Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chocolate Coconut Coffee Cake

My mom used to make this every Christmas Day morning, so when we started having our own Christmas mornings I had to get the recipe from her, it is sooooo good.

2 cups biscuit/baking mix
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix and 1/4 cup sugar. Whisk the egg, milk and 2 tablespoons butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into a greased 8-in. square baking dish. Pour chocolate over the batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl the chocolate.
Combine the coconut, nuts, and remaining sugar and butter; sprinkle over the top. Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 9 servings.

Sour Cream Rice

This is from one of my favorite What's Cooking girls, Carrie or Carrie's Sweet Life. She originally got this recipe from Allrecipes then I got it from her!

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1 (8.75 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt and ground black pepper to taste
In a large pot, bring the rice and chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.

In the pot with the cooked rice, mix the sour cream, green chile peppers, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, corn, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish, and top with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Weekly Menu 12/28-1/2

Monday: We stopped for a late lunch at Jose Peppers--kind of a last dinner before K went back to work!

Tuesday: Taco Pie, Sour Cream Rice

Wednesday: Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchilada's from Carrie's Sweet Life. I love Carrie and her great recipes, oh and her gorgeous new daughter!

Thursday: NYE: party at our friends house may make a dessert and bacon wrapped smokies for it, we are having apps and I think she was thinking a soup/chili!

Friday: New recipe out of my new Philsbury cookbook my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas! It's a braided crescent roll/meat/cheese creation!

Saturday: I am not sure as I think my hubby is cutting wood which means I'm on my own, so eggs or soup probably!

As you can tell my new craving is everything Mexican. I am usually not a huge van but K is and he is loving this!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Trays

We went to my mom & dads tonight and my mom pulls out these trays she has been working on. She had one she was going to make for me but nothing was put on it yet, so she let me work on it! I had a blast doing it and think it turned out cute!

Friday, December 11, 2009

White hot chocolate

I started making this 2 years ago for my cookie party and am tired of having to look it up every year so this year I am putting it in my blog. It is so good and my new fave!

From Sandra Lee

1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Vanilla whipped topping, for garnish
Candy cane, crushed or whole, for garnish
Peppermint liqueur, optional
White chocolate liqueur, optional

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine white chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir continuously until white chocolate chips have completely melted. Stir in the half-and-half, vanilla extract and peppermint extract. Stir occasionally until heated through.

Pour into mugs and top with a dollop of vanilla whipped topping and a candy cane.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Steak, mushrooms and gravy

This was super easy and it was actually really good!

I used 4 cheap steaks
1 jar beef gravy
1 can mushroom pieces

I combined all of the above ingredients in my crockpot and set it to cook. My cook times were about 6 hours on low (my crockpot cooks really hot).

We served this shredded over mashed potatoes!

Hopefully I'm back, for awhile at least!

Well the reason for my absence is that we found out on 9/29 that we are expecting our first child. Between the exhaustion of first trimester and not wanting to eat I just wasn't cooking, but now I am. I even cooked a meal last night that is blog worthy if not easy! Today I am doing some Christmas candy making, but I'm using all exsisting recipes I have on my blog! So I really hope to be back in the kitchen for at least a while!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekly Menu 11/2-11/7

Monday: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes
Tuesday: Topsy Turvy Lasagna with salad
Wednesday: GDC
Thursday: Corn flake crumb chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans
Friday: Pizza Friday I'll make pepperoni bread
Saturday: We will be at DH's parents for the day, so have no clue!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!

These are oh so good! And even more so, they are so easy! I could sit here and eat the whole pan. Good thing they are low fat and low calorie! Top them with a piece of candy corn!

1 butter recipe (or any flavor you want/have)
1 can pumpkin (I just used Libby's)
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinammon

Mix together, it will be dry, but okay!

Preheat oven to whatever the box says.

Cook them according to box directions.

I got 21 cupcakes out of this, I will make them fuller next time as they don't rise much.

Cream cheese Frosting (from allrecipes)
1 8oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream the cream cheese and butter, stir in vanilla and add in powder sugar. Frost cupcakes, this made plenty probably enough for more than 24!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tastes like spaghetti and meatballs risotto

I was watching Rachel Ray's talk show and she made this, and immediately I wanted it! So I made it for dinner that night! It was really good! I haven't really cooked anything new lately, but I hope that I get back in the kitchen!

1 28-ounce can tomato sauce or puree (I used Prego because I didn't have enough plain tomato sauce, but I will use regular sauce next time)
1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus some for liberal drizzling
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons tomato paste (didn't have any, I need to find the stuff you keep in the refrigerator)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced
1/3 cup breadcrumbs, eyeball it (I used frozen meatballs because I didn't have the ingredients to make these)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
3/4 pound ground beef, pork and veal mix
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, a small handful

Preheat oven to 400˚F.
Place the tomato sauce and stock in medium saucepot and heat over low heat. Keep warm.

Place a medium-sized pot with rounded sides over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan EVOO. Add onions and 2 cloves of garlic and sauté a couple of minutes to soften. Add the rice and turn to coat. Toast for about 1 minute then add the tomato paste and stir a minute more, stir in wine and cook until the liquid evaporates. Begin adding a couple of ladles of the tomato-stock at a time. Each time you add the liquid, stir the risotto vigorously to develop the starches. Rice will cook 18 minutes total. (If the rice is al dente and creamy, yet you still have a ladle or 2 of liquid left, do not feel forced to use it.) In the last minute or so of cooking time, stir in the butter until it melts then add 1/2 cup cheese, a couple of handfuls. Turn off heat and stir in basil.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, moisten the breadcrumbs with milk. Add egg, meat, parsley, 1/4 cup cheese, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix to combine. Score meat into 4 sections and form 8 small balls from each section, the size of marbles. Place the balls on a baking sheet and coat them with a liberal drizzle of EVOO. Bake 5 minutes until cooked through and golden.

Serve risotto in shallow bowls topped with 8 mini meatballs per serving.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spicy Orange Chicken Drumsticks and green beans

I picked up the new Real Simple for the wonderful recipes in it this month. This was one of them and it didn't fail to meet my expectations! It was so simple and oh so yummy. I didn't make the green beans because my local store didn't have any, which yes upset me! So I fixed hubby canned green beans and I had a salad. I doubled the sauce as I made like 12 drumsticks and it was the perfect amount!

1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of the supermarket)
8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound green beans
1 tablespoon butter
4 corn bread muffins, warmed (we used rolls)

Heat oven to 400º F. In a small bowl, mix the marmalade and chili-garlic sauce.
Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes, brushing with the marmalade mixture during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the green beans until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and toss with the butter and 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the chicken and muffins.

M&M Cookies

I made these last week and forgot to blog about them. They were great, enough chocolate compared to the dough. I will keep these in my recipe book for sure!

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 12-ounce package M&M’S® MINIS® Milk Chocolate Candies
3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. In medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt; blend into butter/sugar mixture. Stir in M&M’S® MINIS® Milk Chocolate Candies and nuts, if desired. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and centers are still soft. Do not overbake. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks. Store in tightly covered container.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My take on Baja Chicken Soup--Take 2

So I got the new Real Simple just for the month of menus. There are some great recipes in there so this is my take on it! I am not a big soup person, but this was awesome. You get nice heat from the ro-tel, perfect!

1 32 oz carton of low sodium chicken broth
1 can black beans (not rinsed)
1 can ro-tel
1 package of chicken breast (refrigerated section) (I was gonna use a rotisserie chicken but they didn't have any it calls for 2 cups)
1 can corn
8 oz sour cream (buy a bigger thing of it because you'll want more for your bowl)

Throw it all in a stock pot and let it go. I started it on med but turned it down once it was simmering nicely. Whisk in sour cream. Serve with crackers or corn muffins!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Sorry it's been like a week since my last posts! My 30th birthday was on Saturday. I knew there was a surprise in the works, I even knew who all was involved, but I never knew my best friend of 25 years would (with the help of my momma) fly me to Chicago. There we met up with my sister (which was also a surprise) who had drove the 3ish hours from here home to see me!
We went to Angel Food Bakery for lunch and an awesome birthday cake! We went to our hotel, Swissotel, I would recommend to anyone wanting to stay around Michigan Ave! From there we did some awesome shopping! Then went to the Signature Room Lounge in the Hancock Tower on the 96th floor! We then went back to the hotel as I was feeling a little drunk, too much champagne, and a fabulous Coconut Mojito!

Sunday we got up and went to Argo Tea and had some wonderful quiche and tea. Then we did a little shopping before we had to leave and come back to Kansas City. We were so exhausted (the hubby had gone to his home town and stayed out later than usual with his best friend) we fell asleep before 8:30! Then I thought I was coming down with something and to say the least it has taken me til Thurs to recover!!!

I would not have changed anything though! My best friend is so wonderful to get this all together, my sister was great to come up and drive us around, and my mom is fabulous, although she was unable to come with us she did pay for some of the trip! To say the least the females who I have surrounded myself with are some of the best! I love all of you!

Italian Steak Sandwiches

So I had an Italian Steak Sandwich at Lorenzo's a couple of weeks ago and it was so good I had to make them for me and the hubby!

1 lb tip steak (I had no idea what steak to get so I asked one of the butcher's at my local Hy-vee store and this is what he recommended)
1 can beef broth
1 can mushrooms
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp garlic pepper (thanks dad for telling me to buy this stuff, it's awesome!)

I put all of the above ingredients in my large crockpot and put it on low!

I made this last night and then I went to sleep and didn't tell hubby I had made it so he picked up dinner on his way home from work! So I will post pictures tonight after we eat!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Turkey Black Bean Chili

There is a spice store that I had heard the girls on the What's Cooking board talk about called Penzeys Spice Co. Well a while back I stumbled across one on Metcalf by my lawyers office so I decided to make a stop while I was down there! They have catalogs that have all of their spices and wonderful recipes in them. I made this recipe out of the catalog! It was so good, my favorite chili, hubby thought it was quite tasty as well. I served it over the red-lobster biscuits I have blogged about!

Turkey Black Bean Chili
1 med. onion (we didn't use)
1 garlic clove (or 1/4 tsp minced garlic) I used 2 tsp minced because we love it!
1 lb. ground turkey
4 Tb. chili powder (I used 3 as we don't like stuff too hot)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. penzeys freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt (Optional)
14 oz. chicken broth or 14 oz water mixed with 1 tsp. chicken soup base
2 16oz cans black beans (I only used 1 can) (1 drained and 1 undrained) I subbed 2 tbl flour to thicken the sauce
1 16 oz can kidney beans
2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (I used 1 can tomato sauce)
1 16 oz bag from corn or the kernels from 4 large ears (I used 1 can of corn)

Put the onion, garlic and turkey in a large stock pot. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the turkey is cooked through. Add the spices and cook, stirring, about 5 mins. Add the chicken broth and stir well to get the browned bits up from the pan. Add the beans, tomatoes, and corn. Cook for 10-15 mins. Serve with tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, and/or sour cream. Vegetarian version: substitute the turkey with tofu or meatless crumbles and use all of the bean liquid instead of the chicken broth.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Serves: 6-8

I got dutch cocoa, Greek seasoning, Herbes de Provence and Bouquet Garni while I was there and will be replacing my seasoning with theirs because it is awesome!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It was such a great long weekend!

It was such a great long weekend. There was shopping again at the once monthly Urban Mining and lunch with my momma. I got this bookshelf at Urban Mining, and it was exactly what I was looking for, I have an obsession with cookbooks and this is my new place to put them! We ate at Atlanta Bread Company. We also checked out the new JcPenney's and Macy's in Lee's Summit at the Summit Fair those are the only shops open right now but it looks like they are going to have some great things there. Stopped off at the Lane Bryant so I could get some of the new bras (they are awesome, I bought 3 of them!) I then went home and went to bed because I knew I had to get up early on Saturday and I was exhausted!

Saturday we got up really early so we could go to the Sparks KS twice yearly (Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends) flea market/antique fair. It was a nice place to go for parts. Although it was more flea market I will be going back! Then we came back across St. Joseph, went to get my brand new car (brand new to me) fixed (when we got up the battery was dead, had to get it jumped by one of our other cars in order to go) but the guys at Bob Sight Ford took care of it, then went to Independence, and ate an early dinner at BD's mongolian. Then it was home for me and hubby to take naps!

Sunday was a rest day. I was so tired and didn't want to move off the couch. We did watch the movie we got Saturday night on out way back into town, we got "I Love You, Man". It was okay, I won't be running out to buy it. Guess I should have used the wheelchair a little more over the weekend. Someday I will get this all figured out. I miss the days of going and going and not worrying about anything.

We got up and around Monday and went over to Sears to look at and hopefully buy a weedeater. Ours finally died. Hubby had looked at every weedeater and did loads of research to finally end up with a Craftsman, but at least the search for one was over! We also went to lunch at Steak and Shake and by Dick's to look at tennis shoes for the hubby.

To say the least I am happy we had such a great weekend and that it's Tuesday and other than a date at Starbucks with a friend today I don't have to get off the couch. Wed I have our monthly Girls Dinner Club and then Thurs I get to get my hair done! Friday will be another rest day before the Birthday festivities begin!!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

200th blog post WINNER!!!

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 8
Result: 2
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

2, 2 is the lucky number that chose for the winner of the 200th blog post. So the lucky winner...drum roll SHANNON REED!!! Shannon I will have to get ahold of you on facebook so I can give you your prize. Since I looked at Urban Mining for something and didn't find anything I will be making a welcome sign that looks like mine (I've had mine awhile and it's been hanging up on our front door, in the weather) done according to the colors you choose:

We started at urban mining this weekend and the choice of things was much lacking from last month's trip there. But it was fun and I did find a shelf to put my cookbooks on in my kitchen. Saturday we went to a new (new to us) place for a flea mearket/antique fair and it was fun I found more parts for some calendars I am making. I did mom's for mother's day, I'll have to get a picture and post it!

I'm really thinking I can do these Welcome Signs, Calendars, and Cards and start to sell them, guess if I'm gonna do it I just need to get on it already!

Okay well this week I have to update my blog with what I have done on the front room, post some of my crafts, and get ready for my big 3-0 that is on Sat.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Great Pumpkin Cookies

The weather is cooling off and I'm ready for fall and all things pumpkin! I was at my in-laws house over the weekend and was looking at a cookbook my mother-in-law had and came across this recipe. The Great Pumpkin Cookies, the cookbook is one that came from a church in Castle Rock, Colo. from Christ's Episcopal Church. It is a sample cookbook she received when she was working on a cookbook for Relay for Life. These are so good, just be careful to watch the cooking time. I thought mine weren't huge and they were taking more like 21 mins. different from the 15-18 in the original recipe! These are so good and definitely took care of my fall baking for today...come back later for more!

2 cups of flour
1 cup of oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 jumbo egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk choco.)***I used an entire bag***

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients. Stir in your chocolate chips.
I use parchment paper on my cookie sheets.
Drop by spoonfuls, about a Tbl. is what I used.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Update and weekly menu!

So things have been crazy around here the last week, hubby's dad had surgery, we went to his hometown fair, finalized the settlement with the ltd company, I got some good time in with his sister's 10 month old, and we bought a car. A 2004 Chevy Trailblazer to be exact, I love it! So today I am resting, blogging and getting caught up on my DVR!

On the schedule for the week is clean the bathroom (like deep clean with a bottle of bleach), make pumpkin cookies (the weather in KC is making me feel like fall has made an early appearance), make dinner the rest of the week, and get some good time in with my mom on Friday shopping! Also I have been wanting to start a new craft and I want to learn to sew, because I want to make really cute things (like my mom and mother-in-law have done in the past). So my mom is giving me her sewing machine so watch for some cute things to come!

This weeks menu looks like this:

Monday: Pizza with my bff
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Crockpot salsa chicken
Thursday: Turkey chili
Friday: Homemade calzones

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Sorry I've been a little MIA the last couple of days, but my father-in-laws surgery was a success. They were able to get all of the tumor and now he is recovering at the hospital. He is supposed to go home by Thurs. afternoon and then we will be back down on Friday. Their city fair is this weekend so we will go down and walk the square. It is the biggest Free Fair in the state of Missouri and is always fun. My sister-in-law has already made sure that we will be sharing our annual funnel cake!

We decided to bring our in-laws dog home with us, it was actually hubby's dog but he left it behind when he moved in with me as we thought that was only fair to her because she has much more land to roam there, than she would have here. So I will enclose a picture of Shadow in this post!

Thank you for your prayers this weekend! Don't forget to comment on the 200th post so you will be entered in the giveaway!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

hello everybody!

I thought I'd take a minute just to let everyone know that we are out of town for the weekend, for my Father-in-laws surgery on Monday. The goodies have all gone over well so far. Our neice was pretty excited and ate one while we were gone and was excited to tell us that she stole a cookie! It looks like it will be a wonderful weekend filled with lots of family and good times.

So there will be no blog posts as we aren't home, but I will post any fun pictures I take!

First funny is that hubby made a wonderful meal on the grill last night, the steaks had been marinating for a few days as we kept putting off making them, they were so tender and oh so perfect. I used Grill Mates Southwestern marinade. As we were finishing up he says this was a perfect should blog about it! But I didn't get any pictues! Sorry!

Have a great weekend everyone and I will be back with an update on Monday! If you could please keep him in your thoughts that would be wonderful!

Friday, August 21, 2009

200th post and a prize for a lucky reader!

I can not believe that I have posted 200 times....sooo crazy! I have gone from a food only blog that was so/so to learning so much and becoming a better food photographer and blogging about another favorite thing DECORATING!

So as a special post I am going to give a little something to one of my readers. Will it be baking, decorating, or something Kansas City...not sure yet, but it will be something I like so hopefully you will too! Just comment on my blog on this question? What do you like more, the food posts, decorating posts or do you think the mix I'm doing is the way to go?

Just post your comment, along with a way to get ahold of you and a lucky winner will be randomly chosen...probably taking a cue from another blog and numbers will get put in a hat and hubby will chose one! Deadline will be Sept 6th at 4:00pm, as you see I have shopping to do that weekend =)

Thank you to all my readers, for getting me to 200 posts!

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This picture is thanks to my momma, she picked up the leaf doilies at the Dollar Store for $1 a package (there's like 20 in a package), and told me to use them for my food photography as well as scrapping, there is brown leafs, red leafs and pumpkins! Thanks Mom!!!
This recipe has been floating around the What's Cooking board for some time now. I was searching my starred blogs for a chocolate chip cookie recipe to make to again take to my in-laws over the weekend and once again turned to my girl Annie of Annie's Eats and came across this recipe once again, and man am I glad I tried it. As soon as hubby walked in the door and headed for the kitchen, I knew my first tester was available. He walked out saying how great they were, and they are, they are thick, crunchy, have just the right amount of chocolate in word....WONDERFUL! This will be my go to recipe from now on! Make sure you cook them long enough, I had a hard time getting my first batch done but I will be cooking the next batch (they're in the oven now) for 17 mins!

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm

1 cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven 325°. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside. With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place formed dough onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball. Bake, reversing position of cookie sheets halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy (approximately 11-14 minutes). Do not overbake.

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Baking Illustrated

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

I was trying to figure out what I was going to take with us to my hubby's parents house and thought, granola for a quick/healthy meal, some cookies to snack on and these muffins from Annie's Blog that I've wanted to make forever. My hubby's dad has to have surgery Monday and I thought these would help them during the weekend and next week while, I am sure, there will be much running around to do!

Now Annie had beautifully puffed golden domes on hers and I was afraid mine wouldn't hold up, but I was wrong, they are gorgeous. Must be the recipe~

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins


2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2/3 cup brown sugar

6 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

½ cup peanut butter

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

¾ cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375°. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, peanut butter, eggs and milk until smooth. Add in the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin tins, filling each to the top.

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: adapted from Baking Bites

I doubled this recipe and it worked perfectly!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

World Market Finds

So when we went to World Market I picked up some food items, some I had been looking for for awhile now!

The first one are these Amaretto cookies that I have heard alot about. Amaretto is my favorite liquor and I had been looking forward to finding these so I could try them. I have also seen that you are supposed to make crusts out of them, so look for a crust for a cheesecake soon!

The next is this bag of green mint chips. I have heard of people making a host of different things with these and am excited to make some yummy brownies with them!

The next thing is this bag of Panko breadcrumbs. Now really what kind of a foodie would I be without these!

I am so excited about this next one, it's a jar of World Market's new Chocolate & Carmel spread. Think Nutella but only better! This will taste yummy on the plain scone mix I also bought! I have only tried it so far straight from the jar, but think it will be good on graham crackers as well. I am not a fan of Nutella and they also have a Cappoccino & Chocolate flavor as well!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

bacon-chicken alfredo

This recipe comes from my new Gooseberry Patch. One of my favorite subs is the Chicken Carbonara from Quizno's and I thought this might just give me the flavors of that sandwich. It didn't disappoint. While I was making our menu for the week my hubby kept saying "bacon, bacon it's all you want this week", might have been because I had an extra pound of it in the fridge, or because I do love it. He tells me while we are eating it that he isn't much of a bacon person, but that that it was very good! So I think kuddos from my hubby!

5 slices bacon
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded and sliced thinly
16 oz jar alfredo sauce
2/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic minced
4 cups cooked egg noodles

Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon. Reserve drippings and crumble bacon.
Cook chicked in drippings. Remove Chicken.
Heat alfredo sauce, parmesan cheese, and garlic. When heated through (aprox 5-10 mins), add crumbled bacon, chicken and noodles, let heat through and then serve!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scalloped Corn

This is from my new Gooseberry patch recipe book. It is called Comfort Foods and just in time for the fall/winter weather. There are several things I have already starred to make. Double Toffee Coffee Cake (perfect to take to Lamar next weekend), Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf, and a potatoe soup. So be on the lookout for several new posts from it! I knew I was going to make the pretzel dogs tonight and was looking for a side besides are usual rut of potatoe chips we've been in.

Scalloped Corn
1 can Whole Kernel Corn
1 can Cream Corn
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs (use regular not me)
1/2 cup onion (due to our dislike I left out)
1/2 cup green peppers (if I had put in something green hubby wouldn't have eaten)
4 slices bacon--cooked to a crisp and crumbled
2 tbl butter

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix first 3 together, then stir in egg-peppers. Pour into a greased 1 1/2 cup casserole dish. Place bacon and butter on top.
Cook in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.

Weekly Menu 8/16-8/21

Sunday: Pretzel dogs
Monday: Steak on the grill, cheesy potatoes, beans
Tuesday: Bacon Chicken Alfredo from new Gooseberry Patch
Wednesday: Ribs in the crockpot with mashed potatoes
Thursday: Sloppy Joes
Friday: Pizza night
Saturday-Monday: We will be in Lamar for Father-in-law's surgery, please keep him in your thoughts.

Update to the pretzel dog post!

A while back I made a post for Pretzel Dogs and have continued to make them several times. During those times I have perfected them and I will update it here!

Original post: PRETZELS:
1 package active dry yeast
1/8 cup hot water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cup warm water
4 cups flour + more for counter/hands
Kosher salt
grease/butter/spray for pans
Baking Soda

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Mix yeast and hot water in large bowl until yeast is dissolved. Add brown sugar and warm water mix until brown sugar is dissolved. Gradually add flour to mixture until it is smooth and pulls away from bowl. (I do to this point in my KitchenAide mixer)

Put dough onto floured surface and knead until it is strechy. (I find it takes more flour then you think to make it not sticky anymore).

Take about a palms worth and flatten it. Then I place a 1/2 piece of american cheese with a hot dog on top and pinch dough around the hot dog.

Place a large pan on burner fill halfway with a measuring cup. For every 1 cup of water add 1 Tbl Baking Soda to the pan. Bring to a soft boil, very small bubbles. Place pretzels into pan in small batches, count for 30 seconds slowly, then lift out using a sloted spatula, drain water off, and place on a plate lined with paper towels so thoroughly drain. Then place on a very well greased pan (I used a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprayed with Pam and sprinkled with salt)
and sprinkle with kosher salt, garlic powder or parmesan cheese. Put pan into preheated oven cook on 475 for 8-10 minutes.

Do NOT be afraid to make these. I was but decided to just do it one day and I am so glad I did, now I could make them in my sleep and there is nothing better than one of these hot out of the oven. I made the Pretzel dogs for Labor Day, all of my family raved about them, especially my daddy!

The new doggie bed!

Sorry I missed a post this week, but I will make up for it tonight with several posts. We have been looking for a dog bed for Nellie, she loves laying on blankets and thought she would love her own bed. During my frequent (a little too frequent hubby says) shopping trips with my mom (my constant shopping companion) we have had our eyes pealed for one. Found one at Home Goods, but alas it was a little too expensive and a little off color, PetSmart was found to be way too expensive, so when we were at World Market today and mom saw one I thought to myself that it would probably be too high, but nope for $20 and a lovely dog print, red with bones it was a perfect fit for us! We were right she loves he bed, as evident an hour after being home and she was crashed on it!

Friday, August 14, 2009

OMG I am stuffed!

When Belton had the Locker Room we went just for one reason...the pizza. So about a month ago they closed, I was sad, I would miss the pizza. But about the same time an Italian place was opening down the street from our house. Hubby has to pass it everyday to and from work, so I started it couldn't be...but maybe it is. So they opened last Friday but we had a busy weekend so today we had some running around to do and thought we would check on it, and yep, it was...the same pizza. Man it is so good!

For an appetizer we had a 1/2 dozen of Garlic Cheese Rolls and for $2.45 they were so worth it, they are buttery and garlicky, yum so good. They also have a full dozen for $3.95, and you can also get them without the cheese.

We of course got a 16", 1/2 cheese (for me) and 1/2 pepperoni (for the hubs) and it was as good as I remember and for $15.50 it was a deal. I am not usually a crust fan, but this crust I eat...all of it...not a bite goes untouched. They also have Calzones and Strombolis and as a fan of Calzones I will be trying one soon!

We both stopped at 2 pieces each as the waitress told us to save room for dessert. Which I had seen someone (I think one of the firefighters I know) eating and thought it looked heavenly. Yep it was we ordered a cannoli (for the hubs) at $3.75 and a piece of Tiramisu (for me) $4.75 and it was soooo good. I am a fan of Tiramisu and it did not disappoint.

They also have pasta dishes such as : Baked Ziti, Ravioli, Fettuccini Alfredo, Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna and Spaghetti.

They have hot and cold Sandwiches. And Salads.

If you eat in they also serve liquor, but have Coke products as well as Sweet and Unsweetened Ice Tea.

All of their prices are reasonable and they deliver. There is a minimum $10.00 order and a $1.75 delivery fee. However I think it's reasonable as well and I hope they like me because, they are gonna see a lot of me!

Lorenzo's Pizza, Pasta and Subs
1100 N. Scott Ave (where Gulfstream seafood used to be)
Belton Mo
Sun-Thurs 11:00am-9:00pm
Fri-Sat 11:00am-10:00pm

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Urban Mining

There is a new place in Kansas City called Urban Mining. It is very much like Goodjuju for those that are familiar with it. However where Goodjuju is for large pieces, Urban Mining is for smaller pieces. Lots of antique type pieces and in every way very much my kinda place!

I went last weekend with my mom (constanst shopping companion) and sister. One of my finds was a pair of lanterns. I've kinda had a thing with lanterns lately.

And then I saw a pair of sleigh runners, Immediately in my mind I thought, these could be lantern hangers...yeah I know, sometimes I don't even know how my mind works. So when I got home I put them together!

We have already made plans to go back in September!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

changes are a coming!

So I have been perusing blogs lately, trying to find blogs that are full of good recipes, ones that will keep my attention, and ones that well just interest me. I like to hear about peoples battles with disease and injury, maybe it's because I am a sicko, or maybe it's because I am 29 and dealing with a chronic disease of my own. So tonight I came across the blog "Use Real Butter", which is a blog I had heard about but never ventured over there, man I don't know why. I love her, I love her blog, I love her pictures, but most of all I love her take on the world. We all have our demons, we all have our battles, but it's all about how you face the world every day. She had one post specifically that is all about why she will continue to come back to a blog, and I have to say I have been guilty of several of her cons. I have let my blog go by the way side way to many times, and yes I know my friends have called me on it and so I commit to you, my reader, to not do that again, even if it's a horrible week, I will post. My goal this week is to post everyday, maybe then it will become a habit and I will continue to post for a couple weeks, a month maybe even a year.

I want you to know me, I want to reach out to others, maybe gain a few readers that I don't know IRL that will come back time and again, maybe find a few others who are in this fight against Multiple Sclerosis.

Many of you know why I filed for disability, many others don't. I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed in Feb. 2005 at the age of 25. An age when you shouldn't be worried about shots, about being able to walk when you wake up, and not finding a person to love you despite your diagnosis. I was lucky and I did find that man, and he is a wonderful man, and he loves me.

At 25 you are worried about weddings, starting a career and babies.

In the last 5 years I have had gotten married, gotten my beloved dog, and had to stop working a job that I loved. A job that made me complete. A job that I was happy to say I did. I was an Emergency Dispatcher, I helped people, I got yelled at, and cussed at...but I helped people. The day that I cried on the phone with a dad who's daughter had just been life-flighted was the day I decided I was no longer cut out for it, this also came after a week when I forgot the codes on the computer and I couldn't tell the guys, MY guys, what they needed to know because I couldn't pull the words out of my butt. I decided to walk away, so that's what I did.

A large part of my life that comes with MS is depression and so that may be the reason that I let my blogging slide, but that is just an excuse. So I say to you, please don't let that happen to me again, bug the heck out of me, get me back in here, because the one place I always feel happy is the kitchen!

We fought for a year to get my disability to go through, it was a long, hard year. But with the love of my parents, my hubby's parents and some friends that I would be lost without (you know who you are). We made it through.

So after reading through "Use Real Butter" and crying at some of her posts, and knowing that sometimes it doesn't matter if anyone is listening or reading, just getting it out into the universe is all that matters.

So even if it's a day that the fatigue (and yes it's different that being tired) has it's hold on me, I will share. I will share something funny that has happened, a small treat I have made or I will just let you know that yes I am alive.

Plus you will notice some changes to and around my blog. The fonts and colors have been changed and the name Crystal's Creations is for anything I do so I will start to show more of house things, and crafty projects I do!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

I was looking over blogs and finding new ones I liked and could find good recipes from. I came across Good Eats 'n Sweet Treats. She has some great things on hers as well as these yummy looking Shortbread "sticks". I was looking for a little something sweet to make and with just 4 ingredients these looked like the perfect fix for my sweet tooth. I had been sick all day with what I believe is a sinus infection, yes again. I think that's what is going on at least. I didn't dip them as I wasn't feeling well and really just wanted to dig in to them. So I added a few extra chocolate chips instead, they are devine!

1 cup of butter (2 sticks)--softened
1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of Nestle mini chocolate chips

For dipping:
1/2 bag of milk chocolate chips (I used 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tsp shortening)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Beat all ingredients together, except chocolate chips. Stir in chips.

Shape heaping tablespoons of dough into 3" think logs. Place on non-stick or lightly greased cookie sheets.

Bake until the bottoms are lightly browned. Took mine about 8 mins. Remove from cookie sheet and place on waxed paper, carefully, to cool. Freeze overnight or longer.

Melt a half bag of milk chocolate chips in a double boiler. If you do not have a double boiler, melt the chocolate in your microwave on high heat for 1 minute, at 30 seconds intervals, stirring well between each interval. If the chocolate is not completely melted, continue heating it in your microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring well between each interval, and being careful not to burn the chocolate. Dip each stick into the chocolate about 1/3 the way up. Immediately place on waxed paper. Chill to solidify chocolate.

Yield: Approximately 24 cookies.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ina's Creamy Cucumber Salad

My favorite Food Network Chef is Ina. I tape all of her new episodes and when I saw this episode I wrote the recipe down without even going on line to get it! I knew it would be perfect for our BBQ we were hosting, and it was, and I got rave reviews from it!


4 hothouse cucumbers, thinly sliced (3 to 4 pounds)
2 small red onions, thinly sliced in half rounds (We didn't use)
Kosher salt
4 cups (32 ounces) plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Mix the cucumbers, red onions, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt in a bowl. Pour them into a colander and suspend it over a bowl. Wrap the bowl and colander with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to drain for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the bowl.

Pour the yogurt into a sieve lined with a paper towel and suspend it over another bowl. Wrap the bowl and sieve in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the second bowl.

When the cucumbers are ready, roll them up in paper towels or a kitchen towel and press the towel lightly to remove most of the liquid. Place the cucumbers and yogurt in a large bowl with the sour cream, vinegar, dill, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Toss well and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and serve chilled.

Monday, August 10, 2009

For Today 8/10

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my rain, rain, rain
I am thinking...I am greatful for my wonderful hubby and family
I am thankful for...a great sister and mom that would come help me for 5 hours on decorating my home for my party on Sat.
From the kitchen...there are hot dogs and lots of them after the party
I am wearing...lounge clothes and not planning on doing too much at all
I am creating...lots of homemade cards with fun scrapbooking stuff I got this weekend
I am going...nowhere and am happy about that fact!
I am reading...Debbie Macomber's "Twenty Wishes", I just love her!
I am sister gets to come back home in Oct.
I am hearing...the news on t.v. and my hubby talking about articles in the newspaper
Around the is finally all done, no construction to speak of!
One of my favorite cardmaking with my mom & sisters
A few plans for the rest of the week: having girls dinner club on Wed, hopefully going to the Museum with a friend on Thurs!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...a very cool picture from our BBQ of the fire

If you want to enjoy more For Today visit Grandmother Wren.

Weekly menu 8/10-8/16

Mon: Chicken tortilla soup and grilled cheese (it's cold rainy and nasty out)--just had grilled cheese
Tues: leftover hot dogs--was not feeling well so hubby picked up tacos from Lights
Wed: Buffalo chicken sandwiches--have Girls Dinner Club
Thurs: baked ziti--we'll have the buffalo chicken sands
Fri: pepperoni bread
Sat: out hopefully
Sun: hamburges on the gril--we'll have steak as HyVee has KC Strips on sale for $3.99/lb

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

This was a quick and easy dish to make while we were working on remodeling our house. I had everything on hand and it made for a wonderful dish!

4 chicken breasts cut in thirds (12 pieces)
Bacon slices
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
chili powder
brown sugar

Cut each breast into 3 pieces, season all the chicken with the spices, then wrap a bacon slice around each piece, roll in brown sugar and place into an oven proof dish....make sure you have some olive oil in the dish too, like 2 or 3 tablespoons is fine.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and bacon is nice and brown and crispy.

Update 7/19/10
I made this again last night and made it with chicken tenders and used about 10 slices of bacon cut in 1/2. I also cooked them at 350 and it only took about 20 minutes (I used my meat thermometer) I have got to remember this good!

Bife Trinchado--Portugese Steak

Bife Trinchado--Portugese Steak

by Full Bellies, Happy Kids

I am so happy I made this and so happy I found the Full Bellies, Happy Kids blog! Me and Kevin absolutely loved this meal and we will make it again for sure. I loved my first Portugese dish and hope to make more!

1 lb cubed beef (I used eye round steak and cut it into cubes)

3 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

white wine (I used about 1/2 cup)

crushed garlic (I used about 2 tsp)

bay leaf (1)

salt (couple of pinches)

pepper (1 pinch)

paprika (I used about 1 tbl)

flour (enough to cover all meat, just eyeball it you can always add more)

1 medium onion sliced thinly (we didn't use)

Homemade Fries

In a bowl combine the beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaf, wine, salt and pepper and paprika. Place in the refrigerator for an hour or two so the flavors can really sink into the meat. The best way is to leave it overnight, the longer you leave the marinade, the better it tastes and the more tender the beef will become.

In a skillet, add some olive oil and a little butter. Grab the steak out of the refrigerator, add some flour and using your hands toss well to coat the beef. Pour into the skillet. Brown the beef well on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the beef cubes and reduce heat.

Add the sliced onions and some more olive oil and butter.--I skipped

I usually keep some water next to me and add a little at a time, just enough to keep a good amount of sauce in the skillet.Cook the onions until soft, then add the beef to the pan again, mix well and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Remember to keep checking the pan and adding a little water, you want to end up with a lot of sauce.

Ladle a good amount of beef and gravy into a plate, lay the fries around the meat and serve immediately.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekly Menu 8/2-8/9

It's gonna be a crazy hectic week with family being in town and getting the house ready to entertain Saturday night. I am so excited for the week though, I love my family and my friends so much! Both Sunday and Mondays meals come from my new favorite blog Full Bellies, Happy Kids. She has some of the best recipes on there! I am so excited to try tonights Bife Trinchado, as her family is Portugese. I have never had Portugese food but I am so excited to try it!

Monday: Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken
Tuesday: Baked meat ziti--I'm gonna play around and come up with my own
Wednesday: With my parents probably as my sister will be home
Thursday: Hopefully out with family since papa and sis will be home!
Friday: TBD
Saturday: BBQ at our house with our family and friends!!!
Sunday: leftovers probably

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pasta E Falioli

Beans and Pasta? This was pretty much my husband's response when I told him the menu this week. I went ahead and made it since I had heard so much about it, well he loved it, and so did I. This will stay in our rotation for sure! (Yes we already changed out menu for the week, but I forgot I needed to go to the store to buy the ingredients for the crock pot meal this week, so I'll make it tomorrow while I'm busy on house stuff!)

Credit: Smells Like Home
by way of Full Bellies, Happy Kids

2 tablespoons EVOO
1 medium onion, diced (we didn't use as we don't like onion)
4 strips bacon (uncooked and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
2 cloves garlic, minced (used 2 tsp. minced garlic)
3 cups jarred or homemade spaghetti sauce *I used 1 Jar of spaghetti sauce*

1 (15oz) can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)

2 tablespoons grated pecorino-romano cheese, plus more for garnish *substituted Parmesan cheese for the pecorino-romano*

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper (pinches to taste)
1 lb ditalini pasta or other small tubular pasta (i.e., elbows) *I one box of penne*

In a deep stockpot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat then saute onions for 3 minutes. Add bacon and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring to keep the bacon from burning.

Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, add sauce, beans, 2 tbsp pecorino-romano cheese, garlic powder, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Stir to combine well and cook for 15 min. While sauce mixture is cooking, cook pasta until tender and drain well. Add pasta to sauce mixture and combine well.

Turn heat to low and allow pasta and sauce flavors to “mingle” for 5 minutes. Serve with grated cheese and crusty bread, if desired.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weekly Menu 7/27-8/2

Monday: chicken enchilada casserole
Tuesday: breakfast for dinner
Wednesday: Slow cooker swiss steak
Friday: Pepperoni Loaf
Saturday: Hopefully my hubby's parents and siblings will be here and we'll eat as a family
Sunday: Grilled steaks with homefries

As you see there are a couple of recipes from the same new blog I found called Full Bellies, Happy Kids. She has some great things on there!

Stolen Quiz

Stolen from "Be a Hip Chick", a very cute little blog I came across today.

8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:

1. Our BBQ on the 8th.
2. My sister and grandpa coming in to town in the next week!
3. cooking dinners. I need to get back in to planning meals out!
4. Picking back up some crochet needles, as I'm wanting to learn how to crochet afghans!
5. Kevin's parents and hopefully siblings coming in to town this weekend.
6. My fast approaching 30th birthday.
7. Getting a trip planned to Texas this fall!
8. Having the rest of my disability go through.

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. played on the computer
2. watched t.v.
3. made dinner
4. cleaned up the scrapbook room
5. finished one book and started another
6. played with my puppy
7. watered my plants on the deck
8. having some quality time with my hubby

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. be as energetic as i was before MS entered my life
2. craft something new everyday
3. shop everyday
4. make a perfect wedding cake
5. have everything that I put in my yard grow
6. worry less
7. love all vegetables
8. see a cure for MS in my lifetime

8 Shows I Watch:

1. Hell's Kitchen
2. Project Runway
3. Top Chef
4. Next Food Network Star
5. Real World
6. Big Brother
7. Survivor
8. Design Star

8 Favorite Fruits:

1. peaches
2. grapes
3. apples
4. blackberries
5. blueberries
6. plums
7. strawberries
8. raspberries

8 Places I’d Like To Travel To:

1. Greece
2. England
3. Jamaica
4. east coast
5. Italy
6. Texas
7. Alaska
8. Montana

8 Places I’ve Lived:

1. Belton, MO
2. Mesquite, TX
3. and Belton, MO...yep pretty much born here, live here

8 People I’m Tagging:
Nobody, just feel free to steal it from me!

For Today

As I grow and evolve I am learning more about myself and what I want my life to be. I am so much more than just a cook, I am a bargain hunter, a scraper, a crafter and a reader as well as a decorator, a lover of colors, the "hostest with the mostest", I am also a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend, and you can't forget a mommy to an 85 pound lab mix who is my best bud.

As I was going through some blogs to find new recipes today I stumbled across a wonderful site that is all about living the simple life, which is something I strive for. I am going to start participating in "The Simple Woman's Daybook" and will have new posts every Monday.

(and I promise to get back in cooking, I made an enchilada casserole last night that my hubby just loved!)

FOR TODAY July 28, 2009...
Outside my is a rainy, rainy day.

I am can it by July and be COLD in the house, temps in the 70's what is going on!

I am thankful for...a wonderful husband who makes me smile everyday! oh and makes my life a lot easier.

From the kitchen...I made some easy chocolate chip muffins this morning to have with my morning coffee, it was lovely. For dinner it's breakfast for dinner as I am not going to the store until tomorrow.

I am wearing...cotton shorts and a tee shirt as I had to finish some touch up painting and clean the wood floors.

I am creating...a beautiful home. Our front room is almost done, we have a few finishing touches and it will be ready for the big reveal.

I am lunch with an old friend tomorrow that I have not seen in like 8 years and I'm really excited about it!

I am reading..."A Three Dog Life" by Abigail Thomas. So far it's great my BFF let me borrow it thinking it would be a book I would like!

I am hoping...everyone can make it to our BBQ as it has been such a hard long year and it will be nice to be surrounded by our loved ones.

I am dogs paws on the hardwood floors, and her lapping up her water.

Around the house...I am feeling accomplished, I have used Murphys on our woodwork/floors, painted, cleaned the kitchen, and worked on the scrapbook room.

One of my favorite shopping! I am so looking forward to my sister being home and getting to introduce her to the awesomeness that is Good JuJu in Kansas City!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Lunch, grocery shopping, finishing up the house, cooking/baking and getting ready for family being in town the next 2 weeks.

Here is picture that I am sharing...Picture of me and Kevin from our summer vacation to Branson!

This was found on "The Simple Womans Day Book" to see others day books click the link!
If you want to do your own click this link.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thank You!

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone out there who follows my blog and has prayed or crossed their fingers for us, we have known for a couple of weeks and had the money actually come through last week, but my Social Security came through. This is so bittersweet for me as it means I am officially disabled, but man it's sure nice to be caught up on bills and be able to go shopping! We also got to start on our re-do of our living/dining room now that we have the money to do it! Here are pics of it!

This is also giving us the opportunity to go on a mini-vacation this weekend. It will just be to Branson for a couple of days but it will be a nice getaway. Once everything else works out we will plan a big trip to Texas to visit family in Waco, San Angelo and South Padre. A few days on the beach in Padre sounds like the perfect end to all of this mess, oh and seeing my papa!

So to everyone out there, thank you and much love!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chocolate Monster Cookies

I was looking for a Monster Cookie recipe without peanut butter to make for a friend's 4th of July shin-dig. I came across this one on bakeorbreak's blog and OMG it is my new fave cookie, it's chocolatey, crisp, and oh so good. The only change I made was I used 1 cup of M&M Baking pieces and the mini Hershey Kisses baking pieces. You can pretty much change out these for anything you would like!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 & 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews
Preheat oven to 350°.

Beat butter until smooth. Add sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat until combined. Add eggs, one a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Gradually add flour and cocoa powder until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and cashews.

Drop dough by 1/4-cup portions onto lined baking sheets. Place cookies about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until done. Let stand for 1-2 minutes on baking sheet. Then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lemon Cookies for my hubby

My husband has a love affair with lemon. So when I saw this recipe in my mom's new Gooseberry Patch cookbook I knew I needed to make them for him. He absolutely loved them. I thought they lacked something, but I am also not a fan of lemon!

Mock Lemon Madeleines

8 oz pkg. cream cheese-softened
1/4 cup margarine-softened
1 egg
1 t vanilla
18 1/2 oz pkg lemon cake mix
1/2 cup chopped pecans (only mixed in to a few of them for me as hubby doesn't like nuts a lot of the time)
Garnish: Powdered sugar

Blend together cream cheese and margarine; add egg and vanilla. Stir in dry cake mix and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets (I used my silpads); Flatten slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden. When cool, sprinkle with powder sugar. Makes about 2 doz.