Friday, October 30, 2009

Dressed & Ready

Wednesday night was Trunk-Or-Treat at church and the kids were dressed and ready for some trunk-or-treat fun. This year Trent is the cartoon version of The Joker(green hair and all), Laci a cute cowgirl and Ivy is Piglet. They can't wait for Saturday night when they will be dressed and ready again for trick or treating in our neighborhood. Hope your Halloween is sweet and safe!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gone Batty

Today I've gone "batty" with these cute candy bar covers. I found these at Skip To My Lou the other day and thought it would be a great treat for the kids' teachers. They would also make great party favors for a Halloween bash. Skip To My Lou actually has two cover ideas. A bat and a mummy. They even provide a free down loadable template for the bat.You can find them here. Just cut out your template, trace it onto black card stock, cut, attach a candy bar(I used a Hershey's bar) with glue dots,add some googly eyes, then fold in the bat wings and attach with glue dots as well. Very simple and cute. My picture is not the greatest, though. You can't see the cute, curvy bat wings very well. A simple yet fun project for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Candy Bar Game-- Sweet Fun!

Last night for Family Home Evening it was Trent's turn to pick an activity for us to do together and he chose the fun and fast paced candy bar game. This is a game that my husband used to play with his family. He introduced it to me a little while after we were married and I thought it was a lot of fun too! We can all play it together now that our kids are bigger and more coordinated(at least 2 of them are).

To play the candy bar game you need a large candy bar(we used a Symphony bar-Yum), hat, scarf,2 oven mitts, fork, knife and a die, which I didn't include in the picture. We played at the table so Ivy's(our 2 yr. old) little hands wouldn't get into the candy bar while we tried to play, but I think it works well to play on the floor and just put a towel or something under the candy bar to keep the floor clean. To play, the first person rolls the die once trying to get a 6. If you don't roll a 6 pass it to the next person and they roll. If you do get a 6, you then put on all the gear;hat, scarf, oven mitts and then you have to open the candy bar with the knife and fork and attempt to cut a piece of the candy bar and eat it. If you do, you win! Oh but wait. Play doesn't stop. The die is still being rolled while you are trying to do your thing and if someone rolls a 6 you have to take it all off and pass the gear to that person even if you didn't get a chance to cut that candy bar. Hope that makes sense. It's a really fun family game and you all get to eat a big ole candy bar! However, it is difficult to take pictures and play the game at the same time. I know!

We let Ivy participate even though she's a little young for this. She rolled/threw the dice and got a 6! William helped her suit up. I don't think she quite knew what was going on. She was looking like,"Why is my daddy putting all this stuff on me?" She sure did like the candy bar, though!

Our winner! William was the first one to actually get a piece of the candy bar cut and eaten.The kids didn't mind that at all. They knew they could eat the candy bar now. nice hat honey... and that pink and black scarf is all the rage!

Sweet victory!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Creepy Treats

Creepy treats anyone??? My family likes creepy Halloween treats, so I try to keep an eye out for some new ones. Since it was my turn to make treats for family home evening, I thought I'd try out a couple new ones that I had found. Even though the kids like treats like this, I still sometimes have to do a little convincing to get them to eat it. The cookie fingers I make every year get them every time. The kids will not eat them at first, but then they come around and realize, Hey, it's just a cookie.

Monster Mouths
I have seen these in many magazines and a lot on the web, so I thought I'd try them. Just core an apple, cut it into fourths then cut a slit out of the middle. Push slivered almonds into the apple to look like teeth.I don't have an apple corer, so I just cut mine apples into wedges and kind of propped them up against each other. On the "gross me out" reaction of my kids, on a scale of 1-5--these got a 3!

Q-Tips with Earwax
This is a new one I found that I just had to make. Yuck! These gross little things are super easy to do. Use a Wilton sucker stick and push a mini marshmallow onto each end then spread a bit of peanut butter on each marshmallow for the earwax. Laci would not eat them at all! After a while, Trent dug right in! Gross scale-- 5!

Frightening Fingers
I thought these fingers were great. I make cookie fingers, but hadn't seen them done with cheese before so I gave them a try. All you do is cut a piece of string cheese in half, make a few knuckle marks in the center of the cheese with a knife and then attach a sliced almond with a dab of cream cheese for the finger nail. They turned out okay, but if I make them again I'll cut a slant off the end of the cheese where the almond goes to make it look a little better. I think these were the kids' favorite out of the three. Gross scale--4!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Baby Shower Gifts

Today I want to share a couple of the gifts/decor from the diaper shower. My friend and co-host for the shower, Renee, appropriately made this gorgeous diaper cake for the new mom. Isn't it so pretty! I love the green ribbon and the way she used the flower petals in between layers. I tell ya, she's a crafty one that Renee. I received one of these before and couldn't believe how many diapers are actually in it. It's a lot!

I know, more mod podged letters. I should be a pro at these by now since I've made so many of them.( If you want to see the others I've done, click on the "crafts" link in the labels section.) I couldn't resist making these for baby Faith to have in her room. I knew the nursery was going to be done with some soft pinks and greens so I chose scrapbook papers that were fitting, pink toile, a soft pink stripe, and white and pink polka dot. Then I embellished with pink and green ribbons, white flowers and a vintage pearl brad. The letters did double duty as part of her gift and as a decoration. I just sat these out on my mantel for display and decor.

I was happy to host this shower for my friend and mom-to-be. Can't wait to meet baby Faith in a few weeks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Scrumptious Shower Food

For the pretty in pink diaper shower I hosted Saturday, I kept the table simple yet elegant with a white table cloth and an overlay of pink toile fabric. I found this pretty fabric with nursery rhyme scenes at Hob Lob. It was a pretty place for all the scrumptious food that was served. I made a few things and a friend brought some delicious mini quiche and a rich and creamy mousse. Great food to celebrate our mommy-to-be and her baby girl. Be sure to get the recipes below.

The Menu

Ham & Spinach Mini Quiche
Turkey Cream Cheese Ranch Pinwheels
Spinach Dip & Crackers
Fresh Fruit
White Chocolate Drizzled Brownie Bites
Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting and Candy Diaper Pins
Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse
Sparkling Pink Lemonade

Ham & Spinach Mini Quiche
1 box of puff pastry (2 sheets per box), thawed

6 eggs
9 Tbs. cream
3 tsp. grated onion (fresh)
generous dashes of salt and pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, tightly packed
1 cup minced spinach (fresh)
1/2 lb. thinly sliced sandwich ham, diced
Preheat oven to 410 degrees.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together eggs, cream, grated onion, salt and pepper.
Unfold sheets of puff pastry and using a biscuit cutter, cut a dozen circles from each. (If you have a standard-size biscuit cutter, this IS possible, I promise! Cut the circles right against the border of the next, cutting 3 on the first row, 2 on second, three on third, and 2 on fourth.)
Generously spray your muffin tins with Pam. (You can bake these back-to-back if you only have one muffin tin.) Press a round of puff pastry into the bottom of each muffin tin. They'll only come a little way up the side, but that's fine.
Divide the cheese evenly among each tin, then repeat with the spinach, then ham. Using a tablespoon (measuring spoon), measure three tablespoons of the egg/onion/cream mixture into each tin. Place in hot oven and bake 16-22 minutes, until puffed and golden. Mine are done at exactly 18 minutes, but each oven is different, so start checking at 16 minutes.
Recipe from Renee

Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse
1(13 oz.)jar Nutella
1(16 oz.) container Cool Whip

Whisk together Nutella and Cool Whip until well blended. Store in refrigerator.
**You can fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with mousse and pipe into small cups. Grate a chocolate bar and sprinkle chocolate on top of mousse for a nice presentation.**
Recipe from Renee

Turkey Cream Cheese Ranch Pinwheels
1 pkg. soft taco size flour tortillas
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 pkg. ranch salad dressing mix
shaved turkey

Mix together ranch salad dressing mix and cream cheese until well blended. Spread heaping tablespoon onto a flour tortilla, covering entire tortilla. Lay 2 pieces of turkey over mixture. Roll up tortilla. Cut ends of rolled up tortillas. Cut remaining rolled up tortilla into 1-inch pinwheels. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pretty In Pink Diaper Shower

On Saturday, I hosted a diaper shower for a friend at my house. To get the word out, I made these invitations. My friend, Renee, also helped with the shower and found the cute poem online that I used for the invites. I kept them simple and sweet to go along with the diaper theme. I matted the the poem onto pink textured card stock and then stamped pretty in pink polka dots onto the white. A small pink felt diaper complete with tiny safety pin rounded out the invitation.

To make the felt diapers just cut out small triangles, fold in the corners(like a diaper) and pin. I think these turned out very cute, but were a bit time consuming.

The poem for the invite reads:
The changing table and diaper bag have something that they share,
When you reach inside of each-a diaper should be there!
Since Hanna and Michael are parents-to-be and will be doing a lot of "changes,"
Please join us as we shower them with diapers- in all the size ranges!

For the shower game we played Baby Memory. I love this little game. It's so cute! I actually think this game was played at my shower when I was pregnant with my son. That was 10 years!

For this game, you are supposed to match different baby phrases and you get a prize if you get a match. The prize is a coordinating candy bar or candy. Be sure to explain that to your guests or they might not get this game. For example, if you match the phrases "Baby girl" your prize would be a Baby Ruth candy bar, "epidural" would be Lifesavers. I used 14 different phrases so I had 28 phrases all together on my board. I wrote them onto foam board and covered each up with a post it note with the numbers on them. Our guests thought this was fun and different. Come back tomorrow for some delicious recipes for the food we served.

You can get the list of phrases and candy I used for the game below!

baby girl- Baby Ruth
baby boy-Heath bar
pacifier-Ring Pop
midnight feeding- Milky Way Midnight
triplets-3 Musketeers
OBGYN-Mr. Goodbar
doctor bills-100 Grand
poopy diaper-Mounds
umbilical cord-Twizzlers
baby talk-Snickers

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sisters Do Lunch

On Saturday I snapped these pictures of the girls "doing lunch." I was cleaning up after a baby shower I hosted at my house and noticed that Laci had pulled out the piano bench and made it their table for their lunch. She had arranged her and Ivy some of their play food on paper plates along with cups with pretend drinks. They were so cute enjoying their "lunch" together. However, it looks more like a feast. I'm sure Ivy's favorite was the "coocumer" as she calls it. That little girl loves that plastic cucumber. I guess it's because her daddy really likes the real ones.

I'm glad Laci arranged a play lunch date for them. It really helped Ivy stay occupied so I could get things cleaned up after the shower. Sweet girls!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cookie Walk Prizes

Tonight is the fall festival at my daughter's school and her class will be having a cookie and cupcake walk. Parents were asked to send in cookies or cupcakes for prizes for this fun game.
Laci and I made Halloween M&M Cookies. We thought they looked very festive. Tasted good too. We just had to sample them! You can get the recipe I used, Ultimate M&M Cookies, here, which is from a previous post.

I packaged them up in cellophane bags, 3 per bag, and tied on a cute, colorful ribbon along with a spider ring. For a fun game like a cookie walk or a bake sale, I think attractive packaging says a lot. (And I just like to try and make my food look cute) It can make your item stand out in the crowd. I hope the winners of our cookies will enjoy every bite.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday- Freezer Meal Swap

It's time for another Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family and I'm sharing tips for a freezer meal swap. This freezer meal swap worked for me because I came away with some great dishes that are ready to thaw and heat. That's what I'm talkin' about. This will be ideal when I'm short on time or just don't want to cook one night. You know those nights.:) I came away with chicken enchiladas, mexican stuffed shells, spaghetti with meat sauce and creamy italian chicken with noodles(pictured below).

I joined with a few other ladies from my church to do this swap. My friend, Renee, organized and set out some guidelines and tips for us to go by when doing our swap, which I thought was a very good idea.It's always better to have a plan. She did a great job at organizing it. See her tips below.

Some of the things Renee had us consider and guidelines to use were:
1. What type of container to freeze your meal in. It's usually not a good idea to freeze in containers that you need back. Use disposable aluminum pans that can be found at WM and Dollar Stores. Freeze soups or sauces in large freezer bags(like the pic above). Try to get out as much air as possible to freeze flat. Also, you can freeze in your own pan, such as a 9x13, by lining it with foil first. When it is frozen, just remove the whole thing and wrap in foil. The person receiving it can then use their own pan to cook it in.

2. Make the same number of the same meal as the number of people in your swap. (I did 4 meals since their were 4 of us in the swap)Also, make sure the meal will feed 6 to 8 people, taking into consideration those with larger families.

3. So that no one feels shorted , plan on a good quality meal. It doesn't have to be expensive, but shouldn't be minimal either. For example, if you made a nice casserole, pasta or meat it wouldn't be fair to exchange and get Kraft macaroni and cheese.

4.If your sauce, soup, casserole needs pasta, rice or potatoes to go with it, you do not need to include that except where it is a main part of the dish like a baked spaghetti or something like that. (However, one of our participants did include the noodles in a bag with hers.That was nice,huh.)

5.Cook the meat you exchange. No uncooked meat in a casserole or marinade to avoid any potential problems.

6. Consider bringing a cooler to the swap to store your meals in.

7. Label your dishes with what it is and cooking instructions.( A good example is her dish below)

8. Make and freeze your food ahead so if you can not make the actual swap you can still pass your food along to the others.

Renee also hosted our first swap at her home with a light lunch.(I couldn't make it because I had family in)It would also be good to rotate the swap each month so the same person isn't hosting it every month. We planned for 3 months, Oct/Nov./Dec. Maybe I'll host next month.

I hope these freezer meal swap tips and guidelines work for you!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baked Ziti and Moldy Bones

That's right! I said baked ziti and moldy bones. I thought the moldy bones would get us in a Halloween kind of mood. I love to make creepy and sweet Halloween food for my family in the weeks leading up to Halloween. The kids especially think it's fun! Look for more Halloween treats to come.

Baked ziti is one of my family's favorites.(This is actually baked rotini, since I was out of ziti noodles.) I like it because it is so cheesy and delicious. It makes a big dish, so their are always leftovers for the next days lunch, too. Their is one ingredient in this recipe that you may think won't go very well in this dish, but trust me it does. It's the cream of chicken soup. It kind of blends in with the melted cheese and makes this baked ziti sooooo good!

The moldy bones were super easy to make with refrigerated bread sticks and tasted great with grated parmesan, garlic and crushed basil on top. Just be sure to roll them long enough so you can tie a loose knot at the end. Get both these yummy recipes below.

Baked Ziti
16 oz. ziti noodles
1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 small can cream of chicken soup
1 26 oz. jar pasta sauce
1 c. cheddar, divided
1 c. mozzarella, divided

Boil noodles and drain. Brown meat and drain. Stir pasta sauce into meat and warm in pan. In a 2 qt. casserole dish , layer half of noodles, then half of meat sauce on top of noodles. Pour cream of chicken over meat sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 c. cheddar and 1/2 c. mozzarella over soup. Layer with the rest of the noodles and meat sauce on top. Cover. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheddar and mozzarella. Bake for 5 minutes longer uncovered. (This dish always fills up my 2 qt. dish to the rim. You could make it in a 9x13, too)

Moldy Bones
1 can (7 oz.) refrigerated original bread sticks
1 egg white, beaten ( I used a little melted butter instead)
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried crushed basil leaves
garlic salt

Heat oven to 375. Spray cookie sheet with non stick spray. Unroll dough; separate at perforations into 6 bread sticks.(The refrig. bread sticks make 12, but just double them up so they are thick enough to be rolled to about 12 inches) Roll each until 12 inches long. Loosely tie knot in both ends of each bread stick. Place on cookie sheet(do not twist).
Brush bread sticks with egg white ( I used butter). Sprinkle with cheese, garlic and basil.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Can serve warm "bones" with pizza sauce for dipping.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Favorite Monkey Bread Recipe

Today I have yet another baked good to share with you. It's this delicious monkey bread. I have a few recipes for monkey bread and this one has become my favorite one to use. I don't have to thaw out any rolls to make it and it always tastes great! For this one, you just use Grands biscuits. How simple is that?! Will and I made it recently for his Friday breakfast day at work. It went over very well along with the sausage quiche he took with it. I'm sure the doughnuts and Hardee's biscuits that some bring in are good, but I told him he should go homemade all the way. Make this for your next breakfast or brunch day, but be ready with the recipe!

Monkey Bread
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cans Pillsbury Grands Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. butter, melted

Heat oven to 350. Lightly grease a fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray. In a large Ziploc bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan, adding nuts among the biscuit pieces.
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in the center. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a new favorite cookie!! This is it! Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip!

I am a coconut lover. Well, the whole fam is really. We love our coconut. So the other day I thought it would be good to make a coconut oatmeal choc. chip cookie after having had a fabulous one at Flower Girls & Dough Boys back in the spring when I was visiting a friend. I didn't have a recipe for one, so the search began. I found this awesome recipe at Two Peas and Their Pod. You can get it here. This is a must try, especially if you like to bake like I do, or if you like cookies, or if you like coconut, or chocolate.... or just like to eat. You get the point. Try it! They are chewy on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside. The combination of coconut, chocolate and oats is a great one!
These babies were a hit with my family. Another keeper!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Playin' At The Park

With nicer, cooler weather last week, Ivy and I enjoyed some play time at the park. If we drive past our neighborhood park she always says, "wing, wing," which in Ivy talk means , swing, swing! Those baby swings are her favorite. They really are even if I don't have any pics of her on them. She is beginning to really like the slides. She goes for the them more and more. Hopefully, rainy days like today won't last too long so we can have some more fun at the park.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Craft Challenge- Halloween Decor

Today is Heidi at Blue Eyed Blessing's Monthly Craft Challenge. The theme this month was Halloween or Fall , so I want to share what I came up with. I found this cute little white iron tree back around Easter at Pier 1 for half off and picked it up. I thought it would be great for many occasions or holidays, so I made a "happy" Halloween tree. I also mod podged some "BOO" letters. Can't wait to see other's creations!

For my happy little tree, I used small glass ornaments found at Hobby Lobby. I filled some with orange tissue paper and then painted white and black polka dots on them. Some of the ornaments have black spiders in them. I just used the spider rings and cut off the ring part and kind of folded them in half and stuck them into the ornament. It looks kinda creepy close up. I thought my son would really appreciate that!

The BOO letters are simply mod podged with different scrapbook papers and embellished with different ribbons and an orange spider.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...