how to be the best mom EVER! (for a few minutes anyway)

Her children rise up and call her blessed…
Proverbs 31:28

…because she threw frozen chicken wings in a crock pot, smothered them with a bottle of barbecue sauce and cooked them on high for four hours selflessly dedicated four hours to cooking perfect, fall off the bone tender chicken wings dripping in finger-licking good sauce.

Prep/Work time? 5 minutes
End result? sticky fingers and happy kids

I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for “dump it in the crock pot and walk away” recipes, so if you have one, LINK UP or post it in a comment!!!


Click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace MY past Tempt My Tummy posts can be found HERE.

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam MY previous Tasty Tuesday posts are HERE. Tasty Tuesday posts prior to April of 2009 can be found at Forever . . . Wherever

easy garlic toast

I used to make this garlic toast when I was a kid, using the oven broiler and I can fairly say I burned more than a few pieces of bread. Now we use the toaster oven. It’s VERY easy. Butter a piece of bread and sprinkle garlic salt to taste. Toast in the toaster oven (or place on the top rack of your oven and use the “broil” setting) Garlic toast in less than 5 minutes!

easy-garlic-bread

easy-garlic-bread2

We use wheat bread and smart balance spread for a healthier bread, but this is especially good with slices of french bread too!


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes! Check out MY past Kitchen Tip Tuesday posts HERE.

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace MY past Tempt My Tummy posts can be found HERE.

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam MY previous Tasty Tuesday posts are HERE. Tasty Tuesday posts prior to April of 2009 can be found at Forever . . . Wherever

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family. MY previous Works for Me Wednesday posts are HERE.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer.

Easter Bunny Cake

CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED VERSION OF THIS POST!

Growing up, my mom often made an Easter Bunny cake like this one for Easter. (page down for more photos)

easter_bunny_cake3

Easy, not too crafty (thank goodness), I think I’m making one this year. Judging from the number of available photos on Google Images, I’m not the only one. Check it out:

Bake a cake, any cake, in two round cake pans. Mine will be chocolate. There is no reason for me to eat cake unless it is chocolate. Let it cool and then cut it like this:

easter-bunny-cake-pattern

On the serving plate (my mom always used a piece of cardboard covered in aluminum foil), CAREFULLY arrange it like this:

easter-bunny-cake-cut-out

Then, frost and decorate! My mom always frosted it white and covered it with coconut shavings as a base. Dark chocolate cake with coconut – mmmm – just like a Mounds bar. But CAKE!

That does it. We’re making this cake.

Here’s a video and some more samples:

A Zooma Zooma Zooma Zoom!

easter_bunny_cake1

easter_bunny_cake2

easter_bunny_cake4

easter_bunny_cake5

easter_bunny_cake6


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

And I’m jumping ahead to Friday with my Would You Like Chocolate With That? hosted by Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolate

If you’ve got a few minutes, check out my previous chocolate posts.

voila!

Busy, Busy, Busy. The only thing I like better than eating Cream Cheese Chicken is MAKING it. Soooooo easy! Dump everything in a crockpot and come back later. That’s what I’m doing today.

But earlier this week I needed something ready in 10 or 15 minutes start to finish. That’s where these come in:

viola

We like these and they are fast, easy and fairly cheap. (We first got them BOGO.) They usually don’t have this many broccoli stems (from the Garlic Shrimp). I pulled them out and supplemented it with some frozen broccoli florets.

One bag is supposed to be a meal, but seriously. This kid can eat. So we cook two bags. Unfortunately, we didn’t have two of the same kind, so we just had shrimp and more shrimp. PinkGirl liked the Garlic Shrimp on the left. FavoriteSon preferred the Shrimp Scampi on the right. I added some more peas to the Shrimp Scampi on the right.

garlic-and-scampi

zero leftovers.


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Chicken Grape Salad

A track meet lasts for hours. HOURS. I suppose I understand. If FavoriteSon doesn’t rest between races, he tends to ralph. But what to feed a runner between races? Too much and again, ralph. Too little and they don’t perform as well. Then there’s getting him to eat something at all.

Here’s the scene: He runs a race (and wins, of course). I walk to the field with Gatorade or water. He waives me off and turns away. (Because it is NOT cool to talk to your mom at a middle school track meet.) His coach says, “Take the Gatorade, your mother knows what she’s doing.” (That’s RIGHT!)

After a few weeks of that nonsense, I explained to FavoriteSon: “When I walk out on that field and hand you a bottle of Gatorade, I’m invisible. Your friends don’t even see me. You know when they see me? When you waive me away and your coach calls you out in front of everyone.”

silence. thinking.

I continue, “Here’s what I’ll do – after a run, I’ll bring a small snack and drink to you on the field, hand it to you and walk away. No one will even notice me. Okay?

“ok.”

It worked out perfectly. After the first race, I walked out to the field, handed him half of a peeled navel orange and walked away. No eye contact necessary. Didn’t even interrupt his conversation. After his second race, I walked out with a banana and some Gatorade and he actually talked to me. I waited and took away the rest of the banana and the Gatorade bottle. I will not take that as a sign that it is now acceptable for me to interrupt him when he’s engaged in post-race conversation with his friends.

Last week, I packed us a dinner and brought an ice chest in an effort to stave off concession stand food. The big hit was the chicken salad. It takes about 5 minutes to make! The first version was canned chicken breast, drained, shredded and mixed with light mayo and white grapes, sliced in half. BIG hit! This week, I ran out of mayo and had to substitute spinach dip. LOVED it!

I don’t assemble the sandwiches before the meet because they tend to get soggy. I just bring the salad in a container (square, of course), some bread and a fork. I can assemble the sandwiches right there in the stands. Here’s my sandwich from today, using the leftover Chicken Grape Salad:

chicken-grape-salad


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

egg cube.

I mentioned before that my kids love boiled eggs, but I forgot to mention this little gadget I found at a rummage sale for 25 cents.

UPDATE: This post has been featured on another site under the title “15 Weird Kitchen And Cooking Appliances Are Pretty Much Useless.” Of course it’s useless. It’s a novelty item. It’s fun, not functional. I paid a quarter for it. And it’s not an appliance under any stretch of the imagination.

dsc_0022

It’s a tiny little vice-like plastic egg cuber. Seriously. It turns boiled eggs into squares. You boil the egg, peel it while it is still warm, pop it in the square shaped compartment and screw down the lid. Refrigerate for a few minutes and you get this: (okay. I accidentally froze mine. That’s why the sides are so wrinkly.)

cubed-egg

Then, you send it to school in a kid’s lunch box or slice it in half and serve on a plate of deviled eggs and when asked about it, you make comments like, “ouch. that had to hurt.” or “I don’t know. It just came that way.” Any other suggested responses would be MUCH appreciated.

If you pop the gadget into the freezer to chill it, you can speed up the process and cube more than one before the eggs cool off too much. The cube isn’t quite as square after the egg is cool. I hope I run across another one so I can make more than one at time.

And of course, someone put a video on youtube.

I may not be able to make square watermelons, but I can make these.


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer

PDA Cookbook

Check out my recent purchase! $29.99 for both the desktop and mobile platform! And the license allows me to load the desktop software on both my laptop and desktop computer.

pdacookbook-desktop

I’m a LONG time Palm girl, so the mobile version, on my Centro, looks like this:

pdacookbook-palm-list

pdacookbook-palm-recipe

There’s also a Windows mobile version.

It even has an interactive shopping list and menu planner! My favorite part? Adjustable serving sizes that modify ingredient amounts! I can edit ingredients, add photos, assign and filter by multiple food categories and search by up to three ingredients.

pdacookbooksearch

It comes with over 1200 recipes. Most look pretty good (and easy), but I’ve already deleted 60+ I knew I would NEVER make. Like “Potted Tongue.” This software has everything I can think of, in an intuitive and clean interface. I’m already loving it! Check out some more reviews

I get most of my PDA software from www.handango.com and they almost always have an active promo code. If the ones below are expired, search for “handango promotion” and you’ll probably find one.

“APPSWELIKE” expires tonight at midnight and saves you 15%
“SAVE20NOW” saves you 20%, but I’m not sure when it expires.


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Want to learn cool tips and tricks from lots of different people? Click on over to Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!

fast food food, fast.

Sometimes, I need to feed FavoriteSon fast. Considering what the boy can pack away and how much it can cost, I need to stock some quick, easy, cheap meals.

Meatball subs are a hit with him:

meatball-sub-ingredients

meatball-subs

PinkGirl doesn’t like the sauce, so she dips her plain meatballs in low sugar ketchup. Frozen french fries bake up quick and again, PinkGirl goes for the ketchup while FavoriteSon opts for cheese dip.

I’ve got a few meals like this that I can pull together in 5 to 10 minutes. I’ve also made meatloaf sandwiches, turkey & gravy sandwiches and beef tip sandwiches using Hormel Refrigerated Entrees. Served with a bowl of soup or baked fries, these meals are fast, filling, inexpensive and healthier than a double quarter pounder with cheese and a large fry.

And no. I didn’t have any. Wasn’t even tempted.

Tomorrow? A family favorite. Cream Cheese Chicken.


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

kitchen bouquet roast.

Way back in August of last year, I recommended Kitchen Bouquet. It’s made from “caramel, vegetable base (water, carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, turnips, salt, parsley, spices) sodium benzoate, (less than 0.1 of 1% to preserve freshness).” It has 10mg sodium per teaspoon.

This weekend, I found myself making our standard roast with carrots and potatoes, so I grabbed the camera.

First, brown the roast. Most often I use a chuck roast, but this pot roast was on sale. Then cover the roast with peeled, cut up potatoes and baby carrots. We use frozen baby carrots, but we give the carrots a little head start by cutting open the bags and nuking them for a few minutes.

roast

carrot-potato

Cover with water.

carrot-potato-water

Then pour in a little Kitchen Bouquet – just enough to turn the water dark brown.

carrot-potato-bouquet

Turn the crock pot on high and leave for 6 to 8 hours or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. We’ve also made this meal on the stove top and it seems to cook much faster. We’ve put it on before church and served it for lunch. We are freakish and separate the potatoes and carrots – each one getting their own serving bowl. Then we remove the meat and make gravy with the broth.

Pinkgirl devours these carrots. I’m surprised she doesn’t turn orange. And FavoriteSon, my little carnivore, LOVES the meat!


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

Need more? Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

it’s a little “chili”

White chicken chili, that is.

I think it may be cold every where in the U.S. right now, and I don’t pretend to be whining. I actually like it. But of course, I have heat and snow doesn’t blanket Florida. I grouse about hurricanes and humidity, not cold weather.

The freeze warning last night? You know, take in your plants, blah, blah, blah. No need.

bball-planter-close

Basketballs don’t die.

We had a fire in the fireplace last night and the first chili of the season. I wanted to have white chicken chili, but as I was doing my impression of a short person trying to see on the top shelf at the grocery store, the manager stepped up behind me and asked if he could help me find something.

“White chicken chili mix?”

He copied my impression of a short person, made a “sorry” face and apologized.

“I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought of chili tonight.”

Another (taller) manager was with him and, after sliding her hand across and back the top shelf (show-off) she said:

“Well we should have thought of it too – it’s only freezing outside. Of course people would want to make chili.”

So I made the standard “Chilio” chili instead. (They were out of those packets too, I just had some at home.)

I’m hoping to score some white chicken chili packets today at another grocery store. This is how easy it is:

white-chicken-chili

It needs to simmer a little, but the prep is only 5 minutes if you use the canned chicken (from Sam’s Club) and the canned beans. I’m hoping to make a double batch. A little corn bread, some s’mores and smears over the fire for dessert . . . that, combined with no athletic practices and some family night American Idol watching.

Shoot. We might even take the Christmas tree down. Yes. Yes, I said it. No judging. Our family rule is “if you’re not willing to help, you’re not allowed to complain.”


Find great recipes and helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes!

And click on over to check out the recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed With Grace

And I found one more! Head over to Tasty Tuesday hosted by Kim at Forever . . . Wherever!

Want to learn cool tips and tricks from lots of different people? Click on over to Works for Me Wednesday hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer!