Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wine Cork Monogram

I'm not sure what I did before the days of Pinterest.  I love all of the ideas I've found during the countless hours I've spend on there.  This is one of those ideas I pinned onto my MAKE IT board. You can find the original project here.  I couldn't wait to make this wine cork initial.  I'm currently doing lots of work on our kitchen and knew this would be the perfect addition.  The whole project took me just over an hour.  And...I LOVE how it came out.  This would also make a great gift (wedding or housewarming).  

What You Need: 
Glue Gun
Wine Corks
Knife or Scissors
Wood Initial (found mine at Michael's) 
Craft Paint
Paint Brush

How To Do It: 

Start with your wooden letter.  You can choose to leave it white if that will match your decor.  My kitchen doesn't have any white, therefore I decided to paint mine black. 

Gather lots of wine corks. I saved mine and had some saved from my wedding projects.  
 The H took 35-40 corks, cut in half.  

Paint the letter.  I used black craft paint.  I painted 2 coats on the back of the H and one coat on the front because it will be covered in corks.  Let the paint dry.  

Cut the wine corks in half.  I thought the H would look weird if I used full corks.  I didn't want it to stick out really far if I hung it on the wall.  So I used a knife and cut them in half.  Hot glue the corks onto the letter.  Line up each row to make sure it fits before you start gluing.  Cover the entire letter.  

I had to cut a few corks at the bottom in order to cover the entire H.  Let the glue dry and display your great work! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smores Pie

I saw a picture on Pinterest of Smores Pie and knew I had to make it.  I love all the smores creations I've made and couldn't wait to add this one to the list.  Here is the recipe that I originally found.  Since I made this while we were on vacation, I didn't make the dough from scratch.  I didn't want to lug my mixer with me nor did I want to do all that work at the beach.  So, I bought pre-made cookie dough to make the pie.  It worked very well, sooo much easier!  You can find the ingredients and directions here.  Below you will find my step by step directions.  I used 2 packages of cookie dough, 2 cups of fluff and 3 Hershey's candy bars.  Make sure to let the pie cool before you cut it.  I enjoyed the pie the first night we made it but I LOVED the pie after it had been in the refrigerator over night.  

1.  Place cookie dough in an ungreased pie dish

2.  Press the dough to form a crust. 

3.  On a piece of parchment paper (or aluminum foil) shape the 2nd package of cookie dough into a circle.  Make sure it's as big as the pie dish. 

4.  Spread the fluff on top of the cookie dough.  Then top with pieces of Hershey's chocolate. 

5.  Place the round cookie dough on the top of the pie.  Press edges together. 

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Crunchy Onion Potato Bake

One of the things I love about the beach house in the Keys is that it has a kitchen filled with everything needed to cook.  We don't go out to eat and bring tons of food down with us each year.  My job this year was sides.  I picked this one because of it's ingredients.  I didn't want to spend the time making mashed potatoes while on vacation, but wanted a potato recipe.  This Betty Crocker  recipe was not only perfect because I didn't have to spend tons of time mashing potatoes but the ingredients were easy to tote down to the Keys.  If I were to make this at home, I would definitely use fresh potatoes instead.  Enjoy!

2 1/2cups milk
1 1/2cups water
1/4cup butter
1box (7.2 oz) Betty Crocker® homestyle creamy butter or roasted garlic mashed potatoes
1can (15.25 oz) Green Giant® whole kernel corn, drained
1cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1can (2.8 oz) French-fried onions

  1. 1Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 3-quart saucepan, heat milk, water and margarine to boiling. Stir in contents of both pouches of potatoes (from potatoes box) just until moistened; let stand 1 minute. Stir with fork until smooth. Stir in corn.
  2. 2Spoon half of potato mixture into dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 each of the cheese and onions. Top with remaining potatoes; sprinkle with remaining cheese and onions.
  3. 3Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and onions are golden.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Warm Bacon Dip

I'm always on the hunt for new appetizers.  I've made tons of tasty appetizers but I don't like to make the same recipe twice.  One day I won't have the time to spend searching for recipes and tasty creations.  But while I do, I'm going to keep on searching and trying new things.  Because when that day when I don't have the time,  I'll have this blog to turn to to find the recipes that were hits in the past.  Make sense? I found this recipe on Kraft Foods.  Who doesn't like bacon in an appetizer?  I knew it would be a crowd pleaser and it definitely didn't disappoint.  I made it at the beach and loved that I didn't have to bring lots of ingredients with me.  I didn't add the green onions b/c my Mister doesn't like them.  Next time I will add them to half of the recipe.    Although it was still a grand slam without! Enjoy!
**I served with Triscuit crackers and Tostitos chips**


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 3 ounces bacon bits
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup chopped green onion


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Place the mixture in a 1-quart baking dish. Cover. Heat the dip for 25-30 minutes or until hot. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables, crackers and/or chips. *Serving option: Dip may also be placed in hollowed round sourdough loaf, wrapped in foil and heated in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Brown's Best Baked Beans

This recipe comes from one a very special friend of mine.  Caroline over at Simply Smithwick posted this recipe about a month ago.  I saved it knowing it would come in handy with summer BBQ's right around the corner.  I made them this weekend while we were on vacation.  I've never made baked beans with ground sausage, but was pleasantly surprised at the taste it added.  The recipe is easy to make but make sure you realize they take an hour to cook.  Enjoy! 

1 large can of Baked Beans ( Bush's Maple Cured Baked Beans)
1 lb. ground sausage
3 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp BBQ sauce
4 tbsp ketchup

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Brown sausage
3. In a 8x8 dish, combine sausage, beans, brown sugar, BBQ sauce and ketchup.
4. Bake beans for 1 hour on 325.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Salsa Cheddar Chicken

Sometimes I plan meals that are very similar to each other.  This is simply because I don't want to waste ingredients.  Since I only cook 4 serving each night (2 for dinner and 2 for leftovers)  I usually end up with lots of left over ingredients.  Typically, they stay in the frigde and end up going bad.  So my solution to this little problem  was to take more time in planning my meals. Plan meals using the same ingredients so that nothing went to waste.  This Kraft meal was used in a Mexican themed week.  

what you need

2 Tbsp. KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing
4 small  boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1 large green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large  tomato, chopped
1 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1 cup  KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
2 cups hot cooked long-grain brown rice

make it

HEAT dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cover. Cook 4 to 5 min. on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm.
ADD peppers to skillet; cook 5 min., stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes and salsa. Return chicken to skillet; simmer, covered, on medium-low heat 10 min. or until done (165ºF).
TOP with cheese; cook, covered, 4 to 5 min. or until melted. Serve over rice.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Southwestern Chicken Pasta Salad

I was in the mood for some pasta salad for dinner and went on the hunt for a tasty recipe.  I stopped my search after finding this one from Betty Crocker. I've been loving Mexican food lately, just can't get enough.  Hubs and I prepared this dinner together, which made it even better!  I loved it and hubs liked it.   He wasn't crazy about the mayo dressing, I on the other hand couldn't get enough.  It was just as delicious left over for lunch the next day.  We didn't use the lettuce and didn't feel as though anything was missing.  This would be a hit without the chicken at a party or shower as a side.  Enjoy! 


6oz. (2 cups) uncooked rainbow rotini (spiral pasta)
1(9-oz.) pkg. frozen southwestern-flavored cooked chicken breast strips, thawed, diced
1medium avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1large tomato, chopped
1(11-oz.) can Green Giant® Niblets® Whole Kernel Sweet Corn, drained
1/2cup sliced green onions
4oz. (1 cup) finely shredded Mexican cheese blend
3/4cup mayonnaise
1/2cup Old El Paso® Thick 'n Chunky salsa
1(11-oz.) pkg. torn romaine and iceberg lettuce blend (6 cups)
1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro

  1. 1Cook and drain rotini as directed on package. Rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
  2. 2Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix chicken, avocado, tomato, corn, onions and cheese. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise and salsa.
  3. 3Add rotini to salad; stir gently to mix. Add mayonnaise mixture to salad; toss to coat. Arrange lettuce blend on individual plates. Spoon salad over lettuce. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I originally found this idea on the Betty Crocker website and have also seen it on a bunch of blog link ups.  I knew it would be the perfect treat to make my class on the last day of school.  So, I made them last Wednesday and I have to say they are the cutest cupcakes I've ever made.  I'm giving you the Betty Crocker recipe because I used it as my guide.  I will tell you that I did not turn the cupcakes upside down to bake.  I used a square piece of aluminum foil stuffed in the muffin pan to hold the cones up.  It worked very well and I just left them there until I served them.  I used a pastry bag for the icing to give it the soft serve ice cream look.  Enjoy!

box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® party rainbow chip cake mix
 Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
flat-bottom ice cream cones
to 2 containers Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy frosting (any flavor)

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  2. Make cake batter as directed on box. Fill each cup 2/3 full of batter (1 heaping tablespoon each). Place ice cream cone upside down on batter in each cup.
  3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean (cones may tilt on batter). Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Remove paper baking cups. Generously frost cake with frosting, and decorate as desired. Store loosely covered.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Zesty Chicken Tortilla Bake

A big thanks to Kraft for another fabulous dinner recipe. Hubs and I used rotisserie chicken, which I would definitely recommend.  We also added a bit of sour cream to the top for serving.  Loved it left over as well. Enjoy!

What You Need

1/2 cup MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
1/2 cup  flour
3 cups milk
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup  TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
16   flour tortillas (6 inch)

Make It

HEAT oven to 375°F.

MIX dressing and flour in medium saucepan with whisk until well blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened. Add 1 cup cheese; cook until melted, stirring constantly. Reserve 1 cup sauce.
STIR chicken, salsa and parsley into remaining sauce; spoon 1/3 cup down center of each tortilla. Roll up. Place 8 roll-ups, seam-sides down, in each of 2 (13x9-inch) baking dishes sprayed with cooking spray; top with reserved sauce and remaining cheese.
BAKE 25 min. or until heated through.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

Heaven on a plate.  
Absolutely amazing
My new favorite breakfast muffin.  
I can't wait to eat them for breakfast

You've got to try these!

*NOTE* This recipe is for a cake.  I decided to make muffins.  I followed all directions and only changed the baking time (15 minutes instead of 38). I also didn't use the sugar drizzle at the end, they didn't need it.  

1box Betty Crocker® cinnamon streusel muffin mix
1/2cup chopped peeled apple
1/2cup shredded carrot
1/2cup chopped walnuts
1/2cup flaked coconut
1/4cup vegetable oil
1can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1/2cup powdered sugar
1to 2 teaspoons water

  1. 1Heat oven to 400°F. Grease bottom only of 8-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir together Muffin Mix, apple, carrot, walnuts and coconut. In small bowl, stir together oil, eggs and pineapple; stir into muffin mixture. Spread in pan. Sprinkle with Streusel (from Muffin Mix).
  2. 2Bake 38 to 42 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.
  3. 3In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and enough of the 1 to 2 teaspoons water until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over warm cake.

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