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Saturday, September 10, 2011

zutano review and giveaway Giveaway Over and Winner Selected

winner of this giveaway is
my two monkeys said...
                                I just love the Zutano Navy Multi Stripe Toddler Pleat Dress

In many areas school is back in session. Here where I live the kids went back a little over a week ago and while they went back in tees and shorts before long the clothing seen at school will be more pants and long sleeved shirts. Fall, football and the need for new fall clothes will be seen everywhere here in Southern Illinois. One great place that I love to find clothing for the little ones is Zutano.

Zutano has colorful, whimsical, and uniquely versatile clothing for little ones sizes newborn to toddler. The Zutano company is located in the green hills of Vermont and are very selective in the material that they use in their clothing line. Only the softest cottons are used in a rainbow of colors and prints. The prints and colors are inspired by the love of babies and  the believe that every child should have their own individuality. The whimsical prints are fun and simple and appear to me to be the very things that come to mind when we think about the world we would want to give our children. Zutano has a wonderful line of clothing products as well as plush toys, socks, shoes, bedding and home needs. Your child's world could be full of Zutano. 

Zutano is committed to
*Operating a company with values, principles and customer satisfaction that demonstrates sustained growth and profit.
*Building long-term partnerships that are economically just and socially sound.
*Creating a nurturing work environment that puts families first and fosters mutually beneficial relationships between employees, consumers and suppliers.
*Respecting our planet – and the diversity and fragility that define it.

We were lucky to receive a super cute outfit for our little one in the Clunker pattern.

The great colors and tiny little cars and trucks included in the clunkers patterns will help our little man to be an individual. As we all know there are those individuals that never seem to be able to tell the sex of the little one by just looking at him but upon seeing the colorful pattern on our Prince's clothing will hopefully allow them to see that he is truly a little boy.

The Clunker collection is available in sizes newborn to size 4T. The colors are all bright and colorful and include stripes, prints of little cars and trucks and solids. Pieces included in this collection are hats, pants, shirts, onesies, and jackets.
Buy: you can check out all the great looks that Zutano has available including the clunkers collection at their website located at
Win: Zutano is offering one of Annies Home readers the chance to win a $75 gc
To enter this giveaway visit Zutano and tell me a particular item and what pattern or color you would want it in
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Giveaway starts now and ends September September 9, 2011. Good Luck Email must be in entry or on your blog profile or entry will not count

We would like to thank Zutano for the wonderful set that we received so super cute perfect for fall. We were not paid other than the sample we received and the words in this post are those of mine alone.

I have a cold

suffering from sinus infection no fun

Yesterday was my birthday and I got one gift that I wish I didn't The super yucky sinus infection making my head hurt, my ears pop, and my nose run is no fun at all.

Owl Smores

■graham crackers


■chocolate chips

■yellow candy melts

■candy corn

Cut one marshmallow in half and place both pieces on a large graham cracker (2 stuck together).
Put a candy melt on top of the marshmallows. Heat in the microwave for about 2-5 seconds, just enough to make the marshmallows puff up, but not get too hot. Take out of microwave and add a chocolate chip on the yellow candy melt and the candy corn beak while the marshmallows and candy are still warm. Everything should stick together nicely. Let cool and serve! You can make these the night before a party and everything is still very tasty.

recipe source here
shared at Pitty Party Simply Delish  Feasting Fellowship

Fantabulous Friday!

angel biscuits

Angel Biscuits

350° for 15 to 18 min

6 c. flour (sifted) cut into 3/4 c. shortening, mix in:
1 t. salt
1 t. b. soda
1 T. ” powder
3 T. sugar
1 pkg yeast in 1/4 c. warm water to dissolve or softened. Add 2 c. buttermilk & then the yeast.

Knead and place in tightly covered bowl till needed & then break off what’s needed. Roll and bake.
Note — you can roll & cut biscuits and place in refrigerator

Craft Junkie Too Friend

Great Fall Looks Around the Blogs

Teach your child the letters a to z with Garfield

garfield coloring book printablel will teach your child the letters A to Z in a fun way. Find it here

Caramel Apple Tarts

Bizzy Bakes

Caramel Apple Tarts

Caramel Apples will be all over the fall scene with the great taste of them appealing to many taste buds. This delicious dessert I found at My Pantry Shelf is a dessert that to me says fall all over it
Makes 6- 4 1/2 inch tarts or one 10 inch tart

the Crust

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a food processor, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and drop into the running processor. Pulse until butter is slightly smaller than a pea. Add egg and pulse again until mixed. Dough should cling to itself when pressed together, but still be fairly dry. If it needs a little more moisture, drizzle in 1-2 T ice water while machine is running. Do not over-process. Remove dough from food processor, form a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
Divide dough into six equal pieces. Roll into a round. Firmly press dough into tart pans and trim edge. Pierce base of each thoroughly with fork. Put trays on a baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes. (Do not make my mistake and try to pierce dough after freezing- it’s not easy)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake crusts until golden brown, approximately 25 minutes. (Keep an eye on them. They may cook faster or slower depending on the thickness of the dough and your oven). Cool on a rack completely before assembling. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely then store in an air tight container at room temperature).

the Caramel

3 cups sugar

1 cup water
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Pour the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir to wet the sugar. Place on medium low heat long enough to completely melt the sugar. Once the sugar is melted (solution will be clear), turn the heat up to medium high. Simmer, without stirring, until the solution turns deep brown. Swirl pan periodically to mix. To test the color, dip a spoon in the solution and put a few drops on a white plate. Be very careful not to burn the solution!
When you have the color you desire, remove the pot from heat. Let it cool a few minutes. Carefully pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble up. Stir until mixture is homogenous. If the sugar seizes up, place the pot back on the stove and heat gently while stirring. The sugar will melt and you should be able to get a smooth sauce again. Add salt and stir. Pour sauce into clean jars. Cover, cool, and place in the refrigerator. Use within a month.

Note: The sauce will solidify in the refrigerator. To serve, warm gently in a microwave or in a bowl of warm water. Once warm, pour sauce over ice cream or dip fruit in it.

the Crumb Topping:
6 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Blend flour, butter, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or fork until it is in tiny flour/sugar covered clumps. Mix in the pecans. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated).

the Filling:
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (or half Granny Smith, half Golden Delicious)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whisk brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Saute apples in butter until they begin to soften. Add sugar/ cornstarch mix and continue cooking until bubbly. Add vanilla and whiskey. Cook until liquid begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Set aside, cover, and cool.

Spoon 1-2 Tablespoons of caramel sauce over the base of each tart shell. Divide the apple mixture into each tart, leaving most of the liquid behind. Top with the crumb topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the juices are bubbling up and the topping is beginning to brown. Cool on a rack 5 minutes. Gently remove from tart pans. Cool 10 more minutes on the rack. Serve with ice cream and a drizzle of caramel. Yum!

Bizzy Bakes


Sweet Potato Pie

Fall is a wonderful season full of wonderful taste, colors and fun. Here in southern Illinois the trees will change colors and the beauty they will bestow will be something that will draw lookers from many areas. The fun will include football, bonfires, and playing in the leaves. The taste of fall oh my is maybe the best with pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and all the great baking that will go on. Here is a delicious recipe that I found on the blog A year of Menonite Cooking

Sweet Potato Pudding

2 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

2 eggs

1 cup half and half

6 T sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

2 T butter

Marshmallows or chopped pecans

Cook sweet potatoes with skins on until soft. Peel and mash. When well mashed, add sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, melted butter and half and half. Beat eggs well and add to mixture. Top with chopped pecans or marshmallows.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

This recipe is adapted from the Mennonite Community Cookbook (1950).


Salt Dough Football

Here at our house football has definetly captured the time, thoughts and even playful arguments in our house. This is a fun project to do to get ready for the big game. The Salt Dough Football was shared by Amanda Formaro  on the website Family Corner. The salt dough recipe can be used to make many different projects and is very fun so be creative.

1 cup salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup water

brown and white acrylic paint


football cookie cutter or kitchen knife


Preheat oven to 250 F. Mix together, salt, flour, and water until a dough is formed. Knead the dough on a floured surface until the mixture is elastic and smooth. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle with flour, continue to do so until stickiness is gone. BE CAREFUL. Do not add too much flour, this will dry out the dough and will cause it to crack before you get a chance to bake it.

Roll dough flat with a rolling pin, about 1/4" - 1/2" thick. Use cookie cutter to cut out footballs. If you don't have a cookie cutter, simply use a kitchen knife to create a football shape. Use toothpick to draw on lace lines and border lines at each endBe sure to do this step BEFORE baking. Bake for approximately 2 - 2.5 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. For best results, allow to cool and dry overnight, or for at least 4 hours. Paint footballs with two coats of brown paint, allowing to dry in between coats. When dry, use white paint to carefully paint the laces and borders, use a toothpick if you prefer. Let dry.  These can be used to make magnets or before baking poke a hole in the football to create a necklace of sorts

*****THIS DOUGH IS NOT EDIBLE, though it won't hurt you or your kids, it just won't taste very good! The taste of the strong salt should put the taste in a place that many will not want to try.
Tidy Mom

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blog Hopping

This is labor day weekend and if you find the time to take a moment and stop by here please leave me a comment letting me know you did I will gladly visit you. New follower???? Let me know in comment I will visit and follow

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Joy Comes In The Morning

Tonight I am with a heavy heart for my friends. While this may sound like an odd thing to be thankful for it is not the heavy heart that I am thankful for but rather the closeness with friends I feel because of it. Yesterday after leaving work I received a call that one of my close friends had a tragedy in their life. Their husband and daughter were in a motorcycle wreck. They were air lifted to the hospital and were not awake Today we get news that after several hours of surgery the husband is still unconscious but looking a bit better and the daughter with many broken bones was released from the hospital. Prayer and those believing are the reasons I am thankful tonight.

Psalm 30:5

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

shared on Thankful Thursday Thought Provoking Thursday

Monday, September 5, 2011

Morel Mushrooms Nearly Price of Gold

This shocked the daylights out of me wow!!!! we used to find and pick these for free on my grandparents farm. How many lbs do you think you want????

Smiling Sally food highlights

Grilled Beef and Pepper Fajitas

1 pound flank steak

1 teaspoon ground cumin

kosher salt and black pepper

2 bell peppers, sliced ½ inch thick

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 small tortillas

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup sour cream

hot sauce, for serving

Heat grill to medium-high. Season the steak with the cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the bell pepper, oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside. Grill the steak, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, grill the peppers, turning occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Fill the tortillas with the steak, peppers, and avocado. Serve with the sour cream and hot sauce, if desired

recipe source: Real Simple

 Wow Us Wednesday
Somewhat Simple

Back To School Muffins

1/2 cup Milk-1%

1 cup Okara

2 tbsp Canola Oil

3/4 cup Plain Yogurt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 cups Grated Carrots

1 1/4 cups Unbleached Flour

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/4 cup Yellow Corn Meal

1 tsp Cinnamon Ground

1/4 tsp Nutmeg, Ground

1 tsp Ginger Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1/3 cup Sugars, Brown

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp All Purpose Baking Soda

1/2 cup Walnuts Chopped

1/2 cup Raisins

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX. Fill your muffin tins with enough paper liners for 16 muffins, or generously grease and flour your tins. Spoon the batter into the liners about two-thirds full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly brown. You can test them with a wooden toothpick; if it comes out clean take them out. Depending on the wetness of your okara, the baking times might be slightly different. Cool for 10 minutes, take muffins out of tins and place on wire racks to cool completely. If you use paper liners, you must cool the muffins completely or the muffins will stick to the liner. Makes one and a half dozen

Chow for This Week

barbq , peppers, slaw, chips

homemade corndogs, fries, veggies and dip

burgers, fixings, tots, veggies and dip

fish, slaw, tots

smothered pork chops, potatoes, cucumber / onion salad,

weekend will see us busy again trying to picnic rather than fast food but we will just have to see

Smoked Sausage Gumbo

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Hot cooked rice

In a large skillet, saute the celery, onion, green pepper and carrot in oil until tender. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the sausage, tomatoes, oregano, thyme and cayenne. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Serve with rice. Yield: 5 servings.

Recipe Source: Taste of Home

Jam Hands Melt In Your Mouth Monday

Cheddar Burgers With Red Onion Jam


1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cups vertically sliced red onion
4 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme


3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound extra-lean ground round
 Cooking spray
4 (1/2-ounce) slices white cheddar cheese
 4 (1 1/2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted
4 teaspoons canola mayonnaise

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. To prepare jam, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in sugar, vinegar, and thyme. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until onion is very tender. Remove from heat.

 To prepare burgers, combine oregano, salt, garlic powder, and beef. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 2 minutes. Turn patties over. Place 1 cheese slice on each patty; cook 2 minutes or until done. Spread cut sides of each bun with 1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun; top each with 1/4 cup onion jam and bun top.

Baked chips and blue cheese dip: Combine 1/2 cup (2 ounces) low-fat crumbled blue cheese, 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream, 2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise, and 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar in a bowl. Mash with a fork.

Cooking Light

JULY 2009

Hunk of Meat Mondays

Kitchen Time Saving Tips

If you are like me then you probably feel as if you never have enough time. Here are some helpful tips to help you cut down time in the kitchen

1.As soon as you get home from the grocery store, prep fruits and veggies and separate them into individual containers to refrigerate or freeze and use during the week. Always keep a bag of prewashed greens on hand to create a healthy salad in minutes.

2.Instead of mincing garlic each time you need it, throw a lot of whole cloves into the food processor. Refrigerate in a plastic container and use within one week.

3.Cook once so you can eat twice (or more). On Sunday, for example, prepare enough food for two or three meals so you can refrigerate or freeze some in microwavable containers and enjoy throughout the week (and take a night or two off from cooking). If you’re grilling, prepare extra for lunch the next day.

4.Stock up on easy ready-to-eat foods, like canned or pouched tuna, plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt, or ready-made hummus, to grab for on-the-go snacks.

5.Prepare veggie crudités once a week and keep them in plastic bags or plastic containers in the fridge to snack on or to add to soups, salads, and more.

6.Clean as you cook — rather than stacking the dishes in the sink to deal with after dinner, get a head start on the mess by washing pots, pans, bowls, and other kitchen utensils as you’re preparing the meal.

Not So Moody Monday

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Kid Friendly Taco Cups

 as a mother and now a grandma I love finding recipes kids love. These little ones are great because they fit in a childs hand

•1 pound ground beef

•1/4 cup or 1 packet taco seasoning

•1 cup water

•Tostito scoops

•Shredded cheese

•Salsa or ketchup

Fry the ground beef until browned. Add the taco seasoning and the water.

Pick Tostito scoops that are completely whole and arrange them on a baking pan. Place a small amount of the taco meat in each scoop. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Put a small amount of salsa or ketchup on each cup. Bake in a 350 degree oven just until the cheese is melted.

recipe source: Day Care Answers

mad skill mondaysThe Girl Creative Sunday Scoop

Manic Mother