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©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor

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4/28/2009

It's a jungle out there

This morning I was walking by the living room slider and saw white flowers on Victoria's string bean plants!! I told her and she went to check them out and noticed how many pepper buds there are too!!

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Pepper plant
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String Bean Plant with flowers!

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Close up of the flowers

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Look!! Peppers are starting!

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More flowers on her string bean plant

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4/27/2009

Arnolds Sandwich Thins


My Mum has been raving about Arnold's Sandwich Thins. I finally found some and bought the whole wheat ones.


Arnold Select 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thins - 8 pack: These unique sandwich-sized flatbreads are perfect for making your favorite burgers and sandwiches a bit healthier. Available in select markets.


This product is:

Low Cholesterol

Excellent Source of Fiber

Low Fat

0g Trans Fat

100% Whole Wheat

Made with Whole Grains

No High Fructose Corn Syrup


They are fantatic for sandwiches, but I think they would be even better for burgers!

Lime Meltaway cookies

While looking through my Martha Stewart Cookie cookbook, I stuck a post it note on the page that had a recipe called Lime Meltaways. I took my butter out to warm up earlier today. I just made the dough and now it is chilling in the fridge. The dough smells fresh and yummy. I did snitch a little piece and it tastes very light and good.

Makes about 3 dozen.

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

Put butter and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add lime zest and juice and vanilla, and mix until fluffy.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.

Divide dough in half. Place each half on an 8-by-12-inch sheet of parchment paper. Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.

While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks.


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UPDATE: These are incredibly yummy!! Even Marcel had a couple and he doesn't like sweets. By the way when it says to toss the warm cookies in the powdered sugar, be very careful! The cookies are very crumbly.

4/24/2009

Garden update

Victoria's container garden is growing well! Look at her tomato plant, it now has 6 or 7 flowers and she is very excited!

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Her herb pot is doing very well also. Last week when I made a roast chicken I snipped off a bunch of sage leaves and some lemon basil leaves to tuck under the skin. Mmm it was goooood!


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Her bell pepper pot and string bean pot are growing too!

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4/20/2009

My favorite kitchen hand soap


My favorite kitchen hand soap, from Bath & Body Works. It is called Kitchen Lemon. It smells fantastic!

4/14/2009

Isn't Victoria the sweetest

So last Friday night over dinner, Victoria pulls her chair up to Marcel and was whispering in his ear that she wants to make me breakfast in the morning. Marcel asks her why and she replied back "because Mummah had a hard week getting the house all ready for my friends to come over and because she does so much for me". She wanted to make me eggs and coffee and Marcel said something about me not wanting hot coffee when it is warm out. They whispered back and forth for a few more minutes.

Saturday morning I got up and was making coffee cake muffins for the adults and Victoria and Marcel said they would be right back.

They went to Dunkin Donuts so that Victoria could get me ice coffee and a donut. She picked out a chocolate frosted donut with my favorite colors pink and orange! She said they were Dunkin Donut colors LOL I think that was THE best donut I ever had!!!

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful and thoughtful little girl!!

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Breakfast for dinner = Yum!

What to do with Ham leftovers from Easter Dinner?? Make breakfast for dinner! That was Victoria's idea last night. She wanted eggs, ham and pancakes and not bisquick pancakes...

So I whipped up a batch of buttermilk pancakes.

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted


In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.

Heat a griddle to medium high heat, lightly spray with cooking spray.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a whisk to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over mix! Scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Flip when nice and brown.

Oh and if you don't have ready made buttermilk, you can make your own. The recipe for buttermilk is 1 cup of milk to 1 tbs of an acid like white vinegar or lemon juice.

4/13/2009

Coffee Crumb Cakes

I recently picked up a Family Circle Magazine because it had a couple copycat recipes. I love copycat recipes. Anyway the one that got my attention was the Coffee Crumb Cakes (the little ones in the plastic wrap). So I made a double batch for the egg hunt this past Saturday.

12 servings
Prep: 10 minutes Bake: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:
1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour


Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°. Coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick spray and dust with flour.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-size bowl. Whisk to blend. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until smooth. Add flour mixture alternating with milk until just blended. Stir in vanilla.

3. Divide batter evenly among indents of prepared pan (about 1/4 cup in each).

4. Topping: Combine sugars, cinnamon and salt in a medium-size bowl. Stir in melted butter.
Add flour and rub mixture with hands to make crumb topping. Mixture should clump together and form little balls. Sprinkle topping over batter in the cups, about 1 heaping tablespoon for each.

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean; 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.

My Thoughts:
They tasted very good but they were huge! Not sure if it is because I double the recipe and I used two 12 muffing pans. Next time I will make a single batch and still use two pans, but not fill them all the way up. I think instead of 12 it would make like 16 and be the perfect size.

4/11/2009

Bunny Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I received an email with a recipe for Bunny cupcakes. So I decided to make them for an impromptu Easter Egg hunt.

Here is the recipe:


RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
A cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe)
White icing
Shredded coconut
Pink decorators' sugar
Jelly bean nose
Chewable Sweet Tart eyes
Large marshmallow
Mini marshmallows

1. Frost a cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe) with white icing and sprinkle on shredded coconut fur.

2. Cut a large marshmallow in half widthwise. Squeeze each half slightly to give it an oval shape, then decorate the sticky side of each one with pink decorators' sugar and set them in place for ears.

3. Add a jelly bean nose and either jelly bean or snipped Sweet Tart eyes, and mini marshmallows for cheeks. For a finishing touch, draw on decorators' gel pupils or whiskers if you like.

Here are some things that I changed:

For the eyes I used M&M's and black decorating gel
For the nose, I cut a pink jelly bean in half and used 1/2 per Bunny
For the cheeks, I jut one mini marshmellow in half and used one mini marshmellow per Bunny. Using two whole mini marshmellows, well they kept tipping over.
For the whiskers, I used Twizzlers pull and peel.

Now my issue with the ears, Walmart brand marshmellows are horrid! Way to sticky and mushy! I do not like how the ears came out at all. Way to much marshmellow. Next time I am sticking with Jet Puffed and I am going to slice them the way I do the Flower Petal Cupcakes.

Next my issue with the coconut I am going to SKIP IT!! One reason using the coconut makes everything else fall off. I had to use extra frosting to keep things stuck on. Another reason to skip it, some kids just don't like coconut. I will just use a piping bag and a Wilton tip No. 233 Multi-Opening Decorating Tip.

So finally here are some pictures, they did turn out very cute.

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I made six green eyed bunnies, six blue eyed bunnies and a dozen flowers.
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4/08/2009

Printable Coupons

Last night at work our "theme" was money saving ideas and we handed out a great sheet with different tips and examples. Like one was the difference between buying a store rotissery chicken at about $7.00 - $10.00 for a 3 pound bird and buying a whole roaster chicken and cooking it at home.

The kids also talked about ways their families save money at home. One boy said that his mom gets the paper and clips coupons. I told him that there are a few places online that you can print out coupons and he wrote them down. Some of my favorites are:

coolsavings.com
coupons.com
mypoints.com
couponloop.com

Another good way to get coupons is signing up for newsletters like at Pillsbury.

What are some of your money saving tips for the grocery store? Do you have favorite coupon sites? Let me know!

Homemade Trail Mix (update)

Homemade Trail Mix (update)

I did add some banana chips (good and fattening for Victoria)
Shredded coconut (not toasted per Victoria's request)
Dried pineapple chunks
And I found some roasted shelled pumpkin seeds in the same section with the other dried fruit and nuts.

Cuisinart Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor

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I also got this for Christmas last year. OMG I love this!! I don't know why I didn't get one sooner? A few years ago I thought of getting a cheapy one from GE and when I finally decided on it, we couldn't find it at any store. That must have been a sign. Anyway this past Christmas Marcel said forget it!! Just show me the one you want and I sent him the link and a few days later a big box from Amazon was sitting by the front door.

Product Features:

Includes steel blade, dough blade, slicing disc, and shredding disc
Extra-large feed tube for larger food slices
Dishwasher-safe parts
Five-year full motor warranty, three-year limited entire unit warranty

4/07/2009

Iced Tea Maker

Last Mother's Day (I think), Victoria picked out and iced tea maker from Mr. Coffee. She picked lime green. I used it so much last summer and packed it away when it got cool out. I pulled it out the other day and already have gone through 3 or 4 pitchers. Yum!

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For those days when nothing quenches your thirst like a big glass of iced tea, Mr. Coffee offers the ideal solution. This iced tea maker brews up a refreshing beverage in about 10 minutes. It's easy to use; just pour in the water, add tea to the basket and fill the pitcher with ice.
3-quart pitcher
Auto shut-off
On/off indicator light
Dimensions: 7.75"D x 16"L x 15"H
Model No. TM30P

Griddle

For Christmas I received a Presto Tilt and Drain griddle.

I cannot recommend this enough!!! Just the other day it took all of 3 or so minutes to make 4 grilled ham and cheese sandwiches compared to 15 minutes making them one at a time. I also can grill 6 English muffins at a time.

The clean up is so easy!

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With a unique "square" shape that holds more pancakes, eggs and sandwiches than most conventional rectangular griddles, the Presto Tilt 'n' Drain Griddle gives you more taste for your buck. Features a cool-touch base and the exclusive Tilt 'n' Drain feature which makes cleaning and maintenance a cinch.

Efficient square shape
Cool-touch base
Control Master heat control
Premium nonstick surface
Fits in most dishwashers and 18-inch kitchen cabinets
Exclusive Tilt 'n' Drain feature

4/05/2009

Container Gardening

Victoria wants to have a container garden, so today at Home Depot she picked out a few plants. She picked string beans, bell peppers, common sage, greek oregano, sweet basil and lemon basil. So here is the beginning of her container garden.


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You might be asking why a container garden? Well last year she tried to plant summer squash, cantaloupe, and strawberries, but we quickly found out that the neighborhood rabbit ate everything! Poor Victoria was heartbroken and really MAD! So this year we are trying containers, wish her luck!

4/02/2009

Homemade Trail Mix

I was getting tired of paying $$$ for a bag of trail mix that would be gone in less that 24 hours. So Victoria and I picked out some items that you can get in bulk and that saved a lot of money. We put the following in it:

Roasted peanuts
Roasted almonds
Sunflower kernels
Craisins
Dried Cherries
Dried Blueberries
Yogurt covered raisins
Golden raisins
and finally a handful of M&M's

We mix up a big Gladware container every few days, it stays fresher and tastes fresher than what I bought at the store.

What else would be good in trail mix?? If you have suggestions, feel free to put you ideas on the Tagboard on the left of this page.

Thanks!!

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