Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pink Cloud Cake

Image by Pink Sherbert Photography

I have never made this recipe before however I am planning to make it for my family on Valentines day.

Have any of you tried it and did you like it?

To me I think it sound really good!  :)

Pink Cloud Cake

Ingredients:
  * 3 packages (3 oz. size) Jello
  * 2 cups boiling water
  * 2 packages (10 oz. size) frozen strawberries, partially thawed
  * 1 angel food bar cake, broken into bite-size pieces
  *  Cool Whip

Directions:
Dissolve Jello in water; add strawberries. Beat for 4 minutes. Add cake to Jello
mixture pour into mold. Chill until set.  Top with cool whip and serve!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 1/24/11





Last weeks Menu plan went pretty well, there was only a slight change.  Emeri started getting sick on Wednesday and by Friday she had a fever that would not calm down at all.  So Friday afternoon we headed to the clinic.  She was tested for numerous things and in the end it is just a bad virus that is going around.  Well by the time we sat in the clinic then I took her home while I went and got medicine I was exhausted.  It was already almost 5 so I talked to my hubby and we decided getting pizza delivered was a smart choice.

Emeri took her meds and slept all evening and through the night.  Hubby, Jonah and I got comfy on the couch, munched on pizza and watched t.v. together.  A great ending to a rough few days.

 So Saturday I cooked Friday's meal and Thursday I cooked Saturday's meal and didn't cook Thursday's  at all so it will be going on this weeks menu.

Emeri finally stopped running fever yesterday and today she has gone to school.  She is tired and still a little congested but the worst is over.

So here is the plan for this week:

Breakfast:  Eggs, Cold Cereal, Toast, Fruit, Yogurt

Lunches:  PB&J, Lunch Meat Sandwiches, Grilled Cheese, pretzels, granola bars, yogurt, cheese, fruit

Dinners:





Monday:  Black Bean and Cheese Burritos

Tuesday:  Lentil Soup

Wednesday: Best Ever Potatoes

Thursday:  Homemade Mac & Cheese

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday:  Homemade Waffles with Strawberries and Whipped Cream

Sunday:  Sandwiches

Most of the dinners will include fruit, veggie and possibly bread if needed

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Spotlight 1/23/11














Image by The Nature of Things

Every week I find myself browsing blogs and coming across some wonderful posts.  I love being inspired by decorating, remodeling, sewing, cooking and more.  Here are the posts that really stood out to me this past week.


1) Love Rosella's Bedroom Makeover at Rosella's Lane

2) Sonya from Beyond the Screen Door has a Baked Potato Soup recipe that has my mouth watering.

3) Krista at While he Was Napping whipped up some yummy looking Double Chocolate Kiss Cookies

4) Emily at The Boy Trifecta has crocheted an adorable Dino Spike Hat for her little one  and it is oh so cute!

5) Finally I really like Lindy's Valentine Candy Bouquets at Itsy Bitsy Paper

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Romantic Getaway in Branson

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.

In less than 2 weeks my husband and I will be celebrating our 17th wedding  anniversary.  We got married only 10 days shy of Valentines day.  Every year we plan some kind of over night stay and the girls stay all night with their Grandma.  We try to stay somewhere close especially if it is only one night, so neighboring states will do.  This year I have no idea what we are doing.  Our anniversary falls on Friday night which is perfect.  My husband is making plans and to me they will be a surprise.

The Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing is having a special "Romance Package" for the entire month of February and they have a special Valentine's Menu that is to die for.  Everything about the meal looks so appetizing but the dessert is really calling my name. Who wouldn't enjoy  Askinosie Chocolate Butter Cake with Grand Marnier Infused Whipped Cream and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Yum!  Maybe if my hubby reads this he will check it out for my surprise!  ;)

So what does this Romance package entail?  In-room sparkling wine upon your arrival.  Full American breakfast for 2 in your room or in the hotel's designated restaurant.  Early check-in and late check-out.  If you are staying more than one night there is a food discount at the hotel's designated restaurant.  All of these items are great however the thing that most intrigues me is the breakfast in bed! What mom wouldn't LOVE to have someone taking care of them for a change.

A stay at the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel would definitely make for a romantic and luxurious Anniversary, Valentines, "insert any special occasion" getaway.  Why not check it out and surprise your Sweetheart with a romantic trip!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pizza

Chicken Pesto Pizza on Right
















Chicken Pesto Pizza

12″ premade pizza crust
1 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts diced and cooked through in a small amount of olive oil in a skillet
Classico Pesto with Basil
1 bag shredded Mozzarella
Marinated Artichoke Hearts

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (
  2. Spread pesto sauce over the pizza crust. Arrange chicken pieces and artichoke hearts over the sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and lightly browned at the edges.




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Husbands New Office

I thought I had a before, before picture but I can't seem to find it now.  When you come in our back door you can either go down the stairs to the basement or up a few stairs to the kitchen door.  Previously there was a small open landing where we had our laundry and I had a tall shelf for pantry items.  There was no wall closing it in and I just had a ceiling to floor curtain hiding it.

  
My Brother in Law built this wall and put in a door.


He then put up this small L shaped desk.  This is a super small room but will serve it's purpose.


We did not want to lose any windows,  we wanted every bit of outside light we could get.


Here is the view looking out the office door.  To the right is the kitchen door and the stairs take you to the back door.  Since we have the new built in area I will eventually have to repaint but it will be after some bedroom remodel.


I painted the walls and ceiling Silver Dust.  I found a small Oops paint at Walmart that was so dark grey it is almost black.  I used it to paint some accents in the room.  I finished with 2 coats of Poly on the desk top.

My hubby wants a large cork board in that empty space on the left.


I initially thought I would get some kind of blinds for the windows but hubby says he dosen't want the windows covered.  

I also painted that small section of countertop to match the desk.  As you can see he was already moving stuff in.  :)



We also still need some kind of rug/carpet in there but at least it is a workable space.


Domestically Speaking


Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 1/17/11

Last weeks menu went well.   Saturday and Sunday got switched around but other than that I followed it.


Our least favorite meal of the week was the Potato, Broccoli and Cheese Soup.  I followed this recipe and then added a bag of broccoli.  It wasn't terrible however we have had several potato soups that were so much yummier.


Here is our Menu for this week:

Breakfasts:  Eggs, Oatmeal, Toast, Fruit

Lunch:  PB&J Sandwiches, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Yogurt, Pretzels, Fruit, Boiled Eggs

Dinner:

Monday:  Easy Black Beans & Rice

Tuesday:  Cheesy Scrambled Eggs & Toast

Wednesday:  Burrito Casserole (with some adaptations)

Thursday: Lentil Soup

Friday:  Eggs, Biscuits, Hashbrowns & Gravy

Saturday:  Spaghetti & Garlic Bread

Sunday:  Sandwiches

Dinner meals will include some type of veggie and fruit, also possibly a bread.

Linked to:  I am an Organizing Junkie , Homemaker Monday

Friday, January 14, 2011

Frugal Tip Friday: Picture Frames

*I LOVE to display pictures and create art using picture frames.  However those frames can really get pricey.

*I make it a point to keep my eye out for great clearanced prices on picture frames.  It dosen't matter if the color is not what I am looking for, I can change that.  A little Krylon goes a long way!  ;)

*I have even bought white wood frames that had some paint scratched off that were on clearance for $1 a piece.  I personally liked the roughed up look!

*When you find a great deal buy as many as you need, can afford, or think you may need/want later!

Here is my most recent frame find:

When I was grocery shopping last week I decided to stop in at Kmart and see if they had any Christmas clearance.  The only thing I found were some white 8X10 frames that were part of the "winter" collection marked down to $1.24 a piece.  Since I still hadn't displayed any of the girls pics from their fall photo shoot I knew I better get some frames.

The frames were very hard and through the packaging I thought they were wood.  Then I opened them and thought they were metal at first but finally realized they were solid hard plastic.  I bought 10 because you just never know when you might need one.  :)

I started with 3, took them apart and sprayed the with some Krylon Fusion black gloss that I happened to have around here.  Two coats and they were ready to go. 


After I had the girls pictures made I had printed half a dozen 8X10's but I wasn't sure which ones I was going to use....at least for now.



The wooden 10X13 frames are about 6 or 7 years old and next to the newly painted ones they look faded. 

So next I will take those down and give them a fresh coat of paint.  After that I think I will replace the girls '07 pics that are in them with one of my favorite baby pics of each of them.

I really LOVE the photos I printed from their fall photo shoot!  :)







This one is sitting on top of our 6ft tall entertainment center.


I still have 7 more pictures frames, 2 will be used in my hubby's new office which is coming up soon.  I am working really hard to finish all the painting in there so I can post before and afters.

3 of them will be used so I can display the girls White Christmas pictures.  Where am I going to display them?  Well it is a secret I am not quite ready to tell yet.  You will just have to wait and see!  :)  That will only leave me with 2 more frames.  Hmm, I am already wondering if 10 was enough.......

Linked to: Along for the Ride

Hump Day link Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chicken Fajitas












Chicken Fajitas

1TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Lg Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 pkg Whole Wheat Tortillas
Fajita Seasoning packet
Minced Garlic
Shredded Cheese
Salt & Pepper
  1. Season thawed chicken breasts with S&P on both sides.
  2. In large skillet, brown chicken breasts in oil until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet.
  3.  In the same skillet, saute onions and peppers until browned. (You may have to add a little more oil or cooking spray).
  4. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute.
  5. Add fajita seasoning and water per package.
  6. Slice chicken and add to skillet.
  7. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through.
  8. Serve fajita mixture on warm tortillas with toppings (shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.).
Linked to:  A Little Lovely , A Vision to Remember,Paisley Passions

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Purchase Bright Beginnings Formula Online

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

Formula is one of the most expensive things next to diapers when you have an infant, unless you are blessed and able to breast feed.  I was not and had 2 daughters with formula issues.  The oldest was allergic to milk and soy and she ended up trying nearly every formula available by the time she was 8 months.  It was outrageously expensive and there were no store brand formulas that we could could even consider trying.  My youngest was born a few weeks early and had a problem with digesting her formula during her first few month.  She was put on a "Gentle" formula which worked for her but was nearly as expensive as the first formula. 

Bright Beginnings offers FDA regulated formula that is nutritionally equivalent to the big national brands but dosen't cost you an arm and a leg.  And now they have made Bright Beginnings even more accessible to busy families.   You can buy on diapers.com and have it delivered right to your door step.  All orders over $49 qualify for FREE 1-2 day shipping.  Right now they have a discount where you can save $6 when you purchase a 6 pack of Bright Beginnings Formula with an instant eCoupon.

Don't forget to "Like" Bright Beginnings on Facebook  so you can keep up to date on all the new things going on with their products and connect with other parents like you.

Visit Sponsor's Site

What Are You Making for Game Day?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

I post a lot of recipes on here, most of which are super easy to make.  My family loves to eat and I love to feed them frugally and simply.  Something you probably don't know about my family is that my husband and daughters are hot sauce fanatics.  They put hot sauce on nearly everything.  I used to be afraid to even try  TABASCO® Original Red because I am not what you would call a fan of the spice however after watching my loved ones ooh and aah over the taste of everything with the hot sauce I gave in a little.

So I began by adding Tabasco to my basic chili recipe:

1lb Ground Beef

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 cans beans (drained and rinsed)  we prefer black.

1 packet chili seasoning

Tabasco Original Red to taste

Brown beef in skillet and drain excess fat.  Add 2 cans of tomatoes with juices,  add drained beans, Tabasco and chili seasoning.  Add water to the pot, enough to cover all the ingredients by an inch or two.  Bring to a boil then turn down on low.  Cover pot and simmer as long as you have time.  I personally love to simmer my chili for hours.  The longer it simmers the better it tastes.

My recipe is super simple but it is a crowd pleaser.  I have made my chili for many guests who loved it. 

The Super Bowl is right around the corner and I am sure many of you will be having company.  Are you looking for some easy and delicious recipes to serve that day?  Check out the Game-Day Party Menu for some great party recipes. I am sure you will be able to find something to make that day a little extra special. 

If pizza is what your friends and family are after then I suggest you check out the Pizza Perfected page where you can get some awesome ideas on how to make any kind of pizza perfect.

We are personally a Pizza family,  I think we could live on pizza and never get tired of it.  I do have to admit though, I have never tried Tabasco on my pizza yet.  My kids (and hubby) on the other hand love it.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Our Tennessee Christmas Vacation: Knoxville Zoo

The first 2 days of our vacation were spent watching movies at the Condo.  The roads weren't great and some of the places we wanted to visit were still getting snow.  So on 12/28 we decided to head to the Knoxville Zoo.  We have been to the Zoo (several different zoos) during the summer but never in the winter and this was the first time we had been to Knoxville Zoo.

It was great to get out and do something after being cooped up for 2 days.  Plus the Zoo was 1/2 off for the winter.

Not all of the animals came out and most of the ones that did come out stayed behind their glass.  Only a couple actually ventured out to their habitat.  Still it was fun!


I had a very difficult time trying to take pictures through the glass, a lot of them didn't come out but I will share a few that came out pretty good.



This little Red Panda cub was only 6 months old.  It was adorable.














The Macaw's were out in the cold and they were going crazy.  They were so loud at one point one of the squawked and startled me and I dropped my new camera.  Whoops!












This Elephant came out and stood facing the sun.  It began swinging it's head back and forth over and over with it's trunk swinging wildly.  It was pretty funny, it looked as though it was doing some kind of dance of joy in the sun.













 The Zebra's were not afraid to be out in the cold.  There were a few roaming around.


We spent about 2 1/2 - 3 hours at the Zoo that day.   It made for a very fun afternoon.

Afterward we had dinner at a 5 Guys Burgers and Fries and it was yummo!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 1/10/11



Last weeks menu plan went pretty well, a couple days got switched around and on Sunday we opted for Subway. 

My favorite meal of the week was the Salsa Chicken Soft Tacos! Yummo.  I could eat Tacos, Burritos or Pizza everyday.  :)

Now for this weeks menu plan:





Breakfasts:  Will be Oatmeal, Eggs, Fruit, Juice, Milk

Lunches will be PB&J, Grilled Cheese, yogurt, fruit, pudding, granola bars

Dinners will be:

Monday:  Lentil & Rice Burritos

Tuesday:  Potato, Broccoli & Cheese Soup (recipe to come)

Wednesday:  Mac & Cheese Florentine

Thursday:  Waffles and Homemade Cinnamon Syrup

Friday:  We are having company and I haven't decided what I will cook yet.  I will be making dinner and dessert.

Saturday:  Lentil Chili , served with tortilla chips, shredded cheese and sourcream (so good!)

Sunday:  Grilled Cheese and Chips

All meals will be accompanied by some type of fruit/veggie, some will also have bread.

Linked to:  I am an Organizing Junkie , Homemaker Monday

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Spotlight: 1/9/2011














Image by The Nature of Things

This week Show & Tell had an awesome tutorial on How to Glaze Furniture

I am in Love with Decor Allure's Basement Remodel,  I need to invite them over to do ours!

Little Girl Tiffany Blue has a super cute Powder Room Remodel

I love Turquoise and I really love Uniquely Chic's Turquoise Vanity Makeover

Mommy Tools has a super delicous looking Homemade Chicken Pie tutorial,  I however would have to exchange the Mushroom soup for something else.

I am always a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate which is why I am dying to try out Hoosier Homeade's Peanut Butter Brownies. Yummo!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Tennessee Christmas Vacation: The Condo

It was truly an adventure getting to Tennessee.  We left Christmas day just a little after 2pm.  The snow had stopped coming down here and the sun was out, we got on the interstate and everything looked pretty good.  The roads were cleared but there was beautiful snow left all along the sides and in the trees.

We had about a 5 1/2 hour drive however it ended up taking us more like 7.  All was well until we got into Tennessee and the snowing had started back up.  It wasn't real bad but it was dark and nobody seemed to want to slow down except us and a couple cars right behind us.

Because my hubby didn't know the area and Tennessee is quite hilly we took it slow.  As we went a long we saw car after car off the side of the road.  There were ambulance, police and fire truck sirens going off way too often.  During that last couple hours on the interstate there were 7 wrecks just on our side of the road.

Once we got to our destination we realized that Lake Tansi was really out in the country which was fine except that it was snowy, slick and almost 9 at night.  :)  We did make it safely to our section of condos.  We stayed in a basic 2 bedroom condo, nothing real fancy but much better than being in a hotel.  We got a last minute Vacation at EVRentals.com and paid only $399 plus tax for a 7 night stay.
















































The best part was this view we had right out the sliding glass door. We were right on the lake! :)  Stayed tuned....there is more to come about our Christmas Vacation!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Spicy Chicken Tacos















Spicy Chicken Tacos

We made a few changes but you can check out the original recipe here.
You will need:

Salsa
salt
garlic
cumin
canola oil
Chicken breast
sour cream
green pepper
onion
cilantro (we used dried)
tomato
tortillas
cheese (we used mexican shredded, I had no idea what the other stuff was)
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F Wrap tortillas in foil and bake until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until very hot. Add chicken and cook, stirring until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring, until they start to brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring, until peppers are bright green but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Stir in salsa and reserved chicken. Cook, stirring, until chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Spoon into warmed tortillas and garnish cheese tomatoes and sour cream.



There were great! We love any kind of Tacos or burritos.

Linked to: Life as Lori, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Our White Christmas 2010

Christmas Eve was beautiful around here!  We had not had a white Christmas in many, many years and of course the Christmas we plan a vacation it snows.  :)

So with the snow coming down I took the girls out in their new hats and coats and we got some great snow pics.

Afterward we went to my Mom's for food and presents.  My sisters and their husbands and kids were all there.  It


was so much fun.  I love watching all the kiddos opening there gifts with such excitement.

Once we got home we let our girls go ahead and open their gifts from us because Christmas morning was going to be super busy.  We did a small Christmas this year, 5 gifts each for the girls.  Hubby and I didn't exchange "gifts" at all, our family gift was the vacation and that was the best Christmas Gift.

On Christmas morning we had to get ready, pack a few last minute items, get our dog Lily ready to go to my sisters and then we left our house at 11.  After dropping Lily at my sister's we went to my Grandparent's house for lunch with all the family. 

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day lunch with family and by a little after 2pm we were on the road to Tennessee.  Not everything went as planned on our Christmas Vacation however we still had a great time together.

Right now I am still going through tons of pictures from Christmas and our vacation but very shortly I will be getting together a few posts about our trip.

So I am curious to know...how many of you had a White Christmas?



Linked to: Sweet Shot Tuesday

Monday, January 3, 2011

Spiced Roasted Chicken Breast















Spiced Roasted Chicken Breast
(we doubled this recipe)

  • 2 chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Pat chicken dry. Stir together spices, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and rub evenly all over chicken. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in an ovenproof heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to middle of oven and roast chicken, skin side up, until just cooked through, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add water to pan and deglaze over high heat, scraping up brown bits. Pour pan juices over chicken.

This is a great recipe and simple to make!  Everyone in our home really enjoyed it.

Linked to: Someday Crafts, Somewhat Simple, Beyond the Picket Fence


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 1/3/2011



2011 is going to be the year that I get at least a quite a bit more organized.  I am not looking for perfection but I am planning on really starting to get things in order.

So the first thing I am bringing back is my menu plan.  Over the past year I have menu planned off and on.  Sometimes I physically write it out, other times I just try and remember what my intentions are and that dosen't always work out.  I know that when I plan I am less likely to call my husband up at work and ask him to bring home take out.  I also know that when I plan I am less stressed out.

So here is my first menu plan of the year!


Breakfast:  This week we will be having oatmeal or eggs and turkey bacon.  Juice or milk to drink.
Lunch:  Choice of soup, PB&J Sandwiches, Grilled Cheese, crackers, yogurt, pudding


Dinners:

Monday:  Baked Balsamic Chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli
Tuesday: Taco Soup
Wednesday:  Salsa Chicken Soft Tacos and Corn
Thursday: Grilled Turkey Bacon and Cheese Sandwiches and Homemade Fries
Friday:  Pizza or Take out
Saturday: Brown Rice and Lentil Casserole, Broccoli and Cheese
Sunday:  Soup and Sandwiches

My goal for menu planning is not to be elaborate (trying 5 new recipes in one week).  I just want to get my family fed with less stress and try at least one new recipe every week or 2.

Linked to: I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Burrito Casserole

Buritto Casserole
 
Ingredients
  • 8 small (fajita-size) flour tortillas
  • 2 cups refried beans
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups store bought salsa (medium for a spicier taste)
  • Optional: 1 minced fresh jalapeno pepper (we didn't use the jalapeno)
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
 
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut 5 of the flour tortillas into strips, about 1/2 inches in width and set aside. Line the bottom of a 9 by 13 casserole dish with the remaining flour tortillas. Spread an even layer of refried beans over the tortillas.
  2. In a large skillet heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and beef to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes; breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it is no longer pink. Pour off and discard any excess liquid, stir in the salsa.
  3. Spread meat mixture over the refried beans, sprinkle on optional jalapeno peppers. Top with tortilla strips and sprinkle on cheddar cheese. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until cheese has melted, about 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and chopped avocado on the side.

Linked to: These Creative Juices, Not Just a Housewife, Blue Cricket Design