Monday, January 31, 2011

Creamy Bacon and Parmesan Pasta

Give me creamy pasta and bacon any day of the week.  So fulfilling and yummy.  I've made this adding chicken and peas.  Mix it up!  Broccoli would be awesome with it too.  It does need quite a bit of salt for my tasting, but everyone in my family thinks I use WAY too much salt, so I never add it to my dishes while I cook.  Don't want to upset anyone.  :o)  This is a quick and easy meal to stir up.  My kids absolutely love it too.

Creamy Bacon and Parmesan Pasta
1 pound bacon
1/4-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound rigatoni or penne pasta
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 whole Eggs
1/2 teaspoons ground pepper

In a skillet, fry the bacon. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. When done, remove bacon until cool enough to handle and roughly chop.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until done (according to package instructions).

Place cream and cream cheese in a small saucepan. Heat over low until cream cheese is melted, and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Add the parmesan cheese, eggs, and pepper and whisk until blended.

Drain pasta (reserving 1/2 cup of hot water) and return to pot. Immediately add the white sauce and toss to coat. The hot pasta will cook the eggs. Stir in the bacon, and add some reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.

Enjoy! And Happy Monday! Yay to the end of January!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Butterfinger Cupcakes Take 3....Seriously

So I attempted to re-make these cupcakes last Friday. I went to my go-to recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes and knew they would turn out perfect. Well, my idea of filling the wrapper two-thirds full and the batters idea were much different I guess. Every single cupcake overflowed. Such a disapointment to see my beautiful chocolate cupcakes flowing like volcanos in the oven. Anyway, it is a tasty cake but most ended up in the trash. *Sigh*

Okay, take three. With my confidence waining, I attempted these for a third time. Success at last, I think these turned out perfectly delicious. This cake really is super easy and oh so tasty. Just be careful on how full you fill your wrappers. They are a bit tempermental. I would do more half to two-thirds.

What I changed about these was the fact that I mixed crushed Butterfinger in the batter. The bigger the chunks the better. The little crumbs just dissolve into the batter. You can see and taste the bigger chunks. I topped these off with my new go-to peanut butter frosting and a nice chunk of Butterfinger.

Part of the learning process for me in my baking is to trust myself a little more. I'm a recipe follower and in my mind think if the recipe says something then it has to be right. I've ruined many recipes following the recipe exactly when I had a "feeling" to adjust or change a certain aspect. Hind sight is always 20/20. Many times I thnk I should have just went with what I felt. I also think there is this fine line between trying new recipes and just sticking with what I know is tested and true. Why have go-to recipes if I don't "go-to" them? You know what I mean? Just because I see a recipe for Butterfinger Cupcakes doesn't mean I have to follow that recipe. I have an awesome chocolate cupcake recipe, why not use that? Why try this new cupcake recipe that turned out dry and tasteless. *Sigh* Baking is a learning process for me. I wish I could say every thing I toss in the oven turns out amazing. It doesn't and I think I'm okay with that.

Okay, blah blah blah. Sorry. Here's the recipe!

One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the cocoa, flour, sugar, soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix till combined scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Scoop batter in liners and fill one-half to two-thirds full. (Be careful here!) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until top of cupcake springs back when lightly touched. Let cool completely before frosting. Makes approx. 18 cupcakes.

Source: Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Kathleen's Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Combine the sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla , and salt in a mixer until creamy and smooth. Slowly add the cream and beat until light and fluffy. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend! We pretty much made it! January is almost over. It's a rough month for me and I'm never sad to see it go. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Mmmmmm, I'm still loving soup. I'm dreaming of Spring and warm weather but for now I'll cuddle under my favorite electric throw and smell anything hot coming from the crockpot. I was one of those odd kids that loved my vegetables. I still do and am trying to pass that love to my kids. For the most part they do pretty well but I can't convince them to like brussell sprouts or green peppers. I don't have to lie about onions anymore, they'll eat those as long as they're cooked. I think that's a huge success. Right? We used to tell them they were Chinese noodles. It worked. (I'm not endorsing lying to your children.) Ha ha!

Anyway, I was a bit worried when I put a bowl of green mush in front of them. They didn't make any faces or even ask, "What's this?" I just hurriedly said, "it's pea soup!" when I really didn't need to. They weren't worried and even ate it up. I love that.

So if you need a simple crockpot recipe to get you through these cold winter days. Try this one. We enjoyed it.

I apologize for the mediocre pic. It's hard to photograph a green soup! So not eye appealing.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup
1 lb. green split peas, picked over and rinsed
1 large leek, white and light green part only, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 teas. salt
1/2 teas. pepper
2 teas. dried parsley
2 teas. dried thyme
1 large ham steak (or ham bone with left over pieces or a smoked turkey leg)
(I also sprinkled in some granulated chicken bouillon with an hour or two to go, approx. 2-3 teas. Only add this if you think you need it. It really depends on how much salt you added and how salty your meat is.)

What I love about soups is the fact that you can change it up however you like. The original recipe used the smoked turkey leg and fresh herbs but I didn't have either of those. So I used dried herbs and a ham steak. As far as the seasonings go, I kinda guessed how much I added, I didn't measure. So, add to your taste. That's my disclaimer. :)

Throw in your crockpot the peas, leek, celery, carrots, ham, and seasonings. Add 7 cups of water. Turn your crockpot on low and cook for 6-8 hours stirring occasionally. ( Cooking time really depends on how soft you want your peas.) Serve with a crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!!

I just wanted to note that the recipe posted yesterday was Erica's. I just added the note on top. Also, I've seen more pictures of the baby and I'm thinking his hair does have a reddish tint, but it is definitely more brown than I imagined. I'm still crossing my fingers for a dark headed boy. Nothing against red heads. :) Pictures to come!

Source: Adapted from The Food Network

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Honey Bun Cake

This is Monica. I've been waiting to post today to I could announce the big news. Little baby Kall came into this world with a full head of RED hair. Ha ha...those genes must be strong. He weighs 8 lbs and 7 ounces. He's 21 inches. We are so excited to have a new little baby to love. I can't wait to hold him in my arms and give him kisses. Congrats sissy. I'm so proud of you. Love you lots! Hopefully I'll have a picture tomorrow!


I made this cake for my Honey Bun.  He likes those nasty treats you buy at the gas stations, so I thought maybe he'd like this.  I was right, he did.  :o)  He said it didn't taste quite like a Honey Bun, but it was still dang good.  When he likes one of my desserts it's a good thing.  He's not a sweet tooth kinda dude...don't get me wrong...he's the sweetest dude just not a sweet tooth dude.  Did I lose ya there?  Ha!  This cake was so easy to throw together.  It was delicious and so moist and it made my kitchen smell divine.

Honey Bun Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 c. sour cream
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

2 c. powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  By hand mix together cake mix, eggs, sour cream, and oil until well combined.  Set aside.  In a seperate bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon and mix together until well combined.  Pour half of cake batter in a greased 13x9 pan.  Spread it out good.  Add half of brown sugar mix on top of that covering all the batter.  Pour rest of batter and spread until even.  Top with rest of brown sugar mix.  With a knife swirl your batter around.  Bake 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Meanwhile mix ingredients for frosting.  When cake comes out of the oven pour the frosting on the hot cake.  Let cool or serve warm.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brown Sugar Fruit Dip

Oh Scrumdiddly!  My sis in law made something similar for a Christmas party and ever since I've been wanting it again.  I was just getting over the stomach bug, so I couldn't really eat a whole lot of it.  LAME!  So, I thought i'd make it for an after school snack and it got eaten right up.  Goes great with apples, and i'm sure lots of other fruits, but that is all I had on hand.
Brown Sugar Fruit Dip
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients until well combined.  I whipped it for quite awhile until it wasn't so granually from the sugar.  Is that even a word?  You catch my drift, right?

Might not be the healthiest of dips, but HEY! are getting your fruit intake!  ;o)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Digi Day

I'm not a lover of Monday's. Who is? (Don't raise your hand, I may come after you and your cheerfulness.) That's what I thought. No one. :) BUT one good thing about Monday is the fact that all the new goodies show up over at You knew I was going to say it, right? I have to, it's in the contract. I would tell you anyway cause I love that website. Here are a few new items in the store this week.

These frames are adorable. I love em!

I'm loving the colors in this kit by Cosmo Cricket. Gorgeous.

This is the kit I used this week. It is huge with tons of papers, an alpha, word art, cards, and "rub-ons". It is 25% off today if you want it.

That's my cute lil' girl. *sniffles* Full Credits Here.

This kit is intended to use with a Project 365 or daily photo. Full Credits Here.

I really miss my monthly scrappy group. Anyone in Missouri want to get together to scrap? Anyone?

Happy Monday people! We have a big week ahead of us. Mainly, Erica will be welcoming a new member of her family. Can't wait to be an Auntie again!!!! Wednesday is the day! Wish her luck and send good thoughts her way! Any guesses on a red headed boy or a dark headed boy. It will be fun to see. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Favorites-Tatertots & Jello

Want some creative inspiration?  I found the perfect blog to help you out with that.  She posts others ideas on there craft projects or remodeling projects and gives you the links to other amazing creative blogs.  And she is amazingly creative herself and does lots of fun tutorials.  I love it.  Makes me want to be more creative, but I can't seem to find the motivation much these days.  Can't wait to get it back.  I have so many cute ones linked up that I want to do, it's ridiculous!!  So, go check out Jen at Tatertots and Jello.  I'm sure she'll get you wanting to do something crafty today.

Ruffle Pillow Tutorial
So cute and EASY!

Adorable Valentine's Day Wreath cute is this!?
Yummy Recipes For a Party
I want to try the Buffalo Chicken Dip!  Yum!!!
Burlap Magnet Board
I want to make this soon!

Go check out one of my favorite blogs, Tatertots and Jello, and you'll get lost on all the tons of projects she's featured on there.  What would you want to create from her blog?

Hope you are all having a fabulous week.  I'm thinking next week we'll have a new member in our family.  Can't wait to let you all meet my new lil' man!  Have an awesome SAFE weekend!  *hugs*

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Butterfinger Cupcakes

Pretty isn't it?

Well, looks aren't everything! This is my first Food Network recipe that totally disappointed. I didn't even take these suckers to where I was planning to take them. I didn't want to embarrass myself. The cake was dry, and the frosting was terrible! *Sigh* It reminds me of those church object lessons where the teacher brings in a beautifully decorated cake and it ends up being a frosted Styrofoam square, or when we made brownies with pepper in college for our downstairs neighbors. They were so pretty but were a surprise to bite into. Looks can definitely be deceiving.

I will redeem myself. Stay tuned for a revamped version of the Butterfinger Cupcake. Coming next week!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No Bake Cookies

These take me back to high school when we made these in Mrs. Robbins' Home Economics class.  My partner and I had a blast stirring these things up, and then eating them.  It was a lot of fun, and I still love them to this day.  So simple and such a great flavor combination.  I could eat them all up!

Mrs. Robbins' No Bake Cookies
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. milk
1 stick butter, cut up
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 c. quick oats, or just old fashioned oatmeal.  (I like them more chewy so I use the old fashioned)

Mix sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in a saucepan over med heat until it comes to a boil.  Stirring, let it boil 1 minute.  Take off heat.  Stir in vanilla, peanut butter until smooth and then add your oatmeal.  Stir until well combined.  Spoon onto parchment paper and let cool so the get nice and set up. 


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Digi Day

Holy Classapalooza over at Seriously, there is a class for everyone.  Here are a few coming up you might just want to check out.

Digi in Deeper is the 4th installment of straight up Photoshop techniques. I've been excited for this one for a long time. It starts Feb. 7th and is 20% off right now.

Mouse, Paper, Scissors registration ends on Feb. 2 so they have time to send out the kits. This is the first hybrid class where they are going to send you the supplies to get your projects done. Very cool. Jessica has teamed up with Heidi Swapp. It should be pretty darn cool.

Oh Shoot! Beginning Digital SLR Photography class registration starts Feb. 14th. Class size is limited on this one but if you've been wanting to learn how to better use your SLR and what all those settings are besides "Auto", this would be a great class. It is taught by Candice Stringham.

Registration for The Art of Digital Design starts March 1st. This is a very advanced photoshop class and teaches how to actually become a designer and design your own scrapbook kits. This is one I'm somewhat interested in but can't shell out the dough for it right now. Maybe someday.

And lastly, Photographing People: Portraiture 101 registration begins April 11th. This is another great photography class by Candice Stringham.

Lots of great classes! Remember, you can sign up for Up&Running, Now We're Rockin', and Digi in Deep at anyime.

Okay, here is my layout for the week. This is the second lesson in the Digi in Deep class. These are fun layouts to put together and take time but I learn and review lots of Photoshop techniques.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week and enjoyed your Holiday yesterday. I know we did!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Crockpot Corn Chowder

I love using my Crockpot.  Nothing like throwing everything in it in the morning and leaving it alone until it's time to eat.  Plus, you get the yummy aroma throughout your home.  I went with a soup last night, because it was a yucky RAINY day.  I can't believe it rained that much in January.  I still want snow!!!  O'well.  The soup turned out great, and it would have been even more great if I wouldn't have been so lazy and baked up some rolls.  Add or take out what you want in this soup.  Change up the meat and veggies.  It will still be delicious.
 Crockpot Corn Chowder

2 1/2 cups milk
1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 3/4 cups frozen corn
2 cup frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, or if you want throw in some cubed up potatoes, again, I was feeling lazy.  :o)
1 cup cubed fully cooked ham
1 large onion, chopped
1 heaping cup chopped carrots 
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Throw all the ingredients in your crockpot.  Mix it up good, throw the lid on and let it cook on low for about 6 hours. 

Have a fabulous week and cross those fingers that I get to meet our new baby boy soon.  :o)

Source: Allrecipes 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Favorites...Mac and Cheese Baby!

I dreamt about Frozen Yogurt last night. Seriously. I dreamt about pulling the lever and filling my cup then all the amazing things I put on it. Unfortunately, I never got to taste it. I hate when that happens. Anyway, I love comfort foods (c'mon, who doesn't?), and I got this fun cookbook for Christmas from my friend Laurie.
Check it out Here.

I was actually surprised at how many recipes intrigued me. On Monday I made Huevos Rancheros. They were pretty tasty. On Tuesday I made Chicken Parmesan. I thought it was delish! Last night it was Mac and Cheese. The book compares restaurant foods in calories, fat, and sodium then revamps them for a healthier version. My hubby hates diet foods and recipes but he has really liked these so far. It's just nice when you can eat comfort foods and not feel terribly guilty afterwards. You know?

So not only is homemade Mac & Cheese one of my faves but this is quickly becoming one of my fave cookbooks. Enjoy!

Macaroni & Cheese
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. macaroni, penne, or shells
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos (optional)
2 oz. prosciutto or ham, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent (but not browned) about 3 minutes. Add the flour and stir to incorporate into the butter. Pour in the milk a bit at a time and use whisk to incorporate the flour and prevent lumps from forming. When all the milk has been added, allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, until it begins to thicken. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente, drain, and return to pot. Add the cheese sauce, jalapenos, and ham and stir. Divide the mixture among 6 large crocks or pour into a baking dish. Top with bread crumbs and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until the bread crumbs are golden brown. About 2-3 minutes.  Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Heart Felt Wreath

Awww...I absolutely LOVE how this turned out. And I LOVE Valentine's is the day before my birthday.  :o) Next trip out of town, i'm gonna get some more stuff to make a couple more for my windows.  I got all my supplies at Hobby Lobby.  I love Love LOVE that store.  I could spend hours in there.  It was a pretty inexpensive craft to do.  A little time consuming, but if you are like me than you enjoy taking a break on the couch every now and then and that is when I worked on this.  You can change it up the way you want.  Use pink, red, white, black, purple, a mix of a few colors. You have endless possibilities.  I went with a romantic red and found some cute Valentine ribbon to go with it.  I hope you make one and if you do link us to a picture.  I'd love to see how yours turned out.  And if I can do it, anyone can.
Isn't it gorgeous??

Here's what you need~
3/4 yard of the color felt you want to use
heart shaped foam wreath
straight pins
Ribbon to hang it with

You need lots of circles out of your felt.  I almost used all of it for this one wreath.  I counted once and I had 130 circles, but I ended up cutting quite a few more.  I used a 3" cookie cutter to trace my circles.

Cut them out so they look like this
And then fold your circle in half
And then in half again
Stick a pin through the point of your circle, like so...
And stick it in your foam wreath.  You don't need to put them on the back. a cutie.
  Once you start going you can move them around to your liking.  When you are all done pin on your ribbon to the back to the length you want it.  And your done...Simple...Gorgeous and I think it was pretty fun. 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Digi Day

Hola people! One Buck Wednesday took a hiatus in December and is now back. So grab yourself some goodies for a dollar. You can't find much of anything for a dollar anymore. When I was a kid I could walk to town and get myself 100 pieces of candy for a dollar. Anyone else remember penny candy? Oh, those were the days. Anyhoo...

So, I haven't been in a "from scratch" kinda scrapper mood lately. Not sure why. Hopefully I can regain my mojo and start pumping out some of my own layouts soon. In the meantime, I have been making use of all the great templates on Jessica's website. I feel like I've been talking about them a lot and need to show you just how cool they are.

Okay, so this is what a template looks like. This template is by Creativy by Crystal. Love her templates. The design is basically done for you. Granted, you can usually move anything around that you want to depending on what your mood is. If you leave it as you can pretty much get a layout done is 30 minutes or less. Hello, people! If you want to get some scrapping done, templates are the way to go. Quick and gorgeous scrapping.

Full Credits Here.

So here is my layout done using Crystal's template. I didn't change anything. I just added my photo and the papers of my choice and whalaa. My last years Easter photo my hard drive and into a photo album. How many of you can say that? Hee hee. Now you can add embellies or change the font in the title or add pictures....whatever, I actually added the stitching around the border. You still can make it yours but the hard part...designing, is done. I hope all my gibberish makes sense. As far as using templates, here is a tutorial by Misty Cato Designs. You just need a basic understanding of PSE.

Here are two other interpretations of Crystal's template from two of my co-creative team members. Fun, fun!

This layout is by Kelly Mobley. She kept to the original design. The colors are great plus her kids are adorable. Full Credits Here.

This layout is by Nicole LeBlanc. I love her choice of colors. She also changed up the placement of the title and replaced the butterflies with the hearts. This turned out great. Full Credits Here.

Thanks for the Congrats following my Saturday's post. We are very excited to add a new member to our family and I'm excited to have a new subject to scrap. :) Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

I'm doing a lot of my family favorites this week.  I think it's me preparing for having this baby and I probably won't be doing these for awhile, until I get back in the groove of things.  Years ago, when I thought about making chicken enchiladas, I thought they sounded WAY too hard to make.  I think they could be, but these are so EASY!  I got this recipe from my Dear MIL.  She is the best cook.  I always make a pan of flour and a pan of corn.  And make sure to have all the fixings!  YUMMY!

Chicken Enchiladas
4-6 large chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken
2-19 oz. cans of Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (You can use your favorite, but this one is perfect, I think.)
1 small can of green chilies
3 big spoonfuls of sour cream
cheddar cheese, shredded
Corn or flour tortillas, or both

I like to boil my chicken breasts.  It's faster and they shred so easily afterwards.  I salt and pepper it before putting it into the tortillas.  While chicken is boiling, in a large bowl, mix together cream of chicken, enchilada sauce, green chilies, and sourcream.  Stir until well combined.  Spoon some sauce in the bottom of 13x9 pan, just so it's coated.  Shred chicken and season to taste.  Add some chicken to center of tortilla, and then some cheese, and roll up lining them up nicely in your pan.  When you get them in there good and tight top with remaining sauce, and cover with foil.  Bake at 350 for 40-60 minutes or until good and bubbly.  Remove foil and top with shredded cheese and leave in oven until it's good and melty.  Top with your favorite toppings.

Like I said before, when I make these I usually do 1-13x9 pan of flour and 1-8x8 pan of corn.  There is usually plenty of sauce to do both.  Do them how you want, my family doesn't like them stuffed full of chicken, but if yours do then throw a few more breasts in to cook.  Good stuff!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another Roll Recipe...I likey this one.

Last Sunday night for dinner my sweet mother-in-law made yet another batch of amazing rolls. They were different than her usual recipe. I really liked the taste of these and inquired about them. This was a new recipe that worked better for her Sunday schedule. What works is the fact that she can make these at night put them in the fridge then in the morning roll them out and let them raise for three hours. They were fluffy, soft, and perfect.

I attempted these and they turned out tasty. I cut the recipe in half and made them the regular way (mix, raise, shape, raise, bake). I just like that I have the option to refrigerate if needed. I know, I know, there are a million recipes for rolls out there and they only vary slightly here and there. Some of you may already have your go to recipe and you'll never change. This is for those that are still in search for their go to roll recipe. Try this one, it may be a keeper.

Shirley's Rolls
2 Tbsp. yeast
2 c. warm water
1 c. melted butter
6 eggs, well beaten
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 teas. salt
8 to 10 c. flour (you can use 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat too)

Mix 2 cups water, yeast, and 2 Tablespoons of sugar together. Let yeast mixture rest for about 5 minutes. Add melted butter, the rest of the sugar, and the 6 beaten eggs. Mix well. Add flour and salt. Mix well but gently. You will use more or less flour depending on the weather. The dough will still be sort of sticky when you cover it loosely. Let is rise for 2 to 3 hours.

Knead down gently. Divide into 4 equal parts and shape in whatever way you choose. Let rise for 1-3 hours. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

Source: Shirley Lifferth

Hope everyone has a wonderful Monday. I've been organizing and re-planning my days. Just trying to be more productive. It's cold out there, so I might as well spend my time inside being productive. I may have some organizing ideas up my sleeve this month. :) Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Friday Favorites...One Day Late :)

I'm in love with frozen yogurt lately. Even in the dead of winter, it makes me happy. Especially covered in fruit and graham cracker crumbs. Yum! Now that I am back in my small town Missouri I'm yearning for my Red Mango and TCBY. *Sigh* So...I guess I'll just make it myself. A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. Patience is the key to making any kind of icecream. Hence, the one day late deal. Hee hee.

Okay, here is the recipe.

Frozen Yogurt
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
2 cups plain nonfat or reduced-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup superfine sugar (I used Splenda to cut the calories)
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
Fresh fruit or other toppings, for garnish

Whisk both yogurts, the sugar and corn syrup in a bowl until combined. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For a soft consistency, serve right out of the ice cream maker. For a firmer texture, transfer the frozen yogurt to a covered container and freeze for up to 2 hours. Serve with assorted toppings.

Source: The Food Network (Where else?)

I know this is a random post. I mean frozen yogurt in January!? It's these darn cravings that need to be satisfied. It's crazy what a pregnancy will do to you. Did I say that out loud? I guess I did. Yup, we're expecting July 2nd. Yay for babies!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Best Lemon Bars

I had lemon bars years ago when I first married the hubs for the 2nd time...yes...I said, "the 2nd time".  :o)  Our sweet neighbors brought over a plate and I thought they were fabulous.  I haven't had them since.  I still thought about them off and on, and was hoping i'd get another plate.  *lol*  I never did, so I thought I'd make them on my own.  Oh happy day!  I think I found my new favorite dessert.  These are awesome.  Not too sweet, and I just love the tartness of them.  Tastes a lot like a lemon meringue pie.  I think I ate 3/4 of the pan myself.  I will be making these a lot more often.  Sorry if you are trying to be healthy for the New Year.  I'm enjoying my last few weeks of eating whatever before the baby gets here, and then it's crunch time...maybe?

The Best Lemon Bars

For the crust-
2 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter, softened

4 eggs
2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

For the crust, mix the softened butter into the flour and powdered sugar with a pastry cutter until it clings together. Press the mixture into a 13×9″ greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until lightly golden. For the filling, beat the eggs with a mixer for about 5 minutes until frothy. Add the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. In another bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Stir into the egg mixture. Pour over the baked, warm crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

A family favorite...the best 2 flavors in the world...chocolate and peanut butter.  Mmmm...You will be so happy you made these.  Instead of the chocolate kiss in the center put a reeses peanut butter cup.  I swear you'll thank me.  These babies are gone in an instant every time I make them.

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped (I like to freeze mine before hand, so they don't get too good and melty before you even get them in the cookie)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture, mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each cookie. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

I like to eat these babies when they are still all good and melty...oh heavens...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Easy Clam Chowder

I'm not a huge fan of clams, but throw it in a soup and it's so delish!!!  I got the recipe from a good friend, and it's easy...which of course is always GREAT in my book.  I have a more complicated version, but i'm 36 weeks pregnant, so...that went out the window.  You can add anything to it to fit your taste, but I think this is just about perfect.  Plus, what's better than a warm bowl of soup on a yucky snowy day? 

Easy Clam Chowder

1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery, chopped
3/4 c. butter
3 cans of cream of potato soup
3 cans of minced clams, only drain 1 can
3 Tbsp corn starch
1 quart half and half

Saute' onions, carrots, and celery in butter until in a big soup pot until onions are nice and tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer and stir every now and then until carrots are cooked through. (I like to use a whisk to make sure all the lumps from the corn starch are out)  Enjoy with some fresh bread or how about a bread bowl?!  Mmmmm....

Monday, January 3, 2011

Digi Day

Happy New Year! I am so excited to be starting a new year. I love to look ahead at what's to many adventures and new memories to be made. This year Erica and I are going to continue our little blog and hopefully share with you more of our finds, favorite foods, and maybe some crafts thrown in there. I got some amazing handmade gifts for Christmas and I marvel at the talent of those around me. Seriously, amazing. Can't wait to share some of my own ideas with you and I know Erica has barely made a dent in the many recipes she loves. So with that, I am starting off the New Year with a couple of digital layouts.

I love getting questions from people about how I do what I do. I remember wondering the same thing before I was sucked into the world of digi scrapping. I can't believe I've been doing this for a couple of years now. I still love the satisfaction of learning new Photoshop skills and putting them to use in my scrapbooking. It is a rewarding hobby in many aspects. As far as how I do what I do, I'm always the first at pointing anyone to The best way to learn Photoshop is through good instruction and you really can't find better instruction at reasonable prices. Hopefully, some of you have had a chance to check out her website and look around. There are some exciting things coming up this year along with some new classes to keep those creative juices flowing. I know I'm excited for her fourth installment of Photoshop technique classes called Digi in Deeper. I've been waiting for this one for a long time.

Anyway, enough of my rambling...if you get a chance check out what's new and if you have some Christmas money, sign up for a class. Like I've said before, there are so many uses for your Photoshop knowledge. It really is priceless.

Here are two layouts I did right before Christmas. This one is my take on Photoshop Friday #26. I love these little lessons. Remember you get everything you need to make a beautiful layout including learning a new Photoshop technique. You can find them for one dollar on Fridays or earlier versions for 3.99 in the shop.

Full Credits Here.

This one I used The Queen of Quirks Memento Template. When life gets busy, templates are the way to go. Just drop in your pictures, paper, and any extra embellies for a beautifully designed and well done layout.

Full Credits Here.

Have a wonderful week! It's cold here in Utah, enjoy your cozy homes and the slow days of January.
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