Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Kitchen Color Change


I have always loved the color red, so much so that not long after moving into our home I painted the kitchen red.  You can see what it looked like in the picture above taken this summer at my sons birthday party.  Sorry guys, you where in the best picture I had of my kitchen before I changed the colors.  It looks fairly bright in this picture because it was a nice sunny day, but on days that the sun didn't shine, it was very dark and cavernous.  I also love the blue color that is not quite powder blue, not quite turqoise, not quite robin's egg blue, I guess it most closely resembles Tiffany box blue.  It is accented nicely by my ever favorite color red.  I made the curtains you see in the background of the above picture and was inspired to change the wall color of my kitchen.

I love how it turned out.  I ended up adding ric rac to the curtains (you can see it on the one on the left).  I had to purchase another roll to finish the other curtain.  Ric rac and polka dots are alot another passion I have, you can see the hand towel I made on the oven door from polka dot material.  I will show you how I made the hand towel soon.  I have one thing I want to change and that is the space between the cabinet top and the upper cabinets.  It shows every little splatter and doesn't clean up well.  I would like to put metal, tile, or something back there that will clean up nicely.  Thanks for stopping by!  Have a wonderful, blessed day.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookie dough?  But we all know it can be harmful to our health, but we eat it anyway, right?  Well I have a recipe that I am going to share with you that will allow you to eat all the cookie dough you want and not have of the guilt.  These delicous Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles have no eggs in them so they are perfectly safe to be consumed uncooked.  I am going to share the recipe with you and some pics of the ones I made for my family for Christmas.  ENJOY!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

1/2c butter (one stick), softened
3/4c brown suga
1t vanilla
2c all purpose flour
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2c minin chocolate chip morsels
*You may use regular size morsels by running them throught the food processor.
White or Chocolate almond bark for dipping and drizzling and sprinkles for decoration

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar, beat in vanilla until fluffy.  Gradually add flour althernating with the milk.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop cookies with a scoop onto waxed paper and chill for 1 hour.  Take out of fridge and roll into balls and chill for an additional hour.  Dip in chocolate and decorate.  Remember if you use sprinkles they need to be added while the chocolate is still wet.
This is what they look like after you have formed them in to balls to chill.

This is how they can look depending on if you choose white or dark chocolate and if you add sprinkles.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to School

So....teachers went back to school today and students will start on Monday.  We found out that our school system is officially the first school in North Carolina to return to school, but then again we were the first school to get out in the Spring.  I am teaching a new subject this year.  I have moved from teaching Early Childhood Education to teaching Foods I and II.  I am very excited and look forward to a new school year. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A New Puppy

We have been enjoying summer here at Suppers, Youngans & Thangs.  We have had two birthdays and a new addition to our family.  Dodger, a rescue dog from our local animal shelter.  We have had dogs in the past, all of which have passed.  I was not on board with the idea, but my oldest wanted one so badly.  He wanted to use his birthday money to pay the adoption fee.  He and my daughter worked on me and their dad for days.  So...we went to the shelter to visit the dog they had picked out on the internet at "the puppy."  He had been abandoned at a trash dump.  He was so bashful, his tail didn't wag, and he seemed scared to death of people.  I just wasn't sure this was the right dog.  But those kids of mine, they just insisted this was "the dog."  So we took him home.  Well, he has so come out of his shell.  His tail wags, he barks, he rolls over on his back for us to rub his belly.  He is very used to us, but when someone new comes to our house he still acts very squimish.  But the kids were right, he was the "right dog."  We love him dearly.  He has added a new dimension to our family.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Martha Kay Evans Allen 1948-2012
It has been quite a while since my last post.  So much has happened in my life, some good, some not so good.  The hardest most difficult loss of my life occurred 3 weeks ago.  I lost my mother.  She was only 64 years old, but had been suffering from Alzheimer's for almost ten years.  She was diagnosed soon after she lost her mother, so it was like loosing both of them because she was never the same after her mother died.  She and I were very close.  She was a single mom and her life revolved around my brother and I.  She did remarry, two weeks after I married to a wonderful man who took the most wonderful care of her to the very end.  She was a doting grandmother who loved her grandchildren very much.  She was loved by so many.  She is truly missed.  One word of advice, never leave your mom without telling her you love her and giving her a kiss and a hug.  Join me in praying for a cure for this awful disease so no one else has to loose their loved one to the inner corners of their own mind. I love you mom!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lodge Look Pillow

This weekend was my brother's birthday.  I have a wonderful brother.  He is a great man who is kind to all, family, friends, and strangers.  He is one of a kind.  He takes care of everybody.  So when my sister-in-law said she wanted to throw him a surprise birthday party, I thought it was a wonderful idea.  But what do you get a guy who has very few needs or and even fewer wants?  He loves to hunt, always has, and when he and his wife first married I made them Christmas stockings, one with a buck for him and one with a doe for her.  So when I started searching the Internet for something to give him I knew this would be perfect for him.  His living room is decorated in a lodge theme with some of his prized deer heads mounted and hanging for all to see.  I found my inspiration here.  This lovely lady  from Sew Homegrown was inspired by this pillow from Anthropology.
She had her husband draw a pattern and she made this beautiful pillow:
She has graciously shared the pattern on her blog so all of us to use.   There is also a wonderful step by step tutorial to guide you through the entire process.
It is amazing how changing the fabrics and colors gives you a totally different look.  I went to my local quilt store and chose two complementary fat quarters that went with the colors in my brothers living room.
I used a contrasting color for the back and added one of my labels.  I loved how it turned out.  Needless to say my brother was very happy with it.  His wife has requested the matching doe for her birthday.  I told her the doe would be so much easier because you would just cut the antlers off, the hardest part to sew.  Be sure and tell Jessica I sent you when you visit her blog.  Happy sewing

I am linking here:  The Shady Porch, 3 Mango Seeds

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Valentine Math for Preschoolers

Preschoolers need lots of experience with sorting, counting, and patterning to develop their pre-math skills.  I love to make games for the preschoolers at my center to play.  Yes play, preschoolers learn through play, not ditto sheets.  So every skill you want them to learn needs to be in the form of a hands on, fun, sensory stimulating activity.  I am going to show you some of the activities I will be using with the preschoolers at my school during Valentines.  First you will need to cut about a bajillion hearts in various sizes and colors.  If you are lucky like me, you will find an organization that has an Ellison die cut machine (thanks M-Y Partnership for Children) and use the hound out of it.
The first game is a matching game.  Using black construction paper cut into 4ths, glue at least one pair of matching hearts per color to the paper.  If you make more than one pair of the same color it gives your children a greater opportunity for successfully finding a match.  But whatever you do don't use an odd number of colored cards or you will cause much frustration because they will never be able to  a match. Lol.

Here is a picture of all the hearts I cut and then laminated for extra durability.

With this pile of hearts, you can sort by size.  I have a small size, a medium, and a large.

Next I used a dry erase marker and wrote numbers on the large hearts and then you have the children count out the number of hearts indicated on the big heart.  The dry erase marker wipes off easily with a dry cloth on laminated items.  This way you can reuse the hearts of another activity.  You also see an example of sorting by color in this picture.

This picture shows patterning.  I used a sentence strip and added the hearts in a repeating pattern.  I used the simplest pattern in the example above.
This pattern is a little more difficult and would be used with your older preschoolers.

This would be the most challenging of the three patterning activities because they would have to chose the right color and the right size heart. 

I hope you found something you can use with the preschoolers in your life.  Thanks for reading.  Would love to hear from you and your activities.

Ephesians 1:16

Valentine Mantle

I have never been one who did a lot of decorating for the holidays.  I guess I found it a little intimidating.  Thanks to Pinterest, I am no longer intimidated.  I have been inspired.  Pinterest has shown me that I can take the things I already own and put them together with some things I create (cheaply) and make something I can be proud of.  The mantle in the picture above was created by using 4 items I keep on it all the time, the red topiary, the mirror, the candle stick, and the FAMILY cutout andadding red candles that I already had for Christmas, a silk rose I had in the cabinet, a simple construction paper heart garland, and a Valentine printable I found here and placed in a frame I already had.  So I spent $0.  I am already planning what I want to do for Easter.  I have been scouring Pinterest for ideas. 
Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you will come back later in the week to check out the preschool activities I will be hosting for Valentine's Day themes.  I am sure you will find something you can do with your preschooler. 
Until Next Time
Ephisians 1:16

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mix and Match Muffins

This is a recipe I have been wanting to try for a very long time.  I found it in a book called Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month, by Deborah Taylor-Hough.  I bought this book several years ago, before the big freezer died and I had room to put a months worth of dinners.  This past weekend I decided I wanted to try the Mix and Match Muffins.  We needed something for breakfast and since it was the end of the month I had no money (my husband and I are both teachers and get paid only once a month) to buy anything extra.  I had to use what I had on the shelves. These muffins are like the Burger King of muffins, you can have them "your way."  I will give a list of ideas you can use for mixing and matching at the end of this post.    Now for the ingredients I used.  First you start with the basics.
3 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Sift these ingredients together in a bowl.  I used a metal drainer as a sifter since the only sifter I have is an antique one I keep in my kitchen for decoration.

The next ingredients need to be placed in a separate bowl.

2 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar

Using a mixer, mix the egg, oil, and sugar until completely mixed.
Time to make these muffins the way you want them.  I used some things I had in the pantry; applesauce I canned this summer, currants leftover after making granola, and pumpkin I have started hoarding ( because it is a seasonal item and not available all year in my area).   Mix and Match add-ins should add up to 2 cups total.  Also add 3 teaspoons of vanilla at this time.
Add the mix and match ingredients to the eggs, oil, and sugar mixture and mix thoroughly
Add the dry ingredients and stir by hand.  Be careful not to over mix or you will get peaks and tunnels in you muffins.  Mix just until flour in incorporated in the liquid ingredients.
At this point if you like nuts or seeds you can stir them in now.  I had some sunflower seeds leftover from some granola I made, so I added those.

Time to put the mix in the muffin pans.  I use a small scoop to place batter in muffin cups.  This assures that your muffins will be uniform in size and that they will all cook evenly.
I lined my pans with cupcake liners.  This will saves clean up and it helps the muffins hold together if you decide to freeze them.  It also keeps them from sticking to each other in the freezer bag.  But if you don't have cup cake liners, you can certainly use cooking spray in the pans to keep the muffins from sticking.
This recipe made 18 regular sized muffins and 24 mini muffins.  The recipe says to bake them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.  I left mine more like 20 minutes.  I will be making a tropical version this weekend.  I want to use crushed pineapple, mandarin oranges, and coconut.

Here is a list of possible mix-ins:
Apples, grated or chopped
Apricots, chopped
Bananas, mashed or chopped
Carrots, cooked and mashed, or grated
Cherries, pitted and chopped
Coconut, grated
Cranberries, dry or raw, chopped
Dates or figs, pitted and finely chopped
Lemon, 1/2 cup juice
Marmalade (omit 1 cup sugar)
Oranges, chopped
Orange juice, 1/2 cup juice
Peaches, fresh or canned, chopped
Pears, fresh or canned, chopped
Pineapple, crushed and well drained
Prunes, chopped
Pumpkin, canned
Rhubarb, finely chopped (add an additional cup of sugar)
Strawberries, well drained
Sweet potato or yams, cooked and mashed or grated
Zucchini, grated and well-drained
As you can see, anything goes.  Would love to hear from you if you try this.  Let me know what mix-ins you used and what combinations you find work the best.  You can make it in a loaf pan instead of muffin pans.  You would adjust the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 1 hour.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making Snowflakes

This has been a very unusual year here in the mountains, we have had very, very little snow.  So in the preschool we decided we were going to make our own snow.  I found this recipe that shows you how to make snowflakes from Borax and boiling water.  Here are the step by step instructions:

Start by boiling your water.  You don't really need to measure it at this point, you just need enought to fill a pint jar.
While your water is coming to a boil, you need to make a snowflake shape out of a pipe cleaner.  Here I used a white one so it would look like an actual snowflake. You then need to attach a piece of yarn to the snowflake and to a pencil or bamboo skewer so that you can suspend the snowflake in the Borax solution.  When we did this in the center, we used colored pipe cleaners.

Measure 1/3 of a cup of Borax.  Borax is an all natural laundry booster.  It is also used to clean many items in the home.  You can check out the 20 Mule Team website for other household tips.

Mix the boiling water and Borax completely.
Submerge the snowflake shaped pipe cleaner in the Borax water solution.
After the snowflake has been in the solution for a couple of days, it will begin to form crystals that attach to the pipe cleaner.

You can then remove the snowflakes from the solution and use them to decorate with.  They are not shelf stable, so they won't last forever, but you can enjoy them for the season.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Delicious Chicken Enchilada

OK, when your teenage son tells you something you make is the best he has ever had, well you just have to crow about it a little.  Last week I wanted to make chicken enchiladas, but didn't have exactly the ingredients my normal recipe calls for, so.... I improvised and it turned out wonderfully. I am going to give you a step by step tutorial of how I did this.  Sorry for not having pictures in the tutorial. I had no idea I would be posting this one until the last minute.  Next time I make it I will be sure to take pictures to add to the step by step.
Ingredients:  4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1 medium onion, 8 oz cream cheese, Ro-tel tomatoes, cooking oil, 8-10 tortillas, 1 jar salsa,  1 cup sour cream, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
1.  Boil 4 boneless skinless chicken breast until cooked through (you can cheat and skip this step by using canned chicken).
2.  Saute one medium onion that has been diced in 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent.
3.  When chicken is cooked, chop it up and add it to your onions.
4.  Add a can of Ro-tel tomatoes and heat through.
5.  Add a 8oz block of cream cheese (yes you can use reduced fat or fat free to reduce the fat and calories).
6.  Once the cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined, fill tortilla shells (I use whole wheat to increase the nutritional value) with mixture and place seam side down in a 9x13 dish.  It should make 8-10 enchiladas.
7.  In same pan you just used for filling, pour one jar of your favorite salsa and add 1cup of sour cream (can be reduced fat or fat free) and stir until completely combined. 
8.  Pour salsa mixture over enchiladas.
9.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese
10. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
11.  Enjoy!
This is a picture of the final meal.  It would be great if I still had preshoolers in the house I could teach the color yellow.  After teaching preschoolers for 13 years it is hard not to put a lesson into everything.    Also, don't you love the plate, it is from the Dollar Tree, $1. Love it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Polar Bear Puff Paint

This week at the preschool we are doing activities dealing with polar bears and penguins.  I did my usual seach of my favorite sites for activities that apply to our area of study for the week.  Not really sure which site I got this idea from (sorry for not giving credit where credit is due).  But I will give you step by step instructions on how my students and I prepared this activity for the preschool.

First we gathered our materials for making the paint.  All you need are shaving cream and school glue.  This worked great for us because we are out of white paint in the preschool and I was afraid we would need to add that to the mixture, but no, just shaving cream and glue.
You then mix equal parts of glue and shaving cream.  It looks delicious, just like cool whip.  We also made a polar bear template from and old manila folder.  We used a picture of a polar bear and traced the outline on the manila folder.  We cut the polar bear out and then taped the folder back together.

Doesn't the paint look just like a bowl of Cool Whip?

Next we used a pretty blue construction paper for the background of the picture.  We placed the template of the polar bear on top and used a plastic spoon to cover the template with the puffy paint.

Remove the stencil and Voila!  We then let the kids put their finger in the paint and make puffy white snowflakes around their bear.