Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday Surf'n Turf

The Family and I ventured to the beach today. A big thank you to Aunt Cindy for letting us graciously use the deck and the pool because it was H-O-T!!!! The water was beautiful, although a little seaweedy.

We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and got a lot of sun! On a good note- I'm now officially not the palest resident in Florida!!! I feel a great sense of accomplishment about this. A little tan does a body good. :)

So since we did the surf today, I thought I would give you the Turf as the recipe of the day! According to some, I have one of the best steaks around, so I'm giving away my top secret, famous-maker marinade. You would be so surprised how simple yet fabulous this is.

Steak Marinade

4 2" cut filet mignons
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Worcestershire Sauce

Place the filets in a casserole dish and season heavily with the Montreal Steak seasoning on both sides. Pour on Worcestershire sauce and let soak on each side for 30 minutes to an hour. Grill (best if medium rare-rare). You will eat nothing better! This steak marinade goes extremely well with my mashed potato recipe that I posted in a previous post! Enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Talapia!

The family and I went to Baytowne last night to catch the fireworks off the pier. They were gorgeous dispite how humid and muggy it was outside!

And in honor of being on the pier, I'm following that up with some Parmesan Herb Crusted Talapia!!!

Parmesan Herb Crusted Talapia

4 talapia filets
cooking spray
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. minced green onions
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs, I used panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.
Place fish on a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Combine cheese, mayo, and onions and spread evenly over fish. Combine breadcrumbs and herbs, salt and pepper, and sprinkle evenly over the fish. Lightly coat fish with cooking spray. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Breakfast gourmet style!

My parents made the big trek to visit me this week and for their first morning here at the house I thought I would do something special. Who can resist a cream cheese danish!? Especially a homemade cream cheese danish!? This would be fabulous to take to a brunch. My only suggestion would be to make it the night before so that the cream cheese has a chance to set up before being served. Serving it out of the oven makes for a gooey, hot mess. But it's still sooooo goood!

Cream Cheese Danish
2 (8oz) cream cheese room temp
1 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling on top
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
2 cans crescent rolls
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray. Press one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom of the pan. In a medium size bowl, mix together the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla with a hand mixer. Once mixed, spread on top of the crescent rolls, then top with the remaining can of crescent rolls. Brush the top with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Let cool.

You will be known as a pastry chef with this dish! My husband can't keep his hands out of it! :) Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Alright ladies out there, The Hubs has taken up a new hobby, golf. Why can't guys pick a hobby that's frugal and cheap? Then again ladies, I guess scrapbooking, jewelry making, and party planning isn't necessarily the least expensive of things. :) I'm really going to try to post a recipe that correlates with each party or just plain a recipe a day. I think that this golf party idea is so cute. It can be done for his birthday or Father's Day, or even for the ladies out there that like to golf!

All of these things can be done with a little help of your Hubs' golf parafanalia! Tees, golf balls, grass, you could even do divot repair tools as party favors. has golf divots personalized for about $2.75 each. They would make a great filler for a vase or apothecary jar as well! You could also do up a party favor like Martha Stewart and create a little favor box with a golf ball and tee.

So with the golf theme in mind, my recipe for today are going to be golf cake balls!

You could do these and stick them in an urn of tall grass so that the balls are sitting on the grass like a golf ball would, or....

You could do these which would take a little more work but be just as cute!

Cake Ball recipe
1 box of a cake mix (flavor of your chosing)
1 container of frosting (flavor of your chosing)
either milk chocolate or white chocolate almond bark (keep in mind with the white chocolate you can use food coloring to color them whatever color you would like!)

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes. When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.
Melt chocolate coating in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the chocolate cake mixture. Dip the balls in chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place on waxed paper to set.

For the cake balls as golf balls, one additional step would be needed. After you create your ball of cake you would need to put the sucker stick in the cake ball before dipping it in the chocolate. Then you would need to put the stick of the cake ball upright to allow it to dry.

For the chocolate cake balls with the grass patch, you will need to get vanilla frosting and use gel food coloring to color it the green of your liking. Then you will need to use a decorator's bag, and pipe on the grass. On a toothpick make your flag out of colored paper and then gently stick it in the cake ball.

** Hint ** If you do not have a decorator bag on hand, you can put the icing in a ziploc bag, secure and cut a little hole in the corner of the bag and it will work just as well!

Happy golfing and hopefully there will be no hazards!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Party food!!!

First of all, let me start by saying a huge Happy Birthday to my brother-in-law Andrew! And in honor of his birthday I'm going to post my favorite party foods!

Todd's favorite Brown Sugar Smokies

1 (16oz) pkg. little smokies
1 lb. bacon
1 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut bacon into thirds and wrap each strip around a smokie. Secure the bacon to the smokie with a toothpick and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the smokies with brown sugar and bake until bacon is crisp and sugar is melted. About 20-25 minutes.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Shots

All you really need for this one is grilled cheese cut into 1/8 triangles, tomato soup, tall shot glasses and party picks. I think it's a super cute idea!

Bacon Pineapple Bites

1 lb. bacon
1 can large chunk pineapple
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375F.
Cut the pound of bacon in half. Put the brown sugar in a shallow bowl. Take a half a slice of bacon and dredge it through the brown sugar. Put a chunk of pineapple on one end of the bacon slice and roll up. Secure with a toothpick.

Bake for at least 25 minutes, or until the bacon looks brown and crispy.

Mini Brie Bites

6 oz brie cheese
12 pre-made phyllo cups
1 jar of your favorite preserves

Preheat oven to 350F.
Remove casing from brie. (For easier removal of casing, put brie in the freezer for a few minutes. This will also make it easier to cut the brie up in cubes.)
Cut brie into 1/2″ cubes.
Place mini shells on a baking sheet. Put one 1/2″ cube of brie in each mini shell.
Top each brie-filled mini shell with a little of the preserve (almost 1/2 teaspoon).
Bake in 350F oven for 7 minutes or until brie has melted. Be careful to keep an eye on it so shells don’t burn.
The possibilities are endless with this. Apricot preserves, strawberry jam, even apple butter!

BLT Bites

1 lb. bacon
cherry tomatoes
toast cut into little squares

Precook your bacon. You do not want it too crispy. You will need to put a toothpick through it. Cut the bacon into quarters and then assemble with a toothpick. Toast with a little bit of mayo,bacon, lettuce then tomato on top. You may want to garnish them with a little fresh ground pepper.

Queso with a Twist

1 block velvetta cheese
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 can rotel
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb ground beef or sausage or both

Brown ground beef or sausage (or both) in a pan over medium heat and set aside. Cut up the Velveeta and cream cheese into cubes and place into a crock pot. Pour in the Rotel and the cream of mushroom soup and stir ingredients together. Place the crock pot on low setting for an hour, letting the ingredients meld. After about 30 minutes, add the browned meat and continue to let cook, stirring as needed.
Serve with tortilla chips!

I have many, many more, but they are going to have to wait because I'm going to do a week of appetizer recipes starting Sunday!!! Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chalkboard obsession!

One of my latest obsessions is chalkboard paint! I think it's one of the most novel things on the planet! I've made several different things with it and I love them all! Here are a few of my favorite chalkboard ideas!

Placemats! How awesome is this!? You could also use this as a cheese tray to display the names of the cheeses for a wine and cheese party.

For beverages! They sell these drink glasses at Pier 1 along with carafes.

I think my obsession began after seeing the movie "Because I Said So." Mandy Moore in the movie had an old school refridgerator painted with chalkboard paint and she had her grocery list written on it. I loved it!!!

Spice jars get a face lift with chalkboard paint!

Fashionable Organization!

Herb gardens get an identity!

I made these doorhangers at Christmas so kids can count down the days until Santa comes!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ideas for little tots birthdays!

I've been going through my things this week and I've gotten quite the plethora of ideas for children's parties.

First up on the list, a Bedtime Story Party!

I thought this was too cute! Twin sized sheets are used as tableclothes with a pillow at one end to resemble a bed. Another thing you could do is have all the kids show up in cute pajamas! The possibilities are endless. Ask the children to bring their favorite bedtime story as a gift to the birthday boy or girl.

Next we have the Alice in Wonderland tea party!

They decorated chairs for each birthday girl and put their name on it with their favorite decorations.

Decorating with teacups and saucers on stakes in your yard is a nice touch.

Having cookies that say "Eat Me" and bottled drinks that say "Drink Me" are an awesome way showing the Alice in Wonderland style.

Teacupcakes are a great way to present dessert or use them as a centerpiece. These teacupcakes and saucers can be found at

And the last little one that just makes me smile is the Little Gentlemen Party.

How cute are the mustaches on a stick!? I thought this was super cute!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Birthday BaBa!

Today is my husband's sweet grandmother's birthday. There are very few women I have known in my life that truly been the very essence of a "lady," and BaBa is just that. A Southern Belle at their finest. She could out-write Emily Post in a book on etiquette. She is always concerned with the well-being of others before herself and in my opinion, she should be treated like a queen. Having my family so far away, I have adopted Todd's family as if they were my own blood. We went to see her today on Todd's lunch and she was too concerned that Todd was taking off work to see her. It was cute. BaBa is a diabetic and being the domestic diva that I am, I tried my hand at a diabetic friendly pound cake. Of course, I had to give it a taste just to see if it was worth eating. It wasn't too bad. Of course it wasn't near as good as BaBa's cream cheese pound cake, but it was decent for a person that doesn't get sugar. Of course she loved it, but would she really tell me any different!? It turned out to be a pretty cake nonetheless. I only wish I could give my children and future generations the legacy that Mrs. Barbara Wilson has given her family. Happy Birthday BaBa! We love you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Internation Sensation...

Several months ago I had a family member ask me to make a painting for his friend in Bangladesh. He was going back to the country on business and wanted to take Mr. B something from the United States. Mr. B loves music and I did a painting that expressed that, music.

I had been told that Mr. B was building a house. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that he would've had a cabinet built specifically for the painting I did! When Mr. B received the painting he loved it and invited Tim to come and see it and the cabinet he had built. How cool is this!?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My husband said it was "Moss-some"...

I got a wild hair today and decided to make myself a new doornament. I'm not one for the traditional wreath, so I came up with this mossy monogram.

To do this project, you will need the following:

12" letter of your choosing
1 bag Spanish moss
Glue gun and glue sticks

First, lay your letter out and with the hot glue gun spread some glue over part of the letter and attach moss.

It will look a little fuzzy at first. Repeat gluing sections of moss until the entire letter is covered. Then you will need to go back with your scissors and trim up the scraggles to make it look shaped and clean.

Cut two pieces of ribbon about 12" long. Flip your letter over and hot glue the ribbon to the back so that you can tie it in a bow.

After the hot glue is dry, hang that "moss-some" monogram on your door!

My newest obsession... umbrellas!

I just have to share my newest obsession, umbrellas! I think they are just the cutest things to decorate with, superstitions aside. These make fantastic large centerpieces for showers, and for us folk in the Redneck Riviera, these would make great centerpieces for the self-acclaimed "Hurricane Parties" that we have!

I know you're probably thinking that buying umbrellas for centerpieces would be quite costly. However, check your dollar stores, even walmart has a straight handled umbrella for $5. Or you could go the parasol route and they are even cheaper!

Luna Bazaar has parasols in a wide range of different colors that would make great decorations as well!!!

I need a friend or family member to have a baby, any volunteers!? hahaha!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sugar Cookie Saturday!!!

I'm giving out my top secret cookie recipe today that has made me a resident celebrity down here. This is a no fail recipe, guaranteed to produce great cookies no matter what!

6 cups all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugar and butter together until fluffly, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla.
Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to butter mixture. Mix well with a mixer. The dough will seem dry and crumbly. That's the way you want it.

Put a handful of the freshly made dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll with a rolling pin to the desired thickness. (Keep in mind, depending on your cookie cutter, sometimes thicker is better.) I usually roll mine out to about 1/4" thick. Place the rolled dough, in the parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before using cookie cutters.

Use your cookie cutters to cut the desired shapes and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake on 350 for 10-12 minutes, for 1/4" thick cookies. Let cool on a wire cooling rack.

For the Royal Icing:

Look at Lil Eezy with my cookies, is she not precious!?

1 lb. confectioner's sugar, sifted
5 tbsp. meringue powder
1/2 c. water

Combine all ingredients in a bowl of a mixer. Mix until smooth and creamy, about 7-10 minutes. I typically reduce this way down and only make as much as I need. This recipe is in bulk and will typically ice all your cookies. I just like to make mine different consistencies, it helps with decorating.

Color your icing with food coloring and off you go decorating!

Some useful tips I've learned in my decorating experience:
1. Always outline your cookies and let them dry before you fill them in. It helps the icing not run over the side of your cookie.
2. When making the icing for your outline, make it a little thicker than you would the filling in. You can make the icing thicker by adding more confectioner's sugar.
3. When you go to fill in the middle of your cookies, use a spoon to push the icing to the edge of your outline.
4. Let the filled in cookies dry completely before adding additional details on the cookies.
5. When you add additional details to your cookies make sure you have thick icing again so that it doesn't spread.
6. Always stop to smell the roses. In other words, always eat one of your own beautiful creations. I have learned that after making your masterpiece, if you wait until you take them to eat one, you are very likely not to get one because they go FAST!! :)

Happy cookie making!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Fettucinni Alfredo Friday!!

This recipe of mine rivals Olive Garden's, so if you love that, then you definitely need to put this in the recipe box! It's super simple to make!

1 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 small pkg. shredded parmesan cheese (not the spaghetti kind, the ones in the little containers will work too)
1/2 c. butter
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. garlic powder (more to taste)
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp. oregano
Pasta of your choice cooked according to the directions on the box

Mix all ingredients in a large sauce pot over medium heat and heat through until the cheeses are melted and blended together, stirring frequently.

Serve with your favorite pasta and don't forget the breadsticks!!!