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St. Patrick’s Party

15 Mar

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!!!

We are getting ready for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and to keep the celebration going, we will be going to the O’Rourke’s for their annual St. Patrick’s Day party.

Here are some ideas for you to help celebrate the occasion with your family and friends:

Candy Bar

Check out all the cute ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day candy/dessert bar from http://party-wagon.com/childrens-party-blog/2012/3/15/sweet-st-patricks-day.html

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St. Patrick’s Day Printables

Found these through Pinterest and thought they were great:

http://livelaughrowe.com/irish-blessing-printables/

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St. Patrick’s Décor

Check this out for the fastest way to decorate with great colors:

http://www.twotwentyone.net/2011/02/thrifty-hurricane-tutorial/

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The real staples of a St. Patrick’s Day event – Corned Beef and Cabbage and Scones

Corned Beef is a really easy meal to make – and it definitely tastes better the next day.  Check out this super simple recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/corned-beef-and-cabbage-i/

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And being a 1st generation Irish American girl, I would never offer up a recipe for traditional Irish Scones off the internet – it’s just not done in my house.  You have to use my Aunt Bridget’s recipe to make scones

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!!

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

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Thanksgiving Recipes

21 Nov

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just one week from today?  Now is the time to kick your Thanksgiving dinner preparations into high gear!

Here are some recipe ideas that should help you out – whether you are cooking the whole meal for your family and friends, or if you just want to bring something to the hostess so you don’t walk in empty handed.

Appetizers

Turkey Vegetable Tray

Turkey Vegetable Tray

http://www.livinglocurto.com/2012/10/turkey-vegetable-tray/

Turkey Veggie Platter

Turkey Veggie Platter

http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/turkeyveggieplatter.html

Cranberry-Stuffed Brie en Croute

Cranberry-Stuffed Brie en Croute

http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/holiday-brie-en-croute/

Creamy Artichoke Bruschetta

Creamy Artichoke Bruschetta

http://www.culinary.net/recipes/RecipeDetail.aspx?ID=3512&CourseName=Appetizers&CourseID=1

Soups & Salads

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-butternut-squash-salad-with-warm-cider-vinaigrette-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/pumpkin-soup-with-chili-cran-apple-relish-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Main Course

A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey

Simply Perfect Roast Turkey

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/A-Simply-Perfect-Roast-Turkey/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

Olive-Oil Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Sage

Olive-Oil Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Sage

http://www.marthastewart.com/1038824/olive-oil-mashed-potatoes-garlic-and-sage?czone=food%2Fthanksgiving-center%2Fthanksgiving-center-dishes&gallery=274448&slide=1038824&center=276949

Quick Skillet Garlic Green Beans

Quick Skillet Garlic Green Beans

http://magpiesrecipes.blogspot.com/2013/02/quick-skillet-garlic-green-beans.html

Sausage Stuffing Recipe

Sausage Stuffing Recipe

http://www.chow.com/recipes/29030-sausage-stuffing

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

http://southernfood.about.com/od/sweetpotatoes/r/bl40329j.htm

Honey Glazed Carrots

Honey Glazed Carrots

http://www.katiekayskitchen.com/2013/02/honey-glazed-carrots.html

Desserts

Pear, Apple and Cranberry Crisp

Frame 17

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/pear-apple-and-cranberry-crisp-recipe/index.html

Easy Blackberry Cobbler

Easy Blackberry Cobbler

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/easy-blackberry-cobbler-10000001816143/

Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust

Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/double-apple-pie-with-cornmeal-crust-10000001831980/

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pumpkin-pie-recipe/index.html

We are so grateful for our loyal customers and friends and we wish everyone a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

14 Nov

Between jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, it seems like pumpkins are everywhere for the months of October & November…. Growing up I thought they were just for Halloween, but the older, more mature (?) me appreciates so many things about pumpkins…  Here are just a few of those things:

Decorating With Pumpkins

There are SO MANY ways pumpkins can be dressed up for the season.

Here is a link to our post on How to Make a Pumpkin Planter

how to make a pumpkin planter

How about these pretty pumpkins?

pretty pumpkins collage

You can carve your Pumpkins…

carved pumpkins collage

Cooking with Pumpkins

Make a Pumpkin Shake:

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup of milk

3 tablespoons of pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Tastes just like pumpkin pie in a glass!

pumpkin pie milkshake

Pumpkin Bites – see our previous post for how to make them

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Roast Pumpkin Seeds:

2 cups pumpkin seeds

1 1/2 TBSP butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp c

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Clean and dry to seeds.  Melt butter in saucepan and stir in salt, garlic salt & Worcestershire sauce.  Add seeds and stir to coat.  Spread seeds on a single layer on a large un-greased cookie sheet.  Cook for 60 minutes stirring at the 15, 30, 40 and 50 minute marks.  Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

roasting pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Soup (courtesy of Allrecipes.com)

Makes 8 to 10 servings6 cups chicken stock1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

5 whole black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
  3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

pumpkin soup

And finally, you can always store your false teeth in them!

pumpkin with teeth collage

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Fun and Fast Halloween Snacks

31 Oct

What does everyone automatically think of when they think of Halloween?  CANDY!

But what I have found is that the kids that hang out at our house for Halloween night prefer snacks other than candy.  Of course they will dig in to their candy bags after Halloween, but for the party night that is Halloween in our neighborhood, here are some fun and easy ideas that you can try for your little ghouls & goblins!!!

Halloween Snack Mix

1 Bag Chex Mix

1 Bag Candy Corn Harvest Mix

1 Bag Peanut M&M’s

1 Bag Plain M&M’s

Combine in large bowl.

Could this be ANY easier???

halloween snack mix

Banana Pop Ghosts:

Bananas

White Candy Melts

Mini Chocolate Chips (for eyes)

Popsicle Sticks (lollypop sticks don’t support the weight as well…)

Wax Paper

Cut bananas in half and freeze them for 30 minutes. Insert Popsicle sticks and dip them in melted white candy melts. Add eyes & freeze until ready to serve.

Kids love these little ghostly creations!

ghost banana pops

Cheese-Fingers

Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Mozzarella string cheese

Green bell pepper

Cream cheese

Use a paring knife to cut each string in half and then round off one end to make it look like the top of a finger.  Carve out a shallow area where the fingernail will be – just below the rounded end of the ‘finger’.  (You may want to use gloves or plastic wrap so your fingers don’t smudge the texture of the cheese.)

Mark the joint right below the nail as well as the knuckle joint by carving out tiny horizontal wedges of cheese, as pictured.

For the fingernails, slice a green bell pepper into 3/8-inch-wide strips. Set the strips skin side down on your work surface and trim the pulp so that it’s about half as thick. Then cut the strips into ragged-topped nail shapes and stick them in place at the ends of the fingers with dabs of cream cheese.

Watch the kids (and adults) reactions when they check these out!

cheese finger food

Carrot-Finger Food

Courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine

Vegetable dip

4 long carrots

1 medium carrot

Softened cream cheese

Sliced-almonds (5 to be exact!)

Baby carrots

To prepare them, just fill a serving bowl with your favorite vegetable dip. Wash and peel 4 long carrots for fingers and 1 medium carrot for a thumb.

With a paring knife (a parent’s job), cut a flat, shallow notch in the tip of each carrot. Then use a dab of dip or softened cream cheese to glue a sliced-almond fingernail atop each notch.

Stick the fingers in the dip, as shown, and serve with plenty of peeled baby carrots for dipping.

A creepy way to serve veggies and dip!

carrot finger food

Dracula Donuts

Glazed donuts

Chocolate chips (for the eyes)

Plastic Dracula teeth

The Dracula teeth go in the center of the donut, press 2 chocolate chips point side down into the donut for the eyes.

This is ALMOST as easy to make as the Halloween Snack Mix and will get a great reaction!!!

dracula donuts

Stuffed Pumpkin Peppers

Since you have to eat dinner on Halloween, I suggest you make these to start your night out – I made these last week and my family loved them…

Green, red, orange and yellow peppers

Hamburger

Rice

Spaghetti sauce

Shredded mozzarella cheese

Using a paring knife, cut jack-o-lantern faces into the peppers.  Boil the peppers in water for 10 minutes.  While the peppers are boiling, brown the hamburger meat and cook the rice (I use minute rice for the quickest preparation).  Mix together the hamburger, rice, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella together and stuff in the peppers.  Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

stuffed peppers

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Dinner? Who has time for dinner? It’s baseball season!

18 Apr

As the weather turns warm and the trees begin to bud, our thoughts turn to the outside… and baseball – or soccer – or lacrosse – or whatever outdoor activity your kids happen to be involved in this spring.  And as most youth sports are coached by parent volunteers, these practices and games are often scheduled to take place after work hours – right in the middle of dinner time!

dinner time clock

As most busy parents are familiar with, being organized is how they survive, and dinner time at a ball field is no exception.  As someone who runs the concession stand at our Little League field, there are a lot of hot dogs and cheeseburgers for dinner in our family this time of year.  For families that don’t have the option of a freshly cooked dinner, or refuse to feed their kids fast food night after night (remember, kids are what they eat…), I have pulled together some dinner options that are good for the family on-the-go.

dance class pictureskids playing baseball

The Crock Pot

When I think of a crock pot, I think of sitting down with a steaming bowl of stew or chili and a chunk of crusty bread.  Don’t think you need to put away the crock pot just because winter is over.  For the busy family, a little planning and a crock pot can be a big time-saver on the busiest of nights.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with a side of coleslaw and corn on the cob – I always use the McCormick Slow Cookers BBQ Pulled Pork seasoning mix to give me a head start with seasoning the pulled pork.  In addition to the seasoning mix and the boneless pork shoulder roast, you will need ketchup, brown sugar and cider vinegar.  The best part of this meal is that it freezes really well so don’t be afraid to freeze any leftovers.

BBQ Pulled Pork mix          pulled pork sandwich

Southwestern Chicken with a side of tortillas and avocado – This easy recipe starts with frozen chicken breast!  It seems like when its dinner time in my house, the chicken is always frozen…  Of course this frozen chicken would have to come out in the morning when you are assembling the ingredients in the crock pot.  This dish calls for frozen chicken breasts, canned corn, canned black beans, small jar of salsa, top with cream cheese at the very end.

southwestern chicken

Sweet and Sour Meatballs with a side salad – Another great ‘cheat’ recipe because I start with the frozen meatballs and add grape jelly and chili sauce.  Enough said.

sweet and sour meatballs

Salads and Wraps

Salads and wraps are an easy, light way to have dinner on the run.  A little prep work can go a long way toward making these meals fast.  Prepped ingredients can be assembled in just a few minutes to get dinner ready so you are out the door in no time.  Individual containers allow family members to eat when they have time – your daughter can eat during her brother’s baseball practice and he can eat during her dance class.  These individual meals allows you to customize the ingredients per person – I love Craisins and cheese in my salads, my son only wants cheese and my husband doesn’t like either.

chopping vegetables

Chicken Caesar Salad wraps are a ‘go to’ quick meal for our family.  My shortcut for this meal is to buy a chicken that is already roasted from Sam’s Club.  Their roasted chickens are the same price as a raw one, and I don’t happen to have a rotisserie oven at my house so it’s probably healthier than if I cooked one myself…

chicken caesar salad wrap

Cobb Salad is quickest to make when you have bacon bits made from real bacon or you can pre-cook bacon yourself in advance, crumble it and put it in the freezer until you need it.  I also make a bunch of hard boiled eggs early in the week which are also great for breakfasts on the go.

cobb salad

Chef Salad is traditionally made with ham, turkey and roast beef along with Swiss cheese & hardboiled eggs.  Any combination of meats and cheeses can be substituted – an easy meal to customize.

chef salad

What are some of your favorite quick-fix meal ideas?  Share them with us by commenting on this post.

Anne-Marie Dunn is the owner of www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com Let's Get Blogging!!!

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