Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Cupcakes

My nieces K5 teacher asked me last week to make cupcakes for the Happy Birthday Jesus birthday party that they had on Friday of this past week. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to go all Happy Birthday, Christmas decorations or all Religious so I decided to go with a little bit of all three. The Christmas tree is for Christmas decorations, the sprinkles are for Jesus' birthday and the other decorations are for Jesus' birth. I made angels, Baby Jesus in a manger, sheep, crowns and crosses.

They were a huge hit with the kids. They argued over who got which cupcakes.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MSC Cupcake Club - Gingerbread Cupcakes

This time of year is so crazy for me and I feel like I have been living in my kitchen working on holiday baking...and it shows no signs of letting up!! I love it though!

I had a Christmas party at my house last night and I made the Gingerbread Cupcakes to put on my dessert platter and they went over really well. I halved the recipe and made them in mini cupcakes as you can see. Mine got a little bit of a crunchy top on top (maybe because I made the smaller version) and it was actually really nice. It kind of gave an initial crunch like a cookie but then they were super moist inside.

I have never been a big fan of gingerbread but these surprised me. I could handle making these again sometime.

Thanks again to Kayte from Grandma's Kitchen Table for picking a great recipe!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ham and White Bean Soup

Every year for Thanksgiving my family has the traditional Thanksgiving turkey as well as a ham. I reserved the ham bone this year with excited thoughts on how I could use it up. I usually use it to flavor pinto beans for my Dad but I wanted to do something that would be enjoyed more across the board as my family isn't really into just plain beans. (Even though they don't know that a good pot of beans have amazing flavor) It is going to be really hard for me to not do this recipe every time that I bake a ham and have the leftover bone in the future.

Ham and White Bean Soup
1 lb great northern white beans
3 TBL olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
6-8 cups water
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 TBL sugar
1 leftover ham bone with either some ham left on the bone or leftover slices

- Go through your beans and pick out any rocks that remain
- Place your beans in a large stock pot and cover well with water
- Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute. Cover and turn off heat. Let sit for 1 hour
- Drain beans in a strainer and set aside
- Heat olive oil over med-high heat and saute carrots, celery and onion until tender. Add garlic when almost done sauteing.
- Add chicken stock and water.
- Add beans, salt, pepper and sugar
- Add ham bone, bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Stir frequently and rotate bone in the liquid
- Remove the ham bone and pull meat off of the bone or shred leftover slices in the soup.
- Continue to cook on low for another hour

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Cupcakes!

I made these cute little guys last week for Thanksgiving for the kiddos that came to dinner. They were a huge hit!! I used the one bowl chocolate cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart's book Cupcakes and used the Wilton Buttercream recipe tinted orange. I topped them with half of a Nutter Butter cookie, black frosting eyes, fruit rollup nose/beard and candy corn feathers.

I initially was going to participate in the Martha Stewart Cupcake Bonus Challange of Applesauce Spice Cupcakes but I ran out of time and figured that I would post these since they are so adorable. :-)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Pie

I decided to venture away from the frozen Mrs. Smith's Pumpkin Pie this year. It is amazing that I haven't tried to make a pumpkin pie up to this point. I guess that I just stuck with the tradition of what my Grandmother did for years. She always used the frozen pie and it was always yummy. Truth be known though, I had never been introduced to the deliciousness of a good homemade pumpkin pie. I don't think that I can go back now.

I tried Paula Deen's recipe for pumpkin pie this year. It was amazing!! It has everything that you can expect from a pumpkin pie in it but it has the creamy addition of an entire block of cream cheese in it. My family thought that it was delicious. The only thing that I did different in the recipe is that i didn't bake the pie crust before putting the filling in it. Also, next time I will bake the pie with the crust covered so that it doesn't brown as much.

This is definitely a make again for me!

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

I had some people over the other night to make Christmas cards and hang out and I decided to make one of my sister's favorite snacks. She absolutely loves these little pieces of yumminess and always makes herself sick by eating alot of them.

My aunt originally gave me this recipe years ago. I am honestly not sure where she got it originally but we have definitely made our share of them over the years. This super simple recipe makes about 40 cheesecakes so one batch makes enough for a small party...or one person if you are talking about my sister. :-)

I recommend that you put the cherries on the cheesecakes right out the oven and that you let them sit in the fridge for a couple of hours after they have cooled. They are definitely better cold rather than at room temp.

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes
2 - 8 oz blocks of cream cheese
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Mini Nilla Wafers
Maraschino Cherries (stem removed and cut in half)

- Preheat your oven to 350
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and cream cheese together
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until blended well
- Line a mini muffin pan with mini muffin liners
- Place a mini Nilla Wafer in each liner
- Fill each liner with cream cheese mixture almost to the top
- Bake 15 - 18 minutes
- Top each cheesecake with a half of a cherry after they come out of the oven. Let cool and refridgerate.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Panna Cotta with Fresh Blueberries

I have been wanting to try to make panna cotta for forever. I love custards and I knew that this would be no different. I have surprisingly never even had panna cotta before this.

I was browsing through Giada DeLaurentiis's book, Everyday Italian and I saw that she has a recipe for this. I have had a lot of success with Giada's recipes in the past and I figured that this would be the same.

I was surprised to see how much honey was called for in the recipe and honestly it was too much for me. It called for 1/3 a cup in the batch. For anyone that likes honey, they would love this. I am just not a big fan of honey and will find a recipe with just sugar for next time.

The panna cotta was really creamy and I enjoyed the consistency. I decided to serve this with some blueberries sprinkled on top and am glad that I did. Any type of fresh berry would have been great.

If you would like to view the recipe for this then you can get it from the Food Network site here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Magazine Monday's - Blueberry Crumb Bars

Like many people, I have an ever growing stack of magazine recipes that I have collected over the years and it seems like I never have (or make) time to try the recipes out. I read so many food blogs and I came across Cream Puffs in Venice. The creator of this blog, Yvonne does a post every Monday called "Magazine Mondays". She opens it up for other food bloggies (is that a word ha?) to participate with her and she posts their recipes on her site.

This is the first week that I am participating and I decided to try out a recipe from the July 2009 edition of Bon Appetit magazine. I made these and submitted them for a baked goods auction that my Aunt had at her church. I was really happy with how they turned out. I am actually making them again this afternoon for a meeting that my Mom is doing food for tomorrow. I love the shortbread like crust and the yummy fruit filling. I imagine that these can also be made with other fruits and jam's. I would love to try raspberry sometime.

Blueberry Crumb Bars
Bon Appetit, July 2009
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 cups fresh blueberries or a 12-ounce package of frozen blueberries
1 cup blueberry preserves (10 - 11 oz)
1 TBL all purpose flour
1 tsp finely grated lemon peel

Prehead the oven to 375. Butter bottom of a 9x13 pan. Whisk flour, oats, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add 1 cup butter; rub in with fingertips until mixture sticks together in small clumps.
Transfer 2 cups to medium bowl; mix in almonds and reserve for topping.
Press remaining crumb mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until golden and just firm to touch, about 22 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Spread evenly over crust in pan, then sprinkle reserve topping over.
Bake bars until filling bubbles thickly at edges and topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes; cool in pan on rack.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

MSC November Challenge - Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Well this month's MSC Cupcake Challange really snuck up on me. I have had so much going on that I lost track of time. I am so glad that I stuck with it and made this month's challenge though. Karen from Karen's Cookies, Cakes & More selected this months recipe. They are Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes and they are amazing!

I was very curious to see how these were going to work out and if they were going to end up favoring a muffin in the end. This definitely is a light and fluffy cupcake and didn't favor a muffin at least I didn't think so. I tend to underbake things by a couple of minutes to try to keep them moist and I think that helped in this case. These called for 28 minutes in the oven and I only kept them in there for 24 and they are perfect. My oven might be a little hot though...

The recipe calls for you to candy pecans and create a little marshmallow mountain that has been broiled on top to give it the effect of a sweet potato casserole. I chose to make some cream cheese frosting instead and sprinkled some roasted pecans on top. I would have candied the pecans if I had more time. I am happy that I went with the frosting. The cream cheese is amazing with the sweet potato.

My Mom does not like sweet potato at all typically and she loved these cupcakes. She said that they rank up with the best that I have made.

I hope that everyone had a great time making these and that you enjoy eating them as much as I have. Thanks again Karen for picking a great recipe!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chicken with Wild Mushroom and Balsamic Cream Sauce

I made my sisters favorite meal for dinner tonight. It's Chicken with Wild Mushroom and Balsamic Cream Sauce. I adapted this from Rachael Ray's recipe. My sister frequently begs me to make this dish for her. It's pretty good. I am usually not a big fan of Rachael's recipes, but she did good on this one.

It's basically a cream sauce that is made with mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, cream, etc. I always serve it with linguini and a salad on the side.

Chicken with Wild Mushroom and Balsamic Cream Sauce
(adapted from Rachael Ray)
3 chicken breasts
3 TBL olive oil
2 12 oz containers of mushrooms
2 shallots
3 garlic cloves
3 TBL butter
3 TBL flour
2 TBL of fresh thyme leaves
2 cups of chicken broth (1 can)
1 cup of milk
2 TBL balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of heavy cream
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
3/4 cup shredded parmesean cheese
2 TBL fresh parsley, minced
- Clean, and slice the mushrooms. Remove the stems.
- Thinly slice the shallots and mince the garlic
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium high. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Saute in the pan until cooked through. Remove from pan
- Add butter to the pan. Allow to melt and then add the mushrooms.
- Cook the mushrooms for about 3-4 minutes until cooked down and tender.
- Add the shallots and garlic and cook until shallots are translucent and tender.
- Add the red pepper flakes, thyme leaves and flour and stir for 30 seconds until flour soaks up the juices in the pan.
- Slowly add the chicken stock and incorporate. It will thicken because of the flour.
- Add the milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and cream and combine well.
- Slice the chicken and add to the sauce. Allow to continue cooking for 5 minutes
- Add the parsley and parmesean cheese. Stir until melted and remove from heat.
- Serve over linguini or any other pasta that you have on hand.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Easy Green Chile Chicken Burritos

I will be the first to admit that this recipe is not authentic mexican food or is it the best mexican food that you will ever have. It is so easy though and a great make ahead dinner. I am always looking for items that I can put together over the weekend that I can just throw in the oven and heat up when I get home from work during the week. This is one of those recipes that is ideal for this and my family loves it.

The burritos stay really soft because of all of the enchilada sauce. They also have a ton of cheese in and on them. You start with shredded chicken and have have lots of options for cooking the chicken. If you want to go really easy then you can start with a rotisserie chicken. I have baked, grilled and sauteed the chicken in the past. I actually cooked the chicken in the crockpot this past time while I was at work.

I have never made this with red enchilada sauce, but it may taste good. I also use a monterey jack/colby mix for the cheese, but I imagine that it would be fine with cheddar as well. These are great served with salsa, sour cream and/or homemade guacamole if you have it.

Easy Green Chile Chicken Burritos
7 flour burrito sized flour tortillas
2 cans green enchilada sauce
4 cups of shredded cheese
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 green peppers, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 tsp of season salt
3 TBL butter

- Saute the green peppers and onions in the butter and season salt. Cook until tender.
- Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray
- Pour about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce in the pan and spread on the bottom.
- To build your burritos, take a flour tortilla and place about 1/4 cup of chicken in a line in the middle and about 1/8 of a cup of peppers and onion mix on top. Cover this with about half a handful of cheese and then about 2 TBL of sauce on top.
- Roll into burritos and place in the pan.
- Once you finish then you take the rest of the sauce and pour it overtop of the burritos. Then cover with the rest of the cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and then bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is good and melted but not burnt.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yay for Comfort Food!

Nothing hits the spot for me on a cold day like a bowl of steaming hot soup and a grilled cheese. My soup for this week was a pot of hearty Vegetable Beef soup that I made out of our leftover pot roast from Sunday night. I always make extra pot roast when I plan that meal so that I will have some extra for soup. It's a great soup to freeze for future days too. You can also easily use this recipe and not add beef if you would rather have a vegetarian version.

I believe that one of the key ingredients in the flavor of this soup is the leftover broth/cream of mushroom soup mixture that comes off of the pot roast after you bake it. For two pot roasts, I typically take a large can of cream of mushroom soup and add a can of chicken stock. Then I season it with salt and pepper and also cut up an onion in the pot roast. This all adds to the flavors of the leftover soup mixture at the end. I always make this the day after the pot roast so that I have time to refridgerate the leftover soup mixture overnight. This allows for the fat to collect on the top and gives me a chance to remove it.

As with all soups, you have a million variations that you can do with this. Here is the recipe for how I made this makes a large stockpot full.

Vegetable Beef Soup
2 large carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBL olive or vegetable oil
2 cups of leftover pot roast broth (fat skimmed) or 1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 large and 1 small can corn
1 large can of green beans, drained
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 large can of V8 juice
6 cups of water
3 cups leftover pot roast (or whatever you have)
4 TBL sugar
1 TBL kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp season salt

- Heat the oil over medium high heat
- Saute the carrots, celery, onion and garlic until tender
- Add the pot roast broth/cream of mushroom soup and mix
- Add all of the remaining ingredients and cook for approximately an hour on low/medium until the vegetables are tender.
- If you would like pasta in the soup then add that about 15 minutes before finishing cooking so that it won't get too done.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

One of my favorite desserts that my Memaw used to make for us was a Pineapple Upside Down cake. I love the moist cake that has absorbed a sweet combination of pineapple juice, brown sugar, and butter. She usually made one in a 9x13 pan with a cake mix. It was always so good.

I wanted to try to make a cake from scratch for mine so I went with the Pineapple Upside Down cake from The Joy of Cooking. It's really good!! Mine ended up very moist and the pineapple fit on top of it perfectly. I saw Paula Deen make a cake like this on her show before where she actually made a double layer cake with two cakes like this. I can see this cake going well at bake sales and baked goods auctions.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
adapted from The Joy of Cooking

7 slices canned pineapple
3 TBL butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
13 maraschino cherries
3 large eggs
2 TBL buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 TBL butter, softened
6 TBL buttermilk

- Preheat oven to 350. Place 3 TBL butter in the cake pan and place the pan in the oven until the butter is melted. Tilt the pan to coat all sides with butter. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.
- Drain the pineapple and place one ring in the center of the pan and arrange 6 more around it. Place the cherries in the center of each ring and in the spaces between them.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2 TBL of buttermilk and vanilla.
- In a mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, powder, soda, and salt. Add the 6 TBL of butter and the 6 TBL of buttermilk. Beat on low speed just until the flour is moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for exactly 1 1/2 minutes.
- Add 1/3 of the egg mixture at a time and beat for exactly 20 seconds and scrape the bowl after each addition.
- Scrape the batter over the fruit in the pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, about 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before inverting.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cinnamon Spiced Nuts

I love walking through some malls and/or a fair where they have booths set up with different vendors that sell various snack foods and smelling the yummy cinnamon scent coming from the spiced nut stand. There is something about a roasted pecan, almond or walnut with a cinnamon sugar glaze that smells amazing. I always enjoy getting a small bag of these roasted nuts when I have a chance.

I had some pecans on hand the week before last and decided that I would search for a recipe for Cinnamon Spiced Nuts to see if I can get anywhere close to the roasted ones that you can buy at various places. I used the recipe posted at Smitten Kitchen and it turned out really good! The nuts cooked perfectly and ended up light and tender. The glaze was perfect! I love a good combination of sweet and salty. These weren't too sweet for my liking, but they had a great blend of cinnamon, salt, and sugar. The only thing that I did differently from the recipe is that I used light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar. I tend to not like a strong molasses taste.
So the verdict is that I will make these again. They make a great snack for work or at home. Unfortunately they didn't last long enough around my house for me to take them to work for too many days. My self-proclaimed nut hating Mom actually ate a snack bag full.

Friday, October 30, 2009

MSC Cupcake Club October Bonus Recipe - Halloween Cupcakes

OH my word I had an absolute blast making these cupcakes! I was really excited when I found out that we were having another bonus recipe for the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club. I decided to get creative with what I had on hand instead of decorating the cupcakes with all of the candy that we could have used for the cupcakes in the cookbook. I guess I used my artistic freedom ha.

I chose to make the One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes from the book. I have to say that these are my favorite cupcakes that I have made out of the book so far. They are amazing! The chocolate is just right and they are so moist! I was surprised to see how watery that the batter was after mixing them. I actually used a measuring pitcher to pour the batter in instead of scooping it in. I loved how this recipe only used one bowl too. It took less time because you just throw everything together in the mixer. This cupcake recipe is definitely going into my file for a make again.

I decided not to use Martha's icing recipe. I haven't been a big fan so far of her buttercreams...they seem a little too buttery. I used the Wilton Buttercream recipe. It was good and very easy to work with. I haven't given up on Martha's recipes...I just decided to do my own thing this time.

My nieces are going to go wild over these tomorrow on Halloween. They love cupcakes and when you add the decorations, it will send them over the edge. I hope that everyone had as much fun making and decorating your cupcakes!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Duggar Family Tator Tot Casserole

One of my favorite shows on TV is 18 and Counting. It's a show about a family called the Duggars and they have 18 children and 1 on the way at this point. Their oldest son and his wife Anna just had a baby as well. I have so much respect for this family. They are such a good testimony on how we should live our lives and I am not talking about having tons of children. I am talking about how their lives are centered around living for Christ and doing all that they can to honor and glorify him.

I have heard them mention this favorite recipe of the family called Tator Tot Casserole. I have been very curious and decided that I would try it for myself. I got this recipe off of their website. The recipe was great! And it was sooo simple to really kind of freaked me out at first because I was worried that it would be too simple and wouldn't be that good. I tend to lean towards more complicated things to try to make. It was definitely yummy though and I plan to make it again sometime.

Duggar Family Tator Tot Casserole
1 lb ground turkey
1 bag of frozen tator tots
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)

- Brown ground turkey in a skillet and season. (I used salt, pepper and cayenne pepper)
- Grease a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and pour in ground turkey to line bottom of pan
- Line the turkey with the tator tots. Do not just pour them in there...line them up.
- Mix together the 2 soups and the milk
- Pour the soup mixture over the tator tots
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour
- Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Amazing Pumpkin Bread

I have used this pumpkin bread recipe for years and I absolutely love it! I love the fall of the year when this is appropriate to make due to the time of the season. (Of course...I do make this once in awhile during the rest of the year because it's so yummy)

I read on a couple of other blogs that there is a pumpkin shortage this year. This is the first time that I heard this and of course went straight to Wal-Mart and bought 6 cans of pumpkin. Maybe this was a ploy by the canned pumpkin companies to drum up business. Because heavens, we can't live without our pumpkin bread, pie, cheesecake, etc etc!!

This bread is super easy to make. As with a lot of other quick breads, you mix together the wet ingredients, combine the dry and then mix them together. The people that eat your "masterpiece" think that you are just the greatest cook ever. :-) I made this for a group of people that I was meeting with at work the other day. It was a big hit and didn't take long to disappear. I think that this would also make good muffins if that is what you prefer. The recipe that I have tweaked is listed below:

Pumpkin Bread
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin

- Combine the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
- Beat together the oil, eggs, water, pumpkin, vanilla and sugar
- Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients in thirds
- Bake at 350 until bread springs back when touched. The amount of time that it takes is really dependant on the size of pans that you are using.

**This made 2 large loaves and 3 very small loaves

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cabbage and White Bean Soup with Sausage

This week I decided to pull a recipe out of the ever growing folder of random magazine clippings that I always cut out with recipes that I want to try. This recipe is from the March 2008 edition of Bon Appetit (which happens to be my most favorite magazine...big surprise). This soup was amazing!! It's very simple and also good for you. I made a couple of tweaks, but I basically stuck with the original recipe. I also made this for under $10 so that made me happy too. :-) This is going into my recipe library to make again in the future.

Cabbage and White Bean Soup with Sausage
4 TBL olive oil, divided
12 oz fully cooked chicken sausage, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2 thick slices
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
3 leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
2 cups baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise, then halved crosswise
2 TBL tomato paste
2 TBL chopped fresh italian parsley
1 TBL sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups chicken broth
1 - 15 oz can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained

- Heat 2 TBL olive oil in large pan over medium high heat.
- Add sausage and saute until brown around edges, around 5 minutes
- Add cabbage; saute 2 minutes and transfer to bowl
- Add remaining 2 TBL olive oil to same pot and heat over medium heat.
- Add leeks and carrots and saute until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes
- Add tomato paste, parsley and stir 1 minutes
- Add broth, sausage-cabbage mixture, sugar, salt, red pepper, pepper and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.

**Chicken sausage comes in different varieties. The one that I used had mozzarella and artichokes. This recipe called for chicken-apple sausage but they didn't have that at my store. The variety that I got was great though
**I imagine that this could also be made with turkey kielbasa or even regular kielbasa if you can't find chicken sausage.
**I garnished my soup with grated Parmesan cheese. It was so yummy with that. I think that this would be awesome served with a loaf of crusty french bread.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MSC: Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

For this month's Martha Stewart Cupcake Club entry, Kim from What the Whisk selected for us to make Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting. The 15th definitely snuck up on me this month!! These were pretty good. My coworkers definitely enjoyed them.and it didn't take them long to disappear. Will I make them again? Ehhh probably not until I try a few more recipes. There were a couple of things that I wanted to make note of that I found when tasting them. They were really moist but mine ended up very very crumbly...almost crummy. I don't know if this was from overmixing, undermixing, or what.

I found that mine were similar in taste and texture to the zucchini spice cupcakes. These were a little more "muffin like" than my zucchini spice ones. I am looking forward to trying some other more cupcake like flavors in the future.

As with last time, I liked the flavor the icing. Cream cheese frosting is my weakness! My only wish with the frosting is that it was a little more firm. All in all though the people that ate them enjoyed them and that's what matters I guess! I hope that everyone enjoyed making these as much as I did!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sausage and Pepper Penne

As you have seen from my previous posts, I love to create cheap recipes and to find ways to use leftover ingredients so that they don't go to waste. This recipe was no different. We had a catering one saturday and we had a ton of tri-colored peppers leftover from the veggie display. I have used the peppers in the past to make things like fajitas, quesadillas, etc.

I used items that I have stockpiled like pasta and pasta sauce and it basically cost what the sausage and cheese cost. (Prob around $5) I got the pasta sauce for $.09 a jar and the pasta $.25/box on sale at awhile back. If you had to buy all of the ingredients it would probably cost you $10 - $12 to make.

Sausage and Pepper Penne
1 lb box penne pasta (you can use rotini, bowties, etc too)
1 1/2 lb ground italian sausage
2 TBL olive oil
Approx 2 peppers sliced (you can use assorted colors)
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jars pasta sauce, like Ragu or Prego
1 14.5 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 TBL sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb mozzeralla cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesean cheese

- Saute and crumble sausage in a skillet.
- In a deep skillet or pot over medium heat, saute the onions and peppers in oil until softened. Add the garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add pasta sauce and tomatoes
- Add all dried seasonings and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Cook pasta until very al dente. The noodles will continue to cook in the oven so you don't want to overcook them.
- Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Mix well and add half of the mozzeralla cheese. Stir until combined and pour into a deep baking pan that has been coated with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.
- Cover with the remaining mozzeralla cheese and parmesean cheese.
- Bake covered for about 30 minutes at 350 and uncover for 5 more.

Giada's Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabiatta Sauce

I watched Giada make this recipe on her show a couple of months ago and I knew that I had to try it at some point. The recipe is called Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabiatta Sauce and you can get the recipe here. They were really good! They are basically shells stuffed with a mixture of ground turkey, artichokes, ricotta, parmesean cheese, etc. They are then topped with a sauce called Arrabiatta Sauce which is basically just jarred marinara sauce with some panchetta and lots of red pepper flakes. The next time that I make this I will definitely use a lot less red pepper flakes. This recipe calls for 2 teaspoons and it lit my world on fire! ha

This recipe calls for frozen artichokes and I could not find frozen artichokes here for some reason so I just used canned that I drained and rinsed. I don't think that they turned out any different because of this.

I am also not sure if I will use panchetta next time either. It was really expensive here where I was able to find it. I tend to like to make recipes with cheaper ingredients.

I have had good experiences with Giada's recipes so far. I will definitely try more as I see things that I like.

Until next time...

Monday, September 14, 2009

MSC Club - Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

This month is the first month that I have participated in the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club. I have to say that I was happy with the selection that Tracey's Culinary Adventures made for us this month. The recipe that we made was Zucchini Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I have never had a zucchini cupcake before and I was plesantly surprised with the outcome. I make a TON of zucchini bread over the summer when zucchini is at its peak. This was a nice change from that, although I have to say that the method and texture of the batter reminded me of my zucchini bread recipe.

The cupcakes themselves turned out super moist and very dense. They have a lot of "spice" to them as I guess the recipe title suggests. :-) I may cut back on the amount of cloves and nutmeg that the recipe calls for if I make them again. I especially liked this recipe because I didn't have to drag out my mixer. You mix the batter by hand. The recipe also doesn't call for butter so there is no patiently (but most of the time impatiently) waiting around while the butter gets to room temperature.

The cream cheese frosting is fabulous. I over did it on the vanilla in mine though (note to self: use measuring spoons for vanilla ha). I actually had some frosting leftover that I put on brownies later in the week.

My colleagues at work love it when I make new recipes because they usually reap the benefits from them. This was no exception. They were a huge hit.

I am looking forward to making the Banana Pecan Cupcakes Bonus recipe for this month. It will be a week and a half from now before I can make them though because I will be headed to the beach in 3 days!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crockpot Chicken Vegetable Soup

As you have seen from some of my other posts, I love making soups, stews, chili, etc. I imagine that I will be making more and more of them now that Fall is coming upon us. I love it when the temperature begins to drop!

I make this soup all of the time. I used rotisserie chicken in this soup but I have also made it in the past with leftover pot roast. The nice thing about vegetable soups is that you can really do your own thing with it based upon what you have on hand. Here is what I put in this soup...

Chicken Vegetable Soup
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 zucchini, sliced in half moons
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 14.5 oz cans of corn
1 14.5 oz can of green beans
1 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce
1 small can of cream of mushroom soup
4 cups of chicken broth (you can do half water if you like)
1 - 4 oz can of diced green chiles
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp season salt
3 TBL sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 half of a rotisserie chicken, shredded

Combine all of the ingredients in the crockpot except for the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours. Add the chicken about 30 minutes before serving to heat through.

Use the leftover chicken to make something fun like chicken salad.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chili's Salsa

We don't have a Chili's in Lynchburg so it is a big treat when we are able to go to one out of town. My favorite thing about Chili's is their salsa and chips. The salsa is really simple and isn't chunky at all. I don't have a big tolerance for spicy things and their salsa burns me up! My Dad sits there and practically eats it by the spoonful while I am barely dipping the chip in. It's so good though!

This recipe is really close, but isn't exact. The raw onion taste in this version isn't right. I don't know how Chili's gets by with not having that. I also think that mine turned out a little bit more spicier than Chili's version. I will use less jalapenos next time.

I got the recipe from RecipeZaar. The only adjustment that I made to the recipe is that I added 1/2 tsp sugar instead of 1/4 and as I mentioned above, I will add less jalapenos next time. Enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Key Lime Cupcakes

These are by far some of the best cupcakes that I have ever had. My Mom has done nothing but beg me to make these again since I tried them a few weeks ago. The cake was extremely moist and suprisingly heavy. The recipe made plenty of a delicious cream cheese frosting. One of my biggest complaints about recipes a lot of times it that they don't make enough frosting for the cupcakes/cake. I will definitely be doing this one again.

The recipe is from Bon Appetit's September 2008 issue. I cut it out last year to make and just now got around to it. You can view the recipe from their website here.

Change of Plans

Well, I recently posted that I am going to make my way through Martha Stewart's book "Cupcakes" by making and posting about the recipes. I was planning on just doing it on my own, but I found an online club that I joined that is going to go through the book together. I am very excited about being part of this! The group has already posted their first recipe. I will join in for next months, Zucchini Spiced Cupcakes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cupcake Recipe #1 - Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes with Fluffy White Icing

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am going to make my way through Martha Stewart's cookbook "Cupcakes". I hope to make one recipe a week. I stuck with a fairly easy recipe for this first try. I figured that the easiest way to feel out the cookbook would be to try the very common combination of a simple vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting.

I was not disappointed in the cupcake at all. The cake is very light and actually reminds me of a pound cake flavor. This is probably because of the acidity of the buttermilk that you typically get in a pound cake from sour cream. They are moist, but not super moist. It wouldn't hurt for them to maybe cook a minute less or have just a bit more buttermilk. I also plan to add more vanilla to the batter if I ever make them again.

The frosting is to die for. It is a simple vanilla buttercream with only 3 ingredients. it calls for unsalted butter but I used salted and I am happy that I did. I tend to like frosting that isn't pucker your lips sweet. I think that the salt helps mellow the sweetness of the frosting.

This should turn out to be fun. I plan to take the 34 cupcakes that are remaining (maybe 33 by the time the night is over hehe) to work tomorrow to share with my co-workers. I definitely don't want to leave them hanging around here. Something tells me though that I won't have a problem getting rid of them. :-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cupcakes by Martha Stewart

I love cupcakes. I would usually rather have a cupcake than a piece of cake. The best cupcakes that I have EVER had were cupcakes from the famous Sprinkles Bakery in Newport Beach, CA. When I went to NYC in March, I wanted to find a cupcake that matched Sprinkles soooo bad but none came close. The best cupcakes that I have found in Lynchburg, VA where I live are at Montana Plains Bakery. They are very moist and the icing is amazing.

I made a huge splurge recently and purchased Martha Stewart's new book Cupcakes. I never buy cookbooks at full price. I would rather find them somewhere like a yard sale or used book store. I just couldn't wait to get this one though.

I have decided that I am going to challenge myself and try to make a recipe a week from Martha's book until I get through them all. I read that there are 128 different recipes in the book. I may skip a few if they just really don't appeal to me.

My plan is to try my first pick this weekend. I am most likely going to do make the Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes with Fluffy Vanilla Frosting. Stay tuned!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

White Chicken Chili

I make this chicken chili recipe at least once a month during the year. It's super easy and it freezes really well. I have altered the original recipe quite a bit as I have found what works best in it. The original recipe called for you to marinate the chicken in tequila, lime juice and other spices. A lot of times I don't have time for this and I don't drink, so tequila isn't a staple in my house. I have found other ways to incorporate the citrus flavors into the dish that the marinade brought to it.

White Chicken Chili
2 lbs chicken breasts (bone in or boneless)
3 cans great northern white beans
2 - 4 oz cans of diced green chilis
6 cups of chicken broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large onions, diced
2 TBL of olive oil
1 TBL cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of one lime and the zest of half.
3 cups of shredded monterey jack cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper
- Either bake or grill chicken until done
- In a large pot, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent
- Add the green chiles, lime juice, zest, cloves, cumin and cayenne pepper and continue to saute for around 3-4 minutes
- Add the chicken stock and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer.
- Dice or shred the cooked chicken and add to the pot. Cook for another 10 - 15 minutes.
- About 2-3 minutes before serving, add 2 cups of the shredded cheese and allow to melt in the soup.
- Serve chili with remaining cheese and other various garnishes. You could use, diced scallions, sour cream, cilantro, tortilla chips, avacado, etc.

**If you would rather not heat up your oven or grill, you could substitute the chicken breasts with chicken that has been pulled off of a rotisserie chicken from the store. This is a great way to save time.
**Many times a large block of monterey jack cheese is more expensive than buying a mexican blend of shredded cheese at the store. I have used a colby, monterey jack cheese blend before instead of just plain monterey jack and it has worked just fine.

Until next time...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Even Better Granola Bars

I posted a granola bar recipe recently and have found another one that is even better. This is adapted from Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa) recipe for granola bars. I won't be trying anymore recipes because this one is definitely my favorite. I have found in the past that the recipes that I have tried are either way too crumbly or are too cakey. This recipe also has less butter/oil than the other recipes that I have tried which is a good thing too. I believe that the way that you boil the honey, brown sugar and butter together really helps hold the other ingredients together so that they have enough glue to them.

Granola Bars
(adapted from Ina Garten's recipe)
2 cups oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBL butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

- Preheat your oven to 300
- Mix together the oats, coconut, almonds and pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes to toast all of the ingredients
- Combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, salt and vanilla in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute stirring constantly
- After pulling the oat mixture out of the oven add it to a bowl.
- Add the wheat germ and honey mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the dried fruit and combine.
- Heavily grease a 9x13 pan. If you have it, place parchment in the bottom as well.
- Press the mixture evenly into the pan. Use parchment or wax paper on your hand to do so and it won't stick to your hand.
- Bake for approx 25 - 30 minutes until lightly toasted brown.
- Allow to cool for 2 hours before cutting as the bars need to set up. Loosen the bars around the edges of the pan and flip onto a cutting board. Cut into the size squares that you would like.

**There are multiple variations that you can do with this. You could sub one of the fruits out with dried raisins, pineapple, etc. You could also sub a different type of nut. I may eventually try to substitute some chocolate chips with one of the fruits and maybe add some peanut butter to the liquid mixture to make a chocolate peanut butter bar. (And use peanuts as the nut)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

I am a sucker for some great Chinese food. Chinese food and Mexican are probably my favorites. (Not combined though haha). This recipe that I have used for years is better than some Chinese that I have had in restaurants. It isn't the best...but high up there. I don't care for rice so I usually just eat this by itself. It is an adaptation of the recipe that is on the Food Network Website from the Food Network Kitchens. I had a lot of broccoli left over from a catering over the weekend so I bought some chicken tenders and had a meal waiting to go.

Chicken and Broccoli Stirfry
(adapted from Food Network Kitchens)

6 cups of broccoli
1 lb chicken tenders or breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 TBL sugar
1 TBL plus 1 tsp cornstarch
3 TBL of soy sauce
1 TBL of sherry wine (or cooking wine or chicken broth)
1 TBL of sesame oil (or chicken broth)
1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 TBL hoisin sauce
3 scallions sliced, white and light green only
1/3 cup plus 2 TBL of water
pepper to taste
3 TBL oil

- Steam broccoli in the microwave or on the stove to where it is fairly tender.
- Create marinade by combining soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, (or broth), half of the ginger, 1 clove garlic, scallions, sugar, 1 tsp cornstarch, 1/2 tsp salt
- Dice the chicken and add to the marinade. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat 1 TBL of oil on high heat and saute broccoli. Add in 2 TBL water, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper to taste, remaining ginger and garlic. Cook 4-5 minutes until broccoli is good and tender.
- Remove broccoli to a plate or bowl and return pan to stove
- Heat 2 TBL of oil and add the chicken and all of marinade to pan. Add red pepper flakes and cook until chicken is beginning to look cooked.
- Stir in hoisin sauce, add the broccoli back in and stir until combined.
- In a small bowl mix 1/3 cup of water and 1 TBL of cornstarch
- Add to cooking mixture and let boil until sauce thickens.
- Serve over rice or noodles or by itself.

So yummy!

Pinto Beans for Dad

My Dad loves taking soup and/or beans to work for lunch everyday.  It is a filling meal and for the most part, I make him pretty healthy stuff to eat.  Although beans aren't a lot of people's favorite thing to eat, they are cheap, super good for you and can actually taste good if you do them right.  I started with a pound of dried pinto beans and ended up with 4 pints of beans to freeze for Dad's lunches.  I estimate that this pot of beans cost around $4.50 to make.  You can't beat that for 4 lunches.

Many times (at least in the south) beans are made with a lot of pork fat in them.  I have used ham bones, fat back, etc in mine before when I had it on hand.  It ended up as a leftover ham bone from a holiday most of the time.  Awhile back I came up with a good way to still have great tasting beans without all of the animal fat in them.  No, they don't taste like ham but they still have a great taste that isn't just water, salt and beans.  

The Way I Make My Pintos
1 lb of dried pinto beans
4 cups of chicken broth (you can do 2 if that's all you have...just add more water)
6 cups of water (estimated...maybe 5)
1 1/2 TBL sugar
2 TBL of Canola Oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp of black pepper
2 tsp of salt

Before adding any of the above ingredients, sort through your beans and make sure that you don't find any rocks.  I found 2 just in the bag that I had the other day.  After this cover them with water in a pan and bring to a hard boil.  Let boil for 1 minute and then drain.  Put back on stove and add all of the above ingredients.  Bring to a slow boil and turn down on low and allow to simmer.  It will probably take a good 3 hours for your beans to be mushy enough to eat.  You don't want them to be crispy still.  If you like a thicker broth then continue to let simmer.  If you notice that they are getting too thick and aren't done then you should add some more water. 

Friday, July 10, 2009

Spicy Mexican Chicken Soup

I love coming up with different soup recipes.  Soup is such a great opportunity to get rid of the extra canned goods, chopped veggies, etc that you have.  I had some leftover chicken from dinner the other night so I figured that I would make some soup in the crockpot today.  I love my crockpot because not only does it ease the amount of cooking that you have to do, but it also uses a lot less electricity compared to cooking on the stove.  I have made a similar recipe a few times but it is really based on what I have on hand.  Here's what I put in it this time and it was a big hit. 

Spicy Mexican Chicken Soup
4 cups of chicken broth (you could use 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water if that is all you have.
1 small can of V8 juice (can shaped like a soda can)
1 onion chopped
2 zuchinni sliced 
1 can of rotel tomatoes with chiles
1 small can of diced green chiles
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 14 oz cans of corn
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can of green beans, drained
2 1/2 - 3 chicken breasts chopped or shredded
1 packet of taco seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 TBL of sugar
About 1/2 tsp season salt
Cayenne pepper to taste (you can leave out if you don't want it spicy.  I probably used 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup of heavy cream

Place all of the ingredients but the heavy cream in a crockpot and cook for 8 hrs on Low.  About 15 min before you serve it put stir the cream in.  

Other things that you could add to this are garlic ( I actually forgot this in mine), carrots, celery or other varieties of beans.  If you like it really spicy you could add diced jalapenos.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Disney Family Food Website

I found a site today that I love. It's call the Disney Family Food website. It gives lots of great recipes and ideas for family meals. I am definitely going to use some of the ideas for dinners with the girls.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Catering Photos From The Past Two Weeks

I just thought that I would post some photos from our caterings from the past two weeks. Both turned out great!

Yummy Granola Bars

I like to take a mid-morning snack to work everyday. These granola bars are great for energy, are filling and are packed full of stuff that is good for you. I have tried several different recipes for granola bars. Some have come up really dry and crumbly and some more like cake. These stay fairly moist and taste good. I will adjust the recipe next time to add some brown sugar (listed below). The original recipe that I came up with was just not sweet enough.
One of the fun things about this recipe is that it calls for 2 cups of your choice of fillers. I chose to do 1 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup shredded coconut. You could do all sorts of things. My Mom wants me to do some white chocolate macadamia ones. You could do chocolate chips and peanuts or a tropical one with coconut, dried pineapple and bananas. It's really versitile.
Granola Bars
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup ground flax seed
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp corn syrup or molasses
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups fillers (choc chips, dried fruit, nuts, etc)
- Combine all of the dry ingredients and in a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients. Combine the two until mixed well.
- Line a 9x13 pan with waxed or parchment paper. Press mix into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake at 350 for around 20 min or until edges start to brown.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Pasta Primavera

This is a yummy dish that I came up with to use up leftover veggies and meat that I have in the house. It is super easy and always a big hit when I serve it for dinner. We had a catering this past weekend and had some veggies and shrimp leftover that the family didn't want, so I figured that I would make a yummy and cheap meal out of it. The amounts of ingredients below are estimates on what I used and some of it really depends on how much veggies you put in it and how much sauce that you want/need.

Shrimp Primavera
1 lb cooked and peeled shrimp, tails removed and the shrimp cut in half
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 zucchini, cut in half and sliced
1 squash, cut in half and sliced
3 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, cut into pieces
1 bell pepper, sliced (I had a mix of colors left from the catering)
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 TBL olive oil
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning **only if you are making with shrimp
1/3 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
3-4 cups milk (I used 2%)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese
1 TBL minced fresh basil leaves (optional)
1 TBL minced fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)
1 lb linguini or any other pasta you like

- Steam your green beans and broccoli in the microwave or on the stove to start the cooking process on them. These veggies take a little longer to get good and tender.
- Heat a large skillet with the olive oil. Add the onion, peppers, zucchini and squash and cook until it is starting to get tender. Add the garlic and cook another 2-3 min.
- Add the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste
- Add the flour and stir until items are coated well.
- Slowly start adding the chicken stock and continue stirring. This is creating your thickening agent for the sauce.
- Slowly add the milk and let simmer so that it will thicken
- Add the broccoli, green beans, Old Bay and sugar and continue cooking
- When sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and not separate when you drag your finger on the spoon, the sauce is about ready.
- Add your herbs and shrimp and cook until the shrimp are heated
- Add the heavy cream and cheese and stir until melted
- Cook your pasta and serve the sauce over this.

Some variations that you could do...
- Other veggies: carrots (steam first), scallions, diced tomato (added near the end), sundried tomato, etc
- You could use veggie stock instead of chicken stock or even water. You will need to add more salt and pepper for flavor if you use water
- You could use chicken instead of shrimp...or better yet just do veggies
- If you don't have fresh herbs, the dried will work just fine. Just cut way back on the amounts because dry herbs go a lot farther than fresh.

This recipe is a great way to use up stuff that you have in your fridge without buying special stuff. I usually always have heavy cream, milk, pasta and chicken broth on hand so I can get real creative with stuff.

Until next time...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Food Lion Triple Coupons!!!

Okay so I hit the jackpot a couple weekends ago at Food Lion. They did triple coupons up to $.99. Amazing!!! lol. Here are my totals...

Total before sales and coupons - $270.00
Total after sales and coupons - $26.00...insane!
Here's the breakdown:

Tabasco - $.50 PROFIT/ea
WishBone Salad Dressing - $.58 PROFIT/ea
McCormicks Grill Marinade - $.81 PROFIT/ea
Alum (to make pickles with) - $.19 PROFIT/ea
Texas Toast Croutons - $.15 PROFIT/ea
Wortsheshire Sauce - $.25 PROFIT/ea
French's Mustard - $.05 PROFIT/ea
Mahatma Rice Packet - $.20 PROFIT/ea
Bounty - $.25/eaLarge Ragu - $.88/ea
Regular Ragu - $.09/ea
Sunny Delight - $.24/ea
Breyers Kids Yogurt - $.25/ea
Sure Deoderant - $.34/ea
Lipton Rice Packets - $.10/ea
Betty Crocker Warm Delights - $.25/ea
Poptarts - $.35/ea
Edwards Frozen Desserts - $.54/ea
Domino Sugar - $2.59/ea (not that great of a deal)
Manwich - $1.02/ea
Dole Pineapple Juice - $.89/ea
French's Honey Mustard - $.24/ea
Velvetta Mac & Cheese - $2.04/ea
Snyders Pretzels - $.74/ea

This was for my trips early in the weekend. I went again on Sunday and got another $100 bucks worth of groceries for $16. I sooo hope that they do this again but I am betting that they will be smarter about it this time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mady's Graduation

My niece Mady graduated from K4 this past weekend!! I am so stinkin proud of her. It's amazing to think that 2 years ago when she began preschool we could hardly get her to stay. She has grown up so much in those two years! She even sang the songs at the program! We have begged and begged her to sing at her events and she hasn't made a peep thus far. She did all of the motions and sang everything on Friday night. Soooo cute. I love that kid to death.

Now on to K5...ugh.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pens Game

My Dad and I went to a Pittsburgh Penguins game this past weekend in Raleigh, NC. It was sooooo much fun. I have wanted to go to a game for so long and I finally got the opportunity. I am hooked now and I definitely got spoiled with the location of our seats. I absolutely loved the excitement at the game. It was so physical and I was surprised how different the game is in person. TV doesn't do any justice to it.

I love the fact that the team has their big stars locked in for the next few years. They are only going to get better and better as the years go. Since I went to the game the Pens have won another game and are headed to the Stanley Cup Finals to most likely play against Detroit (which is a rematch of last years Stanley Cup). Here are some pictures from our seats at the game.

Until next time...