Friday, October 29, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

1 cup Fresh mushrooms
1/2 heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup boiling water
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
salt and pepper to taste,
chopped fresh basil or dried if you dont have fresh

Chop mushrooms, and set aside.
Add heavy whipping cream into a bowl, and gradually stir in boiling water until mixture is smooth but not runny.
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the stock to a gentle simmer.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic, and chopped mushrooms; cook about 3 minutes. Gradually stir in rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly to coat rice with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in th basil to taste.
Pour in the mushroom cream mixture, stirring until absorbed. Gradually add 1/3 stock, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Continue to stir in stock gradually, 1 cup at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding another cup. It should take about 20 minutes for all the stock to be absorbed and the rice becomes al dente (tender but firm to the bite)

Fairytale Table Centerpiece

I made the castles when my freshman was in second grade. Can't beleive they survived all these years! We just cut boxes to look like castles, then sprayed them with spray adhesive and covered them in glitter.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

This might be my next chalkboard quote!

Quick Breakfast Idea!

English Muffin Breakfast
Slice Cheese
Slice ham
1 Egg
Salt and pepper
Slice muffin open. Toast if you’d like. Place one half of muffin on microwave safe plate and gently crack egg open onto it. Microwave for forty five seconds to one minute, or until done. Sprinkle salt and pepper over egg to taste. Add ham and cheese slice and replace top. Microwave another ten to twenty seconds, just until cheese melts. My Kids think I woke up early and went to McDonalds!

My secret ingredient to delish pork chops!

Hush Puppy with Onion Mix
Thawed pork chops (can be thin or thick cut)
Vegetable oil for frying
Pour oil into a skillet to a depth of about 1/4 of an inch. Place on medium high heat while you prepare the chops.

Pour about a cup of hush puppy mix in a bowl. Press each side of each pork chop down into the mix. Turn heat down to medium and carefully place chops in hot oil. Cook until browned on bottom and then turn, continuing to cook until browned on the top and no longer pink in the center.

Remove to place on a paper towel lined plate before serving

If you don't like to fry your Pork chops, you can also bake them in a pyrex dish on 350 for about 30min.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Poppy Seed Chicken

As unusual as this sounds, my kids like this recipe better without the poppy seeds. Personally I think the poppy seeds make it prettier. I serve it over egg noodles and they love it!

4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
1 16 oz container sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup
1 stick snack crackers, crushed (I use Ritz)
2 tsp poppy seed
1/2 cup butter, melted (make sure you use real butter)

Precook chicken breasts in boiling water until thoroughly cooked. Remove breasts from water and let cool (save the broth for other things!)
Tear cooled breasts into bite sized pieces, and put in bottom of casserole dish.

Mix together sour cream, cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom (or cream of celery) soup and mix in the chicken. Cover with crushed snack crackers. Sprinkle poppy seed on top. Drizzle melted butter on top.

Place in preheated 350°F oven until warmed through, about 20-25 minutes.

Halloween Ornament

Here is an inexpensive idea if you need ornaments for a halloween tree. I took clear glass christmas ornaments added orange glitter to the inside, found black and white polka dot letters (spelled BOO), and tied it on the tree with a cute orange ribbon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

So many things to create with a die cut machine...

Our local library has a die cut machine that is open for us to use at anytime, with lots and lots of die cuts to choose from! One of my favorite discoveries is that it not only cuts paper, but also fabric. I used the pennant die to cut these triangles and hot glued them to bias tape. Then I used orange to cut out letters, and dabbed a little fabric glue to hang in the middle of pennants! Isn't that adorable!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sweet Potato Bread

What a great way to make use of a leftover sweet potato!

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup water 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Combine sugar and oil; beat well. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water. Stir in sweet potatoes and chopped nuts.
Pour batter into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan (or 2 small loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes

I added a yummy vanilla glaze

3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Change Measurements: US | Metric

Directions:Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 13 mins
1 Mix 3 tbsp butter, melted, 2-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, 3 tbls water and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract until smooth

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beef Stew.....perfect for a cold day!

1 cup flour
2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon thyme (can use Italian seasoning instead)
1 teaspoon black pepper
32 ounces beef broth
1-2 pounds stew meat
5-6 medium potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
4 large carrots
1-1/2 cups frozen pearl onions or 1 large onion, chopped
Place stew meat in a bowl, pouring flour over. Stir to coat. Please a tablespoon of oil in large skillet and heat on medium heat. Add coated meat and cook, stirring often, just until browned. Place meat and all other ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 3-4.

Love this Wreath!

What can you do with a $1.00 wreath form from the Dollar Tree, and a pack of coffee filters?

There isn’t really any wrong or right away to go about this – just dab a dot of glue on the wreath and then crinkle the middle of the coffee filter a little and attach to the glue. Add more glue if you need and keep adding coffee filters to fill in all the spaces. I left the back of the wreath plain so it would lay flat against the wall.

Birthday Present Idea

Doesn't curly riboon make everything look better? Oh and a little cash too??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beef Short Ribs

This is a great meal to make if you are having dinner guests!

1/2 cup olive oil 4 pounds beef short ribs salt and pepper to taste 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 cups chopped onions 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 cup red wine 8 cups beef stock 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper to taste and dredge them in flour. Fry the ribs in the oil in small batches, adding oil as needed, to sear the meat. This should take 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Set ribs aside.
In the same pot, add the onions and saute for 2 minutes.Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then stir in the garlic, cook for 1 more minute.
Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up all the bits on the bottom. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer. Add the ribs and continue to simmer for 2 hours, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Good Idea for a Boys Birthday Party!

I have so much fun helping my friends decorate for their kids birthday parties! This latest party I helped for a little boy named Ethan who loves skateboarding. I found the skateboard graphics on google images, printed them, and used some of my scrapooking tools to decorate the cupcakes and treat bags! I loved how this party table turned out!

Roast Beef Wrap

I love to change up my kids lunch! One day last week I made these wraps for them, by spreading whipped cream cheese on a tortilla adding a few slices of roast beef, a slice of white American cheese and rolling it. The cream cheese helps it to stay wrapped. They loved them!

Adorable Birthday Party Decorations

I helped a friend decorate for her daughter Madison's second birthday party. I love how it turned out. What I really love is the banners that another good friend who has a cricut machine,cut out the using the circus cartridge. The flag banners I cut using fabric that she chose for the color theme. I will post a separate blog showing you guy's how easy it is to make those cute little flags! Keep watching for that. I promise to post it soon, but for now I have more catching up to do!

I have some catching up to do.....

Chocolate Whoopi Pies:

1 chocolate cake mix 2 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 small jar marshmallow cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, eggs and oil until well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. When finished spread marshmallow cream between two cookies! It helps to microwave marshmallow for a few seconds before spreading.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stewed Squash

3 medium squash (yellow and/or crook necked)
1 small onion
1/2 stick butter
2 tbl garlic powder
1 tbl sugar
salt and pepper to taste

First, clean your squash.

Second, dice your onion. The size and kind of onion is really a matter of taste. If you really like onion, you might want to put in two instead of one. If you really don't like onion, put in a half of onion instead.

Third, melt your butter in the pan over medium high heat. You can subsitute with olive oil

Fourth, put in the squash and onion at the same time, stir to cover with butter (or substitute) then put the lid on and let it cook for about five minutes. After five minutes, the squash should be cooked and hopefully the onions will be browning.

At this point it really does become a matter of taste. If you continue sauteing the mixture, the squash and onions will brown, and the squash will loose some of it's definition. You might also need to add some more butter to keep it from sticking. If you want, you can cook this down until it looks almost like a relish, with the squash being almost indistinguishable from the onions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopi Pies

Fluffy cream cheese filling sandwiched between two moist pumpkin cookies make these Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies the perfect snack you just won't be able to resist!

2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten 1 cup Pumpkin (in a can) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling: 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature 6 tablespoons butter, softened 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For cookies: Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease or line four baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large mixer bowl on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin and vanilla extract; beat until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Drop by heaping measuring teaspoons onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 10 to 13 minutes or until springy to the touch. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
For cream cheese filling: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
Spread a heaping teaspoon of filling onto flat side of one cookie; top with flat side of second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.

Decorating with an Inexpensive Glass Hurricane

I bought these glass hurricanes at Walmart for $2.99, tied a ribbon on the top, added a candle,and some branches from the tree in my front yard, and this what I came up with. I'm thinking of lining my dining table with them for a great Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Sweet Strawberry Bites

Not only are these little bites pretty, they are also very yummy and easy. Try making these for showers, birthday parties, or sometimes just for a snack! All you need to do is slice one loaf of a regular french baguette top it with a dollop of cream cheese icing (easy recipe at the bottom of this post), and top it off with a strawberry slice. This is a great way to use any extra icing that you might have leftover.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup butter, softened 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Easy Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken And Rice
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped (I use Vidalia)
1 -8 ounce box Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to directions
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 – 10.5 ounce can cream of chicken soup (regular or fat free)
1 -15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Scatter chopped onion over top. Spoon cream soup over top of that. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. A few minutes before serving, add in cooked rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Tis the Season of Caramel Apples....Maybe Some Chocolate and Toffee

The apple in the photo is for purists, just caramel (and lots of it) and a mixture of toffee and chocolate. However, the options for gourmet apples are endless. Roll your caramel dipped apple in chopped toasted nuts or coconut, cookie crumbs, candy bits, whatever sounds good to you, before coating with melted chocolate. Each of these apples feeds about 6 people just slice in to wedges. They are decadent to say the least! Wrap finished apples in cellophane, tie with a ribbon and you've got a spectacular gift.

3 packages (14 ounces each) caramel candies
2 tablespoons water
6-8 large Granny Smith apples
6-8 heavy wooden skewers or sticks

melted chocolate and/or white chocolate
see directions below for amounts


Toffee Chips

chopped peanuts or other nuts
toasted coconut
candy sprinkles
Oreo cookie crumbs
chopped candy bars

waxed paper
Makes 6-8 Large Apples
Line a large cookie sheet with heavily buttered waxed paper, set aside.

Wash and completely dry apples. Insert a stick through stems. Sometimes it helps to use two sticks or even a fork, as these Apples become quite heavy during the dipping process and a single stick may break. If you plan on using nuts coconut or any of the other optional coating ingredients get them ready by placing in a small bowl.

Combine caramels and water in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until caramels melt. Cool slightly. You can also use your slow cooker to melt the caramel, like we did in the photo (we were making a lot of apples). Dip each apple in caramel mixture, coating evenly, use a spoon to help you cover the top part of the apple. Allow caramel to set slightly and then dip in caramel again (that's right, two coatings of caramel -- I warned you these Apples were decadent!).


After the second caramel dip, while the caramel is still liquid, roll the apple in the nuts or coconut or other coating ingredients. Coating the apple with one of these ingredients helps to keep the apple from sticking to the waxed paper, as well as give texture and flavor, but the Apples are still great without this step.


Next melt the chocolate either in a double boiler, a microwave, or in a glass bowl set inside a slow cooker which is filled part way with hot water as in photo 2. You\'ll notice I didn't say how much chocolate to melt. It depends on how decadent you want the apple to be.I used about 3 oz. of chocolate per apple. If using the bowl in the slow cooker method be very careful not to get even a single drop of water in the chocolate or it will seize and become grainy.

Dip the bottom of the caramel apple in chocolate. Use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate over the top, completely encasing the apple in chocolate.Allow chocolate to set,before wrapping in cellophane.

Egg Salad

Because I am from the South, I can honestly say that I have eaten and made my share of egg salad. This is my favorite recipe so far! I love to serve it on toasted bread with a few cucumber slices, and some melted white american cheese.

1 sleeve saltine crackers

3 scallions, finely chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

3 hard-cooked egg, finely chopped

1 tbl dill pickle relish/or 2 tsp fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Just before serving, place saltines in a medium-size bowl. Use your hands to crush crackers into big pieces. Add remaining ingredients, mix gently but thoroughly, and season with salt and pepper.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chicken Croissants for Dinner

I love to serve these little croissants for dinner with a side salad, but any veggie would be great!

3 ounces cream cheese (low fat is fine)
3 Tbsp melted butter, divided
2 cups cooked chicken breasts, cubed
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 (8 ounce) can croissant dinner rolls
¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Blend cream cheese and 1 Tbsp. butter until smooth. Mix in chicken, salt, pepper, and onions.

3. Separate dough into 4 rectangles- press perforations to eliminate seams. Spoon ½ cup of the chicken mixture onto the center of each rectangle. Pull 4 corners of dough to the top. Twist and seal to form a round ball.

4. Brush butter over each ball and roll in crumbs. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Easy Taco's

This is not a recipe just a quick way to make an easy weeknight dinner.
Just ground some hamburger, drain, drain a can of diced tomatos, then add 2 tbl cummin, 2 tbl chili powder, 2 tbl garlic, 2 tbl cilantro. Stir together and serve on tortilla's with cheese.

Journaling with My Girl!

I decided to start journal with my 8 year old, to give her a little extra mommy time. She writes a message to me in the journal, and places somewhere for me to find, usually the kitchen or my nightstand. I write a message back and return it someplace she is likely to find it. This is a great way for us to communicate, and at the same time improve her writing skills. I really get a kick out of what she loves to talk about, the things that she thinks are soooo important right now!

We found cute journals online, and decided to copy them and make them ourselves, but if you really aren't very crafty there are so many cute ones at the store! This one is an old dress cut up and glued on a composition notebook, how cute is that? The pocket is a great place to store pencils!