Friday, May 31, 2013

May reveal: Foodie Pen Pals

I have been part of the #FoodiePenPals for nine months now and it has been wonderful. I love getting packages in the mail and when it is food, it's is even more exciting.
This month my food box came from Kim over at Racing Bananas. And I sent a package to Jordyn over at A Jew Broad Cooks. Head over to see what I sent her and how she used it.
I really love pineapple so the dried fruit was a great snack while working on the blog, the hot fudge sauce, I mean how can you go wrong with that?
The salsa or mustard I have not used, YET but will be soon.

For the recipe for the above photo, go HERE

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:
-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Salad Recipes - FFF Link Party #46

Celebrate National Salad month with us by sharing your favorite Salad Recipes. Fruit salad, jello salad, green salad, pasta salad, whatever you have.

Welcome to Foodie Friends Friday!

Please take a moment to read through the rules before getting started, Thank You!

*By linking up you agree that you read these rules and all photos/recipes are original and belong to you. You agree to allow Foodie Friends Friday and any of it's affiliated websites or publications (Social Girls Media, LLC) to use photos, links, and recipes for reprint and/or republishing and distribution without monetary compensation to you. If photos & recipes are used, proper link backs to you will be included.
foodie friends friday, rules
Adding Links back to Foodie Friends Friday and our Button is our only form of advertising to bring in more people to see YOUR recipes.
Please remember to do this. It benefits you! To thank you, we will continue to feature those with links throughout the year on various outlets.
Foodie Friends Friday
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Meet our Co-Hosts at Foodie Friends Friday:
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White Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies

I was in the mood for cookies but lazy at the same time. Does this happen to you? I was also in the middle of a flare and this makes me sort of depressed at times.
I stood looking in the baking cabinet and then I saw it, a bag of sugar cookie mix that someone gave me. I don't use mixes but hey I was desperate. So I drug it out of the cabinet, read the ingredients and directions. I looked up and saw the bag of Andes peppermint pieces. OH yeah baby! I was on to something.
Now I opened the bag and took a taste, of the mints that is. hmmm a little strong for my taste. So I took another gander and what do I see, a bag of white chips. ah yes, that's the ticket.

1 bag Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1 egg
1 stick butter room temp.
1/2 cup peppermint pieces
1/2 cup white chips
Follow the directions for mixing the dough, then add the chips. Makes 3 dozen and it is super fast and easy.
My husband loved them so much I only had a few, that's okay. Not like I need them anyway.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sharing is Caring - Father's Day

I am joining with several other bloggers to celebrate Father's Day which is right around the corner and this is a difficult time for many. But I hope you will read about my dad, the recipes he likes and at the end of this post follow some if not all of the links to visit the others participating. Thanks so much for stopping by.

is Caring Blog Hop

Sharing is Caring Father's Day Blog Hop hosted by Life With Lovebugs and Powerful Mothering!

Father's Day   
My dad is now in a nursing home. A fact that is still hard for me to wrap my brain around. He was always a workaholic, seven days a week, twelve hours days were short as he normally worked longer. He was a rough man, a redneck country boy through and through. So to see him laying in a bed, unable to walk, on all sorts of medication, kidney dialysis four times a week for five and a half hours at a time is heart wrenching.

As an only child, I am a proud "Daddy's Girl". He was not always nice and we had some rough moments, but I never have doubted that he loves me. That he would fight for me, and has, that he would do anything for me.
I am very much his child, I have also worked very hard to overcome some of the not-so-nice similarities but if you cross me, you will know I am a Gardner through and through.

My daddy loves to eat, he used to say "a candy bar a day keeps the doctor away" well, not so much now with him being diabetic. He loves chocolate, meat and potatoes, cheese with 'nilla' wafers and fried 'shi ken' as he likes to say.

Here are a few of my recipes that my daddy LOVES! He says 'nanner' and will scarf this down like there is no tomorrow. The Killer beans, well, let's just say it is "man" food and the breakfast casserole he loves so much I made it for him two days in a row once. Hope you enjoy them as well.

After the recipes you can see a few photos of me, my dad and of us together.
Thanks for stopping by and if your dad is still with you, give him a call, a hug and enjoy it because we are none promised tomorrow.

Banana pudding

Killer beans

Breakfast Casserole

My wedding day 29 Dec 1982
Family reunion last year, August 2012
me and my dad Father's Day 1980
My parents at my home in 1988 with my oldest. See the grin on my Dad's face? He loves that boy.

Please be sure to visit the other blogs and see what Father's Day celebrations are happening.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lemon Brownies

If you have visited here often then you know how I love my sweets. Chocolate and lemon are my two favorites and I go to them often when creating new treats or revamping old favorites.
As many of you, I have seen and heard about 'lemon brownies' for some time now and really have been wanting to give it a go.
So I finally did it.
Oh man, light, fluffy, delicate, tart, sweet all in one little delightful bite. YES I love them.
They were not hard to make and make a wonderful 'Spring/Summer' dessert to enjoy with your family or when grilling out, maybe a neighborhood bar-be-que take along.
Next time I will omit the lemon zest from the glaze as it had a slight after taste. I may have been over zealous and removed more pith with the zest than I should. Either way, the juice makes it tart and the zest is not needed for the glaze, it just makes it look pretty. The 'brownie' itself was perfect.

Lemon Brownies
1/2 cup butter, unsalted and room temperature
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
zest and juice from 1 large lemon
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Place the butter, flour, sugar and salt into your mixing bowl. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer with batter flat paddle attachment to beat the mixture into a creamy yellow batter. Next add the eggs, zest and lemon juice. Beat for 2 minutes.
Spread the mixture in a buttered 8 x 8 square pan and bake for 25 minutes in a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.
Allow the 'brownie' to cool and top with a glaze.

juice and zest from 1 large lemon added to 1 rounded cup of powdered sugar, blend well and spread over top.

Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and slice.


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My recipe was honored!! From the FFF party for June 6-9, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Teriyaki Pineapple Grilled Chicken Sandwich

After a busy and emotional time last week, I needed a quick, tasty, easy pick me up. What better than breaking out the #GeorgeFormanGrill. (I am not being paid for endorsing this product nor did I receive it for free...just my opinion). It was pouring rain and I wanted to grill some chicken breast and pineapple. Since that was not possible, outside, I did it inside and the result was fabulous.

The chicken was marinated in #Ken'sSteakHouseMarinade for an hour. Then grilled and added to a grilled bun with a slice of grilled pineapple. Served with a side of slaw and lightly sauteed sweet potatoes. You could call this a teriyaki chicken burger or sandwich, whatever you call it, it's good.

 The slaw was an easy mix:
1 bag of tri color slaw mix
2 sweet salad peppers sliced
2 large green onions, sliced
Sauce: juice from the pineapple, rice wine vinegar, 2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp garlic, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 TBSP olive oil, mix and stir.

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Who made it?

Who made what, right? Well, who made the top viewed recipes from the party this week, that's what.
On Thursday night thru Sunday I was co-hosting the Foodie Friends Friday and then on Saturday night until midnight on Sunday there was my Swap N Share Sunday link party. 
At either of these weekly parties you'll be able to find a great wealth of recipes. Pin away, I do.

Now who did you visit the most?
From FFF:
Simple Clean and Homemade

Craft Cravings

My Mixing Spoon

To see who the host favorites were for FFF visit our magazine Daily Dish at noon today and read all the wonderful recipes, crafts and DIY projects. You can find it HERE. But here is a sneak peek.

From Swap N Share Sunday:week 7
Just Dip It In Chocolate

Just Dip It In Chocolate

Twinkling Trees

Now if you missed any of the dishes from Swap N Share Sunday you can find them all on my Pinterest board where I pin each recipe linked each week. Go HERE to see them all.
You can also find all my recipes pinned HERE.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Swap N Share Sunday 7

This week has been full of emotional trials. My mother's sister, her best friend, my aunt and dear friend passed away and my father has been ill. When I'm emotional I eat and cook. So there have been a lot of new recipes this week. You can find them all listed on the right side bar under 'what's cooking'.
And you can always see what's up on my Pinterest board.

Spatulas On Parade
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Last week most viewed recipes were:
Luxurious Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

Ricotta Meatballs

Spatulas On Parade
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Fly on the wall...banana splits

Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 13 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                                                                                                                                

Have you ever wondered what you would see or hear if you were a fly on the wall in someone elses house? I have. So here is a glimpse at what you might see or hear at mine.

During our homeschool days at lunch: "hey mom, who was the first person to get the bright idea to eat an egg?" I don't know. I guess the person who said, hey look at that white thing that fell out that chickens butt, wonder what it taste like"

My son goes walking through the house, talking on his cell phone, he is turning over pillows, moving boxes and looks at me and mouths "I'm looking for my cell and can't find it" ROTFL yes, true story

Dog is outside on the porch, I shut the sliding glass door when the a/c came on. She turns to run inside, BAM , right into the glass.

I posted on FB: got a new tattoo today.
response: was this your first one?
duh I said "a new one"

I'm in the middle of making a taco salad and my husband walks in, 
him: what are we having for supper
me: what does it look like
him: oh yeah

My youngest son lays his hamburger on the table, goes to the fridge for the ketchup. Goes back, patty is gone, bun is there. 
Dog is licking her lips. hmmm

On any given night I'm cooking supper, the boys walk in and say "whatcha doing?" 
My response: building a rocket ship, what does it look like?

On a sleepless night while deployed my husband reaches into his MRE and pulls out a package he thinks is cocoa and pours it in his coffee, turns out it was grape kool-aid. He drank it anyway.

After telling my son to be careful with a newly sharpened knife, I then slice open my hand and have to get stitches. irony

I posted on FB: Today we celebrate our anniversary. 22 years.
response: how many years?
Now how about a quick easy recipe? Here ya go:

Homemade banana splits
Makes 2 sundaes
1 banana, sliced in half length wise and across
6 strawberries,sliced
4 TBSP crushed pineapple
2 TBSP GF fudge sauce
4 TBSP chopped pecans
6 scoops Chocolate fudge brownie ice cream

I found a wonderful ice cream at Wal-Mart. Chocolate ice cream with fudge swirls and small bite size chewy fudge brownie pieces. In a bowl place 2 slices/halves of the banana, top with 3 scoops of ice cream, 3 sliced strawberries, 2 TBSP pineapple, drizzle with fudge sauce and pecans.


On June 1st you'll be able to read all about this hot fudge sauce and all the other wonderful things I received in my May Foodie Pen Pals box.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mongolian Beef

As you know I am a lover of Asian inspired foods. I love sesame chicken and a good fried rice.
I have several recipes that I have shared before:
Chicken Fried Rice
Korean Beef
Crispy Fried Shrimp with spicy Asian sauce
Pineapple Chicken

This time I wanted to do something a little different. I cook with mostly chicken, fish or shrimp but this one is with beef.

When we eat out and want 'fast food' it is usually a sub or Chinese food. Our night time 'go to' is Mexican or a local mom and pop place.

I have seen several post on Pinterest for Mongolian Beef and this is my version. Hope you'll give it a go.

Mongolian Beef
1.72 lbs of chuck steak
2 TBSP oil
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
4 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup water
2 green onions
2 cups cooked rice

Begin by cooking the rice and while that is happening do the following: Add the oil into a large deep frying pan/skillet or wok. Allow the oil to heat up. Thinly slice the beef against the grain. Add the beef to the pan and cook, fast/stir fry style. When it is almost done, mix all the spices,water and sauces together and pour over the meat. Allow this to simmer covered for 10 minutes. While this is happening thinly slice the green onions and toss on top. Once the meat is cooked and the sauce has thickened, serve over rice.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Citrus Salmon with Strawberry Avocado Salsa

A few days ago while linking up to a blog party I saw a recipe that caught my eye. Salmon with a strawberry avocado salsa? hmmm why not? I love mango salsa and had been wanting to try other fruits as well.
I also love salmon and I really liked the ingredients in the marinade.
I found the recipe over at: Foodie Bride 
I did not grill mine as it was pouring rain, so mine was cooked in a skillet and I added more citrus juices than the original recipe.
It was absolutely fabulous! Hope you will try it as well.

Citrus Salmon with Strawberry Avocado Salsa (my adaptation)
4 small salmon fillets
Marinade in: juice from 1 orange and zest, 1 lime juiced, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1 TBSP cilantro, 2 TBSP olive oil. Soak the salmon as long as possible.
Cook in a skillet with the marinade. Top with salsa:
Strawberry Avocado Salsa
1 pint strawberries hulled and diced
2 small ripe avocado
1/2 red onion diced
juice from one orange
juice from one lime
1 TBSP cilantro
Mix and serve on top of salmon.


This recipe was linked up at:
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Delight

We had a great supper last night. We had a salad, CROCK POT LASAGNA and then I threw together this FANfreakin'tabulous dessert! The inspiration for the fabulous dessert came from HERE.  I know, you're thinking,she said WHAT? ha ha 

I told my son what I was thinking about doing and he said "well what are you waiting for?" Then he went to the store for ice cream because he did not think the dessert was over the top all on it's own, it needed ice cream and cool whip.

Yep, it might be over the top for some, but not for this crowd. Heard enough? Okay, here it is:

Apple Cinnamon Delight
1 can apple pie filling
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP melted butter, unsalted
1 can Pillsbury cinnamon rolls
1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a large bowl pour the pie filling, brown sugar, melted butter, and pecans. Cut each roll into quarters and add to the bowl. Stir well. Spray a 9 inch baking pie pan and pour the contents of the bowl into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes. Remove and pour the icing, that comes with the rolls, on top  and serve topped with ice cream, cool whip and caramel sauce.

Topping: Maola Ice Cream, Cool Whip and caramel sauce (all optional)

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