Super Stuffed Jalapenos

Super Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

Super Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

 

I found this on Facebook and have no idea how to give credit to but I really just want to eat them!! Jalapenos are one of my favorite foods ever! Stuff them with cheesy amazing-ness and there really is nothing better. This is a super simple, low carb recipe which I cannot wait to try.  My father recently made homemade, bacon wrapped, jalapeno poppers recently and they were to die for so I can only imagine now incredible these are going to be!!

 

Ingredients:
1 lb ground sausage
22 jalapeños (fresh)
1- 8 oz block cream cheese, softened
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat over 425.
2. Cook sausage until browned and set aside.
3. Mix cream cheese with Parmesan cheese (I would add some of my fave herbs and spices either to the cheese mix or to the sausage just to make it my own)
4. Add cooked sausage and mix well.
5. Rinse jalapeños.
6. Cut each jalapeño lengthwise and remove seeds.
7. Stuff jalapeños with sausage mixture.
8. Cook for 20 minutes until tops are golden brown (cook on a large baking pan).

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownie

 

 

I am not always a huge fan of red velvet but for my birthday my father made me some of the most amazing red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting I have ever had in my life. Now I seem to be craving it. I have been looking for super delish recipes to try and see if I can perfect this red velvet amazingness before my father does. You could say we are a bit competitive especially when it comes to food. This morning I saw this recipe someone had shared on Facebook and the photo alone makes me want to lick my computer screen.  I have no idea where this recipe is from or if it is good but if the photo is any indication these brownies are going to be super yum.

Ingredients:

1 Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
3/4 cup butter, after melted
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Filling Ingredients:
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 egg
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix the first 5 ingredients and pour into a 9 X 12 glass baking dish

Pour this over & across the brownie mix. Take a knife & swirl through mix making a marbled design.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Birthday Month Realization

Birthday Month Realization

 

 

Birthday Month is upon us or as my father calls it High Holy Birthday Month!!! It is a week before my 32nd birthday and I have realized some things about myself, life and growing up. In the recent past a few people who have known me for almost my whole life and who I care very much for have become so very judgmental and downright hurtful. At first I tried to brush off such offenses as me being too sensitive. Then I thought maybe these people are right and I just don’t want to hear it. Eventually I realized that really isn’t the case. While I was being supportive through their many mistakes, misdeeds and mess ups as a good friend always should be, they have turned their back on what I have gone or been going through. I as a good friend was honest in certain situations about my feelings of what they were doing but only as an outsider looking in. After saying my part, I have learned that you can always tell someone what you think but ultimately they have to do things their way because pushing your opinions only pushes people away. Your one and only job as a friend after being open and honest is to be there while they are happy and pick up the pieces if any should fall. That is what a good friend does.  Now while I know my mistakes and misdeeds, I like to believe they have helped me become who I am and I try not to forget them, who I was or where I have been. Others clearly like to pretend/ignore/deny those same factors about themselves which is OK but when passing judgment it’s particularly hurtful when hypocrisy is involved.
In my case when I feel someone is becoming overly judgmental I tend to omit things or in some cases lie. This is obviously not the right approach and I was disappointed in myself  when I realized I was doing this. I took it upon myself to apologize and bring up the subject to the few people I felt had done a 360 on me assuming that maybe their perception of my behavior was the reason for this change (maybe they didn’t realize my perception of their behavior towards me is what started the ball rolling but that isn’t to point fingers just how I felt in the situation). I was expecting an apology in return as any good friends would do to alleviate an uncomfortable situation. I knew everyone in the situation had done wrong and what some people didn’t know is I knew more than they had been telling me. I knew they were actually doing the exact same thing they were mad at me for the only difference was they (still to this day) don’t know how much I actually knew/know and I never called them out on it assuming I wouldn’t have to because I was convinced they loved me enough to just apologize and nothing more had to be said (AWESOME FRIEND ALERT). These people didn’t know that another friend had spilled very detailed beans about a situation assuming I knew already. I didn’t know and didn’t even rat out the other friend (just another glaring example of why I am such a fab friend). So here I am being judged very harshly by people I love very much and trust implicitly even still with the uncomfortable feelings. Even when I knew these people were lying to my face and doing the very thing they were accusing me of. I distanced myself waiting for an apology because it had to be on its way. I knew there was no way I wasn’t going to be apologized to but to some people their pride is more important than friendship. To them I was not worth an apology no matter how hypocritical their rationale. These same people after the fact tried to dig a deeper hole but what they didn’t know is this, I was a good friend even when they weren’t looking. I may have omitted some information or told them things happened differently than they actually did because I was tired of their hurtful comments and judgments but what they should be thankful for is that I never ratted them out. I never let people know what it is they did or said about people they “love and care” about. While these very people sit back and judge me or think I am less worthy, I am at peace with their feelings about me. I know what I have done and owned it. I know that if I wasn’t such a good friend I could have hurt them and the people they love very much but I chose not to. I may not be what these people want as a friend anymore but in reality they no longer possess the qualities I need in a friend. I see now that they have dug themselves into such a deep hole that instead of dealing with and fixing what they don’t like in their lives they focus on someone they perceive as weaker. I am content with that too. I may not resort to dirty tricks or childish schemes but my absence in their lives is what they will one day miss. When the truth comes out, as it always does, they will realize what a good friend I always have been and kick themselves for ever thinking otherwise.
In closing at the ripe old age of almost 32 I can say that I may not be perfect nor do I ever want to be. I may not be rich or a genius. I do not have a models body or the best paying job. I have yet to meet prince charming or the million other superficial things that people always associate with having a full life. What I do have is my independence which I earned. I have respect from the people that I have chosen to be in my life and who have chosen to love and understand me for who I am, not who they think I should be. I have a loving family and good group of friends. It has taken time to build the kind of relationships that are healthy and happy with the people I care most about but it has been worth it. I have proven to myself and my loved ones that I am a force. I have dreamed of things and actually attained them; few people can actually ever say that. I have struggled, been scared and hurt on more than one occasion, those have been my greatest lessons. I can see where I need to improve and make those my goals no matter how long the improvements may take. This birthday month is less about the parties or presents this year. It is about finally allowing me to pat myself on the back. I don’t have to have the I am not good enough complex any longer. I don’t need to measure up to anyone’s standards but my own. I am what matters. My goals are mine and I can and will always improve. I am going to leave my insecurities behind me. Those chips that have been on my shoulder no longer need to be there because I have proven to myself what an incredible person, woman, friend and lover I really can be. All of that takes work and reflection. I will never stop working on being the person I want to be but I will stop letting other people judgments get in my way. From now on all of those glass houses we want to deny we live in are not my problem.  I don’t throw stones at yours so best you not throw them at mine anymore. That is the best celebration of my life I can think of.  Anything else really doesn’t matter.

 

Strawberry, Avocado and Kale Salad

Strawberry-Avocado Kale Salad

Strawberry-Avocado Kale Salad

 

 

I love the summer for finding interesting mixes of fruits and vegetables. I feel like you can get away with odd pairings of fruits and vegetables more in the summer than you can in the winter because you don’t have to cook things so flavors and textures don’t have to mix in ways that might not taste/look so great. This salad happens to be super quick and easy but sound so fancy everyone will be very impressed when you serve it.

 

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn or chopped
2 cups sliced strawberries
4 slices cooked/very crispy turkey bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ripe avocado, sliced

Directions:

1. Measure out about 6 cups of kale; toss strawberries in a large bowl.
2. Next, in a small bowl, stir crumbled bacon, Greek yogurt, sugar, vinegar, poppy seeds and salt and pepper together.
3. Leave dressing in the refrigerator to cool for a while settle together.
4. Top salad with avocado slices and mix in slowly
5. When you are ready to serve you can either mix in the dressing or leave it on the side for everyone to add as little or as much as they would like to their salad.

Lemon Basil Cookies with Edible Flower Garnish

Lemon Basil Cookies with Edible Flower Garnish

Lemon Basil Cookies with Edible Flower Garnish

How awesomly fun and exciting are these cookies!!!! The garnish is not only beautiful but edible too without having to be a professional to do it!. I found this really fun and very interesting recipe at one of my fave websites tablespoon.com. You don’t see desserts like this everyday! I love how creative/simple this dessert is not to mention original. Your guests will be shocked and wonder how you managed to be so awesome!

Ingredients:

1 pouch shortbread cookie mix
1 cup butter, softened (not melted)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 grated lemon peel
sugar
honey
edible flowers

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400°F.
2. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, lemon peel and basil until soft dough forms.
3. On work surface sprinkle lightly with flour, roll dough 1/8 inch thick.
4. Cut with 2 1/2-inch scalloped-edge round cookie cutter dipped into flour.
5. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
6. Sprinkle cookies with sugar.
7. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
8. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack and then let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
9. Brush backs of flowers with honey. Top each cookie with flower, honey-side down.

**Substitution chopped fresh rosemary for the basil.

FLOWER INFO: Did you know that there are a variety of edible flowers? Other edible flowers to try are nasturtium, impatiens and squash flowers. Don’t use flowers from your local nursery as they contain pesticides. Remember to only eat the petals!

Pretty Delish Pink Grapefruit Margs

Pretty Delish Pink Grapefruit Margs

Pretty Delish Pink Grapefruit Margs

 

I have been drinking pink grapefruit juice quite often lately. I am not sure if it is the warm weather or the fact that it is pink but I am loving it lately.  You know I love Summer, pink and pretty drinks! Margs are an essential part of good summer fun! They can be frozen or chilled, you can use a multitude of ingredients and can make them super pretty.   They are most definitely one of my favorite party drinks.  They are even delish when they are non-alcoholic.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice (ruby red is sweeter and makes a better tasting drink)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)
1 cup triple sec orange liqueur
3 cups ice
1 cup silver tequila
1 lime cut in wedges, optional Kosher salt.

Directions:

1. If you prefer to rim the glasses take a lime wedge and rim, then dip in pink sanding sugar or you can use salt, if you do not like a salted or sugar rim you can sprinkle a touch of salt in each glass.
2. Combine the grapefruit juice, lime juice, triple sec and ice in a blender. Pour into a large pitcher (or just keep it in the blender) and pour in the tequila, stir.
3. Add pink edible glitter to the blender to mix in the drink or add it to the sugar to salt/sugar you rim the glass with to add some sass to your classy marg!

* This recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa

6 Books Every Proper Hostess Must Have

I love playing hostess and having any old reason to prepare for an event! I was looking around for some fun accoutrement the other day for an upcoming birthday shindig a friend of mine and I are throwing and I found some super fun and beyond awesome books I think it would behoove any hostess to have either available for guests or to get some pointers from. These books look like so much fun I assumed everyone could benefit as well as enjoy.

The Zombie Survival Guide

 

The Zombie Survival Guide This could quite possibly be the ultimate hostess book ever. How better to appease your guests by giving them access to life saving tips for the ever present and always possible threat of the Zombie Apocalypse? To be taken much more seriously than that silly Y2K, December 21, 2012, The Rapture and Heaven’s Gate combined. We all know that the Zombies can and will take over our world and perhaps the universe one day. The key to being a successful hostess is preparedness. This book could cement your position as top dog in your circle so I suggest you get your hands on this new “Bible” ASAP.

 

 

Unbored

 

Unbored Have you ever thrown an event that didn’t go over too well?  Perhaps the people aren’t meshing or the mood is awkward with a capital A? It happens to the best of us. You can’t always control the crowd or tell how certain things might go over. To avoid any further embarrassment why not have Unbored at the ready just in case. A good hostess should always have back up plans to keep everything running smooth. Who knows, Unbored could be the hit of the entire party even if it didn’t start out to be boring.  No one wants to be known for failing at an event or for throwing blah parties! Have this little secret weapon available at all times.

 

 

The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You

 

The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You Do you or someone you know check Web MD every time something feels amiss? I know I do and I scare the crap out of myself. I know people make jokes and searching online for random ailments has become a favorite pastime for many so why not have a book where you can easily look up if you gave a guest food poisoning or put something they are highly allergic to in the main course. If someone comes over looking mildly ill you can figure out whether to send them home immediately or if the rest of your guests will be safe from the bird flu. If all else fails and conversation has come to a stand still whip out your handy dandy book full of things that might kill you and scare the fun back into your evening.

 

The Vintage Tea Party Book

 

The Vintage Tea Party Book is very chic if you ask me. I know tea parties/shabby chic is so in right now so why not get hip to the tea party tid bits you might be missing out on. Throw a real actual vintage tea party. Your guests will appreciate your attention to detail and knowledge.  If you are into crafting or event planning this really is a great book for you.  It is also a great gift or coffee table book because it is so darn pretty.  How about if your friends need some immediate classing up?  This book could be a very subtle way to tell your besties that they are a tincer unseemly and that they need to brush up on their lady-like-ness before summer is here.  We all know that unclassy broads only attract unclassy bros and who wants those at their party?

 

The Jane Austen Handbook

 

 

The Jane Austen Handbook is obviously a personal favorite as she makes my world turn but let’s just be honest here for a moment and accept that she is the Coco Chanel for unrequited love and all things proper.  One cannot throw a perfectly proper event without some hints from she who is the most refined.  If you don’t know who Jane Austen is after immediately smacking yourself in the face and writing moron on your forehead in a black Sharpie please venture to the nearest e-reader and please culture yourself because I fear any party you are throwing and your guests probably do as well.

Feminist Ryan Gosling

 

 

Feminist Ryan Gosling Not a person on the planet has any excuse not to purchase this book.   It should just come automatically with any living space any individual on the entire planet Earth could possibly inhabit, cardboard boxes, cars and caves included. This will make more than just your event amazing it will make your life amazing. We all know the magical powers Sir Ryan Gosling possesses. No one is capable of resisting his awesome not even the one and only Chuck Norris! Not purchasing this book is an affront to love, romance and anything that might possibly be even a little good ever in the history of ever and every person that comes to your events will automatically think you and your event suck because you were not gracious enough to have a copy of this book for everyone to drool over and on!

Tomato & Olive Lady Bug Baguettes

Tomato Olive Lady Bug Baguettes

Tomato Olive Lady Bug Baguettes

 

 

How cute is this idea for spring?!?! I love making fun finger foods for parties. The more creative the more fun I think it is. I love going to a party or even a dinner where someone has put a little extra thought into what they are serving by making it designed. I know it isn’t always easy and not everyone has the time but if you do why not play with your food? Every little ounce of effort counts and your guests will appreciate it.
This is a great way to get kids interested in eating foods they might not other wise be interested in. People and children alike tend to eat food that is attractive or fun looking. You can get people to try new things just by you being creative.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Baguette
Cherry Tomatoes
Black Olives (pitted)
Flat Leaf Parsley
Chive Cream Cheese (any flavor you prefer really)
Smoked Salmon

Directions:

1. Cut the baguettes an inch to 2 inches in thickness
2. Toast the pieces lightly just so they have enough crunch but not so they get completely toasted.
3. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and de-seed (cut long ways so one side lays flat)
4. Cut black olive in half, through the middle, then cut that half in half as well.
5. Spread cream cheese on to baguette, just enough to lightly cover the bread
6. Place a piece of smoked salmon on top of the cream cheese
7. Next is a few pieces of flat leaf parsley on top of the salmon
8. Add the tomato and olive for the lady bug body.
9. Lastly, using a tooth pick use some cream cheese to make the eyes and do the same all over the tomato. Cut up tiny pieces of olive to use as the dots for the lady bugs back.

Recycled Crayons

Recycled Crayons

Recycled Crayons

 

I have seen this done in a few crafting articles/pinterest pins and I finally decided to try it. I am super sad because I melted my favorite silicon skull and crossbones mold whilst experimenting! I had a mini ceremony in honor of my favorite mold.  Either way this craft was simple and super fun I might add!
Over the weekend when I was looking for a new project to take me away from my current project I decided this was the best time to play with the loads of old crayons I have laying around!. This is one of the simplest and fun crafts/activities I have ever done.

 

 

 

Supplies:
Silicone or cupcake tins
Crayons
Scissors
Glitter (not necessary but I have an addiction)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 260 degrees
2. Cut up crayons and fill your molds or tins half way (This is where you can add in glitter if you want). You and experiment with each batch to see how thick you want your crayons I do half way but a relatively small amount of crayons go a long way. Keep in mind they can crack if too thin.
3. Leave in oven for approximately 15 minutes. I put mine in for 10 minutes first then another 5 and kept an eye on them. Every oven, mold, crayon and tin is different. You don’t want to ruin your favorite mold like I did or burn the crayons. It doesn’t smell purdy…trust me.
4. Once all of the crayons have melted take out and let sit for a few minutes.
5. Put molds or tins in freezer. I find leaving them in the freezer for a few minutes helps them cool quicker and less breakages happen when removing the crayons.

Here are some super fun shaped molds that won’t melt in the oven:
Accoutrements Mustache Silicone Baking Mold
Freshware 6-Cavity Mini Rose Mold and Baking Pan
Wilton Mini Star Silicone Mold
Wilton 6-Cavity Silicone Heart Mold Pan

Candy Taco Dessert

Sugar Cookie Candy Tacos

 

This is a great party idea year round but since after Halloween you know you can get stuck with a bunch of candy you can totally make the best of it and have some fun. You can use these as a party snack for everyone to participate in or to have made and ready before guests arrive. You have plenty of options to switch up in this recipe for anyone who may have allergies or specific preferences.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 roll sugar cookie dough (you can use any dough you prefer ie chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin)
20 mini candy bars
candy pieces (anything that can’t be cut up)
1 container whipped white frosting
food coloring

Directions:

1. Cut the cookie dough into thick slices.
2. Press the dough into 2 1/2 inch circles on a floured surface or Silpat.
3. At 350 degrees, bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Use a rolling pin or something round like a the cardboard part of a papertowel roll and immediately drape the cookies over the circular form and let it cool for a few minutes. The cookie will hold its shape once it has cooled.
5. While the cookies are cooling chop up the candy you are using to fill the tacos
6. Add food coloring to white frosting. You can use green to look like lettuce, red to be salsa, yellow or orange for cheese, keep some white for sour cream. Be creative.
7. Put a small amout of frosting on th inside of the shell to hold the candy onto your taco.
8. Sprinkle your candy onto the tacos but save the small unchopped candies for the top.
9. Add any other dallops of frosting you want on top of your candy bars.
10. Sprinkle the candy pieces on top of the previous layer of frosting to top off your taco.

**Instead of using cookies you can also make cinnamon & sugar tortillas but keep in mind you want your tortillas to be round so you can use small sized tortillas or cut yours into round shapes. You can use fruit and yogurt or cream cheese as substitutes to make the tacos healthier as well. You really have plenty of options with this. Even add some rice pudding and raisins!