

Didn’t get to this dinner either last week

SUNDAY: Husband’s pick

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