Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday Treats Thanks to Pinterest

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I enjoyed the time with my family and am still coming down from all the food consumed over the weekend.

I was such a slacker when it has come to this blog over the last couple of months.

I was an even bigger slacker when it came to my holiday baking.

I only made a few treats and helped my mom and sister make a few more. On top of that, I didn't even take photos of the goodies I DID make!

However, most of the treats I made came from Pinterest so I thought I would feature them on here in case you are looking for a quick, sweet treat for any upcoming holiday gatherings.

Here we go...

These Rolo cookies are super easy (4 ingredients) and are quite yummy. I'm wondering what they would taste like with Reese's Cups instead of Rolos...I do have a cake mix in the pantry!

I even used Pinterest to find my OWN recipes, like these Sweet and Saltines candies! My sister and I made two trays of these treats - one with saltines and one with graham crackers. The saltine variety is the perfect combo of sweet and salty!

This white chocolate-coated candy mix is my FAVORITE holiday treat EVER. It is super simple and delicious.

I blame a co-worker for this next treat. We were sitting at our office holiday pitch-in lunch enjoying some of my white chocolate-coated candy mix when she mentioned that while she enjoyed the treat, puppy chow was her favorite snack mix.

So for days after that conversation, I had puppy chow on my mind. I also had a box of Rice Chex in my pantry so I poked around on Pinterest for different variations on the classic treat. I found this...

It looks like an ordinary bowl of puppy chow, right?

Wrong! It is made with Nutella...the world's best spread!

Better than that? It only had 6 ingredients and can be done in the microwave. There were other recipes on Pinterest for this mix but they were much more complicated and had ingredients that I didn't have on hand.

I took the batch into work and shared. I took what was left to my family Christmas celebrations. I had to get it out of the house!

Unfortunately, I had Rice Chex cereal leftover and just enough Nutella to make a half batch today.

I may or may not be typing this post with powdered sugar on my fingers and a container of the stuff beside me on the couch. I'll never tell!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Grandma's Bread Pudding

I'm excited to be competing in A Latte With Ott, A's Iron Chef Challenge Bake-Off sponsored by Taste of Home. I'm competing against the other winners of previous Iron Chef Challenge's over on her blog.

We were asked to create something new using Taste of Home's Cinnamon Raisin Bread recipe.

Since I won a challenge making something for my dad, I decided to go with the same theme in this challenge. My dad loves bread pudding and my grandma would make it for him a couple times a year. So, I pulled out my folder with grandma's favorite recipes and used one of the loaves of Cinnamon Raisin Bread (we ate the other one straight out of the oven) to make bread pudding.

Here's the final product. Yummy!

First I took a loaf of the Cinnamon Raisin Bread that I had baked earlier in the week.

 And cut it up into bite-sized pieces.

Then I put it into the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes to dry it out.

Then I added the chunks of bread to a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and - per my grandma's recipe - "enough milk to soak up bread"(I used about 2 cups) and stirred it together.

I put the mixture into a large glass baking dish. Put it into a 375 degree oven. Grandma's recipe says to bake until brown and thick. I left mine in for about 45 minutes.

I served it warm with some French vanilla Cool Whip. My dad enjoyed it, as did the rest of the family. Thanks to Taste of Home for sponsoring this challenge and Amy over at A Latte with Ott, A for hosting another great competition. Head over to her page to see what my competitors created. p.S. Amy will be posting all of our links tomorrow morning but I have to be at work super early and don't trust my scheduler to post this on time mine is up a bit early.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm Giving a Llama for Christmas

Since I can't sing AT ALL, I'm trying to find other ways to spread some Christmas cheer this year.

I love giving presents...finding just the right gift for friends and family.

I'm thinking of getting my friend, Leontien, a llama.

She's a dairy farmer but she loves llamas. Not really sure what the story is behind her adoration for these long-necked spitting machines, but she does.

Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure how to wrap a llama or if it would even fit into the trunk of my Corolla.

Just think of the spit I'd have to clean up...yuck!

So, I went to Heifer International's website and to see about buying a llama for a family in need.

Once in a while when I can't decide what to give someone, I'll look into making a donation in their honor. I struggle with this because I want to be sure the gift is to an organization/cause that they support or believe in. (Remember Will's gift of a polar bear or whale to his friend's little girl...I don't want to be that gift giver.)

As a farmer who works hard to care for her animals, I think Leontien will appreciate the gift to Heifer International.

As a lover of llamas, I think she will love that a woman somewhere in the world is receiving a llama in her honor.

I love Heifer's mission, strategy and their history.

Heifer’s mission is…
To work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.

Heifer's strategy is…To “Pass on the Gift.” As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe.
Heifer’s History
This simple idea of giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief caught on and has continued for over 65 years. Today, millions of families in 128 countries have been given the gifts of self-reliance and hope.

Check out their FAQ page if you want to know more. (Yes, some of the animals given are eaten by the family...but not llamas.)

What kind of nontraditional gifts are you giving this Christmas?  I'd love to hear about them!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sending Virtual Cookies

Head over to the Real Farmwives of America and Friends blog today and check out these delicious Buckeye Brownies I made as part of a virtual cookie swap!

While you are there, be sure to sign up for a chance to win a Gooseberry Patch cookbook!

Monday, December 5, 2011


For some reason this spoke to me today...

Source: via Megan on Pinterest

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Confessional

It's Friday! 

Does anyone else think this week was 8 days long?

Whew...I'm ready for the weekend. 

I'm participating in the Friday Confessional over at A Blonde Ambition hosted by the lovely Leslie. I'm a big fan of random blog posts (been known to write a few myself) so I can't wait to see what others "confess" today!

Here we go...

1. I have been experiencing some serious road rage this week. Now, I haven't ACTED on my rage but I have given people dirty looks and yelled at them in my head. I swear that my car is invisible at times the way people cut in front of me and turn out in front of's crazy!

2.  While I unpacked my Christmas decorations last weekend and put up my tree, the boxes are still strewn about my living room floor and all my snowman are strewn randomly on top of my china cabinet. Maybe I'll finish decorating this weekend and throw put the boxes out in the garage.

3.  My name is Megan and I'm addicted to Pinterest. I's so cliche. Everyone is obsessed, but I can't help it. It's just too easy to sit on the couch and start scrolling! Right now I have a couple dozen recipes pinned and have only attempted one of them and it was simply to throw cinnamon rolls on the waffle iron! Don't even ask about the decorating and craft projects I've pinned!

4.  Speaking of Pinterest, I get kind of depressed when I click on some of the very cute outfits other pinners create via Polyvore only to find out the cute t-shirt is $100 and the scarf is affordable but from a store in the UK.

5.  Every night this past week I have fixed myself a cup of decaf coffee (yes, I'm getting too old for caffeine in the evening) with a splash of Bailey's with a Hint of Mint Chocolate and a dollop of Cool Whip. It's my new favorite.

I think that's it for my confessions! Be sure to pop over to A Blonde Ambition and check out her most excellent blog, as well as the Confessional link-up.


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