Friday, August 1, 2014

Amazon Deal of the day! 8-1-14

*This is an affiliated post!*

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Red Lobster - Copycat Cheddar Biscuit

I am so jealous of all of you that have a Red Lobster in their area! There isn't one anywhere close to me (unless we want to take a day trip) And the last 9 years we lived in Massachusetts on the water, there wasn't a Red Lobster for miles n miles!
We did have the luxury of the wonderful local seafood places that sit right on the oceans edge. Which was incredible and the best most fresh seafood anyone could ask for.
But, I love love red lobsters Cheddar bay biscuits! The salty flavor from the cheddar cheese and the moist  fluffy center are just the perfect combination.

I found this recipe and tweaked it just a bit to satisfy my taste.

Check it out and let me know what you think!! There is also a picture  at the bottom of how we transformed these wonderful little biscuits into big biscuits for a very satisfying breakfast sandwich!

2 cups All purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Sugar
2 heaping teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 Tablespoons cold butter
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup butter milk (Make your own:  To a one cup measuring cup add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar and top off with whole milk to make 1 cup.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Stir well.)

Mix flour, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl.
Cube your cold butter and  add it to the dry ingredients above.  Using a pastry cutter (or 2 butter knives), cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly.
Mix in the cheese
combine the egg with the buttermilk and beat well.
Add your milk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Drop large spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 - 15 minutes. Until golden brown on the top.

Recipe adapted from An Extraordinary Day

It is best to serve these biscuits warm and right from the oven. If you have left overs, don't worry they are still great the next day! Fry up an egg or 2, add some bacon and cheese and breakfast is served!
Take a look at that! Yummmmm!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Plan Ahead - 10 Make Ahead Breakfast Ideas for Busy Moms!

We may not have little ones running around our house any more. But we do have 2 big strong teen boys left at home. So getting creative with breakfast is always a challenge.

I work nights, and have such a hard time getting up in the mornings to cook. Thankfully they are very independent and can manage to feed them selves and get themselves off to school. (In my defense LOL I work til 4 am. I can't run on 2 hours! I need my beauty sleep! )

I'm always looking for great make ahead breakfasts that I can cook up and maybe freeze on my days off. So I at least know they are eating something satisfying and good for them before school.

I found  lots of great tips and recipes for make ahead breakfast ideas for the teens. I hope you find something you like here. I can't wait to give them a try. School does start in a month! YAY & YIKES!
Plan Ahead: 10 make ahead easy breakfast ideas

Click on the wording below the image to view the recipe!

Well there you have it! Some fantastic ideas to get your kids, hubby or anyone on the right track each morning. Now, some of these recipes I posted for myself. I have the pickiest boys on the planet (One doesn't even like bacon! Who's child is he??) So I have to get a little creative when I need/want them to eat fruits and veggies. Even at 13 it's still hard convincing him it's GOOD! 

Do you have any great make ahead recipes you want to share? I would like to compose a list for lunch and dinner as well, and would like to include my readers' recipes before the ones I have acquired. Just let me know! Would love to add them! 

Until then .... Have a wonderful day :) 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Frosting, Fondant and cakes Oh My!

Have you ever wanted to be able to make custom cakes like the ones you see on TV?
It's really not as hard as you think. Sure, you need patience and the willingness to learn. But if I can do it you can do it.
I am NOT a professional and I do not claim to be. I'm just a girl that found a hobby that kept her busy for a while. I did alot of poking around on the internet and reading tutorials on how to create things using clay. Yep CLAY. I just applied the techniques to fondant instead. It really is alot of fun to "play" with.
I haven't made a cake like this in a while, but I think I might have to do so soon. Have a few birthdays coming up and I'm feeling pretty creative!

There are many recipes you can use for your cakes. What ever your favorite is, use that one.
Even tho you are using fondant to cover the entire cake, you need something for the fondant to stick to. I am very particular about my icing. My absolute favorite one is ...

White Wedding Cake Icing
Makes 4 cups
1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup milk
8 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

Mix shortening, milk, vanilla, almond extract, and half of the powdered sugar with a mixer for 5-10 minutes. (it's very important to mix this long)
Add the rest of the powdered sugar and beat just enough to mix in.
Add additional milk for desired consistency.
For the fondant - There are many different fondant recipes out there. I prefer to use a marshmallow fondant because it is very user friendly. LOL I don't particularly care for the taste of any fondant (it is very sweet) but it sure does make your cakes gorgeous.
This is the recipe I use for my cakes:

1/4 cup butter
1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners' sugar, divided

  • Place the butter in a shallow bowl, and set aside.
  • Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 30 seconds to 1 minute to start melting the marshmallows. Carefully stir the water and vanilla extract into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners' sugar, a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar for kneading. The dough will be very stiff.
  • Rub your hands thoroughly with butter, and begin kneading the sticky dough. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable. Turn the dough out onto a working surface dusted with confectioners' sugar and continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Form the fondant into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature, and roll it out onto a flat surface dusted with confectioners' sugar.
The best way to add color to your fondant is by using Wilson's cake gel colors. They don't add any extra moisture.

To cover a cake:
Frost the cooled cake entirely. Roll out your fondant as thin as you can. Be sure to add corn starch to your table or surface area so the fondant doesn't stick to it. Carefully cover your frosted cake with the sheet of thin fondant. Smooth out any lumps or air bubbles. Then trim the excess. around the base of the cake.

Play with your food! Mold and shape and create anything you would like with fondant. There are some very cool classes you can take in stores and even online on cake decorating and even working with fondant.
I chose to teach myself. Which at times could be very stressful. Since I didn't know exactly what I was doing I made many mistakes. Like I said I do not claim to be a professional or even a baker for that matter. Just a girl that likes to have fun with food!

Here is a few pictures of the cakes I have done in the past .... Hope you enjoy them! Maybe you can find some inspiration to get started!

If you would like some extra information on any of the cakes, or some suggestions on how I did something, please just shoot me an Email
Or you can just comment below and I will get right back to ya!

Hope you all enjoyed seeing some of my amateur work. I had great fun creating each and every one of these cakes/cupcakes. And if one of these cakes were made for YOU please speak up!

Have a wonderful week!

The best SECRET Ingredient!

Does your family have a famous recipe that they won't share with others? Is there that one secret ingredient that you just won't give away so someone else can make your dish?

I think everyone has a secret! I have a few that I like to keep under wraps, and use as my secret weapon when I'm making certain things.

One of my favorites is nutmeg! (Woops the secret is out!) I love to add just a bit of nutmeg to my cream based sauces. It just adds that little extra "something" that makes people ask ..hmmmm what is that? ! Try it sometime :)

My biggest and my most favoriteeee secret ingredient .... don't tell! ... is BACON FAT !!

I know I know bacon fat is not good for you. And I'm sure I will get loads of people to tell me that. I am aware of its risks and warnings believe me. But used in moderation it can add wonderful salty flavor to so many things! Just a little goes a long way when it comes to using bacon fat.
I'm not suggesting you run out and grab some twinkies, dip them in pancake batter and drop them in a big vat of bubbling bacon fat! (Have you ever had a fried twinkie?? )

The next time you cook bacon, save that grease!!  So many people just toss it. And they are throwing away one of the best parts of the  bacon.
Bacon fat has a good shelf life too. If kept covered it can be stored for months.  Many people leave their bacon grease out at room temperature and covered in an air tight container. For some reason I just cant do that. I keep mine covered and in the fridge. It will last longer in there as well.

I don't strain my bacon grease. I like having those little bits of crispy fried pork goodness in my food. If you don't strain it, it wont last as long. The actual bacon pieces will go bad long before the fat. So if you don't plan on using it very often, I recommend straining out the bits so you get a longer shelf life.

Now on to the best part !! .......What can you use it for??

Here are some wonderful recipes and links for you to use up that wonderful secret ingredient! Please remember if you pin any of the recipes or links please pin from the original source. If you want to pin or save this great flavorful tip please pin from here! Thanks :)

Eggs! Eggs and bacon go hand n hand! use a little bacon grease to coat your pan when cooking your eggs instead of butter.
Veggies! Saute your veggies in a spoonful of bacon grease with a little garlice for a great new twist and alot of added flavor.
Meat! Something about a steak seared in bacon grease makes my mouth water. I mean who doesn't like a steak wrapped in bacon? This adds the flavor all through it, with out the added pork.
Salad Dressing base!  Use bacon grease instead of oil in your favorite dressing
Beans! Beans love bacon!! Especially refried beans. Adds another dimension of flavor. 

A few great recipes!

Southern Cornbread - Courtesy of Local Milk
Fried Potatoes - Courtesy of Just Cooking
Southern White Gravy - Courtesy of CBSOP
Maple Bacon Cupcakes - Courtesy of Vanilla Garlic
Bacon Fat Biscuits - Courtesy of Domestic Fits
Bacon Cheese Sticks - Courtesy of Whiskey Bacon
Spinach Salad with warm Bacon Dressing - Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman
Bacon Peanut Caramel Corn - Courtesy of Buzzfeed
Bacon Burbon Chocolate Chip Cookies - Courtesy of Tidy Mom
Bacon and Cheddar Beer Bread - Courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker

TIP : 
Get a little bacon grease on your clothes when you were cooking??
Try this - Use Chalk to Get Rid of Grease Stains Instead of using  pre-treaters to treat stains, use white chalk instead. Simply rub it on greasy stains and the chalk powder will absorb the grease, making the stain easily removable by the laundry soap in the wash. It works wonders !

Do you have a container of bacon grease at home? How do you store it? Send us a picture and we will add it to this post ... Would love to see how everyone keeps theirs!

Show me your bacon!!!!!! ....grease that is :)