Sunday, December 30, 2012

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Pie

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I love a good pie and I love to experiment.  So this morning I got to do both.  Last night, I bought an Oreo cookie crust.  Surprisingly, I have never tasted one before!  As I thought about what I would make with this, I suddenly had a craving for PEANUT BUTTER!!!

Well, before church, I looked all around and started pulling together the ingredients I thought would make this idea of mine delicious.....and rich.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Pie
  • 1 Oreo Cookie Crust Pie  or any cookie crust (graham, chocolate, etc)
  • 1 package of cream cheese; softened
  • 1 Cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 C evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 C whipped topping (Cool whip)
  • 1/2 C of mini dark chocolate morsels
1.  Soften the cream cheese for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave in a large glass bowl.  After cream cheese has softened add peanut butter. Mix on medium high until cream cheese and peanut butter are well combined.

2.  Add powdered sugar to the cream cheese and peanut butter mixture.  Mix well on medium.  Gradually add milk until smooth.

3.  Fold in whipped topping until well blended. 

4.  Pour into cookie pie crust and smooth out.  Sprinkle with the morsels and freeze for about 1 hour and serve chilled.

This pie is scrumptiously rich and will most definitely satisfy that peanut butter and chocolate craving!! least it did for me.

I hope you like the pie.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Eggnog Glazed Donuts

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This is what happens when your 8-year old asks for donuts and the kind he likes (Hostess) is no longer.
You learn how to make donuts!!  And I will have to say, they are so gooooood!!!

For many years in my cooking life, I have seen the most bizarre kitchen tool and for the life of me I have never been able to figure the thing out, Christmas Eve.
Well, that darn thing was a donut cutter!!  The double rings, the big and little circles.  Well, needless to say, I have already thrown it away.....years ago. Foolish me.
I sat there looking at all that extra dough I had left from making a to die for roll recipe I found on how does sheHighly recommend you follow that dough recipe for this
Anyway, this is what I did, but the best thing was the glaze.  I had the big idea that since it was Christmas season, why not make the donuts a little more festive.  So my Eggnog Glaze was born.  I hope you love it as much as we do....

 Eggnog Glazed Donuts

*Used the dough recipe for the dinner rolls from here.
*Roll out dough to about 1" think and use a donut cutter or in my case, I used a really large circle cookie cutter and a small biscuit cutter.  What ever you decide to you just make sure it looks like a donut. :-)
*Set the cut donuts and holes on a towel and cover and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
*Heat a large soup pot with vegetable oil to medium high.  To check to see if the oil is ready, I take a pinch of flour and sprinkle it in the oil.  When it gives a nice sizzle you are ready.
*Place a couple of donuts in the oil and gently turn them.  Allowing a nice golden color to be on both side of the donut.  This will take about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. So stay near.
*Remove the donut and place on a wire cooling rack.

1/2 C soft butter or margarine
3 C Powder Sugar
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 C Eggnog

*Mix together in a bowl and once your donuts have cooled for about 5 minutes...dunk em' in the glaze and place on a wire rack with a catch pan underneath.... ENJOY!!!

Merry Christmas.

If you try these I would love you to tell me what you think. 

By the way, what are some of your favorite donut glazes/toppings?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Pasta Story

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I love pasta and I have been on this fresh pasta kick for awhile now.  Well, I guess it's been a couple of years ago, my gorgeous hubby bought me a hand crank pasta machine.  I love that thing.  Yes it is work but it is worth it as you slurp up those tasty noodles.

I notice that in making my pasta, I HAD to use semolina flour, which isn't the best in the health department I hear, so I thought I would try just my plain old fresh ground wheat flour.  It was delish!!!  So if your interested here's how I make my....
Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 3 Cups fresh ground hard white whole wheat flour (you can buy wheat flour at any grocery store, even Wal-mart carries it.
  • 6 eggs
  1. Put the flour in a deep bowl & make a well; crack the eggs into the well & scramble them all the while you are gradually picking up flour.  You will get a workout that is for sure at this stage.
  2. Once a soft ball of dough forms pour it out onto a floured countertop or table.  Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Dough shouldn't be stick , but have a little give when you poke it.
  3. Now because I live in a dry state, I wrap my dough in plastic wrap and let it sit for about 20 minutes. (If you are blessed with more moisture you can just cover the dough with a bowl for the same amount of time.)
  4. After you get some your energy back (20 min. later) Cut the dough into thirds.
I forgot to say this early...I have a hand crank pasta maker my husband bought me a couple of Christmases ago.  During that 20 minute rest you'll want to get it ready.  If you have an electric one by all means use it.

I'm all about less work, but I figure if they see how hard I am working , they'll enjoy it more......

1. Anyway...Always start on the lowest setting with your flat roller and gradually move up.  I typically do a pass through with the dough on 0, fold it and pass it through again.  Then I move on to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.  6 being the thinnest I go, but you can go as thin as you like.
    2.  Once you have a long strip, lay flat and cut in to  10-12" sections. 
3.  Switch your attachment to the fettuccine attachment and send your sections through.

To keep the noodles from sticking together, toss them in some of your flour.
When cooking your noodles, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop your noodles in.  It should only take about 3-5 minutes TOPS! to get you to "al dente". 

Add your favorite sauce and bon appetite!!

    With some of the extra dough I was able to get some Spinach and Cheese Ravioli!!!!  It was YUMMA-LIOUS too!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nakia's Apple Pie Bites w/ Carmel Candy Sauce

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Sitting on the loveseat reading a book and what do I see out of the corner of my eye...the bowl of leftover Halloween candy.  I hate leftover Halloween candy.  It is always so tempting and I have a very low tolerance to saying no to the stuff.  CURSE YOU HALLOWEEN!!!!

Well, I could see that there were those lovely brach's carmels I loved from my youth still in the bowl.  I must say that I noticed that they are a bit more smooth and softer than I remember.  They are sooo good.  Anyway....I started to crave apple pie, but I did not want to have to go in the kitchen and make a whole pie.  I wanted my pie faster than that.  Than the juices began to flow....

I had a leftover tube of croissant dough and some granny smith apples and I ALWAYS keep a bucket (yes, literally a ice cream bucket) full of my own mix of cinnamon and sugar...hey you never know when you're gonna need it. :-).  And I ran with that. 

Nakia's Apple Pie Bites w/ Carmel Candy Sauce

  • 1 package croissant rolls
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 C cinnamon & sugar mix
  • 12-15 carmels
  • 1 Tbs. butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1.  Open croissant package and unroll the triangles.  Cut each in half, lengthwise, leaving two triangles per reg. size triangle. You should end up with 16 triangles.

2.  Put your cinnamon and sugar mixture in a bowl or gallon size storage bag (storage bag=less mess).

3.  Peel each apple and core and segment them, into eight (8) pieces.  I use my corer segmenter apple slicer.  It allows me to have relatively equal slices.  Put them in the baggie and shake until coated.  Remove from baggie and place on cutting board.

4.  With the leftover sugar mixture in the baggie toss in 4-5 triangles and shake.  Remove and take an apple slice and roll em' up.  Starting at the wider end and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Repeat is step until you have all 16 'bites' on the sheet.

5.  Bake for 15-18 minutes. Serve warm.


1.  Put the carmels into a microwave safe bowl with the butter and melt them down.  You need to watch this as each microwave oven is different.  But this should be roughly 25-40 sec.  Serve drizzled over the bite.

NOTE:  I love mine warm and with some ice cream (Apple Pie Bites A la Mode).  Sorry I didn't have ice cream to show you with it, but it's delicious alone too.

Happy Autumn!!  Thanks for comin' over.

If you try it please come on back and tell me what you think or tell me if this something you might try. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spinach Scramble

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I have been trying to each better for years on end.  Effort to have better health and longevity for my kids and family.

Over the last 4 weeks have been trying to run a mile non-stop.  Some would think that it is easy, but running is hard for me even though I have done several 5k's I still have yet to run one entirely.

I thought that I would first, instead of "training" for a 5k, I'd first try "training" to run a mile.  Some people will be able to do this in a month, but not me.  I am taking this more realistically for myself.  I am spreading this out over several weeks, which is going to result in several months and I am not ashamed of that.  So far so good...up to running a half mile!!! 

One of the things I have been doing is paying attention to my intake.  Not obsessively like I have in the past, which lead me to destructive behaviors.  But now I am working on really knowing what I put into my mouth.  For instance, this morning.  I did my workouts...yes that is plural.  Than I wanted a healthy breakfast that included foods I like, so you see that in the picture was my breakfast and I loved it.

Spinach Scramble
  • 3 Cups Fresh Spinach (I just used some from a bag)- 20 cal.
  • 2 Med. Eggs- 70 cal. each
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes- 0 cal.
  • Salt to taste-0 cal. (I do not use salt in my cooking, watching sodium intake, plus I like to taste what things taste like without the salt cover up)

1.  Lightly spray a non-stick pan with some oil and saute spinach for about 2 minutes on med high heat until they have sweated down. Keep them in the pan but move them off to the side.

2.  Scramble two eggs in a bowl and then pour into the pan.  Sprinkle eggs with the red pepper flakes. Gently stir eggs and spinach together for about 1-2 minutes.  Salt your dish to taste after it is all done.

I had a piece of dry Multi-Grain toast with my breakfast that was 130 cal. a slice, so that rounded my breakfast out to 290 cal. Which is great especially after a workout.


Thanks for visitin'.

NOTE:  I will still have a piece of cheesecake or chocolate, chips, burger, fried chicken strips,etc. etc.  This is about living the good life and all of those things are a part of it. :-)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fresh English Cucumber & Carrot Ribbon Salad

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Fresh English Cucumber & Carrot Ribbon Salad
It has been a while since I have added a post.  So much is going on. 
But, I have been trying out new recipes and my hand at bag/purse making. 
 Well, to start, this is a refreshing simple salad with a kick.  I saw something like this on Pintrest, but I can't remember all that it takes to make.  So, I took the image I had of that salad and came up with this version.

  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 oz. crumbled El Mexicano Casero Queso Fresco
  • 1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar (Original)
  • 2 pinches Dillweed
1.  Using a potato peeler shave cucumber and carrots into long ribbons.  I did not use the first slice of either cucumber or carrots. Place ribbons in a bowl.

2.  Add red pepper flakes, dillweed, and rice vinegar and toss with tongs.

3.  Plate ribbons and crumble cheese over salad.  Enjoy.

This recipe serves 2-4.  The best part is that from this whole salad is less than 200 calories.

Soooo awesome.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pallet Wood Screen Cover Part DUEX

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I hope you all realize that I am not a professional and that I am going about this probably in the wrongest of wrong ways, but I do my best to get the job done.  Anyway here's the second part of my adventure in creating.

In order to get my wood to the rich darkness I wanted for my case, I had to stain the wood.

Rust-Oleum "Dark Walnut"

Hmmmm....not exactly what I thought it would look like.....
 ....but this is a process.  I ended up putting on a second coat on the reddish door and staining the one I missed (ran our and hubbs went and got me another  BIGGER can).  Once I got them both stained the color I wanted was there, dried with a very SHINY lacquer-like sheen.  Not what I wanted!!! So I decided to go with a more rustic look and sand the sheen away..

At this point I have made the "box" and just wanted to see how it will look in the end once I have everything up.  So excited.

This is what it looks like with the sanding and the hardware placed on it .  I love how it came out all old and rustic.

Now that the cabinet is done, the husband has softened and we are getting a big(ger) screen than the 22" that we have, which I think will find a new home in our bedroom...and maybe a baby cabinet all it's own.

Once I had all of this done.  I had to polyurethane it.  Which gave it a rich darkness.  And I got the help of the eldest and the hubbs to get it on the wall.  It took some trial and error, but it is up!! And wouldn't you know....the husband gave in and bought a flat screen to go into it.  YAY!!! 

I love it.....Funny thing, is now that we have the bigger screen no one is watching it. :-S

To see how all this started click here.

Leave me a comment to tell me what you think....good or bad. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ode to "That Tempting Bench"

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This week my husband decided to have his truck painted.  It really needed it.  So, with the truck at the shop we are down to one vehicle.  We decided that I would just take him to work after the kids went off to school. 

In my wisdom I thought, "Since, I'm already down here, why not go for a run at Liberty Park."  It is a beautiful park.  It has wonderful running paths, a gazebo, lots of little play areas for kids, and the pond with boats and ducks.  BEAUTIFUL!!  The weather was perfect the last two days and I have enjoyed my time there, but then....

I ran up on to this lovely scene.  I had to capture it and at the moment I stopped moving, the thought on the picture came to me.  Funny huh?  Oh the things that one can fall in love with....when you are exercising.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pallet Wood Screen Cover

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My family is pretty practical.  We don't have a lot of this and that  like other family members or neighbors.  For instance we don't have cable or dish  the huge 55" flat screen TV, cell phones, etc, etc.  And I think we are doing just fine without all of that, but yes some of those luxuries would be nice to have.

Recently, "The Husband" and I were chatting about some things we would like to get.  I told him that I would like to have a 40"- 42" flat screen.  He balked at the idea, mainly because a neighbor was robbed of hers (her's was much bigger than what I want).  He said that in order for him to feel good about getting a larger TV (the biggest size we have is 22"), he wants to have a cover over it. 

I've looked high and low for something I would like that would fit in our tiny abode that would also look nice.  There are a lot of things out there, but none of them really suited me.  So  I remembered that a little while ago I had gotten some free pallet wood from some guy.  I gave most of it away, but I had kept these two.

They are in pretty good shape.  While I was on pintrest I came across a post that a lady did a barn door like cover for her flat screen.  I really like it.   Click HERE to see what she did.  Mine isn't as pretty at the moment, but I still like the progress that is coming along.

The hardest thing was removing the slats.  The nails are so rusted and the wood is so dry, but with a little patience and determination I was able to get what I needed.

I made a mess, but so worth it.  Pay no attention to the man in the background.  He was fixing our phone box.
After I had removed all of the slats I had to get them all to measure the same size.  Since I have yet to have the flat screen I just guessed as to what the height of my door should be. 

Here are my doors.  I love em'.

I really like the fact that they are rough and tumble.  Not perfect, chipped and has a hole and old nail marking.  Now all I have to do is get some hardware, sand, stain and seal....oh yeah and finish the box part.  I'm getting excited!!

My only dilemma is that I can decide if I want hinges or somehow make them sliding doors. 

What do you think?  Slides or Hinges.

I'll do another post with the next steps soon.  Click here for Part Duex.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Lemonade

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One of best things about a summer day is lemonade.  Hands down!!
I for one really liking mason jars lately, for some reason.  I love to make and drink from a good ole fashioned mason jar, even if it is just ice water.
Well, just this past week my husband and I have decided that because dates are a little harder to come by with the kids' schedules, we'd try lunch dates.  I will come to his office and take him "out" to lunch.  I decided that this week I would do a surprise picnic. 
I was as gitty as if I was meeting him for the 1st time...I have no idea why.  Nevertheless, he was surprise and we had a great time.

The one thing he really loved was the lemonade.

So here's the recipe I came up with on the fly.  I hope you like.

Mason Jar Mixed Berry Lemonade

1- Pint sized mason jar w/ lid
4-TBS Sugar
1/2- FRESH squeezed Lemon Juice
1/3-Cup of frozen mixed berries
H2O (water)

Put all of the ingredients in the jar like I've listed above and put on the lid and shack it like crazy.  You want to make sure you've dissolved all of the sugar during your shack session.

NOTE: You can add as little or as much sugar as you want.  I like it a little tangy so my sugar to lemon ratio my not be to your liking.  But the best part of this is you can make it to you own liking. 

There you have it.  Now go out, sit on the porch swing, watch the sunset and sip on your lemonade.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

If You Build It...They Will Come....I hope!

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Our son will be 16 in a couple of weeks!!  And we have been trying to plan his "ELITE" 16 party.  Obstacles have come up left and right, but the party will go on.  One of his activities will be a photo booth.  Now, I am "an affordance seeker" (okay, the real word is cheap),  so to make this little dream come true I decided to make a backdrop stand and he helped.

I scoured the net trying to find the best diy and I came across a young kids post.  Click here to go to it.  He gives a supply list and the current cost (in 2012), is only a couple bucks more.  We paid about $18 with tax for all the PVC and the bonus is that they allow me to cut my pieces right there!!  Then off to work Alex went.

It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  The pieces fit together so quick and easy.  The only thing I will do is I think I will add a cross bar in the middle and glue the T- Connector at the base.  This will give it more stability.

This will allow you to make your stand as short or tall as you like it.  Not to mention as wide as you like it....within reason of course.

Now the party is only a couple of weeks away, just need to find the backgrounds, venue, send out the invites, make cupcakes and.......I will show the pics from the party in a few weeks.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Aprons! Aprons! Aprons Everywhere!

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I love aprons.  I love the peace I get while in the process of making one.  I love wearing them.  I love how that there are so many fun and new fabrics to use to make them.  I love aprons.  I made all of the ones below.  They are going to be in my ETSY shop this weekend. :-)

Black Butterfly

Reversde side of Denim All-American

Ruffled Olive Green & Cream

Denim All-American

Pink Paisley Girl

Wild India Flower

These particular ones are all Emmeline and are fully reversible.  Love a 2 for 1!!  I hope you like.
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