Friday, March 30, 2012

Gender Reveal Party

As soon as we found out we were pregnant, I knew I wanted to throw a gender reveal party.  I had seen so many cute ideas on Pinterest and thought it would be the perfect way to share with close friends and family what Baby Herring would be.  I started planning the party at about 14 weeks.  I used my time off for spring break to get most of the decorations done, most of which involved my Cricut.  I tried to use as many things as possible from my craft room to create things for the reveal.  Luckily I had a wreath, yarn, ribbon and tons of blue and pink paper.  I planned a small menu since the party was at 3 in the afternoon on a Sunday.  We served lemonade, water, sangria and little sandwiches, pasta salad, spinach dip and fruit.  It ended up being the perfect amount of food.  For the reveal we used an empty box we found at Office Depot and 8 balloons.  Since we already had found out what Baby Herring was 2 days before the party, we knew what color to buy and fill the box with.  As soon as everyone arrived for the party, we revealed outside in our front yard.  My parents and best friend were ready to rip the box open if they had to wait any longer.   Hubs cut the tape and I helped the balloons out of the box.  We let some into the air and taped the others to the box for pictures.  We had such a wonderful time at the party and can't wait to show Avery the pictures of when all her aunts and uncles found out she was a girl!
P.S. Most of our family and friends thought she would be a he! 

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Snickerdoodle Bread

Snickerdoodle Bread
Courtesy of Let's Dish

If you enjoy snickerdoodle cookies, you'll love this snickerdoodle bread!

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cinnamon chips 
1 tablespoon flour

2 T. sugar
2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and 2 cups sugar, salt and cinnamon until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix to combine. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Coat the cinnamon chips with 1 tablespoon of flour and stir into the batter.  Spoon the batter into four or five greased mini loaf pans (or two 9x5 loaf pans). Combine the 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon and sprinkle over each loaf. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes for mini loaves (or 60-70 minutes for full-size loaves), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Easter Jars

Easter is just around the corner.  I don't have a lot of Easter decorations, so I headed to Pinterest for a little pinspiration.  
After searching for seconds I found an idea that I could recreate with items I already had at home.  I used to large glass jars, plastic eggs, Easter grass and peeps.  
Here is my final creation...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cornflake Ranch Chicken

We loved the ranch pork chops I made last week.  When I went to cook the chicken I took out this week, I decided to try something similar with the chicken.  
Instead of dipping the chicken in eggs, I dipped it in ranch dressing.  After that, I dipped the chicken in crushed cornflakes that were spread out on a plate.  From there, they went on a greased baking sheet.  I cooked them for about 25-30 minutes at 375. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes

Hubs decided to make us pancakes from scratch instead of our usual going out to breakfast last Saturday.  I think he...had a craving.  He found the recipe, did all the work and I sat on the couch relaxing with the pups.  Love him!  

Anyhow, I was very impressed with the pancakes and how quick he was able to make them.  I had to share the recipe with you all.  

Good Old Fashioned Pancakes 
Recipe Courtesy AllRecipes 


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Best Pork Chops You Will Ever Taste

A few weeks back I picked up pork chops on sale.  I added them to the menu last week and found myself on Pinterest looking for a recipe.  I remembered pinning this one about a week or so ago and decided to visit the website to check it out.  I had all of the ingredients at home, which makes my wallet happy.  There wasn't much prep work and the reviews were positive.  Therefore I decided to give it a try.  Overall, a great recipe.  Definitely will be a go to when I don't want to run to the store to get ingredients I don't have on hand.  Mine didn't look as crispy as the ones in the picture, but they were still yummy.  Enjoy!

The Best Pork Chops You Will Ever Taste
Recipe Courtesy Pinterest
 Ranch Dressing In A Bottle (I used peppercorn ranch)
 3 Cups Fine Dry Italian Bread Crumbs.
1 Small Package Dry Italian Dressing Mix.
2 Tablespoons Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese.
1 Tablespoon Dry Powdered Garlic.
6 Large Loin Pork Chops.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ingredients 2 - 5 in a large bowl and mix together very well. 
Pour a layer of ranch dressing out into a plate. 
Take one pork chop at a time and coat it on the plate with ranch dressing and then put the pork chop with the ranch dressing on it into the large bowl with the bread crumbs and coat it well on all sides. Add more ranch dressing to the plate if you need to.
Have your tin foil lined baking pan setting there ready. Spray the tinfoil with vegetable cooking spray. Place your breaded pork chops onto the tinfoil covered pan and once you have all your pork chops on the pan place it into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the thick part of your pork chops reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. As soon as your pork chops are done remove from the pan and serve as soon as possible

Friday, March 16, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

My husband called me from work a few days ago and said he needed me to make cookies for the following day for his team.  I immediately went to my Pinterest cookie board, looking for a quick and cheap recipe.  I picked this one because of the few ingredients (I only had to buy the Reeses) and minimal time it would take to whip them up.  These cookies smelled so delicious when they were baking, I had to taste them when they were finished.  And they were as good as they smelled.  I will definitely be making these again!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies
Recipe Courtesy Cookies and Cups

  • 1 (18.25 oz) box chocolate cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 8 oz bag Reese's Minis
How to Make
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. With your mixer, beat together cake mix, oil and eggs until combined.
  3. Pour in entire bag of Reese's Minis.
  4. Mix on low until Reese's are evenly incorporated.
  5. Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place n a parchment lined baking sheet about 2" apart. Cookies will spread.
  6. Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tater- Tot Casserole

One thing I've loved since being pregnant is tater tots.  They are one of the many carbs that got me through the first trimester.  As soon as I came across this recipe (on Pinterest), I knew it would be one hubs and I would both enjoy.  The only thing I didn't love about it was there wasn't any veggies.  So I decided to add some corn and peas to it.  Adding the veggies ended up giving it a great texture.  I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it as much without them. This recipe earned two thumbs up and the great thing is, I have half of all the ingredients left over to make it again next week.  Enjoy!

Tater-Tot Casserole

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can condensed cream of celery or cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
  • 1 16oz package frozen tater tots
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 can of corn
  • 1/3 cup of frozen peas 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef. season with salt & pepper.
  3. Add chopped onion, cook until tender.
  4. In a casserole dish, combine ground beef mixture & cream soup along with frozen peas and canned corn.
  5. Top mixture with tater tots and additional salt and pepper. 
  6. Bake , uncovered, for 30-40 minutes till bubbly and Tots are golden brown.
  7. remove from oven & top with cheese, return to oven until melted.
  8. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes 

2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
cooking spray
1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
kosher salt and fresh pepper
8 oz spaghetti (high fiber or l
ow carb) I used Ronzoni Smart Taste
2 cups grape t
omatoes, halved
6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Bring a large
pot of salted water to boil.

Season chicken generous
ly with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large skillet on high heat. When hot, spray with oil and add chicken. Cook about 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.

While pasta cooks, add olive oil to skillet on hig
h heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown (do not burn). Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Sauté about 4-5 minutes. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta seems too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with good grated cheese.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins 
Recipe Courtesy Sweet Peas Kitchen 

The recipe you'll find below is for bread, but I decided to make muffins.  I wanted something quick I could grab for breakfast this week.  Thanks to Pinterest, I didn't have to look far for a fabulous recipe! You'll see my changes to the recipe below in red.  

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Bread
  1. 2 cups fresh strawberries, divided
  2. 3/4 cup white sugar
  3. 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  4. 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 cup vegetable oil (1/2 cup cinnamon apple sauce)
  8. 2 eggs, beaten
  9. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (dark chocolate chocolate chips)
  11. *1/2 cup chopped walnuts 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. Puree 1 cup of strawberries in a blender. Transfer to a medium bowl. Slice remaining 1 cup of strawberries and place in the medium bowl with the strawberry puree. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup sugar; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add oil, eggs and vanilla extract to the strawberry mixture, stir to combine. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan (greased muffin pan) and smooth surface with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake until top is golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes (20 minutes were perfect for the muffins).  Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto the wire rack, and cool completely.
Yields: 1 - 9 x 5-inch loaf (12 large muffins) 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil and Chili Pepper Flakes

I have to thank Pinterest for one of the best pasta recipes I've made in a long time.  I'm not a big pasta eater, even though I'm 75% Italian.  I love it, but my waist line...not so much.  But thanks to pregnancy and only being able to tolerate bland carbs has lead to lots of pasta for me lately.  I'm also usually so tired, it's the quickest and easiest dinner to make.  I was determined to find something different from the typical spaghetti and red sauce.  I'm now obsessed with this pasta.  It's easy, so easy to make.  All of the ingredients are kitchen staples and it makes great left overs.  Winner!

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino 
Courtesy Yum Sugar

7 ounces of spaghetti
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons of chili pepper flakes (we used red pepper flakes)
1/4 to 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
*we also added grated parmesan cheese on top of the pasta.  

  1. Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package, until it is al dente.
  2. Strain spaghetti and place in a large serving dish.
  3. Add minced garlic, chili pepper flakes, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix together well.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 2 to 4.

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