Sunday, October 30, 2011

Menu Monday October 31

We ate good last week!  I made some new meals and they were all keepers. 

The absolute favorite of mine and a must try for all who read this were the 7-Up Biscuits.  OMG!  I ended up making two batches of these.  And, if I were being totally honest here, ate most of them myself.  I pulled one of those stunts where you shoo everyone away from the kitchen so you can "clean up".  That is code for stand over the sink and eat the rest of the biscuits while no one is watching.  The night I was going to make these wonderful things, I was driving String Beane home from school and he asked what we were having for dinner.  I said "beef stew and biscuits".  He said "I don't like biscuits".  Huh?  I said "you don't?"  and he went on to explain that he did not like biscuits but he did like crescent rolls, toast, and crackers.  I am not sure why I was surprised to learn that he did not like biscuits.  I really did know that he did like toast, crescent rolls and crackers.  So, the conversation ended with me saying "Well, if you don't like biscuits, do you mind if I make them with milk?  You can have crackers with you stew."  He said that was fine by him.  You learn something new every day around here.  Long story short, make the biscuits! 

We also LOVED the Beef Stew  and Sausage Breakfast Cups.  I am going to add both of those to the family favorites. 

On to this week.  I wonder what new information I will find out about my children and their likes and dislikes.  Embarrassing really.

Jack-O-Lantern Pizza using Beer Batter Pizza Crust


Frogmore Stew

Chicken and Dumplings


Pasta with white beans, chicken and spinach

Crock Pot Recipe: French Dip Sandwich
Crock Pot French Dip Sandwiches
Onion Rings

What is on your menu for this week?  I am linking up again at Menu Plan Monday.  Click over and check out all of the menu plans and recipes.  Tons of inspiration there!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday Favorites

I have tried some great recipes and crafts lately.  Let's hope the trend continues with some of these great finds.  Here are my top 5 finds for this week.

Does this look as good to everyone else?  And in the crock pot no less.

Crock Pot Cinnamon Rolls
Hello Christmas morning!

I think this is the cookie that my Granny always had at her house.

Shrimp is on sale this week at Lowes!  This is looking good.

This looks warm and cozy to me.  Yum!

What have you bookmarked this week?  Hop on over to Finding Joy in my Kitchen and check out some other people's favorite finds. 

Fall Party Food - Allergy Friendly

String Beane is in kindergarten this year.  He is my first born and off to school he went.  It was traumatic for me to say the least.  

He goes to a Christian school and there are only 11 children in his class. 

3 of them have food allergies.  The total breakdown is:  No peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, or milk!  That is a tall order, my friends.  Also, since it is a Christian school, nothing too "Halloweenish".  All of these demands makes throwing a party difficult.  But, I am hear to tell you, it can be done.

I found most of my inspiration on Pinterest.  Here is what went down.

I had three stations set up.  One was a counting game.

The second station was a craft station.

The third station they made their own cake push pops.

We did not use the ghost peeps, only the pumpkin ones.  I did not want to push the envelope first party of the year.

The candy corns for the counting game met our allergy needs.  I made mini cakes from a gluten free cake mix that happened to be milk and peanut/tree nut free too.  I made up yellow, white, and orange frosting from Crisco and powdered sugar to squirt in the cake pops. 

Everyone seemed to have a great time rotating through the stations and making things. 

Then they all sat down at their desks for the food.  We started out with:
These were water bottles with some orange flavored "on the go" drink packs.  I tied them with green ribbon and a straw.  The kids seemed to think this was some sort of a magic trick!

I used a gluten free brownie mix and used dairy free margarine for the brownies.  The marshmallow was okay for our allergies and I used a can of Pillsbury vanilla frosting and orange food coloring.  The pumpkin stem is a green gum drop that I cut down to size.

This was made with popcorn, marshmallows, candy corns, and dairy free chocolate chips.  It was very cute when I cut it into slices.

They also had bags of chips. 

While they were eating I carved a Jack-O- Lantern using the Pumpkin Prayer.

As I carve my pumpkin, help me pray this prayer:
Open my mind so I can learn about You
(Cut the top off the pumpkin)
Take all my sin and forgive the wrong that I do
(clean out the inside)
Open my eyes so Your love  will see
(cut eyes shaped like hearts)
I'm sorry for times I've turned up my nose at what You've given to me
(Cut a noes in the shape of a cross)
Open my ears so Your Word I will hear
(cut ears shaped like the Bible)
Open my mouth to tell others You're near
(cut the mouth in the shape of a fish)
Let Your light shine in all I say and do!
(place candle inside and light it)

The pumpkin carving seemed to be the favorite part.  It was really amazing how still they were while I was trying to hack into the pumpkin!

All I have wanted for String Beane, was for him to be able to do what the other children are doing.  I don't want to have to worry about food.  I guess since he is in a class where 3 of 11 have severe food allergies, he would be considered "normal".  Funny how God chooses to answer our prayers. 

Special diets and situations are certainly more difficult to deal with than what we may be used to, but it can be done!  I am here to tell the tale. 

I am linking up with Metamorphasis Monday
and these Awesome Parties!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mums the Word

Are you ever sorry you started something?  I tried to make my little Beanes happy with these mummy cupcakes.

Butter Beane has been walking around the house for two days now saying "Mummy, Mummy". 

He won't quit.  This was cute at first and I was thrilled he seemed to appreciate the mummy cupcakes. 

Then it got sort of old.  Also, he wants to dress up as a mummy for Halloween.  So we are hearing a lot about mummys right now.  I will be sort of glad for Halloween to come and go. 

 I saw some version of these adorable mummy cupcakes somewhere in blog land.  I can't remember where I originally saw the idea.

Anyway, these cute mummy cupcakes are super easy and my boys loved them!

I made some pumpkin cupcakes and then used some cream cheese frosting and decorative candy eyes and viola`. 

I used this recipe for the pumpkin cupcakes:

2 cups Bisquick Mix
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin , not pumpkin pie mix

Heat oven to 350 and spray cupcake liners with cooking spray.  In a bowl, beat all ingredients on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl frequently.  Then beat on medium for 2 minutes scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into cupcake liners.  Bake for 18-22 minutes.  Or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely. 

For the cream cheese icing:

3 oz softened cream cheese (I used Touffuti cream cheese)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened (I used Flieshman's unsalted)
1 Tablespoon milk (soy)
1 Teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar on low speed until smooth.  Add more sugar or milk, as needed, to get the consistency you like.

I dotted some of the icing on the back of the eyes and stuck them on the cupcakes.  Then I piped on the rest of the icing in random strips. 

I think they turned out pretty cute. 

I am linking up with Metamorphasis Monday
and these other Awesome Parties.

Menu Plan Monday October 24

We ate good this past week!  I really loved everything we had.  We started with eating at the State Fair Monday.  I always feel like the rat from Charlotte's Web at the fair.  I only go for the food.  I get so mad when I am full and can't eat anymore.  It is always at that point I walk past the food booth that has the food I wanted to get last year but was too full to eat.  It is a frustrating cycle.

Everything else pretty much came from our family favorites.  The only new recipe we tried was the Simple Sesame Noodles.  And it was a winner!  Everyone loved it.  I can't wait to make it again and add some shrimp and mushrooms and make it the main course. 

This is a busy week.  We have a lot going on and I have found several new recipes that I want to try.  So here goes.

Sausage Breakfast Cups
Sausage Breakfast Cups
Applesauce or some other fruit

beef stew
Slow Cooker Beef Stew

7-Up Biscuits

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Fresh Tortilla Strips

Spaghetti supper at Butter Beanes preschool.

Spooky Dinner!
Hotdog Worms Halloween Recipe
French Fries (Bloody Fingers!)
Peeled Grapes (eyeballs!)

I am excited to try out these new recipes.  It seems like my little Beanes should like this menu plan.  I also should have a  lot of left overs to carry us through the weekend.  Always a great thing!  What is your menu plan this week?  Go and check out Organized Junkie for other great menu plans and ideas.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Favorites

I love Fridays.  I love to have a night of a relaxed bed time routine.  I love that Mr. Homegrown will pop popcorn and we can all watch a movie.  I love that my little Beanes love this.  I love to plan fun snacks for my family. 

Here are my top 5 favorite finds for this week.  I found them on Pinterest.

Butterfinger Cheesecake Bars1
This sounds like a trifecta for wonderful!

I am intrigued by this recipe.  I will have to give this a try.

I have made my feelings towards Biscoff Spread Clear.  See here.

This is considered Breakfast no?

This just looks yummy!

Don't you just love looking around on Pinterest?  What have you got on your "to make" list?

I am linking up with Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Caramel Apples ~ Milk Free

Today I am so excited to be participating in The Improv Cooking Challenge with The Lady Behind the Curtain.  The challenge was to come up with any recipe that included caramel and apples! 

Fall is a fun time of the year to cook with caramel and apples.  In honor of our recent visit to the State Fair, I am posting my recipe for Milk Free Caramel Apples.  You can modify this recipe to suit your likings.  Just change the toppings around and Viola` you have a masterful creation!
I adapted a few of the caramel recipes I found on the web to make it safe for String Beane.  My version of Caramel Apples does not contain milk.  Whilst this is very important to me to make sure all the super cool things I covet and figure out how to make are safe for String Beane, it does not seem to be important to him.  When he gets home from school today, he is likely to look at the totally wonderful looking Caramel Apples and remind me that he does not like apples.  I don't think liking apples is the point of a yummy Caramel Apple.  The apple is just sort of the vessel necessary to hold the caramel and yummy toppings. 

  These Caramel Apples could have been a lot cuter if I had taken my time and gone to Wal mart to get some Halloween sprinkles and the little bottles that you can squirt melted chocolate out of.  I just used what I had here and made the caramel apples that I had been inspired to make.  Feel free to plan ahead and use really cool toppings for your Caramel Apples. 

I made three Caramel Apples because I had three apples.  Duh. 

1/2 cup butter (I used Fleishman's unsalted Margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Karo Syrup (I used dark because that was what I had here)

Toppings can be anything you want!  I used Semi Sweet chocolate chips, sprinkles, and marshmallows.

Heat the margarine, brown sugar and Karo syrup in a sauce pan until boiling.  Stir constantly.  Boil for 1-3 minutes. 

Dip and twist the apples around in the caramel until they are coated.  Roll the caramel dipped apple in the toppings. Place them on a plate lined with wax paper.  I found it the easiest to do one apple at a time so the caramel does not set too much for the toppings to stick. 

Chocolate Carmel with Marshmallows

Caramel with Semi Sweet chocolate Chips

Caramel with Sprinkles

I had a great time making these.  A few things to note:  I think I would have been happier with the end result if I had used a Green apple.  But it is hard to be impulsive if you go to the store and buy the proper ingredients.  I had red so I used red.  I also would have liked to have gotten some of the little squirt bottles and drizzled melted chocolate and butter scotch all over these.  As it stands, you can see with the chocolate caramel apple with marshmallows, I used a spoon and accidental dumped drizzled the chocolate caramel over the apple.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? 

I can't wait to see String Beane's reaction when he sees them. 

The Improve Cooking Challenge

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Copycat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts ~ Adapted

I am linking up at Metamorphasis Monday
and these other Awesome Parties!

I used to love to buy doughnuts in the grocery store.  I was single and lived alone so there wasn't even a need to hide them. 

Then I met  Mr. Homegrown.  He grew up in Winston Salem, home of the Krispy Kreme.  He changed my life.  He introduced me to the Hot Now doughnut at Krispy Kreme.  Nothing has been the same since.  I no longer buy doughnuts in the grocery store.  Why bother?  They are nothing like a good Hot Now doughnut from Krispy Kreme.  There are no words to really describe how yummy and heavenly a Hot Now doughnut is from Krispy Kreme.  If you have not tried one, go get one.  Sit in the parking lot and wait for the big red "Hot Now" sign to light up and run in there and get you some.  You will be forever changed.

Since String Beane was diagnosed with severe a milk allergy when he was 7 months old, I think I have read every ingredient label there is!  I have not found a doughnut yet that does not contain milk.  It is sad really.  Poor guy does not know what he is missing.  I ran across this recipe for copycat Krispy Kreme doughnuts and knew I wanted to give it a try.  I modified the recipe to milk free ingredients so it would be safe for my little beane.  I will list the recipe in the original state and just tell you what I substituted.  They really were delish.  They will not put Krispy Kreme out of buisness or anything, but they are worth your time to make.

2 pkgs. regular or rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (I used Vanilla Soy Milk)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil

Creamy glaze (or chocolate glaze) - recipe below
Dissolve yeast in the warm water.  Add milk, salt, eggs, shortening, sugar and 2 cups flour. Beat on a low speed for 30 seconds, scrape the sides! Then beat on medium for 2 minutes, making sure to scrape occasionally.  Stir in remaining flour until smooth.
Cover and let rise for 50 to 60 minutes or until doubled.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness.  
Cut into donuts. Cover and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes.  Heat oil (I used a skillet) to 350. Add donuts in batches and fry until golden brown on both sides.  
Remove and drain on a paper towel.   Then dip into glaze (if you do chocolate, let them cool after the creamy glaze and spread chocolate glaze on top).  
Creamy Glaze Recipe

1/3 cup butter (I used Fleishman's Unsalted Margarine)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
4-6 tbsp. hot water

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan, then remove from heat.
  2. Stir in sugar and vanilla.
  3. Then add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the consistency you want. (If you do chocolate glaze, you add in melted chocolate as well).
This makes a ton of doughnuts!  Next time I will cut the recipe in half.  The glaze on these doughnuts is wonderful.  I am trying to think of what else I can use that on!  If you can think of something let me know.

All the little Beanes like the doughnuts.  None of them were overly impressed though.  I blame it on the fact that they have never really eaten doughnuts before and were just in some sort of shock.  Whatever.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Versitile Award

I have won an award!

Seven Secrets About Me:
1. I failed Art class in the eighth grade.  For those that know me, that might not be a shock.
2.  I taught kindergarten and first grade for a total of 9 years.
3.  I went to a community college for 2 years before I transfered to UNCG.
4.  I was named after my grandmother.  That might not have been a hard guess with a name like Mamie.
5.  My oldest son was due on the 20th anniversary of my Father's death.  String Beane is named after my dad.
6.  I have no hair, make up or fashion skills what so ever!  I really wish I did though.
7.  I never thought I wanted a daughter, until I had one.  I could not imagine not having a daughter.  She is so much fun and such a blessing.  I just always thought I wanted sons.  Now I know that 2 boys and 1 girl is perfect.

Thank you so much for the award It's Overflowing!  You gave me a wonderful surpise.

Blog lovin'
Check out these newly awarded blogs.....

The Rules of this Award Are:
1.  Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2.  Share 7 things about yourself
3.  Send it along to 15 other Bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu Monday 10/17

We have had a busy week!  I am glad to be starting a new one.  Last week's meals went well.  I mostly stuck to Family Favorites.  Pizza is always a hit using the Beer Batter Pizza Dough.  The Honey Spice Pork Kabobs and Sausage Pancakes are easy and always a winner with all the Little Beanes.  I think Butter Beane enjoyed the sausage pancakes the best.  I was disappointed with the Glazed Chicken.  It was good but Mr. Homegrown and I both really like the Crock pot Rotisserie chicken found here better.  We did not get around to the Navajo Tacos so that is bumped to this week.  

I am linking up with Menu Plan Monday.  Go check out all the great menu plans and recipes. 

We are going to the State Fair!  Woot!  Fair food!




Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
(I will post this recipe later)


I hope everyone has a great week!  What is on your menu for this week?