Monday, July 26, 2010

A world of change

Well, today mark 5 days till we leave, and that means just 4 days till we load the truck!  So, with that said, I packed the rest of my kitchen today.  So, I won't be blogging about food for a while...probably a week or two.  Sorry to have to put it on hold, but moving our lives across the country is kind of a world of change it itself.

So, when I'm back on here, I will be writing from NC and having lots of new things to cook up!  :)  Until then, I have a couple casseroles in my freezer ready to be baked for dinners this week, and when we get to our cute new apartment in NC on Tuesday night of next week I just may cook something up....but probably not till after my kitchen is unpacked.  So yea, it will probably be more realistically 2 weeks till I am blogging on here again.

Wow, that was a lot of rambling....anyway, have fun, stay safe and eat well! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Homemade Sopapillas

Who doesn't love a great, fresh, warm Sopapilla?  Well, now you can make them at home with ease!  Just use the same mix that I use for Tortillas and use the instructions for Sopapillas!  Pretty easy and super delicious! :)

All you do is basically use 2 c. mix and 1/2 c. milk then mix together.  Then you let it rise for about 30 minutes.  Then you roll it out, cut it into pieces and fry them up!  Then you can sprinkle whatever you like on them (the directions say to use powdered sugar, but I used cinnamon sugar like they do at restaurants) and then you can add honey on top or inside if you would like as well!
 I think they turned out quite well for my first time...and definitely not my last!  My hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed them!  :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quick Breads

Well, who doesn't like a good quick bread?!?!  Okay, maybe you....but the rest of us sure do right?  ;)  So, when I went to make snacks for my hubby's dissertation defense this week I thought quick breads would be nice.  (Because they are quick, easy and yummy!)  I actually went the super easy route this time though and made them at home but used mixes, as opposed to making them from scratch.  I got a great response from the Lemon Poppyseed especially though, so thought I would talk them up.

I used Krusteaz Lemon Poppyseed mix.  You can use it for muffins, quick bread or even pound cake.  I just followed the instructions for High Altitude for the quick bread, and it turned out perfectly! :)

As for the other I used Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip mix.  You can also use this for muffins or quick bread.  So I made the quick bread for high altitude as well--turning out well too.

Then I just baked them according to the directions and waited till they cooled to cut them into slices.  Then I arranged them on a platter.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pi Punch

Well, I forgot to blog about my favorite thing I made for the party on Saturday!  Punch.  Pi Punch.  Ever heard of it?  Maybe not exactly huh....  :)  Well, I used the rather standard recipe for punch that was always used at showers and wedding at the church I grew up in.  (In fact it was at my showers, and wedding too!)  It consists of about 1/2 gal. sherbet to 5 liters of 7-up or sprite.  Simple enough huh?  But SO good and refreshing!  It's always a big hit.  :)

I prefer the lime sherbet but I've had it in just about every flavor and they are all good.  I used lime at our party because my hubby is graduating from CSU, where the school colors are green and gold.  :)  And since he's a super genius Electrical Engineer, I got these super cute Pi shaped ice cube trays and made Pi ice cubes for the punch.  Now since I didn't want to water it down with water, I made the pi's out of sprite.  And so that they would be able to bee seen--and photographed--I colored them green.  :)  Pretty clever huh?  Well...I at least thought so.  :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Party today

Well, we had a great day today!  I threw a Graduation party for my hubby and it was also a "Going Away" party for us.  We had a good turn out and lots of fun.  People were really sweet and generous too.  So we feel very loved right now.  It was great to see family, extended family and good friends.  Thanks to everyone who came--we really appreciated it!  :)

Now, as for the food for the party...I did it all myself.  And not that it was extravagant or anything, but it was a lot of work and took preparation.  The menu had:   little smokies, vegetables/dip, chips/salsa and of course cake!  Although no party is truly complete unless there is a Pinata right?  ;)  So we had one of those too.  Although I didn't take any pictures at the party today, my mom did and will send me hers which is nice! :)  I did snap a couple yesterday while I was preparing some of the food.

I love chips and salsa, and while I usually use my standard of homemade (by my mom and I) in the cupboard, I was fresh out and so I wanted to make some.  I'm not a huge fan of the store-bought salsa anyway, and my mom and I had tried this recipe for Restaurant Style Salsa by Pioneer Woman over Memorial Day so I decided to make it for the party.  Apparently everyone else enjoyed it too because it went pretty fast!  :)  I did the recipe the same as Ree has it except I didn't add Cumin, because I simply didn't have it....nor do I think I actually like it....and I only used one can of Rotel because I think it would have been too hot otherwise.  Anyway, great salsa!

Restaurant Style Salsa by Pioneer Woman
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes With Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (diced Tomatoes And Green Chilies)
  • ¼ cups Chopped Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Quartered And Sliced Thin
  • ¼ teaspoons Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • ½ cups Cilantro (more To Taste!)
  • ½ whole Lime Juice

Preparation Instructions

Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed. Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

 Vegetable trays: 2 Reusable Plastic trays from Dollar Tree,  2 lb. baby carrots,  2 # broccoli,  1 head cauliflower and Dip of your choice.   Put those together and you get two good-sized veggie trays at a great price!  :)  (Mine are pictured above.)

As for the little smokies, I got a big package of them at Sams for $5.  I think there were about 125 of them in there.  Great deal huh?  And I cooked them on the stove as directed and then smothered them in bbq sauce.  Then I kept them hot in a round crock pot I borrowed from my mom.  :)  They went really fast too.  But who doesn't love a perfectly portioned little sausage?  :)

Cake.  While the thought ran across my mind that I could make one for this event, I decided to leave it up to the professionals.  :)  So I got a full sheet cake from King Soopers and had them do it half Almond Poppy-seed and half Chocolate all with Buttercream frosting.  It turned out great, and we couldn't even see the seam down the middle!  I suppose I could have ordered a half sheet cake though because there were leftovers...but I'd rather have too much, than too little.  :)  Did I mention it tasted amazing?  I love King Soopers cakes.  Especially Almond Poppy-seed with the white buttercream.  Delicious.  Yum.  :)

Pinata was a hit too.  We had the kiddos take turns and I think they enjoyed it. wouldn't break open, so at the end of pinata time we just put it on the ground and let the kiddos tear it up.

Anyway, after weeks of preparation it was over within two hours.  Kind of reminds me of our wedding...although this was obviously on a much smaller scale.  Anyway, it was a good time with great people.  I am actually glad it's over now though.  Sad, but glad.  :)  Can't believe we leave two weeks from today.  So. Bittersweet. So. So. Bittersweet.

Friday, July 16, 2010

How to make a homemade banner!

I had a couple of people ask me to make a tutorial for the banner I made and posted on here the other day. So here it is: :)

What you'll need:

Pinking Shears
Colorful fabric of your choice for triangles
Long strip about 1.5" wide for holding banner together.
Sewing Machine (ok, you could do it by hand...but that'd be a lot of work.)

I'm not giving quantities of fabric, because it all depends on how long or big you want to make it. But for mine that I made today I used 22 triangles and it made a banner that was about 7 feet long.

1. Get out your colorful fabric for the triangles and get ready to cut them out!

2. Starting cutting out triangles with your pinking shears*. They don't have to look perfect, or if you'd like you could measure them all and make them perfect. :) It's all up to you and how you want it to look--and how much time you'd like to spend making it!

*Pinking shears don't prevent it from fraying, but it controls how much it will fray. So that's why I used pinking shears so that I didn't have to hem the triangles and it will give it some homemade flavor for years to come! :)

3. I found that cutting the triangles so that the top (flat part that will be the top once it's in the banner) is about half of the length of the sides (parts you cut) makes it the right proportions.

4. Once you have all your tirangles cut out put them in a pile. (Mine's kind of a messy pile...)

5. Get your long strip ready. You can use pinking shears on it if you'd like, but you don't have to since it will be hemmed. :)

6. Lay the strip with the nice side down.

7. Then fold each side into the center like this.

8. Now fold that in half and sew it together for a few inches. (Leave as much as you'd like to be able to tie it to something.)

9. Now stick your first triangle in the fold and sew. I did mine like this, but it doesn't matter which direction the fabric tirangles are facing--as long as they are all facing the same way! :)

10. Keep sewing, like sew. ;)

11. Once you get done sewing the first one, put the second one right next to it, but not overlapping and sew. Then continue with the rest of the triangles until you get to the desired length! :) Then remember to leave some at the end to be able to tie it up for decorating!
Here it is flapping in the warm breeze. Like I said this one has 22 triangles and is about 7 feet long.

Detail view.

I alternated the fabric of triangles on the banner I made the other day, but today I just used one fabric. So be sure to make your banner they way you want it! :) The more colors the better.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Homemade Banner

Well, since we have our party coming up on Saturday and our garage sale the Saturday after that, I decided to make a banner. We can use it over and over and over again since's it's fabric, washable and colorful. :)

Detailed view.

Whole banner.

I made it out of scraps of fabric and I think it turned out pretty well. I was going for the quick type, so I didn't hem the triangles and instead cut them with pinking shears.

Toaster Cover

Sew, I finally got around to making my toaster a cover.  I had made my stand mixer a cover shortly after we got married, so finally two years later I made one for the toaster.  :)  When you live in an apartment and don't have the cupboard space to keep mixers and things in, you have to have them on the counter, which is why I made the one for the mixer.  It's also why I made one for the toaster, even though I'm pretty sure everyone has them on their counters....even in houses.  Anyway, now dust won't accumulate in it (not that I've ever had a problem with that, but it could be an issue...) and it makes my counter top look a litle nicer.  :)

Also, the best thing is that I didn't have to buy any fabric for this.  I still had the scraps from when I made the one for my mixer, and I was SO glad I had kept them.  (See, holding on to things saves money! :) )  Although I suppose I would have made it a little more stylized with curves if I had more fabric to work with today....but still, I didn't spend a penny and look what I have!  :)  Oh, my only true regret was not changing my bobbin to black thread though....I changed the other and somehow forgot about the bobbin till the project was complete, and at that point I didn't want to rip it apart just to change that.  You can probably see some white on the vertical seam...oh's finished and still cost nothing.  :)

Sweet Crepes

I felt like making crepes for breakfast today, and when I searched my blog for my recipe it was no where to be found.  Funny I thought, but then I realized that I haven't made crepes in a while.  In fact, I haven't made them since before I start my foodie blog back in January.  I guess you could say that, like I do with many recipes I love, I made them too much in a row and we, or at least I, got sick of them....but only for a while!  :)

So here's my trusty sweet crepe recipe.  I have never ventured to make savory ones...because simply, if it ain't broke, why fix it?  But for my sweet hubby who also enjoys the savory ones...I'm sure I will make one of those these days too.

Sweet Crepes:
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. sugar
sweet things to fill them with such as: nutella, fruit, cool whip, whipped cream, cream cheese, sugar....the possibilities are almost endless! :)

Ingredients for batter....

1.  Whisk milk, egg and vanilla until well combined.
2.  Add flour and sugar.  Then continue whisking until well combined.  Unlike pancake batter this should not have any lumps in it, and it should be really thin.
3.  Heat an 8" skillet (I prefer to use a non-stick skillet, but you could use any) and either spray with cooking spray or put a tad oil in it.
4.  Put about 1/4 c. batter in center of pre-heated skillet and then quickly pick it up and have it flow all the way around the skillet.  Covering the bottom of the skillet and making a very, very thin pancake.  Let it cook for only about 1-2 minutes or until there are little bubbles all over it.  Again, it's thin and will cook very quickly.
Ready to flip.

5.  Carefully flip the crepe over and cook the other side for about 1 minute.  Again, this goes very quickly.
Just flipped and about done.

6. Remove from skillet and place on plate.

7.  Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the batter is gone.
Yep I enjoy Nutella and raspberries (sometimes even frozen ones) in my crepes.  :)

8.  Once all the crepes are cooked, now you can do the fun part of filling them!  Just spread on nutella, whipped cream or cream cheese, then add fruit or whatever else you'd like.  Then roll up.

Get creative and try new combos of ingredients.  Although, I typically use the same two ingredients each I suppose that's ok if you just stick with what you like too.  ;)

Serve and enjoy!
 Or you can fill it with this amazing cool whip and cream cheese mixture that you add fruit to.  I'd been skeptical to try it, but I did this weekend...and now I'm a believer.  It's delish!  :)
 Equal parts of cool whip and cream cheese.  Whip up good.  Then add some strawberry pieces or whatever fruit you have on hand/want in your crepe.  Stir that up and slather it in the middle, roll it up and top with a chocolate drizzle.  Yum!

This is a small recipe and it makes about five 8" crepes.  So if you'd like bigger crepes, or more smaller/bigger crepes you can easily double, triple or quadruple the recipe.  Just be sure when doubling, etc. that you double all of the ingredients, being sure to keep the same proportions!  :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

White Mochacino Ice Cream

Alright, I couldn't I just made some White Mochacino Ice Cream tonight!  I thought the timing was quite nice for my hubby too, because he likes to scoop out some of the leftovers (that are in the freezer) into a thermos in the morning, and then he has a cool refreshing coffee drink for later in the day.  Clever guy huh?

White Mochacino Ice Cream  (Pronounced Mocha-chino)

1 c.  Half and Half

1 packet of Via by Starbucks, any variety (I used Italian Roast)

1/3 c.  Sweet Ground White Chocolate (I use Ghirardelli, and that is what they use to make Snow Capped Rocky's at the Human Bean, if you like those like I do!)  :)

Milk (I used skim, but any works!)

1.  Wisk half and half, via, and white chocolate together until well combined.
(Here's a pic of what the cans of Sweet GWC look like!)

2.  Put in ice cream maker and add milk until it is to the top.  (I use a Cuisinart 1.5 quart Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Maker.)

3.  Turn on the ice cream maker and let it do its magic.  (Mine is automatic though, so if you need to add salt, ice, etc. you can do that once it’s all mixed together and ready to set.)

4.  Then once it is finished (mine only takes about 20 minutes) scoop some out and enjoy!  :)
(My cute little vintage Fire-King Bowl that I felt like eating ice cream out of tonight...)  :)

While this is very much like my Mochacino Ice Cream I made a few weeks ago, I added more half and half this time and it made it much creamier!  :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spring Rolls Again

Well, as you already know I made a bunch of Veggie Spring Rolls a couple of months ago.  After my hubs and I had them as sides for three dinners in a row, I had to freeze the rest.  In fact, I was so sick of them that I sent about half of the rest (15 or so) to work with my hubs to add to his PB&J lunches.  Again, this was months ago.

Anyway, I may not have mentioned this yet on here, but we just sold my Explorer last week.  (Hallelujah!  We'd been basically trying, on and off, since December!  And FINALLY the right buyer came along!!  PTL!!!) Anyway, so I have been giving my hubs some rides to work, although he also bikes some of the time.  So tonight when I picked him up tonight...(yep he was working on a Sunday finishing up his Dissertation, and in fact he's worked every weekend, all weekend for the last 6 weeks.   Determined, hard-working hubby! :) ) ...I wasn't quite sure what I was going to make for dinner.

So I peaked in my freezer and found about 6 Spring Rolls in there.  They surprisingly froze very, very well and baked up just nicely!  I mean, it was just as good as the day I made them!  So that's always nice!  :)  Sorry, kind of long story...anyway, I didn't just fix those for dinner,  I baked three of them along with a couple of Chicken Cordon Bleu's that I got last week.  Seems like a weird and random combo, but it went quite nicely.  :)  Made for a hubby who was full/happy and a wifey who didn't have to slave over the stove on a Sunday evening.  :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Well, after hearing some shocking news this morning, I wanted to do something to cheer me up. So I baked!  :)  And baked...12 regular cupcakes and 36 mini cupcakes later here I am.  Although, after talking to my mom about what to do with all this little delights, I've decided to take them to neighbors.  I already tried a couple of them so far though...and no answer.  So, hopefully later I will be able to give them to some people.  :)

I used a trusty Better Crocker Cake Mix because they are good and so easy.  I used Triple Fudge today and instead of adding water in the batter, I used milk.  I really like how moist and fluffy they turned out too!  :)

I practiced some of my decorating skills on the little ones with grass and some flowers.  Then on the bigger ones I just piped it, but they turned out quite pretty.  I made homemade frosting...with the secret family recipe, and it sure turned out well!  :)  I love that stuff!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Easy Energy Bars: Chocolate Peanut Butter

Ok, today was the day that I needed (well rather, wanted) to make more energy bars for the hubs.  So I tweaked my original recipe so much that it is completely different--and worked MUCH better!  So I think it will for you too!  :)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bars:

1.5 c.  Cereal (I did 3/4 c. bran and 3/4 c. corn flakes.)
1.5 c.  Quick Oats
1/2 c.  Craisins
3/4 c.  Peanut Butter
1/2 c.  Honey
3 T. Milk
1 T.  Cocoa Powder

1.  In a large bowl combine cereal, oats and crasins.

2.  In a small saucepan slowly heat (stirring) peanut butter, honey, milk and cocoa to a boil.  (It just needs to get to a boil.)  Once it is boiling take it off the heat and stir some more.
(It should look something like this coming off the stove...:) )

3.  Pour it over the dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix until well combined.  Basically it all should get coated quite well.

4.  Grease a square baking pan (8x8 or 9x9 work).

5.  Pour the mixture into the baking pan and spread to the corners.  Then tamp it down so it is compacted and sticking together.

6.  Put in the fridge for about 30 minutes to cool.

7.  Take out of the fridge and get something to cut with.  (Small metal spatula worked for me! :) )  Cut into even pieces.  (8 is easy, but do whatever you want!) :)

8.  Scoop out of dish and wrap up individually in plastic wrap and store in fridge.  Enjoy! :)

BBQ Beef

I just love BBQ beef sandwiches.  They are great all year round, but especially in the summer and around the 4th! :)  Have you ever been to Famous Dave's?  It's pretty great, but truly the best part is their sauce!  And, lucky for us they sell it at grocery stores now!  (At least in Northern Colorado...)  So, you can make wonderful BBQ beef really easily at home now! :)  Just add shredded beef, brisket slices or whatever meat you prefer!  I like to add a little water while cooking it on the stove to prevent sticking.
My husband wanted cheese on his sandwiches tonight...I still don't know what I think of I just had mine with BBQ Beef.

Any sauce will due.  In fact I encourage you to make your own.  I just have finally found a bottled sauce that tastes almost as good as my favorite southern bbq restaurant that I used to work at back in high school.   (That restaurant was Bubba's Bar-B-Que and has since gone out of business.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back in the saddle again

It's good to be back in the saddle again.  :)  Well, I wish...anyway, I just got home today from a nice weekend away.  My hubs wasn't able to make it because he was busy researching away.  :(  But I did have a great time with my parents.  So that was nice.  :)  Some quality time before my husband and I move more than halfway across the country!

I got home to the apartment not looking much different than when I left.  Except of course the wonder green bananas I bought on Thursday, that I thought would make it through the weekend and just have ripened to that perfect yellow....were almost completely brown.  I could have let that bother me, but no way, they were perfect for Banana bread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And as you already know, I l-o-v-e banana bread.  Too bad I didn't have any nuts on hand though...but it's still going to be great!  A nice "welcome home" from my little kitchen.  :)

I have some other big news to share with you, but I will have to wait till it's all said and done tomorrow before I really share it.  Jsut consider it a big answer to a prayer.  (Or rather most of our prayers for the last 3 months or so!)   :)

Well, I better get back to my bread baking...and on to dinner...whatever that may be tonight.   I am glad to be back, but also sad because that means I better get to business with packing for sure!  ;)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th!

In case I don't make it on here tomorrow, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July!!!  I hope you have a sunny, safe and special holiday weekend!!  :)  Be sure to try to make something yummy....and maybe even some s'mores!  I know that's on our menu this weekend, as well as BBQ beef and other great food.

Be safe and enjoy time with your loved ones.  :)  (And try to get some pics of fireworks!  I'll try to get some better ones too! ;) )

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mochacino Ice Cream

I'm not gonna lie...I really, really, really wanted to stop to get a frozen latte somewhere today.  But, I actually made it home without spending $4+ on a caloric, heavenly drink.  So, I decided to make some ice cream at home that resembles my new found favorite summer drinks.  Enjoy!  :)

Mochacino Ice Cream  (Pronounced Mocha-chino)

1/2 c.  Half and Half

1 packet of Via by Starbucks, any variety (I used Italian Roast)

1/2 c.  Sugar

1 t.  Vanilla Extract

1 t.  Cocoa Powder

Milk (I used skim, but any works!)

1.  Wisk half and half, via, sugar, vanilla and cocoa together until well combined.

2.  Put in ice cream maker and add milk until it is to the top.  (I use a Cuisinart 1.5 quart Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Maker.)

3.  Turn on the ice cream maker and let it do its magic.  (Mine is automatic though, so if you need to add salt, ice, etc. you can do that once it's all mixed together and ready to set.)

4.  Then once it is finished (mine only takes about 20 minutes) scoop some out and enjoy!  :)

(I filled my rather full this time...and it almost started overflowing by the time it was done...all the more to love though!)  :)

Oh, and be sure to get creative.  I know I will next time I make it...I'll go with a White go ahead and tempt those taste buds!  And let me know how it turns out!  :)
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