The BEST homemade sweet + sour chicken! (gluten free too)

Even before breaking up with gluten six years ago, I had tried numerous times to create a crispy and sweet version of one of my restaurant faves.

Each time it was ok, the sauce was pretty good but the chicken pieces were kind of……meh.

Not great and I would eat it of course but not be thrilled.

UNTIL NOW Y’ALL!

 

How to make sweet and sour chicken

 

Since making this a few weeks ago the fam has requested it over and over.

So I have had to get creative and use BBQ dipping sauce and a few other things to make this crew of chicken fans happy. [Read more…]

Early spring flowers DIY

spring flower craft #spring #diy #craft #springdecor #twelveOeight #diywedding #budgetwedding

 

We have had a long winter for the Pacific Northwest, and I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready for Spring.

Everything coming to life, longer days, more sun and those first signs of blooms, little buds on the trees and beautiful blooms saying hello after so many months of being tucked away in the cold.

We have been noticing our days are a bit longer and enjoying a bit more daylight after 5pm than in weeks prior, another sign Spring surely can’t be too far behind.

 

Spring decorating #flowers #diy #knockoff #spring #wedding

 

I wanted to make something that was bright and pretty for my kitchen (but I will probably move it 10 more times) and as I looked at what I had on hand I found pretty pale orange, white and peach blooms along with a pretty green-blue ribbon I have had for a while.

I wasn’t sure what to use for a container and since we recycle and reuse much of what we buy I saw these two cans and thought they would make perfect vases.

A bit of flat white spray paint, some hot glue to secure the ribbon on the back of each can, and some moss tucked down to hold the flowers in place. [Read more…]

Thrifted wood garden stool before + after!

I am SO excited to share this quick and easy before and after with you today.

Sometimes a dramatic change is simple and does not involve any fancy tools or lengthy amounts of time to complete.

And sometimes…

With a little paint, and some dry time…

Painted garden stool #diy #twelveOeight

 

A beautiful swan emerges from a dark old piece of furniture that is tired and in need of a refresh.

I found this wooden plant stand/garden stool piece for $9.99 at a little thrift store locally that I have not been to before.

It was nice and solid and initially I thought I would make a padded seat for the top, I love the direction it went once the paint began to dry.

Admittedly, I do paint a lot of things white.  But with grey walls and our larger pieces of furniture being fairly dark, a fresh, crisp white gives a space a whole new feel.

I love this Chalky Finish spray paint by Krylon.  I used less than one can and it covered over this dark wood very well. [Read more…]

7 things you should buy at thrift stores

What are the best deals at thrift stores #thriftstore #secondhand #thrifting #thriftyliving

 

Walking around my home with my coffee recently I realized that I have more second hand items than not. 

If you have followed twelveOeight for a while or you are new here (yay thank you everyone for your love and support!) you will probably see that my PASSION is to turn nothing into something fabulous.

So…I began thinking that it would be fun to do a series on what a 30 year veteran of thrifting does to score those finds.  

When Macklemore came out with Thrift Shop a few years ago, I instantly loved the song, and him (ok there may be a secret crush going on too hee hee)  and listen to his music often.  While we don’t pop any tags lol, we do believe that paying full price or spending $50 on a t-shirt is getting swindled by an industry.  Not only that but look at how full our landfills would be if everyone just discarded their furniture, home goods, clothes etc… when they no longer wanted them.

YES!!! This is where it gets good.  One come up coming at you.  

I can remember the first yard sale in my neighborhood as a kid.  My family were not thrifters, in fact I was an only child for 15 years and my Mom loved her some Nordstrom.  So I was accustomed to all that came with having a Mom and Grandma to hang out with who LOVED to shop.  

I watched the neighbors set up their tables, then out came box after box full of dishes and lamps, and paintings, and some furniture.  After I could take it no longer (I am pretty sure this is the test for a lover of all things thrift.  Watch your heart rate and how fast you grab your wallet when you see a yard sale or new thrift shop.)  I had to see what they were doing. [Read more…]

Peanut Noodles with Chicken (gluten free!)

Peanut Noodles with Chicken #pastarecipes #glutenfree #gf #twelveOeight #howtomakepeanutsauce

 

I love noodles, cover them in a million different sauces or leave them buttered with some parsley and you can count me in.

And what’s better than combining a delicious peanut sauce with tender pieces of chicken?

Well you could make it gluten free.

And make it in less than 30 minutes.

Now we’re talking, and this dish is so darn good.

I love the flavors of combining the peanut butter with sesame oil.  This has become a dish my family asks for often and when the ingredients are easy to pull together and dinner is on the table that fast….I am more than happy to oblige.

Plus, if I haven’t said it yet, I LOVE THIS DISH SO MUCH.  And so does my gluten-intolerant tummy.

We are both happy and full, and even better, you can make a big batch and nom on this for lunch the next day.

Yep, everyone will think you were in the kitchen forever, and that you are a master of noodles and peanut sauce.

 

gluten free peanut noodles with chicken #glutenfree #asianrecipes #budgetdinner #twelveOeight

 

It’s ok, I won’t tell anyone how easy this is if you don’t.

Let’s COOK!

Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces of gluten free spaghetti noodles
  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 6 T. rice vinegar
  • 4 T. gluten free soy sauce
  • 4 T. hot chili oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups of diced cooked chicken (I like to dice and saute chicken thighs in a bit of coconut oil)
  • 2/3 cup sliced green onion to garnish
  • Optional: finely chopped peanuts to garnish

Cook and drain pasta according to directions.

 

Gluten free pasta #glutenfreerecipes #glutenfreedinners #twelveOeight

 

In a bowl combine peanut butter, sesame oil, canola oil, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce and chili oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

How to make peanut Sauce #peanutsauce #spicypeanutsauce #peanutdippingsauce #twelveOeight #glutenfree

 

Toss cooked chicken, pasta, and peanut sauce together, fill your bowls and top with sliced green onions and chopped peanuts if you like.

Serves 4-6 main dish servings

Peanut Noodles with Chicken #pastarecipes #glutenfree #gf #twelveOeight #howtomakepeanutsauce

Voila! You are done and can enjoy a great meal with family and friends, and not spend all evening in the kitchen either.

Stay crafty-

xo, Tanya 

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linking up to: http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/

And these awesome parties: http://www.twelveoeightblog.com/awesome-link-parties

 

Lace + leather floral bohemian dream catcher

Leather and Lace DIY Boho Dream Catcher #boho #diy #howtomake #dreamcatcher

 

I must have a thing with strings of lights, layers of texture and dream catchers.  Or a variation of one like the one we are making today.

When I was sifting through my craft supplies and found this embroidery hoop, and a yard of lace fabric I begin thinking about some of the open centered dream catchers that I have seen and loved.

Some have dyed ombre’ yarn, others have lots of greenery and flowers, this turned out having a bit of everything I have seen and loved.

Strips of lace, a little yarn and a few wooden beads, a piece of leather and some white pom poms for good measure.

This dream catcher came together pretty quickly and since our bedrooms all have at least one (yes I suppose you could say I love to make them!) this one may end up in my office refresh. [Read more…]

Slow cooker white chicken chili

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili #slowcooker #chickenrecipes #crockpot #chili #budgetrecipies #twelveOeight

 

We use our slow cooker year round, in the summer a big pot of pork carnitas or baked beans keep the kitchen cool by avoiding turning the oven on.

And in the fall and winter…well…it’s a slow-cooker-palooza every week and I find myself using ours at least three times a week if not more. 

I love to make big batches of beef chili, spaghetti sauce to freeze and homemade refried beans in my slow cooker.  Beans seem to work their way into many dishes as they are a great source of protein, easy on the budget and really good for you. 

I decided to do a little use-what-you-have cooking before we went on our monster Costco and Winco shopping trip recently.  I like to do a quick re-organize of my pantry shelves and deep freezer so things don’t get “lost” in the back and never used, and so I stock up but avoid over-buying.  Which is very easy to do at Costco.

I saw that I had some frozen chicken breasts, and canned white beans, along with a can of green chilies in hand I knew I had the makings for a belly warming pot of good for you white chicken chili. [Read more…]

DIY recycled t-shirt wall art

DIY tshirt wall art #upcycle #diy #wallart #twelveOeight

 

I graduated from High School in 1989.

That puts me at 45 today, and while some things have changed so much, my love of rock t-shirts, all things Stevie Nicks, and dreams of travelling Europe with a backpack and train pass have never changed.

I grew up on a small working farm, raised by my organic-gardening grandparents while my mom sorted fruit for a local orchard.

On sunny days you could find my running between the fruit trees and when the weather was cold, pouring over my mom’s impressive collection of records and deciding if I needed to sew a new halter top.

Years have passed and I think I still have her first Beatles record in my own collection buried between some New Order and the Doors.

Somewhere in my teens a love of thrifting and upcycling emerged, and I suppose some might say hoarding.  I have however purged collected items many times over, keeping a core group of treasures that I am sure I could not live without.  So we will not call it hoarding but curating a collection of things that bring us joy.

Yes, that sounds so much better.

Recently while trolling through my local Goodwill I came across a navy tank top that had an embroidery skull that caught my eye. [Read more…]

6 pretty home trends you will love for 2017

2017-design-trend-collage

The Portland area has a wonderful mini blanket of snow this weekend topped by some dangerous ice that is keeping my inside enjoying my coffee and fireplace today.

So I have to admit, while I like to keep up on trends, my home is an eclectic mix of what I love.  A mish mash of farmhouse/boho/and lots of painted furniture.

I have forecasted trends that you may remember, most not brag-worthy but still worth mention:

  1. The Bomber jacket.  Long before Top Gun this girl rocked a leather bomber jacket.  It was not because I was cool or saw into the future, we lived in Minneapolis and my Step-dad had a sweet leather jacket from being overseas.  And it was really cold, the jacket kept me warm, more function than style.
  2. Skinny jeans. Any of you “peg” your jeans when you were younger perhaps? Then you nailed that trend long before it was mainstream.  We were soooooo cool.
  3. Ok last one, spray paint.  I spray painted all of my furniture and accessories forever before spray paint was cool.   I was a single mom trying to make her house look amazing on a zero budget so again, not about style as much as revamping what I had to last a little longer.  Funny thing some things stick as I am sure I have 75+ different colors and kinds of spray paint.  That is another day.

[Read more…]

A new year + making peace with my size 16 body

you-always-had-the-power-free-printable

 

I know I am not the only one who has struggled with their weight.

That it’s not just about what size we are, but what we see when we look in the mirror.  Who looks back at us and do we approve or make a list of everything that needs to change.

Living in a society where youth and the media’s opinion of beauty are prized, sometimes it’s really hard to feel like you can even throw your hat in the ring at a size 16.

But this is where I have landed.  I have gained and lost hundreds of pounds.  Been so thin my doctor and friends were concerned, and been carrying enough weight that a flight of stairs kicked my ass.

Finding out I was dancing with Type 2 Diabetes a few years ago, and having suddenly lost my Mom to Diabetic complications three years ago has weighed heavy on my heart. 

Myself and my body have found a happy place with a balanced diet, no weight gain, and the energy that I need to keep up with the demands of working full time, my family and home and trying to find a little creative time too.

I am a size 16, I wear a 1x sometimes a 2x depending on the brand and I am happy.  I have waited so long to even say it out loud.  I was afraid I was giving up or back on the road to another rapid weight gain, but after spending a couple years healing from an abusive relationship and learning how to love myself again, something new was born. [Read more…]