Thursday, December 18, 2008

Toffee Squares

This recipe came from a friend's blog. However, I can't find the original post. (I know it was there at some point in time!)
This recipe is so easy. It is a cross between toffee and cookies.... yummy!!

Toffee Squares

1 cup Butter
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg yolk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
6 Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars

Beat butter, brown sugar, egg yolk and vanilla together until creamy. Slowly add flour and salt until well blended.

Bake at 325 for 13 minutes or until lightly browned. It will be soft, do not over bake.

Remove from oven and immediately place unwrapped chocolate bars on top of hot cookie base.
Let it stand a few minutes until chocolate is melted. Spread melted chocolate evenly to cover entire cookie base. Cut into squares after chocolate has cooled and set.


Yummy Apple Crisp

This recipe is from the good ole' Betty Crocker cookbook. It was very easy and super YUMMY!

Apple Crisp

4 medium tart cooking apples, SLICED (I used Granny Smith)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I would probably do 1/4 tsp next time)

Heat oven to 375. Grease bottom and sides of 8x8 pan.

Spread apples in pan. Mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over apples.

Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with fork. Serve warm with ice cream.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Toffee

I found this yummy (and SUPER easy) recipe for Christmas Toffee. The original recipe can be found here.

Pamela's Christmas Toffee

1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup of your favorite nuts (optional)
1/2 package of chocolate chips

On the bottom of a 9x13 glass pan, spread a light coat of butter (or non-stick spray) and 1/4 cup of your favorite nuts. Optional - have a small bowl of ice water ready to test your toffee.

This recipe needs constant attention and stirring for about 10 minutes. In a heavy sauce pan, add butter and sugars - melt on high heat. Once the butter and sugars have melted and started to boil, the toffee will go through 4 stages.

Stage 1 - butter and sugars are melted, but not mixed. Keep stirring.
Stage 2 - butter and sugars are mixed and start to cook. Keep stirring.
Stage 3 - butter and sugars are bubbling. Keep stirring.
Stage 4 - butter and sugars change color, slightly (from light tan to dark tan). Toffee almost looks like taffy, it becomes smooth and not bubbly. Keep stirring and start to test for hard crack.

Hard Crack: take a small piece of toffee and when it hits ice cold water, it sizzles. This is whe the toffee is done.

****I just stirred until the mixture was no longer bubbling. If you wait too long, you will burn the toffee.****

Pour toffee into buttered 9x13 pan, do not spread or stir, just pour directly from saucepan. Sprinkle with your favorite chocolate chips on top, the hot toffee will melt the chips in a few minutes. With a spatula, spread the melted chips over the toffee and sprinkle with your favorite nuts.

Allow toffee to cool completely, break apart with a knife and ENJOY!!

Christmas Potpourri

This makes a great neighbor gift! Just add 2 slices of each a lemon, a lime, an orange, add 4-5 cinnamon sticks and a palm full of whole cloves. Once you put it on your stove, add water and it will fill your house with wonderful Christmas scents!

Attach a card that has these instructions on it:

Christmas Potpourri

1. Place ingredients in pot.
2. Fill Pot with water, covering potpourri mix.
3. Bring to a boil and turn down to low.
4. Let simmer & continue to add water as needed.

* potpourri will last approx. one week.

(Original picture and instructions can be found here.)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dump Truck Cake

Here's an easy birthday cake that the kids will love:

Bake a chocolate cake. While the cake is baking, mix up a large package of chocolate pudding and let set in the fridge.

While cake is still warm - crumble the cake. Set aside 1/2 c. of the crumbled cake to sprinkle on top when done. (Sorry picture wouldn't rotate for me)

Put golden Oreos and regular Oreos in a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Mix Chocolate cake crumbs, pudding, crushed oreos, and gummy worms together to make "mud". Spoon into dump truck and onto "road". Sprinkle the top with remaining crumbs to make it look like fresh dirt.

We used a "shovel" to serve everyone.
Super easy and yummy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Stockings...

... Or as I like to call them the 6 YEAR Christmas Stockings! My wonderfully talented, awesome, friend (and neighbor at the time), Sonya gave me the pattern to make these over 6 years ago, and they are finally done in time for Cristmas 2008! I am so excited

Sonya embroidered the names on them and I love the way they turnd out. It was so weird that she had to put Mom and Dad on them... that's us now!!

Thank you Sonya and thank you momma Crook for helping me make sure they turned out correctly. There was a few scary moments there (I still have a stocking to prove when it went wrong)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Festive Tossed Salad

This is a recipe that we make at work, for banquets.
It is surprisingly sweet and very addictive! Give it a try!

Festive Tossed Salad

10 cups torn Romaine
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 medium Apples, cored and cubed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 - 1 cup cashews

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. finely diced red onion
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup oil
2-3 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Banana Bread

I found this yummy (and easy) recipe for Banana Bread, here.
It was really easy to make... I recommend giving it a try!

Banana Bread
1/2 c butter (1 stick), at room temperature
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c very ripe bananas, mashed (~3 bananas)
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat to incorporate. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts (if desired) and pour into pan. Bake until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
*the original recipe said 1 hour 10 minutes but I overbaked mine so many times that I finally just changed it to 1 hour. It's better to check on it early than too late!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baked Oatmeal and Fruit

(Sorry for the kind of un-appetizing picture, but I promise, it is really good.)
Whisk in a large bowl:
3/4 c. oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs

Add and stir well:
6 cups oatmeal
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups milk

Stir in:
2 apples, peeled and chopped
1 cup craisins
1/2-1 cup pecans (optional--of course I left them out because my husband doesn't like them:) )

Pour into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serve with milk or cream.

You can see this is a pretty big recipe, but I think you could easily cut it in half. Also, you could replace the fruit with any kind of fruit you like. I think it would be really good with bluberries. Ryan and I ate it dry the night we baked it, but added milk the following days. We really liked it both ways!!

Soft Ginger Snaps

(From Girls Night Out)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (or 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened--but, I like the oil better)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
granulated sugar for coating

In large mixing bowl beat oil, sugar, eggs and molasses together well. Sift dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture until blended. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Form into balls (I think it works better to make them kind of small). roll each ball in granulated sugar and bake on ungreased baking sheet for 6-8 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies will be puffy when removed from oven, but wil flatten as they cool. Tops will look cracked. Cool on rack.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Banana Nut Muffins w/ Oatmeal Streusel

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

6 tablespoons regular oats
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°. To prepare the muffins, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine banana and next 4 ingredients (through egg) in a bowl; stir well. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened; fold in walnuts. Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups.
To prepare streusel, combine oats and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Blend with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel over batter. Bake for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

*Original recipe can be found here

Thursday, November 6, 2008

sour cream containers

Today is my daughters birthday and since the schools require you buy pre-packaged or store bought items for birthday treats (and I'm anti store bought cupcakes!), I wanted to do something fun for today's class treat. A good friend gave me the idea of making sour cream containers (which name sounds silly, but if you've ever been to Wendy's for instance, and ordered a baked potato... they usually come with a pouch of sour cream, hence the name of this cute party favor!)
So, I bought the supplies and my sister and I made these beauts for my daughters first grade class!

What you'll need:
*Paper, preferably card stock
*Tacky tape (or any durable double sided tape)
*Paper cutter
*Paper crimper (is that what it's called?!)

the official "directions" we were following from this site were a little different. They showed the smaller line of tape closer to the corner (almost meeting the vertical strip of tape), but we didn't like where the seam ended up, so... we moved it.
These were cut 5"x6", but you can make them any size you want, just as long as it fits in your paper crimper!

then they were filled with some of my daughters favorite treats

the bottom edges were crimped

The official instructions say to seal the top as well, but we're dealing with first graders and I was fearful they wouldn't know how to open them, so I crimped the top, punched a hole, added a tag and a ribbon and voila...

THEY'RE DONE! Cute, huh?

What's the irony of this??? I didn't notice the name until I was about 3 away from being totally done! Yay for Abby paper!

Even though I copied this project almost 100% and had lots of help, I love feeling crafty!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blog Award!

We recently got our first blog award! We are SO excited!!
Thanks to The Sisters Dish!! (a super fun blog, check it out!)

Here are the rules for this award. Please find no more than 10 more blogs, of any kind that you love to read. Write a post about the blogs you picked, linking back to me and to them. Once you've posted, return here to let me know your post is done and be sure to let them know too!!!

Here are the blogs that we are passing this award on to:

Taste and Tell

Charming Bliss

Little Birdie Secrets

30 Days

Epicurean Style

The Sisters' Cafe

Everyday Food Storage

Mmm... Cafe

Check them out they are all wonderful!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

1 1/2 - 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
4 tablespoons white sugar
6 T butter, melted
1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
4 cups white chocolate chips (2 bags)
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 4 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.

In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds.

Preheat oven to 325 º In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.

* The real recipe calls for just one bag of white chocloate chips, but we love white chocolate so I added more! And once the cake was cooled I added mini chocolate chips to the outer edge of the cake- YES I sat there and put them in one by one! Here is the original recipe, I just made a few changes to the one I made

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chicken Tetrazzini

I love my new ward cookbook and it's been fun to sample a few new recipes from it as well. I wasn't in the mood to go to the grocery store today and was looking for something to make that I already had everything of, and it ended up being super tasty- love it when that happens!!
My mom even said this is a dish that would be good to take to someone (i.e. new mom, sick neighbor, etc.)

1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. + 1 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
garlic (powder or fresh cloves) to taste
1 T. italian seasoning
1 can chicken broth
1 can 2% evaporated milk
bowtie pasta (I used about 3/4 of a 12 oz. pkg.)
2 c. chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in broth and milk. Heat to a boil stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Stir in cooked pasta and chicken. Pour into 9x13 pan (or similar dish). Sprinkle w/ parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 min @ 350 degrees.

The original recipe said you can use whipping cream or half & half, but I didn't have either of those, plus they seem SO heavy and fattening, so I opted for the evaporated milk and it's an AWESOME substitute! I also added in the garlic and italian seasoning... it only had salt & pepper, but I thought it could use a little more flavor and I think it helped.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Food Network needs to be banned from my house! I found this recipe while flipping through channels and the Barefoot Contessa was making this, so I got up and had to start making them.
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.
** I did not use the coffee granules, and these would be even better with some frosting on top and a large glass of milk!

Fettucini with Creamy Zucchini Sauce

· 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
· 2 large zucchini (or 1 zucchini and 1 yellow summer squash), scrubbed, cut lengthwise, and then cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
· 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 1 pound fettuccine
· 1 cup ricotta
· 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
· Freshly ground Parmesan, for serving
(again for variety I added yellow squash, red peppers and some onions)

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and zucchini. During the last minute of cooking the second batch of zucchini, stir in the garlic. Add to the bowl of zucchini. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the package instructions just until tender. Scoop out and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the warm pot.
3. Add the zucchini and any juices and the ricotta to the pot. Mix, adding enough of the reserved cooking water to make a creamy sauce. Stir in the basil, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer to individual bowls and serve immediately, with a bowl of Parmesan passed at the table.

This was a suprise to even me how creamy and yummy it was, the kids were a little hesitant, this is one of the first "HEALTHY" meals, with all the veggies, veggies for us is usually a can of corn, green beans or hash browns and the occasional carrot, so this is new!

Apple Braised Chicken

WWpicture looks so much more appealing, it really tatses good though... I think it must be the lighting? And Carter ate all my apples so I used pears as a substitute and allspice as a substitue for ginger and it turned out great, again rice as a supplement, my children needs carbs... don't they for growing? · 2 tsp vegetable oil
· 1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4-oz pieces
· 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
· 1 large onion(s), sliced
· 2 medium apple(s), firm, cored and sliced
· 1 cup apple cider
· 1 cup fat-free chicken broth
· 1/2 tsp table salt
· 1/2 tsp ground ginger
· 2 tsp cornstarch

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, warm oil over high heat. Toss chicken with flour in a medium bowl, patting off excess. Place chicken in skillet and brown well on both sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
· Reduce stove temperature to low and add onion to skillet. Sauté, stirring often, until onion is tender and lightly browned.
· Stir in apples, cider, chicken broth, salt, ginger and chicken. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken, onions and apples to a serving dish.
· In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 2 to 3 tablespoons of pan juices. Combine cornstarch mixture with remaining pan juices, whisking constantly. Simmer for one minute. Pour sauce over chicken and serve. Yields 1 chicken breast and about 3/4 cup of apple-onion mixture per serving.

5 points, 1 one chicken breast and 3/4 apple (pear)/onion mixture

Homemade granola

I stepped outside of my box today and tried making my own granola and I am super impressed with it and wonder why it's taken me so long to do it! Oh well, it was worth the wait.

I found the recipe whilst blog stalking today, and I know there are slight differences to most, but this turned out to be pretty dang good.

7 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. powdered milk
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 c. oil (I used 1/4 c. canola and 1/4 c. olive)
1 c. honey
1 T. vanilla
Combine oats, powdered milk and cinnamon.
Add oil, honey and vanilla. Stir well.
Add any mix-ins and toss.
Bake on a jelly roll pan at 200 degrees for 2 hours (your home will smell delicious). No need to stir while baking- just stir after you take it out of the oven and let sit until it dries and hardens.
Mix-in ideas: slivered almonds, macadamias, pecans, dried cranberries, dried cherries, coconut, flaxseed, pepitas, or any other tasty morsel.

I added slivered almonds and coconut (I think I tricked my sister who doesn't like coconut, but she ate it and liked it- and doesn't know it's in there until now!) I think I may try to sneak in a few more grains next time.
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Baked Potato Pizza

You may recognize this picture from my blog. When Ryan and I were in Duluth, MN we ate at a pizza place and were introduced to Baked Potato Pizza. It was SO good! Last night I decided to recreate it, and honestly, I like it even better! Anyone up for something new, I definitely suggest trying it. Ryan and my brother, who came over to eat it with us, devoured it as well!

Pizza Crust (this is SUPER easy):
1 T yeast
1 C warm water
1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt
2 T vegetable oil
2 1/2 C flour

Mix together, knead with hands, let rise 10 mins. Roll out onto pizza pan. Poke holes in it with a fork. (The recipe says to now let it pre-cook for 5 mins, but I actually let mine cook for about 20 mins--until it was just starting to be golden) @ 375.

When the crust is ready, put a layer of mashed potatoes (I made my own red mashed patatoes,which I would suggest, but I suppose you could just use boxed mashed potatoes). On top of that, put whatever baked potatoe toppings you like--I suggest broccoli, tomato, bacon, and lots of cheese! With all the toppings on bake it again for another 15-20 mins (or until you feel like the crust is ready/the topping are warm).

Serve with sour cream.

It's SO good you guys! So much so, that I almost want to make it for dinner again tonight!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Zuppa Toscana

This recipe is from my collection of 'ward cookbooks'.
This soup is yummy and flavorful. It is similar to the Olive Garden's version.
(not that great of a picture, I apologize)

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian sausage
2 lg. russet baking potatoes - sliced in half, then in 1/4 inch slices and then quartered
1 lg. onion, chopped
6 slices cooked bacon crumbled (or bacon bits)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. kale, chopped well
1 qt. water
1 c. heavy whipping cream

Cook sausage in a 300 degree oven. Bake appox 30 minutes, drain on paper towels and cut into slices. Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water and garlic in pot. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage, bacon, salt and pepper (to taste) and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat. Add kale and cream. Heat through and serve.
Makes 8 servings.

**If I were to make this again, I would add less kale. I would also cook the kale longer, to soften it more.

Perfect for a chilly fall day! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

my new FAVORITE choco chip cookies!

I've been stuck on the same (but definiatley good) chocolate chip cookie recipe. I've almost perfected the Mrs. Fields one, but I hate that it makes SO much! I've tried cutting it in half before, but it doesn't quite taste the same for some reason. Then I happened upon this recipe and it's my new fav! It makes just over 4 dozen with the small (I think) pampered chef cookie scoop.

Here's the recipe:

1 cup butter (softened)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbls. vanilla
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
1 package Ghirarrdeli Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 bag Ghirarrdeli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Then add dry ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes. Cookies might not look done but take them out anyways. Let them sit on pan for a few minutes before placing on cooling rack.

FYI: I cooked mine for 8-9 minutes and they were perfect. I think 11 minutes would be too long... but it all depends on your oven. I suggest you cook them for a shorter time first then see if it needs more time or not. Also, the first time I made these, I used the Ghirradeli chips, but this time I used regular off brand ones and they are


I think you're gonna like them!
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Crafty Letters

Here's Claire's name I just finished for her room once we move. It will be hung up on her wall so it will look much better once its up

(Up close look)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Picture Frame

So I made this frame for Claire's room and it was my first time working with Mod Podge and I loved it. I just took a cheap wooden frame from Roberts painted it all brown then took a matching scrapbook paper cut out the holes for the pictures with an exacto knife and then slathered on the Mod Podge. It was so easy, but I am not patient when it comes to crafts so I do have some bubbles and creases, but I can live with them. I will definitely be trying other things with Mod Podge.

(Sorry about Claire's finger in this picture, she was standing next to me when I was taking pictures and kept saying Daddy, Daddy)
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

BBQ Ranch Chicken Pizza

Have you ever tried BBQ a pizza on the grill? If not I highly recommend it! I've seen it done on the Food Network and then my sister went to a friends house where they did it, so I thought I would give it a try.
I just defrosted some frozen rolls and rolled out 2 pizzas coated them with some olive oil and put them straight on the grill. Let them cook for a few minutes on each side (don't overcook) Brought them inside and added some ranch and BBQ sauce, then diced up chicken (that I sauteed with fresh garlic, italian seasoning, salt and pepper) then some cheese to top it off.
I added the pizzas back on the top rack of the BBQ just long enough to let the cheese melt.
You can add whatever toppings sound good to you that day, but this was an awesome combination

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Granola Bars

My son is allergic to peanuts and all granola bars say that they MAY contain peanuts. So I found this great recipe for homemade Granola Bars. This way I can add whatever extra ingredients that will suit my family. I made them the other day. They are yummy and SUPER easy.
Feel free to experiment with the ingredients. I left out the coconut, replaced the mini M&Ms with chocolate chips and they tasted just fine.

Chewy Granola Bars Recipe:
2 1/2 c. Oats - quick rolled oats
1/2 c. Rice Krispies
1/4 c. coconut
1/2 c. M&M minis
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Add all of the ingredients and mix together until combined. Press into a square 8×8 pan. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and score into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars. For thinner bars, press mix into a 9×13 pan. They seem to set a little better in the 9×13 pan.

Great Tip: Spray vegetable spray into the measuring cup before you add a sticky substance, like honey! It should slide right off.

***Original recipe can be found HERE. Below is a picture from that website. (much more colorful than mine)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nutty Caramel Cookie Tart

Watching the Food Network can be very bad, like this past Saturday I got caught up watching the Pillsbury Bake-Off and saw this recipe. So of course I had to try it. It didn't win the million dollars but it is still quite a tasty treat.

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury(r) Create 'n Bake(r) refrigerated sugar cookies
1/3 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts
1/3 cup Caramel Ice Cream Topping
1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/4 cup white vanilla baking chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Press cookie dough evenly in bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. (If dough is sticky, use floured fingers.) Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until light golden brown.
Meanwhile, place peanuts in resealable food storage plastic bag; seal bag. Crush peanuts with rolling pin or meat mallet; set aside.
In medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramel topping, peanut butter and cinnamon uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds or until hot and bubbly; stir well. Drizzle mixture evenly over partially baked crust. Sprinkle with peanut butter chips, vanilla baking chips and crushed peanuts.
Bake 12 to 18 minutes longer or until edges are golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Run sharp knife carefully around edge of tart to loosen; remove side of pan. To serve, cut tart into wedges. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

*I only had the white chocolate baking sqaures, so I used some white chocolate shavings, and then also added a few semi-sweet chocolate chips.