26 April 2011

Spring Cupcakes

I had my little girl's 1st birthday party over the weekend and had a fun time making her cupcakes! The frosting didn't turn out like I had hoped it would (for some reason, it wouldn't stay fluffed), but they tasted great and looked super fun!

I made 3 boxes of cake mix into cupcakes and a mini bundt for the birthday girl.
For the frosting, I added 1 tub of vanilla frosting and a couple of drops of food coloring with 1 tub of cool whip. You are supposed to fold it in and it should make a fluffy thick and whipped frosting, but mine just ended up a little too runny for my liking, so I topped it with jellybeans and put them in the fridge to set. This is what we ended up with. After chilling, the frosting tasted so good and creamy and the jellybeans added the perfect flavoring! I will definitely be doing this one again!

19 April 2011

Sugar Free Marshmallows

WOW!!!!! Sounds different! My diabetic mom is coming into town tonight and so I wanted to surprise her with a treat! I actually tried making regular marshmallows earlier, but they did not turn out AT ALL!!! That's probably why I am so excited that I was able to make these yummy treats!

YOu can make these either way, but because we are counting calories here....we opted for Sugar free!
Homemade Sugar Free Marshmallows

2 pkgs Knox unflavored gelatin (or 5 tsp)
4 Tbsp cold water
1 cup boiling water
2 cups Splenda (or sugar if you want the sweet stuff)
dash of salt
1 sm pkg sugar free jell-o (any flavor) - OPTIONAL (or for plain, just add 2 tsp vanilla)

Place unflavored gelatin in a mixing bowl and add cold water. Set aside. In a medium-sized saucepan, mix 1 cup water and 2 cups splenda and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, mixing only occasionally. Pour boiling mixture over unflavored gelatin in the mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk attachment, beat on low for about 2-3 minutes. Gradually increase speed until maximum speed is reached. beat for about 10-15 minutes until a thick marshmallow has formed.
you can either pour over flour and cut into rectangles (which is what I should have done this time....) or make a mold by filling a 9x13 pan with flour and using whatever shape you like (ie: the back of a large spoon for eggs) and spoon into molds.

To make a more indulgent treat, you can dip the marshmallows in chocolate and have a tasty little treat!

18 April 2011

Strap Covers Made Simple

For the past year and some, I have been planning on making strap covers for my little boy's car seat, but I never really got around to it. Finally I sat down and got them started. Before I knew it, I was done. I think that they turned out pretty cute and they were way easier than I thought they would be!

All I did was:
1. Cut out 2 rectangles of each fabric (for the front and the back of the covers)
*ab0ut 6 1/2 - 7 inches x 8- 9 inches (depends on the size of cover you want.
2. Turn the printed sides together and sew around 3 sides.
3. Turn right side out.
4. Cut high-loft batting to fit inside rectangles. and fit inside cover.
5. Turn the open edge inside and sew all the way around the cover.
6. Fold into thirds and make a stitch on the 1/3 lines
7. Cut Velcro to fit the cover and sew on the outer thirds to close the cover around strap.

That's all it took. No pattern, no fancy stitching, just straight lines and that's it!

Whole Wheat Crepes!

SO I made some tasty crepes for dinner last night. When I asked my 2 year old what he wanted for breakfast, he quickly replied -CREPES!!! I like to keep calories down if I can, but we have breakfast for dinner every Sunday and I don't usually eat a whole lot for the rest of the day, so I indulged a little with the filling!

Whole Wheat crepes

4 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
2 tsp butter (or margarine)
2 tsp sugar (I used Splenda)
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto a lightly greased skillet and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly with batter. Cook over medium heat until browned. Flip and brown the other side.
****Now on a few of them, I tried flipping them too soon and they tore so be careful!
Makes about 8 crepes!Fill or top with whatever sounds yummy!
fresh berries
cream cheese
powdered sugar
maple syrup

13 April 2011

My BEST cleaning Budddy!

I have a cheap way of getting things clean in my house. If anyone asks me how to clean certain areas and what I use, the answer is almost always the same....

BAKING SODA!!!Buying a big 13 lb bag at Costco or Sam's Club for like $5 is one of my favorite investments. I was working on a part of my spring cleaning while I was waiting for my hubby to come home and decided to clean the grout in my kitchen (it was looking sad when I tried to mop/scrub the floor). I wanted to see the original color of the grout again so I made a paste consisting of about 3/4 cup baking soda and a couple of Tablespoons of water. I just added until it was a thick paste-like consistency. Then I scooped the paste onto the grout and grabbed an old toothbrush. The results were not surprising....nice and like new!!
Other ways that making a baking soda has saved me have been:

getting crayon off the wall - use a non abrasive scrubber with paste
getting scuffs off the wall- paste and scrubber
cleaning a glass top stove- paste and washcloth
Cleaning any stove top (especially close to the burner drips) -paste
Keeping my garbage disposal fresh - sprinkle a half a cup in and let it sit
A Non-stinky trash can - sprinkle a little in the bottom of a can
laundry booster - a 1/4- 1/2 cup works like oxi-clean
Clearing a shower drain with a scoop and some vinegar
deodorizing floors just before vacuuming - sprinkle in areas and vacuum up!
keeping mattresses fresh - sprinkle on mattress and leave on until next sheet cleaning

There are more ways than this, but I just had to share my cleaning secret!!!

09 April 2011

Sweet and Savory Chicken - Ready in minutes

One of my easiest recipes consists of about 4 ingredients.

Sweet and Savory Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken, thawed and chunked
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 1/2 cups peach jam (or any citrus fruit preserves)
1 pkg stir fry mix - OPTIONAL

In a skillet, cook chicken chunks until browned. Add preserves and soup mix and stir until mixture melts and glazes all the meat. Add stir fry mix and keep warm until serving.

My sister just moved into a new house and I went to visit. To help her out, I made this dish with her along with some rice. From start to finish, it only took about 20 minutes to make. We added some extra bell peppers, green beans and a few other little veggies and it was soo yummy. It feeds a family too!

04 April 2011

Migas! (My dads mexican breakfast)

I am not exactly sure how mexican this breakfast is, but I know that whenever my dad comes to visit, we usually make this. He was around this past weekend and of course, Migas were on the menu. These are pretty tasty and can be healthy too!


2 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion chopped
4- 5 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp milk
1/4-1/2 cup salsa
Tortillas for serving (toasted)

In a large skillet, saute onion and tortilla strips until browned.
Beat eggs and milk and pour onto sauteed tortillas. Add salsa as eggs begin to set.
On an open flame (I just use one of the burners on my gas range), toast a few corn tortillas. Fill with cooked egg mixture and enjoy!