July 23, 2010

Bon Voyage

Oh My Gosh...I have not posted in FOREVER!!  I am horrible!  I think it is a combination of summer time and having 3 needy boys:)  and planning lots of parties and helping friends with their parties...which is what I love to do!!  So...forgive me:)

So my best friend is moving...to Arizona.  I am so sad to see her go!  It will be weird to not have her around all the time!  The picture above is of my friend Jenna from Crafting till Midnight, me and Sharla...the one who is moving:(  The three of us have been good friends for YEARS!!  Jenna and I got together and did a Bon Voyage party for Sharla and here are some pics!  We will miss you Sharla!!

Jenna was sweet enough to have the shin-dig at her home...so beautiful!  Anyway...we went with a pink, orange and green Bon Voyage theme...

We had all sorts of yummy food...like Peanut Butter Popcorn cones, mini chocolate trifles, Spinach Dip, Fruit, Cheesecake and cupcakes...

I had lots of requests for the Peanut Butter Popcorn recipe...so here you go!  I'm not going to lie though...it is ADDICTING!  So don't say I didn't warn you:)

Peanut Butter Popcorn

5 quarts popped corn (about 3 bags of popcorn)
1 1/2 c. almonds
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. light Karo syrup
1 c. Peanut Butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Pop the corn and put in a big bowl...make sure to pick out all the unpopped kernels.

Put the sugar, honey, and Karo syrup in a saucepan...keep stirring until it comes to a boil.  Let it boil for one minute.  Take it off the heat and add the peanut butter, then the vanilla (if you put the vanilla in earlier it will evaporate).

Pour the hot mixture over the popcorn and add the almonds.  Spread it around and break it into pieces if you want.

***I think it would be soooo good to add some Reese's Pieces to the popcorn also!!

July 14, 2010

Banana Bread

Hello Friends!  Hope you are all having a fabulous Summer Break!  Its been great and all, but I am SOOO ready for school to start:)  I have had too much quality time with my kids:)  

One of my the things that my kids ask me to make ALL the time is Banana Bread.  It is their very favorite!  I have grown up with this recipe my whole life and am loving my Mom for making it all the time!  I never get sick of it!  Whats great about this recipe is that it really only takes about 5 minutes to whip up and who doesn't have REALLY RIPE bananas lying around...I mean really?  We always have them!  I have switched people over to this recipe more times than I can count...give it a try...you will be happy you did!! 

Banana Bread

1/2 c. unsalted butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 mashed bananas
2 c. flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

combine the butter and sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs and mix until incorporated.  Add the bananas.  Then mix together the flour, soda and salt.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.  Start checking after about 1 hour.  If it starts to get too brown on top put some foil on top!  Enjoy!

July 9, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Bars

I saw this recipe on My Baking Addiction...which is one of my FAVORITE food blogs!  I love it!  I had a million blueberries lying around and needed to use them up quick!  This is now one of my new favorites!  You really can't stop eating them!  It was the perfect dessert for the 4th of July...sorry...a little late in posting this:)  You will have to go to THIS link to see better pictures...I had to use my point and shoot camera this time around since my other camera was not working for me (had to get a new expensive battery)...So!  Try these out, you will LOVE them!

I made a few changes to the recipe since I had NO vanilla and NO lemon...so the possibilities are endless with this recipe!  Since I had to improvise, I used 3/4 tsp. almond extract and just left out the lemon zest.  It was so good!

Blueberry Crumb Bars

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
zest of two lemons
4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2.In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, salt, lemon zest and baking powder.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and vanilla together until combined.
4. Use pastry cutter or your food processor (see not below for alternative method) to blend the flour mixture with the butter and egg/vanilla mixture. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
5. In another bowl, stir together 1/2 sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Note: If you do not have a pastry cutter or a food processor, simply freeze your butter and use a box grated to grate the butter into the flour mixture. Use two forks or your fingers to fully incorporate.

July 7, 2010

Hot Pack

I made these FOREVER ago and have totally forgotten to post the how to!  So here you go...how to make a Hot/Ice pack.  Its great because you can heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or put it in the freezer for  an ice pack.  I just leave mine in the freezer and the boys take it out when they have a headache.  But I stole the pattern from my friend Sharla...she made one for me when I was sick...so sweet!  So I asked her if I could post it and of course she let me:)

First you are going to start out with 4 darling fabrics...cut 2 of each size (one for each side):
4" x 5"
4" x 2"
4" x 5 1/2"
4" x 3"
Decide on the order that you would like your fabric and then start sewing!  I did a 1/4" seam.  Make sure you iron the back, like I did above.

Next you want to put the two sewn pieces WRONG sides together, make sure they line up perfectly.  Sew 1/4" around the whole thing and leave a little opening.  I left mine open on the long side, but take it from me...just leave the whole top open on the short side.  It will be easier to get the rice in.  Turn the bag right side out and top stitch all the way around, except the opening.

After it is all sewn, take about 2 c. rice and add about 2-3 drops of essential oil to the rice.  I put mine in a bag and then shook it around so all the pieces have a little scent.  I used a Lavender scent.  Test it though...do however many drops you want...just don't make it too powerful:)

Next add the rice...use whatever method you want.  If you listened to me and left an opening at the top, just pour it in...if you did what I did...its not so easy.  I had to use a funnel and try to get it in that way...lets just say I will not do it this way again:)

When the rice is in, top stitch the little hole closed.  Thats it!  Your all done!  Now you can give the perfect gift....