Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chocolate Covered Strawberries


During Valentine's Day weekend, my husband and boys had gone skiing. My daughter came in from college to visit.  We had a fun weekend together - just cooking, going to basketball games, watching movies, and visiting. 

I had been at Sam's Club on the 13th, and they had HUGE long, stemmed strawberries for sale, and were giving out samples of chocolate covered strawberries. You could tell they were really gearing up for Valentine's sales.  There were flowers everywhere, these strawberries, candy, and steaks!  It was a one-stop place to get things to show your love and affection for your mate or boyfriend/girlfriend, for sure!

So these strawberries sat on the counter, just waiting for some chocolate, until Saturday.  Lauren used a few King sized Hershey bars, melted them, and coated the.  They dried for a little while, then we ate them - ALL.  Ohhhhh, they were delicious.  And healthy, too! :)

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Sausage Muffins

I haven't made these myself, yet, but have had people (that I trust! :) say that they are really good!  You can just kind of tell that they would be by what is in them.

SAUSAGE MUFFINS

1 cup of Bisquick
1 pound cooked sausage
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese

Grease muffin tin.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine ingredients. Mix well.  Divide batter into the muffin tin wells. Bake for about 20 minutes.
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Upcycled Coffee Containers

(Photo from Hometalk)

Possibly one of the cutest upcycle projects EVER!!!  The instructions can be found HERE.  One of the problems some have mentioned about this project is that the can't get the coffee smell out of the containers.  On her Facebook page, the author had several comments from a readers that said how to do rid them of the smell.  I would do the vinegar suggestions.  I use vinegar for lots of things - especially for cleaning.

1.  Soak over night in apple cider vinegar, then put newspapers inside overnight and in two nights the coffee smell should be gone.

2. Empty them out. Fill with vinegar and water. Let set for 20-30 minutes.  Rinse and dry. Any smell should be gone.

3.  Someone else suggested putting baking soda in them to absorb the smell.

The only problem I see with this craft, is that we don't drink coffee, BUT there are millions and millions of people who do, so you and I should be able to get these containers without problem.  In fact, my husband was gone for a few days, so I was in charge of feeding the goats and pigs.  It just so happens that he uses these containers for some of their feed supplements!  So he has a source somewhere!  I'll just have to find out from him where....or sneak a few feed containers from him! Ha ha!  Not really. They don't have lids....otherwise, I just might! :)
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Slow Cooker Breakfast Burritos

Last Wednesday morning, we fed the high school girls and boys a breakfast.  It is hard to get up early (for me, anyway) and cook everything that day, so I did as much as possible the day and night before.

One new thing I tried - and liked - was making a layered casserole breakfast dish in my Crock Pot (slow cooker....might not even be the real "Crock Pot" brand, but that's what I call it, anyway!).  The layers cooked well, and I just stirred them up and made it ready-to-scoop into warmed flour tortillas.

SLOW COOKER BREAKFAST BURRITOS
1 pkg. (26-32 oz.) shredded hash browns
1 to 1 1/2 pounds sausage, cooked and drained
(*Note: I cooked some plain, then some with onions and peppers for the second Crock Pot)
12 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 lb. shredded cheddar cheese (4 cups)

Grease the inside of your slow cooker. Spread hash browns in the bottom, leveling the layer.  Add cooked sausage.  Add cheddar cheese layer Crack eggs into medium bowl.  Add milk, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until mixed well. Pour over cheese.  Bake on low for 6-8 hours.  After about 6 hours, I stirred the mixture (since it WAS going in burritos).  I had a larger Crock Pot that had a little bit more of each ingredient, so it needed to cook a little more. I turned it up to high for an hour.  The smaller Crock Pot, with these ingredients, was done, but I left it on low for the remaining time.  I stirred it, as well.



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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Desserts with Twinkies

Thanks to blog reader, Marsha, for sending me this clever, cute, and pretty idea!

VALENTINE TWINKIE HEARTS

3 tablespoons seedless red raspberry jam
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 Twinkies snack cakes

Stir jam and 1 tablespoon water in a bowl until smooth. Add raspberries; toss gently to coat.
Cut Twinkies in half diagonally, starting about 1 inch down from top left to 1 inch from bottom of opposite side. For each heart, put 2 halves together on 1 serving plate. Sppon raspberry mixture over and around hearts. Garnish with mint, if desired.

And while we're talking about Twinkies, look at these cute Valentine treats - MINIONS!!  Visit HERE for directions!

And, finally....an original recipe I created....."Strawberries & Cream Twinkie Cake"

Strawberries and Cream Twinkie Cake
14 Twinkies (One box has 10, so you'll need 2 boxes)
2 small boxes (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 - 10 ounce containers of frozen strawberries in syrup (drained, but reserve juice if desired for topping)
1 cup sour cream
1 large carton whipped cream

Layer Twinkies in the bottom of 9 x 13 dish.  I turned the end ones upside down since the dish curved inward.
In mixing bowl, mix together 2 packages of instant pudding and 2 cups of milk.  Stir well until pudding dissolves.
Add 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk (I used Eagle Brand.)  Chill mixture in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Drain strawberries to remove juice. I was excited to use this tiny colander I got from a Secret Pal a few years ago. Little kitchen gadgets are fun (I'm easily amused!).
Add 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup whipped cream to chilled pudding mixture.  Blend well.
Stir in drained strawberries.
The mixture might be prettier if you added a few drops of red food coloring to make a light pink color.  I didn't add any, though.
Pour strawberries and cream mixture over Twinkies.
Top with a thin layer of whipped cream.  Your casserole dish or pan might be more square on the ends, allowing room for more whipped cream.  Mine was very full!

Chill several hours...or at least a little while!  It would probably be best to chill at least 8 hours, but in our family, nothing is going to chill that long without getting sampled!

Serve with reserved strawberry juice, if desired.  One of our children thought it needed more strawberry taste, so this leftover juice would probably satisfy their taste buds.  You might like it that way, too.

My original plan was to add some sliced bananas over the cream mixture, but I ran out of room.  I have a larger casserole dish that would allow room for that and there's enough cream mixture I would have to add anything else.  It would just be thinner.  Also, I would probably add 2 more Twinkies to the dish, as well, if made in the larger dish. You could add other fruits, as well.
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Black, White, and Purple Baby Shower

I decorate for a lot of things, but as much as I enjoy it, it's so nice to see the decorating of others!  It's refreshing, inspiring, and I always go away thinking, "I never would have thought of that!" :)  That's a GOOD thing! We're all different. We all have different ideas and styles.  And that's why it's so important for everyone to be involved - especially within a church family.
This baby shower was a black, white, and purple theme.  We have the black and white checked tablecloths, so they worked perfectly for the theme.  I really, really like this 3-tired silver tray!  It held beautifully decorated cupcakes.
Decorated tin cans, jars, and other holders held balloons on sticks. I think some of the jars had purple/lavender jelly beans holding the balloon stick in place.
(sorry it's blurry)
Baby Kinsley was certainly "showered" with gifts!  Now, mommy and daddy are just waiting on her arrival!


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Appliqued Hand Towel - Homemade Christmas Gift



This cute appliqued hand towel was made by a sister-in-law who didn't get to be here for Christmas. She enjoys sewing, so put her talents to work by making this cute towel!
Funny that I had actually thought about doing a gift like this.  The only thing that stopped me was the "sewing" part!! Ha ha!!!  That's the thing I don't like to do. I even wanted to be a home economics teacher, but the sewing was a the part I was dreading teaching.  So, I just ditched the whole idea :).  

I'm not sure where she got these towels, but if you have a Sam's Club near you and are a member, I know that they sell "Bar Mop Towels" that amount to about $1.00 each. That, plus some scrap fabrics, could be lots of these cute towels to use for homemade gifts.  Such a cute idea!
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Corn Syrup Sugar Cookie Icing

I had eaten this sugar cookie icing before, but hadn't used it until last week.  It's hard to tell since there were red sugar crystals sprinkled over it and there's a drip on one of the cookies in the photo, but it sure seems to stay on the cookie well.  Plus, it tastes really good, too!  The glossiness of the icing is probably the best part - especially when the icing is plain and not coated with sugar.  It's a pretty finish, so perfect for your cookies.

CORN SYRUP SUGAR COOKIE ICING

1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
assorted food coloring

In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.  Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. To decorate cookies, use one or more of the following methods: Pipe icing from pastry bag, spoon icing onto cookies, dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

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