Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Bit Frazzled!!!

I don't know if it is this whole working issue or if I am just losing my touch.  I have tried out several new recipes this past week and none were blog approved by the family.  I am feeling a bit disappointed and FRAZZLED!!
Just like my sweet little dog!!(Imagine me with that hair-do!) We did have a little fun while bathing him!! He wasn't impressed!
I want you to know I am haven't given up.
Just hoping to regain the touch and find something blog worthy to post!!
Best Wishes!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chocolatey Jam Crumb Bars

A little while ago I received this gift in my email inbox and what a great gift it is!! A good friend of mine sent it to me telling me it was one "I know you will love". Yes, she does know me well. It is a true keeper!! Her son calls it "chocolately goodness", which is a perfectly description. These bars are so delicious and a little different than I had ever had. It is a great flavor combination and the family really enjoyed them!!
Chocolatey Jam Crumb Bars
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips, divided
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup jam (raspberry or blackberry)
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x13 pan.
Beat butter until creamy. Add flour, sugar and salt and mix until crumbly. Press 2 cups of the mixture in the bottom of the baking pan. Reserve the rest.
Bake for 10 -12 minutes until golden brown edges.
Microwave 1 cup chocolate chips and condensed milk on high for 1 minute. Stir until chips are melted.  Pour over the crust.
If desired add nuts to the remaining crumb mixture. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture onto the chocolate layer.
Drop teaspoonfuls of jam over crumb mixture.
Sprinkle with the remaining cup of chocolate chips.
Bake 25-30 minutes until the center is set.
Cool and enjoy!!
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tried It Out Thursday: Watermelon Salsa

I LOVE Mexican food and home made salsa is the best!! When I saw a recipe for Watermelon Salsa over at That's My Story (which is an amazing blog. She is so talented and creative.) I was very intrigued and just knew I had to try it out!!  One word YUM!!
Watermelon Salsa
1/4 cup lime juice
4 cups chopped watermelon
1/2 cup onion
1 jalapeno, minced
1/3 cup cilantro
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Add the ingredients together and toss gently.  Refrigerate for a little while so the flavors have time to mix!!

Thanks Jo for a great new recipe and new twist on my favorite!! You need to check out her Lego Jewelry (and lots more.) It is Brilliant!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brazilian Chicken Cabbage Salad

This is a recipe that I received by accident and  it was a good accident.  My friend went to send it to some other ladies and accidentally added me to the list.  Which I am happy she did!!  She was all apologetic about it but I consider it a great gift!! (Thanks Amy!!)  You can use what ever amounts of veggies you like.  I discovered I need to learn how to shred cabbage better.  Other than that minor detail it was delicious!! The dressing is AMAZING!!

Brazilian Chicken Cabbage Salad
(serves 4 adults)
1/2 head chopped cabbage
carrots, shredded
1/4-1/2  cup onions, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced (original recipe calls for 1/2 cup peas)
1 cooked and shredded chicken breast
(I doubled this for my family.)

(Makes enough for 1 head of cabbage)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup oil
Mix in blender until bubbly.  Store in fridge.  Shake and add a small amount to the chicken and let chicken marinate for at least 2 hours.  Add chicken to salad and toss to mix.  You can add the dressing just before serving or serve it on the side.  This may also be served over warm, cooked rice.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mozzarella Sticks

Mozzarella sticks are one of my family's favorite things.  I was so excited to find this recipe over at Taste of Home.  It was amazing how quick these came together for a delicious treat!! 
Mozzarella Sticks
adapted from Taste of Home
string cheese, cut in half
wonton wrappers
oil for deep frying
marinara or spaghetti sauce
Place a piece of cheese near the middle of a wonton wrapper (keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use.)
Roll bottom corner over the cheese.
Fold sides towards center over cheese.
Moisten the remaining corner with water and roll up tightly to seal.
Repeat with the desired amount.
Heat about an inch of oil (more or less) to 375 degrees.
Fry sticks a few at a time.
Cooke for 30-60 seconds or until golden brown.
Drain and place on a paper towel.
Serve with marinara, spaghetti sauce or our favorite ranch!
**If you want to use a full cheese stick substitute egg roll wrappers. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cookie Monster Cookies

Many years ago my mom and I made some cookies that included oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate chips. They were so good. Lately, I had the desire to make them again, only could not find the recipe.  So I created my own (hoping they would turn out all right.). They ended up being really pretty good.  I needed a name and Kayla decided they were the perfect cookie for the Cookie Monster (her first idea was Tasty!!)
Cookie Monster Cookies
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup plain M&M's (optional you can use 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars together.  Add peanut butter, egg and vanilla.  Mix for 3 minutes. Add flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips and M&M's.  Drop by tablespoon onto a lightly greased  cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes. 
*I accidently used reduced fat peanut butter and it was just fine.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Toffee Gooey Butter Cake

I made this last weekend to serve as dessert to my brother and sister in law.  I had to go to work before we ate dessert and I came home to one little piece.  I guess you could say they all liked it  I will admit it was tasty.  It was simple, quick to make and it came from my hero "Paula Deen".   They look dry in the picture but it definitely wasn't.
Toffee Gooey Butter Cake
From Paula Deen
1 package yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter melted
1 cup chocolate toffee bits
*I thought I bought chocolate toffee bits but it turned out they were plain toffee bits.  So I added 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips to the mix.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 13 x 9 dish with cooking spray.  Mix the cake mix, egg and butter in a mixer and combine well. Pat evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside. 
Make the filling: In the same bowl you used for the cake, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat again on low speed until blended.  Add the butter and mix well.  Fold in the toffee bits with a spatula. Pour filling over the cake mixture and spread it evenly.
Then I decided it needed chocolate chips. (Totally optional)
Bake for 40-50 minutes: the center should be just a little bit gooey.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
YUM!! (Or at least the family thought so!)
My sister in law is going gluten free, so she is working on a gluten free version. I am interested to find out her results!!
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tried It Out Thursday: Conversion Wheat Bread

I have been trying for several years to get my famiy converted to wheat bread.  I love it but the others not so much.  Now that hubby has been getting the groceries he buys white bread and the kids think they are in heaven.  I miss my wheat bread.  So I had time to finally make this wheat bread recipe I found over at Finding Joy in My Kitchen (she has lots of incredible recipes).  I was hooked when I saw her pictures and could not wait to try it out.  YUM!! It was delicious.  The only change I made was to use half white flour just to ease into the conversion .  I plan on adding more wheat as time goes on, till I have them all hooked. Converting them to wheat bread.  It is a perfect recipe!! The only issue I have is that it is so darn good I can't stop eating it!!!
Conversion Wheat Bread
Makes 2 large or 3 medium sized loaves.
4 cups white flour
3-4 cups whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup honey
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
Mix the warm water with the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar.  Allow it to sit together for 2-3 minutes.  Then add honey, salt and olive oil.  Slowly add the flour, until it is dough consistancy (I used 8 cups total).  Knead for about 5 minutes. (I let my mixer knead for me.) Cover and allow the bread to rise for 1 hour.  Punch the dough down and then shape into loaves.  Place into lightly greased pans.
Cover and let them rise for 30 minutes-1 hour. 
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes until crust is lightly browned and bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
The family ate one loaf right out of the oven before I could get a picture!!
It was a good start to the conversion....
Thanks Snowhite!!

BOOST: Your Cell Phone Service

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

We have been searching for a new cell phone service that would save us money, but yet still give us lots of options. In my search I came across Boost Mobile. It is a no contract, pay as you go nationwide network.  You can choose whether to pay by the minute or by the month.  The plan I was looking at was $50 a month and  included unlimited talk, text, web, email and instant messaging for one low price.  

It is a simple process where you:
1. Choose your phone. They have a great selection of phones with the latest technology, such as the Blackberry .
2. Activate: Where you  have input in your new number or can use your existing number. 
3. Re-Boost: Your phone is ready to go. Then each month you Re-Boost  (keep your account current) with several flexible payment options: online, in person, by phone or my favorite automatic payments using a debit or credit card. No chance of forgetting in my busy life!

It is important in this day and age to have easy access to our social sites and contacts.  Updating Facebook and Twitter or checking email is simple and easy with your Boost Mobile phone. You can keep in constant touch with updates of family and friends on Facebook from your phone all for one low monthly price.  WOW! In my blogging world this would make life a little easier and allow me lots of flexibility.  Just this morning my friend answered an email from me from her phone.  It was a quick response and I thought that was pretty cool.  You can also add extras such us international calling, games, ringtones and applications.  After looking into this further  I believe Boost Mobile appears to be the right choice for our new cell phone plan. 
Visit my sponsor: Reboost

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cashew Chicken Rotini Salad

This was so delicious! We ate it as dinner served with some breadsticks and then I ate it for lunch several times.  The mixture of flavors is so good.  The only issue is it makes a giant bowl (serves 12) so if you are not feeding a crowd you may want to half it. We did eat every bit of it though. 
Cashew Chicken Rotini Salad
adapted from Taste of Home
1 pound rotini pasta
4 cups chicken, cooked and diced
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained (We used about 2 cups fresh)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3/4 cup diced onion
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup seedless red grapes
1 cup Craisens
1 cup ranch dressing
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups salted cashews or cashew pieces
Cook pasta according to package directions.  In a large bowl combine, chicken, pineapple, grapes and craisens. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water; stir into chicken mixture.
In a small bowl mix the ranch dressing and mayonnaise until smooth. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Just before serving stir in the cashews.
*We ate it right away, because I did not have time for it to chill. It was still awesome!  I also used light ranch dressing an mayonnaise.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Crescent Bear Claws

I have dying to make this recipe every since I saw it and finally got it done.  It was a fun way to use crescent rolls.  They also were really tasty!! There are quite a few steps but it comes together pretty easy. I doubled the recipe, because I couldn't see going to all the work for only 6 bear claws and the fact that would only be one claw per family member!!
Crescent Bear Claws
adapted from Phillsbury
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons water
2 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup

1 can (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or crescent seamless dough sheet

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon butter
2 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheet with wax paper. In a medium bowl ,beat the egg slightly with a wire wisk. Place half of the egg (about 1 1/2 Tablespoon) in a small bowl or cup. Beat in the milk until blended and set aside. To remaining egg stir in the remaining filling ingredients until well blended.

In a small saucepan mix the glaze ingredients. Heat to boiling. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool while making rolls.

On a lightly floured surface, unroll dough (if using crescents, pinch seams to seal).
Spoon filling into strip down the center 1/3 of the dough.
Fold 1/3 dough over filling.
Fold filled-topped section over the last 1/3 of dough so seam is on the bottom of folded dough.
With hand, gently flatten 1 inch wide strip of dough along one long side of folded dough.
Cut folded dough into 6 pastries.
Along flattened edge of each pastry, cut 1 inch long cuts about 1/2 inch apart. Spread cuts slightly to form a claw. I tucked the side edges of each claw under to the bottom.
Lightly brush egg-milk issue over each claw. Place on cookie sheet.
Bake 15-18 minutes or unitl golden brown. Remove to cooling rack and cool 5 minutes.
Drizzled cooled glaze over each pastry;
In another small bowl mix icing ingredients until smooth. If icing is too thick, adding a little milk at a time. If too thin add a little more sugar until desired consistency.  Drizzle icing over cooled claws.
*The filling was good.  It was more bread like.  Next time I am going to add fruit filling instead.
Now the winner of a year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens: Haupi! Congratulations!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Butterfingers Dessert

This is a great dessert!! Light tasting but so full of flavor (sorry not light on the calories though)!  It has become my youngest's favorite.  I served it to 8 people, most had seconds and we still had leftovers. 
Butterfingers Dessert
2 cups milk
1 quart vanilla ice cream
1 large (5.1 oz 6 serving) box vanilla pudding
3/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers
1  (8 oz.) container whipped topping
4 - 2 oz. Butterfinger candy bars, crushed
Combine the milk, ice cream and pudding mix in a large bowl. Mix well. Place in the refrigerator.

Place cracker crumbs in  a medium bowl. Melt butter and pour over cracker crumbs. Stir well to combine.  Remove 2/3 cup of the cracker mixture and set aside. Pour the remaining into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan.  Pat it into an even layer on the bottom.
Pour the ice cream mixture over the crust. Freeze for 1hour.
Remove from freezer and spread the whipped topping over the filling.  Mix the crushed Butterfingers with the reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle over the top.
Return to the freezer to set.
*It was not totally set when we ate it the first time.  Hubby said he liked it better when it was a bit soft.
* I used light whipped topping and 1/2 fat ice cream.  Probably could of used sugar free pudding also to save a few calories.  Just a thought!!
Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!! Unfortunately I will be working the whole weekend!
So have some fun for me!!
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Thursday, September 2, 2010

CSN Gift Code Winner

It is time for another winner!!  The CSN Stores $60 gift code goes to...
who said: Definitely the Le Creuset 3.38-Quart Deep Dish Casserole in Cobalt Blue!!!
I can't wait to see the delicious things she makes in that!!!Author of Jayaycee Blog. She is so incredibly talented. I love the things she creates and you will too!
There is still time to enter the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine Giveaway!

Tried It Out Thursday: BBQ Chicken Pizza

When I saw this recipe I just knew it was a keeper.  The words:  bacon, chicken, bbq sauce and pizza had me drooling.  I found this recipe over at Ma, What's for Dinner?.  She is the PRO at making delicious foods that your kids will eat (not to mention all adults also).  She is so amazing and creative. You need to check her site out! This one did not let me down.  Everyone raved about it.  They ate every bit of it.  There was even a small fight over the last piece (no trips to the ER thank goodness.).
BBQ Chicken Pizza
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
8-10 slices bacon, cooked and broken into pieces
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar.
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
 pizza dough or one store bought dough
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add half of the onions and allow to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar being sure to scrap up all the good browned bits on the bottom.
Next add in your ketchup, tomato sauce, mustard, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Turn the sauce down and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes (let it simmer while you get everything else ready.)
 Lay out your pizza dough and stretch it to fit a baking sheet. Stab it with a fork a few times (so it won't puff up in places) and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and spread a thin layer of sauce leaving a one inch border around the dough. Arrange your chicken, mushrooms and onions (if desired) neatly around the pizza dough. Then arrange jalapeno (I only put this on a little edge of the pizza). Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Top with plenty of cheese and sprinkle the bacon over top. Return to the oven and bake 8-10 more minutes or until  it is heated through and the cheese is melted.
*The only change I may make next time is to replace the cilantro with some fresh basil. Just to try it out!!
* I had extra bbq sauce leftover. I put it in the fridge and the kids used it as a dip for chicken.
Thanks Alex for a new family fave!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


WINNER, WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!  OK not a chicken dinner (I just really wanted to say that!!)  but a year subsciption to The Taste of Home Magazine picked by random number generator...(oh how I wish I could give everyone one!!) I appologize that this is a day late.  I had major computer issues last night and could not get anything to post.  Luckily it appears to be working fine today.  Now on to the good news.
The winner is:
She has some really great ideas that kids would really love.
Not to mention, delicious foods that I would love!!
The $60 CSN Stores Gift will be given away tomorrow!


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