Sunday, January 31, 2010

5 Senses

A different type of post... I thought this was FuN!!

We are to list 4 things we love, and one thing we dislike, for each category.

1. A freshly showered man
2. The way a newborn baby smells after a bath.
3. Cookies baking: Chocolate Chip are the best!
4. A new pair of LEATHER shoes! i LOVE the smell of leather!

1. The incense kiosk in the middle of the mall. GAG!!

1. Big Daddy's head after a haircut... SO soft!
2. The soft skin of my Tidbit
3. A new leather handbag
4. Clean Sheets. I love when I put fresh sheets on the bed and then crawl's the best!

1. Laundry... KIDDING!! Hamburger meat

1. Big Daddy telling me he loves me every morning before he leaves.
2. Ashton's laugh... there is nothing better!
3. ANY song on the radio that I can sing along to.
4. Koda Bear on the telephone... It's hard to make out what he is saying, but I just love hearing from him.

1. My phone ringing in the middle of the night. This gives me an anxiety attack every single time, because a phone call in the middle of the night cannot be a good sign.

1. Sushi!
2. Avocado
3. Homemade Ice Cream
4. Freshly baked bread

1. Curry

1. My Hubby: Hello!!! Have you seen him?! Haha!
2. Ashton's smile
3. My sweet girlfriends... I love seeing them any chance I get!
4. Way cute shoes: On Sale! (Even if they aren't my size... I'll wear them!)

1. Seeing the ones I love hurt or sad.

There you have it! All 5 Senses covered: Good and the bad! YOUR turn!

AND... I never like blogging without a picture, so here you go!

B.D. & Me in Vegas
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Strawberry Cherry Smoochies

Isn't everything better with a cherry on top?
These Strawberry Cherry Smoochies are perfect for Valentine's Day! (I think they are perfect for all of the other days too!!) ;-)
Strawberry Cherry Smoochies

1 cup white-chocolate chips
Strawberry frozen yogurt**
Maraschino cherries

1. Place 6 foil cupcake liners in muffin pan. Place white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute on medium heat. Stir to melt. If needed, microwave in 10-second intervals on medium heat until fully melted.

2. Using the back of a spoon, spread chocolate across bottom of foil cup, then spread the chocolate up the cup's side. Repeat to make 6 cups. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.
3. Peel foil from chilled cups. Place a scoop of frozen yogurt in each cup, and top with a cherry. Once assembled, keep frozen for up to 2 hours.

Tip: If you don't have white chocolate chips, regular ones are tasty too.
**If your local grocery store has Cherry Frozen Yogurt or Raspberry Frozen Yogurt, these will also work! You gotta love a recipe that allows you to adjust the ingredients to fit your tastebuds!
(I found this recipe in a magazine a few years ago... If I can locate the magazine, I will post an update. However, I believe it was the trusty BHG magazine.)
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Friday, January 29, 2010

I DiG You!

This is the CUTEST little Valentine's Day gift!
I have a few other things that I am already making, but this is a great idea for next year.

This project came from"It's All In My Head."

VERY talented lady...with a thing for "Stampin' Up" stuff!!
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Butterfly Pops

Talk about ADORABLE!!
These are the sweetest Valentine's & I am going to make them right away!!

The pattern for these Butterfly Pops can be found on Skip to My Lou.....FUN printables for Valentine's Day!

Here's My Version... (Click on Photo to view larger)

Talk about CAUUUUTE!!
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Brownie Trifle

I truly LOVE baking and baking something that taste great and looks beautiful is even better!!
This recipe isn't as simple as my usual recipes, but the results are MUCHO YUMMO!!
Chocolate Mousse Brownie Trifle

1⁄3 cup plus 1⁄4 cup sugar
1 1⁄2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1⁄2 cups 2% lowfat milk
3 yolks from 3 large eggs
12 oz (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 3⁄4 cups heavy (whipping) cream
3 Tbsp amaretto (almond-flavor liqueur)
2 boxes (11 oz each) brownie bites
16 oz strawberries, quartered if large, halved or whole if smaller
Garnish: sliced almonds, toasted

1. Have ready a 3 1⁄2- to 4-qt clear-glass bowl, preferably straight-sided.

2. Mousse: Mix 1⁄3 cup sugar and the cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Stir in 1⁄2 cup milk with a whisk to blend, taking care to get into corners of pan. Whisk in remaining 1 cup milk, then the yolks.

3. Stir gently with whisk over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes until boiling and thickened. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in chocolate chips until melted, then the extract. Place plastic wrap directly on surface to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until cold.

5. Beat 2 cups cream in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Fold in chocolate mixture until well blended. Refrigerate Mousse while proceeding.

6. Beat remaining 1 3⁄4 cups cream, 1⁄4 cup sugar and the amaretto in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted.

7. Cut half the brownies in half horizontally, the rest in half diagonally. Keep separate.

8. To assemble: Spread 2 cups Mousse in serving bowl. Place half the rectangular brownies in a row against sides. Arrange 10 brownie triangles on Mousse. Spread top with 1 1⁄2 cups cream; press remaining rectangular brownies around sides. Scatter 1 cup strawberries on top. Repeat cream, berry and Mousse layers. Top with remaining brownie triangles, cream and berries. Sprinkle with almonds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Planning Tip: Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate covered.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I LoVE Cupcakes - Part 3

Presenting... The Grand Finale of I LOVE Cupcakes!!
I hope the 3 part series has given you some great recipes and great ideas to get you cooking. I LOVE baking cupcakes and think they are the perfect addition to any party menu!
Keep checking back... I will be trying new cupcake recipes of my own and will post them often. If you are looking for a new recipe now, click on my "Recipes" link on the right side of my blog for FUN recipes!
**Click on the colored link for the full recipe**

Pictured above:9. Tangerine Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting {finely shredded tangerine peel mixed into vanilla batter}

Applesauce Cupcakes {topped with homemade butter frosting}

Flower-Power Mini Cupcakes {featuring signet marigold leaves & petals for a lovely citrus flavor}

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes {crumbled chocolate chip cookies inside the batter!}
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet Heart Soaps

I've never made homemade soaps, but have always wanted to and these might just be the ones to get me going.
Sweetheart Soaps

LOVED these heart soaps....from Martha Stewart.

You can find instructions & a supply list

and a video of her actually doing it
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Dream of Creamy... Jalapeno!! Chuys Baby!!

If you have been to Chuy's, you have fallen in LOVE with their Creamy Jalapeno Sauce... It is beyond DELICIOUS!!

No one can perfect the "real" recipe quite like Chuy's, but this is a GREAT Copy-Cat recipe!

Creamy Jalapeno Sauce


3/4 cup mayonnaise (can use low fat, but NOT Miracle Whip)
3/4 cup milk
1 (1 ounce) packet hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies
3/4 cup pickled jalapeno pepper
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon lime juice
Tortilla Chips


1. Mix mayo, milk and ranch mix. Let stand for at least an hour.
2. Chop chilies, jalapenos, and cilantro together.
(I'd use a blender, it gives the perfect consistency)
3. Mix in salt, garlic powder, and lime.
4. Add chile mixture to ranch.
5. Serve with tortilla chips.

The longer it sits, the hotter it gets.
The jalapeno amount can be adjusted... This dip is a bit spicy.

I believe Chuy's version is Sour Cream based, but this is an awesome version!!
Try it... One Bite & You're HOOKED!!


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Passion Pops

Back to the Valentine's Day Ideas... These are SO MUCH FUN!!
I will be posting 3 - 4 Valentine's Day ideas weekly, so keep checking back!

15 caramel squares
32 vanilla wafers
16 lollipop sticks

1 cup semisweet- or milk-chocolate chips
Valentine sprinkles

1. Melt unwrapped caramels in a microwave according to package directions. Working quickly, spoon small dollops of caramel onto 16 wafers. Place a lollipop stick in center, and top each with another wafer to make a cookie sandwich.

2. Melt chocolate chips according to package directions. Dunk each cookie sandwich in chocolate and shake to remove excess. Top lollipops with sprinkles and place onto wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Chill for 5 to 10 minutes or until firm.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

I LOVE Cupcakes... Part 2

I am still Loving Cupcakes and hope you are too!!
This is Part 2 of 3 of a Yummy Cupcake Extravaganza.


Pictured above:5. German Chocolate Cupcakes {with chocolate-pecan ice cream, toasted nuts & caramel sauce!}

Brownie Surprise Cupcakes {fudge brownies with a creamy chocolate candy center}

Choco-Zucchini Cupcakes {with peanut butter frosting}

8. Rosemary Mini Cupcakes {vanilla cupcakes flavored with garden-fresh rosemary & topped with orange glaze}
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Comfort Food - Quick Chicken & Dumplings

We've had some oddly COLD weather here in South Texas. The temps last weekend got down into the low teens, which caused us to go into hibernation!!

Warm fire, cozy blanket, good movie and a nice bowl of Chicken & Dumplings...
I can't think of anything better to go with this cold weather!

I don't make Chicken & Dumplings often, because I'm not one to create a meal that takes hours to prepare. SO, I've put together a recipe that only takes an hour.
(I can live with that!)

Quick Chicken & Dumplings

1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
(either bake, crockpot or pressure cook chicken for easy shredding)
1 - 10 oz. can cream of chicken
2 - 10 oz. cans chicken broth
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup baby carrots
1 package of biscuits (buttered or unbuttered)
(I add celery if I have any)

Combine shredded chicken, chicken broth, cream of chicken, water, carrots, and your choice of seasonings, such as parsley, salt, pepper, garlic or onion powder into a large pot on the stove.

Cook on Medium to High heat for about 30 - 45 minutes

About 15 minutes before ready to eat, cut biscuits into quarters and place into the pot. Stir occasionally. Chicken and Dumplings will thicken once the biscuits are placed in.

Cover again until ready to eat.

The easiest dumplings you have ever made!!

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Extreme Makeover Home Edition Comes to Town!

Blu Shields Construction has been invited to join “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to build a home for one deserving family in the Bay Area of Houston, TX.
The home was completed in 106 hours by a team of vendors and volunteers lead by Blu Shields Construction, and was designed to fit the needs of the Beach family.

The Family

In 23 years of marriage, Larry, 40 and Melissa, 40; have fostered over 85 children that other adoption agencies were not able to place. They have four biological children and nine adopted children. They include Chris (23,), Michael (21), Jose (20), Mikala (18), Paul (14), Faith (13), Hope (9), Justin (8), Jacob (4), Grace (4), Jeremiah (23 months), Mercy (22 months) and Cody (19) currently serving in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. During the last 12 years, they have fostered approximately 85 children, but decided to start adopting after seeing that so many were not being placed in homes.

Due to water damage from Hurricane Ike, the Beach family home is unlivable and they are residing in a travel trailer on their property. Therefore, they have been unable to adopt additional children. But all that changed one week ago today when they were surprised with an Extreme Makeover!!

Their New Home

All 6,300 square feet of it!!

The largest home Extreme Home has ever built & still in only ONE week... Amazing!!

The episode is scheduled to air either March 21st or March 28th and will be a
2-hour special!

I cannot think of a more deserving family... May God continue to bless The Beach Family and the lives that they've touched!!
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I LoVE Cupcakes - Part 1

I LoVE Cupcakes... I just can't get enough of them! I love baking them, creating new ideas using them and most of all... eating them!!
I think they are the perfect dessert & just perfect for any/all occasions.

Better Homes & Gardens has a truly mouth-watering recipe gallery out called
Some favorites from the gallery (with recipe links) are pictured above…what looks good to you?

Cherry Baby Cupcakes {so cute!! see recipe below, after the jump…}

Red Velvet Sweetheart Cupcakes {romantic red velvet mini cupcakes with chocolate heart toppers}

Easy Topped Cupcakes {butter pecan ice cream + caramel sauce + chocolate cupcakes = YUM!}

Sweet Potato Cupcakes {cinnamon-spiced cupcakes topped with luscious cream cheese frosting & orange peel}
Check back for Parts 2 & 3!!
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Swiss Chocolate Mousse Cake

Swiss Chocolate Mousse Cake

12 chocolate Swiss roll cakes
1 brick (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 boxes (2.8 oz each) European Style Milk Chocolate Mousse Mix

1. Lightly coat an 8 x 3-in. springform pan with nonstick spray. Slice each cake into seven 1⁄4-in.-thick rounds. Arrange 2 rows around side of pan. Fit remaining slices to cover bottom of pan.

2. Beat cream cheese and 1⁄4 cup sugar in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Prepare both boxes of mousse mix as label directs, using only 1 cup cold water total instead of the milk.

3. Fold 1⁄4 the mousse into the cream cheese mixture until no white streaks remain. Fold in remaining mousse until blended. Spoon into lined pan. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight. To serve, remove pan sides.

Different Takes:
Add 1⁄4 tsp mint extract to the mousse.

Nestlé mousse mix also comes in Milk Chocolate Irish Creme, Dark Chocolate and Mocha, any of which could be substituted.Garnish with dollops of whipped cream or additional slices of cake.
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Blocks of Love

Blocks of Love

I just had to share this SUPER cute idea that I found while visiting a fellow blogger! I would LOVE to do this as part of my Valentines Day decor this year!!
I found this great project HERE.
They were even wonderful enough to include instructions. What NICE gals!
{4} 6"x 6" wood blocks
{2} wood X's
{2} wood O's
{2} pink coordinating papers
{14} eye hooks
{2 fl. oz.} white paint
{3} colors of coordinating ribbon
Step 1} Paint X's, O's & wood blocksStep
2} Cut paper to size, leaving edges exposedStep
3} Decoupage papers onto woodStep
4} Glue X's & O's onto decoupage-d paper blocksStep
5} Screw eye hooks into tops & bottoms of woodStep
6} Embellish with ribbon
Super Simple, Super ADORABLE!!
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Sweet, Simple Card

I want to get back to crafting, I really do!! I have been so busy that I just haven't had the time to sit down and get creative. However, the craziness has not stopped me from being inspired and wanting to share some of the ideas that I've stumbled across while visiting blogs.

Since the stores are getting ready for Valentines, I thought I'd share a few Valentines ideas over the next few weeks.

Hope you enjoy!!

I just thought this was a SWEET, SIMPLE and oh-so-CUTE card.

Found over at Capture the Moment

If you enjoy making your own cards, you will find all sorts of inspiration at Capture the Moment.

Check back often for fun ideas and new recipes! Enjoy!!


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Sunday, January 3, 2010

3 Words... To Die For!

Check out this centerpiece... it is BEAUTIFUL!!

I just love the colors of the peacock feather and have one of my Christmas trees dedicated to these colors.

I was looking through the book Chambord Holiday Gift Set: “Have a Ball This Holiday Season" and saw this centerpiece and knew that I had to recreate it.

Looks like this will be my next project!!

AND... One last thing...

I can't mention Chambord and just leave you hanging...

Enjoy this recipe for a White Chocolate Raspberry Martini

1 part vanilla vodka
1/2 part Chambord
1/2 part white chocolate liqueur
Splash heavy cream
Swirl in a chocolate lined martini glass

& Enjoy!!
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Perfect Pico de Gallo... Mango Pico

I could eat this pico ALL day, EVERY day... It's THAT good!!

It is perfect with grilled chicken, pork or fish.

Mango Pico de Gallo:

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into very small dice
1/2 red onion, peeled and cut into very small dice
1 small jalapeno, cut into very small dice
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves **I LOVE Cilantro!**
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix together the mango, onion, jalapeno, lime juice, oil, honey, and recao or cilantro in a medium bowl.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.

Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

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