Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Toasted parmesan tomato on a bed of pasta!

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

What you will need:
1-2 tomatoes (depending on how many you want to make)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 TBL olive oil

*Cut the tomatoes into slices.

*Place the slices on a baking sheet. 

*Sprinkle all the spices on the tomatoes. 

*Top each one with Parmesan cheese.

*Drizzle the olive oil over all of the tomatoes.

*Bake the tomatoes in the oven for 15 minutes.

*Eat with pasta!

Pizza Bites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

What you will need:

Pizza dough (You can use this dough recipe HERE!
Mozzarella cheese

olive oil
Parmesan cheese
garlic salt
Italian seasonings

*First make the dough, or use a bought dough.

*Then cut up all of the vegetables/ fillings that you are going to use. 
(I used cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms and olives.)

*Then take a section of the dough and form it into a flat round shape. 

*Fill the dough with the things that you want to put inside.

*Then pull the corners of all the sides up to the center and pinch off. 

*Place the dough in a greased pie pan.
*Continue until the whole pan is full.

*Lightly brush olive oil over all of the dough bites.

*Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and Italian seasoning.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with dipping sauce!

After Dinner Peppermints

What you will need:

1/4 cup cream cheese
1 tsp peppermint/mint flavoring
4-41/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup sugar
melting chocolate (Optional)

*Mix together the cream cheese and peppermint flavoring for about 2 minutes. 
The cream cheese should be fluffy.
*Then pour in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Keep adding until the mixture becomes stiff.
*Put the sugar in a bowl.
*Take a tsp size of the mixture and then roll the mixture into a ball.

*Dip the ball in the sugar and roll around so that the whole thing is coated in sugar. 

*Then press the circle down either with your fingers or with a fork.
(You could leave the mints in the circle if you wanted for a different shape!)

*If you are going to dip your mints in chocolate then you will need to melt your chocolate using a double broiler. (If you don't know what that is you can ask me and I'll tell you how to do it!)

*Dip the whole mint into the chocolate so that it is completely covered. Pick the chocolate up with a fork. (The prongs of the fork should be on the bottom of the mint.)

*Tap the fork against the side of the pan so that the excess chocolate comes off and there is just a thin layer of chocolate coating the mint. 

*Place mints on a plate and let dry for a couple of minutes. 

*You can either place the mints in the fridge or you can freeze them!

Greek Salad with Greek Chicken


What you will need:

1-2 tomatoes 
1 English cucumber
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1/4-1/2 cup kalamata olives-make sure you pit these!
 1/4-1/2 cup garlic olives
1 red onion (I did not use this since I do not like onions but you can!)
3/4 cup feta cheese
1 head of lettuce

*Chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives, and onions (if using) into small pieces.

*Mix all of the vegetables together in a bowl.

*Add feta cheese.

*Pour salad dressing over the top and stir so that everything is coated. (Dressing recipe below)

*Place vegetables over a bed of lettuce.

Greek Salad Dressing
What you will need:

1/2 cup olive oil
1 TBL oregano
1 TBL basil 
2 TBL Dijon mustard 
1/4 red wine vinegar 

(Italian seasoning works just the same if you don't have oregano or basil!)
*Mix all ingredients together and pour over salad! 

Greek Chicken
Preheat oven to 400
What you will need:

4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken
1 serving of the Greek Salad Dressing mixture. 
1/2 cup water

*Place chicken in a glass 8x8 inch baking pan.
*Mix the salad dressing mixture and water together. 

*Pour the salad dressing mixture over all of the chicken evenly as possible. 

*Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
*Flip chicken over.
*Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

(check to make sure there is no pink in the center of the chicken before you serve it!)


Apple spice cupcakes topped with homemade dehydrated spiced apples!


What you will need:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups apples-chopped
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

*In a bowl mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

*Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. (This usually takes about 5 minutes)

*Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture and continue to mix until mixed thoroughly.

*Turn the mixing level to low and add in the apples and raisins (if using).

*Slowly add in the flour mixture until everything is combined. 

*Use an ice cream scoop to pour batter into cupcake liners. 
(Using an ice cream scoop helps you to get even cupcakes for the whole batch)

*Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes.

*Remove from cupcake tins and let cool. 

Cupcake Drizzle

What you will need:

1/4 cup of cream cheese
2 TBL milk
2 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar
dash of cinnamon (nutmeg or all spice would work as well)

*Mix the cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon together until fluffy. 

*Then add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. 

Most frosting for cupcakes are stiff so that you can decorate the tops, but to get the drizzle look you need to make sure that it is thin. 

*Place frosting in a zip lock bag. Cut a small corner off one side of the zip lock bag. 

*Press the frosting out of the bag and drizzle the frosting back and forth over the cupcake.

Dehydrated Apples

Preheat oven to 170 degrees

What you will need:

1-2 apples (depending on how many you want to make)
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1 TBL sugar

*Cut the apples into thin pieces.

*Place the apples on a baking sheet.

*Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl.

 *Sprinkle all of the apples with the cinnamon and sugar mix.

*Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.

*Flip apples over and sprinkle that side with the cinnamon and sugar mix.

*Place back in oven and bake for another hour.

*Take out and enjoy!

(If you want your apples to be more crispy then leave them in longer!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Arugula and Green Pepper Calzone

 What you will need:
Pizza dough- You can find the recipe that I used HERE
2-4 cups of arugula (depending on how many you want to make. I used 2 cups for 4 calzones)
1 green pepper-chopped
2 TBL minced garlic
2 TBL olive oil
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1-2 TBL Italian seasoning
1-2 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 
2 TBL wheat flour
1 TBL garlic powder

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

In a sauté pan add olive oil. Warm on medium heat for at least a minute.
Then add minced garlic and green pepper.
Cook this for 2 minutes.
Then add arugula.
Cook this for 2 minutes or until arugula is wilted.
Remove from heat and add mozzarella cheese.
Add in 1 TBL Italian seasoning and 1 tsp red pepper.

Divide the dough into as many sections as you are making. (half the bread stick recipe makes 4 calzones)

Take each section and form into 6 inch circles by flattening them.

Put filling in the centers of each one.

Fold dough over so that they are now half circles. Use a fork to crimp the edges.

Brush both top and bottom of calzone with olive oil.

Place calzones on a baking sheet with corn meal. I used wheat flour, garlic powder and parmesan cheese instead of corn meal (worked great!)

Sprinkle the tops of the calzones with parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and a little red pepper.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Lemon Curd Filled Cupcake

What you will need:


1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs in one at a time, mixing the batter until it is completely blended every time.

Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.

In another bowl add flour, baking powder and salt. 

Alternate adding in flour mixture and milk. Mix at a slow speed.

Pour the batter into cupcake tins/ liners.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Lemon Curd

3 eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 TBL lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
4 TBL butter- at room temperature

In a double broiler, whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice together until thick.
This should take about 10 minutes. 
Make sure you keep stirring, if you stop it will burn or curdle. 
After it is thick, pour the mixture through a strainer. 
Cut the butter into several pieces and fold the butter into the mixture. 
Add zest and stir slightly.
Refrigerate for several hours. 

After the cupcakes have cooled completely and the lemon curd has been refrigerated for several hours, you can then cut out the centers of the cupcakes.
Use a small spoon or a large piping head to remove the centers. 
Add 1-2 TBL of lemon curd to each cupcake.


3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 TBL milk
2 TBL lemon juice
Dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients except powdered sugar together until fully blended.
Then add the powdered sugar. 
To make the frosting thicker, add even more powdered sugar.

Place frosting in a frosting bag or a zip lock bag (which is what I use because it's so much easier to clean up!)
Zip the bag shut (or roll it down if you are using a frosting bag).
If using a zip lock bag cut a hole in one of the corners. 
(The bigger the hole, the bigger the frosting will be on top of the cupcake.)
Squeeze the bag at the top and press the frosting out of the bag on to the cupcake.
Move the bag in a circular motion to form the round shape.
You can also use different frosting tips in the zip lock bags as well as the frosting bags if you'd like.

Candied Lemons

What you will need:

1 lemon
2 1/2 cups sugar
Dash of salt

In a pan filled with water add 2 cups sugar and salt. Bring this water to a simmer.
(Make sure all of the sugar is dissolved)
Turn the heat off.

Cut the lemons into thin pieces. 
Place lemon pieces into the water.
Turn the heat back on to medium and leave lemons in the water until the water starts to simmer again.
This should take about 5 minutes. 
Remove the lemons with a slotted spoon and place on a flat surface. (I use a cutting board)
Let dry for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar, turn lemons over and sprinkle other side of lemon with sugar as well.
Let dry. 
This could take several hours for the lemons to actually dry.
Place the candied lemons on top of the cupcakes as decoration!!

Taco Soup

What you will need:

1 LBS lean ground turkey
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can green chilies
1 can of corn (I use the frozen corn and use half the bag!)
1 1/2 cups of water
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 packet ranch seasoning mix

Sour cream
Tortilla chips

Begin by browning the ground turkey.

Add the taco mix packet and the water to the ground turkey after it is completely browned.

Add in all of the other ingredients. 

Simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. 

Serve in individual bowls.
Top with cheese and sour cream.
Use tortilla chips to eat the soup.


Chewy Lemon Bars

What you will need:

1 1/8 cup flour
1/2 cup plus 2 TBL powdered sugar
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)-melted
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup lemon juice
cooking spray
tin foil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spray an 8x8 inch pan with cooking spray.
Cover pan with tin foil.
Spray tin foil again with cooking spray.
(The lemon bars are very gooey, and the tin foil helps you to get them out!)

Stir together 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, salt and the butter with a fork until crumbly.

Press all along the bottom of the 8x8 inch pan.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

In a bowl whisk together 1/8 cup flour, eggs, sugar, baking powder and lemon juice.

Pour this mixture over the crust (after the 15 minutes is up)

Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
Cool for 30 minutes.
Refrigerate for 2 hours.
(It's really important to refrigerate them other wise you will have a really sticky mess)

After they have been in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours,
Dust the tops with powder sugar.

Use the tin foil to remove the lemon bars from the pan. 
Cut into squares and serve!

Key Holder

I found this wood board with large nails in it at Goodwill for $3!
It looked like a chore chart when I got it, but I didn't want to use it for that,
so I painted it black!

I got these picture frames from the Dollar Store. 
I only ended up using 3 of them for a total of $3!

I printed out pictures that I had taken in Seattle of a couple different types of flowers.

I painted the picture frames the same black as the board.

I put one picture into each frame.

This is the key holder so far, 
I want to get wooden letters that say "Tenney" to hang above!

Bathroom Old/ Bathroom New!

I recently decided that I was sick of my bathroom.
We have had the same shower curtain since we got married almost 3 years ago-
Um, yes, definitely time for a new one!

When we got married I thought I wanted a blue and brown bathroom. 
Here is what we had. 

But I wanted something different.

So when I found this shower curtain: 

at Target for $18 I knew I had to have it!
I love it!

So of course, I had to paint everything to match and get new towels and everything!

Here is what it looks like now.

I got that shelf at Goodwill for $3 and then painted it black!

I got this vase at Big Lots for $12!

I used the frames that I already had, I just painted them black.
I kept Joe's art in the frames since they matched even better than before!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Birthday Cakes

 My son recently had his 1st birthday.
I tried a couple different types of cake for his party.
This cake is a white cake with a white dirty frosting.
I used blue coloring for the top.
And both sizes of M&M's for the decorations.

He really enjoyed eating it!

This was the second cake that I made
and the one that we used for his party!
It is a chocolate cake, with dirty white frosting to keep the layers together.
I dirty frosted the whole cake with chocolate frosting.
Then put Kit Kat bars all the way around both layers of cake.
The flat sections were both filled with M&M's.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cake Pops!

What you will need:

1 cake box
1 jar of frosting
Almond Bark melting chocolate
Food coloring (optional)
Lollipop sticks
Clear snack bags

Begin by making the box cake exactly as it says on the box.

Once the cake is cooled, crumble the cake using a food processor. 

Add half the jar of frosting to the cake crumbles.
Blend until fully mixed. 

Roll spoonful size balls of the cake mixture. 

Place them on a cookie sheet and place in fridge for at least an hour.

While these are in the fridge, start melting the chocolate

and get out all of the decorations.

After an hour take the cake pops out of the fridge.

 Dip one end of the lollipop stick into the melted chocolate.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Making a Pinata

What you will need:

1 balloon
1 newspaper, shredded
White paper
Several different colors of tissue paper
Large bowl
Paint brush
String/ rope

Begin by shredding several strips of newspaper. 
Then blow up a balloon and tie it off. 
Place the balloon in a large bowl.

Mix together 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of water.

Dip one strip of newspaper into the paste mixture. 
Pull off all excess mixture with your fingers.
Place the strip of newspaper on the balloon. 
Make sure to even out the newspaper so that there are little to no bumps.

Continue to do this until the whole balloon is covered.
Leave a hole at the top of the balloon so that you can add the candy and toys later.

Let dry over night.

Repeat this process at least 3 times.

On the last layer use blank white paper.

Also, instead of using flour this time you are going to use Elmer's glue.

Mix the glue and water together.

Lay the strips on the balloon just as you did with the newspaper strips.

Make sure the pinata is completely dry before you start decorating.
Since I was making a beach ball, I sectioned 6 even sections around the balloon with a pencil.

Now it's time to pop the balloon. 
Pull the popped balloon out of the pinata.
There should now be a hole at the top. 

Using a pair of scissors poke a hole on either side of the pinata. 
Use rope or string through those holes. 
(This will be used to hang the pinata later.)

Cut several pieces of tissue paper into small squares.

Mix glue and water together again. 

Use the paint brush to paint on a layer of the glue water.
Then place the tissue paper squares on the pinata.

Dip the paintbrush in the glue mixture again and then cover the tissue paper squares.
The whole square should be lightly coated.

Continue this process until you have the whole section completed. 

Do the same process for all of the sections, or for the design in which you choose.

Once all of the tissue paper is dried, cut long thin strips of tissue paper.
Fold these strips over several times.

Use scissors to cut all along one side.
Undo the folds, so that it is again a long strip.

Use the same glue mixture as before to put sections of the cut tissue paper on the pinata.

Continue to do these layers until the whole section is done.

Follow all of the same instructions for the whole pinata. 

Then fill the pinata with candy and small toys.

Hang at the party.
Let everyone have a turn hitting the pinata.
Enjoy the fun things inside after the pinata is broken!