Friday, April 29, 2011

My Mom's Banana Cream Pie

Thank you everyone for all of the kind birthday wishes! I have had a couple of requests for my mom's banana cream pie recipe, so I thought I would post it.  My mom went to a restaurant when she was a teen, and thought they had the most delicious fluffy pie.  She went home, and played around until she came up with her own version.  I LOVE her pie.  I usually only get it at Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Lucky for me my mom is in town for a few weeks, so I asked her to make me one(okay two) for my birthday.  The pie got even more delicious when I married Ryan.  Ryan's grandmother made the best pie.  Her crust was so flaky and delicious.  SO we combined my moms pie filling, and Ryan's Nana's crust and BAM!  Seriously we love it.  So here we go:


1 ¼ cups shortening
3 cups flour
1 tbsp. vinegar
5 tbsp. cold water
1 egg, beaten

Cut shortening into flour with pastry cutter or knife into ¼ inch bits. Pour in the vinegar,water,and egg. Mix from the bottom to the top with a fork until the dough barely sticks together. Divide into two balls. Place one ball in between two pieces of wax paper and roll out. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Yields 2 9 inch pie crusts

My mom doesn't use any banana flavoring.  The natural banana flavor will go through the vanilla pudding and make it delish.  The crust recipes yields two crusts, but the filling recipe is only for one pie.  To make enough filling for both crusts double the following.


Mix together:
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 cup milk

In separate bowl combine:
2 envelopes Dream Whip(just follow directions on box)

Fold prepared Dream Whip into pudding mixture.

Take one pie crust and place 1 sliced banana along bottom.  Add pie filling, and slice up another banana on top of pie filling.

Prepare two more packets of Dream Whip and spread on the top.  Make sure you whip the dream whip until stiff peaks form. We have also prepared fresh whipped cream in place of the Dream whip.  Either way is delish!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Recipes from the Roof

I turned 38 today!  This was one of my gifts!  I am excited.  The Roof is one of our favorite restaurants.  My mom is in town and is making me banana cream pie, my favorite!   I am giddy,  this(white with a pink cover of course) is on it's way to me!  I can't wait. We were hoping it would be here in time for my birthday but it's going to be next week.  Okay, I am off to demand that others wait on me.  I'm kidding!-Well, sorta.   Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Clarifying Moment in the Doctor's Office

A grateful heart … comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives.    President Thomas S.Monson

Today I had a to go to the oncologist for labs, and my check up.  Whenever I have to go for scans or doctors appointments I get depressed and grumble about going.  While my blood was being drawn I saw a woman in the chemo room.  She had just finished her treatment.  She had lost all of her hair, and one of her legs had been amputated.   Her husband started wheeling her out of the room and I smiled at her.  She gave me a big old smile and said "What a wonderful day, I have been out of bed for four hours today."  As she passed by, I felt very small for grumbling about coming in for my check up.  What a positive happy woman.  I felt  humbled to be in her presence. I said a silent prayer for her, and thanked the Lord for my many blessings.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Shelves!

I love Ballard Design shelves.  They are a little pricey for me, so I was thrilled when  I saw this tutorial.   My handy dandy cousin in law Ben made them for me.  He did a great job!!  I think they look fabulous!  My mom and I are refinishing my table that sits below my new shelves.  I will post as soon as we finish! :)

Chicken Empanada's

My family LOVES these and they are a snap to make!

3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Treat Stand

Today I hit a few after Easter sales.  I found these cute plaid plates at Target for 1.00 each!!  Of  course I immediately made them into a treat stand.  Fun for summer right??


I am not a huge war book person, so I was hesitant to read Unbroken.  I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! This book was completely fascinating.  It was so inspiring to see what a determined spirit can accomplish.   Trials definitely shape who we are.If you are looking for a wonderful book, give it a try.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Coloring Eggs

This may fall under the category of "We already know, and have known for some time loser." BUT just in case.  If you want bright, vibrant eggs, use FOOD COLORING.  Every year I buy a kit, and every year no matter how long our eggs soak they look super light.  SO from now on we will be using food coloring.

For each color take

1/2 boiling water cup
1tsp vinegar
20 drops food coloring

They color fast and dark.  LOVE it!

The Sandwich Swap

This is another one of our favorites.  Written by Queen Rania of Jordan.  It is the story of two girls who are from different cultures, but learn to love and appreciate the differences in each other.  We love it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't Be Jealous.....

My daughter looked at our caller id and yelled "Mom, Edward Cullen is on the phone."  I am thinking "right, that dude hasn't called me since he got together with Bella."  BUT I checked caller id and SURE enough!  By the time I picked up he had hung up, I guess he had to go duke it out with Jacob, or sparkle in the sunshine.  Oh well maybe next time.....

EDIT(I have had a couple of emails so I thought I better clarify.  This is who I thought was my wrong number)

Hop & Easter Treats

 It's Spring Break this week, so we are partying with our cousins!!  We went and saw Hop.  We all thought it was cute. The kids have all decided to boycott jellybeans this year. :) It worked out great because there was a delay starting the movie, so we all received refunds, and free tickets for our next visit! Whoohoo!

Today we dipped marshmallows in melted chocolate.  Some of them we dipped in nutella or peanut butter and then chocolate.  Easy,yummy, and cute!

 We used the leftover chocolate to make Easter peanut clusters!! 
I received this adorable giveaway from Emily at Nest Nesting Nested.  I LOVE it!  Thanks Emily!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Drink Dispenser and Cherry Limeade

I have had my eye on this 3 gallon drink dispenser at Costco for a couple of years now. Over the next couple of weeks, I am hosting Easter dinner, and my daughter is being baptized. I picked one up at Costco yesterday. They are only 19.99 right now!!I thought cherry limeade would be awesome in it.

Cherry Limeade


2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen limeade concentrate
1 (2 liter) bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and juice reserved
1 lime

Pour both cans of concentrated limeade into a large pitcher. Mix in lemon-lime soda. Stir in reserved cherry juice. Squeeze juice from lime into mixture, then slice and set aside. Stir well and serve over ice. Garnish with cherries and lime slices.

Cookie Dough Truffles

I first saw this recipe while watching Paula Deen on Food Network.  I LOVE cookie dough!  Plus you don't have to worry about raw eggs with this recipe. :)


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 lb chocolate bark candy coating, melted


In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate morsels and pecans, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper; chill 2 hours.

*Cook’s Note: Since the dough is sticky, roll your fingers into flour. This will make it easier to roll.

Melt chocolate bark candy coating in a double boiler. Using 2 forks, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spray Paint Trigger

My mom and I are up to our necks in projects this week.  Needless to say it is spray paint mania.  Our poor little fingers have completely lost strength a couple of times.  We were whining about it to my brother and he said "Losers, why don't you use the spray paint trigger??"  WHAT??? there is a trigger??? Am I the only person who didn't know about this?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fabric Covered Earrings

One of my friends came over the other day, and was wearing the most adorable fabric covered earrings. She said she found them at Nordstrom. I don't make it to Nordstrom very often, so I did a little online shopping and found some here! (for an AWESOME price)I think they are SUPER fun for spring!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

This is one of those SUPER easy recipes.  People think you are a champ, when really it is easy breezy.


1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup caramel topping
12 pecan halves, plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Reserve 3/4 cup of the apple filling; set aside. Spoon the remaining filling into the crust. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Pour this over the pie filling.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center of the cake is set. Cool to room temperature.
Mix the reserved pie filling and caramel topping in a small saucepan and heat for about 1 minute, or until spreadable. Spoon the apple-caramel mixture over the top of the cheesecake and spread evenly. Decorate the edge of the cake with pecan halves and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fabric Magnet Board

I just ordered this little cutie!  Isn't it SO fun??

Friday, April 15, 2011

Despicable Me Party

LOVE Despicable Me anything!!! It is such a fun movie! I about flipped when I saw these cupcakes!!!  My 38th birthday is on April 28th.  A Despicable Me party might just be in order!

The Country Bunny and the little gold shoes

Here is another fun Easter book.  It illustrates the importance of having a kind heart, and being a hard worker.  That money, looks, and position are not what defines or makes us special.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vegetarian Taco's

When Ryan and I were first married, we were driving up to his parents cabin property, I was chattering on about the wildlife and the following conversation took place...

Me-I sure love the mountains, oh look there is a rabbit!! Rabbits are SO cool, I wish we would see one of those jackalopes, rabbits with horns are awesome!

Long silence, me grinning ear to ear dreaming of jackalopes......

Ryan-Ummmmm you are kidding right??
Me-What do you mean??
Ryan-Jackalopes aren't real.
Me-(wide eyed)You are kidding?
Ryan-(laughing)Nope, and might want to run stuff past me before you say them in public.

This is kind of an ongoing joke. Checking with Ryan to not have any "jackalope" moments. (heehee) So I didn't know if my little concoction was worthy of sharing "in public" but Ryan goes hog wild for them, he thinks they are great. It's kind of a weird peanut butter and banana type meal, but it is easy and delish(we think so anyway) All of my ingredients were purchased at Costco.
You take a Chipotle bean buger(I only use half per wrap)
Place it on a tortilla. We LOVE the uncooked tortilla's. They are SO delish. After browning up your tortilla,add half a bean burger.

Top with your favorite mexican toppings!!

I top with shredded sharp cheese. tomato lettuce and ranch.  OR for an extra delish topping.

Throw into the food processor or mixer.  (If the avocado is really ripe, I have even mashed up with a fork.)

3 small to medium ripe avocado

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup plain yogurt(or sour cream)

Give them a try!!  They are tasty and easy. :)

Polynesian Chicken Salad

1 package baby spinach leaves
1 small can mandarin orange segments, drained
1/4 cup Red Raspberry Vinaigrette with Poppyseed Dressing(Raspberry Pecan is also great)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled, sliced
1/2 cup Cashews
1/2 cup Coconut, toasted
Toss spinach and romaine with the oranges in large bowl. Add dressing; mix lightly. Top with the chicken; sprinkle with the cashews and coconut.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Easter Egg

I LOVE,LOVE anything by Jan Brett.  Her illustrations are beautiful, and her stories completely charming. The Easter Egg is one of our favorites.  If you haven't read it, please give it a try.

Mini Lunch Notes

I have used these all school year in my daughters lunch.  She thinks they are so cool!  The set comes with stickers and tiny lined cards.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicken Spinach Pasta Salad

I am in a salad mood so I thought I would start posting all of my faves.

1 – 16 oz. package Bowtie (Farfalle) Pasta
Cook pasta and marinate in dressing for 2 hours
Dressing: mix in blender
1 cup Vegetable oil
2/3 cup White vinegar
½ tsp. Salt
2/3 cup Teriyaki sauce
6 TBL. Sugar

After the pasta marinates, add the following:

6 – 8 chicken breasts diced
3 small cans mandarin oranges
1 – 18 oz. pkg. spinach (add spinach right before serving)
1 bunch green onions
½ cup honey roasted peanuts
½ cup cashews
1 small bag craisins
2 cups seedless grapes (cut in half)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Fair!

As a child there was nothing I loved more than scholastic book orders and the book fair. As an adult nothing has changed. I LOVE book fairs!! Here are a few books we picked up at the book fair. We LOVE them all,they are fabulous books!! 

PS-I won the fun Easter giveaway from Emily at Nest Nesting Nested. Check her out, she has a super fun blog!!

Bottlecap Magnets!

Today we did this project. I think they turned out cute!  It made me happy to recycle some of our bottle caps into something useful and cute!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Freezer Jam

Last year I was on a major jam making kick.  This post first inspired me. It worked great and was delish! Shortly after making my first batch I discoverd this....
Who knew???(probably everyone but me;) Freezer jam pectin, no cooking necessary!! It takes much less sugar, and is SUPER easy to make.  My fam LOVES it.  Strawberries are so delish right now, it's a great time to make jam!

Sunday Inspiration-Create

Watch Create here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Double Tiered Easter Treat Stand!

 I was at Target today and saw a double tiered treat stand with these exact plates for 16.99!  The individual plates were only 2.49, and 2.99.  I thought I could make one myself and it would be just as cute, and much less expensive.  I always have a supply of glass candlesticks on hand from Dollar Tree.  I spray painted one aqua and glued them to my plates with gorilla glue.  I put a couple of heavy books on top and let it dry.  I am really happy with how it turned out!  Maybe I will make treats from this book to put on it!!  It's now on my birthday list!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easter Frame Redo and Pickle Jar Project

I saw this awesome project and realized I  had everything on hand for it!!  I grabbed two pickle jars from the fridge, they both had just pickle juice in them.  Niiiiiice.  SO I got busy washing the jars, spray painted the candlesticks and lids, and filled with candy!  I think they are SO cute, and it's a couple less things in a landfill right??   Do you remember this ugly Pottery Barn frame I found at a thrift store for 2.00?? The frame had never been used, and even though it was butt ugly it was PB, and was extra thick and sturdy.   Welll I thought it would make a fun Easter decoration.  I spray painted it pink, pulled out my sander and distressed it and used one of my vintage bunny images from my etsy shop!  I love cute,cheap decor!  So between the frame and the jars this project was 6.00!

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