Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Tree Pancakes

Every year on Christmas morning after we open our presents, I make my kids special pancakes.  Here is my post on the pancakes I made in 2010 for them.  I thought I would share with you today what I made for them last year.  I made them Christmas Tree Pancakes.  They were so surprised. 

Here is how I did it.  I made up a batch of pancake mix just as I normally would and took about a 1/2 cup of the mixture and added some yellow food coloring.  I added that to a mustard bottle I had picked up at the dollar store a few days before.  Then I added green food coloring to the rest of the pancake mix and poured that into the ketchup bottle.  I cut the tops off of the ketchup and mustard bottles to make the hole a little larger so that it was easier for the batter to come out.  I then made my trees.

After the trees were done, I used my yellow pancake batter and made stars for the trees.

Then I assembled my trees on their plates and "decorated" them with Reddi Whip, strawberry ice cream topping and sprinkles.  I used the chocolate Reddi Whip for the base of the tree.
What should I make this year??  Any suggestions?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Caramel Ice Cream Dessert

I love this ice cream dessert. My mom used to make this when I was little. I hope you enjoy it!

Caramel Ice Cream Dessert
2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups flour
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup brown sugar
½ gallon vanilla ice cream
1 jar caramel topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Mix the butter, flour, oatmeal and brown sugar with mixer. 
Mix should be crumbly.  Spread on cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes stirring every 5 minutes. 
Cool and put ½ of mixture on bottom of 9x13-inch pan. 

Open ice cream on side and cut ice cream lengthwise 4 times.  Take each slice of ice cream and place it in the pan on top of the mixture. 
Press the ice cream together. 

Sprinkle remaining mixture on top of ice cream and drizzle with caramel topping.  Freeze.

This recipe can be found in the My Family Meal Planner #2 and the Meal Planner for 2 at



Freezer Crock Pot Meals

I don't know about you, but 5 o'clock is such a rough time of day. Everyone is tired, hungry and grouchy, including me. I have 4 kids and want to make my life easier for that hour. I did a batch of freezer crock pot meals when my baby was just born and realized how nice it was to have my supper ready to go, so I decided it was time to do it again. All you do is assemble a bunch of crock pot meals at once by putting them in a freezer Ziploc bag and then throw them in the freezer. Then all you need to do is pull a bag out of the freezer and put it in the crock pot. (I do recommend letting it thaw out in the refrigerator first.) Yesterday I went to the store and took 4 grocery lists from the My Family Meal Planner Crock Pot Only meal planner. I bought all the ingredients and assembled all the meals into freezer Ziploc bags. It was really quick and easy. It took me a little less than 2 hours. I now have 16 different meals ready to go!
To prepare myself, I grabbed 4 of the lists from the crock pot only meal planner, crossed off what I already had and then went to the store.  When I got back, I put my 4 lbs of ground beef that I needed to have cooked in my crock pot.  It cooked on low for about 4 hours.  I chopped it it up every hour or so.  After it was finished I drained the grease.  My meat was ready.  I then got all of the Ziploc bags labeled.  I didn't put all the instructions on the bags because I figure I can just get out my meal planner and look at the instructions when I am ready to make it.  I started to assemble my meals.  To make it easier on myself, I took a pitcher and put my Ziploc bags in there so that I didn't have to try to hold the bag open and put the ingredients in.  Here is a picture, but it isn't very clear.  (It was a little difficult to take a picture while pouring.)
I am so excited about my freezer full of meals.  Another bonus was that I only had to do dishes once!  I love to use crock pot liners when I use my crock pot too.  Makes clean up so much easier.  If I do run out of liners, I will soak my pot for an hour or over night and then I will use the brown little Pampered Chef scraper that you get with their stones to get the crusty food off the sides.  Then I just wash it by hand.
If you would like to get a My Family Meal Planner Crock Pot Only, you can get it HERE.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kids Artwork Display

I have struggled with what to do with my kids' artwork.  I love to display them, but don't necessarily love them on the refrigerator door.  We had a blank wall in our hallway near our kitchen and I decided it was the perfect spot to display their hardwork.  Now I had to come up with how I was going to do it.  This what I came up with:

I Love It!  The kids love to change out their pictures too.  Now, on to how I made it.  I looked at Hobby Lobby and thought about buying one of these frames:
But for the size I needed it was going to be costly even at 50% off.  Plus they didn't have the exact size I wanted.  So off to Home Depot I went.  I decided to just purchase some 1x2 wood (think that is the size) and let my husband make a frame.  He mitered the corners, I stained the wood and then he connected the wood to make the frame.  I then used these items that I purchased at Hobby Lobby:

I used the mirror hangers and put them down the sides of the frame, making sure they were the same distance between so that when I hung my wire it would be straight.  I went down 2 1/2 inches at the start and then 8 inches between hangers from there.  Then I strung the wire and tried to get it as tight as possible so that the pictures wouldn't weigh it down.  When these steps were finished I used the 3m Velcro picture hanging strips and attached the frame to my wall.

I also used a silhoutte machine to cut the vinyl to hang above the frame.  It was now ready to be embellished with artwork!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sand Dessert - Yummy!

My son's 3rd birthday was a few weeks ago.  He turned 3.  I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he wanted a Cars cake.  He had a Cars cake last year, so I talked him into a tractor cake.  He loves to play in the dirt with tractors, so I thought it would be perfect!  I started scouring Pinterest for ideas and found this.  This lady did a great job and I thought I would tackle the task of making inside look cool too.  It ended up being really easy to make.  She had a great tutorial.  Bonus for my son, he got more tractors!  Here is what mine turned out like:

The best part was that you didn't need to have smooth icing on the cake because it was supposed to look like dirt.  Here is what a slice looked like:

The week before his party, we went to a swim party/barbecue at a friends house and I decided I would take the Ramen Noodle Salad from the My Family Meal Planner on the Grill and Sand Dessert that I found here on Pinterest.  Here is a picture of this bloggers Sand Dessert:

I had a brand new sand pail so I served mine the same way she did.  It looked so real and tasted even better.  While coming up with my menu for my son's construction birthday party, I decided I would make this sand dessert and serve it in his big dump truck that he plays with inside (don't worry, I cleaned it and lined it with Press N Seal).  It turned out better than I had hoped and it was a hit! 

Sand Dessert

1 pkg Vanilla Wafers
3 or 4 Oreos
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 C Butter
2/3 C powdered sugar
2 small pkgs French Vanilla pudding mix
2 3/4 C Milk
12 oz Cool Whip

Crush Oreos and Vanilla Wafers in a food processor. In your mixer, cream together softened 8 oz cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Then add the pudding mix and milk, mix well.  Fold in cool whip. Layer into bucket or dump truck with sand, pudding, sand etc. 

The 3 Oreos really give it the "real" look.  It even feels like the sand on the beach.  You could also fill the dump truck with Dirt Dessert!  (That recipe can be found in the My Family Meal Planner.)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Easiest Banana Bread - 3 ingredients

I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest, but apparently they have since taken the link down.  Luckily I have it memorized! 

It is only 3 ingredients: yellow cake mix, 4 ripe bananas, and 2 eggs.  You can also add 1 cup chocolate chips if you would like.  My 2 year old and I like to make it together, so I turn it into a sensory activity for him and we mix it all up in a Ziploc bag.  Put your bananas in a gallon sized freezer Ziploc bag and close.  Now is the fun part.  Let your child smash the bananas.  My son likes to step on them.

and run and jump on them...

Then we add in the yellow cake mix (powder only) and the 2 eggs.  We squeeze the bag until it is all mixed together.

Now you can add in 1 cup chocolate chips if you would like.  Grease two bread pans, snip the corner off of the Ziploc bag and put an even amount of banana bread in each pan. 

Toss the pans in a 350 degrees F preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Creative Flower Planting

Creative Flower Planting

Tear up about 5 sheets of computer paper into small pieces.
Soak them in water.  Add them to the blender and puree.

Add 2 or 3 of your favorite flower packets to the mixture. 
 Do not puree with the flowers in the mix as it will ruin the seeds. 

We got these at the Dollar Tree (my favorite store)
(4) for a $1.

Grab your favorite cookie cutters.  We used hearts and flowers. Place them on waxed paper or parchment paper.   Add paper and seed mixture to the cutter squeezing as much water out of the paper as you can before you add it.

After yo have added it, use a towel to dab out any extra water you can.
It takes about 2 days to fully dry out, however, you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.

Plant your fun biodegradable see pod, or give it to a friend.

Happy May Day!

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