Monday, December 31, 2012

Italian Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes & Onions

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE!!!!!! Have you enjoyed your holiday season? Are you really stressed during the Christmas season? Wish you had it more together? Well, I recommend my friend Krisann, the Christmas coach, and our site at if you need help. Seriously - I've been working with her for 10 years, and she has so much to offer you!

ANYWAY. :D Today's recipe is one my sister found at Pillsbury, for Italian Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes & Onions.

I fixed this for dinner one night when she had to work a little later than normal; she'd already gotten the ingredients, and had the recipe on her computer. So I followed the recipe - although I didn't MEASURE anything, I stuck to the recipe. I wasn't sure how I'd like the sweet potatoes with the Italian herbs, but decided I did like them.

The pork was really good, too - I played with the time a bit, because I started it too high, but it turned out perfectly. ;D I'm blessed that way sometimes! LOL! I'm going to give this a YES, PLEASE! for its ease and pleasing flavor in a short time. Not a lot of prep work, either, which I am beginning to really appreciate. :D Thanks, Kelli! :)

OK, I'm outta here. The year is ending just as crazily as it began! :) Happy New Year, dear friends. Thank you for being on this adventure with me!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Candy Cane Kiss Brownies

Good Friday Morning! I don't know where you are; here in middle Tennessee, it's a brisk 31 degrees with a wind chill that's making it feel like 21! Today's not supposed to get very warm, which is OK with me. :D Now, if I could just get a LITTLE snow. (I know some places have been hammered with a blizzard; I used to enjoy them, if we didn't lose electricity!) Please stay safe and warm as you finish your Christmas preparations!

Now, then. On to today's recipe review, for these Candy Cane Kiss Brownies from Bake it in a Cake.

I made these while I was visiting in Texas. The first time, my sister was hosting a Stampin' Up! party for me, and we were going to serve these - but no papers to line the mini muffin cups. Rule number 1: USE PAPERS. The Kiss has some type of ingredient that caused it or the area immediately around it - not sure which! - to really harden. The bottoms STUCK to the tin. So, I created a trifle with one brownie crumbled up, then a layer of cool whip, another brownie, more cool whip, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a Kiss on top. Everyone loved them! (My sister loves mint and chocolate. :D )

Well, I couldn't let this go; I had to try and get a true reviewable brownie. :D So I went to Walmart and picked up more Kisses and mini muffin papers. Monday, I got to work!

My only revision was a big one: I used a brownie mix to simplify everything. I was in an unfamiliar kitchen with limited time - I didn't have a lot of time to explore their kitchen while Naomi and I were together! Brownie mix was the way to go. And I did use the peppermint extract in the frosting.

So. With that said, I'm going to say this is a YES, PLEASE! recipe, although I'm not sure I'd put the Kiss inside the brownie again. It got too hard. I will probably make the recipe exactly as written once before I make that final call. The frosting is straight buttercream; I loved it! BIG punch of peppermint! If you're looking for chocolate with a hint of peppermint, do NOT use the peppermint extract in your frosting! It definitely takes it to being peppermint with a hint of chocolate - but it was something I definitely enjoyed. I crushed some mints, too, and used the chunks/sugar to decorate the tops of the frosted brownies.

Wow. I'm kinda wordy today! :D I also want to share my beautiful niece with you; I didn't do it often enough. She loves to kick, so she gets to lie on the changing table and do so whenever the adult-in-charge decides. :D She doesn't smile for the camera; she knows she's going to get a flash in her face. :D But I caught this one!!

Have a WONDERFUL day! Be safe out there, if you still have shopping to do. And please, enjoy each moment. Be blessed!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Coconut Clouds

Have you missed me?!?! :D I know, I disappeared - but MY GOODNESS, taking care of a little one made me pretty brain-dead. But I'm home, and eager to share with you!

Today's recipe is for Coconut Clouds - another Taste of Home recipe.

This was the first time I decided to try these cookies, for the open house.

It will not be the last. :D They got a definite YES, PLEASE! from many people, including my sister, Debbi. :D (My youngest nephew, N., thought they should make all the good things in the photo I last posted. After all, they had all the ingredients, right? :D How fortuitous that Grandma and Grandpa were coming to visit in a few days! :D )

This is my dad. He and Mom are wonderful to help me with any project I care to beg - er, ASK! - for help with. :D Here he is, frosting the Coconut Clouds for me. :D

I did not change a THING with this cookie. The cookie itself is delightfully cake-y, and very nice alone. However, the coconut frosting and the toasted coconut on top definitely make this cookie something special. It is COMPLETELY coconut-tasting. If you don't like coconut as a flavor all alone, don't make this cookie. If you do, you MUST make it. :D

OK, I'm outta here. Kenn and I are going to spend the rest of the day together; I was gone a LONG time. It will be nice to be with him, then our church family later tonight. And tomorrow is our cookie exchange! I'm trying three all-new recipes, so be on the lookout! :)

Are you ready for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Wow, what a whirlwind few days. I'm now in College Station for two weeks, taking care of my newest niece. Today is the day we're really getting to know each other; it's interesting, to say the least. :D She's just about 3-1/2 months old. Isn't she beautiful?

Today's not going to have a recipe or a review. I'm just going to show you an overview of the sweets table; I don't think I ever got a shot of the hot station. Trust me when I say there was enough food for an army - we officially had 114 sign in, but I'm pretty sure there were a few more people. :)

That's it for now; Naomi's not feeling well, so I'm on standby. She's fussing herself either awake or asleep; I'm not quite sure which. :)
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Happy Monday Morning! I'm on my way to Texas this morning; stay tuned for updates on how the open house went. (I'm setting this up to show up, so you can have some entertainment while I'm traveling. :D )

Today's TNT recipe is for Peanut Butter Blossoms, from my Hershey's Cookbook. But again, Hershey's has put their recipes online, too! :D

I don't think I ever tweak this one! It's wonderful. And putting chocolate with peanut butter made Kenn start eating PB cookies. ;D

OK, I'm gone. Literally. HA! (I crack myself up!) Have a WONDERFUL day! Be BLESSED!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Toffee-Pumpkin Pie Bars

It's FRIDAY! :) Welcome to the weekend.

Today's share is a recipe I found in a Christmas Cookies booklet; lucky for both you and me that Better Homes & Gardens puts their recipes online, too! :D

It's called Toffee-Pumpkin Pie Bars, and this is what I made instead of pumpkin pie for our family celebration last Thursday.

I'm going to give this a YES, PLEASE! It was a really nice change of pace; it tastes a lot like pumpkin pie without ALL the pumpkin or fuss. :D I really liked the gingersnap crumb crust.

I didn't tweak it at all. We didn't use the optional caramel topping - TOO much sweetness! We DID use French Vanilla Cool Whip - and did it taste decadent. :D

OK, I'm off! This weekend, open house craziness. Phew. :D Have a WONDERFUL weekend!!! Try something new, and let me know about it!!! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Butter Rum Fudge

Good Wednesday Morning!

Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite tried-n-true (TNT) recipes with you.I think I got the original from; this recipe is almost exactly it (there's a typo; there should be 12 ounces of chocolate chips!).

DO NOT TRY TO FIT THIS IN A 9x9 PAN! Gravy. The first time I did this recipe, I followed to the letter - well, as far as that goes. ;D It was so thick, I had to cut the piece in half width-wise! It's perfect - like my photo above - in a 13x9.

Now, then. My tweaks: I don't add walnuts and pecans. I add walnuts and a cup of raisins that I've soaked in hot water with a teaspoon of rum flavoring added. It plumps the raisins and gives them a boost of flavor. I also add just a bit more rum flavoring.

This fudge is one of Kenn's favorites. I only make it once a year, for the open house. This year, I added a few mini marshmallows, too, by accident - but it's still yummy. :D

I'm gone. Hopefully not crazy.... :D Have a wonderful, BLESSED day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifles

Welcome to Monday! Are you ready for this week? It's the last of November. Wow. Where DID this year go?!?!

Today's review is the last recipe from the Hostess Appreciation Luncheon - and it's dessert, of course. :D It's Simple Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifles from My Baking Addiction.

OK, these are a YES, PLEASE! but I WILL tweak them a bit. :D I didn't do a thing differently from the recipe, I swear! :D

I loved the Biscoff cookies for this; they weren't overpowering or too sweet, and kept their crunch - which was a great texture contrast to the creaminess of the rest of it.

I will add more cream cheese next time; I love the flavor of cream cheese, and as one hostess said, "If you hadn't told me there was cream cheese in here, I never would have guessed!" If you like the cheese part of the cheesecake flavor to be less, then do this straight-up. :D

I served these in little juice glasses. It was really the perfect size to wrap up a big meal; cool, creamy, and not too big a portion made it a pretty perfect little treat. :)

OK, I'm outta here! Sooooo busy around here! I really hope you're planning on coming to the open house if you're local.... :D

Have a wonderful day! Be BLESSED!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Roasted Cabbage

It's FRIDAY! How was your Thanksgiving? Are you still stuffed? :D Are your festivities continuing through the weekend? Are you decorating? :D

Anyway. Here's another recipe from our hostess luncheon; it's Roasted (I Wish It Was Grilled) Cabbage from Green Lite Bites.

The original blogger said she liked her cabbage crunchy; I don't so I put the wedges in for about an hour and 15 minutes. And they were still crunchy.

I'm going to give this a NO, THANKS. The Worchestershire sauce was a bit overpowering. I think we're going to try frying up the leftovers, and see if we like it that way better. So watch for an update; I'll need to do that this weekend, more than likely - I need the fridge room! :D

OK, I'm outta here! Working away for the open house! I hope you're coming. :)

Enjoy your weekend!!!! Be BLESSED!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pork Chops with Apples & Stuffing

Happy Wednesday! :) Tomorrow is Thanksgiving; I want you to know I'll be counting each of you as blessings. Thank you for coming to see what I make, and for letting me know when you do try something I post! :)

I know I said last week that I'd be posting some of my tried-n-true recipes from now until whenever :D, but I want to share the luncheon recipes while they're fresh in my mind, so I can tell you honestly what I think.

This is from, and is for pork chops with apples and stuffing.

This is definitely a YES, PLEASE! recipe. The pork was moist, the stuffing flavorful, and overall it was a great, easy recipe.

I did everything pretty much exactly as written. We used no-added-sugar apple juice; I think, next time, I'll use half chicken stock and half apple juice - I don't think the flavor was so very intense with all apple juice, and I'd like to cut out any extra carb I can. :) I also didn't use sugared cranberries. And it was wonderful!

OK, I'm outta here! Soooo much to do, so little time. :D May your Thanksgiving find you truly thankful; may you be with family and/or friends, and find yourself warm, clothed, and fed. We are so truly blessed!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Moose Munch

Good Monday Morning! did you have a good weekend? Are you happy about it being a short work week? :D There's lots to do here, if you need something to keep you busy.... :D

Anyway. :D Saturday was my Hostess Appreciation Luncheon for my Stampin' Up! hostesses, so this is another crossover post. :D For a really fun way to package this Moose Munch, please go to Lori's Stamping Spot to see today's post.

 I forgot to take a photo of just the caramel corn; I can't tell you how much I say YES, PLEASE! to this whole recipe. It was pretty, easy, impressive, and yummy. :D

Oh, yeah, You'd probably like to know where to find the recipe! It's from Pondered, Primed, Perfected, for Moose Munch.

 For the bags I show on my Stampin' Up! blog, I got five bags full from one batch of Moose Munch. Oh, was it good. :D I gave Kenn my bag, just so you know I didn't eat myself into a sugar coma. But anyway, it would make a FANTASTIC gift for office mates or neighbors.

OK, gotta jet - LOTS to do. There will be more recipes from my luncheon reviewed all week, so stay tuned! :D Have a BLESSED day!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Cake

Good Friday Morning!
Whew, what a week! Starting today, I'm going to start showing you recipes I make for our open house, and tell you why I like them. Just a bit, because my days are SO FULL RIGHT NOW! Augh! :D

Anyway. I can't find WHERE I got this recipe from; I printed it off YEARS ago, and just tried it this week. So I'll put the recipe here, along with as much info as I can on where it came from. :D

25 Days of Desserts - Day 19

O merry thoughts
Christmas Cake

1 small package red Jello (cherry, strawberry, etc.)
1 small package green Jello (lime)
1 white cake mix and ingredients to make cake
1 container Cool Whip

maake white cake mix per box instructions, using two 9-inch round cake pans. After baking, let cakes cool for 10 minutes. Pop cakes out of pans; clean out cake pans and return cakes back to pans. Using a fork, poke holes into cakes at various points to receive jello. Make up the red jello with hot water only and pour evenly as possible over one of the cakes. Then make up the green jello with just hot water and pour over the other round cake. Put both cakes into the fridge for several hours. Place the bottom of the cake pans into hot water to help in removing the cakes from their pans. Spread the top of one cake with Cool Whip. place the other cake on top of the first cake and spread the remaining Cool Whip on top and sides. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Now, then. I used sugar-free Jello. And I hate wasting egg yolks, so I made my white cake with two whole eggs instead of three whites. :D

I really wouldn't recommend assembling this cake until just before serving; it slides around on that Cool Whip. Seriously; it will look like a cake wreck if you're not careful! :D

It's tasty, and fun, and refreshing! :D

OK, I'm outta here! Have a wonderful weekend! Be BLESSED!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Bars

Good Monday Morning!
Did you have a good weekend? It was absolutely STUNNING here - probably the last fall hurrah of the year. :D Low 70s, sunny - and I know some of my friends were dealing with snow. (I say "dealing"; I'd love to have snow!!!!!!)

ANYWAY. This recipe is a Taste of Home recipe; my mom actually brought home a Holiday Recipe cookbook she found at a garage sale. She's been craving something with pumpkin, and when I looked through the book I found this recipe. It's simple; I found it on their website, too, and here is the link!

As I said, it's a simple recipe. And it makes a big pan. We're going to give this a YES, PLEASE! What I did was mix up the whole batch, then cut the pan of bars in half and cooled and wrapped one half. They're in our freezer, waiting for someone to come visit. :D They were good; the frosting was good, and I *think* I cut the frosting recipe in half - and still didn't use it all. :)

OK, I'm off! Have a WONDERFUL day! Be BLESSED!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pizza Crust

 Good Friday afternoon! Goodness, has it been BUSY! I'm trying to get used to the fact that it's NOT going to be any less so between now and 2013. AUGH! :D

Anyway. :D Today's recipe is for pizza crust, brought to you by 1001 Recipe.

First off, this recipe makes a lot of dough. I did it in my bread machine; I wanted to make a personal-sized pizza, so I formed five balls of dough out of the total. One, I pressed into the bottom of a pie plate, stretching it really thin. Wow, did it rise! I like to bake my crusts for a few minutes with no toppings, so it has a chance to get a little crunchy. I decided all I wanted was a "lovely cheese pizza", just for me. (Quick! What movie is that from??? :D ) So I put some bottled sauce and grated mozzarella with a tiny sprinkle of parmesan cheese on my partially-baked crust.

So, this is what it came out as. I'm a little undecided on whether I will make it again. As I've said before, I don't make bread dishes too often because of the spike in carbs. But I think I'll recommend it to you! :)

If I *do* make this again, I think I might add a bit of garlic powder, to give it a bit more taste. I like my crust to bring something to the party, too! :D

OK, I'm outta here. Life is CRAZY busy, as I said, but it's GOOD. God is so good to me! I love counting my blessings - I have so many. You're one of them! :)

Enjoy your weekend! Be BLESSED! And try something new. ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lemon Pudding Cake

Happy Wednesday!

How are you today? Is it beautiful where you are? It is here; almost 80 degrees, the sun is shining, there's a light breeze, and the colors are still beautiful - but on their way out, which seems early. Oh, well. :D

Today's recipe is brought to you from Food and Wine, for this lemon pudding cake.

There's not a lot to say about this pretty little cake. I didn't have the correct size of ramekin, but it worked just fine in bigger ones. I'm going to give these a YES, PLEASE! - if for no other reason than they're easy and have usually-on-hand ingredients. :)

The cakes were good cold, too. Very lemony and bright! As you can see, I sprinkled powdered sugar on them - I mean, they ARE dessert, right? :D There's not a whole lot more to say about these. They're a basic little cake, and make a nice end to a meal!

OK, I'm outta here. :D As I said, it's a beautiful day, and I'm distracted by the beautiful trees in the back yard. :D Be BLESSED! Try something new, too. :D

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pancake Squares

Hello, Monday! Phew. Does anyone else want the world to stop spinning for maybe just a few hours?!?! :D Getting dragged along, trying to keep up.... :D

These will help you. Trust me. Yup, a definite YES, PLEASE! - from Kenn, too!!! :D The recipe comes from Big Red Kitchen, for Pancake Squares.

What attracted me to this recipe in the first place? TIME SAVING. I don't eat pancakes often, because there's just not much low carb about most of them. :D And I really don't like standing over the griddle, calling Kenn to breakfast to eat his hot while I still have to stand there making MINE.

That's the beauty of this recipe. Seriously. I did the happy dance the morning I made these! :D I popped the pan into the oven, put the bacon on, and did email while everything was working.

She even tells you to double this and bake it in a 13x9 pan - hello, company breakfast!!!!!!! Heck, you can even bake bacon. Happy day, no more having to stand in the kitchen and flip cakes while people you'd like to spend time with are in another room, eating.

And the good news? They're yummy! :) Oh, YES. And they reheat well in the microwave! We got two days' worth of breakfast from one recipe. We did micro sausage the second meal. I am a happy wife when I can make my husband happy with breakfast AND not have to make huge messes and use lots of time to do it. :D

Please let me know when you try this, because I KNOW you're gonna. :D BE BLESSED!!!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Copycat: Cafe Rio's Chicken Tortilla Soup

It's FRIDAY! :) Are you ready for some weekend?!?!? :)

Today's recipe is for a copycat of a place I've never heard of, Cafe Rio. If you have one near you, what do you think of their food? Anyway. :D The website that brings you this recipe is the same as Wednesday's, Favorite Family Recipes - because that pico de gallo I reviewed Wednesday is in this soup!

This is one of the meals I made while my parents were visiting my sister. I don't think they'd like it much, but I may be wrong. Maybe it's just Dad who wouldn't like it. :D Because we did! It gets a YES, PLEASE! - except the leftovers, not so much.

This is an assembled soup, which made it nice because I could do prep work the day before - like making the pico, baking the chicken and freezing what I didn't want to use for another meal. And it's a healthy soup - lots of fresh vegetables, not too high in sodium, chicken.... It's pretty, too! :)

When I reheated the chicken to put into the soup bowls, I ladled in some broth - with all the spices, etc., in the broth, it gave the seasoning to the chicken I wanted. I added a little cumin to the chicken, too, but couldn't find any cayenne pepper in the grocery the day I went. That was the strangest thing...! And I didn't use any taco seasoning; Kenn doesn't like it, and I didn't want to buy a package that we weren't going to use all of it, anyway. :)

The tortilla strips absolutely made this soup. Well, for ME, anyway. :D I've never made them fresh before, and oooooooh, were they good just out of the oil and salted. :D I stored them in a paper bag, so it would absorb the extra oil and they would stay crispy.

This will probably be a soup I make when we have people over on the beach; I can get almost everything ready the day before, and keep the broth and beans in a crock pot while we're doing things on the beach. :) It's Kenn's idea of what food should be: fresh and flavorful.

And I'll make extra tortilla strips next time. ;)

OK, I'm outta here. Have a WONDERFUL day! Enjoy your weekend - and let me know if you try anything new!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pico de Gallo

Good Wednesday morning! Sorry I wasn't around Monday; between working too hard this weekend, and being sick, I just didn't feel like blogging. :D So!

With that being said, :D, here is Family Favorite Recipes' recipe for pico de gallo.

OK. I have to say this: this recipe is almost EXACTLY what I would use for a bruscetta topping - except the herb is cilantro, not basil, and it's got a jalapeno in it.

But it's GOOD. :) It's just amazing to me how similar Mexican and Italian can be sometimes. :) And it was part of a grander scheme of a recipe, so as an ingredient, it was good. We didn't eat it all, and I think it's because I was trying to squeeze in as much cooking as I could while my parents were gone. :D We ate WELL that week. LOL!

I'd say try it. I'd also say, if you're looking for a bruscetta topping, just change out the herb and don't worry about the jalapeno. :D So, it's going down in the history books as a YES, PLEASE. :D

OK, I'm outta here. Have a WONDERFUL day! Be BLESSED - and try something new!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gingered Chicken Thighs

It's FRIDAY!!!! Have you had a good week? Got fun plans for this weekend? If you're in the Middle Tennessee area, come see me tomorrow night; I'm working at Lebanon's Cedar Grove Cemetery Walk!

Anyway. :) Today's recipe is another Taste of Home, for Gingered Chicken Thighs.

I have to tell you: it took me a LONG time to decide this one got a NO, THANK YOU from us. It wasn't BAD, but neither of us wanted to eat the leftovers. :)

Now, I will admit that I used lemon juice instead of orange juice, but that's not what did it for us, I don't think. The flavors were super strong, but good - at first. It just didn't sit right, and when smelling the leftovers, it was totally overwhelming. (Of course, I'm not feeling tiptop right now, anyway.... :D)

Do let me know if it intrigues you enough to try it! I'd love to know what you think. :)

OK, I'm outta here. Have a WONDERFUL weekend! BE BLESSED!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Beef Vegetable Soup

Welcome to Wednesday. :D Have you had a good week so far? I've got a doctor's appointment today. booooo, hisssssss. <sigh>

So, anyway. :D Today's recipe is for "steak soup" - aka vegetable beef :D - from Gimme Some Oven! :D I made this soup last Monday, when I opened up the stampin' studio for a free evening. The bread I shared on Monday was a nice accompaniment for this soup.

The soup got a definite YES, PLEASE! from everyone who tasted it. I used 4 cups of beef broth, then about 5 cups of water with a container of Knorr Homestyle Stock (it's condensed) and an envelope of Swanson Flavor Boost. The recipe includes Worchestershire sauce - a touch of brilliance, there. It's got so much "stuff" that I wouldn't think to add to the soup, and a little goes a long way to boosting the flavor and richness of the broth. As a matter of fact, when I made beef stew a couple of days later, I used some Worchestershire sauce in it, too. It was wonderful. :)

This soup was wonderfully hearty, and I have to admit I don't really like soups with tomatoes in them. I cut the amount of tomatoes I added in half from the recipe; I also used fire-roasted tomatoes, which I'd gotten as a freebie to try.  I thought, if you have to have tomatoes in the soup, they were pretty decent. :D And I ate two bowls of this soup. Unheard of for me. :D

OK, I'm outta here! Have a BLESSED day! And do try this soup! :D

Monday, October 8, 2012

ABM Whole Wheat Bread

Good Monday Morning! Did you have a good weekend? GOODNESS, mine was BUSY. And today's been busy, too! Crazy, man! :D

ANYWAY. Today, I'm bringing you one of those recipes that this time of year just begs for: bread. And my favorite kind: bread that can be made in my bread machine! :D This recipe comes to us from, for whole wheat bread.

This is a pretty healthy recipe! It doesn't use sugar; it uses honey. So, as far as a healthy bread recipe (as a diabetic, that's a bit of an oxymoron, but still... :D), this is a YES, PLEASE. But I would suggest upping the salt just a tiny bit.

It baked up really nice for being whole wheat; I do add vital wheat gluten to my bread machine recipes, tho, so that always helps. This had a nice crust on it - I did let it bake in the machine, just so I didn't have to mess with the oven. It was substantial enough when you bit into it to have a nice chew to it, too.

So, if you're looking for an easy, healthy bread machine recipe, go for this one. :)

Let me know if you try it, what YOU think!

OK, outta here. So much to do, so little time.... :D Have a WONDERFUL day! Be blessed!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lemon Curd

Good Friday Morning!

How are you today? Can you believe we're already at the first Friday of October?

Fortunately, we can keep some of the sunshine going. :) This recipe for Lemon Curd comes from Crazy for Crust. (Great name, isn't it! :D)

Today's post is a cross-post; if you'd like to know how I did the fabric topper in less than 30 seconds, or the label with just three different punches, please go to Lori's Stamping Spot and check out today's post. :D

The reason I decided to make this lemon curd was that the marshmallow fluff left me with three egg yolks, and I'd been wanting to try my hand at curd-making for a while. I really love the stuff! (If you've never had Stonewall Kitchen products, I cannot recommend them enough! But that's another blog post! :D)

This is a definite YES, PLEASE! The recipe makes about 1/3 cup or so more than would fit into this jar. (Rats. :D) So you could easily get two jam jar-sized gifts from one batch. It took me TWO lemons. That's all. I have the rest of the bag left! I honestly don't see why you couldn't easily double or triple the recipe at once. I would recommend having SOMEONE to help you stir, though, especially if you have bad wrists. I kinda wish Kenn had been home when I decided to do this one, just for that reason! :D

Now, remember those English muffins I talked about Wednesday? Yup. That's what I wanted them for: to be the perfect excuse - er, um, vehicle! - to get this curd to my mouth in the morning. :D

It's a bright, tangy, wonderful burst of citrus. I might make the cookies sometime, but for now, I'm going to enjoy this lemon curd in a couple of different ways. ;) Keep an eye out!

Have a WONDERFUL weekend! Enjoy your time, and let me know if you try something new. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Healthy Life English Muffins

Happy Wednesday! :)  Are you having a good week?

I wanted to review these English muffins because, with some of the jams, jellies, conserves, preserves, and curds I'm making, there's just something about a toasted English muffin with those nooks and crannies filled with melted butter and fruit of some type. :) And THESE are great; I can have a whole muffin for a net carb total of only 15 - and still have carbs for the jelly or whatever. :)

So, these get a YES, PLEASE. They're relatively low in calories, if that matters to you. :) I don't like English muffin pizzas - never really have; there's something about the taste that I just don't like - but these would work well, if that's something your family likes.

OK, I'm outta here! :D So many reviews to write, so little time.... :D
Have a WONDERFUL day! Be BLESSED! And try something new!

Monday, October 1, 2012

S'mores Muffins

Good Monday Morning! And HAPPY OCTOBER!

How was your weekend? Did it go quickly? I swear! As photographers, our weekends are booked so often; they're much more full than I usually enjoy. :D And this one was no exception - but what would I give up?!? Nothin'. :D

Today's review is of another recipe from Taste of Home, for "I Want S'more Muffins". (Yes, I still roll my eyes at that name....)

If you saw my Facebook status last week, you already know my reaction to these. It's not just a YES, PLEASE! It's a OH, MY! YES, PLEASE! :D

The recipe only makes six muffins. And in my case, that's probably an EXCELLENT thing. :D My biggest recommendation is to eat them while they're still at least slightly warm - although they're still wonderful cold.

And if you drop one while trying to tip them out of the pan, it WILL explode on the floor. All over the floor.

Ask me how I know. :D

I think the homemade marshmallow fluff did, indeed, make a difference for me. It's not all hard the next day, and it didn't all melt away. As you can see, it's definitely a s'more. Although I didn't have milk chocolate chips, so I used semisweet. :)

OK, I'm outta here. Have a WONDERFUL day! Be BLESSED!!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Marshmallow Fluff

It's FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good morning! :D Have you got plans to try anything new this weekend? Bungee jumping? (You'll have to write your own review for that one; I can't handle even thinking about it! :D )

Anyway. :D Today's recipe is for marshmallow fluff from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

I'm not too sure what I think about this recipe! If you've ever made divinity, and tried to do it on a humid day - that's how my fluff turned out. It TASTES good, but it's not really FLUFFY. It's kind of dense, actually. I've got a comment in at the website to see what she thinks I might have done wrong. Until I figure it out, I'm going to give it a MEH. Even though I can control the ingredients, I'm not sure the product I came up with is worth the time and money I put into it. I'm still thinking about that. :D

On the other hand, it worked BEAUTIFULLY for what I made it for: an ingredient for Monday's post! :D You have to store the fluff in the fridge, which makes it very unwieldy. But that made it easy to spoon into what I made. :D

Now you HAVE to come back Monday, to see what I was up to. :D

Have a WONDERFUL weekend. Enjoy your time - whether you're spending time with loved ones, or getting a chance for some down time, or doing something fun - or even if you've got to do something you didn't really want to do. :D And find a moment to try something new! BE BLESSED!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dreamsicle Pudding

Good Wednesday Morning!
I don't know about you, but I'm loving this fall weather. :) And there's so much to do, not enough time to do it in. :D Less than three months until Christmas, and I can't wait! LOL

Anyway. Today's review is another recipe, from Jo and Sue for Creamsicle Pudding.

Let me tell you a little about this. First of all, it's more like a mousse. Second, I used sugar-free vanilla pudding, to save on more carbs. So this recipe only has the carbs from the Cool Whip and the oranges.

It's a YES, PLEASE! - even though I find it super sweet. I think, the next time I make it, I'll layer the extra Cool Whip and the mousse/pudding, to break up the sweetness a little. It's pretty, and refreshing, and the recipe is super-easy and makes seven FULL or eight big servings.

OK, I'm outta here! We're having our church picnic this evening, and I can't WAIT to hang out with my friends! :D Have a wonderful day! BE BLESSED!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pear Butter

Good Monday Morning!

I'm sorry you didn't get a post on Friday, if you came looking for one. I just ran out of OOMPH. I'm weary; last week was a LONG week. But it's Monday, so we get to do it all over again! :D

Today's recipe for pear butter comes to you from

I'm not quite sure what to tell you about this recipe. :D Yes, it's pear butter. But I don't think I'd go out of my way to make it. Let me put it this way: if you have lots of extra pears, this is a good way to use them. I wouldn't recommend getting extra pears just to do this one.

We had two crockpots almost full of pear slices, and I think I got eight half-pint jars out of it all. The recipe does call for pureeing the pears before putting them into the cooker, but I used an immersion blender on them once they'd cooked down. It was much less messy, and less work.

The flavor is OK. Don't add extra cloves! :D I wish I would remember to get some English muffins; I'd like to try it on those. And I cut the sugar by 1/3; it definitely doesn't need more than that.

So, I guess it's a MEH. :D However, I'll continue to try to find SOME pear recipe that I like. But unless I get more pears this year, I'm out!

Have a wonderful day! Be BLESSED!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pear Bread

Happy Wednesday! Are you having a good week?

My friend has lots of pears, and pneumonia. So I was gifted a big pail of pears. :D My sister asked that we bring some quick breads for the kids' breakfasts, so we decided to try pear bread!

This is a Taste of Home recipe. And it gets a MEH from me.

Now, don't get me wrong: as quick breads go, it's easy, makes two loaves, and has pretty common ingredients. But I have yet to find a pear bread recipe that tastes like pears. This one only tastes like pears when you bite into a piece of pear.

My dad liked it - I think its texture is more of a muffin than a bread. It will definitely do the job, and I've added even more fruit to the following batches, to give more pear to bite into. :) I'm sure it will be a hit with the lids! If I get gifted with pears again, I might try pureeing some pears to use in it, too, and see if that helps or changes the texture too much.

Let me know what you think - or if you have a pear quick bread recipe you like!

Have a wonderful day! Be BLESSED!!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Happy Monday Morning! How are you doing today? Did you have a good weekend? Did you try anything new?

Here's a recipe from SimplyDelicious for Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake. And I will tell you right now: this is a YES, PLEASE - so much so that I've made it several times since I tried it on the beach in February. So much so that I had to double-check to be sure I hadn't told you to make this already. :D It's WONDERFUL cake!

What I really love is that it's not too sweet. It looks like it might taste that way, but it doesn't. It's yummy, and addictive - my sister-in-law ate about half a sheet cake by herself. :D

I haven't made it into a layer cake; I have no reason for a layer cake, and more for sheet or 13x9 cakes. I made this cake for a pitch-in, and it was a huge hit. :) It even freezes FROSTED, if you have to do that - the photo above is a piece that's not only been frozen, but thawed and squished a little. :D It's a must-have recipe!

OK, I'm out of here. I'm in Missouri right now, so there's lots to do. :) Have a wonderful day, my friend. Be BLESSED!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Carrot Cake Waffles

 Good Friday Morning!

How has your week been? I hope FANTASTIC! :)

Today's review is another recipe. This one is brought to you from Willow Bird Baking, for carrot cake waffles.

First, you'll notice that my plate only has ONE of these waffles on it; the photo on the original blog? THREE. And I'm pretty sure they're the same size as my waffle.

This recipe is another YES, PLEASE! However, I won't be making them very often. My GOODNESS. I could only eat half of the one I'm showing you here! It was SO rich, with the cream cheese topping - and you KNOW I love my cream cheese! :D

First, again I had to thin the batter down. It wouldn't MOVE in the waffle iron, which was a problem. But I added probably another 1/3 cup milk, and it did fine. :)

I also used a new product, which I'll review next week, alongside the raisins.

The carrots made it really pretty, too; the waffle was very tasty. There's not a lot of sugar in here, so it's the maple syrup and the raisins that make it taste like the carrot cake we all know and love. The cream cheese spread doesn't hurt.... :D

Other than that, I didn't change anything - used my lower-carb milk, but that's it. I did do the spice bloom in the butter, because I had lots of time this morning. And this is a time-consuming recipe. Definitely another lazy-day breakfast. :)

Kenn's not a big breakfast person, but he does like it when I make him special things for breakfast. :) As you can see, he ate his whole waffle - and his bacon. Give the man bacon, and he'll give you a smile! :D I thought you'd like to know I'm not actually eating this stuff all by myself. :D

OK, I'm outta here! Have a WONDERFUL weekend! Please say a prayer for my family; we're having my nephew's memorial service Sunday. Kenn can't go, and I know I'll miss his emotional support. Thank you for praying! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lemon Chicken

Good morning! How is your week going? I hope well. I know each day has its own ups and downs - I'm concentrating on the UPS today. :D

So, today's recipe comes from Annie's Eats, for Lemon Chicken.

Now, I have to admit: I love the way some herbs smell, but I haven't discovered a way that I really like eating them very often. For that reason alone, I'm giving this a YES, PLEASE! It allowed me to use some of the beautiful herbs Dad grows, and we all loved the result!

I think the biggest reason is that it doesn't over-do the herbs. And because they're in the marinade, not just on the chicken.

This is a really lemony dish. We love lemon around here; this savory application really was enjoyed by everyone, which is a little unusual. :D

I served this with basmati rice (one of my FAVORITE rices!!), which I cooked with lemon zest. When it was fully cooked, I added more lemon zest and some basil. That right there's worth the price of admission! :D With a tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad, it was a delightful meal.

I hope you'll try this! It didn't take long to put together the marinade at all. The reason my photo looks so different is that we didn't use chicken with skin. We don't do that around here much. ;) But you can see that the legs, which did have skin, did brown beautifully like the original photo. I enjoyed doing the platter presentation! I do love the smell of rosemary. :D

OK, I'm outta here! Have a BLESSED day, my friend! And let me know when you try something new!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Part two: Apple Fritters

Good Monday Morning! Did you have a great weekend? Praying you did.

So, you're back for part two, right? :D

The recipe is brought to you from SeeminglyGreek. I didn't know apple fritters were Greek, but whatever! :D

Now. Fritters are meant to be FRIED. I know that. But I also know that I've been cooking a LOT around here, and that I didn't need anything fried! Nor did my family. So I know I did it more of a cake than a fritter, because I cooked them in what? Yeah, my cupcake baker. :D So they're not the crunch little nuggets that you'll get when you fry them.

And these fritters formed into cupcakes more than the cake batters I've used in the baker in the past! So odd. but anyway. :)

They're not overly sweet. I didn't make the glaze for them, and the confectioner's sugar didn't really stick to them. More like in the little cracks that formed on top. :D

But I'll give this a YES, PLEASE! They were moist, and fit the bill for a healthy snack. There's little sugar IN them. Be careful cutting up your apple! I cut BOTH thumbs, and had to get my dad to finish chopping my apple for me. It was one of THOSE days. AUGH!! :D But he didn't mind, since he was getting a treat from it. :D (He also bandaged my thumbs. Thanks, Dad!)

I did have to thin the batter out. It was too thick for me. And I used the medium-sized cookie scoop from Pampered Chef to scoop into the baker - it was the perfect amount!

OK, I'm outta here. :) Have a WONDERFUL, blessed day. And try something NEW!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Part One: Apple Fritters

 Good morning! It's FRIDAY! :) How has your short work week been? I dunno; when I worked in an office, it always seemed the week was just as long, if not longer. :D

So, today I have a two-part review for you.OK, so it's part one of a two-parter. :D Aren't you BLESSED? You'll have to come back Monday to see what I say about the RECIPE, but you'll get a review of the GADGET today! :D

This is the "Original Cupcake Maker"; I purchased it from The Steamy Kitchen. Here's a link right to the one they've got now - it looks the same, but I can't see the top. But this is where I got it. :D

SteamyKitchen is a great blog; you really shout spend some time checking it out. She's a PRO, people!

Now. My review of the cupcake baker!

First, the picture shows them baked in the little papers. SOOO no necessary. As a matter of fact, one of the things I really love about this is that it's completely nonstick. I *do* spray it before I put the first batch of whatever in, but that's it.

Another plus on this machine is that it wipes clean with a damp cloth. LOVE that - I'm so not about the cleaning part of cooking, peeps. :D

The biggest "con" against this little gadget is that it pretty much steams the tops. Even though the top has a heating element in it, it really doesn't brown them or bake them. But it also doesn't FRY them. It's really a healthy way to cook. I think I'm going to try mini quiche soon!

Overall, though, it really is a cute, useful gadget. I've used it for brownie bites, mini cupcakes - that look more like cake balls than cupcakes! - and the recipe I'll review on Monday - these "Apple Fritters". It doesn't heat up the house; it takes very little time to get hot, and cools quickly. If you're planning on using with youngsters, they'll still need to be supervised; the steam, the inside, and the baked good are all very hot!

OK, that's it for today! :) It's our sixteenth anniversary - but I'm STAMPIN' tonight! :D I hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend; spend time with your loved ones. Laugh. Tell people you love them. God bless you!!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NEST OF HOPE by J.L. Rybolt

Nest of Hope: one Woman's Journey Through a Hysterectomy, The Loss of a Dream, and the Quest to Hatch a New One by J.L. Rybolt (hereafter referred to as Jennifer!)

Good morning! Today's review is out of what I normally do, but I'm hoping to do more of all SORTS of reviews. (Especially next year, I may have more trouble posting recipe reviews! :D)

Anyway. This is a very special book; it's written by a dear friend of mine. Jennifer and I met - what, Jen, 11 years ago?!?! - when we were doing a community theater project together. Neither of us is too active in the scene anymore (from CHOICE, believe us! :D), but we've managed to maintain our friendship.

Jennifer is a very private person, so the fact that she put this book out for the world to see is a big step. However, I know why she did it: Jennifer wants to help people. Period. And this book, if you're going through a hysterectomy, will do that - and it will help the people who surround you who want to help, but don't know how.

Here's how Jen sums up the book's contents:
The first part of this book will address the hysterectomy: the surgery, recovery, menopause, being single and childless, a chapter for the men and your loved ones, and the question that came up: Who Am I Now? The second part will take you on a journey of regaining hope, love, wonder, and excitement. We will look at where to start searching for things that may be your dreams, reclaiming your dreams and resources to help you get there, and help with maneuvering through the minefield that can be "the change".

It's a short book, and an easy read - and there are gems throughout the book. It's insightful, honest, and a book I would recommend, hysterectomy or not. I don't know about you, but so many beautiful women in my life have gone through this surgery; having this resource is great for me as their friend, and as a woman about to enter "The Change". :D

The link at the top will take you to, where you can order the book. When I went over there, it was even on sale. I would encourage you to get it, read it, and keep it at-hand for the next friend who goes through something. Use it for yourself, for the "reclaiming your dreams" section. Use the "50 New Things" list Jennifer includes for you. I think you'll find it *all* helpful.

So it gets a YES, PLEASE! :) It will bless you!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sour Cream Pancakes

Good Monday Morning! Welcome to SEPTEMBER - and Happy Labor Day! Are you planning something special?

Today's review is another recipe, this time from Friday Delights, for sour cream pancakes.

 This recipe had me a little concerned. First, there's an ingredient that's listed but not in the instructions. Then, there was the way the batter came together - it was THICK, not like regular pancake batter. When I put it into the pan, it didn't SPREAD.

But it *did* puff. Oh, MY, did they rise.

Then I took the first one cooked, and tore a piece with my fingers. It felt lighter than I thought it was going to - I mean, it has more fat than flour in it! Then I took a bite.

This is DEFINITELY a YES, PLEASE!!!! Oh, my. Not overly sweet, because there's only a tablespoon of honey to sweeten the batter. But so fluffy and soft. They were almost delicate.

My husband loves pancakes. And he loves when I make him breakfast. :D So this was a win-win; and he even thanked me again the next day for making this breakfast for him. LOL!

They are a little more time-consuming than the mix-in-the-bottle type. I'm definitely keeping this recipe for those lazy mornings when we want a special breakfast. Add a little salt air to the whole picture, and it would be a perfect morning! :D

Please let me know if you try these. I think your whole family would love them. If you have more than three people eating, however, you might want to double the recipe. I got eight pancakes using a 1/4-cup measure.

Have a BLESSED day!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Peanut Butter Shale

Good Friday morning! Have you had a good week? Can you BELIEVE it's the end of August? This year is flying by. I can't say I'll be completely sorry to see it go, but it does mean I'm getting older....:D

Today's review is a recipe from a blog named Cookistry, for peanut butter shale candy.

I'm going to give this a conditional YES, PLEASE; mine didn't spread nearly thin enough to be called shale, or to be munchable for any length of time. But I THINK, if I can figure out how to fix the problems next time, it will be much better.

The flavor isn't in question! It tastes just like peanut butter brittle. Kenn isn't supposed to eat peanuts, but he can eat peanut butter. And he loves peanut brittle and Butterfingers, so I thought he'd like this. Although he swears up and down he doesn't like peanut butter. :D

I think my biggest problem is that my pan wasn't deep enough for the candy thermometer to really be where it should, and that my mixture got hotter than it was supposed to. When I added the remaining ingredients, it tightened up so quickly I couldn't spread it very thinly. So it's in chunks instead of pieces, very difficult to really get a bite of! :D But it's good. And I can see using it for baking, if I pound the dickens out of it to make it small enough. :D

Let me know if you try it, and what you think! Enjoy your weekend; have fun, do something that makes your heart smile. Be BLESSED!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

 Happy Wednesday! :) How's your week going? Can you BELIEVE we're so close to the end of the month already? We're on the downhill roll to Christmas, ladies and gentlemen! :D

Today's recipe is brought to you by Foodie With Family. I really enjoy her blog! This recipe's for Cinnamon Swirl Bread.

Her story of her recipe development is fun. :D Picky eaters are the reason about 75% of new recipes are created, I think. :D

I have to admit: when I made the bread, I was a little dubious about the dough. It was, on hindsight, a sturdier dough than I'm used to using. part of it came from the fact that I didn't have any potato flakes (I HATE starting a recipe and finding out one of my ingredients is GONE! AUGH!!!). And probably, also, because I haven't made bread by HAND in forever. But I continued, even though the dough felt heavy in my hand.
Then there was the filling; I ended up doubling the amount of raisins in it.

But this gets a YES, PLEASE! from my family! It's cinnamony - have you picked up on the fact I love cinnamon? :D - and the filling is baked well into the bread.

Now, because I'm used to making cinnamon ROLLS when I'm rolling dough, I ended up rolling the dough too thin. My loaf isn't as big as it should have been. But I used the extra length to make some cinnamon rolls. They turned out fantastically; they're not as light as the normal dough I make, but they're good.

I'm going to use this filling again, definitely; I'll probably make the dough I normally make in my bread machine. I can't wait to try it out! I'll need to have a special occasion, though - that many raisins on top of bread? Well, shoot me to the moon! :) But it WILL happen.

OK, I'm outta here. Have a WONDERFUL day! Be BLESSED!