Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Favorites

Not only do I love this blog, but I love the woman that created it!  She is a very talented cook, and also a great friend of mine.  She just recently started her blog and I'm so happy that she did.  I love reading all her posts.  She is such a talented writer and makes me laugh on about every post.  Go check Kelsey out at A Spice a Day.  You'll be glad you did.  :o)

Here's few of her recipes that i've tried and loved or have on my list to try.

Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks
I heart anything asparagus.

Banana Bread
This is my go to recipe for Banana Bread.  It's amazing!!!

Tomato Casserole
An easy recipe, with great flavor.

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
These look so delicious.  I need to try these soon.

Double Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies
Oh my!!  These look heavenly!

Head on over to meet my good friend, Miss Kelsey.  Tell her we sent you.  :o)

Hope you all had a wonderful week!  Have a fun and safe weekend!! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lemon Lime Cake

I love this cake. My sister in law Jamie is the best at making it though. Whenever she makes it it always is so incredibly light and fluffy. Mine was still delish and this is a must have recipe in your spring and summer stash. This cake is great for family get togethers, BBQs, or potlucks. I just love its light fresh taste.

Lemon Lime Cake
1 lemon cake mix
1 (3 oz.) package of lime Jello
1 1/2 cups water
1 (3 oz.) package of vanilla instant pudding
1 c. Milk
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping

Mix and bake cake according to directions. While cake is baking, dissolve Jello in 1 cup boiling water, then add 1/2 cup cold water. Set aside until cake is done. When cake is done, remove from oven and poke holes in hot cake. Slowly pour Jello over the top of the cake letting the mixture seep into the holes. Refridgerate until cake is cool.

Blend pudding mix with 1 cup of milk until it begins to thicken. Fold in whipped topping and spread on cooled cake. Keep cake refrigerated.


Source: Jamie Smiley

Have a great Tuesday!! Anyone getting sun? Not us, just rain and clouds. I like rain, but some sun would be nice too. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mango Salsa

I love Easter weekend.  I love when my family that I haven't seen in a while are home.  And I especially LOVE when they whip up something delicious like Mango Salsa to share with everyone.  My cousin, Jen, was in town for the holiday weekend.  I went to pay her a visit and I was so excited when they invited me to stay for dinner.  My family is full of awesome cooks, my Auntie, Uncle and cousins being a few of them. 

I, being the lazy person that I am, didn't whip up anything new to post on the blog.  So, Jen told me I could use this recipe.  I'm so happy she let me.  It's something everyone must try.  And it's so bright and colorful.  Perfect for spring and summer parties.

Mango Salsa
3 ripe mangos, cut up
3 avacados, cut up
juice of one lemon to coat the mango and avacado.
1/2 large white onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1-2 jalepeno's, chopped (take out the seeds if you don't want it too spicy)
Bunch of cilantro, chopped (I like a lot of this stuff, so do it to your own taste)

Mix everything together and eat with tortilla chips, or top your fish, or chicken with it.  YUM!

Hope you had a great Easter weekend like I did.  Here's to an awesome week and warmer weather!  PLEASE!  :o)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Digi Day

If you didn't get a chance to hop over to and check out Jodie Lee's Designs, I'll give you a sneak peek here. There is a lot of excitement with this new designer. She brings some gorgeous shabby vintage styles and I can't wait to see more. Oh and these four products are on sale through Sunday. Not bad, not bad!

This is her Sweet Heart kit. It has gorgeous papers and beautiful elements.

These photo textures are beautiful. If you want to add some texture and some vintage feel to a photo. These are fun.

This is her Shabby Set.

And these papers you can use as is or you can use them to add textures to papers already in your stash. Again, really fun.

Again, I was hoping to get more done in the scrapbooking arena but you know how it is. Some things just get put on the backburner. Here is my layout for the week. I did use Jodie Lee's paper in this as is but I'm mainly featuring the tag by Elle's Studio. This comes out in the store on Monday. It has beautiful texture and is a great basic tag to have for journaling.

Full Credits Here.

Later! Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Overnight Sticky Buns

Or as my son would call them, "PUMKINS!" soon as I pulled them out of the oven he was so excited we were having "pumkins" for breakfast.  I loved that I could throw these together before I went to bed and just put them in the oven in the morning.  And they were delicious.  Gotta love the ooey gooey goodness of this breakfast.  I was mostly excited to change it up a bit and having something other than yogurt and oatmeal in the morning. This was an awesome change.  :o)

Overnight Sticky Buns
18  frozen Rhodes Dinner Rolls
4.5 oz cook and serve vanilla or butterscotch pudding
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. melted butter

Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray and throw your frozen rolls in it nice and even.  Sprinkle the tops with pudding mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Pour the butter over the top.  Cover with a towel overnight.  When you wake up, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Let them sit for 5 minutes then turn them upsdie down on a serving platter.  ENJOY!  :o)

Source-Our Best Bites Cookbook

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Granola Bars

For the most part my lil' boy is a pretty healthy eater. Nine times out of ten he'll choose fruit over a sweet or fries. He loves vegetables and I have no problem getting him to eat a healthy snack. One of his favorite quick go-to's are granola bars. I've been wanting to make my own at home and finally got around to it. Tasty? Yes. Cost Efficient? Probably not. Making these or not would really depend on if you would rather save money or know exactly what is going into your kids' bodies. Unfortunately that really is a toss up for many of us.

Anyhoo, these really were quick to throw together and fun for the kids to help too. One bit of advice, keep an eye on your oat/nut mixture while toasting. Mine got a little darker than I would have preferred. Enjoy!

Granola Bars
3/4 cup honey (divided)
2 Tbls. butter
3 cups dry oatmeal
1 1/3 cup slivered almonds (or other nut)
pinch of salt (optional)
1 cup dried fruit (I used raisins, dried apricots, and craisins)
1/3 cup creamy nut butter (I used peanut butter)
1/4 cup light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325. In a small saucepan heat 1/4 cup honey and butter over low. Cook, stirring until butter melts.

In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, and pinch of salt. Drizzle honey mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine. Wipe saucepan clean for later use. Spread mixture evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally. About 15 minutes. Let cool completely on sheet. Return to large bowl and add dried fruit. Stir to combine.

Lightly butter an 8 inch square baking dish. In saucepan, combine 1/2 cup honey, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil and sugar dissolves about 10 minutes. Drizzle over oat mixture and stir till combined. Transfer to the baking dish and press firmly with a spatula. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour, then cut into 16 bars or squares. These store up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Source: Emeril :)

In other news...we have a new designer over at Her name is Jodie Lee formerly Gypsy Chick. She has a vintage old world style that I love. Can't wait to play with her products. Check her out!

Have a Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

S'more Stuffed Cookies

These were some big A cookies!  :o)  They are delicious!  I could only eat a half of one, because they are pretty rich.  But if you like rich, then this is your cookie.  It has a whole s'more stuffed inside chocolate chip cookie dough.  When you break it in half it has the BEST good and melty marshmallow.  I love it!!  The taste of the s'more made me even more excited for summer.

S'more Stuffed Cookies
2 sticks of butter, softened

1 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
6 full sheets graham crackers broke into quarters, equalling 24 quarters
3 Hershey Bars, broken into rows of 3 bars
12 large marshmallows cut in half lengthwise

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray it good with cooking spray. 

Beat butter until creamy, and add sugars.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Then add your flour, salt, and baking soda.  Mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Layer a graham cracker, 3squares of chocolate, 2 halves of marshmallows, and then another graham cracker.  Top the s'more with a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough.  Pick up with dough in the palm of your hand and add another scoop.  Form dough around s'more adding more if you need it.  (These are HUGE cookies, so don't think yours are too big...the most likely aren't.)  It gets kind of messy, but it only makes 12 cookies, so keep going!  :o)  Place on cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes or until light brown around edges.  Let them cool a few minutes before transfering to a cooling rack.  ENJOY!

Source-Picky Palate

Hope you have a wonderful week! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Chocolate Malted Cupcakes

My dad and my hubby have maybe one thing in common (other than they are both really really cool) ...they both love malt balls. I always buy Aaron a package of Easter egg Whoppers around Easter time. Speaking of, anyone else thing Easter candy is the best!? Yum.

Anyway, I saw the eggs sitting on the counter plus I needed some cupcakes for an activity and here you have it. In my cupcake making experience I've made lot of scratch cupcakes. Some have turned out great and others terrible. I hate using a cake mix, I dunno, I'm a snob I guess. But there is this whole world of "doctored" cake mixes that really do taste a lot better AND you're pretty much guaranteed a moist yummy cupcake every time.

So, I'll share the basic recipe I use. You can find all kinds of variations of doctored mixes all over the net, so if you're craving a particular "flavor", just use my friend Google and you're bound to find what you're looking for.

Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes
1 box devil’s food cake mix
1 small pkg Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

And it's easy! Throw everything into a bowl, mix it up and pour into prepared pan(s). Bake at 350. Check the cake box for approximate bake times.

This is a basic recipe, you can add or substitute to suit what you're aiming for. I added about a cup of chocolate malt milk mix (Ovaltine) to the batter to give the malt taste. They turned out moist and delicious. Yum.

As for the frosting, I used a basic buttercream and added Ovaltine to it. Next time I would dissolve the Ovaltine in my liquid before adding to the buttercream. I crushed up some Whopper Eggs and sprinkled on. Enjoy!

Basic Buttercream
1 cup softened butter
1 cup shortening

8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 fluid ounces heavy cream

Cream the butter and shortening until smooth and pale. Add all the powdered sugar. It should be really dry at this point. Warm your liquid, add salt and stir till dissolved. Let cool. Add cooled liquid to your sugar mixture slowly till you reach your desired consisitency. Add vanilla or other flavoring and beat until smooth.

Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Italian Pasta Salad

This has to be one of my favorite spring/summer salads.  Isn't it funny we really don't make these kinds of things in the winter?  Not only am I excited for the sun and warm weather, but i'm also excited for all the yummy food that comes with spring and summer.  I got this recipe from my sis in law, Jamie.  I fell in love with it the first time I tried it and it's always been a hit every time I make it.  It's so colorful and flavorful.

Italian Pasta Salad
1 bag of colored noodles, cooked til done.
1 bottle of zesty italian salad dressing
1/2 bottle of salad supreme seasoning
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, chopped
1 can of olives, sliced
1 pkg of sliced mushrooms, or throw in a couple cans of the sliced mushrooms
1 bag of the small pepperoni or large pepperoni, cut into quarters

Cook your noodles according to package directions.  I like to chop all my veggies up while its boiling.  When they are done, drain the water and run noodles under cold water until they are no longer hot.  Pour into big bowl and start throwing in all your ingredients.  You don't have to use the whole bottle of dressing.  But the noodles really suck up a lot of the moisture.  I double the batch and put 2 bottles in and let it sit over night and it was perfect the next day.  Same with the salad supreme, put in as much as you like.  I like LOTS of the stuff in mine.  Let your salad sit for a couple hours before serving and make sure to stir it before serving.

Hope your having a fabulous week!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Digi Day

I don't have a lot to show for how much digi I have been doing lately. Last week I worked on a book for a friend and whipped up 20 pages. Phew. That was a project. I ordered the book through Paper Kiwi and I'm excited to get it and see how it turned out. I've always used Shutterfly for my photobooks so I hope I can give you a good review on the Paper Kiwi book. I should be getting it this week.

As for my own scrapbooking, I did get lesson 7 done in the Digi in Deeper class. This class officially ended a few weeks ago. I'm just way behind on everything in my life. Oh well, my big projects would be finishing Maggie's 1st year album. She'll be 5 in 2 weeks. Nice, right? And finishing putting together my Project 365 form 2009. See...behind. Those two projects out of my way will be perfect before this baby comes. I have 12 weeks people. I'll keep you updated.

This is Lesson 7 in the DIDer course. I love this course and love all things I've learned. I know with digi scrappin' you don't get your fingers dirty and the tactical stimulation of touching and feeling BUT (and that's a big BUT) there really is a satisfaction in using my brain and creating. Digi scrappin' does take a lot of mind power. When I'm paper scrappin' I can listen to music or watch a movie but with digi my mind is completely engrossed in my work. I love it. And I get a memory recorded and my thoughts out on paper. It's a good thing.

I hope everyone is getting some Spring weather. I know we are and I'm lovin' being outside again. Have a happy Tuesday! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Digi Day

Every month I'm assigned to a specific designer to work with their products. This month I get the chance to work with Elle from Elle's Studio. She has a simple fun style and creates lots of fun tags, banners, cards, and more.

I saw some really cute Valentine's projects in the gallery using these tags.

She also has fun bags and banners you can make for various holidays.

I used the note tags along with IKari's purse card template to make a cute card for my niece. Fun and easy to throw together.

Full Credits Here.

Her Father's Day Tags come out on Monday. This project took me an hour or so to throw together, and our Father's Day present is pretty much done. Woohoo. Love it! Full credits Here.

Okay! Hope everyone has an awesome Thursday. I love Thursday's. See ya!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lemon Butter Chicken

I wanted to try something different for dinner with chicken, and I found this recipe and it looked easy enough to throw together.  My family loved it, as did I.  It's not the healthiest, but it was oh so good with some garlic parmesan noodles and green beans.  You can also do this in the crock pot too.  I would have tried it that way, but I'm not very ambitious in the morning.  Am I the only one that stays in my jammies until...ok...all day?!  Hurry and vacuum and do the dishes before the husband gets home, so he thinks I actually did something during the day.  Ha!...Hey!  I don't do it every day!!  Being a stay at home mom is hard work!  Try this recipe.  It's easy and tasty.  And you won't be sorry.

Can you see the butter?!  Mmmm...Gotta love it!

Lemon Butter Chicken
1 cube butter
1 package of Good Season Italian Seasoning
2 lbs chicken tenders, or breasts
The juice of 2 lemons

Melt the butter in a big frying pan.  Add your chicken and then sprinkle the seasoning over the top and the juice of the lemons.  Cover and let cook on medium heat until tender.  I took the lid off, and let the juice simmer down so I could get a yummy crispy crust on my chicken.

For the crockpot, put melted butter in the bottom of the crockpot and add chicken.  Sprinkle with seasoning and juice.  Put on lid and cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 6-8 hours.


And we had to pick a new winner, because our first one never contacted us.  So...the winner of the Shutterfly photo book is Stephanie Smiley!!  Congrats!!  Make sure to e-mail Monica at cholita41 at yahoo dot com to claim your prize. 

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tasty Cornbread

I've made a dozen or so cornbread recipes searching for "the one". Mine always turn out too dry or too tasteless. Yuck. My good friend Megan had us over for dinner once and served us this delicious, moist, full of yummy sweetness cornbread. I had at least two (okay, three) pieces and wanted the recipe. I had finally found "the one". I'm not sure why it took me so long to make this, but I finally baked this up last night. It is definitely a keeper and it's so easy! Sometimes simple really is better. Enjoy!

Tasty Cornbread
1/2 cup butter, room temp.
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cup milk

Cream the butter and sugar together then mix in your eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Combine butter mixture, dry ingredients, and milk. Mix till combined. Bake at 375 in a greased 8x8 pan for 40-50 minutes.

Source: Megan says she found the recipe in some cookbook but has no idea which one. Anyone?

I've been watching Paula Dean on Hulu while I cook or clean and Maggie asked me why she says "y'all". I explained to her what it meant so we spent the next hour or so putting "y'all" in every sentence we could. Love that lil' girl of mine. So, with that. Y'all have a good Tuesday now, y'hear? :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Taco Casserole

I love Love LOVE this dish.  I could eat these kind of things every night for dinner.  My good friend, Tansy, brought me this dish after I had my baby.  We dug in and it was so tasty.  I can't believe it's taken me this long to make it again.  Jason and I even had a few hour argument of what kind of tortillas Tansy put in the casserole.  I was right, of course, but he still thinks he is right.  Ha!!  She put corn in, which I think gives it a better flavor.  He insists she put in flour, but she said if you use flour the tortillas gets all gooey...and who wants that?!  Give this a try.  It's awesome...seriously...awesome! 

Taco Casserole
1 lb ground beef
1 can of black beans
1 packet of taco seasoning, or you can use the good homemade kind.
1 c. sour cream
1 can dice chilies
1/2 c. salsa
1 can cream of chicken soup
corn tortillas (I used about 8-10 cut into quarters)
shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown beef in a large skillet.  When it's done throw in the black beans, undrained, and taco seasoning.  Cook until the liquid is just about gone.  In a large bowl mix together sour cream, chilies, salsa, and cream of chicken soup.  Cut your tortillas into quarters.  Layer your ingredients, starting with the sour cream stuff, in a 13x9 casserole dish.  Then tortillas, meat, cheese.  Repeat layers and top with lots of shredded cheddar cheese.  Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes.  We topped ours with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, green onions, avacados, salsa and ranch. was sure tasty!  Wish there were some leftovers for lunch.

Hope you have a wonderful week!! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy April Fools Day!

Some moms totally get into this day and I've seen some cute ideas floating around. I've had my eye on a certain cupcake for awhile and was excited to make these. If you've never flipped through Hello Cupcake or What's New Cupcake, you need to. They have some really fun cupcake ideas. I have both books, but have never attempted any. Although they are fun to look at, they look very time consuming.

These cuties were simple enough so I made them to surprise my kiddos.

Fun, right? I told the kids I had just bought a brand new carton of eggs and dropped them. Maggie looked at them, then looked at me and said, "really?" She was kinda fooled. Ben wasn't fooled at all. Anyway, I hope your family had a fun day. We would love to hear how you fooled your kids. Next year I'll get Ben!

Have a great weekend!!!!
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