Wine Bottle Candle Centerpiece

Wine Bottle Candle Holders

Well, the bottle cutter has come in handy. I found a place online to order these wine bottle candle holders. They aren’t inexpensive (about $12 each w/shipping), but for me, they were a perfect fit for some of the holiday gifts I have in mind.

These bottles are currently sitting on my kitchen island. In the near future, I will be placing them on a holiday platter surrounded with greenery to make a nice table arrangement. Note of caution: The bottles get hot when burning the tea light candles. Use care when placing greenery, ribbon or other holiday ornaments near the bottles.

When the lights are dimmed and the tea lights are lit, these bottles look awesome. Even with the cost of the bottle candle holders, you’ve got a gift for $12.50 once you’ve purchased the bottle cutter. You can find tea lights inexpensively at dollar stores, Wal-Mart and Ikea. These make a great housewarming or holiday hostess gift.

SIDEBAR:

Consider wrapping silver wire around the bottle neck with beads or other small holiday ornaments. You can swap out the wire wrap for various seasons. How fun to do a Valentine centerpiece in February using heart beads.

Tis the Season For Decorating the Table

Holiday Table Decorating Tips

A staple item for setting a table is a pedestal bowl. You may not use it every time you entertain, but you will certainly get your money’s worth over time. My recent weekend shopping trip to Ikea in Canton, Michigan yielded some great finds. I purchased a giant container of silver ornaments for just $12. If easily filled two of my pedestal bowls.

If you have pine trees in your yard, use them. Snip branches and insert into your pedestal bulb arrangement. In the above arrangement, I also used a few sprigs of silver branches purchased at Michaels. Honestly, you can cut you own branches and spray with silver paint and dust with glitter. I would have done that but time was not on my side.

Make your holiday table festive by using what you have around the house. Ornaments are inexpensive and a little spray paint can spruce up any container. Shop your local Goodwill or Salvation Army for repurposed vessels to display your arrangements.

The Gaudy Ikea Light (per Hubby)

The Ikea Christmas Lamp

Yes, there you have it and you make the decision. I went shopping with my daughter this last weekend at an Ikea store. INSPIRING!! This was one of the few purchases made. I thought it was awesome. A holiday paper star lamp. I shortened it by removed one of the stems from the stand and placed the lamp on a silver tray surrounded with holiday ornaments and fresh pine.

My honey-man thought this was “extremely” gaudy. Aren’t holiday’s about glitz and sparkly stuff? I totally ignored his opinion and quickly displayed the lamp right next to his side of the bed. That’s what he gets for voicing an opinion I never asked for. If you saw this in the entire context of the room, you would likely agree it looks great.

Personally, I think it looks awesome. It lends perfect holiday lighting to our bedroom. If the honey-man complains again, I will move the lamp to a more prominent area of the house. I’m thinking the entry way with plenty of bulbs and greenery. Next to it will be a big sign that reads, “The honey man hates this, place your ballot here.”

French Toast Scramble w/ Apples & Oats

Scrambled Apples & Eggs

Here’s a new twist on incorporating both your morning fiber (oatmeal) and fruit (apples). Scrambled eggs with a hint of vanilla and sweetness and just 125 calories. I added a piece of toasted bread and sugar-free maple syrup which bumps this breakfast dish up to 210 calories.

Add a cup of good dark roasted java and fat-free Skinny Caramel Macchiato flavoring (Coffee House Brand) for 30 calories. This sure beats plain oatmeal and traditional scrambled eggs.  Grab the Recipe

Red Hot Cinnamon Apple Crunch

Red Hot Apple Cinnamon Crunch

Waiting for the verdict on this dish. My initial review was postive, but my daughter will let me know her review later today. Fuji apple dices, cinnamon red hot candies and crumbled graham crackers topped with whipped cream. Hey, what’s not to like.

I left off the whipped cream as my daughter is wanting to shave some calories. However, even with canned whipped cream, you’re only adding 25 calories for 2 tablespoons.

Red Hot Cinnamon Apple Crunch with Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

I had some leftover strawberries and chocolate from a dish I made earlier this week. A few strawberries dipped in chocolate never hurt anyone…. ! Heck, maybe it added another 65 calories, but come on… it’s Friday and well deserved. Grab the Recipe

 

Strawberry & Angel Food Cake Kabobs

Strawberries & Angel Food Cake KabobsIt was a BIG event last night. My annual Bunco Babes group hosted 120 girlies to support our local community Angel Tree program for the holidays.

It was a blast. As you can imagine, 120 women of varying ages with wine and food thrown into the mix…. well, what more can I say. We had 87 prizes to give away and I don’t think anyone left disappointed.

This was an appetizer I brought to the event and thought it worthy of sharing. It was well received and fairly simple to prepare. I purchased two angel food cakes and 3 large containers of fresh strawberries. You will need wooden skewers and melt-able chocolate which I purchased at Michael’s. One bag of chocolate was enough for 48 skewers. Grab the Recipe

 

Beef Tenderloin Fettuccine

Beef Tenderloin Fettuccine

Yes… it’s true… I’m a carb junkie and pasta is my downfall. However, this dish is within reason and certainly will fill in those carbohydrate carvings. Beef tenderloin is my choice pick of meat. If you can’t afford the tenderloin, then go with another “lean” cut of beef and trim off any fat.

The gravy is what makes this dish. It has to be full of flavor, but not full of calories. I think I’ve found the right mix. You can be the judge.

Beef Tenderloin Fettuccine

Mushrooms, shallots, cheese, beef, noodles… you’ve got everything needed for a great stroganoff. Add a dollop of fat-free sour cream and this is a “too die for” meal. Grab the Recipe

Shrimp Scampi Fettuccine

Shrimp Scampi Fettucine

I’m adding this to my favorite list. Even my honey-man emailed today saying “Thanks for lunch… delish!!”. It’s a true compliment when the “honey-man” gives a thumbs up. He never gushes over any Blimpy Girl’s meals (shhhh… that’s why he’s overweight).

Let’s forget the honey for a second and talk about BG’s thoughts on this dish. I’m not the biggest seafood fan. It’s a love-hate relationship. Crab + lobster = YES, scallops + oysters= NO. Shrimp + clams are somewhere in between. However, this shrimp-pasta dish scored high for me. It was a perfect balance.

Shrimp, fettuccine noodles, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic…. butter…  cheese… a simple dish that will turn a flavor like no other. Trust me, when these ingredients were first put together, my comment was “I think this will yield a boring flavor”. NOT SO! I think you’re gonna like this one. Grab the Recipe

 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortelli Soup A comfort soup beyond belief! Sometimes there are certain BG dishes that just hit the spot. This is one of those dishes. Maybe because it’s a cool Fall day that screams for comfort food, I don’t know. But, bottom line, this dish is a keeper for Blimpy Girl (as well as my staff!).

Shredded chicken, black bean, corn, diced tomatoes and plenty of other goodies make this crock pot soup an easy recipe. No special ingredients. You can stock your pantry with most of the ingredients and make plenty of other BG dishes as well.

You will easily get (10) 1 cup servings from this recipe. Top soup servings with low-fat cheddar cheese and low-fat sour cream for added flavor. I like to top each soup serving with 6 crumbled tortilla chips (baked). Yummm-Yumm-Yumm!

Each serving is in the neighborhood of 202 calories even with the sour cream and cheese. The crumbled tortilla chips add another 60 calories or so. Grab the Recipe