Monday, November 12, 2012

Amazing Find!

Ok, I haven't been good at this blogging thing (again!) this year, but this I have to share!  One of the main reasons I haven't had time to blog is because I started teaching preschool again.  I am creating a curriculum from scratch and it is very time consuming.  In fact, I have been taking pictures all along the way and I will hopefully be able to share a lot of it with you soon! (Like maybe Christmas break...)
Anyway, as I was scrolling through Pinterest for ideas, I came across this unit and fell in love!  It was written for an older age group, but there is still tons of stuff that I can use.  I particularly like the Mug Exchange idea!  Thanks Tonya for sharing!

Until next time,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pinterest Challenge #4- Homemade Ice Cream

For Mother's Day last year my hubby and son gave me an ice cream maker and juicer attachments for my Kitchenaid Mixer.  For the last year I have been getting grief for not having enough homemade ice cream.  The problem is, I haven't found a recipe that is outstanding without eggs in it.  I really hate the idea of putting in raw eggs, and even more hate the idea of cooking a custard.  The second one is mostly because I usually make ice cream spur-of the-moment, its not usually a planned menu item.

This pin gave the idea for ice cream with 2 ingredients, and neither one of them is eggs, so I had to try it.  I hate pins without links, so I almost didn't even pin it, but then I decided I wanted to try it bad enough to pin it anyway.

Here is the original pin

Soda Pop Ice Cream:  easy and affordable!  You choose your favorite soda (2 liters), add a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, throw it in an ice cream maker, turn it on and 30 minutes later you have a creamy blend of deliciousness. The variations are endless, like Sunkist for a dreamsicle taste or Rootbeer float. This is seriously fool proof.

We tried root beer first, and it tasted like a float.  Delicious!  Next we tried the orange soda, it did taste close to an orange cream-cicle.  I definitely liked the root beer better, but the rest of my family said they liked them both.

The consistency is not exactly like regular homemade ice cream, but it is really good.  When we made the orange soda ice cream it didn't get thick enough for my liking, so I stuck it in the freezer over night.

Alright, so I didn't think about the carbonation when I put it in.  We all had a good laugh.  My mother-in-law suggested that I let the soda go flat before I make the ice cream.  She said it might help it to thicken a little more too, so we will for sure try that next time!

It looks different than this if you dish it right after you make it.  This picture is after it was frozen over night and then scooped out.  I like it better this way, again, my family doesn't have an opinion either way!



Pinterest Challenge #3- Raspberry Lemonade Smoothies

Ok, I will start with I love raspberries and I love lemonade... so this was made just for me!

Here is the original pin

This is another pin that I used the idea... and then went a totally different direction!

To start... I didn't do any exact measuring, the measurements I put down are just guesses.  And then I changed all of the ingredients except the raspberries and ice.  I didn't have any lemonade concentrate, but I had something similar.  Since I didn't have lemonade, I really needed to add sugar to compensate.  And so, it ended up close... but not really!

Here are my ingredients:

Frozen Raspberries
(I used some leftovers from our family raspberry patch last year.  I froze all of the ones that I didn't need for jam.)

(Ok, I figured you know what ice looks like and it really didn't need a picture)
Frozen Lemon Juice
(I freeze mine in ice cube trays so that I can pull out a little when I need it, and they worked out just perfect for this recipe!)

Sugar and Water
(again, pictures seemed unnecessary, and I couldn't get one that I liked!)

For a single serving I put about 10 ice cubes, 3 lemon cubes, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar, and just a tiny bit of water.  I did end up adding more sugar to mine, but my hubby loved it really tart.  Blend well and enjoy!

The sad part... I left the extra raspberries out on the counter overnight and so they thawed out.  I had to use them all right away, so no more smoothies until raspberries are back in season. Sad day indeed.


Pinterest Challenge #2- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

So next I made Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken for the Pinterest Challenge.  Can you tell that I like to use my crock pot?  Funny thing is, I didn't get one as a wedding present and when my hubby's grandma found out she went and bought us one!  And what's even funnier... it took me over a year to even take it out of the box!  Now I couldn't live without it!

Here is the original pin.

This recipe I actually followed... almost exactly!

4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen or thawed
1 bottle BBQ sauce (sweet baby ray's was recommended and I happen to have some)
1/4 c vinegar
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder

I put the ingredients in the slow cooker and mixed them all together, then added the chicken.  I also took the time to make sure each piece of chicken was coated in the sauce, but I don't know if that was necessary or just my OCD.  You cook it on LOW for 4-6 hours, obviously longer if you put the chicken in frozen.  The only thing that I didn't follow exactly was the red pepper flakes, I didn't quite add that many, I was worried it would be too much kick for my 3-year-old.

Here is how mine looked... so yummy!

I served it with my famous (fine, only famous in my family and close friends) Ranch Potatoes.

 Ranch Potatoes

2 lbs red potatoes (any variety works, really)
1/4 cup oil (I use canola)
3 Tbsp ranch powder (1 packet = 3 Tbsp)

Cut potatoes into pieces, I do larger pieces to save time.  Place potatoes in a gallon-size bag that zips.  Add the oil and powder.  Seal and shake until evenly coated.  Spread evenly on a cookie sheet, I line it with tin foil to make the clean up easier.  Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes.  The cook time will vary depending on the size you cut your potatoes, the type of potatoes you use, and of course your oven.  Poke a potato with a fork to see if it is done, we like them cooked until the outside is crispy and the inside is nice and soft.  This recipe, like all of mine, is very approximate, sometimes I sprinkle on extra ranch after I spread them out if it doesn't look seasoned enough.  I also always make more than 2 lbs, so I almost never actually measure the oil, just pour til it looks good!  The original recipe is from the back of the Hidden Valley Ranch Powder container.



Pinterest Challenge #1- Oven Potato Wedges

I have been having tons of fun and been able to do quite a few Pinterest projects!  Sorry, I am going to be doing a bunch of posts at once, so bear with me!  Here goes #1...

I made Oven Potato Wedges... sort of.  I am absolutely terrible about following a recipe exactly.  A recipe is "more guidelines than actual rules" (sorry, I couldn't help it!) to me and so I used the idea and made my own.

Here is the original pin.

Oven Potato Wedges

And now here is my version.

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into small wedges
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
*All of those measurements are very approximate.  My family devours potatoes, so I always make more than 2 lbs.*

I would love to hear if any of you make your own improvements on my version!

And since potatoes aren't a great main dish (don't tell my hubby!), I made some BBQ Chicken Sandwiches in the slow cooker to go with the potatoes.

This recipe was simple and I loved that I didn't have to think about dinner, it was cooking by the time we ate lunch!

3 lbs uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup ketchup
1 small onion (optional)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all of the ingredients, except chicken.  Place the chicken in the slow cooker and pour mixture on top.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender.  Take out the bay leaf.  Use 2 forks to shred the chicken.  Stir the chicken and sauce together.  Cover and cook on low for another 30 minutes.  Remove the lid and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes with the lid off to cook off some of the juices.  At this point I tasted it and it wasn't overwhelming flavor, so I added some BBQ sauce.  It made a world of difference, it turned out amazing!  I didn't measure how much I put in, I just added and tasted, and repeated that until it was what I wanted!  See, I never can follow a recipe exactly!

I served the chicken on toasted buns with ranch and lettuce.  It was good without the ranch if you want to watch the calories.



Monday, May 14, 2012

I have a confession... I am a Pinterest Addict!

I am sorry for the delay in posting, without a laptop blogging is a huge challenge! I am borrowing my sister's laptop today, so here we go!

 I found this challenge and decided it is right up my alley! I can't count the number of times I have been thinking about making dinner, or crafting, or just something I need and my mind goes directly to, "I bet I can find it on Pinterest!" Example: I was getting my 3-year-old out of the tub and as I wrapped him in his hooded towel (that he has had since birth), I realized it was way too small for him. So I thought, "Maybe I should make him a bigger one, he still likes the hood but this towel just isn't cutting it." And what thought followed closely behind? "I will look on Pinterest! There has to be a good pattern on there for one!" Sure enough, a few hours later I found a pattern that I liked. I have to say, I still haven't made one because I am waiting for the really nice towels to go on sale, but as soon as they do... oh boy!

My goal in this challenge is to make something every other day to post until the challenge is over. Today I am starting with a recipe. I will be making Oven Potato Wedges (that I found on Pinterest) to go with my BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. Wish me luck... they are both new recipes, so dinner could go either way tonight!

 I would love to know if anyone else decides to join in the challenge and feed their Pinterest addiction!

P.S. I am cooking up a great giveaway for when I reach 50 followers!  Just in case you wanted to spread the word! :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Recipe: So Easy (Even YOU Can't Mess it Up!) Homemade Bread

The first recipe I am going to share is for So Easy (Even YOU Can't Mess it Up!) Homemade Bread.  I was fortunate enough to be asked to appear on ABC 4 in Utah on their morning show Good Things Utah and on CW30 for The Daily Dish.  Doing a cooking segment on TV was one of the things on my "bucket list" and it was such a fun experience!  When I got there and started setting up, I couldn't find the bowl for their Kitchenaid mixer.  After searching high and low, an intern informed me that it had disappeared a while ago and no one knew were it was.  I think I almost died right there, I had no idea what to do without a mixer!  But with the help of my amazing Aunt Christine, we were able to find a big bowl and wooden spoon to make it the old-fashioned way!
I must have not done too bad, because they asked me to come back in June to do another recipe!  I am still deciding on what to make... but it's alright, I still have a few months!

Here is the link to the clip from each show.  I am sorry, I haven't figured out if I can post the actual video on here!  Some day I will be good at this blogging thing!

The recipe is with video!  Enjoy!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Hello Blog World!

I have decided to join the blog world!  I am not sure why, or what will come of it, but I am going to give it a try.  Here is where I will be posting my creations of all kinds. I am still learning how this all works, so pictures will come soon, but for now I haven't figured that all out yet!

I really enjoy cooking, so you will get to see the successes and failures in my kitchen.  Crafting is also one of my hobbies, so you will see all of my crazy project ideas.  Though, most of what I plan to post will be about Preschool.  I love teaching, it is in my blood.  As I come across ideas for my classroom I will be sharing them on here.  I hope they will be of some help to anyone with kids.  I am sharing the ideas to help you with your own children or the children in your classroom if you are a teacher, but please don't profit from my ideas.  Please give me credit if you share one on my ideas, just as I will be giving credit when I share another person's ideas with you.

Anything I make, I am happy to make again to sell.  Depending on what it is, I will sell the items as the pattern/supplies/tools for you to make yourself, or I will offer a completely finished product ready for you to use.  Everything I sell will be custom made after your purchase, so there will be a delay in shipping, please keep this in mind should you choose to order.  The benefit of this is that you can request custom colors, flavors, names, or what have you for your item.  As I figure out the ins and outs of blogging, any purchases will be worked out through email and completed via PayPal invoice.  My email is

In the future I plan on doing great giveaways, again, I just have to figure out blogging!