Friday, February 21, 2014

Ham & Cheese Pasta Salad on a Stick

A few days before Valentine's Day my 4th Grader's teacher sent out an email explaining that they would be having a manners party.  She asked for volunteers to bring in fruit, veggies and finger foods.  So of course I took it as a challenge..What could I create that would be simple, fun, not to expensive and that 9 and 10 year olds would like.  I walked up and down the aisles of the grocery store putting things in and out of my cart before I finally settled on a idea and with fingers crossed hoped it would work.  Since parent's weren't allowed at this party I dropped them off and hoped it would all go well.
According to my daughter they were a HIT!! The plate came home empty and the teacher said they were perfect for the occasion because they looked all dressed up!!
Ham & Cheese Pasta Salad on a Stick
mini bowtie pasta
Italian Dressing
cheese cut in to about 1 inch squares
ham lunch meat

Cook your pasta to aldente the night or a few hours before.  Pour into a bowl. Toss with some Italian dressing  (I used about 1/4 cup dressing). Cover and put in the fridge.  When you are ready to put these together, stir pasta and dressing. Add a little more if you want a bit more flavor.  All up to you!!
Now the assembly;
Stick a toothpick in the cheese. I the laid two pieces (of thin deli sliced) ham together, rolled it and sliced it into 5 equal pieces. Then added it on the toothpick above the cheese.
Then carefully add a bowtie pasta.
Add the olive.
 and finish with another bowtie.
Put them on a nice tray and expect to impress!! 
I sent them with my oldest daughter for lunch.  She loved it!
Have fun!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jalepeno Poppers

This recipe came from my sister Candice who is not only very beautiful and talented, she is also a remarkable cook.  This is the perfect appetizer!!  

Jalepeno Poppers
from Candice
8-10 Jalepeno peppers
1 pound sausage
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese
1/4 + cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise and take the seeds out of them. (use gloves).  Set aside.
Brown and drain the sausage. Return to the pan, add the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese to the sausage,stir until it is melted on medium heat.
 Remove from the heat.
Spoon the mixture inside the peppers. Sprinkle with some additional Parmesan cheese
Bake for 15 minutes or until they are heated through.
Serve with crackers.
Ohhhhh YUM!!
Thanks Candice for a great recipe!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Breakfast Burritos

My mom and two sisters all made breakfast burritos and sent me pictures.  They looked so good I jumped on the bandwagon too!  The variety you could make is endless.  My family is loving them for a quick delicious breakfast. They were quick to put together and this batch made 20 burritos.
Breakfast Burritos
Ingredients vary: that's the perfect thing about this recipe.  Use what ingredient you and your family like.
This time I used:
6 eggs with some milk and seasoning scrambled
1 pound sausage, browned and drained
1 1/2 cups diced ham
2-3 cups cooked hashbrowns
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Mix ingredients together in a pan or bowl.
Put your filling in the middle of a tortilla. Roll up like a burrito. 
Place on a cookie sheet and flash freeze for 15-20 minutes (so they won't stick together).
Remove from freezer and individually wrap them in plastic wrap. Place in freezer bags, put back in the freezer. All  ready for a quick breakfast.
When ready to eat heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
If you have time cook 2 minutes on 30% power and then 2 minutes on high power. According to the hubby that makes them turn out perfectly.
*Also that same day I put together some beef and bean burritos to freeze also.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fruit Roll Up Fortune Cookies

We made these cute fortune cookie's with a group of 8-11 year old Activity Day girls.  We first talked to them about being appreciated and how it felt.  We then talked about how important it was to show appreciation for others.  They then wrote fortunes to show appreciation for others. Their fortunes were so cute.  One wrote "Thanks for helping us!" and later handed it to one of the other leaders.   It was a great activity and they absolutely loved it.
To make Fruit Roll Up Fortune Cookies you will need:
from She Knows Food and Recipes
Fruit Rollups
parchment paper cut into approximately 1/2 x 3.5 inches
a 2 inch round cookie cutter
clean scissors

Create the fortunes on the parchment paper.  You need to use parchment because it will not stick.
 Use the scissors to cute the rollup into 4  squares (don't worry if they aren't exactly square.)
 Then use the cookie cutter to cut them into circles, again they don't have to be perfect. I had to push and twist the cutter a bit.
Place the fortune in the middle of the cookie and fold it up like a crisp taco.

Then fold the two ends towards you. Pinching the crease just a bit to make the fold stay.
A cute easy personal fortune cookie!!
These could be a great Valentines!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

S'More Brownies

I recently was given a S'More Brownie. It was delicious that I felt the need to recreate it.  I used my coworkers as testers.  They all agreed they were delicious and enjoyed the chocolate coma I provided them with.  My kids also loved them!!
S'More Brownies
1 package brownie mix
2 cups mini marshmellows
1 cup Teddy Grahams or broken up graham crackers
9 oz milk chocolate bars broken up into pieces. (I used 6 regular sized Hershey's Bars)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make brownie mix according to the directions on the package.  Put 2//3 of the batter in a greased 9x13 pan.  Reserve the other 1/3 of the batter. Bake foe 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the marshmellows, chocolate and grahams over the top.
Then sprinkle the rest of the batter on top.   I swirled it in lines up, down and then across. It makes a delicious top crust.
Return to oven.  Bake 15-20 minutes more.  Check after 15.
Let cool and enjoy!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Easy Wreath of Hearts

Here is a fun easy craft and so versatile.  You could use any color and patterned paper.  My 9 year old helped me put it together!
Wreath of Hearts
adapted from Family Fun
12 x12 inch card stock
glue dots
12 inch piece of ribbon

Cut 7 - 1 inch strips out of the cardstock
Fold strip in half.  Add a glue dot about an inch from the fold.
Press down gluing the two sides together.  Bend backward creating the top of the heart.
Put another glue dot at the end of one of the side and press together.
Make 5 hearts.
The two additional hearts will hold your ribbon.
Sandwich one end of the ribbon in the first fold  sealing it with a glue dot at the top of the heart. Create your heart.
Then continue the same process with the last piece.
Now you will put one heart in between these two. Put a glue dot on the side near the biggest part of the heart and press them together.
Continue gluing the hearts together in a circle.
By gluing the sides together it holds the bottoms in place and created a cool design.
It is a cute and simple wreath to help celebrate Valentine's day!
I'm making these with a group of 8-11 year old girls on Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pita Flat Bread Chips

The other day I was cruising around Costco, trying out a few of their samples (Have you ever noticed things taste so much better when you are super hungry..Note to self: Don't go when you are hungry!!)  I tried a few pita chips.  They were simple and delicious.  So I immediately headed down the aisle in search of what was soon to be my gigantic box of pita chips.  As I put the box in my cart I turned and saw a package of pita bread on the shelf.   Looked at the price then back at the price of the box in my cart.. the bag of pita bread was less than half the cost of the box and it was a big bag of pitas!! So the thought crossed my mind (and I was on a budget) that I could probably create my own homemade version. I put the box back on the shelf and grabbed the bag.  The only issue, I bought flat bread instead of pitas so they were a thicker chip. They still ended up being a HUGE hit.  We ate them plain and with a couple different dips. The kids ate them straight from the oven.  They didn't even last 24 hours.  Next note: Buy 2 packages next time!
Pita Flat bread Chips
pita flat bread
olive oil
seasonings of your choice (I used salt, garlic salt and seasoning salt)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour some olive oil in a bowl, add they desired seasonings and mix well. (I started out with about 1/4 cup oil then made more as I needed it.) Brush the seasoned oil on each side of the bread.  Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter.  Place on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Take out and turn each slice over. Return to oven and bake 4-5 minutes more or until golden brown.  Removed from oven and let cool.
If you want thinner more crispy chips use pita bread.  Divide each pocket into two pieces. Brush with the seasoned oil and bake a shorter amount of time, watching closely so they do not burn.
*The seasoning possibilities are endless!!


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