Saturday, June 30, 2012

4th of July Windsocks Recipe

My kiddos love making windsocks.  It can get very windy around her so maybe that's why, I'm not entirely sure. However, when I found this cute little craft I knew I had to share it with you! Enjoy!

4th of July Windsocks Recipe
Original Idea from The Wilson
Recipe Courtesy of Yours Truly, Holly M Miller

Tin Cans
Red & White Ribbon
Blue Spray Paint
Decorations: Contact Paper Stars work great - other stickers will work well too.
Hot Glue Gun and Glue

Clean any paper, gunk, grime etc. off the cans.
Lay can's on newspaper and spray paint with blue spray paint.
Let dry. If cans need another coat spray away and let dry thoroughly.
Cut ribbon to desired length.
Alternating colors, hot glue to the inside of each can about an inch from the edge.
Decorate your cans with your stars.
Using a nail and hammer - punch two holes in the top of the can to string your twine through.
Tie a knot in your twine and then double knot. 
We even hot glued the knot to the inside of the can just to make sure.
Hang and Enjoy!

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Friday, June 29, 2012

GIVEAWAY FRIDAY: Orange Dreamsicle Candle from Martha Walters with Mia Bella!


This week we have the privilege of featuring 

She has graciously put up this beautiful 
Orange Dreamsicle Candle for you!  
It's brand new to the Mia Bella Line and retails for $24.95!

Good Luck!

Orange Dreamsicle
Orange dreamsicle - You'll be taken back to a hot summer day with this cool, refreshing ice cream treat. Warning....this is so scrumptious you might end up reaching for a spoon instead of a match.

You can also enter her weekly giveaway Here! She gives a 
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

4th of July Cupcakes Recipe

These will knock your socks off. They're even on the healthy side with their beautiful fresh fruit topping! They look beautiful and they're sure to be a crowd pleaser! Enjoy!

4th of July Cupcakes Recipe
Courtesy of My Finer 

1 (18.25 oz.) box devil’s food cake mix with pudding in the mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./113g) margarine, melted
3 eggs
1/2 cup marshmallow creme (from 7 ounce jar)
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups fresh strawberries, halved
1 cup fresh blueberries

Make the cupcakes the day ahead. 

Prepare and bake as directed on package using water, margarine and eggs. 
Cool at least one hour or until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate.

Place marshmallow creme in small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 10–20 seconds, until softened. 

Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. 
Add slightly cooled marshmallow creme; continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Frost cooled cupcakes with whipped cream mixture up to two hours before serving. 

Arrange 2 strawberry halves on top of each frosted cupcake. 
Place 3 - 5 blueberries around the strawberry halves. 
Keep refrigerated until served.


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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

4th of July Strawberries Recipe

You're sure to get in the mood when you serve a plate of these at the big BBQ.  You'll also be the hit of the party! They're cute, they're tasty, and they're easy! Enjoy!

4th of July Strawberries Recipe
Courtesy of Family Fun 
with slight modifications by Yours Truly, Holly M Miller

12 ounces white chocolate chips or a Bakers White Dipping Chocolate Cup
Blue sugar or edible glitter

Wash and thoroughly dry your strawberries.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper (tape down if necessary)
Melt 12 ounces of white chocolate chips in a microwave according to the package directions.
Pour sugar (glitter or sprinkles) into a shallow bowl.
Make sure the container and the berries are dry; even a little moisture will alter the texture of the candy.
One at a time, dip strawberries into the chocolate and then into blue sugar or edible glitter.
Set them on a waxed paper lined baking sheet and place in the fridge to harden.
Keep chilled until ready to serve.


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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

4th of July Rocket Favors Recipe

These are the cutest little rockets I've ever seen! The best part is they're adorable little favors as well! You can use them to amp up your party decor and then send them home with all of your guests! LOVE!

4th of July Rocket Favors Recipe
Courtesy of Martha

Rocket Crackers Clip Art or use decorative paper cut into rectangles and cones
8 1/2-by-11-inch heavyweight paper
Double-sided tape
8-by-5 1/2-inch pieces of white tissue paper
White twine
Hot-glue gun and glue
Cute candy that won't melt in the heat

Print the Rocket Crackers Clip Art onto heavyweight paper and cut out the shapes.
Place the rectangular clip art blank side up.
Affix double-sided tape to one long edge.
Fold a piece of tissue paper in half (so it measures 4 by 5 1/2 inches).
Place the tissue fold at the bottom of the card stock, pressing it to the tape to secure.
Roll the card stock and tissue into a tube, and secure with double-sided tape.
Cinch the tissue at the bottom of the rocket, and tie it with twine.
Roll fan-shaped clip art into a cone; secure with hot glue.
Place candies inside rocket.
Use hot glue to attach cone to body.


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Monday, June 25, 2012

4th of July Paper Lanterns Recipe

This week we are getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July!  We hope you enjoy each post as we count down the days to America's Birthday. There will be great crafts to keep your kids entertained (like the one below) as well as delicious foods to serve during the festivities! Join us!

4th of July Paper Lanterns Recipe

Cardstock in Red, White and Blue
A ruler
Decorations like Star Cutouts, Stripes, Rockets, Fireworks, Flags, etc. (use punches or even stickers)
Glue Sticks
Festive Ribbon

Fold your cardstock in half lengthwise. 
Then take your ruler and draw lines from the fold, leaving an inch from the end of your line and the edge.  Leave about 3/4 inch on each side.
Cut on the line, stopping when the line ends, not through to the edge.
Unfold your paper and then with the folded bumps on the outside, turn inward to make a circle and attach at the top and bottom.  Then staple both the top and bottom a couple of times.
You should now have a paper lantern to decorate!
Add stars, stripes, rockets, flags and more in red, white, blue, and silver.
Then add your ribbon on the top and bottom with a stapler.
 Attach a 1 inch strip of cardstock for the handle.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Casserole Recipe

This next recipe is going to knock your socks off! It's a perfect Sunday Morning Recipe! 
Enjoy and Happy Sunday!

Baked Oatmeal Overnight Casserole Recipe
Courtesy of Inspired

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans pieces
1 cup raspberries {any berries work}
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ripe banana, peeled, 1/2-inch slices

Generously spray the inside of a baking dish with cooking spray. 
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half the pecans, half the berries and half the chocolate. (Save the other half of berries, nuts and chocolate for the top of the oatmeal).
In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla extract.
Add the banana slices to the bottom of the casserole dish.
Add the oat mixture to prepared baking dish. 
Arrange the remaining berries, nuts and chocolate on top. 
Pour the milk mixture over everything. 
Gently shake the baking dish to help the milk mixture go throughout the oats.
Refrigerate over night.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and the milk mixture has set. 
Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of extra brown sugar. (optional)
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Banana Peanut Butter Sushi Rolls Recipe

I really like sushi and my kids are always asking to try it.  Since they're pretty young (and sushi's pretty expensive) we decided to make some more kid friendly sushi.  This recipe is great any time!

Banana Peanut Butter Sushi Rolls Recipe
Original Idea from Brave Girls
Recipe Courtesy of Yours Truly, Holly M Miller

2 slices bread
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
1 banana
honey for drizzle

Flatten your bread with a rolling pin.
Spread with peanut butter.
Cut your banana in half, place one half at the edge of the bread and roll.
Cut into sushi slices and drizzle with honey.


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Friday, June 22, 2012

GIVEAWAY FRIDAY- Chocolate Coffee Mug Gift Set from KC Designs


Today's Friday Giveaway is featuring a beautiful 
Chocolate Coffee Mug Gift Set from 

It's stuffed full of goodies!

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies Recipe

Who doesn't love Mint Chocolate Chip? It certainly isn't me - Thin Mints, Andes Mints, Grasshopper cookies, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream I love it all, but today I share with you the amazing and delicious brownie version!

Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies Recipe
Courtesy of Sister Stuff Blog

Ingredients for Mint Brownies:
2 cups butter – melted
3/4 cups cocoa
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 eggs – beaten
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla

Ingredients for Mint Frosting:
Mint frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
5 Tablespoons milk
6 drops green food coloring
2 teaspoons mint or peppermint extract

Ingredients for Top Layer:
1 bag of semi-chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine the butter, cocoa powder, sugar and beaten eggs and mix well.
Add flour, salt, and vanilla to the mixture.
Pour into 9″ x 13″ pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.
Cool completely.
Make Frosting by combining butter and powdered sugar and then other ingredients, mixing on medium-high speed.
Spread frosting on chilled cake and then chill again.
Melt a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips by  pouring into microwave safe bowl and microwaving on high 30 seconds and then stirring - repeat until melted.
Spread for top layer.


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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Leaves You Longing: A Book Review of 50 Shade of Grey Trilogy

Today we're going to switch it up a bit and give you a book review instead of a recipe for a craft or delicious meal.  There's been a lot of hype on the 50 Shades of Grey books, so of course I had to read them to see if they led up to their reputation. Sadly to say, they started off with a bang but left me wanting more.

Leaves You Longing: A Book Review 
of the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy
Courtesy of Yours Truly, Holly M. Miller

I will try not to give anything away, but I won't be held responsible for ruining the books for you if you haven't read them before you read this.  Also, there is mature content in the books which will be discussed so this review will have mature content as well.

I tore through the first book in a day and a half! No my laundry didn't get done and the bathrooms didn't get clean but the book was good.  It really kept me reading.  I became very attached to the characters and just had to find out more.  However, towards the end I started to notice some redundancies that began to annoy me.  For instance, how many times can she describe how his body wash smells? I felt myself rolling my eyes whenever she'd start in on something she'd already said ten times before. 

Let's cut to the chase and get straight to the mature content.  First of all, when I was buying the book, the checker at Target decided to tell me that she was intrigued because they'd almost sold out of copies, but wasn't sure she was going to read it because she didn't want to be traumatized by all of the dark sexual content.  She made me feel like a pervert just for buying the darn thing, and I wanted to give her a piece of my mind but decided she wasn't worth it.  They don't even kiss until chapter six! The hype made it seem like Christian Grey was going to bring Ana over to the dark side but it's really Ana who brings Christian to the light.  I wasn't as concerned with their explicit words or sex scenes as I was with the fact that they start repeating themselves, over and over and over.  Not to mention that it's definitely fiction, I've never known anyone who actually had an orgasm during their very first time.  Nor have I known anyone that kept at it like rabbits and was able to orgasm each and every time and even multiple times, so thank you for the Fairy Tale E.L. James but that's exactly what it is.  All in all, I really did like the first book and had to start the second one immediately. 

I ripped through the second one in about two days.  I found I wasn't glued to my seat like I was in the first, but I was happy with the plot for the most part.  In general, I just wanted more plot and less sex.  They were seriously getting it on every few pages and again with the Fairy Tale orgasms and the repeating details.  By the end of the book I was skipping entire sex scenes because it was just too much and the scenes were almost identical anyway.  What I really wanted to know was more about Kate, Elliot, Ethan, Mia, and the rest.  I liked it, but I wasn't completely sold.

The third book just made me angry.  They started off jumping around, which is not something they did in the first two books.  They were forward and then flashed back and forth and seemed to skip everything that I really wanted to know.  It started off shaky for me to say the least.  I wanted to read about the wedding and getting ready for the wedding, instead of skipping it and flashing back to it.  The Grey's have millions of dollars to spare, so I really wanted the event to be huge and fairy tale like.  Speaking of events, I would have liked to hear more about the different events in general.  It describes the annual event that the Grey's host for charity in book two and I loved it! Unfortunately,  that was it!  It mentions that they go to other functions but spends most of the time caught up in the same redundant sex scenes and fighting with each other about trust and lies.  The underlying plot was really intriguing, it kept me guessing for sure.  E. L. James put their lives in danger and as they struggle to keep each other safe and figure out who is after them I devoured every word.  Unfortunately, it was broken up by the redundant sex scenes and fighting every few pages.

The part that made me angriest was the end.  It just ended. Just like that. Over.  And I sat there - mad as a hornet because I had just invested all my time getting to know these characters and their triumphs and failures and all of a sudden it's over at a most inopportune time.  I felt like E. L. James just gave up.  Then she writes an epilogue that skips around.  What I really wanted was for her to put those scenes from the epilogue into the book instead of giving it to us from Ana's perspective the whole time - this probably would have broken up the redundancies for me and given it more plot depth.  I wanted to know more about Mia and why Ethan wasn't there during her trauma.  Do they get together?  Where do they hang Jose's portraits of Ana? Why is Mrs. Jones still called Mrs. Jones if she's not married?

The books really weren't that dark and crazy either.  Since Ana was so inexperienced and adamant about not going over board into the kinkiness it kept it very 'vanilla' to use the term from the book.  I only remember a handful of sex scenes that were even close to kinky and dark.  E. L. James handled the topic well and kept pulling Christian into the light instead of Ana into the dark.  Honestly, I felt like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was a heck of a lot darker and more traumatizing than this series.  Overall, I was glad I read them, but I can't say as I was thrilled with them or dying to recommend them to my friends. I just wanted more plot and less redundant, unrealistic sex.  There were so many opportunities to give the audience more compelling plot and still make it steamy, sexy and sultry without beating us over the head with the sex.

Did you read them? I would love to know your thoughts! Leave us your comments!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread Recipe

Raspberries and chocolate are a dynamite combination but have you ever thought about putting them together in your beloved banana bread? Check out this next recipe for an amazing combination that will delight your taste buds!

Chocolate Raspberry Banana Bread Recipe
Courtesy of Recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup white sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup halved raspberries, tossed in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a separate large bowl, beat the sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute).
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended.
Stir in the flour mixture; just until moist. Don't over-mix.
Stir in the chocolate chunks and then gently stir in the raspberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.
Remove from pan and cool completely on the wire rack.


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Monday, June 18, 2012

Creamy Crock Pot Mac N Cheese Recipe

What I really love most about crock pot cooking is that I can make it and then walk away and relax for a bit.  It also gives me time to do the dishes and clean up the kitchen and not feel ridiculously rushed.  In our house, macaroni and cheese is a staple. We LOVE it! So today we'd like to share a yummy crock pot macaroni and cheese recipe with you.

Creamy Crock Pot Mac N Cheese Recipe

8 ounces medium shell macaroni
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or a Cheddar blend
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Cook the macaroni following package directions. 
Drain in a colander and rinse with hot water, drain well.
Generously butter the sides and bottom of your slow cooker (about 2 tablespoons of butter).
Combine the macaroni with the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and blend well.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, stirring a few times.
If desired, spoon the cooked macaroni and cheese mixture into a baking dish, sprinkle with a little more cheese, and put under the broiler for about two minutes, just until cheese is melted.
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole Recipe

Happy Father's Day! To all of the amazing dads out there, and especially the ones in our family, we would like to wish you a truly amazing day.  Dads are extremely important in the lives of their children and today is a great reminder to say thank you for all of their hard work.

Our dad LOVES breakfast, so today we're serving him up this delicious recipe! Enjoy

Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole Recipe
Courtesy of Yours Truly, Holly M Miller

8 strips of bacon
1/2 cup small onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 (2 lb) bag of frozen hash browns or tater tots
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
12 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Spray crock pot with cooking spray.
Cook bacon until crisp.
Let bacon cool - then chop into bite size pieces
Saute onions, bell pepper, mushrooms for about 5 minutes in olive oil.
Line bottom of the crock pot with 1/3 of the hashbrowns or tater tops to make the first layer
Add 1/3 of the sauteed vegetables for the second layer
Add 1/3 of the cheddar cheese.
Repeat layers 2 more times.
In large bowl, whisk eggs, dill, garlic, salt and pepper.
Pour over the layers in crock pot.
Cook on low overnight (8-10 hours)

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

S'Mores Dip Recipe

As you know, summer time and s'mores go hand in hand in our family.  But s'mores can be messy and I don't always have a beautiful campfire going to cook them.  They're also not very 'classy' in their original state.  This recipe left me amazed with a deeper love of the graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate trio. Enjoy!

S'Mores Dip Recipe
Courtesy of A Crafty Cook

1 14oz can sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups Chocolate Chips (or 8 oz bakers chocolate)
1/2 jar of marshmallow cream
Graham Crackers

In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and condensed milk on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally (stopping about every 30 seconds to stir), until chips are melted.
Stir to mix well.
Pour into 9-inch glass pie pan, spreading evenly.
Drop marshmallow creme by tablespoonfuls randomly over chocolate mixture.
Microwave on High about 60 seconds or until marshmallow creme is softened.
Immediately with knife, make several small swirls through marshmallow and chocolate, creating a marbled appearance.
Serve immediately with graham crackers for dipping.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

GIVEAWAY FRIDAY - Gourmet Food Mixes!


Today we're featuring Country Gourmet Shop's 
fabulous Gourmet Food Mix Giveaway.  

The winner will receive $25 dollars worth of Gourmet Foods! You're going to love it!

Good Luck!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Meatloaf Cups Recipe

I adore cooking in a muffin tin, I'm not sure if it's my obsession with cupcakes or the awesomeness that is single serve anything, especially with a 3 year old and almost 7 year old running around.  Or maybe, it's the way it helps me keep my portions in perspective - I'm not entirely sure.  I can tell you however, that in the case of this next recipe, my love comes from how fast is speeds up the process.

Meatloaf Cups Recipe
Recipe Courtesy of Yours Truly, Holly M Miller

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray

Take off your rings.
Lightly (very lightly) coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Dice up the green bell pepper and onion until they are very small. 
Put in a bowl with the ground beef and Italian sausage.
Add soy sauce, egg, salt and pepper, and bread crumbs.
Squish until well mixed. (I hate this part) - Make sure you got it really well mixed.
Separate your meat into 9 little balls and place one in each muffin spot.
Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes.
Remove from tin and place on paper towel lined plate - rest for 5 minutes before serving.

We usually whip up a Lipton Mushroom Onion Soup Mix Gravy and smother our mashed potatoes and meatloaf cups with it. 

You can also top them with a ketchup sauce (think ketchup, soy sauce, French dressing) before baking
*If you do not use Italian Sausage, you'll need a nice mix of spices to amp up the flavor.


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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae Recipe

What's summer without some cast iron skillet cookie? Well it just isn't summer at our house. Unfortunately, we haven't had much time to go camping over the past few years so we have to camp in our backyard whenever we get a moment.  However, this does allow us to have a few amenities we wouldn't have otherwise - like ice cream! Check out this next recipe the next time you've got a hankering to cook with a cast iron skillet!

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae Recipe

3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Syrup & Caramel Sauce (optional - for topping)

Preheat oven to 350°
In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, combine melted butter and both sugars.
Stir until there are no lumps.
Add in vanilla, egg and yolk. Stir until mixture is smooth -make sure egg is completely mixed in.
Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until blended.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread evenly in a 10" cast iron skillet.
Bake 15-20 minutes until edges start to golden. Don't overcook. The center will appear slightly loose.
Let cool 10 minutes on wire rack and scoop onto plates or bowls.
Serve with ice cream and top with chocolate syrup and caramel sauce.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Raspberry Peach Cobbler Recipe

My dad loves cobblers and so my mother and grandmother would make them every summer. For some reason they just seem to be a summer thing in our family.  Today I'm sharing with you a fabulous combination of raspberry and peach.  You'll love it!

Raspberry Peach Cobbler Recipe
Courtesy of Family
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3 cups sliced peaches (about 4 large peaches)
1 cup raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 up flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Ice Cream for topping
Heat the oven to 350ºF. 
Measure the butter into a 2 1/2 -quart casserole dish or a cast-iron skillet.
Place the pan in the oven to melt the butter. 
Combine the peaches and raspberries in a medium bowl and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar over them. Gently stir the fruit, then set it aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the remaining sugar, the milk, and the vanilla extract and stir until the mixture is evenly blended.
When the butter has melted, pour it into the batter, stir quickly but gently to mix it in, then immediately pour the batter into the casserole or skillet. 
Add the fruit with its juices, distributing it evenly and lightly pressing it partway into the batter with a spatula.
Return the pan to the oven and bake the cobbler until the top is a rich golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve warm with ice cream (or whipped cream).


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Monday, June 11, 2012

Candy Apple Sundaes Recipe

When you think summer do you think Candied Apples? I do! I also think ice cream and hot apple pie!  This next recipe is going to knock your socks off! You'll be taken back to days of childhood, possibly at the county fair eating candied apples or enjoying grandma's heavenly hot apple pie ala mode!

Candy Apple Sundaes Recipe
with changes by Yours Truly Holly M Miller

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup (grab it at Whole Foods)
1/4 cup cold water
pinch salt
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brandy
apples (use nice round red ones that ‘stand up’ nicely)
ice cream
chopped nuts

Place the butter in a saucepan and melt it gently.
Add the brown sugar, golden syrup, water and salt.
Heat gently at first and stir constantly as the sugar dissolves.
Bring to a boil, still stirring, until the mixture really bubbles like mad.
Reduce the heat and add the condensed milk, vanilla and brandy.
Stir until it’s nicely combined and a good caramel color, then take it off the heat.
Cut the top bit off the apple, and scoop out all the inside flesh.  (Use a melon baller or a teaspoon)
If preparing apples more than 5 minutes before serving, squeeze lemon juice over the apple to stop it from browning.
Fill the apple with a scoop or two of ice cream, and drizzle with the warm caramel (if the caramel has thickened while you got the apples ready, just gently heat it again, or add one more dash of brandy). Top with chopped nuts and serve.


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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Punchy Watermelon Punch & Serving Bowl Recipe

Another summertime tradition: Watermelon!  I'm super excited about this recipe because not only is it delicious, but we learned how to make an adorable punch bowl out of the actual watermelon!  This is going to be perfect for our 4th of July BBQ.  Enjoy!

Punchy Watermelon Punch & Serving Bowl Recipe


1 Medium Oblong Seedless Watermelon (you'll need 4 cups watermelon puree for the punch)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 4-5 juicy limes)
1/3 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
1/2 cup, plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup light rum

Cut the top off of the watermelon to make sure you have a wide opening for your bowl.
Trim bottom just enough to make a flat surface.
Scoop out flesh.
Working in batches, puree watermelon in a food processor until you have 4 cups.
Cover rind with plastic wrap. Refrigerate juice and rind until chilled, about 1 hour.
Make your Simple Syrup by combining 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan. Heat until sugar has dissolved. Let cool. You will have left overs.
Juice Limes
Coarsely chop mint leaves.
Crush mint with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Use a mortar and pestle if you have one, otherwise use a wooden spoon in a bowl to pulverize the mint and sugar. When you are done, you will have a well-integrated mint/sugar paste. Add paste to the lime juice.
Mix pureed watermelon and lime juice (with the sugary mint).
Add 2-3 tablespoons simple syrup. How much simple syrup you use will depend on the natural sugar content of your watermelon and your own personal preference for sweetness.
Add 2/3 cup light rum.
Served chilled. Always give the punch a stir before serving to integrate the ingredients.


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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Frosty S'Mores Cups Recipe

What is summertime without S’Mores? Well, it just isn’t right at our house!  Today we’d like to share a delicious take on the regular fire pit treats that have a little more style and maybe a little more class that will definitely hit the spot!

Frosty S’Mores Cups Recipe
Courtesy of Easy

18 graham cracker squares (9 sheets)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 cup mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 box (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding
1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip (thawed in fridge)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Crush graham crackers into crumbs in medium bowl.
Melt butter and add to graham crackers, mixing until well combined to make crust.
Spray Muffin Pan with cooking spray or use cupcake liners.
Evenly divide crust mixture into all 12 cups, saving about 1/4 cup to use as topping later.
Place chocolate chips and whipping cream into a small bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
Spoon chocolate into a zip top bag, cut a tip off and evenly pipe chocolate into the center of each cup, on top of the crust.
Divide Marshmallows among cups.
Mix cold milk with pudding on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in 1/2 of the Cool Whip container (the rest will be used as topping).
Spoon filling into a large zip top bag and close. 
Clip a corner off and pipe pudding into each cup evenly.  Try to pipe it in between the marshmallows so that the whole cup is filled. 
Use a knife to smooth the tops level with the top of the pan.
Freeze for at least a couple of hours.
For topping, pipe a little bit of the left over Cool Whip on each dessert using a decorating tip (or a dollop, or a reddi whip can). 
Then sprinkle the remaining crust and mini chocolate chips on top.
Serve cold right away– or put them in a sealed container and freeze until you are ready to serve.


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