Amazon Affiliate, Blog, featured, food, kitchen, recipes

Wings!

It’s no secret that my hubby and I love chicken wings. We are probably junk food junkies. However, that doesn’t always fit the lifestyle of a mom trying to teach her kids healthy eating habits. So what to do!?

Last year my mom gave me an air fryer for my birthday and I was at first slightly perplexed. I did take it for a test run when my mother in law was visiting to make some frozen mozzarella sticks and boy, were they good! So I started to experiment.

I made frozen chicken wings and they were ok. They weren’t amazing. In fact, they were a little dry! I knew we could do better. I Pinterest searched, I googled, I even poked around in the cookbook that came with the air fryer. I just wasn’t happy with anything I found. So I just went for it. I bought chicken wings, cut them into pieces and tried my hand air frying them. The wings themselves turned out pretty good. They weren’t super greasy and they had a bit of crunch. My problem was the sauces. I LOVE parmesan garlic wings. It’s the hubby’s fault. I tried a butter based recipe and while the taste was ok, it just wasn’t the same flavor that I wanted or enjoyed from a very popular pizza chain.

Tonight, I solved that problem. Hubs texted me around noon saying he wanted wings for dinner. So I did what anyone who is reading articles for grad school would do, I set that aside to search parmesan garlic sauce recipes. Ok, that is what I would do because I procrastinate, all the time!

In my search I came across this one from hellthyjunkfood.com and figured why not?! It was different and didn’t call for sticks of butter like the others I had tried. We bought packs of chicken wings from Walmart, chopped them up, and air fried them at 400 for 24 minutes on the chicken setting. Then we tossed them in different wing sauces. My absolute favorite was the parmesan garlic sauce! I even bought shredded parm to sprinkle over my wings after they were coated in sauce. Heavenly. Serious. They were amazing. I do believe the combination of roasted garlic and the herb blend just put these over the top. They were so delicious. The chicken was crisp on the outside while still juicy inside and tossed in sauce for wing perfection.

We also used a caribbean jerk sauce bottled by Great Value, Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing sauce and Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory Brown Sugar barbecue sauce. In all we had four very distinct flavors to satisfy everyone’s cravings. While Sloth only chose to partake in the bbq and parmesan garlic wings, TheRebel felt adventurous and tried to eat the jerk wings. She likes some spicy food, but these were a little much. Hey. At least she tried, right?! They had a sweet start and a nice spicy finish, and considering it was a Great Value brand- I won’t complain! They were pretty tasty. Check out pics below, and I’ll post the affiliate link to the air fryer I use.

Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory BBQ Sauce
Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce
hellthyjunkfood.com Parmesan Garlic wings
Parmesan garlic wings using the hellthyjunkfood.com recipe
Great Value Caribbean Jerk
Caribbean Jerk sauce, Great Value brand from Walmart
Buffalo wing sauce
Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
The wing spread
Don’t they look delicious!

Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link!

As promised, here is the link to the same air fryer I use.

It is the Power Air Fryer XL 5.3 quart, and when I am not using it, I store it on a shelf in my pantry. We have used this to make crispy french fries, wings, mozzarella sticks, and many other treats that we normally love fried- but without the actual frying. I will say that the “recipe” book that came with mine was painfully horrible to read. It had missing ingredients, little to no editing, and I considered it more of a guideline than actual recipe book. Do yourself a favor and search online for air fryer recipes, you’ll get actual user experience and better results.

 

Amazon Affiliate, Blog, crafts

House Shirts

When I posted about the wizard hats I made, I promised to share our house shirts as well. Clearly, I need to write things down, because I forgot! My kids have loved Harry Potter for years, we’ve had several themed Potter parties, family movie nights, and the ultimate experience at Universal Orlando. We are Potterheads. Being sorted in to our houses has resulted in a lot of family squabbling…TheRebel was a long time Gryffindor, and when she joined Pottermore she found out she was actually a Slytherin. So, that called for a change of her house colors. Sloth discovered that while he always considered himself a Hufflepuff, he was sorted in to Gryffindor. I am and always will be a Hufflepuff. Hubs has varied a few times on Gryffindor or Hufflepuff, but the latest sorting quiz placed him with me.

This made for quite an interesting dynamic at the park. The cast members were so great about not only recognizing our girl on her birthday, but also our hats and shirts. We got many, many comments on her being the only Slytherin in a house of Puffs! One cast member went above and beyond. We were in Ollivander’s when he struck up a conversation with hubs. He loved our hats and when he was told I made them, he was speechless. He pointed at our shirts and hubs nodded that I had made those too. He then noticed TheRebel’s birthday pin and escorted us to the front of the line to ride Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts. Seriously, we felt like celebrities. It was just one of the amazing experiences we had in the Wizarding World. If you love Harry Potter and you get a chance to go- do it! You will not be disappointed.

Now, on to the shirts. These were not fancy shirts. I wanted a shirt for everyone that basically said what house they were in and had the mascot/ crest. I also decided that I would put everyone’s year on the shirt. Everyone knows that eleven year olds are first years, so that is what Sloth had on his shirt. TheRebel is a third year and hubs and I were alumni. That little detail just made out shirts a little more unique. I bought myself and TheRebel shirts at Target. Florida is hot and humid, so these were lightweight shirts, hers a green, mine a mustard yellow (which I LOVE). Hubs and Sloth I bought plain mens t-shirts, grey and black; although Sloth also got a yellow shirt because I felt the black one might have been a touch small.

I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 and its associated software to design my shirts. The house crests I actually found on Etsy and purchased the cut files. I also purchased a Harry Potter inspired font. Then it was a simple matter of designing my shirt and setting it up to be cut. My sister in law had a heat press she let me borrow (which is now boarding with us for a while because she is awesome and is letting me use it, YAY!) which I used to stick the vinyl to my shirts. I pre-washed all my shirts before adding vinyl. I also chose to use Siser EasyWeed Heat Transfer Vinyl over others, it has produced very consistent results for me. I haven’t had any issues with my designs peeling up even with some smaller design elements. I credit this to the great settings indicated on the Siser website and the use of the heat press.

If you use a Cricut or heat transfer vinyl, I highly suggest Siser. It’s fantastic and so far has met all my expectations. I made these shirts at the end of September and they are worn fairly often. This method of t-shirt making is hands down easier than my previous method of freezer paper stencils and paint. You can follow the links below the pictures if you want to purchase the items I recommend.

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Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Please be aware of this if you click a link to Amazon in any of my posts, but if you do I hope you enjoy your purchases and thank you!

Amazon Affiliate, Blog, featured, tea

Tea Time

Tea? Aren’t you the coffee addicted crafter? Well, yes. I do also enjoy a cup of tea from time to time. My husband and my daughter are definitely the tea drinkers in our house. Occasionally I try to find a tea I like, neat accessories, new mugs, and places to buy looseleaf tea. Recently I was perusing blog posts from my friend Suzie and saw the company she ordered tea from. Naturally, I checked them out because they’re on Etsy.

Have you ever heard of Desert Sage Natural? They sell artisan tea, coffee, and cocoa on Etsy. I fell in love with the names and descriptions of their teas. One in particular was the Leia’s Legacy blend. It is a black tea with cinnamon. I also ordered my oldest some of the Bad Wolf Blend since we love Doctor Who…she’s just a little obsessed. It didn’t take long to arrive and soon we were sipping away. The Leia’s Legacy is amazing- it is delicious. TheRebel enjoyed the Bad Wolf Blend, Sloth was a little unsure because of the strong scent of the tea; Hubs loved it most of all. So, if you go searching their teas, take a chance and try them. We were not disappointed at all.

When I ordered the tea, I also started putting together ideas for a monthly loot box for my oldest. She loves bath bombs, unique pens, coloring books, just little things that are inexpensive but feel like a treat. In the past we have just ordered one online, but some of the content I felt wasn’t completely appropriate for a fourteen year old girl. Knowing she loves tea and had gotten a new mug for Christmas, I set out to find her some fun tea diffusers for looseleaf tea. I found several. I bought two (which actually equal four because Amazon!) and had them shipped, coincidentally they arrived the same day as the tea. It was excellent since the kids were home for a snow day anyway.

On Amazon I found Loch Ness monster and kitten tea diffusers. They’re silicone and snap apart to be filled with tea. They pop back together easily and then you have a cute sea monster or kitten peeking out of your tea mug. Not a bad find for around $12 (that’s for 2 diffusers) and free shipping. I also noticed that Desert Sage Natural has a monthly tea sampler club, she may or may not be getting signed up for that too. The monthly loot boxes are surprisingly cool depending on which one you get. They’re also pretty convenient for keeping the “buy me this, buy me this” syndrome at bay. I spend less while running errands and they get a few cool things each month in the mail.

Below you will find links to the diffusers I bought, before you check them out, please check the disclaimer.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Both are adorable. They’re easy to clean and easy to use which are both must haves in my house. They’re also hilarious in a cup of tea! After all, who doesn’t like a little whimsy during tea time?