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.

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