Thursday, December 30, 2010

Purple Sweet Potatoes?

So, who has heard of Purple Sweet Potatoes? I'm guessing not many of you. I went to a Chrismas show in our state back in November. There are vendors, vendors and more vendors. They do have a NC speciality food store. They offered samples of many of the products. One of them being Stokes Purple Sweet Potato Butter.

Image from

My Aunt had taken my 4 year old daugther through and she had actually sampled it and liked it. I couldn't belive it. She is the pickiest eater and very rarely will try new things. I thought maybe she decided to try it because it was purple and they were sampling on ice cream sticks. I sampled it myself and my daughter wanted another sample. So, I decided to buy some. She absolutely loves this stuff! I thought well at least she is getting some veggies in her. The girl will not eat any veggies (even potatoes, unless it's french fries). She has ate it almost everyday since we got it and needless to say we are on empty. On the jar it list the website, so I looked it up thinking I would just be able to order some online. No, luck there. It does mention 2 online sites that sell it but one shows online ordering coming soon and I couldn't get the other site to come up. Luckily for me though it is also sold in Whole Foods
as well. So, I'm thinking tomorrow I will call my local store to see if they have it. If so, off to Whole Foods we go. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Candies

I made a few Christmas candies to give away to friends and family this year.

I found the idea for the Peppermint covered Oreo's in Taste of Home's Simple and Delicious magazine.

You simple drizzle the Oreo's with white candy melts (found in my local Lowe's grocery store). Then put some candy canes in a quart size bag and use that meat mallet to break them up. Make sure you add the peppermint to the candy melts while it is still soft. Otherwise the peppermints will not stick to the candy very well.

I found the idea for the Santa's Party Mix over at Cookies and Cups.

Aren't the little Bugle Santa hats cute? I didn't have any white sprinkles. That would have looked better on the bottom, but the clear had to do.

If you would like instructions on how to make this, check out Cookies and Cups.

Note: I had never used candy melts before making these two candies. The red candy melts used on the Santa hats could not be found at my grocery store or Wal-mart. I just took a trip to Jo-Ann's and they had them there. Any craft stores would probably have them.

Chicken and Rice with Shanghai Stir Fry Sauce

Super easy but a delicious meal.

Tastefully Simple makes meals so easy!

Simple cut up some chicken breast into thin strips. Use between 1/2-1 lb depending on how many you are cooking for.

Throw the chicken in a pan with some Olive oil.

Add a little Seasoned Salt to the chicken.

Cook until done then add 1/4 cup of Shanghai Stir-Fry Sauce to the pan with the chicken.

Top prepared rice with the chicken. You can do so may different things with this. I often like to add broccoli and scallions to it.

Another note: I like to cook my rice in chicken broth if I'm using plain white rice. It gives it some flavor.

Homemade Salsa

Oh blog world how I've missed you. It's been way to long! I just haven't had a chance to post or read others blogs. I've been missing all the creativity. I hope it won't be as long until my next post. I did want to share a salsa recipe that I got from a friend. I did tweek it a little but it is pretty much the same thing as she gave me.

Homemade Salsa


2 - 14.5 oz cans of stewed tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt (I used 1/2 Tbsp on accident and it wasn't too salty)
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Garlic Garlic (you can used minced Garlic if you don't have Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
3-6 jalapeno peppers (I used the sliced ones in a jar and just used the amount I thought to be equivalent to 3-4. I also took the seeds out so it wouldn't be as spicy. Mine ended up being Mild-Medium heat)
Add all these to a food processor and blend until desired consistency.
Can be refrigerated for several weeks.
This makes quiet a bit but it is so good! I made it on Christmas day and it is already about gone.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

London Broil Marinade

For dinner tonight we had London Broil Steak, Baked Potatoes and a salad. I think it was my first time making a London Broil. I bought it at the grocery store at half off then stuck it in the freezer until I figured out what I was going to do with it.

Since it is a tougher cut of meat, I knew it was going to need to marinade for a while. I found this marinade over at allrecipes then had to make a few changes to make it my own.

London Broil I

By: Char Finamore
"'London broil' most often refers to a thick flank steak, broiled and thinly sliced, but can also refer to thick cuts of sirloin or top round."


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (2 pound) flank steak or round steak
These are the changes that I made to it:

I used 3 teaspoons of Tastefully Simple Garlic Garlic in lieu of the minced cloves.

I used 1/4 cup of Soy Sauce and 1/4 cup of Worcestershire Sauce vs all Soy Sauce

I also added 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar. You could also use Lemon Juice.

Since I pulled the meat from the freezer, I let the meat sit in the marinade in the refrigerator for 3 days. It took at least a day and a half or longer for the meat to thaw out.

After the steak was marinated, I needed to know how to cook it.

I found this link on eHow.

I let it cook a little over 10 minutes on each side on Medium High heat on the grill.

While the steak was cooking, I brought the marinade to a boil on the stove top and let it cook/bubble until the steak was done. It thickened up the marinade a bit to a steak sauce consistency. You have got to do this with the marinade. I would hate to have you throw it away. This adds an excellent taste to the steak. I could eat it on other things also.

My hubby took the leftovers to work to the next day. Hubby let other guys he work with try it and everyone loved the sauce! They were trying to guess what was in it. It kind of taste like an A-1 sauce, but much better.

I forgot to take a picture of it once it came off the grill. This is what it looked like after we had ate about half of it. It ended up being Medium Rare which is a bit on the rare side for me but it still tasted good!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ASU Homecoming Weekend

For those that may be out of state reading this, that is Appalachian State University. You may have heard of us.

We upset Michigan a few years ago on their turf! I found this blog that tells all about it.

I was excited about getting up to our homecoming game this year. I haven't made it to a football game there in a while. I'm hoping to make it there to a game now at least once a year. It was a HOT day though. Can you believe I got sunburned through my jeans? How does that happen? My leg was just blotchy. The next day after putting lotion on my leg, it had pretty much went away though.

Snips and Myself pregame

Just had to paint the nails black and gold!

ASU marching band

After each touchdown, the cheerleaders ran across the field with the APP STATE flags.

The sun finally went behind the trees. I put on my glasses and now I can see! :)

Yosef, our mascot

It was the largest Homecoming crowd at Kidd Brewer Stadium to date.

Final score ASU 34 Elon 31

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Tacos

Chicken Bacon and Ranch Tacos

I started off with the notion that I was going to have beef tacos for dinner tonight. I bought a 5 lb value pack of beef on Sunday and forgot to divide it and freeze it. I got it out tonight and it had already turned brown. Yuck! So, off to the trash it went. Luckily I had chicken so I just used that instead.

For this dish I used:

Approximately 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
Tastefully Simple Seasoned Salt
Tastefully Simple Fiesta Party Dip Mix
Tastefully Simple Bacon Ranch Dip Mix
12 pack Taco Shells
Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, diced
Sour cream

In a pan heat some olive oil over Medium heat. When the pan gets hot, add your chicken. While your chicken is cooking throw in some Tastefully Simple Seasoned Salt. If you don't have any Tastefully Simple Seasoned Salt, use what you have. Also add your Tastefully Simple Fiesta Party Dip Mix. This is what you will use in place of a Taco Seasoning Mix. Very little of this goes a long way so it is a much better value then buying those taco seasoning packs in the grocery store. I probably only used about 1/2 Tbsp of it. I then added Tastefully Simple Bacon Ranch Dip Mix. Since this was a seasonal item we no longer have it available unless it is on limited supply. You could also use those packages of ranch mix and some Tastefully Simple Bacon Bacon or some other type of bacon bits. Cook your chicken until the juices run clear. Be sure not to over cook or your chicken will become tough.

While your chicken is cooking heat your taco shells and get all your desired toppings together. Like I said in previous post, I prefer to shred my own cheese from the blocks. It always taste much fresher to me. Sometimes you can get the cheese blocks for less expensive then the pre-shredded cheese but a lot of the times it is about the same cost.

When your chicken is done cooking, top your taco as you wish.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Favorite Friday

Welcome to Favorite Friday #3!

So, on my favorite Friday's I'm going to list a favorite of mine. It could be a product, place, really anything. I'm then going to link to a favorite that someone else has created that I want to show off.

I would also love for you to comment with a favorite of yours.

Today I'm listing my favorite Seasoned Salt.

Tastefully Simple Seasoned Salt

Ok, maybe I'm a little biased because I sell the stuff. It is awesome though. I use it more then any other products that we have.

Who doesn't like a good seasoning salt? It's made with an All-natural blend of sea salt, bell peppers, garlic, onion, celery and spices. It is so versatile, sprinkle it on almost anything. I also like to add it to some melted butter or olive oil and use it as a bread dipper. Yumm!

I just had to add some cute ideas on my website for Halloween.

A favorite post that I'm going to share this week is Family Fun Magazine's Mini Caramel Apples.

Photo from Family Fun

I've seen lot's of variations of these floating around in blog land and plan on making some of my own. Aren't they just the cutest things? You use a melon baller to get the mini apple shape.

Thanks for checking out Favorite Friday! Everyone have a fab weekend. I plan on attending a local festival tomorrow and the weather is supposed to be great for it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

We're going on an Acorn Hunt!

I have had so much fun browsing through everyone's Fall/Halloween decorations. I came across PB Decor Ideas over at A Pumpkin and A Princess and was inspired to make my own.

The kids had picked up some acorns in the yard the other day so I knew this would be something they would like to help me with.

At first Big Bro seemed much more excited to collect acorns then Little Sis but after he had collected a few, he was done with it.

Little Sis showing off her acorns she collected.

Big Bro caught a blurry, but cute picture of Me and Little Sis

This was the final product. I will probably add a few other things and was looking for more of Fall colors for the ribbon but this will have to do for now. We have lots of acorns that are left over as well. Any suggestions of what to do with those?

The glass vases I found at Dollar Tree for $1 each. The candles that are in the smaller vases came in a 5 pack for $1 and are Green Tea spice scented. They actually smell pretty good.

I know my picture isn't nearly as good as the natural lighting on the PB one, but I thought it turned out the acorns turned out pretty cute. The kids also enjoyed helping on this one.

Favorite Friday

Welcome to Favorite Friday #2!

So, on my favorite Friday's I'm going to list a favorite of mine. It could be a product, place, really anything. I'm then going to link to a favorite that someone else has created that I want to show off.

I would also love for you to comment with a favorite of yours.

Today I'm listing my favorite flavor of Pillsbury Toaster Strudel.

It is the Pillsbury Toaster Strudel CINNABON Cinnamon Roll Strudel. Yummy! I've had a hard time finding these in several locations. Locally where I am I've been able to find them at Lowe's Foods and occasionally at Wal-mart. I looked on their site and didn't even see the flavor there. If you haven't tried them, you should. It is good.

If you have had the Pillsbury Toaster Studel, what is your favorite flavor?

A favorite post that I'm going to share this week is by A Pumpkin and a Princess with her PB Decor Ideas. The reason why this is my favorite this week is because I was inspired by the acorn decoration which I will be posting about next.

Pottery Barn picture from her post that inspired me.

Also check out her Halloween Candy Jar. I plan on making it as well. Super cute!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday songs

Our congregation at Church sang "You are God Alone" this morning and I just heard it again on the radio.

I wanted to share it with you.

We had a great service this morning. We had the pleasure of having Vocal Union with us this morning.

Photo from

They are an acappella group from Nashville, TN. I could just listen to them all day.

You can hear one of their beautiful songs here:

One of the Men in the group mentioned they had performed previously at Carnegie Hall and a blogger had emailed them to ask if they had a soundtrack or a band playing in the back. They are amazing though. The one guy sounded just like a set of drums. If you've never heard them, definitely check them out and see them live if at all possible.

After we heard Vocal Union, Pastor Jon had another great message. We had a great attendance today for our Anniversary service. There were a lot of faces that I hadn't seen in a while.

After service we had a great lunch on the premises.

This afternoon I watched some football with the hubby and kids.

It was a great day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cooking it up for lunch tomorrow!

Tomorrow at church we are having our 27th Anniversary. Everyone brings food and we eat after service.

Here is what I have cooked up.

Salsa Chicken and Rice.

You can find my recipe for it here.

I haven't baked it yet, I will wait to do that in the morning. It is all ready to go in the oven and look like this though.

Simply Herb Bread with Herb Butter Spread
I forgot to get a picture of the Herb butter. It makes the bread even better though. Yummy!

Absolutely Almond Pound Cake
Oops! I got grate marks on the pound cake. This was from flipping it over onto the cooling rack while it was hot. Oh well, is still tastes good.

and good ole Southern Sweet Tea.

I know this is a hodge podge of stuff. It's not necessarily meant to eat together though. For those not familiar with pot luck dinners, all the food is set on a long table or in this case lots of long tables and you just come down the line and pick and choose.

Looking forward to our church service in the morning and looking forward to the food and fellowship afterward. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Favorite Friday

Welcome to Favorite Friday #1!

I thought I would start a post for Favorite Friday. I will probably eventually do a link up here but haven't figured all that out yet. :)

I worked on making a button yesterday for Favorite Friday but it is still a work in progress. If anyone wants to take a look over at my sidebar and see what I'm doing wrong that would be very helpful!

So, on my favorite Friday's I'm going to list a favorite of mine. It could be a product, place, really anything. I'm then going to link to a favorite that someone else has created that I want to show off.

I would also love for you to comment with a favorite of yours.

Today I'm listing my favorite paper towel!

Bounty is my favorite! It is thick and while sometimes a little pricier then other brands you don't have to use as many sheets to wipe up. You can also usually find coupons in your local paper for Bounty along with other Procter and Gamble products.

Now, if you will... share with me your favorite brand of paper towels.

A favorite post that I'm going to share is Busy-at-Home Basic Homemade English Muffins. Don't those look yummy! I definitely want to try these out myself.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I made a button!

Yay, I'm so excited because I learned how to make a button tonight. You can check it out on my right side.

I'm going to be using this on Friday's. I will also make another button just for my website and maybe a few more. It is very basic, but at least I was able to do it. I followed a fabulous tutorial over at Following the Footsteps.

Don't ask me if you have questions though because I don't know what to tell you. :) This was my first button and I'm very proud of myself.

Ok, so after messing around with it, I still don't have the code figured out. It is way to late tonight though. I will have to play around with it again tomorrow.

It is now up and running! A huge THANK YOU to Kris over at Yakety Craft. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you! Go check her out and show some love. She is just getting her blog up and running.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Toilet Paper Pumpkin

I first saw these cuties over at The Sweet Life . She had an easy tutorial and these are the most simple and fastest things to make.

I bought a 4 pack of toilet paper from The Dollar Tree a few days ago to use for these. My intention was to make 4 of these but my kids saw me making it and wanted to try it as well. It is so easy to do I just had to let them make their own.

I used brown paper bags, fabric the size of my cutting board (probably around 18x20), toilet paper, ribbon, and scissors or a rotary cutter.

Put your toilet paper in the bag and cut off the top. Leave enough to stuff inside your toilet paper and save the piece you cut off for your stem.

Center your toilet paper on your fabric and do the same as you did with your paper bag. Push the fabric into the center until your pumpkin is covered.

Take the piece of paper bag you have remaining and fold it twice lengthwise then once the other way.

You can then tie a ribbon onto your stem.

I then sat them on some candle holders.

The kids excited about the pumpkins they made. :)