Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 12

Can you believe I've been doing link parties for three months now?  It's hard to believe how fast the time has flown by.  

I want to welcome all the new followers to my blog and say a HUGE THANK YOU to those of you who faithfully show up each week and link up all your amazing projects, DIY's, delicious recipes, tutorials, tips, etc.  

I know first hand how time consuming a blog can be and I truly appreciate YOU!  I feel honored that you consider me a blogging buddy or friend and I know I have met some wonderful new friends through this blogging world.

I'm hoping you are all having a wonderful summer so far.  We have been busy around here!  My husband and I have started a water aerobics class to get in better shape and are having a blast.  If you haven't tried it before I would suggest you give it a whirl.

Well enough about me because I'm sure you're ready to party!
I can't wait to see what everyone has been working on this week.  Here are YOUR top 3 viewed (on top) and MY favorite features (on bottom) from last week.  In no particular order
1.  Repurposed Coffee Cans from Organized Island a great way to use recycled tin cans.  Totally cute!
2.  Cajun Chicken & Rice from A Hooah's Housewife a flavorful dish for any night of the week.
3.  What can you make with a pool noodle? from The Crafty Blog Stalker this has got to be the most clever use of water noodles I've seen with a ton of fun practical uses.
4.  Easy Garlic Cheese Bread from Hot Eats and Cool Reads Yum, Yum, Yum!  Who doesn't love a ooey gooey cheesy bread with dinner?
5.  Baby Shower Diaper Wreath from The Mandatory Mooch this is the cutest idea for a baby shower and so much better than the diaper cakes we used to get.
6.  Reece's S'mores bars from Susie Homemaker I want a pan of these right now!  They looks so delicious and are packed with all the chocolaty favorites!

Congrats to all who were featured~Don't forget to grab a button from the side bar

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies is one of those recipes that you search years for the right one and usually end up meshing a bunch of recipes together to make your own.  Well I have been on the search forever and I think I have finally perfected my recipe. These are a sweet cookie filled with milk chocolate chips that stay chewy and soft.  Give it a try and let me know what you think :)

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Here's what you need:

3 cups flour, all purpose
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup, butter, unsalted, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed firmly
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbs. light corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups milk chocolate chips (semi-sweet work well too)

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the egg and egg yolk, then the corn syrup.  Mix well, scraping down the sides as you go.
Next add the vanilla and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
Add the chocolate chips and beat until just incorporated.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.

Using a medium cookie scoop (I use my trusty Pampered Chef scoops) scoop dough onto lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 9 - 12 minutes depending on if you like chewy or crispy cookies.
Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 - 3 minute before moving to wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy with a tall glass of milk or whatever your beverage of choice is :)

Serves - 3 dozen approx.


Here's the handy printable - Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies 

You can find me each week linking up to these wonderful blogs

Monday, June 25, 2012

Michelle's Groovy Cupcakes

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My daughter's friend Lexi posted the cutest cupcakes on Instagram a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to make them immediately.  They were the most colorful cupcakes I'd ever seen and looked super yummy.

When my kids were little we used to add food coloring to everything!  Pancakes, waffles, frosting, cookies, etc. but we never made cupcakes using any different colors other than what the box made.

It is so fun to add food coloring when baking.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mini Corn Dogs

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A few days ago I found this recipe over at Buns in My Oven blog.  I was immediately intrigued.  I have always wanted to make homemade corn dogs for my kids but I DO NOT EAT hot dogs.  Did ya get that?  I have never liked hot dogs.  I am more of a hamburger girl.  BUT I do like hot links and I wanted to give this recipe a try so I decided to make both.  Hot dogs for my husband and kids (who like them); all beef of course, and hot links for me.

This was the easiest and yummiest recipe for lunch I've made in a long time.  It was super simple to follow and after a couple of tries I even got down pat the best way to coat the hot dogs and transfer to the hot oil .  I was so impressed with myself I made a second batch and put them in the freezer for a quick lunch or snack for another day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 11

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 11

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week so far! 

We are well into summer in our area and it has been HOT lately.  We are trying to find fun and creative ways to stay cool.  What do you do to stay cool and still have fun in the summer?

What are your favorite dishes to cook when it’s blazin’ hot out?  I like to use my BBQ and make a lot of salad or sandwich meals but I’m always looking for a new dish to serve.

Welcome to all the new bloggers linking up last week and this week!  We love meeting new blogging friends. 

I also want to thank everyone who links up each week cause you guys are amazing!  I truly appreciate all the time everyone takes each week to come here and party.

I can't wait to see what you all have been doing this week, but before we get this party started let me show you your most viewed (1-3) and my favorite features (4-6) from last week (in no particular order)
1.  Our Front Porch from Happy Happy Home who wouldn't love a front porch like this?
2.  Oreo Cupcakes from Flavors by Four now thats what I call a yummy cupcake.
3.  Asian Style Spaghetti from Natasha In Oz looks delish!  I can't wait to try this.
4.  Beautiful DIY wall hangings from Growing in Grace I can't wait to make some of these for my Family Gallery Wall.
5.  Chocolate Covered Pretzel Cookies from Sally's Baking Addiction my absolute favorite flavor combo.  Sweet n' salty.
6.  The One Towel Tote from Love and Laundry easy peasy DIY sewing project turns an ordinary beach towel into a great beach tote.

Mini "Cheater" Cinnamon Rolls

Last week I found this recipe over at Sally's Baking Addiction and adjusted it slightly for my family.  If you haven't yet visited Sally's blog you NEED to go over there now; and tell her I sent you.  But be warned, you might need a bib for all the drooling you'll be doing over the amazing recipes Sally has posted on her blog.

I love a good cheater recipe and this was a total hit in our house.  Now, I can make tradition cinnamon rolls but I don't always have the forethought to get up a couple hours earlier then everyone else in the house to make them from scratch.  So when I found this recipe, I actually went downstairs and tried them immediately.  They were DELICIOUS!  I will be making these again and again for my loved ones.
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Here's what you need:
1 - 8 oz. can crescent roll dough - the fresher the better
2 Tbs. butter, at room temperature
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs. cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 - 4 tsp. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray and set aside (I got 20 mini rolls)
In a small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Roll out half of the dough (4 triangles) on a piece of parchment (for easier clean up) and pinch the seams together then flip over and pinch the same seams together on the other side.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a triangle a little bigger than the original size (about 1-1/2 times as big) and 1/4" thick.
Spread half the butter on the dough and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture until well coated, (half the mixture) pressing lightly so the mixture really sticks to the butter.
Starting with the wide side roll the dough up tightly and cut into 8 - 10 equal pieces. Placing each piece on it's side in the prepared mini muffin tins as you go.  
Repeat with the second half of the dough.
Bake for 12 - 14 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from pan as soon as they are done and place on a cooling rack (I used a spoon to "scoop" the rolls out of each tin).  While the cinnamon rolls are cooling make the icing.

Place the powdered sugar in a bowl and add the vanilla and start with 2 tsp. milk.  Whisk the icing adding 1 tsp. of milk at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
Using a spoon drizzle the icing over the rolls while still warm.
Devour as fast as you can!  Then make more :)

Serves - 20 mini rolls


Here's the handy printable - Mini Cinnamon Rolls 

You can find me each week linking up to these wonderful blogs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Memories Winner

Congrats to the winner of the My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software!
The winner is No. 7 - Meme

Please contact me within the next 48 hours to claim your prize, otherwise a new winner will be picked.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Michelle's Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Around here we are very picky about our potato salad.  I have been making it the same way for years and have had quite a few people ask for the recipe.  So I had to actually write it down while I was making it the last time because it was always a kind of throw together recipe, but is now an actual recipe.  I hope you'll give it a try and let me know how you like it :)

Here's what you need:
4 pounds of red potatoes, skin on, washed well and cubed into 1-1/5" pieces
1 cup Best Foods Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1-2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper, more if needed
3 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
2-3 hard boiled eggs, cold and chopped

Wash and cube all the potatoes and place in a large stockpot.  Cover with cold water and heat on high.
When the water comes to a low simmer (barely bubbling) set timer for 15 minutes. Stir a couple of times during cooking. Potatoes are done when they are knife tender but NOT mushy. They do not need to boil at a full rolling boil, just a low simmer.  The time depends on how many potatoes you use and the size of the pot but it shouldn't take more than about 20 minutes once it has begun simmering.
When potatoes are tender (but no mushy) drain and place in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, and cider vinegar. Pour over the potatoes and mix gently.
Chop the celery and onions and add to potatoes along with the relish; stir gently.
Add salt and pepper and stir.  Taste to see if it needs more S&P.
Chop the eggs and add to the salad and stir to incorporate.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, overnight is best.  You can add more mayo if needed after it has chilled.
Goes great with Barbecue, sandwiches or all by itself :)

Serves 8 - 10 depending on how well they all like it :)


Here's the handy printable - Michelle's Old Fashioned Potato Salad 

You can find me each week linking up to these wonderful blogs.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chewy Coconut Lime Cookies

I'm sure I've mentioned before my love for all things lime.  And I'm also sure I've mentioned my love for all things  coconut.  Well you can imagine my dreamy eyed stare when I came across this recipe over at My Happy Place blog.  As you can imagine I had to try these immediately.  I adapted the recipe slightly to fit my tastes and made the most delicious Chewy Coconut Lime Cookies EVER!  A big Thank you to Sophie for sharing such a wonderful recipe.  I hope you give them a try and let me know what you think.  Be sure to stop by My Happy Place and check out all the wonderful recipes Sophie has posted  :)

Here's what you need:
2-3/4 cup flour, all purpose
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 lg. egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 3 large limes, approximately 2 - 3 Tablespoons
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, approximately 3 large limes
1 cup coconut, I use sweetened
1/2 cup sugar, for rolling the cookies in

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

In a bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and  1-1/2 cups sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add egg, vanilla, lime juice, and lime zest and mix until incorporated.
Add coconut and mix until incorporated. 
Next add the flour and mix until incorporated. 
Place 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl and drop cookies, using a medium cookie scoop, into sugar and coat completely then place 2 inches apart on a lined baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Cool cookies on baking sheet for 2- 3 minutes then remove to cooling rack or paper towels to cool completely.
Mmmmmm, Chewy Coconut Cookies with a hint of lime and a light sugar coating.


Here's the handy printable - Chewy Coconut Lime Cookies 
Recipe adapted from:  My Happy Place

You can find me linking up each with to these wonderful blogs.