Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Spring Decor

Easter has totally snuck up on me! I seriously didnt get any of my decorations up until this afternoon! Sad, I know! I usually am itching to get it out the day after Valentines, but this year, with finishing our yard, and an 18 month old on my ankles, I've been a little preoccupied!
Here's some of what I put out, I didn't go all out this year since in 2 weeks I knew I'd be taking it all back down. I have a LOT or Easter decor... my husband would argue that it's too much, I think he will be grateful for the minimalism this year!
I love these little chicks, I got them super cheap at Krumpets a few years ago, they add just a little fun and color! Blake decided to bite the beak off of one earlier today, little bugger.
I got these carrots at Krumpets also! They are kind of difficult to display, so I stuck them here for now! We'll see if that's where they stay!
The kitchen didn't get much... just a few little touches.
 I got this little sign at Robert's a few years ago, I used to put it on the front door, but this year it's in the center of my big wreath in the living room.
 The next two are some more Krumpets blocks... I love that store!

 this cute chick sings and dances, my Mother in Law gave it to us from Avon last easter. I have yet to turn it on, because I know Blake wont leave it alone once he realizes what it does!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Santa Fe Fish Tacos

I am not usually a huge fan of fish tacos, but these were REALLY good! I think the corn was the kicker for me! I will definetly be making these again!

2 4oz  tilapia fillets
1 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 small flour tortillas
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup shredded cabbage

1/2 cup sour cream
1 TBS miracle whip
1/4 tsp taco seasoning
1 TBS lime juice
salt and pepper

Season tilapia with lemon pepper and black pepper, grill for 10 minutes or until fully cooked.
Mix all the ingredients listed for the sauce and refridgerate for 10-15 minutes.
Assemble remaining ingredients on tortillas and drizzle with sauce.
Serve with a squeeze of lime.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Springtime Wreath

I really need a new wreath, but I didn't have the time (or patience) to run to town to buy new flowers and evrything you need to MAKE a wreath!
So I ransacked my craft room, and made this beauty!
Not bad for a free weath! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Mustard Ceam Sauce

This was SUCH a great dinner!
I was a tad worried that my husband wouldnt like it, but he loved it too!
I will definetly make this again!
Grilled Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce
serves 2
2 butterflied boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream*
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tsp chicken base (optional)

Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill on the BBQ for about 20 minutes, or until no longer pink.
Combine chicken broth, heavy cream, dijon mustard, oregano, and chicken base (if you have it), bring to a soft boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. If you want a thicker sauce, mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with 1 TBS milk, add to the sauce and simmer for a few more minutes.
Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

*if you dont have heavy cream, like me, use 3 TBS melted butter mixed with 1/2 c. milk

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menu Monday

Monday: Burgers and Steak Fries
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Lasagna and Garlic Bread

Best Ever Cornbread!

I will never go back to pouch mix cornbread EVER again! This cornbread is SO good, it's not dry, or crumbly like other cornbreads, its moist, and yummy, and SOO GOOD! I've made it twice in the past couple weeks!
Best Ever Cornbread
recipe from here
1 cup cornmeal
3 cups flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup vegtable  oil
6 Tbs. melted margarine
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a big bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil, butter, eggs and milk. Stir until it is just mixed. Bake in a 9x13 pan for 35 minutes.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Steak and Asparagus Rotini

I am always looking for new ways to cook steak at our house. Every year my dear husband kills an elk (or 2) and a deer (or 2), so some years, that leaves us with HUNDREDS of pounds of meat! There are a lot of Steak and Potato dinners going on at our house. This was a great DIFFERENT way to use elk at our house! But you could certainly use beef!

Steak and Asparagus Rotini
1 lb. steak pounded to 1/2 inch thick
1 lb. rotini pasta
1 lb. asparagus
2 TBS butter
1 tsp  Lemon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS Parmesan cheese
garlic powder, salt and pepper

In a large skillet, melt butter. Season both sides of the steak with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place in the skillet (on high) with the butter. Sear both sides of the steak and then turn to med-low and cover. Continue cooking for about 10 min, or until steak is done to your liking. While the steak is cooking, cook your rotini. As your pasta cooks, trim the tough ends off of the asparagus, cut them unto 1 inch pieces, and put them into a colander. At the end of your pasta cooking time, carefully dip the colander into the boiling water until the asparagus is covered. Hold for about a minute so the asparagus gets par-cooked, then remove. place the colander in the sink and pour the hot pasta over the asparagus to drain. Toss together. Slice the steak into strips and toss with the pasta. Add olive oil, lemon pepper, some S&P and parmesan cheese. Toss well, and serve.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I Love Wednesday

It's sad, but I had never used primer on any of my projects, and umm... I LOVE it! I will never go back! It made it SO much easier to paint over the porcelin candlesticks that I bought!
I used this kind (for metal) because it was the only kind they had at my walmart. But I recently bought the normal kind, I'll let you know if I like it as much.

I am obsessed with these lately! They are great for small rooms like kid's bedrooms and bathrooms, my only complaint is that they are a little strong at first, but they work really well!
I  just got the febreeze for the car, I'm excited to try is out! I got the Thai Dragon Fruit, it's my favorite scent at the moment.

These, I got for my little boy. And because I had a coupon, but he loves them! They have tons of nutritional value and they actually taste more like a cookie than anything! Can't complain about that! Anything nutritional that I can get my teething 18 month old to eat is okay by me!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Cleaning 2012

I didn't change my list up much from last year, just a few things here and there...
Hopefully it will give you some ideas for your spring cleaning checklist!
  • Dust EVERYTHING. Fans, plant shelves, lights, decorations, clocks, etc.
  • Wipe down all doorknobs, light switches and power outlets.
  • Spot clean walls and touch up paint where needed.
  • Bathroom cabinets/drawers. Pull EVERYTHING out, wipe down inside of cabinet, sort contents into keep vs. toss, and organize keep pile back into cabinet/drawer.
  • Kitchen cabinets/drawers. Pull EVERYTHING out, wipe down inside of cabinet, sort contents into keep vs. toss, and organize keep pile back into cabinet/drawer.
  • Vacuum and Wipe down all baseboards with a damp rag. Touch up paint where needed.
  • Vacuum and wipe down all doors/door frames with a damp rag.
  • Dust and wipe all air vents.
  • Change air filters.
  • Clean ALL windows; glass, casing and sills.
  • Dust, wipe down, windex. Clothes Closets. Pull EVERYTHING out, dust/wipe shelves, sort clothes and shoes into keep/donate/toss/store piles, and organize everything back into the closet.
  • Linen closet. Pull out all towels/washcloths, toss any that are frayed/discolored/faded. (keep a few for garage towels)
  • Pantries. Pull everything out, wipe down shelves, sort contents into still good/ expired. Toss expired and organize all good food back in.
  • Pull out fridge, vacuum and mop behind and underneath.
  • Pull out washer and dryer. Vacuum and wipe underneath, behind and all surfaces.
  • Deep clean Laundry room.
  • Defrost the deep freezer. Toss any expired food.
  • Couches. Tip over, vacuum underneath. Vacuum under cushions.
  • Wash ALL bedding, blankets, quilts and rugs – Discard/DI any unused.
  • Wash shower curtains Spray house for bugs
  • Empty Filing cabinet, sort into keep/toss.
  • Pressure wash the house.
  • Clean patio furniture.
  • Deep clean BBQ.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Menu Monday

Monday: Steak, baked potatoes and asparagas
Tuesday: Baked penne pasta
Wednesday: Creamy Pesto Pasta
Friday: Date Night
Sunday: Fajitas

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hearty Beef Chili

I LOVE chili! There is nothing better than coming in from a cold day to a hot bowl of thick chili and golden cornbread (recipe for that to come later!) This is such a quick recipe to throw together! I make thins on days that I want a huge meal, without a huge mess!

Hearty Beef Chili
makes a BIG pot! Feeds about 5-6.
1 quart diced tomatoes
1 pint chili tomatoes
1 can corn
2 cans beans, drained and rinsed (I used black, pinto and kidney)
2 cups pre-cooked ground beef
2 T. taco seasoning
2 t. chili powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 T. brown sugar

Throw it all in a big stock pot, bring to a boil, turn to low and simmer for 1/2 an hour.
Or throw it in a crockpot in the morning on low, and you have dinner! Everything is cooked, so it just needs to heat and meld the flavors together!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pinterest and your hair opinion?

So I meant to do a Pinterest post when I hit 2,000 followers, but I up and missed it! So you get one 24 followers late! :)
ps. is anyone else not loving the new Pinterest layout?

 I have been looking for this shirt everywhere since I saw this outfit pinned!

This bench in on my project list for spring!

Pinned this for my little boy's second birthday!

this strawberry cream cheese cake looks AMAZING!
 And finally, I used this image off pinterest for my hair! It's taking some getting used to... but so far, I love it! What do you think?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pretzel Chicken Strips

I was really excited to try this recipe! I'm pretty sure the first time I saw this idea was on pinterest, but I just took the idea and made up my own recipe, and it turned out WONDERFUL! This is definetly a recipe that I will make again and again!

Pretzel Chicken Strips
Makes about 6-8 strips
1/2 cup finely crushed pretzels
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
 2 chicken breasts pounded to 1/2 inch thick and cut into strips

Mix the dry ingredients in a shallow dish. In a seperate shallow dish, beat the egg with a splash of water and add a little salt and pepper. In a third shallow dish, mix flour with a little more salt and pepper. Starting with the flour, dredge your chicken strips one at a time, shaking off the excess flour. Then dip in the egg mixture, then into the pretzel/breadcrumb mixture. Place the coates strips on an oven safe cooling rack that is on top of a cookie sheet. This helps the air get all the way around the chicken, so you dont end up with soggy bottoms! :)
Bake at 400 for 20-30 min. We like our chicken a tad dry, so check yours often to make sure it's not overdone for your liking.

For the dip, I mix 1/2 cup miracle whip with 2 TBS yellow mustard. SO yummy! My mom made this dip for chicken when we were little, and it's still one of my favorites!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A little kitchep re-vamp...

 I just wanted to share a little bit of the kitchen re-do that's been going on at our house!
Goodbye dark cave over my head... hello bright, fresh planshelf!
I found this basket at an estate sale for .50 cents!

I got this calendar holder a while back, and painted it black and cream, I LOVE it so much more now that it's so bright and fresh!

True story, I have never had a banana hanger. I dont know why? They are pretty cheap... I was unnaturally excited to bring this baby home.
looks like I need to make banana bread, huh?
Closer look at the left side of the plant shelf...
Closer look at the right side.
 This glass bottle came from the same estate sale as the previous basket! .75 cents! Love it!
I'm not anywhere near finished, but I am so happy with how it looks so far!
What do you think?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Menu Monday

Monday: We had a BBQ at my Father in law's.
Tuesday: I'm getting my hair done, so the hubster will probobly have frozen pizza.
Wednesday: Bowtie Casserole
Thursday: Fish and Chips
Friday: Date Night
Saturday: Beef and Bean Tostadas
Sunday: Grilled Buffalo Chicken

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe from here
3/4 C butter at room temperature
3/4 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 C sugar
1 C peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C sugar (for coating)

Start by creaming the butter. Then add the brown sugar and 1/2 cup sugar and cream together.
Beat in the peanut butter.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and combine well.
This is what the dough looks like finished. It’s a nice moist dough, not too wet, but also not dry.
Pour the remaining 1/4 C sugar in a small bowl. Take a heaping tablespoon of and form into a ball. Coat the ball in sugar by rolling it around in the bowl. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
Press the tines of a fork into the balls to create the cross-cross pattern on the top and to flatten the dough just a bit. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly brown around the bottom edges

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thousand Island Dressing

Thousand Island is not a dressing that we use on a regular basis at our house. However, my husband's favorite macaroni salad recipe calls for it, so I usually keep it on hand. But when I found out how simple it was to make, I was so glad because I wouldn't have to throw out 1/2 bottles of dressing every few weeks! I don't think I'll every buy the bottled kind again!

Thousand Island Dressing
1 cup miracle whip (or mayo)
4 Tablespoons ketchup
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 Tablespoon  sugar
1 Tablespoon  sweet pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon onion powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon  black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix very well. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Carrot and Oatmeal Muffins for your picky toddler

My little buster loves muffins! So I added a few things to bulk up the nutrition!
This is such a quick, easy recipe! You need 3 things...
Oatmeal muffin mix (okay, and the stuff to fix it, mine took and egg and 1/3 c milk)
1 carrot, grated
2 TBS wheat germ

Mix and bake according to package directions.
Easy peasy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Menu Monday

Monday: Dinner with my extended family
Tuesday: Pretzel Chicken with Honey Mustard, with Green Salad and rolls
Wednesday: Beef Fajitas with spanish rice
Thursday: Grilled Fish Sandwiches with fresh fruit
Friday: Loaded Veggie Pizza with green salad
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: French Dips with fresh veggies and ranch

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DIY Boxwood Wreath

 I am just full of DIY-ness these days, arent I? ;) Just kidding. It's spring, it makes me re-arrange everything. My husband is going insane.
I had been on the hunt for a boxwood wreath like this one for weeks.
But seriously... $55 to $85 for a wreath? I dont think so.
So I figured there had to be a DIY route! And off to Tai Pan I went!
sorry again for the photo quality, this was another 9pm project! :)
I started by buying 2 boxwood garlands for $12 a piece. I wanted a pretty thick wreath, but I bet I could of gotten away with 1.
A grapevine wreath (I had an extra, but you can buy these at walmart. You could also use a straw/styrafoam one)
and zip ties (you could also use bread ties, or hot glue)
Starting at one end of the garland, tuck the end up into the wreath with the springs pointing the way you will be wrapping.
start winding the garland with the wreath and secure to the vines with the zipties about every quater turn.
Make sure your ties are around both the garland and the grapvine.
 Keep winding, winding winding, slowly moving outward with each time around.
when you finish the entire wreath, secure with one last ziptie and clip the ends off the zipties.
And hang! It's as simple as that! It really took me like 15 minutes for the entire thing! And I am in LOVE with how it looks! Perfect for upcoming spring!
And I spent a total of $24! A LOT less than $55+shipping!

Use the code STMMMS84668 to get $10 off instantly!
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