Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I have seen variations of this recipe many times over the years but this was the first time I had actually made it. My friend, Mikasa, shared this recipe at a recipe exchange and I had printed off almost the exact same recipe from AllRecipes.com a few years ago. If you are looking for a dessert that is simple, yet a big crowd pleaser, look no further.
Chocolate Eclair Cake
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 cups milk
1 (16 ounce) package graham crackers
1 (16 ounce) container prepared chocolate frosting (I didn't use this. I made my own frosting. I'm kind of a store bought frosting snob :). See the bottom of the recipe for the instructions to make your own.)
In a medium bowl, combine both pudding mixes and the milk with a whisk. Let stand for a minute to begin thickening. Fold in the container of whipped topping. Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. You may have to break some of the squares to cover the whole pan. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of crackers.
Soften the chocolate frosting in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make it easier to spread. Spread the frosting over the whole cake up to the edges of the pan. Cover, and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Giving enough time to chill is very important! It gives the graham crackers time to soften and be more "cake like."
If you want to make your own chocolate frosting, beat together 3 tablespoons hot water, 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
So we decided to start a new tradition this year, and follow in the footsteps of my favorite blogger Melissa. You can see Melissa's idea HERE. I went through our book collection and picked out all the Christmas/Winter books we owned. Then I wrapped them all with Christmas paper (no bow or ribbon, not the greatest wrap job, but it works.) and put them in a Christmas basket next to my son's rocking chair. Spencer gets to open one every night through Christmas Eve and we started about 2 weeks ago. HE LOVES IT! He gets SO excited to open a book every night for story time. And the nice thing about it: you can wrap just as many books as you have, and start that many nights before Christmas - don't think you have to have a ton of Christmas books to do this. Here are some of the books we've been reading:
Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite Christmas story is. I would love to have some ideas for future Christmas book purchases... Merry Christmas!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
They served as the centerpiece for the party my parents hosted at their home this past Friday night. I continue to be amazed at how versatile they are... add a few Christmas fillers and they simply glow!
I love them.
Festive and beautiful, yet simple and cheap.
Have you made your Dollar Tree hurricanes yet?
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I thought I would share an easy punch recipe that I like to serve around the holidays. So easy it only has 3 ingredients. I served it at our Thanksgiving dinner in my pretty, white, ruffle serving bowl. It was beautiful if I do say so myself!
Holiday Cranberry Punch
1 - 2 liter bottle Diet 7-Up or Diet Sprite
1 - 64 oz. bottle cranberry juice
Mix together the 7-up and cranberry juice in a punch bowl. Float fresh cranberries on top. Serve over ice.
How easy is that? Just the right amount of sweetness. And it adds a festive touch with the red cranberries...I love it! Try it for your next holiday get-together and see how it disappears!
Monday, December 6, 2010
I have been straddling a ladder to decorate a 9ft. Christmas tree, arranging nativities, arranging more Christmas trees, collecting money for poinsettias, caroling with youth outside our church, walking around with special friends to see nativites, listening to heavenly music, etc. All things for the Stake Nativity Exhibit at church this past weekend. Here's my Christmas tree all lit up...
Sunday, November 28, 2010
If you have read my blog for all of 2 seconds you know that I am madly in love with pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin bars, pumpkin cookies...I love everything about pumpkin desserts. Seriously. (Carrie, if you are reading this, please avert your eyes. I know how you dislike pumpkin. :)
My fellow blogger and food lover, Kimberly, sent me a link for a pumpkin recipe about 2 months ago. She suggested that I try it... Pumpkin Caramel Bars - with Bacon. Yep. Bacon. I must say there was a slight "ick" factor at the thought of my beloved pumpkin mingling with bacon. And the picture that was posted of the bars was not that enticing either...but I kept thinking about the recipe...and wondering. Could it be good? I like pumpkin. And I like bacon. But could I like them together?
So after 2 months of contemplation, I made them. Kimberly, you will be pleased to know that I loved them. I was completely surprised. They were moist, not too dense (When I looked at the batter before baking them I thought they would be too dense), the frosting was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G, and the bacon didn't add a bacony flavor - just a subtle saltiness. I made the recipe true to the original with one exception: I used half and half in the frosting instead of heavy cream because that is what I had on hand. Oh, and I didn't refrigerate the bars before eating them. I don't think I would like them as much if I refrigerated them. This is one recipe you should definitely try for yourself. I would love to get your feedback.
You can find the recipe here: http://noblepig.com/2010/10/05/pumpkin-caramel-bars-with-bacon.aspx
Friday, November 26, 2010
Spencer requested strawberry cake for his birthday cake. Strawberry cake is pink and in an effort to make it more boyish/pirateish I tinted it with red food coloring, baked it in pirate cupcake papers and garnished them with these cute toothpick signs that say "Pirate's Life For Me."
The candy buffet table. For those of you who know me really well you know I love me a good candy buffet! (To see some of my past candy buffets: http://thetxdavisthree.blogspot.com/2010/02/natalies-baby-shower.html and http://thetxdavisthree.blogspot.com/2010/06/mocktails-good-food-roxannes-graduation.html)
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This first centerpiece is made using a $5 vase from Walmart (you could easily use your Dollar Tree hurricanes to recreate this look!), a bundle of wheat from Hobby Lobby, and a big, fat, gorgeous, cranberry colored satin ribbon. Have I told you lately how much I love satin ribbon?
This is a cornucopia I bought a couple of years ago for 90% off at Hobby Lobby. I think I paid 79 cents. Add a few mini pumpkins, a bundle of wheat, and a satin ribbon...and you have an easy, thrifty, sophisticated centerpiece.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I was so impressed with the impact of walking into my sister-in-law's home. She had simple yet beautiful fall decorations. The soft glow of candlelight made the house more cozy (candlelight always seems to make things simply stunning). I was surrounded by the sounds of family togetherness. The smell of a home cooked meal permeated the air. But more importantly, it was a feeling that the Spirit was there. And it made me happy. If you are a part of my faith, you know what I am talking about.
So I thought I would share a little fall goodness courtesy of the Cluff family. Thanks for letting me share a part of your home, Erica! And if you are ever longing for that feeling, visit the Cluff's home...
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Here is some of my loot:
A cute Halloween shirt for Spencer - $1.50
2 adorable throw pillows for $3.40 each
black fish net stockings (I wear these in the winter even when it's not Halloween!) for $1.25
black party plates, napkins, cups around 50 cents each (I like to use these for Tech football game food - go Red and Black!).
There were plenty of other good deals to find - look for things that don't always have to be used for Halloween... they had a bunch of costumes left and Halloween candy was marked 50%. I think a bag of fun size Twix may have found its way into my cart :).
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Nutter Butter Ghosts, courtesy of my sis-in-law, Shanna
A "cauldron" or cooler bubbling with homemade rootbeer...yum!