Monday, February 28, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

My brother was telling me how his girlfriend had made him the most amazing muffins.  I had to try them, and of course she shared her recipe with me, and I get to share it with you guys!  She is such an awesome cook, and I have tried to get her and my brother to guest blog on here, but they always have an excuse...Ha!  So hopefully some day they will grace us with their presence.  My kids and honey LOVED these.  They were even great 2 days after and still so moist.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Mix together
3 to 4 large bananas mashed
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1/3 c. melted butter

In another bowl combine
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Pour dry ingredients into banana mixture and stir to combine.  Add 3/4 c. chocolate chips or if you prefer, leave it plain.  Line muffin tin with liners and fill 3/4 full.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 17-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  ENJOY!

P.S.  Guess who is here visiting?!  I'll give you a starts with a M, and ends with a onica!  WOOOHOOOO!!!  :o)  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Favorites and the Winner

This was a fun giveaway and we are excited to pass this cookbook on to you. I love Our Best Bites and go there at least a couple of times a week for a recipe. So we had 34 entries! Thanks so much for your support and for spreading the word on our Giant Blog. And welcome to our new followers! I think this blog is only going to get better so stick with us!

Okay, so decided that entry number 12 was our lucky winner.

Congratulations Bailey! Send Erica an email at enjvanbeb (at) yahoo (dot) com with your address and she'll get that book out to you!

Stay tuned. We have another Giveaway coming up!

I've been really eyeing sewing blogs lately wishing I had the resources (mainly a good fabric store) to really get into sewing again. I do plan on making a banner and also making my girlies Easter dress this year. So I guess we'll see. There are a lot of beautiful patterns out there but if you're strapped for cash like I am there is not a lack of great tutorials and free patterns out on the web. All I know, is there are a ton of talented women in this world.

So recently I came across another sewing blog. I love her quilts. Oh how I wish I could quilt. Someday, someday. Her blog is called V and Co. Here is some of her amazing stuff. Drop by and drool and envy her mad skills. :)
LOVE this! So incredibly cute.

These are so pretty. Put a little fabric on anything and magically turns it so comforting.

I love all these new tutes for remaking old clothes.

I love me a bag. Cute!

Seriously, want one.

Another reason I need a Silhouette. A-dorable!

Cute, right? Check it out. And thanks again for entering our Giveaway! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I made these, because I'm still in a funk and can't get out of it.  I haven't found my groove yet, and to be honest...I dread cooking dinner at night.  I'm hoping my sparkle will come through for me soon!  This was something I could throw in the crock pot and my hubs could eat them all day and I knew when dinner rolled around he'd say he wasn't hungry cause he snacked on these all day.  Tee hee!  GO ME!  I use the same sauce to make my lil' smokies in too.  May sound weird, but the end result is always tasty.    
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
50 meatballs (I purchased my favorite at Wally World.  If your feeling ambitious...make your own! :o))
12 oz. jar of chili sauce  (I like the one where the jar is shaped like an apple.)
18 oz. jar of grape jelly (If you like it a little less sweet, don't add the entire jar.)

Mix your chili sauce and grape jelly together and stir in the with the meatballs in a crockpot.  Leave the setting on low and cook until your meatballs are heated through.  Around 3-4 hours.

Today is your last day to enter our Giveaway!  Do it now!  Winner will be announced tomorrow.  YAY!

Source: Cousin Michelle  :o)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homemade Oreo Cookies

I love Oreo Cookies especially the Double Stuffed. I rarely buy them because I really don't have any self control when they are hanging around the house. In my boredom one day Stumbling around the net I came across the recipe for homemade Oreo Cookies. At first I wasn't too intrigued. I have tasted many Homemade Oreo Cookies that taste good but nothing like a REAL Oreo. This blog claimed they tasted pretty close to real, so I thought I'd give them a try.

Were they good? Yes. Did they live up to what I was hoping for? No. Will I make them again. Probably. I think my expectations are just too high. What I liked was the cookie, the dough had a nice flavor and the finished cookie was tasty. Next time I'll cut the bake time for a softer cookie. What I didn't love was the filling. It was just too sweet for me. They are super easy and you can be done in an hour. They are a fun cookie for a potluck or to give away. As far as the recipe goes, I followed it to a T. I'm going to post it as is and will highlight my definite changes for next time.

Homemade Oreo Cookies

For the chocolate wafers:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa  I didn't have Dutch, I used regular, worked fine
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar 1 1/2 cups for sure. The filling was a little too sweet for my taste.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

3.Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool. I baked mine for about 8 minutes, next time I will shorten the time to probably 6 minutes. My cookies were more crisp than I would prefer.

4.To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.

5.To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.

I used a Pampered Chef medium scoop and got 11 completed cookies. They were kinda big and I would prefer a smaller cookie. If you have a small scoop, use it. These would be great with a nice cold glass of milk. Try them out and let me know if you make any changes. :)

Source: Sugar Cooking

If you haven't entered our giveaway, do it now! You are running out of time. It's a fun giveaway this week. Enter Here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Daddy's Rice Pudding

I remember as a bratty teenager, my Dad trying to get this pudding just perfect to his taste.  He made LOTS of rice pudding that day, and I remember how excited he was when he finally got it the way he liked it.  To this day, I feel guilty for not trying to help him perfect it.  What I wouldn't give to go back to that day and spend some one on one time with him cooking in the kitchen.  My dad is one awesome cook.  From his ham flied lice to his rice pudding!  :o)  So here's his recipe and i'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.  Reminds me of home.

Daddy's Rice Pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 c. rice
1/2 c. sugar, and a little more if you like it sweeter.  This isn't too sweet.
Combine these 3 ingredients in a 13x9 pan and cover and bake for 1 hour on 350 degrees.  When it's done stir in
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
and however many raisins desired.  (I didn't have any raisins, so I didn't add any.)
Bake for 20-30 minutes testing to see the tenderness of the rice. 

So glad I have this recipe in my collection.  I don't think my Dad knows this, but I do and it's in his writing so it means even more!  :o)  Enjoy!!!

Don't forget to enter our GIVEAWAY!  You have until Thursday night to enter.  It's a fun one!  :o)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Digi Day

So I'll start off the week first with a little digital scrappin' goodness. I've been enjoying doing some scrapping lately and trying to get "caught up" (like that will ever happen) with my scrapbooking. My main goal to get done before this baby comes with my is to finish my almost 5 year olds first year album. I know crazy, right? The other one is to finish my Project 365 from 2009. I know I'm ridiculous. I am making headway on Maggie's album which is wonderful! It is a little different from Ben's. Ben's album is all paper and Maggie's is a mix of paper and digital. I'm pretty sure the next baby will have an all digital album. It's just easier.

Anyway, today is the start of Mouse, Paper, Scissors over at Jessica Sprague. I'm excited for this class because I've been wanting to get my hands dirty with paper, ink, and glue. It should be super fun and I'll be showing you some of the fun projects from the class. Also, my Digi in Deeper class is going well. I'm loving it! Can't tell you enough. It's just fun, but remember I'm a nerd. Lastly, if you've been wanting to become a better photographer you can sign up for Oh Shoot. It's a great class to teach you more about your camera and all the cool settings. I need to re-do this class and practice. I love taking pictures but have been kinda out of it.

Okay, here are a few layouts I've finished lately.

This is the fourth lesson in the Digi in Deeper Class. This week we are focusing on the Freestyle method of scrapping. It is less cutesy and way more messy and fun. I actually really like this style and wish I could naturally think of these methods in my head. I think it takes some talent to make a messy but eye appealing layout.

This is one of my favorite templates by Jessica Sprague. It's just pleasing to my eye. Full credits Here.

This is another template by Jessica Sprague. The papers and kit are by Splendid Fiins. It's new and just released today. Check it out Here.

Okay, if you didn't see Friday's post. We are having a super cool give away. I'm a bit jealous. I actually would love this cookbook. It is by the website Our Best Bites. They just released this and it should be pretty good. I've always really enjoyed their recipes. Check out this post and enter! Have a great Monday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Favorites and...A GIVEAWAY!!!

Happy Friday!  This week I wanted to introduce those who haven't heard of it, to Bountiful Baskets.  It is such an amazing program, and it really helps me and my family to eat healthier.  WHAT?!  You thought all we ate was cupcakes and creamy pasta?!  ;o)  I wish!  So...Bountiful Baskets comes to our little town every other week.  I get so excited when I go pick it up, because you never know what you are gonna get.  But it is always yummy and you have the option to add other things to your basket each time.  I always get the 5 pack of 9 grain bread.  Not only is it yummy, but it's healthy and it's only 3 points for 2 slices on Weight Watchers!  AWESOME!  Anyhoo...You do have to pay a little extra the first time you sign up, but after that it's only $16.50 for a basket.  A good price for how many fruits and veggies you get.  Seriously...It's quite a bit, and i'm pretty sure it'd cost me an arm and a leg to get all that produce at my local grocery store.  So, go check out their website and see if you can get one in your town or close by.  You need to order quickly because they go so fast.  You can only order Monday-Tuesday.  Go HERE to check it out.  I'm sure you will love it as much as I do.
Here's a pic of what came in a's a lot of produce!

And now it's GIVEAWAY TIME!  Woot!  It's been awhile, and we wanted to show how much we love and appreciate you guys.  So, we are giving away the new OUR BEST BITES COOKBOOK!  :o)
I'm so excited about it!  I can't wait to get mine...yes...I've already pre-ordered it.  I want one of you to have one too!  So...each of you can have 3 entries if you do these 3 things and make sure TO LEAVE A COMMENT FOR EACH THING YOU DO.  :o)  First thing-You MUST be a follower on our blog, and let us know how we are doing and what you'd like to see more of on our blog.  Second thing-'Like' us on facebook, and post this fun giveaway on your wall.  And Third Thing-If one of your friends follow, make sure they let us know and we'll give you and them another entry.  YAY!  Good luck and winner will be announced next Friday! 

Have an awesome day and weekend!  See you Monday!  *HUGS*

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Beef Enchiladas

I decided to change it up a bit for the family and do beef enchiladas instead of chicken.  The hubs was pleased...the daughter...not so much.  She told me to stick to the chicken.  I thought they were delicious and a lot different than the chicken.  These use a red sauce, and I used all corn tortillas.  My family prefers the flour, but I prefer corn.  Something about the taste of the corn tortilla makes it more...I dunno...DELICIOUS?!  It gives it a lot more flavor.  I also loved the cilantro in the sauce and on top.  My family is a bit picky and they would be fine if I left the cilantro out.  I did leave out the green onions for them...BOO!  :o)  I'm sure these woud be awesome with shredded beef too, but I went the easy route and used ground beef.
Beef Enchiladas
For the sauce you need:
1 Tbsp veg. oil
2 Tbsp flour
1-29 oz. can of red enchilada sauce
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, plus extra for topping

For the meat you need:
1 lb ground beef
1 med. onion
4 oz. can of diced green chilies
1/2 tsp. salt

You'll also need:
10-14 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil for frying
can of olives, sliced
1 c. chopped green onions
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
and whatever else you want to top these babies off.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine your oil and flour. Whisk it together and allow it to bubble for a minute.  Pour in your red sauce, broth, salt and pepper.  Stir and bring to boil.  Lower your heat and let it simmer while your cooking up the meat. 

Chop up your onion and throw it in a large skillet with ground beef.  Brown beef and drain fat.  Throw in green chilies and salt, and stir it up.  Turn off heat and set aside.

In a small skillet over medium heat fry your tortillas in oil just until they are soft.  Don't crispify them.  Drain them on a plate with paper towels. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread 1/2 c. sauce in bottom of a 13x9 pan.  Dip each tortilla in the red sauce and place on a cookie sheet.  In each tortilla add your meat mix, black olives, green onions, and grated cheese.  Roll it up and place it in your 13x9 pan seam side down.  Stir the cilantro in the remaining sauce and pour it over the top of the enchiladas.  Top with a generous amount of shredded cheese.  Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle tops with cilantro.  And top it off with whatever else you want.  Enjoy!

Hope you are all having a fabulous week.  Stay tuned for's giveaway time.  It's been awhile!!  :o)  YAY!  Have an awesome Thursday!!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Digi Day

Last week I started Jessica Sprague's new class Digi in Deeper. It is her last class of 4 in using Photoshop techniques. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it is. It is blowing me away with so many amazing techniques. I get a little giddy about this stuff. I think I fell into the deep abyss of Photoshop nerd status awhile ago. This proves it.

You really can't tell from just looking at a layout what all goes into it, but I can tell you these are some pretty intense layouts. For example:

Isn't this gorgeous!?

Here is the list of objectives from the above layout.
•Use adjustment layers to enhance photographs

•Create a photo mask with brushes
•Create a polkadot pattern
•Create a polkadot brush to use as an eraser
•Extract an item in a photograph from a solid background
•Create two-tone stripes
•Create a starburst pattern
•Tweak letterspacing (kerning)

See what I mean? You couldn't pick all these out from just looking at it. I guess my point is the fact that this class is amazing! I am loving learning all the amazing things I can do with Photoshop. See, I told you. Nerd. :)

Here is lesson 2 and 3.

You can sign up for this class HERE at anytime. Or if you are intrigued you can start with the basics with the Up & Running class. You won't regret it. :) Hope everyone is having a wonderful week. I know I am. The weather has warmed up a bit and Spring is right around the corner. Can't wait!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Erica!!!!

So my sister Erica, you may know her, is having her 29th birthday today. He, he, more year and she'll be massed with her two older more mature siblings. I actually feel bad every time Erica hits a big mark in her life. You know, she is the baby. It just means we are ALL getting older, not just her. She will always be the little sister to me though.

This little sister and I didn't get along very well. I mean look at that face! You couldn't trust it. :)

But she grew up and somewhere along the line I realized we were in the same boat going through the same stuff and she wasn't soooo bad. I am so grateful to have her in my life. Can't imagine life without her. She is my confident, my listening ear, and my best friend. I love her to pieces. She is a wonderful cook, a great mother, and a loyal wife. She is sensitive and has a soft heart. And she's the hot sister. :)

Hottie. :) That's her lucky hubs with her.

So with that to celebrate Erica's birthday I made some Brownies. I wish we could share them together. Erica, make them for your honey. He loves Brownies! Or better yet, have him make you some.

Cocoa Brownies or Death by Chocolate Brownie

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a saucepan and stir until the butter is melted and the mixture just starts to bubble. Don't let it come to a full boil. The mixture will be grainy but combined. Remove from heat and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Spread with ganache and cut as desired.


Combine 1 tbsp. corn syrup and 3 ounces of heavy cream in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add 6 ounces of chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute and then stir together until smooth. Use immediately.

Yum, these are more fudgy if you like that type of Brownie. You will need a tall glass of milk and a serious chocolate craving. Enjoy!

Source: Becky Bakes

Drop a little note and wish Erica a Happy Birthday. She needs the extra loves today with a new baby, lots of diapers, and being cooped in the house. Love you sissy. I hope your day is wonderful!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!!  Want a simple treat to make for your family tonight?  These are so easy and so delicious!  My daughter LOVES chocolate covered strawberries, so I knew this cupcake would be perfect for her.  And I was right. I didn't get out of town to get my kids something special and fun this year, so I thought baking them up something sweet would be just fine.  I may even get some ambition and bake up some sugar cookies today too. 

Thanks to Bountiful Baskets, I had everything on hand.  Haven't heard of Bountiful Baskets?  I'll tell you more on Friday.  :o)  I baked up my favorite chocolate cake, but if you want just use a mix in a box.  Just as yummy.  The frosting has fresh strawberries in it and I think it ties the whole thing together. It was so light and fluffy!

You can't really tell here, but the frosting is pink and pretty!

Here's the recipe~
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
Use your favorite chocolate cake mix for the cupcake.  Follow instructions according to box, or click on the link above for my favorite.

1/2 c. fresh strawberries
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Line your cupcake tin with liners.  Make cake according to instructions.  Cool cupcakes completely. 

For the frosting  place strawberries in a blender of a food processor and blend til it's liquid.  Beat butter and salt until light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar slowly until combined.  Add vanilla and 4 Tbsp of strawberry liquid and mix until well combined.  Frost your cooled cupcakes.  I melted chocolate chips and drizzled the tops with it.  My microwave broke, so I melted them on the stove on medium low heat, stirring constantly.  And I only used about 1/2 c. of chocolate chips.  If you use your microwave, do it in 20 second intervals and stir in between each until it's completely melted.  Make sure it's not too hot or it will melt the frosting.  Top with a fresh strawberry slice or a fanned out strawberry.  And ENJOY!!!!

I hope you and your family enjoy these as much as we did.  Have a fabulous LOVE day!  Make sure to let those you care about know how much you love and appreciate them.  It always makes my day when I hear those words.  :o)  I appreciate and love all of you guys!  Thanks for supporting me and my sister!! 


Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Favorites

Do you need a time waster? I know you don't, neither do I. Recently I found Ever heard of it? Well, I'm telling you about this with a disclaimer. If you are not careful this website can suck an hour or more out of your day.

Okay, you tell them what things you're interested in. I marked cooking, scrapbooking, crafts, and photography. Then you click on the "Stumble" button. It takes you all over the Internet to different websites, stores, blogs, etc. I have found some really fun things and have bookmarked multiple recipes. You can mark websites with a thumbs up or thumbs down and StumbleUpon will use that info. to help suggest future websites. Anyway, if you have a few minutes, check it out. Kinda fun, but remember you've been warned. :)

Also, I'm excited to show you my layouts from Jessica Sprague Digi in Deeper class. I can't even tell you how amazing this class is. I've learned so much already. I get giddy with excitement. I know, I know...weird. Have a great weekend! See ya Monday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sloppy Joe's

My usual go to for Sloppy Joe's has always been Manwich Bold.  It was easy and tasted fine to me.  I didn't have any Manwich but wanted Sloppy's, and I for sure didn't want to take the new baby to the store, so I found a recipe and I have to say it's 1000 times better than Manwich, and why the heck didn't I do this before?  My family loved it too.  So good with your favorite chips and I like to throw on some cheese and pepperoncini peppers.  YUM!

Sloppy Joe's
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

In a pan brown beef with onion, bell pepper and garlic.  When it's done add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 15 minutes, stirrin occasionaly.  Serve hot on a warm hamburger bun. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love Pillow

I don't have a lot of Valentine's decorations so I wanted to throw something together to add to my decor. Pillows are a quick and easy way to add a little color on any chair for any season. I saw a similar pillow somewhere on the Internet but didn't use a pattern. The Internet is full of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Okay, there is no where in my town to get fabric which is a good and terrible thing. A girl needs access to beautiful fabric but on the other hand it helps with the budget. This is a perfect project for using up some of those scraps I know all of you have.

First off I cut a pillow front and back. For the front I used a piece of canvas and then the back has a solid red piece of cotton. I cut mine 12x15.

For the hearts I used scraps and ironed them onto a piece of wonder under. This stuff is great for applique. It does have a bit of a learning curve, at least for me. :)

Flip your scraps over and trace whatever shape you want on the back. Hearts are easy, but you could also do other shapes for different holidays. I may be doing a Spring pillow too. Cut out your hearts. Then peel off the paper backing, lay out on your fabric, and iron in place. Peeling the paper off was more work than I expected. I took my scissors and scored the back and kind of peeled from the middle out. It was impossible to peel from the edges.

After, I had the hearts ironed on I thought the pillow needed a bit more. I embroidered on the word "love" and was happy with the results.

I didn't feel like sewing around each heart so I sewed an x through each heart. I like how it turned out. Sew your pieces together, stuff, sew your opening closed and there you have it! A super cute pillow to add some color to your Holiday decorations.

This year we started a new tradition. This is our "love pillow". I started with the pillow and when I do something nice for someone I put the pillow on their bed. Then it's that persons turn to do something nice for someone else. Since it's the month for love, we are working on being more loving. It's been fun so far.

Hope you're having a great week. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Iron-on Onesies

Hey all! Happy Monday! I know I've showed you this project before but I just love how these turned out so I had to share them again. This is another fun thing you can do with you Digital and Photoshop knowledge. I used a couple of arrows by Creativity by Crystal and a fun font to put these together. Super easy! My friend just had her twins yesterday, one boy and one girl. I made these for her shower. So cute. I can't wait to see them sporting these.

You can buy the iron on transfers at any craft store. You design what you want to iron on on your computer then print out, cut, and iron. Super easy, and they really do make such cute gifts. Let me know if you have any questions, I'd love to answer them. I think the hardest thing about these is remembering to flip your image in Photoshop before printing and getting the setting right on your iron. You can burn these if you're not careful.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I have two Valentine's projects for you this week. Can't wait!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Biscuits and Gravy...and an Introduction

Hi!!!  Erica here!  Just a quick note to introduce you to our new addition.  Baby Boy K arrived on 1-26 at 1:07 PM.  He was 8 lbs 7 oz. and 21 inches long.  It was a fast delivery and i'm so grateful for that.  He has been such an awesome baby so far, and he is such a huge blessing in our lives.  Our family is complete, and who knew that i'd have 2 red headed little boys.  :o)  I couldn't be happier.  Big Sis and Big Bro are doing great with him.  Hopefully soon I can get back in the groove of things and start baking and cooking up a storm.  Wish me luck. 

Hi, Mommy!
 1 week old

Now for my Friday recipe...

One of my hubbies favorites.  I'm still trying to master it.  I think i'm getting close though.  He used to prefer going to Flags West and get their Biscuits and Gravy instead.  Ha!  Rude.  :o)  Gotta love an honest husband.  I made the biscuits in heart shapes this time.  Maybe that will help it out a little bit. How cute would these be for Valentines Day morning?  We like to eat them for dinner, but I don't think this qualifies as "romantical" dinner type.  I'm not a HUGE fan of Biscuits and Gravy, but I make them to make the man happy.  Isn't that how it works?  Hope you enjoy them too!

 Can you tell it's a heart?!  Awwww...

Biscuits and Gravy
2 c. flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 c. shortening
1 c. millk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Cut in shortening until it looks like it's evenly incorporated.  Gradually stir in milk.  Stir until well combined.  Pour out onto floured surface and knead 15-20 times until nice and smooth.  Punch out until about an inch thick and cut with a round cookie cutter, or a round cup.  I can usually get about 9-10 biscuits. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes or until they start turning a golden brown on top.

1 lb ground sausage
1/4 c. flour
2 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste

Brown your sausage.  If you got a ton of grease in your pan then drain most of it.  I think some fat gives it good flavor.  When it's done browning add flour and whisk it around for a minute or so until all the meat is coated.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.  Gradually whisk in milk and continue stirring on medium heat until it starts to thicken.  It's done when you get it to the consistency you prefer.  Pour over warm biscuits and enjoy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Month of Love...Let's Make Whoopie...Pies that is.

It seemed kinda odd to me to be taking down my snowman decorations on such a blizzardy day. But the calendar says February meaning it was time to take down all things snow and put up all things red and hearted. I know it seems silly to wish away January when February seems just as cold and blizzardy but for me it's all in my head. February means we are getting closer to Spring and I love Spring. You'll hear me say that over and over again. I can't help it. I think I dream of Spring starting the day after Christmas.

Anyway, enough of that. This is the month of love and I welcome it with open arms. I was very excited to put my snowman in a box and pull out the hearts. So in honor of February, I made my family whom I adore, some beautiful Red Velvet Whoopie Pies. These are easy, cute lil' cookies. They are perfect for giving away to those you love.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 ounce milk chocolate, chopped
12 Tbls. butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teas. apple cider vinegar
1/2 teas. vanilla
1 Tbls. red food coloring
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teas. baking powder
1/4 teas. baking soda
1/2 teas. salt

Combine the semisweet chocolate and the milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt at 50% power for about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine. In a bowl combine melted butter, sour cream, eggs, vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring. You will have a bowl of funky looking red goop.

Red Goop

In another bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the red goop in four increments mixing each addition until combined before adding the next. When all the flour is mixed in add the melted chocolate.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. My oven bakes hot and only need 8 minutes. Let cool completely.

Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tbls. butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teas. vanilla

Cream the cream cheese and butter till smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat till smooth and fluffy. I used a piping bag to fill my pies but you could spread it on with a knife too. Fill these babies up and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mini Cheesecakes

This is Erica's recipe today but I wanted to add a little. Today is a special day. Not only are we completely snowed in, and it is Groundhog's Day, but today is our Grandmother's birthday. I've  been thinking about her a lot lately knowing her birthday was coming up. I still miss her so much and wish I could share with her all the exciting things happening in my life. She was my biggest cheerleader. Happy Birthday Grandma. I miss you everyday.
And now Erica...

Aren't these just the cutest?!  They tasted good too...OH!  And of course they are easy to throw together.  :o)  I will be making these many more times with many more toppings.  The options are endless!  I used a cherry topping because the hubs loves cherries.  Me, not so much, but I thought it was still pretty tasty.  I whipped these babies up in a short time, and was so happy with the results.  It doesn't make a huge batch, and you do need to let them sit in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight, so make them a day before if you want to take them somewhere.

Mini Cheesecakes
16 Nilla wafers
2-8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, fresh if you've got it.
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat softened cream cheese and sugars together until well combined.  Add in flour and baking powder, mix well.  Then add your eggs one at a time, mix well.  Then add lemon juice and vanilla.  Beat till well combined.  Line a muffin tin with tinfoil muffin liners.  Place 1 Nilla Wafer in the bottom of each.  Fill each cup 1/4 inch from top of muffin liner.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Place on cooling rack and let cool completely.  Refridgerate 4-6 hours before serving or overnight.  Top with your favorite cheesecake toppings, such as, chocolate, caramel, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, whipped cream, like I said before...your options are endless. 

Have a HAPPY day!  :o)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Digi Day

Okay before I get started, I need to clarify a few things. First, although Erica is a super mom, she is also very prepared. She had some posts already prepared and I just had to publish them. She's a good sister and I love her to pieces. Thanks to family and friends who are taking care of her at home and bringing her meals. I so wish I could be there to help and am grateful for the good people in this world.

Second, I need to state that this is not a healthy eating blog. If we gave that impression to any readers in any way we apologize. We share the recipes that we enjoy and our families enjoy and that is that. We are two moms who love our families and are doing our best day to day. Now, just because we post a recipe for a cupcake or a creamy pasta does not mean that all we feed our children are cupcakes and creamy pasta. In no way can you tell or judge by our recipes how healthy our children are or how many fruits and vegetable they consume on a daily basis. All of our children are active and very healthy. We do appreciate your comments and opinions though. :)

Okay, phew. Sorry now on to my planned Digi Day. There are some exciting things happening at the new sister blogs. Digi Lovely showcases layouts from the Creative Team (Woot! I had one featured Jan. 24) and the community. They are also offering a Freebie on Friday and a free Tuesday Template designed by one of the Creative Team members. I'll let you know when my turn comes up. Fun!

Also, we have a hybrid blog called Mouse, Paper, Lovely. There are some exciting things happening there too. There will be upcoming projects and tutorials for some fun hybrid projects. Check them out, follow along, and grow.

Here is my layout for the week. I'll be having some fun ones coming up. Digi in Deeper starts next week. Can't wait!!!

Full Credits Here.

Happy Tuesday!!! :)
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