Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year was my first Thanksgiving to host at my house. Here are the pictures from the day:


Grandma and Chloe


Uncle Sebastian and Cooper


Us and the kids


The spread for dinner (some not pictured)


Cooper chowing down


Chloe gobbling away


John slicing his first turkey


Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mini Pecan Pies

Mini Pecan Pies
Yield: 16 mini pie shells

Ingredients: 

16 individual pie shells

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup melted butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract



Directions:

1. Bake your empty mini pie shells at 350 F for 18 minutes.
2. Chop your pecans and set aside.
3. Mix together the sugars, corn syrup, salt, cinnamon, eggs, and vanilla. 
4. Slowly beat in your melted butter.
5. Pour your mixture over the chopped pecans. Make sure not to over fill.


6. Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes. 


7. Enjoy! :)


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I will post pictures of the feast I am prepping tomorrow! So far I have baked a cheesecake, a pumpkin pie, and these babies. I will be cooking a turkey for my very first time tomorrow. I am terrified! Wish me luck and good luck to you all too!!! :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Outfits




 Very-Girly Thanksgiving Turkey on a dress I made for Chloe.


The dress is a long sleeved brown polka dot with a big pink bow to match the pink ribbon turkey I sewed at the bottom. Part of me thinks it is too over the top and the other part of me is thinking..who cares she is going to wear it once, right? :)
The dress took me about three hours to make. If you would like a tutorial on how to make the ribbon turkey, just let me know!



Here is the shirt I made for Cooper. I had planned on their turkeys matching, but as you can tell I changed my mind. I still think the little goobers turned out good. What do you all think? 


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween from a Pirate and a Parrot!


I used about 20 yards of tulle to make this tutu-dress costume! I debated back and forth about adding wings, but decided to leave it as it was and let it just be a tutu-dress versus and more accurate rendition of a parrot.

I think she looks so stink'n cute! :)


The back of the dress with all the fun parrot colors! 


My Pirate wasn't into his picture being taken.



He finally looked up and you can see a little more detail on his costume. :)


Both costumes took me a few hours/nights to make. I worked on them after the kids went to bed for about two weeks. Chloe's was just tedious from the endless cutting and tying of the tulle and Cooper's was much more detail oriented with sewing the coat and trimming out the edging with gold and lots of buttons. I sewed his pants and made his boots as well. I bought the hat and the white button up and decided to leave out a sword or an eye patch because who wants their kids waving a sword around and I knew the eye-patch would just turn into a fight not worth having. The weather was HOT on Halloween this year and it ended up being 80 degrees out when we were walking around. My son was sweating by the end of the night from all his layers.
We went trick or treating in our neighborhood and the kids made out like bandits. My house is still loaded down with candy that I am wishing would magically disappear before my husband and I eat it all. I hope everyone had a great Halloween and let me know what you thought of the costumes!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Decorations





Happy Fall Everyone! 




If I decorate at all for a holiday they must be clean and simple decorations. I can not stand gaudy and garish things in my house or near me. They make me start to itch and break out in hives. Well...not really...but you know what I mean!


I found these pine-cones in my neighborhood and bought some inexpensive spray paint to make for cheap and easy decorations. I had to spray the pine-cones twice for coverage but it was a relatively easy task to do none the less. 


I found the plastic pumpkins at Hobby Lobby for about $4 each, on sale, and spray painted them with the same black spray paint as the pine-cones. I used silver thumb tacks to write "Family" across the six pumpkins. I think they look great on my mantel and will stay up from September to November! 

Let me know what you all think!

I made the wreath last year and it is still going strong!




My pretty decoupage pumpkins are out again. They got a little water damage on them from a rain storm we had last fall, but other than that they are fine! Here is the link to that post!  

Happy Fall everyone! 


DIY Halloween Outfits

Happy Halloween everyone! Here are the Halloween outfits I made for my kids to wear to the Pumpkin Patch this week! I will post pictures of our Pumpkin adventures after we go! :)


Here is the dress I made for Chloe to wear. I chose a black chevron material to pair well with the orange polka-dot material of the pumpkin. I don't have an applique machine, so I used the iron-on fabric adhesive to attach the pumpkin, that I had cut out, and then I roughly stitched the edges of the pumpkin in black embroidery thread. I do have an embroidery application on my sewing machine, so I was able to stitch "Chloe" on to the dress to personalize it. I topped the dress off with a satiny orange ribbon and a matching ribbon hair bow. 



Here is the shirt I made for Cooper's Halloween outfit. I used the same fabric adhesive and the same black chevron to make a tie and added a small pumpkin to the tie. I was able to stitch on "Cooper" with just enough space. It turned out a little sloppier than I had hoped, but jersey material (the T shirt) is so dang hard to work with so I'm not going to be too hard on myself. 

I hope you all enjoy and let me know what you all think of their outfits! I will post shots from the Pumpkin Patch this weekend! :)



The pictures from the pumpkin patch turned out great! I love their Halloween Outfits so much! Hmmm... What to make them for next year? :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Tortellini




Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Tortellini:
Yield: Serves 6-8




Ingredients:

1 package of seven cheese tortellini
1 oz sun dried tomatoes (dried)
2 rotisserie chicken breasts (cooked)
4 cups of homemade tomato sauce (my recipe here)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, heated on Medium, add your tomato sauce, diced chicken breasts, and diced sun dried tomatoes. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Bring a large, salted, pot of water to a boil. Add your tortellini. Cook for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Add your heavy cream and cheese to your tomato sauce mixture. Stir for 1-2 minutes until incorporated.
4. Add your cooked tortellini to your sauce. Turn off your heat and gently mix together for 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

I came up with this recipe a couple nights ago on the fly. I needed to get dinner on the table fast because I had two melting down children who desperately needed food in their bellies. This whole dish took twenty minutes from start to finish to make. Paired with roasted asparagus and rolls, in the oven, dinner was ready! Both my children chowed down on the pasta and my husband devoured two large helpings like it was going out of style! I hope you all enjoy as much as they did!



Chloe chowing down! :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Three Cheese Lasagna


Three Cheese Lasagna
Yield: Serves 8-10


Ingredients:
1 box lasagna noodles (the regular kind NOT the no-cook kind)
2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
1 egg
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of dry basil
6-8 cups of homemade tomato sauce (my recipe here)



Directions:
1. In a large pot bring your salted water to a boil. Boil your lasagna noodles for exactly 6 minutes, drain, and rinse.
2. In your Kitchen Aid mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together your ricotta, 1 cup of your mozzarella, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, olive oil, and basil. Whisk for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. 
3. In a large dish pour half of your tomato sauce on the bottom. Place a layer of noodles across the bottom length-wise. depending on the size of your dish 3-4 noodles should fit. I do a layer of 4 noodles with about 1/4" overlapping. You will have a total of four layers in this lasagna!
4. Spread out 1/3 of your cheese mixture across your layer of noodles. Place a second layer of noodles on top. Spread out another 1/3 of your cheese mixture and pour some tomato sauce in this layer. Repeat this process again, finishing your cheese mixture. Place your last layer of noodles on top, pour the remainder of your tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle the remainder of your mozzarella cheese on top of your lasagna!
5. Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes. I do not put tin foil on top of my lasagna because I feel like it makes the noodles more mushy. It could just all be in my head though.... :)


Lasagna is a family favorite here! This dish makes enough to feed our whole family for at least two days so plan for left overs! Let me know if you try out my recipe and what you think of it! Enjoy!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Making Changes

After thinking about this, since my daughter was born in 2012, I have finally decided to start selling what I make. I thought about opening an Etsy shop and I also went to a local boutique that offered to consign my items, but neither appeal to me. I did my research over a year ago and then put this idea to rest. now that things have calmed down I am inspired to start it up again! I am a local gal who makes custom ordered dresses, bibs, hair bows, for little girls and boys. I have had a few orders, here and there, from friends and am now expanding! Wish me luck and check out Cooper and Chloe's Facebook page for sale items! Thank you all!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Stuffed Peppers




Stuffed Peppers
Yield: Serves 6-8

Stuffing Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, minced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup of rice, cooked
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jar of tomato sauce 
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1-2 teaspoons of dried red pepper flakes (heat preference of your choice)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1/3 cup of vegetable oil



Directions:

1. Cook your rice in a separate pot or microwave. Set aside, when cooked.
2. In a large saucepan, add your vegetable oil and bring to a medium heat. When your pan is hot, add your ground beef, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. With a spatula, gently incorporate your meat. Make sure to brown your meat on all sides while breaking it up into smaller pieces. This takes about 10 minutes. 
3. Add your cooked rice to your browned meat, along with your jar of tomato sauce.
4. Cut up your onion, garlic, and your tomatoes, and mix into the meat and rice. 
5. Turn your heat down to low, cover and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes until your onions are translucent. Continue to mix your stuffing every 10 minutes when covered.




Making Stuffed Peppers:

1. Cut off the tops of your green bell peppers and with your fingers scoop out the inside pulp and seeds. Set your empty bell peppers on a foil lined baking sheet and preheat your oven to 400 F.
2. Spoon in your Stuffing until you are at the brim of the pepper. Don't over fill or else the stuffing will not stay in while baking.
3. Sprinkle a little mozzarella cheese on the tops of each pepper. 
4. Cover with foil (gently so as to not knock over the peppers) and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes take the foil off and let the cheese brown for another 10 minutes. 
5. Serve with your favorite pasta dish (my Linguine with Tomato Cream sauce shown above), and some yummy steamed veggies! I love the greens from the vegetables and the reds from the sauces popping off the plate!
6. Any left over Stuffing can be frozen in Ziploc bags. I actually double this recipe when I make it to be able to freeze half. When you wish to use your frozen stuffing, just pull it out the night before and pop it in your fridge to let it unthaw. 


Note: I picked these bell peppers from my garden and that's why they are a little on the small side. If you also have small peppers to use lower your bake times by half: 15 minutes with foil and 5 minutes without foil in the oven. Enjoy!! 





Monday, July 22, 2013

Healthy Frozen Yogurt


Healthy Frozen Yogurt
Yield: Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
1 cup spinach
1 banana
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup milk

Directions:

1. Add all your ingredients to your blender and blend for 20-30 seconds. Turn your blender off and with a spoon or spatula, mix your ingredients together. You will overheat your motor if you don't do this. Continue to blend for 20-30 second intervals and mix with your spoon until it is all blended together. Serve immediately and enjoy!

I love making this for a healthy snack for the kids and I to enjoy on a hot summer day. It is completely guilt-free and is packed full of protein and vitamins! We love this yummy frozen treat in my house and I hope you will too!

If you wish to freeze this for later than pour into a popsicle  mold and freeze for about 8 hours. I will post a picture tomorrow of what that looks like! :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Slow Cooker Lasagna


Slow Cooker Lasagna 
Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

1/2 box of lasagna noodles (9 noodles)
1 pound of ricotta
4 cups of your homemade meat sauce (I used my Bolognese Sauce recipe)
2 cups of shredded mozzarella


Directions:

1. Turn your slow cooker on low for 4 hours.
2. Pour half of your meat sauce in the bottom of your slow cooker (2 cups) and spread out.
3. Line three uncooked lasagna noodles on top of your meat sauce. Spread half of your ricotta cheese on top of the noodles.
4. Repeat step 3: Place another line of three noodles and spread the remainder of your ricotta on top.
5. Top with three more noodles in a line and pour the remainder of your meat sauce on top. Spread out evenly. You now have a three layered lasagna cooking in your Crock Pot!
6. Cover and cook on low for 3.5 hours. When there is thirty minutes left sprinkle your mozzarella on top of your lasagna and cover for the remaining thirty minutes. Serve immediately.



I made this recipe up on the fly. I am trying to come up with some recipes for this fall when school is back in session and we will be busy busy all day long. This is my first attempt at a slow-cooker pasta dish and boy did my kids devour it. My husband chowed it down as well. Overall, for a first time pasta dish in the slow cooker, I am super excited for it's ease and success!


Enjoy!