Friday, December 24, 2010


Erica had something planned for you today, but she ended up getting really sick. Poor gal. So today you get me wishing you a very Merry Christmas. We'll be taking next week off and will start off fresh with a New Year. So, have a wonderful New Year too. Enjoy family and make some memories. Loves!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Digi Day

With Christmas, I kind of lost my scrapping mojo, but with deadlines looming (always a good motivator) I was able to whip out some fun layouts using some fun product. Both of these layouts are done using templates. When you need to get something done quickly, templates are the way to go! They are so versatile and even though the basic design is done for you, you can change things and add things to suit your photos. It's always a good thing to get a little scrapping done, memories documented, and photos actually displayed to share.

 This is a template by The Queen of Quirk. I love her templates and designs. I also used her You are Here Kit. Full Credits Here.

This is a template by Slendid Fiins. A great design to showcase a year of events. Full Credits Here.

So are you ready? Christmas is two days away. These last two weeks have been a whirlwind. Next year I'm going to re-think this whole traveling and cramming thing. I didn't even start my Christmas shopping and projects until we got to Utah. Two weeks, is just not enough time. I'm thinking a little more internet shopping next year? Anyway, I hope you are a little more relaxed than I am. May your Christmas be wonderful! Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eggnog Bread

I'm sorry...but you can't have Christmas without Eggnog.  Mmmm...I just love the stuff!  Whoever thought of making a bread taste like it is amazing!!!  It took me 2 go rounds at this bread to make it just right.  My first batch stuck so bad to the pan that it didn't have a bottom, and I couldn't take a picture of that.  It depressed me.  I get frustrated pretty easy when my cooking doesn't turn out right.  So...I tried again yesterday and...and I had a few mishaps, but the end result was pretty good...I think...  For some reason, i'm just not on top of my game!  I'm nervous to try my next recipe!  Anyhoo...enough of my babbling.  Try this bread.  It will make you and your belly happy.  It did mine!
Eggnog Bread
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. rum extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beat
1 1/2 c. eggnog
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 small box vanilla pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the CRAP out of 9x5 bread pan.  (I'm serious about the greasing part)  Blend the softened butter til nice and smooth and add sugar.  Blend til light and fluffy.  Add your extracts, eggs, and eggnog.  Blend until well combined.  In a seperate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg and stir in vanilla pudding.  Add to eggnog mixture and stir just enough to moisten.  Bake for 40-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool.  Wrap tight and store in refridgerator.  :o) 

I had to cover the tops of mine with foil so the tops didn't get too brown.  I think this would be fun to make into mini muffins for Christmas morning.  I think I might do that.

Hope you are having a fantastic week!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Now that's a name! Right?! Here is a quick and easy cookie recipe for your holiday parties. This makes a big chewy cookie with lots of yummy goodness through out. I love new cookie recipes and it's fun to change things up to fit the time of year. Red cranberries just say Christmas to me. The tartness of the cranberries and the chocolate together make a really yummy cookie. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1 (4-ounce) 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
Special equipment: a 4-ounce (1/2 cup) ice cream or cookie scoop

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the flour mixture. Add the oats, cranberries and chocolate chunks. Mix until just incorporated (dough will be stiff). Using a 4-ounce cookie scoop, scoop slightly rounded mounds of the dough into 12 (2-inch-diameter) balls. Arrange 6 balls of dough, spaced evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Using the back of a spoon, flatten the tops slightly and bake until the cookies are slightly golden on the edges, about 13 to 15 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes before serving.

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

Side note:
I doubled the recipe and used a Pampered Chef medium scoop. I'm not sure how many ounces it is. I got 33 large cookies. Enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake

This is kind of a Monday Match-Up.  Monica made a chocolate sheet cake back in July.  You can find it HERE.  I personally didn't try it, because I have my own favorite.  I made it this weekend while Monica was here visiting.  It's the perfect thing to make when you know your gonna have a crowd.  I got this recipe from my Mother in law a few years ago.  It's become a family favorite.  Especially for my Justy.  It's what she asks for on her birthday and other occasions.  She was pretty excited to see me making this for really no reason at all.  The icing to me is what makes it perfection.  It's got the best subtle almond flavor that goes perfectly with the chocolate cake.  Yum!  Hope you try it out.

Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
1 c. boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.  Add oil, buttermilk, eggs and stir together til well combined.  Add boiling water last.  Mix well.  Pour into big sheet pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool.


1 stick of butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 c. half and half

Beat butter until nice and soft and add vanilla, and almond extract.  Add powdered sugar slowly, scraping sides of bowl.  Add half and half last.  Ice cake when it's nice and cool

Have a great week getting ready for the big day.  I know i'm gonna be busy!  See you tomorrow!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mama's Flan

Since I was little one of my favorite desserts was flan. My mom being from Peru would occasionally make a flan for special occasions, Christmas dinner being one of them. I think I would put this in the custard/pudding department and you know how I feel about pudding. I would marry it if I could. So, with that being said, if you've never tried flan this is a pretty simple (and delicious) recipe for a special occasion. Your sophisticated friends will be super impressed and your sweet tooth will thank you generously.

Mama's Flan

1 Condensed Milk
1 Evaporated Milk
1 Cup of 2% Milk (you can use whole for a richer flan)
1 slice of White Bread
4 to 6 eggs (mom uses 5 large)
1/4 tsp of Rum extract
1 tsp. of Vanilla
6 tsp. of Sugar
1 cup of Sugar

Blend all ingredients but the 1 cup of sugar. In a pan dissolve the 1 cup of Sugar till it turns light brown.

In a 9X12 glass baking dish pour the melted sugar which will become like hard caramel once you pour it.. so when you pour it make sure you spread it around the dish. Put this dish in a bigger one filled with water... about half full.

Then pour the blended ingredients on top of the caramel.

Bake at 350ยบ for 1 hour. When you take it out of the oven get it off the bottom pan with water and let it cool for a few minutes, then you may put it in the fridge covered if you like it cold or just leave it out till ready to eat at room temperature. It will become firm and ready to eat.

To serve: while placing on a plate, turn upside down so the sugary syrup is on top. Top the flan with additional syrup from the pan.

You could also make this in a large round cake pan and invert it on a serving dish for a beautiful presentation. Since being home, I have struggled to keep up with my bloggerly duties. Thanks to Erica for picking up my slack and thanks to my mom for making my favorite Peruvian dessert. It's nice when I get to enjoy without having to bake. :)

Have a wonderful weekend and get a lot done! Time is ticking people!!! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Nothing better than homemade waffles on a cold winter morning.  I crave these a lot.  I make them all the time for my family too.  I've been known to whip them out for lunch and dinner too.  They are THAT good.  I served these to my sister and her husband once and this is the only recipe they use now.  They are seriously the best!  They are so light and fluffy, yet only a couple will fill you right up.  Top them with your favorite toppings.  Mine is either homemade raspberry jam or just plain ole' syrup.  Ask the hubs and my dear daughter what they want on top of theirs...well...peanut butter, and syrup?!  Ick!  I guess I should try it once, but it just doesn't sound that great to me.  Anyway...try these out.  You'll be so happy you did!

2 eggs
2 c. milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 heaping tsp. baking powder
2 c. flour
1/2 c. butter, melted

Mix your milk and eggs.  Pour over dry ingredients, mix.  Add butter last.  Use whatever waffle iron you have.  We like to use our belgian waffle iron.

Now I want to know what your favorite topping is?  And what do you serve on Christmas morning?  Hope your all having a great week!  See you tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bacon Onion Cheese Ball

A cheese ball for a cheese ball!  ;o)  Oh baby!  This cheese ball was amazing!  I had to put it away or I would have eaten the entire thing.  It will definately be on my list to make for Christmas and New Years parties.  I wanted to make a crab cheese ball, but you can't get that kind of stuff here in my small town, so maybe on my next trip out of town i'll have to get the stuff to make it.  This one has the best flavor.  I wanted to add a lot more green onions, but the hubs is not a huge fan of onions.  So I added enough to give it the onion flavor.  Go and make yourself a cheese ball for your holiday party...don't buy those big ole' bricks in the deli section.

Here's the EASY recipe~
2-8oz packages cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp mayonaise
16 oz. bacon, fried and crumbled
4-5 green onions, chopped
chopped pecans, to roll your ball in  (optional) 

Mix everything together.  It will be pretty creamy.  Shape it into a ball and refridgerate for 3-4 hours our overnight.  Roll in crushed pecans before serving.  Serve with your favorite cracker.  I used Ritz and it was awesome!!  ENJOY!

I didn't roll ours in pecans, because my husband doesn't like nuts.  Man...he sounds like a picky eater, but really he's not.

Hope you are having a fabulous week and getting things all wrapped up for the BIG day.  I'm finishing up my homemade projects.  It's so fun!  I love this time of the year.  And guess what?!  I get to see my sweet sis, Moni, on Friday!  Haven't seen her in months!  I can't wait!!!!  It's been awhile since I had a partner to dance with in the kitchen.  :o)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gingerbread Cake

I love the spicy flavors of Christmas. My sister-in-law Jamie has a fabulous Molasses Cookie recipe that I love. That is one cookie I just can't eat one. Hopefully I can get that recipe to you this season. Another good one is Gingerbread Cake. Yum. :) I got the idea from Jamie and thought I would attempt one today. If you like a spicy Christmas cake, then you'll enjoy this. I love it topped with fresh bananas and whipped cream. You could also top it with a lemon sauce or a caramel sauce. Yum!

Gingerbread Cake
1 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (2 cubes)
2 eggs
2 cups molasses
1 cup applesauce
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups hot water

Cream the sugar and softened butter till light and fluffy. Blend in eggs then molasses then add your applesauce. In a separate bowl combine the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix your dry ingredients with the creamed mixture. Then add the hot water. Pour into a prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

A couple side notes:
1. This is an adapted recipe from here. I actually doubled the recipe. This is more than enough batter to fill an 8 1/2 x 11 inch pan. Only fill the pan about 2/3 full. You will have some excess.

2. I was thinking that if I thoroughly screwed this cake up that it would make a tasty trifle. Just an idea. ;)

Oh I love this time of year. Hope your Season has been merry and bright. Don't blink, it will be over. That's always so disappointing. Enjoy every minute. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

My cousin's wife kept talking about these cookies she makes for her family and I had to try them.  They sounded like something my little family would enjoy, and I was right.  They gobbled them right up.  They tasted like a brownie with a little ooey gooey goodness in the center.  My husband even liked these.  He's not a big sweet fan, but he LOVES brownies.  So these were perfect. 

Here's the recipe~

3 c. flour
1 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
12 oz. mini chocolate chips
10 oz. bag of mini marshmallows, frozen  (You won't use the entire bag)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Keep marshmallows in freezer until you are ready to put the cookies together.  They are easier to work with when they are hard.

In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda.  Set aside.  Cream butter in mixer and then add both sugars, scraping sides.  Add eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add flour mix and chocolate chips and blend on low speed.  Dough will be stiff.  Gather 4-5 frozen marshmallows in the palm of your hand and cover with a heaping Tbsp of cookie dough.  Wrap dough around marshmallows, completely covering them.  Makes about a 2" ball.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Cool on pan for a minute then transfer to cooling rack.

I had a hard time telling when these cookies were done.  My first batch was over done and then I figured out that you don't want the marshmallows flowing out the sides and not be white anymore.  You want a little puddle of white gooeyness in the middle.  My oven had them perfect at 8 minutes. 

Are you all ready for Christmas?  What kind of cookies do you make during the holidays?  I hope you all have a fun and safe week.  See you tomorrow!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Favorite

I love Love LOVE this blog.  It's called This Week For Dinner.  She posts a new menu weekly and encourages others to post their menus, so she and everyone else can get ideas for their weekly menus!  It's great for ideas, and she's always posting awesome pictures, ideas, and recipes.  She started the blog because she is like most Mother's and Wives who just don't know what to cook for dinner, unless you have a menu or are told what to cook. 

Here's a few pictures of yumminess!!!

I need to make these Stuffed Shells soon.  They look heavenly!!
 Copyright 2010-This Week For Dinner

This looks so healthy and tasty.
Copyright 2010-This Week For Dinner

And this pie!  This is the one that got me craving pumpkin pie like crazy yesterday. 
Copyright 2010-This Week For Dinner

Aren't her pictures gorgeous?  Go visit This Week For Dinner.  You will be so happy you did!!!

Hope you all had a wonderful week, and here's to a fun and safe weekend!  See you Monday!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Candy Wrap-up

This is not exactly how I pictured wrapping up my candy, but my digital creations don't really work when my printer won't print color. So, I had to actually dig out my stamps, inks, scissors, and paper. It is nice sit and touch real crafty stuff. Makes me happy. Anyhoo, homemade tags on gifts are so pretty and give that special touch to the people you love. These were super easy and fun to make.


Dig out your crafty stuff and make some tags for all those gifts. You really can make them as elaborate or as simple as you would like. My sister-in-law is a stamper and she makes gorgeous tags. I'm a lot more simple but I still think it's better than slapping on a sticker from the store. Anything handmade feels more special to me.

Yay for Christmas! I love this time of year. The kids and I are heading home for the holidays and I can't wait to spend the Holidays with those we love! Next week when I post, I'll be home. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Fabric Garland

Erica?  Doing something crafty?  Ha!  I said the same thing, and YES, I did.  And it was super easy, anyone could do it.  Even me.  I seen a picture of some garland in a magazine, and thought to myself, "Hey!  I could do that!"  I went to my local store that sells fabric and with the help of and Aunt who works there, we picked out some festive fabrics that all went great together.  I picked some of the cheaper stuff to stay in budget and I have tons of extra to make more than one string of garland.  I was so happy with the end results, and I have even got a few compliments on it from people stopping by.  Makes me happy to get comments on things that I made.  :o)
Heres what you need to make your own~

Several yards of assorted fabric
Pretty ribbon

Measure out several feet of twine.  Using a few inches at the ends, fold it over into a loop and tie a knot so you have loops for easy hanging.

Prepare fabric by making small snips along the bottom of the fabric every 2-3", and tearing into strips atleast 6" in length.  If you don't want the ripped look then use scissors or pinking sheers.

Simply knot your fabric strips onto the twine.  Alternate fabric types and colors, or do it however you want.  If you want, throw in some bells or beads.  Use your imagination.
If you make one link us to your pictures.  We'd love to see what you come up with.  Hope you are all having a fabulous week!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday Match-up Part 2

Okay, okay so I procrastinated. I really wanted to attempt homemade caramels this year and I waited a little long to get started. Who knew caramels were so time consuming AND tempermental! I am new to the world of caramel making and let me tell you. When you are making caramels you must do nothing else but make caramels because if you decide to lets say read your child a book then you might suddenly realize by the pluming smoke from your kitchen that you really screwed up. And then you might realize that burnt sugar is almost impossible to clean up.

So, take 2 of my caramel mission was touch and go, but overall a success. And I will say that all the hard work and patience that goes into caramel making is well worth it. They turned out delicious and I'm excited to give them away.

Adapted from Our Best Bites

Apple Cider Caramels
2 c. high-quality apple cider (like Simply Apple)

1 c. heavy cream or whipping cream
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
up to 1/4 cup hot water
1 stick (1/2 c.) real butter, cubed

First put your apple cider in a saucepan and boil on high until it is reduced to 1/3 cup. This takes about 20 minutes. (Just so you know, this is where I decided to read Maggie a story. Don't do that. Ha ha!) Keep a liquid measuring cup right there so you can pour your liquid back and forth to check it. Remove from heat. In a small bowl mix the cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and reduced apple cider. In a large heavy bottomed pan mix the sugar, corn syrup, and water. I used about 2/3 of a 1/4 cup. The original recipe didn't have the water and my big clump of sugar wasn't doing much till I added it. You need some liquid in there.

Cook the sugar on medium low heat. When the sugar is looking dissolved add a candy thermometer and heat until the syrup measures 234 degrees. Remove from heat and add your cream mixture and butter. Stir until your butter is melted and everything is incorporated. Return to heat and replace your thermometer. Continue cooking until your thermometer reaches 248 degrees stirring gently but frequently. (Just so you know, because I didn't, this takes time. About 30 minutes.) Keep an eye on it, you don't want to cook it too long or your caramels will be hard. And if you don't cook it enough they will be super soft.

While your caramel is cooking line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper so it hangs out on both ends. Lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. When your caramel has reached 248 degrees, remove from heat and pour into your prepared pan. BE CAREFUL! This is very very hot. Keep the kiddos away. Put your caramel in the fridge and let it set up. It should be set in an hour.

When you are ready, take the carmel out and use the parchment paper that was hanging out to pop out the caramel. Place on a cutting board and use a sprayed pizza cutter to cut your caramels. I cut mine 1 inch by 1.5 inches. Now the fun part (not really)! Cut wax paper into squares, place one caramel in the center and wrap up twisting the ends to seal.

I wanted to show you how I wrapped these, but my printer has started to act up. Nothing seems to be going my way this week. Hopefully I'll have a picture for you later.

Hope everyone is doing well. We would love a link to your recipe or neighbor gift ideas. Please share! Have a good day!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Favorites

Where did this week go? I intended to get more done but with heat out (and now thankfully working again) my motivation went out the window. I have a laundry pile and a messy craft table to prove it. So I will be featuring my advent calendar garland next week.

Today you get a Friday Favorite. As you may know, I love baking. One of the things that I have envied is some bakers' ability to decorate sugar cookies like this...

and like this...

I have decorated once like this before. I wish I had a picture and they did turn out cute. They were a basic daisy shape with yellow centers and colored petals. Anyhoo, what I learned from them was how incredibly time consuming they were! I bet with practice and a more streamlined approach it could have gone quicker. But I loved them and I got really good responses from them. But since then I've just envied those that did it.

I was blog hopping the other day and stumbled upon Bake at 350. She does lots of different baking but her main deal are these fabulous cookies. I was in awe and a bit jealous of her mad skills. Anyway, check out her blog. You will be amazed too.

Hope everyone had a wonderful WARM week. Everyday is one day closer to Christmas! Yay! See ya Monday with a couple neighbor or teacher gift ideas. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Something Funny...

Have you ever had a recipe go REALLY wrong, and you swore you followed the recipe exactly?  I made this banana bread back in March and just thought I'd share it with you.  I'm not perfect in the kitchen.  I have a lot go wrong and I just laugh...or cry and try again.  I laughed my butt off with this one, because it is identical to a maxi pad!  Am I right?   Have you had something go terribly wrong in the kitchen?  Do tell!  :o) 
Hope you are having an awesome week!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Digi Day

Today is a good scrappin' day. One of the things you don't really appreciate until it's gone is HEAT. Our heater went out last night and with space heaters and lots of blankets we fared well. But today while waiting for it to get fixed I think I may sit under a few blankets and scrap. I can't imagine getting anything done freezing my buns off. Okay, maybe a little laundry.

Anyway, I did get a chance to scrap last week. I have two layouts for you today. This layout is done using a new template by In the Making Design. Templates are a great way to get your scrapping done quickly. The design is already done for you, you just have to add your paper, photos, and any additional elements you would like. You can get templates at any digi scrap store. Find this one here.

Full Credits Here.

This one is from the first lesson in Jessica's Digi in Deep class. This is her advanced photoshop class. It is much more in depth and teaches more advanced skills. I love this class. I took it once before, but this is the updated version. Seriously, give a gift to yourself and sign up for one of her classes.

This layout is done from scratch. We made the photo block, the circular frame, the scalloped edges, transparent journaling block, the wrapped string around the frame, and much more. My idea of some good alone time! That and watching a good chick flik. This is what I do when the kids are in bed and Aaron is studying. Fun, fun!

Okay, just a reminder that there is a 20% off sale at Even the classes are on sale! Check it out. Plus if you spend $20.00 you get a free winter collab kit. It's huge! Can't beat that. I have a fun little project to show you on Friday. Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Miss Saunders' Spinach Dip

My brother's sweet sweet girlfriend brought this to a family dinner once and it was gone in seconds.  My family devoured it!  I have been making it since for family get togethers and it's always a crowd pleaser.  It's easy to throw together and the flavor is OH so yummy.  I really think you should make it for one of your holday parties.  You'll be happy you did...and so will everyone else. :o)
Here's the recipe~

Spinach Dip
2 cups mayonnaise

1-16 oz tub sour cream
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can water chestnuts, chopped (optional)
1 package leek soup mix
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeeze all the liquid out of it

Mix together and refrigerate one hour before serving - serve with tore up bread or chips.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Matchup-Breakfast

I hope everyone is rested up from the food and family frenzy. We had a wonderful time with new friends and I'm ready for a week of light eating.

Erica and I are starting to feel a little stumped as far as the match-up goes, so if you'd like to see a recipe for something let us know. Any ideas? For this week, I decided to do a breakfast item. I love breakfast foods. In our family it has always been Aaron's thing. I've enjoyed relaxing Saturday mornings and letting Aaron do the cooking. He is good at it too. Unfortunately, he is busy with school and I have kinda slacked on our traditional Saturday morning breakfasts. Cold cereal, anyone? Good thing my kids like cold cereal. Hence, my choice for this match-up. I think Aaron was pleasantly surprised to see me actually making breakfast.

I chose to do a muffin. I love muffins but grew up on the boxed kind. Lately, I've been more interested in making things from scratch for various reasons. I guess I've been a little freaked out by all the garbage that goes into the all the mixes. Although making stuff from scratch takes more time, I know exactly what is in it. No extra stuff that we can't even pronounce. I'm not a huge health nut, just a little concious of what my kids are eating. Anyway, I get off track easily...sorry.

Cranberry-Lemon Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 to 1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved

In large bowl, mix your dry ingredients together. In smallish bowl, beat eggs, then add milk and oil (you can use applesauce too). Add your zest, lemon juice, and extract. Now you can really choose how "lemony" you want these. For my recipe I just added the zest and juice but would have preferred a little more lemon taste. Next time, I will add 1/2 teas. of lemon extract. You decide though. :)

Next, mix your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients just until everything is moist. Don't overmix muffins. Last, fold in your cranberries. Fill your lined muffin tin 2/3 full and bake at 400 for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes then turn over on cooling rack. Enjoy warm or cold. These are moist and delicious. My kids like them too, tart cranberries and all!

Source: Adapted from Here

I am the usual pancakes or waffles with a breakfast meat, so this time I wanted to try something a little different.  I was craving sweet...which is normal, but I wanted to please the hubs.  :o)  So, I made something more savory with everything you need on one thing.  Eggs, bacon, bread, and cheese.  You are supposed to mix it all up the night before and let it sit, but I didn't do that, so I did it this morning and let it sit til after lunch.  We were gonna have them for breakfast, but plans changed and we went and got our Christmas tree.  These were perfect to throw together as soon as we got home and had them with hot chocolate.  My family loved them, and they warmed us right up.  Oh, and I halved the recipe and it was perfect for my family of 4.

Here's the recipe~

Good and Melty English Muffins
12 whole hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
12 slices of bacon cooked crispy, crumbled
1 c. mayo
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 dashes of worcestershire sauce
6 whole english muffins, split

Stir everything together, and cover and let sit over night, or a few hours.  Spread english muffin halves with egg mix and broil for 3-5 minutes until good and melty.  Don't set it too close to the heat.  Keep an eye on them.  Serve immediately!

Source: Adapted from Here

And, Moni's right...what kind of recipes would you like to see?  We'd love to hear from you.  :o)  Have an awesome week!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hi!!!  I can't move...I'm still so full.  :o)  I had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with my in laws and Dad.  I hope everyone else had a great day as well.  I can't believe it's over with and Christmas is next.  Where the crap does time go? 

I had almost an entire can of pumpkin puree left, after making my pumpkin cheesecake, so I decided to make some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  These are one sweet treat that the hubs does like.  I have a few different recipes for these.  All of them delicious, but as I was searching through my recipe books this one fell out and it is one from my childhood.  My sister had wrote it down and I'm pretty sure it came from my best friends mom, Templ.

Here's the recipe~

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 to a 1 bag of chocolate chips, depending how you like it.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all dry ingredients together, and set aside.  Beat butter and brown sugar together til nice and fluffy.  Add your egg, pumpkin, and vanilla and mix well, add dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spoon onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. 

And...the winner of the Bakerella Cake Pop book is....
Pam said...

I just officially became a follower. My cousin Katherine told me about your blog and your giveaway. So don't forget to give her credit!I would love to win this book. My youngest loves baking and cooking. Check out our family blog post.

Congrats, Pam!!  Send us an email of where you want us to send your prize to or  Can't wait to hear from you!!!

Thank you all for entering and can't wait for the next one!!  Have an awesome weekend!  *hugs*

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I love this day. Even being far away from all those I love this day means so much to me. Baking in the kitchen has brought me so close to my dear Grandma. Grandma and I had a little tradition together. We spent the day before Thanksgiving baking pies together. We probably did this for ten years. I loved those times spent with her. She taught me so much in that time. I can still see her hands carefully rolling her dough and crimping the edges. Time had made her an expert and I was privileged enough to learn from her. I'll forever hold those memories dear to my heart. I am thankful for lessons from those around me.

I am truly blessed. I am thankful for my husband and his ambition. He is smart and funny and I adore him. I'm thankful for my children. They are my life. I am thankful for my family. My dad for always believing in me and my mom for teaching me valuable lessons. My brother and my very best friend Erica. I love you both. I am thankful for my inlaws. My dear mother-in-law for showing me how to truly love your children and my father-in-law for teaching me unwavering faith in God. To my siblings-in-law, it's so nice to have so many close friends. I love you all. To my Heavenly Father, thank you for my life, for the lessons I've learned, the trials I've faced, and the blessings I've received.

Thank you to our readers. We love doing this blog and sharing our passions with you. We appreciate your support.

I hope your day is full of love, family, and laughter. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's a little recipe to celebrate the day. I know it's too late to make it for you dinner this year, but bookmark this. You will want it for sure next year. It is HEAVEN. Especially the next day!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 3/4 cups sugar
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
6 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups sweetened whipped cream

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brush a 10-inch springform pan with some of the butter. Stir the remaining butter with the crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, packing it tightly and evenly. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a rack, then wrap the outside of the springform pan with foil and place in a roasting pan.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and beat until just light, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Beat in the sour cream, then add the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, 1 teaspoon salt and the spices and beat until just combined. Pour into the cooled crust.

Gently place the roasting pan in the oven (don't pull the rack out) and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake until the outside of the cheesecake sets but the center is still loose, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the door briefly to let out some heat. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour, then carefully remove from the roasting pan and cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edges, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Bring the cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Unlock and remove the springform ring. To finish, place a dollop of the whipped cream on each slice.


Source: The Food Network 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grandma's Rolls

Man!  Was I busy last night.  I had to make rolls for my Auntie and I got them done!  They are so tasty and delicious...I think I made about 6 dozen and I ate about a dozen myself.  :o)  These are super yummy and one of my favorite recipes for rolls.  My Grandma would serve these at every Thanksgiving meal.  I'm sure gonna miss her baking them this year.  Rolls are a staple at every Thanksgiving dinner, and you can't go wrong doing these. 

Here's the recipe~

Grandma's Rolls
2 c. milk
6 Tbsp. butter plus more for pans and tops of rolls
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. warm water
2 Tbsp dry active yeast
3 eggs
7 cups flour plus some for rolling out.

Microwave milk and butter until butter is completely melted, about 4 minutes.  Pour into larger bowl and add sugar and salt.  Stir until dissolved.  Refridgerate until cool.  Dissolve yeast in water and let set til it starts getting bubbly.  Beat 3 eggs and add to cooled mik and then add yeast mix.  Blend.  Add 4 cups of four and beat with mixer or by hand until bubbles start to form.  About 5 minutes.  The bubbles will start appearing and pop.  Then with a big spoon stir in remaining 3 cups of flour.  Cover and let raise to top of bowl, punch down, and let raise again.  The dough WILL BE sticky! You want to make sure not to use a lot of flour.  Just enough to make it workable.  Flour your counter or board and scoop out dough.  Toss in flour and let it sit for a few minutes.  Divide in half.  Put one half back in the bowl.  Roll out into circle, then cut like a pizza.  Roll each section from the wide end to the narrow.  Do the same with the other half.  Butter pans and set rolls on it and let them raise til double in size.  Bake at 375 degrees for 11-12 minutes.  Brush tops with butter.

You don't need to do them in this shape.  I did the Lion House shape yesterday and they turn out just as delicious.  My Grandma would cut hers with a round cookie cutter most the time.  It's just what you prefer.  :o)  ENJOY!!!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Thanksgiving.  I know we will be trying to stay warm here.  Supposed to be below 20 degrees!  Ridiculous!  I'm thankful to each and everyone of our readers.  I love doing this for all of you and sharing what I love to do.  :o) 

Don't forget to enter our giveaway!  You only have until tomorrow night to enter.  Go HERE to enter!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Digi Day

I'm working on a few various projects and unfortunately having nothing new to show you. I do want to make sure you know about a couple things going on at

First of all. If you haven't registered for Jessica's free class you are running out of time. This will be the last time I bug you. I just don't want you to miss out. Sign up, you have nothing to lose.

Also, the website is having an annual holiday sale that starts on Black Friday and goes through Dec. 31st. Everything is 20% off. What a deal! Here is your chance to pick up some of those classes you've been eyeing. Registration for Jessica's third class Digi in Deep is coming up and you can get it for 20% off. Also, if you spend $20. during the sale you get a FREE collab kit to go along with all your goodies from the designers at JessicaSprague.

And lastly, if you haven't entered our Giveaway, go HERE. We are giving away CakePops by Bakerella. Just a reminder that you have to comment to be entered. Thursday is the last day to enter. I'm actually a little jealous. I don't have this book yet so whoever gets it, can I borrow it? hee hee.

Hope everyone is getting geared up for the food and family fest. Can't wait! Have an awesome day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Match Up-Crockpot

A crockpot recipe?  On the week of Thanksgiving?  Yes.  Why?  Because we know how busy we are, and I'm sure you are gonna be baking and cooking for the big day, so we wanted the first of the week to have an easy recipe.  And what's more easy than throwing stuff in the crockpot and forgetting about it for the rest of the day.  I LOVE IT!  I chose to do one of my family's favorite.  French Dips.  Simple ingredients and awesome results. 

Here's the recipe~

Crockpot French Dips

4 lb. rump roast
12 oz. can of beer  :o)
10.5 oz can beef broth
10.5 oz can french onion soup
6 of your favorite hoagie rolls
provolone cheese

Trim excess fat from the rump roast, and place in a slow cooker. Add the beef broth, onion soup and beer. Cook on Low setting for 7 hours. When you are about ready to eat, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut hoagies in half and butter and bake until starts to get a little crisp.  Top with cheese and leave it in til it's good and melty.  Slice or shred your meat and place on hoagies, and serve with the Au Jus in the crockpot for dipping.  DELISH!  Perfect with some potato chips, or homemade fries.

And I can't close my post without wishing my beautiful daughter a HAPPY HAPPY 11th Birthday.  Ugh!  I can't believe I have an 11 year old.  So happy she is mine.  :o)  Love you, my Justy!


Yes! I need easy right now. I have a huge to do list this week and all the other everyday stuff needs to have easy written all over it. I love crockpot recipes. Every time I make one I wonder why I don't do these more often. EASY! I made a new recipe for ribs and they turned out very tasty. A recipe to keep for sure.

Santa Fe Country Style Ribs

2 lb. boneless country-style pork ribs
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup Salsa (I used a thick and chunky medium, we like spice)
3/4 cup Chili Sauce
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground red cayenne pepper (I used a sprinkle or two, not too much for the kids' sake)
2 Tbls. tomato paste

Spray your crockpot with cooking spray. In the cooker place ribs and sprinkle with salt. In small bowl, mix salsa, chili sauce, cumin, and red pepper. Pour over ribs.

Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours.

Remove ribs from cooker. (I used a slotted spoon because they were so tender.) Into a 2 cup measuring cup, pour 1 cup cooking juices from the cooker. Stir in 2 Tbls. of your tomato paste. Spoon over ribs and reserve some for extra sauce at the table.

We had these with mashed potatoes, green beans, and a bread. Yum!

Yay for Turkey Week! Also, don't forget to enter our Giveaway for the book CakePops by Bakerella. Enter Here.

Happy Birthday Justy! We sure love you. I remember the day you were born. Eeek. It was a crazy experience. So glad you made it. Have a great day!

Source: Pillsbury Slow Cooker

Friday, November 19, 2010

Martha Stewart Marshmallow Turkey Cupcakes and a GIVEAWAY

We have a couple of things for you today. First of all, I haven't done a cupcake for awhile and was feeling the urge to get back into my Martha Stewart Cupcake book. I am still part of the Martha Stewart Cupcake club although I haven't been very active. This months cupcake was chosen by Simple Girl. This was a really fun cupcake to put together. I actually made these for a bunch of medical students during finals week. I felt a little silly bringing these in but my husband reminded me that medical students are regular people and will love them. They were gone so quickly so I was glad for that.

I don't love all of Martha's cupcake recipes but this is one I do. She uses the One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes for the base. I love this cupcake. It is quick (which is great) and very delicious. I topped these with a chocolate swiss buttercream, toasted coconut, multi colored candy fish, and coconut covered marshmallows. So cute and so fun!

You can find Martha's One Bowl Recipe here. Try it out, it's a good scratch chocolate recipe. Much better than the boxed. You can find her Swiss Meringue Buttercream here. It's very different than a regular buttercream. It is very light and fluffy.

Okay the second thing, today is our 100th post on this lil' ole blog! We wanted to celebrate by giving away something fun. So in honor of our 100th post we are giving away Cake Pops by Bakerella!
I have been following Bakerella for a couple of years now. She is so creative and such a humble gal. She started a blog about her baking and has now traveled all over the country and just released her first book. Yay! We are giving one book away. Here's what you need to do:

1. Become a Follower
If you are already a follower, then you're awesome! BUT, we are trying to get our little blog out there So...
2. Share our blog, either through Facebook, your blog, or whatever
3. If one of your friends follow, make sure they let us know and we'll give you and them another entry.

We will close this next Thursday at midnight and announce the winner next Friday! Woohoo! 

I made these for my daughter's birthday. Cute, cute! Love Bakerella!

Have a Happy Weekend! Turkey Day is on the way!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spicy Sausage Dip

My husband was a happy man last night.  :o)  He had something yummy like Spicy Sausage Dip to munch on.  He doesn't like it so much when I make a bunch of sweets, because he just isn't into sweet stuff...well...except me, of course!  Ha!  He would rather come home to chips and dips or a meat platter with cheese and crackers.  Not cookies, and cake, and muffins. please my honey a little more, i'll be posting more manly dishes, just for my man.  This dip only took a little while to make and then end result was absolutely delicious!  What a great little dish to take to a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years party.

Here's the recipe~

Spicy Sausage Dip
16 oz. Sausage, Hot or Spicy
15 oz. can of dice tomatoes with chilies, undrained
2-8 oz. pkgs of cream cheese
and hot sauce to taste

Brown the sausage, drain fat.  Add can of tomatoes and cream cheese and leave on heat until cream cheese is all melted, taste, if it's not spicy enough add some hot sauce.  Serve with Frito Scoops, Ritz, tortilla chips...whatever floats your boat.  ENJOY! 

Stay tuned for a fun giveaway tomorrow.  :o)  YAY!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Digi Day

Did anyone sign up for the FREE class by Jessica Sprague? If not, go do it. I actually had a couple questions from some people about this. Even though the class starts and ends on a certain date, you don't have to follow along. What's great about Jessica's classes is once you sign up you have them forever. You can take your time if you need to. I actually have a few classes I haven't even touched yet. So when I have time to do them I can. Also, there has been many times that I've forgotten a Photoshop technique and I've gone back to a class for a refresher. It's nice. So you have nothing to lose. It's Free and if you don't have time to do it, then you don't have to. Also, you can sign up and look through it and see if it's for you.

Okay, I have two projects for you this week. The first one takes care of my Halloween photos for the year. WooHoo! This layout is using Creativity by Crystal's Too Cute to Spook kit and her Inspired by Susan #7 Template.

Full Credits Here

This card was done using IKari's Create a Card Template and Echo Park's Life is Great Kit. I enjoy doing cards, I should do them more often.

Okay, I hope everyone is having a great week. Stay tuned, we have a fun giveaway slated for Friday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ham and Potato Soup

Nothing says comfort food like potato soup and homemade rolls...oh...I was in heaven tonight eating dinner.  It's been so darn cold and yucky that I thought this would be the perfect meal.  I paired it with Lion House Rolls...perfect.  :o)  I've been making this recipe for a few years.  I usually have everything on hand and I know I say this word a lot, but it's super EASY!  Mommy likes easy.  I am so excited to have soup weather upon us.  I hope you don't get sick of all the different kinds of soup I will be making.

Here's the recipe~

Ham and Potato Soup

3 1/2 c. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 c. celery
1/3 c. onion, chopped
3/4 c. cubed ham
3-4 c. water, or just enough to cover all the veggies
1 1/2 c. carrots
2 chicken buillon cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp flour
2 c. milk

Chop all your veggies and throw them in a big stock pot with salt and pepper and cover with water and bring to boil.  Add your buillon cubes, and ham and cook until potatoes and carrots are just about perfect.  While boiling, melt your butter in a seperate pan then add your flour and whisk around for a minute or so then gradually pour in milk.  Stir constantly until it starts to get thick.  Pour this mix into soup mix, and stir it around good.  Let it cook for a few more minutes and then serve.  It's so delicious and creamy!!!  And you can really add just about anything to this soup and it will still turn out amazing!!

Have a great Tuesday!!!
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