Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Don't send that old purse to Consignment quite yet!!

Don't take that purse to Consignment quite yet...

Make it an artificial flower display!

You will need:
An old purse
Artificial Flowers of your choice
Green Foam Floral block - found at Walmart by the artificial flowers

Cut the block to fit inside of the purse, stick the flowers in the block however you chose.
You will get a fantastic decoration!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Swanky Chicken Salad

I got creative for the first time with food!!!! When looking through the refrigerator, I see some celery, carrots, red peppers, eggs and chicken breast...Chicken Salad.

This is my own recipe!! Woo Hoo! :)

 I was in a bit of a hurry so while the chicken was cooking I prepped the rest of the ingredients and mix together.

Swanky Chicken Salad

2-1/2 (3 breasts) cups cooked shredded chicken, cold
3 stalks of celery
1 carrot
1 small red pepper
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup Hellman's mayonnaise
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1. Mix chicken, celery, carrot, pepper, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
2. Add mayonnaise, mix well.
3. Fold in chopped eggs, blending throughout.
4. Serve on rolls

Also, would be great on a bed of fresh lettuce.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ally's Firecracker Sloppy Joes

Earlier this week I mentioned the husband wanted to go shopping...we did find some great bargains for him at Dick's Sporting Goods and Kohl's!! We did also purchase.............a new camera :D
Today has been a day of laundry, packing for our China trip, Smokey and The Bandit ( classic :D ), playing with my new camera and catching up on ordering wedding pictures.

Ya, I know, I am totally rambling but at this point looking away from the craziness in the house is kind of nice. Not to mention, it has been raining cats and dogs all day! Perfect inside day!!

I am borrowing a good friends recipe tonight. It is however, slightly modified due to lack of groceries in the house...

Simmering meat and smells permeating the house...

Ally's Firecracker Sloppy Joes

2 lbs. ground beef
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 c. chicken broth
1/4 c. hot sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

In a large pan, cook the ground beef, celery, carrot, onion and clove. Drain off fat and stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. I did forget to add cheese but I am sure it would taste great! Serve on buns.

Yep, it is definitely this easy!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Do Frogs Taste as Good as they Look?

I hope these Frogs taste as good as they look! They turned out fabulous, if I may say so myself!!

What a cute way to celebrate a first birthday!!!

White and Chocolate Cupcakes with Fondant Lily Pads and Frogs

I didn't measure how much fondant used on these but there were 55 Frog Cupcakes. Make the Lily pads, either round or we used the flower fondant cutter. The legs on the frogs are about a 3 inch rolled long chunk of fondant. Fold the edges in toward the middle. Use some piping gel to get the head to stick to the legs (or where ever needed). Roll out round balls (about the size of the flower cutter). Cut out more flowers and cut into fourths...the fourths will need to be rolled for the eyes. You can purchase the white and black eyes in the cake section at Walmart.

The only thing better on the cupcakes is if we could have done blue frosting instead of white.

This is a personal 'Smash Cake' for the Birthday Boy. Just a 6" round white cake. Covered in blue frosting, making it not perfect (looking like water) with some Lily Pads and a large frog.

Another Thing I love on Thursday!

I love Thursday's because it is pay day...
So my husband said last night, 'honey, we need to go shopping...' Good Golly - did he just say that?! Probably before he finished I said, 'WHEN!! I am in!' :)

This could mean one of two things...I am getting the camera I want (yes, I am aware how spoiled that sounds but he told me what I was getting, how unfair is that?) OR he really does want to get some new shirts....We are prepping to pack for the honeymoon and we really do need to pack light weight clothes. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the first thought!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

GMC Truck for Sale

My dad is selling an old truck of his and here are the details please call 563-260-3673 if interested!

1997 GMC
162,000 miles
Runs great
New brakes
$ 3,800 OBO

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Heath Bar Brownies

Wow, today is Wednesday already? Where has the week/months and even the year gone?

It seems like just yesterday we were getting deposits, booking venues and buying dresses for the wedding. Here we have been married for almost 4 months already!! We are going on our honeymoon soon, can't wait to share pictures when we return!!

My mother made us both supper tonight, will share the Chicken Burritos we had later this week. What I want to share tonight is the irresistible brownies she made...

Heath Bar Brownies

1 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
1 Cup Crunched Heath Candy Bar
I will just say she was cleaning out cupboards and just so happened to have crunched up Heath Bar Ice Cream Toppings :) Some of the most random items can come in handy when being creative.

Follow the instructions on Brownie box, put in the 9x13 pan sprinkle to topping and bake!! See, it's so easy!!! Thanks for the good eats mom!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday's Taco Pasta

Being creative with my own recipes is not quite my thing yet...SO another Pinterest Supper! This was so quick and easy, you will love it! I decided to add a kick with some salsa - definitely a great choice!!

Thank you, Overworked Super Mom

Taco Pasta

1 pound ground beef
8-12 ounces medium pasta shells
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
14 oz. diced tomatoes - I used Ro-Tel with Green Peppers
1 packet taco seasoning
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and Pepper
Salsa of your choice

Bring a large pot of water (about 4-6 quarts) to a boil. Cook Pasta Shells, see package descriptions.  Drain, reserve 1/2 cup of water and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet and medium heat, cook the ground beef and onions.

 Add in tomatoes, garlic and taco seasoning and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Depending on how strong you want the taco flavor, you may not want the entire taco seasoning packet - maybe 1/4 - 1/2. Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and remaining pasta water. Continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat to reduce the sauce, if needed.

Toss in the cilantro and salsa right before serving for some fresh color and flavor, if desired.

Monster Cookie Dough Dip

The other night I wanted something sweet, I hopped on my favorite tool (Pinterest). I found this Monster Cookie Dough Dip. Irresistible!


8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Cup Oats (regular or quick)
1 Cup Miniature Plain M&Ms
1 Cup Miniature Semi Sweet Morsels

Mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in brown sugar and powdered sugar, mixing well. Fold in oats, M&Ms and morsels. Serve with pretzels or graham crackers. This makes a LOT! I put half in the freezer and kept it for later. Just take it out to thaw!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Getting Creative on Sunday with Moo's Signature Brownies

Jamaica Theme Bridal Shower!

The name Jamaica alone calls to mind a place where life seems like an endless day on a Caribbean beach..The Honts Family will be heading their for a Family Jamaican Wedding! We are very blessed for the opportunity.

In turn my cousin wanted an 'at-home-Jamaican Bridal Shower' —the trendy, new way to mark the special occasion. The nice thing about having a small at home Bridal Shower is you have complete control of all restrictions and menus!

One thing I love about getting together with my Aunts and Cousins is that we are all so much alike and so different in so many ways, there is always a different story told, something new is learned and most of all there is so much laughter and love! I love these girls with all my heart and I don't know what I would do without them!!!

We kicked out 25 of these invitations in our own little assembly line in about 2 hours!!! With a Breakfast Burrito break and a couple of Moo's Signature Brownies :D

Each of the 25 Bridal Shower invites are unique...

Grab your keys and head to Hobby Lobby to get your Craft On!!! :)

All supplies were purchased at Hobby Lobby

25 Invitations - $35.00, Breakfast Burritos - $ 15.00, Brownies - $10.00, Laughter and Love - Priceless!!

Moo's Signature Brownie

Dark Chocolate Cake Mix
1 Egg
1/4 cup Evaporated Milk
1/4 Milk
3/4 Whipped Margarine
1 Bag Caramel
1/2 Bag Semi-Sweet Morsels

Mix cake mix, egg, Milk, and Margarine. In a greased and floured 9x13 pan, pour half of the mixture in the bottom (it will be thick since it is a cake mix). Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Take the Caramel Balls and Evaporated milk, melt in microwave, let cool.

Layer the semi-sweet morsels on the baked half of brownies. Once the Caramel mixture has cooled, spoon onto top of morsels and spread evenly. Spoon the rest of cake mixture on top of caramel and bake for a remaining 20 minutes.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Breakfast for Supper - mmmmm!!

One of my favorite things for supper is breakfast! Tonight was a low key night, both Dale and I worked late but believe it or not I was able to come home from work and start Fifty Shades Darker :) The weather the last two days has been wonderful!! I sat on my front stoop and read, something I just started doing this week! 

Also, threw together a couple of Omelets and Hash browns. 

Take the number of eggs you choose, add a splash of skim milk. Whisk until thick. This will make the omelet fluffy, the best!

Saute the veggies and meat of your choice, then add eggs. Add cheese.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to Basics - Running

I have been pretty lax with myself with both food and exercise the last couple of months, I am back in the saddle!!

I started running this week again. I ran about a mile and I also walked 3 miles last night!! My legs are very very sore but so worth it. The accomplished and rewarding feeling is untradable for me.

So here is what I do (c25k - app for android)

Week One - Start out slow by brisk walking for a warm up 5 minutes, jog for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds. Do that 3 days a week. I swear by this - I DO NOT have a runners body but by doing this I just might be fit someday!!

I am having technical difficulties with Blogger on my computer at home, bare with me as my posts have not been daily!
Thanks for reading and Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dale's Smoked Ribs

We enjoy smoked meats so we bought a smoker a couple of years ago. Ever since then we crave ribs on the smoker. It is a time consuming meal but it is so worth it! Sunday we decided to have the family over for Ribs, Corn and fresh Watermelon.

Dales Ribs:

Open ribs and wash with 1/4 cup of vinegar, rinse with cold water. Slather the racks with a thin coat of yellow mustard. Rub the ribs with a mixture of the following ingredients:

3 parts Paprika
1 part Black Pepper
1 part Kosher Salt
1 part Garlic Powder
1/2 part Cayenne Pepper

Cook ribs in an offset wood smoker with natural lump charcoal, hickory wood chunks, and a water pan for 3-4 hours. Grab the rack of three or four ribs from the end with a pair of tongs and lift up. When the meat starts to pull away from the bone, they are ready.

Serve with your choice of Barbeque Sauce

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend of Cakes

This weekend was full of cakes, we had one wedding and a 2nd Birthday order.

Below is a cake and we did for a couple that did a camoflauge them wedding reception.I forgot to take pictures of the reception, the centerpieces were duck decoys with hollow bodies and flowers in them and others were clear hurricane candle holders with shot gun shells surrounding the candle. Very unique ides.

We also did a 2nd Birthday for 'Weston' in Blue's Clue's

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Funday

I am defintely having blog withdrawls this week, yes after only 3 days! After being wrapped up in cake orders, back to fitness week and some family time - I AM BACK! So bare with me as I rattle on tonight.

I have been prepping to begin the 30x30 Challenge - yes, I continue to talk about it and it IS coming SOON!! Along with searching for some new cupcake recipes!

Tonight we are babysitting our friends 3 kids, yes 3...from none to 3 I think we are more than prepared for only one of our own! They helped me with a Blue's Clue's cupcake order tonight, pics to follow.

I was talking to a good friend of mine this week and explaining how wonderful my family is. Our lives have changed so much in the last year and we look forward to the changes in the future! Thank you family <3

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday Treat: Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Happy Tuesday!!

Making new cupcake recipes is one of my favorite things to do. Normally, if there is an occasion at work like Holidays, Birthdays and Just Because (my favorite) I will take in treats...Don't you wish you worked with me? :)

This one is a vanilla cake with lots of Oreo chunks mixed in, a light and fluffy cream cheese frosting, and a surprise half Oreo at the bottom of the cupcake.

24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chooped ( I quartered them )
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Oreo Cookie Crumbs
24 Oreo Cookie Halves

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.
Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves

Assemble the Cupcakes:
Once cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos and place 1/2 of an Oreo on the frosting of each cupcake.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic Night Treat: Marshmallow Carmel Popcorn

Dale and I went to Iowa City shopping, looking for a cake stand for a wedding cake we have coming up...

....oh and some retail therapy!!! Thank you LOFT and Target for the success.

We were able to try the new Sandwich shop for lunch, 'Which Wich'? The process is very cool -

You have 5 categories of Sandwiches, you choose a brown bag from your sandwich category, like taking a test with a red marker, you fill in the meat, condiments and bread you want - they make it and you enjoy!!

With that we decided to skip supper tonight and make some popcorn (this happens quite often in our house) and watch the Olympics.

Marshmallow Carmel Popcorn 1/2 c. brown sugar 1/2 c. butter 9-10 marshmallows 12 c. popcorn.
Microwave brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes. Add marshmallows.
Microwave until melted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over popcorn.

Enjoy and have a great week!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

This Week's Wedding Cake

We were approached months ago by this very excited bride, who knew exactly what she wanted. She sent the picture right away and didn't stray from her decision...

Besides the ribbon along the bottom - each gem was hand placed on this cake.

The ribbon around the bottom accented the rest of her decorations wonderfully!

The top and bottom tiers are Red Velvet Cake filled with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing.

The 2nd tier is White Cake with our Homemade Icing. The 3rd tier is Chocolate as well with Homemade Icing.

A cake like this,  that turns out so beautiful is so worth the time and efforts put in to it.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Estrada!

P.S. - I can't wait for that new camera!!!!