Justice’s Birthday

Justice is the 3rd oldest grandchild of mine.  His birthday is January 31st this week and will be 5 years old.  He comes over some weekends to spend time with his dad and Nana!  We got to bake a cake and home made Strawberry Ice Cream.

When we’re in the kitchen we do our best to get the kids involved.  Not just so that they have fun but so that they have a great learning experience and enjoy being in the kitchen.

Justice is one of THE pickiest eaters I have seen. He won’t try any of the foods I make.  He eats either mac and cheese or chicken nuggets.  I was surprised that he liked cake!!

Here’s Justice licking the frosting as they get the cake ready.

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Here’s Justice, with his brother Mason being a big helper!!

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After the cake was done the candles got put in.  Poor Justice didn’t know that we found some of the magical candles that started up again after you blow them out. The look on his face made us just giggle!!  He’d blow, they’d light up, he’d blow, Mason would blow it out.  They took turns until it finally stopped.

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Have a super happy birthday Justice this week.   We hope you get all the fun things you wish for.  See you again next weekend, I hope.

Two Girls Cooking – Nana (aka Patricia) 😉

Chicken Bundles

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I recently shared with you my trip to Indiana to see my friend, Carrie.  During that trip I suggested that she try to make a nice home cooked meal.  No frozen pot pies for dinner this time.  She made the pot pies I had posted earlier and they were great.  The other night I got a text from her asking me what would go well with a recipe she was going to make!  I was so happy that she got herself in the kitchen and was making dinner!  I suggested she make rice with this and she sure did.

I asked her if she would be a guest blogger.  She said:  “Um, no.”  But I told her that I would write up the blog for her and just share her pictures.  So this is what I’m doing for her!  I can’t take any credit for this one.  And it sure looks good.

Ingredients for Chicken Bundles

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1-13 oz. can chicken (or equivalent cooked chicken, rotitsserie chicken, etc)
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. parsley
  • 2 cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls – leave in fridge until ready to use!
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped onion or dried minced onion

Directions: Combine the above ingredients (minus the crescent rolls) and mix well.

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Open two packages crescent rolls. DO NOT divide into triangles. Keep every 2 triangles together, forming 8 rectangles.

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Pinch the seams closed and pat each one out into a larger square.

Put a spoonful of chicken/cream cheese mixture into the center of each square. Fold the corners up into the center, layering like flower petals so the roll is sealed. (Don’t stress too much on the technique, fold them up press seams together to make a bundle.)

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Repeat with all 8 rectangles. You’re going to worry that you’re doing this wrong, but you’re not, just do it, I promise they’ll taste delicious.

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Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

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Next time, oh and there will be a next time, I travel to see Carrie, she will be making either these for me or a different home cooked meal that she comes up with!!!!  I’m so happy that she went outside her box and did this.  Not that she hasn’t before, but if she has, it’s sure been a while!  You go Carrie girl!!!

Thanks for taking time to take pictures to send to me so this could be shared!

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Two Girls Cooking – Carrie  – on the left (Guest Blogger)

Source:

Quick and Easy Dinner

Oreo Cheesecake Bars

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Last week I made Brown Eyed Bakers Snickers Rice Krispies Bars and they were soooo good.  I had gone out of town a couple of days after making these and I hoped that there would be at least one bar left for me (yay there was)!!

Then I saw these Oreo Cheesecake Bars on Michelle’s site and I so had to try these too!  My family likes (okay I like) the yellow Oreo cookies more than the chocolate ones, so I thought I’d change it up a bit and use those instead!

I’m thinking I should have doubled the recipe so that  I would have enough of these to feed all of the sweet tooth eaters in the house.  Once I tend to get my picture down for the blog, these types of treats seem to disappear.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crust:
23 Oreo cookies (store-bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sour cream
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
12 Oreo cookies (store-bought or homemade), coarsely chopped

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DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing it to hang over two of the sides.

2. Make the Crust: Process the Oreo cookies in a food processor until they are turned into fine crumbs. Drizzle the melted butter over top and pulse a handful of times until the butter is evenly distributed and all of the crumbs are moist. Dump the crumbs into the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes (leave the oven on).

3. Make the Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated.

4. Slowly add the eggs, beating well after each addition, and mix until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sour cream and vanilla, beating until incorporated.

5. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos, then pour the batter over the prepared crust, smoothing it into an even layer. Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly, about 40 to 50 minutes.

6. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or up to 24 hours) before serving.

7. To serve, lift the cheesecake out of the pan using the parchment or foil handles. Slice into bars and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (I can’t believe I have to wait this long.  This is not a good thing for me!!)

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(Recipe adapted from Table for Two)

I’m so thankful that there are so many great bloggers out there to share their fun with us!  Not only do I learn from them but I get to share their great recipes.

Have a great week and enjoy the treat coming from your kitchen

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉

Source:

Brown Eyed Baker

BBQ Pulled Pork

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I was going through my weekly menu planning and hit a bump in the road as to what new I could make.  So I went to Heidi (my friend/co-worker) and asked her to give me some good ideas.  This reminded me of the Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowls.   I was trying to decide what to eat this with.  Heidi had said she has dinner rolls and coleslaw with hers, so I followed what she made.  But this would be good over pasta or rice as well.

The flavor of this pork is so good.  It was in the slow cooker almost all day.  Soaking in all of the BBQ sauce, garlic, onion…mmmm.  The house smelled amazing!!  Glad there’s a bit left over for me to have some lunch tomorrow!!

Clyde even got to taste it!!  I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it!

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yield: 6 servings
Ingredients:
3 lb. pork shoulder (I used two pork loins)
1 cup water
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
salt & pepper
1/2 onion diced
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3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (way too sweet, we add 1/4 cup unpacked)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard – I didn’t use the mustard (some aren’t a fan of the flavor of mustard)
salt & pepper
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Directions:
In a crock pot, place pork, water, bbq sauce, salt, pepper and onion. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours until very tender. Remove all meat from crock pot. Spoon off fat from remaining liquid in crock pot and discard about half the liquid as well (you want it to be moist but not too watery–mine was a little on the watery side, so remove more then you think and you can always add more back in). Shred pork removing all excess fat. Return to crock pot and stir in garlic, bbq sauce, brown sugar, mustard and more salt and pepper. Cook another hour or so until all flavors blend and the garlic taste mellows out a little. Serve with fresh rolls and coleslaw.
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This was exactly what Heidi said…super easy to make.  My son made sandwiches with with the rolls and meat.  I hadn’t thought of doing that.  Add more onion and some cheese!  Hmmm, maybe next time!
Have a great week and enjoy!
Two Girls Cooking – Patricia
Source:
Heidi – Friend/Co-worker

Friends

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This isn’t a going to be a post about food (well some of it will be), but it is going to show the importance of friendship.  What length will you go for someone that you call your “friend”?  Are you willing to drop everything for that person or people in your life?  I am.  I have a very giving heart and will do what I feel is needed to put a smile on someone’s face.

I used to attend a church called The Path in Eagan, MN.  The pastor and his family moved away a few years ago and has since started a new church in Indiana called G3.  We’ve kept in touch throughout these past few years by email/text and mostly through the wonders of modern technology called Facebook.

My girlfriend had been in close touch with me last week and I could tell that she just needed a friend.  A friend that may know what and how she is feeling.  Now I’ve had a fear of flying all my life.  I’ve done it, I hate it, I’ve flown with my cooking buddy, Jodi.  She’s had to hold my hand and watch as I nearly threw up and actually cried because I thought the plane was going to drop from the sky!  But last Friday at 3pm I decided that I needed to be with her.  I called Craig and told him I was leaving for the weekend.  I got online and booked a flight.  Since it was last minute, I found it cheaper to fly to Chicago, rent a car and drive my way to Indiana.  Well let me tell you my story before I introduce you to my friend.

My plane was to take off at 7:40pm from Minneapolis.  I am not a frequent flyer so I have no idea about time frames and those sort of things.  Craig got home around 5:30 and asked what time my flight left and he said I should have been there already.  So we get my stuff together and head on out.  I get to the airport and he tells me to run to the terminal to make sure I check in on time!  I get to my gate to find out the flight is delayed for technical problems in Chicago.  Great.  Great. Great.  Every 15 minutes the flight got later and later.  Take off time was now 3 hours later.  Great.  Great.  Great.  What am I going to do at the airport for 3 dang hours?  I walked around and looked at stores, I texted my friends and family to let them know I was going to be late.  I sat down and found myself bored.  So I was looking around and thought, huh, this lady looks bored.  Snap!

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Usually I don’t have the flash set on my phone, but I sure did this time.  So when I took the picture of her, she knew what I had just done.  I just said “Ooops, sorry!” Then giggled to myself!  I am the queen of dorks.

I wondered around again and realized that my phone was near the end of it’s battery life.  Now who would have thought being a kid growing up in the 70/80s there would EVER be  such a thing called a charging station at airports for phones/laptops and whatever technical device you may have??!!  Not me, but I was grateful.

IMG_5803 So I plug my phone in and charge away.  I had a good 2 more hours to go before my plane would arrive anyways.  So I was on Facebook, texting.  Doing what everyone else at the airport was doing!  Duh!

I figure out ways to pass the time and finally heard and saw that my plane had arrived and we would be boarding very soon.  Thank goodness.  And this entire time, I didn’t have any fears going through me.  I had a great sense of peace actually.  I knew I had a journey ahead of me and that was kept my mind focused on what I was doing.

IMG_5806I got on the plane, took a picture for the kids, settled in and was ready for my one hour flight to Chi-town.  The town I dislike with a passion driving through, but love seeing.

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Fastened my seatbelt and was ready for this baby to take off.  The flight attendant started to go through the drills of safety this, how to do that, when the plane door flew open.  I gasped!  I knew that this was what I was supposed to be doing for my friend, but this was a huge test I was being put through..

The plane takes off and I actually looked out the window.  I saw how pretty it looked and almost cried.  I was about to see my friends real soon.  Or so I thought!! 😉

The flight was good.  Nothing for me to get nervous about.  I didn’t feel sick.  I didn’t feel like crying!!  We landed on solid ground and I was ready to get my rental car.

I take a shuttle to Hertz, get checked in and go to my car.  I open the door and search for the key to turn it on to get some heat going.  No key.  No place to put a key.  I I finally found a button for the car and got it started.  Thinking, huh, how do I lock the doors.  I search around for the key fob and find nothing.  I decided to get the radio set up for the stations that I like so when I’m driving I don’t have to mess with it.  Nothing.  XM Radio is NOT working.  There is no way I’m driving 4.5 hours with a standard FM radio.  So I drive to the office, take out all of my things because I can’t find a way to lock the door.  They find a guy to come out and fix the radio, no luck.  The manager comes out to see if she can get it to work.  No luck.  Get me a new car.  By this time about an hour has gone by.  They pull up with another white vehicle and I saw Ford on it.  Nothing against Ford, I just remember that Craig isn’t a fan.  But when I opened the door, I was in car heaven.  It was a pretty nice car.  I got in and started to mess with the radio to make sure I got this one set up.  It worked.  I got it all set up.  I set the GPS and was set to go.  Almost 2 hours after getting to the car rental!

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Who would have thought that the new Ford Taurus’ were this nice!  Not me. But I was having me a good time.  When I stopped here I was about an hour away from my destination.  I needed more coke to keep me awake.  It was now 5:30am!  I had the radio on and would make note of songs that I wanted to hear again that fit the situation that my friend was going through. Here are some of the songs: “Can Anybody Hear Her” by Casting Crowns, “Who Am I” by Casting Crowns, and “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave.  (Those are just a few).  The entire drive I had the biggest smile on my face.  I did because I knew that I was about to see someone that I hadn’t seen in a long time, but knowing that I had a job to do.  And that was to be a friend to a friend in need.  Not one scary thought of being alone in the middle of the night driving alone made me feel worried.

I get to their house at 6:30am or so.  I’m wired on coke and sugar ready to party!  But I was told that I needed to go rest.  So fine, I did.  I fell asleep for about 2 hours.  I didn’t want to waste away time since I was leaving the next day.  Being tired or not I wanted to get up and talk and hang out.

So I took a picture of a picture on their wall.

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I send this picture to my friend and asked her if it was okay to come out!!!  I hear an “of course honey” so I opened the door and settled down on the couch for a day long of talking.  I was so happy to be there.  I was just so happy.
We decided that we both wanted to get a tattoo.  We made an appointment but it just didn’t work out so we both decided that we would get the same tattoo, but at separate times.  Instead we drove to the grocery store to make home made Pot Pie Crumbles.  Now I did not get a positive response about her taking direction from me and her making the dinner.  But, as you all know, I love to be in the kitchen and cook with the kids.  So we turn on the radio and get ready to get this dinner started.  There were some minor complaints along the way, but she did a fabulous job and made the dinner better than I did!  I was so proud of her!  And she was very proud of herself. (As I sit here typing this I have the biggest smile)!  What a great night we had.

Off to bed we go.  Alarms set to get ready for church.  I was so excited to get to hear her husband preach.  I was so excited to see the new set up and just to be a part of this process was so awesome to me!  Super excited!!

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The stage is ready to go!!

As Praise and Worship started there was a song that I had sent for Carrie to listen to that I heard on the Radio.  They played one of these songs.  How amazing is that!  “Safe” by Britt Nicole.

It was a great service with huge break throughs.  I am soooo glad I made this spur of the moment trip for my friend.

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Here is a picture of the matching tattoos that we will both have to remember our special weekend.  I got mine this past Tuesday and Carrie will be getting hers soon.  It’s a dove with an olive branch.  This represents New Beginnings.

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And here is my friend Carrie.  She has put a lasting mark on my life even more so from last weekend.  Through tests and trials in life, we can choose to stand strong or fall short of the glory that is staring us right in the face.  My friend Carrie is standing strong.

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The power of words, experience, and lasting friendships.  I love you Carrie!  To anyone that needs words to lift you up, know that by God’s grace we are all Redeemed.  We can Stand, feel Safe, and know Who am I.

Patricia 😉

Snickers Rice Krispies

I haven’t made any sweet treats (outside of the ice-cream) in such a long time.  And since we’ve all lost a few pounds from out battle of the flu season, I figure it can’t hurt to have something sweet and fun to eat!!!

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These come from The Brown Eyed Baker.  She makes some of the best treats.   I want to ask her what she does with everything she bakes every day but I know in our house it’s not a problem, so I doubt it is with her either!!

I love Rice Krispie bars.  And holy cow, when you add the caramel, the chocolate, the peanut butter AND the candy…Oh my.  Loss for words.

Brooklyn took a bite…she says:  Wow these are really good.IMG_4494

Caleb is not a huge fan of being in pictures anymore, but when I gave him this he begged me to get one of him too.  Oh and he says: Man, these are the best!!

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When it comes to creating new treats, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not good at just throwing things together to see how it works.  I’m not sure if I can do it.  So I stop by my favorite blogs and hope they don’t mind that I borrow their great ideas.  Michelle says it best…these are the best Rice Krispies that have come out of my kitchen as well (only thanks to her)!!

Who doesn’t love chocolate on anything!!  Me, I do.  We’re not a huge fan of the nuts, so I kept those out and added more cut out candy on top!!

Super good.  Super good.

yield: 24 treats

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 10 minutes
total time: 20 minutes

Rice Krispies treats loaded with caramel sauce, peanuts and chopped Snickers bars, then topped with a chocolate/peanut butter glaze.

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows
½ cup caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup peanuts, plus more for sprinkling on top (I left these off)
8 (“Fun-Size”) Snickers bars, chopped
1¼ cup milk chocolate chips
¼ cup creamy peanut butter

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish; set aside.

2. Melt the butter and marshmallows together in a medium saucepan over low heat. Once melted, stir in the caramel sauce and remove from the heat.

3. Stir in the Rice Krispies until they are evenly coated with the sauce. Working quickly, stir in the peanuts and chopped Snickers bars, mixing as gently as possible.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Use the back of a greased wooden spoon to press down firmly over the surface of the treats to ensure that they are packed down tightly.

5. Melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely smooth and melted. Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the Rice Krispies treats and spread into an even layer with a spatula.

6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until set. Cut into bars and serve. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator (room temperature for softer, more gooey bars; refrigerator for firmer bars).

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉

Source

Brown Eyed Baker

 

Dairy Queen Ice Cream

I had been wanting to get an ice cream maker for a while now and finally went and got one today.  Jodi has made some pretty good ice cream and I love frozen yogurt, so I went for it.  I have a KitchenAid blender, but I’m very impatient and couldn’t find the ice cream bowl for it so I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and got the Cuisinart 2 quart maker instead.  I know,  know.  Patience is a virtue I’m truly trying to work on!!

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I wanted to find a Dairy Queen recipe to try for my first run.  My co-worker, Heidi, found a new website for me that had just what I was looking for.

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The mixture has to cool for 5-8 hours (here comes that impatient thing again) so I have the bowl sitting in the freezer and will put the mixture in the fridge for over night cooling and make on my lunch break tomorrow!!  Super excited.  I even found some of the nuts to go on top that they have at Dairy Queen!

Ingredients

  • 2 envelopes Knox gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used ½ vanilla bean and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups cream

Instructions

  1. Soak gelatin in cold water
  2. Heat milk, but do not boil.
  3. Remove from heat and add gelatin, sugar, vanilla and salt.
  4. Cool and add cream.
  5. Chill 5 to 8 hours.
  6. Pour into a 4 to 6 quart ice cream freezer can.
  7. Process according to manufacturer’s directions.
  8. Scoop into a container, cover well, and freeze several hours or overnight. Like most ice creams the flavor improves with aging.

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If you haven’t made ice cream, you have to.  And if you haven’t made Dairy Queen Ice Cream then you really have to.  Every time I go through the drive through at Dairy Queen, my little dog, Coco, goes crazy.  He knows he’s going to get a pup cup.  He hangs out the window just shaking with anticipation… My dogs love it too.

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This was fantabulous!  I was soooo excited to taste this.  I had it for breakfast!  The taste is so similar to the real deal!!

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Whatever your flavor, you have to try it home made.  After this, there is no other way.  No other way.  I can’t wait for the kids to come home and ask for a snack!!

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉

Source

Wives with Knives