Thursday, February 11, 2010

Need to make some last minute Valentine's?

Ok, so my clock says it is 4:18am. I have been up since 2am. I mainly think it is because I was put in a frustrating situation today and I can't get it off my mind... but in the midst of replaying what happened, I remembered that tomorrow is Kate's Valentine's Day Party at her school.

Since I can't sleep, I thought I would make some Valentines for Kate to take to school and post it on my blog for those of you parents who might want to make these easy Valentines. Trust me, they are so cute and I had everything here at home to make them. I also have to think they will be a big hit.. because most kids would rather have a lolly pop, than a piece of paper that says, "Be my valentine".

Dum Dum Posies for Valentine's Day


Tissue paper in a variety of colors (I used white, pink and red)
Dum Dum lollipops
Scotch tape


You'll need circles of tissue paper measuring 4-5 inches in diameter (doesn't have to be exact). I did this by cutting squares first, then rounding the corners to make circles.

I used a layer of 3 tissues per flower, you could use a couple more if you would like.

To find the center of the circles, fold the set of three lightly in half first, then fold again to quarters. When you open it up, there will be a little creased X in the middle.

Poke the Dum Dum lollipop through the creased X.

Gently gather the tissue at the top of the lolly, going slowly so as not to tear the tissue paper. Squeezing the paper at the top makes more wrinkles in the paper and looks more "petal-ish" when finished.

I made tags to place in the center of the flower. I crimped the paper first, then removed the Dum Dum and slid the tag through the dum dum stick and pushed it back through the tissue paper.

Pinch the base of the lolly really well and tight, so the scotch tape can go on snugly. Place a small piece of scotch tape around bottom of flower to secure.
Here was the end result:

You can see here.. they are pretty with different colors...

I hope you are getting more sleep than me tonight.. and have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Recipe Wednesday - EASY Pot Roast & Apple Dumplings w/ Cinnamon Ice Cream

I have family coming in town on Friday, so besides cleaning... I always try to find a new recipe to cook for them. It has been so cold here... and when I think of cold, I think of comfort food. (Did I mention they are from Florida? Trust me, they are going to freeze and need comforting.) Does there get any more comforting than Pot Roast and for dessert - Apple Dumplings with Cinnamon Ice Cream? Oh, and did I mention that cinnamon ice cream is my aunt's favorite ice cream. I will certainly get brownie points for this meal!!

We will be working on the baby's nursery and getting Kate's "big girl" bedroom ready. These are a couple of delicious and EASY recipes.. here they are.. enjoy!

4 pounds chuck roast
salt and pepper to taste
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I added this to the recipe)
1 cup water
3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 stalk celery, chopped

-Take the chuck roast and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat.
-Place in the slow cooker and add the soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, water, carrots, onion, potatoes and celery.
-Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.
- Serve with Rolls (crescent rolls are always a fan favorite)

She (the Pioneer Woman) is awesome at taking step by step photos with each recipe-which I am too lazy to post. If you want to see the step by step process.. click here.. but trust me - these are so easy, I think you can handle making them without the pictures.

2 whole Granny Smith Apples
2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
2 sticks Butter
1-½ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cinnamon, To Taste
1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda (I used less than 1 can )
-Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll.
-Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
-Serve with cinnamon ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

WARNING: Prepare this dish at your own risk. It is beyond imaginable.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

*Please note I have Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which is what this recipe is for, and I highly recommend investing in one because seriously... who has time to mess with Ice and Rock Salt? Oh.. and you can make homemade ice cream in 30 min.. with little mess or fuss and all the deliciousness!

1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Cinnamon


-In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and 3/4 cups granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes on low speed. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Turn machine on, pour mixture into freezer bowl through ingredient spout and let mix until thickened, about 25 - 30 minutes.
PS - If you insist on using your old ice cream maker.. you can tweak your favorite vanilla recipe by adding two tablespoons of cinnamon and two tablespoons of granulated sugar to your mix.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Have you started potty training?

Kate is now 21 months old and cute as can be. She takes this little dance class once a week and another mother in the class asked me if Kate was potty trained. I quickly told her no, but that I had been wanting to start. I would love for her to be out of diapers before our second baby comes (in March).

With all that in mind.. we were snowed in our house last week from Thursday until Tuesday. On Sunday (or it could have been Monday - the days were running together) I decided that we should start potty training. I had done some preparation. My friend Amy has 4 kids and she gave me the potty training 101 low down. I bought everything she told me to, so I was ready (I thought). I read the Babywise Potty Training book and even though Kate did not show signs she was ready.. I thought I would just go ahead and give it a try (big mistake).

I won't go into all the details... like all the times she would sit on the potty, tell us she was done, and then pull her big girl panties up... walk away and start peeing all over our floor. (yes, that happened more than once.) We did have some breakthroughs (she did go pee a few times and even pooped once on the potty). It is amazing what bribing her with M&M's will do. Sorry, I know that is TMI, but this is my exciting life.

Potty training and going stir crazy being cooped up in a house is not a good combination... we (meaning Justin) hit a real low point on Tuesday... a low point that had me laughing so hard I was crying.

It was Tuesday night and we were getting Kate ready for bed. She was sitting on the potty (trying to go) one last time before bedtime. I was doing laundry, so I got up to go to the laundry room and of course Kate followed. Please note, she had just gotten up from the potty, so she did not have any pants on. Justin followed after Kate to try to get her back on the potty and this is what I witnessed...

Kate and Justin were in the Kitchen.. he was trying to talk her into getting back on the potty. I heard Justin yell, "Kate is peeing all over the floor!" He picked her up like he didn't know what to do... so he ran one way... then the other way. I told him to just put her in the sink. He stood her up in the sink, but she wasn't peeing in the direction of the sink.. it was still getting all over him... so he proceeded to hold her in the Superman flying position so her pee would go in the sink. Here is my poor child, crying because she doesn't know what is going on.. and her father is holding her like Superman over the sink... trying not to get any more pee on him... I will tell you... it was quite a hilarious scene. After the whole dramatic episode was over, we gave her a bath and put her to bed.

I was laughing so hard... I seriously couldn't stop laughing... and I am sure that it still funnier to me than it will be to anyone else, but I had to write it down.. so I would never forget. Even later that night when we were laying in bed, I started laughing about it and couldn't stop. BTW - Justin did not think it was as funny as I thought it was.

Needless to say... we are not pushing the potty training for a while. It may have to wait 6-8 months... until after the baby comes and I am somewhat coherent. It was the most stressful thing I have had to do as a parent so far. Don't worry, I'll be watching for the signs... and next time I'll make sure she is ready!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Going to a Superbowl Party? Need a good party dip recipe?

In case you didn't know.. the Superbowl is this Sunday. We are having a party at our church and I am going to bring this amazing Buffalo Chicken Dip. I made it for Justin's 30th birthday party and everyone loved it. Several people have asked me for the recipe, so I thought I would post it.

I combined two recipes I had for buffalo chicken dip and here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 oz) cans chunk chicken, drained (or you can chop up two cups of chicken breast)
2 (8 0z) packages cream cheese softened
1 (8 oz) bottle Texas Pete (you can add more or less to taste)
1 small bottle Blue Cheese Dressing (you can substitute Ranch if you don't like Blue Cheese)
1 1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 1/2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Heat chicken and hot sauce in skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and blue cheese dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Cook on low until hot and bubble.

Serve warm with tortilla chips, crackers and celery sticks.

Oh and go Colts!!