Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Fun!

To make these fun Spider Cookies, all you need are:

1) Devil's Food Creme Filled Cookies for the spider body,
2) Black Licorice for the 8 legs (I cut the length of each into thirds),
3) Candy (red skittles were used on this cookie) for Eyes held on with
4) Chocolate Frosting.

Sometimes, I had trouble getting the legs in. So, I just slid a knife in the middle of the sandwiched cookies, wedged the cookies apart and inserted the licorice. The first cookie I tried to wedge apart with my fingers just broke into pieces. :(

So easy! And, very yummy! Now....go eat some spiders! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Melt-Away Cookies

I am so excited to give you this recipe today! You are going to love them. They live up to their name and you won't want to stop going mmmmmmmmmmm after the first bite! They are THAT good!

Melt-Away Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
1/3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. cornstarch
1 c. flour

Cream butter. Add sugar and cornstarch. Stir in flour. Roll into small teaspoon size ball, then slightly flatten on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

3 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. powdered sugar

Combine cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until thoroughly blended.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Kool-aid pie! Any flavor!

Such a quick and easy dessert and with all the flavors of Kool-aid that are available, you have so many options!

Kool-aid Pie

1 (.1 oz) Kool-aid powdered soft drink mix - unsweetened, any flavor (I used  black cherry)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz) container Cool Whip whipped topping
1 frozen Deep Dish 9" Pie Crust (bake empty crust according to package directions), OR you could also use a Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Make sure the pre-baked crust is completely cooled (refrigerate for at least 15 minutes). Mix together the Kool-aid and sweetened condensed milk. Add Cool Whip and stir together completely. Pour into pie shell and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

My kids absolutely loved this and the fact that it is made with Kool-aid made it even better! Such a quick and VERY easy option for dessert! Enjoy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sweet potatoes, glazed chicken and zucchini

Thumbs up from all six of us! The kids all LOVED this! And yes, the parents did too!

Glazed Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Serves 7! Served our family of six and made a leftover plate for my husbands lunch at work the next day! Perfect!

Will take about 45 minutes to an hour to make.

3 very large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 chicken breasts
Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2/3 cup maple syrup
Tablespoon of dehydrated chives
1/2 Tablespoon onion powder

1. Make the sweet potatoes into mashed potatoes the same way you would make regular mashed potatoes; place them in a large pot, cover them with water, bring to a boil and then simmer about 20 minutes or more until they almost break apart when poked with a fork. Drain and then put them back in the hot pot and mash them up.
 2. Cut up the chicken breasts into 1" by about 3" or so strips and then sprinkle with the steak seasoning on all sides. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then place the chicken breasts in. Fry 5 minutes on the first side with the lid on, then flip them and cook 5-8 minutes on the second side with the lid on the pan. Remove them onto a warm plate with tongs leaving the juices in the pan and cover them with aluminum foil to keep warm. Add the maple syrup to the pan, scraping the pan so everything dissolves together. After it starts to bubble, add the chives and onion powder and simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Serve the sweet potatoes topped with the chicken and then drizzle the maple glaze on top of it all. 

We also had sliced up yellow and green zucchini (fresh from a neighbors garden!!) pan fried in butter on the side of this and it complimented it very well. I just sliced them after I cut up the sweet potatoes and let them simmer while I made everything else and they were done at the same time as the glaze. Yummy! You will definitely have to add this to your menu! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Have an attitude of gratitude!

 Check out the Wall Street Journal article,  "Thank You. No, Thank You: Grateful People Are Happier, Healthier Long After the Leftovers Are Gobbled Up". Health Journal, Nov. 23, 2010. 

"A growing body of research suggests that maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being.

Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.

Now, researchers are finding that gratitude brings similar benefits in children and adolescents. Kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches and feel more satisfied with their friends, families and schools than those who don't, studies show.

"A lot of these findings are things we learned in kindergarten or our grandmothers told us, but we now have scientific evidence to prove them," says Jeffrey J. Froh, an assistant professor of psychology at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., who has conducted much of the research with children. 

"For older children and adults, one simple way to cultivate gratitude is to literally count your blessings."

Things that make me happy, in no particular order:
  • My husband
  • My 4 children
  • My parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins (you get the picture)
  • My friends
  • A beautiful blue sky and puffy white clouds
  • Cuddling a baby
  • A clean house
  • Cooking
  • Sewing
  • Crafting
  • My Silhouette
  • Weddings
  • Good music
  • Shopping
  • Eating out
  • Being in love
  • Having an eternal perspective
  • Getting my hair done
  • My marriage
  • Reading a good book
  • Good quotes
  • Getting real mail or email
  • Having a good laugh
  • Cinnamon
  • A grilled steak (made by my husband of course!)...melts in your mouth
  • Fresh flowers
  • A glazed donut
  • Symphony candy bar with toffee
  • My iPhone
    I'm sure there are more! Your turn - tell me some of the things that make you happy!

    Monday, March 21, 2011


    My husband and I LOVE going out for sushi. I generally get a side of tempura or just the tempura every time! I love it!! So, I was ecstatic when I found out how EASY it was to make at home! You are going to have to make this all the time now. If you don't know what tempura is, it is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that has been battered and deep fried. YUM!!! Get out your deep fryer and let's get started!


    1 egg
    1 Cup water (ICE COLD)
    1 Cup flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    Have vegetables and meat prepared ahead of time (see suggestions below) and make the batter right before using.

    Beat the egg and mix with the ice water. In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. In a bowl combine the two mixtures together gently. Batter will be lumpy. DO NOT OVER MIX (the batter will be doughy and not crisp)! Keep the batter cool with one or two ice cubes in the batter. Dip the meat and vegetables into the batter and deep fry at 360 degrees until golden about 3-4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.

    Suggested Vegetables and meat:
    shrimp (I use the precooked frozen kind, just thaw by running under cold water for a few minutes)
    small scallops
    sweet potatoes peeled and slice 1/4" thick and cut into half circles
    broccoli florets

    Dipping sauce:
    1 Cup Soy sauce
    1/2 Cup water
    1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
    4 teaspoons white sugar

    Heat all Dipping sauce ingredients in a pan until the sugar is dissolved.

    Oh, and if you want to make it even easier, you can also buy tempura batter mix in the store instead of making it from scratch, but I think this is just as easy! I used the mix the first time I made it. Enjoy!!!

    Linking up to :

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Recipe for that squishy stuff


    Well, if you've ever wondered how to make Slime or Flubber, here's the recipe! My kids are in heaven with the stuff and I love how it doesn't crumble up all over the place or dry out like play dough. We do keep it sealed in airtight bags when we are not playing with it. I do not let them play with it over the carpet. I don't want to know what would happen if it got squished into all those fibers and I do not want to take that chance. So, here you go! It really is quite fun to make too:

    Supply list:
    2 cups to stir your concoction in
    1/4 cup glue
    1/4 cup water
    3 drops food coloring
    1/4 teaspoon BORAX
    1/4 cup warm water

    In your first cup stir together the glue and water making sure you have equal amounts of each and then add your choice of color.

    In your second cup stir together the borax and warm water until the borax is completely dissolved.

    Now add your clear borax mixture into your colored glue mixture while stirring. 
    The mixture will become thick. Keep mixing until the water is almost completely absorbed into the glue mixture. Then take it out of the cup and squeeze the excess water out over a sink using your hands to squish it together. You can then run a little cold water over it to rinse it off.
    Then squish it and play with it until your hearts content. Keep it in an airtight container when not in use. Enjoy!!!

    Linking up to:

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Easter is next month

    Next month is Easter and I am so excited! I love Easter and what it is we are really celebrating! Here's a peek at what I've made in the past years and what I'll definitely be making again this year! The kids love it! Especially my 4 year old who is a bunny girl...she loves bunnies and her favorite cuddly that she always sleeps with is the very first toy bunny that she got from the Easter bunny for her first Easter!!!

    You can find directions for the bunny cake here:

    Toddler Mealtime tips and tricks

    Pizza cutters work wonders when cutting up about any food into bite-sized pieces for your anxious to eat toddler (e.g. pizza, waffles, toast, pancakes and other soft foods)!

    I have this double ended watermelon melon baller and absolutely love it for making anything scoop-able the right size for little mouths. Have you ever watched a toddler try to cut apart a large scoop of ice cream with their spoon...they have to really work at it!!!


    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Happy St. Patrick's Day

    Our St. Patrick's day breakfast. After my daughter took her first bite: "The green doesn't make it taste different!!!!" The kids thought it was so cool!
    I put about 6 drops of dye and 1/4 cup milk in with 9 eggs for the 5 of us and mixed them up and scrambled them. I put about 4 drops of green dye in 1/4 milk and brushed it on 4 pieces of bread and then stuck them in the toaster (my younger girls only eat half). For the milk each cup got a couple drops of the green dye as well!

    Saturday, November 27, 2010

    Thanksgiving leftovers!

    This year I had the wonderful opportunity of hosting Thanksgiving at my house! And with that, I also have the great advantage of having all the leftovers in my fridge as well. Thank you Thanksgiving! Here are some of the things we have done with them so far:

    Turkey and Green Bean mini pot pies

    Dice up some turkey; add an equal amount of green bean casserole to that. If it looks a little dry add some turkey stock. I mixed it up so that it looked like I had about 2 cups. I grabbed my Betty Crocker cookbook and made a pie crust. I used the recipe for the double crust pie. After rolling the dough out thin, I cut out 6 circles measuring 4 1/2" diameters each and pressed them into my muffin tin...I added about 1/4 cup of the turkey/bean mixture to each, and then cut out 3" diameter circles to go over the tops. Cut a slit in the top of each one for them to vent and bake at 350 for 30 minutes until golden. Oh, that leftover pie crust can be dusted with some cinnamon and sugar and eaten for dessert! All in all, I think my kids loved this meal....even my picky eater who said she would only eat the crust ended up eating all of it anyways!

    Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwiches

    We have also used our Thanksgiving leftovers to make some awesome sandwiches. Use a leftover roll, put a slice of turkey in, top it with lots of stuffing, a little bit of green bean casserole, and spread some cranberries on the top half of the roll....Yummy! We all thought this was just wonderful! You definitely have to give it a try!

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Sweet and Sour Meatballs over rice

    This is a staple in our home and we love cooking together! My one year old really got in on the action yesterday with me and helped squish, mix and pour all the ingredients to make this mouth watering meal! Try'll LOVE it, we sure do!  

     Sweet~N~Sour Meatballs    

    2 lbs. ground beef
    1 envelope onion soup mix
    2 eggs
    1/2 C. water
    1/2 C. water
    1 Tbsp. cornstarch
    2 Tbsp. honey
    1/2 C. barbecue sauce ( I prefer the "KC Masterpiece" brand)
    3 Tbsp. white vinegar
    1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
    1 can chunk pineapple (including juice)

    Mix first 4 ingredients. Form into balls. I use a medium sized cookie scoop. Brown in skillet. Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Add sauce ingredients and bake another 30 minutes.   

    Serve over rice. I usually bring 4 cups of water to a boil and 2 cups of rice, turn to the lowest setting and let simmer for 15 minutes. When you check it after 15 minutes, there will be little dips in the rice and when you tip it over on it's side no liquid should be left...if there is still liquid do it for a minute longer until all the liquid is gone. ENJOY!

    Shark cake!

    Okay boys, lets assemble the cake! Confusion surfaced on all their faces when they found out that the cake for the birthday party that they were at wasn't ready! Blue streamers were up everywhere with blue, white and silver helium filled balloons all over the room...Sharks displayed everywhere! So, when I pulled out this:
    they knew exactly what it was...."WATER!!!" they all exclaimed....Then I pulled out the blue Jello-O and they were very confused (again) after I said I was going to put it on the cake....I heard some silent "eeewwwwwee's" around the room!  Then they saw it like this:

    And, most of them preferred the Jell-O topped middle pieces, while a few requested the frosted side pieces. They each got to take home a shark of their choosing....all in all, it was a success!

    Linking up to: 

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Play with your Food!

         My daughter checked out the book "Play with your Food" by Joost Elffers from her school library. We're having lots of fun with it! Turning an orange into a cat was an exciting thing for a cat lover, that's for sure!

         Put a navel orange on its side, stem part facing you. See anything yet? What do the folds suggest? Carve ovals and insert beans--voila, two eyes. Cut ears from the sides of the orange and pull them forward. Now you have it--a cat's face of amazing and endearing character. But that's only the beginning. Learn to make artichoke-leaf aphids, bok choy buffalos, okra grasshoppers, green-pepper camels, and pear mice--just a few of the 75 ingenious projects.

         My daughter did not want to return this book to her school library!
    Thank you for visiting!
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