Sunflower Sundae

Saw this “Sunflower Sundae” in a Family Fun magazine a long time ago and filed it away to do “one day”. Well, today was the day! After running across it recently, I put this together for dessert tonight. Mayfield Homemade Vanilla ice cream with a slice of pineapple on top – chocolate chips for the center of the flower. My green “sprig” was artificial but you could use mint leaves or something similar. This is a good example of how Pinterest helps keep ideas organized and close at hand. If Pinterest had been around when I found this, I would have pinned it for sure! A great idea for a party!

School Days, School Days

For Back to School Breakfast 2012, we used a school theme – school colors, shakers and megaphones. Our first day of school morning always starts with Granny (My Mom) calling to play
“School Days” See lyrics and history here! I didn’t know that this song originated in a play in 1908 but I know that my Mom has been playing it for me since I started school in 1966. Now she continues that tradition for my girls!

Blue and Yellow for the Sprayberry Stars, Red and Blue for the Hillcrest Patriots!

Shakers and Megaphones from the Dollar Tree, Blue Burlap Tablecloth – just cut (no sewing), Machine hemmed napkins with school print fabric from Hancock (Cut 16 inch square and hem on sewing machine), Place cards using “first grade writing paper”, Mini composition notebook with a personal note written to each daughter, Paper straws from Pick Your Plum, and a great idea for 7- Uplifting Thoughts found on Pinterest here– the makings of a fun start to the first day of school!

Menu – Rotel Cheese Grits and Chocolate Chip Waffles

Rotel Cheese Grits
2 cups water
1 1/4 cups milk
1 t. salt
1 C. quick cooking grits
1/2 C. + 1 T. butter
8 oz. Velveeta cheese
1/4 t. garlic powder
2 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 can Rotel tomatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil. Add the salt and slowly add the grits and return to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. While stirring the grits, add the 1/2 cup of butter and stir until butter is melted. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the grits are thick and creamy. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the Velveeta cheese, garlic powder, and1 1/2 cups cheddar to grits, and stir until the cheese is melted. Add the tomatoes (drained) and mix well. Pour the grits into a greased 8 by 11 by 2-inch casserole and bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese over the casserole for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
Chocolate Chip Waffles
1 cup self rising flour
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips
Beat egg; add milk and sour cream. Stir in flour until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Heat waffle iron. Fill with batter until two-thirds full. Cool until slightly browned, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with your favorite syrup.
Quick, easy and yummy!

Backs packs ready and off to a new school year! God bless each of my daughter’s and all of their friends as they start a new year!

A School Prayer

It’s the first day back to school and with every new year comes both excitement and anxiety. This prayer was shared with me by a friend when Elle started to kindergarten. I keep it in my Bible and pray this prayer for my daughters every year at the start of school and other times as well.
A School Prayer
Lord, I entrust my child to You as she goes to school. May she sense your presence throughout the day. Help her to focus and concentrate and enjoy learning. Protect her from harm and keep her feet on your path. Grant her good friends and the ability to be a friend to those who are lonely. May she be the light to classmates who do not know Jesus. I pray for her teachers. Grant her wisdom, understanding, and love for each child. May Your blessings rest upon my child, the teacher all of the students, and the school.
Blessings to my precious daughters, Elle and Annie, and
to all their sweet friends for the 2012-2013 school year!

Pinterest Favorites

With Fall just right around the corner and Christmas soon to follow, I thought it would be a good time to share some great recipes I found on Pinterest – recipes that I have actually made and highly recommend. Go ahead and put them on your “to do” lists for the holidays! You can link to the recipes by clicking on each title!

These rice krispy treats are delicious – make a batch for your family and a batch to give as gifts. They are perfect for packaging in cellophane bags or cute holiday tins or other containers.
There is nothing like good pumpkin recipes during the fall and this is one of my favorites. Yummy with a great cup of coffee any time of day!
Check this out – so pretty and tasty, too. We served it at our annual Christmas cookie party last year!
Another great gift idea that can be packaged in a variety of ways, if it doesn’t disappear too quickly!
German Chocolate Cake in the fall will always be my favorite, but this one is a very close second! So moist and delicious! Perfect for any Fall occasion!
I love Pinterest! I’ve tried to get the “Follow Me on Pinterest” button on my blog without success, but you can follow me anyway! I pin lots of great recipes and project ideas and I actually do some of them. I have a board for “Things I Actually Done”. Some people are SO creative – I’m always thinking “now, why didn’t I think of that?” I love finding new ideas and I love sharing them!
Hope you enjoy these recipes! Let me know what you think!

Back to School Breakfast

It’s That Time of Year Again!

We always have a
“Back to School” Breakfast at our house on the first day of school. I found a few photos from the past couple of years. The decorations are usually created with things we already have and the girls new school supplies – the new backpacks on their chairs, the A and E from pencils, and their new lunch boxes. We usually have homemade waffles as a special treat!

The mesh backpacks just weren’t as colorful and fun as the Vera Bradley the year before but we have to have them. We added balloons to brighten up the table! For the place setting, we used hand painted plastic buckets with a few treats for each one! The girls always look forward to their surprises!

  Annie will be headed to a Multiple Needs (4th Grade) Class this year with her sweet teacher, Ms. Jamie and the paraprofessionals she loves, Ms. Erma and Ms. Sheila! Sprayberry is a very special school for some very special children!

Elle heads to 6th Grade! Can’t believe she is in Middle School! Schedule pick up – done! School supplies – done! Books read – close!

Now we just have to get ready for this year’s
breakfast! Last year, when I posted pictures of our first day of school breakfast, I got a few comments from Moms who felt bad because they had pop-tarts for breakfast. Trust me, we have pop-tarts many days for breakfast. It’s just that, since kindergarten, this is our tradition. On the first day of kindergarten as we were rushing to get to TPS on time, Elle commented “everybody else we be late, too, because they were having a special breakfast!” I decided then this would become a tradition at our house!

Our Favorite Waffles
2 cups all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat a waffle iron. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft, glossy peaks form. In another bowl, beat or whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk and butter. Add the buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in the egg whites. Spoon or pour about 1 cup batter into the hot iron. Close the lid. Bake until waffle is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove with a fork to a warm plate. Serve at once or keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with your favorite toppings!
Wishing a great 2012-2013 school year for everyone!

You’ve Been Tagged!

If you want some DIY gift tags, here are a few fun ideas. I have never been a big fan of the “store bought” type. You don’t have to look any further than your local office supply store or Hobby Lobby to find some great ideas for gift tags. Write your own personal message on each one.
These were purchased from Hobby Lobby. We then added ribbons and rick rack and use stamps for decorating. We like to pick up stamps at Hobby Lobby when they are 50 % off – these are for Birthday or Christmas!
These tags were purchased at Office Depot. Once again, we used stamps to decorate. The tulips and elephants were made from paper punches – the elephants were punched from card stock while the tulips were actually punched from an old American Girl magazine – for (top to bottom) Easter, Praise, Thanks, Birthday and Elephants for Football Season (Roll Tide!) 

These metal tags from Office Depot are great for tying onto gift bags or treat bags. We just replaced the string with cute ribbon or with baker’s twine (that we purchased from Pick Your Plum) – for Baby Gift, Christmas, Encouragement, or Valentine’s!

Marking tags from Office Depot with string replaced by ribbon or baker’s twine or lace – for (clockwise from top) Wedding, Christmas, Football Season (Roll Tide!), Thanksgiving or Birthday!
The possibilities are endless to be creative with making tags for gift bags, gift boxes, baked goods and more! If you have a Cricut machine, the George and Basic Shapes have gift tags that you can cut from card stock, paper or vinyl.
Happy Tagging!

What’s for Supper? All in One Dish

Chicken – Green Beans – New Red Potatoes

Found this great recipe today from Saving-Make-Cents. Click here for instructions on making this delicious one dish meal. I made this tonight and both children loved it. That’s quite an accomplishment! SO easy and SO tasty! I used a homemade Italian Seasoning and sprinkled it generously!

Italian Seasoning

3 T. dried basil
3 T. dried oregano
3 T. dried parsley
1 T. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried rosemary
1/4 t. black pepper

Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container.

My daughter commented that this would be a great meal to take to a friend. I agree – just one dish –  add a bread and dessert! It’s also perfect for making as big or a small as you need it to be! Enjoy!

What’s for Dessert? Chocolate Chip Cake

Isn’t this a beautiful cake? The truth is that it was
not only beautiful but delicious as well.
This fabulous cake was made by “Chef” Elle, my 11 year old
daughter – every single bit of it – no help at all!

Paula Deen’s Cookbook for the Lunch Box Set is great for encouraging children to learn to cook. The photos are wonderful in helping gathering all the necessary ingredients and utensils.

Chocolate Chip Cake
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3 oz. package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 12 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips
Confectioner’s sugar to dust the top of the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray. (She used the Pam for Baking). In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, and pudding mix. Combine with electric mixer until very smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Place the batter evenly in the Bundt pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until it appears set and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then take a butter knife and run it around the side of the pan. Invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust the top of the cake with confectioner’s sugar!
When it was all done, Elle asked “are you going to blog this?” – Yes, I am! So glad we share an interest in cooking.