Birthday party time is fun for kids and for grown ups. You are never too old or too young to feel special on your birthday and everyone should. From elaborate parties to hanging at home with friends and family it’s the spirit of the day – the day you were born that should be filled with smiles, cheers, cake and awesome birthday balloons, happy birthday signs, plates and napkins. Oh and presents who doesn’t love birthday presents!
You can buy a store bought birthday cake with all the icing and fancy flowers they have them in every size and will write your message on it too but if that’s going overboard or more than you want to spend Continue reading →
It started out with a cool recipe I saw on Facebook for bacon wrapped pickles. I thought that sounded fun but my family immediately voted thumbs down to that idea declaring no way they would try it. Since I already happened to have some nice chicken tenderloins defrosting they became my recipe adventure of the day what could be bad about bacon wrapped chicken!
Easy peasy I wrapped each tenderloin in a strip of uncooked bacon. Popped it in the oven at 425 for about a half hour and 15 minutes later the whole house was buzzing in the kitchen wanting to know what smelled so good. Even the cats came out sniffing and staring up at me for a taste of whatever I was up to.
Bacon lovers just don’t have to feel guilty when it’s wrapped around protein filled chicken. This quick and easy recipe was a huge hit especially when everyone picked their own favorite dunking sauce. For the youngest ketchup was the go to yum. For the adults it was ranch dressing, habanero sauce or my husbands favorite honey mustard dip.
Let us know if you try it join us on Facebook and send some pics or your idea for the recipe. We love to share. Next time we are trying this out on the BBQ grill!
Lettuce Salad Sandwich – Why Not
Lunch time is rolling around and you just can’t decide whether to have a salad or a sandwich or both. Then you have decide what you want on your sandwich, or maybe your refrigerator is just not stocked with anything that interesting. A salad might be yummy, but you just don’t feel like cutting up all the ingredients and you only have salad in the house. Then you have to decide on dressing. Forget it if your in a hurry – salads can take forever to eat which is great when you have the time for a nice leisurely lunch.
And that’s why my granddaughter Kaitlyn and I invented my magic lettuce salad sandwich. It’s a sandwich, it’s a salad. It’s not fattening if you don’t want it to be and it is magically filling. Quick and easy. Great for lunch. Great for really anytime of the day you feel like something well, not a sandwich and not a salad but really it’s both. I like mine open faced, but you can decide how you like it.
Like all of my home made up recipes, it’s quick, super easy to prepare and even easier to clean up afterwards. And of course not many ingredients – you can fix it like I do or adjust it to your own creative salad sandwich delicious idea.
All of the photos were hungrily taken by me….just before I ate the whole thing!
Basic Salad Ingredients
Salad ingredients just don’t get any easier to prepare when you used pre-packaged shredded lettuce. Not that I have anything against a head of lettuce which can definitely be used instead if that’s what you keep in your fridge and prefer, but by the time I decide if I want to pull the lettuce out and cut it up, well I might just decide to reach for a piece of cake or something I don’t really want to give in to so I keep shredded lettuce around all the time.
It’s even a great idea if you prefer to buy fresh heads of lettuce to shred up a container full ahead of time and keep it ready to go for sandwiches just like these.
Shredded lettuce, a bowl or container to pour it in to. Oh, and a spoon or fork to mix it up with. All we are going to add is, mayonnaise.
I love to share and pass on easy recipes that I call Home Made Up. Here are the ingredients and a simple summary of how to put together a lettuce salad sandwich in no time at all. Step by Step photos and directions are included below.
Trust me it doesn’t get any easier, and I promise it’s good and good for you. Nutritionally, it has healthy produce, lettuce is always a keeper no matter what your fitness or weight loss program is, healthy fats in mayo and olive oil that helps keep you satisfied and fuller longer and fiber healthy carbs low in calories. We are talking about each sandwich weighing in at about 150 calories a piece. That’s a great lunch even if you pair it with soup or a small bag of chips.
It’s a great snack anytime and way better than the bag of chips or ice cream I know you were thinking about!
- Cook time: 5 min
- Ready in: 5 min
- Yields: Individual or Family Style
- Shredded Lettuce
- Flat Bread or Slim Bread or Bread Of Your Choice
- Seasonings Like Salt and Pepper To Taste
- Shred some lettuce or open a bag of pre shredded lettuce. Add as much as you need into a bowl. Add a dollop of mayonnaise to your liking and mix it up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toast a slim bread or flat bread or bread of your choice and beautifully arrange your salad mix on top. I like my sandwich open faced, but you can try yours both ways.
Dollop The Mayo
That’s it, all I add to my lettuce is a dollop of mayonnaise. How much is a dollop? Hmmm, that’s typical of my cooking and recipes. There’s no exact measure of a dollop except how much you want. If you like a lot of mayo, add a big tablespoon full to start, if you aren’t too sure or don’t really like lots of it at a time, think smaller to start, you can always add more!
My favorite mayo is one with olive oil, even better there are light versions and brands with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, olive oil is healthy for you and check their nutritional labels some have only 50 calories per tablespoon which is probably way plenty. Kraft and Hellman’s both have a light and regular style mayo with olive oil and I think they are both great. So even if you have a heaping dollop, still not so bad considering the calories from the lettuce is well, super minimal as all you bunnies out there know.
You can even add in a pinch of salt, or a smidgen of pepper or both if you like to add some seasoning.
Salad Mix Ready To Go
Sandwich Thins Flat Bread Fundamentals
Sandwich Thins are my favorite base bread for this recipe. You can definitely use your favorite bread or rolls or bagels but I love that they range about 100 calories each, toast up perfectly in my toaster and hold the lettuce and mayo combination just right without soaking through. They aren’t very expensive and readily available at your local grocery store. You can buy them in bulk from many of the Club Warehouses or even on Amazon, some to eat now and freeze some for later.
I love my flat bread base toasted to get the fun warm crunch of the bread in contrast with the cool smoothness of the salad but you choose your favorite.
While you are mixing up your lettuce and mayo and letting it sit for a moment so the deliciousness of the mayo and seasonings combines just right, pop your flat bread base into the toaster. When you take them out of the pack it looks like one thin bread, see the top one on the plate but they come apart easily to form two sides to your sandwich. Looks thin, but they really pack a filling punch maybe because they have some healthy fiber in them (don’t worry you can’t tell they are healthy because they taste really good).
Toast them lightly or toast them crispy, I like mine a little on the crispy side so I get that nice even crunch every time I take a bite.
Salad Sandwich Ready To Eat
So that’s it. Your simple, easy lettuce salad sandwich is ready to eat. But if you are wondering, how good could this really taste, I understand. Who would want just lettuce mixed with mayo on a toasted flat bread anyway. Trust me, it’s yummy!
It’s a great healthy choice and although I am not a vegetarian – what a great vegetarian sandwich recipe this is. I love proteins and meat and could probably eat bacon every meal but, since I am not really going to do that, this is a terrific option.
It’s perfect for lunch, even if you are packing it to take to work. Just have your salad in one container and the bread (which doesn’t have to be toasted if you don’t have a toaster at work) and enjoy the ease of a cool, healthy and seriously, I think it’s filling, lunch. It will give you more time to shop, or read or run errands!
Vegetarians or just salad lovers can always add in some shredded carrot or cut up cucumber for a nifty change but I really like it just the way it is.
Cupcakes On The Go
So you baked these wonderful cupcakes for a party at school, work or a friends house and now you have to get them all there in the same beautiful shape. What about the wonderful frosting? Oh no, the sprinkles, the decorations!
It’s OK, check out these fantastic cupcake carriers that will help you get your little beauties wherever your going and be no worse for the traveling, not to mention how cool they are because some of them can be used to carry cakes and other goodies too.
Investing in a cupcake carrier is a great idea and not that expensive, you can even use them to store the leftovers for the next day to be sure they stay fresh.
Sweet tooths rejoice! This Snapware® Snap ‘N Stack® carrier is for you. Actually, it’s for cookies, cupcakes, brownies and quarter sheet cakes. The handled carrier includes two reversible inserts; use the insert with the 12 round wells for cupcakes and the flat side for other goodies. Each insert can attach to the top half of the container for easy serving and to increase storage space, and the tabs on the ends also flip down to create an instant serving tray.
Travel In style to parties
Honey-Can-Do Rectangular Cake Storage Carrier Rectangular cake holder with snap-locking lids for secure transport and safe carrying. Reversible/Removable bottom tray can be flipped to store cupcakes or full cake. Handle folds flat for convenient storage. Clear view lid for quick identification of contents. Holds 12 standard cupcakes, 24 mini cupcakes, or a half sheet cake.
A must have for the avid baker, this innovative plastic carrying case makes it simple to bring cupcakes and muffins to picnics, parties and other events. The handy carrier colds up to 24 cupcakes, and its locking lid and easy-grip handle ensures safe and secure transport.
A 12-count muffin pan for baking is also included. The pan’s durable professional weight steel construction provides fast, even heating, while its premium nonstick interior offers effortless food release and quick cleanup by hand or in the dishwasher. Oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the pan also offers generous oversized handles.
Top Ten Reasons Cupcakes Are The Sweetest Treat
My favorite top ten reasons I believe cupcakes are the sweetest treat for Valentine’s Day Are:
- Everyone Loves Them!
- They can be sinfully sexy and decadent
- They can be childishly adorable and fun
- Cupcakes come in their own holder and wrapped for your Valentine
- Everyone gets their very own whole cake, no sharing or cutting needed
- They can all be frosted and decorated differently to please everyone
- My recipe can easily be adapted to sugar free or even gluten free cupcakes
- They are so yummy delicious but won’t overfill you
- They are fun to bake and share with others
- Everyone Loves Them!
Say I Love You With Cupcakes
The sweetest way to cook up “I Love You” is baking up a batch of fresh, delicious, soft and moist cupcakes surrounded by a liner or wrapper that’s just perfect for every occasion. Imagine the fun of easy to prepare Valentine’s Day recipes for cupcakes, the wonderful aroma spreading throughout your house while they are baking and the joy on the face of everyone you share them with as they bite into that yummy, fluffy wonderful goodness!
If you are just like me you may love to bake up homemade treats but in our busy, busy worlds too many ingredients gets too complicated and takes way too much preparation, and lots of clean up afterward too. My cupcake recipes are easy to prepare, fun to make and clean up is a snap.
Home made baking sweets and treats shouldn’t mean they are hard, complicated or time consuming. Home baked cooking means making your house smell wonderful, singing while your mixing and enjoying all the love as everyone tells you what a wonderful baker you are. It’s from the heart.
Homemade from scratch or easy amazing varieties of cupcakes aren’t expensive and I always seem to have everything I need on hand whenever the little ones come to visit and help me bake.
Drop off some cupcake heaven to a neighbor or friends, the local Senior Citizen group or a dozen or so of these little cake heavens at the local fire department where believe me the firefighters will go crazy for them!
Cupcakes are perfect any day and every occasion, but an especially sweet treat when you surprise someone with them.
I have been baking cupcakes for ages. Starting when I was just a teenager it was a treat for me to be able to whip up a batch of yummy individual snacks for the family. I always used my Mom’s secret recipe for the best success and I use the same one today. Most cupcake recipes tell you to use vegetable or canola oil which is fine, but part of my secret is I always use olive oil, extra virgin olive oil is the best.
Now I get to share my recipe with you and think of all the happiness in little cups that will be savored by those you love too.
- 1 Box Betty CrockerÂ® or Pillsbury White Cake Mix
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 3 Egg Whites or Egg White Substitute Equivalent Will Work
- 1 1/4 Cups Water
- A Heaping Spoonful Of Love and A Sunny Smile
- Can of Betty Crocker or Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting
- Mini Chocolate Chips
- 1. Heat oven to 350Â°F (325Â°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
- 2. Blend the cake mix, water, oil and egg whites in a large mixing bowl until moistened. Beat with a mixer on low speed for about 2 minutes, or you can whisk by hand for about 2 minutes if you don’t have a hand mixer.
- 3. Pour, scoop or drop by spoonfuls into the baking cups no more than half full will work.
- 4. Pop the trays in the oven that should already be pre-heated to 350 degrees and bake for 20 mins.
- 5. After 20 mins your house will smell wonderful, your mouth may be watering and then it’s time to take the cupcakes out and let them cool.
- That’s it. My Very Special Valentine’s Sweetest Treats Cupcakes are baked and cooling. After 30 minutes of cooling, or longer if you need to run errands, go to work, etc – that’s fine because you can frost them later on and they will still be wonderful.
- 6. Frost the cupcakes with the can of frosting by using a spatula, back of a spoon or cake decorating bags. Or you can use the very simple, very delicious homemade frosting recipe below.
Vanilla Frosting Recipe – Perfect For Cupcakes
Delicious, easy, home made vanilla frosting that is the perfect compliment for your cakes and cupcakes. I love vanilla. I love vanilla and I love cupcakes!
If you don’t have the time or the ingredients to make this frosting then really, canned frostings aren’t bad at all, especially on top of your awesome cupcakes decorated with sprinkles or sugar candies.
But on the days you do have the time this vanilla frosting recipe is so good and so easy, try it I know you will like it.
- 3 cups confectioners powdered sugar
- 1/2 c. butter softened
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- About 2 tbsp. milk
- Mix powdered sugar and butter.
- Stir in vanilla and milk.
- Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency.
- Seriously, that’s it and it’s great.
- Frost cupcakes by using a small spatula, back of a spoon or a cake decorating bag. Be creative. Swirl it, twirl it and then decorate with your favorite sprinkles, edible decorations, mini chocolate chips are my favorites or use cute little candy sugars.
Cupcake or Muffin Cup Baking Pans
One of my recipes equals 24 beautiful cupcakes so you will need to have enough cupcake pans if you want to bake them all at once. Cupcake baking pans can be found with 6 cups, 12 cups or industrial 24 cups (but those are usually more expensive. I use two 12 cup pans at a time. They come in non-stick or aluminum and even silicone, lots of brands and styles. They don’t have to be expensive if you are going to use cupcake liners because then non-stick is not such an issue.
If you don’t already have some cupcake, or some people call them small muffin cake pans, here are some great ones to get you started at Kitchen Home Gifts Personalized
Chocolate strawberry cookie smores recipe sounds like a mouthful and it is, not only to say but it is one delicious mouthful of taste all wrapped up in a cupcake liner. Imagine Oreo Cookies on the bottom, strawberries dipped in chocolate, your favorite toppings like chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, peanut butter chips, cookie crumbles, sprinkles, you name it and you can add it.A few very easy ingredients created DIY with a little creativity, a lot of love and some hungry baking assistants topped off with drizzled chocolate and you have a sweet treat perfect for holidays, birthdays, special occasions, or just because you love them.Just like all of my recipes, they have very few ingredients, no complicated instructions and can be modified to make your taste buds happy!
Chocolate strawberries cookie smores are a treat for every occasion, easy and inexpensive to create and with a little DIY taste you can make them your way.I made these up one day when I wanted a special sweet recipe I could make with my favorite chef assistants. I was thinking chocolate, they were thinking strawberries and cookies. So it was time to whip up some Chocolate strawberry cookies and as we went along, we tasted and made adjustments until it was everyones perfect recipe.
Chocolate Strawberry Cookie SMores
Wilton Light Candy Cocoa Melts, 12-Ounce
Chocolate melts work great for this strawberry cookie recipe but if you don’t have them, chocolate chips will melt fine
Chocolate strawberries cookie smores are a treat for every occasion, easy and inexpensive to create and with a little DIY taste you can make them your way.
I made these up one day when I wanted a special sweet recipe I could make with my favorite chef assistants. I was thinking chocolate, they were thinking strawberries and cookies. So it was time to whip up some Chocolate strawberry cookies and as we went along, we tasted and made adjustments until it was everyones perfect recipe.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: About An Hour
Serves: Make A Lot Of Them!
- Fresh Strawberries
- Chocolate Melts or Chocolate Chips
- Oreo Cookies – Double Stuffed Is My Favorite
- Mini Marshmallows
- Peanut Butter Chips
- Melt the chocolate – I use a super easy fondue pot
- Line the cupcake tray with your favorite cupcake liners
- Twist the Oreo cookie top off to reveal the double stuffing and cookie bottom
- Place 1 Oreo Cookie in each liner double stuff white goodness up (Save the tops of the cookies if you want to crush and crumble on the top of some of the Smores)
- Add a spoonful of melted chocolate on top of the oreo cookie
- Slice the strawberries in half the long way and lay it cut side down on top of the oreo cookie and melted chocolate
- Drop in some mini marshmallows
- Add some mini chocolate chips
- Go crazy and crush up some kit kats or add some sno caps or raisinets or chop up some nuts – it’s all about what you love
- Add another spoonful or 2 of melted chocolate over the strawberry and in and around the candy toppings, this will not only taste great but hold everything together once it is chilled
- Decorate with sprinkles.
- Drizzle melted chocolate over the whole delicious thing
- Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes
- Place it on a platter or serve it from the tray, surround it with family and friends and Enjoy!
Serve Chocolate Strawberry Cookies In Style
Chocolates and strawberries are decadent and loved as treats anyway but I always feel like anything tastes even better when it looks as delicious as it tastes. I love serving even the most basic cooking or baking recipes on platters, serving bowls or even plastic trays covered in cute doilies. Appearance is part of the fun and has everyone’s mouth watering before they even get their first taste.
Sprinkle Pancakes are the perfect way to start your day but they aren’t just for breakfast any more. The best part of sprinkle pancakes are the smiles you share with family when you enjoy them together.
They are easy, all of my recipes are high in love, don’t have too many ingredients, can be made from scratch or semi homemade. Sprinkle pancakes can be filled with rainbows or chocolate, designed perfectly for holidays and special occasions. You can eat them with a knife and fork or pick them up finger friendly style.
Sprinkle pancakes are delicious and the best part about them is they are the breakfast fun my granddaughters and I made up – well maybe we aren’t the only family in the world to ever make them, but with giggles and spoons we mixed up our first batch and now, it’s a family tradition with every delicious sleepover party to have them for breakfast.
DIY means do it your way when enjoying these pancakes. Add some syrup, top with fruit, melt some butter over the pancake stack or just enjoy them fresh from the pan.
- Bisquick Shake and Pour Pancake Mix 10.6 oz:
- 1 and 1/2 cups Water:
- Rainbow Sugar Sprinkles:
- Shake the pancake mix in the container around a bit to loosen it up
- Add 1 and 1/2 cups of cool water
- Replace the container cap and shake, shake, shake. Shake it up really good to avoid any lumps in the batter
- Pour about half the batter into a 1 cup or larger measuring cup
- Add desired amount of rainbow sugar sprinkles – mix well so there is lots of yummy sprinkles in the batter, but not too many or it will make your batter really thick
- Heat your skillet or pan either one will work great
- Add some butter to the pan until it melts
- Pour a small amount of batter to form your pancakes and as they “fluff” add some more to get your desired size pancake.
- When the pancake starts to puff up use a spatula and turn to cook the other side
- The pancake almost instantly puffs up and is ready in seconds to remove from the skillet.
- Use up all of the pancake batter adding as many or as few sprinkles as you and your family like until all of the batter becomes your favorite sprinkle pancakes.
- Note** I love using the Bisquick Shake and Pour Pancake Mix but you could definitely substitute your own favorite pancake mix recipe and add your favorite flavor sprinkles to the batter.
And if all that wasn’t enough – be creative and make some do it yourself gourmet pancakes too – sometimes a whoosh of whipped cream and a cherry on top is a sweet treat any time of the day!
DIY is Do It Yourself and we love the freedom to design it and build it our way! Whether you are renovating and updating a room in your home, adding some spice to your decorations, making up a new recipe or building a Valentine’s Day surprise, count us in because we probably are too. Keeping a sense of humor is an absolute must with home projects, anyone who has every watched Renovation Realities on DIY Network knows it can be frustrating.
Do it with love and imagination, do it with less money or just enjoy doing it with your family. It’s all about being creative, having a vision of the end and a Plan B in case that doesn’t work. We are grateful to fellow bloggers and especially Pinterest, there is so much how to information and great ideas to get you started on your way.