Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Key Lime Pie Muddy Graham Bites

These are a little explosion in your mouth and will liven up any party.  Super simple to create.  I found what I had been looking for in the grocers the other day... miniature graham bites!  They are a new item from Keebler.  Little squares of graham about an inch in diameter.  Perfect for snacking and perfect to create little key lime bites to pop in your mouth :)

What Ya Need:
3 cups miniature graham cracker bites
1 cup white chocolate morsels
1 packet of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations (Key Lime)
1 cup of powdered sugar

What Ya Do: 

1)  Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave on 45 second increments. 
2)  While they are melting, place the packet of frosting creations with the powdered sugar in a large plastic zipper bag.  Shake to create a lime colored (flavored) sugar mixture. 
3)  Stir the melting chocolate chips to make sure all are melted. 
4)  Measure 4 cups of the graham cracker bites in a large bowl and stir the melted chocolate into bowl.  Mix the cereal until all is well coated. 
5)  Directly transfer the coated graham bites into the zipper bag and shake.  These do stick together a bit,,, so periodically, open the bag and pull apart the sticky cereals.  Continue to shake until all are separated and coated. 
6)  When they are all coated, open the bag and take hand-fulls out of the bag and sift with hands, to release remaining sugar mixture from the graham bites. 
7)  Place into a bowl or serving dish.  I added chocolate chips to the mix to give a taste of chocolate covered key lime pie.  This is optional. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

You Totally RoCk: Valentine

Such a cute Valentine: 
Keebryn and I worked on this and they turned out totally "Rockin" ;) 

They are fairly cheap to create and I have created a template for you, so that you can simply right click and save to your computer to paste into a blank doc.  The image of the heart with wings was found by doing a Google search.  The heart image is not mine, however, I designed the remainder of the Valentine. 

What Ya Need: 

Packs of Pop Rocks
Template for the Valentine
Clear treat bags

What Ya Do:

OK... it's fairly simple. 

1) Make sure you have your supplies and have enough for each kido you will be donating these to.
2)  I would print off the template first... It is the image below.  What you do is right click and download the picture.  Then open a new blank document and place this into the page, twice.  Only two will fit onto a page.  I suggest that you print just one and practice the folding (below) before printing all needed.  Practice the folding to ensure they are measured correctly. 


3) As they are printing, let your kido write their Valentine's name and their name on the "To" and "From" lines. 
4) Then it's folding time.  As you cut these out, cut very close to the line on all sides, EXCEPT the top.  Leave about 1/3 of an inch on the top.  This will help line up the writing in the center as you fold.  After they have written on the card, fold it by meeting the two ends and make a fold.  Check to make sure it folds. 
5) Now allow your kido to stuff a packet of rock candy into one of the clear bags. 
6) Fold down the top until the top reaches almost the top of the rock candy.
7) Now place the folded card stradeling the bag and staple on both sides.

Super simple!


Chocolate Marshmallow Valentine Brownies

These are goodies and cutties. 
Instructions are below.
What Ya Need:
1 jar marshmallow cream
2 packets of chocolate brownie mix
All ingredients called for in the mix
1 bag of round chocolate coated candies (I used "Sixlets")
What Ya Do:
1)  Mix your brownie mix according to directions and place in a greased or sprayed pan. 
2)  Bake for apx. 10 minutes LESS than directed. 
3) When timer goes off,  use a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag to spread the marshmallow cream in a swirl (back and forth) pattern on top of the brownies. 
4) Bake in oven for additional 10 minutes. 
5) When the brownies are pulled from the oven, sprinkle with the round chocolate coated candies. 
The colors make it perfect for Valentines, but these candies can also be found in pastels for Easter or other fun colors just to add some fun to your brownies.  They do taste delish and they are super cute when cut into squares. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chocolate Heart Pomegranate Cups

Are you looking for a heart-healthy treat that serves the purpose of also knocking out a craving for chocolate?  This is it... these are simply delish!!  These little chocolate cups are homemade and filled with pomegranate seeds and honey.  Let's get started! Oh yeah... the kidos enjoy this thouroughly!

What Ya Need!

* 1 heart shaped cupcake or muffin pan (silicone)
* 1 bag of dark chocolate chips     for melting
* 1 pomegranate
* Drizzles of honey

What Ya Do! 

This is an elegant and simple snack.  The most time consuming part is making the cups. 

1)  Melt about half the bag of chocolate chips in the microwave in 40 second intervals.  I would use the darkest chocolate possible for the sake of heart health :)  When the chips are melted...

2)  Use a small, clean paint brush to dip into the chocolate and coat the bottom and sides in smooth strokes, of the heart shapes.  Make an even layer.

3)  Place them into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes and remove... they should be hardened.

4)  Now add another layer of chocolate.  This layer will harden quickly because the chocolate is cold in the mold... Make sure your chocolate is melted well in your bowl and carefully make smooth strokes to cover the heart again.  Use upward and full strokes on the sides especially, to make the top smooth instead of crumply.  (Uh, is that a real word?)

5)  Place them in the fridge for a short time, until they are hardened again. This is for the final time :)

6)  While they are hardening... work on your pomegranate.  Get the seeds out of your pomegranate and place them on a towel to drain.  You want them to be fairly dry because chocolate and liquid do not mix well. 

7)  Now, easily peel your heart cups out of their cases.  They should come out easily by just folding the silicone back. 

8)  Fill each heart with enough seeds and drizzle a small amount of honey over the top.

9)  You-re FINISHED!

I'm tellin' ya, I did not expect to enjoy these as much as I did.  They are a great flavor combo and if you are heart health conscience, you will feel great munching on these for a snack or serving to a friend. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

You're DyNaMiTe: Valentine!

For Keebryn's Valentines Day party last year, we decided to make Homemade Dynamite Valentines! They turned out totally cute. We created a template for a rectangular shaped card with "You're Dynamite" typed on front, and printed them off the computer. 
This is a great project to get the Kidos involved!

 What Ya Need!!

*Coin Rollers (size nickle or quarter)
*Red spray paint
*Black yarn
*Black electrical paint
*Hot glue gun
*Taffy Candy (or some other type that will fit)
*Homemade Valentine card

What Ya Do!!

1)  To make the dynamite...
Roll out newspaper to cover ground outisde.  Use a glove, because you will have to hold the dynamite to spray paint.  Find the designated amout of coin holders all the same size (the nickle holders worked best, but quarter ones will work also) and hold one by the side.  Spray as you rotate with your gloved index in the coin holder.  When it is fully covered with a coat of spray paint, stand it on it's end.  You will repeat this for all coin holders.  Let them dry apx. 5 minutes and spray again... You want to cover all coin detail with red. 

2) When those completely dry, prepare your strings of black yarn.  Cut each piece apx. 3 inches in length and glue with a hot glue gun, to the inside flap of the crunchable end.  Now cut a small piece of electrical tape near the bottom, apx. 1/2 inch from botton, all the way around the coin roller. It's starting to look like a little dynamite :)

3) Now comes the good part... CANDY! We stuffed each with a strip of taffy candy, but whatever fits and works for your child will do great.  After they are stuffed, fold the tip down on all sides, leaving the black yarn to hang.

4) Then, simply glue the finished dynamite stick to your homemade Valentine card! Your Valentine needs to have space on the top or side to place your dynamite and it should read "YOU"RE DYNAMITE"!  Create a line for the child's name and a line for the name of the child donating the valentine. 

 Check out the video of Keebryn helping to make his valentine.... Super Duper Cuter!  Hope you enjoy making these with your kidos!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cinnamon-Hots White Chocolate Bark

Again, another super simple treat! That makes for a cute Valentines Day treat or gift. 
What Ya Need!

1 Bag of White Chocolate Chips
1 Bag of Cinnamon Hots
*Wax Paper
*Zipper Bag
*Hammer :)

Uh.... yeah, that's it!

What Ya Do!

1) Prepare your Cinnamon Hots Candy by placing about half the bag in a small sandwich or freezer bag and grab the hammer.  I used a small hammer because I thought it not best to destroy my kitchen island top :)  Bust the candies into small pieces.  Simple eh?!

2) Roll out a medium size piece of wax paper and tape it to a baking pan. 

3) Now melt about half the bag of White Chocolate Chips in a microwave safe dish in the microwave for about 45 seconds and stir. Most of the chips should melt as you stir. 

4) Pour your melted chocolate onto the paper and spread with back and forth strokes, until it's about 1.5 cm thick.  Immediately sprinkle your crushed Cinnamon Hots candy over the chocolate and press lightly with your hand. 

5) Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes until hard. 

6) To bust the chocolate into pieces, pull up the wax paper and hold 6 inches or so, above a flat surface and drop the paper with candy.  It will break into pieces beautifully. 

Eat up or wrap up and send to a friend.  Happy Hot Valentines Day :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Flavor Boost Cake Trick

 This is a simple trick that I use on some of my cakes and even cupcakes.  It can add a burst of flavor and surprise to any cake. 

What Ya Do... Is Totally Simple:

1) Pick out any flavor of jelly from your local grocers... In this picture, I used raspberry.  The possibilities are infinite; well at least limited to as many fruit preserves your grocer holds!  You could use Strawberry, Grape, Blackberry, Blueberry, Peach.... ETC!!  What ever kind you choose should work with your cake and buttercream flavor combination. This cake was a lemon cake with white chocolate buttercream and raspberry filling.  
2)  Pour the jar of preserves into a bowl and whisk until all lumps have disappeared.
3) Now use a condiment bottle.  ( I believe mine was a buck at a dollar store.)  Make sure it is a bottle that has a pointed tip like this one.  Pour the whisked jelly into the bottle. 
Have your cakes cooked and cooled.  Level your cake and place it on your cake board or server. 
 4) Use the bottle tip to poke a hole into the cake and squeeze.  Hold and pull up as you squeeze, to insure that the entire hole made from the tip... is filled with yummy filling.  Go in a circle, in inch increments around the cake and repeat on the next row until you reach the center.  Of course, if it is a square cake, go in rows, in inch increments. 
5) Your cake should have dollops of jelly filling about every inch so that each slice will have a couple of tasty surprises. 
6) If you have a double layered cake, ice the top of the jelly filling.  Then level the next layer and flip upside down, to place it on top of the first layer.  Now repeat with the same method to add flavor to the second layer.    When all is finished... Ice the cake as normal! 
What flavor combo will you try??!

Monday, January 28, 2013

FloWeR PoLiSh BouQuet

This is one of my most visited posts on any blog I've created. 

Flower Polish Gift Bouquet!

*This Post is at my new BLOG:



Friday, January 18, 2013

NuteLLa No-Bake Oatmeal cOOkies

Seriously Good :)  NuteLla No-Bake Oatmeal cOOkies


I've been making the same No-Bake Cookie recipe for years... Literally years and years.  It is a favorite treat in my household and truly a Southern traditional cookie.  The recipe I use for the peanut butter / chocolate no-bake cookies is from an old cookbook from a company that is now no longer in business.  I believe the Copyright date is 1978... seriously, the year I was born :)  So the original, unmodified version is pretty much tried and true.  So I simply did some modifying of  the recipe and tried three batches of my Hazelnut (Nutella) cookies until... I finally landed a winner!  I'm totally stoked about this recipe because it finally worked with the Nutella and hazelnuts..  Woo Hoo!!!

What Ya Need!

2     Cups Sugar
2     Tbsp Cocoa
1/2  Cup Milk
1     Stick Butter ( I used unsalted)
2     Tsp Vanilla
2.5  Cups Oatmeal
1     Cup Nutella Spread
1     Small Bag of Hazelnuts (apx. 1 Cup)

What Ya Do!

Place the Sugar, Cocoa, Milk and Butter in a saucepan and stir, bringing to a boil on medium.  Now this is the "Do or Die" part of the recipe cooking.  If the mixture is not boiled for long enough, the cookies will not set and if the mixture is boiled for too long, they will be dry and brittle.  Yuck!  SO, set your timer for 3 minutes exactly and watch for the mixture to begin bubbbling.  When it begins to boil, you will need to turn heat down a small bit, to medium-low.  Stir the mixture as it boils and don't let it boil harshly.  When the three minutes are up, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla, Nutella Spread (Hazelnut spread)  and the Hazelnuts.  Stir until well combined.  On a sheet of wax paper, drop the mixture by tablespoons about an inch apart.  It will take them about 30 minutes to an hour to set.  They are awesomely delish and I'm so hoping that you get to try them.  I'd love to have comments from anyone who does try it out! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RaspBeRRy TruFFle MuDDy BuDDies

I love some RaspBerrY!  It goes well with almost anything... chocolate, lemon, lime, white chocolate and even chex cereal :)  This is an easy recipe that is tasty.  These treats would be great mixed into a mix with other salty/sweet munchies.  Let's get to it...

What Ya Need

30    Raspberry Chocolate Kisses (unwrapped:)
1      Packet of Raspberry Hot Chocolate Powder (these are found in single packets of
                  gourmet hot chocolate in many grocers)
3/4   Cup of Powdered Sugar
2      Cups of Rice Squares Cereal

What Ya Do

Place the Raspberry Kisses in a microwave safe bowl and micro 30 seconds, then stir.  If they are not all melted after stirring, microwave 30 more seconds.  When they are completely melted, stir and add your rice squares cereal.  Mix the cereal squares with the melted kisses with a spatula, until they are well coated.  Now, mix the powdered sugar and hot chocolate powder together and pour half into a large zipper bag.  Pour your coated cereal squares into the bag and pour a bit more sugar mixture on top... you will probably not need all the mixture on the cereal.  Add gradually until you are happy with the amount coated on the cereal.  Shake the contents and roll with your hands, until all cereal is coated.  Pour out into a bowl and eat up  :O

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Challenge: JuSt OnE LeSS

I'm tossing out a challenge to anyone willing to take it!  But it's going to require some SaCrIfiCe!  
Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers ans sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God: this is your true and proper worship. 
What could you do for someone else... with having just one less of something for yourself this year?



This idea came as a conviction, that God impressed upon me after my first trip to Haiti, in 2010.  I was confident that I had prepared myself for the experience to come, in this first trip to a thrid-world country.... But God had something more in store for my walk with Him.  I stumbled upon much more than I could comprehend or consume. I stumbled over myself.  I stumbled, over my-self-ish-ness. My life in America was GoLdEn. Privileged. Blessed. Life as I had always know, was without want or need of anything. It was based on selection, my desires, my convenience. It was based on ME.  I quickly recognized that those are privileges of life, that Haitians do not have.  There is no selection, selfish desires or convenience.  It all comes hard in Haiti; a torn and poverty stricken country, with the need for assistance on every corner and in every family.  I returned home with an astonished heart and mind, over the lifestyle I lived as an American and the drastic difference of life in Haiti. 

Questions overwhelmed my mind and heart.  How could I live this life and not sacrifice something to help others?  How could I continue in my CoMForT, knowing that babies slept cold at night, kidos went hungry most of the time, and physical ailments were taking lives?  God stirred my heart with pain and determination.  That determination was a desperate search to find something that I could do wiThOuT, so that someone else could possibly have something MoRe.  He revealed this to my heart.  There are numerous items and luxuries that I have: selecting one to sacrifice was an easy feet.  God's grace has overflowed to provide my family with numerous blessings, comforts and privileges. I'm sure you can say the same. When God's grace flows into our lives, we should flow His grace into the lives of others!  God pounded on my heart the need to ...sAcRiFiCe!  I'm now committing to doing as He asked.   Sacrifice SoMeThInG, so that someone else can have more.  

Here's the idea.  Commit to giving up something 
which uses resource (money) that you would normally
do this year.  It could be something you do weekly,
monthly or annually.  (This would be the perfect time
to give up a habit that costs money.)  The money that you
would normally use for that privelege, goes in a jar.  
So here's what I'm doing without...  I usually
drink 3-4 gourmet coffees a week.  I am doing with J
UST ONE LESS every week for this year.  (With the help of Christ :)  That's a small sacrifice that usually costs about $4.00 per coffee.  The four dollars that would normally be used for the coffee, will go into a jar.  I want to see what that small sacrifice can do for someone else at the end of 2013! 

PrAy about this ChaLLenGe and see where God takes your heart! 

Who could YOU help this year with JuSt OnE LeSS!?


Monday, January 7, 2013

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Bars

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese
Chocolate Chip Bars   (... whew)

Whew... that's a mouth full, but so are these bars.  They are the perfect "man" bar... my husband and my brother love peanut butter in their sweets, as do most manly men :)  These bars are hard to pronounce without running out of breath, but I did not know any other name that would reveal it's entirety.  They are a great combination of sweetness and peanut butter.  Hope you get to try these out!

What Ya Need

2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Roll of store-bought chocolate chip cookie dough

What Ya Do

Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly coat a small glass dish (size 8X11) with cooking spray.  You could use a baking pan, by simply lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil.  I wiped a bit off with a paper towel, after spraying my glass dish, to make sure the cookie dough could be spread but not stick. 

Use 2/3 of the roll of cookie dough, and press into the bottom of the pan.  Some may go up sides... good!  Place in the preheated oven for 7 minutes.  While the cookie is baking, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl of mixer.  Mix at medium speed until it's soft and combined.

When you pull the cookie from the oven, use a spoon to drop the peanut butter mixture in inch increments onto the cookie.  This is tricky because you want to easily spread the peanut butter mixture, but you don't want to touch the cookie on bottom... it will tear off the pan.  So, place the spoonfulls about an inch apart and tenderly spread the ToPs of the spoonfulls.  Now use the remaining 1/3 of the cooke dough to crumble and place on top of the mixture.  Bake again for 16-19 minutes or until browned on top.  Try not to over bake or the cookie will loose it's soft texture.  

That's all folks !

NuTeLLa Heath Bar Pie

Nutella Heath Bar Pie

Rich and creamy Nutella is good on or in any recipe!  So I tried it in a pie :)

What Ya Need:

1.5 Cups chocolate and vanilla
      cookies, crushed
3 Tbsp butter melted
1 Carton whipped topping
1 Cup granulated sugar
1 Package cream cheese (softened)
2 Toffee chocolate bars
1/4 Tsp. Vanilla flavoring
3 Tbsp of caramel ice cream
    topping (optional)

What Ya Do:

Start with the crust.  I used a tart pan, but you could also make this pie into squares with a regular square 9X9 or 8X11 pan.  If using a glass or metal pan, I would spray with not stick spray or rub it with a bit of butter.  Preheat oven to 350.  Mix the crushed cookies with melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 8 minutes.  When the crust is finished, it will need to be cooled, so you can wait until it comes out of the oven before mixing the filling. 

For the filling:  Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until it is combined.  Add the Nutella and vanilla and beat until combined.  Now incorporate the whipped topping on low speed for a short amount of time... just enough to make sure it's mixed.  If you whip the whipped topping too long or too harshly,  it will break down.  When the mixture is smooth and creamy... pour into your cooled crust.  Smooth with a spoon. 

To decorate:  chop the toffee chocolate bars into various pieces and sprinkle over the top.  I also added caramel ice cream topping, but that is optional.  This does have a rich, cream cheese taste, so if you don't like that, you could add more vanilla or a bit less cream cheese. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

CoOkiE DoUgH MuDDy BuDDiEs

Cookie Dough Muddy Buddies

Seriously simple and delishiouso! 

What Ya Need:

1 Cup chocolate chip morsels (I used semi-sweet)
2 Cups of rice cereal squares
1 Cup cookie dough dry mix in box or bag

What Ya Do:

Heat the morsels in the microwave or on stovetop.  Heat them in increments of 1 min. each if in microwave.  Melt until smooth.  Add two cups of rice cereal squares to a bowl and pour in the chocolate.  Toss them until the cereal squares are covered.  Pour cooke dough dry mix in a bag and then pour the covered cereal squares in the bag.  Toss until all are coated.  See how easy?! 

When you serve, you can sprinkle white or milk chocolate chips in the mix to add to the mix and appeal.