I enjoy hosting baby showers and it’s a good thing because my friends are having babies like it’s going out of style. I really can’t say too much because I happen to have 6 kids myself, the youngest being only 3 months old.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to help host my friend’s baby farm animal themed baby shower. It was so much fun and turned out absolutely adorable!
I made the cake. It was chocolate and delicious. Need I say more? It was fun to come up with farm-themed names for the food.
For the guest book I got the Jolly Barnyard little golden book and had the guests all sign their names with a little note on different pages.
I had seen a banner someone made out of a little golden book and decided to try it myself. I used the baby farm animals little golden book. First I took the cover off, then cut the pennants out of the pages, and hot glued them to a string. So easy and cute! There’s a great tutorial here even tho I didn’t follow it except to make my pattern.
The momma to be thought everything was great and that was our goal! I can dream up a cute shower any day but making it happen takes a team. I couldn’t have done it without my friends helping. Teamwork, baby!
School starts on Monday for my kiddos. I know we say it every year, “wow, summer flew by fast”, but this year it actually did. I’ve got two in middle school, two in elementary, and two at home with me. It’s going to be a great year! With the start of school, there’s always teacher gifts to think about. I want them to be creative but easy. Lol! Don’t we all?!
This year I made apple butter, a family favorite that my momma taught me how to make, and I attached a cute gift tag to it with some string. It turned out really cute and the teachers were all delighted with it at Meet the Teacher night. Score!
I found the gift tag printable on Pinterest. Yay for Pinterest, right?
I grew up making applesauce and apple butter every fall. It’s just what we did. Mom would buy a whole bunch of apples, I’m talking 30 bushels or more and we’d have applesauce making day or days. It’s a tradition I’ve continued with my kids too. We like to eat applesauce with pretty much everything. It helps cool off your hot food and is just delicious!
Anyway, I’ll share my apple butter recipe with you today. I use my own homemade applesauce but I’m sure store bought unsweetened applesauce would work great too.
6 quarts unsweetened applesauce
4 1/2 cups white sugar
4 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pour the applesauce in a big ovenproof stainless steel bowl.
Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix well.
Bake at 350 degrees for 6 hours. Stir it occasionally, like every hour or so. I’ve left it longer and even overnight sometimes.
Remove from oven, ladle into clean canning jars and water bath them in boiling water for 15 minutes.
Yield: approximately 8 pints of apple butter
The sun shining on jars of homemade apple butter is one of life’s simple joys. The best, my friend. I hope you try this recipe whether it’s for yourself or for a gift. It will create memories that will last forever.
This fluffy concoction is one of my hubby’s favorites. I’ve made it for him since before we were married. And he’s always called it simply “orange stuff”! Because hey, it’s orange and this tasty stuff doesn’t seem like salad at all.
Not to go off topic but, I made my husband a blueberry cheesecake for Father’s Day (that was yesterday actually). Something he’s always wished I would make but I let it intimidate me all these years…. until now! It wasn’t a complete flop and it did look pretty. He really liked it and that’s what matters anyway. But the center was a tad too soft and some of the water from the water bath somehow crept in and made the crust a tad bit soggy in spots. So I need to keep practicing but it wasn’t as difficult as I had thought.
I also made him a big bowl of orange stuff! It turned out perfect as usual. You can’t mess this stuff up. I dumped the ingredients in the bowl and my 9 year old son mixed it altogether. We always double the recipe because there’s never enough orange stuff around here. My son proudly presented the bowl of orange stuff “he” had made and Daddy was properly surprised and excited. I love being a mom and setting up moments like these. Sweet memories!
Pineapple Cottage Cheese Salad
1 – 24 oz. container of cottage cheese
1 – 3 oz. box of orange jello
1 – 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
1-2 cups whipped topping
Mix the dry jello thoroughly with the cottage cheese. Add the drained pineapple and whipped topping and mix well. Keep refrigerated.
Dish yourself a big bowl of orange stuff and enjoy! It’s healthy, it has cottage cheese and fruit in it. 😉
To continue my Frittata-making spree, this morning I made a Caprese Frittata. As in anything caprese, the stars of the show are tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese. One of my favorite combinations. It’s fresh, it’s light, and it’s Italian!
I picked some fresh basil leaves from the basil plant on my kitchen windowsill. Herb plants in my kitchen are one of the little things in life that make me happy. I can’t wait till I have fresh tomatoes from my garden this summer but for now these beauties from the store will do just fine.
Frittata’s have become my favorite breakfast lately. They’re so simple to make, they look pretty, and they taste amazing! Plus they’re quite healthy and full of protein which is what I’m looking for as a pregnant momma. I’m 6 weeks away from my due date and am definitely in the “nesting” stage.
Breakfast can make or break your day and this Bacon and Asparagus Frittata is the perfect way to start your day off right. My husband is enjoying all the frittatas too. He is the biggest fan of my cooking and in almost 14 years has never complained about my food even if they didn’t always turn out right. I’m serious! He’s a true gem!
Bacon is always a good idea and any kind will work. For this recipe I used Applegate Naturals hickory smoked uncured turkey bacon. Typically I’m not the biggest fan of turkey bacon but this is was delicious!
Last night I tucked the kids into bed with a story, prayers, and kisses and then since my hubby was at a meeting, I settled down on the couch with some cookies and cream ice cream and Call the Midwife on Netflix. It was wonderful! Quite honestly I ate way too much ice cream. Especially for a pregnant woman. But I don’t regret it one bit! It was worth it.
Nonetheless this morning in order to soothe my conscience I ate a protein packed breakfast. I made a yummy spinach and tomato frittata. The awesome thing about this frittata is that you can change things up and use whatever veggies you have on hand. I added some asparagus with the spinach today and it was delicious. I usually bake it right in my cast iron skillet but I decided to try transferring the sautéed veggies to a pie pan and proceeding as normal. It worked great. Baking it in a pie pan would make this easy to transport too. I’m always taking a meal to someone who’s had a new baby or a surgery so I like any meal ideas that are easy to transport.
This is a great recipe for my gluten-free friends. You can also easily make it dairy free by skipping the milk and cheese and it still tastes amazing!
You want in on a secret? This is the only recipe I’ve EVER used feta cheese with. And every time I sprinkle feta on top of this frittata I feel so fancy like I’m a gourmet cook or something. Haha! Ahem, ok on with the recipe….
Spinach and Tomato Frittata
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups spinach
1/2 cup milk
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In an ovenproof skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in the oil until transparent. Add the spinach and cook till wilted.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Pour eggs over spinach mixture, arrange tomato slices on top, and sprinkle with the feta cheese.
Today is the first day of spring!!! And here in Texas it definitely feels like it! It’s beautiful weather and the kids have been outside soaking up the sunshine. They started “making mud” with the water hose and ended up making mud pies. I love to see them playing outside and being creative. Nowadays it seems like it’s a constant battle to balance electronics and creative play. But days like today make it easy to get them outside.
Mud pies are awesome and so is strawberry pie! And what says springtime more than a yummy fruit pie?
Speaking of pie, last week on March 14th it was National Pi Day and of course I had to make a pie. So I made this strawberry pie. I actually made three pies. Two for my family and one for a friend who just had foot surgery. Everyone approved of it and the pies disappeared fast. I love that! Actions speak louder than words, especially when it comes to whether a recipe is a winner or not.
1 unbaked pie crust
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 – 3 oz. box strawberry jello
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place crust in pie pan and crimp edge. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool.
Layer the sliced strawberries in the pie crust.
Stir together water, sugar, and cornstarch in a saucepan until dissolved. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in strawberry jello until completely dissolved.
Pour over the sliced strawberries. Refrigerate until set.
Serve when chilled! I like to serve each piece with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
My husband’s younger brother came to visit this weekend and it was his birthday. When I asked what kind of cake he would like he requested pineapple upside down cake. Well, I had never made that but I was up for the challenge! I found a recipe, tweaked it just a bit, and was very happy with the results. The birthday boy declared it amazing and so did everyone else! Yay for another winner of a cake recipe! 🙂
So without farther ado, here’s the recipe. It makes two 9 inch cakes. I adapted the recipe from Jam Hands.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
For the topping:
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
14 pineapple rings, about 1 1/2 cans
14 maraschino cherries
For the cake:
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by greasing them with all-vegetable shortening and sprinkling with flour. Place 7 pineapple rings in each pan and place a cherry inside each one.
Combine the brown sugar and butter in a sauce pan. Stir and heat over medium heat until completely dissolved. Divide equally in two and pour over the pineapple in both pans.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer, combine sugar and butter until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. Bear in vanilla.
Add sour cream and flour mixture alternately, beating well after each addition.
Divide dough equally and pour into the two pans.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tests done with a toothpick. Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a plate.
I have always enjoyed vegetables. Even as a child, one of my favorite dishes was vegetable soup and I could make it by myself by the time I was 9 years old. I would go into our root cellar and gather up jars of canned vegetables that we had harvested from our garden and a jar of tomato sauce to tie it all together. Add some seasonings and you’ve got yourself a simple and delicious soup!
But today I’m talking about roasting vegetables. Roasting veggies in the oven just brings out another dimension of flavor and it’s so simple. Did you ever think of roasting radishes? Me neither! Until my friend said they were amazing that way and she wasn’t lying. Baking the radishes takes the spicyness out and they’re now one of my favorites. And they look so pretty mixed with carrots.
I line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and spray a little canola on it. Chop up whatever vegetables you want to roast and spread them out on the pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. You can use other seasonings as you desire but salt and pepper usually does the trick for me.
Pop them into a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until soft, depending on what you’re roasting and how soft you like them. That’s it! So simple, so yummy, and so healthy.
Some of my favorite veggies to roast are carrots, radishes, potatoes (especially sweet potatoes), squash, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower. Today I roasted a pan of carrots, radishes, and zucchini squash. They look so pretty. It’s always a bonus when healthy food also looks pretty. 😄
Today is Valentine’s Day and it’s cold and rainy. I know that it’s February and technically still winter but this is Texas and it was 80 degrees on Saturday so this 40 degree weather has me shivering.
The first thing I think of on a cold, rainy day is soup. Yes, soup. Soup warms the cockles of my heart. I think that’s a famous quote. But I’m not sure. It is famous in my heart. I like soup. Soup’s my favorite. Ok, ok, on with the show.
Soup on Valentine’s Day is a great idea. It’s common knowledge that food is the way to most men’s hearts and soup is definitely the way to this woman’s heart!
Today’s soup is Chicken Noodle. I grew up eating my mom’s homemade egg noodles and they are the absolute best for making soup. Unfortunately I don’t have any on hand today. I really need to make a batch soon. And when I do, I think I’ll share it on the blog so y’all can make some too. Anyways, you can totally use storebought egg noodles or just plain old spaghetti noodles.
Here you go! Chicken Noodle Soup
3-4 chicken thighs or drumsticks
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, diced
About 12 oz. egg noodles or spaghetti noodles
Dried Parsley (fresh parsley is awesome if you have it on hand)
Cook the chicken in water, seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When tender, remove from broth and debone. Save the broth!
Put potatoes, carrots, onion, celery, salt, and pepper in a big kettle and cover with water and bring to a boil.
Add the noodles, deboned chicken, and the broth. Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. Add additional water if necessary.
Simmer till the vegetables are tender and noodles are cooked. Enjoy!