Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pasta Salad

I love pasta salad!!  It is SO easy and so versatile....you can add whichever veggies you like and leave out the ones you don't. 

Also, use whatever noodles you prefer.  I usually use the tri-colored noodles to add a little more color, but you can use anything.....whole grain, bow-tie, spiral....even spaghetti noodles if you want.

Pasta Salad
Pasta, cooked according to directions
Sliced olives
Cubed cheese....I use Monterrey Jack
Sliced carrots
Grape or cherry tomatoes, whole or cut in half
Sliced/cubed cucumbers
Italian dressing
Directions:  Add as much of each ingredient as you like....according to taste and how many servings you are making.  Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.  
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Copycat Orange Julius

This is the third Orange Julius recipe I have posted.  The others are here and here

Last night we were having breakfast for dinner.  I love breakfast for dinner ;) .  We had buttermilk waffles with pureed (frozen) strawberries, buttermilk syrup, and jalapeno bacon.  I was going to make a fruit smoothie to go with dinner, but the boys all wanted Orange Julius.  I didn't have orange juice concentrate or any oranges to make the other recipes I have, but I did have orange juice.  SO, I went to the internet to find a recipe that uses orange juice for the Julius.  I found it here at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures.

We all enjoyed this recipe very much.  I actually prefer the Orange Julius recipe with the orange juice concentrate....a little more orange flavor and a little more tart, but this is great too!!  We will definitely be making these again!

I added more ice than the recipe calls for.  We like our Orange Julius a little thicker....SO adjust the amount of ice you add to your liking.

Copycat Orange Julius
2 cups orange juice
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup ice
Directions:  Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!!
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Friday, August 14, 2015

Iced Lemon Cookies

One of my sons took a cooking class while in Jr. High.  Now he has a binder full of delicious recipes that I need to try out.  We really liked these cookies!!  They are simple with only a few ingredients.  I adapted the icing recipe a little for my taste....if you prefer, you can add less lemon extract and less milk to make a thicker icing.  I attempted to drizzle my icing on the cookies....and my attempt was not that great! :) ...but I was in a hurry and I'm not even close to a perfectionist, so it was good enough for me!

Iced Lemon Cookies
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil....or canola, I usually have canola
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
2 Tablespoons milk

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together cake mix, eggs and oil.  Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for no more than 8 minutes.  Do not over bake!

To make lemon icing:  Mix together powdered sugar, lemon extract and milk.  You can always add less or more milk or powdered sugar to get it to your desired consistency. 

Now....ice your cookies.  You can spread it on thick or 'drizzle' like I did.  BUT I'm sure you can do a much better job of drizzling :)

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Taco Seasoning

I just got my computer back from getting scrubbed!  I have a serious love/hate relationship with technology sometimes!!  When it is all working properly, I love it...but when it is not, it is SO frustrating!!!

Anyway, I finally got it back....just in time to print a bunch of pictures of this little guy for a school project.

Some of his favorites.....hanging with the family - cutting wood, hiking, camping, flying.  He said his favorite food is Hot Cheetos and Donuts...mmm!! :)
Anyways....Taco seasoning....
Usually when I make tacos, I just dump in some cumin, chili powder, garlic, onion...ect.  BUT...My sister-in-law gave me an actual recipe to follow!  It is delicious! 

Taco Seasoning
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Directions:  Mix all ingredients together.  I usually use all of the seasoning for ~1 1/2 pounds of ground meat, but add to your taste....more if you like it spicy....less if you don't.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

1st Day of School 2015

I can't believe that summer vacation is OVER!!!  Summer goes by way to fast every year!! 

Left to right:  Hunter - 7th, Jake - Sophomore, Zac - 4th, and Ryder - 2nd
This year I get to drop the kids off at 4 different schools, makes for a crazy morning :)  Also....this morning....Ryder decided that he DOES NOT like any of his new school shirts!!  So he picked a shirt from last year...or maybe even the year before to wear today.  Whatever makes them happy right? :)
Now some pictures from previous years.....
WOW!!!  This is the best picture I got in 2014.
2011 - I love Ryder's fruit shake mustache in this pic....obviously he wasn't in school yet :)

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Shaggy Denim Quilt

Here is another....blast from the past.  Originally posted on my other blog...soon to disappear(that is why I am moving things to this blog).This is the second quilt that I have finished for Christmas. Two to go...Jake's quilt is almost finished(working on the binding). Zac's quilt has 4 or 5 blocks done. I'll share those when they are finished.
Ryder enjoying his brothers left-over oatmeal - I sure hope he uses that napkin:)

For Ryder's quilt I cut my denim into pieces that were the same width, but different lengths. I sewed the pieces right side together to make long strips and then sewed the long strips wrong sides together. SO...the quilt will have shaggy stripes. Make sense? Doesn't make much sense to me either. Anyway, I backed it with some fun shaggy minky and sewed the top, batting and back together along each side of the shaggy stripe. It is a nice warm rugged quilt. Perfect for the 18 month old who will be destroying..I mean loving it!
Here he is setting up a 'race' on his blanket.
**This quilt looks as good now as it did 5 1/2 years ago and has been 'well-loved'.  And that little boy is even more handsome :)
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies - adapted

This past Sunday(every Sunday) we were craving chocolate cookies!!  I was out of shortening and coconut oil, so I couldn't make our regular favorites....here and here.  SO....we made these

They were YUMMY!!  Sorry I didn't get any better pictures!  It was late, the lighting was bad.....and my boys were eating these so fast I almost didn't get any pictures :)

Haha....SO I was getting ready to post this recipe....when I looked at the original recipe, I realized that I only used 1/2 cup of butter.  Totally just left the other half cup(2nd cube) of butter out.  We loved them without the extra butter.  SO this is the modified recipe.  If you want to make the original, just add another 1/2 cup of butter.

 NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies - adapted
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Directions:  Preheat oven to 375° F.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
**I baked my first batch for 9 minutes and then the rest for only 8 minutes.
**Also, I never use a full 2 cups of chocolate chips....probably more like 1 3/4 cups.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Roasted (Ranch) Potatoes

These potatoes are simple and delicious!  Seriously, I rarely cook anything that is not simple! :)

Roasted (Ranch) Potatoes
4 medium potatoes, washed, peeled and diced
1/4 cup canola oil
1 - 1 oz packet ranch dressing mix (approx. 3 Tablespoons)
Directions:  Place potatoes in a gallon zip-lock bag.  Add oil and toss to coat.  Add dressing mix and toss again until coated.  Bake on an ungreased baking pan for 25-35 minutes.  I baked mine for 15 minutes, stirred them around and baked another 15 minutes.

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