Thursday, December 29, 2011


Tomorrow Riley turns 8. I'm not sure exactly where the time has gone.....I'm sure every parent thinks that thought, but what a JOY she has brought us! She is a sweet, sassy, funny bundle of energy, all wrapped up in this pretty little package!
Turning "2" ~

Always hamming it up for the camera~

Sweet little bug....

Riley has always been outnumbered, the majority of our friends have boys...she will have lots of protectors as she gets older....

The princess turns 5...

First day of kindergarten - she was so excited!

Hanging at the beach with cousins....again, all boys!

Santa's little elf...she was an elf in her kindergarten play...

Riley is the one in the brown, paisley dress, she is ALWAYS skipping...


Catching fish with Paw Paw...

Enjoying her ladybug table & chairs...

Christmas 2010



Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa Hat Brownies!

So we went to a Christmas Party on Saturday night and were hosted by some of the best people!! Sherri had such a festive theme going with her food, I wish I would have taken pictures of it all, but it has inspired to find the time to host a party! Anyway, I brought along a dessert to share...what FUN these are to make and SUPER DUPER EASY!!

I made brownies and then baked them in my mini muffin tins....

Once they were cooled, I piped on whipped cream icing, followed with a strawberry that was topped with a small dollop of the icing....

Arent' they too cute? They were pretty tasty too!

Hope you all get inspired this season....invite me over for a taste test of your finished product!

Santa Hat Brownies

1 Box of Brownie Mix (I made mine from was the recipe on the side of the Hershey's Cocoa container).


Whipped Cream Icing

DIRECTIONS: Mix and bake brownies according to package directions, for cake like brownies. If using a mini muffin tin, coat pans with cooking spray, fill pans about 2/3 full and bake approx. 12-15 minutes. (If you don't have mini muffin tins, you could bake in a 9x13 and using a small round cookie cutter, cut out bite size brownies). Remove brownies to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, pipe icing around the brownie, place strawberry on and then squirt a dollop of icing on the top. Enjoy!


1/2 C. Crisco

1/2 C. Butter

1 C. Sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

3 Tbsp. Flour

2/3 C. Milk

Mix all ingredients together on low mixer setting, for 1 minute. Beat at high speed for 12 minutes!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Easy Pork Chops!

So, I bet your wondering why I have an onion soup mix box when I titled the post "pork chops". Let me tell ya!! I was ready to go this shopping is done for Thanksgiving, my meal plan is together for the week, my schedules are coordinated and then BAM! I thawed my pork chops out last night so they would be ready to go today. I got home from work and was getting ready to make the Ranch Pork Chops I had planned, only to discover that DUH, I forgot to buy the dry ranch seasoning mix that was the only other thing I needed besides pork chops. Well, after a little brainstorming (and scrounging through the cupboards) I found this...

That's it! Nothing else to fuss over!! I think they were some of the tastiest pork chops I have ever had!! No kidding. Served with a baked potato and pease....the meal was complete!!

Onion Soup Mix Pork Chops

1 pkg. Dry Onion Soup Mix
4 Boneless Pork Chops
DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to 425 Degrees. Using broiler pan, place pork chops on pan, that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle onion soup mix onto both side of pork chops. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked thru.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Easy Bake!

Hmmm....maybe now that I am working more, Ry could do a "guest" post.

Reading over the directions.

Baking by a light bulb, doesn't get better than that...

Mixing away...

No pictures of the finished product...she ate it before I had a chance to get the camera!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars!

I realize it has been two weeks since my last post! Sorry. I have started a new job at the hospital and have been orienting and training! Even though my menus have been planned and my family has been fed, I haven't had a lot of extra time for posting!

Anyhow, I have been researching some different dessert recipes for Thanksgiving. I would like to do a bite-size buffet of desserts because, well, I love desserts and honestly, I can never decided on just one thing to have and then that leads up to ALOT of dessert that I shouldn't really eat but do. So, I found this recipe on the internet and I made it this week to "try" and I am still on the fence about it, Jimmy likes it though. (I do love the gingersnap crust). Why don't you try it and leave me a comment on if you liked it or not.....

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars w/ Gingersnap Crust
Adapted from Kicked Up Cookie Recipes Makes about 24 bars

2 cups finely crushed gingersnaps (about 30 cookies)
1/4 cup salted butter, melted

1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan. Combine crushed gingersnaps and melted butter in a small bowl. Press mixture into bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes or until crust is firm. Set aside to cool.
While the crust is cooling, stir together pumpkin, flour, and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. In a large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate completely after each addition. Stir 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese batter into the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour the remaining cream cheese batter over cooled crust. Spoon the pumpkin batter over top of cream cheese batter and using a butter knife, gently spread evenly over the cheesecake mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is set. Cool at room temperature for about an hour, then chill in the refrigerator before cutting into bars.


Monday, October 31, 2011


We have covered a lot of costumes in 9 years.....a firefighter, a princess, a baseball player, a ladybug, Dumbo and a mouse, a black cat, Frankenstein, Pippi ~ you get the idea. This year...well, here it is

and Hoot, OWL!

Happy Halloween!

Enjoy all your treats!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Birthday Boy and His Birthday Treat for School!

JD turns 9 tomorrow! I can't believe how quickly the time flies! This was the baby we waited and prayed for, for a looooooooong time! What a joy he has brought to our lives! He is so full of adventure and activity that there never seems to be a dull moment. He lives life with so much gusto and energy! He will talk your ear off....unless he is fishing! Here is a little flashback....(sorry, the pics got out of order!).
I think this is one of my favorite pics of him...

First day of kindergarten...he couldn't wait to get on that bus!

Turning "5" with his best buds...

This was the year of the firefighter....

Wish they could stay this little...

Age 9

First year of football 2011

This is the fun treat he is taking for school......all you need is Mini Hershey Bars, Ghost Peeps, Graham Crackers.

Oh, and fun ribbon...

Package up.....

Tie with fun ribbon.....



Happy Birthday, Jimmy!

Whew, what a weekend! I can't believe we actually got snow in October? Who has ever heard of such a crazy thing, who knows, maybe it will be 80 degrees on Christmas!! But, it was nice to sit back and not be in a hurry! Kinda makes me ready for more of the white stuff......
Today was my hubby's birthday! We had a great, relaxing, lunch at Red Robin and lounging around the house, watching the kids play in the snow!

To end our evening, we had these for a little birthday treat!

Happy birthday to the best husband and daddy!

To make the Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae.......mix up your favorite cookie dough recipe. Take all of the dough and pat it into a round pizza pan. Bake. Cool. Serve with favorite ice cream and toppings!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Roll = Yum!

I know I should be posting about what I had for dinner, however, last night the kids didn't love dinner (although the hubs did), so I will skip right to dessert....they all agree on this!! (BTW~we just had hot ham & cheese sandwiches last night....I made them on french toast though.....I think that was the part the kids didn't love)!

Mix together eggs and sugar until light in color. Add in pumpkin.

Once pumpkin is blended in, add dry ingredients and spices....some people mix the dry ingred. in a separate bowl~I don't. I know, I am a rebel.....but I have never had a problem with throwing stuff altogether so.....all I can say is go ahead, live on the edge!

Pour batter onto a 15x11 cookie sheet, that is lined with greased wax paper.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes after baking.

Now the tricky part.....flip your cake roll onto a clean, powder sugar dusted, lint free dish towel.

(And yes, the powdered sugar will fly!). Cool for another 5-10 minutes before rolling.

Roll up...and cool completely.

Once cool, unroll

Fill with cream cheese filling....

Roll back up WITHOUT the dish towel.

Store in refrig. until ready to serve. Slice and enjoy. Leftovers (if there are any) should be stored in the fridge.


3 Eggs

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

2/3 C. Pumpkin (I used Libbys Brand)

3/4 C. Flour

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

2 Tsp. Cinnamon

1 Tsp. Ginger

1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp. Cloves

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with waxed paper and grease the paper. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, with a hand mixer, blend eggs and sugars until thick and light yellow in color. Add pumpkin. Once pumpkin is blended in, add flour, baking powder and spices. Mix well. Pour into pan and spread out to cover the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes. Dust dish towel with powdered sugar. Turn cake out onto towel. Cool another minutes. Roll up in a jelly roll fashion. Cool completely.

Once cool, unroll and fill with cream cheese frosting. Roll bake up (without towel).


8 oz. Cream Cheese

3/4 C. Powdered Sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped until stiff peaks form

DIRECTIONS: Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Blend in the whipped cream. (Can also substitute 1 Cup of cool whip if desired).


Friday, October 21, 2011

English Muffin Garlic Bread...

Who doesn't love an english muffin? All those nooks and crannies for the butter...topped with cinnamon sugar for a breakfast treat....made into those little pizzas you ate as a kid. Well, tonight I made them into little garlic bread treats. Oh. My. Word. That's all I have to say, well, that and have a good weekend!!
Spread with butter and Italian Garlic Bread mixture...

After baking...ready to eat!

English Muffin Garlic Bread Rounds

2 English Muffins, split

2 Tbsp. Butter - softened

2 tsp. Tastefully Simple Italian Garlic Bread Seasoning Mix

Sprinkle of Mozzarella Cheese

DIRECTIONS: Heat oven to the broil setting. Split muffins and place on a baking sheet. Mix butter and seasoning mix. Spread onto muffins. Place under broiler - watch closely, and remove from oven when bubbly and lightly browned. Add cheese and return to oven. Broil until cheese just melts.