Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Evernote App

As you all know, I love Pinterest! I love how I can organize everything on there. I have recently fallen in love with an app that is similar, in my opinion, to Pinterest. It is called Evernote!



I use Evernote all the time! It's like my own private Pinterest!


You have notebooks that you can put anything in and name them whatever you want. Here are some of my notebooks - bakery, cakes, crafts, crockpot recipes, desserts, freezer meals, etc.


In each notebook you can put pictures, ideas, web pages, even voice recordings.


As you can see, mine is mostly used for recipes of all kinds. I love that I can see something I like and just stick it here. It's easier for me to access this than Pinterest, so I put things I want to try, or things I really like.



You can put Evernote on your computer and phone too and they all sync! Which I love! Whether I am on my laptop or on my iPad, I can get to all my notebooks at any time!



You can also share notebooks with others. My hubby and I have been thinking about moving and when we go out looking at houses or land, or we see something we want in our new house we just add it to our notebook. When the notebook syncs, then we both have the same things in that notebook. I love that!



No, I am not getting paid for this Evernote promotion, although if they want to pay me, I would be open to it! I just really love this app and wanted to share it with you! You should check it out!


Do you use Evernote? Or do you have an app you can't live without? Share it with me! I'm always looking for great apps that make life easier, better, or just more fun!





Monday, September 17, 2012

Freezer Cooking

Ever since the very first time I heard of the concept of freezer cooking, I wanted to try it. I thought it sounded like a great idea! Over the years, I have doubled a few meals and frozen part of it, but I have never attempted a "freezer cooking day"! But I love the idea of taking one day to prepare meals for the month for my family!


Last weekend I finally got brave enough to do it! I had a friend of mine that wanted to do it too, and having her cooking with me made it even more fun!


I have been collecting freezer meals recipes for years. So I got a collection of recipes together and decided what we were going to make and put together a shopping list. This shopping list was crazy! Here is the list I sent my friend:


That's crazy! Did you notice it said 23 chicken breasts? We both ended up bringing about 30 and realized we needed more! Probably about 35-40!! That is just crazy!!


Here is what we made:

Golden Chicken

Bacon Feta Stuffed Chicken

Cheesy Slow Cooker Pizza

Tater Tot Casserole

Upside Down Fettucini Bake

Chicken Enchiladas

Angel Chicken Pasta

Potato Soup

Greek-Inspired Slow Cooker Chicken

Chicken with Honey Sauce Marinade



That's just crazy!!


Before the big day, I got all the freezer bags ready by writing the cooking day instructions on them. Then on cooking day, I got got out all the ingredients and laid them together so we could be somewhat organized.




I really think it was just organized chaos!



I had printed or written all our recipes and laid them with the ingredients and the bags.



We started out the cooking process by dicing onions and trimming the fat off all the chicken breasts. This is what took the longest of all, of course we kept having to take breaks because the onions were killing our eyes!! We finally decided to move the onion-cutting station to the stove and turn on the vent-a-hood. That made a HUGE difference! So that is your tip of the day, when cutting onions, turn your vent on and cut under that so the gasses from the onions just go up and out!!


Once the onions and chicken were done, we started with the recipes that didn't have any cooking involved. These seemed to go pretty quickly for the most part.


Now for the best part of this particular evening...we had a big storm come through that night! When I started working on the recipes that needed to be cooked the big part of the storm was getting closer! The power kept flickering! I just knew the power was going to go off, so I was trying to will things to cook faster!!



I had already browned all the ground beef and cooked the fettuccini and the sausage. I only had a few more things that needed to be cooked. When the big part of the storm hit us, I was working on the chicken enchiladas and the upside down fettuccini bake...




(they look good, right?!) at this point I was quite literally yelling at the stove to cook faster and yelling at the power to stay on!


It didn't work!


Mother Nature decided she wanted to have a little fun with us...the power finally went out!


So we had to make due...


We got out candles, flashlights, and lanterns and kept going. Unfortunately, I do not have a gas stove, but the stove stayed hot for a while after the power went off, so I was able to finish cooking everything!


One of the recipes required melted butter. By this time the heat had gone out of the stove and we still had no power...but we had candles!! So I put my friends hubby to work melting the candle! Haha



Yes, seriously!



This just makes me shake my head!


Then my genius husband hooked up this amazingly bright light up to the truck that was in the garage!



He is the technical one, so I have no idea what he actually did. All I know was we had enough light that we didn't have to carry flashlights around all the time! He is my hero!



I don't know if cooking by candlelight makes us hard-core or just crazy! But we were determined to finish! And we did! I was proud of us!


We used 26 gallon size freezer bags...10 quart size freezer bags...4 9 x13 aluminum pans...2 aluminum pie pans...we cooked for 5 hours and prepared 14 meals for our families! And half of the time we didn't have any power!





I love having these meals in the freezer! They are so easy and so quick! And they all sound so yummy! I can't wait to try all of them!


I am working on posting the recipes for all these meals too!


Have you done any freezer cooking? Do you have any recipes that are your go to freezer meals? I would love to hear them! Please share!




Thursday, September 6, 2012

Freezer Cooking Tomorrow!

I am so excited! Tomorrow night one of my friends is coming over and we are going to do some freezer cooking!!


I have our menu planned out and everything is organized and ready to go!


Check out what my counter looks like right now!



And those are just the dry ingredients! Not counting the steaks, sausage, and tons of chicken!


We are going to make a combined 30 meals for our families!


I can't wait to share the outcome with you!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day Of School

I can't believe my little man has started school! Ok, it's just Mothers Day Out, and it's only two days a week, but they have a curriculum and he has to have a backpack and a lunch box, therefore it is school!


He was super excited to go the first day!



You will have to excuse the huge bruise he has in the middle of his head! He plays hard and is very hard-headed...which is a good thing I guess!


Look at his adorable backpack!



In case you don't know, that is Thomas the Train, but G calls him Tommy Choo-Choo! And that makes it even cuter!



He has two wonderful teachers that we love! They play games, and sing sings, and play outside! He has a big time!





He is such a big boy!!





Monday, August 27, 2012

Cool Whip Cookies

I am always looking for super-easy and quick recipes for everything. It doesn't matter if it's desserts or main dishes or sides for dinner, the easier the better! And if you have been following my blog for any amount of time, I'm sure you already know that!


However, you have to be careful...sometimes if it sounds too good to be true, it is! Tis recipe is one of those for me.


I saw this recipe on Pinterest and just had to try it. It helped that I happen to have all the ingredients in my kitchen at the time! All three ingredients! Cookies with three ingredients....I want to give those a try!!



All you need is a box of cake mix (any flavor), one container of Cool Whip, and one egg!
I had a chocolate Devils Food cake mix.


Pour cake mix in a bowl...


...add Cool Whip...


...and the egg, and mix well.
The mix is very thick! Drop cookies onto cookie sheet.


Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.


They sure do look yummy!!


One thing is for sure...they were easy!


I personally didn't care for these cookies. They were very thick. More like a very dense cake than cookies.







Perhaps they would be better with another flavor. I'm not sure, but I will stick with regular cookies from now on!


I debated on whether I should share this with you, but I think I should show you the good, bad and ugly, not only the pretty, wonderful, and yummy!!


If you try these cookies, and they turn out better for you, let me know! Leave a comment!




My Funny Kiddos!

Here is a little video for you on this Monday morning! I hope it makes you smile!


My mom came over to play with the kids and before she went home and left me alone with these crazy kids, I decided they needed to get out a little more energy!


...Enter the mattress...



Saturday, August 25, 2012

When A Two Year Old Gets A Sharpie

Does that title make you cringe? It sure makes me! Oh wait, let me add a little kick to it...


...and colors on your couch!!


How about now? This happened a few weeks ago now, but it is still a sensitive subject around our house!



I'm still not exactly sure how he got a Sharpie, but this is what happened...



You know, if you look at it with an artistic eye, it kinda looks like an abstract cat...oh wait, I'm upset about this....


So in this moment of panic, thinking that my couch is ruined, what do we do? Go ask the Great Google, of course! (What did we ever do without Google?) I found several ideas of how to clean it...a few being an alcohol solution, hairspray, and nail polish remover. All of those ideas scared me! Then I read something about using WD-40. We decided to try it.


Since WD-40 is a "manly" item, I figured this was a job for the hubby!



He got a clean towel and sprayed the WD-40 on it and slowly rubbed in small circles. Apply a little more WD-40, more circles, and so on. After a few minutes...



IT WORKED!!! I really couldn't believe it!


I have had many people ask me how I then got the WD-40 out of the couch, but I didn't have too. I thought it would leave a greasy feeling or a film on the couch, but it didn't. I did go over the spot with another clean towel, just to make sure, but I didn't have to clean that out like I thought I would.


I was also concerned about it attracting dirt and looking bad in other ways, but now a few weeks later, it still looks just like new!


I am SO glad that came out of my couch! My creative little monster is glad too, so he didn't get shipped off to military school!!


I hope you never have someone draw abstract cats on your couch, but if you do I suggest the WD-40 method!





Thursday, August 16, 2012

Monster Cake

It's funny to me how Pinterest is EVERYWHERE!!


So many people are on this website now! I can't go to a baby or wedding shower, or birthday party without someone saying, "I saw that on Pinterest," or "I got this idea on Pinterest!" It is an amazing website for all things crafty, DIY, and great ideas!


When I do cakes for people they usually tell me they got an idea for the cake from there too. The last cake I made was no exception. I did a birthday cake for my son's best friend! He was having a monster themed party and his mom, my friend, sent me a cake she found on Pinterest. I don't like to do exact replicas of other people's cake, so I asked her if I could have a little creative license with the cake. She told me to do whatever I wanted! I love it!!


Here is what I came up with...

I am SO proud of this little monster!!

I also decided to have a little fun with the inside of the cake! It is a Devil's food chocolate cake! Also, i knew that the dad LOVES Oreos, so I made an Oreo buttercream filling!

This cake was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! In fact, it could be the best cake I have ever made!
Check out the "fur"!


Everyone said it really looks like hair! It was made with the grass decorating tip.



The monsters eyes are Oreos too! I split them open very carefully and put some lollipop sticks in them so they would stand up. I covered them in white chocolate and used the star tip to put the eyelids on. Then the pupils of the eye are made with milk chocolate.


The mouth was also made out of milk chocolate and the teeth were white chocolate.



I took this picture as the cake cake was being cut. I thought it looked funny! It looks like a big smile! And that is what everyone did when they saw this cake...big smiles!


Now I have to show off my adorable kiddos!


This is my little man and The birthday boy! They had a bounce house and it was incredibly hot in there, so the kids were taking a break to have their monster juice! Notice the cute cups with googley eyes!



Here are my monsters in the bounce house! They had so much fun!



And my beautiful little girl!




Don't forget, you can follow me on Pinterest!!