Friday, September 29, 2017

Cookie Cutter Pancakes

I am boasting BIG TIME, I totally "mom scored" on these bad boys! I had a stroke of brilliance two days ago and wanted to share it with YOU!!! I'm sure most of you have seen the cute idea of pushing a cookie cutter into your kids' school lunch sandwiches (if you haven't its DARLING), well this is along the same lines; only with PANCAKES!

My kids LOVE pancakes, but ever since my dad started adding food coloring to the batter on special occasions I just can't compete. They seriously won't touch mine because they're not colored! So, I decided to make good old buttermilk pancakes two days ago. I was DETERMINED to make my kids LOVE THEM OR ELSE!!!! So.... I started making the pancakes before the kids woke up, and while I was cooking them on the stove my mind started wandering of things I needed to get done.... 
"I still have to make the kids' lunches... hmmm.... what kind of sandwich will I make today? about you surprise the kids today with a cookie cutter sandwich..... change it up a little you know...?"

I look down at the pancake and DING!!!! A HUGE light bulb went off!
"Let the kids play and cut out the pancakes with cookie cutters! They'll want to eat them more than "rainbow pancakes." Easy, no mess, PERFECTION!"

This was the BEST surprise breakfast EVER!
My June even said, "MOM! YOU'RE A GENIUS!" 

So have a FUN breakfast with your kids and use cookie cutters! They're only kids for a little while, enjoy every morning you get!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cookies & Cream Cake Mix Cookies

I had a bunch of left over chocolate cookie crumbs after my attempt at my son's birthday cake. 

I put the extra chocolate crumbs in a zip bag and saved them for later. The day after the birthday party I remembered I volunteered to take a meal to a friend who just had knee surgery. I made them a meal and needed a dessert. I looked in my pantry for something quick. Everyone likes my cake mix cookies, but I only had a white cake mix in my cupboard. I ALWAYS have chocolate! Oh NO! What am I going to do with a white cake mix?! 

(Back track) Cookies and cream ice cream has been on my mind for the past few months. My husband and kids have always asked me what my favorite flavor of ice cream is, and I never could answer, I like so many! Well, I finally decided that my MOST favorite is cookies and cream! 
(I just wish there were more cookies in it! 
More cookies+less cream=perfect ice cream)

So, I saw the cookie crumbs and saw the white cake mix and a literal light bulb went off over my head. Our kitchen light sometimes flickers on and off. I took that as a good sign and went for it! 

These cookies were AWESOME! Keep this recipe in your back pocket for a quick delicious treat!

Cookies and Cream Cake Mix Cookies

1 White cake mix
2 Eggs
1/3 c. Oil
1/3 c. Chocolate Chips
1/2 c. Chocolate Cookie Crumbs (Oreo or Knock off Brand)

Mix all ingredients together. 
Scoop and roll batter into balls. 
Place them on a greased cookie sheet. 
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.
Let cookies sit for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Serve with cold milk! Yummm.....

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Birthday Cake - NAILED IT!

I just have to share this. Not everything I make turns out as planned! This is REAL LIFE! I am not going to publish my only perfect recipes or crafts. I also want to share with you my funny mishaps and moments that definitely DID NOT work out! I've had my share of recipes that didn't turn out, but this one "takes the cake," pun TOTALLY intended.

This was my effort at my son's birthday cake yesterday. It brought some much needed comedy and relief to my day. I had found this cake idea in a magazine ages ago and kept it just in case my little boy would want a cake like this! It had the recipe and it seemed simple enough that I could give it a try. Well, my Connor LOVES Captain America, so much that this is his third super hero party. (The other 2 he didn't really care what the theme of his party was.) He also loves motorcycles so I printed and cut out this picture of Captain America riding a motorcycle and decided the perfect cake to put it on would be this 
"dirt mound cake."

I wish there was a hidden camera in my kitchen, because I would have made a million dollars on America's funniest home videos! I was laughing, squealing and ugly/funny crying for over an hour as the cake kept falling, crumbling, and moving as I frosted it. Tears of continuous laughter streaked my face as I tried to keep it somewhat upright. Frosting splattered my walls, cake crumbs were all over my floor, and frosting covered my hands as I attempted to adjust it to keep it from falling over. This cake was the funnest, most HILARIOUS cake I have ever attempted; too bad I was the only one to witness this shenanigan. I took lots of pictures so I could share my "NAILED IT" moment with you!

NOTE TO SELF: Just because it looks easy in a magazine or on Pinterest, doesn't mean it will always end up like the picture. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't.

Needless to say, Buddy the Cake Boss will NOT be begging for my assistance in his bakery. 

But Hey! I should get points for it looking realistic don't you think?!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beach Ball "Getting to know you game"

We recently went to a swimming pool party for my niece, and took her this beach ball game! I bought a cheap beach ball and wrote questions all over it. You toss the ball and whoever catches it,
 has to answer the question that's under (or near) their right hand pointer finger.

 We played the question game, then after that we played beach volleyball! 
Hey! Two games in one, win-win! 

This was simple and loads of laughs! My sister wanted a list of all of the questions I wrote all over the ball because she thought they were so unique and fun! So, I wrote all of them down and made a list for EVERYONE! My kids came up with some of the questions and they were too funny not to include.

This would be perfect for birthday parties, family reunions,
church activities (for ALL ages) etc.
Have fun!

Beach Ball Questions:

What country do you want to visit?
Favorite room in your house?
Favorite Breakfast?
Favorite Dinner?
Favorite Dessert?
Favorite School Subject?
Favorite Birthday Memory?
Favorite Restaurant?
Something you will NEVER do again?
What Super Power do you wish you had?
Favorite Color?
Favorite Radio Genre?
Favorite Piece of Park Equipment?
Favorite Cartoon Movie?
Favorite Food at Thanksgiving?
Favorite Memory with your Dad?
Favorite Memory with your Mom?
Favorite place to visit?
Favorite camping tradition?
Favorite job you've ever had?
Favorite Board Game?
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?
Favorite Toy?
What Animal would you be?
Favorite Holiday?
What are small things that make your day better?
What Olympic Sport would you compete in?
Favorite Candy?
Favorite Fruit?
Favorite Vegetable?
Favorite Smell?
Favorite Sport? Play? Watch?
Favorite Christmas Tradition?
Favorite Trip you've ever been on?
Yuckiest Food you've ever eaten?
Favorite type of Cookie?
Favorite Children's Book?
Recite your favorite Nursery Rhyme.
Favorite Primary Song?
Favorite thing to do in the Summer?
Favorite thing to do in the Fall?
Favorite thing to do in the Winter?
Favorite Super Hero?

Have fun! Xo

Friday, August 18, 2017

Basil Pesto

Need a quick AMAZING fresh pesto recipe? Look no further! I've made 
Lemon Spinach Pesto before (which was DELICIOUS), and this Basil Pesto is just as scrumptious and fresh! Classic and perfect. Not too runny or too thick, honesty, it's just right! We had it for dinner with grilled chicken and fettuccine noodles! Put this on your "Make ASAP" list!

Basil Pesto

In a blender or food processor place:

2 c. Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Garlic Cloves - Minced
1/4 c. Walnuts or Pine Nuts
2/3 c. Olive Oil
2/3 c. Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp Salt

Blend until smooth. 

Serve immediately over hot pasta or place in a small sauce pan and cook on medium for 5 minutes.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

I am a soup fanatic! I could eat soup and salad every day of the week, spring, summer, fall and winter! I also LOVE CHICKEN POT PIE! But I am more of a buy a frozen pot pie kind of a lady, instead of a make from scratch 4 hours later lady.
Well, that all changed when I was determined to make a Chicken Pot Pie "inspired" soup and simply put my favorite Buttermilk Biscuits on top! HOLY COW! Our family was in HEAVEN! Hearty, flavorful and DELICIOUS! I will be making this OFTEN!

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

2 T. Olive Oil
3 Medium Carrots - Peeled and Sliced
2 Stalks Celery - Sliced and Cut
1/2 Onion - Minced
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts- Cubed
1 large Garlic Clove - minced
2 tsp. Salt

(Optional- Add Peas! My husband and kids won't touch peas, so I left them out)

4 Small Potatoes - Peeled and Cubed + 1tsp. Salt

4 c. Milk
1 T. Basil
Salt to taste

1 c. Sour Cream

In a soup pot, place olive oil, carrots, celery and onion. Saute over medium/high heat until onions are transparent. Dash some salt while cooking.

Add the chicken, garlic and salt.

In a small pot place cubed potatoes with enough water to cover the potatoes. Add salt and boil on high until fork tender. Drain and add to the large pot of chicken and veggies

When all is in the large pot add the milk, basil and salt to taste. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, make the Buttermilk Biscuits!

Stir the sour cream into the soup a few minutes before serving.

Ladle the soup into bowls and place a Buttermilk Biscuit on top!

Perfect Buttermilk Biscuits

Preheat your oven to 450'

In a bowl place:
2 c. Flour
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar (Makes them SOOO SOFT!)
2 tsp. Sugar
1/2 c. Soft Butter

Cut ingredients until nice and crumbly.

2/3 c. Buttermilk (I always make my own with milk and a little bit of vinegar. If using "real" buttermilk you may need to use 1/2 c.)
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

Stir with a wooden spoon to make your dough.

Place your dough on a floured surface. Knead a couple times, then flatten the dough with your hands or with a rolling pin.

Make your dough about 1-1 1/2 inches thick. 

Use a cup/glass you drink from or a 1/2 c. measuring cup to cut your biscuits out! 
This recipe always makes 8 perfect biscuits!

Place your biscuits on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 450' for 10-12 minutes.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Girls Camp Sunshine Notes!

After seeing my Girls Camp Pocket Post, you are probably wondering, "What are all the note cards in the pockets?" Well let me tell you......
They........ are.....SUNSHINE NOTES!
My sister Candace came up with Sunshine Notes years ago, and they have become a tradition for her and I to initiate them into the different girls camps we are involved in. 

Simply place colored or white lined notecards on a picnic table with stickers, markers and pens; then watch the fun begin! The girls and leaders get sunshine and love through those notes to last them a LIFETIME! Everyone writes uplifting sweet messages, short and long, to just about everyone at camp. 

There is ONE rule! We give a warning at the start of camp, if there is ever ONE rude or mean remark on a note we stop all sunshine notes! This is a SAFE/ HAPPY place, there is no place for rude/negative comments. We are spreading SUNSHINE, not rain.
It's sad we have to even warn them, but it's better to be safe than sorry. On a lighter note, we have NEVER had anything like this happen, but we always prepare the girls and leaders.

Girls and leaders go away with a STACK of SUNSHINE at the end of camp. I bought over 1000 notecards last year and we RAN OUT! On the last day I was frantically cutting colored paper I just HAPPENED to have thrown in a tub last minute, so girls could write their last sunshine notes! It was BEAUTIFUL.

One girl told me that she put her sunshine notes up from last year as a border in her bedroom! One leader keeps them on a key ring and takes them with her in her purse. She pulls them out when she needs a little pick me up! THESE SUNSHINE NOTES BLESS LIVES!

Our "Sunshine Note Station" was CONSTANTLY overflowing with girls and leaders writing sweet notes. Many leaders/girls took blank notecards back to their tents because there was NO ROOM for them at the table.