Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Morning Rolls


24 frozen dinner rolls
1 pkg butterscotch pudding (cook and serve--not instant)
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans

Put dinner rolls in a 13 x 9 inch glass dish. Sprinkle dry pudding mix on top. Melt butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans together in microwave. Pour over dinner rolls. Put on a cookie sheet and let stand over night. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. It may overflow a little in the oven, so be sure to place a cookie sheet underneath. 



Sunday, December 22, 2013

DIY $2 Platter


Well it's Christmas time and I just love making Christmas goodies for my friends! This year I decided to make a little platter instead of buying the metal tins at the store. I went to the dollar store and bought a candle stick and a Christmas plate. I used super glue to glue the two together and I came out with a cute little Christmas Platter!!

Oreo Balls


  1. Crush a bag of Oreo's. 
  2. Mix the Oreo crumbs with softened cream cheese using a fork. 
  3. Roll into small balls and dip into melted chocolate. 

Chocolate Pretzels



  • Preheat the oven to 200.
  • Place a Hershey Kiss on each pretzel.
  • Bake for 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • Remove from the oven and place an M&M on top of each Hershey Kiss. 
  • Place the pretzels in the refrigerator to cool. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie












Ingredients:
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
one 16oz bag frozen mixed veggies
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
4 oz cream cheese
2 pre-made pie crusts

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a large pan.
2. Add the garlic, onions, and celery. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. 
3. Add the cooked chicken.
4. Add the frozen veggies and cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Sprinkle the flour over the top and stir until well mixed.
6. Add the chicken broth. Stir for several minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. 
7. Once the mixture has thickened, add the salt and pepper.
8. Add the cream cheese (in small pieces). If it looks to thick, add some more chicken broth.
9. Roll out the pie crust and place it into a pie plate.
10. Pour the chicken mixture into the pie plate.
11. Cover with the second pie crust. Press the two crusts together and vent the top with four small slits.
12. Cover the edges of your crust with aluminum foil to prevent the edges from burning. 
13. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.





Sunday, December 15, 2013

Scrabble Tile Ornaments


I made these cute little Scrabble Tile Ornaments for some of my coworkers this year for Christmas!! I found a few old Scrabble games at local thrift stores and glued the letters together using wood glue. I used super glue on the first ornament, but it left weird streaks on the Scrabble tiles. Once I switched to wood glue I didn't have any more problems with streaking. After I glued the pieces together, I wiped off any excess glue using a wet paper towel. After an hour, I glued black ribbon on the back of the tiles using super glue. Here's a picture of the back:

Here are a few of the ornaments I made. I also made some personalized ornaments using my friends names, which made cute gift tags!! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Broccoli Casserole

I got this recipe from my grandma, and it's super yummy!!

Combine the following ingredients and bake at 350 for one hour: 
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can milk
1 can minute rice (uncooked)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 bag frozen broccoli



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fiesta Winery


The first time I tried Fiesta Winery was at the Gruene Wine and Music Festival and I absolutely LOVE their wine!! I've been to their tasting room 3 times now and it's my favorite!! If you enjoy sweet wines, you have to stop by Fiesta Winery!! You receive 5 wine samples with a Fiesta wine glass for $10. 

Here are some of the wines I've tried (5 stars means amazing; 1 star means I won't be having it again):

  • Texas Well Water *** (white cranberry)
  • Happy Trails ***** (peach)
  • Rhinestone Cowgirl * (cranberry)
  • Savannah Rose **** (strawberry)
  • Southern Sparkle ***
  • Malbec * (cherry)
  • Back Porch Sittin' ***** (blackberry)
  • Home Sweet Home ***** (pomegranate)
  • Texas Summer Night ****(blueberry)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Breakfast Enchiladas

Ingredients
1 cup diced ham
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup green onions
1 bell pepper 
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
2 cups half & half
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp flour
1 pkg of  large flour tortillas

Steps
1) Spray a 9x13 inch glass dish with cooking spray.
2) Cook and drain the ground beef. 
3) Dice the bell pepper and green onions. I like to use this little contraption for chopping things.

4) Combine the ham, ground beef, green onions, bell pepper, and about 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.
5) Place a handful of the mixture in a tortilla.

6) Wrap up the tortilla and place in the 9x13 dish. Repeat until all of the mixture is gone and the 9x13 dish is full. 

7) Mix the eggs, kosher salt, flour, and half and half. Pour over the tortillas.

8) Cover with the remaining cheese.  

9) Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving: Stuffing

First, I should start by saying that my family's Thanksgiving would not be possible without our family friend Louise. When my mom first met Louise, she couldn't cook (sorry mom, but it's true). Luckily Louise took my mom under her wing and taught her a few things. So every Thanksgiving we give thanks to Louise for giving us these yummy Thanksgiving recipes!! 

For the stuffing mix the ingredients below:

1/2 bag herb sage dressing mix (add 1 tsp sage)
1/2 loaf bread (toasted & crumbled)
1 lb ground beef (browned and drained)
3 potatoes (peeled, cubed, boiled and mashed--save the left over water)
2 eggs (beaten)

In a microwave cook one stick of butter, 3 chopped celery, and 1 chopped onion. Add to the other ingredients. Add the saved water to make the mixture very moist. Here's a picture before I put it in the oven:


Put in a 9x13 glass dish and cook at 375 for 1 hour 15 minutes. 

We typically cook the stuffing the day before Thanksgiving. Then on Thanksgiving day we pour chicken broth over the stuffing, cover, and reheat in the oven. You don't need to do this, but it saves time on Thanksgiving day. 

Thanksgiving: Cranberry Salad



2 pkgs Lemon Jello dissolved only in 2 cups of boiling water.

Then Add:
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Can Whole Cranberry Sauce
2 Cans Mandarin Oranges
1 Chopped Apple
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts

Pour in mold and refrigerate.




Thanksgiving: Sweet Potato Casserole


Mix the following ingredients:
2 (29 oz) cans of sweet potatoes
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 stick butter (softened)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pour the mixture into a 9x13 dish and top with the following mixture: 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick of butter (melted)

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taco Soup


1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
15 oz can black beans, drained 
15 oz can pinto beans, drained
15 oz can corn, drained (optional)
28 oz can tomatoes-diced with juices (do not drain)
10 oz can Rotel tomatoes
32 oz tomato juice
1 pkg dry ranch mix
1 pkg taco seasoning

Directions:
1. Brown the ground turkey in a skillet with the chopped onion.
2. Drain off any excess fat and add in both the ranch mix and the taco seasoning. 
3. Mix to combine the seasonings thoroughly with the ground turkey.
4. Transfer the meat to a large pot or crock-pot.
5. Add in the remaining ingredients.
6. If you are cooking on the stove, bring the soup to a simmer for about 15 minutes. If you are cooking in a crock-pot, cook on high for a few hours. 
7. Top with cheese and sour cream for some extra flavor.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Color Me Rad

 My friend and I signed up for the Color Me Rad Race!! It was sssooo much fun!! The Color Me Rad Race is a 5k race, but it's more of an activity than a race. They don't have a clock and they don't have winners like a normal 5k. The purpose of this race is to get COLORFUL!! I think there were about 5 paint stations along the course. At two of the stations, the volunteers sprayed liquid paint on us as we ran past. At the other stations, the volunteers threw a powder-like paint at us as we ran past them. At the end, they provided us with our own packet of the powder-like paint and a refreshing water bottle. We stayed after the race to do a little dancing, grab a snack, throw some more paint, and take a few pictures. 

Here's what I looked like at the end of the day!!  
  My shirt and hat were originally all white!! Also, if your going to participate in a color/paint race I recommend wearing a hat or bandanna to help keep your hair clean. 



Dance Party!! The guy on stage counted down for everyone to throw their paint in the air at the same time!! 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chosen Half Marathon

Today I completed one of my goals in life...I ran a half marathon!! I ran the Chosen Half Marathon in New Braunfels and it was AMAZING!! The purpose of the Chosen Marathon is to raise money for adoption....what a wonderful cause!! 

Families participating in the race posted pictures of the children they had adopted on this board. 

One thing I loved about the race was all of the encouragement along the way. I can't think of a better way to encourage someone than through scripture. Several teams had shirts just like this:


Here's some more encouragement!! You can't see their shirts in this picture, but they say "I was chosen." Another poster I saw said "I was adopted into a Christian family, thank you for running for me today."


The race also had beautiful scenery and a challenging course. Here are some pictures of the course.




I just loved running along the river!! 



I saw this sign on the course...hahahaha.

Finally, made it to the finish line!! I completed my first half marathon without taking a break to walk!! Yay!!


If your interested in running a beautiful race that supports a good cause visit their website:



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Spray Painting Furniture


I recently bought two new pieces of furniture. I was in a rush to get them done so I tried a new method...spray paint!!! I was hesitant to try this method, but I'm pleased with the results.


Supplies for cleaning the furniture:
TSP cleaner
gloves
eye protection
sponge
old towel
plastic tray
tarp

Steps for cleaning the furniture:

  1. Lay the tarp under the piece of furniture.
  2. Remove any knobs/handles.
  3. Follow the directions on the back of the TSP bottle. My directions said to pour the TSP in a plastic tray. Use the sponge to rub the TSP on the furniture. Let the TSP sit for about 5 minutes, and then clean off the TSP using an old towel. The purpose of the TSP is to clean the furniture and help prepare it for painting. Also, be sure to wear gloves and eye protection for safety when using TSP. 


Supplies for refinishing the furniture:
Spray Kilz Primer (about $6 at Walmart or Lowes)
Spray Paint (Rust-oleum or Krylon work well)
Poly-acrylic 
Sponge brush

Steps for Refinishing the Furniture:

  1. Find a good location to work on your project. I tried to do mine outside, but the wind blew something onto my furniture (ruined the entire project). I would recommend a well ventilated garage.
  2. Lay the tarp under the piece of furniture.
  3. Spray paint the piece with Kilz Primer and let it dry for several hours. I normally like to wait a full day in between coats just to be safe. 
  4. Next you are ready to spray paint. I always prefer the Rustoleum brand, it just works really well.  
  5. You may need to do two or three coats of spray paint, but let each coat dry before adding another coat.
  6. As a finishing touch, poly-acrylic the piece using a sponge brush. Be careful not to leave any streaks or bubbles. Poly-acrylic is great way to protect your furniture. 
  7. You will probably need two coats of poly-acrylic.
  8. Once the piece is completely dry, put the knobs/handles back in place. If you don't like the original knobs/handles you can either spray paint them or buy new ones. 








Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gruene Wine & Music Fesitval


 My friend and I went to the Gruene Wine & Musical Festival this weekend!! It was wonderful....I actually thought it was better than Oktoberfest!! The atmosphere was relaxing, the music was great, and the wine selection was AMAZING!! 



The tickets cost $20, which paid for five wine samples and a wine glass. We must have looked poor because several other people gave us their wine sample tickets...hahaha. We sampled several different wines, listened to some good music, and then ate dinner at the Gristmill. The Gristmill has a nice atmosphere, a great view of the river, live music, and yummy food!!


After dinner we walked around Gruene and found a few more concerts just out on the streets. I can't wait to go back....we're actually talking about getting a room at a bed and breakfast next year so we can stay the whole weekend!!






Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Oreo Layer Dessert


Ingredients:
1 pkg regular Oreo's
1/2 cup of butter
1 lg box of instant chocolate pudding 
2 (8oz) cool whip
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Crush the whole package of Oreo's. 
  2. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crushed Oreo's. 
  3. Pour the remaining Oreo crumbs into a 9x13 dish. Melt the butter and pour over the crumbs. Mix the butter and crumbs. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to form the crust.
  4. Make the chocolate pudding according to the package instructions. 
  5. In a mixing bowl blend the cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and continue to mix. Once the powdered sugar and cream cheese are well blended, fold in one of the cool whip packages.
  6. Top the Oreo crust with the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Top the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate pudding.
  8. Top the chocolate pudding with the other cool whip package.
  9. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of Oreo's (you set aside earlier) on top of the cool whip. 
  10. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Moscato Punch


1 can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate 
2 bottles of Moscato (I used Barefoot)
3 cups of sprite

I made this punch for Bunco tonight and it was wonderful!! Sssooo yummy!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bunco

Bunco is a dice game, but it's really more of a time to socialize. We just had our first Bunco night and it was a BLAST!!! Our Bunco group meets once a month (first Tuesday of the month), so each player will be hosting Bunco once this year. Every player that signs up for Bunco, must host Bunco. Hosting is a shared responsibility, but it's nothing to hard. 

Bunco Basics:
You need 12 fun individuals for Bunco. Four players sit around one table, so you will need three different tables (table 1, table 2, and table 3). At each table there should be a whole punch, notepad, pencil, and 3 dice. Partners sit diagonally (in other words they shouldn't sit right next to each other). One person at each table is the "score keeper". The scorekeeper is the first player to roll the dice. During round 1 the players are trying to roll a "one". If they roll a "one", their team receives a tally mark and they can roll again (you receive a tally mark for every "one" you roll, unless it's a Bunco then you receive six tally marks). If the player doesn't roll a "one", the dice get passed along to the next player. If the player rolls 3 one's at the same time, they yell out Bunco. The player with a Bunco will hold onto the large "B" (until someone else gets a Bunco), mark a "B" at the top of their name card, and their team receives 6 tally marks. Everyone continues to roll until one team at table 1 receives twenty-one tally marks. At that point, table 1 rings the bell to let the other tables know Round 1 is finished. Whichever team has the most tally marks at table 1 receives a whole punch in their name card for winning that round. The same goes for tables 2 and 3. The winners from table 3 will rotate to table 2, the winners from table 2 will rotate to table 1, and the winners from table 1 will rotate to table 3. At the new table partners will switch, so that more socializing can occur. Before the next round begins, players are encouraged to grab some food and enjoy one another's company. When table 1 is ready, round 2 begins. Round 2 is the same as round 1 except this time players are trying to roll a "two". The game continues through 6 different rounds. At the end of the night, winners are selected and the prizes are distributed. 

Bunco Bag:
The Bunco Bag contains 3 pencils, 3 notepads, 3 whole punch, 9 dice, 1 bell, 1 large "B", and 1 folder. The folder contains information for the host (contact information, set up procedures, etc). The bag travels from host to host to make planning/set-up easier.

The Host Duties:
The host is in charge of setting up Bunco night, contacting Bunco players, finding subs for those players who cannot attend, making name cards, providing food and drinks, and buying the prizes. Every Bunco player is supposed to bring $5 to help reimburse the host for the prizes.

Prizes:
The winner (player with the most whole punches) receives a $25 gift
The player with the most Bunco's (B's written at the top of their scorecard) receives a $20 gift
The player with the large "B" at the end of the night receives a $10 gift
The Loser receives a $5 gift

Subs:
If a regular player is unable to attend, it is best to find a substitute to take their place. If a sub cannot be found it's not a big deal. Instead of playing with four people at a table, you will have one table with only three players. Two players will be on one team, and the other player will be by themselves. The player by themselves will roll for themselves and for their "ghost" partner. 

The name cards to keep score on.

This month's prizes!!

Our large "B" for when a player get's a Bunco!! 

Here are some of the yummy foods we ate at this month's Bunco:


Creamy Bacon & Cheese Dip


Ingredients

  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 jar (3 ounces) bacon bits
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 envelop onion soup mix
  • crackers
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together sour cream and cream cheese. Fold in cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions, and onion soup mix.
  • Pour into a 2-quart baking dish ( 8 x 8 dish). Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.