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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blended Chocolate Coffee


Some of the simplest things in life are the and chocolate.  Mix them together and it pretty much becomes heaven in a cup.  :)

This is one of my favorite treats that I mix up in less than 5 minutes.  All you need is:

A BLENDER (personal or full size)

I make it a daily habit to freeze any leftover coffee remaining in the coffee 
pot at the end of the afternoon.  I simply freeze it in ice cube trays 
and empty them into a container that I leave in 
the freezer. It really is a win-win. :)  Coffee cubes are ready anytime I am in the mood for a treat and no coffee goes to waste! :)


Now all you need to do is put about a dozen coffee cubes in your blender....

Now add 1 cup chocolate milk and blend until it is well blended and there are no chunks of coffee cubes remaining.

Now the last step is to pour it all into your favorite cup and ENJOY! Make sure to use a good quality straw. :)

*You can easily alter this... use more or less chocolate milk if you prefer a different consistency. 
* You can also make several servings at one time if you use a full size blender. Just be sure 
to have plenty to go around. .. trust me! ;)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Refrigerator Cookies

My little sister had this recipe in her cook book, so we decided to try it out...

We really liked them!!!


         1 cup butter, softened         
3 cups sifted, all purpose flour 
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Mix butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
Stir in flour and nuts.
Divide dough into 3 parts, each about 7 inches long.
Wrap and chill at least 4 hours.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut rolls into 1/8-inch slices.
Place on ungreased pan.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown.
Immediately remove from baking sheet.

Makes about 7 dozen cookies.
Hope you enjoy!!! :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Pepper Popper" Tortilla Pizza

Last week, I needed to make dinner, but didn't have anything planned. I didn't have any meat defrosted, and I was feeling too lazy to do it. I know it's not that hard to take some chicken out of the freezer, but it was just one of those nights. I decided to throw together a veggie tortilla pizza. I started with cream cheese as a base, then started loading on other things we had on hand. We ended up with this "Pepper Popper" tortilla pizza. We liked so much, we've already made it a second time!

For any of you that like jalapeno poppers, you will LOVE this pizza. My sister, Sarah, posted a delicious bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper recipe, and they are to die for! You could switch up the ingredients in this pizza to better suit your tastes. Maybe add some meat (if you're not feeling lazy like I was!), mushrooms, spinach, or minced garlic. This pizza does bring some heat, so if you don't like spicy food, omit the jalapenos, and use your favorite cheese instead of pepper jack.

Since I made it on a whim, I didn't think to take pictures of all the steps. When I made it a second time, I meant to, but I completely forgot. Must be the early Alzheimer's kickin' in...


2 large flour tortillas
coconut oil (about 2 teaspoons)
5 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow pepper, thinly sliced
2 large jalapeno peppers, sliced (& seeds removed)
1 large red onion, sliced
6-8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

*This makes 2 tortilla pizzas. When I'm giving the directions, just divide everything between the two.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Rub coconut oil on entire tortilla (both sides) until coated. (Be sure to get the edges, too!)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet pan on medium heat.
Add the peppers and onions and saute 'til slightly tender.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Spread cream cheese across the tops of the tortillas. (I used my fingers to squish it around. It seemed easier.)
Top the cream cheese with the peppers and onions.
Sprinkle on the pepper jack cheese.
Grate the Parmesan over the pepper jack until a decent layer is on top.
Bake on a sheet pan until cheese is melted.
Slide the pizzas off the pan, directly on the rack, and let bake until tortillas are crisp on the bottom and the edges.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting.

Devour. :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

D.I.Y. Easter Egg "Basket"

Easter is almost here!!  Here is an easy, fun project to do with kids or to use as a cute centerpiece.  

What you need:

Water Balloons
Candy of choice

Gather your supplies!

In the first step, you have to put the candy inside the balloon.  This is not easy with one person.  Just have someone hold it open and drop in 4-6 pieces of candy.  Blow up balloon just like you would without candy in it.  Make it about 3-4 inches long or a nice "egg" shape. 

Using 1 part water to 1 part glue, soak yarn just enough to get it all moistened. *Or check out our D.I.Y Mod Podge!  It worked great! To make your own, click HERE!

We put too much glue on one. Dipping it got it too saturated so we switched to doing it as in the picture below. 

Carefully wrap the balloon with the yarn, making sure to leave enough space to be able to remove the balloon but also small enough so the candy won't fall out. 

Above is the one that was too saturated.  It probably would have been fine if we gave it more time to dry but I would recommend not using so much glue mixture. 

 Find a place to hang to dry.  Lay a cloth on the floor to catch dripping glue. *Notice the two end ones.  They were not as saturated as the middle one.  They dried better and looked better.*

Allow to dry completely.  We waited overnight. 

Using a pin, pop the balloon.  I used a tweezers to remove the balloon.  It worked slick. 

TA DAAA! :)  Aren't they adorable.  A cute decoration that has a yummy treat.  Have fun!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Organizing DVD's and CD's

Don't we all wish we were a little more organized?? Here is a simple solution to keep all those photo cd's, games, and dvd's a little more organized!

Now you will be able to fit this big pile of games into a small amount of space.  Not only will it look neat, you will be able to easily access them all! :) 
Now you can decide 
if you want to alphabetize all the games or not... I don't and my kids don't seem to mind. They don't usually even know what game they are looking for until they flip through it and find the "right" one.  ;)

All you need to purchase is the photo books along with the sleeves. They can be found in the photo section of most major retailers. I found mine at Walmart.  The "book" was less than $4 and I paid less than $1 for every 5 sleeves to slip the games in.

Now all you need to do, is to remove the games from the original package and insert it into a sleeve and put it into the correctly labeled book. Next step...chuck the original packaging! Yep, as in throw the case in the garbage! I know this may be difficult for some of you but trust me, you will thank me later! ;)

I use this simple solution for all of our video games, all of our photo cd's (lots), and all of our dvd movies!! I can't believe how much space this saves...and everything is so much more organized!
Something about organization makes me happy. ...hope this makes you happy, too!! :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kettle Corn (in 10 Minutes!)

When making popcorn, I normally stick to my easy stove-top recipe. (You can find that here!) It's salty and delicious, but tonight I was in the mood for something a bit sweeter. I didn't want to go through the work of making caramel corn, plus I wanted it right away and didn't want to wait. Yes, I know....complaints, complaints.

I decided to try a variation of my stove-top popcorn. Using sugar instead of salt during the popping process. It turned out great! A perfect balance between sweet and salty with a caramelized crunchy coating. :)


2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. popcorn kernels

Start by heating the oil over medium heat until watery.

Add the sugar and stir.
It will begin to get thicker, the sugar will dissolve and begin to change color.

Add the popcorn kernels.

Cover and begin shaking the pan back and forth, side to side over the burner. (Remember to use hot mitts!)

Listen for the popping. Keep shaking it until the popping begins to slow. (Keeping it moving will help keep the sugar from burning, as well as coating the kernels as they're popping. Be ready for a workout!)

When the popping slows, quickly dump into a large bowl. 
While it's still sticky, quickly sprinkle with desired amount of salt and stir it up. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Look at that sweet & salty crunchy coating....

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Overnight Caramel Rolls

This is a recipe that I received years ago from another home schooling mother.  I have altered it a bit, but I am thankful to her for giving me this recipe.  It has become one of our family favorites!

You will need:
1 package yeast
3 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoon salt
10-11 cups flour

Note:  I quadrupled this batch, so keep that in mind when looking at the pictures. 

Pour water into large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast on warm water.  Add sugar and oil.
Beat in 3 cups flour into mixture.  Then add the salt.  Mix in remaining flour. 
Make a soft dough and knead lightly until a soft dough is formed.  

Put the dough into oiled bowl.  Cover with a damp towel.  
Let rise for 4 hours.

Divide the dough into two and roll each part out into a rectangular shape.

Melt 1/2 cup butter and spread it on the dough.  
Sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar.

Cut the dough in half. 
 A pizza cutter works great! : )

Then roll up.  Slice into 1 1/2 inch slices.

In the meantime....Make your caramel sauce.

You will need: 

2 Cups brown sugar
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup corn syrup

Heat on medium-high heat until mixed well.  Do not boil.
Pour sauce into pans.  
After slicing the dough, lay each roll onto the sauce leaving a little room for 'growth'.  
Let rise 'til morning.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done. 
Remove from oven.
Let cool for 5 minutes.
Then invert pan onto counter.
May be placed back in the pan or on a serving platter with the caramel side up.

Sorry for not having a finished photo with the baked rolls.....I forgot to take pictures the next morning.  : (  
I guess we were too anxious to eat them.  : )


Monday, April 7, 2014

Cauliflower Crust

Due to health reasons, so many people seem to be reducing their intake of gluten, or cutting it out completely. No bread? I think I would die. I'm a sucker when it comes to a good slice of homemade bread or pizza, and I can't imagine never being able to indulge in a greasy yummy stick of cheesy bread. 

I realize though, that sometimes people don't have the choice to live gluten-free. Why should they miss out?

I found many recipes for cauliflower crust and created one that worked with what I had on hand. 
Oh. My. Goodness.

My husband and I both loved it! We ate almost the entire thing and didn't even feel guilty afterwards. :)
There is absolutely no flour in this chewy crust. You can top it with your favorite pizza toppings or just cheese, and it will be delicious either way.


1/2 head of cauliflower
2 eggs
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tsp. dried oregano
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

additional cheese 
your choice of toppings (pepperoni, onion, etc.)
marinara sauce


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spread a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside.
Break or cut your cauliflower into chunks and place in the food processor.
Pulse until it resembles rice.
In a microwave safe dish, cover the cauliflower and microwave for 10 minutes.
Transfer it into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, 1 cup cheese, oregano, garlic, and salt & pepper.
Mix together until well blended.
Dump onto the center of your prepared baking sheet and press into a "crust".
Bake the crust for 20-30 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and top with your choice of toppings.
Return to the oven and bake until cheese is melted.


(Directions with Photos)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spread a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside.
Break or cut your cauliflower into chunks and place in the food processor.

Pulse until it resembles rice.

In a microwave safe dish, cover the cauliflower and microwave for 10 minutes.

(I just used a bowl then covered it with a heavy plate, and it worked perfectly.)

Transfer it into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, 1 cup cheese, oregano, garlic, and salt & pepper.

Mix together until well blended.

Dump onto the center of your prepared baking sheet and press into a "crust".

Bake the crust for 20-30 minutes, or until it is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and top with your choice of toppings.

Return to the oven and bake until cheese is melted.

We used our cauliflower crust to make cheesy "breadsticks" and dipped them in marinara sauce.
Delicious! :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Summer Mason Jar "Cups"

Snow...rain....cold...I don't know where you are from but I know a portion of the U.S. has been complaining about winter weather running into spring.  Being from Tennessee, I am not enjoying the normal 70 degree for this time of year.  Although it's reluctant to arrive, we all know that summer WILL get here, even if we end up skipping spring all together.  In anticipation, I decided to find something to hold my, uh hmm, water for those hot summer days.  Who am I kidding---a refreshing Mexican Madra on a hot day won't hurt anyone. Sitting outside and visiting is a daily occurrence for my husband and I when the nice weather arrives. 

I have had these mason jar cups for years, never using them.  The other day I saw someone do this on Pinterest and I thought it was adorable and useful.  

Funny husband and I were sitting on the deck one day and a bird flew by.  You can probably guess where this is going.  I ended up receiving a big plop of poo right on my head.  It was hilarious.  Along with keeping the bugs out, this simple idea can keep out the poo too. :)


Mason Jars (handles not necessary but they are very cute)
Screw tops
Cupcake liners

Check these out!