Showing posts from 2012

Lemon Angel Hair with Spinach and Chicken

Looking for a new and refreshing recipe? This is it! This nice little dish is delightful and not too challenging to make. It will definitely be much easier the next go around having now made it once. Honestly, the hardest part was probably my almost 2 year-old climbing up my leg. :)

One of my goals for 2013 is to add some new meals to our menu and of course try and eat a little healthier. Between the holidays and pregnancy; shopping for, planning and making dinner has not been one of my favorite things to do. We have been eating out way to much. So much that I am sick of eating out and actually yearning for some home cooked meals. So I decided to get an early start to 2013 and kick off the New Year with this great dish.

Lemon Angel Hair with Chicken and Spinach
Found on Pinterest from The Recipe Crayon Box & originally adapted from Rachel Ray's Lemon Spaghetti

1/2 lb angel hair…

White Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies

I would not be a nice friend if I didn't share another delicious cookie with you guys for the holiday. I am personally a fan of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies and this is not far from just that. Matter of fact, when I asked the Mister to taste test, he said, "Where's the macadamia?" A cookie lover after my own heart, I must say.

This is an easy cookie to make that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. I found the original recipe on a blog called "sally's baking addiction." I adapted the recipe to my liking (& I already had cheery craisins in the pantry) and used cherry craisins instead of the dried cranberries that the original recipe called for. I also want to note, that I used light brown sugar instead of dark (it was what I had on hand). I don't think it made much of a difference.

Enjoying one of these bad boys as I type this post. I hope you'll get to indulge on one this holiday season as well!

Copycat Mint Milano Cookies...Um, Yes Please!

Christmas is almost here, so close I can almost taste it with these copycat Mint Milano Cookies. I made these earlier in the week and honestly can't believe there are still some in the house. If you are a fan of Pepperidge Farm's Mint Milano cookies, you must try these. Above is a picture of my "adapted" cookie. I say adapted, because I didn't exactly follow the recipe. For whatever reason, I had a really hard time working with the shortbread cookie dough. I could not get it firm enough to roll into a log and slice. So instead I scooped them onto my cookie sheet and baked as you would a regular cookie. Once cookies were done baking (and not completely cooled), I cut them in half, hence the shape you see above. Despite not looking like a traditional Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano Cookie, they sure do taste like them! Below is a link to All Free Copycat Recipes Website.

Enjoy and Merry C…

Cupcake Christmas Tree

I love this delicious treat quasi table decor (even if it is only for a short time until everyone digs in). Who doesn't like cupcakes? Let alone mini bite-size ones. Last Christmas I jumped on the trend of mini cupcakes and bought a babycakes cupcake maker. I will admit that I have not used it as much as I thought I would. But it is a lot of fun to have and did I mention I got it on sale...

One of the best things about this machine is that you have you have the option of making your batter from scratch (machine comes with a recipe booklet) or using a box mix.  For this particular dessert I used a box mix I had on hand.
What you need- -Box mix or ingredients to make your batter from scratch - Mini cupcake liners - Spoon or ladle to fill cupcake liners -Frosting - Twix or Snickers candy bar (for tree bark) -Cookie icing (to embellish) -M&M's or other candies and sprinkles (to embellish)
Step 1- Follow box instructions to prepare batter. Step 2 - Begin spooning batter into cupca…

Crock Pot Cinnamon Almonds

One word...DELICIOUS! I just had to share this with you all. This recipe is so simple and so delicious. First, I must give credit where credit is due. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it's from a blog called "detrimental beauty".

Ok, now it's time to get down to business and share this amazing recipe with you.

1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 Egg White
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 C. Almonds
1/4 C. Water

Now check out just how simple this is...

In a medium sized bowl mix sugars, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In another medium size bowl, whisk egg white and vanilla until it's frothy. Add almonds. Make sure almonds are well coated in egg white mix. Add sugar mixture to the almonds and toss until coated.

Be sure to spray your crock pot well with Pam. Add almond mixture to crock pot and cook on low.

Cook with lid on for 3-4 hours. My crock pot is large and runs very hot, so 3 hours was enough time. Be sure to stir the mixture e…

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

I LOVE Christmas. It is by far my favorite day of the year and holiday. I LOVE the meaning of Christmas, I love sharing big crazy meals with my family and friends, I love the decorating of the tree and house and I even like the shopping (most of the time).

We spent most of last weekend decorating the tree and house and I wanted to share some pictures of how everything came out.

From left to right:
-Holiday plates hanging on wall in kitchen. These were a great find at Wal-Mart for only $2.99 each. I bought a joy, hope and a love plate.
-Ornament chandelier. I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided to recreate it. I bought a sleeve of plastic ornaments at the Dollar Tree and hung them from the light fixture using white thread and taped them to the inside of the light.
-Christmas card display. Every year I debate what to do and how to display all of the holiday cards we receive. Again, another great idea I saw on Pinterest. . I strung a piece of ribbon over a window in our kitchen and (m…

Mini Apple and Pumpkin Pies

This year I hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner for my parents, in-laws and out of town Aunt. I was excited to do this, especially because it was on a smaller level then our usual holiday hosting. I got off real easy, only having to do sides (which my mom helped with) and desserts. My MIL did the turkey and stuffing.

As I searched Pinterest and my own "Gobble Gobble" Thanksgiving board, I decided I wanted to make traditional desserts, but with a little spin. So I decided to go with the mini apple and pumpkin pies. These recipes were simple and oh so good!

Mini Pumpkin Pies
Recipe found on Home is Where the Boat Is
Ingredients-  makes 12 mini pies 1 package refrigerated pie crusts 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk 2 eggs 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice 4 in round cookie cutter
Step 1- roll out pie dough with pin. Cut mini pie crusts with cookie cutter. I did not have a 4 inch cookie cutter, so instead I used the mouth of a tumbler cup. Pictured below.


Crispy Black Bean Fritters

These days a lot of my cooking and creativity is inspired by Pinterest. I recently pinned and tried a recipe for Crispy Black Bean Fritters with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce from Mia's Domain.

I was intrigued from the get go, but wasn't sure how the Mister or O would like. The good news is that the Mister loved them, the bad news, O did not touch them. Despite O not liking, I will still make these delicious fritters again.

So here we go...

-3 cups of black beans, cooked  ( I used canned black beans drained)
-1 large yellow pepper, seeds removed and chopped (I used a red pepper because it's what I had)
-1 small white onion diced
-2 garlic cloves, crushed (I used minced garlic)
-1 large tomato, chopped into small pieces (I used diced canned tomato and drained them- I hate cutting   tomatoes)
-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (I used a cilantro herb blend by Garden Fresh, it's found in the produce section. I already had it in the fridge)
-1/2 cup unbleached all p…

Kiddo Keepsakes

A friend of mine recently blogged about this subject and it inspired me to share my take and approach on what to do with all the kiddo keepsakes. You know what I am talking about... all of the handmade crafts, colored pictures and other pieces of "artwork" they bring home from school, play dates and make with you at home.

Being that O is not yet 2 or in a full time program somewhere, I don't have piles of his artistic abilities laying around just yet. But I decided to be proactive and do something with the stuff we did have. Because I was not emotionally not ready to get rid of these keepsakes, I decided on the old school method of filing. I figured this system should work for a couple of years. Each year, a new file folder for that year will be created and items, pictures, etc. created that year will be placed in that folder. SIMPLE!

I realized that eventually I will have to re-evaluate this method and may even move to a digital method of keeping these memories. There a…

Chicken Pesto Flatbread

I have recently become a big fan of pesto. Yum-O. I am going to be completely honest and tell you that this recipe was inspired by the "Chicken Pesto Toasted Flatbreads" at Tropical Smoothie. I ate there for the first time last Friday and was blown away by the deliciousness of this flat bread. I knew that I would have to replicate it very soon...and I did just that tonight.

What you'll need:
-Chicken: I used cutlets since they were thinner and smaller. I actually oven baked my cutlets in foil pockets at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
-Flat bread: I found 5 Grain Foldit Artisan Flat bread in the deli section at Publix. It was delicious and the best part, only 90 calories!
-Pesto: I was originally going to make my pesto, but then stumbled upon Monterey's Basil with Almonds and Pine Nuts Pesto. It was in the refrigerated section near the eggs and refrigerated pastas (at least in my Publix).
- Mozzarella Cheese: I used Publix brand low fat.
- Optional: lettuce, tomato, cuc…

No Tricks, just TREATS here!

Boo! Since we have a few more days till Halloween, I thought I'd share some of the things we've been working on for our Halloween play date. Just in case anyone needs a little last minute inspiration or  an idea.

Chocolate Covered Popcorn
One of my favorites, chocolate covered popcorn. I have actually been craving this for the last couple of weeks, but managed to hold out until now to make. Let's hope I don't eat it all before our play date.

What you'll need:
Wilton Chocolate candies- They come in some many colors these days. I went with the traditional Halloween black and orange.Popcorn- I bought microwave popcorn lightly buttered.Ziploc sand which bags.Parchment paper or wax paper. Step 1: Pop your popcorn. Once it is popped. Lay put popcorn in a single layer on your parchment paper.

Step 2: Melt your candies. There are a couple of different ways to do this. I went the simple route and poured about half the bag of candies into a Ziploc bag and microwaved for 35 seco…

Re Purposed/ Up Cycled Dessert Platter

Recycle, up cycle, re purpose all very fun words in my opinion. I just think of all the possibilities and I admit I get a little overwhelmed. This particular project I consider a re purpose/up cycle. It was super cheap, easy and now very useful.

I happen to find a set of metal candle stick holders at a thrift shop for a $1.99. I just couldn't pass them up. They were pretty old and beat up, but that was nothing that a fresh coat of spray paint couldn't fix. My first thought was to spray them and keep them as candle stick holders. I had already decided I would paint them red and I thought they'd be a nice addition to my holiday decor. The more I pondered, I decided they would be much more useful as a dessert platter!

gloves for sprayingKrylon spray paintKrylon clear protective finishStep 1.
I sprayed my candle stick outside. This was so I wouldn't get over spray on any of my furniture and of course for obvious ventilation reasons. I let the first coat dry for 1…

My Inugural Pinterest Party

OMG- I can't believe it's been a month today since I hosted my Pinterest party. It seems like so long ago...and it was. September was such a whirlwind and October is proving to be the same way.

So let me start with a disclaimer, I did a horrible job with the picture taking. Matter of fact, I only took one group picture at the start of the party.

So back in August I decided it was time to put some of this Pinterest creativity to use. I created an evite and invited a handful of friends who I knew were active Pinterest users. I decided that since the holidays were quickly approaching it would be fun to add a holiday theme. All of out food came from either my Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas themed boards and all of the projects had to be
one of those themes as well.

Each person was asked to bring a wrapped/bagged Pinterest Project. Each project was to include all the materials (non perishable), complete picture of the project or a link to a picture and instructions.  When g…

Entry way under construction

I love browsing all of the neat entry ways and mud rooms on Pinterest and online. Unfortunately our home does not have much of an entry way. It pretty much opens up into a great room (quiet easily my favorite room in the house). Despite having a barely there entry way, I was not going to miss out on an opportunity to personalize and make this space extra special.

This is no doubt a 2 part project. Part 1 is complete. It was the easier part of the project.

Items on the wall are a mixture of old, new and crafted.The family rules sign I picked up a Kohl's during a sale and had a coupon as well. I think it cost me around $15.  The framed family name was a purchase in Key West last year. I was a sucker and paid way too much money, but it was the first official new piece I bought for our new house. The large black S, I picked up at Michael's for $3 or $4. The Live Well and Cherish signs we had and lastly, I bought the canvas and wooden letters from Michael's for each of our init…