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Friday, April 18, 2014

Dont Forget The Potatoes : Augratin Potatoes Light and Regular Recipes

Makeover Au Gratin Hash browns
1 pkg (30 oz) frozen shredded has browns potatoes, thawed
2 cups (8 oz) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cups reduced-fat sour cream
1 can (10 ¾ oz) reduced fat reduced sodium cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 ½ cups cornflakes, lightly crushed (I used whole grain Total flakes)
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted (I only used spray “butter”)
1 Tbl minced fresh parsley (I used dried)

In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, cheese, onions, salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, soup, and soup. Pour over the potato mixture and mix gently to combine. Transfer to a greased 3 qt. baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Toss cornflakes and butter (or just spray “spray butter” on them); sprinkle around the perimeter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle the middle with parsley Yield 12 servings

Nutritional analysis- one serving (3/4) cup equals 190 calories, 8 grams of fat, (5 saturated fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 492 mg sodium, 23 grams carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 9 g protein Diabetic exchange: 1-1/2 starch, 1 lean meat, 1 fat

Regular Au Gratin Hash browns
1 pkg (30 oz) frozen shredded has browns potatoes, thawed
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups (16 oz) sour cream
1 can (10 ¾ oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
½ cup butter or margarine, melted, divided
2 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed

In a large bowl, combine the hash browns, cheese, onions, salt and pepper. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, soup, and ¼ cup butter. Pour over the potato mixture and mix gently to combine. Transfer to a greased 3 qt. baking dish. Toss cornflakes and add remaining butter; sprinkle over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until heated through. Yield 12 servings

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Friday Frenzie

Easter Jelly Bean Prayer

The Jelly Bean Prayer
Author: Unknown
Red is for the blood he gave,
Green is for the grass he made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright,
Orange is for the edge of the night.
Black is for the sins we made,
White is for the grace he gave.
Purple is for his hour of sorrow,
Pink is for our new tomorrow.

An egg full of jelly beans, colorful and sweet, is a prayer, is a promise, is a special treat. May the joy of Christ's Resurrection fill your heart and bless your life

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Make Your Own Easter Candles

This super cute Easter candles made out of dyed egg shells would be awesome on your Easter table. Check out the how tos at Paint Cut Paste

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Let The Light Shine In

These beautiful crosses that you can easily make with your family will help let the light shine in. Perfect for Easter display

You will need
Old file folder (to create a cross template)
1 sheet of 9"x12" construction paper in a BRIGHT color per student
2 sheets of contact paper per student (at least 9"x12" in size)
 lots of tissue paper squares in BRIGHT colors (1 to 2" in size)
Permanent marker
Make a Template
I used a file folder to create a cross template. Easy to make: Fold the folder in half "hot dog" style, draw half of cross, cut out, and you're ready to go. My template has a border that is about 3/4" wide.

Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Folding the pieces of construction paper in half "hot dog" style. Trace 1/2 the cross onto the paper. Make sure you are tracing along the fold so the cross will stay connected when it is cut out. You will need to keep the paper folded in half to cut out the cross. If you teach kinders, DO THIS STEP FOR YOUR STUDENTS.


You can do this one yourself or leave this task to the students. After receiving very careful instructions, my kids did it in class and it was an experience! Great opportunity to teach the importance of following directions. Some children had an easy time. Others had lots of pieces when they were finished. We made it work. If your time is limited, you have a challenging class, or you just don't want a headache, let a volunteer cut out the crosses.
Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Peel the contact paper and place it sticky side up on the table. CENTER THE CROSS ON THE CONTACT PAPER FOR YOUR STUDENTS. If this kids attempt this one themselves, you will end up with  a lot of wrinkly, folded crosses stuck to a wad of contact paper. Kinders are great at turning a clean sheet of contact paper into a wad!

Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Now the fun part. Let students fill in the cross with the tissue paper squares. Have them avoid touching the actual contact paper. Some will, but the fewer kids with contact paper stuck to their hands, the better off you will be!

Tutorial for Stain Glass Cross Window Decoration


Use the 2nd sheet of contact paper to "seal" the cross together. This step is optional, but I don't like to have loose pieces of tissue paper blown off by the wind. The simplest way to do this (and avoid wrinkles in the paper) is to place the new sheet of contact paper sticky side up, then flip the cross page onto it.

Use scissors to cut excess contact paper from edges and crosses are ready to hang.

craft source here

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

National Stress Awareness Day

What is stress?
Stress and anxiety are the body and mind's way of communicating that it is feeling overwhelmed. Stressors can include problems with work, family, finances, life events, illness, loss and sometimes even perfectionism. Usually this reaction builds up over time and if you are used to coping with a lot of stress and demand you may not recognise what the limit is until it overflows. This is why it is important to recognise your early signs of stress.
What is good and bad stress?
Everyone is different and can cope with varying levels of pressure and demand. Some people even thrive on it. In fact, not all levels of stress are harmful. Athletes, for example, need a good level of excitement and adrenalin to perform optimally.
Stress and anxiety are our innate reactions designed to keep us safe. During the primitive hunter gatherer times our bodies evolved to cope with the dangers they faced. Today's stressors are somewhat different but the body can still react in the same way as it did back then which can leave us feeling demoralised, frustrated and exhausted.
Understanding your own stress levels and how they impact your energy and performance will help you to manage it better and use it to your advantage.
Stress and physical health
If stress is ignored it can lead to physical health problems such as headaches, backaches, sleep problems or an impaired immune system. Links have also been found between stress and coronary heart disease. Psychologically it can potentially, but not in all cases, lead to more severe forms of anxiety, such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, social anxiety or health anxiety for which professional help is advised.
How can you reduce stress?
Sometimes people turn to unhelpful strategies such as drink or drugs to cope with high demands. These are quick fixes but can exacerbate and maintain the stress or anxiety in the longer term. Here are a few healthful tips to combat stress and anxiety:
  • The first step is recognising you are becoming stressed and taking a step back to identify its causes.
  • Write a stress diary logging your stressors, how you coped with these, and how you would prefer to cope in the future.
  • Enlist support from others - it can be lonely with stress as your companion.
  • It is important to find time to relax and unwind. Balance stress with relaxation and pleasurable activities - without the guilt!
information source here

Easter Cheese Balls

easter egg cheese ball::
1 small package strawberry cream cheese
colored sugars
graham crackers
Make sure the cream cheese is cold and pinch off an egg-sized hunk and roll it in your dry hands to shape.  Then roll it in colored sugar on a plate.  Make sure to keep cold, or it will sweat and melt the sugar.  Spread on graham crackers (I used cinnamon grahams).  Easy and fun!

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Jelly Bean Bark

1 tablespoon butter
1-1/4 pounds white candy coating, coarsely chopped
2 cups small jelly beans
Line a 15x10x1-in. pan with foil; grease foil with butter. In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Spread into prepared pan. Top with jelly beans, pressing to adhere. Let stand until set.
Cut or break bark into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 2 pounds.

Jelly Bean Bark

1 tablespoon butter
1-1/4 pounds white candy coating, coarsely chopped
2 cups small jelly beans

Melt your morsels on the stove using a double-boiler or in the microwave on 70% power. Be careful to stir frequently so that you do not burn the chocolate!! If you are using the microwave, heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted. While your chocolate is melting, line a cookie sheet with wax paper Lay half of the jelly beans on the pan Pour the melted chocolate over the jelly beans and use a rubber spatula to spread it across the pan creating an even layer.
Place the remaining jelly beans on top of the melted chocolate. Allow to cool at room temperature for several hours or put in the refrigerator to cool for one hour. Peel away wax paper and break into 2 to 3-inch pieces.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Allergy Season

I love spring but along with all the beauty and warmth that spring provides lots of problems for those who suffer from allergies. Kids are among those that suffer from allergies and there are a few things that you may be able to do to lessen their suffering. To help prevent those red, itchy eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats you can either keep them in a well sealed area which would be no fun for anyone or do what you can to make those that suffer from allergies more comfortable. 

  1. wearing sun glasses is more than just stylish they can also help shield irritants that can irritate
  2. taking showers often after being outside will help to wash away the pollen in hair and skin
  3. Using boogie wipes saline mist will help to thin mucus and relieve nasal congestion while washing away pollens that creates the sneezing.
  4. Making sure to wash all that is in the environment including bedding, clothing, and pets All items need to be washed often
  5. Set air conditioner to recycle the air and avoid bringing new allergens into the environment. Change air filters frequently to keep air flowing
  6. keeping an idea on daily pollen count helps you to know peak days which are great doors to play inside
At times it is hard to tell if what your child has is allergies or something else. A few things to keep in mind is if your child seems to be sick and have same symptoms during same time each year then it is probably allergies. However, if you are unable to tell visit your local peditrician who may refer you to an allergist where a skin test can be performed to determine which pollens may be problems.

Source: WebMD


you may want to take advantage of saving some money while comforting your child. Check out this coupon for boogie wipes

Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

Be creative this year and have some fun when coloring your Easter eggs.

Place eggs in a large pan.
Fill pan with water so its1/2 inch over the eggs
Add 2 tsp vinegar do not use when coloring with onion skins as it will offer the egg more of a brownish color
add 1/2 tsp alum to the water this will bring a richness to the color
Add the natural dye, it is better to use a larger amount of the dye to get the desired color
Bring water to boil and then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes
Using a strainer remove the eggs place in bowl and cover with paper towel.
If eggs aren't the shade you desired and wish it was a bit darker remove the paper towel from the bowl and add the cooled strained liquid
Let sit over night this may make the egg shells weak so be sure to carefully remove the eggs and let air dry so that the shells will harden again.
 for a glossy look rub with vegetable oil

Red/Pink:  Fresh beets, canned cherries or frozen, crushed cranberries (not cranberry sauce or jelly) Orange:  yellow onion skins
Light Yellow:  lemon peels, orange peels or ground cumin
Golden yellow:  Ground Tumeric (a kind of spice)
Light Green  Spinach
Blue:  Red cabbage leaves or blueberries (crushed)     - Pre-boil red cabbage leaves for 30 minutes.
Purple:  Grape juice (Welches)

Hot Cross Buns

2 x 7g sachets granulated yeast
¼ cup (55g) caster sugar
1½ cups (375ml) warm milk
4 cups (600g) plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
60g butter
1 egg
¾ cup (120g) sultanas
½ x 250g block dark chocolate

Flour paste for crosses
½ cup (75g) plain flour
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) water, approximately

1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon gelatine
1 tablespoon water


Combine yeast, sugar and milk in small bowl or jug; cover, stand in warm place about 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.

Sift flour and spices into large bowl, rub in butter. Stir in yeast mixture, egg and sultanas; mix to a soft sticky dough. Cover; stand in warm place about 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

Turn dough onto a floured surface, knead about 5 minutes or until smooth. Divide dough into 16 pieces, place piece of chocolate into each piece of dough and knead into balls. Place balls 8cm apart onto oiled oven trays, stand in warm place about 10 minutes or until buns have risen.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to hot.

Place flour paste for crosses in piping bag fitted with small plain tube, pipe crosses on buns.

Bake buns in hot oven about 20 minutes or until well browned. Turn buns onto wire rack, brush tops with hot glaze; cool on wire rack.

To make the flour paste for crosses, combine flour and sugar in bowl. Gradually blend in enough of the water to form a smooth paste.

To make the glaze, combine ingredients in small saucepan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar and gelatine are dissolved.
recipe source here

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Kids Craft, Toilet Paper Roll Easter Bunny

Bath tissue tube
Pink and white construction paper
Cellophane tape
Wiggle eyes (optional)
Broom straw, string or yarn
Three white pom poms or cotton balls
Small pink pom pom or small piece of pink tissue paper


Cover a bath tissue tube with pink construction paper. Use marker to draw eyes at one end, or glue on wiggle eyes, if you have them.
Draw, color, and cut rabbit ears from pink construction paper. Tape these to the inside of the tube above the eyes.
Draw and cut four paw shapes, with attached legs, from pink paper. Glue one pair of paws to the sides of the tube. Tape the legs of the second pair to the inside of the bottom of the tube. Bend the paws at the bottom of the tube to the outside so the rabbit will stand.
Cut three strands of straw from a broom or whisk broom for whiskers. Glue the centers of the whiskers to the tube below the eyes. String or yarn may also be used for whiskers.
Cut two small rectangular shaped teeth from white paper. Glue these just below the whiskers.
Glue two white pom poms or small balls of cotton over the whiskers at the top of the teeth. Glue the remaining white pom pom to the back of the tube for the tail.
Glue the small pink pom pom over the white ones on the face for a nose. You can also use a small piece of pink crumpled tissue for the nose.

craft resource here

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Easy To Make Treats

I love these easter nest from Nestle how super cute. We make haystacks each year at Christmas why not carry that easy idea over to Easter and make these beautiful easter or bird nest?

Wax paper
1 2/3 to 2 cups (11- to 12-ounce package) NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Butterscotch or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cans (5 ounces each) chow mein noodles
30 to 60 NESTLÉ NestEggs, any flavor


LINE trays with wax paper.

MICROWAVE morsels in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Stir in peanut butter until well blended.

ADD chow mein noodles to morsel mixture; toss until coated. Using ice cream scoop that measures about 2 rounded tablespoons, scoop and drop onto prepared trays then immediately shape into nests. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, place one or two NestEggs in each nest. Store prepared nests in covered container for up to 1 day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

No Bake Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is the one have to have Easter desserts. My husbands mother and grandmother made this every year. Now with them both gone (missing them every day) it has come to individuals such as myself and my sister in laws to prepare an Easter Dinner that would be approved by them. While they always made everything from scratch there are those times when time runs short and we look for short cuts. This no bake banana pudding recipe tastes great and pleases everyone as well. It is also a great dish to get the next generation involved.

Mom may have made the pudding from scratch in her day and oh my the taste I will never forget this recipe which combines instant pudding mix with sweet condensed milk, cream cheese and cool whip you will get a taste that will delight the taste buds of all.

No Bake Banana Pudding

1- 11 oz box vanilla wafers (you will not use the entire box)
6 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1- 5.1 oz instant vanilla pudding
1- 8 oz package cream cheese
1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1- 12 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch dish with vanilla wafers; top with the sliced bananas.  In a bowl combine the milk and vanilla pudding mix; mix with a hand mixer.  In another bowl mix together the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.  Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture; add to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.  Pour the pudding mixture over the bananas and top with vanilla wafers.  Refrigerate until chilled.  This tastes and looks best the day it is made.

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Easter Bunny Sweet Rolls

Our family has a tradition of making sweet rolls at Christmas time. After seeing the super cute easter bunny sweet rolls I think we may have a new tradition for Easter as well. These are so super cute and easy to make I even like the idea of allowing everyone to decorate their own.

What are some of your easter traditions shared at
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Nutter Butter Easter Chicks

Nutter Butter Easter Chicks

These were just too cute not to share!  And so recipe required to make these little Easter chick cookies.  All you need is Nutter Butter cookies,white almond bark, yellow food coloring, black icing to make eyes, and orange icing for to make the beaks.

Melt the almond bark in the microwave, according to the package directions.  Then add a little yellow food coloring to make it pale yellow, but you could make bright yellow or even pink and Peeps.  Then dip the Nutter Butter cookies into the almond bark and place on waxed paper to cool.

When the almond bark coating has hardened, decorate each chick with two black icing dots for eyes and a small orange triangle for a beak.  Simple enough to let the kids help with.

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Bunny Trail Mix

Bunny Trail Mix

6 cups Kellogg's Crispix Cereal
3 cups mini twist pretzels
1- 12.60 oz bag Easter M & M's candies
1 cup pastel candy corn
1 cup cocktail peanuts
1- 24 oz package white almond bark

In a large bowl combine the cereal, pretzels, candies, and peanuts.  Meanwhile melt the bark according to the package instructions.  Pour the melted almond bark over the cereal mixture and mix well.  Be careful not to crush the cereal and pretzels.  When well coated, pour onto wax paper to cool.  After it has cooled break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter Bunny Cake

Love the super cute bunny rabbit cake that my mom used to make it was so super cute and a tradition of ours. It is super easy to make and your family will love it as well

1. Make 2 round cakes you can make from mix or scratch your choice
2. second is to cut as pictured with two rounded ends and the middle being shaped in an hourglass shape.
3. Create bunny cake as directed with round cake as head the two end pieces as ears and the hourglass middle will be his bow tie
4. decorate as you please using all sorts of cake

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Holy Week Crown of Thorns

Holy week is recognized by the Christians in the world. It is the last week of lent and is always the week before Easter. Yesterday was Palm Sunday, this week also includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. This week does not include Easter.

Why not celebrate this week with a little treat for all. This crown of thorns will help share the story with all the little and big ones.

Sugar Cookies or Round Crackers
Smooth Peanut Butter
Mini Twist Pretzels (broken into pieces)
  1. Spread the peanut butter onto the sugar cookie or cracker.
  2. Place the mini twist pretzels around the edges of the spread peanut butter and press to secure.
recipe source here

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