Thursday, October 8, 2015

Oreo "Mud" Bars

 So I was looking for some ideas for snacks for a Halloween Party.  I found this and thought it'd be a fun thing to make, considering I'm planning on having a small get together at the end of this month!!
It's October Everybody!!! :)
1 package of Oreos
1 bag of Marshmallows
4 Tbsp. Butter


STEP 1: Get a Ziploc and put all the cookies inside.
STEP 2: Crush into crumbs.

STEP 3: Put marshmallows and butter into a pan.
 Put on low. Stir constantly.

 STEP 4: Stir until melted and mix with all the Oreo crumbs.
STEP 5: Butter a pie pan, then pat the mix in.

Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving!!!

Hope you Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mulled Crockpot Apple Cider

  'Tis the season...
of warm apple pie, crunchy leaves, pumpkins galore, and of apple cider.
Don't get me wrong. Buying a jug of good quality apple cider
and simply heating it up is completely acceptable.
 But when it takes so little effort to make something soooo much better...why would we not?? :)

Mulled Apple Cider

1/2 gallon apple cider
8 whole cloves
10 Allspice berries
6 cinnamon sticks
the peel of one orange
the peel of one lemon
1/4 cup-2/3 cup real maple syrup

Simply place the cloves, allspice berries, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot. Peel your lemon and orange, being careful to avoid the white "stuff" right under the peel. Add your peel to the pan.

Next measure your maple syrup. Use 1/4 cup to 2/3 cup, depending
 on the level of sweetness you would like. I prefer to use a 1/2 cup...plenty of sweetness for me.

Add the golden goodness, known as maple syrup, to your pot.
Note: You may lick the measuring cup. Nobody is watching.

Measure out a half gallon (8 cups) of apple cider.

Add the apple cider to your pot. Bring all ingredients to a boil. Remove from heat.

Transfer all the warm, steaming deliciousness to a crock pot. Put it on the lowest
setting for 2-3 hours....if you can wait that long. The beauty of the crock pot is
 that you can put this cider on for a party and it will keep warm with no effort by you.
It doesn't get much better than that. :)
*Before serving, you may strain the spices and peel if you would like.

When you are ready to enjoy, ladle it into your favorite mug.
 Mmmm....feels like autumn...My favorite time of the year.
You may notice the logo on my favoritest mug...
if you have never heard of the
THE OUTPOST MERCANTILE, check it out. You won't be sorry.


I found this recipe from The Pioneer Woman (I love her) and tweaked it a bit.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Burlap Wreath!

I am extremely excited to share that my husband and I bought a house yesterday!  Fun story...In our purchase agreement, the owners asked for additional time past closing since we put an offer in not long after they put the house on the market. After all negotiations had been had, it was determined that they would get an additional 30 days once we signed the paper work. We were fine with it. They were fine with it. All hunky dory! Well, more exciting news. After signing the papers, they informed us that they had already found a place and should be out this weekend, leaving us 4 days to pack. Mind you, we have only just begun throwing some stuff in boxes, thinking we were getting ahead of the curve. Be prepared. This will be a breeze we said. Ha!  
Anyway, we came home from work all determined to get a bunch packed. Unfortunately, my husband had to run in to work- disaster averted, but he was gone the majority of the night, leaving me to pack alone. Unmotivated as I was, I found myself stalling. After finally convincing myself I had to do something, I packed both bathrooms. Don't worry, I left necessities. Then I remembered I had to do my post. So, telling myself I will be very motivated's coming on the weekend...we have plenty of time...I decided to finish my first house project and do my post! 
I WILL be motivated tomorrow!

Now, as for the project, I am not going to give step by step only because I tried following the ones I saw online and I just started to get frustrated. I will tell you some things I found helpful.  Also, buy a lot of burlap. I went through much more than I thought I would. The other piece of advice is to twist the ribbon before starting your next loop. 

Quick tutorial:

1. Gather your supplies. 
2. Paint letter. Set aside to dry. 
3. Using wire, secure the ribbon to the inside of your wreath.
4. Slip the ribbon in the first loop. 
5. Behind, twist the ribbon and then feed through the second loop.
6. Again, in the the third loop.
7. Twist a couple times and bring the ribbon back down to the inside of the wreath and repeat.
8. Once you get to the end, secure with wire. 
9. Make bow.
10. Weave color of your choice in between.
11. Secure letter & bow and...

TA DA! :)

I know it sounds a little confusing. I hope the pictures will help some, but I found you just need to play with it. Keep in mind, it doesn't look great right away. Have some patience (thank goodness my friend was around when I started it! She kept me going. ; ) and have fun!

What you need:

90 ft of wired burlap ribbon- Yes, I used all 90 ft!
Accent color ribbon of choice
wire wreath
paint colors
wooden letter
ribbon or string to attach letter
paint brushes 
QTips (I used these to make the dots on the M)


Monday, September 7, 2015

Popsicle Stick Puzzles

If you are looking for a fun and creative craft, look no further!  After spending an evening at a "Paint Night" party with my cousins and aunt, I was still in the mood to paint. :)   

When I realized we needed to come up with a craft to do at work the next day, my eye landed on an ice cream bucket filled with these craft sticks.  I remembered seeing popsicle stick puzzles all over pinterest, so we decided to go with it!  Rather than pasting a photo over the sticks we decided to pull out our selection of acrylic paints instead.

1. First we arranged the amount of sticks we wanted to use snugly together, then carefully taped them with some masking tape.

2. Then we flipped them over to have the clean slate for our "art."

3. Next, we painted them!

4. They dried pretty quickly so we separated them once we were done painting so that they wouldn't be stuck together when fully dried.

5.  When the puzzle is completely dry, you mix up the sticks and put it together!

Here are the puzzles we made (& named!), from left to right:

Alaskan White Out
Summer Breeze
Autumn Bliss
Japanese Sunset
Four Seasons
Japanese Cherry Blossom
Love Birds
Apple Orchard

***To make it fun, we took a picture of each puzzle then printed a color copy of it.  We stored each puzzle with the picture so that we would know what we were trying to achieve when playing with these puzzles! So much fun! :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Healthy Zucchini Muffins

Once of the best things about the end of summer is collecting all of the wonderful fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden and orchard.  The hubs and I live in an apartment so we don't have our own garden, but we have been lucky enough to get fresh produce from my parents and grandparents.  They have been stocking us up with raspberries, cherries, green beans, peas, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, and sweet corn!

We had a large zucchini sitting on the counter so, while Tony was out golfing, I decided to do some baking with it.  I absolutely love zucchini bread, but I didn't want to load it with oil or butter like most recipes call for.  I tweaked a few recipes that I found to make this healthier version of the beloved zucchini bread.  The pictures really don't do them justice!  They are so flavorful and moist!

Don't be afraid to make substitutions if you don't have certain ingredients.  You could replace the chia egg with a regular egg, the almond milk with cows milk, whole wheat pastry flour with all-purpose flour, etc.  They are great served warm with a little butter or cooled.


Dry Ingredients:
1 2/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oats 

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. almond milk
1/4 c. applesauce
1 chia egg*
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. loosely packed, grated zucchini


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, and wet ingredients in another.
Pour dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture and stir just until combined.
Scoop into lined or greased muffin tins.
Sprinkle a little oats on top for fun, if you'd like.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

*To make a chia egg: Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, then let rest to "gel up" for about 15 minutes before using.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Peanut Butter & Date Protein Balls

Recently my husband asked me if I could pick up some protein bars for him next time I'm at the store.  Of course, me being me, I wanted to try a homemade version before throwing money into commercial bars that have unnecessary "filler" ingredients.

Using's recipe analyzer, we were able to choose a recipe with a high protein and fiber content and very little sodium.  The sodium and protein content will vary depending on the brand of peanut butter and fiber/protein powder you use.  We used Full Circle Organic Creamy Unsweetened Peanut Butter (only contains peanuts and salt!) and Garden of Life Raw Fiber (Beyond Organic Fiber) powder.  Using these ingredients, the recipe analyzer says one serving of these little protein balls contains 7.8 grams of fiber and 9.2 grams of protein!

Combining only four ingredients in a food processor will get you on your way.

Blend until it's all well combined.

Make sure the texture is firm enough to hold its shape, adjusting ingredients if needed.

Roll into balls and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter & Date Protein Balls
Recipe adapted from Vegan Family Recipes
Recipe makes 10 servings.


10 tablespoons (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp) organic natural peanut butter, creamy
12 dates, pitted
4 tsp. chia seeds, ground
2 level scoops raw fiber powder (Garden of Life brand)


Blend all ingredients in food processor until well combined.
Using a small scoop, form into 20 balls.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Homemade Strawberry "Ice cream"

Finding simple, quick recipes is my goal right now. Something cheap and yummy, but tastes good. While scrolling through Facebook, I saw this idea. Three ingredients?  That sounds quick and cheap.  Deciding to try it didn't take too much of an effort as it said strawberries and ice cream and, did I mention, three ingredients!
This is a great snack to prepare with kids. Mine happens to be 30 something and 6 feet tall, but he's my kid. ;)
So grab your few ingredients and make yourself a treat!

Thank you!

Homemade Strawberry "Ice cream"

1 pound of cleaned strawberries
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
16 oz of cold heavy whipping cream

This recipe is so easy, you can probably tell what to do by my "fabulous" pictures. ;) But just in case you need a little direction, here you go:

1. Set a few strawberries aside for decoration.
2. Mash the rest and set aside. I used fresh strawberries and left all the juice for flavor.
3. In a mixer, add your whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk and blend until stiff peaks. 
4. Pour in a container of your choice.
5. Garnish and freeze.
3- 4 hours you'll have "soft serve"
4-6 hours you'll obviously have "not soft serve"


Check these out!