Friday, December 30, 2011

Valentines Bow Giveaway!

My cute Sister in Law is doing another bow giveaway!
Go here to enter!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Menu Monday... WAAY too late!

Sorry! It's been a CRAZY week! My house is still in shambles from Christmas! But here's my menu for the week!
Monday- Hoagies (Ok to be totally honest we went to Subway!)
Tuesday- Sloppy Joes
Wednesday- Grilled Chicken
Thursday- Spaghetti and Meatballs
Friday- Date Night
Saturday- Taco Salad
Sunday- Beef Stew

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Ultimate Cheeseball Recipe

This recipe actually came out of pure laziness! When I first got married I remember calling my mom from the middle of the grocery store asking her for her recipe. She proceeded to tell me the list of spices that she used for hers. I ended up browsing the isles and bought just one packet! And I get requests for this cheeseball at every party! And it's SO easy to make!
Trust me, you will get asked for this recipe over and over again!

2 packages of cream cheese at room temp.
1/2 packet Knorrs Vegtable Dip Mix (pictured below)
1 cup chopped Pecans (or almonds)
In a bowl, add the cream cheese and dip mix. Mix very well. Form the cream cheese into a ball and roll in the copped pecans. Refridgerate at least an hour.
Serve with Ritz crackers, triscuits, and wheat thins.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Taco Chili

This is one of my FAVORITE dinners! Especially when it's cold outside and you want a yummy, warm (easy) meal!

1 qt. Crushed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
2 cans black beans
1 can corn
3 Tbs. Taco Seasoning
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1-2 cups pre-cooked ground beef

Thrown everything in a large pot and simmer over medium for up to an hour, or just until it's thickened to your liking. I actually ended up adding more water because my husband got home from work late and it got too thick.
Serve with corn chips, sour cream and cheese.
This makes a great freezer meal too! Just put the cooled chili in freezer bags and thaw in the microwave on 1/2 power until warm!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

EASY Creamy Pesto

For our first dinner date, my future hubby took me to the Pasta Factory. I remember exactly what I got.
Bowtie Pasta with Creamy Pesto.
Since then, I've always had a soft spot for Creamy Pesto!
Now I'm sure that the Pasta Factory puts a little more time into their pesto, but this is a quick 5 minute version!
 For about 2 people you need:
1/4 cup prepared Pesto sauce (I use the Knorr package)
1 cup Alfredo Sauce (I used Ragu Alfredo)
1/2 box cooked pasta (I used Linguine)

After preparing your pesto, or warming it if it's premade, add your alfredo and heat through. Serve over cooked pasta.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Monday

Monday: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Tuesday: Mexican Stuffed Shells
Friday: Date Night (and last minute shopping!)
Saturday: Christmas Eve Dinner with my Family
Sunday: Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Spaghetti Bread

Does any one else's husband make a sandwich out of their spaghetti and garlic bread EVERY time you have a pasta dinner!? Mine does! So when I saw this recipe, I knew it was right up his alley! 
I had this on the menu for the week and immediately had a few people emailing me wondering about it! I first found it on pinterest, and had been really excited to try it! It was a hit! We all (including my 1 year old) loved it! 

Bread Dough (I used this recipe and just used 1/2 the dough and froze the rest, and it still made a ton!) 
1/2 box of thin spaghetti
1/2 jar of Spaghetti Sauce (plus more for dipping)
1-2 cups crumbled italian sausage-cooked (optional)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
Parmesan cheese
garlic bread seasoning

Ok, so this is more of a dinner idea than an actual recipe, because you can use whatever bread recipe you want, and however much spaghetti you need. But this is how I did it....
Prepare your bread dough in your breadmaker (or by hand). Once your Dough is done, separate into halves and freeze one half (or make bread) Boil your spaghetti noodles according to package directions and drain. Mix your spaghetti noodles, sauce and sausage together.
 Roll out your dough into a large rectangle. Place your spaghetti mixture in a strip down the middle of the dough, leaving room at the ends and top with the cheese. With a knife, cut the sides of the dough into 1 inch strips, starting at the sides of the spaghetti and working out. Then proceed to braid the dough up over the spaghetti, tucking the ends under the braid.
Brush the dough with the egg, and sprinkle with the garlic seasoning and parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the top is browned. Personally I would of baked mine a little longer, but my husband was in charge of taking it out while I ran to the store for lettuce, and he likes things a little less done! :)
Allow to cool for a few minutes and slice into portions. Serve with warmed pizza sauce for dipping.
We will definitely be having this again, many times in the future! It looks SO pretty and it tastes even better!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Freezer Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joes are a great quick meal to have on hand! They are my go to for a stressful night when I am not up to cooking! It's super easy to throw together a huge batch and have it ready!

Freezer Sloppy Joes
3 lbs ground beef
2 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup yellow mustard
3 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS onion flakes
1 TBS chili powder
1 large carrot-grated

Brown ground beef until fully cooked, and drain off all excess fat.
Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and simmer for 30 minutes.
Scoop 2 cup portions (for 4 sloppy joes) into freezer bags and lay flat to freeze.
To thaw, microwave in 30 second intervals, turning inbetween until heated through.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hot Apple Cider {Guest Post by Tasha}

Warm Apple Cider
1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/3 cup brown sugar 
In a Tea Kettle/ Pot, combine apple cider and cinnamon sticks. Wrap allspice and cloves in a small piece of cheesecloth, and add to Tea Kettle/ Pot. Stir in brown sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and keep warm. 
...Need I say more.. MMMM!!! 
Tasha B!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What I Love Wednesday

It's been awhile since I've done one of these!! :) Not for lack of things to love! This week I want to talk about what I love.... CHRISTMAS edition!

First off is scentsy melts! These aren't from scentsy however, they are from Walmart! $2.00 people! And they smell DIVINE! One or the other is filling my home with their heavenly scents at all times every day! I'm a tad obsessed!

Next... what's in my coco cup! I love this stuff! I got it last year after the holidays when they went on clearance. It is amazing!

Lastley, I'll leave you with a few of my favorite holiday movies!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cran-Apple Chicken Salad

1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
4-5 TBS miracle whip
1/4 of an apple-diced
2 TBS craisins-chpooed
S&P to taste

Mix all ingredients together and serve on bread.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Monday

I'll be out of town a few days this week, and we have lots of Christmas parties!!!.... but I'll post recipes anyways on those days anyways for you to have some inspiration!

Monday: Spaghetti baked in Garlic Bread
Wednesday: Chicken Fried Rice
Thursday: Sloppy Joes
Saturday: Pancakes, eggs, and bacon

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Baby Signs Sheet {Free Download}

I really wanted to teach my little boy to sign, but I sadly, I fell off the wagon after just a few. He learned more, and understands hungry, but other that that, I just wasn't consistent enough! I think it was because I didn't remember them myself! I made this sheet to put up to help me remember to teach him the signs! I had totally forgotten about it, but I thought maybe it could help some of you teach your little ones!
For the life of me I cannot remember where I got these photos! But if I did, I would give them credit!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hot & Spicy Baked Chicken Nuggets

We LOVE these chicken nuggets at our house! They are crispy and juicy and HEALTHY! What more can you ask for!? I make these often!

Hot & Spicy Baked Chicken Nuggets

2 chicken breasts cut into chunks
1/2 cup flour + 1 tsp chili flakes
2 eggs + splash of milk + 1 tsp hot sauce
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs + 1 tsp garlic powder + 1/2 tsp paprika

Mix each combination into 3 shallow bowls. Staring with the flour, bread the chicken in each 3 bowls, flour, eggs, then breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 min at 400 or until no longer pink.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reindeer Block

We made these cute little guys for our Thanksgiving craft night. My sister in laws, mother in law and I try and get together around the holidays and do a few crafts, and this year I brought these cuties to make! They were SUPER easy! And they look adorable!

You need:
wooden block 5 1/2 x 6 1/2
bead board square 3x4
tan, red, white, and black paint
tan and pink felt
2 small branches
hot glue gun

Paint your large block tan, and your bead board red (leaving the indents white). Once those are dry, sand the edges to create the worn look. Glue the bead board onto your large block. Drill two holes on top of the block about an inch or less apart from each other. Paint the face on the reindeer with the black and white paint. Cut ovals out of the felt, making the pink ovals a bit smaller than the tan. hot glue them together, and fold the bottom in thirds so the ears stand up. Hot glue them to the hot of the block. Insert branches into drilled holes, if you want, you can secure them with a little hot glue.
 Enjoy your cute new Christmas Decor!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

My husband is a Pancake-aholic! He loves him some pancakes! And these were a hit the other night for dinner!

recipe adapted from here
Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients and cook on a flat top griddle just like normal pancakes. :)
Serve with Maple syrup.

My little boy LOVES these! And they freeze awesome! This recipe makes a lot, so I stuck a bunch in the freezer and just pop them in the microwave for about 45 seconds.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie
9inch Unbaked Pie crust
3 eggs
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves and peices

Preheat oven to 375.
Beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter and corn syrup with beaters until well mixed. Stir in pecans. Pour into Pie Crust. Wrap edges with foil.
Bake 40-50 minutes until pie is only slightly jiggly in the center. Remove foil the last 15-20 min.
Allow to cool.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tips on buying Holiday Decor {And a look at mine}

Mmmm. Christmas Decorations. My favorite! It just doesn't feel like the holidays until the stockings are hung!
I wanted to share a few tips that I use when buying holiday decor, so I don't break the bank every year!
Tip #1- Shop the sales.
this kind of sounds like a no-brainer, doesn't it!? But you'd be surprised at how many people don't shop for new decor after the season is over! Last year I got all of the ornaments for my second tree at like 75% off! I think I spent maybe $20 total on the entire tree! Decor goes on sale anywhere from 25-90% off a few days after Christmas, and I stock up! Robert's usually puts their holiday decor on sale way before the holiday is up! Just make sure to not buy things that are going to go out of style fast, stick to traditional pieces.
Tip #2- Buy multi-seasonal colors
Red is a GREAT color to buy because it works for a few different holidays. (Christmas, Valentines, 4th of July) Green (Christmas, St. Patricks Day, Thanksgiving) This tip works great for things like wreaths, candles and garlands.
Tip #3- Make what you can
I'm not kidding! A chunk of wood and some paint costs a LOT LESS than a $15 premade block from a boutique! It's even better if you have a cricut/silhouette and can cut your own vinyl! But places like Steamrollers will cut vinyl for you! I made our stocking this year (tutorial on that to come!) and I think I spent like $6 on everything! A lot cheaper than paying $12 per stocking!
Tip #4- Use interchangeable focal points
Remember the Plate rack I bought? I LOVE it! It's SO easy to just pick up a few plates that match the season, and change them out! And bonus, if you don't use vinyl on them, you could use the same color for multiple seasons! But again, you can get vinyl for pretty cheap! Or try buying some fancy plates that wont need vinyl! I bought 3 chargers from walmart that were like .97 cents each!
Want a look at my Decor? Don't get too excited, it's nothing fancy. It's hard to decorate the bottom half of your house when you have a curious 1 year old. But I did manage to talk my hubby into putting up a second tree!
This Shelf is in my front room, I usually do this one first since it's the first thing people see.
My Homemade stockings, yes they LOOK homemade, I know!
Like my leg lamp? It was a gift form my sweet friend! :)
Tree #1. Notice how the bottom is scarce? You can thank my little man for that.
Tree #2. This is our fun tree. It will hold all our family ornaments, when we get some! ;)

Plate rack, not too bad for $3.00!
Like the Reindeer? I'm working on a tutorial for that! We made them at our craft night with my husbands family on Thanksgiving. And that Joy block?... see what I mean about making things! That was free!

This was my sad attempt at showing you my pant shelf in the kitchen. The lighting is horrible up there!
And that's about it! Hope it gave you some inspiration to go make or buy some new decor!

Menu Monday

Monday: Sloppy Joes (I'm going to make a HUGE freezer batch)
Tuesday: Beef Stew
Wednesday: BBQ Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
Thursday: Steak Fajitas
Friday: Date Night
Sunday: Beef Roast and Roasted carrots

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Loaded Enchilada Bowls

Loaded Enchilada Bowls
2 cups cooked rice
1 can pinto beans (or black beans, kidney beans just whatever you have)
1 can corn
1 small can Enchilada sauce
1 cup ground beef (cooked)
1 tsp Taco Seasoning
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese plus some for topping

Add all ingredients except cheese in a sauce pan and heat on low until warmed through. Add cheese and stir. Top with more cheese.

Easy huh! And it's SO good!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Baby Family Album {Free Download}

My little boy loves to look at pictures! He will point over and over to different people when you ask him to! I had been wanting to do a little album like this after I made this one for my little brother to take on his mission.
It was so easy and cheap and he LOVES it! It keeps him entertained at church, and even at home!
All you need is:
24 Photos of your child with family members
Cover (I just printed mine as a 4x6 photo)
plastic 4x6 album (I got mine for like .97 at walmart)

Just print your photos (I use costco) and add them to the album. The Covers are always a bit bigger than the 4x6 print, so I added some cardstock behind it.

Now since I'm sure all of you dont want photos of my little cutie on your album, I whipped up a simple little printable cover. They are both 4x6, so you can either print them along with your photos, or just on your computer.

Use the code STMMMS84668 to get $10 off instantly!
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