THE BEST EVER Lemonade Recipe!

The title says it all! This recipe is truly the best lemonade I’ve ever had! It’s so easy to make that my 6 & 10 year old made it with ease. It’s a no-fail recipe. Here’s how:

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 cups of water (1 cup set aside for simple syrup)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar (give or take, depending on taste)

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, add 1 cup of your water and your sugar. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat and stir making sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Set your sugar mixture aside to let cool completely.
  3. Squeeze all of your lemons until you have about 1.5 cups. It was approximately 1 bag of lemons from the grocery store.
  4. Place your remaining 7 cups of water in a pitcher and add your lemon juice and sugar mixture.
  5. Stir and pour over ice.

Enjoy!!! Please be sure to share this blog post and/or video!

~Kelly~

Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinner: Bowtie Lasagna!

Here is a recipe for an easy lasagna using bow tie pasta that my stepmom gave me. I filmed this over a year ago when I lived in my old house when I was thinking of starting my blog. This is not a healthy recipe ny any means, but it’s a good one for those nights you want some comfort food, or when you have company coming over. Let me know if you try this recipe!

Heres what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or Italian sausage or whichever meat you prefer)
  • 1 box of bowtie pasta
  • 2 8-ounce pkgs of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 16-ounce container of cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan (optional)
  • 1 24-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Italian seasoning 1-2 teaspoons.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your pasta. Boil pasta to al dente per package instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, brown your meat until cooked thoroughly. Drain excess fat.
  4. Add your jar of sauce to the browned meat and heat through.
  5. In a large bowl, add 1 package of mozzarella cheese, your package of cottage cheese, your Parmesan, and your Italian seasoning. Add in your cooked/drained pasta and mix thoroughly.
  6. In your 11×13 casserole dish, add your pasta/cheese mixture, covering the bottom evenly.
  7. Spread your meat/sauce mixture evenly over your pasta.
  8. Add your other 8-ounce package of mozzarella on top.
  9. Bake on 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F and cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  10. Allow to sit for a minimum of 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Mother’s Day Fruit Pizza – EASY Recipe!

Looking for an easy & delicious recipe for mom on Mother’s Day? Look no further; this dessert has it all! It’s a sugar cookie, it has sweet cream cheese icing, & it’s topped with delicious fruit! Not only is it so yummy & so easy to make, but it really is beautiful, too! Here’s how to make it! Also, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube page! Click HERE to subscribe!

Mother’s Day Fruit Pizza

For the dough:

  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • The zest of a half of a lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the icing:

  • 1 8-oz pkg of softened cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • The zest of half of a lemon

For the topping (feel free to use your favorite fruit):

  • 1/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/4 blueberries
  • 1/4 cup raspberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray your 12.5 inch pizza pan with cooking spray.
  2. In your stand mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment), cream together your butter & sugar until smooth. Mix in your egg, vanilla, & the zest of half of a lemon.
  3. whisk together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl & slowly add to your mixture while on low speed. Careful not to over-mix your dough.
  4. Press your dough into your prepared pizza pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned. Place on a wire rack to cook completely.
  5. While your cookie crust bakes, beat your softened cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add your sugars, vanilla, lemon juice, & the zest of half of a lemon. Spread your icing mixture onto your cooled cookie crust using an offset spatula.
  6. Top with your berries in whichever arrangement you wish. Keep covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

 

EASY Homemade M&M Blondies!

Have you ever needed to whip up a delicious, homemade dessert/treat in a pinch? This is the recipe to have in your recipe box because it is so quick & easy & contains ingredients most people always have in their pantry anyway. You could even exchange the M&Ms for something else (chocolate chips, nuts, or even make a glaze to drizzle over the top out of simple ingredients). On occasion I use sprinkles instead to make my confetti blondies! The options are endless, so choose whatever you have or whatever you would enjoy the most!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups M&Ms (however many you want!)
  • 8×8 inch pan
  • Parchment paper

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Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat your butter until creamy and pale.

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One at a time add your sugar, vanilla, and eggs.

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Then slowly incorporate your dry ingredients.

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Fold in your M&Ms.

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Line your pan with parchment paper and spread out your mixture.

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Sprinkle more M&Ms on the top.

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Bake at 325 degrees for roughly 40 minutes.Cool before cutting into 16 squares. Enjoy!

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Blue Apron Unboxing & Review (plus get a free week!)

A relative sent us a coupon code for a free week of Blue Apron. I was really excited to try them out, as I had already been interested. The only doubts I had, were 1) Cost…would it make sense for a family on a single income? 2) We have 5 people in our family & it accommodates only 4. Our relative, however, assured me that the serving sizes are quite large so it should work for us (especially since one of us is a toddler!).

All I did was signed up with a user name & gave basic information (name, address, phone number). They did need a credit card number because they would bill us if we didn’t cancel the first trial week. Simple enough; I was happy with the easy process. I told them we would take chicken, beef, or seafood.

My box arrived on a Wednesday & here is the unboxing video:

I waited until Thursday to make my first meal. We decided to have the steak sandwiches with lemon aioli sauce & roasted carrots first. Here is the process of making the meal:

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2016-02-11 18.55.02-1This meal was amazing! The steak was top quality. The recipe was very creative & allowed me to try some new things. All 5 of us loved it & surprisingly there was quite a bit of steak leftover. Delicious!

Friday’s meal was miso-honey chicken with roasted bok choy & sweet potato wedges.

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I actually thought we would enjoy this meal even more than the night before, but we didn’t. It was still good; we all liked it, but agreed we would never go out of our way to eat it again. I must say I wasn’t crazy about the miso flavor, so this may be why. This time we had barely enough food for all 5 of us & the baby was even sick & didn’t have much of an appetite. All in all it was ok…just not for us.

In conclusion, we feel like Blue Apron is an amazing company. The price is a big high, but when you get that kind of luxury, you’re going to pay for it. It is; however, not as high as I initially thought it would be. We tried to cancel our service before getting charged, but missed the cut off by a few hours! It is ok though; and in fact we are a little bit excited to try one more week!

Try Blue Apron!!

Click here to try a free week of Blue Apron!

I do hope you try it! Let me know if you do!

Kelly

Gingerbread Man Recipe

This week’s video is a recipe and demonstration for my gingerbread man cookies!

Here is the recipe:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. In a standing mixer, beat your room temperature butter, add your brown sugar, molasses, and then your egg. Slowly add your dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and work until a ball. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (or freezer for 20 minutes). Again on a floured surface, knead your dough and roll into a ball. Coat your rolling pin in flour because this dough is sticky. Roll put to 1/4 inch and then cut out your men with your cookie cutters. Bake for 10 minutes on 350 degrees. Place on a rack to cool completely.

To make the royal icing:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Using your whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat your egg whites until frothy and begin to slowly incorporate your sugar. Whip for a few minutes until smooth and has a shiny appearance. Add food coloring if desired. Spoon icing into a piping bag and snip just a bit off the tip. Decorate cookies.

Bad Mommy Confessions!

  1. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom just for some alone time!
  2. I am 14 months post partum and I still wear maternity pants because I refuse to buy bigger jeans…and, er, I like to be comfy!
  3. I do everything with my phone in my hand…I even mop the floor sometimes with my phone in my hand…which is just sad!
  4. I open drinks, snacks, and even children’s Tylenol and use it before paying every time I go shopping. The children’s Tylenol thing has happened twice recently.
  5. I regularly take my 14 month old out wearing pajamas.
  6. I got all the way to Target before noticing my baby wasn’t buckled into his car seat! This is one I have a hard time admitting, but most of us have done it once in a lifetime and this kind of thing doesn’t happen twice! Scary!
  7. I’ve never taken my kids on a real vacation because that is a luxury for two income families.
  8. When I don’t have anywhere to go, I don’t even look in the mirror. My hair remains unbrushed, jammies stay on, and yesterday’s mascara more than likely is smeared under my eyes…but I don’t care, so I don’t look!
  9. I have no self control when it comes to ice cream so I can’t keep it in my house.
  10. We have one night a week that we call ‘fend for ourselves night’. On these nights we are, for the most part, on our own. The big kids can make a sandwich for themselves, or we eat leftovers, or…GASP…even a microwave dinner! However, the other six nights of the week I do cook well balanced meals!

Well there it is folks! I got it off my chest! Lol what are YOUR confessions?

How to Make a Tornado in a Jar!

 

Tonight’s experiment was so fun for the kids! Basically you vigorously swirl the jar to create cintrifugal motion. It is actually quite amazing how defined the tornado was! Our first try didn’t work because we used a tad too much soap. You need the smallest drop you can produce and then you’re in business! Watch the video to see how it’s done!

Chipotle’s Corn Salsa Recipe

Just a quick recipe for tonight! I was craving Chipotle tonight, so I decided to make their corn salsa. I have never made it before and didn’t look up a recipe. I just threw in what I thought would go in it and it tasted precisely likes theirs. I didn’t measure anything, but I’ll do my best.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package of frozen sweet corn
  • About 1/3 of a red onion, minced
  • About 1/8 of a jalapeño  (I removed almost all of the seeds because you only want subtle heat)
  • About 1-2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • About 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
  • The juice of half a lime

Just mix it all together and adjust to taste. I’m going to use it for taco night and to eat with some tortilla chips…yum!

My most treasured photos…

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I wanted to share with you all my most treasured photos that I carry with me on my phone! I have them all saved in clouds, computes, phones, tablets, and hard drives. The first two are my older two kids Christmas portraits that I took in 2012. Next is my older kids holding their new baby brother in 2014. Then a photo I took of my daughter at her Christmas concert for school last year. She looks stunning in the photo and it truly captivated her beauty. Next is a photo I found of my daughter when she was only 3 years old (I treasure this photo so much because it is SO her at that age…back when she was an only child; a true princess). Next is a random candid photo of me and my husband at our wedding in 2005, both of us look so young! Then there is my youngest Noah on his 1st birthday a couple of months ago. And lastly…an irreplaceable photo that I treasure so much of my brother Mike and I dancing to Coldplay’s “Fix You” on my wedding day. I remember everything about this moment…the way the crisp autumn air smelled, the pride I felt when my big brother asked to cut-in and dance with me at my wedding, and that comforting/safe feeling that I felt when hugging him. My brother passed away just over 4 years after this photo was taken. Someday soon I will write about him because I have SO MUCH to say…about the grieving process, being a bereaved sibling, and so much more. This January will be 6 years since I lost my only brother! This photo of us is my favorite of us as adults…