Friday, December 31, 2010

Countdown to 2011:Desserts

Wishing you all a very Happy New Years eve!! After realizing we can be bribed, we made a spontaneous trip to my parent's house. Needless to say a storm came through and now my family and I are waiting for the freeway to open so we can head home.
 Once again, picking the dessert category is hard.  Here are just s few of our favorites.
Countdown to 2011:Dessert Category

Yum!! Now I am super hungry!!
I am so excited to check out all the dessert faves over at Countdown to 2011.


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Countdown to 2011: Main Dishes

Finding my favorite main dishes for the past year was the hardest!!  There are too many that I really like. 
I finally just narrowed it down to a few.
2010 Faves: Main Dishes

OOOH there are too many other favorites....
Check out all the faves at Countdown to 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An Italian Giveaway!

My first real job was working at a restaurant and it was while I was there my boss got me hooked on lemon pepper chicken. YUM!!  Unfortunately I have not had it for years, so I was so excited to see that Progresso is making Lemon Pepper Panko Bread Crumbs. There is just something fabulous about the Panko bread crumbs. They give such a light and flavorful crunch and then you add the lemon pepper and wow!!   Now add to the picture Italian food by Michael Chiarello.  I am getting really hungry...
Thanks to General Mills through MyBlogSpark one reader will receive:

A box of Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs and
Michael Chiarello's
Bottega Cookbook.
which includes lots of intriguing and delicious looking dishes!
(I can't wait to try a lot of them out!)
To enter be a follower and leave me a comment
For extra entries:
Tell me what you would make with the lemon pepper breadcrumbs.
One winner will be drawn by random generator on January 7, 2011.
Easy peasy!
Good Luck!
The product, prize pack, information, and giveaway have all been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own!

Countdown to 2011:Meatless Main Dishes

Looking through my list of recipes for this year I was shocked to only find one meatless dish.  Note to self to add more meatless meals to my dinner rotation!! Atleast this is a good one.
2010 Fave for Meatless Main Dish

Now I am excited to check out the Meatless dishes over at Coutndown to 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Countdown to 2011: Soups

This was a recipe that a friend passed on to me and hubby loved it! He does not like soup. So it totally deserves the honors:
Fave of 2010 in the Category of Soups goes to......

Check out all the 2010 faves at Countdown to 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Breakfast Giveaway to Make You Smile!!

When your morning routine has you in a hurry, make it a better morning with Pillsbury® Toaster Strudel® frozen pastries. A simple pleasure with sweet filling, creamy icing, and flaky crust, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel pastries are the ones everyone will want to eat – and decorate too! Since every Toaster Strudel pastry can be personalized with your own icing design, your family can gather around the table to kick off the day with a fun delight that will keep everyone smiling all day long!
Toaster Studel's are my kids favorite!! They think they are in heaven when I bring these home from the grocery store. They are always delicious!!
My daughter has been having fun with her favorite breakfast
Creating "Strudel Smiles"!!
Now is your chance to win a really fun prize pack!! The Doughboy is so adorable!!
a “Million Morning Smiles” prize pack that includes a Pillsbury® Doughboy® Giggle Doll, along with a smiley face-themed mug, placemat, stressball and a coupon good for a free box of Pillsbury Toaster Strudel!!
To enter be a follower and leave me a comment telling me your favorite quick breakfast for those crazy mornings!!
Winner will be drawn by random number generator on January 4, 2011!

Need even more to smile about? Pillsbury is also giving you the chance to win Toaster Strudel pastries for a month through the “A Million Morning Smiles” sweepstakes. With over 2,000 winners per week, simply visit and enter to win four boxes of Toaster Strudel from now through February 7, 2011.

The product, prize pack, information, and giveaway have all been provided by Pillsbury through MyBlogSpark.

Countdown to 2011: Breads

After looking through the 2010 archives, the bread category was a tough one, but this recipe is easy, incredibly delicious and versatile.  I make it all the time.  Enjoy!
2010 Fave in the Breads Category is:

You can check out other favorite bread recipes over at Countdown to 2011.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Countdown to 2011 & A Few Giveaways

This week I am joining Finding Joy in My Kitchen for Countdown to 2011 and have planned a few giveways to make this week a little more festive.  Don't forget to enter to win $55 to CSN Stores here.
The first category is:
It is a tie!

You can check out other Breakfast faves over at Finding Joy in My Kitchen's Countdown to 2011.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Heartfelt wishes for the best holiday season ever
from my house to yours!
Merry Christmas!!

"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.
Don't clean it up quickly. ~ Andy Rooney

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cream Cheese Mints

I helped a friend of mine make these for a baby shower over fifteen years ago and was instantly hooked.  Somehow they turned in to a Christmas tradition.  It is a good thing I only make them once a year, because I end up eating a lot of them! They are so simple and delicious!!
Cream Cheese Mints
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese*
1/4 cup butter
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint, wintergreen or lemon extract
food coloring
Combine cream cheese and butter in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until butter is melted, cheese is soft and mixture is well combined.
Remove from heat. Add the powdered sugar and stir until well blended.
Divide dough in the amount of colors you want.  Add coloring and mix until your desired color is obtained.
Roll in to 1 inch balls. Place on waxed paper.
Press with a fork.
Let stand uncovered for 4 hours or overnight.  You want the outsides to be dry, but the inside should be moist and creamy. (At some point turn them over so the bottom get dry also.)
After they are dry, store them in an airtight container. 
 I store mine in the fridge because I think they are better chilled!!
*Don't use low fat or no fat cream cheese.  It still works but they are not as good!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Gift for You!! A CSN Giveway!

I am excited to announce that the good people over at CSN Stores have given me a $55 gift code for one of my incredible readers!!  My hope is that you will find some thing fun just for you, something maybe you wanted but did not get for Christmas.  Now forgive me for a moment while we browse the  luggage sets .
Perhaps something for the new laptop I am dreaming of...

or for all the hiking I want to do...

And of course we can't forget the traveling....
In style of course!!
Lots of fun thing over at the CSN Stores luggage sets page!!
Now for the FUN part!
To enter the contest let's make it simple...for at this point we all could use a stress break!!
Be a follower and leave me a comment!!!
Winner will be drawn by random generator in honor of my brother on January 2, 2011!!(his birthday).
Good luck!
Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

This is my new favorite cookie! It is a good thing we gave most of them away because I think I could eat a whole batch all by myself...they are that good and so simple to make.
Chocolate Caramel Cookies
2 packages chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.(optional)
bag of Rolo's, unwrapped
white sugar
Mix ingredients together until well blended.  Roll dough into a ball (I used my cookie scoop).
Press the Rolo into the center.
Roll the dough around it, making sure to enclose it.
Roll in white sugar and place on a cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. (Mine took 10)
Allow to sit on the cookie sheet for about 1 minute. Remove and let cool.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Linked to:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and stress free week!!   I still have a few items on my list to complete, but have been able to so far maintain my sanity.  I am looking forward to spending the Christmas break doing fun things with my family and hopefully relaxing a bit!!

This Week's Menu
Monday: Philly Cheese Pie
Tuesday: Ultimate BBQ Burgers
Wednesday: Cheesy Cracker Chicken
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Chicken Caesar Salad
Saturday: Christmas Dinner
Sunday: Hopefully Leftovers!!
Wishing you all the best week and an AMAZING CHRISTMAS!!

Linked to: Menu Plan Monday

Friday, December 17, 2010

Simple Gift Ideas: Italian Meal to Go!!

Just one more quick thought on Gift Ideas from the kitchen.  Make up a batch or two) of Gail's Italian Spaghetti Sauce. Pour into jars or bags. 
Add some French Bread and a box of spaghetti or other pasta.
Wrap in a cute kitchen towel.
The recipient could freeze the bread and sauce for later if they wanted!! 
Voila!  A present I would love to get.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tried it Out Thursday: Simple Gift Ideas From the Kitchen

I should really title this post" Tried and True Thursday" for these simple gifts have been given and then asked for in the years after. 

*A Frozen Meal: One year I prepared some Pizza Pasta, put them in foil dishes, double wrapped and froze them.  I put the directions on the top and included the recipe.

*White Chocolate Popcorn & Caramel Popcorn Puffs: Last year I put these in separate cute Christmas bags tied with a ribbon.  (Watch out they are both ADDICTING!!)
*The top most requested gift from the kitchen I have given is.......Home Made Salsa with a bag of chips.
Here are two recipes that I have used: Salsa Supreme which is canned and Mi Casa Salsa which is more of a fresh version that can be made year round.

*Also check out Fairy Wands, Holiday Bark and other great gift ideas over at Ma What's for Dinner. (She is a genius!!)

*This year I have got something good planned, but is being kept secret until they are delivered!!
Just a couple more ideas!!
Hope you enjoy!


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