Saturday, July 28, 2012

Guest Blogger ~ Robyn's View

Hi! My name is Robyn, and I blog over at Robyn's View.

I live on the beautiful Pacific Coast. We  get a lot of rain throughout the year, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. The rain is what keeps everything green and beautiful! I am a mom, grandma, and wife to an amazing man. Some of the most popular post on my blog are: Organic Doggie Shampoo, Homemade "Pore Strip" Mask, Coconut Sugar Scrub, Homemade Ranch Dressing, Blueberry Crescent Rolls, just to name a few! I am also a part of a group called Foodie Friends Friday. We have a linky party every Friday.

(One party 18 blogs!!) I'd love to have you come over and link up your favorite recipes!

Today, I want to share my recipe for Cinnamon Honey Butter. This recipe is so easy to make and taste great on toast, bagels, or even dinner rolls. I have a sweet tooth, so this ratio of ingredients is perfect for me. If you are afraid of it being to sweet for you, start by adding half the amount of honey, give it a little taste, and then add more honey depending on your taste buds.


Here is what you will need:
3/4 cup Butter, softened
3/4 cup Raw Honey
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a medium size bowl. Beat until well combined and butter is fluffy. Place in a jar of your choice. (I like to put mine in canning jars.) I usually leave mine out on the counter, but you can store it in the refridgerator, if you prefer. Just keep in mind that doing so will cause the butter to be firm.


I want to say a big THANK YOU to Michelle for having me as her guest today on

Michelle's Tasty Creations
Crafty Idea's

Enjoy and have a great week!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 16

Welcome to Creative Thursday Link Party No. 16 ~ Can you believe it's been 4 months already?  Where did the time fly off to?  

Well, I'm still having a great time in the Mediterranean and missing you terribly, but one must do what one must do to keep the family happy :)  hehehe  I know you'd be right here with me if I'd had room in my suitcase!

By now you've met four of my five lovely guest bloggers, Lisa and Robyn posting this last week, April and Julie posting the first week, and still to come on Saturday is another wonderful Robyn so make sure you stop by.  I really appreciate you ladies for helping me out and not letting my blog get stale while I'm away ~ XOXO

Everyone should have stopped by your blogs by now because I KNOW I have the best followers out there :)

I will post the features from these two weeks when I return but you can still link up and have a great time visiting each others blogs while I'm away.

Hope everyone's summer is in full swing ~ What have YOU been up to?  Vacations, Mini Vacations, Day's at the beach, movies, visiting family, etc...?

Now on to the party!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guest Blogger ~ The Ranch Wife Chronicles

Hi, Robyn here from The Ranch Wife Chronicles.  I am a South Dakota Ranch Wife who loves being in the kitchen, taking pictures and living on the prairie. I blog about our life on a cattle ranch and my adventures.  I also try to share some tasty food along the way.  Today I am sharing a recipe for Fruit Pizza.  I have never made a fruit pizza before and have wanted to try one for a long time.
My inspiration is a Taste of Home recipe for Makeover Fruit Pizza (  I tend to use recipes as a guide to complement my personal preferences and create delicious food.  I made a couple of changes from the original recipe.   First, I used the crust recipe from my Mom’s Fresh Fruit Pie.  I wasn’t picky about any specific fruit for the topping and used orange juice in the glaze instead of pineapple juice.
Here is what I came up with:
No- Mistake ~ No-Roll Cookie Crust:
¼ C Butter
¼ C Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
3/4 C flour
Combine butter, sugar and egg yolk.  Mix in flour until crumbs form.  I used my food processor.  Press firmly into 9” square pan or roll out on a cookie sheet.  Crust will be thin.  Bake in 400 degree oven 8 minutes or until edge is browned.  Cool completely.
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat Cream Cheese
1/3 C Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over crust.  I also added a dollop of Cool Whip.  I had just a little left over from another recipe and wanted to use it up.
This is the fun part!  I cut up strawberries, a peach, a kiwi and tossed in some grapes.  Use your personal preference and favorite summer time fruits.
Arrange fruit over cream cheese filling.
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1-1/4 C Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
In a small saucepan, combine the cornstarch, orange juice and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cool slightly. Drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate until chilled.
The Hubby, my toughest critic, loved this dessert!  I hope you will enjoy this easy summer time dish as much as we do.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Blogger ~ Wine & Glue

Lisa is a new blogger and wannabe crafter, seamstress, party planner, baker, and master chef.  When she's not doing those things, it's because she's chasing around two wild, lovable, and crazy monkeys as a stay at home mom.  Check out her blog ~ Wine & Glue and follow her on Facebook.

Shhhhhh . . . . Do you hear that??

Neither do I!

My house is quiet!

It's Sunday afternoon, and Gavin and Nathan are having some much needed Gavin-daddy time.  Quinn is napping.  My kitchen is clean.  My laundry is folded can wait.

What should I do with this small piece of heaven known as a quiet home??

Enter my Adult Iced Coffee.

Have you met my friend?  UV Whipped?*

The smart people at UV have worked their way into my cocktail lovin' brain and found yet another flavor of vodka to make me drool over.

And added to iced coffee?  Oh. Sweet. Goodness.

Why am I still blogging?

* I'm not getting any money from UV.  They don't even know I exist.  Yet.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 15

Welcome blogging friends - It's time for another link party and as you know I'm on Vacation for the next two weeks so I'm sorry to say there won't be any features from this party until I return.  But you can still link up and visit each other while I'm away :)

By now you have met two of my guest bloggers, April and Julie, and hopefully you've made time to visit each of their blogs.  They are all wonderful ladies with awesome blogs who jumped at the chance to help out a friend :)  

Wishing you all the best this week :)

Now on to the party!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guest Blogger ~ White Lights on Wednesday

Hi Everyone!

I'm Julie from White Lights on Wednesday!

I'm really exciting to be on Michelle's blog today and meeting all of you!

I'm a dedicated link party attendee and reader.  

So it's extra fun to be on the other side of Michelle's blog today.

Since we don't really know each other, and I'm totally awesome - ha! - here's a little about me.  I live in Arizona.  Yes, it's stupid hot in the summer.  I love to cook and bake.  I'm pretty much obsessed with freshly clean sheets, they're amazing!  I LOVE Love love to eat cookies.  And I like wine and whiskey.  Not together though...ewww.  

There.  Now we can be friends.  :)

To give you an idea of what goes on over at my blog, here are a few my readers' favorite posts.

(1) Guinness Gingerbread
(2) Thin Mint Knock Offs
(3) Chocolate Wasted Cake

Just for fun, I thought I'd have a little show and tell with you all.
1955 Chevrolet - 210 Del Ray
You know you want it.

This car is how I knew Mike thought I was a keeper.  We were going out one night, and I asked who was DD for the night.  My turn.  Whoopee.  When we left to go pick up our other friend, we left in the 55.  I asked to confirm if I was still driving home later.  Mike said I was.  {I'd never driven the 55}  I double checked that he knew that meant I was driving his baby home.  He replied, "It's just a car."  Any girl in her right mind knows it's not "just a car."  Silly man acting like it's no big deal.  Please.  So I drove home that night and LOVED it!

Frequently I find Mike out in the garage around dinner time working on the car.  When he's M.I.A. I like to make wicked easy dinners since I'm watching the kids too.  This pasta is yummy and perfect with your favorite baguette loaf.  I'll take any excuse I can to buy an entire loaf of bread and eat 75% of it myself.

And I recommend listening to The Joy Formidable while you cook.  Yep.  I do.

Roasted Shrimp with Lemon Pasta

From Ina Garten

2 pounds raw (17/20 ct) shrimp, peeled and deveined
Good olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pound angel hair pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup olive oil
zest and juice of 2 lemons

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Place shrimp in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Spread shrimp out on a sheet pan in one layer.  Roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until they're pink and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add the angel hair and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta.  Quickly toss the angel hair with the melted butter, 1/4cup olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and the reserved cooking liquid.  Add the shrimp and serve hot with crusty bread.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Guest Blogger - April's Country Life

Hello!  I'm April and I am soooo excited and honored that Michelle has given me the opportunity to do my first ever guest post.  I started my blog just a few months ago and Michelle has been such an encouragement and inspiration from the beginning - I can see why you all love her so much.  I am mom of two awesomely funny, brilliant and loving kids (I know we all say that, right? OK, so while that is true they love animals, hockey, crafts, rough-housing with their dad and currently, smart-mouthing).  My daughter is my mini-me and my son is a small total guy already.  My husband and I are your not-so-typical-anymore high-school sweethearts and he is my perfect balance and compliment.  We have two handfuls of critters running around the mix and we both work full-time.  I'm probably a contradiction to myself most of the time because I like a little bit of everything and while I am a total Type-A, I usually have way too much going on to stop running in circles.  I started my blog to meet friends like you and I hope you'll become a regular visiting with me there!

Frugal, cheap, penny-pincher...whatever you like...I'm not offended.  When times were good those were bad words and everyone steered clear of them.  Since the crash of the housing market and the recessions began, those words and things like re-purposing and up-cycling have become all the rage.

Growing up in a small farming community, we always did things the frugal way.  My great-grandparents lived through the Great Depression and never lived in excess.  My grandparents got married and had babies young and bought their farm and saw up years and down years and never knew what kind of year it would be.  They had 5 girls to provide for.  Food was precious - much of it was grown right there.  My mom was the oldest of her sisters so she had the job of making most of the meals while Grandma and Grandpa were out in the fields and had learned how to stretch basic ingredients to satisfy growing kids.

My parents also met and married young, and although they waited a couple of years before I entered the picture, they also lived paycheck to paycheck, worked extra jobs to be able to buy their house and put food on the table.  My mom worked long nights at a second job to allow my dad the freedom to start his own business - both put in long hours and I learned how to put together salads and casseroles at an early age.  By the time I was 10, I pretty much had my younger brother and I home from school, snacks and homework done, and dinner on the table when my parents got home every night.  Doing this gave me the freedom to be creative though - nobody could tell me I wasn't following the recipe right and I had to learn the hard way what things went well together and what didn't.  I also started to enjoy taking leftovers and turning them into something else the next day - and I still do now as I feed my two growing kids and handsome hubster.  So I'm sharing with you a series of meals that you can make from a single roasted chicken and a handful of pantry staples.  This would be possibly the world's longest blog post if it were all done in one post so I hope you'll come back to see the rest!

First, I start with a lovely roasted chicken.  In this case, I'm starting with a roast deli chicken.  I can get these for about $8 already seasoned, injected, and cooked perfectly at my local grocery store.  Or I could buy one that I have to clean, season, and roast for hours for $6.  For weeknight meals I totally find the extra $2 worth it - remember that you are getting multiple meals out of this one chicken.  This one has been cooled.

I start by removing the string used to tie the drums, then pulling off the drums, thighs and wings.  Most deli chickens are so moist you can just pull these sections off with your hands but you may need to slice them off at the joints.  Then I slice the breast thinly and this is what I am left with.

Meal #1 - Bruschetta Chicken

Take a loaf of nice bread - I used rye here - and slice.

Lay on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with olive oil, garlic salt, pepper and oregano.  Bake at 425 about 5 minutes or until the bottom is starting to dry out and get firm.

Lay a slice of chicken breast on each piece of bread and top generously with shredded cheese - I use Colby Jack but Mozzarella or Italian blend would be great too.
Pop it back in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is warmed through and the cheese is melted.  Top with a generous spoon or two of your favorite marinara or serve it on the side as dipping sauce.  Serve with salad.  I made 8 bruschetta.

Meal #2 - Lunch

Pack the drums and any leftover breast slices with a large salad for a husband-pleasing lunch the next day.

Meal #3 - Quesadillas

While your bruschetta is cooking, strip the remaining meat off your carcass and the thighs and wings.  Keep the bones, skin and any dry pieces of meat and set aside separately.  Finely shred the chicken.

Add 1 diced tomato, 1/2 an onion finely diced, a few banana pepper sliced finely diced, and a finely diced green pepper - in this case I used a mildly spicy pepper from my garden that I can't remember the name, lol.

Mix together well.  Now this mixture can sit in the fridge covered for a couple of days just fine.  When you are ready to use it, all you need is flour tortillas, shredded cheese and sour cream.

Fill your tortillas with a handful of the chicken mixture and a handful of your cheese mixture and fold in half.  Heat in a skillet until each side is crispy and lightly browned.  Open and spread a little sour cream inside.  Close and slice into 3 wedges.  I made 6 quesadillas.

Meal #4 - Lunch

Use the rest of the chicken mix over lettuce with shredded cheese and ranch dressing for a great cold salad
lunch.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Meal #5 - That's right! Remember your carcass and scraps? You are not done yet?  Visit me at April's Country Life tomorrow to see the final recipe!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Vacation

As some of you may know already (I'm terrible at keeping exciting news) I'm leaving tomorrow for a wonderful Mediterranean Cruise!  Yipee!  I can hardly wait!  We have been planning this since December and it's finally here.  
Totally swiped this sketch (Isn't it the cutest) from Rose over at A Rosie Sweet Home  ~ Thanks Rose :)

Since my house sitter isn't into blogging (Crazy lady) I have scheduled five wonderful ladies who will be guest blogging for me while I'm gone.  You will see posts from April over at April's Country Life, Julie over at White Lights on Wednesday, Lisa of Wine and Glue, as well as Robyn over at The Ranch Wife Chronicles and Robyn of Robyn's View.  Hi Ladies!

These women stepped up as soon as I asked for guest bloggers and I am forever grateful for their help.  You need to check out their blogs too ~ they are AMAZING! Stop by and tell them I sent you over for a look see.  Be sure to come back and see what they post in the next two weeks too :)

Don't think I didn't remember my link party.  I have scheduled the next two weeks so make sure to come by and link up what you've been working on.  I will be posting features as soon as I return (well, maybe the next day)  

Ciao Bella!

Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia salad ~ now that's a word from yesteryear that accompanies a picture in my head of some kind of orange fluff I was too afraid to try.  I remember it being at all the family get together's while growing up.

Well, last week on my link party I saw this delicious recipe from Kelley over at The Grant Life and she inspired me to create my own.  So I looked through my cookbook and found one I had forgotten about from my cousin Elena's Mom Connie.  I have had Connie's version several times and it's delicious. But me being me, I really wanted to incorporate some new ingredients so I combined some of Kelley's ingredients with some of Connie's and I came up with a new and super delicious Ambrosia Salad.  Give it a try ~ Don't be afraid ~ it's really yummy :)  Let me know what'cha think.

Pin It

Looks kinda like ice cream huh?  Tastes just as yummy too :)

Here's what you need:
1 - 3 oz. fruit punch Jell-O gelatin mix
1 - 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits with juice
1/2 of a 14 oz. package of sweetened coconut (approx 1 - 1-1/2 cups)
8 oz. tub of Cool whip
1/4 cup sour cream

Super simple directions ~

Place all ingredients in a medium to large bowl and mix well.
I'd never heard of the fruit punch Jell-O before.  It sure is yummy!
It's like a pink fluffy cloud of yummy goodness!

After it's all mixed together and you've had several bites just to be sure it's mixed well enough, place in the fridge for a few hours (at least 2 up to overnight) to get cold and set.  
Great as a summer side dish to any meal or all by itself for, breakfast, lunch, or a snack :)

Some additional add in’s you could use:
Mandarin oranges
Mini marshmallows
Fruit cocktail
Different flavors of Jell-O

Serves 8 - 10


Here's the handy printable - Ambrosia Salad 

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

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Creative Thursday Link Party No. 14

Well, summer has officially hit us in Northern California and we are having blazin' hot days in the high 90's to low 100's.  YUK!

I am SO not a summer person.  I don't mind the sunshine and warm weather but at least have the grace to cool off at night so I can open my windows!

For those of us who started summer early, we go back to school in just 5 weeks if you can believe that.  We have been boating a few times, up to my parents for the 4th of July and are getting ready for our BIG trip of the summer (more to come on this Friday; until then you will be in suspense lol )

Are you ready to party?  I am!

I want to thank everyone who linked up two weeks ago; we had a whopping 164 posts on my link party (happy dance and confetti!) BIGGEST PARTY EVER!

I also want to thank everyone who links up each and every week; ESPECIALLY in the summer because I know exactly how busy life can be and I really do appreciate your taking the time to spend a few minutes with me each week.  I enjoy reading all the stories behind each post :)

A warm welcome to all the new bloggers following and participating in Creative Thursday.

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 (bottom two rows because I wanted to choose every post) from last week.  In no particular order

1.  Chicken Parmesan Sliders from The Grant Life Yum!  Can't wait to try this recipe.
2.  Cheesy Grilled Potatoes from It's not just about the recipe cheese and potatoes ~ need I say more?
3.  American Chevron Quilt from So Wonderfully Complex a beautiful patriotic quilt.
4.  Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones from Meaningful Mama love this idea and so will every kiddo.
5.  Cyanotype Prints from Art Club Blog also know as sun printing and so very cool!
6.  Artichoke Dip Stuffed Mushrooms from Dishing With Leslie these are the perfect summer party appetizer.
7.  Ragtop Blankets and Burp Clothes from Adventures of a DIY Mom super soft and homemade, makes me want one too.
8.  No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Parfait from Stop Lookin' Get Cookin' the perfect go to summer dessert that won't heat up the kitchen.
9.  Toy Storage Ideas from There was a crooked house this is the perfect storage idea for toys or anything else that needs to be sorted and stored. In my house it would be perfect for shoes! Yes, we have that many lol

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

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My 4th of July and Creative Thursday No. 12 Featured Posts

Hello blogging friends!  How was your 4th of July?  Ours was amazing.  We spent 5 days at my parents on a lake with a houseful of family and friends.  The kids got to go wake boarding, sailing, and play in the water while the adults got to go fishing, play board games and play in the water too.  Here are a few pictures from my week away.
Gorgeous picture of the lake from my parents back yard.
 Grandsons and friend using Papa's Hobie Cat.
Family friends on the paddle boat
My son Justin wake boarding
My daughter Jessica wake boarding and single skiing
My nephew Paul, daughter Jessica, and her beautiful friends
My nephew Paul wake boarding.  I couldn't resist the fall!
My best friends daughter

My brother Darrell and the big mouth bass he caught.  Me and the icky fish after I helped net it, YUK!
Fireworks they shoot out over the lake - not bad for an i-phone huh
Happy Birthday Dad!

Now enough about me ~ What did you guys do for the 4th of July?  Did you spend the day with family and friends, have a BBQ, watch fireworks?
Hopefully you all had as wonderful a day as I had spending time with loved ones.

Because I was away from my computer last week I couldn't do my featured favorites from No. 12 link party.
Here are the top three featured favorites from Creative Thursday No. 12  (1 - 3)
and my three featured favorites (4 - 6) in no particular order
1.  Fake cleaning 101 from Confessions of an ADD Housewife this has some great tips for quick pick up around the house and I know I've done at least two of them.
2.  Playing with PicMonkey from: Natasha In Oz - great pictures from holiday in Paris. Ooh la la
3.  Pavlova from Tartan Tastes in Texas a wonderfully light meringue dessert with fresh whip cream and berries, Yum!
4.  Buttery Rolls from Love Bakes Good Cakes nothing like fresh yeast bread or rolls baking in the oven!
5.  Layered drinks from Sugar Bean Bakers an awesome way to layer colored drinks!
6.  Mini Peach Cobbler from The Recipe {critic} perfect sized dessert for everyone at the table.  YUM  - Love those fruit desserts in the summer!

Congrats to everyone who was featured ~ You guys are amazing and I couldn't do these link parties without you.  

Don't forget to grab a button from the sidebar.