December 30, 2010

Recycle those Old Jeans!

Ok... Dad had some old pants that had holes in the knees.... what to do with them?
We made cute bags!!
1. Cut off Legs of old pants, try to cut straight across.
2. Turn inside out and either sew or glue(won't last as long)along the bottom edge. Leave about 1/2 inch at the bottom.
3. Turn right side out and decorate as desired.
4. Cut down the inside seam of both legs and sew or glue them in as handles.

Beef and Broccoli

The kids all liked this, even the ones who wouldn't touch the broccoli but loved the beef!

1 lb. Boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips (I used some that was cut for stir fry!)
1 med. onion, thinly sliced (I used minced, dried onion)
3 C. chopped broccoli
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 C. water
1 tsp. beef bouillon
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
Hot Cooked Rice

Steam broccoli until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Cook steak, onions, and garlic in hot oil until onions begin to turn clear. Sprinkle with pepper. Dissolve bouillon in water. Blend cornstarch with water. Add to steak and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Add steamed broccoli and soy sauce and heat through. Serve over Hot Cooked rice.

December 22, 2010

Peppermint Meringues

2 Egg whites
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 C. sugar
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed

In a bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle with salt,cream of tartar and sugar. Beat until soft peaks form, about 7 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased foil lined baking sheets; sprinkle with candy. Bake at 225 for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off heat; leave cookies in the oven with door ajar for at least 1 hour. Store in airtight container.

Egg Nog

I love Egg Nog, and so do my kids. This tastes just like the store bought stuff! Now, We can have it any season.

Egg Nog
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 Qt. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 pint Heavy cream, whipped
nutmeg, to taste

Mix all ingredients well. Chill and serve.

December 7, 2010

Grandma's Caramels

I still haven't got these perfect.... but they still are good every year, and still get eaten! I wish Grandma was still here to help me get it right! This was what I looked forward to every year from my Grandma!

1 C. sugar
1 C. corn syrup
1/2 Cube real butter
1 pint whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla (at the end)

Combine in a big saucepan: the sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1/3 of the whipping cream. Boil for 7 1/2 minutes; stirring constantly. Add 1/3 of the whipping cream. Boil another 7 1/2 minutes, stirring. Repeat. Add vanilla at the end. Spread in a buttered pan until cool. Cut in pieces and wrap in waxed paper.

Magic Sleeping Potion

We make this every year on Christmas Eve. Also, this makes a great easy gift to give to kids friends.

Assemble in a small bag:
1 pouch of hot chocolate mix
1 "magic" chocolate bell
1 sm. candy cane or peppermint stick
several mini marshmallows in a snack sized bag.

Attach this poem:

Magic Sleeping Potion

It's Christmas Eve time for bed
but not an eye will close
Too much excitement in the air
to even let you doze.

So mkae this "magic potion"
to help you fall asleep
Then Santa and his helpers
can down your chimney creep.

Pour the cocoa in a mug
and with hot water mix
then drop in the magic bell
and stir with a candy stick

Add a few marshmallows and
sip it slowly down.
Crawl into bed and snuggle in
the magic sleep will come around.


1 C. sugar
2 cubes butter
3 Tbsp. water

Cook on high. Boil till light brown on edges. Pour in a buttered pan and sprinkle with Chocolate chips on top. When chips are glossy, spread. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, and let cool completely before cutting into pieces.

Pretzel Treats

My kids have already been asking for these.... You can make these anytime, but the festive colored M&M's make these treats perfect for holiday gatherings.

Waffle style Pretzels, round or square
Hershey's kisses
Holiday M&M's

Place pretzels on baking sheet, top each with an unwrapped kiss. Place in oven on very low temp, just until warm. Immediately top with a M&M and press down slightly. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Peppermint Chocolate Fudge

12 oz. Milk Chocolate chips
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
dash salt
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/4 C. crushed hard peppermint candy

In a saucepan, over low heat, melt chips with milk and salt. Remove from heat, stir in extract. Spread evenly into foil lined 8 or 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with candy. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Turn onto cutting board; peel off foil and cut into squares.

Eggnog Fudge

1/8 c. butter, chilled
3 C. sugar
1 C. eggnog
6 oz. white chocolate chips

1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
1 C. almonds, chopped
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Line a 9 inch square pan with foil and set aside. Spray the sides of a large saucepan with butter flavor non-stick spray. Add the eggnog and sugar, and bring to a rolling boil over medium to medium high heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 full minutes. Fold in the marshmallows, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring back to a rolling boil for another 6 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will start to turn brown, which is normal, but if you see brown flakes in the mixture then turn down the heat a little. Remove from heat and add the butter, chips and nuts. Stir until thoroughly mixed or until the mixture starts to lose its glossy appearance. Pour into prepared pan. cool at room temp. Remove from pan, remove foil, and cut into squares.

Chocolate Snowswirl Fudge

3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
dash salt
1 C. chopped nuts
2 C. mini marshmallows

Melt chips with milk, 2 Tbsp. butter, vanilla and salt. Remove from heat; stir in nuts. Spread evenly into foil lined 8 or 9 inch square pan. Melt marshmallows with remaining butter. Spread on top of fudge. With knife, swirl through top of fudge.
Chill at least 2 hours or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off foil and cut into squares. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Candy Cane Cookies

1/4 C. butter or margarine
1/4 C. shortening
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
red food coloring
1/4 C. crushed peppermint candies
1/4 C. granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375. Mix thoroughly butter, shortening, powdered sugar, egg and vanilla. Blend in flour and salt. Divide dough in half. Blend food coloring in half of the dough. Use 1 tsp. dough from each color and make into 4" ropes. Lay ropes side by side: press together lightly and twist, shape into a cane. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 7-9 minutes. Mix candy and sugar and sprinkle immediately over cookies.

November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Chain

About 10 days before Thanksgiving we got a cute box and cut some construction paper into strips. We then had a little "lesson" on being thankful and how blessed we are. We then wrote on the strips of paper things that we are grateful for and put them in the box. Throughout the week we would write things down as we thought of more. Then a few days before Thanksgiving we took them out of the box and read them as we made a chain. We strung this chain across our family room and will wrap it around our Christmas Tree to remind us to continue to be thankful!

Thanksgiving Candy Turkeys

This was a cute gift given to me by my friend Marci. She gave us all the ingredients and the instructions for these turkeys in a cute box. It is a fun Thanksgiving tradition for us now.

Chocolate Snap Cookies
Hershey's chocolate kisses
chocolate chips
red hots
candy corn
chocolate chips, melted

Place cookie flat on waxed paper. Glue(with the melted chocolate chips) two chips together to form the turkey head. Place Hershey Kiss, flat side down, on the low side of the cookie, forming the body and base for the tail. The double chocolate chip and two single chips form the head and feet placed properly. The red hot goes under the chin. Tail feathers are created by positioning two rows of candy corn fanned along the cookie edge.

November 12, 2010

White Hot Chocolate

1 1/2 Tbsp. white chocolate flavor pudding mix
1 C. milk
Whipped cream
crushed peppermint

For each serving, combine the pudding mix and the milk in a mug. Then heat in the microwave for 60 seconds on high. Top with whipped cream and peppermint.

Cucumber Lime Drink

This sounds weird, but it is SOOOOO GOOD!

2 limes, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced and seeded
1 frozen limeaid
4 liters lemon lime soda

Mix together well and serve with ice.
I got this recipe from my Neighbor, Peggy. My kids request these often!

Honey Oatmeal Granola Bars
1/4 c. butter
1/4 C. oil
1 lb. mini marshmallows
Melt in a large saucepan and stir until smooth.
Add: 1/3 C. peanut butter
1/3 c. honey
Stir until smooth.
In a large bowl combine:
5 C. oatmeal
4 1/2 C. Rice Krispies
1 C. chopped peanuts
1 C. crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 C. coconut
mini chocolate chips and/or M&M's

Pour marshmallow mixture over oatmeal mixture and mix until combined. Press into a greased jelly roll pan. Press firmly with rolling pin. Cut into bars and wrap each in plastic wrap.
Toffee Fruit Dip
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 pkg. heath toffee bits

Mix together and serve. Best with apples and bananas.

The best way to eat apples....

Butterscotch Apple Dip
1 bag butterscotch chips
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. vinegar

Melt chips on low heat. When melted, slowly add sweetened milk and mix until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Serve with sliced apples or other fruit.
1 cube butter
2 C. honey
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix until smooth and creamy.
Fry Sauce

1 C. Miracle Whip
1/3 C. Ketchup
1 Tbsp. mustard
Mix until well combined.
Cinnamon Cream Syrup

1 C. sugar
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/4 C. water
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. evaporated milk

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to stir while the syrup boils for 2 minutes. Stir in the evaporated milk. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the fridge.

I love pumpkin season!

Pumpkin Cake Roll
3 eggs
1 C. sugar
2/3 C. pumpkin
1 tsp. lemon juice

3/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 c. Chopped walnuts(optional)
Powdered sugar as needed

Beat eggs on High for 5 minutes until frothy. Gradually add sugar. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice. Stir together dry ingredients, except nuts. Fold into the pumpkin mixture and spread into a greased and floured jelly roll pan. Top with nuts. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Immediately turn out onto a towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Roll up while hot. Cool completely. Unroll and spread with cream cheese frosting. Re-roll and sprinkle with powdered sugar. chill and slice.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat until smooth.
Pumpkin Cake
3 C. sugar
1 C. oil
3 eggs
2 C. pumpkin
3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Bake in an ungreased pan at 350.
1 bundt cake for 1 hour 15 minutes
2 bread pans for 1 hour

Let the cake cool and then dribble icing over the top.

Mix 1/2 C. powder sugar with a little water until you have a smooth consistency.

Microwave Caramels

1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. pecans, chopped

Melt butter in microwave. Add syrup, sugars and milk. Stir well and microwave 6-8 minutes. Remove and stir in pecans. Pour into a sprayed 8x8 pan and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Cut into pieces. If it is too firm to cut, warm in the oven for 2 minutes. Can also be dipped in chocolate or just wrap in waxed paper.

**DO NOT DOUBLE this recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

I made this instead of birthday cake for my girls... and it was YUMMY! Thanks to my neighbor Jill....

Pumpkin Pie Dessert

1/2 C. butter
1 egg
1 yellow cake mix (save 1 cup)
Mix together and spread in bottom of a 9x13 pan.

1 lg. can pumpkin
1 1/2 C. sugar
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Mix together and spread over bottom layer.

1 C. reserved cake mix
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C.butter
Mix with fork and sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min.

October 20, 2010

Zucchini Bars

My kids loved this recipe from Betty Crocker. A great way to use up that zucchini!

Zucchini Bars
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 C. shredded zucchini, drained
1/2 C. chopped nuts

Spice Frosting.
3/4 C. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
3-4 tsp. milk

Heat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of 8 or 9 inch square pan (or double and put in a 9x13 pan.) In a large bowl, mix brown sugar, butter, vanilla and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in zucchini and nuts. Spread in pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until done. cool completely, about 1 hour.

In a medium bowl, mix all frosting ingredients until smooth and spreadable. Spread frosting over bars. Cut into squares.

September 30, 2010

Great for Family Home Evening

Kids love taking turns shaking the bag to make yummy ice cream.

Ice Cream in a bag
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. milk
1 C. half and half

Put in a 1 Qt. bag and seal. Fold a piece of tape over the seal. Place the bag in a gallon size bag. Pack 1 C. or more of Crushed ice around the bag with ingredients. Pour 1 C. rock salt evenly over the ice. Seal the bag and shake for about 10 minutes. Wipe off inner bag to be sure salt water doesn't get in your ice cream. Cut a corner off the bag and squeeze into cups. Add fresh fruit or toppings as desired.
Chocolate Scotcheroos
1 C. light corn syrup
1 C. sugar
1 C. peanut butter
6 C. rice krispies or Cocoa Krispies
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 C. butterscotch chips

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Place corn syrup and sugar into a 3QT. saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and mix well. Add rice krispies and stir until well coated. press into pan and set aside.
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over bars. Let stand until firm. Cut into bars when cool and enjoy!

My Award winning recipe!

These take awhile to make, but they are SO worth it!

Chocolate Mint Brownies
1/2 C. butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs
1 C. flour

Mint frosting:
1/4 C. softened butter
1 1/2- 3 Tbsp. milk
Green food coloring
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

3/4 C. chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. butter

Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9" square pan. For the brownies, place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and 1 minute more.
Stir until smooth. In a seperate bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Stir in the chocolate and vanilla. Finally, stir in the flour and salt until combined. Pour into the prepared pan, then bake for 25 minutes or until done. cool for 1 hour.
To make mint frosting, cream the butter and powdered sugar. Add the milk 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until smooth and spreadable. Beat in the peppermint extract and food color to desired shade. Frost the cooled brownies, cover and chill for 1 hour.
To make chocolate topping, pour the chips into microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and microwave and stir until melted and smooth. Pour over brownies and smooth. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until the coating hardens. Bring the brownies to room temperature then cut.
Easiest Ever Pumpkin Cookies
also known as weight watchers pumpkin cookies... but shhhh! Don't tell the kids!

1 box spice cake mix
15 oz. can of pumpkin
1/ C. flour
1 pkg. chocolate chips

Blend first 3 ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350. for 10-12 minutes.
I've heard these called many names... I prefer No Bake!

No Bake Cookies
1 cube butter or margarine
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. cocoa
1/2 C. milk
combine and boil for 1 minute.
Stir in: 1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 C. peanut butter
3 C. quick oats
Mix and drop on wax paper. Let cool.

You can be creative with this recipe. We did them as Dinosaur Delight once and as we added ingredients we called them: Dirt(cocoa), Swamp water (green food color in the milk), Crushed Dino bones(sugar), Fat (butter), Squashed bugs(peanut butter), Dino tears (vanilla), and Dead grass (oatmeal).
Refrigerator Fudge Cookies
1 Can sweetened condensed milk
2 C. semi sweet chocolate chips
3 C. crushed graham crackers (about 48 squares)
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

In a microwave safe bowl, combine milk and chocolate chips. Microwave, uncovered for 1-2 minutes or until chips are melted. Stir until smooth. Stir in cracker crumbs, nuts and vanilla. Shape into a 17-inch log. Roll in powdered sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/4"slices.
Store in Refrigerator.

It's time for Eggnog!

Eggnog Pancakes
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C. eggnog
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 C. cooking oil

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a second bowl combine other ingredients. Stir eggnog mixture into flour mixture until slightly lumpy. Heat a lightly greased griddle over medium heat. For each pancake, pour 1/4 C. batter onto the griddle. Cook until golden, turn when tops are bubbly and edges are slightly dry.

I learned this recipe in my 8th grade cooking class!

For years, this was the Christmas morning tradition. My brothers would also request it for dinner often!
German Pancakes
6 eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1/ tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 450. Whip eggs until thick and lemon colored. Add milk, flour and salt. Melt butter in 9x13 pan. Pour batter into pan of melted butter. Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes. Top with powdered sugar and your favorite syrup.
It is fun to watch as it cooks, The sides grow!!
Cinnamon Roll Cake
1/2 C. butter, melted
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. grated orange peel
3/4 C. chopped pecans
1/3 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cans Grands cinnamon rolls with icing

Heat oven to 375. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix butter, brown sugar and orange peel. Pour into pan. Top with 1/2 c. of the pecans. Seperate dough into 10 rolls, cut each roll into quarters. In a small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar. Place dough in sugar mixture and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer in the pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or golden brown. Drop icing by teaspoonfuls over top of the cake. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Cool 10 minutes and cut into squares. Serve warm.
French Toast Waffles
4-6 slices bread
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, beaten slightly
1/2 C. milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Combine all ingredients, except the bread. Dip the slices into the mixture, coating both sides, but not drenching. Cook the french toast in a well oiled, hot waffle iron until crisp.
This recipe makes 4-6
Green Rice
1 C. chopped green onions
1 C. fresh parsley, minced (or use 1 tbsp. flakes)
4 1/2 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
4 1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
1 1/2 C. uncooked long grain rice
3 C. chicken broth
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf

In a saucepan, saute onions and parsley in oil and butter for 1 min. or tender. Add rice, cook covered over medium heat until rice is coated with oil and translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, cayenne and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Discard bay leaf.
A favorite from My Mom's Kitchen:

Cherry Salad
1 can Sweetened condensed milk
1 12-16 oz. cool whip, thawed
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
optional: chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix together and enjoy!
Jello Salad
12 oz.or larger Cool whip, thawed
small container of cottage cheese
Large package of orange jello
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can drained, crushed pineapple

Mix together and enjoy!

As close to Grandma's as I can get.

My Grandma Taylor makes the best potato salad, and I can never get the recipe from her....."oh, it's a little of this, and some of that."
This one I found is pretty close!

Potato Salad
1 C. miracle whip
1 tsp. mustard
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. salt
4 C. cubed, cooked potatoes (see note at end of recipe)
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 C. celery slices
1/2 C. chopped sweet pickle

Stir together miracle whip and spices. Add other ingredients. Mix and chill.

To cook potatoes: Put in pan, cover with water. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Peel and cube.
Creamy Poppyseed Pasta and Fruit Salad

4 C. Bowtie pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
12 oz. Chicken pieces, cooked and cubed
2 C. fresh strawberries, sliced
2 C. seedless red grapes, halved
2 C. Cantaloupe chunks
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. finely chopped mint leaves
3/4 C. poppyseed dressing

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 30 min.

September 5, 2010

Swirled Spice Loaves
2 C. flour
1 1/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 1/4 C. whipping cream
2 Tbsp. molasses
3 Tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon,nutmeg and cloves)

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat the eggs and cream; stir into dry ingredients until combined. Remove 1 1/2 C. batter to another bowl. Stir in the molasses, vanilla and spice until blended.
Spoon 1/4 of molasses batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Top each with 1/4 C. of plain batter. Repeat layers, and cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Cool.
Orange Knots
12 rhodes rolls, thawed but still cold
1 orange rind, grated
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 C. butter, melted

1 C. powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix grated orange rind with sugar. Roll each roll into a 9-inch rope. Tie in a loose knot. Roll each knot in melted butter and then in sugar mixture. Place on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size. Remove wrap. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack. brush with citrus glaze while still warm.
Kids have such big imaginations, so why not make dinner fun every once in awhile.
Use your imagination to create fun meals in a theme your kids will "eat right up". I got this recipe from parents magazine a few years ago.

Breadstick Snails
Spread 12 unbaked refrigerated breadsticks with 1/4 C. prepared pesto sauce. Roll each into a coil, curving one end under to make the head. Place snails upright on a baking sheet, secure with a toothpick, and bake at 375 for 10 minutes, or until golden. To serve, poke holes for antennae and insert two carrot slivers.
Raspberry Muffins
From my Sweet neighbor, Cindy Urban

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cube melted butter
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. frozen raspberries, slightly thawed

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Whisk eggs, milk, vanilla and butter together. Stir in dry ingredients (batter will be thick). Fold in berries. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Dip warm muffin tops in sugar.
Chocolate chip Pumpkin Bread
3 C. flour
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
2 C. sugar
2 C. cooked or canned pumpkin
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
Marachino Cherry Muffins
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. milk
1 egg
1 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 C. chopped, drained marachino cherries (save juice for glaze)
1/4 C. chopped almonds

1/2 C. powdered sugar
3-4 tsp. cherry juice

Heat oven to 400. Grease bottoms of 24 mini muffins or 12 regular sized muffins, or use muffin liners. Beat sugar, butter, milk and egg in medium bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until moistened. Fold in cherries and nuts. Divide between cups. Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pan. Drizzle cherry glaze over warm muffins.
I mixed a few recipes to come up with this one that we use now! I also make homemade noodles with this when I have time and I rarely have leftovers! I don't have amounts because I adjust for how much soup I am making.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken broth (either bouillion or canned)
Pepper, basil parsley to taste.
Bring to a boil. Add Cubed veggies such as carrots, celery and onion. Simmer until veggies are tender. Add cooked, diced chicken(leftovers are great in this). Add noodles and cook until noodles are done.
White Chicken Chili
From my sister Callie

1-2 cans of chicken broth
2 cans great northern white beans
1-2 cans diced green chilis
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 1 garlic clove
Chicken, cooked and diced
Onion, diced or minced flakes

Simmer in the crock pot on low all day. Serve with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
YUMMY! My kids request homemade noodles and soup quite often. I usually triple the recipe because my kids like them so much.

Homemade Egg Noodles
1 beaten egg
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 Tsp. salt
1 C. flour

Mix well. Add more flour or water as needed. Roll out and cut into strips. Cook in boiling water for 15 minutes.
This one is good for anytime, not just on St.Patricks Day. It is a great way to get the kids to eat some broccoli!

St. Paddys Pasta

1/2 C. parsley leaves
1 tsp. oil (olive is best)
1/4 C. prepared pesto
8 oz. mini rigatoni pasta
2 C. broccoli florets

In a food processor or blender, combine parsley and oil. Add pesto and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli to water for the last 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 3/4 C. of the cooking liquid. In the same saucepan, combine liquid and pesto mixture. Cook over medium heat 1 minute to warm. Remove from heat and stir in the pasta and broccoli.
Lemon Linguine

8 oz. linguine
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 C. parmesan cheese

In a pan, cook linguine in boiling water until tender. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine butter, lemon juice, basil and lemon pepper; cook and stir until butter is melted. Drain linguine; add to butter mixture and toss to coat. Add cheese and toss.
Mermaid Shells
2 C. large shell noodles
1 C. frozen carrots and peas, thawed
1/2 C. diced ham
1 Tbsp. butter
1 C. spaghetti sauce
1/4 C. half and half

Cook shells according to directions. Add veggies to water the last 3 minutes. Drain well; stir in ham and butter.
In a saucepan, heat spaghetti sauce over medium heat until warm. Stir in half and half and cook to heat through. Divide sauce among serving bowls and place veggie and ham filled pasta shells on top.

Chicken Roll ups

This is a recipe I got from my Mom. I have always loved these, and I'm glad my kids do as well.

Chicken Roll ups
2 C. cooked chicken, diced
6 oz. cream cheese (don't tell my hubby! shhhh!)
1/4 C. margarine, softened
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/4 c. onion, diced (optional... I use minced onion flakes)
1 egg, beaten
2 packages crescent rolls

1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can water or milk

Mix chicken, cream cheese and margarine. Season with salt and pepper. Add diced celery and onion. Unroll crescent rolls; Add a spoonful of mix to each roll and roll up, sealing the edges. Brush with a beaten egg. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Make gravy by warming up soup and water or milk.

15 Minute Herbed Chicken

This one is WAY easy to make, and I usually have all the ingredients on hand, and my kids love it!

15 Minute Herbed Chicken

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. milk
Herbs to taste (I use Parsley, oregano, salt and pepper)

In skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook for 8 minutes or until browned. Set chicken aside. Pour off fat. Add soup, milk and herbs and heat to a boil. Return chicken to pan and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

Blonde Brownies

Blonde Brownies
2/3 C. margarine, melted
2 C. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
2 lg. eggs
1 1/2 tbsp. water
2 3/4 C. flour
2 C. chocolate chips (mix white, semi, and milk chocolate)

Mix first 7 ingredients together, then add flour. Blend together. Add chocolate chips and stir. Spread into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 340 for 22-24 minutes, until brownies begin to slightly brown on the edges.

**Variation-- omit chocolate chips and frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.

August 25, 2010

This is the Place Park

So, this was a new one for all of us. We really enjoyed it! Right across from the Hogle Zoo is This is the Place park. WOW! So much to do, so much to see.
The entrace fee was $9 for adults and $7 for kids over 4. But it was SO worth it. With your admission you get a wrist band that has 3 boxes. When you do an activity they will cross off a box, so the kids had to choose activities wisely.... Plus, I gave them each one of my boxes... so they each did 4! Some activities don't take a box, so we still had lots to do.
Besides touring the old cabins and houses, Learning about different trades like tinsmithing, leather tanning, and cabinetry, we did many things.
There were crafts in some of the cabins, one cabin we learned about the pioneer children... what their chores were, what games they played, etc.
We also rode the train around, there is a petting zoo, panning for gold, a playground, Native american village, Ice cream and snow cone shop, old fashioned candy and toy store, pony rides, and so much more. We were there till close(5 p.m.) and still didn't have time to do it all. My kids all want to go again soon. Me too!! Next time though, we will take lots of water.... it was HOT!!

August 15, 2010

Health Contest

For the month of August, I am participating in 2 "Contests". The first is a deal with my Sister in law's that we would go all month without sweets! The second is a contest with my company, It is a month long health challenge. We get points for how much water we drink(up to 12 cups a day), how much exercise we get(up to 2 hours daily), how many fruits and veggies we eat (up to 10 a day), how much sleep we get(up to 8 hours daily). We subtract 5 points for every sweet or soda. The winners in the company will get cash prizes! I got myself a prize already though, Sketchers shapeups shoes, although I can't wear them until I make it through the month!
So, because I'm not eating sweets for one contest, I'm doing pretty good on the other! I'm posting this because, I challenged my girls to do one of the contests. Emmie gave up after the first day, but Kilee and I have now made it halfway through the month! It hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. I have had a few days where I've really had to focus on not eating sweets, but for the most part I am not even tempted. Kilee chose to do the "work" contest, so she has had a few days where she has had sweets, but she made sure she exercised for an hour those days to make up some points. If she has 700 points by the end of the month, I will pay her $20.00. She is really doing well, and we talked today about how after the month is over, we both know that we can do it, and we both have decided to only eat sweets occasionally!

July 20, 2010

Yummy snack --- anytime!!

I'm making a batch of this granola tomorrow to take on vacation with us! It is good on yogurt too, but we like to eat it by itself!

5 C. Oats
1 C. craisins
1 C. raisins
1 C. shredded coconut
1 C. slivered almonds
Mix with 1 C. honey
and 1/2 C. oil

Spread thin on a cookie sheet. Bake at 250 for 20 minutes. Then at 350 for 5 minutes. Then broil for 30 seconds. Let cool.

I was reminded of this one at Girls Camp.... MMMMM!

Buttermilk Syrup (or as my kids call it, Caramel Syrup)
From My Neighbor Karen Bell

Make in a big Pot:
Melt 1 cube butter
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. buttermilk
dash salt
Boil for 1 minute. Watch closely or it will boil over!!Remove from heat.
Whisk in 1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. maple flavor
1 tsp. baking soda

When you add the soda, the syrup amount will triple.

July 16, 2010

Cool Down with these!

Orange Julius
6 oz. Frozen orange juice concentrate
1 C. cold milk
1 C. cold water
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
12 ice cubes

Blend in blender and enjoy!

Chocolate Malt Peppermint Cooler
3 C. chocolate milk
1 qt. vanilla or chocolate ice cream
1/4 C. malted milk powder
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
crushed peppermint sticks

In a blender, place chocolate milk, 1/2 of the ice cream, malted milk powder, peppermint extract, and cinnamon. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses. Top each drink with a scoop of remaining ice cream and sprinkle with crushed candy.

Ice Cream in a Bag
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp.vanilla
1 C. milk
1 C. half and half
crushed ice
rock salt

Put into a 1-Qt. bag and seal. Fold a piece of tape over the seal. Place the bag in a gallon size bag. Pack 1 C. or more of crushed ice around the bag with the ingredients. Pour 1 C. rock salt evenly over the ice. Seal the bag and shake for about 10 minutes. Wipe off inner bag to be sure salt water doesn't get in the ice cream. Cut a corner off the bag and squeeze into cups.
*This is great for Family Home Evening treats. Pass the bag around during the lesson and let everyone have a turn shaking it!

June 26, 2010

Hike to Stewart Falls

My kids, My friend Marci, and I all hiked to Stewart Falls yesterday. The kids did really well. It is about 4 miles round trip, so I was worried we wouldn't make it all the way. But they were troopers. They couldn't wait to tell Dad all about the awesome waterfall! They even said we should do it again with Dad!!
If you have never been.... You can get there through American Fork or Provo canyon. If you go through AF, then just follow the signs for the Alpine loop, if you go through Provo canyon turn towards Sundance. Look for the Aspen Grove parking lot and there is the trail. Beautiful scenery, Awesome waterfall, and plenty of bonding time! The mist from the waterfall was refreshing and the kids had fun playing in the water before heading back. Fun day!!

June 21, 2010

Grilled Cheesy Ham Packets

We made this for dinner last night, and it was Yummy!! I got this recipe from

Grilled Cheesy Ham Packets
1 slice cooked ham, 1/2" thick, cut into 4 pieces (I used small ham steaks!)
2 cups refrigerated new potato wedges
20 oz. Frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cheese, thawed
1 C. Shredded cheddar cheese

Heat grill**. Cut 4 (8x12") sheets of foil. Place ham piece in center of each. Top evenly with potatoes and vegetable mixture. Bring up foil sides so edges meet. Seal edges, making a tight fold, allowing space on sides for heat circulation and expansion.
Place packets, seam side up, on grill. Cover grill; cook over medium heat for 18-23 minutes, rearranging several times during cooking, until potatoes and veggies are tender. Carefully open packets and allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with cheese, close and let stand for 1-2 minutes.

**Or do in oven at 450. Place packets on a cookie sheet and remember to rotate.

June 15, 2010

Malibu Wraps

This is a Pampered Chef Recipe that we love. It's a good break from a sandwich for lunch!

Malibu Wraps
Get a spinach tortilla, spread with a mixture of cream cheese spread and pineapple preserves. Layer with spinach leaves, turkey slices (lunchmeat or deli sliced), cheese (provolone or colby-jack are good), cucumber slices, carrot slices, sprouts, and red bell pepper slices. Roll up and serve.

Beef Stroganoff Sandwich

We love this one on summer nights!

Beef Stroganoff Sandwich
2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 loaf french bread
butter or margarine, softened
2 C. sour cream
2 tomatoes,diced
1 lg. green bell pepper, diced (opt.)
3 C. shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown ground beef and onion. Drain. Add spices. Cut bread lengthwise in half, butter both halves and place on baking sheet. Remove meat from heat, add sour cream. Spoon onto bread. Sprinkle with tomatoes, green pepper and cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
*NOTE* If you have picky eaters, you can leave off the tomatoes and green pepper. I do one side of the bread with them and one side without!

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole
2 lbs. ground beef
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 pkg. (20 oz.) frozen crinkle cut fries

In a skillet, brown the beef and drain. Stir in the soups. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Arrange fries on top. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 50-55 minutes, or until fries are golden brown.

June 13, 2010

Lasagna Toss

This is not a pretty lasagna, but it is fast and easy, and the only one my kids will eat.

Lasagna Toss
1 lb. ground beef
2 c. green peppers, chopped (optional)
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 2/3 c. water
1/4 c. Italian dressing
12 lasagna noodles, broken into quarters
1 c. mozzarella, shredded

Brown meat in a large saucepan on Medium heat, drain. Add peppers, sauce, water and dressing; bring to a boil. stir in noodles; reduce heat to medium low. Cover.
Cook, Stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes or noodles are tender. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover: let stand 5 min.

Lemon chicken

Lemon Chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tsps. dijon mustard (regular works too)
1 1/2 tsps. garlic powder
8 lg. carrots,thickly sliced (Or use baby carrots)
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
8 c. egg noodles
grated parmesan cheese

In a Crock-Pot, mix soup, water, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, and carrots. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Cook noodles according to package directions. Serve over noodles and sprinkle with cheese.

June 11, 2010

Taco Soup

Taco Soup
Brown 1 lb. ground beef and drain.
Add: 1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1/2 bag frozen corn
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes (blended, if preferred)
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. ranch dressing mix

Cook and stir until heated through. Top with grated cheese, chips, or sour cream.

Baked Potato Soup

Since it's cold enough for soup today... Yes, it is June! I thought I would post one of our favorite EASY soup recipes.

Baked Potato Soup
1 lb. potatoes (about 5) peeled and cubed
1 can chicken broth
1 c. milk
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp. chopped green onions
1/4 c. sour cream

Place potatoes in a large microwavable bowl; cook on high 5 minutes stirring after 2 1/2 minutes. Add broth and milk to bowl; stir. Cook 10 minutes, stirring after 5. Crush potatoes with a potato masher. Reserve 2 tbsp. of each of the bacon and cheese and 1 tbsp. of onions for topping, set aside. Add remaining bacon, cheese and onions to soup. Serve topped with reserved toppings and the sour cream.

Good workout at home

I got this out of "Shape" magazine 2 years ago. Hadn't tried it. Until today. As a mom, it's hard to find the time to work out. This took 30 minutes, well a little longer because I had to pause and breathe..., It took no equipment, except my body and a jumprope. It about killed me, but I loved it and will do it again. My kids had fun too, they didn't last the whole workout, but they did some here and there.

Time(min.) what to do
0-2 march in place
2-4 jumping jacks
4-5 speed skater
5-7 jump rope
7-8 crunches
8-9 jump rope
9-14 repeat minutes 4-9
14-15 squats
15-17 jump rope
17-18 push-ups
18-20 jump rope
20-26 repeat minutes 14-20
26-28 jumping jacks
28-30 march in place

Wow! Did you love it?

May 30, 2010

Kit Kat Bars

These were good the night we made them, but were even better the next day! The Ritz Crackers surprised me, but they turned out yummy!

Kit Kat Bars

Ritz Crackers
1 1/2 C. graham crackers, crushed
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 C. white sugar
3/4 C. butter or margarine
1/3 C. milk
1 C. butterscotch chips
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 C. peanut butter

Put Graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, white sugar, butter and milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Put a layer of ritz crackers in a 9x13 pan and pour 1/2 of the mixture over it. Put another layer of ritz crackers and pour the remaining mixture. Add one last row of crackers.
Melt, over low heat, the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. When melted, spread evenly over the top. When cool, cut into desired bars or squares.


If you've been to Wendy's, you know what I'm talking about. Here's the recipe to make your own at home, anytime.

1 c. Milk
1/2 C. Nestle's Quik
3 C. softened vanilla ice cream (place in refrigerator for 1 hour)

Blend milk and Quik for 10 seconds on high speed. "Pulse" in the ice cream until barely mixed.

May 28, 2010

3 Musketeers

These took time to make, but were SO worth it! They will definately be made again at our house! You will need a candy thermometer and a good mixer for this recipe!

3 Musketeers Bars

3 Cups granulated sugar
3/4 Cup light corn syrup
3/4 Cup water
1/8 tsp. salt
3 Egg whites
1/3 C. semisweet chocolate chips
24 oz. Milk chocolate chips (2 bags)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Heat, stirring, to boiling, then continue to cook using a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Beat the egg whites (Do not use a plastic bowl!) until they are stiff and form peaks. When the sugar solution comes to 270 degrees, or the soft-crack stage, remove from the heat and pour the mixture in thin streams into the egg whites, blending completely with a mixer set on low speed.
Continue to mix until the candy begins to harden to the consistency of dough. This may take as long as 20 minutes! At this point add the semisweet chocolate chips. Remember that the candy must already be at the consistency of dough when you add the chocolate; the nougat will thicken no more after the chocolate is added.
When the chocolate is thoroughly blended and the nougat has thickened, press it into a greased 9x9 pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut the candy in half down the middle of the pan. Then cut across into 7 segments to create a total of 14 bars. (we ended up cutting those even smaller because they were so rich!)
Melt the milk chocolate chips in the microwave for 2 minutes on HALF power, stirring halfway through the heating time. Melt completely, but be careful not to overheat. Resting a bar on a fork, or using your fingers, dip each bar into the chocolate to coat completely and place on wax paper. Cool until firm at room temperature, 1-2 hours.

Tulip Tye-Die Kit

What better way to start summer vacation than Tye-dying shirts? I have never made one before and wanted to try. I bought a "Tulip Tie-Dye Kit" at Walmart for about $10.00, and some plain white shirts( $2-3 each). We did this outside to minimize the mess! We had so much fun doing this project!
The kit said it would Dye up to 8 shirts, and we did 7! The kit came with 3 colors, rubber bands, plastic gloves and instructions that shows you how to do many different kinds of shirts. We really enjoyed this project, It was pretty GROOVY!