Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sunburn Relief

After a look weekend outside I got my first burn of the summer and boy was it bad. It was one of  those dark sunburns that almost look purple and just take all of  your energy from you. I wanted to avoid peeling so after doing some research I found a few tricks. The biggest trick was using apple cider vinegar! Surprisingly this helps absorb some of the pain and reduce the redness. I also wanted to keep my skin from peeling so I slathered on coconut oil. After drowning my self in apple cider (which, yes you will smell like feet after) and generously applying coconut oil I laid down and went to sleep. After 1 night the different is crazy! I am certainly still a little burnt but almost with no pain!

Since the initial day I applied coconut oil and lotion vigorously to avoid peeling. It has been 2 weeks since the burn and no peeling! I will sue this every time I get too much sun!

LOW CARB Cheeseburger Pie

So me and Johnny have been on the Atkins diet, which for those of you unfamiliar is a low carb diet to help shed weight fast. While the results may not be as long lasting as the others its the prefect diet for us to shed some weight before the big day in 3 months! I have been scavenging the internet for low carb meals (as much as I love tuna fish and Jimmy Johns unwich, some time you need to change things up). I found this recipe on somedayilllearn.com and oh my am I glad I found it! For any dieter...... does this look like something you can eat and lose weight?!?

Yes, it is as yummy as it looks and almost 0 CARBS! Its a win win!

2 pounds of ground beef (I used 2 packages that were together around 2.25 pounds)
3 tbsp onion powder
4 eggs
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup heavy cream (they were out at the store so I used regular whipping cream)
16 oz of shredded cheddar cheese (you can get away with blocked like I did)
Salt and Pepper to taste.


Preheat oven to to 350 degrees and start browning your meat.

Once your meat is fully cooked, drain off any excess fat. Mix in the onion powder, some salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup shredded cheese.

Dump meat into a pie dish.

In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cream, and eggs with a dash of salt and pepper. 

Pour the cream mixture of the meat in the pie dish. 

Top off the pie with your remaining shredded cheese (we decided to use the left over sharp cheddar we had)

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until bubbling. 

Enjoy! And good luck on your weight loss journey!

How to clean that DIRTY oven

I am almost too embarrassed to post this because the before picture is so bad. It should almost be against the law how dirty the oven was. My fiance has lived in the house for a few years before me with his mom. His mom moved out about 5 years ago and that is probably the last time the oven has been clean. I always wipe down the front and tops but I've never gone inside and cleaned. And let me tell you, it was horrifying how dirty it was inside. I never really did chores growing up so through my young adult life I am learning the tricks and trade of maintaining a clean home (Its surprising that I don't know all of these tricks since my mom always had one of the cleanest houses. I mean the woman cleans her floors almost everyday!). So here it is, the big before and after....

How did I turn this monster of a mess... 

Into this brand new oven?

Easy! With just these 2 products!

The Easy-Off is a magic worker!! It can be a little potent so you may need to wear a mask and gloves ( I did not but maybe a mask next time would be helpful)

First brush off any loose burnt material that you can. You can use this cleaner in a warm oven or a cool oven. I chose to use the cool over option. All you do is spray the inside and door and close it. You can leave it for 20 minutes or longer. Considering the oven hasn't been cleaned in 5 years I decide to wait longer. I let it soak for about an hour. Once the time was up, I used a scrub brush to scrub any extra gunk away. After I wiped it all down, there were a few more spots I felt needed attention so I sprayed those few spots and let it sit again for about an hour and VOILA!!! It looks like a brand new oven!!

I decided to pull the oven out and look at the sides. I was horrified how much stuff had dripped down the sides of the oven  over the years.

For the sides I took some dawn and a scrub brush and then finished it off the with Clorox wipes. (and yes I wiped the floor down too. Gross!)

Johnny is out of town for work and I bet he wont even recognize this new oven!!!

Hope these cleaning tips can help you save a few bucks on making your oven look brand new!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cake Pops !!

Cake pops are one of my most asked for concoctions. There are a variety of flavors which I will post all of them as I make them again (I unfortunately have not been good documenting cake pops in the past like some of my other desserts) This page is just for a basic understanding on how to make cake pops. I will be making a few here soon for a baby shower and I will post pictures with step by step pictures on how to do them. I first made my first big batch for a friends baby shower a few years back. We did a red velvet cake (a big crowd pleaser), Birthday cake (Johnnys Favorite) and Carrot cake. I made about 150 and there were NO left overs!!

With all cake pops you need a few things...

Cake (Rather its a box, from scratch, or premade)
Icing (From scratch or in a can)
Chocolate coating
Cake pop sticks
Toppings (optional)


First start with your cake. I like to make mine from scratch. If you make it from scratch, it might be helpful to make it a few hours earlier or the night before so you can allow the cake to cool completely.

Once your cake is cooled, crumble it into fine pieces. You can use a food processor to help thin the cake out as fine as possible.

One the cake is crumbled, mix in the frosting. I usually one 3/4-1 full can if I use it from the can depending on how thick the cake it. You want to be a nice consistency but not too saturated or the balls will not form. It is recommended to use a kitchen aid mixer or a hand mixer to make sure the frosting is spread out evenly in the dough. Allow the cake to sit for 30 minutes to tack up.

Okay! Lets get ready to roll! Take the cake and start rolling into small balls. A small ice cream scoop can help you get a better round shape. Once all the balls are rolled, we are going to get the sticks ready.

To get the sticks to stay in the cake balls, melt a little of the candy coating. Take the stick and dip about an inch in to coat the bottom of the stick. Take the freshly dipped stick and place in half way into the cake ball (You don't want to go all the way threw or the balls will not stay on). Once all the balls have their sticks in them, set them in the refrigerator for AT LEAST 30 minutes to set.

 Once your sticks are set we can start dipping the actual balls.  Take a bowl and melt the chocolate in. Be careful not to overheat the chocolate causing it to be lumpy. Take the stick, placing the ball into the chocolate until the ball is fully emerged. Pull the ball out carefully and slowly turn to the side dripping off any excess chocolate. I like to place mine on the pan for they stand up with out a stand (or you can take an un-melted chip and place it on the chip) If you have a cake pop stand, place the stick in the stand. If you are going to sprinkle anything on top of the cake pop do it as the chocolate is still wet. For Red velvet I like to use left over crumbled cake and sprinkle it over top. Its recommended to sprinkle on top of each one after you dip it individually. Once all the balls are dipped place them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before servings.

I will upload some more pictures and individual recipes by next month.

Keep in mind this can be a time consuming project so make sure you have enough time to bake, make, and refrigerate! Enjoy!

Nurse Party!

Recently one of my best friends graduated from Nursing school so it was necessary for us to throw her a fun Nursing themed party! We looked at a few things on line and came up with a few ideas of our own but overall it was a huge hit! So I would like to share with you some of the cute ideas we had for any future nurse graduates!

For the food we had lots of fun names picked out to match the "nursing" theme. We certainly saw some fun gross things we could have done with the food but for the most part we kept it light and fun!

On the table we had ....

Red velvet cake pop "Eye Poppers". Every time I make cake pops they are a huge hit! They are moist and full of flavor all made from scratch. Click here for basic cake pop recipe. 

Deadly Oreo Cupcakes. The only thing deadly about these are the consequences on your waist band! So delicious! Click here for the recipe.

Fertillized eggs! (Bacon and Jalapeno Deviled eggs) Click here for the recipe. 

Broken Elbow Salad! her nephew made this macaroni salad. Very yummy!

Bandaged toes! We used the BBQ pigs N a Blanket recipe which is far better than the original! 

Red Cross Trifle which was the hit of the night. I used the Strawberry Cheesecake Pudding recipe (found here) It was gone with in a matter of minutes! 

Black Eye Dip. This is the corn salsa I make for almost every occasion. You can find the recipe here

Sinus Infection Dip. As nasty as it may sound it was delicious. Find the fresh guacamole recipe here!

Scrub in Sweet Peppers! I made these stuffed sweet peppers for a few bridal showers! Always a big hit! Find the recipe here.

Her sister made fried Zucchini which we called crusty zucchini scabs! So yummy!

On a side table we had a pot of crock pot meat balls.
Vasectomy Specimen!

For the utensils we had them in jars labeled "Sterile utensils".

On the back of the food table we also had jars filled with candies.

Kisses for you Boo Boo.

Marshmallows for Cotton Balls. 

Wafers for Tongue Depressors. 

And Twizzlers for clogged arteries.

The drinks were where we had the most fun! We took 3 drink dispensers and filled them up with different concoctions. 

To the left we had a dragon berry punch labeled "O Positive", in the center we had a killer lemonade punch that was labeled "Urine Sample" and to the right we had some water labeled "IV Fluids"

Along with our drinks Paige made tons of Jell-O Shots!

We had some in medicine cups labeled morning medicine.

And some "Flu Shots" Jell-O shots.

Along with our Bio Hazard bowl for already loved syringes. 

For decorations we took a skeleton that Paige had from class and scattered them around the area. 

We also bought prescription bottles off amazon and drilled holes in them for Christmas lights. They turned out awesome!

We also put a basket by the door for cards with a cute sign.

She had a blast dressed in her red and white! Congrats again!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

No Mayo - Light Pasta salad

With summer here and BBQ season in full effect who doesn't love a good pasta salad? What we don't love is all the extra calories that come with it! I found this recipe on happygrandmaprojects.com. It is a lightened version of a fun ans zesty pasta salad! And it was easy to prepare!

5 cups cooked small pasta shells 
3/4 cups chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped onions
8 oz. mini-cubed ham
8 oz frozen peas
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
16 oz light sour cream
1/2 cup french dressing
1/2 tablespoon Lawrys Seasoned salt (or and preferred seasoning)
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheese (we used cheddar)
optional - diced celery or green pepper.

Cook the pasta according to the package and drain. Once pasta is ready mix the sour cream, french dressing, and seasonings. Set aside. Toss in the peas, cooked ham, carrots, and onion in with the cooked shells. Stir in the sour cream mixture. Once all is mixed well, place in the fridge for several hours. Serve cold. Its a great substitute for those mayonnaise packed pasta salads!

Lemon Roll Cake

So we have made the pumpkin roll many times and it is always a huge success! I stumbled across a recipe on crazyforcrust.com for a LEMON ROLL CAKE! If you know my fiance, you know he is crazy for lemon so I knew he would love this! I changed the recipe a little based on what I already had at home. It was amazing! I may try the original recipe next to see the different. I promise you, you need to try the delicious dessert!

3 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cups all purpose flour
powdered sugar (to help cake from sticking to towel)
8 oz cream cheese
6 tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
1 cup powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (10x15) with wax paper. (if you do not have a jelly roll pan it is possible to do this with a casserole dish, just be careful when flipping to not burn your hands). Spray the wax paper with pam to prevent the cake from sticking.

Beat the eggs at high speed until fluffy. Beat in granulated sugar, lemon juice, and lemon extract.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat dry ingredients into lemon/egg mixture.

Spread the cake mix evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cake springs back. It is important not to over cook the cake or it will not roll properly.

While cake is baking lay out a clean dish towel and heavily sprinkle powdered sugar on the towel (to prevent the cake from sticking). When the cake is done baking, carefully flip it over on to the prepared towel (I usually use a towel to hold the sides of the pan when I flip it to keep from burning my hands. Once the cake is flat on the towel, from the small end, tightly roll the cake into a lot (longways). Place the roll in the fridge for 45 minutes to set its shape. While the cake is cooling prepare the filling.

Blend the cream cheese and butter together. Once well mixed, add the lemon extract and vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar until everything is well blended.

When the cake is done setting, unroll it on the counter and spread in the lemon filling. Re-roll the cake back up with out the towel. Once the cake is rolled, wrap the log in plastic wrap and keep in the in the fridge. Wait at least an hour before eating (its really best the next day!) Enjoy the delicious and savory treat! I know we did!

Patriotic Jell-O Shots

So for Memorial Day weekend I wanted to do something festive! along with an AMAZING strawberry cheesecake pudding dish I made, we did these really cute red, white, and blue jell-o shots and holy cow were they good! And strong!

boiling water
1 pkg (3 oz) Jell-o Berry Blue Gelatin
6 oz blue berry vodka
1 pkg (3 oz) Jell-o Cherry Flavor Gelatin
6 oz Cherry vodka
1 pack unflavored gelatin
3 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 oz raspberry or strawberry vodka (we went strong and used 6 oz again)

Heat 6 ounces of water to boiling. Pour boiling water into a bowl with blue jello and whisk until dissolved. Mix in blueberry vodka. Pour the blue mixture into the bottom of your jello shot cups. Let firm completely.

When the blue layer is set. Get ready to prepare the white layer. Boil 5 oz of water. Mix boiling water into 3 oz of sweetened condensed milk. Whisk in strawberry or raspberry vodka. Pour white mix over firm blueberry layer. Let white layer cool completely.

When the white layer is firm begin the final layer. Heat 6 oz of water to boiling. When water is boiling whisk in cherry jell-o and cherry vodka. Pour the red layer over the firm white layer. If you desire, for a more festive look, garnish with a maraschino cherry. (Put the cherry in before the jello sets.) Let the red layer firm before serving. Keep refrigerated and enjoy!