Friday, December 23, 2011

Santa Grahams

I've really been trying to make new and fun things that I've found on Pinterest lately. Last night, I created Santa Grahams as a special treat for my kids and my husband. The original idea comes from Pillsbury, but I changed it a little based on what I had on hand. Here's what I used:

Honey Graham Crackers, halved
Frosting (powdered sugar, vanilla, milk, red food coloring)
Mini-Chocolate Chips (for the eyes)
Red Fruit Rollup-(cut into triangles)

Spread frosting over graham cracker. Quickly arrange marshmallows into beard and hair. I rolled marshmallows to give Santa a mustache as well:) Place chocolate chips for eyes (I thought brown was more appealing than the red eyes below). Place fruit rollup triangle on top for the hat. Add a small drop of frosting at top and finish of with another marshmallow for the hat.

Pinned Image

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Time

Oh Tannenbaum Cupcakes

I made these Christmas Tree Cupcakes the other day for our church's bake sale. They weren't quite as beautiful as I didn't add the extra decorations. I was told they were quite delicious (I made my own buttercream icing). Isn't it fun making Christmas goodies! I've recently made some of my Pinterest recipes and I'm trying to get back on track with making a new recipe each week. I'd been quite sick in recent weeks or my kids had been, so we ate a lot of quick fix options. If you have a favorite new recipe, please share it with me so I can try it out on our little family!

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

This one comes from a long time family friend, Joy Reimann. She passed this one along to me when Jonathan and I were married, but I just recently made it for the first time. I remember eating these at her home, surrounded by lots of friends.

1/2 c. peanut butter
1/3 c. softened butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. gran. sugar

Combine in large bowl and beat until creamy. Add 2 eggs and 2 teas. vanilla and beat. Then add 1 c. flour, 1 teas. baking powder, and 1/4 teas. salt. Mix and spread into a greased 13x9 pan. Sprinkle 1 c. chocolate chips over top. Put in 350 oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife through to marbleize. Return to oven for 15-20 min.

She also shared this verse with me:
The wise in heart will be called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Proverbs 16:21

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pear Sauce

I recently received a huge bag of small pears and tried to come up with more ways to use them. (I'm the only one that will eat them in my house.) I decided to try making pear sauce. Now, my idea was that I would make it similar to applesauce with no added sugar. So, I set to work.....
Now, these pears are the size of figs, so I had to cut up quite a few in order to barely fill my pot. Most recipes that I found said to add 1/2 cup water; however, my pears were quite hard, so I ended up adding two cups. I cut and cored all my pears, added them to the pot and slightly sauteed them to start their cooking process and lock in some flavor. Then, I added part of my water (I ended up adding more since they weren't cooking down.). Once the water boiled, I turned it down to a simmer with the lid still on to steam the pears.
After adding more water and about one hour, my pears were finally soft enough. I mashed them with a potato masher. Then, I put them in my blender and blended away until it was a nice consistency. I poured this into a freezable container and let it finish cooling with the lid off before I put it away in the freezer. I saved some for myself and added some cinnamon. While still warm, it was yummy! However, I gave a taste to my husband (who doesn't like pears) and he said it was okay.
So, pear sauce? Sure, if you like pears....If you don't have anyone else who will eat it, don't make too much. Or, if you have a baby on baby food, try making your own. Also found out that you can make pear butter from pear sauce!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

First Day

My Oldest
First Day of Preschool
 Silly Guy!

With little bro

Recipe Resolution-1st Recipe

I've decided to make a recipe resolution! I know, it is September, kind of a weird time to be making a resolution, but I feel stuck in a rut. Time to make some changes! Namely, what we eat. Now, I try to eat healthy as much as possible, but that is not what this resolution is about. My resolution is to try a new recipe each week. It may be from any catagory of food. I have all these recipes I've collected from magazines that I'm determined to try. If they are a hit with my family, it will make it into my recipe book.
Yesterday, I made my first new recipe, Orange-Ricotta Softies:

2 1/2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 stick softened butter
2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 15oz container whole milk ricotta cheese
5 T orange juice
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
zest of 1 orange (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate large bowl, set aside. Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Mix in eggs. Add ricotta, 2 T of the orange juice and vanilla and beat until combined. Mix in dry goods until just combined
Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake 12 mins or until lightly browned around edges. Remove and let cool slightly on wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: stir together powdered sugar, orange zest and the remaining orange juice. Spoon about 1/2t glaze onto each cookies and spread over top. Let stand until glaze is set.
Makes 60 cookies

Big hit with everyone in the family. My four year old, almost two year old, and husband cannot get enough!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Libman Freedom Spray Mop

This isn't one of those reviews where I received a product for free to endorse...I simply picked this product up from Target based on numerous customer reviews. I wanted a product free of buying constant refills (I'm an owner of a Swifter Wet-Jet). I had run out of refills for my Swifter and decided that had to be a better way. I researched steam mops and refillable mops. Right now, I can't afford the steam mop that I want, so I decided to go the spray mop route. I researched online on various websites and decided to try the Libman Freedom Spray Mop. I was excited too because of my allergies to use something I could use chemical free. So, today was the test. It had been a month since I mopped my kitchen (I was doing lots of research before I could decide which one to buy;)). I have two young children and lots of mess. I filled the container with vinegar and warm water. Then I went to town. I used less than half the tank to clean my kitchen and dining. It was wonderful! Everything is so clean and no chemical smells! While I have yet to wash the pad, it collected so much dirt and grime, I'll be tossing it in the wash. I'll let you know how it holds up. Love my Libman!