Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've been featured on Tip Junkie!

Check this article out for my pound cake recipe great for Memorial Day too!">This article gives you an idea for some great Patriotic Coasters.

If you'd like a daily dose of creative inspiration, please subscribe to Tip Junkie!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fast Family Fajitas by Pampered Chef

Fast Family Fajitas

1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup salsa
12 (7-8 inch) flour tortillas, warmed

Optional toppings: guacamole, additional salsa, shredded Colby &
Monterey Jack cheese blend and sour cream

Cut bell peppers into 1/2-inch strips using Utility Knife. Cut
chicken crosswise into thin strips.

Heat Stir-Fry Skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the
oil and chicken. Stir-fry 3-4 minutes or until chicken is no longer
pink. Remove from skillet; set aside. Add remaining oil, bell peppers
and garlic pressed with Garlic Press; stir-fry 1-2 minutes or until
vegetables are crisp-tender.

Add chicken, soup mix, water and salsa to bell pepper mixture. Cook
and stir 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

To serve, place chicken mixture in center of tortillas. Serve with
toppings, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 450, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 2 g,
Cholesterol 45 mg, Carbohydrate 61 g, Protein 27 g, Sodium 1080 mg,
Fiber 4 g

Cook's Tip: To heat tortillas in microwave oven, place tortillas in
Large Micro-Cooker(R). Microwave, covered, on HIGH 1 1/2-2 minutes or
until heated though.

To heat tortillas in conventional oven, preheat oven to 350°F. Place
tortillas, slightly overlapping, on Large Round Stone. Bake 5 minutes
or until warm.

Serving a large crowd? Create a fajita bar using Simple Additions(TM).
Place chicken and vegetable mixture in Medium Bowl. Place guacamole,
salsa, shredded cheese and sour cream in Small Bowls. Cut tortillas in
half; arrange tortillas and bowls on Large Square Platter and serve.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bacon Ranch Potato Casserole

Ranch Potato Casserole

8 large potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine
1 small bottle ranch dressing
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
7 or 8 slices of bacon
1/4 cup melted margarine or butter
1 cup crushed cornflakes

Peel or leave skins on potatoes. Wash and cut into chunks or wedges. Boil for 20 minutes in water or until tender. Do not overcook. Drain.

Put into a casserole with remaining ingredients, except bacon, and toss lightly.

Cook bacon until crisp. Cut into pieces and sprinkle bacon pieces on top.

Melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine and add 1 cup crushed cornflakes to melted butter. Sprinkle on top of bacon. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Confetti Pasta Salad by Pampered Chef

Confetti Pasta Salad
Posted by Mary Ellen

1 pkg (9 oz) cheese-filled tortellini
1 Cup EACH cauliflower and broccoli
2 medium carrots
1 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 garlic clove
4 green onions
1/2 Cup fat-free Italian salad dressing (I use regular as my kids don't
like the fat-free stuff)
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese (in block)

Prepare tortellini according to directions in Generation II 3-Qt Saucepan. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water using 5 3/4 Qt Colander. Place tortellini in 4 Qt bowl.

Peel carrots with vegetable peeler. Score down the sides with Lemon Zester/scorer then cut into thin slices using Ultimate slice and grate. Chop broccoli and cauliflower with Food Chopper.

Slice green onion with 8" Chef's Knife. Add vegetables to tortellini and toss with salad dressing. Press garlic into bowl using Garlic Press. Grate Parmesan over salad using Deluxe Cheese Grater.

Toss lightly to combine. Serve with 3-Way Tongs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

needing help

Hello bloggers,

We are redoing our laundry room soon and a few years ago I came across a photo of a black and white vintage inspired laundry room.

She had slim cupboards built into several walls and I am guessing they were about 6" deep and lined them with pegboard and shelves inside to hold paint cans, paintbrushes, tools, dog leashes etc. They were built out of wainscotting and had large iron strap hinges I think on the outside.

The washer and dryer were an under counter model topped with a counter top and I think a ticking curtain hiding them. Vintage dog prints were on the walls and an industrial wall light on each side.

Does anyone know where to find this photo and the source? I am wanting to built something similar to this in our back entry way to hold tools, cans of paint, etc.

I've tried searching and am having no luck.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Taco Ring

My husband and kids REALLY love this recipe and I serve it ever few months. It's easy to mix it up and try different toppings and meat. For example you could substitute chicken or turkey.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces) Yes I always use my cheese!
2 tablespoons water
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 medium bell pepper
1 cup salsa
3 cups lettuce shredded
1 medium tomato
1/4 cup onion, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup pitted ripe black olives (optional)
sour cream (optional)

Cook ground beef in large skillet over medium heat 7-9 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; drain.

Remove pan from heat.

Stir in taco seasoning mix, cheese and water.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into triangles.

Arrange triangles in a circle on a round pizza pan with wide ends overlapping in center and points toward outside. (There should be a 5 inch diameter opening in center.)

Scoop meat mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered).

Bake at 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Shred lettuce and chop tomato, onion, olives, and bell pepper (if desired).

If you want to do something fancy, scoop out a bell pepper and fill with salsa and put into center of ring.

Add your toppings to middle of ring and finish with more shredded cheese and sour cream.

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010

    BLT Pizza

    This easy recipe is getting me in the mood for fresh produce from my garden and farmer's markets....hurry up spring & summer!

    Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Pizza

    Source: The Pampered Chef

    1 (10 ounce) package refrigerated pizza dough
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 pound bacon cooked, drained and crumbled
    1 cup shredded lettuce (Romaine is best)
    1 medium tomato, chopped
    1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
    1/4 cup green onion slices

    Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place pizza dough on flat stone of your choice. Roll dough to fit stone. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; cool completely.

    Spread mayonnaise evenly onto crust. Sprinkle with bacon. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and onion. Cut into wedges to serve.

    10 regular servings; 20 bite size servings
    Blt Pizza

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Have you ever been to Bachman's in Minnesota?

    I recently just found Bachman's from the blog post over at the Junk Camp Blog with Ki. Bachman's is a floral, gift & garden shop all in one! Thanks Ki for letting us all know where to find fabulous gardening and gifts.
    To help celebrate our 125th year, they are transforming a 1920’s home, located on the site of the original Lyndale Avenue Bachman family farm, into a seasonal Ideas House. The home will open in the spring, summer, fall and over the holidays - each room to change with each season.

    Bachman's Spring Ideas House will be open for tours between April 8-18 (closed Mondays and Tuesdays) and May 1-2. Tickets are $5 each with 20% of all proceeds benefiting Children's Home Society & Family Services. In addition, all guests will receive a coupon for $5 off their purchase of $25 or more at Bachman's.

    Also you need to check out this great article from the Homegirls blog via The Star Tribune.

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Eye Candy I bought for my new kitchen

    From Ebay I ordered from Mexico a hand hammered deep farmhouse sink in copper and a hand hammered square sink for our prep sink.
    Look at these beautiful adjustable swivel iron bar stools from Wisteria. They are called Cooper's Small Draftsman Stool and it lists the information as follows:

    This faithful copy of an iron draftsman stool from France in the early 1900s makes a great stool, and in our house, is Cooper’s favorite. Made with authentic vintage engineering.
    • Sleek finish
    • Inspired by a French draftsman stool
    • Functional design
    They will be perfect for all the various ages of children in our home. They can raise, lower, and make themselves dizzy till their heart's content!

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Butterfinger Coffeecake

    1/4 c. margarine, softened
    2 c. flour
    1/2 c. sugar
    1 c. brown sugar, packed
    1 c. buttermilk (can use the instant mix also)
    1 egg
    1 tsp. Baking Soda
    1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
    6 Butterfinger Candy bars
    1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

    In a large bowl, cream margarine, flour, & sugars. Reserve half of cup for later. Beat in buttermilk, egg, baking soda, and vanilla; mix well. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Crush candy bars with the reserved crumbly mixture and optional nuts. Sprinkle mixture over batter and bake in a preheated oven at 350* for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serves 12

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Stuffed French Loaf

    1 loaf French Bread

    10 oz. Swiss cheese

    1/2 lb. shaved roast beef

    1/2 lb. shaved ham or turkey

    1 stick butter, melted

    2 tsp. poppy seeds

    2 tsp. minced onion

    ¾ tsp. Lawry's salt

    1/2 tsp. lemon juice

    1 tsp. dry mustard

    Cut open French loaf and layer cheese and meats evenly over bread. Close loaf. Place on foil and carefully cut into serving size pieces being careful not to cut through tin foil. Mix butter and seasonings; pour over top crust. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

    I like to serve this with a light pasta salad.

    Tuesday, March 9, 2010

    Spring Centerpiece

    A round serving tray is displayed with a white church birdhouse, a green polka dot vase is filled with mini tulips and daffodils. Use a bowl filled with water and float tealight candles for added ambience. Break the rules and light candles during the's your home after all and no one else's!

    A few blue hydrangea heads are placed amongst the grouping.

    This centerpiece is easy to pick up and move around the home. The coffee table this week, the kitchen bar next week and maybe the dining room table for a quick Easter centerpiece. For Easter I would add a cross to the grouping.
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    Sunday, March 7, 2010

    Wanting to try this yummy recipe this week...won't you join me?

    Asian Lettuce Wraps

    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
    1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (or chicken)
    1 cup minced mushrooms
    1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, minced
    1/2 cup minced green onions
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    2 teaspoons sesame oil
    1 lemon, zested and then juiced.
    1 teaspoon hot sauce
    1/3 cup chopped cilantro
    1 head iceberg lettuce
    *Dipping Sauce recipe to follow

    Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot add minced garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute just until fragrant and then add in the ground chicken, minced mushrooms, and salt. Cook until turkey or chicken is cooked through.

    Add in the water chestnuts and green onions. Cook for a few minutes until cabbage starts to wilt. Add in the soy sauce, sesame oil, juice and zest from the lemon, and hot sauce. When everything is cooked through, remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

    To serve, carefully separate the whole leaves from the lettuce. Wash the lettuce leaves and wrap them in paper towels and put them in the refrigerator so they are cold and crisp when serving. Spoon meat filling onto the lettuce leaf and then roll it up and serve with dipping sauce below- or any other favorite Asian dipping sauce.

    Lettuce Wrap Dipping Sauce
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/8 cup seasoned rice vinegar
    1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
    2 tablespoons chopped green onions

    Combine all ingredients and serve with lettuce wraps.

    Recipe makes 6-8 servings.

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    Fill a mason jar with some perky daffodils, tie on a burlap ribbon accented with a spring green bow. Fill jar with water and add limes or lemons for added interest.

    Got this photo from Blondie. Check out her fabulous blog to get some great inspiration. She's a real sweetie too!

    Cheese & Mushroom Stuffed Meatloaf

    Cheese and Mushroom Stuffed Meatloaf

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 medium onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

    1 1/2 pounds ground beef

    2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs

    1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

    1/4 cup ketchup

    1 egg beaten to blend

    1 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

    1/4 teaspoon dried sage, ground or crumbled

    1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese

    Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are golden brown and liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Cool.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix beef and next eight ingredients in large bowl, until well blended. Turn out onto large square of plastic wrap. Pat into 9- by 12-inch rectangle. Spread mushroom filling over rectangle, leaving 1/2-inch border on all sides. Cover mushrooms evenly with cheese.

    Starting at one end, roll meat up jelly-roll-fashion, using the plastic wrap as a guide. Arrange seam side down in a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan. (Can be prepared six hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate at this point).

    Bake until loaf shrinks from side of pan and browns (about 1 hour). Pour off any drippings. Gently turn out loaf and let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

    FREEZER COOKING NOTE: You can also make this up but do not bake. Simply roll up and place in a disposal tinfoil loaf pan and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator the day before you wish to bake it.

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    Zuppa Tuscana Soup just like The Olive Garden

    1 lb bacon

    1 lb Italian sausage or bulk sausage of your choice

    4-6 potatoes, diced

    1 onion, chopped

    2 tbsp. minced garlic

    6 cups chicken stock (you can easily replace some with water as you have available – I used 4 cups stock, 2 cups water)

    2 cups heavy cream (whole milk can be substituted)

    1 head of kale (5-6 leaves, as desired), chopped

    salt and pepper, to taste

    Parmesan cheese

    In a small pan, cook the bacon. Cool and crumble. In a large pot, cook the sausage, onions, and garlic until the sausage has browned. Add the potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Once it has reached a boil, turn it down to low and simmer for 20 minutes or so, just until the potatoes are tender. Add the cream, kale, and bacon and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. Season to taste. Top with parmesan cheese for extra flavor! Enjoy! Makes 6-8 servings. Freezes well.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Beautiful winter white morning

    I awoke Saturday morning to the trees on our farm
    covered in a winter white fuzzy wonderland.

    The colors on these photos is not altered one bit. It is the colors
    I saw...everything white, grey & fuzzy. Even the beautiful sky.

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    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Random cuteness of Jumbi our baby kitten that is supposed to be outside! Shadow, the black & white cat is checking him out saying "I don't believe you're supposed to be here...this is my territory!"

    Jumbi in my olive jar

    Fat cat, Shadow telling me I don't think this is too cool Mom!
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    Anna on Christmas Day

    I can't believe that I found this pretty dress at Goodwill this summer
    for $2.95! Woo Hoo! All I added to the outfit was a white turtleneck for $3.99
    from Target, her white tights and little black shoes.

    Isn't she the most precious little thing?

    She is always begging me to let her wear a dress. She is constantly dragging out
    summer dresses and demanding she wear them to school this winter!

    Lucky for me Grandma Sandy made her up a few skirts to wear. I'll post photos of those soon.
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    Christmas Decor Our Home

    Christmas Eve Our Home 2009

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