Friday, May 30, 2014

Blueberry Pancakes


Blueberry Pancakes
Yield: 2-3 dozen

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
2 1/4 cup milk
2-3 cups frozen blueberries

Directions:

1. Separate your eggs, in two bowls, and whisk your egg whites into peaks. Set aside.
2. Melt your butter and slowly whisk it into your egg yolk.
3. Add your vinegar, milk, vanilla, and sugar to your egg yolk bowl.
4. Add in your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and mix well.
5. Fold in your egg whites
6. Heat your griddle to medium and gently ladle out your batter. Sprinkle blueberries into the freshly poured batter. Once you see bubbles, flip your pancake. The pancakes should be a golden color.

I like my pancakes on the thinner side, as you can see from the picture, but if you like yours thick leave out the vinegar and 1/4 cup of milk. I topped these pancakes with a blueberry sauce I concocted. Here is the blueberry sauce recipe:

Blueberry Sauce:

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Put all ingredients in a microwaveable bowl and mix well.
2. Microwave for 1.5-2 minutes until warm.
3. With your fork, gently mash your blueberries extracting all that yummy goodness! Don't mash all the blueberries, but just enough to make your concoction saucy. Drizzle over your stack of pancakes and enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Baked Rigatoni



Baked Rigatoni
Yield: Serves 6-8




Ingredients:

2 lbs Ricotta Cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella (separated)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 
1 egg
6 cups homemade tomato sauce or sauce of your choice
1 box of Rigatoni
salt and pepper




Directions:

1. Cook your pasta in boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In your mixer, add the ricotta cheese, Parmesan, 1 cup of mozzarella, egg, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix well with the whisk attachment for about a minute.
3. Detach your bowl and add your cooked pasta to the cheese. Incorporate all that cheesy goodness into the pasta.
4. In a 9x13 dish, add your tomato sauce. Pour your cheesy pasta mixture into the sauce and spread out.
5. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top and cover with tin foil.
6. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes with the foil on. Take off the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes to get the cheese extra yummy on top!




Yummy!!! So good! 
Seriously, if you love cheese, this is the dish for you! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Double Chocolate Banana Nut Muffins

My cute baking buddy and taste tester!

Double Chocolate Banana Nut Muffins
Yield: 30-32



Ingredients:

4 very ripe bananas 
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk 
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 bag Ghirardelli chocolate chips



Directions:

1. In your mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add your bananas, oil, milk, sugar, and eggs and mix well for about a minute.
2. Add in your flour, salt, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, and cocoa and mix well for about 30 seconds. Your batter should be about as thick as pancake batter.
3. Remove your bowl and whisk and add in your nuts and chocolate chips. Swirl the whisk by hand to incorporate the chocolate chips and nuts.
4. Line your muffin tins for easy clean up and because the chocolate chips tend to sink to the bottom.
5. Use a 1/3 cup scoop to fill your cups.
6. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.  


Yummy! Eat up! 
Chocolate and banana go hand and hand together, yum! I pretty much love every variety of banana muffin known to man so double chocolate it is! I love how moist and fluffy they are. Yumm!!!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week



It is currently Teacher Appreciation Week! That means it is time to wrangle the brain and internet to figure out what to give to those awesome ladies (and gents) that put up with our kids, teach them everything they know, and give us several hours out of the day of uninterrupted mommy-time! This year I baked some banana nut chocolate chip muffins (yummy) and personalized a pretty chevron tumbler. I used my Cricut to cut out the name in vinyl that I put on the tumbler. I used the Lyrical Letters cartridge. I let my son pick out what went inside the tumbler, for his teacher, and he put in a pack of gum and a bag of popcorn! 
What did you give to all the teachers in your lives this week?




DIY Shell Centerpiece



We live at the beach and I love cool colors so naturally my house is filled with whites, blues, and silver. I love how the colors look together! So, at the beach a few weeks ago, we collected shells and came home with a full bucket of pretty shells. I decided to brighten them up by spray painting them and filled the hurricane vases with about thirty shells each. I think they turned out beautiful and I love them! I think they look great on my dining room table and add a bit of elegance to my less than elegant house! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Recovered Bar Stools



Before

                               

During


After


I was gifted two bar stools from a friend of mine who was moving. The wicker seats did not match my decor so I decided to make them more "me"! I gave them a fresh coat of black paint, sawed off the top nobbies, and then covered them with foam, batting, and fabric. I ended up using one and a half yards of foam and batting and two yards of fabric per bar stool, which was a lot more than I thought I would use. I had to make two trips to the store because when I had originally bought those lengths I thought it was enough for both and instead ended up using everything I had bought for just one stool. Oops! Lesson learned that you should always measure large! I secured everything with my staple gun and didn't have to sew anything. I love how they turned out and think they go great at my kitchen bar! 



Friday, May 2, 2014

Chevron Burlap Wreath



This chevron burlap wreath was so easy to make! All you need are a couple supplies: two rolls of chevron burlap (found at Hobby Lobby), one roll of burlap about 6" wide, twine, wood letter, and a straw wreath base. I bought all the items when they were on sale 50% off making for a cheap and fun craft! 
Wrap your chevron burlap around your wreath base tightly and secure with hot glue. Shape your burlap bow and secure with wire or your twine. Then, wrap the twine around the middle securing it to your wreath. Lastly, embellish the letter any way you wish. I spray painted mine and hot glued it into place. I love my simple summer wreath! Enjoy!

New Mom Savings Guide

My darling daughter at one week old! She is now two years old!!



1. Sign up for formula checks with specific companies. Even if breast feeding works out for you and your baby you can always give away what you don't need. I signed up, for free, with all of my children while I was pregnant with them. I just signed up baby #3! I, of course, hope to be able to breastfeed but its better to go ahead and sign up and have free goodies coming to your house than find out you desperately need it and then waiting for them to come. Similac has a Strong Moms program and sign up is here. Enfamil has a Family Beginnings Program and sign up is here. Both programs mail you formula checks, that you use like coupons to get cheaper (and even free) formula, samples of formula, and lots of other freebie goodies! I also signed my mom up because they don't send the same things to everyone (no idea why) and its always nice to have extra. For example, with my daughter they only sent me formula checks, but for my mom they always sent boxes of formula. It was great being able to use both and wonderful that my mom lives so close so I can use her! :)

2. Order your FREE breast pump! This doesn't need to happen until 30 days before your due date because that is when your order will process. I have mine already on order with Yummy Mummy, but they wont ship it out until a couple weeks before my due date. I am a bit of an over planner you may be able to see... Call your health insurance company and find out what you need to do to get your FREE pump. My insurance company emailed me a list of companies that I could order my pump from. I chose Yummy Mummy because I could do it all online. My checkout total is $0 for a Medela Pump in Style, which goes for about $350 at Target. How awesome is that??? Also, lactation specialists are now covered under the new laws. I don't know exactly how it works, because they were not covered for my last two kids and this will be my first kid that they are (yay!!). So, if you need one don't hesitate to make a call to a lactation specialist in your town now that they are covered by your insurance!

3. Using coupons on baby items will help save you so much money! I did a post a while back about saving money on Pampers and Huggies at CVS, here.  Coupons in general are an awesome tool and are even more awesome when you are getting the same great products for less. There are coupons available for almost every baby item available such as diapers, wipes, baby wash, diaper pails/refills, and even baby gear! Recently I got a jogging stroller at Target for a whopping $50 with tax just by pairing a promotion they were running, a coupon they had out, and using my Red Card. It made my day! You can't even buy a used jogging stroller (in decent condition) for $50! The extra stroller will come in handy for sure and was well worth the $50! :)

4. Buying your baby's clothes with a money off coupon (ex: $10 off $20 purchase) and just buying a couple items, that are marked down, to get to that $20 mark (or what ever the coupon states) will help you save a lot of money on new clothes for your baby. Once your baby is born, take care of those clothes! Remove the stains before they set in, make sure to keep them in decent condition, and then once your child has outgrown them you can go sell them to places like Kid 2 Kid and Once Upon a Child for cash!! Use that cash to buy the next size up and keep going! It is a great way to spend very little out of pocket on that ever growing wardrobe your child will have. Also, speaking of their wardrobe let me give you a quick lesson on just how little you will need for the first months (newborn-6 months): 10 pajamas, 10 onesies, a couple outfits, a couple mix and match bottoms/tops, etc. That is it. I learned my lesson with my first. Seriously he had over 100 articles of clothing before he was even born. Some were gifts, but most I had bought. He wore maybe half of what he had before he had outgrown it. For my second child, my daughter, I was so much smarter about what she needed and only bought a couple things. I am doing that again for baby #3. I know how fun it is to shop for your little bundle, but just remember they really don't need that much! :)

More to come at a later date. Questions or comments appreciated!