Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Zucchini Bread

I LOVE zucchini bread. It's taken some time to perfect my recipe, but my family and friends all love it. The kids especially!

Jenn's Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup cinnamon applesauce
1 cup white sugar
I cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped nuts

**I use 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts, but you can use whatever you prefer or have on hand! Raisins would be a delicious addition as well!

1. Grease and flour two bread pans and preheat your oven to 325.
2. Stir (or sift, if that's how you do it) flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. (I just use a fork and mix well.)
3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients slowly into the wet mixture, and beat well.
4. Stir in zucchini and nuts.
5. Pour batter into prepared pans.
6. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until center appears to be set. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely on a rack.

Mmmm...the cinnamon-y (yes...I made that word up!) smell just OOZES Autumn to me! Gosh I love fall!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I'm tired and I'm sick. Sick and Tired if you will.

I'm battling an infection and have not had one extra ounce of will power for anything. Want proof?

I love to cook...we know this. My children had PIZZA ROLLS for dinner last night. That's rolls. (Not that there's anything wrong with pizza's just that there's something wrong with ME if I don't feel like cooking! LOL!)

Soooo...I'm on some different meds and trying to get better and when that happens, I'll be back to posting regularly, I PROMISE!

I've got some fun projects coming up...a family rules canvas, my kids art-work display, the work-in-progress that is my kitchen, lots of painted furniture (will post that as we finish pieces), makeover to my "mud room" (entry hall), and dining room/office makeover. The work never ends...but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Ok...back to work (aka: gazing absentmindedly at my computer monitor wish I could lay down while trying not to fall asleep at my desk...ahem.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Less Sloppy Joes!

OMG! Maybe everyone knows this trick already (and if so, I can't BELIEVE no one told me!!)

My family LOVES sloppy joes...and what's not to love, really? But the little guys are forever complaining about all of the meat "falling out on the plate"! I always figured that's just the way it is...until last weekend.

I was at a friends house and she made sloppy joes for lunch. She brought plates out and there was a bun, standing on it's side, full of sloppy joe meat and ready for eating. Almost like a Sloppy Joe "Hot Pocket".

Apparently, it's a trick she learned from her mom. You buy unsliced homemade hamburger buns. (Up North here we call them "hard rolls" but I'm not sure if that's a regional thing? Anyone...?) Put a slice in the side...NOT all the way through to the bottom. Take a tablespoon and spread the bun open just enough to fill with your favorite sloppy joe meat mixture.

VOILA! A perfectly NOT SO SLOPPY, sloppy joe! So much easier for us, but especially for the kids! I love it!

Give it a try! :)

Now...go check out ASPTL, for Kimba's DIY Thursday Linky Party! GOOD stuff my friends!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas - Half Homemade

My oldest son, Will, has been requesting my enchiladas for awhile now, so it's time I give in and hook the boy up! :)

These are fast and yummy and our family (especially my Will) LOVES them! I double the following recipe, but I've got a family full of growing boys so they can eat!

Chicken Enchiladas
1 tub of Chi-Chi's Chicken for Tacos*
1 can of fat-free refried beans
1 pkg. of 8-inch tortilla shells
1 can enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded cheddar
Sour Cream

*You could easily make the chicken yourself by cooking two chicken breasts, shredding it and mixing with taco seasoning and a little water. I buy it in tubs because it's faster and easier for me!

1. Lay out your tortillas.
2. Spread each with a heaping tablespoon of refried beans.
3. Split chicken evenly among tortillas and spread along the center line.
4. Divide one cup of shredded cheddar evenly among the tortillas and sprinkle over chicken.
5. Pour about 1/4 of your can of enchilada sauce into a 9x13 pan.
6. Roll tortillas tightly and place seam side down in the baking dish.
7. Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas. I spread this out with the back of a spoon to make sure they are all evenly coated.
8. Sprinkle the remaining two cups of cheese over the enchiladas.
9. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for about half an hour. They are done with the cheese is melted and bubbly.
10. Serve with sour cream! YUM!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Stuff and Things

Real quick, before I forget…I need to take a picture of my GREAT thrift store finds from this weekend! I also need to show you a fun kid’s wall art idea I had. AND, I’ve got a new half-homemade recipe coming up this week…just a few things to be watching for!

Anywho…onto my real post for the day…

When I started this blog it was with the intention of posting about the house but also about family and food and life. I wanted for this to be a place where people could read about how to redo a chair, but also a place to celebrate family accomplishments…a place to pick-up a new recipe to try, but also a place to talk about ways we can treat ourselves better, ways we make our families run efficiently, ways we make chores easier or discipline more effective. I want to broaden the spectrum of things I post about, so I am making it a point to include some of these other things here too, intermingled with our constant on-going projects and my love affair with cooking.

With that said, lets talk about words that make us feel ALIVE. I am such a quote junkie...seriously. I just love letters and words, and the way I can read something and it can totally make me FEEL things...ohhhh, I just love it.
When times are tough...keep on keepin' on...
When you're in need of a reminder that you control your destiny... (FYI, MXPX is a pop-punk band...lyrics and I go together like PB & Banana! Yummo!)
And this...this is my current desktop background and will be incorporated into my household sometime (somehow) very, very soon...**love** it. The constant reminder to "just do you". :)
Any fave quotes to share? I can never get enough! :) I said, this week = new recipe + thrift store fantastic-ness + kiddo's wall art extravaganza!
See you soon!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are you ready for some football!?!? is FINALLY upon us! FOOTBALL SEASON! Love it!

We've spent the whole day today eating and laughing and screaming at the TV! Sundays rock! **happy sigh**

I always make a lots of foot on Sundays because we usually end up with a house full of friends. Today's feast included my famous chili (yummy!), the always popular Buffalo Chicken Dip, and a new delicious dip...PIZZA DIP! It was a hit with adults and kids...give it a try!

Pizza Dip
1 8-oz. cream cheese - softened
2-3 Tbsp. Pizza Seasoning (or a combo of Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Basil and Oregano to taste)
1 cup pizza sauce
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small package pepperoni
1 cup shredded Parmesan
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella

1. Mix softened cream cheese with seasonings and spread in the bottom of a baking dish.
2. Sprinkle half of the shredded mozzarella and half of the shredded Parmesan on the cream cheese.
3. Pour pizza sauce over the top and spread out evenly.
4. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top of sauce, and then the black olives on top of that.
5. Microwave pepperoni on paper towel to bring the orange fat to the surface. Blot off with a clean paper towel.
6. Layer pepperoni onto dip and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
7. Bake at 350 for about twenty minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

Enjoy with bagel chips, tostitos or sliced french bread! SO yummy! AND, easily customizable...add your favorite pizza toppings...sausage, mushrooms, anything! The possibilities are endless!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I've been FEATURED!

Over at It's So Very Cheri!

Hit up her blog and check out the other features! (I, for one, LOVE the faux mercury glass pumpkins!!)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's (a)LIVE!!

I am cross-posting this from my photography blog...

My labor of weeks of work and tears and passion are now READY FOR THE WORLD!!!

I am proud to introduce to you my new website:


(Feel free to let me know if you find any kinks or typos...I'm still adding some stuff...SHOPPING CART COMING SOON! OMG, I cannot WAIT! Oh...and the splash page will be updated soon...but disregard that! GO! Look!!! :-) ENJOY!)

Much love!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Canvas Makeover!

I'm linking this up to DIY day at ASPTL! Head over there to check out all the DIY fantastic-ness!

One of my favorite quotes in the world is "All You Need Is Love" (I even have it tattooed on my foot!!), so when I saw these signs...

... I knew I had to have it. BUT, it's expensive. REALLY expensive. And really expensive and I just don't get along, you know?

SO my next thought was, well...I could maybe make that...maybe...I think?? I had planned to do it on one big board (rather than split into two as they did) BUT, then I saw THIS at a yard sale and thought "Oh yes...I've got this."

WHAT?!?!? You think I'm joking?? I paid $4 for that baby at a HUGE yard sale (and was so embarrassed to be carrying it around I brought it immediately to my car and returned to browse more, because God forbid people actually think I WANTED that!!!!!! LMAO!)

So anyway...first things first, I taped off the frame and sprayed it with white spray primer. (Just the cheapie stuff.) To be honest, I didn't even do that good of a job.

This thing was HEAVILY textured. You could still make out the skull thing just in texture, and I considered sanding it down, but decided that it wouldn't be nearly as noticeable when I painted it black, and I was quite right. (Thankfully!!!)

To do the lettering I printed out the letters I needed, cut them out (YUCK...I am a TERRIBLE cutter! Seriously! I think my kids could've done better! LOL!) and traced them onto the canvas with a pencil.

Then, I took my trusty 25 cent sponge brush and a bottle of black acrylic, and I went to town.

I was as careful as I could be around the letters, but I touched up some of my mistakes with a white paint pen later and then I painted the frame black.

Are you ready for the finished product? Let me tell's not even sort of perfect, but I'm ok with that. (Actually though, now that I am looking at the inspiration and my version side by side, I think I am going to do some sort of brown color wash over the letters to antique them a little more, but..................anyway...this is what I've got for now.) :)

I can't decide if I love it leaning against the wall like that, or if I want the man to hang it above our dresser. Either way, I LOVE it...and love is all you need. ;)

I'm linking this at the Trash to Treasure party over at Along the way with K + J...head over there to check out more yard sale finds and makeovers, and also at the Knockout Knockoff party at It's so very Cheri!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Biscuit Bubble Pizza

Yummy stuff! And super simple!

Biscuit Bubble Pizza

2 rolls refrigerated biscuit dough (10 biscuits ea.)
1 15 oz. can pizza sauce
1 lb. hamburger
1 cup. mozzarella
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese
Other pizza toppings as desired.

1. Grease a 9x13 pan.
2. Cut biscuits into four quarters and layer all in the bottom of the pan.
3. Brown hamburger, drain fat and then mix meat with pizza sauce. Pour over biscuits.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
5. Add other pizza toppings as desired. (Pepperoni, Peppers, Mushrooms, ANYTHING!) Top with shredded cheese.
6. Bake 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

We served this with salad...quick and delicious!


GAH! Sorry for the lack of posting!

I am laid off from my day job this week and things have been GO-GO-GO! Got the kiddos off to school this morning (**sniff**) and have done a ton of photo/design work but not a lot of around the house stuff.

Look at them...they grow up so fast...

I will have a recipe to share this afternoon though! :)

Miss y'all!
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