Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mushroom Burgers - August is National Mushroom Month

These burgers are great.  They are nice and juicy and you can trick anyone.  They won't even realize the mushrooms are there. 


Mushroom Burgers
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
⅛ cup onion, chopped
4 whole wheat hamburger buns (I used white buns this time)

Mix all ingredients together and shape into 4 patties.  Cook on a grill or on a non stick skillet.  Serve on hamburger buns.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (5.8 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (36%)
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12.33g
Saturated Fat 4.41g
Cholesterol 69.7mg
Sodium 254.83mg
Potassium 468.17mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.3g
Fiber 2.14g
Sugar 3.65g

Protein 26.79g
MyPoints 6.66

This recipe and many more easy, tasty recipes can be found in the My Family Meal Planner Light.  This meal planner includes 4 meals per week for an entire year, all the recipes you need and all the weekly grocery lists.  You can also purchase a preprinted magnetic grocery list notepad for your refrigerator.  All meals are under 500 calories, include all the nutritional anaylsis for each recipe and meal, has the points figured if you are on a weightloss program that counts points and most recipes are heart healthy and diabetic friendly.  You can get your copy here or by going to

Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes

One of my friends posted this picture on facebook of her beautiful daughter.  She gave her this little gift in celebration of having a great first week of Kindergarten.  It is the book Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes, a cake mix, cupcake liners and a container of frosting.  They plan to make their own "delectable cupcakes" this weekend.  I thought it was such a cute idea that I had to share. 

This would also make a great birthday gift for a little girl.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

National Waffle Day

Today is National Waffle Day.  I am sure you have all made waffles, but have you ever made cake waffles?  Mix up a cake mix as directed and put a 1/4 cup mixture in your waffle maker. 

Cook them just like you would "normal" waffles.

Top them with whipped topping...

or make a waffle ice cream sandwich...

you could even top them with frosting if you have some on hand.  (I cannot find which blog I saw this idea.  If you know, please leave a comment.)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We love to go to our local Eastside/Westside Market and buy a lug of peaches when they have the mouth watering juicy peaches.  The only problem is trying to get through that whole lug before they are too ripe.  Here are some peach recipes they include when you purchase a lug.  They all sound delicious. 

The big tip is that you do not have to peel peaches for COOKED recipes!

Easy Kansas Cobbler
4 cups unpeeled sliced peaches
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup margarine, melted
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk

In a bowl, gently toss peaches, 1 cup of sugar and extract.  Set aside.  Pour melted margarine into an 8x8 inch pan.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup sugar.  Stir in milk and mix well.  Pour evenly over margarine.  Top with peach mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream.

Peach Salsa
2 cups peaches, peeled & chopped
1 cup red onion, chopped
4 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp sugar

Mix and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Peach Smoothie
1 peach, sliced
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
2 cups ice

Mix in an electric blender until smooth.

Peach Enchiladas
2 (8 oz) tubes of crescent rolls
2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 firm, ripe peaches, quartered
1 (12 oz) can Mountain Dew

Melt butter and add sugar and cinnamon.  Unroll crescent dough and place one quarter peach on each roll.  Roll dough around peach from large side to small tab.  Place in a 9x13 inch pan.  Pour butter mixture over rolls and then pour Mountain Dew on top of butter.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Here are some more ideas for peaches from one of our favorite blogs:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Celery Month - Ants on a Log

August is National Celery Month.  I used to hate eating celery because of all the strings when you bite into a piece.  Just within this last year, the elderly lady that lives behind me gave me a tip.  Did you know that if you use a vegetable peeler on the outside of the celery you will no longer have the strings.  Makes it so much easier for little ones and myself to eat.

Here is a fun snack for you to make for your little ones, Ants on a Log.

Peel your celery, fill it with peanut butter and then place raisins on the peanut butter.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A fun way to get your kids to eat their peas

I Eat My Peas With Honey

How many of you have had to stare at your child's plate of peas to discover they are in protest of eating them?  Yes, that's what happened one night a couple of weeks ago to my two daughters.  Instead of the usual fight of no dessert, or having to sit at the table until they finished their meal, I decided I would follow one of my favorite children's poems and let them do just that!

We grabbed the honey, and squirted it on our knives.
Loaded them up with peas, and I recited that funny poem written by an annonymous poet.

"I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
but, it keeps them on the knife."

Yes, they actually gobbled them up because we put a new twist on dinner.

I first read this poem as a youngster from a Shel Silverstein book..  Upon reasearching the poem, I discovered it was not actually written by one of my favorite children's poets.  It was in fact written by an annonymous poet.  Whatever the case, they loved it!

Poet's Day-August 21

My favorite Children's Poet is Shel Silverstein.  I want to share this biography from
Shel Silverstein
Enlarge Picture
A truly unique and multi-faceted artist, Shel Silverstein was a renowned poet, playwright, illustrator, screenwriter, and songwriter. Best known for his immensely popular children’s books including The Giving Tree, Falling Up, and A Light in the Attic, Silverstein has delighted tens of millions of readers around the world, becoming one of the most popular and best-loved children's authors of all time.

Born in Chicago on September 25, 1930, Sheldon Allan Silverstein grew up to attain an enormous public following, but always preferred to say little about himself. “When I was a kid,” he told Publishers Weekly in 1975, “I would much rather have been a good baseball player or a hit with the girls. But I couldn’t play ball. I couldn’t dance. So I started to draw and to write. I was lucky that I didn’t have anyone to copy, be impressed by. I had developed my own style.”

Silverstein drew his first cartoons for the adult readers of Pacific Stars and Stripes when he was a G.I. in Japan and Korea in the 1950’s. He also learned to play the guitar and to write songs, a talent that would later produce such hits as “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash and “The Cover of the Rolling Stone” for Dr. Hook.

Shel Silverstein never planned on writing for children – surprising for an artist whose children’s works would soon become available in more than 30 languages around the world. In the early 1960’s Tomi Ungerer, a friend whose own career in children’s books was blossoming, introduced Silverstein to his editor, Harper Collins’ legendary Ursula Nordstrom. That connection led to the publication of The Giving Tree in 1964. The book sold modestly at first, but soon the gentle parable about a boy and the tree that loved him was admired by readers of all ages, recommended by counselors and teachers, and being read aloud from pulpits. Decades after its initial publication, with more than five and a half million copies sold, The Giving Tree holds a permanent spot atop lists of perennial bestsellers.

Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein’s first collection of poems, was published in 1974 and was hailed as an instant classic. Its poems and drawings were applauded for their zany wit, irreverent wisdom, and tender heart. Two more collections followed: A Light in the Attic in 1981, and Falling Up in 1996. Both books dominated bestseller lists for months, with A Light in the Attic shattering all previous records for its 182-week stay on the New York Times list. His poetry books are widely used in schools as a child’s first introduction to poetry.

Silverstein enjoyed a long, successful career as a songwriter with credits that included the popular “Unicorn Song” for the Irish Rovers and “I’m Checking Out” written for the film Postcards from the Edge and nominated for an Academy Award in 1991. In 1984, Silverstein won a Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for Where the Sidewalk Ends – “recited, sung and shouted” by the author. He performed his own songs on a number of albums and wrote others for friends, including 1998’s Old Dogs with country stars Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, Bobby Bare, and Jerry Reed; and his last children’s recording Underwater Land with singer/songwriter and longtime friend Pat Dailey.

Shel Silverstein loved to spend time in Greenwich Village, Key West, Martha’s Vineyard, and Sausalito, California. Up until his death in May 1999, he continued to create plays, songs, poems, stories, and drawings, and most importantly, in Shel’s own words, “have a good time.”

Those good times show in the charm and humor of Underwater Land. Its seventeen tracks are a perfect blend of Silverstein’s irreverent wit and Dailey’s inviting vocal style. Produced by Silverstein, and featuring his whimsical artwork, the CD is now available from Olympia Records.

Friday, August 19, 2011

S'More Day

These S'mores Cookies are a perfect hello to summer. I've seen these floating around the web and you know how much I loved these S'mores Bars so I had to give 'em a try.

These cookies have a graham cracker base with a chocolate chip cookie sprinkled with chocolate and marshmallows topping it. The crunch of the graham cracker with the gooey cookie is the perfect combination.
Place tablespoons of dough on each graham cracker square.
Here there are almost done...not quite all the way melted yet.

S'mores Cookies
Source: Ice Cream Before Dinner

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11x17 pan and one 9x13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.

Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.

Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)

Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.

Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.

Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.

"Black Cow" Rootbeer Float Day

Today is National Black Cow Rootbeer Float Day.  I want to share a new twist to the rootbeer float that I found last year.  Have you seen these before?

The Fizz Cup

This is how it works:

I saw them last year and bought them for all our neices and nephews for a little Halloween gift.  They do work and it tastes just like a rootbeer float.  They also offer these different combinations to try:

Coke Float Vanilla ice cream & Coca-Cola (or Pepsi, RC Cola, etc.)
Black Cow
Vanilla ice cream, root beer & chocolate syrup
Brown Cow
Chocolate ice cream & root beer
Purple Cow
Vanilla ice cream & grape soda
Beer Float
Vanilla ice cream & real beer (skip the straw!)
Boston Cooler
Vanilla ice cream & ginger ale, blended. Variations include Vernor's, club soda, sherbet, rum, vanilla vodka, milk, sugar, or even coffee
Snow White
Vanilla ice cream & 7-Up, Sprite, or Sierra Mist
Sherbet Cooler
Orange or rainbow sherbet & seltzer water or 7-Up

You can get your Fizz Cups at, but of course you can make all these in a normal cup of pop with  a scoop or two of ice cream.

Enjoy a float with your kiddos tonight!  They will love it!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cupcake Day!!

We have been linking up to linking parties.  On the linking parties, blogs can post items such as crafts, recipes and more.  If you have hours to look at fun things people make, you should take a look at our linking party tab at the top and visit some of the sites.  I am in aw at what people come up with and my "to do" list gets longer each day by finding new things to make.  I took a look through a few and found some fun cupcake recipes for you to try.

I fed my kids cinnamon rolls in cupcake liners this morning.  Hey, it's a cupcake if it is in a cupcake liner right??  It was a knock off idea from this post.  I had a pop tube can of cinnamon rolls so I just used them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cupcake Day- August 18

I have to tell you what I'm doing tomorrow for this VERY special day.  My children are going to wake up to have cupcakes, yes, cupcakes, for breakfast.  No, I didn't get to make any today, but I found the next best thing.  Sugar Rush, a cupcakery in Olathe, Kansas.  It is located at 135th & Blackbob for you locals. 
They have some of the most unique cupcakes I have seen, and a lot of them in stock.  How many times have you gone to a cupcakery to only have 2 -3 flavors to choose from?  This cute little bakery has over 31 flavors~!  It's the new Baskin Robbins.

These are cherry limeade, chocolate chip cookie dough, and plain white.  But, some of my favorites are chocolate raspberry, carrot cake, mint chocolate chip, and RED VELVET with cream cheese icing.
They even have nutella, root beer float, lemon and snickerdoodle, and check out that apple pie on the bottom left!

I guess I'll serve a side of fruit and some milk, too, but what a fun memory to make for the kids.  They have never had cake, let alone cupcakes for breakfast!  I can't wait:)!/pages/Sugar-Rush/117737808295853 Become a fan of Sugar Rush, and tell them Family Embellishments sent you:)

Cake Plate Pedestals

Yes, this is my third post about Thrift Store Finds.  If you haven't guessed, I love a good find.  I love to hit the thrift store and find unique jars, candlestick holders, and sundae dishes that I can turn into cake plates. 
One day I was at our local thrift store and the guy running it saw me looking at these cute little sundae jars.  He had $1.00 on each one.  He came over and told me if I took all 8 of them, he would give them to me for $2.00 total!  BARGAIN.
All you need to make these fun little conversation pieces is a plate, a pedistal(sundae dish, candle stick, wine glass, etc) and my favorite glue, E-6000.  You can find E-6000 at your local craft store or Wal-Mart.

Just glue the base to the plate.  I place a heavy book on top of the base to keep pressure on it.  It usually takes about 24 hours for it to dry.
Voi la'!  You have a fabulous cake plate.
This is one of my favorite finds from Goodwill.  It was 99 cents for the candlestick, and I found the plate for 25 cents.  I love how big and tall it is.

Get creative.  You can even make two tiered plates.  These are perfect for holiday treats, or a great gift for a new neighbor.
Happy Hunting!

Thrift Store Crib Finds

How many of us have old cribs?  The slats are too far apart, the side rails go down, all of these things restrict people from buying them for the purpose of actually using them for a baby.  BUT, what can you do with those old cribs that you are just going to throw out?  Upcycle them!

Below is a picture I pulled off of a blog a year ago, and above is the crib I came up with to upcycle.  Sorry, I can't remember the blog:(  If you have seen it before, please make a comment as to where it was posted.  I love it!  It's the perfect size for a small space, and could even be sentimental if it was your child's crib, to be able to turn it into a  keepsake bench.

Another fabulous use for the springs, is to use it as a message board!
It can hold hair accessories, clips, calendars, notes, invites and, of course, photos.  We are going to spray paint this one turquoise to match my daughter's room.

Last, but certainly not lease, are the rails. 
I took the crib that was mine when I was a baby, spraypainted the side rails black, and hinged them together.  I use it at craft fairs to hang burp rags, bags, and fabric over the slats.  My sis-in-law added some fun decorative blocks and a 2X4 across the top of hers, and hung it on the wall in her bakery. 
It is the perfect display for tea towels.  I've also seen them hanging on walls with paper back books over them. 

Get creative!  What can you find at the Thrift Store or Garage Sale that you can Upcycle?  Check out this fun blog for lots of great thrift store rehab projects.

National Thrift Shop Day August 17

Bed Frame Bench
Several years ago I purchased an old bedframe that was all nicked up, it was solid wood, and $5.00!
I brought it home and was determined to do something with it.  A year passed, and I had still not done anything with it. 

It was a couple of months before Christmas and my family came up with a great idea.  We wanted to have a "Homemade Christmas".  Every family member drew someone else's name.  My brother-in-law drew my name, and I had the perfect request! 

I decided I wanted him to cut the foot board of that old bed frame in half and attach it to the head board to make a bench.  The foot board halves serve as the arms of the bench. 

 I LOVE my bed frame bench.  It sits in the hallway upstairs, and a lot of times ends up being a catch-all for laundry and books. 

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