Archive | November, 2011


26 Nov

It’s our family tradition to decorate our home for Christmas the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I love decorating for Christmas, I always have. When I was little, I was lucky enough to decorate at my house and my grandparents house each year! I remember being so excited while slowly unwrapping each delicate ornament for the tree.

This year, I wanted to add to some of my decorations, but still be cost conscious. Isn’t it expensive to buy some of the Christmas decor from major retailers? I find myself having sticker shock when I see a bird nest ornament at Target for over $7 and see the hot glue holding the bird from falling out of the nest! Ugh!

While shopping at the local 99cent store, I found garland snowflakes and a string of 20 white lights for .99cents each! Project!

I first unwrapped the light string and started to gently push each light into the plastic spaces between the snowflake garland, I did this until every bulb was stuck in place. That’s all this project took! It was so easy and I got 4 light up snowflakes for $2 each!

When do you start decorating for the holidays?

Guess who’s back?

25 Nov


Our hard working elf made his journey back from the North Pole. We adopted Cheese last year and my daughter was the one to name him. The Elf on the Shelf is a popular book that explains the story behind the elves. It’s an great story and has now become a Christmas tradition. I’ll keep you posted on Cheese’s shenanigans this Christmas season. 
What Christmas traditions have you adopted with your family? 

Happy Thanksgiving!

24 Nov

We hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday! Looking forward to leftovers and shopping! Can you believe Christmas will be here before we know it? Anyone planning on braving the Black Friday sales? If you are…Good Luck and hope you score some good loot! Cheers!

Pumpkin Dump Cake

23 Nov

Recently, while on a trip to my grandma’s house, I acquired MANY cans of evaporated milk. My grandma often supplies us grandkids with random pantry items as parting gifts. I can never tell what I’ll leave home with! I have received, oranges, pomegranates, coffee creamers, gift bags, sewing items, water bottles. She told me, “I know you’ll do something with these.” Well Grandma, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I have used on can, of the many, to make Pumpkin Dump Cake.

I discovered this great desert idea while scouring Pinterest. I’m a sucker for pumpkin anything and immediately “pinned” this. I followed this recipe here, by Cookies & Cups. There are many reasons that I love the concept of the dump cake.

1- very easy to make (little prep time)

2- I had almost all of the ingredients in my pantry

3- It’s kid friendly (if you like help in the kitchen)

4- Did I mention how easy it was?

I mixed together a can of pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and spice in one bowl. Next, pour into a prepared (with PAM) 9×13 dish. Top the batter with a box of yellow cake mix (sprinkled evenly) and chopped pecans. Lastly, a step only Paula Deen would approve of, evenly pour 1 cup (2 sticks) of melted butter all over the top! Check out the full recipe from Cookies & Cups… such a great idea!

While I don’t think this would replace anyones tradition of Pumpkin Pie on Thanksgiving, share the love at a work pot luck!

Scrumptious Side Dish

22 Nov

I know most people HATE brussels sprouts…I hope you try this and change your mind! I saw this recipe on Pinterest, it originated from Eat Live Run. I thought that I’d try something different. Typically I roast them by taking the brussels sprouts, toss them in a little bit of olive oil, spread them out on a baking pan, add a dash of salt and pepper. I stick them into a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking them occasionally. I love to simply roast veggies, cauliflower is my favorite to roast!

I made Carmelized Brussels Sprouts as a side dish for dinner tonight. I try to change up the way we eat vegetables, mostly for the kids, because I like to try new things with some of my favorite foods. The recipe was easy to follow, I was able to prep and cook dinner ALONE with both kids! That alone tells you how easy it is! The dish was light, crisp and slightly sweet. I prepared porkchops as the main dish. The porkchops made a nice contrast to the sprouts. I would try this recipe again… maybe even add it as a Thanksgiving side dish?!

How do you take your brussels sprouts?

After seeing this recipe pinned, I wanted to try it out! Brussels Sprouts also make a great side dish to turkey!

Pecan Pie…with a twist

21 Nov

The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun. There are so many reasons for me to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for my family, our health, my job, and so much more! What are you thankful for this year?  
I can’t wait for Thursday! My In-laws make the best Thanksgiving dinner. There is always one complaint from my husband, never about the dinner…just dessert. Traditionally, we always have apple pie and pumpkin pie, no complaints here because I love both! My husbands favorite pie is pecan pie and every year I make him his own pie for Thanksgiving.  

I have made many different recipes for pecan pie. I tried traditional pecan pie, Paula Deen’s bourbon pecan pie…each tastes great! I recently found a recipe that may be the best yet! Bourbon, Chocolate & Walnut Pecan Pie and the recipe was right under my nose, in my cookbook, “It’s all American Food” by David Rosengarten. 

It’s rich and delicious! What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?  


An Update: Calavasa

10 Nov

I realized that I only posted photos of the zucchini and not some during and finished product photos from my calavasa blog. Moment of laziness… so here’s what happens while making the ooey gooey goodness that my grandma fed us as young ones:

Hope you enjoyed and if you need the recipe… click here.


2 Nov

It’s Movember so grow a ‘stache. If you don’t know why or need a clue. Click on Movember… and the image above is from here.

Send us your best ‘stache idea or photo! Just for fun.