Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Italian Tomato Beef Stew

 I added my own little twist = 2 cans of Italian Stewed Tomatoes and 1 large can of Tomato Sauce.




I got this from the Cooking Classy blog.  I like it as a crockpot recipe.  Here is what she has to say about making it in the crock pot: "toss it all in the slow cooker (skip the browning), then walk away and come back to dinner."  I first saw this recipe after a friend pinned it on pinterest.

  • 4 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2-inch thick pieces (2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2-inch thick pieces (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 lbs rump roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 oz cremini mushroom, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese, for serving (optional)

  • Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large enameled cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Once hot add carrots, celery and onion and saute until lightly golden, about 5 - 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Pour mixture into a heat proof bowl and set aside.
  • Place beef in a large resealable bag, add flour and season lightly with salt and pepper. Seal bag and toss well to evenly coat beef in flour. Return pot to medium-high heat, add remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil. Once oil is hot add beef and cook stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Add 1 cup broth and red wine vinegar and cook, stirring frequently while scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits on bottom, until sauce has thickened. Add remaining 3 cups beef broth, diced tomatoes, oregano, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, bay leaves, potatoes, mushrooms and sauteed veggie mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste and bring mixture just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer 3 - 4 hours, stirring occasionally, until beef is very tender.
  • Stir in fresh basil and parsley. Serve warm sprinkled with Parmesan or Romano cheese if desired.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy & Grandma's Slow Cooker Recipes

Friday, June 28, 2013

4th of July cupcake decorating fun...

Found these cute pinwheels for 4th of July cupcake fun!

Love this site:

Back home from our trip!

We had a blast and really enjoyed Disney and all our travels in June 2013!

Back to work we go, hi ho hi ho!  lol

Friday, June 14, 2013

Vacation Time - Traveling with my family!

I'll be traveling during June 14th until June 28th, 2013.  Going to Gatlinburg, then to South Carolina, on to Jekyll Island, next to DISNEY, and last to Captiva Island.

I'll post pictures as soon as I can!

Have a great mid June everyone!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DC Cupcake Recipe = Banna Split Cupcakes!!!


Georgetown Cupcake “Banana Split” Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup fresh bananas, mashed (2 to 3 bananas)
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot fudge
¼ cup rainbow sprinkles
¼ cup crumbled toffee
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
12 maraschino cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a standard cupcake pan with twelve paper baking cups.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs slowly, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  5. Add the bananas and honey, and mix slowly until well incorporated.
  6. Add one third of the dry ingredients, followed by one third of the water, and mix thoroughly. Repeat. Add the last third of the dry ingredients, followed by the last third of the water, and mix thoroughly.
  7. Using a standard-size ice-cream scoop, scoop batter into the cupcake pan until cups are two-thirds full, and bake for 16 to 18 minutes (start checking after 15 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
  8. For the frosting: Mix together the butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and airy. Transfer to a plastic piping bag (or freezer bag) fitting with a plain round tip.
  9. Using an apple corer, core out the center of each banana cupcake and fill with hot fudge. (You can squeeze the hot fudge from a squeeze bottle.)
  10. Frost cupcakes with Georgetown Cupcake’s “signature swirl” and top with a drizzle of hot fudge, rainbow sprinkles, crumbled toffee, toasted hazelnuts (or your other favorite ice cream toppings), and a maraschino cherry on top.

Georgetown Cupcake “Hamburger” Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes
12 banana cupcakes
12 chocolate cupcakes
3 cups vanilla buttercream frosting
2 teaspoons each green, red, and yellow gel food color
2 tablespoons piping gel
¼ cup sesame seeds
  1. Slice the banana cupcakes in half, across the middle, so that the top half is your top “bun” and the bottom half is your bottom “bun”.
  2. Slice the chocolate cupcakes in half, across the middle, so that the top half is your “hamburger patty”.
  3. Place a chocolate cupcake slice on top of a bottom bun.
  4. To make your frosting “mustard”, “ketchup”, and “lettuce”, divide the buttercream frosting into three small bowls. To each bowl, add 2 teaspoons of yellow, red, or green food color, and mix so that you have a yellow-tinted buttercream, a red-tinted buttercream, and a green-tinted buttercream. Place the frostings in three piping bags (or freezer bags), each fitted with a narrow round metal tip.
  5. To decorate your cupcake hamburger patty, frost a squiggle pattern of yellow buttercream across the surface and around the edge of the chocolate cupcake slice, to create an edge of mustard. Repeat with the red buttercream to create the ketchup and the green buttercream to create the lettuce.
  6. Place a top banana cupcake half on top to form the top bun. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top with piping gel or water, and sprinkle sesame sees on top. Repeat for each cupcake. Serve and enjoy!

Georgetown Cupcake Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 18 cupcakes
1 ¼ cups flour, sifted
½ teaspoon baking soda, sifted
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 baking cups, and a second pan with 6 baking cups.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
  5. Combine the vanilla extract and milk in a large liquid measuring cup.
  6. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one-third of the milk mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another one-third of the flour mixture, followed by one-third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat just until combined.
  7. Add the cocoa powder, beating (on low speed) just until incorporated.
  8. Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each cupcake paper with batter, so that the wells are two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Georgetown Cupcake Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes
16 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Add the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, milk, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer or a bowl with a handheld electric mixer, and mix on high speed until light and airy, approximately 3 to 5 minutes..

Georgetown Cupcake “Ice Cream Cone” Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes
24 ice cream cones
chocolate cupcake batter
vanilla buttercream frosting
¼ cup each of your favorite ice cream toppings such as hot fudge, rainbow sprinkles, crushed toffee, hazelnuts, or caramel
24 maraschino cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and wrap foil over the top of a cake pan that is at least 3 inches deep.
  2. Pierce holes in the foil, and place the ice cream cones standing up in the holes.
  3. Using a mini ice cream scoop, transfer the cupcake batter into the ice cream cones.
  4. Bake the cupcakes for at least 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Using Georgetown Cupcake’s “signature swirl” technique, frost the top of each cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting.
  6. Garnish with your favorite ice cream toppings.
  7. Add a cherry on top, serve, and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So cute!!!

Love this idea for the kids...
 found on

You’ll need:
  • Batch of chocolate sugar cookie dough and batch of plain sugar cookie dough*
  • Rolling pin
  • Flour
  • Wax paper
  • Round scallop-edge (flower shape) cookie cutter, about 3 inches wide
  • Baking sheet
  • Cooling rack
  • Heart-shape cookie cutter, about 1 1/2 inches wide
  • Chocolate chips
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Small microwave-safe bowl
  • Butter knife
  • Sliced almonds

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Excel Freebie from Kristy

Here is a freebie if you'd like to get more organized with your computer passwords and links.
There are color coded tabs that run along the bottom of the spreadsheet with different topics (30 total) for you to add your information on. The best way to get started it just print each 8x10 topic sheet off and hand write all the information in first or you can type everything if you want. Here is the link to download. Let me know if you have any issues. I normally use the Comment section to note if I like the site (like: LOVE, GOOD, SOSO, BAD, etc...)

 Link to download the file is here:


Monday, March 11, 2013

Melody's Makings Giveaway! Adorable!!!

ATTERN GIVEAWAY! ~ Want to win a copy of one of my newest patterns!? Head up to the "Giveaway" tab up above next to my Photos tab and get entered to win. If you have problems with the Rafflecopter, please try using another browser. If you are accessing from your cell phone, use this mobile friendly link to enter: Winners will be selected Wednesday morning and a pre-sale for the pattern will also be posted at that time. Good Luck!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Sneak Peek for 2013 Backdrop Props at KJD

Great little finds on this Wednesday Whimsy!



steps and template to create party hats here:  

Great Instagram Filters and Actions to use with photoshop

Great site for washi tape and more:


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!!!

 A New Year's Prayer
Dear Lord, please give me
A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;
A work to do which has real value,
without which the world would be the poorer;
A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;
An understanding heart;
A sense of humor;
Time for quiet, silent meditation;
A feeling of the presence of God;
The patience to wait for the coming of these things,
With the wisdom to recognize them when they come.