Monday, January 26, 2009

Let's Party!

White Chocolate Party Mix

10 ounces mini pretzels
5 cups Cheerios
5 cups Corn Chex cereal
2 cups salted peanuts
1 pound M&M's (the mini baking ones or regular)
24 ounces vanilla baking chips
3 Tbsp vegetable oil

Prepare 3 baking sheets lined with wax paper and set aside. Mix first 5 ingredients together in a huge bowl. In microwave safe bowl, heat vanilla chips and oil on medium high for 2 minutes. Stir once, then microwave for 10 seconds on high, stir until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture and gently coat mixture. Quickly spread mixture on baking sheets and let cool. Break apart and store in airtight container.

*Recipe courtesy of Bridget via her friend Rebecca. Thanks ladies!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Casual Dinner

I got a deal on the denim because it was a remnant. Cut the size you want for your placemats (mine are 20x13). Use your fingers to fray the edges a little. Cut the belt loops or pocket off an old pair of jeans and glue them on with fabric glue. (I have broken too many sewing machine needles on denim and the glue works just fine.)

Bon Appetit!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chocolate Monday Night

Thanks to my SIL, Laura for this delicious-ness. And thanks to my other SIL, Rachel for answering the phone to give me the recipe. ☺

Earthquake Cake

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup coconut
1 box German chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients listed on the box)
1 block softened cream cheese
1 stick softened butter
1 box (1 pound) confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Combine pecans and coconut and layer across the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Prepare cake mix batter as directed on the box and pour over the pecan/coconut layer. Mix the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until it is blended. It will be thick like frosting consistency. Plop spoonfuls of this mixture evenly over the cake mix. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Here's a before of Jill's $5 thrift store ottoman:

And here's the after, with a new slipcover:

Whoever made that slipcover is pretty awesome. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Andes Cheesecake Supreme

(Just keepin' it real. No fancy photography here. It's messy and it's good!)

I will post this for Jill, our resident Celiac, which means she can't eat anything with gluten (wheat) or she will suffer immense intestinal consequences.
She made this cheesecake for our New Years Eve par-tay and it was a huge hit, even for non-celiacs. The only real change from a regular recipe would be the cookies used in the crust. If you are making it gluten-free, you must substitute gluten-free cookies for regular ones. The recipe comes from the Delightfully Gluten Free blog.

Andes Cheesecake Supreme

1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (use gluten-free Mi-Del chocolate mint sandwich cookies for extra minty goodness)
3 tablespoons sugar (this is unnecessary if you use the Mi-Del cookies, as they are so sweet)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 package (4.67 oz.) Andes® Crème de Menthe Thins chopped (28 candies) or 1 cup Andes® Crème de Menthe Baking Chips
Andes® Crème de Menthe Thins (28 candies)
3 tablespoons whipping cream or milk


Preheat oven to 325° F.

Crust: Mix crumbs and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Add butter; mix well. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake at 325° F, 10 minutes.

Filling: Beat cream cheese and 1 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; mix on low speed just until well blended. Stir in 1 cup Andes Baking Chips or 1 package of chopped Andes Candies (28 pieces); pour into crust.

Bake at 325° F, 1 hour and 5 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife between rim of pan and cheesecake. Cool to room temperature.

Topping: Set aside 10-12 candy pieces, for decorating top of cake. Place remaining Andes Candies and whipping cream in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high 45 seconds. Stir until candies are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over cheesecake, spreading to cover surface and drizzle down sides of cheesecake. Decorate with reserved Andes Candies.

Set: Refrigerate cheesecake 3 hours or until serving time.

Yield approx.: 12 servings.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Birthday Blanket

Hey! Sorry to take so long to get this out to you. This is a great birthday tradition and a great time to start it up. I got the idea from my friend whose mother-in-law used to do this with her kids and my friend is carrying it on with her 2 boys, soon to be 3! The birthday person sleeps with the blanket the night before their birthday and when they wake up there are little presents in each of the pockets.

Thank goodness my mother-in-law was visiting because she is very skilled with the sewing machine. So, I cut out the "presents" and ribbon and she sewed them onto the blanket for me.

I wish I had taken pictures of the process, but Janet, when you make yours you can post how to pictures.

I used a simple throw, but you could also be more creative and sew a quilt. You cut out fabric to make how ever many presents you want on the blanket. I put three on mine. You cut them to what size and shape you want, allowing extra fabric for the seams. Cut the ribon to fit the presents and pin the ribbon to each coordinating fabric. Before sewing the present to the blanket, run the machine over the ribbon so it lays flat. Then you sew the presents as pockets onto the blanket, making sure to leave the top open. You'll have to sew the seam at the top before you sew it on the banket. My mother-in-law showed me how to sew the corners neatly, but I can't remember what she did. Maybe somebody else knows. Bridget is the master seamstress in this group! You can add bows and anything else to make it more festive.

Here's a couple pictures of the finished blanket.
Here's my boy all tucked in looking forward to waking up in the morning to three little presents!

Monday, January 5, 2009

One of the tasty desserts from our New Years Eve Par-tay.

Mini Cheesecakes
One recipe makes about 18-20...I usually have to double it.

For Crust
Vanilla Wafers

For Filling
2 8 oz. bars cream cheese (room temperature)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon JUICE
3/4 cup sugar

For Topping
Cherry or Strawberry Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat all filling ingredients together well. Place one vanilla wafer in each muffin cup. Put one good glob of filling on top of each vanilla wafer. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely in refrigerator. Top with pie filling. Chill completely before serving.

Instead of the vanilla wafer, use refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough (or sugar cookie dough). Place about 1 Tbsp. (or one square of the break-and-bake type cookie) in the cupcake liner in your muffin tin. Cook just until cookie spreads out and begins to cook (about 5 minutes). Remove from oven, add filling to top of the cookie, and return to oven for 15 more minutes. Complete topping as explained above.
Delicious, and especially pretty at Christmas time!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Birthday Traditions

We have a tradition we started with our kids several years ago where we tie a string to the doorknob of their room and when they wake up in the morning they follow the winding string around the house (under tables, around chairs, etc.) until they find their birthday present.
But Jill, your Birthday Blanket was so awesome, I want to copy it. Please post the instructions. It's a perfect project for the start of a new year!