Thursday, September 30, 2010

Here's a lil' Mish Mash...

First off, I just want to thank my sister for her awesome post yesterday. It made my day. It's hard being far away from home and it was nice to feel loved. You are the best sis. I love you lots. And thanks to all my family that wrote a message. It mean a lot. I love you guys. :)

I have a few things for you today. Nothing spectacular, but ideas nevertheless. My son had a birthday recently and since I'm the queen at procrastination. I was planning his party just a few days before the actual event. I live in a smaller town and I had a hard time finding things I needed for my last minute planning. If only this town had a Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's my life would be so so much easier. Anyway, thank goodness for my third child (my laptop) and his friend the internet I was able to throw a successful party on a budget with limited resources. Phew.

So my son has been into Avatar the Last Airbender and I wanted the kids to be able to choose what nation they are from at the beginning of the party. I thought shrinky dinks would be perfect for this. Guess what, no shrinky dink plastic in a 75 mile radius. I'll google it. Me googling..."how do I make my own shrinky dinks?". It worked, I found a tutorial! So off to the grocery store I went to get #6 plastic from the bakery. It actually worked, although the plastic didn't exactly keep the original circle shape. They kind of turned into ovals. This worked for my project but wouldn't work for more intricate shapes. Pretty cool eh? Find the tutorial here.

We have a strict budget being medical students but I really wanted to make a craft. Again, searching the internet for a catapult. I came upon the Family Fun Website. It has a ton of craft ideas to do with your kids. I've been on this website a few times and have enjoyed their ideas. I built the catapults before the party because of the hot glue, but the kids had a blast painting and decorating their catapults. We then had a competition with paper balls. They loved it. Who needs fancy party favors!?

I do like to send the kids off with goodie bags. That's the first thing my nephew asks when he walks into the party. "Do we get goodie bags?" We missed him this year. Again with our budget I wanted something nice but not huge. I found a template by IKari Designs on for a cute lil' bag. These are great! They take a little more time and effort but they are adorable and hand made.

I made these for a couple of ladies I visit.

I've been working on some flower accessories. Today is the last day to enter for our giveaway. You can enter here. Thanks to everyone who has entered. I'm excited to be making these for you! Have a happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Monica!!!

Today is my sisters birthday!  Happy Birthday, Monica!!  This post is dedicated to you, and I hope it makes your day brighter. 

I am sorry we can't be with you, and celebrate.  Even though you think it's just another really isn't!  I am so happy you were born!  I don't know what I would do without my big sis.  You have been there for me through everything.  You were there for the birth of both of my children.  How amazing is that?!  Kinda gross, but whatev.  ;o)  I am so happy we turned into best friends.  I didn't think we had much hope as children as much as we fought, but look at us now.  I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't talk to you and if I don't, I don't like it...AT ALL.  You are such an amazing human being.  An amazing daughter, sister, grand-daughter, Mom, wife, auntie, and friend.  You have so many talents and you excel in all of them.  I strive to be like you, and hope some day I can be as awesome at crafts, sewing, decorating cakes and cupcakes, photography, scrapbooking, etc...I could go on and on and on.  I hope you are celebrated today and are spoiled rotten.  You truly deserve it.  I miss you so much and can't wait to see you again.  Even if we just sit in my living room eating and watch Food Network all day.  Love you so much, Erica* celebration I made what I thought was one of your favorite desserts.  It was SUPER hard, but I think it turned out wonderfully.  It sure tastes yummy!  Wish you could have a bite.  Maybe I should overnight it to you?

Creme Brulee
Here's the recipe
1 quart heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
10 egg yolks
3/4 c sugar plus more for sprinkling the tops

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large saucepan bring cream and vanilla to ALMOST a boil.  Set aside.  Place egg yolks in large bowl and add sugar.  Whisk these til light yellow in color.  (It takes a lot of elbow grease!!!)  Add cream 1 cup at a time whisking constantly and vigorously to prevent your eggs from cooking.  Continue adding the rest to the bowl very slowly whisking constantly.  Add a little more rapidly as the mix warms.  Place ramekins in a rimmed baking sheet.  Fill them 3/4 full.  Place pan inside oven and fill rimmed pan with water until reaches half way up ramekins.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until custard is set but not brown!  Remove ramekins and allow to cool.  Refridgerate covered for 2 hours or over night.  When ready to serve sprinkle about 1 TBSP sugar on top of custard.  Using a kitchen torch, or in my case, Jason's BIG outside torch  burn sugar to a crisp working quickly to avoid cooking the custard.  Serve immediately!  DELISH!!!
Coy blew out the candle for you!  :o)

And for an extra special treat, here's a few notes from people who care about you.  Thanks everyone who sent me your notes.  I truly appreciate it!

My Moni... what a wonderful opportunity of having to do this for you... your little Sis is very clever and she did it because she misses you and loves you. Just as I do love you and miss you too. *Very much!*  Moni... you have been a joy in our family, a very quite and peaceful child and always were the peace maker of all.

I will never forget the night you were born... we had to drive all the way from Malad to Logan- Utah and it took 45 min. to drive there... when I went for my check up Dr. said you must stay this child will be born tonight.  So I did go into the Hospital by 7 p.m. and Dr. did what he had to do and you were born in less than 3 hours. You came fast.. you did try to be born way before your time but we were so grateful you decided to wait till it was time.  You were born on 9/29/78 at 9:29 p.m.  You had the most beautiful black hair and when they brought you to me after you were cleaned they said this beauty is a *10* that was the highest score for a pretty baby.. and boy did I feel super excited.. even if they told me that you were just a 1 or 2 or whatever #... you were the most beautiful baby girl I had.  I love you so very much!.. and I am so grateful you decided to stay and be part of our family.

I wish you my Moni all the best.. and yes you are very far away but my thoughts and prayers are with you every single day.  You are a great example to me... and to many and I couldn't ask for a better daughter, wife and mother.  May our Father in Heaven bless you always and may His precious Love, Peace and Spirit always dwell with you and your precious family and home.

I love you my Moni..and I miss you so very much!.
Much love and kisses ..
Your Mama

Dear Moni,

Happy Happy Birthday!! Love you so much and miss you a lot. You are a wonderful daughter with many talents. I'm always so impressed at each new undertaking and how you master everything perfectly! Your scrapbooking is amazing. You are an excellent cook and a very talented baker -I miss sampling your yummy cupcakes! You are a wonderful seamstress. You are a skilled special education teacher with much dedication to those you teach. You serve our country faithfully. Most important, you are a supportive wife to Aaron and a loving mother to Ben and Maggie! We are so very lucky to have you in our family. Wish I could give you a big hug today. Just know I send my love and wishes for a wonderful day. I'll be thinking of you all day in that far away Missouri!
Love, Mom L
Monica impresses me in many ways—she is resourceful and makes do with what she has. She is well educated and has used her education to help provide for her family. (I still hear compliments from people at Bingham who knew her or worked with her there, and the both love and miss her.) She has wonderful talents in decorating cakes and and cupcakes, and she has excelled in the world of scrapbooking. She is a great conversationalist—easy to talk to, pleasant, and polite to others. She thinks she is not smart, but I think she is very smart and knowledgeable, especially about things that matter. She is a trooper and a pioneer—following and supporting her husband as he seeks to develop his talents. She is fun at family gatherings—her cheerful presences is felt as she lightens a gathering with happiness. But perhaps the thing that I most admire and appreciate about Monica is the way she raises her children—my grandchildren. She takes such good care of them. She is sensitive to their needs, and she teaches them to be polite and respectful. She helps them to feel that they are important without making them feel conceded. She starts on their level and builds them. She uses these same talents in interacting with other children. Thanks, Monica, for being a part of our family and for doing so much good for all of us.  Love, Bob

Dear Monica,
I want to wish you a very happy birthday. I wish we could spend this special day with you, but we will just have to rely on the computer. Now on your special day, I want to see a picture of you eating cake! You just show us how pretty those cupcakes are, but I want to see you stuff one of those babies in your mouth and really show us how yummy they are. Well I am sending you lots of love and special wishes from our house to your's. We miss you and your family tons. But I know the years go fast and you and your family will soon be closer to home.
Have a wonderfull day, I love you lot's!
Aunt Linda and Uncle JR

My dear Monica, just wanted to send you a little note to let you know that I am thinking about you and wishing you a very wonderful *Birthday* I also want you to know that I miss you very much and also Aaron and your little ones Benny and Maggie.
Sure love you my Monica!
Much love and kisses...

OH Monica. I wish you the best year. I'm so proud of your accomplishments, love you as a parent, and laugh at your goofiness when were together. You deserve a happy birthday so enjoy! Miss your face sis. Love Brian
Monica, I will always remember our trip to Moab as one of the best experiences I have ever had. I treasure that time together and so enjoyed just being us and having fun. We got to see so much and you had the idea to do it. You are spontaneous and cool. You are one of the coolest people I have ever known. I love you immensely and know that when we see each other whether it has been a few months or longer that it will seem as if no time has passed at all. I love your family and am so proud of how talented and kind you are. You are beautiful inside and out. Have a wonderful birthday and I can't wait to take a trip and see your new home.  Connie

OH Monica. I just wanted to tell you for your birthday that you are truly inside and out one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL people I have ever met. I love that we can talk and have different views about life and such but we also see each other's side and appreciate it. I love how willing you are to listen and how big your heart is. Cause it is always open to help and to love. I love your craftiness. You have so much talent in your two hands. I really love you and miss you and I hope you have the best birthday yet! Love Jen!

Happy Happy Birthday Monica! You are a wonderful sister-in-law, and I so miss having you around. I will always remember (unless I have alzheimers someday!) the first time I met you. You were a brave woman to meet the family on a weekend getaway to Ruby's Inn. You seemed quiet and a little unsure of us, but you were also very nice and I knew we would be friends. I was also instantly and extremely jealous of your beautiful, long, dark, thick head of hair!

You are such a talented lady! I so miss your cupcakes. My mouth is watering for one right now! Plus, your scrap booking and sewing skills are envied by many - especially me. I absolutely love my beach bag and thought of you every time we went to the splash park this summer.
Have a wonderful day and know that you are loved and missed by many. I can't wait to see you in just two short weeks!
Love you!

Happy birthday, I hope you have a fantastic birthday. You are one of my favorite sisters in law. I look forward to the day when I can punch you in the arm again. Have a great time in Missouri and know that you are loved and missed. Just you though, not Aaron, well you and the kids...Brian S.

Monica, you are an amazing woman and an inspiration to me in many ways. You are incredibly talented and an exceptional mom. I love you lots and miss you tons! Can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks. Happy birthday!! I hope it's a good one!  Mindy

Happy birthday. I hope you have a great day. I miss your sweet, kind, fun self. I love you

Martin :)

I remember when I first met Monica and I have known her every since. I'm glad that after all these years she is still my favorite sister-in-law (pause for laughs). Anywho, I wouldn't be the same person today if it weren't for Monica...I mean I do think that I am a better person because of her (and I don't mean because she has humbled me by pinning me down when we would wrestle or from the dead arms from her punches). Here's to another 24 happy years of life! (Yes I know she's older than 24).  Jake


I hope you have a really Really REALLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I really miss you guys. It's just not the same without you here!! I wish that I could be there to celebrate your birthday with you. I love you lots!! Hope your Birthday is FANTABULOUS!!!   Emily

Happy Birthday!  I miss you guys.  And the next time I see you I will have to kick your ass again at Mario Party.  Love you, Jason

Hey Monica happy Birthday Here's hoping you have a very fine day AND FOLLOWING YEAR.  Miss your mug being around...Uncle Joe

Have a wonderful birthday Monica.  You really are a sweetheart and we wish you and you darling family the best in your adventures.  You are a great example to everyone around you and you have such a sweet and strong spirit that can be felt whenever anyone is in your presence.  Love, The Wyoming Coltons

Happy Birthday Monica! Miss you tonz and wish you were here. Love ya, Jammie

Happy Birthday Cousin! I hope your family spoils you to pieces, you deserve it! I love you and miss you!!!
Amber Patty

I can remember the first day I met you when coming to the Lifferth family dinner. Right away you told me "listen Carla this is how it's done in the Lifferth family." Now that I'm a part of the family I know all of the things you've told me is real LOL. Monica, without you even knowing it you shown me how to be a great wife & mother (once that time comes). Seeing your love and care as a daughter in law has made me a better daughter in law. I love being a part of your life & I'm so happy that you're a part of mine.
Love you,  Carla Lifferth

Happy HAPPY Birthday, Sis!  Love you so much!!  Have an awesome day!  *hugs*

And you only have til Thursday to enter our giveaway.  My talented sister will be making 3 bows to giveaway.  Enter in our Friday Favorites!!!  Have a great "Hump Day"!  :o)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Digi Day

I do have some big news today. has grown in a big way the last few months. They have added 4-5 new designers and are pumping out many new products weekly. They announced that they are having another Creative Team call. Here is the flyer and a link with all the information you need to apply.

Being part of the Jessica Sprague Creative Team has been amazing for me. I have loved being "in" on some of the happenings on the website and I love getting to know others who love what I do. It has given me the opportunity to document my life and my childrens lives. I love that I am telling my children through pictures, words, and art how much they mean to me. I know if anything ever happened to me they would know without a doubt how much I love them. That's important to me. So, if you have even the slightest temptation to enter this call, please do. You have nothing to lose. It's fun.

Okay, and here are my layouts for the week. I actually got a few done. Yay!

This one I made to showcase the Braided Digital Kit by Kitschy Digitals. I love the cute braids and rosettes. So fun. I love this photo of Maggs too. It's a little blurry but I had to use it. She is actually looking at me and I put the camera down at her level and snapped the shot. Priceless. Credits Here.

These are Halloween photos from a couple years ago. I love when I get to catch up on past events. This layout is showcasing the Happy Halloween Kit by Echo Park. It was a fun kit to play with. Credits Here.

This is third layout from Jessica Sprague's Now We're Rockin' Digital Scrapbooking Class. I love these classes. They make me happy. And I'm still learning. See how the end of the ribbons are cut as if I used scissors on real ribbon? On another past layout I took several minutes trying to figure out how to do this and ended up doing a shoddy job. Jessica taught me a quick 30 second tool to get it done. Hello! Polygonal Lasso tool! Only photoshop people would understand my frustrations. Super cute layout though.

Hope everyone is having a great week. Remember to enter our drawing here for some FREE cute flower accessories. :) Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Match-Up

Peaches is what I chose to do this week.  I couldn't resist!  They looked so delicious and juicy in the store and I was right...they were!  Thanks to my awesome friend, Susie, she gave me the perfect recipe to use them in.  I was so happy that I did, and my family was too.  Who would've thunk?!  A Peach Chimichanga?!  Oh yes...and to hear my baby boy say chimichanga makes it all worth it too.  :o)  It's so easy to put together and the toppings are endless!  I chose to top mine with whipped cream and more fresh peaches.  Jason, on the other hand, wanted vanilla ice cream on top of his.  They were both delicious.  Yes, I tried both!  I have a good excuse...remember? ;o) If you want to use canned peaches for this recipe then go right ahead.  I think it'd taste just as good.

Here's the recipe for a family of 4-
4-6" flour tortillas, warmed
4 TBSP Cream cheese, softened
3 ripe peaches, skinned, and diced up
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Oil for frying
And toppings of your choice such as whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, powdered sugar, caramel ice cream, caramel ice cream topping...I could go on and on.

Spread tortillas with cream cheese.  Combine peaches and cinnamon; spoon down the center of the tortilla.  Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.

In a skillet or deep fat fryer, heat 1 inch of oil to 375 degrees.  Fry them for 1 minute on each side or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve warm.

I hope you all enjoyed these as much as I did.  I think this will be a new family favorite for us. 

Remember that time when I went all crazy about Rice pudding? If not then, here's a reminder. Anyhoo, when Erica told me peaches for Monday my mind went straight to Peach Bread Pudding. I did a quick Google Search and came upon a recipe by Emeril. I just can't get away from The Food Network. This was a fun lil' recipe. It was not too difficult to whip up and it made my heart and taste buds sing. Seriously, so yum.

I hadn't had a lot of luck with peaches this year, so I was crossing my fingers for some good ones. I was in luck! Look at these beauties.

 While I soaked day old bread in milk and cream, I peeled and cut about 2 lbs. of peaches. I love hand peeling fruit. It reminds me of my Grandma. I watched her hand peel a lot of fruit and she taught me how to do it myself.

After they were all peeled I cooked them in a skillet with sugar until they were soft around the edges and delicious looking. They look awesome, right? They were then folded into the bread, milk, egg, mixture and baked in the oven until golden brown and set.

I made Cinnamon Sauce to drizzle on top. I based it off Emeril's recipe but instead of adding amaretto, I put in 1/2 t. of cinnamon. It was tasty and complimented the pudding perfectly. Is there anyone out there that loves puddings as much as I do?

You can find the recipe here.

Reminder, we are doing our second Giveaway. If you want to enter leave a comment on THIS post and link us from your blog or facebook. Is it Monday already? Here we go!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Favorites

Flowers, flowers everywhere. Yeah, I know it's officially Fall. I'm talking fabric flowers though and they really are everywhere. Flower accessories are big, and I've been wanting to make some for my lil' girlies hair. There are a million ways to make them so I wanted to show you a few tutorials out there so you can get going and make your girlie some fun flower accessories too. You can find tutorials all over the net and YouTube has a bunch of video tutorials also. Just google fabric flowers or anything close to that.

This one is by Maize in Montana. She is looking for the frayed look but you could also double the width of the fabric, fold it in half and stitch along the unfinished edge. You would finish it off the same way but you would have a cleaner look. Both are cute, it's just the look you're going for.

This one is adorable. It is by Pink Paper Peppermints. This one is a little more work but is adorable finished. You could probably layer 2 or three and have a fuller flower.

I've seen a few these lately and was happy to find a tutorial. This one involves fire. How cool is that? I found this tutorial at Craftaholics Anonymous. So many possibilities with this one.

This is a cute one. It is done by Wise Craft.

And this one is super easy and very cute. Tutorial is by Sugar Bee. (You will have to go to the link to see them, some people don't like to sharte their pics.) I know you've seen them around.

Anyway, I need some motivation to make some flowers so I am doing another GIVEAWAY. Yuppers, I'm making flowers and I'm going to give someone three different types of fabric flowers connected to an alligator clip. Sorry no pics, because they're not even started yet. lol. They will be cute, promise. :)

To be entered into our drawing you have to comment on this post and share our link on your blog or through facebook. We would love to have 100 followers. If we can get to 100, I'll give away 9 flowers to three different winners. This is kinda fun! The deadline for entering will be next Thursday Sept. 30th before midnight. Good luck, and thanks so much for all your support. Erica and I have loved doing this. It keeps us busy and close. We love that.

With that, have a great weekend. Enjoy yourself and do something crafty!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Simply Done Chicken Legs

I usually hate cooking chicken with the bone in.  It scares me.  I either dry it out or undercook it, but this recipe is a no fail.  Seriously...the easiest EVER!  And they taste amazing.  I could have eaten the whole pan the first time I tried them.  I love chicken legs, and kids do too!  So it's a win win.

Here's what you need-
14 chicken legs (Family pack)
Enough Olive Oil to coat those chicken legs generously
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Put your thawed out chicken legs in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil making sure every leg is coated real good with the stuff.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixing the legs around making sure everything is coated with the seasonings.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  Make sure to turn them a bit during cooking time so they are crispy on all sides.

I served mine with chicken rice and some fresh steamed asparagus.  Was so tasty and a huge hit in my house.  ENJOY! 


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Digi Day

I was hoping to have at least two layouts for you this week but alas I don't. Does anyone else wish there were more hours in a day? I was so excited to be a stay at home not only to spend more time with my kids and be there for them but to also be able to craft. So far crafting has not really happened, but I do have some plans for some fun stuff.

Last week I introduced you to Anna Aspnes. I hope you had a chance to marvel at her work. She totally inspires me. This week I want to introduce you to Zoe Pearn. There is something so "me" about her designs. I'm not sure if I've pin pointed it yet but every new kit she comes up with just makes so excited! Not only does she offer her digital designs through Sweet Shoppe Designs but she also designs for My Mind's Eye (the paper company) and you can find her blog here.

Here are a few of my favorite kits.

This is one of my favorite boy kits. I love the felt elements.

Her flowers are gorgeous and I love the papers.

Another beauty.

If you like the shabby look then check out more of Zoe's fun designs! :)

Here is my layout for the week. This layout if done using Cosmo Cricket's Nutmeg Kit. You can find it here in the store. Full credits here. Thanks! Have a great Wednesday!

Monica :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday Match-Up Cont'd...:o)

Hi...Hello!  I'm back!  What a miserable last couple of days!  Nothing knocks me out more than a migraine, and I didn't feel like doing a thing.  I laid in bed most the day and pouted.  I'm really really good at both.  Good thing I have an amazing husband, and kids to take care me and the house while i'm out.  But, I'm back!  I'm sorry I didn't feature this yesterday, but better late than never!

I decided for my bread item to do a bread bowl.  I've never done them before and I have to say, they were super easy.  My family was happy with them, and the cheddar broccoli soup was to DIE for.

Here's the recipe for the bread bowls-

4 tsp active dry yeast or 2 (.25 oz) packages
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
7 cups all purpose flour

1 egg white
1 Tbsp water

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Leave it alone til it starts getting bubbly.  About 10 minutes.   

Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with your hook attachment on your kitchenaid at medium speed after each addition.   

When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.  Or turn your kitchenaid on high and listen to it slap around and get smooth and elastic.  You'll know when it's done.  Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. 

Punch dough down, and divide into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks. 

To make your bread bowls cut a circle on top and pull out your lid...this makes it yummy for dipping!

Cheddar Broccoli Soup (If your interested)
2 bunches of fresh broccoli (about 1 lb)
1 medium onion
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
4 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Cook broccoli just until tender.  Do not overcook.  Drain and cut into small pieces; set aside.  Saute' chopped onion in the 1/4 c. butter until tender; set aside.  In a large soup pot melt 1/2 c. butter over medium heat, then stir in flour until well blended.  Gradually stir in milk, broth, and salt.  Stir constantly until it comes to a boil.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until thickened.  Add broccoli and onion.  Stir in cheese until all melted.  Don't bring it back to a boil.  Serve it immediately or keep it warm over low heat.

Take Monica's advice...make some bread this truly will make you happy!  :o)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Match-up Solo...

Yup, you heard right. Solo, people. My lil' sis is prego and has been plagued by migraines. Poor girl, wish I could help somehow. Anyway, she was too sick to do any baking/cooking this weekend so you just have me today. Not much of a match-up is it? That's okay, Erica will be here tomorrow with her part.

I think bread and I have a pretty good relationship. I love bread and it's loves to be eaten, so there you have it! I try not to think of the carbs and calories but I do try to limit my intake. You have to agree that there is nothing better than the smell of bread baking in the oven and a hot slice slathered in butter. Fresh bread is just one of those things that can bring instant joy. I think Erica mentioned this before, but bread baking takes me right back to standing on a chair next to my Grandma watching her knead bread dough. She was amazing and would bake several loaves once a week to last all week long. I'm sure many times it didn't. If she happened to have visitors on baking day, she could count on at least two loaves gone. She loved visitors though and I can still picture that thick slice of wheat bread covered in butter and homemade raspberry jam. Bread=home, home=family.

This also is the case with my other family. My mother-in-law's rolls are heaven and especially when she makes them. They never seem as good when I make them. My husband said today, "it doesn't matter what  kind of rolls mom makes, she makes them from the heart so they are just better". I'm not hurt, they really are. That woman knows how to bring a family together, and it's usually from the oven or her stove top. So with that here is the recipe for her dinner rolls.

Dinner Rolls
2 packages of yeast
2 cups of warm water
Mix and let sit in mixer for 5 minutes to activate yeast
Add to yeast mixture:
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter softened
1 egg
2 1/2 t. salt
2/3 c. dry milk
5 to 6 cups of flour (add 2 cups of flour and beat together until smooth; continue adding flour one cup at a time and mixing well after each addition)

Knead for a couple minutes. Place ball of dough in a greased bowl and let rise until double (approx. 1 hour). Punch down and shape into rolls however you prefer. Let rise again 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Swap pans from higher shelf to lower shelf half way through the baking time for even browning.

Source: Marilyn Lifferth

As far as rolls go, I've also tried these lately from one of our featured blogs and they are fabulous! After you make the ones above, try these too!

Hope you have a wonderful Monday. And bake some bread this week! It will make you happy. :)


Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Favorite

This week, I chose to feature Two Peas and Their Pod.  I found them through a friend and I'm happy I did.  They are a cute little couple that cook together and feature their favorite recipes.  I've made a few of their recipes, and was happy with all of them.  Very tasty and pretty too!  Like I've said before, nothing more romantical then cooking in the kitchen with your honey.  :o)

Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Sea Salt
Caramel and salt?!  Need I say more? 

Cucumber Feta Salad
Such a refreshing and light salad.
Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp Skewers
Help Me!  I want to try this one so bad!  I wish we had good FRESH seafood available here in our small town.  Doesn't it look heavenly!?

I hope you enjoy their food blog as much as I do.  They have so many more recipes that I am wanting to try.  If you've already discovered them, let me know what your favorite recipe is.   Oh, and go here to check them out. 
Have a great weekend and we'll see you Monday! 
Is it me?  Or is September flying?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oreo Cookie Cupcakes

Cupcake, anyone? I love cupcakes. I love making them, frosting them, giving them away, eating them, but especially giving them away. I needed a treat for an activity, and when the opportunity calls I am on it! I had a package of oreos so I figured oreo cupcakes sounded fun. I was a little short on time and I happened to have a yellow cake mix (GASP!) so I used that as my base. I'm thinking a white cake or a chocolate cake would suffice also. If ya like a lot of chocolate, go for it.

First off, I dropped half an Oreo, cream side up in the bottom of my cupcake wrapper. I thought this would be fun little treat to bite into. Next, I whipped up my cake batter. I was going to stir in some crushed up Oreos but I forgot. Really? I'm making Oreo Cupcakes and forget the Oreos. I am getting very forgetful in my old age. So, I sprinkiled the crushed up Oreos on the cupcake batter. Now, my years of experience :) told me to stir in the cookies in each individual cup. Did I listen? Of course! Ha ha. I was curious what would happen if I didn't stir it in so I left one. It's science while I bake!

Anyway, as you see my gut was right. The one that didn't get stirred in just stayed at the top. If that's the look or taste you want, then sprinkle, don't stir. I get off track easily, what were we doing?

Oh yeah, cupcakes. Next, I whipped up some buttercream frosting and garnished with crushed up Oreos. And wha-la! Quick and tasty cupcakes.

For next time, I would use a chocolate batter. I wasn't sold on the cupcake on the bottom so I may use more chunks in the batter. I would use a pudding/whipped cream frosting or even a cream cheese frosting. They were overall pretty good. I took them to a cub scouts activity. Those boys scarfed those suckers down!

Here is a quick buttercream that I enjoy. It is adapted from here.
1 c. butter
1 c. shortening
8 c. powdered sugar (approx. 2 lb. bag)
1/2 t. popcorn salt
2 t. vanilla
About 6 oz. cream/milk/water (whatever liquid you want to use)

Cream the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. While they are creaming, warm up your liquid in the microwave. Don't get it too hot or it will melt the fat. Add the salt to the liquid and stir until it dissolves. If I have time, I will then put it in the fridge to cool down. Add the powdered sugar to your butter mixture and mix. Add your liquid slowly (not all at once). Keep adding it until your frosting is the consistency you want. You may not use it all. Don't forget the vanilla, then let your frosting whip in the bowl for 2-3 minutes.

Off topic, I think I made fun of Photoshop Friday on Wednesday too much because they are officially moving it to Friday. Keep an eye out tomorrow for a new tutorial on I hope they don't fire me for making fun of it. lol. :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creamy Pork Chops over Rice

What a nice change to have a yummy pork recipe!  I'm so sick of beef and i've still got a freezer full. When i'm pregnant i'm not a huge fan of the stuff, so pork was perfect!  AND it's cooked in the crockpot, so even more perfect!
Yes, that's a paper plate.  I'm lacking in the pretty plate department!  GIFTS WELCOME!  :o)
Here's the recipe-

8 thinly sliced boneless pork chops
1 cube butter
1- 0.7 oz packet of Good Season Italian Salad Dressing-Recipe Mix
1 small can of cream of chicken
8 oz cream cheese, softened

Layer your pork chops on the bottom of your crock pot.
Melt butter and add the packet of dry italian dressing.
Pour over pork chops and cook on low for 2-2 1/2 hours, until chops are cooked through.
Mix together soup and cream cheese and add to crock pot.  Mix it all together.
Cook on high for 30 minutes.
While it's cooking start your rice, and when it's done pour it over your rice and enjoy!!

Source-Miss Stacy

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Digi Day

I am a bit of a snob (please act surpised, ha ha!) when it comes to scrapbook supplies. I come from a scrapbooking era when all that was available was cardstock, stickers, and pens. Anyone else remember those days? Scrapbooking has become HUGE and a little overboard at times. You can find scrapbooking products at any craft store. You can find really cute amazing products and a lot of lame-o weird stuff too. Did I mention I was a scrapbooking snob? Anyway, the digi world is the same. There are some amazing designers out there and some so-so and some really terrible ones. Well, I wanted to feature a few of my favorite designers. I'll do one every once in awhile to gently guide you to the amazing cute stuff. K?

Today I want to tell you about Anna Aspnes. Anna's scrapbooking style is amazing. She documents and scrapbooks but it's not all cutesy, it's artistic. Really amazing. She sells her products through Designer Digitals so we can attempt to be like her. I had the opportunity to meet Anna. She is super nice and an inspiration. Anyway, here are a couple of her pages.
See! Art. Love the blending. And she focuses so much on faces. Love it. Credits.

She uses a lot of shapes and curves. Very nice. Credits.

Check out Anna's store at Designer Digitals to see all her very cool products. I love her stitches and templates. They are my fave!

Now for my weekly layouts. They are embarassing next to the ones above! Ha ha.

This is using new products by Echo Park. This is the Apothecary Paper Pack #1 and the Apothecary Elements Pack #1. Halloween already?! Bring it on. I love fall. :) Full Credits.

This is the second layout in Jessica Sprague's Now We're Rockin' class. Fun Fun. :)

Alrighty, people. Have an awesome day. And do something that makes you happy! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Match-Up

Apples...the child in me wants to twist my tongue and say, "apple".  :o)  And i'm not saying that I didn't do it a couple times in the past couple days.  It's funny.  Ha!  Anyhoo...It's my week to choose the Monday Match-Up, but I have a really hard time thinking of things.  So, my thoughtful sister said, "Hey!  What about apples, where it's the start of the school season!?"  What a great idea!  Apples it is. 

I chose to do an apple turnover.  Way easy and way yummy.  (I'm eating one now as I type.)  Now, I could have been all "susie homemaker" and make my own puff pastry, but let's get real here!  I like easy.  So, I bought the puff pastry in the store, and it worked out magnificently!  I used my handy apple peeler and corer to do all the hard work for me, and Justy thought that was fun.

Here's the recipe
4 good sized Granny Apples
2 Tbsp. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. water
1 pkg of puff pastry (17.25 oz)

For the icing
1 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Take out your puff pastry and let it thaw out prior to making your apple filling.

Core and peal apples.  Cut them so they are pretty little slices.  Melt butter on medium heat in a large skillet and add apples.  Stir it around for a good 2 minutes.  Add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir for another few minutes.  Mix cornstarch with 1 Tbsp water and add to apples stirring constantly til it starts thickening up a bit.  Remove from heat to cool slightly. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Unfold puff pastry and cut square into 4 smaller squares.  (The entire box should make 8 turnovers.)  Spoon apples into center of each square.  Fold over and either pinch edges to seal or I used a fork to make it look a little more pretty.  GO ME!  Put on a cookie sheet at least 1" apart and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and PUFFY.  Keep your eye on them.  It's ok if they leak.  Don't judge!  ;o) Your house will smell divine!!! Cool completely before glazing.

For your icing add your milk and vanilla to powdered sugar and blend til it's a good consitency.  Add a little more milk if you want it thinner or sugar if you want it thicker.  I put the icing in a pastry bag and decorated the tops.  A ziploc bag works great too!  If you don't want icing then sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and sugar before baking.  NOM NOM NOM!  I thought these would be really good with a good scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Hey all, Monica here. Fall is in the air, eh? If you know me well then you know how much I love Fall. LOVE it. Somehow apples in September is a great way to bring in the Fall season and the harvest. I chose an Apple Cake. I had never made an apple cake so I looked through some cookbooks and browsed the net for a recipe. I finally settled on a recipe by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa).  She calls it Apple Cake Tatin. I love trying new recipes but always fear they are going to be a failure. So far so good. This turned out very pretty and pretty tasty. I'm actually not a huge fan of fruit in cake but I'm glad I tried this.

The fun part about this recipe was making a sugar caramel and pouring over the sliced apples before covering with cake batter. The batter was very tasty with a touch of lemon zest. I know my batters and can usually tell if they cake will turn out or not just by the batter. If you're looking for a pretty dessert for a fall get together, check this one out.

Here we go with a new week! Have a happy Monday!
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