Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hot Chocolate

My husband LOVES making his own hot chocolate! So for Christmas this year I made him a canister full of homemade hot chocolate mix for him so he didn't have to keep mix it up one mug at a time :)

Hot Chocolate Mix

Single Serving

1 Tbsp. cocoa
1 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar

1/4 tsp. Vanilla or Vanilla powder
8 oz. milk

You will want to mix the cocoa & sugar (and powdered vanilla if you choose to use that) in a separate dish. *Heat milk up. Then mix powder mix with milk, stir well and ENJOY!

1 1/2 cups of Cocoa
2 cups of Sugar
6 tsp. of Powdered Vanilla
8 oz. Milk

Mix all ingredients well in a bowl then pour into empty canister. Then *heat up milk and use about 2 heaping
tsp. of hot cocoa mix (more if you like your hot chocolate EXTRA chocolaty!) into your mug of milk. ENJOY!

*It's best to warm up the milk first and then add the mix. I feel that it dissolves much easier that way.
As for the can I used an old Stephen's hot chocolate canister, you can use anything with a lid. the Canister recipe above is to fill a Stepen's Hot Chocolate canister though (good way to recycle!) and peeled off the wrapper on it.

Then I measured out the width between the metal rims on top & bottom so I could cut my designer paper to size.

And then decorate and embellish to your taste! I printed off a little tag for my husbands and covered the outside with contact paper to protect the paper and tag from any spills or sticky hands ;)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ooey-Gooey Popcorn

This is such a yummy treat, especially around the holidays! Now make sure you read all the way through the recipe before you begin! I will try to post a picture later it's been a busy week :)

Ooey-Gooey Popcorn

3 bags of microwave Extra Butter Popcorn or 2-3 gallons of air popped popcorn*
1 cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1 cube of butter or margarine

Pop your popcorn first and pour into a big bowl that you will allow you to stir the popcorn around once you add the caramel.

Stir for 3 minutes on high. Then pour in 1 can of Sweetened and Condensed milk. Boil for about a 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then pour over popcorn.

*Now I've done it both ways. If you go with the microwave popcorn it adds a sweet & salty flavor and you have a bit more caramel goodness over you popcorn. If you go with the air popped it is MUCH healthier and the caramel goodness is spread out a bit more evenly. Both ways are super Yummy! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I looked around in the stores for different fairy costumes but didn't really find much I liked. The fairy costumes I found seemed a little skimpy especially for this cold weather and to be right honest $20-$30 for a Tinkerbell costume did NOT appeal to my finances! :) So I went home and started looking around on the internet for ideas and found some instructions on making my own Tu-tu's! I immediately fell in love with the idea, especially at how simple they were to make! I found a youtube video to provide me with instructions this is the one I used:

Here is a picture of one of the tu-tu's I made. I made two, one was green and white and then this one pictured- black & purple.

Name Frames

I made these cute little picture frames awhile back for my girls. I tried to personalize each one to there tastes or personality. My girls LOVED them! They were really easy to make. I just bought some frames at Walmart and cut out some cardstock for the background to fit in the frame. I used cardstock, rubber stamps, ribbon, brads and ink to create my frames.

Supplies: All supplies from Stampin' Up!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fagioli Soup

I love this soup! It's actually really easy, filling and YUMMY! :) We like to sprinkle shredded cheese and eat it with Fritos or Tortilla Chips, whichever we happen to have.

Fagioli Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot julienne (1cup)
3 stalks celery chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomato's
1 15 oz can red kidney beans with liquid
1 15 oz can great northern beans with liquid
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 12 oz can v8
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

Brown beef in large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Drain fat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic, simmer 10 minutes add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hr. OR place remaining ingredients in crockpot, add beef mixture, let cook on low all day, or till carrots & celery are tender.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Christmas Craft

This is something I made it a few years ago but never shared so given the season I thought I would share it with you now :)

I got the idea out of a magazine, can't even give proper credit since it's been so long. But just a fun little Christmas thing you can do with your family. I bought a little papier-mâché star, measured it and cut out some paper so it was slightly smaller then I hodge-podged it to the star.

Here's a magical Christmas Star
With a traditional old and true
May it bring you warmth and love
from our home to you.

Now everybody 'til Christmas
Find someone in your home
And secretly do a deed of love
So your identity won't be known.

And when the secret act is done
Place the star upon their bed.
The in turn do a secret deed
For another, it is said.

And like the star so long ago
Lit the sky for all to see
May this star bring light & joy
To your sweet family
-Author Unknown-

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

I found this one on, but I followed one of the comments that used some shortcuts to make it much easier since I didn't have much time before dinner -- story of my life. :) Although, I must say next time I'd like to try the original recipe, the shortcut was really good but much too sweet for Jeremy & my tastes but it got rave reviews from the girls nonetheless. I'll post both recipes, but again, I haven't tried the original one, only the short cut.

Caramel Apple Pork Chops- Shortcut

4 (3/4 inch thick) Pork Chops
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
1 can of Apple Pie filling
3 Tbsp. pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Brush chops lightly with oil, season with salt & pepper and place in hot pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until done.

3. Transfer to a 9x13 pan and cover with apple pie filling. Cover with tin foil. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove foil & sprinkle brown sugar and chopped pecans over it. Cook for 15 minutes to caramelize.
Caramel Apple Pork Chops- Original

4 (3/4 inch thick) Pork Chops
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tart apples (Granny Smith would be great) peeled, cored & sliced
3 Tbsp. pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C). Place a medium dish in the oven to warm.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush chops lightly with oil and place in hot pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until done. Transfer to the warm dish, and keep warm in the preheated oven.

3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet, and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops. Keep warm in the preheated oven.

4. Continue cooking sauce uncovered in skillet, until thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans.

Banana Bread

I found this recipe years ago and it quickly became a favorite around our house. The bread comes out so soft and moist. Enjoy!

Banana Bread
5 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. backing soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom only of 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Beat butter in large bowl with an electric mixer set at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat well. Add egg, egg whites & vanilla; beat until well blended. Add mashed banana, and beat on high speed 30 seconds.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt & baking powder in medium bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with cream, ending with flour mixture. Add walnuts to batter; mix well.
4. Pour batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Bake until browned and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Cool bread in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Slice and serve with butter and jam.

Monday, September 28, 2009

30 Minute Rolls

I'm always on the look out for quick and easy recipes but still TASTY!! :) I am a huge fan of homemade rolls but I always lack the patience to make the dough, let it rise, punch, rise...etc. I just hate that! So when I found this recipe I had to try it and guess what!? It really is fast, easy and tasty! They are really good rolls. I found the recipe here, at The Sisters' Cafe, I love their blog they always have some really yummy recipes :)

30-Minute Rolls

1 1/8 cups plus 2 tsp. warm water
1/3 cup oil
2 Tb yeast
1/4 cup sugar or honey
½ tsp. Salt
1 egg
3 ½ cups flour

Mix 1st 4 ingredients and let rest for 15 minutes. Add salt and eggs - gradually add flour. Shape into dinner rolls, or use in your favorite recipe that calls for dough. After shaped, let rest for 10 minutes. For rolls, Bake 10 minutes @400 degrees ‘till golden brown.

Scalloped Potato's

There are so many different versions of scalloped potato's out there but this is one of my favorites, of course a lot of that favoritism comes from this recipe being my mom's :) And fall is the best time to make this dish! My hometown is in full swing of potato harvest! Best potato's ever!

Scalloped Potato's with Ham

4 medium Russet potatoes, sliced
1 can Cream of Chicken
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 small onion
1 cup cubed ham

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a large casserole dish with 1 1/2 Tbsp of butter. If you use a casserole dish that is about 9x13 (bigger than the one shown) you'll have more surface area, more of the potatoes will brown, and the cooking time will be faster.

In blender combine cream of chicken, black pepper, milk and onion (I add the onion here because my kids are kind of picky about finding pieces).
Layer the bottom of the casserole dish with 1/3 of the potato slices, then add a bit of ham over that layer and pour some of the mixture from blender and repeat. Layer of potato's, ham and mix. Top the casserole with the remaining potato slices. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for one hour. When done, the potatoes should be tender, but not mushy, and the liquid should be mostly absorbed. After an hour, remove from the oven, remove the foil, sprinkle on some shredded cheese.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Peanut Butter Bars

I love Peanut Butter Bars! But my absolute favorite ones were the ones from school. Crazy I know! But our school lunches were actually REALLY good! These aren't like the ones I remember but they were still really good. The disappeared fast around here! I found this recipe here.

Peanut Butter Bars

2 cups chunky style peanut butter
2 cups powder sugar
2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 stick + 1 Tablespoon melted butter
12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

Melt butter and mix with the first three ingredients.
Spread mixture into 13×9 pan.
Melt chocolate chips and spread on top.
Refrigerate for exactly 1/2 hour and cut into small sized bars (they are rich).
Keep refrigerated until you are ready to enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hawaiian Casserole

This was one of my Mother-in-law's recipes, it was one of Jeremy's favorite dishes growing up. So of course I had to learn how to make it ;) It is so easy and yummy! The only thing I have a big problem with is the name... I know that sounds funny but really. Jeremy & his mom have always called it a "casserole" and to me it just doesn't fit! But I don't know what else to call it so I guess the name stays ;)

Hawaiian Casserole

1 lb. Ground Beef
- Seasonings
Salt, Celery Salt, Garlic Salt
1 can of Pineapple Tidbits
1 can of Stewed Tomato's
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

While beef is browning season with the salt, celery salt and garlic salt (there are no measurements to the seasonings it's just eyeballing it to taste). Mix your brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch and soy sauce in a separate bowl, set aside. When meat is browned add the stewed tomato's & pineapple with juice. Then your contents of the bowl you set aside over everything in pan. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cream of Celery Chicken & Rice

This is one of my family's favorite recipes. My mom used to make it for us, it never lasted for long! :)

Cream of Celery Chicken & Rice

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, uncooked & cubed
1 1/4 cup rice
1 cube of butter
1 envelope of Onion Soup Mix
1 can of Cream of Celery
2 1/2 cups of water

Melt the butter and mix with Cream of Celery & Onion Soup Mix. Then add rice and water and stir gently in a 13x9 pan. Add cubed chicken. Cover with tin foil and place in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and cook for about 1 hour or until rice is thoroughly cooked. I like to remove the tin foil and leave in the oven for about another 10 minutes to let it dry out just a bit more.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chicken Tostada's

Ok, so I've heard them to also be called Tinga's but because I'm so Americanized we will just call them Chicken Tostada's! :) Now if you check my blog for recipes you'll know that most of mine come with more "instruction" than anything! So no difference on this one either! Let's just say I really shouldn't ever go into the recipe book writing business any time soon! :)

Chicken Tostada's
  • Shredded Chicken*
  • Tostada's (I prefer the brand Perico)
  • Sour Cream
  • Mexican Cheese, Cotija
  • Cabbage/Lettuce (your preference)
  • Fresh Salsa
1. place tostada on plate
2. cover tostada with shredded chicken
3. add sour cream (if you like it)
4. lettuce or cabbage
5. fresh salsa
6. sprinkle crumbled cheese over top

*Shredded Chicken
For the chicken I usually take some bone in chicken breasts or thighs and add them to a pot of water with a few seasonings; 2 to 3 whole cloves, a piece of garlic, a few slices of onion, salt & pepper. Let boil until chicken is cooked through. Then I'll remove the chicken from the pot and let cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle I begin removing all the bones and shredding it by hand.

*Fresh Salsa
Dice up tomatoes, jalapenos and onions. Finely chop cilantro and mix all together.

Mexican Rice

This is a very simplified version of my mom's original Mexican rice. She came up with the shortcuts that still gives you the same great flavor! Love simplifications!! :)

Mexican Rice

1 cup white rice
1 can of stewed tomato's
1 piece of fresh garlic
2 cups of water
1 cube of chicken bouillon
pinch of salt

In a blender mix can of stewed tomato's, garlic, water, chicken bouillon and pinch of salt; puree. Fry the rice in about 1-2 Tbsp. of oil until it is a nice golden color. You will need to constantly be stirring once it starts browning. When rice is browned, pour tomato mixture over, turn down heat and cover.

*If you would like some veggies in your rice you could add some frozen veggies when you pour the tomato mix in.

Monday, August 31, 2009

No Bake Cookies without Peanut Butter

I had a friend ask me if I had a recipe for No Bake cookies without the Peanut Butter due to allergy reason's in her family. So I looked around and found this one. I have not tried it so I don't know how comes out but thought I would share in case others have the same problem:

3 Minute No Bake Cookies

* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 8 tablespoons margarine or butter
* 1/2 cup low-fat milk
* 1/3 cup Nestle Toll House baking cocoa
* 3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned*, uncooked)

In large saucepan, combine sugar, margarine, milk and cocoa. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Continue boiling 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in oats.* Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm. Store tightly covered.

*If using old fashioned oats, cool mixture in saucepan 5 minutes.

No Bake Cookies

I know this sounds soo lame but I am 30 years old and had NEVER made No Bake Cookies! How wrong is that!? Well today I had a major craving for chocolate and had none readily accessible so I made my own! Here's the recipe I used.

No Bake Cookies

* 2 cups white sugar
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 pinch salt
* 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
* 3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cocoa, milk and margarine. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, peanut butter and oats. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow cookies to cool for at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chili's Rellenos

I LOVE these! They are so simple to make. I love the fresh taste of Green Bell Peppers. My mom makes these two different ways. She makes them this way, how I have done. The other way is my dad's favorite and so unhealthy! I'm not a fan of the other way, she makes an egg dip, dips the bell peppers after they have been stuffed and deep fry's them. And since I don't really like them that way or know all the details to make them that way I won't list that part of the recipe. And I have to apologize I know my recipe's aren't written in the best way but seriously it is hard when the majority of it is "to your liking" :) If you have any questions or need clarification on something feel free to ask :)

Chili's Rellenos

Green Bell Peppers
Mexican Cheese, Cotija
Jalapenos (IF you want them a little spicy)

Pick out a few Bell peppers that would be good to stuff, wash and pat dry. Then cut a slit in them from stem down to the bottom on one side.

I then take the cheese and crumble it down into a bowl, dice up some onions (in this one I just used some little green onion that we grew in our garden, you can use whatever kind you like), dried oregano to liking and some diced up jalapenos IF you want a little kick to them. Mix everything together.

Pick up your bell pepper and and give it a gentle squeeze near the slit and hold it so it will open up a little for you to begin spooning in the cheese mix. At this point you just stuff it as much as you like. I like to completely fill the cavity of the pepper.

Now the next part is by preference. You can cook them on a cookie sheet in the oven turning them occasionally. Or cook them on a skillet on the stove. You can probably see I used tin foil over the skillet, I did that because that's what I use to make my tortillas on and I hate having stuff stick to it! And then just occasionally turn them over. I have done them both ways I prefer on the stove because I am more mindful of them there and since I like mine to have a bit of a crisp left in the pepper, I feel that I can monitor that a little more closely. Jeremy likes them to be softer and I found the oven does a much better job of that. :)

If doing it in the oven I just set my oven to 350 degrees and let them cook between 1/2 to an 1 hour. Again defending on how soft or crisp you want the pepper to be. The cheese will never fully melt but will be come very soft.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Chicken Taquitos

So last night for dinner I made some Chicken Taquitos. It was something my mom would always make for us growing up and a big hit! Well I make them now for my little girls and Yeah! they are a big hit with them too!

Chicken Taquitos

Whole Cloves
Corn Tortillas
Canola Oil

Bring 2-4 chicken breasts (depending on the quantity you want to make) to a boil in a pot with 1-2 whole pieces of garlic, a few whole cloves, some slices of onion and some salt to taste. When the chicken is finally cooked remove chicken from pot and allow to cool. You could then strain the chicken stock and freeze for whenever you need some.

Once the chicken has cooled I shred it. Once it is shredded I start warming up some corn tortillas, place chicken in them and roll them up. Warming up the corn tortillas makes rolling them up easier, because if you try to roll the tortillas cold they will crack and break.

While I'm working on rolling the taquitos I pour some oil into a deep pan so that when I am done rolling my oil will be ready for me to deep fry the taquitos. When they turn a nice golden color they are done.

You can then add the toppings! Cover them in cheese, melt it, add some sour cream, lettuce and top off with some salsa.

I hope this makes sense to all of you! If you have any questions feel free to ask! :)

Flour Tortillas

So being Mexican flour tortillas were a big part of our meals growing up. I just loved them! Especially my moms, store bought ones don't even compare. But my mom is not one to use recipes, she has this amazing talent of just throwing ingredients together and the outcome?.... a delicious masterpiece! So trying to get recipes for a lot of her cooking has been quite the interesting task.

Flour Tortillas

4 cups of Flour (bleached)
1/2 cup shortening
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Mix all these ingredients together until the shorting has basically disappeared/ worked into the flour really well.

Next you will add 2 cups of warm water. Now this part is kind of tricky, if the water is too cold your dough will come out kind of hard and not easy to knead but if it is too warm or hot it will become so sticky that you will need to add more flour and then if you add too much flour again your dough will just become kind of hard. So you have to be very careful about getting it just right. Now the other thing is I don't add all 2 full cups of water, I start off by adding between 1 to 1 1/2 cups first and need that in and slowly add in more little by little. Then after it is kneaded and well mixed I cover with some plastic wrap and let it '"rest" for about 15 min. (gives me a chance to put everything away, and get things ready). Then you roll the dough out into little balls and then once all the dough is rolled into little balls you can start rolling out your tortillas.

As for making them round, it just takes practice I do keep flipping the dough over and over as when I'm rolling it out and then kind of stretch it out in my hands like the do with pizza crusts (with out the throwing in the air, I think I'd end up wearing the dough if I ever tried that!).

You definitely want a good solid rolling pin, I dislike the ones with handles, I feel that I can't apply even pressure towards the middle. Just a solid piece of wood.

Anyway, I don't know if any of this will make sense. It all looks/reads complicated but it really isn't. If you have any questions feel free to ask. They definitely are something you need to make over and over to get really good at.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kettle Corn

I love Kettle corn! It's such a great snack and the best part is that all of my kids love it too! I usually have to make 2-3 batches of it. I have an old fashioned hand cranked Popcorn popper and love how popcorn tastes when I make it in this. The girls love to stir it all the time too. :)

Kettle Corn

3-5 Tbsp. oil (I use Olive or Canola oil, whatever I have I hand)
1/2 cup popcorn
1/4 cup sugar
Salt to taste

I pour everything into the pot and just keep stirring so the sugar will keep from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Then when it is all done popping I pour the popcorn into a bowl and add just add the salt to taste.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Euphoria Cake

Chocolate Caramel Euphoria Cake or better known as Better than Sex cake I love this recipe! It was really fast and easy and sooooooo good!!

Chocolate Caramel Euphoria Cake

1 package devil’s food cake mix
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup caramel ice cream topping
3 (1.4 oz) *chocolate covered toffee bars, coarsely chopped
1 (8 oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom. In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits; sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm. Let cake cool in pan completely. Top each slice with whipped topping, more chocolate toffee bar chunks, and swirls of caramel topping if desired. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan.

* Heath or Skor bars are great for this!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grilled Chicken Breast

This turned out wonderful! It was so full of flavor and was very moist still!

Grilled Chicken Breast

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup lemon
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons dried parsley

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
While the grill preheats drop the chicken in lemon juice, when ready to grill take chicken out of bowl; discard any remaining lemon juice and then sprinkle with the mixture of onion & garlic powder, ground black pepper, salt and parsley. Cook on the prepared grill 10 to 15 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Beef Stew

This is one of our favorites! Especially when the weather is a little chilly, with all this rain!

Homemade Crock pot Beef Stew

1 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1 1/4 cups water
5 1/2 pounds pot roast

In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Sear all sides of roast in a little bit of olive oil in a pan then place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Potato Soup

This is another favorite for cold/chilly days! My brother loves to call it "Sleepy Time Soup", he believes it makes me sleepy every time he eats it! Never mind that he eats like 3-4 bowls of it! :)

Potato Soup

6 cups cubed peeled potatos
5 cups water
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/4 cup butter or margarine
4 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
Spicy Italian sausage (really any kind you want; we just like some added protein)
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or 2 tbsp. dried parsley

In a large slow cooker or pot, combine the first nine ingredients. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile I cook up some sausage and since I like some added flavor or “kick” to it I use some spicy Italian sausage. When it comes time to add the milk and parsley I add the sausage too: Mix well. cover and cook for about 30 minutes longer to heat all the way through.

*If you choose to do in a crock pot it usually takes about 7 hrs. to cook. On the stove top usually takes about 1-2 hrs. depending on how big you cut your potatos.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Menu Planner

I've made a Menu Planner to go along with my cute Recipe Book. I've made several of these before also and absolutely love it! When I actually incorporate it. It's very useful. I added some velcro to keep it closed, a previous one that I had made I had added some stretchy cord to go around it. I also added some extra pockets, who doesn't need extra pockets! I figured this way I can carry, extra notes, recipes, coupons, etc. You can really make it your own way. One of the other ones I've made had a spot for a small sticky note pad, a little pocket that held paper markers to hold your place in cook books and a big pocket to hold recipes.

I have templates if you want to give it a try. :)

Supplies: All supplies from Stampin' Up!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I love cooking with fresh herbs but hate buying them at the grocery store because the bundles they come in are always bigger than I want. Why buy so much when it's just going to go to waste? Well I decided it was time to plant my own! Yeah! I will now have (if they'll grow) Cilantro, Spearmint, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Chives, Parsley & Basil!

For the little individual pots I just made some little tags so I knew what was in them for now. So easy with some scraps of cardstock & punches!

Supplies: All supplies from Stampin' Up!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chinese Chicken Salad

This is what we had for dinner last night and it was a big hit with the girls, they LOVED it! It's super easy and quick to make. I totally forgot to take a picture though. Sorry. :)

Chinese Chicken Salad
2 cooked chicken breasts
1/2 head cabbage
1 pkg. Ramen Noodles (uncooked, crushed)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seads (optional)
1 green onion, chopped

1/4 cup salad oil (olive or canola work great)
2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine chicken, cabbage, Ramen Flavor Packet, almonds, sesame seed and green onion. Pour the sauce over and refrigerate before serving. Right before serving I like to add the crushed up noodles to keep them from getting to soggy from the sauce.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Recipe Book

So I've been working on this recipe book for a while now. Not that it is hard or anything it's been more that I keep running out supplies and it just felt like one thing or another popped up and kept me away from completing it. But it is finally done! I started out with a blank Art Journal from Stampin' Up! When you order one what you get is a plain art journal, it has grey chipboard cover covers and plain white pages (no lines, no anything). I love it this way because it allows me to be able to decorate it anyway I wish to. I'm posting the pictures up in a slide because I wanted to post quite few of them to mainly show some of the details on the book...

I should also add that idea is not entirely my own. :) I got the idea from this other stamper's Blog: Stamps, Paper, Scissors She used a smaller book, and I've done several (like 4-5) of this size but I wanted something bigger for myself so I played around a bit. :)

Supplies: All supplies from Stampin' Up!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Last night for dinner I asked the girls if they had any ideas of what they would like. And surprisingly they asked me had any Ravioli. Now the reason this is surprising is because we have NEVER had Ravioli! But as it turns out I had bought some frozen pre-made Ravioli to try sometime! But I still needed to make a sauce for it.

So for dinner last night we had Ravioli stuffed with cheese and Ravioli stuffed with meat with a side salad. The sauce I made to go over it turned out really well.

Ravioli Sauce
2 lg. ripe tomatoes, peeled & chopped (you can use a can of stewed or diced tomatoes)
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil (you can use dried Basil just half the amount)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Now combine everything together and put over low heat to just warm up a little. Then pour sauce over pasta.

Ravioli was a big success in our house! My kids really surprise me at times. :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Album

For Mother's Day I made my Mother-in-Law a 6x6 album. We went down to Richmond on Friday and I had my little sister take some family pictures of us. It had been awhile since we had done some family pictures. It was actually quite fun taking the pictures, but it did get a bit chilly. Here's the album I made [Now I do have to apologize for the quality of the pictures of the album. I completely forgot to take pictures before we left and when I realized that I hadn't was in a big hurry right before I gave it away. :) Terribly sorry] :

There are two little poems I added to the album also:
on p19
"Ten Little fingers, Ten Little toes..."
Ten tiny toes that always want to play That never stop exploring the wonder of today. Ten tiny fingers that from the very start Will reach out for tomorrow, yet always hold your heart.
"Little Girls..."
By Karen Barnes

Little girls are made of daisies and butterflies and soft kitty cat purrs
And all the precious memories of times that once were.
Little girls are made of angel's wings and giggles and a firefly's glow
And all the happy feelings, deep inside, that we all know.
Little girls are made of cinnamon and bubbles and fancy white pearls
and snowflakes and rainbows and ballerina twirls.
Little girls are made of sunshine and cupckaes and fresh morning dew,
And these are the reasons, little one, why everyone loves you.

Supplies: All supplies from Stampin' Up!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bunny Cupcakes

I found these adorable cupcakes! I thought they were perfect for Easter! They were actually really simple to make! I found these cute Bunny Cupcakes on Betty Crocker's site. I just used a white cake mix to make the cupcakes and then I used some little circle and flower "sprinkles" for the eyes and nose and then added some whiskers by using a small zip lock baggie, I just filled it with black frosting and then cut a tiny hole in a corner so I could just squeeze out small thin lines. Here's the recipe I used for the frosting

Thick Vanilla Frosting
1 cup shortening
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
4 tablespoons milk

Beat together shortening and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar a bit at a time while beating. Then add 2 tablespoons milk. Slowly add in the rest of the powdered sugar and the rest of the milk until you get the right thickness for your frosting.

Sketches in Thyme {Bright}