Friday, February 27, 2009

IKEA Field Trip Finds!

Whenever I end up at IKEA two things always happen. I always get my 15 plate meatball meal and I always bring home a car load of these scrumptious morsels! These might be one of my kids' favorite breakfast delights. They are little cinnamon rolls that I heat up in the micro and then make homemade frosting to dip them in. I stock pile them in my freezer and we eat them for months. It is the same approach I take with my Girl Scout cookies. Buy in bulk- they only come around once a year!
I am working on my Thin mints as we speak!

Another product that I saw this time were these yummy french fried onions. Since I got them at IKEA I guess I should call them Swedish fried onions - but whatever the case they are delicious and crunchy and have made a wonderful addition to my Onion pie, mashed potatoes, and salads!

What goodies do you stockpile?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Field Trip to IKEA!

The other day I was at my girlfriend Merry's house (the lady on the far right in the above picture) and she was in the process of a total home overhaul. You know the type - you start organizing that pesky junk drawer in your kitchen and 4 hours later every drawer from every desk and dresser has been opened and dumped. Before you know it the kids have to be picked up from school, dinner needs to be made and you realize you are only a quarter of the way done! YIKES! Merry managed to get through everything from top to bottom in about 4 days - but realized she needed some baskets to store some things - IKEA Field Trip to the rescue!
(I will find any excuse to get my $4.99 Swedish meatball platter for lunch!)

Denise, my friend with the incredible cheek bones and amazing sense of humor, stopped in various kitchens they had on display- to do her best impression of Betty Crocker! I would say she is more of a Betty Rocker - but she was hilarious all the same.

Mary, my friend who is a spitting image of Courtney Cox, usually is very quiet with a very dry sense of humor. She was pretty outspoken on this trip and had us all laughing as she was calling out for assistance while laying on this round bed. You can imagine she had no trouble getting someone to help her!

As a breast cancer survivor - boob humor is ALWAYS on the table! Now It looks like you too can have your very own boob humor at your table. I would love to know how these dishes came into existence. Obviously a man with a mother complex designed them. Do you suppose you would put a "D cup" with these plates? Don't even get me started on silverware!

On to what the trip was really get my fix of swedish meatballs. I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo before I blasted through all 15 of these little guys! Looks gross, tastes great! What can I say.

This is sweet little Meredith. She is Merry's daughter. We brought her along purely as a decoy. It works a little something like this. "Of course Meredith you can have the Swedish fish" - I say in a voice loud enough so everyone within a 50 mile radius can hear! I proceed to give her 2 and eat 50. " Of course Meredith you can have the Swedish Chocolate bar" - I say so the old lady 4 aisles over can hear. I proceed to break her off 2 squares and consume the other 8! " Of course Meredith you can have the "Big as your head" Cinnamon roll" -I say so the entire checkout lane can hear. I proceed to break off the outer edge and eat the rest of the Cinna-Head! I LOVED having Meredith along!

Another successful trip to IKEA under our belts! Of course I had to loosen mine - but successful none-the-less!

Where is your favorite field trip with your girlfriends?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Have I got another "Upscale" cookie for you? You bet! It may look
like just another chocolate chip but this has peanut butter. (I understand the peanut butter you buy at your grocery store is still safe.) For these I might even test fate.

World's Greatest Peanut Butter Cookie

1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 6 oz. package choc. chips (I always use 12 oz. - can you really ever have too much chocolate?)

Cream the butter and peanut butter together. Gradually add the white and brown sugars and cream until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time and beat until smooth. Sift flour, measure, then sift again with the baking soda. Add flour and soda to the creamed mixture. Beat until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop from a teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 325 degree preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 6 dozen two inch cookies.

Today I have to wish my mom, Bobi, a big happy birthday. She is 70 today and doesn't act a day over 25! She has more energy than I do and I can only hope that someday I look as lovely as she does! I love you mom for sharing with me your love of hostessing, your self deprecating humor, and most of all your love that you give so freely to everyone you meet. I am so lucky I get to call you mine! Now go make dad take you out to dinner!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cheating: My friend made me do it!

I have had this "Cheater Tip" in my back pocket for quite some time. I did not know how I was ever going to write about it though. My sweet little friend Robin Sue over at Big Red Kitchen, has opened the door for me this week with her series on "Cheating"! I have loved her post and her honesty. I, for one, love a good short cut- and if it doesn't short cut on taste -all the better. Run over and check her posts -- I'll wait.
Here is how this one came about. One Easter I had my friend Sarah and her family over. She said she would bring a potato dish - so of course I said great! She brought the most delicious potatoes EVER. When the meal was over her recipe was the one all the ladies wanted. She was horrified! She told us it was a family secret and did not know if she could share it with us. After much pleading- and snickering - she gave it up!
You guessed it - FAKE potatoes! She took 2 packages of Idahoan Baby Reds and one 8 oz package cream cheese. Make potatoes according to package. When complete, stir in 8 oz cream cheese and chives if desired.
Don't forget to hide the packages the potatoes came in deep in the bottom of the trash can. Trust me - No one will ever know! These have been a staple in my pantry ever since. Hope your family enjoys them as much as my family does.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Perfect Product: Corn Huskers Lotion

I have to admit - I would have NEVER bought this product had my pharmacist friend, Michelle, not recommended it to me! It basically looks like bottled snot and feels just like that as well.
My oldest, Logan, has the sweetest little hands on the face of the planet. She calls them "Snausages" and thanks her father for them. Her hands are identical to her daddies - including how chapped they get in the winter. At times, it looks like she has been dragging her hands across the blacktop at recess. Her knuckles get bright red and hurt her. When I asked Michelle if she had any "Wonder Potion" she could recommend - she said "As a matter of fact I do"!

She told me her family swears by Corn Huskers Lotion and it has been around FOREVER. My little local pharmacy, which I LOVE, had it on the shelves and I bought 2 bottles. Within days, her hands were not hurting her anymore and within a week all the red was gone. Thanks Michelle - and thanks Johnson and Johnson for making a PERFECT PRODUCT!

This is my sweet little friend Michelle and myself on New Years! I highly recommend having a pharmacist friend - they know everything - so you don't have too!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baked Eggs: Eggs Squared!

My daughter turned 9 this past weekend. I remember when her older sister was turning 5 and thought to myself - I can't believe I have a 5 year old. Now I have an 11 and 9 year old - and I am still in disbelief! How do they keep getting older while my hubby and I manage not to age?
Unfortunately, I know I am just kidding myself. I actually had a friend come over the other day who had not been to my new home. I was giving her the tour when she spotted a wedding picture of me and my hubby. She asked who the couple was in the photo. Not what a girl wants to hear - trust me. I said it was me and the hubby and she just laughed. (That's not a good sign - is it?)
One recipe that HAS stood the test of time is this recipe for Baked Eggs. Jensen, my newly 9 girl, asked that I make these for her birthday breakfast. The morning of her birthday I went to go wake her for school and this is what I found! Needless to say - I could have eaten THEM for breakfast and been totally satisfied!

This recipe was given to my mother from my grandmother, Anna Mae, years ago. It has been a family favorite ever since. Who doesn't love cheesy egg goodness first thing in the morning? I hope you love it as much as we do!

Baked Eggs
1 cup Bisquick
1 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp. dehydrated chopped onions
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
6 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp. melted butter
Put melted butter in 9 x 13 dish. Mix all ingredients together and pour in baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 to 55 minutes.

To have a perfectly "Well Rounded" meal - add Big Red Kitchen's Pancake Squares and some bacon and you have one great birthday breakfast! Don't forget to smother your whole plate with Maple syrup!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from my home to yours!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Spaghettio's - Adult Style!

The other day I walked into my friend Meredith's house and smelled the best dinner cooking. I asked her what it was and she said - just a recipe she throws together all the time in the crock pot. I told her I had to have it and went out and bought the ingredients that day and made it the next. It did not disappoint!

Isn't she adorable. She is my neighbor and I can call on her for ANYTHING - and I just about have!

Meredith didn't really have a name for it - so my girls and I came up with "Spaghettio's - Adult Style"! To me, it tastes like what I thought Spaghettio's tasted like as a kid. (Although I have had them as an adult, I think they are disgusting - however, this stew tastes nothing like Spaghettios of old)!

Spaghettio's- Adult Style!
1 pound stew meat
1 (46 oz) Vegetable Juice
1 (29 oz) can "Veg-All" Vegetables, drained
1 sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon dried Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup dried noodles

Douse meat with worcestershire sauce. Toss meat in flour and fry on all sides. This takes about 10 minutes.
Cut sweet onion in small pieces and place in bottom of crock pot.
Place seared meat on top of onions.
Pour bottle of vegetable juice all over meat.
Pour whole can of vegetables in crock pot.
Put dried herbs and minced garlic in crock pot.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, put 1 cup of dried noodles in the crock pot.
I had 2 hot dogs in my deli drawer and I cut them up and threw them in the crock pot at the same time I tossed in my dried noodles. This is a great recipe to use up some of those extra cans of veggies in your pantry!

Enjoy and get ready to relive a taste from childhood!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bobi's Bites: Manicotti

Isn't it funny what we remember from our childhoods? Things our parents feel will scar us for life barely make an imprint and then simple things that pass us by in a moment stick with us forever. I find it funny I can barely recollect the faces of my teachers from K - 6th grade but I can tell you what meals were served in what dishes and the frequency at which they were served. I remember the 9x13 dish that my mother always made this manicotti in also served my family an eggplant parmesan that tasted like the dead snake we found in our basement one summer. Poor Ms. Entz - I can't remember 3rd grade - but I'll never forget the smell of that Eggplant Parmesan or the way I felt about that brown Pyrex dish afterwards. I hope this simple and fast recipe leaves lasting memories with your family!

Step 1: Boil Manicotti noodles according to box; Drain.

Stuffing for Manicotti

3/4 cup ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
3/4 lb. mozzarella, shredded
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. butter
2 T. grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch of black pepper.

Drain ricotta or cottage cheese. Combine ricotta, mozzarella, eggs, butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.

Stuff 8 noodles or however many are in half a box of mozzarella pasta.
Spread thin layer of marinara sauce in bottom of pan or 9 x 13 glass dish. Arrange manicotti in pan. Add rest of sauce and sprinkle each manicotti noodle with a teaspoon of Parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Onion Pie - A Perfect Side Dish!

Have you ever made a recipe - loved it - and then couldn't find it again? That is what happened to me with this delicious side dish. I made this 5 years ago - loved it - and then lost the recipe! Once in a while I would try to Google the recipe, but I knew that what I found was not the exact recipe. Well, over Christmas when I was looking for another recipe - this one fell out of a book. YEAH ME! Throw a salad on a plate with a slice of this pie - and you are set with one super supper!
This is adapted from a recipe in the Cooking Light Magazine -2001.

Onion Pie
1 cup low-fat baking mix (such as reduced fat Bisquick)
1/3 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
cooking spray
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 cups chopped sweet onions
1 (8oz) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup french fried onions
Dash of hot sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine baking mix and 1/3 cup milk. Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Press dough into bottom and up sides of a 9 inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. As you can see by the pictures, I did not get the crust up the sides - and that is fine.

3. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, cook 5 minutes or until tender - do not brown. Stir occasionally. Spoon onion into prepared crust.

4. Place cream cheese and egg in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add 1/2 cup milk, salt, and hot sauce. Pour cream cheese mixture over onion. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until set. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yields 6 servings. (Half way through baking time I sprinkle french fried onions on top)

This is a great way to use up those onions sitting in your bin right now!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When a good sandwich goes bad!

I saw these a few months ago as "Coming Soon" - and now they're here! The perfect zippy bag for adults combating work related lunch stealing and a conversation starter for your kids at the lunch table. What kid wouldn't want to show his friends at school what he or she HAS to eat for lunch. I can just picture my little Jensie taking bets from the boys as to whether or not she would eat her sandwich! She is so bad - and I mean that in the best possible way!

Check out the website HERE and gross out co-workers and classmates alike!

Just one more way to spoil your kids rotten!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Milk Carton Wallet: Snow day fun!

I received my February Family Fun Magazine the other day in the mail and knew I had to make these fun Milk Carton Wallets with my girls. If there is one thing we like more then food - it is purses, and nothing is better then a FREE purse!
A "How-To" video can be found on the Family Fun Website! Just Click HERE and I'll take you there!

In anticipation of making these I had saved two milk cartons. These worked out well since the little barn was front and center. In the magazine they use an orange juice container - and the colorful carton really looks cute as well!

When you click over - they have a printable template which you will need to copy. It helps you score all the creases you will have to make. I found it pretty difficult and quickly realized this was not a step my children could do.

These would be adorable for party favors if you were going somewhere and the children would be given money or coins (Chuck-E-Cheese, Mall). You can't beat the price! Perfect place for your child's milk money as well!