Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fool's Day: Eggs and Bacon

Yummmm.... Eggs and Bacon!

April Fools! :)

This is what KidMo is waking up to tomorrow morning.
I can't wait to see his reaction.

The idea comes from THIS website. 
Great ideas all over the blogosphere for April Fool's Day.

For the eggs, I placed a piece of wax paper in the microwave and two small piles of white chocolate chips (about 8-10 in each pile).
Then, I microwaved just until they started to melt. 
Smashed them around into an "egg" shape and placed 1 yellow M&M in the middle.

Bacon: Two Tootsie Rolls
Heat these SLOW.
Do not heat them for 30 seconds. Just a warning, not that I happen to know they will bubble up and nearly explode in your Microwave.
5 seconds should do the trick.
Then, use your fingers to stretch out into a small peice of bacon. I used the handle side of a butter knife to make the indents.


What April Fool's day traditions does your family have?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Baking: Mom's Banana Bread

Today I'm sharing with you one of my family's favorite recipes: Mom's Banana Bread
There are a few rules you must know about when making this bread.
If you chose to make our recipe, please abide by the family rules. Deal???

Rule 1:  You MUST make this in a bundt pan
(we grew up eating this out of a bundt pan mold and you must do the same)

Rule 2:  You must use very ripe Bananas -it will make all the difference

Rule 3:  All the ingredients must be room temp

Rule 4:  You must use Crisco! Don't try to substitute butter here folks

Rule 5: Buttermilk is what makes it yummy!

(If you don't have buttermilk on hand, get your 2/3 cup of milk out and fill it just shy of the 2/3 mark. Then, add just enough distilled vinegar to get it to the 2/3 mark.  Let sit while you mix the rest of the ingredients and you have instant buttermilk!)

Let's begin...

2 1/2 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 baking powder
2/3 cups soft crisco shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (I used three)
3 eggs (beaten)

( Isn't my mom's handwriting pretty?! She would will kill me for showing her handwriting, but I just love it!)

-Mix Dry ingredients & Cut in shortening
-Mix additional ingredients and stir until blended
-Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes

This recipe comes out moist and soft like a cake.
KidMo LOVES it!!!  And, so do all of his cousins!

I'm linking to these linky parties:

handmade projects

The DIY Show Off

Keeping It Simple

PhotobucketTip Junkie handmade projects
Get Your Craft On Tuesday
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Featured: Peanut Butter Bars!

My super fantastic Peanut Butter Bars were featured on the Santa's Gift Shoppe & Ideas website! WHooohOoo!

Please share some Blogger-Love and visit her website below!

Featured Button"

If you haven't checked out the Peanut Butter bars below yet, you are missing out! So easy! And Delicious!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baking: Layered Peanut Butter Bars

I can't believe this is my second blog post about BAKING!

Any of you who know me personally know that I'm all about the sweets. In fact, my mother in law has always said that my pantry smells like chocolate.
(That MAY or may not be a true statement)

Today I'm going to share with you a super yummy recipe from Betty Crocker for Layered Peanut Butter Bars.

If you LOVE the Chocolate and Peanut Butter combination you must try these!

Ingredients / Directions

Cookie Base
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

  1. 1 Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. 2 In large bowl, stir all Cookie Base ingredients until soft dough forms. Press dough in bottom of pan using floured fingers. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  3. 3 In small bowl, beat all Filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over cookie base.
  4. 4 In microwavable bowl, microwave all Frosting ingredients on High 30 seconds; stir until smooth.  (I made my own frosting for this particular recipe /photo above)
  5. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.


REVIEW- 10 out of 10! In fact, we didn't even share these with KidMo! He still has no idea they were even in the house :) THAT is how yummy they are!

What is YOUR favorite treat to make?? 

Linky Parties: Fabric Bows and More,

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Spunky Junky

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Craft: St Patrick's Day Wreath

This week's craft is an EASY wreath project that you can do in one afternoon.

I finished the ENTIRE wreath in the time it took my KidMo to 
watch 2 episodes of Backyardigans. 
Nice huh?

Here is what you need:

1 wreath from the Dollar Store
3 fabric pieces that are 1/4 yard each

(PS- Keep that little tag on... you'll see why at the end!)

First, cut your fabric into 1 inch stripes.  Don't worry about being too careful on the width of the fabric. 
Just cut to a width that works for you.

Second, tie one strip around the wreath and make a knot.
Alternate fabrics pieces and carry the pattern around the wreath.

Third, keep going until your wreath is full and Ta-Da!

The Tip:  Keep the plastic tag holder ON!
I used the plastic tag loop to hang my wreath with!  Cool, right?

You can't even see it. It was clear and virtually indestructible so I thought it would be the perfect way to hang the wreath.  You could also use a strip of fabric and make a pretty bow.

The best part about the wreath is that it is light weight.  When the AZ winds pick up it doesn't bang against the front door or damage it in any way.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Here are the LINKY parties I am participating in. Please visit their sites and share some love :)

Tip Junkie handmade projects
Get Your Craft On Tuesday
Show and Tell Green
The Trendy Treehouse
A Marvelous Mess
giveaways A Crafty Soiree

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cookbook Review Time

Okay... I'm DYING to try these two cookbooks. If any of you out there in BLOGland have them, can you post a comment below to let me know how you like them?

Up First... Our Best Bites: Mormom Moms in the Kitchen

Up Second...
The Worldwide Ward Cookbok

Please leave a quick comment and let me know your opinions on these two cookbooks!
I'd love to hear what other Moms have to say.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pressure Cooker

A lot of people have been asking me what kind of pressure cooker I own. I am HAPPY to share the details!

The pressure cooker I have is a Cooks Essentials 5qt Pressure Cooker from QVC. You can find it online HERE. It retails for $109.00 right now (ouch! That's expensive!)

Now, you can find similar versions on Amazon for even less.  Here are a few versions you might consider:

or, you may have seen this version on a late night infomertial for Montel Williams...

I know my readers know best.... Which brand and style do YOU all recommend? Leave a comment below.

Oh, and here's a link to the cookbook I've been using for all of my recipes:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sewing: Window Pane Quilt!

Are you ready to see my latest project?
How about this adorable Window Pane Quilt?  Isn't it SO cute?

I found this fantastic ETSY store called Sweet Jane.
Susan is the owner of this Etsy store. 
She offers easy to follow quilt patterns for easy enough for even beginners like me.

 Visit her Etsy store HERE and purchase a quilt pattern by March 16th -  Sue will be offering all of her patterns at a special SALE price of only $7.00!!

WOohOOhhoo!  Thanks Sue!

Just contact her through her Etsy store for the special SALE price.

Here are some photos of the quilting process... Follow along!
 The first step, whenever you have your camera out is to snap a quick photo of any kids in the area.  Here's one of KidMo.  He was more than happy to pose for a quick photo.

 Next... follow Sue's easy instructions and cut the strips of fabric as directed.
Here is a photo of all of my nicely cut squares of fabric... fun colors, right?

Following Sue's directions, sew your squares to the rectangles of neutral fabric.  Be sure to arrange the squares in a pattern that you like at this point in time.

 Quilt two rows together and so on...


Beware of kitties who may jump on your quilt at any point in time.  MashMo the kitty thinks this quilt is for him.
 Once all of your rows are sewn together, press flat and break out the batting.
I decided to try this batting below that is a fusible batting.  It worked really well! 

Find a large open area to lay your backing down flat on the floor.  This is my kitchen... yes inspiring isn't it?
 And, just in case you think I'm a total neat freak - here's a shot of my kitchen on an average day.  Hey, don't judge.  Remember, I'm a working mom of 2 who's trying to make a quilt in under a week.  Cut me a little slack. hahaha
 Okay, back to the task at hand.  Make a sandwich of the backing, batting and top layer of your quilt. 
You will then want to break out the iron and fuse the "sandwich" together.  Cut off any excess batting- leaving about a 3 inch border.
Here is a close up of the "sandwich"...
 Here is a photo of BabyMo swinging away in my office/craft room.  He's content for the moment so I'm able to get a little more quilting done.

 Next up, quilt the quilt in whatever style you like.  I don't have a fancy sewing machine so my 'machine quilting' skills are limited.  I went with a wavy pattern in between rows and around the edge of the quilt also.

 Here is another shot of my totally awesome beginner quilting skills (note the sarcasm).

 Okay, onto binding.

Typically I'm one to purchase my binding and attempt to sew it on in one piece. I got a bit ambitious and decided to learn a new technique using the scraps of fabric I had left.  I had to say... it was TOTALLY easy! And, it looked great.

Here is a link to the fantastic tutorial on YouTube that explains the binding technique I used.  Click HERE for part one and HERE for part two of the video.

And, here's a few shots of me sewing on the binding....

 Then fold over....

 .... And sew with a zig zag stitch on the back side of the quilt.

And...viola!  You have completed a piecework quilt!
Here is a photo of the entire quilt completed.
 And a few detail shots of the quilt for your admiration....

... the edging... doncha love it?

 ...again, another shot of my totally awesome (sarcastic) quilting...

... here is a shot of the corners...

 Another shot of the corners....
 Awe ... here's BabyMo enjoying the quilt.  Isn't he a happy baby?
 BabyMo says... "Please leave a comment for my Mommy... she loves comments!"
 And, the final step... pack that quilt up in a USPS box with some other goodies and mail it to a good friend. :)
 Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about my first attempt at a piecework quilt!

Here are the sites I'll be participating in Linky Parties..


Tip Junkie handmade projects

Transformation Thursday

Show and Tell Green


Fresh Poppy Design