Category Archives: food

backyard movie night

We celebrated Dillon’s 14th birthday by having a backyard movie night.  We invited the family, had cake and ice cream and watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure on the side of the house while munching on 3 different kinds of popcorn from the “popcorn bar”.  It was SO fun!

here are some of the crazy cousins:


here is a really bad pic of the movie, but you get the idea…

last minute cake decorationg:

The cake was really good, i doctored up some mixes to make a choc/vanilla marble cake and made a basic chocolate frosting..

The best cake mix doctoring I have come across:

mix up the batter according to the directions, and in addition add:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
big dash of salt
1 TBS vanilla extract

YUM!

During the movie Molly went in the house and came out a little later with sticky fingers… upon investigation I found this:

I am actually surprised it wasn’t much worse… she annihilated a cake I made a couple of weeks ago….

Here is what I did for the popcorn bar:

I made the popcorn cones for everyone, and bought scoops at the dollar tree for serving.  The cherry popcorn was the favorite, it was totally gone at the end of the night, but my favorite was the pb n chocolate!

All in all it was a hit and we can’t wait until our next backyard movie night!

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candy land

“Who can take a sunrise
Sprinkle it in dew
Cover it in chocolate
and a miracle or two?”

“The candy (wo)man can cause she mixes it with love and makes the world taste good”

I am having fun making sweet treats for school valentines parties. -and for our own eating pleasure of course!

First up: oreo cookie pops


These are soooooooooo good.  Really – you need to make some.  I found the tutorial here on How Does She?
I first made these for Christmas.  The older kids gave them out to their friends and Chloe gave one of these to her teacher:

Her name is Mrs Ball so it said “B is for Ball” – cute huh?! – and she now uses the block for pencils and pens.

A few tips and tricks about these cookie pops;

1.  All oreos are not created equal.  Ug!  The first time I made these I used mint filling oreos and chocolate filling oreos – both fantastic.  Those oreos separated easier and didn’t break very much.  Also there seemed to be thicker filling to accommodate the stick better.  This time I used regular oreos, and EVERY SINGLE ONE broke.  It is ok because most of the time the chocolate holds it all together, so no stress if they break.  Just “glue” them with the chocolate -usually the chocolate you are putting in the inside to hold the stick will be enough to hold it together… You can’t even see the breaks when they are smothered in delicious chocolaty goodness

2. I like to use the longer sucker sticks – the 6 inch ones – they look great and are extra fun.  Rotate the stick back and forth to get it down into the filling easily.

3. The white chocolate ones, in my humble opinion, are the best.  Make sure to use good tasting melts.  (I love Guittard Melt n Molds)  ***if you happen to live near a Winco, in their bulk section you can get the melting wafer/disks  for a great price that are really good too.

Next on the dessert menu: Pretzel Button Candies

I actually posted about these last year, but could not for the life of me find the ring shaped pretzels.  I have made them a few times with the square grid ones.  But lo and behold my friend had to order some online, and had to order more than she could use, so she ever so thoughtfully gave me a bag! (insert halleluja chorus here)
et viola!:

how to

gather:
pretzels (rings of course are the best, but squares, or twists are do-able!)
m&m’s – colored to match your holiday or event (reeses pieces are great too)
hersheys kisses – most any kind, rolos are super good too
parchment lined baking sheets (important –use parchment!)

Heat oven to 225.  Place pretzels on baking sheet and put a kiss or rolo on each one.  Bake in oven for about 4 minutes until soft – but not all melted!  Some chocolates take longer depending – my hugs were quick and the rolos take a couple more minutes.  You may want to stick to one chocolate type per pan.  As soon as you pull the pan from the oven push a m&m into the center of each one (“m” print side down).  Make sure the chocolate spreads to the edges if you are using rings.   Let them cool and harden before storing in an airtight container.  YUM

Next I will show you how we used the cookie pops for Chloe’s Valentines – so fantastic!
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scrounging for candy canes…

Crazy I know, now that the Christmas Season is over I am looking for candy canes in hidden places here in my home…  here is why:

White Chocolate Candy Cane Popcorn – let me tell you it is GOOD!!  Good enough that I made it a couple of weeks ago and can NOT wait until next Christmas season to eat it again.  And of course I didn’t come across the idea until January, after I had tossed most of my uneaten candy canes! ACK!  But today I have a hankering for some more, and as luck would have it I found ONE candy cane!  I suppose I could go to the store and actually buy peppermints, but it is rainy/snowy and cold – so not gonna happen!

I got the idea from Skip to My Lou.  Basically you pop 1/2 cup of popcorn, sprinkle on a little salt, melt about 1 lb white chocolate (I use vanilla melting wafers – the good kind – not wilton junk, you can use almond bark or chips too), crush up the candy canes real well (you really should have a 3 or 4 at least, but I figured one would be ok for a half batch tonight!), pour the chocolate onto the popcorn and sprinkle on the peppermints and mix well.  Spread it out on a lined cookie sheet and let it set up and EAT EAT EAT!!

Good thing I have started running….
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in the kitchen

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Accomplishment: a special skill or ability acquired by training or practice
🙂 It was my first solo canning experience. I have lots of memories of helping my mom can peaches when I was young, and her advice was invaluable in doing it on my own- thanks Mom!

I found a water-bath canner at the thrift store for $3.50, that’s right $3.50!!  I got great deals on peaches and pears up the road at apple hill, and went to work! I ended up with 21 quarts of pears, and 28 quarts of peaches. It is so satisfying to be adding to my food storage like this.  Next I am going to do spaghetti sauce, then applesauce.  And I am formulating plans for canning from next year’s garden too – pickled green beans, diced tomatoes…
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making baby food

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I never made baby food before Molly.  I don’t know why I didn’t because it is SO EASY!  And I know exactly what she is eating too.

It is especially easy because of this book that I love:

I started feeding her solids at six months, and this book has been so handy.  She is seven months now, and I will be able to use it for a couple more months, then she will just get to the point that I will be grinding up what I eat, and no special foods will be necessary.  I borrowed it from the library even, so no expense, although I would buy this one, if it was a good deal.

Today I made her chicken with apples and sweet potatoes.  Here is how:  dice half an onion and saute it in 1TBS butter over medium heat until tender.  Cut up one chicken breast and add it to the pan and saute until it is opaque.  Add in one peeled diced sweet potato, one medium sized apple- peeled, cored and diced, and one cup of chicken stock or broth.  Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer it on low until the potatoes are tender.  Then put it in the blender and puree it to your desired consistency.   To store it, spoon it into ice cube trays and freeze it.  When it is frozen pop them out and into a zip bag, make sure to mark the out side of the bag so you know the difference between foods!  To serve, grab a cube or two, and heat it in the micro for about 45 seconds, stirring once half way through.

I usually make a new batch of something every week, it really doesn’t take long and she has plenty to choose from.

Try it, you and your baby will like it!
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chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting

Yum!

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I have never tried this before, and the frosting is excellent.  Here I just made cake mix cupcakes, but I think it would be better on a homemade cake recipe.  Cake mix is light and fluffy and I think something thicker would compliment it better.  (not that I’m not wolfing these down!!) I think it would be fantastic on brownies.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter – softened
1 cup peanut butter – creamy style
4 Tbs Milk (more as needed)
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter and peanut butter.
Gradually add the powdered sugar. (It will get thick)
Add the milk one Tbs at a time until it is a nice consistency.
***This doesn’t take long, and if you mix it too much it starts to get thick again, and not so creamy, but if this happens, just add more milk. It happened to me, and in all I think I put in about 7 Tbs of milk… but it would have been best right at first if I hadn’t kept mixing it.

This recipe made just enough to cover 24 cupcakes, using my new giant star tip 🙂

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some of my favorite recipes

Nannygoat is hosting a recipe swap today, and I love collecting recipes, and so I thought I would contribute too!

Here are a few of my favs:

TACO SOUP

1 1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
16 oz. can of diced tomatoes
16 oz can of kidney beans
8 oz can of corn
8 oz can of tomato sauce
4 oz can of mushrooms
1 package of taco seasoning
3 potatoes – diced
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 1/2 cup water

toppings:
avocado
cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

Brown the beef with the onion, and toss it into a large pot along with everything else.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, and cook until the potatoes are done.  To serve: spoon it into a bowl and top with sour cream, grated cheese and diced avocado.  Eat with tortilla chips

ITALIAN CHICKEN (this is my husbands Favorite Dinner)

Chicken breasts (how ever many you are feeding)
italian dressing
sliced mushrooms
parmesan cheese – grated, (you know – the good kind – not the Kraft in a can!)

Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and top with mushrooms – the more the better
Pour italian dressing over until the chicken is about half covered
sprinkle on the parmesan

Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until the chicken is done, about 45 minutes. Serve with rice or noodles.

ULTIMATE GRILLED CHEESE

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 pkg (3oz) cream cheese – softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
10 slices sourdough bread
butter

1. Mix together the mayo and cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Stir in the cheddar, mozza and garlic powder – mix well
3. Spread five pieces of bread with evenly with the cheese mixture and top with the remaining bread slices
4. Butter both sides of sandwiches and Cook in a skillet or griddle on medium heat until golden on both sides and cheese is melted. (or use your waffle iron!)

CHINESE CHICKEN SALAD

Salad:
Romaine lettuce
shredded cabbage
green onions -chopped
slivered almonds
sesame seeds
cubed grilled chicken
fried wontons
– (I know there are no amounts, but make as much as would feed your family, and make the dressing to be stored separate, and just ad as much as you need to lightly coat the amount of salad you made.)

Dressing:
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
5 T rice wine vinegar
1 T sesame oil

-wisk until blended. (can store for 3 months in fridge)

ZUCCHINI WAFFLES
Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? My husband said these were the best waffles he has EVER had!!

1 1/2 cup flour
1tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup toasted pecans -chopped
2 eggs beaten
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 cup shredded zucchini

1. Beat eggs. Add sour cream, milk, oil, and zuch.
2. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt and nuts.
3. Pour wet ingreds into the dry ones and stir just to blend.
4. Bake in a greased waffle iron.

enjoy
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