Friday, August 22, 2014

Blueberry Ice Cream

Fresh Blueberry Ice Cream! 

The perfect way to use some of those seasonal berries. 

You'll need:

*4 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
*2 cups of sugar
*1 tbsp vanilla
*Pinch of salt
*1 cup whole milk
*1 cup half and half
*2 cups whipping cream

Puree the blueberries in a blender.  Then heat the blueberries and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved.    Chill mixture until cold.
Add in the remaining ingredients.
Pour into ice cream maker and churn.  I let it churn for about 30 minutes.
Put into a freezer safe container and allow it to fully set.   Enjoy!

(I found this yummy recipe on )

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cake Mix Brownies

A simple recipe starting with a box of cake mix makes for a pretty delicious little brownie.   This can be GF too if you buy the appropriate cake mix.    I'm not sure where I dug this one up!

You'll need:
1 box chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
10 oz chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350.
Spray an 8x8 pan.
Mix all ingredients except the chocolate (it will become smooth pretty easily).
Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread the batter into the 8x8 pan (its pretty thick!).  
Bake for about 20 minutes.    (Don't overcook! Gooey = love).
Allow them to cool completely before cutting.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Arden's Nursery

Guess what - we had a baby!   I didn't realize how long its been since posting anything - my last entry was the day before my daughter was born.   She will be six months old on Monday.   Everyone said 'the days are long, but the years are short' and I wholeheartedly agree.

When I was planning Arden's nursery, of course I wanted something 'girly' but I didn't want a pink explosion.   I'm a big blue fan and I decided on Benjamin Moore's Crystal Blue.   I love it, it's light and feels like a beautiful calm sky.  Its so pretty with her white furniture.    The accent color I started with was a coral but I was surprised at how difficult it was to find anything in that color.   (this swatch seems a little darker than it is)

My sister Kim was kind enough to make Arden's bed skirt and window valance.   I'm so happy she did, I was obsessed with the 3-tier skirt and they were definitely out of our budget.    We used 3 coordinating fabrics.

Her bookshelf is from IKEA, its perfect for the space and was a great little bargain.    I made the storage bench from an IKEA bench turned on it's side.   My dad cut a piece of wood the size of the top.  I bought high density foam and wrapped that with batting, and then one of the fabrics from the bed skirt.    It is really cute and a great storage space for her little toys.  

I love the firefighter poem I found on Etsy for her daddy.

Notice the stuffed animal collection... is it any surprise that its mostly DOGS?  And rabbits from her first Easter :).    The toy chest underneath was made by my dad.  I'm still working on a few final touches but overall we are pretty happy with how this room worked out.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

This is a good, simple soup recipe that's perfect for cold weather.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion
10 3/4 oz canned condensed tomato soup
14.5 oz petite diced canned tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
2 chicken bullion cubes
2 beef bullion cubes
4 c water
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces (uncooked)
12 oz shredded mozzarella

Combine onions, tomato soup, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce in the slow cooker.
Add all spices and bullion cubes
Add water and spread the broken uncooked noodles.   Crumble raw ground beef over top.
Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
Half hour before finished, stir in ricotta.
Serve with mozzarella on top.

*Note, I tried this initially with gluten free noodles.  They disintegrated by the time it was finished and made for a more starchy cream looking soup.  If wanting to use GF noodles, I'd suggest cooking separately and adding at the last minute*

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Easy Cream Cheese Squares / Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie

Cheese based coffee cakes are my favorites and this recipe reminds me of a simple, yummy cheese coffee cake that is so simple to make.   My cousin brought this to a party and I could have eaten the entire tray myself (shhh..).       I'm also posting an alternative version below which changes the topping a bit...

2 -packages of crescent rolls
2 -8oz cream cheese
3/4 C sugar
1 -Tsp vanilla
1 -egg

Preheat oven to 350.
Beat everything together except crescent rolls eggs.
Press 1 can of crescent rolls into the bottom of a 9x13 pan, and spread cream cheese mixture on top. 
Cover with second can of crescent rolls, closing the seams.   
Brush with a beaten egg white.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool.


For Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie:

Follow the recipe above, then combine the ingredients below and pour over the top prior to baking:

1  stick melted butter
3/4 C sugar
1  tsp cinnamon

After it's finished baking, drizzle 1/4 c of honey over warm cheesecake.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Praline French Toast Casserole

This breakfast casserole is yummy but rich!  If you're a sweet-breakfast fan, the is for you!  Its from Paula Deen's book Paula Deen & Friends.   Enjoy!

8 eggs
1.5 c half & half
1/3 c maple syrup
1/3 packed light brown sugar
10-12 slices of soft bread about 1 in thick.

1 stick butter (1/2 c)
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
2/3 c maple syrup
2 c chopped pecans

Butter a 9x13 dish.
Mix eggs, half & half, syrup, and sugar in a large bowl (yes, this is terrible for you).
Place bread in the casserole dish and cover with the egg mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add sugar and syrup and cook for just a minute or two.  Stir in the pecans.

Pour this mixture over the bread and bake for 45-55 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Optional:  I like to throw fresh blueberries on top of the bread before adding the topping.   Also you should be able to make this gluten free if you choose, it will probably just take more bread since GF loaves tend to be so small.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Breakfast Sausage Casserole

I LOVE this breakfast casserole... it has been the traditional breakfast for Christmas in our house.  Yum.   I also love that its assembled the night before and I just pop it in the oven in the morning.

2 pounds of breakfast sausage (I like to use 1# of regular, and one hot for a little kick)
1 package of herb seasoned croutons
2 c shredded sharp cheddar
2 c shredded pepper jack (which I can't always find shredded so I pick what appeals to me!)
1/4 minced onion
8 eggs, beaten
2 c half & half
1.5 c milk (I use almond and its fine)
Salt & pepper to taste
Green & red pepper to garnish if you like (grab a bag of frozen to make it easy)

Cook, crumble and drain sausage.
While you're waiting, spray a 9x13 pan and spread the croutons.
Spread cheeses over croutons.  Sprinkle sausage and onion over cheese.

In a large bowl beat eggs, milk, half & half, and salt & pepper.  Pour evenly over the sausage.
Sprinkle with peppers if you like them!  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

In the morning, pre-heat oven to 350.   Bake for 46-60 minutes and let stand for 20 minutes after baking.  I have found this needs closer to 60 minutes to be cooked in the center but it depends on the oven.

P.S. You can find gluten free croutons and sausage!