Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Brownies

I made these little guys in a cake pan.  Then I used frosting tinted orange and green to decorate the face and stem.  They were so yummy!  I am hoping that I can get different pans for next year.  the only problem is that I refuse to pay full price, so hopefully they will have some marked down after Halloween.  I am hoping to find some skull pans or something scary.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Breast Or Bottle?

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am going to be an Aunt again in a couple of months.  This baby will either be my ninth nephew or my sixth niece.  My sister opted not to find out the sex of the baby, and since she already has a son and a daughter, she is prepared for either one.  She breast fed both of her other children, and I am sure she will breast feed this one as well.

I tried to breast feed all three of my kids, but it never worked out.  I ended up pumping for the first three months of each kids life, but then my milk dried up and I gave them formula.   I always chose the store brand formula because I knew it was just as good as the name brands.  In fact, the store brand formulas must meet the same FDA nutrition guidelines as the brand names.  There is no reason to buy the more expensive formulas, because there is no difference between them and the sometimes up to 50% cheaper store brands.  That can be a savings of up to $600 a year.  I am sure new parents can think of many other things that they could spend that money on.

If I ever have another child, I will not even be able to attempt breast feeding because of my breast reduction.  I will happily be buying store brand formula once again.  Let's all just hope that I don't find myself in that position, though.  I am too old to be starting over with a baby.  Although, this time around I would have two teenagers who could help out.

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The Cake

I wish I could take the credit for this one, but I can't.  My mom made it.  She always makes the kids cakes, and she really outdid herself this time.  Everyone loved it.

Thanks mom!  You rock!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Spread

 Don't you just love the eyeball tablecloth!

We had deviled eggs, fruit salad (apples, grapes, and strawberries), monster toes, and the strawberry ghosts.  The monster toes were little sausages wrapped in tortillas, with little bits of the ends cut off to look like toenails.  I then filled the "nails" with bbq sauce so it looked like blood.  I make these every year and the kids (and adults) love them.
 I also had the little croissants, a cheese and cracker tray, spinach dip (my mom made it and it was awesome!), a pickle and olive tray, salsa, white cheese con queso dip, french onion dip, and a variety of chips.
 I also served those ham and turkey rolls, a vegetable tray with ranch dip, and all the chocolates I made. 
My sister brought some pizza rolls (they didn't fit on the table!) and I was a little jealous when they were the first to go.  After all the hard work I put into the party food, little frozen pizza rolls were the favorite.  Go figure.  next year, I am going to save myself the trouble and just put out a platter of those, lol!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


 One of Brandi's friends gave her a little booklet of Halloween recipes at school, knowing that we were having a Halloween party.  One of the recipes was yogurt covered strawberries that looked like little ghosts.  Brandi really wanted to make them for the party, but I didn't think the yogurt would stand up to being on the table all night.  So...I decided to substitute white chocolate for the yogurt.  I melted the chocolate, and let Brandi dip the strawberries.
I used black food gel to make the eyes and mouths, and I don't know if I didn't give it enough time to dry or what, but when guests picked up the ghosts, the black rubbed right off on their fingers.  I am not sure what else I could have used.  Any ideas for next time?

Do You Entrecard?

A few months ago, I signed up this blog of mine on entrecard.  I have been using it on my other blogs for a couple of years, and it is a great way to get your blog"out there".

If you haven't heard about entrecard, well, than you must be living under a rock or something.  The general idea is that you put a widget on your blog, and then other entrecarders stop by your blog and "drop" (or click) on your widget, with the hopes that you will visit their blog and do the same.   Sounds easy, right?  You are allowed 300 "drops" per blog, per day.  I don't drop nearly 300 using this blog, so I don't get very many return drops.  It's really a "you get what you put into it" type of thing.

Right now, if you sign up and write a post about how awesome (or not so awesome...though I can't think of anything not awesome about them) they are, you can earn some bonus credits by entering this contest.  My biggest piece of advise is to drop using firefox.  My sons computer has IE, and it takes me forever to drop on it.

Have fun and happy dropping.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Perfect Cup Of Coffee

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nestle Dolce Gusto. All opinions are 100% mine.

Last year for Christmas, my sister's all chipped in to get my mom one of those coffee makers that makes a single cup at a time.  All you do is buy those individual little capsules of coffee that go into the machine, and you can have a cup of coffee without having to wait for an entire pot to brew.  Since my mom lives alone, this coffee maker is perfect for her.  Her only complaint, if this can be considered a complaint, is that she can't make iced coffee.  She has to make a hot cup, and then add ice to it.

The NESCAFE Dolce Gusto machine does have the option of making cold coffee, which I know my mom would love.  It can also make Caffe Lungo, Espresso, Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Mocha, Caffe Americano, Iced Cappuccino, and even hot chocolate.  You can even customize the froth, heat, and strength of the coffee simply by using the patented Custom Control Lever.

I am not a coffee drinker, but Junior does like to have a cup sometimes, so this machine would be perfect for us. I don't really know much about coffee makers, so I did a little research.  I know you can learn a lot by reading about a product, but I feel that you can learn more about how it really works from people who have actually used the product for a little while.  At, you can read what 50 people have to say about using this coffee maker.  I read most of the reviews, and the majority of user had only good things to say.  To me, that means a lot.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Appetizers For Tomorrow's Party

Two hours....that's how long it took me to roll these ham and turkey pinwhells.  Simply put, they are slices of ham and turkey smothered in cream cheese and rolled up, then cut into sliced.  I used Halloween themed picks to hold them together. 

It took me two and a half hours to make these mini ham and cheese croissants.  I used regular Pillsbury croissants, and cut each one into about eight little croissants.  I rolled them up with little pieces of ham and cheddar cheese, and voila, yumminess.  And trust me, they are yummy. 
I also bought garlic croissants and rolled them with onion and chive cream cheese.  (I don't have pictures of them because I am too tired)  I will take tons of pictures of the rest of the party food tomorrow as I get it prepared.  Or maybe it will be Saturday when I find the time.  I have so much to do before the party, I probably won't be online much tomorrow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I can not take credit for this recipe.  I stole it from my friend Stacey.  She posted the recipe on her blog, and I knew that my family would love it...and they did!  Whenever I make this, I always double up and make two trays, because the hubs says it tastes even better as leftovers.  I made this last Thursday, and the kids ate the last of it yesterday.  That was two trays gone in three days...that should tell you how good it is!

The recipe:

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
1 cup shredded monterey jack & colby cheese
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (I only had two cans, and since I was doubling, I also used two cans cream of chicken...worked just as well)
1 small onion finely diced (I used my food processor, which I believe Stacey said to do)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup flour seasoned to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground red pepper)
2 cups baking mix (I use Jiffy)
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 stick butter

Cut chicken into 1 -2 inch squares and coat with the seasoned flour.  (even doubling the recipe, 1 cup of flour was more than enough to coat the chicken)  melt the butter in a deep skillet with the minced garlic and onion until they start to brown, then add the chicken.  Cook chicken until all pieces are brown and almost cooked completely through.

In a large bowl, put the mixed veggies, cheese, and cream soups.  When chicken is done, add to bowl and mix so that everything is coated with the soup.  Pour mixture into well greased 9x13 baking dish.

In another bowl, mix the baking mix, milk, and eggs.  Pour over chicken.  (I always smooth it with the back of a spoon to make sure it covers the whole dish) Bake at 350 degree for 30-40 minutes until crust is firm and brown.

The prep does take a little time, but it is so worth it, especially now that Fall is here, and cooler temperatures should be headed our way,  This dish is ultimate comfort food.

Thanks for the recipe Stacey!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stuffed Shells

We were in the grocery store the other day, and Junior asked if I would make stuffed shells for dinner some night.  I said, sure, even though I had never done it before.  I bought the shells and some cheeses (I was guessing which kinds I would need) and came home to my computer to find a recipe.  After lots of searching, I took different ingredients from several recipes and kind of came up with my own.

My recipe:

16 oz. ricotta cheese
9 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. parsley
mushrooms (canned, diced pretty small)
2 eggs

I mixed all the ingredients together with my mixer on medium.  Most recipes said to mix by hand, but I couldn't get the texture I wanted, so I threw it into my mixer.  I than stuffed the shells I cooked and cooled with the cheese mixture.  I put them in a baking dish with a little sauce underneath so they wouldn't stick to the pan, and some on top, too.  I baked it for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.  (I didn't cover the pans, so they dried out a time I will cover them for the first 20 minutes)
They came out delicious!  I am not a big cooked spinach fan (I love it raw in salads, but the cooked just doesn't do it for me), so I was worried about the taste.  There was no need.  the only complaint my husband had was that the cheese mixture needed something...but he didn't know what.  He said he expected it to taste more like the filling in a cheese wonton, so I am thinking of maybe adding a little cream cheese to the cheese mixture the next time I make this.  What do you think?  Would that work?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fettuccine With Chicken & Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sauce

Here's a simple, yummy meal that I made in two pans.  First, I cut up some chicken breasts into bite sized pieces.  (I do this a lot because it helps to cook the chicken faster)  I cooked the chicken in a little olive oil in my big skillet.  When that was brown and cooked through, I added two jars of Ragu's Roasted Garlic Parmesan Sauce.  I then cooked a package of fettuccine pasta, and added that to the skillet.  I mixed it all together, and served it with garlic bread.  Everyone loved it, and it was ready in about 30 minutes.  Plus, I served it on paper plates, so I only had the pasta pot and skillet to wash.  There's nothing I like better than a yummy meal that has an easy cleanup.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Made Chicken Nuggets!

Don't they look delicious?  I cut up chicken breast strips into bite sized pieces, and threw them into some beat eggs.  I then mixed some panko breadcrumbs with paprika, parsley, and garlic powder.  I coated the chicken with the breadcrumbs, and then shallow fried them in a mixture of canola and olive oils.  The kids loved them!  I am going to try baking them next time, and seeing if I get the same crunch.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Olive Garden

I had only been to the Olive Garden one time, over 16 years ago.  I went to Myrtle Beach with a friend of my dad's, and we ate there one night.  I remember it having delicious food, but man oh man were my taste buds happy last Friday.  My friend Donna treated me to lunch there, and well, wow.  Check out the bruschetta I ordered:
I ended up taking most of it home with me.  I love bruschetta, but this was the best I have ever had.  EVER.  My entree was portabella mushroom ravioli in a five cheese sauce.  Sooo good.  It was sooo good I forgot to take a picture before I gobbled it up.

And of course, to finish the meal, we had cheesecake.  White chocolate raspberry cheesecake to be exact.  Look at how pretty it was:
The entire meal was yummy.  I loved their service, too.  The never ending salad and bread sticks...yum.  The freshly grated Parmesan cheese...yum.  I loved that they boxed up my leftovers (and there were a lot!) themselves instead of handing me to go boxes.  I can wait to go back there with Junior and the kids, which won't be until next year when we get our tax refund.  As good as the food was, there is no way we can afford to feed all of us.  The check was almost $50 for just Donna and I.

But it was worth every penny. (especially since they were her pennies)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Top Droppers ~ September

The following blogs dropped here the most last month:

bethere2day ~ bethere2day is a personal blog about anything and everything, fun, humour, randomness and rants. ~  The view from my window.
Free Blogspot Blog Templates ~  collection of blogger templates...
Documentary Post ~  Watch & Reviews Documentaries found online
J5Games ~  free online games found online
Local Brown ~  collection of funny stand-up comedians videos..
comatised ~ Dreaming in digital
 Da Dude's BBQ Thought ~ Da Dude's BBQ Thought & other things. The thoughts and rantings of a Barbecue God Wanna be! 
Sing It Live ~  compilation of live performances of various artists..
NPB Journal ~  A portal of daily news covering National Basketball Association.
Thanks to all of you!