Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Peachy Keen Bars

My favorite part of any meal is dessert! :)  I have a terrible sweet tooth. I love to try new desserts, too.  I found this recipe on Pinterest from Just a Pinch Recipes.  It seemed really easy and looked delicious and I hadn't tried a new dessert recipe for quite a while. Here you go...

Peachy Keen Bars

Ingredients:

1 pkg. dry cake mix, yellow or french vanilla (I used yellow)
1/3 C butter, room temperature
2 eggs, divided
29 oz. can light sliced peaches, drained (I used regular, not light, and it was just fine)
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg.  Mix with fork until crumbly.
Set aside 1 1/2 C of crumbs for topping.

Press remaining crumbs in bottom of prepared pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Cut peaches into 1" pieces.  Spoon onto partially baked crust.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and vanilla.  Beat with a mixer until creamy.  Spread over peaches. 

Sprinkle with reserved crumbs and bake for 30 minutes. 

Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.  Store leftovers in fridge.  Serves 12.

Here's a recap in pictures:

Press crumbs into bottom of dish and bake for 10 minutes.

 
Spoon peaches over crust.  

 
Pour batter over peaches.


 
Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.
 

 
Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.  

 
Eat a big serving!


 
I think that this dessert was delicious!  Kenny and Demi thought it was, too.  Lance said it was good, but it didn't earn his highest praise for some reason.  He's a picky dessert guy. :)  If I had any suggestions for changing this recipe, it would be to add more peaches.  I thought it was a little light on the amount.  Maybe adding one more smaller can would have been a good amount. Also, be sure the chill it for an adequate amount of time.  You need to let it cool down once it's out of the oven and then chill in the fridge for another 30 minutes (maybe an hour total).  I actually thought that the dessert was better the second day after sitting in the fridge overnight.  This is definitely a dessert I will make again!  It would probably be good with vanilla ice cream, too!  Now I wish I still had some left!
 
Enjoy!
~Dawn
 
 


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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mod Podge Picture Tile

If you remember a couple of weeks ago, I posted about the Christmas ornaments I made for my book club.  We also have one friend who does not attend book club, but she does come to our monthly dinners.  I wanted to make her something special, too!  I saw the perfect craft on Pinterest.  The website doesn't really give a tutorial, but I got my inspiration from the picture of the project.  As much as I love crafting, I admit that I had never used Mod Podge before.  I love it!  It was so easy to use and the project turned out great!  First, here's a picture of the finished project:


Sorry about the picture quality.  I really need to learn how to use my camera better!  The picture is from a dinner we attended last December.  So, let's get crafting!

I bought the 6x6 ceramic tile at Lowe's.  I really wanted one that was more rectangular, but couldn't find one I really liked.  I printed the picture on glossy photo paper in my inkjet printer at home and trimmed it down slightly on the edges.  The background paper is just scrapbook paper I already had on hand that I cut down to just fit on the tile.  I don't know where I bought it for sure, but probably JoAnn Fabrics, Michael's or Hobby Lobby.  I know, that didn't narrow it down very much!  I really can't tell you what the words say on the paper because I honestly didn't read it.  Hopefully it has a positive sentiment. :)

 
 

I started by putting a coat of Mod Podge on the ceramic tile with a brush.  In the future, I think I'll use a sponge brush to hopefully avoid having as many brush strokes.  You'll see what I mean later.  


 
 
After the first coat of Mod Podge, I layed the scrapbook paper over it while it was still wet and pressed it down. Then I added another coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper.   

 
 
Tip:  To keep the brush wet between coats, put it in a Ziploc bag. Genius, I know. :)
 
 
While it's still wet, lay the picture on the tile, set in place, and press down.  Then I added 2 more layers of Mod Podge on top of the picture and tile, allowing the first coat time to dry in between.  After it dried over night, I sprayed the entire tile with a sealer.  I have no idea what brand it was because I used the last of it and then threw the can out.  Any multi-purpose sealer will work.  Just read the can and find out what surfaces it works best on.  Yes, it's supposed to have that milky white color until it dries.  

 
 
Here's a picture of the finished project that shows the brush marks I was talking about.  If you look at the tile in a certain light, you can see the brush marks.  I used glossy Mod Podge.  They sell a matte version and I wonder if it wouldn't show the brush marks as much.  I might have to try it sometime.  

 

 
I bought a small picture stand to hold up the tile.  I think it turned out really good!!!!!  I'm already thinking of other things I can Mod Podge.  That stuff could be addicting!  These would make wonderful Mother's Day gifts!  What about using a photo copy of a marriage license for the background and putting the couple's wedding picture on it?  The lyrics to "your song" and a picture of you and your spouse?  Of course you don't have to use words as a background.  Any pretty paper would work.  The possibilities are endless!  I hope this has given you some inspiration for your next project!

 
~Dawn

 


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Monday, January 21, 2013

Chicken Cordon Bleu with Parmesan Cheese Sauce

This is going to be a quick and down to business post.  I made this recipe a few weeks ago and I'm just now finding time to blog it!  It was a really easy way to do Chicken Cordon Bleu.  You could probably eat this without the sauce and it will still taste ok, but the sauce is so good!  The original recipe is from White Lights on Wednesday


Chicken Cordon Bleu with Parmesan Cheese Sauce
Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (like you're butterflying, but finish the cut)

12 slices deli honey ham

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 pounds thinly sliced Swiss cheese

Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Coat a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter; set aside.
Lay the chicken breast halves in a single layer in the baking dish.  Top each breast with two slices of ham and 2 slices of Swiss cheese.  It's okay for the ham and cheese to overlap, as long as the entire breast is covered.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (clear juices), the cheese is bubbly and the bread crumbs are golden brown.

While the chicken bakes, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour to form a roux, cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Slowly pour in the milk while whisking constantly, make sure there are no clumps.  Stir in the bouillon and salt.  Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted.  Keep the sauce warm.
Remove chicken from oven, plate, and top with sauce.

I just simply followed all of the directions for this and didn't make any changes. 

Here you can see the layers of chicken, ham, and cheese:


Covered in bread crumbs and ready for the oven:

Baked to perfection and covered in Parmesan Cheese Sauce for added deliciousness!


Are you hungry yet???? :)

~Dawn



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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book Club Christmas Ornament

January is practically half over already!  I spent the last week getting back into a routine after a nice long winter break from school.  I've made some organizational changes here at home (which I will blog about later).  One thing I'm trying to do is carve out more time for blogging.  My goal is to do at least one post a week, but lately it's been more like once every two weeks or more. :(  By the way, I just saw that I have passed a milestone of having 2,000 blog visits!!!!!  Thanks so much to everyone who takes time out of their busy day to visit my little slice of the blogosphere.  I sincerely appreciate all the support!

A few weeks ago I mentioned in a blog post that we had to cancel our December book club due to a winter blizzard and some other personal matters within our group.   We were all disappointed since our Christmas book club is generally the highlight of our year.  I was probably the most disappointed because I had a special gift for each book club member that I couldn't wait to give them!  Well, after all the holiday craziness died down, we were finally able to get together last week at a restaurant.  It still wasn't our usual celebration, but we were just happy to be able to spend time together.  AND I was finally able to give them my gift!

Last November marked the 10th anniversary of our book club and I wanted to make something special for the girls to commemorate that milestone.  I saw a wonderful idea on Pinterest and tweaked it for our book club. 

As I've mentioned before, one of our book club members died of cancer a few years ago.  I wanted to somehow include her in my gift because she was an important part of our group and we miss her so much.  I contacted her husband who, after I explained my project, graciously agreed to help me.  He was able to find her copy of the first Christmas book we read back in 2002, which she had picked for us to read. The book is  Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (the movie Christmas with the Kranks is based on this book).  He gave me the book and I went to work....shredding it.  I know!  I'm quite sure that shredding a book is the 8th deadly sin.  But it was for a good cause!  Here's the result of my work:




It was hard to get a good picture without a glare so I'm sorry about the quality.  After I shredded some of the book pages, I wrapped each strip around a pencil to create curls.  Then, I stuffed the strips into plain glass ornaments until they looked full.  I also added some sparkling snow to add a little shimmer (probably about 1- 2 tablespoons).  Next, I put the "10" stickers on the front and tied ribbons to the top.  I also added a crystal charm that resembles a snowflake.  The most time consuming part was the paper curling.  I was so happy with how they turned out! I also made another gift for one of our friends who is in our dinner group, but not book club.  I'll blog about that another day. 

I hope this post has given you some ideas for a gift you can make in the future.  The original post suggested putting a wedding invitation inside as a gift for the bride and groom.  You could also do a birth announcement, favorite poem, copy of a cherished had written letter....the possibilities are endless!

~Dawn Pin It
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