Thursday, September 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Sometimes, you just need a treat.  And when my family needs a treat, I turn to my Dairy Keen Cookbook to fulfill my sugery needs.  I saw the Smores Brownies, but my husband saw the Peanut Butter Bars & insisted that I make some of those {he has a thing lately for Peanut Butter & chocolate...then again, who wouldn't}.  So yesterday while he was out taking a test for a class, I made a pan of these delicious treats up.  My husband was very happy to come home & eat these...& I was happy to eat them as well.

I strayed from the recipe when I made these yesterday, so here's what I did:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
*3/4 Cup Butter
*1/2 Cup Sugar
*1 Cup Brown Sugar
-Cream these ingredients together, then add:
*2 Eggs (When you want to double this recipe, only use 3 eggs.  Because I halved it in the first place, I used 2 rggs instead of 1 1/2)
*1/2 T Vanilla
-Mix the eggs & vanilla well into the creamed mixture.  To that, mix in:
*1 Cup Peanut Butter {I used crunchy, because we like the extra crunch}
*3/4 t Baking Soda
*1/4 plus 1/8 t of Salt
*1 1/2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
*2 Cups Rolled Oats
-Mix everything till everything is incorporated.
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a large cookie sheet {or Jelly roll pan} (sprayed with cooking spray) smoosh the peanut mixture into a crust like fashion.  Be warned that this mixture is sticky.  In the end I had to dust my hands with flour to smoosh it everywhere.
-Bake the crust for 10 minutes.  After you take it out of the oven, let it cool.  After cooling, spread another cup of peanut butter on top.  Stick it in the fridge and let it chill for awhile.  After a while you can either: spread some chocolate frosting on top; or melt some chocolate & spread it on top.  I chose the melt chocolate option.
-Chill again or eat.....We chose eat yesterday.


I posted this here & here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I went to JoAnns the other day to pick up a pattern; I was going to make Madi a dress by using a pattern & using some fabric I had at home.  I was picking up all the notions that I needed to complete the dress, and one thing is requested was lining.  I found the lining, paid for my supplies & headed home.  I started cutting, pinning & sewing the top part of this dress, and at once I noticed how clean the lines around the neck and arms were going to turn out.  I was kinda giddy about it.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to make a dress from scratch for Madi.  I was having a heck of a time doing these tiny "hem" lines.  My Mom suggested that I get some bias tape to clean them up.  Although it helped, if I had to do it over again, I would by lining.  Here's a picture of my so-so top:
 And here's a pic of the top that I used lining with:
Much better looking.  So I'm a fan of using lining when it comes to making tops.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Use for Freezer Paper

So I have these extra fannel fabric squares.  I also have alot of freezer paper.  Plus I have my Mom's Cricut machine.  I decided to put all three to good use.  I realized that if I ironed on freezer paper to both sides of the fannel fabric, I would be able to put it into the cricut and have it cut out designs for me.
Here's what I did:
*My already cut fabric sqaures were 5" x 5", so I just cut freezer paper that was the same measurements.  The freezer paper makes the fabric stiff & keeps it stable on the cricut mat.
*I put four squares on, but in the end I only used three, although I'm sure I could have just used two
* I planned on cutting a 4.5", 3.5", 2.5", 1.5", & a .5" flowers, but in the end I only used the three bigger flowers.
* Now on regular fabric, it cut through pretty easily; but with this thicker fabric, my Mom said to use a deeper cut blade; but I didn't have that.  The Cricut pretty much cut through everything {it's ok for the top paper to come apart} but I did take my exacto knife and went through all the lines.
* Here's the largest flower.  I dig the roughness of the fabric.
* I super glued the three layers together, stuck a gem on top & an alligator clip on the back
*And presto!  A new flower clip.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Awhile ago, while at Sam's Club, I saw this package of gnocchi & thought that I would give it a try {I mean it was $3 for 3 (1lb) packages}.  My family thoroughly enjoyed these little potato dumplings.  I went back to the store to pick up another package & found that they no longer had them, well until last week {except this time they had almost doubled the price}.  Although good, I wasn't sure if I was willing to pay the price for them, so I decided to look up a recipe & give making them a try.  I found my recipe over at the foodnetwork , because that's one of the first place I go to when I'm trying to find a recipe.  So here's how it went:
*First I weighed out 2.5 lbs of potatoes; peeled them; diced them up
* I then boiled them.  The recipe said to boil for 10 minutes, I did it for 20 minutes {because that's what I do to make mashed potatoes}
*After cooking & draining, I threw them in my KitchenAid & whipped them up.  The recipe called for a ricer, but I don't have the piece of equipment, but this worked for us.  I then sat it aside to let it cool.
*After said cooling, I added the rest of the ingredients & put my husband to work {he was bored} gently folding everything together.
* I dumped the dough onto my counter, divided it up, & rolled each into a rope & then cut each one.
*I don't know if I shaped them right, but they looked good to me.  I then put a lid on and stuck them in the refridgerator to chill.
*When it came time to cook, I heated up a pot of water {to boiling} & dropped enough gnocchi to cover the bottom {I didn't want to overcrowd}.  I knew they were cooked when they floated to the top, which was in no time flat.
*I then scrooped them out of the water & put them immediately into the pesto sauce I made {Pesto & cream whisked together-just like the recipe called for}
*I topped the gnocchi with some fresh tomato, parsley & italian cheese.
*What a yummy dinner.  The gnocchi just melted in my mouth.  My husband & I were both suprised by that.  We weren't sure if it was because it was a fresh pasta {first time we'd ever made fresh pasta} or what; but it tasted good.  My husband thinks it would be fun to pan-fry them up after taking the water bath.  Something I might consider since I have a whole other pan in the fridge :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Freezer Paper Stenciling

My friend is having a baby, and I wanted to make her a more personalized gift for her soon to be little girl.  I found some long-sleeved onesies at Ross's and knew that I wanted to jazz them up, adding that personalized touch.  I've been playing around with Freezer Paper Stenciling, after I read about it on I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar.  Freezer paper stenciling is so much fun, & easy.  I mean you can do anything.  So here's what I did for my friends little girl:
-I cut out her soon-to-be little girls name & painted it onto the shirt-
-Along with that, I had some ruffles to the bum, because I thought it looked cute, & the way the fabric was, it kinda made it edgy.
-My husband & friend met back years ago when they both were serving their missions in the Netherlands.  I asked both of them to give me a Dutch word that meant "precious".  They both came up with the same answer.  Schat actually means treasure in Dutch, but the use of the word would mean precious in English.  That's that first onesie.  The middle one kind-of explains itself; and the last one, I saw the idea somethere & thought it would be cute to monogram her first initial.
It's so nice to give.  And not just give something you found in the store {although there are a lot of cute things sometimes} but give something you put some thought into.  Something you put love into.  That's the best kind of giving.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Roasted Chicken/Hummus Wrap

I really shouldn't go walking around Sam's Club.  I went in to get milk, and I came out with more than that.  But I guess it's a good thing this time because I came away with a great meal for tonight.

As I was rounding one side of the store, I came across their rotisserie chickens.  They looked so juicy & delicious.  At $4.99, I couldn't pass it up, plus I knew I could get a couple of meals out of it.
(juicy goodness)
I remembered seeing tortillas in the fridge & *bam*, yummy wraps for dinner.  The kids & I took a stroll out to the garden & picked up these dandy's to put in our wraps:
-Green Onions which we sliced-
-And a tomatoe, which we chopped-
We slathered some yummy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus on our tortillas
And put on top of that chicken (which we chopped up), lettuce, tomato & green onion & *Presto*

A yummy dinner.
Along with our wrap we added a cucumber fresh from the garden & tortillas chips w/ hummus.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Words Their Way

So I've decided to go full force with everything as Jordan goes through his kindergarten year.  I've joined the PTA (James was disappointed that it was not at all like "Weeds"), I'm playing the piano for the kindergarten classes, I've made myself available for volunteering in the classroom, and I'm attending Jordan's school Parent University classes.  Tonight's subject was a program that they've instituted "Words Their Way".  It seems like a pretty cool program.  It's giving flexibility for students & teacher alike in learning how to spell & read words.  No more spelling lists.  So to help Jordan out for his assessment next week, I've decided to make a poster board of the 5 words he'll be tested on.  I figure for each group of words or "sorts" I would cut out the words & put it somewhere in our house so we constantly see it.  Also with these words, since we're just starting out in the reading department, I put a picture next to each word, so we have an idea, and then work on sound out or stretching out the word.

Thanks to my Mom's cricut for making the letters {I'm sorta borrowing it right now}
I'm so excited for Jordan to start reading & spelling!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Magnet Board

I've been wanting to add a message center to our home.  Somewhere-other than the refridgerator-to hang important papers, notes etc...  I was at the Quilted Bear the other day, and there were some booths selling magnet boards, but for a hefty price (the largest one there was $100!!).  I knew that if I could find the metal sheets, I could make my own frame & come out with my own board in the end.  And that's what I did yesterday with Madi-we drove to the home improvement stores to find metal sheets.

What to make your own??

I went to Home Depot first; unfortunately, they didn't have the size that I wanted (but they do have metal sheets).  I then drove over to Lowes, and it was there that I found various sizes of metal sheets.  I decided to get a 24'' x 24'' sheet; and it cost me $10.83.  If you go to either store, save time by asking an associate where to find the metal sheets-I passed by the displays in both stores a couple of times.

While you're at the store, pick up to 2 2 x 4's; I didn't need to because I have a bunch downstairs.

-Miter Saw
-Table Saw
-Air Compressor w/ Nail Gun, Staple Gun

First measure your board.  The sticker said 24'' x 24'', but that first side was a little over 24''.  What I forgot to do when measuring, was take into account that I was making slits for the sheet to sit in.  I've been trying to figure out a way to do it right, but my brain is not wrapping around the concept, so if you attempt this, trial & error.
With the 2 x 4's: cut off one of the ends @ a 45 degree angle
Take your measurement, mark it on the board & make your second cut going the opposite direction
This is what your board should look like.  The top of this board is the same width as the metal sheet.  And I think this is were my problems started.  I had measured all the sides, cut them out, and had this nice frame ready to go; except for the fact that the metal sheet was not sandwiched between the sides.  Because of this, I had to cut the sides & top shorter, and ended up cutting a deeper slit on the top.  Trial & Error folks-remember, this is my first time making one :)
With your table saw:  set your depth to make your groove & then slide all your pieces through.
Put three sides together & pin nails in the corner to secure it.  I also put some staple on top to make it nice and secure.

Slide the metal sheet down, and put the top piece on & secure it.

Give it a little sanding & then paint.  I was going to paint mine a dark brown, so I knew I wouldn't need to prime it.

And here's the finished product: