Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Broccoli Salad recipe

My really great friend Amanda just requested this recipe, so I decided to put it up here.  I love this recipe.  Super easy and really yummy.

Broccoli Salad
This is a borrowed photo, and they apparently add raisins to the salad.  I am a purist.  No raisins.  :)

Broccoli Salad
2 bunches of florets
2 T minced onion
1/4 lb of crumbled bacon
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

For the dressing, wisk together:
1 c mayonnaise
1/3 c sugar
1 T apple cider vinegar
Serve as soon as you dress the salad, otherwise keep both the salad and dressing refrigerated.

This is the original recipe, but I really like it to have a higher ratio of cheese, onion and bacon, so I put more of them in.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chicken and Peppers with Pasta

Chicken & Peppers With Pasta

Friends, this is one of my favorite recipes.  


No, it is not particularly healthy.  Yes, it is loaded with butter and cheese, but 
OH BABY!!  I loves it.  :)  Enjoy.  

Thank you, Land O' Lakes.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween Fonts

Halloween is coming!!  

Yesterday, Little Girl and I set up our decorations.  (Pictures to come soon.)  She was so excited to see her favorites from years past and our new acquisitions.  I like Halloween, but I am really not into the gory, evil side of the holiday.  I figure there's enough of that around without me adding more, plus it makes me uncomfortable.  So I shamelessly prep out on Halloween.

While we wait for those (my camera is on the fritz) I found a pin I LOVE from 
Funky Polkadot Giraffe.  Halloween Fonts!  Enjoy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Mom Next Door Focus Group

I recently teamed up with to host a Mom Next Door Event at my house. We had a great time discussing what affects moms' purchasing decisions.  Thanks to Vicks, Stoneyfield Yogurt, and Family Fun magazine for providing grab bag goodies, and thanks, Jyl Pattee of for spearheading a great time!

I had several requests for the Veggie Chowder I served, so here you go:  (I forgot to take a picture, but this one looks close...thanks, Mom's Going Green!)

Veggie Chowder

4 potatoes, chopped
1/2-1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2-1 cup celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 can corn
4 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1-2 cups shredded cheddar
1 cup of half and half (I think it's one cup; I usually just use milk and I eyeball it, so it might be up to 2 cups)
1 tsp Greek Seasoning
ground red pepper

Bring water to a boil.  Add bouillon cubes and potatoes, carrots and celery.  Saute onion in a little bit of butter, then add to the soup with the corn.  When the veggies are tender, remove from heat and melt cheese in small handfuls, stirring constantly.  Add half and half (or milk) and season to taste.  Yum!!

A few things...

About 50% of the time, my cheese clumps.  I have been trying to figure out what I am doing wrong that makes this happen.  I know I have better luck when I use a wisk than a wooden spoon, and a friend told me that adding dairy BEFORE you try and melt cheese is the problem, so I melt the cheese first. It still clumps sometimes.  Any other tips?

Also, TRY THE GREEK SEASONING!!  This is the one I use, but I think there are others.  It really makes the soup!

And finally, I don't really like the heat from the red pepper flakes, but my husband can't get enough of it, so we season our own bowls {read:  I leave it out, and he puts what he wants in his own bowl}.

One of our family faves!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thrift Store find #2

$5 each.  Goodwill.  Uh-huh.  Can't wait to get some fabric!  

I am going to attempt some upholstery, people.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Places to Go--Waukegan Public Library

One morning, Bitty Girl and I were up in Waukegan, waiting for a friend to finish some business at the County Courthouse.  Things were taking a little longer than we had anticipated, and we found ourselves wandering around looking for a place to be.  Realizing that the city library was just next door, we thought we'd head over and spend time reading books. 

We struck gold.

  The children's library is downstairs, but don't let that turn you off.  THIS is what we found:

 Can you believe it?  This place is a free children's museum!  There were six zones in this side of the library!  (The entire children's section is triple this size.  Rows upon rows of books just waiting to be loved.)

The librarian told us that the theme changes every year.  This year, it is All About Bugs.  As you enter, you are greeted by an enormous display of sunflowers and a giant bee.  I'm telling you, it's worthy of Fifth Avenue.  The activities surround you at this point, with sections to the right, left and behind you.  

Behind where you now stand, there is a stage complete with a green screen and props.  There is a TV where and sitting area where you can watch your own performance.  They said kids put on informal plays there and everything.  Awesome.  Right next to that is the arts and crafts table, big enough to fit 16 kids easy, and supplies, including paper, crayons, smocks, paint, etc.  To be honest, we whizzed right past this part, so I can't even remember everything it offered.

Immediately to the right of the main display is a sweet little section for the wee ones.  It's sort of like a playpen enclosed by benches for moms.  It has a padded floor toy and other items, but the great thing is that you can keep an eye on your littlest treasure while the bigger one runs off into the Imaginatorium (my title, not theirs!).  It includes a play kitchen, a wall-mounted calculator, building block table, and Bitty Girl's favorite, this amazing marble rolling machine.  Laying your hand on different pads set marbles in corresponding areas into motion, with a motorized return system to keep the fun rolling.  Very cool. 

Left of Mr. Bee's display was Bitty Girl's favorite area.  Here she lost herself in books, puzzles, and a large scale beehive climbing toy.  There was also a computer ready for her artistic masterpiece, a bug table manipulated by magnets, and a wall mounted CD player that she could control.  So great for such an independent little toddler.  :)

 In the main section of the library, we found a little puppet theater and about a dozen puppets.  She had a lot of fun getting them on and trying to make them move.  We each put on a few performances for each other, and then headed back to the Bugs.  She had so much fun that when it was time to go, this is what I got:

So, the SnippySnaps rating for the Wauconda Public Library:

Parking was either in the garage next door or metered on the street, which earns a 4 in my book, as I am not used to paying for the library.  I didn't check if they give tokens, though, so maybe they deserve a 5-star after all.  Location is great, right next to courthouse, but still all the way up in Wauconda: 4 stars.  The value rating is a no-brainer 5 stars, and our overall experience earned 5 stars.  We can't wait to go up and see the new theme this winter!

Hooray for the Library!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DIY Coasters

I don't know about you, but my kitchen counters are constantly full of cups.  Water cups, milk cups, morning cups, dinner cups, more water cups--makes me crazy!  In an effort to contain the cups, we all made our own coasters, plus a few extra for guests.

DIY Coasters

  Tiles {My 3.5 squares were on clearance for 30 cents each!}
  Paper Trimmer
  Mod Podge {Ignore the white glue!!  More on this later...}
  Foam Brushes
  Cork or rubber feet for the bottom

We also employed the Slice Fabrique to get shapes and letters, but stickers or scissors work, too!

1.  Cut paper squares just smaller than your tile.  My tiles were rough on the edges instead of flat the whole way across, and I liked how the edge framed the paper.  You can also opt to take the paper right to the edge of your tile.

2.  Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the tile.  If you use too much, you will soak your paper, so be careful! Let it tack up a bit, then lay your paper on top.  Give it another coat.  Let dry.  Repeat for each new paper layer.

A note here about the glue.  I had run out of Mod Podge (eek!) and so thought I would try using watered down Elmer's instead.  It seemed to work fine at first, but over the next few days, things deteriorated.  The tiles got sticky and the paper would come off on the wet cup bottoms.  So, use Mod Podge.

3.  Add a layer of cork or adhesive felt buttons on the bottom to keep the coasters from scratching the furniture.  Voila!