Monday, April 30, 2012

Num Num Mix


I am spending a couple of days this week reposting the recipes that 
I have shared at Somewhat Simple over the past several months
as Food Contributor.




One of our favorite family treats is a little heavenly snack we call Num Num mix. We were introduced to it years ago by a friend, and it has been on our must make list since. This snack is AH-dictive. We make it for traveling. We make it for holidays. We make it for goody bags for neighbors and friends. We make it just because it is Friday...okay or any day.

I am not kidding when I tell you this simple, buttery, sugary, tastes like the much more delectable cousin of a rice crispy treat, is one of the best treats you will eat. I know the ingredient are daunting...not in the hard-to-find-way or the too-difficult-to-use way, but more in the how-much-butter-can-a-person-eat way and a hide-the-scale-after-I-eat-the-whole-batch way. Don't fret about it too much...just don't make it everyday...or every week for that matter. PLUS when you make it, do as I do...always set some aside for your closest friend. Okay now are you ready for the how-to of this yummy treat?

Num Num Mix:


Here is what you need:

1 1/2 cup light karo syrup
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (I know, I know)
1/2 box of corn Chex, 1/2 box of rice Chex
Cooking Spray (for your hands)

Combine the Chex into a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan that is deep, put syrup, sugar, and butter. Heat it over med high heat. Stir pretty regularly. The mixture will start to dissolve. Once it dissolves continue to heat till boiling. When the mixture starts to boil, stir constantly and allow the mixture to boil for 3 minutes.


After the 3 minutes is up, remove from the heat. Carefully...because this syrup mixture is stinkin' hot...carry the pan over to the bowl with the Chex in it. Pour the syrup over the cereal. With a rubber spatula begin to gently combine the cereal and the syrup. Stir until the cereal is covered evenly.


Now here is the secret to keeping this snack chewy and ooey gooey. It needs to be monitored as it cools, and it is best to spread it out to cool. SO now is the time to bring out some cookie sheets. Dump the mixture equally between 2-3 cookie sheets. Get out your cooking spray. Spray your hands...I know tricky.
With freshly greased hands, separate the cereal pieces from each other and spread them out on the cookies sheets.


Now go wash your hands.

Over the next 30 minutes to an hour keep turning the cereal over and separating every 15 minutes or so. No need for cooking spray anymore. You want to continue to keep it moving while it cools. Basically you don't have to separate it anymore once it has cooled.

Once it has cooled you can store it or give it away.


OR...

You can serve it up and enjoy a lovely treat.


ENJOY!!!

Spinach Bacon Salad with Onion Vinaigrette


I am spending a couple of days this week reposting the recipes that 
I have shared at Somewhat Simple over the past several months
as Food Contributor.



Nothing says Spring and Summer better than a salad. I love the freshness and the ease of a salad. A salad pairs perfectly with a warm day, an outdoor party, BBQ'in, lemonade, and a breeze.

Today I have a delightful salad recipe for you that is loaded with spinach...yum, plus it has a added surprise...bacon...double yum.

Spinach Bacon Salad with Onion Vinaigrette

Let's make the dressing first.
You will need: 
1 cup oil
3/8 cup rice vinegar,  3/8 cup white vinegar, 3/4 cups total
3/4 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1 medium purple onion, thinly sliced

First combine everything but the onions. Mix well.



After slicing the onions really thin, like so...



...you will put the onions in the dressing. Place the dressing in the fridge and let the onions marinate in the dressing. I normally do this for at least an hour but it really can be up to six.


Time for the salad.


You will need:
1 bag of baby spinach
1 head of iceberg lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces

After your dressing has marinaded the desired time, start your salad.

Combine all of the salad ingredients, do not put on the dressing yet.


Here is a secret I have for serving salad. Do you hate how when you mix up your salad all the yummy toppings sink to the bottom? Then when you go to serve it, no one can get to OR see the delightful toppings? I hate it too...

So here is the solution. Mix your salad ingredients in one bowl.


Then gently dump out the bowl onto a different serving platter. The toppings will almost perfectly disperse evenly.


With your salad all assembled, you can either evenly coat the whole salad with the onion poppyseed dressing OR you can serve the dressing on the side allowing each person to put on their perfect amount of dressing.


This salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser at your next get together.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

In a Nutshell: Yard Work


This will be the first Spring in our new house. With Spring comes yard work, yard work, yard work.

Tis not my favorite thing in the world...but unfortunately I DO enjoy a nice tidy and lovely yard...so the yard work is a must.

While Hubby has already mowed this Spring, this was the first day that the whole family got involved in working outside.


Shovels were shared. Breaks were taken...probably a little too often...hehehe...but what can you expect from our young landscapers.


I even ended up having to weed with sweet little Bean wrapped up to my torso in my favorite baby accessory ever...my Moby.

P.S. Weeding is hard with a miniature person strapped to you.


We didn't get 1/3 done of what needed to be done.  Sigh. More yard work to come. Fingers crossed for some more glorious days so that we can get 'er done.

Since the majority of our time is still filled with our sweet baby. Here are a few pictures for you. Enjoy!



Have a great rest of your weekend, and a glorious week.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Honey Lime Fruit Salad


This is our family's all time favorite fruit salad.

Fruit. YUM. Honey. YUM. Lime. YUMMM.

Altogether it is one big YUM-fest.

This salad can be made all year round thanks to using some canned fruit. HOWEVER, this salad is the most delightful addition to any Spring or Summer meal.

I promise you will enjoy it...well you should if you like yummy food!!! Anywhooo...

My only advice...make sure you have floss on hand. The poppy seeds will set up residence in your teeth.

Honey Lime Fruit Salad
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained well
1 can mandarin oranges, drained well
2-3 ripe kiwi, peeled, sliced, and cut into chunks
1 cup green grapes, cut in half
1 cup strawberries, quarted
Zest from one lime, about 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon poppy seeds



Combine the fruit in a medium-large serving bowl. Add the lime zest and poppy seeds and gently mix. Drizzle the honey over the fruit and once again, gently mix until the fruit is evenly coated with the honey. Serve and ENJOY!


Have a great day guys!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Food Contributor: Lemon Supreme Cookies


Head over to Somewhat Simple today for this insanely easy and delightfully delicious cookie recipe.

Monday, April 23, 2012

One Month Old


Bean is now a month old.

Wow. 

I saw this photo documenting idea on Pinterest. I knew right away I wanted to try and follow his first year by taking a picture every month. This seemed like the perfect way to do it.

The photo shoot didn't go quite like I wanted. It is pretty difficult to get a good picture of a spastastic newborn. Add in my desire to not show too much of my flub-a-dub-dub, and chances for a photo I liked were not good.

This was one of my favorite photos. I like that it actually shows his potentially blue eyes pretty well. Bean having blue eyes will be a pretty big deal around here. Hubby has blue eyes and I have brown. Currently in the kid count it is Brown Eyes 3 and Blue Eyes 0. So, like I said, the fact that Bean's eyes look blue is a pretty big deal. Fingers crossed they stay that way.

Bean is still a pretty good baby. He has hit that stage where he has more wake periods, but he isn't too sure he enjoys being awake yet. He is finally gaining some weight...he wasn't in the first 3 weeks of his sweet little life. He is super sweet and is in serious danger of being utterly and completely spoiled. 

One of my favorite things is snuggling and holding him. I find it a good excuse to sit down, relax and take a break.

I look forward to watching him grow and documenting it month by month. I sure do love being a Momma.

Sidenote- I will share my new found online photo editing program this week. It changed this photo from a "eh-so-so" photo to a really cool photo. Can't wait to tell you all about it.

Thanks for stopping by my friends!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In a Nutshell: Them Apples...Trees That Is


We are now the proud parents of three new apple trees.

It wasn't too long after moving into our house that Hubby declared that we would be planting apple trees sometime. Well now with our first winter under our belts and thanks to Costco who had apple trees available at our last visit, we officially started our own teeny tiny apple orchard.

Full of these babies nonetheless...


Hubby did his glorious thing and went to a nursery and learned all there was on planting apple trees. He got official and got down to business.


Since it was so glorious outside, he had a helper.


And an audience.


While the audience was only so in to the planting of the trees, the helper was super dedicated to his duties.



We got all three of our trees in the ground, water and fed, and staked into place.


They have already survived a lovely spring snow storm, and several ultra intense windy days.

Fingers crossed in a couple of years we will have some of our very own apples.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Pinteresting Saturday: Engineer Print Poster



Were any of you wondering if my A Pinteresting Saturday segment had died??

Well...

It's ALIIIIIIIVE!

I have had this project done for well...forEVA. Seriously. I had it the poster done way before Bean was born. Alas, I have not had hardly any desire to get on this thing they call the computer. Gasp. Shocking. I know, right? So finally months later this project from my Pin Boards is making it's debut on the blog.

The original came from Sugar Bee Crafts--


Like her I had seen the tutorial on I Am Momma awhile ago...WAY before the glorious Pinterest. When I came across her refresher I pinned it immediately.

I just KNEW I had to do this for Oldest's room. I had the perfect idea for his Star Wars room.

We just happened to have a Darth Vader costume laying around. Bonus!

Dress up Oldest and start shooting photos.




Turn my favorite into black and white (the photos have to be b&w to print of an engineer print).


Then go over to Staples or a similar office supply store and ask them to print off an engineer print. They come in multiple sizes. I picked the one that fit closest to the poster frame I had purchased from The Mart.

Because I was putting mine in a frame I was able to skip her adhesive step...honestly probably saving myself quite a bit of hassle.

Once the poster was all framed I found it a home on Oldest's bedroom wall.  Yes, I know there are empty frames and THIS is totally missing still from the wall. I am getting there people...eventually.


The whole process was E.A.S.Y. Printing off this poster was also cheap, I mean cheapity, cheap, cheap. I am super thrilled with how it turned out and would recommend this project to anyone.

Oldest loves the personalized poster sized picture of himself.


Any one else singing, "duh, duh, duh, dun daduh, dun daduh..."?

Friday, April 20, 2012

In an Instagram...


Four weeks have gone by in an instant...you know the kind of instant that when you are in it has agonizingly slow periods (aka in the middle of the night whilst feeding a newborn simply wanting to be sleeping instead) but then shockingly everything eventually flies by and 100 instances have come and gone.

I am ashamed to say that the camera hasn't come out that often. Poor Bean.

Getting back to life has filled up every second of every day.

We are starting to settle in. So hopefully soon there will be more than the occasional documentation through Instagram.

But for now...

We will relish making it through another sleepy night...


We will enjoy all the funny moments...many occurring while still in jammies...


And occasionally thanks to sisters and friends, we will all get dressed and get out of the house...


We are going to enjoy every second, because in an instant this time will all be gone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Handsomes on Easter


I am a little behind in the posting department.

Oops. I don't know why? Hahaha.

Look at those handsome mugs...you already forgive me my tardiness don't you?

I know I am biased, but seriously aren't they just about the most handsome boys?


Can you also believe that besides Oldest's outfit, the Easter Sunday outfit ensemble is the same as it was 3 years ago?

I was really excited to reuse all the Easter outfits from the year Littlest was born. When I went to find a picture of them that Easter, I couldn't believe the difference in how they look. They have grown up SO much.

Then...


Now...

Those previously floppy haired little boys are now full fledged Little Men.



That teeny tiny baby is now a stinkin' cute toddler.


And now we have added this precious itty bitty little man to our handsome crew.


I just had to add another picture of his super sweet face.


Handsome, right?

Here is another one of my Handsomes...


We are pretty happy and blessed parents.


It was an absolutely lovely day. Thanks for letting me share our Easter bests with you a little late!
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