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Story Book Baby Shower — March 31, 2013

Story Book Baby Shower

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It’s just me and my sister as far as kids in my family so we are very close. My sister is my best friend so I wanted to throw her the best baby shower I could. Being a teacher, I knew there were a lot of fun things to do with children’s books. After hours of searching the internet for ideas I was ready to throw the party.Image

I started off with sending out these caterpillar invitations. They fold up into a small circle, but when the guests opened them up they turned into caterpillars. I received a lot of compliments on these adorable things. My sister found a cute poem on pinterest about asking for books instead of cards so I included that poem on the invitation. There are two different poems that I saw online for this.

“One small request that won’t be hard, please bring a book instead of a card. Whether Cat in the Hat or Old Mother Hubbard, you can sign the book with your thoughts in the cover. Your book will be cherished, well aged or brand new, but please don’t feel obliged, we will leave it up to you.”

“One small request that won’t be too hard, please bring a book instead of a card. Whether Cat in the Hat or Winnie the Pooh, You can sign the book with a note from you. Baby Smith will become very smart indeed, if we start early, he will soon learn to read!”

I then started working on the decorations. I love the look of the pennant banners so I knew I wanted to use those. I bought a couple of Dr. Suess books from the goodwill and used the pages for the pennants. I cut out the triangles and then glued them on to some ribbon. On the longer banner I used my cricut machine to cut out scalloped circles and the letters for “Baby Smith” I put one banner on the fireplace mantle and one on the windows behind the drink table. You can’t see the one banner very well due to the sun, but it has Baby Smith on it.

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I also gathered up some of the books we read as kids and set them on top of the mantle for color.

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The last decoration I made was a wreath for the front door. I again bought a book from the goodwill, tore out the pages, rolled them up and hot glued them together. I then used my cricut machine to glue on the sign “Baby Shower” and finished it off with some yellow ribbon to hang on the door.

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The next step was to pick out all the food I was going to make. Since it was a story book shower I wanted all the food to be based off of books. I made labels for all the food, saved them as images, printed them off at Walgreens as pictures and then glued them on some colored cardstock. These were great little decorations for by the food. I’ll post the picture of the food, the label, and the recipe if I used a recipe.

The Grouchy Ladybug Crackers (The Grouchy Ladybug)

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Ladybug Appetizers Recipe

Ingredients

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons Daisy Brand Sour Cream

Black paste food coloring

1/2 teaspoon minced chives

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

36 butter-flavored crackers

18 cherry tomatoes, quartered

18 large pitted ripe olives

72 fresh chive pieces (about 1-1/2 inches long)

Directions:

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Remove 1 tablespoon to a small bowl and tint black. Place tinted cream cheese mixture in a small plastic bag; set aside.

Add the chives, garlic salt and parsley to the remaining cream cheese mixture. Spread over crackers. Arrange two tomato quarters on each for the ladybug wings.

For heads, halve the olives width wise; place one half on each cracker. Insert two chives into olives for antennae. Use tinted cream cheese mixture to pipe spots onto wings. Yield: 3 dozen.

Three Little Pigs in a Blanket (The Three Little Pigs)

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Mini Crescent Dogs

Servings: 48

Ingredients:

2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

48 cocktail-size smoked link sausages or hot dogs (from two 14-oz packages)

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll both cans of the dough; separate into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles.

Place sausage on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up each, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point; place point side down on 2 ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, switching position of cookie sheets halfway through baking. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Mouse’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie)

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

2 cups rolled oats

8 tablespoons butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup powdered sugar

1 large egg

¼ cup maple syrup

½ tsp. vanilla

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, oats, together with a fork.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar together until blended. Beat in the egg. With mixer on high, drizzle in the maple syrup and vanilla. Gradually add the oats and chips. Bake for 9 minutes.

Green Deviled Eggs (Green Eggs and Ham)

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I just made basic deviled eggs with mayo, dijon mustard and a little bit of sugar. I put green food coloring in the yolk mixture to make the “green eggs” and sprinkled baco bits on top for the “ham.”

Swedish Fish (One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish)

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Thing One and Two Cupcakes (The Cat in the Hat)

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Original recipe makes 30 cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

1 (1 ounce) bottle McCormick® Red Food Color

2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

1 (16 ounce) box confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

Beat cream cheese, softened, butter, sour cream and McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

The Hungry Caterpillars (The Hungry Caterpillar)

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I just took green grapes and stuck them on screwers. Then I put a dab of frosting on a couple mini chocolate chips to make the eyes.

Hop on Popcorn (Hop on Pop)

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I bought a bag of already popped popcorn. Since this shower took place the day before Easter then grocery store had cute pastel colored popcorn.

The Ugly Duckling Blue Drink (The Ugly Duckling)

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So in my rush to get all the supplies from the grocery store I grabbed the only blue koolaid packet there was. When I started making the punch I realized the flavor was tropical punch making the color red. Ugh! My sister decided to put blue food coloring in it, making it a dark purple color. To top it off, my ducks didn’t stay up in the liquid and instead plopped over on their side. The flavor was delicious though!

Ducky Bath Baby Shower Punch

Yield: 24 small servings

Summary: Adorable Ducky Bath Punch – The blue Kool-Aid makes it look like bath water and the sherbet mixed with the ginger ale gives it “bath bubbles”.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet blue, unsweetened Kool-Aid (Look for Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade or Berry Blue flavors)
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle Ginger Ale
  • 1 (64 oz) bottle White Grape Juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 scoops pineapple sherbet
  • 2-3 Rubber Duckies (make sure they float – bathtub toys)
  • maraschino cherries (optional for garnish)
  • orange slices (optional for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Chill ginger ale and grape juice over night
  2. Remove sherbet from freezer about 1/2 hour before serving punch to soften
  3. In a large bowl, combine Kool-Aid packet, sugar and chilled juice. Stir to blend.
  4. Slowly add chilled ginger ale.
  5. Float 8 scoops of softened sherbet on top
  6. Add Rubber Duckies (don’t forget to wash before using)
  7. garnish cups with cherries and orange slices

Notes:

If you can’t find Blue KoolAid then you can replace the kool aid and sugar with Berry Blue Typhoon Hawaiian Punch. DO NOT ADD 1 CUP of sugar if you do this! The Hawaiian Punch already has sugar in it.

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Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole — March 26, 2013

Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

I am a huge fan of casseroles. I don’t get to make them very much though since Scotty isn’t a fan. He wasn’t very excited for tonight’s meal on account of it being a casserole and having mushrooms. Me on the other hand, I was super excited and I loved this meal. The leftovers are going to be awesome at work tomorrow. Happy Eating!

Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

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Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli, and Rice Casserole

Recipe thanks to Soda Head

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil

1/2 onion

1 lb mushrooms quartered

1 stalk of celery diced

1 (4 ounce) box Long Grain & Wild Rice, prepared per instructions

2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed

1 6-8 oz can of sliced water chestnuts, diced

1 cup of broccoli florets

1 10 3/4 oz can of Cream of Chicken soup

1 10 3/4 oz can of Cream of Celery soup

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare rice per instructions.

In a heated pan add 1/2 tbsp oil and cook mushrooms until golden brown – remove from pan.

Add the other 1/2 tbsp of oil to the pan and cook onions and celery until soft.

Using a steamer, steam broccoli until just fork tender, then cool.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

Put into a baking dish and heat uncovered for 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes prior to serving.

Italian Sausage and Pasta Bowtie —

Italian Sausage and Pasta Bowtie

This was a quick weeknight meal. I used sliced smoked sausage instead of Italian sausage because it was on sale at the grocery store. The thing that took the most time was just cooking the pasta. This was delicious and simple. Happy Eating!

Italian Sausage and Pasta Bowtie

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Italian Sausage and Pasta Bowtie

Recipe thanks to Kraft Canada

Ingredients:

3-1/2 cups farfalle (bow-tie pasta), uncooked

4 Italian sausage links (1 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

2 green peppers, coarsely chopped

2 cups spaghetti sauce

1 cup KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.

Meanwhile, cook sausage and peppers in large skillet on medium-high heat 15 min., stirring peppers and turning sausage occasionally. Stir in sauce; cover. Simmer on medium heat 10 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta. Add to skillet; mix lightly. Sprinkle with cheese.

Stove of Shame: Crockpot Orange Chicken — March 24, 2013

Stove of Shame: Crockpot Orange Chicken

I have seen this picture of crockpot orange chicken floating around on Pinterest. I have wanted to try it for a while. Now I am glad I tried it, but will never be making it again. The chicken was too dry and the sauce didn’t taste anything like orange chicken. I wish I would have read the comments on post before trying it. Oh well, you live and learn right!!

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas — March 22, 2013

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Time for the best part of March, March Madness! Too bad my whole bracket it messed up now because #2 Georgetown lost and I had them going to the championship. This is the one time of the year I love watching basketball. My family bets on bottles of wine so that’s why I like participating! Staying in watching basketball tonight was made even better with these yummy enchiladas. Happy Eating!

Creamy Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

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Creamy Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe thanks to

Ingredients:

2-3 cups shredded chicken

1-1/2 cups salsa

2 cups shredded Colby and Monterrey jack cheese

1 14 oz can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce

about 8 tortillas

1 cup sour cream

1/2 can of cream of chicken

Directions:

In a bowl combine the cooked shredded chicken with salsa and 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups of the shredded cheese. Just depends how cheesy you want the middle to be.

Next dip a tortilla into the enchilada sauce, making sure every last inch of it is covered and place it in a 9×13 pan. 

Place desired amount (about 1/8) of the chicken mixture onto the middle of the tortilla, and roll it up. 

Scoot the tortilla all the way over to the edge of the pan.  Repeat for remaining enchiladas.  Your filling should spread to about 8 tortillas and your pan should be completely filled.

For the creamy topping, in a separate bowl, mix 1 cup sour cream with 1/2 a can of cream of chicken.  I like the mixture to be predominately the sour cream, so it should look more white than yellow.

Spread creamy topping over all the enchiladas. 

Top with the remaining cheese ( about 1/2 to 3/4 cup cheese).

Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry —

Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry

This was a great, colorful, healthy dinner. It had similar ingredients to the Chicken Stir Fry I make, but with a healthier sauce. I liked the addition of the broccoli. Served with some instant rice it was quickly on the table. To make it more budget friendly I used canned pineapple and it tasted great! Happy Eating!

Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry

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Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry

Recipe thanks to Spark Recipes

Ingredients:

3 Chicken Breast halves

1 cup Onions, chopped

1 cup sweet red peppers, sliced

1 bunch fresh broccoli, chopped

4 cups Cabbage, chopped

2 tbsp Sesame Oil

2 cups Pineapple, diced

3 tsp Garlic

Directions:

Chop all vegetables and place in separate bowls. Cut chicken into pieces and mix with garlic, soy sauce if desired, pineapple juice from cut pineapple and hot sauce as desired.

In a wok, heat sesame oil. Add onions and peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat.

Add chicken and cook another few minutes. Then add broccoli and cover for a few minutes.

Add cabbage and cook until soft. Lastly add pineapple and turn off heat.

Mix and then cover for another minute and serve.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower — March 20, 2013

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

I needed a quick, healthy side for tonight’s dinner and this was the perfect thing. I was a little nervous because Scotty doesn’t like cauliflower, but when he ate it he said, “This is actually really good.” Score! Happy Eating!

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

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Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe thanks to One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
1 medium head cauliflower (about 2-1/4 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine cauliflower and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Transfer, in a single layer, to a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 450 degrees F for about 25 minutes, stirring once. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately Yield: 6 servings.

Emeril’s Three Cheese Baked Macaroni — March 19, 2013

Emeril’s Three Cheese Baked Macaroni

I can finally end my mission of trying to find the perfect macaroni and cheese for Scotty. I have made many different recipes, but none of them are creamy enough. Until now! I guess when you put three kinds of eggs together plus evaporated milk, it’s going to become creamy. Sounds yummy huh? Well in 12 minutes you can have it baked and on your table! Happy Eating!

Emeril’s Three Cheese Baked Macaroni

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Emeril’s Three Cheese Baked Macaroni

Recipe thanks to

Ingredients:

Coarse salt

1/2 pound elbow macaroni

3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 large eggs

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar (6 ounces)

1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces)

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (1 ounce)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni 6 minutes (it will be undercooked). Drain.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium and add bacon. Cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon mixture to a medium bowl. Add macaroni and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and evaporated milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne, nutmeg, and cheeses; mix well.

Add macaroni mixture and stir well to combine. Transfer to an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish or 2-quart gratin dish.

With a spoon, gently spread mixture to form an even layer.

Bake just until sauce is bubbling at edges, 12 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Asian Grilled Chicken and Oven-Roasted Asparagus — March 18, 2013

Asian Grilled Chicken and Oven-Roasted Asparagus

A lot of times in the past when I have marinated meat I have been disappointed. I let it marinade for hours and expect it to taste amazing, but then my heart sinks when I bite into it. That was not the case with this chicken. I let it marinade overnight and the flavor was amazing! Scotty didn’t even use any dipping sauces with it! (In this household that’s a big deal) I served mine with Roasted Asparagus, but it would also be delicious with some Easy Fried Rice. With my leftovers tomorrow I am planning on making a chicken salad sandwich. Happy Eating!

Asian Grilled Chicken

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Asian Grilled Chicken

Recipe thanks to Skinny Taste

Ingredients:

6 thin boneless skinless chicken cutlets (3 oz each)

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 green onions, minced

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup teriyaki sauce

1 tsp honey

2 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

Pour the mixture over the chicken, turn the pieces to coat evenly, cover and place in refrigerator a minimum of three hours, but preferably overnight.

Preheat grill to high. Grill chicken top side down first until well browned charred, about 5 minutes, turn and cook on the second side about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a serving platter

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

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Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Recipe thanks to My Recipes

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

3 pounds fresh asparagus

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Directions:

Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus; place asparagus on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle evenly with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with garlic, salt, and pepper.

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or to desired degree of tenderness. Transfer asparagus to a serving dish; sprinkle with almonds.

 

 

Nebraska Runzas — March 17, 2013

Nebraska Runzas

Scotty isn’t a huge fan of corned beef and cabbage, but I still wanted to make something similar for St. Patty’s Day so I went for this recipe. In Nebraska we have something amazing called Runza. It’s a bread roll filled with various toppings. There is swiss and mushroom, cheese and beef, pizza, etc. Today I made the original runza and added some cheese. It’s ground beef, onions, and cabbage, perfect for St Patty’s. This time I sprinkled cheddar cheese, but next time I’m going to use American. I was nervous about making the dough because I never have before, but it was super easy. Happy Eating!

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Nebraska Runzas

Recipe thanks to Cooks

Filling:

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 chopped onion

2 cups chopped cabbage

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Dough:

2 cups warm water

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

6 1/2 – 7 cups flour

2 pkgs. yeast

1/2 cup Crisco shortening

2 tsp. salt

Directions:

Filling: Brown beef with onion, pepper and salt. Wilt cabbage in butter and mix together

Dough: Dissolve yeast in water, add sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, 1/2 cup flour. Beat until smooth; add remaining flour. Roll dough out thin on floured surface. Cut into squares, approximately 13×7 inches. Place meat mixture inside, bring 4 corners together. Turn upside down on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

For variation: Sprinkle your favorite cheese on meat mixture (can be frozen).

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