Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Eats

Well, we had our Easter Brunch and I would say it was a success.

The bunny cake turned out okay. I had started with a frosting page and was adding texture to the bunny but I ran out of frosting and enlisted my husband to make some more. He accidentally added too much milk and even though we added more sugar and butter, the frosting was still too thin so the textures I was adding didn't stay. I just frosted it plain instead and then added some pink sugar for the feet. It wasn't exactly what I wanted but it looks good and tastes yummy.

Hubs took the rest of the frosting and colored it so he could frost the cookies. He is quite good at making colors, if only he was good at making the frosting itself! ;)

Hubs had also picked up some pez candies for the kids and we already had the candy necklace kits but nothing to stick them in and so I whipped up a couple goody bags in the morning. The kids seemed to like them and it was easy to keep track of who's candy belonged to who.

I had thought of making mini-quiches because I had some pie crust in the fridge but it had gone bad and I didn't check it until 945. Company was coming at 1030. So, I opened my Betty Crocker cookbook and looked up the recipe. It seemed easy enough but I did not have time to refrigerate the dough but I thought it would be okay. The dough tasted good but it was crumbly. I'm sure if I had refrigerated it that it wouldn't have been so crumbly. Oh well, now I know for next time. I added fresh spinach and cheddar cheese to the eggs and baked them. They turned out pretty well, if not for crumbly.

Ah well. This was the first brunch we've ever hosted. After they left, Hubs commented that yes, we were now adults who host things like brunch. I guess this is growing up.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

On the Menu - Easter Brunch

This Easter, we're having some friends over for brunch. I've never hosted a brunch before so I've been trying to think of some yummy foods to serve and some fun things to do. Obviously, we're going to do an egg hunt but I also found some "make your own candy necklace" kits (bunny candy beads included!) that we can do so I think that's it for entertainment. My kid's will be happy with the egg hunt so hopefully her girls like the necklaces.

So what have I decided to make? I only decided to make 1 food dish and 1 (okay 2) desserts since Alex is bringing over French toast casserole.

First up, some real food....


Mini Quiches? Yes please! I hope mine turn out just as cute.

I'm also making up some sausage and some bacon and probably some deviled eggs. I'm also making some sugar cookies and then I'm going to try and tackle this beast....

Bunny Butt Cake

Except, I'm going to cover it all in frosting, not coconut because ew. I hope everything turns out okay!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

KCW Spring 2014

kid's clothes week

Well, another Kid's Clothes Week is in the books and this one was a doozy. First, it was during my first week back at work full-time so I have say that I wasn't that excited. It hung over my head all day but I insisted to myself that it needed to be done.

The clothes started out really great so I thought things were smooth sailing but in the middle of the week, problems started to pop up.

First off, I decided to do this week slowly, usually I sew an entire outfit in one day - even if it's multiple pieces but I decided 1 piece was enough each day. I finished Blueberry's PJ top and thought it looked great.

Then I did her pants, easy-peasy. Nothing too crazy.

Next, I cut the top for Piglet's pjs and realized that I didn't have enough fabric for his pants! I thought I could just order the fabric online but of course, it was SOLD OUT. No fair! There's no Joann Fabric's on this island! Luckily, one of my mainland friends found it and bought me a yard. Yay!

Then I started Blueberry's first dress. It was this great fabric I got at Walmart for $2.50! I only managed to sew the bodice before I somehow broke my machine. The timing is all off and now it clicks and won't grab the bobbin. I took it apart and I know what's wrong but I don't know how to fix it. It's going to the shop next week.

I finished her dress using my old (non-computerized) machine. How did we live before computerized machines? I felt so ancient using it. Can you say spoiled? Anyway, I finished her dress, no big deal.

Then I sewed Piglet some seersucked overalls. They turned out kind of plain so I'm thinking it needs some patches or pockets or something. I better thing of something quick because this is for Easter!

Last up on this doomed week was a dress for Blueberry. I followed a tutorial online and it sucked. The pattern she provided wasn't scaled properly so as I was sewing, I realized that Blueberry's arms wouldn't fit but I kept sewing in the hopes I was wrong. It ended up looking more like a nightgown so that's what I decided it was. But it didn't fit. I guess I could make her a stuffed animal for the dress? I don't know.

This was the worst Kid's Clothes Week yet. I hope my machine can be fixed (I got it in July) and I hope that next time isn't so darn tragic!

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brown Butter Sauce

This week, we tried something new with our salmon. We don't often use sauces so this was something new for everyone! Since it's been Lent, we've been eating a lot more fish but we haven't done anything too special with it.

Well, this is special. And easy as heck so everyone will think you worked really hard.

First, stick salt and pepper the salmon and then stick it skin side down and bake it for 15-20 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees. Just before it's done cooking, make your sauce.

You'll need 1/2 a cup of butter, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, some herbs (we used oregano but you could use whichever is your favorite) and just a little bit of flour.

Melt the butter in a small pan and brown it. Be careful because it burns easily! Once it's brown, add the lemon juice and herbs. Mix it well.

Once everything is mixed, take the salmon out of the oven and plate it. Quickly mix in some flour to thicken up the sauce and pour it over your fish. Serve it immediately.

And enjoy!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Eating Better - A Review

We've been trying to eat better for a few months now and I thought I would share how it’s going and what we've learned. Trying to go clean after a lifetime of eating dirty has it’s challenges but like all good things, it’s worth the effort.

Most of the time.

1. Vegetables are filling: on days where we just eat a protein and some sort of vegetable dish, I find myself fuller for a longer period of time. I even find myself getting full even before I finish my meal. The other day, I made some cheesy noodles and I ate probably half the box. It just would not fill me up. Even lunches are better with a piece of chicken on a bed of lettuce and other veggies.

2. Salad Dressing: speaking of salad, I am a ranch girl. I love it. Pizza, French fries, chicken nuggets, baby carrots, you name it. But ranch is quite expensive in the calorie world so I've been trying to cut down. Do you know what’s good? A little olive oil and some salt. Bam! That’s it.

3. Peanut butter: it’s your best friend. Eat it on baby carrots or celery sticks. It probably has the same caloric count as ranch dressing but with more protein and less fat, it’s a better choice. And if you make it homemade, it’s delicious

4. Coconut Oil: here was a mistake. All The Things on Pinterest, Facebook, and the internet in general boasted about how great coconut oil is for you when cooking. And how it should replace butter, olive oil, canola oil, any other oil you can think of. It’s a miracle in a jar. Now, some of you may have fallen into the jar and eaten your way out but for us – no thanks. It’s flavorless so using is sauté is a no-go. You can’t pan fry food in it. I cook with butter and you simply cannot substitute coconut oil for it. Blech. So, now I have a jar in my cabinet. You live, you learn.

5. Junk food: yes, fruits and vegetables are a better snack choice and keeping them on hand, ready and prepared is the best but you know what? You do not have to deprive yourself of potato chips. If you take the time to read what a serving size is and measure it out, there is no reason why you shouldn't have some. I am all about eating EVERYTHING but eating it in moderation. Serving sizes are there for a reason. You’ll be able to control your caloric intake and that bag of Lays will last a whole lot longer if you only eat 1 serving size at a time.

What food changes have you found on your journey to eating better? Do you agree with me or am I just crazy?

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