Friday, December 31, 2010

Perfect Corn Chowder

Nothing beats a hot bowl of soup on a cold snowy day!

2 medium unpeeled red potatoes
1 cup cubed cooked ham
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can 14 oz. chicken broth
1 can 12 oz. fat-free evaporated milk
1 can 15 oz. creamed corn
2 tablespoons sliced chives
salt and ground pepper to taste
cooked crumbled bacon

Cut potatoes and ham into cubes and set aside. Dice bell pepper. Coarsely chop celery. Heat butter over medium heat. Add bell pepper and celery; cook and stir 3-4 min. or until crisp-tender. Stir in flour; heat until bubbly. Gradually add broth, evaporated milk and corn, whisking until blended. 
Add potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered for 10 min or until potatoes are tender. Stir in ham; heat through. Remove from heat; stir in chives and season with salt and pepper. Top with bacon.

This delicious recipe is from pampered chef.

 I love this soup.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quick Ideas: New Year's Finger Foods

New Years to my family means games. So in between rounds, hands, game changes, winning and fun conversations, we make a dash to the kitchen and get a couple of mouthfuls of yummy food and then head back to the games. Here are some awesome ideas for the perfect food for your holiday: Appetizers, Finger Food, Munchies, etc, whatever you want to call them!

Family Fun has these great dips on their site. The snowman is simply whimsical and the present is elegant to me. Can’t go wrong with cream cheese!

Favorite Go To Recipe: Raspberry JalapeƱo Jelly served over cream cheese with crackers. Elegant. Impressive. Flavorful. Simple. Did I mention how tasty this was?

(Forgot to take my own picture, pic courtesy of Cooking with Krista)

And my new favorite hot dip: MOMMY CRACK

(aka Cream Cheese, Sausage, and Rotel Dip) from Stephanie at A Year of Slow Cooking.

My photo just doesn't do it justice. It is seriously that good. You have to add this to your new years menu.

Oh, and my friends Sara and Kate (I speak as if I really know them! Well, I know them pretty well through their blog!) over at Our Best Bites have an even more fantastic list of foods. Go check them out! I recommend the Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos; made them last night and my family raved and raved about them.

Here's to a Wonderful New Year's Eve party, ringing in 2011!

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Eve Dessert Stand Tutorial!


Can you believe 2011 will be here in just a few short days?  I find it hard to comprehend 2010 is almost over, the year went so quick and what an amazing year it was!  In a way I am sad to see it go, but also very excited to experience 2011 and the wonders it holds!

Okay, so on to the FUN stuff!  Who is having a New Year's Eve party?  Or are you going to one?  Well, if you are attending or hosting a party what better way to display your goodies but on this festive 3 tiered dessert stand?! 

Knock the socks off the party goers and create this amazing's how!

Start out with three wood circles.  I cut mine 9", 12", and 15" circles and used 1/2" MDF board.  If you don't have the tools to cut out wood circles, you can always use the cake board forms.  They have them in all sizes at the craft stores and even Walmart.

I found these glass vases at Michael's for $1.00 each!  They stand about 5" high, creating the perfect space between tiers!

Paint your circles in the color of your choice. 

I wanted the circles to have a little "bling" so I pulled out some silver glitter glue and painted the tops.

Spread around the glitter glue and let sit to dry completely!

When the glitter glue is dry it is time to adhere the glass vase to each tier.  If you have wood circles, you will need to use a clear silicone adhesive. (Found at your local hardware store.)  If you are using the cake forms, your hot glue gun will work just fine!

I decided to the "bottom" of the vase to the "top" of each circle.  Leaving the "top" of the vase open.  This way the vase can be filled with whatever items/colors you need.  It will be easily interchangeable and also much easier to store.  Each tier is separate and just stacked on top of the other.  So, if you just need one tier for a cake, flip it over and you have got multi functional dessert stands!  

Next I pulled out shimmery glitter paper and cut it into stars and the numbers 2011.  I inked the edges to distress them a little then hot glued them onto curled paper, black pipe cleaner and red fuzzy wired ribbon.  Did you know you could curl paper to look like curled ribbon?  I am sure plenty of you do, but if you don't....wanna know how?  SO easy!  Cut a strip(s) of paper about 1/4 inch thick.  Wrap it around a pencil or dowel and voila!  You have curly paper.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

Stick your little explosion of 2011 into your top tiered vase and you have a centerpiece to


Happy New Year!  May 2011 bring you all great happiness and much joy!

Oh yes!  We are going to be doing a guest post over at Tatertots and Jello on December 30th.  We will be sharing a delicious cupcake recipe for your New Year's Eve party!  Make sure to stop by and check us out!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reindeer Cupcakes

We had a really fun time making these Reindeer cupcakes from Disney's Family Fun magazine. We decided they should all be Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeers. We had a few substitutions as you can see from our photo and Family Fun's example. We couldn't find the Nilla Wafers Minis to save our life. So we used Ritz bite sized sandwich crackers and took out the filling, which still worked okay.
Merry Christmas!
Enjoy all the Holiday moments with your family, it is what really matters.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ruffle Christmas Tree

I won't tell you where I was or what I was doing when I thought of this idea.....

But isn't she cute?  I am loving how it turned out and think making a "bigger" one will be fantastic!

Want to make one?  Here's what you need:

A roll of ribbon - a wide ribbon, like 2 inch.
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Scrap piece of paper to make a star or a wood star

There you have it!  I have a little challenge for you.  I know this ruffle ribbon tree can look SO much cuter, so I challenge you to give it a try.  Mine is very plain and simple, I know there is so much more that can be done with this.  Let your imagination go wile and send me a picture of your finished product!  I will post them in a new post for all to see.  Hope you're enjoying the holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Cupcakes

I was invited to be a vendor at the Children's Justice Center Holiday Boutique.  I made some delicious Christmas cupcakes that are to die for!  The cupcakes were a hit and we raised a decent amount of money for the CJC.  I love helping, especially for a cause such as this. Here's a little peek of some of the most HEAVENLY cupcakes!

Chocolate Cherry Cordial
I must say, this is DIVINE!  I am pretty proud of this creation!

Chocolate Peppermint with White Chocolate Candy Cane, that's a mouthful!
Cupcakes don't get much better than this folks!

Make sure to order your Christmas Cupcakes!  I know you all want to take fabulous cupcakes to your parties this year.  I have a few other yummy holiday flavors too.