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Showing posts from March, 2010

April Fools Day Food Pranks

I picked up something FUN at the store yesterday that I plan to giveaway. Be on the look out for further details to come shortly............ One year for April Fools Day I decided to take myself out of the box and try pulling a prank on my family. I made Colorful Cupcakes a recipe that I found in the Family Fun Magazine It took extra effort because I tried to get it all made while no one was around.   I told the kids since it was April Fools Day we would be doing something different....having dessert for dinner!!  Unfortunately even though they were young they caught on quick.  I will admit it took alot of work but made for a fun dinner.  Colorful Cupcakes Adapted From Family Fun The first surprise here: there's not a grain of sugar in these cupcakes. The second surprise: your kids will love them anyway. Ingredients MEAT LOAF 1 pound lean ground beef 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I like parmesan) 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar 3 tablespoons ketchup 1 egg 1/4 c

Lorraine's Mud Hen Bars

This recipe came from a dear sweet friend of mine.  Lorraine was actually a friend of my grandma's.  When my grandma broke both her wrists she would come over and help her out several times a week giving my mom time to go home and take care of things there.  When not a school I would spend time helping her also.  During these weeks Lorraine and I became such good friends.  I was only 14 at the time and we had so much in common.  Through my teenage years we kept it touch and she would always do such sweet things for me.  This recipe reminds me of her and brings back good memories.  I must admit when I first read the recipe I thought it sounded really strange!!  They were a little different but very good.  The kids loved them.  They only asked me to leave out the nuts next time.  Lorraine's Mud Hen Bars 1/2 cup butter 1 cup white sugar 1 whole egg 2 eggs, separated 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cup flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup chocolate chips 1-2 cups miniature marsh

Menu Plan Monday

We had quite the storm last night.  The girls always can't sleep through the storm, so unfortunately I don't either.  Every time I would drift off someone would poke me.  The worst of it all is when the power went out I believe it fried the computer monitor (it was old and dying).  Not a good thing for me.  Luckily my hubby has a laptop so atleast I can post.  The bad thing, no pictures and I am laptop challenged!!  I am praying it is not the whole computer that is fried.....for I procratinated backing up my pictures for the last month.  YIKES!  I guess this panic moment will teach me a lesson.  Saturday night was the Young Women General Broadcast and as a stake we always host a dinner before.  We served haystacks and it was a hit!  We (4 of us) cooked 20 pounds of rice and there was none leftover.   Somehow though I came home with a gallon of the chicken gravy!  I guess that is what I get for saying I would take a LITTLE bit.  So you can probably guess what my family is eatin

Extreme Pink and a Frugal Cake Decorating Idea.

For the "Pink Princess's" birthday she wanted a pink cake. (In my mind I am thinking...mmm perfect for Pink Saturday!) Usually my kids like a store bought cake for their birthdays.  Just because they LOVE the frosting and it is not a normal purchase at our house.  It might also be the fact that I am NOT artistic at all!  So I was actually excited that she wanted me to make one.  The black pieces are cookies from the cookies and cream pudding she chose to add to the mix. She helped me mix up the cake. Since she wanted a seriously pink cake I picked up neon food colors. I was impressed with the colors it created.  Now to decorate it.   I bought a package of Easter M&M's for cookies but thought I would try them out on the cake. I have never decorated with M&M's before.  Remember I am challenged in artistic area. I was amazed! I actually love the M&M shapes.  It was easy and cheap.  The "Pink Princess" told me it was beautiful! An added bonus it

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is usually a meal that I just throw together, no measuring of ingredients. Which calls for alot of taste testing. I decided that it was time for me to put together a basic recipe to make it easier the next time I make it. It turned out really good. The only bad thing or good thing depending on the way you look at it, is that it always tastes better the next day. Now why can't I remember that and make it a day in advance?? Chicken Noodle Soup 6 cups water 1-2 chicken breasts, *cooked and cut up* 1 small onion (1/4 cup), diced 5 teaspoons chicken bouillon 1 can cream of chicken soup 1 teaspoon dried parsley 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 cup celery, chopped 3/4 cup carrots, sliced 1 medium potato, diced (optional) noodles *Quick Version: Combine all ingredients except for the noodles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the noodles; cook until the noodles and vegetables are tender. *

Tried It Out Thursday: Extreme Couponing

Last week Albertsons had some killer deals, especially on the Post cereals.  I really wanted to take advantage of all the deals to the fullest and stock the pantry.  The only way to get the best deal was to have more than one coupon. This is what I like to call EXTREME couponing: getting the most of a good deal using multiple coupons.  So I tried out something I learned from Rachel in the Couponing Class .  I got online and ordered multiple coupons from Manufacturers Coupons .  I found coupons for $1 off two boxes of Post Cereals and ordered 10 of them at .08 each.  Since the minimum order needs to be $2, I found other great coupons I would use to get my minimum order.  I paid $2.71 (including tax and shipping) for $26 worth of coupons I would USE!! It was pretty cool.  I ordered them on a Wednesday and they came in the mail on Friday, all clipped and ready to go.  It was awesome!  This allowed me to get the best deal and add to the food storage.  I will be visiting Manufactures Coupon

Crock Pot Chicken Chow Mein

I love Chinese food and my crock pot so when I found this recipe I knew I had to try it.  It turned out really good. It had great flavor.  Even the man of few words, who really doesn't like Chinese food, said it was pretty good.  The original recipe came from Betty Crocker, but I adapted it to fit my family's tastes. Crock Pot Chicken Chow Mein 1 pound chicken breasts 1 cup carrots, sliced 1 1/2 cup celery, sliced 1/2 cup onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 -8oz. can water chestnuts, drained and chopped 2 cups chicken broth 2 Tablespoons soy sauce 1/8 teaspoon ginger 2 Tablespoons brown sugar 3 Tablespoons cornstarch 4 Tablespoons cold water 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 1 cup cashews (optional) 1 cup snow pea pods (optional) chow mein noodles Cut chicken into small pieces.  Spray skillet with cooking spray, heat and brown chicken pieces. Place chicken, carrots, celery, onion,garlic, and water chestnuts in the crock pot. Add broth, soy sauce, ginger and brown sug

Buttery Breadsticks

This is one of my family's favorite recipes.  I never have any leftover!!  It is also very versatile.  You can add whatever seasoning topping you like. Buttery Breadsticks 1 Tablespoon yeast 1 1/2 cup warm water 2 Tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 cups flour 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup melted butter Salad Supreme Seasoning Sprinkle the sugar over the yeast and add the water. Stir. Let set a few minutes until the mixture gets a little bubbly.  Add salt and flour.  Mix until it pulls from the side of the bowl and a dough like texture is achieved.   You may need to add a bit more flour.  Knead for a few minutes.  Let dough rise in a warm area of 10 minutes. Roll out on to a greased cookie sheet. Pour melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and Salad Supreme Seasoning.  Cut into sticks. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. **I had to add this comment from Tightwad Mom because it is such a

Menu Plan Monday

It was a crazy fun filled celebration weekend!  I forgot how tiring and not fun it is to take all 3 girls to the mall!!! I won't be doing that again any time soon.  Now on to the next birthday in a few days.  It is a good thing the menu is planned. This Week's Menu Monday: Pasta & Beef  Bake Tuesday: Crockpot Chow Mein (something new) Wednesday: Tacos Thursday: Chicken & Potatoes (Karlie's Birthday!) Friday: Dinner out for Karlie's Birthday Saturday: Picnic Night or Dad cooks Sunday: Baked Beef Stew Karlie my Pink Princess suprisingly (not) wants a pink cake.  I"ll let you know how that goes??? Check out what others are cooking this week at Menu Plan Monday !

Pink Celebration Punch

Happy Pink Saturday!! A few years back we had this drink and everyone loved it.  Ever since it has become a tradition to make it for holidays and other celebrations.  Since we have two birthdays in the next week my daughters wanted to make it.  It is so incredibly easy and tastes so good.  Usually my son is the one that makes it for us all.  You have all probably tasted it before at wedding receptions or other events.  Celebration Punch 1.5 quart sherbet, any flavor (my favorite is Raspberry) 2 liter bottle lemon lime soda Mix together and serve. I have used diet lemon lime before and it tastes great also!!   We usually make it in a big bowl and serve it right out of the bowl.  This time there were only 3 of us at home so we halfed the recipe. YUMM!! Everything is  PINK this Saturday.  Go check out all the PINK at  Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly over at How Sweet the Sound. Each week Beverly challenges us to find someone new.  I love My Blue Cottage .  You need to check it out.  L

Tootsie Rolls

Last Sunday I was browsing though some old cookbooks and found this recipe for Tootsie Rolls.  Since that is one of my kids and my favorites I had to give it a try.  The recipe is simple and was really good.  They seemed to get better with age, granted they did not last long at our house.  A friend of my daughters came over and was so excited to have them.  He thought they tasted just like Tootsie Rolls.  It was pretty cute.  They are not exactly like the Tootsie Rolls but pretty close.  It was fun to make something a little different for my traditional Sunday treat. Tootsie Rolls 2 Tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 cup corn syrup 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 cups powdered sugar 6 tablespoons cocoa or 2 squares unsweetened chocolate 3/4 cup powdered milk Blend butter and syrup. Add melted chocolate or cocoa and vanilla.  Mix in sugar and dry milk.  Knead until well mixed.  Roll in ropes and cut into strips.  Let sit for a little bit and then wrap in waxes paper. My daughter started rolling the

Honey Bun Cake

In my journey of the blog world this week, which is a great thrill for me, I found a recipe for Honey Bun Cake over at  Home Matters .   A cake with a name like that I just had to try it out.  I needed a quick delicious dessert.  Unfortunately I did not get it made in time for my original purpose (to take to someone). My family was extremely grateful though, so that eased my guilt a bit.  The cake was simple to make and oh so delicious!! It was very moist and full of flavor.  You can find the original recipe here at  Home Matters  .  Not only does she have  this seriously delicious recipe, but some great coupon tips, freebies and finds.   I am only putting the recipe and pictures here for my own purpose, so I don't lose it.  The Home Matters gets all the credit for this one so go and check it out!! Honey Bun Cake 1 yellow cake mix (with pudding included...I used Pillsbury) 8oz sour cream 4 eggs 2/3 cup oil 1/2 cup sugar Combine these 5 ingredients and beat for 2 minutes

Grandma's Irish Cupcakes

This is a traditional recipe my Grandma McNee made for us each St. Patrick's Day. We always looked forward to having them.  Not only are they so cool but taste delicious!  My ten year old took on the task this year and did an awesome job! (We used my lazy version) Unfortunately we did not have any pistachio pudding on hand so she used vanilla instead.  They still turned out quite festive I think!!  It doesn't matter if I make the original or my lazy version they still bring back great memories of my incredible Grandma.  So today I am posting this recipe in honor of her!!  She loved baking and especially being creative on the Holidays.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!! Grandma's Irish Cupcakes 2/3 cup sugar 1 package instant pudding (use pistachio if you want them green) 1/2 cup oil 1 1/4 cup milk 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla 1 3/4 cup flour 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt Mix together sugar, oil, pudding and milk.  Beat in eggs and add vanilla.  Mix in the flour, baking powd

Tater Tot Surprise

This is another quick and simple meal for those CRAZY nights (and days).  My kids love the fact that tater tots are on the top and I love that everyone enjoys it.  It also freezes well! Tater Tot Surprise 1 pound hamburger 1 can green beans, french cut 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1/2 cup milk 1 package frozen tater tots shredded cheddar cheese Brown hamburger.  Mix green beans, hamburger, soup and milk together.  Place in the bottom of a casserole dish. Cover the top of the hamburger mixture with a layer of tater tots.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle cheese over the top.  Place back in the oven and bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesday at the Table for some great recipes.

Menu Plan Monday

A little late on this but I supposed better late than never, especially with meal planning.  Last week I failed to plan and it was a tough one.  I remembered that I really hate the "what am I going to cook for dinner" panic attacks.  So this week with the formal behind me I am hopefully back on track.  "The Starry, Starry Night" formal was incredible.  The decorations were amazing, food delicious, the youth were all amazing (all 200 of them) and my son looked so handsome.    Here was the front lobby where the kids checked in.   My camera does not take good dark pictures.  Dinner included a fancy salad, chicken alfredo, veggies, bread and an incredible dessert bar.  the alfredo was amazing and I must get the recipe.  I know that it was all home made.  I spent most of the evening taking care of purses, coats and jackets so why do my feet still hurt?  It was a great event, but I am glad I have year before the next one.  Now on to the next project. This Week's Men

Dreamsicle Salad

Happy Pink Saturday! Today I will actually be seeing alot of Stars.  It is Prom night and it is a huge ordeal.  As a stake we host a quad stake formal complete with dinner.  The theme this year  is "A Starry, Starry Night".  The best thing is it is completely free for the youth. Wish me luck!! Last year my feet hurt so BAD by the end of the night.  Now on to the PINK !! This is actually an orange recipe but I changed it to pink in honor of Pink Saturday! You can actually make it any color or flavor you like. I actually took part of this salad to a friend of mine.  Her family finished it up as fast as mine did!!  In fact I forgot to get a picture until after they had already dug in.  Sorry!!  I must admit it was tasty though!! Dreamsicle Salad 1 - 6 oz. package instant vanilla pudding (1 large box or 2 small) 1 - 3 oz. package orange Jello 1 1/2 cups boiling water 1 (22 oz.) can Mandarin oranges, undrained. 1 (16 oz.) container whipped topping In a large bowl combine the pud

Coconut Almond Chex Mix

I first tried this recipe at my Aunt Linda's house one Christmas Eve.  It was so delicious I could not wait to get my hands on her recipe.  Warning: It is addicting!! Coconut Almond Chex Mix 9 cups Corn Chex 1 cup sliced or slivered almonds 2 cups coconut Place ingredients in a large  bowl. In a saucepan add: 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup butter 1 cup corn syrup Stir constantly and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour over Chex mixture.  Stir to coat all ingredients well.  Enjoy!!

Tried It Out Thursday:Coupon Addiction

I have always been a coupon user and considered myself to be fairly good at getting good deals.  Boy was I wrong!  A few weeks ago at a Woman's Conference I attended a coupon class taught by Rachel over at cloud9couponing   Wow! In a short 45 minutes I learned so much I did not know, and more I need to learn.  This week I tried a few things she taught me over at Albertsons. I went only for the deals.  This is what I bought. Used 2- .50 off 2 coupons for fruit snacks 2- 1.00 off 4 coupons for juice 1.00 off coupon for the yogart Albertsons coupon 1.49 each for juice and .99 for sour cream Found coupons at the store for an additional .40 off sour cream. Used $3.50 catalina coupon from previous visit. Total out of pocket: $16.09 The best news, received $13.50 back in catalinas to use on my nest visit. I have never done that well and I know I didn't do as well as Rachel or my friend Tina.  Let's just say I am HOOKED! I can't wait to see what deals I can make this week.  Che

Hickory Chicken

This is one of those incredibly easy recipes that you almost feel guilty posting.  It was delicious and a little bit different.  It technically is not a crock pot meal but easily could be thrown in the crockpot and cooked all day on low.  This would also make a great freezer meal.  Hickory Chicken chicken pieces Hickory Barbeque Sauce (I used Kraft Hickory and Honey) 1 can pineapple tidbits, drained 1 Tablespoon onion, chopped Place chicken in the bottom of a casserole dish.  Mix barbeque sauce, pineapple and onion together.  Pour over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.  Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour.  Depending on the size of the chicken pieces.  *I used chicken tenders and baked 1 hour.  It was too long.  The chicken was delicious but a bit over done. *The original recipe call for crushed pineapple, drained *I added about 1 Tablespoon brown sugar to my sauce mixture. *I think this would be good in the crock pot also!!

Breakfast Casserole

I must admit that I never make breakfast. Bad I know!! The other day I decided I would make this casserole and surprise my family. They all really liked it!  Breakfast Casserole 1 lb. ground sausage, cooked and drained 1 package crescent roll dough 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon 1 cup hash browns, thawed 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 5 eggs 1/4 cup milk 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese 1/2 cup mushrooms *optional Separate rolls and press into an ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Pat bottom and up sides. This is where the crescent roll sheet instead of the actual rolls would have been easier. But it all works. Sprinkle dough with sausage, bacon, mushrooms, potatoes and cheese. I did not have any sausage so I substitutes a 1/2 package of little smokies, diced up. Beat eggs with the milk and drizzle over the top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. This could be made the night before, refrigerated and then baked the ne