Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chocolate (Coconut) Body Scrub!!


Hope you have all enjoyed a wonderful EASTER day!




Thanks to Marilyn at 4 U with Love for this wonderfully delicious and easy-to-make sugar scrub.

It's NO-GUILT chocolate, and it's really OK to eat it if you want. 
(Trust me on that one!;)

Marilyn has  'Spa Day Saturdays' and I was so glad to find this yummy concotion there.


We all deserve some pampering...and it doesn't have to be expensive. 

This scrub is awesome!

Easy to make..with ingredients you most likely have on hand...great to give as a gift.  Mix it up in minutes - I'm wild about quick recipes!

(Sure wish we had smell-a-'puter so you could get a good whiff!=)

From Marilyn's blog..."I was inspired by Chocolate...but zero guilt chocolate.  How does that sound?   Let me first share what I've learned, via surfing the internet, about chocolate in beauty products.
#1 - Chocolate is a good moisturizer that rejuvenates and nourishes the skin
#2 - Chocolate has powerful anti-oxidant powers
#3 - It's anti-oxidant properties may prevent free radicals from causing damage to skin and may smooth out wrinkles"


I've made a number of sugar scrubs, especially at holiday time, and have learned I prefer less oil to sugar ratio, using 1/4 c. oil plus 1 Tb.per 1 c. sugar, but of course, you can always add more if that's your preference. I want to feel smooth, not greasy, but to each his (or her) own. 

How about the idea of making chocolate/coconut sugar scrub?  Use coconut oil and add coconut extract instead of the vanilla.  MMM good!

I didn't have the cocoa butter, but that would be a fantastic addition!


CHOCOLATE BODY SCRUB

1/2 c. (+ 2 Tb.) light olive (or coconut) oil
1 Tbsp cocoa butter (optional)
2 c. sugar
2 Tb. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla (or coconut) extract

Pour oil into a microwavable bowl. Add cocoa butter if using. 

Microwave on high in 20 second intervals until the cocoa butter is almost melted. (or until oil is just heated slightly). 

Stir in sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder to the oil.

Stir until mixed thoroughly.

When cooled, place scrub in mason jars or plastic container with lid.  (Tie with a ribbon to give as a gift). Use on your elbows, feet, hands and in the shower.  I love using it on my hands anytime they're feeling rough. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Special Egg Salad & Weekend Potluck #60

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK! 


It's soooo fun to have you come to our party....
We love all the yummy goodness you bring to our table.  Especially when you take time to visit on a busy weekend like this one. 

May you and yours enjoy a blessed Easter weekend. 


FLASHBACK FRIDAY...


Where I share something worth sharing...again

I had to share my favorite egg salad with you.
(Was thinking maybe you'd have some 'extra' eggs around this coming week?=)
This salad is dreamy, creamy and holds a week in the fridge - 
the cream cheese, garlic & onion powders make it extra special. 



Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Coconut Cream Pie Bars
Coconut Cream Pie Bars  by 4 little Fergusons

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Southern Style Easter Menu
Southern Style Easter Menu by South Your Mouth
Easy Cheep Chicks
Easy Cheep Chicks by Kelli’s Retro Kitchen Arts

And, a personal favorite ~

Easter stone dessert
Stones Rolled Away  by Coffee With Us 3

If you were featured this week, don't forget to snag the featured button below.
Weekend Potluck Featured

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE  blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

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If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
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  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

Weekend Potluck Linky





Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Cookie Bird Nests...and more


(From my archives)...

I had big plans to make some fun things for Easter posts, and life has kept me hopping (sorry - I couldn't resist =) in other directions.

So I will share what I quickly made, and give you a few links for some other great and creative ideas to help celebrate this special holiday.

I looked around for 'Easter nests' recipes and found sooo many options!

You can use rice krispies, coconut, chow mein noodles, shredded wheat, etc.

Chocolate, marshmallow creme, butterscotch, peanut butter bases...etc.

But I used what I had on hand and that was cornflakes with melted butterscotch chips and peanut butter.  Very tasty.

Simple too!

I think the next time I would hand-crush the cornflakes a little bit before stirring them into the candy mixture. 

I put them in muffin cups to form them easier.  The paper is easily removed after they're chilled.


I tried making a well in the center, but they wouldn't cooperate very easily.  Crushing the flakes some might make a difference?

This recipe comes from Cooks.com

They're more of a candy than a cookie...

EASTER COOKIE BIRD NESTS

1 (6 oz.) butterscotch morsels
1/2 c. peanut butter
5 c. corn flakes
Jelly beans


Melt peanut butter and morsels. Stir in corn flakes and blend until coated. Drop on waxed paper and make a center. Chill and fill with jelly beans or whatever candy you want or even peanuts. 


(I have permission to use these photos and links) 

Check out the Easter Bunny Buns from Mommy's Kitchen.  Tina uses her easy cake mix crescent roll recipe to make these adorable bunnies.


Erin at Making Memories with your Kids made these adorable Easter Egg Hunt cookies.  The dough is wrapped around a mini cadbury egg.  I think they couldn't be cuter or more irresistible!


And who could possibly say no to these adorable Cooking Creation's Easter Egg Pops? Celeste also shares some other delicious recipes on this page.

This next idea is my favorite. I enjoyed a great time making these Resurrection Cookies with two of my granddaughters a few years ago. They still talk about it.  The process of making these cookies illustrates the message of Easter.

Her step-by-step pictures for Resurrection Cookies are awesome!




May we not forget the Reason for this Easter celebration...

Revelation 1:18 - I am He who lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3 Bommin' Breads/Biscuits {Blast from the Past}

This recipe got so many positive reactions and comments at my post...it's oh so tasty and the butter makes a crispy crust that's outta this world. 

Butter Dip Biscuits




This awesome bread becomes a favorite to everyone who tastes it. The sour cream adds so much moisture and the cinnamon/sugar sprinkled in the pan before baking adds a great crunch too. 

Sour Cream Banana Bread



Please be sure to read the comments at this scone-like biscuit recipe post.  I usually make it fat free and the lemon/blueberry combo is irresistible. 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Smoked Sausage, White Bean and Potato Chowder




Since most of us are still waiting for spring to arrive, a good bowl of coup, or chowder, can warm us up in no time.

I love a good ole thick soup...and prefer to call it chowder.

That's one of the little changes I made to this fantabulous recipe I found at Mommy's Kitchen .  We like cheesey soups too.  I also added carrots. 

So I even googled the difference between soup and chowder and this is what I found...


"chowder is cream based, and thick--soup is usually made with a broth".

Hubby and I both really REALLY! loved this soup, er, um...chowder. 

I tweaked it by adding chopped carrots and some velveeta. 

YUM! YUM! Very hearty and satisfying. We'll be enjoying this again soon. 



SMOKED SAUSAGE, WHITE BEAN AND POTATO CHOWDER 

2-1/2 c. low sodium chicken broth 
3 c. potatoes, diced
(I used frozen southern hash browns...they're cubes)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/2 c. carrots, diced
1-1/2 c. smoked sausage or ham, chopped
3 Tb. butter, melted
3 Tb. all purpose flour
2 c. half & half (or whole milk)
1-15 ozs. can northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
(or granules)
black pepper to taste

In large pot, add chicken broth, potatoes, celery, onions, carrots and smoked sausage; bring to boil and cook until veggies are tender, about 12 - 15 minutes. 

In medium saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour (a whisk works great) then add half and half a little at a time, stirring until smooth and thick. Drain some of the broth from sausage mixture, adding that to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Add cheese and heat until it melts.  Slowly add that back to the pot with veggies and sausage. 

Add  beans, bouillon and pepper.  Heat through and serve. 


SO satisfying!



Linked to Whatcha Whipped up Wednesday
Weekend Potluck
GBP Roundup - Soup


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies



These cookies are a very special treat.

I had cinnamon chips in the freezer after snatching them up over the holidays. These cookies were sent off in 'goodie boxes' at church. Our ladies missionary group packs boxes of homemade goodies every February to send to our college kids and military.

I favor an oatmeal cookie anyway, but add these yummy chips and you've got a real winner!

This recipe was on the back of the bag of cinnamon chips & since I love nutmeg I adapted it by adding a little bit of nutmeg...gave it a more of an intense spice flavor. 

OATMEAL CINNAMON CHIPS COOKIES

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/2 c. quick-cooking oats
1/2 tsp. nutmeg 
1-2/3 c. (10 ozs. pkg) cinnamon chips 
3/4 c. raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, nutmeg, cinnamon chips and raisins. (I stirred those ingredients in by hand). Batter will be stiff.

Drop by heaping teaspoonsful onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool 1 minute; move from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.

Yield: 3-4 dozen

May press into a lightly greased 9" X 13" baking pan. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool; cut into bars.

Linked to Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday
Weekend Potluck

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Leader Enterprise - March 20, 2013 - Breakfast Facts and Dishes


    I love a good breakfast. After fasting all night, breakfast kick-starts your energy level. Choosing healthy slow burning foods, like fruits and whole grains helps you control your appetite until noon. Overeating throughout the day is less likely. Studies show that those who skip breakfast tend to make up for the calories later in the day, often with unhealthy food choices. 

    There's more than one good reason to eat breakfast. It increases your metabolic-or calorie-burning-rate also. Consequently, you'll have more energy and weight control is easier. Watch out for foods heavy with refined sugars, like sugary cereals and pastries. These foods only offer calories without nutrients. High sugar foods may also cause you energy to soar briefly before it falls, and then you end up feeling more drained and hungry, even if you ate breakfast.

    To avoid a sugar slump, choose whole grain breads and cereals, with low sugar content. Also, flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Add to cereal, yogurt, cottage cheese and smoothies for a healthy boost in your morning. Try a lowfat yogurt parfait layered with fresh fruit and cereal or nuts. Whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter and a few banana slices makes a great breakfast to begin your day.


I'd enjoy this quick breakfast any day of the week-several days a week!It comes from Tiffany at Eat At Home blog. Find her at www.eatathomecooks.com. 

5 MINUTE BREAKFAST SANDWICH 

2 slices of bread
1 serving thinly sliced deli meat
1 serving thinly sliced deli cheese
1 egg
2 slices bread
flat-bottomed microwave safe bowl
Begin toasting the bread as desired. While the bread is toasting, grease the bowl and crack the egg into it. Add a dash of salt; beat it with a fork. Microwave it on high for one minute. When the egg is finished add cheese and then the deli meat on top. Let rest while you handle your toast. Spread the mayonnaise on both sides of toast. Use a spatula to slide the egg/cheese/meat stack directly onto one of the pieces and top with the other. Enjoy.

This next recipe is the kind of meal we love to have when we do breakfast for dinner. Pre cook ingredients the night before to make it quicker for morning fixings. This one comes from Libby at Cooking with Libby (www.cookingwithlibby.com)

SAUSAGE, EGG AND CHEESE PIZZA   
1(8 ozs.) pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls or pizza dough
1 # pork sausage (or 4 or 5 slices ready cooked bacon or chopped veggies of your choice)
1 c. frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 c. shredded cheddar or cojack cheese
3 eggs
1/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Unroll crescent dough and place on greased 12" pizza pan; press seams together; press up sides of pan to form a crust. In a skillet, brown sausage over medium heat; drain and cool slightly. Sprinkle sausage, hash browns and cheddar cheese over crust. In small bowl, beat eggs, milk and pepper; pour over pizza. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 - 28 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

This is an easy dish to prepare the night before. You will WANT to get out of bed when you smell this cooking in the morning.

CROCKPOT PECAN PIE OATMEAL 

1 c. chopped pecans, divided
1-1/2 c. oatmeal, rolled oats or steel cut,not quick cooking 
4-1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Toast pecans by cooking in small skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently and watch carefully to avoid burning. Reserve 1/2 c. pecans for serving. Combine remaining pecans and all the remaining ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low for 7-9 hours. 

Your family will never know this yummy drink has oatmeal in it. It becomes ground through the blending process, but secretly adds nutrients.

PINA COLADA OATMEAL SMOOTHIES
2-1/2 c. pineapple
1 c. fat free Greek yogurt
1 c. dry oats
1-14 ozs. can light coconut milk (or whole milk)
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
2 c. crushed ice
Place all ingredients except ice into the container of a blender or food processor. Process/blend until smooth. Add the ice, and blend until it reaches desired consistency. Pour, serve and enjoy!! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lightened up Coconut Cream Pie & Weekend Potluck #59

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!
I'm SO happy to be back here with you this week!! 
I really missed you all!


For my 

 recipe I have chosen this delicious and easy pie...
LOVE the toasted coconut on top.  Using packaged pudding mix, 
it goes together quickly too.



Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Pepperoni Pizza and Cheesy Garlic Bread Rolls

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Fruit Salad Cheesecake
Fruit Salad Cheesecake by The Kitchen is My Playground

Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches by Coffee With Us 3

And, a personal favorite ~

Homemade Hearty Rye Oatmeal Bread  by The Joy of Caking

If you were featured today, please snag the featured button below!


Weekend Potluck Featured

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

Weekend Potluck Linky




Thursday, March 21, 2013

Divine Praline Brownies {Sugar Free Option}



This is a wonderfully simple and simply wonderful recipe I found at 
Gooseberry Patch Online

AND IT'S CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!

You know GBP has the bestest recipes!
(& did you know I get the honor of having one of my recipes shared in their upcoming fall book - Hometown Harvest? YEHAW!)

I made this a sugar free treat for us, using a sf brownie mix and Splenda brown sugar blend.

It was very tasty.  A good brownie is always hard to beat!

Try dressing up your next brownie mix - you won't be sorry. 

And this has only FOUR ingredients!  I LOVE IT!


DIVINE PRALINE BROWNIES 

(Sugar Free) Brownie mix that makes 9" X 13" panfull
(about 22 ozs)
1/4 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar, packed
(or 1/2 c. Brown Sugar Splenda for S-F)
1 c. chopped pecans

Mix brownie mix according to package directions.  Spread in a greased 9" X 13" baking pan. Set aside.  Melt butter in a skillet over low heat, add brown sugar and pecans. Heat until sugar dissolves; drizzle over brownie mix.  Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes.  Cool and cut into bars.  Keep refrigerated.

Yield: 12 - 15
Linked to Foodie Friends Friday
Whatcha Whipped up Wednesday
Weekend Potluck

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

3 Marvy Make-Ahead Meals {Blast from the Past}

What woman doesn't want to fix a good meal and not spend a lot of time doing it? 
This wonderful dish is so tasty and it can waiting to be popped into the oven 
when you're ready. 





I am thrilled when I can freeze things ahead in preparation for putting it together
quickly later. Toss everything into the freezer and put in the crockpot later. 
What's not to love? 




One of my readers commented on this recipe recently and said her husband said 'MMM' EVERY bite he enjoyed....and he rarely said anything about her homecooking! Creamy...easy...lots of veggies. Topped with Tater Tots - 
the kids will love it too! 

Chicken Tater Tot Bake (Bake one - Freeze one)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bacon Roses Tutorial is here!!!!




OH HOW FUN THIS WAS! 

These lovely 'flowers' would make an awesome centerpiece anytime, and they're great for celebrating birthdays or anniversaries with.

YOU.CAN.EAT.THEM!!

I know some of you saw the photo of our bacon roses that I posted on Facebook while hubby and I were away celebrating our 45th anniversary.  We went to visit dear TN friends who spend the winter in Florida, and were able to stay in a camper in the same RV park.  We had a blast! and enjoyed our time there immensely.  Can't wait to go back next year! Feel like we have a new family away from our own. 

(Stay tuned for a few more t-shirt scarf/tote tutorials..per request, I taught the gals in the park FIVE times...in two weeks time! WHAT.A.KICK!) 

I've been asked to share a tutorial of these pretty 'flowers' and have had fun putting this post together. 

Because I was using a gas oven and not the electric I have at home, and the microwave I used was tiny, I can't say for sure about baking time for this recipe, but I have no doubt, YOU CAN DO THIS!  It's really very simple and I was so pleased with the results. 

I can't say just whose recipe I used because I kinda did my own thing.
I did take my muffin cups and papers with me to be sure I had them, but this was certainly the first time I'd tried making these. 

Have I said how pleased I was with how they turned out!?  *-*

I have seen all kinds of ideas around the net for making these yummy 'flowers'. 
One gal even drilled holes in the bottom of each of her mini muffin cups so the grease could drain down into another pan.  I've seen different kinds of fake flowers used, and even celery for the greens. (they put toothpicks through the bottom of the bacon flowers...used the leaves from the heart of the celery, stood it up and tucked the bacon in...it was cute..and all edible!) 

If you notice in the photo below, because I didn't have a vaseI just stuck the stem of the flowers into the middle of the full paper towel roll.  But you can add marbles to a vase and 'plant' your flowers in the vase to make for a special touch..  

I made the roses a couple of days ahead and stored them in a covered dish in the fridge, then just microwaved them a bit and put them on the fake stems while hubby was gone for a little while. 

I used thick sliced bacon, using 2 slices for one rose, but made them again for our friend's granddaughter, Lydia, who was visiting them. using thin sliced.  She LOVES pork, especially bacon.  Both turned out nicely, the thick bacon just makes for a bigger flower.



You can also use one strip of bacon for each roll too.  I suggest doing that if using mini muffin pans. (I've seen tutorials using no papers too). 

And there are so many kinds of bacon to choose from..not only the cut, but there's 'low sodium', 'hickory smoked', 'maple flavored' 'turkey bacon', etc. etc. Use what you want (though I'm not sure turkey bacon would work for this?). 

HOW ABOUT CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON?  I just might have to dip the flowers in chocolate the next time around.  YOWZA!!!

OK...onto the instructions.

This is what you'll need. 


bacon (thick or thin sliced)


'bouquet' of fake flowers



regular or mini muffin pan



cupcake papers


Preheat oven to 375*. 

After placing 2 muffin papers in each muffin cup (I made 5 flowers with 1/2# bacon and had a few pieces of bacon left over)...

#1 - remove flowers from stems
(I suggest swishing the green part in soapy water, then rinsing
and drying before adding flowers)

#2 - on clean surface, roll two slices of bacon (just as they lay in the package...one higher than the other - the 'higher' piece being on the outside of the roll)

#3 - place them, fat side down, into the muffin cup. 

#4 - After baking for about 35+ minutes, I removed them from the papers with a fork, placing the grease and papers into a disposable container to throw out. 

#5 - Place the roses on paper towels on a plate and if needed, microwave a couple of minutes longer to get a crisper end result.  (That helps draw out the fat too.)

When cool, just place roses on stems - 

WALA!!! 

Refrigerate until ready to 'serve'.