Taco Dip

taco-dip

Who doesn’t love taco dip?  We’ve been known to have this for lunch, though I’m sure it isn’t the healthiest option.  Feel free to customize the toppings according to what your family likes.  I got this recipe from my brother’s girlfriend’s mom when we attended a graduation party at their house.

Taco Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning
  • 1 can refried beans
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1 lg. can sliced black olives
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • green onion, chopped (to taste)
  • 2 C.+ shredded cheddar
  • 1-2 lg. bags Fritos or tortilla chips

Directions:

In large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, and taco seasoning.  Mix thoroughly.  Spread mixture evenly in jellyroll or cake pan.  Layer toppings over cream cheese mixture: beans, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onions, and cheese.  Cover and chill.  Serve with chips.

Wassail

wassail

The first time I had this was at my sister-in-law’s house and boy was I impressed!  I just had to have the recipe and have made it many times since.  We’ve tried making it with green tea, but prefer black.  This is an excellent drink for the wintertime, so why don’t you make a batch for your own family?

Wassail

Ingredients:

  • 8 C. water
  • 4 tea bags (I prefer black tea)
  • 1 C. water
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 whole allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 C. lemon juice
  • 3/4 C. orange juice
  • 3/4 C. apple juice OR cider

Directions:

Boil 8 C. water in large pot.  Turn off heat and add tea bags to steep for 5 minutes.  Remove tea bags when done steeping.  Meanwhile, combine 1 C. water, sugar, and cinnamon stick in small saucepan.  Place cloves and allspice in tea ball and add to sugar mixture.  Boil for 5 minutes.  When sugar-spice mixture is done, add to large pot of tea.  Also mix in lemon, orange, and apple juices.  Heat and serve.

Buckeyes

buckeyes

We absolutely love Buckeyes!  They are a family Christmas tradition and the holidays just aren’t complete without this peanut-buttery treat on the table.  This year my niece made them and she did an excellent job!

Buckeyes

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 C. crunchy OR creamy peanut butter
  • 3 C. Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3 C. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 lb. paraffin wax
  • Lg. Hershey bar or other melting chocolate

Directions:

In lg. bowl, mix together butter, peanut butter, cereal, and powdered sugar.  Melt chocolate and wax together in double boiler.  Form peanut butter mixture into balls, dip in chocolate to cover, and place on wax paper to harden.

Easy Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

easy-pb-cookies

We made this peanut butter cookies to snack on this Christmas.  I actually have two Peanut Butter Kiss Cookie recipes–this is the simple one.  It has surprisingly good taste for how few ingredients are included.  This recipe lends itself well to having children help–they love putting the chocolate on top.

Easy Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 4 C. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 C. sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 72 Hershey Kisses or chocolate stars

Directions:

Unwrap Kisses.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In lg. bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, and eggs until blended (it will be sticky).  Using a small scoop, drop 1 1/2″ balls of dough on cookie sheet about 1 1/2″ apart.  Bake 12-14 minutes, until cookies look dry and tops look cracked.  Remove from oven and immediately press a Kiss or chocolate star in center of each cookie.  Leave on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Make sure chocolate has set before storing.

Maple Walnut Fudge

maple-fudge-2

My husband is not a fan of chocolate fudge, so we like to try out alternate fudge recipes to please his palate.  This one has earned a thumbs-up from the husband!  I love the maple taste and it pairs wonderfully with the nuts.  If you don’t have walnuts, you can substitute another nut.  We used pecans for this batch.  Also, since some of us don’t like nuts in fudge, I just put the pecan half on top and leave it out of the mixture altogether.  That way it can be picked off the top and everybody is accommodated.  I can’t find the original source of this recipe.

Maple Walnut Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. sugar
  • 1 C. evaporated milk
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 C. mini marshmallows
  • 3 C. white chocolate chips
  • 1 C. chopped walnuts, or nut of choice (optional)
  • 3 tsp. maple extract
  • 50 walnut halves (optional)

Directions:

In lg. saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, milk, and butter.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Let boil 5 minutes at 236-238 degrees F (soft-ball stage).  Remove from heat and quickly stir in marshmallows, white chocolate, chopped walnuts, and maple flavor.  Spread in a foil-lined 9×13″pan.  Top with walnut halves.  Chill 8 hours or overnight.  Cut around lg. walnut pieces to serve.

Tip: If the mixture doesn’t get hot enough, it will not set right.  It will still be delicious, just not firm like fudge.

maple-fudge-1

Molasses Sugar Cookies

molasses-cookies

My family absolutely loves these cookies!  You can make them with or without the raisins–they’re great either way.  We usually make them for Christmas, although they aren’t really a typical Christmas cookie.  Also, they freeze really well–in case you want to save them for an upcoming event.  I got the recipe from my mother-in-law.

Molasses Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C. shortening
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/4 C. molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 C. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 C. raisins (optional)

Directions:

Melt shortening in small saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat and let cool.  In large bowl, beat together cooled shortening, sugar, molasses, and egg.  Set aside.  In separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.  Add to first mixture.  Mix well and stir in raisins, if you choose.  Chill.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Form dough into 1″ balls, roll in granulated sugar, and place 2″ apart on cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Let cool 2-3 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.

 

5 Favorite ASMR Videos

I’m one of those people who can get extremely relaxed by listening to ASMR videos.  Not all of the ASMR videos out there trigger the tingly responses in me, so when I find a person whose voice is particularly relaxing to me, I take note.  I’d like to start regularly sharing my favorite ASMR videos with you.  Hopefully we have some of the same triggers.  Enjoy!

 

 

August Try-On Haul – Kohl’s & ModCloth

I just wanted to share with you the cool new clothing I purchased recently at Kohl’s and ModCloth.  Check out my video to see my try-on haul on Youtube.  This is my first try-on video, so I think there is definitely room for improvement in my delivery.  After watching it, I realized just how un-emotive I get when I’m nervous.  Really, I do have more personality than is evidenced in the vid.  I hope you enjoy!

 

 

Please let me know if you know of any other cool clothing stores that feature somewhat quirky fashion.  That’s my thing!

ModCloth Review #3

Modcloth #3-1

This post contains an affiliate link.

This month’s Modcloth purchase was fairly simple (and it just happened to color-coordinate.)  I got this nifty t-shirt which has a unique cut to it, with some fun striped fabric.  I like how it looks, though it’s a bit unconventional.  The fabric is very soft, which I like in a t-shirt.  I’d say it was a little overpriced, though.  $29.99

I also got this fun Super Mario Bros. stationery.  It comes with twelve cards and envelopes.  The cards are actually die-cut characters which can be folded so that they stand up on their own.  They are super cute and I can’t wait to use them!  The only down side is that the writing area is rather small, so they’re not going to work for any kind of lengthy correspondence.  That’s okay–their cuteness more than makes up for it!  $8.99

Modcloth #3-2

I’m quite happy with my Modcloth purchases this month.  Can’t wait to pick out next month’s purchase!

Quality: The quality of everything was great!  I think everything was very well made and high quality.

Cost: I thought that the cost was reasonable.  Some of the items on the site cost a lot more, like $50 to $100+ for dresses.  Those dresses are special designs and fabrics, though.  If you find just the right one, you would probably be willing to pay that much for it.  The free shipping is really nice, too.

Shipping: Free (on orders over $75)

Final Thoughts: I absolutely will be ordering again from ModCloth in the future.  Their designs are just my style and the quality is great, too.  While I don’t love the prices, I am willing to pay them for the right product.  If you have a quirky sense of style, you will probably really enjoy buying from them.  They also cater to plus-size women, which is a huge boon (no pun intended).

Check it out for yourself: ModCloth

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Pilaf Bengal

Pilaf Bengal - w

I believe this recipe came from my mother-in-law.  It seems like an odd assortment of ingredients, but it really does end up tasting lovely.  Even my kids loved it!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Rice-a-Roni
  • 1 C. chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 C. chopped apples
  • 1/2 C. apricot preserves
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cubed
  • raisins
  • peanuts
  • coconut
  • chutney

 

Directions:

Prepare Rice-a-Roni as directed on package.  Meanwhile, sauté onion and garlic in butter, in a medium skillet.  Add apples, apricot preserves, bouillon, flour, pepper, lemon juice, and curry powder.  Stir to mix.  Add chicken and simmer 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve chicken mixture over Rice-a-Roni.  Garnish with raisins, peanuts, coconut, and chutney.