Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Texas Roadhouse Rolls & Cinnamon Butter

This recipe is amazing! If you have never been to Texas Roadhouse, take it from me, their rolls are DIVINE! And these were a pretty close match! (but doesn't the fact that someone else is making them, and cleaning up after them, make everything 10x better?) This is actually a bread machine recipe, which I love because I cannot, I repeat CAN NOT bake to save my life! My bread machine is my best baking friend! I got the original recipe here. These will definitely be a Sunday staple at our house from now on! They
1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp dry yeast
1 cup milk
1-1/2 Tbs butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3-1/2 to 4 cups unbleached flour

Put all of the above ingredients into your bread maker, and set to the dough cycle. When it's done, take the dough out and roll it into a rectangle. Cut it into squares and let them rise for 20-30 minutes or until they are slightly larger than when they started. Brush with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little milk) and bake at 350° for 10-15 minutesor until the tops are golden brown.
When they are done, while they are still hot, SLATHER the top with butter! Dont be shy! Serve with Cinnamon butter! (below)

Cinnamon Butter
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp honey
Whip with beaters until light and fluffy!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Monday

Tuesday: Out to dinner (My cousin is coming home from his mission!)
Wednesday: Waffles, eggs, and sausage
Thursday: Cheesy Fried Ravioli and green salad
Friday: Taco Salads
Saturday: My little boy's bday party I'm using this meat in the sandwiches.
Sunday: Sloppy Joes (using this recipe for the meat)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

 I REALLY want to thank Kim from The Mediterranian Diet for this award! What a compliment! She has an awesome blog with tons of yummy looking recipes!
Here's how it works:
After accepting the Versatile Blogger Award, the blogger must:
1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post. Save the JPG image and add it you your side bar. 
2. Share seven things about yourself
3. Pass this award along to 10 recently discovered blogs

So... 7 things about me!
1. I really love decorating! I would rather spend my money on home decor over clothes, shoes, or anything else! (Although I do love buying all those things too ;))
2. My favorite food is my mom's meatloaf. burnt. yup, that's how I like it!
3. I take a LOT of pictures! I have ever since I got my first camera in 6th grade. Recently I have started a photography business wich I really enjoy!
4. I am not the worlds greatest housekeeper. But the chore I hate the MOST is unloading the dishwasher!
5. My favorite vacation spot is Lake Tahoe.
6. I LOVE to entertain! It makes my heart happy to have friends over and cook for them!
7. My favorite color is constantly changing. Today I'd have to pick orange.

Here are the 10 blogs I am awarding with this award! (in no particular order)
1. Chef in Training
2. Six Sisters Stuff
3. The Creative Crate
4. Crafty Cupboard
5. Brown Paper Packages
6. A Crafty Bee
7. You Craft Me Up
8. Jamie Cooks It Up
9. Then She Made
10. Real Mom Kitchen
You should check them ALL out!

Barbeque Teriyaki Chicken


You need to make this for dinner tonight. I am not kidding, it was EASY PEASY! My hubby has asked for it pretty much every night since!
Barbeque Teriyaki Chicken
2 chicken breasts
1/2 bottle Kikoman Teriyaki GLAZE (not the thin watery stuff, this is THICK!)
Marinate your chicken in the teriyaki sauce for at least an hour, I did mine for 6 hours, but that only because I thought about dinner before 5:00.
Right before you cook the chicken, mix the following ingredients...
1/2 cup teriyaki glaze
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
Use this to baster the chicken with while it is cooking on the BBQ. Cook until no longer pink. The glaze will get sticky and yummy as it cooks! Serve over rice with a little butter mixed in.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tu-Tu's!!! {Guest Post by Tasha}

So I am starting Christmas early this year (one of my goals!) and I am making Tu-Tu's, So I thought I would share with you!

First*  Pick out your elastic, and the fabric ( Tulle, is what its called ) you would like.
Second*  Cut the measurements. (I got 5 yards of each color I used.)
Three* Cut into strips, now this you have to decide if you want it long or short. I did mine long so I cut the strips longer. I used this tool, Which was SO much easier than using Scissors.. but, Dont panic, can still use scissors if you need to.. it gets the job done!
 Fourth* Sew your elastic together
  Fifth*  Start putting your fabric on your elastic.Now, its pretty simple to do, all you do is fold your fabric in half, then put the closed part under your elastic and pull the loose ends through the closed end and pull.
You will then have a beautiful tu - tu made!!!! Easy, Cheap, and fun!!!! And girls of ALL ages LOVE them!!!

The colors are a little hard to see, but dont let the hippy couch distract you! :)!! Happy Tu-Tu making!!! and Good luck!!!
*Tasha Bracken

Friday, August 26, 2011

Grilled Malibu Chicken Sandwich

We love chicken sandwiches at our house! I bet I make at least one or two versions a week! This was in super quick and easy if you use leftover grilled chicken, like I did.

Grilled Malibu Chicken Sandwich
1/2 chicken breast-grilled
slice of swiss cheese
lunch meat ham (not the cheap stuff)
lettuce
mayo and mustard
sandwich bun
After grilling (or reheating) your chicken, toast your bun and spread with mayo and mustard. Layer chicken,  ham, cheese and lettuce, top with the other bun and enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A New Way to Frame Pictures {Guest Post by Tasha}

Chicken Wire Picture Frames!

I LOVE pictures..if I could my whole house would be covered in pictures, but my problem is frames, and finding a place in my small house for frames.. well I saw this idea on a blog that I came upon one day, and decided to try it. But instead of a normal picture frame, I used an old window frame that I found, so I put chicken wire in the frame, nailed it down you can also use tacs, they all work. Then I bought the small scrap booking clothes pins and hung my pictures up with the clothes pins! It turned out SO stinkin' cute.



You can do SO much with the chicken wire frames, you can put it in your kitchen and hang your To Do list on it, Grocery lists, reciepes, you can spray paint the chicken wire and match it with a cute frame and decorate the clothes pins so they dont look to plain. Great gift ideas, and great for adding fun to your home!!! I love it, my next step is to find a place to hang it!! 

Cheers
Tasha Bracken

Cleaning Schedule

I got a question a few days ago about my cleaning schedule. I had done a post similar to this awhile back here, but if you know me, you know I couldn't leave that list alone! And I have to admit I had a hard time sticking to it when it wasnt out where I could see it every day! SO here is my update!
I made mine all cutesy with the help of Photoshop, and printed it out to put on my magnet board. I had contemplated making this a printable, but mine is so personalized that I wasn't sure it would work for anyone else. So I thought I'd just tell you how I organized my week, and why I chose to put certain chores where! That way you can decide where you want things!
 Quick Pick Up : This includes a sweep of the main living areas of the house, just so it looks presentable. Clean dirty dishes out of the sink, pick up baby toys, put away folded clothes, things like that. I usually try and do this first thing in the morning although it doesn't always happen ;)
Laundry: This is one of my most dreaded chores! So instead of doing all of in in one day, I chose 1-2 loads each day. I had kind of a little method to which days I do loads, like I do my husband's work clothes on Fridays because Thursday is (usually) his last day of the week for work and then I just get it all done and start fresh the next week. Saturday I have as my catch up day, because honestly who wants to be tied down with laundry all day on a Saturday?
If you can't tell I organized my week's chores from hardest to easiest. I usually have the most motivation and energy at the start of the week, and by Friday, it's all I can do to get out and sweep the front porch! ;) But no really, by the end of the week, I just want to relax!
Even out your chores. Notice that I didn't put clean all the bathrooms, mop and clean the master bedroom all on the same day? that was for a reason! I tried to spread things out a bit, with a large and a small chore together. Like cleaning the bathrooms may take an hour, but cleaning the microwave will probably only take 5 minutes!
Sunday's are for rest. I don't care if it's part of your religion or not, you need a day off! But I can't have my house a wreck, so I still do a quick pick up.
All things said and done, do what works best for you. You may only have time to clean on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so split your chores up between those days, or maybe your kiddos are in school every other day, then choose your hardest chores for those days and leave the easy work for days they are home. All I want you to take from this is to space things out, oh and PRINT them out! I can't even tell you how much easier it is to stick to a routine when it's right in front of your face!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I Love Wednesday

I missed last weeks 'What I love' day! But here's a few things I am ALL about recently!
Walmart's popcorn chicken. I LOVE this stuff! It's really good quality chicken (no fatties/chewy parts) and it's only $6 for the bag. It lasts us about 2-3 weeks depending on how many meals we use it for (usually 1-2 a week) Here's how I cook it - Mirrowave it according to the package directions. While it's microwaving, start your broiler in the oven. Transfer the chicken onto a cookie sheet and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes, turning every so often, until the outsides are crisp. It tastes just like if if was cooked in the oven, just 10x faster!
 this pasta is awesome! I bought some of it on sale awhile back, and wasn't too sure about it because I was afraid it would taste funny or 'healthy', but it's really good! And it has so many befefits compared to regular pasta, with the same taste! I like using it way more than whole wheat pasta!

I figured I'd better throw in a non food item! I love my cricut trimmer! I actually have 2 of them, one's not from cricut, but I got it at the same place, Robert's Crafts. I use this literally ever single day! It makes cutting strait lines so fast and easy! You can pick one of these up for like 6 bucks (I think that's what I paid) when you use a 50% off coupon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lemon Chicken and Broccoli Bowl

This is really one of my favorite meals! It is so quick and simple and easy, but yummy and FILLING! And it uses leftovers! SCORE! I love leftover recipes!
Lemon Chicken and Broccoli Bowl
(Serves 2)
1 leftover grilled chicken breast
1/2 lb penne pasta (cooked)
1 cup frozen broccoli (thawed and cooked)
2-3 TBS olive oil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese
slice your chicken breast into bite sized pieces, cook your pasta and heat your broccoli. Toss everything in a bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.This is a really good summer meal because it's not heavy, but it fills you up!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Monday!

Hunting season in upon us! Which means my husband is going to be gone... a lot. On the bright side... our freezer will be fully restocked through the year! The next few months menus are going to be a tad unpredictable. Weekend nights will be just me and the little boy, so they will be REALLY simple, and may even be replaced with dinner at my mom's, or Wendy's ;)

Monday: Pulled Pork* Chimichangas
Tuesday: Hawaiian Teyraki Chicken*
Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs*
Thursday: Chili Dogs*
Friday: Hunting night - Veggie Pizza for me
Saturday: Hunting night - French Bread Pizza* for me
Sunday: Tamale Casserole*
*recipe to come

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Salmon with Fresh Peach Salsa

Since peach season is upon us, and my sweet mothers tree is OVERLOADED with peaches, I took it upon myself to find something to do with this abundance of peachy-ness. And let me tell you... this was a HIT at our house!
Salmon:
2 Salmon fillets (mine were frozen from walmart)
2TBS soy sauce
3 TBS milk
2 tsp chili sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder

Peach Salsa:
1 ripe peach
2 TBS finely dices green bell pepper
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp honey
salt and pepper

Marinate your salmon in the soy sauce, milk, chili sauce, garlic powder and onion powder for about an hour, and then grill. While with salmon in marinating, mix all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl and allow to sit for at least 20-30 min. top cooked salmon with peach salsa and enjoy!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Spare Change Jar

So I know this I am not the first person ever to have a spare change jar ;) But I just have to tell you where to get the BEST change jar. The bulk pickle jar at walmart is wonderful! I seriously would pay the $3 JUST to get the jar again! It doesn't look that big in the photo, but trust me, it is! Here's how it goes at our house... The jar sits in our laundry room, since that's where most of the change collecting happens, and it slowly fills. We also have a few cups throughout the house (by the bed, and on our dresser, that I will gather up every once in a while and empty into the big one. Anyways, we usually empty it once every year for our family vacation and that is contributed to our "fun money" for the trip! Most years we will have about $100 in there! Granted, my husband usually buys a pop at the gas station everyday and we use cash quite a bit, but even if you just put in a little bit every once in a while, you'll be surprised at how fast it fills!
If you don't have a spare change jar at your house, get one! Preferably a pickle bearing one ;)
Oh, and some vinyl never hurt!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cookie Dough Cheese Ball

Cookie Dough Cheese Ball




You need:
8 Oz pkg- Cream Cheese Softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. brown sugar, packed
1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. pecans, finely chopped
Cookies of any kind, graham crackers, vanilla wafers.

Blend the first 3 ingredients until creamy, add powdered sugar and brown sugar, blending well. Fold in chocolate chips, cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours.
Shape dough into a ball; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Roll in pecans before serving. Makes about 3 cups.
When serving, have some of your favorite cookies to dip in the cookie dough cheese ball. 

This is SOOO yummy, I  made it for a little jewlery party that I had at my house, and the ladies LOVED it!



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

I am ALWAYS trying to think of quick, easy meals to feed my hubby in the 1/2 hour he comes home for lunch! This is a perfect, fast lunch for when you don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but you still want a yummy meal!
Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
2 TBS Butter
1/2 cup Franks Hot Sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Hamburger buns
12 pieces of popcorn chicken
sliced cheese
lettuce
miracle whip (or mayo-if thats how you roll)

In a small sauce pan, melt your butter. Once the butter is melted, add the hot sauce and garlic powder and simmer for a few minutes.In the meantime, cook you popcorn chicken, the easiest and fastest way I have found to do this is to microwave it until thawed, and then stick it in the oven under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until its crispy. Works like a charm! Anyways, once your chicken is cooked, drizzle the buffalo sauce over the chicken and toss until coated. Toast your bun (optional) and spread a little miracle whip on it. Add your cheese and lettuce, and finally your chicken. This would also be super good if you had leftover coleslaw to put on it!
This is definitely one of my husband's new favorite sandwiches! I have a feeling it will be making it onto our lunch menu often!

Monday, August 15, 2011

{FREE} Download and Menu Monday!

So my sweet Husband finally hung up my new magnet board in the kitchen! (can I get a woot-woot!?) I have been super excited to have a place to hang my notes, announcments, and of course.. my weekly menu! So I took one of those little photo albums (you know the $1 ones at walmart?) and cut out a page. (cut neatly!)
Then I took a roll of magnet tape (go buy some of this stuff! youll use it all the time!) and cut out 4 small squares....
then stuck them in all 4 corners.
I printed my 4x6 menu planner, and slid it into the sleeve! It is SO nice to have my menu out where I can see it all the time! It makes it a lot easier to stick to your plan when you are constantly seeing it!
This downloads as 2 4x6 card on an 8.5x11 paper. All you have to do is trim them down and fill it out!

Now for out Menu for the week!
Monday: Shake and Bake Chicken with stuffing
Tuesday: Spicy Asian Salmon (recipe to come)
Wednesday: Chimichangas
Thursday: Date Night
Friday: Spaghetti and Chili (recipe to come)
Saturday: Hawaiian Haystacks (recipe to come)
Sunday: Crock Pot Roast Beef and mashed potatoes

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Take on Spray Paint

I had a question about spray paint, and I thought I'd answer it in a post! I only use one brand, you could call me a 'spray paint snob' of sorts! :)
This paint is amazing! I had started out using Krylon spray paint, and liked it alright, but it always took 2-3 coats to get a nice even finish. This paint usually only takes one coat! I'll sometimes do 2 because I get in a hurry and miss spots the first time, but it covers SO well! I mostly only use Satin finish. I have used flat, and it looked a little too 'chalky' for my taste, and they dont have as many color choices.
Speaking of colors, there are a few that I keep around, just because I love them so much :)


From L to R: Espresso, Aqua, Colonial Red, Heirloom White, Eden, and Canyon Black
These colors are ones you will find everywhere in my house. Green, black, red and white in the main living areas. Green, brown and white in the Master bedroom, Aqua and Black in my craft room. Green and Brown in my little boy's room. I honestly go through a can of the white at least once every 2 weeks! They don't sell this paint at my walmart, so I either buy it at Home Depot or Ace Hardware. It runs about $3.50-$4.00 a can. Which seems like a lot, but it's worth it to only have to use 1 coat!
Here are a few places I've used the paint in my house... (you may recognize a lot of these!)

 Here are a few colors that I drool over every time I'm in the paint isle. If I could just find some reason to use them, I'd take them home to live on my shelf with my other 20 cans :)

From L to R: Aubergine, Strawflower, Real Orange, Berry Pink, Brilliant Blue

PS. No, I didn't get paid to write this... I just REALLY love this spray paint!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Stocking Your Pantry {and a peek into mine!}

Let me start out by saying that I do NOT have a large pantry! In fact, I have 2 rather small ones. I split them into 2 categories, My "opened" pantry is in my kitchen, it has all of the opened boxes, cookies, crackers, cereal, things we are in the process of eating. The second pantry is in our laundry room, and it had my "stock pile" in it. I thought I'd give you a peek into that pantry to see what our family likes to stock up on. I love seeing other people food storage to get new ideas, so hopefully I can give you a few!
I don't keep a lot of your average food storage items, I don't have wheat, oats, powdered milk, things like that. Mostly because I have no idea what to do with that kind of stuff!! Okay I lied, I have powdered milk because I use it in my rolls. But for the most part, I stock up on things that my family eats everyday, and that will keep for long periods of time. Here's a few examples...
  Rice, Pasta and Boxed Dinners: I got all of this for SUPER cheap, and thats why I started stocking up on it. The Rice a Roni I got for like .50 a box, the pasta was .25 a box. All these things keep for a fairly long time, so I knew it wouldnt go to waste. I use the rice often for a side dish, or add chicken and veggies for a super fast dinner.

 Cans: I just have one stock up tip on cans. When you buy one, buy another. You'll be amazed at how fast your pile grows if you just buy one or two extra everytime!
 Condiments: These are my FAVORITE pantry item! they come on sale for really cheap and I get as many as I can! I think I payed like .40 for the mustard, .50 for the hot sauce, and .42 for the soy sauce. Other than that, I always try and remember when I take the 'spare' out of the pantry, to write it on my grocery list, so I always have 1 or 2 extra.
 Bottling: I've just gotten into bottling, and when I say just, I mean last week! My father in law has an AMAZING garden, and was kind enough to stock me up with tomatoes! Between that and our garden... My mom and I went to town the other day and ended up with all this! This weekend will be homemade relish, peaches, pie filling and peach jam! This is a cost efficient way to get veggies! I know that the church farms here is southern utah sell peaches for really cheap, and I'm sure everyone has a neighbor or two with extra produce!

Beverages: Normally, I'm a water kinda gal, but sometimes you need a little something else! We have a lot of koolaid, mostly because it's inexpensive and quick to make. I dont buy a ton of pop, but I will usually pick up 2 or 3 when they go on sale for .69 cents. I use lemonade to BBQs and parties with friends, I will make a big pitcher and add frozen mixed berries, and that's it!
Laundry Soap: Laundry products are another good item to stock up on! These come on sale fairly often for like $1.50 a bottle. I usually stock up like this once or twice a year, and then I never have to worry about running out!

I hope this gives you some new ideas, or at least a little inspiration to start stocking your panty!
I'll leave you with my stocking motto...
"I'd rather but 20 at a time at 1/2 price, than 1 at time for full price"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Meatloaf Muffins

2 pounds lean hamburger
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 t. onion powder
2 t. garlic powder
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. Chili Powder
1 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed
1/4 c. Ketchup
2 T. yellow mustard
2 T. Brown sugar
Topping: Mix 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup mustard, and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Fill (sprayed) muffin tins 3/4 full and top with a spoon full of the topping. Bake at 350 for 30-45 min (or until insides are no longer pink) Allow to cool for at least 10 min. for the muffins to set a little more.
These can also be FROZEN! Just flash freeze them on a cookie sheet until hard, so they wont stick together! They to thaw, just pop in the microwave on defrost! I wrap mine in a damp paper towel for the first half so it doesnt get too dry!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recipe Binder

When I was in High School, I started a recipe binder for when I got married. It started with a 1/2 inch binder, which slowly, but surely, evolved into a huge 3 inch binder, FILLED with every single recipe that I ever came across! Ones from magazines, from online, handwritten, typed, you name it, it was in there! It got old taking out that heavy binder and thumbing through hundreds of recipes I had never even tried just to get to the few that I made often. SO I downsized! I got a 1/2 inch binder, and filled it with only the BEST of the best recipes! The ones I use over and over, family favorites, only the greats! It has been so nice to be able to find a recipe quickly! You can see that the recipes are a little 'loved' to put it nicely, but the sheet protectors help a lot! TRY IT! You'll use your recipes a lot more if you don't have to search!
Notice this list on the back cover!

What I love {Wednesday}

I love this lotion SO much! it's made to take the nasty kitchen smells off of your hands, and it works! I keep it by my kitchen sink, and I use it all the time!

This cereal is honestly the yummiest cereal you will ever have!
We use this seasoning a ton! I put on chicken and fish, in pasta, and pretty much everything else! It's like Lemon pepper, but SOO much better!

and... I leave you with my current FAVORITE song!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken and Artichoke Alfredo

This recipe was SUPER easy! It took like 15 minutes to throw together (granted I had the chicken precooked in the freezer)
Chicken and Artichoke Alfredo
1/2 lb penne pasta
1 cup shredded chicken
1/4 cup chopped marinated artichokes
1 jar Alfredo Sauce

Cook pasta, and drain. In a sauce pan, combine alfredo sauce, chicken and artichokes, heat through and pour over pasta. Serve with garlic bread.


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