Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Memory Lane Oatmeal Peanut Butter Creme Sandwiches Recipe

Memory Lane Oatmeal Peanut Butter Creme Sandwiches Recipe
March 1st is Peanut Butter Lovers Month and I think I would like to make these cookies by Betty Crocker. 

Let's Talk About It :)
I really like peanut butter cookies but I can't ever remember making them with a cream center. Now I have made oatmeal cookies with a creme marshmallow center so I don't know how I've gone without making a creme center peanut butter cookie LOL! Especially since I love creme fillings so much. The filling for this recipe is just peanut butter, vanilla frosting and milk. Gosh that is so simple.

Memory Lane Oatmeal Peanut Butter Creme Sandwiches Recipe

  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla frosting
  • 4 teaspoons milk

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, water and egg until soft dough forms.
2. Roll dough into 40 (1 1/4-inch) balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press each ball with fingers to slightly flatten.
3. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 3 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
4. In small bowl, stir peanut butter, frosting and milk until well blended.
5. For each sandwich cookie, spread about 1 tablespoon filling on bottom of 1 cookie. Top with another cookie, bottom side down. Press together lightly, twisting slightly.
Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Healthified Banana Nut Bread

"Healthified" Banana Nut Bread
February 23rd is National Banana Bread Day so in honor of that I thought I would say a few words to celebrate, pass on this Healthified Banana Nut Bread Recipe by Betty Crocker and give you a link to my favorite Banana Bread Recipes too.

Definition: Banana bread is a type of bread that is made with mashed fully ripe bananas. It is often a moist, sweet, cake-like quick bread; however, there are some banana bread recipes that are traditional-style yeast breads.

I must admit I don't make banana bread very often but when I do, I make my bread full of walnuts and plump golden raisins. My own personal taste is to drizzle it with sweetened cream cheese when I'm finished. My Mother never made it that way. Her banana bread was made the traditional way without raisins or cream cheese. We always had bananas in the house so banana bread was an after school snack many-ah-day for me. These days though.... I very seldom eat bananas so I never have any ripe ones around. I have to tell you.... after talking about banana bread it's making me want a fresh loaf. Happy Banana Bread Day everyone. ~Pam

"Healthified" Banana Nut Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted*

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 8x4-inch or 9x5-inch loaf pan with shortening, or spray with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
2. In large bowl, beat sugar, oil, egg whites, bananas, milk and vanilla with spoon until well blended. Stir in flour mixture until well blended. Stir in walnuts. Spoon into pan.
3. Bake 8-inch loaf 55 to 62 minutes, 9-inch loaf 45 to 52 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp

Grilled Margarita Shrimp for Two Recipe
Everybodys going to be drinking Margaritas on February 22 in honor of National Margarita Day but for those of you looking for a meal to add to those yummie drinks then here's a Margarita recipe for you.

Let's talk about it:
I'm a fan of Margaritas and cant pass up a drink when I go to my favorite Mexican restaurant. They have 2 for 1 specials all the time. giggle~ I do keep the mix at home for sunny days at the beach so when I ran across this recipe I knew I would have everything I needed to make it.  All I need now is a warmer day, a clean grill and I'm good to go. Lol. 

Really tho, I am looking forward to trying this recipe in spring. I know I can make it inside for me and the hubby but if it's as good as I think it will be then I'll add it to my"Wanna-serve" list when I host my first garden party in Spring. Since I love Margaritas I'll love grilled shrimp with a Margarita flavor. Thank you Pillsbury.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp for Two Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup margarita mix (from 33.8-oz. bottle)
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 12 shelled deveined uncooked large shrimp with tails left on

1. Soak 4 bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. In 1-quart resealable food storage plastic bag, combine cilantro, garlic, margarita mix and tequila. Add shrimp; seal bag and shake to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to marinate.

2. Meanwhile, heat grill.

3. When ready to grill, thread shrimp on skewers; discard marinade. Place shrimp on gas grill over medium heat or on charcoal grill 4 to 6 inches over medium coals. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning several times.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh How My Mother Loved Her Birds

Feeding birds and bird watching was a big part of my life growing up. My Mother was fascinated by them and she taught me at an early age how to feed birds, how to plant for the birds and how to take care of Gods creatures at an early age. 

I remember my Mother was crazy about hummingbirds. She always had 4 or 5 hummingbird feeders on her porch right up until the day she died. We would always have at least a dozen hummingbirds buzzing around our heads when we sit outside having lunch or swinging in the swings that Daddy made. It was not uncommon for the hummingbirds to swoosh our hair as they flew by either. Lol. It's so much fun watching them chase after each other and my Mother would just laugh and laugh. 

It always amazed me how the hummingbirds would fly right in front of my Mother's face and hover there as if they were looking deep into her eyes. Mother would always give me the little hand signal with her beautiful hand to be perfectly still while she had a conversation with the bird, face to face. In the last days of her life; would you believe she still gave me that hand signal? Yes she sure did- but with a little wrinkled hand and a little crooked finger, but still ever-so soft in her gesture.

I knows my love for birds came from my Mother. Not only did she take care of hummingbirds but she was fascinated about blue birds too. We were forever having to go and watch their activities. When I would go to visit her (as an adult) she would tell me story after story of her bluebirds. She knew when a bird went missing and when her blue birds had babies too. I don't know how in the world she knew which bird belonged to which house but she could always tell me which bird was the mate to which bird too. giggle~ 

Mother's front yard had 4 bird houses nailed to the trees and all 4 of them had blue birds in them. Sometimes the squirrels would take over a bird house and chew out the entrance of the house and when that happened we would have to take it down - paint a brand new bird house "blue" then nail it back to the tree. We would then spend hours and hours sitting on the patio waiting for a blue bird to find the new house and move in. Lol!

Mother is gone now and I have recently moved into the house I grew up in. In fact I've only been here a couple of weeks. I walked out in the yard just yesterday and noticed 3 of the blue-bird houses still on the trees. I noticed one was missing. I walked to the tree it should of been in and found the 4th one had fell to the ground and busted. I guess it happened  sometime during the last few months. When I noticed the little house on the ground it actually brought a tear to my eye. The truth is it brought a few tears to my eyes. I think some how I related it to Mother being gone and knowing the life of that bird house was over like the life of my Mother was over- Never to see another blue bird and a little house that was never to provide a home for another blue bird again.  

I'm very happy I've inherited the bird houses, bird baths and bird feeders. I plan on replacing the broken bird house and put it back on the tree. And yes I think I will paint it blue. I plan on fixing the cracked bird bath so I can watch the birds fluff their feathers in the water and I plan on filling the hummingbird feeders with sweet liquid too. I plan on watching in amazement the "daily going" of the birds just like my Mother did. Oh how much my Mother loved her birds.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Recipe: Chocolate Grasshopper Cheesecake

Recipe: Chocolate Grasshopper Cheesecake
Celebrate National Chocolate Mint Day, St. Patrick's Day or any green theme party with this beautiful and tasty cheesecake by Pillsbury.

Let's Talk About It:
I'm thinking this is what I want to eat for National Chocolate Mint Day which is celebrated every February 19th. I really like the idea of using chocolate Creme de menthe candy to top the whipped cream. It really sets off the cheesecake with it's double stripe and gives it a great tongue tingling balance. Well that's what I think anyway.

Recipe: Chocolate Grasshopper Cheesecake
  • 30 fudge mint cookies, crushed (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 oz semisweet baking chocolate
  • 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup green crème de menthe liqueur*
  • Topping and Garnish, if desired
  • Sweetened whipped cream
  • Crème de menthe thin rectangular candies for garnish, unwrapped, cut in half diagonally

1. Heat oven to 300°F. Wrap foil around bottom and side of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. In large bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until crumbly. Press in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 12 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.
2. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once halfway through microwaving, until melted. If necessary, continue to microwave on High in 15-second increments, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in liqueur. Pour filling evenly over crust.
4. Drop 8 to 10 tablespoonfuls melted chocolate randomly onto filling, allowing chocolate to sink into filling. With table knife or small spatula, cut through chocolate and filling to swirl for marbled design.
5. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until set 2 inches from edge of pan. Remove from oven; run knife around side of cheesecake to loosen. Return to oven; turn oven off and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 1 hour. Refrigerate 3 hours.
6. To serve, remove side of pan. Spoon whipped cream into decorating bag with large star tip; squeeze bag to pipe cream around top edge of cheesecake. Garnish with candies.

*One teaspoon peppermint extract and 4 to 6 drops green food color can be substituted for the crème de menthe liqueur.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Before heating oven, place small baking pan filled with 1 to 2 cups water on oven rack below cheesecake to help prevent cheesecake from cracking. Bake 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft):
Before heating oven, place small baking pan filled with 1 to 2 cups water on oven rack below cheesecake to help prevent cheesecake from cracking. Bake 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Let's Talk About Bird Feeding

photo by Frank Vincentz / license
Today we continue sharing information about bird feeding in honor of National Bird Feeding Month.

Activity: Bird feeding is typically thought of as an activity of bird enthusiasts. People who feed wild birds often attempt to attract birds to suburban and domestic locations. This requires setting up a feeding station and supplying bird food. The food might include seeds, peanuts, bought food mixes, fat, kitchen scraps and suet. Additionally, a bird bath and grit (sand), that birds store in their crops to help grind food as an aid to digestion, can be provided.
Feeding bread to waterfowl at parks, lakes and rivers is also a popular activity.

Types: Certain foods tend to attract certain birds. Finches and Siskin will be attracted by niger, and Jays love corn. Hummingbirds love nectar. Mixed seed attracts many birds. Black oil sunflower seed is favoured by many seed-eating species. Different feeders can be purchased specialized for different species.
Garden birds can be fed using peanuts, seed, coconut or fat using a variety of feeders.
After the station is established, it can take some weeks for birds to discover and start using it. This is particularly true if the feeding station is the first one in an area or (in cold-winter areas) if the station is being established in spring when natural sources of food are plentiful. Therefore, beginners should not completely fill a feeder at first. The food will get old and spoil if it is left uneaten for too long. This is particularly true of unshelled foods, such as thistle seed and suet. Once the birds begin taking food, the feeder should be kept full. Additionally, people feeding birds should be sure that there is a source of water nearby. A bird bath can attract as many birds as a feeding station. wikipedia

External Links:
Tomorow: I plan on talking about my own personal experience on feeding the birds. Pam

Friday, February 17, 2012

About Bird Food

photo by 4028mdk09 / license
We Celebrate National Bird Feeding Month so today we continue the fun topic of birds and the foods we feed them. At the bottom of the post you'll find some nice links for those who love feeding birds or for those who want to learn more.

Bird food is food (often varieties of seeds) eaten by birds. Humans generally make or buy bird food to feed to pet birds or use in birdfeeders. Birdfood can be natural or commercial. The choice of what to use as birdfood depends on the species of bird being fed.


Black sunflower seeds are highly recommended for use in bird feeders because they attract a wide variety of birds, have a high ratio of meat to shell, and are high in fat content. Other common birdseeds include Niger, or thistle seed, a favorite of goldfinches, millet for sparrows and juncos, and safflower for cardinals,among others.


Since there are a variety of birds that do not eat seeds, other several types of food have traditionally been used. Suet (beef or mutton fat) is recommended for insect-eating birds like nuthatches and woodpeckers. Nectar (essentially sugar water) attracts hummingbirds. Bread and kitchen scraps are often fed to ducks and gulls. Chickens are commonly fed corn, wheat, barley, sorghum and milling by-products.
These seeds and non-seed supplies are commonly obtained as by-products on farms, but can also be bought from independent retailers.

Commercial bird food


A wide variety of commercial bird food is available to bird owners, combining a variety of seeds in a single mix. Individual types of bird tend to pick out their favorite seeds and leave the rest uneaten, to be picked up by other birds.


Farmed birds fed commercial bird food typically are given very specific scientifically designed preblended feed. Examples of commercial bird food for chickens include chick starter medicated crumbles, chick grower crumbles, egg layer mash, egg layer pellet, egg layer crumbles, egg producer pellet, and broiler maker med crumbles. Pellet crumbles are often prepared for tiny chicks. Mash is more finely ground.

External links

  1. What to Feed Birds and Seeds and Grains for Birds. Project FeederWatch
  2. Porter, Diane. Winter Bird Feeder: Keep Them Coming Back
  3. Choosing Bird Food. All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

History of National Bird Feeding Month

image is in the public domain
On February 23, 1994, John Porter (R-IL) proclaimed February as National Bird-Feeding Month when he read a resolution into the Congressional Record. Below is the formal resolution that he read.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds, as National Bird-Feeding Month. During this month, individuals are encouraged to provide food, water, and shelter to help wild birds survive. This assistance benefits the environment by supplementing wild bird's natural diet of weed seeds and insects. Currently, one third of the U.S. adult population feeds wild birds in their backyards.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, backyard bird feeding is an entertaining, educational, and inexpensive pastime enjoyed by children and adults. Bird feeding provides a needed break from today's frantic lifestyles. Adults enjoy the relaxation and peacefulness afforded by watching birds -- nature serves to relieve the stress and can get one's day going on a tranquil note.

Young children are naturally drawn to the activities involved in feeding wild birds, which can serve as excellent educational tools. Children can identify different species of birds with a field guide and can learn about the birds' feeding and living habits. These observations can then provide excellent research opportunities for school projects and reports.

Feeding wild birds in the backyard is an easy hobby to start and need not overtax the family budget. It can be as simple as mounting a single feeder outside a window and filling it with bird seed mix. For many people, the hobby progresses from there. They discover the relationship between the type and location of feeders, and the seeds offered in them, and the number and varieties of birds attracted. Parents can challenge an inquisitive child's mind as they explore together these factors in trying to encourage visits by their favorite birds.”


U.S. House. Representative John Porter of Illinois speaking on National Wild Bird Feeding Month. 103rd Cong. Congressional Record (23 February 1994). Volume 140. / Wikipedia

External Links:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Is National Bird Feeding Month

photo by Scott Catron / license
This celebratory month was created to educate the public on the wild bird feeding and watching hobby. Because of National Bird-Feeding Month, February has become the month most recognized with wild bird feeding promotions and activities. The month is an ideal time for promoting and enjoying the bird feeding hobby, which is home-based and nature-oriented. To help celebrate and promote National Bird-Feeding Month, a Guide to Better Bird Feeding was created. It includes several educational pamphlets on the best practices of bird feeding.

Past Themes: Each year, a new theme for National Bird-Feeding Month is selected, and promoted by the National Bird-Feeding Society. The theme for 2011 was "Most Wanted - America's Top Ten Backyard Birds" and features ten species from the east and west that are among the most popular to attract.

Most Wanted - America's Top Ten Backyard Birds says "There are over 100 species of birds that visit bird feeders throughout the United States. For 2011, the National Bird-Feeding Society selected 10 species in two geographic regions to highlight. These 10 species are among the most colorful and widespread birds that use feeders, and will provide you with a wonderful, year-round, bird feeding experience. View America’s most wanted backyard birds." This list included the Top Ten Backyard Birds East of the Rocky Mountains and the Top Ten Backyard Birds of the Rocky Mountains and West.

In 2010, the theme was “Hatching Out – An Introduction to the Wild Bird Feeding Hobby.” The goal of this theme was to promote best bird feeding practices for beginners and individuals who have been in the bird feeding hobby for decades.

Happy National Bird Feeding Month Everyone!
For the rest of this week I'm going to try and post a few fun things related to this fun observance if I can. For tomorrow I'll post about the history of National Bird Feeding Month. But for today I think I'll get you started by posting a link to an article on my website on How to host a wild bird feeding party. This is such a fun thing to do. Hopefully we can talk more about it later in the month. Pam

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate-Raspberry Hearts Recipe

I'm having family over for coffee this morning (all adults) and since today is Valentine's Day I though I would make these chocolate-raspberry hearts to go with the coffee. I actually ate them at a friends house and she told me it was a Pillsbury recipe. As most of you know I just love pillsbury recipes so I jumped at the idea of making them for my Valentine coffee hour. I think it adds just right touch for a simple coffee get-together too.

Chocolate-Raspberry Hearts Recipe

Chocolate-Raspberry Hearts Recipe


  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 1/3 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 24 raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.

2. Unroll dough sheet; cut into 8 squares. Place squares on cookie sheet.

3. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the chocolate-hazelnut spread onto 1 side of each square. Top each with 3 raspberries and 4 chocolate chips. Fold dough over filling; press edges to seal. Form each into heart shape as shown by pressing indentation in center to form top of heart while rounding sides of heart with hands. Brush with egg.

4. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until hearts are golden brown.

5. In small microwavable bowl, mix remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate-hazelnut spread and remaining 1 tablespoon chocolate chips. Microwave uncovered on High 45 to 60 seconds or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Spoon into resealable food-storage plastic bag. Seal bag; cut off tiny corner of bag. Sprinkle hearts with powdered sugar. Squeeze bag to drizzle each with chocolate mixture.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Heart Shaped Individual Pizza

Hey guys for those of you who don't know it; February is Creative Romance Month so I thought I would post about heart shaped individual pizzas as a creative way to make a pizza for your loved ones. This is one of Pillsburys "20 Minute Recipes for Romance" and I think this is a fun idea for all those thousands of pizza lovers out there. You know your kids would love this for a Valentine's Day supper.  ;)

Recipe: Valentine Pizzas

Recipe: Valentine Pizzas


  • 1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust or 1 can (11 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated thin pizza crust
  • 1 can (8 oz) pizza sauce
  • 24 slices turkey pepperoni with 70% less fat
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)

1.If using classic crust: Heat oven to 425°F. Lightly spray or grease large cookie sheet. If using thin crust: Heat oven to 400 F. Spray or grease 15x10-inch or larger dark or nonstick cookie sheet.
2.Unroll dough on work surface. With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 4 rectangles. Place rectangles on cookie sheet. Cut 1-inch slit in center of wide edge of each dough portion; on opposite wide edge across from slit, pinch dough together to shape point of heart. Slightly separate each cut slit, and gently press dough into a 6x5-inch heart, creating slight rim on edge of dough.
3.Divide pizza sauce evenly onto hearts, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top each with 6 slices pepperoni and 3 tablespoons cheese.
4.Bake classic crust 13 to 16 minutes, thin crust 9 to 13 minutes, or until crust edges are golden brown and cheese is melted.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake up to 2 minutes longer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chocolate-Almond Layered Hearts Recipe

It's all about the heart this week so here's my pick for cookies. When it comes to baking cookies for a special day, special friend or special get-together; I have always favored the look of layered cookies. I really love the 2 and 3 dimension they have & how beautiful they look without spending all day painting with icing. Another reason why I like these is because you very seldom see layered cookies in stores. Because of this it makes the gift that-much-more-special. Here's a good example of a layered cookie by Pillsbury.

Chocolate-Almond Layered Hearts Recipe

Chocolate-Almond Layered Hearts Recipe

  • 1 roll (18 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Remove 2/3 of cookie dough from wrapper and place in medium bowl; refrigerate remaining dough until needed. Stir or knead flour, almonds and almond extract into dough in bowl until well blended.

2. On floured surface with rolling pin, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness (about 12-inch round). Cut with floured 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter; place on ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet.

4. Meanwhile, in small bowl, place remaining 1/3 of dough. Stir or knead in cocoa until well blended. On floured surface, roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness (about 8-inch round). Cut with floured 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter; place on ungreased large cookie sheet.

5. Bake 5 to 6 minutes or just until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet.

6. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and oil on High 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave 10 to 15 seconds longer until smooth. Place melted chocolate in small resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut 1/8-inch hole in bottom corner of bag.

7. Squeeze bag to pipe small amount of chocolate on center of each large heart cookie. Top each with 1 small heart cookie. Drizzle remaining melted chocolate over layered cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set, about 40 minutes. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sweetheart Palmiers / sweet treat from Campbells kitchen
I love it! I think anyone who is looking for red food for Valentine's Day or for a red theme party needs to look at this. It's a recipe I found on,, and websites. Just click the links to get the recipe.

Now Let's Talk About It:
This is so simple but look how beautiful it looks. At first glance you can tell it's made with puff pastry and it's been sprinkled with red sugar. You know sugar comes in several different colors so you could change it up to match which ever occasion your celebrating. 

Red sugar is fantastic for Christmas and Valentine's Day but I bet green sugar would be nice for St. Patrick's Day. I bet a plate of green would remind you of clover just like the red reminds you of hearts. 

Tablescape: Look how pretty it looks served on a white platter. The idea of all the dishes being white is a good move. The red tablecloth just sets off the red cookies too. In the picture they have a bowl of red sugar with a spoon in it. I think that's a fantastic idea as well. Your guests can use red sugar instead of white sugar to add to their hot cocoa or coffee. I bet the red sugar adds a pinkish tent to the cocoa. I just love it. I knew I had to pass this on because I know what a challenge it is to come up with red food ideas and this one is one to remember. Perfect tablescape idea if you ask me. What do you think?

Campbell's Kitchen: Sweetheart Palmiers - Both Pepperidge Farm & Campbell's say "This crisp and delicate cookie is made with puff pastry dough sprinkled with sugar and rolled into the shape of palm leaves. Serve them with coffee or tea, or with your favorite dessert sampling."

Heart Shaped Ice Cubes

Free Stock Image - Heart Shaped Ice Cubes
© Photographer Stephanie Connell | Agency:
Here's a neat idea. A bowl of heart shaped ice cubes for Valentine's Day cocktails.

I really like this idea because it's perfect for a group of people having a few Valentine's Day drinks or just as perfect for a private romantic dinner for two.

You can put the heart shaped ice in a ice bucket or simply have the heart shape ice already in individual glasses. Either way it works because the idea is for the drinker to see the hearts.

You can find heart shape ice cube molds at craft store and in the Valentine section of some supermarkets and retail stores like Wal-Mart. You can even find candy molds that will work for ice cubes as well. If you can't find them in stores just do a search at and you will find them for sure.

Shop Heart Ice Cube Trays
You can either freeze the cubes clear or add a bit of food coloring to the water. Or... add a bit of red fruit juice. You can even fill the molds 1/2 full of water and let it freeze then fill the remainder of the mold up with your choice of a red drink. I love the 1/2 and 1/2 effect myself.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Marvelous Chocolate Truffles Recipe

Celebration Food:  On November 4th, we honor and celebrate National Candy Day which is always observed in the United States. Today's post is a sweet truffle treat by Betty Crocker that we know you'll love to make. Remember this recipe for all Chocolate Holidays, National Chocolate Lovers Month, Valentines Day and Christmas too.
Marvelous Chocolate Truffles Recipe 
Originally uploaded by Betty Crocker Recipes
  • 6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate or white baking bars (white chocolate), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet or milk chocolate chips or white baking chips
  • Finely chopped nuts or candy decorations, if desired

1. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Melt baking chocolate in heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted; stir in whipping cream. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, just until thick enough to hold a shape.

2. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Shape into balls. (If mixture is too sticky, refrigerate until firm enough to shape.) Freeze 30 minutes.

3. Heat shortening and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth; remove from heat. Dip truffles, one at a time, into chocolate. Place on aluminum foil-covered cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle some of the truffles with finely chopped nuts or decorating candies.

4. Refrigerate truffles about 10 minutes or until coating is set. Drizzle some of the truffles with mixture of 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon milk. Refrigerate just until set. Serve at room temperature. Store in airtight container.
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Gift Tins from - Give the gift of homemade candy and place them in traditional candy and cookie tins. You can pick from different shapes and colors.

Recipe: Heart Shaped Breadsticks

A few days ago I said I would find some heart shape ideas for Valentine's Day and pass them on. Well yesterday I posted how to make a heart shaped chocolate cake, the day before that I posted my Valentine choice for this year which was a Meringue dessert and today I wanted to pass on the idea of heart shaped bread sticks that would be perfect for a romantic meal. This is probably the simplest idea of them all but heavens does it pack a visual punch. :) Thank you Pillsbury for such a warm & fast bread idea.

RECIPE: Heart-Shaped Breadsticks

RECIPE: Heart-Shaped Breadsticks

  • 1 can (11 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated breadsticks
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely crushed nacho-flavored tortilla chips

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Separate dough into 12 breadsticks; stretch each until 12 inches long. Twist and shape each breadstick into heart shape; place on ungreased large cookie sheet.
2. Brush breadsticks with beaten egg; sprinkle with crushed chips.
3. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Chocolate Sweetheart Cake Recipe

123Greetings says February 9 is CHOCOLATE DAY? And it's the week of Valentine's so I'm posting this Chocolate Sweetheart Cake by pillsbury not really because of it's recipe but because it explains how to make a heart shape cake without using a heart shape cake pan. Something this simple needs to be shared and you would be surprised at how many people have emailed me asking for links to directions. :)  Pass it on to new bakers!

Chocolate Sweetheart Cake Recipe

Chocolate Sweetheart Cake Recipe


  • 1 package ( 1 pound 2.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix with pudding
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tub (12 ounces) chocolate whipped frosting or 1 tub (16 ounces) chocolate ready-to-spread frosting

1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease bottom only of 1 round pan, 8x1 1/2 inches, and 1 square pan, 8x8x2 inches, with shortening. Make cake mix as directed on package, using water, oil and eggs. Pour into pans.

2. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

3. Cut round layer in half as shown in "diagram". Freeze uncovered about 1 hour for easier frosting if desired. Arrange pieces on serving platter to form heart as shown in diagram. Frost cake with frosting, attaching pieces with small amount of frosting. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
For a truly special presentation to make hearts flutter, garnish with fresh small strawberries or raspberries and curls of white chocolate. Or for real chocolate lovers, press miniature chocolate chips onto the side of the frosted cake.

123greetings lists February 9 as Chocolate Day so send some fun Chocolate Greetings! 
All are FREE!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Today's Featured Picture is an Odd-Eyed Cat /

I wanted to remind everybody that February is National Cat Health MonthLet this post be a reminder to make that vet appointment and have your pet checked out. Since February is also Pet Dental Health Month, have the vet check out your pets teeth too.

Photo: Keith Kissel
In honor of February being Cat Health Month I wanted to do a fun "Featured Picture" of a cat. On my search for the best one, I found this photo by Keith Kissel. His odd-eyed cat picture was picked to be a featured photo for wikipedia today and I knew immediately I found the one I was going to post in honor of National Cat Health Month. It's just Beautiful! Have fun reading a few fun facts about odd-eyed cats too.

What is an Odd-eyed cat?

An odd-eyed cat is a cat with one blue eye (the "odd" eye) and one green, yellow, or brown eye. This is a feline form of complete heterochromia, a condition also present in humans and some other animals (including horses and huskies). It can occur in a cat of any fur color, provided that it possesses the white spotting gene. Animals affected by the condition can have partial heterochromia, in which only part of the iris is a different color.

Cultural reactions and folklore

     Odd-eyed cats are popular within several breeds, including Turkish Van, Turkish Angora, Sphynx, Persian, Oriental Shorthair, and Japanese Bobtail.
     In 1817, the government of Turkey, in conjunction with the Ankara Zoo, began a meticulous breeding program to preserve and protect pure white Turkish Angora cats with blue and amber eyes, a program that continues today, as they are considered a national treasure. The zoo specifically prized the odd-eyed Angoras who had one blue eye and one amber eye, as the Turkish folklore suggests that "the eyes must be as green as the lake and as blue as the sky." The mascot of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, hosted by Turkey, was an anthropomorphized odd-eyed Van Cat named, "Bascat".
Muhammad's pet Angora, Muezza, was reputed to be an odd-eyed cat.
In the Japanese Bobtail, odd-eyed cats are most frequently found in calico individuals.


Note: Today is also...
  • Earliest day on which Feast of Orthodoxy can fall, while March 14 is the latest; celebrated 42 days before Easter. (Orthodoxy)
  • Nirvana Day (Mahayana BuddhismParinirvana Day, or Nirvana Day is a Mahayana Buddhist holiday celebrated in East Asia. By some it is celebrated on the 8th February, but by most on the 15th February. Buddhists celebrate the death of the Buddha because they believe that since he was Enlightened, he was free from the pain of physical existence.
  • Prešeren Day (Slovenia) It is marking the anniversary of the death of the Slovene national poet France Prešeren on February 8, 1849. The holiday was established to honor achievements in the Slovenian culture.
  • Valentine's Day Meringue Dessert Recipe

         Stephen my hubby is a pro at making meringue desserts..., in fact he introduced me to the first pavlova I ever ate. It's part of the National cuisine of Australia & New Zealand so it's traditional for us to eat it during the holidays since my hubby is Australian. 

         Now the reason I brought that up is because... this pillsbury dessert reminds me of it. I can't think of anything better for Valentine's Day either. This recipe is going to be my pick for this years romantic meal for me and the hubby. Oh... I love the idea of a touch of cream cheese & white chocolate in it. 2 things that a pavlova doesn't have. Ohhhh yeahhh! Now that looks like Valentines  :)

    Valentine's Day Meringue Dessert Recipe

    Valentine's Day Meringue Dessert Recipe

    • 4 egg whites
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
    • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 3 oz white chocolate baking bar, melted
    • 1 can (21 oz) raspberry pie filling
    • 1 pint (2 cups) fresh strawberries, halved
    • Fresh mint sprigs, if desired
    1. Heat oven to 275°F. Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. In large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. On high speed, beat in 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar at a time until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is almost dissolved, about 6 minutes. Spread meringue to form 10x10-inch heart shape on cookie sheet, building up edges with back of spoon.
    2. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until firm and dry to the touch. Turn oven off; let meringue shell stand in closed oven 1 hour. Slide meringue shell and parchment paper from cookie sheet onto wire rack. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in melted baking bar until smooth and creamy. Gently fold in whipped cream.
    4. Carefully remove meringue shell from parchment paper; place shell on serving plate. Spread cream mixture evenly in shell. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours.
    5. In medium bowl, gently mix pie filling and strawberries. Spoon 1 1/2 cups fruit mixture over top of dessert. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serve remaining fruit mixture to be spooned over individual servings.

    High Altitude (3500-6500 ft):
    Heat oven to 250°F. For meringue, use 3 egg whites, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar and 3/4 cup sugar. Bake 60 to 65 minutes. Thank you

    Tuesday, February 07, 2012

    Love Is In The Air

    Free Stock Images - Love is in the air 3
    © Photographer Milan Jurkovic |
    It's a week before Valentines Day and Love is in the air. Are you already getting that loving feeling too?

    Even though Valentine's Day is a week away; I'm already getting emails asking about heart shape foods. So this week I thought I would search the Internet and see if I could come up with some neat Valentine's Day recipes and ideas in the shape of a heart. Right off-the-bat I know there's going to be heart shape cakes sold EVERYWHERE. But I think something homemade is special too. It's always fun to serve the people we love something made out of our own kitchen.

    Yesterday I was reading and found a comment about getting ready for Valentine's Day Flowers by cleaning your cloudy vases. I thought this would be a good recipe to pass on to everyone. It said to pour a little white vinegar and uncooked rice in the vase then swish it around. It said it would make the cloudiness disappear. I knew vinegar would do a good job of cleaning but what does the uncooked rice do? Maybe it acts like little scrubbers in areas we can't reach inside the vase.

    You better get your Valentine decorations now because when I went shopping a lot of the stores have already sold out of the good stuff. You may have to dig into your Christmas box for needed red stuff. You know you need those red candles! Oh yes if there's one thing you can't do without on Valentines Day it's candles. I tried to find heart candles but had no luck. I usually like to bring out my heart shape pillows the week of Valentines and toss them on the couch and on the bed. It helps to remind my husband that Valentine's Day is on it's way too. LOL! You know a little casual hint never hurts.

    Now if your planning a romantic meal at home you better start getting ready now. I noticed that I'm almost out of fire wood so I've made arrangement to get more wood so I have it by February 14th. I can't go without a fire in the fireplace on Valentines Day. Nooo Wayyy! You see I'm planning a little meal for me and the hubby. The great part is our kitchen table actually sits in front of the fireplace so even though I'm old, I'm still planning a romantic meal for us.

    Get your shopping done for your sweetheart! Wow what beautiful fresh flowers in the shops right now. If I could I would have fresh flowers on my table everyday and that's the honest truth. I just love them. If I could I would have a box of chocolates on my table everyday too. ;)  Yep, I could surely handle that. Lol!

    Well love is truly in the air. Everyone is buzzing around looking forward to their special Valentine's Day dates coming up, everyone's having fun doing their romantic shopping. And everyone is searching out new ideas for heart shape baking this week too. Happy Valentines To All! I hope you reach up and catch many hearts this week.  Pam

    Monday, February 06, 2012

    Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes Recipe

    Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations (blog) posted a neat poster she found at the Wall Street Journal. It gave a list of how much food Americans would eat for Sunday's Game. On the poster it said 43.2 million lbs. of tortilla chips would be ate. Well..... I know I helped make those numbers because we ate tortilla chips with slow cooked Sloppy Joes ourselves. Here's the Betty Crocker recipe I used.

    Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes Recipe 
    Originally uploaded by Betty Crocker Recipes
    Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes Recipe


    2 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
    1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
    1/4 cup water
    3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce
    1 bottle (12 oz) chili sauce
    10 oz tortilla chips or 10 sandwich buns


    1. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain.

    2. In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix beef and remaining ingredients except tortilla chips.

    3. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours. Serve over tortilla chips or in buns.

    This is so funny :)
    I also made guacamole-dip.
    Avocados were projected at 71.4 million lbs.

    Friday, February 03, 2012

    Red Parties are Celebrated all throughout February

    romantic meals
    GO RED! I hope you didn't pack up all your red decorations from Christmas because "Red Parties" are celebrated in the U.S. and Canada all throughout the month of February? Not only does red represent Valentine's and Valentine's Day but it also represents the Saint Valentines Day Massacre, National Wear Red Day and a few others. Because of this; Red Parties are hosted all over the world where it's traditional to wear red, drink red drinks and eat red food all throughout the month. Great reasons to host a Red Theme Party.

    February 3: Now just so you know.... today (February 3, 2012) is National Wear Red Day. It's always held on the 1st Friday in February. For those of you who are new to this observance; we wear the color red in the United States to support awareness of women's heart disease. The UK promotes heart disease awareness as well but it's celebrated later in the month.

    In the US: It occurs in America on the first Friday in February each year.
    The Heart Truth—is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Designed to warn women of their #1 health threat, The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wakeup call to American women.

    In the UK: Wear Red Day occurs every year on February 26 and is run by the British Heart Foundation. February is National Heart Month for the BHF and the National Wear Red Day is an annual campaign at the centre of raising awareness of heart disease in the UK. It was created by the BHF and has gained interest year on year.

    Crantinis Recipe
    The best part about red parties:
    They can be hosted on any date.
    You have an excuse to over-do it with the color red -go for it.

    Red Food & Drink Ideas:
    Pictured: drink for entertaining: crantinis-recipe
    Dessert: Red Velvet Cake, Strawberries & pink whip cream
    Veggies: Baked red potatoes, red cabbage for coleslaw
    Misc: Red apples, jello,
    Meat: meat with red sauce: spaghetti sauce, red BBQ sauce

    External Links

    February Food Holidays

    Here is a list of the Food Holidays enjoyed during the month of February. 
    Get that shopping finished because there's a lot of good food to be celebrated.
    Let's get cooking! And please... share with us if you celebrate these observances. :)

    Snack Food Month
     Sweet Potato Month
     Canned Food Month
    National Cherry Month
    • Chocolate Lovers Month
    • National Grapefruit Month 
     Bake for Family Fun Month
    National Snack Food Month

    North Carolina Sweet Potato Month
    Berry Fresh in the Sunshine State Month
    Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month

    February 1: National Baked Alaska Day
    February 2: National Heavenly Hash Day
    February 3: National Carrot Cake Day
    February 4: National Homemade Soup Day
    February 5: National Chocolate Fondue Day
    February 6: National Frozen Yogurt Day
    February 7: National Fettuccini Alfredo Day
    February 8: National Molasses Bar Day
    February 9: National Pistachio Day
    February 9: Bagels & Lox Day
    February 10: National Pizza Pie Day
    February 10: National Cream Cheese Brownie Day
    February 11: National Peppermint Patty Day
    February 12: National Plum Pudding Day
    February 13: National Tortellini Day
    February 14: National Cream Filled Chocolates Day
    February 15: International Gum Drop Day
    February 16: National Almond Day
    February 17: National Cafe au lait Day
    February 17: National Indian Pudding Day
    February 18: National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day
    February 19: National Chocolate Mint Day
    February 20: National Cherry Pie Day
    February 21: National Sticky Bun Day
    February 22: National Margarita Day
    February 23: National Banana Bread Day
    February 24: National Tortilla Chip Day
    February 25: National Clam Chowder Day
    February 25: National Chocolate Covered Peanuts Day
    February 26: National Pistachio Day
    February 27: National Strawberry Day
    February 27: National Kahlua Day
    February 28: National Chocolate Souffle Day
    February 29: ??

    Thursday, February 02, 2012

    Hot Fudge-Marshmallow Monkey Bread

    Hot Fudge-Marshmallow Monkey Bread 
    Originally uploaded by
    Recipe Pick in honor of National Chocolate Month

    Grashious me ya'll! Don't bother with the napkins because your going to want to lick your fingers with this recipe. Hot Fudge-Marshmallow Monkey Bread is fantastic and you wouldn't want to serve it any other way but hot hot hot! This recipe is not only made with hot fudge ice cream topping but it has marshmallows in it too. I wonder if this recipe would work with marshmallow cream? I might test it and see. I just love pull-apart food!


    • 1 tablespoon LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
    • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)
    • 1 can (10.2 oz) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (5 biscuits)
    • 13 large marshmallows
    • 1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter
    • 1/2 cup Smucker's® Hot Fudge Ice Cream Topping
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 tablespoon Hershey’s® Special Dark® baking cocoa

    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Cut all 13 biscuits into quarters; set aside.
    2. In large microwavable bowl, place marshmallows, 1/2 cup butter, hot fudge topping and vanilla. Microwave uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once, until melted. Using wire whisk, stir until smooth.
    3. In medium bowl, stir sugar and cocoa until blended.
    4. Carefully place 1/4 of the biscuit pieces into hot chocolate mixture, gently folding in to coat. Add another 1/4 of the biscuits, gently folding in to coat. Using tongs, remove biscuits from chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip off. Drop 1 biscuit piece at a time into sugar mixture; spoon sugar over biscuit to coat. Layer biscuits in cake pan. Repeat with remaining biscuits. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over biscuits.
    5. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; carefully turn plate and pan over. Remove pan; immediately scrape any remaining topping in pan onto bread. Pull apart warm bread to serve.

    We Started Hot Breakfast Month with a Hot Breakfast

    Perfect for National Hot Breakfast Month!

    It's foggy and rainy outside so I wanted to enjoy a hot breakfast that wasn't as heavy as biscuits-n-gravy. I decided to go with a breakfast souffle or maybe you call it a casserole, quiche or keish. Which-ever you want to call it. As you can see I make it thick, thick, thick! So thick that it reaches the top of my baking dish every time I make it. I don't know.... the traditional thin stuff doesn't cut it for me. Lol! I need it thick and fluffy if it's going to satisfy me.

    Today I made it with crab meat, mushrooms, onions and 3 cheeses. I don't really follow a recipe. I just use what ever I've got in the frig and run with it. I start out with 7, 8 or 9 eggs (depends on what I have) - about a cup of heavy cream - at least a cup of meat & veggies (today I used about a cup of mushrooms & a cup of crab meat) - a bit of green onions (2) or chopped white onions - cream cheese chunks if I have it and tons of cheese! I bet it's about 2 cups. One cup in the mix and 1 cup of grated on top of the dish at the last 10 minutes of baking.

    Pack it for a light lunch:
    My Hubby loves it packed in his lunch and can eat it for breakfast, dinner or supper. Now I can't do that. If it's full of eggs I would rather just eat it for breakfast or brunch but Stephen lovesss keish packed in his lunch. When I make it I only want to eat it fresh out of the over but the hubby can eat it hot or cold. He has me freeze the left-overs in to-go containers so he can put in his lunch box.

    February is National Hot Breakfast Month:
    I was doing some reading about this observance and found an article on that says...
    "The history of celebrating Breakfast in the month of February was actually created by the Jimmy Dean Foods division of the Sara Lee Corporation. Jimmy Dean Foods is known for producing heat-and-serve breakfast dishes (most notably with Jimmy Dean Brand Sausage) and found that over 60% of Americans eat cold cereal or another non-hot breakfast each day. This is why they started a month-long holiday to promote interest in hot breakfast options."  They have a list of breakfast recipes too.

    Here's a Pillsbury quiche recipe that I posted in December.

    January 2: Happy Groundhog Day!
    I understand the groundhog saw his shadow so I guess it's 6 more weeks of Winter weather.


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