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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Coconut Triple Layer Cake

Cooking spray
1 tablespoon cake flour
3 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large egg whites
1 2/3 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon butter extract
Fluffy Coconut Frosting
2/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour. Lightly spoon sifted flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Combine sugar, butter, and oil in a large bowl, and beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the milk and yogurt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in extracts.
Pour cake batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap cake pans once on countertop to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 2/3 cup Fluffy Coconut Frosting, and top with another cake layer. Spread with 2/3 cup frosting, and top with the remaining cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle top of cake with coconut. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Selecting Fruits and Vegetables

With modern farming, processing and delivery, many stores are able to put produce out for sale within a day or two after it is picked. Ask your store's produce manager for delivery days so you can get to your favorite fruits and veggies before quality declines.

Vegetables that are characteristic color, shape and size generally have the best taste and texture. However, good produce doesn't have to be picture perfect. Some of the best products don't look very good. Most bananas, for example, have a fuller flavor if they are speckled.

Contrary to some consumer practices, thumping or shaking a melon does not indicate ripeness. Instead, authorities recommend feeling a product. In general, produce that's too soft is too ripe; if it's too hard, it's not ripe enough. Try the sniff test, too. With certain fruits, like peaches and melons, a strong scent means they're ripening nicely.

Fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers may be fresher and tastier than those shipped long distances from larger farms. Once again, ask your grocery store's produce manager if any is in stock.

Many communities sponsor weekly farmers' markets to provide a central, in-town site for small farms to sell their produce directly to consumers. Contact your local Extension office for information about local markets.

Take a weekend drive into the country to look for roadside stands where farm families sell their produce, usually picked just hours before you buy it. Or visit a farm that allows you to pick your own strawberries, blueberries, peaches and apples. Your local county Extension agent can direct you to such places.

Probably one of the most important tips for finding great-tasting produce is to buy in season, when possible. Here's a guide to when certain fruits and vegetables are at their peak.

Summer: apricots, blueberries, cherries, eggplant, fresh herbs, green beans, hot peppers, melon, okra, peaches, plums, sweet corn, sweet peppers, tomatoes, zucchini.

Fall: apples, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, grapes, kale, pears, persimmons, pumpkins, winter squash, yams.

Winter: beets, cabbage, carrots, citrus fruits, daikon radishes, onions, rutabagas, turnips, winter squash.

Spring: asparagus, blackberries, green onions, leeks, lettuces, new potatoes, peas, red radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, watercress.

shared on Homemaking Monday at 11th Heaven' Homemaking Haven

6 Word Saturday

My son came home last night around midnight after being gone 10 days on a mission trip. We sat up and listened to many of his stories for a few hours. I am sure that he has even more to share with us. But for my six word saturday phrase

Memories he made while serving God

Bake Something Sweet For Dad: Berry Capped Strawberry Cupcakes

1-1/2 cups chopped strawberries (about 1-pint basket)
1/4 cup granulated sugar plus 1 cup
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
9 strawberries, halved or quartered
1/4 cup strawberry jelly, melted

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 18 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Cupcakes: Mix chopped strawberries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and lemon rind in medium-size saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is thickened. Spoon into small bowl; let cool completely, about 1 hour.

3. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

4. Beat together butter and remaining 1 cup granulated sugar in medium-size bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.

5. On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk, and ending with flour. Swirl in cooled strawberry mixture to create a marble pattern. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.

6. Bake in 350°F. oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when gently touched. Let cool in cups on wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Unmold cupcakes onto rack to cool completely.

7. Frosting: Beat together butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla in medium-size bowl until smooth, about 3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.

8. Garnish: Place cut strawberries on large plate. Liberally brush melted jelly over each piece. Set aside.

9. Frost tops of cupcakes. Top each with glazed strawberry piece(s).

Source: Parents Online

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

With all the excitement of my brother and son going on their mission trips and then coming back home. As we sit and listen to all the words I stop to ponder there is one person, one very strong person missing. This man would have loved to have greeted these men home. He was always there with support and love and advice if you asked. Always there wishing you luck and guided my life even when I rebelled. He was always so happy and wanted to be so involved with the family and teaching us about Gods love. The one I miss at times like these is my daddy. God had a plan took him home way to soon as he needed a good man home there with him. But knowing he is there waiting with my Lord makes it easier to think about going home one day. I hope you enjoyed this song as much as I did.

Amazing Facts About Cucumbers

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6.. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Wild Rice Spoon Bread

Wild rice spoon bread

1 c Cooked wild rice
1⁄4 c Cornmeal
2 c buttermilk
1 t Salt
2 Eggs, beaten
2 T butter, melted
1⁄2 t Baking soda

1. Combine ingredients together and mix to form smooth batter.
2. Put batter in a greased baking dish and bake at 325 °F for 1 hour

Friday, June 11, 2010

Triple Berry Yogurt Smoothies


In blender or food processor, combine 2 containers 6 oz each strawberry, blackberry or mixed berry yogurt, 1 cup sweetened cream of coconut and 2 cups milk. Puree until blended. Add 2 cups frozen raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries. Puree until smooth. Divide fruit yogurt mixture among 4 chilled glasses. Divide 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes among smoothies. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired, then serve.

Roasted Carrots with Coriander & Mint


(These carrots are yummy, low in fat, easy to make and good for you).

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tbs sugar (I used Splenda)
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt (I left this out)
2 pounds small carrots, trimmed, peeled, cut in half lengthwise
1/3 cup coarsely chopped mint
Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. Melt butter in a bowl in microwave. Stir in sugar, coriander and salt.
(2.) Put half of the carrots on each pan. Drizzle each pan with half of the butter mixture. Toss to coat, spread carrots on pan.
(3.) Roast 30 min. tossing once until tender and lightly browned. Sprinkle with mint and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Spice Rubbed Fajitas


2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp each ground cumin, smoked paprika, coriander and oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
5 tbs vegetable oil
3 tbs chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 lime, zested, juiced
2 pounds flank steak
2 large red and/or yellow bell peppers, seeded, sliced
2 large onions, sliced
16 flour tortillas

Heat grill. In skillet, cook first 6 ingredients 2 min. Transfer to bowl. Whisk in 4 tbs oil, 2 tbs cilantro, garlic, 2 tbs lime juice and 1 tsp lime zest.
(2.) Season steak with salt and pepper, if desired. Rub spice mixture over steak, place in plastic bag. Let marinate 2 hours. Remove from marinade, discard marinade. Grill 8 min. or until thermometer reads 145 degrees or desired doneness, turning once. Let sit 10 min. before slicing.
(3.) In skillet, cook peppers and onions in remaining oil 4 min. Add remaining cilantro. Serve sliced steak in tortillas with vegetables. Garnish with guacamole, salsa, cheese and sour cream, if desired, then serve.

Uncommonly Cute Tee Review and Giveaway

If you are like me then you know your little one is the best on the block. Your little one is the one that shines above all others. Whether you are a mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle and the list goes on that special little one is unique and special and nothing simple will do. If this is you then you are going to love Uncommonly Cute tees and onesies. I am a grandma of a little princess but she is not a princess that wears crowns and pretty dresses all the time no she is the little rough gal that loves to get wet and dirty but also look adorable. That is why she is Gramma's SideKick. When given the opportunity to select a shirt to review from Uncommonly Cute which one do you think I chose. You got that right the one that said exactly how I felt.

Uncommonly Cute tees and onesies are designed to show off your little ones personality. Uncommonly Cute brand is build around the suggestion that "your child is way beyond cute". Uncommonly cute was founded in 2004 and since that time have been making tees and onesies that support your child's personality. Every product constructed by Uncommonly Cute are 100% combed cotton and that means that it feels super super soft. Don't worry Uncommonly Cute has taken into mind that little ones can make little messes so they made cleaning their products easy. Simply throw in the washer just like any regular piece of clothing.

Buy: you can purchase Uncommonly Cute tees and onesies directly from their website at

Win: one of Annies Home readers will win a tee or onesie of their choice from Uncommonly Cute Tees. To enter simply head over to the Uncommonly Cute website and let me know if you were the lucky winner what your choice would be.

Extra Entries:
  • follow this blog
  • follow Uncommonly Cute tee on twitter
  • fan Uncommonly Cute on facebook leave a message that you stopped by after visiting Annies Home
  • follow my blog on twitter
  • tweet about the giveaway @shopannies @uncommonlycute (1 tweet is 1 comment can tweet up to 1 time per hour)
  • share this giveaway on your blog, facebook, giveaway site , etc... (5 entries each let me know what you did and include link if possible)

Giveaway starts now and ends June 24, 2010. Good Luck Email must be on blog profile or in comment or you can not win.

Food Trip Friday: This will Cool you down

How To Make an Old Fashioned Sundae with Homemade Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
2 or 3 different flavored pints ice cream
Some or all of the topping suggestions: chopped up Heath bar, toasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips, fresh coconut wedges, fresh raspberries, mini bananas, mint, fresh raspberries, penny candy, etc
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add water and sugar. Stir occasionally for approximately 5 minutes, or until sugar melts and turns a golden brown. (Keep a watchful eye on sugar because it will go from being golden brown to burning in about 1 minute).

Immediately remove from heat and whisk in cream* see Note. Stir constantly until smooth. At this point, caramel sauce will be very thin. After it cools, it will thicken to the consistency of, well...caramel sauce.

Kids N Pets review and get a free full size bottle

As a mother of 6, grandma to 1, aunt to many and pet lover as well I have seen my share of messes and stains. Kids 'N' Pets brand is here to make cleanup easier so that it makes your life easier. Kids 'N' Pets Instant All Purpose stain and odor remover has been designed to help clean up those wet, messy and smelly "accidents from kids and pets. For all of you who has an indoor pet or are attempting or will attempt potty training this is the product that you are looking for. Kids 'N' Pets Instant All Purpose stain and odor remover can be used throughout the house not only on the floor as many cleaners are designed but also on upholstery, mattresses, auto upholstery and any other water safe surface. We tried it out a couple of different places my son tried it in the car to see if it would help the cleanup and he was very surprised that it did just that. He especially like the fact that the cleaner did not bring with it any perfumy order. We also tried it on an accident that was left behind by my niece who is currently being potty trained once again we loved the work that the Kids 'N' Pets product did.

If you would like to get your hands on a bottle of the Kids 'N' Pets then all you have to do is head over to the Kids 'N' Pets facebook page like them and receive a full size bottle of the Kids 'N' Pets instant all purpose cleaner.

Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday hosted by the blog An Island Life as described by Kailani is:
the day that those in Hawaii take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on the Aloha Friday meme bloggers will ask easy questions that require easy answers.

I have been busy posting several different recipes this morning and thought that I might just ask you as my Aloha Friday question:
What is your favorite summer time food and if you have a recipe would love to see it.

Amazing Pork Tenderlion in the Slow Cooker

Amazing Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours
Ready In: 4 Hours 15 Minutes
Yields: 6 servings
"A simple pork tenderloin recipe for the slow cooker with flavors of a fancy feast! The roast soaks up the wonderful flavor combination of onion, red wine and garlic, all of which come together at service to make a delicious au jus."

1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet. Pour water, wine, and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat. Carefully spread garlic over the pork, leaving as much on top of the roast during cooking as possible. Sprinkle with pepper, cover, and cook on low setting for 4 hours. Serve with cooking liquid on the side as au jus.

Venison Meatballs

Venison Meatballs

2 lbs. ground venison (or half ground pork and half ground beef)
1/2 package onion soup mix (I bought generic and used the whole pkg cause it was smaller than the lipton envelope)
1 cup cracker crumbs (I used ritz crackers)
3 eggs, beaten

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
1 can sauerkraut, rinsed & drained
1 can cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Combine venison, onion soup mix, cracker crumbs and eggs. Form into meatballs and place in a 9" x 13" baking dish which has been sprayed with vegetable spray.
In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Spread mixture over top of meatballs. Bake uncovered at 325-degrees for 1 hours.

Autumn Beef Stew

Autumn Beef Stew

12 small red potatoes, halved
1 pound carrots, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut in wedges
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup butter or stick margarine
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place potatoes, carrots and onion in a 5 quart slow cooker. In a large skillet, brown beef in butter. Transfer beef to a slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Stir in flour into the pan drippings until blended; cook and stir until browned. Gradually add water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add salt, parsley, celery seed, thyme and pepper; pour over beef. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.

stuffed tomato tip

Stuffed tomatoes don't always look so pretty on a plate, the fruit tends to topple over, causing the flavorful filling to fall out. Place the tomato halves in the wells of a muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray before adding the stuffing. The wells keep each portion upright, guaranteeing a great looking and great tasting veggie dish...

Verry Veggie Pasta Salad


(This is a very colorful, yummy and easy to make salad).

1 tbs each Dijon mustard and minced garlic
3 tbs white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
1/3 cup + 2 tbs oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 onion, peeled, quartered
8 oz asparagus, trimmed
1 orange, red and yellow bell pepper, seeded, quartered
2 small eggplants, yellow squash and zucchini, trimmed, sliced lengthwise
1 cup halved grape tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes, as we are growing them)
4 cups cooked twist pasta, cooled
1/4 cup chopped basil

Heat grill. In bowl, toss asparagus, bell peppers, eggplants and onion and 2 tbs oil.
(2.) Grill veggies until tender, turning once, remove. Chop.
(3.) In bowl, combine vinegar, mustard, garlic, and basil and remaining oil. Add pasta, tomatoes and vegetables, toss gently, then serve.

Florentine Fabuloso


1/3 cup chunky garden style pasta sauce
1 pound frozen pizza dough, thawed
5 oz pkg baby spinach
2 tbs oil
1 small onion, peeled, minced
1 clove garlic, peeled, minced
3 tbs pine nuts, toasted
8 oz container small mozzarella cheese balls
10 oz cherry tomatoes, halved

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In skillet, cook 1 tbs oil until heated. Add onions. Cook until tender. Add garlic. Cook 30 seconds.
(2.) Stir in spinach and nutmeg. Cook until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
(3.) On floured surface, roll out dough to 14" round. Transfer dough to baking sheet. Spread pasta sauce over dough. Top sauce with spinach onion mixture, tomatoes, cheese balls and nuts. Coat edges of dough with remaining oil. Bake 20 min. or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Serve warm.

Strawberry Short Cupcakes


Cooking spray with flour
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 tsp orange zest
2 tsp orange juice
16 oz container strawberries, hulled, diced
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 tbs powdered sugar
GARNISH---Additional strawberries, quartered (optional)

CUPCAKES---Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 24 regular size muffin cups with baking spray.
(2.) In a bowl, beat butter, sugar, baking powder and salt until blended. Add eggs, beat until fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla, then flour until blended. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
(3.) Bake 25 min. or until done. Cool in pan 5 min. then invert. Cool completely.
(4.) FILLING---Whisk jam, zest and juice in a bowl until blended. Add strawberries, toss to coat. Let stand 15 min.
(5.) In a bowl, beat cream 1 min. Add powdered sugar, continue beating until soft peaks form and cream is slightly stiff.
(6.) TO ASSEMBLE---Cut cupcakes horizontally in half. For each, spoon 2 tbs whipped cream onto cut side of top half, then top with a rounded tbs of diced berries and their juices. Place bottom cupcake half cut side down on top. Repeat with remaining cupcakes, frosting and berries. Garnish each with small dollop of whipped cream, a small spoonful of berries in sauce and a quartered strawberry, if using, then serve.

Sassy Green & Red Radish Salad


1 pound green beans
6 small radishes, halved, sliced
1 small tomato, seeded, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup spicy salsa
2 tbs reduced fat sour cream
1 tbs lemon juice

In saucepot, bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil. Add green beans. Cook until crisp tender. Drain green beans and immediately plunge into bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
(2.) On platter, arrange green beans, radishes, tomatoes and green onions.
(3.) In bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Drizzle salsa mixture over salad just before serving.

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish

One thing that is a favorite of many here in Southern Illinois is Fried Catfish. Since I was a little girl I can remember going to fish fries. One of my hubbys favorite restraunts is located right on the river and is a floating restraunt where some of the best catfish can be found here.

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish

3 slices bacon
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 (6-ounce) catfish fillets

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; reserve 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; reserve for another use. Combine cornmeal, seasoning, and salt in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in cornmeal mixture, shaking off excess. Heat reserved drippings in pan over medium-high heat. Add fillets; cook 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness

Source: My Recipes

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Eden Fantasy Review and Giveaway

Celebrate Fathers Day with a great game your hubby will love. Being a dad is a hard job and you can reward him for his troubles while having a bit of fun yourself. Eden Fantasys has several great games that you and your partner can play and have a bit of fun. One of these great games that I was able to review was a game by the name of Behind Closed Doors

In this game you and your partner will make your way around a game board acquiring position, item and foreplay cards. The winner is the first player to reach the winner circle. The prize is that they will be able to creatively use the cards they picked up along the game behind closed doors route on their partner

Want to check the game Behind Closed Doors from Eden Fantasys out for yourself? Well then you will love the fact that I have one $25 gift card to give to one of Annies Home Readers.

To enter the contest you need to:
  • follow my blog
  • subscribe to my blog
  • follow eden fantasys on twitter
  • fan eden fantasys on facebook
  • follow my blog on twitter
  • tweet about the giveaway (1 tweet = 1 entry tweet up to 1 time per hour)
  • share this on your blog, giveaway site, facebook etc... (5 entries each time)
  • enter any of my other giveaways (1 entry per contest entered)

Giveaway starts now and will end June 25, 2010. Good Luck. Email must be in comment or on blog profile or entries will not count.

Trivia Question for Extra Entries

June is Rose month and in honor of it I want to share all types of Roses with you. For 2 extra entries into any and all giveaways answer this baseball question:
What baseball player was tossed out of baseball and held out of the hall of fame and what did he do?

June is Dairy Month and Introducing a blog I found

June is dairy month and also a great time to meet a new blogger. While looking for a dairy recipe I found the blog The Dairyman's Daughter. She shares lots of great recipes for life on a dairy farm.

June is Candy Month : Taffy

One of my all time favorite type of candy is taffy What is your favorite candy?

2 cups sugar Tip
Visit the candy links page to find places to buy candy making supplies online, including molds, flavoring, and coloring.
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch

• 1 cup light corn syrup
• 2 teaspoons glycerin (optional)

• 3/4 cup water
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 to 1 teaspoon flavoring (such as vanilla, lemon, maple, or mint)
• 3 drops food coloring (optional)

• a large (3- to 4-quart) saucepan
• a wooden spoon
• a candy thermometer
• a pastry brush
• waxed paper or plastic wrap
• a marble slab or cookie sheet
• greased scissors or butter knife

Don’t try to make taffy on a rainy or humid day.
About candy making and the weather.
1. Mix together sugar and cornstarch in the saucepan.
2. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the corn syrup, glycerin, water, butter, and salt. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
3. Continue stirring until mixture begins to boil, then let cook, undisturbed, until it reaches about 270° F or the soft-crack stage. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water while the syrup cooks.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add food coloring and flavoring. Stir gently, then pour onto a greased marble slab or into a shallow greased cookie sheet to cool.
4. When the taffy is cool enough to handle, grease your hands with oil or butter and pull the taffy until it's light in color and has a satiny gloss. You can have a friend help with this step, which should take about 10 minutes.
5. Roll the pulled taffy into a long rope, about 1/2 inch in diameter, and cut it with greased scissors or a butter knife into 1-inch-long pieces. Let the pieces sit for about half an hour before wrapping them in wax paper or plastic wrap and twisting the ends of the wrapper.

Breakfast Pinwheels

2 1/4 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried currants
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

Heat oven to 400°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix and 1/2 cup milk until soft dough forms. Place dough on surface generously sprinkled with Bisquick mix; roll in Bisquick mix to coat. Knead 5 times. Press or roll dough into 11x8-inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1 tablespoon softened butter. In small bowl, mix granulated sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and currants; sprinkle over top of dough; press in slightly. Starting with an 11-inch side, roll up dough tightly; seal edge. Cut into 3/4-inch slices. Place slices on cookie sheet. Brush slices with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet; cool 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix glaze ingredients, adding milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until glaze is thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle glaze over warm pinwheels. Serve warm.

Quick Waffles and Apple Waffles

Quick Waffles and Apple Waffles

2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus more for brushing grids)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (or sugar substitute equivalent)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Lightly brush grids of waffle iron with vegetable oil. Close unit and
preheat at WAFFLE setting.

In medium bowl, beat eggs until thick. Add milk, 2 tablespoons
vegetable oil and all dry ingredients. Beat until smooth.

Pour 1 cup batter evenly on preheated Grid. Close unit; bake until
light goes out (about 5 minutes).

Spread 3/4 cup batter over Grid and quickly cover with thinly sliced
apples. Close unit and cook as usual.

Makes: 2 (4-sectioned) Waffles

Rock the Block Contest WIn a Block Party for 50

Rock The Block Contest sponsored by :

Are giving you the chance to win a block party for you and fifty (50) of your friends. I was alerted to this when Rudi's Organic Bread sent me a prize package including this tee and some art and craft supplies

You have the chance to win a price pack that includes Applegate Farms hot dogs, chicken and hamburgers, Rudi's Organic hot dog and hamburger buns, a Grill Dome ceramic cooker, Izze beverages, Clementine Art supplies for the kids, an iPod Nano loaded with Etown's compilation CD's, a Nature Mill Compost bin, Eco-Products compostable supplies, and $200 cash. Approximate retail value of $1650.

If you want to enter this giveaway you have to enter before July 5th. So head over to to enter for your chance to win.
I shared this on the meme things I love at the Diaper Diaries

Chicken Broccoli Tortellini Soup

Chicken-Broccoli-Tortellini Soup

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 box (10 oz) frozen cut broccoli in cheese-flavored sauce
1 package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
1 large plum (Roma) tomato, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender. Stir in broth, water, Italian seasoning, frozen broccoli in cheese
sauce and tortellini. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally and
breaking up broccoli. Stir in chicken. Cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until tortellini are tender. Stir in tomato. Top each serving with 1
tablespoon cheese.

Who Doesn't Love Bacon

Bacon its that food item that most everyone loves but can be so bad for us. I love a great BLT sandwich, bacon in my beans and I use bacon so many other ways as well. Here are a couple of more great ways to use bacon

Blend 6 chopped hard cooked eggs, 2 ribs chopped celery, 1/3 cup light mayo, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard and 3 slices chopped cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers.

Place 1 pound thick sliced bacon in single layer on broiler pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min. Blend 3 tbs dark brown sugar and 1 1/2 tsp hot chili powder. Turn bacon, top with sugar mixture. Bake 25 min. more or until crisp. Serve for breakfast or in salads.

Cook 8 slices bacon. Chop 6 slices, add to 24 oz jar Vodka sauce in saucepan, simmer. Toss with 1 pound cooked penne pasta, top with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and remaining 2 slices bacon, chopped...

Thankful Thursday

This Thursday I find myself thankful for many things in my life. I am thankful for the wonderful peaceful night that we were able to turn the AC off and enjoy the breeze coming through the window. I so love those nights but realize before long the weather will get warmer and the AC will be on for pretty much 24 hours a day. That is why I am thankful for the nights that a breeze through the window and a fan running are all that is needed. I am thankful for hearing that the Mission trip that my son is on is going well. Today they start their journey back home. Soon they will be back in the U.S. and home by Saturday. I am thankful that they went and many listened as they shared about Jesus. I am also thankful that my younger brother also received a call and a tug on his heart to go on a mission to help others. He is in the state of Tennessee helping to push that clean up along. While the work is hard and long he called last night and told me that he was happy and having a good time while working with others roofing houses. I am thankful that they both listened as the Lord called them to go and share the message with others about Gods love.
What are you thankful for?

Kicked Up Beans


(These beans are yummy, low in fat, a colorful dish, easy to make).

1 small pickled jalapeno, minced
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans 15.5 oz each black beans, drained
1 tbs each minced garlic and oil (I used vegetable oil)
2 tbs each minced cilantro and lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup diced onions

In saucepot, cook onions and garlic in oil 2 min. Stir in beans, tomatoes, jalapeno, oregano and cumin. Increase heat. Bring to a boil.
(2.) Reduce heat, let simmer 15 min. Stir in cilantro and lime juice, then serve.

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Pops


Six ounce container of fat free vanilla yogurt
8 wooden craft sticks
1 cup Blueberry Juice cocktail
1 cup fresh blueberries, cleaned, rinsed

Combine all ingredients in blender. Cover, blend on high until smooth. Pour into 8 frozen pop molds. Cover, insert craft sticks and freeze until completely firm. To serve, dip outsides of molds into warm water to loosen, then serve.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

ABC Wednesday featuring the letter U

The letter of the day being featured on ABC Wednesday is the letter U

The letter U is for

The Ugandan Giant Kamala

He Has A Plan For All of Us

Last week my son left with a mission team on a goal to spread the word. Monday my brother left on a separate trip to share his blessings with those in Tennessee who lost everything. I have heard from both teams and they both sound great. They are working hard and going in two different directions. God is watching over both teams and while the work is hard God had a plan to call them to where they were needed. I can not wait to hear the stories that they have to share when they come back. For now we pray and wait.

Bing Education and Donors

Recently I had the opportunity thanks to MomCentral to give a bit back. As a mom of six (6) children with 5 of them graduating from school all ready I have seen many great teachers. Teaching is a hard job and one that takes lots of heart. Bing Education allows you to show appreciation for those special teachers in your life. Take time write a short reason who your favorite teacher was and right and earn $5 to use on a project of your choosing through Bing. I have had great teachers in my personal school years and have seen many great teachers that have taught my children as well. I have seen teachers who would make sure others had what they needed sending home clothes with those that did not have them as well as delivering food if that need was present as well. I met teachers who seemed the hardest to get along with but were strong to make you strong so that you did not give up. There are many great teachers and all of them work hard. Teaching is not a field one goes into to get rich it is a field you go into because you love children and you want to help them learn.
Please do your share check out Bing Education and where I was able to select a classroom project to support. There are many to choose from with lots of different needs. Simply visit and see for yourself.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Bing and a $100 giving code to facilitate my review. Mom Central also sent me a thank-you gift certificate."

Winning Wednesday

Its time to announce some winners again. This time there are five (5) winners we need to announce:

Baby Banz winner of the bucket hat and sunglass set was

ReggieMann said...
Generally 10 am to 4 pm is when the sun's rays are strongest. Be especially sun safe or consider alternate indoor activity during bad UV days.

Letter Tree winner of a personalized mini purse was

taylorbagels said...
following your blog

Salada Tea for a year winner is

For Their Future said...
I am a fan of Salada on facebook

Warm Buddies teddy bear winner is

Michelle B said...
Following your blog on GFC

Snorg Tee winner of a great fun tee is

ferriz said...
google follower: ferriz

The Readeo winners will be announced soon

On my Walk to Greet Our State Runner Up Baseball Team

It was such a nice day on Sunday so I walked to the highschool to meet the boys baseball team as they came in. I took a few pictures along my walk

This is a neighbor of mine I love how she has so many plants and flowers in her yard. Reminds me of my grandmothers.

These are the flowers in one of the church flowerbeds. The man that takes care of these is an elderly man and he does a great job.

this is a picture in front of the church. There are three buildings to our church but this is the newest part.

I love this house. One of my good friends lives here. It reminds me of houses like the Waltons etc.. I love the tall red maples growing in front of the house as well.

Finally at the high school here is the boys bus coming up to the high school. The cheering begins and the gratitude continues.

Mother's Cookies Blog Tour

Mother's Cookies began on a street corner at a newspaper stand in 1914 in San Francisco. A year later Wheatley the owner of that newspaper stand and original seller of Mother's Cookies moves to Oakland where he begins to bake around 2,000 cookies a day selling them for $1 per box. Short time later he would meet and marry a wonderful lady and start a family ran business. The company continues to strive and moves again and again and in 1949 employees 750 people. Soon the company will be working with great promotions like a baseball promo featuring top baseball players as well as T.V. spots. Mother's Cookies are even spotlighted on T.V. but after a while the company begins to suffer and eventually closes its doors. But back by popular demand in 2009 Mother's Cookies are once again striving.

We were lucky enough to be able to try the Mothers Cookies Circus Animal . MomCentral sent us two packs of these cookies and they were quite delicious. My children have been eating animal crackers since they were wee high so when they saw what was in the package we received they were delighted. It seems that the frosting and sprinkles make the Circus Animal crackers by Mothers Cookies special. We all enjoyed them as a snack and while we ate there was not a lot of chatting as it seemed we were savoring the Delicious cookies. The fact that these wonderful cookies will be coming to the Midwest area makes me happy. I know that these are cookies that the entire family enjoys and I will be able to purchase. If Mothers Cookies are not available in your area I did see that they were sold at as well.

While we received the delicious circus animal cookies from Mother's Cookies there are so many other great cookies available. Just take a look at the picture above.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Mother’s Cookies and received two bags of cookies and a $20 Amazon gift certificate to facilitate my review

Wordless Wednesday: Baseball Heros

Very proud of these young men. Our local home town heros going 41-1 and only losing in the final state game. They are state runner ups but to us they are heros. Way to go BullDogs

Meal Ideas for Toddlers and Young Children

Here are a few more creative ideas to serve kids and keep the meal creative:
  • Tuna Salad make by adding a can of drained tuna to cooked pasta and a couple of good spoon fulls of mayonnaise. You can add sliced tomato and a bit of lettuce Mix up Chill Serve
  • Fruit Salad make by mixing 1 can of fruit cocktail, 1 can of pineapple, 1 apple diced up Mix with whip cream and sprinkle bran flakes on the top for crunch.
  • Hotdog Boats make by boiling potato and placing on top of hotdogs cut lengthwise Top with a piece of cheese Melt in the oven Cool a bit and then serve
  • Egg burritos make by scrambling eggs with onions and bacon or ham and shredded cheese place in tortilla and roll up
  • oven baked potatos make by slicing potatos into rounds and wrap in foil and plut in 350 degree oven for 1 hour

Hope these meal ideas help you this summer and would love to hear what creative dishes you are serving as well

Spaghetti with Shaved Veggies


1 pound box spaghetti
1 pound carrots, peeled
1 pound zucchini, ends trimmed
1 tbs lemon zest
5 tbs unsalted butter, cut up
Shaved Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs lemon juice

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Shave zucchini and carrots into ribbons. Cook pasta as package directs. Add zucchini and carrot shavings to the pasta pot. Cook until vegetables are tender. Remove and reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta mixture.
(2.) Melt butter in same pot used to cook pasta. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Return pasta and vegetables to pot. Add zest and juice, salt and pepper, toss. Add enough reserved pasta water to create a thin sauce. Top with cheese, then serve.

Spaghetti with Shaved Veggies


1 pound box spaghetti
1 pound carrots, peeled
1 pound zucchini, ends trimmed
1 tbs lemon zest
5 tbs unsalted butter, cut up
Shaved Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs lemon juice

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Shave zucchini and carrots into ribbons. Cook pasta as package directs. Add zucchini and carrot shavings to the pasta pot. Cook until vegetables are tender. Remove and reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta mixture.
(2.) Melt butter in same pot used to cook pasta. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Return pasta and vegetables to pot. Add zest and juice, salt and pepper, toss. Add enough reserved pasta water to create a thin sauce. Top with cheese, then serve.

Coffee and Cream Cake


3 large egg yolks
3 large eggs
6 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup each cornstarch and cake flour
3 cups heavy cream
1 tbs + 3/4 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbs coffee flavored liqueur
1/3 cup powdered sugar
4 strawberries, quartered
8 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Over bowl, sift together cornstarch, flour and 4 tbs cocoa, set aside. In double boiler, simmer water. Add next 5 ingredients. Cook until warm, whisking. Remove from heat. Whisk egg mixture until light and fluffy. Whisk in flour mixture and 1 tbs coffee, pour into greased 9" springform pan with removable bottom. Bake 25 min. or until done. Let cool completely. Remove cake from pan, slice horizontally into 3 layers. Beat cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Reserve 1 cup, stir liqueur, chocolate and remaining coffee into remaining whipped cream. On platter, stack and frost cake layers with chocolate mixture. Sift remaining cocoa over cake. Create pattern on cake with cake comb. Using reserved cream mixture, pipe rosettes on cake, top with strawberries, then serve.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Southern Corn Fritters

Southern Corn Fritters

2 1/2 c prepared biscuit mix
1/2 t salt
2 T corn meal
1 T butter or margarine, melted
2 c canned cream style corn
Mix first 3 Add butter and corn Beat well and drop by spoonfuls into deep hot fat til brown. Serve with syrup and butter

$5 dinner challenge: Festive Chicken

Festive Chicken
16 oz can peas
10 1/2 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 c diced cooked chicken
2 1/2 c cooked rice
Drain liquid from peas. Stir 1/2 c liquid into the mushroom soup paced in a 2 quart saucepan Stir in the salt, pepper and chicken Top with peas and rice Cover and simmer about 14 minutes or til the rice and peas are hot and most of the liquid is absorbed Be sure liquid covers rice at it warms Serve.
find other great recipes at teh $5 dinner blog

Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes

Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
2 pounds (about 6 medium) heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine first 4 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Arrange tomatoes on a platter. Sprinkle tomatoes evenly with salt and pepper; drizzle with shallot mixture

Luscious Lemon Bars

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil. Stir together 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a large bowl until smooth; whisk in granulated sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir together baking powder and remaining 1/4 cup flour; whisk into egg mixture. Pour mixture over hot baked crust. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Lift from pan, using foil sides as handles. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Remove foil, and cut into bars; sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Source: My Recipes

Don't Get Burned: Grill Safety

Many of us will grilling out this summer season. I think the first day alerts us that the time to shine up the grill is here and we will grill until the snow comes and sometimes even after its on the ground. Grilling is a great way to celebrate events and just create that weekday supper as well. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when we are grilling:

  • Be sure to open the lid before lighting your gas grill.

  • Make sure your grill is at least 10 feet away from your house and any other flammable materials. Never fire up your grill in an enclosed area.

  • If you're out of charcoal lighter fluid, never substitute gasoline or kerosene. Once you start the grill, be patient. Do not add more lighter fluid to speed up the heating process.

  • Store propane tanks outside, sheltered from direct sunlight.

Trying to figure out the blog thing

After a day like yesterday when my blog completly dissappeared and I went on the look to try to set up another I totally do not know where I stand now. Today I try to figure out what to do with the blog debate. Where do I go and what do i do? Trying to set up a self serve host with help from a good friend, I am also trying to figure out what else I need to do. What do you all think on the subject? I would love to hear any and all thoughts.

Wechs Juice $2 off printable coupon

Get a $2 printable coupon off Welchs juice when you like them on facebook. What a great deal this would be. But hurry because the coupons are limited. So visit the Welchs facebook page like it and print the coupon.