Friday, June 29, 2012

Food Friday: Furit Shortcake

It is Friday again (HALLELUIAHTHANKTHELORD!) and the next two weeks are 3-day work weeks or 2-day work weeks. Oh yeah.

As you know, Friday is recipe day where I share a piece of amazingness with you. (The red squiggle line tells me "amazingness" is not a word... I don't agree.)

Today, we share the best fruit shortcake ever.

I will note that this was thrown together with whatever we had in the cupboard/fridge so know that the fruit can be interchangeable.

For THIS, we used the following:
  • 2 kiwi
  • 1 carton strawberries
  • 1/2 carton blueberries
  • 1 tsp Splenda (no calorie sweetener)
  • 1 8oz container of light Cool Whip
  • Pre-made shortcake cups
Slice and dice your kiwi and strawberries and toss 'em into a bowl with the blueberries. Throw in a tsp or so of sweetener (sugar or Splenda) and stir well.


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Remove shortcake cup from the plastic (classy, right?) and put on a plate. Top with fruit, Cool Whip, and more fruit. Then EAT!


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Delicious and beyond easy for a date-night supper. Well... and for dessert after breakfast with Tyler's parents. Dessert with breakfast? SURE!

Happy weekend, all!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Food Friday: Fruit Cups

Um hello, best food ever.

Maybe it's because I am getting enormously pregnant and have cravings for fruit. Or maybe it's because I was in a super super rush and needed a dessert fast for a get-together. Either way: WOAH MAMA! This is a dessert that will rock your socks off.

Here is what you need:
  • 1 batch of sugar cookie dough (pre-made, homemade, or + egg and butter mix packet. I opted for number three because of the time restrictions.
  • 1 8oz tub of Cool Whip
  • Lemon Pudding (two pudding cups or homemade and eyeball it... I was in a rush so I used cups)
  • Strawberries (optional)
  • Blueberries (optional... I don't even like blueberries but mixed with kiwi and strawberries? Oh. Em. Gee.)
  • 1 Kiwi fruit
  • A quart sized freezer bag 
FruitCups
Save the flops for your hubby... make sure he knows not to eat the good ones!
Put about a teaspoon of cookie dough into the bottom of a mini muffin tin and flatten. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until it is just starting to brown on the outsides. Leave it a little gooey as it makes the cup that much better. 

Let cool either in the fridge or on a cooling rack. I used the fridge so I could get done quick (do you see a trend??).

Mix together the pudding and Cool Whip until creamy.  Now I am a little OCD so I like the cream to look pretty. Instead of spooning the mixture onto the cooled cookie, I put it into a quart sized baggie, let out air and cut off one of the bottom corners. It essentially makes a cheap (yet effective) piping tool. Top all cookies with mixture.

Slice the strawberries and chop the kiwi and place a mixture on top of the cookie/cream and SERVE! If you need it for later, just be sure to keep cool.

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Voila! 20 minutes later and your guests are happy (and oozing over this amazing dish).

Happy Friday!

Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Love Sign

My second project was a L-O-V-E sign (from Pinterest) for Baby K's nursery. I wanted something cute, fun, and easy. Not to mention relatively inexpensive!

This project was the definition of EASY!

You will need:
  •  4 canvases of equal size (I used 8x10 and they were 50% off at JoAnn Fabrics)
  • Fabric
  • Buttons
  • Tacky glue
  • Hot glue/glue gun
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Using tacky glue, glue the fabric to the canvases. Make sure fabric is tight so the buttons don't sag. Let dry.

Glue buttons onto the fabric.

Hang and stare!

SO. STINKIN'. EASY.

That makes THREE pieces of art for baby K's room. 4 if you include the crayon art Tyler and I made.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

I don't know what to say.

My dad is an amazing person.

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Actually, he is maybe one of the most wonderful, thoughtful, funniest people I know.

He will do anything for anybody. He's the kind of guy that will go out of his way to open a door for anyone, break his back so you don't have to, and drop anything when his family is in need of help!

He has worked from home all my life so he played a big role in our lives every day. He drove us everywhere. Came and got us when we had to go home sick. And to this day, he will call us to meet him for lunch. Even when we live 1.5 hours away. Yep. He drives all the way to my house for lunch on a weekday.

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I wish there were words to describe how amazing this man is, but to be quite frank, they wouldn't do him justice.

The real shocker? He didn't have any desire to be a dad until my mom became pregnant (after being married for a couple of years). He took to my brother so so well. He said he wanted another one so Carl wasn't lonely! Fortunately for him, he got two.

Having him give me away on my wedding day was a blessing. The best gift. 

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I cry when I think of the hugs and love I felt from him on that amazing day.

Who else has the capacity to stand with a nervous bride on her wedding day while knowing that in a few minutes she would take a new last name. A strong man. A dad. My dad.

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He danced with me to make my nerves go away. Ran to get me a soda because he "thought I looked flushed". Cried with me while I vowed my love to the man of my dreams. He gave Tyler permission to ask for my hand and even drove him to the airport to surprise me. Not for Tyler (sorry honey). Not for himself. But for me because he knew this is what I wanted.

Now, he is not just my amazing dad. He is my child's grandfather.

He, like my husband and I, is thrilled to meet her.

Whenever I walk up to him, he just stares at me and smiles this smile that makes me feel all of his love. The love that he has not only for me, but for the new addition to our family. The love of a grandfather. 

 There is no doubt in my mind that my dad is going to be a wonderful grandfather. My daughter will love him. And want to see him. And miss him when she is not with him. She will call him when he is not at our house or we are not at his. And she will cry when it is time to leave.

How do I know this?

Because I have experienced it all too. I love him. I want to see him all the time. I miss him. I call him (or he calls me) every day. At LEAST once a day. And sometimes (maybe it's hormones or maybe the overwhelming love I feel when I'm home), I cry when I leave.

Not only am I a lucky, lucky daughter, but my daughter is going to be is a lucky lucky granddaughter.

I am always in awe of all the people I have in my life. My heart aches as it swells with love.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Food Friday - Guacamole

This Food Friday is A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Probably my favorite.

I love love LOVE guacamole. I love authentic guacamole, not the crap that's vacuum sealed in a container at the grocery store that has the consistency of soup. Nope. Not for me.

I like chunky guacamole. Homemade. Or made right in front of me. I want to see the limes and avocados. Smell the cilantro. My mouth salivates just thinking about this delicious treat.

This recipe lasted us for quite a few days during which we consumed some every day.

Here is what you'll need:
  • 3 avocados
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Guacamole
I am in love with my new camera which has been severely over used since I got it. Ah well. Better to use than not use that little giant investment.

Peel, pit, and mash the avocado. This part is my favorite. Slice one line all the way around the avocado (using the pit as a guide) and use your fingers to separate the pieces. 

Pull out the pit. If it is a tough one, use a spoon. Using the same spoon, scoop out the whole avocado from the skin. Place in a bowl and mash the avocado pieces together (I used a mini whisk... worked like a charm).

Juice the lime (whole thing). I juiced it through a small mesh strainer so I wouldn't get anything but juice in my masterpiece.

Mash together lime juice, avocados, and salt. Add onion and cilantro.

Dice the tomatoes into small(er) portions so they don't make scooping the dip tough. I cheated on the garlic and used the stuff in a jar. I love LOVE that stuff.

Mix the ingredients all together and serve!

Holy D-LICIOUS! 

Let me know if you give this baby a try. It's a great, colorful summer appetizer. 

Happy FRIDAY!



Thursday, June 14, 2012

BEST. NEWS. EVER!

Ok, so maybe not "the best" news, but it is pretty stinkin' awesome.

I have been waiting almost 3 years to be hired on full-time with my company. I have been in my current role as a contractor for just over 2.5 years.

Today my boss called me and offered me my job!!! 

I know that this sounds weird and not too exciting, but here are the differences between contracted and being on full time:
  • You go from $$ to $$$
  • You go from no paid vacation to paid vacation
  • You go from no maternity leave to 6 weeks of maternity leave
  • You go from no benefits to full benefits
I have to say that the biggest accomplishment is the maternity leave. It has been in the back of our minds since we got pregnant and has contributed to a lot of stress in the planning process of this little bean. Well, WHEW! We are so so relieved!! 

I finally got a hold of my hubby to tell him so I had to share my giddy, exciting, goofy grinned news with all of you fine people.

Patience and persistence really pay off. 

Pregnancy update will come tonight once my hubby takes our picture : ).

YAY! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY Cherry Blossom

I loved this one since I saw it on Pinterest. The only thing I did not love about it was the background! When I saw it, it was plain white.

I decided to venture out and be creative. Here is what you'll need:
  • A white canvas that is long and skinny
  • Paper plate
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Empty plastic bottle

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Coat the canvas in the color of your choice. If you'd like, you can leave it white!

On a paper plate, mix your red and white to achieve the pink you want.

Using a dark color, draw a stem/branch.

Dip your plastic bottle in the pink and dab onto the branches to form the blossoms.

Let dry and hang!!

Easy. As. Pie!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I am a Do It Yourself-er - Night Light Canvas

Two days after we found out we were going to have a baby girl, I went. To. Town.


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I made FOUR works of art for the little peanut. Ok, 3 for her. One for her OCD mother.

Over the next few weeks, I will share my projects with you. These will include steps AND price so you know what the monetary investment would be if you decided to jump on this creativity train.

Today, is a simple one (that I found on Pinterest)! You will need:
  • A white canvas (I got for $10 at JoAnn Fabrics)
  • Stickers ($5 at Walmart)
  • Spray paint ($4 at Walmart)
Total project cost is $19! That's less than the original price of the canvas alone! This girl LOVES sales.

I wanted a fun, pretty night light for my little girl. At the same time, I want it to be safe. We will be getting some fire-proof touch lights to go behind to light this baby up. Today, I show you how to make the canvas!


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First, go out and buy ANY SIZE white canvas. We have a large area by her door so we went with a biggy!

Buy a handful of stickers to place on the canvas. Doesn't matter what color they are or how pretty the designs are. All you need is a nice outline. Spread the stickers all over the canvas or in a design if you so wish.

Take this baby outside and coat in spray paint. Let dry and remove stickers! See?! SOOOOOO easy!

Now we will put it on the wall and hang a light behind it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Food Friday - Fried Chicken Sandwich

Shield your eyes, health-nuts. This one is as unhealthy as they come.

But when a pregnant lady wants something, she will go out of her way to get it. 

INCLUDING making it for herself.

In this case, I wanted NEEDED a buffalo chicken sandwich.The only issue is I did not want to pay for it. Can you say "CHEAP-O". Yes. You can.

You will need:
  • 2 large chicken breasts thawed
  • 1 sleeve crushed saltine crackers (we used salt-less saltines)
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch/dash/touch (your call) of garlic
  • Pinch/dash/touch (your call) of Season Salt
  • Pinch/dash/touch (your call) of Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • Buffalo sauce to taste
Now. Let's not over complicate this as there is essentially NO recipe. It was a weak, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants moment. But everyone is entitled to a brief indulgence, right?!

Now, pour your oil into a medium size skillet and turn to 3/4 heat.


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In a food processor, blend up the crackers, garlic, seasoned salt, and parsley until very fine. If you don't have a food processor, a gallon sized zipper bag and a rolling pin will do. Then pour into a bowl. Scramble 3 eggs in a medium sized bowl. Dip trimmed chicken breast in eggs making sure to coat thoroughly. Dip (again thoroughly) in crumb mixture. If you want your chicken SUPER crunchy, you can dip again in eggs then crumbs.

Place in heated oil for about 10-15 minutes (really depends on the size of the chicken breast. Use your best judgement. Flip and cook until chicken is no longer pink! I am kind of finicky about chicken. It makes me nervous. You will normally see 2-3 cut marks in it as I have to check and re-check to make sure it is cooked through.

Split a bun, place 1/2 of your large chicken breast on the bun, and cover with buffalo sauce. I top my bun with mayo and Tyler uses ranch. I will let you make that executive decision.



***IF you want  a healthier option, you can try baking the chicken at 350* until it is heated through.

ENJOY!

Now I am off to celebrate yet another birthday at a ball game. Hopefully this one doesn't go 13 innings like last year on my birthday!
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