Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mac & Cheese Spooky Eyeballs

These were a first time recipe for this years Halloween party and they were super yummy! The kids absolutely loved the fact that it was mac & cheese they could pick up with their fingers! Adults liked them, too! Estimated Times Preparation Time: 20 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins Cooling Time: 30 mins refrigerating Servings: 18 eyeballs Ingredients 1 box macaroni & cheese 1 cup plain bread crumbs Sliced olives Directions PREPARE macaroni & cheese according to package directions. Cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes. PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease baking sheet lightly with nonstick cooking spray. PLACE bread crumbs in a shallow dish. SHAPE macaroni & cheese into 1 ½-inch balls; cover completely with prepared bread crumbs. Place balls on prepared baking sheet. Place one olive slice on center of each ball. BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Devils on Horseback

I found this recipe through a Google search while trying to decide what to make for my Halloween party and decided to try them out. They were a hit at my party and were all gone within the first hour! I made them again for a wine tasting I went to last night and again, they were gone very quickly! I have been asked and asked to please post the recipe, so here you go! Ingredients 24 pitted prunes (I but the pre-ppitted ones) 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese 12 strips of bacon, cut in half crosswise Preparation Note: I bake mine on a cooking stone but you can use other options, I am just a devoted stoneware user. ;) 1. Preheat broiler to high. Soak 24 toothpicks in a small bowl of water for 15 minutes. 2. Push in center of pitted prune almost making it into a bowl shape. Place a small amount of cheese in center of each prune. Wrap each prune with bacon, securing with toothpick. 3. Broil for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I LOVE Halloween!

We are having our annual Halloween party this coming Saturday and so I started going hardcore on the decorating this week! I'm not showing everything just yet but I did want to give a little sneak peek. Yes, the picture was taken with my iTouch so the quality isn't great but I still love it! I told my DH that my inspiration for my decorating is the Haunted Mansion; scary yet classy. I'm not a fan of gore but I don't want super happy, cheesey decorations, either. I do have my Disney stuff but that stuff usually decorates my kitchen, I keep the living room decor in my "Haunted Mansion" vision.
What is your Halloween decorating style? Go to my blog's facebook page and post some pics of what you've got going on this year!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Love My Firefighter

This last week my husband was in a firefighting competition for the United States Air Force Europe teams. His team came in 2nd and I was so proud to be there to cheer them on and I got some great pictures! Enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hot Artichoke Parmesan Dip

This is one super dooper easy recipe that I am constantly asked for when I make it for parties and I am requested to bring it many times!
what you need 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese 1 cup Mayonnaise 1 clove garlic, minced make it HEAT oven to 350ºF. MIX first 4 ingredients. SPOON into shallow ovenproof dish or 9-inch pie plate. BAKE 20 to 25 min. or until hot and bubbly.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Big 3-0!

Yep, it finally happened for me. I am no longer a 20-something and am oddly enough more okay with it than I thought I would be. I believe I know myself better than I did at 20 and I am happy with my life, where as at 20, I was still very lost and confused. I'm not saying I have everything together because I am far from perfect, but, I am happy. Entering this new era of my life I am hoping to grow and learn more then I ever have before and I am very excited about it! Here's a couple pics from my birthday party this last weekend!


Me and my sexy hubby!

Jameson <3

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Apple Candle Holders

With fall right around the corner, I thought I'd post a fun little project! So simple yet so cute for a fall centerpiece for your table or just for around the house but, you are using real apples so they will only last for so long! This can also be done with mini pumpkins for a cute Halloween or Thanksgiving decoration!

1. Every apple will sit differently, so see how they sit and then mark their topsides with a dot.

2. Place the tea light over the dot, and trace around it with a pencil.

3. Set aside the light, cut the circumference of the circle and then cut the circle into sections and scoop them out with a spoon. Make sure to cut and scoop deep enough for the tea light to sit nicely inside.

4. Squeeze lemon juice onto the cut surface to keep the apple from turning brown, and insert a tea light. Repeat with remaining apples.

To make it a bit easier, you can also use this tool: http://www.amazon.com/HOLIDAY-candle-CARVER-Christmas-centerpiece/dp/B0019FQWKC

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Morning Help List for Back To School!

I saw a similar idea on another blog and decided to customize it and make my own! Instead of printing out pictures and text I did my own and drew up my own little pictures (no laughing. The kids love it and can't wait to start using it when school starts! Here's to hoping it helps mornings run smoothly!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rapunzel's Hair Pasta

I knew Rapunzel's hair needed to make an appearance at the party somehow and I knew I wanted to serve something along with the hazelnut soup and that's how I decided on this! Again, ridiculously easy but the kids loved it!

Angel hair pasta for the hair
Bow tie pasta for the "hair bow"
Alfredo sauce is optional

Rapunzel's Hazelnut Soup

In 'Tangled', Mother Gothel mentions that she is going to make hazelnut soup for dinner, Rapunzel's favorite. So, it was a must for my daughter's birthday party! The pickier kids were iffy about it but most of them loved it! All of the adults loved and and were disappointed when we ran out! Lol Prep time takes a while but the outcome is definitely worth it!

Hazelnut Soup

2 lb butternut squash, seeded and cut into 6 sections
1 lb parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 green apple, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
4 cups of chicken stock, divided
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 cup chopped hazelnuts (can be purchased already chopped at your local store, check where they have walnuts, pecans, etc.)

For Soup:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
4. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.

5. Arrange butternut squash in the baking dish, skin side up. Scatter chopped parsnip and apple quarters around the squash. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Pour a quarter cup of water into the baking dish.

6. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife slides easily through the skin of the squash.

7. Remove the baking dish from the oven and throw away the sprigs of thyme. Set aside to cool.

8. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium low heat. Add thinly sliced onion and half a teaspoon of salt to the pan and sauté slowly about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent, but not browned. Turn off the heat.

9. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to peel the skin from the butternut squash, discarding the skins. Place the peeled squash into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse into a smooth purée, about 20 seconds. Pour purée into a large stockpot or Dutch oven.

10. Place roasted parsnips, apple and sautéed onion into the bowl of the food processor. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock. Purée 20-30 seconds, or until smooth. If the purée is too dry, thin it using an additional half cup of chicken stock.
Note: Do not fill a food processor more than half full with hot liquids. Doing so could result in the top or bottom of the food processor bowl blowing off due to pressure.

11. Add puréed parsnip and onion mixture to the squash in the stockpot. Add the remaining chicken stock to the pot and raise the heat to medium high. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.

12. While soup is simmering add a half teaspoon of ground cumin, as well as salt and white pepper to taste. Before serving, stir in a half cup of heavy cream.

13. Serve in bowls or insulated cups and top with the crushed roasted hazelnuts.

Rapunzel's Golden Flower Punch

This was really easy to make and everyone liked it!

Equal parts of pineapple juice, orange juice and club soda.

See?! Super easy! Make sure to add some ice to keep cold during the party!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Daughter's Tangled Party

Note: I will post all recipes in separate blog posts!

My daughter just turned 5 and we had a Tangled party for her birthday. You see, she is convinced she is Rapunzel because we have never cut her hair. She doesn't think of me as Mother Gothel or that her hair has powers, but, in her mind, she is Rapunzel.

Now, we had a lot more planned for this party but we are a military family overseas and things take forever to get to us when we order them so, as I'm typing this 2 1/2 weeks later, the things we ordered almost a month in advance for her party, are still not here.

The first item I wanted to take care of when it came to planning was the cake. I knew I was not going to do it because of time restraints and because Eliza insisted she wanted Rapunzel's tower for her cake! So, I passed that off to a very talented friend of mine. Here is her website: http://www.confectionsbyjulie.com/index.html She actually has the cakepops she made for my birthday party last year on her pricing page! Here is what she came up with:

I found this on a Google search and printed it out and taped it above the food table:

This punch was a hit among the kids and adults: (Sorry for the weird light in the picture)

Here was the table with the addition of Maximus' apples:

To start the party off, I printed out pictures of Rapunzel where you have to add her hair. I got the print out from here: http://a.family.go.com/images/cms/disney/PDFs/tangled-rapunzel-activity-kit-coloring-pages-printable-0910.pdf
It's a Rapunzel activity pack that we also got the poster for our next activity.

We printed out the "Wanted" picture of Flynn and my husband copied the picture onto poster board. I had seen on other blogs that they play "Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn" but we decided to do it a little different. In the movie, the wanted posters always got Flynn's nose wrong so we decided to play "Pin the Nose on Flynn". I cut out papers and let the kids draw noses for Flynn. It was a blast and the adults got a kick out of the noses the kids drew.

Here's a close-up of the noses, lol!

Next was pinata time which is not at all Tangled related but as soon as my daughter saw it at the store she was determined to have it for her party and there was no talking her out of it! Oh well, lol.

Birthday girl with her loot!

Next was present time!

What would a Tangled party be without Rapunzel's favorite food? Hazelnut soup! Some of the kids were iffy about it but all of the adults loved it!

We also had Rapunzel's hair pasta! Notice the bow tie pasta made to look like a hair bow! The kids loved it!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Recipe posts to come later!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Free Kikkoman Gift or BOGO Coupon

E-mail 'promotions@kikkoman.com' with the subject '2011 QR Code' by 8/31/11 and they will send you a free gift or a BOGO coupon.

How cool is that?! We are Kikkoman users so either one I'll be happy with!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My New Logo!

My cousin has a blog ( http://craftypeacock.blogspot.com/ ) and when I first saw it, I wrote her and told her how much I loved her logo. She told me she made it herself and I begged her to make me one for my blog! Lo and behold, I get an email from her this morning and I swear I squealed when I saw the picture! It is beyond perfect and I am absolutely in love with it! A big thank you to Erica Peacock for her creative abilities and just plain awesomeness!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Redone Dresser In Place!

Here is the finished (for now) product in it's place in the kitchen!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dresser Re-Do Part 2 (Over a year later)

So, last year I decided to take on a furniture re-do of a dresser. I started it with good intentions and after the initial process, it took a break.........for over a year. Yes, I'm a slacker, I know. So, last week the hubby and I were cleaning out the garage and I saw my dresser sitting under a pile of boxes and told my hubby to get it out because I wanted to finish it! I am proud to say that the dresser is finally complete! I will most likely be making changes to it in the future but, for now, I am very happy with it!

Here is the original post: http://arockabillymom.blogspot.com/2010/04/dresser-re-do-part-1.html

And here are the after photos:

I know they're not the best pictures but you get the idea! Sorry I don't have any pictures of it in place in my kitchen, yet, but I will get to that this week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Best Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

I'm not being biased, that's actually the name of the recipe and I must say it did live up to it's name! I am very particular about my eggplant parmesan so when I found this recipe, I knew I had to try it just because of the name of it! It is a very long process so be sure to put aside enough time, I would even get the eggplant peeled and sliced the morning of the day you make it. I apologize for the picture quality, I took them with my iTouch.

16 Servings Prep: 1-1/4 hours Bake: 35 min. + standing
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes
1 cup pitted ripe olives, chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 small eggplants (about 1 pound each), peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup olive oil

2 eggs, beaten
2 cartons (15 ounces each) ricotta cheese
1-1/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or 2 tablespoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 cups (32 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook garlic in oil for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, basil, capers, pepper flakes and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes or until thickened.

Meanwhile, for eggplant, place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls. In another bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder and oregano. Dip eggplant in the flour, eggs, then bread crumb mixture.

In a large skillet, cook eggplant in batches in oil for 5 minutes on each side or until tender. Drain on paper towels. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, basil and pepper.
In each of two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes, layer 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce, four eggplant slices, 1 cup ricotta mixture and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle each with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 2 casseroles (8 servings each).

Nutrition Facts: 1 piece equals 562 calories, 38 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 138 mg cholesterol, 778 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 29 g protein.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cool & Crunchy Chicken Tacos

Yes, this is another Pampered Chef recipe but they are so good and this one is awesome for summer! I did not have jicama and was too lazy to find a substitute so I just skipped it all together. Do not skip out on the fresh cilantro whatever you do! The recipe wouldn't be the same without it!

12 hard yellow corn taco shells
1 small head romaine lettuce (about 2 cups/500 mL shredded)
1-2 limes, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper (optional)
3 cups (750 mL) diced grilled chicken breasts
1/2 small jicama
1 small mango
1/2 cup (125 mL) loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 avocado, peeled and sliced (optional, although I strongly suggest it's use)

1. Prepare taco shells according to package directions; set aside. Shred lettuce, zest limes with a fine grater to measure 1 tsp (5 mL), juice limes to measure 3 tbsp (45 mL). Place zest, 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the juice, mayonnaise, cumin and cayenne pepper, if desired, in a 4-qt./4-L mixing bowl; mix well. Spoon about 1/3 cup (75 mL) of the sauce into resealable plastic bag; twist to secure and set aside. Add chicken to remaining sauce; mix well using Classic Scraper.

2.Peel jicama and mango. Slice jicama and mango into 1/4-in. (6-mm) strips. Chop cilantro. Combine jicama, mango, cilantro, salt and remaining juice into a mixing bowl; mix well.

3.Place lettuce into taco shells. Top evenly with chicken mixture, jicama mixture and avocado, if desired. Trim corner of sauce-filled bag; drizzle over tacos.
Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: (2 tacos): Calories 370, Total Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 3.5 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Carbohydrate 24 g, Protein 22 g, Sodium 350 mg, Fiber 3 g

Cook’s Tips: To grill chicken in a grill pan, season 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz/175 g each) with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Heat pan over medium heat 5 minutes. Spray pan with vegetable oil. Cook chicken 7-10 minutes. Turn chicken over; cook 7-10 minutes and juices run clear.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mott's for Tots® Free Sample!

I am all about finding ways to keep sugar out of my kid's systems (like they really need to be more hyper!) so I love when companies get things onto shelves with less sugar and as a rule, I love free things! We love Mott's all natural line and we are definitely excited to try out this free sample! Mott's for Tots® is available in five yummy flavors: Apple, Apple White Grape, NEW Immune Support Fruit Punch, NEW Bone Health Grape, and NEW Mixed Berry!

Click this link and get your free sample!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Awesome giveaway from curbly.com!

If you haven't checked out curbly.com yet, now is the perfect time! This is one of my favorite websites for cool DIY stuff from some amazing people!

"Curbly is a Web community for people who love where they live. Curbly is the best place to share pictures of your home, find design ideas, and get expert home-improvement advice.

Everyone should have a happy, beautiful home. With the right tools and know-how, every person can create a place that fits their personality. Curbly helps you bring out the best in your home."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy National Margarita Day!

Who knew there was a National Margarita Day? Now that I know it will be celebrated every year from here on out! What's your favorite flavor of margarita? Mine is normal on the rocks, yum! Have fun celebrating!