Background

Monday, July 11, 2016

Time To Celebrate

Happy Feast Day BAP!

Today we celebrate BAP Feast Day.  He requested pizza.  Check...I even BBQ'd frozen pizzas.  He LOVED it.  I surprised him with this fun dessert. 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
adapted from: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2015/06/pineapple-upside-down-cupcakes.html

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
24 Marashino cherries
1 (20oz) can pineapple (drain off juice and puree fruit)
1 yellow cake mix (use pineapple juice for the water, 2 eggs and melted coconut oil for the oil)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease 24 standard muffin tins.  Add a little melted butter to each muffin tin, top with brown sugar, cherry, and crushed pineapple (in that order).  Make cupcakes according to package directions (subbing above ingredients). Pour into muffin tins.  Bake 20minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before inverting.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, July 4, 2016

God Bless The USA

Happy Birthday America! 
(240 years and counting)


Today we celebrate Independence Day!  A special day for all Americans.  Also today is the birthday of one of my many cousins.  If T were still around today, she would be 36.  Instead she is smiling down on us from Heaven.

For lunch today I wanted to make an All American meal (ie, Tacos---just kidding, maybe).  I made some sloppy joes (kinda) instead.  This recipe was perfect! "Best filling ever!"

Sloppy Tot Casserole
adapted from: http://realhousemoms.com/sloppy-joe-casserole/

1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 (8oz) can no salt tomato sauce
1 (14oz) Pork and Beans
2 T mustard
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t season-all
fresh ground pepper (about 1/2 t)
2 pounds tater tots
2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9x13pan well. In a large skillet, brown beef with onion with a little bacon grease. (Drain fat if necessary).  Add remaining ingredients except for tater tots and cheese. Simmer 10 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Top with cheese.  Then layer tater tots on top.  Bake about 30-45minutes (depending how crispy you want your tots).

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Throw It Together & What Do You Get...

Throw It Together & What Do You Get....Jell-O Salad (well, sort of).  Today is my father in law birthday.  This recipe reminded me of him.  Not lettiing good leftovers go to waste, we wanted to try something new and different (spur of the moment).  Don't let the weird combination of ingredients fool you, this recipe is good.

Lemon-Lime Jell-O Salad
adapted from: http://www.momontimeout.com/2014/06/lemon-lime-jello-salad-recipe/

1 (3oz) lime jello
1 (3oz) lemon jello
1 (0.25oz) pkg unflavored gelatin
2 cups hot water
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8oz) can crushed pineapple (drained slightly)
1 (16oz) carton cottage cheese (small curd would be best)
1 cup mayonnaise

Grease a 9x13pan.  Combine all ingredients together (first the jello, gelatin and water until gritty-ness is gone); stir well.  Pour into pan.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours until firm.  Serve directly from fridge (nice and cold).  Store in the fridge too.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Slide In To Home...

Perfection!  I love it when my boys will eat something more than once (even if I doctor it up a bit the second - or tenth - time).  Today is one of my brother's birthday.  He loves the kids and we all love him.  We have many happy memories together (growing up he and I would go on Sunday coffee/steamer dates).  This recipe is for him as well as a great kick off for the summer grilling season.

(One of Many) Favorite Uncle Playing Jenga

Oven Baked Burgers
inspired by: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2016/06/baked-cheeseburger-sliders.html

1 1/2pounds ground beef (used lean)
3T bbq sauce
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
2 eggs
1/2 pkg ranch dressing packet
1T Worcestershire sauce
1 pkg Hawaiian rolls (I used 8-mini hoagie rolls)
12slices cheese (sharp is awesome)

Preheat oven to 400.  Grease a 9x13pan.  Kneed together all ingredients (except rolls and cheese). Spread thinly on the bottom of the pan.  Prick with a fork.  Bake for about 25minutes.
Separate rolls as you would open up roll.  Don't separate into individual rolls!  Place 6 slices of cheese on the bottom layer. Top with cooked meat. Top with last 6 slices and roll tops. Now cut into individual rolls.  Serve with  your favorite burger toppings.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

An Abundance of Blessings

Last weekend my parents, a few siblings as well as my sister and her family all joined us for dinner.  It was a lot of fun having everyone here.  We had a lot of fun.  I made these strawberry rhubarb bars...they were a hit. Definitely eating one for breakfast!  Today being Father's Day I thought I would share this recipe, since Dad, my husband and his dad all love rhubarb.

Irresistible Strawberry Rhubarb Bars
adapted from: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/05/strawberry-rhubarb-crisp-bars/

3 cups quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
12 T butter, melted (I used 1 stick butter and 4T coconut oil)
2T cornstarch
2T sugar
2 cups rhubarb, diced small
2 cups (1lb worth) strawberries, diced small

Preheat oven to 375.  In a bowl combine oats, brown sugar and butter.  In another bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Pour almost all (minus 1 cup) of oat mixture into the bottom of a well greased 9x13pan (line with greased parchment too). Press into the bottom to form a crust.  Top with berries-rhubarb mixture.  Sprinkle last cup of oat mixture on top.  Bake about 30-40minutes. Cool on counter slightly.  Cover and chill in fridge (store for later too).  These bars slice better when cold, as well as tasting delicious!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fun In The Sun (Before Summer Officially Hits)

Summer break has started with a bang.  We skipped the last day of school in order to embark on a 3000+ mile trek across country. Despite a few down days (carsickness and plugged toilets), we all made it back safe and sound.  We were able to squeeze in some visits with family.  Great fun! We first stopped and visited my husband's sister. He and she enjoyed a beer at the local brewery before we continued on our way.

Auntie with Nephews

Next stop was almost to our ultimate destination.  We stayed with my cousin and her husband.  SSP could not remember their names the whole time we were there.  As we departed he shouted good bye to "Tom and Jerry."  We (grown ups) all had a good laugh then we were off. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality.

"Tom and Jerry" with BAP & SSP

Next we stopped by Santa Fe in hopes to tour the Cathedral there.  However we could not since they were prepping for a Corpus Christi Procession.  This statue of St Francis of Assisi was out front; we had to get a picture.

Visiting Santa Fe

Despite carsickness, deterring us with stops every 10minutes.  We made it in order to see the bats fly out of the caverns.  Impressive!  The boys and daddy were very giddy in seeing them...me, well not so much.

First View of Bat Flights 
at Carlsbad Caverns

"Tom and Jerry" told us about the awesomeness of these sand dunes. They had the softest sands ever.  People were riding sleds down them.  We only spent about 25minutes here...next time will have to be longer, make it an all day event (at least a half day).

Great Sand Dunes (softest sand ever)

The highlight of this campground was being able to sleep in a "genuine" teepee (with electricity). Fun but cold. SSP was beyond thrilled that we were about to sleep in a teepee "for true life."

Fun Sign at the Campground

We hiked about 1.25miles along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was hot!  SSP was complaining that his legs hurt quite abit...took us 3hours....guess little legs and extreme heat don't mix well.
Grand Canyon
Someone made this watch tower for fun out of whatever materials she could find. The boys were intrigued about how the inside went "around and around."

"Artsy" Watch Tower

As I had never been through Canyonlands, Moab or Arches National Parks, we thought it would be fun to explore.  A friend of ours told us about the "more open" back road and less crowded way. Thank you Mr T for mentioning this.

Delicate Arch at Arches National Park

We stayed a campground at almost every stop. BAP was able to light "1match fires" consistently. Way to go!

BAP lighting his famous "1match fire"

This park was magnificent and huge.  The boys loved being able to explore and just play for an hour and a half.
BAP and his girl friend

SSP and his girlfiend

Hubby caught!

Return home!
Home Sweet Home

Sunday, May 15, 2016

With Tongues of Fire...

Today we celebrate Pentecost! FIFTIETH day of Easter!  Happy Birthday Mother Church! Today I wanted to make a "red" meal to represent flames of fire, as descended upon the Holy Apostles and the Blessed Virgin.
This 'red' was delicious. However BAP and SSP were saying their tongues were on fire from dinner though they did still enjoy it.

Baked Parmesan Chicken
adapted from: "A Catholic Family Cookbook Recipes for Life"

1 cup rice krispie cereal
1 1/2 cups fresh grated Parmesan
1 t Italian Seasoning
Combine in a pie plate. Set aside.

2 (heaping) minced garlic
1 t dried thyme
1 T Italian seasoning
3/4 cup butter
Melt butter with garlic.  Stir in thyme and Italian seasoning. Pour in to a second pie plate.

3 large chicken breast halves.

Coat chicken in butter mixture.  Then cover in Parmesan-cereal mix.
Place in a well greased 9x13pan. Bake at 350 for about 45minutes.

Marinara
Made up as I went

1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce (No salt added)
1 -2 T Italian Seasoning
1 T (dried) minced garlic
1 t honey
1 -2 t red pepper flakes  (made it fiery)
1/2 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper

Dump all ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Simmer on Low for about 20minutes until thickened. Pour over boiled and drained pasta (about 6-8oz worth). Serve under the chicken or on the side.