Saturday, April 28, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

Baby  boy has gone through the cereal stage, so now it's time to move onto more exciting things! We are starting with carrots and sweet potatoes this week so I thought I would share with you how I make my homemade baby food. No fancy equipment, just a pan (with a lid) and a food processor.

I love making the food because it has a great texture, is fresh, and much cheaper than buying canned food in the store. I did the math and making your own food will save you at least $60 per month in comparison to buying it.

STEP 1: Wash and skin vegetables.

STEP 2: Cut into equal size pieces (smaller is better so they steam faster.)

STEP 3: Pour vegetables into saucepan. Pour in just enough water to fill the bottom of the pan. Heat on medium-high and place lid on to steam. (1lb of carrots or sweet potatoes take 15-18 minutes)

STEP 4: Once vegetables are tender (when a fork inserted is removed easily), drain.

STEP 5: Pour into food processor. ( I love my mini Kitchenaid processor)

STEP 5: Blend until desired consistency, adding water as needed.

There are many ways to portion this out. You can put it into ice cube trays and once it freezes, place cubes in a large ziplock bag in the freezer to be pulled out as needed. This works if you want to make large batches of each vegetable.

I prefer to only steam what I will need for the week. Sunday is my food making day, so once I make the amount needed, I portion it out into tiny plastic tupperware. I get 10 (2.7oz) containers at the dollar store.

Making baby food should be easy. No need to buy fancy baby puree gadgets or puree cookbooks. Getting ideas for food combinations online is a big help, but just be creative and combine what you think sounds good.


-You can also use a Magic Bullet or hand blender to puree food

-I have heard that electric steamers also work well instead of the stove top.

-Buy vegetables in bulk when on sale, cut up all at once, and then freeze what you don't need to steam at the moment. Then you can just pull out what you need from the freezer later on.

-Steaming time depends on the texture of each fruit and vegetable. Just test each food with a fork for tenderness and write down how long each item takes so you have a reference next time you make it.

-To save steaming time, you can also purchase some vegetables/fruits in the can (with no added salt or sugar). These are already soft and ready to be pureed.

-Once baby can eat more variety of foods, have fun combining different textures and flavors.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

DIY Twisted Turban Headband (from an old t-shirt)

I had an old shirt that I was about to donate, but I loved the print so much I wanted to find something to do with it. I love the twisted headbands I have been seeing everywhere and decided to make one of my own.


knit fabric (or old t-shirt)

matching thread

STEP 1: Cut two strips out of the knit fabric. that are double the final width you want your headband straps to be. My strips were approximately 4 in x 20 in.

STEP 2: Fold each strip in half (with right sides facing) and sew down the long side of raw edges. Flip right side out. Now you will have two "tubes".

STEP 3: Lay out tubes (seam sides up) in the shape of an "X". 

STEP 4: Fold strips over so that they are linked together, matching up the raw edges.

STEP 5: Take the unfinished headband and wrap around your head to see how tight to make it. Line up all raw edges and sew together with a straight stitch. Cut off any excess.

STEP 6: Flip seam to the inside of headband and wear!

Happy Thursday!

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Traveling to Missouri

We got extremely sad news a couple of weeks ago that my husband's great grandfather had passed away. At first, my husband was going to fly to Missouri for the service but then we decided to just throw ourselves in the car and drive!

Yeah...the reality of that idea hit about 30 minutes later when I realized I had less than 24 hours to pack us all up and prepare myself for two days of driving with two kids.

But, we chose to be naive about what could happen and I think it worked to our benefit!

So, the next morning we were in our car and ready for our first day of driving from Arizona to Amarillo, TX!

We started the trip off with donuts...because that's how every road trip should start, right?

Driving through New Mexico: 

This was my view from the back seat while I fed baby boy and watched Cinderella with my daughter:

Got some of the best truck stop pizza ever in Albuquerque:

No pictures of us in Amarillo. We were on a super tight schedule and it was dark by the time we got there. We basically grabbed a quick bite to eat, slept, and were on the road by the next morning! We made the drive from Arizona to Amarillo in 11 hours. Not too bad with two kids!

The next day...entering Oklahoma!:

I slept through our entering Missouri, but we were all so glad to get out of the car and catch up with family!

This baby was so good in his carseat:

He even got a new hairdo while at the hotel pool:

We took one day to head south to Springfield:

We did some shopping at the vintage shops downtown, including the Red Velvet shop. My husband is just glad I didn't find a couch to tow home across 4 states.

Before we left, I had to experience Steak N' Shake for the first time. Their guacamole chicken did NOT disappoint:

Oh, and neither did their shakes:

After four whole days with family, it was time to leave.  Leaving was bittersweet, but it was sure nice to see the southwestern sunset welcoming us back home:

I wish we had more time to stop in each state along to way to see the best of what each had to offer. It made me really interested in traveling more across our country.

We are very sad at the loss of his great grandfather, but grateful for wonderful memories with him and the peace that he is in Heaven.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Black Apple Dolls

 I'm sure you have seen Black Apple Dolls everywhere lately. I downloaded the pattern a long time ago and finally got around to using it recently.

Our close friends moved away and our daughters were also close, so they have been missing each other. So, I decided to make matching dolls for the girls in their own likeness.

This was a great stash busting project and I had fun coming up with new dress combinations for each girl.

It was such a fun project and I'm so glad each girl loved their doll! Now my daughter feels closer to them even while they are far apart;)

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Tatertots and Jello

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easy Perfectly Moist Turkey Recipe

I already shared how my husband and I were making our first turkey, and I have to be honest...I was pretty scared. I wasn't sure if it was just going to totally deflate as soon as we cut into it like on Christmas Vacation or if it would be raw inside.

I read a lot online for the "perfect" recipe. Some people said that a brine was the only way to go...others said a roasting bag was the best way.

I needed the best tasting recipe AND the easiest.

We finally just took a bunch of ideas that we liked from many recipes and made up our own! It turned out SO moist I can't believe it! It carved beautifully and no one needed a knife to cut it.

Turkey perfection was achieved.

Now, I have to give 99% of the credit to my husband because he shoved his hand up the bird, he rubbed it down with butter, he carved it,...and he reads this blog;) All in all it was a really fun experience to have together and we made a better turkey than my mom, just sayin'.


1 (18lb) TURKEY


2 small ORANGES (or 1 large)


3 tbs BUTTER


2 tsp SALT

2 tsp PEPPER


1 tsp PARSLEY FLAKES (optional)

STEP 1: Place turkey in a roasting pan. Cut onion, oranges, and lemon into quarters and stuff the turkey with them.

STEP 2: Take half the butter and rub it under the skin of the turkey. It's easier to separate the skin from the meat first and then spread the butter on. Do this all over the breast meat.

STEP 3: Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley together. Spread half under the skin of the breast meat.

STEP 4: Rub remaining butter and spices on top of the turkey on both breast and thighs.

STEP 5: Pour 2 cups of the broth in the bottom of the pan. Lower oven rack to the lowest setting and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

STEP 6: Make an foil tent over the turkey and bake for about 4 hours (or until internal temperature of the thigh meat reaches 180 degrees). Baste turkey with broth every 30 minutes while cooking and fill up bottom with remaining broth if needed. Also, remove the foil tent for the last 30 minutes of cooking.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Corn Syrup Free Pecan Pie

I've always had a love hate relationship with pecan pie. While I love the overall flavor, it always seemed too sticky and sweet to me.

My husband hinted that he would like a pecan pie for our Easter dinner this year so I went online to fine a recipe and this one got hundreds of positive reviews and I noticed it didn't have any corn syrup in the recipe so I knew it was worth a try!

I'm so glad I took a chance because it is SO good! It has the same flavor as a traditional pecan pie with a lighter texture.

(found at Allrecipes)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup white SUGAR
1/2 cup BUTTER
1 tablespoon all-purpose FLOUR
1 tablespoon MILK
1 cup chopped PECANS


STEP 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
STEP 2: In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar and the flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla and nuts.

STEP 3: Pour into unbaked 9-in pie shell. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done

Eat and enjoy!

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

My First Turkey....maybe.

My husband won a turkey in a raffle at work last Thanksgiving. The only problem was they gave it to him the night before Thanksgiving so we already had a turkey and this one was frozen solid anyways. So, it's been sitting in our freezer for the last few months ready to  make it's debut this Easter Sunday!

Oh, did I mention I have never made a turkey before?

Well, I have never made a turkey before.

I looked up a ton of recipes online, looking for the one with the most positive reviews. I found one I liked and we are going to try it out!

(it's stuffed with onions, oranges, lemon, and rubbed down with butter, salt, and pepper.)

I have to give all the credit to my husband. He cleaned it, stuffed it, and rubbed it down for his squeamish wife. We did have fun telling dirty jokes while he was massaging it though:)

Because that's what mature people do.

I'm sure of it.

So, I can't wait to share with you all how it turned out!

Have you made a turkey before? I feel pretty grown up now that I have attempted it.

You know, because being married and having kids didn't make me feel grown up already.

Hope you have a lovely Sunday!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Snow White Dress

My daughter's favorite princess these days is Snow White. I finally got this dress done for her and now the only problem I have is getting her to take it off!

I don't have a real tutorial for this but I thought I would still share how I made it.

I started with an existing Snow White dress that my mom found at Goodwill. It was in sad shape and one size too big for my daughter. I also found this red satin blouse for $1 at Goodwill because I knew I could use it to construct new sleeves, a cape, and a matching headband.

 For the cape, I cut out the back piece of the red blouse and hemmed the edges. For the collar, I cut out a collar shape from white satin and ironed on some craft fuse to the back to make it really stiff and stand up. I sewed the cape onto the collar and then the collar onto the sides of the shoulders of the dress.

I did not attach the collar all the way around the back of the dress because I wanted my daughter to be able to get into it easily. So, under the cape is the opening the back of the dress for her to get in and out.

For the sleeves I took some blue satin I already had and some red shirt material and used this tutorial from Craftiness Is Not Optional. Instead of putting a band around the bottom, I hemmed the raw edge under and then sewed elastic onto the edge (pulling it tight as I went so that it would pucker).

The tulle on the dress was ripping everywhere so I cut it off at the waist to leave the satin skirt on it's own.

For the headband, I covered an old headband with some red satin and then used this tutorial from Smile and Wave to make a big bow on top.  

 I ripped out the old stitching on the bodice of the dress and sewed on new silver trim that matched the glittery sleeves a little better.

Oh, and don't forget the red sparkle shoes;)

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Turtle Cheesecake Truffles

 Every holiday I make a cheesecake for our family dinners. While looking up new recipes I came across this one and knew I had to try them!


1 pkg (8oz) CREAM CHEESE


1 pkg CHOCOLATE MELTS (or almond bark)



STEP 1: Mix together cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs. Scoop with a spoon and form into balls. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and place in freezer.

Step 2: While cream cheese is in the freezer, melt the chocolate per the package instructions. Take cheesecake out of the freezer and dip into melted chocolate. Tap off extra chocolate and place back on cookie sheet.

STEP 3: Sprinkle pecans on top before chocolate hardens. Drizzle with caramel topping.

 These are SO good! I was worried they would have too much of a salty taste since no sugar is added to the cream cheese mixture, but it is a perfect combination with the chocolate and caramel on the outside.

Now, let's see if they make it until Easter Sunday!

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Tatertots and Jello

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tomato and Sausage Pizza Pie

My friend told me about this recipe a few weeks ago and it appealed to me immediately. I love trying new recipes...especially ones where I can have some freedom to customize them.


1 roll out PIE CRUST



1 c shredded MOZZARELLA


STEP 1: Roll out uncooked pie crust onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

STEP 2: Slice tomatoes and arrange in the middle of the crust, leaving a 1 inch border all the way around.

STEP 3: Layer on sausage and top with cheese. Fold edges of pie crust up and over the outer edge of the tomatoes. Brush edges of crust with olive oil and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the top if desired.

STEP 4: Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

This was SO good and I can't wait to try more varieties. I am feeling spinach and artichokes next. Maybe some turkey bacon and olives with a little basil pesto on the bottom?

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