Simply Sweet Home

Recipes, Decor, Crafts, Product Reviews, Giveaways and more.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Chicken Florentine Casserole

This week's recipe comes from All Recipes. It is for Chicken Florentine Casserole. Personally I'd leave out the mushrooms, as my husband and I aren't too fond of the vegetable (except of course as an ingredient in cream of mushroom soup.) I'd also suggest adding angel hair pasta. Users of the All Recipes sites have made some other suggestions about the recipe that you may want to read as well.

Anyway, I don't really eat spinach, but I love Spinach Dip, and one day when I went to each lunch with my mom at her resturant, she was having Chicken Florentine. The item was not something that was on the menu, but she told it could be made quite easily, topping a piece of grilled chicken with spinach dip; it was made even better by mixing some spinach dip with some pasta, and placing the chicken on top. I decided to try it, and I loved it. Last week I decided to search for a spinach dip recipe as well as a recipe for chicken florentine. This was seemed to be one of the easiest and most appetizing of all the ones that I found, so here it is. I hope you like it!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup butter
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 (13.5 ounce) cans spinach, drained
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup bacon bits
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the chicken breast halves on a baking sheet; bake 20 to 30 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, mix in the garlic, lemon juice, cream of mushroom soup, Italian seasoning, half-and-half, and Parmesan cheese.
Arrange the spinach over the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking dish. Cover the spinach with the mushrooms. Pour half the mixture from the saucepan over the mushrooms. Arrange chicken breasts in the dish, and cover with the remaining sauce mixture. Sprinkle with bacon bits, and top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes in the 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) oven, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sweet Thursday: Why eat Chocolate Cake when you can have Chocolate Chocolate Cake?

This post is two-fold. It is an opportunity to tell you about one of my favorite desserts, but it's also a chance for me to tell you about a couple of great organizations.

I couple of weeks ago, I told you guys that I was attending the The Arc of Morgan County's "Kids on the Block" Chocolate & Dessert Festival. The Arc is an advocacy organization that works with people who have diabilities & provides counseling and assitance to their families. The Kids on the Block is an organization that began in the late 70s, and one of the things it does it that it travels around and does puppet shows at schools and other locations. The shows are aimed at promoting tolerance and understanding to those who have disabilities. And they promote positive behavior, with an anti-gang, & anti-drug & alcohol message. I remember being a kid in elementary school and seeing the show at a few school assemblies. It was entertaining & it was also a learning experience. Little did I know of how big the organization would be and just how much they were doing, even beyond the puppet show.

The festival I attended takes place each year just before Valentine's Day. Local businesses participate and bring desserts to be sampled, which gives them promotion, and visitors purchase a ticket to come in and sample all the great food, and all the money goes to charity. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Now just so you know I am not affiliated with O'Charley's. My mother is employed at O'Charley's, however, she does not even know I'm writing this post. Anyway, this year the O'Charley's booth featured Key Lime Pie & O'Charley's Chocolate Chocolate Cake. By the way, the Key Lime Pie is outstanding. It tastes like something your mom or grandmother would make, and I highly recommend it.

As for the Chocolate Chocolate Cake...yum! I love this cake. It is one of my favorite desserts to get a resturant and overall one of my favorite desserts period. It almost has sort of a dark & decadant taste to it, but it is also sweet & rich. I sometimes tell my husband, "I have to get a bite of icing to tone down the richness is of the cake." And the great thing about this cake is that you can get it to go, and it's good just out of the refrigerator, & it's also a great dessert to heat up in the microwave. (I prefer it cold personally) And as far as resturant desserts go, this is a way better value than most. One slice is big enough to share between at least two people if not three or four. In fact I went out to lunch with 3 ladies that I worked with, and we all split a piece of the cake and still had a little left over. I will say, the cake may be a little rich for some, but if have a sweet tooth and you're a chocolate lover, you'll like this cake.
If you're interested, check out O'Charley's menu & current specials:
O'Charley's Desserts - (I recommend the Cinnamon Sugar Donuts & the Caramel Pie as well)

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Safety Concerns & The Magic Eraser

A reader left an interesting comment about the Magic Eraser product view that I posted. The comment stated that the Magic Eraser contains formaldehyde; this concerned me, and so I decided to check it out. I responded to the post in the comments section, citing statements made from the Mr. Clean website, but for some reason whenever I try to post the link on the comments page I cannot get the entire link to come up, so I decided to post it again Here.

Here is some of the information from the site:

"A recent television broadcast may have raised concerns about an ingredient in Magic Eraser. Be assured Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is completely safe when used according to directions, and poses no health risks or safety concerns. Here are some facts about the ingredients used in Magic Eraser:

The ingredients in Magic Eraser have been safely and commonly used for many years in a wide range of household products.

Formaldehyde is not and has never been an ingredient in Magic Eraser. One ingredient in Magic Eraser (formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer) contains the word "formaldehyde" in its chemical name. However, this ingredient is not formaldehyde and poses no health or safety risks. (Think of this name like "sodium chloride", which is table salt. Sodium by itself can be dangerous, but sodium chloride - salt - is safe.).

Magic Eraser is considered non-toxic. As with any sponge-like product, when swallowed this product may block the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, we do advise to keep this product out of the reach of children and pets to avoid accidental ingestion - it is not a toy.

It is possible that formaldehyde may be present in minute, trace amounts as a result of the manufacturing process. Even then, the amount present is significantly lower than standards established by governmental agencies and trade associations, and is actually less than what is found in indoor air.

In fact, no ingredients in Magic Eraser are subject to any health-related labeling laws in North America or in the European Union."

Of course, you can do the research and decide for yourself whether you want to use the product. For other information on safety, see the following:

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Hello everyone. I'm happy to say that my menu last week was a success. And the white sauce I made turned out to be delicious. I'll be sure to post the recipe in the near future. Now moving right along to this week's menu. I'm planning to make few of mine & my husband's favorite dishes this week, and I've also found a new recipe to try for Chicken Florentine (which will more than likely be an upcoming recipe of the week, so stay tuned!)

Monday - Grilled chicken sandwiches w/ fries.
Tuesday - Chicken & Dumplins w/ pinto beans & cornbread (one of my fave meals)
Wednesday - Chicken florentine casserole w/ steamed vegetables (new recipe!)
Thursday - Ham steak & leftovers from Tuesday & Wednesday
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - eating out, probably Chinese or Applebees
Sunday - Cheeseburger Macaroni, corn & veggies

For more menu planning ideas, go to


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Product Review: Cleaning Up with the Magic Eraser

The other night I walked outside to look at the eclipse and a bug flew in from outside. Without thinking I picked up one of my husband's black tennis shoes and went in for the kill. Unfortunately I completely missed the bug but did manage to cream the wall, leaving a small black scuff mark. Dissapointed with my efforts, I decided to leave the bug killing to my husband, and I meanwhile went to retrieve the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. My husband used this product in his delivery business whenever a customer's wall or floor accidentally got marked or scratched, and I found one in his tool bag one day and asked about it. He said I could take it in and try it. So the other night it seemed like the perfect time.

To use the magic eraser, you simply run water on the sponge, squeeze it out, and rub it over the mark. And it really is like magic! With very little effort on my part, the mark came right off. I then went through the house looking for other marks. We just moved in to our home back in January, and I knew of several small marks that I had seen on the walls, so I inspected each and every room and took care of all the marks. What a great tool to keep walls and floors looking clean and new! And finally I took it into the bathroom and used it on the tub, and amazingly it took the soap scum right off!

The product is also said to be good when used on stoves, microwaves, and other metal kitchen appliances, as well as plastic furniture, your child's swing set & other outdoor playsets, and even the interior console, dashboard, and hubcaps of your car. Oh, and it removes crayon too. (I know that's got to be a plus for some of us.)

I think this product is a must to have on hand. Without a doubt, this product does what the commecial says it will do, and it is a great value for the money! I will definitely buy this product again in the future

Labels: ,

Friday, February 22, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Maple Pork Chop Dinner

Okay, here's something a little different for this week's recipe. This idea comes from Pillsbury. This is a good meal that you can make in very little time and without dirtying up a lot of pans. It's also a nutritious meal choice especially if you add another side item such as green beans, spinach, or turnip greens. Try it out and let me know how you like it!

5 (3/4-inch-thick) pork chops
1(17-oz.) can sweet potatoes, drained*
1(16.3-oz.) can Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
3/4 cup maple-flavored syrup

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add pork chops; cook until browned on both sides. Place pork chops in ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with foil. Bake at 400°F. for 10 minutes.

Remove pork chops from oven. Move pork chops to one side of pan; drain and discard drippings. Arrange sweet potatoes around pork chops. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; arrange in pan next to pork chops and potatoes. Drizzle syrup over pork chops, potatoes and biscuits.

Return to oven. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 17 to 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and pork chops are no longer pink in center. If desired, brush biscuits with additional syrup before serving.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Simple Solutions: Creating a Shoe Station

Items that have a tendency to continously clutter a home week after week are those which we use on a dailybasis, and one of the main culprits in our house (as well as others from what I've heard) is shoes. I know I can be the worst when it comes to walking in the door, sitting on the couch, and taking off my shoes. Then the shoes will either stay there until I wear them again or until I look around the room and realize that my pair of shoes now has a few pairs of friends in the floor with him. Home Sanctuary had a post a few weeks ago where she challenged visitors of her site to go through the house and pick up shoes that are laying about and put them where they belong. She even titled her post "Do Centipedes Live Here?" I couldn't help but find this a little humorous. Anyway, her post got me to thinking about how I could avoid the centipede question and avoid constantly cluttering up the house with shoes.

First I try to make it a goal to scan the living room every couple of days and put away shoes or any other items that don't belong, which I have found is good habit to get into, saving you a lot of time and work in the long run. But then I came up with another solution as well. For those of you who have kids (which means there's a lot more shoes left out in the floor) or for those of you who never know when you're going to get some last minute company, and for those who, like me, occasionally overlook/forget about the shoes in the floor, here's another solution: Create a shoe station.
This is a designated "temporary" location for shoes. It can be a basket/hamper, a trunk, a canvas bin, a halltree or bench. (basically any kind of container that doesn't look too awkward to have in your living room/den or by the door or entryway of your home.)

You can encourage your kids to either put their shoes in their room or to put them in the "shoe station." This way the shoes won't clutter up the house, and you avoid having a kid who can't remember where they put their shoes. This is also a helpful tool for moms. Rather than picking up all the shoes and taking them back to the room of the person they belong to, you can place them all in your shoe station, and your kids can get them out later. Additionally I recommend checking the bin/basket about once a week to make sure it isn't full, and whenever you find that it is full you can have everyone to come get his/her shoes to put away in their own closet.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Hello everyone. Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday. Since going out of town last weekend I've been a bit under the weather and sort of fell behind on just about everything from checking email to cleaning house to filing & doing paperwork. My husband told me not to worry about it, but I just can't help it. I hate falling behind, especially when I have a lot of projects I'm trying to get going on top of every day work. But hopefully this week I can start "regrouping" and get back on track. So let's get started with my weekly menu.

I'm looking forward to this week. I'm making potato soup, which is a big favorite of mine. And I'm also making some chicken with white sauce, a favorite Southern recipe, made even more popular by Big Bob Gibson, originally out of Decatur, Alabama, just a few miles from where I grew up.

Here's kind of a cute story. We ate grilled chicken with white sauce all the time when I was a kid, and I just always assumed that everyone ate it everywhere until my husband informed me that nobody that he knew of served it in the Southern part of our state (where he was from) largely because it's on the gulf and they're big into seafood down here (not barbecue), and he had never had barbeque w/ white sauce till he moved to the Tennessee Valley to go to college (where he met me). Well, the first time I ever took him to eat at Bob Gibson's resturant, he got very excited when he saw the white sauce on the table, and said, "Oh, this stuff is great. I'd never had this till I moved up here. Have you tried this?" And I'm just kind of sitting there a little confused and thinking, "It's just white sauce." He was pleased when I told him that my mom had a recipe for white sauce and that I'd make it for him sometime.

Well, another blogger out of Long Island, New York (sorry I can't remember what site it was) did a post on barbeque this week, and they just happened to mention Big Bob Gibson, so I got inspired and decided it would be a good week to break out my mom's recipe and try to make it for my first time. (wish me luck)

Monday - Baked porkchops w/ rice & green beans
Tuesday - Potato soup w/ sandwiches
Wednesday - Chicken w/ white sauce, potato salad, baked beans
Thursday - Left overs
Friday - Chicken Alfredo w/ bread sticks
Saturday - Eating out
Sunday - Shrimp Stirfry

For other menu ideas, visit


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Lovin' Sweetcakes

This week's recipe comes from Kraft. This is another very cute and tasty, yet very easy dessert to make. The recipe calls for strawberry flavored jello and uses pink and red sprinkles for a Valentine's Day kind of feel. If you made Valentine cookies or some other dessert with sprinkles, then this recipe could be the perfect opportunity to use up the leftover sprinkles & stuff. And of course you can always use other flavors of jello or other colors of sprinkles to make cupcakes for all occasions. In fact this is the perfect light and fluffy recipe for spring time and great for St. Patrick's Day or Easter. Enjoy!

1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Brand Strawberry Flavor Gelatin, or any other flavor
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
1/4 cup seasonal colored sprinkles

PREPARE cake batter as directed on package. Stir in dry powered gelatin until well blended.
LINE 24 medium muffin cups with paper liners. Pour batter evenly into cups, filling each cup 1/2 full. Place a small marble or 1/2-inch ball of foil between each liner and one side of the cup, pushing the paper in to form a heart shape. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool completely; remove marble or foil.
SPREAD 2 Tbsp. whipped topping onto top of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles as desired. Store cupcakes in refrigerator.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sweet Thursday: Beautiful Valentine Cookies

Here's a last minute Valentine cookie recipe from Martha Stewart. I've seen that a lot of bloggers out there don't really celebrate Valentine's Day or don't spend a lot of money on gifts. Well, in lew of gifts you can also make your family or significant other an extra special treat. Arrange these in a gift basket or platter, add sticks to make a cookie bouquet like the ones I posted on yesterday, or simply have your family eat them straight off the baking sheet. Either way this recipe is a good choice for Valentine's Day. This recipe can be used to make plain shortbread cookies or jam cookies, and after Valentines is over, just get out some other cookie cutters to make these cookies for any and all occasions.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pale-pink or white sanding sugar (optional)
Petal dust in pink, orange, and violet tones (optional)
2/3 cup apricot or strawberry jam, slightly warmed (optional)

In bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture to mixer bowl, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Wrap dough in plastic; chill until firm, 1 hour or overnight.
To color white sanding sugar, if using: Place a few tablespoons in a small bowl. Mix in petal dust with a toothpick, a bit at a time, until desired shade is reached. Colored sanding sugar will last indefinitely.
Heat oven with two racks centered to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out hearts using any 1- to 3 1/2-inch heart cookie cutters. If desired, cut centers out of some hearts. Transfer with spatula to baking sheets. Chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using. Bake until just golden but not too brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack. Continue with dough; reroll scraps.
To make sandwich hearts: Brush bottom heart lightly with jam; cover with a second heart with center cut out; jam will adhere hearts. Fill cut-out area with more jam. Cookies will keep, in an airtight container, at room temperature for 1 week.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Beautiful Cookie Bouquets

There are so many great gift ideas out there for Valentine's Day. While some are partial to flowers, and others love candy and sweets, still others love a little bit of both, but how about this: a cookie bouquet! I found several tasty and beautiful examples. You can find these and other gifts at the links that I've provided below. And even if you don't want to shell out the extra money to buy from these sites, they could still give you a good idea to create your own cookie bouquet or gift basket. All you need is a decorative container and a little tissue paper and ribbon to create a beautiful gift.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, February 8, 2008

From the Desk of Jerri

I have just a few announcements to make. First of all, I will be out of town this weekend visiting my parents and will not return until late Monday afternoon, so most likely I won't have a Menu Plan Monday Post this week or any posts for this weekend, but please be sure to stop by next week, because I'll have some last minute ideas for Valentine's Day, which I'm sure you'll love. Also, this weekend I'm happy to report that I'll be attending the annual Chocolate Festival held at the local mall near my hometown. My mother is a manager for O'Charley's and always designs and hosts their booth, so my husband and I will be there hanging out with her and sampling the many treats. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Secondly, you should notice that in the top of the left side bar, I have added a place where you can subscribe to the Simply Sweet Home mailing list. This is sponsored by Feedblitz. I've been testing a couple of different mailing list providers over the last couple of months, and I have chosen to go with it. If you sign up you'll recieve a weekly update of current articles featured on the blog.

And additionally as a thank you to you for signing up, every month or so I will send out a "member's only" mailing which will include some special bonus feature articles, recipes, and special offers. And finally, I'm in the process of writing and creating some books/ebooks. I intend on creating a couple of big projects to sell, and then use other smaller projects as freebies. As a thank you for joining the list some of these freebies will be offered only to members or will be offered to the members first. This is my way of saying thank you for reading and taking an interest in my blog and it's also a way for me to get to know the readers.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you will all join the mailing list.


Recipe of the Week: Sweet as Kisses Pie

Here we have another great Nabisco recipe. I searched and searched for a good recipe to feature this week. I found a couple several days ago, but I must have forgotten to bookmark them. Finally after searching several sites and finding nothing that I wanted to post, I ran across this delightful pie recipe. This pie is similar to other I've made, in that it's base is cream cheese and cool whip (always a good combination). It's tasty, a little on the light side (especially if you use reduced fat/sugar ingredients), and it's with white, red, and pink color scheme, it is perfect for Valentine's Day. And to top it off, it's very easy!

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
1 cup cherry pie filling
1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)

MIX cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gently stir in 2 cups of the whipped topping.
ADD pie filling. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.
POUR into crust; spread with remaining whipped topping. Freeze at least 3 hours or overnight. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into 8 slices.

My Tips:

-Fruit lovers can top this pie with extra pieces of fruit of fruit topping.
-Try this recipe using other kinds of pie feeling such as strawberry or blueberry.
-For kids, try topping with sprinkles and other decoration.
-For kids who aren't fans of cherry, try substituting something they do like, such as a favorite candy bar.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sweet Thursday: Valentine Treats That Say, "I Love You!"

With Valentine's Day coming up, I wanted to throw in an extra Sweet Thursday Post. I meant to post this hours ago, but I got busy with some paper work & housework, and the time just totally got away from me, but at least I got a lot of important things done. Well, for this post I've chosen 2 very sweet Valentine treats: cupcakes and cookies. I truly love both of these desserts. These would be great to take to a school party or give to friends and coworkers or to that special someone in your life. And you could use these ideas for other occasions as well. With desserts like these, who needs those little candy hearts?

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) white cake mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon butter flavoring, optional
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 to 2 drops red food coloring, optional
1 to 2 drops yellow food coloring, optional
1 to 2 drops blue food coloring, optional
Directions: Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Place paper or foil liners in a heart-shaped or standard muffin tin. Fill cups half full of batter. Bake according to package directions for cupcakes. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, cream butter and shortening in a small mixing bowl. Add vanilla and butter flavoring if desired. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in milk until light and fluffy. Divide frosting into fourths; place in flour separate bowls. Leave one bowl untinted. Add food coloring to the other three bowls; stir until well blended. Frost cupcakes. Pipe untinted frosting around edges and decorate tops with Valentine phrases. Yield: 28 cupcakes.

Valentine Cookies

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Dash salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 drops oil of cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup hard cinnamon candies, finely crushed

1. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl beat sugar and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and oil of cinnamon, if desired; beat well. Add flour mixture; beat well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator about 2 hours or until firm.
2. Cut a 10x8-inch heart pattern from paper. Halve dough. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil. Place half of the dough on each cookie sheet; roll into 10x8-inch rectangles. With pattern, cut dough into heart shapes. Reserve scraps. (If dough seems too soft, freeze 30 minutes or until firm.) Use alphabet- and heart-shaped cutters to cut out a message from each cookie. Remove dough from cutters.
3. Spoon candy into cutouts to fill holes to level of the dough. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until candy is melted and cookies are done. Cool on cookie sheets. Peel foil from cookies. Reroll dough scraps; cut with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the 375 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Cool on pan. Makes 2 large and 6 small cookies (18 servings).

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Easy, Cute, & Crafty Valentine Gifts

With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to highlight some Valentine treats, gifts, and crafts. Here are just a few that I've found. I think some of the best gifts are the one's we make ourselves, and the one's I've featured here are both affordable and simple, but nonetheless special.

Cardstock and candy make up this cute craft. Give these as a cute valentine treat or attach them to your own handmade giftbags.

These bookmarks are a great kid craft & a good gift for your favorite bookworm.

Valentine Candleholder
Take a candle holder, vase, or glass jar and add a few embellishments to make a beautiful gift for friends or for yourself.

Wool Heart Pillow
A little fabric and a little sewing goes a long way to make these cute & colorful heart pillow. Use as an accent piece for a couch or add a hanger to make it more versatile.

Valentine Basket
This is an easy and fun craft for kids and adults. Create colorful heart shaped baskets for Valentine cards and treats.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 4, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Last week I tried out the chicken noodle casserole, and it was absolutely delicious. In fact, as I went though the preparation process, I had a taste, and it was so good that I decided to leave out a couple of ingredients. In fact, it tasted just like a recipe for chicken & dumplings that a friend of my family used to make. I took a photo of the dish & will definitely do a separate post on this recipe very soon in the future. Now time to look at this week's menu.

Monday - Buffalo Chicken Fingers & Fries
Tuesday - Lemon Chicken w/ Brocolli & herb rice
Wednesday - Beef Stroganoff w/ steamed vegetables
Thursday - Chicken & Stuffing Skillet w/ corn & green beans
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - Eat out
Sunday - Beef & Bean Burritos

View other menus here.


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate and Cherries Fudge Torte

I'm a little later than usual on posting my recipe of the week, but I think this week's recipe should be well worth the wait. I plan on posting some Valentine recipes over the next couple of weeks, and this is the first one. It was a hard choice this week; there is so much stuff out there! This recipe comes from Hersheys. Normally I'd have some kind of comment, but I think this one speaks for itself.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup chilled whipping cream
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling, chilled
1-3/4 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S MINI KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9-inch springform pan, or line 9-inch round cake pan with foil; grease bottom of foil.
2. Stir together melted butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Add eggs; using spoon, beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating with spoon until well blended. Spread batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cake is set. (Cake is fudgey and will not test done.) Remove from oven; cool completely in pan on wire rack.
4. Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl until well blended. Beat cream until stiff; gradually fold into cream cheese mixture, blending well. Spread over top of torte; refrigerate several hours or until set. With knife loosen cake from side of pan; remove side of pan. (Or, lift torte out of pan, using foil; remove foil.).
5. Just before serving, put chocolates in 6-inch-wide heart outline in center of cake. Fill heart shape with cherries from pie filling; put chocolates all around outside edge. Serve cold, cut into wedges, with remaining pie filling. Cover; refrigerate leftover dessert. 10 to 12 servings.

Labels: , , ,