Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Daddy's Favorite- Pineapple dressing

In November of 2009 we lost my Dad. He had brain cancer. It hit fast went undetected and before taking him from us it left a strong man a shell of his former self. (Don't worry it gets less sad)

What I want to focus on is his happy times. He is looking down from Heaven at me and turning red and sighing and shaking his head. He would have been so embarrassed that anyone wrote something about him for all the world to see. You see it is because he didn't know how special he was. And I am not saying that just because he was my Dad and I am his daughter. I am saying it because it is true! My Daddy is stronger than your Daddy yada, yada......

The man loved to laugh, tell silly stories and jokes, tease his grandkids & most of all he loved his wife, my Mama. She spoiled him rotten. Yes, he was rotten. She made him pie on his birthday when the doctors told him no cake and when he was really particularly in need of some spoilin' she made him Pineapple dressing for his salad. Remember those happy times I was mentioning earlier? Well, anytime he got Pineapple dressing was a happy time!

Now, this dressing is very versatile. You can pour it over any greens you like. Regular old iceberg lettuce, fancy romaine hearts and endive, plain old spinach, but the way I like it best is over coleslaw. Yep coleslaw. You take the dressing and toss it over coleslaw and chunk up an apple. Red or green, whatever variety you like. The apples won't brown because the pineapple juice coats them. It is the taste of summer if summer had a taste. Seriously good.

So are ya interested yet? Want me to quit my yammerin' and just give you the dang blasted recipe?
Well, ok. Since you asked so sweet and all. 

Pineapple dressing:
1 large can of chunked pineapple with the juice
1 tuna fish sized can of crushed pineapple with the juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups mayo use the real stuff people no fat free, sugar free caca. Use the good stuff. After all you are eating salad and all the green must cancel out all the bad right? Like eating a candy bar while drinking a Diet Coke ; )

Here is the hard part. Put it all in a container that you can seal without it leaking. Yep dump the  juice, pineapple and mayo in. Now shake! Shake until you can't shake no mo! See this works off some of the bad even before you have eaten the dressing. No seriously, stop worrying about the bad in this recipe and just eat it.  Take a little taste if it is too mayo-ish add another can of crushed pineapple or pineapple juice, if it is too pineapple YOU ARE CRAZY! ((collecting myself)) If it is too strong with the wonderful flavors of pineapple then add a little mayo more shake and taste. You can keep adding until you reach the flavor you like best. 

Pour away! Pour it on, pour it on! 
The coleslaw is best if it can sit about 4 hours in the fridge but is really good the next day, if it lasts that long.
Make sure you keep it refrigerated until you are ready to use it and if for some strange reason there are left overs. 

It was Daddy's favorite and I hope it is one of your favorites now too. I would love to hear how you used it, so leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks for stopping by and i hope to see ya around this parts again.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

When Good Craft Supplies Go Bad

When Good Craft Supplies Go Bad

Getting four kids to school every morning is pretty much like wrangling Monkeys at the circus. Once all the monkeys were corralled and off to school to get some learnin' I started the rest of the day by getting all my chores for the day. Why? Well duh, so I could craft!!!!

After using my gun for , oh I don't know perhaps 150 million years, it has turned on me.

Oh of course high temp glue guns are hot and I have had a moment of jumping around after getting a tiny bit on me but this one was a doozie. We are talking I immediately thought of those poor people in Pompei.

The molten lava (aka high temp melted glue)  FLOWED!

The gun decided to send the glue out the back end rather than the front end. The glue flowed out over the edge of the gun where it feeds into the gun toward my right hand and dripped onto my pants. Of course I have "Mom mentality" and what is a Mom's reaction to an impending mess or danger? Cut it off/ catch it/ prevent disaster. So I reached over with my left hand and of course tried to catch the lava burning hot melted glue. The second I did it I knew I shouldn't have. I could see the scene as if I was standing beside myself and could do nothing but watch the train wreck happen.

The glue ran between my middle and ring finger tips. The glue coated my fingertips and ran down the side and underneath of my nails. I dropped the gun on the floor. Jumped up, started taking deep breaths and thought if I can wait until it cools I can just peel it off. I counted to myself in an attempt to try to make this work. I made it to 20...... During the counting, I found myself in a "cuss storm" saying made up words in some language that I am sure others would say is speaking in tongues.
Natural childbirth was easier. NUFF SAID!

To make things worse, I pulled the largest drop of glue from the side of my ring finger, which had already blistered, and yanked off a huge deep chunk of flesh. DO NOT DO THIS! I am now open to infection as most burns are however I doubled the chances by exposing the injured flesh under the blister.  I will spare you a photo of my finger. Our youngest child can't bare to see it. Uh huh, it's u.g.l.y.

TIP: ALWAYS keep a bowl of ice water nearby when using a high temp glue gun. Immediately dip the injured area into the water WITHOUT trying to remove the glue or waiting for it to cool before dipping. Seriously, just take the plunge, get it in the cold water. The ice water helps cool the glue and helps to try and reduce the burning. You ARE going to still be burned but it won't be as bad as what this dumb girl did.

So when good craft supplies go bad be prepared.
Thanks for stopping by!

 Want to see what I was working on before I injured myself? Well stay tuned and safe my friends.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Fun Food Review

Summer Fun Food Review

All of the following is my personal unbiased opinion. I have not been bribed or promised or paid anything. 
Our family has a few favorite things that we enjoy in the summer.
Fun Foods, Cooling foods, JUNK FOOD - with the extra energy being burned these are fine so no emails about how bad they are ummmmkay? K now back to the regularly scheduled program........

Long time favorites are up first.


 The Blue Bell family has out done themselves with these bars. Each bar was consistently yummy and each flavor held true to flavor advertised. My family loves Key Lime/ Lime anything and the lime bars went fast!
Tart and sweet these bars take you to a cool porch on a lightening bug filled evening.

The Mixed Berry and Strawberry Bars are a real treat. These bars are the best...seriously. My family also really likes berries. So we try a great deal of berry flavored things and some are very obviously berry flavored these bars have chunks/ slices/ bits and pieces of REAL berries. The bars are smooth with the added berry piece texture. I have one child that the texture of the mushy, thawing berries sends her running, she would eat them if not for that aspect. I know she is not alone in this food texture aversion, so I am sharing. I in no means think these bars are on the do not buy list due to this though. They really are fabulous summertime treats. Think cool sweet berry deliciousness...yep you got it. SO GOOD

And now we come to one I was really surprised at. I honestly did not put much stock in this one being a favorite. I really like coconut, my family likes it except for Miss Aversion but with chocolate? Hmm...
I was not a Mounds candy bar fan and that is pretty much what I expected. 
Be prepared to be shocked!
 Seriously good, not candy bar-ish (ok not a word but you know what I mean) at all.
Miss Aversion is a chocoholic and so I knew we could get her to taste it as long as she didn't read the rest of the ingredients on the box.  Yep, you got it right I am a sneaky-horrible-try-to-get-my-kid-to-eat-something-other-than-mac-n-cheese, kind of mommy.... And SHE CAME, SHE SAW, SHE ATE, SHE DEVOURED, a few days later when we had a treat SHE CRIED THAT WE HAD NO MORE.
Really yummy chocolate that did not taste like chocolate coating or topping, which I find taste really fake. The coconut portion stood on its own and was very good not over powering or fake tasting. The combination of the two was like a tropical cabana with a nice cool breeze as you enjoy a hammock.
Uh huh a slice of heaven....  

Images from Blue Bells website

 A family favorite that I thought I had never had due to its crazy name until I tasted it and remembered church potluck socials as a kid.
I have no idea what the nice church ladies called it but in areas of Utah and Wyoming it is known as Frog Eye Salad.
Frog eye salad- sounds really gross doesn't it? What you can't tell me that you always dreamed of rolling frogs eyes around on your tongue.... The frog eye part is due to the Acini DePepe pasta in the salad. This pasts is tiny bits of pasta that when cooked turn into thick little balls of pasta.  No they are not slimy or frog like. I think some mother needed to get their lil one interested in eating and named it after a current childhood obsession or the like. TWO POINTS FOR HER.
 This salad is sweet and really addictive. 
But it is a salad so technically it can be eaten with your meal not just as a dessert   : ).
It has whip cream, marshmallows, pineapple, mandarin oranges, and coconut in it as well as the pasta. 
Now there is another version that has egg in the "sauce" we have not had that nor will we as this salad does not need eggy yuckiness interrupting its deliciocity - yes those are not real words but again YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.  This is a really hard item to photograph. It seems to always look sort of gross. Trust me use your tongue not your eyes to judge this one.  My hubby and I have been making variations and different flavors of this salad for awhile and have a few new favorites and are discovering more every time. So watch for a post with nothing but Frog Eye Salad Variations very soon. Want my original recipe? Post a comment and I will email it since you just can't wait : )

Rice Cereal treats
Oh you know of these? Just joking of course but we make several different variations on the original recipe. 
It's the spice of life you know....
First I will share the main variant ingredients; flavored marshmallows.
While shopping for a new Frog Eye salad ingredients in the baking aisle we stumbled across the Lemon Meringue and Key Lime selections offered by Campfire. Campfire out did themselves with these babies. I had only known Campfire for their HUGE marshmallows for use camping and their flat varieties made perfectly for smores. These two flavors are really intense. They did not sugar coat the addition of flavor. You know you are eating lemon or lime. Notice the package states Mallow Burst, that is correct, the flavor just bursts as you eat them. You bite into the soft goo and BAM it hits you. Campfire scored big in our house on flavor alone. We do not just eat marshmallows though, they are an ingredient not a main snack. So we did what most people do with them and we made Rice Cereal treats. The flavor held true and was a nice change in the typical treat. I did not like how tough the treats turned out though. I prefer my treats a little bit on the softer side. This could be my personal preference but I found a way to fix this. I simply added more PLAIN marshmallows to the next batch. The flavors did mellow some but they were still really good. So branch out and try a new treat flavor, you won't regret it.

 Did I mention a Lime fetish in my household? : )
Well we certainly do have one. So when several people bragged up these cookies and frosting I had to see what the fuss was about. As many of you know I am not a fan of boxed baking mixes. They are full of unknown chemical yuck that has tainted the American taste palate into thinking scratch baked goods taste funny. Sorry for the rant AGAIN. I am serious about my baking now.....
 Soooo we tried these. The frosting was lime for sure but tasted like store bought thick frosting. Not a fan but it was not horrid. THE MIX IS A DIFFERENT STORY.
The mix, oh the awefulness of the mix. It is a matter of taste I will say that for sure. If you enjoy the green ring in the fruit loops bowl you will LOVE these cookies. Once you bite into these soft cookies you get socked in the jaw with citrusy lime that tastes fake and EXACTLY like fruit loops cereal but with more citrus. The sugar sort of caramelizes and sticks in your teeth. But they are soft and stay soft until your family gets sick of you making them eat them and you throw them out. Again it is just preference, your family may love them.

This category is the "you did what" category. The category of shocking ways to use the ordinary in a new and yummy way.
This is our favorite. 
BBQ'd/ Grilled tater tots.
We take a cookie sheet, cooking spray, salt, pepper and frozen tots.
Spray your pan, lay a thin single layer of tots on the pan, season with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoned salt, we love Tony Chachare's (seriously we eat it on nearly everything). Then we place the pan directly on the grill. Keep an eye on them they cook at a slow but steady speed. The tots are smoky, and crisp without being fried or greasy. Our kids really like this version and I dare say they are the best tots for a few hundred miles...... 
Just a heads up- They take up the whole grill so you want to either have the other items pre -cooked and staying warm elsewhere or a second grill going.
This category could be a post in and of itself so I will stop with just this one as it is fun in the summer for out door eating and get togethers. 

I hope enjoyed some of the review and that you will step out of your comfort zone a little and give them a try.
Have something you tried that you loved or thought would be better than it was? Let me know I am always looking for something different to feed my family.
Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fake Potatoes- REAL tasty

Fake Potatoes- REAL tasty

I will be totally honest. I LOVE MY TATERS. I love the starch, the flavor, the versatility, the peeling once it has been slathered in butter, sprinkled in salt and pepper and baked.... YUMMM YUMMM!
So when I kept seeing people replacing taters for cauliflower I was very, very leery. I like cauliflower just fine. I eat it raw or cooked, plain or dripping with butter or cheese or ranch dressing. But if I had to describe the flavor of cauliflower it would not include any of the attributes of my favored tater.

Oh, I am sure there is health benefits, but I am focused on flavor here..... because that is where it is at as far as I am concerned. 

Picture you say...hmmm well I didn't make this dish with the intention of posting about I made it to eat. So I didn't even think to try to make a photo of it. After I licked the serving bowl clean I thought about taking a picture of the bowl but alas I didn't think everyone would appreciate it. 

So here is a random photo of a cauliflower. : )
I made a version of mashed potatoes that we love with a few substitutions guessed it! Cauliflower oh yeah and zucchini.

Here is my recipe:
I used one bag of frozen cauliflower- you could use fresh if you like
2 medium zucchini peeled and diced
2 TBSP. water
put this all in a pot, cook over medium heat until everything is soft, fork tender. 
Once all is cooked add the following:
1 - 8 ounce square of cream cheese at room temp
1/2 cup paremsan cheese (the stuff in the green shaker bottle)
2 TBSP chives
1 TBSP butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
Once everything is melted and combined I took my tater masher to the cauliflower and zucchini. Cauliflower just tends to be somewhat gritty. The lumps were fine and left alone at this point would be ok. I wanted a less lumpy/gritty texture (you know to trick my picky eater) so I ran it all through a food processor.  The texture is not completely smooth like whipped taters so don't expect that. We like mashed taters better and mashed taters are lumpy. 

There are a few things that give this dish away. The smell of cauliflower is evident and really can't be masked. That threw my picky eater into a stand off of biblical proportions. She licked a little off the fork and just couldn't eat it. Everyone else really loved it. I will wait and have her try it again in a few months. Sometimes that is all it takes for her. To each their own.

Tasty details:
The cream cheese and parmesan cheese give the dish a depth of flavor that really makes this dish. 
The chives are what makes the mind run head long into thinking it is a potato dish. 
The butter aids in the feel and development of flavors. 
Trust me when I say to you if you are going to omit any of the ingredients you won't be nearly as pleased. 
It really is one of the best dishes we have tried in a long while. 
I try to add a little salt in each dish but leave the real addition of salt and pepper to the individual as everyone's tastes differ in the usage of these spices.
Now I mentioned in the beginning that this is one of our favorite tater recipes. I make this with real mashed taters instead of cauliflower. The texture is smoother not as gritty and really very good. I mean so good I could eat my own body weight in it but since I am a pillar of self restraint (flashback to me licking the serving bowl earlier) I have yet to do that. : )

Let me know when you try it and what you liked or changed for your family.

Thank you for stopping by!
Wishing you and yours the best of all things!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hard but rewarding-Homemade Gift Exchange ONLINE

Hard but rewarding- Homemade Gift Exchange Online

This winter I participated in a ALL HOMEMADE Holiday Gift exchange online through a fellow blogger. 
It was all handled online with a gift exchange service. You sign up the service gives the opportunity to enter your likes and dislikes and some basic info so your gift maker has an idea of what to make you.  

Then here is the kicker the person you get is chosen for you and you can ask a few interview questions to help you get to know them better but you have to create an ALL HOMEMADE gift for that person based on what you learned. 

My person liked clocks, she collected them and had many in her home. She also liked traveling and NASCAR and several food items including Vernor's Ginger Ale. It is not sold everywhere but really is one of the best ginger ale's around. I had a former room mate who loved it and that is how I was introduced. 

I used what I had on hand as the rules stated and coupled that with the info I had gleaned from my "person" and started creating. 

I took a canvas and painted a rustic twelve section pattern with the focal point being the center of the canvas. 
To map out my sections I  devised a crazy way that probably makes no sense to anyone but me but it worked so I am happy. 
I used a ruler and lightly drew a line diagonally from corner to corner, creating a large X. Then I created a large rectangle in the center by connecting the horizontal lines using the X as my corner points. I could have measured from the corners in toward the center to see if it was perfect but its art and art is not meant to be perfection just creative so I just ran with it as is.
Then using the ruler I divided up the rest of the face of the canvas until I had twelve total areas not counting the center rectangle. Once it was all divided I poked my hole in the dead center for the clock works to go into. 
All ready for paint. I chose a color scheme that my person liked and that also was a scheme from the Vernor's label. Then I tried to give it a tropical or rustic tribal feel by antiquing and giving high and lowlights here and there. I really liked it as it was with no label but I wanted it to be what my person liked. So I recreated the Vernor's label and placed it on top of my now dry paint. I used mod podge both to adhere and seal the label to the canvas and then I used a few good thick layers to the top to seal it all good. 
To hide the tacks on the sides of the canvas I took a satin ribbon in a dark chocolate brown and hot glued it to the edge all the way around the outside. 
As soon as the clock works were in I was so happy with it and I hoped my new friend was too. My new friend, aka my person, turned out to be my gift giver too and she sent me an adorable candle holder. 

At first this experience had me stumped, scared, confused and then finally challenged. It was really fun to do and I made a new friend to boot! I think I will take part again next year. 
Have you ever participated in an online gift exchange?

Thanks for stopping by. Please follow me using my buttons. THANK YOU!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Here puppy, puppy, puppy!

Fido's got a brand new "bone"

We spent the weekend making a few dog toys.
They are super easy and a great project for boys or girls alike.  I made these with my two sons. We rarely get to craft together because crafts tend to lean toward girly stuff. This craft is all about the dogs and my boys each have a dog.  A house with two boys and two dogs needs TOYS!

Here is how we did it. 
We made two dog toys. They are a rope type tugging toy. 
We used two different colors of old t shirts (children's size 6/7 or 8/9) for each toy. 
So you will need two shirts per toy you plan to make. 

In hind sight the boys should have worn the shirts or slept with them in their bed with them first. This allows the boys stink.... scratch that..... the boys smell ; ) on the shirts. This smell is what the dogs associate with their "pet", and their "pet" is my boys.  It helps the dogs want to play with the toys. If you forget like we did just throw them in a dog food bucket or bag and let them sit a few days. The dogs will be interested in the smell after that.

First lay one shirt out flat and fan fold the shirt from the bottom, up to the armpits. You should get about three folds, resulting in four sections total. 

Cut from side to side or left rib  to right rib along the folds. 
Once you have these cut find one side or a side seam. Cut once and only once, to make one long strip. 
Repeat with shirt number two. 

Now take three strips (one from each shirt and a third from whichever shirt you like) together about six inches from the cut end and tie one big knot. Then braid the strips tightly together, tightly. Pull each braid tight and it creates a stronger toy. 

Side Note: You don't need two different colors but I found with my boys the two different colors helped them learning to braid. Once you reach about the last six inches tie the ends in one big knot. You repeat until all of the strips you cut are braided and tied off on both ends.  If your shirt has a logo on it turn those pieces as you braid so that the inked section is to the inside. 

 I told my boys that this was how cowboys used to make a rope because braiding sounded way too girlie. And, I think it would have worked except their younger sister pointed out that I braid her hair like that..... sigh. : 0 

Anyways they finished their braids, I mean ropes, and it only took them about 20 minutes total. My boys are tween's and that is about as long as I keep their attention without a Wii being involved.
Once you have three complete braids, braid them together, tying them the same way.  

Now here is where I learned that my tween boys are getting VERY STRONG.
One boy and one rope at a time, we each took an opposite end and PULLED. Pull these ropes as hard as possible. Your dogs are a lot stronger than you are and you want these toys to last at least a few days : ).
The t shirt material stretches to some extent but when you release the material tightens the knot really well. 

My boys about pulled me over, several times, which they loved and laughed hysterically about. Which was a fun bonding moment that we rarely get in a crafting setting.

Enjoy making and playing with your new dog toy, rope, tug, bone whatever you want to call it.

UPDATE: We are at the one week mark and the ropes have been used a little and they have held up well. 

I appreciate your input.
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

SOOOOO What now?

SOOOO what now?

I had weeks, literally weeks of blogs typed, photos composed, arranged, edited and uploaded and all of my posts were set to be automatically delivered via this lovely BLOGGER schedule option. Yep seasonal fun galore. Did they post? NOPE, NADA, NICHE, NILCH. They did not.

Upon finding this out this morning, this is the face I made  Original Grumpy Cat Ok maybe not but it was really close. This is Grumpy Cat and if you want more grumpy looks and silly comments please visit his site.

So do I go ahead and release these posts from their purgatory and publish them as I had originally intended them to be released. OR do I just start over and wait until Valentines, Easter, St. Patricks day, Spring Break etc.... all roll back around and publish them at that time?

What do you think?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pinterest Recipe Failures

Pinterest Recipe Failures

You know the highly addictive website Pinterest has a ton of great ideas and inspiration as well as recipes. 
Well I have tried many, many, MANY of these recipes in the past. Many were wonderful and well some of the others were NOT!

Recipes that are not tried and proven are simply a recipe for disaster. Cookbooks on the current market are usually very well tested with a few exceptions. Self published cookbooks being the main culprits of this crime. A highly popular and subscribed to, semi monthly magazine is terrible about not testing and still publishing recipes.  You know the one, home cooks send in their recipes and the magazine prints them. I would have to assume after many a failure by following these recipes, there is no real review of these recipes other than reading the recipes and scratching their heads and saying, "hmmm sounds good, let's print it". 
An experienced cook can tweak or correct the mistakes to make a dish tolerable but this disregard for reviewing the recipes has made me drop my subscription all together.

Pinterest sadly has become just as bad. I am not trying to be mean about this, or hurt Pinterests feelings, that is not my point. I am not a perfect cook and I probably don't do everything right in the kitchen and I am not professing I am. Nor is my point that there are soo many pins that are horrid fails. My point is take recipes on Pinterest with a grain of salt. Consider the source and do not feel badly if yours doesn't turn out as advertised.


The two biggest fails are the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes and the Overnight Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.  

I know, I know they sound sooooo tasty and good but be warned the resulting food not to mention the mess is not worth the effort.
Here is the breakdown of why these recipes were categorized as a FAIL.

The overnight Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal-  This recipe states you can place the water, apples, cinnamon and oatmeal on the bottom of the crockpot set it on the lowest setting and by morning you have oatmeal. No fuss or just throw it in and walk away. My findings- Oatmeal cooked onto the pot overnight is not fun to clean. We are talking concrete people.
>>>>> Flash to a memory of a Mythbusters episode where they tried to remove set concrete from the inside of a cement truck with dynamite.  Now back to our story.....
The oatmeal on top was edible and even some of apple was fine. Luckily it did not taste burnt at all but as you get lower, toward the bottom of the pot the concrete mixture of baked on oats and apple are horrifying. This lovely finding left me scrapping down the pot with a plastic kitchen spoon and then soaking in baking soda overnight to get it to break loose. 

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes- The swirl looks great in the picture but the recipe, when prepared as written, leaves the swirly filling burning, melting into a coagulated goo and a coating on your grill or pan with a caramalized burnt on layer of misery that you will have to soak and scrub and soak some more. Sounds yummy now, doesn't it?!
After trying these several times on separate occasions it is a huge failure. I even went out on a limb and tried to prepare the filling first and freezing it to help it stand up to the heat a little bit longer but the results were the same. So I went to this gals blog and looked over her recipe rather than the pinned and repinned pinterest pin. I found one comment on her blog stating the VERY SAME results I had seen. There was no reply from the blogger at the time. I checked back a few days later and again another person said they were scared to post it until someone else did but they found the same results. I thought ok maybe the blogger is busy. I checked back now about 3 weeks later and found all the negative posts were GONE.
I guess all the scrubbing helps work off the enormous amount of brown sugar....

We are all imperfect, I mean look at my grammar in ALL my posts. I am just asking these people to test and test again before they post, print, sell or recommend.

Do you have any Pinterest Fails?

Monday, January 21, 2013

National Popcorn Day

Saturday was National Popcorn Day

I know, I know! How did we ever live without knowing this day existed!
I love popcorn, my kids love popcorn, my hubby loves us and so he puts up with popcorn : )

Everyone in our house likes their popcorn different. 
The kids want butter and salt or butter and flavored toppings like Nacho cheese, Kettle Korn or the like. Kernel Seasons makes a big selection of these popcorn seasonings. They are located in the popcorn /snack aisle near the popcorn if you want some too or amazon has a ton.

I like mine like I like my men, SPICY and full of life!  hee hee
I like to put butter a lot of butter and then I love Tony Chachare's HOT Spicy Cajun Seasoning. 
uh ok time for a confession:  I am a huge butter fan but on popcorn my addiction moves to a seriously dangerous level and I am ok with that.  I will eat Tony's (as we call it) on everything! 

But I have seen a few posts on pinterest lately about making popcorn a bit different. 
I tried this one and found it to be really yummy.  There is no recipe just a mention of ingredients so I had to wing it and try on my own. You might want to play around with the ingredients yourself to see what you like best.
We called is Marshmallow Popcorn.

Pop your corn. We used plain and pop ours with a air popper. It was store brand yellow popcorn kernels, approx 2 cups worth.

I used a half bag of mini marshmallows, a whole stick of butter and about a cup of brown sugar.
Melt the butter, mix in the brown sugar then melt in the marshmallows stirring constantly as it will burn and stick easily. After melting thoroughly, keep it warm and fluid.

Then take a baking sheet and line it with tin foil sprayed with cooking spray or coated with butter.  Don't forget the spray or butter as the marshmallow mixture will stick to the foil and make a terrible mess of things. You can delete the foil but the foil makes this treat a faster clean up. And treats + fast cleanup = one happy mamasita!

Once the pan is lined and coated, pour the popcorn on the pan in one even, single layer. Then take your warm marshmallow topping and drizzle it over the top. Allow it to setup a second or two and then toss it around a bit and drizzle again. Once your popcorn is covered to your liking we just grabbed chunks and put them in a bowl and ate them. 

Now I tend to really like salt and sweet together so I added salt to my serving. Right on top of the marshmallow; sprinkle that salt. It was soo very good! 

Recipe is great for POPCORN BALLS

Now if you like Kettle Korn you will love this and if you are a fan of popcorn balls this recipe would make delicious soft yet stable popcorn balls. My experience with popcorn balls has been the coating is either hard like a candied apple coating and would just about break your teeth or they were dry crumbly flavorless rice cake resembling orbs.
Using this recipe, popcorn balls would be sweet, flavorful, soft in the way a rice krispy treat is but less dense that a treat is. So in my mind perfect!!!!

I have one more popcorn variation that I want to try and as soon as we do I will share that with you too. 
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MMMMMM smells so good! Zucchini Bread

Mmmmm smells so good!

Today I started the day off with a vegetable with a funny name. A Zucchini. 
Zucchini is squash technically and in general I avoid eating anything that is named after the sound a bug makes when I step on it.....but for Zucchini I make an exception (mainly because I leave the squash label off).

 photo courtesy of

This is a Zucchini. This photo shows a great cross section and how the "meat" looks when it is shredded and sliced. The Zucchini is versatile and tasty. 
The best time to eat them is when they are highest in flavor. Fresh picked is best but the stores in warmer climates have good options this time of the year (winter) too. When Zucchini is short, about 6 to 8 inches in length. The longer /larger that a Zucchini gets equals the lower the flavor value and the larger the seeds in the center. I have grown Zucchini longer than my 7 year old's arm and when tasted side by side to a smaller Zucchini the flavor difference is obvious. I know people who just flat out love to gnaw on the seeds of the larger variety and like the milder flavor. It is up to your uses and likes but I have to be honest, the smaller version really is the best for overall flavor and most recipes. 

I shredded several medium sized Zucchini after cutting off the ends and removing the skin before 830 a.m. Zucchini bread is the goal of the day! 

I am a big fan of the Betty Crocker recipe for this bread.  I have tried others they are well..... sad in comparison. The BC version, is delicious and moist and healthy. I say it is healthy because it has veggies in it of course, but please dear friends, don't email me that it could be healthier if I changed or omitted this or that. Somethings shouldn't be messed with and baked goods are one of those things!

I have adapted the recipe ( I double everything cause we are eaters in my house) and I am sharing it here for you my dear bloggy buddies.

Zucchini Bread
6 cups shredded Zucchini (3 to 6 medium sized Zucchini)
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 tsp vanilla
8 large eggs
6 cups all purpose flour (the book says you can substitute whole wheat flour I haven't tried that version)
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat to 350 degrees F. After shredding your Zucchini mix all the wet ingredients including the Zucchini together and in a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Then mix the dry into the wet slowly until well incorporated. Split the batter into four and pour into greased loaf pans. I bake 2 loaves at a time. 
I find they cook better this way. Might be my stove or my craziness but either way it works : P

At 350 degrees a 8" pan will bake in approx. 50 -60 minutes, a 9" pan 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes approx. 
Stick a toothpick in the center if it comes out clean you are good to go. I also watch for the edges pulling away from the pan. 
Let these cool and enjoy the delicious smells. I let them cool in the pan about an hour and then remove them and let them cool the rest of the way on a wire rack. Total time about 2 hours. 

After they are cool, wrap them really tightly in saran wrap. You could even slide a wrapped loaf into a freezer bag and freeze this bread for a later date. It freezes very well without changing the taste or texture. 

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Zucchini can be used in so many dishes but this was the one that helped me get past the squash issue ((cringe)) and my  aforementioned 7 year old who runs screaming from all things veggie will eat this like there is no tomorrow.

Want more Zucchini recipes? Or maybe you have a food that you want to like but just can't bring yourself to try it? Let me know I ain't skerd! I will try to find a recipe a nose clip, a great seasoning or something to help.

Thank you again I read every comment and email and I appreciate you following my blog!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Always the student

Always the Student

In my journey to accomplish my New Years goal of learning to crochet I have started Crochet School.

I have tried several tutorials online when I came across this one at CraftyMinx .

So far I have learned how to single and double stitch.  And that resulted in one project that took me about 4 hours total. It is a 6" x 5" rectangle. Barbie blankie? Dish Cloth? Pot holder? Hmm Who knows but I got in a lot of good practice.

Now I am on to Crochet school. I will share my progress and great tutorials I find, as I go.

Crochet School

Friday, January 11, 2013

New year, new goals and lingering colds--ahh January

New year, new goals and lingering colds--ahh January

It has been awhile since I wrote anything and I am not sure why...OH yeah, I just remembered, it is because the holidays are crazy busy and then we all started coming down with a really bad cold. The name cold doesn't seem to hold as much ferocity as this virus had but short of having the flu it was no fun..... I am now two weeks into it and still not back to normal. Virus' are not my friend, the cold medicine makes me loopy and harder to think. I snore when I have a cold and that makes my hubby unable to sleep. Then he says I am a lumberjack and no girls wants to be called a lumberjack. So after i take a much deserved swing at his head with my pillow I venture out to face a new year.

I have a new goal for this year. 
I want to learn to crochet. I found several great tutorials on U -tube. Now I don't really care for U-tube but if the source of the video is a legitimate one the videos are usually safe.

Pinterest has a vast amount of sources to choose from as well and plenty of free patterns to boot. 

I found this website Annie's Catalog and have really liked it so far.  I have been using it to practice the different stitches before I take on a pattern. 
The site has crochet, knitting, needlework and beading. All dying arts in my mind as people are too busy with an electronic this or that, or just trying to survive the current economy. 

The hardest part of learning about crochet so far is the patterns.  The code alone should require a degree in ancient languages. : ) 

Do you have any tips on learning these abbreviations? Please tell me it will come with time.

Here are a few fun pictures of projects I have found and will eventually be working on. 

Dish clothes- I can never find dish clothes I like. They are always strange colors. Now I can make my own.

How to crochet cotton washcloths...easy!
Fun hats for the kids before they are "too old" to have silly fun.
moose hat crochet pattern
aviator hat pattern. $4.
Scarves for the niece who is incredibly hard to shop for.
My Merry Messy Life: Crochet Swirly Scarf - Free Pattern
For my sister who has an owl fetish : )
Crochet Owl Pattern...

and who doesn't need these?
Who doesn't need a #crochet mustache?
Love this cardigan since I am ALWAYS FREEZING
Relaxed Cardi Crochet Pattern
And then once I have mastered all that is crochet I will make this and wear it as queen of crochet.
King's Crown Crochet Pattern « The Yarn Box The Yarn Box
Ok maybe not but the possibilities are exciting!


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