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Off Limits

I was so excited yesterday when I stumbled across a recipe for Malt-Fudge brownies over at the Tummy Treasure blog. I needed a dessert to take to our Mom's Night Out game night and chocolate anything is usually a hit with women. I knew I had a lot of leftover malted milk balls from the Malt Ball Cake I made last month, so this recipe wouldn't require an extra trip to the store, which was a big plus.We were pretty busy yesterday so I didn't get around to starting the brownies until around 5pm.  I wasn't worried as the recipe was straight forward and simple.... nothing at all complicated about it. I was mixing the ingredients together and got to the part that required coarsely chopped malt balls. I walked into my pantry, found the box of Whoppers and picked it up. I opened the top and went to pour them into my food processor. Much to my surprise, my box that should have been over half full had 5 tiny little malt balls trickle out. 5 malt balls and I needed a full cup. I looked up to see my husband's face... he looked like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.  "What happened to all of the Whoppers?", I asked. "Ummmmmm.....yikes. I didn't know they were off limits. You didn't tell me that I couldn't eat the Whoppers."This used to happen all the time when I was pregnant. I'd have something I was savoring... taking my time eating. One day I'd reach in to grab it and it would be gone. My husband is a snack stealer... a candy thief... a … [Continue reading]

Happy Bisquick Day

 Bisquick is one of those controversial ingredients that can cause quite a stir among people who cook. Are you a "real" cook if you use a pre-boxed mix for anything or should everything be from scratch? The same controversy surrounds cans of cream soup (cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, etc). Is it considered cheating to use such ingredients instead of whipping up your own cream sauce to utilize in recipes?In my opinion, if it comes out of your kitchen...your oven... your mixer... it is homemade. Everyone has time limitations, budget limitations, health limitations, skill limitations. People shouldn't feel ashamed for using shortcuts, like baking mixes, when they cook. If it is easier and if it gives them the confidence they need to bake something great in the kitchen, then I think they should go for it!Mimi at French Kitchen in America dubbed March 15th as Bisquick baking mix day. It had been awhile since I had purchased Bisquick but I was excited to have the excuse to make one of my favorite Bisquick breads... Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits. The recipe I use has white wine in it, verus the versions with the milk. This adds such a unique flavor to the biscuits. These are so quick and easy and impressive to throw together for a quick weeknight meal. Get our your Bisquick and bake something up today!From Recipezaar:Cheddar Bay Biscuits  2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking … [Continue reading]

Lunch Time Blues

Written for Kids Cuisine on the Well Fed Network I often struggle with our weekday lunch. It is the most frustrating part of the day for me because I have a hard time getting creative and making a quick and healthy lunch that my kids will enjoy. I am also very tempted at lunchtime to scrap the whole idea of eating at home and instead going to the nearest restaurant to grab something for the kids to eat. This option rarely includes healthy choices and often results in a budget buster.Over the past couple of weeks I've decided to shake up our lunch time rituals. I want lunch to be healthy but also to be an interactive and fun time for my family. I have made some simple changes and they have been very well received by my kids. We don't rush through lunch anymore... it is a fun event that my kids look forward to now.  Here are some of the fun things we have been doing at lunch time. ABC - A few weeks ago we had days where everything we ate at lunch time had to correspond to a letter of the alphabet. For example, one day was the letter "P". On "P" day we had pepperoni personal pizzas, pineapple and pudding.  On "S" day we had salad, sandwiches, strawberry yogurt and a few Starburst for dessert. I get my children involved at the grocery store, helping me to pick out food that matches the corresponding letters for the week.Picnic Lunch - Indoors or out, changing the venue of your lunch from the kitchen table to a blanket spread out really … [Continue reading]

Love Thy Neighbor

{First of all...sorry about the lack of any posting this past week. We had a death in the family and my kids and I went out of town for the visitation and funeral. We've had some other tragic extended family stuff going on this past week as well... it has been kind of a crazy time.}  I was thinking today about what a great neighborhood we live in. Our block is filled with families young and old and our neighborhood is like one that I used to dream about living in. The kids all hang out together...riding bikes, playing games, playing catch. The parents all hang out together grilling hot dogs, drinking margaritas, catching up on the news, etc. We borrow eggs, we borrow tools, we borrow trucks. We have a great time together and I am thankful to have such wonderful families surrounding us.I also like my neighbors because they never turn down baked goods.  I like to bake a lot, if you haven't figured that out already, and if I ate everything I baked I would be the size of my house. This is when my neighbors really come in handy. I know that I can always count on someone on our block taking something off my hands...making the caloric sacrifice for me.Today I decided I was going to make one of my favorite mini-loaf bread recipes. I don't make this recipe often because it is just too good. I am always tempted to scarf each little loaf down myself. This recipe makes 4 mini loaves of the softest most delicious bread. In my math challenged mind, I had two loaves to give to … [Continue reading]

Is It Monday Yet??

I am going to start this post off by saying I love my husband... I truly do. I love spending time with him. I love having long leisurely weekends with him. I love the fact that he is a great dad, a great husband, a great helper around the house. He is way more than I deserve.With that out of the way, I am also going to say...when is that man going back to work?? It has been such a long weekend! We went to a party on Friday night, had church this morning and other than that our weekend has been a whole lot of nothing. Nick is not the sit around and do nothing kind of guy. He always has to be doing something... and it drives me crazy. When I'm in the kitchen, he's trailing along after me cleaning up. When I'm sitting down to read a magazine, he's banging around the house...hanging shelves, picking up, etc. Nice quality, I know, but sometimes it just gets on my nerves. When he's not relaxing, I feel guilty for relaxing. For some reason, he was especially busy this weekend and I was especially annoyed by it. Silently annoyed... I'm not about to complain about him helping out around the house, but still... I am so ready for him to go back to work tomorrow so I can have my "domain" back.We did manage to make a few great meals this weekend...something we do very well together. Two of the highlights were the Chicken Fajitas from Saturday's lunch and the Honey Oatmeal Bread that went with a yummy rotisserie pork loin he made for dinner tonight.  The fajitas were better … [Continue reading]