Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dinner Tonight

I'm excited, because for the first time ever, I have all of the ingredients on hand to make my mom's super yummy enchilada casserole! It's a family get-together favorite! It's perfect with a side of tortilla chips and salsa. Here is my mom's version of this delicious casserole! Can you tell I'm hungry?!? I'm ready to eat!!!

Nancy's Enchilada Casserole
1/2 large onion, chopped (I'm cheating and using frozen)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped (I'm not using this, but it does make it extra delicious!)
1 lb. ground beef
1 can mild enchilada sauce
1 can chopped green chilies
1 pkg corn tortillas (Actually, I lied, I don't have these, so I'm using tortilla chips!)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups Velveeta cheese, grated

Brown beef in skillet w/salt and pepper, onion and bell pepper. Drain off grease. Add soups, enchilada sauce, chilies and milk. Stir well and heat. Cut tortillas in fourths and line greased casserole dish with half of the tortillas. Add half of beef mixture, half of both cheeses. Then add the rest of tortillas, the rest of beef mixture and rest of both cheeses. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

This feeds quite a few! I'll probably put some in the freezer for another day. Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chocolate Chip Crumb Bars Recipe

While I wait for paint to dry....

Here is the recipe for the Chocolate Chip Crumb Bars (these are pictured in a previous blog). These are really good, but not necessarily my favorite bar recipe ever. Josh liked them better than I did. They kind of taste like a chocolate pie, but in the form of a cookie bar. If you like chocolate chips and shortbread, then this is for you!

I adapted this recipe from the Nestle Toll House cookbook. The original recipe is called "Chocolatey Raspberry Crumb Bars". I was actually just looking for a recipe that called for everything that I had on hand. Apparently I didn't have eggs, so this was perfect:)

Chocolate Chip Crumb Bars

1 c. butter, softened
2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips, divided
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 baking pan

Beat butter in large bowl until creamy. Beat in flour, sugar and salt until crumbly. With flour fingers, press 1 3/4 c. crumb mixture onto bottom of baking pan; reserve remaining mixture.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown

Microwave 1 cup chocolate chips and condensed milk in medium bowl, uncovered, for 1 minute. Stir. Chocolate chips may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10-15 second intervals, stirring, until morsels are melted. Spread over hot crust.

Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over chocolate layer and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until center is set. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes 3 dozen bars


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Homemade Chocolate Syrup Recipe

I ran out of chocolate syrup, but had a craving for chocolate milk. I didn't feel like getting out just for chocolate syrup. So, I found the recipe below. The great thing is that it is much cheaper, preservative free, you more than likely already have the ingredients on hand, and it tastes great in chocolate milk and on ice cream!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup
recipe courtesy of Recipezaar....**I halved the recipe below

1/2 c. cocoa powder
3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. water
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whisk together cocoa, salt and sugar. Add water, and cocoa/sugar mixture to a 3 qt pot. Boil for 2-5 minutes (I boiled for 3 minutes), whisking continuously. Take off heat and add vanilla. Transfer to another container (jar, clean old syrup container, etc.) and store in the refrigerator.


Monday, August 18, 2008

One last giveaway for the summer...

I won't bore you with the details here. So, check it out at my Blessings and Bows blog! Good luck!


Rainy Days and Mondays

I am having one of those days where I have a long "to-do" list, but little energy/motivation to complete any of the items on it! These dreary days make it really hard for me to be motivated!
Maybe a Cherry Coke and some peanut M&Ms will do the trick!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

The icing on the cake

I'm sitting here daydreaming about how nice it would be to win THIS!! It would be just perfect! We have a carseat/stroller combo for infants, but this would be great, too!! Check it out, courtesy of strollermama.com on momdot.com

I want to cook!

Chocolate Chip Crumb Bars

I haven't cooked in several days and I'm missing it! I've baked this past week (Freckle Face's Symphony Brownies, Chocolate Chip Crumb Bars (pictured), and Chocolate Chip Cookies...I'll post recipes soon!), which I love to do, but I only cooked about 1 or 2 dinners. I'm really wanting to try this recipe! I've had it on my menu for 2 weeks and I still haven't gotten to it! Hopefully this will be the week! One super easy and good recipe from my favorite source, Real Simple, is for Teriyaki- Glazed Burgers. I have never had a bad recipe from Real Simple! They're all great! You should try them out!!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another Chance to Win!


Check out this link for a chance to win a clipboard at MomDot!!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Waiting Game

We had a successful home study tonight! It was easier than I expected, so that's good! Now we just have to wait to get our fingerprints back and then we're ready to go. So, please pray that those go through quickly and do not get rejected! We just have to be patient now (easier said than done)!

Thanks for all of the offers for us to borrow baby goods! I will definitely keep you all in mind if/when the need arises! Thanks so much!! Thank you also for all of the kind comments!

Having the home study got me inspired to do some "spring cleaning". I never did any of that this spring, so I spent all day deep-cleaning my house, organizing closets, finishing projects, etc. I feel so much better now!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Projects Completed!

I have been working on a few kitchen projects around the window.

Curtain Before: Curtain After: (notice the black "bistro" letters)

Bistro letters got a facelift:

More pics of the new curtains I made (I heart the fabric!):

Baby room letters: (this is why I paint usually and don't decoupage....notice the bubbles?!?)

More baby room pics with the crib!!


Thursday, August 7, 2008


The Blogger Bash tonight was super fun!! Glad that so many of you gals were able to come out!!

We are at the final stages of preparation for foster parenting and are getting super excited!! We have a half day of training on Saturday, a home study on Tuesday and then we're ready to go! I have been working on getting the nursery ready to go. Thanks to some very wonderful people, we have had to purchase very little for the nursery! We were given a crib, rocker and money for a mattress by my wonderful in-laws!! Some friends provided us with a bathtub, swing, stroller, bouncy seat, car seat, tons of clothes, bottles, burp rags, blankets, and LOTS more!! We appreciate our supportive friends and family for their prayers, donations and general support! We are super excited to get everything going!!

The nursery was painted before we moved in
The 2nd row (covered with curtain) is completely full of children's books!

The view of the room from the door. I still have several things to do, including getting the crib up (on the left wall)
I made this salad on Wednesday and I loved it! It was super easy and "real simple":) Here is the recipe for this fresh, yummy, and light southwestern salad! Serve it with Mexican food for a great side dish!

Cool Southwestern Salad with Corn and Avocado

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple magazine

2 small heads romaine lettuce, cut into bite-size pieces (about 12 cups) (I used bagged hearts of romaine salad)

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob (about 1 cup)

2 avocados, chopped

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used about 1/2 c.)

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and pepper

I added probably 1 to 2 cups of halved grape tomatoes

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, beans, corn, avocados, onion, and cilantro.In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, cumin, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle over the salad and toss. Yield: Makes 4 (main dish sized) servings

**My variations are in italics**

Monday, August 4, 2008


Calling all bloggers and stalkers! Hope to see you there!!! I will have a few things there available for purchase and custom order. I am debuting a few new products, too! There will be some other wonderful shops, too!!

Please email me for location details!!!

As an extra incentive, print out THIS BLOG ENTRY and receive 15% off one Blessings and Bows item (one coupon per person)! Yes, tonight's blog is actually a coupon!! Just bring it with you to the party on August 7th and pick out or order something for yourself or for a gift! This offer is only good on August 7th during the Blogger Bash, may not be combined with other discounts/offers, must be presented in person and can only be used once.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Sewing and stalling

I have been stalling from doing the things I should be doing: laundry, dishes, cleaning house, cooking, etc. and SEWING!! I'm actually really enjoying it! Sadly, pretty much the only thing I know how to sew is curtains (although I did make 2 pillows for our bed!). So, I've been skirting lots of bookcases and redoing curtains lately. Here are the rest of this week's projects:

Before pic of my paints in the kitchen:After:I loved this fabric so much, the leftovers needed to find a home in my living room!Do you recognize this fabric? I bought 11/2 yds and used it for the TV stand, this bathroom curtain and for a runner on a table in the living room! Not bad for $9.

Bandana apron-I found this cute zebra apron and thought it would be super cute with hot pink ribbon and a zigzag stitch!