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Samples

I have given my nail tech some samples of cinnamon rock candy.  I do hope that this will bring in some interest.  I mean why can’t I get a boost in the candy making world?  I’m not trying to be a Buddy from Cake Boss, I am just doing something that makes me happy to do.  Please for those that are interested, yes I can bag up the candy into baggies so you can give to your guest.  I can even do the cake pops and the truffles.  C’mon I know someone is having a party some where and needs some candy to give their guest, or even a wedding!

 

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Shepherd’s Pie

Ok, so we all know that there are a million recipes for making Shepherd’s Pie.  I used to make a basic one, hamburger meat, corn, potatoes, cheese, and I don’t remember ever making it with a sauce.  What is wrong with me?  It was still good, maybe there was a sauce and I just don’t remember.  Either way Shepherd’s Pie was a once a month, fall, winter, spring and even during the heat of the summer meal, because the hubby requested it.  It was simply one of his favorite meals.  However after eating it, even just once a month I was getting burnt out on it, him nope not even close.  Well since I make the dinners, I took it off the menu for a while, and by a while I mean for over 6 months.  He would suggest it but I would just blow it off.  Well without him knowing it, I put it back on the menu after finding this recipe.

 

 

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This is before going into to the oven and getting all melt-y yummy.

 

30 minutes later this is the result….

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Now personally I should have left in the oven so that the cheese gets that burn on it…(call me weird I like the burnt cheese on pizza too).  But this Shepherd’s Pie is a keeper for sure, and I think it may have just been because of the sauce that was made to make the meat moist and delicious. Plus it’s a great way to use up those leftover potatoes or if you like use instant (I did).

 

Now there is one thing I would change and that is the sauce mix, I would and this is my personally, omit the Italian dressing and add more gravy mix.  Of course everyone is different and has different tastes so you may like that little hint. I used my own homemade version of Italian dressing too, and that could have been the difference itself.  Again to each their own when you are  cooking,  it is what makes it your own.

 

So try the recipe.  Here is the link again to Shepherd’s Pie, and let me know if you added or changed anything to your recipe to make it your own.

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Freezer Meals

So I’m sure everyone has heard about freezer meals. In case you don’t know what a freezer meal is, it is basically where you prepare a crap load of meals all at once, and put them in gallon size bags and freeze them for later. Now I have read where others have gone thru and chopped up all of the vegies and placed them in bowls and then just take what they think is the correct amount and toss it in the bag. I can’t do that. I don’t know if it is an OCD thing, or if its just because I like the put a whole bell pepper in and not what I think is a whole bell pepper, (which is usually either way under or way over what it really is).

So anyways I made my monthly grocery list (yes I only go shopping once a month, because I hate grocery shopping, I do go and pick up milk and fresh vegies when needed, because then its an in and out thing), I added 6 freezer meals to make for this month.  Seems simple enough right?  Well it is, it is the getting up and actually doing it part that seems to take forever.  Let’s be honest you spend and hour or more at the store buying your groceries, then standing in line waiting to check out, then loading car, driving home, unloading car, and the funnest part of all putting it all away. If you are anything like me, you feel exhausted after all of that. So even thought you just went shopping and you have all of this food in your house you order pizza or you buy one so it can go in the oven while you are putting away the groceries.  Story of my life.

So I went shopping 6 days ago, at night, so of course I’m not preparing any freezer meals that night. Then the next day is Tuesday and those that know, it’s free paper day, so that is 700 papers to individually fold and throw to houses who do not order the daily paper. So needless to say Tuesday is out of the question.  So how about Wednesday?  Nope. I had cupcakes to bake and frost for the AJ’s class because her birthday always falls during spring break. So 48 cupcakes to bake and frost so that I can deliver them on Thursday. I actually only gave them 30 cupcakes and turned the other 18 into cake truffles for them.  I will post those pictures later.  Then time just escaped me the past two days.

So today even though I have only 4 hours of sleep and some how still going, I managed to make 6 different freezer meals. One reason was because I had the pork loin chops waiting for me in the fridge taking up spacious room.  So I threw together the Shredded Pork Tacos in the crockpot and another in a freezer bag. Then it started. I had to finish what I had started, again the OCD thing again I think.  I doubled this Chicken Broccoli and Rice recipe because what was I going to do with half a can of Cream of Celery soup?  Then I started preparing the Chicken Tortilla Stew  and even though it doesn’t say that it makes two bags, it really does.  At least for my family.  I kept everything the same except the salsa I did double that. Then I made the Chicken Taco Chili and BBQ Chicken and Veggies. And last but not least Slow Cooker Chicken Broccoli Alfredo. Now that is 10 meals in my freezer and I don’t have to do much except remember to pull them out the night before and place in fridge so that they thaw enough for my to force them into the crock pot. Besides prepping all of this one meal at a time only took me a little over two hours, but that is dealing with kids and a dog who was tangled up on his lead.  I will take a picture of the ones I have in the refrigerator freezer here shortly and add it to this post.

For the new mothers to be, this is a great way to have everything ready for when your bundle of joy comes.  Hubby can grab a bag the night before and put in the refrigerator and in the morning you can dump it in the crock pot and let it cook while you tend to your newest addition.  Each link posted above has several more recipes that you may like. I only made the ones I knew my family would really enjoy.  I hope that you enjoy them as well and that they make those hectic days that we all have a little easier, especially in the dinner department.

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That is 6 out of the nine that are being frozen.

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Sorry I’ve Been Gone For So Long

So I am sure you can tell it has been several months since my last blog.  I am sorry, but I do hope that you understand that I have in my own way been morning my the loss of my mother and because of her medical history I have been having tests done on myself and having to get her records (and of course the one that I really need I get to jump through hoops for).

I will start blogging again and I will post some of the treats I have made (it isn’t a lot, just not in the mood to get back at it full time).  So please stay tuned for updates and such. I promise I will get there again.

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Minecraft Cake

So I was asked to make a Minecraft cake…well at first I really believed I bit of more than I can chew.  I learned while doing this cake why bakeries charge an arm and a leg for such cakes, it’s not the product you pay for but it is the amount of time you put into it.

Now I did have fun and I learned new things as I was doing this cake. What things, you may ask?  Well for starters, making fondant soft again to actually work with was a big help.  10-30 seconds in the microwave makes it pliable again to mix and shape. I also learned how to make fondant harden if you don’t use tylose powder. Who knew that putting fondant on a cookie sheet in the oven with just the light on would actually work?

Now as you can tell I am not the greatest at making figures, but hey I did state that I am learning as in just learning.

Now on to the more pressing part of the job, the cake itself. Simple enough to bake a square cake. Well 2 cakes that is.  Then to make the chocolate buttercream icing and fill the cake.  So one large cube cake later that is frosted its time for the fondant.

These are the colors for the bottom of the cake.
These are the colors for the top and upper part of the sides. If that makes sense.

Now if you have seen or even played this game you know its pixel. So next challenge was to make a million squares, NOT.  I tried that and if any one knows me they know I am not patient by all means. So yes I tried to make the million squares but I gave up shortly after the second attempt. However I did make some squares and this is the end results.

So my there is my finished product, I think it turned out well, and apparently the customer was happy with it, or at least she didn’t say she wasn’t.

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My Daughter’s 3rd Birthday

My mini me turned 3 on the 12th. Where does the time go?  She is my last and she is the toughest little girl I know. Last year we did a little party for her, and by little I mean it was just me and hubby and her last year. No need to go all out, who was gonna eat all that food?This year I made up for it. We had a cake, and cupcakes and caramel apples.  All in the theme of Minnie Mouse. Now I’m not going to go all in detail about the food, I am sure you get it.  I will do another post about the candy apples for those who would like to make them for their young ones (or big ones) :).

So here is the cake is was to be covered all in fondant, but due to an unfortunate accident (children arguing) the pink was torn and could not be saved.  So because the cake was already frosted I had to break out the Wilton spray color in pink and then just put the white dots on in fondant.  Here is the end result.

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Cupcakes in pink and white

The Minnie Mouse caramel apples are my favorite part of the whole set up.  I have never made caramel apples or candy apples before, so this being a first I am very happy with them and will be make apples of some kind for all parties now.

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Apple Butter

Who know it was this easy? And the hubby loves it. He told me if I could make this all the time I would never have to buy jelly/jam ever again. It’s a nice thought but let’s be honest, wouldn’t it get boring? I’m more of a strawberry jelly/jam girl, so I will keep buying it. And besides that it only took about 15 hours to make this. Of course that seems like a long time, but if you think about it, the most work you do is peel the apples and core and cut the them in cubes.
Now I used 13 apples, the were pretty small. I don’t remember what kind they were but Iwill say it was a mix of red delicious and I believe gala apples if not fuji. Either way you can use what you like. So first peel and core your apples and cut them into cubes. Try to make them about the same size. I used my 5 quart crock pot for this and it was pretty full as you can see.

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Then I added some spices. Now I didn’t measure anything, but if I had I would say I doubled the recipe that I found here. Now I know you are thinking boy that’s a lot, not for this family.

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Here it is all mixed up. Now I know the recipe found here call for half a cup of water, I didn’t add water to mine. After washing off the apples I felt they had enough water on them to equal that half a cup.

Mix it up and set it on low. I did this before bed. When I woke up this is what it looked liked after about 8 hours.

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As you can see it very watery, so see the water is not really necessary. I let it cook for a couple of more hours on high with the lid propped so that the water would evaporate. Now mind you I don’t own a wooden spoon. Reason why I will never know so I used the next best thing. A mini wooden cutting board. Hey it works right?

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I let it cook like this for another 7 hours. I did stir every couple of hours to see how the water was evaporation and to test how soft the apples were getting.

By the time it was ready to go it looked like this.

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Yummy! Now you can leave as is or you can put in blender or food processor to make it smooth.

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All that work little bit of effort to make a yummy treat. It’s amazing how 13 apples can fit into a quart jar.

Enjoy your freshly made apple butter. I bet you will never go back to store bought after this. Ok so maybe you will and maybe you won’t. But sometimes homemade just tastes better.

Enjoy.

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Easiest dinner ever

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So this was dinner last night….and I have to say it was yummy. This will be a regular in house….its like chicken fijitas without the bell peppers and onions and the tortillas.

Here is the link that I used but with a few minor adjustments. 

http://crazyjamie.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/smothered-green-chile-pepper-chicken/

If any one knows me they know I don’t but anything but chicken breast. And yet it still came out great.

Enjoy.

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Homemade Mexican meal

Today was all about fun with the kids and homemade dinner. I made homemade refried beans, Spanish rice, Mexican street corn salad, pico de gallo, avocado dip, fried ice cream (without frying it) Snickers salad. Hubby barbecued some carne  asada and ribs.  Had some pictures taken of the kids in the pool.  All in all a good day.

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Oh and some punch too….

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Once i get on computer I will put links up to fried ice cream, Snickers salad, Mexican Street Corn Salad and the punch.

 

 

Mexican Street Corn Salad link http://www.sarcasticcooking.com/2013/06/21/mexican-street-corn-pasta-salad/

Snicker Salad link http://www.chef-in-training.com/2012/09/snickers-caramel-apple-salad/

No-Fry Fried Ice Cream link http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/no-fry-fried-ice-cream-recipe/1/

The Punch link http://www.recipe.com/apple-sunrise-punch-24-servings/

Hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I did, they are on the make again list in my household.

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A simple dinner

So I came across this meal on Pinterest…unforunately it did not link back to the owner so I can not give that person credit. Any who…the recipe showed green beans on one side, but my family likes their potatoes (plus I needed to get rid use up a 5 lb bag before they go bad) Note that I said we like potatoes, I can only assume that is because I don’t make them that often.

All right back to the meal. Take some chicken breast, line them up down the middle of a glass pan. Then one side put green beans the other cubes potatoes. Sprinkle with powder Italian dressing mix…I made my own seasoning mix so I wouldn’t have to buy those packs anymore. Then take a stick of butter, how much is up too you, I used just shy of 1/2 a cup, and place slices on top of chicken, potatoes, & green beans.

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Make sure oven is at 350, pop that pan in, set timer for an hour an walk away.

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As this is the end result. I made green beans stove top for our dinner. Hubby told me this is a keeper and I agree…I’m sure you will too. Enjoy.

 

 

I found the link to the original recipe and I want to give the person the credit.   http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/2012/08/green-beans-chicken-potatoes/

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