Monday, April 25, 2011

Meatloaf Muffins

You will love this mini version of a classic comfort food. These muffins are fast to re-heat and make perfect leftovers. We often reheat them with marinara sauce and make meatball subs.
Muffin Ingredients:
3 slices of bread torn into pieces
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup tomato, seeded & diced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbls garlic, minced
1 Tbls kosher salt
2 tsps black pepper
Sauce Ingredients:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 tsp mustard powder
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, leaving some hanging over. 

Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Combine bread, milk and eggs in a large bowl; mash into a paste consistency. Add remaining ingredients and mix just until blended. Using a 1/2 cup measure portions into a 12-cup muffin tin. Top with 1 Tbls of sauce. Place muffin tin on top of the lined baking sheet. 

Roast until cooked through, 25-30 minutes.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Easter is right around the corner and I have been beyond busy. I haven't had time to do any new Easter crafts so I went to the archive. 
To add a little Easter flair without taking up table space I tied a egg wreath to the chandler with wire. 
I topped a coconut cake with green tinted coconut and added some bunny Peeps to look like bunnies in grass. 
For Easter vase filler I  used styrofoam eggs and a plastic chocolate bunny. 

From my family to yours - Happy Easter!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Search for the Perfect Pretzel - Part 1

It has been a crazy couple of weeks coupled with some tech issues, so I apologize for not posting anything recently...

I'm starting my search for the perfect soft pretzel!! I have chosen three bread machine recipes that I will be making over six weeks. I will share each recipe and I will also let you know which recipe won the title of "Perfect Pretzel." 

Recipe 1 comes from the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 tsps salt
  • 2-1/2 tsps brown sugar
  • 2 cups + 6 tbls bread flour
  • 2 tsps yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbls baking soda

Place the water, salt, brown sugar, bread flour and yeast (do not add the second amount of water or the baking soda) in the bread pan. Use the pizza dough function and select the small loft size.
When cycle is completed, remove the dough from machine and transfer to a floured surface. Divide dough into equal pieces. 
Roll each ball into a thin rope. I found the easiest way to do this was to roll the dough between your hands. Twist dough into a pretzel shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic and allow pretzels to rest for about 20-30 minutes. 

Place 2 inches of water in a wide 5 1/2 quart saute pan and bring to a boil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place 2 cups of water and baking soda in a small bowl, stir and reserve.
 Once pretzels have rested and water comes to a boil, carefully slide pretzels into the boiling water one at a time, flipping each after 1 1/2 minutes. Boil for 3 minutes total. Allow pretzels to drain on a cooling rack. Dip each pretzel into the stirred baking soda solution and place back on parchment-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with toppings. 
For toppings, I did 4 pretzels with coarse salt, 2 pretzels with garlic powder and shredded mozzarella and 2 pretzels plain that I dipped in butter then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. 
 Bake in oven until dark and golden, about 15-20 minutes. When finished cool on wire rack. 

These pretzels were really good! Not as good as the ones from the mall but pretty close. My fav was the cheese pretzel dipped in marina. 
I put the plain ones straight in the toaster to re-heat them before brushing them with and sprinkling on the cinnamon and sugar. 

The next pretzel recipe I will be trying is a "Almost-famous" recipe from the Food Network website so stay tuned!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Carnival Party

It's official Alyssa is now 7 years old and Kaylin is 5 years old!!

To celebrate, they had an awesome carnival themed party!! The party was originally planned to be a outdoor affair but do the rain the party was moved into the garage.

There were several game stations setup around the garage and each child was given a bag with their name on it to collect their tickets.

A home-made ball toss game was made by using velcro circles attached to foam core and some fabric balls.

A home-made beanbag toss was made by cutting three circles in a large plywood board. The board was painted white and the fairies from Sleeping Beauty were painted next to each hole.

There was also a home-made coin toss. The game was made by covering some boxes and coffee cans with paper and then adhering plastic plates to the top of the coffee cans. The kids were given poker chips to toss and the object was to land the chips on top of the plates. 

A prize station was one of the highlights of the party. There was tons of candy, stickers and toys sorted into bins. The kids exchanged their tickets for goodies and filled up their bags. 

Keeping with the theme buckets of popcorn were set out for snacking and for lunch they grilled up some hot dogs.

This party had one of the coolest cakes I have ever seen!!! It was made by Whimsy Cakes. I overheard one of the kids asking if it was made by Cake Boss. Too funny!!!

All the kids LOVED this party!! Even the parents that hung around had a blast!

My complements to the hostess!!