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 cholita41@yahoo.com or enjvanbeb@yahoo.com.  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 JessicaSprague.com.

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.  So...to 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!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Favorites

I found a new food blog, and I'm sad I didn't find it sooner.  I have a lot of catching up to do.  So many of her recipes caught my eye and there are a lot I want to try.  She's a great photographer and obviously and awesome cook...and who doesn't LOVE a girl who eats everything??

Tonight I tried her Poppyseed Bread recipe and it was to die for.  I didn't do the glaze, because i'm not a big fan of orange glaze, and I thought it was delish without.  You can find the recipe for that here.  It was super easy to throw together, and the end results were amazing.  So moist!!!

Here's some recipes I want to try very very soon...

Mint Brownies...YES PLEASE!

Cowboy Caviar...I've got to make this one soon!

Go check out The Girl Who Ate Everything.  You will be happy you did.

Have a safe and awesome weekend!!!  See you Monday!  :o)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Veteran's Day. Just wanted to quickly express my gratitude to all the Veterans young and old for their sacrifice and service. My heart is full when I think of those who have given all to fight for our basic freedoms. I love this country, I love our flag. I am so proud of the Veterans in my life. Thank you!

Now on to a treat. My sweet mother-in-law is the master at cookies. One thing she is amazing at is keeping her cookie jar full. At any given moment you can walk into her home and there will be cookies in the cookie jar. There is something about that fact that makes her kitchen so unbelievably warm and welcoming. Her kitchen is definitely the heart of her home. Lots of memories and happy times have been spent baking and cooking in her kitchen. She gave us some very wise advice once, she said, "keep the cookie jar full. It brings the kids home!" I intend to do just that.

I am sharing with you a very special recipe. Who knows where this recipe originated from but these are the very best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. They always taste better when she makes them, but whenever I do make them inevitably someone will ask me for my recipe. Enjoy!

Marilyn's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. softened butter
2 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
5 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
Lg. bag of chocolate chips

Cream together the shortening and butter until it is fluffy. Add your sugars and beat until smooth. Add your eggs and vanilla and beat till combined. In a separate bowl combine the flour, soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients and mix till combined. Mix in your chocolate chips and nuts if desired. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

This makes a lot of cookies. They do keep well in a cookie jar for a few days or they can be frozen. Give them away! Your friends will love you.

Have a happy Thursday and don't forget to take a moment to remember our Veterans! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taco Soup

Last night I was stressing myself out.  I had to have dinner on the table within the next hour or two and I am running low on groceries.  You know how it is.  I had no idea what to cook, and when I asked Jason what he wanted I got the usual male answer, "I don't care."  :o)  I started thinking of the things I did have and lo and behold I had everything except the Fritos to make taco soup!  Yay!  I love taco soup.  So fast to throw together and so warm and filling.  It snowed here yesterday and it was cold, so it was the perfect meal.  Jason picked the Fritos up on his way home, because you can't have taco soup without Fritos!
Here's the recipe~

Taco Soup
1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning
1-16 oz can corn, I used my freezer corn
1-16 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-28 oz can stewed tomatoes, I used a quart size jar of my own stewed tomatoes
1-8 oz can tomato sauce
1 pkg of ranch dressing mix

Brown your beef with the onion in a big soup pot.  Drain fat.  Stir in taco seasoning, corn, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and dry ranch mix.  Simmer til nice and hot.  Serve with shredded cheese and Fritos.

Source-Grandma and Jamie S.  :o)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Digi Day...and some exciting news!

Okay, I'll start with the exciting news. Jessica Sprague is offering a FREE class! I've talked her classes up and so here's your chance to try one out. This class is for all crafter's not just digi scrappers, so sign up! This is a $40. value.

And lastly here is my layout for the week. It is the last lesson in Jessica's new version of Up and Running. I can't tell you enough how much I love her classes. I love creating with my computer. This layout showcases our new home. I love these types of layouts. We have actually lived in a lot of places and my sis-in-law suggested we take a pic of every place we've lived in and make a mini album. Not only do our kids and grandkids want to see us in photos, but they want to see the places they lived and made memories. I love to look at old photos and see the decorations in the background or the pictures on the wall. I'm nostalgic that way.

Alrighty. Go sign up for the class and have an awesome day!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Favorites

How have I lived in this blogosphere for about three years and noone has pointed me to this fun blog. Recently I found Make It and Love It from another blog and probably spent a good hour (even though I should have been sleeping) looking around her blog. She has fun ideas and awesome tutorials. She has tutorials for anything from home decor, mod podge, clothing, to cake decorating and recipes. She is super crafty and my kind of girl. Here are some of my faves.

She has some great home decorating tutorials. These pillows are gorgeous. Tute here.

I'm in love with this skirt. That bow is to die for. Tute here.

This is a little girls dress made out of a women's knit shirt. This is something I would like to get better at. Instead of throwing so many clothes in the Goodwill pile, a lot could be repurposed. And look how cute! Tute here.

Check out Ashley's blog. It won't dissapoint. :)

Anyway, sorry I'm so late today. My dad has been here from Idaho visiting and it has been wonderful. He left today and it's so sad to see family go. I hate that we have to be so far away. But such is life. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lazy Lasagna

The name fits me to a T.  It really is lazy because it's so darn easy to throw together.  You don't even have to cook the noodles!  I love that!!!   I've been making this lasagna for years, and it's a family favorite.  It's so easy and you can change it up a bit without a problem.  Before I found this recipe lasagna intimidated me.  It just seemed too hard to do.  Glad I found this one.

Here's the recipe~

Lazy Lasagna
1 lb ground beef
1-32 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
16 oz. cottage cheese
8 oz. sour cream
8 uncooked lasagna noodles
2-8  oz packages of shredded mozzarella cheese give or take
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 c. water

Cook beef in a large skillet until meat is brown.  Drain fat and add spaghetti sauce.  Heat through.  Set aside.  Combine cottage cheese and sour cream, stir well.  Spoon 1 1/2 c. meat sauce in bottom of 13x9 pan.  Place 1/2 of the uncooked noodles on top of the meat sauce. Then half of the cottage cheese mixture.
A good layer of mozzarella cheese, 1/2 of the remaining meat sauce and 1/2 c. parmesan cheese.  Repeat layers starting with noodles.  Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Pour water around the sides of the pan. (I usually don't use ALL the water.)  Cover tightly with foil.  Bake in a preheat 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Make sure to put a cookie sheet or foil under pan, because it always bubbles over a little bit.  Uncover and bake 20 minutes more or until bubbly.  Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes longer. 
The finished product. 
I was in a hurry to eat it and that's why it's not completely set up.  The more you let it sit the less gooey it is.

I like to add olives to my meat sauce and sometimes I use more or less cheese.  Depends on my mood.  Seriously...change it up a bit if you'd like.  Let me know what you try different.

Source-Great American Brand Name Recipes Cookbook

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Digi Day...Christmas already!?

You know it baby. In the marketing world Christmas comes early and that includes the scrapbooking industry. This week my layout is using Echo Park's Merry Christmas Kit.

Full Credits Here

Also, Carina Gardner has joined the JS Design team and I'm very excited to be working with her stuff. I met Carina over a year ago and she is such a nice talented gal. Here are a couple of kits she released this week. Find them here.

And lastly, the JS team have started two new blogs to showcase layouts done using JS.com products. If you need some scrapping ideas check them out here and here.

Hope you are having a wonderful week!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Cloud Cookies

Yes, and they are AMAZING!  I even thought about throwing an apple wedge on top, but I refrained from doing that.  Seriously...why has no one told me how delcious peanut butter and marshmallows are together???  I didn't discover this til at a Halloween party they served apples with peanut butter and marshmallows.  I came home right away and made me some, and I was on cloud 9. (Hence the cloud name)  Maybe it's just a weird pregnancy craving.  If so, I apologize.  When I told the hubs and Justy what I was planning to do they both said, "EW!"  They still tried one, and they liked them!  If you haven't tried this combination then you need to do so...now...today!  DO IT!

Here's the recipe~

Peanut Butter Cloud Cookies
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 small jar marshmallow creme

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets and set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth.  Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.  Add the salt and baking soda. Stir until mixed together.

Spoon dough into balls, about 1 Tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Place the cookie dough balls on the greased baking sheets, about two inches apart.  With your thumb, press down the dough ball to make a dent in the middle of each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove baking sheets from the oven. Press down the cookies with your thumb again. HOT!  Cool cookies onto a wire rack and let them cool a little more.  Take a spoonful of marshmallow cream and fill the center of each cookie.  If the cookies are still a little warm, I thought that helped the process a little better.  That stuff is sticky! 

Good stuff...wonder what they'd taste like with a pickle on top....:o)

Source-Two Peas

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Match-Up - Soup...again

You are bound to see some repeats from previous Match-ups. I think last time I chose soup it was not even cold yet and I was just yearning for sweaters, beautiful leaves, nutmeg, and of course...soup. Now things are really cooling down in many parts of the country. I know my Utah/Idaho friends have seen snow already and so far in Missouri we've had lots of wind and chilly days. Plus soup is pefect for a Halloween night. It was definitely in order.

I wanted a creamy comfort soup. I chose a cheesy potato soup. You really can't get more creamy or comfort than that. We were very lucky to share it with my dad who is visiting from Idaho. It's so wonderful to have visitors when you're so far away from home. The kids were ecstatic to have Grandpa here. Well, I was too. I would make a pot of soup every night if it would magically bring us family.

Anyway, enjoy. :)

Baked Potato Soup

2 Tbs butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C flour
4 1/2 C low-fat or skim milk
1 14oz can chicken broth
4 medium baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds) baked, boiled, or microwaved till done
2 C grated cheddar (or sharp cheddar) cheese, divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C light sour cream, divided
1/2 C chopped green onions, divided
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divide

Before you start your soup, make sure you cook your potatoes in whatever way is convenient to you. I baked mine but you can also peel and boil them or cook them in the microwave. It doesn't reall matter.

Saute garlic in the butter for a minute or two on medium heat until fragrant. Add the flour and slowly whisk in your milk. You want to add this slowly and whisk as you go to avoid flour clumps. When it is all whisked in go ahead and add the chicken broth and your pepper and salt. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and cook until thickened stirring occasionally. Once your soup has thickened, add your potatoes. I just scooped my potato out of there skins into the pot. I then mashed the large chunks with my spoon to avoid any large pieces. Next and 1 1/2 cups of cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup green onion, and some bacon.

Serve soup hot topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of bacon, cheese, and onions. Yum. This fed 3 adults and two kids barely. Next time I will double it so we can have soup for lunch the next day. I seriously love soup. :)

Source: Our Best Bites
I love having soup for dinner, and winter is the BEST for this reason.  I chose to make Chicken Posole.  The first time I tried posole was at my Mom's years ago!  It was delicious!!  I've had it many times after and I enjoy it every time.  The kind my mom makes is very time consuming, but delicious in the long run.  I'm all about quick and easy, especially when i'm pregnant.  My Auntie had made an easier version of posole this summer, and I thought it tasted just as good and took a LOT less time to throw together.  She got the recipe from her twin daughters, Jennifer and Connie.  I was craving something different tonight, so I thought I'd make it and I'm glad I did.  You need to use a rotisserie chicken in this recipe.  Auntie said she's tried using other types of chicken and it just isn't the same.  So i'll take her word for it.  She's a smart cookie and an awesome cook!!

Chicken Posole
1 sm onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 1/2-14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
2-15 oz cans of hominy
32 oz box of chicken broth
1 rotisserie chicken, pulled apart and cubed up.  I used the all the meat, because my chicken looked like it was starving.  Eyeball it.
Red Pepper flakes
shredded lettuce

Heat olive oil in your stock pot and saute' onions and garlic until softened.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, and hominy and bring to boil while cutting up your chicken. Throw in the chicken and bring back to boil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  You can add the red pepper flakes at this time too.  I didn't add it because then my chillens wouldn't have eaten it.  Add what you like.  If you like it spicy, go crazy!  When it's boiled for a few minutes take it off the heat.  Pour into bowls.  Top with shredded lettuce, cilantro, radishes and lots of lime juice.  Like I said, super easy and fast!

Have a happy Monday!
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