Monday, June 30, 2014

Babies & BBQ & Pinterest with Walnut Chip Bars

So as you might have seen on my Facebook page last night we attempted {and it was successful} to make 4th of July Onesies for 5 children ranging from 10 weeks to 10 months. There were tears shed, paint spilt, do overs and in the end we ended up with some great pics of the kids. {We thanked them for cooperating}
 
We really couldn't decide what was the easist way to do this, take their clothes off or take off our clothes? Should we have brought a change of clothes? Daddies even stepped in to help with this project. Below you can follow along our fun little activity :)
 
        
 
 
 
     
 
From Left to right -
 
     
 
Maddox 10 months
Maxwell 2 months
Preslie 2 months
Hudson 3 months
Kenley 10 months



 
With all the activity, we still had time to eat dinner!! I'm usually the one making the dessert. I used a friends recipe and tweeked it to include the items I had at home. So here it goes, I left there with more than half of the pan gone. {sticky warning!!}
 
Ingredients

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp clear vanilla
2 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
 
Combine the flour, sugar, butter and salt with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles crumbs.  Press into a 9x13 inch greased pan, bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Make sure to fork the crust to get the air out!

To make the filling combine all the ingredients and pour onto the hot crust. Place back in the oven for 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.
 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Baby Food - Sweet Potatoes

How many of you have made your child's baby food?
 
This was something I was positive about doing when I got pregnant. I have had weight problems all of my life, the last thing I want is for my son, Maddox, to struggle like I have.
 As a kid my parents pushed us to bike ride, walk and play sports but it seemed like when they said something my brother and I always wanted to do the opposite so we never wanted to go. My parents walked 3 miles or more everyday, which meant - 'Tanner and Mackenzie, get your bikes we are going' which lead to Tanner and I speeding off mad and a mile ahead of them :) {that got me to my Grammies Mint Brownies sooner, defeats the bike ride}
 
So anyway, I have made almost all of Maddox's food. It seemed like that was the healthiest and cheapest option for us to do. I knew exactly what he was eating. Once in a while it was more convenient to grab the Gerber Grabbers but for the most part he ate all natural foods.
 
I would typically make about a months worth of food at a time {only costing about $5 for Sweet Potatoes}. Sweet Potatoes were his favorite food, so I thought I would talk about them specifically.
 
 
All I did was grab some Sweet Potatoes, bake them on 350 for about 45-60 minutes or when you can insert a knife and it comes out. Just then pull the skins off and stick in a food processor until you reach the consistency you want.

 
I used an ice cube tray from the dollar store to store them for about 2 hours then I would throw the cubes in a freezer bag.

 
Honestly, it seems like quite a bit of prep but it's so easy when it's just in the freezer and you microwave until warm!!
 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Scratch Corn Cornbread Muffins

My husband loves to smoke meats and with BBQ and smoked meats you almost HAVE to have a good Cornbread Muffin. In face I'm going to a cookout {Babies & BBQ} this weekend, might have to take some of these along with me!!

1 1/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 1/2 cup whole kernel corn

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin pan, really well.
In a stand mixer combine the corn meal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a glass bowl whisk milk, egg and butter. Slowly add the dry to the wet just until combine. Lastly mix in the corn. This will be pretty thick. Use an ice cream scoop to pour the batter evenly into the muffin pan. Bake them for about 18 minutes or until tops are golden brown.



So there you go, make your own Cornbread Muffins the next time you have BBQ. It's very easy and not to much more work than buying the box of Jiffy!!


Happy Hump Day!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Grammies Mint Brownies

I have been missing for a couple of days due to Maddox, my 10 month old, grabbing the laptop and cracking the screen...can't see anything so I have improvised by setting the laptop up to display on our spare tv screen. It actually works quite well...I won't ever admit that to Maddox though. I was quite upset, as I'm sure every parent would be. So I have a family recipe to share today. My Grandmother's Mint Brownies...

Back when my grandparents were alive, we would ride our bikes the three miles to there house and on hot days in the summer Grandma would always have her Mint Brownies in the freezer for us to have to cool off. She and her sisters came up with these Mint Brownies. They used to be a staple at a summer cook out or just in Grandma's freezer. It was a treat to a to have one. I have now mastered the recipe and they taste just like hers.

1st Layer

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 tsp burnt sugar flavoring
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 4 eggs

Beat all of that together, then add

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 lb can chocolate syrup - find at Fareway (has to be the can)

Bake in a greased and floured 11x14 cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely. 

Mint Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp mint flavoring

After making sure the brownies are cooled - spread the mint frosting on the brownies and throw them in the fridge until the chocolate layer is ready.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate morsels
  • 6 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 tsp burnt sugar flavoring

Melt these three ingredients in a double broiler, cool completely. Pour and spread onto frosted brownies.


As you can see it doesn't take long in my house for these to quickly disappear.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Classy Chicken Salad

This was a very interesting test for me. I usually am not a fan of fruits mixed with meat...let alone meat and fruit with sour cream...I was definitely happy I tried this recipe.
 
It's a very classy chicken salad. I would said it's good enough to serve at a dinner party even! If you don't like as much moisture to the salad you can back down the sour cream and mayo to 3/4 cup each. I think the next time I make it that's what  I will do. But all in all, it was a wonderful summer lunch on a hot day here in Iowa.
 
 
I used HyVee's Bakery Bread - Marble Rye
 
Drop some comments and tell me what your favorite summer lunch is!!
 
Ingredients

1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
Red grapes, sliced in half (half bag)
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
Salt/Pepper

Instructions
  1. Combine everything in a large mixing bowl. Stir until everything is combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Best to let flavors sit. Serve with bread.
        

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chicken Queso Dip

So, I love the Tostitos Cheese Queso Dip, I was itching for some the other night but didn't have any so I improvised and liked this better - I probably would have backed out a little bit of Green Chiles, I am not too fond of the spicy stuff.

Ingredients

2 Chicken Breast
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 package Ortega Fajita Mix
16 oz Velvetta (block cheese)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can Green Chiles


Instructions

Bake the chicken Breast for 25 - 30 minutes or until completely cooked. Shred this finely then saute the green pepper and onion in the olive oil. Once those are sauteed, add the Fajita mix and chicken and let sit. In a saucepan, melt the cheese, rotel and green chiles together. Stir in the chicken mixture with the cheese. This was really good on the Tositos Lime Chips or a carrot, celery...etc

Monday, June 16, 2014

White Chocolate Rhubarb Cookies

So for Father's Day this year we had my father-in-law Walt, my grandma amy parents over for Smoked Ribs. (My husbands specialty)

We also easily could have had a Tetmeyer Family Rhubarb Fest. There were several Rhubarb desserts in the house. Which is fine for most of us. My dad isn't a big fan of it but he loved the cookies. 'If that's what's for dinner give me the whole plate' :)

I'm pretty partial to this recipe as a friend of mine gave me some measurements to start with and I built on to it and made my own cookies. My own recipe experimented and taste bud approved!!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp clear vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp oil
2 eggs
1 cup white chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped Rhubarb

Start by creaming together the shortening, softened butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix in baking soda, salt and flour. After combined mix the oil and eggs. 

Stir in morsels and Rhubarb. 

Bake on 350 degrees for 11 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Meatloaf Cupcake and Mashed Potato Frosting

I thought these were fitting you know with my cupcakes business and all. It's been pretty quiet this week with orders. It's kind of nice to catch a weekend break every once in a while. We are back at it next weekend though! We have some awesome Hot Pink / Lime Green Wedding mints!! :)
 
I tried Stroller Cross fit this week, yeah OUCH. I loved it though I want to try and do it more than once a week. The nice thing is is now I know some of the exercises so I can do them at home! I did really good that day but two days after I needed help off the toilet! ugh! I have a mear 50 pounds left to my goal at this point but I would be happy with 40 - stay tuned for updates!
 
Meatloaf is usually a cold weather food in our family but who could resist these cute little balls of fun! Maddox even enjoyed the Mashed Potatoes. You can make your own Mashed Potatoes or use a box! Make sure they are a smooth consistancy!
 
Cupcake Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef
1 cup Quaker Oats
1 cup Heinz Ketchup
10 oz frozen mixed veggies
1/4 or less Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
Optional - Dark Gravy
 
Substitute - some people like BBQ instead of Ketchup, I'm sure that would taste good too!
 
Follow me through the easy steps !
 
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees then spray a muffin/cupcake pan with Pam or Easy Bake. Combine the ground beef, oats, ketchup, mixed veggies, cheese, salt, pepper, and egg in a stand mixer - mix well. Start pressing the meatloaf into the muffin pan. Make sure the pan is sprayed, you will be eating out of the muffin tin! Bake these for about 25 - 30 minutes. Pull them out of the oven and if you make the mashed potatoes a little thinner you can use a cupcake piping bag and a tip to swirl the make it look fancy - these would be awesome for a dinner party finger food!
 
You can whip up a dark gravy while these are baking!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Blueberry Lemony Lemon Bars

Summer. What do you think about when you think Summer. Hot? Cookouts? Relaxing? Bugs?

I can tell you if you live in Iowa, the darn gnats are BAD. No one wanted to be outside last week because you would eat one if you opened your mouth!

When I think of Summer, I think - flowers planted, green grass, fresh air, cookouts, family time. If you know me you know that my life is usually a fly by the seat of your pants if you wash your hair on the weekends {gross, but it happens} your lucky. So you can imagine being so busy and trying to be better at meal planning - yeap life of a mother in general right - is everybody fed, bathed, happy and asleep - is the diaper bag packed for tomorrow. I'm not the only one in this boat...I'm such a planner but I have learned in the life of a mother there are somethings you just CAN'T plan. With that being said, I am getting so much better at working in meal planning to my routine. I have an Erin Condren Planner and now so that is enough motivation to start writing down ahead of time what I am going to cook. so....I have worked into the grocery list some items for desert for the week as well. I can remember as a child my mom would make Lemon Bars in the summer time. I didn't like lemons but you put it in something sweet - this girl was all over it!

Ingredients:

Bars
3/4 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted softened butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Blueberry Lemon Glaze
1 rounded cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoon lemon juice
6 teaspoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons blueberries

 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with Pam or Easy Bake (cake baking eisle)and set aside. Zest and juice two small/large lemons; set aside

In an electric mixture with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.
 
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined. Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Pour into baking dish and bake for 24 minutes, do not overbake. While these are in the oven, start the sweet Blueberry Lemon Glaze. Don't glaze until bars are COOLED.

Whisk the powdered sugar, lemon zest and juice together. Mix that until clumps are gone then stir in the Blueberries, they can be fresh or frozen.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cheeseburger Wraps

These are just as good a big fat Cheeseburger from Wendy's - wellllll...maybe not. They are still good and not near as many calories. This weekend I celebrated losing a total of 57 pounds since Maddox was born 9 months ago. That is a big deal but 20 of that was water weight which was gone at 8 weeks. BUT, I still have worked my butt off. Today I did Stroller Crossfit for the first time with a couple of friends. It went really well, even though I can't get up of the toilet tonight :) All of this was done with babies in stroller, hence 'Stoller' Crossfit. We did a little running, jogging, squats, sit ups, leg lifts, etc and more running. I am going to try and do this once a week for 10 weeks! Best of luck to me!


So, enough babbling, getting to the recipe...

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon pickle relish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
flour tortillas
Directions:

In a large skillet, brown hamburger until no longer pink. Add ketchup, mustard, onion, pickle, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes, until all combined.

Take a tortilla and line the middle with a small amount of cheddar cheese. Add beef and then top with your favorite hamburger toppings. Roll the tortilla up and tuck in the ends. You can either eat as is or throw in a panini pan for some fancy grill marks (you can use the grill too)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Italian Turkey Pasta

This recipe ended up nothing like it started...it started out going to be Beef, ended up being Ground Turkey...see where I'm going with it...honestly, you can be creative. For readers that are not cookers, bakers, etc. I will say that neither was I. My husband used to do all of the cooking. You CAN cook and even be creative with it! It's like shopping, you can mix and match.
2 lbs. Ground Turkey
1 lb. cooked Pasta - I used Rigatoni - you can use whatever
2 T basil
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 can green chiles
1 small onion
1 Green Pepper
2 Small Roma tomatoes
16 oz. pizza sauce
salt and pepper
Shredded Parmesan/Romano Cheese
In just FOUR small steps this can be your dinner! It's literally a 30 minute dinner...who doesn't love the sound of that!
 
  1. Brown the meat and drain if you want to.
  2. While the meat is browning cook pasta.
  3. Add sauce and seasonings and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pasta and sprinkle parmesan /romano cheese.
  5. I guess it's 5 steps - ENJOY :)
This feeds about 7 people

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party

I will start by saying thank you to Jenny and the girls for allowing me to guest post today! If you haven't checked it out. I have a link below to their sites. Foodie Friends Friday has a bunch of awesome, quick and DELICOUS recipes.

Get to linking Ladies!! Don't for get to find me on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

Welcome to the

Linky Party!!

Foodie Friends Friday will now have a Guest Host each week! 
(If you are interested in being a Guest Host for future parties, please contact the FFF ladies.)

Last week's recipes that received the MOST CLICKS!!  

Please take a moment to read through the rules before getting started, Thank You!
*By linking up you agree that you read these rules and all photos/recipes are original and belong to you. You agree to allow Foodie Friends Friday and any of it's affiliated websites or publications (Social Girls Media, LLC) to use photos, links, and recipes for reprint and/or republishing and distribution without monetary compensation to you. If photos & recipes are used, proper link backs to you will be included.

FOODIE FRIENDS FRIDAY LINKY PARTY RULES TO FOLLOW!!

1. LINK UP ONLY RECIPES MADE BY YOU.
2.  LIMIT OF 3 LINKS PER WEEK (LINKS MUST NOT BE PART OF A REVIEW, GIVEAWAY, OR ANOTHER LINKY PARTY.
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Adding Links back to Foodie Friends Friday and our Button is our only form of advertising to bring in more people to see YOUR recipes.
Please remember to do this. It benefits you! To thank you, we will continue to feature those with links throughout the year on various outlets.


Foodie Friends Friday
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Thank you to everyone for making last week's Foodie Friends Friday Party a huge success. Did you see all the recipes that caught their attention last week? Check out the Host Favorites on the Daily Dish for links to all the recipes.




Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Funfetti Cake Batter Chex Mix

Remember I said I went to the zoo yesterday...I took this as a snack for the adults (which we didn't even have a chance to eat) - we did have time for a Rudy's Tacos Taco Salad.

This is a handy thing to have around the house, but NOT for me who is on a strict diet. I ended up eating some of this, which was a nice little treat.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, you can give it a whirl too!

Ingredients:
5 cups Rice Chex cereal
10 oz (5 squares) vanilla flavored Almond Bark
1 1/2 cups Funfetti cake mix
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
Directions:
Melt Almond Bark according to the package directions, adding vegetable shortening to thin. Pour the cereal into a large bowl and drizzle the melted Almond Bark over the cereal. Mix gently with a large spoon or spatula. Dump the cake mix and powdered sugar onto the cereal and mix gently with large spoon until all the cereal is evenly coated.


 
Happy Tuesday PIN-Spiration !

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday Funday - Cakes, Cakes and more Cakes

On a weekly basis I am a crazy busy fool. I work a part-time bank teller job, part-time cake business with my mom out of my house, housekeeper for others and myself, mom and wife.

So with all of that said, I'm not tooting my own horn but I accomplished all those weekly duties this week and still had an awesome day with family! 

We had 2 large cake orders this weekend; one graduation and one baby shower. We got those all delivered today with time to spare tonight for a relaxing dinner of Meatloaf Cupcakes. Yeap, thought it was fitting watch for that recipe this week...

For tonight I thought I would share the orders (which are all from scratch), this is my brag book :)

175 Graduation Cupcakes

  Chocolate with Chocolate Buttercream
  Vanilla with Vanilla Buttercream
  Red Velvet with Cream Cheese


Two Tier Chocolate with Vanilla Buttercream covered in Blue Fondant with a hand decorated ribbon; topped with baby shoes ;)

 

Vanilla with Vanilla Buttercream
Chocolate with Chocolate Buttercream