Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rice Pilaf

 Rice-a-Roni is  my good friend. Whenever I need a rice side dish, most of the time it's Rice-a-Roni that gets served. Obviously I love to try new things so making pilaf from scratch was on that list. Here's I recipe I adapted from my Food Nanny Cookbook:

Rice Pilaf
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/4 C long-grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 C chicken broth
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir until the onion is soft but not brown. Stir in the rice until it is well-coated. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer until the rice is tender and teh liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
It was good but I don't know if it's worth the effort for a side dish. I usually like to spend most of the time on the main course and then just do quick things for the sides. Anyways, here are my results:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Here's the description from
"Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year."

MY REVIEW: This book was different from it's predecessors. It was still captivating, but much faster paced. It was so shocking, but did not give you time to get over the shock and just moved right along to another surprise. I liked it mostly. With the subjects in which the book deals with, you are never going to be completely happy with any ending. Overall, a great series that is totally captivating, gruesome, but captivating.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Free ADORABLE St.Patrick's Day Printable

 It's almost St.Patrick's Day and once again, I don't have any decorations. I found this absolutely adorable free printable over here at Funky Polka-dot Giraffe.

I just printed out the 8x10 size on photo paper and went to the dollar store and picked out a frame. I love it because it really does look like buttons (even fooled my husband. "Uh, where did you get all those colored buttons?").
Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

This would be a great idea for St.Patrick's Day if you did the whole rainbow. I made these cupcakes for Mardi Gras yesterday and they turned out super cute. The easiest recipe I found was from the Family Fun website.


  • White cake mix
  • Food coloring (red, blue, green, and yellow)
  • Baking cups
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  1. Prepare your favorite white cake mix according to instructions on box, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color.

    Purple 9 red and 6 blue drops
    Blue 12 drops
    Green 12 drops
    Yellow 12 drops
    Orange 12 yellow and 4 red drops
    Red 18 drops

  2. Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.
  3. Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove wrapper.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


We don't drink alcohol at our house, but that doesn't mean you can't whip up a cool non-alcohol drink for fun once in a while. The past few days I've been experimenting with new drinks for this yucky time of year. Here are a few we tried:

First up:
Hailey's Smoothie  - not my favorite but I think with the changes I mention, it would be worth trying.

3 kiwis, peeled and chopped
2 frozen bananas, peeled and chopped
1 cup blueberries
1 cup plain yogurt (I would use vanilla)
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I would omit or use vanilla instead)


In a blender, combine the kiwis, frozen bananas, blueberries, yogurt, crushed ice, honey and almond extract. Blend until smooth.

Next up:
Shirley Temple II - We liked this one OK. It was pretty cool looking and tasted good.

Ingredients :
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
1 tablespoon grenadine syrup
1 maraschino cherry

In a tall glass, combine orange juice and lemon-lime soda. Pour grenadine in and let it sink to the bottom. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a straw for stirring.


Next up:
Cherry Banana Smoothie (adapted from this recipe)~ Overall we like this one, not a Jamba Juice by any means but good.

1 cup frozen, pitted cherries
1 banana, cut in chunks
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
water to thin to desired consistency

Place the cherries, banana, lemon juice, yogurt, and vanilla extract into a blender. Cover, and puree, adding little bits of water until smooth. Pour into glasses to serve.


Last but not least:
Ogre Drink ~(we renamed this one- get original name here) This one tasted most like (what I would imagine) a cocktail to drink. Sweet and sour. Kids LOVED this one and I thought it was pretty good too.

1 (6 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
1 cup diet cola flavored carbonated beverage (we used caffeine-free Coke)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
10 cubes ice

Combine the limeade concentrate, carbonated beverage, orange juice, water and ice in the container of a blender. Cover, and blend until slushy. If you want to add liquor, add it last, and just blend for a few seconds more.

Sorry no pic. The reason we renamed it (besides it's original name was inappropriate for children) was because it looked brown and not very appetizing. BUT it was yummy!