Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 8

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 8

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  We had wacky weather here in California with dark skies and rain on Friday and Saturday.  But it was still a fun weekend spent with family at my Parent’s house at the lake.   

Hopefully you are all enjoying your summer or getting ready to start summer vacation.

I want to thank everyone who linked up last 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 and my favorite features from last week (in no particular order)

This week I'm changing it up - The top three are the most viewed 
The bottom three are my favorite features of the week

Top Left to Right -
1.  Oatmeal Cream Pies from Stella B's Kitchen amazing soft oatmeal cookies with a creamy marshmallow filling just waiting for me to make them.
2.  S'mores Cupcakes from Salt Tree these are amazing looking with all the ingredients of a S'more and the ease of a cupcake.  They look divine!  Can't wait to try these!
3.  Cake Batter Fudge from Sally's Baking Addiction made with real cake mix for that authentic cake batter flavor then add in some sprinkles and other yummy ingredients and heavenly fudge is made.

Bottom Left to Right - 
4.  Recycled glass containers turned into vases from April's Country Life Blog where April shares a wonderful story about how these awesome glass jars were invented by her Great Grandpa.  I can't wait to try this technique. 
5.  Caramel Filled Cupcakes with Whipped Caramel Frosting from Rose Bakes my absolute favorite flavor ~ caramel.  Rose makes beautiful and scrumptious creations every week.
6.  Fabric Scrap Wreath from Pretty Providence this is a beautifully created wreath using fabric scraps we all probably have laying around.  I can't wait to make some of these :)
Congrats to all who were featured ~ Don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar
Now on to the party!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sugar and Spice Muffins


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Lately I have been in the mood for muffins.

So I dusted off this recipe and made these little beauties the other day.

I had forgotten how simple yet delicious they really were.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 7

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 7

Well if you’re from my part of the country, summer vacation started yesterday!  I am so excited that for the next two ½ months I don’t have to nag teenagers to get up and get ready for school!  Yea – Summer!

My daughter graduated from High School last week and what a busy week is was.  Now onto the summer job hunt for the kiddos, should be fun :)

Well enough about me and on to you guys and your amazing talent!
I want to thank everyone who linked up last 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 my favorite features from last week (in no particular order)

1.  Stretch your garden dollar from Taking Time To Create is the most viewed feature this week.  A great fence for just a few bucks.
2.  A Fruit Cake from A Cupcake Love Affair is a brilliant use of fruit and a totally refreshing cake for the summer birthday person in your life.
3.  Beaded Earring tutorial from A Rosie Sweet Home these are beautiful red earrings you can create all by yourself with this wonderful tutorial.
4.  White Chocolate Goo Goo Clusters from Inside Bru Crew Life a brownie topped with ooey gooey yumminess.  Must try now!
5.  One Cloth - Five Ways from Creative Chaos is a beautiful way to wear one piece in 5 very unique and creative ways.
6.  Lofthouse Sugar Cookies from Stella B's Kitchen  are soft and airy cookies with an amazing Buttercream frosting.  I'm making these tomorrow and if the family's lucky I might actually share :)

Congrats to all who were featured ~ Don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar
Now on to the Party!

I'm being Featured - Stop on by

I'm being Featured - Stop on by
Happy Wednesday blogging friends!

I just wanted to let you know that I am being featured for the second time as a contributor over at  Inspired by Family Magazine blog and I am so excited that it is posted TODAY!  Hop on over and take a peek, leave a comment, or just peruse their site.

Wishing you all a great week!

Don't forget to come back later tonight and link up to my Creative Thursday Link Party :)

~Hugs~
Michelle

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Michelle's Rice Pilaf

I have always wanted to have a simple rice pilaf recipe on hand for using as a side dish when I don't want to cook potatoes for the millionth time in a row.  So I invented this recipe a few weeks ago and it was super delish!  I will be making this rice over and over again.  Super simple and tasty.

Here's what you need:

1 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
1 Tbs. butter, unsalted, at room temperature
1/2 cup white rice
1/4 cup Orzo (pasta)
2-1/4 cups water
1 Tbs. chicken bouillon
2 Tbs. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 green onions, sliced thinly

In a medium skillet heat the oil and butter over med-hi heat until the butter is almost melted.  Add the rice and orzo and cook until browned; be careful not to burn the rice and orzo.
 

 
Add water, soy sauce, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes (No peeking)  
 
Fluff with a fork and add the sliced green onion.  Stir to incorporate.  Serve.
              Mmmm  

Serves 4

Enjoy!
~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Michelle's Rice Pilaf 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thee Networking Blog Hop {May Edition}

Are you ready to network and  meet new blogging friends?  Well here's your chance

Rules:
Link up to your homepage
Follow Host and Co-Hosts
Hop ~ Network ~ Have Fun

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Maple Brown Sugar Baked Beans

With Summer right around the corner I thought it would be fun to come up with a new recipe for baked beans.  I have one recipe that I have been making for years but I would like to have a few varieties wouldn't you?  So after fiddling with the ingredients this one is my favorite by far with some of my favorite flavors in this recipe; bacon, maple syrup, and brown sugar, yum.

Can't you just taste the ribs off the barbecue and the potato salad cold from the fridge?  Well here is the perfect side dish to go along with those wonderful summer foods.  Perfect for your own backyard barbecue or to take as a Pot Luck dish.

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Here's what you need:

8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 (15 oz) cans pork and beans
1 (15.5 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.8 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large dutch oven (5qt) or oven safe stock pot cook bacon pieces on med-hi until crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
 
When bacon is crispy remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain and add the diced onions right to the bacon grease.  Cook for about 7 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
 
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.
 
 
Add the bacon back to the pot and stir.  Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer.  Place covered pot in oven and bake for 1-1/2 hours; stirring after 45 minutes.
 
Beans with become nice and thick while cooking.  Great for serving as a side dish or as a meal.

Serves 8 - 10

Enjoy!

~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Maple Brown Sugar Baked Beans

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


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 6

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 6

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day and was properly pampered just as you deserve J

I had a wonderful day spent with family and friends.  We had a barbeque and lots of yummy desserts while the kiddos played volleyball and jumped on the trampoline.

Well enough about me and on to you guys and your amazing talent!
I want to thank everyone who linked up last 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 my favorite features from last week (in no particular order).
1.  Striped Infant Hat from Little Becky Homecky a wonderfully crocheted hat she made for a friend's baby.
2.  Lace Pillowcase Dress from Sew Fantastic a beautifully designed and sewn little girls dress.
3.  Children's Furniture Makeover from Wesens-Art a beautifully reworked children's table, chairs, and storage bench all made over for a little girl.
4.  Jello Swirl Cupcakes with Jello Buttercream Icing from Chocolate, Chocolate and More these look so cute and delicious!  I want one right now please!  If it's got Buttercream Icing, I'm in :)
5.  Maple Bourbon Blackberries from Life Currents do I really need to say anything?  I am already counting the desserts I'm going to incorporate these beauties into!
6.  Brownie Almond Joy Bites from Flavors by Four these look amazing! My favorite flavors all rolled into one amazing little bite of joy.

Congrats to all who were featured ~ don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar
Now on to the Party!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

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Last week on my link party Nicole at Flavors by Four posted this recipe for Cinnamon Scones and I knew I had to make them as soon as I saw how delicious they looked.

These scones remind me of cinnamon sugar toast or even a little like a Snickerdoodle because of the cinnamon sugar flavor.

I loved how they turned out and will definitely be making them again.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Lately I have been in the mood to bake and eat muffins.  I only have a few muffin recipes so I have been searching on blogs and Pinterest for muffin recipes to try.   I found this recipe over at Dwell on Joy blog and made it last weekend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 5

Hello Blogging friends and welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 5

Wow the time sure does fly around here.  We are on the countdown to Graduation around here ~ 8 days to go ~ so I'm running a little behind.  I really thought today was Tuesday and I had one more day before this party started.  Good thing I checked the calender at 5pm :)

Well enough about me and on to you guys and your amazing talent!
I want to thank everyone who linked up last 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 my favorite features from last week (in no particular order).
1.  Decadent Chocolate Fudge Cake from Winnie's Blog ~ Who could pass up a Rich Chocolate fudge cake with White Chocolate icing?
2.  Rainbow Ruffles Cake from Rose Bakes ~ Truly a work of art in edible form.
3. Coconut Sugar Scrub from Robyn's View ~ The perfect gift just in time for Mother's Day.  Sugar and Coconut oil ~ beautiful combination.
4.  Cake Pop Ice Cream Cones from Randee's Organized Chaos ~ Could a cake pop be any cuter?  Made to look like an ice cream cone.  Perfect for a snack or Birthday Party.
5.  Glitter Shoes from Salt Tree ~ Beautifully DIY'd glitter shoes with added sparkle on the back.  My shoes can't wait to be prettified. 
6.  Tortellini Salad with Toasted Garlic Vinaigrette from That's Some Good Cookin' ~ A new twist on a cold pasta salad ~ I can't wait to try this one.

Congrats to all who were featured ~ Don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar
Now on to the party!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lemon-Blueberry Drizzle Bread

I was invited to join the "Get your Chef on" challenge hosted by Jenn at Four Marrs and One Venus and Julie at White Lights on Wednesday.  Both are great bloggers and wonderful ladies, you should go check out their sites.  In this first challenge we are to post a never before posted recipe involving lemons.  So for this challenge I decided to find a new recipe, not my own, and share the spotlight with another blog at the same time.

I have seen this recipe on Pinterest several times and just had to give it a try.  I love lemon and blueberries, especially together.  This recipe is from Jessica over at Portuguese Girl Cooks and you should really check out her blog too, she is AMAZING!  Hi Jessica!  Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

Here's what you need:
1-1/2 cups flour, all purpose
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, unsalted at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbl. grated lemon zest, fresh
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries, plus 1 tsp. flour to toss blueberries in

For the syrup
4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
4 Tbs. sugar

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, approx.  Start with 1 Tbs. and add more until you get the right consistancy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
 
 Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated after each egg, scraping down the sides as you go.
 
Add the milk and vanilla to the batter and mix until incorporated.
 
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated, scraping down the sides as you go.
 
Toss clean blueberries with 1 tsp. of flour until coated then gently fold into batter.
 

 
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 - 55 minutes.  A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
 
Cool bread in baking pan a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

While bread is baking, make the lemon syrup.  In a small saucepan heat the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook until all the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is slightly thickened.  About 2 minutes.  Be very careful this will burn if unattended.

Using a skewer, poke holes all over the top of the bread, the syrup will fill the holes and make the bread moist so don't be shy when poking the holes.  
 
After you poke the holes brush the bread with all the syrup.  It took me a few times going over the bread to use up the syrup.
Allow the bread to cool completely, a couple of hours, before glazing.

For the glaze:
In a small bowl whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice until it is the right consistency.  I added the lemon juice 1 Tbs. at a time until I achieved the right consistency.
 
Pour glaze over the top of the bread (I kept mine on a wire cooling rack over a parchment lined cookie sheet for easy clean up).
Once the glaze has set up, about 1 hour, slice and serve.

Serves - 1 loaf

Enjoy!
~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Lemon Blueberry Drizzle Bread
Recipe adapted from - Portuguese Girl Cooks

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