Posts Tagged With: Pinterest

Strawberry Freeze

I think one of my girls 'taste tested' it before I got the picture!

I think one of my girls ‘taste tested’ it before I got the picture!

I took a break from trying new recipes and, well, cooking in general, for the entire month of April!  I didn’t make up my meal plans for the month and I didn’t really even  cook a lot!  I used up a lot of the meat I had in the freezer and added noodles or rice, with a frozen vegetable and called that dinner…..that is, when they weren’t have peanut butter for the millionth time!  Well, I am back on track and have my meals planned out for the whole month of May and I finished grocery shopping for the meals (using coupons, of course!)!  It does feel good to be back on track!  So, Monday I decided to make a new recipe I was holding on to.  It sounded and looked very delicious and I had the ingredients for it!

Here’s the recipe: (of course I found it off of Pinterest)

12 Chips Ahoy! Cookies
1 pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 can  frozen berry punch concentrate, thawed
1 cup crushed fresh strawberries
2 cups whole fresh strawberries

Make It

COVER bottom of 9-inch springform pan with cookies.

In the spring board

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in punch concentrate. Whisk in Cool Whip and crushed strawberries until well blended. Pour over cookies.

FREEZE 6 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Garnish with whole berries just before serving.

My cake took longer to freeze.  It may have been because I was gone all day, after making the cake, to find the freezer was open just a bit.  It didn’t ruin any food, it just didn’t allow for the cake to freeze!  Everyone seemed to like it and didn’t complain too much they had to wait until the next day to try it!

It seemed a summery type dessert and was nice to have on a warm, sunny, spring day!
Enjoy!
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Blueberry Cake

Blueberry Cake

I found a leftover pint of blueberries in my basement refrigerator and decided a blueberry buckle or cake sounded good.  I hopped on to Pinterest, typed in blueberry cake and the first recipe I saw was very easy.  One specific ingredient the recipe called for drew me in……..fresh lemon zest!  My love affair with lemons convinced me this was the cake to make!  The recipe also called for the use of a spring-form pan, which I specifically bought a few months back to make cheesecake in.  I haven’t used it since then, so this clinched the fact that I needed to make this cake just to get more use out of my pan!  Of course, I used my Bosch to mix the cake in.  It only took a few minutes to make and tasted delicious.

Here’s the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients

1/2t salt
4 oz (1 stick) butter

1C sugar
1/4t vanilla
1t lemon zest
2 large eggs

2C blueberries, rinsed and drained

1t lemon juice
1t flour
powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F or 175C. Lightly grease and flour the 9″ spring pan or pie pan.
  2. Combine 1C flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, beating until smooth. Pour the batter into the pan.
  4. Combine the berries with the 1t flour and the lemon juice in a bowl. Spoon the berries over the batter.
  5. Bake for 45-60minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove form the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully slide a thin knife around the edges of the cake to release it form the pan. Transfer the cake to a platter.
  7. Dust the cake with powdered sugar before serving.

I have three sizes of spring-form pans and thought the 9″ was too big.  The batter didn’t even fill half of the pan.

Blueberry Cake

But, it did rise and somewhat filled the pan.

Blueberry Cake

Maybe next time I will try it in my smaller pan, but I don’t think it really mattered.  Fresh, out of the oven, served with whipped cream equals one cake eaten in about 15 minutes!

 

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Apps for your iPhone or iPad

I have to say that I REALLY like both my iPhone and iPad!   I use both devices every day!  They have helped me to organize myself a little more.  Now if they would cook and clean….sigh……

There are quite a few Apps available that are very useful!  I would like to share some I find helpful and even fun!  The app I use the most is MealBoard.

This app helps me to plan my meals in advance, for however long I want.  I usually plan for 3 weeks at a time.  I have inputted a ton of recipes from my cookbooks, AllRecipes and Pinterest.  Some of the recipes I find I can cut and paste into my app, but,  some I had to type in, like the ones from my cookbooks.  This took a while over the summer but it was fine because I knew, in the long run, it would help me stay on a meal plan and not ‘wing’ meals any longer.  It also helps me save on my grocery bill per month because I know exactly what I need to get for each meal and it organizes it into a shopping list for me.  The recipes are categorized however I see best.  I have them in categories of crock pot meals, chicken, breakfast, breads, salads, soups and so forth.  It has saved me the headache and panic of forgetting to take something out for dinner that night and has saved in the monthly grocery bills!  I can even add in daily breakfast and lunch meals.  I’m taking baby steps……I’ll hopefully get to the point where I will plan those meals also!  It also shows a monthly calendar with all the meals planned so I can see what variety I have for the month!  It’s just an all-around cool, helpful app!

I did break down and upgrade to the iPhone 5.  My eldest daughter thinks I am cool once again!  What I like about the 5 is Siri (You see, I came from the ‘not so cool’ 4 (not 4s) and according to my daughter, I was uncool!)  But, I do like the Siri because I can talk to her and ask her to remind me to pay a bill, make a phone call or add something to my calendar.  Now my husband, and probably a LOT of you may say, “Can’t you just manually add it in?”  Of course I can, but why would I when I can have Siri do it for me???  Is it laziness on my part.  Sure is!  🙂  I really do use my reminder and calendar on a daily basis!  We lead such busy daily lives, that it is essential to have another ‘brain’ think for me and tell me it’s time to do this or that!   If I can’t afford a personal secretary I guess Siri is the next best thing!

My camera is great on my phone.  I love that I can take crisp, clear pictures and they will automatically ‘appear’ on my iPad and iMac.  I take a lot of food pictures with my phone for the  recipes I post and they will be on my iMac, ready to upload onto my blog.  How convenient!  HOW did we ever live without such devices??  My husband makes never-ending fun of me for my love affair with these devices.  I say he is only jealous!!  🙂

Because I am so lazy I use my iPad a ton with home schooling!  It would take too much energy to get up and walk across the room to look something up on the desktop!  I look up a ton of videos and Google a ton of pictures on a ton of subjects we are learning about.  One of my daughters and I were learning about Tsunamis and I YouTubed  some videos that were captured in Japan.  It really showed her the damage that can be and was done.  My other two daughters and I have watched many videos on Botany..time lapse videos of flowers growing, bees pollinating a flower, the Venus Fly trap in action and more!  Very educational and fun to watch!

I LOVE having Kindle on both devices.  I mainly use it on my iPad, especially when I am walking on my treadmill.  The words are a perfect size that are easy to see.  I love taking it with me when I am waiting at a ballet class or wherever else I wait.  I have found a ton of free books and cookbooks on Amazon….I think I’ve only bought two .99 cent books so far!  I have recently discovered that you can borrow books from your library and download them onto your Kindle or iPad and read them.  I LOVE that!

My AroundMe app has helped many times.  If I am in an unknown area and would like to know where the closest hospital is, it will show where it is, how close and directions.  We did need this app last summer when my daughter got a piece of food stuck in her throat while we were eating at a restaurant.  We wanted to take her to the nearest hospital and it showed us right where to go.  I have used it many times for stores, restaurants and more.  It will use the location you are currently in and find the nearest places you are looking for.  Cool!

I have  a word processor, called ‘Pages”, and ‘excel’ program, called ‘Numbers”, on both devices.  If I write something on one device, it automatically goes to the other device and syncs with it!  If I am waiting for someone to get out of a class, I am able to work on a blog or take notes or write a document while I wait.

I have a flashlight app that I use quite a bit!

I have a calculator and

dictionary app.

I use my clock app to set an alarm, the timer to time spelling and a stopwatch to see how long one of my girls takes to jump on one foot!!

I can check Facebook, email, Safari, Pinterest, WordPress, Groupon, LivingSocial, play Pandora or YouTube, check the weather, even live radar, check out Google earth and so much more!  They are amazing devices for as small as they are!  I can even print from both of them if I desire!  I can make movies, play awesome games, like Plants vs. Zombies or Angry Birds, check next year’s calendar to see what date Easter falls on, translate my Japanese friend’s sentence, convert units of measure, record a voice memo and so much more that I probably don’t know I can do!

Can you tell I am excited?  In all seriousness though, I have used them both for keeping myself a little more organized, educational purposes and even for a little fun!  If you have a cool app you would like to share, feel free to do so.  Most of the apps I get are free, with the exception of a few.  I like free!  I may add a few on this blog, here and there, as I learn about new one that I like.

I hope this humored and educated you a bit on the benefits of owning a smartphone or tablet of some kind.  I understand that these devices are not for everyone (my husband for one) and some really think they are a waste of time and money.  I respect that!

Have a great evening everyone!

 

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Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

This is sooooo good!

This is sooooo good!

Since I am not back on track with meals from this past week,  I was trying to figure out what to make today that was easy and took very little ingredients that I actually had in my cupboard.  Then I had a great idea!  Over the past week we had lots of food brought in for us as we were rehearsing, getting ready for the play and while it was running.  One day we had various soups and salads.   There I discovered one of the best soups!  I went back for seconds and it was gone, so others must have thought it was good too!  I asked and found out who made it and she gave me the simple recipe.  I looked and also found one on Pinterest that was similar, so looked through my cupboards and found I had all the ingredients!

This soup is very easy and very, very good!  Everyone in the household liked it!  Here’s the recipe:

3 cups cooked Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice (there are several different varieties – use whichever kind you want!)
2 carrots (diced small)
1 cup diced chicken
1 cup flour
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks (diced small)
1/2 cup butter
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half

Start cooking the rice before you begin working on the rest of the soup.  I usually get the “quick cook” kind, but if you get regular wild rice, it will take a while before it is ready!

Chop up carrots, onions and celery.

Saute carrots, celery and onion in butter until tender.  Add flour.  Add broth, salt and pepper (I just put a pinch of each in – you probably don’t even really need salt).  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken and half and half and reheat, but don’t boil again.  Add rice right before serving (if you put it in a long time before serving, the rice will keep cooking and get mushy).

***I used my own half and half.  It was 1 tbsp of butter melted and enough milk to fill one cup with the butter in it.***

 

I hope you try it out!  You’ll find out how delicious it is!!

 

Have a great evening!

 

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Lemon Yogurt Muffins

I absolutely LOVE anything lemon!  Even as a child!  I remember, when I was in 6th grade, getting a lemon lip gloss and wanting to eat it because it smelled so good!  Of course I didn’t, but I was tempted!  I have a lemon candle I bought to use for a ‘special’ occasion.  Not sure what that will be, but I have it waiting!  So, I was looking for healthy muffin recipes using yogurt and ran into this one on Pinterest.  They are super easy to make and I really liked the taste of them!  NOt all my girls like them and it may be because of the icing, but, it meant more for me!!  🙂

Here’s the recipe:

Adapted from Cooking Light’s Tuscan Lemon Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 oz nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup canola oil

zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1 large egg, lightly beaten

cooking spray

For the lemon icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 tbsp milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center.

In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, water, lemon juice, oil and egg. Pour the liquid mixture into the well of the dry mix.

Mix until just combined. The batter should be airy and light.

Stir in the zest.

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for about 15 minutes, or until done.

Allow the muffins to cool slightly while you make the lemon icing.

This part is easy. Simply whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest, and milk. Then, drizzle over each muffin.

It makes 12, but I left 2 in the pan for my daughter after ballet, knowing we would eat them all and not save her any!.

It makes 12, but I left 2 in the pan for my daughter after ballet.

IMG_5849

Look at the gooey icing! Mmmmmm

Enjoy!!!!

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Silly Putty-Home Made

I know this has nothing to do with Christmas, but I am on a roll for home-made kid’s projects.  This is the recipe for home-made silly putty:

1/8 cup of 1 part liquid clothes starch

1/4 cup of Elmer’s glue

couple drops of food coloring

Mix together.  If it is very sticky or runny, add more starch.

Enjoy!

 

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Dough Ornament Recipe

As kids, my sister and I would make dough ornaments and then paint them.  I LOVED that!  I think I still have a few hanging around for the Christmas tree (and it’s been a few years!! :)).  If you want something fun to do with the kids, try this recipe out.  They would make great home-made Christmas gifts too!  Here’s the recipe:

4 cups of flour

1 cup of salt

1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water

Directions:

Mix flour and salt.

Slowly add the water.

Roll out and use cookie cutters to make desired shapes.  Don’t forget to put a whole in the top if you want to hang on the tree!  A straw will work good to make the hole.

Bake at 325 for about 1 hour.

Take out and cool before decorating with glitter paint, glitter glue or whatever you want to make them pretty!!

Ps.  They look like real edible cookies!  Let the kids know they would taste awful!!!  🙂

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Cut- Out Cookies

Now that Thanksgiving, my daughter’s Nutcracker AND Black Friday shopping are over I thought it’s time to think Christmas cookies!   I thought I would start posting some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes.  The first one is for cut-out cookies.  Here’s the recipe:

1 cup butter (2 sticks at room temperature)

1 1/2 cups of confectioner sugar

Mix and cream together

Add in:

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp almond extract

2 3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Mix all together well.  If dough seems crumbly, add a couple of drops of water.

Flour your hands and then mix dough with hands

Chill the dough at least 1 hour

Roll the dough about 1/8 inch thick

Cut out and place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes

Cool before decorating

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Cheesy Rice Casserole

Need a quick side dish, but don’t like to use the boxed stuff?  Here is one for you!

Ingredients:

2 cups hot rice

1 1/3 cup French fried onions

1 cup sour cream

16 oz. jar salsa (You decide hotness!)

1 cup cheddar cheese

Directions:

Mix the rice and 2/3 cup of onions together.

Spoon 1/2 rice into a 2 qt. microwave dish.

Top with sour cream.

Spoon in 1/2 of the salsa and cheese on top.

Cover with remaining rice, salsa and cheese.

Cover and microwave about 8 minutes until hot.

Top with remaining onions and microwave 1 more minute.

Enjoy!!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Well, the day is almost over already!  It was very relaxed, low-key and ,of course, filled with food!  Who is going shopping tomorrow?    I am not going to ‘brave’ the stores!  There is nothing I am looking for that bad to go into the chaos!  I did some shopping online today.  I feel good about that!  I am now gathering everything together for my daughter’s performances in The Nutcracker this weekend.   It will be a beautiful show.  She is so excited and a little nervous.  It’s exciting for her to dance with the ‘professionals’ that came in for the performance.  After that, next weekend, is my other two girls’ Nutcracker performances.  Whew! It’s all fun!  Whatever you are doing tomorrow, whether it’s staying in or going out, have a safe, fun day!

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