Saturday, March 31, 2012

1 Easter Bunny Cupcakes

{Don't forget to enter the Quadruple Giveaway for Starbucks and Target giftcards and cute t-shirts!}
Easter is NEXT weekend! :-) 
Can you believe it? :-) 
I have numerous cute "Easter" ideas coming this week . . .
with these Easter Bunny Cupcakes up first!!
Easter Bunny Cupcakes
White Cupcake Box mix and the ingredients on the box.
White icing 
Brown Mini M&Ms
Orange Regular M&Ms
Marshmallows
Pink Sprinkles
Make the cupcakes according to the box. Ice cupcakes. Cut marshmallows in half and pour pink sprinkles on the "sticky" side of the marshmallow. Place M&Ms and marshmallows in the eyes, ears, and nose place! :-) Enjoy! (Note: Don't ice or put M&M on cupcakes until the day you are serving them. . . and refrigerate them to keep the Orange M&M's from bleeding onto the white icing! :-)
Paris Pastry via Pinterest
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Friday, March 30, 2012

2 How to Cook for Company

 {I shared this post a couple of months ago on Lark and Bloom but thought with Easter approaching, it would be appropriate to re-post!}

A successful dinner party includes much more than a well thought out seating chart and a lovely main course. Many times people get stumped on side dishes. So let me share with you some of my "tricks of the trade!"

 1. Color, Color, Color. The more color on your plate the better! Vegetables, salads, and soups are all amazing first courses or side dishes. Don't ever serve two whites together (i.e.potatoes and rice)! Pick one or the other and then add a vegetable!

 2. Speaking of potatoes, you should only have one starch/carb on your plate. For example, if your main course is pasta, do not serve potatoes with it. Or don't serve rice and pasta as side dishes. Choose one or the other. 

3. A beautiful dinner would include a brightly colored first course and a meat, vegetable and starch for the main course. I paired this Maple Walnut Chicken with spinach and rice. Add a Cucumber and Bell Pepper Salad and you are set! 

4. But above all, make sure you have WONDERFUL bread and an out of this world dessert, and your dinner party will be memorable! :-)
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

1 Purple Monster Smoothies

{Don't forget to enter the Quadruple Giveaway for Starbucks and Target giftcards and cute t-shirts!}

These smoothies are the perfect poolside drink for the hot months ahead! :-) I love their bright purple color and the delicious fruits combined into one creamy smoothie!
Enjoy!
Purple Monster Smoothies
1 pint blueberries
1 cup purple grapes
8 strawberries, unhulled
1 banana
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey, or more to taste
Ice
Put the blueberries, grapes, strawberries, banana, yogurt, milk, honey and ice into blender and blitz until smooth. Serve immediately
Food Network: Pioneer Woman 
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

9 Baylor Bear Pancakes! :-)

{Don't forget to enter the Quadruple Giveaway for Starbucks and Target gift cards and cute t-shirts!} 

For those of y'all who don't live in Texas. . . 
football is everything. . .
as shown by Varsity Blues and countless other movies 
(minus Dawson's horrible Texas accent. . . "I. DON'T. WANT. YOUR. LIFE". .   . seriously, nails on a chalkboard. . . we don't talk like that. . .I promise) 
Football might be 'life' in Texas . . .but all other sports fall in at a close second. . . 
and this has been Baylor's year! 
From Heisman trophy winner RGIII to Baylor men and women's basketball in the playoffs, Baylor has exceeded anyone's wildest dreams!
These Baylor Bear Pancakes would make the perfect breakfast the morning of the Homecoming Parade, a late night snack after Sing, or just a great way to start teaching your children to love the Baylor Bears! :-) 
Sic Em! :-) 
Baylor Bear Pancakes 
Pancake Mix (Pioneer, Bisquick, etc)
Ingredients on Pancake Mix
Banana
Black icing gel
Make pancakes. Slice bananas. Cut one slice in half and arrange as the bear's ears. Place a whole slice in the middle of the pancake. Then ice as shown above!
Cutest Food via Pinterest
Don't forget to enter the awesome quadruple giveaway! :-)  
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80 Quadruple GIVEAWAY ! ;-)

I am thrilled to be hosting a giveaway for four of my favorite blogs today!! :-) 
I know you will love these girls as much as I do! :-) 
Good luck!!
  
 Erin from Housepeeping is a real estate genius who is based in the Houston area. . . but don't let the location deter you from checking out her blog! She has great tips for buyers and sellers world wide AND she takes you inside some pretty amazing houses!
$25 dollar gift card to Starbucks

Wynne and Stephen, from Gloriously Ruined, are waiting for their son, Camp, whom they are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia! These precious t-shirts come in adult and child sizes and help offset the cost of the adoption. 
One Camp T-shirt  

Ashley and her husband, Landry, from Him and Her Plus Four, welcomed their daughter Reese into the world and got pregnant a year later with spontaneous triplets! Four babies in two years provides for a very entertaining life and blog! :-) Ashley is so talented and makes beautiful customized t-shirts from onesies to adult sizes! :-)
One custom onesie or t-shirt of your choice!

Sarah from Racing Towards Joy blogs about faith, life, and family! She is "real," doesn't pretend to have it all together, and she blesses me daily!  
$25 dollar gift card to Target
 
There will be 4 winners with so many chances to win! :-) 
Good luck! :-) 
 
TO ENTER:
1. MANDATORY: Must be a follower of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box and leave a comment telling me you are! 
You can leave an additional comment for each of the below. 
2. Follow Housepeeping
6. Follow Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Facebook
7. Follow Housepeeping on Facebook
8  Visit Him and Her Plus Four's Etsy Shop and tell me which design is your favorite!
9. Follow Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Twitter 
10.Follow Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Pinterest
11. Tweet about the giveaway
12. Facebook post about the giveaway
13. Blog about the giveaway 
14. You have Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on your blog roll! 
15. You have Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box button on your blog! 
16. Tag something from Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Pinterest!  
17. StumbleUpon this post (to learn how to stumbleupon, go here
You have 17 chances to win this incredible giveaway! :-) 
The Quadruple Giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, March 2nd.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2 Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Are y'all loving this beautiful weather???  
I cannot get enough of it! :-)
Today, I want to share a delicious recipe that combines lemon and blueberry to make the perfect muffin!!  
Enjoy! 
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose baking mix, divided (I used Bisquick
3/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
3/4 cup HELLMANN'S or BEST FOODS Real Mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk together 4 cups baking mix, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/8 tsp. cinnamon in a large bowl; reserve 2 Tbsp. mixture. Make a well in center of remaining sugar mixture in bowl.
Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients; add to sugar mixture in large bowl, stirring just until moistened.
Toss blueberries with reserved 2 Tbsp. sugar mixture. Carefully fold blueberries into batter. Spoon into a lightly greased muffin pan, filling almost completely full.
Stir together 1 Tbsp. melted butter and remaining 2 Tbsp. baking mix, 3 Tbsp. sugar, and 1/8 tsp. cinnamon until mixture is crumbly; sprinkle over batter in pan.
Bake at 400° for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool 10 minutes.
Southern Living
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Monday, March 26, 2012

3 The Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes

I was making dinner for a crowd of 20 friends a while back and needed a side that I could make ahead of time and warm up. . . 
so I thought of Twice Baked Potatoes!
They turned out perfectly and were delicious! :-) 
The winner of the To Your Delight Giveaway is PAIGE FREEMAN! :-)
The Ultimate Twice Baked Potatoes
4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour. You can just microwave the potatoes instead because it is way faster and they taste just as good. About three minutes per potato, just check for tenderness. Make sure to poke holes in the potatoes with a fork before microwaving so that they don't explode.
Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh so the potato maintains it's shape; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 the green onions, and milk (start adding 1/2 cup of milk but you may not need to add it all depending on the consistency you want. You don't want them too runny). Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
Bake for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
The Girl Who Ate Everything
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

2 Spring on the Stove

Since the weather is gorgeous . . .
I thought that today would be the perfect day to introduce you to 
"Spring on the Stove" 
This little concoction will make your entire house smell amazing!    
 
 Fill a small stockpot with 2/3 full with water. Slice one lemon and put in the water with a few sprigs of rosemary. Then add 1-2 tsp of vanilla. Let it simmer all day long, adding water as needed. 
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

1 Jazz Apple Salad

It is a beautiful day outside, with a cool breeze, and not a cloud in the sky. . . 
so I'll keep this short and sweet! 
This salad would make a lovely first course or a delicious meal if you just added grilled chicken!
I hope you enjoy your Saturday!!
Jazz Apple Salad
mixed greens
jazz apple, thinly sliced (I used a Granny Smith)
avocado, sliced
green onion, chop green ends into small pieces (like chives)
feta cheese
sliced almonds, toasted
Thinly slice apples and chop into 1 in pieces. Add sliced avocado and feta cheese. To bed of mixed greens, add all the ingredients and dress with a vinaigrette of your choice. Top with toasted almonds (To toast almonds, place in 350 degree oven, 3-5 minutes, turning once). To turn this into a dinner salad, add grilled chicken and serve with yummy bread! :-)
Food for Thought
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Friday, March 23, 2012

0 Penne Bolognese

This is an easy and quick dinner that is perfect for weeknights!
Enjoy!
Penne Bolognese 
Makes 4 servings.
2 TBS olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 lb ground sirloin
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup red wine
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup milk
16 oz penne pasta
4 TBS grated mozzarella
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion, and cook until lightly browned and very tender (about 10 minutes) Peel the garlic and lightly crush the cloves with the back of your knife. Add it to the pan along with the beef. Cook until the beef is browned (about 5 minutes). Add the wine, stirring well, and cook for 10 more minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and milk; simmer uncovered over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pan. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, and top it with the meat sauce. garnish with the grated cheese. 
Men's Health
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

3 Sally's Fabulous Cornbread

 I am so lucky to teach at the same middle school that I went to . . . 
and to teach side by side with my old teachers 
who, consequently, have become my friends!

 Sally Griffin is a legend at our school and throughout our community!
Her wisdom, wit, and love of our school draws others to her
and I am lucky that she is in my life! 

I have another cornbread recipe in my recipe box but I think that it is important to have two "go to" cornbread recipes. . .one with corn and one without!
This recipe has the perfect amount of corn in the cornbread and freezes well. I made two 13x9 pryrex dishes of this cornbread a week before I needed them and then froze them. The day before I was going to serve the cornbread, I just put them in the fridge and then the next day warmed them up in the oven! It turned out perfectly!
And the best part about this recipe is the directions . . . "mix well". . . can't get any easier than that!
Sally's Fabulous Cornbread
1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
1 1/2 cups canned creamed corn
1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plus a slight bit more buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 heaping tsp salt
2 TBS sugar
3 eggs
1 small can chopped green chiles
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix well. Pour into 9x13 pyrex dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Stick a toothpick in center and it should come out clean or press gently in the center and it should bounce back. This freezes well. Cool completely. Cut into 24 squares. Wrap tightly in heavy duty foil.
Sally Griffin
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1 One Dish Blackberry French Toast

Nate has some pretty incredible friends from elementary and middle school . . .
who are basically like family!
Last time we all got together, I made this amazing french toast casserole and it was a hit with everyone! :-)
Cream cheese, bread, blackberries and brown sugar. . .
how could you go wrong??!! :-)
One Dish Blackberry French Toast
1 cup blackberry jam
1 (12-oz.) French bread loaf, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes 
4 large eggs  
2 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar  
Toppings: maple syrup, whipped cream
1. Cook jam in a small saucepan over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring once.
2. Place half of bread cubes in bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with cream cheese cubes, and drizzle with melted jam. Top with remaining bread cubes.
3. Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients. Pour over bread mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Cover tightly, and chill 8 to 24 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and mixture is set. Serve with desired toppings
Southern Living 
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

4 Blessed

There are certain people in your life that just make your heart overflow. . . 
I was so blessed to see two of them this past weekend.
I drove to central Texas on my own.
It is so rare for me to go on a road trip without Nate. . . 
we are always together when we go out of town. . . 
and I love that. . . 
sweet times in the car . 
but this weekend. . . 
I went by myself. 
radio blaring. . .
stopping at every czech store, farmers market,
buying kolaches and strawberry rubarb preserves. . . 
Pulling off the road to capture wild flowers. . . 
even though pictures don't do the seas of yellow justice.
Spring time in Texas. . . 
celebrating new life
and rejoicing about the new life in both of my sweet friend's lives. . .
I went with the intent to bless others. . .
but instead left with my own heart bursting at the seams. . .
thankful, hopeful, and blessed.

 I got to spend time with this little one . . .
 Certain people just fall into parenthood without a seconds thought. . .
that is how Erin and Sam are. . .
already pros at something they have only been experiencing for a couple weeks.
Tears streamed down my face as I watched the video of the grandparents meeting Juliet for the first time. . .
 Juliet, who so many have prayed over for months.
Memories of college came pouring back . . .
but different now. . .
as I talked to Erin while she was putting her makeup on. . .
like so many times before. . .
but this time with her daughter in my arms.
As I told her when we first met, "I KNEW we were going to be great friends" and I am thankful for being so right.

and I got to see another precious one, rejoicing with her in the new life that is in her
and I got to meet these sweet ones
I entered Casey's with cupcakes in hand
immediately causing chaos as I only fueled Aiden's excitement with cries of "Aiden's cake, Aiden's cake"
hugs for sweet Ainsleigh and big kisses from Macy and Ellie!
I knew I loved Casey's kids because they were hers. . . 
but I loved them even more when within minutes of walking through the door, Ainsleigh fed me icing and Aiden licked me on the cheek like Macy had. . . 
that was all it took. . . 
I was obsessed! :-) 
 I have so many memories of sweet cuddles to hold on to until I get to hug those little ones again.
And Casey. . .
I just have to say I left her presence "filled up" with love.
(no other words will justify our time together)

I went to central Texas . . . food in hand, encouragement ready, wanting to bless . . . 
but God is good. . . 
and His timing and plans are perfect
He wanted me to be blessed,
he wanted me to have my heart overflowing with love for my two amazing friends,
he wanted me shaking my head with thanksgiving for such godly women he placed in my life.
"it is the Lord who goes before you . . . " Deuteronomy 31: 8
God is good. All the time.
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Monday, March 19, 2012

37 To Your Delight Giveaway! :-)

My mom and dad met our sweet friends, the Macaluso's, in Lamaze class when my mom was pregnant with me and Mrs. Macaluso was pregnant with Annamaria! We were born only 6 days apart. . . fast forward a year and some change and my brothers, Parker and Clark, were born only 18 days apart from Annamaria's younger sister, Catherine. . .
So, needless to say, I have known Catherine Alexander my whole life! :-) 
She is the epitome of style, grace, and charm.
Catherine has lived all over the world, studied fashion design/styling in Milan, and was a stylist with one of the world's top modeling agencies! 
Catherine has a lovely blog, To Your Delight, that shows everyday people "approachable, affordable, and fun fashion!" Recently, Catherine opened a new shop which sells beautiful trays that are perfect for all occasions! :-) She will be adding plates and paper goods in the coming months and I cannot wait to see her newest creations! :-)
These bright and lovely trays would be perfect as birthday gifts, house warming presents, or hostess gifts!
Here are some of my favorites






Sweet Catherine is giving away one of her beautiful trays to a lucky reader!! :-) 
 
TO ENTER:
1. MANDATORY: Must be a follower of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box and leave a comment telling me you are! 
You can leave an additional comment for each of the below. 
2. Follow Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Facebook
3. Follow Catherine's blog: To Your Delight
4. Visit Catherine's shop, To Your Delight, and tell me which tray is your favorite!
5. Follow Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Twitter 
6.Follow Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Pinterest
7. Tweet about the giveaway
8. Facebook post about the giveaway
9. Blog about the giveaway 
10. You have Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on your blog roll! 
11. You have Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box button on your blog! 
12. Tag something from Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Pinterest!  
13. StumbleUpon this post (to learn how to stumbleupon, go here
You have 13 chances to win this incredible giveaway! :-) 
The To Your Delight giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday, March 25.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

0 Guest Post from HENNINGLOVE!

I think it is hilarious how much Meg from Henninglove and I think alike. . . this is the second time we have made the same "type" of food for a recipe swap! :-) She is sharing an amazing homemade bagel recipe and I'm sharing Lemon Blueberry Muffins over at Henninglove!
Enjoy!

Recipe-swapping again with my wonderful friend, Elizabeth Ann!
Last Saturday morning, I woke up craving bagels, most particularly homemade bagels. There is nothing like a hot bagel fresh out of the oven. With the husband away majority of the day, I had time on my hands to succumb to my cravings. After a 6 mile trail run with a friend, a homemade bagel was the perfect food. I came home from the run, put all the ingredients together, let the dough rise while I took the dogs for a walk. Once I came back, I finished up the bagels, boiled them in water then stuck them in the oven and enjoyed the delicious, hot and fresh bagel. My morning couldn't get more perfect! If you make this recipe, then I hope your morning will be perfect too. 
For this recipe, you need 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoon) dry active yeast, 2 teaspoons white sugar, 1 1/3 cup warm water, 3 1/2 cup bread or all-purpose flour, and more for kneading, 1 3/4 teaspoon salt.
In your mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. 
Put the bread hook on your mixing machine and with the mixer running, slowly add the warm water. Add all the water and allow the dough to come together in one mass. Increase the speed on your mixer and mix the dough for about 8-10 minutes. 
Oil another bowl and put the dough bowl in that bowl and let it rise for about an hour. 
After the dough has risen at least doubled, punch down the dough to de-gas it and let the dough rest on your counter for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Boil water in a large pot and add about 2 tablespoons of baking soda. when the water comes to a boil, reduce the fire and allow the water to come to a simmer. 
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts, and roll them into balls. 
To make the hole in the center, put your pointer finger through the center of the dough ball and twirl the dough ball around the pointer finger. 
Place the bagel-shaped dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover them to let them rise for another 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add 1 or 2 bagels to the simmering water. Let them cook on one side for 1 minute, then flip the bagels over and let them cook for another minute. 
With a perforated skimmer or a spatula with holes, pull the boiled bagels out and place them back on the parchment lined baking sheet. 
Continue with all the bagels in the same way. Sprinkle what you want on top of the bagels before you bake them in the oven. I sprinkled salt, onion powder, cinnamon and sugar and a mint sugar I received as a gift from my sister. 
Bake the bagels for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Pull them out of the oven, and serve, eat and enjoy!
Thanks for swapping again Elizabeth Ann!


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