Recipes

Make Your Own Pizza

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas celebration this past week- a time filled with love and laughter with family and friends.

I don’t know about you, but I love pizza. It’s easy, versatile, and delicious. Whenever I go home to Minnesota, my family requests that I make this favorite dish, and I would like to share this with my readers. Ready? Let’s do it!

Embarque & Co. DIY Pizza

Ingredients:

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  • Pilsbury Pizza Crust Dough (thin crust)
  • ~1 Tbs of Olive Oil
  • 1 handful of Parsley, chopped
  • 1 lb of Sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, diced
  • 1 C of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 1/2 Bell Peppers (or 1.5 Cups)
  • 1/2 White Onion, chopped
  • 1 C of Portobello Mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 C Black Olives, diced
  • 1 C of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 C Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 handful of Basil, chopped

 

Note: My family enjoys a lot of veggies and meat on our pizza, but you may not enjoy all of these toppings, so feel free to add or take away as you like.

Directions:

1.) Heat the oven to 425 degrees F

2.) Chop all of your ingredients (as suggested)

3.) Brown your meat with the diced garlic

3.) Spray your cookie sheet with cooking spray, and take the pizza dough, roll on the cookie sheet, and spread so the dough extends on the edges. Drizzle with olive oil and spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the parsley over the dough

4.) Cook in the oven for 8 minutes (or until golden brown)

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5.) Turn down your oven to 375 degrees F

6.) Spread the pasta sauce over your dough, add your vegetable toppings and meat, and cover with cheese. Sprinkle on the basil.

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7.) Bake for 14 minutes (or until cheese is thoroughly melted). Take out of the oven and let sit for a moment or two, cut and serve.

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This meal is a great idea for a date night for you and your significant other. It’s always fun to cook together.

I hope you enjoy making this pizza as much as you enjoy eating it!

 

With Love,

Jenna

Parties/Entertaining · Recipes

Rich and Simple (No Bake) Dessert Truffles

Merry Christmas Eve,

I’m so happy you’re able to spend a little bit of your Christmas Eve with me. I want to share a very simple and decadent dessert with you all. This my family’s favorite, and I make it for them every Christmas.

Oreo Truffles

Ingredients:

  • 1-16 oz. bag of Oreos
  • 1-8 oz. package of Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese
  • 1 package of chocolate almond bark (10 squares needed)
  • 1 package of vanilla almond bark (2 squares needed)
  • Additional items needed (Rolling pin, hand mixer, 2 ziplock bags, pyrex measuring cup, parchment paper, a large mixing bowl, spoon)

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Directions:

1.) Put your container of Oreos in a Ziplock bag (with all excess air out), and roll the bag until the bag are in a powder form (this takes a little while). When I like to do is hit the Oreos with the rolling pin in hammering motion, then roll the pin away from myself once the cookies are crushed.

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2.) Add together the Neufchatel cheese and crushed Oreos

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3.) Using a hand mixer, blend together the two ingredients until the mixture is black with no white specks.

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4.) Scoop into ~1″ balls and place on a cookie tray covered in parchment paper. Freeze for 1 hour

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5.) Place 8 chocolate squares in a Pyrex measuring cup (or a microwavable safe bowl), and heat for 30 second intervals- stirring until smooth (it generally ends up taking 3 minutes total, or 6, 30 second intervals). Drop the ball into the chocolate almond bark, roll until completely covered in chocolate and place on parchment paper.

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Note: As you can see, this gets quite messy, so don’t wear your nice new sweater while making this 😉

6.) Melt two bars of white almond bark (using same method as above). Scoop into a plastic baggie, cut a tiny corner, and drizzle.

You could you many cute designs with this, but I just did a simple zigzag.

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7.) Let sit for about 10 minutes (or until the bark dries).

Personally, I like to keep these in the fridge or freezer to keep them fresh. These truffles should be served chilled.

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I hope each of you have a very Merry Christmas with your family, and have plenty of rest and relaxation.

 

Merry Christmas,

Jenna

 

Home Decor · Life

Last Minute DIY Gift

Happy Tuesday, Embarquers!

 

It’s finally Christmas week! I’m sure there are some of you out there looking for a last-minute gift idea for those you may have forgotten to put on your Christmas list. Here are some quick and easy gifts sure to please.

 

DIY Ring Necklace

Items:

  • a fine 18″ necklace chain
  • 15- 7mm Jump Rings
  • Spaghetti Noodle or wire (optional, to thread )

 

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Directions:

1.) Simply lay out your chain (gold, silver or rose gold) on your workspace

2.) Thread as many rings as you can fit on a wire or noodle

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3.) Dangle the end of your necklace directly above the rings and thread

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4.) Wrap your your necklace and gift!

 

Decoupage Canvas Art

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What you Need:

  • Canvas
  • Printed Image (I like landscapes and architecture , but you could also print a image of you and the gift receiver)
  • Mod Podge (Matte Finish)
  • Foam Paint Brush
  • Nor
  • Acrylic Paint (I like black)

 

Directions:

1.) Paint the edges of your canvas as well as the sides and let dry

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I added extra paint to add some depth and texture

2.) Take your canvas and paint a coat of Mod Podge on the canvas

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3.) Place your picture on the canvas and smooth down the picture on the canvas

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4.) Paint another coat of Mod Podge on the picture as well as the edges to seal the image to the canvas

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5.) Let dry, wrap and gift!

 

Go on your way, and get gifting!

 

Merry Christmas,

Jenna

 

Parties/Entertaining

Christmas Entertaining with Ease

Good Day!

I’m glad I can be a part of your holiday party planning. This can be a very stressful time of year, especially for those entertaining for Christmas Eve and/or Day. The best way to relieve this stress is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time.

By starting to prepare for the event several days ahead of time, you leave less to go awry last minute.

The best way to start is by looking back at Set Your Table the Thrifty Way for starters. From there, we will customize for your party.

Table Setting:

Like stated before, it’s a great idea to keep your plates simple and add color and zest in your napkins and centerpiece.

The napkins were purchased at Target, plates were purchased at HomeGoods, and the flatware is Oneida.

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I took spruce clippings (two types), placed on the napkin, and tie with a sheer ribbon (an alternative to a napkin ring)

Below is a simple and inexpensive (>$14) centerpiece for the dining room table:

You’ll need:

  • Floating Candles -$2
  • Glass bowl or vase – $5
  • Cranberries- $1.50
  • Spruce needles- $5

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle a handful of needles on the bottom of the bowl or vase
  2. Fill  3/4 full of water
  3. Fill with cranberries
  4. Place floating candles on top and light (once you’re ready to enjoy)

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To decorate the rest of the table, simply, go to your local florist, buy a bundle of spruce clippings, and lay the table with cranberries sprinkled about.

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Mood:

Whenever I entertain, I have to have background music. The best soundtrack for the season is definitely the Frank Sinatra (Holiday) Radio on Pandora Radio.

Appetizer:

I strongly suggest having a veggie tray for an appetizer. This insures the kiddos stuff their face with veggies and not a filling cheese ball. You can either go to your local grocery store and buy a pre-made tray, or you can pick your veggies, cut them the day before (keep in an airtight container in the fridge) and place on a tray the day of your event.

Here is an adorable veggie tray from Mom Endeavors

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The Meal:

The best way to be stress-free is by putting your main dish in the Crock-Pot. This is an awesome way to set it and forget it.

I’ve attached a delightful and easy recipe for you:

The Frugal Girls Best Crock Pot Ham Recipe

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Games:

I always suggest having a variety of games for your party. This is a great way for people to get to know one another if there’s a variety of friends and family that don’t know one another. This will also keep the family from talking about religion or politics 😉

  • Minute to Win It Games– This is a wonderful ice breaker that can be played in teams. Click HERE to see the variety of games used with common household objects
  • Catch Phrase– this my family’s favorite. This is a fast-paced game where one person is given a word or phrase and the people on your team must guess the word by giving them clues
  • Cards Against Humanity (Adults only)- An adult version of Apples to Apples (Make sure everyone playing has a good sense of humor)

 

 

By doing these ahead of time, you will be much more at ease on the day of your get-together.

 

Merry Christmas,

Jenna

Life · Parties/Entertaining

DIY Tacky Christmas Sweaters

Happy Monday, Embarquers!

I hope you all had a restful weekend, and a wonderful last night of Hanukkah (to all of my Jewish friends).

This weekend I was invited to a Tacky Christmas Sweater themed party (which seem to be incredibly popular these past few years) and didn’t have a sweater to wear. I looked in stores and they’re ~$30 (way too much for a one-time sweater). I decided to make on own sweater for less than 10 dollars. Feel free to create any tacky christmas sweater your heart desires, but if you’re more of a, ‘Follow exact instructions,‘ kind-of-person, then follow along below.

 

Supplies:

  • Old Sweater (you never wear and planned on donating)
  • Sparkly Pipe Cleaner
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

 

Directions:

1.) Start by bending your green pipe cleaner at ~90 degree angles for the outline of the Christmas tree. Lay the pipe cleaners on the shirt and secure with hot glue. (Note: Your tree doesn’t have to look perfect-the kookier, the better for this project)

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2.) Continue bending the pipe cleaners to fill in the green space, and secure with hot glue

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3.) Lay out the tinsel on your tree, and secure

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4.) Continue bending and laying out the cleaners to fill in the blank space within the lines of the tree

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5.) Add decorative balls to the tree by bending the wire and cutting (I know they look like rods, but it works)

6.) Glue to your sweater

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7. Add on some decorative touches (I put on some snowflakes). Feel free to get silly with your decorations, add on poms, bells, tinsel, etc…

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This would also be an awesome intimate gathering to do with your friends the night before a party. Add in some cider (posted last Monday), and you’re good to go!

Have fun!

 

With Love,

Jenna

Recipes

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Hey, Embarquers,

I’m quite excited to share this new recipe of a household staple, chicken noodle soup. There are few things better than a big bowl of homemade soup on a cold winter day.

This was a bit of a trial and error and adapting different recipes, but I think this turned out quite delicious.

Embarque & Co’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (Serves 8-10)

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Ingredients:

  • 3- 48 oz containers of Free Range Organic Chicken Stock
  • 10 oz Wide Egg noodles
  • 2 cups of cubed or pulled chicken
  • 1.5 cups of chopped celery
  • 1.5 cups of chopped carrots
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic minced
  • 7 bay leaves
  • 12 thyme sprigs (de-twigged)
  • A handful of fresh basil (ripped)

 

Instructions:

  1. Pour the chicken stock into a large pot on the stove, and bring to a boil
  2. Chop the chicken, celery, carrots, onion, mushrooms, garlic, and basil

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3. Add the noodles to the chicken stock and boil until al dente (~4 minutes)

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4. Turn down the heat to low and add in the remaining ingredients

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5. Keep the mixture at a simmer for an hour stirring occasionally

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6.) Devour 😉 (this is always delicious with saltine or butter-flavored crackers)

 

I store this soup in quart containers in the freezer making it easy to pull out two servings at a time (and always keep one in the fridge for a quick meal).

 

With Love,

Jenna

Recipes

The Perfect Cup of Cider

Happy Monday, Everyone,

Wishing you had a lovely weekend. Down here in the Austin, the weather was perfect sweater weather, and the changing leaves are finally here!

I don’t know about you, but being able to make the perfect cup of cider can be a difficult task, but I’m quite sure I’ve finally reached the point… Introducing, Embarque & Co’s Delightful Apple Cider- don’t worry, there aren’t any bizarre or expensive ingredients.

I suggest serving this at a Christmas or Hanukkah party (whether you’re the host or guest). I’m going to give you two options for making this cider, a single serving and party size.

Ready, set, go!

 

Embarque & Co’s Delightful Apple Cider- Party Size

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Gallon- Louisburg Apple Cider
  • .62 oz  container- Whole Cloves
  • 2 Tbs – Cinnamon (Ground or stick form)
  • 2 Oranges (sliced)

Directions:

1.) Shake your gallon of cider vigorously to mix up the spices. In a Crockpot, pour in the gallon of apple cider and set on medium.

2.) Add in 2 Tbs of cinnamon, container of cloves and slices of oranges. Mix together thoroughly.

3.) Let simmer for at least 4 hours (mix every hour). Turn to warm when you’re ready to serve.

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Embarque & Co’s Delightful Apple Cider- Personal Serving

 

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Ingredients:

12 oz- Apple Cider
2- Whole Cloves
1 pinch – Cinnamon (Ground or in stick form)
1/2 Oranges (sliced)
Directions:

1.) Vigorously shake your gallon of cider to mix up the spices in the cider. In your favorite coffee mug, pour your cider.

2.) Add in a pinch of cinnamon, 2 cloves and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Mix thoroughly.

3.) Squeeze your slices of orange, mix again.

Enjoy!

If you’re feeling extra decadent, add in a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle with caramel 😉 .

Have a beautiful Monday!

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor

Decoration Ideas for Christmas -Less than $100

Happy Friday, All,

If you haven’t already, I’m sure you’re getting ready to deck your halls with red and green galore. I’m here to help make sure you don’t overspend and get the greatest bang for your buck.

A person needs to be very strategic to stretch every penny when it comes to decorating for the holidays (because there are hundreds of thousands of options). Christmas can feel like the Target Daze (what I like to call it)-this is when you go in to Target for two items, and you end up purchasing a cart full of items you didn’t need but couldn’t resist because it was all on sale. Ladies and Gents, we need to stay focused 😉 !

Ready? Okay, good! Here we go.

1.) Christmas Tree (~$50)

If you don’t have a tree (like I didn’t), then get your booty to Hobby Lobby and go grab one!

You may be thinking, ‘Jenna… There goes my $100…’ Nope, think again. I bought an adorable 5″ tree (with lights) for $40 at Hobby Lobby.

You can also buy mini live trees at your local hardware store or grocery store. All Christmas decor at Hobby Lobby is currently 50% off, so you can load up ornaments (~$5/box of 10 ornaments)

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This is the Christmas tree in my living room

2.) Garland (~$15)

This is where you need to use your creativity. What I did last year was I trimmed my bushes and used this for garland (I kid you not). This is a (practically) free resource you have. If you don’t have bushes, you can trim some tree branches that are getting a little long.

  1. Once you have a bundle ~4 inches in diameter, lay the branches out on your mantle (or wherever you like to hang your garland), very gently, tie your branches together with wreath wire.
  2. From there, you’ll grab some accessories from the wreath making department at your local craft store, and slide them into the wreath. Secure the accessories with wreath wire, and weave in battery powered LED lights (these run at ~$10 at Lowe’s and Home Depot).
  3. Voila, You’re done! Enjoy your thriftiness
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This is a great example from Pottery Barn, but I would have a greater ratio of twigs to pine and berries

3.) Christmas Pillow (~$20)

It really only takes a single pillow to make a statement. I would layer this on top of neutral colored existing pillows. Here are some great options.

 

Festive Bowls ($5)

Use some existing clear bowls to fill with pinecones and ornament balls to add festive flair to any room.

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This is a great example from the Rusty Hinge 

 

DIY Christmas Art (~$10)

This was inspired by some art I did as a kindergartener. All you need is a canvas, green, silver, red, white, yellow, and brown acrylic paint (99 cents per bottle).

1.) Draw a triangle on your canvas with a rectangle at the bottom.

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2.)  Fill in your triangle with the green color of your choice (This doesn’t have to be perfect. This is simply a base color on your canvas)

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3.) Mix up several green colors to add depth to your tree. You can do this by simply adding a little white and a little black to your tree. Then make a “V” with your brush to add a certain effect to your tree

4.) You’re going to build layers of paint to your tree to add even more depth

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5.) Add silver for your snow and a star on top of your tree!

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6. Dip an eraser (on a pencil) into red paint to add red decorative balls on your tree.

7.) Enjoy!

 

No go and play some Christmas music, drink some hot chocolate, and have fun with your projects!

 

With Love,

Jenna