Monday, December 31, 2012

Easy Homemade Pop Tarts

Okay well not exactly homemade, but the more homemade than the kind you buy in a box and pop in the toaster. Oh and they taste much better. This batch we just spread with butter instead of  frosting, and they were still yummy!

1 pkg. refrigerated pie crusts 
Strawberry Jam
Or any flavor you prefer (we love blackberry, or Nutella)
  1 can strawberry or vanilla frosting

Preheat oven to 400. Cut dough into 3-inch rectangles. On one side, spread jam leaving about 1/2-inch on all sides. Top with another rectangle. Using a fork, crimp the edges to close. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet (or spray with cooking oil) and bake for 9-12 minutes until slightly browned. Remove and transfer to a cooling rack and place in fridge for about 5-7 minutes. (This will make frosting much easier). Spread frosting on; top with sprinkles.

Winter Front Porch

Well I really am stretching when I call it a porch, but I do make the most of the little area around my front door.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Best Bread Pudding EVER!

I don't even have a pic of the full pan of this, because it was swooped away and eaten immediately! I'm not even kidding! If yo make this I promise it will be the best bread putting you have ever put in your mouth. Don't be afraid of the alcohol, we aren't big drinkers in my family, so I was pretty nervous at first too. You can't even taste it, and it's so little it really is almost like its not even in it!

2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups milk
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 to 5 cups sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup pecans, chopped finely
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat together eggs, butter, vanilla, and milk. Add sugar and mix until sugar is dissoved. Arrange bread cubes tightly in a nine-inch baking dish, keeping the crust facing up around the edges in scattered within the dish. Pour liquid over the bread. Sprinkle pecans all over and bake for 55 to 70 minutes, or until crust is golden brown all over the top.
While the bread pudding is baking, make the Whiskey Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup Jack Daniels
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture reaches a low boil. Pour a small amount over the individual servings of bread pudding.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas came and left.....

As I am starting my preparations for clean up after Christmas, I am a little sad. Not terribly sad but just a little. It seems that every year the holidays come and go so fast! Although I am ready to get back into our daily routines, I will miss the little things around the house that remind me of how truly blessed I am.

This is a pic of the little pink tree that I put up in Susie's room this year, because of course every  little girl needs a pink Christmas tree, I may just convince myself that every little girl needs a pink Christmas tree out all year, just as a reminder that Christmas will be here again before you know it!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Classroom Pary 2012

Ok I'm going to post one last Holiday Party! This is the party that I put together for my 5th graders class this year! It turned out really cute, and was a perfect theme for older kids. To top everything off we had a Hot Chocolate Bar, with YUMMY green hot cocoa!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Easy Red Velvet Bundt Cake

One of our family traditions is that we always deliver cakes to some of our close friends and family during the holidays. I love it because it's an excuse for me to spend time in the kitchen with my two girls! Here is a really yummy recipe for a red velvet bundt cake.

For the Cake
1 ¼ cups Vegetable Oil
1 cup Buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tbsp. Food Coloring
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
1 ¾ cups Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
¾ tsp. Salt
1 tbsp. Cocoa Powder 

Cream Cheese Frosting
8oz. Cream Cheese
5 tbsp. salted Butter (Room Temperature)
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract ( i love to use maple)
2 ½ cups Confectioners Sugar

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a bundt pan, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Beat until the mixture is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.  Place the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out of clean, about 50 minutes.  Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes.  Then remove the cake from the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting, in the bowl of stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter.  Beat until smooth.  Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.  Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar (on low speed) until fully combined.  Increase the speed and beat until smooth.  

Place the bundt cake on a cake stand or plate.  Spread the frosting evenly on top of the bundt cake.  Serve and Enjoy :)!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dining Room Tree

I found the cutest vintage looking silverware CHEAP at Walmart. It's bundled up together and you get four forks or four spoons for $1. I bought them and rubbed a little stain on them to make them look old, added a bow and hook and put them on the tree in the dining room! I love how it turned out!

Friday, December 21, 2012

"Stashing Through the Snow" Girls Christmas Crafting Pary

Living in a house with a very busy active teenager certainly makes life a crazy at times. Especially for her younger 10 year old sister, who seems to think that she should be doing all of the same things that her sister does. I try to make sure to keep her balanced but at the same time making sure she gets to have a little fun too!!!!! This year I let her pick 6 of her friends to come over after school for a crafting party, We made fleece scarves, homemade snow globes, decorated ice cream cones to look like Christmas Trees, and ate cupcakes!

Here are some pics of the afternoon......

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beef Stew Meat

I love to throw this beef stew meat in the slow cooker, and serve it over a baked potato! It's a great easy hearty meal.

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced  
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 
1 onion, chopped 
1 1/2 cups beef broth

  1. Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth.
  2. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.*********I serve this over baked potato's but it's good over rice too!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dollar Tree Ornament

Every year I am impressed with the cute ornaments I find at the Dollar Tree. Last year I found the cutest white Santa faces, but this year I love these gold glitter reindeer! The best part is that they are flat, so I could glue it on a piece of green and cream chevron fabric and frame it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Maple Walnut Fudge

This is the yummiest chocolate fudge! All it is is the basic fantasy fudge know it.....the one on the back of the small marshmallow cream. BUT...instead of vanilla I double the amount with maple extract, and topped it with walnuts! really made a difference in the taste!  Here is a copy of the fantasy fudge recipe just in case you don't have it.....

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or 3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
8 -12 ounces chocolate chips 
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Mix butter, sugar and milk in a saucepan.
2 Heat until 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Or if you do not have a thermometer, bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes. I NEVER use a thermometer, I always boil for exactly 4 minutes!
3 Remove from heat.
4 Stir in candy chips a little at a time until melted.
5 Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
6 Spread into a greased 13" by 9" by 2" pan.
7 Cool to room temperature.
8 Cut into squares.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A little Christmas all around the house...

I can't seem to leave even the smallest little nook undecorated!

Best Baked Pork Chop Recipe......

This isn't the best quality picture, and it probably doesn't make these look so yummy, BUT I promise they are! This is healthier than frying, but gives you that comfort taste of a fried pork chop. Not to mention much easier to bake than it is to fry!

1 package dried onion soup mix
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
3 lbs. of pork chops, each about 1/2" thick
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a flat bowl or bag combine soup mix and bread crumbs.

3. In a separate bowl beat egg, dip pork chops into egg and then into soup/bread crumb mixture

4. Place well coated pork chops on shallow baking sheet.

5. Bake uncovered for 12 minutes, turn and continue to bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes until done

Monday, December 10, 2012

The stocking were all hung.....

I'm finally finished putting up all the Christmas decorations. I love it when my house is all decked out for the holidays! Here is is a quick pic of my mantle this year. .

Photo Ornaments

Last year, but I really wish I would have started years ago I started adding photo ornaments to my tree. I love this tradition. I can't believe how much we have changed in just one year! These ornaments will be so fun to hang in ten years!!!!! I almost can't wait, but then I stop and think yikes my kids are growing up so fast  I don't wanna speed it up. Here a few pics of this years photo ornaments....

All I did to create these was have wallets made out of my Christmas pics this year, cut them out, glue them to some card stock, added a glued on bow, a hook, and hung them up. So cute huh??? Now I do have a cricut that cuts these cute shapes, but I think they would look pretty cute if I traced and cut squares too.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hot Chocolate Station

With the temperatures in the 80's here in Texas, It's hard to imagine bringing out the Hot Chocolate Station. However.......wooo hooooo I read that we will actually get some snow flurry's here Monday!!! I got so excited. My kids love it when it's cold out, and I have a yummy cup of hot chocolate waiting for them when they get off the bus. Looks like Monday's the day!!!!!