Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MMMmmm...What's for Dinner???

Skillet Lasagna!!!
One of my families favorites :)
Just five ingredients for this easy recipe!

 Easy Skillet Lasagna
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound noodles (give or take), I like a thicker pasta with this, I used Gigli
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
small container cottage cheese

1. Cook and crumble ground beef, drain off fat
2. Sprinkle pasta over beef, do not mix together
3. Add water to sauce to make 1 quart, pour over meat and pasta.  Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover with lid.  Cook for about 20 minutes.
4. Uncover, mix in mozzarella cheese
5. Spoon cottage cheese onto the mixture.  Cover again with lid till the cottage cheese gets warm and melty.

Serve with salad and garlic bread...My kids  ask for this one over and over!

2. Sprinkle Pasta
3. Cover with Sauce

4. Mix in Cheese

5. Add Cottage Cheese

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

What Happened??

Things just don't always go the way we want them to!
  So after having an amazing weekend at The Flood I went back to work Monday to train our amazing new afternoon front desk girl, Kyra.  It was a LOONNNGGG day but she was doing an amazing job!!  My friends, Lisa, Linda and I were going to San Diego Thursday through Sunday, I was getting my hair trimmed and colored on Wednesday.  Things were looking great (I was tired, but things were great)!

Last year with Lisa at the Switchfoot Concert
Tuesday afternoon, I come back from lunch and Kyra tells us she was offered a full-time job with pay and benefits we couldn't even begin to touch.  She did tell them that she need to give us three weeks so we could get someone else hired, cover for my weekend trip etc.

I cancelled my Wednesday hair appointment so I could get to the bank and run the kids all over and get ready for my trip.  Wednesday morning, Lisa texts me to tell me she is sick and there is no way she will be able to make our trip.  Oh and, my washing machine broke and I haven't even washed my clothes.

In the midst of my feeling sorry for myself I remembered.....I had wanted to go to Crafting Arizona Friday night...guess what???? I got to go!
Fun decorations!

Here's what I was able to get done! close to 100 flowers!

I need to remember, God is on my side and has my best interest in mind.  While I really wanted to go to San Diego and spend time with my girlfriends.  I've been able to rest up after my long weekend, get some things done around the house, spend time with my kids not spend as much money :),  go to the amazing sale at Gap ($400 worth of clothes for $126) and go to Crafting Arizona, meet some new friends, meet some friends I only know through Facebook and their blogs and work on some projects I haven't had time for.

Yes, God is good and he does know best...I need to remember that in the midst of my whining and feeling sorry for myself..

Isaiah 55:8-9 - New International Version (NIV)

 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.



Friday, June 17, 2011

To The Flood Part II

We survived The Flood of 2011!!
Last weekend, my husband, Eric and I had the amazing opportunity to be leaders at our church's annual Young Adult camp in Ojai Valley, CA.

We had lots of fun, food, games, competition, laughs, bumps, bruises, new friendships, old friendships, music, worship, workshops...but...most importantly

Many Young Adults, committed  their lives to Jesus, many recommitted their lives, many got a clearer vision of what they are to do with their lives and learned that you don't have to be a pastor or missionary to be used of God.  We are all to be the example of Jesus no matter what we do or where we are!!

I of course had to make some hair clips to support my team... The Orange Team!!

 By the way......we won!! 


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To The Flood Part I

My Husband, Eric, and I, are privileged to be a part of the staff for our church's young adult group, The Well.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early...we depart for Ojai Valley, CA for the Second Annual Flood!!  Can I get a "Woo, Whoo"??  The Flood is and amazing weekend of getting know each other, having some amazing competitions (ORANGE TEAM ROCKS!!), eating some yummy food (they really have good food there), going to the beach and most importantly....getting closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!!!!

We are even more privileged to attend with our three fantastic kids, Colette 18, Dre' 16 and Dominique (almost) 15.  Thank you guys for letting us play with you and your friends.

Here are a few pictures from last year!

Our Fearless Leader

The BIG kids

Our Oldest, Colette on the left

Son Dre'

On the left, Our Baby, Dominique

I'll have more pictures and a follow-up report next week.
If you think about it, please pray for the Young Adults and Leaders!!  
BIG prayers, Life Change!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Favorite Frostings

Frosting...amazing, creamy, sugary sweet, the icing on the cake (or cupcake)....

These are my favorite frosting recipes and a few things I do a little differently from the original recipes. First of all, I always use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste - 4 oz., and I always use half and half.  It's amazing how much richer the flavor is, you really must try it!

The recipes for the cupcakes in this post can be found at Cupcakes - Yum.
Both of the cupcakes above have cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz butter
8 oz cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
4 cups powder sugar
 A splash of half and half
Beat room temperature cream cheese, butter and vanilla bean paste together with electric mixer until well blended and smooth.  I have a  KitchenAid KSM75WH Classic Plus Tilt-Head 4-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer, White and love it...I'm able to put the butter and cream cheese in and have it mixing while I work on something else. Gradually add powder sugar mix super well, if you're using a big mixer, be sure and put a dish towel over the mixer or you'll have sugar dust all over.  Add half and half until it's a good piping consistency.

Just add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the powder sugar to make Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting...this is so GOOD on the Pumpkin Spice cupcakes.

The Pink Champagne cupcakes are frosted with Salted Buttercream and the Vanilla cupcakes are frosted with Billy's Bakery NYC Buttercream. Once again I used the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste and half and half.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cupcakes - Yum

My beautiful daughter, Colette, graduated from high this past spring, yay Colette!!

We are BIG cupcake lovers at our house.  So for her Graduation party we decided to have a cupcake buffet, call me crazy!!

  I began baking mini cupcakes about two and a half weeks before the party.  I started with Pink Champagne and used this frosting recipe.  I baked about 160 of them and within a couple of hours, the wrappers started pulling away from the cupcakes.  Not pretty!!

After sending out a distress signal on Facebook, I was given a few suggestions to keep my cupcakes "dressed". Here's what happened, my oven is either too hot or too cold (kind of like Goldilocks).  It's really hard to find the sweet spot.  My friend Asia suggested the temperature was probably too low so they weren't getting fully baked.  Solution: bump up the heat a bit.
So here are how they turned out!!

Pink Champagne with Salted Buttercream Frosting

Pumpkin Spice  with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet (from a box)
Cream Cheese Frosting

Brownies with White Chocolate Drizzle

Vanilla (from a box) with
Billy's Bakery NYC Buttercream

I think it was a toss up between the Pumpkin Spice and Red Velvet as the favorite flavors...Pink Champagne came in right up there.
After all was said and done, they turned out fabulously and were a big hit!!

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