Monday, April 30, 2012

Pizza Sushi Rolls Tutorial

Here's a great kid-friendly lunch recipe that even the picky eaters will enjoy! You can also omit the slicing step and these are great pizza stuffed breadsticks for adults!

Pizza Sushi Rolls

Ingredients

Crescent Roll dough
Pepperoni
Cheese
Marinara sauce

Step 1
 

Pinch the seams between two crescent dough triangles, making a rectangle. Layer with pepperoni and cheese.

Step 2

Roll up, long ways.

Step 3

Put seam side down on a baking sheet and bake according to the directions on the crescent roll dough package.

Step 4

Slice the rolls into 8 slices, serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Playing Restaurant with your Kids

Playing "Restaurant" is one of June's favorite pretend games. It's also a great way to get out of the usual lunch funk that tends to happen after days and days of the same routine. 

Pretend Play- Restaurant

Here's how to play!

First, write up a menu. This doesn't have to look professional but you can do this on the computer if you want it to look real. I just folded a piece of cardstock paper and wrote with a highlighter.

For lunch, we typically do a protein, a dairy, and a grain. We also usually do a vegetable or fruit but she had carrot sticks as a snack before we played restaurant. Give them some options in each category, make each choice a healthy one so they don't end up with bacon, icecream, and Doritos as their lunch (I would totally pick that if it was an option). And include a dessert choice as well. I wanted her to have yogurt so I gave her two flavor options.

 

Set up the table with a tablecloth (in our case, napkins), plates, and cups. I used my daughter's tea party set. Prepare a pitcher of icewater and have it ready to go.



Lead her to her seat, pull the chair out for her, and call her ma'am when you talk to her. (If you have a boy, obviously do this but call him "sir"). "Welcome to Mom's Diner! Here's your menu...can I start you off with a cup of water?" Then pour them a little cup of water. 

"May I take your order?" I had to read the choices to her since she can't read yet. She chose the ham, string cheese, and crackers.

"Right away ma'am!"

Assemble her choices on her plate and deliver them to her table. Keep an eye on her and periodically check to see how everything is and refill her cup. 


 Once she's done, offer a dessert menu. Bring her dessert in a cute little bowl and thank her for coming to Mom's Diner!



You can also expand this pretend play to include a bill at the end of service. Help her count out some pretend money to pay for lunch. This is a great way to get some basic math lessons mixed in with her pretend play.

Hope this makes lunch time a little more fun and educational! It's also great for picky eaters, something about it makes them more willing to eat foods they normally wouldn't.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lemon Cream Cheese Stuffed-Crust Blackberry Pie Tutorial

If you're looking for an easy pie with all those fresh berries you are picking this summer, look no further! I used fresh-picked dewberries (like a wild blackberry) but you can use any berry you have on hand: strawberry and blueberry would be delicious!

Lemon Cream Cheese Stuffed-Crust Blackberry Pie

Ingredients

1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup white sugar
Zest of one lemon 
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 package refrigerated pie crust (both crusts)
3 cups fresh blackberries (or any berry)

Step 1

 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Unroll one pie crust and press it into a buttered pie pan.

Step 2


In a bowl, combine the berries and 1/3 cup of sugar, stir and let sit until ready to use.

Step 3


In a stand-mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest and juice.

Step 4


Spread two-thirds of the cream cheese mixture onto the bottom of the pie crust.

Step 5



Place the second pie crust on top of the cream cheese layer. Pinch together the two crusts along the edge.

Step 6



Pour the sugar and berries over the second pie crust. Spread the leftover cream cheese mixture on top of the berries.

Step 7




Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Then cover the edges of the pie with tinfoil or pie guards, turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 more minutes until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Step 8



Let cool and refrigerate before serving.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Asian Marinated Salmon Tutorial

I was wanting a light dinner tonight, so fish seemed appropriate. This Asian style marinade was perfect with salmon. I served it on a bed of homemade Chow Mein which was not good enough to post a recipe for...I'll work on it and get back to you on that.

Asian Marinated Salmon

Ingredients 

1.5-3lb salmon filet
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seed oil
5 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 scallions, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon



Step 1


In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, olive oil, garlic, scallions, and lemon juice.

Step 2

Pour over salmon filet. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes up to several hours.

Step 3

Cut the salmon filet into portions.

Step 4


You can bake, grill, or pan cook at this point. I chose to cook it in a skillet. Heat a little oil and cook 5-6 minutes on each side.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mother's Day Coach Tote Giveaway!


I must admit, I'm a big fan of Coach handbags. So I'm very excited to be a part of this great giveaway!

I have teamed up with several bloggers to giveaway this GORGEOUS, Brand New with Tags, Coach Heritage Shopper Tote that retails for $328!

All you have to do is scroll down and "like" a few blogs to win. How easy is that? Please feel free to check back and enter EVERY DAY. The giveaway will run from 11pm central until 11:01 central 05/06/12.

Good luck and Happy Mother's Day :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookie Tutorial

I recently bought a bag of Trail Mix to snack on during the day. It had a wonderful array of delicious things in it and made the perfect snack while I chased two kids around. While eating a handful this morning, I had the idea of mixing the rest of the bag of trail mix into some homemade peanut butter cookies for a friends birthday. This idea was: The. Best. Idea. Ever. Behold, the Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookie!


Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies


Ingredients

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened (not melted)
1/4 cup Crisco
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups of your choice bagged trail mix (I used one with cashews, peanuts, almonds, raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and white chocolate chips)


Step 1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat the sugars, butters, Crisco, vanilla, and egg together until fluffy.

Step 2


Add the flour, oats, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until combined.

Step 3


Add the trail mix and stir to combine.

Step 4


Using a medium scoop or a teaspoon, drop spoonful sizes of dough on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Flatten slightly with a fork in a criss-cross pattern.

Step 5 



Bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes until they are golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and the transfer to a cooling rack.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thermal Tote Giveaway!

This weeks giveaway is from my friend, Donna at Thirty-One. She has donated a Black Parisian Pop Thermal Tote: A classic favorite! It's great for taking lunch on the go. Whether you need to keep your food cool or warm, it does the job. Great for school or work lunch, or for taking to a ballgame. Also great as a baby bag to keep bottles cold. Measures approx: 9.5"H x 14"W x 4.5"D 


Check out her website to browse her inventory for even MORE cute bags and accessories! Even better, they are having an outlet sale starting on April 18-20th, so now is the perfect time to grab some great summer accessories!

Enter below using the Rafflecopter entry form and good luck!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby Sling Giveaway!!

This week's giveaway is from my friend Summer aka RefashionMama

Choose between a handcrafted pink, blue, or monkey ring sling.  These slings are designed to hold infant through toddler age children (up to 35-40 lbs).  You can carry your child in several positions from cradle to kangaroo hold, back carry to hip hold position.  You can also nurse discretely using the tail as a cover up.  She will also include a matching child size sling to use as a doll carrier. 

These are too cute!! For your chance to win, enter below using the Rafflecopter entry form. Good luck!




Kitchen Renovation Step 3

Check out Step 1 and Step 2 of our kitchen renovation! 
The next step in the renovation is the new countertops. Ekkkk!!! I'm ridiculously excited! The old countertops were just plywood with Formica and an unattractive wood molding nailed around it. 
We removed the molding which left a white strip of wall that needed to be painted before they could install the new countertops.

It was pretty gross when we removed the molding from behind the sink, as it wasn't sealed so all kinds of horrors were growing beneath it.


A lot of disinfecting, sanding, and painting later...



I thought it looked much better already.

The installers came and created a template of my countertops so they could go back and cut my material.


Then the fun part!! Installation day! 



Everything is cleared off, faucet is removed, all is well while we wait for the installers to get here.


We decided on the LG Viatera® Quartz in "Kilauea." I immediately loved the chocolate and toffee tones and thought it would really pop with my white cabinets and yellow walls.


The old counters came up so quickly, I didn't even get a picture. The Quartz went in nice and easy, I do have one seam, so this picture is of the sealer machine, doing it's thing while the installers ate lunch. It's basically bonding the two pieces together...now that it's all done, I had a hard time seeing the seam, and I even knew exactly where it was. It came out GREAT! 


A little silicon beading around the edges and the sink, then three holes drilled for the faucet.


These installers were real pros. They did a fantastic job and they left my kitchen as clean as it was when they got there. 






It's all done! We have to wait for the silicon to set up before we do anything, especially the seal around the sink. I LOVE IT! It's fantastic, it's beautiful! 

We went through Lowe's and the installers were contracted out by them. It was a PLEASURE to deal with Lowe's. We even had a miscalculation on our bill which would have been an extra 500 dollars to pay on our end. Lowes took care of everything and did not hold us responsible for those extra costs which is UNHEARD of!! We were totally ready to write a check to cover the mistake...we are honest people and we don't want anyone getting in trouble or not getting paid what they are entitled, but they refused to let us pay anymore than we already had. I will DEFINITELY encourage people to use Lowe's for their renovation projects in the future. They were great to deal with.

The next step is buying and installing the Black Walnut butcher block countertop on the island and then a glass tile backsplash all the way up to the first shelf above the Quartz countertops. 



Step 4 is happening soon. Next on the list is installing some double ovens and the new butcher block island top!