Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Digi Day

Hello Friends! Are you ready for some digi goodness? I was able to get some scrappin' done in the mist of our crazy end of school year schedule. My hubby finished his grueling 3rd quarter in medical school and I have LOVED having him again. It's crazy you can miss someone even though they "live" in the same house. We had a fun weekend and actually went on a date. I know, right?

Anyway, hopefully you took advantage of all the fun freebies from 7 Days in May last week. I was able to complete 2 of the challenges. I posted my Easter layout last week. I also completed this one about my lil' buddy.

Full Credits Here.

Also, this week Kitschy Digitals came out with a fun Retro Paper Pack. I've realized that I lean more toward neutral and basic colors in my scrapping. It is a challenge for me to use bright patterned papers. Being on the Creative Team gives me the opportunity to stretch my creative mind and try new things. I love Kitschy Digital Designs. Her style is retro and beautiful. I especially love her Sewing elements and use them all the time.

I love these flowers. They are so pretty and look great on my girlie layouts. Find it Here.

These are gorgeous. Find them Here.

I use the pins all the time from this kit. They add the perfect touch. Find them Here.

This is a brand new paper pack from Kitschy Digitals. Really bright and fun. Find it Here.

Here is my layout using KD's Retro Pack. Funny, I also used a paper flower and a pin from Granny's Sewing Basket. Full Credits Here.

Last but not least, Jessica Sprague and Heidi Swapp are at it again with a Father's Day Hybrid project. Do you need a Father's Day gift? Register now, class starts soon!

Have an awesome Tuesday!!! :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Poppyseed Bread

This has to be my favorite quick bread. It is so flavorful and moist. It makes 2 big loaves, so I usually always give one away or freeze it and keep the other for us to munch on. I must be honest though...i'm usually the only one that munches on them. Jason isn't a huge fan of it...(He is odd) and I usually eat the whole thing before the kids discover I made it. Ha ha! Just teasing...or am I? :o) You can change the flavoring of it too. My personal favorite is almond, but I know a lot of people that would prefer lemon.

Uh...I would have a picture...but my bread didn't work. lol...why you ask?! Oh because my mind was occupied with a fussy baby and a toddler hanging on my legs. I totally forgot to add the eggs. I thought it looked a little light when I poured them into the bread pans, but I thought what the heck! It's right. NOT!  I didn't realize what I did, until I started typing up the recipe for you guys.  It tastes ok, but something is just weird about it. O'well...another one to add to my recipe mis-haps. I'll post a picture when I make the recipe again. Der!!! I won't be giving this extra loaf to anyone. I might just feed it to my chickens.

Poppyseed Bread
3 c. flour
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/8 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 Tbsp poppyseeds
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp melted butter

Mix everything together really good and pour into 2 greased large bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Let them cool completely.

School is out here, so I'm looking forward to a fun and eventful summer with my kiddies. I'm hoping to put some more kid friendly recipes up, because my daughter is showing a lot more interest in the kitchen. Wish me luck with that.

Hope you all have a great long weekend! Hope the sun is shining for everyone.

Source-The Girl Who Ate Everything

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gooey Layered Everything Bars

It was the name that stopped me on this recipe. Can you go wrong with a name like that? This is a pretty quick recipe to whip up and I'm sure you can add or take away anything you want. The way they are I enjoyed, but I don't think my kids would love them and I can think of a few picky adults who would pass these up too..*cough* *cough* Brian. My dad would love them minus the raisins, etc. etc. You get the picture. This is definitely a recipe you can play with.


Gooey Layered Everything Bars
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) cut up
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teas. salt
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnut pieces (I used pecans) toasted
1/2 cup raisins
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper leaving an overhang on two sides. Lightly coat with vegetable spray. In a food processor, pulse together the butter, powdered sugar, flour, and salt until it resembles a coarse meal. Add oats and pulse until just combined. Press evenly into your dish and bake until lightly browned and firm about 20 minutes.

Scatter chocolate chips, nuts, and raisins on top of crust. Drizzle with the milk and top with the coconut. Bake untill coconut is golden, 10-20 minutes. Keep an eye on it. Let cool completely, loosen sides, and pull bars from the dish. Cut into whatever size you prefer and enjoy! These are rich so a smallish squares work well!

Hope you are having a great week! We are keeping an eye on the sky in Missouri and I've been working on our Emergency Preparedness. You just never know when something will happen. We are told to be prepared for a reason. How are your 72 hour kits and food storage? Any great ideas for me? I would love to hear! Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Digi Day

I'm really hoping you didn't forget about the 7 Days in May Freebies and Challenges at JessicaSprague.com. Yesterday was the first day with a super cute template. Hopefully you grabbed it because the daily freebie expires within 24 hours. A new one is posted at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, so you early birds may still be able to grab it. Check out the General Forum Here.

Here is my take on the template. I had fun doing it and it's nice to get a random page done. You may see a double digi day this week. There's going to be some scrappin' getting done people! Woo hoo!

Full Credits Here!

You still have lots of time to get in the fun!

The school year is winding down for us. Can you believe summer is right around the corner!? It is going to be a very busy summer for my family. 6 more weeks and we'll have a new member of our family then we are headed West to visit family and vacation. Erica and I will keep up the blog as much as we can but I'm sure you'll be out enjoying life as much as we will. We just wanted you to know we're not throwing in the towel, but you may see a little less posting for awhile. Summer here we come!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Mousse

Tomorrow marks my first day to try to lose some of this baby weight.  So to celebrate...lol...I decided this morning I was gonna make some Chocolate Mousse to have after lunch.  You think I waited until after lunch to try this?!  No way!  It is so light and fluffy, and has the perfect taste of chocolate in it.  It was super easy to throw together too, so that's definately a plus!  I might even save some for my dear daughter and husband for their after dinner treat, but who knows...I might eat it all and not even tell them I made it!  TEE HEE!  ;o) 

Chocolate Mousse
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 Tbsp cold water
2 Tbsp boiling water
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together gelatin and cold water in a small bowl and set aside.  Boil some water in the microwave and take out 2 Tbsp and add to gelatin mix.  Stir together until well combined.  While gelatin mix is cooling, combine remaining ingredients, and beat until medium stiff peaks form.  Mix in gelatin and put in your individual cups and refridgerate for 30 minutes.  Top with chocolate shavings, whipped cream or even some berries!

Have a great week!!

Source: Our Best Bites Cookbook

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Favorites

I absolutely LOVE this blog. Kristan is so creative with her recipes and her writing.  I'm so glad I fell upon her blog.  She has inspired me to be more creative in the kitchen.  I seriously don't know how some people come up with such amazing ideas!  I wish I was more like that.  Go check out Confessions of a Cookbook Queen NOW!  You will be glad you did!!

Almond Joy Brownie Bites

I need to make these for my Daddy.  He would LOVE them!

Coffee Cake


Chicken and Dumplings

This is definately a comfort dish.  love Love LOVE it!!

Shamrock Mint Oreos

Aren't these the cutest!?  I need to make these with a different color icing and shape.  The possibilities are endless!  I love them!!

Go over to Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and let her know I sent you.  If you've made any of her creations let us know.  I like to see what others have tried and what they thought about them.  :o)

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Digi Day

Mark your calendars for the 3rd annual 7 Days in May. It is a week long event of challenges and freebies. Yay! Starting on Monday May 23rd you can go to the general gallery at JessicaSprague.com for the first challenge. It is a fun way to test your scrapping skills and get some scrapping done! Spread the word, it should be loads of fun!

On Monday you'll be able to pick up this super cute kit by Carina Gardner. It is the baby safari collection and is oh so cute. Also Splendid Fiins is coming out with oh so versatile Krafty Paper. You need these for your stash. You can use them for anything!

Still working on Maggs' first year album. Full Credits Here.

Hope you're having a Happy Thursday!!! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake

I needed a dessert for a couple of birthday girls and I had been eyeing this one. Usually in the food magazines, certain products advertise with a luscious picture and a recipe. This one by Philadelphia Cream Cheese caught my eye. Maybe because I love cheesecake so much, or because I'm prego and most everything with sugar looks amazing to me. It is a super easy recipe and made a tasty cheesecake. Give it a try!

Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake
40 Vanilla Wafer, Crushed
3 Tbsp. butter melted
4 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese softened, divided
1 cup sugar, divided
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vanilla, divided
3 eggs
8 oz. whipped topping, thawed

Mix wafer crumbs and butter, press onto bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Beat 3 packages of cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1 Tbsp. vanilla in mixer till well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each one until just blended. Pour over crust.

Bake at 325 degrees 50-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around the rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely in pan.

Beat remaining cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in whipped topping; spread over cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate 4 hours. Remove rim of pan before serving and garnish with a fruit of your choice. Yum, enjoy!!!

Don't forget it's Template Tuesday over at the Digi Lovely blog. My favorite gal Rachael designed this one. I love her work. She is an inspiration for me. Go pick it up!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Baked Salmon

I love Love LOVE salmon!  I am usually scared to buy it because sometimes it's just plain nasty if it's old.  My dad laughed at me when I said I can't stand fish that tastes too fishy!  Do you know what I mean?  I went out of town and bought a fresh big slab of salmon and it turned out perfectly and it wasn't too fishy at all!!  I do like my fish a little thicker, but this is as thick as I could find. 

This was so easy to throw together.  I did it before we went to church and it was ready to throw in the oven when we got home.  It had great flavor.  Even my toddler gobbled his up and asked for seconds.  Which is rare.

Baked Salmon
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2-6oz salmon fillets

In a big ziploc bag mix all your ingredients except salmon fillets.  When mixed together good put your fillets in and close your bag.  Massage the mix into the fillets, and put in the fridge.  Let it marinate for atleast an hour, massaging your salmon every so often.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  I like to put a little slab of butter in my baking dish, and put it in the oven so it melts and my pan get good and hot.  Place steaks in baking dish, pouring marinade over the tops. Bake for 10-15 minutes for every inch of thickeness.  Mine didn't take very long at all!  You know it is done when it's firm to the touch, not smooshy. And it flakes easily with a fork. 

Note-I like to remove the skin from the fish before I marinade.  But if you prefer leaving the skin on, bake it with the skin facing up.

Have a great week!  Happy Monday!!

Adapted from Allrecipes

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tender Creamy Cube Steaks

This is another one of my favorite crockpot recipes.  With my lil' man being sick this week I haven't had much time to do anything else but hold and rock him (which is fine by me), I had to think of easy things to cook for dinner and this is one of them.  It has only a few ingredients but it doesn't lack on taste at all.  Pour it over mashed potatoes, rice, or even noodles like a stroganoff.  These are so tender you can cut them with a fork.

Tender Creamy Cube Steaks

4-6 good sized cube steaks (I used 8, because my butcher cuts ours up little)
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1 packet of dry lipton onion soup
1 c. water
1 sm. can of mushrooms  (Use fresh, if you have them.)

Heat a little oil in a large frying pan.  Brown your steaks on both sides. Throw into crockpot.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour over top of steaks.  Cook on low for 4-6 hours. 

Hope your having a great week!!  I think Spring is finally here!  Yipee!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Digi Day

Well today is kind of an exciting day for me. My  digi template is featured over at the Digi Lovely blog. You can head on over there and pick it up for free! It really is a joy to work with the amazing team at JessicaSprague.com. They are all super nice people and all so inspirational. The creative team amazes me week by week with their amazing work. It is nice to be "surrounded" by so many creative amazing gals.

Anyhoo, here is the template being featured today. If you upload ten of your layouts in the template tuesday gallery then you get a coupon for five dollars off in the store. Not a bad deal while getting your scrapping done. You can go back and pick up previous templates, just do a search for template tuesday and it will bring them all up. Okay...

I know I've said this before but templates are a great way to quickly get some scrapping done. The designing is already done for you. You just have to drop your pictures in and add any embellishments you choose. Here is a tutorial by Creativity by Crystal on how to use templates for those who have never done it.

Here is my sample using the template. You can find the full credits here.

Alrighty, if you get a chance, head on over the the Digi Lovely blog and pick up my template. Do some scrapping and upload it to the Template Tuesday Gallery. I would love to see what you do with it. Have a happy Tuesday!!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Grandma's Cheesecake

This cheesecake brings back so many memories with every bite.  I just have to close my eyes and I see myself at Grandma's table eating it as slow as I can to make it last.  The smell of her house and the different seasons out her big kitchen window.  I remember asking her after church every Sunday what was for dinner, and then asking if she had made dessert hoping she would say cheesecake.  This has to be my absolute favorite dessert.  This was also my Grandpas favorite dessert besides his normal wheat bread and homemade jam.

I've only made this myself about 4 times  1 of the times it turning out more like soup than cheesecake.  It's always been a family joke that no one could perfect this like my Grandma did.  The first time my Dad made it Grandma told him to use 26 graham crackers...she meant the small rectangles, not the big rectangles.  He used 26 big ones.  I remember scraping off the bottom and top of the cheesecake and feeding it to our dog, Lucy.  Funny stuff!  It doesn't really taste like the classic cheesecake.  It's better...at least for me.  It's perfect all by itself, but I guess you could top it with your favorite fruit. 

Heaven on a plate

Grandma's Cheesecake
1 small box lemon Jello
1 c. boiling water
1-8oz cube of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 can evaporated milk, COLD!
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 package of graham crackers, crushed (Not the whole box, just one of the plastic packages)  :o)
1 cube butter, melted

First things first, you need to put your evaporated milk in the fridge.  I do this the night before I know I am gonna make it to make sure it's super cold.  If it is not cold, this will not work.  I also put my mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer to make sure they are nice and cold too.  These were my Grandma's instructions when I first made it. 

Crush graham crackers and mix with melted butter.  Press into bottom of a 13x9 dish.  Reserving about 1/4 c. to sprinkle on top of the cake when it's done.  Set aside.

Combine jello and boiling water together and stir until jello is dissolved.  Put in fridge and let it set up slightly.  You want it to still move around in the bowl, but also see it setting up a bit.

Beat cream cheese and sugar together, until nice and creamy.  Stir in slightly set up jello and mix until well combined. 

In your cold bowl beat evaporated milk until it's nice and frothy.  Add your vanilla and lemon juice and mix well.  Fold your cream cheese, jello mixture into the evaporated milk mix until well combined.  Pour into 13x9 dish and top with remaining graham crackers.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or for about 4-5 hours.  This way it sets up nicely.  My Grandma always made it in the morning before church and it was perfect when we were done with dinner.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and wonderful Mother's Day.  I thought a lot about my Grandma yesterday and how she was being celebrated in heaven.  I like to make her favorite dishes when I'm missing her more than usual.  Makes me feel a little closer to her.  I hope you have some favorite family dishes that makes you think of the ones that have passed on.  I cherish those recipes.

Have a great week!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tres Leches Cake.....Mmmmmmm

We love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo but pretty much for the food. Mexican food is my favorite and we have some version at least weekly. I've been eyeing this Tres Leches cake for awhile and was saving it for Cinco de Mayo. It was delicious and pretty quick to whip up minus the soaking time. Really you can make it for any occasion and switch up the fruit you use. Enjoy!

Tres Leches Cake with Mango Topping
Vegetable oil, for greasing

4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12-ounce can evaporated milk
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon dark rum (I didn't use this and it tasted fine)
2 large ripe mangoes
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Make the cake: Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer until pale and slightly thick, about 6 minutes. Slowly beat in the melted butter, then beat in the vanilla and 1/4 cup whole milk.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula to make a thick batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (Mine still had a few crumbs on my toothpick at 30 minutes but the top of the cake was pretty dark so I opted to take the cake out. It was fine.) Run a knife along the edges to release the cake from the pan.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 cups whole milk, the evaporated milk, condensed milk and rum in a bowl. Pierce the warm cake all over with a fork, then pour the milk mixture gradually and evenly on top, letting the cake absorb the liquid until all is used. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Before serving, make the topping: Peel, pit and dice the mangoes. Puree half the mangoes in a blender with 2 tablespoons sugar. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the remaining diced mango.In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar with a mixer until soft peaks form. Slice the cake; top each piece with the whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve the mango topping on the side.

I originally found this recipe in my Food Network Magazine so I went to the website and found the recipe here. It has mixed reviews on it but overall I give it 4 stars. I did have about 3/4 cups of liquid leftover. The key is to pour slowly and let it soak in before adding more. Also, the longer you refrigerate the cake the more set it becomes. You won't be disappointed, try it out!

I did want to add that JessicaSprague.com is having an awesome sale this weekend. If you need to stock up on some digi supplies then head on over there. All of the Photoshop Friday tutorials and hybrid tutorials are on sale for 1.00. They will be retired at the end of June so don't miss it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

To celebrate today I thought I would post some of my favorite spanish dishes that we've put on the blog.  My family could eat these meals every night!  I love Love LOVE anything taco, or nacho!  :o)  I think tonight we're gonna do some nachos or a taco salad.  Haven't decided yet.  What are you gonna make? 

Taco Salad
One of my all time favorites!!  I'm drooling just thinking about it....

Chicken Enchiladas
These are so easy to make with such a great taste!  Make and extra pan or two, because they freeze great!

Beef Enchiladas
These are pretty awesome too.

Taco Soup
Gotta love Taco Soup!  Especially with LOTS of Fritos!!

Chicken Posole
One of my all time favorite soups!!

Mama's Flan
And don't forget dessert!  Yummy!!!

Now that's a big list of spanish dishes!!  Give at least one a try and let us know if you've tried any of them.  We like to hear some feedback.  :o) 

Hope you are enjoying spring wherever you are.  I know i'm enjoying being out in the yard with the kids.  I think tonight we are gonna start planting our garden!  I can not wait!!!  Have a wonderful Thursday, and Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Digi Day

Okay, last week was wild throwing a birthday party for my now five year old. Crazy! We had a tea party and the girls loved it! First though, JessicaSprague.com is doing a Mondays in May sale. Sorry you missed yesterday, but next week you'll be right on it, right? It is pretty much buy one product and get another product from the same designer FREE! Yeah baby, love free. Here's your chance to stock up on some wanted items!

If you haven't picked up any templates by The Queen of Quirk, you really need to. I love her templates. They are well designed and so fun to add to. Find them here! They are called Scrap Canvas. Full Credits for layout Here.

So here is the banner I made for Maggs' party. I used a Party Bundle Template by IKari Designs. This template set is great! It has everything you need for a party including a banner, bag toppers, cupcake toppers, invitations, thank you cards, tags, chocolate bar wrappers, etc. You can pick and choose what you want to use. In my case I used the banner and I used the bag toppers as place holders at the table. So easy and soooo cute! Find the template here and full credits here. I linked the bundle but if you buy the Party pack 1 next Monday then you can get the Party pack 2 for free. Save yourself 4 dollars! Just sayin'. :)

Here is the bag topper I used as a placeholder.

Here is the table setting for the tea party. I do have to give credit to my sister-in-law Jamie. She also threw her daughter a Tea Party this Spring and I did get some decorating ideas from her. Thanks Jamie! I was really happy with my centerpiece. The lilacs are in full bloom right now. I love lilacs. They have such a personal meaning to me and warm my heart. They really brightened our home for a few days. Wish they would stay around longer.

These were the dress up pieces for the girls. Each girl got a feather boa, a necklace, a ring, and a flower clip for their hair.

I loved how a little tulle and silk flowers dressed up my very worn chairs.

Love making tissue papers pom poms. They are so cute and so easy. They are a fun decorations for any party.

And of course the birthday girl all dressed up for her guests! Stop growing already!

One more thing, don't forget to head over to our Digi Lovely blog. Every Tuesday you get a Free template. If I haven't convinced you yet, templates are a super quick way to get your scrapping done. Head on over and collect not only today's template but the previous 13! Fourteen templates for FREE people! Next week the blog will be featuring mine. Kinda cool.

Thanks for reading my super long post! Have a wonderful day!!! :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cream Puffs

Can I just say, "OH BABY!"?  These are so delicious.  I haven't made them in a long time and as I was looking through my recipe book this recipe fell out and landed right on my lap.  It was a sign!  I had to make them.  I forgot how amazing they are.  I used to make them a lot, because my hubs LOVES them.  They are fast and easy to throw together.  I even did it with a baby strapped to me.  :o)


Here's what you need...
Cream Puffs
2 (3.4 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
1/2 c. butter
1 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together pudding, cream, and milk.  Mix well.  Cover and let it set up in the fridge. 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a large pot, bring water and butter to a boil.  Remove from heat. and stir in flour, salt, and vanilla until it forms a ball.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Drop by tablespoons onto greased cookie sheet or a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  The centers should be dry.

When they are cool, either cut in half or use a pastry bag to fill each one with the pudding mixture.  Top with powdered sugar or if your feeing really ambitious, melted chocolate.  Yum! 

I made mine a little bigger, and it made about 18 good size puffs.  :o)

Have a wonderful week!
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