Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter Menu

Easter week is here and things are getting busy at our house. Meals to plan, baskets to fill, Easter egg hunts to attend and organize! This year we are having about 16 for dinner. 

 I have been planning the meal and trying to add some new things to our usual Easter menu. We are also trying to organize an Easter egg hunt to span from age 11 months to 12 years old. I have come up with some new recipes and some good Easter Hunt Ideas.

Easter Menu
Broccoli & Cauliflower Casserole (NEW)
Scalloped Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Macaroni and cheese 
Fruit Salad (NEW)
Deviled eggs
Easter bread (NEW)

Homemade Carrot Cake
Easter Bunny Cupcakes
Tandy Cakes

Our Easter Egg Hunt is for a 12, 10,4,18 month and 10 month old. Its tricky to have one big egg hunt that includes all the kids age groups. We came up with the idea that we will not only hide the older kids eggs much harder but we will use different eggs. The older boys will have Star Wars. For the 4 year old we are using Frozen eggs and the babies will have paw patrol eggs. The eggs will be filled with Candy, money, or a prize. Also, they will have one big prize for each kid that is a large egg filled with goodies. It should be a lot of fun for the kids and the adults.

This should be a great Easter for our family with everyone fairly healthy and all together!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How to make orange scones

So my latest food that I can't live without is scones. I don't know why I have suddenly been obsessed with them! I am lucky we have a Panera Bread that just opened five minutes from us and they have the BEST scones! After several weeks of making almost daily trips there, I decided it was time to figure out how make them myself. My wallet could no longer afford daily trips to Panera!

As always, first thing I do is go to the old recipe books that were my mom and grandmom's. I never remember having scones as a kid but I knew in the 100 + cookbooks and recipes I have there just had to be one... and there was! The only thing was it called for some things that are not used anymore so I used the substitutes. This recipe was fairly easy and SOOOO GOOD!!!

Makes 8 scones
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon orange peel
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 egg

1. Heat oven to 400. Combine the sugar and orange peel and extract. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in butter and combine until mixture has formed a coarse meal.

2. In another bowl, combine the sour cream/Greek yogurt and the egg.(I like to use Greek Yogurt) Using a fork, stir mixture into the flour mixture until dough clumps form. Using your hand, form dough into a ball.

3. Place on a floured surface and form into a circle about 7" wide. Cut into triangles. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake 17 minutes.

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed OJ
or 1 teaspoon orange extract
1 Tablespoon milk or more if needed

1. Combine all ingredients. When scones have cooled, spoon glaze 
over each scone. 

These scones are delicious! Even your picky eaters will love them!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Easter Decorating

I can't believe Easter is in only two weeks. I really don't like when its in March because the weather can be so cold still. I remember several years ago on Easter it was in the 30's and we had the fireplace on all day! I am praying for nicer weather this year but judging by our 60 degree Christmas we had I have a feeling Easter will be the Christmas weather we missed.

I decorated the house for Easter this week. I don't have nearly as much as for Christmas but have collected quite a stash over the years! I freaked out a little because I lost a bin of some of the stuff and I thought it was gone forever. Luckily, after searching everywhere we store stuff we found it in the basement, Thank GOD!

I hope everyone has a great Sunday! 

Friday, March 11, 2016

I'm Officially a Gilmore Girls Fan

Since we spent a week in the hospital, Taylor and I decided we would finally take Jessica's advice and start watching Gilmore Girls. I have always teased her about her obsession with the show that she has watched at least 50 times over. I couldn't imagine what made this show so great! So there we were hooking the TV up to Netflix the first day we were at the hospital ready to experience our first Gilmore Girls episode. I have to say I really didn't expect much...

Image result for gilmore girls

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are a mother and daughter living in small town Stars Hollow, Connecticut. They talk super fast, are addicted to caffeine and junk food, constantly reference pop-culture, and are best friends.

As we watched episode after episode we started to understand why people like this show so much. Who wouldn't love to live in a small town like Stars Hollow, where they have festivals for every event or holiday in their own town square? Where everyone knows one another and cares about each other. A 'Cheers' type of cafe where you can eat or have a coffee and just sit and chat. A town without crime, litter, or selfish people, but of course not without a little drama.

I know it's just a television show, but I wish there was such a place as Stars Hollow, as I'm sure most Gilmore Girls watchers do. 
So a week later and we were already at the end of the second season. Now, a week later and I am at the end of the third season. Taylor, however is already in the middle of the fourth season and is totally hooked!

There's just something about this show that keeps you coming back for more. Maybe it's because our lives are so busy and complicated that it's nice to have a place like Stars Hollow to go, even if it's only for an hour!  

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How to make a trough centerpiece

Hello, I'm back from a short break. We got back home late last week and I had a million things to catch up on. Over the weekend I took my winter things down and started decorating for spring and Easter. We also celebrated Jim and Brian's Birthdays! I found an amazing carrot cake recipe in one of my old books and tried it, it was delicious! I will share it next week!

I love decorating and in the fall I started making wooden trough boxes that I could use to decorate for any season. I made mine for my house fairly large but wanted a smaller one that I could give as gifts and that I could use in my bedroom.

I used pine wood and my husband cuts them to the desired size. You need 3 long ones and two short for the ends. The long ones are 20 inches and the ends are 5 inches wide and they are 3 1/2 inches deep.

Next, using small nails hammer the wood together making the box.  

Next, I sand the wood very lightly to make it a little smoother for painting or staining.
I have my own secrete recipe for staining/painting these boxes. Take desired paint color you want your box to be. Then I take a plastic cup and mix 1/2 water to 1/2 paint. This makes a great stained look to the wood and dries quickly. I usually use a rag and dip in in the mixture and rub one layer on and let dry. I usually do about 3 to 4 coats to make it look like my finished centerpiece, it really just depends on how dark you want it. Within an hour it will be dried and ready to decorate! 

I used four small mason jars then bought some silk hydrangeas and some other little flowers to stick inside of them to bring out the yellow and white in the room. (They look like they belong in the flowers.) You can use any flowers or anything else to decorate the box with. It looks great on a kitchen or dining room table, a coffee table, or in a bedroom on a dresser.

This is one that I made my daughter, Jessica. She decorated hers for Easter and used pretty white mason jars she had at her wedding. 

Hope you enjoy this easy, low cost project that is also great for gift giving and that lasts all year long!