Thursday, August 29, 2013

No Bake Cookie Muffins

The other day at our house, we were making No Bake Cookies.  It is such an easy cookie recipe but I don't always like eating them as a cookie.  I feel like I need a spoon or something.  Anyway, I got to the point of putting them on the wax paper and thought I should put them in my little muffin tin pan.  I sprayed the pan and scooped them into the muffin tins and put them in the freezer to set up.  It was a fantastic idea that I thought I would share with you.  These cookies-muffins are so good cold and set up beautifully as a cookie muffin.

Our No Bake Cookie Muffins Recipe

Mix in saucepan
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2/3 of a stick of margarine
1/2 cup milk

Boil together 3 minutes only.  Remove from heat and add 3 cups oatmeal, 2 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 cup peanut butter.  Mix together and drop into sprayed mini muffin tin. Put into freezer until set up.  Keep chilled for a cold treat. Pin It

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

{Kid Friendly} Mandarin Orange and Chicken Salad

This Mandarin Orange and Chicken Salad definitely wins in my family for a quick, easy, and everyone eats it meal. At first I didn't think my kids would even try it, because it's a salad. However,  I decided to lay it out like Hawaiian Haystacks and let them choose their own toppings. They went crazy over the mandarin oranges, chow mein noodles, and chicken. So what if they didn't eat the green stuff! I'll keep offering, and some day they'll take it, hopefully. At least they happily ate a little from each food group! I totally enjoy this meal!

Ingredients: Amount depends on how many people and how much you have
Romain lettuce
sliced almonds
feta cheese
chow mein noodles
Mandarin oranges from a can, drained and rinsed
cooked chicken cut into pieces
Light Asian dressing-- such as Newman's or Briannnas

Lay out all of the ingredients and let everyone go to town! Serve with rolls and fortune cookies, of course!

Happy eating!
Nancy Pin It

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Churro Puffs

The teenage girls in our church have an annual camp a.k.a "Girl's Camp".  It's a whole lot of crazy fun, and I had the chance to go this year as a leader. Of course, when a bunch of girls {or women} get together, sugar is a necessity! All of the leaders made one of their favorite treats and sent it to camp... Obviously I had to sample each treat. To my great surprise, there was a treat that I'd never tasted or even heard of before!! { I thought this was impossible!} It was one of the most delicious treats I've EVER tasted!!  Oh so good, and here's the recipe...

This recipe makes a whole bunch of yummy puffs, I decided to call them Churro Puffs since they didn't have an official name.

 They are GREAT to give it as a teacher appreciation gift, a neighborhood Christmas gift, for a friend's birthday, camping, movie night, or of course, to a potluck party!

2 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
2 cubes butter (1 C) - preferably unsalted
1/2 C. Karo syrup
2 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
4 oz. white chocolate or almond bark
3 bags Chester's Butter Popcorn (found by the Cheetos... this is "Chester's" other specialty)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees

Put the Chester's Popcorn in a very large bowl, or even a stock pot-- this is a whole lot!

In a large {at least 2 liters} microwave safe bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir well.
Chop butter and place on top of mixture. Pour Karo syrup on top of everything.

Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.
Microwave for 1 minute. Stir.
Microwave for 1 minute. Stir.
Microwave for 1 minute. Stir.  (Yes, I did just repeat myself 3 times!!)

Do not over cook or the churro puffs will be hard!

 Remove from microwave.  Add vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will rise a bit.
Pour over the Chester's Popcorn. Stir like crazy. Stir longer than you think you need to.

Spread on a jelly roll pan, or a very large cookie sheet-- covered in foil.

Bake for 30 minutes... MAKE SURE to stir every 10 minutes!

When done, spread on a large piece of wax paper {or foil}.  Melt white chocolate or almond bark and drizzle over the top.

Let dry, but snack on them as you wait.

Now share the goodness!! People will ask for the recipe, I promise!



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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crinkle Cookies

My daughter came home from Activity Days with a plate of different kinds of cookies they had made.  She made us close our eyes, taste and guess what kind of cookie it was. It was a fun game for the rest of us.  A few days later, my daughter asked if she could make these Crinkle Cookies from the recipes she had gotten from Activity Days.  They have become our families new favorite cookie.  They are super soft and gives you that chocolate fix you are needing.  The recipe is a little different but so good...

Preheat Oven to 350.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together....
1/2 cup flour + 1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt

In Kitchen Aid or Mixer cream together until light and fluffy
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) we have used margarine and it works fine
1/2 cup sugar + 2 T sugar

Mix in to butter and sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla

Add dry ingredients and mix until well blended.

In a small bowl add 2 T powdered sugar
Roll dough into balls and roll in powdered sugar
Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Happy Baking!
Jan Pin It

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Family's "GO TO" Meal

I think every family has that "GO TO" Meal when mom looks in the cupboard and says.........
"What's am I going to fix for dinner?"
So what is your "GO TO" Meal....
Is it Pancakes, Cold Cereal, Pizza?????
In our house we seems to have this mixture.  It is 1 lb of cooked ground turkey, 1 can corn, 1 can kidney beans and 1 can black beans.
The best part is there are several different dinners we can make with this depending on what else is in the cupboard or fridge.  We use soft tortillas and make "Burritos". We add hard taco shells and make "Tacos".  We add a can of stewed tomatoes and make "Taco Soup".  We add chips and salad and make "Taco Salad".  We add chips, cheese and salsa and make "Super Nachos".  So from this one recipe we have 5 different meals that we can "GO TO" when I open the cupboard and say ..................
What's your family's "GO TO" Meal???
Enjoy Dinner!

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Friday, August 9, 2013

20 Yarn Crafts for Kids

My family is having a reunion next week, and I'm assigned to bring a craft project to keep the kiddos busy while we're there.  I decided to just bring yarn and show them all of these ideas, then let the kids go to town and make their own creations. I can't wait to see what they come up with!

I LOVE yarn! There are so many awesome, funky, and beautiful creations that can be made with it. Even if kids can't knit or crochet, they can definitely do one of these....

Craft Passion



Family Chic

Creative With Kids

Know and Tell Crafts

Annie Get your Glue Gun

Live Laugh Rowe

Giddy Giddy

Apartment Therapy

Two Shades of Pink

Symczacs in Seattle

Flax & Twine

look what adults can do with finger knitting....

Design Mom

Lion Brand

Spud and Chloe

Kid's Craft

Oh Poppy Drops

Homemade @ My Place

Hat Loom
These are found at any craft store, and are great for older kids and adults!
Make hats, scarves, and more.

Happy yarning!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

8 Ways to Save on Back to School Clothes

I am no expert on clothes shopping, but I have some helpful tips that I do to help save us money when buying school clothes.   Please feel free to share any of your helpful hints in the comments below!!!

1. Shop the Clearance Racks at Department Stores.  We have found lots of great deals for dollars that were regularly $30 to $40.
2. Shop outlet stores.  We love stores like Ross and TJ Maxx.
3. Buy during the off season.  The first few weeks of school are usually warm around our neck of the woods so we buy a few shorts on the clearance rack then when spring comes again they have new spring and summer clothes.  Also remember in the spring to watch for winter stuff to go on sale.  It's a great time to buy pants for more than half off.
4. Watch for sales and coupons.  Kohls always has amazing cash rewards. Watch for BOGO deals.
5.  Do a clothes swap with your friends. 
6. Sew your kids clothes.  Nancy did a great pants to skirt tutorial here.  She also made awesome skirts here.
7.  Shop online stores, especially their clearance sections.  Lauralee gives great advice here for places to shop online.
8. Shop second hand stores.

This was a shopping trip I made several years ago when my oldest was going into first grade and my second was going to preschool.  We bought clothes in the spring time after we had gotten our tax return.  Using the tips above our shopping trip included: 2 swimming suits, 1 jacket, 2 shorts, 14 pants, 18 shirts, 1 dress and 6 underwear.  Had we bought these at regular price we would have spent $631.22.  We spent $184.48, almost 70% savings!   
Happy Shopping!! 

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