Friday, December 18, 2009

News

I just wanted to make my readers aware of a few things.

I plan on taking off from blogging, starting Monday December 21st, 2009 until January 1st, 2010.

There are several reasons behind this.
1. My kids are off from school and I would like to enjoy that time instead of worrying about other things. I want to spend time with them. Have some fun!

2.The blog is about to go through a new design and a new location. I know my blog wont be out of commission during that time, but I want some time to learn the new layout and to also get ready for new great things not only for me, but for you my readers. Thanks to a wonderful friend I have obtained my own domain name and hosting. I am working with Brandy at Stitchblade Designs on a new look!

3. When I come back, things will be neater, easier to find, and I plan on us having lots of fun so be ready!

I know I just posted a giveaway for some postcards from Uprinting and do not worry! You can still enter, and enter often! I will still close the giveaway on the 31st and notify my winner via email!

So...don't run off and leave me just yet! I just wanted to take some time off while we are going through a change and it's the holiday season after all!


I will be back! Bigger and better than ever!

Uprinting 100 Postcard Giveaway!

I have another fantastic giveaway from the folks at Uprinting!

100 Postcards! Who couldn't use these bad boys?!

You could use them as a way to promote your business, notify someone of a important date coming up(getting married?) or announce the birth of a brand new baby! You could use them the old fashion way, just to reach out to friends to say hello!

The possibilities are endless and you could get 100 of these for your very own use! You can use one of the many post card templates Uprinting has on their site or design your own by uploading a picture of your very own.

WIN IT!
Giveaway Prize: 100 Postcards for one (1) lucky winner
Size: 4x6; Paper: 14pt Card stock Gloss; Printing: Full color both sides
Shipping: Winners have to pay for shipping


Here is how you can win!

Main Entry: Comment letting me know how you would use the postcards.

Extra entries:
1. Blog about this giveaway and come back posting the link for me to see! 5 extra entries earned!~
2.Tweet this giveaway. Tweet it twice a day, earn 2 entries. Max tweets-2. Comeback and post each time you do.


This giveaway will end on December 31st at midnight CST!


**I will be receiving 100 postcards from Uprinting for hosting this giveaway. All wording and opinions are my own.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

Teacher Gifts

Usually I buy the kids teachers a cross ornament from Kirkland's, but I think they might have all the designs by now. I thought I would try something different, something more homemade.

I decided to make Banana Bread, Candied Pecans, and Snickerdoodles this year. I bought the cute baskets from Michael's Craft Store for Half off. The little treat bags that are holding the pecans and cookies are from Walmart(15/$1.00), and the snowmen ornament that has their name on it I bought years ago on clearance and I just added their name myself with a sharpie.

I have not given M's teacher hers yet, but C-Man's teachers loved them!! Huge hit! I think the homemade route is the way to go! Not only is it more personal, but it was by far the cheapest gift ever! Even if I did have to buy 7 baskets and bake all day on Monday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Look at that gorgeous tree in my neighbors yard!



Who would of thought it was possible to get that kind of foliage in Houston!? And a edited version!

Happy Fall Y'all!

Light and Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Winner Winner Pancake Dinner!!!These are super yummy!!! I like to grab one hot off the plate and eat it! No Syrup needed if you ask me, but good with it too! Im posting a recipe for a Apple Cider Syrup that is suppose to be delicious with the pancakes, but I have not made it before.

Light and Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes


Katie (Katiedid) from Recipezaar

1 ¼ c all-purpose flour

2 T sugar

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ginger

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

1 pinch cloves

1 c 1% low-fat milk (can be any kind)

6 T canned pumpkin puree

2 T melted butter

1 egg

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, pumpkin, melted butter, and egg. Fold mixture into dry ingredients. Spray or grease a skillet and heat over medium heat; pour in ¼ cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side. Serve with butter and syrup. Makes about six 6-inch pancakes.

Katiedid's Notes: I tripled the recipe and for the 3 ¾ flour I used 2 cups whole wheat and 1/¾ cups all-purpose. I added about 1 tablespoon more sugar (7 T total) and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to spice them up a little more since the kids eat these plain. I used skim milk. I spread the batter out a bit on the griddle and these still turned out light, thick and fluffy. From a triple batch, I got 24 large (maybe 5-inch) pancakes. I froze them and they reheat beautifully in the toaster. Also delicious with apple cider syrup.

Hot Apple Cider Syrup


Katie (Katiedid) from Recipezaar

¾ c apple cider

½ c packed brown sugar

½ c corn syrup

2 T butter or margarine

½ tsp lemon juice

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Candied Pecans

I made these yesterday for teachers gifts. Simple and yummy(or so my husband told me, I dont like pecans)!

Candied Pecans
Michelle (MMmom) from my mom

1 tablespoon egg white
2 cups pecans or walnuts
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300. Mix egg white with pecans, stirring until pecans are coated and sticky. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over pecans. Stir until pecans are evenly coated. Spread on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Makes 2 cups.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Menu Plan Monday~ December 14th


Well, we have another super crazy week! Last week of school for the kiddos for the holiday break. We have 2 class parties, a pediatrician appointment, a speech evaluation appointment and we are going out of town this weekend to my parents to celebrate Christmas. Did I mention I still have not finished my Christmas cards and I have to bake 7 dozen cookies and 7 loaves of banana bread for gifts this week for teachers? Can you say "Crazyness?!"

My menu plan this week is simple, yummy meals that will leave me with minimal leftovers. I don't want a fridge full of food when we head out of town.

So, lets get to it shall we?

Monday- Pumpkin Pancakes(new recipe), turkey bacon, and eggs

Tuesday- Pierogi Chicken Lasagna, salad, and cheesy garlic bread

Wednesday- Beef crunchy tacos with rice

Thursday- Sauteed pork chops, baked potatoes and corn on the cob

Friday- Any leftovers in the fridge.

Saturday- Hitting the road after having Breakfast with Santa at our neighborhood park to head to my parents.

Sunday- Simple grilled cheese

And my baking this week will consist of this recipe for Banana Bread.

Head over to The Organizing Junkie for more great menu plans this week!

Get started planning yours today!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Need nickname help!

I read a lot of blogs and some of my favorites are the ones that have nicknames for their kiddos and hubby.

I am not creative though. I need help! So, I thought I would come to you..my readers.

Let me tell you a little bit about each kiddo and hubby.

Madison is the oldest, 7 years old. She is a drama queen, but she is retro. She loves old styles, jewelery, lip gloss, cheer leading, the Jonas Brothers and music in general. She says she wants to be a singer like Taylor Swift when she grows up!

Christopher is 3 years old. He is definitely all boy! Jumping around, doing flips, pretending to be super heroes, Star Wars Characters, and more.

Jacob is 10 months old. He is my little trooper. I was on bed rest with him for 3 weeks and then he came almost 3 weeks early. He is strong. He is already walking and babbling. He loves music. He is calm. He doesn't cry unless he is hungry, dirty, or is hurt. He reminds me so much of hubby.

My husband, is a Aggie engineer. He is the calm, cool, and collected one of us. He never gets upset or angry. He is the "glass is half full" guy. He is a good sport and will do anything for the kids(see picture below). He loves sports and my cornbread. ;)

So, there you have it. A little bit about each of them. This is my family.

Now, help me give them cute little nicknames for my blog!

Sloppy Joe Turnovers



This is a totally kid friendly meal!

They can help you make it and that will totally make them want to eat it! It worked for me! My kids helped roll out the biscuits and fill the biscuits up with the filling.

I found this recipe on Babycenter. Again, a trusted place for me to find great, fun, tasty, and easy recipes!

I added a tablespoon or two of BBQ sauce and a tad bit more of sour cream. We made 4 turnovers and 4 muffin variations to see which ones the kids liked best, and they preferred the turnover version.

Sloppy Joe Turnovers
~*~Sandy~*~

1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1/4 cup chopped onion (or onion powder)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup sour cream (lite)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder
10-oz can Hungry Jack Flaky
Biscuits (10 biscuits) (larger biscuits work better)

Preheat oven to 375º.

Brown the ground beef and onion, drain. Add the ketchup, sour cream, salt and garlic powder, stir to combine.

Roll out dough to 4” round. Place 1/4 cup (or so) meat mixture in center and fold over top. Seal edges firmly with fork. Bake 15 minutes.

Sandy
’s notes: I use ground turkey, light sour cream, and reduced fat biscuits (when I can find them). Turn it into a casserole by using two cans of refrigerated pizza dough. Press one can of dough into bottom of casserole dish, spread meat mixture on top. Carefully lay the second piece of dough on top and stretch to cover casserole. Pinch together any tears. Bake at 375º for 20-25 minutes. Make sure center is done. If not, cover with foil and put on bottom rack for another 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares.

To freeze: Whenever I make this recipe I double the filling, and freeze half of it. Then when ready, thaw the filling and make the individual turnovers (or a casserole) with fresh dough. Also makes an excellent pizza topping, with grated cheddar sprinkled on top.

Muffin tin variation: Grease muffin tins and press in biscuits. Fill with 3-4 tablespoons meat. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.




Menu Plan Monday~ December 7th

Last week was so much fun! If you didnt hear yet, We had SNOW! Yes, Texas had snow and my kids LOVED IT! The sparkle in their eyes were amazing and they had a great time playing in it.


We have another INCREDIBLY busy week this week!! There is something on my Cozi calendar every single night!

So here we have a simple, fast, and easy menu plan this week. No tricks, just simple fast and good food to get us through the week.

Monday- Girl Scouts- Bakes Ziti, salad and garlic bread
Tuesday-Hubby has a guys night out- hot dogs and mac and cheese for the rest of us.

Wednesday- Girls night out for me- Grilled cheeses and veggie sticks for the rest.

Thursday- Christmas program at C-Man's school- bean and cheese tostadas

Friday- Parents Night Out at the church- nice dinner for hubby and I to celebrate my birthday(which is really on Thursday)- grab kiddos dinner on way to church.

Saturday- Cheerleading end of the year Party- Hot Dogs and Hamburgers

Sunday- Feta Stuffed Chicken with a Spinach salad.


As always, head over to The Organizing Junkie for more great menu plans!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Did you hear?

Did you hear the news yet?

It snowed in Houston! Yes you heard me right! It snowed in Houston, Texas yesterday!

Crazy I know!

My kids LOVED IT! OK, Jakers didn't really care for it. And yes the hat he is wearing is C-Man's. C-Man had a ball playing in it. He was disappointed that it didn't stick long enough for him to make a snowball, but he really enjoyed tasting it. And according to C-Man, the snow tasted amazing. At one point, it tasted like marshmallows and the next pizza! It was awesome! Diva M had school. I think we were one of the few school districts who did not either cancel school or at least do early dismissal. I know she did get to go out and enjoy the snow though and the teacher even made a lesson out of it!

I am really glad all my kids were able to experience the snow. Who knows when it will happen again!

Especially in Texas!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Barnes and Noble Coupons

My kids love books!

Especially Madison!
She is my reader and can read like there is no tomorrow! We plan to get her some Barnes and Noble gift cards in her stocking this Christmas so she can go and pick out books that interest her!

For now, I have found some great Barnes and Noble Coupons.

Click here for coupons to print and use in the store.

Click here for coupons for online purchases.

Coupons expire DECEMBER 6TH!

Enjoy and Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Roasted Butter Herb Turkey

Ever since I made this recipe several years ago, it has become my "go-to" recipe for turkey.

It is so moist, juicy and flavorful that there should be no other way to make a turkey!

It is actually the ONLY Sandra Lee recipe I like!

Roasted Butter Herb Turkey

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons garlic herb sauce mix (recommended: Knorr)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 1 (32-ounce) bag celery and carrot party sticks
  • 2 large onions, large dice
  • 1 (32-ounce) container low-sodium chicken broth
  • 12-pound turkey, thawed if necessary
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 3 (3/4-ounce) packets fresh herbs poultry herb blend (sage, thyme and rosemary)
  • 1 lemon, thickly sliced

Directions

In a small bowl, combine softened butter, poultry seasoning, garlic herb sauce mix, and crushed garlic. Use a fork to mix together until well combined. Cover and put in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes, until firm but not hard.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Arrange celery, carrots, and half of the diced onions in the bottom of a roasting pan. Add chicken broth and set aside.

Rinse the thawed turkey and pat dry. Use your finger to carefully loosen the skin around the entire bird. Take the butter mixture and cut into large pieces. Place the butter pieces under the skin of the entire turkey. Rub the remaining butter pieces on the outside of the skin and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the inside of turkey cavity with remaining onions, fresh herb poultry blend, and lemon slices. (Truss if necessary.) Insert the pop-up thermometer at an angle about 3-inches down from the neck cavity and 2-inches from the breast bone, in the thickest part of the breast.

Place turkey on the bed of vegetables in roasting pan. Place in the oven and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F. Roast for 1 hour, then baste with pan juices every 20 minutes until thermometer pops up or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180 degrees F, about 3 hours.

Roasted Garlic-Parmigiano Broccoli

Here is another favorite at my house! I have used fresh and frozen broccoli and even cauliflower!

Its always a hit!

Roasted Garlic-Parmigiano Broccoli
Michelle (MMmom) from Food & W
ine

Roasting broccoli makes it sweet; topping it with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and broiling it makes it additively crispy and almost nutty tasting.

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 pounds broccoli, cut into long spears and stems peeled
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425°. Position a rack in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. In a food processor, pulse the butter with the garlic and cheese until smooth. Scrape the butter into a small bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the broccoli spears with the olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Spread the broccoli spears on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once and shifting the pans halfway through, until the broccoli is crisp-tender and browned on the bottom.

Preheat the broiler. Return the broccoli spears to the bowl and toss with the garlic-cheese butter. Transfer the broccoli to the baking sheets, scraping all of the butter in the bowl onto the spears. Broil one pan at a time 6 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the butter is golden in spots. Transfer the roasted broccoli to a platter and serve.


Crockpot Pineapple Chicken

OK, I have to say...I loved this! It was so yummy!!! Not too sweet at all and for it to be Weight Watcher friendly is a huge plus!
Hubby liked it, but he didn't eat any of the pineapple chunks or the sauce. He is weird like that.

Diva M didn't like it, but she likes pineapple and chicken. I guess just not put together.

C-man wouldn't touch it, but I have said before " self-made vegetarian" over here.

I added a bit more soy sauce than the recipe called for because when I taste tested it, it was too pineapple-y for me. The soy sauce mellowed it out perfectly. I served it over rice.

Crockpot Pineapple Chicken

6 whole chicken breast halves without skin -- skinned and split
1 dash pepper
To taste paprika
20 ounces pineapple chunks in juice -- 1 can tidbits
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic -- minced

Arrange chicken in bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle with pepper and paprika. In a small bowl, combine drained pineapple tidbits, mustard and soy sauce. Pour over chicken. Add minced garlic. Cover and cook on LOW 7-9 hours or HIGH 3-4 hours. Makes 6 serving.

Per Serving: 194 Calories; 2g Fat; 28g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 68mg Cholesterol; 483mg Sodium.


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