Thursday, June 9, 2016

Jalapeno Cheese Spread

Jalapeño Pub Cheese
Adapted from: Nicole's Favorite Recipes

8 oz cream cheese
3 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
3 TB heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Horseradish 
1/2 jar of pickled jalapeños (or desired amount, this amount gave just enough of a 'kick' to the dip)
1/4 cup Blue Moon beer (no light beers)

Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, heavy cream, salt, mustard, horseradish, and jalapeños in a food processor until smooth. Add beer and continue processing until creamy. Store in refrigerator, remove one hour before serving. Best served with pretzels and crackers.

Friday, February 12, 2016

15 Things I Wish I Knew Before {Getting a Puppy}

These are all things I learned through trial and error and wish I had known BEFORE getting a puppy. They are a lot of work, but if you do things right, it makes it all worth the work you put in.

Meet Arrow, my puppy.

It took me months of convincing my dad to let me get Arrow. Telling him that it would be good for the family, that she would bring some happiness, that I'd finally have a jogging buddy, and that it'd be nice for when the brothers wanted to go on hiking trips. I didn't know what I was getting myself into, but I knew I wanted one.

When I finally convinced my dad, he told me I needed to write up a contract. He didn't want to be stuck with a dog after I got married (This was before I met Prince Charming) or moved out. So that's just what I did. It took me an hour to whip up and show him I was serious about getting a puppy. I think after he saw the contract (View my contract HERE), he saw how committed I was and how badly I wanted her.

Here's 15 Things I Wish I Knew Before (Getting a Puppy):

1. Getting a puppy is like having a baby. Now I haven't had a baby yet, but this is how I imagine it being. They are a lot of work. Puppies are most likely easier than a baby, but you get my point.

2. You get little to no sleep the first couple weeks. You'll be up multiple times in the night taking them potty.

3. There is nothing sweeter than **puppy snuggles. (**except for maybe baby snuggles!)

4. They need constant supervision, unless, of course, they are sleeping, and they sleep ALOT.

5. They WILL pee and/or poop on your carpet. (As I wrote this, my puppy snuck to the kitchen and peed! ha!) No matter how hard you try not to let it happen. I came up with a Potty Schedule that everyone uses in our household so we know when the last time she went #1 or #2. Even with the schedule you'll have accidents. You can view the Potty Schedule HERE. Since I've gotten Arrow, she hasn't pooped once in the house. Thankfully she runs to the door and scratches at it. If only she'd do that when she needed to pee......

6. Crate them. I had to sign a contract from my puppy's breeders that I would buy a crate before I got her, or they wouldn't let me take her home. The crate has become my best friend and babysitter (when I leave the house). This also becomes their safe haven and they will eventually go in without you telling them to.

7. Enjoy them. They may have frustrated you through out the day, but sit down and take a breather and play with them.

8. This goes with #5, don't yell or make a big fuss over them peeing (this one is a hard one. It's hard not to say "Nooooooooo! STOP!"). Simply ignore them, clean the mess, and quickly take them outside to relieve themselves completely (they won't in the house). I keep scraps of old towels and leave them in different places to quickly grab when she's made a mess.

9. They are expensive their first year as a puppy. You'll want to get: toys, a crate, a baby monitor (so you can hear them at night), something for them to chew (raw hides, bones, a Kong, etc), and not to mention all the vet visits the first couple months! Oy!

10. Go to your Library and grab every book, or DVD you can on puppies. This helped A TON. I found which one I liked the most, and stuck with it. Our favorite was Cesar Milan.

11. Make your own treats! It's so easy, and so much better for your puppy. There's so much junk in treats, its just not worth it to me to have her get sick. I cut and sliced 1 pound of cow liver and dried it in our dehydrator (this is by far her favorite treat and comes in handy during training!). Yeah, your house may stink for 24 hours or less, but totally worth it. I also made dog treats.

12. They need to chew. I can't stress enough how important it is for getting chew toys, and bones! If she starts chewing on something she's not supposed to, I quickly redirect her to chew on her toy/raw hide and she'll sit there for up to 30+ minutes chewing. She hasn't touched any of our furniture (Knock on wood!)!

13. Be consistent from day one. This one was a little hard for some of us. Especially when she was 'being so cute!' when she was getting into things she wasn't supposed to. No matter how cute they may be, it won't look cute later when they are older.

14. Introduce your puppy to other dogs, and people. Especially kids. I like to put her in certain situations so later on I don't have to worry about her snapping at kids, men, or whoever. I have 8 nieces and nephews and they are over quite a bit. I make sure they give her commands just like I would ('No.' 'Off!', 'Sit', 'Stay' etc.) and believe it or not, she listens to the youngest of the nephews.

15.  Before they enter or exit a house, make them sit. It was important to me that she learn this from the start. I didn't want my dog entering my house or anyone's house without me entering first, and without me saying it was okay for her to enter. If I didn't do this, she'd rush out the door before me. Anytime she has to go out to potty, she sits and waits for me to put my shoes on and for the okay from me to come outside.

My dad likes to say 'She's a DOG! Not a human!' but he's always the one that spoils her. He definitely has a soft spot for her, even if it was a little hard to get him to say yes about getting her. If you can't tell he's got her in his jacket all snuggled up! (It was -13 degrees that day)
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Easy Glazed Doughnuts

It's my first year in New Jersey, and getting to experience my first blizzard was kind of awesome! We got about 2 feet of snow, which is more then I've ever seen in least where I lived! The snow was so bad, both Prince Charming and I had the day off from work. So, before playing in the snow, I whipped these up.

Now, I judge a good doughnut by how it tastes the next day. Does it still have that crunch around the edges the next day? Does it still taste just as good as it did the first day? This recipe past the test! I sent a few over to my next door neighbors as well, and got a call the next day saying these were awesome! 

The best part was that it took me less then 30 minutes to put together!

Easy Glazed Doughtnuts

2 Tbls. Vinegar
6 Tbls. milk
2 Tlbs. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking soda 
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon


3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Stir the vinegar into the milk, and let stand for a few minutes until thick. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well blended. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture alternating with the vinegar and milk. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/3 inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts using a donut cutter. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry doughnuts in the hot oil until golden, turning over once. Drain on paper towels. 

For the Glaze: In a bowl mix powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and milk together. I made mine pretty thick so the glaze didn't drip down a lot. 

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies

These turned out so yummy, considering the strawberries were freeze dried strawberries rather than ripe or dried strawberries. They still had the strawberry taste!

I like to beat/cream my butter and sugars together on high for 6-8 minutes so it becomes white and fluffy. I feel like it changes the whole cookie doing this. If you like flat cookies, by all means, don't beat/cream the butter for 6-8 minutes, it's my personal preference and my brothers have always loved it this way.

Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies
makes about 5 dozen cookies

2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 oz freeze dried Strawberries
2 cups white chocolate chips

In a mixer cream butter, and sugars for 6-8 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix. Stir in freeze dried strawberries and white chocolate chips.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. 

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Fritter Salad

I don't know about you, but I love quick and easy dinners, sometimes. We had left over chicken from the night before, and I reeeeeeallly didn't want to make Chicken Noodle Casserole. It's on the top 10 dinners I really dislike. So instead I came up with this recipe, that might be a little tiny bit better than Chicken Noodle Casserole for you.

This was so simple to put together, it took about 30 minutes total. There was a lot of moaning and groaning about how good it was all through dinner. I love that sound! :) This is definitely one of my new favorite dinners!

Buffalo Chicken Fritter Salad

For Fritters:
4 cups chicken, diced small
1/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1 egg
2 Tbls. mayonnaise
3 green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Oil (I used palm oil)

Ranch (Here's my recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix!)
Gorgonzola Cheese

In a bowl mix chicken, hot sauce, egg, mayo, garlic, and onions. Spoon desired amount of mixture into flour and coat evenly. It's pretty loose, so I packed the fritters pretty firmly as I coated them. Drop into a oiled pan, and fry 5-7 minutes each side. Let cool, and add to your salad.

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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hamburger Hash

This is my family's go to meal when both my Fairy Godmother and I have been working the same shifts all day and aren't really in the mood to whip up something big and messy. This only takes about 30 minutes to make, the Dwarfs love it and it makes great leftovers for the morning if we're having eggs for breakfast! It's so easy to make, even the Dwarfs have made this a few times! :)

There's a secret ingredient we add to our potatoes that makes it so much yummier. Sugar. I'm not talking about tons of sugar, I'm talking, barely sprinkle sugar over the top of the meat and potatoes. I promise you'll never know its in there, unless you put too much in. This is Doc's favorite thing to do with our potatoes. Sometimes I'll turn around and he's over my potatoes in the skillet sprinkling sugar! I definitely think it adds to the flavor of everything! This is something Doc's family does to their potatoes too, and where he got it from! :)

The ingredients change every time we make this. We use whatever vegetables we have in our fridge that week.

Hamburger Hash

1 pound ground beef, cooked
1/2 tsp. montreal steak seasoning
1/2 red onion, chopped small
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped small
1 garlic clove, minced
6 mushrooms, chopped small
1-2 Tbls. coconut oil
6-8 potatoes, cubed

In a cast iron skillet, season the beef with desired seasoning (I used montreal steak seasoning)cook ground beef and set aside in a bowl. Add onion, bell peppers and mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the garlic and take off heat, and add the veggie mixture to your meat bowl and mix together.
Spoon about a tablespoon of coconut oil into your skillet and add your cubed potatoes and cook until soft. Add your meat/veggie mixture and mix until combined.  Sprinkle sugar lightly and mix. Sprinkle cheese on top and serve.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Homemade Ranch Mix

This Homemade Ranch Mix is something we always have on hand here! It's so easy to make, and we usually have all the ingredients in our pantry anyway. I actually prefer this ranch mix over Hidden Valley Ranch mix, or any off brand mixes!

Here's what you'll need:
4 oz mason jar
Small bowl

Homemade Ranch Mix
makes one 4oz jar 
recipe from Country Woman Magazine

4 1/2 tsp. Parsley Flakes
1 Tbls. chives, dried
1 Tbls. Garlic powder
2 tsp. Lemon-Pepper Seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. Tarragon, dried
1 1/2 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Salt

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Transfer to a 4 oz jar. Shake well before using. Makes one jar.

For Salad Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
In a small bowl whisk the mayonnaise, buttermilk and 1 tablespoon ranch mix. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

For dip:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (8oz) cup sour cream
In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and 2 tablespoons mix. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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