Sunday, August 29, 2010

What's For Dinner? Kabobs!

I make kabobs a lot - you can make them in the morning - go to the beach and come home to an already made dinner.  First I soak wooden skewers in water. Then I cut the meat into small chunks and wash the cherry tomatoes. This week I was able to buy both organic chicken and organic cherry tomatoes. You can grill them in about 10 -15 minutes. Serve with rice and a salad.

Sometimes I make kabobs with beef, peppers, pineapple chunks, red onion pieces etc. Mostly, it's whatever I find at the produce store that looks really fresh and I always favor organic whenever possible.

So for tonight's kabobs - I drizzled with organic olive oil and organic honey. Then I sprinkled with a little garlic salt and some fresh basil.  I would like to say that I am sorry in advance for my photography skills - I will eventually become a better photographer! Let's face facts - I can't get any worse!

Grill the kabobs for 12 - 15 minutes. This is a great dish to make for summer BBQ's because you can make them them in advance and they grill quickly.

Don't these look wonderful?
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Twice Baked Potatoes

The best thing about twice baked potatoes is that you can make two or twenty or more! You can customize the potatoes with your favorite cheeses. You can add in whatever you want or whatever you have in the fridge. I usually add butter, cheddar cheese and bacon. You could also add diced pieces of ham, sour cream, chopped green onions or chopped fresh basil.

I like to make the potatoes early in the day and bake them the second time right before dinner.

Scrub the potatoes under warm water then prick the potatoes with a fork multiple times. Bake potatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour and 15 minutes depending on the size of the potato.

Allow the potato to cool. Slice the top third lengthwise off the potato. Use a spoon to scoop out the insides - forming a potato "canoe" leaving about 1/4 inch of potato on the skin.

Place the scooped out potato insides in a bowl with butter, cheeses, bacon etc. Mash the potatoes with the other fillings. Then spoon the potato mixture into the potato "canoes."

I place the filled potatoes in a small roasting pan and cover with foil. Then I place the potatoes in the fridge until dinner time.

Before dinner preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the foil from the pan and bake the potatoes for 20-25 minutes. After the potatoes have baked the second time you can sprinkle them with paprika or finely chopped chives.

Serving suggestion: With meatloaf and a green salad or with ribs and fresh coleslaw.

This is double delectable!
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's For Dessert? Magic Bars!

Magic bars are so yummy and they disappear in my house like magic!

Plus the recipe is so simple. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and find your 9" x 9" pan.

The ingredients needed:

1 /2 cup of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

Pour the melted butter on the bottom of your pan. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the melted butter. Sprinkle the coconut over the crumbs. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the coconut. Sprinkle the butterscotch chips over the chocolate chips. Sprinkle the nuts over the butterscotch chips. Finally, drizzle the sweetened condensed milk over the nuts. Do not mix the ingredients - just layer them.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

YUM! My son's friend calls these "Magical Bars." I agree!

Cupcake Liners

Since I stopped buying wrapping paper (cold turkey) and I do love wrapping paper. I have started buying cupcake liners. They come in so many cute designs. Check out some of my recent purchases!

The red polka dot liner matches my new dining room motif. To celebrate the new dining room chair fabric - I will make cupcakes with the red and white polka dot liner.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Dining Room Chair Fabric

Okay - so my current dining room chairs have been recovered in a red and beige toile for about five years and I have grown tired of the fabric. It is more of a formal look and I am more of a casual decorator.

Last spring Sandee and I went to an open house and the dining room was to die for - in white and navy blue. We both wanted to go home and paint our dining rooms navy blue ( it screamed class!).  However, my husband doesn't want to repaint or hire a painter - so I am going to live with the red which I really do love. My next house will have the navy and white dining room.

So I went to the fabric store and purchased two polka dot fabrics.  Since the wall below the chair rail  in the dining room is red I decided to stick a red and white fabric. So I brought home a small polka dot fabric and a large polka dot - thinking that my husband would like the smaller print.

But we had a family vote and everyone voted for the large polka dot! I was shocked! So this week I am going to buy enough large polka dot fabric to redo all of the dining chairs. So be on the lookout for photos of my new cheerful dining room.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Christian's Dessert Pizza

Christian made dessert for the family. He loves to make pizza so we thought about making a dessert pizza.

We used a Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix and spread it on a cookie sheet - we baked it for 10 minutes.

Once the giant sugar cookie had cooled - we used white frosting (from a can) to spread over the cookie. Then we added "toppings" which were just some items I found in the cupboard - Vanilla Wafers, mini Oreo's, chocolate chips and M&M's.

It was a work of art and very satisfying to his sweet tooth.

This is an easy and fun project to do with your kids.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Super Cute Cocktail Napkins

Check out these super cute cocktail napkins. I bought them at Pier 1.  They echo my exact thoughts! And let's face it - shoes do make the outfit.

The pink and green napkin came out a little fuzzy - it says " There is nothing in the world a glass of wine and a flat iron can't fix"!!!!

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Healthy and Easy Dip

This is a super fresh and easy dip that you can customize to suit your family's taste buds!

This is how I make the dip:

4 bell peppers (I used red, green and yellow) diced into small cubes
2 large tomatoes (seeded) diced into small cubes
5 green onions - finely chopped
2 avocados - cubed and tossed with lemon juice
1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed) I buy organic
1 can of corn (drained and rinsed) I buy organic

Place the dip in a large bowl with plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and put in the refrigerator for at least one hour for the flavors to blend.

This dip can be customized to your family - perhaps you would like more tomato or less cilantro. There is no set recipe  -  create your own version of this dip!  You could add a small amount of diced red onion or chopped green chilis. This dip is best served with Tostitos scoops. Because you can mound the dip inside of the scoop as you can see in the last photo.

This is how everything is chopped  and mixed.
It looks and tastes really fresh! And all of the ingredients are healthy

Enjoy! And to copy Subway's tag line "Eat Fresh"
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Is Your Cell Phone Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat?

I was watching one of the early morning news shows when I learned that my cell phone is dirtier than a toilet seat. They were yapping on and on about bacteria per square inch - yuck! I was extremely grossed out. How could this occur? Are they talking about public or private toilet seats? They did not go into great detail regarding the location of the toilet seats (thank goodness). But on second thought I think I would like the know!

We take our cell phones everywhere and set them down  frequently on unclean surfaces. And our cell phones harbor the most germs of items that we use every single day. Most cell phones are kept in dark places such as purses or pockets - which can provide the perfect temperature for bacterial organisms to thrive.

So we need to clean our cells phones with an antibacterial wipe once a week - not the screen - just the sides and back. Use a lint fee cloth to clean the screen.  While you have your antibacterial wipes out clean every phone in the house. It will only take a few minutes.

A few weeks ago we were in a hotel room and my ten year old son asked me if I knew what was the filthiest thing in the room? He knows how to push my cleanliness button. Then he said it's the remote! And went on to explain the reason the t.v. remotes in hotel rooms are so "dirty." I laughed for ten minutes. I knew the answer because I had watched on expose on hotel room cleanliness. I asked him how he knew about dirty hotel remotes and he did not remember how he learned that interesting fact. But what about the television remotes in our home? I am sure that they need a good cleaning also. We touched them when we were sick and with our greasy popcorn hands etc.

To clean a television remote use a Q-Tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to gently clean the crevices around the buttons. Then use a lint free cloth with just a tad bit of rubbing alcohol to wipe down the back and sides of the remote.

I'm sorry I get so obsessed out cleanliness - work with me!  Let me know if you clean your phones and remotes. I love comments.

Next week I will blog about recipes and fun projects!  I promise! So keep checking back!