Thursday, March 31

Pretty in Pink

Confession:  In high school, I had an abnormal obsession with Pumba.  I think it was because he was so squishy and cute.  When I went on a high school trip to Orlando at the age of 17, I may have brought home (as an additional carry on no less) a 16 inch stuffed Pumba from Walt Disney World.  What can I say? It was an offer I couldn't refuse.

So all these years I kept him.  Not out sitting out on my bed of course--I did grow up--but I kept him packed away nonetheless.  He has now become Peanut's sidekick.  She reads him stories while I fix her hair in the morning.  She even fixes him breakfast.  Usually it's some concoction of sauteed cantaloupe/bananas/pears followed with ketchup or yogurt as a chaser.  If you're lucky, you might get mustard in your coffee.  Yes, we might need to work on food pairings and the proper cooking techniques of fresh produce.  Hey--the child can put the whole United States map together--I am not too worried about her creative tendencies abilities in the kitchen. 

Anyhow, Pumba is her little buddy.  He even gets to dress like her.

Although no warthogs were harmed during these unfortunate events, he did ask that his face not be shown. 

I think the sparkles might have been the last straw. 

Tuesday, March 29

Broken Eyeshadow

Peanut's new distraction is "putting on makeup" with me.   I don't actually let her put on makeup.  Normally she just stands in front of the mirror with me and goes through the items in my makeup bag.  She does occasionally get into the lip gloss.  But I'm okay with that because it's clear lip gloss and it's fairly harmless.  That was until this past Sunday.  We were going through the motions--I put on my eyeshadow and she tells me she wants some too, so I have her close her eyes and I brush my finger over her eye lids.  She looks in the mirror and then says, "Thank you, Mommy" and I move on to the next item.  Next thing I know, I look over and she has decided that she too, can apply lipstick like mommy.

So of course, like any good blogger mom, I ran downstairs to grab my camera so I could record the moment forever.  And in the 30 seconds I was gone, she was already into the 'scarra {mascara} by the time I got back.

Someone also is loving her mirror in her room--the mirror being new to her as it didn't get put on until just a few months ago.  We had used the dresser (without the mirror attached) as a changing station before the big PT in January.  She also LOVES to make faces at herself.  On Sunday, her painted pout only heightened this fascination.

Last but not least, the original point of this post--a great little frugal makeup tip for you.

My makeup bag fell over the other day and my eyeshadow container slid out and crashed on the bathroom floor.  One of my eyeshadows broke into a dozen pieces.  Argh!!!!  I was irritated with myself to say the least.  However, I had heard a makeup tip a while back and now was my chance to see if it worked.  When your eyeshadow breaks you can either A) throw it away and get a new one or B) try and salvage it the best you can.  But during weeks of salvaging, the broken eyeshadow bits eventually work their way all over the inside of your makeup bag and make everything an absolute mess.  Or am I the only cheap frugal one who does things like that?

What you want to do to salvage the eyeshadow and make it user friendly again (aka a lot less messy) is continue to break up the eyeshadow into a powder (using the back of a spoon or some other such tool) and the add just a drop or two of rubbing alcohol to it.  Just enough to make a thick paste.  Spread it as evenly as you can back into the eyeshadow compartment and let dry.  The alcohol will evaporate and you are left with  much more workable eyeshadow once again.  And it really does work.  Trust me

For other great tips and tricks, visit We Are THAT Family

Monday, March 28

Butternut Corn Chowder

This recipe would have been much more timely if I had made it last fall and posted it then--you know, when squash are in season.  Either way, this still makes a wonderful meal.  It does have a small amount of bacon, so while it isn't a meatless meal, it certainly is budget friendly due to the small amount (but big on flavor!) amount of protein--as the protein is typically the costliest part of any dish.  Combine that with the sweetness of the squash and corn and spiciness of the chipotle chilies (adds some nice kick)--this soup is definitely full of flavor.

It's one of Hub's favorites.

Butternut Corn Chowder

4 oz. bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 butternut squash (~2 pounds), peeled, seeded, chopped
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp. minced canned chipotle chilies (see tip here)
1 16 oz. bag frozen sweet white corn

In a large stockpot, cook bacon until crisp.  Transfer bacon to a separate dish and add chopped onion to stockpot, allowing the onion to cook in the rendered drippings.  Cook until onion is tender.  Add squash, broth and chilies and simmer until squash is tender, stirring occasionally.  Mix in corn, simmer until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Transfer half the soup to either a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, stirring the blended portion back into the soup.  You could be lazy like me and just puree it with a stick blender until about half the soup looks pureed.  But don't do that.  It doesn't give the more creamy like consistency when you do it the lazy way.  You know what "they" say--you eat with your eyes first. Trust me.  Once pureed, stir in bacon and serve. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This recipe is linked to:

Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap
Friday Potluck at EKat's Kitchen
Hearth 'n Soul Recipe Swap  

Miz Helen's Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday 
Paisley Passions Fun With Food Friday 

Sunday, March 27

Menu Plan Monday

I actually made all the meals I planned to last week!  That was the first time in ages.  I am so glad the Hubs and Peanut are doing so much better.  I somehow have still managed to escape the flu, which is such a blessing.  Hopefully that will allow us to stick to the plan a little better.  So for this week~

Sunday-Beef kebabs, green salad with basil pesto ranch

Monday-Chicken pot pie, green salad

Tuesday-Fire Island Penne--one dish meal!  I love that. 

Wednesday-BLT Carbonara Pasta, green salad

Thursday-Italian Cheese Tortellini Soup

Friday-Hawaiian pizza with homemade crust and sauce, green salad


For other great menu ideas, visit the Organizing Junkie

Saturday, March 26

Tried It & Loved It: Peanut Butter Muffins

We love muffins around here. And while we have several favorites--like these, these and these--it's always nice to change it up a bit.  My dear, sweet husband is a lover of all things peanut butter, so when I came across this recipe--I knew it would be well received.  And well received it was!  I also like that it has less sugar than a lot of muffin recipes and they still taste really good.  It was also suggested to add some chopped peanuts or chocolate chips, which I had planned on doing but then I completely forgot.   

Well shucks, I guess I will have to make them again and add in one or both in next time! 

Peanut Butter Muffins ~ adapted slightly from Happy in Dole Valley

1 1/4 c. whole milk
1/4 c. coconut oil, melted (cooking oil would work too)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. natural peanut butter  
1/2 c. rapadura (sugar would work just as well) 
1 c. oats
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
1/2 t. sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin tin or line with paper liners and set aside.

Mix together milk, coconut oil, eggs, peanut butter and rapadura/sugar.  Add in oats and stir to combine.  In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until just combined.  Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Makes 1 dozen.

Monday, March 21

Breakfast Smoothies

I realize I might just be the last person on the face of this earth to try my hand at making smoothies.  If not the last, then probably the second to the last.  I see lots of different blogs that make them and that have them on their menu rotation, my sister makes them, my sister in law makes them, our friends make them--I know they are nothing new.  Yet, I had still never tried it.  I think it's because I thought of them as breakfast thing and the idea of something cold and frosty first thing in the morning did not appeal to me at. all. 

And wouldn't you know it, making smoothies all came about because I am cheap frugal and didn't want these to go to waste. All that effort I put into my first ever round of canning and come to find out I don't really care for canned apricots.  I like them fresh, but canned?  Not so much.  Perhaps I processed them too long (although I don't think I did), but they sure don't hold up as well as a canned peach.  They were pretty mushy.  So there sat about 18 jars of canned apricots and I certainly didn't want them to go to waste.  They were organic after all.  (And in retrospect, maybe that's why the gal at the orchard mentioned that she always froze them or made fruit leather with her apricots....maybe she didn't care for canned ones either. Hmmmm......) 

Anyhow, so I drug out my food processor (I have a blender that is somewhere in the depths of our basement) and attempted my first round of smoothies.  Oh, and boy, are they good!  Peanut was a big fan too.

Breakfast (or any other time) Smoothies

1 1/2 cups ice cubes
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries (you could use fresh of course, but you may want to add more ice for a more frozen consistency?  I'm not sure....)
1/2 cup canned apricots
2 bananas (peeled of course)
1/3 cup frozen blueberries or blackberries
1/2 cup plain, cream top yogurt
1 Tbsp honey

Since I am using a food processor, I usually add my ice and chop/process that for about a minute, then add my frozen strawberries, and process until those are finely chopped.  Then I add everything else and process until smooth.  If you are using a blender, from what I understand, you can just add it all in there and blend away until smooth.  This makes about three tall glasses~about 30 ounces of smoothie. 

Really, there are no rules when it comes to smoothies.  This is just what has worked for me so far.  I just picked up some frozen organic mangos and peaches on sale and plan to throw those into the rotation.  Plus, as spring and summer get here, I know I will be looking for discounted produce that is a little past it's prime.  Just add lots of fresh/frozen fruit with a little yogurt and ice and some sweetener (if needed) and process/blend away.  Smoothies are pretty much fool proof.

Oh and last but not least...did you make too much?  Pour your leftovers in popsicle molds for a quick and easy snack for the littles.  I got that idea from my sister in law--what a fabulous way to use it all up!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This recipe is linked to:

Alli 'n Son Sweet Tooth Friday
Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday
Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Designs By Gollum Foodie Friday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap
Friday Potluck at EKat's Kitchen
Hearth 'n Soul Recipe Swap  

Life As Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap
Miz Helen's Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday 
Paisley Passions Fun With Food Friday 

We Are THAT Family's Works For Me Wednesdays 


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